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G20 protests: Inside a labour march

Wikinews accredited reporter Killing Vector traveled to the G-20 2009 summit protests in London with a group of protesters. This is his personal account.

Friday, April 3, 2009

London – “Protest”, says Ross Saunders, “is basically theatre”.

It’s seven a.m. and I’m on a mini-bus heading east on the M4 motorway from Cardiff toward London. I’m riding with seventeen members of the Cardiff Socialist Party, of which Saunders is branch secretary for the Cardiff West branch; they’re going to participate in a march that’s part of the protests against the G-20 meeting.

Before we boarded the minibus Saunders made a speech outlining the reasons for the march. He said they were “fighting for jobs for young people, fighting for free education, fighting for our share of the wealth, which we create.” His anger is directed at the government’s response to the economic downturn: “Now that the recession is underway, they’ve been trying to shoulder more of the burden onto the people, and onto the young people…they’re expecting us to pay for it.” He compared the protest to the Jarrow March and to the miners’ strikes which were hugely influential in the history of the British labour movement. The people assembled, though, aren’t miners or industrial workers — they’re university students or recent graduates, and the march they’re going to participate in is the Youth Fight For Jobs.

The Socialist Party was formerly part of the Labour Party, which has ruled the United Kingdom since 1997 and remains a member of the Socialist International. On the bus, Saunders and some of his cohorts — they occasionally, especially the older members, address each other as “comrade” — explains their view on how the split with Labour came about. As the Third Way became the dominant voice in the Labour Party, culminating with the replacement of Neil Kinnock with Tony Blair as party leader, the Socialist cadre became increasingly disaffected. “There used to be democratic structures, political meetings” within the party, they say. The branch meetings still exist but “now, they passed a resolution calling for renationalisation of the railways, and they [the party leadership] just ignored it.” They claim that the disaffection with New Labour has caused the party to lose “half its membership” and that people are seeking alternatives. Since the economic crisis began, Cardiff West’s membership has doubled, to 25 members, and the RMT has organized itself as a political movement running candidates in the 2009 EU Parliament election. The right-wing British National Party or BNP is making gains as well, though.

Talk on the bus is mostly political and the news of yesterday’s violence at the G-20 demonstrations, where a bank was stormed by protesters and 87 were arrested, is thick in the air. One member comments on the invasion of a RBS building in which phone lines were cut and furniture was destroyed: “It’s not very constructive but it does make you smile.” Another, reading about developments at the conference which have set France and Germany opposing the UK and the United States, says sardonically, “we’re going to stop all the squabbles — they’re going to unite against us. That’s what happens.” She recounts how, in her native Sweden during the Second World War, a national unity government was formed among all major parties, and Swedish communists were interned in camps, while Nazi-leaning parties were left unmolested.

In London around 11am the march assembles on Camberwell Green. About 250 people are here, from many parts of Britain; I meet marchers from Newcastle, Manchester, Leicester, and especially organized-labor stronghold Sheffield. The sky is grey but the atmosphere is convivial; five members of London’s Metropolitan Police are present, and they’re all smiling. Most marchers are young, some as young as high school age, but a few are older; some teachers, including members of the Lewisham and Sheffield chapters of the National Union of Teachers, are carrying banners in support of their students.

Gordon Brown’s a Tory/He wears a Tory hat/And when he saw our uni fees/He said ‘I’ll double that!’

Stewards hand out sheets of paper with the words to call-and-response chants on them. Some are youth-oriented and education-oriented, like the jaunty “Gordon Brown‘s a Tory/He wears a Tory hat/And when he saw our uni fees/He said ‘I’ll double that!'” (sung to the tune of the Lonnie Donegan song “My Old Man’s a Dustman“); but many are standbys of organized labour, including the infamous “workers of the world, unite!“. It also outlines the goals of the protest, as “demands”: “The right to a decent job for all, with a living wage of at least £8 and hour. No to cheap labour apprenticeships! for all apprenticeships to pay at least the minimum wage, with a job guaranteed at the end. No to university fees. support the campaign to defeat fees.” Another steward with a megaphone and a bright red t-shirt talks the assembled protesters through the basics of call-and-response chanting.

Finally the march gets underway, traveling through the London boroughs of Camberwell and Southwark. Along the route of the march more police follow along, escorting and guiding the march and watching it carefully, while a police van with flashing lights clears the route in front of it. On the surface the atmosphere is enthusiastic, but everyone freezes for a second as a siren is heard behind them; it turns out to be a passing ambulance.

Crossing Southwark Bridge, the march enters the City of London, the comparably small but dense area containing London’s financial and economic heart. Although one recipient of the protesters’ anger is the Bank of England, the march does not stop in the City, only passing through the streets by the London Exchange. Tourists on buses and businessmen in pinstripe suits record snippets of the march on their mobile phones as it passes them; as it goes past a branch of HSBC the employees gather at the glass store front and watch nervously. The time in the City is brief; rather than continue into the very centre of London the march turns east and, passing the Tower of London, proceeds into the poor, largely immigrant neighbourhoods of the Tower Hamlets.

The sun has come out, and the spirits of the protesters have remained high. But few people, only occasional faces at windows in the blocks of apartments, are here to see the march and it is in Wapping High Street that I hear my first complaint from the marchers. Peter, a steward, complains that the police have taken the march off its original route and onto back streets where “there’s nobody to protest to”. I ask how he feels about the possibility of violence, noting the incidents the day before, and he replies that it was “justified aggression”. “We don’t condone it but people have only got certain limitations.”

There’s nobody to protest to!

A policeman I ask is very polite but noncommittal about the change in route. “The students are getting the message out”, he says, so there’s no problem. “Everyone’s very well behaved” in his assessment and the atmosphere is “very positive”. Another protestor, a sign-carrying university student from Sheffield, half-heartedly returns the compliment: today, she says, “the police have been surprisingly unridiculous.”

The march pauses just before it enters Cable Street. Here, in 1936, was the site of the Battle of Cable Street, and the march leader, addressing the protesters through her megaphone, marks the moment. She draws a parallel between the British Union of Fascists of the 1930s and the much smaller BNP today, and as the protesters follow the East London street their chant becomes “The BNP tell racist lies/We fight back and organise!”

In Victoria Park — “The People’s Park” as it was sometimes known — the march stops for lunch. The trade unions of East London have organized and paid for a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and tea, and, picnic-style, the marchers enjoy their meals as organized labor veterans give brief speeches about industrial actions from a small raised platform.

A demonstration is always a means to and end.

During the rally I have the opportunity to speak with Neil Cafferky, a Galway-born Londoner and the London organizer of the Youth Fight For Jobs march. I ask him first about why, despite being surrounded by red banners and quotes from Karl Marx, I haven’t once heard the word “communism” used all day. He explains that, while he considers himself a Marxist and a Trotskyist, the word communism has negative connotations that would “act as a barrier” to getting people involved: the Socialist Party wants to avoid the discussion of its position on the USSR and disassociate itself from Stalinism. What the Socialists favor, he says, is “democratic planned production” with “the working class, the youths brought into the heart of decision making.”

On the subject of the police’s re-routing of the march, he says the new route is actually the synthesis of two proposals. Originally the march was to have gone from Camberwell Green to the Houses of Parliament, then across the sites of the 2012 Olympics and finally to the ExCel Centre. The police, meanwhile, wanted there to be no march at all.

The Metropolitan Police had argued that, with only 650 trained traffic officers on the force and most of those providing security at the ExCel Centre itself, there simply wasn’t the manpower available to close main streets, so a route along back streets was necessary if the march was to go ahead at all. Cafferky is sceptical of the police explanation. “It’s all very well having concern for health and safety,” he responds. “Our concern is using planning to block protest.”

He accuses the police and the government of having used legal, bureaucratic and even violent means to block protests. Talking about marches having to defend themselves, he says “if the police set out with the intention of assaulting marches then violence is unavoidable.” He says the police have been known to insert “provocateurs” into marches, which have to be isolated. He also asserts the right of marches to defend themselves when attacked, although this “must be done in a disciplined manner”.

He says he wasn’t present at yesterday’s demonstrations and so can’t comment on the accusations of violence against police. But, he says, there is often provocative behavior on both sides. Rather than reject violence outright, Cafferky argues that there needs to be “clear political understanding of the role of violence” and calls it “counter-productive”.

Demonstration overall, though, he says, is always a useful tool, although “a demonstration is always a means to an end” rather than an end in itself. He mentions other ongoing industrial actions such as the occupation of the Visteon plant in Enfield; 200 fired workers at the factory have been occupying the plant since April 1, and states the solidarity between the youth marchers and the industrial workers.

I also speak briefly with members of the International Bolshevik Tendency, a small group of left-wing activists who have brought some signs to the rally. The Bolsheviks say that, like the Socialists, they’re Trotskyists, but have differences with them on the idea of organization; the International Bolshevik Tendency believes that control of the party representing the working class should be less democratic and instead be in the hands of a team of experts in history and politics. Relations between the two groups are “chilly”, says one.

At 2:30 the march resumes. Rather than proceeding to the ExCel Centre itself, though, it makes its way to a station of London’s Docklands Light Railway; on the way, several of East London’s school-aged youths join the march, and on reaching Canning Town the group is some 300 strong. Proceeding on foot through the borough, the Youth Fight For Jobs reaches the protest site outside the G-20 meeting.

It’s impossible to legally get too close to the conference itself. Police are guarding every approach, and have formed a double cordon between the protest area and the route that motorcades take into and out of the conference venue. Most are un-armed, in the tradition of London police; only a few even carry truncheons. Closer to the building, though, a few machine gun-armed riot police are present, standing out sharply in their black uniforms against the high-visibility yellow vests of the Metropolitan Police. The G-20 conference itself, which started a few hours before the march began, is already winding down, and about a thousand protesters are present.

I see three large groups: the Youth Fight For Jobs avoids going into the center of the protest area, instead staying in their own group at the admonition of the stewards and listening to a series of guest speakers who tell them about current industrial actions and the organization of the Youth Fight’s upcoming rally at UCL. A second group carries the Ogaden National Liberation Front‘s flag and is campaigning for recognition of an autonomous homeland in eastern Ethiopia. Others protesting the Ethiopian government make up the third group; waving old Ethiopian flags, including the Lion of Judah standard of emperor Haile Selassie, they demand that foreign aid to Ethiopia be tied to democratization in that country: “No recovery without democracy”.

A set of abandoned signs tied to bollards indicate that the CND has been here, but has already gone home; they were demanding the abandonment of nuclear weapons. But apart from a handful of individuals with handmade, cardboard signs I see no groups addressing the G-20 meeting itself, other than the Youth Fight For Jobs’ slogans concerning the bailout. But when a motorcade passes, catcalls and jeers are heard.

It’s now 5pm and, after four hours of driving, five hours marching and one hour at the G-20, Cardiff’s Socialists are returning home. I board the bus with them and, navigating slowly through the snarled London traffic, we listen to BBC Radio 4. The news is reporting on the closure of the G-20 conference; while they take time out to mention that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper delayed the traditional group photograph of the G-20’s world leaders because “he was on the loo“, no mention is made of today’s protests. Those listening in the bus are disappointed by the lack of coverage.

Most people on the return trip are tired. Many sleep. Others read the latest issue of The Socialist, the Socialist Party’s newspaper. Mia quietly sings “The Internationale” in Swedish.

Due to the traffic, the journey back to Cardiff will be even longer than the journey to London. Over the objections of a few of its members, the South Welsh participants in the Youth Fight For Jobs stop at a McDonald’s before returning to the M4 and home.

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Victoria Wyndham on Another World and another life

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Victoria Wyndham was one of the most seasoned and accomplished actresses in daytime soap opera television. She played Rachel Cory, the maven of Another World‘s fictional town, Bay City, from 1972 to 1999 when the show went off the air. Wyndham talks about how she was seen as the anchor of a show, and the political infighting to keep it on the air as NBC wanted to wrest control of the long-running soap from Procter & Gamble. Wyndham fought to keep it on the air, but eventually succumbed to the inevitable. She discusses life on the soap opera, and the seven years she spent wandering “in the woods” of Los Angeles seeking direction, now divorced from a character who had come to define her professional career. Happy, healthy and with a family she is proud of, Wyndham has found life after the death of Another World in painting and animals. Below is David Shankbone’s interview with the soap diva.

Contents

  • 1 Career and motherhood
  • 2 The politics behind the demise of Another World
  • 3 Wyndham’s efforts to save Another World
  • 4 The future of soap operas
  • 5 Wyndham’s career and making it as a creative
  • 6 Television’s lust for youth
  • 7 Her relationship today to the character Rachel Cory
  • 8 Wyndham on a higher power and the creative process
  • 9 After AW: Wyndham lost in California
  • 10 Wyndham discovers painting
  • 11 Wyndham on the state of the world
  • 12 Source
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Monitoring The Environment One Click At A Time}

Monitoring the Environment One Click at a Time

by

jimson

Have you ever wondered if you’ve been exposed to toxic air? Don’t wait until it is too late, get phone alerts if there is a potential danger in the air you’re breathing. Atmotube, a tiny pollution sensor, allows its users to track the air quality in any location they might be in, outdoors or indoors. The device, which is currently on Indegogo, can be yours for only $79.

YouTube Preview Image

The tiny sensor is the perfect portable device; place it in your pocket or hook it to your key chain. Atmotube’s tube casting is made of stainless steel so it doesn’t set off any unnecessary alarms. The air quality tracker links to a smartphone app which lets the user know the quality of the air a user is breathing. The sensor is able to read different air components that might affect your lungs, such as: volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, allergens, etc.

This is not the first device of its kind. The University of California, San Diego built an air quality sensor, CitySense, that also links to a smartphone app. Intel built a similar device, Common Sense Project, that measured the air in West Oakland. The difference between Atmotube and both devices mentioned above is that the devices were only concept projects while Atmotube is a device that is currently being manufactured and sold to customers.

The pollution sensor measures air quality and a user can receive real-time results through the smartphone application. The air quality tracker has a button that the user can set to manually test the air quality or set to test it every 10 seconds on a continuous mode. Atmotube’s battery life can last one month if the user sets the device to test the air quality every 60 seconds. If the air quality decreases the smartphone application will send you an alert notification. The application ranks the air quality from 0-100, 0 meaning extremely toxic air quality and 100 meaning the freshest air quality.

The state-of-the-art technology involved in the portable air quality tracker makes this device the perfect candidate to claim the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit. This type of federal and state tax incentive can be obtained by companies that create innovative technology like Autmotube since it’s a groundbreaking device in the air quality tracking field. To learn more about these federal and state tax credits visit the Kuhler Tax Credits website www.kuhler.com or email us at info@kuhler.com.

The Research & Development Tax Credit was created by Congress in 1981 as part of the Economic Recovery Tax Act, as a way to help companies in the United States stay competitive in the global marketplace. Tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar offset against tax liabilities- and can be carried forward for up to 20 years.

The state-of-the-art technology involved in the portable air quality tracker makes this device the perfect candidate to claim the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit. This type of federal and state tax incentive can be obtained by companies that create innovative technology like Autmotube since it’s a groundbreaking device in the air quality tracking field. To learn more about these federal and state tax credits visit the Kuhler Tax Credits website www.kuhler.com or email us at info@kuhler.com.

The Research & Development Tax Credit was created by Congress in 1981 as part of the Economic Recovery Tax Act, as a way to help companies in the United States stay competitive in the global marketplace. Tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar offset against tax liabilities- and can be carried forward for up to 20 years.

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For over 25 years, our wide range of tax credit experience, proprietary capital recovery technology, and our proven process have boosted our client’s bottom line.

Article Source:

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}

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Steelers defeat Lions to advance to NFL playoffs

Monday, January 2, 2006

The Pittsbugh Steelers defeated the Detroit Lions 35-21 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The victory earns the Steelers the final spot for an AFC team in the NFL playoffs.

The Steelers, who had a 10-5 record heading into the game, were strong favorites against the Lions, who were 5-10. Pittsburgh took an early lead on an 81 yard Antwaan Randle El punt return less than two minutes into the game. However, the Lions fought back, with quarterback Joey Harrington throwing scoring passes on two consecutive drives in the first quarter to put Detroit up 14-7.

Veteran Steelers running back Jerome Bettis scored the next three touchdowns, matching a career high. His third touchdown resulted in a standing ovation from the crowd of 63,794. This will likely be the last home game for Bettis, as he is expected to retire at the end of this season.

The Steelers (11-5) go on to play the Bengals (11-5) in Cincinnati next Sunday at 4:00pm in the wildcard round. The Steelers split their season series with the Bengals winning 27-13 on October 23 in Cincinnati, but losing 38-31 at home on December 4.

“We play [the Bengals] twice a year and we know them,” said Steelers receiver Hines Ward. “It’s not going to be easy, but we’re more comfortable with them.”

The other AFC wildcard game has the Jacksonville Jaguars (12-4) visiting the New England Patroits (10-6). The winners of the wild card round will face the Indianapolis Colts (14-2) or the Denver Broncos (13-3) in the divisonal round.

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Microsoft releases Windows Phone 7 to manufacturing

Friday, September 3, 2010

On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows Mobile OS series, Windows Phone 7, had been released to manufacturing after more than 6 months of its development. The announcement outlined some of the changes in this version, and was generally positive about the milestone.

The term “release to manufacturing”, also known as “going gold”, is a term used to indicate that the software has reached a point that it is ready to be provided to the customer. After the event, Windows Phone 7 code has been locked down. The work in progress is the testing of Windows Phone 7 on other hardware, software, and networks. The structure of the system itself is not expected to be changed any more before the final release. “We are ready,” Terry Myerson said.

“Today is the day that the Windows Phone team has been driving towards, and we’re very excited to say that we’ve reached the biggest milestone for our internal team – the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Phone 7”, Terry Myerson announced in a post on the official Windows Phone Blog.

The internal testing of the system had been finished. It included usage of the operating system by the development team itself on regular basis, and millions of hours of automated tests daily, as Terry Myerson said: “We had nearly ten thousand devices running automated tests daily, over a half million hours of active self-hosting use, over three and a half million hours of stress test passes, and eight and a half million hours of fully automated test passes.”

The system is now named “Windows Phone” instead of “Windows Mobile”, with a redesigned user interface and a changed development environment, which is called “Windows Phone Developer Tools”. It features a combination of Silverlight, XNA technologies, and Visual Studio 2010 to make use of these possible in the applications developers create.

Microsoft did not confirm any planned commercial release date, calling October as an optimistic estimate.

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Apple unveils iPhone 4, iOS 4 at Worldwide Developers Conference 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yesterday, at this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), company CEO Steve Jobs unveiled iPhone 4, along with the new iOS 4 operating system for Apple mobile devices.

The announcement was long-awaited but not a very big surprise. In April, the technology blog Gizmodo obtained a prototype of the new phone and published details of it online. While introducing iPhone 4, at the annual conference, Jobs started by hinting at the incident, saying, “Stop me if you’ve already seen this.”

The new iPhone was praised by Jobs as “the biggest leap we’ve taken since the original iPhone.” It is only 9.3 millimetres (0.37 inches) thick, making it “the thinnest smartphone on the planet”, a 24 percent reduction from Apple’s previous model, the iPhone 3GS. Structure-wise, iPhone 4 has a new stainless steel frame, which acts as an antenna, supposedly boosting its signal reception abilities and possibly reducing the amount of dropped calls. It also has a new screen, dubbed a “retina display,” which displays images at 326 pixels per inch. During the keynote, Jobs demoed the device’s new internal gyroscope as well. Even though it now uses Apple’s faster A4 processor (first used in its iPad tablet), iPhone 4 has a claimed seven hours of 3G talk time, up two hours from the 3GS.

In addition to its design features, Jobs showed off iPhone 4’s new video calling abilities. This feature is called FaceTime, and connects with other iPhone 4s via Wi-Fi. The phone has two cameras: one on the front for video chats, and one on the back for taking pictures and other videos. The rear camera has a resolution of five megapixels, is capable of recording high-definition video, and has an LED flash.

The iPhone 4 will use Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 4. Formerly “iPhone OS,” iOS 4 was first introduced by Apple in April, and includes multitasking capabilities. Jobs called the new software “the most advanced mobile operating system in the world.” iOS will support Apple’s new mobile advertising service, iAd, which goes live on July 1.

iPhone 4 will be available on June 24 in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan. It comes in two colors—black and white—and two storage capacities. The 16GB version is priced at US$199 and the 32GB version at US$299. The iPhone 3GS’s price will be reduced to US$99, and the iPhone 3G will be discontinued. iOS will be available as a free software update to users of compatible older Apple devices (including the 3GS) on June 21. In the U.S., iPhone 4 will only be available on AT&T‘s cellular network, despite calls for Apple to let the iPhone be used on other carriers, such as Verizon.

Competition-wise, the BlackBerry mobile device is still the most popular smartphone right now. Apple is also facing some serious competition from web giant Google’s Android operating system, as well as Palm‘s webOS. Earlier this year, Android phones managed to outsell iPhones. iPhone users, however, account for over half of those surfing the Internet on a mobile browser in the U.S. Jobs also noted that over five billion iOS applications, commonly called “apps,” have been purchased from Apple’s App Store. The App Store currently has around 225,000 different apps for sale.

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Self Pack Moving Companies An Effective Way To Save Money}

Self Pack Moving Companies An Effective Way To Save Money

by

Frank D. Miller

Self pack moving companies, commonly known as you pack we haul businesses, are an ideal option for those who want to save money on relocation but do not prefer driving the truck over long distances. These companies seem to be the latest entry into the field of moving industry. However, they are gaining much prominence in the recent times.

These you pack we haul companies operate on a very simple concept. Whenever you want to relocate, you just need to call them up and rent a container that fits your needs. This container will be then shipped to your current home. You just have to pack and load the container with your belongings. The container is then shipped to your desired destination by the moving company. In short, the services offered by self pack moving companies can be better understood as an intermediate between a complete do-it-yourself mode of moving and services provided by professional movers & packers.

Listed below are some advantages that one can have by renting these pods moving storage.

1. Easy to load You can load and unload your belongings as per your convenience. Since you are responsible even for packing your items, it can be accomplished as per your requirements. Also, loading into these containers is extremely easy as they remain in level with the ground.

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Beyond these benefits, you will find added peace of mind knowing that your belongings are well protected and secure. This service is a great alternative to full service movers and is a great way to keep some extra money in your pocketbook. If you have not considered self pack moving companies in the past, we strongly suggest you look into them.

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Mass protest grows against Kudankulam nuclear power plant in India

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thousands of people, including women and children, have gathered since Sunday on the southern coast of India, to protest against the operation of the nuclear power plant of Kudankulam and the nuclear program of the government.

An official announcement stated that the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s inspection of the reactor pressure vessel of Unit-1 was completed and enriched uranium fuel will be loaded into the first 1000-mw-reactor this month. This was the reason for the people to raise another protest since March this year.

The government ordered 4,000 policemen to monitor the surrounding area around the plant site. 300 policemen were in the village of Idinthakarai in the Tirunelveli district. Groups of people tried to block a road and a railway.

On Tuesday the BBC World News reported that a 44-year-old fishermen was killed by police while shooting to disperse the demonstrating groups.

Authorities of an English TV channel made a complaint because a cameraperson was allegedly injured during the police action.

The protests spread to different towns and villages. A group of scientists, doctors, environmentalists, environmental activists, students, and concerned citizens met yesterday in front of the Vidyasagar Statue in College Square, Kolkata to show solidarity with the demonstration around Kudankulam.

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Bus crash in Victoria, Australia injures twenty, some critical

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A bus crash in Victoria, Australia has injured at least 20 people, two of whom are listed as critical. One victim is reported to be still trapped in the wreckage.

The accident occurred between a bus and a semi-trailer on the Princes Highway in the Traralgon area around 10:50am AEST. The La Trobe Valley Busliner bus was traveling east when it collided with the back of a heavy haulage truck.

Those critically injured are being airlifted to a hospital in Melbourne. Others are being transported by Ambulance to La Trobe Valley Hospital in Traralgon.

SES crews are on scene, along with St. John Ambulance and fire crews.

The eastbound lanes of the highway have been blocked by police and traffic is being diverted.

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News briefs:July 30, 2010

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