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Obama’s first State of the Union speech focuses on economy, jobs

October 18th, 2019

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

In his first annual State of the Union address Wednesday night, United States President Barack Obama urged Americans to overcome a deficit of trust in government and work together to solve a damaged economy and other problems.

Obama acknowledged that many Americans are frustrated and angry, doubting whether he can deliver the change he promised in his 2008 campaign. But he said change is not easy, and he will continue to pursue it. “We do not quit. I do not quit. Let us seize this moment-to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more,” he said.

In his hour-long speech before both houses of the United States Congress, the president several times confronted the public anger that has caused his approval ratings to slide. “We have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust-deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years,” he said.

Much of Americans’ frustration concerns the nation’s stubborn 10-percent unemployment rate. Obama called for a number of initiatives to address the problem and urged the Senate to join the House of Representatives in passing a second jobs bill. “People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help. And, I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay,” he said.

Among the president’s economic goals are doubling U.S. exports in five years and freezing most domestic government spending for three years, starting in 2011. Obama also called upon lawmakers to continue earmark reform, saying, “Tonight, I’m calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there’s a vote, so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.”

Obama urged Democratic lawmakers not to abandon the effort to reform the U.S. health care system, one of his administration’s main priorities. “Do not walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people,” he said.

He called on both Democrats and Republicans to overcome their bitter partisan divisions and work together to pass legislation to solve problems. “What frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day,” he said. “We cannot wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side. A belief ‘if you lose, I win.'”

On foreign policy, President Obama again pledged to remove all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of August. “But make no mistake: this war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home,” Obama said.

He also said he is confident the United States will succeed in the war in Afghanistan and that diplomatic efforts are helping isolate Iran and North Korea for their pursuit of nuclear weapons. He also addressed critics of his foreign policy agenda, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney saying, “Let’s put aside the schoolyard taunts about who is tough. Let’s reject the false choice between protecting our people and upholding our values.”

Another plan announced by Obama is to end the U.S. military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on sexual orientation of service members that has existed since the Clinton administration saying, “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.” He added, “It’s the right thing to do.”

Obama also addressed the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission saying, “With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections.” In a break of decorum, Associate Justice Samuel Alito appeared to mouth the words, “No, not true”, in response, according to many commentators.File:Bob-McDonnell sm.jpg

The Republican Party’s response to the president’s speech came from the governor of the state of Virginia, Bob McDonnell. McDonnell gave the speech from the chamber of the Virginia House of Delegates. He said Democrats are spending too much and causing an unsustainable level of debt.

The newly inaugurated governor said, “What government should not do is pile on more taxation, regulation and litigation that kill jobs and hurt the middle class.”

He also said Americans want affordable health care, but do not want the government to run it.

McDonnell also criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the suspect accused of trying to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day. He said he does not agree with the decision to try the Nigerian suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the Detroit airliner plot in a U.S. civilian court.

McDonnell is one of several Republicans who have recently won elections in states which the Democrats swept in 2008.

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Euro reaches new lows

September 18th, 2019

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Friday, July 15, 2011

On Tuesday, the Euro fell to a new record low in relation to the Swiss Franc, and to multi-month lows against the U.S. Dollar and Japanese yen; all considered by investors to be safe currencies during times of economic turmoil.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that recent comments from the newly installed head of the International Monetary Fund, France’s Christine Lagarde, resulted in a sell-off of the Euro. At a roundtable discussion in Washington, Lagarde noted that the IMF had not yet reached discussion of terms and conditions of a second Greek bailout plan. In fact, a representative from the IMF is currently meeting with Eurozone policymakers to draft such a new proposal. The yield differential between Italian bonds and German bonds has spread to more than 300 basis points, something not seen in over a decade and evidence of investors’ concern.

Adding to the Euro’s woes is the upcoming release of the bank stress tests on Friday. The European Bankers Association said that they expect the data release to shed new light on the Eurozone’s banking situation. Representatives of several of the Eurozone’s governments, including Germany, have requested that the association consider releasing fewer specific details for fear that investor panic will ensue. The inadequacy of the capitalization rates has been an issue with the European Central Bank, whose president recently called upon Eurozone banks to make every effort to put their balance sheets in order.

For the time being at least, an unsubstantiated rumor reported by the Wall Street Journal states that the Eurozone’s central banks’ purchase of periphery debt has helped to quell the downward momentum of the Euro.

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Category:Featured article

September 18th, 2019

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Featured articles are selected by the community to represent the best of Wikinews. See the Featured Article Candidates page for nominations and discussions of candidate articles for this page. Or, subscribe to the RSS feed!

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US rapper Mac Miller dies at home in Los Angeles

September 12th, 2019

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

On Friday, rapper Mac Miller was found dead in his bedroom at home in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California, United States, according to reports. He was 26.

According to news website TMZ, a friend called emergency services from Mac Miller’s apartment, in regard to a cardiac arrest. According to the coroner, Mac Miller was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigation was ongoing to identify the cause of the death.

Reports said Mac Miller previously abused drugs, which reportedly affected his two-year relationship with singer Ariana Grande. They broke up in May this year.

Mac Miller was an US rapper, singer and record producer. He was born Malcolm James McCormick in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US in 1992. In 2007, at the age of fifteen, he released his first mixtape under the nickname “EZ Mac”. He later switched to name “Mac Miller”.

British MP David Cairns dies aged 44

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British MP David Cairns dies aged 44

September 7th, 2019

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

British MP David Cairns has died at the age of 44. Cairns died at the University College London Hospital where he was admitted to intensive care in March suffering from acute pancreatitis. He had represented the constituency of Greenock and Inverclyde in Scotland since 2001 as a member of the Labour party.

Labour issued a statement saying “It is with great regret that we have to announce that David Cairns, member of parliament for Inverclyde, passed away at 2300 last night at the Royal Free, London. David had been suffering from acute pancreatitis after he was admitted as an emergency patient eight weeks ago. Our thoughts are with his partner Dermot, his father John and his brother Billy and all his many friends and family.” The statement added “David’s untimely death is a huge loss to parliament and politics in this country.”

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond called Cairns — a former Scotland Office minister — “clearly a dedicated and principled parliamentarian, and an effective representative of his constituents, who carried respect across the political spectrum and far beyond.” Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, a Liberal Democrat, said “David contributed a huge amount to Scottish political life and was a decent, intelligent and warm figure who was liked and respected across political divides.”

Cairns’s Conservative successor to the Scotland Office job said Cairns “was a truly decent man, who worked tirelessly for his constituents and for the interests of Scotland.”

Current Labour leader Ed Miliband also released a statement, saying “David will be missed beyond measure as a former minister, as an MP, as a friend and a colleague by many people.” Former prime minister Tony Blair paid tribute to him by saying “David’s life was dedicated to public service. He was a committed and conscientious constituency MP, an excellent government minister and a passionate campaigner for social justice, equality and opportunity.”

Cairns, who was a Roman Catholic priest before entering politics, was only allowed to become an MP when a new law was passed. Before 2001 a 19th-century law had stated that former Catholic priests were not allowed to stand as members of parliament. It was only when The House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Act 2001 was brought into force that he could stand for parliament.

Cairns resigned during Gordon Brown’s term as Prime Minister over disputes about Brown’s position in 2008 but was re-elected at the last general election.

Due to Cairns’s death a by-election will have to be held to decide who will become his successor.

76 dead in plane crash near Medellín, Colombia

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76 dead in plane crash near Medellín, Colombia

September 7th, 2019

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On Monday local time, a chartered flight carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members crashed on the outskirts of the city of Medellín, Colombia. The Colombian police has indicated only five people on board survived the crash.

The British Aerospace 146 was flying from Brazil to Colombia via Bolivia. The plane reported facing electrical problems near La Ceja and La Unión before crashing at roughly 10:15pm local time (0315 Tuesday UTC). The crash site had bad weather, and heavy fog prevented rescue helicopters from landing.

According to initial reports, six passengers were rescued but later one of them died in hospital.

The flight was carrying Brazilian Série A football team Chapecoense’s delegations. Chapecoense was scheduled to play Colombian club Atlético Nacional today in the Copa Sudamericana final; Copa Sudamericana is South America’s second-tier club competition, the winner of which is promoted to the first-tier competition of Copa Libertadores in the next season.

The Chapecó based club were promoted to the first division Série A in 2014. They are currently ninth in the league table and the final league match of the season was scheduled to be played on Sunday against Atlético Mineiro. Reaching the final of Copa Sudamericana was the best outcome in the club’s history.

By varying reports either 21 or 22 Brazilian football journalists where also on the flight. The five survivors include at least two football players, who have been identified as Alan Ruschel and Jakson Follmann.

South America’s governing body of football CONMEBOL has suspended the upcoming fixture. Atlético Nacional were scheduled to play the second leg of the final on December 7.

Brazilian president Michel Temer tweeted, “I express my solidarity at this sad time when dozens of Brazilian families have been affected by tragedy.” ((pt))Portuguese language: ?Nesta hora triste que a tragédia se abate sobre dezenas de famílias brasileiras, expresso minha solidariedade. Temer has also called three-day mourning in Brazil.

Atlético Nacional requested CONMEBOL award the Copa Sudamericana to Chapecoense. Several Brazilian clubs said they would loan players to Chapecoense for the upcoming season for free. They also requested Chapecoense be granted three seasons’ immunity from relegation to a lower division.

U.S. Supreme Court rules on government display of Ten Commandments

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U.S. Supreme Court rules on government display of Ten Commandments

September 7th, 2019

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Monday, June 27, 2005

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that “non-neutral” displays of the Ten Commandments in courtrooms violate the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of religious neutrality, but that “historical” displays are permitted.

In the case McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, the court ruled that the display of the Commandments in Kentucky county courthouses constituted an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. However, in the case Van Orden v. Perry heard at the same time, the court permitted the display of the Commandments in a monument at the Texas state capitol.

In the Texas case, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, writing for the majority, wrote that:

Texas has treated her Capitol grounds monuments as representing the several strands in the State’s political and legal history. The inclusion of the Ten Commandments monument in this group has a dual significance, partaking of both religion and government.

However, in the Kentucky decision, the Court ruled that the history of the Ten Commandments’ display in the courthouse was evidence of religious (and not historical) intention and that the reasoning given in legislative resolutions was not reflective of the counties’ actual intentions in their displays. Justice Souter wrote for the majority, drawing specific attention to the character of the display:

The display’s unstinting focus was on religious passages, showing that the Counties were posting the Commandments precisely because of their sectarian content. That demonstration of the government’s objective was enhanced by serial religious references and the accompanying resolution’s claim about the embodiment of ethics in Christ.

Proponents of displaying the Commandments hold that they represent the bedrock of Western legal tradition. Opponents hold that the ancient Biblical rules, which begin I am the Lord thy God, represent religious dogma, not law.

Annie Awards for animation Sunday; Wikinews will be there

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Annie Awards for animation Sunday; Wikinews will be there

September 3rd, 2019

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

This Sunday, the International Animated Film Association (Association International du Film d’Animation) or ASIFA will hand out the Annie Awards in Glendale, California. As animation’s highest honor, the crowd is always a who’s who of direction, art design, character design, layout, visual effects, and voice artists.

There are 23 award categories in the Annies, sorted into Individual Achievement and Production categories.

Perhaps the most competitive category is “Best Animated Feature”, which will be a fight between Cars (Pixar Animation Studios), Happy Feet (Warner Bros. Pictures/Village Roadshow Pictures/Kennedy Miller Production/Animal Logic Film), Monster House (Columbia Pictures/ImageMovers/Amblin), Open Season (Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures) and Over The Hedge (DreamWorks Animation).

Cars, Happy Feet, and Monster House are all nominated in the Academy Awards for the same category, perhaps signifying an edge up in the competition.

Direct-to-DVD releases are eligible for the “Best Home Entertainment Production”. Included are Bambi II (DisneyToon Studios), The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (Universal Animation Studios), and Winnie the Pooh: Shapes & Sizes (DisneyToon Studios).

Charlie and Lola, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, King of the Hill, The Fairly OddParents, and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! are all up for “Best Animated Television Production”.

“Best Animated Video Game” will be awarded to either Flushed Away The Game (D3 Publisher of America, Inc.), Monster House (THQ, Inc.), and SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature From the Krusty Krab (THQ, Inc.); the category was just created last year.

Adventure Time (Nickelodeon), Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot (Thunderbean Animation), No Time For Nuts (Blue Sky Studios), and Weird Al Yankovic Don’t Download This Song (Acme Filmworks) are all up for “Best Animated Short Subject”. Only No Time for Nuts is up for an Oscar, which has significantly different rules. “Best Animated Television Commercial” will go to either an advertisement for Candy Factory, ESPN, Hilton, St. Louis Zoo, and United Airlines.

Notably, no non-US films or productions have been nominated for any of the awards.

Contents

  • 1 Started in 1972
  • 2 Coverage upcoming
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links

ASIFA is a non-profit worldwide organization dedicated to preserving and promoting animation, which maintains national branches in 55 countries, as far away as UlanBaatar, Mongolia and Tehran. The Annies are awarded by its California chapter ASIFA-Hollywood.

The awards were started in 1972, after voice actress June Foray noticed the industry lacked a formal way to acknowledge its achievements. Performing in over 202 productions, Foray’s most known characters are Rocket J. Squirrel (Rocky and Bullwinkle) and Granny (Looney Tunes).

ASIFA also hands out “Juried Awards” to various notable figures in animation. Bill Plympton, Genndy Tartakovsky, and Andreas Deja will each win the Winsor McCay Award, in recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation. Bill Matthews, Michael Fallik, Marc Deckter, and Eric Graf will each win a Certificate of Merit. The June Foray Award will go to Stephen Worth, for his “significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.” The Ub Iwerks Award and Special Achievement award will not be handed out.

Professional photographer John Mueller will attend the ceremony on behalf of Wikinews, taking photos of nominees and the rest of America’s animation elite. Mueller was selected from a wide pool of professionals offering their services. The photos from the event will be released under the Creative Commons By Attribution license, which allows them to be used by anyone for any purpose.

Information About Clogged Drains And Professional Drain Cleaning

September 1st, 2019

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byAlma Abell

A clogged drain can be very frustrating, especially while you’re trying to go about your daily tasks. Usually when this happens, homeowners reach for the drain cleaner and plunger. When that doesn’t clear your drain, you’ve got a bigger problem. If the clog in your drain is more than you can handle, you’ll need to call a professional service for drain cleaning.

Q.) How does my drain get clogged and how can I keep it from happening in the future?

A.) Kitchen drains can clog from grease build up, bits of food that get washed down the sink and lack of maintenance. Hair and soap scum are the culprits of a bathtub drain clog. To keep your drains from clogging, never pour grease or any type of heavy liquid down your drain. Purchase drain screens for your kitchen and bathtub sinks to collect everything that doesn’t need to be washed down the drain. To easily maintain your drains, frequently pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda down your drain followed by hot water to clean and flush it out.

Q.) What will a professional plumber do to clear my drain and how much will it cost?

A.) The plumber will first inspect your drain and pipes to find out where the clog is located. The plumber will use a drain snake, which is a coiled metal tool that works like an auger, to clear the drain. This drain cleaning process normally doesn’t take very long for an experienced plumber. If the problem is more serious, such as corroded pipes, the plumber will have to remove the old pipes and replace them with new ones. Some plumbers charge by the hour and some charge by the job, so the total cost may vary between plumbing companies. When you call for service, ask about their prices upfront and take advantage of coupons and specials on their website to save money on their services.

DRAIN RIGHT SERVICES offers plumbing services to commercial and residential customers. In addition to plumbing repair and service, this licensed, bonded and insured company provides sewer clean out, hydro jetting, sewer line replacement and 24 hour emergency service. Visit their website at Drainrightservices.com for more information and to check out their online coupons.

India discontinues ?500, ?1000 denominations; releases ?2000 and new ?500 bills

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India discontinues ?500, ?1000 denominations; releases ?2000 and new ?500 bills

August 24th, 2019

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Monday, November 14, 2016

On Wednesday, India demonetised ?500 (about US$7.50) and ?1000 notes, announced as a measure to fight corruption, fake notes, and black money. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Indian citizens late Tuesday, and said 500 and 1000 rupee notes would cease to be legal tender at midnight.

To minimise possible difficulties to citizens, transactions using old 500 and 1000 rupee notes were accepted at government hospitals, railway ticket bookings, government buses, and airports. The notes were also accepted at public-sector petrol-pumps, government-authorised consumer co-operative stores, milk booths authorised by State governments, and cremation grounds till Friday midnight. These shops were obliged to have a record of their stocks and sales.

In his announcement, Modi said, “For your immediate needs, you can go to any bank, head post office or sub post office, show your identity proof like Aadhar card, voter’s card, ration card, passport, income tax PAN card number or other approved proofs and exchange your old 500 or thousand rupee notes for new notes.” ((hi))Hindi language: ??????? ???????? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ????, ???? ??, ???? ?????, ?????? ?????, ???? ?????, ????????, ???? ????? ??? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ??? ??? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ???? ???

Modi also announced those who failed to change their currency till December 30 can exchange the notes at Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s office along with a declaration form till March 31. The notes can be exchanged till December 30 at any branch of any bank across India.

By Saturday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said demonetised money equivalent to almost US$30 billion was deposited in banks across India. According to estimate, the old notes accounted for 85% of the total money in circulation. New 500 rupee and 2000 rupee notes are to be issued. Modi said RBI would exercise caution from past experience and limit the circulation of large-value notes.

International tourists could purchase up to 5000 rupees using the old notes at airport exchanges till Friday.

A limit was imposed on cash withdrawal; a maximum of 10000 rupees each day, and 20000 rupees each week, can be withdrawn. Moreover, from Thursday (November 10) till November 24, 4000 rupees can be exchanged in the banks and post offices. The amount is credited to the bank account.

Government workers were informed about demonetising when the announcement was made. Modi announced all banks would remain closed for public work on Wednesday.

In the United States, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election on Tuesday, immediately after which stock markets dropped globally. Following the US election and demonetising the money, the Indian stock market fell by 1700 points on Wednesday. Sensex lost 1,688.69 points and Nifty lost 111.55 points on the same day. Indian technology sector companies experienced loss. TCS suffered 4.93% loss and Infosys lost 2.74%.

The Indian rupee is also used in the neighbouring countries of Bhutan and Nepal. The border area uses Indian currency for day-to-day transactions. The Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan (RMA) has announced the exchange of old notes will be facilitated till December 15. RMA governor Dasho Penjore informed Indian news site The Wire, “We do not know exactly how much Indian currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 is in circulation in Bhutan. We will get a better idea after the deadline to deposit their amount”. RMA has 30% of its international exchange reserve in Indian rupees. Nepal Rastra Bank directed all Nepali banks to stop conducting transactions using the Indian rupee.

On Thursday, there were long queues in front of ATMs and banks to exchange the old notes and withdraw money. BBC reported some banks ran out of cash. Police were called to some banks to maintain discipline. Banks were open on Saturday and Sunday for money exchange.

Shops did not accept the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes. Some emphasised cash-less transaction as well. BBC reported some traders and small business owners in Delhi threatened to call a strike as this move affected their business.

eRetail websites like Amazon and Flipkart announced they would not accept the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes on Cash on Delivery orders. Amazon also announced 15% discount on gift cards worth 500 or 1000 rupees.

The government ceased all transactions using the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes before Saturday. But a Wikinews correspondent noticed a jeweler shop accepting the demonetised notes on Saturday. When questioned, the jeweler said they were accepting the old notes only on purchase. When the correspondent, who did not identify as a reporter to the shop owners, said the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes were not legal money, they said they will exchange the notes in a bank since there were 50 days to exchange with a new and legal tender. They refused to exchange old 500 rupee notes with change, asserting the customer needs to buy merchandise from their shop.

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