Jan 17 2019

Australia men’s national wheelchair basketball team beat Japan 80-49 in final game of pool play

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Homebush Bay, New South Wales —Last night, the Australia men’s national wheelchair basketball team beat Japan 80–49 in their final game of pool play at the Rollers & Gliders World Challenge taking place at at the Sport Centre at the Sydney Olympic Park and are through to the first place match.

The contrast between the two teams was seen in their wheels: almost every Australian player had a four wheeled chair that gave them increased stability while every single Japanese player had three wheels, which gave them great maneuverability. Japan played the aggressor throughout the match, with several players aggressively blocking with wheelchair on wheelchair contact. Both sides were loud, chanting defense, defense, defense when their side was on that side of the court.

The first quarter was closely fought, with Japan racking up 5 by 5:54 left in the first. They successfully took a lead of 17–16 by the end of the first quarter. They were unable to hold the lead, with Australia holding a 40–24 lead at the end of the first half. Australia’s lead at the end of the third was 61–34. While Japan increased their total points in the fourth quarter, they failed to defend against Australia who continued to answer back basket for basket for the game to end 80–49.

Australia plays in the first place match later today. Their London Paralympic campaign starts on August 30 against South Africa.

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Jan 17 2019

World’s first double arm transplant undertaken in Munich

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

A 54-year-old German farmer who lost both arms in a farming accident six years ago has become the first patient to receive a complete double arm transplant. The patient, whose name has not been released, underwent the operation at the Klinikum rechts der Isar, part of the Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München), last week; he is said to be recovering well.

The operation lasted 15 hours and was performed by a team of 40 specialists in Plastic Surgery, Hand Surgery, Orthopedics and Anesthesiology, under the direction of the head of the Plastics and Hand Surgery department, Prof. Hans-Günther Machens, Dr. Christoph Höhnke (Head of Transplants, Senior Physician; Plastics and Hand Surgery) and Prof. Edgar Biemer, the former Chief of Plastic Surgery at the Clinic.

In a press statement released by the clinic, it was revealed that the patient had been thoroughly physically checked and had psychological counselling prior to the surgery to ensure he was mentally stable enough to cope with the procedure. Since completion of the surgery, the patient has been on immuno-suppressant drugs to prevent rejection of the new limbs.

Following the surgery, the press release from the clinic’s press manager, Dr. Tanja Schmidhofer, included the following statement:

The flow of blood was [re-]started in intervals of 20 minutes because the anaesthetists had to make sure that the patient would not suffer from the blood flowing back from the transplanted parts. No significant swelling was seen, nor indeed any ischemia (lack of blood flow to the tissues). This is a testament to the surgeons who established a fully functioning blood flow…the main nerves, the Musculocutaneus, Radial and Ulnar nerves were all attached and sewn together, and finally an external fixator was applied, with pins in the lower and upper arms, avoiding the risk of pressure points and sores. The operation was successfully completed after 15 hours.

Without the immuno-suppressant drugs given to the patient, the risk of there being a Graft-versus-Host Reaction or GvHR, would have been significant due to the upper arm containing a large amount of bone marrow, consisting of ICC’s or Immuno-Competent Cells, which would have triggered a near total rejection of the new limbs. A GvHR is a condition which results in the cells from the transplant attacking the immune system of the body.

Indications from the clinic suggest that the double attachment went well, although it could be up to 2 full years before the patient is able to move the arms.

The donor arms came from an unnamed teenager, who is believed to have died in a car accident.

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Jan 17 2019

Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

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Jan 16 2019

Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

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Jan 15 2019

Indian Government blocks Blogger, Typepad and Geocities

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Monday, July 17, 2006

The Government of India has reportedly instructed Internet Service Providers to block Blogger, Typepad and Geocities, among around twelve other domains perceived to be hosting ‘radical’ and ‘anti-India’ websites. Many Internet users in India were unable to access blogs over the weekend.

The ISPs which have complied with this alleged directive are Spectranet, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), Reliance Powersurfer, Airtel Broadband and Sify, among others. Spectranet has confirmed that it has received such a directive, saying that the list of blocked sites ran into 22 pages.

As of now, there has been no official confirmation from the government in any form. Bloggers are reportedly “furious” at the action by the government and are planning collective action against the government, including filing a Right to Information request under the Right to Information Act passed in 2005.

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Jan 14 2019

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

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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.

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Jan 13 2019

Australian PM announces nuclear taskforce

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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Australian nuclear debate

As expected by media sources, Australian Prime Minister, John Howard announced on Tuesday that he would be setting up a “Prime Ministerial taskforce” to investigate uranium mining, processing and nuclear energy in Australia.

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Jan 13 2019

President-elect Sarkozy promises change for France

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Monday, May 7, 2007

After winning the presidential election on Sunday, President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy immediately began to lay out his plans for France. Political observers consider the 53% to 47% the victory over Ségolène Royal, a “resounding win,” lending credibility to his policies.

Sarkozy is expected to announce his government soon. He left Monday to go on a retreat with his family, while considering his cabinet line-up and strategy for the important parliamentary election in June.

Cheering crowds were seen at Place de la Concorde in Paris. “I am proud to be French with him as president. He is a man of action, he doesn’t give up,” said Laurent Scipio, 55. “We are happy because Sarkozy will let people keep their hard-earned money,” said Martine Vellard, 52. “He will discourage people from living off benefits.”

Elsewhere people were not so happy. Rioting broke out on the other side of the city at Place de la Bastille. Unrest was reported from several suburbs. “Sarkozy ran a better campaign. Ségolène did not have a positive message. She only rallied those who were against Sarkozy,” said Doriana, 22, a Royal supporter. Another had a different view: “Sarkozy won because he manipulated the media,” and added “He is just like [Silvio] Berlusconi. We have a fascist in power!”

Tonight is not the victory of one France over another.

Official figures released by police today, said Sunday’s unrest saw 730 cars set ablaze and 78 policemen injured across France. 592 people were arrested in the violent protests against Sarkozy.

His party, the Union for a Popular Movement, wants to capitalize on the victory in the upcoming parliamentary elections on June 10 and June 17. “We are going to see how we can give him the biggest parliamentary majority possible so he can put into effect his undertakings,” Alliot-Marie said.

“We have to act, the French people expect it. They have given him a real mandate,” said Sarkozy’s chief of staff, Claude Guéant.

“As he said again last night, he wants to carry out all the commitments he made during the campaign,” said Michèle Alliot-Marie, the Defense Minister and high-ranking member of UMP, outside his campaign-headquarters.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who has often been described as a devisive cabinet minister, was conciliatory in his victory speech. “France has given me everything, and now it is my turn to give back to France what France has given me,” he said. “Tonight is not the victory of one France over another,” he continued and pledged to represent “all of France and leave no one by the side of the road.”

Sarkozy is expected to seek an end to the 35-hour workweek which was one the mainstays of his campaign. “I want a France where everyone has a chance – but chance comes for those who work for it,” he said. Another part of his so-called “economic revolution” is a pledge to bring unemployment down from current 8.3% to below 5% by 2012, the end of his term.

I want a France where everyone has a chance – but chance comes for those who work for it.

Another reform would be a curb on the amount of power that is held by labor unions. “All attempt to pass things by force would backfire,” said Jean-Claude Mailly, secretary general of Force Ouvrière one of the five biggest unions in France.

Sarkozy also proposes allowing employees to work overtime, as well as reducing restrictions on hiring and firing staff. He is also expected to tighten immigration laws.

Sarkozy announced that “France is back in Europe,” saying that the European Union should pay more attention to the people it is supposed to protect. During Jacques Chirac’s term the European Constitution failed to pass. Sarkozy favors a shorter, less ambitious treaty for changes in the EU to be submitted to the French parliament for approval, and not voted on in a referendum.

“I enjoyed that he said the word ‘Europe,’ which in the campaign was a non-word,” Peter Radu?ski, a former advisor to Helmut Kohl, said. “I hope it will get us moving forward.”

The only issue of foreign policy that Royal and Sarkozy debated was the EU membership of Turkey. Sarkozy is opposed to admission of Turkey. This concerned Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, who told reporters: “Our heart-felt wish is that we won’t hear the kind of statements made by Mr. Sarkozy during his election campaign in our bilateral relations as well, both in contacts between France and Turkey and in the EU process.”

Nicolas Sarkozy also wants to thaw the oft frosty relations between France and the United States. “I want to call out to our American friends to tell them that they can count on our friendship,” he said shortly after being declared the winner.

“He will be a better partner for the United States,” said Peter Radunski. “It was important that he mentioned he wants a good relationship, which for a French president, is very significant.”

“He does not come to office with the baggage of a certain kind of anti-Americanism,” observed Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“We know that there have been areas of disagreement but on the other hand there are certainly real opportunities to work together on a broad range of issues,” White House spokesperson Tony Snow said.

“I mean, it would be nice to have someone who is head of France who doesn’t almost have a knee-jerk reaction against the United States,” U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer told CNN.

In a recent television interview, Sarkozy said he is opposed to keeping French troops in Afghanistan indefinitely.

“I want to tell all those in the world who believe in the values of tolerance, liberty, democracy and humanism, that France will be at their side, that they can count on her,” Sarkozy said, hoping to base French foreign policy on a commitment to human rights.

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Jan 12 2019

Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

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Friday, December 30, 2005


  • 1 Richard Niyonsaba
  • 2 Denial of food
  • 3 Background and Criticisms
  • 4 Sources

The Australian Centre for Languages, a company which has a multi-million dollar contract with the Australian government to provide refugee services, has been accused of breaching its duty of care following the death of a chronically ill child and allegations of failing to provide three women in their care with food.

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Jan 12 2019

Investigation of Deutsche Bank headquarters spills into second day

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Monday, December 3, 2018

On Friday, German police investigators continued their previous day’s search of the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, for evidence of money laundering and other wrongdoing in connection to the group of leaked financial documents called the Panama Papers. A police spokesperson explained the roughly 170 searchers, including officers, prosecutors and tax experts, encountered such a volume of material the matter could not be concluded in one day.

The allegations are that, from 2013 onward, two employees of Deutche Bank helped clients to avoid taxes and other regulations by creating offshore companies. Bank officials announced Thursday they were cooperating with authorities but made no further comment.

The stock value of Deutsche Bank dropped roughly by half over the course of 2018. Last year, the governments of the United States and United Kingdom fined Deutsche Bank US$630 million for laundering money from Russia through its offices in Moscow and London. This fall, BaFIN, a German regulator, sent a special representative to order Detusche Bank to improve its anti-money-laundering practices and see that it did.

“Panama Papers” is an umbrella term for roughly ten million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, leaked to the press in spring 2016. The documents showed fourteen banks helped wealthy clients hide billions of US dollars of wealth to avoid taxes and other regulations. British newspaper The Guardian suggested Deutsche Bank controlled roughly a third of the 1200 shell companies used to accomplish this. There were protests worldwide, several criminal prosecutions, and the leaders of the governments of Iceland and Pakistan both resigned.

Ava Lee of anti-corruption organization Global Witness said, “Almost three years on, and law enforcement are still relying on the Panama Papers for their work. It shows how investigative journalism has been at the forefront of opening the door on a morass of morally dubious — and sometimes illegal — activity by banks[.]”

Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist who played a prominent role in investigation based on the Panama Papers, was killed in a car bombing last year.

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