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Jul 12

News briefs:June 4, 2010

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News briefs:June 4, 2010
Posted on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Uncategorized
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Jul 5

Australia/2008

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Australia/2008
Posted on Friday, July 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

Contents

  • 1 January
  • 2 February
  • 3 March
  • 4 April
  • 5 May
  • 6 June
  • 7 July
  • 8 August
  • 9 September
  • 10 October
  • 11 November
  • 12 December

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Jun 29

White House accepts judicial review of NSA eavesdropping

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White House accepts judicial review of NSA eavesdropping
Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The US President George W. Bush agreed to sign a bill that would allow for a limited judicial review of the National Security Agency‘s controversial eavesdropping program, said the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R). A White House spokeswoman also confirmed the same.

Sen. Specter said that the bill will clear the way for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to “consider the program as a whole and to make a decision on it.”

Under the “Terrorist Surveillance Program”, NSA conducts surveillance on international and domestic phone calls without FISA court authorization, an action the text of the FISA act calls a Felony. The Bush administration maintains that the program is legal, arguing that FISA is an unconstitutional violation of the President’s “inherent powers” and/or that FISA was implicitly overridden by other acts of Congress. Revelation of the program by a New York Times newsreport triggered a controversy over the legality of the program and the scope of Congressional oversight.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently considering two bills proposed respectively by Sen. Specter and Sen. Mike DeWine (R) over the issue. The Specter bill provides for retroactive amnesty for NSA’s actions and brings the program under the FISA court, whereas the DeWine bill provides a legislative foundation for the program.

Sen. Specter said that the bill will allow greater flexibility in emergencies by updating legal language to reflect recent technological developments such as cell phones, allowing NSA a seven day period for obtaining retroactive warrants and allowing “roving wiretaps” which target an individual rather than a particular phone connection. He added that the bill will require government officials to explain why they suspect intercepted communications involve terrorism and creates penalties for misuse of the powers.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat said that the proposed bill is an “interesting bargain” in which the President “is saying ‘if you do every single thing I tell you to do,’ I will do what I should have done anyway,”.Sen. Charles Schumer (D) is reported to have proposed a different bill.

Jun 29

Donald Trump plans £300m “golfing paradise” for rural Scotland

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Donald Trump plans £300m “golfing paradise” for rural Scotland
Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

Saturday, April 1, 2006

American multi-billionaire Donald Trump has announced plans to build a massive golf complex on an 800-acre site just north of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Speaking last night from the Trump Tower in New York, Trump said that the development will be akin to a “homecoming” for him. The ginger-haired property tycoon’s mother is from the Western Isles of Scotland.

The £300m project at Menie in Aberdeenshire will include both a links course and an inland course, and a 400-bedroom hotel as well as a golfing academy and holiday homes. The facilities are being built with the intention of attracting the Open Championship to the site, officially dubbed Trump International Golf Links, Scotland.

Fields and sand-dunes make up the landscape of the coastal site. Trump said of the location, “As soon as I saw it there was no question about it. I looked at 211 fantastic sites all over Europe, but here it is – the dune size and the ocean front. There is no piece of land that I have ever seen that is comparable to this.” The billionaire claims that the complex, set to be his only development outside the United States, will be the “best course in the world.”

Local and national political figures, including Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell, have welcomed the announcement with open arms, as the project is expected to bring in an additional £157m to the region’s economy within the first ten years. Scottish tourism company VisitScotland is also optimistic, expecting an influx of international visitors to play on (or simply visit) the site. Plans to expand the A90 road running past the site in the near future will enable more road traffic to and around the area. An £60m expansion of Aberdeen Airport will also allow for vastly increased international air links, akin to those operated using Boeing 767 aircraft.

Work on the golf complex itself is set to begin in September this year, with the Trump Organisation hopeful for a Spring 2008 opening date.

Jun 20
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Eight dead and two missing after cargo ship fire in Kaliningrad, Russia

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Eight dead and two missing after cargo ship fire in Kaliningrad, Russia
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2019 in Uncategorized

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Eight people are dead and two more are missing and presumed dead after an explosion and fire on a cargo ship undergoing repairs at a naval dockyard in Kaliningrad, Russia.

The container ship MV Yenisey was the scene of an explosion while in drydock at about 3:00 p.m. Moscow time (11:00 GMT). Ten people were missing after the explosion. It was confirmed today that the eighth body has been recovered, and the remaining two are thought to be dead as well. Three more were injured.

Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, acting as a navy spokesperson, said “Each family of the victims of the fire on the Yenisey civilian vessel will be paid more than a million rubles.” This makes their compensation roughly equivalent to US$43,000.

Dygolo said that the dockyard, in the closed military town of Baltiysk, near Kaliningrad, had been leased to the Yenisey’s St Petersburg owner, a private company, who were conducting the work themselves. He said an investigation has been launched by the navy led by top admiral Vladimir Vysotsky.

Vysotski himself has indicated that serious safety legislation breaches concerning welding regulations by both the vessel’s owner and the naval dockyard’s bosses. He did not go into details, but RIA Novosti claimed that a source at the dockyard said a gas burner applied to the roof of a fuel tank to heat and therefore loosen its bolts had triggered the disaster.

Today is an official day of mourning for Kaliningrad Region to mark the deaths.

Jun 18
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Sheep sells for £231,000 at auction

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Sheep sells for £231,000 at auction
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

Friday, August 28, 2009

A sheep has been sold for £231,000 (US$377,223) at an auction in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Farmer Jimmy Douglas bought the sheep for 220,000 guineas — the equivalent of roughly £231,000. The name of the sheep is ‘Deveronvale Perfection’ and it was bred in Banffshire by Graham Morrison, who eventually sold it. The sheep has a Texel ribbon attached to it and is a tup. In farming terms, a tup is an uncastrated male.

Graham Morrison stated that “He’s [the sheep] the best lamb I’ve ever bred and the price surpassed my wildest dreams.” Morrison mentioned that the sheep lives up to its name and that it was “perfection” when he was breeding it.

This is reported to be a new world record for the most amount of money paid for a sheep. It beats the previous record of the equivalent of £205,000 ($334,765) set in Australia in 1989. Eventually, its semen could be sold as well.

Jun 14
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Four fallen Canadian soldiers return home

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Four fallen Canadian soldiers return home
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

Thursday, September 21, 2006

On Monday four Canadian soldiers were killed in a suicide bomb attack. The soldiers were in Afghanistan since the end of July and in operations since the beginning of August. They are now returning home in Canada for a memorial service.

Pte. David Byers, 22, of Espanola, Ontario was identified after a suicide bomber attacked the soldiers in Kandahar. On Tuesday, the Department of National Defence said the attack also killed Cpl. Glen Arnold, based in CFB Petawawa, northwest of Ottawa; and Cpl. Shane Keating of Saskatoon and Cpl. Keith Morley, based at CFB Shilo in Manitoba were also killed.

“All three of these men were proud citizens and exceptional examples of the men and women who serve this country, both at home and abroad,” said Maj. Stephen Joudrey, acting commanding officer for 2PPCLI at CFB Shilo, on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister also made a statement saying: “I wish to send my heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of Corporal Glen Arnold, Corporal Shane Keating, Corporal Keith Morley, and Private David Byers, who were killed by a suicide bomber yesterday in the Panjwayi region of Afghanistan.”

Thirty six Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2002.

Jun 12
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BC design club president comments on Olympic mascots; sales brisk

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BC design club president comments on Olympic mascots; sales brisk
Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wikinews recently spoke with Mark Busse, president of the BC Chapter of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, to find out what his organization’s views are of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Miga, Quatchi, and Sumi.

Many people love them. Obviously some don’t. Kids seem to adore them. But as a professional designer, I am trying to keep an open mind and try to consider the big picture and audience before judging them too quickly.

The mascot design was a very difficult problem for the VANOC 2010 planning committee — and a very important project with lots at stake. Unlike during the original logo competition, VANOC chose to not engage in an open, speculative contest, but rather came to the Society of Graphic Designers for assistance and guidance, followed our recommendations and engaged in a thorough, thoughtful, fair and comprehensive design competition and process. They had our full cooperation and support and we encouraged all GDC members to participate.

I would have likely designed something different, although I had suggested using BC mythology, such as a Sasquatch, to capture the imagination of a predominantly young international audience. But I think the result of VANOC’s careful design process is a solution that captured BC’s spirit, culture, attitude, geography, wildlife, athleticism — even mythology — in a clever and friendly way. Quatchi, Miga and Sumi are respectful of BC aboriginal heritage without alienating all Canadians.

While the products at HBC stores of the mascots have been flying off the shelves, many have bashed the designs for having “too much” of a Japanese influence. As of 2001, 1.5% of Vancouverites were Japanese heritage, and 29.9% were of Chinese descent. Vancouver’s Chinatown is one of the largest historic Chinatowns in North America, and Japan has had diplomatic relations with the city since 1930.

This is the first time the Olympic and Paralympic mascots have been unveiled at the same time.

Busse is also a partner and the design director at Industrial Brand Creative, a design firm in the province. He is co-chair of Graphex ’08, a design exhibition at the Emily Carr Institute, which “showcases the best cultural, social and business communications in Canada.”

Jun 12
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Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further

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Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further
Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in Uncategorized
Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The Common Council of Buffalo voted on Tuesday to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal “to committee for further discussion”, after citing the need for more public involvement.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a development proposal by the Savarino Construction Services Corporation, a project designed by the architect Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on the southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo.

To make way for the project, at least five buildings located at 1109 to 1121 Elmwood Ave would be demolished. At least two properties on Forest Avenue could also be demolished. The Elmwood properties, according to Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarion Construction, are “under contract”, but it is unclear if Savarino Construction actually owns the Elmwood properties. Hans Mobius, a former mayorial candidate, is still believed to be the current owner the properties. Mobius also owns 607 Forest Avenue.

The properties 605 and 607 Forest Avenue could also be included in the proposal according to Hassett.

“We would use a Special Development Plan to rezone 1119-1121 Elmwood and 605 Forest to a C-2 zoning category,” stated Hassett. It is possible that Savarino Construction may try to obtain a variance for 605 Forest, which would allow them to enforce eminent domain, should the hotel be allowed to go forward.

The building at 607 Forest was also discussed to be rezoned, but it is unclear what the plans would be for that property. During the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett stated that the properties 605 and 607 were “now off the agenda”.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood, owns the property at 605 Forest and attended Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“Having a hotel is a bright idea. We all love the idea of a hotel, but the way that it is presented, is wishful thinking. This hotel does not fit. It’s like putting two gallons of water in a gallon jug, it does not fit. At the last meeting, the architect admitted that they are planning to put the undergound parking lot and the hotel, right at the property line. If I open my window, I will be able to touch the wall, that goes fifty feet high”, said Georgiadis.

“There is a problem having a seventy-two room hotel and fifty-five parking spaces. That means that all the other cars will spill all over the neighborhood. The footprint is simply too small. If you have a bigger [parking] lot, and a smaller hotel, I will welcome a hotel. I have a parking lot at my own business, and I am chasing people all day long. Remember, the city says it has ‘zero tolerance [for illegal parking]’. Try telling that to the guy from Albany who came to see his kids, that are going to Buffalo State, who would get tickets totaling over a hundred dollars”, added Georgiadis.

The city’s Planning Board is scheduled to meet on March 14, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. about the proposal. Although a discussion will take place, no vote is expected to be taken.

At the moment, none of the properties are zoned for a hotel. Savarino Construction plans on asking for a C2 zoning permit. If that does not work, they plan to implement a new zoning plan called a “special development plan” which would allow for only a hotel on the site. That zone would not be able to be changed.

“This [project] justifies Mobius’s refusal to invest in any maitenance[sic] or improvements”, on the properties said Clarence Carnahan, a local resident. “Where were the Council persons over the years? Where were the city inspectors over the years, to make sure that he maintained and improved his properties? The government was supposed to be protecting, not being preditorial. I see a predatorial issue here when it comes to this hotel. Over the years: Why has the local government been disfunctional when it came to Mobius’s properties? Refusal to invest in improvements, doesn’t that sound like a slumlord? Maybe I am missing a point here, but what kind of messages does this send to other slumlords that havn’t[sic] been jailed or fined? It’s [the hotel] trying to be pushed through.”

Carnahan also presented signs for residents and or business owners who are opposed to the hotel, that could be placed in windows or on stakes in the yard. Some of the signs said, ‘No tell hotel’, ‘Hans off, no hotel’, ‘It takes more than a hotel to make a village’. and ‘Keep Elmwood free, no hotel’. Carnahan plans on making more signs for a protest to be held on Saturday March 18, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Elmwood and Forest. Some signs were given to individuals after the meeting.

“First things first, Hans is the problem, and I don’t think it has been addressed. Let’s roll back the clock on this project. What can we do with Hans? There is such thing as eminent domain, which could be of greater interest to the community, to seize the property at its lowest assessed value”, said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood. “There are so many ideas that have not been explored and we are about to give this parcel away, to a big developer.”

Mobius has not returned any calls by Wikinews regarding the situation.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews has obtained a letter, exclusively, addressed to one of the five business owners from Hans Mobius stating:

There is a proposal to develop my property which you are currently renting. Because of opposition to this development, it does not look like it will happen. I will let you know if there any changes.

Despite the letter, there have been no plans or decisions made to end the proposal.

To date, none of the business owners or residents of 1119-1121 Elmwood have received an eviction notice.

Business owners and residents gave an indication of what they would like to see happen at the corner; a project similar to one done locally last year. There, developers renovated two buildings on Auburn and Elmwood Avenues, merging the buildings into one thus allowing for more shop space. Among some of the shops to move in after the development were Cone Five Pottery, The Ruby Slipper, and Abraham’s Jewelers. Prior to the renovation work, the left building in the picture was boarded up for several years. Many of the concerned locals would like to see a similar development on Forest and Elmwood.

Rocco Termini, a developer in Buffalo, proposed a similar design at the February 28 community meeting

In an interview after the February 28 meeting, Termini stated, “I will be willing to take a look at this myself, or I would be more than happy to be partners with Sam, Sam Savarino”, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Savarino Construction Services Corp.

So far Savarino Construction has no plans to team up with Termini.

Jun 12
0

Retired U.S. vets sue Donald Rumsfeld for excessive service cutbacks

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Retired U.S. vets sue Donald Rumsfeld for excessive service cutbacks
Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

One thousand residents of the Defense Department-managed Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. filed a class-action lawsuit on May 24, asserting that the cut-backs in medical and dental services imposed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are illegal. The operating budget for the home was reduced from $63 million in 2004 to $58 million for 2005. The residents cite cuts in on-site X-ray, electrocardiogram, physical and dental services, and the closing of the home’s main clinic and an on-site pharmacy.

Chief Financial Officer Steve McManus responded that the changes not only save money but also achieved improved efficiencies. “We’re really trying to improve the benefits to our residents,” he said.

Most of the home’s costs are paid for by a trust fund and monthly fees paid by residents. By law, the Armed Forces Retirement Homes are required to fund, “on-site primary care, medical care and a continuum of long-term care services.”