Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 26) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 26). Four candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Muhammad Alam, Bahar Aminvaziri, Orhan Aybars, Michele Carroll-Smith, Mohamed Dhanani, Abdul Ingar, Geoff Kettel, Debbie Lechter, Natalie Maniates, John Masterson, John Parker, David Thomas, Csaba Vegh, and Fred Williams.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Contents

  • 1 Geoff Kettel
  • 2 Natalie Maniates
  • 3 John Parker
  • 4 Csaba Vegh
 

Clashes in Nigeria kill hundreds, troops on alert

Monday, March 8, 2010

According to witness and media reports, at least two hundred people in Nigeria have been killed after pastoralists and villagers clashed near the city of Jos, which has been the source of repeated tension between Christians and Muslims.

Local authorities, however, contradicted witness reports, saying that there were eight casualties, as did Mark Lipdo, an aid worker for the Stefanus Foundation charity, who reported that at least a hundred people were dead.

Witness reports state that pastoralists started firing into the air in the village of Dogo Nahawa, about five kilometres south of Jos, at night, and attacked those who emerged from their homes. “They came around three o’clock in the morning and they started shooting into the air. The shooting was just meant to bring people from their houses and then when people came out they started cutting them with machetes,” commented Peter Jang, who lives in the village, as quoted by Al Jazeera.

According to the Agence France-Presse news agency, some of the victims were children.

Acting Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan said he had placed national troops on “red alert” following the clashes. “The acting president has placed all the security forces in the plateau and neighbouring states on red alert so as to stem any cross-border dimensions to this latest conflict,” read a statement released by his office. Armed forces are already present in Jos.

“The security services are on top of the situation,” said Jonathan’s spokesman Ima Niboro in an email statement to the Bloomberg news service.

In January, at least 400 people were killed and a further four thousand injured in the city of Jos after tensions between Christians and Muslims.

 

South African apartheid assassin Eugene de Kock granted parole

Saturday, January 31, 2015

South African Justice Minister Michael Masutha yesterday announced he is granting parole to Eugene de Kock, an apartheid-era assassin who has spent twenty years in prison.

After South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 de Kock was arrested and subsequently detailed his actions to the nation’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of a police ‘counter-insurgency’ unit de Kock took responsibility for murdering and torturing dissidents opposed to white-only rule. His methods included bombings, shootings, and stabbings and he operated internationally and at home. His revelations earned him the nickname “Prime Evil”.

The TRC granted de Kock immunity for most crimes in exchange for his testimony. He was charged with remaining offences, not covered due to limits in TRC power, and in 1996 jailed for life for six murders. Additional convictions include kidnap and attempted murder. He received an additional 212-year term for those crimes. The TRC could only grant immunity where the offence was a human rights violation and the offender gave a full confession.

During his TRC testimony de Kock accused police commanders of ordering murders including those of African National Council (ANC) members. In a 2007 prison interview he said FW de Klerk, the last white President, had hands “soaked in blood”. De Klerk denies de Kock’s allegations he ordered individual murders.

It’s mixed feelings, which is something we’ve gotten used to as South Africans

In the early nineties de Kock teamed up with anti-ANC party Inkatha to arrange violence within black communities. Internal conflict killed 12,000 in the wake of future President Nelson Mandela’s release. Mandela wrote of fearing “a hidden hand behind the violence[…] attempting to disrupt the negotiations”, by orchestrating the clashes in Natal and Transvaal. He was referring to upcoming elections and a transfer of power away from white rule and apartheid.

Masutha said de Kock was being released “in the interest of reconciliation and nation building”. The date, location, and terms are to remain secret.

Reaction from his victims is varied.

Murder victim Glenack Mama’s widow Sandra welcomed the release. She said to a BBC reporter “I think it will actually close a chapter in our history because we’ve come a long way and I think his release will just once again help with the reconciliation process because there’s still a lot of things that we need to do as a country”. She said “He got the instructions from the top and they [more senior officials] got away with it[…] they’re amongst us today and one man is taking the fall”.

I pray that those whom he hurt, those from whom he took loved ones, will find the power within them to forgive him

Eddie Makue said to The Associated Press the release stirred up “mixed feelings, which is something we’ve gotten used to as South Africans”. He was a South African Council of Churches employee in 1988 when de Kock bombed their headquarters. Jane Quin said she was “terribly disappointed” and he should never be released. Her sister Jacqui Quin was murdered in Lesotho in 1985 by de Kock.

TRC chairman Archbishop Desmond Tutu said “I pray that those whom he hurt, those from whom he took loved ones, will find the power within them to forgive him.” He said the release would not be universally welcome but is nonetheless “to our collective credit, as people and as a nation.” Tutu called it “an indictment on our government” that apartheid officials who did not co-operate with the TRC had evaded prosecution.

Whilst in prison de Kock has assisted the recovery of his missing victims’ remains. Remorse and his help to the Missing Persons Task Team were cited by Masutha as reasons to release him, which was initially decided against last July. “[H]is key role has been to introduce us to other former security police who can assist with finding others,” said Task Team leader Madeleine Fullard. Fullard said de Kock had also directly assisted in retrieving two bodies. “He certainly feels lives were wasted for no reason”, she added, describing a meeting with him at one ANC victim’s grave. “He seemed to be quite stressed.”

Masutha also announced yesterday the rejection of a parole application by apartheid killer Clive Derby-Lewis, an ex-MP. Derby-Lewis is serving life for murdering popular South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani. Hani also led the ANC’s militant division. His killing in 1993 sparked rioting. Derby-Lewis sought parole because he has lung cancer. Masutha said in rejecting the application that Derby-Lewis was remorseless.

 

Ten April Fool’s pranks of 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Fools’ Day pranks harmlessly pervaded worldwide again this year. Media outlets and internet sites have joined family, office workers, and friends to provide a wide variety of practical jokes. Ireland, France, and the United States celebrate April Fools all day, whereas a few countries celebrate jokes only until noon such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa.

Car and Driver claimed that GM and Chrysler were ordered out of NASCAR by the White House by the end of 2009 in order to receive any more government loans. There are press releases about this short-lived prank which received controversial feedback.

The Swiss Tourism Board has announced that volunteers were desperately needed, The Association of Mountain Cleaners “makes sure that our holiday guests can always enjoy perfect mountains. Using brooms, brushes, water and muscle power, they clean the rocks of any bird droppings.”

This year Gmail produced a new autopilot feature for April 1, 2009 which can read your email and automatically respond to every message.

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BMW released its new Magnetic Tow Technology which allows your BMW to magnetically attach to the vehicle ahead of you. This enhanced technology allows the driver to remove their foot from the gas pedal and turn off the motor.

The Guardian proposed its move to Twitter, which would allow the newspaper to fit its article content into 140 character messages or “tweets”. Included in this venture was the archiving of past events reported by The Guardian, such as, “1927 OMG first successful transatlantic air flight wow, pretty cool! Boring day otherwise *sigh*”

Google’s technological break through for April Fool’s Day was CADIE, (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity). By extracting internet search patterns combined with Brain Search, a part of CADIE technology, Google can now search your thoughts and memories.

Wikipedia even fooled Fox News who claimed that “every item on the home page of the user-generated site Wikipedia is fake. The featured Wikipedia article regaled the “Museum of Bad Art” in Boston.” However, each item on the main page was based on reality — even news articles such as NASA reports a shower of diamonds over the Republic of Sudan, which was based on a meteorite which passed over Sudan whose fragments did reveal diamonds upon discovery.

The Conficker Internet worm had been in the news warning of a worst case scenario when computers worldwide would be affected by the virus. Even the chief security adviser for Microsoft, Ed Gibson, didn’t want to make any predictions about what would happen. Experts just knew that it was set to go off on April 1. Several anomalous happenings were attributed to Conficker including Leroy “Mac” MacElrie who claimed to be the programmer of the Conficker worm and turned himself in to police.

Hotels.com ran an advertisement offering hotel room bookings on the moon which would be offered on European websites starting at £800 a night.

Qualcomm ingeniously revealed a new wireless networking technology called wireless convergence. Making use of the flight patterns of pigeons. They then use innovative solutions to converge the birds with wolves to protect the internal improvements.

Media outlets were not the only ones pulling pranks. Gaming websites across the internet Blizzard, Joystiq, and affiliates posted reviews and announcements of games with tongue in cheek. YouTube offered viewers a unique April Fool’s experience as videos were offered upside down. In Ireland, U2 fans received a U2opia concert on a shopping centre roof top concert rather than the real thing.

 

The Difference Between Screen Printing And Screen Printed Transfers

byphineasgray

If you’re considering getting into the t-shirt business, you should become familiar with the different methods available for transferring text, logos, and images to a garment such as a t-shirt.

The two major methods used to transfer an image to a garment are heat transfers, and screen printed transfers.

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages.

Heat Transfers

The process of heat transfer is much simpler than a screen printed transfer, but the image is not as permanent.

The artwork is printed on a special heat transfer paper. There are different qualities of paper depending on whether it’s intended for personal or professional use. Some consumer level printers are also available which can make higher quality heat transfers.

Once the image is printed on the transfer paper, the paper is pressed onto the garment and then heated for a short time. This melts a material in the paper called plastisol which seeps into the shirt. The back of the paper is then peeled from the shirt while the plastisol and the image remain on the garment.

Screen Printed Transfers

At a professional level, screen printed transfers are the most common. As far as print quality goes, this method of transferring an image to a garment is generally better. A screen print will usually last longer, and maintain higher levels of color saturation than a heat transfer.

A screen transfer is more difficult to do, however, and will require the use of more professional equipment to get a high-quality and long lasting image.

A screen print requires that you use a few different tools. First of all, you’ll need a screen. The screen is a wooden or steel frame with a special mesh material. It is pressed against the garment to transfer the ink. These screens must be cleaned after they are used, and they are quite large. If you plan on screen printing professionally, you should have a designated booth and garden hose with which to clean the screen, as well as an area to dry it.

The artwork is printed on special sheets that activate when exposed to UV light. These sheets are printed directly onto the screen mentioned earlier. This is similar to how photographs in non-digital cameras are exposed. Of course, you will either need self-contained exposure equipment for this, a darkroom or sunlight.

The screen that was mentioned earlier has a special chemical coating on it. This coating is then sprayed with a pressure hose. The chemical will eventually come off of the non-transparent portions of the image.

The screen is then pressed against the garment, and ink is applied to the sheet. The ink is then scrubbed across the screen. The ink will seep into the parts of the screen where the chemical was removed, which ultimately transfers the image to the shirt.

If multiple colors are used in the image or logo, this process will have to be repeated for the various colors.

 

US toy retail giant Toys ‘R’ Us files for liquidation in United States

Thursday, March 15, 2018

This morning, United States-based toy retail giant Toys “R” Us filed for liquidation with United States bankruptcy court. The company had about 735 stores in the country which may be closed as a result of the liquidation.

The motion came after the US holidays, after which the company said its revenue fell short of expectations. Toys “R” Us was seeking cooperation with its Canadian business to leave 200 stores open, the court papers said. The company said it would be unable to realize an earlier goal to leave as many as 400 stores open.

The papers filed in the court indicated that the United States holiday sales produced revenue US$250 million short of the expectations. In the report to the court, Toys “R” Us blamed in part its weakened e-commerce business. It wrote, “The stark reality is that the debtors are projected to run out of cash in the U.S. in May 2018.”

Toys “R” Us chief executive officer Dave Brandon said, “This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years.”

Toys “R” Us said it was preparing to sell its businesses in Asia and Central Europe, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

In September 2017, Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in the US and Canada, and a judge allowed a US$2 billion loan.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Bain Capital Partners, and Vornado Realty Trust purchased Toys “R” Us for US$6.6 billion in 2005. According to CNBC, the company had US$4.9 billion in debt at that time, which made it difficult for the company to adapt to the changing market.

 

Kurdish forces advance as international opposition to Islamic State grows

Monday, August 18, 2014

Yesterday the Peshmerga, military of the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Iraq, gained control of parts of the Mosul Dam, as part of their advance against insurgents of the Islamic State. International opposition to the Islamic militant group has grown this week.

The Peshmerga were supported this weekend by US airstrikes in their attempt to push back the Sunni insurgents, and Kurdish officials reported “good progress” in the face of “fierce resistance”. Reuters reported eyewitness accounts of Kurdish forces successfully retaking Batmaiya and Telasqaf, mostly Christian towns as close to Mosul — about 18 miles (30 km) — as they have come since June when government forces were forced out.

Mosul Dam, Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam, is vital to the region’s irrigation, as well as water and power supplies. It was seized by the insurgents of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, on August 7, as part of their advance across Northern Iraq.

The advance of the Islamic State has prompted responses from many parts of the international community. On Friday the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution targeting the extremist group’s finances and leaders. Six individuals were named and now face travel bans, asset freezes, and arms embargoes. The resolution also warned of the possibility of other sanctions against anyone found to be trading with the Islamic State, in a move aimed at stopping their supply of weapons and economic gain from sale of oil being produced by the oil fields under their control.

On the same day as the Security Council’s resolution, foreign ministers of the European Union’s member states issued a joint statement welcoming the efforts of those European states supporting Kurdish forces. This support includes the supply of military supplies from France, and humanitarian aid from the UK, with Eastern European countries providing military materials also being transported by the UK. Germany and the Netherlands were also reportedly considering the possibility of supplying aid where needed.

The US began launching airstrikes on August 8, and have continued to do so in support of the Kurdish forces and civilians stranded on Mount Sinjar.

The responses from the international community follow reports of brutality against religious minorities in Northern Iraq — such as Yazidis and Christians — accompanying the Islamic State advance across the region.

Rudaw reported from within Kurdistan that the local political parties have put aside their differences and are recruiting volunteers to send to the front. Many of these parties can trace their beginnings back to the 1960s–1990s struggle against the Iraqi army, many of whom continue to maintain militias which are now being deployed to reinforce the Kurdish army in the region. These are reported to have been joined by groups of ethnic Kurds from Iran.

Reports say hundreds of Yazidi volunteers are also being trained inside Kurdistan to help fight the Islamic State’s advance.

 

On the campaign trail in the USA, October 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The following is the sixth and final edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the Free & Equal Foundation holds a presidential debate with three little-known candidates; three additional candidates give their final pleas to voters; and past Wikinews interviewees provide their electoral predictions ahead of the November 8 election.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Free & Equal Debate
  • 3 Final pleas
  • 4 Predictions
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources
 

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Jim Reeves, York-Simcoe

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jim Reeves is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the York-Simcoe 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.

 

Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”