Los Angeles commuter train collides with freight train; over two dozen killed
Los Angeles commuter train collides with freight train; over two dozen killed

Saturday, September 13, 2008

At least 25 people have been killed and many more injured when a Metrolink commuter train collided yesterday afternoon with a Union Pacific freight train in the Chatsworth district of Los Angeles. Around 250 firefighters have responded to the accident scene.

Estimates are that 350-400 people were on the number 111 commuter train which departed from Los Angeles’ Union Station at 3:35pm PDT. The collision occurred on Friday at about 4:25pm PDT on Metrolink’s Ventura County Line. The area in which the crash took place is hilly and contains a single track; it is just north of the Chatsworth Metrolink station.

The force of the collision sent the locomotive of the Metrolink train to penetrate deep into the lead bi-level passenger car of the three-car train. The collision then knocked the Union Pacific and Metrolink locomotives on their side along with the lead passenger car.

This is the worst accident I’ve ever seen. Clearly the injuries are going to mount and so are the fatalities.

According to various sources, upwards of 10-15 passengers, possibly even more than 20, have been killed, including a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer. The LAPD has not released the name of the officer. The engineer of the Metrolink train is believed to be another of the fatalities.

The number of injured is believed to be 135, although the precise number is still unclear. According to emergency responders, the injured have been transported to Los Angeles area hospitals, including the University of California, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center and Huntington Hospital.

“This is the worst accident I’ve ever seen. Clearly the injuries are going to mount and so are the fatalities,” Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, said.

Are U.S. rail safety standards stringent enough?
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It is unclear how the accident occurred. Some of the possibilities include a signal malfunction, a failure by a crew member to notice a signal or a lapse in protocol for moving trains safely in the area. According to Metrolink and the Los Angeles Times, the National Transportation Safety Board has a team on scene and is investigating.

In an apparently unrelated incident less than an hour after the crash in Chatsworth, another Metrolink train collided with a car in Corona, California, killing the female driver of the automobile.

Why Leadership Training Should Be A Top Priority

Why Leadership Training Should Be a Top Priority



In the U.S., a study conducted by Expertus in 2008 indicated that 48% of those companies surveyed were cutting their leadership training budgets because of economic conditions. As the economy continued on a downward spiral, cuts in executive leadership training continued. According to Business Week, leadership guidance is essential in any economic climate in order to experience continued growth in the business arena.

The article goes on to compare a lack of leadership training to weeds choking out a garden; as the recession continued to get worse, managers focused more on maintaining status quo than motivating employees toward continued growth. The lack of leadership training meant that employees began to lack motivation and focus, resulting in \”choked\” or stifled growth in many companies and organizations. It is necessary for effective leadership training to be in place consistently, even in tough economic time management.

During the last several years of economic crisis, employees have been insecure about their jobs, which lead to decreased morale; a lack of leadership teaching left employees without the essential guidance they need from managers. To sum it all up, the scarcity of available jobs coupled with job security issues and a decrease in leadership training meant that productivity in employees decreased tremendously. By implementing effective leadership training now, the garden can begin to thrive and grow again – meaning more efficient and motivated personnel, and ultimately continued business growth.

Business Week goes on to say that leadership training, contrary to popular belief, does not produce only long-term results. In fact, the article claims that results can actually be seen the same afternoon. Simple strategies such as a one-day workshop can often stimulate the team, motivating staff and improving skills for effective team leadership. In only hours, the level of motivation and productivity can be increased substantially – with the help of a good leader.

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Several topics that should be covered in leadership training include setting objectives, team building and helping these teams grown to maximum potential, personal goal setting and how personal goals and business goals can be aligned. Leadership guidance is essential in helping employees gain drive and ambition; they must feel necessary and capable, otherwise they will feel as if they are just going to a \”job\” every day, which isn\’t productive for the growth of the employee or the company.

Savvy business owners realize that leadership teaching is an investment in their employees and ultimately in the success of their company. The company as a whole is invigorated even in a faltering economy by the investment in leadership training. According to the article, a good leadership guidance program should include:

– Connecting with staff

– Making managers better coaches and mentors

– Listening and giving feedback

– Having a clear vision

– Understanding how separate components make up the complete machine

Leadership training will help companies \”weed out\” the negative aspects that are dragging the company down, and feed prospective new leaders for renewed growth and vigor, resulting in larger profits.

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British rail minister Claire Perry steps down
British rail minister Claire Perry steps down

Saturday, July 16, 2016

British Rail minister Claire Perry resigned on Thursday evening, after continuing problems with Southern Rail.

Southern has an ongoing dispute with the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) about increasing driver-only services, without conductors or guards. The union objected, citing concerns about job losses and driver safety.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said “This utter mess is now an embarrassment to our city” and that he was “calling on the government to strip Southern of its franchise and take over the temporary responsibility of running these services.” Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin focused instead on the union, saying “Most industrial disputes are about threats to employment or conditions so the RMT’s attitude is absurd. There is no threat to safety, no threat to jobs, no threat to pay and yet they continue disrupting passengers’ lives on a daily basis.”

In an attempt to reduce cancellations and delays, on Monday the company cut 341 trains a day, in light of the current staff shortages. They said since this change the trains’ reliability improved from 60% on-time to 80%.

Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive
Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

Tour de France: Cédric Vasseur wins stage 10
Tour de France: Cédric Vasseur wins stage 10

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cédric Vasseur of France has won stage 10 of the 2007 Tour de France. Vasseur won a five man sprint to the finishline by the slimmest of margins.

“This morning I was on the phone to a friend and he told me, ‘Today is your day!’ And in all honesty I had the same confidence about this long stage. The victory had to be mine,” said Vasseur after his victory.

Michael Rasmussen of Denmark retains the overall lead, finishing the stage some 10 minutes later with the peleton. In fact, all of the top ten in the overall, finished with the same time, leaving the standings unchanged from yesterday.

“It was a long, hard day and all the guys are suffering in the heat, that’s quite obvious and 230 kilometers into a headwind takes its toll on everybody. My Rabobank team defended well today and we’ll have to wait and see how we go. There is another two days before we have the big test in the time trial on Saturday and then I’ll start thinking about the Pyrenees,” said Michael Rasmussen.

He went on to say that he is now the leader of the Rabobank team: “There’s been a lot said about the situation regarding leadership between myself and Denis Menchov and I think it’s quite clear now that I’m the leader in the team now and I’m here to defend the yellow jersey for as long as possible.”

Patrik Sinkewitz of Germany, who has already dropped out of the Tour after a crash, got more bad news when the A sample in a drug test on June 8, came back positve.

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Led Lighting: An Alternative Solution}

Submitted by: Carol Oon

Lighting is an important aspect of not just households and industries but also life, in a larger perspective. A perfect illumination pattern can remove the gloominess around and instill happiness and life. Lighting takes us away from darkness, in a world of hopes and desire. It can cheer up the moods of the people and make way for happiness and prosperity. Hence, it is important to opt for a perfect lighting solution that is not only cost effective but also attractive, innovative and energy efficient.

LED lighting offers a complete solution in this regard. It is one of the most commonly and most extensively used lighting forms in a variety of devices, applications, houses and industries. LED technology has revolutionized the way lighting is being done. Basically, it is an abbreviation for Light Emitting Diode, which is based on principles of a semi-conductor. Earlier the range of bulbs based on LED technology was mainly low intensity bulbs but visible, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths bulbs are also available in market.

LED lighting can be easily achieved through LED bulbs that are widely acknowledged for their features like perfect brightness, durability and compact size. Owing to the compact size, these bulbs have facilitated the development new text and video displays and sensors. Moreover, LED technology based bulbs can be used as replacements for traditional light sources in aviation lighting, automotive lighting (particularly indicators) and in traffic signals. Some of the important features of LED lighting are low energy consumption, longer functional life, improved robustness, smaller size, faster switching and greater reliability. However, LED bulbs require more adept management of current and heat than other sources of lighting.

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LED lighting has emerged as a reliable source of lighting and is most appreciated for its compact sizes. Small size allows the bulbs based on this technology to fit into almost any devise including remote control systems of electronic goods like television sets, DVD players and many others.

LED lighting solutions are cost effective compared to other solutions and very safe to use. Bulbs based on LED technology are made using different raw material depending upon the application as well as requirement of demand of the users. Moreover, LED bulbs are available in various colors which lend them a very aesthetic and attractive look. LED lamps are also available in the market. These lamps are appreciated for their reliable performance and ample illumination features. Mostly, multiple diodes are used in the lamp in order to achieve desired illumination. These lamps also have an internal circuit which allows usage from an AC voltage source. LED lamps consume less energy and are available in multi colored and white light form. This ensures these lamps are applicable for both general and special purpose lighting.

LED lighting has emerged as an excellent alternative to the traditional fluorescent lighting and hence is being used in households and different industries including electronics and electric. More studies and research in the field are being conducted in order to further advance the existing technology.

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GM recalls 1.3 million cars over steering issues
GM recalls 1.3 million cars over steering issues

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

General Motors (GM) announced on Tuesday a recall of 1.3 million Chevrolet and Pontiac cars in the US, Mexico, and Canada over problems with the power steering system.

Recalling these vehicles is the right thing to do for our customers’ peace of mind

The models, the 2005–2010 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007–2010 Pontiac G5 in the US, the 2005–2006 Pontiac Pursuit in Canada and the 2005–2006 Pontiac G4 in Mexico, were affected by a fault that causes the power steering in the vehicles to fail. The company says that cars can still be safely controlled even after the loss of power steering, although more effort to turn the car would be required.

GM is currently working on developing a fix for the problem, after having conducted an internal investigation for more than a year, beginning last January. In addition to GM’s investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also conducted an investigation on the Cobalt, which began in January 2010. The investigation was begun after more than a thousand complaints about the model were received by the agency, including reports of 14 crashes caused by the fault. GM contacted the NHTSA about the problem on Monday.

GM blamed the issues on an external supplier partially owned by Toyota, another company currently in the process of a major recall of more than eight million vehicles. According to GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz, the supplier, which was not named, had not met “all requirements for reliability and durability.” In his comments, given at the Geneva Motor Show, Lutz also said that financial responsibility for the recalls had yet to be determined.

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Painting Restoration Repair Guidelines And Techniques

Painting Restoration Repair Guidelines And Techniques



Painting restoration repair can be hard, and definitely needs a good deal of time, patience and energy. If you\’ve got a terribly broken artwork, then consider using the these restoration guidelines and methods. If done correctly, these strategies will help recover your artwork to its best condition.

Certainly, a painting restoration professional s worst nightmare can be the badly flaking and scorching oil painting. These extremely damaged works of art can be a problem for the most advanced repair specialist. When dealing with a flaking and blistering oil painting, consider implementing the following repair tips and strategies.

Restoring artworks with holes and tears is best carried out by a process of recanvassing. Essentially recanvassing consists of purchasing a new canvas, and taking out the oil painting s original canvas. Just like any painting repair step, take careful attention with detaching the canvas from an old painting. Much more harm is made on an annual basis by people attempting to fix paintings, than fire and burglary put together.

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Do onions cause you to cry? Well if they really do then you should get accustomed to crying! Onions perform great when repairing artworks. The same chemicals which make your tear ducts well up also work to remove stubborn grit, dirt and grime from oil paintings. The procedure for painting restoration has included onions for decades if not centuries. The secret is to slice the onion in half and slowly rub the onion in a circular fashion across the painting. Make sure to maintain light pressure on the onion. Don\’t press down hard on the canvas, because the onion might easily make a hole or tear in the oil painting.

Apart from onions, beeswax is yet another gift from nature that can also assist with repair paintings. Repairing paintings by combining beeswax with damar is another age-old method that\’s been used over the years. Mixing beeswax with damar is called Dutch Style painting restoration. Covering a painting with beeswax and damar helps to stop the oil from separating from the canvas. Once again take great caution when using the mixture. Make use of a light, circular rubbing method to prevent from creating more holes and tears. Often times a cotton ball is used to restore paintings in this fashion.

Throughout the entire painting restoration process, be aware that different colors and shades will react differently to the techniques explained in this article. More often than not (particularly with regards to oil paintings)lighter colors will repair magnificently. The grime and dirt that is embedded in lighter colors is usually removed without difficulty, which is definitely a excellent news for the painting restoration expert. On the other hand darker colors could be much more stubborn. Take great patience when restoring paintings with many dark colors. It might take a bit more time and energy to get those dark colors glowing like new.

To summarize, always keep in mind that most amateur painting restorations result in more harm than good. It is super easy to damage a painting, especially an old oil painting, using the above mentioned methods. Nevertheless a full and remarkable painting restoration can happen through the hand of a skilled and patient professional. If you have a painting that is in desperate need of restoring, then you can apply all these methods. Just be sure to keep a light hand and keen eye on the methods you use for oil painting restoration repair.

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Hser Nar Moo, missing Utah girl, found dead
Hser Nar Moo, missing Utah girl, found dead

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Seven year old Hser Nar Moo, who went missing from her home in South Salt Lake, Utah Tuesday, has been found dead less than 100 feet from her home.

South Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Snyder said at a news conference, “Once inside the apartment, they observed some evidence that led them to the bathroom of the apartment, where they discovered the body of Hser Nay Moo.”

It has not been made public how the girl died. “There is some trauma present, and that’s all I’m going to say,” Snyder said.

As of Wednesday morning, police have five men in custody for questioning. Witnesses say that four of them are Burmese immigrants living in the same apartment complex as the child’s family.

Nar Moo was last seen alive at her home on Monday at around 2:00 PM MDT (UTC-6), and was reported missing at around 6:30 PM. An AMBER alert was issued at 9:42 AM yesterday, before her body was found in the bathroom of a neighbor.

The seven year old Asian girl was described as being 3 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 45 lbs, with brown eyes and long black hair. She was wearing a pink dress to her knees and pink Croc shoes at the time when she went missing.

Police reported that she spoke very little English, though she did understand some. It is believed her family is from Burma.

The AMBER Alert issued yesterday is no longer active because of the discovery of the body.

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Scholastic sued for Harry Potter copyright infringement
Scholastic sued for Harry Potter copyright infringement

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A trustee of the estate of the late author Adrian Jacobs filed a lawsuit against the US publisher of the Harry Potter series, Scholastic Inc, on Tuesday. He claimed that J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, had copied scenes from Jacob’s novel, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard, to the fourth novel of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The suit followed a similar case last year, in which the trustee sued the UK publisher of the series, Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Both of these cases are currently pending.

The complaint stated that in both books, the protagonists “are required to deduce the exact nature of the central task in the competition”, and had done so in a bathroom. Both books also involved “rescuing hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal creatures.” The suit also claimed that Christopher Little, a literary agent of Rowling, was originally the literary agent of Jacobs. The claim was denied by Scholastic.

Scholastic called the claim “completely without merit”. They pointed out that Rowling had said in February that she had never read Jacobs’ book. The trustee said that the US was the world’s largest foreign market, so they brought their first overseas action there. He demanded that all copies of the Harry Potter novel be destroyed, and all the profit made by the book given to him.

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