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French ‘iPod bill’ seeks digital music player interoperability

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Legislation pending in the French Parliament would require that music purchased online for use on digital music players be compatible across all players. It has become popularly known in France as the “iPod bill,” after the popular music player made by Apple Computer, and could pit France against Apple and other distributors of online music.

The National Assembly (lower house) and Senate (upper house) have passed two separate versions of the legislation. Both would reduce the penalties for piracy, require software companies to provide details on how their programs work, and create an agency that would have jurisdiction over digital copyright issues, including how often music can be legally copied by a customer for personal use and ensuring compatibility across devices.

Unlike the Assembly version, the Senate version does not contain provisions that would require manufacturers such as Apple and Sony to open all music sold on their platforms to work on players other than their own. Currently, the stores for Apple and Sony sell music only for use on their own players. Critics of the changes say that the Senate’s changes would defeat the purpose of the bill.

The two versions must now be reconciled in conference committee, a process that could take months.

Speaking in support of the bill, Assembly member Christian Paul said, “We oppose the idea that the seller of a song or any kind of work can impose on the consumer the way to read it, forever, and especially in the consumer’s home. Can we allow a couple of vendors to establish monopolies tightly controlling their clients and excluding competition?”

Christian Vanneste, the National Assembly sponsor of the iPod bill, said, “In France, there are two distinct mentalities. On one side is the backwards left, which is anti-American, and on the other is the right, which thinks that the U.S.A. shouldn’t be the only one with good ideas, and who want to compete with them.”

After the National Assembly’s vote in March, Apple denounced the measure as “state-sponsored piracy.” They refused to comment on the legislation after the Senate’s vote on May 10.

Francisco Mingorance, European policy director for the Business Software Alliance, said that the Assembly’s proposal is “about ripping off technology from those who developed it and putting it in the public domain.” The Business Software Alliance represents Apple, Dell, Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and other major computer hardware and software companies.

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Oct
10

Kenya government fires health worker strikers over failure to ‘report back to work’

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Kenya government fires health worker strikers over failure to ‘report back to work’

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Kenyan government has dismissed 25,000 striking health workers, mostly nurses, citing failure to heed government orders to recommence work and concern for the welfare of hospital patients. Speaking on behalf of the government, Alfred Mutua stated the workers were dismissed “illegally striking” and “[defying] the directive … to report back to work”, which he called “unethical”. The government asks that “[a]ll qualified health professionals, who are unemployed and/or retired have been advised to report to their nearest health facility for interviews and deployment”, Mutua stated.

The workers, who had been on strike for four days, were wishing to have improvements made to their wages, working conditions, and allowances. The strikes have caused a significant number of Kenyan hospitals to cease operations. According to Kenya Health Professionals Society spokesperson Alex Orina, the average monthly wage plus allowances for health workers in Kenya is KSh25,000 (£193, US$302 or €230) approximately. With an increasing number of reports of patients neglected in hospitals emerging, two trade unions met with the Kenyan government yesterday and negotitated a return to work, although a significant proportion of demonstrators defied the agreement, The Guardian reported.

Orina told Reuters the dismissals were “cat-and-mouse games, you cannot sack an entire workforce. It is a ploy to get us to rush back to work, but our strike continues until our demands are met”. Frederick Omiah, a member of the same society, believed the government’s actions would “make an already delicate and volatile situation worse”, expressing concern that demonstrations may continue in the capital Nairobi, amongst other locations. Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union chairperson Dr. Victor Ng’ani described government actions as “reckless”.

Mutua said the health workers were “no longer employees of the government” and had been eliminated from the payroll. While Ng’ani told the BBC of difficulties with finding other workers as skilled and experienced, Mutua reportedly stated that this would not be an issue. “We have over 100,000 to 200,000 health professionals looking for work today,” Mutua commented. “There will be a lag of a day or two … but it is better than letting people die on the floor, at the gate, or suffer in pain”.

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Sep
03

Two separate fighter jet crashes kill two, injure two in Afghanistan">
Two separate fighter jet crashes kill two, injure two in Afghanistan

Monday, July 20, 2009

A United States fighter jet crash on Saturday has claimed the lives of the two American pilots onboard in eastern Afghanistan, and a NATO fighter crash at Kandahar Airfield has injured two more pilots today.

The latest crash is the fifth in the space of a week. On Tuesday a helicopter was shot down, killing seven civilians. Yesterday a NATO-chartered helicopter crashed at Kandahar Airfield, killing sixteen, and another helicopter landed heavily elsewhere, injuring several people. Only Tuesday’s accident involved hostile fire.

Saturday’s accident involved a U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-15, which crashed at 3:15 a.m. Kabul time in Nawur, Ghazni. Both of those on the two-man fighter were killed. A spokseman for Ghazni’s governor stated that “The crash site was sealed off by coalition forces. Afghan police were not allowed to have access to this area.”

A board of officers will investigate the accident. “We mourn the loss of these two airmen and our thoughts are with their families, loved ones and their unit,” said a USAF statement.

Initially NATO did not identify the nationality of the pilots involved in today’s accident or the nationality or model of the aircraft involved. However the MOD of the United Kingdom later confirmed that the aircraft was an RAF Tornado GR4 which crashed on take-off. The crash occurred at 7:20 a.m. local time and the wreckage burned for five hours. Both pilots ejected safely but sustained minor injuries, they are currently being treated and assessed in hospital.

This article features in a News Brief from Audio Wikinews:

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Sep
03

Hong Kong’s recession ends, economy grows 3.3%">
Hong Kong’s recession ends, economy grows 3.3%

Friday, August 14, 2009

According to official records, Hong Kong’s economy has left a year-long recession, recording a growth of 3.3% in the second quarter ended in June. The figures, which were seasonally adjusted, were higher than forecast by economists.

As a result, the government has increased its growth predictions for 2009. Previous estimates suggested the economy would contract by 5.5% to 6.5%. Now, the contraction is only predicted to be between 3.5% and 4.5%.

“The GDP data was much better than we expected, partly because the exports were better and partly because of a pick-up in private consumption,” Bank of East Asia’s chief economist, Paul Tang, noted. “Private consumption is being driven up by stock market gains and by the property sector, which started doing well.”

However, government economist Helen Chan warned that “while we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, […] the outlook remain highly uncertain because the situations in the United States and Europe are still very weak.”

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Aug
24

MuchMusic Video Awards this Sunday in Toronto, Canada; Wikinews will be there">
MuchMusic Video Awards this Sunday in Toronto, Canada; Wikinews will be there

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wikinews will be attending The 2007 MuchMusic Video Awards this weekend, a popular annual event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. True stars will be out to play, present, and else wise schmooze at the CHUM-City Building just above the city’s Entertainment District in the Queen Street West neighbourhood.

MuchMusic is the most popular music channel in Canada, and has been holding the event since 1990. Roughly 6000 fans line the streets surrounding Much headquarters each year, and 1200 more score “the wristband” and enjoy a free festival-style show in the parking lot, watching four outdoor performance areas spread out in the downtown location. New this year is a special roof-top stage, on the top of the building.

Last year’s show reached 3.5 million viewers in Canada and 100 million around the globe, with broadcasts in 65 countries.

Performing at the show will be Avril Lavigne, Fergie, Billy Talent, Hilary Duff, Alexisonfire, Maroon 5, Belly, The Used, and Finger Eleven.

On stage presenting will be Nickelback, Jay Manuel (Canada’s Next Top Model, America’s Next Top Model), Tara Reid (American Pie, this fall’s Land of Canaan), Joss Stone, Sum 41, Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia, Grudge 2), Hedley, Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Sean Avery (New York Rangers), George, Sam Roberts, Emilie de Ravin (LOST), Marianas Trench, and Kardinal Offishall.

Photographer Robin Wong will be photographing the red carpet of the MMVAs for Wikinews and Wikipedia. He first helped the sites in April of this year, photographing Hilary Duff at MuchMusic. Wong’s extensive client list includes Fidelty Investments, Flare Magazine, Masterfile, First Light, Fashion Television, FCB Canada, Profit Magazine, Financial Post, and Publicis. His works have appeared in the 2004 and 2005 Applied Arts Awards Annual, the top publication for the creative industry.

Contents

  • 1 Still open for voting
  • 2 FLICK OFF at Gift Lounge
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Sources
  • 5 External links

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Aug
24

Politically concerned movie Zootopia wins Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film">
Politically concerned movie Zootopia wins Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

On Sunday, Disney’s Zootopia won the Oscars award for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony held at Los Angeles. Pixar’s animated short Piper won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film and Disney’s The Jungle Book won for Visual Effects.

Others competing with Zootopia in the category were Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, and Disney’s Moana. This was the first Oscar for directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore who were previously nominated for, respectively, Bolt and Wreck-It Ralph.

In the acceptance speech, director Byron Howard said, “About five years ago, almost six now, […] we got this crazy idea of talking about humanity with talking animals in the hopes that, when the film came out, it would make the world just a slightly better place.” The Disney movie addresses several social problems such as racism, sexism, prejudice, stereotyping, and fear. The New York Times said the parental guidance (PG) rated movie was “Funny, smart, thought-provoking — and musical, too.”

Before announcing the award, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal said, “As a Mexican, as a Latin-American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I’m against any form of wall that wants to separate us.” The movie was released in March, during the 2016 US presidential race.

In an interview with Variety, the directors of Zootopia said movies about bias and discrimination haven’t been Disney’s main focus, but during its production, “Things were not great in the world. […] It was more like we had our finger on something important right now and we really need to do our best to portray this as honestly as we can. Then with the election and the campaign, the real move towards governing by fear […] I don’t think we could have predicted it any closer with this film.”

With this win, the Walt Disney Company has won nine out of ten Best Animated Feature Film Oscars in the last decade, with Pixar Animation Studio winning six out of them. Zootopia also won Best Animated Film at the Annie Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.

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Aug
24

Australian senator to oppose petrol deregulation">
Australian senator to oppose petrol deregulation

Monday, May 15, 2006

Australian senator Barnaby Joyce (Nationals, Queensland) has moved to oppose the government’s planned changes to the country’s petrol retail industry. The National Party, of which Senator Joyce is a member, governs Australia in coalition with the Liberal Party.

The government plans to amend regulations governing the petrol industry to allow oil companies to own more than five percent of petrol stations. Senator Joyce has given notice to disallow regulations that would force the government to debate them in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Senator Joyce said the proposed changes would hurt the smaller retailers in the industry. “What we need is protection for independents and mum and dad businesses,” he told the Australian Financial Review.

Senator Joyce is concerned that the proposed regulations would start takeovers of smaller retailers by oil companies. “Obviously the sites they’re going to get are the sites that are controlled by independents or independent franchisees, what I would term the mum and dad operators,” he said.

“In 1980 we thought it was a good thing for there to be wider participation in the retail market by mum and dad operators and I still think that’s a just cause,” said Senator Joyce.

It is not the first time Senator Joyce has gone against his party’s legislation. Senator Joyce refused to support a government bill changing Australia’s trade practices law in October 2005 and voted against voluntary student unionism legislation in December 2005.

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Aug
23

Critical Questions To Ask Of A Window Company

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Replacing the windows in your home is something that is not an everyday topic around the dinner table but when the time comes to choose a window company in Honolulu HI to supply and install replacement windows there are a number of things you will want to brush up on. You will want to know that the company you finally choose is one which will have provided you with excellent advice during the assessment stage and has a verifiable track record for excellence.

There are a number of salient questions that should be asked as you go through the process of selecting the Window Company in Honolulu HI that will eventually be given your business. Any top-tier window company will gladly answer all your questions and just as it makes a lot of senses to get more than one quotation; it makes equal sense to ask several window companies the same questions. It is important that you feel confident that you have chosen the best windows available and the best window company to supply and install them.

Here are a few critical questions that you should ask the candidates for your business:

* Get the full name and address of the company. If all you get is a PO Box number then insist on their street address. If at all possible try to eventually choose a window company which is reasonably close to your home, you can usually expect better service and response in the future.

* Is the company fully insured? Do not consider working with a window company that does not carry liability insurance and workers comp, these insurances will protect you in the event there is an unfortunate accident while the company personnel are on site.

* Make sure the company is licensed by the state or city whichever is applicable. Remember, having a license to operate means that the contractor has had to pass certain criteria. A business license is not the same; it is a tax requirement and bears no relevance to the skills of the contractor.

* Find out how long the company has been in business. The longer the better is the key, any company that say less than five years old might still be learning the business. Of course, every business has to start somewhere; this is when it’s a good idea to check references and the BBB to see if there have been any problems in the past that have not been satisfactorily solved.

Along with the warranty on workmanship and the company’s record in solving problems all you have to do is ask the companies that you feel comfortable with for a written proposal that fully details what you and the window company have agreed upon in full.

CCC; Custom Contracts, Inc. are a window company in Honolulu HI that have been servicing the needs of the community for over 25 years. As specialists in window replacement they have been selected to install over 200,000 windows and counting.

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Aug
18

Woman with world’s longest fingernails loses them in car crash">
Woman with world’s longest fingernails loses them in car crash

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A woman who held the Guinness World Record for having the world’s longest fingernails has lost them in a four-car accident in her hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States.

66-year-old Lee Redmond was seriously injured after she was ejected from the sports utility vehicle (SUV) she had been a passenger in. It had collided with one car, causing it to collide with two other cars on Tuesday February 10. She is expected to make a full recovery.

“[Her nails] were damaged beyond repair,” reported the BBC, quoting Guinness World Records, who also said that Redmond’s nails were “a fundamental part of her life and unique character”. The cause of the crash is not yet known and an investigation is ongoing.

Redmond is credited by the Guinness Book for having a combined fingernail length of 28 feet, the longest on record. She has been growing all eight fingers and two thumbnails since 1979. Her longest of all nails was her right thumb, which was 2ft and eleven inches long.

Before Redmond was named as the record holder in 2006, Shridhar Chillal from India had the longest at a combined length of just over twenty feet.

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