苏州半永久培训

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WWI French battleship found A French battleship torpedoed by a German submarine during World War I has been found by chance by a Dutch team working on a pipeline in the depths of the Mediterranean, it was announced today. The Danton went down on March 19, 1917, with almost one-third of its 1,000-strong crew as it made its way to the Greek island of Corfu from the French military harbour of Toulon. More than 90 years later it was discovered in unlikely fashion by a team of Dutch geoscientists as they examined the sea bed to prepare for the construction of a gas pipeline between Algeria and Italy. The Danton was found resting upright some 1,000 metres below the surface, south of the Italian Mediterranean island of Sardinia. It was discovered at the start of 2008, but the announcement could not be made until now because the ship had to be identified first by experts. “It is a spectacular discovery because of the good condition of the wreck,” Rob Luijnenburg from Fugro, the Dutch firm that made the discovery, told AFP by phone from Milan, where the find was announced. The 19,000 tonne, 150-metre-long gun turrets on the vessel remain intact, along with the grim remains of 296 naval personnel. Luijnenburg said it was “highly unlikely” the wreck could be brought to the surface. “It is too deep. No divers can reach that depth, only robots. I don\’t think it is feasible.” As for retrieving the human remains, “the French authorities will have to decide about that,” he said. The vessel, which first took to the water in 1910, formed part of the French Mediterranean fleet during World War I. The remainder of the 1,000 crew are believed to have been saved by patrol boats that had been accompanying the battleship. The planned pipeline had to be shifted some 100 metres to bypass the historic find, said Luijnenburg.

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Obama team urges Polish patience on shield The United States urged Poland to be patient over a missile defence deal it inked with Washington while President Barack Obama\’s team reviews the controversial multi-billion dollar shield. “What I told the defense minister today is that they have to give us a little more time to review these things,” US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at a NATO meeting in Krakow, southern Poland. Gates said no final decision on the shield, which has enraged Russia, has yet been made. “Between the economic crisis, Afghanistan and Iraq the administration has not yet reviewed where it is on a whole range of issues including relationships with our allies, the missile defense program, the relationship with the Russians.” Former president George W Bush launched plans to extend the US missile shield into Europe, basing 10 interceptors in Poland linked to a radar in the Czech Republic to counter any threat from “rogue states,” primarily Iran. But Obama\’s administration has begun a review of the project\’s costs and technical feasibility, a move which has eased fears in Russia that the shield was aimed at it. Polish Defence Minister Bogdan Klich said talks with Washington on implementing the deal, and in particular the stationing of US Patriot missiles in Poland, were ongoing. “We must be patient and wait until the new administration in Washington will end the ongoing review and we will receive a clearer and forward looking position,” Klich said after talks with Gates. “I reminded him (Gates) that the agreements that were signed last year should be implemented,” Klich told AFP after the meeting. Klich however said talks at deputy ministerial level on technical aspects of the controversial US plan — the benefits Poland stood to gain from the deal — “are on track.” The minister told AFP there was no delay “on the topic of the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) supplemental agreement; we are speaking about implementation deals on the (missile) base agreement and the topic of locating American Patriot missiles in Poland.” Earlier Thursday Gates reiterated the Obama administration\’s position on the missile shield. “We are concerned about the Iranian missile threat and as long as that threat exists we will continue to pursue missile defense, as long as we know it will work and as long as it is cost effective. “But we will pursue it not only with our NATO allies but also with the Russians.” The August 14, 2008 missile defence deal inked by Washington and Warsaw sparked outrage in Moscow which threatened to aim its own missiles at the planned US installations in Europe. Washington had wanted the Polish and Czech installations up and running by 2011-2013, to complete its system already in place in the United States, Greenland and Britain. Washington insists the shield — endorsed by NATO at it\’s February 2008 summit — is in no way aimed at Russia. The United States warns that Iran could develop long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads by 2015-2017. Quoted by the Czech CTK agency in Washington earlier this month, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg suggested the Czech radar facility was likely to be delayed for three years while the Obama review was conducted. “Czechs will fully understand it if the US administration puts off the construction of the radar base by three years. We will not be basically opposed to this,” Schwarzenberg said. Missile defence is expected to figure high on the agenda of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a planned visit to Poland in the next few months, his first in seven years. In late January, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he was confident Russia would freeze a move to deploy missiles in the Kaliningrad region, on Warsaw\’s doorstep, in retaliation for the US deployment in Poland.

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RBA boss flags more rate cuts The central bank chief, facing his six-monthly grilling in front of the House of Representatives economics committee on Friday, Mr Stevens has backed the federal government\’s stimulus packages, saying the economy would be weaker without them. The federal government introduced a $10.4 billion fiscal stimulus package in October that included cash handouts to low-income families and pensioners. Last week, it won parliamentary approval for a new $42 billion fiscal stimulus package which includes more than $12 billion in cash handouts to taxpayers. “2009 and, to some extent, 2010 would have seen a lower pace of aggregate demand in Australia, absent those measures,” Mr Stevens said. Even if households saved their handouts, the economy would benefit later. “That helps them be in a position to expand spending, even if that\’s some way down the track.” The governor does expect difficult times ahead, saying it was unrealistic to expect anything other than weak conditions in the near-term. But the economy would not be as badly hit as some other advanced economies. A big drop in interest rates, the fiscal stimulus and a lower exchange rate would support demand, “increasingly so as the year goes on”. “Australia will come through this episode not unscathed, but will be placed to benefit from this,” Mr Stevens said. Housing affordability had improved on the back of the bank\’s aggressive 400 basis point cut in the cash rate to a historically-low level of 3.25 per cent. That would have quite a “powerful impact” on the economy. “If there is a need to use more interest rate stimulus then we can,” he said. But Mr Stevens was reluctant to give a target figure and would not comment on whether financial markets were correct in pricing an eventual low of 2.0 to 2.25 per cent. “It is not my present expectation we\’re going to find ourselves at nothing,” Mr Stevens said. He noted that Australia\’s cash rate was still one of the highest among major economies even at 3.25 per cent with the US\’s target range at zero to 0.25 per cent and Japan\’s benchmark rate at 0.1 per cent. The effects of interest rate cuts in Australia were only beginning to impact. “The board is, of course, continually assessing whether the stance of policy is the right one to foster a durable expansion, consistent with the inflation target,” he said. A recovery in the housing sector would begin later this year as the impact of lower interest rates started to flow through the economy. Households in a reasonable financial situation may start to borrow. “We have seen quite a tangible pick-up in approvals in housing, particularly for owner occupiers.”

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Debate flares over Obama housing plan President Obama\’s top housing official says his $US275 billion mortgage plan will start working ‘very, very quickly,’ after Republicans mounted attacks on the initiative. A day after Obama unveiled the new strategy in Arizona, one of the states worst-hit by the housing crisis which helped trigger the recession, debate flared over whether it would work and help turn around the economy. “We believe we can get help into the hands of millions of families that need it very, very quickly,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan told CNN. Sheila Bair, who heads the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, also said the sweeping plan, which aims to lower monthly payments to help at-risk homeowners avoid foreclosures, could make a difference as early as next month. “I believe you\’ll start seeing a real impact in March, with meaningful, long term, sustainable modifications,” Bair told ABC. The visibility of top Obama officials on television and the detail offered when the plan was rolled out was significant. Markets reacted poorly last week, when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled his bid to rescue the debt-laden finance industry, with analysts complaining the administration offered only general concepts and not details. Republicans raise ‘unanswered questions’ Even so, Republicans and other critics marshalled arguments against the housing plan, most of which can be put into practice without congressional approval, and which forms one aspect of Obama\’s huge government intervention in the economy. Senator Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee complained the plan “appears to help those who least need it, and doesn\’t help those that do.” “The biggest outrage is that the President\’s plan actually will use taxpayer money to pay people to do what they are already supposed to do – pay their mortgage,” he said in a statement. “It also uses taxpayer money to pay banks to do what they should already be doing — modifying mortgages.” The administration contends that its plan will help up to nine million homeowners, and partly targets those who are not yet on the cusp of losing their homes but could easily fall into trouble. A $75 billion portion of the program contains incentives to lenders to lower payments by at-risk homeowners to 31 percent of their income. The two top Republicans in the House of Representatives, minority leader John Boehner and Minority Whip Eric Cantor, sent Obama a letter with a list of “unanswered questions.” They raised concerns about whether the plan will reward banks for taking wild gambles with risky mortgages and expressed concerns people who falsified their incomes to qualify for big loans would also benefit from a taxpayer bailout. Asked on NBC what she would say to homeowners who had played by the rules, obtained loans they could afford and always made payments, Bair suggested the economic consequences of inaction were simply too grave. “There are moral hazard issues here,” she said. “I think we need to understand that it is our collective economic interest to get these loans restructured where we can to keep them out of the housing market and reduce that downward pressure on home prices.” Plan aims to stabilise housing market On top of the 75 billion dollars in incentives to lenders, the government will put up an additional 200 billion dollars to bolster efforts by federal lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer affordable mortgages and bring stability to the housing market. The hope is that mortgage holders in good standing will be able to refinance their loans at lower interest rates now available. Previously, such lenders had been unable to take this step because plunging house prices had left them with little equity in their homes. The National Association of Realtors praised the move, saying it would “keep mortgage rates low for all buyers and could lead to even lower rates.” The president is also set to back legislation aimed at allowing bankruptcy judges to change the terms of mortgages and lower monthly payments – a proposal that could face Republican opposition in Congress. Obama warned when he unveiled the plan on Wednesday that without concerted action, the housing crisis could make economic recovery impossible. “All of us are paying a price for this home mortgage crisis and all of us will pay an even steeper price if we allow this crisis to continue to deepen,” he said.

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Google Earth to map CO2 emissions A team of US scientists led by Purdue University unveiled an interactive Google Earth map showing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels across the United States. The high-resolution map, available at purdue.edu/eas/carbon/vulcan/GEarth/, shows carbon dioxide emissions in metric tons in residential and commercial areas by state, county or per capita. Called “Vulcan” after the Roman god of fire, the project, which took three years to complete, quantifies carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline. It breaks down emissions by the sectors responsible including aircraft, commercial, electricity production, industrial, residential and transport. “This will bring emissions information into everyone\’s living room as a recognizable, accessible online experience,” said Kevin Gurney, the project leader and an assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Purdue. “We hope to eventually turn it into an interactive space where the public will feed information into the system to create an even finer picture of emissions down to the street and individual building level,” he added. The United States accounts for some 25 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide, which scientists have identified as the most important human-produced gas contributing to global climate change. Simon Ilyushchenko, an engineer at Internet search giant Google who worked on the project, said “integrating the data with Google Earth was a way to advance public understanding of fossil fuel energy usage. “Dynamic maps of the data, broken down by the different sources of emissions, easily show where people burn more gasoline from driving or where they use more fuel for heating and cooling homes and businesses,” he said. Vulcan integrates carbon dioxide emissions data from the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Energy. The current data is from 2002, but the scientists said they plan to incorporate more recent data. Besides Purdue, the project also involved researchers from Colorado State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It was funded by NASA, the US Department of Energy, the Purdue Showalter Trust and Indianapolis-based Knauf Insulation.

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