Oct 14
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Obama to suspend Arctic oil drilling

Thursday, May 27, 2010

According to Democratic Senator Mark Begich from Alaska, the U.S. Department of the Interior has decided to halt all new Arctic exploratory oil drilling applications until 2011. The response is believed to be caused in part by the two current oil spill disasters (that of the Deepwater Horizon Incident and more recently the Alaska oil pipeline malfunction). However, Begich is not happy about the actions taken by the White House.

“I am frustrated that this decision by the Obama administration to halt offshore development for a year will cause more delays and higher costs for domestic oil and gas production to meet the nation’s energy needs,” Begich claims.

Last September, the state of Alaska made a public notice about Shell’s desire to drill off the coast of the Beaufort Sea, placing experimental drilling rigs at two drill site location: “Torpedo” and “Sivulliq”.

“Shell is committed to undertaking a safe and environmentally responsible exploration program in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea in 2010,” said Shell Oil Company President Marvin E. Odum to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Mineral Management Service (MMS).

Odum follows with, “I am confident that we are ready to conduct the 2010 Arctic exploratory program safely and, I want to be clear, the accountability for this program rests with Shell.”

Chuck Clausen, director of the Alaska project at the National Resources Defense Council is not so optimistic: “Hazards present in the Arctic can include frigid temperatures, presence of sea ice, gale-force winds, intense storms and heavy fog … The potential for loss in the Arctic is great.”

Odum believes that the climate in the arctic will make any spill easier to clean up because, “Arctic conditions create differences in responding to oil in cold and ice conditions. Differences in evaporation rates, viscosity and weathering provide greater opportunities to recover oil. In Arctic conditions, ice can aid oil spill response by slowing oil weathering, dampening waves, preventing oil from spreading over large distances, and allowing more time to respond.”

However, Clausen believes that there are no current systems to remove oil from icy ocean waters.

This is not the first time that President Obama’s administration has taken the environmentally cautious path in Alaska. The President put Bristol Bay off limits to oil and gas exploration until 2017. Bristol Bay currently is one of the top salmon fishing grounds in the state.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to give a speech at Thursday’s White House address, regarding the suspension of Arctic oil drilling projects.

Oct 14
Broken pipes cause flood in Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York
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Broken pipes cause flood in Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York
 Correction — February 13, 2008 The break was a broken sprinkler head in a crawl space above the shop, according to Jeffrey A. Salmon Facilities Manager of the Martin House Restoration Corporation. Not a pipe. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Buffalo, New York —According to radio communications by the Buffalo, New York Fire Department, at approximately 10:15 p.m. EST two water pipes inside the Darwin D. Martin House, a National Historical Landmark, broke causing several rooms to flood.

The breaks were discovered in the gift shop area of the house but quickly began to flood other areas near the shop as firefighters had a difficult time locating the main shut off valves.

At 10:50 p.m., firefighters reported to have shut off “several main valves” stopping the flow of water. The cost of the water damage is not known, but covered several rooms. Recent sub-zero temperatures in the city is said to be the cause of the break. At the time of the call, the temperature was only 10°F with a wind chill of 4°F above zero. On Sunday the temperature was only 3°F with a wind chill of -23°F.

The house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, has seen rough times over the years, experiencing problems such as vandalism. The first half of the complex was built in 1903 and finished in 1905. After the pergola, conservatory, and carriage were demolished, restoration and rebuild began in 1992 and is scheduled for completion in 2008 or 2009.

Oct 14
Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive
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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

Oct 13
Windows 7 will allow users to disable Internet Explorer
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Windows 7 will allow users to disable Internet Explorer

Sunday, March 8, 2009

After discovery by a blogger, Microsoft has announced that on their next operating system, Windows 7, users will have the ability to remove Internet Explorer and other select Microsoft programs. Microsoft has been accused of forcing users to run their own software while competitor products get pushed out of the market because of this.

On the Microsoft blog they wrote “In Windows 7 we are expanding the number of features you have control over in this regard, giving customers more control, flexibility and choice in managing the features available in this version of Windows.” It goes on to list a number of common Microsoft add-ons including: Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Player and Microsoft Search. If a user chooses to turn off a feature in Windows 7, it will remove the executable from the user’s computer but the rest of the program will still be installed.

In Europe, Microsoft was charged for abusing the market by having Internet Explorer and Windows bundled together. According to Net Applications, Internet Explorer currently has 67% of the web browser market, with Firefox trailing a distant second with 21% of the market.

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Oct 13
Rescued Australian miners sign multi-million dollar media deal
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Rescued Australian miners sign multi-million dollar media deal

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The two Australian mine-workers, who were trapped for 14 days underground in a collapsed mine, have signed a media deal reportedly worth AUD$2 million for their story of survival. Local media reports that the lucrative deal, announced by the Nine Network, is believed to be the “highest ever paid to secure news talent”. A planned TV special will be the outcome of a deal secured by Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL), which owns the Nine Network.

Miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb were entombed nearly a kilometre underground following a cave-in on April 25 at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania. A third miner, Larry Knight, was killed in the rock-fall. The two survivors trapped in a wire cage, survived by drinking water seeping through rocks until rescuers managed to dig a small tunnel to deliver fresh food and water. Their tale has captured the attention of the nation, with media corporations fighting for exclusive rights to the miners’ story.

The Nine Network’s chief executive Eddie McGuire said under the PBL deal, Woman’s Day, the Australian Women’s Weekly and the Bulletin magazines would also have access to the men. The Nine Network has announced it would broadcast a two-hour special with entitled “The Great Escape.”

Another deal is expected to be brokered with U.S. media. Mr McGuire said the deal would not restrict the pair from selling their story to CNN, the US Today Show and Good Morning America, who have all reportedly made contact with Mr Russell and Mr Webb this week.

Under the PBL deal, Woman’s Day, the Australian Women’s Weekly and the Bulletin magazines would also have access to the men, Mr McGuire said. Nine says it also wants the footage and photographs taken by the miners during their ordeal. The footage remains in the hands of the mining company.

The men, who were rescued on May 9, have not spoken publicly about the time they spent trapped underground.

See Wikipedia article: Beaconsfield mine collapse

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Oct 12
Taco Bell mascot Gidget dies from stroke at 15
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Taco Bell mascot Gidget dies from stroke at 15

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gidget, the chihuahua featured in the Taco Bell adverts in the United States has died from a stroke. The dog died at the age of 15 on Tuesday night. Sue Chipperton, the owner and trainer of Gidget commented saying, “She made so many people happy.” She passed at Chipperton’s home in Santa Clarita, California.

The dog was featured in the 1990s adverts that ran from 1997 to 2000. Gidget was portrayed as a male dog and is remembered for the dubbed saying “Yo quiero Taco Bell” which is Spanish for “I want Taco Bell.” The advert was meant to be shown only once but was turned into a campaign.

Gidget was also featured in Legally Blonde 2 and adverts for the board game Trivial Pursuit.

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Oct 12
Steelmaker Corus to cut 2000 jobs in the UK and Netherlands
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Steelmaker Corus to cut 2000 jobs in the UK and Netherlands

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Corus, the fifth largest steelmaker in the world, is set to cut 2000 jobs in both the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. 123 jobs are reported to be going in the Netherlands with the remainder from the United Kingdom. Corus have blamed the move on the “further deterioration” of the demand for steel in both the United States and Europe.

Corus Chief Executive Kirby Adams stated, “Any recovery in Europe appears to be some time off”. He added that Corus have to achieve “long-term sustainable competitiveness in a global and over-supplied steel market”. In January of this year Corus cut approximately 3,500 staff worldwide; 2,500 of them in Britain.

Peter Hogg, a commercial director at Corus, reported that the company was surprised at the extent of the global recession. He added that it is clear a full recovery is years away.

Some plants have been hit harder than others. Scunthorpe will lose 500 members of staff, with 379 going at Stocksbridge and 377 at Rotherham. Corus will also reduce operations at Hartlepool, Skinningrove and their Teesside Beam Mill, in Cleveland, where an additional 2,000 already face redundancy. A total of 11 plants in the United Kingdom are affected.

Elliot Morley, Labour Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe, told the BBC that he was disappointed with the job cuts and said he had previously told Corus that they should be a last resort. He added that this was a “sad day” for Scunthorpe.

The Community union general secretary Michael Leahy said that it was “devastating news” and spoke of his concerns for the integrity of the British steel industry.

Corus has the second largest steelmaking operation in Europe. The company was bought in 1999 by Tata Steel, part of India’s Tata Group. The company has around 50,000 employees worldwide.

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Oct 12
What Is Narcolespy?

By Eric Cho

NARCOLEPSY DEFINED

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep, but the deep sleep does not occur at the times it should. It occurs instead at times in which its victim should be fully alert and wide awake like during the daytime, while talking, eating, or driving, or during a loud and active event. During an narcoleptic episode, a narcolepsy patient will suddenly find himself in the midst of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep – a sleep stage that’s normally reserved for nighttime sleep no matter what the surrounding environment presents. Lasting for just a few minutes, the narcoleptic person appears to be sleep, however is mentally conscious of the event. Often accompanying narcolepsy is cataplexy – a condition caused by an overwhelming shock or extreme fear undoubtedly triggered by the inability to stop a narcoleptic episode.

Because of the unexpected and sudden onset of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, cataplexy is to be expected since Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is full of dream matter (sounds, images, etc.). Living with a condition which unexpectedly displays REM imagery and sounds couldn’t possibly be an easy thing to adapt to. Yet, 40-60% of narcolepsy patients experience cataplexy explicitly because of vivid daydreams although disorientation and confusion are sure to contribute to the shock and fear that’s experienced as well.

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NARCOLEPSY SYMPTOMS

Narcolepsy is different from suddenly falling asleep after a lack of sleep or a day of hard and unusual labor. It isn’t that unusual for a person to abruptly lay down and take a nap from extreme tiredness or moving clear across the country for example. Narcolepsy is instead, noted by severe daytime sleepiness after a full night of sleep, by sleep paralysis, and by cataplexy described above even though cataplexy is not prevalent in all narcoleptic patients. The prevalence of narcolepsy in a family is another symptom that could identify a narcoleptic patient. Family history plays a significant role in narcoleptic symptoms since narcolepsy is considered to be genetic.

CAUSES OF NARCOLEPSY

The exact reasons for narcoleptic episodes are still unknown although it’s qualification as a specific brain disorder or a dysfunction of certain brain structures is thought to initiate its sudden characteristic.

EMININENT DANGERS OF NARCOLESPY

The sudden onset of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is enough to put any narcolepsy patient into a state of cataplexy which can be a dangerous situation in itself. However it’s how the body reacts to Rapid Eye Movement characteristics (dream imagery and sounds), disorientation, confusion and the resulting cataplexy that’s of the utmost concern. The potential for harm not only exists in the event that a narcolepsy patient unknowingly runs or walks into a dangerous situation (or fails to escape from one), it also exists in the event that a narcolepsy patient physically reacts in a way that’s inappropriate for the environment in which the episode occurred. The good news is that the narcoleptic is easy to wake.

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Oct 11
Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate
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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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Oct 10
New fossils from 10 million year old ape found in Ethiopia
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New fossils from 10 million year old ape found in Ethiopia

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Researchers say that new, ten million-year-old fossils found in Ethiopia, prove that the theory that humans may have evolved from a species of great apes eight million years ago, may not be true, but that humans may have split from apes as long as 10.5 million years ago.

At least nine fossilized teeth, one canine tooth and eight molars, of a previously unknown species of apes found in Africa were discovered by a team of researchers from Ethiopia and Japan who then compared the 3-D make up of the teeth to other fossils that date back as far as 8 million years and found that the fossils are likely a “direct ancestor” of apes currently living in Africa and that the new ape fossils were that of a species of gorilla who ate mostly plants high in fiber.

Current fossils and research say that the evolutionary split from apes to humans occurred at least eight million years ago. The new fossils say that the split may have happened as long as 10.5 million years ago.

“Based on this fossil, that means the split is much earlier than has been anticipated by the molecular evidence. That means everything has to be put back,” said researcher at the Rift Valley Research Service in Ethiopia and a co-author of the study, Berhane Asfaw.

Despite the finds, other researchers are not convinced that the findings are correct.

“It is stretching the evidence to base a time scale for the evolution of the great apes on this new fossil. These structures appear on at least three independent lineages of apes, including gorillas, and they could relate to a dietary shift rather than indicating a new genetic trait,” said a Professor at the London Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom, Peter Andrews who also added, “but the fossil evidence for the evolution of our closest living relatives, the great apes, is almost non-existent.

Researchers have named the newly discovered species Cororapithecus abyssinicus whose remains were found in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, the same place where the remains of Lucy were discovered in 1974.

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