Demonstrators protest Condoleezza Rice’s trip to Australia

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Anti-war demonstrators in Sydney, Australia on Thursday dubbed U.S. Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice a “war criminal” and “murderer.” Two protesters were evicted and five people were arrested during protests against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Dr Rice, on a three-day trip to Australia, said she understood why people found it hard to be positive about Iraq when all they saw on their television screens was violence.

Soon after Rice began her speech at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, two protesters shouted from the rear of the auditorium, “Condoleezza Rice, you are a war criminal,” and “Iraqi blood is on your hands and you cannot wash that blood away.” Standing with their palms towards her, the young man and woman repeated their accusation until security intervened to remove them from the hall.

About 15 minutes into Rice’s address, a third protester appeared at a balcony door, interrupting her speech as she referred to freedom. “What kind of freedom are you talking about? You are a murderer,” said the demonstrator before he was quietly escorted from the hall. “I’m very glad to see that democracy is well and alive here at the university,” she said.

In her speech, Rice sought to justify the U.S. occupation of Iraq, describing Iraqis as now more free. One student asked about abuses committed by U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. She said the abuses had made her “sick to her stomach.” However, she defended Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where human rights groups say detainees are held in inhumane conditions and in detention flouting international laws.

Before Rice began her speech, about 50 protesters were gathered at the front gates of the Conservatorium. The group were confronted by police on horseback and by police dogs. Police used the horses to charge into the group of activists and push them back, as a police helicopter hovered.

A police spokeswoman said the group was blocking pedestrian access to the building and that police had spent more than 20 minutes warning them to move. The police then moved in and pushed the crowd back 20 metres. Police say five people have been charged with “hindering police in the execution of their duties.”

The “Stop the War Coalition” says Rice is a “war criminal” and is not welcome in Australia. The group’s spokeswoman, Anna Samson, says the protest is one of many planned in the lead-up to the third anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq on March 20.

Paddy Gibson, from the University of Sydney’s Student’s Council, says the protest is in opposition to the Iraq war, and to the use of the University of Sydney’s campus to host Rice, “the most powerful woman in the world,” who they say is a war criminal. “They’re saying, ‘… you’ve got Sydney Uni’s support to stand up and peddle your murderous hate speeches,’ which is what we see it,” he said.

“You’ve got 180,000 people killed, as we said, for no other reason than strategic control of the region’s oil resources. And the anti-Muslim racism that’s been whipped up to justify this war is being felt by Sydney University students,” said Mr Gibson.

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.

NYC’s transit workers approve strike authorization

Sunday, December 11, 2005

New York City is on track to grind to a halt on December 15 when the Transport Workers Union Local 100 contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority expires. Union members gathered at Jacob Javits today and unanimously approved a strike authorization if the negotaions between the TWU and MTA fail. Among the many disagreements are the MTA’s employee rules and salary increases.

MTA employees have complained about the rule that requires them to call and alert a supervisor prior to taking a bathroom break of no more than ten minutes. Workers have pointed out that supervisors are not always accessible, especially during the overnight shifts. Another rule in dispute is the employee’s uniform: “Sikh workers, whose religion requires they wear a turban, must wear one made of TA-issued fabric with the TA logo front and center.”[1] But the major sticking point has been the pay raises. The union has demanded an 8% increase per year for the next three years, but the MTA has offered 5% over two years. The MTA was running a deficit during the previous contract negotiation in 2002, forcing the TWU to accept what the MTA offered. But now, reportedly US$1 billion in the black and offering free rides for the holidays to its riders, the union is looking to cash in on the MTA’s good fortunes.

The TWU began broadcasting radio advertisements on the news stations 1010 WINS-AM and 880 WCBS-AM to gain public support. Part of it goes “MTA bosses are making buses run faster, while carrying more people, and don’t even give the operators enough time for a bathroom break” and “Security alert levels are still high, but MTA bosses are taking conductors off trains, closing token booths and installing turnstiles that make emergency evacuation very difficult.”Michael Bloomberg had stressed in the negotiations of 2002 that the city would enforce the Taylor Law, which prohibits public employees from striking and fines strikers two days wages each striking day. Echoing his previous position three years ago, Mayor Bloomberg said “They should stay in a room until they come to an agreement.” Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo said a strike could cost as much as US$10 million a day in police overtime and other expenses.

The last transit strike was in April 1980, and lasted for eleven days. TWU President Roger Toussaint called the proposed health provisions, pension givebacks, and wage increase “an insult to our members”, and went on to suggest that the odds of a strike were 50/50. Both Toussaint and chief MTA negotiator Gary Dellaverson said they were confident that a strike could be averted, but union members made clear that they will strike if – or as most commuters fear, when – the negotiations fail and the deadline is passed.

Australian House of Representatives acknowledges Cyclone Larry efforts

Wednesday, March 29, 2006The Australian House of Representatives today acknowledged the impact of the recent devastating Cyclone Larry and the efforts of the support given to the residents and communities of north Queensland in order to restore normal life.

Phillip Ruddock (Liberal, Berowra) moved a motion expressing this after Question Time today, which included a description of the devastation wrought on the area, the response by the Australian Government and the Australian Defence Force, and thanked the efforts of people for their “willingness to roll up their sleeves and get on with the job of cleaning up and rebuilding their towns and centres.”

The Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley (Labor, Brand) supported the motion, and congratulated the move to put General Peter Cosgrove in charge of operations, stating that soldiers “know how to work through logistics issues…how to work around officialdom or blockages”, praised both local federal and state members of Parliament, and especially the Labor Queensland state premier, Peter Beattie.

Bob Katter (Independent, Kennedy) was more critical in his speech. Katter thanked Beattie for his immediate response, but also described his confrontation with him and said how first responses were “simply not working”, but also praised Beattie’s decision on Cosgrove. Katter also described how the incident was “the worst natural disaster inAustralian history” and how the banana industry in north Queensland was decimated. Katter went on to describe the financial problems of the people in the region, the “huge gap” between the cost of rebuilding and insurance payouts, also asking “Are we going to pay people virtually nothing to sit on their backsides to do nothing or are we going to pay them a decent wage and have them rebuilding our communities for us?”

The debate is set to continue in the Main Committee, as an opportunity for many more members of the House of Representatives to speak to the motion, without taking up further time in the Chamber.

Commercial Heating Repairs In Fort Collins, Co Should Be Performed By An Experienced Technician

byAlma Abell

Heating is still a concern with winter cold hanging on. While the heating system is still operating, it is a great reminder to have it ready for the next heating season. Commercial Heating Repairs Fort Collins CO can be performed on furnaces, boilers, radiators, water heaters, and forced air heating systems. Maintenance for any type of heating system should be performed on a regular basis. This is the only way to guarantee it’s working at peak performance and using as little energy as possible. A business owner can keep the filter changed in a furnace to limit stress on the operating parts between regular inspections and maintenance. Vents should be clear of any blockages.

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A yearly tune-up will include the inspection of all of the furnace components and adjustments to the controls. The inside of the unit will be professionally cleaned and a complete safety check will be performed to ensure reliable and safe operation during use. The thermostat will also be examined and recalibrated if the reading is not correct. This type of maintenance can reduce the chance of a call being made to a company that has experience in Commercial Heating Repairs Fort Collins CO. If an owner notices a gas smell, they should contact a repair company immediately. A gas leak could cause an explosion and could be the sign there’s a connection that is worn or damaged.

A furnace can stop working for a variety of reasons. If the fan doesn’t respond when the thermostat is increased, a wire could be loose or a breaker may have tripped. Some problems can be very complicated including trouble with a thermostat, control board, transformer, blower motor, or run capacitor. A trained technician will perform a comprehensive diagnostic test and pinpoint the problem quickly. Squeaks and squeals in the furnace could be a sign the motor is going to fail. Early intervention by Commercial Heating Repairs Fort Collins CO in this type of problem could eliminate the chance of the furnace failing.

If your heating system has been consuming a lot of energy, making strange noises, or not keeping your building warm, it’s time to give Paul’s Plumbing & Heating a call. Their trained technicians will have your heating system operating at peak performance in no time at all.

John Reed on Orwell, God, self-destruction and the future of writing

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It can be difficult to be John Reed.

Christopher Hitchens called him a “Bin Ladenist” and Cathy Young editorialized in The Boston Globe that he “blames the victims of terrorism” when he puts out a novel like Snowball’s Chance, a biting send-up of George Orwell‘s Animal Farm which he was inspired to write after the terrorist attacks on September 11. “The clear references to 9/11 in the apocalyptic ending can only bring Orwell’s name into disrepute in the U.S.,” wrote William Hamilton, the British literary executor of the Orwell estate. That process had already begun: it was revealed Orwell gave the British Foreign Office a list of people he suspected of being “crypto-Communists and fellow travelers,” labeling some of them as Jews and homosexuals. “I really wanted to explode that book,” Reed told The New York Times. “I wanted to completely undermine it.”

Is this man who wants to blow up the classic literary canon taught to children in schools a menace, or a messiah? David Shankbone went to interview him for Wikinews and found that, as often is the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Reed is electrified by the changes that surround him that channel through a lens of inspiration wrought by his children. “The kids have made me a better writer,” Reed said. In his new untitled work, which he calls a “new play by William Shakespeare,” he takes lines from The Bard‘s classics to form an original tragedy. He began it in 2003, but only with the birth of his children could he finish it. “I didn’t understand the characters who had children. I didn’t really understand them. And once I had had kids, I could approach them differently.”

Taking the old to make it new is a theme in his work and in his world view. Reed foresees new narrative forms being born, Biblical epics that will be played out across print and electronic mediums. He is pulled forward by revolutions of the past, a search for a spiritual sensibility, and a desire to locate himself in the process.

Below is David Shankbone’s conversation with novelist John Reed.

Contents

  • 1 On the alternative media and independent publishing
  • 2 On Christopher Hitchens, Orwell and 9/11 as inspiration
  • 3 On the future of the narrative
  • 4 On changing the literary canon
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On politics
  • 7 On self-destruction and survival
  • 8 On raising children
  • 9 On paedophilia and the death penalty
  • 10 On personal relationships
  • 11 Sources
  • 12 External links

Insurgents shoot down U.S. helicopter near Baghdad

Friday, February 2, 2007

A United States Apache military helicopter has been shot down in Baghdad, Iraq says a military spokesman.

Reports say that the chopper went down near the U.S. air base, Taji, located just north of downtown Baghdad.

“I can confirm that we are looking into reports that a helicopter went down north of Baghdad,” said Lt. Col. Josslyn Aberle, a spokeswoman for the U.S. military.

At least 2 soldiers were on board the aircraft, but their condition is not known.

Witnesses near the scene and police say that at least 2 Apaches were flying together when insurgents began to shoot at the choppers, shooting one of them down and hitting the other, but the helicopter still managed to fly away. The helicopters were believed to have been escorting a U.S. military convoy on the ground when shots were fired.

“I saw smoke coming out of the tail. The chopper was swinging around before it hit the ground one kilometer away from me and I heard a big explosion,” said local farmer, Hashim Assafi who also said that he had to find shelter as shots were fired in the direction of the helicopters.

In a statement posted on an Al-Qaeda in Iraq website, insurgents claim responsibility for shooting down the helicopter.

“We say to the enemies of God that the sky of the Islamic state of Iraq is forbidden just like its land,” said the statement.

This is the fourth helicopter operated by the U.S. military to crash or be shot down in two weeks.

BaselWorld Fair 2007 to open its doors in April

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The year 2007 marks the meeting of the major representatives of the watch and jewelry industry at BaselWorld Show, Basel, Switzerland. The Show will take place in the period of April 12 – 19, 2007. The international event is to attract over 2000 companies from 45 countries and about 90,000 visitors.

At present day the luxury goods business holds quite strong positions in the world industry and is still developing at high rates due to appropriate economic climate. Thus, BaselWorld is perceived by watch and jewelry producers and their partners as favorable new grounds for their further development.

BaselWorld is organized annually by MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd with a purpose to provide new business opportunities for the participants who are expected to exhibit their latest products in the exhibition area of about 160,000 m2. Visitors come to BaselWorld to keep aware of the current trends of watch and jewelry making, while retailers and wholesalers discover new partners and strengthen their links with well-established ones.

The exhibition is divided into product sectors presented in the six exhibition halls, among them there are the Hall of Universe and the Hall of Elements. This year the management of the Show has taken care of updating and redecorating the design of the halls.

All the participants of the event will be able to expand their business contacts beyond the fair in the BaselWorld Village located nearby. The ‘village’ comprises special facilities for partners to discuss their matters in informal atmosphere.

Wikinews interviews William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation

Regardless of who wins the prize, people all around the world will be able to experience the mission through high-def video-streams.
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Andreas Hornig, Wikinews contributor and team member of Synergy Moon, competitor in the Google Lunar X Prize, managed to interview Senior Director of Space Prizes William Pomerantz of the X PRIZE Foundation about the competitions, goals, and impacts via e-mail for HDTVTotal.com and Wikinews.

By Wikinews,

the free news source

Other stories: Science and technology
  • 29 November 2018: NASA’s InSight Lander makes it to Mars
  • 26 November 2018: US National Climate Assessment warns of climate-related damages to economy, ecosystems, human health
  • 18 October 2018: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren releases DNA test results, asks Donald Trump to make promised donation
  • 12 October 2018: Manned Soyuz space mission aborts during launch
  • 10 October 2018: UN Report on Global Warming calls for rapid ‘unprecedented’ changes globally to limit planetary warming to 1.5 degree C

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Previous coverage
  • “Japanese probe snatches first asteroid sample” — Wikinews, November 26, 2005
  • “$20 million prize offered in lunar rover contest” — Wikinews, September 13, 2007

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


This article is part of a page redesign trial on Wikinews. Please leave comments or bug reports on this redesign.This interview originally appeared on HDTVTotal.com, released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Credit for this interview goes to HDTVTotal.com and Andreas -horn- Hornig.

Brazilian President Lula met Chavez, military and economic cooperation

Thursday, February 17, 2005

CARACAS, Venezuela –The Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on February 14, 2005 in Caracas, Venezuela. Brazil and Venezuela signed agreements of cooperation on many areas. According to the Brazilian government this was a strategical encounteur. This meeting is the first of three meetings that President Lula will have with South American Presidents in three days. The scheduled meetings are with the presidents of: Venezuela (February, 14), Guiana (February, 15) and Suriname (February, 16).

President Lula was accompanied by the following comitiva: the Minister of Development, Industry, and External Trade Luiz Fernando Furlan, the Minister of Finance Antônio Palocci, the Minister of Foreign Relations Celso Amorim, the Minister of Health Humberto Costa, the Minister of Mines and Energy Dilma Roussef, the Minister of Tourism Walfrido Mares Guia, the President of Petrobras José Eduardo Dutra, the President of National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) Guido Mantega, the President of Eletrobrás Silas Rondeau Cavalcante Silva and the Special Secretary for Aquaculture and Fisheries José Fritsch. In addition a delegation of executives representing enterprises from Brazil accompanied the President.

The Brazilian Ministry of External Relations told the trip aims the construction of a strategical alliance and commercial integration between both countries. The Brazilian Presidential Advisor Marco Aurélio Garcia said:”With this gesture, Brazil will consolidate one of its major political goals, which is the constitution of a South American community of nations”. He added: “These agreements with Venezuela are strategical. We want this agreement as a model for other agreements in the region.”

According to President Lula the integration of the Latin America is the priority number one of his government. Days before the arrival in Venezuela and commenting about the trip Lula said: “We’re going to do the same thing in Colombia and in other countries in which integration is no longer a campaign speech but part of the way we deal with real things, day to day”.

The integration of the Latin America is the politics repeatedly proposed by Lula during the meetings of the Foro de São Paulo. According to him and the others members of the Foro there must be a integration among all the left parties and governments of Latin America. The union aims to be an alternative and opposing force to the politics and influence of the richest countries, mainly the United States. Among the organizations which are usually participants of the Foro de São Paulo are: Communist Party of Cuba, Colombian Communist Party, Communist Party of Bolivia, Communist Party of Brazil, Workers’ Party, Paraguayan Communist Party, Peruvian Communist Party, Socialist Party of Peru, National Liberation Army, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity, Tupamaros.

On December 4, 2001 during the 10th edition of the Foro de São Paulo in Havana Lula said:”A shoal of small fish may mean the finishing of the hungry in our countries, in out continent. We should not think as the History ended on our journey by the Earth. Even it happens just once, or with one gesture, let’s effectively contribute to the improve the life of millions of human beings who live socially excluded by this neoliberal model.”[1]

In Venezuela, once again, he brought out the integration wish: “This is the biggest dream I am carrying, that we can negotiate collectively, not like one country, but like a set of countries so we can do that our people may have the chance to conquer the full citizenship.”

Contents

  • 1 Economic cooperation
  • 2 Military cooperation
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
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