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Keep Your Skin Healthy, Attractive And Smooth And Your Hair Shiny And Lustrous

Category : Uncategorized

Keep your skin healthy, attractive and smooth and your hair shiny and lustrous


Pushpa Dhiman

Do you want your skin to be shining and healthy? If yes, then you are at the right place because here are some beauty products of skin care and hair care. Some person should forever use natural products because it doesn\’t include any harmful chemicals in it. Natural beauty products are prepared of vegetables, fruits, herbs, petals, leaves and roots.

These beauty products are no side effects and no chemicals ensuing in the attractive skin. For a young person, pimples are very general; at this time what facilitate them are natural.

People always wants to look more beautiful, and they want to save money. Skin and hair care products for people come up to in a variety. For look more beautiful, industry provides best skin and hair care products.

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There are specialty a large numbers of products shampoos, hair oil, body lotions, face packs, face washes, body cleansers and moisturizes that contain natural ingredients for skin and hair care.

A large numbers of products are exclude treatment facial kits, shampoos, body lotions, face packs, face washes, bleaches etc. Many products create difference in lives of people and it has been proved. Whose people use of skin care products led to the fast reduction in scarring, wrinkles and elimination of blemishes and acne. Whether your skin have oily, dry, sensitive, or acne-prone skin, skin care products has daily regimen to help you keep your skin looking younger and attractive.

Hair is one of the most elements of the body that change over all look of the person. To maintain the beauty of hair like lustrous and healthy hair is the dream of every woman. Every person have different types of hair like oily hair, balanced hair, dry hair etc. Variety of hair have need different hair treatments and care.

A large number of hair products such as Shampoos, Oils, Conditioners, masks and spa products are available for maintaining the health of hair and look more shiny, lustrous, beautiful and attractive. Use of daily hair care beauty products solves the dandruff problem of the hair and come up with the best anti reduction method. Hair care products facilitate repair protein and moisture in your hair to help continue smoothness and recover hair\’s internal strong point.

If anyone want to change his look, many products are obtainable on the market, that can help you change your look. That products create you feel younger and attractive.

So daily use the beauty products of skin care products and hair care products change your look. If you want looking better to maintain your skin healthy, attractive and smooth and keep your hair shiny and lustrous, then you use beauty products of skin care and hair care . Beauty products effective your skin and hair more healthy and attractive.

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Fourth U.S. state governor orders net neutrality in government contracts

Category : Uncategorized

Sunday, February 18, 2018

On Thursday, Phil Scott of Vermont became the fourth governor in the United States to sign an executive order requiring all companies providing Internet access to state agencies to abide by net neutrality for all customers in his state. He said he did this because Vermonters rely on Internet access without blocking, throttling and paid prioritization, threatened by the December 14 decision of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the matter of “Restoring Internet freedom”. The first state governor to challenge the FCC in this way was Steve Bulllock of Montana, who did so on January 22. Andrew Cuomo of New York followed two days later. Philip Murphy of New Jersey signed a similar executive order on February 5. These four executive orders differ in details, but all require that state agencies purchase Internet access services only from companies with an enforceable commitment to net neutrality for all customers in their state.

This is part of a flurry of state-level net neutrality actions. The New York State Assembly introduced bill A01958 on January 17, 2017, three days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, anticipating action by him to overturn the 2015 “Title II Order” that made net neutrality enforceable in the US. Two other bills were introduced into the Washington House of Representatives in the ten days before the official decision of Trump’s FCC on this issue. In addition to these, 63 other state-level responses by net neutrality supporters were documented by Fight for the Future (FFTF) by February 16, 2018, including at least 27 bills introduced into the legislatures of 17 states with others reportedly under consideration.

These bills are in addition to the lawsuit filed on January 16 by the Attorney General of New York on behalf of 21 states and the District of Columbia claiming this FCC decision was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act” (APA) of 1946 and other grounds. These states were New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state. New Jersey reportedly later committed to join the suit.

These four executive orders are the only actions on FFTF’s list of actions by net neutrality supporters that seem immediately enforceable. All others require approval by democratic bodies. The four executive orders might be challenged in courts as conflicting with “Preemption authority” claimed by the US Federal Communications Commission’s “Declaratory ruling, report and order” adopted December 14 and released January 4. The FCC order was described by dissenting Commissioner Clyburn as “Destroying Internet Freedom” rather than “Restoring Internet Freedom” as the order is titled. She wrote that this order “will put profits and shareholder returns above what is best for” consumers.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Fourth_U.S._state_governor_orders_net_neutrality_in_government_contracts&oldid=4539328”

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Microsoft Network users experience international outage

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Users worldwide are reporting that they are unable to login to Microsoft’s (MS) live services such as Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, and in some cases Xbox Live. Problems reportedly began around 6:30 a.m. eastern time.

“We are aware that some customers may be experiencing difficulty accessing their Windows Live accounts. We’re actively investigating the cause and are working to take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation as rapidly as possible. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and disruption this may be causing our customers,” said MS in a statement to the media.

The exact number of users affected by the outage is not yet known. MS has not stated when the problem will be fixed.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Microsoft_Network_users_experience_international_outage&oldid=742237”

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City of Buffalo, N.Y. fighting lawsuit against hotel proposal

Category : Uncategorized

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Buffalo, New York —Councilmember Joesph Golombek has responded to the lawsuit filed against the city of Buffalo for allegedly ‘fast-tracking’ a hotel that will be built on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo. The lawsuit, filed by Attorney Arthur J. Giacalone, was filed in New York State Supreme Court on April 21, 2006.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a 72-room, seven-million-dollar hotel proposed by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. Its construction would require the demolition of at least five buildings, currently at 1109-1121 Elmwood, which house several shops and residents. Although the properties are “under contract,” it is still not known whether Savarino Construction actually owns the buildings. It is believed that Hans Mobius, a resident of Clarence, New York and former Buffalo mayoral candidate, is still the owner. The hotel is expected to be a franchise of the Wyndham Hotels group. Buffalo’s Common Council, Planning Board, Mayor of Buffalo, Byron W. Brown, Savarino Construction Services Corporation, Hans J. Mobius and his son Hans S. Mobius owners of the properties at stake, Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant on Elmwood, and Cendant Corporation, the parent company of Wyndham Hotels are among those named in the suit.

Councilmember Joesph Golombek said that the Law Department is “fighting the lawsuit because they believe that we did everything fairly and properly (as well as legally).”

Golombek also stated that the lawsuit “could delay the start of the project” and that if he were “Mr. Savarino I would counter sue for any damages a postponement could bring.”

“Except for the lawsuit the city is finished with the project. In my opinion I believe those opposed to the project are simply use to the city procrastinating on projects. This one was passed quickly by comparison. Thus part of their frustration.” said Golombek.

“I understand the frustration of some of the people opposed to the project. But, in order for Elmwood to grow and thrive it will need to change. This change is a positive for that community,” he added.

Golombek also said that he is looking into “helping the displaced businesses.”

At least five businesses, Six Nations Gift Shop, Don Apparel, H.O.D. Tattoo, Skunk Tail Glass Company, and Mondo Video, will be forced to close their doors or relocate. Many of the buildings are also home to residents who will also have to move.

“I have personally contacted adjacent and nearby business associations and property owners to ask about the possibility of helping the displaced businesses. Hopefully the project will go through in a timely fashion and the displaced businesses will be able to relocate,” said Golombek.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. on June 8, 2006 in the Supreme Court building at 50 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, on the 8th floor, part 31.

==Related Wikinews==

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “Others named in lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, April 26, 2006
  • “Lawsuit sends Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal to New York Supreme Court” — Wikinews, April 25, 2006
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=City_of_Buffalo,_N.Y._fighting_lawsuit_against_hotel_proposal&oldid=1981809”

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Recipe Brings Home The “Best Of Beef”}

Category : Tenders

Recipe Brings Home The “Best Of Beef”


Wendy Mitchell

When it comes to America’s dinner choices, beef is the word. According to The Beef Checkoff, consumer demand for beef is up 15 percent since 1998. And with so many savory ways to prepare it, beef is bound to find its way onto even more plates.

A prime example is Nuevo Chipotle Beef in Butternut Squash Boats, the winning creation in the 27th National Beef Cook-Off. Developed by Christine Riccitelli of Incline Village, Nev., the dish features a delicious blend of Latino flavor influences, including chipotle chile pepper, ripe avocado and butternut squash.

This year, the Cook-Off-a premier opportunity for home cooks to create enjoyable beef recipes that provide fuel for their families-awarded a total of $110,000 in prize money.

Nuevo Chipotle Beef in

Butternut Squash Boats

Total preparation and cook time:

2 to 23/4 hours

11/2 lbs. beef for stew

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. ground chipotle chile pepper

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 medium butternut squash (about 3 lbs.)

11/2 cups water

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 small, ripe avocado, cut into cubes (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Place beef, water, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, chipotle pepper, cumin, salt and black pepper in stockpot. Cover and bake in oven 13/4 to 21/4 hours or until beef is fork-tender.

2. Meanwhile, cut squash lengthwise into quarters; remove seeds. Place squash cut side down in 13×9-inch glass baking dish, overlapping if necessary. Add water. Bake in oven 1 to 11/4 hours or until fork-tender.

3. Place each baked squash quarter onto serving plate. Fill with equal amounts of beef mixture. Top with tomato and avocado, if desired. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.

About the National Beef Cook-Off: The National Beef Cook-Off is now a biennial contest, presented back in 1974 by The Beef Checkoff Program. The contest was held annually until 1993. The Cook-Off is coordinated by the American National CattleWomen, Inc.To view the winning entries, visit the Web site at www.beefcookoff.org.Nuevo Chipotle Beef in Butternut Squash Boats won this year’s National Beef Cook-Off.

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Recipe Brings Home The “Best Of Beef”}

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President Bush delivers 2006 State of the Union Address

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

United States President George W. Bush delivered his annual State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=President_Bush_delivers_2006_State_of_the_Union_Address&oldid=4502598”

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Strongest earthquake in 150 years hits Costa Rica

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The United States Geological Survey said a 6.1 Mw earthquake struck on Thursday, at 01:21:34 p.m. local time (6:21:34 p.m. UTC) in northern Costa Rica, a Central American country, 30 kilometres (19 mi) NNW of San José and near the volcano Poás.

The epicenter was at 20 miles (32 kilometers) north-northwest of San Jose at a depth of 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers), with Coordinate 10° 11? 49.2? N, 84° 9? 32.4? W, and Decimal 10.197,-84.159. Causing widespread panic and damage, it was felt all over Costa Rica as well as in southern central Nicaragua, and was the strongest to shake Costa Rica in about 150 years.

“Today is a day of mourning for Costa Ricans,” President Oscar Arias Sanchez said. “These losses of life fill us with pain; our prayers will be for their families, hundreds of families had seen serious damage to their homes,” Arias added. Originally seventeen people, including three children, were reported killed but was later decreased to 5 fatalities. About 42 were reported missing, at least 32 were injured and 2,450 people affected.

The quake toll jumped to 34 dead, 64 missing, on Saturday, while emergency workers rescued at least 200 stranded tourists in Varablanca hotel, according to Ministry of Infrastructure spokeswoman Silvia Chaves.

Amid problems of mudslides, cracked roads, tumbling rocks and fallen trees, National Social Security and Health agency, Red Cross rescue workers, firemen and police rushed Friday to evacuate about 600 people. Half of them were foreign tourists stranded in La Paz Waterfall Gardens eco-resort in Vara Blanca, and others were trapped by boulders and earth, when mountain roads in Costa Rica blocked two villages of Vara Blanca and Cinchona. The main CNE warehouse containing relief items (food, mattresses), for distribution to the victims, was burned, while the second airport in San Jose, is now closed.

Most of the victims died when part of the hillside collapsed and a landslide occurred near the La Paz waterfall at Vara Blanca, on the flanks of the volcano Poás. The Poas Volcano National Park was utterly destroyed and the La Paz waterfall road was torn, causing about 300 tourists trapped. At least 400 people were evacuated from the area in rescue helicopters.

Constant 2,000 aftershocks (1,200 through early Friday in the towns of San Pedro de Poas and Vara Blanca), complicated the rescue and emergency missions for stranded people in mountainous central zones. National Emergency Commission official Victor Falla said that there were small tremors every couple of minutes. “It’s shaking right now,” he added. 1,244 people were displaced, and 1,078 people are living in shelters. In addition, a hotel, houses, roads, and vehicles were damaged, and a couple of bridges were destroyed. The town of Cinchona was heavily hit, and all of the buildings there were heavily damaged. Power was temporarily disrupted in San José. “There are many buses and many vehicles that are trapped,” deputy public safety minister Jose Torres said.

In the central valley, populated by 2.5 million of the country’s four million inhabitants, the National Emergency Board declared an emergency in the metropolitan area including San Jose, Cartago, Alajuela and Heredia. The earthquake hit strongest the remote area near Alajuela. Several homes collapsed and major highways were still blocked.

A team of 34 U.S. military personnel and four Black Hawk helicopters from Honduras-based Joint Task Force-Bravo was sent on Friday by the U.S. Government to assist Costa Rican rescue workers, which include 400 volunteers and Red Cross personnel, who were dispensing aid in 15 communities. Colombia and China had also offered assistance to quake victims. The U.S. Army and Air Force aviation crews, rescue, medical and support personnel, is coordinating with the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) in the rescue efforts. At least 150 stranded tourists from the United States, France, Canada and Spain, were finally rescued on Friday.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Strongest_earthquake_in_150_years_hits_Costa_Rica&oldid=4522685”

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Rene Lacoste: The Tale Of The Alligator

Category : Crafts

By Albert Connors

Rene Lacoste was one of the best known French tennis players of all time. He won two Wimbeldon singles titles in 1925 and 1928, as well as 2 US Opens, 2 Davis Cup championships and three French Opens.

Beyond tennis, Lacoste is perhaps even better known worldwide for the famous tennis shirt that bears his name. But the road that leads up to his classic shirt is worth exploring.

As a young man, Rene Lacoste was on the brink of going to the Polytechnique; the most famous engineering school in France. This was considered a risky move by any stretch of the imagination, but even more so in 1922 during the amateur era of tennis.The competitive circuits at that time drew very little money. In a miraculous act of faith, Rene’s father allowed him to pursue his ambitions in tennis.

Lacoste would quickly cement his reputation as a studious player. He would practice tennis obsessively, hitting the ball against the walls of his family home for so long, the walls needed repair. Interestingly, Lacoste was not even considered a ‘natural talent’ at tennis. He would compensate for this by studying his opponent’s game in such detail that he could formulate a custom strategy to attack the weaknesses for that particular player. Lacoste even incorporated weight training into his tennis practice. Such comprehensive workouts were unheard of at that time. Lacoste was actually criticized by his own trainer for training too much. When his coach told him to take a break, Lacoste invented the first automated ball throwing machine.

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Lacoste was known by his opponents as a grueling player whose main strategy was to simply stay at the back of the court and return the ball within the lines until his opponent made a mistake. Considered a ‘boring’ player by some, his conservative strategy paid off. Lacoste went on to win two Wimbledons , three French Opens and two US Open titles.

Lacoste earned the nickname ‘alligator’ for an alligator suitcase that he spotted in a Boston shop window. Lacoste bet his team captain that if he won the match, the team captain would buy him the bag. Lacoste didn’t win the match, but the alligator nickname stuck (better known as ‘crocodile’ in France). This was partly due to the coincidence that the nickname was also a metaphor for Lacoste’s tenacious style of playing; like an alligator who wouldn’t release its grip. The nickname was so apt that Robert George, a friend of Lacoste’s, actually embroidered an alligator into a shirt and gave it to Lacoste as a gift. This gift gave Lacoste the idea to create a line of sport shirts that had the alligator logo sewn into them . This was perhaps the first time in history a logo was ever sewn into the outside of an article of clothing.

Rene Lacoste retired from tennis at 25 years of age, after suffering from a chronic respiratory ailment. He went on to found The Societe Chemise Lacoste, which began producing the some of the shirts that Lacoste had been wearing on the court. The shirt did well enough but it only came in long sleeves and was white, with a stiff collar.

It wasn’t until 1951 when Lacoste started manufacturing the shirt in more colors and styles that sales really began to take off. One of the things that facilitated sales early on was the solid knit construction of the shirts, made to handle lots of activity. It was perhaps one of the first examples of ‘high performance’ sport clothing. In the mid sixties, Lacoste cemented his reputation as an inventor by creating the first all metal tennis racquet, later used my tennis pro Jimmy Connors.

By 1960, Lacoste teamed up with David Crystal who owned Izod clothing, and the sales momentum increased to the point in the late 70s and early 80s when Izod/Lacoste was perhaps the most popular shirt in the pop culture. Rebounding from the era of the seventies, the ‘preppy’ look became intensely popular. The sporty Izod/ Lacoste design was sought after with the alligator logo in particular being seen as a desirable status symbol.

In the early 90s, David Crystal began to run into financial trouble from other poor investments he had made. As a result, Izod sold its share of Lacoste to a French company and the Lacoste sales began to falter. Rene Lacoste died in 1996 at the age of 92. His son Bernard, now head of the company, hired Rene Lemaire, a new fashion designer, to reinvigorate the brand name and its logo. Under Lemaire’s watch, Lacoste has enjoyed a strong rebound in sales worldwide.

In the end, the Lacoste line of clothing has proven to be as tenacious as its namesake, the original Crocodile himself, Rene Lacoste.

About the Author: This article was written by Albert Conners. Albert researches stories behind fashion trends and for inspiration shops at his favorite

Lacoste Outlet

for the best online selection of

Lacoste Polo Shirts

. Visit TheDenimCloseouts.com for great online deals on blue jeans, Lacoste Polo shirts, and more.



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Restrictions imposed in China textile trade with U.S.

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, May 21, 2005

In an effort to ease complaints by the U.S. and Europe about a heavy influx of low priced Chinese goods, China will raise export tariffs on 74 categories of textile products in June. This follows plans from the U.S. to impose quotas on Chinese textiles and clothing.

Products likely to see an increase from the Chinese move include synthetic fiber shirts, trousers, knit shirts and blouses, cotton shirts, and combined cotton yarn. Last week, similar restrictions were imposed by the U.S. on cotton trousers, knit shirts, and underwear. Currently, a 2.5 cent charge per item is imposed; the new tariff will raise this to the equivalent of 12 cents per piece now. While this is a fourfold increase, it is not expected to affect consumer prices. Because of this, some doubt the tariff will have any effect on correcting the trade imbalance.

This move is in response to U.S. trade quotas imposed due to concerns that increased Chinese goods would put U.S. textile manufacturers out of business. According to Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, a textile industry group in the U.S., the move will preserve 10,000 U.S. jobs. The new U.S. trade quota will limit the growth of Chinese textile imports to 7.5 percent compared with shipments over the past year.

Prior to January 1, a global quota system helped regulate the trade. With the quota system gone, fears have arisen that a flood of Chinese goods could undercut U.S. competitiveness in the market. China is able to market its goods cheaply due to an artificially weak yuan. The U.S. Treasury criticized the China yuan policy as “highly distortionary”, posing a major risk to China’s economy itself and to global economic growth. They challenged China to revalue its currency to bring it to a level they believe will allow fairer competition between global manufacturers.

China has disputed the charges of the U.S. Treasury. Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said, “I believe they are not reasonable”.

Laura Jones, a representative of large retailers, also criticized the move, saying “These restrictions on imports from China will do absolutely nothing to help the U.S. textile industry — and the government knows it.”

China has seen a boom in economic growth in recent years due to growing trade surpluses with the West, but economists worry that the trade gap will cause longer term global economic problems. China’s textile and apparel exports are the most noteworthy example, with exports up over 1,000 percent in some categories this year and the rapid loss of marketshare and jobs by U.S. textile manufacturers.

Beginning in 1978, the Chinese economy has been transforming from a Soviet-style centrally planned economy to more of a free market style system, under the rigid political control of Communist Party of China.

To this end, the government has leveraged foreign trade to stimulate economic growth. The result has been a fourfold increase in GDP, making China the sixth largest economy in the world. By 2012 the People’s Republic of China may have the highest GDP in the world.

According to U.S. statistics, from 1999 to 2004 China’s trade surplus with the U.S. doubled to $170 billion. Wal-Mart is China’s seventh largest export partner, just ahead of the United Kingdom.

However, the gains from their “socialist market economy” have not been without problems. The Chinese leadership has often experienced the worst results of socialism and capitalism: bureaucracy, lassitude, corruption, and inflation. Inflation rates have been an on-going challenge, reaching as high as 17% in 1995.

Environmental deterioration is a longer-term threat to economic growth. In 1998, the World Health Organization reported that China had seven of the 10 most-polluted cities on Earth. Another concern among some economists is that China’s economy is over-heating, and due to its global economic expansion this could have major repercussions among other nations.

Typically, wages have been low and working conditions poor, with workers living in restrictive dormitories and working at boring factory jobs. However, recent labor shortages have started improving conditions, and raising the minimum wage towards the equivalent of 100-150 US dollars per month. The labor shortages are in part a result of a demographic trend caused by strict family planning.

  • “Economy of the People’s Republic of China” — Wikipedia, May 22, 2005
  • “China raises tariffs on textile exports. Beijing hoping to counter criticism from U.S., Europe.” — CNN, May 21, 2005
  • “China to increase export tariffs” — CNN, May 19, 2005
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Restrictions_imposed_in_China_textile_trade_with_U.S.&oldid=871319”

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Wikinews investigates: Advertisements disguised as news articles trick unknowing users out of money, credit card information

Category : Uncategorized

 Notice — May 19, 2010 This article has been judged, by consensus of the Wikinews community, not to meet Wikinews standards of style and neutrality. Please see the relevant discussion for details. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Internet has already brought great things to the world, but has also brought spam, phishing, scamming, etc. We all have seen them across the Internet. They promise money, weight loss, or other things a person may strive for, but they usually amount to only a lighter pocket. Online advertising has become something that the increasingly Internet-reliant society has become used to, as well as more aware of. As this is true, online ads have become more intricate and deceptive in recent years.

However, a certain type of advertisement has arisen recently, and has become more deceptive than any other Internet ad, and has tricked many users into credit card charges. These sites claim to be news websites that preach a “miracle product”, and they offer a free trial, and then charge the user’s credit card a large amount of money without informing them after the trial ends. These sites appear to be operating under one venture and have caught ad pages of high-traffic websites by storm. In this report, Wikinews’ Tjc6 investigates news advertisement sites.

These Internet ads work in different ways:

Hypothetically speaking, a reader is browsing the web, and then happens to come across something that they believe is too good to be true. A link on one of these high-traffic pages promises white teeth, weight loss, or huge profits from working at home part-time. Out of curiosity, they click on the link.

This is the way that people are attracted to these fake news sites on the internet. The domain owners draw in customers by purchasing advertising on some of the World Wide Web’s most visited pages. Curious users click and are led to what they believe is a news article. From anti-aging to shedding weight, these “articles” from non-existant newspapers and television stations depict a skeptical news reporter trying a product because they were instructed to by a superior.

As the user reads on, they find that the “reporter” miraculously achieves significant weight loss, teeth whitening, or other general health and beauty improvement. The reporter states that the reader can get the same results as they did by using a “free trial” of the product.

Next, the user looks to the bottom of the page, where there seems to be a set of user comments, all of them praising the product or products that are advertised — this is where we first see something suspicious. Across several of these false articles, the comments appear to show the exact same text, sometimes with even the same usernames as other sites.

There is obviously some kind of correlation. Although this appears to be true, most users who purchase these products do not look at multiple versions of these similar pages of what appears to be a fast-growing network of interconnected fake news sites.

Once customers have convinced themselves into buying the product, they are led to a product (or products) website which promises a free trial for a very low price. What they do not know about this, however, is that they are giving their credit card data to a company that will charge it automatically after the trial ends. In about 14 days, the user receives a charge on their credit card for an excessive amount of money, usually from about $80 to $100 (USD). All attempts to contact these companies and cancel their shipments usually prove to be futile.

What these sites have is a large amount of legal copy located at the bottom of each site, stating their right to charge the user. This site, a fake news article claiming to offer teeth-whitening benefits, has several paragraphs of fine print, including this: “…Upon signing up for the 10 day trial membership you will be charged up to $4.97 depending on various shipping and initial offer promotions at that time but not more than $4.97 upon signing. If not cancelled, you will be charged $89.97 upon completion of the 10 day trial period. Monthly thereafter or 30 days from the original order date, the charge will reoccur monthly at a total of $89.97 until cancelled…,” the site says.

Practices like this have alerted the Better Business Bureau, an American organization that studies and reports on the reliability and practices of US businesses. In a press release, a spokesman from the BBB spoke out against sites like this. “Many businesses across the country are using the same selling model for their products: They lure customers in with claimed celebrity endorsements and free trial offers, and then lock them in by making it extremely difficult to cancel the automatic delivery of more products every month…,” said the report that denounced the websites.

When a user looks at several of these sites, they notice that all of them have the same exact structure. Because of this, Wikinews decided to look into where some of the domains were owned, and if they were all in fact part of one company.

However, the results that Wikinews found were ones that were not expected. Out of the three random websites that were found in Internet ads, all using similar designs and methods to attract the customers, came from three different locations in three countries and two separate continents. The first came from Scottsdale, in the United States, while the next two came from Vancouver and Hamburg. There is no location correlation, but surely, there has to be something that connected these sites together. We had to look even further to try to find a connection.

What do you think of these sites? Have you ever fallen for an advertisement similar to this one?
Add or view comments

There is some correlation within the product’s contact information. A large amount of the teeth-whitening products analyzed actually shared the same phone number, which lead to a distribution center located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and several other similar distribution centers located across the Southern United States. But, that explains only one of the categories of products that these websites cover, teeth whitening.

What about the other products? The other products such as weight loss and work-at-home kits all trace back to similar distribution centers in similar places. So, what do we make of all of this?

There is obviously some company that promotes these products through the fake news advertisements, but that company is nowhere to be found on the websites. All contact information is given on the product pages, and websites are copyrighted under the name of the domain, not a company. Whatever company has been the setup for these pages has been very good at hiding themselves from the Internet, as there is no information across the web about that mysterious large advertiser.

As a result of customers buying the products and having unauthorized charges on their credit cards, a large volume of complaints are currently present on awareness sites, complaint sites, and even the Better Business Bureau. Several customers point out that they were not informed of the steep charges and the company made it extremely difficult to cancel their subscription, usually resulting in the loss of several hundred dollars.

  • The trial offer was to pay for $3.95 for the cost of the shipping for one bottle. I noticed shortly after placing the order I had a charge on my credit card for $149.95. Unknown to myself the company charges for a membership if you don’t cancel within 14 days, I cancelled within 18 days…When I called the customer service number they told me the decision has been made and my refund request was denied. When I questioned the person on the other line about what I was getting for my $149.95 she told me I was not getting anything because I cancelled the membership.
?“Tamara”, in a post to the Ripoff Report
  • This is a “free sample” scam: Pay only postage and handling and get a free sample of a tooth whitening system, they say. I looked for the “catch,” something that would indicate that there’d be hidden or recurring charges, but didn’t see anything, and ordered. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, I see a charge for $88.97 on my bank statement…When I called, the guy answering the phone had obviously answered the same angry question many, many times: “Why has your company charged $88.97 to my card?” “Because you didn’t cancel your subscription in time,” he said tiredly.
?“Elenor”, in a post to the Ripoff Report

One notable lawsuit has occurred as a result of these articles. Some of the articles about work at home kits specifically advertise things like “work for Google”, or “job openings at Google”. However, Google asserts these claims as false and has taken the case to court, as it is a copyright violation. “Thousands of people have been tricked into sending payment information and being charged hidden fees by questionable operations,” said Google in a statement.

The BBB has received over 3,000 complaints about products such as the ones that Google took offense to. The lawsuit has yet to begin in court, and no date has been set.

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