Wikinews interviews meteorological experts on Cyclone Phalin
Wikinews interviews meteorological experts on Cyclone Phalin

Monday, October 14, 2013

Half-a-million people have fled their homes in and around the Indian state of Orissa after Cyclone Phailin made landfall.

Wikinews interviewed specialists in meteorology about the devastation the cyclone has caused.

Report: British serial killer murdered 250
Report: British serial killer murdered 250

Thursday, January 27, 2005 The Sixth Report of the Harold Shipman Inquiry, released today, concludes that British family doctor, Shipman, killed about 250 during his career. Shipman was arrested for the murder of Kathleen Grundy in 1998, and concerns arose around this time about the excess number of deaths among his patients.

Shipman was found guilty in 2000 of 15 counts of murder and one of forgery of a will, and jailed for life. The on-going Inquiry, chaired by Dame Janet Smith DBE, began soon after to investigate his past, as well as other suspicious deaths linked to the doctor.

According to the Sixth Report of the Inquiry, it is now thought that he may have begun killing at the very start of his career, possibly through recklessly prescribing drugs, in 1971. [1] It is thought he later developed a deliberate intention to kill, mainly targeting the elderly. His first murder may have been as early as in March 1971, and the Inquiry concluded he continued to kill until 1998, the year of his arrest.

Shipman was found dead, hung with his bedsheets in Wakefield Prison on 13 January last year, raising questions about what measures could have prevented this apparent suicide and another investigation, this time by Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Stephen Shaw.

Promoting Your Brand With The Right Food Packaging

Submitted by: Parikh Packaging

When it comes to food packaging, style can be everything. Not only do you want it to be practical, but it also has to stand out from the crowd and represent your brand. Therefore ensuring that you invest in the proper packaging from the outset can be vital.

The way that a food or beverage is presented says a lot about what is inside. It can help to generate a clear brand identity and allows consumers to identify with it. Innovation in style or usability can make a significant difference on sales and help spread packaging material manufacturer amongst those all-important consumers.

Of course some elaboration will be unnecessary. It can cost a lot more than a straightforward container and might have no discernable impact on public perception. Therefore being able to balance pragmatism with your marketing ambitions can be hugely important.

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Speaking of pragmatism, you should also be thinking of your buyers when it comes to designing the food packaging. Leaving aesthetics to one side, you need to think of their needs first and foremost. The product should be accessible and whatever it is packaged in should not hinder usage. Equally, it should be able to assist in longevity, ensuring that your products taste their best when they come to be eaten.

There’s a lot to juggle when it comes to finding the perfect flexible packaging materials, but there is plenty to gain from getting it right. You don’t want your product to be just one of many sat on a shelf, it should be immediately recognizable by regular buyers and catch the attention of new ones too. If it ends up blending in with the background, you could have missed a vital opportunity.

After all, you have to remember that many buyers will never have tasted your product. Therefore your food packaging has to be able to effectively communicate what is contained inside and promote it. This isn’t necessarily an easy task, but it is what makes the labels and vessels so vital to the whole marketing process of food and drink products.

Whilst you perhaps don’t want shoppers salivating in the aisles, you do need to get the message across. Whilst simplicity will work for some products, for example fruit juices or water, sometimes you have to elaborate a little and have your packaging really encourage the sale.

But as I’ve already said, it isn’t necessarily just about the sale itself (although of course that is a useful bi-product), it is about developing a clear brand awareness. You want consumers to identify with you and immediately spot a product of yours. So developing food packaging that is distinctive and carries the brand awareness forward is a vital part of your long-term marketing and appeal.

So whilst of course you might be looking to dabble in other forms of marketing, ultimately the food packaging will be the final hurdle. It plays a variety of important roles, not least keeping the products inside safe and edible. However if you really want your brand to be in the public consciousness and ensure that all products are recognizable you need food packaging that can achieve this effect. Not always easy, but when it works, it really works.

Vincent Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For standout food packaging, he recommends RPC Group, one of the UK’s leading plastic packaging suppliers.

About the Author: Parikh Packaging is a packaging material manufacturer that provides flexible packaging materials, food packaging supplies, fmcg packaging, pharmaceutical packaging materials and other cheap packaging supplies. For more details visit:


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US Supreme Court allows ‘light’ cigarettes lawsuits
US Supreme Court allows ‘light’ cigarettes lawsuits

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The United States Supreme Court on Monday ruled that “tobacco companies that marketed ‘light’ and ‘low tar’ cigarettes may be sued for fraud.” The 5-to-4 judgment is expected to open the way for dozens of lawsuits claiming billions of dollars in damages.

In the certiorari ruling penned by Justice Stevens, the Court held that a class action brought under state law prohibiting deceptive advertising generally was not preempted by federal law regulating cigarette advertising. The lawsuit claims that tobacco makers who manufacture “light” and “low tar” cigarettes had deceived smokers into thinking the products are safer than regular cigarettes. Former United States Solicitor General Theodore Olson, now working with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, argued the case for the petitioners, Altria Group and Philip Morris USA.

Several smokers in recent decades switched to light cigarettes, with fervent faith they posed less of a danger to their health. But scientific or medical researches have shown this common-sense view is wrong. Although mechanical tests showed “light” cigarettes emitted less tar when burned, actual smokers inhale about the same amount of tar when they puff on a light cigarette, the studies found. The cigarette business faces more than 30 class-action lawsuits from smokers and ex-smokers who seek billions of dollars in damages and claim they were deceived by the marketing of light and low-tar cigarettes.

Respondents Stephanie Good and 2 others are Maine residents and for over 15 years smoked Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights cigarettes, which are manufactured by petitioners Altria Group and Philip Morris USA. They sought damages compensation for economic rather than medical harm, claiming they had overpaid for cigarettes based on fraudulent advertisements suggesting that light cigarettes were safer than regular ones. The Labeling Act requires tobacco companies to indicate rotating warnings on their packaging and advertising. “No requirement or prohibition ‘based on smoking and health’ shall be imposed under state law with respect to the advertising or promotion,” the law provides, and only if the labeling requirements on cigarettes are obeyed.

In the case, the Court applied the pertinent Federal laws, in question, Title 15 U.S.C. § 1334(b), the “Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act” and Me. Rev. Stat. Ann., Tit. 5, § 207 (Supp. 2008), the “Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act” (MUTPA). It held that “the Labeling Act neither expressly nor impliedly pre-empts respondents’ fraud claim.” The landmark decision allows the lawsuit to proceed on the merits upon remand to the trial court below. The ruling strikes a blow against a broad effort by U.S. corporations to limit their exposure to lawsuits filed under federal law.

The court also dismissed Philip Morris’s argument that the Federal Trade Commission‘s mid-1960s endorsement of machine testing of cigarette tar and nicotine levels “should relieve the company of liability for alleged fraud.” In November, the FTC officially dropped its endorsement of the Cambridge Filter Method, saying it is flawed because “the machine doesn’t take into account the way smokers adjust their behavior.”

The Supreme Court in a June ruling, said 8 to 1 that “a case filed in a state court alleging a defective catheter was pre-empted by a federal statue providing regulation of medical devices to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” The court also ruled in 1992 in ‘Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc.’ that “the phrase ‘based on smoking and health’ in the Labeling Act did not apply to pre-empt suits under state laws based on the ‘general duty’ not to make fraudulent statements.”

Justice Clarence Thomas said that “some kinds of fraud claims against cigarette makers may go forward, just not those concerning smoking and health. Thus, if cigarette manufacturers were to falsely advertise their products as ‘American-made’ or ‘the official cigarette of Major League Baseball,’ state-law claims arising from that wrongful behavior would not be pre-empted. Forbidding lawsuits based on health claims, would not mean consumers lack protection, as tobacco marketing is subject to regulatory oversight.”

Altria’s associate general counsel, Murray Garnick, in a statement, said “we continue to view these cases as manageable, and the company will assert many of the strong defenses used successfully in the past to defend against this very type of case.”

Australian man to be executed in Singapore
Australian man to be executed in Singapore

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Supporters of convicted Australian drug trafficker, Van Nguyen, gathered outside the State Library in Melbourne yesterday to display thousands of messages of opposition to his death sentence.

Callers to talkback radio in Melbourne were overwhelmingly against the death penalty of Nguyen, who immediately admitted his guilt and has cooperated with authorities since being caught smuggling heroin into Singapore. Many called for a boycott of Singaporean products.

25-year-old Nguyen was arrested at Changi Airport in 2002 for carrying heroin and sentenced to death in March. Nguyen claims he carried the 396 grams of heroin strapped to his body in an attempt to pay off his brother Khoa’s $30,000 legal debts.

The Singapore government have announced they will execute Nguyen at dawn on December 2nd. Singapore President S. R. Nathan rejected Nguyen’s clemency four weeks ago. The Melbourne salesman was sentenced to death under Singapore law which determines a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty of possessing 15 grams of heroin or more.

Nguyen’s mother was informed on Thursday by registered mail from the Singapore prisons service of the execution date. The letter stated that she should start making funeral arrangements. She will get to see her son in the three days leading up to the execution.

Despite repeated pleas for clemency from many thousands of supporters; religious groups; human rights organisations; the Pope; and the Australian Government – including Prime Minister, John Howard – Singapore officials have said Nguyen’s execution is irreversible.

Mr Howard had argued that Nguyen should be spared, citing mitigating circumstances in his case which pointed to the fact that he was not a serial drug trafficker but had merely been trying to pay off his brother’s debts.

The Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, says the Singaporean Government has shown no compassion whatsoever in its treatment of Van Nguyen and his family.

“What’s happening is brutal, is inappropriate. I, and the Victorian Government, vehemently oppose the death penalty in any circumstances”, he told ABC Radio. “This is a young kid who has assisted the police all the way… In any other country, he would get a discount in relation to the penalty. But because there is a mandatory death penalty for drug offences in Singapore, this young man may well be executed. It is just grossly inappropriate.”

“Singapore maintains that capital punishment is a criminal justice issue; it is the sovereign right of every country to decide whether or not to include capital punishment within its criminal justice system,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Singapore argues that there was no international consensus that capital punishment should be abolished. At the most recent meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, 66 countries dissociated themselves from a resolution calling for the abolition of capital punishment.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong affirmed Singapore’s position by saying that it has to “stand firm on drugs to protect its citizens from the scourge and to ensure the country does not become a conduit for the trafficking of illicit drugs.”

In reply to a letter appealing for clemency from his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said: “Mr Nguyen imported almost 400gm of pure heroin which would have supplied more than 26,000 doses to drug addicts.”

No one will be permitted to see Nguyen on the morning of his execution. His body will be released to his mother.

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Wikinews interviews India’s first female Paralympic medalist Deepa Malik
Wikinews interviews India’s first female Paralympic medalist Deepa Malik

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wikinews on Sunday interviewed Deepa Malik, India’s first female Paralympic medalist, who won the silver medal in the Women’s Shot Put F53 event finals, at the 2016 Summer Paralympics being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Malik lost the gold medal to Bahrain’s Fatema Nedham, who had the best throw 4.76 metres, setting a new regional record in paralympic women’s shot put.

Arriving in Rio, Malik had initial trouble due to the airline losing her luggage; it didn’t all arrive until three days later: clothes, opening ceremony outfit and equipment including competition belts.

In early August there was a possibly that Malik might lose her spot on the Indian team going to Rio, with fellow female para athlete Karam Jyoti challenging Malik’s selection and the Sport’s Authority of Indian’s selection process at the High Court of Delhi. The high court ruled against the plaintiff.

Both of these events occurred against the wider backdrop of the Paralympic Committee of India being suspended by the International Paralympic Committee. The Sports Authority of India took final authority over the Paralympic Committee of India for sending a team to Rio, with agreement from the International Paralympic Committee; this arrangement allowed India to compete under their own flag at the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

((Wikinews)) Congratulations on your result.

Deepa Malik: Thank you so much.

((WN)) Even though you are currently waiting in terms of the end result of the protest.

DM: Absolutely, but I’m happy with my performance, I’m happy that I could improve and I could prove myself, there were a lot of questions back home on my selection and on my hard work. My single-minded focus that I had put into this journey of being a Paralympian. Well, I am just so anxious about the results.

((WN)) So how much did the court case and KLM losing your luggage impact on your preparations and your result today?

DM: Yes, but I’m happy that my husband was my coach here, and, so, I had huge moral support in terms of keeping my mind and everything in peace. Most of the equipment was available in the gym, we had to alter the training a bit like the throw days couldn’t happen, so we instead exercised. No, I think that is what sports teaches you, you can’t live on excuses, I never lived on excuses.

((WN)) You work around things.

DM: Yes, that’s what we do, that’s what a sportsman is suppose to do, rise again, and then fall and rise, and run, and I did exactly that.

((WN)) What message should other Indian women take away from your participation and result in Rio?

DM: This is going to be the first female medal that India would have ever won in Paralympics and as it is I’m working aggressively towards transforming this entire concept of empowerment for the women, especially the women in disabilities in my country. So I’m really happy that this medal give my voice more value, more strength, and I’ll be able to impact even more, though on the ninth of September the Prime Minister’s jury has awarded me with the award of Women Transforming India, I’m so happy that within three days of getting that award, I have added another feather to it and proved that yes this journey of ability beyond disability. And not just disability, this is a universal message that if women put their minds to their dreams they can balance it; age, gender, disability, is all a state of mind. If you put your passion and hard work, you can get it, and in the Indian scenario were they say infrastructure is a challenge, women participation that are taboo, religiously and psychologically, disabilities taken as a curse, dependability[?] increases because of lack of infrastructure, well, time to get rid of the excuses. We have to start erasing the excuses and believe your own self and that’s the message I’m carrying with all the activities that I do whether it is car rallying, motorbiking or swimming across a river, every record or every unique activity that I’ve undertaken and just below paralysis has been aimed at changing the stereotypical image of a women and also a women in disability. ?

((WN)) Will you and your daughter both be trying to represent India at the 2020 Games in Tokyo?

DM: I’m very sure about myself, but my daughter, though, she’s a Paralympian, yes, which again was considered a huge taboo in my society that oh my god both the mother and the daughter both have a physical disability, what is going to happen to these two, but we did good and she is working as a youth council representative in the Commonwealth countries, for the Paralympics specially, and her work though her foundation called Wheeling Happiness has earned her the young leader award from the Queen of England, so I guess her focus is now shifting to more on community service and empowering others and not just herself. And she is leaving on first of October to Loughborough to do her PhD doctorate programme in disability sports psychology, I’m very sure Loughborough is going to give her a huge amount of sports [inaudible] but how much time she going to decide to devote to sports and studies is her decision entirely. That’s her dream, her journey. 

((WN)) How helpful was the Sports Authority of India in preparing and supporting your Rio ambitions??

DM: I think 100 per cent, because the biggest challenge we have back home is a customised training, or the infrastructure for that matter, so we were given the ability and the funds to train the way we wanted to train, and the funds were huge which were given to us, out accommodation, food, diet, physical therapist, psychologist, trainer, gym, everything was paid for, and customised, you want it and they give it. So I guess this was easy financially this time, because every expenses was taken care of, my husband could also take a sabbatical from his job and join my journey, and having him twenty-four seven and coaching me because he himself is an athlete, and have the best diet and counselling. I think it’s worked wonders, so I give shout out and a huge applaud.

((WN)) How important was it for you to have a carer in Rio?

DM: Yes, again we really have to appreciate the sports authority of India and also Paralympic Committee of India, which is going to start to function post-Rio in India. They were very very quick, they were very very adamant in giving the wheelchair people escorts. And I need help twenty four seven, I’m just below paralysed so it was really huge, emotionally, mentally, psychically training-wise, every way I think the situation was perfect.

((WN)) Thank you for your time.

DM: Thank you.

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Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist
Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist

Sunday, September 6, 2009

24-year-old Aman Kassaye, of no fixed abode, is to face a charge of attempted murder for his alleged role in an armed robbery that netted £40 million ($65 million) worth of jewelry from a London store.

Kassaye is the seventh man to be charged, and is also facing prosecution for conspiracy to rob the Graff store in New Bond Street, false imprisonment, and using a handgun to resist arrest. He will appear at Wimbledon magistrates court on Monday.

The other six men have already been remanded in custody until October 23, when they will appear at Kingston Crown Court. All are facing charges of conspiracy to rob, and two of them are also charged with a firearms offense.

43 diamond rings, watches, and bracelets were taken from the store. The theft occurred when two armed and suited men walked in and took an employee hostage. It has been reported they used prosthetic masks made from liquid latex but police have not confirmed this. Amateur footage also shows a shot was fired. No-one was injured.

The robbery is one of the biggest the United Kingdom has seen. After the crime a string of getaway vehicles was used, with police believing several more offenders assisted with this stage of the plan. Although The Telegraph claims no stolen property has yet been recovered, this is also unconfirmed by police.

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US raids Iran ‘liaison office’, Russia says it is unacceptable
US raids Iran ‘liaison office’, Russia says it is unacceptable

Friday, January 12, 2007

The U.S. armed forces detained five Iranians working at a “liaison office” located in Erbil, Iraq before dawn on Friday. Sources said that the U.S. forces first landed their helicopters around the building, then broke through the office’s gate, disarmed the guards, confiscated some documents and certain objects, arrested five suspected terrorists, and then left for an undisclosed location.

However, there was no raid on the Iranian Consulate General as earlier reported. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told Agence France-Presse that the building raided was “not a consulate or a government building”, which appears to be confirmed by the Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, who said the Iranians were working at an office that had government approval and was in the process of being approved as a consulate, but was not a Consulate nor the Iranian Consulate General. The US is strategically insisting that they raided a “liaison office” instead of a Consulate to avoid being found in violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Kamynin said that the raid was absolutely unacceptable and was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The Kurdistan Regional Government also expressed their shock and disapproval of the raid.

On Thursday’s hearing on Iraq, Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delware), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the Bush Administration did not have the authority to send U.S. troops on cross-border raids. Biden said, “I believe the present authorization granted the president to use force in Iraq does not cover that, and he does need congressional authority to do that. I just want to set that marker.” After the meeting, Biden sent a follow-up letter to the White House asking for an explanation from the Bush Administration on the matter.

On Thursday morning, Iran’s foreign ministry official sent a letter to Iraq’s foreign ministry asking Iraq to stop the Bush Administration from interfering with Iraq-Iran relations, and has protested the raid on its liaison office. The official said, “We expect the Iraqi government to take immediate measures to set the aforesaid individuals free and to condemn the U.S. troopers for the measure. Following up on the case and releasing the arrestees is a responsibility of primarily the Iraqi government and then the local government and officials of the Iraqi Kurdistan.”

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Gamespy, IGN award Galactic Civilizations II expansion Editors’ Choice
Gamespy, IGN award Galactic Civilizations II expansion Editors’ Choice

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Plymouth, Michigan, United States – This week, independent software developer Stardock released Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar, an expansion to their PC turn-based strategy game Dread Lords. Industry websites IGN and GameSpy responded with Editors’ Choice awards, while UGO gave it an A. The expansion had previously been named as one of GameSpy’s Most Wanted Games of 2007.

Reviewers cited the significant increase in customization options, better artificial intelligence, and an improvement in graphics quality as decisive factors. UGO’s Adam Swiderski noted that “if creating a fleet of death-dealing starships sounds like fun to you (and it really should), this is your dream playground,” while GameSpy’s reviewer suggested that “after a week of playing Dark Avatar, you may forget Master of Orion altogether.” Criticism mostly revolved around “uninspired” ground combat, a too-generic tech tree, and the continued lack of multiplayer support.

The original game received some publicity for its lack of copy protection, but gained far more by the actions of a StarForce forum administrator, who made a post linking to an illegal BitTorrent download of the game. StarForce developer Protection Technology later claimed this to be a poorly-considered attempt to demonstrate the result of not using their software, which is designed to prevent software piracy. The result was a media backlash against the company, including satirical commentary by gaming webcomic/blog Penny Arcade describing the action as “extortion.” Its writer, Jerry Holkins, asked that “publishers distance themselves from a company that has shown such contempt for their industry.”

The expansion is available as an online purchase in CD or digital download form through Stardock’s gaming subsidiary, A compilation of the original and expansion has also been released as Galactic Civilizations II: Gold Edition and is available in stores, say Stardock. Their retail game releases still contain no copy protection, but online activation is required to download updates.

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Las Vegas ‘chili finger’ woman has history of lawsuits
Las Vegas ‘chili finger’ woman has history of lawsuits

Monday, April 11, 2005

Anna Ayala, the Las Vegas woman who claims to have found the notorious “chili finger” at a Wendy’s outlet in San Jose, California, has filed lawsuits against other businesses, according to researchers at the Associated Press. Her previous court battles included the national El Pollo Loco chicken-chain, a previous employer, and even General Motors.

Ayala successfully won her suit for medical expenses against El Pollo Loco, after her daughter Genesis contracted salmonella poisoning from eating at the restaurant. However, Ayala lost another suit in 2000 claiming that a wheel fell off her car.

Ayala’s original account of the incident spoke “emotionally and with disgust” to the San Jose Mercury News when she described it to the paper.

“Lies, lies, lies, that’s all I am hearing. They should look at Wendy’s. What are they hiding? Why are we being victimized again and again?” Ayala recently told The Associated Press. Ayala is now in her Las Vegas home, avoiding reporters.

“It doesn’t prove anything,” family spokesman Ken Bono told the San Francisco Chronicle. “My mom has 10 lawsuits. A lot of people have lawsuits. Why would she sue for money? She has plenty of money,” he said.

Nick Muyo, a spokesman for the San Jose Police department, said not to expect new information in the case for at least a week.

“We just want to step back and take a deep breath,” Muyo told Knight Ridder Newspapers. “From a law enforcement point of view, once you establish it is a human finger, you have to wonder is this a case of industrial accident or is this a case of unreported homicide,” he said.

Las Vegas police searched Anna Ayala’s home on Wednesday, retrieving a cooler and other effects from her home, such as a makeup case.

Despite the incident, which has dramatically reduced sales at Northern California Wendy’s outlets, die-hard Wendy’s fans are still turning up for lunch, even at the outlet where the finger was found, at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

“We’ve eaten here for years,” a police officer told the San Francisco Chronicle under the condition that he remain anonymous. “They’re very nice people. When we work Spartan Stadium, we always eat here,” he said.

San Jose City Council candidate Andrew Diaz still eats the chili. And he witnessed the finger discovery.

“I walked away real slow,” Diaz told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I didn’t want any commotion,” he said.

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