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Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

http://documents.latimes.com/justice-department-indictment-file-sharing-site-megaupload/

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

The U.S. De­part­ment of Justice shut down MegaUp­load.com, one of the world’s largest file-shar­ing web­sites, on Thursday after char­ging the site and its ex­ec­ut­ives with vi­ol­a­tion of pir­acy and copy­right laws.

In an in­dict­ment, the Justice De­part­ment al­leged that MegaUp­load was a “mega con­spir­acy” and a glob­al crim­in­al or­gan­iz­a­tion “whose mem­bers en­gaged in crim­in­al copy­right in­fringe­ment and money laun­der­ing on a massive scale.”

The De­part­ment also said that MegaUp­load, which had about 150 mil­lion users, tal­lied up an es­tim­ated harm to copy­right hold­ers in ex­cess of $500-mil­lion by al­low­ing users to il­leg­ally share movies, mu­sic and oth­er files. In ad­di­tion, pro­sec­utors also said in the in­dict­ment that those who op­er­ated the site racked in an in­come from that topped $175-mil­lion.

— Nathan Olivarez-Giles (Jan. 19, 2012)

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New Zealand school teaches Sanskrit and claims it helps children understand English

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/zealand-school-teaches-sanskrit-claims-helps-children-understand-145613193.html

Nevada (US), Jan 25 (ANI): A school in New Zealand has a ‘Sanskrit Language Studies’ program and claims that learning Sanskrit accelerates a child’s reading ability.

Ficino School in Mt Eden area of Auckland (New Zealand), calls itself a ‘values-based academic institution’ and offers education for girls and boys from year one to eight. It says about Sanskrit: “It has a wonderful system of sound and grammar, which gives the child an excellent base for the study of any language. Children love its order and beauty.”

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has applauded Ficino School for fostering universal virtues and encouraging Sanskrit studies and adds that Sanskrit has a close relationship with other classical languages like Latin, Greek, French, German, etc.

According to Peter Crompton, principal of this school founded in 1997, where curriculum includes “food for the mind, food for the spirit, food for the body”, “Sanskrit with its almost perfect grammatical system…provides children with a roadmap for understanding English.” Sanskrit not only gives young learners a clear understanding of the structure of language, it also heightens their awareness of the process of speech, creating a greater understanding of and ability to, enunciate words clearly, Crompton adds.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, pointed out that Sanskrit should be restored to its rightful place. It needed to be brought to the mainstream and hidden scientific truths in ancient Sanskrit literature should be brought to light, he said.

Rajan Zed strongly criticized India Government for not doing enough for Sanskrit language. He asked India Government to do much more for the development, propagation, encouragement and promotion of Sanskrit in India and the world, which was essential for the development of India and preservation of its cultural heritage. Sanskrit also provided the theoretical foundation of ancient sciences.

Besides Hindu scriptures, a vast amount of Buddhist and Jain scriptures were also written in Sanskrit, which is known as “the language of the gods”. According to tradition, self-born God created Sanskrit, which is everlasting and divine. The oldest scripture of mankind still in common use, Rig-Veda, was written in Sanskrit, Zed added.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Without the study of Sanskrit, one cannot become a true learned man.” German philologist Max Muller added, “Sanskrit is the greatest language of the world.” (ANI)

New Zealand school teaches Sanskrit and claims it helps children understand English

 

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Secrets of WWI battlefield uncovered

Posted by Admin on November 9, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/secrets-of-wwi-battlefield-uncovered-1320800579-slideshow/file-2010-file-photo-shows-boundary-marker-defines-photo-072400026.html

An ongoing archaeological survey of a World War I site in Turkey has so far uncovered a maze of trenches, as well as about 200 artifacts that offer clues to life on a Gallipoli battlefield where troops faced off for eight months. The survey is one of the most extensive to date of an historic battlefield.

A Turkish army commander salutes with soldiers at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Monday, April 25, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs

A Turkish army commander salutes with soldiers at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Monday, April 25, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Historical Turkish army musical band of Mehter perform at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Monday, April 25, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where

Historical Turkish army musical band of Mehter perform at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Monday, April 25, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. A poster of the Regiment’s legendary commander during Gallipoli Campaign and Turkey’s founder Kemal Ataturk is in the background.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Australian and New Zealander soldiers march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign,

Australian and New Zealander soldiers march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The annual Anzac Day ceremony remembers the forces of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps under British command who fought a bloody nine-month battle against Turkish forces on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Turkish war veterans march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs ga

Turkish war veterans march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The annual Anzac Day ceremony remembers the forces of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps under British command who fought a bloody nine-month battle against Turkish forces on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

FILE   In this April 25, 2008 file photo shows Australian and New Zealand soldiers standing guard during a dawn ceremony to mark the Anzac Day at Anzac Cove in the Gallipoli peninsula, northwestern Tu

Turkish war veterans march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The annual Anzac Day ceremony remembers the forces of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps under British command who fought a bloody nine-month battle against Turkish forces on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

FILE  This 2010 file photo shows a boundary marker which defines the area of the ANZAC Battlefield according to the Treaty of Lausanne, in Gallipoli, western Turkey. The World War I battlefield of the

FILE This 2010 file photo shows a boundary marker which defines the area of the ANZAC Battlefield according to the Treaty of Lausanne, in Gallipoli, western Turkey. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. Now researchers are mapping dugouts, trenches and tunnels in the most extensive archaeological survey of a site whose slaughter helped forge the identity of young nations..( AP Photo/ Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, File)

FILE  This 2010 file photo shows a typical trench in the Johnston's Jolly area In Gallipoli, western Turkey.The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to re

FILE This 2010 file photo shows a typical trench in the Johnston’s Jolly area In Gallipoli, western Turkey.The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. Now researchers are mapping dugouts, trenches and tunnels in the most extensive archaeological survey of a site whose slaughter helped forge the identity of young nations.( AP Photo/ Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, File)

FILE  This 2010 file photo shows a subsided tunnel in the Johnston's Jolly area in Gallipoli, western Turkey. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to

FILE This 2010 file photo shows a subsided tunnel in the Johnston’s Jolly area in Gallipoli, western Turkey. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. Now researchers are mapping dugouts, trenches and tunnels in the most extensive archaeological survey of a site whose slaughter helped forge the identity of young nations. ( AP Photo/ Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, File)

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New Zealand quake kills at least 65; race to reach trapped

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2011

http://in.news.yahoo.com/zealand-city-christchurch-hit-strong-earthquake-20110221-162446-287.html

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – New Zealand rescue teams worked under search lights early Wednesday to find scores of people trapped under collapsed buildings after an earthquake struck the country’s second-biggest city of Christchurch, killing at least 65 people.

About 120 survivors have already been rescued from the rubble, but the death toll is expected to rise following the second strong quake to hit the city of almost 400,000 people in five months.

“We may well be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day…The death toll I have at the moment is 65 and that may rise,” said New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who had flown to his home town of Christchurch, where he still has family.

Tuesday’s 6.3 magnitude quake struck at lunchtime, when streets and shops thronged with people and offices were still occupied. It was New Zealand’s most deadly natural disaster for 80 years.

Rescuers, working under lights in rain, focused on two collapsed buildings: a financial-services office block whose four stories pancaked on top of each other, and a TV building which also housed an English-language school.

About a dozen Japanese students at the school were believed to be missing, an official in Japan told Reuters, while public broadcaster NHK said several other students from another group in the building were also unaccounted for.

Trapped survivors could be heard shouting out to rescuers from the TV building. Local media say as many as a dozen or more people could still be inside. Relatives of those feared trapped kept a vigil outside the building as rain began to fall.

“All of our energy tonight is really focused on the need to rescue people,” said Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, estimating 120 people had been pulled out of rubble or rescued so far.

A woman freed from a collapsed building said she had waited for six hours for rescuers to reach her after the quake, which was followed by at least 20 aftershocks.

“I thought the best place was under the desk but the ceiling collapsed on top, I can’t move and I’m just terrified,” office worker Anne Voss told TV3 news by mobile phone.

Christchurch Mayor Parker described the city, a historic tourist town popular with overseas students, as a war zone. He told local radio that up to 200 could be trapped in buildings but later revised that estimate down to around 100 or so.

It was the country’s worst natural disaster since a 1931 quake in the North Island city of Napier which killed 256. Christchurch Hospital saw an influx of injured residents.

“They are largely crushes and cuts types of injuries and chest pain as well,” said David Meates, head of the Canterbury Health Board. Some of the more seriously injured could be evacuated to other cities, he added.

HISTORIC CATHEDRAL IN RUINS

On the way into the city, a Reuters correspondent saw buckled roads, toppled buildings and big pools of water. Police and the army were patrolling the streets.

Christchurch has been described as a little piece of England.

It has an iconic cathedral, now largely destroyed, and a river called the Avon. It had many historic stone buildings, and is popular with English-language students and also with tourists as a springboard for tours of the scenic South Island.

Emergency shelters had also been set up in local schools and at a race course. Helicopters dumped water to try to douse a fire in one tall office building, while a crane was used to help workers trapped in another office block.

“I was in the square right outside the cathedral — the whole front has fallen down and there were people running from there. There were people inside as well,” said John Gurr, a camera technician who was in the city centre when the quake hit.

Aerial TV footage of surroundings suburbs showed once-elegant homes in ruins and roads cut off by huge boulders.

There have been offers of help from the United States and Japan, while neighbouring Australia is sending 148 search and rescue specialists, including sniffer dogs. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth offered her sympathy and said in a statement she was

“utterly shocked” by news of the quake.

STREETS TURN INTO QUICKSAND

Christchurch is built on silt, sand and gravel, with a water table beneath. In a quake, the water rises, mixing with the sand and turning the ground into a swamp, swallowing up roads and cars.

TV footage showed sections of road that had collapsed into a milky, sand-coloured lake beneath the surface. One witness described the footpaths as like “walking on sand”.

Unlike last year’s even stronger tremor, which struck early in the morning when streets were virtually empty, people were walking or driving along streets when the shallow tremor struck, sending awnings and the entire faces of buildings crashing down.

Police said debris had rained down on two buses, crushing them, but there was no word on any casualties.

Fears that the quake could dent confidence in the country’s already fragile economy knocked the New Zealand dollar down by about 1.8 percent from late U.S. levels to $0.75 .

Westpac Bank raised the possibility that the central bank could cut interest rates over the next few weeks in a bid to shore up the economy, while other banks pushed out their expectations for the timing of the next rate increase.

ANZ now expects the central bank to keep rates on hold until the first quarter of 2012.

Shares in Australian banks and insurers, which typically have large operations in New Zealand, fell after the quake.

The quake hit at 12:51 pm (2351 GMT Monday) at a depth of only 4 km (2.5 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The tremor was centred about 10 km (six miles) southwest of Christchurch, which had suffered widespread damage during last September’s 7.1 magnitude quake but no deaths.

New Zealand sits between the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates and records on average more than 14,000 earthquakes a year, of which about 20 would normally top magnitude 5.0.

(Additional reporting by Yoko Kubota in Singapore; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

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Massive earthquake sets back NZ economic recovery

Posted by Admin on September 6, 2010

Space view of Christchurch and surrounding areas.

Image via Wikipedia

A person cycles past a damaged road near the Avon River following Saturday's powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake, in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday,

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – New Zealand’s prime minister warned Monday that the country’s economic recovery will be hurt by the weekend’s powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake that smashed buildings and wrecked roads and rail lines in the city of Christchurch.

The aftereffects of the temblor are still coming to light. Residents in a new subdivision in a southern suburb were evacuated Monday from their houses, which became mired in deep layers of silt that spewed from the soft ground as it turned to liquid under pressure from the quake.

“We thought we were having a tsunami,” said homeowner Lalita Sharma. “We stepped outside into knee-high liquid. We thought the house would sink.”

Mounds of sand covered front lawns and driveways, and some houses had been ripped from their foundations. A driveway that had sloped upward from the road was now flat, the rose garden buried in sand.

Army troops have taken control of central Christchurch to help police secure streets and badly damaged businesses in the worst-hit center of the city. The area remained cordoned off and under nighttime curfew, with only building and business owners allowed access.

“There will be considerable disruption to the (regional) and national economy in the short term,” but activity should pick up as reconstruction gains momentum, Prime Minister John Key said. The country’s economy has now recorded two quarters of minor growth after struggling to escape 18 months of recession.

The quake struck at 4:35 a.m. Saturday near the South Island city of 400,000 people, ripping open a new fault line in the earth’s surface, destroying hundreds of buildings and cutting power to the region. No one was killed, and only two serious injuries were reported.

Key, who toured the city’s damaged areas over the weekend, said 430 houses and another 70 buildings, many of them older structures, were already earmarked for demolition because of damage caused by the quake. Around 100,000 of the region’s 160,000 homes had sustained some damage, he said.

“I was awe-struck by the power of the earthquake and the damage it has caused in the city,” he told reporters. “It was miraculous that nobody was killed.”

A quake-damaged building partially collapsed into a suburban street Monday and officials took urgent steps to bulldoze and remove it. There were no injuries reported.

“Police had a unit going past just as it happened and they managed to stop and block (off) the road,” Inspector John Price said.

Key said the earthquake would have a short-term negative impact on economic growth, but that loss “would be more than made up by the stimulus impact that takes place with the rebuilding program.”

The government plans to pay at least 90 percent of the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to rebuild thecity’s water, waste water and road infrastructure, Key said.

Economists agreed the immediate economic outlook for quake-ravaged Christchurch is bleak, but noted reconstruction would provide a boost to a struggling construction sector next year.

“I think people are going to be pretty conservative over the next three months. What we are seeing is … negative growth in the near term,” ANZ Bank chief economist Cameron Bagrie said.

More than 80 aftershocks, ranging from magnitude 3.2 to 5.4, have rocked the region since the major quake Saturday.

Rain was falling Monday in the nearby Southern Alps and foothills, increasing the risk of flooding. Civil defenseofficials warned that stop banks, or flood protectors, weakened by the quake may fail to hold rising waters. Engineers were inspecting the banks Monday.

Around 150 people have been evacuated from a trailer park near the Waimakariri River as a precaution.

New Zealand sits above an area where two tectonic plates collide. The country records more than 14,000 earthquakes a year — but only about 150 are felt by residents. Fewer than 10 a year do any damage.

New Zealand’s last major earthquake registered magnitude 7.8 and hit South Island’s Fiordland region on July 16, 2009, moving the southern tip of the country 12 inches (30 centimeters) closer to Australia.

___

Associated Press Writer Ray Lilley in Wellington contributed to this report.

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Emergency declared after 7.1 quake hits New Zealand

Posted by Admin on September 4, 2010

Global earthquake epicenters, 1963 1998

Image via Wikipedia

WELLINGTON | Sat Sep 4, 2010 1:36pm IST

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Authorities declared an overnight curfew for Saturday after a major earthquake hit New Zealand‘s second biggest city, Christchurch, bringing down power lines and bridges and wrecking roads and building facades.

“The damages are incredibly frightening. The only thing you can say it’s a miracle that no one lost their life,” Prime Minister John Key told Television NZ after the quake struck with a magnitude of 7.1 from a depth of 10 kms (6 miles) at around 4.35 a.m. local time (1635 GMT Friday).

He said early estimates for the cost of repairs were around NZ$2 billion ($1.4 billion).

A curfew was slapped on the central business district of Christchurch between 1900 and 0700 (0700 GMT and 1900 GMT). Earlier, a formal civil defence state of emergency was imposed in the city of around 350,000 to coordinate recovery operations.

The last time authorities declared a local emergency was in late December 2007 when a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Gisborne on New Zealand’s North Island. The earthquake caused damage to some buildings but also caused no casualties.

Christchurch city and the neighbouring small towns bore the full force of the quake, which did considerable damage to infrastructure.

“The damage is immense, it’s something that has affected every family, every household…the hit on our infrastructure, the pipes that deliver the water, the waste water, the bridges, the power supplies…has been very significant,” Christchurch mayor Bob Parker told reporters.

The city’s hospital said two men had been admitted with serious injuries, one hit by a falling chimney and the other cut by glass.

Police said there were minor instances of looting, which had been quickly contained. In the suburbs many houses had broken windows, toppled chimneys, cracked walls and items thrown off shelves, with some streets and footpaths subsiding.

In late afternoon, power has been restored to 90 percent of the Christchurch urban area and 80 percent of the rural network.

Authorities were preparing to bring in water in large tankers because pumping stations were out of action and pipes broken.

RURAL EPICENTRE

The small farming community of Darfield, around 20 kms (12 miles) west of Christchurch, was near the quake’s epicentre.

The principal of the primary school there said the quake, which threw him out of bed, was terrifying.

“Our china cabinet has crashed, pictures are off the wall, anything high up has come down and the cat has gone. He is probably still heading south,” Markham McCullen told the NZ Press Association.

GNS Science, the New Zealand government seismological agency, revised the quake’s magnitude to 7.1 from an original 7.4. The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported it at 7.4 but later revised its figure to 7.0.

Christchurch airport, which was shut earlier, has been reopened and is operational, while the railway network and bridges throughout the region were also being checked for damage.

Canterbury University, which has about 22,000 students, said there has been no material structural damage on its campus, but the university will be closed until Sept 13 for health and safety assessment.

The quake was felt as a long rolling motion lasting up to 40 seconds. The area was continuing to feel aftershocks as strong as magnitude 5.3.

The quake was among the 10 strongest recorded in New Zealand, which sits between the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates, and records around 14,000 earthquakes a year, of which around 20 top magnitude 5.0.

The last fatal quake was in 1968 when an earthquake measuring 7.1 killed three people on the South Island‘s West Coast.

($1 = NZ$1.39)

(Additional reporting by Mantik Kusjanto; Editing by David Fox)

(For more news, visit Reuters India)

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