News briefs:June 9, 2010

Posted on May 24th, 2019
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Category:May 26, 2010

Posted on May 24th, 2019
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Jeff Jones resigns as president of Uber

Posted on May 23rd, 2019

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Jeff Jones, president of ride-sharing company Uber Technologies, announced his resignation on Sunday. Jones was hired last October to helm the company that is known for their ride-sharing application, Uber, which has a reported 40 million monthly users.

Recently in Jones’s presidency of Uber, the ride-sharing company was involved in numerous controversies surrounding an alleged culture of sexism at the company, stemming from allegations blogged by Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, claiming sexual harassment against her and other women working for Uber.

In a statement to tech blog Recode, Jones claimed the situation he was working with at Uber was one inconsistent with “the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career” and he could not remain the company’s president.

Jones, who was previously the Chief Marketing Officer at Target before joining Uber, came to the decision to resign after it was announced Uber would be hiring a Chief Operating Officer (COO) potentially outranking Jones.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick confirmed the resignation in a statement to Uber staff, noting Jones “made an important impact on the company” in the six months he was in the role, noting his particular focus on Uber drivers and the delivery of Uber’s first brand reputation study.

Kalanick first announced his intentions to hire a COO earlier in March after footage surfaced of him arguing about rate cuts with an Uber driver.

Toyota accused of misleading public over recalls

Posted on May 23rd, 2019

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Toyota has been accused by a U.S. House of Representatives committee with misleading the public and investigators over its recent recalls.

The accusations, in a statement from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, claim that Toyota both relied on a flawed study in its assessment of the issue of sticking accelerator pedals at the heart of the recalls, and then made misleading statements about its response. According to the authors of the letter, Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak, Toyota dismissed, rather than investigated, the idea that the cars’ computers were at fault. In a statement, James Lentz, the president of Toyota’s American division, claimed that hardware issues were to blame, and that dealers were repairing the faulty part. Toyota also released a study commissioned from the research firm Exponent that said electronic systems were not to blame.

According to the House committee, however, the study involved only six vehicles, none of which had problems with their electrical systems, and was insufficient to produce an accurate result. “Our preliminary assessment is that Toyota resisted the possibility that electronic defects could cause safety concerns, relied on a flawed engineering report and made misleading public statements concerning the adequacy of recent recalls to address the risk of sudden unintended acceleration.”

The company is under a criminal investigation, and has received two subpoenas for documents from two House committees relating to the recalls, although whether they are directly related to the letter is unclear. The documents are related to accelerator issues in several models, as well as brake problems with the Prius hybrid car, and were served earlier in in February by a federal grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Toyota has released upwards of 75,000 pages of documents under the requests.

In a separate, though related, development, it has emerged that Toyota last year negotiated a limited recall for two models, the Toyota Camry and Lexus ES, that were affected by the accelerator recalls, saving the company an estimated $100 million. A confidential internal presentation in July 2009 made the claim, and a month later, a Lexus ES, one of the models under the limited recall crashed in California, killing four people. The claims apparently referenced a September, 2007 recall of floor mats that could trap gas pedals, the same problem that triggered a full recall of numerous Toyota cars to fix the same problem. In the same presentation, the company claimed to have avoided recalls of another model related to rust, as well as delaying new federal safety regulations.

U.S. Supreme Court upholds health care mandate

Posted on May 21st, 2019

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In a decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the controversial healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010. The Supreme Court also upheld the individual mandate provision of the law, which would require most U.S. citizens to obtain health insurance by 2014, or pay a monetary penalty.

The Supreme Court ruled on the law 5–4. Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor jointed Roberts in the majority, while Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were in the minority in supporting the repeal of the law.

The Court did, however, strike down a provision of the law which would have expanded Medicaid to make coverage available to anyone with an income less than 138% of the federal poverty line.

President Barack Obama made a public statement from the White House saying that the Supreme Court’s upholding of the law, “reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.” Obama further added, “Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.” Obama closed his statement by saying, “The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we’ll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do — what the country can’t afford to do — is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.” Adding, “With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward — to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also gave a statement from Washington, D.C. saying, “What the Court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected President of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.” Romney clarified further by saying, “Let’s make clear that we understand what the Court did and did not do. What the Court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it’s good policy.” Further adding, “Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.” Romney closed by saying, “Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama.”

Eric Cantor, Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced shortly after the ruling that the House would vote on repealing the law on July 11, following the July 4 holiday recess. Cantor said, “The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare is a crushing blow to patients throughout the country. Obamacare has failed to keep the President’s basic promise of allowing those who like their health care to keep it, while increasing costs and reducing access to quality care for patients.”

In the ruling of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, John Roberts wrote, “Simply put, Congress may tax and spend. The federal government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid or otherwise control.” Meanwhile, Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the dissenting opinion, saying the entire law should have been repealed.

The ruling on the law comes after 26 states challenged the law in oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court in March.

Volunteers and food needed for flooded Manitoba, Canada

Posted on May 21st, 2019

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Local municipal and provincial volunteers in Manitoba, Canada are exhausted in their efforts to divert the rising waters of the Red River of the North.

It has been hard work with little sleep for the residents who live on the shores of the Red River to shore up their defences with sandbags, build dikes, clear frozen culverts and break ice jams

Volunteers to spell relief for local volunteers and food are desperately needed.

“It’s a week now we’ve been doing this … you’re talking four, five, six public works guys. In my one community we’ve got 25 volunteer firefighters and those guys have been going 24/7, so of course it’s wearing them down.” said Paul Guyader, Manitoba’s emergency measures coordinator.

“We’re dealing with one of the biggest floods the province has ever seen,” said Steve Strang, mayor of St. Clements, Manitoba “We’ve put out hundreds of thousands of bags already. The municipalities are working very well, we’re working with the provincial government, we’ve brought in every possible resource we could to address this issue. The volunteerism within the community has been phenomenal.”

The Portage Diversion has taken some spring waters from the Assiniboine River and diverted the flow to Lake Manitoba.

Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation has been totally evacuated, as well as many homes near the Canada – United States border.

The cold weather is freezing the ice jams into place. Guyader has had 2 Amphibex Excavators operating on the river breaking up ice.

The Red River is right now 16.7 feet (5 metres) above spring ice conditions. The Red River Floodway gates cannot be opened with the current ice jams.

“If we operate now, we can get ice jamming going into the floodway, jamming up against the St. Mary’s bridge, as such, the floodway capacity would be reduced and would cause higher water levels in the city of Winnipeg.” said Steve Topping, Manitoba Water Stewardship spokesman

The floodway was constructed in 1968 following the 1950 flood to divert the overflow spring flooding waters of the Red River. The floodway has been widened the since the 1997 “flood of the century” and the expansion is expected to be completed this spring. As well Manitoba built permanent dikes around communities within the flood plain since the last two major floods..

The Red River waters will crest between the beginning of April to mid April, at which time also the weather should be warming up. Communities are bracing for higher water levels, more ice jams as well as melting snow in the warmer spring temperatures.

News briefs:May 12, 2006

Posted on May 21st, 2019

The time is 18:00 (UTC) on May 12th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Oil Blast in Nigeria, 200 feared dead
    • 1.2 Preliminary tests show Iran could have highly enrichted uranium: UN
    • 1.3 Giorgio Napolitano elected Italian president
    • 1.4 Israeli gasoline supplier to Palestinians cuts supply
    • 1.5 USA Today reports NSA obtained call histories from communications companies
    • 1.6 Australian emergency telephone service lost in Southern NSW, ACT
  • 2 Closing statements

Microsoft extends warranty for all Xbox 360s

Posted on May 19th, 2019

Saturday, December 23, 2006

On December 22, 2006 Microsoft has announced that it has extended its warranty for all Xbox 360 video game consoles to one year in the United States. While this one year warranty applies to all Xbox 360 software as well, Xbox 360 accessories will still carry their original 90 day warranty.

According to a statement by Microsoft:

“Customers that experience hardware issues with their Xbox 360 within one year of purchase will have their consoles repaired at no cost. Moreover, the new warranty policy is retroactive, so consumers that may have already paid for out-of-warranty Xbox 360 repair within one year of the console’s purchase will be eligible for reimbursement of their console repair charges.”

This extension should help ease customers’ minds who have been concerned with the Xbox 360’s reputation for hardware failures. A partial list of hardware issues can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_technical_problems

People who have paid for Xbox 360 repair will be automatically distributed a reimbursement check in about 10 weeks from the present date.

Previously in September, 2006, Microsoft had waived the cost for repairs on all Xbox 360 consoles made before January 1, 2006, and refunded any fees already paid.

A full description of the updated warranty can be found here: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemsetup/xbox360/resources/warranty.htm

The White Stripes to tour ‘Great White North’

Posted on May 19th, 2019

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Grammy Award-winning rock band The White Stripes announced on Wednesday the Canadian leg of a tour in support of their soon-to-be-released album, Icky Thump. The tour, which would be the first cross-Canada excursion for The White Stripes, will see the band play dates in all provinces and territories.

The latest tour for The White Stripes will kick off June 1 in Nürburgring, Germany and will play several dates in Europe before starting off in Canada on June 24, in Burnaby, British Columbia. Canadian dates will include stops in northern locales such as Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Iqaluit, on Baffin Island.

The White Stripes, made up of guitarist/singer Jack White and drummer Meg White, have developed a significant worldwide following with their blend of punk and blues, guitar-oriented rock. The band had expressed interest in playing cities they had not yet visited. “Having never done a full tour of Canada, Meg and I thought it was high time to go whole hog,” said Jack White on The White Stripes website. “We want to take this tour to the far reaches of the Canadian landscape. From the ocean to the permafrost.” The band’s website referred to Canada by its nickname, the ‘Great White North’.

The White Stripes have played to thousands in large outdoor festival settings, but will have to deal with different logistics while setting up in a northern location, such as Iqaluit.

Some 500 tickets for the Iqaluit show are to be sold, with an admission fee of approximately CA$40. Mike Bozzer, the city of Iqaluit’s economic development officer, told CBC News that talks have taken place with The White Stripes’ publicist regarding equipment, technicians, security and other such details. “It’s definitely going to have some economic impact, and they’ll come back home with positive stories of the city,” said Bozzer.

The band’s ten-year anniversary will be reached at a point during the Canadian leg of the tour, which will be commemorated. “Another special moment of this tour is the show which will occur in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia on July 14th, The White Stripes’ Tenth Anniversary,” said Jack White.

Following the Canadian dates, The White Stripes will embark on a tour in the United States, which will reach some 16 states they have not yet visited during their career, among other repeat locations.

2007 Canadian Tour Dates   Venue City Province/Territory
June 24   Deer Lake Park Burnaby British Columbia
June 25   Yukon Arts Centre Whitehorse Yukon
June 26   Shorty Brown Multiplex Arena Yellowknife Northwest Territories
June 27   Arctic Winter Games Arena Iqaluit Nunavut
June 29   Pengrowth Saddledome Calgary Alberta
June 30   Shaw Convention Centre Edmonton Alberta
July 1   TCU Place Saskatoon Saskatchewan
July 2   MTS Centre Winnipeg Manitoba
July 3   Community Auditorium Thunder Bay Ontario
July 5   Molson Amphitheatre Toronto Ontario
July 6   Bell Centre Montreal Quebec
July 7   John Labatt Centre London Ontario
July 8   Bluesfest Ottawa Ontario
July 10   Moncton Coliseum Moncton New Brunswick
July 11   Charlottetown Civic Centre Charlottetown PEI
July 13   Cunard Centre Halifax Nova Scotia
July 14   Savoy Theatre Glace Bay Nova Scotia
July 16   Mile One Centre St. John’s Newfoundland

Water-supply in Austin contaminated with toxic run-off

Posted on May 16th, 2019

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Austin, Texas has had problems with contaminated water in the past seven months due to heavy rain falls. On October 22, the city of Austin issued a week-long boil water notice after heavy rains washed sentiment which overloaded the water treatment plant. This was unprecedented in an American municipal supply. More recently, on February 7th, the intake pipes from Lake Travis were clogged with zebra muscles which produced a foul odor of dead fish which required extensive flushing of water mains.

On May 3rd, 2019 heavy rainfall caused a sanitary sewer to leak into the Boggy Creek in East Austin which flows into the Colorado River. The estimated amount of sewage that flowed out of a manhole cover was over 100,000 gallons. The city released a mandatory press release for leaks of this magnitude six days later and stated the water quality will not be affected, as this leak occurred downstream of the water intake. The Texas Commission Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was notified so they can access how this leak affects water quality in communities that are downstream of the leak.

On the same day as the press release, May 9th, an East Austin resident has noticed a sharp petroleum odor similar to pesticides or herbicides. He also found that his two cats were refusing to drink the tap water, even if filtered. One cat, who had been accidentally exposed repeatedly to an organophosphate pesticide in the past, had recurring episodes of eating and drinking, then vomiting blood.

He researched more and found an extremely toxic herbicide called paraquat was discovered in the Austin water supply in 2015 at 4.5 ppb, 450 times the national average. However, since this EU banned pesticide (made by Chevron) does not have a safety limit established, the water utility has no obligation to test or report it.

He had first posted on Nextdoor.com on September 3rd, 2018 regarding a chemical taste and smell that he thought to be a pesticide or herbicide. Multiple residents confirmed that they detected an odor. Around that time, there had been heavy rainfalls washing sentiment in the lower Colorado River. The City of Austin gets its water supply from the 862-mile long Colorado River that extends northeast of Austin and originates in Lubbock, however, the watershed extends a further 130 miles in New Mexico. It runs through the largest and oldest oil field in the United States, called the Permian Basin, that uses fracking to produce oil and gas and also releases brine into the water supply.

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