Tasmanian miners rescued

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

The two miners who had been trapped almost one kilometer beneath the surface in Beaconsfield, Tasmania in a collapsed gold mine for 14 days have now been rescued.

The men, Brant Webb and Todd Russell, were well enough to walk out from the lift onto the surface and threw their arms up in exultation. They then walked to a board and removed their location tags to indicate that they were no longer underground at approximately 5:59 a.m. AEST before embracing family and friends and making their way to the waiting ambulances. The vehicles slowly made their way through the crowds with a police escort and the miners waved to the crowds through the open rear doors. They will undergo medical supervision at Launceston Hospital for a period of time before being confirmed well enough to return home.

The last stages of the rescue, cutting the final sections of the escape tunnel had proceeded very slowly because very hard rock was encountered and work had to proceed gently to minimize the chances of further rock collapses.

The escape tunnel was completed at 4:47 a.m. AEST and it took another hour for the men to be transported to the surface via a “crib room” at “Level 375” (375 metres underground) where they were medically examined and were also able to shower.

A bell at Beaconsfield’s Uniting Church pealed just after 5 a.m. AEST to celebrate the rescue, and an air raid siren was sounded. This was the first time the church bell had been rung since the end of World War II. A local fire engine drove through Beaconsfield’s streets sounding the siren to wake residents for the good news.

A funeral will be held later today for a third miner, Larry Knight, who was killed in the collapse that trapped the miners on April 26.

Wikinews interviews biologist Chris Simon about periodical cicadas

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In May, periodical cicadas with 17 years life cycle emerged on the East Coast of the USA after underground development as juveniles since 1996. Researchers and scientists worked to map and study the rare wave, and the locals prepared for the noisy event. First recorded in 1666, the Magicicada septendecim species recently emerged in 1979, 1996, this year, with a next wave due in 2030.

This week, Wikinews interviewed Chris Simon, an ecology and evolutionary biologist at University of Connecticut, about the cicadas.

((Wikinews)) What caused your initial interest in periodical cicadas?

Chris Simon: As an undergraduate student, I was interested in the formation of species so when I went to graduate school I looked for a study organism that was likely to be in the process of forming new species. I chose periodical cicadas because they are broken up into reproductively isolated broods (or year classes). Reproductive isolation leads to speciation so I planned to study biochemical differences among the broods.

((WN)) You study the emergence of the periodical cicadas. What do you study? What observations are you making?

CS: We record exactly where each cicada population emerges (using GPS automated mapping and crowd sourcing). We record the presence or absence of each of the three morphologically distinct species groups of periodical cicadas (Decim group, Cassini group, and Decula group). We collect specimens for DNA analysis. We look for cicadas coming up one and four years early and late. We dig up cicada nymphs and monitor their growth rates.

((WN)) What equipment do you use?

CS: Nets, shovels, automated GPS recorders, cameras, laptop computers, automated DNA sequencers.

((WN)) Do you study the periodical cicadas with anyone else? What is their role?

CS: Yes, there are a large number of people studying periodical cicadas in my lab and in other labs. My lab is made up of Research Scientists, Postdoctoral Researchers, a technician, graduate students, and undergraduates. Research Scientist John Cooley is the leader of the GPS mapping project; he invented the automated GPS recorder; he built our crowd-sourcing website, and he is instrumental in public outreach. Postdoctoral research David Marshall also participates in the mapping project and leads the part of the research related to the mapping of stragglers. John and Dave and Technician Kathy Hill all study periodical cicada mating behavior and conduct mating and hybridization experiments. One of my graduate students Beth Wade has participated in the nymph collections and will soon start genetic work involving genome wide association mapping designed to locate genes related to life cycle. My graduate student Russ Meister is studying the genes of the bacterial endosymbionts of cicadas. My current undergraduate honors student Erin Dwyer is also studying the development of Magicicada nymphs and is helping to design a lab exercise for college students around the eastern US to do the same. Many of my past undergraduate students have studied the biochemical genetics and development of periodical cicadas. See the Simon Lab website.
CS: We are collaborating with Teiji Sota at the University Kyoto and Jin Yoshimura at Shizuoka University in Japan. They are studying the phylogeography of Magicicada. We are collaborating with John McCutcheon of the University of Montana who is studying the endosymbiont genomes.
CS: We are also collaborating with ecologists Rick Karban and Louie Yang, both professors at UC Davis who have an interest in cicada population dynamics and nutrient cycling in the ecosystem.

((WN)) You studied the periodical cicadas in 1979 and 1996 too. What changes with time?

CS: I have studied periodical cicadas since I was a student back in 1974. What changes with time is increased human development constantly shrinking the patch size of cicada populations.

((WN)) What are your thoughts on the long life span of the periodical cicadas? Why could it be so? What advantages and what disadvantages does it have?

CS: Most or all cicadas have long life cycles compared to your typical annual insect. Examples have been found of two-year to 9-year cycles in different species. Periodical cicadas evolved an even-longer life cycle and I think that part of this relates to the evolution of their synchronized life cycles and peculiar safety-in-numbers strategy for survival. To become synchronized, periodical cicadas had to evolve an exact length life cycle and all adults would have to appear in the same year. Because the nymphs grow at different rates underground, a longer life cycle and a way of counting years must have evolved so that the individuals that get to the last nymphal (underground juvenile) stage first would wait long enough for all other individuals in the population to become ready to emerge.

((WN)) News reports mention this is ‘Brood II’ of the periodical cicadas. What are the distinctive features of this specific species and what is its full scientific name?

CS: The same species exist in multiple broods. No species is restricted to Brood II. The three species present in Brood II are: Magicicada septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula. These same three species are found in every 17-year brood (except the farthest north which only has M. septendecim).

((WN)) At what depth do the cicadas juveniles live underground?

CS: Most live within the top foot of soil but some have been found deeper. We do not know if they go deeper in winter. We need to do much more digging to understand the nymphs.

((WN)) How do people prepare for the cicada emergence?

CS: Of course various people prepare in different ways. Ideally, everyone prepares by studying information available on the web (especially on our websites Magicicada Central and Magicicada.org).

((WN)) Do cicadas affect transport in the local area?

CS: No, not really. Occasionally individuals can be seeing flying across highways and sometimes they smash into cars.

((WN)) Do cicadas usually stay outside or do they also invade houses too?

CS: They stay outside. One might accidentally fly in through an open window but that would be rare.

((WN)) What do the cicadas eat?

CS: Cicadas suck xylem fluid (the watery fluid coming up from the roots of plants) in deciduous forest trees and herbs. Essential amino acids in the cicada diet are supplied by their bacterial endosymbionts. There are two species of endosymbionts. One makes 8 essential amino acids and one makes two essential amino acids.

((WN)) Do cicadas damage crops or city vegetation? What damage?

CS: Cicadas do not chew leave so they do not damage crops like other insects. They can inflict some damage by their egg laying. Cicadas lay eggs in pencil-sized tree branches. If there are not enough branches available, too many female cicadas may lay eggs in a single branch weakening it and making it susceptible to breakage by wind. This can sometimes cause damage in fruit orchards. If the branches break, the eggs die so this behavior is selected against by natural selection.

((WN)) Thank you.

CS: You’re welcome. I am happy to have this opportunity to communicate with your readers!

US President Obama considering supplying arms to Libyan rebels

Thursday, March 31, 2011

United States President Barack Obama revealed Tuesday that he is considering supplying arms to Libyan rebels, among other things. Obama was quoted as saying, “if we [USA] wanted to get weapons into Libya, we probably could.”

During an interview with NBC News, Obama disclosed he is, “not ruling it out. But I’m also not ruling it in. We’re still making an assessment partly about what Gaddafi’s forces are going to be doing.” Obama also informed that he would be willing to negotiate a deal with Gaddafi; however, one clause would involve Gadaffi resigning from the leadership post.

Obama does not believe it is time for formal negotiations yet as he does not think Gaddafi has reached the point where he needs a quick way out.

Also mentioned in the interview was the strategy being used in Libya. “What we’ve also done is put Gaddafi back on his heels — at this point. In addition to maintaining a no-fly zone, protecting civilian populations, we also have political tools, diplomatic tools, sanctions, freezing his assets, all of which continue to tighten the noose.”

Obama reiterated that same view on ABC News saying in an interview, “I think what we’re seeing is that the circle around Gaddafi understands that the noose is tightening, that their days are probably numbered, and they are going to have to think through what their next steps are.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with CBS News, Obama said of the rebels leaders that U.S. officials have met with are “[F]ully vetted, so we have a clear sense of who they are, and so far they’re saying the right things, and most of them are professionals, lawyers, doctors, people who appear to be credible.”

This comes after the NATO supreme commander, Admiral James G. Stavridis said there were “flickers” of al-Qaeda and Hezbollah in Libya. In response, Obama said on CBS, “[T]hat doesn’t mean that all the people, among all the people who opposed Qaddafi, there might not be elements that are unfriendly to the United States and our interests. That’s why I think it’s important for us not to jump in with both feet.”

As for the rebels themselves, Mahmoud Shammam, a spokesman for the rebels told the New York Times, “We ask for political support more than arms, but if we have both, that would be good.”

UK government loses personal information of 25 million people

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling announced to a shocked House of Commons today that two password-protected — but not encrypted — computer disks containing the entire Child Benefit database have been lost in transit between the offices of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in Washington, Tyne & Wear and the National Audit Office (NAO) in London, in what has been described as “one of the world’s biggest ID protection failures”.

The database contains details of all families in the UK who receive Child Benefit — all families with children up to 16 years of age, plus those with children up to 20 years old if they are in full-time education or training — estimated to contain 25 million individuals in 7.25 million families. Among other items of information, the database contains names, addresses, dates of birth, child benefit and National Insurance numbers, and where appropriate, bank or building society account details.

The discs were created by a junior official at the HMRC in response to a request for information by the NAO, and were sent unregistered and unrecorded on 18 October using the courier company TNT — which operates the HMRC’s internal mail system. When it was found that the discs had not arrived for audit at the NAO, a further copy of this data was made and sent — this time by registered mail — and this package did arrive. HMRC were not informed that the original discs had been lost until 8 November, and Darling himself was informed on 10 November.

The violation of data protection laws involved in the creation of the discs has led to strong attacks on the government’s competence to establish the proposed National Identity Register, when all UK residents will have an identity card. Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne described the loss of data as “catastrophic” and said “They [the government] simply cannot be trusted with people’s personal information”.

The Chairman of HMRC, Paul Gray, has resigned over the affair, and critics are calling for Darling to do likewise.

This is the third data embarrassment for HMRC in recent weeks — earlier this month it was reported that the details of over 15,000 Standard Life customers had been put on disk, and then lost en route from HMRC in Newcastle to Standard Life in Edinburgh — and last month a laptop containing the data of 400 people with high-value ISAs was stolen from the boot of a car belonging to a HMRC official who had been carrying out a routine audit.

Preparations for inaugural Bathurst International Motor Festival begin

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Bathurst Regional Council has begun preparing the Mount Panorama motor racing circuit for the inaugural Bathurst International Motorsport Festival (BIMF) to be held between April 13 and 16, 2006. The Mount Panorama motor racing circuit is considered to be the home of motorsport in Australia.

Council’s staff have been busy cleaning the facilities, erecting signage, checking pedestrian bridges and inspecting the track surface for the past few days.

The BIMF will be the first event to be held at the 6.2 kilometre circuit over Easter since 2000. In 2000, Event Management Specialists held the first motorcycle racing event since 1990, but due to EMS going bankrupt a short time after their 2000 event was ran and the inability of the then Bathurst City Council to find another promoter, the Easter event was canned.

The BIMF is inspired by the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival in the United Kingdom. The Bathurst Regional Council and event promoter Global Entertainment Team promise that the event “will cater for all motoring enthusiasts, collectors and historians”.

According to the BIMF website, the on-track program consists of:

  • Manufacturers showcasing their vehicles and track times
  • Historic touring car races
  • Aussie racing car races
  • Australian GT sports car
  • Parade laps by car clubs
  • Parade laps and races by “Legends of Motorsport”
  • Stunt car and bike events
  • Rally cars
  • Displays of cars from all eras of Mount Panorama’s history
  • The chance for patrons to purchase a ride around the circuit in a race car.

Off the track, the organisers have promised manufacturer displays, merchandise stands, music, joyflights, Off-road demonstrations and joyrides, autograph sessions and interviews with influential people in the Australian motor industry.

Dentistry Studies}

Submitted by: Wayne Pallante

A dentist student must go through a series of dental school requirements and legal dental requirements before becoming a licensed dentist. Part of the services a dentist renders is to provide helpful dental health information for their dental patients. To be able to provide dental services and provide meaningful dental counsel services a dentist must be qualified and licensed.

Specialized dentist services go beyond the general dentistry training and services. Some of the dentist specialization services include periodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, oral surgery, and more. Every dentist student must pass through the general dentistry dental school before moving on to the dentistry specializations.

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Any prospective dentist student must have some college classes under their belt, three years of preparatory college to be exact. Some of the college classes that a prospective dentist student would complete would be chemistry, biology and other science and medical preparation for dental school. Once a dentist student has completed this college requirement a dentist student can apply to a dental school. However, before a dentist student will be considered for dental school this dentist student must also complete a dental school exam that shows how compatible the prospective dentist student is with the dental school program, meaning how much knowledge the dentist student already has of dental services and subjects. If a prospective dentist student doesn’t do well on this pre-dental school exam, it would mean that the dentist student would need more knowledge in dental subjects before entering the dental school.

Once a dentist student has been accepted to a dental school, then the dental school training begins. Dental school for general dentistry is a four-year program. The first two years consist of a lot of book work and studying dental subjects, anatomy, etc. Learning all of the dental work in theory is what a dentist student must complete in the first two years of dental school. To continue on and finish dental school, a dentist student must complete and pass all exams during the first two years of dental school. The second two years are then for practicing what the dentist student learned in the first part of dental school. A dentist student practices the dentist services and preventative care along with diagnosing and providing dental support and dental procedures within a dental clinical setting.

Dental patients can come to a dental school for dental work at a cheaper cost, but with the risk of having a dentist student work on their teeth. A dentist student will always have supervision during the clinical dental work.

Once a dentist student has completed the four years of dental school with flying colors, the dentist is awarded a DDS or DMS degree, depending upon the focus of the dentist student’s studies. The dentist student then has the option of continuing with more dental school to perform more specialized dental services, or a dentist student can then move on to taking the state dental exam which is required for a dental license to practice and open dentistry services. The four-year dental school program is for a dentist student to practice general dentistry services. Anything after the general dentistry schooling is optional to the dentist student who wants to specialize in a specific dentist service.

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Football: Spanish striker Morata joins Chelsea

Sunday, July 23, 2017

On Friday, English capital football club Chelsea FC announced signing Spanish striker Álvaro Morata from Real Madrid on a five-year contract.

24-year-old Morata graduated from Real Madrid’s academy, making his professional debut in 2010. Last season, the Spanish international scored 20 goals in all competitions for Los Blancos and won La Liga title as well as the UEFA Champions League trophy. Morata played for Italian giants Juventus FC for two seasons, joining the Turin club in 2014; in his debut season for the Old Lady, Morata finished second with Juve in the Champions League, losing to Barcelona. Morata won the Serie A titles in both the seasons with Juventus. Morata has 20 international caps, and has scored nine goals.

After signing the contract, Morata said, “I’m so happy to be here. It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club. I’m looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible”.

Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said, “Alvaro has proven class at the highest level and his quality will be a huge asset to Antonio and the squad.”

Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Sunday, December 13, 2015

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Macomb, New York Councilman Steve Burke took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Burke, an insurance adjuster and farmer, was elected councilman in Brookhaven, New York in 1979. He left the town after being accused and found not guilty of bribery in the 1980s. Since 1987 he has served as Macomb councilman off-and-on and currently holds the post. From 1993 to 1996 and 1999 to 2002 he worked as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County, New York. Among his many political campaigns, Burke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1992 and recently attempted to run for U.S. Congress in 2014 but too many of his ballot petition signatures were found invalid. Burke filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the 2016 election on September 18, 2015 and has qualified for the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn?, Burke discusses his political background, his 2016 presidential campaign, and his policy proposals.

India: Jammu and Kashmir government orders private tuitions to shut down for 90 days

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

On Sunday, the government of Jammu and Kashmir, India, ordered private academic coaching institutions for students until and including class XII to shut down for the next three months calling those institutions “distractions” for the students; with an exception of coaching institutions preparing students for professional exams.

After meeting the heads of some educational institutions, the state’s education minister Syed Altaf Bukhari said: “We had a discussion with our principals today to how to make the education system better. We have come to a conclusion that the distractions which affect our education system […] one of those distractions are the coaching centres”. He added the government is to review the status of the tuition centres with respect to their decisions twice a month.

High schools and colleges have suspended classes since the beginning of the month. Boycotting the classes, students protested against two encounters in Shopian that resulted in the killing of four civilians as well as twelve militants. Then there were protests against the gang rape and murder of eight-year-old girl Asifa Bano in Kathua who police said was held captive and sedated at a temple in January. Retired government official Sanji Ram and several others —including multiple police officers— were arrested earlier this month for, or in relation to, the gang rape and murder of Asifa. Asifa’s corpse was found in the village of Rasana on January 10.

Some of the protesters clashed with the state security forces, and pellets were fired over the protesters. Bukhari said, “Security of the students is paramount, that is why we kept schools and colleges closed. But now the students should control their emotions and go back to their classes […] Now, enough is enough, they have their protest and should attend school now.” Bukhari went on to add that they cannot “afford to have future a generation of illiterates and uneducated.” He said the students who come to the road for protests “would be treated as rowdies”.

According to an official in Jammu and Kashmir’s education department, the motivation behind the temporary shut down of tuitions was “when the coaching centres are closed, students would not have an option but to attend schools”. Coaching Centre Association president Junaid Yousuf responded to this ban, saying: “What is the point of ordering closure of coaching centres and keeping schools open? This defies logic. You are not shutting down the places where protests occur and closed those centres where there are no protests”.

“This distraction leads to fall in attendances in schools. We are not against coaching centres; we will first see how schools function. Therefore immediately we will request and order the coaching centres to stop their shops for some time[…] We are the custodians of the students and want that they are not distracted”, the Education Minister said.

Canadian foreign affairs minister accused to have called Liberal MP a “dog”

Friday, October 27, 2006

Foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay was accused last week of calling Liberal MP Belinda Stronach a “dog” in the House of Commons.

Stronach, a feminist, said the comment was offensive to all women.

NDP leader Jack Layton said on Saturday that MacKay should apologise or resign.

MacKay said that he did not call her a dog. “I made no such gesture. I made no derogatory or discriminatory remark toward any member of the House,” MacKay said yesterday in the House of Commons.

Despite MacKay’s comment, the Liberals are still asking for an apology.

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