Apr
23
2019
0

US Treasury Secretary: “We need the ability to seize firms”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Treasury Department secretary Timothy Geithner and the Obama administration are pressuring Congress to allow the government to seize troubled financial institutions such as insurance companies and investment firms. Currently, banks are the only such entities that the government has authority to take over.

Speaking before the House Financial Services Committee, Geithner said “The United States government does not have the legal means today to manage the orderly restructuring of a large, complex non-bank financial institution that poses a threat to the stability of our financial system.”

Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) agreed, saying, “When non-bank major financial institutions need to be put out of their misery, we need to give somebody the authority to do what the FDIC can do with banks.”

Geithner would work with the White House and Federal Reserve to execute any such takeovers.

The expanded powers would have allowed the seizure of companies such as pariah AIG, which has already received US$180 billion in government aid. The recent controversy over the payment of bonuses has bumped up the plan to high priority. It was initially to have been part of a more comprehensive overhaul by the government of the financial regulatory system.

Not all are happy with the proposal. Republican House minority leader John Boehner derided the plan, saying it would be “an unprecedented grab of power.”

Maxine Waters (D-CA) criticised the government for its lack of transparency in dealing with the current crisis, and questioned Geithner on whether firms such as Goldman Sachs had received preferential treatment by the government. Such probing may indicate reluctance on the part of Congress to grant the expanded powers.

Other than simply taking over a firm, the government would also be able to purchase its assets, guarantee losses, and take out a partial ownership interest.

“It is a terrible, tragic thing that this country came into this crisis with such limited tools for trying to protect the economy itself from the kind of distress that would come as the system came back down to Earth,” Geithner summarized.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Apr
22
2019
0

Apple introduces iPhone and Apple TV

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Apple Inc. today has introduced the much-anticipated iPhone at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco.

The iPhone is claimed to be “a revolutionary mobile phone” as stated on the Apple website. The device appears to be running a mobile version of the Apple operating system Mac OSX. It is approximately the same size as a 5th generation iPod, it has a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen display that is used to access all features of the phone including number dial, as well as making phone calls. The iPhone plays music, movies, displays pictures and is able to connect to a wireless network.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the device by walking onto the stage and taking the iPhone out of his jeans pocket. During his 2 hour speech he stated that “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone, We are going to make history today”.

Today Apple also released their Media Center device – Apple TV. It will directly compete with Microsoft’s Media Center operating system. Apple has taken a different approach to the media center market; rather than storing content (such as movies, music and photos) on the device, Apple TV connects to a computer (Mac and Windows) over a wirless network connection and plays all content stored on that computer. This makes it substantially easier for users to organize their media content.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Apr
22
2019
0

Wikinews interviews Mark Bunker, producer of anti-Scientology website ‘XenuTV’

Monday, February 18, 2008

Television producer and owner of the anti-Scientology website www.xenutv.com (XenuTV), Mark Bunker, also known as Wise Beard Man, chatted online with Wikinews for nearly three hours. More than 120 people followed the interview live (many from Project Chanology), which makes this exclusive Wikinews interview our most attended IRC interview to date.

Bunker started XenuTV in 1999 and began to make videos that he provided for the Lisa McPherson Trust. Bunker has been a critic of the Church of Scientology since 1997.

In 2006, he won a Regional Emmy Award after he and KUSI-TV news reporter Lena Lewis produced a documentary news video on the issues with the United States – Mexico border with San Diego, California.

Contents

  • 1 The Interview
    • 1.1 Questions from IRC users
  • 2 Sister links
  • 3 Sources
Written by in: Uncategorized |
Apr
17
2019
0

Death sentences in 2008 Chinese tainted milk scandal

Monday, January 26, 2009

On Thursday, the municipal intermediate people’s court in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, China pronounced sentences for 21 defendants implicated in the 2008 Chinese milk scandal which killed at least six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 others.

In the local court’s decision, 17 accused were indicted for the crimes of “producing, adding melamine-laced ‘protein powder’ to infant milk or selling tainted, fake and substandard milk to Sanlu Group or 21 other dairy companies, including six who were charged with the crime of endangering public security by dangerous means.” Four other courts in Wuji County, in Hebei, China had also tried cases on the milk scandal.

Zhang Yujun, age 40, of Quzhou County (Hebei), who produced and sold melamine-laced “protein powder” in the milk scandal, was convicted of endangering public security and sentenced to death by the Shijiazhuang intermediate people’s court.

The court also imposed the penalty of death upon Geng Jinping, who added 434 kg of melamine-laced powder to about 900 tons of fresh milk to artificially increase the protein content. He sold the tainted milk to Sanlu and some other dairy companies. His brother Geng Jinzhu was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for assisting in adding the melamine.

A suspended capital punishment sentence, pending a review, with two years probation, was handed down to Gao Junjie. Under the law, a suspended death sentence is equivalent to life imprisonment with good behavior. The court ruled that Gao designed more than 70 tons of melamine-tainted “protein powder” in a Zhengding County underground factory near Shijiazhuang. His wife Xiao Yu who assisted him, was also sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Sanlu Group General Manager Tian Wenhua, 66, a native of Nangang Village in Zhengding County, who was charged under Articles 144 and 150 of the criminal code, was sentenced to life imprisonment for producing and selling fake or substandard products. She was also fined 20 million yuan (US$2.92 million) while Sanlu, which has been declared bankrupt, was fined 49.37 million yuan ($7.3 million).

Tian Wenhua plans to appeal the guilty verdict on grounds of lack of evidence, said her lawyer Liang Zikai on Saturday. Tian testified last month during her trial that she decided not to stop production of the tainted milk products because a Fonterra designated board member handed her a document which states that a maximum of 20 mg of melamine was allowed in every kg of milk in the European Union. Liang opined that Tian should instead be charged with “liability in a major accident,” which is punishable by up to seven years imprisonment, instead of manufacturing and selling fake or substandard products.

According to Zhang Deli, chief procurator of the Hebei Provincial People’s Procuratorate, Chinese police have arrested another 39 people in connection with the scandal. Authorities last year also arrested 12 milk dealers and suppliers who allegedly sold contaminated milk to Sanlu, and six people were charged with selling melamine.

In late December, 17 people involved in producing, selling, buying and adding melamine to raw milk went on trial. Tian Wenhua and three other Sanlu executives appeared in court in Shijiazhuang, charged with producing and selling fake or substandard milk contaminated with melamine. Tian pleaded guilty, and told the court during her 14-hour December 31 trial that she learned about the tainted milk complaints and problems with her company’s BeiBei milk powder from consumer complaints in mid-May.

She then apparently led a working team to handle the case, but her company did not stop producing and selling formula until about September 11. She also did not report to the Shijiazhuang city government until August 2.

The court also sentenced Zhang Yanzhang, 20, to the lesser penalty of life imprisonment. Yanzhang worked with Zhang Yujun, buying and reselling the protein powder. The convicts were deprived of their political rights for life.

Xue Jianzhong, owner of an industrial chemical shop, and Zhang Yanjun were punished with life imprisonment and 15 years jail sentence respectively. The court found them responsible for employment of workers to produce about 200 tons of the tainted infant milk formula, and selling supplies to Sanlu, earning more than one million yuan.

“From October 2007 to August 2008, Zhang Yujun produced 775.6 tons of ‘protein powder’ that contained the toxic chemical of melamine, and sold more than 600 tons of it with a total value of 6.83 million yuan [$998,000]. He sold 230 tons of the “protein powder” to Zhang Yanzhang, who will stay behind bars for the rest of his life under the same charge. Both Zhangs were ‘fully aware of the harm of melamine’ while they produced and sold the chemical, and should be charged for endangering the public security,” the Court ruled.

Geng Jinping, a suspect charged with producing and selling poisonous food in the tainted milk scandal, knelt before the court, begging for victims’ forgiveness

The local court also imposed jail sentences of between five years and 15 years upon three top Sanlu executives. Wang Yuliang and Hang Zhiqi, both former deputy general managers, and Wu Jusheng, a former raw milk department manager, were respectively sentenced to 15 years, eight years and five years imprisonment. In addition, the court directed Wang to pay multi-million dollar fines. In December, Wang Yuliang had appeared at the Shijiazhuang local court in a wheelchair, after what the Chinese state-controlled media said was a failed suicide attempt.

The judgment also states “the infant milk powder was then resold to private milk collectors in Shijiazhuang, Tangsan, Xingtai and Zhangjiakou in Hebei.” Some collectors added it to raw milk to elevate apparent protein levels, and the milk was then resold to Sanlu Group.

“The Chinese government authorities have been paying great attention to food safety and product quality,” Yu Jiang Yu, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said. “After the case broke out, the Chinese government strengthened rules and regulations and took a lot of other measures to strengthen regulations and monitor food safety,” she added.

In the People’s Republic of China, the intermediate people’s court is the second lowest local people’s court. Under the Organic Law of the People’s Courts of the People’s Republic of China, it has jurisdiction over important local cases in the first instance and hear appeal cases from the basic people’s court.

The 2008 Chinese milk scandal was a food safety incident in China involving milk and infant formula, and other food materials and components, which had been adulterated with melamine. In November 2008, the Chinese government reported an estimated 300,000 victims have suffered; six infants have died from kidney stones and other acute renal infections, while 860 babies were hospitalized.

Melamine is normally used to make plastics, fertilizer, coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants. It was added by the accused to infant milk powder, making it appear to have a higher protein content. In 2004, a watered-down milk resulted in 13 Chinese infant deaths from malnutrition.

The tainted milk scandal hit the headlines on 16 July, after sixteen babies in Gansu Province who had been fed on milk powder produced by Shijiazhuang-based Sanlu Group were diagnosed with kidney stones. Sanlu is 43% owned by New Zealand’s Fonterra. After the initial probe on Sanlu, government authorities confirmed the health problem existed to a lesser degree in products from 21 other companies, including Mengniu, Yili, and Yashili.

From August 2 to September 12 last year Sanlu produced 904 tonnes of melamine-tainted infant milk powder. It sold 813 tonnes of the fake or substandard products, making 47.5 million yuan ($13.25 million). In December, Xinhua reported that the Ministry of Health confirmed 290,000 victims, including 51,900 hospitalized. It further acknowledged reports of “11 suspected deaths from melamine contaminated milk powder from provinces, but officially confirmed 3 deaths.”

Sanlu Group which filed a bankruptcy petition, that was accepted by the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People’s Court last month, and the other 21 dairy companies, have proposed a 1.1 billion yuan ($160 million) compensation plan for court settlement. The court appointed receiver was granted six months to conclude the sale of Sanlu’s assets for distribution to creditors. The 22 dairy companies offered “families whose children died would receive 200,000 yuan ($29,000), while others would receive 30,000 yuan ($4,380) for serious cases of kidney stones and 2,000 yuan ($290) for less severe cases.”

Sanlu stopped production on September 12 amid huge debts estimated at 1.1 billion yuan. On December 19, the company borrowed 902 million yuan for medical and compensation payment to victims of the scandal. On January 16, Sanlu paid compensation of 200,000 yuan (29,247 U.S. dollars) to Yi Yongsheng and Jiao Hongfang, Gangu County villagers, the parents of the first baby who died.

“Children under three years old, who had drunk tainted milk and had disease symptoms could still come to local hospitals for check-ups, and would receive free treatment if diagnosed with stones in the urinary system,” said Mao Qun’an, spokesman of the Ministry of Health on Thursday, adding that “the nationwide screening for sickened children has basically come to an end.”

“As of Thursday, about 90% of families of 262,662 children who were sickened after drinking the melamine-contaminated milk products had signed compensation agreements with involved enterprises and accepted compensation,” the China Dairy Industry Association said Friday, without revealing, however, the amount of damages paid. The Association (CDIA) also created a fund for payment of the medical bills for the sickened babies until they reach the age of 18.

Chinese data shows that those parents who signed the state-backed compensation deal include the families of six children officially confirmed dead, and all but two of 891 made seriously ill, the report said. Families of 23,651 children made ill by melamine tainted milk, however, have not received the compensation offer, because of “wrong or untrue” registration details, said Xinhua.

Several Chinese parents, however, demanded higher levels of damages from the government. Zhao Lianhai announced Friday that he and three other parents were filing a petition to the Ministry of Health. The letter calls for “free medical care and follow-up services for all victims, reimbursement for treatment already paid for, and further research into the long-term health effects of melamine among other demands,” the petition duly signed by some 550 aggrieved parents and Zhao states.

“Children are the future of every family, and moreover, they are the future of this country. As consumers, we have been greatly damaged,” the petition alleged. Chinese investigators also confirmed the presence of melamine in nearly 70 milk products from more than 20 companies, quality control official Li Changjiang admitted.

In addition, a group of Chinese lawyers, led by administrator Lin Zheng, filed Tuesday a $5.2 million lawsuit with the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China (under Chief Grand Justice Wang Shengjunin), in Beijing, on behalf of the families of 213 children’s families. The class-action product liability case against 22 dairy companies, include the largest case seeking $73,000 compensation for a dead child.

According to a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange Market Friday, China’s Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Company, which has a domestic market share of milk powder at 8 percent, reported a net loss in 2008 because of the milk scandal. A Morgan Stanley report states the expected company’s 2008 loss at 2.3 billion yuan. The scandal also affected Yili’s domestic rivals China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited and the Bright Group. Mengniu suffered an expected net loss of 900 million yuan despite earnings in the first half of 2008, while the Bright Group posted a third quarter loss at 271 million yuan last year.

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, said Saturday it accepted the Chinese court’s guilty verdicts but alleged it had no knowledge of the criminal actions taken by those involved. “We accept the court’s findings but Fonterra supports the New Zealand Government’s position on the death penalty. We have been shocked and disturbed by the information that has come to hand as a result of the judicial process,” said Fonterra Chief Executive Andrew Ferrier.

“Fonterra deeply regrets the harm and pain this tragedy has caused so many Chinese families,” he added. “We certainly would never have approved of these actions. I am appalled that the four individuals deliberately released product containing melamine. These actions were never reported to the Sanlu Board and fundamentally go against the ethics and values of Fonterra,” Ferrier noted.

Fonterra, which controls more than 95 percent of New Zealand’s milk supply, is the nation’ biggest multinational business, its second-biggest foreign currency earner and accounts for more than 24 percent of the nation’s exports. Fonterra was legally responsible for informing Chinese health authorities of the tainted milk scandal in August, and by December it had written off its $200 million investment in Sanlu Group.

Amnesty International also strongly voiced its opposition to the imposition of capital punishment by the Chinese local court and raised concerns about New Zealand’s implication in the milk scandal. “The death penalty will not put right the immense suffering caused by these men. The death penalty is the ultimate, cruel and inhumane punishment and New Zealand must take a stand to prevent further abuses of human rights.” AI New Zealand chief executive Patrick Holmes said on Saturday.

“The New Zealand government does not condone the death sentence but we respect their right to take a very serious attitude to what was extremely serious offending,” said John Phillip Key, the 38th and current Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the National Party. He criticized Fonterra’s response Monday, saying, “Fonterra did not have control of the vertical production chain, in other words they were making the milk powder not the supply of the milk, so it was a difficult position and they did not know until quite late in the piece. Nevertheless they probably could front more for this sort of thing.”

Keith Locke, current New Zealand MP, and the opposition Green Party foreign affairs spokesman, who was first elected to parliament in 1999 called on the government and Fonterra to respond strongly against the Chinese verdict. “They show the harshness of the regime towards anyone who embarrasses it, whether they are real criminals, whistleblowers or dissenters,” he said. “Many Chinese knew the milk was being contaminated but said nothing for fear of repercussions from those in authority. Fonterra could not get any action from local officials when it first discovered the contamination. There was only movement, some time later, when the matter became public,” he noted.

Green Party explained “it is time Fonterra drops its overly cautious act.” The party, however, stressed the death penalty is not a answer to the problems which created the Chinese milk scandal. “The Green Party is totally opposed to the death penalty. We would like to see the government and, indeed, Fonterra, speaking out and urging the Chinese government to stop the death penalty,” said Green Party MP Sue Kedgley.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Apr
16
2019
0

On the campaign trail, July 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The following is the ninth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the rules of third party candidate polling are examined, a third party activist causes four other parties to lose their place on the Illinois presidential ballot, and the new vice presidential nominee of the Justice Party speaks with Wikinews.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Polling rules restrict and fuel third party campaigns
  • 3 Ballot access denied in Illinois
  • 4 Wikinews interviews newly-selected Justice Party VP nominee
  • 5 Related news
  • 6 Sources
Written by in: Uncategorized |
Apr
16
2019
0

Dog’s throat cut in Cairns, Australia

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In what the RSPCA calls a “horrific” case of animal cruelty, a dog’s jaw was taped shut, and its throat cut, in Cairns, Australia.

The Staffordshire mix, who was found by police in a critical condition last Thursday, was reportedly struggling to breath and bleeding heavily due to her throat being slashed and her muzzle being bound.

“The way they cut was almost down to the larynx, so muscles were cut but luckily they missed the jugular veins,” said Sarah Gill, the vet who stitched the 10 cm long, 3 cm deep cut.

In a statement reported on Tuesday, Inspector Cameron Buswell, a law enforcement officer with the RSPCA animal welfare charity, said it is hard to comprehend that there are people in the community capable of this level of cruelty.

“This would have to be up there as one of the more horrific cases we’ve dealt with […]The poor dog must have been petrified. How she didn’t die is miraculous.” he said.

Named ‘Franky’ by rescuers, the dog is progressing well along her road to recovery, has a warm, loving and kind nature, and has begun to come out of her shell, Buswell said.

“She is a really nice natured animal and she loves being with people.”

This has become apart of string of violent attacks on pets in Queensland. Another dog in North Queensland named ‘Boof’ was beaten and left to die with a 30 kg chain around his neck in January. In May, a family dog in Toowoomba had its throat slit and a rubber band placed around the wound, twice.

The RSPCA is appealing for information from the public regarding the person or persons responsible for the latest attack.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Apr
14
2019
0

G20 protester dies after collapsing

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

According to reports, a man protesting the G20 Summit in London, England has died after collapsing at a protester camp.

Sky News says the man collapsed on the street inside a camp close to the Bank of England and when found he was still breathing, but efforts by paramedics to rescue him failed and he was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The name of the person and cause of death are not yet known, but several people were injured earlier in the day. The police claim that protestors threw bottles at them while trying to rescue the protestor.

The London Ambulance Service reported that “we received a 999 call at 7:24 pm from a member of the public reporting that a man had fallen over and was unconscious, but was breathing. [They] made extensive efforts to resuscitate him both there and on the way to hospital.”

Earlier in the day a minimum of 20 protesters broke into the bank and according to reports vandalized furniture, broke windows and cut the telephone lines to the building.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Apr
07
2019
0

How To Get Rid Of Rats In Tacoma For Good

byadmin

Rats can be one of the worst rodents that can infest your home. They are very hard to get rid of in addition to be pretty nasty guests in your home. They leave droppings all over the place and they urinate on things that you may not even be aware of. This is why the second you notice that you have even one rat or notice droppings in your home, it’s important to have a professional extermination done.

You might think that you can get rid of rats by baiting or trapping them. Sometimes this can be done with over the counter extermination methods. But the truth of the matter is that these methods often leave behind babies and other culprits that are hiding in the walls and other areas that you just can’t get too. This is why extermination is vital. You need to have someone that can come out and take care of the problem for you once and for good. They’ll be able to ensure that your home is free from rats and that none will ever show up in your home again.

An exterminator has the tools and the know how to get rid of these rats in Tacoma for good. Once you hire them they will come into your home and do an inspection. This will help them to locate the rats and use their equipment to remove every last one of them. Even the ones in the walls or in the tight spots in your home that you can’t reach like the crawlspace under your home. They will also get rid of all of the droppings for you. Their full service treatment includes locating how they got into your home and treating and sealing the area off so they can’t return.

A rat infestation is not something that you should take lightly. It can be a very serious problem because rats are nasty, spread diseases and can even bite you or your children. This is why it’s so important to get rid of them as soon as you suspect that they are in your home. A professional exterminator can get rid of them for you once and for good and you won’t even have to clean up one dropping.Click here Independent Pest Solutions to get complete pest elimination services in Tacoma.

Written by in: Murals |
Apr
05
2019
0

NATO oil tanker torched in Pakistan

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Militants in north-west Pakistan blew up a fuel tanker carrying supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan on Monday. More than ten armed men shot at the tanker and fired a rocket at the vehicle outside Peshawar city, and the driver and a passenger were injured in the attack, although no loss of life is reported.

Head of the north-western city’s administration, Sahibzada Anees, said “About ten armed people fired at a tanker carrying petrol for NATO forces and later lobbed a rocket at the vehicle, which set alight some 78,000 litres (17,000 gallons) of fuel”.

According to witnesses, the tanker was quickly in flames. The residents of the areas were successfully rescued by police and fire fighters and the blaze was brought under control. Police have launched a search operation in nearby areas, although with no success.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Oil tankers and trucks bringing goods from port city of Karachi for allied forces battling the Taliban in Afghanistan have been regularly attacked. About 80% of supplies destined for the more than 113 thousand NATO troops in Afghanistan have to pass through Pakistan. The coalition forces bring 70% of supplies through Pakistan every month, from a total of two thousand truckloads.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Apr
03
2019
0

Steve Kubby, co-author of California Proposition 215, grows dangerously ill in US custody

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Steve Kubby who was facing extradition from Canada, returned to California, was arrested, and is now in custody in Placer County, California Jail, pending a hearing today. He is a medical cannabis patient who relies on the drug to regulate the symptoms of malignant phenochromocytoma, a cancer of the adrenal gland which can cause the level of adrenaline in his system to fluctuate out of control. If left unregulated, this can result in sudden, fatal heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, and a variety of other conditions.

Kubby was arrested on arrival at San Francisco International Airport Thursday night on behalf of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, having exhausted his extradition appeals in Canada. He was taken to San Mateo County Jail, pending transport to Placer County Jail. While at San Mateo County Jail, he was reportedly denied access to medication and sufficient bedding. On arrival at Placer County Jail, his blood pressure was dangerously high, and so was given Marinol, a THC synthetic.

Communication with Kubby is highly restricted. According to his wife, Michele, Kubby has been placed in solitary confinement, denied access several times to sufficient bedding to keep him warm, and denied access to the cannabis which, according to several experts on his universally fatal condition, has been solely responsible for keeping him alive for decades. The Marinol he is being given partially mitigates his symptoms, but does not completely control them. He now grows dangerously ill.

In particular, he relates how he was ordered by prison medical staff to take beta-blockers for his blood-pressure. Due to the episodic nature of the adrenaline spikes causing the high blood-pressure, according to all of his doctors, the beta-blockers would likely kill him once the spikes dropped. In an interview by phone with journalist Pat McCartney over the weekend, Kubby reported that, for refusing the beta-blockers, he was coerced into signing a waiver absolving the prison of liability, and has since been refused all care, including even Tylenol for pain management.

Activists concerned with medical marijuana, human rights and prison reform will hold a rally at noon today in front of the Placer County Superior Courthouse, where Steve Kubby is scheduled to be arraigned on violation of probation charges.

Kubby was a co-author of California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996, also known as Proposition 215. He fled to Canada in 2001 to escape the possibility of incarceration for an extended period without access to cannabis, a possibility which, in both his and expert medical opinion, would certainly prove fatal.

Written by in: Uncategorized |