May
16
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President of China lunches with Brazilian President

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Hu Jintao, the President of the People’s Republic of China had lunch today with the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, at the Granja do Torto, the President’s country residence in the Brazilian Federal District. Lunch was a traditional Brazilian barbecue with different kinds of meat.

Some Brazilian ministers were present at the event: Antonio Palocci (Economy), Eduardo Campos (Science and Technology), Roberto Rodrigues (Agriculture), Luiz Fernando Furlan (Development), Celso Amorim (Exterior Relations), Dilma Rousseff (Mines and Energy). Also present were Roger Agnelli (Vale do Rio Doce company president) and Eduardo Dutra (Petrobras, government oil company, president).

This meeting is part of a new political economy agreement between Brazil and China where Brazil has recognized mainland China’s market economy status, and China has promised to buy more Brazilian products.

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May
16
2019
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United Nations suspends operations in Gaza after schools and trucks are hit by Israeli forces

Friday, January 9, 2009

The United Nations (UN) suspended all of its operations in Gaza from yesterday, after the bombing of a convoy of UN aid trucks which killed one Palestinian driver, and wounded three others. Thursday was the second day of attacks on UN targets after three UN schools housing refugees were bombed on Tuesday, killing over 50 civilians.

“UNRWA decided to suspend all its operations in the Gaza Strip because of the increasing hostile actions against its premises and personnel,” Adnan Abu Hasna, a Gaza-based spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said yesterday. Richard Miron, spokesman for the UN said that the Israeli military had been notified in advance of the coordinates of the relief trucks saying, “This underlines the fundamental insecurity inside Gaza at a time when we are trying to address the dire humanitarian needs of the population there.”

The bombing of the UN trucks was the last straw for the UN, already angered after Israeli tanks fired on a UN school housing refugees killing 50 including an entire family of seven young children. The UN said that they had given Israel the GPS coordinates of their schools, and demanded accountability for the attacks. Israel’s government says it is investigating the incidents.

More schools were attacked including the al-Fakhora School killing 40 people, many of them women and children. Hours before the attack on the al-Fakhora School was an attack on Asma Elementary School which killed three Palestinian cousins. The cousin’s father said the bodies were so mangled he couldn’t tell the bodies apart, “We came to the school when the Israelis warned us to leave,” he said. “We hoped it would be safe. We were 20 in one room. We had no electricity, no blankets, no food. “Suddenly we heard a bomb that shook the school. Windows smashed. Children started to scream. A relative came and told me one of my sons was killed. I found my son’s body with his two cousins. They were cut into pieces by the shell.” Like al-Fakhora, Asma Elementary is an UNRWA school.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on yesterday that they were trying for four days to get their ambulances to a Gaza neighborhood before being allowed to by Israeli military forces. After getting there, they said, they found four starving children sitting next to the bodies of their dead mothers.

“This is a shocking incident,” said Pierre Wettach, ICRC chief for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. “The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestinian Red Crescent to assist the wounded.”

Israel granted a three-hour ceasefire yesterday that they gave for aid workers to enter areas that they had closed off. 50 bodies were recovered during the ceasefire, raising the death toll to 763, including more than 200 children, since air raids first began on December 27. 3,121 people have also been wounded. Eight Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died in the same period. Israeli forces also shot a Palestinian man in the West Bank during a protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza. Yesterday, a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli forces after a confrontation in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ma’ale Adumim near Jerusalem.

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May
16
2019
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Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 26) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 26). Four candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Muhammad Alam, Bahar Aminvaziri, Orhan Aybars, Michele Carroll-Smith, Mohamed Dhanani, Abdul Ingar, Geoff Kettel, Debbie Lechter, Natalie Maniates, John Masterson, John Parker, David Thomas, Csaba Vegh, and Fred Williams.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Contents

  • 1 Geoff Kettel
  • 2 Natalie Maniates
  • 3 John Parker
  • 4 Csaba Vegh
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May
16
2019
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UK government loses personal information of 25 million people

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling announced to a shocked House of Commons today that two password-protected — but not encrypted — computer disks containing the entire Child Benefit database have been lost in transit between the offices of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in Washington, Tyne & Wear and the National Audit Office (NAO) in London, in what has been described as “one of the world’s biggest ID protection failures”.

The database contains details of all families in the UK who receive Child Benefit — all families with children up to 16 years of age, plus those with children up to 20 years old if they are in full-time education or training — estimated to contain 25 million individuals in 7.25 million families. Among other items of information, the database contains names, addresses, dates of birth, child benefit and National Insurance numbers, and where appropriate, bank or building society account details.

The discs were created by a junior official at the HMRC in response to a request for information by the NAO, and were sent unregistered and unrecorded on 18 October using the courier company TNT — which operates the HMRC’s internal mail system. When it was found that the discs had not arrived for audit at the NAO, a further copy of this data was made and sent — this time by registered mail — and this package did arrive. HMRC were not informed that the original discs had been lost until 8 November, and Darling himself was informed on 10 November.

The violation of data protection laws involved in the creation of the discs has led to strong attacks on the government’s competence to establish the proposed National Identity Register, when all UK residents will have an identity card. Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne described the loss of data as “catastrophic” and said “They [the government] simply cannot be trusted with people’s personal information”.

The Chairman of HMRC, Paul Gray, has resigned over the affair, and critics are calling for Darling to do likewise.

This is the third data embarrassment for HMRC in recent weeks — earlier this month it was reported that the details of over 15,000 Standard Life customers had been put on disk, and then lost en route from HMRC in Newcastle to Standard Life in Edinburgh — and last month a laptop containing the data of 400 people with high-value ISAs was stolen from the boot of a car belonging to a HMRC official who had been carrying out a routine audit.

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May
15
2019
0

News briefs:August 20, 2006

The time is 18:00 (UTC) on August 20th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Volcano eruption in Ecuador kills five and destroys several small villages
    • 1.2 400 Australian soldiers sent to Afghanistan
    • 1.3 Pair taken off plane because of “suspicious” behaviour
    • 1.4 South Carolina attracting Republican hopefuls
    • 1.5 Australia’s “most powerful” windfarm approved
    • 1.6 JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect on his way to America
    • 1.7 American athlete Marion Jones tests positive for EPO
  • 2 Closing statements

[edit]

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May
13
2019
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Apple unveils new MacBook Air laptops, iLife ’11 software suite

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In a Wednesday media event, Apple Inc. released a new lineup of MacBook Air laptops and the 2011 version of the company’s iLife software suite. The “Back to the Mac” event also included a preview of Apple’s forthcoming Mac OS X Lion operating system, to be released in mid-2011.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new products at the Cupertino, California event, saying the company has “been inspired by the work [it has] done on the iPad, and [it wants] to bring it back to the Mac.” Apple has plans to import more features of its iOS mobile operating system to the Mac OS X operating system.

Jobs announced today that the “Lion” release to OS X, which is scheduled for release next summer, will include more support for multitouch and a desktop version of the company’s App Store. He said that the App Store will be available for Apple’s current OS “Snow Leopard” within 90 days, and that applications can be submitted starting next month. Jobs also announced that a beta version of FaceTime, Apple’s IOS video calling application, would be available for OS X users immediately. Several new applications will be added in OS X Lion, dubbed “Mission Control” and “Launchpad.”

“Lion brings many of the best ideas from iPad back to the Mac, plus some fresh new ones like Mission Control that Mac users will really like. Lion has a ton of new features, and we hope the few we had time to preview today will give users a good idea of where we are headed.”

In his keynote address Wednesday, Jobs announced the release of Apple’s iLife ’11 software suite, which includes the iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand programs. iPhoto has new slide show templates, while iMovie has added audio editing capabilities. GarageBand now includes several new piano- and guitar-playing lessons. iLife ’11 was released on Wednesday as a US$49 upgrade, and is also available free with new Mac purchases.

In another move to bring iOS functionality to Macintosh computers, Jobs announced an updated MacBook Air series of laptops, on sale now. The new MacBook Air uses flash memory rather than a traditional hard drive, and has no CD/DVD drive, an approach seen on the iPad tablet computer. In addition, the laptop’s battery life has been extended, even though it is only 0.68 in (1.73 cm) thick and weighs less than 3 lbs (1.36 kg). “We think it’s the future of notebooks,” said Jobs. There are now two models of the MacBook Air: an 11.6-inch (29.46-cm) version and a 13.3-inch (33.78-cm) model. Analyst Shawn Wu says the company “priced it really aggressively,” referring to the computer’s base price of US$999.

Jobs said that his company sold 13.7 million Macs last year, totaling US$22 billion. In the last financial quarter, Mac sales increased 22 percent, comprising 24 percent of total revenue for Apple. However, the original MacBook Air did not fare so well. Sales and hype over the first Air decreased soon after its introduction, and the line was overshadowed by the release of Apple’s 13-inch (33.02-cm) MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air had not been significantly updated since 2008.

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May
13
2019
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Bush Administration changes official position on legitimacy of Qur’an desecration allegations

Saturday, June 4, 2005

After an investigation of allegations that Islam’s holy book the Qu’ran was mishandled in front of inmates at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Bush administration has acknowledged the credibility of some of these reports. According to Robert Burns of the Associated Press, U.S. military officials acknowledged that, “a Muslim holy book was splashed with urine,” and “a detainee’s Quran was deliberately kicked and another’s was stepped on.” The US government first denied a specific report that the Qu’ran had been flushed down a toilet at the prison facility, but on Friday agreed that similar allegations were indeed true.

On May 16, Newsweek magazine apologized to the victims of deadly riots that ensued due to a Newsweek article stating that U.S. officials defiled the Qur’an. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan criticized Newsweek’s initial response to the incident, saying it was “puzzling.” Later that day, Newsweek retracted the story, which the White House said was a “good first step”.

On May 20, the International Red Cross (IRC) revealed in a rare public announcement that it had documented and reported to the United States credible information concerning desecration of the Qur’an by Guantanamo Bay personnel. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, acknowledged that allegations were made on “rare occasions” but were uncorroborated. Simon Schorno, a Red Cross spokesman, disputed the Pentagon’s denial saying, “All information we received were corroborated allegations.” He added that, “We certainly corroborated mentions of the events by detainees themselves,” and that “the ICRC considers such reports “very seriously, and very carefully, and [we] document everything.”

Scott McClellan explained in a press conference that the White House is not trying to tell Newsweek what to print. McClellan said, “Look, this report caused serious damage to the image of the United States abroad. And Newsweek has said that they got it wrong. I think Newsweek recognizes the responsibility they have. We appreciate the step that they took by retracting the story. Now we would encourage them to move forward and do all that they can to help repair the damage that has been done by this report. And that’s all I’m saying. But, no, you’re absolutely right, it’s not my position to get into telling people what they can and cannot report.”

On May 25, Amnesty International called for the shutdown on Guantanamo Bay due to numerous human rights violations, saying “The ‘war on terror’ appeared more effective in eroding international human rights principles than in countering international ‘terrorism’.” Amnesty International’s view was shared by both the International Red Cross (IRC) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The IRC has said it reported to the U.S. government detainee’s reports of desecration of the Qur’an. In the foreword of the report, written by Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan, Guantanamo was compared to a Soviet-era gulag in that it is “entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law”.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan responded saying the report’s allegations were “ridiculous and unsupported by the facts. The United States is leading the way when it comes to protecting human rights and promoting human dignity. We have liberated 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have worked to advance freedom and democracy in the world so that people are governed under a rule of law and that there are… protections in place for minority rights, that women’s rights are advanced so that women can fully participate in societies where now they cannot”, as well as supporting the fight against AIDS in Africa.

About the allegations of abuse at Guantanamo, which McClellan has previously called isolated incidents, he said, “We hold people accountable when there is abuse. We take steps to prevent it from happening again, and we do so in a very public way for the world to see that we lead by example, and that we do have values that we hold very dearly and believe in.”

On May 31, U.S. President George W. Bush dismissed the human rights report as “absurd” for its harsh criticism of U.S. treatment of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying the allegations were made by prisoners “who hate America.” “It’s an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world,” Bush said of the Amnesty International report.

William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, defended the report, saying, “What is ‘absurd’ is President Bush’s attempt to deny the deliberate policies of his administration.” and “What is ‘absurd’ and indeed outrageous is the Bush administration’s failure to undertake a full independent investigation”. Irene Khan also responded saying, “The administration’s response has been that our report is absurd, that our allegations have no basis, and our answer is very simple: if that is so, open up these detention centres, allow us and others to visit them.”

And, on Friday, the U.S. military released the results of their investigation and confirmed that in 5 separate incidents, American guards at the Guantánamo Bay prison “mishandled” the Islamic holy book. However, they stress that guards were usually “respectful” of the Qur’an. One incident involved splashing a Koran with urine by urinating near an air vent while others involved kicking, stepping on and writing in Qur’ans.

Brigadier-General Jay Hood, the commander of the jail, looked into the allegations, published and then retracted by Newsweek, that American personnel flushed a Qur’an down a toilet. He said that the inquiry did not find any evidence supporting this particular allegation. “The inquiry found no credible evidence that a member of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay ever flushed a Qur’an down a toilet. This matter is considered closed.”

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May
11
2019
0

Zimbabwe man steals bus for transport to pick up driving licence

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stead Mashushire, a 28-year-old Zimbabwean, has admitted today to stealing a Takaz commuter bus in Harare, Zimbabwe on August 7. He told the court he stole it because he needed transport to the Vehicle Inspection Department to collect his driving licence.

The man waited at the Charge Office Bus Terminus in central Harare until the driver exited the bus, destined for the nearby town of Chitungwiza, and proceeded to a nearby supermarket to buy food, leaving the engine running. Mashushire then entered the vehicle and told all the passengers and the conductor inside to exit it; when they did this, he drove away in the vehicle. He informed those on board that the police had impounded the bus, which fitted with events in the area at the time, when police were impounding numerous buses after ordering fares to be drastically cut.

The bus driver then returned to his bus, in time to see it being driven away without the passengers. He then attempted to chase the bus, and managed to receive help from a passing motorist, who pursued the stolen vehicle, leading to Mashushire being caught 7km from the scene of the theft.

Mashushire today told the court “I admit that I stole the bus but the engine was running. I did not use my own keys to start the bus,”.

The court convicted Mashushire of theft of a motor vehicle based on his own guilty plea, and ordered him to undergo a psychiatric test due to questions about his sanity, per the Mental Health Act. He has been remanded in custody until August 29, when he will be sentenced.

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May
11
2019
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US and France to work together for new Iran sanctions

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The United States and France have announced their intention to work together in an effort to implement additional United Nations sanctions on Iran.

The announcement came after a meeting between US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. According to Obama, the two nations planned on having the new sanctions implemented “within weeks.” Sarkozy pledged that the whole of Europe would be part of the plan, saying that he would make “all necessary efforts to make sure Europe as a whole engaged in the sanctions regime.” He said that he planned to specifically work with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his efforts. Merkel has previously said that if the UN will not agree to implement sanctions, Germany, in concert with other nations, may introduce sanctions of their own.

Obama said that the US would not wait for an extended period of to implement new sanctions, saying that he was “interested in seeing that regime in place within weeks.” Despite his commitment to the new sanctions, Obama also acknowledged the divisiveness that they provoked in other countries, saying that it was “something that we have to work on.” Most notable among the opposition is China, which says that sanctions could “complicate the situation.”

There have already been three rounds of sanction enacted, which have banned trade of nuclear material, frozen financial assets of individuals and corporations engaged in nuclear activities, blocked all arms exports from Iran, and advocated for examination of Iranian banks. The proposed fourth round would target the oil trade in Iran.

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May
11
2019
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Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb

Friday, March 13, 2009

A team of archaeologists excavating an Ancient Egyptian tomb have discovered golden jewelry in a recently-discovered lower chamber at the Valley of the Kings burial site in Luxor, Egypt.

Two golden rings and five golden earrings were found in the tomb of Djehuty, an 18th-dynasty official of Queen Hatshepsut, and were probably the property of Djehuty or his family.

The discovery was announced by Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s current Minister of Culture.

Djehuty was overseer of the treasury and overseer of works for the Queen. Hatshepsut reigned approximately 1479–1458 BCE. Djehuty was responsible for managing the huge amounts of precious goods brought in from Egypt’s military expedition to Punt in the Horn of Africa and the vast building projects of Hatshepsut which have made the female pharaoh one of the most-remembered of any from ancient Egypt.

Djehuty died after Hatshepsut did, sometime during the reign of Thutmosis III. Both Hatshepsut’s and Thutmosis’s names are recorded on the tomb. In a fashion typical of ancient Egyptian rivalries, Hatshepsut’s name was partly obscured on the monument over the tomb sometime after the queen’s death.

The team, led by José Manuel Galán of the National Research Center (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC), in Madrid, Spain, had been excavating the tomb, designated TT11 and located in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, since 2002. While much of Djehuty’s funerary equipment was lost to fire in antiquity, the lower chamber of his tomb was concealed at the end of a three-meter shaft and discovered at the end of 2008.

A superficial description of the tomb itself was recorded almost two hundred years ago by 19th-century French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, rubble blocking the entrance hindered excavation until the 21st century. In that time, emphasis in Egyptology has changed from the cataloging of treasures to the investigation of ancient culture, life and religion.

Since excavation began, Djehuty’s tomb has yielded a number of surprises. It was discovered that the tomb was re-used repeatedly up to and during the Greco-Roman period. There is an unusual face-on depiction of pharaoh Thutmosis III hunting ducks, and the mummy of a young, bejewelled, as-yet unidentified woman.

In 2007, 44 preserved bunches of flowers thought to be from Djehuty’s funeral were found in the site. In their 8th season of excavation, which ended on February 22, 2009, the team also found considerable evidence that below Djehuty’s tomb is a network of burial sites from the 11th dynasty, four thousand years old.

The lower chamber also displays passages from the Egyptian funerary text the Book of the Dead on its walls and a colorful mural of the goddess Nut, an embodiment of the heavens, on the ceiling. The names of Djehuty and his parents were also intact in the second chamber; the names were defaced in the previously-known first chamber of the tomb, which had also been looted.

According to a press release from Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Djehuty’s tomb is only the fifth known decorated burial chamber of the 18th dynasty. An additional unusual feature of the tomb is that its upper chamber is decorated in relief, rather than simply paint. When the excavation is completed, Dr Galán’s team plans to open the site to the public as the carved stoneworks will not be destroyed by tourists’ activities as paint would.

The identification of Djehuty is a complicated one, as a number of officials of the 18th dynasty bore the name, including a general and several governors. The name itself is an alternate transliteration of the name of the Egyptian god usually written in English as Thoth.

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