Airport security tightened worldwide
Airport security tightened worldwide

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Airports worldwide have implemented new security measures in the aftermath of the Christmas Day 2009 incident involving Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is accused of attempting to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan.

The BAA, the airport authority of the United Kingdom, announced Sunday that it would add full-body scanners to airports through out the country as soon as practical. The body scanners cost £100,000 (112k, US$160k) a unit and they will be implemented at all six of BAA’s controlled airports. This came after Prime Minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, said that he was committed to using the controversial technologies.

“We’ve recognised that there are new forms of weapon that are being used by al-Qaeda, so we’ve got to respond accordingly. We will do everything in our power to tighten up on the security that is essential,” said Brown to BBC News. Critics have said that the scanners are ineffective and would not have detected the weapons used in the Christmas day attack, and that they would create airport delays.

The BAA released a statement saying “It is our view that a combination of technology, intelligence and passenger profiling will help build a more robust defence against the unpredictable and changing nature of the terrorist threat to aviation,”.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the civil liberties group Liberty, said that the BAA should not profile saying, “Has no one noticed the terrorists’ ability to capitalise on discrimination, or the recruits from a range of different backgrounds? Whether on the street or at the terminal, suspicious behaviour is a sensible basis for search by policing professionals; race or religion is not.”

The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced new guidelines today about international travel to the United States. All passengers from targeted countries will have their carry-ons searched and be patted down, Politico reports. Travelers from all other nations will be searched randomly more often.

The targeted countries include Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia. Other targeted countries were not revealed for security reasons.

TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee, said in a statement that the new measures go “beyond simply looking at passports and now looks at itineraries from and through countries of interest…Because effective aviation security must begin beyond our borders, and as a result of extraordinary cooperation from our global aviation partners, TSA is mandating that every individual flying into the U.S. from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are State sponsors of terrorism or countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening. The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on U.S. bound international flights.”

The new regulations went into effect at midnight EST (05:00UTC) on January 4.

The Netherlands interior ministry announced December 30, 2009 that all passengers on commercial flights from the nation to the United States will have to be screened using the full body scanners. Originally U.S. officials advised Holland not to use such scanners due to privacy concerns, but now Guusje ter Horst said that “all possible measures will be used on flights to the U.S.” in the wake of recent events.

Nigeria will install full 3-D image scanners to all of its airports beginning this year. The suspected bomber from the Christmas day attack originated from an airport in Lagos Nigeria, which had full-body imaging machines which may have been able to pick up the bomb.

The Nigerian government has expressed discontent with the new U.S. regulations, saying that it will discriminate against the 150 million innocent Nigerians if they wish to travel to the U.S..

Heavy snow causes disruption across northwestern Europe
Heavy snow causes disruption across northwestern Europe

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wintry conditions are causing widespread disruption across parts of northwestern Europe over the past two days. Heavy snow as well as sub-zero temperatures have resulted in cancellations of hundreds of flights and caused traffic disruptions on major roads.

Many hundreds of passengers became stranded at Frankfurt Airport in Germany on Tuesday night as the airport closed, with many more flights cancelled yesterday. Tuesday in Paris, at the Charles de Gaulle Airport a quarter of the flights were cancelled. At Orly Airport a landing Tunisair slid, prompting evacuation of 140 passengers.

The Eurostar train service which connects London, United Kingdom with Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium was suspended after heavy snow. Many drivers stayed in their cars overnight in south Britain.

Maria Fanucchi from the Montmartre area of Paris said, “It was a winter wonderland for a day (yesterday [Tuesday]), but now it’s melting very fast. The streets are full of a dirty, slushy mix of black snow and water […] [my] trip to The Hague was canceled because the bus company didn’t want to risk getting stuck in the snow.”

Randy Tahtouh of Berlin said, “it snowed more then usual this year, well the public transport were not functioning properly and some roads were jammed”, and “in Friedrichsfelde, there was about 4 inches of snow.”

Helena Kristiansson from Brussels said she was stuck on a road for nine hours in 65 kilometers of queues; she tweeted, “Stuck at a road for Brussels closed since 5pm yesterday due to shoulder deep snow.. Really France? Really? #FML #fb”.

Belgium had over 1,600 kilometers of traffic jams during the Tuesday morning rush hour, reported the Touring breakdown assistance association, as lying snow on roads made driving difficult. The Belgian Pensions Minister Alexander De Croo struggled to attend the cabinet budget meeting as the snow hit. He said, “The budget won’t be simple, but just getting into Brussels to get started is a task of a different order altogether”.

Guernsey Airport, one of the major airports in the Channel Islands, opened on time this morning after heavy snow and ice caused the airport to close for a time yesterday.

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Domestic Cleaning London Guidelines To Help Keep Your House Immaculate}

Submitted by: Antoinette Wallace

There is nothing better than returning home to an inviting and clean property. This can help you to de-stress after a long day of work. In the end, do you feel much more comfortable in a dirty, disorganized home or a clean one? In this article, we will look at a handful of Domestic Cleaning London ideas to help you maintain your house in pristine condition while minimizing how much house work you need to do.

The first cleaning suggestion would be to build a daily schedule for cleaning. This might seem too much initially, but, it is going to help you to reduce your overall cleaning time. If you think about this, it’s better to perform between 10 and 20 minutes of cleaning daily, than having to clean for hours every weekend. So, form a list of chores and things that must be cleaned frequently like the floors, kitchen appliances, furniture and bathroom. After that, cover every one of these areas, on a few days of the week, so that you will not get overloaded by having to do it all in one day or weekend.

Another excellent cleaning idea is to outsource your cleaning and employ a cleaning firm. There are numerous efficient cleaning firms and they are able to clean your house, while being very trustworthy and affordable. By employing a cleaning agency, you will also be freeing up your time and you will be able to spend more time with members of the family, pursue your hobbies and passions or simply put in additional hours at work.

As you can tell, employing a cleaning company can really help you to boost your way of life, while making sure your house is always clean and inviting. The next step is to select a business; To do this, it is best to ask for recommendations from your friends and relatives and check out customer reviews of these firms on the internet.

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All you have to do is a simple Google search on the business name and see if they have customer reviews. The search engine will then show the results of different review websites where you can read other people’s experiences with that specific company and you could then decide on which company suits you, based on these reviews. Look at different agencies and see which ones have more positive reviews.

Finally, ensure that you do a trial service with the cleaning company just before you commit to long agreements. This can ensure that the cleaning firm delivers excellent quality services at a fantastic value.

To conclude, cleaning is a filthy job. However, it has to be dealt with and if you don’t have the time to accomplish it yourself, then it’s best that you book an experienced cleaning company. After you do that, you’ll wonder what took you such a long time!

If you are considering hiring a cleaning company or simply want to discover more guidelines in relation to Domestic Cleaning London, you should contact 020 3322 8905.

Copyright @ The Top Domestic Cleaning

About the Author: If you are interested in booking a cleaning firm or simply want to learn more tips about Domestic Cleaning London, remember to call 020 3322 8905 or visit our website –


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U.S. responds to Russian election hacking with expulsions, sanctions
U.S. responds to Russian election hacking with expulsions, sanctions

Saturday, December 31, 2016

On Thursday, the U.S. government expelled 35 diplomats suspected of being Russian spies, and sanctioned the G.R.U. and F.S.B. intelligence agencies. Also sanctioned are several G.S.U. officials and three companies that work with it.

This is one of many actions the Obama administration has taken in response to a CIA report issued two weeks ago that concluded the Russian government hacked servers belonging to the U.S. Republican and Democratic parties. The CIA report said this was to turn the 2016 presidential election toward president-elect Donald Trump. The alleged spies have been declared “persona non grata“; they and their families have until Sunday to leave U.S. soil but are not under arrest.

“The United States and friends and allies around the world must work together to oppose Russia’s efforts to undermine established international norms of behavior, and interfere with democratic governance,” said Obama.

Earlier this year, hackers broke into the private servers of both the Republican and Democratic political parties but only released negative information about the Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The CIA would later name the Russian government responsible. One U.S. intelligence official told Reuters this asymmetrical release of information is why the CIA concluded the goal of the hack was to help Trump win the election rather than simply to disrupt the U.S. electoral process. “Putin believed he would be much friendlier to Russia, especially on the matter of economic sanctions,” said another. The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying the expulsions were also in retaliation for harsh treatment of U.S. diplomats in Russia, citing police stops, assaults, and the public disclosure of their personal information on television.

The U.S. State Department also called for the closure of two compounds, one in Glen Cove, New York and one in Maryland near Washington D.C., where Russian diplomats go to play tennis and relax, saying they are used for “intelligence activities.” Russia’s United Nations ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, criticized the decision, citing the families with children who are currently there for the Christmas holiday.

Vladimir Putin’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Largov, suggested Russia expel 35 U.S. diplomats, a form of retaliation that would have been typical during the Cold War. Putin rejected that idea, calling it “irresponsible democracy,” instead saying he would wait for Trump to take office before deciding how to respond. The overall tone from the Moscow has been disdainful, with the head of the Russian Parliament foreign affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov saying “this is the agony not even of ‘lame ducks,’ but of ‘political corpses.'”

According to New York Times reporter David E. Sanger, these sanctions may pose a problem for president-elect Donald Trump. After his inauguration, Trump must either withdraw the sanctions or tacitly endorse them by allowing them to remain in place. Trump enjoys a warm relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin expressing both admiration for Putin personally and tolerance of his official decisions, such as the Russian military action in Crimea.

“It is time for our country to move on to bigger and better things,” said Trump of the interest in the hack. “Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of the situation.”

Trump previously expressed skepticism regarding Russia’s responsibility for the hacks, having said they could have been committed by “someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” Of the CIA, which issued the report, “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

This places Trump at odds with many other members of the Republican Party, such as senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who issued a joint statement calling for investigations into Russian interference in U.S. elections. Unlike the Democrats, who have largely applauded the expulsions, most Republicans wanted a much swifter and harsher response.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Russia has paid only a “small price” for the hack, asserting that Obama has been too soft on Russia throughout his presidency. The expulsions, unlike economic sanctions, do not apply to the country as a whole, only to specific people and organizations.

Trump has praised Putin’s decision to wait until Barack Obama is out of office before responding to these sanctions as “very smart.”

Ninety New Zealanders evacuated from Lebanon
Ninety New Zealanders evacuated from Lebanon

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ninety New Zealanders have been evacuated from war-torn Lebanon and are on their way to the safety of Cyprus. Three ships are helping in the evacuations, two British Navy and one United Nations (UN) chartered ferry.

There are 1,500 people on board the two British ships “There are definitely New Zealanders aboard, but there just isn’t an actual passenger list. We’re hoping there are quite good numbers of New Zealanders onboard,” Helen Tunnah, a spokeswoman for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), said.

Officer Andrew Greig’s family, which includes his wife and two sons, are on board the UN ferry.

This evacuation comes after Britain announced it will conduct a formal evacuation, which also includes New Zealand citizens because New Zealand does not have an embassy in Lebanon.

Israel has been attacking Lebanon for three weeks. Hundreds of civilians and two Israeli soldiers have already died due to this conflict as well as two Hezbollah fighters and about twenty Lebanese soldiers.

MFAT will help the New Zealand evacuees find accommodation and help them with getting travel arrangements. “Because of the sheer number of people wishing to leave, it is expected to take days before the evacuation is completed,” Helen Tunnah said.

Kennedy Center names 2007 honors recipients
Kennedy Center names 2007 honors recipients

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Kennedy Center announced that its 30th presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors would go to pianist Leon Fleisher, comedian Steve Martin, singer Diana Ross, director Martin Scorsese and musician Brian Wilson. The Center was opened to the public in 1971 and was envisioned as part of the National Cultural Center Act, which mandated that the independent, privately-funded institution would present a wide variety of both classical and contemporary performances, commission the creation of new artistic works, and undertake a variety of educational missions to increase awareness of the arts.

In a statement, Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman said that “with their extraordinary talent, creativity and perseverance, the five 2007 honorees have transformed the way we, as Americans, see, hear and feel the performing arts.”

Fleisher, 79, a member of the Peabody Institute‘s music faculty, is a pianist who lost use of his right hand in 1965 due to a neurological condition. He became an accomplished musician and conductor through the use of his left hand. At 67, he regained the use of his right hand. With the advent of Botox therapy, he was once more able to undertake two-hand performances in 2004, his first in four decades. “I’m very gratified by the fact that it’s an apolitical honor,” Fleisher said. “It is given by colleagues and professional people who are aware of what [an artist] has done, so it really is apolitical — and that much more of an honor.”

Martin, 62, a comedian who has written books and essays in addition to his acting and stand-up comedy career, rose to fame during his work on the American television program Saturday Night Live in the 1970’s. Schwarzman praised his work as that of a “renaissance comic whose talents wipe out the boundaries between artistic disciplines.” Martin responded to the honor saying, “I am grateful to the Kennedy Center for finally alleviating in me years of covetousness and trophy envy.”

Ross, 63, was a product of Detroit‘s Brewster-Douglass Projects when as a teeager she and friends Mary Wilson and Florence Ballardis formed The Supremes, a ground-breaking Motown act. She portrayed singer Billie Holiday in the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues, which earned her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award. “Diana Ross’ singular, instantly recognizable voice has spread romance and joy throughout the world,” said Schwarzman. Ross said she was “taken aback. It is a huge, huge honor and I am excited to be in this class of people.”

Scorsese, 64, is one of the most accomplished directors the United States ever produced, whose work includes Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, Cape Fear, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Departed, for which he won a 2006 Academy Award for Best Director after being nominated eight times. Scorsese said, “I’m very honored to be receiving this recognition from the Kennedy Center and proud to be joining the company of the very distinguished individuals who have received this honor in years past.”

Wilson, 65, along with his brothers Dennis and Carl, formed the Beach Boys in 1961. They had a series of hits that included “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Their 1966 album Pet Sounds is considered one of the most influential recordings in American music. “This is something so unexpected and I feel extremely fortunate to be in the company of such great artists,” said Wilson, who is currently on tour.

The Kennedy Center’s board of trustees is responsible for selecting honorees for “lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts.” Previous honorees, including Elton John and Steven Spielberg, also submitted recommendations. A wide variety of people were under consideration, including Emanuel Ax, Evgeny Kissin, Renee Fleming, Laurence Fishburne, Francis Ford Coppola, Melissa Etheridge and Kenny Chesney.

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will attend the center’s presentation at its opera house on December 2, 2007, which will broadcast on December 26 on CBS.

Homeschooling Resources How To Use Free Community Resources}

Homeschooling Resources – How To Use Free Community Resources


Joshua Poyoh

Homeschoolers involve themselves with various community resources on several different levels. First and most common, is simply making use of services offered – for

instance, taking a class at a museum or buying a product from a local business. Next, homeschooling families or support groups might arrange to visit a local factory to see how furniture is made, or take a tour of the local blood bank to learn how it works.

Individual homeschoolers may work as volunteers or apprentices within the community, often finding such opportunities after exploring many options. Finally, some facilities may in turn provide services for homeschoolers after they have had experience with homeschoolers working as volunteers for them.

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Don’t expect every business or museum to be eager to work with homeschoolers. Some relatively bureaucratic bodies simply haven’t any official policy for dealing with homeschoolers and so won’t even try. Some will be completely unfamiliar with homeschoolers, and a few will have had a bad previous experience with a rowdy bunch and decided not to have anything to do with homeschoolers ever again. Most who are hesitant are simply used to working with school groups, typically one grade or age at a time, and are a bit puzzled when faced with handling a mixed-age group of homeschoolers.

All homeschoolers use community resources to some extent, but unschoolers are especially interested in finding ways of connecting learning with the everyday details of life. Try looking at your community, not just as the place you live and work and shop, but as a collection of opportunities for learning. Consider a few of the possibilities you may be able to find within a short radius of your home.

Bookstores and Other Retailers

Bookstores run a close second to libraries as homeschoolers’ favorite resources. New books, used books, any books on any topic can become a part of a homeschooling curriculum. Trade books are often better information sources than many books specifically intended to be educational. Other retailers similarly useful as “curriculum” suppliers are toy stores, computer software and hardware dealers, hardware stores, nurseries and garden supply stores, and so on.

Any retail operation can be an interesting place to visit, just to see how businesses work: How do employees spend their time? Where does the stock come from? How is inventory tracked? How do the owners decide what their customers will buy? Even the most routine shopping trip can supply bits and pieces of the answers to such questions.

Museums and Other Cultural Institutions

Museums, although overtly educational, are like libraries in that they have no prerequisites for learning from them. You can pick and choose from their offerings, spending all your time in one gallery and ignoring the rest if you like. Many museums offer classes and workshops.

Joshua Poyoh is the creator of

. He writes and researches into the area of the

free homeschooling resources

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Passenger plane traveling to Iran crashes in Kyrgyzstan, killing 68
Passenger plane traveling to Iran crashes in Kyrgyzstan, killing 68

Sunday, August 24, 2008

An Itek-Air Boeing 737 flight 6875, operated by Aseman Airlines and traveling to Iran has crashed in Kyrgyzstan only 10 minutes after taking off. It is unclear how many were on board, but reports say there were at least 90 people on the plane with the crash killing 68. At least 22 are reported to have survived, including all crew members.

“According to updated information, 68 passengers were killed, including 24 Kyrgyz, five Iranians, one Turkish national, three Canadians, three Kazakhs and one Chinese,” said a spokesman for Igor Chudinov, Kyrgyzstan’s prime minister.

Reports state that members of the crew reported “technical issues” with the plane shortly after take off from Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan. Within 10 minutes the crew reported a severe loss of cabin pressure. When the plane made an emergency landing, it burst into flames. The plane was headed to Tehran, Iran.

The United States military has sent rescue equipment and crews from its base at the airport to assist the government in the incident.

2008 Taipei International Book Exibition: United Daily News makes good promotion on e-books launch
2008 Taipei International Book Exibition: United Daily News makes good promotion on e-books launch

Saturday, February 23, 2008

In the Hall 1 of 2008 Taipei International Book Exhibition, the public often think this hall as a collective from general books. But this year, United Daily News Group (????) not only participated in this show with major brands on Economic Daily News (????), Linking Publishing (?????), and United Daily News Online (????), but also announced two interactive e-books with Old Master Q and Wan-Wan (??) on Saturday (Feb. 16). With two major announcements, the General Book Hall conjoined with a fashion of comic.

The “Old Master Q” became a fashion in not only Taiwan but also Chinese-language world because readers in Chinese-language world wanted to collect whole series and recommended its series as “Must Buy Series”, its humor style attracted readers to read. After several arrangements with music and flash movies, the “Old Master Q” series will be more interactive than a simple comic book.

Joseph Chak Wong (??) ever replied a question to local media about its characteristic and said:

The characteristic from main and sub characters can be varied, even though it (the series) is filled with male characters more than females, but I will try to neutralize the story structure and characteristic with character designs.

In the afternoon, a Taiwanese famous blogger drawer “Wan-Wan” Chia-wei Hu participated the E-book launch of “Can’t I go to work? A drawing diary by Wan-Wan.”. The original author, Wan-Wan said to media and fans:

Since my published works were famous and steadily, I will do a optimization from my past drawing and try to create a significant brand to market my works into the world.

After her words, the possibility of brand establishment on Wan-Wan’s work may be increased in the future for the global marketing in comic world.

Tube train evacuated after a landslide in west London
Tube train evacuated after a landslide in west London

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Six hundred Tube passengers had to be moved to safety in west London tonight after a landslide close to a station on the London Underground.

Commuters on board an eastbound Piccadilly Line train at Boston Manor Station were evacuated after around four tonnes of debris landed on the tracks. The train collided with the rubble, but London Underground said the train stayed on the tracks. There are no reports of any injuries. Due to inspections of damage caused, the Piccadilly Line has been suspended between Northfields and Heathrow. London Underground said all of the train’s passengers were led off onto the platform at Boston Manor within 15 minutes.

A spokeswoman said: “London Underground is currently assessing the impact of an embankment landslip between Boston Manor and Northfields. Initial indications are that three to four tonnes of debris has ended up on the track. An eastbound Piccadilly Line train came into contact with the debris at Boston Manor station.”

A replacement bus service is operating between Northfields and Heathrow. Tube tickets can also be used on Heathrow Connect rail services from Ealing Broadway.

Staff at London Underground are trying to clear the debris overnight in the hope of resuming service on the line on Friday morning.

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