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Archive for May, 2009

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London’s landmark “Big Ben” clock turns 150

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

30/05/2009

Three times a week, clock maker Paul Roberson climbs the 334 steps to the top of the Clock Tower in London to wind up and adjust arguably the world’s most famous timepiece.

Commonly called Big Ben, which is actually the nickname of the bell inside it, the 96-meter tower looks down on the Houses of Parliament along the River Thames and has become a symbol of stability, endurance and democracy in Britain.

It was 150 years ago on Sunday that the four-faced Great Clock started keeping time, and on July 11, 1859, Big Ben first struck time.

“The clock is 150 years old and still weight-driven so it’s weights that are driving the clock
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Top Wine Regions

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

29/05/2009

Wines from the “New World,” that once were the main challengers to “Old World” wines, are now having to contend with rivals too, as more nations win recognition for their wine production.
Men’s website AskMen.com has compiled a list of the top 7 emerging wine regions, as a new generation of winemakers educated globally return to their home countries to build or revive a wine industry and with global warming changing growing conditions.

1. Greece

Greece has, of course, been producing wines for thousands of years, but in more recent times its reputation has sunk low with the incorrect assumption that all roads lead to retsina.
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48 hours in Kuala Lumpur

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

29/05/2009

Got 48 hours to explore Kuala Lumpur? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most from a short visit to the Malaysian capital.

FRIDAY

6 p.m. – When the sun sets, Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown comes to life. Under Petaling Street’s red glow, take in the steamy smells of Malaysian Chinese delicacies while looking for the perfect fake designer accessory in the bustling night market. Save your tastebuds for “Ikan Pari,” stingray cooked in spicy chilies or a bubbling pot of claypot noodles: just look for the signs bearing the dishes’ names at the end of the street.

9 p.m. – Relax above the hot streets of Kuala Lumpur with a local cocktail from Sky Bar (www.skybar.com.my/). Situated at the Traders Hotel in the center of the city, the glowing iconic Petronas Towers are visible from your table.
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A fashionable weekend awaits the capital

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

29/05/2009

Clothes Show Live is coming to London this weekend
so be prepared for a whole weekend of shopping, fashion, beauty
and fun.

Hang out in the nail and champagne bar; chill at the Figleaves designer
beach; ogle the beach babes and ‘hunks in trunks’ on the sandy catwalk;
learn fashion secrets from celebrity gurus; and, most importantly, delve
into the amazing shopping.
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“Year Without Sex” proves to be time well spent

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

28/05/2009

Australian writer-director Sarah Watt is not averse to throwing the odd narrative curveball, and the nimble tonal shifts of “My Year Without Sex” are sure to keep audiences on their toes. Starting with the attention-grabbing title — not a frat boy’s lament but the unlucky consequence of a middle-class mom’s medical condition — the buoyant dramatic comedy takes many an unpredictable swerve, and proves Watt’s breakout 2005 hit, “Look Both Ways,” was no fluke.

As in “Look Both Ways,” the writer-director confronts life’s thornier concerns — love, sex, death and religion — all the while keeping a tight rein on sentimentality and dusting proceedings with sprinkles of wry humor. This follow-up, which opens Thursday (May 28) in Australia, is sure to mirror the domestic success of her debut and put a smile on the face of the international art-house crowd.
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Swiss cleaning bug reaches new peaks

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

28/05/2009

A Swiss holiday resort is offering mountain-cleaning courses after an April fools spoof caught the imagination of a nation known for its cleanliness, the tourism board said Thursday.
Authorities in Engelberg, an idyllic ski resort where tens of thousands of skiers come annually, said the April fools joke had such global impact that they were now using it as a marketing tool to attract holidaymakers.

“We are offering four weekend courses after which participants can call themselves qualified mountain cleaners,” Modeste Jossen, Engelberg cable car services director, said.
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Broadway posts record takings despite recession

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

27/05/2009

Broadway theaters defied the recession to post record ticket sales in the 2008/09 season in what the Broadway League attributed to a need for escapism.

The trade association representing theater owners, operators and producers said in the 12 months to May 24, paid attendance on Broadway in New York was 12.15 million tickets, slightly lower than the 12.27 million the previous season.

But producers still managed to raise gross takings by $6 million, or 0.6 percent, to $943.3 million, beating the previous record set in the 2006/07 season of $938.5 million.
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48 hours in Cannes, France

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

26/05/2009

For more than 60 years this sunny town on the Mediterranean in the south of France has lured glamorous stars of cinema to its annual film festival.

But it has a history dating back to 2nd Century B.C. as a fishing village and later a trade center. The British, French and Spanish have waged war to control it. Today it is a tourist town on the famed French Riviera.

It is a great, but expensive, weekend getaway of sun and sightseeing and the ideal place from which to embark on a tour of the Provence region, famous for its food and wine.
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Andrea Bocelli holds quake concert in Colosseum

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

26/05/2009

Rome authorities rarely give permission for concerts to be held inside the Colosseum but Monday night was an exception when tenor Andrea Bocelli sang in a benefit to help victims of the April 6 Italian earthquake.

Bocelli sang 12 arias and Neapolitan songs to an elite audience of several hundred people who paid 1,000 euros ($1,400) a ticket to help rebuild the music conservatory of L’Aquila, which was severely damaged in the quake that killed some 300 people.
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“Angels & Demons” flies high overseas

Author: 7b7bc2512ee1fedcd76bdc68926d4f7b

26/05/2009

“Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” could not dislodge “Angels & Demons” as the No. 1 film at the foreign box office last weekend.

Ben Stiller’s family comedy, the top film in North America with $70 million for the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend, grossed $50.1 million from 93 markets. “Angels” led the field for a second weekend with $60.4 million from 99 markets.

“Smithsonian” will have a hard time challenging much less exceeding the $323.6 million overseas box office mark set by the 2006 original, “Night at the Museum.”

The biggest market for the sequel was the U.K., where it finished No. 1 with a muscular $6.8 million. It also finished No. 1 in France ($5 million), Russia ($4.4 million) and Australia ($3.6 million).

“Angels & Demons” has earned $198.3 million internationally. A delayed Mexico debut revitalized the recently reopened market by generating a powerful $4.1 million. “Angels & Demons” premiered strongly in Norway, grossing $1.9 million for the country’s 11th biggest opening weekend.
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www.diafthora.com,our site soon:to Fight against Corruption in Greece-E.U

Ever since antiquity, corruption has been one of the most widespread and insidious of social evils. When it involves public officials and elected representatives, it is inimical to the administration of public affairs. Since the end of the 19th century, it has also been seen as a major threat in the private sphere, undermining the trust and confidence which are necessary for the maintenance and development of sustainable economic and social relations. It is estimated that hundreds of billions of Euros are paid in bribes every year.

Pentagon’s ‘lost’ trillions went to people connected to US military-industrial complex

Former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul has said that “the Pentagon’s lost trillions have nothing to do with defense, adding that the “money propping up the high lifestyles of those connected to the military-industrial complex.” Dr. Paul, a three-time American presidential candidate and the founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, made the remarks in an article published by his website on Monday. Deputy US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has recently acknowledged that the Pentagon has failed its first-ever comprehensive audit, saying, “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it.” “It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion dollar organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial,” Shanahan claimed. The first-ever audit of the of the $2.7 trillion enterprise that is the Pentagon identified widespread problems in cybersecurity, but found little in the way of savings that could offset potential budget cuts next year, according to officials. Pentagon’s comptroller David Norquist, who has played a key role in the audit, said after the report release that although no glaring instances of fraud were detected in the US military establishment, its Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Special Operations and the Transportation Command all received failing grades.

“The Outlook For The Global Economy Has Deteriorated”: Oil, Copper And Lumber

Oil, copper and lumber are all telling us the exact same thing, and it isn’t good news for the global economy. When economic activity is booming, demand for commodities such as oil, copper and lumber goes up and that generally causes prices to rise. But when economic activity is slowing down, demand for such commodities falls and that generally causes prices to decline. In recent weeks, we have witnessed a decline in commodity prices unlike anything that we have witnessed in years, and many are concerned that this is a very clear indication that hard times are ahead for the global economy. Let’s talk about oil first. The price of oil peaked in early October, but since that time it has fallen more than 25 percent, and the IEA is warning of “relatively weak” demand out of Asia and Europe…

Amazon Rolling Out ‘Amazon Pay’ Digital Wallet In Physical Stores

As FAANG stocks lead the market lower during what has become a relentless Q4 selloff, Amazon is hoping to reassure anxious investors that the company's relentless expansion and revenue growth will continue. To wit, the company is taking another big step toward establishing itself as the American WeChat or Alipay as it seeks to become the dominant player in electronic consumer payments in the US and beyond. According to the Wall Street Journal, the e-commerce giant is hoping to undercut Apple's Apple Pay by persuading more brick-and-mortar merchants to accept its Amazon Pay digital wallet. As it tries to build a foothold in payments outside of its Amazon Go stores, the company is reportedly focusing on building partnerships with restaurants and gas stations (businesses that have yet to be scalped by the Bezos revenue-absorption machine). To entice owners to give Amazon Pay a try, the company is dangling what appears to be a pretty enticing carrot: Amazon is promising to lower processing costs at a time when so-called "interchange" fees charged by Visa and MasterCard have been rising.

YouTube Lets California Fire Conspiracy Theories Run Wild

The Camp Fire in California has killed at least 79 people, left 699 people unaccounted for, and created more than a thousand migrants in Butte County, California. In these circumstances, reliable information can literally be a matter of life death. But on YouTube, conspiracy theories are thriving. Currently, when a user starts typing “California fire” into YouTube, the top autocomplete search suggestions are “conspiracy 2018,” “agenda 21,” and “laser beam,” all of which refer to conspiracy theories related to California’s wildfires. Similarly, typing in “California wildfire” leads YouTube to suggest “lasers,” “directed energy weapon,” and “dew,” which is an acronym for “directed energy weapon.” Simply typing “California fire” and searching it does return straightforward news coverage, which is an improvement over, say, the false flag and crisis actor conspiracies YouTube was surfacing about the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting earlier this year. Believers of this false California wildfire conspiracy theory think that the US government shoots directed energy weapons, or lasers, from a plane in order to to start fires at predetermined targets. The goal of this attack, which is not actually happening, is to support a bastardized interpretation of “Agenda 21,” a sustainable development plan developed by the United Nations in 1992. This conspiracy theory also gained a little bit of traction on Twitter. The conspiracy theorists use doctored or out-of-context images in order to falsely argue that directed energy weapons, or laser beams, caused the wildfires in California—not climate change. By incorrectly claiming that the houses were consciously struck, these theorists ignore ecological science which explains that the arrangement of homes and topography of the land