News briefs:October 14, 2007

News briefs:October 14, 2007

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 14, 2019

Audio Wikinews News Brief for 2007-10-14

Recorded by: DavumayaProblems listening to the file? See media help.


The time is 5:40 UTC and this Audio Wikinews Brief for Sunday, October 14, 2007.


  • 1 At least 2 die in 15 truck pileup in California
  • 2 Dalai Lama to Receive US Congressional Gold Medal
  • 3 Burma’s military rulers arrest leaders of pro-democracy protests
  • 4 Turkey outraged over U.S. Armenian genocide resolution


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American actor Morgan Freeman in serious condition after car accident

American actor Morgan Freeman in serious condition after car accident

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 14, 2019

Monday, August 4, 2008

American Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is in reported to be in serious condition but good spirits in a Tennessee hospital following a single car accident in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi in the Mississippi Delta. The 71-year-old actor was flown to the hospital by air ambulance with injuries to one arm.

Freeman, the Associated Press reports, “has a broken arm, broken elbow and minor shoulder damage, but is in good spirits,” according to a statement from Donna Lee, Freeman’s publicist.

Reports say that Freeman was driving Demaris Meyer — the owner of the 1997 Nissan Maxima — when the car flipped over two or three times around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night. Meyer’s condition has not been released. Meyers is reported to be a 48 year old family friend visiting from Memphis.

According to reports, Freeman over-corrected the vehicle when he may have dozed and began to go off the highway, causing the car to flip two or three times before landing in a ditch. The accident occurred on Highway 32 just north of Ruleville, Mississippi not far from where Freeman currently resides.

Clay McFerrin, editor of the Sun Sentinel in Charleston, told the Associated Press he arrived at the accident scene soon after the accident. “They had to use the jaws of life to extract him from the vehicle,” McFerrin told the Associated Press. “He was lucid, conscious. He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point.”

Freeman was one of the stars of the recent film The Dark Knight and is currently being treated at Memphis Regional Medical Center along with Meyer. Spokeswoman Kathy Stringer says that “Freeman is in a serious condition,” but did not comment further. The hospital, known locally as “The Med” is an acute care facility for up to 150 patients.

According to Sgt. Ben Williams of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, “there’s no indication that either alcohol or drugs were involved” in causing the accident. He also said that both Freeman and Meyer were wearing their safety belts.

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 14, 2019

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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Coordinated terrorist attack hits London

Coordinated terrorist attack hits London

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 14, 2019

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Three bomb explosions have hit London Underground trains, and a further bomb destroyed a bus in the city centre. The Metropolitan Police Service has initially confirmed that 33 people have been killed in the four explosions on London‘s transport system this morning, and said the overall number of wounded was as high as 700, in what are believed to be terrorist attacks. (See later reports in the box at the side for later announcements made on following days.)

The first reports were of an explosion at 08:49 BST (UTC+1) on the Hammersmith & City Line between Liverpool Street station and Aldgate East. Explosions also occurred on a train between King’s Cross and Russell Square and another at Edgware Road. The explosions are currently being reported, and described by Prime Minister Tony Blair, as being “terrorist attacks.” Traces of explosives were found at two of the sites according to the BBC.

Scotland Yard has confirmed one explosion onboard a double decker red London bus travelling south outside the British Medical Association on Tavistock Square. Police cannot confirm whether this bomb was intended for another train and accidentally detonated aboard the bus instead.

Pundits are speculating the attack was co-ordinated by al-Qaeda. Dr. Shane Brighton, an intelligence expert at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence, claims that, “If what we are looking at is a simultaneous bombing — and it does look like that — it would very certainly fit the classic al Qaeda methodology.” Two militant Islamist groups are reported to have claimed responsibility for the blasts.

In a special news conference at 15:30 BST, July 7, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick of the Metropolitan Police confirmed 33 fatalities so far, 45 critical/serious injuries and approximately 300 minor injuries.

At 08:51 BST a bomb exploded on a Circle Line Underground train 91 metres/100 yards into the tunnel from Liverpool Street. Seven are known to be dead.

At 08:56 BST a bomb detonated on a Piccadilly Line train between King’s Cross and Russell Square. Twenty-one are dead; it is believed more bodies remain in the tunnel, which is one of the deepest on the Underground network.

At 09:17 BST a bomb exploded on another Circle Line train between Edgware Road Station and Paddington. The blast blew a hole in a wall, and another train was hit by debris from it. A third train is also involved. Five are known to be dead.

At 09:47 BST a No. 30 bus (Hackney – Marble Arch) blew up at the junction between Tavistock Square and Woburn Place outside the BMA building. It has been estimated that thirteen people died.

Earlier, quoting the Associated Press, Yahoo News had reported “at least 40 people were killed and more than 350 wounded”. Also, the same report says “two U.S. law enforcement officials said at least 40 people were killed”.

Several hotlines have been set up for those concerned about friends or relatives. A list of these numbers are below. The agencies setting up these hotlines stress that callers should try to reach their friends or relatives first before contacting the hotline. In addition, to prevent swamping, they also have asked that only genuine callers use the hotlines.

The first reports that came in were from London’s Liverpool Street station talking of an explosion on the Metropolitan Underground line and the station being evacuated. Later a BBC and a Wikinews reporter spoke of a bus being destroyed by a bomb blast in Tavistock Square outside the British Medical Association offices.

The initial reports of explosions were believed to have been the result of power surges. This was because the first indication of any disturbance was the opening of circuit breakers in the Underground, which was observed in the control room. This is usually due to a power surge, but in this case the actual cause was damage to the track circuits by bombs.

At approximately 10:50 BST reports were made that there was an additional, as yet unidentified explosion along Houndsditch, near Liverpool Street Station. Police were also warning pedestrians at Russell Square that a series of controlled explosions would be made shortly.

BBC News 24 has reported additional unspecified incidents at Brighton, Luton, and Swindon. These stations have been closed and there has been no official confirmation of the nature of the incidents, if any actually occurred.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair told London Live that there have been “events” at Edgware Road, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, Russell Square, Aldgate East and Moorgate.

At 11:30 BST (UTC+1) St. Mary’s Hospital released a statement that they have admitted 4 critical, 8 severe and several minor injures. Injuries are limb damage, cuts, burns, head injuries and chest problems.

The exact causes of the explosions are still unknown. Initially, it was thought that it was some technical fault. However, the police later suspected terrorist attacks. Police are still unsure if the bombs were simply left in packages or whether there were some sort of suicide attacks.

According to the Associated Press, a senior Israeli official said Scotland Yard told Israel minutes before the explosions that it had received warnings of possible “terror attacks”. Sky News says this has been denied by Scotland Yard. Sir Ian during his interview with Sky stated that there had been no specific intelligence.

German news magazine Der Spiegel (as well as unconfirmed information from CIA) has reported that a letter from an organization calling itself “Secret organization – Al Qaeda in Europe” has appeared, claiming responsibility for the bombings. See our related story for more details.

A broadcast interruption on MTV Thursday at 16:00 UTC said a group naming itself “Al Jihad Network in Europe” claimed responsibility for the bombings.

A police spokeswoman has confirmed two deaths at Aldgate station. Television and radio reports are now saying there have been four separate incidents with up to 150 casualties, speculating that the blasts may be related to terrorist activity.

The Associated Press is reporting that a US law enforcement official has put the toll at 40 killed.

Emergency Services press conference at around 15:15 BST (UTC+1) confirms at least 33 fatalities, not including those resulting from the incident on the number 30 bus.

The CBC reports at least 52 fatalities, including 17 from the incident on the number 30 bus according to media reports.

It has been reported that in the early stages of the attack, information was only distributed to civilians within the center of London, and authorities had a specific policy of not providing information to the global media, in case any information provided to the media could be used by additional terrorists to target vulnerable locations during an evacuation procedure. This was probably partly to blame for the early confusion amongst the media.

Emergency services are also attending King’s Cross and Liverpool Street Station.

The entire tube network and all buses within zone 1 have been suspended and many buses are now being used to ferry the ‘walking wounded’ to the hospitals. The underground will be closed for an indefinite period of time, but according to Fox News Channel United States, the closure will last at least for all of today.

All emergency services are responding en-masse to a “major incident” and are responding only to life-threatening emergency calls. Patients are being turned away at hospitals to free room for those injured by the attacks.

The London Congestion Charge has been suspended for the 7th and 8th of July.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Army was dispatched to seal off the Israeli Embassy as Israel’s Finance Minister is present for a conference. The army have reportedly been involved with rescues at Covent Garden. Police have denied this report (originally made on Sky News).

The police have cordoned off roads around Upper Woburn Place following a massive explosion on a bus in the vicinity. Traffic is at a standstill in many places in the capital. Defra‘s security branch are reporting that police are advising everyone in London not to use any public transport and the Cabinet Office are advising staff to remain in offices until further notice. A further email sent to all staff by Defra’s permanent secretary indicates that Charing Cross and Waterloo mainline railway stations have been closed down for police searches, and that other stations could close for similar reasons later today.

As at 09.30 BST, Kings Cross Thameslink was experiencing delays and overcrowding but no serious difficulties.

Businesses have been hit by the uncertainty of the events – the FTSE had fallen almost 3.5% by 11.47UTC ([1]), but started to recover a little by early afternoon. The value of the pound has dipped, and the London crude oil price has dropped. International markets are also suffering, with falls in share indexes felt as far as South Africa. See our related story for more details.

According to Fox News Channel United States, all London schools are in lockdown and students are being kept in schools.

The Authorities are asking people in London to stay where they are, indoors if possible. Take inside any bins or bags of rubbish they have left out for collection, providing they check their contents first. Arrangements are also being made for when schools finish as schools have been asked to keep pupils safe inside until the usual school closing time.

The UK Highways Agency has stated that at the request of the police, the message “Avoid London – Turn on Radio” is being displayed on electronic motorway message signs on the M25 and other major routes approaching London.

The US Homeland Security Department asked authorities in major cities for heightened vigilance of major transportation systems. Department spokesman Roehrkasse indicated that the department had not received any indications of plans that this type of attack is planned in the United States. Later, the department raised the terror alert level to orange. See our related story for more details.

A joint statement of the G8 leaders was made by Tony Blair at a press conference, also attended by US President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin. See our related story for more details.

The Queen and many other world leaders have also issued statements. See our related story for more details.

Mayor Ken Livingstone’s full statement on the London bombings 07-07-2005:

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UN inquiry finds mismanagement and failure of oversight

UN inquiry finds mismanagement and failure of oversight

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 12, 2019

Thursday, September 8, 2005

The Independent Inquiry Committee’s report on the overall management and oversight of the UN’s Oil-for-Food Programme has concluded that the United Nations requires stronger executive leadership, thorough administrative reform, and more reliable controls and auditing.

The Programme included more than $103 billion in transactions (over $64 billion in oil sales and almost $39 billion for food).

Responsibility for what went wrong with the Programme is assigned to the UN Secretariat, members of the Security Council, its 661 Committee, and the Iraqi regime. In a change from past practice, the Security Council had retained substantial elements of administrative control through its 661 Committee. This caused neither the Secretariat leadership nor the Security Council to be in overall control.

There was reluctance of both the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General to recognize their own responsibility for the Programme’s shortcomings and they failed to ensure that critical evidence was brought to the attention of the Security Council and the 661 Committee. They only made minimal efforts to address sanctions violations with Iraqi officials, and both failed to provide oversight of the Programme’s Executive Director, Benon Sevan.

As the Programme expanded and continued, Saddam Hussein found ways and means of turning it to his own advantage, primarily through demands for surcharges and kickbacks from companies doing business with the Programme. For UN agencies, the work went beyond their core competencies of overseeing the distribution of humanitarian goods—from monitoring, planning, and consulting—to infrastructure rebuilding, thus multiplying problems. Nor was there much success in coordinating so large a program among UN Agencies accustomed to zealously defending their institutional autonomy.

There were Iraqi attempts to pass money to former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, principally through an Iraqi-American businessman, Samir Vincent, and a Korean lobbyist, Tongsun Park. The Committee has determined that well over $1 million was paid to Mr. Vincent and Mr. Park. However, the Committee has not found evidence that Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali received or agreed to receive monies from Mr. Park and Mr. Vincent.

The report recommended better oversight and management, financial disclosure by more UN staff, and that UN agencies should return up to $50 million in excess compensation secured as a result of work performed under Security Council Resolution 1483.

The Committee’s Chairman, Paul A Volcker, stated, “The inescapable conclusion from the Committee’s work is that the United Nations Organization needs thoroughgoing reform—and it needs it urgently. What is important—what has been recognized by one investigation after another—is that real change must take place, and change over a wide area. Clear benchmarks for measuring progress must be set. The General Assembly should insist, in its forthcoming meeting, that key reforms be put in place no later than the time of its regular meeting in 2006. To settle for less, to permit delay and dilution, would be to invite failure. It would, in reality, further erode public support, undercut effectiveness, and dishonor the ideals upon which the United Nations is built.”

He added, “Before concluding its work, the Committee also intends a more comprehensive listing of firms participating in the Programme, either in the purchase of oil or the sale of humanitarian goods, as well as a more detailed analysis of the manner in which Iraq and its vendors and oil purchasers unlawfully manipulated the Programme.”

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Modern technology maps new sections of the Great Wall of China

Modern technology maps new sections of the Great Wall of China

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 11, 2019

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Using infrared laser rangefinders and global positioning system modern technology, a survey released that the Ming Dynasty section of the Great Wall of China is 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500 mi), some 2,551 kilometers (1,585 mi) longer than previous estimates.

Historical accounts put the wall’s length around 5,000 kilometers (3,107 mi), however it was not actually physically measured. The actual constructed wall measurements come to 6,259 kilometers (3,889 mi). The remaining 2,595.2 kilometers (1,613 mi) of the defensive wall system are trenches, hills and rivers according to the survey project which traversed mountains and deserts.

Sandstorms buried some sections of the wall, and these hills of dirt and sand may erode completely in 20 years. The new technologies helped to discover some of these wall areas which were buried.

The Great Wall of China was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987. In 2005, a conservation project began to preserve the Great Wall. The last two years involved mapping and surveying by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, and will see completion in another 18 months. So far only the portion of the wall built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644 AD) has been measured, and the remaining sections constructed in the Qin Dynasty (221 – 206 BC) and Han Dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD) have yet to be investigated. Besides discovering hitherto unknown sections of the Great Wall, researchers analysed its construction and the challenges presented to preserve it. Many areas of the wall have undergone restoration processes since 1949.

The wall was constructed of packed earth in places, however the majority was brick and stone construction. Sandstorms, extreme weather, highway construction, commercial expansion, and tourism are the main threats to the Great Wall of China.

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BDSM as business: An interview with the owners of a dungeon

BDSM as business: An interview with the owners of a dungeon

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 11, 2019

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Torture proliferates American headlines today: whether its use is defensible in certain contexts and the morality of the practice. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone was curious about torture in American popular culture. This is the first of a two part series examining the BDSM business. This interview focuses on the owners of a dungeon, what they charge, what the clients are like and how they handle their needs.

When Shankbone rings the bell of “HC & Co.” he has no idea what to expect. A BDSM (Bondage Discipline Sadism Masochism) dungeon is a legal enterprise in New York City, and there are more than a few businesses that cater to a clientèle that wants an enema, a spanking, to be dressed like a baby or to wear women’s clothing. Shankbone went to find out what these businesses are like, who runs them, who works at them, and who frequents them. He spent three hours one night in what is considered one of the more upscale establishments in Manhattan, Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, where according to The Village Voice, “you can take your girlfriend or wife, and have them treated with respect—unless they hope to be treated with something other than respect!”

When Shankbone arrived on the sixth floor of a midtown office building, the elevator opened up to a hallway where a smiling Rebecca greeted him. She is a beautiful forty-ish Long Island mother of three who is dressed in smart black pants and a black turtleneck that reaches up to her blond-streaked hair pulled back in a bushy ponytail. “Are you David Shankbone? We’re so excited to meet you!” she says, and leads him down the hall to a living room area with a sofa, a television playing an action-thriller, an open supply cabinet stocked with enema kits, and her husband Bill sitting at the computer trying to find where the re-release of Blade Runner is playing at the local theater. “I don’t like that movie,” says Rebecca.

Perhaps the most poignant moment came at the end of the night when Shankbone was waiting to be escorted out (to avoid running into a client). Rebecca came into the room and sat on the sofa. “You know, a lot of people out there would like to see me burn for what I do,” she says. Rebecca is a woman who has faced challenges in her life, and dealt with them the best she could given her circumstances. She sees herself as providing a service to people who have needs, no matter how debauched the outside world deems them. They sat talking mutual challenges they have faced and politics (she’s supporting Hillary); Rebecca reflected upon the irony that many of the people who supported the torture at Abu Ghraib would want her closed down. It was in this conversation that Shankbone saw that humanity can be found anywhere, including in places that appear on the surface to cater to the inhumanity some people in our society feel towards themselves, or others.

“The best way to describe it,” says Bill, “is if you had a kink, and you had a wife and you had two kids, and every time you had sex with your wife it just didn’t hit the nail on the head. What would you do about it? How would you handle it? You might go through life feeling unfulfilled. Or you might say, ‘No, my kink is I really need to dress in women’s clothing.’ We’re that outlet. We’re not the evil devil out here, plucking people off the street, keeping them chained up for days on end.”

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Bill & Rebecca, owners of Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, a BDSM dungeon.


  • 1 Meet Bill & Rebecca, owners of a BDSM dungeon
    • 1.1 Their home life
  • 2 Operating the business
    • 2.1 The costs
    • 2.2 Hiring employees
    • 2.3 The prices
  • 3 The clients
    • 3.1 What happens when a client walks through the door
    • 3.2 Motivations of the clients
    • 3.3 Typical requests
    • 3.4 What is not typical
  • 4 The environment
    • 4.1 Is an S&M dungeon dangerous?
    • 4.2 On S&M burnout
  • 5 Criticism of BDSM
  • 6 Related news
  • 7 External links
  • 8 Sources

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Category:June 16, 2010

Category:June 16, 2010

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 10, 2019

? June 15, 2010
June 17, 2010 ?
June 16

Pages in category “June 16, 2010”

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Getting An Airport Express In Waikiki

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 9, 2019

More Detail Here:

byAlma Abell

When you are talking about traveling to Hawaii, you are in for an amazing experience. No matter what island you are going to, you can expect to have a wonderful time, whether you are going with friends or with your entire family. Of course, there are caveats to when you are going to have an amazing time. Chances are, when you are dealing with the first couple of minutes after landing in Honolulu, there is a pretty good chance that you are going to be more stressed than relaxed. It doesn’t matter how long you spent on the plane (usually five to nine hours), or what your expectations are for the time you are going to be in the Honolulu area, you are going to have to deal with a lot of other people at the airport. When you are trying to wade through the crowd to get your luggage, it is going to not be the best experience. With all this in mind, the last thing you want is to have to search for a shuttle. You want to plan ahead and have the Airport Express in Waikiki ready to go so you can get to your hotel quickly and start your vacation.

When you are staying in Waikiki and are looking to get transportation from Honolulu International Airport, it is important you take the time to find a shuttle that can get you there directly. Don’t fumble with the options you have when you arrive at the airport; take care of the planning early, while you are still at home. This way, when you arrive at Honolulu International, you’ll be happy that you planned ahead so you don’t have to run around trying to find a shuttle that will get you where you need to go.

When you are looking for an Airport Express in Waikiki, take the time to see what is out there for you. When you want a service you can trust, you want to Choose VIP Trans to get you from the airport to your hotel. You can Visit the website for more information on services they offer and to make your reservations today.

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Orcon New Zealand to provide television via Internet

Orcon New Zealand to provide television via Internet

Posted by VZWk94v8 on February 9, 2019

Monday, November 13, 2006

Internet service provider (ISP) and telephone provider, Orcon Internet Limited, is going to start to provide television channels via super-fast broadband right to the customers television set. The service will be rolled out sometime next year after Telecom New Zealand has opened its lines to the competitors.

The high speed internet Orcon wishes to use is called VDSL2+ which is able to go 100 megabits per second; this is an upgrade of Telecom’s current technology, ADSL 2+. The new technology will be able to be installed when the government has opened up Telecoms lines to other ISPs. Scott Bartlett, regulatory manager of Orcon, said: “If we left this to the big telcos we wouldn’t get VDSL2+ for 5-10 years. We don’t have an existing legacy framework that limits us, so we can leap-frog them in terms of technology.”

The television channels/programmes will be delivered in high definition via IPTV, or Internet protocol television, to a set-top box, similar to those of Sky Network Television, connected to broadband.

Orcon has invested NZ$30 million into the new television service, they will be teaming up with Siemens to deliver the new television system.

Mr Bartlett said: “We are pitching to a market segment who were not necessarily totally nuts about watching the rugby live but still wanted high-definition quality television delivered by broadband.”

Orcon already has 52 channels secured, they channels will include the genres of comedy, science-fiction, news, music, weather and speaciality language channels. The movies will cost $1.00 each. And for $25 customers will be able to buy 25 channels or for $30 there will be 52 channels. For Sky television it costs $15 a week for an entry level package. “We don’t believe we have a monopoly and every channel known to man, we just think we have the ones that are important to New Zealanders,” the chief executive of Sky, John Fellet, said.

Mr Fellet said they “would like to partner with Orcon and deliver our channels over Orcon’s service, but if that did not happen, we are looking forward to competition heating up. Compete with us, that is fine. If you want to take our core product and add options yourself, that is an option as well. We have rights to rugby and movies, so whenever companies start seriously looking at it, they will look upon us as more of a supplier than a competitor.

Sky has confirmed that they have contracts to deliver IPTV via Telecom services, as Sky is planning to release an IPTV service early 2007. “For the foreseeable future, until the infrastructure improves, the satellite is the best way to deliver live rugby but if you wanted to see a game that has been played, the internet is the best way to do that, by streaming,” Mr Fellet said.

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