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News briefs:May 21, 2010
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Iran demands that IAEA end surveillance of its nuclear program
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Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Shortly after ending its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the government of Iran has now ordered the IAEA to discontinue some of its surveillance of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Tehran has also asked the agency to remove any and all signage from their nuclear sites by the end of next week.

This is in response to the Saturday resolution by the IAEA to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council, which was made without waiting for the director of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, chairman of the IAEA, to finish preparing a report on Iran’s civilian (and allegedly military) nuclear programs for the regular IAEA meeting scheduled for March 6. ElBaradei had given Iran until March to answer IAEA questions. By a vote of 27 to three (with five abstentions), and without the information in ElBaradei’s report planned for March 2006, the IAEA recommended that the matter of the Iranian nuclear program be brought before the Security Council.

The recommendation claims that there are serious concerns about Iranian nuclear aims, and the agency does not have confidence that the program is intended solely for civilian or other non-military use. Although the meeting was taken without waiting for ElBaradei’s March report, the recommendation requests ElBaradei to make his report anyway, including a list of “steps Iran needs to take to dispel suspicions about its nuclear ambitions” by March 6.

The IAEA’s resolution calls for Iran to reinstate a freeze on its nuclear programs, consider ending construction of a plutonium-producing heavy water reactor, and to continue allowing the IAEA’s purposes and actions in Iran. However, the council will not implement any further action until ElBaradei makes his full report on March 6.

ElBaradei also reported to the IAEA Monday that Iran would also demand a reduction in the amount of facilities inspections from the agency, and that they would discontinue their agreement to the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the agency reported Iran to the Security Council. This protocol entitles the IAEA to hold unannounced inspections of facilities, increased surveillance capability, and placing IAEA seals on nuclear equipment.

Other diplomatic ventures are being planned. On February 16, Iranian officials will meet with the Russian government in Moscow to discuss the possibility of Russia enriching uranium for export to Iran in exchange for a halting of its nuclear enrichment program. And Wang Guangya, China’s ambassador to the UN, said Monday that “Even with the adoption of this IAEA resolution, it is the belief of most of the members there that a diplomatic solution is the way out within the framework of the IAEA.”

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Matt Smith revealed as 11th incarnation of Doctor Who
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Actor Matt Smith will be the next to portray the Doctor on the BBC television program Doctor Who. Smith will be the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, taking over from actor David Tennant who will end his time with the series after filming four editions of the program through 2009. The Doctor comes from a race of Timelords, and has the ability to “regenerate” and change appearance when his health is failing. William Hartnell was the first actor to play the Doctor, from 1963–1966. Smith will become the new occupant of the Doctor’s time machine and spacecraft the “TARDIS” in 2010.

David Tennant will be a very hard act to follow, but I’m optimistic that the new Doctor will be just as good.

John Harper, founder of the Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society and a fan of the series, called the decision to cast 26-year-old Smith in the role “wonderful”. MP for Scarborough Robert Goodwill, also a fan of the program, told the Scarborough Evening News: “David Tennant will be a very hard act to follow, but I’m optimistic that the new Doctor will be just as good.”

He is possibly going to be one of the best Doctors we’ve ever had.

Matt Smith, 26, portrayed researcher Danny Foster on the political drama Party Animals, which aired on BBC Two in 2007. Fellow actor Andrew Buchan from Party Animals told The Guardian: “It’s a sublime bit of casting. He’s got that huge hair, a twinkle in his eye — Matt’s the king of geek chic. He is possibly going to be one of the best Doctors we’ve ever had.”

After a back injury got in the way of Smith’s goal of becoming a footballer, his drama teacher Jerry Hardingham at Northampton School for Boys encouraged him to pursue acting. Though Smith did not audition, Hardingham cast him in a school production of the play Twelve Angry Men. Hardingham later convinced Smith to join the National Youth Theatre, and he landed the lead role in the play Murder in the Cathedral, performing before members of the British Royal Family and other VIPs at the Westminster Cathedral.

David Tennant, 37, has portrayed the Doctor on Doctor Who since taking over for Christopher Eccleston in 2005. A major feature of his character’s stories involved a romantic interest in his companion in the TARDIS, Rose, played by actress Billie Piper.

Tennant announced his exit from the program on October 29, 2008, at the National Television Awards in the United Kingdom, during his speech accepting the outstanding drama performance award at the program. Doctor Who was recognized with the award for most popular drama program.

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“I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don’t take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you’ll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair,” said Tennant in his address to the audience in attendance at the Royal Albert Hall. He was previously recognized at the National Television Awards for his role in Doctor Who with the award for most popular actor, in 2006 and 2007.

Tennant is currently performing the lead role in Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his engagement at the Novello Theatre in Westminster, London is set to end on January 10. He portrayed Hamlet 60 times with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon prior to the production’s move to London.

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GNU Hurd operating system: first user program run using L4 microkernel
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Saturday, February 5, 2005

A collaboratively-developed operating system kernel known as GNU Hurd has been made bootable using the L4 microkernel, which provides room for significant speed improvements over an existing implementation using the Mach microkernel. The newer architecture also has a more lively developer community.

Developer Marcus Brinkmann made the historic step and finished the process initialization code, which enabled him to execute the first software on Hurd-L4. In a message to the L4 port of GNU Hurd mailing list, Brinkmann wrote, “We can now easily explore and develop the system in any way we want. The dinner is prepared!”. [1] However, the kernel’s current feature set is very limited. “With my glibc port, I can already build simple applications, but most won’t run because they need a filesystem or other gimmicks (like, uhm, fork and exec), and I only have stubs (dummy functions which always return an error) for that now,” he added in a later posting. [2]

Compared with Linux and BSD Unix’s monolithic kernel architecture, a microkernel based operating system provides developers greater modularity and isolation from hardware, a big win with L4 already being available for a large number of hardware varieties.

There is a cost in speed for such abstraction, and this cost was higher on Mach, at around 15%, compared with only around 5% on L4 and it’s predecessor L3, both developed by Dr. Jochen Liedtke. [3]

The greater modularity and abstraction of a microkernel approach means that the microkernel itself does not need constant modification as is seen in the Linux kernel today, since it provides only the very minimum of services, and does so very carefully. Thus, the fact that L4 was developed in 1996 is seen as exemplifying this stability — rather than showing its age — since few, if any, improvements in approach have been imagined in the meantime.

However, the Mach kernel first developed ten years earlier at Carnegie Mellon University is seen as a flawed first implementation, with the lessons learned being implemented in microkernels like L4, known as second-generation microkernels.

The GNU Hurd forms the base of the GNU operating system, much of which has been widely adopted by users of other Unix-like operating systems, including Linux. The GNU Project has been developing the Hurd since 1983. In 1990, the GNU Project decided to use the Mach kernel, rather than writing their own. [4] The Hurd is released as free software under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

The Hurd kernel is an experiment which aims to surpass existing Unix kernels in functionality, security, and stability, while remaining largely compatible with them. It currently runs on Intel IA32 machines. According to the GNU Hurd project, “The Hurd should, and probably will, be ported to other hardware architectures or other microkernels in the future” [5].

`Hurd’ stands for `Hird of Unix-Replacing Daemons’. And, then, `Hird’ stands for `Hurd of Interfaces Representing Depth’ – perhaps the first software to be named by a pair of mutually recursive acronyms.

A limited port of Linux already runs on L4, known as L4Linux.

U.S. Supreme Court upholds health care mandate

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U.S. Supreme Court upholds health care mandate
Published in May 21st, 2018
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

In a decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the controversial healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010. The Supreme Court also upheld the individual mandate provision of the law, which would require most U.S. citizens to obtain health insurance by 2014, or pay a monetary penalty.

The Supreme Court ruled on the law 5–4. Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor jointed Roberts in the majority, while Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were in the minority in supporting the repeal of the law.

The Court did, however, strike down a provision of the law which would have expanded Medicaid to make coverage available to anyone with an income less than 138% of the federal poverty line.

President Barack Obama made a public statement from the White House saying that the Supreme Court’s upholding of the law, “reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.” Obama further added, “Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.” Obama closed his statement by saying, “The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we’ll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do — what the country can’t afford to do — is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.” Adding, “With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward — to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also gave a statement from Washington, D.C. saying, “What the Court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected President of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.” Romney clarified further by saying, “Let’s make clear that we understand what the Court did and did not do. What the Court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it’s good policy.” Further adding, “Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.” Romney closed by saying, “Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama.”

Eric Cantor, Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced shortly after the ruling that the House would vote on repealing the law on July 11, following the July 4 holiday recess. Cantor said, “The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare is a crushing blow to patients throughout the country. Obamacare has failed to keep the President’s basic promise of allowing those who like their health care to keep it, while increasing costs and reducing access to quality care for patients.”

In the ruling of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, John Roberts wrote, “Simply put, Congress may tax and spend. The federal government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid or otherwise control.” Meanwhile, Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the dissenting opinion, saying the entire law should have been repealed.

The ruling on the law comes after 26 states challenged the law in oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court in March.

Zayn Malik leaves pop band One Direction after five years

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Zayn Malik leaves pop band One Direction after five years
Published in May 21st, 2018
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Zayn Malik, one of the members of British pop boy-band One Direction, has left the group after five years. The band confirmed yesterday that Malik has left the group with a statement on Facebook. They also announced they would continue with the remaining four members and their fifth album would be recorded later this year.

The statement posted on One Direction’s Facebook page said “After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year”.

Malik, 22, also released a statement through Facebook confirming his departure. He said “My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right.”

After news of Malik’s departure spread fans took to social media to share their disappointment. On Twitter the hashtag #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik was created and 48,000 comments were left on the statement posted by the band on Facebook. The Employer Advice Service, based at Manchester company Peninsula, said 220 people had called overnight regarding compassionate leave relating to the news. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, employment law director Alan Price said “While I sympathise with One Direction fans, I hardly think this qualified as compassionate leave”.

One Direction formed as a group in 2010 after competing as single artists on the British reality music competition The X Factor. The band was signed by Simon Cowell’s record label after the show, which they finished third on. The remaining members of the group are Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson.

5 Things You Must Try For Your First Seoul Winter

Published in May 20th, 2018
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5 Things You Must Try for Your First Seoul Winter by Kim’s TravelSeoul is a huge city with a long history, delicious eats, full or architectural monuments, legendary nightlife, and more. It has got 4 seasons with weather ranging from hot summer nights to snowy winter morning. Of course, you can enjoy something special in winter. A half-day-tour in Seoul offers a lot of things which is perfect for your trip. Here are a few things you can experience in Seoul Travel during winter.Lots of winter activities-Temperatures tend to be 4 degree Celsius in December and even down to 1 degree in January. Even though it is too cold Seoul Travel offers many exciting ways to outsmart the freezing temperatures. Lots of snowy sceneries and winter activities such as Ice-Skating,skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing and enjoying many winter festivals too. Take the pleasure of wonderful time of winter in this gorgeous country with adequate winter clothing.Seoul Plaza Ice Skating Rink-Winter in Korea may be cold, but theres much to see and do in December. Join the year farewell and have fun all over Seoul! The Seoul Plaza Ice Skating Rink is one of the citys most popular annual winter events. Each year in December, the plaza in front of Seoul City Hall is transformed into a winter wonderland. Have a magical winter day in Seoul and start off with a session of ice skating! Celebrate Christmas in Korea-Visit Seoul in December to experience the city’s unique Christmas festivities! You can move to Cheonggye Plaza, which is located at the start of Cheonggyecheon Stream. Christmas celebrations in Seoul tend to be more secular than religious with several major Christmas events and a lot of fun activities throughout the city. Seoul Tower at Night-The views from the N Seoul Tower during the day are absolutely nice, but it is something more breathtaking at night. Getting into it during dusk is great, as it is the time you can observe the Seoul skyline transform in the changing light. You must definitely try this on your Seoul Travel trip to get an exceptional travel experience.Warm up with Hot Korean Street Snacks-The Seoul Travel is not complete without tasting the street food that dominates the street corners and subways. Walking around Seoul in the winter is being wonderful when you stop anywhere and chew on a range of delicious hot street snacks! Taste the inexpensive backed sweet potatoes and nugget-shaped chestnuts, especially in winter which are incredibly healthy.Sledding at Everland-Popular amusement park Everland stays relevant with its winter offerings. Everland provides the slope ofthe huge sledding hill which offers an opportunity for travelers of all ages to sled on the snow Busters. Ice fishing -Ice fishing can be fun. You can try it or join fishermen, fisherwomen at one of several ice fishing points to observe how to entertaining it can be!Conclusion-Take the help of a destination management company that offers you a big hand for venturing into the new World of unexpected surprises. Seoul Travel is designed and intended to help visitors plan their day trip in any season, whether it be the first time or more. If you’re looking for, making your winter vacation in a grand way, Seoul Travel Company can offer you the best out of the unique destination!This article is written by Kim’s Travel – is the leading destination management company in Korea. With over 20 years in the travel management business, they have an extended network of partners in every sector of the travel industry nationwide. Your Seoul Travel dream can come true with Kims Travel. http://www.kimstravel.com/en/activity/36827/seoul-half-day-tourArticle Source: eArticlesOnline.com

Ukrainian ship MV Faina with cargo of tanks freed by pirates

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Ukrainian ship MV Faina with cargo of tanks freed by pirates
Published in May 19th, 2018
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pirates in Somalia have released the MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying a cargo of 33 T-72 tanks, along with 20 of its crew of 21, the Russian captain having been killed by hypertension during the hijack.

A ransom of US$3.2 million was paid for the ship’s release, compared to the $20 million previously demanded and also down from the initial request for $35 million after the capture in September. By January 16 the ransom sought was $5 million, with negotiations occurring directly between the pirates and the ship’s owner. In October the pirates threatened to blow the ship up unless this was paid within days, and stated they were willing to die and take the crew with them, but this threat was never carried out.

The ransom came in on Wednesday, and after counting the money the pirates left the vessel on Thursday. One pirate, Segule Ali, said of the payment that “no huge amount has been paid, but something to cover our expenses.”

No huge amount has been paid, but something to cover our expenses

The ownership of the cargo, which includes ammunition, rocket launchers, small arms and spare parts as well as tanks, is uncertain. Although the shipment was said to be for Kenya, as acknowledged by the Kenyan government, the pirates claim to have documents proving they were destined for Sudan, currently the subject of a United Nations arms embargo. Sudan denies this.

At one point, with the ship anchored off Harardhere, the pirates claimed they had put down an attempted revolt by the crew. However, the Faina’s owner has expressed doubts about the veracity of this report, which originated with the pirates themselves.

The remaining crew are reported to be healthy by the Ukrainian Presidency and the ship is now heading to Mombasa under US Navy escort. There are 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and a Latvian on board.

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