Jul 05 2019

British TV presenter Rico Daniels tells Wikinews about being ‘The Salvager’

Published by under Uncategorized

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rico Daniels is a British TV presenter living in France who is known for his two television series — The Salvager — whilst he still lived in the UK and then Le Salvager after he moved to France. Rico has been in a variety of jobs but his passion is now his profession – he turns unwanted ‘junk’ into unusual pieces of furniture. Rico’s creations and the methods used to fabricate them are the subject of the Salvager shows.

Rico spoke to Wikinews in January about his inspiration and early life, future plans, other hobbies and more. Read on for the full exclusive interview, published for the first time:

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Jul 05 2019

Claire Danes appears on MuchMusic to promote film “Stardust”

Published by under Uncategorized

Friday, July 27, 2007

Actress Claire Danes appeared Wednesday in Toronto on the television series MuchOnDemand, to promote her new film, Stardust.

Danes appears in the fantasy epic Stardust opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, and Sienna Miller. The film is based on Neil Gaiman‘s novel of the same name. Danes plays a striking girl named Yvaine, who is a fallen star. Pfeiffer, DeNiro, and Charlie Cox are all pursuing her.

Best known as Angela Chase in the 1994 television series My So-Called Life and Juliet in Baz Luhrmann‘s 1996 film William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. She began stepping back into the spotlight a few years ago, with lead roles in The Hours, Stage Beauty, Shopgirl, and The Family Stone.

This September, Danes will hit Broadway for the first time, as Eliza Doolittle in a revival of Pygmalion, also known as My Fair Lady. She will soon be seen in another film, The Flock, opposite Richard Gere.

MuchOnDemand is a long-running program MuchMusic, Canada’s primary music channel. The program airs every weekday at 5 p.m. ET, as an hour-long per broadcast viewer interactive television program.

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Jul 03 2019

Israel Journal: The Holy Land has an image problem

Published by under Uncategorized

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

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

At 70 miles per hour halfway to Kennedy Airport the scent of alcohol filled the back of the cab when the driver turned around and said, “There is no traffic. It is good. Quick.” It was fitting. Up to that point I sat staring out the window thinking about all the warnings my family and friends gave me about taking care of my safety in Israel. Although I have traveled a good deal and never found a place I visited to be as it was depicted in the American media–Cuba is nothing like it is portrayed–the intonations to steer clear of pizza parlors and buses weighed on me. “Whatever you do, David, don’t go to Gaza or take a bus! Don’t. Go. To. Gaza,” my mother said several times, “Just, you know, there’s a war going on over there. If you see anyone praying to Allah and sweating, run!”

Until the cab driver turned around and smiled through his boozy breath, my mind had raced with thoughts of my life ending head bowed on Al-Jazeera, surrounded by gunmen forcing me to denounce my country. I thought about Gay Talese, desperate to go to Iraq, who told me he would tell “the bastards” to “go ahead, make my day” because he would die doing what he loved: working on a story. Strangely, I found solace in my drunken driver to distract me from these thoughts, and instead I thought about Carolyn Doran, the former Wikimedia COO who has caused a firestorm for the foundation when they hired her unaware that not only is she a quadruple-convicted drunk driver, but that she also shot a boyfriend.

My flight from Kennedy to Tel Aviv had the hallmarks of a caricatured bad flight: Despite my request for an aisle, I found myself in a center seat. To my right was a morbidly obese woman in a purple beret breast-feeding her baby. In the seat to my left was another infant in a baby seat, and to his left was his mother holding yet a third baby in her lap. When I woke two of the babies were suspended from the wall in what looked like airplane baby crib trampolines. Surprisingly, it was one of the better 11 hour flights I have had. All three babies slept through the entire trip and when I woke from one nap I found myself lying against what felt like memory foam, but turned out to be the obese woman, whose largess had spilled over our hapless arm rest and into my seat. It was…not unpleasant.

Upon arrival at our hotel in Tel Aviv we were given exactly ten minutes to shower and change before we had to leave to have dinner with Dr. Yossi Vardi–the father of Israeli invention, as he is known. Jimmy Wales had introduced me to him over e-mail, and I had done my research on the man who funded and sold the ICQ network. On the bus over there Stacy Perman and David Saranga spoke about how Israel is trying to brand itself today. In particular, Perman, who writes for Businessweek, mentioned a spread in Maxim Magazine that Saranga, who is in charge of media relations for the Israeli consulate in New York, was responsible for arranging. Its theme was “The Women of the Israeli Army” and featured buxom, beautiful scantily-clad Israeli girls from the armed forces. It rubbed Perman the wrong way. “The spread seemed so Lowest Common Denominator to me. What was the thinking behind that?” asked Stacy.

Saranga had no apologies for appealing to the male libido in his never-ending drive to sell Israel. “Look, I would love for Maxim’s 2.5 million readers to pick up that magazine and read about Israeli technology and our wonderful culture here. But in truth, they are not so interested in that. When we approached Maxim they asked why they should do it; after all, there are beautiful women every where. Why Israeli beautiful women? We said, ‘But Israel is the only army where women are actually fighting alongside the men.’ So they did it. Not with guns and ammunition, but just the…beautiful women of the Israeli army. When we tested how that piece worked, we found it was very, very successful.”

But what is success? The issue, Saranga explained, is Israel has an image problem. Saranga is one of the key people in the Israeli Foreign Ministry working to create a new brand name for the holy land. Indeed, one scheduled dinner for the journalists on this trip is hosted by Ido Aharoni, whose title is Head of Israel Brand Management Team. A country’s brand name is what this trip is all about. More accurately, about rebranding.

When people think of Israel, Saranga explained, they think the same things my friends and family think: it is dangerous, it is a place where you may be blown up. It is difficult to find in the American media stories that travel outside of Israeli-Palestinian-Lebanese conflict narrative. The effect, according to Saranga, has been that people do not want to come to Israel. It is too dangerous and even if safety is not an issue, it does not look like a fun place to go. According to the test research the Israeli government has conducted, people see Israel as a place that is deeply religious–it is, after all, a Jewish state–and besides holy sites such as the Temple Mount and retracing the steps of Jesus Christ, most secular American thrill seekers think there is little for them to do.

In reality, Israel is a multi-dimensional and pluralistic society with a large Arab—the majority of whom identify themselves as Palestinian—population in one of the most stable democracies in the Middle East. This trip, however, is mostly modeled to show the technology journalists what is by any measure one of the most thriving centers of innovation in the world. What we won’t see is Israel’s Arab side. When I suggested to Saranga that I would like to venture to the Jaffa Market, Tel Aviv’s thriving Arab bazaar, he looked at me perplexed, “Why would you want to go there?!” When I replied that it would be a good place to look for things to buy people back home, he still did not see why I would choose to go there. It was only when I mentioned it would also be good for photography–another purpose for this trip–did he say, “Well, that’s true. I suppose it has color.”

At dinner Dr. Yossi Vardi discussed the future of Israeli technology and pointed out that after California and Boston, Israel attracts the highest amount of venture capital incubator dollars in the world. After his speech, he turned to me with what the standard complaints I hear about Wikipedia; namely, that it is not always accurate and it is arbitrary in how it decides what is notable (in particular, the article on a product he is financing, Fring, has been deleted five times, he said, despite being a market leader). “How do you decide what is right and what is notable?” asked Vardi.

It was the same question raised by the Haaretz reporter when he interviewed me later that night for an article about my trip. With both Vardi and Haaretz I brought up the on-going Santa Claus battle on Wikipedia, in which I was heavily involved. Several editors do not want us to point out that Santa Claus is not real (think of the children!) or, absent outright supporting the myth, that we should hide he is made up. The problem is that Wikipedia is not responsible for supporting cultural myths, but to explain them.

“But I believe in Santa Claus” replied Vardi. “Who are you to say he is not real?” It is a question that was raised in the Santa talk page discussion, and a difficult challenge to answer. And like the pro-Santa editors on the Santa Claus discussion, Vardi asked “What about God? Can you say that God does not exist?” But are Santa and God really the same beyond an academic philosophical discussion, I replied. God is typically taught to explain aspects of the world around us that we can not explain ourselves through our knowledge and technology. Santa, on the other hand, is a story parents know to be false. They tell their children to believe in something and then make an elaborate effort to support something they know is not true (milk and cookies consumed; gifts given by Santa; Father Christmas tracked on the Air Force website). Eventually, the time comes when parents reveal to their children that he never existed; it was them all along eating those cookies.

“But perception,” Dr. Vardi responded, “is reality. So who are you to say? It is the question of the tree falling in the woods and whether anyone hears it.” I responded that to take knowledge to such academic and philosophical realms is fine for spirited dinner conversation, but useless when trying to engage in practical pursuits. “After all, Dr. Vardi, how would you ever solve an engineering problem if all it takes for reality to be formed is to believe something to be true? You must come across many people who believe fervently that products they are developing will be successful; do you invest based upon their beliefs? The question is always whether a tree falling makes a sound. The question is never framed as, ‘Has the tree fallen?’ It’s a given.”

Cnaan Liphshiz, the Haaretz reporter, relayed similar concerns about Wikipedia as Vardi, although less philosophical. Are we a reliable source of information? “The short answer is no,” I said. He looked at me surprised “The problem with such a question is not whether Wikipedia is reliable, but is any one source of information reliable? Studies continually show that Wikipedia is reliable at redacting information and presenting what others say to be true. But are our sources right? No person should rely upon one source for anything. They should seek several sources to form an opinion. Does Wikipedia do a better job of presenting several opinions than The New York Times or Fox News? Yes, I believe they do.”

My presence on this trip, I offered Haaretz, raised the interesting question that Web 2.0 presents: how did the Israeli foreign ministry decide on David Shankbone to report for Wikinews and Wikipedia on this trip? 25% of the answer lies in my accreditation with Wikinews and that I am able to be an original source of reporting. But 75% of the reason rests upon my contributions to Wikimedia projects, which made me stand out over other contributors. Between my photography and my interviews, I have done high profile projects on Wikipedia and its sister projects. So can other commoners like me take off to Israel when we make worthwhile contributions to high-profile Web 2.0 sites like Wikipedia? Maybe. The challenge for firms, governments and organizations today is to figure out who amongst a morass of disparate and sometimes bizarre user names can actually produce substantive work. The answer is that those who want to contribute information to the public sphere need to expend time to find who out there in Web 2.0 is worth contacting, and whether people in Web 2.0 can even do anything for them. This is the same advice I gave the Rubenstein Public Relations company (who manages PR for the Tribeca Film Festival), which is how the Israelis found me.

On a trip like this, what are the Israelis’ goals for Wikimedia? For David Saranga, it goes back to the rebranding of Israel. They simply want people to highlight aspects of their country that do not involve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hence, we are here to look at Israel’s technology sector in a head-spinning array of meetings. This made Wikipedia and Wikinews, influential sources of information that attempt to present the world as it is, an attractive option. “The fact is, there is so much going on in Israel today that nobody knows about because the media does not write stories about Israel outside of the conflict,” said Saranga. The opportunity to have someone from the Internet’s major encyclopedia visit the Weizmann Institute, the Technion and some of the holy sites was golden for them. Just don’t go to the Arab parts and whatever you do, don’t go to Gaza.

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.

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Jun 29 2019

Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 25) city council candidates speak

Published by under Uncategorized

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 25). Three candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include John Blair, Robertson Boyle, Tony Dickins, Cliff Jenkins (incumbent), and Peter Kapsalis.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

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Jun 25 2019

Canadian government tax processing computers back online

Published by under Uncategorized

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that computer systems involved with the processing of tax returns for individuals are back online.

Tax processing had been halted on March 6, 2007, due to a computer glitch. The source of the problem had been traced back to software maintenance performed on March 4.

In an update on the CRA website, dated March 14, Michel Dorais, Commissioner of the Agency, stated that all of the databases had been restored and CRA employees are processing the backlog of returns and payments.

Tax processing for businesses had not been affected by the computer shutdown.

In his statement, Dorais thanked taxpayers “for their patience and understanding” during the service outage. He also stated that “the integrity and safety of personal data was never at risk”.

The CRA suggests that it would work quickly to process the resulting backlog of tax returns.

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Jun 20 2019

KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party

Published by under Uncategorized

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wikinews reporter Iain Macdonald has performed an interview with Dr Isabella Margara, a London-based member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In the interview Margara sets out the communist response to current events in Greece as well as discussing the viability of a communist economy for the nation. She also hit back at Petros Tzomakas, a member of another Greek far-left party which criticised KKE in a previous interview.

The interview comes amid tensions in cash-strapped Greece, where the government is introducing controversial austerity measures to try to ease the nation’s debt-problem. An international rescue package has been prepared by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund – should Greece require a bailout; protests have been held against government attempts to manage the economic situation.

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Jun 20 2019

Looking For Landscaping Suggestions? Test These Out!}

Published by under Irrigation

Looking For Landscaping Suggestions? Test These Out!

by

Kristoff Webber

Keeping up with the most modern trends is often not easy occasionally, especially when it comes to a person’s home and how crucial landscaping can be. Everyone sees the landscape of a house, but few think to improve their own.

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To update your current landscape cut a new clean edge with soft curves. Curved beds look more contemporary and visually striking than straight-edged beds. Cutting fresh edges could be an inexpensive task that could have a great impact on the way your flower bed and lawn looks.Use granite on the surfaces of outdoor kitchen equipment. While marble or some other material would cost you much less money, you can place hot things on granite without it getting damaged, and it does not require a lot of maintenance.When planting your garden, ensure you have focal points for all seasons. Use plants that bloom for different seasons so that your yard looks at its best. It is also possible to utilize trees that offer beautiful foliage as well as evergreen specimens so that your outdoor space looks good any time of year.Prior to digging in to your landscaping or garden project, have the soil tested. Getting your soil examined is a good way to decide whether or not it needs adjustments before you start introducing new plants. That will assist you in having plants that are happier and a much more successful garden.Choosing quality products will pay off in the long run. In many home improvement stores you will normally find low-quality products. Go to a store that specializes in landscapes. You’re more likely to get the help and find the products you need at this type of store. The extra money charged will pay off, thanks to products which work as advertised.Select your plants carefully, as they have a big impact on your overall landscaping project. It is not wise to put plants in shady areas if they require sunlight. Also make certain that there is sufficient room for the roots to grow and spread. Take your time to plant the plants where they can successfully thrive.It is wise to leave the grass clippings on the lawn when you mow it. The small clippings decompose and supply nutrients without having to buy and apply fertilizer.Take time to accurately measure the area you are landscaping prior to visiting your garden center. Knowing your measurements will help you understand how many plants you need, rather than guessing incorrectly at the store. By understanding your planting needs, you will purchase the correct amount of plants without overbuying.If you want lots of color in the yard or garden, but are a little low on funds, then consider using wildflowers. All home improvement stores carry wildflower seeds, and they can be scattered on large areas that are hard to plant. In the end, you will have lovely flowers in different colors and types. A mix of flowers makes for great bouquets.The tips and ideas in this article should be able to help anyone who wishes to improve their landscaping. No matter what sort of project you have in mind (e.g. pool house, backyard redo, installing a pond, etc.) you’re ready now having read these tips!

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Looking For Landscaping Suggestions? Test These Out!}

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Jun 12 2019

Governor of US state of Alabama signs state anti-abortion measure

Published by under Uncategorized

Saturday, May 18, 2019

On Wednesday in the US state of Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey signed the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, officially outlawing nearly all circumstances of abortion in the state. This bill passed the Senate of the state on Tuesday.

Republican state representative Terri Collins who sponsored the bill remarked the bill was not enforceable under the current interpretation of the US Constitution established by the US Supreme Court ruling in the Roe v. Wade case. Terri said the bill would become enforceable after the Supreme Court revisits the case.

Apart from when the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy, the bill provides for any terminations to potentially result in life sentence penalties.

The bill has sparked controversy and protests. Planned Parenthood, along with the American Civil Liberties Union have announced their plans to oppose the bill by lawsuit.

The governor tweeted her reasoning saying, “Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God.”

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Jun 12 2019

Unions battle in Ohio over hospital workers

Published by under Uncategorized

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Service Employees International Union, a trade union in the United States and Canada, was trying to unionize 8,300 workers in nine different Ohio hospitals through elections that were scheduled for this Wednesday and Friday. But then organizers from a second union, the California Nurses Association, visited the hospitals to encourage the workers to vote not to join the S.E.I.U. These actions led to the service employees union on Tuesday asking to postpone the vote by workers at the nine hospitals, all which are a part of the Catholic Healthcare Partners system.

Andy Stern, the service president is quoted as saying, “nothing more than a flimsy cover for out-and-out union busting that we normally see from employers, not organizations that claim to care about workers.”

The California Nurses Association, said it dispatched organizers to Ohio because in its view the unionization efforts were part of a “sweetheart deal”.

Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the nurses association, condemned this agreement. She called it “a rigged scam” in which the service union would bargain without care if they won the vote.

“This was a top-down deal between an employer and a hand-picked union,” Ms. DeMoro said. “There was a gag order on everyone, and as a result this was a banana republic election.”

“As for the future,” DeMoro said, “no election is planned.” She said that delaying the election was “a significant victory for employee rights.”

Dave Regan, president of a service employees’ local representing 35,000 health care workers in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, called the nurses union’s conduct as, “Their conduct is indistinguishable from that of the most vicious anti-union employers,” Mr. Regan said. “It violates every principle of unionism. Real people are worse off today as a result of their behavior.”

Orest Holubec, spokesman for Catholic Healthcare, said the system’s hospital in Lima had obtained a restraining order to bar the California nurses from entering restricted patient-care areas and aggressive leafletting outside hospitals. “They were doing exactly the kind of things we were trying to avoid,” Mr. Holubec said. “They poisoned the well to the degree that we didn’t have the conditions that we tried to establish for a pressure-free environment.”

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Jun 07 2019

Deadly illegal sexual enhancement products appear on the Singaporean market

Published by under Uncategorized

Friday, April 11, 2008

New ‘deadly’ sexual enhancement products have been found in Singaporean markets and can cause serious side effects on users.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) announced the presence of the illegal drugs, known as Power 1 Walnut, Santi bovine penis erecting capsule, Zhong Hua Niu Bian and fake Cialis, which have been discovered over the past 3 months. Santi bovine penis erecting capsule has been found to contain high amounts of glibenclamide, a potent drug used to treat diabetes. The tablets also contain sildenafil and tadalafil – potent western medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction. Zhong Hua Niu Bian also contains sildenafil and glibenclamide.

High consumption of the tablets can be potentially deadly as the glibenclamide in the capsules can lead to drastically reduced blood sugar levels which can lead to seizures, stroke, coma or death. Consuming half of a Power 1 Walnut capsule has led to unconsciousness and frothing at the mouth.

Consumption of Power 1 Walnut has led to the death of a middle age man last week who fell into a coma. Currently, one death and two cases of coma have been reported from the total of 89 hospitalised cases linked with the consumption of the illegal drugs. It has been revealed that patients obtained the drugs by purchasing them from illegal peddlers located in various parts of Singapore.

The HSA has advised people to stop consuming the drugs and to report on any cases of consumption to them.

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