U.S. Postal Service running out of money

Posted on July 17th, 2018

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tensions are running high at the U.S. Postal Service as it faces an enormous budget shortfall. Even after announcing it was cutting 3,000 jobs, the beleaguered government agency is still quickly running out of money.

Postmaster General John Potter asked the United States Congress for help on Wednesday, once again bringing up the possibility of reducing mail delivery from six to five days a week. The service reduction would save approximately $3.5 billion this year.

Another way to cut costs could include changes to how it pays for its employee retirement plan, which would save a further $2 billion. Closing small and rural post offices is another possibility that has been discussed.

Many measures have already been taken to stem the agency’s losses. Construction of new facilities has been put on hold and existing ones put up for sale, millions of man-hours have been cut, and executive salaries have been frozen.

House Oversight Post Office Subcommmittee chairman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.) has expressed reluctance with the plan to reduce service, saying “With the Postal Service facing budget shortfalls the subcommittee will consider a number of options to restore financial stability and examine ways for the Postal Service to continue to operate without cutting services.”

Other than cost cutting, Congress could also appropriate taxpayer dollars to fund the struggling Postal Service, which currently does not rely on public funding outside of a subsidy for international voting mail and services for the blind.

If nothing is done, the USPS will soon run completely out of money, and may be unable to pay many of its bills. Salaries are the agency’s highest priority to continue paying, though other debts may have to wait to be paid, said Potter. Last year the Postal Service lost $2.8 billion.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Tad Brudzinski, Newmarket-Aurora

Posted on July 17th, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tad Brudzinski is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Newmarket-Aurora riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

He did not answer the question “Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your riding? To the province as a whole?”

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

The Benefits Of Using Software For Auto Repair In Pueblo Co

Posted on July 16th, 2018

byAlma Abell

Technological researches have led to invention and development of computer software that is very accurate in providing programmed diagnostic auto reports and solutions. This software has become popular with business owners seeking to use them to improve service delivery. The automotive industry has not been left behind as computer software is used for Auto Repair in Pueblo CO. It is being used widely in this field because:

It improves delivery of customer service

The basic platform for running software is the computer. Computers have the associated advantage of having several other programs installed that ease production of reports. Such reports can include diagnostic and history of repair. Where customized software is used at the point of sale, it can reduce the amount of time spent manually writing a receipt. The receipts are also very neat and consistent.

Logging of repair history

The software enables technicians to log a comprehensive repair history for each customer and his or her vehicle. This makes it easier for a mechanic to track previous changes made to the car. It also identifies probable problems by analyzing historical repair trends. Ability to reference the logs ensures that the customer does not provide the same information every time he or she visits the shop or garage.

Development of work schedules

Well-designed software can be used to develop and maintain daily schedules for repair of different vehicles that are waiting to be serviced. This can come in handy for a mechanic when tracking the vehicles which have not been attended to. It also enables the technician to set and follow priorities set for the day.

Accounting service

The services of computer software extend beyond the obvious advantages of speed and improving customer service. Comprehensive software can help track sales, review return on investments and calculate profit margins. Computer accuracy comes in handy to ensure the correct data is entered, and calculations are done in compliance with set formulas.

Hinkle’s Fleet & Auto of Pueblo CO. is an automobile repair firm that uses highly advanced software to diagnose common car problems accurately. Their services are excellent and customer-oriented. For more on their fairly charged products and services.

Wikinews interviews Tatsuhisa Yabushita of NBGI

Posted on July 16th, 2018

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Many rhythm gamers are anticipating the release of Taiko no Tatsujin 11: Asian Version”, the Namco Bandai Games Inc. (NBGI) beta version of which was recently showcased at the 2008 Taipei Game Show.

In fact, several managers from amusement stores in Taiwan frequently imported large quantities of arcade games, including rhythm games. Eventually, some slot machine developers modified codes from several game consoles like the Wii, PlayStation 2 (PS2), and Sega Saturn to fulfill needs for amusement arcades, but they risked hardware failure and copyright infringement.

But before those modifications happened in Taiwan, many rhythm games just used songs from other arcade machines due to copyright issues from enrolled songs.

The upcoming game will benefit Mandarin-language gamers after its release, but it may hide some secrets behind the development of “Taiko no Tatsujin 11: Asian Version”. Wikinews reporter Rico Shen recently interviewed the producer of “Taiko no Tatsujin” Tatsuhisa Yabushita to talk about some of the background of this upcoming game and its series.

John Reed on Orwell, God, self-destruction and the future of writing

Posted on July 16th, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It can be difficult to be John Reed.

Christopher Hitchens called him a “Bin Ladenist” and Cathy Young editorialized in The Boston Globe that he “blames the victims of terrorism” when he puts out a novel like Snowball’s Chance, a biting send-up of George Orwell‘s Animal Farm which he was inspired to write after the terrorist attacks on September 11. “The clear references to 9/11 in the apocalyptic ending can only bring Orwell’s name into disrepute in the U.S.,” wrote William Hamilton, the British literary executor of the Orwell estate. That process had already begun: it was revealed Orwell gave the British Foreign Office a list of people he suspected of being “crypto-Communists and fellow travelers,” labeling some of them as Jews and homosexuals. “I really wanted to explode that book,” Reed told The New York Times. “I wanted to completely undermine it.”

Is this man who wants to blow up the classic literary canon taught to children in schools a menace, or a messiah? David Shankbone went to interview him for Wikinews and found that, as often is the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Reed is electrified by the changes that surround him that channel through a lens of inspiration wrought by his children. “The kids have made me a better writer,” Reed said. In his new untitled work, which he calls a “new play by William Shakespeare,” he takes lines from The Bard‘s classics to form an original tragedy. He began it in 2003, but only with the birth of his children could he finish it. “I didn’t understand the characters who had children. I didn’t really understand them. And once I had had kids, I could approach them differently.”

Taking the old to make it new is a theme in his work and in his world view. Reed foresees new narrative forms being born, Biblical epics that will be played out across print and electronic mediums. He is pulled forward by revolutions of the past, a search for a spiritual sensibility, and a desire to locate himself in the process.

Below is David Shankbone’s conversation with novelist John Reed.

Contents

  • 1 On the alternative media and independent publishing
  • 2 On Christopher Hitchens, Orwell and 9/11 as inspiration
  • 3 On the future of the narrative
  • 4 On changing the literary canon
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On politics
  • 7 On self-destruction and survival
  • 8 On raising children
  • 9 On paedophilia and the death penalty
  • 10 On personal relationships
  • 11 Sources
  • 12 External links

Former Russian spy Litvinenko dies, radioactive poisoning suspected

Posted on July 16th, 2018

Friday, November 24, 2006

Mr Alexander Litvinenko, reputed to have been an Ex-Russian spy who had defected to Britain, died last night in mysterious circumstances. He had alleged many associations between people in high places and organised international crime, implying that President Putin and Romano Prodi among others had been involved personally. He had sought political asylum in UK in 2000 and became a naturalised citizen in October this year, just weeks before his death.

Mr Litvinenko was said to have been investigating the shooting of Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, a well-known critic of Russian activities in Chechnya, in her apartment in Moscow October 7, 2006. It is reported that he had met two Russians in an hotel room, one said to be former member of the KGB in conneciton with the affair and he went on to meet Mario Scaramella at a sushi bar in Piccadilly where some papers were exchanged. Some hours after this he was taken ill.

Mr Litvinenko was admitted to Barnet General Hospital, north London on November 1, 2006 complaining of feeling sick. By November 11, he was said to be suffering from serious poisoning. A week later he was transferred to University College Hospital in central London. A week later he was said to have been poisoned by ingesting thallium, once used in rat poison, but, in the opinion of some doctors, there were signs of radioactive poisoning, including loss of weight and shedding of hair. Various explanations of his condition were offered. Last night he suffered a heart attack, after having left a message blaming President Putin for having him killed.

The radioactive isotope polonium-210 was found in his blood and urine as reported by the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency. The post-mortem was cancelled. Subsequently the Agency examined conditions in the hospitals in which Mr Litvinenko has been treated. Police visited the Itsu sushi restaurant in Piccadilly, his home in Muswell Hill and the Millennium Hotel, Grosvenor Square where the meeting on November 1 had been held. Traces of radiocactivity were found in all three places. It is speculated that the polonium was probably eaten by Litvinenko as a substance that could be combined with a salt-like substance, such as polonium nitrate.

It was reported that a meeting had been held in Cabinet Office Briefing Room A (COBRA) used for high level emergency planning and control, to consider the implications of these events. The Foreign Office asked Moscow for a response to the accusation of Russian involvement and President Putin himself dismissed the allegations saying (before the cause of death had been established) that there was no proof of an unnatural death and that the case was being used as a “political provocation”.

Canada’s St. Paul’s West (Ward 21) city council candidates speak

Posted on July 16th, 2018

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is St. Paul’s West (Ward 21). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include John Adams, Tony Corpuz, Joe Mihevc (incumbent), and John Sewell.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Manitoba volunteers go to war against Red River flooding

Posted on July 15th, 2018

Monday, April 6, 2009

Over 1,600 volunteers registered to help build approximately 65,000 of the 500,000 sandbags to create dikes 20.5 feet (6.2 meters) high to protect the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba in the war against the Red River of the North flood.

700 volunteers answered at the rural municipality of St. Andrews alone. Once sandbags are filled for West St. Paul, St. Andrews, and Selkirk, then frozen culverts must be cleared.

The height of the river is expected to be Thursday, and predictions are that it will be less than Flood of the Century of 1997. There is no precipitation in the forecast, and snow in the province should be melted by the end of the week.

“The fear right now is we have to get that ice out of the river. The Amphibex [Excavators] are still working and breaking the ice apart, and everyday we buy with the warm weather and the current, it is thinning the ice down a bit, so when it does start to move, the better chance it’ll move right out into the lake,” said Paul Guyder, the emergency coordinator for the RMs of St. Andrews and St. Clements.

“I feel that we’ve done everything humanly possible to get ready,” said Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba, “But … there are fallibilities with human behaviour. We can take every preventative measure as human beings possible and we can still get Mother Nature proving again she is superior.”

Communities with ring diking will partially or fully close their dikes at the beginning of the week. Provincial officials are considering opening the Red River Floodway gates around mid-week before ice is fully melted.

Ice jams could cause flooding within the city, however opening the gates could spare neighbourhood flooding when the river rises to the estimated 6.3 meters (20.7 feet) height. The province does have back up plans for dealing with ice jams within the city if they do occur. The unpredictability of ice jams and the ensuing water level rise may cause neighbourhood flooding. The city is raising dikes where the river has jammed with ice in the past such as on tight curves and past bridges. Likewise there are excavators and backhoes positioned at these points.

Vulnerable neighbourhoods on the river banks have been reinforced with sandbag dikes at vulnerable areas from the massive volunteer effort over the weekend. Guyader feels no more extra volunteers are needed, however volunteers are still being asked to leave their names and number in case of unpredicted need. Existing personnel will assess roads, and help with clean up.

Approximately 400 of the 800 people who evacuated the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation have returned to their homes.

Former Premier, Dufferin Roblin, brought forward the floodway as a protection for Winnipeg residents and economy following the 1950 Red River Flood. The Red River floodway, “Duff’s Ditch” was finally finished in 1968, and its floodway gates have been opened 20 times saving Winnipeg from an estimated CA$10 billion in damages. The floodway expansion began in 2005 at a price of $665 million.

Polish and Chinese experts have come to survey the Red River Floodway, and Dennis Walaker, mayor of Fargo, North Dakota recognises the need for Red River flood defences down river. “Every town that you drive by from the Canadian line up to Winnipeg is either elevated or ring-diked,” said Walaker.

Category:August 3, 2010

Posted on July 15th, 2018
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Iraqi elections kept low-key, but secure, in Paris

Posted on July 13th, 2018

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Fourteen countries outside of Iraq have been selected for the installation of polling stations for the Iraqi National Assembly election. Among these, Paris, capital city of France, will welcome voters from France, Belgium, and Switzerland.

While the event has not been kept secret, the French government and media have been quite discreet about it. The polling station has been installed in an unused elementary school in a calm residential neighbourhood of the XIIIe arrondissement, without fanfare. Most inhabitants are not even aware of its presence – that is, until they notice the unusual deployment of police and come across the posters written in French and Arabic. Despite the discretion, the sight of police guarding a polling station is striking in a country where elections are a calm affair on a Sunday, and polling stations, most of which are installed in schools, are only noticeable because of the official billboards carrying the candidates’ posters.

Security measures have been taken – metallic barriers prevent parking in and around the front and back entrances to the station, and CRS riot police with bulletproof vests guard the entrances.Still, overall, the security measures remain limited. Traffic flows in the street, passers-by freely walk in front of the station entrance, no display of heavy weapons. This contrasts with the use of military troops and deployments of gendarmes mobiles that France used in its Vigipirate anti-terror plan following the Islamist terror bombings that it suffered in 1995, or the typical security measures kept around possible terror targets such as the embassies of Israel and the United States of America. This time, military cars and a handful of soldiers were seen in the morning, but were gone in the afternoon.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.