Millions of old New Zealand coins still to be handed in

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On November 1, 2006 the old five, ten, twenty and fifty cent coins will be illegal tender, but the Reserve Bank of New Zealand says there are still at least 100 million still to be returned.

According to the Reserve Bank, most of the old coins have been lost in drains or buried in rubbish. “We think there is still another 100 million sitting around in people’s homes,” Brian Lang, currency manger for the Reserve Bank, said.

Lang said: “So far, just over 280 million coins have been returned, but there are more out there. Since 1967 the Reserve Bank has issued more than a billion of the old ‘silver’ coins. So if you don’t want to be stuck with loads of old coin – there’s never been a better time to empty your coin jars, sweep the car glove box and rummage behind the couch cushions.”

The coins still awaiting to be handed in, by either spending them, taking them to a bank or donating them to charity, are estimated to be worth between NZ$5 million and $50 million.

“A last-minute burst of publicity may convince people to bring the coins in. It’s a bit of a hassle though. Human nature being what it is, people just don’t care,” Lang said.The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary located in Wellington say that they have collected over $9,000 in old coins. Sanctuary spokesman, Alan Dicks said: “The campaign was particularly fitting because the old coins depicted tuataras and kiwis, both of which can be found living at the sanctuary. The money will go towards supporting general ecological restoration of the sanctuary. We want to get over ten grand, but the more the better.”

Lang said: “Though the coins will no longer be legal tender, banks will continue to exchange them until at least the end of the year,” and the Reserve Bank will always exchange them. “We are still getting people coming in with two-dollar notes,” Lang added.

Small aircraft crashes into building in New York City

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A small aircraft struck an apartment building in New York this afternoon, killing the pilot and a flight instructor. Cory Lidle, a pitcher for the New York Yankees baseball team, was the registered owner of the aircraft and is believed to have been piloting it; his passport was found on the scene. The flight instructor was Tyler Stanger.

The plane, a Cirrus SR20 with registration number N929CD, hit the 26th floor of the Belaire Condominium, a 50 story brick luxury residential building on the Upper East Side at 524 East 72nd Street at York Avenue near the East River in Manhattan, New York City, of which the first 20 floors are a hospital. An eyewitness, present half a block from the building, reported that the plane hit the building, creating an enormous fireball, broke in two and crashed down onto on the street below. Authorities received a 911 call reporting a crash at 2:42 p.m. Eastern time.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a press conference at approximately 5:20 p.m. Eastern time to report that the plane was occupied by a flight instructor and a student pilot, but as next-of-kin had not been able to be notified, the identities of the two people on the plane would not be released at this time.

Apartments were seen to be engulfed in flames. The FBI has stated that it was not an intentional attack. The New York area was grey and overcast during the time at crash; however, visibility was not hampered.

After an hour and a half, the fire was extinguished by the FDNY. According to CNN Television ten people have been injured, six of them firefighters. The New York Times, however, reports that eleven firefighters have been injured.

Initial reports suggested that a helicopter was involved, but the FAA has stated that it was a fixed-wing aircraft. CNN Television reported that it was a single-engine fixed-wing plane which left Teterboro Airport, a busy General Aviation airport in New Jersey, circled the Statue of Liberty was tracked on radar until it was lost near the 59th Street Bridge, that the plane may have been having fuel problems or fuel pump problems, and that it was “a pilot in distress.”

Wallace Sines, a source for CNN stated he believes the plane was a Cirrus SR-20 with an installed parachute, which did not deploy. The whole-plane parachute system may have saved the lives of the aircraft occupants had it been safely deployed clear of buildings, but the system is not designed to prevent the trauma associated with a plane impacting a builing. The Cirrus SR-20 was introduced in 2001 and the Cirrus line of 4-seater aircraft has since become one of the most purchased single engine aircraft in the world. The SR-20 does not normally carry an airline-style flight-data recorder, but some are equipped with GPS equipment which logs flight direction, speed and altitude.

The aircraft was owned by baseball player Cory Lidle. He was on board reported by AP. Lidle was killed, according to reports. CNN Television reported that the FBI stated he was at the controls as the only occupant of the plane, and that his passport was found on the ground below the accident.


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A little over an hour and a half after the crash, the fire was extinguished after 39 fire units and over 100 fire fighters responded.

The White House has said that there has been no change in the terror threat alert level and that President Bush is being updated constantly.

La Guardia airport was temporarily restricted to no take offs from other airports, however by 4:10 Eastern Time, CNN Television reported that all New York-area airports were open.

CNN Television announced at 3:50 p.m. Eastern Time that as of a few minutes earlier, NORAD is putting fighter aircraft on patrol over certain major American cities as a precautionary measure similar to the actions taken after the 9/11 attacks as a “just in case” measure. It also reported that tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of the attack on the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.

Moments after the crash, there was a drop in the New York Stock Exchange, however it quickly returned to normal after it was reported that the crash was an accident.

The New York Yankees organization confirmed the plane is registered to Cory Lidle of the New York Yankees, who was planning to fly from New York to Florida, and that some unnamed member of the Yankees organization was on the plane.

One eye-witness interviewed by the BBC stated: “I was wondering why the plane was doing acrobatics and then the next thing I knew was that it had crashed into the building.”She also added that the plane was a small, white, 4-seater winged aircraft and not a helicopter as many news agencies were reporting it to be.

CNN Television broadcast reports from eyewitnesses who reported:

  • A pilot who saw the impact stated, “It looked like a pilot who was desperately trying to get to an airport.”
  • Another eyewitness who saw the event from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, also referred to the incident as appearing as if the plane was “desperately trying to get to LaGuardia” and that as to whether he “clipped” the building, or struck it directly, that “he hit it dead on.”
  • “I heard a buzzing noise and then an explosion which looked like a mushroom cloud.”

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Cecile Willert, Ajax—Pickering

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cecile Willert is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Ajax—Pickering riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Athletes prepare for 2012 Summer Paralympics at the Paralympic Fitness Centre

Monday, August 27, 2012

London, England — As Paralympians ready for the Games which are set to open later this week, they have access to a world class fitness center inside the Paralympic Village which is designed to maximise their pre-Game preparations.

According to volunteers staffing the center, instead of being a single large room, as in Beijing, the building has numerous rooms. It, along with the adjacent Village Services Centre, is designed to be converted into a school after the games conclude. Rooms have been structured as a gym, an auditorium, and science laboratories.

Gym equipment is supplied by Technogym, an Italian firm that has supplied gym equipment for the Olympics since 2000. Equipment has been provided not just for for the Fitness Centre, but for gyms at all the Olympic venues. The newest equipment is oriented toward maximum flexibility, allowing athletes to exercise the particular muscles that they most require for their sport.

In addition to the equipment, the Fitness Centre also provides instructors trained in the use of the equipment, the likes of which athletes from many countries have never seen before. There are also a number of instructors available to provide motivational training.

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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

US soccer: Sounders 2 maintain win streak with 2-1 victory over Timbers 2

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Seattle Sounders FC 2 (S2) association football club have maintained a streak with their third home win at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Washington last night, this time against Portland Timbers 2 (T2).

T2 struck first when defender Harrison Delbridge headed the ball in from a free kick in the 30th minute. Seattle responded with Pablo Rossi converting a penalty kick in the 47th minute and Giuliano Frano tapping a lobbed pass into the net in the 88th minute. Final score, 2–1 Seattle.

In the 30th minute, T2 midfielder Blair Gavin placed the ball nicely for Delbridge who connected cleanly with the ball to head it past S2 goalkeeper Charlie Lyon. At half, the game still stood with Portland in the lead 1–0. In the first minutes of the second half, S2 Andy Craven was pulled down in the penalty box by T2 Andy Thoma. Rossi was able to convert the penalty with a strong strike to the top left corner. T2 keeper Jake Gleeson was unable to stop the shot. Frano’s goal came in the 88th minute as he was able to chip the ball into the net after nice build up play by the Sounders. The Timbers did look dangerous on corners having earned 8 to Seattle’s 3.

The Timbers suffered their first loss of their season while the Sounders experienced their first ever comeback victory. This was also the first match between the two Cascadia rivals. T2 now stand at 7 points with a record of 2–1–1. S2 and Arizona United SC are now the only Western Conference teams still undefeated. Portland next faces defending champions Sacramento Republic FC away on Saturday, April 18 while Seattle hits the road to battle Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Thursday, April 16.

Winners of international postcard-sized art exhibit announced

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Visual Arts Brampton has announced the winners of its Second Annual Snail Mail World Postcard Art Show. Currently on display in the Fridge Front Gallery in Shoppers World, The Snail Mail Show features well over 350 entries from 14 countries around the world. This is up from the previous year’s approximately 300 from 6 countries.

Shown in the exhibit is original works from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yugoslavia.

Juror Alicia Mitchell BA viewed the show on August 18 to make her selections from the entries received.

Surprisingly, in the process of identifying her choices for each award, Mitcell ended up awarding two sets of relatives. Sarah Baptist won the Juror’s Choice Award for Purple, while Ann Baptist won Best Photography for Tires. Nicholas Moreau won Best Snail Art for Albert Einsnail, while his mother Janice Moreau won for Best Use of Medium for Bird Days of Summer.

Best of Theme (Remember) went to Beek’s Remembrance of My Father. Brampton Guardian Arts editor Tina Depko awarded the Media Award to child entrant Jessica Taylor’s Cat love. Toni DiSano of Ballwin, Montana won Best Fabric Art/Sculpture/Installation for her fabric art piece “Vortex”.

Honourable mentions this year were:

  • Judith Bush’s photograph/mixed media “Los Baños & Surrounds” or “Altered Landscape/Last Vestiges” (Mountain View, California, USA)
  • Betty Jean Evans’ watercolour “Snowy Afternoon” (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)
  • Julie Fina’s painting “Mona + Jeanne” (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)
  • Aaron Goulborn’s cartoon “The Classics play a classic” (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)
  • Lee’s “Brampton” (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)
  • Paulina Su’s scratchboard “Type of Wading Bird” (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)
  • Gina Turner’s vector art “Who are you looking at?” (Pefferlaw, Ontario, Canada)

A complete list is available on The Snail Mail Show’s website.

Canadian soldier killed in southern Afghanistan

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On Monday, a 24-year-old Calgary Reservist became the 71st Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Four others were injured in the incident, which killed Corporal Nathan Hornburg, who was operating as part of Operation Sadiq Sarbaaz, a joint Afghan-NATO mission designed to “set the conditions for a continuous security presence and the establishment of a new police sub-station in the northern part of (Panjwaii).”

Media reports indicated he died from mortar fire at around 16:30 local time while he was repairing the track on a Canadian Leopard tank near a cluster of villages known as Zangabad. Brigadier-General Guy Laroche stated “The terrain was very rough and (tank treads falling off) is something we see on a regular basis.”

One of the soldiers was injured in the mortar attack, while three others were hurt in a nearby armoured vehicle by a rocket propelled grenade during the ensuing firefight. The injured have not been identified, but a military official says two are part of the Royal 22nd Regiment based in Valcartier, Quebec, and one is from Canadian Forces Base Petawawa near Pembroke, Ontario. The injured were evacuated to a hospital at Kandahar Air Field, where their injuries are described as non-life threatening.

Corporal Hornburg was a member of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment, a Reserve armoured unit based in Calgary, Alberta, and was serving with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) while in Afghanistan.

Life Insurance For People Over 50}

Submitted by: Marilyn Katz

Are people over 50 too old for life insurance? After all, most consumers assume that large term life insurance policies work best when they cover younger people who still have a mortgage to cover and kids to support. We are all sold term life insurance at some point with the thought that after the contract expires, our kids will be off, and our homes will be all paid off. At that point, in a perfect world, we would have savings so that any future needs and obligations could be self insured.

However, times have changed. For one thing, Americans are living longer, and life insurance rates reflect that increae. Insurance rates are one thing that may cost less than they did 10 years ago! Americans are also working longer, and many of us do not expect to retire at 65. Our kids do not always follow our financial schedule, and sometimes they still need help past the age we had planned on them being independent. And setbacks, like layoffs and home equity loans, may have kept home mortgages from getting paid off on that 15 or 30 year schedule we had planned on. Furthermore, many people reach retirement, and they realize the money that they worked so hard to save will not go as far as they had planned.

So just because a term life insurance policy expired, our need for life insurance may not have expired at all. Baby boomers, and even senior citizens are still looking for life insurance policies. In fact, even though coverage is usually cheaper for younger people, it is when we reach middle age that we really start to realize the need for good coverage.

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However, top rated insurers keep track of all of these trends too, and they do offer affordable plans for people over 50, and I have even seen policies that accept people up to age 85. Elderly people may need to apply for whole life insurance, but there are term policies that accept applicants at 70 years of age.

A 70 year old cannot expect to find a 30 year term policy, but a reasonably healthy retiree can find affordable 10 year policies. If 10 years is not enough, or a person suffers from some serious health conditions, a whole life insurance policy should be considered.

Sometimes older people purchase their own policies because they want to plan for final expenses and estate transfers. However, many times the children of senior citizens purchase a policy on their parents. They do it as an affordable way to plan for funeral expenses. The purchase relieves the parents and children from having to worry about allocating thousands of dollars for a funeral and settling final debts.

Whole life policies do not expire, but provide coverage as long as the policy is kept in force. In general, the policy will be in force as long as it is paid for or paid up. In addition, simplified and guaranteed issue whole life insurance policies, that accept senior citizens, are very common. Sometimes these policies are called final expense or burial policies.

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FDA to move on approval of over-the-counter sale of “Plan B” birth control

Thursday, August 3, 2006

The United States Food and Drug Administration has announced that it is moving forward in approving over-the-counter (OTC) sale of the emergency contraceptive pill, “Plan B” to women above 18 years of age. The delayed approval of this drug has been raised in the Senate confirmation hearings for President Bush’s nominee for the head of the FDA, Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach.

Emergency contraceptives, also known as “morning-after pills” are used to prevent an unintended pregnancy, after unprotected intercourse has occurred. They usually contain high doses of the same drugs that are used in regular contraceptive pills.

While they are considered as contraceptives by the medical establishment and by law, and classified as such by the FDA, some abortion opponents object to ECs as they believe that they constitute abortion. Some groups object to emergency contraception believing that it encourages sexual exploitation of young girls and some religious conservatives object to it as they believe that it promotes promiscuous behavior. Proponents of its use contend that it is merely a form of contraception, and point out that other forms, such as condoms or birth-control pills are widely used and that its use serves an important purpose, in cases where other contraceptives have failed (eg. a condom is torn) or to prevent conception in a rape victim. Approval for OTC sale would make the drug more easily available, which is considered important as the drug must be taken within 72 hours of intercourse to be effective.

The FDA’s approval process for the Plan B pills, which contain the drug Levonorgestrel and are manufactured by Duramed, a subsidiary of Barr Laboratories has been mired in controversy since at least 2000, when the American Medical Association announced support for OTC availability. Last year, the FDA rejected the manufacturer’s request to approve the pill for OTC sale, citing concerns over “potential behavioral implications for younger adolescents”. The decision was criticised by advocates of EC as being based on political considerations rather than scientific reasons. The Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog also faulted the decision process. The FDA has also revised the minimum age of customers from 16 to 17 to now, 18.

Currently, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is holding hearings on the confirmation of the FDA Commissioner nominee, Dr. von Eschenbach. Senators Patty Murray(D) and Hillary Clinton(D) have held up the approval pending progress on the pill’s approval process. Plan B was endorsed by a F.D.A. committee three years ago but had been denied approval for OTC sale by higher officials in the FDA. During the nomination of the last FDA Commissioner, Dr. Lester M. Crawford, Senators raised the issue and went ahead with the nomination after getting assurances that the drug’s approval would be given in a timely manner. The deadlines set then were not met.

Senator Clinton was reported as saying: “Like so much of this government in the past five and a half years, it has been turned into a political football, and you’re on the field. This is not just about Plan B. Once we start politicizing the F.D.A. there is no stopping. It is essential that we draw a line, and we are drawing a line right here.”

In the confirmation hearings, Dr. Von Eschenbach said he would not take political orders on scientific matters. “No one told me what I could or should do,” he said.

The FDA statement said that its latest decision was to approve OTC sale was “the result of a thoughtful and comprehensive scientific and public policy process undertaken by the Agency to resolve the novel and significant issues presented by the Sponsor’s amended application.”

Sale of oral contraceptives otherwise continues to require prescription by a state-licensed doctor, according to FDA regulation.