sarisacs.com - Part 2
Australia: Victorian government to trial driverless vehicles on public roads
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Australia: Victorian government to trial driverless vehicles on public roads

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Yesterday, the state government of Victoria, Australia announced their decision to trial self-driving vehicles on two of the state’s major connecting motorways, the CityLink and Tullamarine Freeway. The trial is to use autonomous vehicles from automobile companies including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Tesla. The two-year trial is to have three phases.

The cars are to drive alongside commuters, but in public testing a driver is always to be present, as Victorian law requires drivers always keep a hand on the steering wheel. However, in occasional closures of the Burnley Tunnel, with no other drivers to endanger, the cars are to be tested with nobody in the vehicle.

Lane assist, cruise control, and recognition of traffic signs are in the trial’s first phase, expected to complete before the end of the year. This includes monitoring how the driver-less cars respond to road conditions, including lane markings and electronic speed signs.

“Victoria is at the forefront of automated vehicle technology — we’re investing in this trial to explore ways that this technology can be used to reduce crashes and keep people safe on our roads”, said Luke Donnellan, the Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety. He noted, “Ninety per cent of the fault of accidents is human error […] so we know that if we can take out human error we will have less accidents”.

Tim Hansen, Victoria Police’s Acting Assistant Commissioner, said that police had founded a project team to investigate how self-driving vehicles would change policing on roads. “Can we intercept vehicles more safely to avoid pursuits and ramming?”, he asked.

The trial is a partnership between the state government, Victoria’s road management authority VicRoads, owner of the CityLink toll road Transurban, and insurance company RACV.

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

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
Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics
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Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics

Monday, December 3, 2007

At Thanksgiving dinner David Shankbone told his white middle class family that he was to interview Reverend Al Sharpton that Saturday. The announcement caused an impassioned discussion about the civil rights leader’s work, the problems facing the black community and whether Sharpton helps or hurts his cause. Opinion was divided. “He’s an opportunist.” “He only stirs things up.” “Why do I always see his face when there’s a problem?”

Shankbone went to the National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem with this Thanksgiving discussion to inform the conversation. Below is his interview with Al Sharpton on everything from Tawana Brawley, his purported feud with Barack Obama, criticism by influential African Americans such as Clarence Page, his experience running for President, to how he never expected he would see fifty (he is now 53). “People would say to me, ‘Now that I hear you, even if I disagree with you I don’t think you’re as bad as I thought,'” said Sharpton. “I would say, ‘Let me ask you a question: what was “bad as you thought”?’ And they couldn’t say. They don’t know why they think you’re bad, they just know you’re supposed to be bad because the right wing tells them you’re bad.”

Contents

  • 1 Sharpton’s beginnings in the movement
  • 2 James Brown: a father to Sharpton
  • 3 Criticism: Sharpton is always there
  • 4 Tawana Brawley to Megan Williams
  • 5 Sharpton and the African-American media
  • 6 Why the need for an Al Sharpton?
  • 7 Al Sharpton and Presidential Politics
  • 8 On Barack Obama
  • 9 The Iraq War
  • 10 Sharpton as a symbol
  • 11 Blacks and whites and talking about race
  • 12 Don Imus, Michael Richards and Dog The Bounty Hunter
  • 13 Sources
Tips On Choosing The Right Glass Doors Philadelphia Pa

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byAlma Abell

The best part of owning a home is that you are able to change or modify anything you want. With all of the different options in the world of home additions, you will need to find a way to narrow down the field. One of the best additions to make to your home is a glass door, which helps to take advantage of the natural light of the outdoors. There are a number of different doors for you to choose from on the market and choosing the right one will take some time on your part. The following are a couple of things to consider when trying to find the right Glass Doors Philadelphia PA.

Measure More Than Once

The first thing you need to do when trying to find the right glass doors is to take measurements of the space you have. There are a number of different glass doors on the market and they are all different sizes. If you are unsure about how to measure, then you need to talk to a professional. They will be able to give you the assistance you need to get the right door for your home. Click here for more details.

What is You Budget?

The next thing you need to do when trying to find the right doors is to think about the budget that you have. With the varying prices out there in the world of glass doors, having an idea of how much you can spend can be very helpful in narrowing down your options. The more you are able to find out about what you need, the easier it will be for you to make the right decision. Be sure to ask for professional assistance when needed to make sure you have all of the information you need before choosing your door.

When you are in the market for Glass Doors Philadelphia PA, be sure to call on the team at Steel Doors Inc Philadelphia PA. They have the experience and inventory needed to get the right doors for your home. Call them or go to their website for more information on what they have to offer.

US Federal Reserve prepares to take over AIG
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US Federal Reserve prepares to take over AIG

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Federal Reserve took over American International Group (AIG) on Tuesday in an US$85 billion loan, in exchange for a 79.9% stake in the company.

A press release issued Tuesday stated that “the Board determined that, in current circumstances, a disorderly failure of AIG could add to already significant levels of financial market fragility and lead to substantially higher borrowing costs, reduced household wealth, and materially weaker economic performance.”

The deal allows AIG to draw up to US$85 billion in loans over the next 24 months to shore up the orderly sale of various divisions of the company without further interruption to the economy. In exchange, the Federal Reserve will have a 79.9% equity stake, primarily in the form of equity participation notes. The loan carries an interest rate of LIBOR plus 850 points. Should AIG fail, the loan is covered completely by company assets. Should AIG recover however, taxpayers could potentially recover large profits.

This news comes on the heels of the Federal Reserve refusing to bail out Lehman Brothers, forcing the company to file for bankruptcy on Monday after Bank of America(BoA) and Barclays PLC pulled out of negotiations over the weekend. The fact that AIG has thousands of divisions engaged in business across the globe sets them apart from the recent problems with other banks. AIG was built up over the last several years via the buyouts and mergers of many companies around the world, offering AIG’s stockholders a diverse base of income which allowed it to steadily increase profits.

It is this interconnectedness that had the Federal Reserve worried. Should AIG collapse, it could set off a global chain reaction in multiple markets. In an interview with the New York Times, former Treasury official Roger Altman said, “It’s the interconnectedness and the fear of the unknown. The prospect of the world’s largest insurer failing, together with the interconnectedness and the uncertainty about the collateral damage — that’s why it’s scaring people so much.”

While AIG, like many other banks, found itself embroiled in the middle of the sub-mortgage lending crisis, AIG has also been struggling to deal with controversies in other complex financial instruments such as credit default swaps. These markets have been exploding for several years, but due to lack of regulation by the government, recent reversals have seen AIG’s stock value tumble by over 90 percent in the last year.

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Second weekend of protests begins in China
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Second weekend of protests begins in China

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Defying government warnings against further demonstrations, as many as twenty-thousand Chinese protesters turned out for a second weekend of anti-Japan demonstrations in Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Tianjin.

In Shanghai, a crowd broke many windows at the Japanese consulate, according to Kyodo News. The crowd also busted up a Japanese restaurant and set its sign on fire. The protesters then attacked a convenience store, according to the Los Angeles Times.

At the Japanese consulate, the crowd chanted “jia ru, jia ru” asking the police to “join us”. The police did not arrest the protesters, and stood by watching as the demonstration proceeded. The police permitted the protesters to throw eggs and rocks. Although the police provided at one point a sign which read “March route this way,” state-controlled media denied that the protesters had been given permission for their demonstration.

Southwest of Shanghai, in the city of Hangzhou, an estimated ten thousand protesters demonstrated against Japan, repeating recent demands for a boycott of Japanese products.

“Chinese people are angry,” student protester Michael Teng told Associated Press. “We will play along with Japan and smile nicely at them, but they have to know they have a large, angry neighbor,” Teng said.

In Beijing, Tiananmen Square was largely quiet as security tightened in anticipation of tomorrow’s visit by Japan’s foreign minister, Nobutaka Machimura. Hundreds of police are guarding both Tiananmen Square and the Japanese embassy.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Friday seeking to reassure Japanese citizens and businesses operating in China.

“The Chinese government has attached great importance to the situation and has kept on urging the public to express their appeals in a calm, sane, law-abiding and orderly manner and to avoid extreme activities,” Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan said in a press release issued on Friday.

As the protests continued in China, Japan lodged a “strong protest” against China.

“We cannot but say that the security system in Shanghai is insufficient,” Machimura told reporters.

Despite the protests, Machimura announced that he is not cancelling plans to meet with China’s foreign minister Li Zhaoxing on Sunday to discuss Sino-Japanese relations.

“China has been increasing its regional economic and political influence,” Robert Broadfoot, managing director of Political & Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd. told Bloomberg from Hong Kong. “Japan doesn’t want to have its position in the region dictated by China. Japan is adopting a more assertive policy, and China is trying to block it,” Broadfoot said.

On Friday, the Japanese government warned its citizens in China to keep a low profile during the protests.

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Paul McCartney slams Chinese fur practices, rules out future concerts in China
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Paul McCartney slams Chinese fur practices, rules out future concerts in China

Monday, November 28, 2005

Legendary musician Sir Paul McCartney has boycotted China in response to a preview of BBC news footage that was filmed undercover at a fur market in Guangzhou, China. The footage, some of which is to air during BBC’s Six O’Clock News at 18:00 GMT on November 28, 2005, shows animals (particularly dogs and cats) being thrown from the top of buses and being dropped into boiling water. McCartney’s wife, Heather, also watched the footage and alleged that some footage she had seen clearly showed that the animals were alive when they were skinned. The footage, which was filmed by an investigator connected to the animal rights group PETA, shows cats squirming in a bag before being thrown into boiling water, and then skinned in a laundrette drier-like machine.

McCartney slammed the practices, saying, “It’s like something out of the Dark Ages. And they seem to get a kick out of it. They’re just sick, sick people,” referring to the apparent smiles and laughter of the workers handling the animals as they are killed.

He and his wife called for a boycott of Chinese goods, adding that this was unacceptable behaviour from the nation to host the next Olympics.

However, the Chinese Ambassador to London’s spokesperson said that China is not to blame. “The fur trade mostly feeds markets in the US and Europe. This fur is not consumed in China. So the Americans and Europeans should accept the blame.”

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Payday Loans

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Payday Loans by Consumers Info USAIf you considering using a Cash Advance Payday Loan service for the first time, this article addresses the most frequently ask questions.WHAT IS A CASH ADVANCE PAYDAY LOAN?A cash advance provides you with emergency cash when you need it most… usually between paydays! It is just as it sounds… a short-term cash advance. Normally there is very little paperwork involved. Just complete a short application. Once approved you can usually receive the cash on the next business day! Some companies offer even faster service.HOW DO I QUALIFY?Qualifying is easy! Most companies do not check credit! Even bankruptcy, bounced checks, and charge-offs don’t prevent you from getting the cash advance you need! You mainly have to prove you have the ability to repay. Individual companies have their own guidelines… but the most common are: Have a current job (or receive regular income) Make at least $1000 per month Are 18 years of age or older and a U.S. citizen Have a checking, or savings accountHOW MUCH CAN I QUALIFY FOR?How much you qualify for depends on the individual company, and a number of factors. It is very common for most companies to limit a first-time customer to $100 to $500. Once you establish a good history with them, you can borrow more.WHAT WILL IT COST ME?Typically… a cash advance of $100 could cost between $15 to $25. So if you borrow $100 you can expect to payback a total of approximately $125The Cash Advance Payday Loan industry has been the subject of criticism because if compared to a bank or credit union, using the same repayment period, the interest rate is much higher.However they are considered much higher risk loans because no credit check is performed, and there is very little documentation.Cash advance loans are designed for emergency situations! When you are short on cash and need money fast! Family emergencies, unexpected car repairs, overdrafts, telephone reconnection, the rent is due, etc.Some companies post their fees right on their websites. With other companies the actual fees for the particular amount you request are determined based on the information you provide when you submit your application.You ALWAYS will have an opportunity to not accept it. You are NEVER obligated to accept a cash advance just because you submitted an online application.WHEN DO I GET THE MONEY?Once you have applied online, many companies will follow up with a contact by phone to verify your information and explain the terms to you. The key is how quickly can your information be verified!Most companies can wire the money directly to your bank account within 24 hours. There some companies that say they can do it in even less time.WHEN DO I REPAY?It important to keep in mind that this is a short-term loan! The minimum required payment is typically due within 7 to 14 days. The same way they wired the money directly to your bank account… is usually the same way your payment will be made. The company will let you know the exact amount, and the exact date they will do the bank withdrawal. You will know all of this BEFORE you agree to the advance.You should make sure the money is there in your account on the day the payment is due.As that day gets near and you know you may not have all of the payment… contact the company. Most payday lenders have options that will allow for a refinanced, or restructure of the pay period.BadCreditAssistance.com is a member of Consumers Info USA. Our company reviews customer feedback to determine the best reputable online payday loan services.For more information: ttp://www.badcreditassistance.com/payday_loans.htmlArticle Source: eArticlesOnline.com

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CNN founder Ted Turner calls Fox News Bush’s propaganda machine
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CNN founder Ted Turner calls Fox News Bush’s propaganda machine

Friday, January 28, 2005Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, last Tuesday accused Fox News of being a propaganda mouthpiece for the Bush administration. He likened the network’s current popularity to Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in pre-war Germany, and criticised the “dumbing down” of news which left the public uninformed of crucial issues.

Turner said, “Adolf Hitler was more popular in Germany in the early 1930s than people that were running against him.”

Fox News in turn accused CNN of simple sour grapes.

In a statement, the channel claimed that Ted was “understandably bitter having lost his ratings, his network and now his mind – we wish him well.”

Turner resigned from his post as Vice President of AOL Time Warner in January 2003. He remains one of America’s largest private landowners, possessing approximately two million acres of land.

Fox News remains the highest rating 24-hour news channel on US cable – but has been highly criticised for its perceived right-wing bias.

Recent House Committee on Government Reform figures by the US Democrats show that the US Administration spent over $US88 million on public relations contracts in 2004, of which 41 per cent were awarded on a non-competitive basis.

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Animal rights activists demand British coffee chain withdraw advertising campaign
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Animal rights activists demand British coffee chain withdraw advertising campaign

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Animal rights activists have demanded that the largest coffee chain in the United Kingdom pull a new advertising campaign because they fear that it will encourage viewers to buy monkeys as pets. The demands are likely to irritate Costa Coffee, who are determined to turn over a larger profit that their arch-rival, Starbucks. Five animal welfare groups have demanded that the advert, which features a futuristic room full of monkeys attempting to use coffee machines, be withdrawn.

In a letter to the Rainforest Alliance, the charities say that “the use of wild animals in this way is contrary to your stance on conservation and, in particular, on rainforest species”. They urged the Alliance to revoke their endorsement of Costa products unless the adverts were withdrawn. The groups also wrote to the coffee chain, saying that they hoped that Costa — which has over 1,000 outlets in the UK — would “think it appropriate to cease using primates in future productions, and make the decision to withdraw the current advert”.

The pressure on the coffee giant has led to fears that the company’s relationship with the Rainforest Alliance—which “works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior”—may be under threat, since animal welfare groups have complained the new advert is in breach of the Alliance’s code of conduct. The television advertisement depicts a number of monkeys being unable to use coffee machines, before a Costa barista hand-makes a cup of coffee. The advert, which features a voiceover by actor Bill Nighy, aired for the first time on Friday. Within hours, animal rights campaigners had demanded it be withdrawn. Manufacturers of products endorsed by the Rainforest Alliance must prove they “are demonstrating [their demand for] goods grown and harvested with respect for people, wildlife and the environment”.

A spokeswoman for Wild Futures, which runs a sanctuary for victims of the primate pet trade, said that she felt that, because they had been forced to appear in the advert, the welfare of the monkeys had been “severely compromised.” She said: “With the release of this new advert, we feel the need to reiterate our long-held concerns on the use of wild animals in entertainment. While they are used in this way their welfare is severely compromised, and it has a knock-on effect in the trade in primates as pets.”

According to The Observer, “the relationship between the appearance of exotic animals in the media and a corresponding increase in demand for them as pets is well documented.” The demand to own clownfish as pets reportedly rocketed following the release of Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo, which featured one of the orange and white vertebrates as its main character.

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The Alliance refused to comment specifically on the Costa advertising campaign, but said in a statement that it “objects to the use of captive wild animals in commercial advertising where a company is seeking to highlight or promote its relationship with the Rainforest Alliance or its use of Rainforest Alliance certified commodities”. Wild Futures and other charities have, in the past, forced companies to withdraw campaigns they believe compromise animal’s rights. The European Union was forced to pull a stop smoking advert last year after objections for animal welfare groups, and car manufaturer Dodge also withdrew an advert which featured a chimpanzee after animal rights groups lodged complaints.

The Code of Practice on the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-Human Primates states that “primates used for entertainment and in the media are often removed from their social group and hand-reared, causing distress to the infant, mother and other members of the group.” The five charities have said they feel that, because the animals have been removed from their social group for the purposes of filming, Costa could be in contravention of three of the five needs as stated in the Animal Welfare Act.

Jim Slater, the marketing director of Costa Coffee vigourusly defended the adverts, insiting that “no compromise is made regarding animal welfare standards” in the adverts. “The monkeys were provided by a specialist organisation and have appeared in movies and on TV many times before.” Speaking to Bakeryinfo.co.uk before the advert was launched, he added: “Costa is enjoying double-digit like-for-like sales growth, and we aim to continue this great momentum. Independent surveys consistently prove that coffee lovers prefer Costa, and this TV commercial will help us to explain the reasons why.”

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