Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics

Monday, December 3, 2007

At Thanksgiving dinner David Shankbone told his white middle class family that he was to interview Reverend Al Sharpton that Saturday. The announcement caused an impassioned discussion about the civil rights leader’s work, the problems facing the black community and whether Sharpton helps or hurts his cause. Opinion was divided. “He’s an opportunist.” “He only stirs things up.” “Why do I always see his face when there’s a problem?”

Shankbone went to the National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem with this Thanksgiving discussion to inform the conversation. Below is his interview with Al Sharpton on everything from Tawana Brawley, his purported feud with Barack Obama, criticism by influential African Americans such as Clarence Page, his experience running for President, to how he never expected he would see fifty (he is now 53). “People would say to me, ‘Now that I hear you, even if I disagree with you I don’t think you’re as bad as I thought,'” said Sharpton. “I would say, ‘Let me ask you a question: what was “bad as you thought”?’ And they couldn’t say. They don’t know why they think you’re bad, they just know you’re supposed to be bad because the right wing tells them you’re bad.”

Contents

  • 1 Sharpton’s beginnings in the movement
  • 2 James Brown: a father to Sharpton
  • 3 Criticism: Sharpton is always there
  • 4 Tawana Brawley to Megan Williams
  • 5 Sharpton and the African-American media
  • 6 Why the need for an Al Sharpton?
  • 7 Al Sharpton and Presidential Politics
  • 8 On Barack Obama
  • 9 The Iraq War
  • 10 Sharpton as a symbol
  • 11 Blacks and whites and talking about race
  • 12 Don Imus, Michael Richards and Dog The Bounty Hunter
  • 13 Sources

Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.

Contents

  • 1 On Gay Talese
  • 2 On a higher power and how he’d like to die
  • 3 On the media and Iraq
  • 4 On the Iraq War
  • 5 State of Journalism
  • 6 On travel to Cuba
  • 7 On Chinese gay bars
  • 8 On the literary canon
  • 9 Sources

For fans, by fans: Toronto anime event 2017 among continent’s largest

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Anime North is “by the fans, for the fans”, event chair Irwin Tan told Wikinews in an interview at the event, Saturday. Started by a group of university anime clubs in 1997, it has grown to become one of the largest conventions of its kind in North America, spanning three days, five venues, and tens of thousands of fans.

Along with the dealer’s hall, industry tables, and artist booths typical of conventions, Anime North’s convention floor included a formal gallery space, a charity auction in support of Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital, an aerial performer, gaming tables, archery tag, dance events, and outdoor concerts. At one of the hotels surrounding the main venue, an entire 5000 volume manga library was available, for attendees looking to take a quiet pause. Full programming tracks about ball-jointed dolls — Doll North — and homoerotic-themed anime and manga — Yaoi/Yuri North — were also given entire hotels to themselves, allowing them to offer extensive programming.

As with many fan conventions, many fans attended in cosplay of their favourite characters. Some outfits included massive props, like wings, weapons, or even an additional character riding on their back. A variety of anime and manga worlds were represented, as well as video games like Undertale, Western comic books, Disney characters, even “Smug Wendy”, and the Ferocious Beast from Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. The event offered panels to help costume creators and wearers develop in their hobby, such as “Thermoplastics for Cosplay”, looking at the pliable polymers used to create things like character armour, and “Social Media for Cosplayers”.

The cosplay subculture of animegao kigurumi, for which masks of mainly human characters are worn, was well-represented. Ride the Pig Studios, a Nevada-based studio, was set up in the industry section with a photo booth for attendees to get a photo with practitioners of the craft, and two sessions, including one hosted by Kazunori Uhyo Sugiura, a university professor attending from Japan.

Anime North was deemed the fourth largest convention in North American with a primary theme of anime, in 2016, by AnimeCons.com.

Cosplay coverage continues after the interview.

Contents

  • 1 Interview with Irwin Tan
  • 2 Cosplay highlights
  • 3 Conservative convention next door
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 Sources

Ford’s US auto sales spike, surpassing GM

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ford Motor Company said on Tuesday that its sales in the United States rose 43% in February compared to the same period last year, as the automaker outsold rivals Toyota and General Motors.

The strength of our new products … are resonating with customers

Ford said that total sales improved to 142,285 units, compared to 141,951 units sold by GM. Additionally, Ford said that its share of the total US car market rose to 17%, up from 14% a year ago. The increase was better than analysts had predicted, and Ford’s stock rose to a five-year high in morning trading, before declining later in the day. Ford’s sales were significantly influenced by a 74% increase in fleet sales to businesses. Rental car agencies alone accounted for around 30,000 units sold. Sales to retail consumers increased only 28%.

The increases were led by sales of two sedans, the Fusion and Taurus, which rose 166.5 and 93.3% respectively, although sales of other models such as SUVs and pickup trucks also increased. Both models were significantly redesigned last year, and analysts said that improved quality from such cars were driving the increases.

Other companies also reported February sales today, nearly all reporting sales gains as well, although none as large as those of Ford. Toyota was the sole exception to the sales gains, as their sales declined 8.7%, as the company was faced with a global recall during the month that led to a temporary stoppage of production for some models.

“The strength of our new products … are resonating with customers,” said Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president of sales and marketing. However, he believed that traditional Toyota customers were not buying rival autos, but rather awaiting the results from the recalls.

Vestas occupation continues; left-wing political parties voice support

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Morale is “fine” inside the Vestas plant in Newport, Isle of Wight, England, as an industrial occupation of the wind turbine factory finished entered its fourth night, says one of the occupiers.

“Mark,” who prefers not to give his last name for fear of management reprisals, spoke to Wikinews and gave an update on the situation inside the plant, where 30 of the 525 workers whose jobs are slated to be lost at the end of July occupied management offices on Monday evening and issued a call for the British government to nationalise the plant.

A double fence now rings the plant, surrounded by police in riot gear. Five people have been arrested for attempting to enter the plant grounds. According to Mark, while police are now letting food onto the plant grounds, Vestas’ private security have been halting it at the gate; food for the occupiers is now being provided by Vestas management after the occupiers accused Vestas in the press of violating the Human Rights Act; commenting on the quality of the food, Mark said “it’s not been that good”. According to the BBC, the content has been mostly sausage rolls, pasties and crisps.

The occupiers were informed yesterday that if they did not leave the plant by 10:30 p.m. on July 22, they would be fired. They have since been served with papers charging them with aggravated trespass and are seeking legal representation; the court papers give them until July 29 to vacate, but according to Mark, the occupiers have no plans to leave: “we’re going to be in here for a while”.

Vestas has given no comment to the press about the occupation.

Political parties in Britain have begun responding to the Vestas situation, with the Green Party adding its support to the occupation following the early declarations of support, previously reported here, by the Socialist Party and Socialist Workers Party. Green Party Leader Dr Caroline Lucas MEP gave her “full support”, and said in an online statement, “We should be seizing the opportunity to create a renewable energy revolution through a favourable policy environment and massive investment in the new technologies that can see us through a transition towards a more environmentally and economically stable economy. The Government can make a genuine start along this road by pledging financial aid to help keep the Isle of Wight’s Vestas plant open for business”. The Greens held a demonstration in London supporting the Vestas workers on July 22. Environmentalist protesters have established a climate camp with dozens of people outside the perimeter of the fence and a mass demonstration is planned for Friday evening in Newport’s St Thomas’s Square.

In parliament, meanwhile, five MPs of the ruling Labour Party have signed a motion protesting the Vestas plant’s closure and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg stated, “This closure exposes the hollow truth of Labour’s climate change strategy”. Labour Party left-wing veteran Tony Benn is expected to appear with RMT general secretary Bob Crow and address a rally at the factory Thursday night. Opposition leader David Cameron of the Conservative Party has not yet commented on the Vestas situation, but Conservative MP Andrew Turner, who represents the Isle of Wight, held a confidential meeting with Vestas management, after which he said that nationalisation was “not on the table”. Earlier in parliament, Turner said that he found Vestas’s lack of negotiations with its employees “totally unacceptable”.

Late on Thursday, Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Minister, published an editorial in The Guardian, writing:

[W]e have to win a political argument that environmentally and industrially, onshore wind is part of the solution. In the meantime, there must be a strategy for the Isle of Wight to do all we can to help and there is. Not just support for the workers who are losing their jobs, but a strategy to work with Vestas.

Milliband went on to promise £120 million in government investment in offshore wind power production and £60 million in marine manufacturing.

Vestas attributes its pullout from the UK to difficulty in obtaining planning permission for wind farms. The Independent quotes a senior company executive as saying, “We needed a stable long-term market and that was not there in the UK. We have made clear to the Government that we need a market. We do not need money.” Vestas’s income is up 59% in the last quarter, although its stock has dropped 4.4% on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange since the occupation began.

Meanwhile in the United States, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick cut the ribbon at the opening of a 300-turbine, 800-megawatt capacity wind farm built by Vestas in Holden, Massachusetts. Vestas is a finalist in a multi-million dollar government contract to build a new offshore wind farm to be constructed in Nantucket Sound by 2012.

Global markets surge in value

Monday, October 13, 2008

Markets worldwide have surged in value following efforts by governments to ease the effect of the ongoing financial crisis, which has recently caused a massive decline in the value of stock markets.

On Sunday, the fifteen countries from the Eurogroup – that is, those countries which use the euro as official currency – had agreed on a joint plan to face the crisis, which would consist in supporting financial institutions and by guaranteeing interbank loans.

The Eurogroup meeting was the last of many which took place during the weekend. The G7 nations had met in Washington at the same time that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held their Autumn meetings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average index is one of the indexes that have done particularly well today, and it closed up 11.08%, well over 9,000 points. General Motors was the best performer in this index, with its value rising by 31.49%. The Nasdaq rose by 11.81%.

The FTSE 100 has today gone up in value by 8,26%, to take the index back over the four thousand mark. TUI Travel was the best performing company in this index. It went up by 41.25 points (21.48%), to take it to a new share price of 233.25. Some shares in the FTSE, however, have continued to fall dramatically. HBOS today dropped in value by 31.48%.

The Brazilian Bovespa index today went up by 14,66%, while the Hang Seng and Singapore Straits Times went up by 10.24% and 6.57% respectively.

Stocks exchanges in Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Toronto were closed due to national holidays.

22:00, Monday, October 13, 2008 (UTC)
9.387,61 936,42 11,08%
1.844,25 194,74 11.81%
228,14 23,30 11,37%
9.065,16 0,00 0.00%
22.095,90 2.190,62 11,01%
1.215,990 0.00 0,00%
40.829,13 5,219.63 14,66%
4.256,90 324,84 8,26%
5.062,45 518,14 11,40%
3.531,50 355,01 11,18%
5.956,32 609,10 11,39%
285,27 27,22 10,55%
2.324,80 201,36 9,48%
17.125,00 1.687,00 10,93%
9.955,70 958,00 10,65%
4.141,90 202,40 5,14%
8.276,43 0,00 0,00%
16.312,20 1.515,29 10,24%
2.073,57 73,00 3,65%

Eastern Conference wins 2008 NBA All-Star Game

Monday, February 18, 2008

Eastern Conference 134 128 Western Conference

The Eastern Conference defeated their Western Conference counterparts at the 2008 National Basketball Association All-Star Game held at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday. The final score was 134-128.

The East took an early 11 point lead in the first 5 minutes, due to an injured Kobe Bryant only playing 2 minutes before sitting on the bench for the rest of the game. “There’s one player we really, really missed, and that was Kobe,” said West coach Byron Scott. The West later reduced the lead to 2 points, but at halftime, the East led 74-65.

The West trailed by 13 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but rallied behind New Orleans point guard Chris Paul, who had seven assists in the final period. With 2:48 remaining, Brandon Roy scored a layup on an assist from Paul, giving the West a 122-119 lead, their biggest lead of the game.

The East then answered back with two three-pointers from Ray Allen, before Chris Paul tied the game with a three-pointer of his own. However, the East would then take the lead and the game with layups from Dwyane Wade and Allen, as well as a driving dunk from LeBron James. A Brandon Roy three-pointer put the game within three points with 8.7 seconds left, but 3 free throws from Ray Allen sealed the win for the East.

“The fourth quarter was crazy,” said Chris Paul. “We were down 13. We picked up the intensity. We took the lead a few times but Ray Allen was unbelievable the way he shot the ball. And that last dunk by LeBron, we had two people on him but that still wasn’t enough.”

With 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists, James was named the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player for the second time in his career. Some television commentators also considered Ray Allen a likely choice for the award, with 14 of his 28 points coming in the final 3 minutes of the game. “I think Ray Allen had a heck of a shooting night,” James said after being presented the award.

Contents

  • 1 Other All-Star events
    • 1.1 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge
    • 1.2 Haier Shooting Stars Competition
    • 1.3 Playstation Skills Challenge
    • 1.4 Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout
    • 1.5 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

Apple unveils new iPods, Apple TV; updates iOS, iTunes

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In a music-themed media event yesterday, Apple Inc. unveiled three new iPod portable music players, as well as an upgraded Apple TV system. Apple also announced updates for its iTunes software and iOS mobile operating system.

The annual event started at 10 a.m. PDT (1700 UTC) in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who led yesterday’s keynote speech at the event, was dressed in his typical black long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and tennis shoes. He began by discussing new international Apple Stores, an update to the company’s iOS mobile operating system, and the release of a new gaming app, Game Center. Jobs then turned his attention to what he called the “entrée” of the day.

Apple will release new versions of its iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, and iPod Touch lines next week in what Jobs called “the biggest change in the iPod line ever.” The iPod Shuffle’s VoiceOver capabilities have been extended to playlists, meaning that it will now be able to read off the names of songs, artists, and playlists. The new device is priced at US$49.

Jobs also showed off the company’s new iPod Nano. The Nano, now smaller and without a click wheel, features a new multi-touch screen that allows users to touch virtual buttons to control the device. The new design is 42 percent lighter and 46 percent smaller, but still includes functions on previous Nanos, such as an FM radio and a pedometer. The 8 GB version will cost US$149, while the 16 GB version will be priced at US$179.

Jobs announced an updated iPod Touch as well, an announcement that had been widely expected for some time. The new, thinner Touch has been upgraded with features matching some already on the company’s recently-released iPhone 4, including the high-resolution “Retina” display and dual video cameras. One camera, located on the back the of the iPod Touch, is for recording video, while the other camera, located on the front, is for use with Apple’s FaceTime video calling program. FaceTime allows users of the latest iPhone and iPod Touch models to conduct video chats with each other over Wi-Fi networks. The iPod Touch starts at US$229 for a 8 GB model, US$299 for 32 GB, and US$399 for 64 GB.

Another major product refresh unveiled yesterday was the Apple TV. The digital media receiver was first released in 2007, but was never very popular. Jobs even admitted that, although Apple has “sold a lot of them, they’ve never been a huge hit.” The US$99 second-generation Apple TV is both smaller and cheaper than its predecessor, which was priced at US$229. The new version will let consumers stream content from online sources, including Netflix, and rent both movies and television shows. Apple has made a deal with Fox and ABC to let users rent episodes of shows for 99¢, instead of buying programs. “We think the rest of the studios will see the light and get on board with this pretty fast,” added Jobs. High-definition movies can be rented for US$4.99, and the new Apple TV will be available for purchase in around four weeks.

Among the less-hyped updates was one to AirPlay, previously named AirTunes. AirPlay lets users stream music, photos, and videos from iOS devices to other Wi-Fi-enabled systems. AirPlay would let a video on an iPad be played on a television via Apple TV.

Along with an iOS update came one for Apple’s online music store application, iTunes. The biggest news involving iTunes 10, which is available for download now, is Apple’s new music-based social network, Ping. “It is sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes,” described Jobs. “It is not Facebook. It is not Twitter. It is something else we’ve come up with. It’s all about music.” Built into iTunes, Ping allows a user to follow both friends and artists to find new music and concert tours, and anyone with an iTunes account will be able to access Ping upon updating to iTunes 10. Ping will have settings for privacy as well, giving users the option to approve followers. Jobs also introduced a new iTunes logo, which does not include an image of a CD on it because music sales on iTunes are expected to overtake CD sales soon.

Jobs concluded the event by bringing out Chris Martin, a member of the award-winning band Coldplay. Martin, who played a few songs on the piano, including the hit song “Yellow,” jokingly called his performance “the toughest closing gig I’ve ever had.”

Although many of yesterday’s announcements had been predicted ahead of time, some had speculated that Apple would go even further. Apple defied expectations of a new cloud-based music service. They also did not extend the amount of time a buyer could sample music on iTunes, as some had guessed.

CanadaVOTES: NDP incumbent David Christopherson running in Hamilton Centre

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party incumbent David Christopherson is standing for re-election in the riding of Hamilton Centre.

From 1985-1990, he served as a Hamilton City Councillor for Ward Four. He was elected to Ontario legislature in 1990, defeating a Liberal cabinet minister. Under Bob Rae, Christopherson served as Minister of Correctional Services and Solicitor-General. He did not seek re-election to legislature in 2003, opting to run for mayor of Hamilton. Considered a frontrunner, he lost to Larry Di Ianni.

He returned to politics just months later, changing his focus to federal politics. Christopherson beat Liberal cabinet minister Stan Keyes, the incumbent, serving as NDP critic for cities, community infrastructure, labour and steel policy. He has served as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Steel Caucus.

Wikinews contacted David Christopherson, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

First elected in 2004, David Christopherson is the only MP to have represented Hamilton Centre, which was created in 2003 from parts of three other ridings. Only 38 km², small versus other area ridings, its located on the south side of Hamilton Harbour. Alphabetically, Christopherson’s challengers are Anthony Giles (Libertarian), John Livingstone (Green), Lisa Nussey (Marxist-Leninist), Leon O’Connor (Conservative), Ryan Sparrow (Communist), and Helen M. Wilson (Liberal).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

British 4G mobile spectrum auction underway

Friday, January 25, 2013

The auction for the mobile spectrum capable of carrying 4G mobile broadband services in the United Kingdom got underway on Thursday. The auction process is expected to take several weeks and will take place online. Mobile network operators are expected to roll out services by July.

4G mobile network technology will bring faster downstream speeds than the current 3G connections allowing for data-intensive surfing on the move such as video streaming. Some mobile users have criticised the industry regulator Ofcom for having taken a long time to start rolling out the 4G technology, with the United Kingdom falling behind many other European countries.

EE (Everything Everywhere) launched the UK’s first 4G network in a number of cities last year, however many people complained due to them being the only service provider. The bidders include the current main UK mobile network operators — Vodafone UK, Telefónica UK (O2), Everything Everywhere and Hutchinson 3G (3) — as well as British Telecommunications.

Ed Richards, the Chief Executive of Ofcom, said of the auction: “It will release the essential raw material for the next wave of mobile digital services. This will change the way we consume digital media in both our personal and working lives and deliver significant benefits to millions of consumers and businesses across the country.”

Each bidder is competing with one another to win combinations of the 28 spectrum ‘lots’ available from the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum bands.