Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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Hari Kostov resigns as prime minister of Macedonia

Monday, November 15, 2004

SKOPJEPrime minister Hari Kostov of Macedonia has resigned from his position as of Monday, November 15. The Macedonian parliament will meet on Thursday to decide whether or not to accept his resignation.

The BBC quoted Kostov, who was appointed last May, to have said that “there is no will for genuine teamwork” within the coalition, and that one of the parties in the current government has been promoting corruption and nepotism. Kostov also claimed that the preoccupation with the rights of Albanian ethnic minority in Macedonia was obstructing economic modernization, according to Reuters. Kostov himself was not a member of any of the coalition’s parties.

Kostov’s resignation was preceded by a referendum organized by the Macedonian opposition, aimed against a decentralisation law which would have given the Albanian ethnic minority in Macedonia additional rights. The referendum was declared null and void due to a low turnout. According to the NOS, some now fear that fights between Albanian guerrillas and the Macedonian army, which came to a halt in 2001, will start again.

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United States wins Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series in Sydney

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cathedral Square, Sydney —The United States won the Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series against Australia and New Zealand at Cathedral Square in Sydney today.

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Game Four, played at 12:30 yesterday, was played between the New Zealand Wheel Blacks and the Australian Steelers before a lunchtime crowd. Australia scored six straight goals in second quarter, to lead 29-44 at half time, and eventually came out the winners 41-57. The game featured an unusual duel between two 3.5-point players, Australia’s Ryley Batt and New Zealand’s Barney Konerferisi.

In Game Five, played under lights at 17:30 yesterday, the United States proved too good for New Zealand, winning 36-62. Game Six followed immediately after at 19:30. This game, between Australia and United States attracted a sizable and animated crowd that filled the venue. Australia had only beaten the United States once in the last seven years. The Steelers managed to win gold at the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London without having to play them.

Australia opened the game with three straight goals, but the United States caught up, and the score was 14-15 at quarter time, after a last second United States score was counted. While the United States frequently rotated its players, the Steelers had Ryley Batt, Chris Bond, Ryan Scott and Nazim Erdem on the court the whole time. Their strong defence caused timeouts and subsequent turnovers. Low-pointer Ryan Scott became an unlikely hero by prompting two turnovers. Australia won 64-53.

Game Seven was the Semi-Final, between Australia and New Zealand, and was played at 12:00 today. The weather was warm and sunny. The New Zealanders performed a Haka, but it did not bring victory. This time Australia rotated its players, and Bond and Batt were on the court together only briefly just before half time, and again in the last four minutes. Australia won handily, 62-45.

The Final game was therefore between the United States and Australia under lights at 17:00 on today. The commentators called it “Friday Night Footy”. Australia once again played Bond, Batt, Erdem and Scott together, and took off to a three-goal lead, but the United States fought back with good defensive plays, tying the score at 14-all at quarter time. The United States scored three goals straight in the second quarter to take a 29-25 lead at half time. Hopes that Australia could repeat its win of the night before were dashed. The United States team had tight discipline and made few mistakes, in the end, winning 58-54.

Medals were presented to the players, coaches and team staff by Greg Hartung, the President of the Australian Paralympic Committee. The players of all three teams voted for the Most Valuable Player of the series, which went to Ryley Batt.

This is believed to be the first time that an international wheelchair rugby tournament has been held outdoors.

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

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Swedish packaging company transfers production lines to Romania

Friday, April 29, 2005

Swedish company Korsnas Packaging has extended its operations in Romania by transferring two production lines from Germany and the United Kingdom to its Romanian subsidiary in Ploie?ti, an industrial city close to Bucharest. The first production line will be designed for producing packing material for food and the building industry. This line will be transferred to Romania at the beginning of May, with the transaction being worth 1.5 million. The second production line will be transferred in 2006, depending on the 2005 financial results of Korsnas’ Romanian subsidiary.

In the past few years, and the past year especially, more European Union companies have relocated to Romania for to its lower labour cost and skilled workforce. Foreign investors have also been attracted by a new tax policy which started in January 2005, putting in place a flat 16% tax rate for personal income and corporate profit. Foreign investment is expected to increase in the future, as Romania signed in April 25 its Accession Treaty with the European Union and is set to become a member of this organisation on January 1, 2007.

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FEMA official in New Orleans blasts agency’s response

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Marty Bahamonde, the only FEMA emplyee in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina, testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, contradicts former FEMA director Michael Brown’s testimony and says Brown ignored his pleas for help.

In an August 31 Blackberry email:

“Sir, I know you know that this situation is past critical. Here are some things you might not know. Hotels are kicking people out, thousands gathering in the streets with no food or water. Hundreds still being rescued from homes” and “medical staff at the Dome expect to run out of oxygen in about 2 hours”

In an email from one of Brown’s aids:”Please schedule Joe Scarborough this evening… Also, it is very important that time is allowed for Mr. Brown to eat dinner. Gievn[sic] that Baton Rouge is back to normal, restaurants are getting busy”

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Wikinews Shorts: December 9, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, December 9, 2008.

Contents

  • 1 US media group Tribune files for bankruptcy protection
  • 2 Quebec votes in general election
  • 3 Bailout for US automakers nears agreement
 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

The United States media group Tribune Company has filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday as it struggled to sort out its US$13 billion debt. It is the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States, responsible for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

The firm has been hit hard by the industry-wide slump in newspaper advert revenues this year. Sam Zell, the billionaire who owns Tribune, took out large loans in order to buy the firm back in June of 2007.

The United States Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection law states that a company can continue trading whilst it sorts out its finances.

Sources


 This story has updates See Quebec’s Liberal premier Jean Charest wins third term 

The Quebec general election is underway in the Canadian province of Quebec. Premier Jean Charest called the elections, saying he needed a majority to guide Quebec through a period of economic difficulties caused by the worldwide financial crisis.

Polls indicate that the Charest may obtain a majority, with support for his Quebec Liberal Party increasing to 45%, while support for the Parti Québécois remains at around 30%.

The polls will close at 01:00 GMT (20:00 local time), and the results will probably come in soon after that.

Sources


The United States government is reportedly close to an agreement for a US$15 billion bailout plan for the country’s three largest auto firms.

According to a draft obtained by the Associated Press, the deal would give loans to Detroit‘s struggling Big Three automobile manufacturersFord, General Motors, and Chrysler — but under the condition that the auto industry restructures itself to survive. Another condition is that the incumbent US President, George W. Bush, would appoint an overseer to supervise the effort.

Analysts suggest that the agreement could be signed into law by the end of this week.

Sources


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Dairy cattle with names produce more milk, according to new study

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Giving a cow a name and treating her as an individual with “more personal touch” can increase milk production, so says a scientific research published in the online “Anthrozoos,” which is described as a “multidisciplinary journal of the interactions of people and animals”.

The Newcastle University‘s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development’s (of the Newcastle University Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering) researchers have found that farmers who named their dairy cattle Ermintrude, Daisy, La vache qui rit, Buttercup, Betsy, or Gertrude, improved their overall milk yield by almost 500 pints (284 liters) annually. It means therefore, an average-sized dairy farm’s production increases by an extra 6,800 gallons a year.

“Just as people respond better to the personal touch, cows also feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention,” said Dr Catherine Douglas, lead researcher of the university’s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. “By placing more importance on the individual, such as calling a cow by her name or interacting with the animal more as it grows up, we can not only improve the animal’s welfare and her perception of humans, but also increase milk production,” she added.

Drs Douglas and Peter Rowlinson have submitted the paper’s conclusion: “What our study shows is what many good, caring farmers have long since believed. Our data suggests that, on the whole, UK dairy farmers regard their cows as intelligent beings capable of experiencing a range of emotions.” The scientific paper also finds that “if cows are slightly fearful of humans, they could produce [the hormone] cortisol, which suppresses milk production,” Douglas noted. “Farmers who have named their cows, probably have a better relationship with them. They’re less fearful, more relaxed and less stressed, so that could have an effect on milk yield,” she added.

South Norfolk goldtop-milk producer Su Mahon, one of the country’s top breeder of Jersey dairy herds, agreed with Newcastle’s findings. “We treat all our cows like one of the family and maybe that’s why we produce more milk,” said Mrs Mahon. “The Jersey has got a mind of its own and is very intelligent. We had a cow called Florence who opened all the gates and we had to get the welder to put catches on to stop her. One of our customers asked me the other day: ‘Do your cows really know their names?’ I said: I really haven’t a clue. We always call them by their names – Florence or whatever. But whether they really do, goodness knows,” she added.

The researchers’ comparative study of production from the country’s National Milk Records reveals that “dairy farmers who reported calling their cows by name got 2,105 gallons (7,938 liters) out of their cows, compared with 2,029 gallons (7,680 liters) per 10-month lactation cycle, and regardless of the farm size or how much the cows were fed. (Some 46 percent of the farmers named their cows.)”

The Newcastle University team which has interviewed 516 UK dairy farmers, has discovered that almost half – 48% – called the cows by name, thereby cutting stress levels and reported a higher milk yield, than the 54% that did not give their cattle names and treated as just one of a herd. The study also reveals cows were made more docile while being milked.

“We love our cows here at Eachwick, and every one of them has a name,” said Dennis Gibb, with his brother Richard who co-owns Eachwick Red House Farm outside of Newcastle. “Collectively, we refer to them as ‘our ladies,’ but we know every one of them and each one has her own personality. They aren’t just our livelihood, they’re part of the family,” Gibb explained.

“My brother-in-law Bobby milks the cows and nearly all of them have their own name, which is quite something when there are about 200 of them. He would be quite happy to talk about every one of them. I think this research is great but I am not at all surprised by it. When you are working with cows on a daily basis you do get to know them individually and give then names.” Jackie Maxwell noted. Jackie and her husband Neill jointly operate the award-winning Doddington Dairy at Wooler, Doddington, Northumberland, which makes organic ice cream and cheeses with milk from its own Friesian cows.

But Marcia Endres, a University of Minnesota associate professor of dairy science, has criticized the Newcastle finding. “Individual care is important and could make a difference in health and productivity. But I would not necessarily say that just giving cows a name would be a foolproof indicator of better care,” she noted. According to a 2007 The Scientist article, named or otherwise, dairy cattle make six times more milk today than they did in the 1990s. “One reason is growth hormone that many U.S. farmers now inject their cows with to increase their milk output; another is milking practices that extend farther into cows’ pregnancies, according to the article; selective breeding also makes for lots of lactation,” it states.

Critics claimed the research was flawed and confused a correlation with causation. “Basically they asked farmers how to get more milk and whatever half the farmers said was the conclusion,” said Hank Campbell, author of Scientific Blogging. In 1996, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs provided for a complex new cattle passport system where farmers were issued with passport identities. The first calf born under the new regime were given names like “UK121216100001.”

Dr Douglas, however, counters that England doesn’t permit dairy cattle to be injected hormones. The European Union and Canada have banned recombinant bovine growth hormone (rGBH), which increases mastitis infection, requiring antibiotics treatment of infected animals. According to the Center for Food Safety, rGBH-treated cows also have higher levels of the hormone insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), which may be associated with cancer.

In August 2008, Live Science published a study which revealed that cows have strange sixth sense of magnetic direction and are not as prone to cow-tipping. It cited a study of Google Earth satellite images which shows that “herds of cattle tend to face in the north-south direction of Earth’s magnetic lines while grazing or resting.”

Newcastle University is a research intensive university in Newcastle upon Tyne in the north-east of England. It was established as a School of Medicine and Surgery in 1834 and became the “University of Newcastle upon Tyne” by an Act of Parliament in August 1963.

The School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development is a school of the Newcastle University Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, a faculty of Newcastle University. It was established in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne as the College of Physical Science in 1871 for the teaching of physical sciences, and was part of Durham University. It existed until 1937 when it joined the College of Medicine to form King’s College, Durham.

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Sealing ships trapped in ice off coast of Newfoundland

Friday, April 20, 2007

For the past week, approximately 100 sealing ships have been trapped in ice floes off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. The ships and their crew had been participating in the annual seal hunt off Canada’s easternmost province.

Several of the vessels have been damaged by the ice and supplies are now running low for those sailors awaiting rescue by the Canadian Coast Guard. As of Thursday, 6:00 p.m. EDST, some 20 crew members, out of an estimated 400, had been rescued.

A Coast Guard icebreaker, the Sir Wilfred Grenfell, on mission to free the trapped ships, itself became stuck in the ice. A Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) spokesperson indicated to CTV News that, although the Grenfell had since been freed, another icebreaker, the Ann Harvey, was now trapped. “It’s just such heavy ice that even ice breakers are having trouble,” said Erika Pittman, a communications officer with the DFO.

In addition to the crushing ice, extreme weather conditions have been hampering rescue efforts. Pittman suggested that conditions wouldn’t improve until sometime next week. The amount and thickness of the pack ice, according to Pittman, is the worst it has been for sealers in the past 15 years.

In addition to three icebreakers on hand, the Coast Guard is flying helicopters in to provide food and support to the stranded sailors. Most of the sealing ship captains have refused to abandon their ships, instead staying with them and hoping for a change in conditions or to be freed by the Coast Guard.

“Usually you try to stay with the ship because you think the safety is with the ship because the ship is big, but sometimes it is too late. In this case, we’re hoping that as it changes and the breakers and helicopters are there and we can get them all out,” said Brian Penney, a superintendent with the Coast Guard.

“They’re putting a lot of effort into pulling them out,” said Penny. “But the sheer numbers, it’s a very, very slow process.” According to Penny, approximately 15 of the longliners ships have had their hulls damaged by the ice to the extent that the ships are at risk of sinking.

Critics of the seal hunt point out that the annual hunt is not only “cruel to animals”, but is also a dangerous occupation for the sealers. When sealers have to be rescued by the Coast Guard, “Canadian taxpayers foot the bill,” suggested Rebecca Aldworth, director of Canadian wildlife issues for the Humane Society of the United States.

  • “Newfoundland government launches seal hunt website” — Wikinews, March 26, 2007

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Cisco sues Apple for iPhone trademark

Friday, January 12, 2007

The iPhone only made its appearance as a prototype and there have been controversies aroused.

The dispute has come up between the manufacturer of the iPhone (which was resented on Wednesday for the first time) – Apple Inc. – and a leader in network and communication systems, based in San JoseCisco. The company claims to possess the trademark for iPhone, and moreover, that it sells devices under the same brand through one of its divisions.

This became the reason for Cisco to file a lawsuit against Apple Inc. so that the latter would stop selling the device.

Cisco states that it has received the trademark in 2000, when the company overtook Infogear Technology Corp., which took place in 1996.

The Vice President and general counsel of the company, Mark Chandler, explained that there was no doubt about the excitement of the new device from Apple, but they should not use a trademark, which belongs to Cisco.

The iPhone developed by Cisco is a device which allows users to make phone calls over the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).

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