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Four men go before Hungarian court after 71 found dead in lorry

January 9, 2019 0

in Uncategorized @ 3:00 am

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Four foreign men have today gone before a court in Hungary on suspicion of people smuggling. Their detention relates to Thursday’s discovery of a lorry full of corpses in Austria. The death toll was yesterday finalised at 71.

The lorry had been abandoned since Wednesday on the hard shoulder of the “Eastern Motorway”, near the Hungarian border. Roadworkers became suspicious of dark liquid seeping from the vehicle, and responding police found the bodies. Initial police estimates were that 20–50 were suffocated in the back of the lorry which was near Parndorf.

The arrested men are thought to include the vehicle’s owner and at least two drivers. Three are Bulgarian and one is from Afghanistan. Criminal suspects in Hungary can generally be held for 72 hours before charge but prosecutors, citing the seriousness of the case, want the period extended. Extradition to Austria is possible.

Of the 71 dead, 59 are men, eight are women, and four are children. The children are thought to be aged three, eight, and ten years, alongside an eighteen-month-old baby. “There was also a Syrian travel document found” police spokesman Hans Peter Doskozil told journalists “so of course our first assumption is that these people were migrants, and likely a group of Syrian migrants. We can rule out that they were Africans”.

The four accused were escorted into court in Kecskemet, central Hungary, by a police convoy. Reportedly the lorry traveled from Kecskemet. Hungary is presently building a border fence across the Serbian frontier, as migrants from war-torn Syria and other regions seek access to the Schengen Area of free movement, which covers most of the EU.

Slovak chicken meat company Hyza, a previous owner, previously told Wikinews the lorry has changed hands several times in roughly the last year. After they sold it they say it was exported to Hungary; it now bears Hungarian plates but still features Hyza branding including pictures of meat.

On the day of the discovery Hyza quickly removed a graphic from their homepage featuring cartoon chicken stowaways in a car being inspected at a customs post. The stowaways also appeared with a line through them alongside the word “imigranti” and the site www.imigranti.sk in one corner. On the other side was Hyza’s logo. Imigranti.sk is also unavailable.

Police today found 26 migrants in a lorry near Braunau am Inn, Austria. The driver, from Romania, refused to stop for police and was arrested following a chase. Police said three children were hospitalised for “severe dehydration”. Found near the German border, the migrants were from Afghanistan, Syria, and Bangladesh.

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

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in Uncategorized @ 2:05 am

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

2000 houses still have no power in Canterbury, New Zealand

January 8, 2019 0

in Uncategorized @ 2:55 am

Monday, June 19, 2006

2000 Cantabrians are still without power a week after a huge snowstorm struck and took out the electricity in mid and south Canterbury.

Sunday June 18 came and brought more snow to mid and south Canterbury, but just a minuscule amount compared to last weeks.

Civil Defence says “It is keeping an eye on the situation, and welfare work is continuing to make sure everyone is coping. Iroquois helicopters are reportedly on standby at Wigram Air Base if needed,”

Chief executive of Orion (a power company) Roger Sutton says, “Another 20 or 30 homes are without power in the Lake Coleridge area.”

Repair crews were taken out of duty on Sunday because the snow got too deep, but should be back on the job Monday June 19.

NZ Post also reports that they have had to cancel deliveries to some Dunedin suburbs because it got too icy. NZ Post says that deliveries will continue on Tuesday June 20 or if the weather clears up before that.

The MetService has put severe weather warnings for some of the central cities of the North Island.

Barry Stratton, Transit, says that all roads are open in the South Island, but some will have delays.

One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

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in Uncategorized @ 2:22 am

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Across Egypt hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets for the day, marking exactly one year since the outbreak of protests leading to 83-year-old longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The country’s decades-long emergency rule was partially lifted this week; meanwhile, a possible economic meltdown looms and a newly-elected parliament held their first meeting on Monday.

Despite the new parliament, military rule introduced following Mubarak’s fall last spring remains. Echoing the demands from a year ago, some protesters are demanding the military relinquish power; there are doubts an elected civilian leader will be permitted to replace the army.

The brief unity against Mubarak has since fragmented, with Secularists and Islamists marking the revolution’s anniversary splitting to opposing sides of Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square and chanting at each other. Initial demonstrations last year were mainly from young secularists; now, Islamic parties hold most of the new parliament’s seats — the country’s first democratic one in six decades.

Salafis hold 25% of the seats and 47% are held by the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought supporters to Cairo for the anniversary. Tahrir Square alone contained tens of thousands of people, some witnesses putting the crowd at 150,000 strong. It’s the largest number on the streets since the revolution.

Military rulers planned celebrations including pyrotechnics, commemorative coins, and air displays. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces took power after last year’s February 11 resignation of Mubarak.

Alaa al-Aswani, a pro-democracy activist writing in al-Masry al-Youm, said: “We must take to the streets on Wednesday, not to celebrate a revolution which has not achieved its goals, but to demonstrate peacefully our determination to achieve the objectives of the revolution,” — to “live in dignity, bring about justice, try the killers of the martyrs and achieve a minimum social justice”

Alexandria in the north and the eastern port city of Suez also saw large gatherings. It was bitter fighting in Suez led to the first of the revolution’s 850 casualties in ousting Mubarak. “We didn’t come out to celebrate. We came out to protest against the military council and to tell it to leave power immediately and hand over power to civilians,” said protestor Mohamed Ismail.

“Martyrs, sleep and rest. We will complete the struggle,” chanted crowds in Alexandria, a reference to the 850 ‘martyrs of the revolution’. No convictions are in yet although Mubarak is on trial. Photos of the dead were displayed in Tahrir Square. Young Tahrir chanters went with “Down with military rule” and “Revolution until victory, revolution in all of Egypt’s streets”.

If the protestors demanding the military leave power get their way, the Islamists celebrating election victory face a variety of challenges. For now, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi — whose career featured twenty years as defence minister under Mubarak — rules the nation and promises to cede power following presidential elections this year.

The economy is troubled and unemployment is up since Mubarak left. With tourism and foreign investment greatly lower than usual, budget and payment deficits are up — with the Central Bank eating into its reserves in a bid to keep the Egyptian pound from losing too much value.

Last week the nation sought US$3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF insists upon funding also being secured from other donors, and strong support from Egypt’s leaders. IMF estimates say the money could be handed over in a few months — whereas Egypt wanted it in a matter of weeks.

The country has managed to bolster trade with the United States and Jordan. Amr Abul Ata, Egyptian ambassador to the fellow Middle-East state, told The Jordan Times in an interview for the anniversary that trade between the nations increased in 2011, and he expects another increase this year. This despite insurgent attacks reducing Egyptian gas production — alongside electricity the main export to Jordan. Jordan exports foodstuffs to Egypt and has just signed a deal increasing the prices it pays for gas. 2011 trade between the countries was worth US$1 billion.

The anniversary also saw a new trade deal with the US, signed by foreign trade and industry minister Mahmoud Eisa and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. President Barack Obama promises work to improve U.S. investment in, and trade with, nations changing political systems after the Arab Spring. Details remain to be agreed, but various proposals include US assistance for Egyptian small and medium enterprises. Both nations intend subjecting plans to ministerial scrutiny.

The U.S. hailed “several historic milestones in its transition to democracy” within a matter of days of Egypt’s revolution. This despite U.S.-Egypt ties being close during Mubarak’s rule.

US$1 billion in grants has been received already from Qatar and Saudi Arabia but army rulers refused to take loans from Gulf nations despite offers-in-principle coming from nations including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Foreign aid has trickled in; no money at all has been sent from G8 nations, despite the G8 Deauville Partnership earmarking US$20 billion for Arab Spring nations.

A total of US$7 billion was promised from the Gulf. The United Kingdom pledged to split £110 million between Egypt and Arab Spring initiator Tunisia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development says G8 money should start arriving in June, when the presidential election is scheduled.

The African Development Bank approved US$1.5 billion in loans whilst Mubarak still held power but, despite discussions since last March, no further funding has been agreed. The IMF offered a cheap loan six months ago, but was turned away. Foreign investment last year fell from US$6 billion to $375 million.

Rights, justice and public order remain contentious issues. Tantawi lifted the state of emergency on Tuesday, a day before the revolution’s anniversary, but left it in place to deal with the exception of ‘thuggery’. “This is not a real cancellation of the state of emergency,” said Islamist Wasat Party MP Essam Sultan. “The proper law designates the ending of the state of emergency completely or enforcing it completely, nothing in between.”

The same day, Amnesty International released a report on its efforts to establish basic human rights and end the death penalty in the country. Despite sending a ten-point manifesto to all 54 political parties, only the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (of the Egyptian Bloc liberals) and the left-wing Popular Socialist Alliance Party signed up. Measures included religious freedom, help to the impoverished, and rights for women. Elections did see a handful of women win seats in the new parliament.

The largest parliamentary group is the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Amnesty say did not respond. Oral assurances on all but female rights and abolition of the death penalty were given by Al-Nour, the Salafist runners-up in the elections, but no written declaration or signature.

“We challenge the new parliament to use the opportunity of drafting the new constitution to guarantee all of these rights for all people in Egypt. The cornerstone must be non-discrimination and gender equality,” said Amnesty, noting that the first seven points were less contentious amongst the twelve responding parties. There was general agreement for free speech, free assembly, fair trials, investigating Mubarak’s 30-year rule for atrocities, and lifting the state of emergency. A more mixed response was given to ensuring no discrimination against LGBT individuals, whilst two parties claimed reports of Coptic Christian persecution are exaggerated.

Mubarak himself is a prominent contender for the death penalty, currently on trial for the killings of protesters. The five-man prosecution team are also seeking death for six senior police officers and the chief of security in the same case. Corruption offences are also being tried, with Gamal Mubarak and Alaa Mubarak accused alongside their father Hosni.

The prosecution case has been hampered by changes in witness testimony and there are complaints of Interior Ministry obstruction in producing evidence. Tantawi has testified in a closed hearing that Mubarak never ordered protesters shot.

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Hisham Talaat Moustafa, an ex-MP and real estate billionaire, is another death penalty candidate. He, alongside Ahmed Sukkari, was initially sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim. A new trial was granted on procedural grounds and he is now serving a fifteen-year term for paying Sukkari US$2 million to slit 30-year-old’s Tamim’s throat in Dubai. Her assassin was caught when police followed him back to his hotel and found a shirt stained with her blood; he was in custody within two hours of the murder.

The court of appeals is now set to hear another trial for both men after the convictions were once more ruled unsound.

A military crackdown took place last November, the morning after a major protest, and sparking off days of violence. Egypt was wary of a repeat this week, with police and military massed near Tahrir Square whilst volunteers manned checkpoints into the square itself.

The military has pardoned and released at least 2,000 prisoners jailed following military trials, prominently including a blogger imprisoned for defaming the army and deemed troublesome for supporting Israel. 26-year-old Maikel Nabil was given a three year sentence in April. He has been on hunger strike alleging abuse at the hands of his captors. He wants normalised relations with Israel. Thousands have now left Tora prison in Cairo.

Australian Health minister makes inappropriate comments about Brogden suicide attempt

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in Uncategorized @ 2:19 am

Monday, September 5, 2005

Australia‘s Federal Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, has made a number of comments about the previous New South Wales Australian Liberal Party leader, John Brogden, who recently attempted suicide, which have been widely thought to be inappropriate.

Abbott is reported to have made comments such as “If we did that, we would be as dead as the former Liberal leader’s political prospects” and “Whenever you hear that David Clarke is doing bad things, you know he is really doing a great job”, referring to the factional leader claimed to have led the campaign against Brogden. The comments were made at a party function approximately twelve hours after Brogden’s suicide attempt. Abbott is also reported to have said “I just want to make it clear I have never told an inappropriate joke, I’ve never pinched a woman on the backside and I never make inappropriate gestures to women” at a Kenthurst Liberal Party branch meeting, in reference to Brogden’s reported behaviour at a function approximately two months ago.

There have been calls for Abbott to resign or be sacked by Prime Minister John Howard from some sectors, such as persons involved in mental health care, as well as the Federal Opposition. They claim that the comments show that Abbott is not mindful of mental health issues when they should be foremost in his mind.

The comments were first raised with Abbott by the ABC Insiders program yesterday. He confirmed that he had made the remarks and offered to apologize “if anyone is upset”, and later that day made such an apology. The extent of the apology was criticised in the House of Representatives in Federal Parliament that day, with Julia Gillard, the Shadow Health Minister, calling it “half-arsed” during debate on a motion to censure the minister for his comments. The motion was rejected as the Liberal/National coalition form Government federally.

There is suspicion that the tipoff about Abbott’s comments was made by a member of the left-wing faction of the Liberal party, of which Brogden was a member, as a form of payback against members of the right-wing faction, of which Tony Abbott is a member. The Liberal right are said to have been involved in the campaign against Brogden.

Criticism over Qingzang Railway as opening nears

0

in Uncategorized @ 2:00 am

Friday, April 28, 2006

            Claimed by Tibetan exile groups.
Tibetan areas designated by PRC.
Tibet Autonomous Region (actual control).
Claimed by India as part of Aksai Chin.
Claimed by the PRC as part of TAR.
Other historically culturally-Tibetan areas.

The Qingzang Railway is a project by the Chinese Government to build a unique railway linking Tibet with Mainland China. The railway will include sections at high altitude, crossing 5000 metre high mountains, long tunnels and lots of track laid on permafrost. The railway is being hailed in China as “an engineering miracle”, but has attracted criticism from across the world over fears that the railway, the first to link it to outside the region, will increase Chinese control over the Tibetan autonomous region and will erode Tibetan culture and traditions.

Currently, Tibet can only be reached by air and by road. Departing from lower-altitude airports to fly into Tibet carries the risk of experiencing high altitude sickness, and the landing at Lhasa can be ‘hair-raising’. Travelling by road means several days on a bus or hitchhiking on trucks over windy mountain roads. When the Quingzang Railway opens, it is expected that direct trains will run from Beijing and other cities.

China has long received criticism over its treatment of Tibet. The Tibet Autonomous Region excludes many areas claimed to be part of ‘historic Tibet’, and the former government of Tibet, headed by the Dalai Lama, now live in exile in India. China claims that the railway will bring greater freedoms and economic opportunities to the people of Tibet. For an area that has long been in relative isolation though, the railway is bound to have a profound effect. Locals may worry about what would happen to their trade if they were suddenly forced to compete with businesses from Mainland China. Much of Tibet is also ancient, with old buildings and traditional practices, which may be under threat from the new physical link with China.

There are also concerns from environmentalists. The passage between Tibet and China contains some unique flora and endangered animal species, such as Tibetan antelope, which may be threatened by the railroad. Construction of the railway will generate 7,000 tons of rubbish from 20,000 builders. Some of this rubbish will have been buried on the spot whilst some forms of non-degradable rubbish which may pollute water is said to have been transported to Golmud or Lhasa for treatment. A bridge is also said to have been built at Wudaoliang Basin to enable animals to cross. Once open the railway will generate more waste, and whilst the carriages are said to be enclosed, preventing passengers from throwing out rubbish, it remains to be seen what additional impact the running of the railway will create.

As well as passengers, the railway will also have a strong use in transporting freight, currently carried on trucks. This will mean that more coal and petroleum-based products will be brought into Tibet. Whilst China claims that this will enable Tibetans to stop logging pine trees for fuel, aiding the local ecology, the railway will accelerate Tibet’s use of climate-damaging fossil fuels.

Some Canadian student groups had called for a boycott of the Bombardier Transportation group, who has a contract with China to provide some of the carriages.

Most of the line is now complete, ahead of schedule. Signaling equipment is currently being installed, with trials said to begin in July. The railway is scheduled to open fully in 2007. Luxury carriages will carry tourists, with sleeping compartments and oxygen tanks to enable breathing within the high-altitude areas.

Denny’s Super Bowl free ‘Grand Slam Breakfast’ brings 2 million diners

January 7, 2019 0

in Uncategorized @ 2:41 am

Friday, February 6, 2009

Denny’s 1,600 chain restaurants across North America, Puerto Rico and Canada, were slammed for eight hours Tuesday with hungry patrons standing on sidewalks for nearly two hours to take advantage of the $5.99 “Grand Slam Breakfast” giveaway.

Denny’s, a dining chain with annual revenue of about $900 million, has advertised in a TV commercial Sunday during the Super Bowl XLIII that it would give away its signature breakfast from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. local time Tuesday, at all its restaurants in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, while supplies lasted.

Denny’s Diner has promoted the iconic dish giveaway heavily, with a bold 30-second appeal ad that aired during the third quarter of the Super Bowl 43 on Sunday, plus another 15-second ad during the post-game show, offering a free breakfast to some 90 million viewers. In addition, it has placed a full-page ad in USA Today‘s Monday edition. The promotion was further announced on The Today Show and notices were also sent out to the chain’s “Denny’s Breakfast Club” members.

The NBC ad, which was bought to unveil a new promotion for customers squeezed by the recession, may have cost as much as $3 million, said Nelson Marchioli, CEO of Denny’s Corp. Super Bowl XLIII’s 30-second commercial time slot costs $2.4 million–$3 million for the airtime alone, excluding production and talent costs.

The game was televised live by the US NBC Sunday Night Football and Canada’s CTV Television Network. BayTSP has reported that, “as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, commercials that initially aired during NBC’s Super Bowl XLIII broadcast subsequently had been watched online more than 28 million times.”

“The promotion has a total cost of $5 million U.S., which includes $3 million for the commercial on NBC,” said a Denny’s spokesman, noting also that the company received about $50 million in news coverage, most of which was positive. According to a Denny’s representative, two million people walked through the restaurant chains’ doors Tuesday, and each Denny’s restaurant served an average of 130 Grand Slams per hour.

With the “Denny’s Feeds America” promotion, the company has reported 14 million hits on its Web site between Sunday night and Monday morning. Denny’s shares rose 6 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $1.98 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a range of $1.18 to $4.10 over the past 52 weeks.

“Denny’s free Grand Slam” has ranked in the top 10 Google searches early Tuesday and fell to No. 18 by the end of the promotion, while “denny s locations” was #9 on Google Trends, which tracks fast-rising searches. It has also held spots No. 1 (Denny’s) and 7 (Grand Slam) on Twitter‘s trending topics. It has generated much chat on Twitter, garnering 1,700 tweets on Tuesday, compared with its average of 59. Doritos, winner of the USA TODAY survey for best Super Bowl spot ad, had 933 mentions after reaching a peak of almost 3,300.

The idea of the TV ad was to get people to come in and re-evaluate Denny’s Diner. “A lot of people have forgotten what Denny’s is, or they think they know, while we’ve come out with a whole lot of new products. We felt like we needed to jump start the brand,” Denny’s Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer Mark Chmiel said.

“We’re celebrating the Grand Slam this year,” Chmiel said. According to the company’s financial data, on January 15 Denny’s reported systemwide comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter were down 6.1 percent, compared to a 0.2 percent decline from the same period in 2007.

According to Robert Gonzalez, public relations company Hill & Knowlton spokesman, Denny’s has expected at least 2 million people to eat a free Grand Slam by the end of the promotion. “Every restaurant is packed with people and lines,” Gonzalez said. “Everything today is about fast. People are on the go, and they’re eating fast food. It’s cutting into sit-down dining,” he added.

“Each of the more than 1,500 Denny’s were planning to make about 100 Grand Slams an hour,” Denny’s spokeswoman Cori Rice said. It had predicted it will have served about 1,400 people per location, more than five times the normal volume. “Grand Slam Breakfast” is a four-item option on its menu, consisting of two pancakes, two eggs, two strips of bacon and two sausage links. It weighs in at 44 grams of fat, 56 carbohydrates and 770 calories.

Nationwide, Denny’s expected to sell about 2 million Grand Slams — about 15 percent of the annual tally. According to Mark Chmiel, chief marketing operator and executive vice president, the diner chain has reported approximately 2 million meals worth more than $12 million were given away nationwide and each Denny’s restaurant served an average of 130 Grand Slams per hour. It estimated it has earned about $50 million worth of public relations following the free Grand Slam campaign, Chmiel said.

The company is also experimenting with a Grand Slam Burrito and also has introduced for this year, a Grand Slamwich, which includes eggs, bacon, sausage and cheese between two slices of bread, with a teaspoon serving. “It already has shown strong consumer appeal,” said Chmiel. The company has received flood of e-mails and letters proving the positive impact of the Grand Slam campaign and commercials on its customers.

Chmiel also announced he’s planning a third major promotion in this year’s third quarter, which happens to include another major sporting event, the World Series. “That’s one we’re definitely looking at,” he said.

Jobless Paris Winslow of downtown San Francisco, California has joined the long line which stretched from the front door on Mission Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets, to the corner of Fourth and up the block. “The economy is getting kind of scary. This line looks like those pictures of soup kitchen lines during the 1929 Great Depression,” Winslow said.

“I came all the way from San Francisco for a free $6 meal, Isn’t that pathetic? A year ago, I never would have done this. These days I’m willing to put my ego on the back burner,” said Stephen Weller, a jobless contractor who waited with his dog, Emmett. California Denny’s restaurant managers have issued rain checks (for free chilled meals, as security backed by actual bacon) to anyone who failed to get in by the 2 p.m. deadline.

A big eater could also “Slam It Up” by adding any two additional items for 99 cents each to their meal. Customers on Tuesday were also handed “bounceback” coupon books that include offers for additional free menu items with purchases. Chicago Tribune reporter Kevin Pang has eaten five free Grand Slams on Tuesday at five different Denny’s Diners in four hours. He claims to have consumed 4,100 calories at Harwood Heights, 5:36 a.m, at Schiller Park, 6:22 a.m., at Franklin Park, 7:08 a.m., at Melrose Park, 7:41 a.m. and at Grand Slam No. 5 Oak Park, 8:57 a.m.

“The Grand Slam has always been a Denny’s favorite. This free offer is our way of reacquainting America with Denny’s real breakfast and with the Denny’s brand,” Denny’s CEO Nelson Marchioli said in a statement. In 1977s, the Grand Slam started as a baseball-related promotion in Atlanta, Georgia. Its normal price averages around $5.99. Marchioli said the event was also a way to kick-off its “Year of the Grand Slam” promotion. Denny’s claimed it has sold 12.5 million Grand Slams a year.

“The economy’s tough and people are jumping all the way to fast food to try to figure it out. We all use fast food, whether it’s for time or convenience or for money. But you can go to Denny’s and you don’t have to give up a real breakfast and that was the whole focus of our commercial,” Marchioli explained. McDonald’s (MCD, Fortune 500) has done well during this economic meltdown since the global recession pushes people toward less expensive dining options.

McDonald’s has announced plans Wednesday to open 175 new restaurants in China this year despite the global economic crisis, thereby increasing the number of outlets in China by 17 percent, from 1,050 currently. Last month, McDonald’s 2008 net profit has risen 80 percent from 2007 to 4.3 billion dollars.

Marchioli has also introduced Denny’s $4 Weekday Express Slam, which is a streamlined version of the Grand Slam. “I want to take back share. For too long, we have allowed others to take share, whether it was Starbucks or McDonald’s. They’re fine competitors and I don’t expect to take all their business from them, but I’d like a little bit back,” Marchioli noted.

According to Rafi Mohammed, author of “The Art of Pricing,” people love free. “It triggers a Pavlovian response in people,” said Mohammed. If Pavlov’s dogs salivate when a bell rings, Denny’s free Grand Slam breakfast has attracted 2 million hungry customers. “I believe free maximizes trial and doesn’t devalue a product as long as it is a rare event. Aside from the cost, the major downside is that it attracts customers who truly have no intention of coming back,” he added.

According to University of Portland consumer psychology professor Deana Julka, people flock to free promotions amid just a few dollars saving because there’s nothing in life for free. “So when there’s something out there that costs nothing, it creates a psychological rush. Especially in these times when people feel overtaxed or overburden, there’s an internal reward people feel by getting something for free,” she said. “It’s being thrifty and feeling like you beat the system. Free really hits the spot for a lot of people,” Julka added.

“Free is an emotional hot button. When free is concerned, there is no downside – or, at least, we don’t see the downside immediately. So we overvalue everything that is free. People love free stuff, particularly when money’s tight,” said Dan Ariely, a business professor at Duke University, author of “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.”

Experts, however, explained these moves need to be done sparingly, since giveaways can teeter in the balance between desperation and a well designed marketing ploy. “Giving your product away for free is not worth it because it undermines your brand value,” said branding expert Rob Frankel, saying people are attached to the idea of it being free, than the actual product itself.

Free giveaways are not anything new in the food industry. “It just feels good when you can get something for free and not have to worry about it coming out of your wallet,” Frankel noted. Dunkin’ Donuts and Panera Bread all have had free coffee and food promos last year. “In November, Starbucks gave away free cup of coffee to anyone who came in on Election Day. Have you taken a look at how Starbucks is doing now?” Last week it has announced it would shut down 300 stores, in addition to the 600 it already planned to close.

On February 24, IHOP will be offering a free shortstack to every customer to encourage donations (in place of the cost) for Childrens Miracle Network. The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) is a United States-based restaurant chain that specializes in breakfast foods and is owned by DineEquity. The chain had more than 1950 restaurants in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico. Since 2006, IHOP’s National Pancake Day celebration has raised over $1.85 million. In 2008, over 1.5 million pancakes (12 miles high if they were stacked) were given to customers for donations.

Denny’s (“Denny’s Diner”) is a full-service diner/family restaurant chain in the United States. It operates over 2,500 restaurants in the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada, Curaçao, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand). The resto chain is known for always being open, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert around the clock.

Today, Denny’s operates about 1,600 restaurants in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. There are also about 578 Denny’s restaurants in Japan operated under a license by a subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings, seven Denny’s locations in New Zealand, and approximately 38 Denny’s diners in the United States. Denny’s headquarters is now located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, headquarters of the parent company Trans World Corporation that acquired Denny’s in 1987.

Denny’s was historically notable for offering a free meal to anyone on their birthday. The offer included a limited number of meal options from a special birthday menu. The promotional ritual ceased in 1993, though occasionally individual franchises will continue the tradition.

In 2008, Denny’s has ceased to be in the ranks among the top diner chains in the $83 billion breakfast market, whose top five firms — McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King and IHOP — accounted for 22 percent of the volume. “A lot of consumers have written Denny’s off their let’s-go-there list,” said Ron Paul, president of Technomic, a consulting firm.

Super Bowl XLIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference champion Pittsburgh Steelers (15–4) and the National Football Conference champion Arizona Cardinals (12–8) to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2008 NFL season. It was played on February 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadiumin Tampa, Florida. It has an attendance of 70,774 and 98.7 million viewers. Pittsburgh earned its sixth Super Bowl win, thus securing sole possession of the record for most Super Bowl wins.

Reserve Bank of India announces plan to list systemically important banks

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in Uncategorized @ 2:06 am

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) posted a press release on its website yesterday stating it will identify up to six banks as domestic systemically important banks (D-SIB), which would be equivalent to the too big to fail banks of other nations.

RBI is to reveal the names of the banks every year in August, starting from 2015. The press release also said RBI had identified four to six banks to be under D-SIB category according to data compiled through March 2013.

The primary criterion to be used for selection of the banks is size — banks with size larger than 2% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as defined by Basel regulations. Other criteria to be used are interconnectedness, how easily the bank can be substituted for, and its infrastructure and complexity. RBI also said four subcategories of D-SIBs will be created, each with different Tier 1 capital requirements, which will be higher compared to other banks. These four categories will have Tier 1 capital requirements ranging from 0.20% to 0.80% of their risk-weighted assets.

Ananda Bhoumik, senior director of India Ratings, a unit of Fitch Ratings, said the new regulations will not hinder the growth of the banks, as they already maintain capital above the expected regulation levels. Banks considered by analysts likely to be classified as D-SIBS include State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank.

Teach Me To Trade Forex Your Guide To Forex Trading Success

January 6, 2019 0

in Financial Planners @ 2:56 am

By Chris M Lee

Teach me to trade Forex – your guide to Forex trading success looks at the ins and outs of Forex trading and the principles you must have in order to guarantee some measure of success in the paper trade. The Forex market has gained immense popularity of late – attracting a large number of investors who had until recently, been putting their money in more traditional and more risky portfolios that include stocks and bonds as well as blue chips, equities and futures options.

The early equations before the financial crisis of 2008 saw that those higher risk commodities brought in bigger returns, and were bastioned by good economic and financial growth of the past few years. Investors were making money and saw no reason to turn their investment dollars elsewhere. The Forex market has always been the playground of large central banks and governments, who use their immense cash flow to determine the economies of scale of the market. It was the combination of the credit crunch, the recession on the horizon as well as the immense popularity of online trading that made Forex so popular.

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Forex trading became the beacon of many casual traders, because of its liquidity, its interconnected market trading principles and the fact that many casual investors could opt to day trade – meaning they would close and liquidate all their investment options before the market closes for the day. Now these factors are undeniably attractive, and the gravity that might be pulling you towards the Forex trade marketplace should be taken with some brevity of certain issues. You need to understand that when you do decide to trade in the paper market, you need to find a brokerage that is both legitimate, full of experienced brokers that can help guide you along as well as hard/software support that is comprehensive and of high quality.

This is the crucial factor that most new Forex investors miss out. I would not advise for a solo venture into the market – especially for those who have no reasonable experience with the market. This is a market that is both volatile, dynamic yet can be highly predictable. Know the basics of the market psychology. The Forex trade is reflexive, more than likely due to the fact that the main players and their strategies will always remain generally similar. There are certain safe currencies you should know about and what to look out for as the market ebbs and flows during either a recession or even during the height of world economy.

The best way to succeed in the Forex market is the combination of a good brokerage, good research, access to media markets, watching world events, identify what economic and political factors might affect certain currencies and knowing effective money management. With these in mind, teach me to trade Forex will have shown you just some of the things you need to know to succeed and make some serious profit in the paper trade. If you need to know more about Forex trading, do look up the cornucopia of information available online, or if you’re really interested in delving into the Forex game yourself, get a broker to explain how it all works and how you can profit from it.

About the Author: Click Here to claim your Free Forex ‘Basic Momentum Analysis’ report today! Christopher Lee helps thousands of traders learn the proper way to trade currency. He is an authority on Forex candlestick trading at Forex-Trading-Training.org.

Source: isnare.com

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Bomb hits northwestern Pakistan; at least 30 killed

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in Uncategorized @ 2:54 am

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A suicide car bomb attack in northwestern Pakistan has killed at least 30 people, including some children.

Investigators say the bomb exploded Tuesday on a busy street near a market in the city of Charsadda, 40 kilometers north of Peshawar. The blast wounded dozens of people and destroyed several buildings.

“The death toll has gone up to 32 and more than 100 people have been wounded in this suicide attack,” said Bashir Bilour, the Senior Minister of North West Frontier Province.

Hazrat Ali, a shopkeeper, was a witness to the event. He recounted his experiences to the Agence France-Presse news agency. “I was buying something before closing my shop. A car was parked on the other side of the road and all of a sudden there was a huge blast. There was smoke and darkness everywhere. I passed out.” Ali sustained shrapnel injuries to his forehead and torso.

This was the third bombing in the area in three days. On Monday, a suicide bomber in a rickshaw blew himself up at a checkpoint in Peshawar, killing three people. A suicide bomber killed thirteen people in a crowded market outside the city on Sunday.

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