Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural ‘insurance policy’

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a vault containing millions of seeds from all over the world, saw its first deposits on Tuesday. Located 800 kilometers from the North Pole on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the vault has been referred to by European Commission president José Manuel Barroso as a “frozen Garden of Eden“. It is intended to preserve crop supplies and secure biological diversity in the event of a worldwide disaster.

“The opening of the seed vault marks a historic turning point in safeguarding the world’s crop diversity,” said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust which is in charge of collecting the seed samples. The Norwegian government, who owns the bank, built it at a cost of $9.1 million.

At the opening ceremony, 100 million seeds from 268,000 samples were placed inside the vault, where there is room for over 2 billion seeds. Each of the samples originated from a different farm or field, in order to best ensure biological diversity. These crop seeds included such staples as rice, potatoes, barley, lettuce, maize, sorghum, and wheat. No genetically modified crops were included. (Beyond politics they are generally sterile so of no use.)

It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks.

Constructed deep inside a mountain and protected by concrete walls, the “doomsday vault” is designed to withstand earthquakes, nuclear warfare, and floods resulting from global warming. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called it an “insurance policy” against such threats.

With air-conditioned temperatures of -18 degrees Celsius, experts say the seeds could last for an entire millennium. Some crops will be able to last longer, like sorghum, which the Global Crop Diversity Trust says can last almost 20 millenniums. Even if the refrigeration system fails, the vaults are expected to stay frozen for 200 years.

The Prime Minister said, “With climate change and other forces threatening the diversity of life that sustains our planet, Norway is proud to be playing a central role in creating a facility capable of protecting what are not just seeds, but the fundamental building blocks of human civilization.” Stoltenberg, along with Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, made the first deposit of rice to the vault.

“It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks,” Maathai said. The vault will operate as a bank, allowing countries to use their deposited seeds free of charge. It will also serve as a backup to the thousands of other seed banks around the world.

“Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water and energy supply constraints and for meeting the food needs of a growing population,” Cary Fowler said.

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Gold Coast Car Rentals Taking You Around the City



Gold Coast, which is situated in Queensland, Australia, is the home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world such as the Surfers’ Paradise, Mermaid Beach, The Spit, Main Beach, South Stradbroke, Island Broadbeach, and Nobby Beach. Besides these beautiful beaches, there are also some historic museums, art galleries, lovely theme parks, thick and dense forests. Gold Coast has become so popular that it attracts millions of tourists from all around the globe. It is just magnificent to visit the place especially if you have

Gold Coast car rentals

, which give you enough time to see the various attractions the place has.

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The Mount Tamborine Wine Tasting Tour is an amazing choice for the wine enthusiast within you. Just drive your

cars rental at Gold Coast

, which is only a few minutes to the Hinterlands, and you can have an experience of your lifetime. This place is famous for making some of the finest wines in the world and you get to even taste some of them.

Cars hire in Gold Coast

also gives you the choice of stopping anywhere you like and getting to eat some really delicious Australian delicacies and you will surely ask for more. Gold Coast is also well known for having some of the best restaurants along with excellent ambience in Australia. If you are a night creature then you have to check out the happening nightlife, there are many pubs, clubs, and lounges that are guaranteed to keep you awake until early morning. Avail the services of Gold Coast car rentals and feel the magic of city, which will make you to come back repeatedly to make those beautiful memories that you will cherish for your lifetime.

Gold Coast car rentals make it very fitting for you to roam around the city. Waiting for the public transport and paying high fares can be a very frustrating affair during the trip. Therefore,

cars hire in Gold Coast

is certainly the most feasible option a tourist can have. You can just go for these and drive wherever you want, and spend as much as time as you wish too at a place of your liking.

The author is an experienced Content writer and publisher for Business Development. Visit at http://www.suncoastcarrentals.com/ to know more about gold coast airport car hire and rental cars gold coast airport .

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Death toll, vehicle count rise in California truck pileup

Monday, October 15, 2007

So far, three people (including a baby) have been killed, and at least ten others were injured when two semi trucks collided in a tunnel on Interstate 5 (Newhall Pass) between Los Angeles and Santa Clarita California, United States in the late evening of October 12, setting off a chain reaction pileup that involved between 28 and 30 semi trucks and one passenger car. The wreck caused a massive fire that burned for over six hours. It was previously believed that only 13 semi trucks were involved.

“The fire burned in a very intense state for approximately four hours and basically consumed everything that was burnable,” said John Tripp the Fire Chief for L.A. county.

As a result of the crash, the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a declaration of a state of emergency for Los Angeles County.

The debris has been removed and officials say that a full inspection will have to be done on the tunnel before it can be used again because the structure of the tunnel has been compromised. The tunnel passed inspection in June of 2006.

“The walls of the tunnel are fairly heavily damaged. None of the rebar appears to be melted, damaged at this point in time. But it’s completely separated from the walls in a number of areas, so we lose vertical support when that happens,” said California Department of Transportation official, Doug Failing.

Tripp added that more bodies could be buried in the wreckage, saying “…we’re going to have to do a very methodical search. There could be unfortunately more people that were not able to escape.” So far authorities have yet to identify the three people who were killed.

A full investigation is being conducted into what caused the crash.

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Iceland nationalises Kaupthing Bank

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Iceland’s Financial Services Authority has nationalised the Kaupthing Bank as a response to the financial crisis which may result in a total collapse of the nation’s economy.

Kaupthing, together with Glitnir Bank and Landsbanki, owe a total of US$61 billion, which is twelve times the estimated size of the economy of the Nordic country. The Financial Services Authority says Iceland will guarantee all domestic deposits and aims to provide a “functioning domestic banking system” by management of the banks.

Iceland has asked for aid to Russia and the International Monetary Fund for loans to help guarantee these deposits. Icelandic equity markets have been closed until October 13 due to “unusual market conditions” and the Icelandic krona now appears to have itself failed after the collapse of an attempt to fix the exchange rate at 131 Krona to the euro.

According to Nordea Bank, Scandinavia‘s biggest lender, there was no trading of krona on the spot market today. The most recent figure for exchange is 340 to the euro, compared to 122 last month. Thomas Haugaard Jensen, an economist of Svenska Handelsbanken in Copenhagen, indicated the Icelandic economy seems to be at the verge of a “total collapse,” and predicted it will take several years before Iceland’s economy recovers enough for it to return to growth.

Kaupthing itself requested the national takeover, which leaves most of the nation’s banking sector under state control. The bank’s board have resigned and left the authorities in control of the bank. The bank also has affiliates both in Sweden and Finland. Swedish Kaupthing Bank Sverige claimed to be unaffected, but Finland’s Financial Services Authority temporarily shut down the Finnish affiliate.

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Always Carry The Best Multi Tools When Cycling To Work



For anyone who is looking at cycling to the office or possibly buying your youngsters cycles to journey to their school, there are a number of significant aspects in regard to

bike accessories online

that you’ll need to think about. Initially you must be sure that you’ll be equipped for all kinds of conditions and also be in a position to cycle in low light or possibly darkness so using LED cycle lights is important . You will additionally need to deal with traffic, and as a consequence you should help make your self noticeable.

Down the page you can find a few recommendations relating to the vital bike accessories online which you may find to help keep you and your kids safe and sound.

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Anything you tend to wear while riding your bike can easily make a big difference for your basic safety, and so first of all you should always decide to use one of the numerous cool bike helmets which are available and whilst it’s debatable they will offer you 100 % safety, they are going to at the least ensure that you get an improved probability of evading really serious head trauma. Although you could possibly feel conspicuous having on a hi vis cycling jacket, it is going to ensure you get spotted by drivers. You ought to also give some thought to getting some waterproof cycling trousers and jacket along with perhaps the best winter cycling gloves.

When you’re cycling often, you definitely need to be purchasing the Best cycle lights. You must get tough and dependable lights. The front lights should be white and either shine steadily or flash. Not only will you be seen by approaching motorists, you will also have the ability to see clearly ahead avoiding any potential obstacles like potholes and loose drain covers. LED cycle lights are a fantastic choice for the majority of cyclists these days because they are fairly reliable with the LED bulbs lasting many hours. The rear lights are of course just as important as the front. This should be red and many contemporary versions offer various lighting patterns from steady, flashing or random. This will help to give you and your bike good visibility for motorists approaching you from behind.

Don’t forget cycle mud guards as these are sometimes overlooked, particularly as many mountain bikes don’t automatically have them. If you want to stay smart and dry while cycling, they will reduce water and debris from splashing up on your back or over your trousers.

You could even consider looking at bike pannier racks to carry your brief-case, packed lunch, shopping or almost other things which will fit. Numerous mountain bike pannier racks are simple and fast to put in or remove.

Last but by no means least; it is recommended to carry bike tool kits or even the best multi tools. Who knows what is round the corner so when you might have a roadside break down, through carrying the good set of bike tools you should be able to repair the majority of minor problems quickly. The

best multi tools

consist of various important tools such as a flat blade screwdriver, adjustable spanner, hex spanners and tyre levers. Also, be sure to carry a puncture repair kit or a spare inner tube along with a good bike pump.

Hopefully these ideas will allow you to appreciate your cycling and get you to work or school on time comfortably, safely and without incident.


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Filled Under: Off Road Carts
Britain’s Royal Windsor Castle to get hydro-electric power plant

Monday, July 25, 2005

Windsor Castle, one of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom’s official residences, is to get a hydro-electric power scheme.

The £1 million project will consist of a series of under-water turbines to be installed at Romney Weir in the nearby River Thames. The system will generate 200kW, enough to meet approximately one third of the castle’s electricity needs.

The electricity from the four turbines will not be sold into the local electricity grid, but will instead be directly connected to Windsor Castle’s electrical system. It will save 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere every year.

The scheme was announced after it gained planning permission from the local council, the plans having been submitted in February of last year. A feasability study will now be conducted, with construction scheduled to start next year.

The Windsor Castle is not the only environmentally-friendly Royal scheme. A borehole beneath Buckingham Palace provides cold water for air-conditioning and the Duke of Edinburgh’s taxi runs on liquid petroleum gas.

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David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise

David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise
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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

David S. Touretzky, prominent free speech activist and critic of Scientology, discussed his opinions on the recent Internet backlash against the Church of Scientology in an interview with former Scientologist and Wikinews reporter Nicholas Turnbull. The recent conflict on the Internet between critics of Scientology and the Church has been spurred on in declarations by a nebulous Internet entity using the name Anonymous that the Church of Scientology “will be destroyed”. Anonymous has directed recent protests at Scientology centres across the world, which have attracted significant numbers of individuals supporting the cause. In recent e-mail correspondence with Wikinews, a representative of the Church of Scientology declared that the Church considers the activities of Anonymous to be illegal, and that Anonymous “will be handled and stopped”.

Touretzky, a research professor in artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University, has been a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology since mid-1995, and has been protesting against Scientology vociferously since then; he has also run websites that publish material that Scientology wishes to keep suppressed from the public eye, such as extracts from Scientology’s formerly-confidential Operating Thetan (OT) materials. Touretzky views the actions of the Church of Scientology as being “a threat to free speech”, and has endured harassment by the Church of Scientology for his activities.

The Church of Scientology continues to suffer damage to its public reputation through increased exposure on the Internet and vocal protests by Scientology critics such as Prof. Touretzky. A recent event that focused intense attention on Scientology’s totalitarian attitude was the leak of an internal Church of Scientology propaganda video to the Internet video sharing site YouTube, in which celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise spoke heavily in Scientology’s jargon and stated that that “we [Scientology] are the authorities” on resolving the difficulties of humanity. The declaration of war by Anonymous followed shortly after this leak, in the form of a video posted to the Internet.

The ongoing dispute, cast by some as Scientology versus the Internet, brought Scientology terms such as “SP” (Suppressive Person, an enemy of Scientology) and “KSW” (Keeping Scientology Working) into general usage by non-Scientologists from the late 1990s onwards; increased attention has been drawn to Scientology by the release of the Cruise video in addition to media coverage. This focus has caused an even greater propagation of these terms across the outside world, as Touretzky comments in the interview.

Wikinews asked Prof. Touretzky about the impact that the activities of Anonymous will have on Scientology, the public relations effect of the Tom Cruise video, the recent departure of individuals from the Church of Scientology’s executive management, the strategies that Anonymous will employ and Touretzky’s experiences of picketing the Church.

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Irish inflation back on the rise

Irish inflation back on the rise
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Friday, May 13, 2005

According to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the annual rate of inflation in Ireland has begun to rise again after a period of decline. Annualised inflation is now running at 2.2%, up from 2.1% in March.

The figures are derived from the Consumer Price Index which is monitored by the CSO. Despite the increase, inflation remains significantly below the figure for recent years. Annualised inflation peaked at 5.1% in February 2003.

The major contributor to the rise was the cost of heating and housing with the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels group rising 10.6% in the past 12 months – with 2% of that rise in the last month alone.

When broken down more the section marked Energy Products showed a massive 5.3% rise in the past month alone.

This sharp rise in energy costs was offset somewhat by decreases (over the past 12 months) in the following groups:

  • Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (-0.5%)
  • Clothing and Footwear (-2.8%)
  • Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance (-1.4%)
  • Communications (-0.2%)
  • Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-1.3%).

According to the CSO the Consumer Price Index is made up of over 55,000 prices consisting of 613 headings which cover over 1,000 different items.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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Pay Little Or No Money Down For Bad Credit Auto Financing In 5 Steps

By Everett Maclachlan

You deserve a car. No, maybe “need” is a better word. These days, it is hard to get almost anything done without one. Sure, there are buses, bicycles, and trains for getting yourself around town – and these work for some people – but most of us need a car to get by.

The challenge of getting your own set of wheels through auto financing comes when you have a bad credit (FICO) score due to past bad decisions. Or, maybe you just had a run of bad luck such as the loss of a job or the inability to make your mortgage or car payments.

And, another potential roadblock in qualifying for financing a car is when you lack sufficient funds to offer as a down payment for your loan. You probably have been told by more than one lender: no down payment + bad credit = no car loan.

Fortunately, there exist bad credit auto lenders who specialize in working with bad credit individuals. In fact, some have built up their entire business around the concept that people with a poor credit rating still deserve a car.

If you would like to pay little or no money down for bad credit auto financing, here are 5 steps to doing so:

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1. Find a car to buy that is suitable to your situation:

You need to start your journey to getting approved for car financing by getting realistic about the type of car you can afford right now. As you can imagine, it will slant the odds of getting your loan approved in your favor if you choose to buy a lower-priced car that will require you to take out a much smaller loan. Look for something nice, but find the lowest-priced car you could be possibly happy with at this point in your life.

2. Get together whatever money you can manage for a down payment, if any:

You are no doubt short on funds, but any cash you can get together for a down payment will improve your odds even further. Even offering just a few hundred dollars as a sign of good faith can show your lender than you have every intention of sharing the risk of this vehicle loan with them.

3. Peruse your latest FICO report and fix any issues you find there:

Next, you will want to set your sights on apply for auto financing. In preparation for that, have one (or all three) of the major credit monitoring agencies pull your credit report. Then, peruse it carefully, line by line, while looking for any errors or mistakes. If you find any, write a formal letter of protest to the respective agency and get it fixed.

4. Build yourself a list of bad credit auto financing lenders:

Now it is time to get some particular lenders in mind so that you can apply for a loan. You will want to search for “bad credit auto financing lenders.” These are the ones who specialize in working with people in your situation.

5. Apply to at least 4-5 lenders before signing any contracts:

Make sure your list contains at least 4-5 names of good, reputable companies. Then, start applying. Make sure to ask for the same size (amount) of loan, as well as the same repayment terms (for example, 5 or 7 years) from each one. That way, you can easily compare quotes to see which is the best deal for you.

Take these 5 tips into account as you qualify for bad credit auto financing with little or no money down.

About the Author: Get a list of bad credit auto financing lenders near you at:

Bad Credit Auto Financing Deals




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Filled Under: Loan Agreements