Monday, March 13, 2006

2006 was the deadliest Datona Beach Bike Week ever, with a total of 18 bikers being killed on Florida roads, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. This year’s festivities brought in about 500,000 bikers to the Daytona area, and 14 of those killed were from Florida. Walter Fliss, 51, had recently bought his motorcycle before being killed when he drove into a construction site. Another biker rode into a guardrail, and others were killed on their way home.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The upcoming 2006 Brampton municipal election, to be held November 13, features an array of candidates looking to represent their wards in city council or the council of the Peel Region.

Wikinews contributor Nick Moreau contacted many of the candidates, including Dalbir S. Kathuria, asking them to answer common questions sent in an email. This ward’s incumbent is John Sprovieri; also challenging Sprovieri is Derek Begley, Sherdaljit Dhillon, Mahen Gupta, Satpaul Johal, and Vahid Saadati-Khanshir.

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.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso will arrive in the United States on Tuesday and will meet with U.S. President George W. Bush. On Wednesday he will attend a ceremony in his honor where he will be awarded the highest honor in the U.S. for a civilian, the Congressional Gold Medal.

This also marks an historical moment as it is the first time ever that a sitting U.S. President will appear with the Dalai Lama at a public event.

The honor has not gone without protest. China objected, accusing the Dalai Lama of “separatist activities.” China also condemned a meeting with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel calling the meeting a mistake and that relations between the two nations were damaged.

“We would hope that the Chinese leader would get to know the Dalai Lama as the president sees him, as a spiritual leader and someone who wants peace,” said White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino.

The U.S. decided to award the Dalai Lama with the medal due to “his many enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, nonviolence, human rights and religious understanding.”

The Dalai Lama has been living in India since fleeing Tibet in 1959 during a failed revolt against Chinese rule.

Friday, June 22, 2007

According to court documents obtained by Wikinews, Randy Squires, an African American male and a former police officer of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (DCMPD) has filed a lawsuit against the department alleging racial discrimination and harassment by a fellow officer. Squires is also suing the former mayor of D.C., Anthony A. Williams, and the district’s Attorney Generals office. Squires is also suing his superior officer, Robert Atcheson, for racial discrimination and harassment.

“Defendant Atcheson treated Plaintiff differently than similarly situated Caucasian police officers in several respect[sic], including but not limited to assignments, evaluation, and disciplinary actions, deprivation of overtime and use of departmental vehicles,” stated court papers filed by Squires’ attorneys, Donald M. Temple and Dhamian A. Blue of Temple Law Offices in Washington D.C.

Squires accuses Atcheson, a white-caucasian male and a lieutenant in the Environmental Crimes Unit (ECU) Warrant Squad and the Paternity Warrant Squad, of discriminating against him on the basis of the color of his skin and also harassing him while on the job. Squires originally started to work in DCMPD 1988, and shortly after he was hired, he began to work in the ECU. Atcheson was in control of the unit Squires belonged to.

In court documents, Squires alleges Atcheson treated him with “flagrant racial discriminatory conduct,” like using the word “mope,” which is defined as slang for “nigger,” and that the discrimination was “designed to intimidate, insult, emasculate and humiliate” Squires. In one incident in 2002, during a training exercise, Atcheson allegedly “deprived Squires of appropriate breathing apparatus, which is designed to save life in emergency and hazardous situations,” but that the apparatus was “provided to two other caucasian officers.”

Documents also allege that Atcheson had “falsified” a report to North Carolina State Police after Squires was arrested and wrongfully charged with “unauthorized taking of a police vehicle.” Court documents say that the report to N.C. police states that “Atcheson falsely told Plaintiff (Squires) that he had photographic evidence of the police car outside Plaintiff’s home overnight and of Plaintiff driving the car from his home.”

Court documents also allege that Squires allegedly informed his superior officer of Atcheson, only known as ‘Captain Brito,’ of the incident, but no action was ever taken against Atcheson. Squires initially filed a complaint against Atcheson with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC) in a letter on March March 8, 2005.

The Washington D.C. police department has investigated the claims made by Squires, which “revealed inappropriate conduct toward Squires,” but according to documents, no disciplinary action has been taken against Atcheson or his superiors.

The defendants “deny any and all allegations” that Squires has made against them and also state that Squires “failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and/or failed to comply with other mandatory filing requirements.” Defendants also say that “all actions taken by District (Washington D.C.) relating to Plaintiffs were necessary, reasonable, pursuant to lawful authority, and based on legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons” and that “the district denies that any district policymaker adopted, approved, condoned and/or maintained an unconstitutional policy, practice or custom of unlawful employment practices.”

Squires is asking at least US$350,000. Squires and the Defendants also request that a jury be present during the trial, which is scheduled to conclude on June 26.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

MasterCard International announced Friday that multiple instances of fraud have been tracked back to CardSystems Solutions, Inc., a company that processes credit card transactions and other payments. Customer names, banks, and account numbers of up to 40 million cardholders have been exposed, of which about 13.9 million are MasterCard-branded cards, the company said. Visa and American Express cards were also affected.

“The breach appears to be the largest yet involving financial data,” said David Sobel, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

CardSystems issued a statement late on Friday that said it learned of the potential breach 26 days ago, but that the FBI told the company not to advise the cardholders nor the public at large. CardSystems also said their statement had been vetted by the FBI.

A spokesperson for the FBI said that the agency had asked CardSystems not to disclose information that could compromise the investigation, but that it had not asked CardSystems to fail to disclose the breach at all.

Michael A. Brady, C.F.O. of CardSystems, told the Associated Press that “we’re absolutely blindsided by a press release by the association,” when speaking of MasterCard’s release. A MasterCard spokesperson said that the company was obligated to inform its customers of the breach.

MasterCard spokesperson Sharon Gamsin said that CardSystems was hit by a virus-like computer script that stole customer data for the purpose of fraud. She said MasterCard does not know how the script got into the CardSystem network.

Sobel said this theft “indicates that this is a shadowy industry where the consumer never really knows who is going to be handling and using their personal information. Presumably, the affected consumers thought they were dealing with MasterCard.” Having a third-party process credit card transactions is common practice in the industry.

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12 11th, 2018

Friday, December 21, 2007

We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us.

A delegation claiming to represent the Lakota Indian Tribe, an Indian nation within United States borders, have signed a document stating that the tribe withdraws and or cancels all treaties with the U.S. and formally establishes independence from the country. The letter was hand delivered by activists for the tribe to Deputy to the Public Liaison at the State Department, Daniel Turner.

“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us. This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution. It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent,” said Russell Means, an activist for Native American rights to reporters at a press conference on Wednesday in Washington, D.C..

“Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit. They never honored the treaties, that’s the reason we are here today,” said Garry Rowland who is also known as Wounded Knee.

The delegation wrote a formal letter to the Department of State which was hand-delivered by activists of the tribe announcing their secession. So far, the U.S. has not issued a public response regarding their decision. Wikinews attempted to contact the State Department, but in an e-mail Director of the Office of Media Affairs Kirsten Petree stated that “this is not an issue for the State Department” and referred us to the Department of the Interior.

Under the declaration, the tribe, which consists of people from Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming, would create and issue its own driver’s licenses and passports. According to a report by Agence France-Presse, all residents who currently live within Lakota borders can continue to reside there without paying taxes, as long as they renounce their U.S. citizenship.

The attempt to gain independence began in 1974 when activists wrote up a draft declaration of independence, which was modeled after the 1776 Declaration of Independence that the U.S. signed in declaring freedom from England.

Many of the treaties the tribe signed with the U.S. are over 150 years old.

“We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children,” said activist Phyllis Young, who was one of the individuals who helped to organize a 1977 conference in Geneva on “indigenous rights.”

The other members of the activist delegation were Duane Martin Sr., Gary Rowland and Phyllis Young. Duane Martin Sr. is a leader of a group called the Strong Heart Society. Gary Rowland is a leader of a group called the Big Foot Riders. Phyllis Young is the founder of a group called Women of All Red Nations.

Means’ group is based in Porcupine, South Dakota on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Means’ group is not an agency or branch of any Lakota tribe, although he ran unsuccessfully for president of the Oglala Sioux tribe in 2006.

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12 9th, 2018

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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12 9th, 2018

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. The most recent of our interviews is Laurens, South Carolina‘s John Taylor Bowles. Mr. Bowles is running with the endorsement of the National Socialist Order of America, a Minnesota-based Neo-Nazi party created after a recent rift in the National Socialist Movement.


  • 1 Interview
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links


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