Mysterious power failure takes down Wikipedia, Wikinews

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

On Monday, at 10.14 pm UTC, the Wikimedia server cluster experienced a total power failure, taking down Wikipedia, Wikinews, and all other Wikimedia websites.

The servers are housed in a colocation facility (colo) in Tampa, Florida, USA. They occupy two racks, with each rack receiving electricity from two independent supplies. However, both supplies have circuit-breakers in them, and both opened at the same time, leading to a total power failure. All computers immediately went down. It’s normal for fire safety regulations to prohibit uninterruptible power supplies in colos, with the colo providing its own UPS and generator instead. The circuit breakers were on the computer side of this emergency power system, so none of the computers continued to receive power to survive the breaker trip or shut down safely.

The actual reason why the circuit breakers tripped is currently unknown.

When power was restored, it was discovered that most of the MySQL databases that store the data which makes up Wikipedia et al had been corrupted. The main database and the four slaves had all damaged the data on their hard disk drives beyond the ability of the auto-correction to repair. Only one copy survived safely, on a machine that is used for report generation and maintenance tasks, which remained 31 hours backlogged while catching up after an unusually heavy update load during the previous week.

Volunteer Wikimedia engineers worked through the night rebuilding the databases from the sole good copy onto the other servers. The Wikipedia database is over 180Gb in size, making the copying process last 1.5 – 2 hours for every server it was performed upon.

Regular back-ups of the database of Wikipedia projects are maintained – the encyclopedia in its entirety was not at risk. The last database download was made on February 9; all edits since then could only have been laboriously rebuilt from logs and recovered from the damaged database requiring much more time and effort.

Limited read-only service was established late Tuesday afternoon, with editing becoming possible 24 hours after the power failure. Final repairs continue now, as well as upgrades to prevent similar issues in the future. Server-intensive features, such as categories and ‘watchlists’ that display recent changes to selected articles to registered users, remain disabled to ease the load on the recovering systems.

The process which led to the damage originated with the operating system, disk controllers, or hard drives failing to flush the data correctly.

If the power to a database server is cut mid-write, the database may be corrupted and unreadable, however the operating system, hardware, and software are designed to make this very unlikely. In a previous incident in 2004 power was also lost to a server but the database was undamaged.

To avoid such damage, each database server saves a copy of an edit to be applied to the database on a separate storage system before making the actual update to the database itself. This so-called ‘write-ahead logging’ should ensure that in the event of a system crash, the database can be rebuilt from a ‘last-good’ state by replaying the edits saved in the log.

Earlier this year popular blogging site LiveJournal suffered a similar power failure when another customer at their colocation facility pressed an Emergency Power Off button, intended for use only by firefighters. The company suffered database corruption similar to that seen at Wikimedia.

LiveJournal are now fitting UPS to their servers to ensure that they have time to shut down safely in the event of a power failure. Wikimedia was said to be investigating the possibility of fitting similar equipment at the time of this failure.

Several pundits have suggested that the use of another database, such as the proprietary database Oracle or the free PostgreSQL, would have avoided the database corruption seen at the server cluster. A post-mortem of the incident show the failure was in the operating system, or the hardware, or some combination of the two. LiveJournal, which also uses MySQL, reported similar database corruption after their power cut.

The Wikimedia foundation only allows the use of free software on its systems, and future versions of the Mediawiki software will support the PostgreSQL database.

Users are reminded that during times of system failure or excessive demand, they can still search Wikipedia using Google. The articles may be viewed using Google’s cache.

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8 September

N10 006 Certification Guides}

N10-006 Certification Guides

by

Judith M. Ehlers

Question: 1

A technician needs to limit the amount of broadcast traffic on a network and allow different segments to communicate with each other. Which of the following options would satisfy these requirements?

A. Add a router and enable OSPF.

B. Add a layer 3 switch and create a VLAN.

C. Add a bridge between two switches.

D. Add a firewall and implement proper ACL.

Answer: B

Explanation:

We can limit the amount of broadcast traffic on a switched network by dividing the computers into logical network segments called VLANs.

A virtual local area network (VLAN) is a logical group of computers that appear to be on the same LAN even if they are on separate IP subnets. These logical subnets are configured in the network switches. Each VLAN is a broadcast domain meaning that only computers within the same VLAN will receive broadcast traffic.

Toallow different segments (VLAN) to communicate with each other, a router is required to establish a connection between the systems. We can use a network router to route between the VLANs or we can use a Layer 3 switch. Unlike layer 2 switches that can only read the contents of the data-link layer protocol header in the packets they process, layer 3 switches can read the (IP) addresses in the network layer protocol header as well.

Question: 2

The network install is failing redundancy testing at the MDF. The traffic being transported is a mixture of multicast and unicast signals. Which of the following would BEST handle the rerouting caused by the disruption of service?

A. Layer 3 switch

B. Proxy server

C. Layer 2 switch

D. Smart hub

Answer: A

Explanation:

The question states that the traffic being transported is a mixture of multicast and unicast signals. There are three basic types of network transmissions: broadcasts, which are packets transmitted to every node on the network; unicasts,which are packets transmitted to just one node; and multicasts, which are packets transmitted to a group of nodes. Multicast is a layer 3 feature of IPv4 & IPv6. Therefore, we would need a layer 3 switch (or a router) to reroute the traffic. Unlike layer 2switches that can only read the contents of the data-link layer protocol header in the packets they process, layer 3 switches can read the (IP) addresses in the network layer protocol header as well.

Question: 3

Which of the following network devices use ACLs to prevent unauthorized access into company systems?

A. IDS

B. Firewall

C. Content filter

D. Load balancer

Answer: B

Explanation:

A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls arefrequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing privatenetworks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. Firewalls use ACLs (access control lists) to determine which traffic is allowed through the firewall. All traffic entering or leaving the intranet passes through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks or allows the message depending on rules specified in the ACL. The rules in the ACL specify which combinations of source IP address, destination address in IP port numbers are allowed.

Question: 4

Which of the following is used to define how much bandwidth can be used by various protocols on the network?

A. Traffic shaping

B. High availability

C. Load balancing

D. Fault tolerance

Answer: A

Explanation:

If a network connection becomes saturated to the point where there is a significant level of contention, network latency can rise substantially.

Traffic shaping is used to control the bandwidth used by network traffic. In a corporate environment, business-related traffic may be given priority over other traffic. Traffic can be prioritized based on the ports used by the application sending the traffic. Delayed traffic is stored in a buffer until the higher priority traffic has been sent.

Question: 5

Which of the following is used to authenticate remote workers who connect from offsite? (Select TWO).

A. OSPF

B. VTP trunking

C. Virtual PBX

D. RADIUS

E. 802.1x

Answer: D,E

Explanation:

D: A RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service)server is a server with a database of user accounts and passwords used as a central authentication database for users requiring network access. RADIUS servers are commonly used by ISPs to authenticate their customers Internet connections.

Remote users connect to one or more Remote Access Servers. The remote access servers then forward the authentication requests to the central RADIUS server.

E: 802.1X is an IEEE Standard for Port-based Network Access Control (PNAC). It provides an authentication mechanism to devices wishing to attach to a network.

802.1X authentication involves three parties: a supplicant, an authenticator, and an authentication server. The supplicant is a client that wishes to attach to the network. The authenticator is a network device,such as an Ethernet switch, wireless access point or in this case, a remote access server and the authentication server is the RADIUS server.

Question: 6

Which of the following provides accounting, authorization, and authentication via a centralized privileged database, as well as, challenge/response and password encryption?

A. Multifactor authentication

B. ISAKMP

C. TACACS+

D. Network access control

YouTube Preview Image

Answer: C

Explanation:

TACACS+ (Terminal Access Controller Access-Control System Plus) is aprotocol that handles authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) services. Similar to RADIUS, TACACS+ is a centralized authentication solution used to provide access to network resources. TACACS+ separates the authentication, authorization, and accounting services enabling you to host each service on a separate server if required.

Question: 7

A technician needs to set aside addresses in a DHCP pool so that certain servers always receive the same address. Which of the following should be configured?

A. Leases

B. Helper addresses

C. Scopes

D. Reservations

Answer: D

Explanation:

A reservation is used in DHCP to ensure that a computer always receives the same IP address. To create a reservation, you need to know the hardware MAC address ofthe network interface card that should receive the IP address.

For example, if Server1 has MAC address of 00:A1:FB:12:45:4C and that computer should always get 192.168.0.7 as its IP address, you can map the MAC address of Server1 with the IP address to configure reservation.

Question: 8

Joe, a network technician, is setting up a DHCP server on a LAN segment. Which of the following options should Joe configure in the DHCP scope, in order to allow hosts on that LAN segment using dynamic IP addresses, to be able to access the Internet and internal company servers? (Select THREE).

A. Default gateway

B. Subnet mask

C. Reservations

D. TFTP server

E. Lease expiration time of 1 day

F. DNS servers

G. Bootp

Answer: A,B,F

Explanation:

The question statesthat the client computers need to access the Internet as well as internal company servers. To access the Internet, the client computers need to be configured with an IP address with a subnet mask (answer B) and the address of the router that connects thecompany network to the Internet. This is known as the default gateway (answer A).

To be able to resolve web page URLs to web server IP addresses, the client computers need to be configured with the address of a DNS server (answer F).

Question: 9

A technician just completed a new external website and setup access rules in the firewall. After some testing, only users outside the internal network can reach the site. The website responds to a ping from the internal network and resolves the proper public address. Which of the following could the technician do to fix this issue while causing internal users to route to the website using an internal address?

A. Configure NAT on the firewall

B. Implement a split horizon DNS

C. Place the server in the DMZ

D. Adjust the proper internal ACL

Answer: B

Explanation:

Split horizon DNS (also known as Split Brain DNS) is a mechanism for DNS servers to supply different DNS query results depending on the source of the request. This can be done by hardware-basedseparation but is most commonly done in software.

In this question, we want external users to be able to access the website by using a public IP address. To do this, we would have an external facing DNS server hosting a DNS zone for the website domain. Forthe internal users, we would have an internal facing DNS server hosting a DNS zone for the website domain. The external DNS zone will resolve the website URL to an external public IP address. The internal DNS server will resolve the website URL to an internal private IP address.

Question: 10

When configuring a new server, a technician requests that an MX record be created in DNS for the new server, but the record was not entered properly. Which of the following was MOST likely installed that required an MX record to function properly?

A. Load balancer

B. FTP server

C. Firewall DMZ

D. Mail server

Answer: D

Explanation:

A mail exchanger record (MX record) is a DNS record used by email servers to determine the name of the email server responsiblefor accepting email for the recipients domain.

For example a user sends an email to recipient@somedomain.com. The sending users email server will query the somedomain.com DNS zone for an MX record for the domain. The MX record will specify the hostnameof the email server responsible for accepting email for the somedomain.com domain, for example, mailserver.somedomain.com. The sending email server will then perform a second DNS query to resolve mailserver.somedomain.com to an IP address. The sending mailserver will then forward the email to the destination mail server.

Question: 11

Which of the following protocols uses label-switching routers and label-edge routers to forward traffic?

A. BGP

B. OSPF

C. IS-IS

D. MPLS

Answer: D

Explanation:

In an MPLS network, data packets are assigned labels. Packet-forwarding decisions are made solely on the contents of this label, without the need to examine the packet itself.

MPLS works by prefixing packets with an MPLS header, containing one or more labels.

An MPLS router that performs routing based only on the label is called a label switch router (LSR) or transit router. This is a type of router located in the middle of a MPLS network. It is responsible for switching the labels used to route packets. When an LSR receives a packet, it uses the label included in the packet header as an index to determine the next hop on the label-switched path (LSP) and a corresponding label for the packet from a lookup table. The old label is then removed from the header and replaced with the new label before the packet is routed forward.

A label edge router (LER) is a router that operates at the edge of an MPLS network and acts as the entry and exit points for the network. LERs respectively, add an MPLS label onto an incoming packet and remove it off the outgoing packet.

When forwarding IP datagrams into the MPLS domain, an LER uses routing information to determine appropriate labels to be affixed, labels the packet accordingly, and then forwards the labelled packets into the MPLS domain. Likewise, upon receiving a labelled packet which is destined to exit the MPLS domain, the LER strips off the label and forwards the resulting IP packet using normal IP forwarding rules.

Question: 12

Which of the following is MOST likely to use an RJ-11 connector to connect a computer to an ISP using a POTS line?

A. Multilayer switch

B. Access point

C. Analog modem

D. DOCSIS modem

Answer: C

Explanation:

Before ADSL broadband connections became the standard for Internet connections, computers used analog modems to connect to the Internet. By todays standards, analog modems are very slow typically offering a maximum bandwidth of 56Kbps.

An analog modem (modulator/demodulator) converts (modulates) a digital signal from a computerto an analog signal to be transmitted over a standard (POTS) phone line. The modem then converts (demodulates) the incoming analog signal to digital data to be used by the computer.

An analog modem uses an RJ-11 connector to connect to a phone line (POTS)in the same way a phone does.

Question: 13

An administrator notices an unused cable behind a cabinet that is terminated with a DB-9 connector. Which of the following protocols was MOST likely used on this cable?

A. RS-232

B. 802.3

C. ATM

D. Tokenring

Answer: A

Explanation:

A DB-9 connector is used on serial cables. Serial cables use the RS-232 protocol which defines the functions of the 9 pins in a DB-9 connector. The RS-232 standard was around long before computers. Its rare to see a new computer nowadays with a serial port but they were commonly used for connecting external analog modems, keyboards and mice to computers.

Question: 14

Which of the following connection types is used to terminate DS3 connections in a telecommunications facility?

A. 66 block

B. BNC

C. F-connector

D. RJ-11

Answer: B

Explanation:

A DS3 (Digital Signal 3) is also known as a T3 line with a maximum bandwidth of 44.736 Mbit/s. DS3 uses 75 ohm coaxial cable and BNC connectors.

Question: 15

An F-connector is used on which of the following types of cabling?

A. CAT3

B. Single mode fiber

C. CAT5

D. RG6

Answer: D

Explanation:

An F connector is a coaxial RF connector commonly used for terrestrial television, cable television and universally forsatellite television and cable modems, usually with RG-6/U cable or, in older installations, with RG-59/U cable.

Question: 16

A network technician must utilize multimode fiber to uplink a new networking device. Which of the following Ethernet standards could the technician utilize? (Select TWO).

A. 1000Base-LR

B. 1000Base-SR

C. 1000Base-T

D. 10GBase-LR

E. 10GBase-SR

F. 10GBase-T

Answer: B,E

Explanation:

1000BASE-SX is a fiber optic Gigabit Ethernet standard for operation over multi-mode fiberwith a distance capability between 220 meters and 550 meters.

10Gbase-SR’is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN standard for operation over multi-mode fiber optic cable and short wavelength signaling.

Question: 17

CORRECT TEXT

You have been tasked with testing a CAT5e cable. A summary of the test results can be found on the screen.

Step 1: Select the tool that was used to create the cable test results.

Step 2: Interpret the test results and select the option that explains the results. After you are done with your analysis, click the ‘Submit Cable Test Analysis’ button.

Explanation:

A Cable Certifier provides Pass or Fail information in accordance with industry standards but can also show detailed information when a Fail occurs. This includesshorts, the wire pairs involved and the distance to the short. When a short is identified, at the full length of the cable it means the cable has not been crimped correctly.

Question: 18

A network engineer needs to set up a topology that will not fail if there is an outage on a single piece of the topology. However, the computers need to wait to talk on the network to avoid congestions. Which of the following topologies would the engineer implement?

A. Star

B. Bus

C. Ring

D. Mesh

Answer: C

Explanation:

Token Ring networks are quite rare today. Token Ring networks use the ring topology. Despite being called a Ring topology, the ring is logical and the physical network structure often forms a star topology with all computers on the network connecting to a central multistation access unit (MAU). The MAU implements the logical ring by transmitting signals to each node in turn and waiting for the node to send them back before it transmits to the next node. Therefore, although the cables are physically connected in a star, the data path takes the form of a ring. If any computer or network cable fails in a token ring network, the remainder of the network remains functional. The MAU has the intelligence to isolate the failed segment.

To ensure that the computers need to wait to talk on the network to avoid congestions, a Token Ring network uses a token. The token continually passes around the network until a computer needs to send data. The computer then takes the token and transmits the data beforereleasing the token. Only a computer in possession of the token can transmit data onto the network.

Question: 19

A network topology that utilizes a central device with point-to-point connections to all other devices is which of the following?

A. Star

B. Ring

C. Mesh

D. Bus

Answer: A

Explanation:

A Star network is the most common network in use today. Ethernet networks with computers connected to a switch (or a less commonly a hub) form a star network.

The switch forms the central component ofthe star. All network devices connect to the switch. A network switch has a MAC address table which it populates with the MAC address of every device connected to the switch. When the switch receives data on one of its ports from a computer, it looks in the MAC address table to discover which port the destination computer is connected to. The switch then unicasts the data out through the port that the destination computer is connected to.

Question: 20

Which of the following network topologies has a central, single point of failure?

A. Ring

B. Star

C. Hybrid

D. Mesh

Answer: B

Explanation:

A Star network is the most common network in use today. Ethernet networks with computers connected to a switch (or a less commonly a hub) form a star network.

The switch forms the central component of the star. All network devices connect to the switch. A network switch has a MAC address table which it populates with the MAC address of every device connected to the switch. When the switch receives data on one of its ports from a computer, it looks in the MAC address table to discover which port the destination computer is connected to. The switch then unicasts the data out through the port that the destination computer is connected to.

The switch that forms thecentral component of a star network is a single point of failure. If the switch fails, no computers will be able to communicate with each other.

Question: 21

Which of the following refers to a network that spans several buildings that are within walking distance of each other?

A. CAN

B. WAN

C. PAN

D. MAN

Answer: A

Explanation:

CAN stands for Campus Area Network or Corporate Area Network. Universities or colleges often implement CANs to link the buildings in a network. The range of CAN is 1KMto 5KM. If multiple buildings have the same domain and they are connected with a network, then it will be considered as a CAN.

Question: 22

Which of the following network infrastructure implementations would be used to support files being transferred between Bluetooth-enabled smartphones?

A. PAN

B. LAN

C. WLAN

D. MAN

Answer: A

Explanation:

PAN stands for Personal Area Network. It is a network of devices in the area of a person typically within a range of 10 meters and commonly using a wirelesstechnology such as Bluetooth or IR (Infra-Red).

Question: 23

Which of the following describes an IPv6 address of ::1?

A. Broadcast

B. Loopback

C. Classless

D. Multicast

Answer: B

Explanation:

The loopback address is a special IP address thatis designated for the software loo

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Article Source:

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1 September

Demonstrators protest Condoleezza Rice’s trip to Australia

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Anti-war demonstrators in Sydney, Australia on Thursday dubbed U.S. Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice a “war criminal” and “murderer.” Two protesters were evicted and five people were arrested during protests against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Dr Rice, on a three-day trip to Australia, said she understood why people found it hard to be positive about Iraq when all they saw on their television screens was violence.

Soon after Rice began her speech at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, two protesters shouted from the rear of the auditorium, “Condoleezza Rice, you are a war criminal,” and “Iraqi blood is on your hands and you cannot wash that blood away.” Standing with their palms towards her, the young man and woman repeated their accusation until security intervened to remove them from the hall.

About 15 minutes into Rice’s address, a third protester appeared at a balcony door, interrupting her speech as she referred to freedom. “What kind of freedom are you talking about? You are a murderer,” said the demonstrator before he was quietly escorted from the hall. “I’m very glad to see that democracy is well and alive here at the university,” she said.

In her speech, Rice sought to justify the U.S. occupation of Iraq, describing Iraqis as now more free. One student asked about abuses committed by U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. She said the abuses had made her “sick to her stomach.” However, she defended Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where human rights groups say detainees are held in inhumane conditions and in detention flouting international laws.

Before Rice began her speech, about 50 protesters were gathered at the front gates of the Conservatorium. The group were confronted by police on horseback and by police dogs. Police used the horses to charge into the group of activists and push them back, as a police helicopter hovered.

A police spokeswoman said the group was blocking pedestrian access to the building and that police had spent more than 20 minutes warning them to move. The police then moved in and pushed the crowd back 20 metres. Police say five people have been charged with “hindering police in the execution of their duties.”

The “Stop the War Coalition” says Rice is a “war criminal” and is not welcome in Australia. The group’s spokeswoman, Anna Samson, says the protest is one of many planned in the lead-up to the third anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq on March 20.

Paddy Gibson, from the University of Sydney’s Student’s Council, says the protest is in opposition to the Iraq war, and to the use of the University of Sydney’s campus to host Rice, “the most powerful woman in the world,” who they say is a war criminal. “They’re saying, ‘… you’ve got Sydney Uni’s support to stand up and peddle your murderous hate speeches,’ which is what we see it,” he said.

“You’ve got 180,000 people killed, as we said, for no other reason than strategic control of the region’s oil resources. And the anti-Muslim racism that’s been whipped up to justify this war is being felt by Sydney University students,” said Mr Gibson.

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30 August

Plane crashes into office block in Austin, Texas/suicide note

This is the online suicide letter authored by Andrew Stack, the man believed to be responsible for flying a light aircraft into a building in Austin, Texas. It was originally posted at Stack’s site, http://embeddedart.com/. The hosting company, T35, took the site offline per an FBI request. The note is reproduced here in its entirety.

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?” The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy. Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”. I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

How can any rational individual explain that white elephant conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system? Here we have a system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand. Yet, it mercilessly “holds accountable” its victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand. The law “requires” a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not “duress” than [sic] what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.

How did I get here?

My introduction to the real American nightmare starts back in the early ‘80s. Unfortunately after more than 16 years of school, somewhere along the line I picked up the absurd, pompous notion that I could read and understand plain English. Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions. In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful “exemptions” that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the “best”, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the “big boys” were doing (except that we weren’t steeling [sic] from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God). We took a great deal of care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.

The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living. However, this is where I learned that there are two “interpretations” for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us… Oh, and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is still alive and well today in this country.

That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0. It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie. It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their “freedom”… and that they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.

Before even having to make a shaky recovery from the sting of the first lesson on what justice really means in this country (around 1984 after making my way through engineering school and still another five years of “paying my dues”), I felt I finally had to take a chance of launching my dream of becoming an independent engineer.

On the subjects of engineers and dreams of independence, I should digress somewhat to say that I’m sure that I inherited the fascination for creative problem solving from my father. I realized this at a very young age.

The significance of independence, however, came much later during my early years of college; at the age of 18 or 19 when I was living on my own as student in an apartment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My neighbor was an elderly retired woman (80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired steel worker. Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement. Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was social security to live on.

In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time. When I got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse for her plight than for my own (I, after all, I thought I had everything to in front of me). I was genuinely appalled at one point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I would be “healthier” eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all my substance from peanut butter and bread. I couldn’t quite go there, but the impression was made. I decided that I didn’t trust big business to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and myself.

Return to the early ‘80s, and here I was off to a terrifying start as a ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ contract software engineer… and two years later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.

For you who are unfamiliar, here is the core text of the IRS Section 1706, defining the treatment of workers (such as contract engineers) for tax purposes. Visit this link for a conference committee report (http://www.synergistech.com/1706.shtml#ConferenceCommitteeReport) regarding the intended interpretation of Section 1706 and the relevant parts of Section 530, as amended. For information on how these laws affect technical services workers and their clients, read our discussion here (http://www.synergistech.com/ic-taxlaw.shtml).

SEC. 1706. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN TECHNICAL PERSONNEL.

(a) IN GENERAL – Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

(d) EXCEPTION. – This section shall not apply in the case of an individual who pursuant to an arrangement between the taxpayer and another person, provides services for such other person as an engineer, designer, drafter, computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE. – The amendment made by this section shall apply to remuneration paid and services rendered after December 31, 1986.

Note:

· “another person” is the client in the traditional job-shop relationship.

· “taxpayer” is the recruiter, broker, agency, or job shop.

· “individual”, “employee”, or “worker” is you.

Admittedly, you need to read the treatment to understand what it is saying but it’s not very complicated. The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the text of section (d). Moreover, they could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave. Twenty years later, I still can’t believe my eyes.

During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my ‘pocket change’, and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time. I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity. This, only to discover that our efforts were being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their “freedom”. Oh, and don’t forget, for all of the time I was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldn’t bill clients.

After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a futile exercise. The best we could get for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they weren’t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists). This immediately proved to be a lie, and the mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line; this, of course, was the intended effect.

Again, rewind my retirement plans back to 0 and shift them into idle. If I had any sense, I clearly should have left abandoned engineering and never looked back.

Instead I got busy working 100-hour workweeks. Then came the L.A. depression of the early 1990s. Our leaders decided that they didn’t need the all of those extra Air Force bases they had in Southern California, so they were closed; just like that. The result was economic devastation in the region that rivaled the widely publicized Texas S&L fiasco. However, because the government caused it, no one gave a shit about all of the young families who lost their homes or street after street of boarded up houses abandoned to the wealthy loan companies who received government funds to “shore up” their windfall. Again, I lost my retirement.

Years later, after weathering a divorce and the constant struggle trying to build some momentum with my business, I find myself once again beginning to finally pick up some speed. Then came the .COM bust and the 911 nightmare. Our leaders decided that all aircraft were grounded for what seemed like an eternity; and long after that, ‘special’ facilities like San Francisco were on security alert for months. This made access to my customers prohibitively expensive. Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY! After these events, there went my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.

By this time, I’m thinking that it might be good for a change. Bye to California, I’ll try Austin for a while. So I moved, only to find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done. I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work. The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages… and this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.

To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and retirement, the last of which was a small IRA. This came in a year with mammoth expenses and not a single dollar of income. I filed no return that year thinking that because I didn’t have any income there was no need. The sleazy government decided that they disagreed. But they didn’t notify me in time for me to launch a legal objection so when I attempted to get a protest filed with the court I was told I was no longer entitled to due process because the time to file ran out. Bend over for another $10,000 helping of justice.

So now we come to the present. After my experience with the CPA world, following the business crash I swore that I’d never enter another accountant’s office again. But here I am with a new marriage and a boatload of undocumented income, not to mention an expensive new business asset, a piano, which I had no idea how to handle. After considerable thought I decided that it would be irresponsible NOT to get professional help; a very big mistake.

When we received the forms back I was very optimistic that they were in order. I had taken all of the years information to Bill Ross, and he came back with results very similar to what I was expecting. Except that he had neglected to include the contents of Sheryl’s unreported income; $12,700 worth of it. To make matters worse, Ross knew all along this was missing and I didn’t have a clue until he pointed it out in the middle of the audit. By that time it had become brutally evident that he was representing himself and not me.

This left me stuck in the middle of this disaster trying to defend transactions that have no relationship to anything tax-related (at least the tax-related transactions were poorly documented). Things I never knew anything about and things my wife had no clue would ever matter to anyone. The end result is… well, just look around.

I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”. Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.

As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone. The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government. Nothing changes unless there is a body count (unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough). In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.

I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010

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25 August

A Beginners Guide To Lace Front Wigs

A Beginners Guide to Lace Front Wigs

by

Angello Everton

Lace front wigs are a great boon to those who have had hair loss due to medical conditions like cancer or alopecia. What s special about this wig is that no one would be able to recognize that it is a wig. It s made of what s known as Remy hair and styled differently to suit the needs of different people. This is one of the main reasons it s causing a stir among celebrities. Although highly recommended for hair loss due to medical condition, any one with the desire to flaunt fabulous hair could invest in a lace front wig. Here is some important information regarding these wigs that you should learn before buying them.

When you consider the cost of lace front wigs, its not too expensive compared to hair extensions done in parlors. These are handmade wigs which are designed and made with care. The best place to buy a lace front wig for a discounted price is the internet. Online shops offer authentic lace wigs with no mix of synthetic lace wigs. If you are looking for variety, do order all the styles you require at once for additional discount. Compare the prices offered by several online stores before deciding which ones cheaper and best.

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Attaching lace front wigs could seem like a difficult job but once learnt it s not really tough to follow. Some people prefer getting them attached with the help of specialists in hairstyles. While this is a good idea, you could also do it by yourself if you are tight on budget. You could either use a tape adhesive or a liquid adhesive while attaching a lace front wig. Before applying, it s necessary to make sure that the portion of the head where the lace is going to attached is clean and does not have hair oil. Once it is attached, you could make use of a scalp protector spray to avoid any harm to the skin.

Removing lace front wigs is easier compared to attaching them. All you need to do is apply a solvent for the adhesive on the lace portion of the wig. Otherwise, you could also make use of isopropyl alcohol to take off the lace front wig. Wait for a while after application. Now, gently take off the wig. It s important to clean the wig once you remove it from your head. This is to be done every time before wearing it on again.

The final aspect of lace front wigs to be learnt is the maintenance. If you wish to use your lace front wig for years together, this step is crucial. Washing the wig once in a week is a must. If you are running short on money, you could then wash it once in a fortnight. Since these wigs are made of human hair, you could normal hair products like shampoo, spray and conditioner. If you are investing in a special wig care product, read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you the product is safe for the wig you own.

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Article Source:

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19 August

Telstra becomes the first in the world to switch to HSPA+ wireless Internet technology

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On Monday, Australian telecommunications company Telstra has introduced dual carrier HSPA+ standard for broadband Internet business customers in the Next G network. This is the first time this technology is being introduced on national scale. The bandwidths the users can deploy increased into two to three times, with Telstra becoming the world’s fastest national mobile broadband service. The switch started with enabling the service for premium users. After some feedback, Telstra may expand the plan.

The higher speeds for wireless are intended to simplify and ease multitasking of users.

John Paitaridis, Telstra’s executive director, network products and services in Enterprise & Government, said “One of the reasons we decided to launch first to Enterprise And Government and Business customers is that clients are saying that their ability to access applications quicker makes a difference to their business and when they start to equate time savings and doing calculations around productivity it does become a return on investment.”

Telstra Business Group Managing Director Deena Shiff also stated that the efforts aren’t as sudden as it might seem, having feedback of many users as the base.

Australians are telling us they can’t afford to be tied to the desk all day and these new speeds mean they can now access mobile broadband at speeds typically reserved for the office. We have been deploying the high-speed capability in the network since December 2009 and now, with the launch of the new Ultimate USB Modem, these new speeds are available to customers across all capital city CBDs and associated airports, selected metropolitan areas and in more than 100 regional locations. These high-speed zones cover approximately 50 per cent of the Australian population and match the areas of highest customer demand and will make the frustration of waiting around for files to download a thing of the past. In other metropolitan and regional areas, the Telstra Ultimate USB Modem offers typical download speeds ranging from 550kbps up to 8Mbps… Our customers have told us that they want higher speed mobile broadband so they can work more flexibly outside of the office and we are delighted to be the first in the world to offer these new blistering speeds on a national network. The new Telstra Ultimate USB Modem provides customers with the speeds needed to handle large files, multi-task and update cloud-hosted applications effortlessly on the go when they are in a coverage area.

Previous modems were able to reach peak speed 21Mbps, with real life speeds ranging from 0.5Mbps to 8 Mbps. The theoretically expected maximum of the new technology is 42Mbps with user speeds varying between 1.1 and 20 Mbps. The new speed is twice as fast. This is caused by that the dual-carrier “Evolved High-Speed Packet Access” technology allows networks to send and receive wireless data using two channels simultaneously. This technology can be deployed on Next G networks. Telstra switched to them in February, thus making the switch to HSPA possible now.

Telstra delayed the implementation of the new technology until elections end. This decision was intended to avoid wrong interpretation of them by Coalition. Coalition’s claims include that wireless networks can be an alternative to the Labor party “fibre-to-the-home” proposal to introduce more expensive wired Internet. The announcement of the new technology, initially planned on August 25, was delayed, with Telstra spokesman Craig Middleton explaining, “We just didn’t want to feel like we were influencing the [telecommunications] debate.”

The political parties have different plans on development and funds on the Internet. The Labor party aims to spend AUD 43 billion to bring 1 Gbps wired Internet nationwide, and the Coalition plans to spend AUD 6 billion to introduce a variety of improvements including upgrade of existing copper Internet as well as expansion of wireless Internet to support 12Mbps. Opposition leader Tony Abbott has said in the past that Australians shouldn’t assume wireless technologies won’t ever be comparable to fixed-line technology. Telstra’s upgrade shows that wireless broadband is reaching the 100 Mbps minimum speeds promised by Labor’s national broadband network.

Telstra has only 2000 devices which support the new technology. This is why the opportunity to try it out is being given only to the Business plan customers, and they receive it for the same price as they were paying for the previous NextG plan. Since October 5, the device will be available for sale, with the Business customers able to buy it with 75% discount and a prepaid data allowance. The upgrade is expected to cover roughly 50% of the population. This is happening at the same time as one of Telstra’s competitors Vodafone is doubling data download quotas on mobile cap plans.

As some testing showed, real life download speeds reached only about the half of the maximum. Telstra executive director of wireless Mike Wright explained that the predicted figures were the estimates, with real life speeds lower due to interfering environmental conditions: “It’s possible to achieve better than the typical user speed claims, but those claims occur in the ideal network environment with good signal quality. When you’re out on the streets you get a lot of variation where the network is subject to signal quality, your location and the network load.”

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15 August

Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/OH-WY

See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list and for an alphabetically arranged listing of schools.

Due to the damage by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, a number of colleges and universities in the New Orleans metropolitan area will not be able to hold classes for the fall 2005 semester. It is estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 students have been displaced. [1]. In response, institutions across the United States and Canada are offering late registration for displaced students so that their academic progress is not unduly delayed. Some are offering free or reduced admission to displaced students. At some universities, especially state universities, this offer is limited to residents of the area.

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7 August

Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellen while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother’s amorous pursuit.

The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950’s America and that White’s work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White’s enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.

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5 August

Why Look At Booking A Table In Restaurants Nottingham

Why Look At Booking A Table In Restaurants Nottingham

by

Richard Johal

Being one of the center points of the UK, Nottingham has long been a massive draw for people all over the country, offering the kind of nightlife that you could only dream of as well has having a fantastic blend of historic attractions and modern facilities, where one minute you could be learning about Robin Hood and the next shopping at a well known high street store.

If you are looking for a night out in Nottingham then you should really consider starting the night by booking a table in restaurants Nottingham, because not only will you have a huge selection when it comes to choice, but you can also guarantee that no matter what your tastes are, there will be a restaurant to suit your requirements.

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When you are going out for something to eat and there is a group of you, it can be really difficult to make sure that every need is catered for. This can make going for a specific type of food, like Chinese or Indian really difficult, because if you or someone in the group or family does not like this type of food, then you are going to be in trouble.

When you go out for something to eat in somewhere like Nottingham, there is so much choice that you should be able to find a restaurant that does a wide range of foods, has a decent menu and will also be able to seat a group no matter what size it is. Catering for going out as a group can be a challenge, but when you choose somewhere like Nottingham, then you can rest assured that you will be able to find something that will be ok for everyone.

When it comes to eating out in Nottingham, because you have so much choice you can often get away without booking that far in advance, fantastic if you are not sure on the numbers or you have a few members of the group causing you indecisive issues. However, if you are planning to go somewhere that is very popular then you really should look at booking as soon as you can, because some restaurants have waiting lists that you simply might not believe.

So, now that you know Nottingham can pretty much meet the requirements of even the most fussy eater, maybe it is time to book your trip and sample one of the best nights out you will ever enjoy!

Richard Johal is an author of this article. To know more about

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, please visit http://grillat25.co.uk/

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ArticleRich.com

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4 August

Official death toll from Nigerian refugee camp airstrike passes 100

Thursday, January 26, 2017

On Monday Nigerian authorities raised the official death toll from January 17’s airstrike upon a refugee camp to 236, though the BBC on Tuesday reported an official told them this was an error and the actual figure was 115. The military said at the time a jet mistook refugees for rebels.

There are no words to describe the chaos […] I saw the bodies of children that had been cut in two.

The new toll updates previous estimates, which at the time of the incident were of at least 50 dead. The BBC on Tuesday reported an official told them the figure of 236 was erroneously reached by combining the numbers of dead and wounded. The camp in Rann, Borno State is home to thousands and lies near the northeastern border with Cameroon.

Home to those displaced by Boko Haram insurgents, the camp is in an area suffering famine. Farmers are unable to work owing to bombs on their land. The Red Cross was there to distribute food when the attack happened. Twenty Nigerian Red Cross workers were injured or killed. Médecins Sans Frontières are treating the majority of the wounded in makeshift tents in Rann, which lacks hospital facilities. A small number have been evacuated to Maiduguri.

Military officials said at the time the Air Force had been dispatched to Rann after reports of “remnants” of Boko Haram in the area. The military claims it is in a “final push” against the rebel group. A promised investigation has materialised in the form of a panel of Air Force officials, with orders to complete the probe by the end of next week.

Human Rights Watch have called for compensation for victims. They say the military is not absolved of liability and suggest the camp’s tents were obvious. Eyewitnesses say the aircraft circled twice, dropping multiple bombs, which appears corroborated by satellite imagery. President Muhammadu Buhari called it a “regrettable operational mistake” and has since departed for a holiday in London.

Journalists are barred from the military-controlled camp. Officials claim all the dead in Rann have been buried, and two more died in hospital in Maiduguri. Most of those killed were women and children. Soldiers were also amongst those killed. Eyewitnesses claim two days after the disaster in excess of 100 Boko Haram militants attacked the camp, fighting with soldiers for hours.

MSF field co-ordinator Alfred Davies said, “There are no words to describe the chaos[…] I saw the bodies of children that had been cut in two.” MSF have called for “a transparent account” with the organisation’s general director complaining refugees “were bombed by those who were meant to safeguard them”. Some humanitarian groups have suggested the incident constitutes a war crime even as an accident, and Human Rights Watch is urging an independent probe. They say 35 structures were destroyed at two separate locations within the camp.

“We saw dozens of patients with multiple traumatic injuries, including open fractures and wounds to the abdomen and chest,” said MSF doctor Mohammed Musoke. He described wounded children, including a crying baby with shrapnel in its neck and “a 10-year-old boy with a large, deep flesh wound to his thigh. The flesh was hanging loose on one side and you could see through to the bone.”

Survivor Baba, 37, a refugee, said military aircraft were not an uncommon sight but the attacking jet behaved abnormally. “The plane flew back and forth, and we knew something was wrong before the bombing happened.” His remarks were released by MSF.

Prior to the attacks camp residents had been starving, some dying from malnutrition. War and substandard infrastructure left Rann isolated, and the attack came as the Red Cross were about to distribute food they had just arrived with. The Red Cross say they have five weeks’ worth of food.

The International NGO Safety Organisation claims 2016 saw in excess of 90 aid workers killed worldwide, with 154 injured.

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3 August