Archive for September, 2018

Book written based on leaked political emails, NZ

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A book has been written based around leaked political emails sourcing from leader of the New Zealand National party, Doctor Don Brash. The book has been titled The Hollow Men: A Study in the Politics of Deception and it’s by author, Nicky Hager, an activist for left-wing causes.

The release of the book was supposed to be today, however the release of the book has been prohibited by the High Court because of an injunction, issued last week, banning the publication of the leaked emails. The injunction applies to anyone as the plantiifs are in the names of “Jane Doe and John Doe”.

The topics in the book cover a lot ranging from policies and matters to do with the party. The book also includes Dr Brash’s relationship with the exclusive brethren. The books also shows that people within the party, who had denied links with the exclusive brethern, had in fact had links with them. Those people include Dr Brash, John Key the spokesman for finance and Stephen Joyce the campaign manager. The contents page has been revealed, it showed that the book includes political strategies behind the Orewa speech, the input into Nationals campaign from neo-conservatives in America, industry lobby group influences, doners to National and also the election spending strategy that was thought up by Australian advisers.

He also said it looked at a range of possible breaches of election finance laws and parliamentary spending rules.

Mr Hager confirmed that the book doesn’t just use emails but also interviews with people inside the National Party who are unhappy.

Mr Hager said that the book uses emails from Dr Brash that are non-personal and the book does not include anything about Dr Brash’s private life. He said that well-placed sources from within National had provided him with the emails. Mr Hager said: “[The emails did not come] from hacking into the parliamentary server or gaining access to Don Brash’s computer system or something like that”.

In response to the book National has begun to attack Mr Hager’s credibility. Gerry Brownlee, deputy leader, has labbled Mr Hager as a well known intriguist. “Helen Clark roundly ditched him over his Corngate allegations a few years ago and it would be interesting to know what she would make of his latest claims.”

Dr Brash said that it is not expected that their communications with the public would be made public.

The New Zealand Labour party is claiming that this book will be the “death knell” for National. Michael Cullen, deputy prime minister (PM), said: “The claims about Brash’s and John Key’s dealings with the Exclusive Brethren are very damaging. The trouble for the National Party is the book may knock out both of them in one go and the party will have to look beyond Key as leader.”

Current affairs show which is broadcast on TV3, Campbell Live, has filed legal precedings in the high court to allow the publication of the book. Carol Hirshfeld, producer, said: “[Our] lawyers are arguing the court didn’t take sufficient account of the public interest and that constitutes an unreasonable restriction on freedom of expression. Another key point in the application is that Brash knew for some time that the emails were in the public domain, but delayed acting until now.” On today’s show host of Campbell Live, John Campbell, said that he and some of his bosses had read the book.

The injunction stops the publish and broadcast, which includes the internet, of the emails. It is also prohibited to reveal what the emails contain or giving the emails to another person except the High Court where they are supposed to be given.

Endangered Luzon Buttonquail photographed alive by Philippines documentary

Sunday, February 22, 2009

According to ornithologists, a rare Philippines buttonquail feared to have gone extinct was recently documented alive by a cameraman inadvertently filming a local market, right before it was sold and headed for the cooking pot. Scientists had suspected the species—listed as “data deficient” on the 2008 International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List Category—was extinct.

Last month, native bird trappers snared and successfully caught the Luzon Buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri or Worcester’s buttonquail) in Dalton Pass, a cold and wind-swept bird passageway in the Caraballo Mountains, in Nueva Vizcaya, located between Cordillera Central and Sierra Madre mountain ranges, in Northern Luzon.

The rare species, previously known to birders only through drawings based on dead museum specimens collected several decades ago, was identified in a documentary filmed in the Philippines called Bye-Bye Birdie.

British birder and WBCP member Desmond Allen was watching a January 26 DVD-video of a documentary, Bye-Bye Birdie, when he recognized the bird in a still image of the credits that lasted less than a second. Allen created a screenshot, which was photographed by their birder-companion, Arnel Telesforo, also a WBCP member,in Nueva Vizcaya’s poultry market, before it was cooked and eaten.

i-Witness: The GMA Documentaries, a Philippine documentary news and public affairs television show aired by GMA Network, had incorporated Telesforo’s photographs and video footage of the live bird in the documentary, that was created by the TV crew led by Mr Howie Severino. The Philippine Network had not realized what they filmed until Allen had informed the crew of interesting discovery.

Mr Severino and the crew were at that time, in Dalton Pass to film “akik”, the traditional practice of trapping wild birds with nets by first attracting them with bright lights on moonless nights. “I’m shocked. I don’t know of any other photos of this. No bird watchers have ever given convincing reports that they have seen it at all… This is an exciting discovery,” said Allen.

The Luzon Buttonquail was only known through an illustration in the authoritative book by Robert S. Kennedy, et al, A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines. This birders “bible” includes a drawing based on the skins of dead specimens collected a century ago, whereas the otherwise comprehensive image bank of the Oriental Bird Club does not contain a single image of the Worcester’s Buttonquail.

“With the photograph and the promise of more sightings in the wild, we can see the living bill, the eye color, the feathers, rather than just the mushed-up museum skin,” exclaimed Allen, who has been birdwatching for fifty years, fifteen in the Philippines, and has an extensive collection of bird calls on his ipod. He has also spotted the Oriental (or Manchurian) Bush Warbler, another rare bird which he has not seen in the Philippines.

“We are ecstatic that this rarely seen species was photographed by accident. It may be the only photo of this poorly known bird. But I also feel sad that the locals do not value the biodiversity around them and that this bird was sold for only P10 and headed for the cooking pot,” Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) president Mike Lu said. “Much more has to be done in creating conservation awareness and local consciousness about our unique threatened bird fauna. This should be an easy task for the local governments assisted by the DENR. What if this was the last of its species?” Lu added.

“This is a very important finding. Once you don’t see a bird species in a generation, you start to wonder if it’s extinct, and for this bird species we simply do not know its status at all,” said Arne Jensen, a Danish ornithologist and biodiversity expert, and WBCP Records Committee head.

According to the WBCP, the Worcester’s buttonquail was first described based on specimens bought in Quinta Market in Quiapo, Manila in 1902, and was named after Dean Conant Worcester.

Since then just a few single specimens have been photographed and filmed from Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet, and lately, in 2007, from Mountain Province by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois.

Dean Conant Worcester, D.Sc., F.R.G.S. was an American zoologist, public official, and authority on the Philippines, born at Thetford, Vermont, and educated at the University of Michigan (A.B., 1889).

From 1899 to 1901 he was a member of the United States Philippine Commission; thenceforth until 1913 he served as secretary of the interior for the Philippine Insular Government. In 1910, he founded the Philippine General Hospital, which has become the hospital for the poor and the sick.

In October, 2004, at the request of Mr Moises Butic, Lamut CENR Officer, Mr Jon Hornbuckle, of Grove Road, Sheffield, has conducted a short investigation into bird-trapping in Ifugao, Mountain Province, Banaue Mount Polis, Sagada and Dalton Pass, in Nueva Vizcaya.

“Prices ranged from 100 pesos for a Fruit-Dove to 300 pesos for a Metallic Pigeon. Other species that are caught from time to time include Flame-breasted Fruit-Dove and Luzon Bleeding-heart; on one occasion, around 50 of the latter were trapped! All other trapped birds are eaten,” said Hornbuckle. “The main trapping season is November to February. Birds are caught at the lights using butterfly-catching type nets. Quails and Buttonquails were more often shot in the fields at this time, rather than caught, and occasionally included the rare Luzon (Worcester’s) Buttonquail, which is only known from dead specimens, and is a threatened bird species reported from Dalton Pass,” he added.

In August, 1929, Richard C. McGregor and Leon L. Gardner of the Cooper Ornithological Society compiled a book entitled Philippine Bird Traps. The authors described the Luzon Buttonquail as “very rare,” having only encountered it twice, once in August and once in September.

“They are caught with a scoop net from the back of a carabao. Filipino hunters snared them, baiting with branches of artificial red peppers made of sealing wax,” wrote McGregor and Leon L. Gardner. “The various ingenious and effectual devices used by Filipinos for bird-trapping include [the] ‘Teepee Trap’ which consists of a conical tepee, woven of split bamboo and rattan about 3 feet high and 3 feet across at the base, with a fairly narrow entrance. ‘Spring Snares’ were also used, where a slip noose fastened to a strongly bent bamboo or other elastic branch, which is released by a trigger, which is usually the perch of the trap,” their book explained.

A passage from the bird-trap book, which explains why Filipinos had eaten these endangered bird species, goes as follows:

Thousands of birds appear annually in the markets of the Philippine Islands. Snipe, quails, wild ducks, silvereyes, weavers, rails, Java sparrows, parrakeets, doves, fruit pigeons, and many more are found commonly. Some of these are vended in the streets as cage birds; many are sold for food. Most of them are living; practically none has been shot. How are these birds obtained? The people possess almost no firearms, and most of them could ill afford the cost of shells alone. Nevertheless, birds are readily secured and abundantly exposed for sale. In a land which does not raise enough produce to support itself, where the quest for food is the main occupation of life, where the frog in the roadside puddle is angled, the minnow in the brook seined, and the all-consuming locust itself consumed, it is not surprising (though regrettable) that birds are considered largely in the light of dietary additions.Philippine Bird Traps, by Richard C. McGregor and Leon L. Gardner, 1930 Cooper Ornithological Society

A global review of threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates drastic decline of animal and plant life. This includes a quarter of all mammals, one out of eight birds, one out of three amphibians and 70 percent of plants.

The report, Red List of Threatened Species, is published by IUCN every year. Additionally, a global assessment of the health of the world’s species is released once in four years. The data is compiled by 1,700 experts from 130 countries. The key findings of the report were announced at the World Conservation Congress held in Barcelona, Spain.

The survey includes 44,838 species of wild fauna and flora, out of which 16,928 species are threatened with extinction. Among the threatened, 3,246 are tagged critically endangered, the highest category of threat. Another 4,770 species are endangered and 8,912 vulnerable to extinction.

Environmental scientists say they have concrete evidence that the planet is undergoing the “largest mass extinction in 65 million years”. Leading environmental scientist Professor Norman Myers says the Earth is experiencing its “Sixth Extinction.”

Scientists forecast that up to five million species will be lost this century. “We are well into the opening phase of a mass extinction of species. There are about 10 million species on earth. If we carry on as we are, we could lose half of all those 10 million species,” Myers said.

Scientists are warning that by the end of this century, the planet could lose up to half its species, and that these extinctions will alter not only biological diversity but also the evolutionary processes itself. They state that human activities have brought our planet to the point of biotic crisis.

In 1993, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson estimated that the planet is losing 30,000 species per year – around three species per hour. Some biologists have begun to feel that the biodiversity crisis dubbed the “Sixth Extinction” is even more severe, and more imminent, than Wilson had expected.

The Luzon Buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri) is a species of bird in the Turnicidae family. It is endemic to the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where it is known from just six localities thereof. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, in the highlands of the Cordillera Central, although records are from 150-1,250 m, and the possibility that it frequents forested (non-grassland) habitats cannot be discounted.

The buttonquails or hemipodes are a small family of birds which resemble, but are unrelated to, the true quails. They inhabit warm grasslands in Asia, Africa, and Australia. They are assumed to be intra-island migrants, and breed somewhere in northern Luzon in April-June and that at least some birds disperse southwards in the period July-March.

These Turnicidae are small, drab, running birds, which avoid flying. The female is the more brightly coloured of the sexes, and initiates courtship. Unusually, the buttonquails are polyandrous, with the females circulating among several males and expelling rival females from her territory. Both sexes cooperate in building a nest in the earth, but only the male incubates the eggs and tends the young.

Called “Pugo” (quail) by natives, these birds inhabit rice paddies and scrub lands near farm areas because of the abundance of seeds and insects that they feed on regularly. These birds are characterized by their black heads with white spots, a brown or fawn colored body and yellow legs on males and the females are brown with white and black spots.

These birds are very secretive, choosing to make small path ways through the rice fields, which unfortunately leads to their deaths as well, they are hunted by children and young men by means of setting spring traps along their usual path ways.

Buttonquails are a notoriously cryptic and unobtrusive family of birds, and the species could conceivably occur in reasonable numbers somewhere. They are included in the 2008 IUCN Red List Category (as evaluated by BirdLife International IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). They are also considered as Vulnerable species by IUCN and BirdLife International, since these species is judged to have a ten percent chance of going extinct in the next one hundred years.

DFB-Pokal Final: Bayern wins 4-3 in Der Klassiker final

Monday, May 23, 2016

In the German DFB-Pokal final, on Saturday, Munich-based football club FC Bayern Munich defeated rivals Borussia Dortmund 4–3 in a penalty shoot-out decider as the match ended 0–0 after 120 minutes at Olympiastadion in Berlin. This marked the third consecutive loss for Dortmund in the German Cup final. This was the eighteenth German Cup win for Bayern and eleventh domestic double.

Once you’ve reached five finals over the course of five years, simply reaching the final is no longer enough!

Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich had 70% ball possession in the game and had seventeen shots while Dortmund hit just nine. With a total of seven yellow cards shown in 120 minutes, 35 fouls were committed.

Dominating Bayern faced a shot from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang which was saved in the 85th minute. Erik Durm’s sliding tackle saved a goal for Robert Lewandowski’s shot in the fourth minute of the extra time.

As normal time ended goal-less, the match progressed to additional time. Roman Bürki delayed the Bavarian victory by disallowing Douglas Costa’s 113th minute shot as well as David Alaba’s shot in the next minute.

In the penalty shootout, Manuel Neuer saved Sven Bender’s spot kick, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos missed while Joshua Kimmich failed to score for Munich.

In the end, Munich won the cup defeating their rivals 4–3 on penalties. This match was the last match for Dortmund for their captain Mats Hummels as he is due to move to Munich next week.

In a pre-match conference, Thomas Tuchel, Borussia Manager, said, “Once you’ve reached five finals over the course of five years, simply reaching the final is no longer enough!” ((de))German Language: ?Wenn man fünf Mal in fünf Jahren in einem Endspiel steht, ist eine Final-Teilnahme nicht mehr genug!

Dortmund has won the DFB-Pokal three times. Including the 2012, 2014 and 2015 DFB-Pokal finals they have featured in five finals in the last five seasons in various competitions including the 2013 UEFA Champions League Der Klassiker final. This was Pep Guardiola’s seventh trophy with Bayern Munich in his three years as the club manager. He won the Bundesliga title each season and he is set to join Manchester City next season.

May 21, 201620:00 local time(1800 UTC)
FC Bayern Munich 0–0 (aet)(4–3) (pen.) Borussia Dortmund Olympiastadion, Berlin Attendance: 74,322 Referee: Marco Fritz, Germany
Arturo Vidal Robert Lewandowski Joshua Kimmich Thomas Müller Douglas Costa Shinji Kagawa Sven Bender Sokratis Papastathopoulos Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Marco Reus

Canadian activist June Callwood dies at 82

Saturday, April 14, 2007

June Callwood, Canadian Journalist, humanitarian, and activist, died today of cancer at age 82.

“The Casey House community is deeply appreciative to the Frayne family for sharing their precious mother and wife with us for so many years. “We send them our love and deepest condolences.”

Callwood, born June 2, 1924 in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, first became a journalist for Brantford Expositor and later for The Globe and Mail, she began doing freelance journalism for magazines including Maclean’s, hosted several television shows for the CBC and Vision TV, and wrote 30 books. In 2003, she was diagnosed with cancer and refused treatment so she could continue her activism, but just this month the disease began to worsen until her death this morning at Toronto‘s Princess Margaret Hospital. Just last month a biography entitled June Callwood: A Life of Action was written by author Anne Dublin.

Callwood left a significant legacy of activism and community service. She helped to found the Toronto AIDS hospice Casey House, the youth hostel Digger House, Nellie’s hostel for women, PEN Canada, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation. Callwood was also a past spokesperson for the Campaign Against Child Poverty.

Casey House (June Callwood) is named after her son, Casey Frayne, who was killed in a motorcycle accident involving a drunk driver, in 1982 at the age of 20.

In 1978, she was made a member of the Order of Canada, she became an Officer with the Order of Canada in 1985, and became Companion in the year 2000. In 1988, the Order of Ontario was awarded to her and in 2004 a street in Toronto was named after her. Her last interview was on CBC’s The Hour hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos in 2005.

Callwood is survived by her husband, Trent Frayne, her two daughters, Jessie Frayne, Jill Frayne, and her son, Brant Frayne.

British report says the U.K. is preparing ‘mass graves’ for humans if Bird Flu mutates

Sunday, April 2, 2006

A report titled: Managing Excess Deaths in an Influenza Pandemic dated March 22, 2006, leaked from the Home Office in the United Kingdom states that the U.K. is preparing ‘mass graves’ in the event that the Avian Flu [Bird Flu] mutates. It also states that, “there are likely to be substantially more deaths than can be managed within current timescales.” and that as many as 320,000 people could die if the virus mutates.

“Common [mass] burial stirs up images of the burial pits used in the great plague of 1665 — where in London 70,000 people died,” the report added. It suggests that ways can be found for large-scale burial to provide recognizable individual gravesites in order to counter this association.

“Prudent precautionary planning is under way across all elements of the response, including the health service, other essential services and local authorities,” said a Home Office spokesman. However; at the moment, the virus only infects humans who have been in close or direct contact with infected poultry. The U.K. also reports that it has stockpiled at least 14.6 million doses of anti-viral medication.

The report cautions that vaccines against the virus “will not be available in the first wave of a pandemic” and that the vaccines would not be a “silver bullet.” It also states that the local officials are prepared to handle only 48,000 deaths in Wales and in England for a pandemic lasting 15 weeks, however; the reports states further that, “even with ramping local management capacity by 100%, the prudent worst case of 320,000 deaths is projected to lead to a delay of some 17 weeks from death to burial or cremation.”

Former UK MP Mo Mowlam ‘critically ill’

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Former Labour Party MP and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam, 55, is reported to be critically ill at King’s College Hospital, London.

According to a King’s College Hospital spokeswoman, Ms. Mowlam is “critical but stable,” and added that her family did not want further details disclosed.

Ms. Mowlam survived a brain tumour in the 1990s, which saw her lose her hair, forcing her to wear a wig.

Many state that her charismatic personality played an important role in the Northern Ireland peace talks, leading to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and an IRA ceasefire.

13 pilot whales returning to sea, off Western Australia

Monday, April 4, 2005

Rescuers were today sending a pod of 13 pilot whales back into the ocean at Geographe Bay, near to Busselton, south of Perth, in Western Australia. Six additional members of the pod had died during the stranding, including at least one calf. More than 300 people were watching as the whales set out to sea following a 30 hour rescue effort.

The whales had become stranded early yesterday. Several power boats and a spotter plane were escorting the surviving whales towards Cape Naturalist, in an operation expected to take several hours.

Western Australian State Government Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) officers feared that the whales could become stranded again.

One CALM officer, Neil Taylor, told ABC News dozens of his colleagues and community volunteers had helped the whales survive throughout the night.

“The vet has checked them all and given them some antibiotics yesterday, last thing before dark,” he had told the Australian national broadcaster.

“I think the plan is that the vet will be there again [today] and will give them some vitamins to kick them along before they actually take their swim out to sea.”

News briefs:July 27, 2010

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School Uniforms In Tampa Unifies Staff Members


Tampa, Florida is home to over 90 schools so it comes as no surprise that there is a strong need for uniforms among staff members. A unified outfit for everyone that works on staff makes it easier for students and parents to quickly spot teachers, coaches, secretaries and other key staff members when visiting your school or attending extracurricular events.


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When you are looking for attire options for your school staff members, you definitely want to have a lot of different style shirts available in many colors. Children and students love color. There is no reason for drab clothes when you are selecting School uniforms in Tampa. The more choices your staff has for accepted attire, the better.


School uniforms go one step further than just being colorful. Order them embroidered or screen printed with the name of your school, your mascot or the name of your staff member for a truly customized article of apparel that is suitable for wear within your school building, at sporting events or any time that your school requires representation. T-Shirts, polo shirts, hats, and hoodies can all be screen printed or embroidered for everyday wear or custom designed to be worn for special occasions being celebrated at your school. T-Shirts are great for casual occasions. Polo shirts are a little dressier, but always stylish. Fancier dress shirts are also available with short or long sleeve versions. The choice of what you want your employees wear during work hours or during school-related functions is entirely up to you!


There is nothing more prideful than having customized school uniforms. They help define your professional image. They are affordable and assure that all of your staff members are always wearing tactful clothes that do not violate your dress code. They do not detract from your students learning experience. Your school staff members appreciate them because they save money. School uniforms replace the need for teachers and supporting staff to buy their own outfits to wear in the classroom.

Order Yours

Ordering customized uniform shirts for your school is easy. Just upload your high-resolution school logo or special art, choose the style of shirt that you prefer and place your order. If you prefer more of a personalized solution, you may also decide to call and speak with a service representative. You will find that a standard accepted dress code among your school employees helps unify them. When everyone is wearing a shirt with your unique logo, your school mascot and their name printed on it, kids feel more comfortable and can easily pick out which adults are part of your organization. Parents love them because they are practical.

Author of My Billion Year Contract reflects on life in elite Scientology group

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Nancy Many about her book My Billion Year Contract, and asked her about life working in the elite Scientology group known as the “Sea Org“. Many joined Scientology in the early 1970s, and after leaving in 1996 she later testified against the organization. Published in October, Many’s book has gone on to become one of the top selling new books on Scientology at

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