Archives May 2022

Hugh Carey, former New York Governor, dies aged 92

Monday, August 8, 2011

Former governor of New York Hugh Carey has died at the age of 92. Carey was the 51st governor of the state and held office from 1975 until 1982 as a Democrat. During his tenure he held more power over the finances of New York City than any other governor, before or after Carey’s term. He saw the city through the financial crisis of the 1970’s.

The office of current governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the death. In a statement, Cuomo said “Governor Carey led our state during a time of great financial turmoil and pulled us back from the brink of bankruptcy and economic ruin.”

Carey ran for Governor during the 1974 election after being urged by his wife Helen. Helen was battling cancer and died 18 days before Carey announced his intentions to run. During his first year in office, the state was in a financial crisis and banks had stopped giving the city access to credit due to a $5 billion deficit. He managed to come to a agreement with the bankers that heavy spending cuts needed to be made.

Carey was a father of 14 children and grandfather to 25. His is survived by 11 of his children. Two of his sons died in a car accident in 1969. Another son, Paul became a commissioner for the Securities Exchange Commission and died in 2001 after a battle with cancer.

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Good Omens to be made into BBC radio drama

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Plans for a radio dramatisation of the novel Good Omens, co-written by prominent UK fantasy authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, were confirmed on Friday by BBC Radio 4.

Published in 1990, Good Omens tells the story of the impending Apocalypse, and the efforts of one angel and one demon to save the world.

Neil Gaiman has previously had one of his books, Neverwhere, adapted for radio. The director of that adaptation, Dirk Maggs, is also working on Good Omens.

Terry Pratchett is well known for his Discworld novels, of which the first one, Colour of Magic, was published in 1983.

Recording for what would be the first ever dramatisation of the cult-classic began on Friday, with broadcast dates unconfirmed but said to be in December. The show is expected to broadcast over five days throughout the week and an hour-long finale on the Saturday.

Mark Heap and Peter Serafinowicz have been cast in the lead roles, with other actors on the cast list including Colin Morgan, Josie Lawrence and Clive Russell. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are also expected to make cameo appearances.

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The Elements Of A Mortgage

By James Copper

Many first time home buyers have heard this word, but simply dont really know anything about it. The word is: mortgage. As a first time buyer, you really need to understand what a mortgage is before you can even attempt to buy a home. Far too many people lose their homes because they really dont understand what a mortgage is. Being too young, too immature, or too irresponsible can wreck havoc on your financial future if you try to take out a mortgage. Being ready and mature enough to handle a mortgage is a big deal and one that should not be taken lightly. Thus, it is vital to understand the elements of a mortgage before getting one for yourself.

A mortgage is composed of three basic parts, the sum, the interest, and the term. Sounds simple right Well it actually could not be any simpler than that. Let us dive a little deeper to see what each of these actually mean for you the buyer.

The sum of the loan is how much it is worth. This number can range greatly depending on the amount that you require. It is important not to go too high over the amount you will need for the home. Many mortgage brokers will help you determine the size that is needed in order for you to purchase the home without going too far over your budget.


A mortgage is like any other loan you must make a monthly payment on the interest. This amount will be different depending on the lender you choose to go through. Be sure to shop around with different lenders to find out which offers the lowest interest rates to insure proper payment. If you do not make this monthly payment on time, it could result in loosing your home.

Every mortgage has an allotted amount of time in which you are to pay back the loan. This amount of time is referred to as a term. Typically loans are offered in two terms, 15-year and 30-year terms. If you choose a 30-year term, your monthly payments will be lower because you are paying the loan off over a longer period of time. A 15-year term would mean that you are making higher payments. It would seem that picking a 30-year term would be popular because you wouldnt have to pay that much monthly. While you are paying lower rates each month, you will be paying more interest throughout the life of the loan. The 15-year term will be a little easier in the long run because you are paying the interest and not building up any principal.

The most important tool to understanding how a mortgage will affect you is to have a good mortgage broker who is willing to explain things to you. Let them know whenever you have questions and never be afraid to ask anything that may seem simple. Aside from money issues, many people lose their homes due to the fact that they did not understand the mortgage and they never asked any questions to their mortgage broker.

About the Author: James Copper is a writer for where you can find uk mortgages


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US Senate passes new bankruptcy bill

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.

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Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

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Men charged in US and Canada over alleged plot to arm Tamil Tigers

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Numerous men have been charged in Canada and the United States with various crimes related to a plot to arm the Tamil Tigers who are listed as a terrorist organization in both countries. Some are accused of plotting to buy surface-to-air missiles and AK-47 rifles that would have been sent to the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Eight people, including three Canadian citizens, were charged in Brooklyn, New York yesterday with various offences. At the same time the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested a 26-year-old in Ontario in relation to the plot. He faces extradition to the United States.

Charges against the nine include fundraising and money laundering through US bank accounts and charitable organizations for the Liberation Tigers of Talim Eelam, or Tamil Tigers, who have been fighting the Sri Lankan military in a civil war since 1983.

Two of the men allegedly tried to bribe undercover US State Department officials with $1 million in order to remove the Tigers from the official list of terrorist organizations which bars the group from raising money, obtaining weapons or lobbying. A more extensive investigation ensued involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The RCMP was brought in when the FBI learned of a Canadian allegedly being involved. Ultimately, the three Canadians arrested in the United States are accused of traveling to New York to purchase the military equipment including 50 to 100 SAM missiles, assault rifles, truck mounted missiles, aerial vehicles for jamming radio transmissions and radar, submarine design software as well as flight lessons and military training.

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Dog Training Can Be Fun If Done Correctly

Submitted by: Brad Abbott

Dog training is essential for a healthy relationship between humans and their dogs. Neither humans nor dogs are perfect and it is necessary to train your pet to refrain from doing things which are socially unacceptable. A training procedure will help you to guide your dog to behave in a way that is to your liking.

The training of dogs proved to be beneficial during war time. Techniques were introduced and developed during the First World War. After World War II civilians adopted these ideas to keep their own dogs under control. These methods were quite harsh and the pets were often punished to get them to comply. This approach is what we call negative reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement techniques were later introduced and soon became more popular. This method creates a happy learning environment where the animal is rewarded for good behaviour. For example, the dog being trained to lie down on command will be rewarded with a tasty treat. This means he will soon lie down more readily knowing the reward will be a delicious snack. He learns to obey a new command through positive reinforcement.


There is the school of thought that positive trainers never get to teach their animals what is unacceptable behaviour and what not. This is incorrect. Positive reinforcement methods do teach dogs what is unacceptable, but any form of punishment or negative reinforcement is not employed at all.

The main advantage of teaching dogs with positive reinforcement is that the lessons are always fun and enjoyable for both the owners and their pets. Understanding is easy and the atmosphere is always friendly. The lessons include obedience techniques as well as methods which help to solve antisocial problems like excessive barking and jumping on visitors.

Choke chains and shock sticks are negative training aids. They are not used in positive reinforcement lessons. A clicker is used sometimes. This is a small device that makes a click-click sound when squeezed. This sound marks the exact moment that the dog performs correctly according to your instructions.

New methods and developments have emerged in the canine classroom. The techniques used are based on the natural behavior of the animal. The trainer strives to meet his pet on a level familiar to dogs. He focuses his attention on behaviour which is instinctive and natural to the species.

These trainers vouch for the pack mentality of dogs. There is always a dominance hierarchy within a pack. The owner needs to establish himself as the leader of the pack. This is how his animals must see him. These people prefer to describe themselves as folk who are able to communicate at a deeper level with dogs. They have a better understanding of the animal and are able to communicate using body language. They often call themselves dog whisperers.

The opponents to this dog training technique claim that it is a popular theory that does not always work. Two renowned biologists showed in their extensive research that the idea of an alpha dog can be rejected. However there are many trainers having tremendous success with this dog training philosophy.

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Wikinews Shorts: May 7, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, May 7, 2007.

A 30 meter section of a gas pipeline in Luka (near Kiev) in Ukraine has been destroyed by an explosion. Although supplies to Europe via this pipeline have stopped, Ukrainian Energy Minister Georgi E. Boyko said that supplies to Europe would not be affected.

“There are no changes in volumes of gas being transported,” Yuri Korolchuk said. “Volumes due to pass through the damaged section are being redirected through the Soyuz pipeline.”

Normal flows are reported in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania.


  • “Blast damages pipeline in Ukraine” — Russia Today, May 8, 2007
  • Natalya Zinets, Reuters. “Blast hits Ukraine gas pipeline” — The Scotsman, May 7, 2007

Copper prices are rising. Between record copper imports from China, and a mining strike in Peru, the prices have climbed to over $8100 (United States dollars) a tonne, for a gain of $575 dollars over the last week. However the upward trend is not new, it has been climbing for quite some time. In April 2003, the price of copper was under $2000 a tonne.

The metal market has been tending up due to growth in the Chinese industrial production. This trickles down to the local level, where the buying price at scrap yards is ever climbing, making scrap metal collection a more profitable endeavour for individual people using pick up trucks or other such vehicles to collect and cash in the scrap metal at metal buying yards. It can be collected via agreements with businesses, from the garbage, or, sometimes, by theft.

Copper prices fell today on the NYMEX commodity exchange from US$3.7545 per pound to US$3.7125 based on the July futures contract.


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.
  • “Copper up but crude oil down” — Financial Express, May 6, 2007
  • Millie Munshi. “Metals Bubble Poised to Burst on Increasing Supplies” — Bloomberg L.P., May 7, 2007
  • “Commodity Futures” — Bloomberg L.P., accessed May 7, 2007

One man was killed and another injured by an exploding backpack in the parking lot of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The explosion happened at 4 a.m. PDT when the victim tried to remove a the object left on top of his car.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are on the scene. Aerial images did not show any apparent damage.

“We believe the victim was the intended target of this,” Bill Cassell said, spokesperson for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “This is being treated as a homicide in which the weapon used to cause death is a non-traditional weapon.”

Both of the victims worked at the Luxor.


  • Associated Press. “1 dead, 1 hurt in Las Vegas parking lot blast” — MSNBC, May 7, 2007
  • “Explosion kills man in Vegas outside Luxor hotel” — Reuters, May 7, 2007

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Microsoft to licence Windows source code

Thursday, January 26, 2006

In a move aimed to prevent fines stemming from its antitrust lawsuit filed by the European Commission (EC), Microsoft announced that it will be releasing portions of the source code to its Windows operating system.

The EC ruled in March 2004 that Microsoft had abused its position in the low-end server and media player market, and required that Microsoft “disclose complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers”. Microsoft reacted by making available 12,000 pages of technical documentation and up to 500 hours of technical support, but the EC came to the conclusion that it was not enough.

Announcing that “we are putting our most valuable intellectual property on the table so we can put technical compliance issues to rest”, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith asserted that Microsoft would be superseding the EC’s requirements as a sign of good faith. “While we are confident that we are presently in full compliance with the Decision, we wish to dispel any notion that Microsoft’s technical documents are insufficient”, said Smith.

The EC responded in a memo that it will study Microsoft’s reply to the Statement of Objections once it receives the full details. However, EC Competition Commissioner spokesman Jonathan Todd commented that “it would be premature to conclude access to the source code would resolve the problem of the lack of compliance with our decision.”

A similar offer was made by Microsoft in August 2002 during its antitrust lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice and several states’ Attorneys General. The resulting “Microsoft Communications Protocols Program” had suffered continuous criticism regarding excessive cost, paperwork, and non-disclosure agreements. It is unclear at this time if Microsoft’s planned “Work Group Server Protocol Program” will suffer from the same issues if accepted by the EC.

Microsoft is expected to return to the EC courts in April.

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Home And Contents Insurance In Bc

Home and Contents Insurance in BC



Protecting the contents of your home is one of the main concerns of BC home owners and renters.

Home Contents Insurance Vancouver allows Canadians in BC to live with peace of mind in their homes, condos or rental accommodations knowing that they are protected should anything adverse happen.

A home contents insurance policy provides insurance against not only damage but also against contents and personal properly being lost or stolen.

Whether you need Canadian home insurance, Condo Insurance Vancouver or Tenant Insurance Vancouver, it is best to have your BC insurance policy customized to meet your specific needs as living situations and valuables differ greatly from home to home.

Home contents insurance companies in BC can provide guidance and advice on how to assess your risks and how to properly value your personal property.

A proper evaluation is necessary in order to design a custom home contents insurance policy that will protect you with the best coverage possible. This is important as each individual s insurance requirements are different on many levels.


The home is the most valuable possession for most people and comprises of the single most expensive investment in their lives.

Risk and value assessment are crucial to obtaining the best home contents insurance policy.

Risk is calculated on the basis of the location of the home. For instance, how far away is the nearest fire station or is the home is located in an area with a high crime rate. Urban areas with a high crime rate often entail higher insurance premiums than quiet neighborhoods with little or no reported crime.

Home insurance rates also depend on the condition of the building and the safety precautions taken to protect it. For instance, how old is the building and is it equipped with a fire protection sprinkler system.

The major benefit of insuring your dwelling and personal property appropriately is that it covers all risks and not just specific losses.

Home insurance and home contents insurance coverage in BC should ideally be for more than just the initial loss. The accepted norm is replacement value so that any additional costs associated with bringing your home or personal property up to current standards will also be covered.

BC home contents insurance also protects policy holders from increased repair or replacement costs for the duration of the policy with no allowance for depreciation.

The home insurance policy should also cover any expenses should you have to move out of your home as a result of an insured loss.

Other eligible home insurance considerations may also include coverage for personal property when you are away from home temporarily as well as a student s property while at school.

In order to keep up with changing landscape of home and home contents insurance coverage in BC it is best to renew your home contents insurance policy regularly.

There are a few key factors that require your attention when purchasing home contents insurance other than the price.

But if price is an issue, one way to save money when you purchase your home contents insurance coverage is to increase the amount of your deductible.

You can also get discounts on your home and home contents insurance for having an alarm system installed or for having a fire sprinkler system in place.

It is imperative to ensure that you, your family and your possessions are adequately covered for all types of risk faced by you. The selection of the amount of coverage should be focused on your needs.

The types and levels of home and home contents insurance coverage differ from one provider to another and should be investigated thoroughly so that you can make an informed decision.

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Home and Contents Insurance in BC