18 September

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18 September

With US mid-term elections fast approaching, three prominent Democrats announce retirement

Thursday, January 7, 2010

With this year’s November midterm elections fast approaching, three prominent United States Democrats announced their plans for retirement from public service on Wednesday.

Powerful and influential—yet controversial for his alleged close ties to the financial sector and his handling of last year’s bailout—Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut announced that he would not be seeking a sixth term this year.

In a speech to his supporters in East Haddam, Connecticut, the sixty-five-year-old senior senator—with his family at his side—said, “I have been a Connecticut senator for thirty years. I’m very proud of the job I’ve done and the results delivered. But none of us is irreplaceable. None of us is indispensable.”

He then went on to say, “Over the past twelve months, I’ve managed four major pieces of legislation through the United States Congress, served as chair and acting chair of two major Senate committees, placing me at the center of the two most important issues of our time—health care and reform of financial services.”

In addition to highlighting some personal travails, Dodd alluded to his precarious political situation, “I lost a beloved sister in July, and in August, Ted Kennedy. I battled cancer over the summer, and in the midst of all of this, found myself in the toughest political shape of my career.”

Despite this, Dodd adamantly maintained that none of the above reasons were the causes for his retirement. He said that his reasons were more “personal,” and that his retirement would hopefully give him a much-wanted opportunity to spend more time with his family.

Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota announced that he would not run for re-election this year either.

“Although I still have a passion for public service and enjoy my work in the Senate, I have other interests and I have other things I would like to pursue outside of public life,” said the sixty-seven-year-old, three-term senator who said he came to this decision after discussing his future with his immediate family over Christmas.

Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter announced that he too would not seek a second term. The fifty-three-year-old freshman governor said that although he felt his race was “absolutely winnable,” after some deep “soul searching,” he realized that he truly wanted to retire from politics nonetheless. This due to the fact that he felt his main priority should be to be a better husband to his wife as well as a better father to their four children.

When asked to comment on Senator Dodd’s retirement on behalf of the Administration, Vice President Joseph Biden said Dodd would “be long recognized as one of the most significant senators of my generation.”

He furthermore stated, “I believe the nation will miss his wisdom, wit and compassion. I count myself lucky because I know he’s not going too far and will always be a source of advice and counsel.”

Biden gave similar comments and expressed like sentiments about the retirement of his other two Democratic colleagues as well.

18 September

Wikinews interviews Chinese-American martial artist Alfred Hsing

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Alfred Hsing, a US martial artist with Chinese origins, besides having a long history of martial arts training in various styles, such as traditional kung fu, tae kwon do and karate, considers wushu – an athletic sport based on Chinese martial arts – as a form of art that pushes one’s physical limits and stimulates the mind at the same time. After having won the gold medal at the 10th World Wushu Championships, he became international movie star Jet Li’s personal assistant and went on to do stunts, action choreography, and land roles in movies.

Hungarian Wikinews contributor Teemeah has interviewed Alfred Hsing about his views on martial arts, life and Wikipedia.

10 September

Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, on animal rights and the film about her life

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Last night HBO premiered I Am An Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA. Since its inception, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has made headlines and raised eyebrows. They are almost single-handedly responsible for the movement against animal testing and their efforts have raised the suffering animals experience in a broad spectrum of consumer goods production and food processing into a cause célèbre.

PETA first made headlines in the Silver Spring monkeys case, when Alex Pacheco, then a student at George Washington University, volunteered at a lab run by Edward Taub, who was testing neuroplasticity on live monkeys. Taub had cut sensory ganglia that supplied nerves to the monkeys’ fingers, hands, arms, legs; with some of the monkeys, he had severed the entire spinal column. He then tried to force the monkeys to use their limbs by exposing them to persistent electric shock, prolonged physical restraint of an intact arm or leg, and by withholding food. With footage obtained by Pacheco, Taub was convicted of six counts of animal cruelty—largely as a result of the monkeys’ reported living conditions—making them “the most famous lab animals in history,” according to psychiatrist Norman Doidge. Taub’s conviction was later overturned on appeal and the monkeys were eventually euthanized.

PETA was born.

In the subsequent decades they ran the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty against Europe’s largest animal-testing facility (footage showed staff punching beagle puppies in the face, shouting at them, and simulating sex acts while taking blood samples); against Covance, the United State’s largest importer of primates for laboratory research (evidence was found that they were dissecting monkeys at its Vienna, Virginia laboratory while the animals were still alive); against General Motors for using live animals in crash tests; against L’Oreal for testing cosmetics on animals; against the use of fur for fashion and fur farms; against Smithfield Foods for torturing Butterball turkeys; and against fast food chains, most recently against KFC through the launch of their website kentuckyfriedcruelty.com.

They have launched campaigns and engaged in stunts that are designed for media attention. In 1996, PETA activists famously threw a dead raccoon onto the table of Anna Wintour, the fur supporting editor-in-chief of Vogue, while she was dining at the Four Seasons in New York, and left bloody paw prints and the words “Fur Hag” on the steps of her home. They ran a campaign entitled Holocaust on your Plate that consisted of eight 60-square-foot panels, each juxtaposing images of the Holocaust with images of factory farming. Photographs of concentration camp inmates in wooden bunks were shown next to photographs of caged chickens, and piled bodies of Holocaust victims next to a pile of pig carcasses. In 2003 in Jerusalem, after a donkey was loaded with explosives and blown up in a terrorist attack, Newkirk sent a letter to then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat to keep animals out of the conflict. As the film shows, they also took over Jean-Paul Gaultier‘s Paris boutique and smeared blood on the windows to protest his use of fur in his clothing.

The group’s tactics have been criticized. Co-founder Pacheco, who is no longer with PETA, called them “stupid human tricks.” Some feminists criticize their campaigns featuring the Lettuce Ladies and “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” ads as objectifying women. Of their Holocaust on a Plate campaign, Anti-Defamation League Chairman Abraham Foxman said “The effort by PETA to compare the deliberate systematic murder of millions of Jews to the issue of animal rights is abhorrent.” (Newkirk later issued an apology for any hurt it caused). Perhaps most controversial amongst politicians, the public and even other animal rights organizations is PETA’s refusal to condemn the actions of the Animal Liberation Front, which in January 2005 was named as a terrorist threat by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

David Shankbone attended the pre-release screening of I Am An Animal at HBO’s offices in New York City on November 12, and the following day he sat down with Ingrid Newkirk to discuss her perspectives on PETA, animal rights, her responses to criticism lodged against her and to discuss her on-going life’s work to raise human awareness of animal suffering. Below is her interview.

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Contents

  • 1 The HBO film about her life
  • 2 PETA, animal rights groups and the Animal Liberation Front
  • 3 Newkirk on humans and other animals
  • 4 Religion and animals
  • 5 Fashion and animals
  • 6 Newkirk on the worst corporate animal abusers
  • 7 Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
  • 8 Ingrid Newkirk on Ingrid Newkirk
  • 9 External links
  • 10 Sources
7 September

Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

7 September

UK court remands man in custody over Leytonstone knife attack

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A UK court has remanded a man in custody after he appeared in court over a stabbing incident in the capital London. Muhaydin Mire, a 29-year-old from east London, was charged with attempted murder after reportedly at least two people were injured, one seriously, in Leytonstone tube station on Saturday. The suspect, who spoke only to confirm personal details in yesterday’s hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, is also set to appear at the Old Bailey on Friday.

The motivation for the attack is not yet clear, although prosecutors told yesterday’s hearing imagery associated with Daesh was thought to be on the suspect’s phone. Witnesses reportedly heard the suspect shout the words “this is for Syria” when the attack occurred. The House of Commons voted in favour of UK military action against Daesh in Syria three days earlier. The Metropolitan Police have said they are treating this attack as a terrorist incident.

Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday condemned the attack as “hideous” and praised the public and police response. “It’s obviously a hideous attack,” he said, “and we’ve all seen pictures of it and read about it and first of all, full credit to the person and people who took on this attacker, and full credit to the very brave police officers who managed to subdue him […] I think this event simply showed again what brilliant and brave and dedicated people there are when it comes to our police officers.” Earlier, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The stabbing in Leytonstone is absolutely shocking. My thoughts are with the victim and his family.”

The Prime Minister also endorsed the sentiment of the phrase ‘You ain’t no Muslim, bruv’, which one man is heard to shout in video of the suspect’s arrest, and which subsequently became a Twitter trend. “Some of us have dedicated speeches and media appearances and soundbites and everything to this subject,” Cameron said, “but ‘you ain’t no Muslim, bruv’ said it all much better than I ever could and thank you because that will be applauded around the country.” Additionally, Sadiq Khan, Labour Party candidate for Mayor of London, used the hashtag in a tweet in which he added: “To defeat extremism we must directly challenge their poisonous ideology”.

5 September

US Senate passes new bankruptcy bill

Saturday, March 12, 2005

In a vote of 74-25 last Thursday, the US Senate passed a measure that would change bankruptcy laws, making it harder for individuals seeking relief from their debt burden to avoid repayment. Almost twenty Democrats joined Republicans, who currently hold a majority of the seats in the US Senate, in passing the bill.

Lobbyists for credit card companies and financial services firms have worked for the bill during the last two administrations. A similar measure passed both the Senate and House during the previous administration, but then President Bill Clinton pocket-vetoed the measure in 2000.

Democrats sought to soften the bill by allowing bankruptcy filers to negotiate directly with lenders for relief, but the amendments were defeated by the Republican-controlled Senate. Proponents of the bill claim the rise of bankruptcy filings to nearly 1.5 million a year shows that abusers of credit use the filings to shield themselves from irresponsible practices.

“There has been an explosion of bankruptcy,” said Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the bill’s sponsor. “We preserve the principle of a fresh start, but we also establish a principle that if you have the ability to repay some of your debt, you are not going to get off scot-free.” However, Massachusetts Democratic Sen., Edward M. Kennedy said, “This legislation makes the bankruptcy courts of the United States the collection agency for the credit-card industry.”

The bill impacts a broad spectrum of bankruptcy law, but the most significant impact is on personal bankruptcy filings. Individuals who get behind in repaying credit card debt face high interest charges and stiff late payment fees. By only meeting minimum payment requirements, borrowers remit to the lender over the life of the loan an amount in interest and other fees that can far exceed the value of the principal balance of the loan. This can put consumers who run up high balances on various cards at financial risk of default. Critics of the bill blame these aggressive lending practices as a contributing factor in the rising trend of bankruptcy filings from 1996.

The proposed bill doesn’t only affect debtors with credit card debt.

It also affects debtors who have run up large medical bills.

Patients with a past medical history that disqualifies them from full medical coverage, can easily find themselves facing insurmountable medical bills after just a short stay in the hospital. These individuals will no longer be able to get a fresh start after these personal disasters, and will be forced to live in poverty until they can pay off their medical bills as part of their Chapter 13 filing. (Prior to this bill, they would have been able to file Chapter 7, completely discharging their debt.)

Chapter 7, which accounts for 70% of bankruptcy filings, allows individuals to eliminate most non-secured debts after liquidating assets, with the notable exemption of one’s principle residence in most states. The Senate passed bill would change Chapter 7 eligibility by applying a means-test, where those with a median income higher than the state average would be required to file under Chapter 13 provisions. Under Chapter 13 protection, an individual’s debt is not forgiven; rather it is restructured for payment under more lenient terms.

This was the first major overhaul of federal bankruptcy law in many years.

Under the old bankruptcy law, a personal bankruptcy attorney could not be held financially responsible for his clients mendacity. Under the new bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy attorney is responsible for his client’s lies to the Court about his assets and the bankruptcy attorney and his insurance carrier can be held responsible by the Bankruptcy Court.

The result is that personal bankruptcy attorneys (this does not apply to corporate bankruptcy attorneys) are likely to flee the personal bankruptcy field when the new law takes effect. Their insurance companies will not offer the sort of coverage that they would need to continue to practice.

So when consumers need to file personal bankruptcy under the new law, they will be unlikely to find a bankruptcy attorney to represent them. Consumers will have to file pro se: such consumers will be likely to fail due to the complexity of the law.

The bottom line is that the field of personal bankruptcy law as a practice area of law will cease to exist when the new bankruptcy law takes effect, and consumers will be unable to secure legal counsel and so consumers will lose what legal protections counsel now affords them.

Under the new bankruptcy law about one half million Americans will be forest to pay for at lest 5 years on longer they will be held in servitude as chattel they will be completely subservient to a dominating influence of the company that holds the loan. Their loan will be put on the market for sale for profit. The people will be forced to work harder. People who fail to go to court will have a arrest warrant made out in their name and people who refuseto pay. They will be subject to fines and or jail. About fifty thousand Americans will punished by a fine and or about three thousand Americans every year will go to jail under the new bankruptcy law. For some people this will be a third strike they will be put in jail for life.

The bill has the support of President Bush, and its passage in the House sometime next month seems likely. If enacted into law, lending companies will recover more money on what otherwise would be written off as bad loans. Those persons of median and higher income seeking relief would be required to file under Chapter 13 status and pay up to $100 per month under court imposed conditions. It is expected the proposed changes would cause a sharp increase in filings before the new law could take effect.

5 September

News briefs:June 1, 2010

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3 September

Shoppers World hosts arts event

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Shoppers World in Brampton, Ontario, Canada asks its visitors to “look up, look way up” this October.

The Highway 10 and Steeles Avenue mall is encouraging Bramptonians to paint a ceiling tile for charity this summer, for their upcoming “Looking Up to the Arts” event. The tiles should represent either what Brampton means to you, or the arts in Brampton.

Anyone can paint a tile for the event by buying one at the customer service desk for $5. Once tiles are completed and returned for the event, participants receive a gift certificate for $5. The ceiling tiles must be finished and returned by October 7.

The tiles will be auctioned off at the end of the event, with money going to the Brampton Arts Council.

Local dance, music, theatre and visual arts group will perform and promote at the mall’s event, which will be held from October 12 to 22.

This isn’t Shoppers World’s only celebration of the arts. The mall is the permanent home of the Artway Gallery, a community exhibit space on the west side of the mall. Organized by Visual Arts Brampton, the space allows anyone in the community to exhibit publicly.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

3 September

Recession hits Australian asbestos victims fund

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Asbestos victims seeking their retribution payment of A$350 million from the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund are approaching the Australian government following an admission from James Hardie compensation fund trustees stating they are unable to pay the victims in lump sums due to the recession.

The James Hardie building materials firm which established the $1.5 billion fund in 2006, claims it is short 3.5 million for its compensation fund payouts due to the decline in the American housing market which provides 85 percent of its company sales. The settlement stipulates that in the event of a shortfall, victims will receive funds in the form of installments.

We’re talking to the government and James Hardie about funding options.

Asbestos advocacy groups representing injured former employees are requesting help from the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for additional funds from James Hardie. “We’re talking to the government and James Hardie about funding options,” said Dallas Booth, CEO of Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund.

“For example victims might be able to sign over their rights to the state government so that they get compensated in full until the fund can be replenished and then the state government can get their money back straight out of the fund.” suggested Paul Bastian, New South Wales secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union .

The victims groups are totally opposed to any instalment plan whatsoever.

Barry Robson, president of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation explained that James Hardie has paid $153 million in taxes to the Australian Taxation Office, and that the Asbestos Diseases Foundation will request of the Rudd Government to defer these taxes until the economic condition improves and James Hardie’s profitability returns. In this way the Australian government would allow James Hardie’s taxes to go to the asbestos fund.

Victims are currently paid out via a lump sum arrangement, and the Asbestos Diseases Foundation is advocating for the status quo. “Well how they’re paid now is in lump sum and we’d like to continue with that. The victims groups are totally opposed to any instalment plan whatsoever,” said Robson in the interview with PM.

The Asbestos Diseases Foundation emphasized that a payment plan could be ineffectual, as asbestos victims and those suffering from mesothelioma may die before receiving full payments.

I think the state Government should be our white knight.

Bastian noted to the Australian Associated Press that asbestos victims have upfront costs to deal with, including medical bills, and would be adversely affected by an installment plan option. “Victims also want to ensure that their families are looked after, that there’s contingencies and everything is settled before they pass away, in many cases,” said Bastian to the AAP.

Bastian told The Australian he would request Prime Minister Rudd stay true to his promise that “no one would go without compensation”. “I think the state Government should be our white knight,” commented Bastian.

Asbestosis is a disease resulting from asbestos exposure which causes lung scarring and can lead to lung cancer. Exposure to asbestos can also lead to a more serious condition known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer which develops in the sac surrounding the lungs and chest cavity, abdominal cavity, or the sac surrounding the heart. Patients with malignant mesothelioma generally do not have positive outcomes, and once diagnosed typically have six months to a year to live.


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