U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate and former Governor Buddy Roemer of Louisiana took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.
Roemer served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1980s as a member of the Democratic Party. He was elected governor as a Democrat in 1987 before switching to the Republican Party ahead of the 1991 election for governor. That year, he lost the party’s primary to state legislator David Duke. After his governorship, Roemer worked as CEO of Business First Bank in Baton Rouge.
Roemer announced his candidacy for president back in July after exploring a bid for several months. He has focused his campaign on the issue of campaign finance reform, refusing to accept money from political action committees (PACs) and limiting individual campaign contributions to $100. He raised a total of $126,500 in the third quarter of 2011, far short of the $14.2 million raised by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
For his campaign, Roemer has adopted the slogan ‘Free to Lead’. He rails against corruption, special interests, and money in politics, and has expressed support for the Occupy Wall Street protests. Furthermore, he has taken issue positions in favor of fair trade, a balanced federal budget, and a strengthened national defense.
Roemer has not been invited to any national presidential debates. He has focused largely on the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, and recently signed up to appear on the state’s primary ballot. However, a recent University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll shows him with less than one percent support in the state. Pearson Cross of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette commented, “If Buddy can exceed expectations in New Hampshire or even sneak in and steal third — that would give a boost that he could build on”.
2 Related news
4 External links
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Fan Expo Canada ran in Toronto last weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, spread over both multi-storey buildings at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The event is one of North America’s largest pop culture events, with panels, product unveilings, screenings, an artists’ alley, and celebrity autographs.
Featured programming included reunions of cast members from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Back to the Future, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Degrassi: The Next Generation. Other cast panels included Star Trek Discovery, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Grand Theft Auto. Attendees could have their portfolios reviewed by staff from Marvel and DC Comics, speed date others of the same sexuality, or try a Doctor Who escape room.
The end-of-summer event is one of three held in Toronto by convention firm Informa, a list that also includes the springtime Toronto Comic Con.
Wikinews was there, and captured some of the cosplay creativity and booths full of products new and old.
Peekaboo Cosplay as “Glitterbomb Jessica”, based on Jessica Rabbit
Faraway Cosplay as Ariel from The Little Mermaid
Dayna the Sloth as Nightmare Ysera from World of Warcraft
Jennocide as Storm and Lisa Mancini as Thor
Quarter_year_cosplayz as Toothless the dragon
Fan-made Pokemon sculptures
Artist’s Alley promotional display
Ralph Breaks the Internet promotion
Funko Pop display
Dragonball Z display
Voice actor Grey Delisle
Voice actor Jim Cummings
Alpha Flight action figures unveiled at the event
Alpha Flight action figures unveiled at the event
Rogers built a structure nearby, including a SpongeBob-themed room.
Toys’R’Us is still active and open in Canada, despite closing in the US.
Showcase had live painting for the show Marvel Runaways.
Game of Thrones
Super Mario characters
Belle and Prince Adam
Inflatable dinosaur meetup
Peter Pan, Wendy, and Captain Hook
Spinelli from Recess.
Chuckie Finster from Rugrats
Waluigi and Wario
Daft Punk cosplay
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The following is the fifth edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.
In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: an arrest warrant is issued for the Green Party presidential and vice presidential nominees; the “Birther King” opens up about Donald Trump’s changing view on President Obama’s place of birth; and Wikinews interviews a write-in presidential candidate hoping to run the “most libertarian” campaign in history.
2 Arrest warrant out for Green Party nominees
3 ‘Birther King’ reacts to Trump’s change of heart
Therefore, one of the important attributes for successful people in business today is the ability to present well. Sure, academic qualifications along with practical, real world experience is important but one skill – and it is a skill, therefore it can be developed – is the skill of presenting to others. The nature of presenting – that is, the style of presentation and the audience – will vary, of course, but the ability to convey the message effectively is seen as a marker or what could also be called a ‘defining characteristic’ for success. I am often asked to help develop the skills of aspiring managers and leaders because they know that without this skill they will be limited not only because of the way others see them but in their ability to persuade in business-critical situations. As someone who sees people in the corporate world making presentations, I know many of those I see present could be so much more effective with just a little help. But of course, with so many people having that fear of speaking in front of others, this also holds them back. Because they have such concerns they often avoid situations where they’re required to speak – or are in such a state when they do make the presentation that they stumble through it and are just pleased when it’s over. The focus for them becomes the process – not the content – of what they’re delivering. So why should you improve your business presentation skills ? — Communicate your message more effectively Those who understanding how to present effectively, understand how to structure their presentations, what to say, how to say it, in order to make an impact with their audience. Even ‘off the cuff’ presentations are more effective if the person delivering it has an understanding of what is required in the presentation process. The audience is then far more receptive to the message which is being communicated – if the person delivering it does so with an understanding of the process of presenting and speaking. — Sell More Products Your product may be tangible; it may be your services or the services of your company. You may be presenting a proposal on behalf of your company. It may be to a group, 5, 10 or more prospective clients, but whatever you are selling, the effectiveness your presentation skills will play a critical role in achieving the ‘sale’. The most successful sales people are also successful presenters so if your role requires you to sell your company’s products or services or even to present a proposal to your client, improving your presentation skills will improve your success in making that sale. — Influence your team / the Board You may be communicating to your team, maybe it’s the weekly or fortnightly team meeting, in this situation you have to convey our message effectively to the other members of the team. They may be fellow team members – or this could be the team you’re leading. The ability to communicate effectively rests with you – and the outcome you achieve will be directly, in most cases, related to the way you present, to the content of what you’re saying ad the way you’re saying it. Are you convincing them or are you boring them? Are you communicating to their heart as well as their mind – or are you simply filling the air with the sound of your voice ? — Enhance your career prospects If your think your career is slowing, check your presentation skills. People who speak and present well get noticed. No question. If you can effectively, with conviction and impact, present your views and have no hesitation in speaking and presenting to others, you will increase dramatically your chances of being picked up for that next career move. — Become more confident The inner confidence that comes with speaking and presenting well, will come out in your interactions with others even when you’re not presenting to them.. You will appear to others to have an air of confidence in all your interactions with them. That confidence then also is evident in the presentations you’re making. You know what you are going to say, you know how to say it effectively – and you do so confidently. The audience is more than half way convinced; psychologically, they are already on ‘your side’ when they see a level of confidence from you when you present confidently. Effective leaders are also effective presenters and speakers. Executives and managers in business today need to present well to have the edge over their competitors – both the internal as well as the external competitors. Importantly, they are effective influencers of others. Graham Moore
Graham Moore is a professional speaker and trainer who presents to audiences internationally. With over 15 years experience, he also conducts presentation skills training and coaches managers and executives in presentation skills. If you’d like to learn more about how you can improve your speaking and presenting skills
The U.S. government warned private financial services that al Qaeda is planning a cyber attack on the U.S. stock and bank accounts, officials said on Thursday.
Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke says: “There is no information to corroborate this aspirational threat. As a routine matter and out of an abundance of caution, US-CERT issued the situational awareness report to industry stakeholders.”
The officials said that the attacks are aimed at destroying the databases of U.S. banking and stock market web sites. The Homeland Security group claims that the threat was for all of December.
A U.S. official said that the threat was posted on an website and called for the attack to avenge the imprisonment of Muslims in the Guantanamo detention camp.
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NASA‘s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the latest robotic spacecraft destined for Mars, arrived at Kennedy Space Center‘s Shuttle Landing Facility on April 30 aboard a C-17 cargo plane and was delivered to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility to begin processing. Launching is scheduled for August 10, 2005.
With a mission time line through 2010, the MRO will conduct studies of the Martian atmosphere, surface and subsurface in far greater detail than previous missions. Possible landing sites for future Mars landings will be evaluated and the orbiter will also act as a high-data-rate communications relay for surface missions.
“Great work by a talented team has brought Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to this milestone in our progress toward a successful mission,” said Jim Graf of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) project manager for the mission.
Multiple mechanical assembly operations and electrical tests are scheduled to verify the craft’s readiness for launch. A May test to verify communication abilities through NASA’s Deep Space Network will be conducted and in June deployment of the high gain communications antenna will be tested. A deployment test is also scheduled for the Orbiter’s large solar arrays.
The MRO will be filled with hydrazine fuel in July for its “Mars orbit insertion burn” which reduces the craft’s velocity and places it in orbit about the red planet. July 26 will see the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter installed in an Atlas V rocket fairing for final assembly with the rocket on July 29.
After the scheduled launch, the MRO will spend seven months cruising to Mars and another six months aerobraking after orbital insertion. A variety of scientific instruments on board will be used to search for geological evidence of past seas, ancient shorelines.The craft was built near Denver by Lockheed Martin Space Systems which also supplies the Atlas V launch vehicle.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission is managed by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project. International Launch Services, a Lockheed Martin joint venture, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems are providing launch services for the mission.
Konami Cup Asia Series 2007 battled in Tokyo Dome today, with 2007 BWC in Taiwan and upcoming 2007 Asian Baseball Championship chained on the qualification of 2008 Summer Olympics, this series may varied Asian’s teams recently.
1 Uni-President Lions (Taiwan) vs China Stars (China)
2 SK Wyverns (South Korea) vs Chunichi Dragons (Japan)
3 Tomorrow’s fixtures
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A review this week by Wikinews of US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaints about mortgages in the United States shows Bank of America leads all lending institutions in complaints.
Since mortgages complaints were recorded in December 2011, 77,622 total have been added to CFPB’s database. 29.2% of these complaints involved Bank of America, with the second most received by Wells Fargo, accounting for 15.5% of all complaints. JPMorgan Chase ranked third by volume of complaints with 9.8%. Ocwen was fourth with 8.7% and Citibank was fifth with 4.8%. Nationstar Mortgage; Green Tree Servicing, LLC; HSBC; PNC Bank; U.S. Bancorp; OneWest Bank; SunTrust Bank; Flagstar Bank; and Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. each had between 1.0 and 3.8% of total complaints. The remaining 14.4% of all complaints about consumer mortgages were divided between about 530 other lending institutions.
The Motley Fool reported last month that for the past fiscal quarter, the biggest US based mortgage lenders were from first to fifth Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Quicken Loans and U.S. Bancorp.
According to the US Federal Reserve, debt for family residences stands at US$10.706 trillion for the second quarter of 2013. As of the end of June of this year, Bank of America is the United States’s second largest commercial bank with US$1.343 trillion in domestic assets. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest commercial bank with US$1.251 trillion in domestic assets. JPMorgan Chase is the largest US commercial bank with US$1.329 trillion in domestic assets and US$1.947 trillion in total assets.
The mortgage complaints in the CFPB report include several subproducts. Conventional fixed mortgages account for 27.1% of all complaints. Conventional adjustable mortgages account for 10.0%. FHA mortgages account for 7.7% of all complaints. Home equity loans or lines of credit account for 3.8% of all complaints. VA mortgages are 1.4% of all complaints. Second mortgages and reverse mortgages each account for 0.6% of complaints. The remaining 48.7% of complaints are about other mortgages or other mortgage issues. A few years ago, FHA loans accounted for about 10% of all US mortgages while VA loans accounted for about 3%. Prime loans accounted for over 75% of the market and the rest were subprime mortgages.
California leads all states by volume of complaints with 14768. It is followed by Florida, New York, Georgia and Texas. When complaints are divided by a state’s total population, New Hampshire leads. The state is followed by Washington D.C., Maryland, Georgia and Florida. Complaints do not correlate with national rankings for August’s foreclosure rate by state where Nevada topped the list, followed by Florida, Ohio, Maryland and Delaware.
Two zip codes account for over 1,000 total complaints between them. 565 complaints originated in the 48382 zip code, which is in Commerce Township, Michigan, located in suburban Detroit. 553 complaints originated in the 33071 zip code, in Coral Springs, Florida. According to real estate website Zillow, there are currently 1,033 properties in foreclosure in Coral Springs while Commerce Township only has 131 properties currently in foreclosure. Four other zip codes have 100 plus complaints originating from them. 91730, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, had 158 complaints. 33409, in West Palm Beach, Florida, had 132. 92626, in Costa Mesa, California, had 125 complaints. 92660, in Newport Beach, California, had 122 complaints. Respectively, the towns had 534, 1,068, 153, and 134 properties currently in foreclosure. These numbers are higher than for the cities of a few sampled zip codes where there was only one complaint, such as Gold Hill, Oregon which has 4 properties in foreclosure, and Decatur, Illinois which has 6 properties in foreclosure.
The CFPB categorizes complaints into six categories: “Loan modification, collection,foreclosure” or problems when a person is unable to pay; “Loan servicing, payments, escrow account” or problems with making a payment; “Application, originator, mortgage broker”; “Credit decision / Underwriting”; “Settlement process and costs”, and “Other”. The CFPB says the complaint types indicate consumers “appear to be driven by a desire to seek agreement with their companies on foreclosure alternatives. The complaints indicate that consumer confusion persists around the process and requirements for obtaining loan modifications and refinancing, especially regarding document submission timeframes, payment trial periods, allocation of payments, treatment of income in eligibility calculations, and credit bureau reporting during the evaluation period.” Currently, 59.6% of all complaints against lenders deal with being unable to pay. 25.1% deal with problems in making a payment. 7.0% have to do with the application process.
Of the complaint-heavy zip codes, for 48382 in Commerce Township, Michigan, 98.9% of all complaints have to deal with being unable to pay. Accounting for 23.4% of all mortgage complaints in Commerce Township, 132 of the complaints for being unable to pay were made regarding Bank of America, accounting for 97.8% or all but 3 complaints against them from the zip. 121 of the Bank of America responses in Commerce Township were closed with explanation and 12 were closed with non-monetary relief. 33071 in Coral Springs is different, with 537 of the 553 complaints being categorized under other. Only 11 complaints relate to foreclosure and issues with being able to pay. 92626 in Costa Mesa, where 32% of the mortgage complaints were about Bank of America and 26.4% were about Wells Fargo, had 93.6% of its complaints dealing with being unable to pay. 5 total complaints dealt with payment issues and 3 dealt with applications.
Beyond regional variance in complaint types lodged, the top five mortgage lenders by volume of complaints all had being unable to pay as their top complaint category, ranging between 55.8% for Citibank and 69.4% for Bank of America. Problems with payment accounted for the second largest area of complaints, with Ocwen having the largest percentage of complaints at 31.9% and Bank of America having the smallest at 18.8%. Foreclosure was the top area of complaints for a number of other lending institutions including 1st Alliance Lending, OneWest Bank, Ally Bank, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Bank of the West, BMO Harris, BOK Financial Corp, Caliber Home Loans, Inc, Capital One, Deutsche Bank and EverBank.
Nationally, complaints reached a high of 5,840 for January 2013, 1,107 more than the next highest month of April 2013. The total emerging for September is the second lowest since records were first kept in December 2011. On a state by state level, this pattern largely repeats with a major exception for Florida which saw a peak of 849 complaints in June 2012. Then, as now, Florida was one of the top five states in the nation in its foreclosure rate. The national January spike came as the Qualified Mortgage standard required by the The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 came into play. It required mortgage lenders to take steps to insure borrowers could repay their mortgages.
Bank of America’s complaint volume follows the national trend, with a spike in January 2013 with 1,925 total complaints. Unlike nationally, the next month by volume of complaints was February of this year with 1,598 complaints. Prior to that, the highest month was May 2012 with 1,418 complaints. The lowest volume of complaints is September this year with 334.
Wells Fargo matched national trends for volume of complaints by month, with the exception of the current month being the lowest on record for number of complaints with 197 compared to the next lowest month, December 2011, when they had 221. JPMorgan’s complaint volume by month spiked in January and March of this year with 504 complaints. April of this year was the next highest month with 493 complaints, edging out May of last year with 488 complaints. September this year is on track to be the lowest month by complaint volume.
The federal government shutdown is unlikely to impact the current mortgage situation in the United States directly for most consumers, though mortgage processing by the Federal Housing Administration could be slower, resulting in fewer mortgages processed.
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An explosion at the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) on Monday afternoon left four people injured, authorities say.
The explosion occurred in a science laboratory in Schweitzer Hall around 2:20 p.m. CDT (1920 UTC) Monday. The source of the explosion was first thought to have been a 2,000-pound (907.2-kilogramme) hydrogen tank, but fire officials later said that this was not the case. The cause of the incident is currently under investigation by the Columbia Fire Department.
The Columbia Fire Department arrived at Schweitzer Hall after a report of a structure fire, but found that most of the fire had already been extinguished by the building’s fire sprinkler system. The remaining flames were put out by firefighters, one of whom said it looked as if “a bomb went off in the lab”.
Of the four hurt in the blast, one was a research scientist, one a graduate student, and the other two postdoctoral fellows. Three were treated for mild injuries and released from University Hospital, while the fourth was in good condition after being taken to the hospital’s burn unit for life-threatening injuries. A school spokesperson said that the university was not allowed to release the names of the victims.
Authorities initially believed that a large container of hydrogen gas had exploded, but investigators later said that the tank was intact. Fire officials also retracted an earlier statement that said the incident had been a result of human error. In a Monday night news release, the fire department said that lab workers had turned on the hydrogen but did not recognize warning signs indicating a dangerously high level of hydrogen gas in the lab, so they left the gas supply running. The report said the explosion occurred after the gas reached a source of ignition. However, the department said Tuesday that the investigation into the explosion is still ongoing and that they were not certain human error was the cause.
The investigation should determine the cost of repairs for the building, as well as whether the school should implement new procedures to avoid similar incidents in the future. The lab where the explosion took place will be totally rebuilt.
Schweitzer Hall houses Mizzou’s biochemistry department, which is part of the medical and agricultural programs. The building’s single classroom is located in the basement and was not in use at the time. The explosion happened on a third-story lab assigned to Judy Wall, a university professor, who was in her office across from the lab during the incident and referred inquiries to the news bureau. Other labs in the building were not disturbed, and Schweitzer Hall was established to be structurally sound, although nearly twenty windows had been shattered from the blast. The building reopened Tuesday for researchers to continue working.
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Local municipal and provincial volunteers in Manitoba, Canada are exhausted in their efforts to divert the rising waters of the Red River of the North.
It has been hard work with little sleep for the residents who live on the shores of the Red River to shore up their defences with sandbags, build dikes, clear frozen culverts and break ice jams
Volunteers to spell relief for local volunteers and food are desperately needed.
“It’s a week now we’ve been doing this … you’re talking four, five, six public works guys. In my one community we’ve got 25 volunteer firefighters and those guys have been going 24/7, so of course it’s wearing them down.” said Paul Guyader, Manitoba’s emergency measures coordinator.
“We’re dealing with one of the biggest floods the province has ever seen,” said Steve Strang, mayor of St. Clements, Manitoba “We’ve put out hundreds of thousands of bags already. The municipalities are working very well, we’re working with the provincial government, we’ve brought in every possible resource we could to address this issue. The volunteerism within the community has been phenomenal.”
The cold weather is freezing the ice jams into place. Guyader has had 2 Amphibex Excavators operating on the river breaking up ice.
The Red River is right now 16.7 feet (5 metres) above spring ice conditions. The Red River Floodway gates cannot be opened with the current ice jams.
“If we operate now, we can get ice jamming going into the floodway, jamming up against the St. Mary’s bridge, as such, the floodway capacity would be reduced and would cause higher water levels in the city of Winnipeg.” said Steve Topping, Manitoba Water Stewardship spokesman
The floodway was constructed in 1968 following the 1950 flood to divert the overflow spring flooding waters of the Red River. The floodway has been widened the since the 1997 “flood of the century” and the expansion is expected to be completed this spring. As well Manitoba built permanent dikes around communities within the flood plain since the last two major floods..
The Red River waters will crest between the beginning of April to mid April, at which time also the weather should be warming up. Communities are bracing for higher water levels, more ice jams as well as melting snow in the warmer spring temperatures.
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