Final bidder submits SGD5.5 billion plan for Singapore casino

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The third and last bidder for Singapore’s Sentosa Integrated Resort (IR) project, Eighth Wonder, submitted its development plan yesterday: a SGD 5.5 billion(USD 3.52 billion) eco-friendly casino known as “Harry’s Island”.

Harry’s Island will boast 10 luxury, family-oriented hotels, a tree house with family suites, and a 7,500-seat Caldera theater which will feature nightly spectacular shows.

Eighth Wonder says it wants to make Harry’s Island a world-class, must-see tourist destination and has roped-in several big names in its tender. If selected, the resort will have spas and health centers run by health guru Deepak Chopra, Vera Wang hotels with access to her entire wedding collection, and a soccer academy with Brazilian soccer icon Pele giving his input.

Harry’s Island will create around 15,000 jobs, including 5000 in the food and beverage industry.

The company believes it can recover its investments by 2015 by generating over $5.6 billion in five years; it hopes to bring nearly 15 million visitors annually by 2014.

The Sentosa IR project is the second of two IR tenders offered by the Singapore Government: the first was located in Marina Bay.

The Singapore government is expected to announce the winner in December.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Final_bidder_submits_SGD5.5_billion_plan_for_Singapore_casino&oldid=435586”

Incredible Halt At Rajasthan With Varanasi

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Submitted by: Erco Travels

India is a country which has uncountable tour opportunities and most varied culture and travelling options. Tourists from different part of world tend to attract themselves when they come across the travelling options of this beautiful country. Here they get worthwhile and fascinating travelling alternatives that they prefer touring to India as frequent as they can. In India, you can find various options to travel like huge mountains, enchanting lakes and springs, hill stations, churches, temples, wildlife sanctuaries, historical monuments etc. But if you want to experience the real royal and regal environment, you should visit the Rajasthan, a state with real royal ambience.

As the name suggests, Rajasthan is a Land of Kings. While travelling through India, one can not think of not visiting Rajasthan. You can visit Rajasthan for beautiful and enchanting palaces, huge and gigantic forts and havelis, alluring gardens, monuments, Thar Desert and the very famous camel safari.Wild Life is a place which attracts most of the travelers in India. This majestic land is full of unconquerable and splendid forts and palaces which are the most uncommon and unique quality of the state. Glowing Desert, golden sand, enchanting flora and fauna, amazing wildlife or National Parks ads on to the qualities of the place to make it a worth place to visit. Rajasthan is a beautiful land of rich and colorful culture and heritage. The different festivals of the state make its culture vibrant,colorful and bright. Each city of the state has one unique and important quality to make the state a complete travelling option.

Jaipur, known as pink city is the capital of Rajasthan. It has so many things to visit like Amber Palace; City Palace, Hawa Mahal etc. Udaipur is the city of lakes which is blessed by green hills and blue lakes. Jaisalmer is known as the golden city having various touring options. Rajasthan also has a hill station named as Mount Abu which is the only hill station in Rajasthan. All of these cities in Rajasthan are worth to visit. Apart from these cities, other cities in Rajasthan are rich in wildlife and exotic flora. Rajasthani cuisine is also a positive point of the state to experience.

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This tour can be more worth if you combine Rajasthan tour with Varanasi. Varanasi is situated on the bank of the holy river Ganges in the state Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi is also known as the city of temples. It is one of the most scared cities in India. There are numerous temples and ghats to be visited. These all are so very beautiful that one can lost in the enchantment here. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that if somebody has a bath three times on these scared ghats, he or she reach paradise after the death. One point which makes Varanasi so unique is that here the holy River Ganga flows in an upturned direction that is, in Southern east direction for a while.

Varanasi is not very far from Rajasthan. So, you should not miss the chance of being a witness to such a sacred place where you can have a blissful and amazing experience.Visiting varanasi Tour with Rajasthan is an incredible halt during your astounding tour to India.

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Rajsthan Tour with Varanasi to all the Tours and Travels destinations in Rajsthan.

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US Court of Appeals reduces sentence for former Philippines officer in spy case

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, February 9, 2009

Michael Ray Aquino, a former Philippines National Police officer serving six years imprisonment in McRae, Georgia for espionage could now be eligible for immediate release after a United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit judge panel Friday modified a United States District Court for the District of New Jersey‘s judgment, ordering a resentence of the accused under more lenient guidelines.

“I feel relieved for Michael Aquino and his family. We won the appeal. Michael will be resentenced. His new sentencing range will be 36-46 months (that is, essentially time served). Aquino has now served exactly 41 months in prison to the day on Feb. 9, 2009,” Aquino’s lawyer, Mark A. Berman, Esq. said. “The accused pleaded guilty to merely to possessing military secrets, and a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Walls erred in using harsher sentencing guideline reserved gathering or transmitting classified documents,” Berman added.

But Federal prosecutors had argued for Walls’ sentence, alleging “his guilty plea included acknowledging the stolen documents could have been used to harm the United States, making him eligible for the stiffer sentence,” Christopher J. Christie, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey submitted. “Crimes like these strike at the heart of our national security because they involve our keeping our secrets secret. These defendants will face the full weight of federal prosecution,” said US Attorney Christie.

“The arrests of Leandro Aragoncillo and Michael Ray Aquino affirm the FBI’s commitment to apprehending those who would seek to reveal classified information to foreign nationals,” explained FBI Special Agent in Charge Leslie Wiser Jr. Both accused were ordered in judicial custody without bail by United States Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz in September 2005.

“While Aragoncillo was an active participant in the offense, Aquino’s role was purely passive,” wrote Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry in a written opinion promulgated Friday, in “US v Aquino” (No. 07-3202), an appealed case originating from D.C. Crim. No. 05-cr-00719. In the judgment, federal judges Barry, Michael Chagares and Jane A Restani, Chief Judge of the United States Court of International Trade, sitting by designation, have acknowledged that Judge William H. Walls’ interpretation of the harsher sentencing guideline was understandable, but the statute is imprecise. “Accordingly, we will vacate the judgment of sentence and remand for resentencing,” the panel ruled.

“The Honorable Maryanne Barry” is a United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit judge, daughter of Mary MacLeod Trump, who hails from Tong, Western Isles. Barry is the older sister of real estate mogul Donald Trump and the mother of David Desmond, who is a neuropsychologist and the author of the satirical novel Oliver Booth.

The espionage case was the first of its kind, obliging the Court to turn to the dictionary instead as a legal tool to resolve the landmark case. Circuit Judge Barry then used the 1993 version of the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary to define the word “obtain.” The pertinent part, pages 9 to 10 of the 13-page decision provides as follows:

First, Aquino never admitted—at least in so many words—that he “obtained” the documents found in his possession. According to Webster’s, “to obtain” means “to gain or attain possession or disposal of usu[ally] by some planned action or method.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 1559 (1993). This has an active connotation. At his sentencing hearing, Aquino answered in the affirmative when asked whether he had “receiv[ed]” documents (App. 44) that Aragoncillo “was providing” (App. 45) or “transmit[ting]” (App. 46). At no point was “planned action or method” on Aquino’s part even suggested. While Aragoncillo was an active participant in the offense, Aquino’s role was purely passive. In short, there is no sound textual basis for selecting either § 2M3.2 or § 2M3.3 to address Aquino’s retention offense at Step One. Fortunately, at Step Two, the Sentencing Commission provided guidance that makes it functionally irrelevant whether we begin our analysis at § 2M3.2 or § 2M3.3. Critically, the District Court did not heed what the Commission had said.—”USA v. Michael Ray Aquino,” Case No. 07-3202, Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry

Judge Walls sentenced Aquino to 76 months imprisonment for violation of 18 United States Code 793(e), punishable under the harsher United States Sentencing Guidelines, 2M3.2, (Gathering National Defense Information, which imposes 35 years sentence if top secret and 30 years, if not) instead of the more lenient 2M3.3 (Transmitting National Defense Information, etc.)

Because of the Barry decision which modified the original Hall’s sentence, Aquino now faces 37 to 46 months imprisonment when he is resentenced by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Since he has already served 40 months, he could be immediately released.

But since he was initially arrested in September 2005 for tourist visa rules violations, he will be delivered by the judicial authorities to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services when he leaves McRae Correctional Institution in Georgia. Aquino will be processed for deportation. McRae is a city in Telfair County, Georgia, United States.

Michael Ray Aquino was a former Deputy Directory of the Philippines National Police Intelligence Group and former senior superintendent of the now-disbanded Philippines Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force under former Philippines president Joseph Estrada.

On November 24, 2000, PR man Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito were kidnapped along the corner Zobel Roxas Street in Manila and the South Super Highway by gunmen believed to be members of the PNP. Four days after, the victims’ charred remains, consisting of burnt bones, metal dental plates and a ring, were later found in Barangay Buna Lejos, Indang, Cavite. Both victims were killed by strangulation.

P/Col. Glenn Galapon Dumlao, one of the accused, named former Po/Supt. Cezar O. Mancao II and former S/Supt. Michael Ray Aquino as the brains behind the crime. Mancao and Aquino were members of Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force or PAOCTF, headed by then Gen. Panfilo Lacson. Suspects Mancao and Aquino left the country after being implicated in the heinous crime. Dumlao disappeared afterwards but later resurfaced in the US.

In 2005, murder cases were filed in Philippine courts and arrests warrants were issued against accused Dumlao, Aquino and Mancao. Dumlao, a resident of Patchogue, New York was arrested and held without bail on November 20, 2008 by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge William D. Wall. On December 10, Dumlao was ordered extradited to the Philippines by Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Long Island, New York.

The initial hearing of the extradition case of Dumlao’s co-accused, Mancao II, now detained in Florida, was held on December 3, in the US District Court in Southern Florida in Fort Lauderdale. Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez had requested the US Justice Department to extradite Mancao and Dumlao to face murder charges in the Philippines. An extradition hearing has yet to be initiated for Aquino, although, as trusted officer of then PNP chief, now senator, Panfilo Lacson, was also requested for extradition by the Philippine government to face trial for the Dacer-Corbito double murder.

“Sir, the other day Leandro ‘Lean’ Aragoncillo called me. … He wants to talk to you and give you some updates on the political situation in the country,” wrote Aquino in an e-mail of January 2005 to his former boss Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson. “I find all the information that you are sending me very useful. I hope you will continue sending more,” replied Sen. Lacson in an e-mail he allegedly sent in January 2005 to Aragoncillo. “By no means would you show this information. … I will be affected severely. Again, please protect the source – Me,” said Aragoncillo in an E-mail he allegedly sent in August 2005 to former Philippines President Joseph Estrada.

In March 2005, Aquino was arrested by immigration authorities for overstaying his visa. He contacted his friend, Leandro Aragoncillo, a Philippine-born civilian FBI Intelligence Analyst, who worked in the White House (between 1999 and 2002) as “administration chief” of the security detail assigned to the Vice President (Gore and then Cheney). However, Aragoncillo’s efforts on Aquino’s behalf eventually led to Aragoncillo being investigated by the FBI. In the course of that investigation, evidence of espionage against the United States Government was uncovered.

According to reports complied by Filipino intelligence professionals, there were indications of a link between Aragoncillo and the French intelligence service, Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure. Frequent visits by Aragoncillo to Manila allegedly were interspersed with clandestine meetings between identified, French operatives and several “illegals” (i.e. unregistered agents) around 2002 to 2004.

“What it means is that there is a hole in White House security. There are two kinds of people at the White House: Those that have been very well-vetted and those that have been extremely well-vetted and have access to the top secret computer network. This man had access to the top secret computer network.” said Richard A. Clarke, a former White House adviser.

“The FBI said Aragoncillo was concerned about e-mailing from his personal account so many classified documents from FBI computers, and he asked one recipient, Filipino opposition Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, whether he was a nuisance. “The reply, court records say, came back two days later in a cell phone message intercepted by the FBI: “What you are sending are never a nuisance to me. They are in fact informative and very useful,” Clark added.

In September 2005, Aragoncillo, a retired US Marine Gunnery Sergeant with 21 years service was suspended by the FBI, and arrested for violation of Title 18 of the US Code, Sections 371 and 951, admitting espionage activities from August 2000 to August 2005, and taking files while working under VP Cheney from 2001-2002, including giving information to another country.

In July 2007, Aragoncillo, age 50, a naturalized US citizen residing in Woodbury, New Jersey was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for “transferring classified information to assist in overthrow of Philippines government.” Aragoncillo, admitted passing information by cellphone text messages and e-mail messages through Hotmail and Yahoo accounts, to Aquino, former President Joseph Estrada, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and opposition politicians, who wanted to oust Mrs. Arroyo, including former House Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella, according to court documents. He will be released from Federal Correction Institute in Big Spring, Texas on May 28, 2014.

The court fined Aragoncillo $40,000. “I never intended to cause harm or injury to the United States,” Aragoncillo told the judge. In July 2007, Sen. Panfilo Lacson as well as deposed president Joseph Estrada have admitted to receiving information from Aquino, but they denied any conspiracy. “Aquino is determined not to return to the country,” said Sen. Lacson, who admitted extending financial support to Aquino and his family.

In July, 2008, Sabina and Carina Dacer, the daughters of missing public relations man Salvador “Bubby” Dacer testified at the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC), after almost eight years of self-exile in the United States. “In his exact words he said, ‘mga anak, kung may mangyari sa akin, walang ibang may kakagawan noon kundi si Ping Lacson, (my daughters, if anything happens to me, no one but Ping Lacson is responsible)” Sabina Dacer told ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. “Hindi naman kilala ng daddy ko si Michael Ray Aquino as far as we know eh. So kung hindi siya kilala ng daddy ko, sino yung kilala niya na kilala ng daddy ko? (My dad does not know Michael Ray Aquino as far as we know. So, if my dad does not know him, whom does he know that my dad knows?)” Carina Dacer said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson has vehemently denied any involvement in the Dacer-Corbito murder case. “For the Nth time, I will assert the truth that I had nothing to do with it,” said Lacson in a text message. “They can lie and make people lie even under oath and before a court of law to make me look bad and guilty in the Dacer case. In fact, right after Dacer disappeared, the family sought my help… And I responded the way I should as a law enforcement officer at that time,” Lacson explained.

On Saturday, September 10, 2005, Aquino was also arrested at Queens, New Jersey and was charged with conspiracy and acting as an agent of a foreign official in the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, presided by U.S. District Judge William H. Walls. Aquino was accused of helping Aragoncillo transmit classified United States documents regarding President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to her opponents in the Philippines, including both former President Joseph Estrada and current opposition leader, Panfilo Lacson, who had been Aquino’s superior in the police force.

In an indictment of 6 Oct 2005 signed and filed by United States Attorney Christopher J. Christie, the Grand Jury sitting at Newark, New Jersey, accused Aquino with charges of – “knowingly communicating classified information by a government employee to an agent or representative of a foreign country (i.e. receiving classified information), acting as an agent of a foreign official without notification of the Attorney General, in violation of Title 18 of the US Code, Section 951, conspiracy to commit all of the above offenses in violation of Title 18 of the US Code, Section 371, and not cooperating with authorities, under Title 18 of the US Code, Section 2.

Under an eventual plea-bargain agreement, Aquino entered a plea of guilty to illegal possession of classified documents, but avoided the more serious charge of espionage which Aragoncillo received. On July 17, 2007, Aquino was sentenced to six years and four months in prison by U.S. District Judge William H. Walls. Federal prosecutors had sought the maximum 10-year term.

Aquino “did subject our nation to some peril,” ruled Judge Walls. “I am sorry for what I did. I never had the intention to harm the United States. I love this country,” said Aquino who addressed the court for three minutes before sentencing, and apologized. On November 21, 2008 his reduced sentence request was submitted to the appellate court.

Meantime, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is monitoring developments in the Aquino espionage case. “Of course we are interested in his case, but all we can do is to wait for the outcome of the case of Michael Ray in the US,” said a police official.

The Alliance for A Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines has criticized the judgment: “For the AJLPP the news of the release proves that the charade of injustice is ever present when it comes to the cabal of AFP men who served as worst human rights violator and proven puppets of the United States military like the Lacson boys,” the AJLPP said. “On the other cases of oppressed immigrants like the Baoanan case languishes in courts and not acted upon. So much for double standard of American justice system.” The AJLPP statement concluded.

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Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Live music venues in Edinburgh, Scotland are awaiting a review later this year on the 2005 licensing policy, which places limitations on the volume of amplified music in the city. Investigating into how the policy is affecting the Edinburgh music scene, a group of Wikinews writers interviewed venue owners, academics, the City of Edinburgh Council, and local band The Mean Reds to get different perspectives on the issue.

Since the clause was introduced by the government of the city of Edinburgh, licensed venues have been prohibited from allowing music to be amplified to the extent it is audible to nearby residential properties. This has affected the live music scene, with several venues discontinuing regular events such as open mic nights, and hosting bands and artists.

Currently, the licensing policy allows licensing standards officers to order a venue to cease live music on any particular night, based on a single noise complaint from the public. The volume is not electronically measured to determine if it breaches a decibel volume level. Over roughly the past year there have been 56 separate noise complaints made against 18 venues throughout the city.

A petition to amend the clause has garnered over 3,000 signatures, including the support of bar owners, musicians, and members of the general public.

On November 17, 2014, the government’s Culture and Sport Committee hosted an open forum meeting at Usher Hall. Musicians, venue owners and industry professionals were encouraged to provide their thoughts on how the council could improve live music in the city. Ways to promote live music as a key cultural aspect of Edinburgh were discussed and it was suggested that it could be beneficial to try and replicate the management system of live music of other global cities renowned for their live music scenes. However, the suggestion which prevailed above all others was simply to review the existing licensing policy.

Councillor (Cllr) Norma Austin-Hart, Vice Convenor of the Culture and Sport Committee, is responsible for the working group Music is Audible. The group is comprised of local music professionals, and councillors and officials from Edinburgh Council. A document circulated to the Music is Audible group stated the council aims “to achieve a balance between protecting residents and supporting venues”.

Following standard procedure, when a complaint is made, a Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) is dispatched to investigate the venue and evaluate the level of noise. If deemed to be too loud, the LSO asks the venue to lower the noise level. According to a document provided by the City of Edinburgh Council, “not one single business has lost its license or been closed down because of a breach to the noise condition in Edinburgh.”

In the Scotland Licensing Policy (2005), Clause 6.2 states, “where the operating plan indicates that music is to be played in a premises, the board will consider the imposition of a condition requiring amplified music from those premises to be inaudible in residential property.” According to Cllr Austin-Hart, the high volume of tenement housing in the city centre makes it difficult for music to be inaudible.

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during the summer, venues are given temporary licences that allow them to operate for the duration of the festival and under the condition that “all amplified music and vocals are controlled to the satisfaction of the Director of Services for Communities”, as stated in a document from the council. During the festival, there is an 11 p.m. noise restriction on amplified music, and noise may be measured by Environmental Health staff using sophisticated equipment. Noise is restricted to 65dB(A) from the facades of residential properties; however, complaints from residents still occur. In the document from the council, they note these conditions and limitations for temporary venues would not necessarily be appropriate for permanent licensed premises.

In a phone interview, Cllr Austin-Hart expressed her concern about the unsettlement in Edinburgh regarding live music. She referenced the closure of the well-known Picture House, a venue that has provided entertainment for over half a century, and the community’s opposition to commercial public bar chain Wetherspoon buying the venue. “[It] is a well-known pub that does not play any form of music”, Cllr Austin-Hart said. “[T]hey feel as if it is another blow to Edinburgh’s live music”. “[We] cannot stop Wetherspoon’s from buying this venue; we have no control over this.”

The venue has operated under different names, including the Caley Palais which hosted bands such as Queen and AC/DC. The Picture House opened in 2008.

One of the venues which has been significantly affected by the licensing laws is the Phoenix Bar, on Broughton Street. The bar’s owner, Sam Roberts, was induced to cease live music gigs in March, following a number of noise complaints against the venue. As a result, Ms Roberts was inspired to start the aforementioned petition to have Clause 6.2 of the licensing policy reviewed, in an effort to remove the ‘inaudibility’ statement that is affecting venues and the music scene.

“I think we not only encourage it, but actively support the Edinburgh music scene,” Ms Roberts says of the Phoenix Bar and other venues, “the problem is that it is a dying scene.”

When Ms Roberts purchased the venue in 2013, she continued the existing 30-year legacy established by the previous owners of hosting live acts. Representative of Edinburgh’s colourful music scene, a diverse range of genres have been hosted at the venue. Ms Roberts described the atmosphere when live music acts perform at her venue as “electric”. “The whole community comes together singing, dancing and having a party. Letting their hair down and forgetting their troubles. People go home happy after a brilliant night out. All the staff usually join in; the pub comes alive”. However licensing restrictions have seen a majority of the acts shut down due to noise complaints. “We have put on jazz, blues, rock, rockabilly, folk, celtic and pop live acts and have had to close everything down.” “Residents in Edinburgh unfortunately know that the Council policy gives them all the rights in the world, and the pubs and clubs none”, Ms Roberts clarified.

Discussing how inaudibility has affected venues and musicians alike, Ms Roberts stated many pubs have lost profit through the absence of gigs, and trying to soundproof their venue. “It has put many musicians out of work and it has had an enormous effect on earnings in the pub. […] Many clubs and bars have been forced to invest in thousands of pounds worth of soundproofing equipment which has nearly bankrupted them, only to find that even the tiniest bit of noise can still force a closure. It is a ridiculously one-sided situation.” Ms Roberts feels inaudibility is an unfair clause for venues. “I think it very clearly favours residents in Edinburgh and not business. […] Nothing is being done to support local business, and closing down all the live music venues in Edinburgh has hurt financially in so many ways. Not only do you lose money, you lose new faces, you lose the respect of the local musicians, and you begin to lose all hope in a ‘fair go’.”

With the petition holding a considerable number of signatures, Ms Roberts states she is still sceptical of any change occurring. “Over three thousand people have signed the petition and still the council is not moving. They have taken action on petitions with far fewer signatures.” Ms Roberts also added, “Right now I don’t think Edinburgh has much hope of positive change”.

Ms Roberts seems to have lost all hope for positive change in relation to Edinburgh’s music scene, and argues Glasgow is now the regional choice for live music and venues. “[E]veryone in the business knows they have to go to Glasgow for a decent scene. Glasgow City Council get behind their city.”

Ms Martina Cannon, member of local band The Mean Reds, said a regular ‘Open Mic Night’ she hosted at The Parlour on Duke Street has ceased after a number of complaints were made against the venue. “It was a shame because it had built up some momentum over the months it had been running”. She described financial loss to the venue from cancelling the event, as well as loss to her as organiser of the event.

Sneaky Pete’s music bar and club, owned by Nick Stewart, is described on its website as “open and busy every night”.”Many clubs could be defined as bars that host music, but we really are a music venue that serves drinks”, Mr Stewart says. He sees the live music scene as essential for maintaining nightlife in Edinburgh not only because of the economic benefit but more importantly because of the cultural significance. “Music is one of the important things in life. […] it’s emotionally and intellectually engaging, and it adds to the quality of life that people lead.”

Sneaky Pete’s has not been immune to the inaudibility clause. The business has spent about 20,000 pounds on multiple soundproofing fixes designed to quell complaints from neighboring residents. “The business suffered a great deal in between losing the option to do gigs for fear of complaints, and finishing the soundproofing. As I mentioned, we are a music business that serves drinks, not a bar that also has music, so when we lose shows, we lose a great deal of trade”, said Mr Stewart.

He believes there is a better way to go about handling complaints and fixing public nuisances. “The local mandatory condition requiring ‘amplified music and vocals’ to be ‘inaudible’ should be struck from all licenses. The requirement presupposes that nuisance is caused by music venues, when this may not reasonably be said to be the case. […] Nuisance is not defined in the Licensing Act nor is it defined in the Public Health Act (Scotland) 2008. However, The Consultation on Guidance to accompany the Statutory Nuisance Provisions of the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 states that ‘There are eight key issues to consider when evaluating whether a nuisance exists[…]'”.

The eight key factors are impact, locality, time, frequency, duration, convention, importance, and avoidability. Stewart believes it is these factors that should be taken into consideration by LSOs responding to complaints instead of the sole factor of “audibility”.He believes multiple steps should be taken before considering revocation of licenses. Firstly, LSOs should determine whether a venue is a nuisance based on the eight factors. Then, the venue should have the opportunity to comply by using methods such as changing the nature of their live performances (e.g. from hard rock to acoustic rock), changing their hours of operation, or soundproofing. If the venue still fails to comply, then a board can review their license with the goal of finding more ways to bring them into compliance as opposed to revoking their license.

Nick Stewart has discussed his proposal at length with Music is Audible and said he means to present his proposal to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Dr Adam Behr, a music academic and research associate at the University of Edinburgh who has conducted research on the cultural value of live music, says live music significantly contributes to the economic performance of cities. He said studies have shown revenue creation and the provision of employment are significant factors which come about as a result of live music. A 2014 report by UK Music showed the economic value generated by live music in the UK in 2013 was £789 million and provided the equivalent of 21,600 full time jobs.

As the music industry is international by nature, Behr says this complicates the way revenue is allocated, “For instance, if an American artist plays a venue owned by a British company at a gig which is promoted by a company that is part British owned but majority owned by, say, Live Nation (a major international entertainment company) — then the flow of revenues might not be as straightforward as it seems [at] first.”

Despite these complexities, Behr highlighted the broader advantages, “There are, of course, ancillary benefits, especially for big gigs […] Obviously other local businesses like bars, restaurants and carparks benefit from increased trade”, he added.

Behr criticised the idea of making music inaudible and called it “unrealistic”. He said it could limit what kind of music can be played at venues and could force vendors to spend a large amount of money on equipment that enables them to meet noise cancelling requirements. He also mentioned the consequences this has for grassroots music venues as more ‘established’ venues within the city would be the only ones able to afford these changes.

Alongside the inaudibility dispute has been the number of sites that have been closing for the past number of years. According to Dr Behr, this has brought attention to the issue of retaining live music venues in the city and has caused the council to re-evaluate its music strategy and overall cultural policy.

This month, Dr Behr said he is to work on a live music census for Edinburgh’s Council which aims to find out what types of music is played, where, and what exactly it brings to the city. This is in an effort to get the Edinburgh city council to see any opportunities it has with live music and the importance of grassroots venues. The census is similar to one conducted in Victoria, Australia in 2012 on the extent of live music in the state and its economic benefit.

As for the solution to the inaudibility clause, Behr says the initial step is dialogue, and this has already begun. “Having forum discussion, though, is a start — and an improvement”, he said. “There won’t be an overnight solution, but work is ongoing to try to find one that can stick in the long term.”

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust, said she is unable to comment on her work with the City of Edinburgh Council or on potential changes to the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy. However, she says, “I have been asked to assess the situation and make recommendations in September”.

According to The Scotsman, the Council is working toward helping Edinburgh’s cultural and entertainment scene. Deputy Council Leader Sandy Howat said views of the entertainment industry needs to change and the Council will no longer consider the scene as a “sideline”.

Senior members of the Council, The Scotsman reported, aim to review the planning of the city to make culture more of a priority. Howat said, “If you’re trying to harness a living community and are creating facilities for people living, working and playing then culture should form part of that.”

The review of the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy is set to be reviewed near the end of 2016 but the concept of bringing it forward to this year is still under discussion.

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Mobile Audio: Top Ten Tips For Practicing Drumming Anytime, Anywhere, Without Waking The Neighbors

Category : Music

Mobile Audio: Top Ten Tips For Practicing Drumming Anytime, Anywhere, Without Waking The Neighbors

by

Mark Etinger

Three questions:

1. Are you one of those mobile audio freaks who can’t rock out without drumming the steering wheel, the dashboard and the passenger beside you when you cruise down the road with some phat tunes blasting?

2. Are you a drummer who’s sick of hauling heavy equipment and setting up an elaborate kit every time you want to play your music someplace new? (I mean, transporting a dusty rug? Are you kidding me?)

3. Have your neighbors ever (be honest) complained about the noise you made practicing the drums, rather than just being appropriately grateful that they were exposed to the sickest rhythms they’d hear all day?

If you answered yes to those questions, this article is for you.

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In case you haven’t guessed, I am a person who would answer yes to those questions! I could not even roll forward downhill in my car if I didn’t have mobile audio, and it would be humanly impossibly for me to listen to the sweet sounds being emitted by my car audio speakers without pounding out the beat.

Anyway, I have compiled my own TOP TEN list of tips for practicing the drums anytime, anywhere, and (most of them) without making the people around you crazy.

1. Chopsticks. Ha. Anytime I’m out for Chinese or Thai, I take the opportunity to practice drumming.

2. Pot lids. Heck, yes. Just like in the movies.

3. Garbage cans. A variation on pot lids, I know, but have you seen some of these guys set up on the street or in the subway stations? They’re awesome.

4. Finger strengthening: squeeze a hacky sack ball while you’re on the phone with your mom. It helps.

5. Push-ups, pull-ups or rock climbing. Upper arms and forearms, man. The stronger you are, the longer and harder you can hit the drum skins.

6. Use a soundproof practice room at a school or university. Make nice with a security guard or a band teacher.

7. Get an electronic drum kit. I have one (Electric Thunder PED02M, if you must know all my secrets) that has an MP3 recorder on it. Sweet. It feels like real drums, but all the noise goes into your headphones. Plus, how rad is it that you can record it and play it later in the car? For that matter, how rad is it that it’s like the easiest thing to carry in the car if I do want to go play a gig without carrying my whole freaking kit?

8. On the other hand, I don’t have to carry anything at all in the car if I don’t want to. What’s wrong with good old dashboard pounding while I’ve got the mobile audio turned up? Isn’t that what stoplights are for?

9. Toothbrush. Live with someone? Borrow theirs to make it even. Don’t tell them, though. Especially if you practice tossing them and it lands in the toilet. People are sensitive about that.

10. Visit the music store, man! Practice on the stuff you dream of owning someday! Best thing is, you don’t have to dress up, since all the real rich rockers look just like we do, ripped jeans and T-shirt. All they have to do is check out your arm muscles to know you’re for real.

In conclusion, may I say: party hard but respect your neighbors. And most of all…drum on!

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Article Source:

ArticleRich.com


Study says dogs can smell lung and breast cancer

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, August 7, 2006

Dogs can be trained to detect early and late stages of lung and breast cancer accurately according to a study published by California scientists in the little-known scientific journal Integrative Cancer Therapies.

The study took place over the last five years at the Pine Street Foundation, a non-profit organization which conducts evidence-based research on integrative medicine (combining complementary and alternative medicine and mainstream medicine). Michael McCulloch and colleagues used three Labrador Retrievers and two Portuguese Water Dogs, both common pets, that received basic behavioral dog training. The researchers trained the dogs to lie down next to a sample from a cancer patient and to ignore other samples.

The samples used were breath samples from 55 patients with lung cancer and 31 with breast cancer — the two types of cancer with the highest mortality rates in the United States.

After the training phase, the dogs’ accuracy diagnosis was tested in a double-blind experiment. Among lung cancer patients, the sensitivity and specificity were 99% accurate and for breast cancer sensitivity was 88% and specificity 98%. Because these figures seem almost too good to be true, cancer experts are the same time baffled and skeptical. The authors of the study themselves also say replication of the study is needed.

Importantly, this was independent of the cancer stage, meaning the dogs were able to pick up the scent of cancer in its early stages. This is important because in many cases, the success of any treatment depends on early diagnosis. However, the researchers don’t believe this will lead to the use of dogs in the clinic soon, rather they want to find out which chemicals are actually sensed by the canines, because they could be used in laboratory assays. “It’s not like someone would start chemotherapy based on a dog test,” Dr. Gansler of the American Cancer Society said, “They’d still get a biopsy.”.

The researchers were inspired by anecdotal reports about dogs detecting cancer. In 1989, a British women consulted with her family physician because her Dalmatian kept licking a mole on her leg. At biopsy it showed to be malignant melanoma. When diagnosed too late this form of cancer has a poor survival rate, but in this case early surgery was made possible, and the women survived. Prior studies showed that breath samples from patients with lung cancer or breast cancer contain distinct biochemical markers. This provides a basis for the hypothesis that some cancer types produce volatile chemicals that dogs could smell. A study published in the British Medical Journal already proved that dogs could use their exquisite sense of smell to detect bladder cancer in urine samples, but they were only correct in 41% of cases, and another study provided preliminary evidence that dogs could detect melanomas.

This doesn’t mean you can show your breasts to your dog and it will tell you if you have cancer, other physicians caution, and scientists do not advise people to train their dogs to sniff for cancer. Unresolved issues from the study include the fact that subjects were required to breathe deeper than normal, so it’s not sure whether dogs can smell cancer in normal breath. Also, whether this is a permanent skill that would be retained by dogs was not tested.

Finally, there are concerns that could arise over liability issues: who would be responsible when the dog makes a mistake?

Current detection methods for both lung and breast cancer are not flawless. For lung cancer, chest X-ray and sputum cytology (detecting cancer cells in coughed up fluid) fail to detect many early cases, and CT scan produces many false-positive results unless combined with expensive PET scans. Although it might be comparing apples and oranges, a $2.5 million CT scanner has an accuracy of 85 to 90%. Mammography also produces false-positive results, and it may be difficult in women with dense breast tissue. As such, another type of “pet”-scan, using dogs as a biological assay, might prove feasible for screening if supported by further research. Current tests are also expensive so the use of dogs for preliminary cancer testing could prove to be an affordable alternative for countries in the developing world.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Study_says_dogs_can_smell_lung_and_breast_cancer&oldid=798579”

Wikinews interviews Professor Gigi Foster about pandemic control in Australia

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

On July 22, Wikinews interviewed Professor Gigi Foster of School of Economics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia about measures that the government took to stop the spread of COVID-19, a virus that caused what the World Health Organization declared a pandemic last year.

Professor Foster is on faculty with the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales. She wrote an Op-Ed in the Sydney Morning Herald, arguing for a case against the so-called “lockdowns” – measures which the state governments in Australia were implementing to stop the spread of COVID-19. These measures included things like limiting the size of gatherings, directing certain business types such as gyms to close or operate at reduced capacity, limiting where people may travel and restricting residents to only leaving their home if they have a reasonable excuse to do so.

In New South Wales, these restrictions were implemented as Public Health Orders, signed by Brad Hazzard, the Minister for Health and Medical Research. Mr Brad Hazzard has authority make these Orders under the Public Health Act 2010, section 7.

Wikinews reached out to Professor Gigi Foster, asking for comment.

The interview was conducted amid an outbreak of COVID-19 in New South Wales, that has resulted in an increase of restrictions from June 26. At the day of interview, residents were legally allowed to go outdoors only for essential shopping, medical care, and exercise, in groups of no more than two people unless of a common household. On July 28, authorities extended these restrictions until the end of August.

The current outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta strain started from ‘patient zero’, reportedly a driver, which includes transporting international flight crew, as NSW Health wrote on June 16. A week later, on June 24, the driver commented that he thought that he caught the virus from a local cafe, where another patron was visibly unwell.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said that “our mission is to allow our citizens to live as safely and freely as possible”, having announced that only authorized workers — people whose occupation is essential — could leave home in selected higher risk regions in south-west of Sydney until July 30.

Work of the construction industry has been stopped for several days, and resumed this week with requirement that the construction workers get tested for COVID-19 regularly.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Professor_Gigi_Foster_about_pandemic_control_in_Australia&oldid=4637954”

Wikinews interviews Mario J. Lucero and Isabel Ruiz of Heaven Sent Gaming

Category : Uncategorized

Friday, November 7, 2014Albuquerque, New Mexico —Online entertainment is a booming market, and plenty of players are making their play; back in March of this year The Walt Disney Company bought the multi-channel network Maker Studios. What is web entertainment, and the arts therein? And, who are the people venturing into this field? Wikinews interviewed Mario Lucero and Isabel Ruiz, the founders of Heaven Sent Gaming, a small entertainment team. This group has been responsible for several publications, within several different media formats; one successful example was aywv, a gaming news website, which was #1 in Gaming on YouTube in 2009, from September to November; Heaven Sent Gaming was also the subject of a referential book, released in 2014, entitled Internet Legends – Heaven Sent Gaming.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Mario_J._Lucero_and_Isabel_Ruiz_of_Heaven_Sent_Gaming&oldid=3060362”

Aged Care And Support For The Elderly}

Category : Home Care Services

Aged Care and Support for the Elderly

by

Smith Rick

Human Lifecycle

When a person gets old he/she constantly needs company and support. Caring for your loved one can be rewarding but sometimes physically, mentally and emotionally tiring and takes great effort to care of minute details of the aged person’s comfort. But here are some basics steps that need to be taken for the aged and support for the elderly.

Elderly friendly home

The house should be elderly friendly; floors should have anti-slip tiles in houses, and especially in the bathrooms. The staircase should have small steps or the room of the elderly should be shifted to the ground floor for ease of access. Furniture at home should have round edges instead of sharp edges. Walls in the house should be fitted and lined with rods, so that the elderly person can take the support of the rods and easily walk around the house when required.

The elderly person’s room should be fragrant with very mild scented air fresheners, strong fragrances can lead to allergy, cough or other consequences.

Maintaining hygiene

Maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in the house is a must, especially in the elderly person’s room, unhygienic surrounding can be dangerous as elderly people are easily immune to diseases borne out of such unclean surroundings.

Old age was truly called second childishness by Shakespeare, as older people tend to do childish things like simply spilling the food on their clothes or dirtying them by other methods. Apart from cleaning the surroundings, individual hygiene should be maintained.

Take hold of the offers of the government for the aged.

Every government offers some type of pension, rate cuts in public transports etc. The elderly people should take full advantage of it. The government provides health care, age pensions, medical and pharmaceutical benefits, assistance for rent and disability payments.

Counseling

A regular visit to the psychologist for counseling sessions of the elderly person is a must. The loved ones of the elderly person see to it this as this can help maintaining the peace of the mind of the elderly person.

Emotional support

Emotional support of family member is highly efficient in maintaining the mental health, happiness and contentment of the elderly person.

Non-Governmental Support Systems

If the all the members of the house are working then there are many non-governmental support systems for the aged. According to the comfort of the elderly person one can opt for such systems.

Such systems offer a wide range of services for the elderly people and the aged like taking up different roles of multi skilled support workers. They offer activities like dressing, oral care, grooming, mobility feeding, leisure activities, documentation, visiting home and delivering similar services.

The worker undergoes a lot of training and is educated about safety and hazards; health and hygiene and diseases that surround the elderly, the worker is also educated about infection control.

These non-governmental support systems for the aged and elderly serves and takes care of the aged person in the best possible manner to satisfy the elderly and their concerned family.

Age care support has always been a major subject of great importance. Yes, that is right. In health care industry, it is something that has now occupied the most unwavering position. Now, we see health care professions moving more towards this as it is expected to explode and create a large number of jobs. If you are looking forward to work in health care industry and you have the passion to serve elderly people, have the attitude to deal with the disabilities, serve disease-affected people then it is for you.

Aged care course

and support can certainly bring for you a large number of career opportunities.

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}


One year on: IFALPA’s representative to ICAO, pilot and lawyer on ongoing prosecution of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 pilot

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Almost exactly one year ago, on March 7, Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 crashed during landing at Adisucipto International Airport, near Yogyakarta, after a scheduled domestic Indonesian passenger flight. 21 people – 16 Indonesians and five Australians – were killed when the Boeing 737-400 overshot the runway, crossed a road, struck an embankment and burst into flames in a rice paddy. Overall, the plane had traveled 252m beyond the extreme end of the runway.

The final report, released in October, blamed pilot error for the disaster. The report stated that the aircraft had approached at a speed far exceeding that at which the wing flaps could properly operate, and attempted to execute a landing at 408 kph (254 mph), which is 160 kph (100 mph) above the safe speed. It also found that captain Marwoto Komar had ignored fifteen activations of the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) informing Mr Komar that the aircraft was flying at a speed beyond that at which it could safely land, but he failed to abort.

It also commented that he missed one further opportunity for emergency evasive action when the airliner struck the runway and bounced into the air, at which point co-pilot Gagam Rochmana requested a ‘go-around‘ procedure be initiated, but was also ignored. It further criticised Mr Komar for singing during final approach, a direct violation of the Garuda Basic Operations Manual, which calls for activation of the Sterile Cockpit Rule at 10,000 feet and below.

Mr Rochmana was also criticised for his failure to take control away from Mr Komar when it became apparent that the aircraft was being operated in an unsafe manner. However, the report did note that Garuda Indonesia had failed to give him any simulator training replicating a situation whereby the co-pilot would take over control duties from the pilot in charge due to unsafe handling of the plane; in fact, training was found to be inadequate for both members of the cockpit crew.

Further criticisms were also leveled at airport and governmental authorities for failures in their respective roles to provide safety features and to enforce regulations.

However, the Indonesian authorities have recently generated intense controversy by deciding to prosecute Mr Komar for his role in the disaster. The move has been pushed for by some, but met with opposition by others.

Alexander Downer, Australian foreign minister at the time of the crash, immediately said “…I am very glad that they have reached a point now where they have charged the captain of the aircraft.” The unusually high number of Australians amongst the 140 passengers on board was attributable to a visit by Mr Downer.

One of those was Morgan Mellish of the Australian Financial Review, who died in the crash. His sister, Caroline Mellish, had specifically called for prosecution to be avoided, saying “I think having 21 deaths on your conscience is probably enough. I don’t think prosecuting the man is going to make any difference.”

There were fierce calls for prosecution of both pilots immediately after the report’s release, with Downer himself pressuring the Indonesian authorities, citing the “very credible report” and saying “I’ve asked our ambassador today (October 24) to make it absolutely clear to the Indonesians that we want people prosecuted for this accident. I want to see people who have negligently allowed Australians … to be killed, I want to see those people brought to justice.”

Australian Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd also made clear a desire for prosecutions, saying he had telephoned secretary-general of Indonesia’s foreign affairs department and former ambassador to Australia Imron Cotan, telling him that he wanted those responsible “prosecuted to the absolute full”. “This is a serious matter, many Australians visit Indonesia, Garuda is an often used airline and there is a basic national interest at stake here as well,” he said.

National Transport Safety Committee chairman Tatang Kurniadi said at the time that no information from the report could be used in any criminal or civil liability investigations. “I would like to go back to the objective of this, the report was made by NTSC for safety purposes only, not for blaming, he said. “If any institution wants to … follow up that accident, that’s their own decision. The report contained the results from the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, but according to international regulations on aviation these black boxes are not allowed to be used for… liability purposes. We will not give police or any institution (information) other than for safety purposes only – it’s in international regulations and we want to follow those regulations.” He also confirmed that investigators cannot speak to the police, with the only permitted testimony under the legislation being to testify at a court hearing, and pointed out that the document does not actually appoint any blame.

The international legislation he was referring to is probably the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which stipulates that accident reports and related material, specifically transcripts of interviews, communications with crew and cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder (collectively known as black boxes) readouts, must not be used for any purpose other than determining the cause of an accident or incident. The only possible exception to this is where potential benefit would outweigh the “adverse domestic and international impact” on the investigation in question or any other either in progress or in the future. This legislation is in place to provide protection to witnesses on the basis that without it they may be less likely to cooperate with investigational procedures.

The law caused was actively opposed by some. Aridono Sukman, the police member in charge of the criminal investigation, said that the contents of the black box were vital evidence. Officials commented that some relatives had expressed their frustration over the legal challenges involved in the prosecution effort.

Early in February Mr Komar was arrested; he has subsequently been charged with manslaughter charges which carry a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. The London-based International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA) issued a press release condemning this move, saying that further investigations are needed into the crash, and that criminal proceedings could prevent an accurate version of events from ever being known. Specifically, the release said that “IFALPA believes that the circumstances of the accident as set forth in the final report of the Indonesian investigation authority leaves many serious questions concerning the crew actions prior to the accident. Central to these concerns are the underlying reasons for the reported behavior of Captain Marwoto Komar. Experienced pilots have considerable difficulty in attempting to explain what is reported in the context of normal airline operations. The Federation believes that the explanations proffered by the report do not square with the collective experience of our members.” The release went on to state the opinion that prosecution may bring total foreclosure to the case and could only be counterproductive. It also said “He remains a professional who was involved in an unfortunate tragedy.”

One possible explanation had previously been suggested by the head of the Garuda pilots association, Stephanus Geraldus. He said that marital problems between Mr Komar and his wife Norma Andriani were “common knowledge” and was backed up by an industry analyst and pilot who said he believed the couple had been arguing late into the night, and expressed concern that the report had not addressed psychological issues. Mr Geraldus also said sleep deprivation could have contributed, with the flight crew reporting for duty at 4:30 am and the flight departing an hour and a half later.

The report had hinted at problems, saying The pilot was probably emotionally aroused because his conscious awareness moved from the relaxed mode “singing” to the heightened stressfulness of the desire to reach the runway by making an excessively steep and fast, unstabilised approach,” and “His attention was fixated or channelised on landing the aircraft on the runway and he either did not hear, or disregarded the GPWS alerts, and warnings, and calls from the copilot to go around.” It is also known that Mr Komar had been under police surveillance, during which time he was receiving psychological treatment.

The Indonesian Pilot’s Association has also said that the criminal prosecution should be avoided, arguing that the only people who can judge whether mistakes were made in aviation are those professionally involved and not the police. There were protests in Jakarta demanding his release and dozens of pilots across the nation also campaigned. Meanwhile, two survivors, Adrianus Meliala and Retno Gunowati, went to the House of Representatives (DPR) to challenge those opposed to legal processes against the pilot.

Mr Komar was released on police bail on February 15, and is currently awaiting trial. He was forced to resign late in February with being fired his only alternative, and his licence has been suspended. He is believed to be the only man ever prosecuted in Indonesian history over an airliner crash.

The issues thrown up by this ongoing case have now been exclusively commented on for Wikinews by Paul McCarthy. Mr McCarthy is IFALPA’s representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). He is both a pilot – as are all of IFALPA’s roughly 100,000 members – and a lawyer, and is an acknowledged expert on issues concerning the criminal liability of pilots. Mr McCarthy’s comments, obtained by email via IFALPA media representative Gideon Ewers are available below.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=One_year_on:_IFALPA%27s_representative_to_ICAO,_pilot_and_lawyer_on_ongoing_prosecution_of_Garuda_Indonesia_Flight_200_pilot&oldid=4635202”