CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Jerome Dondo running in Brandon—Souris

Saturday, September 27, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. Christian Heritage Party candidate Jerome Dondo, CGA is standing for election in the riding of Brandon—Souris.

Self-employed since 2000, Dondo works as a finance consultant with First Nation reserves, and provides accounting services to small business clients. From 1993-1998, he worked in the accounts department of Transport Canada. He volunteered as a pastor for Pentecostal Faith Temple in Cat Lake, Ontario, and is currently on the Parent’s Advisory Committee of Ecole Gilbert Rosset, St-Claude, Manitoba.

Wikinews contacted Jerome, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

Merv Tweed is the Conservative Party incumbent in the riding. Along with Dondo, challengers include M.J. Willard (Liberal), John Bouché (NDP), Dave Barnes (Green), and Lisa Gallagher (Communist).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

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Canada’s Scarborough-Agincourt (Ward 39) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Scarborough-Agincourt (Ward 39). Two candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Wayne Cook, Mike Del Grande (incumbent), Samuel Kung, Lushan Lu, Sunshine Smith, and John Wong.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

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Gunman massacres at least 12 at New York immigration center

Friday, April 3, 2009

A gunman attacked a downtown Binghamton, New York-based immigration services center today, killing up to 13 people before killing himself.

New York Governor David Paterson at a news conference indicated that 12 or 13 people were killed at the American Civic Association. It is unclear whether or not the attacker was included in the number of the deceased.

An anonymous law enforcement official indicated the presumed gunman’s body was found in an office of the immigration services center building. The attacker blocked the rear building door with his car and entered through the front door. He then opened fire.

The gunman held over 40 hostages, some in a closet and the rest in the boiler room. Police and EMS started arriving at 10:30 A.M (EDT). SWAT sharpshooters and the Endicott police bomb squad were called to the scene. Nearby residencies and businesses were evacuated, while a nursing home and the high school were placed on lockdown. FBI hostage negotiators and evidence response team were being sent to the scene. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were headed to Binghamton. About noon, the shooter released ten hostages, then another ten out the back 40 minutes later. At 2:40 p.m., the local police said the standoff had ended and a SWAT team was checking the building for anyone remaining.

In Johnson City, Wilson Medical Center staff are treating three to five gunshot wounds, while Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton is treating a single such case. Both hospitals called in additional staff and cancelled all elective surgeries.

A national law enforcement source identified the shooter as 42-year-old Jiverly Voong. The police asked Broome Community College Assistant Professor Tuong Hung Nguyen, a fluent Vietnamese speaker, to translate for discussions between police and Voong.

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Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

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Two Palestinians reportedly shot dead by Israeli troops

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Palestinian medical officials have said that two Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip were killed by gunfire from Israel on Saturday, according to security sources and Palestinian officials.

According to witness reports, the men were collecting scrap metal when they were killed near the border; Israeli officials, however, said that the men were trying to shoot rockets into Israel. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that the army had nothing to do with the shooting.

The head of Gaza’s emergency and ambulance services, Mo’aweya Hassanein, said to media that ambulances were dispatched to the area, but were still waiting for permission from Israeli authorities to reach the scene.

On Sunday, the IDF said in a statement that an Israeli Air Force craft attacked a terror cell preparing to fire projectiles from the southern Gaza Strip into Israel on Sunday evening.

Palestinian medics and the IDF say Sunday’s air strike killed three members of the Islamic Jihad group in central Gaza.

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Start A New Lease On Life With Inpatient Drug Rehabilitation

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It can be devastating to be addicted to drugs or alcohol, the addiction can lead to various problems in the user’s life. From health issues to problems with relationships, alcohol and drugs can destroy the life of the person using and those that care about them. If you or someone you love suffer from an addiction and need help breaking their habit, an inpatient drug rehab in Utah can help them overcome their dependency problem. A skilled team of professionals can provide the care that you or a loved one need to regain control of their life.

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*Inpatient care makes it difficult for a patient to receive drugs or alcohol while they are being treated. This will give the person a better chance of overcoming their addiction.*Patients have round the clock support and care of the medical team.*While trying to beat their addiction the person can suffer from withdrawals that can leave them violently ill. Staff will have ways to help them through the withdrawals or even provide them with medication to help ease the symptoms.*They will have a balanced diet while in the facility which is vital in helping them to heal their body.*They can find the support of other people who are overcoming their own addiction.

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Each case is different when someone is fighting a drug or alcohol addiction requiring specialized treatment tailored to the patient’s specific needs. The staff at Alpine Recovery Lodge understands that each patient requires their own unique treatment to help them recover. They work with their clients and get to the root of their addiction before determining which method would best suit them. From outpatient to inpatient treatment, they offer their clients various programs to help them begin living a better life.

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Saturn’s moon Enceladus may host “internal life”

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Scientists at NASA say that new satellite images of Saturn‘s moon Enceladus taken in 2005, has shown that the moon has begun to spew geysers which contain liquid water, and that the internal heat produced by the moon’s core may be able to host life below the icy surface, but scientists also stress that life has not yet been found on the moon.

Scientists say that the heat source producing the geysers is “organic” and that the material used to spew them is caused by the decaying of radioactive material from inside the moon.

“Deep inside Enceladus, our model indicates we’ve got an organic brew, a heat source and liquid water, all key ingredients for life. And while no one is claiming that we have found life by any means, we probably have evidence for a place that might be hospitable to life,” said Dennis Matson, a scientist for the Cassini project.

In a new model created by NASA scientists, data shows that Enceladus might have been created by aluminum and iron isotopes which have begun to decay causing large amounts of heat to build up in the moon and over billions of years later, the icy mass has began to melt near the moon’s core, causing the water to spew into outer space.

“Enceladus is a very small body, and it’s made almost entirely of ice and rock. The puzzle is how the moon developed a warm core. The only way to achieve such high temperatures at Enceladus is through the very rapid decay of some radioactive species,” said Dr. Julie Castillo, the lead scientist developing the new model at the Jet Propulsion laboratory or JPL.

“The decomposition of those isotopes – over a period of about 7 million years – would produce enormous amounts of heat. This would result in the consolidation of rocky material at the core surrounded by a shell of ice. According to the theory, the remaining, more slowly decaying radioactivity in the core could continue to warm and melt the moon’s interior for billions of years, along with tidal forces from Saturn’s gravitational tug,” said a statement on NASA”s website.

Data from Cassini’s ion and neutral mass spectrometer further shows that the natural building blocks of life are also present within Enceladus. The results show that carbon dioxide, acetylene, methane, propane and nitrogen, the basic building blocks for life, are all present within the moon.

“The team concludes that so far, all the findings and the hot start model indicate that a warm, organic-rich mixture was produced below the surface of Enceladus and might still be present today, making the moon a promising kitchen for the cooking of primordial soup,” added the statement.

Cassini will make a flyby on Enceladus in march of 2008. The mission will “measure the gas emanating from the plume,” ended the statement.

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Pump leak and fire shuts down nuclear reactor in France

Sunday, April 8, 2012

According to press releases from the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), Unit 2 of the Penly Nuclear Power Plant in France shut down Thursday afternoon after operators were alerted to “small quantities of burning oil.” The plant is operated by Électricité de France (EDF). Emergency crews were dispatched to the 1,330-megawatt French reactor following an alarm triggered there at 11:20 UTC Thursday. According to EDF, there were “no consequences for the environment” and no one was injured.

The ASN said in a statement the anomaly had been provisionally placed at level 1 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, which ranks occurrences at nuclear power plants on a scale ranging from 1 to 7, with 7 representing an event with lasting consequences for health and the environment such as the Fukushima Daiichi disaster following a Tsunami in Japan in March 2011.

The alarm was triggered after two fires broke out in the reactor building. The fires are reported to have been caused by leaks in one of the cooling pumps that are part of the reactor’s cooling system. The source of the fire was determined to be one or more pools of oil which had leaked from one of a pump’s joints, catching fire. They were quickly suppressed and the reactor remains shut down due to damage to the cooling pump.

After the fires were put out, radioactive water was then discovered to be leaking from the pump into the reactor’s drainage bin.The ASN released a statement at 05:00 UTC saying they had received “confirmation by EDF that the leak in the primary pump n°1 of the reactor n°2 at the Penly NPP had stopped.” ASN has undertaken an investigation into the causes of the incident which will later be published on their website. The reactor will remain shut down until the damage is repaired and the cause of the incident is known.

The Penly nuclear site, located on the coast to the northwest of Paris, is home to two Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) units and is cooled using water from the English Channel. PWRs are a common variety of nuclear reactors named for their use of highly pressurized water in their primary cooling systems. All of the 58 nuclear power plants which supply France with over 75% of its energy, are of this type.

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UK shopping centre Afflecks Palace secures its future

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Afflecks Palace, the “iconic, alternative shopping centre” in the Northern Quarter of Manchester in England, United Kingdom, was saved from closure this week after long-running rumours that the market may have to “kick out its traders” due to a dispute between the management of the Afflecks Palace brand and the leaseowner for the building, Bruntwood.

Rumours suggesting that Bruntwood were looking to redevelop the building started early in 2007, when it became apparent that the property developer was not actively seeking to renew the twenty-five year lease that the management of Afflecks Palace had with them concerning the building. These initial fears were added to by news that Bruntwood was looking to redevelop other buildings it owned in the Northern Quarter area, specifically the parking complex opposite Afflecks, with an eye towards taking advantage of the “property boom” in Manchester at the time. There were also fears that if Afflecks did remain open, “rents would rise”.

These initial fears were eventually propagated closer to the end of the year when a letter from the management of Afflecks Palace told individual stall holders that “… management have received no formal response from Bruntwood to a tenancy request notice served in October [2007]”, going on to add that “We can only assume therefore that they do not intend to offer us a new lease”.

Following the release of this letter, public support for Afflecks Palace was quickly made obvious when a 5,000 signature petition was submitted demanding the centre remain open for business. This seemed to prompt talks between Bruntwood and the Afflecks Palace management and, eventually, lead to this week’s news that the market was – indeed – to remain open. The result of the talks was that Bruntwood “bought out” the Afflecks Palace brand.

Bruntwood will manage Afflecks while they look for a new owner who is skilled in running market style businesses

A joint statement between the management of Afflecks Palace and Bruntwood said: “After 26 years of trading, Afflecks’ management has sold their company to Bruntwood in an agreement that protects the future of Afflecks. Bruntwood will manage Afflecks while they look for a new owner who is skilled in running market style businesses and can bring a similar level of enthusiasm and dedication that the existing management has.”

A spokesperson speaking on behalf of Bruntwood also added that: “Never in our 30 year history have we bought one of our customer’s businesses, but Afflecks is a Manchester icon that we wanted to protect. We aren’t however expert in managing markets, so will look for a suitable long term owner. In the meantime, the most important aspect is that we have arrived at a solution with Afflecks management that protects an independent retail environment and provides the existing stallholders with security.”

Traders from the market celebrated the news by holding a party yesterday.

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US: Evidentiary documents released in Golden State Killer case

Friday, June 1, 2018

On Friday, the Sacramento, California County Superior Court in the United States, with Judge Michael Sweet presiding, publicly released approximately 123 heavily redacted pages from an 800 page document related to the trial of 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo, in the Golden State Killer (GSK) case. The high-profile case prompted the defense to motion delaying the release on the grounds of jury tainting.

From 1974 to 1986, there were 12 murders, 45 rapes, and 120 burglaries ascribed to the GSK. Many of these crimes were initially attributed to separate suspects, and California investigators coined such nicknames as “East Area Rapist,” “Original Night-stalker,” “Visalli Ransacker,” and “Diamond Knot Killer.” All these identities were later determined to be the GSK. DeAngelo is currently being charged with first degree murder with special circumstances, and is being further investigated for the 1975 first degree murder of Claude Snelling.

GSK’s alleged victims include 18-year-old Janelle Lisa Cruz on May 4, 1986; 35-year-old Cheri Domingo on July 27, 1981; 27-year-old Greg Sanchez on July 27, 1981; 24-year-old Keith Harrington on August 21, 1975; 27-year-old Patti Harrington on August 21, 1975; 21-year-old Brian Maggiore on February 2, 1978; 20-year-old Katie Maggiore on February 2, 1978; 44-year-old Dr. Robert Offerman on December 30, 1979; 35-year-old Debra Manning on December 30, 1979; 35-year-old Lyman Smith on March 13, 1980; 33-year-old Charlene Smith on March 13, 1980; 45-year-old Claude Snelling on September 11, 1975; and 28-year-old Manuela Witthuhn on February 5, 1981.

Law enforcement used DNA and other evidence to link the twelve known murders attributed to the GSK to suspect DeAngelo. Any DNA from rape kits and burglaries that predates 1970 is only admissible in court for murder cases because of California’s statute of limitations. The DNA evidence allegedly implicating DeAngelo was not found through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, which catalogs 20 sections of DNA from local, state, federal, and some international agencies making a unique profile for 16 million individuals, but CODIS did rule out other GSK suspects, like Paul “Cornfed” Schneider and Joe Alsip.

Instead, law enforcement used a nuance investigative technique, comparing GSK’s DNA profile against the open-sourced GEDmatch’s genealogical DNA database. The GEDmatch’s database flagged a GSK blood relative and, with other evidence, DeAngelo was suspected of being involved with GSK’s crimes. The genealogical website methodology is not unique to the GSK case. GEDmatch’s database was also used to identify 51-year-old William Earl Talbott II in the 1987 rape and homicide of Jay Cook (20) and Tanya Van Cuylenborg (18) in Seattle, Washington.

The newly released documents reveal DeAngelo’s DNA was not collected via a warrant but rather from the door handle of his personal vehicle as he was shopping in a local Hobby Lobby on April 18. A secondary sample was collected from a tissue found in the garbage on April 23. The door handle and tissue DNA were compared to a semen sample from a known GSK murder that had been confirmed using the CODIS’s 20 section DNA profile standard. On April 24, DeAngelo was arrested for the twelve GSK murders. A warrant for DeAngelo’s Citrus Heights, California residence disclosed dozens of wedding rings, photographs, driver’s licenses, and other objects allegedly taken from victims as trophies.

Public defender David Lynch, tasked with defending DeAngelo, motioned for the 800 documents to be sealed until trial to prevent the jury from becoming tainted. Lynch has also questioned the validity of certain search warrants for undisclosed reasons. Prosecutors from Sacramento, Ventura, Orange, and Santa Barbara counties have not determined the best way to prosecute DeAngelo considering the complexity, age, and multiple jurisdictions of the case.

DeAngelo was, until 1979, a police officer in small California towns. After allegedly stealing a hammer and dog repellent, DeAngelo was subsequently fired from the Auburn, California police force. He later became a truck mechanic near Sacramento.

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