Iraqi deputy health minister kidnapped

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Deputy to the Iraq Health Minister, Ammar al-Saffar, who lives with his sister in Baghdad’s Sunni neighbourhood of Adhamiya, was kidnapped today.

It is reported that six uniformed men and others wearing suits, arrived at Mr Saffer’s home in police cars and pickup trucks and took him off.

As one of the deputies to the Health Minister, Mr Saffer called earlier this year for as much as $8 Billion to restore Iraq’s health services.

On August 9, 2006, Mr Saffar discussed the health situation in Iraq with the BBC. He said that the insurgents were killing doctors and trying to create a brain drain. 100 doctors had been killed “because they were trying to help people and because they were Shia”. He said that there are about 18,000 doctors in Iraq but many have left, while others practice at home rather than at hospitals where they could be better protected. Under Saddam they were not permitted to leave, now there is no restriction. But now there are cash incentives: under Saddam they earned $2-3 a month, now they can earn up to $500 a month. On security, he said that the people blamed the US for the violence because, although they were responsible for security, they left the borders poorly guarded.

Mr Saffer survived an assassination attempt in June, 2004 when he was fired upon as he left his home. He was uninjured.

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Fire kills three and closes main transport route into Western Australia

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A fire in the Borrabbin National Park between Southern Cross and Coolgardie Western Australia, has so far burnt out 29,000 hectares and killed three truck drivers when the convoy they were travelling in was engulfed by the flames. Great Eastern Highway the primary road for all traffic from Perth heading to the East Coast of Australia has been closed. An alternate route is in place, police are diverting traffic at Norseman. The diversion adds 250 km(160 mi) for the journey to Perth.

The three truck drivers died on Sunday night after they joined a convoy that was released from Coolgardie after being told that the road was safe. Kieran McNamara director general of the Department of Environment and Conservation(DEC) admitted that it had been caught out by its decision to reopen the road at 8pm (wst) on 30 December.

Mr McNamara said “The decision was made with the advice from people at the firefront, and with the latest weather forecasts, and was judged to be the right decision and the safe decision at the time and in those circumstances… Regrettably and with hindsight, that’s not how it’s turned out.”

The driver of another truck in the convoy that was destroyed escaped with burns to his hands and was rushed through the fire front by firefighters to Yellowdine, another driver was rescued uninjured and return to Coolgardie, a spokesman for Whiteline transport the owners of this truck were thankful their driver survived unharmed saying the cost of the vehicle lost was about AU$400,000 plus cargo. Police confirmed that four trucks were destroyed by the fire.

Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia reported that they were fighting the fire without using water. All efforts were focused on building fire breaks with heavy machinery to contain the fire, that 90 volunteer fire fighters on the scene were there to defend the bulldozers.

The fire is still burning on a 150 km (90 mi) front, DEC spokesman says fire fighters are hoping to bring the fire under control with an expected cool change on Wednesday. The Weather Bureau has forecast temperatures to return above 40°C(105°F) by Thursday.

Local Police say that Great Eastern Highway will remain closed until the fire is under control and the damaged vehicles have been removed from the scene, at this stage its not expected to occur before Sunday.

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Awesome Chicago Vacation Ideas In Lincoln Park For Everyone

byAlma Abell

There is something for everyone in the Lincoln Park area of the great city of Chicago. If you are looking for some fun locations where you can spend some vacation time in Lincoln Park, here are a couple of ideas.

ComedySportz Theatre

One entertainment venue for those who enjoy improv is the ComedySportz theatre. Different nights feature different shows for all ages, and classes in improv are also offered for those willing to push their nerves out of the way and go for it. Whether you choose to take a class, or simply watch, those looking for a fun night and a good laugh will find it at the ComedySportz Theatre Lincoln Park.

Steppenwolf Theatre

For those appreciate the art of theatre, the Steppenwolf Theatre is just one theatre of many in Chicago’s version of Broadway. There are currently shows playing through the end of this month, and shows coming up include a play version of “Animal Farm” as well as titles “Marie Antoinette” and “The Herd.” So, if you’re looking to see something original, and cinemas are just not doing it for you, look up shows and times at the Steppenwolf Theatre.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Animal-lovers looking for something to do should check out the Lincoln Park zoo. It is a large zoo, and sure to show you a number of animals that you have likely never seen in real life including dwarf mongooses, Klipspringers, and sand cats. A myriad of reptiles, fish, birds, and amphibians are present as well. If animals fascinate you, consider spending an afternoon in the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the few Chicago vacation ideas in Lincoln Park.

The Boka and the The Butcher and the Burger

If you’re hungry and looking for Chicago vacation ideas in Lincoln Park, should check out the Boka. The menu items have a range of poultry, beef, and seafood, including duck breast, lamb shoulder, and monkfish. The price range is a bit higher here, so be ready to spend at least upwards of $70 for two. For a lower price, consider an evening out at The Butcher and The Burger. There is a variety of restaurants in Lincoln Park for all price ranges, so grab some food and spend some quality time with loved ones!

Chicago actually can be a cool vacation spot. If you are going to Chicago in the near future, consider the exciting venues above. Click here for more information.

Iranian International Master Dorsa Derakhshani discusses her chess career with Wikinews

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

In February 2017, the Iranian Chess Federation announced two teenage chess players, Dorsa Derakhshani and her younger brother Borna Derakhshani, were banned from representing the national team. The federation announced their decision although Dorsa Derakhshani had previously decided and informed the chess federation she did not wish to play for Iran.

Dorsa Derakhshani is currently 21 years old and holds the International Master (IM) as well as Woman Grand Master (WGM) titles. Her brother, Borna, plays for the English Federation and holds the FIDE Master title.

Dorsa Derakhshani was banned since she did not wear a hijab, an Islamic headscarf, while competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival in January 2017. Under the laws of Islamic Republic of Iran, hijab is a mandatory dress code. Her brother Borna Deraskhsani was banned for playing against Israeli Grand Master (GM) Alexander Huzman at the same tournament. Iran does not recognise the existence of Israel, and previously, Irani athletes have avoided playing against Israeli athletes.

Mehrdad Pahlavanzadeh, the president of the country’s chess federation, explained the decision to ban the players saying, “As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran and in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.” ((fa))Farsi language: ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???????? ?? ?? ????? ? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ????. He further stated, “Unfortunately, something that should not have happened has happened and our national interest is paramount and we have reported this position to the Ministry of Sports.” ((fa))Farsi language: ????????? ?????? ?? ????? ????????? ?????? ??? ? ????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????.

IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who currently studies at Saint Louis University in the United States and plays for the United States Chess Federation, discussed her chess career, time in Iran and the 2017 controversy, and her life in Saint Louis with a Wikinews correspondent.

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2010 BRIT Awards highlights

Friday, February 19, 2010

The 2010 BRIT Awards, presented by the British Phonographic Industry, is an annual award ceremony for music artists. This year, the competition took place in the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, England. The event started taking place in 1980, with this year’s event being the 30th BRIT Awards. This year, the programme was broadcast live – although with a short delay to allow censorship of strong language – on ITV1 from 2000-2200 GMT on Tuesday. 5.8 million viewers watched it, which was an audience share of 21.9%.

The main presenter of the programme was British comedian Peter Kay, although various other celebrities also presented awards, including actor Andy Serkis, musician Melanie Brown, singer Shirley Bassey, television and radio presenter Jonathan Ross, actor Idris Elba, singer Geri Halliwell, television presenter Cat Deeley, comedian Alan Carr, singer Mika, fashion designer and film director Tom Ford, former glamour model Samantha Fox, musician Noddy Holder and musician and actress Courtney Love. Fearne Cotton was also a backstage presenter during the event. There was also an after show highlights programme broadcast on ITV2, immediately after the programme on ITV1 had finished, from 2200-2300 GMT. Presenting on the programme was Rufus Hound and Caroline Flack. BBC Radio 1 also had continuous official coverage on the station throughout the day of the awards, with disc jockeys Scott Mills and Greg James hosting a programme on the station at around the time of the award ceremony.

The BRITs is a celebration of all that is totally outstanding and unique about British music. But what’s less well known about the BRITs is the fantastic work it does raising millions of pounds for the BRIT trust which has benefited thousands of young people to develop their talents and generally enrich our society. Well done on all you’ve achieved.

Various artists, all of which were BRIT Award nominees, performed during the ITV1 programme. Lily Allen, JLS and Kasabian were amongst the performers. American musician Lady Gaga said that “[t]his is for Alexander McQueen“, who died on February 11, 2010, before performing two of her tracks – Telephone and Dance in the Dark. Dizzee Rascal and Florence and the Machine performed a duet entitled You’ve Got the Dirtee Love, which was a merger of two songs – You’ve Got the Love, which was originally recorded by The Source and Candi Staton – and later covered by Florence and the Machine – and Dirtee Cash, which was originally performed by Dizzee Rascal.

After Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performed their song Empire State of Mind, Cheryl Cole performed her track, Fight For This Love, although the performance featured excerpts from Show Me Love, a track that was originally recorded by Robin S.

Lady Gaga won all three awards that she was nominated for, including “International female solo artist”, “International breakthrough act” and “International album”, the latter being for The Fame. In one of her acceptance speeches, she said: “Thank you, thank you so so much. I love my fans. Thank you. My fans in the UK, thank you.”

When accepting the award for “British male solo artist”, rapper Dizzee Rascal stated: “It’s about time as well.” Music group JLS were nominated for three awards and won two of them – “British breakthrough act” and “British single”. Group member Oritsé Williams stated in the acceptance speech: “We never ever thought this would happen, you’ve made our dreams come true.” Kasabian was given the award for “British group”. Lily Allen, who was wearing an orange wig during the award ceremony, received the award for “British female solo artist”. In her acceptance speech, she declared: “Oh my god. I only wore this orange wig ’cause I though it’d make it harder for them to find me, the cameramen, and catch my disappointed face.”

British group Florence and the Machine won the “Mastercard British album” award for the album Lungs. Florence Welch of the group accepted the award, stating: “Thanks so much for having me back. Cheers! […] There are so many people that help me make this album and so many people who supported it, people like you.” The award for “BRITs performance of 30 years” went to former group the Spice Girls for their performance of Wannabe/Who Do You Think You Are. The award for “International male solo artist” went to rapper Jay-Z.

Former British group Oasis were awarded with the honour of “BRITs album of 30 years”, for their album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. Former group comrade Liam Gallagher came onto the stage to accept the award and told the viewers: “Listen kids. I wanna thank Bonehead, Quiggs, Alan White… the best fucking fans in the world. Live forever.” He then threw his microphone and the trophy into the crowd and walked off the stage. Presenter Peter Kay then came on and said about Gallagher: “What a knobhead.”

At one point during the programme, a pre-recorded video with Prince Harry of Wales in it was shown. In the video, Prince Harry said: “You’ll be pleased to know that I’m not gonna sing, but only because I don’t want to show up the next act. The BRITs is a celebration of all that is totally outstanding and unique about British music. But what’s less well known about the BRITs is the fantastic work it does raising millions of pounds for the BRIT trust which has benefited thousands of young people to develop their talents and generally enrich our society. Well done on all you’ve achieved. I hope you have a fantastic evening.”

The “Critic’s choice” award was given to British music artist Ellie Goulding. The “Outstanding contribution award” was won by British musician Robbie Williams, who performed a medley of thirteen of his songs at the end of the programme – Let Me Entertain You, Supreme, Millennium, Feel, Everything Changes (originally performed by Take That, the group that Williams was formerly a member of), Angels, No Regrets, Bodies, Come Undone, Morning Sun, Rock DJ and Rudebox.

Below is a complete list of the recipients of the awards on Tuesday night. Please note that the awards list is not in order of when they were given out.

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On the campaign trail in the USA, August 2020

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The following is the fourth edition of a monthly series chronicling the 2020 United States presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

This month’s spotlight on the campaign trail: a bat attacks the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, the American Independent Party picks a ticket amid controversy, and Birthers resurface to question the eligibility of the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee.

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Understanding The Different Attributes Of Air Compressors

Submitted by: Brian Jenkins

While it is easy to assume that all air compressors are created equally, they come in many different varieties and are uniquely suited to their specific purposes. They are simple machines designed to pump the air from one place to another and compress its volume. Once the gas has been stored, it can easily be used to inflate an object, for propulsion, or to provide energy.

Most home handymen use their air compressors to power simple hand tools or to inflate tires. Since they are made for a variety of uses, home compressors come in all shapes and sizes. One can find almost every combination of capacity, PSI capability, and power at their local hardware store.


Compressors that store gas for future use have a limited area in which to place air or a capacity. Some inflators simply pull air from an intake vent and pump it through into a nozzle. This is ideal for filling up tires and other objects that need air, but they do not store and pressurize air. Compressors that store air have a tank. The size of the tank is usually measured in gallons.

It may be unclear initially why capacity is a factor to consider, but depending out what the compressor is used for, it can make a big difference. A large capacity air compressor is useful for powering large air tools for a long amount of time. For instance, an industrial nail gun uses air pressure to force the nails into wood. If the gun needs a lot of pressure and is used frequently, the air pressure in the tank drops with each use. The higher the capacity, the longer the tool can be used before the tank must be allowed to refill.

Pounds per Square Inch or PSI

A PSI measurement is the force at which air compressors release air. This is a representation of the amount of pressure the air being pumped out of the tank is exerting on something. Most air-powered tools have PSI rating. Many consumer tools use a rating of about 90 PSI. Most commercial compressors achieve this quite easily.

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As the pressure in the tank drops, the PSI also drops. If the rate at which the air comes out of the machine becomes too low, the tool will stop working. This usually means that the air was depleted faster than it could be replaced and compressed.

Cubic Feet per Minute

Cubic feet per minute is another measurement for the rate at which the air leaves a device. This method uses time as a metric, so it reveals that amount of air that is passing through the valve rather than its pressure.

Many tools have both a PSI and CFM rating. Devices like sanders and spray guns require constant pressure. They not only need a certain PSI, but also a CFM that is constant. This is necessary for the tool to run smoothly for an extended period of time.


Horsepower is one way to estimate how much power an engine will produce. The amount of hp it is capable of producing is not the best indicator of an engine. In a device like an air compressor, design has much more to do with the performance of the machine. However, larger compressors require a larger hp motor to keep the tank filled.

Steps for finding the right air compressor

There are many different kinds of air compressors on the market. Consumers may find the choices overwhelming, but there are many uses for compressed air. Carefully consider the following before choosing a new compressor.

What is it for? Tank-less compressors are fine for inflating pools and bike tires, but air tools will require something with capacity.

How long is the job? Jobs that will require a full day of constant use, like reshingling a roof, may require a bigger capacity compressor. Hanging Christmas lights should only require a few gallons of air.

Check PSI and CFM on all air tools. It would be disappointing to find out that the compressor will not run them properly.

Evaluate long-term needs. It may be better to rent a compressor for a large job instead of buying a giant one that will never be used.

Buy the proper valve connectors. The compressor is useless unless it can be connected to other machines.

The right air compressor can help with thousands of tasks around the home. They can provide access to a wide range of powerful tools and aid in inflating everything from tires to pools.

About the Author: Brain Jenkins is a freelance writer who writes about products for the home and workplace such as a Portable Air Compressor at


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UK PM’s speechwriter awaits sentence

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

An English lawyer has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. He faked a legal judgment and sent it to a father who was pleading in Taunton family court to be able to remain involved in his child’s upbringing. The lawyer, London barrister Bruce Hyman, now awaits his sentence. The judge indicated that he could receive a prison sentence. Bruce Hyman is well-known in media circles, having produced The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on BBC Radio. He also produced a series with Clive Anderson, at Above the Title Productions, called Unreliable Evidence.

The father, a former City financier, had attended a series of court hearings in order to make suitable arrangements to see his child following an acrimonious divorce. Shortly before one of these hearings he received an email, ostensibly from a self-help group to which he belonged, which had attached a Court of Appeal case that appeared favourable to an application he had made for the judge to stand down from the case. The father, who was representing himself, duly showed the case to the judge. At this point, Bruce Hyman, the lawyer representing the former wife, claimed to the judge that the case was a forgery, which indeed it turned out to be.

After confirming that the self-help group had not sent him the email, the father then embarked on some detective work his own. The fraudulent email was traced via its header to a dial-up internet connection and a phone number belonging to a shop in London. The shop was able to recover CCTV footage which showed a man sending the email from an Apple laptop. The man turned out to be Bruce Hyman.

Sentencing of Hyman is due in Bristol Crown Court on the 19th of September.

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2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This year’s Leisure Taiwan trade show (a.k.a Taiwan Sport Recreation and Leisure Show) started yesterday, with 131 companies participating including sports media companies such as ESPN and VideoLand Television, businesses selling sports equipment and fitness clubs.

There were also a variety of sports being played in the arena built for the trade show. The events included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, free style shooting, and bicycle test-riding. In addition, conferences discussed issues related to sports and physical education.

A major topic in the trade show was energy-efficiency and, as a result, bicycles and similar sports equipment were being heavily promoted.

Next Tuesday, companies from the electronics industry plan to promote their industry at “2008 Digital E-Park.” In previous years, organizations from the electronics industry have showcased their products at Leisure Taiwan instead of at the Digital E-Park, so this move has reduced the number of markets covered by Leisure Taiwan.

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Somatic Exercises Fear And Anxiety The Withdrawal Response

Submitted by: Jonathan Hunt

The withdrawal response goes hand in hand with fear, apprehension and anxiety. When a person is overwhelmed by these emotions an instant reflex occurs, one that causes us to want to get out of our fearful situation, to withdraw. This lower-brain stem reflex happens so fast we are not aware of it, yet when this unconscious habit is repeated it begins to affect everything we do.

The withdrawal response, also known as the red light reflex because of its stop action not only has an effect on our emotions but also our function and structure. Once the reflex is triggered during a fearful encounter the muscles of the jaw and brow contract, followed quickly by the eyes shutting and shoulder/neck muscles contracting. Immediately after that the elbows bend, arms to turn in, abdominal muscles contract thus rounding the back and depressing the ribcage. Finally, the knees bend and turn inwards, ankles roll in and toes lift and crotch tightens. The body is left in a retracted position, but it happens so fast, milliseconds in fact. Because of this we are not aware of it taking place.


The red light reflex is a major muscular reaction to negative stress in our life. Anything from events like the passing of a loved one to overwhelming anxieties and everyday apprehensions will cause us to withdraw. When the reflex becomes habituated our ability to move freely is affected because the muscles connected with the red light reflex become chronically contracted. Once held in contraction these muscles will distort posture by rounding the shoulders and hunching the back, given the impression of an old person, as if someone is shrinking. What is actually taking place is a chronic contraction of the flexor (forward bending) muscles of the body.


Because we mainly tighten the muscles at the front of the body during the reflex, another function becomes impaired, our breathing. Fearful/anxious people all have one thing in common, a tight abdominal area. Touch the belly of a nervous individual and you will find muscles that are hard. Our abdomens should be soft at standing, sitting or lying, this allows it to lengthen or stretch when we take a full breath in via our diaphragm. People with tight bellies tend to be shallow breathers, namely the diaphragm does not function freely so they breathe mainly into the ribs/chest area. Shallow breathing or hyperventilation can have the following affects on the heart

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1. Increased hear rate

2. Increased cardiac output

3. Loss of parasympathetic control over cardiac functions and its replacement by sympathetic nervous functions.


We now know that repetition of the withdrawal response (red light reflex) causes the flexor muscles of the body to contract. In order to reverse this habituation try practicing these suggested somatic exercises. Somatic exercises are pandicular in nature. Every healthy vertebral mammal (including humans) can perform pandiculations, which is a slow/controlled contraction and release of muscles. Moving in this way helps to prepare the brain for voluntary control and to give the individual a sense of a muscle/s relaxing. When trying out these somatic exercises try and get a sense of muscles tightening and relaxing upon each repetition.

Lie on your back, arms/legs straight. Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest at the nipple line. Get a sense of where your breath is strongest. See if this changes.


1. Arch and flatten Bend your legs, Place one hand on your pubic bone and one hand at the nipple line. Inhale to gently arch lower back (press tailbone down, back tightens) a comfortable amount then exhale to flatten back (abdomen tightens). Relax and sense release of abdomen. Repeat this 5-10 times moving slowly.

2. Arch and curl – With legs bent place hands behind head with fingers interlaced (as if prepared to do a sit up). Inhale to arch back a comfortable amount then exhale to flatten back and lift head pointing elbows at knees (abdomen/chest should feel tight). Very slowly lower head and arms and relax, does abdomen/chest release? Repeat 5-10 times moving slowly.

3. Elbow to opposite knee With knees bent place right hand behind head. Inhale to arch low back then exhale to slowly flatten and lift head and left foot pointing right elbow and left knee towards each other with forcing (they do not have to touch, less is more here). Sense front body gets tight. Very slowly lower head, arm and left foot, relax. Does front body release? Repeat 5 times on both sides moving slowly.

4. Diaphragm release With knees bent Inhale into belly (back may arch, this is fine) and hold your breath. Push the air into chest still holding breath (back should flatten). Keep alternating the air into abdomen and chest until you feel the need to breathe again. Repeat 5 times.

Finish by lying with arms/legs straight. Do you feel broader across your front body? Breathing deeper? Flatter more relaxed back?

Practice these exercises twice day for a week. Notice if they make a difference to your emotional state, back pain or flexibility.

About the Author: If you are a sportsman and think somatics might be helpful you can find out more about

somatic exercises

or somatic classes then please visit our site for more information.


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