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  • 9 February 2023: Pakistan reverses block on Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia
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Partial Internet map, based on Opte Project data Image: User:Matt Britt.

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Internet regulation bill approved by Russian Parliament

Friday, May 2, 2014

Vladimir Putin – 2006

The Russian Parliament passed a new bill on Tuesday to restrict and regulate blogging and social media content, expected to be enforced in August. The bill comes following Russian actions in Ukraine and a Russian crackdown on domestic criticism.

Under the bill, bloggers with 3000 or more daily views will face a similar level of legal liability as media organisations. These bloggers will be required to register their identities with Russia’s consumer rights protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor; they may not spread extremist material or violate citizen privacy, and must undertake fact-checking to verify published content. Non-compliance risks content blocking and individual fines of 10,000–30,000 rubles (US$270–US$833), business fines of 50,000–300,000 rubles (US$1400–US$8300).

Social networking sites, blog hosts, and other “distributors of information on the internet” will also be required register with Rospotrebnadzor, and will be expected to store the data of popular users, and provide up to six months of user activity logs on request for possible use in government investigations. Non-compliance will net fines for private citizens of 3,000–5,000 rubles (US$83–US$140), officials 30,000–50,000 rubles (US$833–US$1,388), and businesses 300,000–500,000 rubles (US$8,330–US$13,888).

The bill has drawn criticism from human rights activists and the Russian technology sector, with some search engines and blogging platforms taking steps to protect users and circumvent the new regulations.

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UK drivers urged not to panic buy during delivery strikes

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Shell tanker truck Image: Nachoman-au.

British drivers have been urged not to panic buy fuel because of the 4-day walkout by delivery drivers working for companies delivering to Shell petrol stations. The 600 workers have walked out over pay disagreements, wanting an increase to their current pay of £36,500, however their union Unite turned down a last-minute offer of £41,500.

Hoyer UK, which employs tanker drivers for Shell, said, “We extended our offer to the very limits that our business could sustain.” However Unite said in a press release that, “this dispute could have been resolved if Shell had advanced a fraction of the billions of pounds in profit they make every month”, continuing to say, “one of the world’s richest companies is prepared to play Pontius Pilate and see the British public inconvenienced rather than settle this dispute for a sum smaller than the chairman’s pay increase last year”

Shell admitted that the walkout could leave some of its 1,000 forecourts without fuel, but the UK Petrol Industry Association, which represent oil refiners, said that forecourts would have around 4 days of supply, maintaining usual stocking levels. Shell also commented that the strike impact would be “significant”, as the company runs around 1 in 10 of all petrol stations in the UK.

Despite warnings, some filling stations found their supplies exhausted on Friday evening

British Business Secretary, John Hutton, said that “the strike, which will have a disproportionate effect on people in Britain, cannot be justified,” and urged both sides to resume negotiations in order to settle the dispute. “We have been working closely with industry to put in place detailed contingency plans to reduce as far as possible the disruption for the driving public,” he added. Unite’s press release also confirms that “provision has been made for fire, police and the emergency services.”

Tanker drivers on strike have set up picket lines at many of Shell’s UK refineries, including those in Stanlow, Avonmouth, Plymouth, Pembroke, Cardiff, Kingsbury, Basildon, Grangemouth, Aberdeen, Inverness, Jarrow and Luton Airport.

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Cabbage Soup Recipe Help To Lose Weight?

By Alan Bullington

The trick to the cabbage soup diet really is more than just a special cabbage soup recipe. There is a trick to the diet, but you can lose weight fast if you eat this way. Like most diets though, change your ways or the weight comes back. Read on for the trick to the diet and how it can help with long term weight loss.

Cabbage soup makes for a great filler and that’s what makes it central to the diet. Maybe that is one reason this diet has endured and still remains popular as it has been for many years. See, you can eat all the cabbage soup you want whenever you want for the week of the diet.

By providing this way to stay filled up you can avoid that caved in, starved feeling that can making a diet miserable torture. The plan provides specific instructions on what to eat and what to avoid for each of the seven days of the plan.


Each day you get to eat just certain foods but what you eat changes each day. That way it’s less likely that you get bored and just give up in disgust. Another plus is that there are no really exotic expensive foods to buy. Included are vegetables, fruits, meat and even milk, but no breads and sweets.

Therein lies the trick to the almost sure weight loss. Missing from the foods allowed are all sweets and breads as well as most fats. What you end up with is a calorie restricted diet that’s also low in fat as well. It’s a sure thing that most people lose weight eating like this.

Is this a great way to eat? It surely is not a long-term way to eat. A body needs more variety as well as more carbohydrates and more fats as well. But, after all, this is just a one week eating diet, not a suggested new lifestyle or anything. In fact as with most diets, this eating plan may well mean you gain weight after the diet ends rather than losing weight. As you probably realize most diets cause metabolism shifts which really cause dieters to slowly gain weight over time rather than losing weight. That means the diet should be part of some changes that must and should take place rather than just an isolated diet with questionable benefits.

As a relatively easy way to drop a few pounds, this could be a motivation as part of a more balanced long-term eating change. Weight loss above about a pound a week is usually not sustainable. But that’s so slow, it feels like progress is completely missing. That’s why a short burst of weight loss can be somewhat encouraging and then you can go right back to a more reasonable way to eat.

A good cabbage soup recipe not only tastes good, it can help you lose weight and move toward a more reasonable eating plan. There is no reason for cabbage soup to be dull and boring either. With some thought, soup recipes can be fun and very tasty.

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93-year-old Michigan man freezes to death after electric company limits his power usage

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Marvin Schur, a 93-year-old man from Bay City, Michigan has died after the electric company limited his electric use due to his failure to pay over US$1,000 in past-due payments.

Bay City Electric Light & Power installed a power-limiting device on his home on January 13. The device would limit the amount of power the resident uses and would essentially shut it off if that limit is reached, or if the resident fails to pay the outstanding bill within 10 days of installation. In order for the electricity to be turned back on, the limiter must be reset by pushing a button.

Bay City power says that a warning, indicating that the power was to be turned off and a limiter installed, had been placed on Schur’s front door. Despite that, the company says that they are now “looking at our website and possibly doing an automated phone message. We obviously need to get the word out.”

The autopsy performed on Schur’s body concluded that he had died “a slow, painful death” caused by hypothermia. Dr. Kanu Virani, who performed the autopsy, explained: “Hypothermia shuts the whole system down, slowly. It’s not easy to die from hypothermia without first realizing your fingers and toes feel like they’re burning.”

It was less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Centigrade) in Schur’s home when neighbors found Schur dead on January 17. Virani commented that it was his first time performing an autopsy on a body in which “the person froze to death indoors.”

“His furnace was not running – the insides of his windows were full of ice the morning we found him,” said George A. Pauwels Jr., who was with his wife when they found Schur’s body.

In Michigan it is illegal for a utility company to disconnect power to any home between November 1 and March 31 when a resident is over the age of 65. Limiters are also not supposed to be used during that time frame. However, municipally-owned electric utilities like the one in Bay City, are not regulated by the state. The Michigan state attorney general’s office has launched an investigation into the incident.

Residents around Schur’s home say he was hard of hearing, and the city states that the device’s function and operation were never explained to him. When word of the story got around, people from all over the United States began to call the city in anger.

“I’ve taken calls from Canada, Massachusetts, Texas, New York, Alabama – and that’s just the ones I can think of off the top of my head,” said Melody Roth of the city’s administrative office, who also added that people from all over are “calling all city departments, not just our office.”

Schur has no known children, and his wife had died several years prior to the incident.

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One dead in Michigan school shooting

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

H.H. Dow High School.

At least one person is seriously wounded and one dead after a 17 year-old male opened fire and shot his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Forsyth, 17, four times outside the Herbert Henry Dow High School located in Midland, Michigan before turning the gun on himself. The shooter was pronounced dead on the scene and according to Midland Police Chief, James St. Louis, the shooter died in the parking lot of the school while the girl is in a local hospital. She is said to be in stable but serious condition at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan.

Chief St. Louis says that the boy pulled out a gun and began to shoot the girl after the two had a conversation. He then shot himself. St. Louis also said that the mother of the girl, who had dropped her daughter off at school for the day, tried to stop the incident from happening by driving her car in between the girl and boy, but was not successful. The boy, whose name is not known, apparently had stored the gun inside his backpack.

According to Midland Deputy Chief, Bob Lane, the boy was not a student at the school and was not granted access into the school. Lane also stated that the boy then placed a phone call to Forsyth telling her to meet him outside the school just before 11:00 a.m. [EST].

The school hosts nearly 1,500 students. The school was in lockdown, but according to a statement on the school’s website, the lockdown was cancelled.

“This morning a shooting incident took place at Dow High outside the building near the cafeteria. A Code Red lock-down was issued, but has been lifted,” said the statement.

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New Zealand Reserve Bank phone hacker not convicted

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Gerasimos Macridis, 39-years-old, left the court room discharged without conviction after hacking into the New Zealand Reserve Bank’s phone system and then asking for money for his services after pointing out these security flaws to both the Reserve Bank and Telecom New Zealand in May, 2006, and offering to fix them. He had identified himself as a security consultant.

The New Zealand Police then raided his home and took his computer on 21 September. Macridis told police that he did not think it was illegal, but knew he was not authorised to access the phone systems. Telecom then took him to court.

Colin McGilicray, police prosecutor, said: “Macridis has a significant number of previous fraud convictions and it appeared he was trying to obtain money through virtue of his technical knowledge.”

Macridis, who represented himself, told the court that for 11-years he had worked as a casual security consultant and he had worked for Telecom, police and Department of Internal Affairs.

Macridis thought himself as an honest, law abiding citizen as his 1994 conviction had ‘turned his life around’.

Judge Ian Mill said this case was very unusual and also noted that Macridis ended his offending over 10-years ago.

Mill said: “Macridis used his talents to identify security risks and he had identified a grave risk to the Reserve Bank and its customers. Macridis provided a report of his findings, requested payment albeit without a contract and for his troubles was prosecuted. He did not pass the information on to others and did not use it for personal gain.”

“In my view his intentions were honourable,” Mill added.

Mill discharged him without conviction on the basis that a conviction would be out of proportion with his actions.

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China Toys Market By Segments, Companies, Forecast By 2026

China is one of the biggest toy markets in the world. Its possible growth has generated a considerable opportunity for domestic & international toy manufacturers. A substantial rise in the popularity of interactive and multi-functional toys has been observed among children, positively impacting the toys market. Due to the increase in consumer spending, there is an increasing demand for toys. Besides expanding metropolitan residents’ income levels and rising living standards, a shift is being witnessed from conventional toys to innovative electronic toys. According to Renub Research, the China Toys Market was US$ 48.305 Billion in 2020.

There are wide varieties of toys available in China’s market. Dolls and Stuffed Toys showed extraordinary growth in value terms in 2019, primarily driven by the huge success and rapid rise of blind collectables. There has been an increase in demand for construction Sets & Models with schools closed during the lockdown. That was seen as an excellent way to entertain children for a more extended period.

The video game industry has developed a regular revenue model over the past few years due to the continuous emergence of video games. As technology advances, consumer spending on video content, virtual reality products, and video game tournaments have witnessed significant growth. As per this research study, the Toy market in China is expected to be US$ 61.275 Billion industry by 2026.

The main sales channels for toys include Online, Chain Stores, supermarkets & hypermarkets. Currently, speciality stores have been expanding and have a significant toy buying channel for parents & speciality toy chain stores represent the largest distribution channel as these stores have well-established networks and offer a wide range of products. In this COVID-19 lockdown, the online industry has shown good growth. Our research says that China Toy Market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 4.04% from 2020 to 2026.

Factors to Drive China Toy Industry

China abandoned its one-child-policy to allow families to have an additional child. During China’s 13th Five-year Plan period, a two-child policy was announced in October 2015. This policy targets 90 million women of reproductive age who already had at least one child. Due to this policy’s effect in the 18 months, there were 5.4 million additional births. Besides, China always had a healthy growth rate of its disposable income. For the first time in 2019, China’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) has exceeded USD 10,000. So the future of the toy industry is bright in China.

China Toy Companies

Key companies are focusing on introducing new products in the market to serve the consumers’ interests. New product engagement is the most preferred strategy in the Chinese market. The key players were embarking on mergers and acquisitions as essential plans to achieve consolidation and optimize their offerings. Some of the keen players included in the market studied are Mattel Inc. & Hasbro Inc, Lego Inc, Vtech.

Renub Research latest report titled China Toys Market by Segments (Dolls & Stuffed Toys, Construction Sets & Models, Cards Games, Puzzles, Toys for Toddlers & Kids, Plastic & Others Toys, Video Games-Consoles), Sales Channel (Department Stores, Super / Hyper Market, Online, Baby Products / Toys Shop, Chain Stores), Company (Mattel Inc., Lego, Hasbro, Inc, Vtech) report provides in-depth analysis of China Toy Industry.

Request a Free Sample Copy of the Report:

Segments – Market breakup from 7 viewpoints

1. Dolls & Stuffed Toys2. Construction Sets & Models3. Cards Games 4. Puzzles5. Toys for Toddlers & Kids6. Plastic & Others Toys7. Video Games Consoles

Sales Channel – Market breakup from 5 viewpoints

1. Department Stores2. Super / Hyper Market3. Online4. Baby Products/Toys Shop5. Chain Stores

All company have been covered from 3 viewpoints

• Overviews• Recent Developments• Revenues

Company Analysis

1. Mattel Inc.2. Lego3. Hasbro, Inc4. Vtech

About the Company:

Renub Research is a Market Research and Consulting Company. We have more than 10 years of experience especially in international Business-to-Business Researches, Surveys and Consulting. We provide a wide range of business research solutions that helps companies in making better business decisions. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Our wide clientele comprises major players in Healthcare, Travel and Tourism, Food & Beverages, Power & Energy, Information Technology, Telecom & Internet, Chemical, Logistics & Automotive, Consumer Goods & Retail, Building and Construction, & Agriculture. Our clients rely on our market analysis and data to make informed knowledgeable decisions. We are regarded as one of the best providers of knowledge. Our pertinent analysis helps consultants, bankers and executives to make informed and correct decisions.

Our core team is comprised of experienced people holding graduate, postgraduate and PhD degrees in Finance, Marketing, Human Resource, Bio-Technology, Medicine, Information Technology, Environmental Science and many more.

Contact Us:Renub ResearchPhone No: +1 678–302–0700 (USA) | +91–120–421–9822 (IND)Email: info@renub.comWeb: Follow on Linkedin:

Judge to decide on Nigerian election re-run

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Umaru Yar’Adua

A result is expected today on the possibility of an election re-run in Nigeria. Opposition parties claim that current President Umaru Yar’Adua’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) fixed the results of the 2007 election in his favour and are calling to have the result annulled. So far, the tribunal has rejected one out of the two petitions calling for the annulment.

International suspicions were also raised at the time, with some voicing concern over the election.

A Nigerian judge is currently delivering the ruling on the case of granting the opposition parties a re-run, neither of which claim to have won the previous election. The decision could have negative impacts – if another election is called, it could be seen as an admittance of a ‘false democracy’ occurring in the last election and therefore undermining the political process in Nigeria. However, if no re-run of the election is called, it could cause instability between political rivals and may spark protests.

Emma Esau, of the Alliance for Credible elections, told the BBC: “We have faith the judges will give us a good ruling, and in any case we don’t believe there will be violence after the decision is announced. This will not take Nigeria to the brink.”

Yar’Adua assumed office on 29th May 2007 after the election in April, where he won 70% of the vote. Since then, he has became the first Nigerian leader to declare his personal assets, as well as overturning hikes in petroleum and tax made by the previous government. Despite these positive steps, he has also been surrounded by controversy, with several governors who served him before 2007 being charged by the EFCC, the anti-corruption commission.

Election annulments have already been passed for seven of thirty-six state governors and even the senate president, David Mark.

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Warner Music sees large growth digital music revenue

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Warner Music Group logo. Image: Warner Music Group.

Warner Music Group first quarter earnings rose sharply mostly from growth in digital music sales offsetting falling CD sales. Warner Music sells digital music to several online services including Apple’s iTunes at wholesale. The company’s first-quarter revenue from digital music sales doubled to US$69 million, accounting for 7% of overall revenue. Madonna, Green Day, and James Blunt are signed to subsidiary labels of Warner.

Warner Music has undergone restructuring after being sold in 2004 by former parent company Time Warner. Cutting costs, exploiting current assets, and digital music has been the company’s focus since going public in May.

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