Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

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

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

Does Mari Winsor Pilates Really Worth The Hype?

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By Christopher Smith

If you take a look at a Pilates forum, you’ll very quickly come across a few that are totally dedicated to Windsor Pilates. The most sweeping question: does it work? Of course, like most questions, depending on who you ask, you’ll get diverse answers. Some know its one of the most adequate workouts available, while others feels its a complete waste of time.

So who do you believe?

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Kind words spoken in favor of Windsor Pilates contain statements that claimed a slimmer, sculpted body as a result of Mari Winsor Pilates and others advertise that you only need 60 minutes a week with this form of exercise in order to have the slimmer, firmer body while even more call Pilates a low-intensity powerhouse of a workout. The only way to be absolutely sure of whether or not Windsor Pilates is right for you is to try it out and see. You can always check with your local library and see if they have one of the DVDs before spending the cash to try it out. If you conclude you like it, then be sure to spend money on your own DVD. No matter how much you love it or abominate it, the library will want their copy back, I promise.

Pilates has been around for more than seventy years and several of Hollywood’s finest celebrities tout the veracity of all claims that this is truly one of the best low-intensity body shaping workouts that money can buy. This, by many has been enough to give this workout a try. While some love it, there are obviously those it doesn’t work magic for and then there are those who bought it and never bothered to take it out of the DVD case (it certainly didn’t work for them). Students who study Mari Winsor Pilates often claim to feel restrored and energized after a workout rather than feeling drowsy and drained as they invariably do with different workout methods.

Others feel that Pilates is not an a satisfactory form of working out to meet their needs. No one exercise is going to be right for everyone. That being said, there are many that feel it is a great exercise plan, but not necessarily a weight loss plan. As a result I recommend that you never use diet or exercise alone as part of a weight loss plan, but a combination of the two. Of course you should always consult with your doctor before beginning any major weight loss regimen. To answer the question: Does Mari Winsor Pilates really work? That answer is one that only you can answer for yourself. I can, however, tell you that nothing works unless you try.

About the Author: Does Windsor Pilates really work? Visit actionpilates.com and find out.

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Blues musician B.B. King dies aged 89

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Friday, May 15, 2015

B.B. King, legendary blues guitarist well known for tracks such as “Rock Me Baby”, “My Lucille”, and “The Thrill Is Gone”, died in his Las Vegas home yesterday at the age of 89.

Attorney Brent Bryson said King died in his sleep.

A 15-time Grammy winner, with over 50 albums released, King played live for nearly 70 years. He had reportedly collapsed at a Chicago performance back in October, and blamed dehydration and exhaustion for the incident. King recently was under hospice care at home, after being treated for diabetes and high blood pressure in hospital. The last public statement B.B King made, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, was early this month. He said, “I am in hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas. Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.”

Known for playing the blues on his Gibson guitar called Lucille, B.B King was admired by many musicians, including Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Rush. The Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both inducted him in the 1980s; and the Songwriters Hall of Fame recognized him with a lifetime achievement award in 1990. King also collaborated with other music artists and bands. In 1989 he played with U2 on their track “When Love Comes to Town”, and in the millennium, worked with Eric Clapton on “Riding with the King”; which received a Grammy that same year.

Riley B King, who would eventually be called the King of Blues, grew up in Mississippi where he lived on a plantation as a sharecropper. He found success in the 50’s with hit track “Three O’Clock Blues”, and was well-known for not singing and playing guitar at the same time; a call and response between his vocals and his Lucille.

With the news of his death, many musicians payed their respects through Twitter. Guitarist Richie Sambora wrote, “My friend and legend BB King passed. I’m so so sad, he was so great to me. We’ve lost the King. My love and prayers to his family.” The Beatles’ Ringo Starr also wrote, “God bless BB King, peace and love to his family”.

Sales of Jackson songs and memorabilia rise after his death

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

The death of Michael Jackson on Thursday has caused retail demand for his songs and for memorabilia to increase.

Yesterday, the top nine selling items at Apple’s iTunes Store were albums by Jackson, with first and second being a “hits” album and the 1982 album Thriller.

Amazon.com similarly reported selling more Jackson merchandise in the 24 hours following his death than it had sold in the preceding 11 years, and that sales of Jackson CDs accounted for 60% of its total business on Thursday. Yesterday morning the top seller in the album chart for Amazon’s U.K. division was Off the Wall, followed by Bad and Thriller in second and third places, respectively.

Many stores, including Graywhale CD Exchange in Salt Lake City, several record stores in Danville, Virginia, and many retailers in New Zealand, have all reported selling out of Jackson’s CDs and DVDs. The flagship store of Tower Records Japan, in Shinjuku, sold out of several of Jackson’s DVDs and ran low on several other items including CDs. The Danville Register Bee recommended to its readers that if they had record players they should investigate antique and charity shops, after one antique shop reported discovering three Jackson Five vinyl albums in its basement.

The effect of the increase in sales had an effect on stock prices. Midday yesterday, Apple shares rose around 2%, Amazon shares rose around 1.3%, and eBay shares rose by 0.64%. Stock market analysts predict that this will be a short-term effect, however. Scott Fullman, an investment strategist at WJB Capital Group in New York, stated “This is going to be one of these events that will have an immediate impact and then wane out in a week or two.”.

In Las Vegas, 21 items of Jackson memorabilia, including handwritten lyrics for Jackson’s song “Bad” and the shirt that Jackson wore on his Victory Tour in 1984, sold at auction yesterday at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino for a total of USD$205,000, with the shirt, at USD$52,500 the most expensive individual item.

eBay has reported an increase in individuals auctioning Jackson memorabilia. These range from records to a Fedora hat signed by Jackson.

Also for sale on eBay and elsewhere are tickets to the This Is It concerts, at the O2 arena, where Jackson had been scheduled to perform. Ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster, Seatwave, and AEG Live have announced that they will be refunding concert tickets. But under standard contract law such refunds only apply to the original purchasor of the ticket, who dealt with the ticket companies directly. Anyone buying a ticket on eBay only has recourse against the seller on eBay that they bought from, and even then only if it was explicitly stated in the terms and conditions of the particular eBay sale that a refund was available.

At the 2009 Glastonbury Festival, stalls have been selling commemorative T-shirts to Festival attendees, with various different slogans including “Michael Jackson R.I.P 1958–2009” and “I was at Glasto 09 when Jacko died”. T-shirt vendors also appeared outside of the UCLA Medical Center where paramedics took Jackson, proferring for USD$10 T-shirts with the slogan “in loving memory of Michael Jackson” and a silhouette of Jackson, although they had few takers.

In Union Square in New York, one street artist was selling hand-made buttons that have pictures of Jackson’s album covers on them. In Times Square, another T-shirt vendor was selling T-shirts printed with copies of the front page of USA Today that reported Jackson’s death.

One observer, Allison Southwick (a Better Business Bureau spokeswoman), commented “I’m honestly expecting to see a Web site pop up by the end of the day selling Michael Jackson commemorative plates.” Whilst such commemorative plates have yet to appear, collectors have been offering commemorative stamps of Jackson for sale on eBay and elsewhere. Several commemorative stamps of Jackson already exist. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines issued $5, $2, $1, and 60¢ Michael Jackson stamps in 1985, as part of its Leaders Of The World series. Tanzania issued a 350s stamp, part of a Famous Black Entertainers set, in 1990. Guinea issued a 500f stamp in 1991. St Vincent issued another $2 Jackson stamp in 1991, as part of Famous Entertainers series. And Grenada issued a 60¢ Jackson stamp, part of its Gold Record Winners series in 1992.

Gore Vidal once remarked of the death of rival Truman Capote that it was a “good career move”. The death of an artist does serve to increase the popularity of their works. People have speculated whether this will be a temporary or a permanent thing for Jackson.

Jim Lentz, who is the Chief Operating Officer of American Royal Arts (a memorabilia dealership in Boca Raton), asked “Is he Elvis or Marilyn Monroe, or is he Mike Tyson?”.

Elvis Presley died at 42, officially of heart failure. Stores sold out of his records and souveniers within hours of the news of his death. In the 20 years following his death, RCA Records sold approximately 400 million of his recordings.

In the days and weeks immediately following Presley’s death, RCA had to sub-contract pressing to other companies, as it was unable by itself to keep up with demand. Sony Corporation announced yesterday that it had received “unprecedented” levels of orders for CDs of Jackson’s music, and was considering boosting production. It had received 150,000 orders for CDs at its music unit in Tokyo. “The amount is unprecedented for one day and we think we need to consider increasing the production of CDs that we plan to sell from July.” said a spokesman for the company. Amazon has been informing customers buying Jackson CDs that they might have to wait between 1 and 3 weeks for their orders to be shipped.

Baby dies after being found abandoned behind shop in Gwent, Wales

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

According to an announcement from Gwent Police, a baby boy has died after being found abandoned behind a convenience store in Gwent, Wales. The boy, who has not yet been identified, was found behind a Spar convenience store in the town of Cwmcarn at 1815 GMT on Tuesday. The baby was found to be wrapped in a towel which was in a plastic shopping bag. Bystanders who were walking past the scene mistakenly believed that the bag had been unintentionally left there by a person who had visited the gym that is located next to the store.

A 14-year-old boy, who is the son of the man who owns the convenience store, then examinied the bag and discovered the baby. He made a phone call to the emergency services, however, when the baby was taken to Royal Gwent Hospital, it was pronounced dead on arrival. The baby was younger than one day old at the time of his death. A post-mortem examination proved to be indeterminate. Gwent Police have now launched an investigation to try and determine the identity of the baby’s mother.

Gursewak Singh, the father of the person who discovered the baby and the owner of the shop, explained: “We asked friends and colleagues what the bag was doing there, but it didn’t belong to anyone. A boy who works with us said it was just a towel in there and he didn’t open it. In the evening I went out to it and opened it, only saw a towel on top and didn’t look thoroughly. I just thought it was clothes underneath and didn’t want to root through them. I picked it up and hanged it on the gatepost so someone walking by might see it and recognise it as theirs. At about six o’clock there was a power cut and my 14-year-old son went out and picked up the bag and opened it and saw a little head in there. He called his uncle and said: ‘It’s not clothes, come and look’. They came over and saw the baby in there.” Singh commented that this incident “was shocking. We were all devastated. I wish we had checked earlier. If we had gone through the bag we could have made a difference. I’m worried what sort of condition the person who left the bag is in. We are so concerned about her. Other people saw the bag, but nobody thought about it. There could be a baby still alive. I wish we had checked straight away.”

Gwent Police member Superintendent John Burley stated about this case: “We are extremely concerned about the health and wellbeing of the mother of the baby and are appealing for her to come forward to receive any medical treatment she may require. This is a tragic incident which will sadden the local community and our priority at the moment is finding the mother of the baby. I would appeal to anyone who may have been in the vicinity of the Spar store on Thursday morning or afternoon who may be able to offer any information to assist our inquiry.”

News briefs:July 14, 2010

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US Senator Rand Paul blocks synthetic marijuana legislation

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is the lone holdout preventing a vote on synthetic marijuana legislation in the US Senate through a procedural block that is allowed under the rules. Until Paul lifts his block, the Senate will not be able to act on legislation that has already passed the US House of Representatives last December. Wikinews has investigated the block on the legislation.

Synthetic marijuana can be sold over the counter in some places and it is commonly known by brand names, such as “K2” or “Spice”. Other types of synthetic “designer” drugs, like “bath salts”, belong to a class of substances that are in some cases legal, though they create a health hazard, because they are declared not meant for human consumption.

At issue in the legislation is the amount of chemical substances banned, the criminalization of substances, the authority of the federal versus the state government to makes those decisions, the extent to which the product is a threat or hazard to public health and safety, and the effect such a law would have on the research of these substances. All of these issues were debated in the House. Paul has made an issue of the long prison sentences for marijuana. His critics claim he is going too far by blocking legislation. Paul, a Republican who has libertarian leanings, has argued that the states should have the authority to ban drugs.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states have a ban on both synthetic cannabinoids and substituted cathinones while 39 states have a ban on synthetic cannabinoids. Rand’s home state of Kentucky bans both. But legislation is not a perfect solution; in Cass County, Michigan, four teenagers between the ages of 13 and 14 had an emergency after using synthetic marijuana, but even though Michigan bans both, police are not sure that the substances are illegal. Chemists have to conduct tests on the products.

Although Paul is framing the issue as a legal one, the medical community has turned its attention to this new phenomenon’s impact on public health and safety. In an article that appeared in the March 2012 issue of Pediatriacs, medical researchers led by Dr. Joanna Cohen analyzed the cases of three teens who were hospitalized and treated as emergencies after an incident of synthetic marijuana use. One 16-year-old girl lost her motor skills and was unresponsive yet she had an exceptionally high heart rate and abnormal blood pressure. An 18-year-old boy was extremely sweaty, had a high heart rate and was agitated. And a 16-year-old boy had a speech dysfunction, as well as symptoms of agitation and confusion. The doctors who wrote the study say people are using this product because they believe it can give them a high similar to marijuana, however, the new drug can bring on both psychological symptoms, like psychosis and paranoia, and physical ones, such as convulsions.

One out of every nine high school students has reported use of synthetic marijuana, according to Monitoring the Future released in December 2011. The annual survey can be used to spot new trends in substance use among youth and the report included synthetic marijuana for the first time in 2011.

Poison centers noticed a sharp increase in calls reporting incidents due to synthetic marijuana. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2010 centers nationwide took 2,906 calls for synthetic marijuana cases, but by 2011, they took 6,959 calls. The problem is noticeable to local health officials, like in Syracuse, New York, which is Senator Chuck Schumer’s state, where 120 cases were reported and one health professional called it “a significant public health concern.” New York has a ban on substituted cathinones but not synthetic canabanoids, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Although the US Drug Enforcement Agency placed five substances that fall under synthetic marijuana into Schedule I on March 1, 2011, its emergency powers only last one and a half years and its ban has not stopped other substances from being used instead. Schedule I is a running list of banned chemicals.

… let us move forward with a vote

Three of Paul’s Senate senior colleagues say Paul should drop his block. Senators Chuck Grassley, Chuck Schumer, and Amy Klobuchar are sponsoring bipartisan legislation that aims to ban synthetic marijuana as a serious health threat. The legislation is bipartisan as Grassley is a Republican , while both Schumer and Klobuchar are Democrats. Senator Schumer, in an editorial for the New York Daily News, advocated tackling synthetic marijuana at the national level rather than at the state. Schumer’s argument is that states have tried to ban the ingredients commonly found these products but the manufacturers have the flexibility to alter the ingredients to bypass the law. Schumer said the federal government needs a proactive rather than a reactive stance against drugs. “All we need is one senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, to release his block on this legislation,” wrote Schumer. “We’re urging him to do the right thing, and let us move forward with a vote.”

Before the Senate took up the issue, similar legislation had already passed in the House. The House voted 317–98 in favor of the Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011 on December 8, 2011. Pennsylvania Congressperson Charles Dent sponsored the legislation that would add ingredients found in synthetic marijuana to Schedule I. Dent’s legislation included chemicals that are not even found in the United States at this time, but he argues that synthetic marijuana is too great of a public health threat to dismiss.

Standing in opposition to the legislation, Virginia Congressperson Bobby Scott and several fellow Democrats argued Dent’s legislation was bypassing a process for the banning of drugs that was already in place and established. Scott also argued some of the substances banned by the legislation were not even present in the United States but so far only in Europe. His colleagues argued researchers would lose the ability to conduct research freely on these substances and, as Scott noted, the legislation was seeking to ban substances but without any research to back it up.

Grassley’s legislation is named for David Rozga, an Iowan who committed suicide after using synthetic marijuana. In his speech, before the Senate, Grassley said Rozga’s situation inspired him to put forward the legislation.

For some families, the issue has also become an emotional one, as they have lost a loved one. Karen Dobner, a mother from Aurora, Illinois, is blaming Senator Paul for any deaths that may still occur because he is holding up a legislative solution to a problem that she says killed her own son. When her son Max was in college, he tried a synthetic marijuana product and had a panic attack. Dobner believes the car crash that killed her son would not have happened had he not been experiencing the symptoms of the designer drug. Now Dobner keeps calling Paul’s office begging him to stop his hold.

Senator Paul’s office was contacted by both phone and email about this report but it did not respond.

A Great Tip For Rock And Blues Guitar Improvisation

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A Great Tip For Rock and Blues Guitar Improvisation

by

bluejamsession

Have you ever wanted to go to a music store and get a book that had the best information on how to play guitar, explained in ways that were easy to understand and made sense, and not know which book to buy? Ever go out and get that book, only to discover that it had a bunch of information that you didn t need and didn t make a good deal of sense after all? Ever wonder whether the get chops quick guitar methods so prevalent on the Internet today are really ripoffs? Well, no need for further frustration, help is here.

I ve been playing guitar for quite some time and understand these situations because I ve been there. I used to wonder how the great rock and jazz guitarists learned what they learned in order to play the way they play. I was curious to know: What was their secret? What is the key that unlocked all that great playing and all that musicianship, and what is the easiest and most painless way for me to begin to approach that level? It is my goal in this article to begin to provide answers to these questions. That way, you won t have to navigate the same musical maze that I did. These answers should, in effect, help make your musical experience that much more enjoyable. Incidentally, in spite of all the struggles, I still play music fervently and haven t quit playing even when it became difficult, a testimony to the power of music.

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As many of you have, I ve gone into music stores and on the Web looking for the best and most helpful books and methods to buy for the musical arenas I wanted to pursue. This is important of course because these books and methods are expensive (especially these days) and a budding guitar player shouldn t have to go out and buy every book on guitar that s out there. I ve also noticed that there are quite a few guitar books that start off by throwing tons of scales at the student without ever even explaining clearly why all these scales need to be learned in the first place, or worse, how the scales should be used or which chords to play the scales over and why the scales sound good over a particular chord or series of chord changes (as opposed to sounding terrible). In contrast, we ll begin the subject of learning to improvise lead guitar for rock and blues (while including concepts applicable to all guitar styles) with a very simple approach

Step 1: Learning The Names of The Individual Notes On The Fretboard

This is vital because in the art of improvisation, one has to know where one is on the fretboard at all times, regardless of what type of music is being played or improvised. Without knowing all the notes on the fretboard, it becomes easy to get lost and fall behind on the tune (while the chord changes the other musicians in the band are playing just roll on by). The natural shortcut, or the easy way out, is to only learn some of the notes on the fretboard. This approach will have at least two undesirable results: (A) the limited ability of only being able to improvise in certain keys (like A and E), and/or, (B) the limited ability of only being able to improvise on certain areas of the guitar neck. Jamming with other musicians and having these types of situations arise tends to lead to a good deal of embarrassment.

For beginners, there are three types of notes in music: Natural, Sharp, and Flat. So for example, the note G on the 6th string 3rd fret is also called G Natural. A note that is sharp is always one fret or one half-step higher; a note that is flat is always one fret or one half-step lower. Thus, G Sharp would be on the 6th string 4th fret; G Flat would be on the 6th string 2nd fret. Since A is the next natural note up from G, this means that G Sharp and A Flat are exactly the same note. This can be confusing at the start until an understanding of keys and key structure comes into focus later on.

I realize that the prospect of having to learn every note on the guitar neck can cause feelings of dread and uneasiness; indeed, it may take some time to accomplish this task. Learning the notes on the guitar academically is one thing, but getting that knowledge to work instantaneously under your fingers while improvising is something else. Easy and instinctive methods of learning the notes on guitar do exist, however. One method to begin with is to learn the basic open string chords common in every chord book (like A Major, E Major, and D Major) and take these movable chord forms (often called bar chords ) up the guitar neck, simultaneously being conscious of the roots in those chord forms. Another helpful tip is to realize that any note played on the guitar twelve frets higher is going to have exactly the same name. So for example, the note on the 1st string 1st fret and the note on the 1st string 13th fret are both going to have the same name (in this case, the note F). Thus, all the guitarist has to do is to learn the notes of the open strings and the first eleven frets and then practice playing simple chords and note patterns in both the lower area (open to 11th fret) and the upper area (12th fret and above) of the guitar neck.

This simple approach outlined here is conceptually simple, but not easy. Good things sometimes take time. It takes a few more words and a bit more effort to explain concepts clearly. My hope is that the information in this article will help make your musical experience less mysterious and more enjoyable, and that the next time you go into a music store or on the Web looking for guitar books and methods, you ll know exactly what to look for.

Visit Blues Jam Session to download 60 blues backing tracks. To visit the official site, click the link below:

Bluejamssession.com

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Lobby groups oppose plans for EU copyright extension

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The European Commission currently has proposals on the table to extend performers’ copyright terms. Described by Professor Martin Kretschmer as the “Beatles Extension Act”, the proposed measure would extend copyright from 50 to 95 years after recording. A vast number of classical tracks are at stake; the copyright on recordings from the fifties and early sixties is nearing its expiration date, after which it would normally enter the public domain or become ‘public property’. E.U. Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy is proposing this extension, and if the other relevant Directorate Generales (Information Society, Consumers, Culture, Trade, Competition, etc.) agree with the proposal, it will be sent to the European Parliament.

Wikinews contacted Erik Josefsson, European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (E.F.F.), who invited us to Brussels, the heart of E.U. policy making, to discuss this new proposal and its implications. Expecting an office interview, we arrived to discover that the event was a party and meetup conveniently coinciding with FOSDEM 2008 (the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting). The meetup was in a sprawling city centre apartment festooned with E.F.F. flags and looked to be a party that would go on into the early hours of the morning with copious food and drink on tap. As more people showed up for the event it turned out that it was a truly international crowd, with guests from all over Europe.

Eddan Katz, the new International Affairs Director of the E.F.F., had come over from the U.S. to connect to the European E.F.F. network, and he gladly took part in our interview. Eddan Katz explained that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is “A non-profit organisation working to protect civil liberties and freedoms online. The E.F.F. has fought for information privacy rights online, in relation to both the government and companies who, with insufficient transparency, collect, aggregate and make abuse of information about individuals.” Another major focus of their advocacy is intellectual property, said Eddan: “The E.F.F. represents what would be the public interest, those parts of society that don’t have a concentration of power, that the private interests do have in terms of lobbying.”

Becky Hogge, Executive Director of the U.K.’s Open Rights Group (O.R.G.), joined our discussion as well. “The goals of the Open Rights Group are very simple: we speak up whenever we see civil, consumer or human rights being affected by the poor implementation or the poor regulation of new technologies,” Becky summarised. “In that sense, people call us -I mean the E.F.F. has been around, in internet years, since the beginning of time- but the Open Rights Group is often called the British E.F.F.

Contents

  • 1 The interview
    • 1.1 Cliff Richard’s pension
    • 1.2 Perpetual patents?
    • 1.3 The fight moves from the U.K. to Europe
    • 1.4 Reclaiming democratic processes in the E.U.
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links

Existing US home sales fall 9.6% in February

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell 9.6% in February, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said today, in a sign that the U.S. housing market is still depressed. The figure was worse than the 3.9% decline anticipated by the economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and questions whether the U.S. housing market is beginning to recover or will continue to fall.

We have an uneven, choppy recovery. Hopefully it is a recovery …

A combination of foreclosures and short sales, where the mortgage holder sells the house for less than owed on the mortgage, accounted for almost 40% of the sales.

Millions of foreclosures have forced down home prices and the number of foreclosures are predicted to rise this year. The inventory of existing homes listed for sale rose 3.5% at the end of February, a 8.6-month supply at the current sales rate. As more homes are listed in the spring, the inventory of houses for sale will probably increase. A five or six month inventory is usually considered a healthy balance between supply and demand.

According to Moody’s Analytics, another 3.6 million bank-owned homes and possible foreclosures will be added to the inventory by 2013, adding to the 6.7 million home foreclosures since 2006. Thus housing inventories will probably continue to remain high, delaying the point when prices stabilize. The median sales price in February fell 5.2%, down to a price level not seen since April 2002.

“We have an uneven, choppy recovery,” said NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Hopefully it is a recovery that is taking place.”