Post-mortem examination reveals Stephen Gately “died of natural causes”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An autopsy performed on Tuesday revealed that the late Boyzone singer Stephen Gately “had died of natural causes”.

Officials from the Spanish island of Majorca that Stephen had suffered from an accumulation of fluid on the lungs, or as it is known in scientific terms, a pulmonary edema. The 33-year-old singer was found dead on a sofa in the lounge of his apartment. He had been out of the accommodation for the night while he was partying with Andrew Cowles, who was his partner.

There was a court hearing held earlier today in Majorca. The hearing only lasted for a short time. The judge had decided that the family of Stephen Gately would be allowed to take his body back to the Republic of Ireland, the country in which Gately grew up and had lived in, by plane. After discovering Stephen’s death, the other members of Boyzone took a plane flight to Majorca, so as to comfort Andrew Cowles. They have now flown back to their homes.

Scottish budget rejected

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Scottish Parliament has narrowly rejected the Scottish government‘s proposed £33 billion budget.

The devolved parliament was tied 64-64 on the motion to approve the budget after two Green Party MSPs switched away from backing the minority Scottish National Party (SNP) administration. The Presiding Officer (speaker) of the parliament, Alex Fergusson, used his casting vote to reject the budget. Finance Secretary John Swinney of the SNP announced that he would immediately reintroduce it. The budget had the backing of the Scottish Conservatives.

Green MSPs had sought a £100 million, 10-year home insulation scheme, whilst the Scottish government had offered a smaller pilot scheme. This offer was increased as the vote approached but failed to convince the Greens to back the budget.

If a new budget is not in place by the start of the financial year in April, the current budget will rollover. However, Scottish ministers say this will cause a £1.8 billion cut in spending.

Scotland’s GDP fell by 0.8% in the last quarter.

News briefs:September 8, 2005

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Race to save Chilean miners trapped underground from spiralling into depression continues

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It has emerged that the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after the mine they were working in collapsed could be brought to the surface in a shorter time than was initially feared. While officials publicly announced that the men would not be brought to the surface until Christmas, sources inside technical meetings have revealed that they could in fact be on the surface by early November. The news comes as families were allowed to speak by radio-telephone to their trapped loved ones on Sunday. Over the weekend, video images filmed by the miners emerged showing the miners playing dominoes at a table and singing the Chilean national anthem. The miners also used the camera to send video messages to their families on the surface, saying that they regularly broke into tears, but were feeling better having received food and water.

The grainy nightvision images, filmed on a high definition camcorder that was sent down a small shaft to the mine, show the men in good spirits, chanting “long live Chile, and long live the miners.” They are unshaven and stripped to the waist because of the heat underground, and are seen wearing white clinical trousers that have been designed to keep them dry. Giving a guided tour of the area they are occupying, Mario Sepúlveda, one of the miners, explains they have a “little cup to brush our teeth”, and a place where they pray each day. “We have everything organized,” he tells the camera. Gesturing to the table in the center of the room, he says that “we meet here every day. We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33.” Another unidentified miner asks to rescuers, “get us out of here soon, please.” A thermometer is shown in the video, reading 29.5C (85F).

As the film continues, it becomes evident that the miners have stuck a poster of a topless woman on the wall. The miners appear shy, and one man puts his hand to his face, presumably dazzled by the light mounted on the cameraman’s helmet. One miner sent a message to his family. “Be calm”, he says. “We’re going to get out of here. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts.” Another said that the miners are “sure that there are people here in Chile that are big people, that are powerful people, that are intelligent people, and they have the technology and they will all work together to get us out of here.” Speaking to the camera, one says: “we have had the great fortune that trapped in this mine there are good, professional people. We have electricians, we have mechanics, we have machine operators and we will let you know that while you are working to rescue us on the surface, we are down here ready to help you too.” It has been reported that Mario Gómez, 63, has become the group’s “spiritual leader”, having worked in the mines for over fifty years. He has requested that materials to build a shrine be sent down to the cavern.

Upon seeing the video in a private screening, family members, who are living in a small village of tents at the entrance to the San José copper-gold mine—which they have named Camp Hope—were elated. “He’s skinny, bearded and it was painful to see him with his head hanging down, but I am so happy to see him alive”, said Ruth Contreras, the mother of Carlos Bravo, who is trapped in the mine. The video, of which only a small portion has been released to the public, shows the miners, many of them wearing helmets, cracking jokes and thanking the rescuers for their continued efforts. The supplies are being sent to the men through a small shaft only twelve centimeters wide, and a laboratory has been set up with the purpose of designing collapsible cots and miniature sandwiches, which can be sent down such a narrow space.

CNN reported on Friday that “officials are splitting the men into two shifts so one group sleeps while the other works or has leisure time .. On average, each man has lost 22 pounds (10 kilograms) since they became trapped three weeks ago, and dehydration remains a threat. But a survey of the men indicates that at least nine miners are still too overweight to fit through the proposed rescue shaft. Initially, the miners survived by draining water from a water-cooled piece of equipment. To stay hydrated in the 90-degree mine, each miner must drink eight or nine pints of water per day.”

But while there are jubilant celebrations on the surface that the miners are alive, officials are now nervous that the miners could become depressed, trapped in a dark room the size of a small apartment. Chilean health minister Jaime Mañalich said that, on the video, he saw the telltale signs of depression. “They are more isolated, they don’t want to be on the screen, they are not eating well”, he said. “I would say depression is the correct word.” He said that doctors who had watched the video had observed the men suffering from “severe dermatological problems.” Dr. Rodrigo Figueroa, head of the trauma, stress and disaster unit at the Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, explained that “following the euphoria of being discovered, the normal psychological reaction would be for the men to collapse in a combination of fatigue and stress … People who are trained for emergencies – like these miners – tend to minimize their own needs or to ignore them. When it is time to ask for help, they don’t.” NASA has advised emergency workers that entertaining the miners would be a good idea. They are to be sent a television system complete with taped football matches. Another dilemma facing Mañalich is whether the miners should be permitted to smoke underground. While nicotine gum has been delivered to the miners, sending down cigarettes is a plan that has not been ruled out.

With the news that drilling of the main rescue tunnel was expected to begin on Monday, officials have informed the media that they hope to have the miners out of the mine by Christmas—but sources with access to technical meetings have suggested that the miners could actually be rescued by the first week of November. A news report described the rescue plan—”the main focus is a machine that bores straight down to 688m and creates a chimney-type duct that could be used to haul the miners out one by one in a rescue basket. A second drilling operation will attempt to intercept a mining tunnel at a depth of roughly 350m. The miners would then have to make their way through several miles of dark, muddy tunnels and meet the rescue drill at roughly the halfway point of their current depth of 688m.” Iván Viveros Aranas, a Chilean policeman working at Camp Hope, told reporters that Chile “has shown a unity regardless of religion or social class. You see people arriving here just to volunteer, they have no relation at all to these families.”

But over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the “miners who have astonished the world with their discipline a half-mile underground will have to aid their own escape — clearing 3,000 to 4,000 tons of rock that will fall as the rescue hole is drilled, the engineer in charge of drilling said Sunday … The work will require about a half-dozen men working in shifts 24 hours a day.” Andrés Sougarret, a senior engineer involved in operating the drill said that “the miners are going to have to take out all that material as it falls.”

The families of those trapped were allowed to speak to them by radio-telephone on Sunday—a possibility that brought reassurance both the miners and those on the surface. The Intendant of the Atacama Region, Ximena Matas, said that there had been “moments of great emotion.” She continued to say that the families “listened with great interest and they both felt and realized that the men are well. This has been a very important moment, which no doubt strengthens their [the miners’] morale.” The phone line is thought to be quite temperamental, but it is hoped that soon, those in the mine and those in Camp Hope will be able to talk every day. “To hear his voice was a balm to my heart … He is aware that the rescue is not going to happen today, that it will take some time. He asked us to stay calm as everything is going to be OK … He sounded relaxed and since it was so short I didn’t manage to ask anything. Twenty seconds was nothing”, said said Jessica Cortés, who spoke to her husband Víctor Zamora, who was not even a miner, but a vehicle mechanic. “He went in that day because a vehicle had broken down inside the mine … At first they told us he had been crushed [to death].”

Esteban Rojas sent up a letter from inside the mine, proposing to his long-time partner Jessica Yáñez, 43. While they have officially been married for 25 years, their wedding was a civil service—but Rojas has now promised to have a church ceremony which is customary in Chile. “Please keep praying that we get out of this alive. And when I do get out, we will buy a dress and get married,” the letter read. Yáñez told a newspaper that she thought he was never going to ask her. “We have talked about it before, but he never asked me … He knows that however long it takes, I’ll wait for him, because with him I’ve been through good and bad.”

Crash data suggests driver error in Toyota accidents

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed data from the vehicles involved in accidents caused by sudden acceleration, which led to Toyota, the world’s top automaker, recalling a large number of automobiles. Early analysis showed that the throttle was wide open and the brakes weren’t engaged when the cars crashed, and suggests that the accidents may have been caused by drivers unintentionally flooring the accelerator instead of the brakes. The U.S. Department of Transportation did not confirm this report.

However, Toyota is still under federal investigation for a number of known issues with its cars’ acceleration. The accelerator is known to not return to idle after it has been released, and the floor mats are known to trap the accelerator pedal. Toyota is also suspected of having electronic glitches in its computer-controlled throttle systems, but released a statement on Wednesday saying that its investigations found no problems in the throttle systems.

Over the years Toyota has received more than 3000 complaints about sudden acceleration. These may have caused up to 75 fatal crashes that led to 93 deaths. Due to these accidents, Toyota provided the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with ten event data recorders from cars involved in accidents. However, the NHTSA has only managed to confirm that one of these accidents was caused by malfunctions in the car – an accident in California this August that was caused by the floor mat trapping the gas pedal in a depressed position.

The NHTSA, in conjunction with NASA, has begun a broader study into what caused these accidents, however conclusions aren’t expected for months. The ongoing lawsuits against Toyota could result in more than $10 billion of damages.

Wikinews holds Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Three men are currently seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party of the United States of America: small business owner Andre Barnett, Earth Intelligence Network CEO Robert Steele, and former college football coach Robby Wells. Wikinews reached out to these candidates and asked each of them five questions about their campaigns. There were no space limits placed on the responses, and no candidate was exposed to another’s responses before making their own. The answers are posted below in unedited form for comparison of the candidates.

The Reform Party is a United States third party that was founded in 1995 by industrialist Ross Perot. Perot ran as the party’s first presidential nominee in 1996, and won over eight percent of the popular vote, the highest percentage for a third party candidate since. In 1998, professional wrestler Jesse Ventura ran on the Reform Party ticket and was elected Governor of Minnesota. The party fell in prominence during the lead-up to the 2000 presidential election when it was plagued by infighting between ideological factions. In 2000, paleoconservative Pat Buchanan won the presidential nomination, and went on to receive only 0.4 percent of the popular vote in the general election. In 2004, the party opted to endorse consumer advocate Ralph Nader, but ended the year nearly bankrupt. In 2008, Ted Weill won the party’s presidential nomination, but appeared on the ballot in only one state and won a total of 481 votes.

The party is currently trying to rebuild and has opened several new state chapters. They will attempt to appear on the ballot in more states for the 2012 presidential election. The party is expected to nominate its presidential ticket during the National Convention this summer.

Contents

  • 1 The candidates
  • 2 Forum
    • 2.1 Question 1
    • 2.2 Question 2
    • 2.3 Question 3
    • 2.4 Question 4
    • 2.5 Question 5
  • 3 Related articles
  • 4 Sources

Israeli Knesset passes ‘Jewish nation-state’ bill

Sunday, July 22, 2018

On Thursday, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, passed the “Jewish nation-state” bill granting Israel the status of “national home of the Jewish people”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel”.

The bill was passed at 3 AM with 62–55 majority. Two lawmakers abstained. The bill declared Hebrew as the only official language and demoted Arabic from national language to a “special status” language. Netanyahu said, “An absolute majority wants to ensure our state’s Jewish characters for generations to come.” Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein said this bill, which received just 51.66% votes in favour out of the full Knesset of 120, was “one of the most important laws ever to be passed by the Knesset”.

The Knesset began the voting on Wednesday. Previously, the bill had clauses declaring the state as a Jewish-only community as well as direction for judiciary courts to consider Jewish values over democratic values. Both of the clauses were challenged by the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the Attorney General. The latter clause about Jewish values for courts was dropped in May; the other clause was eventually dropped, and the final draft of the bill was approved on Monday. The bill was first introduced in 2011 by the right-wing Likud party.

The latest draft of the bill said the Hebrew calendar is to be the official calendar of the state. It also read, “Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established” and “the state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.” Israel is home to about 1.8 million Palestinians, who account for roughly 20% of the national population. The bill also declared Jerusalem, in its entirety, as the capital of Israel.

The bill received negative reception from a number of people. The Arab Joint List multi-party alliance called it “anti-democratic, colonialist, racist, and with clear characteristics of apartheid.” Calling it a “shameful night”, Meretz Party’s Tamar Zandberg said it was a “debased and tainted law”. The Joint List’s Ahmad Tibi questioned, “Why are you afraid of the Arabic language?”.

Last week, Netanyahu said, “We will keep ensuring civil rights in Israel’s democracy but the majority also has the rights and the majority decides”. Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, a US-based Jewish Organisation, said the bill “was born in sin, its only purpose is to send a message to the Arab community, the LGBT community and other minorities in Israel, that they are not and never will be equal citizens. Two months ago we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, where it was written that the State of Israel ‘will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or gender.’ Today Netanyahu’s government is trying to ignore those words and the values that they represent.”

Impacted Or Missing Teeth? A Dentist For Oral Surgery Can Help

byAlma Abell

While people need and want good dental care, they are very busy and don’t have time to deal with many different specialists. Therefore it’s very helpful that Robert Hankel and Chris Ehrbright, D.D.S. have set up a practice where they provide many different services for patients of all ages. They spend time teaching their youngest patients how to care for their teeth at home, because they want to establish good lifetime dental habits. When senior citizens arrive, they gently deal with their concerns about making the transition to dentures.

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Often a Dentist For Oral Surgery is needed to help with the dental treatments offered at the Hankle and Ehrbright dental practice. Young adults and teens often face the prospect of having impacted wisdom teeth removed. This can be their first experience with surgery. Knowing their dentist makes this procedure far less stressful. The practice has state-of-the art equipment and a skilled support staff necessary to complete this procedure and keep the patient comfortable.

Dental implants are now used to both replace missing teeth and anchor dentures in place. They have become an important tool to give patients back their smile and confidence. This procedure involves the Dentist For Oral Surgery inserting a titanium shaft into the jawbone of the patient. Prior to this action the dentist uses sophisticated x-rays to examine the patient’s jaw. This allows him to insert the implant into the proper location and to avoid the nerve endings in the area. After about 8 weeks, the jawbone fully incorporates then implant into the jaw and is healed. The dentist then places a crown on top of the implant. The result is as a realistic as a natural tooth. It will last for many decades with the right dental care.

Seniors may fear that their dentures will slip or even fall out when they are eating or talking in public. Dentists now use dental implants topped with small metal balls to hold them in place. There are slots in the bottom of the dentures that match the location of the metal balls. In the morning the denture wearer takes their clean dentures and snaps them into place. They stay secure the entire day and the patient can live their life with confidence. Get in touch with us for more INFO!

Former WorldCom chief found guilty of all charges

Tuesday, March 15, 2005A federal jury found Bernard Ebbers guilty on all nine counts in an indictment for fraud, conspiracy and false regulatory filings. The verdict was handed down by a New York jury after 8 days of deliberation on the former WorldCom CEO and mastermind behind the accounting scandal that brought down the telcom giant.

AP writer Erin McClam reported that when the verdict was announced, “Ebbers’ face reddened.”

Sentencing is set for the second Tuesday of next week when he could receive 85 years in prison for the conviction.

Ebbers who took the stand in his own defence, said he left the details of the company’s accounting to others and that he had no knowledge of shady practices. But Scott Sullivan, the ex-chief financial officer of the company and key prosecution witness, directly linked Ebbers to the fraud. Sullivan agreed to co-operate with prosecutors in the hopes of receiving a lenient sentence for his own involvement in the scandal.

The fall of WordCom sparked a massive class action law suit by investors. The plunge in WorldCom’s stock changed the capitalized value of the company in the range of $11 billion as the scandal unravelled. Secuities fraud cases stemming from the suits will probably break new legal ground where the involvement of investment banks and public accounting firms who would normally check company irregularities will be called into legal question.

United States: At least fifteen dead in Southern California after rain causes mudslides and floods

Thursday, January 11, 2018

On Tuesday, the first major rain storm of the year in Southern California led to flooding that has caused at least fifteen deaths, mainly in Santa Barbara County. The flooding was exacerbated by last month’s wildfires; particularly hard-hit was the wealthy community of Montecito, downstream of the site of the Thomas Fire, where at least six houses were destroyed. More than 160 people have been hospitalized, four in critical condition.

According to the United States National Weather Service, five and a half inches of rain has fallen over two days in parts of Ventura County, and more than four inches in parts of Santa Barbara County. In areas burned by the wildfires, ground cover that would have reduced runoff had been destroyed, and an impermeable layer of ash and burned soil had been created. As a result, torrents of mud ran downhill and inundated places such as Montecito. Mike Eliason, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, said homes in the wealthy community had been “wiped away from their foundations” by mudflows, which also burst a gas main, leading to a fire that destroyed another building.

Sections of the 101 freeway were closed by flooding; a driver told television station KTLA that mud came “out of nowhere” and covered the highway in “about five seconds” and that he was glad he was still alive. James Cook, the Los Angeles correspondent for BBC News, reported that roads were being blocked by “boulders the size of small cars” which had tumbled down the hills. BBC also reported, 300 people had been trapped in Romero Canyon. Bill Brown, the Sheriff of Santa Barbara County, said at mid-afternoon that the number of deaths had reached thirteen and might rise. He described the flood-ravaged areas as looking “like a World War I battlefield” and said that emergency dispatchers had fielded some 600 calls between 3:00 and 6:00 am.

Emergency services including the Ventura County Aviation Unit were kept busy rescuing people. The Coast Guard sent aircraft to assist. Spokesmen reported fifty people had been rescued in each of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties. Montecito resident, Berkeley Johnson, told the Santa Barbara Independent that he and his wife had taken refuge on the roof of their house but climbed came down when they heard a child crying. With a fireman’s help were able to dig out a two-year-old girl, who looked like a “muddy doll” according to Johnson.

Officials issued evacuation orders on Monday for thousands of people living in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties, but Montecito was under only voluntary evacuation. Some of the evacuation orders were lifted later on Tuesday as the rain became lighter.