Archive for September, 2018

New Zealand National Party leader, Don Brash, resigns

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Thursday, November 23, 2006

New Zealand National Party leader, Dr. Don Brash has resigned as the leader of opposition. Dr Brash made the announcement at press conference held in parliament, stating that ongoing media speculation about his leadership was damaging the party’s reputation. Brash will officially step down on Monday, where the party will vote for a new leader and deputy-leader.

“For some weeks now I’ve been giving consideration to the right time and the right way to announce this decision. I’ve held off because I’ve been keen to have two untidy matters dealt with before my departure,” Dr Brash said.

The decision came after a Goods and Service Tax error in last year’s election made by the party, “Although this had nothing to do with me personally it was a source of embarrassment and I was very keen indeed to get the matter resolved before my resignation.” And recent news of Brash’s emails making their way into “outsiders’ hands” was also a factor in his decision to leave. The emails were the subject of a book published by Nicky Hager, which is expected to be released to the public tomorrow morning. Dr Brash said: “The announcement of Mr Hager’s book almost caused me to defer my resignation as leader. I deeply resent the lies and distortions which seem to have been included in his book and I intend to vigorously contest those allegations.” Dr. Brash denied media questioning regarding Nicky Hager’s book’s influence on his decision to resign from leadership.

It seems that John Key will be the next leader, with a recent Auckland poll showing Key only 1.4 points behind Brash. Nicky Hager has claimed the information in his book may be damaging to John Key as well. Brash’s decision came with the Nationals ahead in the poll. Dr. Brash mentioned that he would remain in politics for the National Party if the new leader would provide him with a senior position following the Monday when he steps down from the post. The decision has left the party in crisis, set for their fifth leader in 9 years. Prime Minister Helen Clark said the National Party are having an identity crisis and is unstable.

Dr Brash regrets that he will not be able to lead National into the next election which will take place in 2008.

Michael Cullen, deputy Prime Minister, said: “Brash’s resignation was inevitable. This continued instability in the National Party is a sign of a party still nowhere near ready to govern. Dr Brash’s resignation was inevitable. But it solves little. By all accounts Mr Key, the likely successor, was deeply involved in all the events that have eventually led to Dr Brash’s downfall.”

The Benefits Of Residential Alarm Monitoring

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

byAlma Abell

A home is where many people spend a majority of their time. This is also where numerous people keep their most expensive and prized assets. To protect a person’s financial interest, it’s prudent to have residential alarm monitoring. This allows a home-owner to have his security system monitored by a trained professional. There are many benefits to using a security provider to safeguard against dangerous situations.

Having residential alarm monitoring can give a home-owner peace of mind. An emergency or crisis can occur at any time. A fire can break out. An intruder can enter your home. By having a security system observed by an expert at a central station, a person won’t simply have to rely upon a system that can detect fire or an intruder. When a sensor is set off in a home, an alert monitoring expert can call a home-owner to verify the emergency. This is typically done by giving a password. When a home-owner does not answer, an alert monitoring expert will typically call the appropriate emergency services.

Many elderly or incapacitated people use alarm monitoring systems because they are unable to get around as well. When such a person falls or is seriously hurt, she can use the monitoring system to get the right help. Many elderly or incapacitated people have a necklace with a button that enables them alert the monitoring personnel. This is beneficial since a person may not be able to get up from a fall. An intruder can break into a home and point a gun at a person. In this situation, a person would not be able to call the alert monitoring personnel. However, she may be able to push the button on a necklace around her neck. The police would arrive and the situation would be handled accordingly.

Having a person look after the safety of a home allows a home-owner to relax and sleep well. For more information on this type of defence, a person can talk to an expert at This company can effectively handle many types of security systems for enhanced client protection and satisfaction.

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Wikinews Shorts: August 5, 2008

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, August 5, 2008.


  • 1 Known gorilla population more than doubled
  • 2 NBA: Paul Pierce handcuffed in Las Vegas
  • 3 Woman throws lasagna at husband
  • 4 Police rescue two swimmers in Lake Michigan
  • 5 World’s smallest snake discovered in Barbados
 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

125,000 western lowland gorillas have been found in isolated forests of the Republic of Congo, according to a census by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The number more than doubles the present estimated population of 50-100 thousand. The population resides in two areas covering just 18,000 square miles, living in densities previously thought to be not possible.

President of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Steve Sanderson, says that this does not mean the gorillas are out of danger and they are still vulnerable to Ebola and humans, who target them for bush meat.


Boston Celtics player Paul Pierce, the MVP of the 2008 NBA Finals, was handcuffed by police in Las Vegas, Nevada about 3:00 a.m. Sunday during a traffic stop. A spokesman for the Las Vegas Police Department said that was initially hostile, though didn’t say that this was the cause for the handcuffs. Multiple news agencies that report that Pierce passed both a sobriety test and a Breathalyzer. Neither Pierce nor the Celtics have released a comment.


A woman threw a frozen lasagna at her husband. This happened in Atlantic Beach, Florida. The woman has been charged with domestic battery after throwing frozen lasagna at her husband. The two were arguing when she picked up the frozen lasagna and tossed it at her husband striking him. The husband said his wife struck him across the face many times before throwing the frozen lasagna at him hitting him in the head. The woman admitted to officers that she had thrown the frozen lasagna at her husband to hit him in the head. The husband was arrested for a violation of a court injunction.


Two people have been saved from Lake Michigan said Evanston Police in Illinois. Four officers saved the two people from the lake. This happened late Sunday. One officer had swallowed too much water and has been treated at a local hospital police had said on Monday. At Lee Street Beach at 11:57 p.m. close to midnight. Police could hear people yelling for help around the metal breakwater police had said. Police could not see the swimmers due to how dark it was outside. As police went into the water with rescue disks to try and save the people from the water. Officers then found a man that was 50 yards off shore that had been taken into the breakwater by the large waves said police. Police then threw a rescue disk towards his direction and the man grabbed on and was pulled safely to shore, also another women was rescued.


Wikipedia has more about this subject:

The world’s smallest snake, the Leptotyphlops carlae, has been discovered in Barbados by Dr Blair Hedges, an evolutionary scientist from Pennsylvania State University. The Leptotyphlops carlae is the smallest of the 3100 known species of snakes. The species is thinner than a piece of spaghetti and is about 10cm long, small enough to curl up on a United States quarter.


DHS relies on Wikipedia for asylum information, appeals court rules against use

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Department of Homeland Security was wrong in using the online encyclopedia Wikipedia as a reference when deciding whether to allow asylum seekers to stay in the United States.

The department used the Wikipedia article named laissez-passer to decide whether the document was a valid form of identification. This is despite the fact that the article had a large orange notice at the top of the article saying that “this article does not cite any references or sources.”

The Board of Immigration Appeals has stated that it doesn’t “encourage the use of resources such as [sic] in reaching pivotal decisions in immigration proceedings.” They said that they allowed the decision to stand due to the fact that the information seemed accurate.

The appeals court noted when making the decision that Wikipedia admits that articles will stay inaccurate and unbalanced for long periods of time. Below is the extract from the court documents that makes this point:

…The site acknowledges [that articles], “may become caught up in a heavily unbalanced

viewpoint and can take some time – months perhaps – to regain a better-balanced consensus.” Id. As a consequence, Wikipedia observes, the website’s “radical openness means that any given article may be, at any given moment, in a bad state: for example, it could be in the middle of a large edit or it could have been recently vandalized.”

Cary Bass, the volunteer coordinator of the Wikimedia Foundation, gave Wikinews the following statement on this issue:

Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia — almost every article can be edited by anyone at any time. The vast majority of the information is accurate and the editors strive to write from a neutral point of view, but the nature of the project is that at any moment, any article can contain erroneous information or pure inaccuracies.

Anyone using Wikipedia as an original source should be mindful of this fact; and anyone citing critical information such as a judge for use in a lawsuit is advised to use the sources provided via each article’s references section, history and talk page to verify that the information they are reading is, in fact, accurate.

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

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

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.

How To Reduce Stress And Improve Your Life!

Friday, September 28th, 2018

By Fritz Blanc

What can you enhance to decrease stress in your life? Simply enhancing your life will help to reduce stress since problems (stressors) are the main cause of stress. Do you have friends influencing your life? Are these friends positive influences or junkies that create chaos for you? If you friends are good then you are fine, however if your friends are not beneficial for your well being then it is time to make a decision to change your life and reduce stress by eliminating stressors. If you cannot find any positive influence from your friends then a change of friends will definitely reduce your stress.

What about if you have to decide between two engagements? If a person is torn between two reports, he or she might weigh the questions in their mind and see what report is most important to finish. When the person decides to finish the report and turns it in on schedule, he or she will feel good about the accomplishment. Therefore, decision plays a large part in stress. If we are making good decisions most likely, the stress in our life will decrease.

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Fear can play a major role in increasing stress. When a person is entangled with fear, it often leads that person to stress, depression, anxiety, phobias, paranoia and so forth. The key to a successful life then is mastering your fears. You see many people do not realize that fear is the root of all mental problems, or even common problems. A person may not realize that fear exists, but it is underlying the source of all humankind’s problems. Fear comes in all forms, including fear of heights, fear of disease, fear of death, and so forth. When we reach inside searching for the buried fears, we are taking one-step closing to removing stress from our lives.

Some forms of stress can be treated with medications. Not all medications are bad. In fact, Zoloft is great for treating patients with anxiety and depression and is known to have little side effects. It is important to learn your stressors since this can help reduce your stress. Exercise, eating healthy, avoiding chemicals and substances that cause harm and increase stress, and setting up a consistent routine for survival has proven worthy of relieving stress. It is always better to approach stress with natural remedies rather than trying medications with potential side effects.

I suppose that we all want to learn how to avoid stress rather than adhere to the causes in life that increases our stress level. Obviously, some medications cause stress to the point of death. Personally I will research the marketplace and learn all I can about any medication, mental health diagnose and so forth to stop these experts at the door when they attempt to offer me something that causes more harm than good. These people may have a PHD, Master’s or Bachelor’s but it does not mean they have all the answers to our stress problem.

There are other techniques available that can help us to limit stress. They include breathing techniques, visual, self-talk and so forth. If you are feeling frustrating, taking a few deep breaths can help release your anxiety and reduce your stress. You may want to learn more about the symptoms of stress, since this will help you understand when you are overwhelmed. Getting the facts is the only greatest stress management tool that will lead us to the road to success and a fast recovery.

About the Author: Please visit Fritz’s web site on Stress Management


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Exclusive: David Anderson talks about the Stardust@home project

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Following the return of the Stardust space capsule from its encounter with the Comet Wild 2, NASA scientists have come up with a novel approach to dealing with the samples of “interstellar dust” that have been collected; they want help from the public.

The Stardust spacecraft carried an aerogel-based dust collector, which was exposed to space in varying orientations during different phases of the mission.

Wikipedia has more about this subject:

Only one side of the collector was exposed towards the stream of particles coming off the Comet Wild 2 during the encounter in 2004, while the other side was used to collect interstellar dust at an earlier point in the spacecraft’s journey.

Although scientists have seen the particles captured from comet Wild 2 when they examined the aerogel, they have not examined any of the particles expected on the other side of the collector due to their smallness. They will be examined after they are found with the help of Stardust@home. It is believed that on the order of 50 interstellar dust particles impacted the aerogel, each now resting inside a tiny crater.

Stardust traveled nearly three billion miles and its mission lasted seven years. At times it was traveling at 8 miles a second. Thats fast enough to go from San Francisco to Los Angeles in one minute.

Stardust set a new all-time record for being the fastest spacecraft to return to Earth, breaking the previous record set in May of 1969 during the return of the Apollo X(10) command module. Don Brownlee of the University of Washington, Seattle said “our spacecraft has traveled further than anything from Earth ever has – and came back. We went half-way to Jupiter to meet the comet and collect samples from it. But the comet actually came in from the outer edge of the solar system, out beyond the orbit of Neptune, out by Pluto.”

In a move similar to some distributed computing projects, the analysis work for the project will be spread among volunteers on the Internet, who are being asked to participate in this scientific undertaking.

Wikinews reporter Jason Safoutin investigated the Stardust@home project, and discussed its goals with one of its founders. Via email, he interviewed David P. Anderson, a founder of the SETI@home project, and one of the creators of the Virtual Microscope which will be used to search for captured particles from interstellar space.

I was wondering If I could get some questions answered or if you could give me some “insider” info for the project. I am aware that you are taking place in the development of the VM (Virtual Microscope)…Could I know more about that?The ‘virtual microscope’ lets you scan through a set of images as if you were turning the focus knob on a microscope. The images are fairly large (about 100 KB each) so it’s important to pre-load the images. While you’re looking through one set of images, the VM is busy downloading the JPEG files for the next set.

At first we thought we’d have to do this with a Java applet or Flash program – something tricky and complicated. My contribution was to point out that it could be done fairly easily using Javascript, and I wrote a prototype of this.

Will this project use the BOINC Platform/Program?

Wikipedia has more about this subject:

No. We thought about using some parts of BOINC (like the database and web pages for creating “accounts”) but it was easier just to do this from scratch.

How long will the project take?

It depends how many volunteers participate, and how fast they look at the ‘focus movies’. It will probably be just a month or two.

Anyone can join but they have to take a test before they can participate. What will the test include?

Looking at some focus movies and deciding whether they contain a dust particle. Participants see a lot of training examples before they take the test. It’s easy, not like a test in school.

How many will be allowed to participate?

No limit as of now.

When will the project start?

I think in about 2 months. It will take that long to transport the aerogel to the laboratory, and photograph it with the microscope. The software is ready to go.

Will the VM project analyze any of the particles or just look for them?

Stardust@home will only locate the particles. When they are located, they will be cut out of the aerogel and physically analyzed.

Thank you for your time David. And great work on the upcoming project and SETI@home.

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Thursday, September 27th, 2018
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CEO of GM outlines plan for “New GM” after auto company declared bankruptcy

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In a New York press conference at 16:15 UTC, June 1st, Fritz Henderson, the Chief Executive Officer of General Motors, which filed for bankruptcy and Chapter 11 protection from its creditors earlier today, outlined a plan for what he called a “New GM”.

Speaking to the press under safe harbor provisions of U.S. law, Henderson described the events of today as a “defining moment” in the history of General Motors. Speaking to the public he said that “The GM that let you down is history,” and described a “New GM” that he expected to result from the bankruptcy process.

Henderson stated that he envisioned the bankruptcy process would take between 60 and 90 days. He stressed several times his view that the process would be one that is executed quickly, saying that not just a sense of urgency but “pure unadulterated speed” was his expectation of the process. He emphasized that “GM remains open for business” during the bankruptcy period, continuing to sell and to support its products, and that day one motions had been filed in the bankruptcy court in order to allow this.

Regarding the bankruptcy process he said, “We will do it right. And we will do it once.”

He stated that the plan for General Motors had the support of the United Auto Workers union, the Canadian Auto Workers union, the GM VEBA, and a majority of the unsecured bondholders of GM. He also mentioned that GM had already received €1.5 million in bridge financing from the German government.

In response to questions about the possibility of the United States federal government, a majority shareholder in the restructured company, dictating future product development and strategy, such as the sale of more fuel-efficient and green vehicles; he first observed that the federal government had already stated to him that it had “no real interest in running our business” and that he expected that still to be his job. Of the specific hypothetical scenario where the management of GM wants to make one type of car, because it thinks that it is the right thing for the business, and the U.S. government wants to make another type of car, he stated that “I don’t think it’s going to happen.” Expanding on that point he stated that he expected the “New GM” to focus upon “highly fuel-efficient and green technology”, and that operating both in accordance with U.S. environmental laws and in response to customer demand would naturally result in the New GM producing the types of vehicles that the U.S. government would encourage.

The “New GM” he also expected to focus on “four core brands”, and will size its dealership to match that. He stated that GM would offer a “deferred termination” package to dealers, to allow them to cease dealing in GM vehicles in a managed and gradual way.

He stated that the bankruptcy filings did not cover General Motors’ businesses in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, and Asia and the Pacific. Of GM’s profitable ventures in China, specifically, he stated that they were “a critical part of the New GM”. In response to questions of whether the New GM would import cars from China to the U.S., he stated the formative company’s core principle that “We build where we sell” applied in both directions, with GM building in China to sell in China and building in the U.S. to sell in the U.S., stating that this shortened supply chains.

He declined to predict when the New GM would return to profitability, stating that the goal was rather to lower the break-even EBIT point for the company. He also declined to speculate upon when the U.S. government would sell its stake in the company, saying that that was a question “better addressed to the U.S. Treasury”, and merely saying that he expected it to be “years, not months” when the U.S. Treasury felt it would give “the right return for taxpayers.”

Controversy over Liverpool fan jailed in Bulgaria

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Friday, July 29, 2005

Michael Shields, an 18-year old Liverpool Football Club supporter, has been jailed for the attempted murder of a Bulgarian barman, despite another man from Liverpool admitting full responsibility.

Shields, 18 from Wavertree was charged with the attempted murder of Martin Georgiev, 25, after being accused of throwing a brick at the barman’s head in the city of Varna, where he was celebrating Liverpool football club’s win over AC Milan in the final of the Champions League in Istanbul in May.

Before being charged, a 20 year old man from Anfield came forward and claimed responsibility for the attack – Graham Sankey, made a statement through his lawyer David Kirwan.

Mr Kirwan said: “Graham believed the case against Michael would either be thrown or adjourned after he came forward to make his confession.” Despite the confession, Shields was convicted of attempted murder.

Shields’ uncle, Joey Graney, was in court when the sentence was passed and said: “Michael was sobbing. He’s an 18-year-old lad, quiet as a mouse, on his own, going back to a Bulgarian jail. What’s he going to do? As far as the Bulgarians were concerned, a local lad had been attacked and they wanted their scapegoat. They did not care that Graham Sankey has confessed to carrying out the attack. They just tossed that aside.”

The family have said they will do everything in their power to clear Michael’s name. Meanwhile, Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman, has backed the family’s campaign calling the incident a “travesty of justice”.

“Graham Sankey has admitted he was guilty of the crime that Michael Shields is now convicted of, but he did so in a way that was inadmissible to the Bulgarian court,” added Mrs Ellman, who is planning to speak to his defence team.

A British Foreign Office spokesman said it could not comment on the verdict but said it would continue offering consular help to Michael Shields.

Bulgarian government officials have since agreed to begin the process of releasing Michael Shields, in exchange for the arrest of Graham Sankey.

The development came after long-time justice campaigner Stephen Jakobi held closed talks with Bulgarian ambassador Lachezar Matev at the Bulgarian Embassy in London.

Mr. Jakobi announced that Michael could be free in the next “few months”.

“It’s been a good day and we have achieved an important breakthrough.

“We have got an agreement with the Bulgarian government that they are going to take up our proposed course of action – that is issuing an arrest warrant for Graham Sankey.

“The government is independent of the judiciary in that country but they can hold talks with them to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

“The arrest warrant will means the extradition process will begin.”

Home Secretary Jack Straw has also agreed to meet with Shield’s family to discuss the situation with them.