Romania announces 18 percent increase in tourists in 2004

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Bucharest, Romania — 6.6 million tourists visited Romania in 2004, marking an 18% increase over 2003, announced the National Authority for Tourism (ANT). This was one of the highest rates of tourism growth in Europe. However, it remains slightly below the number of Romanians who spent their holidays in other countries throughout 2004 – a figure of 6.9 million.

Carmen Moraru, the promotion and marketing director at ANT said that many tourists came as part of holiday packages or tours, organised around the regions of Maramure?, Transylvania, Moldova, the Prahova Valley and the Danube Delta.

In 2005, the number of tourist arrivals is set to rise further, mainly due to a Romanian promotion campaign launched across Europe. The country’s tourist revival is mainly due to its diversity – it is home to Europe’s largest delta, the Black Sea Coast with its resorts, the Carpathian Mountains with their skiing and winter activities, Transylvania with its ecotourism, agritourism and beautiful landscapes, as well as the medieval history of cities like Sibiu and Sighi?oara.

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Ozzy Osbourne’s personal possessions fetch $800,000 for charity

Sunday, December 2, 2007

American heavy metal performer Ozzy Osbourne, who became famous as the lead vocalist for Black Sabbath and later as a solo act, has raised more than US$800,000 for The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, founded by his spouse Sharon Osbourne at the Cedars Sinai Hospital, by auctioning off personal items.

A number of the items that he auctioned off over the two day period have been seen on his reality TV show The Osbournes, which featured home life with Sharon, Ozzy and their two children. Amongst some of the higher-priced items were a carved walnut Victorian-style custom built pool table which raised $11,250, a painting from Edourad Drouot which fetched $10,500, a pair of Ozzy’s famous round glasses which raised $5,250 and a dog bed given to Sharon by Elton John which sold for $2,375.

Some more famous items were also amongst the 500 lots offered. Ozzy’s black satin coat, complete with bat-wing cape, raised $3,300 and a hand-painted floral cup used regularly on The Osbournes made $1,625. A bronze plaque of a demon’s head that was regularly seen in its position adorning the front door of their house had been expected to go for $800 to $1,200instead raised $8,750. A wire model of the Eiffel Tower from on the kitchen table sold for $10,000, while skull-covered trainers Ozzy had worn reached $2,625. Bidders came from as far away as Germany to buy what they could from his mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

However, three cars included in the auction failed to attract bidders and did not sell. They were a 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, estimated at $160,000 to $180,000, a 2005 Cadillac CTS-V sedan estimated at $30,000 to $40,000 and a 1950 Oldsmobile Futuramic 88 Club Coupe previously owned by author Danielle Steel estimated at $40,000 to $50,000. Sharon had earlier said of the cars “We’re not great car people. They really don’t do a lot for us.

Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, which organised the two-day sale, said “It did very well. It raised some good money for a very worthy cause.”

“For a celebrity garage sale, it was pretty spectacular.,” he went on. He also commented on the fact that there was fierce competition for the many artworks included. “We had Ozzy fans bidding against these sophisticated fine art buyers, which you don’t see every day. For the most part the metalheads were outbidding the art crowd.”

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U.K. doctors successfully transplant a beating heart

Monday, June 5, 2006

British doctors have successfully transplanted a beating heart into the chest of a 58-year old man, the first operation of its kind in the United Kingdom.

The “trial” surgery was performed at Papworth Hospital just outside of London, England in Cambridge. The operation could be “equivalent if not superior” to the current transplanting methods, doctors said. The method has only been performed two other times, in Germany.

Usually hearts would be injected with potassium, which stopped the heart from beating, after which it would be covered with ice. This put the heart in “suspended animation” but gave doctors only a six-hour window to examine and transplant, doctors said.

“Normally the heart is in suspended animation but they still start to deteriorate,” said Professor Bruce Rosengard, head of the team of doctors who operated on the man.

The new method involves connecting the heart to a machine that pumps warm, oxygen enriched blood through the heart. The heart is able to keep beating with this method. The new process allows surgeons to look more closely and longer at the heart for any signs of damage. It also allows them to find a match for whoever may need it.

“Once hearts are hooked up to the device, which takes about 20 minutes, any deterioration is fully reversed. If we look at resuscitating hearts that are currently unusable, the number of transplants could be tripled or quadrupled,” added Rosengard. “The goal of this trial is to demonstrate that this is at least equivalent if not superior,” he added.

The director of transplants in the United Kingdom Chris Rudge also says that doctors are working on using the same new method with different human organs.

“In the longer term it is not just hearts that can be handled by such systems but other organs too, particularly the liver,” said Rudge.

The 58-year old man is doing “extremely well. At his exam one week after the operation, all his functions were absolutely normal,” Rosengard said.

At least 19 more operations are planned in the U.K. and in Germany.

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Building An Outdoor Gazebo With Plans

By Nancy G Orazco

Making your own garden gazebo seems to add an aesthetically pleasing addition to every garden or backyard. Thanks to the net, creating your individual custom-made garden gazebo plans are a simple undertaking. First of all, it is essential to understand what precisely is involved in making a garden gazebo from scratch as well as building materials plus available designs. Below are a number of commonly asked questions as regards to gazebos as well as their enlightening answers that should assist you in your next endeavor.

What Is A Gazebo?

A garden gazebo is a freestanding pavilion structure frequently in an octagon form. Standard outdoor gazebos are roofed, furthermore it is open on all sides to produce shade in the hot sun, nevertheless giving an open air wind for rest and recreation. The most ordinary places you will observe an outdoor gazebo are in a parks, backyard, or in a spacious field.

What Material Can Be Used To Create A Gazebo?

Of course the amount of materials will change depending on the size of outdoor gazebo you choose to build, so be sure to decide the size previous to purchasing supplies. Supplies needed for making an eight feet diameter gazebo contain: 1 bag of cement, 1 cubic yard of gravel sand mix, 4 templates, 8 fillets, and 8 posts for the footing of the gazebo. For the framing you are going to call for: 1 hub, 8 head beams, 8 rafters, and 16 beam & post braces. To make the handrails you are going to need 14 wood rails and a 130 ft. vertical board. Roofing supplies ought to consist of 221 ft. of lumber. Additional hardware you may possibly need: metal straps, angle clips, screws, and nails along with of course the basic equipment such as a nail gun, saw, etc.

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What Sort Of Lumber Do You Utilize?

Pressured treated wood can be the most chosen for constructing outdoors. This kind of wood offers a classic look while preventing against rot, termites, as well as further elements. It would additionally be clever to inquire about water proof pressure treated lumber.

Where Do You Get A Hold Of Gazebo Plans?

The advantage of living in this time and era can be that the Net is at your fingertips. Typing in “gazebo building plans” into whichever search engine will offer you a large amount of options. But if you would rather not use a computer, you will want to pay a quick visit to a local building and supply store for more assistance.

What Designs Can Be Obtainable?

The advantage of building your own gazebo is that you may set a special touch on the final product. The typical gazebo is shaped like an octagon, nonetheless a fast online search is going to provide numerous designs.

Building A Gazebo vs. Buying A Gazebo Pre-fabricated Kit

An outdoor gazebo kit offers a chance to employ pre-cut or panelized wood plus step-by-step information with photos to construct the gazebo. While a gazebo pre-fabricated kit is more simple to construct, you can be limited to its types of lumber plus designs that the pre-fabricated kits contain. For an individual with limited woodworking skills, a gazebo pre-fabricated kit is suggested.

Will You Call For A Constructing Permit To Construct A Gazebo?

Be positive and confirm with your local building permit personnel, however usually structures fewer than 100 sq. ft. may not require permits.

About the Author: Visit my site for a list of gazebo plans that are offered free of charge. If you are building an outdoor gazebo from scratch, research and study the plans before you begin construction.


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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

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Vestas protesters sacked with immediate effect

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Eleven of the 25 workers at the Vestas factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, England who have been carrying out a sit-in since Monday July 20 have been sacked with immediate effect.

According to one of the protesters known as “Mike”, the occupiers were given their dismissal notices concealed under slices of their evening meal of pizza. The company said that the protesters have had ample opportunity to air their point of view, and had no choice but to sack eleven of the twenty five workers that they had positively identified; and that given that the fact that the action constituted a “fundamental breach” of trust, that the eleven would not be entitled to redundancy packages. A press release from the company said that Vestas “saw no other choice than to dismiss the 11 employees, who the company has positively identified as the employees currently participating in the occupation of the factory.”

The protesters remained upbeat, vowing to continue their occupation and have called upon the UK government to save the 625 jobs and to nationalise the Danish owned factory. Occupier Ian Terry told the BBC that if the occupiers are forced out, they plan to leave the building “peacefully”.

Vestas management were dealt a setback today in ending the occupation as Newport County Court ruled that the papers accusing the occupiers of aggravate trespass and requiring they surrender the office they occupy by July 29 were improperly served. The case has been adjourned until Tuesday August 4. In court, Judge Graham White said he was “distinctly uncomfortable” with what he perceived as Vestas’ effort to “get around the rules” in retaking the factory from the occupiers.

Legal representation for the Vestas workers had been offered by Bob Crow, secretary of the RMT trade union. Crow has pledged the “full solidarity” of the RMT and seven other unions with the workers occupying the plant.

Vestas management has also been providing the occupiers with hot meals in an apparent response to Crow’s announcement, made on July 24, that the RMT was planning on airlifting food into the factory by helicopter. Crow is meeting today with Ed Miliband, the Environment Minister.

Earlier in the week, Miliband pledged £6 million in funding to an expansion of Vestas’ Isle of Wight research and development centre, which currently employs 110 workers and could, said the Minister, be expanded to employ 40 more.

Rallies continued throughout the week in support of the Vestas occupiers. Since the occupation began, the Vestas workers have received declarations of support and solidarity from a wide swathe of the British left, including but not limited to: political parties Green Party, Respect, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the Alliance for Workers Liberty, and the Communist Party of Britain; the TUCG group, which brings together the BFAWU, FBU, NAPO, NUJ, PCS, POA, RMT, and URTU; and environmental groups Greenpeace, the Campaign against Climate Change, Climate Camp, and Workers’ Climate Action, who claims credit for initiating the campaign to occupy the factory. Attendees of the Big Green Gathering, a large annual environmentalist rally which was due to take place starting today but was suddenly canceled on Sunday, are being encouraged to go to the Isle of Wight and take part in support rallies for Vestas instead.

Speaking to Wikinews about the “redgreen” coalition supporting the occupation, a spokesman for the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty said: “We think this struggle is important on at least three grounds — it is central to the struggle for jobs, it is central to the struggle for the environment, and it is central to the struggle for rebuilding the labour movement.”

Photographs shared with Wikinews by the occupiers show the occupiers, mostly young men, talking, carrying out everyday tasks, and keeping in touch with the outside world via mobile phones. The use of mobile telephones in the Vestas occupation has given the press remarkable access to the occupiers and provided an effective platform for relaying their demands and feelings to the media. In contrast, Vestas’s designated media contact for the United Kingdom is on vacation. Attempts to reach Vestas Newport factory manager Patrick Weir, whom a Vestas representative at the company’s Danish headquarters stated was handling press inquiries regarding the occupation, received no reply.

Vestas plans to close the factory on July 31, citing the difficulties of obtaining planning permission for wind farms in the United Kingdom. All blades manufactured at Vestas’ Newport plant are sent to the United States. 1900 employees of the company in Northern Europe face job losses, 625 of them in Vestas’s plants in the south of England.

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Crane levels New York City townhouse, leaving 4 dead

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A construction crane fell from a New York City condominium on Saturday afternoon, demolishing a four-story townhouse and killing four construction workers.

At least ten people were injured in the accident, three of them critically, mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “This accident is one of the worst the city has had,” said the mayor. “Our thoughts go to the families. I hope we will not find other victims.” He added that authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

The crane broke into pieces as it fell from a height of 15 or 20 stories, according to witnesses. It hit three residential buildings in the course of the fall and completely crushed the aforementioned townhouse, which housed a bar on the first floor. “The top of the crane went right through the building, and it sliced it in half,” said Maryann Krajacic, who lives next to the townhouse.

The bar was closed when the crane fell, but John LaGreco, who owns the bar, fears one of his employees may be dead within the rubble. “Our bar is done,” he said. “If I wasn’t watching a Yankees game, I would’ve come to work early and gotten killed.”

Cars were overturned and buried in rubble, and the air was filled with clouds of smoke and dust. Around 150 police officers blocked off the area, and 300 firefighters frantically searched for any additional victims. The search could continue all night, said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, and would include search dogs and thermal-imaging, and listening devices.

More than half a dozen buildings in the vicinity were evacuated, and a Red Cross shelter was set up nearby.

Stephen Kaplan, an owner of the Reliance Construction Group, says the accident resulted from a falling piece of steel, which severed one of the ties holding the crane to the building. “All the piece of steel had to do was fall slightly left or right, and nothing would have happened,” Kaplan said.

Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer said local residents had often complained about security violations in the building’s construction; they asserted that crews worked illegal hours and that the building was going up too quickly. “Over the last year, this is becoming standard in my borough,” Stringer said. “I think we have a real issue here.”

On March 4, a caller told officials that the crane lacked a sufficient number of safety ties. It was inspected March 6, and no violation was issued. The crane was also inspected Friday, the day before the accident.

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Inuit Eskimo Soapstone Carvings As Corporate And Cultural Gifts

Inuit Eskimo Soapstone Carvings as Corporate and Cultural Gifts


Clint Leung

One of the unique ways about Canadian organizations is their choice of corporate or cultural gifts. In many cases for both companies doing corporate business and political organizations conducting cultural affairs internationally is the use of Inuit Eskimo soapstone carvings from the Canadian Arctic as gifts. This is especially true for gifts to foreign individuals, organizations or heads of state. In the world of commerce, Canadian corporations doing international business abroad have brought over Inuit soapstone carvings for their current or prospective foreign business partners. Asian and European companies have accepted Inuit soapstone carvings as corporate gifts with much delight since Inuit art is as exotic to them as Ferraris are to North Americans. Indeed, when doing business in Japan or in fast growing China, Canadian Inuit art will be a very useful tool for building long term business relationships. This is also true for making inroads in the developing European markets as well.

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Inuit Eskimo soapstone carvings from the Canadian Arctic have been used as cultural gifts for many years. Foreign royalty, presidents and other diplomats have been given Inuit Eskimo soapstone carvings as a token of Canadian culture. The recipient list has included quite a few American presidents as well. It is said that Prince Charles of the United Kingdom has been a huge fan of Inuit art ever since he received a soapstone carving as a gift many years ago. His interest has resulted in more awareness of Canadian Inuit art in the United Kingdom. Canadian academic and educational groups have gone abroad with Inuit Eskimo soapstone carvings for their foreign counterparts too.

Within Canada, Inuit Eskimo soapstone carvings have been popular retirement gift items in recent years. Sometimes they have been awarded as prizes for high achievers like top sales people within companies. An Inuit Eskimo soapstone carving is definitely a nice alternative to the standard plaque or trophy award. If such artwork is very much appreciated by recipients in Canadian companies, just imagine how much more Inuit art would be appreciated in companies based outside Canada such as in the United States or Asia. A Canadian Inuit Eskimo soapstone carving will be regarded as an extra special prize.

The use of Inuit Eskimo soapstone carvings in corporate and cultural gift giving today is a result of just how far Inuit art has come. It is evidence that this type of indigenous native art has made it to the fine art status that it deserves.

Clint Leung is owner of Free Spirit Gallery ( , an online gallery specializing in Inuit Eskimo and Northwest Native American art including carvings, sculpture and prints. Free Spirit Gallery has numerous information resource articles with photos of authentic Inuit and Native Indian art as well as free eCards.

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Inuit Eskimo Soapstone Carvings as Corporate and Cultural Gifts

Several injured in Ben Nevis cable car accident

Thursday, July 13, 2006

As many as eight people have been injured after two cable cars collided at the Nevis Range near Fort William in Scotland.

Two RAF helicopters, an air ambulance, four ambulance crews, police, fire brigade and a mountain rescue team are among those present. Police have confirmed that three people have been injured, including one child. Injuries include broken legs, head and chest injuries. The Scottish Ambulance Service have reported that up to seven people had been thrown on to the hillside. A reporter at the scene said one car near the top of the mountain had slid down a cable, hitting another and then one of the cars fell to the ground.

Northern Constabulary have stated “It’s understood that two gondolas would appeared to have collided and a number of casualties have been reported. The local mountain rescue team, Inverness helimed and other air support are in attendance to remove casualties”.

The Doppelmayr gondola system is made up of eighty six-seat closed cabins running on a continuous 4.6km steel cable.

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Scotland denies bail to terminally ill man convicted of Lockerbie bombing

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Scotland has refused bail to the Libyan man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 despite his terminal cancer, as he can receive treatment in prison. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi was jailed in 2001 for the 1988 bombing of the transatlantic airliner, killing 270 people, but is seeking to have his conviction overturned.

Minutes after Edinburgh’s Appeals Court rejected bail on compassionate grounds Jim Swire, spokesman for the victim’s families who lost his daughter in the disaster, complained about the ruling. “It has never been a goal of our group to seek revenge,” said a lawyer outside the court reading from his statement. “The refusal of a return to his family for a dying man whose verdict is not even yet secure looks uncomfortably like either an aspect of revenge — or perhaps timidity.”

Al-Megrahi, a former intelligence officer, is 54 and serving a minimum of 27 years for the bombing. He has advanced prostate cancer which is spreading through his body. His request for bail was rejected by Lord Hamilton, Scotland’s head judge, who said that as doctors say he could live a few more years he should not be released unless and until after his appeal succeeds or his condition worsens.

Should Megrahi have been released?
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Some other doctors give his time as just months, as the cancer has reached his bones. Hamilton however said that palliative hormone treatment could prolong his life. Hamilton also said Al-Megrahi was not suffering “material pain or disability”.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission ruled last year that the conviction may be a miscarriage of justice. It said there was significant doubts to be raised over several key pieces of evidence in the original trial.

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