Mary Barra appointed as General Motors chief
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Mary Barra appointed as General Motors chief

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The United States’s largest car manufacturer General Motors today named Mary Barra as its new chief executive.

Barra, 51, will be the first woman to lead a firm in the American auto industry. She has been with General Motors for 33 years, and is currently the global head of product development.

She said in a statement: “With an amazing portfolio of cars and trucks and the strongest financial performance in our recent history, this is an exciting time at today’s GM. I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”

She replaces Daniel Akerson, who was appointed by the government as both chief executive and chairman in 2009 during the company’s bankruptcy. Akerson plans to stand down on January 15 following his wife’s advanced cancer diagnosis.

In a message to employees, he said: “I will leave with great satisfaction in what we have accomplished, great optimism over what is ahead and great pride that we are restoring General Motors as America’s standard bearer in the global auto industry.”

Akerson will also relinquish his chairman role, to be replaced by current director Theodore Solso. The company also announced head of finance Daniel Ammann as its new president.

The appointment comes just days after the US government sold the last of its shares in the company, losing around $9 billion on its initial bailout in 2008 that saw 61% of the firm coming under public ownership.

General Motors recovered from their bankruptcy a year after the appointment of Akerson, and re-entered the stock market in November 2010. It remains the largest car manufacturer in the United States, posting sales figures of $152 billion in 2012. It currently produces fifteen brands of vehicle in 37 countries.

Barra holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, and was recently listed by Forbes as the 35th most powerful woman in the world.

How Do You Make Crafts At Home With Your Children? Plus Free Valentine Card Creation Tips

How Do You Make Crafts At Home With Your Children? Plus Free Valentine Card Creation Tips

by

mmnewbold

Encouraging your child s creativity at home by creating craft items is very beneficial for their mental development. Children can explore different textures, shapes and patterns, and discover how to put ideas into action by handling different materials, and sticking and gluing them together. But remember crafting can be great fun, and also a good way to spend some quality time with your children.

Buying craft supplies from a craft store can cost quite a lot of money, so why not start your own junk/scraps box at home. All you need is a box or a large storage bag that you keep in a cupboard ready to store your household packaging. It s easy to start collecting and is amazing how quickly your junk box or bag fills up with useful items. Each time you are in the kitchen preparing meals, keep all your empty boxes, tubs or cardboard tubes that you would normally throw in the bin or recyle, and add these to your craft box. Whenever you come across any interesting items, such as packaging and wrappers from birthday gifts or Christmas presents,you can put them in your box ready for when you want to make one of our crafts. Collect lots of items, from different shaped boxes, cardboard tubes, shiny paper, drinking straws, plastic bottle tops, and clean ice-lolly sticks. Even old outgrown tee shirts can be shredded into material strips.

Craft shops stock a comprehensive range of craft materials. Why not visit your local store and buy a small variety of items to store in your box. Look out for cheaper end of lines, two for the price of one, bargain buckets, and reduced price crafts that have damaged packaging. If you look out for these cheap deals, or just buy one or two inexpensive items per week, you will quickly build up a good stock of craft materials for your home craft projects. Look out for feathers, pom poms, wiggly eyes, wool, material, tissue paper, coloured paper and glitter. Even at Christmas you could collect lots of shiny things to use, including small pieces of tinsel, wrapping paper, ribbons, gift tags, parcel twine, and shiny foil sweet wrappers.

While out and about around the shops, check out material stores for fabric scraps, odd buttons, and for balls of cheap wool or yarn. Cookware shops often sell cheap wooden spoons and spatulas. You can make a whole family of spoon puppets just by sticking fabric and wool onto spoons and drawing on faces with felt-tipped pens.

Don t forget to always have lots of paint, coloured crayons, glue and sticky tape at home!

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Here are some tips for creating your own Valentines Cards. These are so simple to make but you may get a bit messy, so make sure you wear old clothes that you don t mind getting messy.

Valentines Cards

You will need:

Pink card,

Tissue paper,

Material,

Wiggly eyes,

Pens,

Glue,

Scissors.

To Make – Fold a sheet of pink card in half. Write Happy Valentines Day at the top of the card, or print out a message using a computer, cut out and stick on. Decorate the card with hearts, flowers or draw on funny creatures and stick on some wiggly eyes.

Tip – Don t forget to sign your card with a ? so the receiver doesn t know who its from!

This craft and a lot more are available, along with photographs, in full colour, in our free Messy Tots mini-craft book by instant download. See the author details below to get your free copy today.

M Newbold is a prolific writer on many subjects. For a free full colour mini-craft book, visit:http://www.cotswoldfamilylife.co.uk www.cotswoldfamilylife.co.uk

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Millions of old New Zealand coins still to be handed in
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Millions of old New Zealand coins still to be handed in

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On November 1, 2006 the old five, ten, twenty and fifty cent coins will be illegal tender, but the Reserve Bank of New Zealand says there are still at least 100 million still to be returned.

According to the Reserve Bank, most of the old coins have been lost in drains or buried in rubbish. “We think there is still another 100 million sitting around in people’s homes,” Brian Lang, currency manger for the Reserve Bank, said.

Lang said: “So far, just over 280 million coins have been returned, but there are more out there. Since 1967 the Reserve Bank has issued more than a billion of the old ‘silver’ coins. So if you don’t want to be stuck with loads of old coin – there’s never been a better time to empty your coin jars, sweep the car glove box and rummage behind the couch cushions.”

The coins still awaiting to be handed in, by either spending them, taking them to a bank or donating them to charity, are estimated to be worth between NZ$5 million and $50 million.

“A last-minute burst of publicity may convince people to bring the coins in. It’s a bit of a hassle though. Human nature being what it is, people just don’t care,” Lang said.The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary located in Wellington say that they have collected over $9,000 in old coins. Sanctuary spokesman, Alan Dicks said: “The campaign was particularly fitting because the old coins depicted tuataras and kiwis, both of which can be found living at the sanctuary. The money will go towards supporting general ecological restoration of the sanctuary. We want to get over ten grand, but the more the better.”

Lang said: “Though the coins will no longer be legal tender, banks will continue to exchange them until at least the end of the year,” and the Reserve Bank will always exchange them. “We are still getting people coming in with two-dollar notes,” Lang added.

As increase in digital music sales slows, record labels look to new ways to make money
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As increase in digital music sales slows, record labels look to new ways to make money

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Every September, the Apple iPod is redesigned. Last year saw the release of the iPod Nano 5th generation, bringing a video camera and a large range of colours to the Nano for the first time. But as Apple again prepares to unveil a redesigned product, the company has released their quarterly sales figures—and revealed that they have sold only 9m iPods for the quarter to June—the lowest number of sales since 2006, leading industry anylists to ponder whether the world’s most successful music device is in decline.

Such a drop in sales is not a problem for Apple, since the iPhone 4 and the iPad are selling in high numbers. But the number of people buying digital music players are concerning the music industry. Charles Arthur, technology editor of The Guardian, wrote that the decline in sales of MP3 players was a “problem” for record companies, saying that “digital music sales are only growing as fast as those of Apple’s devices – and as the stand-alone digital music player starts to die off, people may lose interest in buying songs from digital stores. The music industry had looked to the iPod to drive people to buy music in download form, whether from Apple’s iTunes music store, eMusic, Napster or from newer competitors such as Amazon.”

Mark Mulligan, a music and digital media analyst at Forrester Research, said in an interview that “at a time where we’re asking if digital is a replacement for the CD, as the CD was for vinyl, we should be starting to see a hockey-stick growth in download sales. Instead, we’re seeing a curve resembling that of a niche technology.” Alex Jacob, a spokesperson for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents the worldwide music industry, agreed that there had been a fall in digital sales of music. “The digital download market is still growing,” they said. “But the percentage is less than a few years ago, though it’s now coming from a higher base.” Figures released earlier this year, Arthur wrote, “show that while CD sales fell by 12.7%, losing $1.6bn (£1bn)in value, digital downloads only grew by 9.2%, gaining less than $400m in value.”

Expectations that CDs would, in time, become extinct, replaced by digital downloads, have not come to light, Jacob confirmed. “Across the board, in terms of growth, digital isn’t making up for the fall in CD sales, though it is in certain countries, including the UK,” he said. Anylising the situation, Arthur suggested that “as iPod sales slow, digital music sales, which have been yoked to the device, are likely to slow too. The iPod has been the key driver: the IFPI’s figures show no appreciable digital download sales until 2004, the year Apple launched its iTunes music store internationally (it launched it in the US in April 2003). Since then, international digital music sales have climbed steadily, exactly in line with the total sales of iPods and iPhones.”

Nick Farrell, a TechEYE journalist, stated that the reason for the decline in music sales could be attributed to record companies’ continued reliance on Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, saying that they had considered him the “industry’s saviour”, and by having this mindset had forgotten “that the iPod is only for those who want their music on the run. What they should have been doing is working out how to get high quality music onto other formats, perhaps even HiFi before the iPlod fad died out.”

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When Jobs negotiated a deal with record labels to ensure every track was sold for 99 cents, they considered this unimportant—the iPod was not a major source of revenue for the company. However, near the end of 2004, there was a boom in sales of the iPod, and the iTunes store suddenly began raking in more and more money. The record companies were irritated, now wanting to charge different amounts for old and new songs, and popular and less popular songs. “But there was no alternative outlet with which to threaten Apple, which gained an effective monopoly over the digital music player market, achieving a share of more than 70%” wrote Arthur. Some did attempt to challenge the iTunes store, but still none have succeeded. “Apple is now the largest single retailer of music in the US by volume, with a 25% share.”

The iTunes store now sells television shows and films, and the company has recently launced iBooks, a new e-book store. The App Store is hugely successful, with Apple earning $410m in two years soley from Apps, sales of which they get 30%. In two years, 5bn apps have been downloaded—while in seven years, 10bn songs have been purchased. Mulligan thinks that there is a reason for this—the quality of apps simply does not match up to a piece of music. “You can download a song from iTunes to your iPhone or iPad, but at the moment music in that form doesn’t play to the strengths of the device. Just playing a track isn’t enough.”

Adam Liversage, a spokesperson of the British Phonographic Industry, which represents the major UK record labels, notes that the rise of streaming services such as Spotify may be a culprit in the fall in music sales. Revenues from such companies added up to $800m in 2009. Arthur feels that “again, it doesn’t make up for the fall in CD sales, but increasingly it looks like nothing ever will; that the record business’s richest years are behind it. Yet there are still rays of hope. If Apple – and every other mobile phone maker – are moving to an app-based economy, where you pay to download games or timetables, why shouldn’t recording artists do the same?”

Well, apparently they are. British singer Peter Gabriel has released a ‘Full Moon Club’ app, which is updated every month with a new song. Arthur also notes that “the Canadian rock band Rush has an app, and the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, led by Trent Reznor – who has been critical of the music industry for bureaucracy and inertia – released the band’s first app in April 2009.” It is thought that such a system will be an effective method to reduce online piracy—”apps tend to be tied to a particular handset or buyer, making them more difficult to pirate than a CD”, he says—and in the music industry, piracy is a very big problem. In 2008, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimated that 95% of downloads were illegitimate. If musicians can increase sales and decrease piracy, Robert says, it can only be a good thing.

“It’s early days for apps in the music business, but we are seeing labels and artists experimenting with it,” Jacob said. “You could see that apps could have a premium offering, or behind-the-scenes footage, or special offers on tickets. But I think it’s a bit premature to predict the death of the album.” Robert concluded by saying that it could be “premature to predict the death of the iPod just yet too – but it’s unlikely that even Steve Jobs will be able to produce anything that will revive it. And that means that little more than five years after the music industry thought it had found a saviour in the little device, it is having to look around again for a new stepping stone to growth – if, that is, one exists.”

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Shona Bracken, Toronto Danforth
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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Shona Bracken, Toronto Danforth

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Shona Bracken is running for the Communist Party in the Ontario provincial election in Toronto—Danforth. Wikinews interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

2008 TaiSPO: Interview with Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva
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2008 TaiSPO: Interview with Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva

Friday, March 28, 2008

2008 Taipei International Cycle Show (Taipei Cycle) & Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO) not only did a best reunion with conjunctions of the launch of Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition and the concurrent cycling race of 2008 Tour de Taiwan but also provide opportunities and benefits for sporting goods, bicycle, and athlete sports industries to establish the basis of the sourcing center in Asia and notabilities on the international cycling race.

Although the Taipei cycle was split from the TaiSPO since 1988, but the trends of sporting good industry in Taiwan changed rapidly and multiply because of modern people’s lifestyles and habits. After the “TaiSPO Innovation Award” was established since 2005, the fitness and leisure industries became popular stars as several international buyers respected on lifestyle and health.

For example, some participants participated Taipei Cycle and TaiSPO with different product lines to do several marketing on bicycle and fitness equipments, this also echoed the “Three New Movements” proposed by Giant Co., Ltd. to make a simple bicycle with multiple applications and functions. As of those facts above, Wikinews Journalist Rico Shen interviewed Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva, designer of “3G Steeper” to find out the possibilities on the optimizations between two elements, fitness and bicycle.

Cisco sues Apple for iPhone trademark
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Cisco sues Apple for iPhone trademark

Friday, January 12, 2007

The iPhone only made its appearance as a prototype and there have been controversies aroused.

The dispute has come up between the manufacturer of the iPhone (which was resented on Wednesday for the first time) – Apple Inc. – and a leader in network and communication systems, based in San JoseCisco. The company claims to possess the trademark for iPhone, and moreover, that it sells devices under the same brand through one of its divisions.

This became the reason for Cisco to file a lawsuit against Apple Inc. so that the latter would stop selling the device.

Cisco states that it has received the trademark in 2000, when the company overtook Infogear Technology Corp., which took place in 1996.

The Vice President and general counsel of the company, Mark Chandler, explained that there was no doubt about the excitement of the new device from Apple, but they should not use a trademark, which belongs to Cisco.

The iPhone developed by Cisco is a device which allows users to make phone calls over the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).

Albanian group claims responsibility for Macedonia clashes
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Albanian group claims responsibility for Macedonia clashes

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A group, calling itself the Political-Military Council of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) says it was behind yesterday’s armed clash with Macedonian police forces which left at least six dead.

In a statement, the organization claims that its members, formerly of the “Albanian Territorial Liberation Army“, had been “forced to assemble a regular military unit in order to protect the endangered Albanian people, and every inch of Albanian territory.“

This Thursday, the situation in the Tetovo region village, the scene of yesterday’s battle, is calm.

Rebels take over South Sudan oil regions
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Rebels take over South Sudan oil regions

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rebel troops under the command of Riek Machar, former vice president of South Sudan, today stated they now control a number of areas of the country including the oil-rich Unity State which borders Sudan. Government troops are attempting to take back Bor, the capital of the state of Jonglei.

In Juba, reportedly at least 500 people were killed in the last week. The US military said three US military aircraft — CV-22 Ospreys — were attacked by the rebel troops around Bor, and four US soldiers were injured and taken to Nairobi, Kenya for treatment. At a United Nations facility in Akobo, an attack killed two Indian peacekeepers and at least eleven civilians on Thursday.

Since South Sudan’s 2011 independence from Sudan, ethnic conflicts have caused hundreds of deaths.

World leaders have reacted to the violence. UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon said: “I demand that all political, military and militia leaders stop hostilities and end the violence against the civilians. I call on them to do everything in their power to ensure that their followers hear their message loud and clear.”

US President Barack Obama said “any effort to seize power through the use of military force will result in the end of longstanding support from the United States and the international community”.

Emaar Properties claims Burj Dubai as world’s tallest building
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Emaar Properties claims Burj Dubai as world’s tallest building

Sunday, July 22, 2007

United Arab Emirates (UAE) developer Emaar Properties has claimed that their Burj Dubai commercial and residential tower, currently under construction, has become the world’s tallest building, reaching a height of 512.1 metres (or 1,680 feet) and 141 storeys.

The current official record holder, Taipei 101 of Taiwan, has a height of 508 metres and 101 storeys, and will retain the “tallest building” title for some time to come. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat sets the criteria for achieving height records for buildings, and will not evaluate the Burj Dubai until construction is complete in late 2008. Although final height details have been kept secret by the developer, the Burj Dubai is expected to reach nearly 700 metres in height, with approximately 160 storeys.

The current record holder for the world’s tallest free-standing structure is the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. It has a height of 553 metres. The Burj Dubai, therefore, would claim both records when it is completed.

Once the Burj Dubai is completed, it will have required 330,000 cubic metres of concrete, 39,000 tonnes of steel and 142,000 square metres of glass, according to Emaar Properties. The building will have 56 lifts (elevators) that can move at a rate of speed of 1.75 to 10 metres per second.

Dubai is undergoing a construction boom currently with the Burj Dubai as the planned centrepiece of a $US20 billion project, which will eventually realize some 30,000 apartments and boast the world’s largest shopping mall.

There have been criticisms of the working conditions for construction workers in the UAE. A majority of the estimated 500,000 construction workers in the UAE are foreign workers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

In a 2006 report on the UAE’s treatment of migrant workers, entitled Building Towers, Cheating Workers, Human Rights Watch documented abuses in UAE such as, “extremely low wages, several years of indebtedness to recruitment agencies for fees that UAE law says only employers should pay, the withholding of employees’ passports, and hazardous working conditions that result in apparently high rates of death and injury.”

In October of last year, Human Rights Watch delivered specific recommendations to the UAE government for improvement of working conditions. The UAE government acted swiftly on the report and put in place several improvements, which were applauded by Human Rights Watch.

However, the salaries of migrant construction workers remain in the range from $106 to $250 per month, while the national average wage is over $2,000 per month. Trade unions remain illegal in the UAE.

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