Daisuke Enomoto will be the fourth space tourist at the ISS
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Daisuke Enomoto will be the fourth space tourist at the ISS

Friday, March 10, 2006Japanese entrepreneur Daisuke “Dice-K” Enomoto, 34, is set to become the fourth private citizen in space. The Arlington, Virginia-based company “Space Adventures”, which specializes in spaceflight-related travel, announced on March 7 that Enomoto was approved by the Russian space agency as a flight candidate.

Enomoto has now passed the physical examinations necessary to be cleared for training, finished the medical preparation, and signed the contract for the flight. His training with the Russian Federal Space Agency will include physical and aeronautical preparation as well as Russian language instruction.

Enomoto will be the first Japanese person to fly to the International Space Station (ISS). His trip, to take place in a Soyuz TMA-9 rocket, is scheduled for September, with a ticket price of US$20 million.

United States entrepreneur Gregory Olsen returned from the ISS in October 2005; previous space vacationers were American Dennis Tito in 2001 and South African Mark Shuttleworth in 2002.

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

Saturday, April 17, 2010

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

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

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

Iranian cargo plane crashes into Karaj houses
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Iranian cargo plane crashes into Karaj houses

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Boeing 707 cargo plane, reported by local press as belonging to the Iranian military, crashed into houses in Karaj, near Tehran, the Iranian capital, yesterday. All but one of the sixteen on-board died; no deaths were reported on the ground, with local media reporting no-one was in the houses.

The aircraft came down into a residential area between Fath Airport, where it was attempting to land, and Payam International Airport. Fath Airport is owned by the Revolutionary Guards. State media reported the cockpit voice recorder was recovered. The army said the plane was bringing meat from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan “to help the country’s economy.”

Fars News said the crash involved pilot error. The lone survivor was a flight engineer. The entire crew were Iranians, the army said. Press TV said the crash was followed by a fire. Photographs showed the aircraft, sans wings, with the cockpit buried within a house and twisted engine parts strewn around.

The Aviation Herald reported the failed landing at Fath, which has a much shorter runway than Payam, was a mistake and the jet was supposed to land at Payam. The industry publication stated the aircraft overran the runway and broke through a perimeter barrier. It cited the Air Force as stating Saha Airlines owned the plane, and claimed a reported sixteenth death.

In 2018 another aircraft confused the two airports, performing an emergency go around at “very low height” according to The Aviation Herald.

The Centre for Aviation’s database of air carriers lists Saha as belonging to the Air Force and states it runs flights with Boeing 707s and Airbus A300s, but uses Boeing 747s for freight. Airfleets, a database detailing the aircraft operated by commercial carriers, states the aircraft uses the A300 and 747 as well as the Boeing 737. It does not, however, list any 707s. The Aviation Herald states the 707 was a freighter, despite photos showing a row of windows along each side; it lists a tail number of EP-CPP.

Wikinews contacted Boeing in an effort to establish the plane’s initial configuration when manufactured. Boeing did not release any specific information about the initial build, telling Wikinews the company “extends its profound condolences to the families and friends of those lost[…] as well as our best wishes for the recovery of those injured.” Boeing referred to the 707 involved as a “cargo plane”.

Iran’s air fleet is ageing, with sanctions restricting the purchase of both new planes and parts to maintain those already owned.

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British surfers catch more than waves: Scientists find antibiotic-resistant bacteria
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British surfers catch more than waves: Scientists find antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

In findings published Sunday in Environmental International, a team from Britain’s University of Exeter reports that surfers and bodyboarders are roughly three times as likely to house antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli and other bacteria that could easily become resistant, than other people who recreate in the coastal waters of the United Kingdom.

The epidemiological study was nicknamed the “Beach Bum Survey”. The project was performed on 143 regular surfers, body surfers and bodyboarders from around the United Kingdom. Each surfgoing participant was asked to recruit a non-surfing friend of the same sex and approximate age and who lived in the same part of the country to serve as a control, which resulted in a control group of 130.

All participants mailed in rectal swabs, and the researchers cultured the E. coli from those samples with a common antibiotic called cefotaxime. The antibiotic failed to kill the bacteria in about 9% (13 out of 143) of surfer and bodyboarder samples and 3% of the samples from the control group (4 out of 130). A deeper look into the genomes of the specific strains of bacteria found in the study volunteers showed that bacteria from surfers were four times as likely to possess genes that can be transferred from one bacterial strain to another, which can help antibiotic-susceptible bacteria become resistant. The study also involved examination of water samples from the coasts of England and Wales to estimate the risk of surfers and other beachgoers ingesting E. coli.

E. coli is a regular resident in the guts of humans and other animals. Most strains are harmless but others can cause serious disease. Like other bacteria, E. coli can undergo horizontal gene transfer, swapping genes from one bacterium to another. This can give the altered strain the ability to cause disease, survive in the presence of antibiotics or both.

Although the researchers expressed concern surfers might spread dangerous bacteria, Dr. Will Gaze, the University of Exeter Medical School professional who supervised the project, urged people not to avoid the beach: “We are not seeking to discourage people from spending time in the sea, an activity which has a lot of benefits in terms of exercise, well-being and connecting with nature”, he said. “It is important that people understand the risks involved so that they can make informed decisions about their bathing and sporting habits. We now hope that our results will help policy-makers, beach managers, and water companies to make evidence-based decisions to improve water quality even further for the benefit of public health.”

David Smith, science and policy officer of Surfers Against Sewage, which helped organise the volunteers, agreed the study was not meant to discourage surfing: “Water quality in the UK has improved vastly in the past 30 years and is some of the cleanest in Europe. Recognising coastal waters as a pathway for antibiotic resistance can allow policy makers to make changes to protect water users and the wider public from the threat of antibiotic resistance.”

One of the principal findings of this work was that existing methods may have been underestimating the prevalence of these bacteria in seawater. Previous studies have shown that even designated swimming beaches can be affected by runoff from farms or even sewage, and surfers swallow roughly ten times as much seawater as swimmers. Professor Colin Gardner of the charity Antibiotic Research UK says, these forms of runoff can have even higher concentrations of antibiotics than patients undergoing antibiotic treatment. “Research into new medicines to replace our archaic antibiotics has stagnated and unless new treatments are found, this could be potentially devastating for human health”, he warns.

The World Health Organization has reported that because so many kinds of bacteria are gaining resistance to common medicines, conditions such as pneumonia and gonnorhea may become more difficult to treat and have higher rates of sickness and death. Doctors often prescribe preventative antibiotics to patients undergoing surgery or radiation therapy, and this may also be impacted. Professor Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer, has described a “post-antibiotic apocalypse” scenario

The European Regional Development Fund and Natural Environment Research Council provided funding for the study.

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Chinese earthquake: Death toll reaches almost 15,000 as ‘dangerous’ cracks found in dam near city
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Chinese earthquake: Death toll reaches almost 15,000 as ‘dangerous’ cracks found in dam near city

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Officials say the death toll in the recent earthquake in China has reached almost 15,000. The news comes as 2,000 of the nation’s troops were dispatched to the Zipingku Dam to repair “extremely dangerous” cracks in the structure, which is upriver from Dujiangyan City, already severely hit by the disaster.

It is feared the toll will rise much further as 60,000 people are missing after the 7.9 magnitude quake in Sichuan left entire towns “razed to the ground” with no buildings standing, according to officials in the area. At one destroyed school 178 children were found dead after the building collapsed while they slept inside it. A second school at Wudu, twenty miles from the epicentre behind the White Cloud Mountain, has 130 dead children and 150 more still buried and feared dead.

Zipingku Dam has had some water drained to ease the pressure on it. According to the Ministry of Water Resources’ website “If Zipingpu develops a serious safety problem, it could bring disaster to Dujiangyan city downstream.” Numerous other dams are also affected, including several others near Dujiangyan. In addition, experts from France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety say it cannot yet be ruled out that a number of nuclear power facilities in the area have been affected.

50,000 troops have been brought to the area to provide assistance. However, emergency response is being made difficult by continuing poor weather and landslides that have cut off Wenchuan county. In Mianyang alone, one of the worst-hit cities, some 19,000 people are thought to be buried under rubble and the first rescuers to reach the epicenter state tens of thousands may be dead there as well. The Wenchuan town of Yingxiu has only 2,300 confirmed survivors from a 12,000-strong population. Some aid in the form of food, water and medicine has arrived by helicopter, but rotorcraft operations are very dangerous due to ongoing poor weather. Trucks loaded with noodles and biscuits were raided by crowds before the aid could be properly handed out. The People’s Liberation Army intends to send in paratroopers.

“They had better set up a distribution system, or we will be stealing what we can,” one survivor promised.

Meanwhile, accusations of blame over the scale of the effects have been leveled at construction companies and local authorities. The allegations say that the firms used substandard techniques and materials when building many projects, and corrupt local authorities deliberately ignored the problem. Some people have nicknamed the resulting structures “tofu buildings”, an allusion to the fact that they are alleged to be ‘as soft as tofu‘. “It’s nothing but corruption – they must have used sub-standard cement and steel,” said rescuer Dr Tian, who withheld his second name from journalists. It is also alleged that both local residents and international scientific organisations were ignored when they warned of a large impending earthquake.

As a mark of respect, the Olympic torch relay will be scaled back in response to the earthquake.

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How You Can Have A Wonderful Experience Through Your Dish Tv ?

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In a home the living room is the most lively area, where a family eats and spends quality time together. The one common source of entertainment for almost each and every family is the television. We have more choices these days because the number of channels have increased. This is the reason why many families have installed satellite dishes. As they have installed them families in the neighborhood, who have not got them installed are wondering why most people are opting for it. Many people are flabbergasted with rising population opting for satellite dishes. If you are wondering about the same thing then you need to know the reason; the reason is that more channels are offered at affordable rates. You must be having complaints of having to view picture of low quality, but once you get a dish television installed, you will have crystal clear picture quality. You will not have to browse through channels to find one channel which is not hazy during storms or rainy seasons. It will work will full precision at all times and in all weather conditions.

Reasons for popularity of Dish TV is that it receives video as well as audio signals because it has an antenna which helps in streaming clear images and sounds. This quality broadcasting is lacking in cable connections. A small box which is also called Set Top Box is connected with the antenna and the television. In order to gain clarity of sound and image, the receiver of the dish has to be placed of roofs.

It might look very confusing for you to install a dish TV . Montrose, CO residents have got them installed and testify that you do not need to be confused. You do not need to worry about it, since technical aspect is taken care. When you get it installed, you have a whole new world open for you and your family. It is a really novel and satisfying experience when you are viewing your television with clear picture and great sound effect. You will also not have to worry about any interruption, their service is interrupted as receivers receive the signal directly from the satellite. You can get over the long and frustrating wait for channels to clear out, we cannot deny that we have all faced this anxiety when our favorite match or movie is being aired and the channels go kaput. With dish TV you do no longer have to face this kind of anxiety.

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Child released after spending entire life in Australian detention centre
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Child released after spending entire life in Australian detention centre

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Malaysian woman and her three year old daughter were released from Villawood Detention Centre on bridging visas yesterday after media coverage in Australia and Malaysia. Naomi Long, who recently turned three, was born in the Centre. Her mother, Virginia Long, was detained after trying to leave Australia on a false passport four years ago.

The plight of the young girl was revealed on ABC Radio’s PM program on March 5. Michael Dudley, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Sydney Children’s Hospital who has visited the mother and daughter, spoke on the program of the importance of children mixing with others their own age, and the harm that prolonged detention was doing to Naomi.

“I mean that’s crucial to social development and emotional development in children and also, a sense of identity development and so on. She doesn’t have that opportunity and she’s also basically been brought up in prison, but in a highly abnormal environment with highly distressed people. It’s not an environment conducive to child development,” he said.

According to refugee advocate group ChilOut there are currently 28 children detained at Villawood, and 68 across all immigration detention facilities. The Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beasley has called for all children to be released.

“Kids don’t belong in detention, full stop,” he said.

According to ABC Online, Federal Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou intends to introduce a private members bill against long-term mandatory detention, and detention of women and children. Prime Minister John Howard has indicated that he is mindful of the need for compassion, but he does not support a conscience vote.

“Mandatory detention is not a matter of conscience. It is a Government policy,” Mr Howard was quoted as saying. Howard has been a staunch supporter of hardline immigration and asylum policies since the mid 80’s.

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Australian Big Brother contestants removed for alleged sexual assault
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Australian Big Brother contestants removed for alleged sexual assault

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Two contestants from Big Brother in Australia have been escorted from the show. Ashley, a pseudonym for Michael Cox of Perth, and John, a pseudonym for Michael Bric of Melbourne, sexually assaulted a contestant known as Camilla. Camilla climbed into John’s bed after stating that she wished one of the boys “would put your arrow near me” at around 4.30am. John was then seen to have held her firm as a half-naked Ashley rubbed his penis on her face in an act know as “turkey slapping”. Immediately after the incident Camilla grabbed John’s penis and laughed as he jumped.

Its unlikely that charges will be laid over the incident. The Age newspaper reported that “Camilla” last night talked about the incident, saying she believed the men were joking. The only people alleging that this was sexual harassment are politicians and journalists.

“We had a great time in the house and it is unfortunate it had to end this way, but BB has rules and regulations and we broke them,” they said in a joint statement. “We are all very close in the house and we would never do anything to offend our fellow housemates.”

This is the first time contestants have been removed from the show for breaching rules.

They will not receive further endorsement or prizes from the show.

“I can’t comment [on the sexual allegations],” said David Brown, from Southern Star Endemol, “But their removal from the house should indicate how serious the matter is.”

The discussion forum of official Big Brother site has been shut down due to the incident. There is no notice on when the forum will be reopened.

There are now eight contestants competing for the remaining $275 thousand. It has been reduced after fines for not wearing microphones when talking, discussing nominations and singing commercial music.

Several weeks ago the show’s adults-only series, Big Brother: Adults Only, was axed.

Last year the show was under scrutiny when a male contestant rubbed himself on a female contestant during a massage.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard called for the show to be pulled saying “Here is a great opportunity for a bit of self-regulation and get this stupid programme off the air” adding “It is just a question of good taste”.

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant
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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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