Inspectors close Chicago landmark Healthy Food restaurant after finding dead mouse in cooler

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Chicago city inspectors closed the landmark Lithuanian restaurant Healthy Food on Thursday, after finding mouse feces on the meat slicer and cutting board, and a dead mouse in the cooler.

The restaurant has operated at 3236 S. Halsted, on the south side of the city in the Bridgeport neighborhood, since the 1930s.

Wikinews reporter David Vasquez placed a call to the restaurant to inquire if they were open. The call was answered by a woman who said, “No, we’re closed. There’s some technical difficulties. I’m sorry. Thank you for calling.” A second phone could be heard ringing in the background.

Streets and Sanitation spokesman Matt Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times, “To reopen, they’re going to have to present us with a revamped game plan for not only rodent control but also housekeeping, they’ll have to make all the corrections that our inspectors point out,” he continued, “and pass a very stringent follow-up inspection.”

Patrons have praised the restaurant’s sauerkraut soup and other dishes over the years. Before it was closed, the restaurant had a lot of traffic from the nearby Cook County Circuit Court. The restaurant was once voted “Best Ethnic Eastern European Restaurant in Chicago”, according to New City.

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Japan suggests dumping Fukushima waste at sea as radiation hits lethal levels

Monday, September 2, 2013

Radiation at Japan’s damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant yesterday spiked to lethal levels around a leaking tank. Today the national Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said contaminated water may be pumped into the sea.

Tanks holding contaminated water at the site continue to leak; operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says up to 300 metric tons may have leaked from one tank alone. Radiation at that tank soared to 1,800 millisieverts per hour yesterday, a rate lethal to an exposed human in about four hours. Japanese law says nuclear workers cannot be exposed to more than 50 millisieverts in a year.

TEPCO says other locations at the plant have readings of 70–230 millisieverts per hour. Waste water totalling more than 300,000 tons has already been collected at the site; more is being stored at a rate of 400 tons per day. An unknown quantity of radioactive groundwater is flowing into the sea.

NRA boss Shinichi Tanaka told a press conference today that stored water may be pumped into the Pacific after treatment to reduce contamination to within legal limits. “I’m afraid that it is unavoidable to dump or release the water into the sea,” he said, adding “careless management” was being applied to the water by TEPCO.

The situation at Fukushima is changing everyday… The accident has yet to be settled down.

TEPCO first noticed a leak at the now-deadly tank in July but said it was minor and the NRA gave it a level one “anomaly” rating on the seven-part international scale. Last week that was raised to “serious incident”, level three, after TEPCO said up to 300 tons of water had leaked. The exact amount is unknown as there is no gauge to measure levels inside the tank and TEPCO staff had said water levels in the tank had remained constant.

Last week levels under the tank, where lost water is thought to have seeped into the ground, stood at 100 millisieverts per hour, and another at the facility had a level of 70 millisieverts per hour. TEPCO found another leak yesterday in a pipe between coolant tanks. Highly radioactive material was dripping out, but TEPCO says the leak is now fixed. Monitoring at the site has been increased since the original leak’s discovery two weeks ago.

Around 1,000 tanks are used to store water from the power plant’s coolant system, which was contaminated when three reactors melted down after a tsunami in March 2011. Around 160,000 people were evacuated in the worst nuclear disaster since 1986. Tanaka said “The situation at Fukushima is changing everyday… The accident has yet to be settled down.”

The new radiation involves beta rays, TEPCO said, which can be stopped with a sheet of metal. Water treatment has extracted caesium from the tanks but other radioactive elements remain. TEPCO’s equipment to remove other contamination is out of action due to filter corrosion after a few months of operating, but the government has demanded it be returned to service this month.

None of the tanks have monitoring equipment and TEPCO’s initial procedure involved two employees manually checking each tank over a two-hour period. Since the tank was found to be leaking the total monitoring staff has increased from ten to 60, and patrols are carried out four times a day instead of twice a day.

Prosecutors brought criminal charges against TEPCO and government officials including then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan for their handling of the crisis formed after the tsunami. Daily newspaper Sankei Shimbun today claimed all charges, brought after local residents complained, were to be dropped. Sankei Shimbun suggests a formal announcement may come within days.

Kansai Electric Power today began shutting down one of only two reactors still generating power in Japan, reactor #3 at Oi Nuclear Power Plant, for mandatory inspection. The other, Oi’s reactor #4, is to be permanently switched off this month. When the accident began nuclear energy supplied a third of Japan’s power requirements, but in the aftermath of Fukushima the nation has switched to fossil fuels.

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Wikinews Shorts: January 23, 2012

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, January 23, 2012.

If you believe any of these stories deserves more in-depth coverage, feel free to write a full article on the issues raised.

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Iraqi gasoline is the cheapest in the world at $.05 per gallon

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A new report indicates that while Iraq‘s economy remains in a shambles and the prospect of future growth is still dim, Iraqi citizens do enjoy some of the least expensive gas prices in the world.

The International Monetary Fund says Iraqi drivers currently pay an average of 5 U.S. cents a gallon (1.32¢/L) for gasoline. This contrasts to averages of $2.55 (67.4¢/L) in the United States and $6.24 ($1.65/L) in Great Britain. Even neighboring Iran pays more at the pump than Iraq; 38 cents a gallon (10.0¢/L).

The low cost is due in large part to generous pre-war government subsidies on petroleum products that remain in place today.

In its report, the IMF warned the subsidies are a threat to economic growth in the country. The country still suffers near daily insurgent attacks, high unemployement, inflation, and frequent electrical, water, and sewage service disruptions.

Meanwhile, Iraqi oil output continues to recover. Prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq’s daily output of crude was 2.5 million barrels a day. This week, oil production is 1.6 million barrels per day. Iraq’s oil reserves are estimated at nearly 115 billion barrels, the third largest in the world.

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UN demands return of aid seized by Hamas

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The United Nations relief agency United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is demanding that Hamas return food and blankets intended for Gaza Strip civilians in Palestine, which was seized by Hamas’ Ministry of Social Affairs.

According to UNRWA, the supplies were seized on Tuesday by Hamas police. The 3,500 blankets and 406 parcels of food were intended to help 500 families affected by the recent Israel–Gaza conflict.

“UNRWA condemns in the strongest terms the confiscation of its aid supplies and has demanded that it is returned immediately,” wrote UNRWA spokesperson Christopher Gunness in a press release.

“They were armed. They seized this. They took it by force,” Gunness added, speaking to the press. He called the incident “absolutely unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, The Palestinian Information Center, a Hamas-centric website, reported that Ismail Haniyeh‘s government denies the UNRWA allegations. Further, it says that the supplies were put in police custody after Hamas learned that they were only being distributed to Fatah supporters.

“UNRWA did not do what it said it would do, and began distributing its aid to groups that tie their activities to political activism,” said Ahmad Kurd, the Hamas official in charge of the Ministry of Social Affairs, to the Associated Press.

John Holmes, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said, “The United Nations cannot accept under any circumstances the diversion of aid by a party to a conflict.”

“We are very concerned, but this is an isolated incident, we hope,” said Alix de Mauny, of the European Commission, which is among the largest donors of aid money to the Palestinians. “We will react accordingly if this develops beyond an isolated incident.”

However, Israel indicated that it believes that Hamas routinely seizes aid meant for civilians.

“We have said in the past that we know Hamas is stealing humanitarian aid and donations from international organizations,” said Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesperson.

Gunness denied that assertion. “Does anyone really think that the Americans, who are our single largest donor, or the Europeans, who are our largest multination donor, would give us aid in the generous way they do if they thought that aid would go to terrorists?” he said.

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Columbus module added to ISS during spacewalk

Monday, February 11, 2008

A spacewalk was conducted today by astronauts Rex Walheim and Stan Love, members of the STS-122 Space Shuttle crew, to install the new Columbus module onto the International Space Station.

The spacewalk, or extra-vehicular activity (EVA), began at 14:13 UTC, with the astronauts leaving the Quest airlock of the Space Station, and starting work to install an attachment point on top of the Columbus module, to allow it to be moved by the Station’s robotic arm. This was completed at 19:00, about an hour later than planned, owing to the installation taking longer than expected. Columbus was lifted out of the payload bay of Atlantis at 19:55 UTC, by the Space Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2. Astronaut Dan Tani, controlling Canadarm2 from aboard the ISS remarked “Columbus has started its trip to the new world”. At 21:29, Columbus soft-docked with the Space Station’s Harmony node, and the module finished bolting itself in place by 21:44.

Meanwhile, the astronauts performed some tasks to prepare for the next spacewalk, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday. They loosened bolts holding a nitrogen tank in place on the port truss segment of the Station, ahead of its replacement. It was originally planned that they would also disconnect pipes and electrical connections, however these objectives were delayed to Wednesday’s spacewalk, due to time constraints. The EVA finished at 22:12 UTC, having lasted seven hours and fifty-eight minutes

This marks the 102nd spacewalk as part of the International Space Station programme, and the first of three planned for the STS-122 Shuttle mission. It was originally planned that German astronaut Hans Schlegel would perform the EVA instead of Stan Love, however he was unable to do so due to an undisclosed medical problem.

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Gunman massacres at least 12 at New York immigration center

Friday, April 3, 2009

A gunman attacked a downtown Binghamton, New York-based immigration services center today, killing up to 13 people before killing himself.

New York Governor David Paterson at a news conference indicated that 12 or 13 people were killed at the American Civic Association. It is unclear whether or not the attacker was included in the number of the deceased.

An anonymous law enforcement official indicated the presumed gunman’s body was found in an office of the immigration services center building. The attacker blocked the rear building door with his car and entered through the front door. He then opened fire.

The gunman held over 40 hostages, some in a closet and the rest in the boiler room. Police and EMS started arriving at 10:30 A.M (EDT). SWAT sharpshooters and the Endicott police bomb squad were called to the scene. Nearby residencies and businesses were evacuated, while a nursing home and the high school were placed on lockdown. FBI hostage negotiators and evidence response team were being sent to the scene. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were headed to Binghamton. About noon, the shooter released ten hostages, then another ten out the back 40 minutes later. At 2:40 p.m., the local police said the standoff had ended and a SWAT team was checking the building for anyone remaining.

In Johnson City, Wilson Medical Center staff are treating three to five gunshot wounds, while Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton is treating a single such case. Both hospitals called in additional staff and cancelled all elective surgeries.

A national law enforcement source identified the shooter as 42-year-old Jiverly Voong. The police asked Broome Community College Assistant Professor Tuong Hung Nguyen, a fluent Vietnamese speaker, to translate for discussions between police and Voong.

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Earthquake hits Chile

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A major earthquake hit Chile on Monday with a 7.9 magnitude strength. According to the Reuters news service, the earthquake caused a major displacement of homes and caused major power outages. So far, there have been 11 dead in the quake and aftermath.

The epicentre was 115 km at the northeast of the of Iquique, close to the border with Bolivia, and it happened Monday, at 6:45 p.m. local time (22:45 UTC).

Right after the occurrence of the earthquake, schools were evacuated, panic was generalized and the electrical power has been cut. The earthquake could be felt at the south of Peru and Bolivia, but there are not information about victims or damages in these countries. A very small earthquake was felt in some cities in Brazil, with no damages or victims apparently.

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Election in Moldova instigates rioting mob demanding recount

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Protests which began Monday escalated to a riot on Wednesday consisting of over 10,000 people in Chi?in?u, the capital of Moldova, protesting the results of Sunday’s 2009 Moldovan parliamentary election, which showed an apparent, narrow victory for the Communist Party (Partidul Comuni?tilor din Republica Moldova, PCRM). Demonstrators claim the victory was the result of electoral fraud.

The demonstration escalated to a “flash mob” of between 10,000 to 15,000 communicating via online tools like email, micro-blogging tool Twitter, and social-networking website Facebook. “We sent messages on Twitter but didn’t expect 15,000 people to join in. At the most we expected 1,000”, said Oleg Brega of the activist group Hyde Park.

Police deployed tear gas and water cannons, and fired blanks into the crowd. The rioters threw stones at the riot police and took control of the parliament building and presidential office. A bonfire was built out of parliamentary furniture and all windows below the 7th floor were broken.

Approximately one hundred protesters and 170 police officers are reported as injured. There have been conflicting reports as to whether a female protester died during the altercation.

193 protesters “have been charged with looting, hooliganism, robbery and assault,” said an Interior Ministry spokesperson. This announcement sparked another protest by those demanding the release for those detained.

There is wide speculation about who was to blame for the rioting.

President Vladimir Voronin has expelled the Romanian ambassador from Moldova, blaming Romania for the violent protests. “We know that certain political forces in Romania are behind this unrest. The Romanian flags fixed on the government buildings in Chisinau attest to this” said Voronin. “Romania is involved in everything that has happened.“ Voronin also blamed the protests on opposition leaders who used violence to seize power, and has described the event as a coup d’état.

Protesters initially insisted on a recount of the election results and are now calling for a new vote, which has been rejected by the government. Rioters were also demanding unification between Moldova and Romania. “In the air, there was a strong expectation of change, but that did not happen”, said OSCE spokesman Matti Sidoroff.File:Dorin Chirtoaca.jpg

“The elections were fraudulent, there was multiple voting” accused Chi?in?u mayor Dorin Chirtoac? of the Liberal Party. “It’s impossible that every second person in Moldova voted for the Communists. However, we believe the riots were a provocation and we are now trying to reconcile the crowd. Leaders of all opposition parties are at the scene,” said Larissa Manole of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) proclaimed the PCRM to have won 61 seats in initial counts, enough to guarantee a third term in power for Voronin, who has held the position since 2001. But the Central Election Commission has received evidence of election violations, according to RIA Novosti, and upon recounts conducted of disputed polls, the commission reported that the Communists achieved 49.48% of the Moldovian vote, giving them 60 parliamentary seats — one short of the total needed to win the presidential election. “The electoral commission also granted opposition parties permission to check voter lists, fulfilling one of their chief demands,” said Yuri Ciocan, Central Election Commission secretary.

Voronin will step down in May, however his party could elect a successor with 61 parliamentary seats without any votes from outside parties as well as amend the Constitution. With the PCRM garnering 60 seats, the opposition will have a voice in the presidential election for a new successor.

The western part of Moldova was a part of Romania from the Romania’s independence until the region was detached by the USSR in 1940 to form the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. On independence in 1990 the country sought union with Romania but the eastern, Russian- and Ukrainian-inhabited areas of the country declared themselves independent from Moldova and formed the state of Transnistria and movement toward union was halted.

Moldova is Europe’s poorest country, where average income is less than $250 (£168) a month. The country’s neighbours are Romania and Ukraine. Romania is a European Union (EU) state.

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