Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Lloyd Helferty, Thornhill

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lloyd Helferty is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Thornhill riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Tornado hits downtown Atlanta

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

A tornado, spawned from a large storm, has hit the United States city of Atlanta, Georgia, causing extensive damage throughout the city.

The National Weather Service confirmed Saturday morning that it was a tornado that struck the city. After reviewing the aftermath of the storm, they classified it as an EF2 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale. Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin says she is beginning to apply for federal disaster aid.

There have been no confirmed deaths, but the mayor’s spokeswoman says there may be dead victims trapped within the ruins of a collapsed loft complex. The Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts are located in the historic Cabbagetown neighborhood, where at least 20 homes were destroyed. “It looks like a bomb went off, it looks like World War III,” said Mahsud Olufani, who has an art studio in the neighbourhood. “It’s a disaster area.”

At least 27 people suffered injuries, mostly cuts and bruises. One person is reported to be in critical condition. Grady Memorial Hospital, where many of the injured were taken, had suffered some window damage but was still operating. Around 50 people have been taken to a local Red Cross shelter for displaced residents.

The tornado struck during the semifinal game of the SEC Basktetball Tournament between Mississippi State and Alabama. Play was stopped with around 2 minutes to go in overtime when heavy wind could be heard outside with rippling of the roof. Damage was done to the roof as debris fell to the floor. No injuries were reported in the Dome. “I thought it was a tornado or a terrorist attack,” said Mississippi State guard Ben Hansbrough.

The storm arrived with little forewarning. A tornado warning was issued for the downtown area a few minutes before the storm hit. “Ironically, the guy behind me got a phone call saying there was a tornado warning,” said Lisa Lynn, who was attending the game at the Georgia Dome. “And in two seconds, we heard the noise and things started to shake. It was creepy.”

The CNN Center in downtown Atlanta was severely damaged, especially in the atrium, where the ravaged ceiling allowed water to pour in. Police closed several streets near the CNN Center because of the debris, which included power lines, billboards, and even office chairs.

The Omni Hotel, which is attached to the CNN Center, also sustained damage, with many of its windows shattered. Visitors at the hotel were evacuated to the exhibition hall at street level. “It was crazy. There was a lot of windows breaking and stuff falling,” said Terrence Evans, a valet at the hotel.

At Centennial Olympic Park, located near CNN and the Omni Hotel, two Olympic torch sculptures had fallen over, and a performance pavilion was destroyed. A high-rise dorm at Georgia State University was damaged by the tornado, as evidenced by a large hole in the building’s 14th floor. University students were evacuated on buses.

According to Georgia Power, more than 13,000 of their customers are currently without electricity. Crews are working to fix downed power lines, but they said it would be difficult with all the debris.

Another large storm, currently in Mississippi, is heading towards Atlanta, and is forecast to arrive around 3 p.m. National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Leary said Friday’s storm could be “nothing to compare with what’s coming in tomorrow”.

All downtown events scheduled to occur Saturday have been cancelled. This includes the city’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade. The remaining SEC tournament games are to be played at Georgia Tech‘s Alexander Memorial Coliseum, located in the undamaged midtown.

Penguin swims ashore in Peru

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Magellanic Penguin, who normally makes its home off the coast of Chile where the Pacific Ocean waters are cold, has taken a small vacation on the coast of Peru, an event that has never happened before in the country.

According to scientists, the penguin was looking for food when it got lost in the ocean currents off Peru’s coast. It is reported that the penguin swam nearly 3,100 miles [5,000 kilometers] off course.

“It seems he was disoriented and got lost in the sea due to the different ocean currents. In his endless search for food, he casually climbed up on our shores, something that has never happened before,” said the head of the National Paracas Reserve in Peru, Wilder Canales.

For the moment, the penguin will stay at the reserve, in its natural habitat until researchers can coordinate for the penguin’s release with officials in Chile. The penguin also required a small injury to be fixed that he received from a fishing net during his travels.

“It has not been kept in a cage or anything like that. It has been kept where it can live naturally,” said David Orosco, a biologist at the reserve.

Talk The Finance Talk Before Walking The Commitment Walk}

WcKskV5C | Jewellery Insurance | 07 11th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Talk The Finance Talk Before Walking The Commitment Walk


Taffy WagnerIt’s easy to get swept up in the romance of the holidays and the joy of being with the one you love. For all those couples who will become engaged during this season and even through early next year, there’s more to consider about making a lifetime commitment than ring sizes and wedding details. To set yourselves up for a lifetime of success, you need financial guidance to prepare you for financial issues you’ll face during marriage.It may not seem like it’s as much fun as selecting honeymoon destinations and tasting cakes, but coming together on financial issues before you come together as husband and wife is crucial to mapping your future. You have to know how and be willing to deal with the bottom line, both literally and figuratively. All couples will eventually face some kind of financial challenge or life-altering decision regarding money. No one is immune, no matter how healthy their bank accounts are.Think about it. How many couples do you know who have struggled with finances and even divorced over them? To protect yourselves from joining the statistics of those who split over money, you have to learn how to discuss finances openly and honestly with your soon-to-be spouse.Money is generally considered a taboo topic. It’s not something discussed in polite conversation, according to our social norms. But your future spouse is a crucial exception to this unwritten rule. Maybe you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you are like me and are embarrassed about how you have handled your finances in the past. Maybe you have bad credit; your spouse deserves to know because your rating can affect his.There are countless reasons to avoid the topic, but you have one very vital incentive to broach the subject: Your marriage’s stability may very well depend on your ability to talk these things out. Communication is the foundation of handling financial issues, as well as any other challenges you’ll face as a team.When I think back in my own family and friends, I know of several who would have benefited from guidance from a counselor who was also a financial expert. If they had someone outside of their immediate circle of friends considering their best financial interests, someone who provided an unbiased opinion, they would more than likely be together today.I recently interviewed Sherry Julius, a woman whose first marriage ended in divorce mostly due to money problems. She told me that if she’d entered that marriage with the financial know-how and communication skills covered in my new program, The Debt Stops at the Altar,” she thinks things might have worked out differently. She said she would’ve known what to do when money crises arose and how to work with her partner to get through them rather than fight her way out. Sherry said, I know for myself, this is going to help so many couples, because it is helping me even in my second marriage.”Whether this is your first marriage or you have been married 20 years, financial challenges arise at different stages. Your emotions can cloud your judgment in difficult situations, especially if things center on the person you love most. Let me share this: When we make decisions based on emotions, it often leads to further damage and conflict. We usually do not see the long term clearly or take the time to consider the consequences of our actions when our emotions are too strong. We just act out of pain, frustration and sometimes even pressure. That starts a vicious cycle of further pain and frustration.Take the time to consider the relationship you want, the marriage you want for a lifetime and how you’re going to create that. If you are getting 30 minutes or one hour of counseling on finances during pre-marital counseling, unless you’re a financial professional, that’s probably not enough. You need more to protect your marriage and foster a healthy dialog with your spouse over a topic that causes strife and stress for so many of us.Don’t take the risk of setting your marriage up to fall into those statistics of marriages that fail because of money. Set yourself apart from those ugly numbers by taking control of your finances and the way you and your partner relate to each other through mature, healthy lines of communication.Financial challenges have no boundaries. I know of many couples, myself and my husband included, who have weathered many financial challenges during the first year of marriage. If you are not communicating about finances before you enter into marriage, these very challenges can tear your marriage apart. But with a little preparation and a lot of honest discussion, you can and will have the strong, loving bond that will last a lifetime. Communication about finances is the first step.

Taffy Wagner, DMin, is a personal finances expert, speaker and ordained minister. She is the creator of The Debt Stops At The Altar gift package. She has been interviewed on Your Wedding TV and numerous radio shows. You may contact her through her website at http://www.DebtAtTheAltar.com.

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Russia wins Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2006

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Sunday, December 3, 2006

In an atmosphere of fun and excitement, the 4th annual Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held in Bucharest, Romania. The big winners of the night were twin duo Sisters Tolmatchevy with their song “Vesna” (Spring). Followed by Russia were pre-contest favorites Belarus (winners of the 2005 edition), and Sweden taking the second and third places respectively. Rounding out the top 5 were Spain and Serbia.

The evening began with an introduction by 12-year-old co-hostess Ioana Ivan followed by an elaborate dance routine. Romanian reporter, Andreea Marin took to the stage to kick off the 15 performances from various European countries. Romania incorporated historic and modern elements in an interesting way that would appeal to children everywhere. Dracula was also present on stage, helping Ioana and Andreea present. The evening ran smoothly, but not without some surprises. At the end of the voting, most of the reactions expressed shock in the Portuguese and Macedonian results. These two countries could be found at the bottom of the scoreboard.

  • 01. Russia – 154
  • 02. Belarus – 129
  • 03. Sweden – 116
  • 04. Spain – 90
  • 05. Serbia – 81
  • 06. Romania – 80
  • 07. Belgium – 71
  • 08. Ukraine – 58
  • 09. Cyprus – 58
  • 10. Croatia – 50
  • 11. Malta – 48
  • 12. The Netherlands – 44
  • 13. Greece – 35
  • 14. Portugal – 22
  • 15. FYR Macedonia – 14

Neola North wildfire in Utah blamed for three deaths

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Monday, July 2, 2007

A wildfire in the Ashley National Forest has been blamed for three deaths and has led to the evacuation of about 500 residents of the communities of Whiterocks, Farm Creek, Paradise and Tridell in eastern Utah.

The fire broke out on Friday, June 29 at around 9:00 a.m. local time in Duschene county, north of Neola by state route 121, and proceeded to spread westward into Uintah county.

To date, the cause of the wildfire is unknown. An early report by public safety officials claimed it was caused by a faulty power line or transformer. However, a later announcement by Moon Lake Electric Association CEO Grant Earl disputed this.

By Saturday morning, the fire had spread across approximately 46 square miles of land and been blamed for three fatalities: George Houston, his son Tracy Houston, and Roger Roberson, all from Farm Creek. Eleven year old Duane Houston, George’s grandson, was able to escape the fire with only minor injuries.

The communities of Whiterocks, Farm Creek, Paradise and Tridell, consisting of approximately 500 local residents, were evacuated by Sunday, and at least five homes are known to have been destroyed. Those without family or friends to provide lodging have been relocated to the Ute Indian Tribe’s auditorium in Fort Duchesne and Union High School in Roosevelt.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency became involved in the management of fire fighting efforts on Sunday, and a specialized regional wildland fire team, the Rocky Mountain Type One Management Team, had begun to converge on the Uinta Basin to assist with the firefighting, along with about 100 members of the Utah National Guard.

Reports that same day claimed the fire was 5% contained, but that it had split into at least two separate smaller fires. Authorities declared their intention to prevent the fire from moving eastwards into Dry Fork Canyon and the town of Tridell.

One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Across Egypt hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets for the day, marking exactly one year since the outbreak of protests leading to 83-year-old longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The country’s decades-long emergency rule was partially lifted this week; meanwhile, a possible economic meltdown looms and a newly-elected parliament held their first meeting on Monday.

Despite the new parliament, military rule introduced following Mubarak’s fall last spring remains. Echoing the demands from a year ago, some protesters are demanding the military relinquish power; there are doubts an elected civilian leader will be permitted to replace the army.

The brief unity against Mubarak has since fragmented, with Secularists and Islamists marking the revolution’s anniversary splitting to opposing sides of Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square and chanting at each other. Initial demonstrations last year were mainly from young secularists; now, Islamic parties hold most of the new parliament’s seats — the country’s first democratic one in six decades.

Salafis hold 25% of the seats and 47% are held by the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought supporters to Cairo for the anniversary. Tahrir Square alone contained tens of thousands of people, some witnesses putting the crowd at 150,000 strong. It’s the largest number on the streets since the revolution.

Military rulers planned celebrations including pyrotechnics, commemorative coins, and air displays. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces took power after last year’s February 11 resignation of Mubarak.

Alaa al-Aswani, a pro-democracy activist writing in al-Masry al-Youm, said: “We must take to the streets on Wednesday, not to celebrate a revolution which has not achieved its goals, but to demonstrate peacefully our determination to achieve the objectives of the revolution,” — to “live in dignity, bring about justice, try the killers of the martyrs and achieve a minimum social justice”

Alexandria in the north and the eastern port city of Suez also saw large gatherings. It was bitter fighting in Suez led to the first of the revolution’s 850 casualties in ousting Mubarak. “We didn’t come out to celebrate. We came out to protest against the military council and to tell it to leave power immediately and hand over power to civilians,” said protestor Mohamed Ismail.

“Martyrs, sleep and rest. We will complete the struggle,” chanted crowds in Alexandria, a reference to the 850 ‘martyrs of the revolution’. No convictions are in yet although Mubarak is on trial. Photos of the dead were displayed in Tahrir Square. Young Tahrir chanters went with “Down with military rule” and “Revolution until victory, revolution in all of Egypt’s streets”.

If the protestors demanding the military leave power get their way, the Islamists celebrating election victory face a variety of challenges. For now, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi — whose career featured twenty years as defence minister under Mubarak — rules the nation and promises to cede power following presidential elections this year.

The economy is troubled and unemployment is up since Mubarak left. With tourism and foreign investment greatly lower than usual, budget and payment deficits are up — with the Central Bank eating into its reserves in a bid to keep the Egyptian pound from losing too much value.

Last week the nation sought US$3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF insists upon funding also being secured from other donors, and strong support from Egypt’s leaders. IMF estimates say the money could be handed over in a few months — whereas Egypt wanted it in a matter of weeks.

The country has managed to bolster trade with the United States and Jordan. Amr Abul Ata, Egyptian ambassador to the fellow Middle-East state, told The Jordan Times in an interview for the anniversary that trade between the nations increased in 2011, and he expects another increase this year. This despite insurgent attacks reducing Egyptian gas production — alongside electricity the main export to Jordan. Jordan exports foodstuffs to Egypt and has just signed a deal increasing the prices it pays for gas. 2011 trade between the countries was worth US$1 billion.

The anniversary also saw a new trade deal with the US, signed by foreign trade and industry minister Mahmoud Eisa and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. President Barack Obama promises work to improve U.S. investment in, and trade with, nations changing political systems after the Arab Spring. Details remain to be agreed, but various proposals include US assistance for Egyptian small and medium enterprises. Both nations intend subjecting plans to ministerial scrutiny.

The U.S. hailed “several historic milestones in its transition to democracy” within a matter of days of Egypt’s revolution. This despite U.S.-Egypt ties being close during Mubarak’s rule.

US$1 billion in grants has been received already from Qatar and Saudi Arabia but army rulers refused to take loans from Gulf nations despite offers-in-principle coming from nations including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Foreign aid has trickled in; no money at all has been sent from G8 nations, despite the G8 Deauville Partnership earmarking US$20 billion for Arab Spring nations.

A total of US$7 billion was promised from the Gulf. The United Kingdom pledged to split £110 million between Egypt and Arab Spring initiator Tunisia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development says G8 money should start arriving in June, when the presidential election is scheduled.

The African Development Bank approved US$1.5 billion in loans whilst Mubarak still held power but, despite discussions since last March, no further funding has been agreed. The IMF offered a cheap loan six months ago, but was turned away. Foreign investment last year fell from US$6 billion to $375 million.

Rights, justice and public order remain contentious issues. Tantawi lifted the state of emergency on Tuesday, a day before the revolution’s anniversary, but left it in place to deal with the exception of ‘thuggery’. “This is not a real cancellation of the state of emergency,” said Islamist Wasat Party MP Essam Sultan. “The proper law designates the ending of the state of emergency completely or enforcing it completely, nothing in between.”

The same day, Amnesty International released a report on its efforts to establish basic human rights and end the death penalty in the country. Despite sending a ten-point manifesto to all 54 political parties, only the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (of the Egyptian Bloc liberals) and the left-wing Popular Socialist Alliance Party signed up. Measures included religious freedom, help to the impoverished, and rights for women. Elections did see a handful of women win seats in the new parliament.

The largest parliamentary group is the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Amnesty say did not respond. Oral assurances on all but female rights and abolition of the death penalty were given by Al-Nour, the Salafist runners-up in the elections, but no written declaration or signature.

“We challenge the new parliament to use the opportunity of drafting the new constitution to guarantee all of these rights for all people in Egypt. The cornerstone must be non-discrimination and gender equality,” said Amnesty, noting that the first seven points were less contentious amongst the twelve responding parties. There was general agreement for free speech, free assembly, fair trials, investigating Mubarak’s 30-year rule for atrocities, and lifting the state of emergency. A more mixed response was given to ensuring no discrimination against LGBT individuals, whilst two parties claimed reports of Coptic Christian persecution are exaggerated.

Mubarak himself is a prominent contender for the death penalty, currently on trial for the killings of protesters. The five-man prosecution team are also seeking death for six senior police officers and the chief of security in the same case. Corruption offences are also being tried, with Gamal Mubarak and Alaa Mubarak accused alongside their father Hosni.

The prosecution case has been hampered by changes in witness testimony and there are complaints of Interior Ministry obstruction in producing evidence. Tantawi has testified in a closed hearing that Mubarak never ordered protesters shot.

Do you believe Egypt’s current military rulers will allow a peacful transition to civilian rule?
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Hisham Talaat Moustafa, an ex-MP and real estate billionaire, is another death penalty candidate. He, alongside Ahmed Sukkari, was initially sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim. A new trial was granted on procedural grounds and he is now serving a fifteen-year term for paying Sukkari US$2 million to slit 30-year-old’s Tamim’s throat in Dubai. Her assassin was caught when police followed him back to his hotel and found a shirt stained with her blood; he was in custody within two hours of the murder.

The court of appeals is now set to hear another trial for both men after the convictions were once more ruled unsound.

A military crackdown took place last November, the morning after a major protest, and sparking off days of violence. Egypt was wary of a repeat this week, with police and military massed near Tahrir Square whilst volunteers manned checkpoints into the square itself.

The military has pardoned and released at least 2,000 prisoners jailed following military trials, prominently including a blogger imprisoned for defaming the army and deemed troublesome for supporting Israel. 26-year-old Maikel Nabil was given a three year sentence in April. He has been on hunger strike alleging abuse at the hands of his captors. He wants normalised relations with Israel. Thousands have now left Tora prison in Cairo.

Taking Good Care Of Your Wedding Bands And Engagement Rings}

WcKskV5C | Jewellery Insurance | 07 10th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Submitted by: Jay Vilan

Engagement rings and wedding bands are woman’s dream items. To maintain its quality, it is important to learn how to handle them properly. There are stores that will teach their clients on cleaning and appropriately handling their rings. Buyers should also possess necessary aspects so that their rings will last much longer. Each ring has a special way of cleaning them and deviates from its composition.

Selecting a suitable ring of your taste:

Among the simplest rings to maintain is a platinum ring. There are things to consider when choosing this kind of ring. Platinum rings are:


Cannot be damage easily

Scratches and spots can conveniently be polished

Heavier than silver and gold

Most popular sort of engagement ring or wedding band

However, as platinum ages it’s more vulnerable to scratches and can give the precious metal a greyish tone. Nonetheless, you can still utilize particular buffers for this sort of ring

To avoid platinum rings from being damage, it’s a good idea not wearing them inside the gardens and doing house works. Platinum rings should not be settled near to other jewelry to avoid from scratches. Cleansing jewelry is important as it should be done once per week. Make use of a jewelry cleaner by soaking it approximately 15-20 minutes and then wash with warm water. And finally, platinum rings also need to be polished every year.

Diamonds are a common engraved stone on engagement rings as so with other stones. In order to take good care of these stones, it’s essential to detox them each week. By soaking the stones in warm water with liquid detergent it’ll absolutely help to eliminate bacteria and unnecessary residue. Most of the women will attest to wear their wedding and engagement rings at all times. As such given below are ways on setting diamonds:

Use a solution of half ammonia and half cool wate

Soak the ring for around 30 minutes

Use a soft brush to tap the front and back of the ring. It will help to loosen any dirt before putting it to the solution.

Last but not the least is to pat the ring dry.

Any ring with a diamond must be put into its own exclusive area when taken off to insure not damaging other pieces of jewelry.

Wedding bands and engagement rings, contrary to popular belief, should be taken off for numerous reasons. At any time of the day, a woman’s hand is regularly at work. Rings must be held in a proper place so as to prevent damage or tarnish. Furthermore, when applying for lotions or perfumes it’s best to wear them out. Moreover, jewelry should be the last thing placed on before leaving your house and first to be removed when returning. This is also applicable to engagement rings and weddings too. Always keep this in mind during day-to-day morning rituals.

Sometimes women often neglect the setting of their ring. This is an important thing to consider because it’s where the stone placed. Most jewelers would encourage getting it checked every six months to ensure that it has not become lose. A woman might also tap it beside her ear and listen to the sound of the stone moving. If it does that could certainly suggest it is time to see a jeweler about getting it tightened.

One thing to check on for wedding bands and engagement rings is getting them insured. Most women would be devastated if something occurred to their ring, especially losing it. There are now insurance applications that can be designed to protect your precious rings. Additionally, most husbands will attest that the first they bought was not cheap. Also, check with local jewelers about cleaning rituals and find out if they offer special cleaning deals. Many jewelers will clean the rings for free to make them look more sparkly.

About the Author: Appealing Wedding Bands stands for providing great value on Wedding Bands by offering sharp pricing on high quality merchandise accompanied by in-depth product information, knowledgeable and courteous customer service




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The Onion: An interview with ‘America’s Finest News Source’

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 07 9th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Despite the hopes of many University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) students, The Onion was not named after their student center. “People always ask questions about where the name The Onion came from,” said President Sean Mills in an interview with David Shankbone, “and when I recently asked Tim Keck, who was one of the founders, he told me the name—I’ve never heard this story about ‘see you at the un-yun’—he said it was literally that his Uncle said he should call it The Onion when he saw him and Chris Johnson eating an onion sandwich. They had literally just cut up the onion and put it on bread.” According to Editorial Manager Chet Clem, their food budget was so low when they started the paper that they were down to white bread and onions.

Long before The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Heck and Johnson envisioned a publication that would parody the news—and news reporting—when they were students at UW in 1988. Since its inception, The Onion has become a veritable news parody empire, with a print edition, a website that drew 5,000,000 unique visitors in the month of October, personal ads, a 24 hour news network, podcasts, and a recently launched world atlas called Our Dumb World. Al Gore and General Tommy Franks casually rattle off their favorite headlines (Gore’s was when The Onion reported he and Tipper were having the best sex of their lives after his 2000 Electoral College defeat). Many of their writers have gone on to wield great influence on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert‘s news parody shows.

And we are sorry to break the news to all you amateur headline writers: your submissions do not even get read.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Chet Clem and Sean Mills about the news empire that has become The Onion.


  • 1 How The Onion writes an issue
  • 2 The headlines
  • 3 The features and the columnists
  • 4 The photojournalism
  • 5 What The Onion will not publish
  • 6 Reactions to Onion stories
  • 7 The Presidential Seal
  • 8 The Onion’s readership
  • 9 Future features
  • 10 Handling national tragedies
  • 11 The Onion movie and Onion News Network
  • 12 Relationship with other satirical news programs
  • 13 Unsolicited material
  • 14 Source

First Active offer 100% mortgages in Ireland

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 07 8th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Thursday, July 14, 2005

First Active has become the first financial institution to offer 100% mortgages in the Republic of Ireland. The bank previously offered 100% financing to professionals in finance and medicine, but is now to offer this product to anyone who can afford to meet the repayments.

The development is a huge boost for first time home buyers who have been struggling to get on the Irish property market in recent years due to the rapid increase in house prices. A typical first time buyer in Dublin with 92% financing would normally have to put down a deposit of €20,000-€30,000 in cash, but now have the option to produce no deposit.

First Active has said that 100% mortgages will be available across its entire range of mortgage products.

Note however that this is not necessarily an entirely positive development.

The United States and most of Europe have experienced a housing price bubble in recent years. A bubble occurs when buyers purchase a property not because its price is appropriate for its actual value but because they expect the price to significantly rise in the short term permitting resale with a profit.

In other words, the prices people pay for properties becomes divorced from the real value of the property; the purchase is speculative and depends purely upon the expectation that people will continue to buy properties in this way (e.g. without proper consideration of their real value).

The terrible weakness in this is that when the market corrects itself and prices fall to a level where properties are being priced at their actual realistic value, anyone holding a property loses a great deal of money, since the price they paid does not reflect the actual realistic value of the property.

This kind of shock to the housing market is extremely undesirable. Significant write downs in the value of property often significantly depress the economy as a whole.

Less than 100% mortgages force buyers to invest a significant amount of money in the act of purchasing their house, which tends to discourage purely speculative purchasing, thus helping to mediate house price bubbles.

With 100% financing, anyone who can meet repayments can speculatively purchase a property. This naturally encourages pricing bubbles.