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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Dan McCreary, Brant

April 22nd, 2019

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dan McCreary is running for the Progressive Conservative in the Ontario provincial election, in the Brant 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.

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Open software developers meet at FOSDEM 2008

April 22nd, 2019

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hundreds of developers of freely licensed and open source software from all over Europe met in Brussels, Belgium this weekend for FOSDEM 2008. The 8th edition attracted considerably more visitors than previous editions, mainly from Belgium and its neighbouring countries the Netherlands, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, but also from other European countries and even from the United States.

During the conference weekend, presentations touched on programming languages, build systems, gaming (such as Battle for Wesnoth, Crystal Space, Globulation 2), packaging, virtualisation and web applications. The conference also has rooms (called DevRooms) were developers who usually work together via the internet can meet in real life and share thoughts on their projects; CentOS, Fedora, CrossDesktop, Drupal, GNOME, KDE, Mozilla, OpenSUSE and X.org had the biggest rooms this year. The corridors were filled with stands from organisations such as the Free Software Foundation Europe and the Free Knowledge Foundation, Debian, Ubuntu, OpenOffice.org, etc.

Since FOSDEM brings many European open software developers to Brussels, it also provides an important networking opportunity. FOSDEM traditionally kicks off Belgium-style on Friday with a beer event, but during the entire weekend several groups hold parties all over town. Wikinews reporters attended a barbecue hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Friday for an interview with EFF and Open Rights Group representatives about the upcoming E.U. proposal to extend copyright for performers to 95 years. Wikinews also interviewed Drupal founder and Acquia CTO Dries Buytaert about Drupal and how Acquia will relate to the Drupal developer community.

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Dresden city council wants DNA matching for doggy-doo

April 22nd, 2019

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Councillors at Dresden City Council in Germany would like to match doggy-doo left by pets on the sidewalk and in parks, against a DNA database storing profiles for all of the city’s 12,000 registered dogs. Karl Jobig, a Christian Democrat politician in Dresden, was surprised when his proposal received a majority vote.

“In this way, Dresden will once again be one of the cleanest cities in Germany,” Roland Putzger, the leader of the local council, told The Guardian.

DNA from registered dogs would be collected from blood or saliva for the “genetic fingerprinting” service.

Saxony’s data protection commissioner, Andreas Schurig, ruled that dogs had no rights over their data and could not object to the compulsory tests.

The proposal will be binding if the council passes it by majority vote in May.

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‘Bloody Sunday Inquiry’ publishes report into British Army killing of activists in Northern Ireland

April 21st, 2019

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

File:Civil Rights Mural SMC May 2007.jpg

On Tuesday, the “Bloody Sunday Inquiry” published its report into 1972 British Army killing of fourteen civil rights activists in Northern Ireland.

The Saville Inquiry, a twelve-year-long public inquiry into the fatal shooting, published their 5,000-page report; stating, the deaths were “unjustified”.

The events of “Bloody Sunday” in 1972 saw soldiers open fire on civilians during a civil rights march. Family members and supporters of the victims reacted positively to the report, as they gathering outside the Guildhall in Derry.

“What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong”, British Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons. He also said, “[t]he Government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the armed forces, and for that, on behalf of the Government, indeed on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry”, and that “[t]here is no doubt. There’s nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities”.

Cameron said the Saville report states that those killed did not pose a threat and some of those killed and injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying. Some of the key findings were;

  • “The firing by soldiers of 1 Para caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury”;
  • “Despite the contrary evidence given by soldiers, we have concluded that none of them fired in response to attacks or threatened attacks by nail or petrol bombers”;
  • Accounts by soldiers were rejected and some had “knowingly put forward false accounts”;
  • The paratroopers shot first and later members of the official IRA fired a number of shots but this “did not provide an explanation for why soldiers targeted and hit people”;
  • Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, was “probably armed with a sub-machine gun” on the day, but did not engage in “any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire”.

Twenty-seven civil rights activists were shot by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment (of which “1 Para” was identified as the regiment mainly responsible) during an illegal Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) march in the Bogside area of Derry in 1972. The NICRA was an organisation, formed in early 1967, which campaigned against discrimination of the Roman Catholic minority in Northern Ireland and had five key demands: “one man, one vote”; an end to gerrymandering, housing discrimination, public authority discrimination and the abolition of the B Specials police reserve.

In the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, an inquiry by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery, justified British army actions on the day and claimed that many of the activists were armed with guns and nail bombs. Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader MP Mark Durkan said, “[t]he families have waited a long time for justice and for a long time the reputations and innocence of their loved ones have been smeared by the findings of Widgery”.

The shootings lead to the strengthening of Irish republicans’ anti-British army arguments in the Nationalist community and provided the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) with queues of new recruits for its “long war”, which resulted in 30 years of The Troubles.

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The 12-year inquiry is the longest-running and most expensive public inquiry in British judicial history, costing around £200 million. Around 2,500 people gave testimony, including 505 civilians, nine experts and forensic scientists, 49 journalists, 245 military personnel, 35 paramilitaries or former paramilitaries, 39 politicians and civil servants, seven priests and 33 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers. Evidence included 160 volumes of data with an estimated 30 million words, 13 volumes of photographs, 121 audio tapes and 10 video tapes.

The victims included Patrick Doherty (32), Hugh Gilmour (17), Jackie Duddy (17), John Young (17), Kevin McElhinney (17), Michael Kelly (17), Gerald Donaghey (17), William Nash (19), Michael McDaid (20), Jim Wray (22), William McKinney (27) and Bernard “Barney” McGuigan (41). John Johnston (59) died four months later.

Real Madrid agrees with Chelsea FC to sign goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois

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Real Madrid agrees with Chelsea FC to sign goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois

April 18th, 2019

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Yesterday, English football club Chelsea FC announced reaching an agreement with Spanish-capital club Real Madrid to transfer Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Madrid. Real Madrid via their official website said Courtois “has signed for the club for the next six seasons.”

26-year-old Courtois has been Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper for the last four seasons. He joined The Blues in 2011 from Belgian club K.R.C. Genk. In the last four seasons at Chelsea, Courtois won Premier League titles in 2014–15 and 2016–17, an EFL Cup in 2014–15, and the FA Cup in the last season. In his 2016–17 season for Chelsea, the Belgian kept sixteen clean-sheets in league matches.

Just after joining Chelsea in 2011, Courtois was loaned to Real Madrid’s cross-town rivals Atlético Madrid. During this previous spell in Spain, Courtois won one each of the Spanish LaLiga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Super Cup. Courtois won the Adidas Golden Glove in this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, winning the third-place medal with Belgium.

According to report by ESPN, Real Madrid had to pay about £35 million for the transfer. At the same time, Real Madrid’s midfielder Mateo Kova?i? is loaned to Chelsea for the next season. In Real Madrid’s official announcement, they said Courtois is to be presented at Santiago Bernabeu today at 1 pm after his medical examination.

British Government warns against tax breaks for Scientology

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British Government warns against tax breaks for Scientology

April 18th, 2019

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

The new British coalition government has warned local authorities in the United Kingdom not to provide tax breaks to branches of the Church of Scientology. After an investigation by The Guardian newspaper revealed that several local authorities have granted Scientology tax breaks worth over a million pounds, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles intervened to urge councils to end the practice.

Pickles noted in a statement that Scientology was not officially recognised in the UK as a religion or a registered charity and was not eligible for tax relief. Pickles commented, “I do not believe the majority of the public would want their own council to be giving special tax breaks to such a controversial organisation.”

I do not believe the majority of the public would want their own council to be giving special tax breaks to such a controversial organisation.

The minister’s intervention followed the disclosure by The Guardian that at least four local authorities have given Scientology lucrative tax discounts on branches in their areas. These included:

  • The City of London Corporation, which gave an 80% tax exemption worth £1.3 million to the flagship Scientology centre in the City of London. The corporation justified the exemption on the basis that Scientology could be considered to be a charity either for the advancement of religion “or other purposes beneficial to the community”. It said that it feared being sued by the organisation if it discontinued the exemption.
  • Westminster City Council granted 80% rates relief to the Scientology Celebrity Centre in the Bayswater district of London. This saved Scientology £165,303 over the past ten years, though as of July 2010 the centre is no longer in use. The council determined that Scientology was a “non-registered charity” that is “beneficial to the community”.
  • Birmingham City Council awarded the Church of Scientology Religious Education College an 80% tax discount on the grounds that the property was an educational institution.
  • The City of Sunderland gave the Church of Scientology’s branch in the city tax relief worth £30,000 over five years.

Camden London Borough Council refused to disclose whether and how much tax relief had been granted to the Scientology branch in the London Borough of Camden. Other local authorities, including Manchester City Council and Mid Sussex District Council, said that they charged Scientology the full commercial rate.

In response to The Guardian report, Eric Pickles issued a statement saying that Scientology should not receive privileged tax status and did not deserve to do so, “Tolerance and freedom of expression are important British values, but this does not mean that the likes of Church of Scientology deserve favoured tax treatment over and above other business premises. The Church of Scientology is not a registered charity, since the Charity Commission has ruled that it does not provide a public benefit. Nor are its premises a recognised place of worship. Councils may award charitable relief. They should take into consideration the Charity Commission’s rulings when weighing up whether to do so. I do not believe the majority of the public would want their own council to be giving special tax breaks to such a controversial organisation.”

Scientology is very popular with those who have visited our churches…

The controversy was the latest in a series of disputes involving Scientology’s tax status in the UK. Scientology is not officially recognised as a religion. The Charity Commission for England and Wales rejected an application in 1999 by Scientology for charitable status, ruling that its activities did not meet the “public benefit” test. However, in 2000 Scientology obtained exemption from Value Added Tax (VAT) on the grounds that its services were educational and non-profitable. It successfully sued HM Revenue and Customs for the return of £8 million in overpaid VAT.

A spokesman for the Church of Scientology told The Guardian, “Scientology is very popular with those who have visited our churches, met with Scientologists and observed or utilised our numerous community activities that effectively address drug abuse, illiteracy, declining moral values, human rights violations, criminality and more. Local council authorities, government bodies in this country and many others, and the European court of human rights have all recognised the religious nature of Scientology or the fact that Scientologists are actively helping those in their communities as a direct reflection of their religious beliefs.”

Birmingham City Council told the local Sunday Mercury newspaper, “We have noted Mr Pickles’ comments and will take them on board.”

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Ray Scott, Algoma-Manitoulin

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Ray Scott, Algoma-Manitoulin

April 17th, 2019

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ray Scott is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Algoma-Manitoulin 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.

Preparing For Hvac Repair In Atlanta

April 16th, 2019

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One of the basic steps to preparing for HVAC repair in Atlanta is selecting a quality HVAC company. You want to make sure the company you are choosing to repair your HVAC system has extensive experience. Once you have chosen the right company for the job, it will be helpful to prepare your home before the HVAC repair professional arrives.

Clean Up Around the HVAC Unit

One of the basic steps to take is to clean the debris from around your HVAC unit before HVAC repair in Atlanta occurs. The area around the unit should be free of debris so the environment is safe for the repair professional to work in. Keeping the area around your unit free of debris and swept clean can cut down on further repairs to the unit by keeping leaves, sticks and other problem items from clogging it.

Have a Plan for Pets

The last thing any HVAC professional needs is to have to worry about pets attacking or getting in the way when they are working. Remember, your AC repairman will need to access areas inside and outside of your home to repair your air conditioning system. Pets underfoot can lead to accidents that could be avoided. Make plans for what to do with your pets ahead of time, such as having a neighbor watch them or shutting them inside another room in your home.

Be Home During the Repair Time

It is only polite to be home at the time the technician arrives to fix your unit. While it may be tempting to run to the store and back, this can put the repairman behind schedule and will keep you in the heat of summer longer than you would like. If you are home, you will be available to answer questions and make any decisions that must be made in order to complete the repair.

Owner and manager of Moroccan factory arrested over 55-fatality fire

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Owner and manager of Moroccan factory arrested over 55-fatality fire

April 16th, 2019

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Police have arrested the owner of a mattress factory in Hay Hassini, Casablanca, Morocco which burned down in a disaster that claimed 55 lives. His son, who was the factory’s manager, was also arrested.

Those killed — 35 of whom were women — were trapped inside by locked fire exits, which were barricaded to stop theft during working hours. “The people who died were either asphyxiated or burned,” commented a firefighter. 17 were wounded. Moustapha Taouil of the Casablanca civil protection service said the blaze was triggered by an inadequatly maintained electric saw on the ground floor. The initial fire quickly engulfed all four storeys of the building.

The Rosamor factory was clearly operating unsafely, officials said. “It’s a building with a ground floor and three upper floors specialising in making furniture, therefore there were highly inflammable products,” said Taouil. “We confirmed during our examination that the owners of the premises failed to respect legal requirements for this kind of industry including staff training… the owner in contravention of the law, locked staff inside the plant apparently to prevent theft of raw material. It was this that prevented them getting out. The fire was caused by lack of proper maintenance of certain machines and electrical installations.” He said a short circuit on the ground floor, which was filled with power saws, triggered the disaster.

As a result of the investigatons, “The plant’s owner, Adil Moufarreh, and his son Abdelali Moufarreh, who was the manager, have been taken into custody after having been questioned by police,” said an official.

28-year-old factory employee Fadila Khadija said “There was no emergency exit, the extinguishers were empty and the working conditions were difficult.” One source said that windows were also unusable as they were covered with iron bars. 20-year-old survivor Omar Elaaz said “I was working on the first floor as an upholsterer. The smoke came up from the ground floor where the foam rubber, wood and glue are stored. I used a gas bottle to break the wire mesh that protects every window.” 31-year-old upholsterer Hakim Hakki told of his own lucky escape and its effect on him from hospital: “I jumped from the third floor with four other colleagues while the women, who didn’t dare to follow us, perished in the inferno. God saved me but I’ll never forget those who died.”

The father of deceased 19-year-old Abdelazziz Darif said his son was paid 250 dirhams (20 euro/31 US dollars) per week and did not have social insurance.

AKP calls for early general election in Turkey

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AKP calls for early general election in Turkey

April 16th, 2019

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The ruling party in Turkey has asked the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to approve a general election to take place June 24, 2007. The next general election was scheduled for November.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP), which holds 363 of 550 seats in parliament, apparently feels that it will not be able to achieve quorum in the vote on its presidential candidate Abdullah Gül. Analysts reportedly project that AKP would fare well in the elections.

Just yesterday, the Constitutional Court annulled the first round of voting in the presidential election.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an called the court’s decision “a bullet aimed at democracy… It has made it almost impossible for the parliament to elect a president in the future.” He also called for the constitution to be changed so that the president is elected by popular vote, instead of the current method where parliament elects the president. Erdo?an also proposed to change the constitution to allow the president to serve 2 terms of 5 years instead of the current single term of 7 years.

The Turkish pro-secular movement first feared that prime minister Erdo?an would run for president. When the ruling AKP chose Abdullah Gül as their candidate instead, they feared that Gül might have a hidden Islamic agenda and be a threat to the separation between religion and state in Turkey. But AKP denies such agenda, and Gül has promised to adhere to secularist principles if he would become president. Gül’s wife has in the past fiercely defended her right to wear the Islamic headscarf.

Meanwhile, the United States has joined the European Union in asking the Turkish Armed Forces to stay out of the process. The military sees itself as the guardian of secular government in Turkey and has toppled the government four times since 1960.

Two pro-secular rallies with several hundred thousand demonstrators took place in April, one in Ankara and the other in Istanbul. National symbols were strongly present during these protests, and people were chanting “Turkey is secular and will remain secular” and “We don’t want an imam as president!”.