Quaker website editor launches music podcast programme

Friday, July 22, 2005

Simon Gray, Quaker website editor for the Friend and an organiser for the World Gathering of Young Friends today launched radio star one as a podcast linked to birmingham alive !, the Birmingham what’s on guide.

“It’s an eclectic mix of jazz, world, electronic, classical, & folk”, he said, “perhaps in a similar vein to Radio 3’s late junction programme”.

Simon is currently in consultation to make the Friend itself be available as a podcast. Already subscribers can read it via an RSS feed, with the appropriate aggregator software. Podcasting is a fast-growing form of broadcasting which is freely available to listeners on the internet.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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Benefits Of Outsourcing Your Business Payroll Services

By Jake D. Darren

It is inevitable for any business that has employees that each month they have to take some time to process salaries and wages. This in most cases is a time consuming and tricky process for bigger firms they are able to create a whole department that deals with this. Smaller businesses do not have the resources to maintain such a department and as a result look to outsource their payroll services to professional service providers.

One of the major advantages of hiring service providers is that they allow you and your employees to devote time and effort into running the business. If the process were to be carried out in house it eventually means that a member of staff would have to stop doing their core duties just to process the paychecks. Service providers allow you to free such staff and work towards the expansion of your business.

It is expensive to train your own staff on how to operate the paycheck system. The training has to be done on a continuous basis, as they have to keep abreast with the changing tax procedures and legislation. This is also expensive considering that the individual will not be doing enough work to generate full time employment for him or herself.

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Various types of employment are in existence that eventually leads to complicated pay structures. A service provider who has a host of experience on such matters would come in handy in such cases. The service provider’s experience in such matters would prove invaluable, as they are able to offer advice on how to handle such employees’ records.

When handling such matters online there is the risk of losing a key employee, which will eventually turn out to be a logistical nightmare come payday. Service providers have systems in place that ensure that processing of the paychecks still goes on whether an employee is in or not. This means that the quality of their service provision is not affected by their own staff turnover than what would happen in a small business.

Service providers employ the use of the latest computer software that can accurately process your employees’ information. Such systems are costly to purchase and require specialist training which would inevitably dent a small company’s cash flow. These systems also allow the data to be stored secure, safe and backed up in the event the data would be destroyed.

Payroll mistakes are painful both for the business and employees and even to the government. These mistakes can also land the business into legal battles as employees look for financial restitution in a court of law. A professional service provider is much less likely to make such mistakes.

When you outsource your business payroll services there is peace of mind and you can concentrate on the running of a successful and profitable business. There is also the added security feature with service providers as they can easily spot any fraud such as phantom workers and payment manipulation. Service providers will also be able to take over the boring monotonous work that would more than likely ground your business to a halt as it is processed.

About the Author: Get a summary of the benefits of outsourcing your payroll administration and tips for choosing a provider of

payroll services

at http://PayrollServicesForSmallBusiness.info now.

Source:

isnare.com

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California meat packing firm recalls 143M pounds of beef

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I am dismayed at the in-humane handling of cattle that has resulted in the violation of food safety regulations at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company.

In a press release today, California-based Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. indicated that it has voluntarily recalled just over 143 million pounds (65 million kilograms) of raw and frozen beef products, which is considered to be the largest single recall of beef products in U.S. history. The move follows an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) into allegations of animal cruelty and mishandling of cattle destined for the human food chain.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) had determined that beef products produced by the Chino, California company were unfit for human consumption as the cattle had not received “complete and proper inspection.”

The recall has been designated as Class II, which the USDA describes as “a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.”

On Friday, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer indicated that charges had been laid against employees of the plant alleged to have taken part in the mistreatment of cattle. “Today [Friday], the San Bernardino District Attorney filed felony animal cruelty charges against two employees who were terminated by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company,” said Schafer. “It is regrettable that these animals were mistreated and I am encouraged and supportive of these actions by the San Bernardino District Attorney in response to this mistreatment.”

The USDA learned of the possible inhumane handling of non-ambulatory (disabled) cattle at the packing plant on January 30 and has since suspended activities at the plant. “We continue to conduct a thorough investigation into whether any violations of food safety or additional humane handling regulations have occurred,” said Secretary Schafer in a press release. “On February 8, our Office of the Inspector General took the lead on the investigation. At that time, USDA extended the administrative hold on Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company products for the National School Lunch Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations while the investigation continues,” said Schafer.

The FSIS reported that Hallmark/Westland had not contacted the FSIS public health veterinarian, as required, when cattle became ill or disabled after undergoing ante-mortem (slaughter) inspection, putting the company out of compliance with FSIS regulations. “Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection FSIS has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall,” explained Secretary Schafer.

The cruelty charges stem from an undercover video that reportedly showed sick cattle being moved by crews using forklifts.

“Words cannot accurately express how shocked and horrified I was at the depictions contained on the video that was taken by an individual who worked at our facility from October 3 thru November 14, 2007,” said Steve Mendell, President, Westland Meat Co. and Hallmark Meat Packing. “We have taken swift action regarding the two employees identified on the video and have already implemented aggressive measures to ensure all employees follow our humane handling policies and procedures. We are also cooperating with the USDA investigators on the allegations of inhumane handling treatment which is a serious breech of our company’s policies and training.”

The USDA stressed that it is “extremely unlikely” that the cattle involved were at risk for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad-cow disease due to the employment of multiple safeguards. The USDA felt the recall was required, however, as the plant had allegedly violated USDA regulations.

The recall involves raw and frozen beef products produced on various dates from February 1, 2006 to February 2, 2008. For further information about the recall, consumers, media, and distributors are encouraged to contact Hallmark/Westland’s Plant Manager Stan Mendell or Food Safety Consultant Steve Sayer at (909) 590-3340 or the FSIS website, www.fsis.usda.gov.

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Nicole Kidman injured during movie stunt

Friday, January 26, 2007

Actress Nicole Kidman was injured in a car accident while filming the movie, The Invasion. The car reportedly went off course, and ran into a light pole on West Sixth Street in Los Angeles, California.

“The stunt driver apparently went off course and hit a light post,” said Karen Smith, a officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.

“Nicole Kidman was in the vehicle at the time of the accident and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. She was released shortly thereafter,” said a statement issued by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

Kidman, along with eight other people were taken to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where all were released with minimal injuries just 2 hours later. All are reported to have returned to work. Paramedics also treated Kidman on scene before she was taken to the hospital.

“I think she’s OK,” said Catherine Olim, Kidman’s publicist.

Kidman was inside a Jaguar.

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California meat packing firm recalls 143M pounds of beef

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I am dismayed at the in-humane handling of cattle that has resulted in the violation of food safety regulations at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company.

In a press release today, California-based Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. indicated that it has voluntarily recalled just over 143 million pounds (65 million kilograms) of raw and frozen beef products, which is considered to be the largest single recall of beef products in U.S. history. The move follows an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) into allegations of animal cruelty and mishandling of cattle destined for the human food chain.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) had determined that beef products produced by the Chino, California company were unfit for human consumption as the cattle had not received “complete and proper inspection.”

The recall has been designated as Class II, which the USDA describes as “a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.”

On Friday, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer indicated that charges had been laid against employees of the plant alleged to have taken part in the mistreatment of cattle. “Today [Friday], the San Bernardino District Attorney filed felony animal cruelty charges against two employees who were terminated by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company,” said Schafer. “It is regrettable that these animals were mistreated and I am encouraged and supportive of these actions by the San Bernardino District Attorney in response to this mistreatment.”

The USDA learned of the possible inhumane handling of non-ambulatory (disabled) cattle at the packing plant on January 30 and has since suspended activities at the plant. “We continue to conduct a thorough investigation into whether any violations of food safety or additional humane handling regulations have occurred,” said Secretary Schafer in a press release. “On February 8, our Office of the Inspector General took the lead on the investigation. At that time, USDA extended the administrative hold on Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company products for the National School Lunch Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations while the investigation continues,” said Schafer.

The FSIS reported that Hallmark/Westland had not contacted the FSIS public health veterinarian, as required, when cattle became ill or disabled after undergoing ante-mortem (slaughter) inspection, putting the company out of compliance with FSIS regulations. “Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection FSIS has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall,” explained Secretary Schafer.

The cruelty charges stem from an undercover video that reportedly showed sick cattle being moved by crews using forklifts.

“Words cannot accurately express how shocked and horrified I was at the depictions contained on the video that was taken by an individual who worked at our facility from October 3 thru November 14, 2007,” said Steve Mendell, President, Westland Meat Co. and Hallmark Meat Packing. “We have taken swift action regarding the two employees identified on the video and have already implemented aggressive measures to ensure all employees follow our humane handling policies and procedures. We are also cooperating with the USDA investigators on the allegations of inhumane handling treatment which is a serious breech of our company’s policies and training.”

The USDA stressed that it is “extremely unlikely” that the cattle involved were at risk for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad-cow disease due to the employment of multiple safeguards. The USDA felt the recall was required, however, as the plant had allegedly violated USDA regulations.

The recall involves raw and frozen beef products produced on various dates from February 1, 2006 to February 2, 2008. For further information about the recall, consumers, media, and distributors are encouraged to contact Hallmark/Westland’s Plant Manager Stan Mendell or Food Safety Consultant Steve Sayer at (909) 590-3340 or the FSIS website, www.fsis.usda.gov.

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Indoor Air Quality Narcoossee Fl

May, 2016 byadmin

The rising air pollution across the globe brings intense concerns for all walks of life. Luckily there is a solution to combat the inhalation of harmful air. This is where progressive technologies on advanced energy savings solutions with air conditioning needs come into play.

Indoor air quality Nacoossee Fl service providers are kept abreast with changing technologies on air conditioning to be market AC specialists where the latest AC solutions could help consumers save more on utility bills.

Good Market Choice of Service Provider

Hot weathers today require air conditioning inside most premises to keep the space cool for consumers to function properly. However, these air conditioning units may be subject to wear and tear. Qualified air conditioning service providers are required to keep the units functional. At Smith’s Air Conditioning, you will find a qualified staff to handle your AC repair and indoor air quality testing.

As one of Central Florida’s premier AC specialists, we can help you stay cool and save on energy costs. We have a trained and experienced repair team of high quality in servicing air conditioning units of various brands and horse-power. We offer prompt and reliable services to ensure a reactivation of the air conditioning unit for the comfort and convenience of consumers.

The preferred service provider must be fully bonded and insured with a valid operation license and industry registration to provide the best of air conditioning unit repairs and services. Such technicians must be experienced in every aspect of HVAC repairs required.

Wide Scope of Services

A reliable indoor air quality Narcoossee Fl specialist is competent to cover a wide scope of services and repairs an air conditioning unit may require. This could include regular checks on AC unit functionality, washing and cleaning of AC unit, repairs and replacements of genuine HVAC parts.

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Microsoft backtracks on Vista delay accusations

Monday, October 16, 2006

Last month Microsoft Corporation made accusations against the European Commission, stating that it may cause delays in the final release of their latest operating system, Windows Vista (formerly known as Longhorn).

Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith, stated:

We recognize that the European Commission does not give ‘green lights’ for new products, and we have not asked for one. We appreciate the constructive dialogue we have had with the Commission and the guidance the Commission has provided,” Smith added. Based on this guidance, we have made changes to ensure that we’re in compliance with our competition law obligations.“.

The news should be welcomed by all those anticipating Windows Vista within the European community, with Microsoft showing compliance to follow the regulations set out by the European Commission.

The entire debate started when Microsoft were responding to a letter received by the European Competition Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, that showed concerns over “The possible bundling into Vista of certain products, such as internet search and certain security features that are currently available on a standalone basis from Microsoft and other vendors“. In July, Smith had made a statement that Microsoft had offered to create changes to its system to comply with the commission, and that it had asked the commission to state which changes would make Vista apply to its standards and regulations.

We told the Commission that we would be prepared to do any one of four things and they could simply tell us which of those things they wanted us to do” said Smith.

Since Bill Gates announced the removal of WinFS from its new operating system in October 2003, the company has been plagued by many setbacks and legal issues. Only time will tell whether Brad Smith’s announcement from Microsoft is entirely truthful instead of a way of covering Microsoft’s back.


  • Matthew Aslett. “Microsoft backtracks on EC blame for potential Vista delays” — Computer Business Review, October 16, 2006
  • Shaun Nichols. “European Vista launch on schedule” — VNUNet, October 16, 2006
  • Steve Ranger. “Vista: we’re keeping an eye on it, says EC” — Silicon, October 16, 2006
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US Senator Rand Paul blocks synthetic marijuana legislation

Friday, March 30, 2012

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is the lone holdout preventing a vote on synthetic marijuana legislation in the US Senate through a procedural block that is allowed under the rules. Until Paul lifts his block, the Senate will not be able to act on legislation that has already passed the US House of Representatives last December. Wikinews has investigated the block on the legislation.

Synthetic marijuana can be sold over the counter in some places and it is commonly known by brand names, such as “K2” or “Spice”. Other types of synthetic “designer” drugs, like “bath salts”, belong to a class of substances that are in some cases legal, though they create a health hazard, because they are declared not meant for human consumption.

At issue in the legislation is the amount of chemical substances banned, the criminalization of substances, the authority of the federal versus the state government to makes those decisions, the extent to which the product is a threat or hazard to public health and safety, and the effect such a law would have on the research of these substances. All of these issues were debated in the House. Paul has made an issue of the long prison sentences for marijuana. His critics claim he is going too far by blocking legislation. Paul, a Republican who has libertarian leanings, has argued that the states should have the authority to ban drugs.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states have a ban on both synthetic cannabinoids and substituted cathinones while 39 states have a ban on synthetic cannabinoids. Rand’s home state of Kentucky bans both. But legislation is not a perfect solution; in Cass County, Michigan, four teenagers between the ages of 13 and 14 had an emergency after using synthetic marijuana, but even though Michigan bans both, police are not sure that the substances are illegal. Chemists have to conduct tests on the products.

Although Paul is framing the issue as a legal one, the medical community has turned its attention to this new phenomenon’s impact on public health and safety. In an article that appeared in the March 2012 issue of Pediatriacs, medical researchers led by Dr. Joanna Cohen analyzed the cases of three teens who were hospitalized and treated as emergencies after an incident of synthetic marijuana use. One 16-year-old girl lost her motor skills and was unresponsive yet she had an exceptionally high heart rate and abnormal blood pressure. An 18-year-old boy was extremely sweaty, had a high heart rate and was agitated. And a 16-year-old boy had a speech dysfunction, as well as symptoms of agitation and confusion. The doctors who wrote the study say people are using this product because they believe it can give them a high similar to marijuana, however, the new drug can bring on both psychological symptoms, like psychosis and paranoia, and physical ones, such as convulsions.

One out of every nine high school students has reported use of synthetic marijuana, according to Monitoring the Future released in December 2011. The annual survey can be used to spot new trends in substance use among youth and the report included synthetic marijuana for the first time in 2011.

Poison centers noticed a sharp increase in calls reporting incidents due to synthetic marijuana. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2010 centers nationwide took 2,906 calls for synthetic marijuana cases, but by 2011, they took 6,959 calls. The problem is noticeable to local health officials, like in Syracuse, New York, which is Senator Chuck Schumer’s state, where 120 cases were reported and one health professional called it “a significant public health concern.” New York has a ban on substituted cathinones but not synthetic canabanoids, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Although the US Drug Enforcement Agency placed five substances that fall under synthetic marijuana into Schedule I on March 1, 2011, its emergency powers only last one and a half years and its ban has not stopped other substances from being used instead. Schedule I is a running list of banned chemicals.

… let us move forward with a vote

Three of Paul’s Senate senior colleagues say Paul should drop his block. Senators Chuck Grassley, Chuck Schumer, and Amy Klobuchar are sponsoring bipartisan legislation that aims to ban synthetic marijuana as a serious health threat. The legislation is bipartisan as Grassley is a Republican , while both Schumer and Klobuchar are Democrats. Senator Schumer, in an editorial for the New York Daily News, advocated tackling synthetic marijuana at the national level rather than at the state. Schumer’s argument is that states have tried to ban the ingredients commonly found these products but the manufacturers have the flexibility to alter the ingredients to bypass the law. Schumer said the federal government needs a proactive rather than a reactive stance against drugs. “All we need is one senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, to release his block on this legislation,” wrote Schumer. “We’re urging him to do the right thing, and let us move forward with a vote.”

Before the Senate took up the issue, similar legislation had already passed in the House. The House voted 317–98 in favor of the Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011 on December 8, 2011. Pennsylvania Congressperson Charles Dent sponsored the legislation that would add ingredients found in synthetic marijuana to Schedule I. Dent’s legislation included chemicals that are not even found in the United States at this time, but he argues that synthetic marijuana is too great of a public health threat to dismiss.

Standing in opposition to the legislation, Virginia Congressperson Bobby Scott and several fellow Democrats argued Dent’s legislation was bypassing a process for the banning of drugs that was already in place and established. Scott also argued some of the substances banned by the legislation were not even present in the United States but so far only in Europe. His colleagues argued researchers would lose the ability to conduct research freely on these substances and, as Scott noted, the legislation was seeking to ban substances but without any research to back it up.

Grassley’s legislation is named for David Rozga, an Iowan who committed suicide after using synthetic marijuana. In his speech, before the Senate, Grassley said Rozga’s situation inspired him to put forward the legislation.

For some families, the issue has also become an emotional one, as they have lost a loved one. Karen Dobner, a mother from Aurora, Illinois, is blaming Senator Paul for any deaths that may still occur because he is holding up a legislative solution to a problem that she says killed her own son. When her son Max was in college, he tried a synthetic marijuana product and had a panic attack. Dobner believes the car crash that killed her son would not have happened had he not been experiencing the symptoms of the designer drug. Now Dobner keeps calling Paul’s office begging him to stop his hold.

Senator Paul’s office was contacted by both phone and email about this report but it did not respond.

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Taylor Swift’s 1989 wins Grammy’s Record of the year; Bad Blood wins the Best Music Video

Thursday, February 18, 2016

On Monday, US singer Taylor Swift won the 58th Grammy Awards Album of the Year for her album 1989, and her video song Bad Blood won the Grammy Award for the Best Music Video.

There will be people who will try to undercut your success

This was the second time Swift has won the award for the Album of the Year. She previously won for her album Fearless in 2010. Swift collected three Grammys at this year’s awards ceremony: Best Music Video, Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year.

With this Album of the Year win, she became the first woman to win two Grammy Awards in the category. At the beginning of the award ceremony, Swift performed her song Out of the Woods live.

The other nominees for the Album of The Year were Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Chris Stapleton’s Traveller, and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness. Canadian singer The Weeknd won two awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Performance.

While receiving her award, Swift left a message for younger women saying “there will be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments […] don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going you’ll look around and you’ll know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”

Kendrick Lamar, who featured in the Bad Blood video, won five awards including for Bad Blood. Swift’s friend Ed Sheeran won the Song of the Year for Thinking Out Loud ahead of her song Blank Space from the album 1989.

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Minimum wage to be increased in New Zealand

Monday, December 18, 2006

File:New Zealand money.jpg

The minimum wage in New Zealand will be increased by 9.8% on 1 April, 2007, the biggest increase in New Zealand for seven years.

The announcement was made today by Labour minister, Ruth Dyson, and will make the current minimum wage for workers over 18-years NZ$11.25 per hour, an increase $1.00 from the current wage of $10.25. Youth workers and youth workers being trained aged 16-years and 17-years will see an increase of $0.80 to $9.00, remaining at 80% of the adult minimum wage.

Ms Dyson said: “The boost in the minimum wage will ensure that lower paid workers share the benefits of economic growth, encourage people to join the workforce and provide protection for some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable workers.”

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand has welcomed the announcement. Sue Bradford, spokesperson for the Greens’ Industrial Relations, said: “There is no better time than during a strong economy for New Zealand to boost the current poverty level minimum wages.”

Ms Bradford said: “The rise announced today is not overly generous. When cost of living adjustments are taken into account, the $12 an hour minimum wage level called for by the Greens during the 2005 election campaign, has now moved to just over $13 per hour. If one applied the European Union social standard – which sets the minimum wage at two thirds of the average wage – we would be setting New Zealand’s minimum wage at $13.66.”

However HealthCare Providers New Zealand is criticising the wage increases as currently the difference in minimum wage and the average caregiver wage rate is 10% ($10.25 and $11.33 respectively). Martin Taylor, chief executive officer, said: “If more funding is not made available then the government is agreeing to caregiving becoming a minimum wage occupation.”

Mr Taylor said: “We believe caregiving is an important job that deserves better wages, but you cannot pay out more than you are funded for. This sector is depended on government funding and we have already been waiting 9 months for DHBs to agree to our funding claim for the last minimum wage increase.”

The government believes that the change will benefit 110,000 adults of which the majority are woman, and 9,200 youth workers.

“With four months till the changes come into effect, businesses will have time to prepare. The date of 1 April was chosen to reduce compliance costs for businesses as it will coincide with the implementation date of four weeks’ annual holidays,” Ms Dyson said.

The government wishes that by the end of 2008 they will be able to increase the minimum wage of adults to at least $12.00 per hour, however the government will be keeping a close eye on the economy.

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