Vestas protesters sacked with immediate effect

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Eleven of the 25 workers at the Vestas factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, England who have been carrying out a sit-in since Monday July 20 have been sacked with immediate effect.

According to one of the protesters known as “Mike”, the occupiers were given their dismissal notices concealed under slices of their evening meal of pizza. The company said that the protesters have had ample opportunity to air their point of view, and had no choice but to sack eleven of the twenty five workers that they had positively identified; and that given that the fact that the action constituted a “fundamental breach” of trust, that the eleven would not be entitled to redundancy packages. A press release from the company said that Vestas “saw no other choice than to dismiss the 11 employees, who the company has positively identified as the employees currently participating in the occupation of the factory.”

The protesters remained upbeat, vowing to continue their occupation and have called upon the UK government to save the 625 jobs and to nationalise the Danish owned factory. Occupier Ian Terry told the BBC that if the occupiers are forced out, they plan to leave the building “peacefully”.

Vestas management were dealt a setback today in ending the occupation as Newport County Court ruled that the papers accusing the occupiers of aggravate trespass and requiring they surrender the office they occupy by July 29 were improperly served. The case has been adjourned until Tuesday August 4. In court, Judge Graham White said he was “distinctly uncomfortable” with what he perceived as Vestas’ effort to “get around the rules” in retaking the factory from the occupiers.

Legal representation for the Vestas workers had been offered by Bob Crow, secretary of the RMT trade union. Crow has pledged the “full solidarity” of the RMT and seven other unions with the workers occupying the plant.

Vestas management has also been providing the occupiers with hot meals in an apparent response to Crow’s announcement, made on July 24, that the RMT was planning on airlifting food into the factory by helicopter. Crow is meeting today with Ed Miliband, the Environment Minister.

Earlier in the week, Miliband pledged £6 million in funding to an expansion of Vestas’ Isle of Wight research and development centre, which currently employs 110 workers and could, said the Minister, be expanded to employ 40 more.

Rallies continued throughout the week in support of the Vestas occupiers. Since the occupation began, the Vestas workers have received declarations of support and solidarity from a wide swathe of the British left, including but not limited to: political parties Green Party, Respect, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the Alliance for Workers Liberty, and the Communist Party of Britain; the TUCG group, which brings together the BFAWU, FBU, NAPO, NUJ, PCS, POA, RMT, and URTU; and environmental groups Greenpeace, the Campaign against Climate Change, Climate Camp, and Workers’ Climate Action, who claims credit for initiating the campaign to occupy the factory. Attendees of the Big Green Gathering, a large annual environmentalist rally which was due to take place starting today but was suddenly canceled on Sunday, are being encouraged to go to the Isle of Wight and take part in support rallies for Vestas instead.

Speaking to Wikinews about the “redgreen” coalition supporting the occupation, a spokesman for the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty said: “We think this struggle is important on at least three grounds — it is central to the struggle for jobs, it is central to the struggle for the environment, and it is central to the struggle for rebuilding the labour movement.”

Photographs shared with Wikinews by the occupiers show the occupiers, mostly young men, talking, carrying out everyday tasks, and keeping in touch with the outside world via mobile phones. The use of mobile telephones in the Vestas occupation has given the press remarkable access to the occupiers and provided an effective platform for relaying their demands and feelings to the media. In contrast, Vestas’s designated media contact for the United Kingdom is on vacation. Attempts to reach Vestas Newport factory manager Patrick Weir, whom a Vestas representative at the company’s Danish headquarters stated was handling press inquiries regarding the occupation, received no reply.

Vestas plans to close the factory on July 31, citing the difficulties of obtaining planning permission for wind farms in the United Kingdom. All blades manufactured at Vestas’ Newport plant are sent to the United States. 1900 employees of the company in Northern Europe face job losses, 625 of them in Vestas’s plants in the south of England.

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Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal threatened by possible lawsuit

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Buffalo, New York — The property at 605 Forest in Buffalo was the center of attention at last night’s public meeting held at the offices of Forever Elmwood on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction Services Corporation, confirmed last night that the company will be seeking a variance for the 605 Forest property. Originally, both the 605 and 607 Forest Avenue properties were going to have variances placed on them. As it stands, 607 Forest will not be directly affected by the proposal, should it go forward. Both 605 and 607 are currently occupied by residents.

During Monday night’s meeting, Pano Georgiadis, owner of 605 Forest and owner of Pano’s Resuraunt at 1081 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, threatened to “sue” Savarino Construction if they tried to obtain a variance on his property to build the Elmwood Village Hotel.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposal by Savarino Construction that would be placed on the corner of Forest and Elmwood in Buffalo. In order for the project to move forward, at least five buildings (1119-1121 Elmwood) which include both residences and businesses will have to be demolished. The hotel was designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. Although the properties are “under contract,” according to Hassett, it is unclear whether Savarino Construction owns the properties. Hans Mobius, a resident of Clarence, New York and former Buffalo Mayoral candidate, is still believed to own them.

Currently, none of the properties is zoned for a hotel.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews asked Hassett what kind of zoning permit they [Savarino] would be applying for and, if 605 Forest is included, what zone that would be.

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

“There is a ‘special development plan’ in front of the council, which changes only one thing about the zoning. It allows one permitted use for just a hotel. The rest of the zoning remains as it is under the current Elmwood Business District zoning. 605 and 607 Forest are not required for the project. They are not part of the footprint for the project. Let me answer this question again. This is on the record, in council: 605 needs to be rezoned in order to facilitate the project because of the sideyard requirement. Anything in C-2 is excluded besides the hotel. So we’ve taken the C-2 and included the hotel as a permitted use, and excluded everything else and everything else remains the same.”

However, during the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett was quoted as saying that the two properties were “off the agenda.”

“Now Karl said, at the last meeting, that they will build this hotel right on the borderline [property line]. If a wall forty-five to fifty feet high goes next to this house, of course it’s not right. You really have to go with whatever the city code says, so you have to get back as many feet as the city code says,” said Georgiadis.

“If you try to get a variance to change the code, I will sue you. This is my home, number one,” added Georgiadis. “First of all I think we are all wasting our time here, you [Savarino], have already made up your mind, but if you go against city code, and you try to do the most rooms with a minimal amount of parking, again, I will sue you. If you build a hotel, in my idea its going to fail. It’s doomed, ok. [If] it’s going to be a home for the disabled, for the homeless, for recovery people, but that’s another story. Then how is it going to be when we say, well I told you so? You will be over and done with. Its very hard to take a four story building [hotel] down.”

Georgiadis stated last night that he was against the proposal and signed a petition to stop it, jokingly saying, “this isn’t a paper to sign to build the hotel, is it? Don’t make me sign the wrong thing.”

Joseph Golombeck, district councilman, was at Monday’s public meeting and said, “we also did request this and the reason we are doing this as a special business district is so that it has to be this specific plan. They [Savarino] can’t go halfway through it and in six months decide that [the hotel] it’s going to be three floors. They can’t decide it’s going to be five floors. It has to be, per law, exactly what it is that they brought to us [the public] so far, and then ultimately to the City of Buffalo Common Council when it’s approved. So if it gets approved, it has to be this specific, exact project. They couldn’t make it fifty parking spots, they couldn’t make it thirty. It has to be specifically what they have right here.”

A man who lives on Granger Street in Buffalo attended the meeting, speaking in favor of the hotel development. He claimed, “There are a lot of low property values. Hopefully if we embrace development, our property values, for those of us who have property, will go up. There are a lot of people unfortunately, who are working hard, that do not get a chance to come to these meetings. I myself was at work and wasn’t able to go to the last two meetings. I express that we appreciate that you [Savarino] invest in the City of Buffalo and for what you hope, because I do not think Savarino is into losing money. These people are not in business to be losing money here. They are hoping for the success of this [the hotel] more than any one of us. They are hoping that the property values in this area will go up more than any one of us, because it will benefit them [the residents and business owners], more than any one of us. I want this city to develop. I don’t think anybody else is here understanding that we’re looking for development in this city, we are looking for the city to get better. The councilman here is not interested in Buffalo failing.”

Evelyn Bencinich, resident of Granger Street, would have the hotel directly behind her home, if it were to be built.

“What about construction [time]? Is that just for the exterior, the nine months? Or does that include the interior? Is there going to be blasting through bedrock? Is there property protection for damage? Are you [Savarino and the Frizlen Group] responsible?”, asked Bencinich.

According to Frizlen, there is a layer of solid bedrock at least 30 feet from the surface of the land saying, “we anticipate that the bedrock is at least thirty feet down.” He also admitted that “we haven’t done any soil sporrings,” but did say “the bedrock is somewhere in between twenty-five and thirty feet [down], we don’t need to go that deep. So blasting is most likely out of it [the question].”

“Personally, I can only speak from the city side, but a few years ago we rebuilt Vulcan Street, in the northwest corner of Buffalo, and there were a couple of properties that were damaged and they [the owners] were able to file a claim against the company that did the work and they won in each case. It was the same thing with a school that was built on Military Road. There were a couple of problems with foundations on a couple of properties, and they weren’t sure if caused by the school or not, but the insurance company ended up paying them,” answered Golombeck.

“I would assume that Savarino is insured with someone. So if there is a problem with anything that happens to your properties, what I would recommend is that anybody that lives on Granger Place, if this does go through, that you get pictures taken of your basement and of your foundations, because God forbid if there is a problem, you want to have an[sic] before and after [picture]. You don’t want to come afterwards and there’s a crack in there [foundation] and you have no way of proving that it happened,” added Golombeck.

According to Golombeck, the properties that Mobius owns have been “in housing court on several occasions, but has a date of April 11, 2006 that he is going back [to court] for these properties. So it is in housing court and I wouldn’t know Mr. Mobius if he walked in this room right now,” stated Golombeck.

“I’ve gone after him on numerous occasions and everytime he gets out of housing court with a slap on the wrist. If I am a conspiracy theorist and say that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. I can only get him into housing court. Once he’s in housing court, the judge rules on it. Now I don’t mean to take any shots at previous administrations, but I am hoping with the new administration, being in here, that the inspections department is going to be a much better department than it has been for the previous several years.”

The city’s Planning Board on March 14, 2006, agreed to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal back to the Common Council so that it may “be opened back up to discussion from the public.”

On March 2, 2006 the Common Council sent the proposal “to committee” for further discussion and also requesting that the public be “engaged further.”

During that meeting, Justin Azzeralla, Executive Director for Forwever Elmwood, said that the organization “supports the hotel project.”

Also on March 2, the planning board agreed to table, or postpone, any decision on the hotel proposal for at least thirty days, also citing the need for the public to be “more engaged.”

The Common Council is expected to meet on March 21, 2006 at 2:00pm local time where they may approve or deny the proposal.

According to The Buffalo News, at least six Common Council members support the hotel project and are pledging to vote to approve it at the meeting on Tuesday, March 21.

However, the city’s Planning Board will get the final say on the project.

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Lyneham air base in England given all clear after bomb scare

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The British Royal Air Force gave the all clear at the Lyneham air base in Wiltshire, England after an earlier bomb scare.

It had earlier been reported that an improvised explosive device (IED) was found inside a vehicle by a bomb sniffing dog. According to BBC News, the vehicle was parked outside the air base’s fence. Officials would not elaborate on what was inside the vehicle, but BBC reports that the vehicle was possibly military and that bomb residue was found on the vehicle.

A Royal Air Force spokesman said a bomb squad was called to the location to investigate the find. “An EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] team are on site and currently working to make the area safe. It is too early to speculate at this stage.” Officials say the reaction was routine and situations like this are treated as if a device had been found. Anytime a dog is alerted to possible explosives, the proper teams are called in to investigate.

RAF Lyneham is one of the UK’s largest air bases, and is home to the RAF’s fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft. Many bodies of the soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan are brought to the base from the country.

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London’s Metropolitan Police Service found guilty in suspected suicide bomber case

Thursday, November 1, 2007

London’s Metropolitan police force has been found guilty of endangering the public during an anti-terrorism operation that lead to the death of an innocent Brazilian man in July of 2005.

The British jury at Old Bailey convicted the police force of violating the Health & Safety legislation because the operation was deemed an excessive threat to the public. They also stressed that no individual culpability should be placed on Cressida Dick, the officer in charge of the operation. The police force was fined £175,000 and ordered to pay £385,000 for legal expenses.

“This was very much an isolated breach brought about by quite extraordinary circumstances,” said Justice Henriques. “One person died and many others were placed in potential danger.”

Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, was at Old Bailey to hear the verdict. He said he plans to “continue leading the Metropolitan police.” Len Duvall, chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said it “fully supported” Blair. A spokesperson for Gordon Brown said that Blair continues to have the confidence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

However, Asad Rehman, a spokesperson for the victim’s family, called for Blair’s resignation. “Whilst it was a difficult day, that does not mean that procedure and the Metropolitan Police did not fail,” he said.

Electrician Jean Charles de Menezes died in the Stockwell Tube Station after being shot in the head by police officers seven times. They mistook him for another man, Hamdi Adus Isaac (aka Osman Hussain), who failed in the July 21, 2005 attack on the London underground one day before.

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Ozzy Osbourne’s personal possessions fetch $800,000 for charity

Sunday, December 2, 2007

American heavy metal performer Ozzy Osbourne, who became famous as the lead vocalist for Black Sabbath and later as a solo act, has raised more than US$800,000 for The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, founded by his spouse Sharon Osbourne at the Cedars Sinai Hospital, by auctioning off personal items.

A number of the items that he auctioned off over the two day period have been seen on his reality TV show The Osbournes, which featured home life with Sharon, Ozzy and their two children. Amongst some of the higher-priced items were a carved walnut Victorian-style custom built pool table which raised $11,250, a painting from Edourad Drouot which fetched $10,500, a pair of Ozzy’s famous round glasses which raised $5,250 and a dog bed given to Sharon by Elton John which sold for $2,375.

Some more famous items were also amongst the 500 lots offered. Ozzy’s black satin coat, complete with bat-wing cape, raised $3,300 and a hand-painted floral cup used regularly on The Osbournes made $1,625. A bronze plaque of a demon’s head that was regularly seen in its position adorning the front door of their house had been expected to go for $800 to $1,200instead raised $8,750. A wire model of the Eiffel Tower from on the kitchen table sold for $10,000, while skull-covered trainers Ozzy had worn reached $2,625. Bidders came from as far away as Germany to buy what they could from his mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

However, three cars included in the auction failed to attract bidders and did not sell. They were a 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, estimated at $160,000 to $180,000, a 2005 Cadillac CTS-V sedan estimated at $30,000 to $40,000 and a 1950 Oldsmobile Futuramic 88 Club Coupe previously owned by author Danielle Steel estimated at $40,000 to $50,000. Sharon had earlier said of the cars “We’re not great car people. They really don’t do a lot for us.

Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, which organised the two-day sale, said “It did very well. It raised some good money for a very worthy cause.”

“For a celebrity garage sale, it was pretty spectacular.,” he went on. He also commented on the fact that there was fierce competition for the many artworks included. “We had Ozzy fans bidding against these sophisticated fine art buyers, which you don’t see every day. For the most part the metalheads were outbidding the art crowd.”

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News briefs:May 05, 2010

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Traditional Bathroom Vanities Or Contemporary?

Traditional Bathroom Vanities or Contemporary?

by

Vikram kuamr

When it is time to get a new bathroom vanity you will have a decision to make. Do you want to look at traditional bathroom vanities or contemporary ones? They both are beautiful in their own way. Some people prefer the contemporary over the traditional. The bold new look adds a touch of flair to any bathroom. With the right wall color and shower curtain you can make a real statement even in an older home. There is no reason an older home can’t look modern. A great way to make it modern is with the contemporary look in a bathroom.

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Other people like the idea of traditional bathroom vanities. The look of wood finish cannot be denied. It is beautiful and timeless. Whether in a new home or an older home you will be pleased with the look of a bathroom vanity that uses traditional wood grains and finishes. Put a granite top on it and you have an undeniably beautiful piece of furniture. Isn’t a cabinet in a bathroom a piece of furniture. It has a very important function and looks great. Sometimes you just need to have a new piece in your bathroom. A piece that really changes the look and feel of the entire bathroom is the vanity and cabinets. You can get mirrors to go with the vanities that will match the wood grain finish of a traditional or the look of contemporary. Where is the best place to shop for vanities and mirrors? The internet offers many choices for you. The prices are unbeatable online too. Usually due to the low overhead that online stores have they can pass their savings on to you. This means lower prices than most offline stores have. People shop for many things on the internet. They buy anything from food to televisions. Why not shop for vanities and cabinets? You will have more choices than you will in stores that you have to drive to and you don’t have to waste gas to get there. Many times there will be lots of stores online so your price range can be met. Your best bet when shopping for vanities is to weigh the quality to the price. Sometimes you can find both high quality and good prices in cabinets for the bathroom. That is the online store you want. With all the beautiful designs in contemporary and traditional vanities you will find what you want. Bathrooms don’t have to be expensive to remodel. You can put a fresh coat of paint and new shower curtains up for next to nothing. When you add a new floor and a new vanity you will have a completely new bathroom. Sometimes you have to wait on the floor and vanity. That is alright. You can do the paint now and add the new vanity later. Add a new floor later too. You can have that new bathroom before you know it and will love it when it is complete. Purchase high quality at low prices and never have to remodel again.

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you will want to check out the many designs available at MaxVanities. They have the

Bathroom Vanity

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Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

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In pictures: Japan earthquake and tsunami

Friday, March 18, 2011

A week ago today, at 2:46 pm JST, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of the T?hoku region in Japan. The earthquake created an extremely destructive tsunami that spawned 10 metre (33 ft) high waves just moments later. The tsunami travelled 10 km (6 mi) inland causing massive destruction in the country’s northeast, including crippling a nuclear plant.

The earthquake and resulting tsunami have left 5,692 dead and over 9,506 missing, with nearly 450,000 homeless. The death toll is expected to rise.

In this special photoessay, Wikinews looks at the earthquake and tsunami, the destruction that resulted and efforts to bring aid to the Japanese people.

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A Japanese home is seen adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Image: U.S. Navy.

The antenna on top of Tokyo Tower was slightly bent by the earthquake. Image: Morio.

Items were knocked off shelves at a store in Narashino, Chiba after the earthquake. Image: mikuaxe.
Soil liquefaction on a road in Koto, Tokyo. Image: Morio.
An explosion occurs at the Cosmo Oil refinery in Ichihara, Chiba. Image: Cranky5.
View of a fire in Odaiba following the earthquake. Image: Hikosaemon.
Crowds of workers evacuated from Tokyo skyscrapers walk home after the earthquake in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Image: Hikosaemon.
A long line of cars stretches down Itsukaichi Street in Tokyo on March 11. Due to disruption of train service because of the earthquake and tsunami, people are trying to find alternate means of getting home. Image: Kellykaneshiro.
Stranded passengers congregate at the Kei? line concourse of Shinjuku Station in Tokyo as public transportation in northern Japan is interrupted following the earthquake and tsunami. Image: ?????.
Stranded passengers evacuate from a Tokyo train. Image: ?????.
Calculated wave height of the tsunami, from a NOAA computer model. Image: NOAA.
This false-color satellite picture from NASA’s MODIS satellite shows the area of Sendai on March 13 (top) and February 26 (bottom) shows how far inland the area near Sendai was flooded by tsunami. A bright orange-red spot near the city of Sendai is the thermal signature from a fire. Image: NASA.
An aerial view of the port of Sendai on March 12. Image: U.S. Navy.
A solemn desk chair lies in a layer of mud and petroleum that now covers much of the U.S. FISC Yokosuka Defense Fuel Support Point Hachinohe facility following the tsunami. Image: DVIDSHUB.
The city of Ofunato, Japan, was severely damaged by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Image: U.S. Navy.
A trail of debris is seen floating in Pacific Ocean. The debris was inspected by a helicopter-based search and rescue team from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Image: U.S. Navy.
An up-close aerial view of debris floating in the Pacific. The debris was inspected by a helicopter-based search and rescue team from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Image: U.S. Navy.
A Japanese barge is seen adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Image: U.S. Navy.
An upended house is among the debris in Ofunato, Japan. Image: U.S. Navy.
Members of the Fairfax County, Virginia Urban Fire and Rescue Team head into downtown Ofunato to search for survivors following the earthquake and tsunami. Teams from the United States, United Kingdom and China are on scene to assist in searching for missing residents. Image: DVIDSHUB.
A mother and daughter look at a family photo amid the wreckage of their home. Image: U.S. Navy.
A damaged water pipe shoots into the air after the tsunami.Image: U.S. Navy.
A tug boat among the debris in Ofunato.Image: U.S. Navy.
A Mickey Mouse doll lies among debris in Ofunato.Image: U.S. Navy.
Vehicles and debris line a canal in the downtown area of Ofunato.Image: U.S. Navy.
A large sail boat rests against a building in Ofunato. Image: U.S. Navy.
An aerial view of tsunami damage in an area north of Sendai, Japan, taken from a U.S. Navy helicopter. Image: U.S. Navy.
Empty instant noodle shelves in a supermarket in Tokyo due to stock being bought out on March 16, 2011, 5 days after the earthquake. Image: Kellykaneshiro.
Residents wait in a line outside a convenience store to purchase groceries and supplies on March 13, two days after the earthquake and tsunami. Image: Hitomi.
A blackout in Narashino, Chiba on March 15. Image: mikuaxe.
U.S. Navy sailors transfer humanitarian supplies from an aircraft carrier to a helicopter. Image: U.S. Navy.
Japanese citizens receive supplies from the crew of a U.S. Navy helicopter. Image: U.S. Navy.
A closed petrol station in Tokyo on March 16. Image: LERK.
Entrance of the Japanese Embassy in Berlin after the earthquake and tsunami and subsequent accidents at the Fukushima Daichi power plant on March 15. Image: Jochen Jansen.
Russian people take flowers to the embassy of Japan in Moscow after the 2011 earthquake. Image: Elmor.

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As the Eurovision entrants return home, the home crowds weigh in

Monday, May 18, 2009

Most of the Eurovision entrants have returned home from their sojourn in Moscow, Russia, and the newspapers across Europe have varied opinions. Most national newspapers congratulated their entrants on a job well done, while others trash-talked other entrants, and still others called for their countries to pull out of the Contest.

Here are some interviews, articles and opinions that made it to the front pages of newspapers and to their sanctioned blogs.

Norway’s mass media was filled with stories revolving around the winner, Alexander Rybak, but a secondary story that received press coverage was outcry against NRK‘s Eurovision commentator, Synnøve Svabø, who was criticized for talking incessantly during the event, making leering comments regarding the contents inside the male entrants’ tight pants, and making a joke about stuffing sweatsocks in her own bra. When asked for a statement by Aftenposten, Svabø said, “I guess people think I should have put the socks in my throat.” NRK did not comment on Svabø’s commentating or whether she will be returning next year.

Sweden’s newspaper Aftonbladet wrote that the “Swede of the evening” was not Sweden’s entrant Malena Ernman, but Malmö-raised Arash Labaf, one of the two singers placing third for Azerbaijan. Markus Larsson wrote, “21st place? Well, this is our second-worst result ever…Malena Ernman fell so far and deep that she almost ended up in Finland. That is to say, almost last.” When asked if she was disappointed, Ernman responded, “No, but I am sorry if the Swedes are disappointed.” She went on to quip, “Europe is simply not ready for my high notes.”

Finland, despite placing last, wrote upbeat stories; Helsingin Sanomat published an interview with Waldo and Karoliina from the Finnish act, Waldo’s People, who announced how happy they were to have participated and will be going right back to work with performances and recordings as soon as they return to Finland.

Most British newspapers in past years published lengthy screeds regarding their bad luck in the Contest and whether they should send an entrant at all. This year all that talk subsided, and newspapers published articles congratulating Jade Ewen on her fifth place ranking. Sir Terry Wogan, former Eurovision commentator for the BBC, said to the Daily Express about this year’s voting overhaul, “I think my protest about the voting was totally vindicated by the changes that were made to the scoring this year. It made a real difference. It was the change that Eurovision needed.” One of the headlines in Monday’s Daily Mail reads: “She did us proud.” Andrew Lloyd Webber, who worked with Ewen, said, “Jade performed brilliantly. After years of disappointing results, the UK can finally hold its head high.”

Spain’s newspaper El Mundo published an article entitled “Soraya’s fiasco,” outlining Soraya Arnelas‘s failure to receive points from 37 of the 41 other voting nations, with the writer remarking, “After a whole year trying to forget [Rodolfo Chikilicuatre, Spain’s “joke entrant” from 2008], Soraya jumped on-stage with strength…Spain’s experiment ended with longing [for] Rodolfo Chikilicuatre.” When asked about her performance and the result, Arnelas said, “I’ll hang on to the experiences I had, the great friends that I made and I’m happy because now I’m known in Europe.”

French newspapers and blogs were muted compared to other countries, but the overall feeling was still very supportive of Patricia Kaas, who placed eighth. In an interview with Le Figaro, Kaas said, “Eighth place, that’s not so bad. It was a great moment for France, we held our head high.” France Soir noted, “[Kaas’s] emotion does not seem to have found a place with competitors that have relied on heavy artillery choreography worthy of those like Shakira, and glamorous outfits, to ensure a place on the podium.”

German newspapers published lengthy stories analyzing why Germany was in the bottom quartile for the third straight year. Die Welt wrote, “The Germans have become accustomed to it: winning the Eurovision Song Contest just does not work [for us]. [Compared] to the total failure of last place with No Angels last year, [this] result is almost a sensational success.” Bild commented, “For years we have had little success. Germany’s placement, despite all efforts, will not be better. Why are we still participating in the Eurovision Song Contest?”

Ireland, who failed to make it to the final, led the cry to pull out of Eurovision. In the Irish Independent, Ian O’Doherty wrote, “Ireland managed something quite rare and rather gratifying last week — we actually managed to produce a Eurovision song that didn’t make you want to rip off your own eyelids so you could stuff them in your ears to stop the horrible sounds…[Sinéad] Mulvey’s elimination is proof of one thing: we need to pull out of this pile of rubbish as soon as possible.”

The Netherlands, another nation that did not make it past the semi-final round, has been very apathetic toward the Contest in recent years, and this year was no different. De Telegraaf conducted an opinion poll of Dutch television viewers, and 90% of them believed the Netherlands should not enter the Contest anymore. Despite the stated apathy, 2.5 million Dutch viewers watched De Toppers compete in the second semi-final, an improvement of 800,000 from last year’s semi-final, where Dutch entrant Hind also failed to advance. De Toppers singer Gordon, in an interview with De Telegraaf, said that the Netherlands should continue to compete: “One time, we will succeed.”

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Former SA Deputy President Appears In Court

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Former Deputy President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has appeared in a Durban court to face corruption charges. Mr Zuma was dismissed by the President, Thabo Mbeki, earlier in the year, following the conviction on fraud charges of his financial advisor, Schabir Shaik.

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