Schweinsteiger announces retirement from international football

Monday, August 1, 2016

On Friday, German football captain and Manchester United F.C. midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger announced retirement from international football.

Debuting in 2004, Schweinsteiger has won 120 international caps, Germany’s fourth all time most capped player. He was part of the German squad for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France and became the first German to play eighteen Euro matches, surpassing the fourteen-match record of Philip Lahm. Schweinsteiger has played in four Euro tournaments — 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.

Schweinsteiger said, “I have asked the national team coach to not consider me for Germany selection in future, as I would like to step down from the national team. I would like to thank the fans, the team, the DFB, the coaches and the national team’s backroom staff.” ((de)) German language: ich habe soeben den Bundestrainer gebeten, mich in Zukunft bei der Nominierung für die Nationalmannschaft nicht mehr zu berücksichtigen, da ich gerne zurücktreten möchte. Mein Dank gilt den Fans, der Mannschaft, dem DFB, den Trainern und dem Team um die deutsche Nationalmannschaft.

Schweinsteiger won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He has featured in three FIFA World Cup tournaments — in 2006, 2010 and 2014. He has played 38 matches in major international tournaments, which is a world record. Schweinsteiger’s last match in Germany’s jersey ended in a 2–0 defeat against France in the Euro 2016 semi-final.

After Schweinsteiger announced his retirement, his former Bayern Munich teammate and German player Thomas Müller tweeted, “Thanks for 120 international caps with the @DFB_Team [German Team] and many great and shared hours with the national team” ((de)) German language: Danke für 120 Länderspiele im @DFB_Team [Deutschland Mannschaft] und viele großartige, gemeinsame stunder bei der Nationalmannschaft .

French workers use threats in compensation demand

Friday, July 17, 2009 Following similar threats by workers at New Fabris and Nortel, workers at JLG in Tonneins, France, threatened to blow up several platform cranes. The JLG factory announced in April 2009 that it will fire 53 of its 163 workers by the end of 2009, while the remaining 110 jobs will not be secure over the next 2 years.

JLG Tonneins was acquired in 2006 with its parent JLG Industries, a maker of aerial work platforms, by the U.S.-based Oshkosh Corporation. Despite being hugely profitable in the past, production has been much reduced since 2008 with the contraction of the construction industry and lower demand for its products. Despite excellent past results the new American management demanded sweeping cuts at the company.

In the view of locals, “the company’s actions are a disgrace given the expensive perks, such as official cars, for its corporate fat cats, compared to the sacrifice, silence, and dignity demanded by the company of those it has made redundant.”

The management offered severance pay of 3,000 (US $4,200), however the workers demanded a severance package commensurate with “the wealth that their labor has generated.” Worker’s delegates requested a “supra-legal” payment of € 30,000, on Thursday 16 of July the management responded with a counter offer of € 16,000. On Thursday night the worker’s actions secured the € 30,000 settlement initially demanded.

England fans watch match in cinema

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

London – A few hundred England fans weren’t watching the 2006 FIFA World Cup match against Sweden last night in a pub or at home, but instead had ventured out to their local cinema to see the game on the big screen. A number of Odeon cinemas nationwide have been using digital projection technology to screen the matches live with a high definition (HD) picture. HD broadcasts contain a greater level of detail than traditional TV broadcasts, meaning a sharper picture and better sound quality.

In the darkened auditorium of the cinema in Covent Garden, the audience (or should that be crowd?) were behaving almost as if they were at the stadium, singing along to the national anthem, cheering at the England goals and groaning at the Sweden chances. At times, chants being sung by the England crowd at the match were even picked up and sung along to by those watching the cinema screen like some kind of football karaoke contest.

Trailers before the match were replaced by a soundtrack of England anthems, both the successful and not-so-successful ones, and the traditional movie treat of popcorn was replaced by trays of beer (in plastic cups) being brought in by the punters. The cinema had cheekily listed the screening as being ‘directed by Sven-Göran Eriksson’ and as ‘starring Wayne Rooney (hopefully)’.

Despite a disappointing 2-2 draw, the audience seemed impressed with the experience. “I’m a bit short and so wanted to make sure I had good view without having to jostle around for position,” Amanda, from London, explained to me. “I also liked that it was non-smoking, and there was a fabulous atmosphere”. Sian, Caio and Laura, who lived locally, said they wanted to see the match on the big screen and commented on the excellent picture quality.

Other events that have been broadcast by the cinema chain include concerts by Robbie Williams and Elton John. Odeon Marketing Director Luke Vetere said “offering films is just one part of the cinema experience – our ambition is to offer guests the chance to watch other events they feel passionate about”. Watching football in the cinema is not a brand new event though, during previous World Cups such as in 1966, film footage from the matches was broadcast in cinemas after the event, providing a way for people to see the games in colour when TV broadcasts were in black and white.

Cinema screenings aren’t the only way that fans can watch the World Cup games in high-definition this year though, as both Sky TV and Telewest have been broadcasting the games in HD to viewers with a special set-top box. There have been trials with HD on the growing Freeview platform too, with a pilot group of a few hundred viewers in London. However, as any move to roll out HD on Freeview would use up extra space on the broadcast spectrum and would require viewers to buy a new set-top box, it seems unlikely that this will happen any time soon.

Author of My Billion Year Contract reflects on life in elite Scientology group

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Nancy Many about her book My Billion Year Contract, and asked her about life working in the elite Scientology group known as the “Sea Org“. Many joined Scientology in the early 1970s, and after leaving in 1996 she later testified against the organization. Published in October, Many’s book has gone on to become one of the top selling new books on Scientology at Amazon.com.

Pope John Paul II dies

Saturday, April 2, 2005

John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojty?a) 1920-2005

After months of failing health, His Holiness Pope John Paul II passed away today, April 2, at 9:37 p.m. local time (19:37 UTC). He was 84 years old. An email message to journalists from the spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls from The Vatican confirmed the death at 20:00 UTC.

The Pope had a tracheostomy earlier this year to help him breathe, and then lost his ability to speak last week. On Thursday March 31 he developed a urinary tract infection that led to septic shock and cardiovascular collapse. A nasogastric feeding tube was inserted to help him regain strength. The Pope elected not to return to Rome’s Gemelli hospital, but instead to stay in his own apartments where he was tended to by his personal doctors and Vatican medical staff.

The same night, he was administered the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick also known as the last rites. On Friday April 1, the Vatican said he was having difficulties with both his heart and his kidneys.

Italian news agency Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reports the pope’s final message was “I am happy, you be happy, too. Let’s pray together with joy. I entrust everything to the Virgin Mary with joy”.

A description of the last moment of the holy father from father Jarek Cielecki, director of the Vatican service news and of the Italian TV catolic Tele Padre Pio, tells us the last moment of life of this great man. “The Holy father died looking at the window, gathered in prayer. As such he was conscious. Just before dying, the Pope raised his right hand in a sign of blessing, as if he was aware of all the people gathered in prayer. Then, as soon as the prayer ended, the Pope did a huge effort, said the word ‘Amen’ and died.”

The Vatican has announced that the funeral will take place on Wednesday, April 6 and that the Pope’s body will lie in state from Monday, April 4.

Profit By Investing In Your Brand Account}

Submitted by: Jerome Ford

In the Music Biz, marketing makes the difference between artist and musicians succeeding or failing. There are a few marketing key terms that you should know to be able to market your music successfully. This article deals with the first and most important marketing technique – branding.

Branding involves creating symbols that potential fans or “targets” will associate with you or your product.

Those symbols, when combined and attributed to your brand, are then known as your brands identity.

Branding is reflected in everything you do or say as an artist or musician.

The pictures you take, Your autograph signatures, your name, logo, interviews, cover art and anything audible or visual should all be taken into consideration when developing your brand identity.

If your music brand is still young (under five years), be careful of everything you do or say in public.

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Remember the Dixie Chicks? The Dixie Chicks were on top of the world until the day Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Mains made disparaging remarks about George W. Bush while overseas. With those remarks about George W. Bush, the Dixie Chicks branded themselves as “unpatriotic”. Hundreds of radio stations immediately yanked the Dixie Chicks music off the air. Be warned, watch what you do or say very carefully.

Back in the day, artists had publicists who would coach them as to what to say or do. Of course this often made the artist’s feel like puppets, but this practice usually kept the artists brand integrity intact. If you are a artist or musician be calculated about every thing you say or do. If someone hits you with a question you don’t want to answer, say something like “no comment” or “I’m all about music right now”.

Another thing to consider is your target market.

Find no more than two markets or genre’s to market to. I’ve worked with aspiring artist who say “I can sing all kinds of music”. Being a versatile singer or performer is a great thing, but not when building your brand identity. The majority of humans need to be able to categorize things in their minds in order to find a spot for them in our minds. Picture the human brain as a fleshy computer. It has many folders with many files. If your target can’t file your product into one or two categories (genres) instantly, you will be deleted.

It’s best to pick one or two genres -max, to market to. E.g. jazz and blues, hip hop and r&b, folk and country etc.

Build your own brand Identity – don’t let the public do it for you.

Recently, Arctic Monkeys sold over 300,000 using only the internet to market their music. Arctic Monkeys came out of nowhere with their CD “Whatever They Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not”. Arctic Monkeys got lots of free press but not the kind they would have liked. News articles and radio features about Arctic Monkeys all said the same thing -“we don’t know who they are or what they stand for”. Well that’s no way to build a brand.

With all of the free press Arctic Monkeys have received you’d expect them to be on every American teens lip’s. Not so. Most American Teens don’t even know Arctic Monkeys exist. Arctic Monkeys allowed the press limited access to their brand and the press did what they do best when the details are missing – they fill in the blanks with speculation.

If you are a young brand don’t let this happen to you. Tell the public what to think and say about you through press releases and brand building activities.

Let your brand account grow before you take deposits out of it.

With branding, consistency is builds equity. Once you have built your brand identity and start to get some good attention, leave it alone and let it create value for you. Consider your branding efforts as putting money into an interest generating account like a 401K. The more you put into the same account the more interest you’ll get. The more interest you get the more money you’ll get. Get it?

Artists and musicians who change their brand identity often don’t have much success establishing a solid brand identity and have a much more difficult time getting people to remember who they are or why they should buy that brand.

What you are shooting for is brand presence.

To have brand presence, you’ll need to pick a target market, you’ll need to build the associative symbols that represent your brand, you’ll need to handle your young brand with care, you’ll need to limit where and how you market your brand, you’ll have to tell people what your brand symbolizes, you’ll have to invest in your brand and let it grow for you without changing it.

As you follow the steps above you’ll see your brand grow and give you a return on your investment.

About the Author: Jerome Ford is a 20 year radio and records marketing expert and Vice President of Succeed In the Music Biz at

simbiz.info

. Jerome has worked directly with many major and indie label stars. Feel free to contact Jerome at Jerome.ford@simbiz.info.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=52098&ca=Finances }

Baseball: Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden throws perfect game

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dallas Braden, a left-handed pitcher for Major League Baseball‘s Oakland Athletics in the United States, became one of only nineteen players in the history of the MLB to pitch a perfect game, in a 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. Braden, aged 26, who retired all 27 batters consecutively on 109 pitches, also earned his first career complete game. In the process of throwing the perfect game, Braden also struck out six Tampa Bay hitters.

The perfect game was the second pitched in the Athletics’ franchise history, the other being thrown by Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter on May 8, 1968 against the Minnesota Twins. Braden, at 26, also became the youngest pitcher to throw a complete game since Anaheim Angels pitcher Mike Witt did so at age 24 in 1984.

The low crowd at the Oakland Coliseum, at only 12,228, was due to the Mother’s Day holiday occurring across the United States, Braden, along with every other Major League Baseball player, donned pink equipment for awareness of breast cancer, which has become a tradition for baseball players on Mother’s Day. Braden’s own mother died of skin cancer when he was a senior in high school, but his grandmother attended the game.

Braden recently drew controversy in the league after publicly criticizing New York Yankees all-star third baseman Alex Rodriguez for crossing the pitcher’s mound after a foul ball, which Braden claimed to be an “unwritten rule” in baseball. When asked about the no hitter, Rodriguez simply responded, “Good for him, he threw a perfect game. And even better, he beat the Rays,” he said, as the Rays lead the American League East division, the same division that Yankees play in.

“Mother’s Day hasn’t been a joyous day for me in a while. But to know that I still get to come out and compete and play a game on that day, that makes it a little better. With my grandma in the stands, that makes it a lot better. To be able to give her this today was perfect…,” said Braden in a post-game interview with MLB.com.

Car bomb explodes outside court in Northern Ireland

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A bombing outside the courthouse in Newry, Northern Ireland has been blamed on republican dissidents. The car bomb went off at around 10PM (2200 GMT) on Monday night, while police were evacuating the area following coded warnings. A senior police officer said it was a “miracle” that no one was killed or injured.

Local Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy said that he could hear the explosion from his home four miles away. He condemned those responsible, saying they had nothing to offer “except the prospect of a return to the past”.

“It is only by sheer miracle that nobody was killed or injured” said Police Chief Inspector Sam Cordnor. Coded warnings of the bomb were received by a hospital and some local businesses.

There have been several incidents over the past year linked to republican groups who oppose the Northern Ireland peace process. Just days ago in the village of Keady, around 20 miles from Newry, a mortar bomb was left outside the police station. However, Monday’s attack is the first successful detonation of a car bomb since 2001.

British Airways jet makes rough landing at London City Airport

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A BA CityFlyer Avro 146-RJ100 passenger jet with 71 people onboard made a crash-landing at London City Airport on Friday evening, after part of its gear failed upon landing. One passenger was hospitalised after the incident.

According to witnesses, the aeroplane’s front landing gear collapsed into the runway after the aircraft made a rough landing. The plane stopped on the runway, after which the 67 passengers and four crew members were evacuated by the use of emergency chutes.

Following the incident, the airport’s only runway was shut down and incoming flights diverted to other airports in the vicinity.

“Unfortunately, one passenger sustained a minor injury and is currently on the way to hospital. There was one other minor injury,” British Airways said in a statement. “We don’t know the nature of the injury or how it was caused yet. Our priority at the moment is to ensure all the passengers involved in the incident are well cared for by our ground staff.”

Justin Fletcher, a passenger onboard the aeroplane, described what happened in an interview with the BBC: “There was obviously quite a loud bang as the plane scratched in, the stewards and stewardesses were quick to evacuate everyone off, there was a few scrapes and cuts due to hitting the asphalt, all in all everyone seems to be doing quite well now.”

London City Airport is located in the eastern part of London, and is mainly used for domestic and European flights. It handles 80 000 flights and three million passengers a year.

Interview with Ton Roosendaal about Elephants Dream and free content movies

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Three days after the Internet release of the free content 3D short Elephants Dream (see Wikinews coverage), we exchanged e-mails with Ton Roosendaal about the reaction to the film, open source filmmaking, and the changes to Blender that resulted from the production. Ton Roosendaal is the lead developer of the Blender 3D rendering and modelling software that was used for the movie. He is also the chairman of the Blender Foundation, a non-profit organization which was formed in support of the software and projects like Elephants Dream.

How much money did the Blender Foundation spend on producing the movie? Has the money been fully recouped by DVD orders and donations?

We still have to finish the final bookkeeping for this project. It has been executed in co-production with the Netherlands Media Art Institute, and we each had our own internal budgeting for the project. When you exclude expenses of pre-production and producer personnel, the total budget was about 120,000 €, of which we covered half. Our contribution was roughly covered half by the DVD sales, and half by European Union support (http://www.uni-verse.org consortium).

One of the most common criticisms of CGI films is focus on technology over content. For instance, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within flopped with audiences, in spite of being an undisputed technical milestone. I’ve seen many reviews that criticized the plot of “Elephants Dream” as too bizarre or confusing. In retrospect, are you happy with the story development process?

Haha, I knew the story and plot would get a mixed acclaim. There’s a couple of reasons I’d like to mention for it.

First of all; the criticism resembles how people witness Blender itself, too. Many people expect that Free Software is an easy accessible mass audience product. We get a lot of complaints by non-artists that they can’t get into the software easily, whilst the complexity of commercial products like Maya or Houdini is perceived as a confirmation of its “quality”. Apparently an Open Movie created similar expectations with the audience.

Luckily we also got many positive reviews of the artistic result of the movie. It is quite abstract, but definitely has many layers of information, inspiring many of the viewers to see relevant real life messages hidden here.

For this project we’ve teamed up with the Netherlands Media Art Institute, internationally renowned as a resource for video art. So for Elephants Dream, we’ve had the luxury to challenge ourselves to create real independent artistic content as well. The artists had a lot of freedom from the start; they were responsible for the concept, story and creative development of the entire movie. This has resulted in a lot of quite personal choices, based on what the artists liked to do themselves. I really cherish such an approach, it has resulted in a very motivated team working crazy hours the last months to get it all realized.

But, most importantly; the main target of our project was not only to create a 3D movie short, but to experiment with ways to improve the efficiency and quality of open source development. On this aspect only, this project was just a huge success, and the main reason for our sponsors (the DVD pre-sale) to support it. I know they might have liked a cartoonish funny movie with furry animals better, but for that you get already pretty well served by the bigger 3D animation studios. 🙂

I’m the first to admit that – looking back especially – certain aspects worked out quite weakly; there’s loose ends and questionable decisions, especially in story development and continuity. That’s just the risk of doing experiments, and nothing I regret really. The five artists from our user community who were invited to make the movie were young people with no professional background in filmmaking. Their personal incentive to participate in this project was also to learn from it, and to create a good portfolio for their future career. I’ve witnessed them grow in competence in the past year enormously, something I’m incredibly proud of.

On the technical level, the only major criticism I’ve seen of “Elephants Dream” is the character animation, especially in the opening scene — many reviewers felt that the movements seemed a bit unnatural. Do you agree with these criticisms? If so, what do you think can be done to improve on that level?

Yeah, the challenge the artists set themselves – to use quite realistic personages – is also something that easily works against you. In many animation movies they introduce characters in the beginning in a way you get used to their specific characteristic movements, so you accept a certain level of non-realism easily. (Check the weird walk cycles in The Incredibles for example). Another aspect is that we’ve started work on the first scenes, and ended with the last scenes. I can clearly see the animation quality increase, and that whilst the ending scenes were done in much less time due to time constraints.

We also didn’t schedule to do 9.5 minutes of animation either…. Originally it was more like 6. But, it’s always easier to look back to define the right decisions, eh? 🙂

I’m very happy with the reviews we got so far; luckily the movie was perceived as a professional quality product, and reviewed based on comparisons with what the big studios come up with. Even when we couldn’t satisfy all these quality demands, it has luckily not been branded as a pathetic presumptuous attempt by amateurs!

Do you think there is hope for a full-length open movie project in the near future? Would the Blender Foundation be interested in such a project, or do you intend to continue focusing mainly on shorts?

I’d like to wait a little while with defining what a next project would look like. Given the constraints of “organizing projects to improve open source development”, we might have not much choice either. It would probably mean to work with a new team each time, so most likely be based on shorts only. On the other hand, there’s also clear signals that this approach works well, and creates excitement and involvement of a lot of people, also from producers and sponsors. That might enable us to set up a next project based on larger targets. For a full-length feature film however, we should involve a sufficient amount of experienced film makers as well, and/or invite the first team to participate again. That would put a lot of pressure on the required budget…. You can’t do that based on a 1000 DVD pre-sale target. Would more be like 20,000 or so…. 🙂

How did the process of making the movie feed back into the development of Blender? Are there major technical changes that were made only or primarily because of the film?

Already during the pre-production phase the artists have defined the key targets for Blender development. This then was coordinated with the online development community too. I’ve done the most crucial (re-)development mostly myself, though. Especially on the character animation tools, on the rendering pipeline and compositing tools.

It is especially the latter I’m most satisfied with. In 3D movie production the compositing stage creates a giant content bottleneck. By transparently integrating this in our render-pipeline, a very efficient workflow has been achieved. And, not to forget, Blender now also offers the first production-level open source compositor on the market!

The current summary you can find in our work-in-progress release notes.

What are the key technical features in Blender you want to add or improve for future movie projects?

Depends on what the movie is about! There’s always hundreds of features you can work on. However, we’ll have to work on that anyway, movie project or not. There’s a lot of professionals using Blender now, and they can’t wait for the Blender Foundation to do movies! Look at this studio for example: http://www.plumiferos.com/

I read that at least one proprietary software package, Reaktor, was used for the sound effects. Is this because no equivalent free software solution exists yet? Will future projects have a “free software only” policy?

We’ve limited the “Open Source tools” requirement to our own Studio Orange only. That was what we could keep in control at least, and I can tell you it was not always easy even… 🙂

For sound and music we’ve decided from the beginning to seek an external sponsor. We have chosen to work with the best quality studio and composer we could find, preferably using open source, but not as a prerequisite.

My own competence is solely within the CG [computer graphics, Ed.] side of movie making. When it comes to music editing, or video encoding and DVD authoring, I could only decide to choose to work with external parties with proven competences in that area. I have to be practical in projects like this, especially to ensure it will be realized.

Hopefully, now we’ve got so much attention world wide, we can involve more non-CG open source next time, too. I will definitely strive for the maximum here, but it will fully depend on the amount of professional support we can get.

Blender itself was originally closed source freeware, until it was “liberated” through a fundraising campaign. If you could choose one proprietary application to “set free” where such a goal could be realistically achieved, which one would it be?

Well, the “realistically achieved” demand makes it quite difficult. 🙂 Looking back at similar cases, like Mozilla and OpenOffice.org, it was always very circumstantial. It just happens sometimes, you can’t organize something like this to happen in advance. The only common denominator is “a company in troubles”… so, who’s in trouble now?

What is your personal favorite computer-animated full-length film?

Uuuh… that differs every week! Probably Ice Age (the first one). Mostly because they didn’t overdo showcasing 3D technology so much, but created truly adorable characters and great funny gags.

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