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Illinois man charged in Facebook harassment case
Aug 02

Monday, February 8, 2010

A man from the Naperville, Illinois, United States area has been accused of allegedly threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and her current boyfriend via messages posted on her Facebook account. 

Nineteen-year-old Christopher J. Bensfield was arrested Jan. 28 at his home in unincorporated DuPage County near the far west-central part of Naperville. He is being held on a $12,500 bond at the DuPage County Jail in Wheaton. He is scheduled to appear at the DuPage County Circuit Court on a felony charge of harassment via electronic communication. Police Sergeant Gregg Bell said the ex-girlfriend, a Naperville-resident, asked Bensfield to stop sending the messages many times before she submitted printed copies of the threatening messages to Naperville police.

Court records indicate Bensfield is already on probation after pleading guilty last September to possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested in August 2008 after disobeying a stop sign in Naperville. Police searched his car and found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. This was the third time Benfield had been arrested for having marijuana since April 2007, when drugs were found in his possession at Naperville Central High School. Last October, a judge issued a fine and required him to join the DuPage County Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program. He has also received five tickets within three months in 2008 for driving violations, including speeding, driving without insurance, transportation of an open alcohol container, and driving too fast for conditions.

Bensfield’s mother also has an order of protection against him. Ms. Bensfield stated that he asked her for money in late December; he then broke into her home in Naperville’s far southeast-side, punching holes in the walls and breaking various items before leaving. Christopher was arrested Dec. 29 and faced a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage to property. He “suffers from bipolar disorder and has not been taking his medication,” according to information the Naperville Daily Herald has received from Ms. Bensfield.

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Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick
Aug 01

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Australian researchers say they have scientifically proven that stress causes sickness. The Garvan Institute in Sydney has discovered that a hormone, known as neuropeptide Y (NPY) is released into the body during times of stress. Their findings show the hormone can stop the immune system from functioning properly.

“Neuropeptide Y is one of those hormones that gets unregulated or released from neurones when stressful situations occur…it’s known for example that it regulates blood pressure and heart rates so your heart rate goes up but it hasn’t been known that it actually can affect immune cells as well,” said Professor Herbert Herzog, one of the researchers.

Herzog feels it is good to finally have proof of something people have suspected for so long.

“Now we have proven without doubt that there is a direct link and that stress can weaken the immune system and that makes you more vulnerable when you for example have a cold or flu and even in the more serious situations such as cancer can be enhanced in these situations,” said Herzog.

The Garvan Institute study centres on two key events that enable the human body to recognise foreign substances and control invaders. When our body encounters a pathogen (bacteria and viruses), the immune cells retain and interrogate suspects. Their activation is made possible by NPY. These cells then return to the lymph nodes, which are found all over the body, with information about the foreign invaders. The lymph nodes are where decisions about defence are made.

“Most of us expect to come down with a cold or other illness when we are under pressure, but until now we have mostly had circumstantial evidence for a link between the brain and the immune system,” said lead Garvan researcher, associate Professor Fabienne Mackay. “During periods of stress, nerves release a lot of NPY and it gets into the bloodstream, where it directly impacts on the cells in the immune system that look out for and destroy pathogens (bacteria and viruses) in the body.”

In the case of bacteria and viruses, TH1 cells are part of the attack team that is sent out on the ‘search and destroy’ mission. But when their job is done they need to be turned ‘off’ and the immune system reset. The same hormone, NPY, that activates the sentry cells now prompts the TH1 cells to slow down and die.

“Under normal conditions, circulating immune cells produce small amounts of NPY, which enables the immune cells on sentry duty and the TH1 immune cells to operate – it’s a yin and yang kind of situation. But too much NPY means that the TH1 attack is prevented despite the foreign invaders being identified – and this is what happens during stress,” added McKay.

The impact of stress on the body has been observed in athletes. Ph. D researcher at the University of Queensland, Luke Spence, together with the Australian Institute of Sport, studied elite and recreational athletes over five months.

They found elite athletes were more susceptible to respiratory diseases under stress.

“A lot of elite athletes put themselves through vast amounts of physical stress in their training, but also their emotional, psychological stress of feeling the pressure of Australia on their shoulders, wanting to compete and wanting to do their best,” said Spence.

It’s not just athletes who are prone to stress. Pressures at work and at home may cause emotional and mental stress that can be equally damaging. Almost a third of all work absenteeism in Australia is due to illness, costing employers over $10 billion a year.

“I think it has a huge impact for the work force and also for employers – if their employees are constantly stressed, constantly under pressure, they are more likely to get sick,” Spence said.

Further research could lead to the development of new drugs which may inhibit the action of the neuropeptide Y hormone.

Herzog warns people to minimise stress before it becomes a problem.

“Relaxation methods like yoga will help you to prevent that but there will still be people out there that are not responding to that and treatment by interfering with the system will be important,” he said. “There’s obviously some time until such a treatment will be available but this is something we will definitely work towards.”

The Garvan research will be published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Volume 202, No. 11.

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Choosing Upgrades For Your New Construction Home Five Things To Remember Aug 01

By Jeff McRitchie

Recently my wife and I had a home built in a brand new sub division. The house was a semi custom home meaning we got to pick the upgrades, colors and features but didn’t get to choose the floor plan. Honestly, the process of building the house was very exciting. However, one of the most difficult parts was knowing what upgrades to choose from the extensive list of options. It was definitely very difficult to pick. However, we discovered a few things during the process that I thought I would pass along. Here they are…

1. It is absolutely essential to choose a budget and stick to it. This is really tough since they will give you so many options. However, if you aren’t careful it is easy to spend tens of thousands of dollars more than you wanted to spend. For my wife and I, we had to sit down prior to our meeting with the design center and choose some of the options that were must haves and some that would be nice. We didn’t end up getting too many that weren’t on the must have list. It is always helpful if you ask the builder for a price list prior to your meeting with the design center.

2. There are some upgrades that will build value in your home and others that won’t have any resale value at all. This is something to keep in mind but it shouldn’t completely control your decision making process. Choose what you like. Remember that almost every house is going to have some upgrades to it and that if you don’t choose anything your house might be too plain. Make choices that will give your house character and help to make it your home.

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3. Remember that there are some upgrades that you can do after the building process is done and there are others that you can’t (or will cost you a lot to do). If you think you might want speakers, cable jacks, plumbing or extra electrical outlets you will probably want to have the builder put them in for you since they can be very difficult to add later. On the other hand, adding some extra cabinets, changing out fixtures and putting up blinds are all things that you can do yourself after the building process is finished. Plus, you can probably save money by hiring someone other than the builder to do it for you.

4. The builder will price the upgrades on the list according to their cost and their desire to do the upgrades. You will find that some upgrades seem like a great value while others seem overpriced. The overpriced ones are most likely ones that the builder doesn’t really want to do anyway. The same will apply if you ask the builder to make customizations to your home that they don’t really want to do. They may quote you a price but they will certainly charge you for their hassle.

5. The builder makes a lot of money on ALL of the upgrades that they do. This is something to remember when looking to purchase appliances, fixtures, blinds and other items as part of the building process. If you buy these items through the builder you will most likely pay more than retail for the items and you will probably get less choice than you would if you just go to your local building supply superstore.

These are just a few things that we learned as we walked through the upgrade process for our new home. We are now moved in and are continuing to make our house our home. Overall, we are happy with the upgrades we chose and we were able to stick to our budget. Something that is easier said than done.

About the Author: Jeff McRitchie is the director of marketing for writes extensively on topics related to Binding Machines, Binding Supplies, Report Covers, Binders, Index Tabs, Laminators, Laminating Pouches, Roll Film, Shredders, and Paper Handling Equipment.


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U.S. Senate approves revised bailout package after controversial additions
Aug 01

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.

Do you think the bailout bill will help the US economy, hurt it, or be a waste of money?
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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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2012 Report on Gender Equality and Development says US women have room for progress
Jul 31

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tuesday, World Bank released the 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development. The United States is referred to many times, often as a benchmark to foster understanding of recent gains for women in other parts of the globe. At the same time, United States women still lag behind US men in a number of areas.

In 2012, the authors note women in the United States still face challenges economically and socially. They are represented disproportionately in certain professions like teaching and nursing. They are paid less than their male counterparts. Jobs traditionally held by women also result in lower wages for men who hold these jobs. They are under-represented at the highest level of business, with only 28 of Fortune 1000 companies having a female chief executive officer. The bottom 20% of women economically have a slightly higher birth rate than their peers in the top 20%.

Immigrants to the United States from Southeast Asia and India have higher than expected male to female birth ratios, which the report authors suggest is partially deliberate sex selection based on cultural attitudes from home countries. In 2009, over half a million US women were victims of intimate partner violence. The report suggests US men have greater pension assets than US women. When compared to elderly US men, elderly women in the United States are more likely to live alone than with a spouse. US women are disproportionately under-represented in local police forces, accounting for less than 20% of all police officers. Women in the United States also bear a higher percentage of housework duties than men at 61%. When US women take part time work while raising children, they find it difficult to use that work experience to gain future full time employment. US women are disincentivized from re-entering the workforce after giving birth because of the high cost of childcare.

Many of the gains for United States women took place a while ago and took a long time to get. It took 40 years, 1870–1910, to see major improvements in the percentage of girls aged 6 to 12 attending school. In 1921, after women got the right to vote in the United States, the United States Congress passed the Promotion of the Welfare and Hygiene of Maternity and Infancy Act. This assisted in lowering infant mortality from 23% to 15%.

The report says affirmative action in the United States resulted in jobs transferring from men to women, but the authors hedged and did not draw a conclusion about the economic impact of these legislative efforts other than to say the impact was not negative.

Many of the legislative victories for United States women came early compared to developing countries. Property rights for women, while later than some of their European counterparts like Norway and the United Kingdom, started to come by 1848. That year, the Married Women’s Property Act was passed in New York. It was the first legislation of its kind in the country. Other states soon followed. Women got suffrage on a state-by-state level in the country until they got federal suffrage in 1920. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barred discrimination against women and allowed married women to make loans without their husband’s consent. In 1980, airlines were barred from discriminating against flight attendances for their marital status during the hiring and firing stage.

The number of United States respondents agreeing with the proposition “a university education is more important for a boy than for a girl” decreased from about 14% in the period between 1994 and 1999 to about about 9% in the period between 2005 and 2007. Similarly, the number of people who agreed with “when jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job than women” decreased from 19% to about 8% over the same period.

The report cites current research from the United States and England showing the more education a mother has, the better the outcomes for her children will be.

Currently in the United States, females academically outperform their male counterparts in all academic areas including [[mathematics|math] and science. On the Programme for International Student Assessment math test though, US boys tested better than US girls by a score of roughly 495 to 480. US girls outperform boys on the literacy test with mean scores of approximately 510 to 490. In this regard, the report suggests US girls’ performance patterns resemble global ones.

Mali’s percentage of girls in primary school is equivalent to the United States in 1810 at around 34%. Burkino Faso is worse, matching the United States in 1780 with a percentage of roughly 25%. Niger’s current enrollment for girls is around 50%, around the same percentage as the United States in 1900.

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Online Data Storage The Best Place To Upload Huge Amount Of Personal Data Jul 31

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Online Storage offers enormous benefits. Loading your computer with huge important files may hamper its performance. Searching a file in your PC may take longer time. There are lots of external storage devices to store backup data. However, if these external devices get missing or broken, you may be unable to find all the information.

The smart substitute of storing data is to take the help of an online data storage service.

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The data storage service allows you to upload mega amount of files online. It also allows you share the information to a network of users connected to your system. You can even set passwords to take care of those private files. The benefit of online storage system is that you can transfer file and access file from any corner of the world. You don\’t need to take your laptop everywhere just as you have some essential information in it. It is so simple that you do not have to think how to upload or how to download.

If you do research on the internet, you may come to see a huge number of services that offer online file storage opportunities. The price of the services may differ depending on the size of the files and type of packages you choose. If you are too worried about the price, you may go for of those storage services that are obtainable free of cost. However, when you are using free services, be sure that quality of the service is also accessible. Some time it is difficult to access the data and there is a chance of data loss due to poor service.

Find out the popularity of the online storage service. A reputed service will be dependable and offer you quality service. Know properly the various services provided by the storage company before you decide to hire its services. You can even talk to the customer care of the company to know about various storage plans. Make sure that the service provides a secure environment to store the files online. Go through the customer testimonials about the storage company before accessing it. It is always recommended to take the service of the online file storing company that has high customer rating. Once you take the service of an online storage company, you can easily transfer files and retrieve file without any trouble.

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Immediate life insurance website launched, first in world
Jul 31

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The first website in the world allowing consumers to buy life insurance online instantly has been launched today, targeting specifically New Zealanders.

The website, run by life insurance company Pinnacle Life, allows New Zealanders in many countries in the world to buy life insurance online without the need for a medical examination. Once the application has been approved, which is done immediately, the consumer can receive a $500,000 life insurance policy via an automatic e-mail. However, if certain conditions have been highlighted, then person to person contact is required to finalise the process.

Ed Saul, senior partner and architect of the new website, says, “We’re giving consumers a quicker and easier way to buy life insurance. Instead of submitting an application form and waiting days for a policy to be approved and issued, we do it online and we do it immediately.”

“The revolutionary website gives consumers complete control over the buying process whilst eliminating the previously obligatory involvement of people and paper. This is a global test case eagerly watched by the insurance industry around the world,” Mr Saul said.

When applying online, a few typical questions are asked on personal information and if the applicant has had any previous illnesses or diseases.

The countries where New Zealand citizens are allowed to apply are UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA.

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Europe suffers widespread power cuts
Jul 30

Sunday, November 5, 2006

A sudden cold snap across Europe caused a surge in demand for electricity. Two high voltage power lines in Germany failed. This triggered a cascade of cuts as automatic safety devices cut millions of customers in order to prevent a total blackout of the continent. Parts of Germany, Belgium, France (including parts of Paris), Spain, and Italy were affected. High speed railways were also impacted. Power was restored within two hours. Later reports said that Austria and Croatia were also affected.

An alternative cause has been suggested; that the opening of the Ems powerline crossing to let a ship pass may have triggered the blackout.

A senior director with French power company RTE is reported as saying “We weren’t very far from a European blackout”.

After 13 years of isolation, Southeast Europe (including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia and Romania) were reconnected to the main European transmission system in November 2004. Now, with 400 million users, the European electrical transmission system has become, in terms of consumption, the world’s largest electrical energy system.

Italy’s Prime minister, Romano Prodi, said there was a “contradiction” in having a unified power network but no European Union central authority.

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Wikinews interviews 2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor Candidate Wayne Tseng
Jul 30
This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor candidate Wayne Tseng answered some questions about his campaign for the upcoming election from Wikinews. The Lord Mayor election in the Australian city is scheduled to take place this week.

Tseng runs a firm called eTranslate, which helps software developers to make the software available to the users. In the candidate’s questionnaire, Tseng said eTranslate had led to him working with all three tiers of the government. He previously belonged to the Australian Liberal Party, but has left since then, to run for mayorship as an independent candidate.

Tseng is of Chinese descent, having moved to Australia with his parents from Vietnam. Graduated in Brisbane, Tseng received his PhD in Melbourne and has been living in the city, he told Wikinews. Tseng also formed Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce, an organisation responsible for many “community bond building initiatives”, the Lord Mayor candidate told Wikinews.

Tseng discussed his plans for leading Melbourne, recovering from COVID-19, and “Democracy 2.0” to ensure concerns of minorities in the city were also heard. Tseng also focused on the importance of the multi-culture aspect and talked about making Melbourne the capital of the aboriginals. Tseng also explained why he thinks Melbourne is poised to be a world city by 2030.

Tseng’s deputy Lord Mayor candidate Gricol Yang is a Commercial Banker and works for ANZ Banking Group.

Currently, Sally Capp is the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Victorian capital. Capp was elected as an interim Lord Mayor in mid-2018 after the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle resigned from his position after sexual assault allegations. Doyle served as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for almost a decade since 2008.

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Tecent Application Will Push A New Domain App.Qq.Com As A Beautiful Appearation Jul 29

By Paul Hu

April 28, 2007, tecent company “new starting point, whole-hearted service – tencent mobile software center in Beijing renamed ceremony” national conference centre. Tencent formal will “tencent mobile software center” upgrades and renamed “tencent application center”, and release its new domain app. Qq. Com, which makes it easy to users through mobile phones, Pad more high-quality mobile terminal to download, richer and more convenient, safer mobile application services.

This activity of nearly 200 guests present, tecent company senior executive vice President LiuChengMin sir, tencent wireless 3G products division XianWen general manager Mr Tong to attend and participate to tencent application center to unveil. Famous angel investors uzziel barbarian (micro Po) sir, open application alliance WangYuQuan (micro Po) founder from both Mr Guests for mobile Internet industry expressed concern over the prospects of a win-win situation. Activities are still getting “China international chamber of commerce” vigorously TMT co-sponsoring, invited to many ZiXunJie and investment community leaders present, discuss the mobile Internet mutual development prospects.

As is known to all, mobile development of the Internet and the rapid spread of the intelligent terminals, let people no longer strange for mobile Internet products. For example, entertainment and leisure life tools such application, application, business assistant class application, the system safety kind applications… Not only give daily decent lives brought convenience, added joy, the more there’s a trend in effect and improve people’s quality of life.

Therefore, how to make hundreds of millions of users get more high-quality mobile application service, is each mobile Internet practitioners must consider the question. In order to serve customers, tencent wireless has been paying attention to how to provide better mobile applications, and therefore open a new mobile application platform. Tencent application center director, said ZhuTao in activity in the new starting point, tencent application center will “serves attentively” many partners and mass user software options, download, satisfy demand, management, evaluation, etc.

For tencent application center “new starting point, tongchuang future” initiative, founder of Mr WangYuQuan open application alliance, said: “mobile Internet and broad prospects indubitability, but how to realize a more extensive within industry chain more deeply and win-win, worth industry think together. At the same time, cooperation and development is the trend of The Times. Expect tencent applications center can advance industry chain founded, each link together for mutual development and user provide more high-quality mobile services, also provide reference for the investment community of justice.”

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In the conference, the general manager of 3G products division XianWen wireless tencent tong sir expressed “win-win cooperation good vision” expectation. He said “win-win development idea and whole-hearted service action, help industry achieve rapid development and win-win”, in addition, “over the years, tencent has been insisting whole-hearted service users. Now, when we will service hundreds of millions of wireless Internet user, the more should insist on whole-hearted service, develop hand in hand with friends from all circles, can really improve user’s quality of life.”

Tencent Internet business system ShangDaoSheng in today’s senior vice President at the first China digital creative marketing peak BBS disclosed on in the first half of 2011, by authentication space fans, tencent has more than 2 billion total, its rich interaction activities favored deeply by brands.

Borrows SMO “cold rabbit” fans 2 years increase 85 times to 17 million

As a social media optimization (SMO) success stories — love tell cold jokes “cold rabbit”, borrows from 2008 SMO fan quantity of 20 million growth in 2010, growth of nearly 17 million, of which nearly 85 times more than 70 percent from tencent.

Cold rabbit seventeen million fans represent soft promotion marketing ability, with numerous star, in the process of brand cooperation bring huge commercial interests, business opportunities.

The authentication space already super 2 million fans several interactive event deeply brands favour

ShangDaoSheng revealed in the first half of 2011, by authentication space fans, tencent has more than 2 billion total.

As rich media platform authentication space, tencent for QQ space YiYue active users 4.9, its rich interactive activities by brand, celebrities, institutions, website and so the favour of brands.

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