22 November

Civilians killed in U.S. raid near Balad

Friday, March 17, 2006

A U.S. raid near Balad on Wednesday resulted in the deaths of between nine and 13 civilians. An Associated Press photographer recorded pictures of the bodies of two men, five children, and four covered corpses reported to be women. The victims had bits of rubble tangled in their hair and were covered in dust. Police Capt. Hakim Azzawi said in an interview with the Washington Post that 13 in total were dead, two men, five children, and six women. The U.S. military confirmed the attack but said only four people died — two women, a man and a child.

Family of the victims said the 11 dead people were wrapped in blankets and driven in three pickup trucks to the Tikrit General Hospital.

The US military said that the raid resulted in a “foreign fighter facilitator” being taken into coalition custody for questioning.

Police Capt. Laith Mohammed stated that the attack 50 miles north of Baghdad involved U.S. warplanes and armored vehicles, which flattened a house in the village of Isahaqi.

Ahmed, the brother of the dead man, told the Associated Press, “The dead family was not part of the resistance. They were women and children. The Americans have promised us a better life, but we get only death.”

22 November

Polish drug company Jelfa ordered to shut-down over mislabelled drugs

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Polish Prime Minister Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski has ordered the pharmaceutical company Jelfa to halt production following revelations that Jelfa had placed mislabelled medication on the market, whose use could be potentially fatal.

Jelfa distributed vials labelled as Corhydron, a hydrocortisone used to treat allergies and inflammation, but in fact containing Suxamethonium chloride, a drug normally used to cause muscle paralysis during emergency surgery.

The Health Ministry has appealed to people suffering from asthma or allergies to check their medication and return any Corhydron ampoules they possess to the pharmacy.

Polskie Radio reports that the mislabelling was discovered a month ago, but Jelfa and the Polish Health ministry did not inform of the problem.

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski ordered Jelfa to halt production until it can assure the Polish Government that it can properly manage its production.

The Polish Outlook reports that that drug companies in Poland were operating unregulated since December, 2005 as the regulations has expired. The government was putting in place new regulations.

The owner of Jelfa is AB Sanitas, the largest drug producer in neighbouring Lithuania. The shut-down has been questioned by the Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas, who expressed concern over the situation and said that he wants to try to settle the issue diplomatically.

22 November

Canterbury farmers to get aid because of snow

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The New Zealand government officials have announced that it will give NZ$160,000 in aid to help farmers who were affected by the huge amounts of snow in Canterbury, New Zealand two weeks ago.

The aid package will provide four regional offices for co-ordination, food supplies and ongoing support.

The Federated Farmers for mid Canterbury say that the aid will be a start to what looks like a tough winter. President of the mid Canterbury Federated Farmers Rupert Curd says, “It is too early to say exactly how much help the relief package will provide.”

The snow has not yet reached a crisis point.

The Insurance Council has estimated the cost of the snow storm has reached $35 million so far. Chief Executive of the Insurance Council says, “There has been damage to homes, commercial premises both on farms and in town and vehicles. Businesspeople who have been without power are also claiming for loss of income.”

The Minister of Agriculture Jim Anderton has said that they are not ruling out giving further aid.

21 November

Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics

Monday, December 3, 2007

At Thanksgiving dinner David Shankbone told his white middle class family that he was to interview Reverend Al Sharpton that Saturday. The announcement caused an impassioned discussion about the civil rights leader’s work, the problems facing the black community and whether Sharpton helps or hurts his cause. Opinion was divided. “He’s an opportunist.” “He only stirs things up.” “Why do I always see his face when there’s a problem?”

Shankbone went to the National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem with this Thanksgiving discussion to inform the conversation. Below is his interview with Al Sharpton on everything from Tawana Brawley, his purported feud with Barack Obama, criticism by influential African Americans such as Clarence Page, his experience running for President, to how he never expected he would see fifty (he is now 53). “People would say to me, ‘Now that I hear you, even if I disagree with you I don’t think you’re as bad as I thought,'” said Sharpton. “I would say, ‘Let me ask you a question: what was “bad as you thought”?’ And they couldn’t say. They don’t know why they think you’re bad, they just know you’re supposed to be bad because the right wing tells them you’re bad.”

Contents

  • 1 Sharpton’s beginnings in the movement
  • 2 James Brown: a father to Sharpton
  • 3 Criticism: Sharpton is always there
  • 4 Tawana Brawley to Megan Williams
  • 5 Sharpton and the African-American media
  • 6 Why the need for an Al Sharpton?
  • 7 Al Sharpton and Presidential Politics
  • 8 On Barack Obama
  • 9 The Iraq War
  • 10 Sharpton as a symbol
  • 11 Blacks and whites and talking about race
  • 12 Don Imus, Michael Richards and Dog The Bounty Hunter
  • 13 Sources
20 November

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.

20 November

Rower Tuijn halfway across Pacific in record attempt

Monday, July 9, 2007

Dutch adventurer Ralph Tuijn has reached the halfway point of his attempt to be the first person to row across the Pacific Ocean unaided.

The 16,000 kilometre journey from the coast of Peru to the seaside city of Brisbane, Australia, the widest section of the Pacific, has never been crossed absolutely unaided by a rower, and Tuijn says just nine people have rowed it even with assistance.

Tuijn reached the central point of his crossing, an insignificant point of water in the ocean, 111 days after setting off from Peru in March. He has been making good progress, and has since cut his estimated time of arrival in Brisbane by a month.

The Dutchman, who now expects to reach his destination on October 20, has kept in touch with those tracking his movements through daily internet postings from his laptop computer, including his wife Winnie. His boat, the Zeeman Challenger, is a seven-metre custom plywood vessel.

Tuijn has overcome a variety of obstacles to reach the halfway point. He is suffering from the constant attention of sharks, who often bump his boat and disrupt his attempts at sleep. One particular shark, dubbed ‘Gomulka’ by Tuijn, has been trailing the adventurer’s boat for extended periods.

He has also accidentally burnt himself when he spilled hot water on his foot whilst trying to make coffee, apparently also from a shark ‘bump’. He is also forced to manually pump water for cooking and drinking after his automatic water pump broke down not long into his journey.

“Physically everything feels great and I can’t help feeling that I could do this for 500 days, but mentally it’s still hard to be on your own for such a long time”

His vessel has no motors or sails, but relies on his physical rowing power to move. The boat does have a solar power system to provide energy for his laptop, a telephone and a global positioning system.

Tujin, who is raising money for a children’s home in Mumbai, India, is rowing at an average speed of 58 kilometres each day. His diet consists of freeze-dried foods and fish, which are keeping him physically well-conditioned despite tiring mentally.

Tuijn is a serial adventurer and experienced rower. He has rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, as well as cycled across Russia and the icy terrain of Greenland.

20 November

Eurovision ’73 winner Anne Marie David discusses her four-decade career and the Contest, past and present

Monday, February 16, 2009

In the 1970s, she was one of the most popular female vocalists in France, and became well-known internationally. Anne Marie David, from Arles in the south of France, parlayed her initial success from playing Mary Magdalene in the French production of Jesus Christ Superstar into taking home the “grand prix” at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973. Her winning song, “Tu te reconnaîtras” (You will recognize yourself), became a Europe-wide hit that spring.

At the height of her popularity, David perfomed world tours, and even lived abroad in Turkey for a time. In 1979, she tried once again to win the Eurovision, and placed a respectable third. Her song “Je suis l’enfant soleil” (I’m a child of the sun) became similarly popular across France and in the Francophone nations.

As time went on, however, her place in the French music scene became less certain. Touring the world had taken a personal toll, and David decided to retire from music completely in 1987. However, with the help of her fan base, she was coaxed out of retirement in 2003 and is returning to a part of her life that she tried to leave, but never left her. Celebrating four decades in the music scene, David is looking forward to adventurous new projects and a newfound zest for life.

Anne Marie David corresponded with Wikinews’ Mike Halterman about her eventful career, her personal anecdotes regarding living abroad, her successes in past Eurovision contests and her grievances with the way the show is produced today. This is the second in a series of interviews with past Eurovision contestants, which will be published sporadically in the lead-up to mid-May’s next contest in Moscow.

19 November

Spelbound declared winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

An acrobatic group known by the name of Spelbound has been declared as the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010, a televised variety talent show competition broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom. As the winning act of the show, Spelbound have won £100,000 (US$144,580, €120,313, A$175,079) and a place at The Royal Variety Performance, an annual gala evening that is attended by senior members of the British Royal Family.

In no particular order, the top three acts were revealed to be two dancers known by their stage name of Twist and Pulse, gymnastic group Spelbound and Kieran Gaffney, whose act involves playing on the drum kit. After Kieran Gaffney was revealed to be in third place, Anthony McPartlin, who hosts Britain’s Got Talent with Declan Donnelly, said to Kieran: “Well done Kieran. Kieran, you’re a star, you came back, you got all the way to the final. I know you’ve loved this. You’ve loved this, haven’t you?” In response to this, Kieran Gaffney stated: “Thank you very much. Thank you, everyone for supporting me. Thank you.”

Shortly afterwards, on the episode that was broadcast live on ITV1 on Saturday, Anthony announced: “After tens of thousands of auditons, five semi-finals and an amazing final, this…this is it. One of you is about to walk away with £100,000 and a place at this year’s Royal Variety Performance. The winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010 is…Spelbound!” Glen Murphy from Twist and Pulse commented about finishing in second place, stating: “Yeah, it’s amazing. I can’t even believe it. I can’t believe it at all.”

Alex Uttley, a 24-year-old member of Spelbound, commented on the gymnastic group’s victory, commenting: “Oh, my god. This is unbelieveable. We just want to say thank you to everyone out there. It just shows that all our hard work has paid off.” One of the coaches of Spelbound, named Neil Griffiths, stated about Spelbound: “Oh, they’ve worked so hard over the last few weeks. Um, since the semi-final, we…we really had to pull out the stops to try and up the game. They’ve not known they’ve worked in the gym from six in the morning till twelve…twelve o’clock of the night. I couldn’t have asked for more. Um, it’s a team of coaches. I don’t take all the credit myself. There’s, uh, two people up there that know who they are who’ve been fantastic.”

Spelbound consists of 24-year-old Alex Uttley, Nicholas Illingworth, aged 24, Adam Buckingham, aged 21, 20-year-old Adam McAssey, 19-year-old Douglas Fordyce, 18-year-old Edward Upcott, 18-year-old Leighanne Cowler, 17-year-old Katie Axten, 17-year-old Lauren Kemp, 15-year-old Jonathan Stranks, Abigail Ralph, aged 15, 13-year-old Hollianne Wood and Amy Mackenzie, aged 12. Bookmakers had previously predicted that Spelbound would be the most likely act to become the winner of the series.

The running order for the final started with Twist and Pulse. The second act to perform was Liam McNally, a 14-year-old singer. The running order subsequently continued with 40-year-old impressionist Paul Burling, singer Christopher Stone, aged 28, Tina & Chandi, a woman and dog dancing act, Connected, a five-piece singing group, Kieran Gaffney, aged 12, 22-year-old Tobias Mead, a dancer, 80-year-old singer Janey Cutler and Spelbound in that particular order.

Earlier on in the final, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden has stated to Spelbound: “We are hosting the 2012 Olympics and I think ‘what a brilliant opening act’.” Fellow judge Piers Morgan also commented that “[t]he purpose of this show is to identify hidden great British talent. You are that act.” After Spelbound won in the final, another judge, named Simon Cowell, stated that “the right boys and girls won on the night” and that he could “only say on live TV that that was one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen. Seriously.”

18 November

Oral Roberts University accountant claims he was ordered to “cook the books”

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A former accountant for Oral Roberts University (ORU) has filed a lawsuit against ORU and its Board of Regents claiming he was told by Richard Roberts and his wife Lindsay to “cook the books”, hiding financial wrongdoing from authorities and the public. Trent Huddleston, the accountant, has filed suit against the school and the Robertses claiming he “was improperly and unlawfully directed to perform functions and duties in violation of state and federal law in an effort by the defendants to ‘cook the books’ and hide from the appropriate authorities and the public the continued wrongdoing, improper and illegal conduct of the defendants, and in particular, of Richard and Lindsay Roberts.”

Huddleston said that nearly $123,000 in remodeling fees for their home was paid by Oral Roberts University and Oral Roberts Ministries. In addition the lawsuit alleges $4,000 was spent on a pool table for the Robertses. Previously the Roberts were accused of illegal political and financial wrongdoing, which forced the president to step down from his positison.

Last week at a meeting called by Oral Roberts, founder of the University and former faith healer, a majority of the faculty voted against allowing Richard to serve as president.

An ORU spokesman declined to comment on latest lawsuit and the faculty meeting.

In other news, Tulsa World released emails between Richard and his political adviser and sister-in-law, Stephanie Cantees. The emails given by an anonymous source, show the two plan to gain political influence using ORU students.

18 November

ETA set off car bomb in La Rioja, Spain

Saturday, March 22, 2008

40 families have been evacuated from their homes in the Guardia Civil barracks in Calahorra, La Rioja, today after a car bomb exploded, because of the damage done to the building. There were only some slight cuts and bruises caused by the blast which happened around 2pm. Among the injured is a Civil Guard who suffered a neck injury when he threw himself to the ground. National Radio says that eight people were treated in the local hospital, and all had been allowed home after treatment.

The device was placed by the Basque terrorist group ETA. A warning was given in the form of a phone call to the DYA road assistance association in Vizcaya in the name of ETA half an hour before it went off. The bomb was placed in a blue Honda Civic which was blown across the street by the force of the explosion. The owners of the vehicle where found later this afternoon, tied up in a building in a mountainous region some 100kms away. They have told the police that their car was taken from at gunpoint during the morning.

The place where the bomb exploded is a busy one, not least because one of Spain’s famous Holy Week processions had only just finished. The same barracks suffered another ETA attack, again without victims, back in 1983. The Civil Guard feared that a second device may have been placed in the same area today.

A demonstration against the outrage has been called for outside the Calahorra Town Hall at 8pm tonight. The President of the La Rioja regional government, Pedro Sanz, will visit the scene and take part in the demonstration. He said that a massacre could have taken place had the area not been cleared.

Today’s attack comes just two weeks after the last ETA victim, the ex Socialist councillor, Isaías Carrasco, was shot out his home in Mondragón.


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