CIA chief to testify before Congress on interrogations

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CIA chief to testify before Congress on interrogations

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The United States Congress has launched its own inquiry into a decision by the U.S spy agency to destroy tapes of interrogations of terror suspects, with Central Intelligence Agency chief Michael Hayden testifying before lawmakers this week.

The Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democrat Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, says Hayden will appear before his panel.

“CIA director Michael Hayden is going appear before our committee on this coming Tuesday and talk about interrogation and techniques,” said Rockefeller.

During an appearance on the CBS television program Face the Nation, Rockefeller made clear members have a lot of questions about the destroyed videotapes.

“Were there things on those tapes that they did not want to have seen, that did not conform to what the attorney general would allow them to do?” he said.

Rockefeller indicated the session will take place behind closed doors, to enable law makers to delve into areas that are still considered top secret, and have to do with specific interrogation procedures.

The CIA director disclosed the destroyed videotapes last Thursday, after he got word that their existence had been uncovered by the news media. The tapes which were made in 2002, showed the interrogation of top terror suspects. They were destroyed in 2005, and Congressional critics charge that could amount to tampering with legal evidence and obstruction of justice.

Democrat Joe Biden of Delaware, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former chair of the Judiciary panel, says the preliminary joint inquiry by the Justice Department and the CIA announced yesterday is not enough.

Biden, who is running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, was interviewed on ABC’s This Week.

“I think that Hayden is not to be the judge of whether or not his condoning the destroying of the tapes was lawful. It appears as though there may be an obstruction of justice charge here, tampering with evidence, destroying evidence,and I think this is one case where it really does call for a special counsel,” said Biden.

Hayden told CIA employees Thursday the tapes were destroyed out of fears that if they ever became public, the identities of the interrogators would be revealed and their lives would be in danger.

President Bush gave the intelligence community the go-ahead to use enhanced interrogation techniques on terror suspects following the September 11th 2001, attacks on the United States.

The Bush administration has refused to specify which methods are permitted, but critics charge some amount to torture, including a procedure known as waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona has called for the White House to publicly disavow the use of harsh interrogation techniques.

He appeared on the Fox News Sunday television program.

“What this does in a larger sense is it harms the credibility and the moral standing of America in the world again,” said McCain. “There will be skepticism and cynicism all over the world about how we treat prisoners and whether we practice torture or not.”

Senator McCain, a former Vietnam War era prisoner of war, has been one of the most outspoken members of Congress on the treatment of detainees in the war on terror. He is campaigning to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

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Controversial U.S. abortion doctor shot dead in Kansas church

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Controversial U.S. abortion doctor shot dead in Kansas church

Sunday, May 31, 2009

George Tiller, a controversial doctor who performed late-term abortions, has been shot dead in a church in Kansas, United States. A man is in custody over the killing.

67-year-old Tiller had been the target of many previous attacks. In 1986 his clinic was seriously damaged in a bombing and in 1993 he was shot in both arms. In 1991 his clinic saw summer-long protests that resulted in 2,000 arrests and he said that in 1994 he was put under police protection after FBI agents uncovered an anti-abortion ‘hit list’ naming him as a top target. The clinic was vandalized earlier this month.

The controversy stemmed from the fact that his clinic is one of just three in the United States that performed late-term abortions, which are abortions of fetuses which are capable of surviving outside of the womb. This is legal in Kansas so long as two doctors agree the mother is in serious danger if she were to give birth.

Tiller was recently tried on charges of performing nineteen illegal abortions in 2003; he was cleared of any wrongdoing at the end of a trial described by his lawyer as a ‘witch-hunt’. It was alleged that there were irregularities and a financial involvement in his relationship with the doctor who gave second opinions in the abortions.

Another controversy was sparked by donations Tiller made to support Kathleen Sebelius, then governor of Kansas. The donations, coupled with Sebelius’ abortion-rights views, caused anti-abortion groups to oppose her nomination as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, but the Senate confirmed her in a 65 to 31 vote in April.

Tiller was killed at 10 a.m. local time in the Reformation Lutheran in Wichita. A white man was witnessed with a handgun killing the doctor before fleeing in a blue Ford Taurus. The vehicle’s number plate was traced to Kansas City, 200 miles from Wichita.

State police and the FBI were involved in the hunt for the gunman. A suspect is now in custody.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP incumbent David Christopherson running in Hamilton Centre

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CanadaVOTES: NDP incumbent David Christopherson running in Hamilton Centre

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party incumbent David Christopherson is standing for re-election in the riding of Hamilton Centre.

From 1985-1990, he served as a Hamilton City Councillor for Ward Four. He was elected to Ontario legislature in 1990, defeating a Liberal cabinet minister. Under Bob Rae, Christopherson served as Minister of Correctional Services and Solicitor-General. He did not seek re-election to legislature in 2003, opting to run for mayor of Hamilton. Considered a frontrunner, he lost to Larry Di Ianni.

He returned to politics just months later, changing his focus to federal politics. Christopherson beat Liberal cabinet minister Stan Keyes, the incumbent, serving as NDP critic for cities, community infrastructure, labour and steel policy. He has served as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Steel Caucus.

Wikinews contacted David Christopherson, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

First elected in 2004, David Christopherson is the only MP to have represented Hamilton Centre, which was created in 2003 from parts of three other ridings. Only 38 km², small versus other area ridings, its located on the south side of Hamilton Harbour. Alphabetically, Christopherson’s challengers are Anthony Giles (Libertarian), John Livingstone (Green), Lisa Nussey (Marxist-Leninist), Leon O’Connor (Conservative), Ryan Sparrow (Communist), and Helen M. Wilson (Liberal).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

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New edition of Canada’s Food Guide released

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New edition of Canada’s Food Guide released
Published by
Aug 19

Thursday, February 8, 2007

A new version of Canada’s Food Guide was announced by Canadian Health Minister Tony Clement on Feb. 5, 2007. The guide has helped Canadians with healthy eating habits since 1942 but was last updated in 1992. It is the Canadian government’s most-requested publication after income tax forms.

Changes to the Food Guide include:

  • a first-time recommendation to include a small amount of unsaturated fat in regular diets;
  • physical activity to complement healthy eating;
  • advice for some people to take vitamin supplements;
  • an advisory to limit foods with excess salt, sugar, fat and calories, which is considered an unprecedented caution regarding junk food.
Examples of the Food Guide’s four groups (clockwise from top left): vegetables and fruit, grain products, meat and its alternatives, milk and its alternatives
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Wikinews interviews William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation

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Wikinews interviews William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation
Published by
Aug 19
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

Other stories: Science and technology
  • 31 July 2018: Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018
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  • 19 July 2018: US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites
  • 10 June 2018: New study of endangered whale shark youth shows vital habitat similarities
  • 6 June 2018: Microsoft announces plan to acquire GitHub for US$7.5 billion

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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.
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China to run low-cost maglevs by next year

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China to run low-cost maglevs by next year
Published by
Aug 19

Sunday, January 22, 2012

China has finished production of the first of its Chinese-built magnetically levitated (maglev) trains in Zhuzhou, Hunan. Described as low-cost and eco-friendly, the trains are to begin operating next year on the Daitai line between Haidian District and Beijing. The three-coached trains are able to carry up to 600 passengers and run at a top speed of 100 km/h.

“It’s ideal for mass transportation, as it is quiet and environmentally friendly”, says Xu Zongxiang, general manager of Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Company. “Its manufacturing cost is about 75 percent of a conventional light-rail train”.

The train claims zero emissions as opposed to conventional trains which run on coal or diesel. It has a minimum turning radius of 50 meters and the production company has stated that it has reduced the risks of derailment and overturning. The company is exploring possible future operations in certain cities. Meanwhile, the Daitai line between Haidian District and Beijing is scheduled to operate by next year.

Liu Youmei, a railway transport specialist, said, “It can be used for public transport in populous areas and at scenic spots with fragile environment.”

China operates the first commercial maglev in the world, in Shanghai between a metro station and Pudong International Airport. The train takes less than 8 minutes to cover the 30 km route with a top speed of 430 km/h. Maglev trains can accelerate to high speeds as they run suspended in the air by magnetism, avoiding friction between the train and the tracks.

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NHL: Rangers edge Thrashers in goaltender duel

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NHL: Rangers edge Thrashers in goaltender duel
Published by
Aug 18

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Rangers lead series 2-0. (Best of Seven)

New York Rangers 2 1 Atlanta Thrashers

The Thrashers’ Johan Hedberg and the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist put on goaltending clinics Saturday night, but it would be Lundqvist that had the last laugh as the Atlanta Thrashers fell to the New York Rangers 2-1 before 18,803 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Hedberg would win the first star of the game, earning a .949 save percentage, but Lundqvist would win the game, holding Atlanta to just one goal, while stopping 27 of 28 shots. The Thrashers, playing in just their second postseason contest in club history, dating back to 1997, are under pressure to win after going down in the series by two games.

New York’s Sean Avery scored the only goal of the first two periods at 8:08 in the first. The scoresheet would remain blank until the third period, when at 5:35, Illya Kovalchuk scored Atlanta’s only goal of the contest to tie the score, 1-1. The score would remain tied until 15:59, when New York’s Brendan Shanahan beat Hedberg for the game winning goal.

Contents

  • 1 Scoring Summary
  • 2 Goaltending
  • 3 Three Stars of the Game
  • 4 External links
  • 5 Sources
  • 6 Wikinews related to this series
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Wikinews tours London Paralympic Village wheelchair repair workshop

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Wikinews tours London Paralympic Village wheelchair repair workshop
Published by
Aug 18

Saturday, September 1, 2012

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London, England — Yesterday Wikinews had the opportunity to tour the Ottobrock wheelchair repair workshops at the Paralympic Village in London.

It is one of a network of workshops at every Paralympic venue. They are run by Ottobrock, which has been repairing wheelchairs at the Paralympics since 1988. The workshop opened on August 22 and will remain until September 10.

The Ottobrock employees include people from 20 countries. Between them, they speak 23 languages. They liken themselves to the pit crew of motor sport — except that they have no idea what sort of equipment they will have to work with. The store room contains 15,000 spare parts, with everything from spare carbon fibre running blades to spare tyres — over 2,000 of them. They stock Ottobrock parts and their competitors’ too, as they have no idea what will arrive at the workshop next. Athletes from around the world bring in all manner of equipment.

The prosthetic technicians have to deal with everything from flat tyres to broken spokes to full-scale rebuilds. They have to be expert problem solvers. They frequently collaborate on determining how best to effect a repair. The objective is to get the wheelchair repaired and back in service as soon as possible.

Wheelchairs vary somewhat in design, depending on the sport. Those for wheelchair basketball and rugby have cambered wheels so they can spin around. Aluminum and titanium parts are used for strength. Ottobrock has a welding workshop where frames are repaired; the teams’ equipment managers understandably cannot bring such heavy equipment with them to the games, so they rely on the workshops. When a repair job is required, it is often required in a hurry. At the Turkey vs United States game, a chair was repaired during the match.

In addition to wheelchairs, the workshops handle all manner of work with prostheses. Carbon fibre running blades are adjusted. Broken feet and legs are a challenge. The Chinese Boccia team brought in its power chairs to have the electronics adjusted. In that sport, having the controls working perfectly is all-important.

There are 4,200 athletes at the Paralympic games. So far, the workshops have carried out 1,100 repairs.

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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs
Published by
Aug 18

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

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Sulpicio Lines pay PHP6.2 million for death of man in 1998 ferry disaster

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Sulpicio Lines pay PHP6.2 million for death of man in 1998 ferry disaster
Published by
Aug 18

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sulpicio Lines, a ferry company in the Philippines, have been ordered to pay PH?6.24 million over the death of a man on board MV Princess of the Orient, which sank in stormy weather off Batangas in 1998. Ernesto Unabia was one of seventy confirmed fatalities in the disaster, which left eighty more missing.

Unabia was a 37-year-old seaman who worked on international vessels, and earned a ?120,000 salary. According to widow Verna Unabia, who filed the case with her three children, he was going to work on for thirteen more years and then retire. Unabia’s case is the first to be concluded, although most victims settled with Sulpicio without claims being filed.

Although Sulpicio lost their appeal several weeks ago, reporters have only today received access to documentation concerning the case.

Under Philippines law, employers are responsible for their employees actions. However, in Pestaño vs. Sumayang the Supreme court ruled that if it could be proved an employer had taken appropriate diligence when selecting employers then they could not be held responsible.

It was viewed that Sulpicio was responsible as they failed to remove captain Esrum Mahilum from the vessel despite a number of incidents involving the ferry while he was in command of it. Princess of the Orient had struck the bottom of Manila‘s North Harbour, sideswiped a container ship and suffered a crippling engine fire while berthed at North Harbour, being towed first to Cebu and ultimately Singapore for repairs.

Despite these serious incidents while the ship was under Mahilum’s care, however, he was not removed from captaincy or even disciplined. A Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) investigation into the ultimate sinking of the Princess of the Orient would later say that Sulpicio did not have enough initiative to take action against him. The court ruled this made them responsible for his actions.

On September 18, 1998, the day of the sinking, Captain Mahilum was warned before starting out that severe weather was approaching. He wrongly calculated that the storm was safely distanced and left port regardless, running into the storm two hours later. Princess of the Orient began listing to the left and a distress call was sent, but she sank before help arrived. The BMI’s report blamed the disaster on the captain making “erroneous maneuvers of the vessel before it sank.” He remains missing to this day.

After the court ruled that this made Sulpicio liable to pay civil damages an appeal was filed, in which Sulpicio said that the captain “valiantly tried to save his ship up to the bitter end. He heroically went down with his ship.” Although he failed to properly supervise the abandon ship order he gave, he was last seen helping passengers to board life rafts. Sulpicio further alleged that careful analysis of the BMI report showed he did not directly cause the disaster.

The court rejected the appeal, with judge Estella Alma Singco saying that while the failure to remove the captain wasn’t the direct cause, “such failure doubtless contributed materially to the loss of life.” Sulpicio were ordered to pay P6.240 million in lost earnings, P100,000 moral damages, P50,000 indemnity – which Sulpicio had already offered to all the families of the deceased – and P50,000 in pursuer’s litigation costs.

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