Italian chocolatemaker Ferrero rules out buying UK’s Cadbury


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Italian chocolatemaker Ferrero has ruled out making a bid to purchase United Kingdom confectioners Cadbury. The move comes after Cadbury’s board recommended accepting a takeover bid by United States firm Kraft that valued the company at £11.9 billion sterling.

Ferrero is best known for its Rocher branded chocolates and the advertisements that accompany them. It had been rumoured that the Italians would team up with another US firm, Hershey, to submit a joint bid for Cadbury. However, on Friday Hershey decided not to attempt to purchase Cadbury, who are most famous for Dairy Milk chocolates.

Both companies had been given yesterday as their deadline to declare their intentions regarding their British rival. Kraft now seem likely to achieve their aim of buying up the confectioner, after four months of negotiations and an offer that was increased twice. Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 said Ferrero had backed out because of the amount of debt they would need to take on and a perceived requirement for job cuts.

Kraft are offering 500p cash per Cadbury share, plus Kraft stock. However, if some investors accept extra Kraft shares then up to 799p. The deal gives Cadbury a total value of 837p, down from the 850p orignally offered due to fluctuations in the exchange rate between the United States dollar and the pound sterling. “The final offer’s value will change as the Kraft Foods share price and the USD/GBP exchange rate change,” explained Kraft.

Jeremy Batstone-Carr, an analyst with Charles Stanley, said British stock investors were likely to not want Kraft shares. “UK-based investors are unlikely to want to hold Kraft stock… We believe that as many as half these holders… will be looking for alternative investment destinations here in the UK.” Shareholders have until February 2 to consider the offer. If they accept, Cadbury will cease to be an independant company, which it has been since it was founded in 1824.

Space Shuttle Discovery STS-114 landing postponed for weather/Brief


NASA has cancelled today’s planned landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Officials initially delayed the landing, but finally cancelled any attempts for today citing the reason as being “unstable, unacceptable cloud cover [with the] potential for showers in vicinity of landing site.” There will be two more opportunities tomorrow morning.

Iran to build ten new uranium enrichment plants


Monday, November 30, 2009

Iran announced earlier today that it plans to build ten new uranium enrichment plants. Iranian media reported that the Cabinet approved the construction of the plants just two days after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) censured Iran for its nuclear activities.

The proposed facilities, reported to be similar to Iran’s main nuclear plant at Natanz, would vastly increase the nation’s capacity to produce enriched uranium. Iranian media quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that Iran should get to the point where it can produce 250 to 300 tons of nuclear fuel each year.

“We should reach a position where we can produce from 250–300 tonnes of nuclear fuel a year. To do this we must employ new centrifuges with a higher speed,” he commented.

Ahmadinejad said the new Iranian-designed centrifuges used to enrich uranium will have higher speeds than those currently being used. He added that Iran “is not joking around with anyone” when it comes to defending its nuclear rights.

The announcement seems to make good on a warning earlier in the day that pressure on Iran would force it to reduce its cooperation with the IAEA. Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said western pressure may force parliament to review the country’s stance toward the UN nuclear agency.

Iranian Members of Parliament said that “we consider the behaviour of the IAEA to be that of double standards and political. We want it to give up this double standard which has tarnished its reputation.”

The five-plus-one group of nations working on the Iran nuclear issue — the US, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany — all voted Friday for the IAEA censure of Iran for defying international demands to freeze uranium enrichment and for secretly building a nuclear facility. The move appeared to take many officials in Tehran by surprise.

The tensions coincide with problems over an IAEA proposal to send Iran’s uranium abroad for enrichment, part of a plan to ease some concerns that Iran might be pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying that the programme is for civilian purposes only. The country has offered counter-proposals to the deal, but the IAEA has not accepted any of them.

An unnamed US official said that “if [the plant construction is] carried out, [it] would constitute yet another violation of Iran’s continuing obligation of suspension of all enrichment-related activities. There remains a fleeting opportunity for Iran to engage with the international community, if only it would make that choice.”

Fifteen players leave Bolton Wanderers F.C. after relegation


Saturday, May 19, 2012

A total of fifteen players have left Bolton Wanderers F.C. after the club was relegated from England’s Premier League at the end of the season. Eleven of the players were released after their contracts expired while Nigel Reo-Coker activated a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave the club. A further three players ended their loan spells and returned to their parent clubs.

The players who have been released from the club are Ivan Klasnic, Gretar Steinsson, Ricardo Gardner, Paul Robinson, Robbie Blake, Tope Obadeyi, Sean Davis, Mark Connolly, Rhys Bennett, Dino Fazlic, and Tom Eckersley.

Striker Ivan Klasnic had one of the higher wages at the club and his departure was expected regardless of whether the club was relegated or not. He said on his website “I hope they get promoted next year to the Premier League because this team belong to the Premiership. I’ll leave the club but want to say thank you for three years. I’ll keep Bolton in my heart.”

Jamaican Ricardo Gardner, on the list of released players, had been with the club for fourteen years and manager Owen Coyle commented personally on his release. He said “One of those [players released] is Ricardo Gardner, who has been with the football club for 14 years. He has offered incredible service to Bolton Wanderers and I’d like to personally thank him for all of his efforts, particularly during the time I have worked with him.”

Nigel Reo-Coker left the club on his own accord after activating a release clause in his contract. Coyle said “I was clear with Nigel. I asked him straight away whether he wanted to be a part of what we are going to do next season. He was honest and up front with us, because that is the type of man he is, and said that he wanted to exercise the clause in his contract, and so we wish him well.”

The other three players to leave Wanderers are Tuncay, Ryo Miyachi, and Dedryck Boyata who all spent time with Bolton under loan agreements. The three players have returned to their parent clubs.

However, striker Kevin Davies has a new contract for one year, while defender Sam Ricketts added a two year extension to his contract. Veteran goal keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and Zat Knight are still currently in contract negotiations.

Coyle said in a statement on behalf of the club that “I would also like to thank the players that are leaving the club for their work at Bolton Wanderers. We wish them all well.”

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Ivan Klasnic leaves after three years with the club

Nigel Reo-Coker activated a release clause in his contract

Defender Gretar Steinsson is one of many to be released

Tuncay’s loan spell expired at the end of the season

As did Ryo Miyaichi’s

and Dedryck Boyata’s

Jussi Jaaskelainen is still in neogotiations over a new deal

Zat Knight’s Bolton future isn’t certain yet

Kevin Davies has signed a new one year deal

White House, Capitol Building evacuated as small plane enters no-fly zone


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Two men were taken into custody for violating the no-fly zone surrounding the U.S. national capital in Washington D.C.

The Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, the Department of the Treasury and the White House were evacuated around noon Wednesday. People in the vicinity were told to head to a rail station approximately a half mile south of the White House. Reporters in the White House itself were told to move into the basement.

President Bush was not in the White House at the time. CNN and Bloomberg have reported that the President was on a bicycle ride; CTV has reported that he was at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.

Wire sources report the cause of the evacuation as being a small plane that wandered into the no-fly zone. The craft was reportedly a Cessna 150, which flew into restricted space, left the area, and then returned. It was then escorted out of the zone by two F-16s that fired warning flares at it.

MSNBC reported that a ‘lure motorcade’ drove away from the White House.

Authorities gave the “all-clear” signal a few minutes after the evacuation. Other government agencies outside of the immediate area were largely unaffected.

At the time of the police-ordered evacuation, Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL, was on the Senate floor. “They said get out of here, so I ran. There’s no joking about this kind of stuff,” Shelby said.

The two men who were flying the aircraft were on their way to an air show when they slipped into Washington D.C.’s Restricted Airspace (image at right). Their plane was escorted to a Maryland airport where they were taken into custody and interviewed by authorities. Once it became clear the incident had been a mistake, the two men were released.

In Washington, D.C., a 25 km radius from the Washington Monument is restricted air space.

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.

Vancouver will run out of office space in 5 years


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In Vancouver, a 20-year urban success story may yet have a sad ending. The city’s downtown population has doubled to 80,000 in the last 20 years thanks to Vancouver’s “Living First” policy – a planning strategy that favors residential development over commercial. And planners are expecting the population to reach more than 120,000 by 2030. But while downtown booms with people, business is busting. The International Herald Tribune reports that the city’s recently-released jobs and land-use study is estimating that downtown Vancouver may run out of commercial and office space within 5 years.

The ‘Vancouver problem’ is one that many cities in the United States could only hope to have. On the contrary, much effort has been put into bringing residential life back into the city centres. In Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, and Washington, D.C. there has been a condominium boom in recent years, but these cities are far from the situation Vancouver faces now.

To counter the trend in Vancouver, planners are proposing changes to the city’s zoning regulations, including the passage of more lenient building height restrictions. But because residential developments are so much more profitable than commercial and office space, some public officials are proposing offering better incentives to the developers willing to build commercial. Another option is to expand the moratorium that was placed on new housing development in the central business district two years ago.

Translink is currently involved in a major expansion of the 49.5 km (30.8 mi) Skytrain system centred on downtown Vancouver. Construction of the Canada and Evergreen lines is underway. The former will be complete in 2009, and the latter in 2011.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:SkyTrain_Future_V2.png

Wikinews interviews Brooks Lindsay, founder of Debatepedia


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A reporter from Wikinews recently interviewed Brooks Lindsay, who is the founder of the online wiki Debatepedia, which claims to be the ‘Wikipedia of Debates.’

Brooks told Wikinews that “Debatepedia is a non-profit, free wiki encyclopedia of debates, pro and con arguments, and supporting evidence and quotes from scholars, experts, and op-ed writers (those figures that are actively engaged in these public debates).” He continued with “some people have called it the ‘Wikipedia of debate’, which is a pretty accurate description of what we are trying to do.”

He finished by stating that the site is “trying to cover all of the pro and con arguments in any public debate, on any topic from a global to a local level, from any region in the world, and hopefully, in the future, in any language. The objective is to frame debates in a pro/con structure – when they appropriately belong in a pro/con structure – so that people can effectively “weigh” the “sides” in a debate, deliberate, draw conclusions, and take a stand. “

The second question asked why he founded Debatepedia. He replied by saying that “With arguments, evidence, and quotes being scattered across the Internet, it is currently too difficult for citizens to view all the pros and cons, quotes, and supporting evidence in debates, deliberate and take a stand. We are trying to fill this void, on a global scale, and by open-sourcing the effort over MediaWiki software.”

When asked how Debatepedia will develop in the future Brooks said that he expects “the community of editors to grow to a much greater extent.” He also said that he hoped to be able to “clean up some of the software elements,” of the site.

When questioned about the importance of Debatepedia, Mr. Lindsay said that “Debatepedia is important for the reader and citizen as a tool to deliberate more effectively, develop greater conviction in what is righteous and what is not, and to generally increase citizen-engagement in debates, issues, and advocacy, across the world. For the writer, it is a way to have a greater voice and impact on other people, and other people’s thinking; it’s a great public service to help edit on Debatepedia, like on Wikipedia. Finally, there is the potential that Debatepedia will be used by leaders and representatives as a way to deliberate through a topic that they have to vote on, or as a destination to direct constituents to deliberate.” He said it was “perhaps a lofty goal, but real nevertheless.”

Jersey child abuse case ‘was not covered up’


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Frank Walker, the chief minister of Jersey, a United Kingdom Crown dependency off the coast of Normandy, France, denies that there was a cover up after a child’s remains were found.

The allegations of a cover-up stem from statements by Stuart Syvret. Syvret, the former Minister for Health and Social Services for Jersey, said that “It’s a continuum that we see. It’s a culture of cover-up and concealment and tragically the recent evidence is just the latest manifestation of that.”

It has come to light that Edward Paisnel, a notorious pedophile, used to visit the Haut de la Garenne children’s home dressed as Father Christmas. Paisnel in 1971, was given a sentence of 30 years for 13 counts of assault, rape and sodomy.

Syvret says he was dismissed from his ministerial position after highlighting the “torture” of 11 to 16-year-olds in the island’s care homes. He claimed he was “sacked for whistleblowing”.

Police are currently investigating twenty-seven cases of child abuse on the island and recently discovered the body of one child at a care home Haut de la Garenne in St. Martin, and with a potential six sites in the area where more bodies may be located. The home was closed in 1986 and since 2003 it has served as a youth hostel.

Jersey’s deputy police chief, Lenny Harper said “Part of the inquiry will be the fact that a lot of the victims tried to report their assaults but for some reason or another they were not dealt with as they should be.”

Harper added that “no evidence of a cover-up of any Jersey government” has been found. “We are looking at allegations that a number of agencies didn’t deal with things as perhaps they should.”

Syvret has encouraged the government of the United Kingdom to assign independent judges to oversee any cases that result from the investigations.

Builders originally uncovered a body at the care home in 2003 but it was only since an operation investigate child abuse started in 2006 that progress has been made. An ex-minister of the States of Jersey, the parliament of the island, has criticised the handling of the case, stating that abuse cases were mishandled.

Walker told senators that all necessary resources would be use to find the abusers. “None of us imagined that children in Jersey could be abused and mistreated in the way that is being suggested,” the BBC have quoted him as saying. “I express my shock and horror that these things have apparently happened within our island.”

Specialist police from the United Kingdom have been investigating after an enquiry turned up 140 sources verifying the claims of abuse.

Police report drug haul seizure worth up to £30 million in Brownhills, England


Monday, December 2, 2013

Police in the West Midlands in England today said nearly 200 kilograms worth of drugs with value possibly as great as £30 million (about US$49 million or €36 million) has been seized from a unit in the town of Brownhills. In what an officer described as “one of the largest [seizures] in the force’s 39 year history”, West Midlands Police reported recovering six big cellophane-wrapped cardboard boxes containing cannabis, cocaine, and MDMA (“ecstasy”) in a police raid operation on the Maybrook Industrial Estate in the town on Wednesday.

The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated

The seized boxes, which had been loaded onto five freight pallets, contained 120 one-kilogram bags of cannabis, 50 one-kilogram bags of MDMA, and five one-kilogram bricks of cocaine. In a press release, West Midlands Police described what happened after officers found the drugs as they were being unloaded in the operation. “When officers opened the boxes they discovered a deep layer of protective foam chips beneath which the drugs were carefully layered”, the force said. “All the drugs were wrapped in thick plastic bags taped closed with the cannabis vacuum packed to prevent its distinctive pungent aroma from drawing unwanted attention.” Police moved the drugs via forklift truck to a flatbed lorry to remove them.

Detective Sergeant Carl Russell of West Midlands Police’s Force CID said the seizure was the largest he had ever made in the 24 years he has been in West Midlands Police and one of the biggest seizures the force has made since its formation in 1974. “The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated”, he said. “The drugs had almost certainly been packed to order ready for shipping within Britain but possibly even further afield. Our operation will have a national effect and we are working closely with a range of law enforcement agencies to identify those involved in this crime at whatever level.”

Expert testing on the drugs is ongoing. Estimates described as “conservative” suggest the value of the drugs amounts to £10 million (about US$16.4 million or €12 million), although they could be worth as much as £30 million, subject to purity tests, police said.

Police arrested three men at the unit on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug. The men, a 50-year-old from Brownhills, a 51-year-old from the Norton area of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, and one aged 53 from Brownhills, have been released on bail as police investigations to “hunt those responsible” continue. West Midlands Police told Wikinews no person has yet been charged in connection with the seizure. Supplying a controlled drug is an imprisonable offence in England, although length of jail sentences vary according to the class and quantity of drugs and the significance of offenders’ roles in committing the crime.

Lobby groups oppose plans for EU copyright extension


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The European Commission currently has proposals on the table to extend performers’ copyright terms. Described by Professor Martin Kretschmer as the “Beatles Extension Act”, the proposed measure would extend copyright from 50 to 95 years after recording. A vast number of classical tracks are at stake; the copyright on recordings from the fifties and early sixties is nearing its expiration date, after which it would normally enter the public domain or become ‘public property’. E.U. Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy is proposing this extension, and if the other relevant Directorate Generales (Information Society, Consumers, Culture, Trade, Competition, etc.) agree with the proposal, it will be sent to the European Parliament.

Wikinews contacted Erik Josefsson, European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (E.F.F.), who invited us to Brussels, the heart of E.U. policy making, to discuss this new proposal and its implications. Expecting an office interview, we arrived to discover that the event was a party and meetup conveniently coinciding with FOSDEM 2008 (the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting). The meetup was in a sprawling city centre apartment festooned with E.F.F. flags and looked to be a party that would go on into the early hours of the morning with copious food and drink on tap. As more people showed up for the event it turned out that it was a truly international crowd, with guests from all over Europe.

Eddan Katz, the new International Affairs Director of the E.F.F., had come over from the U.S. to connect to the European E.F.F. network, and he gladly took part in our interview. Eddan Katz explained that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is “A non-profit organisation working to protect civil liberties and freedoms online. The E.F.F. has fought for information privacy rights online, in relation to both the government and companies who, with insufficient transparency, collect, aggregate and make abuse of information about individuals.” Another major focus of their advocacy is intellectual property, said Eddan: “The E.F.F. represents what would be the public interest, those parts of society that don’t have a concentration of power, that the private interests do have in terms of lobbying.”

Becky Hogge, Executive Director of the U.K.’s Open Rights Group (O.R.G.), joined our discussion as well. “The goals of the Open Rights Group are very simple: we speak up whenever we see civil, consumer or human rights being affected by the poor implementation or the poor regulation of new technologies,” Becky summarised. “In that sense, people call us -I mean the E.F.F. has been around, in internet years, since the beginning of time- but the Open Rights Group is often called the British E.F.F.

Contents

  • 1 The interview
    • 1.1 Cliff Richard’s pension
    • 1.2 Perpetual patents?
    • 1.3 The fight moves from the U.K. to Europe
    • 1.4 Reclaiming democratic processes in the E.U.
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links