Apr 20
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Cocaine found in frozen mango puree shipped to Montréal, Canada

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced Tuesday that they had seized approximately 160 kilograms of cocaine discovered in buckets of frozen mango puree imported from Mexico.

Investigations led the police to a shipping container destined for the Port of Montréal, in the Canadian province of Québec. A CBSA officer at the Container Examination Centre in Montréal identified the suspect container. The drug was found in brick-shaped plastic wrapping of about 4 kilograms in weight each. There were 1,200 buckets of frozen mango puree in the shipment, not all with cocaine inside.

RCMP Sgt. André Potvin told reporters that the value of the shipment was significant and was the largest maritime port drug haul in the force’s history. At CA$20 per half-gram, “that’s in the vicinity of $38 million,” said Potvin.

The investigation by the RCMP Drug Section, CBSA Intelligence officers, the Marine Security Enforcement Team and the Port of Montréal Security Group, determined that an import company, named Quality Mexport, was allegedly a front for the drug-smuggling operation.

Five Mexicans, holding visitor status in Canada, were arrested in the matter. They are:

  • Juan Manuel Huerta Canela, 31;
  • Jose Gerardo Bernal Vasquez, 52;
  • Jose Luis Navarro Ochoa, 33;
  • Jesus Manuel Villa Quiroz, 32; and
  • Alfonso Strag Estrada, age 50.

The suspects have been charged with importing and possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking. The charges are allegations at this point in time.

Apr 20
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Apr 20
Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds
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Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”

Apr 19
UK policeman killed while training
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UK policeman killed while training

Monday, June 9, 2008

A policeman from the United Kingdom was killed today while taking part in a training exercise with his police force, in the city of Manchester.

The policeman died as a result of a shot to the chest. The incident occurred at approximately 10:30 UTC (11:30 local time) this morning.

Greater Manchester Police released a statement regarding the incident, saying that the officer was shot at Thorpe Road, which is found in the Newton Heath area of the city.

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Apr 19
Police station attacked by car bomb in Basque Country, two officers injured
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Police station attacked by car bomb in Basque Country, two officers injured

Friday, August 24, 2007

A police station of the Spanish Guardia Civil was attacked today Friday by a car bomb in the Basque city of Durango, injuring two policemen. It is believed to be the first serious attack of the separatist group ETA since it unilaterally ended a cease-fire in June. The blast caused serious damage to the police barracks in Durango, shattering windows and damaging police cars parked outside. Several nearby apartment buildings were also damaged. Police sources believe the bomb, estimated to contain between 80 and 100 kilograms of explosives, was detonated remotely by one of the two attackers who fled in another vehicle. Another car exploded about one hour later in the town of Amorebieta, possibly the one used by the activists to flee.

ETA detonated two small explosive devices on July 25 along the route that the Tour of France used when the race dipped into northern Spain for a few hours.

ETA called the cease-fire in March 2006, but grew frustrated with a lack of government concessions in ensuing peace talks, and set off a huge bomb in a parking area at Madrid’s airport on December 30, killing two people. It insisted then that the truce was still in effect, but finally declared it formally over in June, and Spanish security forces have been on alert ever since.

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Apr 19
Sony Fair 2008 starts in Taipei, Taiwan with “HD Entertainment Park”
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Sony Fair 2008 starts in Taipei, Taiwan with “HD Entertainment Park”

Friday, April 4, 2008

The fifth annual Sony Fair, established and organized by Sony Taiwan Limited in Taipei, Taiwan since 2004, started at the North Square of Taipei 101 near the TWTC Hall 3 from April 3 to 13. With more opportunities and chances of Blu-ray and High-definition markets, the organizer named its theme slogan with “High-definition Entertainment Park”.

Since the Sony Fair was established in 2004, several brand new AV-media products made their stages at this show and took good effects in it. And this time, after winning the consumer market in the optical storage battle, I’m proud to announce that “Not only Sony, all our groups are BACK“! With several varied and new technologies, the lifestyle changed rapidly with modern people. A typical example is the invention of LCD Television, that drove the high-definition becoming the mainstream in this digital AV-media era. Since I visited Taiwan 2 years ago, I saw several future miniatures from Blu-ray and high-definition AV-media products. Finally in this [digital AV-media] era, this dream became reality and several accessories like digital cameras and recorders also integrated with those new technologies above and showcased in this fair.
This year of Sony Fair with the main theme of “HD Entertainment Park”, showcased not only newly-launched Sony ? , but also BRAVIA, showcased at 2007 Taipei IT Month, games and consoles of PS3 and PSP, showcased at 2008 Taipei Game Show and 2008 Softex Taipei. Because of marketing strategies [by Sony], we [Sony] brought up opportunities and achievements for high-definition markets like Sony Pictures Entertainment, Chunghwa Telecom, and Public Television Service, who produced several HDTV programs with different styles. By the way, the “Audio Gallery” showcase varied ways to enjoy digital music like Walkman, integrated with Bluetooth technology recently, will be released in the middle of April 2008.

Not only executives supported this show, and high-definition AV-media showcases, but Sony BMG Taiwan will also invite several vocalists to hold some mini concerts in the Sony Fair 2008 to bring up the visitors during holiday nights.

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Apr 19
BDSM as business: Interviews with Dominatrixes
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BDSM as business: Interviews with Dominatrixes

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Whether the Civil War, World War II or the Iraq War, it can be challenging to face how conflict penetrates the psyche of a nation and surfaces in the nuances of life. There are thousands—if not millions—of individuals who indulge in fantasies others would deem perverse that have their nascence in some of the darkest moments of human history. It is possible someone you know pays a person to dress like a German Nazi to treat them like a “dirty Jew”, or to force them to pick cotton off the floor like a slave.

An S&M dungeon is a place where these individuals act out such taboos. Businesses that operate to meet their needs are often hidden, but they do exist and are typically legal. The clients want to remain confidential for fear of ostracism in their respective communities. As Sigmund Freud wrote, “Anyone who has violated a taboo becomes taboo himself because he possesses the dangerous quality of tempting others to follow his example.”

Last week Wikinews published the first in a two part series on the BDSM business: an interview with Bill & Rebecca, the owners of Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber. This week we publish the second part: an interview with three dungeon employees, Mistress Alex, Mistress Jada and Mistress Veronica. In their world, BDSM is a game, a harmless pursuit of roleplaying exercises that satiate the desires of the tabooed. These Dominatrixes are the kind of women men fantasize about, but they all look like they could be babysitting your children this Saturday night. Most likely, they will not be.

Mistress Alex has a distinctive sheen when David Shankbone walks into the room. Her moist skin cools quickly from the blow of the air conditioner she stands in front of. Just having finished an hour and a half session, she is dressed in a latex one-piece skirt and matching boots. Mistress Jada, a shapely Latina dressed in red, joins the conversation and remains throughout. When Alex needs to tend to a client, Mistress Veronica, who looks like she would be as comfortable teaching kindergarten as she would “tanning a man’s hide”, takes over for her.

The interview was neither sensational nor typical, but what you read may surprise, repulse, or even awaken feelings you never knew you had. Below is David Shankbone’s interview with three Dominatrixes.

Contents

  • 1 Starting out
  • 2 What they get asked to do
  • 3 The psychology of S&M
  • 4 Psychological challenges
  • 5 Psychology II
  • 6 Comfort levels in the sessions
  • 7 Advice for those who want to be a Mistress
  • 8 Strange requests
  • 9 What they discover in themselves
  • 10 Boundaries
  • 11 BDSM Culture
  • 12 Dating for Dominatrixes
  • 13 Related interviews
  • 14 Sources
  • 15 External links
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Apr 19
Fireplace Mantles Or Fireplace Mantels?}

Submitted by: Lisa Becker

Technically, using the word mantle instead of mantel for your fireplace is still correct. In architecture, you can use both terms to describe a shelf protruding from the wall above your fireplace, although mantel is the more common usage. Because the word mantle has so many other meanings it makes it easier when you are searching the internet to find websites that will help answer your questions about your home if you search for “fireplace mantel” instead of “fireplace mantle.”

Why “Fireplace Mantles” can be Confusing

Because mantle has many other meanings, you will find it on lots of other websites that have little to do with your home. Mantle, at its simplest, means anything that covers, such as a “mantle of frost” or a “mantle of dust.” Science websites use the term mantle often because it is also the word for the layer between the core and the crust of the Earth and comprises about 70% of the Earth’s volume. Because mantle and mantel are interchangeable in architecture, it’s easier for home oriented websites to use mantel.

Tips for Fireplace Mantels

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* Finding – Knowing what you’re looking for can help you narrow down your search for a fireplace mantel. You have a wide range of options, including stone fireplace mantels, wood fireplace mantels, rustic fireplace mantels, antique fireplace mantels, and more. Make sure that the style of your mantel complements your dcor. Do not purchase a regular shelf to hang above your fireplace, as it may not be able to withstand the heat from the fire below.

* Cleaning – You can wipe most mantels with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust. You can also use wood cleaner on wood and you can wax both wood and stone to preserve their finishes. Just be sure to clean your mantel when the fireplace and mantel are cold because some waxes and cleaners are flammable.

* Decorating – The most important thing to remember when decorating your fireplace mantel is to be careful not to put anything likely to melt or catch fire on it. Candles should definitely be in holders to prevent drips onto your mantel or hearth.

Fireplace mantels can be a lovely focal point in your home if properly chosen, cared for, and decorated. Whether you’re installing a brand new fireplace or remodeling your home, you can start looking at your mantel options today.

Fireplace Mantel Dcor and Accessories

Most people only think about fireplace mantel dcor during the winter holidays, when they’re likely to pull out all the stops to make it gorgeous. But why decorate your mantel for one month of the year and leave it bland the rest of the time? Your fireplace is a focal point of the living room, and the mantel should be decorated accordingly.

Fireplace Accessories

In addition to the fireplace mantel itself, the largest dcor elements will be the fireplace screen and tool set. Those two elements should complement the mantel as well as the overall look of the room. Once you have those in place, you can begin to choose the dcor items to hang above the mantel or set inside the fireplace.

Possible choices include fireplace candelabras to place inside the fireplace instead of logs and andirons. Most people hang a painting or mirror over the mantel. Some people hang plasma TVs in that space, but you have to be careful about the wall temperature. If your wall gets too hot, you could destroy the TV.

About the Author: Lisa Becker is an avid home decorator and writes for

Fireplace Mantels 123

: Shop For Your Perfect Fireplace Mantel and Surround. Her expertise regarding fireplace mantels and surrounds provides insight into the world of interior design and home decorating. For the rest of the article, check out

Fireplace Mantel

Ideas and Buying Guide.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=371035&ca=Home+Management}

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Apr 18
Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment
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Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment

Thursday, July 31, 2008

From the middle of July, Sony Corporation refreshed their senior laptop brand VAIO from “Video Audio Integrated Operation” to “Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer”. According to Sony Taiwan Limited, this refreshment is an attempt to relocate the laptop consuming market for business and entertainment factors.

In the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Europe, Sony promoted their new product series for different populations including BZ for business, FW for home entertainment, Z for ultra-slim, and SR for complex applications.

Different with past series, Sony added “Clear Bright” screening technology for high-definition display, and “full-carbon production” features. BD-burning and Intel Centrino 2 processing technologies will be featured in all the new models. For security issue, Sony also embedded fingerprint system to prevent personal data to be stolen. Continued from TZ series, innovative designs including “Green Power Button”, “Situational Switch” are also added in newly-launched series.

“Due to consuming market differences, Sony only promoted BZ series in Europe and America but not included Asia. Although the TICA Show in Taipei will be different, functionality will be the greatest issue when a consumers choose a notebook [computer] before buying.” addressed by executives from Sony Taiwan Limited, during the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Taiwan.

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Apr 18
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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