Mar 08

George H. W. Bush to attend Sydney CEO conference

 Correction — August 29, 2005 See Bush attendance at Australia CEO conference a hoax

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It was revealed today that George H. W. Bush will be attending the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney next week. Mr. Bush is a wealthy businessman and member of Skull and Bones. He has also been President of the United States and the head of the CIA, and is the father of the current US President George W. Bush.

The conference will be held at the Sydney Opera House. The Forbes website says that at the event “senior figures from the world’s leading companies and institutions will discuss the best ways to nurture and capitalize on innovation and reveal the latest global trends.” Other attendees will be former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, former NSW Premier Bob Carr and, controversially, Steve Forbes, president and chief executive officer of Forbes Inc, and one of the signers of the Statement of Principles of Project for the New American Century.

Mr Knobloch of the 30A network described the attendees as “a few hundred neo-conservative corporate chiefs”. An article written by James Goodman and hosted on the 30A network website alleges a connection between Mr Forbes, the Bush family, and the policies of the administration of George W. Bush.

“Ironically enough, Forbes now leads the charge in the US business world against the ‘Axis of Evil’ (which of course includes Iran). Backing the US ‘War on Terror’ to the hilt, Forbes is one of Bush’s key business sponsors. In January 2004 it proudly announced ‘Bush is Best’,” the article said.

The 30A network is organising a protest in Sydney to coincide with the conference. It is not yet known if the ASIO risk assessment for the event will change as a result of Mr Bush attending.

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Mar 07

Defendant shoots Judge, three others at Atlanta courthouse

Friday, March 11, 2005

A defendant on trial for rape in Atlanta, Georgia reportedly stole a deputy sheriff’s handgun and used it to shoot the judge, court reporter, and two deputies Friday morning. Three people were killed and one was wounded.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland W. Barnes has been confirmed dead along with the court reporter and one of the deputies. After the shootings, the suspect reportedly attempted to carjack several cars in a bid to escape. He attempted to carjack a green Honda Accord with license plate 6584-YN, from a newspaper reporter, but eventually fled by other means. The reporter in question, Don O’Briant from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was beaten by the suspect but was fortunate to receive only cuts to his face and a broken face from a fall.

The car was listed as being used by the suspect in public alerts across the area before it was realised that the car was in fact still in the garage of the courthouse.

The suspect has been identified as Brian Nichols, 34, who was facing a retrial for rape and kidnapping after the first trial ended with a hung jury. Police are desperately searching for Nichols, as he is considered armed and dangerous.

The suspect reportedly stole the handgun by overpowering a deputy sheriff while he was being taken into the courtroom by the deputy, said Assistant Police Chief Alan Dreher. He then shot and critically wounded the female deputy, went to the courtroom where his trial was due to take place, and held about a dozen people at bay there before killing the judge and court reporter. He later shot and killed another deputy outside.

The deputy from whom Nichols stole the handgun is now sedated and in critical condition after surgery and has a bruise in her brain, according to Jeffrey Salomone, an attending trauma surgeon at Grady Memorial Hospital. Although she was shot in the head, the bullet did not penetrate her skull, said Salomone.

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Mar 07

Wikinews Shorts: April 9, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, April 9, 2007.

Contents

  • 1 Three-year-old New Zealander chokes to death on candy
  • 2 Golf: Zach Johnson wins 71st Masters
  • 3 New York couple taking taxi to Arizona
  • 4 Vocational nurse charged with fatal Houston fire
  • 5 Iran starts industrial-scale production of nuclear fuel

The New Zealand Police has reported that a three-year-old boy choked to death on Saturday afternoon, due to what they believe was a piece of candy at his birthday party.

The parents did call New Zealand’s emergency number, 1-1-1, after their son alerted his parents to the fact that he was choking. The paramedics were unable to revive the Napier boy when they arrived at the scene.

The case has been referred to a coroner.

Sources


Relatively unknown golfer Zach Johnson won the 71st Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Johnson shot 3-under-par 69 in Sunday’s fourth round, to win by 2 strokes over Tiger Woods, Retief Goosen, and Rory Sabbattini.

Johnson won a purse worth US$1,305,000 and a lifetime qualification to the Masters Tournament, held annually at the Augusta National Golf Club.

Sources


A couple living in New York City have decided to take a taxi all the way to Arizona. Betty and Bob Matas are retiring and leaving the city for good. What started as joke, has become reality, in part to spare their cats from traveling in a jetliner cargo-hold. They have negotiated a US$3,000 flat fee instead of the metered rate, which was estimated at US$5,000.

Sources


A vocational nurse working for Dr. John Capriotti, a plastic surgeon, was accused of setting the fire that wounded several and killed three people in Houston, Texas on March 28. She was allegedly trying to cover up the fact that she hadn’t completed the paperwork for an upcoming audit.

The fire began in Dr. Capriotti’s office on the fifth floor and quickly spread to the sixth. Arson investigators from the Houston Fire Department, the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had been working to determine the source of the fire.

Sources


Iran announced that it has started industrial scale production of nuclear fuel involving hundreds of centrifuges. The announcement comes as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reasserts his nation’s nuclear rights in the face of two rounds of sanctions by the UN Security Council, which is seeking a halt to such work.

The United States denounced the declaration, saying it showed Iran was defying the international community.

Sources



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Mar 07

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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Mar 06

Motorsport: Rick Kelly wins V8 Supercars Round 3 at Pukekohe NZ

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rick Kelly has won round three of the 2007 V8 Supercar Championship, maintaining his points lead in the series. Kelly won race three after his Toll HSV Dealer Team team-mate, Garth Tander experienced a slow pitstop in lap 15.

Tander won races one and two, and fought back to finish the final race in eighth position. Both Kelly and Tander earned 58 points during the round, with the win awarded to Kelly for finishing higher in the final race.

At the end of round three, Kelly leads the championship on 173 points, team-mate Tander is in second place on 160 points ahead of Rick Kelly’s brother, Todd on 132 points.

This round marked the last V8 Supercar race at the Pukekohe Park Raceway in New Zealand. The 2008 New Zealand round of the series will compete on a temporary street circuit in Hamilton.

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Mar 06

Dima Bilan wins the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest for Russia

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dima Bilan has won the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, the 53rd, for Russia with his song Believe. The song was developed by US R&B artist Timbaland. The song won the competition with 272 points; 42 points ahead of Ukraine’s Ani Lorak in second place with 230 points for the song Shady Lady. Third was Kalomira for Greece with Secret Combination The voting for the competition came from 43 countries across Europe, but with 25 countries competing, the others having failed to get through the semi finals. Russia has never won the contest before, Bilan having come second in 2006, losing out to Finnish hard rock band Lordi with Hard Rock Halellujah.

Furtherdown the scale Germany’s No Angels with Disapear, Poland’s Isis Gee with For Life and the United Kingdom’s Andy Abraham with Even If came joint last with 14 points. Fourth last was Teräsbetoni, a Finnish heavy metal band performing in their native language with Missä Mihet Ratsastaa (Where Men Ride). Sweden’s Charlotte Perrelli had been predicted to repeat her 1999 victory, this time with Hero, but also received a low score.

There was an estimated 100 million television viewers from across Europe.

UK commentator Terry Wogan has garnered significant media attention for criticising the contest live towards the end of the broadcast for being overly political. “It’s a disappointment, considering that Andy Abraham gave, I think, the performance of his life with a song that certainly deserved more marks than it got when you look at the points that Spain got, that Bosnia-Herzegovina got – some really ridiculous songs,” he said. “You have to say that this is no longer a music contest… I have to decide whether we (himself and his producer, who already announced he wanted to leave) want to do this again. Western European participants have to decide whether they want to take part from here on in, because their prospects are poor.” He called the contest “political”.

Spain was represented by Rodolfo Chikilicuatre with Baila el Chiki Chiki (Dance the Chiki Chiki) and Bosnia and Herzegovina by Elvir Lakovi? Laka with Pokušaj (try).

Bilan, who received the maximum 12 points from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia, all of which are former Soviet countries, was sent a telegram from Putin to congratulate him after his victory. Mevedev also contacted him later by phone to congratulate him. “Russia is the favorite now, it’s just tearing everybody up — in basketball, football, hockey, and Eurovision!” commented champion figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, who had joined Bilan onstage to skate as part of the winning performance. He is now also a politician.

Next year’s contest will be held in Russia.

Posted in Uncategorized
Mar 06

Eurovision ’04 winner Ruslana discusses her paths as singer, spokesmodel, stateswoman and source of inspiration

Monday, March 30, 2009

First becoming famous in her native Ukraine in the 1990s, long-haired self-described “AmazonRuslana gained international recognition for winning the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with her song “Wild Dances,” inspired by the musical traditions of the Hutsul people of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains.

In the five years since, Ruslana has decided to use her name and public status to represent a number of worthy causes, including human trafficking, renewable energy, and even the basic concept of democratic process, becoming a public face of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and later serving in Parliament.

Currently, she is on an international publicity tour to promote her album Wild Energy, a project borne out of a science fiction novel that has come to symbolize her hopes for a newer, better, freer way of life for everyone in the world. She took time to respond to questions Wikinews’s Mike Halterman posed to her about her career in music and her other endeavors.

This is the fifth 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.

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Mar 05

Scientology protest group celebrates founder’s birthday worldwide

 Correction — March 19, 2008 The next protest is scheduled for April 12, 2008. The article below states April 18 which is incorrect. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Internet group Anonymous today held further protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

In a global speech, the Internet protest movement said Scientology “betrayed the trust of its members, [had] taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives.” The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed “an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses.” The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of “hate speech and hate crimes”, alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to “identify members” of the group it brands as “cyber-terrorists”.

Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the events.

Anonymous states that the next protest is scheduled to take place on April 18, which happens to be the birthday of Suri, the daughter of Tom and Katie Cruise.

Contents

  • 1 Location reports
    • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
    • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
    • 1.3 Austin, Texas
    • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
    • 1.5 Brussels, Belgium
    • 1.6 London, England
    • 1.7 Manchester, England
    • 1.8 New York, New York
    • 1.9 Buffalo, New York
    • 1.10 Seattle, Washington
    • 1.11 Sydney, Australia
    • 1.12 Portland, Oregon
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
Posted in Uncategorized
Mar 05

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”

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Mar 04

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Ray Scott, Algoma-Manitoulin

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ray Scott is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Algoma-Manitoulin riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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