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News briefs:January 04, 2008

Contents

  • 1 Wikinews News Brief January 04, 2008 23:35 UTC
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Israeli troops kill 9 in Gaza
    • 1.3 Georgian President faces election challenge
    • 1.4 US unemployment hits two-year high
    • 1.5 Israel plans crackdown on West Bank settlement outposts
    • 1.6 Transaven Airlines plane carrying 14 people crashes off Venezuelan coast
    • 1.7 Sportswriter Milt Dunnell dies at 102
    • 1.8 2007 was particularly good year for aviation safety
    • 1.9 U.S. Senator Dodd bows out of presidential race
    • 1.10 Intel ends partnership with One Laptop Per Child program
    • 1.11 British Investigators arrive in Pakistan to join Bhutto investigation
    • 1.12 Disgorge bassist Ben Marlin dies from cancer
    • 1.13 Egypt lets 2000 pilgrims through Rafah
    • 1.14 Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis once again delayed
    • 1.15 Study suggests hospitals are not the best place for cardiac arrest treatment
    • 1.16 US dollar no longer accepted at Taj Mahal and other Indian historical sites
    • 1.17 Footer

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Jan
20

Eastern Slovak village Buzica honored as European Stork Village

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Eastern Slovak village Buzica honored as European Stork Village

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eastern Slovak village Buzica, located southwest of Košice on the Slovakian–Hungarian border, was awarded “European Stork Village” by German environmental foundation EuroNatur. The mayor of Buzica, Jozef Moh?anský, received the award last Saturday.

Moh?anský told the TASR news agency, “At the moment, we have fifteen stork nests occupied. In about two-three weeks, more storks will arrive in the village.” ((sk))Slovak language: ?Momentálne máme obsadených 15 hniezd, ešte to trvá také dva-tri týždne, kedy k nám prilietavajú. In 2013 there were eleven breeding pairs recorded.

Storks nest in the village center on electricity poles and on artificial breeding platforms raised by local authorities. Local residents respect storks. The village holds an annual festival for the arrival of the storks, and has kept a stork census since 1976. An important part of local environmental activities is education programme “Stork” carried out in local kindergarten and primary school, which regularly issues the school magazine “Stork”.

Buzica is one of Slovakia’s three most important white stork nesting areas. It lies partly in Košice Plain Protected Bird Area ((sk))Slovak language: ?Chránené vtá?ie územie Košická kotlina, which was declared on January 7, 2008 by the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic. Wetlands near the village naturally attract storks.

Since 1994 EuroNatur has chosen different villages with resident stork colony to award residents’ storks protection activities with the honour of the title “European Stork Village”. The foundation started this initiative to strengthen the stork conservation network. “The aim of the European Stork Village award is for these places to become internationally known for their special cultural and natural heritage and to hold up their commitment as an example to others”, says the foundation’s official report.

Buzica is the thirteenth location awarded. The first was the small village of ?igo? in Croatia; last year the Macedonian municipality of ?ešinovo-Obleševo was awarded.

An awarded village may have the most breeding pairs in its country, or a rapidly increasing stork population. However, the award also considers local government’s, and residents’, attitude toward storks.

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Jan
19

Explosion in Turkey kills seventeen">
Explosion in Turkey kills seventeen

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Reuters, AFP, the Associated Press are reporting that a gas explosion in a Turkish school killed at least seventeen girls Friday.

Reuters reports the initial death toll at sixteen, with 27 injured. The number of deaths later rose to 17 when a body was removed from the rubble. Two survivors were pulled from the rubble as rescuers worked into the night. One girl is still missing.

“We won’t stop until we find her,” village mayor Mehmet Demirgul, told the Associated Press.

About fifty students and teachers were in the school, where some had gathered on for Islamic study in the three-story structure in the village of Balcilar, near Taskent in the Konya province .

Merve Avci, a 13-year-old, slightly injured student spoke to the Anatolian news agency: “I was in the part of the building which didn’t collapse with five of my friends immediately after the explosion, and we felt flames rising from the downstairs to upper floors.”

Anatolian says that Avci was in the process of washing before pre-dawn prayers, when a noise in the building’s kitchen led Avci and some teacher to investigate. She says she saw a loose gas pipe before being ordered back to her room. She says she smelled gas coming from somewhere above her room before the explosion.

“We think the collapse was caused by a gas canister explosion in the building, given the burns on the injured,” Konya province health service official Galip Sef told Reuters.

Mayor Demirgul said a leak in a pipe carrying liquefied petroleum gas is the probable cause of the pre-dawn blast.

“We are hearing voices. I believe those inside the rubble will be saved,” Demirgul told reporters, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

The Associated Press reports that a small portion of all three stories of the building were left standing. This is confirmed by images displayed on the Reuters website.

The building is owned by a religion foundation and is under investigation when Turkish authorities found an non-approved annex to the structure, according to AFP.

The explosion is unrelated to the bomb blast in northern Turkey on July 28.

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Jan
18

David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise">
David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

David S. Touretzky, prominent free speech activist and critic of Scientology, discussed his opinions on the recent Internet backlash against the Church of Scientology in an interview with former Scientologist and Wikinews reporter Nicholas Turnbull. The recent conflict on the Internet between critics of Scientology and the Church has been spurred on in declarations by a nebulous Internet entity using the name Anonymous that the Church of Scientology “will be destroyed”. Anonymous has directed recent protests at Scientology centres across the world, which have attracted significant numbers of individuals supporting the cause. In recent e-mail correspondence with Wikinews, a representative of the Church of Scientology declared that the Church considers the activities of Anonymous to be illegal, and that Anonymous “will be handled and stopped”.

Touretzky, a research professor in artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University, has been a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology since mid-1995, and has been protesting against Scientology vociferously since then; he has also run websites that publish material that Scientology wishes to keep suppressed from the public eye, such as extracts from Scientology’s formerly-confidential Operating Thetan (OT) materials. Touretzky views the actions of the Church of Scientology as being “a threat to free speech”, and has endured harassment by the Church of Scientology for his activities.

The Church of Scientology continues to suffer damage to its public reputation through increased exposure on the Internet and vocal protests by Scientology critics such as Prof. Touretzky. A recent event that focused intense attention on Scientology’s totalitarian attitude was the leak of an internal Church of Scientology propaganda video to the Internet video sharing site YouTube, in which celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise spoke heavily in Scientology’s jargon and stated that that “we [Scientology] are the authorities” on resolving the difficulties of humanity. The declaration of war by Anonymous followed shortly after this leak, in the form of a video posted to the Internet.

The ongoing dispute, cast by some as Scientology versus the Internet, brought Scientology terms such as “SP” (Suppressive Person, an enemy of Scientology) and “KSW” (Keeping Scientology Working) into general usage by non-Scientologists from the late 1990s onwards; increased attention has been drawn to Scientology by the release of the Cruise video in addition to media coverage. This focus has caused an even greater propagation of these terms across the outside world, as Touretzky comments in the interview.

Wikinews asked Prof. Touretzky about the impact that the activities of Anonymous will have on Scientology, the public relations effect of the Tom Cruise video, the recent departure of individuals from the Church of Scientology’s executive management, the strategies that Anonymous will employ and Touretzky’s experiences of picketing the Church.

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Jan
17

Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean">
Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NASA’s Cassini–Huygens spacecraft has discovered evidence for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft’s direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon. The study has been published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature.

Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and usually low in salt far away from the moon. Closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt-water. When water freezes, the salt is squeezed out, leaving pure water ice behind.

Cassini’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph also recently obtained complementary results that support the presence of a subsurface ocean. A team of Cassini researchers led by Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, measured gas shooting out of distinct jets originating in the moon’s south polar region at five to eight times the speed of sound, several times faster than previously measured. These observations of distinct jets, from a 2010 flyby, are consistent with results showing a difference in composition of ice grains close to the moon’s surface and those that made it out to the E ring, the outermost ring that gets its material primarily from Enceladean jets. If the plumes emanated from ice, they should have very little salt in them.

“There currently is no plausible way to produce a steady outflow of salt-rich grains from solid ice across all the tiger stripes other than salt water under Enceladus’s icy surface,” said Frank Postberg, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

The data suggests a layer of water between the moon’s rocky core and its icy mantle, possibly as deep as about 50 miles (80 kilometers) beneath the surface. As this water washes against the rocks, it dissolves salt compounds and rises through fractures in the overlying ice to form reserves nearer the surface. If the outermost layer cracks open, the decrease in pressure from these reserves to space causes a plume to shoot out. Roughly 400 pounds (200 kilograms) of water vapor is lost every second in the plumes, with smaller amounts being lost as ice grains. The team calculates the water reserves must have large evaporating surfaces, or they would freeze easily and stop the plumes.

“We imagine that between the ice and the ice core there is an ocean of depth and this is somehow connected to the surface reservoir,” added Postberg.

The Cassini mission discovered Enceladus’ water-vapor and ice jets in 2005. In 2009, scientists working with the cosmic dust analyzer examined some sodium salts found in ice grains of Saturn’s E ring but the link to subsurface salt water was not definitive. The new paper analyzes three Enceladus flybys in 2008 and 2009 with the same instrument, focusing on the composition of freshly ejected plume grains. In 2008, Cassini discovered a high “density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected” in geysers erupting from the moon. The icy particles hit the detector target at speeds between 15,000 and 39,000 MPH (23,000 and 63,000 KPH), vaporizing instantly. Electrical fields inside the cosmic dust analyzer separated the various constituents of the impact cloud.

“Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life,” said Dennis Matson in 2008, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“This finding is a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life can be sustained on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets,” said Nicolas Altobelli, the European Space Agency’s project scientist for Cassini.

“If there is water in such an unexpected place, it leaves possibility for the rest of the universe,” said Postberg.

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Jan
16

Man shot on London Underground unconnected to bombing, says Scotland Yard">
Man shot on London Underground unconnected to bombing, says Scotland Yard

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Scotland Yard issued a statement that Jean Charles de Menezes, the 27-year-old Brazilian electrician shot to death yesterday by police in a London Underground station was “not connected” to Thursday’s bombings and called the incident “a tragedy”. A day earlier, the police commissioner said the man was “directly linked” to Thursday’s attacks.

The police statement said

“We are now satisfied that he was not connected with the incidents of Thursday 21st July 2005. For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets.”

The man was followed when he left a flat that had been under surveillence. He did not obey instructions from police (not in uniform) as he ran onto a Tube train at the station. Eyewitnesses said he “was wearing a large coat, unusual for the time of year”, but didn’t seem to have “any guns or anything like that; I didn’t see him carrying anything. I didn’t even see a bag to be quite honest.”

Mark Whitby, apparently the closest eye witness said; “He half-tripped, was half-pushed to the floor. The policeman nearest to me had the black automatic pistol in his left hand, he held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots into him.”

The shooting is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service‘s Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which investigates all fatal police shootings.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke described the shooting of Mr Menezes as an “absolute tragedy” before going on to say “I hope [the family] understand the police were trying to do their very best under very difficult circumstances.”

Alex Pereira, a cousin of Mr Menezes, also living in the UK, was interviewed by the BBC and said “Apologies are not enough. I believe my cousin’s death was result of police incompetence.” He also stated that he believed his cousin had been “a victim of government’s mistakes”.

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Jan
14

SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch">
SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch

Monday, November 28, 2005

SpaceX called off the much-delayed inaugural launch of their new Falcon 1 rocket on Saturday from Kwajalein’s Omelek Island launch site. The intent was to launch the U.S. Air Force Academy’s FalconSat 2 satellite, which will monitor plasma interactions with the Earth’s upper atmosphere and magnetosphere.

The launch was delayed, then finally cancelled after an oxygen boil-off vent had accidentally been left open. The oxygen was unable to cool the helium pressurant, which then proceeded to evaporate faster than it could be replenished. A main computer issue, probably serious enough to cause a scrub on its own, was also discovered.

This long-anticipated flight was originally expected to be launched in January 2005, however a series of setbacks forced a series of delays, with the flight most recently scheduled to be in early 2006. It was intended to be launched from the Kwajalein atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The maiden voyage was originally intended to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a Naval Research Laboratory satellite and a Space Services Incorporated space burial payload.

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Jan
14

Chicago chef invents edible menu">
Chicago chef invents edible menu

Sunday, February 13, 2005Cordon-bleu chef Homaru Cantu has announced a technique which allows him to create dishes made of edible, inkjet printed paper. Cantu, a head chef at the Moto restaurant in Chicago, has modified an ink-jet printer with the help of computer specialists from local firm Deep Labs and loaded it with cartridges containing concoctions of fruit and vegetables. Using this modified printer Cantu then prints onto edible sheets of soybean and potato starch tasty images downloaded from the web.

“You can make an ink-jet printer do just about anything,” says Cantu. Once the items have been printed they are dipped into a powder made of soy sauce, sugar and vegetables before then being further processed by frying, freezing, or baking them.

Cantu has applied the technique to the printing of menus so that diners can further flavor their soups by ripping up the menu and adding it to the dish.

He hopes that his idea may find its way into popular media. “Just imagine going through a magazine and looking at an ad for pizza. You wonder what it tastes like, so you rip a page out and eat it,” says the chef who is working at perfecting the flavors and has applied for a patent on the technique.

Cantu also has plans for further culinary innovations. He plans to cook steak using a handheld laser that will sear the inside of the steak well done whilst leaving the outside medium rare. He also plans to use the laser to produce bread baked from the inside out thus producing a crust on the inside.

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Jan
14

US: Evidentiary documents released in Golden State Killer case">
US: Evidentiary documents released in Golden State Killer case

Friday, June 1, 2018

On Friday, the Sacramento, California County Superior Court in the United States, with Judge Michael Sweet presiding, publicly released approximately 123 heavily redacted pages from an 800 page document related to the trial of 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo, in the Golden State Killer (GSK) case. The high-profile case prompted the defense to motion delaying the release on the grounds of jury tainting.

From 1974 to 1986, there were 12 murders, 45 rapes, and 120 burglaries ascribed to the GSK. Many of these crimes were initially attributed to separate suspects, and California investigators coined such nicknames as “East Area Rapist,” “Original Night-stalker,” “Visalli Ransacker,” and “Diamond Knot Killer.” All these identities were later determined to be the GSK. DeAngelo is currently being charged with first degree murder with special circumstances, and is being further investigated for the 1975 first degree murder of Claude Snelling.

GSK’s alleged victims include 18-year-old Janelle Lisa Cruz on May 4, 1986; 35-year-old Cheri Domingo on July 27, 1981; 27-year-old Greg Sanchez on July 27, 1981; 24-year-old Keith Harrington on August 21, 1975; 27-year-old Patti Harrington on August 21, 1975; 21-year-old Brian Maggiore on February 2, 1978; 20-year-old Katie Maggiore on February 2, 1978; 44-year-old Dr. Robert Offerman on December 30, 1979; 35-year-old Debra Manning on December 30, 1979; 35-year-old Lyman Smith on March 13, 1980; 33-year-old Charlene Smith on March 13, 1980; 45-year-old Claude Snelling on September 11, 1975; and 28-year-old Manuela Witthuhn on February 5, 1981.

Law enforcement used DNA and other evidence to link the twelve known murders attributed to the GSK to suspect DeAngelo. Any DNA from rape kits and burglaries that predates 1970 is only admissible in court for murder cases because of California’s statute of limitations. The DNA evidence allegedly implicating DeAngelo was not found through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, which catalogs 20 sections of DNA from local, state, federal, and some international agencies making a unique profile for 16 million individuals, but CODIS did rule out other GSK suspects, like Paul “Cornfed” Schneider and Joe Alsip.

Instead, law enforcement used a nuance investigative technique, comparing GSK’s DNA profile against the open-sourced GEDmatch’s genealogical DNA database. The GEDmatch’s database flagged a GSK blood relative and, with other evidence, DeAngelo was suspected of being involved with GSK’s crimes. The genealogical website methodology is not unique to the GSK case. GEDmatch’s database was also used to identify 51-year-old William Earl Talbott II in the 1987 rape and homicide of Jay Cook (20) and Tanya Van Cuylenborg (18) in Seattle, Washington.

The newly released documents reveal DeAngelo’s DNA was not collected via a warrant but rather from the door handle of his personal vehicle as he was shopping in a local Hobby Lobby on April 18. A secondary sample was collected from a tissue found in the garbage on April 23. The door handle and tissue DNA were compared to a semen sample from a known GSK murder that had been confirmed using the CODIS’s 20 section DNA profile standard. On April 24, DeAngelo was arrested for the twelve GSK murders. A warrant for DeAngelo’s Citrus Heights, California residence disclosed dozens of wedding rings, photographs, driver’s licenses, and other objects allegedly taken from victims as trophies.

Public defender David Lynch, tasked with defending DeAngelo, motioned for the 800 documents to be sealed until trial to prevent the jury from becoming tainted. Lynch has also questioned the validity of certain search warrants for undisclosed reasons. Prosecutors from Sacramento, Ventura, Orange, and Santa Barbara counties have not determined the best way to prosecute DeAngelo considering the complexity, age, and multiple jurisdictions of the case.

DeAngelo was, until 1979, a police officer in small California towns. After allegedly stealing a hammer and dog repellent, DeAngelo was subsequently fired from the Auburn, California police force. He later became a truck mechanic near Sacramento.

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