Thursday, July 3, 2008

69-year-old grandfather John Walsh stands accused of murdering three victims in the small New South Wales town of Cowra. All victims were killed in different ways.

Media organisations have reported that the 69-year-old man killed his five year old grand daughter by drowning; her seven year old brother was killed by a blunt force trauma to the back of the head, and his wife was killed by multiple axe wounds to her body – including her head.

New South Wales Police could not confirm the post-mortem examination, saying that the results of the post-mortem examination are not expected to be finalised for a couple of days and may not be immediately made public.

The 69-year-old man, who went before Deniliquin Local Court on July 1, 2008, was refused bail and charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He is currently in a special holding cell on 24-hour watch at the Junee Correctional Centre. A further appearance is due in Wagga Wagga Local Court via an audio-visual link on July 7, 2008.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

This sordid episode—no matter how it ultimately plays out—will spell the end of Strauss-Kahn as an effective leader of the IMF even if he retains his position, which is highly unlikely.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, remained in jail last night after being charged with sexually attacking a chambermaid at a New York City hotel. Strauss-Kahn has agreed to undergo forensic screening before he appears in court, and has vowed to “vigorously” defend himself against the charges, which are likely to create a leadership void at the IMF, disrupt emergency talks over the European debt crisis, and spell the end of his political career.

Strauss-Khan was the favourite candidate for the French presidency, and was expected to announce he would stand against Nicolas Sarkozy this month. But the allegations are expected to destroy the hopes of his supporters, increase infighting among the French left, and leave his political career in tatters. His arrest comes at a critical moment for the IMF, and will likely plunge efforts to stabilise the financial states of struggling eurozone countries into chaos. He was meant to discuss the bailouts of Greece and Portugal with European Union financial officials at a meeting in Brussels this week.

Eswar Shanker Prasad, a professor of international economics at Cornell University, said: “This sordid episode – no matter how it ultimately plays out – will spell the end of Strauss-Kahn as an effective leader of the IMF even if he retains his position, which is highly unlikely.” The IMF, however, insisted it remained “fully functioning and operational.”

Strauss-Kahn was to appear in court in Manhattan yesterday charged with three crimes, including attempted rape, but the hearing has been delayed so he can undergo forensic tests. He was taken into custody by officials while on an Air France passenger plane which was about to take off from John F. Kennedy International Airport for Paris; when detectives approached him in the first class cabin in the aircraft he reportedly asked: “What is this about?” Strauss-Kahn reportedly fled the hotel “in a hurry” after the attack, leaving a number of personal effects behind. “If our officers had been ten minutes later he would have been in the air and on their [sic] way to France,” a spokesperson for the New York Police Department said.

The chambermaid reported that she had been sexually assaulted by a man staying in a “luxury suite” at the Sofitel hotel near Times Square. “The maid described being forcibly attacked, locked in the room and sexually assaulted,” the police spokesperson said. Strauss-Kahn came out of the shower naked while the chambermaid was working in the room, tried to pull the woman onto the bed and locked the door, The New York Times reported, quoting police sources. She allegedly fought him off, but he sexually assaulted her again after dragging her to the bathroom, before he locked her in the room; she was reportedly hospitalized afterwards with trauma.

In 2008, a year after becoming the leader of the IMF, Strauss-Kahn was reprimanded by the organization’s board after being involved in an extramarital affair with another senior executive at the bank. More recently, he was pictured driving a luxury car in Paris, causing a media furore over whether his lifestyle fitted with the socialist attitude he claims to represent. But his wife, former television star Anne Sinclair, has dismissed the accusations. She said: “I do not believe for one second the accusations brought against my husband. I have no doubt his innocence will be established.”



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pakistani officials have said that at least 100 people were killed and over 200 injured after a car bomb exploded in a marketplace in the city of Peshawar on Wednesday. The attack was the deadliest in the country in this year.

Initially, large fires were reported to be burning around the marketplace, which was crowded with people. The flames spread easily because there were many stores in the area selling flammable fabrics. Police said the blast was heard throughout most of the city, and the explosion reportedly left a hole in the ground up to ten feet wide.

The Associated Press reported that many of the victims are women.

“There was a huge blast. There was smoke and dust everywhere. I saw people dying and screaming on the road,” said an eyewitness, Mohammad Siddique, to the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Several buildings collapsed as a result of the detonation, and rescue workers searched through the rubble looking for survivors beneath the debris.

Muzamil Hussain, a member of local medical staff, described his experiences to the Associated Press: “There were a lot of wounded people. We tried to help them but there were no ambulances so we took the victims on rickshaws and other vehicles. There were no police. The police and government didn’t help us, the police even opened fire on us.”

“Bodies are scattered and badly burned because of the fire caused by the explosion. The explosion took place in a very crowded market,” Mohammed Naeem, a spokesman for a local ambulance service, said.

Some people expressed anger that the bombings managed to be carried out in broad daylight in a crowded area. “What kind of security alert is this? It was an explosives-packed car. Look at the mosque, it ceases to exist anymore. For God’s sake, do something,” said a local middle-aged shopkeeper, as quoted by the CNN news agency.

A state of emergency at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, where many of the wounded people were hospitalised, was called soon after the explosion. Hospital officials appealed to the public and to other medical centres for blood donations.

The bomb attack happened just hours after Hillary Clinton, the United States Secretary of State, flew to the nation to discuss peace with Pakistan’s military commanders and political figures. Clinton will be in Islamabad for three days.

Clinton condemned the attack. “These attacks on innocent people are cowardly. They are not courageous. If the people behind these attacks were so sure of their beliefs, let them join the political process,” she said.

The bombing also comes just days after Pakistani military forces captured the town of Kotkai, the hometown of Taliban Chief Hakimullah Mehsud, and one of his top officers, Qari Hussain.



Thursday, September 13, 2007

A resident of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound his whole life, Correctional Services officer Paul Johnstone is running for the Ontario New Democratic Party in the Ontario provincial election. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his 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.



Saturday, February 16, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, there are small political parties offering candidates, and those who choose to run without a party behind them, independents.

Wikinews is interviewing some of these citizens who are looking to become the 43rd person elected to serve their nation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

First off is Long Beach, California’s Frank McEnulty (b. 1956), a married father of two with an MBA (Venture Management) and BS (Accounting/Finance).



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The San Diego, California suburb of Chula Vista has responded to the recent housing crisis with an aggressive blight control ordinance that compels lenders to maintain the appearance of vacant homes. As foreclosures increase both locally and throughout the United States, the one year old ordinance has become a model for other cities overwhelmed by the problem of abandoned homes that decay into neighborhood eyesores.

Chula Vista city code enforcement manager Doug Leeper told the San Diego Union Tribune that over 300 jurisdictions have contacted his office during the past year with inquiries about the city’s tough local ordinance. Coral Springs, Florida, and California towns Stockton, Santee, Riverside County, and Murietta have all modeled recently enacted anti-blight measures after Chula Vista’s. On Wednesday, 8 October, the Escondido City Council also voted to tighten local measures making lenders more accountable for maintenance of empty homes.

Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.

Under the Chula Vista ordinance lenders become legally responsible for upkeep as soon as a notice of mortgage default gets filed on a vacant dwelling, before actual ownership of the dwelling returns to the lender. Leeper regards that as “the cutting-edge part of our ordinance”. Chula Vista also requires prompt registration of vacant homes and applies stiff fines as high as US$1000 per day for failure to maintain a property. Since foreclosed properties are subject to frequent resale between mortgage brokers, city officials enforce the fines by sending notices to every name on title documents and placing a lien on the property, which prevents further resale until outstanding fines have been paid. In the year since the ordinance went into effect the city has applied $850,000 in fines and penalties, of which it has collected $200,000 to date. The city has collected an additional $77,000 in registration fees on vacant homes.

Jolie Houston, an attorney in San Jose, believes “Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.” Traditionally, local governments have resorted to addressing blight problems on abandoned properties with public funds, mowing overgrown lawns and performing other vital functions, then seeking repayment afterward. Chula Vista has moved that responsibility to an upfront obligation upon lenders.

That kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.

As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States during recent years, Chula Vista saw 22.6% growth between 2000 and 2006, which brought the city’s population from 173,556 in the 2000 census to an estimated 212,756, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Chula Vista placed among the nation’s 20 fastest growing cities in 2004. A large proportion of local homes were purchased during the recent housing boom using creative financing options that purchasers did not understand were beyond their means. Average home prices in San Diego County declined by 25% in the last year, which is the steepest drop on record. Many homeowners in the region currently owe more than their homes are worth and confront rising balloon payment mortgages that they had expected to afford by refinancing new equity that either vanished or never materialized. In August 2008, Chula Vista’s eastern 91913 zip code had the highest home mortgage default rate in the county with 154 filings and 94 foreclosures, an increase of 154% over one year previously. Regionally, the county saw 1,979 foreclosures in August.

Professionals from the real estate and mortgage industries object to Chula Vista’s response to the crisis for the additional burdens it places on their struggling finances. Said San Diego real estate agent Marc Carpenter, “that kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.” Yet city councils in many communities have been under pressure to do something about increasing numbers of vacant properties. Concentrations of abandoned and neglected homes can attract vandals who hasten the decline of struggling neighborhoods. Jolie Houston explained that city officials “can’t fix the lending problem, but they can try to prevent neighborhoods from becoming blighted.”

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CEO Robert Klein of Safeguard, a property management firm, told the Union Tribune that his industry is having difficulty adapting to the rapidly changing local ordinances. “Every day we discover a new ordinance coming out of somewhere”, he complained. Dustin Hobbs, a spokesman from the California Association of Mortgage Bankers agreed that uneven local ordinances are likely to increase the costs of lending. Hobbs advised that local legislation is unnecessary due to California State Senate Bill 1137, which was recently approved to address blight. Yet according to Houston, the statewide measure falls short because it fails to address upkeep needs during the months between the time when foreclosure begins and when the lender takes title.



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By Lee Dobbins

A balloon mortgage is a short-term mortgage that usually has only about five to seven years. It works similar to a fixed rate mortgage when you make monthly payments but at the end of the term, the final payment is much larger than the other payments to pay off the balance of the loan.

That being the case, there are certain things you need to consider before applying for a balloon mortgage.

1. What do you need to have in order to apply? Applying for balloon mortgage is similar to regular mortgage and you’ll probably be the same documents and papers that you would for any other type of mortgage. However, you should ask your lending institution with paperwork you’ll need to have available.

2. what is the interest rate? Just like with any other mortgage to want to know what the interest rate is. In a balloon mortgage it is usually fixed for a certain amount of time. Sometimes it may carry a lower interest rate for the first several years but this really depends on the lender and you should get this information before you make any commitment.

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3. When does the balance become too? In a balloon mortgage you pay part of the amount borrowed in equal installments, but the last payment can be a doozy and you are obligated to pay the entire balance. Therefore, no wait when this is going to crop up is important so that you can either have other financial arrangements waiting in the wings or start saving your pennies for that fateful day.

4. Is there a refinance options? Since most people won’t have the money to pay the balloon payment in one lump sum, it’s prudent to ask if there are refinance options with the loan so when it becomes due you can refinance and come up with a new payment arrangement.

5. Can you lose the refinance option? Sometimes a refinance option comes with a set of conditions one of which is prompt payment. Find out what kinds of things can make you lose the refinance option so you can follow the guidelines in order to keep this option open at the end of the loan.

6. Would you have to qualify to refinance? Refinancing is a privilege offered to some people with the balloon mortgage and some lending institutions will want to reassess your ability to pay. Find out if you will be required to go through some sort of an evaluation and pass and signed documents began when you refinance.

7. Can you pay the loan? before entering into any kind of loan agreement you want to look at your lifestyle, expenditures and financial commitments and figure out if you really can afford to pay not only the payments but the lump sum at the end.

8. What is the worst case? Before entering into a balloon mortgage agreement you want to be prepared for anything unexpected and when your worst-case scenarios. What if you lose your job? You want to think about your own financial situation as well as the economic situation of the country.

9. What does someone else think? When you’re trying to get a mortgage, you might be too close to the situation to make an impartial judgment. It’s not a bad idea to solicit the advice of a professional finance expert to see if this is the right thing for you to do.

If you’ve gone through all the steps and answered all the questions above to your satisfaction, then you’ll know if a balloon mortgage is right for you.

About the Author: Lee Dobbins writes for

Moving and More

where you can learn about all aspects of moving including

getting a mortgage

.

Source:

isnare.com

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isnare.com/?aid=121101&ca=Finances



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07 17th, 2018

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.



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07 16th, 2018

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07 16th, 2018

Monday, April 30, 2007

Prisoners in the Australian state of Queensland have been put to work manufacturing rainwater tanks to help meet a shortfall in supply.

The southeast corner of Queensland, which is currently undergoing one of its worst droughts on record, is experiencing a boom in the rainwater tank industry. Households, encouraged by subsidies introduced by the Beattie government, have enthusiastically begun installing rainwater tanks as well as other water-saving devices. These subsidies have led to a shortfall in supply however, with some households waiting months for tanks to be installed.

The new initiative, announced by Premier Peter Beattie as well as Corrective Services minister Judy Spence will see prisoners at Woodford Correctional Centre, Australia’s largest gaol, constructing tanks for AU$4 per day. Spence has pledged not to use the cheap labour to undercut existing tank suppliers. Beattie also pointed out that the programme would give prisoners constructing the tanks valuable work skills for when their sentences are completed. If the programme is successful, it may be extended to other gaols around the state.

The Beattie government has been increasingly criticised over recent months for its failure to handle the water crisis engulfing Southeast Queensland. Opponents accuse the Government of a lack of planning foresight with regards to water supply for the booming area, which includes state capital Brisbane, as well as other cities such as Ipswich, Toowoomba and Gold Coast.



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