Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan stabbed in California prison

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

It was reported on Saturday Sirhan Sirhan was stabbed in the neck while in prison. Sirhan, 75, is serving a life sentence for the 1968 assassination of United States senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.

Sirhan was serving his time at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County, California. He was reported to be in stable condition.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) did not identify Sirhan as the victim. Rather, government sources confirmed his identity to various news outlets anonymously.

The Department issued a statement that an inmate had been stabbed: “There was an assault on an inmate on Friday, August 30 at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at 2:21 p.m. […] Officers responded quickly and found an inmate with stab wound injuries […] He was transported to an outside hospital for medical care, and is currently in stable condition.” They also said they believed they had identified the attacker, who was being held in isolation pending investigation.

Sirhan, an ethnic Palestinian from Jordan, opposed Senator Kennedy’s pro-Israel position. Sirhan later claimed to have no memory of the night Kennedy was shot or of his own confession to the crime. For many years, Sirhan was held protectively separate from most prisoners at Corcoran State Prison because of his fame. At his own request, Sirhan was eventually transferred to the general population at Donovan.

Robert F. Kennedy was the brother of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who had himself been assassinated in 1963. Robert was killed in June 1968, while seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Sirhan shot him in the head just after midnight, while he was walking through a hotel kitchen. Sirhan’s initial death sentence was commuted to life in prison when, for a time, California outlawed the death penalty.

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How the Army Corps of Engineers closed one New Orleans breach

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Friday, September 9, 2005

New Orleans, Louisiana —After Category 4 storm Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, on the night before August 29, 2005, several flood control constructions failed. Much of the city flooded through the openings. One of these was the flood wall forming one side of the 17th Street Canal, near Lake Pontchartrain. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the primary agency for engineering support during such emergencies. A USACE team was assessing the situation in New Orleans on the 29th, water flow was stopped September 2nd, and the breach was closed on September 5th.

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ITRI to challenge the infrastructure of WiMAX on High Speed Rails in Taiwan

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

To challenge the possibility of WiMAX connection on high speed rails, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) started an experiment on Mobile WiMAX technology for the THSR. It’s the first-ever WiMAX experiment on high speed rails in the world. Industrial companies including Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Broadband Platform Inc., Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, Corning Incorporated, and ZyXEL are confirmed to provide solutions in this first-ever experiment.

“THSR is a must-have transportation way for the public besides of inter-city buses and railways in Taiwan.” stated THSRC. “There are three critical difficulties that this experiment should be overcome: ‘Speed of the THSR’, ‘Base station construction inside the rails’, and the most important one – ‘Internet connection on tunnels’.” stated ITRI.

“If this [difficult] experiment can be succeeded, Taiwan will become the first nation to provide the Internet connection on high speed rails in the world.” said by Moses Yen, Director of Exhibition Department of Taiwan External Trade Development Council.

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Cancer trial patient dies after hospital computer system error

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Gary Foster, a British cancer patient, has died after a hospital computer error. The twenty-seven-year-old was undergoing a trial at the University College London Hospital when an apparent computer system error led to him repeatedly receiving double the amount of chemotherapy needed.

Foster had been treated for testicular cancer since June. He had improved temporarily after the overdose but died due to drug toxicity. Another patient suffered an overdose during the trial but survived.

Gary Foster was engaged, with wedding plans this month. He had been working as a graphic designer when he was diagnosed with cancer and a sixty percent survival rate. According to his fiancée, Paula Collins, the couple had been relieved to be included in drug trials as they had been told his chances of survival would increase. He had slowly received the overdoses over a period of four months. His mother said he had been “slowly poisoned.”

University College London Hospital reviewed its procedures and has made sufficient changes for future patient safety. The lesson it has learned, hospital officials stated, was to include “a second separate check by senior pharmacy staff … for every patient before repeated doses are given.” Suspected overdoses were reported through written letters, which hospital staff left unopened for two days.

While a coroner’s report is in progress, investigators said the drug had not directly caused Foster’s death despite his health deteriorating after the overdoses began.

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2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

This year’s Leisure Taiwan trade show (a.k.a Taiwan Sport Recreation and Leisure Show) started yesterday, with 131 companies participating including sports media companies such as ESPN and VideoLand Television, businesses selling sports equipment and fitness clubs.

There were also a variety of sports being played in the arena built for the trade show. The events included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, free style shooting, and bicycle test-riding. In addition, conferences discussed issues related to sports and physical education.

A major topic in the trade show was energy-efficiency and, as a result, bicycles and similar sports equipment were being heavily promoted.

Next Tuesday, companies from the electronics industry plan to promote their industry at “2008 Digital E-Park.” In previous years, organizations from the electronics industry have showcased their products at Leisure Taiwan instead of at the Digital E-Park, so this move has reduced the number of markets covered by Leisure Taiwan.

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Bobby Charlton launches anti-landmine campaign

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Football legend Sir Bobby Charlton has launched a new campaign he calls “There Must be a Better Way” to find a faster method to clear anti-personnel landmines. The initiative which comes under his “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” and involves physicists, mathematicians and electronic engineers from the University of Manchester and Lancaster University. In addition the Mines Advisory Group, a mine clearance charity, and the security systems company Rapiscan are involved.

Charlton first became interested in the problem of clearing anti-personnel landmines while visiting Bosnia on a Laureus funded Spirit of Soccer camp. He was appalled by the injuries he saw, especially to children, caused by abandoned anti-personnel mines. Later his visited Cambodia where there are estimated to be four to six million mines. Charlton was told it would take 100 years to clear the mines.

On the way back to Manchester, passing through airport metal detectors, he thought that surely there must be a better way to detect landmines than the laborious method he had seen using only a metal detector and a bayonet. As the mines are made mainly of plastic and have only a small amount of metal every piece of metal including shrapnel must be investigated to see if it is a mine.

He contacted Rapiscan and through them the University of Manchester to see if there was anyone who could help. The University has a number of scientists and engineers with relevant experience, including a project EMBody to develop the next generation walk through metal detector, in collaboration with Rapiscan and Manchester Airport, and work on a scanning metal detector used to image steel reinforcing bars in concrete.

On June 12th a demonstration was arranged at a disused quarry where Sir Bobby and the Professors of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Physics were shown the power of explosives. This included a demonstration where an explosive charge of about 50g of high explosive, about the same amount as a medium sized landmine, was placed under a sand-filled Wellington boot. The charge was detonated with a resounding bang that echoed around the quarry. The boot was projected tens of metres in the air. And when examined the toe had been cut off and the rubber shredded. The shock wave from the explosives thumped the chests of the scientists even at a safe distance. One commented that there was no chance of using delicate instrumentation anywhere near a possible explosion and they had to seek simple solutions.

“Last time I saw a boot fly through the air like that it was against Bolton” said Charlton, but there was a sombre but excited mood as the scientists headed back to the University, buzzing with ideas.

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US president Obama, Congress call for blocking of executive bonuses at AIG insurance company

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

United States President Barack Obama stated Monday that insurance giant AIG is in financial trouble due to “recklessness and greed,” and called for legal action to stop the company from giving out millions of dollars in bonuses to its executives.

“It’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay,” Obama said. “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat.”

Obama’s statement comes after reports surfaced last weekend saying the insurance agency, which is in deep financial trouble, had paid US$165 million to executives in bonuses, after receiving $170 billion as part of a government bailout plan.

AIG has said that the bonuses have to be given out, as the company is legally required by contract to do so. A representative with the National Economic Council, Lawrence H. Summers, also said that the bonuses were required to be given out. If AIG had refused to give out the bonuses, employees could file a lawsuit against the company for the money.

“We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses — which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” AIG CEO Edward M. Liddy said in a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on Saturday.

Liddy said that he asked Geithner “to use that leverage and pursue every legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole.”

“I want everybody to be clear that Secretary Geithner’s been on the case,” Obama said. “He’s working to resolve this matter with the new CEO, Edward Liddy, who, by the way, everybody needs to understand, came on board after the contracts that led to these bonuses were agreed to last year.”

If the bonuses cannot be stopped, the U.S. Congress says they want AIG to reimburse the government. Congress is looking to impose stiff new taxes on the pay, or ordering the company to return the money which was originally granted from a government bailout. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, senator Richard Shelby promised that the treasury will recover all of the money. Several U.S. senators along with Liddy have sent letters to AIG asking for the bonuses to be renegotiated, something AIG agreed to and says they will reduce future bonuses by 30%. Senators state that if Libby does not respond by renegotiating the bonuses, the Senate Finance Committee will propose an excise tax. Not only will an excise tax be proposed on AIG, but all companies receiving bailout money and their employees who receive bonuses.

What is the highest excise tax we can impose that will stand up in court? Let’s find out.

Numerous House Democrats have introduced legislation which would place a 100% tax on any bonuses of over $100,000 from companies that are receiving government bailout funds. Meanwhile in the Senate, a bipartisan proposal by Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) would levy a special 90% excise tax on AIG’s bonuses. Asked Senator Baucus, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee: “What is the highest excise tax we can impose that will stand up in court? Let’s find out.”

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New Zealand Medical Association says no party pills

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) has warned the public against taking party pills, even though they are legal in New Zealand. This warning comes because Benzylpiperazine, or BZP, can trigger hypothermia, seizures, paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, palpitations and spasms of the muscle. Some of those side effects will occur if the person has taken 4.5 tablets.

Those who do take party pills should not mix them with medication, drugs or alcohol. Also those with mental illnesses are advised to steer clear of the pills.

Ross Boswell, chairman of the medical association, said: “There were growing concerns about the safety of BZP-based party pills,” and the legality of the pills is coming under fire. “If people insist on taking the pills, they should make sure they stick to the manufacturer’s recommended dose, of one or two pills, and not combine them with other stimulants.”

A study done at the Christchurch Hospital has shown that 61 patients had been to the emergency department a total of 80 times. Of those 80 times, 15 of them were toxic seizures and two patients presented life threatening conditions.

The pills are often sold as “herbal highs” but according to Boswell, there is nothing “herbal” about them as they were first made to treat cattle that had worms.

Boswell said: “Further research on the effects of BZP is soon to be released by the Health Minister,” as the New Zealand government is debating whether or not they should be banned or have their sale restricted.

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Pakistan: Twelve suspected Taliban rebels die in airstrikes

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Twelve suspected Taliban insurgents were killed by Pakistani forces in the Orakzai region of the North-West Frontier Province. The attack came a day after nearly 100 rebels died in airstrikes, 54 of them from the Orakzai area.

Three hideouts of suspected insurgents were blown up by fighter jets, according to officials. Khaista Gul, a local government official, told Reuters agency that three “Taliban hideouts have been destroyed and 12 militants have been killed in Orakzai.” Samiullah Khan, another local official confirmed the death toll and added the attack was in the Sangram area of Orakzai.

Also, early on Sunday, a police patrol was attacked by rebels near the town of Mardan according to local police official Jawed Khan. Two were injured while one cop died in the incident. Khan added that the body of another police official, whose throat had been cut, was found at a checkpoint near the site where the police vehicle was ambushed.

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Wikinews interviews New York bar owner on Santorum cocktail

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wikinews interviewed one of the owners of a New York City bar about a popular new politically-themed cocktail drink called Santorum. The beverage was inspired by the santorum neologism coined in advice columnist Dan Savage’s column Savage Love in response to comments made by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum about homosexuality; Savage’s readers voted to define santorum as: “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

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