Tony Blair speaks in Canada

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tony Blair, United Kingdom’s former Prime Minister, made his first public appearance since stepping down as PM yesterday at a speech entitled Global Relations: A Conversation with Tony Blair to an audience of about 2,400 in Calgary, Alberta from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the Telus Convention Centre, sponsored by Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Canada Trust).

Lunch was served with an authentic Alberta beef steak. Alberta premier Ed Stelmach, Calgary mayor Dave Bronconnier, and other public officials were there. “Congratulations on winning a third term. As a three-term prime minister I can tell you that’s when things get rough,” Blair told Bronconnier.

During the speech he talked about Canada on the world stage, the controversial military role in Afghanistan, defending the country in war-devastated places, as well as other large issues facing Canada.

Blair said it’s not about being on the left or right side of politics, it’s about being open or closed.

“If we want to win, we can’t just be for democracy and freedom. We have to be for justice and fairness,” Blair said to the audience that paid CA$400 to attend the event. “It’s a battle of ideas.”

“If we’re going to fight this terrorism off, we’re going to have to show them we’re as tough as they are … and stay the course.” Blair said even though it’ll be a long-road in the war it’s important to not give up the fight against “the forces of extremism.”

Blair is an Envoy in the Quartet on the Middle East, which is involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He become Envoy the same day he stepped down as PM.

“This morning I looked at your local papers and saw ‘Premier Under Fire’. And I thought, ‘Oh God, why, what have I done now?’ before realising that I wasn’t PM anymore. I’m still adjusting.”

He also commented about Alberta’s oil and gas royalty dispute saying, “I’m just glad it’s not my decision,” and after three terms of being PM he’s “learned when to keep my mouth shut.” Alberta has the second largest oil reserves in the world and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. recently made their third offer for $5-billion to buy Alberta-based company Prime West Energy Trust. In relation to that, Blair said, “Calgary is not only the new centre of Canada or North America, but a global centre for the world.”

“I often say to people, Canada will become one of the most powerful nations in the world.” He also pointed out, “As power grows… so does more responsibility. What you need to do is carry with it your optimistic spirit. You’re a country that can easily play as large a role as anyone else.”

“Optimism is something you get very easily when you come to Canada,” he said relating to Canada’s strong alliances with other countries. He said Canada has a “can-do” attitude.

After, he sat down with former premier of New Brunswick Frank McKenna, now TD Bank’s deputy chairman, in green armchairs, part of TD’s advertising campaign, and had a Q&A period.

Journalists were not allowed to use cameras or recording devices during the event as ordered by Scotland Yard, the Globe and Mail reports, who were told by event organisers.

Blair also praised Canada’s wine, “This is a secret you’ve just got to get out.”

Knowing About Targeted And Full Body Massage

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Knowing About Targeted and Full Body Massage


Jean Maddocks

There is an increasing number of people today who have learned of the advantages that a massage can bring. A massage is basically the manipulation of the superficial and deeper layers of the muscle tissue in order to enhance its function and renew its energy. Certain techniques are used to achieve this goal. A massage involves kneading, pressing, rolling and tapping the muscles to let it relax and regain its lost energy. It is also known to be a safe method of reducing stress levels and anxiety.

When it comes to massages, there are two types which can both bring you that relaxing and soothing feeling. One is the targeted body massage and the other is the full body massage.

Targeted massage

The targeted massage, as the name implies, means a type of massage that is applied only on targeted or specific parts of the body known as trigger points. However, the strokes used are meant only for that specific part of the body.

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Trigger points occur when a certain knot builds up in the body, in a particular area. As a result, pain and discomfort are felt by the person. A targeted massage that specifically treats these trigger points is called the trigger point therapy.

Another type of targeted massage is reflexology. Unlike the trigger point therapy that is aimed to diminish pain, reflexology is used to relieve tension and make one relax.

Cranial sacral therapy is another type of this massage. It is a type of neck and head massage that treats head discomfort.

Full Body massage

The full massage, on the other hand, is a type of massage that is applied on the whole body.

The full body massage involves the stroking, pressing, and kneading of the various parts of the body. It can relieve pain and allow the body to relax. As it is a massage that is applied to the entire body, from head to toe, it is an overall massage that is soothing and relaxing.

One type of this form of massage is the Swedish or deep tissue massage that is aimed to release tension and relax the entire body.

When you get a full body massage, you are not just focusing only on one part of the body and that will lead to total body relaxation and rejuvenation. At the end of the massage session, you will feel new and revitalized.

Though a full body massage and a targeted massage can bring you relaxation through a masseuse, a massage chair can also deliver this relaxation and rejuvenation. Plus, you don t have to go out of your way and have strangers give you a massage. By buying a massage chair like the zero gravity massage chair, you will have the comfort of a massage at your beck and call in the convenience of your own home.

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Dutch Football Association appoints Ronald Koeman manager of men’s national team

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Yesterday, the Royal Dutch Football Association (Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond; KNVB) announced Ronald Koeman as the new manager of the men’s national team. The 54-year-old signed a four-and-half year contract, which is under “immediate effect up to and including the 2022 World Cup” ((nl))Dutch language: ?onmiddellijke ingang tot en met het WK 2022 , KNVB’s official statement read.

Koeman has previously managed nine football clubs, and his most recent spell was in England, where he managed Southampton FC and Everton FC. In 2016–17, he guided Everton to a seventh place finish in the first season in-charge, but was sacked in October.

Featuring in 78 matches for the Dutch national team, Koeman won the Euro 1988. KNVB also appointed 49-year-old Nico-Jan Hoogma as the director. After signing the contract, Koeman tweeted, “I am proud to finally announce that I am the new manager of the Dutch national team. Happy to be here and serve the country in our road to UEFA Euro 2020”.

Netherlands had finished as the runners up at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and third at the 2014 World Cup under management of Louis van Gaal. But The Oranje failed to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2016 under Danny Blind’s management, and last year, they failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia. That was their second consecutive failure to qualify for a major tournament.

Koeman, who succeeds Dick Advocaat as the manager of the national team, is to face England in a friendly match to be played on March 23 in the Dutch capital Amsterdam.

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.

Imperial College London geology students fined in China for “illegal map-making”

Monday, January 5, 2009

Three British geology students of Imperial College London have been fined in China for “illegal survey and map-making activities”, according to local media. In addition to making maps, the students were researching fault lines and earthquake activity in Xinjiang — a tense Muslim province to the west of the country where anger against Chinese rule sparked deadly attacks in 2008.

The students were gathering additional data in several regions, including Kashgar, the ancient Silk Road trading post, and an oasis city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.

Under Dr. Jian Guo Liu, the students’ supervisor at Imperial College, they also had been in the poor desert village of Keping, where in May local authorities burned the local mosque due to “unlawful religious activities”. Of the three students, two of them, a PhD student aged 23, and a Master of Science student aged 22, went to Aksu Prefecture for their research.

In September, State Security Bureau officials had investigated the students at a hotel for several hours. Thereafter, their equipment, including GPS devices, survey results, and data, were seized. The Aksu Land and Resources Bureau officers claimed they had gathered “illegal data” from 6,000 points which was valuable for mineral prospecting and topographical research.

In the leadup to last year’s summer Olympics in Beijing, China cracked down on map-making and data-collecting across the country. Despite having permission from the Earthquake Administration in the country, the students were fined a combined 20,000 yuan (2,940 dollars) but did not receive additional punishments. “The data they gathered would have been valuable in analysing mineral and topographic features of the areas,” Xinjiang Daily said. They returned to the UK on October 2.

According to The Procuratorial Daily, the Xinjiang prosecutors’ office approved 1,295 arrests of individuals and indicted 1,154 suspects from January to November 2008. The indictments were based on suspicion of “endangering state security.” In 2007, however, only 742 were arrested, while 619 of them were indicted for the same offense.

Get Your Makeup Artist Certification Online}

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Wikinews discusses International Women’s Day celebration with Mysore Divisional Railway Manager

Sunday, March 8, 2020

This Thursday, an all-women crew ran the Mysore–Bangalore Tippu Express in the Indian state of Karnataka. The state-run Indian Railways launched this event ahead of International Women’s Day, for promoting gender equality at work places. Aparna Garg — who has been the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) for Mysore Division for almost two years — discussed this initiative with Wikinews. International Women’s Day is observed on March 8.

Employee Communication: 5 Ways Leaders Can Communicate Change

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By Marcia Xenitelis

I am often asked about the role of the CEO or leader of any organization in employee communication. My opinion is that no matter what the issue is, even if it is just business as usual, having a good communicator as a CEO is critical to impact the culture of an organization in a positive way.

Lets start with looking at some scenarios. These can include a merger or acquisition, an organizational crisis, announcement of annual financial results, corporate social responsibility or even trying to create a culture of innovation.

My contention is that no matter what the issue, here are 5 ways that your CEO can communicate with employees and achieve positive outcomes each time. Most of the methods listed below involve face to face dialogue to ensure the greatest engagement.

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1. Staff Forums Otherwise known as Town Halls these are opportunities for the CEO and Senior Management team to visit employees in all locations and address the real issues and concerns of staff as well as communicating the big picture. Employee communication tips include handing out cards to attendees so that the questions can be addressed after a break in proceedings, tailoring the presentation in part to the unique situation in the particular region the CEO is visiting and following up any issues that cannot be answered at the time.

2. Site Visits These are an excellent employee communication tool for the CEO to find out specifically from the frontline exactly what the issues and concerns are of a particular region or department. The key is not only to spend time with the leadership team but also to sit with employees and find out what they are working on and inviting them to suggest innovative ways of doing things differently. CEOs’ rarely spend time communicating with employees and this is one way to break down perceptions and encourage two way communication.

3. Employee Achievement Another way the CEO can communicate change is to support and encourage employees personally for their achievements. These maybe directly related to the issue at hand and by taking time out to recognize high achievers or change agents it sends a strong message to all employees that the CEO will reward those who support and are engaged in the change agenda.

4. Leaderships Forums One of the smartest things an CEO can do during times of change is to communicate with his / her leadership team. I have always found that employee communication strategies need to be pitched at different levels and with different strategies to suit the role and expectations of the employees. When we think of change it is the leadership team that will drive it, from regional managers, state managers to frontline supervisors it is important that the CEO communicates face to face with the leadership team to be very clear about his or her expectation of them during times of change. One employee communication tip here is that face to face one on one meetings be held with the direct reports to the CEO and the next level down; it is a very powerful tool and has maximum impact.

5. CEO Blog Finally where would we be if we did not mention some form of technology driven communication tool. A CEO blog is very effective if it is used to support and report on the transformation process whilst the employee engagement strategy is underway. For example the CEO has one on one meetings with the leadership team, he / she then reports in the Blog on the key messages and expectations. The CEO begins visits to each region and reports back on the Blog the key observations and achievements of employees and so on. Employee communication tools to inform are always a back up and support to the real communication taking place, the employee communication engagement strategies as listed in points 1 4 above.

The methods suggested above also achieve another goal often neglected in employee communication. As this is the opportunity for the CEO to find out what people at all levels of the organization really think about a particular issue, it will cause the CEO to think differently next time about the importance of employee communication and will ensure that change communication is addressed at the planning phase of any major organizational change.

About the Author: Marcia Xenitelis,a recognized authority on employee communication & business transformation has spoken at conferences around the world. For more information on types of employee communication strategies you can implement to engage employees visit


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Annie Awards for animation Sunday; Wikinews will be there

Thursday, February 8, 2007

This Sunday, the International Animated Film Association (Association International du Film d’Animation) or ASIFA will hand out the Annie Awards in Glendale, California. As animation’s highest honor, the crowd is always a who’s who of direction, art design, character design, layout, visual effects, and voice artists.

There are 23 award categories in the Annies, sorted into Individual Achievement and Production categories.

Perhaps the most competitive category is “Best Animated Feature”, which will be a fight between Cars (Pixar Animation Studios), Happy Feet (Warner Bros. Pictures/Village Roadshow Pictures/Kennedy Miller Production/Animal Logic Film), Monster House (Columbia Pictures/ImageMovers/Amblin), Open Season (Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures) and Over The Hedge (DreamWorks Animation).

Cars, Happy Feet, and Monster House are all nominated in the Academy Awards for the same category, perhaps signifying an edge up in the competition.

Direct-to-DVD releases are eligible for the “Best Home Entertainment Production”. Included are Bambi II (DisneyToon Studios), The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (Universal Animation Studios), and Winnie the Pooh: Shapes & Sizes (DisneyToon Studios).

Charlie and Lola, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, King of the Hill, The Fairly OddParents, and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! are all up for “Best Animated Television Production”.

“Best Animated Video Game” will be awarded to either Flushed Away The Game (D3 Publisher of America, Inc.), Monster House (THQ, Inc.), and SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature From the Krusty Krab (THQ, Inc.); the category was just created last year.

Adventure Time (Nickelodeon), Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot (Thunderbean Animation), No Time For Nuts (Blue Sky Studios), and Weird Al Yankovic Don’t Download This Song (Acme Filmworks) are all up for “Best Animated Short Subject”. Only No Time for Nuts is up for an Oscar, which has significantly different rules. “Best Animated Television Commercial” will go to either an advertisement for Candy Factory, ESPN, Hilton, St. Louis Zoo, and United Airlines.

Notably, no non-US films or productions have been nominated for any of the awards.

ASIFA is a non-profit worldwide organization dedicated to preserving and promoting animation, which maintains national branches in 55 countries, as far away as UlanBaatar, Mongolia and Tehran. The Annies are awarded by its California chapter ASIFA-Hollywood.

The awards were started in 1972, after voice actress June Foray noticed the industry lacked a formal way to acknowledge its achievements. Performing in over 202 productions, Foray’s most known characters are Rocket J. Squirrel (Rocky and Bullwinkle) and Granny (Looney Tunes).

ASIFA also hands out “Juried Awards” to various notable figures in animation. Bill Plympton, Genndy Tartakovsky, and Andreas Deja will each win the Winsor McCay Award, in recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation. Bill Matthews, Michael Fallik, Marc Deckter, and Eric Graf will each win a Certificate of Merit. The June Foray Award will go to Stephen Worth, for his “significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.” The Ub Iwerks Award and Special Achievement award will not be handed out.

Professional photographer John Mueller will attend the ceremony on behalf of Wikinews, taking photos of nominees and the rest of America’s animation elite. Mueller was selected from a wide pool of professionals offering their services. The photos from the event will be released under the Creative Commons By Attribution license, which allows them to be used by anyone for any purpose.