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Wonderful Way Of Extracting Audio From Dvd

Submitted by: Maggie Guo

Many friends in my life like watching DVD films. They not only watch the films, but also love the music of the films. However, our iPod and iPhone cannot support DVD formats, so it s not convenient to watch or listen to. In order to resolve this annoying problem, I have collected dozens of good applications for converting DVD to audio, so that we can transfer DVD audio to iPod and iPhone, and we can enjoy DVD songs or audio of DVD films anywhere anytime.

Now I choose the best software to tell you how to convert DVD films to audio. The wonderful software is DVD to Audio Converter for Mac. Mac DVD to Audio Converter is professional software used for converting DVD to audio formats, such as mp3, m4a, flac and .aac etc. so you can listen these files on your portable mp3 and mp4, such as iPod, iPhone, iPad Blackberry, PSP and Creative Zen, and if you like, you can also put them to CD layers and listen in the car or at home. And you can choose which part of the DVD audio you d like to convert, and then merge several pieces into one.

Mac DVD to audio converter has simple design and friendly interface. It is easy-to-use. To finish the whole procedure and customize your own music, you need just three simple steps, load DVD files-customize-output your audio files.

Now let s see how to convert DVD to audio with this great DVD to audio converter. Before we start, you must download Mac DVD to audio converter and install it on your computer.

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Step 1. Load DVD files. Insert your DVD disc and then click Load DVD icon, you can choose the files you want to convert. Click Open to start loading.

Step 2. Customize your own audio files.

Click the triangle behind Audio, you can choose the subtitle.

Click the Select all, you can choose which part of the DVD files you want to convert.

Click the triangle before Settings icon, you can choose what formats you need, such as aac, ac3, aiff, amr, flac,m4a,mka,mp3,wav and wma etc, so that it will be accepted well by your digital device.

Click Settings icon, you can set sample rate, channels and bitrate for your music. Don t forget to click OK icon to save your settings.

Click Trim icon, which is on the front of the interface, you can set the start time and the end time for your output music. You can also drag the triangle to set the part you want. Click OK to save every setting. You can preview the film you need on this interface. It s easy to control.

Step 3. Convert and output the audio files.

Click browse or choose the output destination for your output files.

Click Convert icon at the bottom right of the penal. Just wait for a while, you will get you own music. Just transfer the files to your iPhone, iPod or iPad, and share it with your friends!

It has become so convenient to convert DVD to audio and listen to music with portable device. Come on, download the best DVD to audio converter now and enjoy DVD music at will!

About the Author: Maggie works for Alifesoft Mac Multimedia Software Technology Co., Ltd. She likes writing and also offers lots of marvelous ideas and the latest best deals & reviews on all kinds of Mac software. Know more information about Mac DVD to audio converter for mac from

alifesoft.com/index.html

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Neanderthals ‘knew what they were doing’: Archæologist Dr Naomi Martisius discusses her findings about Neanderthals’ behaviour with Wikinews

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Last month, a study conducted by archæologist Dr. Naomi Martisius and other researchers concluded Neanderthals living in Europe tens of thousands of years ago were more sophisticated than previously thought. The now-extinct species used to carefully select bones from a particular animal species to manufacture their bone tools, the research showed. The research was published on May 8 in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal.

Dr Martisius and her team used five bone tools discovered from Neanderthals’ sites in southwest France for this research. Four of these bone tools were found in a site called Abri Peyrony and the other one was from Pech-de-l’Azé I. These tools were just a few centimetres in size and were about 50 thousand years old, Dr Martisius told Wikinews. Microscopy analysis of these bone tools called lissoirs (smoothers) suggested Neanderthals used these tools for working animal skin to leathers.

The study stated the fauna of the sites were primarily medium-sized ungulates such as reindeer, in one layer nearly 90%. Despite the overabundance of medium-sized ungulates, Neanderthals used ribs of large bovids for making lissoirs. Dr Martisius told Wikinews this was likely due to the physical characteristics of the bovid ribs, which were “thicker” and “stronger” as compared to the “thin and flimsy ribs” of reindeers. In order to check the origins of the bone tools, the researchers used a technology called non-destructive Zooarchæology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS).

Instead of damaging the bone artefacts in order to discover its origins, the researchers collected collagen from the plastic containers in which these artefacts were kept. Collagen is a type of protein. These bone artefacts were kept in plastic containers: some were kept for about five years, some for just a few months. During this time, the collagen proteins from bone tools were stuck to the walls of its plastic containers. The collagen samples collected from the walls of the containers are broken into smaller molecules called peptides by using a chemical enzyme called trypsin.

After the trypsin has broken collagen fibres into peptides, it is analysed using a technology called Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) Time-of-Flight mass spectrometer (ToF MS). The assisting matrix is a coloured compound. The acidic peptide is combined with the matrix, vapourised, and peptides are released. Some of them are positively-charged particles which travel across a vacuum tube in an electric field. Depending on the weight of the peptides, these molecules reach the end of the vacuum tube at different instances of time, forming a spectrum. These graphs are like unique fingerprints of a species: they are different for different species of animals. Looking at the database of such graphs, taxonomic identifications of the collagen proteins came be made.

All four bone tools from Abri Peyrony gave positive results and showed that the bones were made from large bovids, even though reindeer were more abundant during that time. One of the advantages of using bovid ribs over reindeer’s thin ribs was the bovid ribs would be more resistant to breaking during flexion, Dr Martisius said.

Dr Martisius said such non-destructive ZooMS analysis was previously conducted, but for tools no older than a few centuries. She said such an analysis had never been previously conducted for artefacts so ancient.

Wikinews caught up with Dr Martisius to discuss this research in-depth.

Chicago chef invents edible menu

Sunday, February 13, 2005Cordon-bleu chef Homaru Cantu has announced a technique which allows him to create dishes made of edible, inkjet printed paper. Cantu, a head chef at the Moto restaurant in Chicago, has modified an ink-jet printer with the help of computer specialists from local firm Deep Labs and loaded it with cartridges containing concoctions of fruit and vegetables. Using this modified printer Cantu then prints onto edible sheets of soybean and potato starch tasty images downloaded from the web.

“You can make an ink-jet printer do just about anything,” says Cantu. Once the items have been printed they are dipped into a powder made of soy sauce, sugar and vegetables before then being further processed by frying, freezing, or baking them.

Cantu has applied the technique to the printing of menus so that diners can further flavor their soups by ripping up the menu and adding it to the dish.

He hopes that his idea may find its way into popular media. “Just imagine going through a magazine and looking at an ad for pizza. You wonder what it tastes like, so you rip a page out and eat it,” says the chef who is working at perfecting the flavors and has applied for a patent on the technique.

Cantu also has plans for further culinary innovations. He plans to cook steak using a handheld laser that will sear the inside of the steak well done whilst leaving the outside medium rare. He also plans to use the laser to produce bread baked from the inside out thus producing a crust on the inside.

Taliban resurgent in Pakistan on enforcement of Sharia law

Friday, May 4, 2007

“Pakistan was un-affected by Talibans and al-Qaeda (in my opinion) until the US flushed them out of Afghanistan. So 9/11 and WTC and the post WTC attacks by the ISAF (read American, for the locals) forces have led to the present condition in NWFP. At least that is the way the people there see it,” wrote Riaz A Hakeem in one of a series of email exchanges with Wikinews.

Mr. Hakeem, 58, left the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) at the age of 25 and became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. Now a businessman who is active in Texas politics, he shares some views as a person who is in touch with his family and friends who remain in the region. He travelled throughout portions of Pakistan at the end of last year.

What is the current situation in the NWFP?

The Pashtun people are or were renowned for their hospitality. Many westerners commented on it. Some with suspicion NOT willing to believe some people so poor could be so generous. It was almost a character flaw. One could travel without fear of personal danger as long as you followed local protocols.

That was the sort of mind set among the people. An ageless paradigm of self satisfaction: this is enshrined in the code of the Pashtuns way of life.

The Islamic radicalism is in reality nothing but the Taliban movement. Not all Pashtuns are Taliban (obviously), but most Taliban are Pashtun. Of these, most belong to the FATA. Of these, most were affected by their cousins from Afghanistan coming over. Mingled with them were Arab-Afghans, Uzbeks and some Tajiks and even Chechens. Some of these married within the tribes and formed a bond with the locals. Marriage bonds go back in history.

This Talibanization shows itself in the content of the Friday sermons at the mosque. Now it shows in the popularity of growing beards, especially since the MMA – the coalition of religious political party’s – won power. More recently in their showdown with the Pakistan army in North and South Waziristan – where according to my sources, people prefer going to the Taliban for justice rather than the older system of Maliks and Political Agents. The latter are known as corrupt. In Pakistan, in general, people are sick of the amount of corruption.

Bannu, from where hails the Chief Minister of the NWFP, Mr. Durrani, is now in Taliban control in the sense that there is a parallel government that they have established which is functioning quite well and is popular among the people.

Has Taliban influence caused a stricter intrepretation of Sharia law in the NWFP?

Yes. The Maliks, or tribal elders, consider themselves quite conservatively religious. Even so, they had a laid back attitude towards enforcement of religious doctrine.

The Taliban emulated the Saudi system of having a department concerned with citizens’ morals (even the name is the same: the department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice) and this department has, as in Saudi Arabia, an enforcement police, called mutawwa’in, a morals law-enforcement agency.

Is there a shift from tribal elders to clerics, as the main interpreters of law?

There has been a movement in that direction, but it has started a power struggle between the clerics who traditionally have been at the lowest strata of the social structure. Now when they have seen a bigger role for themselves, first from the Taliban in Afghanistan – but also the government of the MMA in the NWFP, who are nothing more than glorified clerics themselves, only a little smarter in exploiting religion politically.

The MMA is largely non-Pashtun, which is a source of discontent in that they stand in the way of Pashtun nationalism, such as it is, because it only rears its head when non-Pashtuns start to usurp power over what the Pashtun consider their turf.

The deal made between Pakistan’s central government and the North and South Waziristan provinces, where tribal leadership was given the pivotal role in dealing with militants, has been criticized as a failure. What caused this initiative to fail?

First off, I don’t agree with the premise of the question, that the “deal” is a “failure” – for the following reasons:

  1. In the first place the Pakistan army (govt – same difference) did not have many options. This was the least worst option they had.
  2. And most importantly, I have said this before, this area is literally in a time warp – which means they proceed at (what seems to us in the west) a glacial pace. I will give an example from the folklore:

    The story goes that a Pashtun had to repay (badal) an enemy for a crime against his family and he waited patiently for 20 years (some say 50 years), after this time, he exacted his revenge – but soon after was depressed because he wondered “Did I act too hastily?”

    So one part of Pashtunwali is to “pay back” – (Badal: literally to exchange) which most people translate as revenge. Yes that is the form that is most visible, but badal is also played out in the exchange of gifts at wedding and other celebrations, and in the exchange of favors like in politics. The rules can be arcane, unwritten and hard to follow — who did what to whom, when, and so on, and what is the proper recompense — this same give and take would occur in a peace process pursued by the Tribal Maliks, who rule by consensus. There is no actual leader in the western sense, because all the Maliks, in fact all the others are de facto, so many co-equals is a mind set, a paradigm foreign to the uninitiated, as the concept of consensual gay sex is to the Wazir in Waziristan.

  3. The agreement has not failed, because it has not been given enough time, in Wazir time reference, not American time presidential election cycle controlled. I do not have a crystal ball, but if I did, I would see NATO troops in Afghanistan long after Iraq is over. Afghanistan can be a success ONLY if we accept one thing, the time warp these people live in — by my reckoning its still 1700 CE over there.

Is the Talibanization of Pakistan partly due to a perception of corruption among the system of Maliks and Political Agents?

The corruption is in the ISI, the Pak army and the Pak system of Political Agents (PA) assigned to these tribal zones (FATA & PATA).

These PA have budgets that are much like the CIA in that they are a single line item in the national budget, there is no accountability of where or how the PA spends the money. If one followed the IRS rules and looked at the lifestyles of the PA and compared them with their income, you would soon understand what was going on.

Musharraf critics are a larger issue. Republicans have coddled Pakistan with the belief that “as long as they are pro America” then democracy in Pakistan will come in due course. Democrats have, I think, insisted Democracy first, and then we can discuss the other issues later.

The Talibanization of Pakistan has more to do with graduates of “Raiwind“, a place near Lahore, where the “Tablighi Jamaat” conducts brainwashing camps. It was graduates of this place, in my opinion, that are responsible for Britain’s 7/7 attacks as an example.

Corruption amongst the Maliks is self limiting because of the egalitarian society they live in and because of Pashtunwali.

What is your view on Musharraf suspending judge Iftikhar Chaudhry?

I believe, and this is widely held belief, that Musharraf has no constituency of his own for his power base. He wanted legitimization from the Supreme Court, and Mr Choudhry as Chief Justice (their system is not like ours) would not give it.

So Musharraf has had to hang on to his Army Chief of Staff position to get his power from the Army. If some one else were Chief of Staff, that person could refuse to support Musharraf.

The Justice favorable to the general is Justice Iqbal, who was not the next in line for Chief Justice. The next in line is a Hindu. That presented problems of its own for Musharraf. So when the Hindu judge went for a trip to India, Iqbal became the “available” senior most Supreme Court judge, and hence the haste and lack of decorum with which Justice Chaudhry was removed.

What is the prevailing sentiment regarding Pakistani government efforts in the provinces and the international effort in Afghanistan to combat Taliban and affiliated militants?

In my dealings and inquires, one thing stood out like a sore thumb – the conspiracy theories vis-à-vis anything having to do with America. I mentioned to one of my close friends that events that were previously ascribed as acts of God were now considered acts of the CIA. Some even believed that the Earthquake in the northern areas was because of some sort of underground secret “bomb” used by the CIA. Lack of evidence is further proof that the CIA did it. I was flabbergasted, and started to give this kind of thinking as an example in speaking to “educated” Pakistani’s – and among these, those that did agree that the earthquake was NOT the work of the CIA, they would start giving other examples, notably the Blow up of the plane carrying Zia ul Haq an ex President of Pakistan, in which the US Ambassador also perished. When I would point this out, the response would be that that is the sort of thing they do to take away suspicion from themselves.

In a nutshell, the impression I came away with is, there is NO war of civilizations going on. What is going on is a war between literacy and illiteracy.

Taliban are not visible in the areas I visited, but the militants handiwork clearly is – as elsewhere, the common criminals are taking advantage of this situation, and crime is up significantly. One new crime is Cell phone “snatching” – it’s easy and nobody wants to pursue it. If some one is using a Razr phone, he can expect to be hit soon if he uses it in public. So people have two cell phones, one fancy to show off, and one for use in public places.

Insofar as “foreign” militants are captured and identified, that is to say non-Pashtun (including non Afghan Pashtun or Pak Pashtun) – then the people are obviously in agreement with the government that these people don’t belong here and need to go.

The problem is this: the foreigners are usually in the FATA and have been there since the Soviet war times. Many of them have taken local wives and now have a family. The local have accepted them into their family. Now for the Pak govt to ask them to kick them out, the locals are thinking what am I doing to my grandchildren’s father, etc. Again the edicts of Pashtunwali also play a role.

What is the relationship, if any, between the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

Al Qaeda is mostly composed of Arabs, they do not trust any one else. While they might use others as couriers or in lowly position as servants, for second rate Al Qaeda officials, the Top guys ONLY deal with Arabs and are served by Arabs.

The Taliban are mostly Pashtun tribesmen. Mostly they are graduates of madrassa’s. Mostly illiterate by any world standards. The better educated among them will know how to speak a few words of English, such as their Information minister. There might be one or two notable exceptions of which I am not aware.

However, while Al Qaeda does not trust the Taliban, the Taliban look up to Al Qaeda top leadership. We saw this situation in Iraq where initially Al Zarqawi had no direct link with Qaeda but was keen to form one. It would be conjecture on my part to state that in the end he did indeed succeed in forming that connection. In the press at least that impression was prevalent.

So the lines of interest proceed ONE way, like one way traffic. Extremist want to be affiliated with Qaeda, in my opinion, while the latter does not, so as to maintain its hideout.

The Qaeda supply lines are hampered, new recruits would have to be Arabs, and they would have to travel a long way through tight Pakistani security to reach here, or suffer hardship over a long and arduous land route through Balochistan and the Tribal area’s – NOT all of which are accommodating.

So as is becoming clear, Qaeda is having trouble replacing people they loose meaning those that were captured or died. They only trust Arabs, and that also a certain type of Arabs, (not all Arabs are the same, not all Arabic is the same – for example they would never trust a Syrian, in fact Qaeda folks consider Syrian brand of Islam an apostasy – but that is another story).

Whatever remains of the Qaeda, are not in a position to set up training camps, since they are in a survival mode. The Taliban resurgence helps them get a little warm and fuzzy in this survival mode, since they feel a little bit more secure with their partners-in-arms doing some evil stuff, blowing up people and causing mayhem.

What makes the North-West Frontier Province competent to administer money sent as foreign aid?

This is the central question. Much like California has taken a separate initiative on stem cell research – as an analogy – the NWFP is central to the war on terror, not Pakistan.

The NWFP was central to the fight and aid to the Afghans during the Soviet occupation, not Pakistan.

This small distinction is lost on Washington, and it is the main reason, in my opinion, why so much of the Aid was “lost in transit” was because the Punjabi army officers could not bring themselves to dispense such large sums to an ethnic group which it considers anti-Pakistani.

All the FATA is contiguous to the NWFP. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are holed up somewhere either in the FATA, or across the Durand Line in Afghanistan; the Durand Line has never been recognized by the locals as an international boundary. Even today, the Pashtun travel from Peshawar to Kabul by road with out a passport or visa, and it has been like that for eons.

The present governor of the NWFP belongs to the Orakzai tribe (he spells his name Aorakzai) and it is my opinion that that he was picked partly because he belongs to one of the FATA as well as he is a retired General of the Pak Army.

The Frontier Constabulary (FC) is a force which primarily recruits from the FATA. All or most of its forces are from the various tribes. In the eyes of the tribes this is a bona fide force and service with the FC is considered an honorable thing. The US has already allocated some funds for increasing recruitment, but far less than what it would take to counter the Taliban and far less than what the economic need is. The US spends a thousand times more on a battalions sent to monitor activity over there. Plus why endanger the lives of our troops and spread our forces thin when a more effective job can be done by the FC. The FC has over history shown that they will attack and use force against the tribes that create trouble. There have been no instances of insubordination or mutiny.

Even the US Embassy is protected by a contingent of the FC! That goes to show their trustworthiness and discipline.

The “tribal” Pashtuns in the FATA are not educated or trained and hence not employable right now. I propose that we fund directly the Director of Emigrants, Mr. Azhar Arbab in Islamabad, to set up training facilities in Concrete laying, iron work, pipe work, welding etc, which would then qualify these tribesmen to obtain jobs in the Gulf. As such we would remove them from the scene altogether. They would not be available in the labor pool to the Taliban or anyone else. I might add here, that a number of these individuals have very high innate intelligence, which is one reason they make formidable foes.

Now the central reason why the NWFP ought to do this is because they are themselves most affected by the scourge of Talibanization. They are highly motivated in carrying out these policies because it is to their own benefit.

How many men does the FC field currently?

The FC currently has about 23,000 men in total.

How much do they get paid?

They are paid the equivalent of $60 per month per person -Pak Rupees 3665, where Rs61= $1. They do have some fringe benefits but life is very spartan for these soldiers.

What the US could get in return is a huge bang for a buck, no pun intended.

I think we ought to double the number of these soldiers with one proviso that the FC maintains its high standards of recruits.

Compare this with our costs in the War against Terror; just Halliburton’s bills will have you reeling. I think that it would be foolish, NOT to do this.

The Frontier Constabulary is an Institution with a long and glorious history within the Frontier Province.

The recruits come strictly from the tribes of the various FATA and so they are very familiar with the people, the bad guys the terrain.

They speak the Pashto dialect of the locals. The Pashto language has many dialects, and you can tell where someone is from based on which dialect he speaks. So if you do not speak the correct dialect, you are immediately identified as an outsider. This is one reason why these tribes are impossible to penetrate, there are other reasons as well, that are beyond the scope of the current discussion.

How can the FC help prevent attacks like the suicide bombing attempt on Sherpao in Charsadda last weekend?

In essence your question is how can anyone prevent a suicide attack? And frankly if I knew the answer to that I think the US military – and several other groups – would be knocking on my door. I think the Israeli Army has had the most experience with this sort of thing. The suicide bombing as a tactical weapon was invented by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and even today in terms of statistics they use it in far greater numbers.

So to summarize neither the FC nor anyone else can prevent a suicide bombing. We could attempt to improve our intelligence to find out about an imminent attack, but so far these have not been very successful in Pakistan.

In the Lal Masjid Case the government avoided a suicide killing by negotiating with those two Mullah brothers – but I don’t know if that counts. But it does make for an interesting story. Both Washington, DC and Islamabad now have Madams threatening to publish the list of their clients unless they are given protection. Who would have thunk?

Going back to your question: In my opinion what ought to be done is to make a Policy change, and address the issues that are producing these suicide bombers, that is the only way to stop this phenomenon.

In this part of the world this is relatively new because prior to 9/11, suicide bombing was unheard of. Moreover it is not the FC’s job to provide security to the Minister of the Interior, that is the job of the Police force, because this Ministry is equivalent to the Department of Homeland Security.

You don’t expect Border patrol to provide body guard duty to the Secretary of the department of Homeland Security.

I am making these analogies so the American readers would relate to what is happening, and understand the difference in nomenclature. –RHakeem 20:13, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

This interview consists of excerpts taken from the full content and context of Mr. Hakeem’s replies. The complete and uneditted version is found on the Interview archive page.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

French presidential candidate Sarkozy accuses left parties of betraying left values

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nicolas Sarkozy, the right-wing political party UMP’s candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections in France, which enters its first round next week, held a campaign meeting in Toulouse last Thursday, where he accused the left side political parties of betraying the ideals of Jaurès, Blum and other key socialist politicians. He compared the “left of old times” with the left nowadays, and said he wanted to “bring back to the heart of politics the values that the left side parties have betrayed.”

Former mayor of Toulouse Philippe Douste-Blazy welcomed more than 14 000 attendees to the city’s Parc des Expositions. He summarized the candidates political program by saying: “The Republic [of France, red.] is not about defending laxity and impunity for the agitators, it’s about guaranteeing the security and freedom of all through the respect of the laws and Justice.” Sarkozy was Minister of Interior Affairs during the 2005 suburban riots in France, when he instituted a zero-tolerance policy. Of one of Sarkozy’s rivals, François Bayrou, Douste-Blazy said that France didn’t need a President who “undergoes and refuses to make choices.”

In his speech of more than one hour, Sarkozy claimed the historical heritage of the founders of socialism and their values of right to work, payed holidays, social security, unemployment benefits, education, liberty of conscience, and of moral rights and the rights of the individual: “These values, I’ve wanted the Republican right side to reclaim them at a moment when the left side abandons them.” He also criticised François Hollande, chairman of the French Socialist Party, and with him his wife and the socialist candidate for the Presidential elections, Ségolène Royal, who, according to Sarkozy, “has forgotten Blum and Camus, and doesn’t know Jaurès.”

A week ago, Ségolène Royal held a speech in Carmaux, the home of Jaurès, where she proposed herself in continuity with Jaurès’ battle for the values of employment, concluding her speech by saying: “It’s important for the left side to know where we come from, because that helps also to foresee the future.”

On Wednesday, she held a meeting in Metz, where she accused Sarkozy of wanting to exercise power alone, of knowing everything, of wanting an unequal health care system and of following the laws of money. “He proposes us the law of the strongest. Do you want it? Me neither! And I propose to you the law of most justice.”

First arrests made in Singapore for possession of New Psychoactive Substances

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore announced yesterday the first arrests made following the listing of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) as Class A controlled drugs on Thursday, under the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act. The suspects, two unnamed male Singaporeans, aged 22 and 23, were reportedly arrested at a shopping center in Tampines on Friday evening for possession of synthetic cannabis, also known as “K2”. Authorities recovered 71.7 g of the drug from the suspects.

Under suspicion from the CNB that the 22-year-old suspect was engaged in trafficking of the illegal substance, a further search of his home yielded an additional 22.3 g of synthetic cannabis, raising the total amount of the drug confiscated following the arrests to 94 g.

Synthetic cannabis, listed as an NPS, and known as a “legal high”, is one of a group of designer drugs created to stimulate the effects of controlled drugs including cocaine, Ecstasy, methamphetamine, and heroin. The CNB has linked NPS abuse to symptoms including severe intoxication, hallucinations, paranoia, seizures, cadiovascular problems, renal failure, and death.

Typically having chemical structure very similar but slightly different from controlled drugs, these substances have been illegalized, and their possession, consumption, trafficking, and manufacturing now carry penalties comparable to that of controlled drugs. Last year, under the Fifth Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act, designed to study NPSs before their illegalization, they could be confiscated by authorities, but no further penalty would be levied.

The changes to NPS status follow increases over the past year in NPS trafficking and consumption, according to the CNB. Commenting on the move, a spokesperson for the CNB revealed the organization has reported at least thirty NPS seizures in the period from last May through this February. “Thus far,” the spokesperson noted, “synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones are the two more commonly detected NPS”.

Termed an “alarming new drug problem” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, its World Drug Report 2013 indicated an increase to 348 NPSs in 2013, up from 251 in 2012. Capitalizing on their legality — which no longer holds in Singapore — NPSs have been known as “legal highs”, “research chemicals”, “plant food”, and “bath salts”.

Commenting on the illegalization of NPSs, Ng Ser Song, the director of the CNB, had this to say. “The drug situation is challenging and the number of repeat drug abusers and young drug abusers remains a concern. With the abuse and trafficking of NPS on the rise, listing these new psychoactive substances as Class A controlled drugs signals our unequivocal stance that these substances are illegal and no different from other controlled drugs.”

Under the recently enacted First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act, if found guilty of drug trafficking, the 22-year-old suspect may be penalized with a minimum of five years in prison and five strokes of the cane. The act also allows the possession or consumption of New Psychoactive Substances to be punished with a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and/or a $20,000 fine.

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Redone The Overall Look Of The Garden With Outdoor Water Features

Submitted by: Mattis Bailey

At present, home decor includes both the interior decoration as well as the exterior portion of the house. When the topic arises about the makeover of the exterior region, most of the homeowners start thinking about odd jobs. For instance, construction of the driveway, house painting and so on.

Have you ever thought what else can make the outside region of the house beautiful? How about adding water features to spice up the reflection of your home? Home decor items like fountains are mostly used outside the house and sometimes as interior decoration as well. It adds an elegant touch to your garden and raises the value of the property in the market. Hence, install the fountain as soon as possible. Apart from decking up the house, fountains also create a soothing ambience. If you wish to enjoy a quiet summer evening, just bring out your garden chair and sit in the patio area. Relax yourself and enjoy the soothing sound of the dropping water from a distant and fluttering sound of the bird wings sitting on the fountain.

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Still thinking what to do? Get impressive water features from Melbourne and choose the one that will suit best for your house. You can add few coloured gold fish in the water just for decoration. However, make sure the fountain has enough space to accommodate these fishes. At the same time, also make it a habit to drain out the water on every fortnight to keep it clean.

In order to add a few more innovations in this outdoor water feature, put LED lights on the edge. It will lighten up the water feature at night. If any corner of your garden is ignored and remain darken, install such fountain in that corner. Let the lights brighten up the corner. Many more varieties are available out there.

Now, you need to find out as to which one will suit best for your garden. Look for the ones that suits with the outer look of your house. Avoid picking up those fountains that will look absolutely out of place or something that is too expensive for your budget. Always, look for the one that will be affordable yet without compromising on the overall look of the fountain. Hence, remember these facts when you are buying it. Besides these factors, it s your duty to check the location where the fountain will be installed. If the fountain is going to run on electricity, make sure there is an electric point so that you can place the plug in it. If cleaning the fountain is a problem for you, try to place it in a place where dry leaves will not fall on it. Along with this, try to attach extra pipeline so that the water gets drained out automatically. Place the pipe in such a way so that the water falls directly in the lawn area. Hence, the water doesn t get wasted. However, just buying the fountain doesn t bring an end to your responsibility, you need to maintain its durability as well. As mentioned before, the stored water needs to be cleaned. Beside this, during winter try to cover up the fountain to protect it from cracking down. Just remember these facts once you buy the fountain. Do not try to ignore these facts even if you buy the best quality garden fountains from Melbourne.

Thus, from now on, redesigning the overall look of your house will no more a difficult job for you.

About the Author: Ashley Jonson is a home improvement expert. She has assisted many interior decorators in her career. She blogs on about different gardening needs as well. Here, she speaks about outdoor water features from Melbourne that can help with beautifying a garden. She speaks about what this outdoor water feature is all about and how one should take care of it. For more information visit –

potsnpots.com.au/products-page/fountains/

Source:

isnare.com

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Law firm tries to ban new book by Cambridge Press

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Schillings law firm in the United Kingdom, has attempted to remove certain content from an upcoming book by former Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray. Schillings, a company which, according to Wikileaks, contains “well known UK censorship lawyers,” sent a letter to Cambridge University Press threatening libel action if the content is not removed from Murray’s book, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo, before publication.

According to Schilling, they sent the letter on behalf of ” Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Spicer […], C.E.O. of Aegis Defence Services Limited.”

“We have reason to believe that the Book may contain serious, untrue and damaging defamatory allegations about our client,” stated the letter. “Any widespread publication of the Book containing defamatory allegations concerning our client would be deeply damaging to our client’s personal and professional reputations and would cause him profound distress and anxiety. We remind you that you would be responsible for that damage and any subsequent republication of the allegations. We also put you on notice that you will be liable for any special damage or loss suffered by our client as a result of the Book and we reserve all our client’s rights in this regard.”

Speaking to Wikileaks, Murray responded to these claims by saying that there is “yet more depressing correspondence with my publisher today — it really is getting me down.”

“The publisher has an understandable fear of facing malicious and extremely expensive litigation under British libel laws, which exist to protect the reputations of the wealthy and the powerful,” continued the former ambassador, explaining the issue. “As my entire purpose is to expose unsavory truths about the wealthy and the powerful, I really do not see how we are going to solve this.”

Wikinews also spoke exclusively to Craig Murray on this issue. He made the following comments:

Libel law in the UK is notoriously used as a tool for the wealthy to suppress the truth. There is no access to justice because ordinary people cannot, and publishers will not, afford the huge legal bills involved in defending a libel case.

I have received no libel threats at all. Rather Schillings, acting on behalf of mercenary commander Tim Spicer, have threatened my publisher directly. In consequence my publisher has insisted not only that I remove vital facts from the book, but is attempting to insist that I include views and opinions which are not my own, and facts which are untrue, in the interest of “balance”.

The extraordinary thing is that the book is a memoir, and the large majority of things the publisher wishes me to exclude under legal pressure are things I was an eye witness to or even did myself. There is no protection at all for freedom of speech in the UK — the concept does not de facto exist in law here.

Wikinews Interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Caitlin de Wit

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thai-Japanese Bangkok Youth Center, Bangkok —Wikinews interviewed Caitlin de Wit, of the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders. The Gliders are in Bangkok, Thailand, for the Asia–Oceania Zone Wheelchair Basketball Championships, which are being held at the Thai-Japanese Bangkok Youth Center. Wikinews caught up with her on Tuesday, before the Gliders’ match against China.

((Wikinews)) Where were you born?

Caitlin de Wit: In Cape Town in South Africa.

((WN)) When did you come to Australia?

Caitlin de Wit: When I was six.

((WN)) And then you moved to whereabouts?

Caitlin de Wit: And I grew up on the Central Coast.

((WN)) A I believe you had a horse riding accident?

Caitlin de Wit: I had a horse riding accident in Wagga.

((WN)) What sort of horse riding were you doing?

Caitlin de Wit: I was just riding with friends. We were just like out on a ride.

((WN)) And you fell off.

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah.

((WN)) And you were at uni[versity] at the time?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah, I was at uni in Wagga and that’s where I had my accident. And I went obviously to hospital for a little while and rehab and then I moved back to Wagga to finish my degree.

((WN)) What was the degree in?

Caitlin de Wit: Equine studies. Horses.

((WN)) And you played sport before then?

Caitlin de Wit: I ran a little bit, and I rode horses. They were my sports. And then in my first year of uni I started soccer. That was my first team sport that I played.

((WN)) So what made you take up basketball?

Caitlin de Wit: I suppose when I lefty hospital I was a bit bored. I wanted something to do. Keep me fit and occupied. So.

((WN)) So which team did you join?

Caitlin de Wit: I just joined the local Wagga team.

((WN)) There’s a local Wagga team?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah, there was. I don’t know if its still there. And then I joined… and then Sarah Stewart saw me at a juniors’ camp. And I joined what was then the Hills Hornets in the women’s league.

((WN)) So you played with the Hills Hornets.

Caitlin de Wit: mmm hmm

((WN)) And when was that?

Caitlin de Wit: My first season was 2007.

((WN)) Did they win the championships that year?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah.

((WN)) They won for a series of years straight…

Caitlin de Wit: They won straight up until 2011. We had one win as the Flames.

((WN)) And you joined the junior Australian women’s team?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah, the under 25s.

((WN)) And where did you go with them?

Caitlin de Wit: We went to Canada for the under 25 World Championships.

((WN)) When was that?

Caitlin de Wit: 2011.

((WN)) And you’re still playing with the Flames in Sydney. And you played for the Gliders at the Osaka Cup?

Caitlin de Wit: Yep.

((WN)) And that was in January this year?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah. February maybe? January-February?

((WN)) And that was your first trip overseas with the senior side

Caitlin de Wit: Yes.

((WN)) And now this is therefore your second trip with the Gliders?

Caitlin de Wit: Yes.

((WN)) Been overseas much before then?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah. Been overseas a little bit. Not with basketball.

((WN)) Being from South Africa.

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah. My family traveled a little bit as a kid, so… yeah.

((WN)) Have you played anywhere overseas with any other teams?

Caitlin de Wit: No.

((WN)) So how are you enjoying it here in Bangkok?

Caitlin de Wit: Good. It’s been a really great experience.

((WN)) I keep worrying about whether they are going to blockade the airport when we need to get out of here.

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah, it should be fine.

((WN)) Okay, so enjoy it!

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah!

FBI begins widespread financial probe of 26 firms

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The FBI is investigating 26 firms and 1,400 individuals involved in the US financial crisis for fraud and “sub-prime lending practices”. Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and AIG are among the firms being scrutinized after recently receiving federal bailouts.

Investigators, who are cooperating with the IRS, Postal Office, and other federal offices to complete their investigation, are concerned that major corporations may have also forced or bribed ratings agencies to favor them.

The probe, which is in early stages, began eight months ago when the FBI began taking a close look at the mortgage industry and widespread irresponsible loaning practices. At least one corporation has been raided, but so far no evidence of fraud has been found.

The FBI has questioned executives of each of the firms closely, and arrested two in June. An anonymous source told The Times that the firms had been ordered to “hold all papers and e-mails under lock and key” as the FBI scours the finances of each firm.

Many of the companies and individuals being investigated are at the center of the nationwide financial crisis and controversial bailout plans, and have been widely blamed for the country’s financial crisis. The investigation has come at a time when the eyes of many in the US and around the world are turned towards the financial markets, as Congress and politicians scramble to fix the crisis while the election date looms closer.

Officials told CNN that it would be a long time before the investigations were finished, adding a warning: “Don’t expect indictments tomorrow or next week or next month”.