Wikinews previews the 2009 Queensland state election

 Correction — November 19, 2009 In the final line of this article, it is stated that The West Australian is a News Limited paper. It is actually independent – the News Limited paper in Perth is the Sunday Times

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

With an election coming up this Saturday in the Australian state of Queensland, Wikinews reporter Patrick Gillett previews the contesting parties.

The current distribution of seats has the Australian Labor Party with 58 of the 86 total, the Liberal National Party with 25, the Queensland Greens & One Nation with one each and independents holding four.

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is currently in government and have been since 1998. Current premier and leader of the ALP Anna Bligh will be, if Labor wins, the first female to elected premier in Australian history. Ms Bligh became the third female premier in Australian history when Peter Beattie resigned in 2007.

The premier has received criticism from other parties for backflipping on its commitment to run a full term. “After 11 years in office, Ms Bligh only cares about one job: her own,” said Lawrence Springborg head of the Liberal National Party (LNP) and the Leader of the Opposition.

The Liberal National Party is currently in opposition. It is seen as a prototype for a national merger between the Liberal and National parties. The Opposition need to pick up at least twenty seats from the government to overcome the significant Labor majority and a number of independents.

The Queensland Greens are the states largest minor party. The Greens unveiled its policy to open two solar power stations on the weekend of January 31/February 1.

“We can tackle climate change and create long-term jobs, but Labor can’t see that because they are blinded by the interests of their big donors – the urban development and coal industries,” said Mt Coo-tha candidate Larrisa Waters.

The Greens main policies have been stated “Green collar jobs”, “managing where the money is going”, education and transport.

“The Greens want to give the community and the environment a voice back in State Parliament,” says Ms Waters.

The Socialist Alliance will run two candidates as independents because of what they call “restrictive rules for registration.”

Wikinews conducted an interview with the Socialist Alliance on March 2rd in which they said, “That choosing between “tweedledee” and “tweedledum” once every few years is not real democracy, and with the planet in peril, facing an economic meltdown, and all manner of social problems, we can’t afford to leave sociaety [sic] in the hands of the pro-corporate parties.”

The Daylight Saving for South East Queensland (DS4EQ) party was set up in late 2008. DS4SEQ leader Jason Furze gave an interview to Wikinews in January. “DS4SEQ would like to gain a sizeable percentage of the primary vote and win a number of seats,” Mr furze said. Courier Mail writer Dennis Atkins wrote in today’s Courier Mail that DS4SEQ “will poll better than anyone expected – polling close to double figures in some seats around Brisbane and on the coasts.”

News Limited newspapers The West Australian and the Courier Mail reported that swing voters would decide the election.

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The Onion: An interview with ‘America’s Finest News Source’

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Despite the hopes of many University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) students, The Onion was not named after their student center. “People always ask questions about where the name The Onion came from,” said President Sean Mills in an interview with David Shankbone, “and when I recently asked Tim Keck, who was one of the founders, he told me the name—I’ve never heard this story about ‘see you at the un-yun’—he said it was literally that his Uncle said he should call it The Onion when he saw him and Chris Johnson eating an onion sandwich. They had literally just cut up the onion and put it on bread.” According to Editorial Manager Chet Clem, their food budget was so low when they started the paper that they were down to white bread and onions.

Long before The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Heck and Johnson envisioned a publication that would parody the news—and news reporting—when they were students at UW in 1988. Since its inception, The Onion has become a veritable news parody empire, with a print edition, a website that drew 5,000,000 unique visitors in the month of October, personal ads, a 24 hour news network, podcasts, and a recently launched world atlas called Our Dumb World. Al Gore and General Tommy Franks casually rattle off their favorite headlines (Gore’s was when The Onion reported he and Tipper were having the best sex of their lives after his 2000 Electoral College defeat). Many of their writers have gone on to wield great influence on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert‘s news parody shows.

And we are sorry to break the news to all you amateur headline writers: your submissions do not even get read.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Chet Clem and Sean Mills about the news empire that has become The Onion.

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Oklahoma trooper on leave after altercation with ambulance personnel

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Oklahoma police officer is on paid administrative leave, following an altercation with ambulance personnel while they were transporting a patient to the hospital. Trooper Daniel Martin, a member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), was caught on video by his police vehicle’s dashboard-camera in a physical struggle with paramedic Maurice White, Jr. after Martin pulled the ambulance over. Martin had previously passed the ambulance while en route to another call, but came back and pulled over the ambulance. The incident occurred on May 24, and footage from the police dash-cam was released following a tort claim filed by paramedic White.

It has also been suggested that the previous call had in-fact been to pick up his wife from a police station who was then present in the car during the incident between Martin and the ambulance.

Footage by the OHP released Friday shows the ambulance personnel repeatedly informing Trooper Martin that they have a patient in the back of the ambulance that they are in the midst of transporting to the hospital. Martin yells at the ambulance driver for making what he claims was an obscene gesture – the ambulance driver asserts he raised both hands signalling confusion at the police officer’s actions. Trooper Martin can be heard telling the ambulance driver “I’m going to give you a ticket for failure to yield, and when I go by you saying ‘What’s going on?’ you don’t need to give me no hand gestures now, I ain’t going to put up with that [expletive], do you understand me?”

The video from the police dash-cam is eight minutes long, and paramedic White can be seen twice being pushed up against his ambulance by Trooper Martin. In one instance, Martin shoves White up against the ambulance while gripping his neck tightly with his other hand. In a written statement, paramedic White described the hold placed on him by the Trooper, stating “he engaged my trachea in a claw-like grip digging his nail into my neck while partially shutting off my air supply.”

[Paramedic Maurice White, Jr.] never once became aggressive to that trooper.

The sister of the patient in the ambulance, Clara Harper, was following the ambulance and witnessed the incident. Harper later viewed the footage from the police dash-cam, and she stated to Tulsa World paramedic White “never once became aggressive to that trooper.” She asserted that “He did nothing wrong.” After the ambulance was allowed to continue transporting the patient to the hospital, Harper got into the ambulance to be with her sister. “She was scared, and I was trying to calm her down and telling her everything was going to be all right,” said Harper.

My biggest concern was for the patient. If there’s any nightmare from this, it’s because of what that mother, that patient, had to go through.

Paramedic White was interviewed by KOKI-TV, and recounted his thoughts as the incident was taking place. He stated his main concern was for his ambulance patient: “It was surrealistic because I’ve never had such an experience. My biggest concern was for the patient. If there’s any nightmare from this, it’s because of what that mother, that patient, had to go through.” White’s attorney told KOKI-TV that if White deemed the arrest to be unlawful, he had the right to resist it. White is a paramedic for Creek Nation Emergency Medical Services in Oklahoma. He told FOX News he was surprised at the actions of the police trooper. “He’s taken an oath, just as I have, to protect and serve. I could not believe that this was happening,” said White.

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety decided to release the police dash-cam video publicly after amateur video of the incident was posted to the video-sharing website YouTube. Captain Chris West, spokesman for the OHP, explained why the video was not released earlier. “We’ve been well aware of the fact that this incident has drawn enormous attention, but made the decision to protect the integrity of the investigation, any and all relevant evidence, as well as the rights of the department employees,” said West. Prior to the release of the dash-cam video, a relative of the patient had posted video of the incident to YouTube. The son of the ambulance patient can be seen in a video stating to the camera “Highway patrolman pulled over my mom’s ambulance because he’s mad we didn’t pull over, and he tried to arrest … the EMT from taking my mother to the hospital.”

One man is there protecting a patient and one man is there abusing his authority and throwing his weight around.

Richard O’Carroll, the lawyer for paramedic White, said that Trooper Martin abused his authority as a police officer. “Everything on this needs to relate back to why are we here? One man is there protecting a patient and one man is there abusing his authority and throwing his weight around,” said O’Carroll. White’s attorney filed a tort claim on behalf of his client in order to get the video of the police vehicle’s dash-cam released. Trooper Martin’s lawyer says he did not realize a patient was in the ambulance at the time of the incident.

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O’Carroll explained the decision of paramedic White not to use sirens while transporting his patient to the hospital: “There was a reason he wasn’t running sirens. There was a suggestion of chest pains and a heart condition and sirens aggravate these conditions by increasing the blood pressure.” However the attorney for Trooper Martin, Gary James, said that the ambulance was not exempt from regulations because it did not have its sirens on. “If they’re not running their sirens or lights, they don’t get afforded any emergency vehicle exemptions,” said James. The OHP chief is handling an internal review into the incident. As of June 1, Trooper Martin has been on paid administrative leave.

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What Is A Therapeutic Massage Spa?

byAlma Abell

All spas are places where people go for relaxation however a therapeutic massage spa takes this service to a much higher plane. In an ordinary spa one can expect grooming more than anything else, it is a place which does hair, manicures, pedicures, facials and body scrubs. The massage therapists in Peabody MA take facials for example and add massage and other treatments that are designed to improve the appearance of the client as well as rejuvenate the body.

Treatments that one can expect in a therapeutic spa will always include massage. Depending on the type of treatment the massage can focus on the feet and the hands while other forms of massage treat the client from head to toe. During a massage in a therapeutic spa one can expect the massage therapists to use different forms of aromatherapy such as oils and candles which are lit during the therapy to induce deeper relaxation. When a person is fully relaxed the massage will be of most benefit.

Most therapeutic spas offer skin treatments, often in the way of facials. The facials are given in a gentle fashion; the objective is to renew the skin without inflicting any damage. The types of scrubs that are offered in high end spas normally use oatmeal and various herbs rather than harsh exfoliates which contain chemicals. The bath may also contain sea salt and herbal components.

Another popular treatment that one expects in a therapeutic spa is a foot scrub. A foot scrub is an ideal way to sooth tired feet and to remove dead skin. The scrub must be mildly abrasive to work properly but it also nourishes the feet by moisturizing dry skin. Although scent is a factor it is not important, as long as the scent is pleasant it is good.

The entire focus of the spa and the massage therapists in Peabody MA which work there is to provide a pleasant experience for the clients. A combination of a good massage which is designed to rid the body of tension, aches and pains as well as cleanse the muscles of toxins along with facials, foot scrubs and in some instance whole body wraps have a single purpose, to enhance the body and soul.

If you are looking for a great spa that employs massage therapists in Peabody MA may we suggest a visit to Massage Envy Spa.


Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

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US Boy Scouts and hikers airlifted from wildfire in Utah

Friday, July 20, 2007

On Friday, a group of hikers and 18 boy scouts were airlifted by helicopters away from a wildfire in Nephi Canyon, Utah. The hikers and scouts escaped into a rough rocky area to keep a safe distance from the dangerous wildfire after it advanced on their campground.

The wildfire started in a campground in Salt Creek Canyon, 85 miles from Salt Lake City, and has burned 13,000 acres across 20 square miles as of Friday. The fire has burned a campground and motel, and forced the evacuation of all campgrounds and cabins in its path.

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Shimon Peres discusses the future of Israel

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This year Israel turns sixty and it has embarked upon a campaign to celebrate its birthday. Along with technology writers for Slate, PC Magazine, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Aviation Weekly, Wikinews was invited by the America-Israel Friendship League and the Israeli Foreign Ministry to review Israel’s technology sector. It’s part of an effort to ‘re-brand the country’ to show America that there is more to Israel than the Palestinian conflict. On this trip we saw the people who gave us the Pentium processor and Instant Messaging. The schedule was hectic: 12-14 hours a day were spent doing everything from trips to the Weizmann Institute to dinner with Yossi Vardi.

On Thursday, the fifth day of the junket, David Saranga of the foreign ministry was able to arrange an exclusive interview for David Shankbone with the President of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shimon Peres. For over an hour they spoke about Iranian politics, whether Israel is in danger of being side-lined in Middle Eastern importance because of Arab oil wealth, and his thoughts against those who say Israeli culture is in a state of decay.

The only crime I committed was to be a little bit ahead of time. And if this is the reason for being controversial, maybe the reason is better than the result.

Shimon Peres spent his early days on kibbutz, a bygone socialist era of Israel. In 1953, at the age of 29, Peres became the youngest ever Director General of the Ministry of Defense. Forty years later it was Peres who secretly gave the green light for dialogue with Yassir Arafat, of the verboten Palestine Liberation Organization. It was still official Israeli policy to not speak with the PLO. Peres shares a Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzak Rabin and Arafat for orchestrating what eventually became the Oslo Accords. The “roadmap” that came out of Oslo remains the official Israeli (and American) policy for peace in the Palestinian conflict. Although the majority of Israeli people supported the plans, land for peace was met with a small but fiery resistance in Israel. For negotiating with Arafat, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shouted at Peres, “You are worse than Chamberlain!” a reference to Hitler’s British appeaser. It was during this time of heated exchanges in the 1990s that Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a Jew who thought it against Halakhic law to give up land given by God (Hashem).

Peres is the elder statesman of Israeli politics, but he remembers that he has not always been as popular as he is today. “Popularity is like perfume: nice to smell, dangerous to drink,” said Peres. “You don’t drink it.” The search for popularity, he goes on to say, will kill a person who has an idea against the status quo.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Shimon Peres, the President of Israel.

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Where To Get Your Computer Screen Repaired In Alsip Il

byAlma Abell

Computers are one of the most important pieces of technology that a person can own these days. They give you access to the internet which has unlimited information on anything you could possibly want to learn about. When your computer takes some damage it can prevent your access from the internet, which some people need to complete their jobs. Your computer screen is going to be the display that shows you all of the information you are trying to see. When this part is damaged you may not be able to see anything at all. The good news is that some screen damage does not mean you need to replace your entire computer. Even if it is a laptop there are professional computer screen repair services which can fix the problem for you.

A professional computer screen repair service is going to take apart your computer to find the problem and try to fix it. Be ready to see your computer taken apart when you bring it to a professional computer repair store. They are going to pinpoint the problem and replace the damaged parts. This will mean that you will only pay for the labor they are doing and the exact part that you need. Having your screen repaired is usually not that big of an issue- unless the LCD display is cracked. This can still be replaced but a new screen could cost you anywhere around $100, depending on what type of computer you have. You have some good services if you are looking for computer screen repair in Alsip IL. BLH Computers is one example of a local company that provides computer screen repair in Alsip IL. When you are searching for any type of repair service you want to make sure they are going to provide you with professional work and quality results. One way you can ensure they are going to provide you with this without having to spend your money first is by reading some reviews. Other people are going to comment and tell you about the services they got from a particular computer repair company. This will give you an idea of what to expect from a repair service you have in mind. Be sure to find a company that has beaming reviews and uses high quality parts to repair their clients computers.


FDA report criticizes conditions in factory that produced recalled medications

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The US Food and Drug Administration released a report today harshly criticizing the conditions at a Johnson & Johnson factory that produced medications recalled this weekend.

The report, the result of an FDA inspection conducted at the facility, said that the plant in question, located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, had upwards of 20 documented manufacturing problems, including both quality and security issues.

According to the report, material used in the medicines produced were contaminated with a type of bacteria not yet identified, and the factory had not had sufficient quality control procedures or facilities for testing the quality of products. The report also noted that employees had received insufficient training in safe manufacturing procedures.

The FDA’s inspection of the plant had begun in mid April, and concluded last Friday. A recall of the drugs, which included Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, was issued by Johnson & Johnson later on Friday. The products affected were sold in twelve countries worldwide, including the US.

According to McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of J&J, the recalled medications can include higher than indicated amounts of active ingredients, foreign particles, or ingredients that don’t meet requirements for testing. The recalls followed at least 46 consumer complaints in the last year of “black or dark specks” found in J&J Tylenol products.

According to a senior FDA official, “[t]his is yet another example of when a company has to take full accountability for the quality of its drugs [with] severe consequences for not doing so.”

In a response, J&J said in a statement that “we have no higher concern than providing parents with the highest quality products for their children” and “the quality issues that the FDA has observed, many of which we had recently identified in our own quality reviews and communicated to the FDA, are unacceptable to us.” The company said the plant affected has temporarily ceased all production.

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News briefs:January 11, 2008


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