UK Police evacuate Birmingham city centre

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Saturday, July 9, 2005

Police are in the process of evacuating Birmingham City Centre and part of the Ladywood residential district after having received intelligence regarding a possible threat. An estimated 20,000 people are being moved. Nightlife sites are being closed and people are being told to go home. The evacuation was begun at about 8.15 p.m. (1915 UTC) after the police issued a “Public Warning”. Cars are being prohibited from entry inside the Inner Ring Road, and New Street railway station, the hub of the British passenger railway system has been closed.

A police spokeswoman said that the investigation was ‘proportional’ to the threat, but refused to comment on details of the threat. “West Midlands police are now closing down the Broad Street entertainment zone and asking people to leave Birmingham town centre and go home,” said the spokesman.

BBC Radio Five Live and Sky News have unconfirmed reports of controlled explosions in the city’s Chinatown district.

A BBC News 24 correspondent reports that the Police have prevented motorists from returning to their cars and hundreds of city revellers are filing their way on foot along Bristol Road to converge on the Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

In a press conference, West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said that the intelligence they received is not believed to be connected to Thursday’s terrorist bombings in London.

Earlier in the evening a controlled explosion on “a suspect package” had been carried out on a bus in Corporation Street, but they “no longer believe it was suspicious device”.

It appears that this was a hoax, unconfirmed reports on Australian Teleivision have reported. The evacuation order was lifted at about 6 a.m.

Broad Street is the City’s best-known entertainment area and is home to hundreds of bars and clubs.

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs may work for Facebook

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Robert Gibbs, the former press secretary for the U.S. White House, has been said to be in talks with Facebook about possible future employment as a manager for the communications aspect of the company.

According to an anonymous source close to the company, Gibbs is being pressed to quickly accept the job, in which Mr. Gibbs may receive millions of dollars in both salary and initial stock options for a planned public offering of Facebook Inc. in 2012.

Both Facebook and Gibbs have declined to comment.

Mr. Gibbs, who has worked for the Obama administration for two years, left in February 2011, and was reportedly “relaxing” and had denied rumors that he was planning to campaign for chairman of the Democratic National Committee if Tim Kaine were to leave the committee to run for a position in the senate.

In recent months, Facebook has stepped up lobbying the US capital to communicate its public image to policy makers, and may use Gibbs for their public relations stratagem in the future.


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Spanish Football Federation appoints Luis Enrique as men’s national team coach

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

On Monday, the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (Royal Spanish Football Federation; RFEF) announced Luis Enrique as the new coach of the Spanish men’s national football team. Per the contract, Enrique is to serve as the coach for two years.

Speaking about Enrique’s appointment, RFEF president Luis Rubiales said, “The decision was unanimous. I like his commitment and he has turned down better paid jobs in order to coach Spain. He’s a coach who completes all the requirements the Federation was looking for”.

Previously, Enrique has managed Italian capital-club AS Roma as well as Spanish LaLiga clubs Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona. Enrique took the managerial role at Barcelona in 2014, and in his first season at the Catalan-club, he won the treble, winning LaLiga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.

During his tenure at the Camp Nou, Enrique won three Copa del Rey, two LaLiga, and one each of the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and the Supercopa de España. After winning nine trophies with Barcelona, he left the club in 2017 and hasn’t taken any managerial role until now. After the treble winning season, Enrique was awarded the FIFA World Coach of the Year award in January 2016.

Enrique succeeds Fernando Hierro, who served as an interim coach for Spain during this year’s FIFA World Cup. Previous full-time coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked by RFEF after he signed a contract with Real Madrid as the club’s new manager. Hierro was also the Spanish sporting director until Monday. Prior to the announcement of Enrique’s appointment, José Francisco Molina was appointed as the new RFEF sporting director.

Enrique’s first game as Spain’s coach is scheduled to be against England on September 8 at Wembley Stadium in the new UEFA Nations League.

2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

This year’s Leisure Taiwan trade show (a.k.a Taiwan Sport Recreation and Leisure Show) started yesterday, with 131 companies participating including sports media companies such as ESPN and VideoLand Television, businesses selling sports equipment and fitness clubs.

There were also a variety of sports being played in the arena built for the trade show. The events included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, free style shooting, and bicycle test-riding. In addition, conferences discussed issues related to sports and physical education.

A major topic in the trade show was energy-efficiency and, as a result, bicycles and similar sports equipment were being heavily promoted.

Next Tuesday, companies from the electronics industry plan to promote their industry at “2008 Digital E-Park.” In previous years, organizations from the electronics industry have showcased their products at Leisure Taiwan instead of at the Digital E-Park, so this move has reduced the number of markets covered by Leisure Taiwan.

Category:May 26, 2006

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Canada’s St. Paul’s West (Ward 21) city council candidates speak

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Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is St. Paul’s West (Ward 21). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include John Adams, Tony Corpuz, Joe Mihevc (incumbent), and John Sewell.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Cook Islands rugby league player Adam Watene dies after training session age 31

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Cook Islands and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats rugby league player Adam Watene has died. The Wildcats announced the death of the 31-year-old earlier today. They reported he collapsed in the gym shortly after a training session.

A spokesman said, “The Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are sad to announce the sudden passing of Adam Watene. The circumstances surrounding Adam’s death were sudden and unexpected. Everyone at the Wildcats’ thoughts are with Adam’s family, and we ask for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time.”

Watene started his rugby league with the Castleford Tigers and was later signed by the Bradford Bulls. After a year of playing for the bulls of which he only made five first team appearances, he was allowed to sign for the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. He played a total of 28 games in the two seasons he was with the club.

The Wildcats also said “There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.” Watene is survived by his wife and two children.

Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

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Friday, December 30, 2005


  • 1 Richard Niyonsaba
  • 2 Denial of food
  • 3 Background and Criticisms
  • 4 Sources

The Australian Centre for Languages, a company which has a multi-million dollar contract with the Australian government to provide refugee services, has been accused of breaching its duty of care following the death of a chronically ill child and allegations of failing to provide three women in their care with food.

Furry fans flock to Further Confusion 2007

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

San Jose, California –Cell phones, cigarette lighters and glowsticks are raised in tribute as Circle of Life begins playing. Soon cheers drown out the song as the multicoloured performers appear on stage. A somewhat unusual introduction; but this is no ordinary show, and these are no ordinary attendees. This is Further Confusion, the second largest furry convention in the world.

The volunteer organizers have something to cheer about, too; Furry fans have gathered from far and wide at the DoubleTree Hotel to indulge their love of anthropomorphics, and Further Confusion’s 9th year is its largest, with a paid attendance of 2061. Their gains mirror those of Midwest FurFest, a similar convention held in Schaumburg, Illinois which grew 35% last November.

Both events feature art shows and auctions, live puppetry performance, masquerades, variety shows, games and parades, as well as panels that range from science and technology to society, sex and spirituality. Filling out the schedule, the hotel walls are lined with announcements of public and private room parties for separate groups. At night, the disco floor fills with dancing cats, dogs, and dragons.

For some, dressing up plays a large part of the convention – almost 300 brought a full costume. There are few professional mascots here, though, and only one or two of the costumes would be recognized by even the most avid cartoon-watcher. Instead, each act is planned and performed by other attendees, wearing “fursuits” of their own design. Many play off the year’s secret-agent theme — “Fur Your Eyes Only”.

Other fans seem content to restrict themselves to small accessories — perhaps some combination of paws, ears, or tail. Each fur bears a 3″x2″ badge detailing their personal character, or “fursona“. Often these characters are better-known than the people who play them.

It may seem lighthearted, even frivolous, but these conventions are becoming big business. Furry fans spent over $180,000 for lodging during the five days (Jan 18-22) of Further Confusion, and another $50,000 at the art auction. Attendees also purchase all manner of merchandise from attending dealers and artists, from on-the-spot art commissions and comic books of all ratings to prints, sculptures, and plush toys – even their very own fluffy tail.

Of course, any business has risk, and conventions can drain wallets when the sums just don’t add up. The first furry con, ConFurence in Southern California, ran successfully for over a decade, but cost its new organizer an estimated $60,000 in its last four years due to falling attendance before folding in 2003.

Anthropomorphic Arts and Education board member Peter Torkelson says that won’t happen to Further Confusion. Indeed, the convention ran a healthy surplus of almost $30,000 on $125,000 revenue last year, allowing it to pay off the last of its old debts and save for the future. As Torkelson explains: “The idea is if for some reason, say an earthquake happens, and it cripples the revenue stream, the convention will be able to survive into the next year. It does help our staff to know that we have [a reserve].”

The reserve also gives AAE the financial flexibility to fund charities throughout the year, a big part of its 501(c)(3) mandate. Over the nine years of the convention, attendees have raised over $60,000 for a variety of animal sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Further Confusion’s hopes for the future are high. Chairwoman Laura Cherry noted that, unlike previous years, the board has “gone all out” for next year’s tenth anniversary, booking as many rooms as the hotel could offer. The host for 2009 has yet to be decided, but for many fans the question was not whether the current hotel will reach a limit, but when – and where – the convention will find a new home.