Oct 18

Prince William marries Kate Middleton—live updates

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Oct 18

Cosmetic Dentist Guidebook}

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Oct 18

Home of controversial book publisher set ablaze

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Four people have been arrested on terrorism charges in Islington, London, England, after a suspected petrol bombing on the house of Martin Rynja, owner of book publishing company Gibson Square.

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His company recently sparked controversy after buying the rights to publish The Jewel of Medina, a work of fiction by Sherry Jones depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad and his child bride, Aisha.

The bombing, which occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning, led to the evacuation of the £2.5 million property in Lonsdale Square. Three men, aged 22, 30 and 40, were arrested at 2:25am BST by armed officers, two in Lonsdale Square, and one after being stopped near Angel tube station.

Police comments suggested that the trio had been under surveillance, and that they had advance knowledge of the plot and simply waited for the arsonists to strike, before arresting them.

On Saturday, a woman was arrested for obstructing police during their searches of four addresses – two in Walthamstow, and two in Ilford and Forest Gate.

Speaking earlier this month, Mr Rynja said that “The Jewel of Medina has become an important barometer of our time. As an independent publishing company, we feel strongly that we should not be afraid of the consequences of debate.” Ms Jones commented that she did not intend for her novel to be offensive to Islam. She noted that she “[has] deliberately and consciously written respectfully about Islam and Muhammad.” She “envisaged that [her] book would be a bridge builder” between Islam and the western world.

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Oct 15

Governor of Illinois arrested on suspicion of corruption

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Democratic governor of Illinois in the United States, Rod Blagojevich, 51, along with his chief of staff John Harris, 46, were arrested Tuesday morning by the FBI on federal corruption charges.

The Chicago Tribune reports that federal agents raided Blagojevich’s home this morning and took him into federal custody. The arrest comes after a three-year investigation into Blagojevich’s “pay-to-play politics.”

Specifically, the Department of Justice alleged that Blagojevich attempted to sell the Senate seat previously held by President-elect Barack Obama. Blagojevich, as governor, has the sole authority to appoint someone to complete Obama’s term. Authorities believe the process to select a new senator was tainted after authorities secretly recorded several of Blagojevich’s conversations. They believe that he was attempting to sell the seat in exchange for financial benefit for himself and his wife.

Documents from the FBI and from U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald identify the people whom Blagojevich was considering as Senate Candidates 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. According to Fitzgerald’s press release, Blagojevich told an advisor that he wanted to “get some (money) up front, maybe.”

In Illinois, a new state ethics law will take effect on January 1, 2009, so Blagojevich was trying to embezzle as much money as he could before that date, said Fitzgerald.

Authorities also believe that Blagojevich was trying to withhold state financial assistance from the owner of the Tribune, the Tribune Company, which recently filed for bankruptcy protection. They allege he was trying to get members of the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune fired by threatening to complicate the sale of Wrigley Field by Tribune Company.

On December 8, Blagojevich responded to the reports that federal authorities had wiretapped his phone conversations, saying that “I should say if anybody wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it. I can tell you that whatever I say is always lawful and the things I’m interested in are always lawful.”

If convicted, Blagojevich could face up to 30 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

This is not the first time in Illinois history that a governor has been arrested for corruption charges. In 2006, George Ryan was indicted and is now serving a 6½-year prison term.

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Oct 10

US president Obama, Congress call for blocking of executive bonuses at AIG insurance company

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

United States President Barack Obama stated Monday that insurance giant AIG is in financial trouble due to “recklessness and greed,” and called for legal action to stop the company from giving out millions of dollars in bonuses to its executives.

“It’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay,” Obama said. “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat.”

Obama’s statement comes after reports surfaced last weekend saying the insurance agency, which is in deep financial trouble, had paid US$165 million to executives in bonuses, after receiving $170 billion as part of a government bailout plan.

AIG has said that the bonuses have to be given out, as the company is legally required by contract to do so. A representative with the National Economic Council, Lawrence H. Summers, also said that the bonuses were required to be given out. If AIG had refused to give out the bonuses, employees could file a lawsuit against the company for the money.

“We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses — which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” AIG CEO Edward M. Liddy said in a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on Saturday.

Liddy said that he asked Geithner “to use that leverage and pursue every legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole.”

“I want everybody to be clear that Secretary Geithner’s been on the case,” Obama said. “He’s working to resolve this matter with the new CEO, Edward Liddy, who, by the way, everybody needs to understand, came on board after the contracts that led to these bonuses were agreed to last year.”

If the bonuses cannot be stopped, the U.S. Congress says they want AIG to reimburse the government. Congress is looking to impose stiff new taxes on the pay, or ordering the company to return the money which was originally granted from a government bailout. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, senator Richard Shelby promised that the treasury will recover all of the money. Several U.S. senators along with Liddy have sent letters to AIG asking for the bonuses to be renegotiated, something AIG agreed to and says they will reduce future bonuses by 30%. Senators state that if Libby does not respond by renegotiating the bonuses, the Senate Finance Committee will propose an excise tax. Not only will an excise tax be proposed on AIG, but all companies receiving bailout money and their employees who receive bonuses.

What is the highest excise tax we can impose that will stand up in court? Let’s find out.

Numerous House Democrats have introduced legislation which would place a 100% tax on any bonuses of over $100,000 from companies that are receiving government bailout funds. Meanwhile in the Senate, a bipartisan proposal by Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) would levy a special 90% excise tax on AIG’s bonuses. Asked Senator Baucus, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee: “What is the highest excise tax we can impose that will stand up in court? Let’s find out.”

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Sep 30

On the campaign trail, March 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The following is the fifth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail, a politician from outside the fifty states receives significant mention as a potential Republican Party vice presidential nominee, Wikinews gets the reaction of three Democratic Party candidates after the party strips delegates from two of their fellow challengers, and a minor third party removes its presidential nominee for fraud.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Might the GOP VP nominee come from Puerto Rico?
  • 3 Democratic Party strips delegates
  • 4 Party removes presidential nominee
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources
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Sep 30

New developments in Hrant Dink case

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Several Turkish daily newpapers have reported new developments in the case of Hrant Dink, who was the editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos. Hirant Dink was gunned down in front of his office on February 19 in Istanbul by Ogün Samast, a 17 year old ultra-nationalist Turk.

According to the Turkish daily newspaper Radikal, Bahattin Hayal told to the public prosecutor that following the killing of Hrant Dink and subsequent arrest of Hayal’s son Yasin, as the mastermind behind the killing, he was taken to the Trabzon Security Services. Here he was told by a Turkish police chief that ” His son (Yasin Hayal) would now live better. We would write our report accordingly. The flag could be taken from the ground by people like Yasin. He would not receive an heavy punishment with our report. God permits he would be given a light sentence.”

On the hand other, Yasin Hayal forwarded five petitions to the public prosecutors’ Selim Berna Altay and Fikret Seçen, in February and March of this year and informed them that he was encouraged to kill Hrant Dink and given directions by Erhan Tuncel, who was a police informant. Hayal also reported that an officer-in-charge who was working at the Trabzon Security Services visited Hayal and Tuncel prior to the killing and told them that “the Turkish flag had fallen to the ground and people like Erhan and Yasin would raise the flag”. In his statement to the Prosecutors, Tuncel reported the same incident and also stated that he had informed the authorities about the assassination plan but the authorities failed to take an action to prevent the killing of Hrant Dink.

The Turkish Public Prosecutors believe that Erhan Tuncel planned the killing of Hrant Dink together with Yasin Hayal and knowingly misled the authorities.

Milliyet, a Turkish daily newspaper reported that Erhan Tuncel in his statement to the Public prosecutors stated that he had informed the authorities 16-17 times prior to the killing. Moreover, Milliyet reported a 48 page report about Erhan Tuncel, prepared by the Security services gone missing.

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Sep 18

Wail of sirens marks Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A 2-minute siren wail which began in Israel at 10 a.m. Thursday marked the beginning of Yom HaShoah, the country’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. Israelis across the nation paused their daily activities for a moment of silence in memory of the six million Jews murdered by Nazis in the Holocaust during World War II. Drivers turned off their vehicles and stood at attention in the middle of the road, and pedestrians stopped and bowed their heads. Names of victims were read aloud in the Knesset, the legislature of Israel.

Individuals laid wreaths at a memorial for the Warsaw Ghetto uprising at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust. National ceremonies began at Yad Vashem on Wednesday evening, with the lighting of a flame by a Holocaust survivor. In all six torches were lit, in memory of the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust. Approximately 270,000 survivors of the Holocaust live in Israel today, 80,000 of whom survived Nazi death camps.

Entertainment venues, theaters, and movie cinemas closed shop at sundown Wednesday. Television stations and radio programming focused on memorial of the Holocaust. Memorial events end at sunset on Thursday, and will be followed one week later by the 60th anniversary of the declaration of independence of Israel in 1948, known as Yom Ha’atzmaut.

A leader who plans mass destruction, together with weapons of mass destruction. What would have been left of our world?

Shimon Peres, Israel’s President, spoke at Yad Vashem, and compared the potential danger which Israel says is posed by Iran’s nuclear program, to that faced by Jews during the Holocaust. “In history, it is forbidden to be late,” said Peres, saying that the world reacted too late to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. “My heart shudders when I recall that there was a possibility that Hitler could acquire nuclear weapons. A leader who plans mass destruction, together with weapons of mass destruction. What would have been left of our world?” asked Peres. Aides later stated that Peres was referring to Iran.

Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also referred to Iran in his remarks at Yad Vashem. “You wish to deny the right of existence of the Jewish state, and you are wrong to believe that the Jewish state was created only due to the Holocaust. The Holocaust only underscored the necessity of its creation and the horrible price that the Jewish people had to pay for the lack of existence of a state that can shelter them,” said Olmert. Other speakers at Yad Vashem emphasized the importance of the Israel Defense Forces, Israel’s military forces, to prevent tragedies such as the Holocaust in the future.

We have learned our lesson and we take very seriously the threats of state leaders who call for the destruction of Israel.

Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, military chief of staff of Israel, led an annual march of Jewish youths, Poles and survivors at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, in a memorial ceremony called The March of the Living. Auschwitz-Birkenau operated as a Nazi death camp during the Holocaust. 12,000 people gathered from 52 countries to take part in the memorial ceremony. The largest march took place in 2005, and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon joined with 20,000 people. “… in these days, as we celebrate 60 years of independence, the fact that an independent Jewish state exists is not something to be taken for granted. Even today, we hear the horrible sounds of those who call for the destruction of the state of Israel. Even today we are forced to continue and fight for our right to have a national home in a safe place for the Jewish people in their own land. We have learned our lesson and we take very seriously the threats of state leaders who call for the destruction of Israel,” said Ashkenazi.

Hamas television Thursday suggested that the Holocaust was organized by Jews to wipe out the disabled among their own people to prepare for the creation of a Jewish state. “The Israeli Holocaust – the whole thing was a joke, and part of the perfect show that (Zionist leader and future Israeli prime minister) Ben Gurion put on,” said head of the Palestinian Centre for Strategic Research Amin Dabur, according to Jerusalem-based Palestinian Media Watch. Dabur said that the “young energetic and able” went to Israel, and that those who were disabled were sent “so there would be a Holocaust”.

Though Iran has said that its nuclear program is peaceful in nature, the United States, Israel, and other countries believe it is attempting to construct nuclear weapons. In speeches Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that the Jewish state should be destroyed. Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust “a myth”. Tehran hosted a revisionist Holocaust conference in 2006, which provoked international criticism. Tel Aviv University published a study on Monday saying that acts of anti-Semitism in 2007 increased by about seven percent over 2006.

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Sep 18

Space Shuttle Atlantis launch delayed until 2008

Sunday, December 9, 2007

NASA have today announced that the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, mission STS-122, which is a module delivery mission to the International Space Station (ISS), will be delayed until January 2nd, 2008 at the earliest, after scrubbing today’s launch attempt, and an earlier attempt on December 6th.

The decision to scrub the launch attempt was made at 7:24 a.m. EST by shuttle program managers. The reason behind the scrubbing is to allow shuttle engineers to spend time diagnosing and fixing the erroneous readings presented to the crew and Mission Control by the intermittent malfunctioning of a critical engine cutoff sensor (ECO). While only one of the four sensors was malfunctioning, the current launch criteria for the mission state that all four ECOs must be functioning correctly in order to launch.

At a meeting held at 9 a.m., NASAs Mission Management Team for STS-122 decided on a postponement until January 2nd at the very earliest. Atlantis is due to deliver the European Space Agency‘s (ESA) Columbus laboratory module to the ISS. Alan Thirkettle, ESA’s Space Station Program Manager, said, regarding the delay in launch: “In the big picture, it’s not a setback. [But] it is disappointing because we have 750 people over here.”

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