Archive for July, 2018

Suicide car bomber kills seven in Kohat, Pakistan

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Monday, April 19, 2010

Seven people were killed and 26 injured in the city of Kohat in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday after a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb near a police station, police officials said.

“It was a suicide attack, the target was a police station,” Dilawar Khan Bangash, police chief of Kohat, told AFP news agency. He said that all those killed in the attack were civilians. The explosion occurred at the back of the police station.

“Seven people have been killed and 21 were injured in this car suicide attack,” Abdullah Jan, another high ranking police official, told reporters. His statement was made soon after the attack, before the number of injured was revised upward. “These incidents are a reaction to the military operation in the tribal areas,” he claimed. Another police officer confirmed what Jan and Bangash had said, saying that approximately 200 kilograms of explosives were used.

The station was badly affected by the attack, and three rooms of a government-run primary school were destroyed. Seven local shops were also severely damaged.

This attack occurred a day after an earlier suicide bombing killed over 40 people near the same city, and two days after an attack in southern Pakistan killed upwards of ten people.

PM reshuffles Cabinet, Pranab Mukherjee is new Indian Foreign minister

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pranab Mukherjee was appointed the External Affairs Minister while veteran Congressman A K Antony took his place as Defence Minister in a minor expansion-cum-reshuffle of his 29-month-old government by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Kannada actor-turned-politician M H Ambareesh made his debut in the Union Ministry as Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting.

Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav, an RJD leader and a protege of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, who had to resign last year following allegations of influencing the police in a case of electoral malpractices against his brother, returned to the government, again as Minister of State for Water Resources.

Oscar Fernandes took over Ministry of Labour.

Launch of space shuttle Discovery delayed indefinitely

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Sunday, February 22, 2009

NASA announced during a press conference on Friday night that the agency has decided to delay the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, which was scheduled for takeoff on February 27. NASA cited the need for additional time to evaluate the shuttle’s hydrogen fuel flow control valves. A new launch date has yet to be scheduled, though NASA is considering mid-March as an option. Another review of Discovery’s flight readiness is scheduled for February 25.

Discovery had originally been scheduled for liftoff on February 12, but NASA wanted to perform additional tests on the valves which control the amount of hydrogen fuel pumped into the external tank when the shuttle is taking off. When Space Shuttle Endeavour went into space in November 2008, one of the valves broke. NASA fears that if one breaks off on this mission, then it could damage the outside of the shuttle.

“We need to complete more work to have a better understanding before flying,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. who chaired Friday’s Flight Readiness Review. “We were not driven by schedule pressure and did the right thing. When we fly, we want to do so with full confidence.”

The current scheduled mission, STS-119, is set to fly the Integrated Truss Structure segment (“S” for starboard, the right side of the station, and “6” for its place at the very end of the starboard truss) and install the final set of power-generating solar arrays to the International Space Station. The arrays consist of two 115-foot-long arrays, for a total wing span of 240 feet, including the equipment that connects the two halves and allows them to twist as they track the sun. Altogether, the four sets of arrays can generate 84 to 120 kilowatts of electricity – enough to provide power for more than 40 average homes.

Commander Lee Archambault will lead Discovery’s crew of seven, along with Pilot Tony Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata.

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

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

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.

Friendly fire killing of Lance Corporal Matty Hull deemed unlawful

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2007

In a narrative verdict, the Coroner investigating the death of UK soldier Lance Corporal Matty Hull, who was killed in a friendly fire incident in Iraq on 28 March 2003, has ruled that his killing was unlawful.

L.Cpl Hull, who was from the Household Cavalry, died inside his blazing Scimitar tank when it was attacked 25 miles north of Basra by a US “tankbuster” aircraft. Four other soldiers were injured in the incident. Video footage from the cockpit of the aircraft was shown privately to his family during the inquest.

The US authorities were uncooperative throughout the proceedings and refused to give evidence, only allowing the cockpit footage to be shown after it had been leaked to a British tabloid newspaper.

Canadian dollar reaches parity with US dollar

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2007File:CAN Loonie.jpg

The rising value of the Canadian dollar briefly matched the falling United States dollar for the first time since 1976, before closing at 0.9987 US dollars on Thursday. The Canadian dollar has risen 62% since bottoming out at 0.6179 US dollars in 2002, following a steady decline since the 1976 electoral victory of separatist René Lévesque in Quebec which triggered economic fears about Canadian stability.

As a result of their rising currency, Canadians have enjoyed cheaper imports from the US and tourism in the US, while export industries have suffered. The Canadian dollar’s recent rise is partly due to the soaring prices of oil, gold, copper, and wheat, which Canada exports in great quantities. The Canadian economy has also benefited from Canada’s large budget and trade surpluses.

The value of the US dollar has also fallen in relation to other currencies in the past year: while the Canadian dollar rose 16%, the Euro gained 6%, the Japanese yen about 4%, and the British pound 2%.

The US dollar took a sharp hit this week due to a higher-than-expected half-point cut in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve, intended to mitigate the effects of a deepening housing slump and turbulence in the credit market.

Rare Middle East cyclone batters Oman

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Tropical Storm Gonu headed toward Iran today, after lashing Oman for two days with high winds and torrential rains, and causing at least 23 deaths and the evacuation of more than 20,000 people to emergency shelters. Concern was high for the oil industry, as rough seas kept tankers from leaving their ports.

Such storms are rare in the Middle East. Early today, Gonu was weakening and was downgraded to a tropical storm. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center projected the storm to continue weakening as it made landfall on Iran’s southeastern coast. Offshore Iranian oil installations were expected to be spared, officials said.

In the Omani capital, Muscat yesterday, there were torrential rains and howling winds, a rarity in the quiet coastal city. Streets were flooded and emergency vehicles were useless. Flights were canceled at Oman’s Seeb International Airport.

Twenty-three deaths were reported by Omani authorities today. Electricity and phone lines were out and roads flooded. Police said a body washed ashore in Sur. There were also reports of people trapped in homes in low-lying areas of the capital.

Authorities used mobile-phone text messages to warn people away from dangerous areas. Residents were warned to stay at home, or seek shelter in buildings that could withstand the harsh weather.

Shareefa bint Khalfan, Omani minister of social development, said more than 20,000 people were evacuated to government shelters.

At Oman’s weather center, where records have been kept since 1890, metorologists said Gonu was likely the strongest storm to hit Oman since 1977. Milder tropical storms are common mid-May to late June.

In Iran, hundreds of residents of Chabahr, a port on the Gulf of Oman, were evacuated.

“University and school students were moved to higher ground in the area to avoid the cyclone effects,” Hojjat Ali Shayanfar, head of emergency services in Sistan Baluchistan province, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Some major roads were flooded in southeastern Iran. In the port city of Bandar Abbas, winds shattered windows and knocked down billboards & trees.

Oman has relatively small oil fields, and there was little damage to them. But oil exports were cut off, as the raging seas kept tankers battened down in port for a third day today. To the north, at the world’s third-largest shipping fuel center in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, all refueling and supply operations were suspended, and ships were kept in their berths. At the entrance to the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, ships passed through, despite four- to six-foot swells and strong winds. About one-fifth of the world’s oil passes through this narrow chokepoint.

Iran, OPEC’s No. 2 oil exporter, said the storm would not disrupt supplies because its main terminals were inside the Gulf waterway. Analysts were mixed on how the storm will affect prices at the gas pump.

“About 17-21 million barrels a day of oil are coming out of the Persian Gulf. Even if only some of the tankers are delayed, that could reduce the supply of oil and increase prices,” Manouchehr Takin, at the Center for Global Energy Studies in London, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

But Tim Evans, an analyst at Citigroup Global Markets, said while the storm may delay oil tankers, they will eventually get to their destinations, so prices shouldn’t be affected too drastically.

Oil prices rose US$0.25 to $65.86 a barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

At its peak, Tropical Cyclone Gonu, named for a bag of palm leaves in the language of the Maldives, reached sustained winds of 240 kilometers an hour (149 miles per hour) . By early today, winds were around 83 km/h, and it was expect to keep weakening.

The storm is believed to be the strongest cyclone to hit the Arabian Peninsula since record-keeping started in 1945, and was tied for the strongest tropical cyclone in the northern Indian Ocean, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Warhol’s photo legacy spread by university exhibits

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Evansville, Indiana, United States — This past week marked the opening night of an Andy Warhol exhibit at the University of Southern Indiana. USI’s art gallery, like 189 other educational galleries and museums around the country, is a recipient of a major Warhol donor program, and this program is cultivating new interest in Warhol’s photographic legacy. Wikinews reporters attended the opening and spoke to donors, exhibit organizers and patrons.

The USI art gallery celebrated the Thursday opening with its display of Warhol’s Polaroids, gelatin silver prints and several colored screen prints. USI’s exhibit, which is located in Evansville, Indiana, is to run from January 23 through March 9.

The McCutchan Art Center/Pace Galleries at USI bases its exhibit around roughly 100 Polaroids selected from its collection. The Polaroids were all donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, according to Kristen Wilkins, assistant professor of photography and curator of the exhibit. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts made two donations to USI Art Collections, in 2007 and a second recently.

Kathryn Waters, director of the gallery, expressed interest in further donations from the foundation in the future.

Since 2007 the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program has seeded university art galleries throughout the United States with over 28,000 Andy Warhol photographs and other artifacts. The program takes a decentralized approach to Warhol’s photography collection and encourages university art galleries to regularly disseminate and educate audiences about Warhol’s artistic vision, especially in the area of photography.

Contents

  • 1 University exhibits
  • 2 Superstars
  • 3 Warhol’s photographic legacy
  • 4 USI exhibit
  • 5 Sources

Wikinews provides additional video, audio and photographs so our readers may learn more.

Wilkins observed that the 2007 starting date of the donation program, which is part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, coincided with the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death in 1987. USI was not alone in receiving a donation.

K.C. Maurer, chief financial officer and treasurer at the Andy Warhol Foundation, said 500 institutions received the initial invitation and currently 190 universities have accepted one or more donations. Institutional recipients, said Mauer, are required to exhibit their donated Warhol photographs every ten years as one stipulation.

While USI is holding its exhibit, there are also Warhol Polaroid exhibits at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and an Edward Steichen and Andy Warhol exhibit at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. All have received Polaroids from the foundation.

University exhibits can reach out and attract large audiences. For example, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro saw attendance levels reach 11,000 visitors when it exhibited its Warhol collection in 2010, according to curator Elaine Gustafon. That exhibit was part of a collaboration combining the collections from Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which also were recipients of donated items from the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program.

Each collection donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program holds Polaroids of well-known celebrities. The successful UNC Greensboro exhibit included Polaroids of author Truman Capote and singer-songwriter Carly Simon.

“I think America’s obsession with celebrity culture is as strong today as it was when Warhol was living”, said Gustafon. “People are still intrigued by how stars live, dress and socialize, since it is so different from most people’s every day lives.”

Wilkins explained Warhol’s obsession with celebrities began when he first collected head shots as a kid and continued as a passion throughout his life. “He’s hanging out with the celebrities, and has kind of become the same sort of celebrity he was interested in documenting earlier in his career”, Wilkins said.

The exhibit at USI includes Polaroids of actor Dennis Hopper; musician Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran; publishers Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone Magazine and Carlo De Benedetti of Italy’s la Repubblica; disco club owner Steve Rubell of Studio 54; photographers Nat Finkelstein, Christopher Makos and Felice Quinto; and athletes Vitas Gerulaitis (tennis) and Jack Nicklaus (golf).

Wikinews observed the USI exhibit identifies and features Polaroids of fashion designer Halston, a former resident of Evansville.

University collections across the United States also include Polaroids of “unknowns” who have not yet had their fifteen minutes of fame. Cynthia Thompson, curator and director of exhibits at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, said, “These images serve as documentation of people in his every day life and art — one which many of us enjoy a glimpse into.”

Warhol was close to important touchstones of the 1960s, including art, music, consumer culture, fashion, and celebrity worship, which were all buzzwords and images Wikinews observed at USI’s opening exhibit.

He was also an influential figure in the pop art movement. “Pop art was about what popular American culture really thought was important”, Kathryn Waters said. “That’s why he did the Campbell Soup cans or the Marilyn pictures, these iconic products of American culture whether they be in film, video or actually products we consumed. So even back in the sixties, he was very aware of this part of our culture. Which as we all know in 2014, has only increased probably a thousand fold.”

“I think everybody knows Andy Warhol’s name, even non-art people, that’s a name they might know because he was such a personality”, Water said.

Hilary Braysmith, USI associate professor of art history, said, “I think his photography is equally influential as his graphic works, his more famous pictures of Marilyn. In terms of the evolution of photography and experimentation, like painting on them or the celebrity fascination, I think he was really ground-breaking in that regard.”

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The Polaroid format is not what made Warhol famous, however, he is in the company of other well-known photographers who used the camera, such as Ansel Adams, Chuck Close, Walker Evans, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Helmut Newton.

Wilkins said, “[Warhol] liked the way photo booths and the Polaroid’s front flash looked”. She explained how Warhol’s adoption of the Polaroid camera revealed his process. According to Wilkins, Warhol was able to reproduce the Polaroid photograph and create an enlargement of it, which he then could use to commit the image to the silk screen medium by applying paint or manipulating them further. One of the silk screens exhibited at USI this time was the Annie Oakley screen print called “Cowboys and Indians” from 1987.

Wilkins also said Warhol was both an artist and a businessperson. “As a way to commercialize his work, he would make a blue Marilyn and a pink Marilyn and a yellow Marilyn, and then you could pick your favorite color and buy that. It was a very practical salesman approach to his work. He was very prolific but very business minded about that.”

“He wanted to be rich and famous and he made lots of choices to go that way”, Wilkins said.

It’s Warhol. He is a legend.

Kiara Perkins, a second year USI art major, admitted she was willing to skip class Thursday night to attend the opening exhibit but then circumstances allowed for her to attend the exhibit. Why did she so badly want to attend? “It’s Warhol. He is a legend.”

For Kevin Allton, a USI instructor in English, Warhol was also a legend. He said, “Andy Warhol was the center of the Zeitgeist for the 20th century and everything since. He is a post-modern diety.”

Allton said he had only seen the Silver Clouds installation before in film. The Silver Clouds installation were silver balloons blown up with helium, and those balloons filled one of the smaller rooms in the gallery. “I thought that in real life it was really kind of magical,” Allton said. “I smacked them around.”

Elements of the Zeitgeist were also playfully recreated on USI’s opening night. In her opening remarks for attendees, Waters pointed out those features to attendees, noting the touches of the Warhol Factory, or the studio where he worked, that were present around them. She pointed to the refreshment table with Campbell’s Soup served with “electric” Kool Aid and tables adorned with colorful gumball “pills”. The music in the background was from such bands as The Velvet Underground.

The big hit of the evening, Wikinews observed from the long line, was the Polaroid-room where attendees could wear a Warhol-like wig or don crazy glasses and have their own Polaroid taken. The Polaroids were ready in an instant and immediately displayed at the entry of the exhibit. Exhibit goers then became part of the very exhibit they had wanted to attend. In fact, many people Wikinews observed took out their mobiles as they left for the evening and used their own phone cameras to make one further record of the moment — a photo of a photo. Perhaps they had learned an important lesson from the Warhol exhibit that cultural events like these were ripe for use and reuse. We might even call these exit instant snap shots, the self selfie.

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Children enjoy interacting with the “Silver Clouds” at the Andy Warhol exhibit. Image: Snbehnke.

Kathryn Waters opens the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI. Image: Snbehnke.

At the Andy Warhol exhibit, hosts document all the names of attendees who have a sitting at the Polaroid booth. Image: Snbehnke.

Curator Kristin Wilkins shares with attendees the story behind his famous Polaroids. Image: Snbehnke.

A table decoration at the exhibit where the “pills” were represented by bubble gum. Image: Snbehnke.

Two women pose to get their picture taken with a Polaroid camera. Their instant pics will be hung on the wall. Image: Snbehnke.

Even adults enjoyed the “Silver Clouds” installation at the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI. Image: Snbehnke.

Many people from the area enjoyed Andy Warhol’s famous works at the exhibit at USI. Image: Snbehnke.

Katie Waters talks with a couple in the Silver Clouds area. Image: Snbehnke.

Many people showed up to the new Andy Warhol exhibit, which opened at USI. Image: Snbehnke.

At the exhibit there was food and beverages inspired to look like the 1960s. Image: Snbehnke.

A woman has the giggles while getting her Polaroid taken. Image: Snbehnke.

A man poses to get his picture taken by a Polaroid camera, with a white wig and a pair of sunglasses. Image: Snbehnke.

Finished product of the Polaroid camera film of many people wanting to dress up and celebrate Andy Warhol. Image: Snbehnke.

Major US bankruptcy reform bill signed into law

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Thursday, April 21, 2005

U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law Wednesday a major bankruptcy reform bill, making the most sweeping changes to the laws of personal bankruptcy in the past two decades. Bill S.256 is predicted to reduce the chances of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy for 30,000 to 210,000 families per year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

The legislation was strongly opposed by some consumer advocates and by some Democrats in Congress, who complained about the lack of debate on exemptions they attempted to introduce and tried to derail the passage of the bill. Those who are unable to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will then be forced to file under Chapter 13, which requires payment of some debts by order of a judge based on the financial resources of the debtor.

Opponents said the bill will end a chance for a fresh start in the financial lives of the American people by keeping them in debt to collection agencies, as well as credit card companies and banks who have made it easy to obtain high credit limits amid mounting consumer debt.

In his remarks before signing the bill, which he supported, Bush said, “The bipartisan bill I’mabout to sign makes common-sense reforms to our bankruptcy laws. By restoringintegrity to the bankruptcy process, this law will make our financial systemstronger and better. By making the system fairer for creditors and debtors,we will ensure that more Americans can get access to affordable credit.”

The bankruptcy bill received a 302-126 approval in the house, after receiving a 74-25 vote in the Senate last month following strong, mostly partisan debate.

The US bankruptcy system was established in 1898. It allowed judges and debtors to come to terms with the costly medical bills that can follow a relative’s death, or a family illness. Such cases form nearly half of all bankruptcies filed in the USA, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Now many of those people will have to work out repayment plans suitable to creditors instead of having debts erased by a judge, according to the new law, which takes effect in six months.

In the past, a judge or court representative would calculate an individual’s income and subtract necessities of life to come up with a practical repayment plan of some debt. The new law stipulates that a graph, showing the poverty level in whichever state the consumer is living will be the criteria. It assumes that if people can subsist at that poverty level, then everything over that can be used to repay creditors.

Additionally, a provision that allowed debtors to file their own Chapter 7 fresh start bankruptcy has been changed to require a lawyer, paid by the debtor, to do the filing.

The new law also erased “usury” provisions in lending laws, with some lawmakers saying that paying 30 percent interest was not too much when a debtor was behind on payments.

But Bush said that credit will “be more affordable because when bankruptcy is less common, credit can be extended to more people at better rates,” meeting demands of the credit card companies which they have been pressing for the last eight years.

“The big winners under the new law will be the special interests that literally wrote it, particularly the credit card industry,” said Travis B. Plunkett, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America. “This is particularly ironic because reckless and abusive lending practices by credit card companies have driven many Americans to the brink of bankruptcy.”

The forces arrayed on the losing side of this bill said it will hurt low-income working people, single mothers, minorities, and elderly and will end a safety net for people who have lost jobs or face major medical bills. People who fail (refuse) to pay or refuse to go to court will punished by a fine and or arrest warrant made out in their name. About fifty thousand Americans will be punished by a fine and or warrant about three thousand Americans every year will go to jail under the new bankruptcy law. For some people this will be a third strike so they will be put in jail for life.

But Mallory Duncan, a lawyer for the National Retail Federation, said “Bankruptcy has gone from a stigma to a financial planning tool for many.”

New personal bankruptcy filings have increased from 172,423 in 1978 to 1,599,986 last year, an increase of 828% during that time; however, it edged down slightly last year.

About 2 percent to 13 percent of those who dissolve their debts in Chapter 7 bankruptcy each year in exchange for forfeiting some assets will be disqualified from doing so under the law, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Bankruptcy lawyers anticipate a rush to the courthouse to beat the six-month window before the new reforms take effect.

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