Explosion in Pakistan mosque kills dozens

Explosion in Pakistan mosque kills dozens
February 16th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

Friday, June 5, 2009

A bomb blast at a mosque in northwestern Pakistan is suspected to have killed at least forty people on Friday.

According to police reports, the explosion happened in a village located in the Upper Dir district of the North-West Frontier Province. The incident occurred while worshipers were offering the Friday prayers.

“Around 40 people are killed. We have no idea as yet how many have been wounded,” said Atif-ur-Rehman, a senior government administrator of Upper Dir.

The mosque was damaged heavily by the explosion, and many people have been trapped under debris.

“A large number of body parts are scattered in the mosque. We don’t know whether these are parts of the dead who have been identified or of others,” said Umer Rehman, one of the village’s residents, to the Reuters news agency.

This is the ninth bomb blast in Pakistan since the country’s armed forces started attacks against the [[|Pakistani Talian|Taliban]] in the nearby Swat valley from the past few months, in an attempt to force the fighters out of the area.

President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani both condemned the attack. The London-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief, Altaf Hussain, has also condemned the blast.

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Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball coach Tom Kyle

Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball coach Tom Kyle
February 15th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Toronto , Canada — What experiences makes a coach of an international sports team? Wikinews interviewed Tom Kyle, the coach of the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders, in Toronto for the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship.

((Wikinews)) Tell us about yourself. First of all, where were you born?

Tom Kyle: I was born in Cooma, in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. Way back in 1959. Fifteenth of June. Grew up in the Snowy Mountains Scheme with my family. At that stage my father worked for the Snowy scheme. And started playing sport when I was very young. I was a cricketer when I first started. Then about the age of 12, 13 I discovered basketball. Because it had gotten too cold to do all the sports that I wanted to do, and we had a lot of rain one year, and decided then that for a couple of months that we’d have a go at basketball.

((WN)) So you took up basketball. When did you decide… did you play for the clubs?

Tom Kyle: I played for Cooma. As a 14-year-old I represented them in the under-18s, and then as a 16-year-old I represented them in the senor men’s competition. We played in Canberra as a regional district team. At the age of 16 is when I first started coaching. So I started coaching the under-14 rep sides before the age of 16. So I’m coming up to my forty years of coaching.

((WN)) So you formed an ambition to be a coach at that time?

Tom Kyle: Yeah, I liked the coaching. Well I was dedicated to wanting to be a PE [Physical Education] teacher at school. And in Year 12 I missed out by three marks of getting the scholarship that I needed. I couldn’t go to university without a scholarship, and I missed out by three marks of getting in to PE. So I had a choice of either doing a Bachelor of Arts and crossing over after year one, or go back and do Year 12 [again]. Because of my sport in Cooma, because I played every sport there was, and my basketball started to become my love.

((WN)) } You still played cricket?

Tom Kyle: Still played cricket. Was captain of the ACT [Australian Capital Territory] in cricket at the age of 12. Went on to… potentially I could have gone further but cricket became one of those sports where you spend all weekend, four afternoons a week…

((WN)) I know what it’s like.

Tom Kyle: At that stage I was still an A grade cricketer in Cooma and playing in Canberra, and rugby league and rugby union, had a go at AFL [Australian Football League], soccer. Because in country towns you play everything. Tennis on a Saturday. Cricket or football on a Sunday. That sort of stuff so… And then basketball through the week.

((WN)) So you didn’t get in to PE, so what did you do?

Tom Kyle: I went back and did Year 12 twice. I repeated Year 12, which was great because it allowed me to play more of the sport, which I loved. Didn’t really work that much harder but I got the marks that I needed to get the scholarship to Wollongong University. It was the Institute of Education at that stage. So I graduated high school in ’78, and started at the Institute of Education Wollongong in ’79, as a health and PE — it was a double major. So a dual degree, a four year degree. After two years there they merged the Institute of Education with the University of Wollongong. So I got a degree from the University of Wollongong and I got a degree from the Institute of Education. So I graduated from there in ’83. At that stage I was coaching and playing rep basketball in Wollongong in their team underneath the NBL I played state league there for Shellharbour. Still coaching as well with the University, coaching the university sides. It was there that I met up with Doctor Adrian Hurley, who was then one of the Australian coaches, and he actually did some coaching with me when I was at the University, in the gym. So that gave me a good appreciation of coaching and the professionalism of it. He really impressed me and inspired me to do a bit more of it. So in ’84 I got married and I moved to Brisbane, and started teaching and looking after the sport of basketball and tennis at Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane.

((WN)) You moved to Brisbane for the job?

Tom Kyle: Yes, I was given a job and a house. The job basically entailed looking after their gymnasium and doing some part-time teaching as well as being the basketball convener and tennis convener. I looked after those sports for the private boys school. Churchie is a very big school in Brisbane and so I did that in ’84 with my wife at that stage and we lived on the premises. In 1985 I took a team of fifteen boys from Churchie into the United States for a couple of summer camp tours which we do, and I got involved in the Brisbane Bullets team at that stage, getting them moved in to Churchie to train. The Brisbane Bullets was the NBL team in Brisbane at the time. So that got me involved in the Brisbane coaching and junior basketball. I was actually in charge of junior basketball for the Brisbane association. As part of that, I coached at Churchie as well. Looked after some things at the Brisbane Bullets’ home games. So that got me well and truly involved in that. And then in ’85 was the birth of my first son, and with that came a bit of change of priorities, so then in 1986 I moved back to Sydney. I got offered a job at Harbord Diggers Memorial Club at Harbord, looking after their sports centre. So I saw that as an opportunity to get out of, I suppose, the teaching side of things at that stage didn’t appeal to me, the coaching side did, the teaching side and the fact that you had to follow the curriculums, and some of the things you weren’t allowed to have fun, to me if you’re going to learn you’ve got to have fun. So that was my sort of enough for the teaching side, I figured I’d go and do something else, and get to keep my coaching alive on the side. So I moved back to Sydney, with my family and my young son. I had a second son in 1987, and I started coaching the Manly-Warringah senior men’s and development league teams. We were in the state league at that stage. So I had both of those teams and I was coaching them, travelling around the north of the state, and competing. We were fortunate enough we came second the year I was the head coach of the men in the state competition for our area. That gave me a whole new perspective of coaching, because it was now senior men’s coaching as well as junior men’s. We had people like Ian Davies coming out of the NBL at Sydney and trying out wanting to play with the men’s squad. Fair quality in that group. The Dalton boys came out of that program. I didn’t coach them, but Brad and Mark Dalton who played for the Kings. That gave me a good couple of years. At that stage I’d changed jobs. I’d actually moved up to Warringah Aquatic Centre in Sydney. Which was at the time the state swimming centre. And I was the director of that for a year. Or eighteen, nineteen months. In that time we held the selection criteria for the 1988 Seoul Olympics swimming. So the national championships and what they call the Olympic selection qualifiers. So we held them at the Warringah Aquatic Centre when I was in charge of it which made it quite an interesting thing, because there I got to see elite sport at its best. Australian swimming. All the swimmers coming through. Lisa Curry has just retired, and I saw her. All the swimmers going to Seoul. That gave me a good appreciation of professional sport, as well as managing sports facilities. So I was there for two years, eighteen months basically. And we’d made a decision that we wanted to come back to Brisbane. So moved back to Brisbane in 1989, to take up a job as a marketing officer at the Department of Recreation at Brisbane City Council. That was my full-time job. Meanwhile, again, I got involved in a bit of coaching. My sons were looking at becoming involved, they were going through St Peter Chanel School at The Gap, and that was a feeder school for Marist Brothers Ashgrove in Brisbane, which was a big Catholic boys’ school in Brisbane. So I started to get involved in Marist Brothers Ashgrove basketball program, and I became the convener of basketball as well as the head coach there for about seven or eight years running their program, while my boys, obviously, were going through the school. That was a voluntary thing, because I was still working for the [Brisbane City] Council when I first started. At that stage I’d also quit the council job and started my own IT [Information Technology] company. Which was quite interesting. Because as a sideline I was writing software. At Warringah Aquatic Centre one of the things when I got there they didn’t have a computer system, they only had a cash register. And I asked them about statistics and the council didn’t have much money, they said, “well, here’s an old XT computer”, it was an old Wang actually, so it was not quite an XT.

((WN)) I know the ones.

Tom Kyle: You know the ones?

((WN)) Yes.

Tom Kyle: And they gave me that, and they said, “Oh, you got no software.” One of the guys at council said “we’ve got an old copy of DataEase. We might give you that,” which old an old database programming tool. So I took that and I wrote a point of sale system for the centre. And then we upgraded from DataEase, we went to dBase III and dBase IV. Didn’t like dBase IV, it had all these bugs in it, so my system started to crash. So I’d go home at night and write the program, and then come back and put it into the centre during the day so they could collect the statistics I wanted. It was a simple point of sale system, but it was effective, and then we upgraded that to Clipper and I started programming object orientated while I was there, and wrote the whole booking system, we had bookings for the pools, learn-to-swim bookings, point of sale. We actually connected it to an automatic turnstyle with the coin entry so it gave me a whole heap of new skills in IT that I never had before, self-taught, because I’d never done any IT courses, when I went to Brisbane City Council and that didn’t work out then I started my own computer company. I took what I’d written in Clipper and decided to rewrite that in Powerbuilder. You’ve probably heard of it.

((WN)) Yes.

Tom Kyle: So that’s when I started my own company. Walked out of the Brisbane City Council. I had an ethical disagreement with my boss, who spent some council money going to a convention at one place and doing some private consultancy, which I didn’t agree with Council funds being done like that, so I resigned. Probably the best move of my business life. It then allowed me then to become an entrepreneur of my own, so I wrote my own software, and started selling a leisure package which basically managed leisure centres around the country. And I had the AIS [Australian Institute of Sport] as one of my clients.

((WN)) Oh!

Tom Kyle: Yes, they have a turnstyle entry system and learn-to-swim booking system and they were using it for many years. Had people all over the country. I ended up employing ten people in my company, which was quite good, right through to, I suppose, 1997?, somewhere in there. And I was still coaching full time, well, not full time, but, voluntary, for about 35 hours a week at Ashgrove at the time, as well as doing, I did the Brisbane under-14 rep side as well, so that gave me a good appreciation of rep basketball. So I’d been coaching a lot of school basketball in that time. And then in 2000 I decided to give that away and went to work for Jupiters Casino. Bit of a change. I started as a business analyst and ended up as a product development manager. I was doing that, I was going through a divorce, still coaching at Ashgrove, I had been at Ashgrove now from 1992 through to 2003. I had been coaching full time as the head coach, coordinator of all the coaches and convener of the sport for the school. We won our competitions a number of times. We went to the state schools competition as a team there one year. Which we did quite well. Didn’t win it but, did quite well. In 2003 my boys had finished at school and I’d got a divorce at that stage. Been offered another opportunity to go to Villanova College, which was a competing school across the other side of the river. So I started head coaching there for five years. It was there where I started to get into wheelchair basketball. It is an interesting story, because at that stage I’d moved on from Jupiters Casino. I’d actually started working for various companies, and I ended up with Suncorp Metway as a project manager. Got out of my own company and decided to earn more money as a consultant. [evil laugh]

((WN)) A common thing.

Tom Kyle: But it was in Suncorp Metway where I got into wheelchair basketball.

((WN)) How does that happen?

Tom Kyle: At the time I was spending about 35 to 40 hours a week at Villanova College, coaching their program and my new wife, Jane, whom you’ve met…

((WN)) Who is now the [Gliders’] team manager.

Tom Kyle: Correct. She was left out a little bit because I’d be with the guys for many many hours. We did lot of good things together because I had a holistic approach to basketball. It’s not about just playing the game, it’s about being better individuals, putting back into your community and treating people the right way, so we used to do a lot of team building and […] cause you’re getting young men at these schools, trying to get them to become young adults. And she saw what we were doing one time, went to an awards dinner, and she was basically gobsmacked by what relationship we had with these boys. How well mannered they were and what influence we had. How these boys spoke of the impact on their lives. It was where she said to me, “I really want to get involved in that. I want to be part of that side of your life.” And I said, “Okay, we might go out and volunteer.” We put our names down at Sporting Wheelies, the disabled association at the time, to volunteer in disabled sports. Didn’t hear anything for about four months, so I thought, oh well, they obviously didn’t want me. One of my colleagues at work came to me and he said “Tom, you coach wheelchair basketball?” I said, “yeah, I do.” And he said, “Well, my son’s in a wheelchair, and his team’s looking for a coach. Would you be interested?” And I thought about it. And I said, “Well, coaching for about 35 hours a week over here at Villanova School. I don’t think my wife will allow me to coach another 20 hours somewhere else, but give me the information and I’ll see what we can do.” He gave me the forms. I took the forms home. It was actually the Brisbane Spinning Bullets, at that stage, which was the National [Wheelchair Basketball] League team for Queensland. They were looking for coaching staff. I took the forms home, which was a head coach role, an assistant head coach role, and a manager role. I left them on the bench, my wife Jane took a look at it and said, “Hey! They’re looking for a manager! If I’d be the manager, you could be the head coach, it’s something we could do it together. We always said we’d do something together, and this is an opportunity.” I said, “Okay, if you want to do that. I’m still not going to drop my Villanova commitments, I’m going to keep that going. So that was in the beginning of 2008. So we signed up and lo and behold, I got the appointment as the head coach and she got the appointment as the manager. So it was something we started to share. Turned up at the first training session and met Adrian King and Tige Simmonds, Rollers, Australian players… I’d actually heard of Adrian because we’d had a young boy at Ashgrove called Sam Hodge. He was in a chair and he brought Adrian in for a demonstration one day. I was quite impressed by the way he spoke, and cared about the kids. So to me it was like an eye-opener. So I started coaching that year, started in January–February, and obviously it was leading in to the Paralympics in 2008, Beijing. And coaching the team, I started coaching the national League, a completely different came, the thing I liked about it is wheelchair basketball is like the old-school basketball, screen and roll basketball. You can’t get anywhere unless somebody helps you get there. It’s not one-on-one like the able-bodied game today. So that was really up my alley, and I really enjoyed that. I applied a couple of things the boys hadn’t actually seen, and as it turns out, I ended up coaching against the [Perth] Wheelcats in a competition round. And I didn’t at the time know, that the guy on the other bench was Ben Ettridge, the head coach for the Rollers. And after the weekend we shook hands and he said, “I really like what you do, what you’re trying to do with this group. And he said I like the way you coach and your style. Would you be interested if the opportunity came up to come down to Canberra and participate in a camp. He said “I can’t pay you to be there, but if you want to come along…” I said “Absolutely. I’ll be there.” So about three or four weeks later I get a phone call from Ben and he said “We’ve got a camp coming up in February, would you like to come in?” I said: “Yep, absolutely”, so I went and flew myself down there and attended the camp. Had a great time getting to know the Rollers, and all of that, and I just applied what I knew about basketball, which wasn’t much about wheelchair, but a lot about basketball, ball movement and timing. And I think he liked what he saw. The two of us got on well. And out of that camp they were getting the team prepared to go to Manchester. They were going into Varese first, Manchester for the British Telecom Paralympic Cup that they have in May, which is an event that they do prior to some of these major events. That was 2009, my mistake, after Beijing; so the camp was after Beijing as well. So I was sitting at Suncorp Metway running a big CRM program at the time, because they had just merged with Promina Insurances, so they’d just acquired all these companies like AAMI, Vero and all those companies, so we had all of these disparate companies and we were trying to get a single view of the customer, so I was running a major IT project to do that. And I get a phone call from Ben on the Friday, and he said “Look, Tom, we’re going to Varese in the May, and we’re going on to Manchester.” I said, “I know”. And he said, “Craig Friday, my assistant coach, can’t make it. Got work commitments.” I said: “Oh, that’s no good.” And he said: “Would you be interested in going?” And I said “Well, when’s that?” And he said: “Monday week.” And this was on the Friday. And I said: “Look, I’m very interested, but let me check with my boss, because I [am] running a big IT project.” So I went to my boss on the Friday and I said “Look, I am very keen to do this Australian opportunity. Two weeks away. You okay if I take two weeks off?” And he said. “Oh, let me think about it.” The Monday was a public holiday, so I couldn’t talk to him then. And I said “Well, I need to know, because it’s Monday week, and I need to let him know.” And he said, “I’ll let you know Tuesday morning.” So I sort of thought about it over the weekend, and I rang Ben on the Sunday night I think it was, and I said “I’m in!” He said: “Are you okay with work?” I said: “Don’t worry about that, I’ll sort it out.” Anyway, walked into work on Tuesday morning and the boss said… and I said I just to put it on the table: I’m going. You need to decide whether you want me to come back.” And he said: “What?!” And I said, “Well, I love my basketball. My basketball has been my life for many years, many, many hours. Here’s an opportunity to travel with an Australian side. I’m telling you that I’m taking the opportunity, and you need to determine whether you want me back. ” And he said: “Really?” And I said: “Yeah. Yeah. That’s it.” And he said: “Well, I’ll have to think about that.” And I said, “well you think about it but I’ve already told the Australian coach I’m going. It’s a decision for you whether you want me back. If you don’t, that’s fine, I don’t have a problem.” So on the Wednesday he came back and said: “We’re not going to allow you to go.” I said: “Well, I’m going. So here’s my resignation.” He says: “You’d really do that?” And I said: “Absolutely.” And I resigned. So on the Friday I finished up, and got on a plane on Monday, and headed to Varese as Ben’s assistant on the tour. Got to spend a bit more time with Tige Simmonds and Adrian and Justin and Brad and Shaun and all the boys and had a fabulous time. Learnt a lot. And then we went on to Manchester and learnt even more, and I think Ben was quite happy with what I’d done. With my technical background I took over all the video analysis stuff and did all that recording myself. We didn’t really want any hiccups so he was pretty happy with that. So after that Ben asked me if I would be interested in becoming an assistant coach with the under-23s, because the then-coach was Mark Walker and Ben Osborne was his assistant but he wanted somebody else who, as he put it, he could trust, in that group, because a number of his developing players were in that group. So that meant that I had some camps to do in June when I came back, and then in July, think it was July, 2009, went to England and Paris with the under-23s for the world championships. That was my first foray as an assistant coach officially with the Australian team, and I was the assistant coach. It was a combined team at that stage, boys and girls. Cobi Crispin was on that tour. Amber Merritt was on that tour. Adam Deans was on that tour, Colin Smith, Kim Robbins, John McPhail, all of those. There was a number of junior Rollers coming through that group. Bill Latham was on that tour. He really appreciated what I’d done there, and when Craig Friday said that he was having a family and couldn’t commit to the next year in 2010 which was the world championship year, Ben asked me to join the program. So that’s how I started. So in 2010 I attended my first official world championships with the Rollers, and we won.

((WN)) Yes!

Tom Kyle: So that was an amazing experience to go on that tour and to see what a championship team looks like under the competition of that ilk. And I was then the assistant coach basically right through to London. After London, Ben was quite happy for me to continue. I was doing it voluntarily. By this stage, 2011, I’d given up all the Villanova stuff so I concentrated just on the wheelchair and my Queensland group. And I started to build the Queensland junior program, which featured Tom O’Neill-Thorne, Jordon Bartley, Bailey Rowland, all of those sort of players. You probably don’t know too many of them, but,

((WN)) No.

Tom Kyle: They’re all the up-and-comers. And three of those were in last year’s, 2013 under-23s team. So in 2012 obviously we went to Varese then on to London for the Paras. Won silver in that. When I came back, Ben asked me to do the under-23s as the head coach, and asked me who I wanted as my assistant, so in the December, we, David Gould and I…

((WN)) So you selected David as your assistant?

Tom Kyle: Yes! Yes! Yes! I had a lot of dealings with David, seeing him with the Gliders. Liked what I saw. Plus I’d also seen him with the Adelaide Thunder. He was coaching them for a while, and I really liked the way he worked with kids. He’d also done a camp with the under-23s in 2012 because I couldn’t attend, himself and Sonia Taylor. What was Sonia’s previous name before she married Nick Taylor? […] Anyway, they did a development camp in January 2012 with the under-23s group because I couldn’t attend. Good feedback coming back from that. In the April, the Rollers had gone off to Verase, and there was an opportunity to go to Dubai with the under-23/25 age group. So David and Sonia took them to Dubai and did a good job with them, a really great job with them. So the job for the 23s came up in November 2012. I applied. Got the job. And then was asked who I would want as my assistants, and Ben told me who the other applicants were and I told him, yep, happy with both of those. David became my first assistant […] So we took the under-23s group in December. Had a couple of camps in the first part of 2013, getting ready for the world championships in Turkey in September. At that stage we got to about June, and the head coach for the Gliders came up as a full time position.

((WN)) They hadn’t had a full-time coach before.

Tom Kyle: No, it was all voluntary so John Triscari was, well, not voluntary; was getting a little bit of money, not a great deal.

((WN)) But it wasn’t a full time job.

Tom Kyle: No. So Basketball Australia decided that they needed a full-time coach, which was a big investment for them, and they thought this was the next step for the Gliders. So at the end of May, I remember talking to my wife, because at that stage she’d been on the Gliders’ tour as a replacement manager for Marion Stewart. Marion couldn’t go on a certain tour, to Manchester, so Jane filled in. And they talked to her about possibly becoming the manager of the Gliders moving forward if Marion ever wanted to retire. So in the May when the job came up I looked at it and went, well, can’t, it’s a conflict of interest, because if I put my name up, potentially Jane misses out on being the manager. Also I thought if Ben really wants me to go for it he would have asked me. He hasn’t mentioned it, so, I didn’t apply at first look at it. And then I was just happening to talk to Ben on the side about something else and he asked me if I had put in for the Gliders and I said no I hadn’t. And he asked me why, and I told him if you would have I probably would have, and with Jane. And he said Jane shouldn’t be an issue, and he said I want you to go for it. I said, well, if you’re happy, because I’m loyal to whoever I’m with, I said I’m loyal to you Ben, and at the end of the day I’d stay with the Rollers if you want me to stay with the Rollers. Because for me I enjoy doing whatever I’m doing, and I love the program. He said no, no, I want you to put in for it. So then I had to discuss it with the wife because it meant initially that would want us to move to Sydney. That was still in the cards. So Jane and I had a talk about that. And I said, look, I’d go for it on the condition that it didn’t interfere with Jane’s opportunity to become the manager. So I put in my resume, I got an interview, and in the interview I went to Sydney, and I put all the cards on the table. I said look, the bottom line is that if it’s going to jeopardize Jane’s chances of being the manager, I will opt out. And at that stage they said no, they see that as possibly a positive, rather than a negative. So I said okay, if that’s the case. It’s funny. On the day we had the interview I ran in David Gould back in the airport, because he’d obviously had his interview. And we were talking and I said: “Oh, I didn’t think you were going for it.” And he said, yeah, I wasn’t, because I don’t really want to move to Sydney. And I said, well that was one of the other reasons I did put in for it, because if you didn’t get it I wanted to make sure someone who was passionate about the Gliders to get it. And there’s a couple on the list who may be passionate, but I wasn’t sure. I knew you were, because we’d talked about it at the under-23s. So we had a chat there and I said, if he gets it, he’d put me as an assistant and if I get it I’d put him as an assistant. Because we’d worked so well with the under-23s together as a unit. And we do. We work very well together. We think alike, we both like to play the game etc. So it turns out in June I got a phone call from Steve Nick at that stage and got offered the job with the Gliders. So I started on the first of July full time with the Gliders, but I still had the under-23s to get through to September, so we had a camp, our first camp in July with the Gliders. Went to a national league round in Sydney and then we bused them down to Canberra for a camp. And that was quite an interesting camp because there were a lot of tears, a lot of emotion. It was the first camp since London. It was eighteen months, nearly two years since London [editor’s note: about ten months] and nobody had really contacted them. They’ve been after a silver medal, left. Just left. They were waiting for someone to be appointed and no one had been in touch. And all that sort of stuff. So we went through a whole cleansing exercise there to try and understand what they were going through. And I felt for the girls at that stage. ‘Cause they put a lot of work into being the Gliders, and they do all the time. But they felt disconnected. So that was an emotional camp, but as I said to David at the time, we’ve got to build this program. Since then we’ve been working through. We did the under-23 worlds with the junior boys in September in Turkey. They earned third, a bronze medal. Could have potentially played for gold, but just couldn’t get it going in the semifinal. And then we came back to the Gliders and got ready for Bangkok. Bangkok was our first tour with the Gliders, which was a huge success. Because we got some confidence in the group, and that’s one of the things we’re working on is building their confidence and a belief in themselves. Being able to put things together when it really counts. So that was one of our goals. So Bangkok was our first tour, and I think we achieved a lot there. Got a good team bonding happening there. We’ve since then been to Osaka in February, which was another good outing for the girls. Five day experience with playing five games against the Japanese. That was good. Then in March we brought them here [Canada] for a tournament with the Netherlands, Canada and Japan, and then down to the United States for a four game series against the US. And again, that was a good learning experience. Then back home for a month and then we got to go to Europe, where we played in Frankfurt for the four games, and to Papendal with the Netherlands team. We played three games there before we came here.

((WN)) So that’s a pretty detailed preparation.

Tom Kyle: Yeah, it’s been good. Pretty detailed. It’s been good though. We’re still growing as a group. We’re a lot stronger than we ever have been, I think, mentally. But we’re now starting to get to the real honesty phase, where we can tell each other what we need to tell each other to get the job done. That’s the breakthrough we’ve made in the last month. Whereas in the past I think we’ve been afraid to offend people with what we say. So now we’re just saying it and getting on with it. And we’re seeing some real wins in that space.

((WN)) Thank you!

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Asian countries call for global currency

Asian countries call for global currency
February 15th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

Monday, April 6, 2009

Leaders and central banks in Russia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Kazakhstan have called for an international currency system.

Speaking on April 1 in advance of the G-20 summit in London, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev argued that the international finance system needed a “new construction” including “new currency systems”, saying that such a new system could be the purpose of a revamped IMF and World Bank. The IMF was originally founded in 1946 as the overseer of the Bretton Woods system, which from its founding until the 1970s tied the western world’s currencies to the US Dollar, which was in turn backed by gold. Russia’s proposal was for the new currency to serve as a reserve currency, one which would take the place of the dollar, euro, and other heavily-traded currencies as an international standard of exchange.

Medvedev’s comments are a reversal of Russian position from a lukewarm response following a looser outline for a worldwide currency by Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbayev. On March 11, Nazarbayev suggested the establishment of the “acmetal”, a portmanteau of “acme” and “capital“, as a reserve currency replacing the ruble in international transactions, first for Central Asia and then worldwide. 1999 Economics Nobel laureate Robert Mundell, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, endorsed the idea, saying “It would be a very good idea if the G-20 took that idea up in London”.

2001 Nobel economics prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, meanwhile, said the new currency could come about quickly if it was based on an expansion of the IMF’s already established system of Special Drawing Rights, units of exchange used by the IMF which already have some of the features of currency. Stiglitz argued that, as the US dollar has become the standard global reserve currency, it has inadvertently created a system which hurts the world economy. “It’s a net transfer, in a sense, to the United States of foreign aid,” he argued, reasoning that when other countries purchase US dollars in order to use them on international markets (such as for the buying and selling of petroleum), they effectively give the US a zero-interest loan — sometimes at times when they can least afford it. Stiglitz made his comments as head of a United Nations panel of economists giving recommendations to address the global financial crisis.

In the weeks leading up to the G-20 conference, the People’s Republic of China also began discussing a new system for reserve currencies. In a March 23 speech, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, endorsed a new reserve currency, saying “the desirable goal of reforming the international monetary system, therefore, is to create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.” Zhou went on to endorse the expansion of the SDR system in the long-term creation of a reserve currency government by the IMF. While Zhou did not mention the US dollar specifically, analysis by Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC, for the Financial Times said that the speech “is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money”.

China holds $740 billion as assets; inflation in the US economy, which has been low in recent years, would directly cause those assets to lose value.

While the Chinese government has engaged in currency swaps with several other growing economies, such as South Korea, Argentina, Malaysia and Indonesia, the Chinese Yuan cannot be used itself as a reserve currency as it cannot be freely traded on the global market.

The Chinese-Russian proposal was not entered onto the agenda at the G-20 meeting itself. Nonetheless, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the G-20 was open to considering the proposal if and when a detailed one is presented. United States President Barack Obama, meanwhile, endorsed the continuation of dollar supremacy, saying that the US dollar is “extraordinarily strong” and arguing that its strength was the result of the intrinsic stability of the United States economic and political system; US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner had, the week before, made comments that while he supported an expansion in the SDR mechanism he rejected the idea of a global currency. Rather than change the role of SDRs, the G-20 meeting instead added $250 billion in support to the fund backing SDRs.

After the G-20 conference ended on Thursday, Malaysia’s The Star BizWeek reported that the central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand had endorsed the Chinese proposal. All three countries have close economic ties with China and suffered heavily from the collapse of their currencies in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis; the sudden growth in the value of the US dollar relative to those countries’ native currencies sharply increased debt in Southeast Asia’s economies, leading to a wave of bankruptcies.

International reaction from other economies has been mixed and guarded. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, said that the currency proposal was important to discuss but did not give extensive comment. And while UPI reports that India supported the SDR proposal at the G-20 conference, the Indian Press Trust quotes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying last month, “It is too early to talk about common currency.”

Calls for an independent global reserve currency are not new. In 1944, John Maynard Keynes proposed the “bancor“, a unit like the SDR supported by a basket of commodities. Keynes’ idea was rejected and the US dollar took the equivalent role under the Bretton Woods system. Keynes proposed that the bancor system would be reinforced by a tax on participating countries’ current accounts, the difference between their exports and their imports, in order to encourage balanced trade. Meanwhile, monetary unions have become more popular since the end of the gold standard, with most of the European Union now trading the euro, and several countries outside the EU using it as a de facto currency; five West African countries adopting the eco at the end of this year; and the African Union planning to introduce the afro in 2028. Proposals for a North American currency union based around the so-called “amero” have been frequently discussed as the focus of conspiracy theories in the United States, but none of the US, Canada or Mexico have actively pursued the establishment of any such monetary union, however the dollar is the currency of several Latin American countries.

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Santorum neologism spreads to Romney

Santorum neologism spreads to Romney
February 15th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A new website SpreadingRomney.com now appears prominently among Internet search results for Mitt Romney’s last name and defines romney as: “to defecate in terror”. Spreading Romney was inspired by the santorum neologism coined in advice columnist Dan Savage’s column Savage Love in response to comments made by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum about homosexuality; Savage’s readers voted to define santorum as: “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

While defining romney as a verb, the word “terror” in the definition given at SpreadingRomney.com links to an article that appeared January 5 in The Huffington Post titled “Mitt Romney’s Dog Incident Comes Back To Haunt Him”. The article describes a 1983 incident where Romney was reported to have affixed his family’s pet Irish setter named Seamus to the roof of their vehicle for 12 hours while on a car trip to Canada; press coverage of the matter recounted how the animal let loose its bowels due to a fear response during the experience.

Similar to online searches leading to the santorum neologism website originally created by Dan Savage, SpreadingSantorum.com, queries for Romney yielding top search results for SpreadingRomney.com are not limited only to Google but extend to other search engines including Bing as well.

I don’t recall seeing it recently, so it appears to be a new gain.

MSNBC quoted search engine expert Danny Sullivan, who observed that the website had likely risen of late in search results: “I don’t recall seeing it recently, so it appears to be a new gain.”

The Atlantic reported that as of yesterday, SpreadingRomney.com had received 3,416 like button clicks from Facebook and 1,261 posts on Twitter. The site appeared third in a Google search for Romney, directly below the former Massachusetts Governor’s Wikipedia page.

In a 2003 interview with the Associated Press, Rick Santorum compared legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States to supporting bestiality. Readers of the Savage Love advice column selected a new definition for the Senator’s last name, and Savage created a website SpreadingSantorum.com to promulgate the spread of the phenomenon. The term became a prominent result in searches online, and gained dominance on Web search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

[The santorum neologism is] offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it.

Rick Santorum himself has acknowledged and discussed the existence and prevalence of the santorum neologism phenomenon; he was quoted by The Canadian Press on his assessment of Google’s response: “To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can’t handle. I suspect that’s not true.” Santorum criticized the response of the press to the phenomenon in a 2011 radio interview, saying, “It’s offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it.”

The company Go Daddy manages the domain name for the website SpreadingRomney.com; the site was registered by an Indianapolis, Indiana-based company named Ayokay LLC which was formed on January 1. The website reportedly started operating on January 10. Rachel Maddow commented upon it on January 12 on her program The Rachel Maddow Show. The founder of SpreadingRomney.com, Jack Shepler, informed Sullivan that he holds no ties to any political campaign group and formed the website out of a comedic motivation.

New York Magazine noted that there may be another neologism this time derived from the last name of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich; linking to an established website for SpreadingGingrich.com. That site is currently asking visitors to submit suggestions for a new definition of gingrich.

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Chile’s President-elect’s battle with delinquency becomes personal

Chile’s President-elect’s battle with delinquency becomes personal
February 15th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Late on Thursday, at approximately 21:20 local time, the home of Cristián Larroulet, the nominated Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency under President-elect Sebastián Piñera of Chile, was burglarized while his wife and son were home alone. Two suspects physically assaulted them, before making off with valuables.

Future Ministry Larroulet lives in the Santiago commune of Las Condes. Two subjects, presumed to be teenage delinquents, were surprised to find Larroulet’s wife, María Isabel Philippi, and son, Matías (aged twenty), on the premises. The two suspects, who used metal beams as weapons, proceeded to tie up their two victims with shoe laces, and assault them. Within ten minutes the suspects, whom the Chilean media describes as “anti-socials”, rampaged the home, leaving with jewelry, electronics including a laptop and an iPod, and other items.

Piñera arrived at the home at 00:10 hours on Friday in solidarity and support of Larroulet and his family. Both the identity and whereabouts of the two suspects is unknown at this time. The Chilean Carabineros (the uniformed national police) of the OS-9 force will continue with a full investigation. Larroulet stated on Friday morning that both his wife and son are in good condition following what he described as a “very raw experience.”

In the 1990’s, Chile’s crime rate was below that of the United States. In the past decade, however, Chileans have experienced an increase in violent burglary crimes, which are currently rated as moderate to high. One of Piñera’s main campaign promises was to combat crime in Chile, having posted billboards throughout the country reading, “Delinquents, your party is over.” Larroulet has criticized the politics directing citizen security under the current government party, the Concertación, stating, “I have no doubt that those governing the Concertación are missing a clearer political determination for combating delinquency,” adding “the importance is in condemning these acts and voice that combating delinquency is a priority for all Chileans.”

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Car Insurance Quote What You Need To Know}

February 15th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

Car Insurance Quote – What You Need to Know


Jill BrennanIf you had the choice of going through several auto insurance quotes or reading the Saturday paper then its probably a fairly safe bet to say that hands down you’d prefer to read the paper. Few people enjoy combing through semi-legal jargon to work out which policy they should choose. But it doesn’t have to be so hard.The key is knowing a bit about what you’re reading Once you’ve got a handle on the various aspects of your auto insurance policy you can then confidently choose which options you are prepared to forego in order to get a discount on your premium. There are many terms peculiar to the insurance industry but there are five main terms that you need to understand. Here is an simple overview of the key terms you need to know about:Comprehensive This is for the cost of repair or replacement of the insured’s vehicle for reasons other than an accident. It encompasses things like damage caused from falling objects, fire, certain natural disasters, theft and vandalism. With this kind of coverage you can choose the level that you pay in the event you need repairs or replacements if your vehicle collides with another vehicle or property. This amount is called the deductible and basically the higher the deductible you elect, the lower your premiums will be. How does it work? Just like medical insurance, you pay the deductible amount, sometimes called an excess, first and then the insurance company pays the remaining repair costs. Property Injury Liability or Property Damage CoverageThis covers any costs associated with damage to property as a result of a motor vehicle accident. In many cases this is mandatory.Liability coverageThis may be either bodily or property damage and kicks in if in the course of an accident there is damage to either another person or property. For example, if you drive into the back of another driver or your foot slips off the brake onto the gas pedal and you plow down a front fence. Your liability coverage will kick in and pay for the damages that you caused. Bodily Injury CoverageThis refers to the funds that an insurance company would pay for damages caused to another individual involved in an auto accident. Collision CoverageThis covers the cost of repair or replacement of the insured’s vehicle no matter who caused the accident. Deductibles work the same way as with Comprehensive; the more out of pocket costs to you, the lower your car insurance premium will be. The amount of coverage you decide on is the amount that lets you sleep comfortably at night and drive your car without undue fear of your liabilities in the event of an accident. Only you know what that level needs to be, no one else can decide what will give you peace of mind. Thankfully there are enough insurance companies in the marketplace offering a wide range of car insurance variables that you will almost certainly be able to pick and choose just the right elements that you need for your car insurance. While at first it maybe baffling sorting through the different variables available, it means you will not have to pay for extra services that you are unlikely to use and don’t value enough to pay for.

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has insider information and tips to save you money on your car insurance premiums. You’ll find a broad range of car insurance articles, auto insurance news items and useful insurance resources freely available to web visitors.

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Rhode Island District Court freezes Palestinian Authority assets in the US

Rhode Island District Court freezes Palestinian Authority assets in the US
February 15th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Rhode Island district court has frozen all the US assets of the Palestinian Authority (PA), prompting Palestinian finance minister Salam Fayyad to request the aid of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The frozen assets include US holdings in an investment fund worth $1.3 billion, which was used to finance economic development, and $30 million from the Palestinian Monetary Authority.

The ruling was passed upon the PA when they refused to compensate the relatives of a Jewish couple shot dead by members of Hamas in 1996.

US citizen Yaron Ungar and his wife Efrat were killed while returning from a wedding near the West Bank, when their car was shot at repeatedly, killing the couple. Three Hamas militants were jailed as a result.

A lawsuit was filed in 2000 against the Palestinian Authority, the PLO, Hamas, and Yasser Arafat in Rhode Island.

Yasser Arafat hired lawyer and former attorney general Ramsey Clark as his defense. In the case, Clark argued that the PA was a sovereign state, and that it deserved immunity from prosecution accorded to most countries. The court disagreed with this, and in 2004 they ruled that Palestine is not a state, and ordered them to pay the Ungars $116 million. A federal appeals court upheld the verdict in March.

The head of Washington’s PA office, Hasan Abdul Rahman said that his office had been “paralysed” by the verdict.

“It paralyzes the function of the office, and I think that is the intention of the plaintiffs.” he told Associated Press shortly after the decision, and called upon the US administration to intervene.

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Illegal drug found to be used in the manufacture of toys

Illegal drug found to be used in the manufacture of toys
February 14th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bindeez beads, a children’s toy from Australia and manufactured by Moose Enterprise in Hong Kong, is being pulled off toy store shelves in the United Kingdom after traces of an illegal drug, which is converted into gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) when ingested, was found inside the toy. At least 20 million toys are affected.

So far at least three children from the U.K. and at least two from Auckland, New Zealand have fallen seriously ill and are currently receiving medical attention. The toy is also sold in the United States as Aqua Dots, with two reports received by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of children needing hospitalization after ingesting the beads.

“We’ve asked all our customers to take them off the shelf while we retest everything to make sure the toys comply with all regulations,” said the company in a statement, although no mandatory recall has been issued for the product. The statement also says that the plant in Hong Kong was not using a chemical mixture approved by the company.

“This substitution was not at any time approved by Moose nor was Moose made aware of any substitution by the supplier,” added the statement.

The toys were supposed to contain a non-toxic chemical known as 1,5-pentanediol, but instead 1,4-butanediol, which is mainly used in creating the illegal drug GHB, was used in the toys. When humans consume 1,4-butanediol, the body converts it into GHB and could make the individual seriously ill, causing headaches, seizures, dizziness and in some cases death. GHB is a natural chemical found in a variety of things such as beef, wine and some varieties of citrus fruits. It is also used as a pharmaceutical which is sold as Xyrem.

Recent animal research indicates that drugs are available for human use which may work as antidotes to the poison, either by hindering its conversion to GHB with 4-methylpyrazole (fomepizole, Antizol) or by blocking GHB’s effectiveness at the receptor (SCH 50911). Rodent testing has found the lethal dose of 1,4-butanediol to range from 1.4 to 2.5 grams per kilogram body weight, but an antidote can increase the lethal dose by a factor of 10.

It is not known how the chemicals got mixed up, but officials for the toy company say that they are continuing the investigation. The toy is currently banned in all of Australia, but the company says all those who bought it will be refunded their money.

“The issue of how a dangerous substance was used in these beads and not the non-toxic substance … that is going to take us a few more days to uncover,” said Australia’s Fair Trade Minister, Linda Burney in a statement to the press.

The toy was recently named Australia’s number one toy for 2007.

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Why I Prefer Lump Wood Charcoal

February 13th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

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By Barbecue Smoker Recipe Man

The history and tradition of charcoal burning goes back thousands of years and there’s something magical about cooking on a charcoal barbecue grill.

Charcoal is the traditional fuel for barbecues because it produces a hot, long-lasting fire that is virtually smokeless. The fundamentals of charcoal manufacture is the burning of wood in a low-oxygen atmosphere, a process that drives out the moisture and volatile gases present in the original fuel. The elimination of the moisture reduces the weight of the fuel by up to 70% and the resulting charred material also burns for much longer than the original piece of wood.

Charcoal has been manufactured since pre-historic times and we know this following the discovery of a ancient body in a melting glacier in the Tyrolean Alps. Scientists dated the remains of the man back approximately 5,000 years and they also found that he had been carrying a small box of charred wood wrapped in leaves. The scientists deduced that the charred wood was probably smouldering and what the man would use to start a fire because apart from this box, he was not carrying any other fire starting materials such as a flint.

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Even 6,000 years ago, charcoal was the preferred fuel for smelting copper and this continued to be the case for iron as well even as late as the 17th century when charcoal was superseded by coke. Charcoal also remained popular in many other industries much later primarily because of the abundance of forests in many areas and the process of coppicing made it a sustainable resource. Something that we should consider in this age of global warming – many environmentalists see wood and charcoal as carbon neutral because of the ability of trees to grow and absorb the greenhouse gasses. Charcoal has been used for domestic heating and maybe we should start to use it more in chimineas rather than the gas powered patio heater?

The ultimate transition of charcoal from a heating and industrial fuel to a recreational cooking material took place around 1920 when Henry Ford created the charcoal briquette. The business proved extremely profitable for Ford because the charcoal briquettes were manufactured out of waste wood from the car plants and his sideline business also encouraged recreational use of cars for picnic outings – great link selling! In fact BBQ grills and Ford Charcoal were sold at Ford dealerships as well.

The retort method is used to produce charcoal briquettes and it involves passing wood through a series of hearths or ovens and the major revolution is that it is a continuous process rather than having to be made in discrete batches as with traditional lump wood charcoal. The traditional method of charcoal production was by piling wood in a pyramid and covering it with dirt, turf, or ashes, leaving air vents around the base and a chimney at the top. The wood was then set alight and allowed to burn slowly and once complete the air vents were then covered up so the pyramid would cool.

I guess the benefits of briquette manufacture are attractive to the manufacturing business man but there’s something magical about the batch production of lump wood charcoal. Different stages in the process are indicated by different colors of smoke as the moisture is driven off and there’s an element of skills being passed from father to son. Maybe I’m being too sentimental but whenever I’m cooking on charcoal I always feel safe in the knowledge that a traditional industry is propagating.

About the Author: The Barbecue Smoker Recipe Man writes

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NRMA stands by “unsafe” smash repair system

NRMA stands by “unsafe” smash repair system
February 13th, 2018 by 6FjUhLbu

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 NRMA, one of Australia’s largest insurers, has come under scrutiny following the release of a scathing report into its online smash repairs system.

The report by the New South Wales Government’s Staysafe committee found that NRMA’s online repair tendering system was “unsafe”. NRMA has said it has no intention of suspending the system despite the findings.

The report, which was released yesterday found that “[The] system of allocating damaged motor vehicles to smash repairers without the repairers physically inspecting the damaged vehicle before quoting for work … is an unsafe system in its current form”. According to committee member and Port Stephens MP John Bartlett the vehicles were “being repaired to the standard of a brick and the crumple zones at the front and rear no longer worked and all the impact was being felt in the cabin”.

According to the report “the system would lead to cost cutting and unsafe repair practices, with the quality of repairs lowered by encouraging smash repairers to take short cuts”.

According to NRMA, only minor “cosmetic” repairs are put through the system – however often there can be further damage which is only evident after a complete inspection. The NRMA system simply places photographs of the vehicles on its website where approved smash repairers bid to carry out repairs.

David Brown, head of claims and assessments at NRMA, said this of the report: “[W]e totally reject the findings of the report, in fact we find the report’s fundamentally flawed with no evidence of safety issues, and [it] has been prepared without seeing the system first-hand”. He further added that the system would not be scrapped.

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