2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

This year’s Leisure Taiwan trade show (a.k.a Taiwan Sport Recreation and Leisure Show) started yesterday, with 131 companies participating including sports media companies such as ESPN and VideoLand Television, businesses selling sports equipment and fitness clubs.

There were also a variety of sports being played in the arena built for the trade show. The events included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, free style shooting, and bicycle test-riding. In addition, conferences discussed issues related to sports and physical education.

A major topic in the trade show was energy-efficiency and, as a result, bicycles and similar sports equipment were being heavily promoted.

Next Tuesday, companies from the electronics industry plan to promote their industry at “2008 Digital E-Park.” In previous years, organizations from the electronics industry have showcased their products at Leisure Taiwan instead of at the Digital E-Park, so this move has reduced the number of markets covered by Leisure Taiwan.

Lansing, Michigan airport designated ‘aerotropolis’

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

On Wednesday the Lansing, Michigan Capital Region International Airport and surrounding land was designated as an “aerotropolis” by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Strategic Fund board. The Next Michigan Development program allows the airport to offer tax incentives in order to attract manufacturing, distribution, and technology businesses to the surrounding area.

Incentives can include property tax abatements or the elimination of most state and local taxes for a specified period of time. To qualify for the incentives, a company would have to start a new venture on airport property or expand an existing one. Additionally, companies need to use a minimum of two out of four transportation modes – freight, air, rail, or water.

The airport, in DeWitt Township, is the second in Michigan to receive an aerotropolis designation. The state’s other aerotropolis is located in the area surrounding Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run airports. In October the city of Lansing and DeWitt Township approved a 425 tax-sharing agreement on the property, designating approximately 850 acres (344 ha) of land as available for future development.

US Senate passes new bankruptcy bill

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

In a vote of 74-25 last Thursday, the US Senate passed a measure that would change bankruptcy laws, making it harder for individuals seeking relief from their debt burden to avoid repayment. Almost twenty Democrats joined Republicans, who currently hold a majority of the seats in the US Senate, in passing the bill.

Lobbyists for credit card companies and financial services firms have worked for the bill during the last two administrations. A similar measure passed both the Senate and House during the previous administration, but then President Bill Clinton pocket-vetoed the measure in 2000.

Democrats sought to soften the bill by allowing bankruptcy filers to negotiate directly with lenders for relief, but the amendments were defeated by the Republican-controlled Senate. Proponents of the bill claim the rise of bankruptcy filings to nearly 1.5 million a year shows that abusers of credit use the filings to shield themselves from irresponsible practices.

“There has been an explosion of bankruptcy,” said Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the bill’s sponsor. “We preserve the principle of a fresh start, but we also establish a principle that if you have the ability to repay some of your debt, you are not going to get off scot-free.” However, Massachusetts Democratic Sen., Edward M. Kennedy said, “This legislation makes the bankruptcy courts of the United States the collection agency for the credit-card industry.”

The bill impacts a broad spectrum of bankruptcy law, but the most significant impact is on personal bankruptcy filings. Individuals who get behind in repaying credit card debt face high interest charges and stiff late payment fees. By only meeting minimum payment requirements, borrowers remit to the lender over the life of the loan an amount in interest and other fees that can far exceed the value of the principal balance of the loan. This can put consumers who run up high balances on various cards at financial risk of default. Critics of the bill blame these aggressive lending practices as a contributing factor in the rising trend of bankruptcy filings from 1996.

The proposed bill doesn’t only affect debtors with credit card debt.

It also affects debtors who have run up large medical bills.

Patients with a past medical history that disqualifies them from full medical coverage, can easily find themselves facing insurmountable medical bills after just a short stay in the hospital. These individuals will no longer be able to get a fresh start after these personal disasters, and will be forced to live in poverty until they can pay off their medical bills as part of their Chapter 13 filing. (Prior to this bill, they would have been able to file Chapter 7, completely discharging their debt.)

Chapter 7, which accounts for 70% of bankruptcy filings, allows individuals to eliminate most non-secured debts after liquidating assets, with the notable exemption of one’s principle residence in most states. The Senate passed bill would change Chapter 7 eligibility by applying a means-test, where those with a median income higher than the state average would be required to file under Chapter 13 provisions. Under Chapter 13 protection, an individual’s debt is not forgiven; rather it is restructured for payment under more lenient terms.

This was the first major overhaul of federal bankruptcy law in many years.

Under the old bankruptcy law, a personal bankruptcy attorney could not be held financially responsible for his clients mendacity. Under the new bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy attorney is responsible for his client’s lies to the Court about his assets and the bankruptcy attorney and his insurance carrier can be held responsible by the Bankruptcy Court.

The result is that personal bankruptcy attorneys (this does not apply to corporate bankruptcy attorneys) are likely to flee the personal bankruptcy field when the new law takes effect. Their insurance companies will not offer the sort of coverage that they would need to continue to practice.

So when consumers need to file personal bankruptcy under the new law, they will be unlikely to find a bankruptcy attorney to represent them. Consumers will have to file pro se: such consumers will be likely to fail due to the complexity of the law.

The bottom line is that the field of personal bankruptcy law as a practice area of law will cease to exist when the new bankruptcy law takes effect, and consumers will be unable to secure legal counsel and so consumers will lose what legal protections counsel now affords them.

Under the new bankruptcy law about one half million Americans will be forest to pay for at lest 5 years on longer they will be held in servitude as chattel they will be completely subservient to a dominating influence of the company that holds the loan. Their loan will be put on the market for sale for profit. The people will be forced to work harder. People who fail to go to court will have a arrest warrant made out in their name and people who refuseto pay. They will be subject to fines and or jail. About fifty thousand Americans will punished by a fine and or about three thousand Americans every year will go to jail under the new bankruptcy law. For some people this will be a third strike they will be put in jail for life.

The bill has the support of President Bush, and its passage in the House sometime next month seems likely. If enacted into law, lending companies will recover more money on what otherwise would be written off as bad loans. Those persons of median and higher income seeking relief would be required to file under Chapter 13 status and pay up to $100 per month under court imposed conditions. It is expected the proposed changes would cause a sharp increase in filings before the new law could take effect.

2012 Report on Gender Equality and Development credits Icelandic parental policy with ‘hopeful’ changes

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tuesday, World Bank released the 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development. In discussing Iceland, it suggests mandatory paid parental leave for mother and father have played an important role in changing norms in the country. Parents have a government mandated nine months leave, three for the mother, three for the father and three to to distribute between the two. Leave is paid at 80% of their wages. The report describes the changes in gender relations in Iceland as “promising” in terms of impact at work and at home.

Iceland’s boys and girls mean scores for the Programme for International Student Assessment mathematics test were nearly identical with boys just edging out girls with both scores around 510. Girls outperformed boys on the literacy test with a mean score of approximately 525 to 480. Iceland’s girls mathematics performance was similar to that of girls from Estonia, Germany and Belgium. Their performance on literacy was similar to Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Estonia and Belgium.File:MargretSverrisdottir.jpg

Mortality rates in Iceland for 1,000 people aged 15–60 sits at 56, significantly better than the United States at 107, China at 113, India at 213, Iraq at 285, Afghanistan at 479, Malawi at 481 and Zimbabwe at 772. One of the reasons the report cites for Iceland’s relatively low mortality rate is it not located in a conflict country or in an HIV/AIDS affected country.

Iceland was one of 23 countries that currently have over 30% of its Parliamentarians who are female. Other countries with over 30% representation include Rwanda, Argentina, Cuba, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. In the mid-1990s, there were only 5 countries. The report cites the 1983 creation of the Women’s Alliance, an all women’s political party, as bringing additional attention to women’s issues and deliberately attempting to increase the representation of women in Icelandic politics.

Despite some of the good news highlighted in the report about Icelandic women, there exists a systematic gender difference in earning potential. Icelandic women in both the private and public sector earn approximately 22% less than their male counterparts. Icelandic men have slightly more access to the Internet than Icelandic women by about 2%. Despite this slight disadvantage for Icelandic women, it is much better than some countries where the percentage differences are much greater. These countries include Austria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Turkey, and Macedonia.

For fans, by fans: Toronto anime event 2017 among continent’s largest

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Anime North is “by the fans, for the fans”, event chair Irwin Tan told Wikinews in an interview at the event, Saturday. Started by a group of university anime clubs in 1997, it has grown to become one of the largest conventions of its kind in North America, spanning three days, five venues, and tens of thousands of fans.

Along with the dealer’s hall, industry tables, and artist booths typical of conventions, Anime North’s convention floor included a formal gallery space, a charity auction in support of Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital, an aerial performer, gaming tables, archery tag, dance events, and outdoor concerts. At one of the hotels surrounding the main venue, an entire 5000 volume manga library was available, for attendees looking to take a quiet pause. Full programming tracks about ball-jointed dolls — Doll North — and homoerotic-themed anime and manga — Yaoi/Yuri North — were also given entire hotels to themselves, allowing them to offer extensive programming.

As with many fan conventions, many fans attended in cosplay of their favourite characters. Some outfits included massive props, like wings, weapons, or even an additional character riding on their back. A variety of anime and manga worlds were represented, as well as video games like Undertale, Western comic books, Disney characters, even “Smug Wendy”, and the Ferocious Beast from Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. The event offered panels to help costume creators and wearers develop in their hobby, such as “Thermoplastics for Cosplay”, looking at the pliable polymers used to create things like character armour, and “Social Media for Cosplayers”.

The cosplay subculture of animegao kigurumi, for which masks of mainly human characters are worn, was well-represented. Ride the Pig Studios, a Nevada-based studio, was set up in the industry section with a photo booth for attendees to get a photo with practitioners of the craft, and two sessions, including one hosted by Kazunori Uhyo Sugiura, a university professor attending from Japan.

Anime North was deemed the fourth largest convention in North American with a primary theme of anime, in 2016, by AnimeCons.com.

Cosplay coverage continues after the interview.

Contents

  • 1 Interview with Irwin Tan
  • 2 Cosplay highlights
  • 3 Conservative convention next door
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 Sources

Wikinews interviews U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Wikinews held an exclusive interview with Cynthia McKinney, one of the candidates for the Green Party nomination for the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

McKinney is a former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and held her seat for ten years until being defeated by Denise Majette in 2002. She was the first ever African American woman from her state to be elected to Congress.

We asked her why she made the recent switch to the Green Party. She replied, “Due to the importance of environmental issues, Green issues are the issues of today. The Ten Key Values ofthe Green Party stress us getting along with each other in harmony with the planet that gives us life.”

When asked about how she would handle Iraq she replied, “I would instruct the Joint Chiefs to draw up a plan for the orderly withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the country. I would dismantle our military bases in the area, and I would also demand that U.S. andother international corporations relinquish any claims to Iraqi oil orother resources and withdraw as well.”

McKinney is running for president because, basically, she thinks that “it’s time that the people win”.

Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”

New Zealand Green party rates other parties on climate change policies

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Green party of Aotearoa New Zealand has ranked other political parties in New Zealand based on their policies and action taken on climate change. The results were announced at a Greens picnic today by co-leader, Doctor Russel Norman at his State of the Planet speech.

The top party was themselves, Labour (Government) in second with Dr Norman saying they are “too frightened to do what needs to be done,”, the M?ori party in third, then National, United Future, New Zealand First and lastly, ACT, leaving out Jim Anderton’s Progressive Coalition party from being ranked. According to the Greens, ACT is denying how important climate change really is.

However not even Dr Norman is satisfied being at the top of the list, stating that more can be improved on. “We have been leading the debate but we don’t have all the answers.” Dr Norman does say that if the Greens were not in Parliament then all the other parties would be “floundering” because they would not know what to do.

Dr Norman says that New Zealand needs to do our part in helping Earth face its biggest challenge.

In Dr Norman’s speech he also encouraged the other parties to take more action regarding climate change. “The results show that while the parties are more than happy to jump aboard the climate change band wagon, when it comes down to it, there is still a lack of political will to take firm action.”

Dr Norman said: “Most parties had yet to tackle the tough issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector – this sector accounts for about 50 percent of New Zealand’s total emissions. They fared only slightly better in increasing forested area and reducing emissions from the electricity sector.”

Dr Norman said that we are heading towards a “global catastrophe.”

Florida’s Walt Disney World launches revamped attractions

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

ORLANDO, Florida – Alien Encounter and The Living Seas at the Walt Disney World Resort are to open today with a makeover.

The Alien Encounter attraction at Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom has been revised to include Experiment 626 from the movie Lilo & Stitch. Now called Stitch’s Great Escape!, the dog-like blue creature will lash out of its tube and terrorise the audience. The Galactic Federation’s Grand Councilwoman, Captain Gantu and Agent Pleakley appear in this show, essentially a prequel to the movie.

At the Living Seas, Crush the sea turtle from the Disney/Pixar movie Finding Nemo will host a new exhibit called Turtle Talk, joining smaller Nemo exhibits, a mainstay at the attraction for several months. Vegetarian shark Bruce will soon become part of a shark education exhibit.

According to publicity, the Turtle Talk show will run every 15 minutes, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. A sign language interpreted performance will run on Fridays at 10:30 am.

Disney is holding the Stitch’s Great Escape! Sweepstakes, with prizes including a five-day, four night trip for four to Walt Disney World Resort.

Germanwings crash victims identified

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Investigators looking into the Germanwings Flight 9525 crash in March announced on Wednesday that they had formally identified the 150 passengers who died on the Airbus 320 when it was flown into the French Alps. This will allow for the victims families to prepare for a proper burial ceremony in the coming weeks. It has reportedly taken more than six weeks to match the DNA found at the site of the crash in the French Alps with those of the family members of the victims involved. The city prosecutor of Marseilles, Brice Robin has now said that “The 150 death certificates can now be signed, as well as the 150 burial permits.”

This comes after extensive investigation into the life of the 27 year old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz who had reportedly suffered depression. After locking the cockpit door whilst the pilot was on a toilet break, Lubitz purposely flew the plane into the French Alps. Reports from France’s BEA civil aviation investigators revealed that Lubitz had practised altering the flight’s data settings during the outbound flight to Barcelona from an altitude of 11,600 metres to an alarmingly low 30 metres.

The incident has sparked calls for other international flights to implement the rule of always having two people in the cockpit at all times during flights to prevent any further tragedies such as this. The final report of the investigation is set to be finalised next year.

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