Wikinews Shorts: December 4, 2008

Posted October 19th, 2018 by F4GKcb4Y

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, December 4, 2008.

On December 2, the Toronto city council voted in favor of banning the sales and distribution of bottled water on city property. The council also agreed to provide public drinking fountains on their properties, as well as on a measure that would make shoppers pay at least five Canadian cents for plastic grocery bags and force business owners to offer reusable bags and carry-out containers.

“Toronto’s decision to ban the bottle and turn on the tap sends a clear message that bottled water’s 15 minutes are up,” said Polaris Institute’s campaign coordinator, Joe Cressy.

All of the city’s facilities should be following the water ban by 2011, while businesses will have to implement their bag fees by 2010. Toronto has become the largest city in the world to ban bottled water on government property.

Related news

  • “Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada” — Wikinews, August 23, 2008

Sources


On Tuesday, American actor, Patrick Swayze, who suffers from pancreatic cancer, denied reports that he was near death. American tabloid National Inquirer reported on November 28 that Swayze’s cancer had spread to his liver and that he was preparing for his death.

“The only thorn in my side being that many tabloids have been consistently reporting lies and false information about me and those close to me,” said Swayze in a statement to the press who also added that he knows he is in “the fight for his life,” but that it is a fight that he “is winning.”

“I’m one of the lucky few that responds well to treatment,” added Swayze.

Swayze has starred in over a dozen films, including the 1987 hit film Dirty Dancing.

Related news

  • “Wikinews Shorts: November 28, 2008” — Wikinews, November 28, 2008

Sources


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The U.S. electoral college voted on Monday to place Republican businessman Donald Trump in the presidency.

In most election years, this is a formality. However, with Trump’s loss of the popular vote by a margin of 2.7 million, allegations of Russian hacking, and concerns, such as those expressed by Texas elector Christopher Suprun that Trump “shows daily he is not qualified for the office,” liberal voters and anti-Trump protest groups had hoped the electors would deny Trump the 270 votes he would need to be inaugurated on January 20.

The president-elect issued a statement: “This election represents a movement that millions of hard working men and women all across the country stood behind and made possible. With this historic step we can look forward to the bright future ahead. I will work hard to unite our country and be the president of all Americans. Together, we will make America great again.”

Trump received 304 of the 306 votes he had been pledged and Hillary Clinton 227 of 232 for a total of seven faithless electors. Five whose constituencies went for Clinton voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Bernie Sanders or Faith Spotted Eagle who opposed the Keystone Pipeline. Two Republican electors, both from Texas, whose votes were slated for Trump engaged in a protest vote, one for Ohio governor John Kasich and one for Ron Paul. Several other Democrats and one Republican who had announced their intentions in advance were either replaced or resigned.

While tradition dictates that electors must vote according to their constituencies, only 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia actually have laws requiring them to do so, and there is no constitutional or federal law on the matter. In the remaining 21 states, electors are technically permitted to cast their votes as they see fit. No faithless elector has ever been prosecuted.

Paintings worth millions of Swiss francs stolen in Zürich

Posted October 19th, 2018 by F4GKcb4Y

Monday, February 11, 2008

On Sunday evening, around 16:30 local time, three armed men wearing ski masks stole four paintings: Claude Monet‘s “Poppy field at Vetheuil,” Edgar Degas‘ “Ludovic Lepic and his Daughter,” Vincent van Gogh‘s “Blooming Chestnut Branches” and Paul Cezanne‘s “Boy in the Red Waistcoat” from Foundation E.G. Bührle museum in Zürich, Switzerland.

The three armed robbers entered the museum half an hour before closing. One man with a pistol forced employees to the ground while the other two men stole the paintings. The whole ordeal lasted only 3 minutes. The men then proceeded to a van and left.

The four paintings are worth a total of 163 million US dollars. It’s said that it would be hard to sell the stolen paintings on the open market due to the popularity of the paintings. There is a reward of 90 thousand US dollars for the artwork.

The robbers, who were still at large, stole the paintings Sunday from the E.G. Bührle Collection, one of Europe’s finest private museums for Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, police said.

It was the largest art robbery in Swiss history and one of the biggest ever in Europe, said Marco Cortesi, spokesman for the Zürich police. He compared it to the theft in 2004 of Edvard Munch‘s The Scream and Madonna from the Munch Museum in Norway.

Last week, Swiss police reported that two Pablo Picasso paintings were stolen from a Swiss exhibition near Zurich.

20 tons of cocaine seized by US Coast Guard

Posted October 18th, 2018 by F4GKcb4Y

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has seized 20 tons or nearly 40,000 pounds of cocaine with a street value of over US$500 million in what authorities call one of the largest cocaine busts in history.

Three busts in total were made in a period of nearly one month. The first on February 19, off the coast of Mexico, March 18 off the coast of Panama and on March 25, also off the coast of Panama.

In the first bust on February 19, “the Ecuadorian-flagged fishing vessel Don Juan K was approached in the Pacific Ocean February 19 off the coast of Mexico while allegedly offloading cocaine into “go-fast” (cigarette-style boat) boats. The fishing vessel’s crew apparently set fire to Don Juan K in an attempt to destroy the evidence and flee in the go-fasts. The USCGC Sherman stopped the go-fasts and recovered about 900 pounds of cocaine as Don Juan K sank. The 14 crew members are being processed for further legal action,” said a statement on the USCG’s website.

The second bust on March 18 yielded nearly 40,000 pounds of cocaine.

“The 330-foot Panamanian-flagged motor vessel Gatun was interdicted in the Pacific Ocean Mar. 18 off the coast of Panama while heading north toward the United States. Sherman’s crew stopped and boarded the vessel and found 765 bales of cocaine weighing approximately 38,000 pounds in two shipping containers. Gatun was escorted back to Panama and its 14 crew members processed for further legal action,” added the statement.

In the third bust on March 25, at least 2,000 pounds of cocaine was seized, also from a ship off Panama’s coast.

“[The] Sherman’s crew stopped and boarded a small stateless go-fast in the Pacific Ocean Mar. 25 off the coast of Panama following a short chase, in which, the go-fast attempted to flee at a high rate of speed. Approximately 2,000 pounds of cocaine was found aboard the go-fast and its four crew members were processed for further legal action,” said the statement.

Several agencies both in the U.S. and in other countries in Central and South America and will continue to investigate the extent of the drug ring.

“The Coast Guard works in close coordination with Joint Interagency Task Force South, U.S. Attorney’s office, Panama Express South, DEA, FBI, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection, as well as the Departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security on counter drug operations in the Pacific Ocean near Central and South America. These drug smuggling routes are some of the most active, yielding roughly 70 percent of the cocaine seized annually by the Coast Guard,” added the statement.

Asset Management Solutions: For Good Care Of Assets}

Posted October 18th, 2018 by F4GKcb4Y

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Asset Management Solutions: For Good Care of Assets}

Wikinews Shorts: February 3, 2010

Posted October 18th, 2018 by F4GKcb4Y

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

Contents

  • 1 Christmas day bomber cooperating
  • 2 Fire in Hyderabad hospital; 1 dead
  • 3 China begins urgent sweep for tainted milk
  • 4 Karachi violence escalates, section 144 imposed

The Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas day with hidden explosives is cooperating with investigators and providing fresh intelligence after the U.S. enlisted the help of his family, an administration official said. His family persuaded him to cooperate.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been providing information to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents questioning him, the official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

The official declined to provide details on what kind of information Abdulmutallab was providing.

Related news

  • “Failed bomb aboard Delta flight” — Wikinews, December 26, 2009

Sources


Somajiguda
Somajiguda on the map of India

One person died and 41 were injured, including three nurses who are critically injured, in a major fire at Park Healthcare Hospital in Somajiguda, a suburb of the Indian city Hyderabad, on Tuesday morning.

The fire engulfed a major portion of the five-storey hospital’s first floor, along with some medical equipment and furniture on the other floors.

City police commissioner A K Khan said that a criminal case had been registered against the hospital management. “It is also being determined whether safety standards were followed by the hospital,” he said.

Sources


Chinese authorities say they are preparing to launch a crackdown on melamine-laced milk after the scandal over tainted products, which made hundreds of thousands of children ill two years ago and damaged China’s brand reputation overseas, resurfaced.

China has dispatched inspectors to sixteen provinces to urge local governments to thoroughly investigate cases concerning food safety.

The decision comes after milk products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine were removed from sale in Shanghai and the provinces of Shaanxi, Shandong, Liaoning and Hebei, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

Related news

  • “Contaminated baby’s milk induces wave of child illness in China” — Wikinews, September 22, 2008

Sources


At least twenty-six people have been killed in Karachi, Pakistan after four days of ethnic killings, according to police officials. The officials said that nine people were killed on Monday in the city’s Orangi western neighbourhood, which has a majority ethnic Pashtun community.

The Sindh government has awarded special powers to the Pakistan Rangers under Section 5 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and imposed Section 144 in the limits of 26 police stations for a month.

At least forty people were killed as ethnic clashes erupted across the city in early January.Home minister of Sindh province, Dr Zulfiqar Mirza has called upon the Army to restore peace and order.

Sources

US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%

Posted October 18th, 2018 by F4GKcb4Y

Friday, October 2, 2009

Companies in the United States are shedding more jobs, pushing the country’s unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8%.

The US Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, with companies in the service industries — including banks, restaurants and retailers — hit especially hard. This is the 21st consecutive month of job losses in the country.

The United States has now lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession officially began in December 2007. The new data has sparked fears that unemployment could threaten an economic recovery. Top US officials have warned that any recovery would be slow and uneven, and some have predicted the unemployment rate will top 10% before the situation improves.

“Continued household deleveraging and rising unemployment may weigh more on consumption than forecast, and accelerating corporate and commercial property defaults could slow the improvement in financial conditions,” read a report by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, predicting that unemployment will average 10.1% by next year and not go back down to five percent until 2014.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, said that “it’s a very fragile and tentative recovery. Policy makers need to do more.”

“The number came in weaker than expected. We saw a lot of artificial involvement by the government to prop up the markets, and now that that is starting to end, the private sector isn’t yet showing signs of life,” said Kevin Caron, a market strategist for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Also on Thursday, the US Commerce Department said factory orders fell for the first time in five months, dropping eight-tenths of a percent in August. Orders for durable goods — items intended to last several years (including everything from appliances to airliners) — fell 2.6%, the largest drop since January of this year.

The US government has been spending billions of dollars — part of a $787 billion stimulus package — to help spark economic growth. There have been some signs the economy is improving.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that spending on home construction jumped in August for its biggest increase in 16 years. A real estate trade group, the National Association of Realtors, said pending sales of previously owned homes rose more than 12 percent in August, compared to August 2008.

A separate Commerce Department report said that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose at its fastest pace in nearly eight years, jumping 1.3 percent in August.

Other reports have provided cause for concern. A banking industry trade group said Thursday the number of US consumers making late payments, or failing to make payments, on loans and credit cards is on the rise. A survey by a business group, the Institute for Supply Management, Thursday showed US manufacturing grew in September, but at a slower pace than in August when manufacturing increased for the first time in a year and a half.

Stock markets reacted negatively to the reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points in early trading, reaching a level of 9467. This follows a drop of 203 points on Thursday, its largest loss in a single day since July. The London FTSE index fell 55 points, or 1.1%, to reach 4993 points by 15.00 local time.

Tax evasion investigators raid Google’s Paris headquarters

Posted October 17th, 2018 by F4GKcb4Y

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dozens of tax investigators raided Google’s offices in French capital Paris yesterday as part of a probe into the company’s alleged tax evasion.

The raid was conducted by investigators from the state financial prosecutor’s office assisted by 25 information technology (IT) experts, according to officials. “The investigation aims to verify whether Google Ireland Ltd has a permanent base in France” the prosecutor’s office said, “and if, by not declaring parts of its activities carried out in France, it failed its fiscal obligations[…]”.

Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., reports most of its sales in Ireland. Google claims most sales contracts are closed in its Dublin offices. If investigation finds sales are being concluded in other countries, Google may need to pay additional taxes in these countries.

In 2014 Google reported a total yearly revenue in France of €225.4 million with a profit of just €12.2 million, paying only €5 million in corporate tax according to the Financial Times. A Google spokesperson said the company is co-operating with French authorities and fully complies with French law.

According to Reuters, a source from the French finance ministry said French tax authorities are also separately pursuing Google for €1.6 billion in back taxes.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Yesterday, the Milwaukee County district attorney charged Cory J. Feerick, a 33-year-old from Brookfield, Wisconsin, with five misdemeanor counts of stealing US$35,000 worth of flush valves from fast food restaurants and university toilets and urinals. If convicted, Feerick could spend to 9 to 45 months in jail, and pay between US$10,000 and US$50,000 in fines.

Initially arrested in late January following a local news television story on the thefts, he stands accused of stealing parts worth between US$300 and US$600 each from locations that included Milwaukee Area Technical College, Waukesha County Technical College, ITT Technical Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, the Pick ‘n Save on Capitol Drive in Brookfield, and the Arby’s also located on Capitol Drive in Brookfield.

Feerick was dubbed the “Backpack Bathroom Bandit” by the media because video showed him committing the thefts while wearing a backpack. The thefts reportedly took place in September and October of last year, with several area police departments involved in investigating them.

Elizabeth II annuls Fred Goodwin knighthood

Posted October 16th, 2018 by F4GKcb4Y

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II, the British monarch, has today withdrawn and annulled a knighthood given to Fred Goodwin in 2004, heeding the advice given to her by a forfeiture committee. Goodwin is the former chief executive at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) and was awarded his knighthood by the British government of the time for services to banking. The committee concluded “that widespread concerns about Fred Goodwin’s decision meant that the retention of a knighthood for services to banking could not be sustained.”

Goodwin was chief executive of RBS when they purchased ABN AMRO, a Netherlands bank, in 2007. The British government subsequently bailed out RBS for £45 billion, amidst the late-2000s financial crisis.

British prime minister David Cameron stated about the annulment: “The proper process has been followed and I think we’ve ended up with the right decision.” Cameron and Ed Miliband, UK Leader of the Opposition, both believed Goodwin’s knighthood should be removed. Miliband called it “the start of the change we need in our boardrooms.”

Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy PM Nick Clegg considered it to be the “right decision”. “[A]ppropriate” was the word George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer used to describe it. “RBS came to symbolise everything that went wrong in the British economy in the last decade,” Osborne stated. Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland stated the title was given “for services to banking which could not therefore be sustained”, calling the decision “correct”.

Goodwin does not have the right to appeal against the decision, nor had the right to provide the forfeiture committee with any representations. The monarch holds sole responsibility for withdrawing all knighthoods; on this occasion Elizabeth II followed the advice of the committee, who decided to recommend the withdrawal to her. The Cabinet Office announced the advice had been given to the queen on the understanding that “Goodwin had brought the honours system in to disrepute”.

Speaking of the “exceptional case”, the committee explained: “In 2008, the government had to provide £20 billion of new equity to recapitalise RBS and ensure its survival and prevent the collapse of confidence in the British banking system. Subsequent increases in government capital have brought the total necessary injection of taxpayers’ money in RBS to £45.5 billion.” The committee understood that “Fred Goodwin was the dominant decision maker at RBS at the time.”

Until this announcement, criminal conviction and professional expulsion were the only causes for which individuals had their knighthoods revoked.