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Wikinews Shorts: September 6, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

President Alvaro Colom says torrential downpours causing flooding and landslides have undone the country’s reconstruction from Tropical Storm Agatha in May. Up to eighteen people are reported killed in rain-related incidents across the country as weather systems in both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific batter the region, and forecasters expect another 48 hours of precipitation. At least ten people were killed, 20 rescued, when a landslide buried a bus as it traveled on the Inter-American highway in the worst single-incident.

Sources

Five people are dead, 39 injured after a suicide bombing in the Dagestan Republic of the North Caucasus. The information is still unfolding, and earlier reports had three killed, 26 injured. The attack occurred at 00:30 local time (20:30 UTC) when a Zhiguli car packed with explosives drove into the gates of a military base near Buynaksk. AFP reports a second explosion nearby on a nearby highway, but with no injuries.

Sources

The Arizona Cardinals US football team has released Heisman trophy-winner Matt Leinart after being unable to find a favorable trade. Leinart had been unable to break out of the back-up quarterback role with the team after early injuries kept him on the sideline for a couple years, and expressed his frustration publicly on Monday. The Cardinals, forced to trim their team roster to 53 players, cut Leinart leaving him without a team.

Sources

After driving away from police, a thirteen-year-old driver struck a pole, plowed through a couple of fences, and bumped a parked car into the house before coming to a rest at the front door. Police spokesperson Ros Wetherall reported officers attempted to stop the Holden Commodore around 1 a.m. local time (5 p.m. UTC), but had to search for the vehicle which they found crashed into the home on Grovelands Drive, Camillo. The driver and one other youth in the car were uninjured. The young man will appear in court on charges of reckless driving, failing to stop and not having a driver’s licence.

Sources

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Mar
30

Wikinews international report: “Anonymous” holds anti-Scientology protests worldwide

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Wikinews international report: “Anonymous” holds anti-Scientology protests worldwide

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Internet group Project Chanology today held protests critical of the Church of Scientology. The protests marked what would have been the 49th birthday of Lisa McPherson, who is claimed to be a victim of the Church of Scientology’s practices. Lisa died in 1995 during a running of what Scientologists refer to as an Introspection Rundown, a procedure intended to help Church members deal with a psychotic or deeply traumatic event.

Protests were planned throughout the day in 14 countries and over 50 different cities. The estimation of total protesters world wide for Feb. 10, 2008 is 9,250 people.

Wikinews had correspondents at a number of protest locations to report on the events. This article was updated throughout the day with reports from around the globe.

Contents

  • 1 Location Reports
    • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
      • 1.1.1 Adelaide Gallery
    • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
      • 1.2.1 Atlanta Photo Gallery
    • 1.3 Austin, Texas
      • 1.3.1 Austin Photo Gallery
    • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
      • 1.4.1 Boston Photo Gallery
    • 1.5 Brisbane, Australia
      • 1.5.1 Brisbane Gallery
    • 1.6 Brussels, Belgium
      • 1.6.1 Brussels Photo Gallery
    • 1.7 Buffalo, New York
      • 1.7.1 Buffalo Photo Gallery
    • 1.8 Chicago, Illinois
      • 1.8.1 Chicago Photo Gallery
    • 1.9 Clearwater, Florida
    • 1.10 Dallas, Texas
      • 1.10.1 Dallas Photo Gallery
    • 1.11 Edinburgh, Scotland
      • 1.11.1 Edinburgh Photo Gallery
    • 1.12 Honolulu, Hawaii
      • 1.12.1 Honolulu Photo Gallery
    • 1.13 Houston, Texas
    • 1.14 London, England
      • 1.14.1 London Photo Gallery
    • 1.15 Los Angeles, California
      • 1.15.1 Los Angeles Photo Gallery
    • 1.16 Manchester, England
      • 1.16.1 Manchester Photo Gallery
    • 1.17 Melbourne, Australia
      • 1.17.1 Melbourne Photo Gallery
    • 1.18 Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • 1.19 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
      • 1.19.1 Milwaukee Photo Gallery
    • 1.20 New Orleans, Louisiana
      • 1.20.1 New Orleans Photo Gallery
    • 1.21 New York City, New York
      • 1.21.1 New York City Photo Gallery
    • 1.22 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • 1.23 Phoenix, Arizona
      • 1.23.1 Phoenix Photo Gallery
    • 1.24 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
      • 1.24.1 Pittsburgh Photo Gallery
    • 1.25 Plymouth, England
      • 1.25.1 Plymouth Photo Gallery
    • 1.26 Portland, Oregon
      • 1.26.1 Portland Photo Gallery
    • 1.27 San Antonio, Texas
    • 1.28 San Diego, California
      • 1.28.1 San Diego Photo Gallery
    • 1.29 Seattle, Washington
      • 1.29.1 Seattle Photo Gallery
    • 1.30 Sydney, Australia
      • 1.30.1 Sydney Photo Gallery
    • 1.31 Toronto, Canada
      • 1.31.1 Toronto Photo Gallery
    • 1.32 Vancouver, Canada
    • 1.33 Vienna, Austria
    • 1.34 Winnipeg, Canada
      • 1.34.1 Winnipeg Photo Gallery
    • 1.35 The Internet
      • 1.35.1 Internet gallery
    • 1.36 Other locations
      • 1.36.1 Stories from other locations
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

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Mar
30

New Zealand political party asks for names of schools under NZQA investigation">
New Zealand political party asks for names of schools under NZQA investigation

Monday, February 12, 2007

The New Zealand National party, opposition to the New Zealand Government, has called for the names of the five schools under investigation by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) for alleged breaches of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) regulations.

The breaches that are being alleged are that the unidentified five schools are helping the students to memorize the answers and allow their students to cheat during assessments. NZQA has confirmed this.

Waverley High School, Taranaki, has already been suspended from administering internal NCEA assessments after it was confirmed in December that they were letting their students cheat. The high school is supposed to be very close to being closed.

Katherine Rich, National’s education spokeswoman, has said that the public, especially parents, have a right to know if a school is possibly endangering the credits, the education and future employment of a student, which Ms Rich said NZQA does not have a right to do. “The credits being earned this term will have their credibility hugely undermined if, down the track, reports conclude that the school’s NCEA breaches were not rectified.” “… when a school develops a reputation for being slack on assessment, it’s the young person who strikes trouble when they look for work.”

“Parents will be livid if one or two years down the track when NZQA’s investigation is complete, another ‘Waverley’… story breaks and parents find they weren’t told at the time,” Ms Rich said.

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Mar
29

Popular soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless’ celebrates 35 years on the air">
Popular soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless’ celebrates 35 years on the air

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The popular American soap opera The Young and the Restless, currently the reigning Emmy Award-winner for best daytime drama, celebrated 35 years on the air Wednesday.

The 35th anniversary also comes after the series, known colloquially as Y&R, marked its 1,000th straight week as the highest-rated soap opera in a daytime slot. In addition to keeping the #1 spot every week since December 1988, Y&R has also been the top-rated soap in the African-American demographic since 1991.

A trend-setter since the beginning, Y&R relied on character-driven storytelling, accentuated with understated sexuality from its cast, which at that time was mostly young, in order to bring in teenage and twentysomething viewers who were ignored by soap producers and networks up to that time. These traits immediately set Y&R apart from other soap operas, and other soaps have since mimicked Y&R’s formulaic approach to offering something for everyone, especially younger viewers.

Since premiering on March 26, 1973, Y&R has become a worldwide cultural institution in its own right, racking up an impressive 100 Emmy Awards between the writers, producers, cast and crew since 1974. The show has aired in over 100 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey, and reaches a worldwide audience of ten million daily. So far-reaching was Y&R’s appeal that Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci chose the serial’s theme song as accompanying music to her floor exercises at the 1976 Summer Olympics. In Australia, where Y&R has aired since 1974, the show was canceled by the original network that aired it in 2007, prompting a widespread fan backlash in that country. It was quickly moved to a pay channel.

Over the past 35 years, countless characters, marriages, divorces, births, deaths, and every joy and trauma in between have visited the residents of Genoa City, where Y&R is set. To commemorate the milestone, Mike Halterman from Wikinews interviewed three actresses who have played long-running characters on Y&R, and asked them to share their memories. All three responded to questions about what being on Y&R means to them, what their favorite storylines were, what they perhaps would have wanted to do all over again, and what they’d love to tell their fans directly.

Below are portions of all three interviews.

Contents

  • 1 Wikinews interviews Y&R cast members
    • 1.1 Questions asked to all three
    • 1.2 Questions asked to Melody Thomas Scott
    • 1.3 Questions asked to Michelle Stafford
    • 1.4 Questions asked to Tricia Cast
  • 2 Sources

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Mar
29

Major US bankruptcy reform bill signed into law">
Major US bankruptcy reform bill signed into law

Thursday, April 21, 2005

U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law Wednesday a major bankruptcy reform bill, making the most sweeping changes to the laws of personal bankruptcy in the past two decades. Bill S.256 is predicted to reduce the chances of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy for 30,000 to 210,000 families per year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

The legislation was strongly opposed by some consumer advocates and by some Democrats in Congress, who complained about the lack of debate on exemptions they attempted to introduce and tried to derail the passage of the bill. Those who are unable to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will then be forced to file under Chapter 13, which requires payment of some debts by order of a judge based on the financial resources of the debtor.

Opponents said the bill will end a chance for a fresh start in the financial lives of the American people by keeping them in debt to collection agencies, as well as credit card companies and banks who have made it easy to obtain high credit limits amid mounting consumer debt.

In his remarks before signing the bill, which he supported, Bush said, “The bipartisan bill I’mabout to sign makes common-sense reforms to our bankruptcy laws. By restoringintegrity to the bankruptcy process, this law will make our financial systemstronger and better. By making the system fairer for creditors and debtors,we will ensure that more Americans can get access to affordable credit.”

The bankruptcy bill received a 302-126 approval in the house, after receiving a 74-25 vote in the Senate last month following strong, mostly partisan debate.

The US bankruptcy system was established in 1898. It allowed judges and debtors to come to terms with the costly medical bills that can follow a relative’s death, or a family illness. Such cases form nearly half of all bankruptcies filed in the USA, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Now many of those people will have to work out repayment plans suitable to creditors instead of having debts erased by a judge, according to the new law, which takes effect in six months.

In the past, a judge or court representative would calculate an individual’s income and subtract necessities of life to come up with a practical repayment plan of some debt. The new law stipulates that a graph, showing the poverty level in whichever state the consumer is living will be the criteria. It assumes that if people can subsist at that poverty level, then everything over that can be used to repay creditors.

Additionally, a provision that allowed debtors to file their own Chapter 7 fresh start bankruptcy has been changed to require a lawyer, paid by the debtor, to do the filing.

The new law also erased “usury” provisions in lending laws, with some lawmakers saying that paying 30 percent interest was not too much when a debtor was behind on payments.

But Bush said that credit will “be more affordable because when bankruptcy is less common, credit can be extended to more people at better rates,” meeting demands of the credit card companies which they have been pressing for the last eight years.

“The big winners under the new law will be the special interests that literally wrote it, particularly the credit card industry,” said Travis B. Plunkett, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America. “This is particularly ironic because reckless and abusive lending practices by credit card companies have driven many Americans to the brink of bankruptcy.”

The forces arrayed on the losing side of this bill said it will hurt low-income working people, single mothers, minorities, and elderly and will end a safety net for people who have lost jobs or face major medical bills. People who fail (refuse) to pay or refuse to go to court will punished by a fine and or arrest warrant made out in their name. About fifty thousand Americans will be punished by a fine and or warrant about three thousand Americans every year will go to jail under the new bankruptcy law. For some people this will be a third strike so they will be put in jail for life.

But Mallory Duncan, a lawyer for the National Retail Federation, said “Bankruptcy has gone from a stigma to a financial planning tool for many.”

New personal bankruptcy filings have increased from 172,423 in 1978 to 1,599,986 last year, an increase of 828% during that time; however, it edged down slightly last year.

About 2 percent to 13 percent of those who dissolve their debts in Chapter 7 bankruptcy each year in exchange for forfeiting some assets will be disqualified from doing so under the law, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Bankruptcy lawyers anticipate a rush to the courthouse to beat the six-month window before the new reforms take effect.

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Mar
29

Tensions continue to rise in Middle East over “Mohammad Cartoons”">
Tensions continue to rise in Middle East over “Mohammad Cartoons”

Friday, February 3, 2006

The publishing of a series of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a Copenhagen newspaper sparked a string of harsh and in some places violent reactions in the Middle East, forcing European leaders to try to calm the situation.

This backlash started in late September 2005, when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a dozen cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad. The images ranged from serious to comical in nature; a particularly controversial cartoon portrays Mohammad with a bomb wrapped in his turban. The Jutland-based newspaper states that the images were meant to inspire some level of public debate over the image of Islam in Europe, and had no direct aim of offending anyone.

However, many Muslims follow the doctrine of aniconism concerning the portrayal of Mohammad. This tenet of Islam states that the Prophet Mohammad should not be depicted in any type of art, regardless of the intent of the piece. This belief, along with the potentially insensitive nature of some of the caricatures, have caused offense to many Muslims in the Arab world.

In the past month, the controversy over these cartoons escalated. The cartoons were re-published last month in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands (where the latter two nations have large Muslim populations), and have begun to re-circulate throughout the Middle East.

Many Danish companies have been targeted for boycotts. As Wikinews reported last week, Arla Foods, Denmark’s top dairy company, has seen their sales fall to zero in some Middle East nations. Carrefour, a French retail chain, has pulled all Danish products from its shelves in the region. Earlier this week, protests were held throughout the region, including the Gaza Strip in Jerusalem, where Hamas supporters led an assault and protest that surrounded the European Union offices for Israel.

Hamas members, some armed with guns, stormed the EU office (which is primarily staffed by Arabs) and demanded apologies from EU member states, saying they would otherwise face serious consequences. “It will be a suitable reaction, and it won’t be predictable,” said Abu Hafss, a member of the Al Quds Brigade (an affiliate of the group Islamic Jihad), in a press conference outside the EU offices. And the Abu al-Reesh Brigades, a group related to the late Yassir Arafat’s Fatah party, warned that EU member states had 10 hours to apologize for the cartoons or their citizens would be “in danger”.

Jamila Al Shanty, a newly elected Hamas legislator, stated that more rallies will be planned in protest of the cartoons. “We are angry – very, very, very angry,” Al Shanty said today, adding that “No one can say a bad word about our prophet.”

The Iranian newspaper Hamshari daily has stated that on February 8 it will publish anti-semitic cartoons in response to the Danish cartoons, apparently failing to notice that Denmark has only a tiny Jewish population, since most escaped to Sweden during the World War II Holocaust. The newspaper says that the cartoons will lampoon the Holocaust despite denials by the Iranian government that the Holocaust even happened.

Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that first published the cartoons did issue an apology to Arab countries on Monday, shortly after the EU office incident. But with the support of the government of Denmark, the newspaper had earlier defended its actions fiercely, citing the universal right to free press, and its duty to serve democratic traditions by inspiring debate. Indeed, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, said “We are talking about an issue with fundamental significance to how democracies work.” In fact, some European pundits have placed more fault on Muslims for refusing to “accept Western standards of free speech and pluralism”. When the cartoons were originally published in 2005 they were intended to highlight and redress the unequal restrictions applied to Islamic content in European newspapers in comparison with content referring to other religions. The cartoons are also self-referential, with one character in the cartoons writing in Arabic on a blackboard “Jyllands-Posten’s journalists are a bunch of reactionary provocateurs”, and another cartoon showing a cartoonist having to work in hiding because one of the cartoons he is drawing includes an image of the Prophet Mohammad. The text around the cartoons stated:

“The modern, secular society is rejected by some Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings. It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where you must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule. It is certainly not always equally attractive and nice to look at, and it does not mean that religious feelings should be made fun of at any price, but that is less important in this context. […] we are on our way to a slippery slope where no-one can tell how the self-censorship will end. That is why Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten has invited members of the Danish editorial cartoonists union to draw Muhammad as they see him. […]”

However, some world leaders have elected to help defuse what could be a major social crisis in Europe and the Middle East. France’s foreign minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said that freedom of the press should be exercised “in the spirit of tolerance”, sentiments which were echoed by United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan. Ursula Plassnik, foreign minister of Austria, said that the European community must “clearly condemn” acts which insult religion. And Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, warned Europe that “any insult to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) is an insult to more than one billion Muslims and an act like this must never be allowed to be repeated.”

Rasmussen, in an interview with Arabic TV Al arabia, said that “…Danish government condemns any expression and any action which offends people’s religious feelings…” and also said that he does not understand why, as the cartoons were originally published in September, the situation has only truly started to deteriorate in the past week.

In Denmark, there are counter-demonstrations by moderate Muslims saying they don’t want the images banned. Munira Mirza commented that many Muslims “want to be able to say: ‘Hey we’re not children, we can handle criticism, we don’t need special protection – we’re equal’. Many don’t want to be treated as a special group, seen as worthy of more protection from criticism than other groups because of their apparent victim status.”

Religious satirist Stewart Lee commented that Jyllands-Posten had “tried to deal with a subject they don’t know enough about, and this is one of the teething problems of the cross-over of cultures in the world. I’m sure the level of offence is far greater than would have been intended.”

The director (Directeur de publication) of “France Soir“, a French national newspaper was fired in response for publishing a cartoon titled: “Yes, we have the right to (joke about) characterise God” (Oui, on a le droit de caricaturer Dieu). The “France-Soir” web site is presently offline. The cartoon is partially visible on a nouvelobs.com website.

Today, Libération, another French national newspaper, is publishing two of the “Mohammad Cartoons”. Other newspapers across France are asking for their rights to freedom of the press to be defended.

Charlie Hebdo, a well-known satirical newspaper, will publish articles to support cartoonists, freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

The general reaction in France seems to be that most citizens except religious people (Catholics, Muslims,…) are astounded by the level of anger against the “Mohammad Cartoons”.

On February 9 2006 Queensland Premier Peter Beattie gave The Courier Mail Newspaper his blessings in publishing the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons/depictions of Muhammad stating that he is a firm believer in free speech and ones freedom of expression.On the very same day he got his legal representative to write to the author of this site photoduck.com demanding he censor material relating to him and his Government.

Although many newspapers have not republished the cartoons in order to avoid backlashes, the drawings have appeared on the Internet and are being revealed at a number of Web sites and blogs. On January 30th, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin placed the drawings on her blog, and encouraged others to do the same.

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Mar
28

Internet posting says al-Qaeda plans dirty bomb attack in New York City">
Internet posting says al-Qaeda plans dirty bomb attack in New York City

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A posting on the internet has stated that al-Qaeda is planning a dirty bomb attack on New York City, New York (NYC) in the United States.

In a statement to the press, NYC police stated that the posting was an “unverified radiological threat” against New York City. Police also stated that the city’s threat level will remain at “orange” and will not be changed. NYC police have also stepped up security at bridges, tunnels and subways as a precaution.

Debka.com or DEBKAfile, an Israeli website, was claiming the that they picked up the threat by “a rush of electronic chatter on al Qaeda sites Thursday, Aug. 8.” DEBKA also claims that one of the threats states that “trucks loaded with radio-active material [will be used] against America’s biggest city and financial nerve center.”

The site also claims that other cities such as Miami, Florida and Los Angeles, California as targets for dirty bomb attacks.

No date or time has been reported for the attack. On August 2, a terrorist advertisement posted on the internet by the As-Sahab propaganda campaign for al-Qaeda, warned of a coming “big surprise.” No date was specified for that claim either.

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Mar
28

Three charged following release of Cronulla riot wanted photographs">
Three charged following release of Cronulla riot wanted photographs

Friday, March 10, 2006

Three men have been arrested and a further six “positively identified” following the public release of photographs showing “persons of interest” to police in relation to the Sydney riots last year.

A 20-year-old man from Warilla, a suburb of Wollongong, handed himself into police yesterday after seeing his photograph in a newspaper. He was subsequently charged with riot and affray.

An 18-year-old man from Bella Vista was arrested in a Baulkham Hills hotel yesterday afternoon after he was identified by the public. A 33-year-old Miranda man was also charged after handing himself into police last night. He will appear in Sutherland Local Court today.

Following the release of the photographs on March 8, police have received information from the public identifying seven of those wanted in relation to the riots.

New South Wales police minister Carl Scully yesterday urged the others to turn themselves into police before being arrested. “I’d say to those people, save yourselves the embarrassment and turn up to a police station”, he said.

Police and the police minister have also criticised Sydney’s middle eastern community for failing to assist in identifying men wanted for revenge attacks after the riots.

“Generally speaking, when Caucasians are put on the front pages of newsletters, they’re identified”, said Mr Scully.

“And unfortunately, when footage is presented of people of Middle Eastern background, we get zip.”

A spokesman from the Lebanese Friendship Association said that the middle eastern community was being persecuted.”We are sick and tired of people saying why aren’t we doing enough”, said Keysar Trad.

“If the beat police can’t recognise them, then the chances of anyone recognising them are very, very slim.”

Other Muslim leaders urged parents to question their children and hand them into police if they suspect they took part in the revenge attacks which occurred after the riot. Lebanese Muslim Association spokesman Abdul El Ayoubi said parents should have questioned their children when the events first occurred.

“If (their children) were involved then they have a duty to take them in”, he said.

“What they have done now, might be nothing to what they could do next time.”

The NSW Islamic Council has also backed Mr Ayouvi’s calls.

Detective Superintendent Ken McKay, the head of strike force Enoggera which is investigating the riots, said he was confident of making many more arrests over coming days thanks to the assistance of the public. “It wouldn’t surprise me if we had, within the next day or two, the majority of them.” he said yesterday.

“I’m confident (of arresting all 20). If I was a betting man I’d be running at close to odds-on.”

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Mar
28

Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau">
Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

Contents

  • 1 History of the WWW
  • 2 Future of the WWW
  • 3 Final question
  • 4 External links

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Mar
28

Hubble telescope spots oldest galaxies ever seen">
Hubble telescope spots oldest galaxies ever seen

Thursday, December 10, 2009

American and European scientists say the upgraded Hubble space telescope has spotted the oldest galaxies ever seen. The images were taken with the telescope’s new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in August this year.

The galaxies are about 13 billion light years from Earth, meaning they formed less than one billion years after the Big Bang — the cosmological model of the initial conditions and subsequent development of the universe.

WFC3 was installed in May this year, during a mission by the space shuttle Atlantis to repair and upgrade Hubble. Experts say the new instrument will let them peer even further back in time, to when the universe was in its infancy. The more distant a galaxy is, the more its light is “redshifted” due to expansion of the universe. Light from the furthest galaxies is shifted to infrared wavelengths invisible to the human eye, but WFC3 can detect these.

The new image was taken in August, in the same region as a 2004 visible light image known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The 2004 photo previously showed the most distant galaxies, but the new infrared pictures from the WFC3 allow even more remote galaxies to be seen.

At these distances, you’re really looking back in time, like you have a time machine

Capturing the image took four days, and the total exposure lasted 173,000 seconds. In the three months since, twelve scientific papers have been submitted on it. On Tuesday one of these confirmed the galaxies as the furthest ever seen.

They are also the oldest, with the light from them having taken around 13 billion years to reach Earth.

“At these distances, you’re really looking back in time, like you have a time machine,” said Ray Villard, of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. “Those things don’t exist anymore.”

The photo could be one of the ultimate achievements of the Hubble telescope, now almost twenty years old.

“These new observations are likely to be the most sensitive images Hubble will ever take,” said Professor Jim Dunlop of the University of Edinburgh.

The servicing mission in May extended the telescope’s life by around five years, but it is scheduled to be replaced by the James Webb Space Telescope in 2014. This will use infrared imaging and have a greater collecting area than Hubble, and it is thought that it may be able make out objects from just 100 million years after the Big Bang.

“We’ve really pushed Hubble to its limits,” said Villard, “and we need a bigger space telescope to go back even farther. It shows us there are really exciting things to look for with the Webb telescope.”

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<br\>This image, taken in August 2009 by the Hubble telescope with its WFC3 upgrade, shows the oldest galaxies ever seen. Image: NASA, ESA.

<br\>Astronaut working on Hubble during Servicing Mission 4 in May 2009, which included the installation of WFC3. Image: NASA.

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The Hubble Space Telescope, seen from Space Shuttle Atlantis. Image: NASA.

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Another image from WFC3, showing NGC 6302 — popularly known as the “Butterfly Nebula” Image: NASA, ESA.

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