Friday, October 17, 2014

Barack Obama's credit card 'declined'

President Barack Obama's credit card was declined at a restaurant in New York City last month, he said.

"It turned out I guess I don't use it enough," Mr Obama said. "They thought there was some fraud going on."

Fortunately, he said, First Lady Michelle Obama had a credit card on hand and paid for the meal.

Mr Obama told the story at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as he announced new protections for debit cards used to deliver federal benefits.

An estimated 100 million Americans have been affected by identity theft in the past year, including high-profile security breaches at retailers like Target and Home Depot.

"I was trying to explain to the waitress, you know, I really think that I've been paying my bills," Mr Obama said. "Even I'm affected by this."

The US president is paid $400,000 (£250,000) per year, as well as given a non-taxable $50,000 expense account.

16 dead in grate collapse at South Korean concert

SEOUL, South Korea –  Sixteen people watching an outdoor pop concert in South Korea fell 60 feet to their deaths Friday when a ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed, officials said.

Photos of the scene in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, showed a deep concrete shaft under the broken grate. Seongnam city spokesman Kim Nam-jun announced the deaths in a televised briefing and said 11 other people were seriously injured.

A man who was involved in planning the concert was found dead early Saturday in an apparent suicide.

Fire officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of office rules, said the victims were standing on the grate while watching an outdoor performance by girls' band 4Minute, which is popular across Asia.

About 700 people had gathered to watch the concert, which was part of a local festival. Fire officials said many of the dead and injured appeared to be commuters who stopped to watch the concert after leaving work. Most of the dead were men in their 30s and 40s, while five were women in their 20s and 30s, they said.

Kim said it was believed that the grate collapsed under the weight of the people. Prime Minister Chung Hong-won visited an emergency center in Seongnam and urged officials to focus on helping the victims' families and ensure the injured get proper treatment, Kim said.

A video recorded by someone at the concert that was shown on the YTN television network showed the band continuing to dance for a while in front of a crowd that appeared to be unaware of the accident.

Dozens of people were shown standing next to the ventilation grate, gazing into the dark gaping hole where people had been standing to watch the performance. YTN said the ventilation grate was about 3 to 4 meters (10 to 12 feet) wide. Photos apparently taken at the scene showed that the ventilation grate reached to the shoulders of many passers-by.

On Saturday, Kim said an employee of Gyeonggi Institute of Science and Technology Promotion was found dead at around 7 a.m. in Seongnam. The man had been questioned by police on Friday over the accident. Police inspector Park Jeong-ju said the man was believed to have leaped from the top of a 10-floor building.

Gyeonggi Institute of Science and Technology Promotion was one of the sponsors of the concert, which was organized by business news site Edaily.

The collapse came as South Korea is still struggling with the aftermath of a ferry disaster in April that left more than 300 people dead or missing.

For a time, the sinking jolted South Korea into thinking about safety issues that had been almost universally overlooked as the country rose from poverty and war to an Asian power.

The tragedy exposed regulatory failures that appear to have allowed the ferry Sewol to set off with far more cargo than it could safely carry. Family members say miscommunications and delays during rescue efforts doomed their loved ones.

Analysts say many safety problems in the country stem from little regulation, light punishment for violators and wide ignorance about safety in general — and a tendency to value economic advancement over all else.

The 'handsome minister' who's set hearts aflutter


Last week 29-year-old Gabriel Wikstrom had a couple of thousand followers on Twitter - by Friday he had more than 22,800 and the figure keeps on rising. His fans are calling him the "Handsome Minister".
He says he's not quite sure how it all began, but the key lies in Turkey.

"Someone with a lot of followers over there tweeted about me. Monday, I got a lot of new followers from Turkey, so on Tuesday I wanted to say welcome to them.

"Over lunch another minister in the government, Mehmet Kaplan, helped me write a short message in Turkish. And that was when it really accelerated."

Pixies reveal Doolittle 25th anniversary reissue

Pixies are to re-release their 1989 album Doolittle to mark its 25th anniversary, along with some previously unreleased demos.

Titled Doolittle 25, the three-disc collection features 50 tracks including B-sides and John Peel live sessions.

Announcing the special edition on their website, the US band said nearly half the tracks on the album had not been commercially released before.

The collection will be released on 1 December.

Considered one of rocks most influential bands, Pixies formed in 1986 in Boston.

While they received modest success in their home country, they instead found greater popularity in the UK where their albums were all top 10 hits.

They split in 1993 but reunited in 2004, announcing a full tour.

To celebrate Doolittle's 20th anniversary in 2009, the band went on tour performing the album track-for-track, including B-sides.

Earlier this year they released Indie Cindy, their first studio album since 1991's Trompe le Monde, reaching number six in the UK charts.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Bajaj Discover DTS-Si 100cc

 The Discover DTS-Si does not sport a fresh face and shares its silhouette with the original Discover 125 DTS-i. But the all-black treatment to the new 100cc bikes smart five-spoke alloy wheels, front forks, engine, chain cover and neat-looking sheared silencer manages to mask its age.

A new battery-powered headlight is flanked by twin pilot lamps in the familiar headlamp cluster and provides bright, totally waver-free illumination at night. There are neat twin-pod instruments that offer riders a useful tripmeter, speedometer and fuel gauge, beacons for the turn indicators, neutral warning and battery. We found the grips and levers comfortable to use and the switchgear easy to work with. This includes a blue ride-control switch that helps riders maximise mileage by providing tactile guidance to prevent excessive opening of the throttle. The handle-mounted mirrors give a good view of the world behind.

The Discover 100 sports rubberised gearshift and rear brake pedals that feel comfortable and offer relatively better grip in the wet. The new bike follows the Discover family tradition by displaying its frame around the swingarm pivot region. A blackened alloy grab handle at the rear sits atop a stylish LED tail-lamp. We enjoyed the extra protection provided by the rear mudguard. We also found overall quality of the bike to be acceptable, with the bike displaying good paint lustre.

What’s part of the standard kit on the Discover DTS-Si 100cc is a maintenance-free battery as well as a self-start.
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Monday, October 1, 2007

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