">
Real Madrid agrees with Chelsea FC to sign goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois

April 18th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

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

April 18th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

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

April 17th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

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.

byadmin

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

April 16th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

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

">
AKP calls for early general election in Turkey

April 16th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

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!”.

CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Vicki Gunn in York—Simcoe

">
CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Vicki Gunn in York—Simcoe

April 16th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Friday, October 10, 2008

In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with Vicki Gunn. Gunn is a candidate in Ontario’s York—Simcoe riding, running under the Christian Heritage Party of Canada (CHP) banner. The CHP is a minor, registered political party running a significant number of candidates across the country, looking to earn its first ever seat in the House of Commons.

The riding has existed from 1968 to 1979, from 1988 to 1997, and from 2004 to present. As of the next provincial election in Ontario, it will be recognised as a provincial electoral district as well. Over the years, the riding has been represented by the Liberal Party, Progressive Conservative Party, again by the Progressive Conservatives, again by the Liberals, and since its recreation, the seat has been held by the Conservative Party of Canada.

Peter Van Loan, the Conservative incumbent, is the Minister Responsible for Democratic Reform and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. The other candidates in the riding, besides Van Loan and the CHP’s Gunn, are New Democrat Sylvia Gerl, Liberal Judith Moses, and the Green Party‘s John Dewar.

The following is an interview with Gunn, conducted via email. The interview is published unedited, as sent to Wikinews.

U.S. government to improve recruitment for civil service jobs

">
U.S. government to improve recruitment for civil service jobs

April 14th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

According to the Washington Post, nearly sixty percent of the federal government’s workforce will be eligible for retirement over the next ten years; with ninety percent of senior executive service officials expected to do so. Besides depleting Social Security funds, baby boomers will once again leave a big impression on the American workforce and economy. Calling it a “federal retirement tsunami,” the United States Office of Personnel Management (the bureau responsible for government human resources) is preparing for this event in a few manners. In a news release today by the bureau, Director Linda Springer announced that the office would be releasing a major media campaign in efforts to recruit future employees.

With only twenty four percent of United States citizens with a bachelor degree or higher, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, it’s no wonder it has been difficult to attract qualified or interested employees for federal government positions; particularly young people. “We’ve been hearing for so long about how incompetent and shady the government is, but a lot don’t understand the benefits,” said Howard University sophomore Victoria Hooks.

“The challenge is clear, and we are hard at work… with a 21st Century approach to the workplace, the federal government will ride the retirement wave and set the standard for a modern workplace… It will be a modern workplace, one that requires innovative training and encourage more flexibility by managers. The federal workforce will be one that the American people can count on,” said Springer in support of the initiatives for recruitment. Other efforts for recruitment will also include additional employment benefits such as special salaries and relocation bonuses, especially for women.

The recruitment advertisements will reveal themselves in a series of four commercials around the country beginning in mid May 2006.

Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas dies at age 75

">
Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas dies at age 75

April 10th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas died Friday at age 75, after suffering from heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He began the Beverly Hills Playhouse in 1978 and taught acting classes there to noted actors including George Clooney and Gene Hackman. Katselas is survived by a sister and two brothers.

Katselas directed an off-Broadway production of Edward Albee‘s The Zoo Story, and received a Tony Award nomination for his 1969 direction of Butterflies are Free. Actress Blythe Danner won a Tony Award for her role in Butterflies are Free under Katselas’ direction. He moved to California to direct the film version of that play, and went on to direct films and television movies. Actress Eileen Heckart received an Academy Award for her role in the film version of Butterflies are Free.

Katselas directed the San Francisco and Los Angeles productions of the play P.S. Your Cat Is Dead! by playwright James Kirkwood, Jr. In his author’s notes in the publication of the script, Kirkwood acknowledged Katselas, and wrote that the plays were “directed with incredible energy and enthusiasm by Milton Katselas, to whom I am extremely indebted”.

Katselas directed the television movie Strangers: Story of a Mother and Daughter, and actress Bette Davis received an Emmy Award for her role in the movie. Katselas taught many famous actors including Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Gere, Robert Duvall, Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Goldie Hawn, Christopher Walken, Burt Reynolds, George C. Scott, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Alec Baldwin, and Patrick Swayze. Katselas was credited with being able to nurture actors with raw talent so that they could develop strong Hollywood careers. He utilized innovative techniques in his courses – one course called “Terrorist Theatre” had a simple premise: successfully get an acting role within six weeks or leave the course.

He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents who had immigrated from Greece, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon. He studied acting with Lee Strasberg in New York at the Actors Studio, and received advice from directors Joshua Logan and Elia Kazan.

Katselas was a prominent Scientologist, and a July 2007 profile on Katselas in The New York Times Magazine observed that some of his students stopped taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse because they felt they had been pressured to join the Church of Scientology. According to the article, Katselas credited Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard “for much of his success in life”, and one of his students works at Scientology’s Celebrity Centre. The article commented that some in Los Angeles view the Beverly Hills Playhouse as “a recruitment center for Scientology”.

Katselas met L. Ron Hubbard after moving to California, and began studying Scientology in 1965. The New York Times Magazine reported that he had reached the level of “Operating Thetan, Level 5, or O.T. V.” in 2007. According to The New York Times Magazine when Scientologists proceed up the “The Bridge to Total Freedom” they learn the story of Xenu, and that: “75 million years ago the evil alien Xenu solved galactic overpopulation by dumping 13.5 trillion beings in volcanoes on Earth, where they were vaporized, scattering their souls.” A Church of Scientology publication, Source, lists Katselas as reaching O.T. V. in 1989.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Is it appropriate to recruit for Scientology in an acting school?
Add or view comments
He is brilliant, and knows me so well as a person and an actress that he gets the most out of me.

Though some actors felt pressured to join the Church of Scientology after taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, at least one individual felt Katselas was not active enough with the organization. Actress Jenna Elfman left the Beverly Hills Playhouse because she felt Katselas was not committed enough to Scientology. Katselas had previously directed Elfman in half of Visions and Lovers: Variations on a Theme, two one-act plays about relationships that he had written himself. In 1999 Katselas had planned to adapt the script of Visions and Lovers to a film version, and Elfman was set to reprise her role from the play. In an article in Variety about the project, Elfman commented on her experience working with Katselas: “He is brilliant, and knows me so well as a person and an actress that he gets the most out of me.”

Other prominent Scientologist actors who have studied under Katselas include Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Lee, and Leah Remini. According to Rolling Stone, Katselas also recruited actress Kelly Preston to Scientology. Actress Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), told Scientology publication Celebrity that Katselas motivated her to get more active in Scientology, and she stated she took the organization’s “Purification Rundown” and her life “took off completely”.

Life is an endless unspooling of art, of acting, of painting, of architecture. And where did I learn that? From Milton.

Anne Archer was introduced to Scientology while studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, as was former Scientologist and now outspoken critic actor Jason Beghe. Beghe told Roger Friedman of FOX News in April 2008 that “He [Katselas] gets kickbacks”, and that he was brought to a Scientology center by fellow Beverly Hills Playhouse classmate Bodhi Elfman, Jenna Elfman’s husband. In a 1998 article for Buzz Magazine, Randye Hoder wrote “In his class, Katselas is careful not to label anything as a tenet of Scientology, but there is no question that the church’s influence seeps into the playhouse.”

Anne Archer’s husband and fellow Scientologist, producer Terry Jastrow, commented to The New York Times Magazine that Katselas changed the way he experiences life on a day-to-day basis: “I go out in the world and look at human behavior now. I see a woman or man interacting with a saleslady, and I see the artistry in it. Life is an endless unspooling of art, of acting, of painting, of architecture. And where did I learn that? From Milton.”

Actor Anthony Head of Buffy the Vampire Slayer spoke highly of Katselas in a 2002 interview with San Francisco Chronicle: “He’s this wonderfully intuitive teacher and his premise is basically: The only real barriers are the ones we put in front of ourselves. If you say, ‘My character wouldn’t do that’ — bollocks! Ultimately it’s you who wouldn’t say that. Who knows what your character might do.” In the acknowledgements of her 2004 autobiography Are You Hungry, Dear?: Life, Laughs, and Lasagna, actress Doris Roberts wrote: “I thank my friend and acting teacher, the incredible Milton Katselas, for his insights, wisdom, and inspiration, which have helped make me the actress that I am.”

I really care about the craft of acting. It’s absolutely necessary to take the time and patience to really develop an actor.

Katselas authored two books: Dreams Into Action: Getting What You Want, first published in 1996 by Dove Books, and Acting Class: Take a Seat, which came out earlier this month. Dreams Into Action, a New York Times Bestseller, sought to modify motivational acting exercises to the field of business.

In an interview in the 2007 book Acting Teachers of America, Katselas commented on his experiences as an acting teacher over the years: “I have very special teachers here at the Beverly Hills Playhouse—some have been with me for over twenty-five years. I believe that to make a difference over the long haul, we need to train teachers. I really care about the craft of acting. It’s absolutely necessary to take the time and patience to really develop an actor.”

Category:Featured article

">
Category:Featured article

April 9th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Shortcut:WN:FA

Featured articles are selected by the community to represent the best of Wikinews. See the Featured Article Candidates page for nominations and discussions of candidate articles for this page. Or, subscribe to the RSS feed!

[edit]

Pages in category “Featured article”