GM, Chrysler offer buyouts and early retirement to workers

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GM, Chrysler offer buyouts and early retirement to workers

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

General Motors NYSEGM (GM) and Chrysler have both begun to offer layoff packages to their workforces.

The automobile manufacturers have been hard hit in the recent economic downturn and have been forced to seek federal aid from the U.S. government. Reports say that GM’s package includes a $20,000 cash payment and a $25,000 new vehicle voucher. Chrysler will offer a $25,000 vehicle voucher and $50,000 with healthcare and $75,000 without. Both will offer the deal to most United Auto Workers (UAW) union members – 62,000 at GM, which is seeking to cut 31,500 jobs by 2012.

The two companies have received $13.4 billion in federal loans to keep them operating, but Congress required them to produce viability plans to demonstrate they were making significant cost cuts and labor concessions in return for the money. UAW workers in Detroit earn $28 an hour; their replacements will earn about half that. The UAW’s “jobs bank”, a system where workers without duties are still paid, has stopped at both companies.

GM is also attempting to engineer a debt-for-equity swap, reducing its liabilities from $27.5 billion in unsecured debt to $9.2 billion. It is also seeking to sell a truck manufacturer, the Delco Electronics parts group and the Hummer and Saab Automobile vehicle brands.

The entire motor manufacturing sector has suffered under the economic downturn, with the Ford Motor Company NYSEF announcing a $14.6 billion annual loss, although it has not sought federal aid. GM and Chrysler both ran out of operating funds in December, leading to the federal bailout.

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Nuclear plant sealed off after traces of explosives found on bag

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Nuclear plant sealed off after traces of explosives found on bag

May 23, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

At least two men in Sweden were arrested after security officials at the Oskarshamn Nuclear Power Plant discovered traces of an explosive material on a plastic bag. Oskarshamnsverkets Kraftgrupp OKG operates the plant, which is one of three nuclear power plants in Sweden.

Reports say that on the outside of a bag was Acetone peroxide, or TATP, primarily used as a high yield explosive, but is also an organic peroxide used in making chemicals for cleaning.

The unidentified men in their 40’s to 50’s, who were contractors and welders hired for doing work at the plant, were stopped as they entered the plant. Authorities were called to the scene along with the bomb squad, who sealed off parts of the plant when they detected the explosive material on a bag’s handle. Security detected the material in what is described by CNN as a “routine” security check. Police believe it was on one of the man’s hands when it rubbed off onto the bag, but no bomb was found after an extensive search. Both men have been charged with attempted sabotage and are still undergoing interrogation. Both face sentences of up to two years in prison.

Plant officials state that the plant has never received a threat “not in the past, not now, and we have no threat for the future,” said President of OKG, Lars Thuring. “The only thing that we have found is this trace of explosives in the bag.”

TATP is “very unstable, very sensitive to both friction and shocks,” said Swedish Defense Research Agency expert, Svante Karlsson. A small amount could cause serious damage to someone handling the material which is described as ‘Mother of Satan’. Would-be ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid used the substance in an attempt to blow up American Airlines flight 63 from Paris, France to Miami, Florida in 2001. The same substance was also used in the July 2005 bombings in London, England.

The plant’s reactors, where the men were scheduled to work, were turned off on May 11 for routine maintenance. The rest of the plant’s operations were not interrupted.

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U2 tour manager, Dennis Sheehan dies in Los Angeles hotel room at 68

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U2 tour manager, Dennis Sheehan dies in Los Angeles hotel room at 68

May 22, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dennis Sheehan, U2’s tour manager, died in his Los Angeles hotel room on Wednesday at 68 years of age.

In their second show at the Los Angeles Forum, U2 paid tribute to their tour manager. According to The Guardian, in-between songs U2’s lead singer Bono reflected on Sheehan’s life to the audience, saying how he was family to the band. Bono said, “U2’s family — it’s a brotherhood, although there’s a lot of sisters in it too… but the extended family is very important to us and we look after each other. It takes a lot to put on a show like tonight, and last night we lost a member of our family. Dennis Sheehan was his name. He was U2’s tour manager for 33 years.”

During the show, Bono also added, “A lot of U2 songs over the years were written to fill a void, an absence, a hole in a heart left by a loved one. With the loss of Sheehan, U2 now has such a wound.”

According to Rolling Stone, Sheehan was with the Irish band U2 on their five-day Los Angeles tour. He was discovered dead in his West Hollywood hotel room and pronounced dead from a heart attack on Wednesday morning after paramedics were called at 5:30am local time. According to Billboard, the paramedics found Sheehan unresponsive before pronouncing him as dead soon after.

The band earlier on announced the death of their tour manager via their website, and in a statement, Bono said, “We’ve lost a family member, we’re still taking it in. He wasn’t just a legend in the music business, he was a legend in our band. He is irreplaceable.” Arthur Fogel, Chairman of Global Touring for Live Nation Entertainment also stated his thoughts on the loss of Sheehan: “With profound sadness we confirm that Dennis Sheehan, U2’s longstanding tour manager and dear friend to us all, has passed away overnight. Our heartfelt sympathy is with his wonderful family.”

Having been a tour manager for U2 for over 30 years, Sheehan began his career at the age of 19, and started working with the band in 1982. Sheehan also toured with Led Zeppelin in the 70s and worked with other artists such as Patti Smith, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop. Rolling Stone quote Sheehan talking to U2 Magazine in 1984 about how special the band was: “There is something extremely special about U2… Whether it be in their social lives, which they are very particular about, or in their business life… they go for the best, and in turn the people that work for them give of their best.”

U2 are currently on their international “Innocence and Experience” tour which concludes in November.

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US stock markets reach 12-year lows

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US stock markets reach 12-year lows

May 22, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, March 5, 2009

US stock markets dropped to twelve-year lows on Thursday, amidst falling confidence in the financial sector and worries over whether the US automobile manufacturer General Motors will be able to keep operating.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 4.08%, or 280.52 points, at the closing bell, reaching a level of 6595.32, a new 12-year low. The Nasdaq Composite lost 54.15 points, or 4%, to 1299.59, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 plunged by 30.27 points, or 4.25%, closing at 682.60.

Every stock in the Dow Jones, other than Wal-Mart, either lost ground or remained even, and all stocks in the S&P 500 index lost ground.

General Motors’ shares lost 15.5% after the auto firm announced that its auditors had “substantial doubt” over whether it would be able to keep operating.

Shares of financial companies were lower by nine percent, with Bank of America losing 11.7% and Citigroup falling by 9.7%.

“What’s most worrisome is that we haven’t hit the crescendo yet,” said Bill Groeneveld, the head trader for vFinance Investments. “Asset-management divisions are getting calls to just liquidate everything, and we haven’t seen the big players come back in at all.”

“This is one of the worst bear markets in the last 100 years; it started out with the credit crisis and the subprime [loans], but it is like a forest fire that has raced across the clearing and ignited other parts: Autos, auto parts, the insurance companies have been hit very hard. The credit crisis is causing an unraveling of industry after industry because the banks don’t lend,” said David Dreman, the chief investment officer of Dreman Value Management.

European markets were also lower today, with the London’s FTSE index losing 3.2% and the DAX index of Germany falling by five percent.

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Business Owners Can Protect Their Investments By Hiring The All Locksmith Service In Nyc

May 22, 2018 · Filed under Business Planner

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byAlma Abell

It is very difficult for a retail shop to be open to the public and maintain a proper level of security. Fire regulations require that they have several exits that open so that people can quickly leave in an emergency. While people can’t enter from the outside, it’s easy for a shoplifter to open them and run. Business owners have been working with local fire departments to balance the needs of safety and loss prevention.

It’s now possible for professionals from All Locksmith Service in NYC to put short delays on the panic bars that open emergency exists. Typically the second a person pushes on the panic bar, it opens. Fire safety officials have agreed that a short 5-second delay on a panic bar would be acceptable. An alarm goes off when a person pushes the panic bar, then there is the short delay. This is enough time to get many shoplifters to drop their goods and run out the front door empty-handed. They are afraid that the door won’t open in time and they’ll be caught.

Business owners also have to be aware that employees may steal from them as well. This is particularly true if the business brings in a lot of cash sales each day. If the owner can’t be in the store during business hours, they need to establish a cash management system. All Locksmith Service in NYC employees can install a drop safe to secure cash. When the cash in the register reaches a certain level, it should be put in the safe. Two employees put the money in an envelope and note the amount on the outside and initial it. Then they drop the envelop into the safe through a slot in the top. That way neither of them has the combination.

Cameras can be placed in back of the register area, so the business owner can watch the shop activity from their smart phone or tablet. If the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, the business owner can quickly see what’s happening in their store. Employees can use these devices as well to monitor shop areas that aren’t easily seen from main aisles and the registers.

All Locksmith Service in NYC employees can install a drop safe to secure cash. When the cash in the register reaches a certain level, it should be put in the safe. Know more at American Lock & Security.

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U.S. Senate approves revised bailout package after controversial additions

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U.S. Senate approves revised bailout package after controversial additions

May 22, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The U.S. Senate passed a revised bailout bill designed to help the struggling U.S. financial economy, which has measures nearly identical to the bill rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday.

“Senate Democrats and Republicans believe it is essential that we work quickly on this important legislation to restore confidence to our financial system and strengthen the economy,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The new revisions include raising the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000, a move designed to please progressives. However, the $110 billion in tax breaks, earmarks and what has been called pork barrel spending is not offset by any increases in revenues and has added opposition to the bill from some Representatives in the House.

Earmarks added into the bailout bill included $192 million in tax rebates for the Virgin Islands rum industry, $148 million in tax cuts for the wool industry, $100 million tax cuts to the auto racing industry, and $48 million in Hollywood tax incentives.

Vice President of Taxpayers for Common Sense, Steve Ellis, offered his explanation for the pork and earmarks added in. “People who support some of these provisions will forget about the $700 billion and concerns they may have on that, and say, ‘If you give me a few million in tax breaks for my constituents, I’ll go along'”.

The tactic seems to have worked, however, managing to flip enough votes to pass the bill.

“The inclusion of parity, tax extenders and the FDIC increases has caused me to reconsider my position,” said Representative Jim Ramstad (R Minnesota), who voted against the previous bill on Monday. “All three additions have greatly improved the bill.”

But Representative Marcy Kaptur (D Ohio) was not changing her no vote. “I will not support this legislation because it’s the wrong medicine,” she said.

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The Senate took H.R.1424, a bill originating in the House concerning “equity in the provision of mental health and substance-related disorder benefits under group health plans, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment,” and extended it with the bailout provisions.

H.R.1424 was introduced on March 9, 2007, by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (RI-1) and had the support of First Lady Rosalind Carter. It is noted on the Congressional Website that “On 10/1/2008, the Senate passed H.R.1424 as the vehicle for the economic rescue legislation. In the EAS version of the bill (Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by the Senate), Division A (pp.1-110) is referred to as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008; Division B (pp. 110-255) is referred to as the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008; and Division C (pp. 255-441) is referred to as the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008.” It was not treated as an appropriations bill in the House.

There were two votes in the Senate. The first was to amend H.R.1424, which required 3/5 to be accepted, which it was. The second was a vote on the bill. Passage of the Bill required only a 1/2 majority. It was passed with 74 yeas and 25 nays. Senator Kennedy did not vote.

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African Union Summit ends in Accra

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African Union Summit ends in Accra

May 22, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, July 4, 2007The 9th summit of the Assembly of the African Union ended in Accra, Ghana just before midnight yesterday. The three day summit, which was scheduled to last until the afternoon of July 3 overran, ending just before midnight.

The main issue discussed was the call for the setting up of a Pan-African government. The Libyan leader, Muamar al-Gaddafi, and the Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, were advocates for its establishment as soon as possible. Gaddafi was in favor of a single African army, foreign policy and government. Others such as Robert Mugabe and Thabo Mbeki were more inclined to a more gradual process of integration. Yoweri Museveni, of Uganda, preferred more economic integration to political union, as he felt Africa was too diverse to be under one government.

The African leaders put out a unanimous declaration agreeing to set up a Ministerial Committee to examine the relationship between an African Union government and the various national governments. The committee would also be expected to look at the impact on the sovereignty of member states and to provide a time frame and road map for the process.

The idea of a continental government was first advocated by Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana in the mid fifties and sixties when he was the Ghanaian president. It however received very little support at the time.

The host of the summit, John Kufuor of Ghana, Chairman of the Union, said there had been no winners or losers and that the debate had been characterised by tolerance and mutual respect. He said Africa’s union was not being modelled on that of the USA nor the European Union but rather on model that would be unique to the continent. He was also keen on the rationalization of the various Regional Economic Commissions towards the realization of an African Economic Commission.

The next summit is scheduled for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2008.

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2018 Hawaii volcanic eruption

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2018 Hawaii volcanic eruption

May 21, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Hawaiian shield volcano K?lauea erupted on May 3rd. The eruption was accompanied by a 6.9 level earthquake one day later and several smaller quakes.

Since then, over 1700 people have been forced to leave their homes. On Sunday, they were authorized to return briefly to their homes to get some important belongings such as medicines and pets. On Monday morning, all residents were urged to leave as new lava streams are coming. An emergency alert has been issued. The air is dangerous due to huge amounts of sulfur dioxide. Thus far, at least 26 homes have been destroyed by the lava streams.

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Zhu Zhu Pet Tips You Need To Know To Keep Your Hamster Safe

May 21, 2018 · Filed under Pet Treat Manufacturing

Zhu Zhu Pet Tips You Need to Know To Keep Your Hamster Safe

by

TechGuru

Before you take the plunge and decide to buy a brand new Zhu Zhu Pet electronic hamster for your young one, you may want to keep a few little tips and tricks in mind so that you can maximize your fun and minimize any headaches and hassles. First of all, make sure that you have extra batteries available. Zhu Zhu Pets provide hours of fun, and they can go through batteries fairly often if they’re used on a regular basis. You might want to consider investing in a rechargeable set of batteries to make sure that you can always keep your child’s little furry electronic friend full of juice. Zhu Zhu Pets require two AAA batteries in order to function.

Second, make sure to keep the area that the Zhu Zhu Pets will be playing in relatively clear of shed hair, dirt, and dust that could get tangled in its little wheels and gum up the works. Running a cloth over any Zhu Zhu Pets habitats that you might have bought every once in a while is a good idea. Also make sure that the wheels of the little critters don’t get caught and entangled in a child’s hair, and also keep the child’s hands away from the wheels as that could result in pinched skin.

Third, make sure that you have some sort of hard, flat surface that children can play on with their Zhu Zhu Pets. Carpets are not the ideal surface for playing with one of these little electronic hamsters, and using these pets on carpets could greatly increase the amount of wear and tear done to them on a regular basis. And remember that these are indoor, not outdoor toys. They should not be brought out to frolic on grass or sand or dirt in any form. Ideally, you would like your Zhu Zhu Pets to last a long time.

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Fourth, remember that if your child feels the need to snuggle with a Zhu Zhu Pet when going to sleep at night, you should remove the batteries. This should help to avert the possibility of the little critter being accidentally activated in the night and wearing down the battery. This could also unnecessarily wake the child, and may result in pinched skin or tangled hair if the wheels get into places that they’re not supposed to.

Fifth, keep in mind the recommended use of this toy. Teasing the family dog with a Zhu Zhu Pet can be cute, but remember to watch the situation and don’t let the dog use the little hamster as a chew toy. And remember to keep the toy in the hands of age appropriate children, the manufacturer recommended age is 4 and above. Young children may treat the hamsters more forcefully than necessary. They are not built to be thrown around by toddlers, and extra bumps and tumbles can cause your newly purchased Zhu Zhu Pet to malfunction and no longer be much fun to play with.

If you’re careful and keep these tips in mind, you and your child can discover a whole new world of fun with Zhu Zhu Pets.

For more information on Zhu Zhu Pets and the best online prices, see our author s box below.

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Suicide bomber attacks US base in Afghanistan

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Suicide bomber attacks US base in Afghanistan

May 20, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A car bomb exploded today at the gates of a U.S. military base, just outside the Afghan capital of Kabul. According to officials, at least twelve people received injuries. The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident occurred just outside an US installation dubbed “Camp Phoenix”. This is mainly used by American troops which train Afghan security forces.

Camp Phoenix is often attacked by insurgents, particularly suicide bombers. In mid-November, an attack in Camp Phoenix, injured 25 people, half of them American soldiers.

The Taliban was the group that claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesperson for the bombers, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed in a telephone interview that the bomber had allegedly “killed and wounded” ten American soldiers and demolished three military vehicles.

Asked about that claim, an American military spokeswoman, Air Force Master Sgt. Sabrina D. Foster, said that a statement would be issued soon but that in the meantime she could confirm only eight United States personnel with minor wounds. According to Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman, three of those injured were American interpreters.

Sayed Abdul Ghafar, head of the criminal investigation, Kabul police, said the explosion demolished at least eleven civilian vehicles in the adjoining area. Eight were wounded, most of whom were day laborers who generally would be leaving the base after a day’s work. All were reported to be stable by Interior Ministry spokesman, Zemary Bashary.

“The target of the suicide attacker seemed to be foreign forces, but we couldn’t see any American vehicle damaged there because the road was blocked by American forces. We don’t know exactly the casualties among the foreign forces,” said Ghafar.

The American troops soon blocked the area, and barred access to the highway. “They won’t even let the Afghan National Police near it,” said an Afghan policeman near the place where the attack occurred.

It was the first suicide bombing in Kabul since January 18. In the previous attack, several bombs had been detonated by the attackers, who also fought with Afghan commandos. The situation was brought under control soon; however five people were killed. Earlier today, Afghan intelligence officials provided another statement about this attack; this statement is probably the one with most details.

During a news conference, they showed a video which was about an Afghan man arrested for allegedly assisting in the attack. In the video, the man, named Kamaluddin, claimed that he received his orders from the Haqqani network. The latter is a militant organization based in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area. He calmly clarified that he had housed the seven attackers before the attack and had provided them with several weapons.

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