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

Sunday, May 18, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=HIV-positive_man_receives_35_years_for_spitting_on_Dallas_police_officer&oldid=1982884”
Filled Under: Uncategorized
">
Nine dead after armed Santa Claus opens fire in LA suburb

Monday, December 29, 2008

At least nine people have been killed in a two-story house in Covina, California, after a man dressed in a full Santa Claus outfit opened fire at a Christmas Eve party and then set the house ablaze. Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California about 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown Los Angeles.

According to local police, the Christmas party at the 1100 block of East Knollcrest Drive was attended by about 25 people. Trend News Agency said that the gunman fired two semi-automatic handguns and used an apparently home-made pressurized device to spread some kind of accelerant. As the guests tried in vain to escape, the gunman used his ‘present’ to spray inflammable liquid that started the raging blaze. Reports from the scene said Molotov cocktails were also used by the madman.

Media reports said the gunman was plotting vengeance against his ex-wife. Prime suspect, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, age 45, six-foot-three-inch, 250 pound (1.9 meter, 113 kilogram), an electrical engineer, is long time Roman Catholic church usher and a laid-off aerospace worker. He worked with ITT Electronic Systems, Radar Systems, in Van Nuys from February 2005 to July 2008, and as an engineer at Northrop Grumman for five months in 2005, according to Court records. He had also worked for about nine years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena until 1994.

Pardo’s ex-sister-in-law, who escaped from the Covina house alive with her injured daughter, called 911. Police on Friday released her 911 audio.

Msnbc.com has reported that Pardo “has brown hair and blue eyes, and known to frequent La Crescenta and La Verne.” Court records reveal that Mr Pardo’s wife acrimoniously divorced him last September. The divorce decree was finalized December 18. Until earlier this year, he lived in the Sylmar house with his ex-wife and her three children. The marriage lasted barely a year. However, Pardo held no criminal record and had no history of violence.

There is some speculation that the divorce may have been caused by Pardo concealing a paraplegic child from a previous relationship. Matthew, his nine-year-old son, by another former girlfriend, Elena Lucano, became brain damaged when he fell into a backyard swimming pool on Jan. 6, 2001. Pardo kept this child a secret from his wife. Pardo owed her $10,000 as part of the divorce settlement, according to court documents that detailed a bitter split. He also lost a dog he doted on and did not get back a valuable wedding ring. Pardo complained in a court declaration that Sylvia Pardo was living with her parents, not paying rent, and had spent lavishly on a luxury car, gambling trips to Las Vegas, meals at fine restaurants, massages and golf lessons.

After the mass murder, Pardo put on his street clothes and drove his rental Dodge Caliber car to the house of his brother, Jimmy Pardo, in Sylmar, approximately 30 miles away from the crime scene, where he committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His brother was not present in the home and he broke inside to enter in. It was believed that Pardo intended to flee to Canada by plane as he had bought an airline ticket to a flight there from Los Angeles to Moline, Illinois. However due to suffering from severe third-degree burns on both arms stemming from the blaze, he decided to go against the initial plan.

Police had found $17,000 cling-wrapped on his legs inside a girdle, the car key, and his rental car that had been parked on Herrick Avenue, one block from his brother’s house, which had been rigged by remnants of his Santa suit that would ignite a flame and detonate the car with black powder if removed. Also recovered from the scene were four 13-round capacity handguns that were each empty, and at least 200 rounds of ammunition. Suggesting that what had been inside the car was being treated as a threat, police fired an incendiary device into it, destroying and burning it.

The police found on early Thursday, Mr Pardo bore a single gunshot wound to the head. According to LA County coroner’s official Ed Winter, the bodies found in the ashes were “extremely charred and burned.” All three of Sylvia Pardo’s children — Selina, Sal and Amanda — survived. According to the Scott Nord, the Ortega family lawyer, “the entire family was wiped out, and there’s basically like 16 orphans.”

Three other party guests have injuries, according to police. A 16-year-old girl was shot in the back, and an eight-year-old girl suffered facial gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening, while a 20-year-old woman had a broken ankle, after jumping from a second-story window, the police specified. About 80 firefighters put off the fire that soared fifteen metres (40 to 50 feet) high for more than one hour. The police discovered two handguns at the scene, and found two more in the in-laws’ house. Media reports on Friday said the 16-year-old daughter of Sylvia Pardo was released from Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Meanwhile, investigators served a search warrant at Pardo’s Montrose house, where they retrieved evidence of high-octane racing fuel, five empty boxes for semi-automatic handguns, as well as two shotguns.

Covina police Lt. Pat Buchanan on Saturday said they are looking for Pardo’s rented gray 1999 RAV4, with California license plate 5RYD562. Police have found the second rental car Saturday night in a Glendale, California but found no bombs nor any explosives.

The police also revealed Saturday the names of nine people missing since the Christmas Eve massacre occurred. They are Pardo’s ex-wife, Sylvia Pardo, 43; her parents, Joseph Ortega, 80, and Alicia Ortega, 70; Alicia Ortiz, 46, and her son, Michael Ortiz, 17; Sylvia’s brother, Charles Ortega, 50, and his wife, Cheri, 45; another brother, James Ortega, 52, and his wife, Teresa, 51, according to Lt. Buchanan. “Hopefully, we’ll get positive identifications early next week,” Covina Police Chief Kim Raney said.

A murder-suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before, or at the same time as, killing him or herself. According to the psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger, murder-suicide or murder and suicide are interchangeable acts – suicide sometimes forestalling murder, and vice versa.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Nine_dead_after_armed_Santa_Claus_opens_fire_in_LA_suburb&oldid=4460630”
Filled Under: Uncategorized
">
Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellen while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother’s amorous pursuit.

The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950’s America and that White’s work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White’s enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Edmund_White_on_writing,_incest,_life_and_Larry_Kramer&oldid=4520289”
Filled Under: Uncategorized
">
Police track kidney doctor to Brampton, Canada

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The hunt for alleged kidney harvester, Dr. Amit Kumar, has led investigators to Brampton, a city in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) of Ontario, Canada.

Indian investigators allege that Kumar is the kingpin of a ring that removed kidneys of poor laborers in India for transplantation to the highest bidding patients, usually foreigners. After a request by Indian police via an Interpol “red notice”, Canadian police located a house in Brampton owned by Kumar, who has been dubbed “Dr. Horror” by the Indian press.

The house is occupied by a woman, presumed to be his wife, and two young children. Kumar purchased the 5,600 sq ft (~510 ) home on February 2, 2007 for C$610,000. Reportedly, additional upgrades were performed at the home, including an in-ground pool, at a cost of C$100,000. The family drives an expensive SUV. The children, two boys aged 4 and 5, are said to be enrolled at private schools.

Dr. Kumar, a nephrologist, born Santosh Rameshwar Raut, was known to his neighbors. He told them that he was a cardiovascular surgeon in India, but that he wanted to buy a hotel in Canada and, after one last trip to India to tie up loose ends, permanently relocate to Canada.

“We are completely shocked,” a neighbor told the Toronto Star. “We used to joke at parties that he must be loaded to get such a beautiful wife, but nothing prepared us for this.” Another neighbor told the paper, “It’s very unusual for someone to come here from India and buy a big house like this and a Lexus. Doctors in India just don’t make that kind of money.”

Meanwhile, investigators are no closer to Amit Kumar, than they were a few days ago. It is widely believed that he is trying to flee India for Canada via Nepal, a country for which he is alleged to have a passport.

Police in Mumbai, however, believe he is still in India. “He is very much in India,” commissioner Rakesh Maria said on Tuesday. “We suspect he will never leave.”

“He will stay in India — it won’t be easy to conduct his illegal activities anywhere else,” he said. “In a country like Canada, it would almost be impossible to find [kidney] donors in large numbers.”

They think they can buy the kidney for peanuts. That’s why the likes of [Amit Kumar] can prosper.

However, after a request by the Haryana state government, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will soon take lead in the investigation.

“We haven’t yet received a final word to start investigations,” CBI Director Vijay Shankar said. “We will begin working on the case as per legal process.” Thus far, police in Gurgoan, Moradabad, Mumbai and Rajasthan have been investigating the case separately.

The case has called attention to medical tourism, the practice of traveling abroad for health care at more affordable rates. Kumar is alleged to have charged US$50,000 for a kidney transplant. The donors are said to have been paid the equivalent of US$1,200. Even so, the donors, according to widespread reports and testimonials, may not have realized what they were getting into when they went with a stranger for a well-paying job.

The Toronto Star interviewed a medical tourism travel agent, who operates openly. Aruna Thurairajan, who runs Overseas Medical Services in Calgary, Alberta, says that she frequently gets calls from patients in need of a kidney. Thurairajan refuses to give referrals for transplants because it “gives medical tourism a bad rap.”

“Money is a big factor for people to decide where to go. Often they want to bargain how much to pay the vendor [organ donor]. Some of them can be quite selfish and mean. They think they can buy the kidney for peanuts. That’s why the likes of [Amit Kumar] can prosper. So the patient should also be blamed along with him, because the patient bargains down the price,” said Thurairajan.

But the victims of this illegal trade are not exclusively the poor day laborers but sometimes the clients themselves, according to a report by Hindustan Times. The investigation cited a driver for a close associate of Amit Kumar and claims that at least three foreigners died on Dr. Kumar’s operating table. He was able to name three Turkish nationals who all died in India between 2003 and 2005, officially from cardiac arrest. The driver, Harpal, says that the bodies were brought to a hospital in Ballabgarh, Faridabad, where the local authorities colluded with the doctors to list the cause of death as heart failure.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Police_track_kidney_doctor_to_Brampton,_Canada&oldid=4197281”
Filled Under: Uncategorized
">
Police in Texas arrest man eating dead girlfriend

Monday, January 7, 2008

Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, from Tyler, Texas in the United States has been arrested after police found him possibly preparing to eat the body parts of his dead girlfriend, Jana Shearer aged 21. He was also charged with stabbing his ex-wife’s boyfriend, William Veasley, 42.

According to reports, Shearer’s mother was told by McCuin to “look in the garage” where she discovered the mutilated body of her daughter. She then flagged down a police officer on the road.

McCuin called 911 after the mother left the house. According to reports, he told the dispatcher that he was boiling Shearer’s body parts and preparing to eat them. When police got to his home, they discovered one of Shearer’s ears boiling in a pot, and an unnamed piece of her flesh on the kitchen table, with silverware placed beside it. The rest of her body had several “chunks” missing from it, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph quoting Sheriff J.B. Smith of the Smith County Sheriff’s Department.

Police later found out that McCuin had stabbed his ex-wife’s boyfriend, and also broke into Tyler Custom Openings, a local business, sometime on Friday or Saturday. He started by going to Shearer’s home on Friday January 4 to have a discussion with her, but she was never seen alive again. Before stabbing Veasley, he beat Shearer “with a blunt object, multiple times” to death. On Saturday morning, he arrived at his ex-wife’s home and fought with Veasley, stabbing him. He is currently in critical condition at a local hospital.

McCuin then broke into the Tyler Custom Openings and then went to his mother’s house where he took her to his home to show her what he had done. Although McCuin was inside the house when police arrived, he was able to escape and was chased for a short distance before being caught again.

McCuin is currently being held on a US$2,000,000 bail at Smith County jail.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Police_in_Texas_arrest_man_eating_dead_girlfriend&oldid=1700064”
Filled Under: Uncategorized

January

25

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees hypersonic missile test

">
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees hypersonic missile test
Posted by Admin , No Comments

Friday, January 14, 2022

On January 12, North Korean state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported a Tuesday hypersonic missile launch attended by leader Kim Jong-un and high-ranking politicians Jo Yong Won and Kim Yo-jong. This was the third missile North Korea (DPRK) launched this year. It flew for 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) before hitting sea, state media claimed.

“The Juche weapon representing the power of the DPRK” and of “superior maneuverability” was test-fired for “final verification of overall technical specifications”, according to state media. In an email sent to Al Jazeera, professor Leif-Eric Easley at Ewha University in Seoul, South Korea said “[the] so-called hypersonic weapon is not technologically ready”. South Korean military authorities at first downplayed the missile, but later said it showed “improvement”, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

Earlier this year, North Korea conducted two missile tests: one last Wednesday, and a second one on Monday, which were confirmed by both South Korea and the Japanese coast guard. The first launch was a winter resilience test, state media claimed. North Korea tested their first hypersonic missile, Hwasong-8, on September 28. Ankit Panda, a defence expert from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said last Wednesday’s missile was not a Hwasong-8, but a new model unveiled at an October weapons exhibition in Pyongyang, North Korea. After the September test, Panda called Hwasong-8 a “significant milestone” in comments to the BBC.

On Monday, the United Nations (UN) missions of Albania, France, the Republic of Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States jointly called for dialogue and denounced the first test. The US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield called it “a significant threat to regional stability”. On Tuesday, South Korean president Moon Jae-in said the tests worry him ahead of the country’s coming presidential election scheduled for March.

Hypersonic missiles are faster and can evade radar detection longer than regular ballistic missiles, the BBC explained.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=North_Korean_leader_Kim_Jong_Un_oversees_hypersonic_missile_test&oldid=4659661”
Filled Under: Uncategorized
No Comments

January

24

FTC begins antitrust inquiry of Google

">
FTC begins antitrust inquiry of Google
Posted by Admin , No Comments

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Google has confirmed that it has “received formal notification,” that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating its business practices. The acknowledgment was posted on the internet search engine company’s blog Friday. Google said it was unclear about the nature of the probe.

A broad FTC investigation would cause the company be tied up in defending itself for years, and according to Bloomberg, might well be the government’s biggest antitrust case since the Microsoft probe.

The FTC will likely launch an anti-trust investigation, as the company has been the target of many past smaller ones, according to CNN.

Mercury News reported Friday morning that the FTC review will probably focus on whether Google is using its dominance in the internet search business to promote its own products and services. Google’s rivals say Google unfairly profits from its monopoly in the search engine business by using its search services to point users of its internet search engine to its own sites and services while hiding links to its competitors.

It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow.

The FCC probe is expected to determine if Google abuses it market dominance to promote moneymaking online marketing, such as its mapping, comparison shopping and travel services. According to CNN, “Google dominates search in the United States, controlling about two-thirds of the market, according to comScore. It also licenses the world’s largest smartphone operating system, and its share of U.S. display advertising revenue recently eclipsed long-time leader Yahoo.”

Google’s response is that most complaints of anticompetitive behavior come from companies who are displeased with their ranking in Google’s search engine. However, Joshua Wright, law professor at George Mason University said the FTC will be looking at possible harm to users and not complaints by Google’s competitors.

Melissa Maxman, co-chair of a Washington-based, antitrust practice group, said the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection unit will almost certainly be involved to see if Google deceives search engine users by screening search results to profit its own services. She said she would be “shocked” if the consumer protection unit was not involved.

Google Fellow Amit Singhal said in the post, “We respect the FTC’s process and will be working with them (as we have with other agencies) over the coming months to answer questions about Google and our services.” But Singhal acknowledged, “It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow.”

Bloomberg reported Friday: “Google has set aside $500 million for a U.S. government investigation into online pharmacy ads the company accepted that may have violated the law.”

Google’s efforts to improve privacy policies after last years’ determination that its social-networking service Google Buzz used deceptive tactics, are currently being overseen by the FTC.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=FTC_begins_antitrust_inquiry_of_Google&oldid=1253607”
Filled Under: Uncategorized
No Comments

January

23

George Zimmerman found not guilty in Trayvon Martin case

">
George Zimmerman found not guilty in Trayvon Martin case
Posted by Admin , No Comments

Sunday, July 14, 2013

George Zimmerman, a Florida man charged with the shooting of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty of second-degree murder late Saturday night following 16 hours of deliberation. The case has drawn national attention in the United States because of questions it raises over “stand your ground” self-defense laws.

Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. Prosecutors argued that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, had pursued Martin on the basis of race, as Martin walked through Zimmerman’s gated community on the way back from a convenience store. Zimmerman’s lawyers argued Martin attacked Zimmerman who then shot Martin in self-defense after Martin punched him and repeatedly slammed Zimmerman’s head against the sidewalk.

Following the decision to acquit, by a six member all-female jury, of both a second-degree murder and a manslaughter charge, Zimmerman’s lawyer said: “I think the prosecution of George Zimmerman was disgraceful”. On Twitter, Zimmerman’s brother Robert said the decision made him “proud to be an American”.

Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, posted on Twitter to say “Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered”. Jahvaris Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s brother, posted “Et tu, America?”, alluding to the Shakespearean phrase “Et tu, Brute?”

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have launched a petition calling on the US government to bring federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman. NAACP president Benjamin Jealous stated, “We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict. […] We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=George_Zimmerman_found_not_guilty_in_Trayvon_Martin_case&oldid=3148246”
Filled Under: Uncategorized
No Comments

January

22

‘Davos man’ versus ‘Camp Igloo’; 42nd World Economic Forum convenes in Swiss alps

">
‘Davos man’ versus ‘Camp Igloo’; 42nd World Economic Forum convenes in Swiss alps
Posted by Admin , No Comments

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel gave yesterday’s opening address to the 42nd meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is facing a distinctly different geo-political landscape from twelve months ago. Outside the WEF security cordon, in the sub-zero temperatures of Davos’ train station car park, the local incarnation of the Occupy movement are setting up ‘Camp Igloo’; but, with little hope of the archetypes of the 1%, ‘Davos Man’, arriving by public transport and seeing their sub-zero protest.

David Roth, heading the Swiss centre-left’s youth wing — and an organiser of ‘Camp Igloo’, echoes much of the sentiment from ‘Occupy’ protests around the world; “[a]t meetings the rest of society is excluded from, this powerful ‘1 percent’ negotiates and decides about the fate of the other 99 percent of this world, […] economic and financial concentration of power in a small, privileged minority leads to a dictatorship over the rest of us. The motto ‘one person, one vote’ is no longer valid, but ‘one dollar, one vote’.”

Roth’s characterisation of ‘Davos Man’, a term coined by the Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard University, is more emotive than that of the late professor who saw ‘Davos man’ as “[having…] little need for national loyalty, view[ing] national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see[ing] national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite’s global operations”.

As Reuters highlights, many attendees will opt to make their way from Zurich to Davos by private jet, or helicopter, and the WEF itself provides handouts indicating the cost of such is 5,100 Swiss francs (approx. 5,500 USD, 3,500 GBP, 4,200 EUR). In contrast: travelling by rail, even when opting for first class — without an advance booking, is 145 Swiss francs (approx. 155 USD, 100 GBP).

Shifting fortunes see several past attendees missing this year’s exclusive get-together in the alpine resort; for a second year running — and now caught up in the UK phone hacking scandal being scrutinised by Lord Leveson’s inquiry — media mogul Rupert Murdoch will not be attending. Nor will the former head of financial services company UBS Oswald Gruebel, who resigned in the wake of US$2.3 billion losses incurred through unauthorised trading; likewise, Philipp Hildebrand, the ex-head of the Swiss National Bank, is absent following scandal associated with his wife’s currency trading activities; and, although the sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn were dropped, having stepped down as managing director of the International Monetary Fund Strauss-Kahn will also be absent.

As the #OccupyWEF protesters were building igloos last weekend, an anti-WEF protest in the Swiss capital Berne was broken up by police, who stated their intent to prosecute participants in the illegal protest. Allegations of calls for violent protest action led to a high number of officers being involved. In the aftermath, charges of breach of the peace are to be brought against 153 people, with some targeted for more serious offences. At least one group involved in the protest described the police response as “disproportionate”.

At ‘Camp Igloo’ Roth says he is seeking discussions with the WEF’s expected 2,000 attendees; but his voice, and that of others in the worldwide ‘Occupy’ movement, is unlikely to be given a platform in the opening debate, “Is 20th-century capitalism failing 21st-century society?” He, and others taking part in this Swiss incarnation of the ‘Occupy’ movement, are still considering an invite to a side-session issued by the World Economic Forum’s founder, Klaus Schwab; commenting on the invite Roth told the Associated Press they would prefer a debate at a more neutral venue.

As has been the case for several years now, the annual Forum meeting in Davos was preceded with the release of a special report by the World Economic Forum into risks seen as likely to have an impact the in the coming decade. The 2012 Global Risks Report is a hefty document; the 64-page report is backed with a variety of visualisation tools designed to allow the interrelations between risks to be viewed, how risks interact modelled, and their potential impacts considered — as assessed by the WEF’s panel of nearly 500 experts.

As one would expect, economic risks top both the 2012 impact and likelihood charts. Climate change is pushed somewhat further down the list of concerns likely to drive discussions in Davos. “Major systemic financial failure” — the collapse of a globally important financial institution, or world currency, is selected as the risk which carries the most potential impact.

However, “Chronic fiscal imbalances” — failing to address excessive government debt, and “Severe income disparity” — a widening of the the gulf between rich and poor, top the list of most likely risks.

At the other end of the tables, disagreeing respectively with the weight last year’s Wikinews report gave to orbital debris, and the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) fight with the Internet over copyright legislation, the 2012 Global Risks Report places “Proliferation of Orbital Debris” and “Failure of intellectual property regime” bottom of the league in terms of potential impact.

In 2011, with the current global economic crisis well under-way, “Fiscal crises” topped the WEF risks with the largest potential impact in the next ten years. However, perceived as most likely a year ago, “Storms and cyclones”, “Flooding”, and “Biodiversity loss” — all climate-change related points — were placed ahead of “Economic disparity” and “Fiscal crises”.

More mundane risks overtake the spectre of terrorism when contrasting this year’s report with the 2011 one; volatility in the prices of commodities, consumer goods, and energy, and the security of water supplies are all now ranked as more likely risks than terrorism — though the 2011 report did rank some of these concerns as having a higher potential impact. A significant shift in perception sees the 2012 report highlight food shortages almost as likely a risk the world will face over the next decade; and, one with a far more significant impact.

Attending the World Economic Forum at Davos is more than just an opportunity to discuss the current state of the global economy, and review the risks which face countries around the world. With such a high number of political and business leaders in attendance, it is an ideal opportunity to pursue new trade deals.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is, in addition to being a keynote speaker, expected to pursue improved relations with European and Asian trade partners at private meetings on the Forum sidelines. The Toronto Star reports Harper is likely to push forward an under-negotiation Canadian-European free-trade agreement, and hold closed-door discussions prior to next month’s planned trip to China.

Similarly, Canadian trade minister Ed Fast is expected to meet South Korean counterparts to discuss an equivalent deal to the preferential ones between the Asian nation and the US and Europe. Fast’s deal does, however, face opposition at home; the Canadian Auto Workers union asserts that such a deal would put 33,0000 jobs at-risk.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Do you believe discussions in Davos can make a difference globally?
Add or view comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne are expected to discuss a possible increase of UK funding to the International Monetary Fund (IMF); however, with the UK responsible for 4.5% of the US$400 billion in the IMF’s lending fund, backbench MPs have warned that committing any additional funds could provoke a Conservative revolt in parliament. Tuesday’s IMF cut of predicted global growth from 4% to 3.3%, warnings of a likely Eurozone recession in 2012, and ongoing problems with Greek financial restructuring, are likely discussion topics at Davos — as well as amongst UK backbench MPs who see adding to the IMF war-chest as bailing out failed European economies.

South Africa, less centre-stage during the 2011 Forum, will be looking to improve relationships and take advantage of their higher profile. President Jacob Zuma and several cabinet members are attending sessions and discussions; whilst former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to moderate a session, “Africa — From Transition to Transformation“, with Nigeria, Guinea, and South Sudan’s presidents on the panel. Wal-mart’s CEO Doug McMillon is to lead a dinner session, “Shared Opportunities for Africa’s Future” — highlighting larger multinationals looking towards the continent for new opportunities.

Davos may also serve as a place to progress disputes out of the public eye; a high-profile dispute between Chile’s state-owned copper mining business, Codelco, and Anglo American plc over the 5.39 billion USD sale of a near-quarter stake in their Chilean operations to Japan’s Mitsubishi, prompted the Financial Times to speculate that, as the respective company chiefs — Diego Hernández and Cynthia Carroll — are expected to attend, they could privately discuss the spat during the Forum.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=%27Davos_man%27_versus_%27Camp_Igloo%27;_42nd_World_Economic_Forum_convenes_in_Swiss_alps&oldid=4551414”
Filled Under: Uncategorized
No Comments

January

20

Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer

">
Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer
Posted by Admin , No Comments

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellen while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother’s amorous pursuit.

The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950’s America and that White’s work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White’s enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Edmund_White_on_writing,_incest,_life_and_Larry_Kramer&oldid=4520289”
Filled Under: Uncategorized
No Comments