Monday, May 10, 2021

Voters in the Scottish constituency of Airdrie and Shotts are to go to the polls on May 13 to elect a replacement member of parliament (MP) to the United Kingdom House of Commons.

The outgoing MP for the seat is Neil Gray — a representative of the pro-independence Scottish National Party — was resigning to run in the Scottish Parliament election, which was to occur on May 6. Gray won the seat with 45.1% of the vote at the 2019 general election, winning 13.1% more than the second placed candidate Helen McFarlane of the Scottish Labour party, who received 32.0% of the votes.

One of the eight candidates running in this constituency is Jonathan Stanley of the Scottish Unionist Party. Stanley was selected as the prospective parliamentary candidate for this seat in September, after it was announced Gray would be seeking nomination in the Scottish Parliament. Stanley is also running in the Scottish Parliament election, running as a list candidate in the Lothian region for the Alliance 4 Unity party.

Wikinews spoke to Stanley about important issues issues both nationwide and in Airdrie and Shotts.

Stanley provided two links each alongside the answers to the first two questions. For the first question, these were opinion pieces written by him, and for the second, these were press releases from a think tank Stanley is involved in. Those four links are cited in the external links section.

The first opinion piece addresses housing, calling for, among other things, social housing to be restricted to those who have resided in the UK for ten years or more, a 20% stamp duty on houses sold to foreigners, and abolishing income tax relief for “buy to let” mortgages. The second opinion piece addressed a hate speech law passed by the Scottish Parliament, and said it threatened freedoms and “families[‘] privacy and security of their homes”.

The two press releases concerned COVID-19. The first, published in late January 2020, called for mass flu and pneumococcal vaccination for high risk groups and the banning of flights to and from China, except medical relief flights. The second, published on 15 March 2020, called for a number of things, including the closure of the UK border, a national lockdown, Universal Credit for all during the crisis, a guarantee of essential utilities, and national procurement of ventilators.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Audio Wikinews News Brief for June 23, 2009

Recorded by: James_PainProblems listening to the file? See media help.



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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oil company BP has reportedly lost a laptop containing the personal information of approximately 13,000 people who filed claims against the company following the Deepwater Horizon disaster last year.

Tom Mueller, a spokesperson for the company, confirmed they had written to “individuals impacted by this event to inform them about the loss of their personal data and to offer them free credit monitoring services to help protect their personal information.” Mueller said the laptop was lost during “routine business travel,” and was reported to have the ability to be deactivated remotely.

BP refused to comment about the employee who lost the laptop. The data on the laptop contained the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, phone numbers and the dates of birth of claimants, which was unencrypted even though the laptop itself is protected by a password.

The data on the laptop concerned claimants against the company after one of its oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, sending up to 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean, which eventually reached the southern U.S. coastline.

One resident affected by the the oil disaster and the lost laptop expressed his outrage at BP when interviewed by NPR. “It’s terrible, I kinda work hard for the things I have,” he said. “I wouldn’t want somebody with a computer to be able to take it from me. It’s very disturbing. It’s like another gallon of gas thrown on the fire.”

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Do you currently own a home or business, and need drain cleaning services? Cleaning your drains is not exactly a fun task. It is imperative that you choose the right company to perform the service. The wrong business can be a hassle and cost you a lot of money. A great business is one experienced enough to get the job done right the first time. This article will give you some advice on how to choose the right company to clean your drains.

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When choosing a company to clean your drains, you first need to identify the kind of services you need. Do you have a sudden clogged pipe in the middle of the night that cannot wait until morning? If so, you would want a company that offers emergency services. Emergency services can be critical if your pipes freeze. A pipe can burst if not relieved immediately. A broken pipe can cost you thousands of dollars to repair or replace. Even if you aren’t sure it is an emergency, you can always call and ask. Keep in mind, however, that emergency services can be more expensive than services rendered during regular business hours.

Next, you want to make sure that the company you hire is using the latest technology available. There is nothing worse than a plumber who comes unprepared and can’t get the job done in a timely fashion. Even worse, what if they decide to just pour Drano down your drain and call it good? That is not OK, especially since you could have done that yourself and saved some money. A great plumber would only use chemicals as a last resort. Typically, they will employ the use of hydro-powered snakes or other machinery to get the clog out.

Finally, choosing a company that will give you upfront pricing without any surprise costs is a must. There is nothing worse than receiving a quote for one price, and getting a final bill that’s much higher. If you would like to know more about the drain cleaning services that are available to you, contact your local plumbing agency for more information.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

London — A few hundred England fans weren’t watching the 2006 FIFA World Cup match against Sweden last night in a pub or at home, but instead had ventured out to their local cinema to see the game on the big screen. A number of Odeon cinemas nationwide have been using digital projection technology to screen the matches live with a high definition (HD) picture. HD broadcasts contain a greater level of detail than traditional TV broadcasts, meaning a sharper picture and better sound quality.

In the darkened auditorium of the cinema in Covent Garden, the audience (or should that be crowd?) were behaving almost as if they were at the stadium, singing along to the national anthem, cheering at the England goals and groaning at the Sweden chances. At times, chants being sung by the England crowd at the match were even picked up and sung along to by those watching the cinema screen like some kind of football karaoke contest.

Trailers before the match were replaced by a soundtrack of England anthems, both the successful and not-so-successful ones, and the traditional movie treat of popcorn was replaced by trays of beer (in plastic cups) being brought in by the punters. The cinema had cheekily listed the screening as being ‘directed by Sven-Göran Eriksson’ and as ‘starring Wayne Rooney (hopefully)’.

Despite a disappointing 2-2 draw, the audience seemed impressed with the experience. “I’m a bit short and so wanted to make sure I had good view without having to jostle around for position,” Amanda, from London, explained to me. “I also liked that it was non-smoking, and there was a fabulous atmosphere”. Sian, Caio and Laura, who lived locally, said they wanted to see the match on the big screen and commented on the excellent picture quality.

Other events that have been broadcast by the cinema chain include concerts by Robbie Williams and Elton John. Odeon Marketing Director Luke Vetere said “offering films is just one part of the cinema experience – our ambition is to offer guests the chance to watch other events they feel passionate about”. Watching football in the cinema is not a brand new event though, during previous World Cups such as in 1966, film footage from the matches was broadcast in cinemas after the event, providing a way for people to see the games in colour when TV broadcasts were in black and white.

Cinema screenings aren’t the only way that fans can watch the World Cup games in high-definition this year though, as both Sky TV and Telewest have been broadcasting the games in HD to viewers with a special set-top box. There have been trials with HD on the growing Freeview platform too, with a pilot group of a few hundred viewers in London. However, as any move to roll out HD on Freeview would use up extra space on the broadcast spectrum and would require viewers to buy a new set-top box, it seems unlikely that this will happen any time soon.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Wikinews held an exclusive interview with Jeremy Hanke, editor of MicroFilmmaker Magazine. The magazine, which is free to read online, was started as a resource for the low budget moviemaker and features book, independent film, equipment and software reviews as well as articles on film distribution, special effects and lighting.

He says that one of the goals of the magazine is to “connect low-budget filmmakers via a feeling of community, as many…..often compete so viciously against one another in film festivals for coveted “shots” with Hollywood, that they can quickly forget their similarities.”

When asked if films made on a shoestring budget can really compete with those made for millions of dollars, he replied, “no…yes…and absolutely. Allow me to explain.” And so he does in the interview below.

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By Phillip Tucker

Have you ever spent the night dancing? Checked into the club around 10 AM, and staggered out some six hours later, hair spiked with sweat, body flushed, legs completely worn out, ears ringing? Or have you ever been out swing dancing, jump jive and wailing as you spin your partner and twirl them around, snapping your fingers as you work up a healthy sheen of sweat? Tango, ball room, hip hoptheres no end of options and styles, but all of them involve your body, with moving, grooving and enjoying yourself. Ever wondered exactly what benefits are being accrued by your body, what the health benefits of dance are? Wonder no longerjust read on.

First off theres flexibility. If youre doing any kind of formal dancing, from ballet to modern jazz, youll start off with a stretching session, and then after youre warmed up let it all go. Even if youre just enjoying in with your friends by the bar, dancing involves a wide array of movements, asking for a full range of motions. The more you dance, the more your muscles flex and extend. Most forms of dancing involve bending and stretching, with the final result that youll naturally end up being more flexible as a result.

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Most people associate strength training with the gym, with lifting weights, but many people forget that your own body can act as its own weight for your muscles. Strength, after all, is defined as your muscles ability exert a force against resistance, and gravity provides all the resistance you need. Many styles of dance involve jumping and leaping high into the air, an exercise which requires tremendous strength. If you think about all the exercise your thighs, calves and core must do to control your body as you dip, turn and sway, its a full on workout.

Endurance. Unless youre dancing for ten minutes, any length period of dancing is a full body workout that will do much more for you than thirty minutes on a treadmill. All night dance sessions will leave you drenched with sweat, and whens the last time a gym workout left you so soaked? Even if youre taking breaks to get a refreshment at the bar, youre still moving and dancing for hours, and that kind of exercise is excellent for your aerobic engine. If youre dancing professionally, or doing a formal style of dance, than theres no doubt that all that rehearsing will give you a killer workout.

Finally, dancing can bestow an incredible sense of well being. Its primal, its an ancient form of social interaction, its fun and moving in time to rhythmic music is as basic a form of enjoyment as there is. Dancing with friends, being out in the world, meeting new people, performing, joining dance groups, any of these forms of social interactions are incredibly healthy for your self esteem and your sense of well being

About the Author: If you’re interested in combining dance with exercise in a more direct method, seeking to blend the fun with more direct health benefits, why not try

Hip Hop Abs

? Or try your hand at a kickboxing workout with

Turbo Jam



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Friday, May 22, 2020

A study published in journal Astronomy & Astrophysics last month reported astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and elsewhere discovered a black hole in the Telescopium constellation. The study stated the black hole is about 1010 ± 195 light years (310 ± 60 parsec) away from the Solar System, meaning it is the nearest known black hole from the Earth. The nearest previously known black hole — V616 Mon — the study noted was usually estimated at more than 3000 light years away.

The black hole described in the study is located in the HR 6819 stellar system of Telescopium constellation, making it the first system visible to the naked eye to contain a black hole. HR 6819 contains two stars, and they are visible from the Southern Hemisphere. The astronomers started observing the system in 1999. Initially, they thought it was just a binary system, consisting of two stars. However, upon examination, the researchers concluded there was a third unseen object in the system. One of the two stars in the HR 6819 system is close to the black hole and orbits the black hole in just 40.333 ± 0.004 days.

This newly discovered black hole does not have an accretion disk. A black hole forms an accretion disk when a significant amount of matter orbits the black hole, as depicted in the image. Accretion disks often emit electromagnetic radiation. Since this black hole does not have an accretion disk, researchers had to rely on the gravitational effect of the black hole on the nearby star in order to discover it.

Researchers used the binary mass function to conclude the black hole had a mass of at least 4.2 M? (Solar masses; 1 Solar mass = mass of the Sun). Its companion star, which orbits the black hole in about 40 days, is classified as a B3 III star. The outer star is classified as a Be star. Be stars rotate very quickly around their axes. Since the outer star rotates so rapidly, the star is not exactly spherical, but instead oblate, bulged at its equator, forming a gas disk around the equator.

The research suggested HR 6819 was very similar to another system LB-1. The HR 6819 system is estimated to be between 15–75 million years old (myr). The inner star has estimated mass of at least 6.3 ± 0.7 M?. Using the mass and the speed at which the inner star rotates, the researchers concluded the black hole had an estimated mass of 5.0 ± 0.4 M?. Researcher and co-author of the study Thomas Rivinius told Wikinews the inner star and the black hole are closer than the Sun and the Earth (1au; 150 million km; 93 million miles).

The researchers dedicated the paper to Stanislav Štefl, one of the fellow researchers who died in a car accident in 2014 in Santiago, Chile.

Wikinews caught up with Thomas Rivinius to discuss about this discovery.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Today Ashraf Ghani, a former Afghan finance minister and World Bank official, was sworn in as President of Afghanistan following a months-long dispute over election results.

The transfer of power from former President Hamid Karzai marks the first democratic leadership transition in Afghanistan’s history, and follows a power sharing agreement with Ghani’s fellow Presidential candidate, Abdullah Abdullah. Both men had previously claimed victory in the election last June, with the United Nations overseeing a recount of the ballot.

As part of the agreement between the two sides, Ghani’s first presidential act was to create the position of chief executive, filled by Abdullah, with Prime Minster-like powers.

The new Government already faces many challenges, made worse by the months of political uncertainty.

Afghanistan has already requested $537 million from international donors to help pay the country’s bills to year’s end, with an official of the Finance Ministry admitting October civil service salary payments have had to be delayed.

The government also have to deal with the security threat posed by the Taliban and Hezb-i-Islami, two loosely allied Islamist factions. Most international troops, present in the country since 2001, are expected to leave by year’s end, with Karzai previously unwilling to sign security agreements allowing others to stay. The government is to sign one such agreement with representatives from the United States embassy tomorrow, US officials said.

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Friday, June 24, 2005

Seoul — More than 300 “citizen reporters” hailing from countries as far apart as Chile and Norway are coming together at the OhmyNews International Citizen Reporters’ Forum from June 23 to June 26, 2005 in Seoul. OhmyNews is one of the most popular South Korean news websites, and it has played an important role in the election of reformist President Roh Moo-hyun. Unlike traditional news sources, OhmyNews allows any individual with an Internet connection to contribute stories. A professional staff of journalists vets incoming submissions and decides which stories are to be published.

The project is sponsoring the forum in order to promote its English edition, officially launched in May 2004. Citizen reporters writing in English exchange ideas and stories, and try to understand the inner workings of the Korean edition. The conference is sponsored by Korean corporations such as Samsung, SK Corporation, LG, Yuhan-Kimberly, and Asiana Airlines.

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