UK’s ITV cancels police drama “The Bill” after 27 years

UK’s ITV cancels police drama “The Bill” after 27 years

Friday, March 26, 2010

British television network ITV announced today that it will cancel long running police drama The Bill. The Bill is one of the United Kingdom’s longest running drama series, having premiered the pilot episode, entitled “Woodentop”, in 1983.

The series has suffered from declining ratings despite an overhaul in 2009 which included a move to a post-watershed time slot. In a statement, ITV announced that the cancellation was part of a “creative rethink” and that the money saved from the cancellation would be put towards shorter-term dramas. ITV’s Peter Fincham said that “The Bill has been a fixture on our screens for more than 25 years and has been the home of some of the UK’s best serial drama storylines, and a great showcase for terrific scriptwriting and fine acting talent. But times change, and so do the tastes of our audience.” Fincham went on to explain that the decision to cancel the series was a “creative decision” rather than one intended to cut costs.

Ninety people are currently employed on the production team for The Bill and production company Talkback Thames announced that there was a possibility of a “significant number of redundancies”, but the company is entering into consultation with employees. The current series will end later in 2010 and ITV will not be recommissioning it. Investing in shorter-run dramas, ITV announced that, inter alia, a new short series written by Anthony Horowitz is forthcoming.

Toronto transit workers ordered back to work

Toronto transit workers ordered back to work

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Canada’s largest public transit system is expected to resume service Sunday evening after the Ontario provincial government ordered striking Toronto transit workers back to work today. Service was shut down when transit workers suddenly walked off the job on Friday, having just voted to reject a labour contract deal made the previous weekend.

The provincial legislature met in an extraordinary Sunday afternoon session to pass Bill 66, the Toronto Public Transit Service Resumption Act, 2008 which not only orders the transit work to resume, but includes follow-up arbitration to resolve outstanding disagreements between transit management and its unions. The largest union affected is Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, but the legislation also affects workers unionised under International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 235, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2.

Union members who defy this law could be fined C$2000 per day, while the union itself would risk a daily fine of C$25,000. However, ATU Local 113 president Bob Kinnear indicated that his union would respect the law and return to work while supporting the choice of Kevin Burkett as arbitrator. Wages were not an issue for union members, who voted against the earlier draft contract out of fears regarding compensation for on-the-job injuries, and for maintenance workers’ job security.

Toronto’s subways, streetcars and buses will operate on a limited service for Sunday evening, with full service expected as the work week begins Monday morning.

News briefs:May 08, 2010

News briefs:May 08, 2010
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The Ruby Mining Process}

Submitted by: Rayaz Siddiqi

In todays article, we will give you a short introduction on how rubies are mined and the process involved.

The main methods of mining rubies are placer, underground mining and hydraulic mining; the method depends on how deep into the earth the rubies are situated. There are other methods which we will also briefly touch upon.

Placer Method of Mining

The placer method is also known as river panning and involves collecting the gemstones whilst washing away gravel from a river. creek or stream; an obvious pre-requisite of this is identifying the gravel which could possibly contain the rubies.

A large pan is filled with water and then it is shaken back and forth to ensure the heavy materials fall to the bottom of the pan; this is repeated until there is a small amount of concentrate left in the pan. Then this concentrate is moved to a smaller pan to see if there are any gems.

Hydraulic Mining

In hydraulic mining, very powerful jets of water are used to loosen the gems from the rocks. The water splits the rocks and washes large pieces downhill; this causes the gems to be separated. Due to its harmful effects on the natural environment, this type of mining is not used now.

Mountaintop Removal Mining

This method entails cleaning the mountaintop at the ground level by cutting down trees and shrubs. Dynamite is then used to blast the top of the mountain; the resulting large rocks are then scoured for the gemstones.

Underground Mining

This method of mining is used as an alternative to surface mining, which is often not possible. This is the most common way of finding gemstones, and involves miners digging underground until they find gemstones.

The main forms of underground mining are:

Borehole Mining

Holes are drilled very deep inside the land using very large bore drills. Then a plastic tube is passed through the hole, water is then pushed through this tube at very high speeds. This water breaks the rocks and forms muddy slurry, which is stored in tankers. The water is then separated from the slurry to leave gemstones.

Drift Mining

Drift mining is performed on the mountains and entails first identifying rocks which are below the side of the mountain. The opening s created are called tunnels, and the gemstones are derived from the materials that come through the tunnels down from the hills.

Shaft Mining

Vertical tunnels called shafts are created below the mountain when shaft mining is used. Miners move up and down one of the shafts and another shaft is used for bringing the material from below the ground. More tunnels are made for blasting the rocks and the gems are found from amongst the rocks.


In most of the mining methods we have discussed, rocks are broken down into small or medium chunks using explosives such as dynamite. These rocks are then processed to extract the gemstones. Once you have the raw gemstone, it can be cleaned, cut and polished to produce the finished article.

About the Author: Rayaz Siddiqi

Rubies and Gems at 80% below retail


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Saskatchewan places moratorium on boar farming, says escaped boars should be killed

Saskatchewan places moratorium on boar farming, says escaped boars should be killed
August 3rd, 2020 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Saturday, March 14, 2009

At the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) conference, a resolution was passed that encourages the Government of Saskatchewan, Canada to place a moratorium on specialty livestock farms raising wild boar. All wild boars that have escaped to roam wild should be killed, according to the resolution.

Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud endorses a ban on wild boar farming. The wild boar population is expanding exponentially. There are over 2,000 feral Sus scrofa swine roaming the prairies. Two litters of approximately 12 piglets are sired by each wild boar sow every year. The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) likewise passed a similar resolution at their 79th annual convention to urge the Saskatchewan Government to declare the wild boar as a nuisance species which can be killed on sight.

3% of farmed “wild” boars escape. Cells of wild boars are ravenous creatures killing and eating everything in their path. Horses, cows, and other livestock run from wild boars, breaking through fences in the process.

Ostriches, emus, llamas, alpacas, reindeer, wild boar, and fallow deer were amongst the animals introduced to farms in Saskatchewan during the agricultural diversification program in the late 1970s. Production of wild boars was promoted throughout the 1980s.

According to the Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food 2001 statistics, there were 150 wild boar producers raising approximately 15,000 and 20,000 head. Of these there were about 2,700 sows. On the 2006 Census of Agriculture, 401 farms reported 4,926 boars.

The boar’s red meat is an export commodity to Europe and Asia. The live breeding stock are also sold to trophy hunt ranches. Full blooded wild boar and hybrid crosses are raised.

Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire

Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire
August 2nd, 2020 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday, March 20, 2009

Following the Pilkhana massacre which occurred February 25 and 26 leaving 74 dead and the inferno at the Bashundhara City shopping mall complex March 13 leaving seven dead, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said security measures are being tightened countrywide across Bangladesh.

Fire drills will be enacted at all key-point installations (KPI). Fire fighting systems will be examined by the fire brigade and the public works department (PWD) to ensure functionality. Security measures will be enhanced supplementing areas under private security such as at the Bashundhara City Complex.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence Department requires modernization and needs new equipment to fight fires past the sixth floor of buildings. The Fire Brigade says it needs turntable ladders, snorkels, foam-tenders, lighting units, emergency tenders, fireproof uniforms, and rescue ropes for fire fighting and rescue operations. Transportation to fires is also an issue due to narrow roads, low electrical wires and congestion.

The Bangladesh National Building Code requires fire fighting equipment installed in buildings over seven floors. This code is to be monitored by authorities to ensure compliance with the new guidelines and to make sure buildings are being maintained.

The Bashundhara City Complex opened Monday for shoppers two days after Friday’s blaze. A probe is underway to determine the cause of the fire and to assess structural damage.

Loss of life was minimized as the blaze broke out on a Friday, the beginning of the weekend in Bangladesh, so offices in the upper floors were empty. The lower eight floors are used for shopping and the upper floors are all Bashundhara Group offices.

The mall is valued at Tk 7.0 billion (US$100 million). It is not known if the complex is covered by fire insurance.

It is estimated that it will take over two years to rebuild the area damaged by flames which were burned down to a skeleton. Bashundhara City’s technical advisor, Latifur Rahman, estimated damages at Tk 2.0 billion (US$29m).

Only one television cameraman has been allowed in to film the burnt area. None of the 2,500 shops, cinemas or cafes were burnt by the inferno. The seventh and eighth floors still experience smoke damage, and there was water damage to merchandise.

A three member committee is currently investigating the cause of the fire which will consist of Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary of the ministry, representatives of the police, IGP Noor Muhammad, and fire brigade, Director General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah. The committee is required to report within the week with their findings. The forensics department is also sifting through the burnt remains.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries has also formed a committee which has begun interviewing witnesses and recording their testimony alongside the government committee.

It has been discovered that 150 closed circuit cameras were not being used when the fire started. Another mystery is why the mall fire fighting system has been found unused.

Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think….These matters seem to be mysterious

“In the shopping mall there is an ultra-technology elevator which runs even without electricity but we have found that locked,” Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary (Police) of the home ministry, said. “Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think. We have to see if there was any incendiary substance there. These matters seem to be mysterious.”

Mall management has been asked to submit substances and items which would have been in the upper floors when the fire started. The fire erupted on the 17th floor and spread quickly to the two floors above and engulfed the three floors below. The aerial ladders belonging to the Fire Service and Civil Defence reached as high as the 13th floor of the 21-storey building.

Videos have been sent to the United States (US) for examination to assist in determining the cause of the fire and to help in the damage assessment. Experts from the US are expected to arrive soon.

Firefighters were brought to the rooftop of the 20-storey tower by helicopter. The only fatality in this operation was Baki Billa, a firefighter of Bashundhara City firefighting department, who fell when climbing down a rope from a helicopter to the roof of the building. Three other firefighters made the transition safely. At this same time, the chief security officer was safely rescued by the Bangladesh Air Force helicopter, a Bell 212. Six security officers of the complex also lost their lives.

Lib Dems launch manifesto

Lib Dems launch manifesto
August 2nd, 2020 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Thursday, April 14, 2005

An exhausted Charles Kennedy returned to the election campaign to launch a twenty page Liberal Democrat manifesto targeted at disaffected Labour voters, promising a fairer tax system and withdrawal from Iraq.

Entitled The Real Alternative the manifesto pledges to reduce the lowest rate of income tax, but increase the rate on those earning over £100,000 to 50%. The party would also scrap the unpopular local council tax in favour of a new local income tax. The manifesto also promises to remove hidden “stealth taxes”.

Under this system the party claims the poorest 15 million (25%) of people in Britain would be better off, and the middle 50% would be paying no extra tax.

The manifesto promised to scrap the controversial university tuition fees, increase services for pensioners and add £100 a month to the state pension, and train 21,000 new primary school teachers and 10,000 new police. A Lib Dem government would make eye and dental checks free, and reduce the cost of prescription medicine.

The Liberal Democrats were the only one of the three largest parliamentary parties to have consistently voted against the Iraq war, and the manifesto has promised an exit strategy with a phased withdrawal of Britain’s 8,000 troops still in the country.

“We reject a foreign policy based on ‘my ally right or wrong’,” Kennedy said. “And we say that war should always be a last resort.”

Kennedy, who became a father on Tuesday, admitted he’d had little sleep before the manifesto launch, and stumbled while answering questions on the proposed tax system.

Toothpaste fills cavities without drilling

Toothpaste fills cavities without drilling
August 2nd, 2020 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A paste containing synthetic tooth enamel can seal small cavities without drilling. Kazue Yamagishi and colleagues at the FAP Dental Institute in Tokyo say that the paste can repair small cavities in 15 minutes.

Currently, fillers don’t stick to such small cavities so dentists must drill bigger holes. Hydroxyapatite crystals, of which natural enamel is made, bond with teeth to repair tiny areas of damage.

Yamagishi and colleagues have tested their paste on a lower premolar tooth that showed early signs of decay. They found that the synthetic enamel merged with the natural enamel. The synthetic enamel also appears to make teeth stronger which will improve resistance to future decay. As with drilling, however, there is still the potential for pain: The paste is strongly acidic to encourage crystal growth and causes inflammation if it touches the gums.

The paste is reported in the journal Nature.

Open source game developer Perttu Ahola talks about Minetest with Wikinews

Open source game developer Perttu Ahola talks about Minetest with Wikinews
August 2nd, 2020 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Recently, Finnish open-source video game developer Perttu Ahola discussed Minetest, his “longest ever project”, with Wikinews.

Started in October 2010, Minetest was an attempt by Ahola to create a sandbox game similar to Minecraft. Minecraft is a multi-platform commercial game, which was in alpha version when Ahola challenged himself to create something similar to it from scratch, he told Wikinews.

Minetest is an open-source game, which is free for anyone to download and play. It is written in the C++ programming language, and the source code is available on code-hosting site GitHub. According to Ahola, Minetest attempts to run on older hardware, with limited graphics, but to be accessible to more people: those who have outdated technology, and making it available for no cost. Minecraft, on the other hand, is a paid game, currently costing USD 26.95 for its computer version. Minecraft is currently owned by Microsoft, and performs poorly on older hardware.

A correspondent from French Wikinews contacted Perttu Ahola via Internet Relay Chat a few weeks ago, discussing Minecraft. This interview is built on top of the previous interview, as we take a deeper dive into knowing more about this free game which is about to turn ten years old in a few months.

Fresh And Authentic Hispanic Food Distribution In Pennsylvania

August 2nd, 2020 in Salt Therapy Solutions | No Comments

byAlma Abell

Best Mexican Foods is a wholesale operation with over 40 years of experience in Hispanic Food Distribution. The business has been family owned and operated since they opened their doors in 1968. They have developed their company from a single humble taco stand in New York City to the largest Mexican Supply retailer in the Northeast United States. Their commitment to delicious and authentic cuisine has made it possible for them to now a fleet of ten delivery trucks operating out of a 40,000 square foot facility.Best Mexican Foods provides retailers and restaurants in New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania with top quality, authentic Hispanic food, beverages and restaurant supplies. Their inventory is filled with difficult to find products that will help any restaurant develop a genuine Mexican appeal. Their inventory includes some of the most popular ingredients in Mexican cuisine, both in Mexico and the United States.The food selection offered by Best Mexican Foods includes their very own handmade corn and flour tortillas. These tortillas have been one of their best selling products for decades. Made daily, they are the freshest tortillas available on the market.They also have fresh produce like avocados, jalapenos and plantains. They have a delicious pre-cooked pork carnita and a pre-cooked and seasoned ground beef. There is a wide selection of dried beans and cheese, available in bars, crumbled and shredded. Their spice selection includes all of the most popular Mexican seasonings needed to complete any dish. There are also sauces, salsas and rice. Best Mexican Foods specializes in stocking the hard to find items, rarely found anywhere else locally, like sliced cactus and calamari ink.Their beverage options include popular Mexican sodas, rice milk and concentrated liquids for mixed drinks. No Mexican restaurant is complete without tequila and margarita mixes and Best Mexican Foods has both. It also has margarita salt and many other flavorings and mixers.As the largest company offering Hispanic Food Distribution in Pennsylvania, they make it easy for their customers to get everything they need in one convenient place. That is why you will also find take-out packaging, restaurant equipment and plates and glasses. As experts in the business you can be assured any products you order will be fresh, delicious and authentic.Click to find out more.