Swiss finish drilling world’s longest overland tunnel

April 23rd, 2019

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Sunday, May 1, 2005

Eleven years of drilling and blasting using a total 16 tons of explosives were completed Thursday when Swiss engineers detonated the last few yards of granite completing the 21 mile (35 km) Lötschberg tunnel in the Alps. The Lötschberg is now the longest overland tunnel in the world, and the third longest tunnel overall.

“With the breakthrough we have carved out the mountain for all to see. We are moving on,” said Swiss Transport Minister Moritz Leuenberger at a ceremony marking the occasion, attended by about 1,000 people who witnessed the event in the midpoint of the tunnel, about 5,900 feet below the 12,170 foot Balmhorn mountain.

The two halves of the tunnel met with almost perfect exactness. The centers of the bores coming from opposite directions were only about 5 inches apart, and the heights were aligned within less than 1 inch.

The new tunnel connects the Swiss district of Raron with the city of Frutigen, near the capital Bern. Construction on the railway within the new tunnel is expected to be completed by 2007, and should shorten travel time between Germany and the Italian city of Milan by about an hour. The cost of building the tunnel, at US$13 billion (€10 billion) has already overrun budget by US$3 billion, and 11 people died during its construction.

The only two tunnels that are longer than Lötschberg are:

  • The Seikan Tunnel, Japan’s tunnel between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido which passes part of the way underneath the seabed, and is the longest railway tunnel in the world at about 33 miles (54 km).
  • The Channel Tunnel, once nicknamed the “Chunnel”, which is the second longest at 31 miles (50 km), extending from Kent, England under the English Channel to northern France.

The Lötschberg tunnel is the longest tunnel that travels entirely over land, surpassing the previous record-holder, Japan’s Hakkoda tunnel, which was completed only two months ago on February 27 at a length of 16 miles (26 km).

At least one future tunnel, Gotthard Base Tunnel, is planned to be the world’s new longest tunnel at a length of 35 miles (57 km); it is also currently under construction in Switzerland, parallel to the Lötschberg with a planned completion date of 2012.

Swiss people make large numbers of train trips compared to other Europeans, with an average of 40 trips per person annually compared to 21 in Germany, 14 in France, and 8 in Italy. A major goal of the ongoing rail tunnel construction is to decrease travel times between popular destinations, with the state-owned Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) predicting a 20% increase in rail traffic by 2020.

Also under consideration are improvement of the rapidly growing crowding of traffic (particularly heavy trucks carrying cargo) in the narrow Swiss highways, auto accidents, and pollution. Since 1980, Swiss highway traffic has increased tenfold, largely due to its geographical position along Europe’s north-south axis.

40 alleged drunken Santas accused of running amok

April 22nd, 2019

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Monday, December 19, 2005File:Santarchy new zealand.jpg

The conduct by a group of ‘Santas’ making an unclear statement last Saturday is not appreciated in the business district of Auckland, New Zealand. The event, organized in the discussion forum of an online skateboard magazine, caused big media publicity.

Alex Dyer, spokesman for the group, stated that Santarchy in Auckland is part of a worldwide phenomenon. It is disputed if Santarchy is a protest against the commercialization of Christmas or not.

Auckland Central Police spokesperson Noreen Hegarty said to the press that the rampage began in the early part of the afternoon when men wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes threw beer bottles and urinated on cars from an overpass, then rushed through a central city park, overturning garbage bins, throwing bottles at passing cars and spraying graffiti on office buildings.

“They came in, said ‘Merry Christmas’ and then helped themselves,” said a convenience store staff member Changa Manakynda, according to local newspapers.

One writer using the pseudonym ‘Le_SigNagE’ on the Santarchy! (or also known as the Santacon) website commented, “… after all, this is what Christmas is really about… mindless vandalism and petty theft.”

Another writer who posted under the pseudonym Santy Claus said of the media coverage,”There was some major misreporting and Chinese whispers. Breaking bottles and urinating under a bridge, became throwing rocks at buses and urinating on cars from an overpass. The ‘organisers’ as they were, saw little in the way of crime other than one santa attempting to board a foreign vessel by scaling 20 metres along a rope 60 feet in the air. The difficulty and motor skills involved in this task alone should be a defense in itself of being ‘drunk’ and ‘disorderly’.”

Due to Santa’s reputation for integrity and his strict media policy, his sparse communication is mostly one-way: receiving lists from children with wishes for Christmas. It is difficult to get his comment about New Zealands skateboard interested ‘Santas’.

In 1994, the Cacophony Society staged the world’s very first SantaCon in San Francisco. Influenced by the surrealist movement Discordianism, and other subversive art currents.

20 injured in Montreal college shooting spree

April 22nd, 2019

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

At 12:41 p.m. local time (UTC-5), a man opened fire at Dawson College, in Westmount, Quebec, Canada; the college is located near the heart of downtown Montreal. Police report at least 20 people being injured. The gunman was reportedly killed at the scene by police. Students told reporters that they heard several shots in the building at about 12:45 local time. One student told a local radio station that she saw two people who had been shot, including one who was hit at the neck. The student said a friend told her four people had been shot.

Hundreds of students fled the building, and the area has been cordoned off. Nearby Plaza Alexis Nihon and Westmount Square were evacuated and the Green line of the Montreal Metro was shut down between Lionel-Groulx and Peel. Police officers wearing bullet-proof vests are keeping people away from the college. “They’re telling me, ‘Go the other way, lady, you’re in the line of fire,'” said CBC News reporter Nancy Wood, who reported from the scene.

Local media have reported police hotlines have been established for loved ones to gain more information: +1-(514)-280-2880, +1-(514)-280-2805, and +1-(514)-280-2806. The Montreal General Hospital has also set up a hotline at +1-(514)-843-2839.

Police have reported that the situation has been neutralized as of 20:06, September 13, 2006 (UTC). Police have been told to stand down and are no longer looking for new victims or shooters.

Dawson College is a CEGEP that hosts about 10,000 students.

How To Get Perfect Sound With A Mounted TV


Anderson Jarsef

Omni-directional wall mounts are a popular and effective way to mount TVs; they let you adjust the screen to suit you wherever you want to sit in the room. One difficulty remains: how can you adjust the sound to match your seating position? This article will provide you with a few ideas to help you get perfect sound from your TV.

Rotate The Speakers

Many people simply rotate the sound bar or speakers if they are free-standing on a table or sideboard. While this is fine if you are sitting in the same horizontal plane, many people want to lie down or sit up on the couch. You\’ll get far better sound if you put the speakers at head-height so the limitations of rotating speakers are obvious.

Use Headphones

YouTube Preview Image

If watching TV on your own, headphones give you the best sound quality without having to alter the speakers. This tip doesn\’t apply when watching TV with others but it is the only way to get perfect sound in any position. The surround-sound effect from the latest headphones is effective.

Use Speaker Stands

Mounting your speakers on stands makes directing them towards the area you are sitting fairly straight-forward. Stand mounted speakers are easily rotated through the horizontal plan and are height adjustable too. If you want to watch TV while lying down you may find that lowering the speakers to head-height ruins your enjoyment as the speakers are too far away from the TV. The best speaker stands will allow you to tilt the speakers up or down.

Use Wall-Mounted Speaker Brackets

Wall-mounted speaker brackets can tilt or swivel and are compatible with most speakers with a keyhole located at the back of them. Brackets give you great sound for most angles but do have their limitations. If you tilt your TV much beyond 30 degrees to watch it from one side of the room, you may find that the far speaker is blocked by the TV. This will really affect the sound quality and is hard to remedy except by moving your seating position.

Use A Sound Bar Bracket

Sound bar brackets let you mount you sound bar above or below the TV and are attached directly to the back of the TV via VESA mounting holes. When you move the TV, the sound will also be pointed precisely in your direction. Sound bars with surround-sound effects are perfect for these brackets as they direct the sound perfectly towards where you are sitting. As they are attached to the TV, you simply need to move the TV into the perfect viewing angle and the sound will also be aligned. Unlike wall brackets or speaker stands you don\’t run the risk of the TV itself blocking the sound from the speakers.

Is My TV Compatible With Sound Bar Brackets?

If your sound bar is mountable, and if on the back of your TV the distance from the top or bottom VESA mounting holes are 15\” or less from the top or bottom edge of the TV then yes, the brackets will work with your equipment.


provides a wide range of products from TV wall mounts, ceiling mounts, professional grade HDMI cables,

tv wall brackets

, custom wall plates, network cables & many other AV & IT accessories.

Article Source:


MySpace to expand to mobile music

April 18th, 2019

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

News Corp. has purchased a controlling interest in Jamba, the ringtone company created by VeriSign. The $188 million give News Corp. a 51% interest in the public-owned company.

Jamba, and its American brand Jamster, will be merged into News Corp.’s Mobizzo. Mobizzo sells short video clips of television series. It is expected MySpace will integrate the ringtone sales somehow into News Corp.’s social networking website MySpace; MySpace recently announced it would sell music on its website.

News Corp President and CEO Peter Chernin commented to Reuters that “wireless technology gives us an enormous opportunity to reach billions of mobile phone users with our content”.

The announcement was made this morning by News Corporation, which owns MySpace.

Judge orders residents and city to come to agreement on partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York

Judge orders residents and city to come to agreement on partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York

April 18th, 2019

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Buffalo, New York —Judge Justice Christopher Burns of the New York State Supreme Court has ordered a halt to an emergency demolition on a 19th century stable and livery on 428-430 Jersey Street in Buffalo, New York that partially collapsed on Wednesday June 11, initially causing at least 15 homes to be evacuated. At least two homes remain evacuated.

Burns orders that both the city and the group Save The Livery (www.savethelivery.com) have to come to an agreement on what to do with the building, and try to work out ways of saving at least some portions if it including the facade, side walls and a lift tower. Save The Livery is comprised of concerned area residents who have grown to love the building’s historic and unique character. On June 14, they won a temporary restraining order to stop demolition. The court ruled that the city was only allowed to remove material in immediate danger to residents and pedestrians, but stated that the demolition could only be performed with “hand tools.” The court also ordered that any rubble which had fallen into neighboring yards when the building collapsed, to be removed.

“It is in the interest of the city to have a safe environment–but also important to maintain a sense of historical preservation,” stated Burns in his ruling. Burns has given the sides until tomorrow (Friday June 20) to come to an agreement and has ordered both parties to return to court at 9:30 a.m. (eastern time) “sharp.” Activists of Save The Livery urge supporters of the stable to “fill the courtroom” to show “continued and ongoing support.” The hearing is scheduled to take place at 25 Delaware Avenue in the Supreme Court building, 3rd Floor, trial part 19.

Currently the building is owned by Bob Freudenheim who has several building violations against him because of the buildings poor condition. He has received at least five violations in three months and residents who live near the building state that Freudenheim should be “100% responsible” for his actions. Many are afraid that if the building is demolished, Freudenheim’s charges of neglect will be abolished.

On June 17, developer and CEO of Savarino Companies, Sam Savarino was at the site of the stable, discussing the building with residents and preservationists. In 2006, Savarino proposed and planned The Elmwood Village Hotel, a ‘botique’ hotel on the Southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues. The project was later withdrawn after residents filed a lawsuit against Savarino and the city. Wikinews extensively covered the story, and contacted Savarino for his professional opinion on the building.

“[I would] love to see it preserved. I was there to see if there was anything we could do to help, to see if anything can be salvaged. I just want to see the right thing happen, and so does the city,” stated Savarino to Wikinews who added that he was allowed inside the building for a brief period.

“The side walls are beyond repair. The roof has rotted and it could come down at any time,” added Savarino who also said that the building “below the second floor appears to be stable.” He also states that the back wall of the building, which borders several homes, appears to be intact.

“Eliminating the back wall could be a problem for the neighbors. It is not unreasonable to leave at least 12 feet” of the back wall standing, added Savarino.

Savarino did not say if he was interested in buying the property, but did state, “I am sure there are a couple of people interested” in buying the property. On Thursday, Buffalo News reported that a “businessman” might be interested in purchasing the property, though Wikinews is not able to independently confirm the report. Savarino says that with the property still slated for emergency demolition, a potential buyer could face tax fees of nearly US$300,000.

Freudenheim gave the city permission to demolish the building on Thursday June 12 during an emergency Preservation Board meeting, because he would not be “rehabilitating the building anytime soon.” Freudenheim, along with his wife Nina, were part-owners of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and were advocates to stop the Elmwood Village Hotel. They also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built. Residents say that he has been the owner for at least 22 years.

The building was first owned by a company called White Bros. and was used as a stable for a farm which once covered the land around the building for several blocks. The Buffalo Fire Department believes the building was built around 1814, while the city property database states it was built in 1870. Servants and workers of the farm were housed inside resident quarters situated at the rear of the building on what is now Summer Street, but are now cottages where area residents currently reside. Some date as far back as 1829.

At about 1950, the stable was converted into an automobile body shop and gasoline station.A property record search showed that in 1950 at least four fuel storage tanks were installed on the property. Two are listed as 550 square feet while the other two are 2,000 square feet. All of the tanks are designated as a TK4, which New York State says is used for “below ground horizontal bulk fuel storage.” The cost of installing a tank of that nature according to the state, at that time, included the tank itself, “excavation and backfill,” but did not include “the piping, ballast, or hold-down slab orring.” It is not known if the tanks are still on the property, but residents are concerned the city was not taking the precautions to find out.

Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 26) city council candidates speak

Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 26) city council candidates speak

April 18th, 2019

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 26). Four candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Muhammad Alam, Bahar Aminvaziri, Orhan Aybars, Michele Carroll-Smith, Mohamed Dhanani, Abdul Ingar, Geoff Kettel, Debbie Lechter, Natalie Maniates, John Masterson, John Parker, David Thomas, Csaba Vegh, and Fred Williams.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.


  • 1 Geoff Kettel
  • 2 Natalie Maniates
  • 3 John Parker
  • 4 Csaba Vegh

TESEV Report on Eastern Turkey for UNDP released

TESEV Report on Eastern Turkey for UNDP released

April 18th, 2019

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Friday, November 24, 2006

According to a report released by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) for United Nation’s Development Plan, the per capita GNP in Eastern Turkey, an area predominantly inhabited by Kurdish people, is as low as seven percent of that of the European Union on average. The report analyzed a region of 21 cities in Eastern Turkey*. One of the cities included in the report, ??rnak, was reported to be as poor as Botswana, Southern Africa.

Other points highlighted in the report included:

  • 60% of the population in the region was under the poverty line. If this situation persists, people may start to migrate to Northern Iraq.
  • If 1% of the national income is spent on Eastern Turkey’s infrastructure and social investment for 7 years, the region will be enabled to finance itself. If the economic and social conditions in the region are fixed, the fragile relationship between the Turkish government and the Kurdish people of the region may improve.
  • Access to health services is a primary human right. Without access to health services, one cannot expect that people of this region can live in confidence. Health institutions should employ nurses who speak Kurdish so the patients can communicate with the health services staff.
  • The use of the private sector is not reliable as a solution. The government should act to remedy the lack of infrastructure in the region.

Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

April 17th, 2019

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.

Google provides Gmail access to American cell phone customers

Google provides Gmail access to American cell phone customers

April 16th, 2019

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gmail, Google’s popular e-mail service launched earlier last year, is now available to any American cell phone user via text messaging.

Cell phone owners can send Google their phone number, and are then sent an access code via SMS that enables them to open an account. Google has stated that the number is only used to “manage the number of accounts created per phone”, and that it “will never be sold or shared for marketing purposes” without the user’s permission.

The service is not necessarily free — cell phone service providers may charge for the delivery of the code.

While the system currently only works in the U.S., Google says it has plans to add more countries.