Super high speed internet launched in New Zealand

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Super high speed internet launched in New Zealand

Friday, September 1, 2006

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, yesterday unveiled Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN). It is super high speed Internet that is capable of transmitting data with speeds of up to ten gigabits per second, 10,000 times faster than the current speed of broadband (1Mbps), and 200,000 times faster than dial-up.

The New Zealand Government put NZ$43 million ($28.1 million USD) into the Crown company: Research and Education Advanced Network of New Zealand (REANNZ) organization, responsible for the running of KAREN.

KAREN will link universities and research institutions in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Rotorua and then to the rest of the world via a TelstraClear fibre optic cable.

The network will allow geologists/geophysicists to access U.S. data on fault lines, 3D modellers the ability to collaborate on international mapping projects and students will be able to participate in interactive video lectures with experts, anywhere in the world.

The technology so far is limited to just universities and research institutions but Minister for Education Steve Maharey said: “The network will be extended over time to include other institutions, including schools, libraries and museums.” It is also limited to just one university in the South Island, it is located in the HIT Lab NZ at the University of Canterbury.

Clark said: “The link is crucial in order to attract and retain scientists, because it allows a greater level of real time collaboration between scientists based in New Zealand, and their colleagues around the world.”

The Telecommunications’ Users Association of New Zealand chief executive, Ernie Newman, said: “Karen was a ‘great initiative’ for the science community, and that would have wider benefits for the country.”

Dr. Mark Billinhurst, HIT Lab director, said: “The network meant the country was now legitimately part of the international research community.”

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2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

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2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This year’s Leisure Taiwan trade show (a.k.a Taiwan Sport Recreation and Leisure Show) started yesterday, with 131 companies participating including sports media companies such as ESPN and VideoLand Television, businesses selling sports equipment and fitness clubs.

There were also a variety of sports being played in the arena built for the trade show. The events included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, free style shooting, and bicycle test-riding. In addition, conferences discussed issues related to sports and physical education.

A major topic in the trade show was energy-efficiency and, as a result, bicycles and similar sports equipment were being heavily promoted.

Next Tuesday, companies from the electronics industry plan to promote their industry at “2008 Digital E-Park.” In previous years, organizations from the electronics industry have showcased their products at Leisure Taiwan instead of at the Digital E-Park, so this move has reduced the number of markets covered by Leisure Taiwan.

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Bangkok hit with further New Year bomb blasts

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Bangkok hit with further New Year bomb blasts

Monday, January 1, 2007

More bombs went off just after midnight (0500 GMT) on New Year’s Day in Bangkok, injuring eight people near a shopping mall where hours before a New Year’s Eve countdown was cancelled due to a string of six bombings earlier in the evening.

The first bomb exploded at a seafood restaurant on the Saen Saeb Canal near Pratunam Pier just seconds after midnight.

Three foreigners and two Thais were injured. One of the foreigners had her legs amputated by the blast, according to television and local newspaper reports. The foreign tourists were having dinner at the restaurant.

Police said the bomb was hidden in a tire at the pier.

A second bomb exploded in a telephone booth near a pedestrian bridge at CentralWorld, where thousands of people had gathered earlier in the evening for a countdown party and had been urged by authorities to leave the area and go home. Several foreigners were injured and rushed to hospitals.

Another bomb was found and disposed of without incident at Suan Lum Night Bazaar, another late-night venue for tourists.

A possible bomb was investigated at Buddy Bar, a popular music venue on Khaosan Road. It turned out to be a false report. Police had earlier closed the venue and other bars on the street frequented by backpackers, urging people to return to their hotels and guesthouses.

Earlier in the evening, bombs had gone off at six locations across the city, from about 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Twenty-five people were injured and three later died at hospitals from their injuries. The biggest toll was at Victory Monument, where 17 people were injured, two of them dying from their injuries. Other targets were a police booth at Saphan Kwai intersection, where two people were injured, and a market in Khlong Toei, where three people were injured, one fatally. At Seacon Square shopping mall, a bomb was found in a trash can inside the mall and taken to the parking lot, where it exploded without injuring anyone. Police booths on Sukhumvit Soi 62 and in suburban Nonthaburi were also hit, but there were no injuries.

After the bombings, Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayothin had ordered the cancellation of the countdown celebrations at Central World and Sanam Luang and other smaller ones.

“Due to several bomb explosions in Bangkok and for the sake of peace and security, I would ask all of you to return to your homes now,” Apirak told a crowd of around 5,000 people at CentralWorld. Most of the crowd dispersed quickly and calmly.

Army Commander-in-Chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin ordered soldiers deployed around the capital. Security was intensified on the Metro and Skytrain rail systems. The Skytrain cancelled plans to run all night and closed at midnight as usual. Department stores closed early.

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont visited victims at a local hospital. He appeared on television looking tense, telling reporters he didn’t know who was responsible for the attacks.

Surayud was appointed premier after a coup d’état on September 19 in which the military led by Sonthi ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Nation newspaper quoted a “security source” as saying “the old power clique” was behind the bombing.

However, there is also the ongoing violence by Muslim separatists in the South Thailand insurgency, which has left 1,900 people dead since 2004.

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Wikinews wanders the Referendum-year Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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Wikinews wanders the Referendum-year Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Published by
Feb 21

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

With many venues reporting sell-out shows, the 68th year of the Edinburgh Festival attracted visitors from around the globe. Wikinews’ Brian McNeil roamed the city for the four weeks of the event, capturing the colour, spectacle, and comedy, in photos.

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U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on constitutionality of lethal injection

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U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on constitutionality of lethal injection
Published by
Feb 20

Monday, January 7, 2008

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the constitutionality of the use of lethal injection as a method for the imposition of the death penalty in the United States. Two men, Ralph Baze and Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr., who were convicted of murder in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and sentenced to death, sued the state in 2004 arguing that the use of lethal injection as a method of imposition of capital punishment violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Thirty-seven states and the Federal Government have capital punishment for some crimes, all except Nebraska (which uses electrocution) use lethal injection. The process uses three chemicals in a “cocktail”, which, by the procedures that are used to apply them to the condemned, (three injections given consecutively) allegedly “create a significant and unnecessary risk of inflicting severe pain that could be prevented by the adoption of reasonable safeguards”, their lawyers said in court papers. “Kentucky seeks to execute in a relatively humane manner and has worked hard to adopt such a procedure,” Kentucky Attorney General Gregory Stumbo has said. The state has also argued in its brief against supporting the plaintiffs’ appeal that it will lead to “an endless road of litigation. … Condemned inmates will never run out of ideas for changes to the procedures, drugs or equipment used during lethal injection.”

Baze was scheduled to be executed on January 8 after Governor of Kentucky Ernie Fletcher signed his death warrant, but the Kentucky Supreme Court suspended his execution on September 12, 2007, arguing it needed more time to examine arguments he had made in a separate appeal. He was convicted of killing Powell County Sheriff Steve Bennett and Deputy Arthur Briscoe in 1992 while the lawmen were trying to serve him with arrest warrants. Bowling was convicted of killing Edward and Tina Earley in Louisville in 1990.

According to the article on lethal injection in Wikipedia, the three chemicals used are Sodium thiopental to render the offender unconscious; Pancuronium/Tubocurarine: to stop all muscle movement except the heart, causing muscle paralysis, collapse of the diaphragm, and would eventually cause death by asphyxiation; and Potassium chloride to stop the heart. The chemicals apparently cannot be combined together as they could precipitate into a solid and be ineffective. It is argued that thiopental is a very short-term anesthetic and may wear off during the procedure, causing anesthesia awareness and excruciating pain from the effects of the other drugs.

In oral hearings today, the justices seemed skeptical that the chemical concoction causes extreme pain or that a better method was available. A lawyer for one of the plaintiffs argued that if insufficient anesthetic is given, when the inmate is given the paralyzing drug, they will experience agonizing pain, but be unable to react, and that it is even illegal in Kentucky to euthanize animals in this fashion. Some of the justices have considered sending the case back for further hearings to determine if a single barbiturate would be superior to the current method.

While the Supreme Court has examined the application of the death penalty many times over the past 40 years, this is the first time the court has reviewed the issue of the method of execution in 100 years, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs. A ruling is not expected until June. There are about 3,000 people on death row in the United States, and about 60 are executed each year. Since the case was accepted by the Supreme Court, all executions in the United States have been temporarily suspended pending the decision.

The case name is Baze v. Rees.

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Copiapó, Chile mining accident: in depth

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Copiapó, Chile mining accident: in depth
Published by
Feb 20

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The rescue of the Chilean miners trapped in the San José Mine in Copiapó, codenamed Operación San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo Operation), began on Tuesday night, at around 20:00 local time (23:00 UTC).

Florencio Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, at 00:12 local time (03:12 UTC) on Wednesday. He was wearing a shirt signed by all his fellow miners. “The first miner is already with us. We saw it all, him hugging his wife Monica and his son Byron,” said President Piñera shortly after the first rescue. “We still have a long journey.”

“This will be recorded on every single Chilean heart forever,” Piñera added. “I hope the miners’ hope stay with us, just like the [February] earthquake victims’ [hope] and what the earthquake took off. We know that the disasters unite us all.”

All the 33 miners were rescued. The last miner, Luis Urzúa, was rescued at 21:55 Chile time (00:55 UTC). “It is a pleasure to be Chilean, [I’m] proud,” said Luis Urzúa to President Piñera. “In honour of the miners, their families, the rescuers […] let’s sing our national anthem. Viva Chile Mierda!,” said Piñera. Urzúa thanked Mining Minister Golborne and the First Lady Cecilia Morel for “fighting for their lives.” “I’m proud of my fellow miners,” Urzúa added.

Six rescuers, including a miner and a paramedic, descended to the miners’ shelter using the Fénix 3 capsule which was specially constructed for the rescue. They performed check-ups and talk with the miners before taking them back to the surface. The rescuers still don’t leave the mine.

The Fénix 3 capsules are 3.95 metres in height and weigh about 460 kilograms. They have an armour, an oxygen tube and a microphone. The occupants helmets contain an intercom to keep them in contact with the rescue team on the surface.

President of Chile Piñera assisted to the rescue. Bolivian President Evo Morales could not attend Carlos Mamani’s rescue. Mamani is the only Bolivian miner in the group.

A mass for the miners was conducted at 18:00 local time (21:00 UTC). The rescue takes between 15 and 20 minutes for each miner.

On Tuesday, Mayor of Copiapó Maglio Cicardini announced that the municipal schools in the city will have no classes this Wednesday “to transform the rescue of the Atacama’s 33 in a familiar meeting,” Radio Cooperativa reported.

“The miners will be taken to the Copiapó Regional Hospital for medical checkup, where they will have to stay for 48 hours,” Health Minister Mañalich said to Televisión Nacional de Chile.

Celebrations are taking place in several Chilean cities. In Santiago de Chile, people gathered in one of the most important points of the city, Plaza Italia. In Pichilemu, tens of cars are passing over its most important streets. In Copiapó, people gathered in its main square to assist a massive concert.

On August 5, 33 miners were trapped more than 700 meters (2,300 ft) underground, in the San José copper–gold mine, located about 40 kilometers north of Copiapó, Chile.

The youngest trapped miner is 19 years old, and the oldest is 63. There were several rescue attempts before reaching the miners’ shelter on August 22. The National Emergencies Office of Chile (ONEMI) released a list of the trapped miners on August 6, which included Franklin Lobos Ramírez, a retired footballer.

Chile is the worlds top producer of copper, according to The Economist. The San José Mine is owned by the San Esteban Mining Company (Empresa Minera San Esteban). The mine was closed down in 2007, after relatives of a miner who had died sued the company executives, but the mine was re–opened in 2008.

It was originally estimated that “it would take three to four months to complete the rescue of the trapped miners”. There were three plans to reach the miners: “Plan A” using a Strata 950 drill, “Plan B” using a Schramm T130XD drill, and “Plan C” using a RIG-422 drill. The first to reach the miners was “Plan B”, early on Saturday 9.

The last step of their rescue, announced by Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, was originally due to begin on Tuesday. Laurence Golborne, Minery Minister said “If it is possible, and the cement sets before and we don’t have any impediments to doing it, it would be wonderful,” in a press conference on Monday. The men will be extracted in a steel rescue capsule 54 cm (21 inches) in diameter.

On September 4, Chilean filmmaker Rodrigo Ortúzar announced plans to film a movie about the accident, called “Los 33” (“The 33”). The film will be released in 2011.

One miner is Bolivian, and the other 32 are Chilean.

Raúl Bustos, 40 years old, is an hydraulics engineer. He left his job in Talcahuano after the February 27 earthquake to work in the mine.

Daniel Herrera, 27 years old, is a lorry driver. He has acted as paramedic assistant in the mine. He said to La Tercera “the miners were unhappy with the psychologist in the rescue team.”

Claudio Acuña, miner, is fan of the Colo-Colo football club. The BBC reports he is aged 56, but El Comercio says he is 44.

Pedro Cortez is aged 24. He joined the mine with his friend Carlos Bugueño. Cortez is an electrician, and lost a finger in the mine a year ago.

File:Juan Aguilar with President Piñera.jpg

A native of Los Lagos, Juan Aguilar is 49 years old. Aguilar is married to Cristy Coronado, according to El Comercio. Aguilar works as a supervisor.

Mario Sepúlveda is a 39 years old electrician native of Parral; he is married. He has been the spokesman of the most of the miners’ videos. Mario Sepúlveda was the second miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 01:10 local time (04:10 UTC).

Víctor Zamora is a 33 years old auto mechanic. Zamora is married to Jéssica Cortez, who confirmed she was pregnant while he was in the mine.

Osman Araya is 30 years old, and married. He began working as miner four months before the accident.

Florencio Ávalos is 31 years old. He is the brother of Renán Ávalos, who is also trapped in the mine. He worked as driver in San José. Ávalos filmed videos, sent later to his relatives.

Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 00:10 local time (03:10 UTC).

Jorge Galleguillos, 56 years old, has worked all his life in the mine. He said in one video he was feeling unwell; he takes medication for hypertension.

Carlos Barrios is a 27 years old miner. His father, Antenor Barrios, told Agence France-Presse: “I find he’s very strong and has enthusiasm. He spoke loud and clear. I was excited.”

Franklin Lobos Ramírez is a 53 years old retired footballer. He played for Cobresal, Deportes Antofagasta, Club de Deportes Santiago Wanderers and Unión La Calera, and briefly for the Chile national football team. Lobos had worked as a truck driver in the mine.

Yonni Barrios, called “The Doctor”, is a 50 years old electrician. He has knowledge of first aid, and was given responsibility for monitoring the health of his colleagues. “I felt I was in hell,” Barrios said in a letter to his wife.

Carlos Bugueño, 27 years old, joined the mine with Pedro Cortez. Previously, he worked as a watchman.

Alex Vega Salazar is a 31 years old heavy machinery mechanic. He is married to Jessica Salgado, and celebrated his birthday in the mine on September 22.

Ariel Ticona is a 29 years old miner. His wife, Margarita gave birth to his daughter on September 14. She was named Esperanza (Hope), at Ticona’s request.

Richard Villarroel is a 27 years old mechanic from Coyhaique.

Edison Peña is a 34 years old miner. “I want to go out soon,” he said on his first contact with his relatives. “I want to be free, I want to see the sun,” he added. He is a fan of Elvis Presley.

Claudio Yáñez is 34 years old, and works as drill operator.

José Ojeda, 46 years old, is the master driller. Ojeda is widowed and diabetic.

Luis Urzúa is a 54 year old topographer. He is the shift-leader, and was the first miner to talk with authorities. He is known as Don Lucho among the miners. He draw plans of the area of the mine where they are trapped.

Urzúa will be the last miner to leave the mine.

José Henríquez is a 54 years old drill master. He is also an evangelical preacher, and has worked in mines for 33 years.

Víctor Segovia is a 48 years old electrician. He is in charge of writing down everything that happens in the mine.

Pablo Rojas is a 45 years old explosives loader. Married, he had been working less than six months in the mine.

Juan Illanes is a 51 year old miner. He was a sergeant in the Beagle border conflict between Chile and Argentina in 1978, the incident which almost provoked a war between the countries.

Illanes was rescued on Wednesday, at 02:07 local time (05:07 UTC).

Jimmy Sánchez, 19, is the youngest miner. He had been working in the mine for five months before the accident. His role is to check the temperature and humidity in the mine.

Samuel Ávalos is a 43 years miner. His wife Ruth said “he was addicted to the cocaine.” His role in the rescue is to check air quality in the area the miners are living. According to the BBC, “Ávalos has worked in the mine for five months.”

Mario Gómez, aged 63, is the oldest of the miners. He has worked 51 years as miner. His father was also a miner, and is nicknamed “El Navegao” (“The Sailed One”). He was thinking of retiring in November.

Gómez also wrote the message “Estamos bien en el refugio los 33” (“We are fine in the shelter the 33 [of us]”).

Segovia is 48 years old. He is married to Jessica Chille, who said “To hear his voice was a confort to my heart,” after talking with him for the first time in 24 days. His sister María, was nicknamed “La Alcaldesa” (“The Mayoress”) for her leading role at Campamento Esperanza. His father, Darío Senior, was trapped in a mine for a week, and suffered serious injuries after two other mining accidents, according to the BBC.

Carlos Mamani is a 23 years old heavy equipment operator. He is also the only non-Chilean miner; Mamani is Bolivian. He began working in the mine just five days before the accident.

He was rescued at 03:11 local time (06:11 UTC) on Wednesday.

Renán Ávalos is a 29 years old miner, single, who had been working for five months in the mine before the accident. Florencio Ávalos is his brother.

Omar Reygadas is a 56 year old electrician. He began working in the mine shortly before the accident.

Esteban Rojas is a 44 years old miner. Rojas is married to Jessica Yáñez.

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Bucharest to host its first ever CowParade

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Bucharest to host its first ever CowParade
Published by
Feb 20

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, will become the first southeastern European city to host CowParade.

Between June 1 and the end of August this year, the city will be flooded by herds of decorated cow sculptures, exhibited at well-known landmarks, such as The Palace of the Parliament, Europe’s largest building, as well as on the streets and outside metro stations. Over 3000 local and international artists will participate in the event, decorating more than 100 life-sized fibreglass cows. The decorated cows will feature Romanian and Bucharestean themes, as well as issues related to international city life.

After the event ends, all the cows will be auctioned off, with the proceeds donated to the Special Olympics Romania, a charity helping athletes with mental disabilities. The Bucharest CowParade is organised by Event Horizon, a Romanian marketing consultancy.

CowParade, which was first held in Zurich in 1998, has been held in 22 cities in 5 continents and is today the world’s largest public art event.

Bucharest was chosen from over 500 other candidate cities and has waited for the event for a couple of years. The new local government in Bucharest wants to relaunch the city’s image as a creative and colourful metropolis and have therefore enthusiastically supported the exhibition. The high-profile event is expected to boost the image of Bucharest worldwide, especially in the artistic scene.

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Category:May 17, 2010

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Category:May 17, 2010
Published by
Feb 20
? May 16, 2010
May 18, 2010 ?
May 17

Pages in category “May 17, 2010”

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Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

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Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds
Published by
Feb 20

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.”

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Russian commander: Tu-160s penetrate US airspace undetected

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Russian commander: Tu-160s penetrate US airspace undetected
Published by
Feb 19

Tuesday, April 25, 2006File:Tu 16019.jpg

A senior Russian air force commander has claimed that new, upgraded Tu-160 bomber aircraft were unchallenged by US air defense systems when they penetrated a radar zone near the Canadian coast in US territory during an April training exercise, reports the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Commander of Russia’s long-range strategic bombers, Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said that the bombers successfully carried out four mock Tu-95MS cruise missile launches, 200 mock bombings, and 53 mock sorties during the exercise. The RIA Novosti reported that the United States Air Force is currently investigating how the Tu-160’s escaped detection.

Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said, “They were unable to detect the planes either with radars or visually.”

Khvorov denies any link of the tests to the current US-Iranian tension, saying, “Of course, our exercises did not have anything to do with the situation in Iran, but their organization indirectly echoed in that region.”

The Tupolev Tu-160 is a strategic bomber introduced in 1987. It resembles the North American B-1B Lancer, but is larger and faster, being powered by four NK-32 afterburning turbofans, the largest in any combat aircraft. It is not considered to be a stealth aircraft due to its exposed engine inlets and broad wing gloves.

According to Khvorov over the course of this year, two additional Tu-160s will be commissioned for the long-range strategic bomber fleet with the numerous upgrades, including the ability to launch cruise missiles, aviation bombs, and satellite communication.

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