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INFO: News

Post by nemarsde »


News relevant to the game.

The following stories could be considered the biggest headlines of the day, relative to the player characters and specific to that date.

For example, during the latter half of February the Shannon Matthews and Jersey children's home stories dominated the headlines, but were not specific to any date after the stories first broke.

(And yes, Sunday 24 February was a slow news day.)
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Post by nemarsde »

Northants Evening Telegraph, 24 February 2008


Around 1,800 homes and businesses were left in the dark last night due to a power cut.

Power was lost to 1,854 customers in the Slade area of Kettering shortly after 9.30pm on Sunday because of a fault on a high-voltage underground cable.

All customers had their power back on by 12am.

A spokesman for Central Networks said the company brought in power from other parts of its network while restoring power.

Power was restored to 1,006 properties shortly after 10pm, with a further 452 back online at 10.20pm. The remaining number had their power back on by midnight.

He said: "Our priority was to get the power back on as quickly as possible and we apologise to all those who were inconvenienced."

K-1 News, 24 February 2007

K-1 World Grand Prix 2008

Each year, K-1's governing body the Fight Entertainment Group (FEG) organizes a variety of fightsport events in Japan and around the world. There are K-1 Regional Elimination Tournaments which qualify fighters for the World Grand Prix, along with licensed K-1 Fighting Network events and Tryouts designed to develop new K-1 talent internationally. There is also DREAM -- a new mixed martial arts fighting format which permits takedowns and grappling.

The World Max Series, meanwhile, operates under regular, stand-up K-1 Rules but with a 70kg/154 weight limit. K-1 also has ongoing Title matches in both Super Heavyweight (over 100kg/220lbs) and Heavyweight (70kg/154lbs - 100kg/220lbs) divisions.

Since its inception in 1993, K-1's center stage production has always been the World Grand Prix Series. With an open weight class, the K-1 World Grand Prix comprises both eight-man and one-match tournaments that showcase the world's finest fighters from all manner of disciplines. This year, hundreds of hopefuls will compete in K-1 WGP events -- in Japan, Korea, Hungary, Holland, and the United States, and in affiliated events from Brazil to Sweden to Australia and elsewhere. Wherever the event, the goal is the same -- to advance toward the prestigious K-1 World Grand Prix Final, where the world's eight best go head to head for the richest fightsport purse of its kind.

The classic K-1 tournament follows an eight-man elimination format. Four first-tier 3min x 3 round matchups advance their winners to a pair of semifinal fights, and the two victors there meet in the final. Thus the man who prevails in an eight-man tournament must win three fights in one day -- quite a challenge. The Defending K-1 WGP Champion, crowned the King of Kings at the Yokohama Arena on December 8, 2007, is Tatsuya of Japan.

The K-1 World GP is fightsport's most prestigious event, attracting the world's best fighters and televised in 135 countries. K-1's 16th season will feature major World GP Championship tournaments in four regions: Europe, Asia, Japan and the United States.

The WGP '08 Series kicks off in Budapest on February 9, with the first stage of the K-1 Europe GP. That tournament will qualify fighters for the Europe GP Final, set for April 26 in Amsterdam. The K-1 Asia GP will be held in June, and the host city will be Taipei or Macao. The K-1 Japan GP returns this year, with fighters from the land of the rising sun squaring off in Fukuoka in June. The last of the GP Champions will be crowned at the K-1 USA GP in Hawaii, to be held in July or August.

The four above-determined Regional GP Champions will advance to the K-1 Final Elimination in Seoul on September 29. There they will be joined by last year's WGP Final Eight, along with four additional fighters selected for exceptional performances in K-1 WGP bouts over the year. In Seoul, the 16 fighters will square off in a one-match format tournament, with the eight victors advancing to the K-1 World GP '08 Final, set for December 6 in Yokohama.
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Post by nemarsde », 25 February 2008

Oscar 2008 winners in full

The 80th annual Academy Award winners have been announced:

Best Picture: "No Country for Old Men,"

Other nominees: "Atonement," "Juno," "Michael Clayton," "There Will Be Blood."

Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"

Other nominees: Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Jason Reitman, "Juno"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."

Actor: Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises"

Other nominees: Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"; George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"; Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah."

Foreign Film: "Counterfeiters," Austria

Other nominees: "Beaufort," Israel; "The "Katyn," Poland; "Mongol," Kazakhstan; "12," Russia.

Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, "Juno"

Other nominess: Nancy Oliver, "Lars and the Real Girl"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava and Jim Capobianco, "Ratatouille"; Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages."

Documentary Feature: "Taxi to the Dark Side"

Other nominees: "No End in Sight," "Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience," "Sicko," "War/Dance"

Documentary (short subject): "Freeheld"

"La Corona (The Crown)," "Salim Baba," "Sari's Mother."

Original Score: "Atonement," Dario Marianelli

Other nominees: "The Kite Runner," Alberto Iglesias; "Michael Clayton," James Newton Howard; "Ratatouille," Michael Giacchino; "3:10 to Yuma," Marco Beltrami

Cinematography: "There Will Be Blood"

Other nominees: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "Atonement," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "No Country for Old Men,"

Original Song: "Falling Slowly" from "Once," Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

Other nominees: "Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "Raise It Up" from "August Rush," Nominees to be determined; "So Close" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "That's How You Know" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.

Film Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum"

Other nominees: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Into the Wild," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood."

Actress: Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"

Other nominees: Cate Blanchett, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"; Julie Christie, "Away From Her"; Laura Linney, "The Savages"; Ellen Page, "Juno."

Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"

Other nominees: Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"; Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Charlie Wilson's War"; Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton."

Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton."

Other nominees: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"; Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"; Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"; Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone";

Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"

Other nominees: Christopher Hampton, "Atonement"; Sarah Polley, "Away from Her"; Ronald Harwood, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."

Animated Feature Film: "Ratatouille"

Other nominees: "Persepolis"; "Surf's Up."

Art Direction: "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street"

Other nominees: "American Gangster," "Atonement," "The Golden Compass," "There Will Be Blood."

Sound Mixing: "The Bourne Ultimatum"

Other nominees: "No Country for Old Men," "Ratatouille," "3:10 to Yuma," "Transformers."

Sound Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum"

Other nominees: "No Country for Old Men," "Ratatouille," "There Will Be Blood," "Transformers."

Costume: "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"

Other nominees: "Across the Universe," "Atonement," "La Vie en Rose," "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

Makeup: "La Vie en Rose"

Other nominees: "Norbit," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

Animated Short Film: "Peter & the Wolf."

Other nominees: "I Met the Walrus," "Madame Tutli-Putli," "Meme Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)," "My Love (Moya Lyubov),"

Live Action Short Film: "Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)"

Other nominees: "At Night," "Il Supplente (The Substitute)," "Tanghi Argentini," "The Tonto Woman."

Visual Effects: "The Golden Compass"

Other nominees: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Transformers."

Times Online, 25 February 2008

More women check on husband's fidelity

Women are increasingly employing private investigators to check on their husbands, a survey of divorce lawyers shows (Frances Gibb writes).

More than two in three lawyers surveyed last year had at least one client who had used a private investigator to find out if their spouse was being unfaithful. In two thirds of the cases it was women who were checking on husbands, according to the survey of 100 lawyers by Grant Thornton's forensic and investigation services.

Andrea McLaren, head of the firm's matrimonial practice, said: "Marriages are meant to be built on trust, yet this figure shows this is not always the case. While it might seem an extreme length to go to use a private investigator, people just want to know the truth, even if it hurts . . . this is not just about the rich and famous – this is about everyday people."

Last year 29 per cent of marriages broke down because of unfaithfulness. In most cases it was the husband who strayed.
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Post by nemarsde »

BBC NEWS, 26 February 2008

Super-casino proposal is ditched

The huge Las Vegas-style super-casino planned for Blackpool is to be scrapped, the government has confirmed.

Blackpool had won the bid to develop a gambling resort but Gordon Brown effectively killed off the plans soon after taking over as prime minister.

But Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said that 16 smaller casinos will go ahead in towns including Leeds, Milton Keynes, Swansea and Stranraer.

Blackpool Council may appeal against the change of plans.

'Important differences'

Announcing the U-turn, Mr Burnham told MPs there was "no consensus" on whether to build a super-casino and said there had been concerns over potential negative impact.

He said there were "important differences" between a super-casino - with 1,250 unlimited stake and jackpot machines - and the 16 approved casinos, which are still considerably larger than current casinos.

Mr Burnham said that the UK would have the "toughest regulatory regime for gambling in the world".

He said he would introduce a restriction requiring casinos to close their doors for at least six hours a day, a ban on credit card use and outlawing of free drink promotions.

He also promised a statutory levy on casino operators to fund treatment and advice for gambling addiction unless the industry delivers a "substantial increase in contributions" to the current voluntary scheme.

In January last year, Blackpool was the winner - ahead of east Manchester - of a contest to host a huge super-casino.

But the prime minister announced a review of the decision in July, saying super-casinos were not the best way to regenerate run-down areas.

'Social disorder'

In a report published on Tuesday, the government said the benefits of a large "regional casino" could be reaped through "alternative, but equally effective projects".

It has looked at alternatives, such as museums, theatres, retail, commercial and housing developments, and says once potential economic and social costs of a super casino are factored in, there is little difference in the benefits.

It suggested high-paying casino jobs were likely to attract people from outside the area, "which would mean that local people do not necessarily benefit, but would still bear the brunt of any risks faced".

Permission is to be given for smaller casinos in the Bath area; Stranraer in south-west Scotland; Scarborough; Wolverhampton; Swansea; Luton; Torbay in Devon; and East Lindsey in Lincolnshire, an area which contains resorts including Skegness.

Mr Brown's spokesman said: "As we said in July, there is a huge difference in scale in terms of gambling opportunities in a super-casino and smaller casinos.

"What we said was we would work up alternative regeneration packages which did not rely on a super-casino."

Blackpool Council leader Peter Callow said he was disappointed and the announcement would be "scrutinised in detail". He did not rule out taking legal action.

He said a super-casino would have brought 3,500 new jobs and money to Blackpool and said the city needed a clear commitment that any alternative would bring "the greatest possible benefits".

Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "After seven months of dithering, the government's gambling policy is a mess.

"When will the government understand this is not about the size of the casino but the underlying protections put in place to prevent and treat a social disorder that breaks up families?"

Liberal Democrat culture spokesman Don Foster said the government's gambling policy was "muddled and confused" with the original local authority bids for the super-casino costing more than £1m of taxpayers' money.
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Post by nemarsde », 27 February 2008

Biggest quake since 1984 hits Britain

Britain's largest earthquake in nearly a quarter of a century has left one person injured and a trail of damage.

The magnitude 5.2 quake hit just before 1am today and was centred in Longdendale Valley, Derbyshire. Its effects were felt as far away as Wales, Scotland and London.

Student David Bates, 19, suffered a suspected broken pelvis when he was hit by a falling piece of chimney in his attic bedroom in Wombwell, South Yorkshire, his father, Paul, said.

Paul Bates said he was woken by a deep rumble which was followed by shouts from his son upstairs. He said David was hit by a piece of masonry about 2ft square, which had fallen from the chimney stack.

"This massive piece of stone had landed on his hip and he was just shouting that he thought it was broken and I called an ambulance," he said. "You just don't expect it. Of all the things that can happen - an earthquake."

Emergency services across England received more than 1,000 calls from people who had woken up to find their homes shaking.

Among them North Yorkshire police received nearly 700 calls, Humberside fire service took 200 and Warwickshire police around 250 in the two hours after the tremor.

A spokesman for Humberside fire and rescue service said the most common reports were of damaged chimney stacks, dangerous roofs and garden walls.

The Guardian received calls from startled readers in London, Bedfordshire, Yorkshire, Manchester, Blackpool and Leicester.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the centre was six miles north-east of Glossop. "This is a significant earthquake for the UK and will have been widely felt across England and Wales," said Brian Baptie, a BGS seismologist.

The BGS said more property damage would have occurred had the focus of the earthquake been closer to the surface.

The BGS records around 200 quakes in Britain each year - an eighth of them are large enough to feel. It said there were earthquakes of this size in mainland Britain around every 30 years but they were more common offshore.

Today's quake is the largest since 1984 when an earthquake of magnitude 5.4 shook the Lleyn Peninsula of north Wales and was widely felt across England and Wales.

Alex Ferrier, 22, a marine biology student from Hull, said: "It was quite scary... we live in a road of large terraced houses and I was woken up and looked out of the window and there were loads of people on the streets."

Ferrier's mother, Val, who lives in Manchester, said she was woken when the mirrors on her wardrobe shook violently. "The whole room was shaking for about 20 seconds, it was quite violent. I ran downstairs," she said.

Geoff Halsey, 62, a salesman from Tingrith in Bedfordshire, said he knew immediately on waking up that it was an earthquake. "I was fast asleep when I felt a whiplash, it was quite violent ... lasting a few seconds. The whole house shivered, me and the wife both jumped up. The pheasants started singing and other birds began to sing as well."

John Jenkin, from Bourne in Lincolnshire, said things fell from his shelves. "I was woken up. It was hell. The police around here suddenly became very busy."

In London, the quake was felt by reporters in parliament. The Dudley area of the West Midlands had an earthquake in 2002 that reached magnitude 5.0 and damaged homes.

The last one in the UK was a 2.9 tremor in Wales in November. In April 2007, Kent had a similar event, and people in five streets of Folkestone had to be evacuated because of damage to buildings.