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Northern lights may appear across Canada and northern U.S. late Tuesday night

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Forecasters predict that northern lights could be visible to the naked eye late tonight and early tomorrow morning across Canada, northern parts of the U.S., and possibly the United Kingdom.

Solar storms caused a large ejection of plasma from the Sun’s surface on Sunday, and the plasma is heading directly towards Earth. The plasma, a cloud of rapidly moving hydrogen gas atoms and subatomic particles, is expected to reach us late Tuesday. The plasma will interact with the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere, which will cause northern lights, or aurora borealis, to be visible much further south than is usual. Northern lights usually appear as green or red rivers of lights across the sky.

“It’s the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time” said astronomer Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The eruption was detected by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which was launched in February 2010, and is currently orbiting the Earth.

The Sun goes through approximately eleven-year long activity cycles, with the last maximum occurring in 2001. Sunday’s eruption is a sign that the many years of inactivity is over, and the Sun is heading towards another maximum.

Category:July 22, 2010

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Wikinews interviews former Salt Lake City mayor and 2012 presidential candidate Rocky Anderson

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Former Salt Lake City mayor and human rights activist Rocky Anderson took some time to discuss his 2012 U.S. presidential campaign and the newly-created Justice Party with Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Anderson served as mayor of Salt Lake City for eight years (2000–2008) as a member of the Democratic Party. During his tenure, he enacted proposals to reduce the city’s carbon emissions, reformed its criminal justice system, and positioned it as a leading sanctuary for refugees. After leaving office, Anderson grew critical of the Democratic Party’s failure to push for impeachment against President George W. Bush, and for not reversing policies on torture, taxes, and defense spending. He left the party earlier this year and announced that he would form a Third party.

Anderson officially established the Justice Party last week during a press conference in Washington D.C.. He proclaimed “We the people are powerful enough to end the perverse government-to-the-highest-bidder system sustained by the two dominant parties…We are here today for the sake of justice — social justice, environmental justice and economic justice.” The party promotes campaign finance reform and is attempting to appeal to the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is currently working on ballot access efforts, and will hold a Founding Convention in February 2012 in Salt Lake City.

Among other issues, Anderson discussed climate change, health care, education, and civil liberties. He detailed his successes as mayor of Salt Lake City, stressed the importance of executive experience, and expressed his views on President Barack Obama and some of the Republican Party presidential candidates. He spoke in depth about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, with whom he worked during the 2002 Winter Olympics, and fellow Utahan, former governor and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr..

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 The Justice Party and opposition
  • 3 The GOP race
  • 4 Public policy and the state of democracy
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources

Woman killed on amusement park ride in New York

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A young woman was killed Friday night after an accident occurred on a gyrating ride at the Playland amusement park in Rye, New York in the United States. The woman, Gabriela Garin, was a worker at the amusement park, and had worked there for the past seven years.

The accident occurred near the end of Garin’s shift; as she was loading riders onto the ride. The ride’s new operator, unaware of Garin’s presence, started the ride while Garin was still on it. The new operator then noticed Garin, and shut the ride down in 20 seconds, but Garin had already been ejected from the ride and killed, according to a park spokesperson.

The ride is an attraction that spins people around in two-seat cars, inside a darkened tent to flashing lights and music.

This incident is not the first in the ride’s history. In 2004, a seven-year-old from Connecticut managed to free herself from the ride’s restraining bars, and climb onto the front edge of her seat. She fell soon after the ride started. A safety precaution was put in place after this incident, however, the spokesperson acknowledged that it was not followed when Garin was killed.

The company which owns the ride shut it down, along with two other rides it owns at the park.

This is the fourth fatality in the park’s history. The park features more than 50 rides, a pool, and a beach. It attracts more than 1 million visitors annually.

Australian Stingers stung by US at FINA World League Final gold medal match

Sunday, June 3, 2012

In the gold medal match at water polo’s FINA World League Final tonight between the Australia Stingers and United States women’s national water polo team, Australia lost 4–6 to the USA in the last major competition before the 2012 Summer Olympics. The victory made for seven World League Super Final titles for Team USA.

At 7:00 p.m. Chinese local time, 9:00 p.m. Australian local time, the game got under way, with a Tweet from Australian Water Polo for fans at home who could not watch the game live. The Australians were down at quarter time, 1–2 with the team’s only goal coming from Bronwen Knox off a pass by Kate Gynther. By half time, Australia had battled back to take the lead 4–3, only to finish the third period tied 4–4 with the United States, and eventually lose 4–6.

In the lead up to the World League Final, the Australians spent time in Singapore before departing for China. While in Singapore, players had an opportunity to relax at the pool and several, including Knox, Rowena Webster, Nicola Zagame, and Melissa Rippon were very active on Twitter.

The team arrived in Shanghai and the Shanghai Institute of Sport a week before the start of the FINA Super League Finals. During their week-long preparation, they worked on strength and fitness training. When away from the pool, they did not have access to Twitter, Facebook, or television and had to entertain themselves using other means. Players finally explored the city six days after their arrival.

With limited opportunities for amusement in the hotel room during the competition, assistant coach Ryan Moar updated his Twitter account and played with a toy helicopter. Several of the players who were active on Twitter before departing for China stopped updating, including Webster, Rippon, and Zagame. Knox and Moran continued to provide updates on Twitter and Instagram throughout the competition.

Australian game days during the tournament included warming up poolside before the start of their games, and cooling down in the pool after them. Going into their match against the USA, they notched an 8–7 victory over China, an 18 to nil victory against Germany, and a 9–7 overtime shootout win against Russia.

On gold medal game day, Jane Moran updated her Twitter account to say “Final of World League Super Finals today v USA – goooo Stingers! ‪#stingerspride”. About eight hours prior to game time, the team finished their final training session. Earlier in the afternoon, prior to game time in Australia, Channel 9 ran a feature on the team. Prior to the start of the game, the Australian Stingers official team Twitter account mocked Team USA for their team-branded k tape. During the pre-game warm up, team members did a variety of things including playing with their phones, warming up, and getting their arms taped. It was business as usual for the team that had beaten the United States the previous month at the VISA Water Polo International.

The bronze medal match between the China women’s national water polo team and Greece women’s national water polo team preceded the gold medal game, which Greece won 8–7, with quarter scoring of 1–2 in the first, 4–2 in the second, 1–2 in the third, and 1–2 in the fourth. In the other match, the Russia women’s national water polo team easily beat the Germany women’s national water polo team 18-4.

Smoke from massive warehouse fire in Buffalo, New York USA can be seen 40 miles away

Monday, May 14, 2007

Buffalo, New York — A massive warehouse complex of at least 5 buildings caught on fire in Buffalo, New York on 111 Tonawanda Street, sending a plume of thick, jet black colored smoke into the air that could be seen as far away as 40 miles.

As of 6:40 a.m., the fire was under control, and firefighters were attempting to stop it from spreading, but could not get to the center of the fire because of severe amounts of debris. Later in the morning, the fire was extinguished.

“The fire is mostly under debris at this point. It’s under control, but it’s under some debris. We really can’t get to it. We’re just going to have to keep on pouring water on it so it doesn’t spread,” said Thomas Ashe, the fire chief for the North Buffalo based fire division who also added that at one point, at least 125 firefighters were on the scene battling the blaze. One suffered minor injures and was able to take himself to the hospital to seek medical attention.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m. as many as 3 explosions rocked the warehouse sending large mushroom clouds of thick black smoke into the air. After the third explosion, heat could be felt more than 100 feet away. The fire started in the front, one story building then quickly spread to three others, but fire fighters managed to stop the flames from spreading onto the 3 story building all the way at the back.

According to a Buffalo Police officer, who wished not to be named, the fire began at about 7:00 p.m. [Eastern time], starting as a one alarm fire. By 8:00 p.m., three fire companies were on the scene battling the blaze. Police also say that a smaller fire was reported in the same building on Saturday night, which caused little damage.

At the start of the fire, traffic was backed up nearly 4 miles on the 198 expressway going west toward the 190 Interstate and police had to shut down the Tonawanda street exit because the road is too close to the fire.

At one point, traffic on the 198 was moving so slow, at least a dozen people were seen getting out of their cars and walking down the expressway to watch the fire. That prompted as many as 10 police cars to be dispatched to the scene to force individuals back into their cars and close off one of the 2 lanes on the westbound side.

One woman, who wished not to be named as she is close to the owner of the warehouse, said the building is filled with “classic cars, forklifts, and money” and that owner “does not have insurance” coverage on the property. The building is not considered abandoned, but firefighters said that it is vacant.

Officials in Fort Erie, Ontario were also swamped with calls to fire departments when the wind blew the smoke over the Niagra River and into Canada.

It is not known what caused the fire, but a car is suspected to have caught on fire and there are reports from police and hazmat crews, that there were also large barrels of diesel fuel being stored in one building. Firefighters say the cause of the blaze is being treated as “suspicious.” The ATF is investigating the fire and will bring dogs in to search the debris.

ITV fined A$3000 for cruelty to rat on “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!”

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A spokesperson stated on Monday that UK television company ITV have been fined A$3000 (about US$2591 or £1663) for cruelty to animals in an incident on programme “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!“, where two celebrities killed and ate a rat.

The incident involved actor Stuart Manning and television chef Gino D’Acampo, who went on to win the ninth series of the programme, which was broadcast in 2009. Inside the jungle, having been reduced to rations of beans and rice, the two celebrities caught a rat before killing it and then cooking it, to give the beans and rice “more protein”, before eating the rat, which contestant and actor George Hamilton described as “actually quite nice”. Inside the programme’s video diary room, at the time of the recording of it, Gino D’Acampo said: “I saw one of these rats running around. I got a knife, I got its throat, I picked it up.”

RSPCA Australia had stated that performing an act like this on television was “not acceptable”. Initially, Manning and D’Acampo were charged for animal cruelty. However, their charges were dropped when ITV made the confession that production staff had allowed the celebrities to carry out the act of killing the rat. After a court trial in Sydney, Australia, ITV got a fine of A$3000. The company also had to pay costs of A$2500 (US$2192 or £1396).

An ITV spokesperson said that “ITV has apologised for the mistake which led to this incident. The production was unaware that killing a rat could be an offence, criminal or otherwise in New South Wales, and accepts that further inquiries should have been made. This was an oversight and we have since thoroughly reviewed our procedures and are putting in place a comprehensive training programme to ensure that this does not happen in future series.”

Woman finds human finger in bowl of chili at Wendy’s restaurant

Thursday, March 24, 2005

San Jose, California — A woman eating a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant bit into a chewy bit that turned out to be a human finger. She immediately spat it out, warned other patrons to stop eating, and upon recognizing the object as a finger, vomited.

“I’m more of a Carl’s Jr. person,” the 39-year-old Las Vegas woman, Anna Ayala, told Knight Ridder. She said this incident was her first visit to a Wendy’s restaurant. Ayala described how she found the finger, “Suddenly something crunchy was in my mouth,” she continued, “and I spit it out.”

According to Devina Cordero, 20, after Ayala found the finger, she ran up to her and Cordero’s boyfriend and said, “Don’t eat it! Look, there’s a human finger in our chili.”

“We went up to the counter and they told us it was a vegetable,” Cordero continued. “The people from Wendy’s were poking it with a spoon.”

The restaurant is located at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

Wikinews reporter David Vasquez drove his car up to the drive-thru menu and found that chili was still on the menu, at a price of US$1.19 for a small serving. He also witnessed workers unloading supplies from a semi-trailer truck in the restaurant’s parking lot, and carting them into the back door of the establishment.

According to Ben Gale, director of environmental health for Santa Clara County, the finger did not come from any of the employees at the restaurant. “We asked everybody to show us they have 10 fingers and everything is OK there,” he said. The found portion of the finger likely belonged to a woman because of its long and manicured fingernail, also found in the food.

Officials seized the food supply at the restaurant and are tracing it back to the manufacturer, where they believe the finger may have gotten mixed in with the raw ingredients used to prepare the chili. The restaurant’s operators were later permitted to re-open after preparing new chili prepared from fresh ingredients.

As this story was filed, there was no mention of the incident on the Wendy’s corporate web site. Wendy’s issued a statement through a spokesman.

“Food safety is of utmost importance to us,” said Wendy’s spokesman Joe Desmond. He referred to the incident as an “unsubstantiated claim.”

“We are cooperating fully with the local police and health departments with their investigation. It’s important not to jump to conclusions. Here at Wendy’s we plan to do right by our customers,” Desmond said.

According to county health officials, the unfortunate woman who bit into the finger is doing fine, despite her initial reaction. Officials also noted that the finger would have been cooked at a high enough temperature to destroy any viruses.

The Santa Clara county medical examiner reported that the finger had a solid fingerprint, although investigators did not say if a search of fingerprint databases would be performed to find the owner of the finger.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Wikinews interviews William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation

Regardless of who wins the prize, people all around the world will be able to experience the mission through high-def video-streams.
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Andreas Hornig, Wikinews contributor and team member of Synergy Moon, competitor in the Google Lunar X Prize, managed to interview Senior Director of Space Prizes William Pomerantz of the X PRIZE Foundation about the competitions, goals, and impacts via e-mail for HDTVTotal.com and Wikinews.

By Wikinews,

the free news source

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Previous coverage
  • “Japanese probe snatches first asteroid sample” — Wikinews, November 26, 2005
  • “$20 million prize offered in lunar rover contest” — Wikinews, September 13, 2007

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


This article is part of a page redesign trial on Wikinews. Please leave comments or bug reports on this redesign.This interview originally appeared on HDTVTotal.com, released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Credit for this interview goes to HDTVTotal.com and Andreas -horn- Hornig.

European Union demands release of Belarusian opposition leader

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The European Union (EU) has demanded the release of Alexandr Kozulin, a Belarusian opposition leader arrested during a protest rally in Minsk. Kozulin was one of the leaders in a series of rolling protests against the recent election victory of President Alexander Lukashenko.

The EU president is “appalled by the violence used against demonstrators by the Belarusian authorities,” it said in a statement. “It expresses serious concern about the arrest of demonstrators and members of the democratic opposition, including presidential candidate Alexander Kozulin, and demands their immediate release,” the statement said.

Reports indicate that the streets of Minsk have settled to a “peaceful standstill” on Sunday, after riot police moved in to break up a protest rally – a day after reports that police brutally dispersed large crowds in the capital. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. During a rally on Saturday, Alexander Kozulin was “pulled out of a car by police and taken away.”

Kozulin’s spokeswoman Nina Shedlovskaya said he had been beaten by police. On Sunday, Kozulin’s wife, Irina, described his condition was “OK.” “The rescue squad wasn’t called for him,” she told the Associated Press. Also Sunday, about 80 pro-Lukashenko youth activists picketed the U.S. Embassy in Minsk, shouting “Hands off Belarus.” Russian news agencies report that the Polish Embassy was also picketed.

Kozulin was detained as protesters marched on a jail holding others detained during what is being called “the biggest protests in Belarus for ten years.” Belarus Independent Media Centre reports that the “arrest of 460 people in the protest tent camp on Friday morning had provoked the population and strengthened the general protest mood in Belarus.”

The Belarus IMC report says: “More than 5000 people gathered on Saturday in the centre of Minsk for the demonstration which had been announced. Authorities opposed the protest with all available police forces, special services and the army.”

Demonstrators demand a repeat of last week’s election poll. Mr Lukashenko, President of Belarus since 1994, has been widely accused of pursuing “Soviet-style policies, closing down the media and cracking down on rivals.” President Lukashenko contends the United States and Western European countries are giving financial and moral support to the opposition group.

EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner also demanded that Belarus release members of the opposition. “I urge the Belarussian government to adhere to the rules of democracy,” Ferrero-Waldner was quoted as saying. “If the Belarussian government does not show remorse, visa bans will probably be sharpened. In concrete terms, that means that those responsible will not be able to travel to EU member states. Foreign assets of Belarussian lawmakers could also be frozen. It’s important that sanctions do not hurt the people.”

Alexander Milinkevich, Belarus’s main opposition leader, praised Belarussians who have been protesting since the election. However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Lukashenko’s government.