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Sulpicio Lines asks court to stop BMI investigation into ‘Princess of the Stars’ disaster

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Philippine shipping company Sulpicio Lines has asked a court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) from proceeding with its investigation into the loss of MV Princess of the Stars. The passenger ferry capsised and sank off Sibuyan island on June 21 during Typhoon Fengshen (known locally as Typhhon Frank) with hundreds of casualties.

Sulpicio told the Manila Regional Trial Court that both Republic Act 9295 and the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004 removed the BMI’s power to investigate maritime incidents and that the investigation the board launched on June 25 is “irregular, illegal, and null and void”. They say only the Maritime Industry Authority is allowed to investigate accidents at sea.

Sulpicio also described the investigation as an ‘inquisition’ that was biased against Sulpicio from the start. They say “prejudgment” has increased the “pervasive negative publicity” surrounding the line, since negative accusations are most often published in newspapers. The company says one comment the board made was “Your vessel is not stable!” “You have no business being a safety officer!”

As a result Sulpicio is seeking ?650,000 from the BMI. This is split down as ?500,000 in moral damages, ?100,000 lawyer’s fees and ?50,000 further costs.

The House Committee on Transportation also launched its own inquiry into the disaster today. The case for the TRO will be heard tomorrow.

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Judge orders residents and city to come to agreement on partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Buffalo, New York —Judge Justice Christopher Burns of the New York State Supreme Court has ordered a halt to an emergency demolition on a 19th century stable and livery on 428-430 Jersey Street in Buffalo, New York that partially collapsed on Wednesday June 11, initially causing at least 15 homes to be evacuated. At least two homes remain evacuated.

Burns orders that both the city and the group Save The Livery (www.savethelivery.com) have to come to an agreement on what to do with the building, and try to work out ways of saving at least some portions if it including the facade, side walls and a lift tower. Save The Livery is comprised of concerned area residents who have grown to love the building’s historic and unique character. On June 14, they won a temporary restraining order to stop demolition. The court ruled that the city was only allowed to remove material in immediate danger to residents and pedestrians, but stated that the demolition could only be performed with “hand tools.” The court also ordered that any rubble which had fallen into neighboring yards when the building collapsed, to be removed.

“It is in the interest of the city to have a safe environment–but also important to maintain a sense of historical preservation,” stated Burns in his ruling. Burns has given the sides until tomorrow (Friday June 20) to come to an agreement and has ordered both parties to return to court at 9:30 a.m. (eastern time) “sharp.” Activists of Save The Livery urge supporters of the stable to “fill the courtroom” to show “continued and ongoing support.” The hearing is scheduled to take place at 25 Delaware Avenue in the Supreme Court building, 3rd Floor, trial part 19.

Currently the building is owned by Bob Freudenheim who has several building violations against him because of the buildings poor condition. He has received at least five violations in three months and residents who live near the building state that Freudenheim should be “100% responsible” for his actions. Many are afraid that if the building is demolished, Freudenheim’s charges of neglect will be abolished.

On June 17, developer and CEO of Savarino Companies, Sam Savarino was at the site of the stable, discussing the building with residents and preservationists. In 2006, Savarino proposed and planned The Elmwood Village Hotel, a ‘botique’ hotel on the Southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues. The project was later withdrawn after residents filed a lawsuit against Savarino and the city. Wikinews extensively covered the story, and contacted Savarino for his professional opinion on the building.

“[I would] love to see it preserved. I was there to see if there was anything we could do to help, to see if anything can be salvaged. I just want to see the right thing happen, and so does the city,” stated Savarino to Wikinews who added that he was allowed inside the building for a brief period.

“The side walls are beyond repair. The roof has rotted and it could come down at any time,” added Savarino who also said that the building “below the second floor appears to be stable.” He also states that the back wall of the building, which borders several homes, appears to be intact.

“Eliminating the back wall could be a problem for the neighbors. It is not unreasonable to leave at least 12 feet” of the back wall standing, added Savarino.

Savarino did not say if he was interested in buying the property, but did state, “I am sure there are a couple of people interested” in buying the property. On Thursday, Buffalo News reported that a “businessman” might be interested in purchasing the property, though Wikinews is not able to independently confirm the report. Savarino says that with the property still slated for emergency demolition, a potential buyer could face tax fees of nearly US$300,000.

Freudenheim gave the city permission to demolish the building on Thursday June 12 during an emergency Preservation Board meeting, because he would not be “rehabilitating the building anytime soon.” Freudenheim, along with his wife Nina, were part-owners of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and were advocates to stop the Elmwood Village Hotel. They also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built. Residents say that he has been the owner for at least 22 years.

The building was first owned by a company called White Bros. and was used as a stable for a farm which once covered the land around the building for several blocks. The Buffalo Fire Department believes the building was built around 1814, while the city property database states it was built in 1870. Servants and workers of the farm were housed inside resident quarters situated at the rear of the building on what is now Summer Street, but are now cottages where area residents currently reside. Some date as far back as 1829.

At about 1950, the stable was converted into an automobile body shop and gasoline station.A property record search showed that in 1950 at least four fuel storage tanks were installed on the property. Two are listed as 550 square feet while the other two are 2,000 square feet. All of the tanks are designated as a TK4, which New York State says is used for “below ground horizontal bulk fuel storage.” The cost of installing a tank of that nature according to the state, at that time, included the tank itself, “excavation and backfill,” but did not include “the piping, ballast, or hold-down slab orring.” It is not known if the tanks are still on the property, but residents are concerned the city was not taking the precautions to find out.

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Strong earthquake near Solomon Islands, tsunami reported

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A magnitude 8.1 undersea earthquake triggered a tsunami that has killed at least fifteen people, including six children, in the Solomon Islands. Tsunami warnings have been issued for parts of Australia as well.

According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude 8.0 quake struck Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 20:39:56 (UTC) about 45 km (25 mi) south-southeast of Gizo, New Georgia Islands, Solomon Islands, at a depth of 10 km.

Contents

  • 1 ‘Disaster’ declared in the Solomons
  • 2 Region on alert
  • 3 Related news
  • 4 Sources

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Teräsbetoni frontman J. Ahola on representing Finland at Eurovision 2008 & more

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Teräsbetoni means “steel-reinforced concrete”, and is also the name of a Finnish heavy metal band formed in 2002. Their music, which centres on an honourable warrior lifestyle or on metal itself, quickly became popular in 2003 on the Internet, resulting in a petition by fans being sent to several record labels demanding a recording deal. In late 2004 the band signed to Warner Music Finland, and the following year debut single Taivas lyö tulta rose to number one in the Finnish charts, and debut album Metallitotuus hit number two and went platinum, and has now sold about 47,000 copies.

The band, who sing exclusively in Finnish, have just released their third album, Myrskyntuoja. The lead single on this album is Missä miehet ratsastaa, which Teräsbetoni decided to enter in the Finnish selections for the 2008 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, where it was selected to go on to the semi-final in Belgrade, Serbia as Finland’s representative this year. Although Finland has seen limited success in the contest, their only victory was with a comparable group. In 2006 hard rock band Lordi – whose monster costumes and pyrotechnic displays are famed – achieved a record 292 points in the final with Hard Rock Hallelujah.

Teräsbetoni’s frontman, vocalist and bass guitarist Jarkko Ahola’s fame extends beyond the band he heads. He also features in Finnish symphonic power metal cover supergroup Northern Kings, alongside Marco Hietala of Nightwish and Tarot, Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica and Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto of Charon.

Wikinews was able to conduct an exclusive interview with Jarkko Ahola to discuss these various achievements. This interview is now published below for the first time.

Contents

  • 1 Interview
    • 1.1 On the early days
    • 1.2 On Eurovision
    • 1.3 The new album
    • 1.4 Northern Kings
    • 1.5 The future and final words
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

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Last missing body from Minnesota bridge collapse found

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The remains of the last missing person following the bridge collapse in Minneapolis were recovered on Monday. The official death toll now stands at 13, following the collapse nearly three weeks ago. All recovery efforts have now been stopped.

The remains of Gregory Jolstad were found yesterday. Jolstad, nicknamed “Jolly,” was a member of the construction crew that was resurfacing the bridge. Jolstad was driving a skid loader. He was 45.

Jolstad’s wife, Lisa Jolstad, was worried that the search for her husband’s remains would drag on, leaving her without any closure.

Sheriff Rich Stanek said, “There aren’t a lot of smiles here tonight…We all have very heavy hearts. It weighed on a lot of people, both personally and professionally.”

Governor Tim Pawlenty asked President Bush on Monday to declare the collapse a major disaster, allowing the state to be eligible for more federal money. President Bush is scheduled to be in Minneapolis today to get a briefing on the bridge.

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Parajet Skycar expedition takes off from London to Timbuktu

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two explorers have set off from Knightsbridge, London Wednesday morning (0900 GMT) in a propeller-powered dune buggy heading for the Sahara. Giles Cardozo, age 29, from Dorset, with chief pilot and expedition leader Neil Laughton, age 45, an ex-SAS officer, will fly and drive the amazing two-seater vehicle more than 6,000-km (3,750-miles) to fabled Timbuktu on February 20.

“I just can’t wait to see their faces when we fly in and start playing football with them. I don’t think they will be able to believe somebody in a flying car has just visited them,” ‘extreme golfer’ Mr Laughton said before the departure. Timbuktu (Timbuctoo; Koyra Chiini: Tumbutu; French: Tombouctou) is an isolated city in Tombouctou Region, in the West African nation of Mali. They will traverse Europe and Africa about 42 days to arrive at the city in Mali, West Africa before returning home via Senegal.

The home-made 450-kilogram Skycar has been designed by Cardozo in just 18 months. It is the world’s first road legal bio fuelled flying car. It is a four cylinders modified Rage Motorsport off-road racing buggy which was approved by the government last month. It runs on bioethanol and is powered by a modified 140bhp Yamaha R1 superbike engine with a lightweight automatic continuously variable transmission from a snowmobile.

The team invested about £250,000 ($380,000) to make the 1000cc engine Skycar desert-proof. In its maiden voyage, the flying car will be escorted by up to 13 people convoy including an eight-wheel truck, two Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4s and several motorbikes. It has left London’s Sheraton Park Tower hotel, heading through the capital to Dunsfold airfield in Surrey.

The team had initially planned to take the air route across the English Channel, but the 35km flight was vetoed by aviation authorities. Skycar is required by law to obtain a license from Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), including a permit from the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA). Skycar spokeswoman, Charlie Bell, however clarified that the team was “in liaison with the CAA and they are looking to finalize the permit,” adding that it is in order for the rest of the trip.

The Skycar will thereafter fly over the high-altitude Pyrenees near Andorra, and would cross over the 14-km (nine-mile) Strait of Gibraltar. The prepared journey also includes the route through Mauritania, Atlas Mountains in Morocco and into Mali. It will further cross the harsh environment of Sahara’s remote “Rub’ al Khali” (empty quarter), for up to two weeks amid real fears of terrorist attacks.

The expedition will not have an easy task, especially since the Skycar will be tested to the limits amid punishing operating environments and weather conditions. “Clearly the reliability of the car is crucial,” said Mr Laughton. “We’re going to have to cope with wind chill temperatures as low as -30 deg C and blistering heat of up to 50 deg C. But it’s been fully tested at a secret location and it 100 per cent works,” he added.

The Parajet Skycar is a prototype flying car. It was developed by British paramotor manufacturer Parajet. The flying car utilizes a paramotor and a parafoil attached to a modified dune buggy to achieve sustained level flight. Should the engine fail, the vehicle can glide back to the ground. Should the canopy rip, an emergency reserve parachute would be deployed. It requires three minutes to convert it from a car to an aircraft. The prototype runs on biodiesel and is fully road-legal.

In 2004 British engineer Giles Cardozo, a paramotor manufacturer, has invented a fan-powered flying car to prove the Skycar is real and works. “I started making a paramotor on wheels that you sit on and take off and it suddenly occurred to me, ‘Why not just have a car that does everything?’” Cardozo said. His Wiltshire-based company Parajet built the paramotor that the adventurer Bear Grylls did fly near Everest in 2008. In 1998, Grylls, aged 23, became the youngest British to ascend Mount Everest. In May 2007, Grylls and Cardozo departed from Pheriche, about 32 kilometres south of Mount Everest.

I thought this would be an interesting challenge… Timbuktu is an iconic and quirky destination.

Cardozo has claimed he may finally have made it. “I’ve been dreaming about making flying cars since I was a boy, thinking about all the ways it could be done and seeing how all the other people in the world have done it wrong. No one’s ever made one that really does work that you can go out and buy. But here’s the ultimate solution: it’s cheap, it’s safe, it works, all the technology’s already there. So I pushed ahead and thought, ‘We’ve got to do it’,” he said.

If the Skycar becomes successful, Cardozo’s company plans a limited production with a selling price of £35,000 to £40,000 for a standard model and £60,000 for a high-performance sports version. “It will be a serious aircraft but also a proper road machine, with acceleration to match your average sports car,” says Cardozo. “I’m not going to sell millions of them but even if we sell 20 we’ll be laughing,” he added.

The explorers, with the aid of sponsors, supporters and benefactor Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet OBE (known as ‘Ranulph (Ran) Fiennes’), have aimed to raise more than £100,000 for some charities including an African orphanage.

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Finding A Location That Provides Transmission Repair In Plymouth, Mn

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The one repair that all car owners fear facing is transmission repair. When a car’s transmission is bad, the vehicle is not able to be driven; therefore, individuals need to have this repair done as soon as possible. Unfortunately, these repairs are extremely complex and in many cases very costly. In order to avoid any unnecessary frustration, individuals are advised to hire a reputable repair shop for this type of repair. In most cases a person can expect the repairs to only take a couple of days therefore allowing the car owner to be back on the road in no time.

When an individual is looking for a mechanic who specializes in Transmission Repair in Plymouth, MN, they will be relieved to find there are a number of reputable locations they can visit. Prices for transmission repairs vary greatly, therefore, individuals will need to obtain estimates at the repair shop of their choice in order to know what price range they are looking at. Although prices generally are not cheap, individuals are encouraged to not base their mechanic decision solely on the price. Unfortunately, sometimes customers find themselves in a sticky situation due to mechanics not using brand new transmissions, instead replacing the damaged transmission with a used one, which will not give the customer the same level of performance. At locations such as Aamco Transmission, individuals can always feel confident that only brand new parts will be used for their auto repairs.

Although no one can anticipate problems with their transmission, the truth is they happen when a person least expects it. In order to make these situations a little bit more managable, it is recommended individuals hire only reputable mechanics to perform work on their vehicles. People should be able to be back on the road with their repaired vehicle in no time, if a reputable mechanic is used for the repairs. Thankfully, there are several mechanics who specialize in transmission repair, in Plymouth, MN. Prices will vary depending on a number of different factors, however, the price is often not as substantial as a person originally anticipates.

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US lawmakers approve bill taxing executive bonuses

Friday, March 20, 2009

The United States House of Representatives approved a measure on Thursday to impose a heavy tax on bonuses to executives from companies that have been bailed out by the government. The bill was passed by a margin of 328-93.

Under the bill, executives making over US$250,000 a year would be charged a 90% tax on bonuses. The tax would apply to firms that have been given at least $5 billion in aid from the government.

The move comes after recent outrage at American International Group (AIG), which gave out $165 million in bonuses to its top executives after receiving no more than $180 billion in government bailouts. AIG has said that the bonuses had to be given out, as the company was legally required by contract to do so.

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Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, said that the bill was necessary because of the bad judgment shown by firms who received bailouts from the government.

“We must stabilize the financial system in order to strengthen our economy and create jobs. We must also protect the American taxpayer from executives who would use their companies’ second chances as opportunities for private gain. Because they could not use sound judgment in the use of taxpayer funds, these AIG executives will pay the Treasury in the form of this tax,” said Pelosi to reporters following the House vote.

The Senate is expected to vote upon a similar version of the bill. If approved, the differences between the two versions would have to be bridged before it could be signed into law.

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Failed UK suicide bomber Mohamed Saeed-Alim aka Nicky Reilly dies

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mohammed Rashid Saeed-Alim, a failed English suicide bomber better known by his birth name Nicky Reilly, has died while serving a life sentence. He was 30.

Originally from Plymouth, Alim attempted to bomb the Giraffe restaurant in Exeter in 2008 when he was 22. He used glass bottles filled with nails, caustic soda, and paraffin but one went off prematurely as he prepared them in the restaurant’s bathroom.

Alim was hospitalised with facial wounds that required skin grafts, then prosecuted for the bombing. He admitted attempted murder and preparing an act of terrorism later that year and was sentenced to life with a minimum term of eighteen years. He had considered alternative targets including a police station.

Alim had a mental age of around ten. He also had Asperger’s syndrome and his mother said he had been manipulated by others. Police said at the time he discussed his plans online and they suspected Pakistani individuals to be responsible for his radicalisation following conversion to Islam. Alim himself left a note in his bedroom saying amongst other things he had not been manipulated. His mother pursued a complaint against police in 2010 over claims he had told people of his plans to perform a bombing but police allegedly ignored this.

His body was found on Wednesday at HMP Manchester. Greater Manchester Police said there were “no suspicious circumstances” while the Prison Service simply noted the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will carry out a routine investigation. The Plymouth Herald reported unconfirmed claims Alim was found hanged.

Alim served most of his sentence at Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital. This July he was sentenced for an attack on Broadmoor nurses with an accomplice. The pair used mugs and snapped DVDs as weapons after a change to rules on group Muslim prayers. One of the victims was Muslim.

Last year Kazi Islam, 19, was sentenced to eight years after being convicted of trying to pressure an autistic man into building a pipe bomb. Islam said he was inspired by Alim’s case.

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Wikinews interviews Darcy Richardson, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama

Friday, November 25, 2011

U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Darcy Richardson of Florida took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Richardson, 55, is a political activist that helped form the New Democrats in 1989 and founded the progressive Battleground Blog earlier this year. He is also a political historian, and has authored six books covering third parties and presidential elections, including A Nation Divided: The 1968 Presidential Campaign (2002). His current work, The Spirit of ’76: Eugene McCarthy’s Struggle for Open Politics, chronicles the late Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy’s 1976 presidential campaign for which he volunteered. Richardson admires McCarthy, and served as manager for his 1988 presidential run. Recently, Richardson advised Brian Moore’s Socialist Party USA presidential campaign in 2008.

In addition, Richardson himself has sought political office, albeit unsuccessfully. In 1980, he ran for Pennsylvania Auditor General, and in 1988, vied for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats as a member of the Consumer Party. Last year, he ran for Lieutenant Governor of Florida as the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari.

Richardson has criticized President Barack Obama’s policies for being too similar to those of former President George W. Bush. He hoped to convince several prominent progressives to challenge Obama in the Democratic primaries, but none were available to do so. Last month, Richardson decided to begin a campaign himself and announced through his Battleground Blog that he would challenge Obama in the Democratic Party primaries as a progressive candidate. So far, he has qualified for the New Hampshire primary in January and the Missouri primary in February. In an interview with the Independent Political Report, Richardson proclaimed his campaign slogan as “no fourth term for George W. Bush.”

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 Policy
  • 3 Campaign
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 Sources
  • 6 External links

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