UK Chancellor of the Exchequer makes 2005 Budget speech
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UK Chancellor of the Exchequer makes 2005 Budget speech

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honourable Gordon Brown PC MP, in a speech to the British House of Commons today presented his ninth Budget, what is very likely to be his last Budget before the next UK General Election. This opened the parliamentary debate on the 2005 Finance Bill, and was followed by responses from the opposition parties.

In a 48 minute long speech, the Chancellor presented a Budget of “tax cuts that are reasonable, spending that is affordable, and [economic] stability that is paramount”, that was “the prudent course for Britain”. There were few surprises that had not already been indicated in his 2004 pre-Budget report. The increase in the threshold on stamp duty was greater than that forecast by commentators, as was the amount of the Council Tax rebate to households with pensioners.

Contents

  • 1 The Budget in detail
    • 1.1 Duty
    • 1.2 Taxes
    • 1.3 Benefits
    • 1.4 Business
    • 1.5 Employment
    • 1.6 Savings
    • 1.7 Spending
    • 1.8 Memorials
  • 2 Responses from opposition parties
    • 2.1 Conservative
    • 2.2 Liberal Democrat
  • 3 Sources
The Onion: An interview with ‘America’s Finest News Source’
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The Onion: An interview with ‘America’s Finest News Source’

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Despite the hopes of many University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) students, The Onion was not named after their student center. “People always ask questions about where the name The Onion came from,” said President Sean Mills in an interview with David Shankbone, “and when I recently asked Tim Keck, who was one of the founders, he told me the name—I’ve never heard this story about ‘see you at the un-yun’—he said it was literally that his Uncle said he should call it The Onion when he saw him and Chris Johnson eating an onion sandwich. They had literally just cut up the onion and put it on bread.” According to Editorial Manager Chet Clem, their food budget was so low when they started the paper that they were down to white bread and onions.

Long before The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Heck and Johnson envisioned a publication that would parody the news—and news reporting—when they were students at UW in 1988. Since its inception, The Onion has become a veritable news parody empire, with a print edition, a website that drew 5,000,000 unique visitors in the month of October, personal ads, a 24 hour news network, podcasts, and a recently launched world atlas called Our Dumb World. Al Gore and General Tommy Franks casually rattle off their favorite headlines (Gore’s was when The Onion reported he and Tipper were having the best sex of their lives after his 2000 Electoral College defeat). Many of their writers have gone on to wield great influence on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert‘s news parody shows.

And we are sorry to break the news to all you amateur headline writers: your submissions do not even get read.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Chet Clem and Sean Mills about the news empire that has become The Onion.

Contents

  • 1 How The Onion writes an issue
  • 2 The headlines
  • 3 The features and the columnists
  • 4 The photojournalism
  • 5 What The Onion will not publish
  • 6 Reactions to Onion stories
  • 7 The Presidential Seal
  • 8 The Onion’s readership
  • 9 Future features
  • 10 Handling national tragedies
  • 11 The Onion movie and Onion News Network
  • 12 Relationship with other satirical news programs
  • 13 Unsolicited material
  • 14 Source
News briefs:July 28, 2010
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News briefs:July 28, 2010
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Israel evicts two Palestinian families from their homes
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Israel evicts two Palestinian families from their homes

Monday, August 3, 2009

Two Palestinian families who have been living in East Jerusalem since 1956, were evicted from their homes on Sunday after an Israeli court rejected their appeal filed against the eviction. The eviction comes after increasing international pressure on Israel to stop settlement activity and end home evictions.

Israeli security forces entered the homes at 6:00 a.m. (local time) and forcibly removed the family and international activists who were also living in the homes. At least 19 children were among those removed. Al Jazeera reports that a family was beaten with batons as they tried to get back into their house. JTA reports that Jewish families moved into the homes shortly after the Palestinian families were evicted.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has laid biblical claim to the areas of East Jerusalem and has stated that Jews have the right to live anywhere in the city. Although Jerusalem is internationally recognized as occupied territory, Israel continues to evict Palestinians and instead build Jewish only apartments in the area, an action which is considered to be illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel has plans for 350 new apartment buildings in East Jerusalem. U.N special coordinator for Middle East Peace, Robert Serry, condemned the evictions as “totally unacceptable”.

The international community, including the United States, has called on Israel to stop settlement activity and allow for the creation of a Palestinian state.

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Vpn Server Internet Anonymity Using A Virtual Private Network

By Creztor Tessel

A VPN server can do a lot for you as a web user. Some of the most common advantages of using a virtual private network are that data transmitted is secure and that it gives you access to different IPs while on the internet. Many people think of security or safety when talking about a VPN, but another added advantage of a VPN server is that it helps you be anonymous online. The anonymity offered by a VPN is similar to that of a proxy server and if you are familiar with how a proxy works, then you will be able to easily see the advantages of using a VPN server to be anonymous online.

Virtual private networks make you anonymous because they give you a new IP. This IP is one that is located on the VPN server that you connect to, and while you are surfing the internet your IP will be reported as that of the one on the VPN. Websites and webmasters have no way of tracking beyond the VPN. The server is as far as they can see, and this means that wherever the VPN server is, then that is where you will appear to be from. VPNs often also come with multiple IPs, and this means that with a click of a button you can rotate or change your IP to something completely different. This adds to the level of anonymity they offer, because it means that you can avoid leaving any traces by using an IP too frequently on any website that you visit.

Why would you need this kind of anonymity offered by a VPN server? It is a known fact that websites log and track user activity. If you are someone who is concerned about your personal privacy, then it is important that you make it difficult for anyone, hackers or competitors, to know about your online activities. Using multiple IPs on a VPN means that webmasters may not be aware of when you visit, why you are visiting, where you are from and what kind of information you send or share online. This is important if you use multiple accounts and don’t want anyone knowing this.

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The kind of anonymity that a VPN server gives you is also comparable to that of the best kind of proxy server. There are many different kinds of proxies available today, but the best kind, called elite proxies, are completely undetectable, and this is the kind of anonymity that your VPN provides. There is no way for anyone to detect that you are using a VPN. They are completely invisible and undetectable. This means that no-one will know when you are or aren’t using your VPN online.

A VPN server can be used for a variety of reasons, but one of the most beneficial is that of being anonymous. Changing your IP to one on the VPN and having access to several different ones means that it is extremely difficult for anyone to track what you do online. In the information age, information is king and protecting yourself online is something that everyone should be concerned about.

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European airspace closed by volcanic ash
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European airspace closed by volcanic ash

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hundreds of thousands of air travelers had their travel plans disrupted in Europe by volcanic ash from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

Tens of thousands of air travelers were stranded when all flights into and out of the United Kingdom were grounded, as it became one of the first nations to be affected. The grounding was even more extensive than that following the September 11 attacks of 2001 when only trans-Atlantic flights were canceled.

Eurocontrol released a statement saying “…most air traffic in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden is suspended.”

The grounding is because the volcanic ash drawn into the jet stream is of a particle size which allows it to remain aloft in the atmosphere. Ingestion of this foreign matter, because of its distribution, would lead to flame outs in all aircraft engines. The composition of the ash also means that it would first melt into glass if it were to enter the engine of an aircraft before solidifying again as it cooled. This could lead to damage to the compressors and fan blades, which would make it impossible to restart the engines, even if the aircraft were to exit the cloud.

The current contingency is informed by the experience of British Airways Flight 9, which on June 24, 1982 suffered just such complete engine flame outs when it flew through the plume of Mount Galunggung in Indonesia. In that case, the flight crew after many efforts was able to restart the engines, though one failed shortly after, and the aircraft landed without casualties.

The UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has stated that “restrictions will remain in place in UK controlled airspace until 1300 (UK time) tomorrow, Friday 16 April, at the earliest,” and that “We will review further Met Office information and at 0230 (UK time) tomorrow we will advise the arrangements that will be in place through to 1800 (UK time) tomorrow.” The NATS statement concluded “…the situation cannot be said to be improving”.

In addition to Northern Europe, the ash is drifting south; Berlin and Hamburg airports in Germany are closed, and airports in the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France are described as now being closed or closing. Some flights from Spain and Portugal, together with upwards of 4,000 flights across Northern Europe, have been affected, and the knock-on effect of aircraft and crews out of position could disrupt air travel worldwide for up to 72 hours.

One affected group are British musicians booked to play at this weekend’s Coachella Festival in California. Amongst those stranded are Frightened Rabbit, Gary Numan, The Cribs and Bad Lieutenant.

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Chip and PIN ‘not fit for purpose’, says Cambridge researcher
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Chip and PIN ‘not fit for purpose’, says Cambridge researcher

Sunday, February 14, 2010

University of Cambridge security expert Professor Ross Anderson has blasted the EMV system used worldwide for credit and debit card transactions, and known in the UK as Chip and PIN, after his research team discovered a serious vulnerability. The group were able to carry out purchases using a card, even without knowing the associated personal identification number (PIN), by using a “man-in-the-middle” attack.

Retail terminals at the point of sale require the cardholder to insert their card and enter their secret PIN before a transaction can be authorised. They then communicate with the microchip built in to the card itself, which holds the PIN. If the correct number has been given, this chip returns a standard verification code (0x9000) to the terminal.

In the researchers’ attack they inserted a genuine card into a second reader, connected to a laptop. The laptop is linked by thin wires to a fake card, which is inserted into the retailer’s terminal. The laptop relays the communications between the terminal and the stolen, but genuine, card, up until the stage where the PIN is to be checked. At this point it intercepts and responds with the verification code, no matter what number was entered. The retailer’s terminal then believes that the correct PIN has been entered, and the card can be told that a signature was used to verify the cardholder instead.

Their technique has been tested successfully on cards from six different issuers: Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, Co-operative Bank, Halifax, HSBC and John Lewis.

All the banks are lying. They are maliciously and wilfully deceiving the customer […] The system is not fit for purpose.

The group say that not much technical skill is required for the attack, and suggested the equipment needed could be kept in a backpack, with the wires to the fake card running down a user’s sleeve. They believe the equipment could be miniaturised to the size of a remote control.

“In practice how this attack would work is that one reasonably technically skilled person would build a device that carries out the attack and then sell this equipment on the internet just like criminals already do,” said Dr Steven Murdoch who worked on the project.

Professor Anderson claimed that the attack could already be in use by criminals. “We have many examples of people who have had their cards stolen and then purchases made using the chip and pin,” he said. “They are adamant they didn’t use it but if the banks say chip and pin has been used you have to pay. I think many of these people would have been victim of the kind of technique we have developed.”

He was scathing about bank claims that the system was secure. “The banks are wrong. All the banks are lying. They are maliciously and wilfully deceiving the customer. If there was any justice then the police would be looking into this. The system is not fit for purpose.”

Consumer group Which? have also called for an investigation, stating that in a recent survey one in seven people said that money had been taken from their accounts without authorisation. Around half of these did not have the money refunded by the bank.

“We want the banks to look into these potential flaws,” said Cathy Neal from Which? Money, “because we have had many examples where the banks have said a pin was used and the customer said it hasn’t.”

Over 90 percent of UK card transactions at point-of-sale use chip and PIN, according to the UK Payments Administration. The attack does not affect ATM transactions, which use different standards. Mark Bowerman, a spokesman for the group which represents card companies, said that there was no evidence the attack was in use and emphasised that card fraud had fallen with the introduction of chip and PIN.

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We strongly refute the allegation that chip and PIN is broken

“We are taking this paper very seriously, as maintaining excellent levels of card security is paramount,” he said. “However, we strongly refute the allegation that chip and PIN is broken.”

The research paper has been made available as a working draft, and is due to be published at the IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium in May 2010. Members of the banking industry were informed of the vulnerability in early December last year.

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‘Earned It’ earns The Weeknd his first Grammy
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‘Earned It’ earns The Weeknd his first Grammy

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On Monday, at the 58th Grammy Awards ceremony, Canadian singer The Weeknd won his first Grammy Award, Best R&B Performance, for his song Earned It, which was also featured on the soundtrack of the 2015 Fifty Shades of Grey movie based on E.L. James’s erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

The Weeknd also won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album for his second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness. Abel Tesfaye — The Weeknd — had seven nominations in total including Record of the Year for his song Can’t Feel My Face and Album of the Year.

The YouTube video of the song received more than 179 million views and more than 1.1 million likes.The Weeknd was also nominated for Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance, but British singer Ed Sheeran won the golden gramophone for his song Thinking Out Loud.

Last year, Beyoncé won the Award for Best R&B Song for Drunk in Love featuring her husband Jay-Z.This awards ceremony marked the first Grammy wins for The Weeknd, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran.

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Category:Jewellery
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Category:Jewellery

This is the category for jewellery.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 8 April 2014: Scottish artist Alan Davie dies at age 93
  • 12 August 2011: Three killed amongst Birmingham, England riots
  • 13 July 2011: 21 people killed and 113 reported injured in three blasts in Mumbai
  • 4 July 2011: Hidden treasure worth billions of dollars discovered in Indian temple
  • 26 November 2010: Bernie Ecclestone attacked outside London headquarters; no arrests made
  • 6 September 2009: Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist
  • 13 August 2009: British gemstone expert killed by mob in Voi, Kenya
  • 11 August 2009: Thieves steal £40 million from London jeweller
  • 31 May 2009: Thief steals over €6 million worth of jewels from Paris store
  • 18 March 2009: Madoff prosecutors want assets from wife and children
?Category:Jewellery

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International participants showcase different industry cultures at 2008 Taipei Game Show
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International participants showcase different industry cultures at 2008 Taipei Game Show

Friday, January 25, 2008

B2B Trade Area of Taipei Game Show, criticized by trade buyers last year, but accompanied with 2008 Taiwan Digital Content Forum, moved to the second floor at Taipei World Trade Center for world-wide participants with a better exchange atmosphere this year.

Not only local OBMs (Softstar Entertainment, Soft-World International Corp., International Games System Corp., …, etc.) but also companies from New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea showcased different specialists with multiple styles. Especially on South Korea, participated members from G? Trade Show (Game Show & Trade, All-Round, aka Gstar) showcased gaming industry of South Korea and the G? upcoming at this November with brochures.

In the 2-days Digital Content Forum, world-class experts not only shared industry experiences, members from Taiwan Gaming Industry Association also discussed and forecasted marketing models for gaming industry. With participations from governmental, industrial, and academical executives world-wide, this forum helps them gained precious experiences of digital content industry from several countries.

According to the Taipei Computer Association, the show and forum organizer, the digital content industry in Taiwan was apparently grown up recent years as Minister of Economic Affairs of the Republic of China Steve Ruey-long Chen said at Opening Ceremony yesterday. Without R&Ds from cyber-gaming, and basic conceptions from policies and copyright issues, this (digital content) industry will be fallen down in Taiwan. If this industry wanted to be grown up in sustainability, gaming OBMs in Taiwan should independently produce different and unique games and change market style to market brands and games to the world.

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