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Czech PM calls Obama’s rescue plan a ‘road to hell’

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mirek Topolanek, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and the head of the European Union, called United States President Barack Obama’s plan to spend almost US$2 trillion to revive the country’s faltering economy a “road to hell”.

“The US treasury secretary talks about permanent action and we at our [EU summit] were quite alarmed by that. He talks about an extensive US stimulus campaign. All of these steps are the road to hell,” ((translated from Czech))Czech language: ? he said, warning that the US’s massive bailouts could risk destabilising financial markets worldwide. He urged other EU governments to avoid making similar plans.

The remarks were made during Topolanek’s report to Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Wednesday.

The comments are in sharp contrast to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown‘s speech to the European Parliament on Tuesday, in which he spoke of a “new era” of cooperation in the ongoing global recession between the United States and Europe.

“Never in recent years have we had an American leadership so keen at all levels to cooperate with Europe on financial stability, climate change, security and development,” Brown said Tuesday.

Mirek Topolanek has become a lame duck prime minister after he was ousted in a vote of no confidence in his government in Prague late Tuesday.

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Curious death befalls collaborator days before movie release

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Alan Shalleck, 76, associate in the children’s book series Curious George, was found dead in his driveway 8 February 2006. Covered in black garbage bags, his body had been disregarded by neighbors and passersby who presumably mistook it for a collection of refuse.

Speculation has risen around the case due to the seemingly odd coincidence of Shelleck’s death with the Curious George film’s Friday release. As of yet, investigators are not releasing any solid information involving the case.

A Boynton Beach, Florida Border’s Book and Music store employee, Shelleck had been missing from work for two days prior to the discovery of the body by Burt Venturelli, a maintenance worker at the retirement complex Shelleck called home.

Venterelli told Sun-Sentinel reporters “I went to drag it this morning and said, ‘This is a body, this isn’t garbage.”’ He also stated that Shelleck’s body was naked from the waist up and that there was “blood all over the place.”

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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

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Afghan pilot kills nine Americans

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eight American troops and one contractor were shot and killed by an Afghan National Army Air Force pilot Wednesday. Five Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the attack, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.

The incident, which began around 10 a.m. Afghan time (0530 UTC), occurred in the operations room of the Afghan Air Force in Kabul International Airport. The shooter, Ahmad Gul Sahebi, was killed by NATO forces.

“Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting, shooting started,” said Afghan Air Corps spokesman Colonel Bahader. “After the shooting started, we saw a number of Afghan army officers and soldiers running out of the building. Some were even throwing themselves out of the windows to get away.”

The shooter’s brother, Hassan Sahebi, said, “My brother was a little depressed recently, but he had served with Afghanistan’s national army for 20 years. He loved his country and his people. He was a good man.” He also said that his brother was facing financial troubles, but was not connected with the Taliban. A spokesman for the militia group, however, described Ahmad Gul Sahebi as an informant and sleeper agent who began planning the shooting five months ago.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai quickly condemned the attack and offered condolence to the victims and their families. He also said that the police and military would investigate the matter. Wednesday’s incident is the seventh this year in which NATO or Afghan forces have been killed by rogue Afghan troops or insurgents dressed as troops.

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Helicopter crash kills eight, injures one in Louisiana

Monday, January 5, 2009

On Sunday afternoon, a Lafayette-based Petroleum Helicopters Inc. (PHI, Inc.) helicopter bound for the offshore oil fields crashed shortly after taking off from its Amelia base, into a marshy area near Bayou Penchant about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans. The helicopter had been carrying oilfield workers and 2 pilots. Eight people were killed and the Coast Guard helicopter rushed the lone survivor, a 28-year-old medevacted man, in critical condition, to Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center and then taken to Houma‘s Hebert Medical Center.

According to Pamela Norton, age 37, a Gretna woman, her ex-husband, Jorey A. Rivero Sr., age 35, of Westwego, was aboard the oil-services helicopter. “He got onto that chopper about noon Sunday,” she said. The largest helicopter company in the world, Petroleum Helicopters Inc. (PHI, Inc. – formerly Petroleum Helicopters International) has its home base in Lafayette Regional Airport. It provides helicopter services to oil and gas businesses and also flies medical helicopters. “Eight deceased passengers were recovered by the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Department,” Coast Guard spokeswoman Jaclyn Young said. According to Richard Ravinelli, PHI Director of Human Resources, the victims’ names would not be released until all family members concerned are duly notified.

According to Barbara Bryant, her son who worked for three years on oil rigs, was one of the fatalities. “He just spent 3 months offshore, just because he wanted to save up enough money for a down payment on his own house, and he’s been living with me to save his money to do that. He didn’t make it,” she said.

The New Orleans Eighth Coast Guard District Command Center received a distress signal from the Langley, Va. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), at 3:30 p.m. Helicopter owner PHI earlier called the Coast Guard, informing about a distress call from its helicopter. Upon AFRCC request, Coast Guard’s Air Station New Orleans’ HH-65C and crew were dispatched to the site of the crash.

Rescue workers at Bob’s Bayou Black Marina in Gibson, Louisiana, an unincorporated community in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, arrived at boat launch to coordinate recovery efforts for the bodies in the wilderness. The Terrebonne Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol and a Coast Guard helicopter also cooperated in search of bodies in waters near Bayou Penchant, a soupy, grassy area which is only accessible by airboat.

Federal investigators led by the National Transportation Safety Board are scheduled to arrive to the crash site Monday to probe the tragedy.

In June, another PHI Air medical helicopter also crashed in Texas. The Sam Houston National Forest accident killed the pilot, paramedic, nurse and a patient who was being transferred from Huntsville to Houston.

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January

9

Fires at Baxter Immigration Detention Centre in South Australia

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Fires at Baxter Immigration Detention Centre in South Australia
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Saturday, November 12, 2005

34 accommodation units have been destroyed by fire at the Baxter Detention Centre near Pt Augusta in South Australia today. The blaze also gutted a kitchen, laundry, recreational area and officers’ station. The original blaze broke out around 4am ACST in the kitchen of the “White One” compound which houses single men. Fire units took almost three hours to put them out.

Fifty-eight detainees were evacuated from Baxter IDC. Six have been treated for smoke inhalation.

Immigration minister Amanda Vanstone says about 17 rooms have been ruined and others damaged. She says deliberate property damage will not be tolerated and the Australian Federal Police are questioning four detainees over the blazes and anyone found responsible will be charged.

“Anyone with no lawful right to be in Australia should leave irrespective of the behaviour that they’ve undertaken, but if someone with a visa or without a visa to be in Australia engages in criminal conduct that would be taken into account in terms of cancelling a visa,” she said.

The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) said four fires appeared to have been deliberately lit. “The first fire in the kitchen area was followed by three other separate fires within the complex,” an MFS spokesman said.

Refugee rights advocate Pamela Curr said she had concerns about the safety of detainees in the event of a fire because of the electronic doors. She said detainees at a detention centre at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport had been killed during a fire last month because authorities had been unable to manually open the electronic doors. “Thank heavens nobody seems to have been hurt today,” she said. “We’re always on the alert that Baxter is not a safe detention centre”.

Bernadette Wauchope from Rural Australians for Refugees says the destruction will continue until something is done. “They become so desperate that they attempt self-harm or attempt suicide or maybe resort to lighting fires,” she said. “After being locked up for years and years the feeling that they’re isolated and that nobody’s listening to what their stories are, often that, well it does contribute to these kinds of acts,” she said.

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January

9

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate John Ogilvie, Carleton—Mississippi Mills

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate John Ogilvie, Carleton—Mississippi Mills
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Sunday, October 7, 2007

John Ogilvie is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Carleton—Mississippi Mills riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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January

7

Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer

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Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer
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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.

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January

7

Elizabeth May elected leader of Canada’s Green Party

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Elizabeth May elected leader of Canada’s Green Party
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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Elizabeth May has been elected leader of the Green Party of Canada today, winning the position with 2,145 votes or 65.34 per cent of ballot cast. She beat her nearest rival, environmental consultant and Green deputy leader David Chernushenko by a margin of almost 2 to 1. Jim Fannon, the third candidate, finished far back with only 29 votes. The new leader will replace Jim Harris, who stepped down after holding the position since 2003.

In her acceptance speech, May called on the federal government to give notice that Canada will withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement in order to force the United States to renegotiate the treaty.

May, a long-time environmental activist and former executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada takes over the party which received 4.5 per cent of the popular vote in the last federal election, enough to secure over $1 million a year in federal funding but not enough to elect any of its candidates to the Canadian House of Commons. Chernushenko won the highest vote percentage of any Green candidate in the January election winning 10% of the vote in Ottawa Centre.

“We draw pretty much equally from across the entire political spectrum,” Jim Harris told CBC News. “If you were a Progressive Conservative, as I was, where do you go? The Green party supports Kyoto. We were opposed to the war in Iraq and yet at the same time we’re fiscally responsible. This is something that’s attractive to people.”

“What we need to do is clearly build a method and a platform so that they are not voting for ‘none of the above’ but so that they are voting for ‘all my dreams,’ ” said May after her victory.

The race has brought new people to the party with membership rising from 5,517 to 8,694 in recent months.

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January

5

Mystery surrounds ricin discovery in Las Vegas hotel

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Mystery surrounds ricin discovery in Las Vegas hotel
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Saturday, March 1, 2008

On February 14, a man staying at the Valley View Extended Stay America hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada was hospitalized after experiencing respiratory distress. The man lapsed into unconsciousness and has been at the hospital ever since.

Since the bills at the hotel were going unpaid, Extended Stay America began to evict the man from the room. Another man, described as either a friend or relative, went to the hotel on Thursday to collect the personal belongings of the hospitalized man.

According to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief Kathy Suey, he found several vials of a white substance. He brought them to the attention of the hotel manager, who called police.

Initial tests, which further tests confirmed on Friday, the substance was the deadly toxin ricin, an extremely dangerous biological agent. Ricin is extracted from castor beans through the waste produced in the manufacture of castor oil. It is currently being used in cancer treatment research. There has been research for its use as a chemical/biological warfare agent. An amount smaller than the point of a pin will kill a human being. It is estimated to be several thousand times more toxic than cyanide and there is no known antidote.

Police cordoned off the area around Valley View between Flamingo Road and Harmon Avenue. Three employees and the man who made the discovery were taken to the hospital as a precaution. So were three police officers. They are all reported to show no signs of poisoning.

Nevada National Guard and other emergency services responded to secure the area. Residents at the Extended Stay America were allowed back into the building late Thursday. The hotel reopened fully on Friday after the room and other areas of the hotel were decontaminated.

The man whose room it was “is in critical condition and he is unable to speak with us right now. We have no indication why the ricin was in that room,” said Deputy Chief Suey.

“Usually, if [ricin victims] survive the first three to five days, they usually do fine,” Dr. Lawrence Sands told CNN. However, survivors often have long-term organ damage.

At least three pets were found in the room. “Two of those pets are fine. One of the pets is deceased or was put down,” Suey said. “The dog that was in there was without food and water for a week,” she added that there was no reason to supect it was exposed to ricin. Castor beans were also found in the room.

Officials have also recovered from the room a firearm, as well as an “anarchist” text containing an article on ricin.

Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Richard Kolko said the incident is being treated as a criminal matter and did not appear to be related to terrorism “based on the information gathered so far.”

Captain Joe Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said that ricin is not illegal to own unless it is intended for the poisoning of a person, adding that “We did have enough ricin to be of concern.”

In 2003, a man committed suicide in Las Vegas using ricin. There have also been a few incidents where ricin powder was found in the mail. Also in 2003, the United Kingdom had the Wood Green ricin plot which in the end found no ricin.

In 1978, Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov was famously assassinated in London with ricin injected with the tip of an umbrella.

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