International forces in Dili reach agreement

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, June 8, 2006

The international forces in East Timor have reached an agreement about the coordination of the military and police forces in the field. Representatives of the four countries reached the agreement during an urgent meeting after an incident between Australian and Portuguese soldiers yesterday.

In the agreement reached between Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Portugal and the Timorese government, operational autonomy is given to the international forces, which will operate in cooperation and coordination with each other.

The agreement also stated that in an initial phase Dili will be divided into sectors, and each area will be under the control of an international force. Outside of its area of responsibility, the military or police force will only be able to operate if other international forces request their actions. Also was agreed that the police forces will assume total control of the city after the military forces leave their current occupied positions. A situation that is expected after the arrival of the remaining equipment, mainly vehicles, for the Portuguese Republican National Guard (GNR) and the arrival of the remaining Malaysian police officers and their equipment.

In an official notice, the Timorese Foreign Minister, José Ramos Horta stated that “the objective on a long run is for the GNR to operate has a tactical intervention force in all the city of Dili”.

Ramos Horta explained that “in the next days, maybe already tomorrow morning, they [the Australian, Malaysian, New Zealand and Portuguese forces] will do some coordination training, in way to assure that the four forces know exactly what each one will do”. “Since some are from the Army and the others [Portuguese Republican National Guard] are a specialized police and that they never worked together, its useful to carry out some practical exercises”, he added.

In another subject, Ramos Horta explained that the Australian soldiers that are in Maubisse, next to a rebel group lead by major Reinado, and in Gleno, Ermera, next to another group of “military opponents”, are there “containing those elements”.

“Those groups are not comparable with other people that are here in Dili and that must be disarmed”, Ramos Horta said.

“The Australian presence in Maubisse and Gleno aims in containing those groups on their areas, until arrives the moment in which the President decides that is time for also mister Alfredo Reinado and the others to put down their weapons”, he said. “This is not urgent because they are not causing problems to anyone”, he justified.

The urgency of the resolution and clarification of the command and cooperation of the international forces was originated after an incident between Australian and Portuguese soldiers. When yesterday a Portuguese GNR patrol transported three people to a temporary detention center managed by Australian soldiers.

The detainees were arrested by a GNR Special Operations team, after being caught looting a governmental warehouse, in Balide, Dili.

The Australian soldiers then refused to receive the detained men, questioning the legitimacy of the Portuguese soldiers to make arrests. The Portuguese contingent transported the detainees to the Timorese prison services in Dili.


Electronic voting disputed in France

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In France, voting has traditionally been a low-tech experience: voters isolate themselves in a booth, put a pre-printed sheet of paper indicating their candidate of choice into an envelope. After officials verify the voter’s identity, the voter drops the envelope into the ballot box and signs the voting roll. French electoral law rather strictly codifies the proceedings. Since 1988, ballot boxes must be transparent so that voters and observers can witness that no envelopes are present at the start of the vote and that no envelopes are added except those of the duly counted and authorized voters. Candidates can send representatives to witness every part of the process. In the evening, votes are counted by volunteers under heavy supervision, following specific procedures.

In the past, voting machines, though authorized by law, were scarce. But this year, during presidential elections (the first round was April 22, the second is on May 6), the country is shaken by controversy about the machines intended to count about 1.5 million votes.

As in the United States, there is a group of academic computer scientists that oppose voting machines. They argue that voting machines replace a public, easily understandable counting process, where large-scale fraud would entail large-scale corruption, by an opaque process where votes are counted by machines that voters have to blindly trust. Voting machines have to be approved by the Ministry of the Interior, but this approval is based on confidential reports by private companies. Opponents to the machines point out that the Ministry was long held by Nicolas Sarkozy, who happens to be the leading candidate. Opponents also list a number of weaknesses and discrepancies that have occurred in other countries using voting machines.

All main political parties except UMP, Mr Sarkozy’s ruling party, oppose the voting machines. Some citizens have filed for court injunctions against the voting machines. Opponents have given detailed instructions that voting witnesses should check whether the machines correspond exactly to an approved type, including software versions, and fulfill all legal conditions. In a sign of the frenzy over the issue, on April 12 the Ministry of the Interior issued a last-minute authorization for a specific model (hardware, firmware). The stakes are high: votes on unapproved machines should be canceled by the Constitutional Council for the official count.

The opposition has crystallized on the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux. Issy’s mayor, André Santini is a well-known technophile; his city organizes a “World E-Gov Forum”. Here too, last minute fixes are at work. The machines delivered to the city are of a yet-to-be-approved type. The manufacturer, the American company ES&S voting systems, is now delivering older 2005 machines. Le Monde reports that other municipalities have already replaced their recent machines by an older, approved, model.

Proponents of the machines, such as the French company France Élection, claim they are being defamed and dispute the competence of their critics. Elected officials supporting the machines claim the machines save on paper, time, and the need to find volunteers to count votes.


New case of Mad Cow disease found in Canada

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, January 23, 2006

A cow in the Province Alberta, Canada, has tested positive for Mad Cow disease, said Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials on Monday.

Officials also stated that the six-year-old cross-bred cow did not make it into the human or animal feed chain.

“Last evening the…laboratory for BSE located in Winnipeg confirmed the presence of BSE in a cross-bred cow born and raised in Alberta,” said CFIA chief veterinarian Brian Evans. “The animal was detected on the farm where it was born and no part of this animal entered the food for human consumption or feed for animal consumption purposes.”

It is the fourth case to turn up in Canada since 2003.

Evans also stated that it is too early to tell whether or not export markets would ban Canadian cows and beef.

The United States has seen two cases of Mad Cow disease. The first was discovered in December of 2003 in the state of Washington. Officials later linked this case to Canada because the cow was born on a farm in Alberta. The second infected cow was discovered in Texas in 2005. The later case was diagnosed in England after earlier samples tested had shown conflicting results.


UK Wikinews Shorts: December 23, 2009

Category : Uncategorized

A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, December 23, 2009.

Contents

  • 1 Two-year-old child in Northern Ireland dies of H1N1 swine flu virus
  • 2 Woman killed in collision with ambulance in Staffordshire, England
  • 3 90-year-old man dies after car crash in Northern Ireland
  • 4 Man dies while carrying child in railway station in Edinburgh, Scotland
 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.


Schweinsteiger announces retirement from international football

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, August 1, 2016

On Friday, German football captain and Manchester United F.C. midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger announced retirement from international football.

Debuting in 2004, Schweinsteiger has won 120 international caps, Germany’s fourth all time most capped player. He was part of the German squad for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France and became the first German to play eighteen Euro matches, surpassing the fourteen-match record of Philip Lahm. Schweinsteiger has played in four Euro tournaments — 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.

Schweinsteiger said, “I have asked the national team coach to not consider me for Germany selection in future, as I would like to step down from the national team. I would like to thank the fans, the team, the DFB, the coaches and the national team’s backroom staff.” ((de))German language: ?ich habe soeben den Bundestrainer gebeten, mich in Zukunft bei der Nominierung für die Nationalmannschaft nicht mehr zu berücksichtigen, da ich gerne zurücktreten möchte. Mein Dank gilt den Fans, der Mannschaft, dem DFB, den Trainern und dem Team um die deutsche Nationalmannschaft.

Schweinsteiger won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He has featured in three FIFA World Cup tournaments — in 2006, 2010 and 2014. He has played 38 matches in major international tournaments, which is a world record. Schweinsteiger’s last match in Germany’s jersey ended in a 2–0 defeat against France in the Euro 2016 semi-final.

After Schweinsteiger announced his retirement, his former Bayern Munich teammate and German player Thomas Müller tweeted, “Thanks for 120 international caps with the @DFB_Team [German Team] and many great and shared hours with the national team” ((de))German language: ?Danke für 120 Länderspiele im @DFB_Team [Deutschland Mannschaft] und viele großartige, gemeinsame stunder bei der Nationalmannschaft.


In depth: Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal controversy

Category : Uncategorized

Friday, May 26, 2006

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

In February of 2006, the Savarino Services Construction Corp. proposed the construction of a seven million dollar hotel on Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York. In order for the hotel to be built, at least five properties containing businesses and residents would have to be destroyed. It was not certain whether the properties were owned by Savarino or by the landlord Hans Mobius. The hotel was designed by Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group, and is planned to be a franchise of the Wyndham Hotels group.

Elmwood Avenue is known by the community as a popular shopping center, and Nancy Pollina of Don Apparel (who is “utterly against” the construction) claims it’s the only reason why students from Buffalo State College leave campus. Additionally, Michael Faust of Mondo Video said he did not want to “get kicked out of here [his video store property].”

In 1995, a Walgreens was proposed to be built on the same land, but Walgreens later withdrew its request for a variance because of pressure from the community. More recently, Pano Georgiadis tried to get the rights to demolish the Atwater House next to his restaurant on Elmwood Avenue, but was denied a permit due to the property’s historical value. He has since been an opponent to the hotel construction.

In the process of debating the hotel, it was thought that a hotel had previously existed on the proposed site, however; research done at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society had shown that no hotel had previously existed on the site.

Contents

  • 1 In depth
    • 1.1 The initial meeting
    • 1.2 Hotel redesign
    • 1.3 The second meeting and the planning board’s decision
    • 1.4 Threats of lawsuit
    • 1.5 Approval by the Common Council and Planning Board
    • 1.6 Lawsuit filed
    • 1.7 Proposal withdrawn
    • 1.8 Properties for sale
    • 1.9 Documents threaten hotel proposal, businesses on site
  • 2 Chronology
  • 3 Gallery

Heavy hailstorms leave Sydney appearing snowed in

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Recent heavy hailstorms occurring at approximately 4 o’clock in the afternoon today left parts of Sydney with the appearance of being snowed in, with thick blankets of hail covering streets and sidewalks with layers of hail.

The hail was observed in the Central Business District of Sydney, where cars were observed — possibly sheltering from the worst of the downfall — under awnings on Paramatta Road, and areas in the Inner West.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Sydney Harbour weather station recorded a drop in temperature with the storm: at 4pm the temperature was 17 degrees Celsius, while the temperature reached a low at 11 degrees half an hour later.

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


Media round-up: April Fools’ Day 2008

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Many media outlets traditionally deliberately spread hoaxes on April Fools’ Day, including notable quality sources such as National Geographic and Science.

The popular British tabloid The Sun wrote that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to undergo stretch surgery to make him taller than his wife, Italian artist and model Carla Bruni. The report claimed the 5 foot 5 inch leader would be made 5 inches taller in one year using a method by Israeli professor Ura Schmuck. The Sun noted that during his visit to Britain last week, Sarkozy had high-heel shoes while his wife wore a pair of flat pumps.

The Guardian on the other hand ran an article that suggested that Carla would head an initiative by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to bring more glamour, good taste and sophistication to the U.K. general population. This would involve collaboration with Marks & Spencer for high-street fashion and Jamie Oliver for meals and wine.

BBC News had real-looking footage of flying penguins fronted by documentary host Terry Jones, which were actually an advertisement for its new iPlayer.


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Holocaust survivor publicly forgives 93-year-old Auschwitz guard during his trial

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, April 30, 2015

On Friday, Eva Mozes Kor, a 81-year-old Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, publicly forgave and embraced 93-year-old former SS guard Oskar Gröning, who is currently on trial in Germany as an accessory to 300,000 murders of Jews at Auschwitz.

Kor, who was among many Jews medically experimented on at Auschwitz, has thanked Mr Gröning for answering to the crimes he aided during his time as an Auschwitz guard.

Kor is amongst a number of Auschwitz survivors attending the trial who have joined the prosecutors as co-plaintiffs in the case against Mr Gröning. While Kor has forgiven Mr Gröning, she still holds him liable for his involvement during the Holocaust, as she did last week when she testified against him. Other survivors have recently spoken out about the trial; survivor Eva Pusztai-Fahidi said on Tuesday the trial itself against a former SS guard matters more than the end punishment.

During the first day of Mr Gröning’s trial, he denied any direct role in the killings, though he did admit to having witnessed them. Mr Gröning said he shared “moral guilt” for the crimes, regardless of whether his actions make him criminally guilty.

The prosecutors have argued that serving as a concentration camp guard is legally accessory to the act of murder. Mr Gröning is reportedly one of three remaining former SS guards that have been identified for trial. If found guilty, the former SS Guard could reportedly face up to fifteen years in prison.