Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

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Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

Contents

  • 1 History of the WWW
  • 2 Future of the WWW
  • 3 Final question
  • 4 External links

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Comedian Stephen Colbert wins NASA space station name contest

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

American comedian Stephen Colbert has won a NASA contest poll to determine the name for a new wing on the International Space Station.

After using his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report to call on fans to vote in the contest, the write-in name “Colbert” topped the poll with 230,539 votes.

NASA officials said they ultimately reserve the right to choose an appropriate name, but have said top vote-getters will receive “the most consideration”. The final decision will be made in April.

Almost 1.2 million total votes were cast in the contest, which ended Friday. “Colbert” received more than 40,000 more voters than the second place runner up, “Serenity”, which was one of the choices NASA put forward.

Colbert has mocked the NASA suggestion on The Colbert Report, saying, “Come on, Serenity? That’s not a space module, that’s a Glade plug-in.”

The contest rules say NASA has the right to choose a name “in accordance with the best interests of the agency.” The rules also say, “Such name may not necessarily be one which is on the list of voted-on candidate names.”

Other modules on the space station are named Unity, Harmony and Destiny.

NASA insiders have told Space.com if they choose not to name the module after the comedian, they may consider naming the station’s new $19 million toilet “Colbert” instead.

Colbert, who plays a narcissistic political pundit on his satirical show, has called on his fans (known as “The Colbert Nation”) to help have other things named after him in the past.

Among his other namesakes are Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle, the mascot of the Saginaw Spirit junior ice hockey team in Michigan; Stephen Jr., a bald eagle born at the San Francisco Zoo; Aptostichus stephencolberti, a species of trapdoor spider; Air Colbert, a Virgin America airplane; and AmeriCone Dream, a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor.

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England’s elderly face human rights breaches in home care system

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A report published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) finds that, in many cases, England’s home care system breaches the human rights of the elderly it is supposed to serve. The Close to home: older people and human rights in home care report is the result of a twelve-month investigation into care generally provided by local authorities.

Approximately half of those receiving home care, plus friends and family, providing evidence to the inquiry were satisfied with the quality of care provided. However, the report stresses that there are “systemic problems” arising from “a failure to apply a human rights approach to home care provision”. The report asserts that it is generally not the fault of individuals providing care, but serious problems exist as local authorities seem unaware of their obligations under the Human Rights Act and fail to commission, procure, and monitor care accordingly.

The report says articles two, three and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights are frequently being breached. These, respectively, cover an individual’s right to life, protection from inhumane and degrading treatment, and respect for dignity and personal independence. Criticisms include that care is not provided in a common-sense manner, and funding of care for the elderly is at lower levels than for younger people with similar problems and needs.

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The EHRC’s investigation highlights a range of recurring complaints and attempts to identify the underlying causes; cost is repeatedly mentioned, with use of the private-sector leading to some local authorities offering a “one size fits all” service leaving many elderly feeling they are “a task to be undertaken” and have “little or no choice” as to help received, or when care workers visit. A failure to invest in care workers is noted, with significant responsibility and the wide range of skills required being rewarded with low pay and status; this, the report states, adversely impacts staff retention and, a high turnover of care workers can put the security of care recipients at-risk.

Within the wider investigation, a commissioned independent social report by The Arndale Centre conducted in-depth interviews with a cross-section of 40 elderly individuals receiving home care. As-stressed in the report, those selected were not on the basis of good, or bad, experiences with their – mainly local authority-provided – care. It highlights a widespread feeling amongst those interviewed that they are treated “like a number”, and that aspects of the care provided lead to, or fail to resolve, feelings of social isolation.

The Manchester-based Arndale Centre report concludes that, “[t]he general picture is of a wider home care system in which older people are noteffectively involved: which they do not understand, and which does not often make the extra effort required to involve them in ways tailored to their state of health and other needs”.

nobody to talk [to] face to face. Nobody will knock on that door,[…] a life of isolation.

A recurring theme in the responses of those interviewed is the social isolation that their home care is not adequately addressing. One male interviewee in his seventies who previously used a scooter to get about said in his interview, “I haven’t been out of the house now for about four weeks. I daren’t. The last time I went out on the scooter I hit the kerb and it frightened the living daylights out of me.” Another, an 85-year-old woman who lives alone, expressed sadness at her inability to do normal things, “I would love to go to town to do some shopping. I haven’t been to town for about two years… Wander round the town and have a cup of tea… I’d love that.”

The social isolation many elderly experience was summed up neatly by another woman in her eighties in her interview: “When you go now, I will maybe not talk to anybody till tomorrow; maybe the whole of tomorrow nobody to talk [to]… face to face. Nobody will knock on that door, that is it, a life of isolation.”

The EHRC, having commissioned this report in the face of funding changes and reform of the care system, intends to press for legislative changes to ensure those receiving care at home are given the same protections under the Human Rights Act as those in residential care. In the conclusions of their report they offer to work with, and support, local authorities in understanding and delivering care that respects peoples’ rights and dignity; and, recommend better guidance as to the choices available to the elderly, and their families, be made available.

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Australian treasurer attacks opposition leader’s tax question error

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

File:AUS$20 John Flynn.jpg

The ability of Australian opposition leader, Kevin Rudd to run the country’s economy has been questioned by the Government after he made an error responding to a question on Australia’s current tax system today. Speaking in Queanbeyan, New South Wales earlier today, Mr Rudd was asked if he could name the current tax rates and the thresholds at which they kick in.

Mr Rudd said that he thought the top tax rate started at AUD$175,000. In fact, Australia’s top taxation rate begins at $150,000. “Well, as of July 1, if you went through the four thresholds, I think the high threshold kicks in I think at $175,000, then I think it cascades down the spectrum,” Mr Rudd told reporters.

Australian treasurer Peter Costello, who introduced the tax threshold changes, has seized on the opposition leader’s uncertainty, claiming that “he has never cared about economic policy, he has no interest in it,” he said.

Treasurer Costello claimed: “He was exposed as a fraud on productivity and we don’t hear him talking about productivity very much anymore.

“Now he has been exposed as being naked when it comes to understanding the tax system.”

Mr Costello demanded that the opposition release their taxation policy. “Since the Labor Party demands an election to be called on a daily basis, you would think they might have the decency of releasing a policy so that people can know what it is,” said Costello.

A Federal election is expected in Australia in the next three months and the Coalition Government is trailing the Opposition by ten percentage points on a two-party preferred basis.

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New Internet addresses tested on World IPv6 Day

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Online organisations around the world are today testing Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) — a new system of Internet addresses hoped to resolve the issue of the present system being at capacity. World IPv6 Day is checking everything works as planned.

The current IPv4 standard was set up in the 1980s; it gives everything on the Internet a twelve-digit address and allows for 4.3 billion combinations. With these exhausted, IPv6 is designed to increase the limit 340 undecillion — that’s 340 trillion trillion trillion.

Major websites including services run by Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! are taking part in the test, switching their content to use the new system. Facebook predicts 99.97% of users to be unaffected and Google anticipates 99.5% will not encounter problems. The remainder may encounter slow page loading.

Fiji and Australia are among the first countries to have business-hours web traffic during the test. Internet Society of Australia President Tony Hill claims more than 100 global companies are involved.

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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Saving For Retirement A Process For Change}

Saving for Retirement a Process for Change

by

Former Retiree

In my last article, you might recall that I mentioned a process that I used to help me turn my life toward wealth. Before I go into that process, however, I think it necessary to issue a caution. Most of us have been conditioned, almost from birth, into the belief that we should aspire to get a good education, to get a good job, with a good company as the road to the American Dream. That conditioning is so insidious and so complete that only 3 to 5 percent of the population either break free of it or are fortunate enough to be born into an environment where a different reality is taught.

What you do or dont do with your life is totally up to you. I know that many of us are so steeped in the societal conditioning that well never break free of it to the point where we will make some different choices. Most of us dont even know that we are conditioned. We rarely question what weve been taught by our families, friends, neighbors, teachers, ministers, and other authority figures. We dont know that if we continually repeat something to ourselves or if it is continually repeated to us by someone else, it eventually becomes learned and also becomes our reality. We just learn and then we do what weve learned for the most part. Once we accept learned information or behavior as our reality, it becomes a real challenge to change. That does not mean that we cannot change. It simply means that our lives are kind of placed on automatic pilot and we generally repeat the same kinds of experiences day after day with little variation. The will to change is pushed so far into the background that we seldom even think of attempting to override our automatic pilot.

Youve probably noticed that my previous articles dont include much dogma, nor do they have strong, evangelical positions, with the exception of my position that paycheck-to-paycheck employees ARE NOT PAID WHAT THEY ARE WORTH . There are two points, however, about which I feel very strongly and they are non-negotiable. To change YOU MUST HAVE (find or develop) A PROCESS, and YOU MUST MAKE A COMMITMENT. Living the 180 degree life is no joke! Were talking about your financial future. It is very serious, but at the same time you should also find ways to make it FUN.

Lets say that you have indeed concluded that you desire more of what you want from life, and youre ready to commit to a process for facilitating that change. You are truly going to begin living the 180 degree life; a life thats completely opposite the present one. Where do you start? What process do you use?

Step one in the process for change that I recommend is to make some uninterrupted time for your self. If you do this process properly, its going to take several sessions. Use as many sessions as you feel are necessary. DO NOT RUSH. Take out a sheet of paper, preferably lined. Draw a line down the middle of the page. On the left side of the page list ALL beliefs, situations, habits and conditions that you can think of that you do not want in your life because they do not serve you well. Here are a couple of mine: People are out to screw me financially. Rich people are selfish. My significant other is not a caring person. Ill never get ahead. Use as many sheets as necessary but keep the list to the left side of the vertical line. You might want to use headings for your list like Personal Relationships, Money, People, Skills, Abilities, etc. That should keep you busy until the next article.

Remember, you do not have to live on less in retirement. No matter where you are right now financially, you can build and enjoy a Million Dollar lifestyle retirement. Peace.

Harold L Lowe retired at age 62 when his six-figure income position was eliminated. He shockingly experienced a 50% reduction in his (combined pension and Social Security) income. Hes since learned that income reduction is faced by most paycheck-to-paycheck employees. Claim your copy of his Free, eye-opening Report Financial Planning for Retirement is not Enough! at http://www.haroldllowe.com.

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Saving for Retirement a Process for Change}

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Wikinews interviews Spain’s most decorated Paralympian, Teresa Perales

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Zaragoza, Spain — On Thursday, Wikinews traveled to Zaragoza, Spain to interview the nation’s most decorated Paralympian and IPC Athlete Council representative Teresa Perales. A wide range of topics about the Paralympics and sport in Spain were discussed including the evolution of Paralympic sport, disability sport classification, funding support across all levels of elite sport including the Paralympics and Olympics, the role of sportspeople in politics, sponsorship issues, and issues of gender in Spanish sport.

Contents

  • 1 Evolution of the Paralympics
  • 2 Sponsorship
  • 3 Classification
  • 4 Mixing sport and politics
  • 5 Funding Spanish sport
  • 6 Being an elite female athlete
  • 7 Related news
  • 8 Sources

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Interview with gay marriage movement founder Evan Wolfson

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Evan Wolfson, the founder of the modern gay marriage movement, tells the waiter he would like an iced decaf and “the usual.” Wolfson, one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People in the World, is a man who unflinchingly knows what he wants and stays his course, whether it be in his choice of restaurant or in his choice of battle. And others always know when they see Evan coming what it is that he wants.

Since his time at Harvard Law School when he wrote a paper on the topic, what Wolfson wants is the right for gay people to marry. The issue gained national prominence in 1993 when the Hawaii Supreme Court held in Baehr v. Lewin that the government had to show a reason for the denial of the freedom to marry, not just deny marriage licenses to the plaintiff gay couples. Wolfson was co-counsel in the historic 1996 Hawaii trial in which he argued that the government does not have a sufficient reason for excluding same-sex couples from marriage. In 1999, Wolfson contributed to Baker v. Vermont, the case that led to the creation of civil unions; advised the lead attorneys in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the case that led to same-sex marriage in Massachusetts; and since 2003, when he founded the primary umbrella organization coordinating the efforts to win marriage for gay people, Freedom to Marry, Wolfson has played a role in every marriage equality case in the United States. He is the movement’s founder and leader, and his focus remains square on winning that right. “For years,” said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, “many of us were saying to him, ‘We’re not ready. The country’s not ready. And, by the way, you’re crazy.'”

When I make a statement to him about his devoting his life to gay marriage, he corrects me: “I’ve played a part in cases that span the entire spectrum of eliminating gay people’s exclusions and limitations on who gay people are, and I’ve also written on immigration and economic justice, and I have worked on cases involving race discrimination in jury selection and women’s inequality. I don’t think one has to pick one of these things; they work together.”

Indeed, he has. Wolfson was lead counsel before the Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the case arguing against the expulsion of gay scoutmasters. As an intrepid young assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, Wolfson worked on People v. Liberta to end the exemption that allowed women to be raped by their husbands legally, a right in New York State as early as 1984. And he helped end the practice of choosing jurors based upon their race.

Wolfson’s entire career has been at the center of the most explosive legal and cultural issues of the last 30 years in the United States, and his influence has been profound. David Shankbone sat down with him to discuss some of the recent decisions affecting gay marriage, gender in marriage and reactions in the gay community to his fight for their rights.

Contents

  • 1 Wolfson and gay marriage
  • 2 The gay community and marriage
  • 3 The Iowa and Maryland decisions
  • 4 Freedom to Marry’s role
  • 5 Domestic partnerships and civil unions
  • 6 Transgender people and marriage
  • 7 Sources
  • 8 External links

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