Canadian university students would prefer MP3 players over car radios

Friday, March 30, 2007

At Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, students are finding that popular MP3 players, such as Apple’s iPod, are very convenient devices for listening to music at the gym, while traveling on foot, and in the car.

In a recent ad-hoc survey conducted by Wikinews contributor Darren Mar, 150 students were randomly pulled aside in the hallways of the university, and asked if they own an MP3 player. 94 of the 150 students (62.66%) did in fact own MP3 devices, most of who were found to be carrying it on them when questioned. There was one simple follow up question for those who had a player: “If it were possible to have complete and safe control of the device on the steering wheel of a car, would you rather listen to your device, or the radio?” There were three answers possible, yes, no or both. Of the 94, 78 (82.98%) said yes, eleven (11.70%) said no, and five (5.32%) said both. The reporting took place primarily on March 16, 2007. The reasons for those who would listen to their device were commercial free music, personalized choice of music, and complete control of what you are listening to.

This study was motivated by the new design of 2006+ model cars. Many are being built with auxiliary jacks for the stock radio, allowing the driver to easily connect any audio playing device to the car’s sound system with a simple 3.5mm plug. What’s more, cars in the upper price echelon are being built with (1) a custom made area in the dash for MP3 players (iPod’s being the most popular), and (2) implementing audio device control right onto the steering wheel. A good example of this is the Ford Fusion or the 2007 Lexus IS250: “The centre console input port allows an iPod, MP3 or Windows Media Audio player to be plugged into the IS audio system.”

China sets up US$10 billion credit line with European nations

Sunday, April 29, 2012

China has pledged US$10 billion in credit to back joint projects with Central and Eastern European countries. Visiting Chinese Premiere Wen Jiabao announced the deal at a business forum in Warsaw, Poland, and said he hopes the deal will facilitate the two sides’ cooperation.

To boost business and trade, Wen said that China wants to help with infrastructure projects, including new technologies and green economy sectors. Also discussed at the Economic Forum was a new investment cooperation fund which would initially boast US$500 million to assist Chinese investments in the region. He also announced a plan to expand the Chinese market with other countries with hopes to build trade exchange to US$100 billion before the year 2015.

“China will work with countries in Central and Eastern Europe to mutually open the markets and to increase the trade exchange to $100 billion before 2015,” Wen said.

He said trade volume between China and central and eastern European countries reached 52.9 billion US dollars in 2011 and had grown 27.6 percent a year on average since 2001, when it was only 4.3 billion US dollars.

Thus far, the largest Chinese investment has been a €1.2 billion (US$1.6 billion) deal made by China’s Wanhua Industrial Group that gained full control of Borsodchem, a Hungarian chemicals firm. Other recent investments were made in Serbia, where a €170 million (US$225 million) bridge was built over the Danube river in Belgrade.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland happily welcomed the Chinese investment, noting the country’s uprising economy and European leadership role. Both Wen and Tusk enthused about the potential they say their partnership has and encouraged others in the region to form similar agreements.

The Chinese are “very pragmatic” in business, Andrzej Pawelec of Agrihortus company said, who is seeking new partners in China to sell its beverages. “If they see a good and honest business proposal, they are always open.”

Wen started his official visit to Poland on Wednesday. Poland is the last leg of a four-nation Europe tour that included visits to Iceland and Sweden and the opening ceremony of the Hannover Fair in Germany.

Ukraine opposition candidate Yushchenko is suffering from a Dioxin intoxication, doctors say

Saturday, December 11, 2004

VIENNA –Doctors from the Rudolfinerhaus clinic in Vienna say “there is no doubt” Ukrainian opposition leader Victor Yushchenko was poisoned with Dioxin.

Yushchenko’s body had about 1,000 times more than the normal concentration of the toxin. It is unknown if there were any other poisons in his system.

Although it has not yet been proven that the poisoning was deliberate, doctors suspect it was. “We suspect a cause triggered by a third party,” said Michael Zimpfer, head doctor at the Rudolfinerhaus clinic. He suggested the poison may have been administered orally, through food or drink.

Today’s announcements are a follow-up of an earlier press conference, where Dr. Korpan that there were three hypotheses under consideration, one of them involving dioxin. He did not reveal what the other two hypotheses were. Dr. Michael Zimpfer, director of the Rudolfinerhaus clinic emphasized that time there was no proof yet to specify the substance causing the illness.

Yushchenko left Kiev on Friday (2004-10-12) for further examination in Vienna. When Yushchenko fell ill on October 6th, Ukrainian doctors had initially diagnosed food poisoning, leading to speculation that he had been poisoned deliberately. The illness has disfigured Yushchenko’s body and face which doctors say could take up to two years to heal.

He fell seriously ill on the September 6th, during his presidential campaign. Yushchenko was taken to the Rudolfinerhaus clinic of Vienna, where he stayed for four days under Dr. Korpan’s care. He was diagnosed with “acute pancreatitis, accompanied by interstitial edematous changes.” These symptoms were said to be due to “a serious viral infection and chemical substances which are not normally found in food products” as his campaign officials put it. In laymans terms, he developed an infection in the pancreas and got a bad skin condition that disfigured his face with cysts and lesions. The skin condition has similarities with the chloracne associated with dioxin posioning according to a British toxicologist John Henry.

Earlier, doctor Nikolai Korpan of Rudolfinerhaus clinic confirmed today that the illness of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was caused by an attempt to kill him.

  • Ukraine political crisis – Wikinews’ special coverage portal

Over 100 dead and hundreds missing in Indonesia after tsunami destroys island villages

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

At least 113 people are now dead and hundreds more are missing after a 10 foot (3 m) tsunami destroyed several villages in a series of remote islands in western Indonesia. The tsunami was caused by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake which struck on Monday at 9:42 p.m. local time (14:42 UTC). The epicenter of the earthquake was 78 kilometers (48 mi) west of South Pagai, one of the Mentawai Islands off the west coast of Sumatra.

“We are predicting that people will need food supplies and shelter. The rain is coming down very hard, the wind is very strong,” a local police officer said, addind that emergency posts had been set up and patrols were being made to try and locate the missing. An official said that they had purchased 200 body bags “just in case.”

We have people reporting to the security post here that they could not hold on to their children, that they were swept away. A lot of people are crying.

A local official said that most of the buildings in the coastal village of Betu Monga had been destroyed when the tsunami struck. “Of the 200 people living in that village, only 40 have been found. 160 are still missing, mostly women and children,” he said. “We have people reporting to the security post here that they could not hold on to their children, that they were swept away. A lot of people are crying.” Food supplies, he added, were running low.

Wisnu Wijaya, the preparedness director with the National Disaster Management Agency, said that the government is getting aid to the islands. “We already sent a rapid response team to this area, coordinated by the provincial government. We have local disaster management at Padang, because right now the condition of the wave is quite high,” he said. Wijaya added that high waves and stormy weather have made it difficult to reach the affected areas, and communication was a problem. Emergency shelters have been set up and the first team from Sumatra was arriving Tuesday evening to begin a rapid assessment of the aid that was needed. “Up to now, I think we still can manage this problem. Maybe also we’ll send staff to go there and make a better coordination. If they need national resources to deploy there, we’ll be ready to support local government,” Wijaya said.

We threw whatever we could that floated—surfboards, fenders—then we jumped into the water.

The head of the regional government in the affected area told local television that some of the people recorded as missing may have moved to higher ground to take refuge from the waves. Rick Hallet, who was aboard his boat when the earthquake struck, told Australian television: “We threw whatever we could that floated—surfboards, fenders—then we jumped into the water. Fortunately, most of us had something to hold on to … and we just washed in the wetlands, and scrambled up the highest trees that we could possibly find and sat up there for an hour and a half.” The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a statement saying that radio contact had been lost with a tourist boat in the area which could have been nine Australians and a Japanese national. A humanitarian organisation said that there were “genuine fears” for those aboard.

A spokesperson for a surfing resort on the coast of North Pagai said that they had “experienced a level of devastation that has rendered the resort inoperable”. Witnesses suggested that villas at the resort had been “wiped out” by the tsunami. One report suggested that a 10 feet (3 m) wave had hit the resort, causing boats to burst into flames. “There was a lot of debris floating in the water, including bar stools and other pieces of furniture from Macaronis Resort,” a member of staff said. Reports suggested that water had reached rooftops in North Pagai.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area prone to seismic shifts that spark earthquakes and volcanic activity. A massive earthquake in 2004 caused a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people across the Indian Ocean. After that disaster Indonesia worked to establish early warning systems and disaster management programs to help deal with future quakes.

Protesters arrested at anti-Scientology event in Atlanta

Sunday, March 16, 2008

While protesting outside the Scientology Church of Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, two members of the group Anonymous were arrested by DeKalb County riot police while standing opposite the Church of Scientology-owned building.

The two protesters, who earlier participated in the delivery of a ‘global speech’ collaboratively written and read by members of Anonymous at protests worldwide, are believed to have been charged by Dekalb police for protesting without a permit and causing ‘offensive or hazardous conditions’. However, other members of Anonymous who took leading roles in arranging the protest are adamant that the Dekalb police had previously told them they did not need a permit to protest.

The arrests were filmed by other members of Anonymous who subsequently posted the videos onto popular video-sharing website YouTube. The videos show a very quick arrest in which the arresting officers did not read the Miranda rights of the protesters, which—contrary to popular belief—is only required to be read before a police officer interviews someone in custody. This was confirmed by other members of the group who say they didn’t hear their rights being read before they were led away. “They were grabbed and taken behind the complex in one swift strike. There was no Miranda rights read when they were initially grabbed” said one member of Anonymous interviewed by Wikinews.

In other videos published on YouTube, the same members of Anonymous were shown thanking police for their work and offering them some of the cake members of Anonymous had brought to the protest, shortly before they were arrested.

Members of Anonymous have composed an open letter to Dekalb’s Chief of Police, asking if such a show of police strength was really needed at a non-violent protest organised and attended mainly by college students and young Americans.

Drivers showing their support for the protesters by honking their car horns while driving past were followed by police bikes waiting in the Scientology building’s driveway and given tickets for violating noise ordinance laws. However, many members of Anonymous have voiced confusion over these tickets, as the honks of support were only 2-3 seconds in duration at most, and noise ordinance laws state a horn must be sounded for longer than 60 seconds to count as a violation of the law. When, after the arrests were made, the police started to adopt the policy of ticketing drivers who honked, members of Anonymous quickly raised “Do not honk” signs to drivers.

Both of the members of Anonymous have been released, one with a bail of $763.00. There are confirmed to be two charges standing against one. No information has been released from the police department at this point.

They did no wrong, and that building they were led into was reportedly the Scientology Org building.

Initial reaction from bloggers was generally critical of the arrests. Kalira of Doomfeller blog wrote: “This is UNACCEPTABLE. They did no wrong, and that building they were led into was reportedly the Scientology Org building. If the police—nay, the walking tanks, totally uncalled for with a peaceful protest—had them unmask inside … suffice it to say if they get harassed, there will be great big steaming piles of hell to pay.”

Scientology critic Jeff Jacobsen, who was interviewed by Wikinews on February 19, wrote on his blog: “But then I see that the Atlanta police arrested two Anons, and were even stopping cars that honked in approval of the protest! Is Atlanta not a part of the United States? I don’t get it.”

St. Anthony Foundation provides hope

Friday, September 23, 2005

On the corner of Golden Gate Ave. and Jones St. in the Tenderloin, San Francisco, right next to the Civic Center you can see a throng of low-income and homeless people lining up outside of St. Anthony’s Dining Room hall which opens up it’s doors everyday at 11:30 a.m. Volunteers dressed in St. Anthony Foundation shirts help keep the lines moving as hundreds of homeless and low income people shuffle their way towards the dining hall underneath the watchful eyes of a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi.

“There’s a lot of people who go hungry out here and it ain’t right.” says Jimmy Scott, a slightly brawny 44-year-old black man who has been living homeless in San Francisco for the past three years. “There are families out here with kids and everything and they have to walk around all night just to stay awake so they don’t get hurt or killed…Right here in the U.S. this is going on…it ain’t right.”

The dining hall, which has been open for the past 54 years, is owned by the St. Anthony Foundation which helps low income and homeless people and families in the Civic Center, Tenderloin, and SOMA areas with clothing, shelter, food, drug rehabilitation, and many other services. St. Anthony’s administrative offices are found at 121 Golden Gate Ave. with the majority of the foundation’s buildings on Golden Gate Ave. and Jones St.

“We are right in the heart of the homeless population of San Francisco,” says Barry Stenger, 55, who’s been working for the St. Anthony Foundation for one year, and is the Director of Development and Communications, “and people are pushed here because of the economic forces of San Francisco because it’s hard to be upper middle class in San Francisco.”

According to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, “San Francisco’s cost of living remains one of the highest in the country” with the average household income in San Francisco being around $76,400 and the average price of housing being $543,000. Average household income for the United States in 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was $42,409 and the average price of housing for the United States according to the National Association of Realtors was $185,200 in 2004.

“We served our 32 millionth meal on Tuesday,” said Stenger, “and we serve 2,500 meals a day. Some of our people who work here actually get served [food] here because they spend all their money towards rent and medical costs.”

The St. Anthony Foundation was started by Fr. Alfred Boeddeker in 1950 one year after Fr. Boeddeker became pastor of St. Boniface church on Golden Gate St. where he was baptized as a child. During his lifetime, according to the foundation’s website, he was referred to as the “Patron St. of the Tenderloin” and had Boeddeker park named after him because of his, and his foundation’s, achievements with helping out the homeless and low income community.

“[St. Anthony’s] is a good thing,” said Jimmy Scott, “they provide a good service and they feed people and they clothe them and provide furniture when you get housing and give you groceries when you have AIDS. It’s a good little organization.”

“Our dining room is open 365 days a year.” Said Stenger. “Our other facilities are open seven days a week. We have a residence for senior women and our [free medical] clinic is open five days a week and we also have a furniture and clothing store. We have 12 programs all together.”

Some of those programs are the Father Alfred Center which provides 61 men two programs for getting out of drug and alcohol abuse, the Employment Program/Learning Center which helps participants in educational and employment opportunities and provides each one with a personal staff advisor, and a Senior Outreach and Support Services center which states its mission is to “promote independence, self determination, and alleviate isolation” for seniors who are 60 and older.

A few homeless people who were interviewed complained that St. Anthony’s had some staff who were rude and that they were kicked out of the dining hall; other homeless within the area refuted those claims saying St. Anthony’s has nice staff and only kicks people out who cause trouble.

“It’s a good place and good people. Everybody is so kind and so respectful and everything is under control.” Said John Henderson, a tall and skinny 57-year-old homeless black man who has only been living in San Francisco for close to two months because he recently moved there from Phoenix, Arizona. “It’s pretty cool because they’re under control because yesterday I saw at Glide [Memorial Church which also has services for the poor and low income] and they were handing out food boxes and people were just rushing in and the woman in charge there was freaking out and so she just sat down. That would never happen at St. Anthony’s.”

“And they clean too!” Henderson said laughing with a grin on his face referring to the fact that there are no drugs allowed in the premises. “Not that Glide ain’t clean if you know what I mean.”

“We [also] have a whole division that deals with justice education and advocacy to change the system that brings people to our doorstep.” Said Stenger. “We hear a lot of appreciation from the people we serve. We get a lot of testimony from our clients who have become clean and sober. Sometimes we have to push them a little to get them out the door because they love the [foundation] so much because it has changed their lives.”

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Israel continues settlement expansion

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Israel has announced two new housing projects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, continuing to expand its settlements. Officials have stated that a bill to be approved by parliament this week, would set aside $25 million for the expansion of development projects in Har Homa and Maale Adumim. The bill would create 500 apartments in the Har Homa area and another 240 in Maale Adumim.

Last month, both Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signed a statement of “joint understanding” at the 2007 Annapolis Conference in Maryland. This signalled the first peace agreement between the two parties in more than seven years.

However, many fear that settlement expansions will cause tension amid new peace agreements.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “This is a totally destructive policy. Every day we hear a new settlement expansion plan – this cannot be tolerated.”

However, Rafi Eitan, Israeli Minister for Jerusalem Affairs offered a different stance.

“Har Homa is an integral part of Jerusalem and Israel will not stop building there. It is Israel’s duty to provide its citizens with a place to live.”

Earlier this month, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took a critical stance on the passage of another bill outlining the construction of 307 apartment units in Har Homa, saying that the expansion would “not help build confidence for peace talks.”

Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 Six-Day War.

Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

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.

HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.

Alleged tax-haven scheme linked to Canada’s largest brokerage firm

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In a continuing crackdown on tax evasion, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has alleged that brokers with a branch of RBC Dominion Securities, Canada’s largest brokerage company, helped clients set up accounts in the small European principality of Liechtenstein in order to avoid taxation on their wealth.

In affadavits submitted by the CRA, brokers with an RBC Dominion Securities office in Victoria, British Columbia, allegedly helped clients set up 16 offshore entities with a division of the LGT Group in Liechtenstein. While that is not a crime under Canadian law, auditors allege that the entities were used to help Canadians hide worldwide income. Thirteen individuals are either being audited or have made voluntary disclosures, admitting to tax evasion. The agency is presently investigating to see if there are any other individuals participating in this scheme. Regarding the inquiry, dubbed “Project Jade”, the CRA will only say that it was launched on information from a “confidential informant”.

RBC issued a written statement, saying “As a firm, we have never encouraged Canadians — not 25 years ago and not today — to set up entities in Liechtenstein, and we have never instructed our investment advisers to recommend that practice,” and “we comply with all CRA requirements. This means that we provide all our clients with the forms they need to meet their personal tax obligations, and also file reports with CRA that form the basis for reviews such as this.”

Three RBC employees are presently being investigated, with one remaining unidentified.

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