Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

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Maryland Judge throws out law banning gay marriages

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Judge M. Brooke Murdock of the Baltimore Circuit Court in Maryland struck down a 1973 law banning same-sex marriage yesterday, ruling the measure violated a state constitutional amendment prohibiting sex discrimination.

The decision will not allow gay couples to be immediately eligible for marriage licenses because Murdock stayed the order pending an appeal. The state’s attorney general’s office filed the appeal right after the ruling was made.

“Although tradition and societal values are important, they cannot be given so much weight that they alone will justify a discriminatory statutory classification,” the judge stated in the ruling. “When tradition is the guise under which prejudice or animosity hides, it is not a legitimate state interest.”

In making the decision, Judge Murdock wrote, “the court is not unaware of the dramatic impact of its ruling.”

Ken Choe, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, said “men and women were indeed treated differently under the law Judge Murdock struck down. A man can marry a woman, but a woman can’t marry a woman. Same-sex couples need the same protections for their families that opposite-sex couples do.”

The ACLU hailed the ruling, calling it “a historical step toward allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in Maryland.” She considered but dismissed all the state’s arguments for the restriction, noting “Prevention of same-sex marriage is not rationally related to the state’s interests in promoting stable families and protecting the best interests of children. … These arguments are illogical and inaccurate.”

Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. released a statement saying that that the state will “begin a vigorous appeals process. I firmly believe the institution of marriage is for one man and one woman only.”

Governor Ehrlich had sent to Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. (D), a letter in response to the ruling advising him to appeal the decision and offered additional resources to support the appeal.

“We have noted an appeal and think it appropriate that the court stayed the operation of its order,” said Kevin J. Enright, a spokesman for Curran, in a statement. “We await having the decision of Maryland’s appellate courts.”

The Maryland House of Delegates scheduled hearings for January 31, 2006 on proposals dealing with same-sex marriages, including a proposed constitutional amendment.

John Lestitian, a plaintiff in the case, said Murdock’s decision was “a step in a very long process. As a 40-year-old man, I should be able to decide who my family is.”

“This is such an exciting moment,” said Lisa Polyak. Her partner of 24 years, Gita Deane, was a plaintiff in the case. “Our participation in this lawsuit has always been about family protections for our children. Tonight, we will rest a little easier knowing that those protections are within reach.”

The equal rights amendment in Maryland’s State Constitution was ratified by voters in 1972. The marriage law which defined marriage as only between one man and one woman was approved the following year.

The lawsuit leading to the decision started when nine gay and/or lesbian couples and one individual sued court clerks in five Maryland counties for denying marriage licenses to them, citing legal, financial, and emotional harm. In July of 2004, the ACLU filed the suit challenging the state ban on same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriages are only legal in the state of Massachusetts in the United States, with the states of Vermont and Connecticut recognizing other civil unions. Hawaii and New Jersey offer some legal protections to same-sex couples, while 13 states have appoved constitutional amendments rejecting recognition of same-sex marriage. Courts in California, New Jersey, New York and Washington State are facing cases on the issue.

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Barley Grass For Dogs : Good Can Dogs Eat Barley

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A good example is barley grass a type of grass that contains minerals, amino acids, proteins and vitamins, components that are highly beneficial to the dog in numerous ways. If you like taking walks with your dog, you may have noticed him licking or eating certain type of grasses and for your information there is a solid reason for this, what sometimes make some ask if good can dogs eat barley. This habit of licking and eating grass is especially common when the dog is not feeling well. Grass provides a type of self-medication to dogs and helps in easing stomach pains. Adding small amount of barley grass to the dog’s meal will perform the same function, but it will be more beneficial than the wild grasses. The nutritional value of the barley grass to dogs is unquestionable. Below are some reasons as to why you should add barley as a nutrient to cater for the wellbeing and recovery of dog’s health. Understanding the nutritional benefits of barley and using this understanding will significantly improve the health status of your dog. Barley is not only an old time product, but also an exciting medicine and food. Here is why: To begin with, barley has a high fiber content that act as an intestinal cleansing agent that ensures that the bowel is optimal in its operations. The fiber comes in both soluble and insoluble form. Soluble fiber helps in slowing down the absorption of certain foods and enhances cardiac functioning while the insoluble fiber aids in maximum bowel functioning. Dietary fiber is an excellent additional nutrient for our dogs and yes good can dogs eat barley. Barley helps the anal glands to replenish and cleanse. The high vitamin, fiber and protein combination in barley is a perfect product that helps in body rejuvenation and acts as a recovery agent. Soaking barley for four hours in warm weather allows you to strain off the water in the barley and obtain a soft end product. The softened barley can be cleaned and fed to the dog while cooked. Barley has some anti-oxidants which act as recovery tonics when a dog is recovering from illness, surgery, or exercise. The most important thing is that barley is readily available, delicious and easy to prepare thus the dog will be highly tolerant to it. Adding juiced carrot and apple juice to barley water in a fifty to fifty proportion creates a perfect fluid that helps to revitalize, rejuvenate, cleanse and restore your dog. Other benefits include cleansing of the pooch’s system, helping in digestion, and prevention of abdominal cyst development. The components in barley combine with abdominal enzymes to detoxify the intestines, the liver and other organelles. It also helps in laxation when faced with constipation.

Local municipalities in Italy ask taxes from religious schools

Sunday, August 2, 2015

In the past few days in Italy, several municipalities have started asking religious schools to pay taxes for property and local services, despite the resistance of the Catholic Church.

The request of the municipalities results from the sentence of the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation on July 8, recognising as legitimate the request of the Municipality of Livorno asking religious schools to pay property taxes.

Requests have come from the Municipality of Bogliasco, next to Genova, and from the deputies of Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) of the regional counsel of Lombardy. The first case is of the mayor Luca Pastorino that in last years received several refusals of his requests for payment because of the religious nursery school and retirement home. In the second case, the M5S party asks to the regional government to assure the local administrations of the region regularly apply the sentence of the Supreme Court.

The case on which the Court has ruled was of the religious schools Santo Spirito and Immacolata in Livorno, Tuscany, to pay over 422,000 euros in arrears for the period from 2004 to 2009. The request was advanced by the Municipality of Livorno in 2010.

The city reasoned, “because the users of the private schools pay a frequency fee, this kind of activity is considered as a commercial one” ((it))Italian language: ?poiché gli utenti della scuola paritaria pagano un corrispettivo per la frequenza, tale attività è di carattere commerciale.

In 2014 the Italian municipal tax discipline has changed from the ICI system to the IMU system by the Monti government. A mean cost per student criterion is used to tax only the schools that receive a fee higher than the mean cost per student fixed by the State. The new law is not retroactive, so the taxes requested in arrears from 2006 to 2009 are under the ICI system.

Minister of Education Stefania Giannini said a “more general reflection” ((it))Italian language: ?riflessione più generale is needed. Claudio De Vincenti, undersecretary to the prime minister, said “a discussion table will be opened with the non-profit associations, religious association included” ((it))Italian language: ?apriremo quindi un tavolo di confronto con le organizzazioni non profit, comprese quelle religiose.

Undersecretary for Education Mr. Toccafondi says “many schools will increase their fees or they will quit. Then the State will have to find new resources to build new structures and manage them” ((it))Italian language: ?Molti istituti aumenteranno le rette o chiuderanno. Così lo Stato dovrà trovare nuove risorse per costruire nuove strutture e gestirle.

Also the president of the Lombardy region, Roberto Maroni, has reacted by proposing some regional counter-measures to finance private schools.

The secretary general of CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference), Nunzio Galantino, has called the sentence “dangerous” ((it))Italian language: ?pericolosa and “ideological” ((it))Italian language: ?”ideologica: “We face a dangerous sentence. Who takes the decisions, do it with less ideology. Because I have the clear sensation that with this way of thinking, they wait the praise of some ideologized supporters. Indeed, they don’t understand what kind of good service private schools held” ((it))Italian language: ?Siamo davanti a una sentenza pericolosa. Chi prende decisioni, lo faccia con meno ideologia. Perché ho la netta sensazione che con questo modo di pensare, si aspetti l’applauso di qualche parte ideologizzata. Il fatto è che non ci si sta rendendo conto del servizio che svolgono le scuole pubbliche paritarie.

Italian secularist associations are concerned the Government will modify the law in order to maintain an exception for religious schools. The secularist magazine MicroMega describe the court’s judgement as historic.

The Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (UAAR) has launched a petition which now has more than 11,000 signatures, asking the government to respect and execute the sentence of the Supreme Court. It is also encouraging citizens to ask for application of the law in their local municipalities.

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Refurbished cafeteria opens in Romanian parliament

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

A new, refurbished cafeteria at the Romanian Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest has opened for the use of parliamentarians. The new cafeteria, which has mahogany furniture and leather draped armchairs, was officially opened yesterday, and is situated at the entrance to the Senate headquarters in the Palace of the Parliament.

Members of Parliament said they were not satisfied with the former cafeteria in the Palace, saying that it didn’t have proper tables and chairs to sit on. Many parliamentarians expressed their satisfaction at the opening of the refurbished dining venue, saying that they can now drink a cup of coffee “in a civilised manner” before sessions.

Bucharest’s Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului in Romanian) is the largest building in Europe and the third largest building in the world, with an area of approximately 350,000 m². It contains both houses of the Romanian Parliament (the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate), as well as the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC). It is also frequently used as a function centre.

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NYC Transit asks members to ratify new contracts

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A tentative contract agreement has been struck, five days after New York City was ground to a halt in a transit strike. The executive board of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 and the Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) had been negotiating under a media blackout, but terms of the agreement have started to come to light: A 3% increase in salary the first year, 4% increase the second year, and a 3.5% increase in their third year. There will be no changes in the employees’ pension plan and the retirement age remains at 55 in exchange for employees contribution of 1.5% of their paycheck.

The new contract still must be approved by the state-run authority’s board, whose next regular meeting is on January 25, 2006. There is no word yet if a special meeting will be called.

The Union’s workers will vote by mail, a process which may take weeks to complete.

Union members probably will ratify the contract because it would be “near suicidal” to strike again, says Gary Chaison, professor of labour relations at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Thirty-four thousand Transport Workers Union members walked off the job on December 20, when negotiations broke down over disagreements concerning pensions, health benefits, and pay. The strike, which lasted three days, affected an estimated 7 million commuters daily.

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Different Kitchen Layouts: Selecting The Right Kitchen Layout For You

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Different Kitchen Layouts: Selecting The Right Kitchen Layout For You



As much as possible, you would want your kitchen to be efficient, functional, and stylish all at the same time. Creating a bespoke kitchen design has now become popular so that one’s kitchen stands out and that it caters to the owner’s purpose and goal. But, there are things that you must know when building a new kitchen or remodeling your existing kitchen. Besides the furniture that you are going to put in it, the light fixtures, and color, you also have to decide on the layout that you prefer.

To help you with it, let us take a look at some of the basic types of kitchen layouts:

Single Line Kitchen

This is recommended for narrow rooms. This layout will produce an I-shaped kitchen, which results to having longer journey distances as you would have to walk from one end of the room to the other. To solve this, have the sink placed between the refrigerator and the stove. Moreover, place the refrigerator in such a way that the refrigerator door opens away from the sink.

L-Shaped Kitchen

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A very popular kitchen layout, L-shaped kitchen allows for a good traffic flow. This type is recommended for a family kitchen or for entertaining guests as table and chairs can be accommodated in the same room. When having this type of layout, a preparation area must separate the sink, stove, and refrigerator.

Double L-Shaped Kitchen

This allows for plenty of cabinet space as well as counter space. It is generally used for large kitchens with two cooks. The problem that may arise with this layout is that it has two or more entering areas; hence, it may cause problems on traffic flow. This problem, however, may be addressed by having two separate working areas on each L of the kitchen.

Galley Kitchen

Because of its efficiency in the use of space, this layout is often used in apartments or houses where there is limited space. This space efficiency is also the reason why this type is preferred by many professional chefs. For smooth work flow, the cabinets and appliances can be placed on opposite walls. But, it must be made sure that the cleaning and cooking areas are on the same side to avoid accidents while hot pans are being moved between the sink and the cooktop.

G-Shaped Kitchen

Providing a fourth wall to use, a G-shaped kitchen is also recommended if you have more than one cook in the house. Moreover, the fourth wall may be utilized for a counter, island, and storage space.

U-Shaped Kitchen

This layout has three walls, allowing short distances around the kitchen and making it an ideal working kitchen. Furthermore, it allows plenty of worktop and storage space.

Island Kitchen

It is another popular layout as it allows you or the cook to entertain and socialize with guests or visitors while preparing. Thus, it is the ideal layout if you plan to entertain.

Getting the kitchen that you desire indeed requires some thinking and sound decision making. You just cannot say, hey I want this and poof there goes your desired kitchen. It is important that you equip yourself with the basic knowledge in kitchen design, just like the basic layouts. The internet, for example, is a powerful source of information. Make some research, ask questions, and set a clear picture on your mind what you really want, although it may slightly be altered as you go on with educating yourself about the basics in kitchen design. So get those hands and mind working, squeeze those creative juices, and make your dream kitchen a work in progress.

Jo is a content writer for ‘Benchmark Interiors'(http://www.designer-bespoke-kitchens.co.uk), a UK kitchen furniture manufacturer that focuses in bespoke handmade kitchens, home office and bedroom furniture design and fabrication. If you are eager to create

bespoke kitchens

and would like it to be plain yet useful then you should check out Benchmark Interiors.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Bruce Haines, Bramalea-Gore-Malton

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bruce Haines is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Bramalea-Gore-Malton riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Goat head delivered to Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wednesday at 2:30pm Chicago local time, a goat’s head was delivered for Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts at his office in Wrigley Field. The head was dropped off at Gate K by the unidentified male driver of a van, reportedly not by a member of the United States Postal Service.

The Chicago Police were notified of the incident, and are investigating. The driver of the truck was recorded on surveillance video.

In 1945, when the Cubs last competed in Major League Baseball’s World Series, Chicago restaurant owner Billy Sianis was ejected from Wrigley Field during the World Series after trying to bring a goat into the stadium. Following the incident, Sianis is alleged to have cursed the team, vowing they would never win the championship again. The incident has become part of Chicago Cubs’ fan lore.

The day of the incident, the Chicago Cubs game versus the Milwuakee Brewers was postponed due to weather. The Cubs organization is also in negotiations with the city of Chicago over possible renovations to Wrigley Field.

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Iranian news agency apologises for reproducing The Onion article

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Iranian Fars News Agency (FNA) yesterday apologised over an article it reproduced Friday, originally written by US satirical news website The Onion on Monday September 24. The parodic article reported “a Gallup poll” suggesting “the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans” would vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, instead of US President Barack Obama. The Onion article also said “77 percent of rural Caucasian voters” would prefer to drink beer with Ahmadinejad or attend a baseball game with him as opposed to Obama.

The FNA’s English service Editor-in-chief said the article had been “extracted” from The Onion and that FNA gives “our formal apologies for that mistake”, as well as pointing out the article was “taken down from our outlook in less two hours”.

However, the editor-in-chief also said “we do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the US, a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the US political system to President Barack Obama and American statesmen”. He stressed that this belief does not constitute justification for the error.

[W]e do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the US, a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the US political system to President Barack Obama and American statesmen

In The Onion’s article, fictional West Virginia resident Dale Swiderski says about Ahmadinejad: “I like him better”. ‘Swiderski’ is also quoted by the Chicago, Illinois website as saying the Iranian President “takes national defense seriously, and he’d never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does.”

In Iran, homosexuality is a criminal offence which can carry a penalty of incarceration or capital punishment. Just over five years ago, when he participated in a debate at Columbia University in New York, New York, Ahmadinejad said: “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country”.

The FNA’s error made international headlines, including in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and Australia. Will Tracy, editor of The Onion, said their website “freely shares content with Fars and commends the journalists at Iran’s Finest News Source on their superb reportage”, a humourous reference to The Onion’s slogan, ‘America’s Finest News Source’.

On the original web page on The Onion’s website, the satirical news organisation added a reference to “our Iranian subsidiary organization”, providing a link to a screenshot of the FNA’s page.

On the article page, in which The Onion was not attributed as a source, the FNA copied The Onion’s article verbatim and in its entirety, save for part of a sentence saying Ahmadinejad was “a man who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and has had numerous political prisoners executed”.

This is not the first time The Onion has caused the mistaken belief of their material being factual. In a November 2007 interview with Wikinews, The Onion’s Editorial Manager Chet Clem recounted an incident in which the Beijing Evening News reproduced a story from The Onion created in 2002, copied entirely verbatim, headlined “Congress threatens to leave DC unless new capitol is built”. When the error was highlighted to the Chinese newspaper, Clem said “their response was not to print a correction, but just to say that some newspapers in America make money by printing lies.” In a separate incident, Christians forwarded a story on the Internet from The Onion saying children were converting to Satanism as a result of reading the Harry Potter book series.

The FNA statement released yesterday went on to say “[a]ctive and well-known media occasionally make mistakes, and no media is an exception to this rule”, before going to provide a list of errors made by such publications as The New York Times and Beijing Evening News, as well as television broadcasters like the BBC, ITV, and CNN.

The bottom of the FNA’s statement introduces a list of notable BBC errors reported by The Daily Telegraph on December 6, 2010. While the FNA referenced The Daily Telegraph and the order of the mistakes was changed from the original article, the wording was reproduced verbatim, excluding one omitted sentence under the subheading ‘Nicky Campbell and hunting mark II’ which reads: “Campbell, who is also the presenter of the BBC’s flagship programme for Holy Week, apologised profusely for the mistake.”

According to BBC News Online, the FNA is associated with the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, an Iranian military branch.

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