Nov 13

Cyclists Jason English and Liz Smith win 24 Solo in Australia

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

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Mount Stromlo, Canberra — This Easter weekend, elite mountain bike riders competed in the Australian 24-hour solo championships at Canberra’s Stromlo Forest Park. Jason English from Port MacQuarie rode 33 laps and won the men’s race. Liz Smith from Wollongong rode 25 laps and won the women’s race.

Races are won by riding the most laps. If two riders complete the same number of laps in 24-hours, the winner is the one who has ridden them in the shortest time.

Riders wear lights on their helmets and bicycles during night laps. Due to the time of year, there is roughly twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness each day.

The event is a curtain raiser for the WEMBO World Solo 24 hour Mountain Bike Championships, which will be held at Stromlo Forest Park on 12 and 13 October 2013. The race was for solo riders only.

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The weekend before, the teams of riders took to the track at the Mont 24 hour race at Canberra’s Kowen forest. With over 3,000 riders participating, it is now Australia’s largest cycling race.

The team version of the race was favoured by the weekend warriors, but also attracted more than a few elite athletes. Laps were ridden in relay fashion: each rider handed over the baton (which looked like a credit card) to another member of the team after riding one or more laps.

The track was in excellent condition, running through the trees. Without steep climbs or overly difficult technical sections, it permitted fast lap times.

No injuries were reported.

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Nov 13

Stem cells used to cure paralysis in rats

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dr. Douglas Kerr, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins University, has recently led a research team to identify enough of the chemicals necessary to regrow motor neurons. They have succeeded in partially restoring paralyzed rats‘ ability to walk.

These results represent major progress towards curing many nerve-related problems in humans, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease and spinal cord injuries. However, Dr. Karr emphasized that it will be many years before any possible treatments for humans become available.

Dr. Naomi Keitman of the National Institutes of Health‘s neurology division said “They did something that people have been trying to do for at least 30 years and literally hit a brick wall until now.”

The research will be published in the Annals of Neurology.

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Nov 12

Nigerian jet attacks refugee camp, killing dozens

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Nigerian Air Force jet fighter mistook refugees for rebels yesterday, Nigerian military said, firing on a camp in Rann, Borno State. Dozens of refugees and aid workers died.

The lowest estimate from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is of 50 dead. The BBC estimates at least 52 dead, while one Borno State official is attributed by AP as saying over 100 are dead. MSF say at least 200 were wounded.

The Red Cross said at least six of its staff died and twelve more injured. The impoverished region, in the northeast of the nation, has suffered severe famine as conflict interrupts agriculture. Farmers are unable to work owing to bombs on their land. The Red Cross said volunteers were at the camp, home to thousands, to distribute food.

The military said the Air Force was dispatched to deal with “remnants” of the Boko Haram militant group, which it claims to be in a final push against. Major General Leo Irabor, who led the operation, said, “Unfortunately, the strike was conducted but it turned out that other civilians were somewhere around the area and they were affected”. Irabor said two soldiers were amongst the dead and others were wounded.

Military spokesman General Rabe Abubakar said the military are “all in pain” after the disaster, adding “in a military operation such as this, from time to time these things do occur.” Irabor promised an investigation. President Muhammadu Buhari said he was saddened by “this regrettable operational mistake” and sought calm.

“This large-scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled from extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable,” MSF operational chief Dr Jean-Clément Cabrol said. The Red Cross said it has staff and facilities ready in neighbouring Cameroon and Chad to assist. “The whole camp is controlled by the army and no one can come in or out without being checked,” said MSF head of emergencies Hugues Robert. Robert added the group knew travel and work in the area was dangerous, and took precautions.

Helicopters have been evacuating the wounded, including a United Nations helicopter which brought four medical personnel and 400kg (900lb) of emergency medical aid, and left with eight wounded Red Cross workers. The UN is in the midst of an appeal for aid to the famine-hit region.

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Nov 12

Ukraine opposition candidate Yushchenko is suffering from a Dioxin intoxication, doctors say

Saturday, December 11, 2004

VIENNA –Doctors from the Rudolfinerhaus clinic in Vienna say “there is no doubt” Ukrainian opposition leader Victor Yushchenko was poisoned with Dioxin.

Yushchenko’s body had about 1,000 times more than the normal concentration of the toxin. It is unknown if there were any other poisons in his system.

Although it has not yet been proven that the poisoning was deliberate, doctors suspect it was. “We suspect a cause triggered by a third party,” said Michael Zimpfer, head doctor at the Rudolfinerhaus clinic. He suggested the poison may have been administered orally, through food or drink.

Today’s announcements are a follow-up of an earlier press conference, where Dr. Korpan that there were three hypotheses under consideration, one of them involving dioxin. He did not reveal what the other two hypotheses were. Dr. Michael Zimpfer, director of the Rudolfinerhaus clinic emphasized that time there was no proof yet to specify the substance causing the illness.

Yushchenko left Kiev on Friday (2004-10-12) for further examination in Vienna. When Yushchenko fell ill on October 6th, Ukrainian doctors had initially diagnosed food poisoning, leading to speculation that he had been poisoned deliberately. The illness has disfigured Yushchenko’s body and face which doctors say could take up to two years to heal.

He fell seriously ill on the September 6th, during his presidential campaign. Yushchenko was taken to the Rudolfinerhaus clinic of Vienna, where he stayed for four days under Dr. Korpan’s care. He was diagnosed with “acute pancreatitis, accompanied by interstitial edematous changes.” These symptoms were said to be due to “a serious viral infection and chemical substances which are not normally found in food products” as his campaign officials put it. In laymans terms, he developed an infection in the pancreas and got a bad skin condition that disfigured his face with cysts and lesions. The skin condition has similarities with the chloracne associated with dioxin posioning according to a British toxicologist John Henry.

Earlier, doctor Nikolai Korpan of Rudolfinerhaus clinic confirmed today that the illness of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was caused by an attempt to kill him.

  • Ukraine political crisis – Wikinews’ special coverage portal

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Nov 10

IMF head remains in New York prison; charged over alleged hotel sex attack

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This sordid episode—no matter how it ultimately plays out—will spell the end of Strauss-Kahn as an effective leader of the IMF even if he retains his position, which is highly unlikely.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, remained in jail last night after being charged with sexually attacking a chambermaid at a New York City hotel. Strauss-Kahn has agreed to undergo forensic screening before he appears in court, and has vowed to “vigorously” defend himself against the charges, which are likely to create a leadership void at the IMF, disrupt emergency talks over the European debt crisis, and spell the end of his political career.

Strauss-Khan was the favourite candidate for the French presidency, and was expected to announce he would stand against Nicolas Sarkozy this month. But the allegations are expected to destroy the hopes of his supporters, increase infighting among the French left, and leave his political career in tatters. His arrest comes at a critical moment for the IMF, and will likely plunge efforts to stabilise the financial states of struggling eurozone countries into chaos. He was meant to discuss the bailouts of Greece and Portugal with European Union financial officials at a meeting in Brussels this week.

Eswar Shanker Prasad, a professor of international economics at Cornell University, said: “This sordid episode – no matter how it ultimately plays out – will spell the end of Strauss-Kahn as an effective leader of the IMF even if he retains his position, which is highly unlikely.” The IMF, however, insisted it remained “fully functioning and operational.”

Strauss-Kahn was to appear in court in Manhattan yesterday charged with three crimes, including attempted rape, but the hearing has been delayed so he can undergo forensic tests. He was taken into custody by officials while on an Air France passenger plane which was about to take off from John F. Kennedy International Airport for Paris; when detectives approached him in the first class cabin in the aircraft he reportedly asked: “What is this about?” Strauss-Kahn reportedly fled the hotel “in a hurry” after the attack, leaving a number of personal effects behind. “If our officers had been ten minutes later he would have been in the air and on their [sic] way to France,” a spokesperson for the New York Police Department said.

The chambermaid reported that she had been sexually assaulted by a man staying in a “luxury suite” at the Sofitel hotel near Times Square. “The maid described being forcibly attacked, locked in the room and sexually assaulted,” the police spokesperson said. Strauss-Kahn came out of the shower naked while the chambermaid was working in the room, tried to pull the woman onto the bed and locked the door, The New York Times reported, quoting police sources. She allegedly fought him off, but he sexually assaulted her again after dragging her to the bathroom, before he locked her in the room; she was reportedly hospitalized afterwards with trauma.

In 2008, a year after becoming the leader of the IMF, Strauss-Kahn was reprimanded by the organization’s board after being involved in an extramarital affair with another senior executive at the bank. More recently, he was pictured driving a luxury car in Paris, causing a media furore over whether his lifestyle fitted with the socialist attitude he claims to represent. But his wife, former television star Anne Sinclair, has dismissed the accusations. She said: “I do not believe for one second the accusations brought against my husband. I have no doubt his innocence will be established.”

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Nov 10

Christina Grimmie killed by ‘infatuated’ fan; Orlando police close case

Friday, June 24, 2016

The man who murdered Christina Grimmie following a June 10 concert lived “like a hermit” and had apparently never met the singer, but was infatuated with her and had spent recent months changing his appearance in an effort to win her over, according to information released on Wednesday by police in Orlando, Florida.

Kevin James Loibl, age 27, took a taxicab to Orlando on June 9 from his St. Petersburg home, bringing along two 9mm Glock handguns and extra ammunition. He spent that night in a hotel. Following Grimmie’s June 10 performance at The Plaza Live, he approached her as she signed autographs and opened fire, shooting her in the head once and the torso three times. Grimmie’s brother Marcus then tackled Loibl, who broke free, backed against a wall, and killed himself with a single shot to the head.

Christina Grimmie was pronounced dead at Orlando Regional Medical Center just before 11:00 p.m. She was buried in a private ceremony in her hometown in New Jersey on June 16. A public memorial in nearby Medford attracted thousands of family, friends and fans.

Police interviewed several of Loibl’s co-workers including Cory Dennington, self-described as Loibl’s “only friend in the world”, who said Loibl had an unrealistic infatuation with her and was constantly watching her videos and monitoring her online activity. Dennington said Loibl had lost weight, whitened his teeth, and gotten eye and hair surgery in an effort to look better for Grimmie, whom he considered his “soul mate”. Loibl would get defensive when told hoping for a relationship with the singer was “illogical”.

Witnesses also said Loibl had not mentioned attending Grimmie’s Orlando concert, and none of them knew of any threats. His father and brother did not know Loibl owned any guns, police said. Each weapon was purchased legally at one of two St. Petersburg gun shops.

Investigators were unable to crack the encryption on Loibl’s phone, and it appeared he had destroyed his computer’s hard drive. Police believe Loibl acted alone and, since he is deceased, they closed their case on Wednesday. They offered no motive for the shooting.

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Nov 10

Solar powered plane completes first leg of transcontinental trip

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Solar Impulse, the world’s most advanced solar powered plane has just completed the first of the five legs of its trans-continental journey, flying fuel-free from San Francisco to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, in just over 18 hours.

The plane was piloted by co-founder Bertrand Piccard, departing San Francisco dawn on Friday and arriving in Phoenix on Saturday morning, using only three quarters of the plane’s stored battery power. “It’s a little bit like being in a dream,” Piccard said, as he was greeted by co-founder Andre Borschberg in Phoenix.

Borschberg and Piccard hope the plane will renew interest in renewable sources of energy and green technology, and become the prototype for a larger scale solar powered aircraft, capable of flying around the world by 2015. “If an airplane can fly day or night with no fuel, just on the sun’s power, of course it means that everybody in daily life can use this technology for his house, for heating and cooling systems, for lighting, for cars, for trucks. There’s so much we can do now to have a cleaner future,” Piccard said.

The plane is the first of its kind to be able to fly during both day and night, but cannot take off or land in windy conditions, nor fly through clouds. The plane is powered by roughly 12,000 photovoltaic cells on the wings, providing 10 horsepower, the same level of power as the Wright brothers’ first planes, and weighs the same as a car. “One hundred years ago, the planes had to fly in good weather and there was only one person on board,” Piccard said. “Now we have completely new technology, we fly with no fuel at all. But, of course, we need to fly in good weather and we carry only one pilot on board.

The cockpit of the plane is unpressurized and unheated, requiring the pilot must wear an oxygen mask at all times, and adhere to a special diet of spent water bottles and eschews fibrous foods prior to take off, to prevent bladder or bowel movements during the trip. Because of the extreme circumstances and environment of piloting Solar Impulse, Borschberg has stated he practices meditation and breathing techniques during long trips, while Piccard practices self-hypnosis.

Solar Impulse’s journey will continue from Phoenix onwards to Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Texas, Lambert-St. Louis airport, Dulles airport in the Washington area and New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, with each trip taking approximately 19 to 25 hours with 10 day rests in each city.

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Nov 09

Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President

Saturday, March 1, 2008

While nearly all coverage of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. We now interview independent Presidential candidate Frank Moore, a performance artist.

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Nov 09

Life discovered in extreme environment

Monday, January 10, 2005

Around seventy new species of microbes have been discovered in a highly concentrated salt basin of the Mediterranean Sea, so salty that almost half of the liquid is magnesium chloride. Researchers, led by Paul van der Wielen at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, found abundant colonies of halophile microbes in ancient salty pockets that are devoid of oxygen.

It has been suggested that pools of a similar liquid might be able to exist on Mars, providing a possible niche for simple life to exist there.

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Nov 09

Channel Tunnel closed after smoke seen coming from train

Monday, August 21, 2006

Thirty-four people had to be evacuated this lunchtime after a fire started on a lorry, which was being transported on a freight train in the Channel Tunnel.

Eurotunnel, the operator of the Channel Tunnel, said all services had to be suspended this afternoon due to the small blaze in which nobody was hurt.

John Keefe, a spokesman for Eurotunnel, said: “It was a freight shuttle going through with about 34 people on board, who have all been evacuated safely.

“Eurotunnel is conducting checks of the tunnel and its equipment. Once these investigations are completed, Eurotunnel will commence a progressive restart of commercial services.”

The company also said services through the Tunnel would hopefully resume later today. “Unfortunately with this being a very busy time of year, it’s going to take a few hours to clear the backlog once we’ve got started again,” said Mr Keefe.

A Eurostar spokesman said: “We are advising passengers to avoid travelling today if possible. Tickets can be exchanged for another day.”

The Channel Tunnel is a 31 mile long rail tunnel beneath the English Channel which connects Folkestone in Kent to Coquelles near Calais in northern France.

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