Ireland requests replay of FIFA World Cup play-off with France

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI), Irish Minister for Sport, Taoiseach and Facebook social network groups are requesting a replay of the controversial FIFA World Cup play-off between Ireland and France in the interests of Fair Play. The FAI lodged an appeal with FIFA and also contacted the French Football Federation (FFF), it appears FAI hopes FFF may agree that a replay is fair play. Both captians, Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane, have called for a replay.

The Irish supporters, who in the past have won the FIFA Fair Play Award, are angry after a blatant double handball by Thierry Henry enabled France to score the extra-time goal that cost Ireland entry to next year’s FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa. Most Irish anger has been directed at FIFA, although French captain Thierry Henry has admitted handling the ball.

FAI has argued that there is a strong precedent; in 2005 where FIFA invalidated the result of a FIFA World Cup qualification match between Uzbekistan and Bahrain on the basis of a technical error by the match referee. However, Law 5 of the Laws of the Game state that: “The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.” and a source at Fifa headquarters in Switzerland said that “there is no way the game can be replayed”. The generic concept of fair play is a fundamental part of the game of football and the Fair Play Campaign was conceived largely as an indirect result of the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, when the handball goal by Diego Maradona.

The referee Martin Hansson and (referee’s assistants) Stefan Wittberg and Fredrik Nilsson were unable to see the incident but didn’t ask Thierry Henry if he handled the ball. Its hoped the mistake won’t cost the Swedish referee’s a place in South Africa. FIFA’s Fair play policy is playing by the rules, using common sense and respecting fellow players, referees, opponents and fans. The French union representing the nation’s gym teachers declared outrage at what it called “indisputable cheating.”

Minister for Sport Martin Cullen wrote to FIFA president Sepp Blatter urging him to call a rematch in the interests of fair play. Taoiseach Brian Cowen raised the issue with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on the fringes of last night’s EU summit. French Prime minister François Fillon said “neither the French government nor the Irish Government should interfere in the functioning of the international federation”.

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Nokia files lawsuit against Apple

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mobile phone and computer manufacturer Nokia is filing a lawsuit against Apple over patent infringements. The infringements include speech coding, wireless data, security and encryption technology Nokia claims is used in Apple iPhones.

According to a Nokia press release, 40 other companies are paying royalties to them in return for the use of their patented technology. Therefore, Nokia wants Apple to also pay for its usage.

“The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for,” Ilkka Rahnasto, Nokia’s Vice President of Legal & Intellectual Property, said in the press release. “Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to agree appropriate terms for Nokia’s intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.”

One industry analyst told PC World that that he believes Nokia is seeking 1–2% royalties per device. Based on the number of iPhones sold since its 2007 release date, that figure would amount to approximately 400 million USD.

Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight, said, “It is almost inconceivable that someone can produce a mobile phone without using Nokia patented technologies,” showing how widespread Nokia’s mobile technology is.

In Apple’s SEC 10-K, Apple responded to Nokia claims. “The complaint alleges that these patents are essential to one or more of the GSM, UMTS and 802.11 wireless communications standards, and that the Company [Apple] has the right to license these patents from plaintiff [Nokia] on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms and conditions. Plaintiff seeks unspecified FRAND compensation and other relief. The Company’s response to the complaint is not yet due. The Company intends to defend the case vigorously,” said Apple.

The Nokia v. Apple lawsuit is set to take place in a Delaware District Court.

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Doctors Without Borders A Global Volunteer Organization Helping People In Crisis Regions

By Susanne Pacher

One of the subjects I am going to research in the near future is combining travel with volunteer opportunities all over the world. Volunteering is a great way of exploring different cultures while making a positive contribution to important causes.

Doctors Without Borders first caught my attention during the Tsunami Crisis. It is an organization that provides important medical relief to people in disaster-stricken areas. I felt compelled to find out more about this organization, about its philosophies and its recent missions. Here is my interview with Isabelle Jeanson, National Press Officer Toronto with Doctors Without Borders.

1. Please tell us about Mdcins Sans Frontires / Doctors without Borders. What type of organization is it? What philosophy s it based on?

We are the world’s leading independent international medical relief organization.

Mdecins Sans Frontires offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation. We also observe neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance.

2. Please tell us about the history of Doctors with Borders. Who founded the organization? How has it evolved since its inception?

MSF was originally founded in France in 1971 by a group of doctors and medical journalists who were concerned with the plight of populations in emergency situations. Since 1971, MSF has grown into 5 European operational sections, and 13 partner sections around the world. The Canadian office was founded in 1991, by a few Canadian doctors who came back to Canada from mission, and realized there was a need for an MSF presence in Canada.

3. How is your organization funded?

We are mostly funded by donations from the public (80%) and the rest from governments and foundations (20%).

4. Who can volunteer with Doctors without Borders? How many volunteers are there world-wide? Please tell us about the volunteer recruitment process.

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Doctors, nurses, midwives, logisticians, project coordinators, financial coordinators, mental health specialists, social workers, and many other professionals can volunteer with Doctors without Borders. There are over 2000 volunteers working for MSF in the field, and hundreds more who work in offices around the world.

People who are interested should first visit our website:, that explains in detail what we look for in our candidates. Once an interested candidate has applied (either on-line or by mail), their application is revised by a recruitment officer. If their application is relevant to what we look for, they will be invited to an interview. If the interview is successful, the candidate will be offered pre-departure training prior to going on mission. The selection of their mission is based on the candidate’s skills which are matched to the needs of the field. The time needed to find the right mission for the right person can happen anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

5. Please comment on some of the risks and dangers that the volunteers face.

Security is of the outmost concern for MSF, for all of its volunteers and national staff. A security briefing is given to the volunteer prior to going on mission, and once they arrive at their mission. A volunteer is never forced to go on mission if they are concerned about their security. The volunteer is ultimately responsible for his or her security once they are on mission, however MSF provides excellent security protocols and systems to minimize the risk. If a volunteer is in a mission which becomes too insecure, he/she will be evacuated with his or her team to a secure environment.

6. What are the living conditions for the volunteers?

Volunteers will often live in a house shared by other international MSF volunteers. Housing, food, transportation and all other amenities are covered by MSF. Volunteers also receive a stipend as pocket money.

7. What critical missions has your organization been involved in recently?

Currently we are involved in a famine crisis in Niger; in the conflict in Darfur, West Sudan; in conflict areas in Democratic Republic of Congo; in mental health projects in Asia; in the tsunami relief in South-East Asia; and we offer AIDS treatment projects in dozens of countries around the world, to name only a few. MSF is currently working in over 70 countries around the world and manages hundreds of projects.

8. MSF also speaks out to end suffering and provides public education and informational events. Please tell us more about that.

Other than providing medical relief to populations in distress, MSF also has a mandate to speak-out or do “tmoignage”. This basically means that we speak out against the atrocities or injustices that we witness in the field, to raise international public awareness about an issue that is otherwise forgotten or unknown by the world. We do this by speaking at public events, or giving interviews in the media or by publishing reports.

9. Please comment specifically on the situation now in South Asia, more than 6 months after the Tsunami Disaster.

We are currently still active in India and Indonesia, providing mental health counseling to the victims of the tsunami and basic health care.

10. Please tell us about the different ways of making a contribution to Doctors without Borders.

People can give to MSF through a variety of venues:

Through Partners Without Borders, our monthly giving program ;

By internet through our secure online giving form ;

By fax or mail, in response to our annual campaign, or our special or emergency appeals ;

By phone – we may call you, or you can contact us toll-free at 1-800-982-7903 ;

Through donations of publicly traded securities ;

By leaving a contribution to MSF in your will ;

By hosting or organizing a special event to benefit MSF ;

By making a gift in honour of a birthday, anniversary, marriage or graduation of a friend or family member ;

By making a gift in memory of a loved one who has passed on ;

At work through matching gift programs

Thank you, Isabelle, for providing further information about your organization and the important missions and activities you are involved in. We wish you the best of luck in your humanitarian efforts.

For the entire story including photos please visit

About the Author: Susanne Pacher is the publisher of Travel and Transitions (

), a popular web portal for unconventional travel & cross-cultural connections. Check out our brand new section featuring FREE ebooks about travel.


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Víctor Valdés to play in Belgian Pro League; Manchester United loans Valdés to Standard Liège till season end

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On Sunday, Manchester United announced the loan of their Spanish goalkeeper Víctor Valdés to Belgian club Standard Liège for the rest of the season.

Last year, Valdés signed an 18-month contract with the English club, but the three-time UEFA Champions League winner was given very little opportunity at Old Trafford. He made only two appearances for The Reds last season, after David de Gea was injured. Relations between Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal and Valdés were not good. Van Gaal did not pick him for the pre-season tour to the United States, saying Valdés was unwilling to play a game with the under-21 team.

This season, Valdés was not allowed in the locker room, and van Gaal prevented him from training with the main squad and the under-21 team. The official team photograph omitted him.

Valdés was a member of Spain’s squad for the World Cup in 2010 and for Euro 2012, collecting a winner’s medal both times. Per Manchester United’s statement, “Manchester United and Standard Liege have reached agreement for the temporary transfer of goalkeeper Victor Valdes, effective until the end of the current season. The deal is subject to formalities being completed.”

On Instagram, he posted a photo that read “Thank you all for your support during these months of hard work for me, i will never forget! See you soon!”

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New Zealand dollar hits new high versus the United States dollar

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

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The New Zealand dollar (NZD) value rose and, for a short amount of time, was worth US$0.7932, the highest level in New Zealand since the dollar was floated in 1985 — 22 years ago.

The value then dropped a little and as of 11.40 a.m. was trading at US$0.7925. This was due to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announcing that it will intervene next week at their Official Cash Rate review if the dollar continued to rise.

Economists are predicting that the NZD will now go above US$0.80.

The cause of this rise was mainly due to the release of the June quarter retail sales data. The consumer price index data showed that sales increased by 1.2%, instead of the predicted 0.4%. The bigger than expected sales data were mainly due to supermarket, car and petrol purchases. In May, the core sales figures showed a 0.8% rise, these figures excluded car and fuel sales.

Economist correspondents for Radio New Zealand have also said that a weak US dollar is also to blame for the rising New Zealand dollar. Danika Hampton, currency analyst for the Bank of New Zealand, says the NZD is looking expensive and doubts if it will maintain its current high figure.

Michael Cullen, the finance minister of New Zealand, has said that investors will be hurt when the New Zealand dollar does fall. Dr Cullen personally believes that the NZD is currently overvalued.

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce has called for the New Zealand Government to slow down it’s spending. Charles Finny, from the Chamber of Commerce, says this is one of the core factors, more than the oil and housing markets, despite speculation. Worldwide oil prices are at a current 11-month high.

The retails sales figures also resulted in Government bonds being weakened. The two-year and ten-year Government bonds are at 7.61% and 6.82% respectively.

The Official Cash Rate is currently at 8%, due to other interventions by the Reserve Bank.

The NZD is also trading well against the Australian dollar and Japanese yen.

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Blown for Good author discusses life inside international headquarters of Scientology

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wikinews interviewed author Marc Headley about his new book Blown for Good, and asked him about life inside the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base“, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California. Headley joined the organization at age seven when his mother became a member, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005.

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7 Massage Styles Available In Health Clubs

7 Massage Styles Available in Health Clubs


Jane Starr

Massage is considered to be a very good stress reliever and a healing mechanism for people with muscle problems. Though there are some individuals who prefer curing themselves with the use of medicines, others find comfort in having a massage after a busy week. These are deemed very therapeutic especially for athletes who use their muscles rigorously during daily trainings. Massage therapy can cure sore ankles, aching joints and broken ligaments. All spas offer these services to their clients using different styles and methods of massage. This article informs readers about the several massage procedures done in some health clubs.

Swedish massage

This is intended for people with aching joints and muscle strain. It is performed on most parts of the body and there are five important techniques involved in this therapy. The first technique is stroking, which is working the tension out of the muscles. The second is petrissage where the muscles are kneaded and squeezing. The result is both stimulating and soothing. Friction is the third stroke and it is used in the thickest muscles in your body and these are stimulated through circular movements. The fourth is tapping which is self-explanatory, and lastly the vibration technique wherein the therapist creates a shaking movement in your muscles.

Deep Tissue Massage

This therapy aims to relax the muscles beneath the surface of your skin. The human body is composed of several layers, and a regular massage won t be able to reach the deepest layer in the body. A therapist puts pressure on the individual s body using their elbows, fingers, and thumbs to excess this area. The pressure creates a friction that reduces the stress in the body.

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Neuromuscular Massage

This is similar to a deep tissue massage but this is usually done to escalate the blood flow in the muscles and nerves to reduce soreness. It locates the bumps in the muscles that cause pain in the body.

Sports Massage

This version is a frequent technique used by athletes and other people who engage regularly in sports. This is carried out before a big game to prepare the muscles for heavy activities and intensify the energy of the athlete. It is also recommended after a heavy load of work because it can avoid injuries and it can calm the muscles.


Rolfing is a style of massage that helps a person maintain a good posture, obtain a full range of movements and improve balance of one s body. Therapists conducting this technique use their elbows and palms to stroke the tissues around the muscles of the body and help to re-align structure. After Rolfing clients always have more vitality, better body stability, relief of aches and pains and an enhanced capacity for self-healing. People who benefit most from Rolfing are people with strenuous lifestyles, athletes, dancers and musicians.


Hellerwork is a massage style that improves the posture and it is usually conducted after rolfing. In addition, hellerwork aids a person to avoid slouching, correct and alleviate bad posture. It is also believed that 5 months of Hellerwork can increase the height of the person, who has undergone a series of massage sessions to help improve the suppleness of the spine.

Thai Massage

Thai therapy is different from the other European styles because it is intended for circulation and stress points. It is also good for the inner body because it enlightens the soul and creates better blood circulation. Therapists use their elbows, feet, hands, and knees to accomplish this type of massage. Usually the treatment is performed with the participant being fully dressed lying on the floor.

Jane Starr is a psychology graduate, who is a passionate writer and an aspiring entrepreneur. Jane is now writing articles for a website solely devoted to bringing a comprehensive range of natural health advice to everyone. To find out more about tips for a

successful massage

visit our website at

Natural Health 4 Life

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World Bank to tighten security belt for Wolfowitz arrival

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Despite controversy ignited by the White House nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank (WB), the 24-member board of directors voted unanimously on Thursday to accept his confirmation. A whirlwind tour by Wolfowitz, who traveled to many capital cities of the bank’s major shareholders and met with voting board members, quieted misgivings over his succession to the incumbent president John Wolfensohn.

Widespread criticism of the Wolfowitz role in the US build-up to war in Iraq heightened levels of security concerns within the bank as they anticipate his arrival. The WB, from the executive level down to memos circulated among departments, express concern for it becoming the target of terrorist attack. The level of seriousness being taken by WB led it to set up cost estimates for improving security.

Wolfowitz will assume leadership in June this year. Despite a belief by some that he acts unilaterally and lacks development experience, a European Commission spokeswoman, speaking for Commissioner Olli Rehn, told a news conference that[Rehn] “was satisfied with everything he heard from Mr Wolfowitz concerning free trade and also on poverty reduction and development policy.”

The Associated Press quotes the Belgian Development Aid minister saying, “There are no objections of EU countries.”

The public display of support belies dissention underneath. Reuters reportedly received a confidential email that provided details of a comment line on an internal website for the WB staff who use it from their far flung locations. The feelings about the Wolfowitz nomination received 1,300 responses, mostly about the bank’s reputation and effectiveness under the new leadership.

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Relative of Afghan president Hamid Karzai shot dead by NATO troops

Friday, March 11, 2011

A relative of the Afghan president Hamid Karzai has been mistakenly shot dead by NATO troops, according to officials. Yar Mohammad Khan, who was in his 60s was killed during a night raid in the Dand district. Khan, who also possibly used the surname of Karzai, was believed to have been a cousin of either the president or a cousin of the president’s father.

The president’s brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, released a statement over the shooting. He said, “It was a mistake. The forces conducted an operation, he was at his home, he came out and was shot. It was a mistake. What can you do about it?” Several officials have apologised for the incident including United States president Barack Obama, US defence secretary Robert Gates, and commander of international troops in Afghanistan General Petraeus.

Khan’s death come only days after President Karzai called the killing of civilians unacceptable. The president urged the United Nations to pressure NATO to take more care during operations when searching for insurgents. Karzai rejected a previous apology from General Petraeus over the killing of nine boys during an air strike.

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

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