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Sulpicio names companies hired for ‘Princess of the Stars’ salvage

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sulpicio Lines has named the companies hired to conduct salvage operations for MV Princess of the Stars, the Philippines ferry that sank on June 21 during Typhoon Fengshen, leaving over 800 passengers dead.

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) had already set a deadline of this Tuesday to name the contractor who would recover the ship. Another important aspect is the separate recovery of chemicals on board, primarily the fuel and a 10-tonne shipment of the dangerous pesticide endosulfan by Del Monte.

The ship had also been carrying a number of other chemicals in smaller quantities, including metamedopus, carbofuran, niclosemide, and proptineb. All of the chemicals must be removed by order of the DOTC before the vessel is recovered. The chemical recovery is to be performed by Titan Salvage, an international firm owned by Florida’s Crowley Maritime Corporation and specialising in sunken and capsized ship recovery. Titan will co-operate with both Sulpicio and the DOTC, and expect the project to be completed within 60 days of the contract being signed.

Once the chemicals on board are removed then the ship itself can be recovered. Sulpicio has also named its contractor for this: Malayan Towage and Salvage Corporation (Salvtug). Salvtug has accepted the contract, but warned that its estimated operation cost is PHP2.25 billion to P4.5 billion, which is roughly equivalent to US$50 million to $100 million. Sulpicio had previously estimated that this exercise would cost P600 million.

The high cost is a potential problem as it is unclear who will pay. Sulpicio’s insurance does not cover salvage. Had Sulpicio been covered with protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance this would have been covered, but this is not required in the Philippines and so Sulpicio’s insurance agreement with Oriental Assurance Corporation only covered the hull, machinery and third-party injuries and damage.

It is likely that Sulpicio will pay for the recovery of the ferry, which has a gross weight of 23,824 tons, but as the ship poses a potential environmental hazard it has been suggested that the government should pay the costs initially to ensure work is done quickly, with Sulpicio to be charged later for this. However, for now it is unclear who will pay for the vessel’s recovery.

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Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist

Sunday, September 6, 2009

24-year-old Aman Kassaye, of no fixed abode, is to face a charge of attempted murder for his alleged role in an armed robbery that netted £40 million ($65 million) worth of jewelry from a London store.

Kassaye is the seventh man to be charged, and is also facing prosecution for conspiracy to rob the Graff store in New Bond Street, false imprisonment, and using a handgun to resist arrest. He will appear at Wimbledon magistrates court on Monday.

The other six men have already been remanded in custody until October 23, when they will appear at Kingston Crown Court. All are facing charges of conspiracy to rob, and two of them are also charged with a firearms offense.

43 diamond rings, watches, and bracelets were taken from the store. The theft occurred when two armed and suited men walked in and took an employee hostage. It has been reported they used prosthetic masks made from liquid latex but police have not confirmed this. Amateur footage also shows a shot was fired. No-one was injured.

The robbery is one of the biggest the United Kingdom has seen. After the crime a string of getaway vehicles was used, with police believing several more offenders assisted with this stage of the plan. Although The Telegraph claims no stolen property has yet been recovered, this is also unconfirmed by police.

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Employees of Mumbai’s bus service BEST announce indefinite strike

Friday, April 21, 2006

At least 45,000 employees of the BEST, Mumbai‘s public transport provider, are going on strike indefinitely. Workers are unhappy with changes made to wages and are concerned about their working conditions. Union leaders say the strike will end when the company rethinks its decision.

Nearly 3,300 buses will be taken off the road since talks with union leaders have drawn an inconclusive response; at least 450,000 commuters are expected to be affected by the strike. Another round of talks is expected to take place later today. An Industrial Court has termed the strike call illegal. BEST has warned employees participating in the strike that they would be faced with disciplinary action.

Sharad Rao, General Secretary of BEST’s workers union, said that “the management took this decision arbitrarily without even coming to the negotiating table. They moved to the committee to change the wages and other conditions on their own, and that is absolutely illegal. Three days ago, they have again moved to the BHT committee asking them to freeze the dearness allowance which no worker is going to tolerate”. Dearness Allowance is an inflation-linked component of wages.

“I have been on the road for the last one hour. Normally I would have just hopped on to a bus,” said commuter Mukul Chandan. Commuter Janki Patel reported, “I travel by bus everyday, but today because of the strike I have had to take an auto and its going to cost me Rs 200 just one way.”

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Dresdener Elbe Valley becomes UNESCO World Heritage site

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Since July 2, 2004 the Elbe Valley near Dresden has been in the process of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Friday saw the hand over of the documents in Castle Albrechtsberg confirming the status. Today, mayor Roßberg and Professor Bandarin will unveil a plaque in the church of Loschwitz – starting the Elbe Valley celebrations.

The cultural landscape consists of an 18 km long strip along the Elbe between Soebrigen and the Dresden bridge Flügelwegbrücke. It includes the ancient city of Dresden, the many castles along the river Elbe, the town centres of the small villages near the river as well as the very famous Castle Pillnitz.

The city of Dresden sees the status as an internationally-effecting advertisement for investors and tourists in the acknowledgment as a site of world heritage. By this status it will give no further restrictions for the UNESCO. The possibility “of a developing culture landscape” granted itself.

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Security Locks For French Doors}

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Submitted by: David Patullo

The French door is just a double door. So the question facing the French door home owner is how fancy a security fix is wanted or needed. The important issue here is to make sure the door frame is strong enough to sustain the pressure of someone trying to kick the door in or to use their shoulder to shove in the door. The internet is full of examples of people kicking or shoving with their shoulder on single doors and gaining entry with little or no apparent effort.

Most security French door companies provide a steel frame for installation of their doors. Their installation instructions are easy to follow with minimal amount of tools required, yet their security is high enough to be adequate for the home owners need. Some of the features to look for are the hinges, locks, openers, safety glass, and styles of the door.

On higher end doors, locks will include two-way bank vault locks, sliding bolt locks, or keyed and keyless locks. The closer will usually be a heavy duty brass handle with the option for an upgrade usually to nickel, but other metals are offered. Hinges will be concealable and / or tamper-proof, some will be piano hinges which offer smoother and more secure opening, with greater resistance to pressures to break them. Yet, some manufacturers will offer several hinges in the place of the larger piano hinge. The result being the same, smoother opening and greater security against the door being caught by the wind and pulled out of its frame.

French doors will also have options for ventilation. Tempered safety glass with options for moveable panels to allow for air flow. If the Security French door fits over an existing door, the added benefit of insulation for the home is evident with the possibility of decreasing utility bills to a significant amount.

Other options to securing the French door is to install a bar across the door from the inside. This would provide for greater integrity of the entire door system by transferring the pressure of a home invaders kicking to the wall where the bar supports are attached.

The appearance of these devices are attractive. The metal holders come in various colors which match or contrast with the wall. The reinforcing bar is also colored to blend in with the existing decor. Curtains can be used to cover the appliance if the home owner wishes to distract from the appearance of the bar holders. But curtains will add to the insulation value by cutting down on sunlight coming into the home. Some of the tempered glass have UV reduction factors which will reduce the negative effects of sunlight on furniture.

Increasing the security of French doors will increase property value as French doors are generally seen as being one of the weakest areas of the home to protect from home invaders. In addition to the exceptional eye appeal of decorative French doors, being able to describe them as security doors will add to the property value.

About the Author: David has been writing articles for nearly 2 years. Come visit his latest website that discusses products such as the best

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Zimbabwe submits to popular pressure: foreign currencies now legal tender

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Zimbabwe has decided to abandon its currency, the Zimbabwean dollar, in favour of other currencies.

Acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced today that Zimbabweans will be allowed to make transactions in other currencies along with the local currency. “In line with the prevailing practices by the general public, [the] government is therefore allowing the use of multiple foreign currencies for business transactions alongside the Zimbabwean dollar,” he said, adding that the Zimbabwean dollar will not be removed from circulation and would be used alongside other currencies.

This decision comes during the current period of hyperinflation, which has massively devalued the Zimbabwean dollar. Banknotes up to $100 trillion have been printed, despite the removal of ten zeroes from the currency last summer to try to make transactions easier. The official inflation rate, last updated in July 2008, was 231,000,000% a year, although independent estimates place the number as high as 6.5×10108, or 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion, percent.

Up to now, only vendors with licenses were legally able to accept foreign currencies, although the practice was widespread — private businesses altogether refuse to accept the unstable Zimbabwean dollar.

Large sections of the workforce, including teachers and doctors, have gone on strike because hyperinflation rapidly renders their wages worthless. Representative groups said salaries, now measured in trillions of dollars, are insufficient to pay for even the bus fare to work.

Zimbabwe also faces other crises, including a cholera epidemic that has claimed the lives of over 3,000 people, according to statistics from the World Health Organisation.

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Honda recalls fire risk cars

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Honda have issued a recall for 646,000 cars around the world due to a potential fault that could cause a fire. The recall involves the ‘Jazz’ range of cars, which is known by its alternative name, Fit, in some countries.

water intrusion into the power window switch housing may in some instances cause a short circuit

Three incidents involving the problem, caused by a defective master switch, have been reported worldwide, two in the US and one in South Africa. In September 2009, Vanilla Nurse, a two-year old girl, was sleeping in one of the models, when the hatchback in Cape Town caught fire. Following the accident, Honda “launched an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the incident,” according to a statement issued today. Although they could not isolate the cause of the fire, “the investigation has shown that water intrusion into the power window switch housing may in some instances cause a short circuit, which in exceptional circumstances may lead to potential damages”.

Just 10% of cars are expected to need new switches. The remainder will need a waterproof skirt in order to keep water out.

Rival Toyota was forced to recall vehicles on Thursday, citing floor mats that may stick accelerator pedals to the floor. There are fears that Toyota may have to widen their recall to cover up to eight million cars.

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New Waterfront Development On Lake Livingston Real Estate

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New Waterfront Development on Lake Livingston Real estate

by

CVS

Cedar Point Changes Hands

Majority control of Cedar Point subdivision changed hands this week when local company Waterfront Development purchased the Dallas-based lender EIC who had foreclosed on the property.

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Immediately after completing the purchase, Waterfront Development paid off over $60,000 in back taxes and donated 114 lots to the Property Owners Association; giving them needed Green Belts, parks and several key maintenance areas in the subdivision.

In a separate action, the Property Owners association filed a lawsuit in Polk County Monday 4 December against the former developer, seeking to transfer ownership of the Common Areas from Concord Capital Group as Trustee, directly to the Property Owners Association. The former Developer plagued, by legal problems including criminal indictments, filled bankruptcy on Monday 4 December in a Dallas Court.

Over the weekend, well over half of the property owners in Cedar Point worked together and voted to change their deed restrictions in an effort to protect their common areas and clean up the old and abandoned homes, mobile homes and travel trailers scattered around the community.

Many of our residents were trying to make the subdivision a great place to live however, we needed the help of deed restrictions to eliminate the small percentage of those who are hurting our community, says POA President Bettie Dugan, a long time Cedar Point resident. Our community is working so hard to make life great here, just look at the incredible Christmas lights on the homes and at the entrance. These new deed restrictions will prevent additional mobile homes from being moved into the community while allowing the existing ones which are in good condition to stay in place.

Waterfront Development, through its subsidiary Vacation Home Builders in cooperation with The Von Schmidt Design Group already have two upscale homes under construction in the subdivision, and will begin redevelopment of Cedar Point with the help of the community after the start of the New Year with 12 new homes slated for the first half of 2007.

A separate community Know as the Villages of Cedar Point for over 55 residents is planned with cottages ranging form 900-1400 square feet. Exterior maintenance will be provided allowing people to visit family and travel without worrying about their yards. The undeveloped peninsula, which may represent the largest remaining undeveloped shoreline on the southern half of the lake, is slated to become 55 waterfront lots. Each lot will be over 100 feet wide. This project is slated for February 2007.

Waterfront Development, who will be investing over 7 Million dollars in this project, estimates that new construction over the next three years will add over 32 million dollars to the Polk County tax appraisal rolls, while providing needed new housing to attract affluent Houston buyers as well as Baby Boomer retirees.

Cedar Point is a breathtaking piece of property which we have been interested in for over two years, said Charles Von Schmidt, the companys President. We feel the market is right for a project of this nature and, with the help of local realtors, we will be able to provide jobs, needed tax revenues and additional business for local merchants.

After many years of mismanagement, the combined positive actions and forward thinking of all involved are making the future a lot brighter for Cedar Point.

For more information http://www.vacationhomebuilders.com

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New Waterfront Development on Lake Livingston Real estate