IMF Offers Special Loan for Tsunami-Hit Countries
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IMF Offers Special Loan for Tsunami-Hit Countries

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Rodrigo Rato offered special relief funds for the countries victim of the tsunami disaster. The money is, however, in the form of a loan. The IMF has been present in the area on various occasions.

The IMF offered a one billion U.S. dollar loan. The money would be given as Emergency Natural Disaster Assistance facility, and would be repaid in full and with interests within 3¼ to 5 years.

The money could help the area tremendously, but since it is a loan as opposed to an outright donation, it may not be as helpful. The loan, some fear, may not lead to economic stability in the long run. Despite the possible long term effects, the governments of the tsunami torn nations may simply have no choice but to accept the offer.

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.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Doug Anderson, Whitby-Oshawa
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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Doug Anderson, Whitby-Oshawa

Monday, September 24, 2007

Doug Anderson is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Whitby-Oshawa riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Dozens dead after bus accident in Cameroon
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Dozens dead after bus accident in Cameroon

Monday, May 31, 2010

At least thirty people are dead in Cameroon after a bus rolled over, reports say. The accident happened on Saturday near the city of Bafia, 135 kilometres or so north of the capital Yaounde.

The accident happened when the bus lost control, rolled down a hill into a ditch, and broke in half. Officials say the death toll may increase.

Traffic police official Fifen Idrissou told the Agence France-Presse news service: “At the scene we’ve identified around 30 bodies but the death toll could be much greater given that some of the injured evacuated before we arrived reportedly died. The bus lost control […] 200 metres further on the bus hit a ditch. It rolled over several times,” he said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were aboard the bus when it crashed.

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Metropolitan Police to sell New Scotland Yard
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Metropolitan Police to sell New Scotland Yard

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Metropolitan Police — the police force for the Greater London area — has announced they may sell their headquarters, New Scotland Yard, in order to cut costs.

They are trying to reduce their £3.6 billion annual budget by £500 million, following cuts by the coalition government. If the sale of New Scotland Yard goes ahead, the Metropolitan Police would move to a new location on the Embankment in the Curtis Green building, formerly the site of Cannon Row Police Station.

Other proposals have been raised including selling off other property assets and closing police counters during off-peak hours, but officer numbers are to be maintained.

New Scotland Yard famously has a three-sided rotating sign that turns 14,000 times per day. John Tully, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents the interests of police officers, said it is “regrettable” that an “iconic building like New Scotland Yard is going to bite the dust”. Tully also noted there will be relocation costs.

[edit]

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Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control
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Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

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Images show new dimension to Saturn’s rings
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Images show new dimension to Saturn’s rings

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NASA’s Cassini orbiter has sent back remarkable images from Saturn, revealing that the planet’s famous rings are far more bumpy than expected.

Astronomers previously thought that the rings were almost completely flat, with changes in height of only a few metres. However analysis of the new images show ridges up to 4 kilometres tall, similar in height to the Rocky Mountains or the Alps.

The images were taken around the planet’s equinox on August 11, when the Sun was directly over Saturn’s equator and caught the rings edge on. A similar equinox occurs today (September 22) on Earth. But whilst equinoxes occur twice a year on Earth, Saturn takes around 29.7 Earth years to orbit the Sun so the events are much rarer.

It’s like putting on 3-D glasses and seeing the third dimension for the first time.

With the light from the Sun reaching Saturn’s rings at such a low angle, scientists were able to measure the shadows cast by bumps on the rings and discover their surprising height. As Cassini project scientist Bob Pappalardo put it: “It’s like putting on 3-D glasses and seeing the third dimension for the first time. This is among the most important events Cassini has shown us.”

Some of the ring features are known to be caused by Saturn’s moons, but others are harder to explain. “To understand what we are seeing will take more time, but the images and data will help develop a more complete understanding of how old the rings might be and how they are evolving,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini deputy project scientist.

Cassini was launched in 1997, and entered orbit around Saturn in 2004. It is part of the Cassini-Huygens joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

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Car bomb explodes near MI5 army base in Northern Ireland
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Car bomb explodes near MI5 army base in Northern Ireland

Monday, April 12, 2010

A car bomb has exploded outside an army base in Northern Ireland that is the headquarters for MI5 domestic security services. The attack has been claimed by dissidents from the Real Irish Republican Army, a more radical splinter group of the IRA.

According to police, Real IRA members hijacked a vehicle from a taxi driver in Belfast; Al Jazeera reports it was commandeered at gunpoint. A bomb was planted in the car, which was then driven to the rear of the Palace Barracks.

The explosion comes several hours before the Northern Ireland Assembly was scheduled to appoint its first justice minister, and only minutes after the Belfast power-sharing administration regained control over justice and policing in the province for the first time in nearly four decades.

An Ulster Unionist member of the Belfast Policing Board, Basil McCrea, commented on the explosion, saying: “It’s obviously people trying to make a statement about the transfer of policing and justice powers. We are going to have to expect more of this over the next period of time […] There will be people who will try to disrupt the process,” as quoted by the BBC.

He commented that he believed the incident was a “one-off” occurrence, and said he tried to reassure concerned locals in the area.

Police said IRA dissidents held a Belfast taxi driver at gunpoint in his home and used his vehicle to carry the bomb to the rear of Palace Barracks. Witnesses report hearing an explosion shortly after midnight local time; Al Jazeera puts the precise time of the detonation at 00.24 local time (23.24 UTC). One man was hospitalised following the bombing, although there are no reports of deaths.

According to a local journalist, security has cordoned off the area near the explosion.

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Rage Against The Machine top UK singles chart
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Rage Against The Machine top UK singles chart

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rock band Rage Against The Machine have beaten Joe McElderry to become the UK’s official Christmas number one, following one of the biggest battles in the history of the UK Singles Chart. Their song Killing in the Name pushed the X Factor winner’s new single The Climb into second place.

A Facebook campaign backing the American band aimed to stop an X Factor winner reaching the Christmas number one spot once again. Artists from the TV talent show, owned by music mogul Simon Cowell, have taken the festive top spot for four years in a row. The group attracted over 900,000 members and widespread press attention, after it was started by Jon and Tracy Morter.

“Are you getting fed up about the possibility of ANOTHER X-Factor Christmas No.1? …us too…so we’re going to do something about it!,” they said on the group’s Facebook page. They decided to back “Killing In The Name”, first released in 1992.

Cowell had previously branded the campaign “cynical”, but on Saturday contacted the Morters to congratulate them on making a “very exciting race for the Christmas number one”. The campaign has also raised over £69,000 for homeless charity Shelter.

Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello had backed the campaign on Twitter. He announced that the band would play a free victory gig in the UK if they reached number one.

The result was announced on BBC Radio 1‘s chart show this evening by Scott Mills. McElderry had been due to appear on the show, but did not arrive.

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Six arrested in plot against US army base in New Jersey
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Six arrested in plot against US army base in New Jersey

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Federal investigators in the United States have arrested six men on Monday evening on charges of conspiracy to kill US servicemembers. The men are alleged to be members of an Islamic radical terror cell who were planning a heavily armed attack against soldiers at the United States Army facility at Fort Dix in New Jersey.

The US Attorney’s Office said that some of the men were living illegally in the US, while others were legal immigrants. It identified the men as Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka, Shain Duka, Serdar Tatar, Mohamad Shnewer and Agron Abdullahu. They were said to be four ethnic Albanians (from the former Yugoslavia), one from Turkey, and the sixth man from Jordan.

Reportedly, the FBI had the men under surveillance for 16 months as they trained with both paintball guns and real weapons in the Poconos Mountains area of Pennsylvania. The men video-taped their training and brought the tapes to a camera store to be copied to DVD. The camera store owner alerted the FBI, which then began its investigation.

The Star-Ledger reports that the men were lured by an FBI informant into a sting operation to meet with an arms dealer where they wanted to purchase five AK-47 automatic machine guns and three M-16 assault rifles at a residence in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. It was at this point they were arrested.

U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Christopher J. Christie called the camera store owner who tipped off the FBI to the terror cell “an American hero”, according to Richard Degener of The Press of Atlantic City. Christie spoke at the Flanders Hotel on Tuesday to the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The camera store owner saw Muslim men in military garb toting weapons in the woods. He heard them talking about jihad and how Allah was great. He called the FBI and became a hero,” Christie said.

One member of the terror cell was able to gain detailed knowledge of the military base from his work as a pizza delivery driver. The plot was to take over guard posts and “kill hundreds of Fort Dix soldiers”, Christie said. U.S. Marshal James Plousis joined Christie at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon with 50 area Atlantic City merchants to talk about the value of reporting suspicious activity.

“They are not being charged with being members of an international terror organisation,” said White House spokesperson, Tony Snow. “However, their involvement in weapons training, operational surveillance and discussions about killing American military personnel warranted a strong law enforcement response.”

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