New Jersey officials: Stimulus bill hurting Atlantic City casinos

Posted by s8KR2i on August 18, 2018 - 1:09 am

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A New Jersey congressman says restrictions on federal stimulus money are hurting gaming destinations like Atlantic City, and he is seeking to repeal a provision banning the use of funds for casinos or other gaming establishments.

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“The demonization of gaming destinations such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City for business travel is wrong, wrong, wrong,” U.S. Rep Frank LoBiondo said Friday during a press conference in front of Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

The $787 billion federal stimulus bill passed in February specifically prohibits casinos from applying for funds for infrastructure improvements and other similar projects. LoBiondo said Atlantic City is losing millions of dollars in business as a result of that provision.

Casinos’ revenues dropped 19.2 percent in February 2009 month compared to February 2008, according to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. LoBiondo said $160 million worth of business and 120,000 visitors have chosen other cities for their tourism plans due to the stimulus bill, according to Atlantic City Convention Center figures.

The administration also recently determined other groups like nonprofit organizations and local governments may not spend their stimulus money at casino properties. State officials said the rules are damaging a major pillar of the New Jersey economy.

“Are those jobs somehow less important or less meaningful than those in the manufacturing, retail or financial industries?” said Ken Calemmo, chairman-elect of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

Anti-gambling officials said the stimulus law does not prohibit casinos from taking advantage of tax breaks, and Atlantic City officials should not complain about the stimulus bill because the city is too reliant on an unreliable revenue stream.

“There isn’t a state, including New Jersey or Nevada, that could gamble themselves rich, any more than an individual could gamble themselves rich,” said Tom Grey, field director for StopPredatoryGambling.org. “They should’ve diversified (the economy) instead of chasing their loss.”

But Joe Kelly, chamber president, said 35,000 people work at New Jersey casinos, and thousands more around the state work for outside vendors that depend on casinos for their business.

“It is not just an Atlantic County issue. It is not just a Cape May issue,” Kelly said. “There’s purchasing done by every county.”

LoBiondo is working to repeal the provision with U.S. Rep Shelly Berkley, co-chair of the Congressional Gaming Cascus, and has reached out to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has a history of representing the interests of the gaming industry.

Polaroid goes bankrupt

Posted by s8KR2i on August 17, 2018 - 1:16 am

Friday, December 19, 2008

Camera company Polaroid has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States. The firm, famed for the introduction of instant photography, says alleged fraud by the founder of their parent group is to blame.

Owned since 2005 by Petters Group Worldwide, Polaroid says that the group’s founder Tom Petters is “under investigation for alleged acts of fraud that have compromised the financial condition of Polaroid.” Authorities believe Petter, currently in police custody, was running fraud worth £3 billion, something he denies.

Petters Group, itself, filed for bankruptcy in October. Both firms now face restructuring, which Polaroid is confident won’t affect daily operations — in fact, the company is “planning for new product launches in 2009,” and claims to have “entered bankruptcy with ample cash reserves sufficient to finance the company’s reorganization under Chapter 11.”

Polaroid has further said that employees will be paid without interruption, and that while members of Petters Group are under investigation for fraud, Polaroid’s management is not. The company, based in Minnesota, also has subsidiaries which will enter bankruptcy with it.

Locally designed, low emissions car launched in Qatar

Posted by s8KR2i on August 17, 2018 - 1:15 am

Friday, November 30, 2012

Qatari non-profit organization Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD) launched a low emissions car at the 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 18) in Doha. The car was designed and developed in Qatar.

Revealed during a press conference at the Qatar National Convention Centre, the car in addition to an internal combustion engine, includes an automotive thermoelectric generator designed to capture waste heat to produce hydrogen. GORD expects the heat waste collecting system to be compatible with any gasoline or compressed natural gas car.

GORD chairman Dr Al-Horr summarised the key concepts of the invention in a statement saying, “Our car produces electricity at no cost by capturing thermal waste energy, reducing costs and eliminating the need for an external source of electricity. Also, bulky compressed-hydrogen cylinders are a thing of the past, as our concept accomplishes the production of hydrogen by using water through fuel cells integrated within the car.”

Most of the energy in Qatari vehicle comes from the the car’s gasoline tank, supplemented by a thin film photo-voltaic panel on the roof. Normally in a combustion engine, chemical energy stored in a fuel, such as gasoline, is converted into heat energy through combustion. This heat energy is then converted into mechanical energy, manifested as an increase in pressure in the combustion chamber due to the kinetic energy of the combustion gases. The kinetic energy of these combustion gases are then converted into work; because of the inefficiencies in converting chemical energy into useful work, internal combustion engines have a theoretical maximum effiecincy of 37% (with what is achievable in day to day applications being about half of this). Of the chemical energy in the consumed fuel used by an internal combustion engine 40% is dissipated as waste heat. However, the Qatari vehicle uses a thermoelectric generator to convert this waste heat into electricity. Such generators are used in space vehicles, and produce electricity when thermoelectric materials are subjected to a temperature gradient, the greater the gradient the greater the amount of electrcity produced. In the GORD vehicle the electricity produced is used to electrolyse potable water to produce hydrogen which can be introduced into the vehicle’s existing fuel system.

The researchers showed that the heat waste collection engine caused a decrease in the car’s emissions, including a decrease of carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide emissions by more than 50%, the fuel efficiency increasing by 20%. On its website, GORD said that the heat waste collector engine is universal, “Any car can be adapted to accommodate the system as it doesn’t alter any electro-mechanical systems”.

Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Posted by s8KR2i on August 17, 2018 - 1:08 am

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

Blue Security anti-spam community target of large-scale spam attack

Posted by s8KR2i on August 16, 2018 - 1:14 am

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Beginning Monday morning, many BlueFrog and Blue Security users began receiving an email warning them that if they did not remove their email addresses from the Blue Security registry, they would begin to receive huge amounts of unsolicited email. As quickly as four hours after the initial warning message, some users began to receive an unprecedented amount of spam. Most of the messages were simply useless text. Users reported that Blue Security’s website was unavailable or extremely slow in responding.

Blue Security is an online community dedicated to fighting spam. As they became more popular, their member list increased substantially. The members’ email address is encrypted and added to a list of e-mail addresses that wish to stop receiving spam. Blue Security maintains the encrypted list, which uses an encrypted hash function. Spammers are encouraged to remove all addressed from their email list that are also in Blue Security’s Do Not Intrude Registry by using free compliance tools available at Blue Security’s web site.

According to Blue Security’s web site, “A major spammer had started spamming our members with discouraging messages in an attempt to demoralize our community. This spammer is using mailing lists he already owns that may contain addresses of some community members.” Reportedly, Blue Security has received complaints from users about spam allegedly sent from Blue Security promoting their anti-spam solution and web site.

Blue Security states they are “an anti-spam company determined to fight spam and as such never has and never will send unsolicited email.” There are also reports of non-users of BlueSecurity/BlueFrog receiving the warning emails, which now seems is also being sent to email addresses of people who have never added their email address to Blue Security’s Do Not Intrude Registry.

Texan bystanders kill car passenger after child injured

Posted by s8KR2i on August 15, 2018 - 1:36 am

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A man who was trying to protect the driver of a vehicle that had hit a child pedestrian was killed by an angry crowd the evening of Wednesday, June 20, in Austin, Texas.

The man was identified today by Austin police as David Rivas Morales, age 40. The driver had just dropped Morales off at his sister’s townhouse moments before. Then while still in the parking lot, he allegedly bumped the toddler with the vehicle. The child was not injured and was not taken to the hospital. A group of 3 or 4 men confronted the driver and Morales came back to assist him. The assailants then turned on Morales. Police indicated the driver, who had escaped the scene of the crime, was cooperating with the investigation. Morales died at the hospital from injuries that included a cracked skull and brain hemorrhaging.

The neighborhood was crowded at the time with some 2,000 to 3,000 people who were participating in the annual Juneteenth celebration, which commemorates the day the emancipation of slaves was announced in Texas. It was not immediately known whether any of the attackers had been part of the celebration.

In a news conference on Wednesday, members of League of United Latin American Citizens called on the community not to assume the killing was racially motivated solely because Juneteenth celebrants are predominately African-American and the victim was Latino. Police officers stated that early reports were incorrect in implying thousands of potential witnesses, as investigations suggested only 10 to 15 people had been in the parking lot when the incident occurred and most of these were residents of apartments nearby.

2012 Olympics clash with Ramadan

Posted by s8KR2i on August 15, 2018 - 1:13 am

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Muslim groups from across the world are criticising the organisers of the 2012 Olympics in London after it was revealed that the games will take place over Ramadan. The most holy month in the Muslim calendar, which will take place from the 21 July to 20 August in 2012, involves fasting during daylight hours and will affect an estimated 3,000 athletes.

Joanna Manning Cooper, spokesman for the games said: “We did know about it when we submitted our bid and we have always believed that we could find ways to accommodate it.”Nevertheless, this will come as a huge embarrassment for the organisers who have tried to ensure the event involve all of Britain’s ethnic communities.A quarter of the athletes who took part in the 2004 Athens Olympics were from predominantly Muslim countries and the fast will put any athletes involved at a clear disadvantage.

The chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjared said: “This is going to disadvantage the athletes and alienate the Asian communities by saying they don’t matter. It’s not only going to affect the participants, it’s going to affect all the people who want to watch the games.”

The president of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, Togay Bayalti, said: “This will be difficult for Muslim athletes. They don’t have to observe Ramadan if they are doing sport and travelling but they will have to decide whether it is important to them. “It would be nice for the friendship of the Games if they had chosen a different date.”

The games will run from the 27 July to 12 August to coincide with the British Summer holidays. The summer holidays are a six week period running from mid July to early September. During this time, public transportation is generally less crowded and it will be easier to find the 70,000 volunteers needed to keep the games running. The International Olympics Committee has specified that the games must take place between July 15 to August 31. Giselle Davies, IOC spokesperson said, “We give a window to the five bid cities. The host city selects the dates within that window.”

The organisers are working with the Muslim Council of Great Britain to find ways around the problem.

News briefs:July 14, 2010

Posted by s8KR2i on August 15, 2018 - 1:06 am
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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Posted by s8KR2i on August 12, 2018 - 1:17 am

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.