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    21 June 2009

    Bolivian, Polish and Dutch news outlets fall for Air France hoax

    PARIS (BNO NEWS) -- Bolivian television station PAT, Poland's TVN24 and Dutch news radio BNR probably thought they had their biggest scoop yet: photos from inside Air France Flight 447, seconds before it crashed into the Atlantic early this month. The crash killed more than 200 people and most parts of the wreckage have not been found yet.

    Late last week, Bolivian television channel PAT apparently became the first to air the "shocking" footage, which were likely provided to them from a viewer. The photos show people grabbing to their oxygen masks and one even shows a passenger being sucked out of the plane.

    But, they weren't alone. TVN24 in Poland probably got the same adrenaline rush when they received these "exclusive" pictures. And on Sunday evening, news radio BNR in the Netherlands broke the same story on their website. "BNR has received photos from a reliable source with Air France - KLM from moments before the crash of the Airbus," an article read.

    But... is it really from Air France Flight 447? No. And apparently, the editors over at BNR, TVN24 and PAT haven't watched the hit-series "Lost" either.

    The footage is from "Lost" and is several years old. If you are not familiar with the series, you can watch a clip showing the "exclusive" footage on YouTube.

    "Damn, probably hoax ... Sorry :(," read a message from Marjolein Niestadt, who works for BNR Newsradio, on her Twitter account. The article was quickly and quietly removed.

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    19 June 2009

    BBC's Peter Sissons Retiring from News Presenting

    Peter Sissons is retiring from News broadcasting after a 45 year career.

    The Long serving news presenter, who is now 66, will leave BBC News this summer and plans to write his memoirs.

    Peter told the Daily Mirror Newspaper: “I do feel I’m still on top of my game and I still enjoy it. I don’t know how much I’ll miss it until I stop but I don’t think I’ll be sitting in a darkened room.”

    Kevin Bakhurst, controller, BBC News Channel, said: “We would like to thank Peter for his outstanding contribution to the BBC over the past 20 years.


    “He’s been a towering figure in TV news and it’s been a privilege for our teams to work with him. He will be missed and we wish him all the best with his future endeavours.”

    Sissons joined ITN in 1964. In 1969 he was appointed ITN’s news editor, becoming industrial correspondent a year later.

    His first news presenting job came in 1978, when he began presenting the News At One for ITV.

    Sissons became the main anchor on Channel 4 News in 1982 and stayed with the programme before handing over to Jon Snow seven years later.

    In June 1989, Peter Sissons took over from Sir Robin Day as the presenter of Question Time. He continued until December 1993.

    In 1994, Sissons moved to the BBC1 Nine o’clock News and then 10pm in October 2000.

    He began presenting on the BBC News Channel during the Iraq War in 2003 and now presents at weekends.
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    18 June 2009

    7 Line Resumes,6 Line Delays

    Following an earlier incident, 7 train service has resumed with significant delays.

    Due to signal problems at the East 149th Street Station, select Brooklyn Bridge-bound 6 trains are running express from the Hunts Point Avenue Station to the 3rd Avenue-138th Street Station.

    Please expect delays in service on the 6 trains at this time.
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    © 2009 Asnycnow15 English

    ALERT| US OPEN SUSPENDED,LIRR SERVICE RENEWED

    Play at the U.S. Open has been suspended for the day today, Thursday, June 18 due to course conditions.
    Admission gates at the U.S. Open are closed for the day.
    LIRR U.S. Open half-hourly train service is operating normally at the LIRR's Farmingdale Station.
    Play will resume tomorrow, Friday, June 19 at 7:30 AM with gates at the Park opening at 6 AM.
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    © 2009 Asnycnow15 English

    ALERT|NYCTA 7 LINE KNOCKED OUT


    The MTA confirms that signal problems along the entire stretch of the No. 7 train, there is no service in both directions from the 42nd Street-Times Square Station to the Flushing-Main Street Station.

    Due to mechanical problems, there is no 7 train service in both directions from the 42nd Street-Times Square Station to the Flushing-Main Street Station.

    As an alternative, LIRR will be honoring all NYCT customers at 34th Street-Penn Station for service to Hunterspoint Avenue, Woodside, Willets Point and Main Street.

    Customers can also take e, f, n and w trains or Q60 bus making nearby station stops.

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    © 2009 Asnycnow15 English

    Dangerous Storms Zooming Across Plains, Southeast

    Waves of thunderstorms are creating very dangerous thunderstorms this morning across both the Plains and the Southeast, and will continue to do so throughout the day today. Storms today are likely to slam the major cities of the Upper Midwest with large hail, strong winds and tornadoes.

    Severe Thunderstorm Watches are in effect in northern Nebraska, eastern Minnesota and eastern Iowa, including Valentine, Neb., the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities, and Davenport, Iowa.

    Another Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in place across southern South Carolina and eastern Georgia, including Aiken, S.C., and Savannah, Ga.

    Today, the most powerful storms will be found across the Upper Mississippi Valley into the western Great Lakes. Here, temperatures in the 80s and 90s and plenty of water-laden air will help to fuel these storms` development, and upper-level winds are contributing enough twist to spawn tornadoes. In addition to the threat of twisters, large hail to the size of softballs will be common, and strong winds to 75 mph can be expected.

    The strongest storms will be found across the major corridors of the Upper Midwest from Minnesota and Iowa to western Indiana, including in the Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Chicago areas. However, the powerful storms will be possible east of the Dakotas and Nebraska into the Ohio Valley. This includes such cities as Lincoln and Omaha, Neb., St. Louis, Springfield, Ill., and Indianapolis, Ind.

    Further east, another round of strong to severe thunderstorms will plow through the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast as an area of low pressure slides eastward toward the Eastern Seaboard. Here, large hail to the size of baseballs and strong, gusty winds will be found.

    Residents in and around many of the major cities of the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley, including Cincinnati, Louisville, Charleston, W.Va., Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Va., Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C., and Charleston, S.C., should keep an eye to the sky for these powerful storms this afternoon and evening.

    These storms are all due to a wavering front stretched across the south-central Plains eastward into Mississippi Valley and into the Southeast. Waves of storms have been forming each afternoon all week from the Plains to the Ohio Valley, becoming very powerful thanks to the strong June sunshine and a strong current of warm, water-laden Gulf of Mexico air streaming into the East.

    On Wednesday, nearly two dozen unconfirmed tornadoes were reported including one near Austin, Minn., causing damage, and another that moved just north of Gibbon, Neb. A storm near Odell, Neb., produced baseball sized hail that was reported to have broken windshields on nearby storm spotters` cars. A wind gust to 80 mph was recorded in Fritch, Texas, with 75 mph gusts near Richmond, Mo. A storm in Naper, Neb., blew alfalfa wind rows away, and an 18-wheeler was blown over near Amarillo, Texas.

    In addition to the storms, heavy rain and the threat of flash flooding will also be present across both the Upper Midwest and in New England as the water laden air is squeezed out. Some areas may see as much as 2 inches of rain over the course of the day, which on top of rain already produced this week could cause localized flash flooding. If you come across water in the road, do not attempt to cross it as it is likely deeper than it appears. Flash Flood Watches and Warnings are in place in southeastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, northeastern West Virginia, western Maryland, southwestern Virginia, and northeastern Tennessee.

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    17 June 2009

    Experts question UK broadband tax

    By BBC NEWS

    Technology, 17th June,2009

    One of the biggest surprises in the Digital Britain report was the news that everyone with a fixed line telephone would pay a broadband tax.

    At 50p a month the amount is unlikely to break the bank but experts are already questioning what it will buy.

    Some believe it will mean the majority of homes can benefit from fast networks within a decade.

    Others question whether Gordon Brown's vision of "access for all" is achievable.

    Antony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, thinks that the money needs to be targeted at rural areas.

    He believes that, spent wisely, the money should ensure that the 30% of the country estimated to be bypassed by commercial fast broadband plans can enjoy speeds of up to 50Mbps (megabits per second) by 2017.

    Graphic of a house

    BT already plans to upgrade 40% of UK homes to so-called Fibre to the Cabinet technology (FTTC) by 2012, although it will be targeting the easy-to-reach urban and suburban areas.

    Virgin Media is also upgrading its network so it can deliver speeds of up to 50Mbps. Its network is available to 50% of homes in the UK, again mainly in urban and suburban areas.

    Broadband maths

    For Ian Fogg, analyst with Forrester research, the sums don't stack up.

    "There are around 34 million fixed lines in the UK and at £6 a year this is going to raise in the low hundreds of millions each year. This is some way off BT's budget of £1.5bn to put fibre in 40% of homes by 2012," he said.

    "There is going to be a two-tiered internet for a long time, whether the government likes it or not," he said.

    Andrew Ferguson, editor of broadband website ThinkBroadband, estimated that the government will raise around £170m a year from the broadband tax.

    "It will depend on how many people give up their fixed line because of the 50p a month tax but over the years will raise around the same amount of money as BT is investing," he said.

    READ THE DIGITAL BRITAIN REPORT

    Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    But because the money is earmarked for the final third of the country, with many homes lying miles away from existing networks, it is going to cost a lot more to supply them with fast net services.

    BT has estimated that to provide FTTC to every UK home would cost around £5bn.

    Mr Walker said it was important to remember that the tax was a top-up fund.

    "It may not sound like a lot of money but it is a subsidy to support commercial investments," he said.

    If BT or other operators are prepared to share half the cost of rollout the plan to fibre-enable 90% of the country by 2017 might work thinks Mr Ferguson.

    The process of collecting and putting the money out to tender will take two to three years to set in motion, he predicted, suggesting that it may have been easier just to give the money to BT.

    "BT would have had to give access to other providers. It might have been easier but would have been more politically charged," he said.

    World leader

    The government has also set aside around £200m to roll out slower broadband (of speeds of no less than 2Mbps) to so-called notspots, estimated to account for around 2.5m homes.

    Some think that figure this is not going to be enough and worry that that the money raised from the broadband tax could be used to fulfil this more pressing goal.

    Prime minister Gordon Brown has said that broadband is as essential as water, electricity and gas and pledged that the recommendations of the Digital Britain report will offer access to all families.

    He said the report will make the UK the broadband world leader.

    But not everyone is convinced.

    "It doesn't guarantee global leadership but the UK is in a better position today than it was before the report," said Mr Walker.

    Few of the recommendations are likely to hit the statute book before the next general election and could be abandoned by any new government.
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    New financial rules: Major changes for big, small


    WASHINGTON (AP) -- From simple home loans to Wall Street's most exotic schemes, the government would impose and enforce sweeping new "rules of the road" for the nation's battered financial system under an overhaul proposed Wednesday by President Barack Obama.

    Aimed at preventing a repeat of the worst economic crisis in seven decades, the changes would begin to reverse a determined campaign pressed in the 1980s by President Ronald Reagan to cut back on federal regulations.

    Obama's plan, spelled out in an 88-page white paper, would do little to streamline the alphabet soup of agencies that oversee the financial sector. But it calls for fundamental shifts in authority that would eliminate one regulatory agency, create another and both enhance and undercut the authority of the powerful Federal Reserve.

    The new agency, a consumer protection office, would specifically take over oversight of mortgages, requiring that lenders give customers the option of "plain vanilla" plans with straightforward and affordable terms. Lenders who repackage loans and sell them to investors as securities would be required to retain 5 percent of the credit risk - a figure some analysts believe is too low.

    It also would make the Fed the regulator of some of the largest and most interconnected institutions in the financial world - an attempt to supervise companies that are so big that if they fail they could do harm to the economy. A separate council, chaired by the Treasury secretary, would watch over the financial system to flag risky new products or trends.

    In all, the Obama's broad proposal cheered consumer advocates and dismayed the banking industry with its proposed creation of a regulator to protect consumers in all their banking transactions, from mortgages to credit cards. Large insurers protested the administration's decision not to impose a standard, federal regulation on the insurance industry, leaving it to the separate states as at present. Mutual funds succeeded in staying under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission instead of the new consumer protection agency.

    Obama cast his proposals as an attempt to find a middle ground between the benefits and excesses of capitalism.

    "We are called upon to put in place those reforms that allow our best qualities to flourish - while keeping those worst traits in check," Obama said.

    The president's plan lands in the lap of a Congress already preoccupied by historic health care legislation, consideration of a new Supreme Court justice and other major issues. Still, Obama has set an ambitious schedule, pushing lawmakers to adopt a new regulatory regime by year's end.

    "We'll have it done this year," pledged Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

    "Absolutely," agreed Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

    But fissures quickly developed.

    Dodd, who had been at Obama's side in the East Room of the White House for the announcement, raised questions about one of the plan's key features - giving the Federal Reserve authority over huge, intertwined financial institutions.

    "There's not a lot of confidence in the Fed at this point," Dodd said.

    Obama's proposal would require the Fed, which now can independently use emergency powers to bail out failing banks, to first obtain Treasury Department approval before extending credit to institutions in "unusual and exigent circumstances," a change designed to mollify critics who say the Fed should be more accountable in exercising its powers as a lender of last resort.

    But the proposal also would do away with a restriction imposed on the Fed in 1999 when Congress lifted Depression-era restrictions that allowed banks to get into securities and insurance businesses. The Fed, as the regulator for the larger financial holding companies, had been prohibited from examining or imposing restrictions on those firms' subsidiaries. Obama's proposal specifically lifts that restriction, giving the Fed the ability to duplicate and even overrule other regulators.

    At the same time, the new consumer agency would take away some of the Fed's authority.

    Fed defenders argue that none of the major institutional collapses - AIG, Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros., Merrill Lynch or Countrywide - were supervised by the Federal Reserve. Critics argue the Fed failed to crack down on dubious mortgage practices that were at the heart of the crisis.

    Administration officials concede their plan responds to the current crisis- in national security terms, it prepares them to fight the last war. But they also insist that a central tenet of their plan is a requirement that from now on financial institutions will have to keep more money in reserve - the best hedge against another meltdown.

    "I'm not sure that anybody can forecast crises with precision," Lawrence Summers, director of Obama's National Economic Council, told The Associated Press. "That's why it's going to be critical to raise capital levels for all institutions."

    That may appear to be a no-brainer: If banks and other large institutions have more money, they won't be vulnerable if their risky bets go bad.

    However, banking regulators have been arguing for years over implementation of an international standard for bank capital. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday hoped to move on enhanced capital standards "in parallel with the rest of the world."

    Obama would also place hedge funds and derivatives, the complex financial instruments traded privately in a multitrillion-dollar market and blamed for hastening the financial crisis, under government supervision. The proposal would give the SEC oversight of hedge funds and other private pools of capital, including venture capital funds

    "It really represents a comprehensive and pragmatic approach to reforming our regulatory system," SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said in a telephone interview. "It really does a lot to address things we're most concerned about."

    The regulatory overhaul ended up eliminating only one agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, generally considered a weak link among current banking regulators. The OTS oversaw the American International Group, whose business insuring exotic securities blew up last fall, prompting a $182 billion federal bailout.

    The failure to merge all four current banking agencies into one super regulator could open the door for big banks to continue to exploit weak links in the current system. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, a leading Democratic voice on Wall Street issues, praised the administration's plan but said he would consider further consolidation.

    "We're removing one major agency-shopping opportunity, but there's a real potential for others," said Patricia McCoy, a law professor at the University of Connecticut who has studied bank failures.

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    MORE MTA( NYCTA) SERVICE DELAYS

    Due to an ongoing rail condition between the Broadway-Nassau Station and the High Street Station, please expect delays in service on the and trains in both directions.
    In addition, due to a movie shoot on Grandview Avenue between Metropolitan Avenue and Rene Court, please expect delays and detours on B38 buses.
    Also, due to an ongoing movie shoot between Freeman Street and Clay Street, please expect delays and detours on B43 and B61 buses.
    And, due to ongoing work to repair a broken water main on Broadway between 230th Street and 234th Street, please expect delays and detours on Bx1, Bx7, Bx9, Bx10 and Bx20 buses at this time
    Copyright © 2009 Asnycnow15 News/English
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    ALERT| Queens-Bound J train Service Suspended

    Due to a police investigation at the Woodhaven Boulevard Station, there is no service on the Jamaica-bound J trains from the Cypress Hills Station to the Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer Station.
    As an alternative, customers are advised to take Q56 bus from the Cypress Hills Station making nearby station stops to Jamaica Center. Additional bus service has been provided.
    For All The latest On This & Other Issues, I Encourage You to Go To The MTA's Website At http://mta.info And Follow All The Latest On Twitter @Asnycnow15News.

    15 June 2009

    Youtube Channel Asnycnow15 Launches 'The News'

    Youtube Channel Asnycnow15 Has Launched A New Program Called 'The News', As a Part Of News & Current Affairs Department Of Asnycnow15 English Is Aimed to Bring All the Latest Headlines As They Happen And Output Will Be From Asnycnow15 English's Twitter page
    And Asnycnow15 English And Spanish Editor @Asnyc
    The News Will Air As A Substitute For Asnycnow Sunday And Will Be Airing Over The Summer before Taking Over Saturdays After 'Asnyc Local News'.
    For Everything that Happens At Asnycnow15 Follow @Asnyc on Twitter.
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