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21-year-old man sexually assaulted in New Zealand

21-year-old man sexually assaulted in New Zealand

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A 21-year-old New Zealander, who has not been named, was sexually assaulted by another man early yesterday morning (NZDT) in Wellington, New Zealand. The New Zealand police have described the sexual attack as “prolonged and terrifying”.

The man was first threatened with a weapon at a shopping center located in Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington and was then forced into a dark and isolated carpark where the sexual attack occurred.

Detective Sergeant Zane Smith, said that they have been given a very good description of the attacker and with that description have released an identikit picture. The attacker is a male M?ori aged between mid-20s and early 30s, measures around 1.8 metres and has a solid build. The most identifiable feature is a M?ori tattoo located on his chin. The attacker was also wearing a ‘50 Cent‘ green hooded top, faded black baggy jeans and was wearing sneakers coloured red and white.

The attacker has still not been found and police are asking for anyone who may have been in the Riddiford Street shopping centre between 2:00 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.

CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras are being examined.

Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy involved in car accident near U.S. Capitol

Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy involved in car accident near U.S. Capitol

Friday, May 5, 2006

U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy (DRI), son of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, was involved in a traffic accident near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Capitol Hill Police reported that Kennedy was alone his 1997 Ford Mustang when the accident occurred Thursday at about 2:45 a.m. EDT (0645 UTC) near the 100 block of C Street SE. Police say his eyes were red and watery, and he was unbalanced and had slurred speech. Police also say that Kennedy had received three “notices of infractions” that are connected with the crash.

According to the police report, Kennedy drove his car into a security barrier near the Capitol building. When questioned by the police, he told them that he was “headed to the Capitol to make a vote,” when no votes were scheduled for that time of the morning.

Kennedy said in a written statement that he had returned home around midnight and had taken the sleep aid Ambien and the anti-nausea drug Phenergan, both of which are known to cause drowsiness and sedation. He awakened a couple hours later and was “disoriented” when the incident occurred. He also said that “at no time before the accident” did he take alcohol, and pledged to cooperate in any investigation.

Today, Kennedy said, “Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication” and that he “never asked for any preferential treatment.” He also announced that he is checking himself into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

“I know I need help. As in every recovery, each day has its ups and downs.,” added Kennedy. This is not the first time Kennedy has been to the Mayo Clinic. Last Christmas, Kennedy spent time at the clinic and went back to work after he was “feeling focused and in good shape.”

However; Robin Costello, spokeswoman for Kennedy said, “we have no knowledge of any citations,” but she did admit that a report was filed.

Capitol Police have not commented on the report or allegations, but Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, Capitol Police spokeswoman did say, “The United States Capitol Police are continuing to investigate.”

It is not known whether any sobriety test or arrest was made. Kennedy was not injured.

 This story has updates See Rhode Island representative Patrick Kennedy pleads guilty to DUI, June 13, 2006 

CNN medical correspondent to be named US Surgeon General

CNN medical correspondent to be named US Surgeon General

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

United States president-elect Barack Obama has chosen Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a medical correspondent from the American television station CNN, to be the next United States Surgeon General. Gupta, also a neurosurgeon, was reported to be chosen because of his background in broadcasting and skills in communication. He is currently the host of House Call, a program on CNN, a columnist for Time Magazine, a contributor to CBS News, and also a part time worker at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He will likely leave all of these positions to serve as US Surgeon General.

Dr. Joseph Heyman of the American Medical Association supported Gupta, stating “If chosen, Dr. Gupta’s communication skills and medical knowledge could be a boon to the new administration’s health system reform efforts.” Conversely, Doctors Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice stated that the next Surgeon General would need to “…demonstrate skills that are too often missing in medical news on TV: skepticism about the science and a careful analysis of both the benefits and harms of medical care.”

According to reports by sources close to the discussions, Gupta met with Barack Obama on November 25 in Chicago to discuss the position. He later met with several advisors to the president-elect, including Thomas A. Daschle of the US Department of Health and Human Services. He was reported to tell Obama that he wanted the Surgeon General position. Gupta declined to comment about the situation yesterday, but did state that he plans to accept Obama’s choice.

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”

Why Hire An Estate Planning Lawyer?

byAlma Abell

There are numerous laws that come into play when you are creating your will or establishing a trust, and as such you are well advised to hire an estate planning lawyer in Santa Ana to help and guide you. For some families, a simple DIY will be enough, but for the greatest majority of people, it is important to work closely with a lawyer. When deciding whether a lawyer is needed take into account your assets, ownership of business, medical concerns and of course, your children.

Do you need help planning your estate?

The key to ensuring that your final wishes regard property distribution and your wishes regard healthcare is to work closely with an estate planning lawyer. The lawyer can help you draft your last will and testament, create a trust or help you develop a comprehensive plan that includes living trusts, healthcare provisos, tax-free gifts and more.

State laws must be followed:

Although there are minor differences, all states say what can and cannot be in a will or trust and who can and can’t serve as the trustee and what formalities must be observed when a will or trust is signed. Although there are many DIY plans available on the internet or in book stores, ask yourself if it is worth jeopardizing your estate just to save a little money. If there are mistakes made up front, it will take a lot more money after the fact to fix the errors.

What an estate planning lawyer can do:

An estate planning lawyer in Santa Ana is experienced and knows the state laws. The lawyer will discuss the state of your affairs, understand the property you own and understand your estate planning goals and the needs of those that you will leave behind. Your lawyer will lay out the options and will work alongside you to develop a plan that is tailored specifically to suit your goals.

To ensure that your estate is handled in accordance with your wishes and your family is looked after you should develop an estate plan in co-operation with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Santa Ana. You are invited to contact the Law Offices of Norman J. Homen.

Teenage boys rape 13-year-old in Zurich, film act on cellphone

Teenage boys rape 13-year-old in Zurich, film act on cellphone

Friday, November 17, 2006

A group of 13 teenage boys raped a 13-year old school girl in Zurich last weekend, reports the website of the German language newspaper 20 Minuten. The report says that the girl was raped repeatedly and the act was filmed on mobile phones.

Six of the suspects are Swiss nationals, two come from Serbia and Montenegro, one comes from Italy, two from the Republic of Macedonia, one from the Dominican Republic and one from Bosnia and Hercegovina. All live in Zurich.

All the suspects were arrested on Thursday. Police secured 3 mobile phones. Police say that securing the phones ensures the movies don’t get published on the Internet and cannot spark potential copycat acts.

The alleged act took place in the flat of an 18-year-old colleague of a 15-year-old friend of the victim. The victim and four of the arrested suspects attend the same school Schulhaus Buhnrain in Zurich Seebach.

According to 20 Minuten, the families of the perpetrators have now massively threatened the victim.

Verena Lang Temperli, a school official, told 20 Minuten that this case is a problem of society itself, not a problem of the school.

Foreign investment rises in Romania by 19 percent

Foreign investment rises in Romania by 19 percent

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Romania’s level of foreign direct investment rose by 19% in the first six months (January-July) of 2005 when compared to the same period of 2004, according to the Romanian Agency for Foreign Investment (ARIS). The country recorded US$750 million of foreign investment in this period, and 56 total investment projects, in comparison to 40 projects between January and July 2004. The majority of the investments occurred in the BucharestIlfov region, which includes the Romanian capital.

The rise in foreign investment is mainly attributed due to a more liberal taxation policy introduced by the Romanian government on January 1, 2005, which centres around a 16% flat tax on personal income and corporate profit. Additionally, the country’s expected membership of the European Union in 2007 and its relatively stable political climate also led to an increase in foreign investment in 2005.

Weather bureau forecasts an early spring for Australia

Weather bureau forecasts an early spring for Australia
By | Posted in Uncategorized

Friday, July 23, 2010

Australians have been shivering through one of the coldest winters in the country’s history, but the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a nationwide forecast for the coming months which predicts warmer conditions in most parts of the country excluding Tasmania.

The southern hemisphere’s Spring Equinox occurs in September, but the forecast suggests unseasonal weather conditions across the nation for August and September. Temperatures in Queensland and Western Australia are predicted to soar well above the average, with heavy, torrential springtime rains arriving well in advance, and is expected to have both negative and positive effects on the agricultural industries of the states.

The south of Australia is similarly anticipating warmer-than-average conditions with Victoria, South Australia, and southern Western Australia anticipating balmy to humid weather. This comes in contrast to parts of New South Wales, which experienced their coldest night on record, while Melbourne, Victoria dealt with its coldest morning in 15 months.

Forecasters hypothesise that warmer temperatures in the Indian and Pacific Oceans could be responsible for the onset of an “early spring”.

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NASA says Martian soil could sustain life

NASA says Martian soil could sustain life
By | Posted in Uncategorized

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The scientists behind the Mars Phoenix Lander project announced that the soil on Mars was more alkaline than expected and could sustain life.

Scientists at NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration claimed that they were “flabbergasted” by their discovery on the possibility that life could grow on Martian soil.

“It is the type of soil you would probably have in your back yard, you know, alkaline. You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well. … It is very exciting for us,” said Sam Kounaves, the lead wet chemist at NASA.

The project did not elaborate any further if there was indeed life on Mars, down to the microbe level and instead stated that their discovery was only preliminary and more analysis will be needed.

There was still no evidence in the soil that “would preclude life,” and instead of an assumption of a toxic environment, Martian soil is actually, “very friendly.”

The discovery was made after the Mars Phoenix Lander scooped up Martian soil for analysis. The lander touched down on Mars on May 25, 2008 and has been conducting several survey projects.

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Belgian terrorism suspects remain in custody as case details emerge

Belgian terrorism suspects remain in custody as case details emerge
By | Posted in Uncategorized

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A court in Flanders prolonged the custody of 12 suspects on Thursday. Meanwhile, more details emerge in the case against alleged neo-Nazi group inside the Belgian army. They are accused of terrorism, weapons traffic and racism.

Most lawyers involved asked for their clients to be released, and will appeal the court’s decision. One lawyer said the police was being influenced politically to make the arrests now, before the elections of October 8, and that his client was more of a “immature teenager and weapons freak”. The prosecutor is calling some suspects weapons dealers, but the defence lawyers claim they are weapons collectors, and say that terrorism is out of the question.

A spokesperson for the justice department denied this formally, saying that “The weapons traffic of the suspects began to take too large proportions, so we couldn’t wait any longer.” She also said the army informed them that they considered it too dangerous to take the soldiers involved along on uncoming international missions (Belgium is sending troups to Lebanon).

The prime suspect and alleged leader of the group is Thomas B. The police thinks he has a neo-Nazistic ideology and was planning attacks to destabilise Belgium. Thomas B. founded a splinter group of Blood and Honour called ‘Bloed, Bodem, Eer en Trouw’ (Eng: Blood, Soil, Honour and Fidelity), after the British headquarters of the skinhead organisation didn’t let him found an official branch in Belgium.

T.V. station VTM claimed the police tapped into phone conversations where Thomas B. was talking about killing Filip Dewinter and Dyab Abou Jahjah, two political leaders and opponents in Belgium. That way, both sides would cause an uprise and they could seize the opportunity. But the prosecutor’s office has formally denied the existence of specific plans to this end.

The police has discovered numerous weapons, and a video showing a paramilitary training, not only on military grounds but also under a bridge in the city Dendermonde. The police say the tape shows how they fire guns and throw Molotov cocktails on that location.

In the political arena, Internal Affairs minister Patrick Dewael has suggested a law to forbid far right criminal organisations. The plan was applauded by some and contested by others. Earlier on Friday, the federal government supported the proposal to give more power to the national intelligence services to fight terrorism. Minister of Defence André Flahaut suspended 11 suspects inside the army. Prime minister Guy Verhofstadt said the entire affair was “a blame for the country and the army”.

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