Two British girls arrested for smuggling in Ghana
Two British girls arrested for smuggling in Ghana

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Two 16-year-old British girls were arrested in Accra, Ghana earlier this month for apparently attempting to smuggle £300,000 worth of cocaine in laptop bags.

Yasemin Vatansever, of Cypriot descent and Yatunde Diya of Nigerian descent were arrested as they attempted to board a British Airways flight from the Kotoka International Airport on July 2, 2007. The arrest was by the Ghanaian Narcotic Control Board. They were alleged to be carrying 6.5 kg of drugs. They are currently in Ghana police custody and have been visited by British High Commission staff.

The girls who are both students from Islington, north London, had left home after informing their families they were making a school trip to France. They are expected to be charged with “possessing narcotic drugs and attempting to export drugs”, for which they could be jailed for up to ten years if found guilty.

The arrest is part of the Operation Westbridge project set up in November 2006 as a collaboration between the Ghanaian Narcotic Control Board and HM Revenue and Customs of the UK. It is to curb the influx of drugs into Europe and the UK through West Africa which is now being used as a transit point from South America. The project involves the provision of technical and operational expertise to the Ghanaian teams and training in the use of specialist scanning equipment. Ghana is the first country in Africa to introduce such equipment.

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Christmas Light Installer At Your Service

By Ryan Paulin

Christmas light installers are individuals that offer Christmas lights installations during the holiday season. One of the Christmas light installers in Canada is the Vancouver Christmas lights. They can offer all their clients good services in a reasonable price. They have various services also offered that is connected to light installation.

It has always been a tradition that we put up Christmas light decoration during holiday season. Almost all wants their decoration to be unique and beautiful from everyone else. But the problem is how can you do that? Well that would not be a trouble anymore. With the Vancouver Christmas lights at your side you can always make things possible. The service primarily offered by this company is the installation of Christmas lights in your houses, commercial areas and buildings and on you Christmas trees outdoors.Vancouver Christmas lights with their lights installation can make your house a star in your neighborhood. They can do the decorations for you to give you more time on other things you wanted to prepare for the holiday season. Aside from decorating our houses, every holiday season it has been every year that we see beautiful lights on the streets and tall buildings around the city. These Christmas lights in tall buildings are always an attraction to people who does Christmas shopping, but how can they be set up? With the use ofVancouver Christmas lights services, they can make it possible for you to have the Christmas lights installed even to the tallest commercial building in the city. Aside from the buildings and houses, we also have the idea of putting up a Christmas tree outside. We want our tall trees to be decorated, when hiring the Vancouver Christmas lights that could be possible. They can set it up for you, even if the trees are 20 feet or higher.

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The Christmas lights that are offered are either sold to you or you can rent them in affordable prices. The prices offered by Christmas lights installation Vancouverdoes vary depending on the services that you avail or what type of lights you want them to set up on your houses. They can even offer lesser services when you could hire them earlier in the season, avoiding the holiday rush. But for those who wanted to save and have limited budget they can be flexible depending on your preferences. Almost all of us have the attitude of saving old Christmas decorations such as Christmas lights for the nest years Christmas, but there could be problems such as some light bulbs that don’t function. Vancouver Christmas lights can also offer services such as strand repair and fix ups of all types of Christmas lights. By having them fix your lights, you would only pay for services fee.

Having those Christmas lights installers hired can give you a hassle free Christmas celebration. You can avoid injuries and the headache of putting up lights all by your self. You can be assured that you will have the best holiday season of the year.

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Alleged ‘rights group’ tries to have 4,000 anti-Scientology videos removed from YouTube
Alleged ‘rights group’ tries to have 4,000 anti-Scientology videos removed from YouTube
This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday, September 8, 2008

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a rights group called the American Rights Counsel LLC has attempted to have at least 4,000 anti-Scientology videos removed from the video sharing website YouTube. Upon further investigation, Wikinews found that most videos and clips were added to YouTube by the copyright holders of the material; as DMCA requests are for the purposes of requesting removal where service providers host material that infringe on the copyright of the complainant, the merit of these requests remain questionable. It was also discovered that the alleged rights group does not exist as a physical entity. In an in-depth report, Wikinews investigated the incident and obtained exclusive information and comments from individuals, including XenuTV producer Mark Bunker.

Within the past 24 hours, according to the EFF, the Counsel “sent out over 4000 DMCA takedown notices to YouTube, all making copyright infringement claims against videos with content critical of the Church of Scientology.” A DMCA notice, or Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice means an attempt to limit the use of copyrighted material that is often infringing on the rights of an alleged copyright.

Wikinews made attempts to contact American Rights Counsel LLC for comment on the take-down notices, but was unable to obtain contact details for the alleged organisation. One post on a YouTube discussion page related to the organization states that they “do not appear to exist outside of these claims on YouTube.” Wikinews contacted YouTube several times asking them if they have a process of verifying DMCA requests from individuals or entities claiming copyright infringement, but when they responded, they directed Wikinews to their terms of service saying, “item 8 addresses the DMCA and 8 B addresses counter-notice procedures.”

YouTube’s terms of use in regards to filing DMCA requests states that only “A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed” can make such claims. It also goes on to say, “Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.”

The EFF says the videos attempting to be removed had shown clips from Anonymous protests of the Church and news footage from Australia and Germany which were critical of Scientology. Some videos were also messages from Anonymous to Scientology, and vice versa. Others were also video clips from a City Commission meeting in Clearwater, Florida. Accounts hosting the material were “suspended by YouTube in response to multiple allegations of copyright infringement.”

YouTube does, however, have a process for users that wish to file a counter-notice against a take-down under the DMCA. After the DMCA notices were sent, YouTube users began to revolt, by sending “DMCA counter-notices” to YouTube. The EFF states that the counter attack resulted in many of the accounts being reinstated and their videos restored.

One user claimed that he had shot and uploaded one of the videos that was taken down. “How can someone else file a claim against a video I MADE?,” said ShadowVsScientology, one of the YouTube users who had a video deleted. Since he owned the rights to the video, he alleges that the American Rights Counsel had no legal grounds to request its removal.

A video posted on YouTube by a user called ‘Church0fScientology’, who was responsible for the original ‘Message to Scientology’ in January of 2008 created after the Church had a video of a Tom Cruise interview removed from the site, states that the organization responsible for the DMCAs does not exist and is run by a man named Dr. Oliver Schaper. They state that he “fronts” the organization for Scientology. It also calls Schaper’s actions “deceptive”. Schaper also had an account on YouTube which has since been suspended. Wikinews obtained a cached version of his account page in which he states to the group Anonymous, “I respect your efforts as long your efforts remain within the limits of the law and remain fair. Although I don’t censor any postings, I would appreciate if any conversation could remain civil and insult free.” Schaper also states that he “will not censor because I strongly believe in the freedom of speech.” They accuse him of running and owning media companies that distribute gay pornography, something Schaper later admits, but only that it’s an “adult television network.” Homosexuality is not accepted within the Church of Scientology and is not tolerated. Scientology believes that homosexuality is a disease and can be cured.

A user named “Oschaper” has written articles on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia about Peephole TV and Volksmusik TV. Oliver Schaper is the founder of Peephole TV, and is also involved with Volksmusik TV. In an e-mail to Wikinews, Wikipedia user Oschaper claims that his first name is Olaf, and that he is “not related” to Oliver Schaper. “Olaf” writes: “My name is Olaf Schaper and I use the handle oschaper on Wikipedia. I’m not related to Oliver Schaper and we share only the last name … If you like to contact Oliver Schaper please see his companies website at”. When asked how he managed to get an e-mail address with that last name, Olaf replied, “I got the email because my best friend works for his networks hence the creation of my postings on Wikipedia.”

Wikinews contacted Schaper for exclusive comments. Schaper replied saying that he is a “very strong advocate for the Church of Scientology, the religion of Scientology and a free speech advocate” and “I don’t need to go into details but I felt that my family and myself have been direct targets and in an attempt to control the situation, I started to track down and remove online links between me and my religion. This included postings made by HouseSpiderAnon on his videos, who publicly connected the dots and made them available to a larger audience.”

“I requested several times to have my information removed from his videos as I wanted no association with his work but he refused, even after I stated several times that he has the right to protest but that I would like to enforce my right of privacy. He refused and demanded documentation of the attacks, something I refused because it was not my attention to allow more documents to be available online in public hand,” added Schaper who also said he has been a victim of identity theft and now has the FBI involved in investigating his claim.

“Tustin PD [police department] has been on the case and now the FBI is involved as well. Social Security has been notified and we have seen about 200 attempts to use the SSN [social security number] for fake credit cards applications,” Schaper told Wikinews.

Schaper admits that he contacted YouTube to have videos which contained images of him that were being used without permission and videos “which violated [his] privacy removed.” Those requests made by Schaper were eventually accepted by YouTube but “videos that contained just a text messages directed against me or my church remained,” he added. He also admits to owning “several broadcasting companies, ACOS Broadcasting Corp. (eight mainstream television and two radio networks) & Media House Enterprises, Inc. (adult television network PEEPHOLE TV).”

“I had the power to go fully against copyrighted material because we own or licensed large amounts of content. But it was not my responsibility to enforce all copyright violations on YouTube. In addition with the attacks on our servers, websites and infrastructure, no time would have been available to take on a fight,” added Schaper.

Schaper also denies any involvement with the alleged rights group and also states he was just notified that it doesn’t even exist.

“As many other people, and even members of the Church of Scientology received information about a company that removed anti-Scientology content from YouTube, shit hit the fan and members of Anonymous went on a full attack on me. I still have to this date no information about the American Rights Counsel and I have no connection, knowledge or involvement in this company which I have been informed of does not even exists,” Schaper told Wikinews.

One critic of Scientology, television producer Mark Bunker also had his accounts deleted by YouTube, but had them quickly restored. Bunker also believes that the American Rights Counsel does not exist.

“American Rights Counsel LLC does not exist. When I got my take-down notices from YouTube I tried to file a DMCA counter-notice but in order to do that you need to get the name of the contact person to be served with the notice and the contact information of the company which the government lists on the web,” said Bunker to Wikinews who also added that their name is not registered with the United States copyright office.

“I next did a google search for American Rights Counsel LLC which brought up absolutely no results so clearly this was fraud from the beginning. I contact[ed] YouTube and they quickly restored everything to my account and others,” added Bunker.

Wikinews has also learned that a contributor on Wikipedia, claiming to be a member of Anonymous, has posted what is allegedly personal information of Schaper. The edit, made to the article Peephole TV states that he is a lawyer, employed with a firm on Ricklinger, Stadtweg in Hanover, Germany. It also stated that he is affiliated with the “Tustin Org” in California. In what seems to be a gathering of information on Schaper from other online sources, according to, the result of releasing the information has resulted in legal and physical threats from Schaper to someone, known as ‘HouseSpiderV2’ on Enturbulation, who has claimed to have released e-mail correspondence between him and Schaper.

“Don’t think I will not be able to track you down and serve you with papers. I would make the case so expensive for you that you would not be able to even fight this on your own funding as I have the money at my disposal,” allegedly states Schaper to ‘HouseSpiderV2’ in an e-mail. “You have 24 hours to remove the postings or I will start to make this a legal issue. That makes it simple,” he added.

Despite the claims that the Wikipedia contributor is Oliver Schaper, he claims to have never registered an account with Wikipedia. He also says he has never made any threats of physical harm to members of Anonymous.

“I had not the need to register an account with Wikipedia and after all this trouble will not get involved at all. There has never been any threat of violence against Housespideranon or any other member of Anonymous made by me,” Schaper told Wikinews.

It would be worth a subpoena to find out who committed this crime.

Bunker, who recently spoke with Schaper, says he believes Schaper is not involved, but that he also doesn’t know who or what was responsible for filing the DMCA requests.

“I had never heard of Schaper before he was accused of this. I don’t know anything about him other than he contacted me and said he was not involved. I don’t know who was responsible. 4000 deletions in a matter of hours is a pretty major feat. It would be worth a subpoena to find out who committed this crime. I wouldn’t blame Schaper without knowing he did it,” Bunker added.

 This story has updates See Alleged ‘rights group’ involved with removal of anti-Scientology videos from YouTube doesn’t exist; says EFF 

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People protest in Berlin against German Court overturning five-year rent cap
People protest in Berlin against German Court overturning five-year rent cap

Saturday, April 17, 2021

On Thursday, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ruled a five-year rent freeze introduced earlier in February last year illegal due to lack of the Berlin Senate’s jurisdiction. This decision allowed rent to be increased as the Court ruling invalidated the previously introduced law which had capped the rent for about 90% of renters in the country. Protesters gathered in the capital city of Berlin with demonstrations against the ruling and against the possible increases in rent. Some demanded dispossessions of large real estate companies.

Protesters gathered in Berlin’s Neukölln and Kreuzberg districts, and reportedly thousands of people participated. The crowd reportedly walked from Hermannplatz towards Kottbusser Tor and then to Oranienplatz. Police closed several streets for the day. Organizers said 25 thousand people reportedly joined the protest, The Berlin Spectator reported.

Protesters marched with posters such as “You can have our hatred, You do not get our rent. (Housing is not a commodity.)” ((de))German language: ?unseren hass den konnt ihr haben, unsere miete bekomm ihr nicht (wohnenist keine ware) and “The rich should pay! (Social struggles connects [us].)” ((de))German language: ?die reichen sollen zahlen (soziale kämpfe verbinden). Some protesters brought lids of boiling of frying pans and made noise. The German word for lid is same as the one for rent cap. They reportedly chanted slogan “If you take a cover from us, we’ll come back with thousands.”.

The Social Democratic Greens and Left parties’ coalition previously introduced the rent cap through the country’s Senate in February last year, citing raising rent prices in the country. Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union alliance and the Free Democratic party had filed the appeal leading to the present ruling.

The overturned ruling by Berlin State Government had previously fixed the rent from February 2020 to February 2025 on its June 2019 level. A senator who was in charge of urban development, Sebastian Scheel, commented about his disappointment, and said either the federal government or any of the states now had an opportunity to create laws to control the rent.

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Ballarat candidates debate climate at election forum
Ballarat candidates debate climate at election forum

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Ballarat, Australia — In the lead-up to the upcoming Australian federal election, four candidates for the Division of Ballarat met last Sunday at the Ballarat Tech School in a climate-centred forum organised by local group Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions (BREAZE).

In attendance were sitting Labor member Catherine King, Greens candidate and former mayor John Barnes, Australian Federation Party candidate Kerryn Sedgman, and independent candidate Alex Graham. Local Liberal and Liberal Democrats candidates gave apologies in place of attendance.

The event was preceded by a climate action rally outside the Ballarat Civics Hall and the Ballarat Town Hall, which featured speeches from both representatives of BREAZE, the Ballarat branch of Extinction Rebellion, Environment Victoria, the Public Transport Users Association, and the Ballarat Trades Hall.

The forum began with each candidate being given three minutes to summarise their policies on climate before questions were taken from members of the public. John Barnes, the Greens candidate, began by claiming “the Greens have the most ambitious program of any of the parties on addressing climate change”, and said if the Greens were in the balance of power in the coming election, they would work to push Labor towards the “reforming zeal of past generations”, invoking former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Barnes stated the Greens have a target of 75% emissions reduction by 2030, by which time they would also end the mining, burning, and export of coal in Australia.

Independent candidate Alex Graham began his speech by saying he was “passionate about our environment” and claimed to have “absolutely, without question, the best policy”, explaining the focus of his candidacy was to introduce a referendum that would allow the Australian government to “write its own money supply into existence”. Graham said this policy would deliver “money beyond the pale to totally restore our environment”.

Incumbent MP Catherine King said that in her twenty years as an MP, the Australian Parliament had been unable to deal with the climate issue. She referenced previous attempts by the last Labor government to legislate policies to tackle climate change, such as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), but stated these efforts were “completely and utterly dismantled” after the 2013 election.

King referred to the Powering Australia policy announced in December 2021 by Labor energy and climate spokesperson Chris Bowen, stating the policy had been supported by the Business Council of Australia (BCA), National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and “some” environmental groups. King stated the policy included a commitment to 43% emissions reduction by 2030, net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and it would overall “grow jobs, increase renewable energy, and bring emissions down”.

Kerryn Sedgman of the Australian Federation Party promised to centre the opinions of views of the community, and read from the Federation policy on climate directly, saying “carbon is not the enemy. Toxic pesticides are the true enemy.” Sedgman claimed pesticides were the primary source of nitrous oxide (N?O) released, and that N?O was “300 times worse than carbon”.

After the candidates concluded with their opening summaries, members of the public were open to ask questions. The first question asked candidates what their first two priorities were for climate action. Barnes said the Greens’ top priority was “prompt action”, and they would also focus on transforming the nation’s economy to “a new way — a new sustainable way — of making our living in the world”. Graham stated if Australia had a limitless supply of money, there would not be a climate change issue and Australia would become a model for the world. He said his two priorities would be creating more money and introducing newer technologies.

King said her first priority would be getting more renewables into the grid and generally increasing the amount of renewables, and also added a third priority, saying that as Minister for Transport and Infrastructure in a Labor government, she would add a climate section to the department and work to create a network of electric vehicle charging stations. Sedgman stated “there’s more than two top priorities”, but remarked that soil regeneration was a key part of carbon sequestration, and called for a more immediate approach to deal with climate through education and community hubs.

The event was then disturbed slightly by a person asking about a supposed “ninety-year suppression order suppressing the names of twenty-eight VIP alleged paedophiles”, who was asked to leave by organisers for disrupting the event. King labeled the belief a “QAnon conspiracy theory”.

After this, the topic shifted to the proposed Western Victorian Transmission Network, a proposed overhead transmission line from Bulgana to Sydenham. Graham said his proposed referendum, if successful, could lead to the federal government subsidising a plan to put the transmission line underground beneath the Western Highway, emphasising we shouldn’t “let money interfere with saving this planet”. King noted the location of a proposed transfer station was “really problematic”, but stated the issue lay more with the regulatory process, and Labor would work with state and territory governments to reform this process.

Sedgman admitted she was not fully aware of some of the background King had bought up, and she would like to speak to those affected personally. Barnes said the consultation of AusNet, who propose building the transmission line, had not been good, and hopes an extended time granted for the environmental impact statement will allow all people affected to be properly heard. Barnes also stated AusNet had claimed diverting the line underground would cost thirteen times more than the overhead alternative, while a Shire of Moorabool study showed it would only cost five times more.

One questioner asked about what the candidates would do to investigate the possibility of direct air capture. Barnes remarked “the best way to sequester carbon is not to release it in the first place”, and said the mechanical removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere was “probably a pipe dream”. Graham quipped he was “prepared to ask my friend if he could do it, and I’m sure he could.” King argued the technology was “a fair way off yet”, but noted A$3 billion was reserved in Labor’s Powering Australia plan for new technologies to reduce emissions. Sedgman stressed the importance of reducing the “extraordinary rate” at which deforestation occurs.

Candidates were then asked if they would commit to no new coal and gas infrastructure. King confirmed a moratorium on new coal and gas was not part of Labor policy, but they were not interested in investing taxpayer funds towards them, contrasting it with what she said was the current government’s approach to projects such as the Collinsville Power Station. Graham said, as someone who had previously worked in the industry, he would “close down every coal-fired power station as soon as it was possible” and disallow the construction of new coal-fired power stations. Graham also pledged to close down coal mines and ban fracking.

Barnes stated the Greens take the advice of the International Energy Agency seriously, and would not allow any new coal, gas, or oil projects, as well as closing down coal-fired power stations by 2030, to be replaced by renewable energy. Barnes emphasised the need to lower emissions before 1.5 °C of global warming was reached.

One questioner asked candidates what they would do in the event of two scenarios after the coming election — one being that Labor had a clear majority, the other that the Greens held the balance of power. King stated the “beauty of power in Australia” was it didn’t require any legislation. However, she said Labor would still attempt to legislate targets of 43% emissions reduction and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Barnes reiterated the Greens in the balance of power would push Labor to be more ambitious, and that while compromise would be needed in a hung parliament, the Greens would “play hardball” on addressing the climate.

Candidates were then asked about a proposal from Beyond Zero Emissions to turn northern Australia into the “battery of Asia”. Barnes stated Australia could become a “energy superpower”, and good government policy could have the market “with us” on this issue. King declared over 600,000 jobs could be realised under Labor’s Powering Australia plan, and concurred in saying Australia should be a renewable energy superpower and exporting technology to the world. She highlighted the need for a government that “believes in climate change, believes that we have to do something about it”, and restated that Labor’s plan was endorsed by the BCA and NFF.

The final question asked how those in coal communities such as the Hunter Valley could be helped to deal with the potential loss of jobs with a transition to renewable energy. Graham responded by calling for a “basic, living universal wage to all people”, while Sedgman asked who was eligible to have these jobs in the first place “due to the current mandate conditions”. King said the demand for fossil fuels was running out, with trading partners setting targets of net zero emissions by 2050. She underlined the “really good jobs in renewables”, and emphasised the need to start now in training people for new, good-paying renewable jobs, as otherwise these workers wouldn’t get jobs again.

Barnes stated the Greens had announced A$19 billion over ten years with the aim of transitioning communities affected by a move away from fossil fuels, they would aim for renewables running the power system by 2030, and they would run retraining programs and maintain existing incomes for “up to a decade” if workers cannot find “equally lucrative” jobs. Barnes emphasised the need to not vilify those working in mining communities, and a plan must be in place for these communities to maintain their dignity.

The forum concluded with representatives from Environment Victoria in the local area invited to present copies of an open letter calling for “faster and fairer climate action”, and which was signed by 125 people. Among other things, the letter called for a replacement of “coal, oil and gas with clean energy”, “a national plan to slash climate pollution this decade with strong targets that, at a minimum, match our trading partners”, and an accelerated rollout of renewable energy projects with the aim of creating “a healthy, prosperous economy while ceasing new energy generating projects from fossil fuel sources”.

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Causes Of Hair Loss: Stress Causes Hair Loss

By Ashish Jain

Hair Loss happens to be a very common problem and it may be due to various reasons ranging from hereditary factors to medicinal side effects. But very few of us are acquainted with the fact that hair loss could be due to stressful situations in life. And in fact a good number of folks are experiencing hair loss because of living under constant stress but are ignorant of this reality. Instead of managing their stress well they opt for hair loss treatment options that hardly prove effective.

You must know that your hair are true indicator of your health condition. People who are healthy physically as well as mentally, hardly suffer from hair loss except for hereditary reasons. Their hair remain healthy with ever present shine and moisture. However people with abnormal health condition and specifically people with anxiety and distress don’t possess shiny and healthy hair. Human hair gradually become dry and dull and later on start falling.

Stress induced hair fall is medically known as Telogen Effluvium. Once you are grappled with an unexpected stress or a kind of shock, you are prone to loose your hair rapidly. Because in such conditions, hair’s capability of regeneration is nullified and it may take an year for follicles to resume their task of producing hairs.

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Apart from this, diseases can make you depressed to cause hair loss. So you are needed to identify all possible reasons that push you towards stress and anxiety. Once you identify reasons you should try to make yourself strong enough to keep your calm intact even while being in those conditions.

Best way to combat this type of hair loss is to opt for relaxation techniques that bring mental peace and dissociate yourself from stress prevailing in your life. Various relaxation exercises and meditation could help you in your quest to prevent baldness resulting from hair loss.

Stress may cast some indirect repercussions on hair. While being in a stressful condition people normally lose their appetite and develop carelessness towards hair that adversely affects hair, causing hair fall. Poor diet would deprive hair from essential nutrients and vitamins that would worsen its condition marking a beginning of hair loss.

When you are in stress you develop your own idiosyncratic style of hair fiddling. This fiddling also contributes to your hair loss.

So, all you folks struggling to revive hair on your scalp should check yourself against prevalence of stress and anxiety in your life. A little awareness would save you from hair loss or baldness.

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Race to save Chilean miners trapped underground from spiralling into depression continues
Race to save Chilean miners trapped underground from spiralling into depression continues

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It has emerged that the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after the mine they were working in collapsed could be brought to the surface in a shorter time than was initially feared. While officials publicly announced that the men would not be brought to the surface until Christmas, sources inside technical meetings have revealed that they could in fact be on the surface by early November. The news comes as families were allowed to speak by radio-telephone to their trapped loved ones on Sunday. Over the weekend, video images filmed by the miners emerged showing the miners playing dominoes at a table and singing the Chilean national anthem. The miners also used the camera to send video messages to their families on the surface, saying that they regularly broke into tears, but were feeling better having received food and water.

The grainy nightvision images, filmed on a high definition camcorder that was sent down a small shaft to the mine, show the men in good spirits, chanting “long live Chile, and long live the miners.” They are unshaven and stripped to the waist because of the heat underground, and are seen wearing white clinical trousers that have been designed to keep them dry. Giving a guided tour of the area they are occupying, Mario Sepúlveda, one of the miners, explains they have a “little cup to brush our teeth”, and a place where they pray each day. “We have everything organized,” he tells the camera. Gesturing to the table in the center of the room, he says that “we meet here every day. We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33.” Another unidentified miner asks to rescuers, “get us out of here soon, please.” A thermometer is shown in the video, reading 29.5C (85F).

As the film continues, it becomes evident that the miners have stuck a poster of a topless woman on the wall. The miners appear shy, and one man puts his hand to his face, presumably dazzled by the light mounted on the cameraman’s helmet. One miner sent a message to his family. “Be calm”, he says. “We’re going to get out of here. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts.” Another said that the miners are “sure that there are people here in Chile that are big people, that are powerful people, that are intelligent people, and they have the technology and they will all work together to get us out of here.” Speaking to the camera, one says: “we have had the great fortune that trapped in this mine there are good, professional people. We have electricians, we have mechanics, we have machine operators and we will let you know that while you are working to rescue us on the surface, we are down here ready to help you too.” It has been reported that Mario Gómez, 63, has become the group’s “spiritual leader”, having worked in the mines for over fifty years. He has requested that materials to build a shrine be sent down to the cavern.

Upon seeing the video in a private screening, family members, who are living in a small village of tents at the entrance to the San José copper-gold mine—which they have named Camp Hope—were elated. “He’s skinny, bearded and it was painful to see him with his head hanging down, but I am so happy to see him alive”, said Ruth Contreras, the mother of Carlos Bravo, who is trapped in the mine. The video, of which only a small portion has been released to the public, shows the miners, many of them wearing helmets, cracking jokes and thanking the rescuers for their continued efforts. The supplies are being sent to the men through a small shaft only twelve centimeters wide, and a laboratory has been set up with the purpose of designing collapsible cots and miniature sandwiches, which can be sent down such a narrow space.

CNN reported on Friday that “officials are splitting the men into two shifts so one group sleeps while the other works or has leisure time .. On average, each man has lost 22 pounds (10 kilograms) since they became trapped three weeks ago, and dehydration remains a threat. But a survey of the men indicates that at least nine miners are still too overweight to fit through the proposed rescue shaft. Initially, the miners survived by draining water from a water-cooled piece of equipment. To stay hydrated in the 90-degree mine, each miner must drink eight or nine pints of water per day.”

But while there are jubilant celebrations on the surface that the miners are alive, officials are now nervous that the miners could become depressed, trapped in a dark room the size of a small apartment. Chilean health minister Jaime Mañalich said that, on the video, he saw the telltale signs of depression. “They are more isolated, they don’t want to be on the screen, they are not eating well”, he said. “I would say depression is the correct word.” He said that doctors who had watched the video had observed the men suffering from “severe dermatological problems.” Dr. Rodrigo Figueroa, head of the trauma, stress and disaster unit at the Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, explained that “following the euphoria of being discovered, the normal psychological reaction would be for the men to collapse in a combination of fatigue and stress … People who are trained for emergencies – like these miners – tend to minimize their own needs or to ignore them. When it is time to ask for help, they don’t.” NASA has advised emergency workers that entertaining the miners would be a good idea. They are to be sent a television system complete with taped football matches. Another dilemma facing Mañalich is whether the miners should be permitted to smoke underground. While nicotine gum has been delivered to the miners, sending down cigarettes is a plan that has not been ruled out.

With the news that drilling of the main rescue tunnel was expected to begin on Monday, officials have informed the media that they hope to have the miners out of the mine by Christmas—but sources with access to technical meetings have suggested that the miners could actually be rescued by the first week of November. A news report described the rescue plan—”the main focus is a machine that bores straight down to 688m and creates a chimney-type duct that could be used to haul the miners out one by one in a rescue basket. A second drilling operation will attempt to intercept a mining tunnel at a depth of roughly 350m. The miners would then have to make their way through several miles of dark, muddy tunnels and meet the rescue drill at roughly the halfway point of their current depth of 688m.” Iván Viveros Aranas, a Chilean policeman working at Camp Hope, told reporters that Chile “has shown a unity regardless of religion or social class. You see people arriving here just to volunteer, they have no relation at all to these families.”

But over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the “miners who have astonished the world with their discipline a half-mile underground will have to aid their own escape — clearing 3,000 to 4,000 tons of rock that will fall as the rescue hole is drilled, the engineer in charge of drilling said Sunday … The work will require about a half-dozen men working in shifts 24 hours a day.” Andrés Sougarret, a senior engineer involved in operating the drill said that “the miners are going to have to take out all that material as it falls.”

The families of those trapped were allowed to speak to them by radio-telephone on Sunday—a possibility that brought reassurance both the miners and those on the surface. The Intendant of the Atacama Region, Ximena Matas, said that there had been “moments of great emotion.” She continued to say that the families “listened with great interest and they both felt and realized that the men are well. This has been a very important moment, which no doubt strengthens their [the miners’] morale.” The phone line is thought to be quite temperamental, but it is hoped that soon, those in the mine and those in Camp Hope will be able to talk every day. “To hear his voice was a balm to my heart … He is aware that the rescue is not going to happen today, that it will take some time. He asked us to stay calm as everything is going to be OK … He sounded relaxed and since it was so short I didn’t manage to ask anything. Twenty seconds was nothing”, said said Jessica Cortés, who spoke to her husband Víctor Zamora, who was not even a miner, but a vehicle mechanic. “He went in that day because a vehicle had broken down inside the mine … At first they told us he had been crushed [to death].”

Esteban Rojas sent up a letter from inside the mine, proposing to his long-time partner Jessica Yáñez, 43. While they have officially been married for 25 years, their wedding was a civil service—but Rojas has now promised to have a church ceremony which is customary in Chile. “Please keep praying that we get out of this alive. And when I do get out, we will buy a dress and get married,” the letter read. Yáñez told a newspaper that she thought he was never going to ask her. “We have talked about it before, but he never asked me … He knows that however long it takes, I’ll wait for him, because with him I’ve been through good and bad.”

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Airbus launches world’s largest passenger plane
Airbus launches world’s largest passenger plane

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Toulouse, FRANCE — In a ceremony attended by several European political leaders and 5,000 VIP guests, Airbus unveiled plans for the A380, a twin-deck aircraft that can carry up to 840 people in all-economy class (550 for a Boeing 747), or 555 people in typical three mixed classes layout.

The new aircraft will take the world’s-largest title away from rival Boeing’s 747. Boeing’s upcoming new design, the 7e7, does not attempt to compete directly with the A380 but instead is aimed at a more efficient and comfortable flight at 200-250 seats.

Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard stated that he expected sales of the aircraft to exceed the 250 required for the project to break even. To date, 149 confirmed orders for the aircraft have been received. Airbus has hopes that sales will exceed 700. The company is currently in talks with China regarding possible sales there.

The first test flight of the aircraft may take place as early as March, and the first commercial flight is expected to take off in mid-2006 from Singapore’s Changi Airport.

British and American airline Virgin Atlantic has purchased six of these aeroplanes and intend to fit them with gyms and bars as well as seats.

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The Role Backhoe Loaders Play Within The Agriculture Industry

Submitted by: Robert Tate

Agriculture is our heritage and is very important to our society. It is the means by which we get a big part of our food, and it helps boost our economy. We should be proud of the agriculture in the United Sates and support everyone that works hard to provide all we gain from it.

Machinery plays a big part in the daily duties of the agriculture business. Used farm machinery can be a work savour and money saver for anyone who has to operate on a budget. There is a lot of decent used machinery out there that still has a lot of value for years to come. A used jcb can be a wise purchase if you have someone who knows mechanics look it over before you buy.

Backhoe loaders may be one of the most important piece of equipment to have. This particular machine can have versatile uses. It allows you to dig ditches, transport heavy items load and unload. The backhoe loaders have the loader located on front and the backhoe on the back. This makes for a multi tasking vehicle that pays for its self in the duties it will help to accomplish. Often times this machine end up replacing the tractor.

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A mini digger is another useful machine to have. These diggers are small and easier to haul if you need to move them to a different location. The compact design of this machine makes it perfect for tighter work areas where a bigger vehicle will have trouble getting to. These small diggers have numerous attachments available that will attach with ease and make any job easier to finish. When thinking about purchasing a mini digger check into the used farm machinery that you have in your area. Make sure it has what you need.

Another valuable machine to have is the excavator. This heave duty machine is used in both engineering, construction and agriculture. The excavator is a very heavy machine, but is has many different uses and for the serious jobs it will get the work done faster with less effort.

When thinking about purchasing this big heavy duty machine you will want to check into taking a training course on the operation of this large vehicle. The National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools offer courses to help anyone who needs to know how to operate a bigger vehicle properly. Learn to operate this big machine before you tackle any job to get the safest use from it. An excavator is so expensive people most often will look for used machinery when they decide they need such a machine.

In UK jcb simply means any kind of industrial vehicle like the backhoe loaders, mini digger or others. In today agriculture or construction sometimes it it impossible to finance a new loader of digger. Always do your research and consider a used jcb. If you are one of many small farmers used farm machinery is very often the way to have the proper equipment for your needs.

About the Author: Robert Tate – Region Sales Manager of Mascus UK. Mascus is an electronic marketplace for tractors, trailers,

trucks for sale


mini digger

machinery. Mascus makes trading in construction machinery more efficiently by collecting all information about supply and demand in one place.


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Canada, EU, UK, US impose sanctions on Belarus over Ryanair hijacking
Canada, EU, UK, US impose sanctions on Belarus over Ryanair hijacking

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

On Monday, Canada, the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom and the United States imposed new sanctions on senior officials and entities in Belarus over the May 23 diversion of a Ryanair flight and subsequent arrest of dissident journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega, as well as “repressive practices” committed by the Belarusian government.

The joint action was aimed at putting pressure on Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko’s “regime”, a joint statement read, citing “continued attacks on human rights, fundamental freedoms, and international law”, as well as the “politically motivated” arrest of Mr Protasevich and Ms Sapega.

The statement went on to express support for “the long-suppressed democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus”, calling for Belarusian co-operation in investigations into the incident, the release of all political prisoners, adherence to the recommendations of an expert mission by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), of which Belarus is a participating state, and OSCE-facilitated dialogue between the government and opposition.

The circumstances surrounding the forced landing of Ryanair flight FR4978 from Lithuania to Greece in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, are contested. As reported by Sky News, state media says the diversion was due to threat of explosives on board, a claim Global Affairs Canada calls “dubious and still unverified”.

Total restrictive measures varied between the countries and regional organisation. Canada sanctioned 17 new individuals for a total of 72, and five entities described in a press release as being “due to the ongoing disregard for human rights demonstrated”.

The EU, through the Council of the European Union, extended its restrictive measures by 78 individuals and eight entities related either to human rights violations or the “forced and unlawful landing”, to a total of 166 individuals and fifteen entities. Those who are impacted, including judges, businesspeople, university rectors and government ministers, will be subject to an asset freeze, and persons affected prohibited to enter or transit through EU territory.

The measures also prohibit EU citizens and companies from making money available to the designated. According to the Associated Press, EU policy chief Josep Borrell said the measures “are going to hurt […] the economy of Belarus heavily”. The decision to affect entities, not just individuals, foreign minister of Germany Heiko Maas said, will impact the “economic areas that are of particular significance for Belarus and for the regime’s income”; those targeted include the export of fertiliser ingredient potash, and those of tobacco and petroleum.

The United Kingdom furthered sanctions levied with Canada in September on eight Belarusian officials, including Lukashenko, his son, and senior government members. New restrictions include eleven individuals and two entities, which are henceforth subject to asset freezes and travel bans.

Among those targeted includes petroleum exporter BNK (UK) Ltd, which, according to its 2019 report of the director presented to Companies House, “provides intermediate services to oil sector companies” in Belarus. According to a government press release, UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said “cutting off oil export revenue streams” was one way the government would “hold the [Belarusian] regime to account”.

The United States, through the State Department and Office of Foreign Assets Control under the Treasury Department, imposed visa restrictions on 46 Belarusian individuals holding “key positions” in the country, according to a press release, and added 16 individuals and five entities to a designated list. In addition to concerns of the country’s “transnational repression” and “affronts to international efforts”, the US also cited the “fraudulent” 2020 Belarusian presidential election as cause for the sanctions’ imposition.

The timing of the sanctions was questioned by Belarusian Nikolai Shchekin on state media network the Belarusian Telegraph Agency, noting the date June 21 is one day before the anniversary of the start of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, or the “Great Patriotic War”. According to CNN, the US attempted to announce its sanctions earlier, prior to a meeting between US president Joe Biden and president of Russia Vladimir Putin, but was held up by the EU.

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