How To Choose A Link Building Company?

Submitted by: Michael Luciano

A good link building company can guide your site to the top of search results while an incompetent one can get your site penalized by search engines. How can you choose the right company is discussed below.

As a webmaster, you know how quality inbound links will better your site s search placement and eventually lead to more and targeted traffic. But you also know that the process of getting those quality links, or link building is a tough task. This time consuming process needs to be taken up with due diligence and honesty so that the result is quality inbound links from authority sites that the search engines love.

To see your site get more than its share of traffic and credibility in the industry, you need to hire the most professional set of link builders who will deliver the rank and the traffic you need. So, when you sit down before your computer and start looking for a link building service, here is a small checklist to refer to, while deciding on who to choose-

1. Choose a link building service that seems knowledgeable when it comes to the latest and verified link building techniques. Look for experienced search professionals who are proficient in link building and must be well acquainted with the search trends and techniques. Go through their websites very carefully and look for their success stories. Look for the following answers:

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* Are they reputed?

* Have they a list of previous success stories?

* Do they have testimonials from previous/present clients?

* Have they any affiliations from search industry majors?

* Do they have any awards or accolades in their name?

* Have they worked for a similar client like you?

All these questions are vital to be answered as only then can you be sure that you are approaching a reputed company. You can rest assured that they will get quality links for you using the legit ways as has been their reputation.

2. Another thing that you must see from their services offer is whether they provide one way links. You must remember that presently, link exchange is of little or no value. Hire a link building company that promises a certain number of links and then sticks to it. With high quality, one way links your site will be ranked well by search engines and you will get quality traffic too. If you start a trial period with them, always check the links your link building company has provided you. Be on the vigil always. Make sure you know whether the links are from niche directories or from other reputable and relevant sites.

3. Go through their terms of service and other documents carefully. How often will they give you reports and what is their speed of responsiveness to your queries. If they are always ready to attend to you and are very professional in their manner, then it is a very good sign. You can relax at having chosen a reliable and responsible link building company.

These simple checkpoints will come in handy when you choose a link building company. If you are looking for offshore companies, then one country you can explore for sure is India. The country has many IT companies that have been acknowledged as experts in their domain. Make a smart choice when you choose to outsource your link building service. India is the hub of leading companies and a little digging will soon lead you to the right company for you.

About the Author: The writer is associated with Link Popularity, a leading link building company. India is the base of the company s operations.Website:

linkpopularity.in/

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1367282&ca=Internet



Top-down and bottom-up design

Top-down and bottom-up are both strategies of information processing and knowledge ordering, used in a variety of fields including software, humanistic and scientific theories (see systemics), and management and organization. In practice, they can be seen as a style of thinking and teaching.

A top-down approach (also known as stepwise design and in some cases used as a synonym of decomposition) is essentially the breaking down of a system to gain insight into its compositional sub-systems. In a top-down approach an overview of the system is formulated, specifying but not detailing any first-level subsystems. Each subsystem is then refined in yet greater detail, sometimes in many additional subsystem levels, until the entire specification is reduced to base elements. A top-down model is often specified with the assistance of “black boxes”, these make it easier to manipulate. However, black boxes may fail to elucidate elementary mechanisms or be detailed enough to realistically validate the model. Top down approach starts with the big picture. It breaks down from there into smaller segments.[1]

A bottom-up approach is the piecing together of systems to give rise to more complex systems, thus making the original systems sub-systems of the emergent system. Bottom-up processing is a type of information processing based on incoming data from the environment to form a perception. Information enters the eyes in one direction (input), and is then turned into an image by the brain that can be interpreted and recognized as a perception (output). In a bottom-up approach the individual base elements of the system are first specified in great detail. These elements are then linked together to form larger subsystems, which then in turn are linked, sometimes in many levels, until a complete top-level system is formed. This strategy often resembles a “seed” model, whereby the beginnings are small but eventually grow in complexity and completeness. However, “organic strategies” may result in a tangle of elements and subsystems, developed in isolation and subject to local optimization as opposed to meeting a global purpose.

During the design and development of new products, designers and engineers rely on both a bottom-up and top-down approach. The bottom-up approach is being utilized when off-the-shelf or existing components are selected and integrated into the product. An example would include selecting a particular fastener, such as a bolt, and designing the receiving components such that the fastener will fit properly. In a top-down approach, a custom fastener would be designed such that it would fit properly in the receiving components.[2] For perspective, for a product with more restrictive requirements (such as weight, geometry, safety, environment, etc.), such as a space-suit, a more top-down approach is taken and almost everything is custom designed. However, when it’s more important to minimize cost and increase component availability, such as with manufacturing equipment, a more bottom-up approach would be taken, and as many off-the-shelf components (bolts, gears, bearings, etc.) would be selected as possible. In the latter case, the receiving housings would be designed around the selected components.

In the software development process, the top-down and bottom-up approaches play a key role.

Top-down approaches emphasize planning and a complete understanding of the system. It is inherent that no coding can begin until a sufficient level of detail has been reached in the design of at least some part of the system. Top-down approaches are implemented by attaching the stubs in place of the module. This, however, delays testing of the ultimate functional units of a system until significant design is complete. Bottom-up emphasizes coding and early testing, which can begin as soon as the first module has been specified. This approach, however, runs the risk that modules may be coded without having a clear idea of how they link to other parts of the system, and that such linking may not be as easy as first thought. Re-usability of code is one of the main benefits of the bottom-up approach.[3]

Top-down design was promoted in the 1970s by IBM researchers Harlan Mills and Niklaus Wirth. Mills developed structured programming concepts for practical use and tested them in a 1969 project to automate the New York Times morgue index. The engineering and management success of this project led to the spread of the top-down approach through IBM and the rest of the computer industry. Among other achievements, Niklaus Wirth, the developer of Pascal programming language, wrote the influential paper Program Development by Stepwise Refinement. Since Niklaus Wirth went on to develop languages such as Modula and Oberon (where one could define a module before knowing about the entire program specification), one can infer that top down programming was not strictly what he promoted. Top-down methods were favored in software engineering until the late 1980s,[3] and object-oriented programming assisted in demonstrating the idea that both aspects of top-down and bottom-up programming could be utilized.

Modern software design approaches usually combine both top-down and bottom-up approaches. Although an understanding of the complete system is usually considered necessary for good design, leading theoretically to a top-down approach, most software projects attempt to make use of existing code to some degree. Pre-existing modules give designs a bottom-up flavor. Some design approaches also use an approach where a partially functional system is designed and coded to completion, and this system is then expanded to fulfill all the requirements for the project

Top-down is a programming style, the mainstay of traditional procedural languages, in which design begins by specifying complex pieces and then dividing them into successively smaller pieces. The technique for writing a program using top–down methods is to write a main procedure that names all the major functions it will need. Later, the programming team looks at the requirements of each of those functions and the process is repeated. These compartmentalized sub-routines eventually will perform actions so simple they can be easily and concisely coded. When all the various sub-routines have been coded the program is ready for testing. By defining how the application comes together at a high level, lower level work can be self-contained. By defining how the lower level abstractions are expected to integrate into higher level ones, interfaces become clearly defined.

In a bottom-up approach, the individual base elements of the system are first specified in great detail. These elements are then linked together to form larger subsystems, which then in turn are linked, sometimes in many levels, until a complete top-level system is formed. This strategy often resembles a “seed” model, whereby the beginnings are small, but eventually grow in complexity and completeness. Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a paradigm that uses “objects” to design applications and computer programs. In mechanical engineering with software programs such as Pro/ENGINEER, Solidworks, and Autodesk Inventor users can design products as pieces not part of the whole and later add those pieces together to form assemblies like building with LEGO. Engineers call this piece part design.

This bottom-up approach has one weakness. Good intuition is necessary to decide the functionality that is to be provided by the module. If a system is to be built from existing system, this approach is more suitable as it starts from some existing modules.

Parsing is the process of analyzing an input sequence (such as that read from a file or a keyboard) in order to determine its grammatical structure. This method is used in the analysis of both natural languages and computer languages, as in a compiler.

Bottom-up parsing is a strategy for analyzing unknown data relationships that attempts to identify the most fundamental units first, and then to infer higher-order structures from them. Top-down parsers, on the other hand, hypothesize general parse tree structures and then consider whether the known fundamental structures are compatible with the hypothesis. See Top-down parsing and Bottom-up parsing.

Top-down and bottom-up are two approaches for the manufacture of products. These terms were first applied to the field of nanotechnology by the Foresight Institute in 1989 in order to distinguish between molecular manufacturing (to mass-produce large atomically precise objects) and conventional manufacturing (which can mass-produce large objects that are not atomically precise). Bottom-up approaches seek to have smaller (usually molecular) components built up into more complex assemblies, while top-down approaches seek to create nanoscale devices by using larger, externally controlled ones to direct their assembly.

The top-down approach often uses the traditional workshop or microfabrication methods where externally controlled tools are used to cut, mill, and shape materials into the desired shape and order. Micropatterning techniques, such as photolithography and inkjet printing belong to this category.

Bottom-up approaches, in contrast, use the chemical properties of single molecules to cause single-molecule components to (a) self-organize or self-assemble into some useful conformation, or (b) rely on positional assembly. These approaches utilize the concepts of molecular self-assembly and/or molecular recognition. See also Supramolecular chemistry. Such bottom-up approaches should, broadly speaking, be able to produce devices in parallel and much cheaper than top-down methods, but could potentially be overwhelmed as the size and complexity of the desired assembly increases.

These terms are also employed in neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology to discuss the flow of information in processing.[4] Typically sensory input is considered “down”, and higher cognitive processes, which have more information from other sources, are considered “up”. A bottom-up process is characterized by an absence of higher level direction in sensory processing, whereas a top-down process is characterized by a high level of direction of sensory processing by more cognition, such as goals or targets (Beiderman, 19).[3]

According to Psychology notes written by Dr. Charles Ramskov, a Psychology professor at De Anza College, Rock, Neiser, and Gregory claim that top-down approach involves perception that is an active and constructive process.[5] Additionally, it is an approach not directly given by stimulus input, but is the result of stimulus, internal hypotheses, and expectation interactions. According to Theoretical Synthesis, “when a stimulus is presented short and clarity is uncertain that gives a vague stimulus, perception becomes a top-down approach.”[6]

Conversely, Psychology defines bottom-up processing as an approach wherein there is a progression from the individual elements to the whole. According to Ramskov, one proponent of bottom-up approach, Gibson, claims that it is a process that includes visual perception that needs information available from proximal stimulus produced by the distal stimulus.[7] Theoretical Synthesis also claims that bottom-up processing occurs “when a stimulus is presented long and clearly enough.”[6]

Cognitively speaking, certain cognitive processes, such as fast reactions or quick visual identification, are considered bottom-up processes because they rely primarily on sensory information, whereas processes such as motor control and directed attention are considered top-down because they are goal directed. Neurologically speaking, some areas of the brain, such as area V1 mostly have bottom-up connections.[6] Other areas, such as the fusiform gyrus have inputs from higher brain areas and are considered to have top-down influence.[8]

The study of visual attention provides an example. If your attention is drawn to a flower in a field, it may be because the color or shape of the flower are visually salient. The information that caused you to attend to the flower came to you in a bottom-up fashion—your attention was not contingent upon knowledge of the flower; the outside stimulus was sufficient on its own. Contrast this situation with one in which you are looking for a flower. You have a representation of what you are looking for. When you see the object you are looking for, it is salient. This is an example of the use of top-down information.

In cognitive terms, two thinking approaches are distinguished. “Top-down” (or “big chunk”) is stereotypically the visionary, or the person who sees the larger picture and overview. Such people focus on the big picture and from that derive the details to support it. “Bottom-up” (or “small chunk”) cognition is akin to focusing on the detail primarily, rather than the landscape. The expression “seeing the wood for the trees” references the two styles of cognition.[9]

In management and organizational arenas, the terms “top-down” and “bottom-up” are used to indicate how decisions are made.

A “top-down” approach is one where an executive, decision maker, or other person or body makes a decision. This approach is disseminated under their authority to lower levels in the hierarchy, who are, to a greater or lesser extent, bound by them. For example, a structure in which decisions either are approved by a manager, or approved by his or her authorized representatives based on the manager’s prior guidelines, is top-down management.

A “bottom-up” approach is one that works from the grassroots—from a large number of people working together, causing a decision to arise from their joint involvement. A decision by a number of activists, students, or victims of some incident to take action is a “bottom-up” decision. Positive aspects of top-down approaches include their efficiency and superb overview of higher levels. Also, external effects can be internalized. On the negative side, if reforms are perceived to be imposed ‘from above’, it can be difficult for lower levels to accept them (e.g. Bresser Pereira, Maravall, and Przeworski 1993). Evidence suggests this to be true regardless of the content of reforms (e.g. Dubois 2002). A bottom-up approach allows for more experimentation and a better feeling for what is needed at the bottom.

Both approaches can be found in the organization of states, this involving political decisions.

In bottom-up organized organizations, e.g. ministries and their subordinate entities, decisions are prepared by experts in their fields, which define, out of their expertise, the policy they deem necessary. If they cannot agree, even on a compromise, they escalate the problem to the next higher hierarchy level, where a decision would be sought. Finally, the highest common principal might have to take the decision. Information is in the debt of the inferior to the superior, which means that the inferior owes information to the superior. In the effect, as soon as inferiors agree, the head of the organization only provides his or her “face? for the decision which their inferiors have agreed upon.

Among several countries, the German political system provides one of the purest forms of a bottom-up approach. The German Federal Act on the Public Service provides that any inferior has to consult and support any superiors, that he or she – only – has to follow “general guidelines” of the superiors, and that he or she would have to be fully responsible for any own act in office, and would have to follow a specific, formal complaint procedure if in doubt of the legality of an order.[10] Frequently, German politicians had to leave office on the allegation that they took wrong decisions because of their resistance to inferior experts’ opinions (this commonly being called to be “beratungsresistent”, or resistant to consultation, in German). The historical foundation of this approach lies with the fact that, in the 19th century, many politicians used to be noblemen without appropriate education, who more and more became forced to rely on consultation of educated experts, which (in particular after the Prussian reforms of Stein and Hardenberg) enjoyed the status of financially and personally independent, indismissable, and neutral experts as Beamte (public servants under public law).[11]

The experience of two dictatorships in the country and, after the end of such regimes, emerging calls for the legal responsibility of the “aidees of the aidees” (Helfershelfer) of such regimes also furnished calls for the principle of personal responsibility of any expert for any decision made, this leading to a strengthening of the bottom-up approach, which requires maximum responsibility of the superiors. A similar approach can be found in British police laws, where entitlements of police constables are vested in the constable in person and not in the police as an administrative agency, this leading to the single constable being fully responsible for his or her own acts in office, in particular their legality.

In the opposite, the French administration is based on a top-down approach, where regular public servants enjoy no other task than simply to execute decisions made by their superiors. As those superiors also require consultation, this consultation is provided by members of a cabinet, which is distinctive from the regular ministry staff in terms of staff and organization. Those members who are not members of the cabinet are not entitled to make any suggestions or to take any decisions of political dimension.

The advantage of the bottom-up approach is the level of expertise provided, combined with the motivating experience of any member of the administration to be responsible and finally the independent “engine” of progress in that field of personal responsibility. A disadvantage is the lack of democratic control and transparency, this leading, from a democratic viewpoint, to the deferment of actual power of policy-making to faceless, if even unknown, public servants. Even the fact that certain politicians might “provide their face” to the actual decisions of their inferiors might not mitigate this effect, but rather strong parliamentary rights of control and influence in legislative procedures (as they do exist in the example of Germany).

The advantage of the top-down principle is that political and administrative responsibilities are clearly distinguished from each other, and that responsibility for political failures can be clearly identified with the relevant office holder. Disadvantages are that the system triggers demotivation of inferiors, who know that their ideas to innovative approaches might not be welcome just because of their position, and that the decision-makers cannot make use of the full range of expertise which their inferiors will have collected.

Administrations in dictatorships traditionally work according to a strict top-down approach. As civil servants below the level of the political leadership are discouraged from making suggestions, they use to suffer from the lack of expertise which could be provided by the inferiors, which regularly leads to a breakdown of the system after an few decades. Modern communist states, which the People’s Republic of China forms an example of, therefore prefer to define a framework of permissible, or even encouraged, criticism and self-determination by inferiors, which would not affect the major state doctrine, but allows the use of professional and expertise-driven knowledge and the use of it for the decision-making persons in office.

Both top-down and bottom-up approaches exist in public health. There are many examples of top-down programs, often run by governments or large inter-governmental organizations (IGOs); many of these are disease-specific or issue-specific, such as HIV control or Smallpox Eradication. Examples of bottom-up programs include many small NGOs set up to improve local access to healthcare. However, a lot of programs seek to combine both approaches; for instance, guinea worm eradication, a single-disease international program currently run by the Carter Center has involved the training of many local volunteers, boosting bottom-up capacity, as have international programs for hygiene, sanitation, and access to primary health-care.

Often, the École des Beaux-Arts school of design is said to have primarily promoted top-down design because it taught that an architectural design should begin with a parti, a basic plan drawing of the overall project.

By contrast, the Bauhaus focused on bottom-up design. This method manifested itself in the study of translating small-scale organizational systems to a larger, more architectural scale (as with the woodpanel carving and furniture design).

In ecology, top-down control refers to when a top predator controls the structure or population dynamics of the ecosystem. The classic example is of kelp forest ecosystems. In such ecosystems, sea otters are a keystone predator. They prey on urchins which in turn eat kelp. When otters are removed, urchin populations grow and reduce the kelp forest creating urchin barrens. In other words, such ecosystems are not controlled by productivity of the kelp but rather a top predator.

Bottom up control in ecosystems refers to ecosystems in which the nutrient supply and productivity and type of primary producers (plants and phytoplankton) control the ecosystem structure. An example would be how plankton populations are controlled by the availability of nutrients. Plankton populations tend to be higher and more complex in areas where upwelling brings nutrients to the surface.

There are many different examples of these concepts. It is common for populations to be influenced by both types of control.



Frenchman climbs skyscraper in 20 minutes without any equipment

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 

48-year old Alain Robert, affectionately known as the ‘French Spiderman’, has climbed a 57-storey {[w|Sydney}} skyscraper without any equipment in 20 minutes. The purpose of Alain Robert’s actions was to raise awareness of global warming. Following the previous like events in other cities, he was arrested and will possibly be fined.

When Robert was 12, he climbed eight storeys to get into his flat instead of waiting for his parents to return. Since then, he has climbed over eighty buildings around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, The New York Times building, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. His hobby has, however, led to him being arrested and fined on multiple occasions—he was fined USD 750 after climbing the 41-storey Royal Bank of Scotland building in central Sydney.

His most recent climb, which he completed in twenty minutes, began at the bottom of the Lumiere building in Bathurst Street at 10:30am AEST on Monday morning. About 100 passers-by gathered to watch Robert, dressed in red trousers, a grey top, and a baseball cap, climb the building. Eleven-year-old Rachel Pepper was surprised when he saw Robert, who suffers from permanent vertigo after two accidents in 1982. “I think it’s amazing to climb that high without falling. He’s got superhuman strength.” His mother Wendy Pepper agreed, “It was a nice surprise when we turned the corner and got to see him.”

Upon reaching the top of the building, the Frenchman unfurled a banner advertising the website of The One Hundred Months campaign, which argues that 100 months after August 2008, climate change will reach an irreversible point, as onlookers applauded his feat. Robert was subsequently taken into custody at the top of the skyscraper, and charged with trespassing. Robert was granted conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Friday. Robert’s agent, Max Markson, described the climb as a “wonderful achievement. He’s the best at what he does. I’m sad he’s been arrested, but hopefully he’ll get out soon.”



Luxury Car Rental Services In Singapore In Affordable Budget

Submitted by: Mr Johnson

The Singapore is very lovely destination of South East Asia. It is popularly known as the best destination in all over the world. A large number of people come here to visit the destination for a family trip, wedding trips, business trips, and marriage and wedding trips. What will be your purpose to visit the Singapore, you should take few moments of your life on lovely Paradise by hiring car rental services. The car rental services are very affordable services provided by the top agencies in affordable budget according to the expectations of clients completely. Therefore, you should have awareness of hiring a car on the rent from Singapore.

Finding a car on the rent is really very expensive and difficult for tourists, who are coming from different parts of the country. It is very crowded place where millions of people gather to make their trips memorable with family members and friends. By hiring a car on the rent may be very affordable because you will be relieved from all kinds of troubles, traffic queues and wait ultimately for you as the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Car Rental Singapore is very affordable service provided by the reliable agencies in affordable budget without any problem. Therefore, it is the best place for visiting the city with great care provided by the top reliable agency.

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There are many reliable national and international car rental agencies in Singapore that provides you all types of facilities provided by these reliable agencies. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Mercedes are very reliable agencies for driving the car successfully, which can also provide the higher quality facilities provided by the top and reliable agencies in affordable budget. These agencies are very popular in Singapore, which provides all type of facilities like accommodations, dinner, hotels, cheap and best cars on daily and yearly cars. Daily and yearly cars are preferred by the tourists, who are coming from different parts of the country. Millions of people are very confused to enjoy the every moment of your life on any lovely place. That place is full of great excitement and thrilling events. Therefore, it is very good place to cover many kinds of species to the date and water watching events and beautiful birds.

Car Rental Singapore services are provided by top and reliable agencies in affordable budget according to the expectations of tourists completely. These services are very affordable services provided by the reliable agencies. These services have made it very convenient and easy place to access the cars for visiting the place with a guide. Therefore, Singapore is very lovely destination in all over the world, which is frequently visited by the domestic tourists, even international tourists. Therefore, it is world famous place as tourist destination.

There are many reliable national and international car rental agencies in Singapore that provides you all types of facilities provided by these reliable agencies. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Mercedes are very reliable agencies for driving the car successfully, which can also provide the higher quality facilities provided by the top and reliable agencies in affordable budget. These agencies are very popular in Singapore, which provides all type of facilities like accommodations, dinner, hotels, cheap and best cars on daily and yearly cars. Daily and yearly cars are preferred by the tourists, who are coming from different parts of the country. Millions of people are very confused to enjoy the every moment of your life on any lovely place. That place is full of great excitement and thrilling events.

The Singapore is very lovely destination of South East Asia. It is popularly known as the best destination in all over the world. A large number of people come here to visit the destination for a family trip, wedding trips, business trips, and marriage and wedding trips. What will be your purpose to visit the Singapore, you should take few moments of your life on lovely Paradise by hiring car rental services. The car rental services are very affordable services provided by the top agencies in affordable budget according to the expectations of clients completely. Therefore, you should have awareness of hiring a car on the rent from Singapore.

About the Author: Car Rental Singapore services are very affordable provided by the top reliable agencies. Car rental is only one option for visiting the place completely. Visit

singapore-carrental.com/

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1591552&ca=Automotive



Belgian bus company knows solution for car parking problems

Monday, May 21, 2007 

Do you have a hard time finding a parking space? Take the bus or tram if you go to the city. That’s the message Belgian bus company De Lijn (The Line) is sending to promote public transport as a solution for car parking problems. As a part of their media campaign, they have jokingly suggested that people use the top of the busses as parking space.

Another idea they are using in their media campaign: maybe you could park your car on the bottom of a canal? The bus company is using an invented diving company called Cardive, which has divers that offer to dump your car in the canal. The divers walk around in cities and hand out free bus tickets and maps of the bus network.

To reach car drivers who are not using public transport, the media campaign has several radio commercials that present other solutions to the car parking problem. You could use “asphalt-spray” to camouflage your car, making it invisible for policemen (although you then need to remember where you’ve parked). Or you could use the “flat tire kit”, which comes with a fake flat tire and an inflatable dummy, so it looks like you’re replacing your flat tire. The final idea the bus company has is to use a View-Master to fool parking guards into believing that your car has been stationed correctly.

A survey among 4000 customers of De Lijn shows that two out of three car owners who use public transport, do so to avoid parking space troubles, and in cities this percentage rises to 90%. The survey further shows that 39% use the bus to go shopping.

During the month of May, the auto-bus and the divers tour several cities in Flanders (Leuven, Hasselt, Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp).

Press Release: “Vermijd parkeerproblemen met De Lijn!” — De Lijn, May 19, 2007 (Dutch)



Car bomb defused in central London

Friday, June 29, 2007 

A car containing an large explosive device has been defused in the Haymarket, London. A second device was later found in a car park in Park Lane.

A car, a light metallic green Mercedes-Benz E Class saloon (produced 1984-1995), parked near the nightclub ‘TigerTiger’, contained petrol, gas cylinders and nails. Police described it as a “potentially viable explosive device”.

Police carried out a controlled explosion at 2:00 a.m. BST and the car has been taken to a forensic explosives laboratory for further investigation.

Eyewitnesses saw the car driving “erratically” and colliding with bins before being abandoned. An ambulance crew in the area alerted police after seeing smoke inside the car.

Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner Peter Clarke said there could have been “significant injury or loss of life”.

A meeting of COBRA, chaired by new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was held about the incident.

Police say it is too early to tell who is behind the threat. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the country faces a “serious and continued security threat” and urged people to “be vigilant at all times”.

Disruption has been caused to transport in the area with roads closed and bus routes diverted. Piccadilly Circus tube station has reopened after an earlier closure

Police are reviewing major events to be held in London over the weekend.

CBS News has reported that a message appeared on the widely used jihadist Internet forum Al-Hesbah at 8:09 a.m. June 28, saying: “Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.” The message went on to mention the recently announced knighthood of Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie.

Following an incident at Glasgow airport, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced the elevation of the UK’s national threat level from “Severe” to “Critical”, indicating that an attack could be expected “imminently”.

Two people have been arrested in Cheshire in connection with the Glasgow International Airport attack and attempted London car bombings.

Park Lane was closed to the public due to a suspicious car parked in the underground car park beneath Hyde Park. Police, who believed the two incidents to be linked, cordoned off Park Lane and Hyde Park to allow the bomb disposal unit access to the vehicle. The car was illegally parked on Cockspur Street and was towed to the pound on Park Lane, it was then discovered that the car contained an explosive device.



Glamourous Windows With Cheap Faux Silk Curtains

By Jason Chow

Finally its hot and change is in the air. But for those intending significant interior improvement, or a absolutely cleaner start, my valuable tip would be to keep it straight forward and simple. Particularly due to recession and decreasing pound, curtains are at their higher rates in years. Nevertheless worry not, with the good know-how and recommendation there is always a deal to be found in the market. Cheap curtains are maintained by every retailer but not promoted on their catalogues with significance as they don’t earn much with them. It’s just a matter of making how to find them.

In summer, the one really significant reason to buy a pair of curtains for your window is to prevent the first morning sun-rays. Hence the explanation why summer is such a hectic time. During the winter you get up in the dark and come back home from work in the shade, and so the need for just privacy or voile hangings. There are a lot of cheap curtains found that carry out the requirement. Ready made is probably the best choice briefly. Chiefly when evaluate to custom made drapes, ready made curtains will have too many profits. The most significant being price. You may buy a cheap curtain from 20, although a custom made will be valued anything from 150. The cost advantage provides you the preference to re-design your windows more often. No longer do you require to continue with your drapes for years, simply change them every time development change.

Cheap curtains also have their dilemma. One of the leading difficulty is thickness of lining. The front fabric may be magnificent in every way. But the linings, which are primarily meant to give the curtains some weight and facilitate protection to the front stuff, do not stop the brightness. This brings up the necessity to use blackout curtains or linings with most acquiring of cheap curtains. Blackout curtains completely shield the light and even to a assured degree keeps the heat out. There are two types of blackout curtains. First that basically fixes to the back of pencil pleat heading to proceed like a lining and another that essentially operates like a fully functional pair of curtain. Most cheap curtains are manufactured with a pencil pleat heading thus the most popular type of blackout curtains is the one that basically connects to the tape . Blackout curtains also provide the front curtains added load and volume to give it a extra luxurious draping effect.

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As a specific instance faux silk curtains are the most suitable preference. Sold in a larger sc ope of shades and sizes these work as the perfect choice for value and style. The ring top makes a very contemporary finishing and the pencil pleat heading gives it a common preference for any design theme. But as declared these cheap curtains have a very thin front fabric therefore the requirement to use blackout curtains with them. Faux silk curtains are a magnificent choice to reinvent your drapes this summer. Always accessible in trendy colours like lime green and aubergine, these are the first hand preference, for any window designing. You will also feel it quite simple to compliment the curtain with accessories like cushions and tie backs which are reasonably economical as well. Made from polyester to emulate real silk these faux silk curtains have a luxurious and elegant look. Easy to maintain as they can be machine washed. Personally I recommend the ideal deal is the accessories like pillows and tie backs which act as the ideal finishing touch are very economical as well.

There are other kinds of cheap curtains but the easiest to find will be faux silk curtains as they are very demanded right now and priced appropriately. Blackout curtains can be worked with more expensive curtains thus making them versatile to exploit in future. I have seen some websites selling clearance ranges as ‘ cheap curtains ‘ so it’s significant browing the term itself. But my advice is to obtain the flexible and fashionable faux silk curtains for a cheap yet in fashion look.

About the Author: Being a estate agent, to bestow recommendations to my consumers about how to decorate their homes cosmetically is part of my service. I would recommend

cheap curtains

complimented with blackout curtains to provide them wonderful worth for money while robust quality.

Faux silk curtains

are ideal for modern interiors where money is an concern.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=563924&ca=Home+Management



Voice of America

Voice of America (VOA) is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. It is one of five civilian U.S. international broadcasters working under the umbrella of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). VOA provides programming for broadcast on radio, TV and the internet outside of the U.S., in 43 languages. VOA produces about 1,500 hours of news and feature programming each week for an estimated global audience of 123 million people, “to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas.”[1] Its day-to-day operations are supported by the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB).

A 1976 law signed by President Gerald Ford requires VOA to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.”[2] The VOA Charter states: “VOA news will be accurate, objective and comprehensive.”[2] VOA radio and television broadcasts are distributed by satellite, cable and on FM, AM, and shortwave radio frequencies. They are streamed on individual language service websites, social media sites and mobile platforms. VOA has more than 1,200 affiliate and contract agreements with radio and television stations and cable networks worldwide.

One of VOA’s radio transmitter facilities was originally based on a 625-acre (2.53 km2) site in Union Township (now West Chester Township) in Butler County, Ohio, near Cincinnati. The Bethany Relay Station operated from 1944 to 1994. Other former sites include California (Dixon, Delano), Hawaii, Okinawa, Liberia, Costa Rica, and Belize.[citation needed]

Currently, the VOA and the IBB continue to operate shortwave radio transmitters and antenna farms at one site in the United States, close to Greenville, North Carolina. They do not use FCC-issued callsigns, as other radio stations on US soil are required by FCC rules.[citation needed] The IBB also operates a transmission facility on São Tomé for the VoA.[citation needed]

The Voice of America is fully funded by the U.S. taxpayers. Congress appropriates funds annually. VOA’s FY 2010 budget estimate was $206.5 million.[citation needed]

The Voice of America currently broadcasts in 45 languages (TV marked with an asterisk):

The number of languages broadcast and the number of hours broadcast in each language vary according to the priorities of the United States Government and the world situation. In 2001, according to an International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) fact sheet, VOA broadcast in 53 languages, with 12 televised.[3] For example, in July 2007, VOA added 30 minutes to its daily Somali radio broadcast, providing a full hour of live, up-to-the-minute news and information to listeners.[4] VOA estimates it produces 1,500 hours of programming each week to an audience of 123 million[5]

The Voice of America has been a part of several agencies:

From 1942 to 1945, it was part of the Office of War Information, and then from 1945 to 1953 as a function of the State Department. The VOA was placed under the U.S. Information Agency in 1953. When the USIA was abolished in 1999, the VOA was placed under the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which is an autonomous U.S. government agency, with bipartisan membership. The Secretary of State has a seat on the BBG.[6] The BBG was established as a buffer to protect VOA and other U.S.-sponsored, non-military, international broadcasters from political interference. It replaced the Board for International Broadcasting (BIB) that oversaw the funding and operation of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a branch of VOA.[7]

Before World War II, all American shortwave stations were in private hands.[8] The National Broadcasting Company’s International, or White Network, which broadcast in six languages,[9] The Columbia Broadcasting System, whose Latin American international network consisted of 64 stations located in 18 different countries,[10] as well as the Crosley Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, had shortwave transmitters. Experimental programming began in the 1930s. There were fewer than 12 transmitters, however.[11]

In 1939, the Federal Communications Commission set the following policy:

A licensee of an international broadcast station shall render only an international broadcast service which will reflect the culture of this country and which will promote international goodwill, understanding and cooperation. Any program solely intended for, and directed to an audience in the continental United States does not meet the requirements for this service.[12]

Washington observers felt this policy was to enforce the State Department’s Good Neighbor Policy but many broadcasters felt that this was an attempt to direct censorship.[13]

In 1940, the Office of the Coordinator of Interamerican Affairs, a semi-independent agency of the U.S. State Department headed by Nelson Rockefeller, began operations. Shortwave signals to Latin America were regarded as vital to counter Nazi propaganda.[14] Initially, the Office of Coordination of Information sent releases to each station, but this was seen as an inefficient means of transmitting news.[8]

Even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government’s Office of the Coordinator of Information began providing war news and commentary to the commercial American shortwave radio stations for use on a voluntary basis.[15] Direct programming began shortly after the United States’ entry into the war. The first live broadcast to Germany, called Stimmen aus Amerika (“Voices from America”) took place on Feb 1, 1942. It was introduced by “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and included the pledge: “Today, and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war. . . . The news may be good or bad for us – We will always tell you the truth.”[16]

The Office of War Information took over VOA’s operations when it was formed in mid-1942. The VOA reached an agreement with the British Broadcasting Corporation to share medium-wave transmitters in Britain, and expanded into Tunis in North Africa and Palermo and Bari, Italy as the Allies captured these territories. The OWI also set up the American Broadcasting Station in Europe.[17]

Asian transmissions started with one transmitter in California in 1941; services were expanded by adding transmitters in Hawaii and, after recapture, the Philippines.[18]

By the end of the war, VOA had 39 transmitters and provided service in 40 languages.[19] Programming was broadcast from production centers in New York and San Francisco, with more than 1,000 programs originating from New York. Programming consisted of music, news, commentary, and relays of U.S. domestic programming, in addition to specialized VOA programming.[20]

About half of VOA’s services, including the Arabic service, were discontinued in 1945.[21] In late 1945, VOA was transferred to the Department of State.

In 1947, VOA started broadcasting to the Soviet citizens in Russian under the pretext of countering “more harmful instances of Soviet propaganda directed against American leaders and policies” on the part of the internal Soviet Russian-language media, according to “Cold War Propaganda” by John B. Whitton.[22] The Soviet Union responded by initiating electronic jamming of VOA broadcasts on April 24, 1949.[22]

Charles W. Thayer headed VOA in 1948–49.

Over the next few years, the U.S. government debated the best role of the Voice of America. The decision was made to use VOA broadcasts as a part of its foreign policy to fight the propaganda of the Soviet Union and other countries.

The Arabic service resumed on January 1, 1950, with a half-hour program. This program grew to 14.5 hours daily during the Suez Crisis of 1956, and was six hours a day by 1958.[23]

In 1952, the Voice of America installed a studio and relay facility aboard a converted U.S. Coast Guard cutter renamed Courier whose target audience was Russia and its allies. The Courier was originally intended to become the first in a fleet of mobile, radio broadcasting ships (see offshore radio) that built upon U.S. Navy experience during WWII in using warships as floating broadcasting stations. However, the Courier eventually dropped anchor off the island of Rhodes, Greece with permission of the Greek government to avoid being branded as a pirate radio broadcasting ship. This VOA offshore station stayed on the air until the 1960s when facilities were eventually provided on land. The Courier supplied training to engineers who later worked on several of the European commercial offshore broadcasting stations of the 1950s and 1960s.

Control of the VOA passed from the State Department to the U.S. Information Agency when the latter was established in 1953.[24] to transmit worldwide, including to the countries behind the Iron Curtain and to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In the 1980s, the USIA established the WORLDNET satellite television service, and in 2004 WORLDNET was merged into VOA.

During the 1950s and 1960s, VOA broadcast American jazz, which was highly popular worldwide. For example, a program aimed at South Africa in 1956 broadcast two hours nightly, along with special programs such as The Newport Jazz Festival. This was done in association with tours by U.S. musicians, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington, sponsored by the State Department.[25]

Throughout the Cold War, many of the targeted countries’ governments sponsored jamming of VOA broadcasts, which sometimes led critics to question the broadcasts’ actual impact. For example, in 1956, Poland stopped jamming VOA, but Bulgaria continued to jam the signal through the 1970s. and Chinese language VOA broadcasts were jammed beginning in 1956 and extending through 1976.[26] However, after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, interviews with participants in anti-Soviet movements verified the effectiveness of VOA broadcasts in transmitting information to socialist societies.[27] The People’s Republic of China diligently jams VOA broadcasts.[28] Cuba has also been reported to interfere with VOA satellite transmissions to Iran from its Russian-built transmission site at Bejucal.[29] David Jackson, former director of the Voice of America, noted “The North Korean government doesn’t jam us, but they try to keep people from listening through intimidation or worse. But people figure out ways to listen despite the odds. They’re very resourceful.”[30]

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, VOA covered some of the era’s most important news including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and Neil Armstrong’s first walk on the moon. During the Cuban missile crisis, VOA broadcast around-the-clock in Spanish.

In the early 1980s, VOA began a $1.3 billion rebuilding program to improve broadcast with better technical capabilities. Also in the 1980s, VOA also added a television service, as well as special regional programs to Cuba, Radio Martí and TV Martí. Cuba has consistently attempted to jam such broadcasts and has vociferously protested U.S. broadcasts directed at Cuba.

In September 1980, VOA started broadcasting to Afghanistan in Dari and in Pashto in 1982. At the same time, VOA started to broadcast U.S. government editorials, clearly separated from the programming by audio cues.

In 1985, VOA Europe was created as a special service in English that was relayed via satellite to AM, FM, and cable affiliates throughout Europe. With a contemporary format including live disc jockeys, the network presented top musical hits as well as VOA news and features of local interest (such as “EuroFax”) 24 hours a day. VOA Europe was closed down without advance public notice in January, 1997 as a cost-cutting measure. Today, stations are offered the VOA Music Mix service.

In 1989, Voice of America expanded Mandarin and Cantonese programming to reach the millions of Chinese and inform the country, accurately about the pro-democracy movement within the country, including the demonstration in Tiananmen Square.

Starting in 1990, the U.S. consolidated its international broadcasting efforts, with the establishment of the Bureau of Broadcasting.

With the breakup of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, VOA added many additional language services to reach those areas. This decade was marked by the additions of Tibetan, Kurdish (to Iran and Iraq), Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, and Rwanda-Rundi language services.

In 1993, the Clinton administration advised cutting funding for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as it was felt post-Cold War information and influence was not needed in Europe. This plan was not well received, and he then proposed the compromise of the International Broadcasting Act. The Broadcasting Board of Governors was established and took control from the Board for International Broadcasters which previously oversaw funding for RFE/RL.[7]

In 1994, President Clinton signed the International Broadcasting Act into law. This law established the International Broadcasting Bureau as a part of the U.S. Information Agency and created the Broadcasting Board of Governors with oversight authority. In 1998, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act was signed into law and mandated that BBG become an independent federal agency as of October 1, 1999. This act also abolished the U.S.I.A. and merged most of its functions with those of the State Department.

In 1994, the Voice of America became the first[31] broadcast-news organization to offer continuously updated programs on the Internet. Content in English and 44 other languages is currently available online through a distributed network of commercial providers, using more than 20,000 servers across 71 countries. Since many listeners in Africa and other areas still receive much of their information via radio and have only limited access to computers, VOA continues to maintain regular shortwave-radio broadcasts.

The Arabic Service was abolished in 2002 and replaced by a new radio service, called the Middle East Radio Network or Radio Sawa, with an initial budget of $22 million. Radio Sawa offered mostly Western and Middle Eastern popular songs with periodic brief news bulletins.

In September 2010, VOA launched its radio broadcasts in Sudan. As U.S. interests in South Sudan have grown, there is a desire to provide people with free information.[32]

In February 2013, a documentary released by China Central Television interviewed a Tibetan self-immolator who failed to kill himself. The interviewee said he was motivated by Voice of America’s broadcasts of commemorations for who committed suicide in political self-immolation. VOA denied any allegations of instigating self-immolations and demanded that the Chinese station retract its report.[33]

Under § 501 of the Smith–Mundt Act of 1948, the Voice of America was forbidden to broadcast directly to American citizens until July 2013.[34] The intent of the legislation was to protect the American public from propaganda actions by its own government.[35] Although VOA does not broadcast domestically, Americans can access the programs through shortwave and streaming audio over the Internet.

All text, audio, and video material produced exclusively by the Voice of America is public domain.[36]

Under the Eisenhower administration in 1959, VOA Director Harry Loomis commissioned a formal statement of principles to protect the integrity of VOA programming and define the organization’s mission, and was issued by Director George V. Allen as a directive in 1960 and was endorsed in 1962 by USIA director Edward R. Murrow.[37] On July 12, 1976, the principles were signed into law on July 12, 1976, by President Gerald Ford. It reads:

The long-range interests of the United States are served by communicating directly with the peoples of the world by radio. To be effective, the Voice of America must win the attention and respect of listeners. These principles will therefore govern Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts. 1. VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive. 2. VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions. 3. VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies.[2]

According to former VOA correspondent Alan Heil, the internal policy of VOA News is that any story broadcast must have two independently corroborating sources or have a staff correspondent actually witness an event.[38]

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a bipartisan panel of eight private citizens appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate (the U.S. Secretary of State is an ex officio member of the Board), is the oversight body for official U.S. international broadcasts by both federal agencies and government-funded corporations. In addition to VOA, these include the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB, which includes Radio and TV Marti) and grantee corporations: the Middle East Broadcasting Network (MBN, which includes Radio Sawa and Al Hurra television in Arabic); Radio Farda (in Persian) for Iran; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia, which are aimed at the ex-communist states and countries under oppressive regimes in Asia. In recent years, VOA has expanded its television coverage to many areas of the world. This governing body was established in 1993 to replace the Board for International Broadcasters, which was created in 1973 to manage broadcasting companies previously funded by the CIA.[7]

Many Voice of America announcers, such as Willis Conover, host of Jazz USA, Pat Gates, host of the Breakfast Show in the 1960s, and Judy Massa, noted country music expert and host of Country Music U.S.A., became worldwide celebrities, although not necessarily in the United States.

The Voice of America headquarters is located at 330 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20237, U.S.

The Voice of America’s Urdu-language program Khabron Se Aage (Beyond the Headlines) is telecast in Pakistan by Express News. Earlier The Voice of America’s Urdu was telecast by GEO News, VOA’s affiliate and one of the country’s most popular stations. Voice of America pays an undisclosed amount of money to GEO TV to telecast its broadcast but in spite of this arrangement has been forced to take off many of its programs on numerous occasions due to conflicts with the GEO TV management. This half-hour program features reports on politics, social issues, science, sports, culture, entertainment, and other issues of interest to Pakistanis as seen by the US government.

In 1996, the U.S.’s international radio output consisted of 992 hours per week by VOA, 667 hpw by RFE/RL, and 162 hpw by Radio Marti.

Source: International Broadcast Audience Research, June 1996

The list includes about a quarter of the world’s external broadcasters whose output is both publicly funded and worldwide. Among those excluded are Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and various international commercial and religious stations.

Notes:

Voice of America’s central newsroom has hundreds of journalists and dozens of full-time domestic and overseas correspondents, who are employees of the U.S. government or paid contractors. They are augmented by hundreds of contract correspondents and stringers throughout the world, who file in English or in one of the VOA’s 44 other radio broadcast languages, 25 of which are also broadcast on television.

In late 2005, VOA shifted some of its central-news operation to Hong Kong where contracted writers worked from a “virtual” office with counterparts on the overnight shift in Washington, D.C., but this operation was shut down in early 2008.

Many of the radio and television broadcasts are available through VOA’s website.[39]

While VOA was, until 2013, prohibited by the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 from broadcasting within the U.S., people in the U.S. are able to hear the hourly newscasts online. These are provided in 5-minute clips every hour from their website.[40]

Voice of America relays and simulcasts on Radio Australia for digital radio.

In Focus is a 30-minute daily TV magazine that brings information about Africa, the United States, and the world to viewers across Africa. It is scheduled Monday through Friday. In Focus features interviews with newsmakers, analysts, American and African government officials and everyday citizens presenting a variety of opinions on issues affecting the African continent. The program showcases stories about Africa, Diaspora topics, African-American interests and immigration, pop culture, box office hits, music, sports, and highlights from Hollywood round out the program. Contributor Linord Moudou reports on timely and practical health news and has conversations with doctors and expertise on African health issues including malaria, meningitis, measles and polio.[41]

Straight Talk Africa is an international call-in talk show hosted by Shaka Ssali which airs on Wednesdays. Shaka and his guests discuss topics of special interest to Africans, including politics, economic development, press freedom, health, social issues and conflict resolution.[42]

The Link is VOA’s weekly look at breaking trends on the Internet. The program examines up and coming trends and ideas online.[43]

Money in Motion is a program that looks at business stories from around the world that have global effects. The program is scheduled for Fridays.[44]

Going Green is a program that explores the new trends and technologies in environmental science and services. It is scheduled daily.[45][not in citation given]

VOA produces news, human interest, and short fiction in Special English, which is spoken more slowly and with a smaller vocabulary than regular programming, so it is easier for intermediate learners to understand.[46]

This is a Voice of America program, started in 2012, which broadcasts digital text and images via shortwave radiograms.[47] This digital stream can be decoded with software of the Fldigi family.

Various sources[50][51][52][53] consider Voice of America an instrument of the United States’ propaganda campaigns.

The Cuban government and allied critics have suggested that the U.S. government violates national sovereignty by broadcasting to their countries,[54] despite Cuba’s own broadcasts to the US and elsewhere. This argument has been used to justify open attempts by the Cuban government to jam VOA broadcasts,[55][56][57] as well as respond with equally powerful shortwave transmissions of English-language political broadcasts and communiques directed at the United States. Time interval signals identical to those used by Radio Havana Cuba have also been detected in coded numbers station broadcasts that are allegedly linked to espionage activity in the U.S.[58]

Recently,[when?] news media have reported that VOA has for years been paying mainstream media journalists to appear on VOA shows, although such practices are relatively common worldwide for media programs. According to El Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald, these include: David Lightman, the Hartford Courant’s Washington bureau chief; Tom DeFrank, head of the New York Daily News’ Washington office; Helle Dale, a former director of the opinion pages of the Washington Times; and Georgie Anne Geyer, a nationally syndicated columnist.[59]

In response, spokesmen for the Broadcasting Board of Governors told the newspaper El Nuevo Herald that such payments do not pose a conflict of interest. “For decades, for many years, some of the most respectable journalists in the country have received payments to participate in programs of the Voice of America,” one of the spokesmen, Larry Hart, told El Nuevo Herald.[59]

In late September 2001, VOA aired a report that contained brief excerpts of an interview with then Taliban leader Mullah Omar Mohammad, along with segments from President Bush’s post-9/11 speech to Congress, an expert in Islam from Georgetown University, and comments by the foreign minister of Afghanistan’s anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. State Department officials including Richard Armitage and others argued that the report amounted to giving terrorists a platform to express their views. In response, reporters and editors argued for VOA’s editorial independence from its governors. The VOA received praise from press organizations for its protests, and the following year in 2002, it won the University of Oregon’s Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism.

On April 2, 2007, Abdul Malik Rigi, the leader of Jundullah, a militant group with possible links to al-Qaeda, appeared on Voice of America’s Persian service. VOA introduced Rigi as “the leader of popular Iranian resistance movement”.[60] The interview resulted in public condemnation by the Iranian-American community, as well as the Iranian government.[61][62][63] Jundullah is a Sunni Islamist militant organization that has been linked to numerous attacks on civilians, such as the 2009 Zahedan explosion.[64][65]

In January 2008, Ethiopia was accused of jamming the VOA Amharic and Oromifa programs.[66] The government denied the accusations claiming technical difficulties as the cause of radio disruptions.



Jokela High School reopens after deadly multiple shooting

Saturday, November 17, 2007 

Jokela High School in Tuusula, Finland, scene of the Jokela school shooting, has recommenced classes. Earlier this month, student Pekka-Eric Auvinen, 18, fatally wounded eight people with his handgun before turning the weapon on himself in the country’s worst ever school shooting. He died later in hospital, having never regained consciousness.

All last week repair teams have been working to eradicate all traces of the event, with large numbers of bullet holes in walls and doors being filled in, broken windows and torn blinds being replaced, and total renovation of one corridor which Auvinen had attempted to set fire to.

Students had previously been permitted into the school last week, in order to collect belongings left behind as they rushed to evacuate the school. On Monday, the school’s 450 pupils began to attend temporary facilities set up at nearby Tuusula Primary School as well as the local church.

Tuusula spokeswoman Heidi Hagman told reporters yesterday that at first school days would be considerably shortened, adding “Today the students will spend time getting used to the renovated and repaired school area.

“Students and teachers are getting support from Red Cross crisis workers and psychologists during the first days of school.”

Esa Ukkola, head of education in Tuusula, spoke to reporters about the fact that students had been shown around the renovated school. “We need to show there is nobody lurking in the cupboards any more. We’re trying to have as normal a school day as possible. There are dozens of extra people to ensure we can do everything in small enough groups.”

The shooting has prompted public anger in Finland at the media attention directed to it, with a feeling that it undermines the placid reputation of the country. People have questioned the decision of a survey last month to designate Finland as the world’s “most livable country”. Psycho-social service manager Anna Cantell-Forsbom from nearby Vantaa has spoken out about her view that the shooting was mainly caused by a lack of psychiatric care available to the Finnish youth and therefore did not reflect on Finnish society. The shooting has also prompted a move by the Finnish government to raise the legal age for gun ownership from 15 years to 18 years.

Finland is expected to set up a commission of inquiry this week to investigate the murders. The government will set aside resources for the ministry of social affairs, health and education as well as the local municipality for the investigation. Meanwhile, local authorities have shown a four-year response plan to the government, asking for five million Euro to fund it. Half will go towards therapy and occupational guidance for affected residents, while the other half would go to school guidance counsellors, psychologists, school healthcare personnel and other experts. The ultimate goal of the plan is the complete recovery of those adversely affected by the shooting.



Four people shot in parking lot of Wal-Mart store north of Austin, Texas

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 

Witnesses heard gunshots in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Cedar Park, Texas, near Highway 183, on Sunday morning. Police arrested eighteen year-old Soloman Onwukaife at the scene. Four, including the gunman who had facial wounds unrelated to the shooting, are being treated for injuries after the incident. A fifth victim has been released.

Cedar Park Police Captain Mike Harmon said authorities arrived at the parking lot around 4:30 AM local time. There they arrested Onwukaife, who has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The Cedar Park Wal-Mart was closed down briefly on Sunday morning; however, no staff or customers were injured.

Police have released the names of the victims, eighteen-year-old Cody McGrath, nineteen-year-old Shayne Davis, nineteen-year-old Zacharia Gietl and 22-year-old Leland McGlocklin. As-of Monday, Gietl has been released from hospital whilst the others remain in critical, but stable, condition. Police informed media the incident occurred follwing a dispute which began at a nearby party where alcohol was being served. After moving the fight to the parking lot, Onwukaife is alleged to have shot the four victims.

Onwukaife was expected to be released on Monday, after which he would immediately be jailed. Police advised media the investigation is on-going and more charges may still be filed. Specifically, Police are trying to determine if any other participants in the fight were armed.