News briefs:January 04, 2008


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US Supreme Court upholds ban on partial birth abortions

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday April 18 has upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The 5-4 vote reflected the change in vote count resulting from the retirement of Justice O’Connor and the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.

The Intact dilation and extraction procedure, also known as partial birth abortion, involves removing an intact late-term fetus from the womb via the cervix. While it is a relatively rare operation – 0.17% of all abortions in the US in 2000, it has become a focal point in the abortion debate.

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act bans the procedure in cases where the fetus is terminated during the operation, unless it is performed to to save the life of the mother.

Justice Kennedy wrote in the opinion of the court: “respondents have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases.” Further, he said, “Respondents have not demonstrated that the Act, as a facial matter, is void for vagueness, or that it imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion based on its overbreadth or lack of a health exception. For these reasons the judgments of the Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits are reversed.”

In a concurring opinion, Justice Thomas stated that he joins “the Court’s opinion because it accurately applies current jurisprudence, including Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992).”

In dissent Judge Ginsburg wrote: “Today’s decision is alarming. It refuses to take Casey and Stenberg seriously. It tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.”

Justice Kennedy’s words also recall the complicated issues of standing related to such cases. An issue in Roe v. Wade was the impossibility of any individual having standing in a court proceeding regarding abortion rights, since court proceedings take more than the 9 months of pregnancy, retiring any individual plaintiff’s standing before an appeals process can take place. The criterion of “a large fraction of relevant cases” may effectively deny standing to any plaintiffs who wish to litigate particular restrictions in some relevant future cases.

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News briefs:July 27, 2010

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Sun Direct Is A Dth Solution With A Difference!

byAlma Abell

DTH is an emerging and is well on its way towards becoming one of the market leaders in the DTH segment. The company presently transmits digital satellite signals all across the country and is looking at further expansion into untapped territories.

The company is a pioneer with regard to its use of MPEG-4 advanced technology which enables enhanced quality of signals and compression. Sun Direct is also the first DTH company to provide HD or High Definition content for mainstream markets. Easy Sun Direct online recharge systems and its gigantic arsenal of regional content makes it one of the best home entertainment options for customers in the country. Sun Direct has spread its wings all over India and customers appreciate the affordability and viability of each of its packages. Alongside, the company also provides the latest set top boxes which come with HD and USB recording technology for a superior experience. The company is leaving no stone unturned to make DTH a mass entertainment option and is steadily scaling up its distribution and customer service network. You can get more details on recharge offers at Recharge and More.

Sun Direct online recharge helps you recharge your subscription voucher without locational, time and energy constraints. It is a simple process and only requires you to enter your credit card number of 16 digits on the home portal. Thereafter, you have to enter the year and expiry date of your card followed by its CVV of 3 digits which is usually found on the back of the card. The IVRS payment system will display and finalize your transaction details once the verification process is complete. You can create your own customer ID, which makes future transactions easier and payment processes can also be executed by calling a specified recharge number. Customer friendliness is the chief USP of Tata Photon Plus and makes it a force to reckon with in the Indian telecommunications market.

Tornado kills one and injures 100 in northern Colorado

Friday, May 23, 2008

A tornado that has caused 28 miles (45 km) of destruction throughout Weld County, Colorado, has killed one and injured 100. The man killed was inside a vehicle that was destroyed in the storm, west of Greeley, which is about 60 miles (97 km) north of Denver.

A state trooper says that multiple car accidents occurred on highways throughout the county. U.S. Route 85 was closed after two semi-trailers were flipped over, though the drivers were not injured. Dozens of houses and vehicles were badly damaged by the tornado as it passed through. The town of Windsor had hundreds of homes and businesses damaged, including the town hall, in addition to trees down and electricity outages. In response to the disaster, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter declared a state of emergency and activated the Colorado National Guard in the badly damaged Weld County.

Severe storms also hit Laramie, Wyoming, 145 miles northwest of Denver, knocking out electricity to 7,300 customers and damaging buildings. One damaged building, the Quadra Dangle Square Dance Club, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, had its roof and porch ripped off. The Associated Press reports Brian Chapman of the National Weather Service in Cheyenne as saying that “indicators are very strongly in favor of it being a tornado,” but no confirmation is possible until the damage is fully assessed. Governor Dave Freudenthal of Wyoming has also authorized a crew of eight National Guardsman to help clean up the damage. Another twister touched down just east of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The local fire department responded to a call after the storm damaged a barn and a house just south of I-80.

Rain, hail and snow pelted the entire region, and more storms are predicted for today. The National Weather Service in Cheyenne reports, “Severe thunderstorms are likely again this afternoon into early this evening mainly east of the Laramie Range…with the greatest threat east of Cheyenne across the southern Nebraska panhandle. Locally heavy rainfall is also possible which may cause some localized flooding especially in areas that received heavy rainfall Thursday.” Winds are expected to gust above 40mph throughout the day. At 7:40am MST weather conditions were calm and partly cloudly just west of Laramie, Wyoming

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“Woofstock” dog festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

North America’s largest outdoor dog festival came back to Toronto last weekend for its fifth year. It ran from the 9th of June to the 10th of June at Toronto’s historical St. Lawrence Market. A Wikinews reporter was there on Sunday to report on some of the events that happened on the last day.

The “Woofstock” dog festival attracted as many as 140,000 people with their dogs. The festival had tons of accessories, sold under tents, to buy for dogs; food, toys, designer clothes, and more. About 400 vendors and exhibitors were there to promote their products, which also gave private dog companies or groups a chance to show their new products. The local SPCA and some animal rescues were under tents answering questions from visitors. While walking, all visitors could see the CN Tower and other very tall buildings.

One of the local TV stations, Citytv, was there. They hosted a live event at the show which was broadcast on TV. People came up on the stage and asked questions regarding their dogs and the host and co-host answered them.

A man, who called himself the “Chalk Master”, drew two pictures on pavement with chalk. He did it for free but donations were welcome. One was a picture of a girl’s head beside a dog’s head, and another with a wolf.

“Hello Humans. I’ve been invited here to provide your eyeball(s), with some pretty colours. I don’t get paid as I work this weekend strictly for tips… so, if you like what you see please make a DONATION. If you don’t like it simply reach into the pocket of the person next to you and give me their money. CHALK MASTER.”

A contest called “Canada’s top dog” had its own tent with a professional photographer taking pictures of dogs behind a white screen; the winning photo is to be published on the cover of “Puppy and dog basics” magazine.

Large “Gourmet” dog bones were also served from a cart and table.

Next year’s festival is expected to be bigger and better with even more attractions.

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Woman finds human finger in bowl of chili at Wendy’s restaurant

Thursday, March 24, 2005

San Jose, California — A woman eating a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant bit into a chewy bit that turned out to be a human finger. She immediately spat it out, warned other patrons to stop eating, and upon recognizing the object as a finger, vomited.

“I’m more of a Carl’s Jr. person,” the 39-year-old Las Vegas woman, Anna Ayala, told Knight Ridder. She said this incident was her first visit to a Wendy’s restaurant. Ayala described how she found the finger, “Suddenly something crunchy was in my mouth,” she continued, “and I spit it out.”

According to Devina Cordero, 20, after Ayala found the finger, she ran up to her and Cordero’s boyfriend and said, “Don’t eat it! Look, there’s a human finger in our chili.”

“We went up to the counter and they told us it was a vegetable,” Cordero continued. “The people from Wendy’s were poking it with a spoon.”

The restaurant is located at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

Wikinews reporter David Vasquez drove his car up to the drive-thru menu and found that chili was still on the menu, at a price of US$1.19 for a small serving. He also witnessed workers unloading supplies from a semi-trailer truck in the restaurant’s parking lot, and carting them into the back door of the establishment.

According to Ben Gale, director of environmental health for Santa Clara County, the finger did not come from any of the employees at the restaurant. “We asked everybody to show us they have 10 fingers and everything is OK there,” he said. The found portion of the finger likely belonged to a woman because of its long and manicured fingernail, also found in the food.

Officials seized the food supply at the restaurant and are tracing it back to the manufacturer, where they believe the finger may have gotten mixed in with the raw ingredients used to prepare the chili. The restaurant’s operators were later permitted to re-open after preparing new chili prepared from fresh ingredients.

As this story was filed, there was no mention of the incident on the Wendy’s corporate web site. Wendy’s issued a statement through a spokesman.

“Food safety is of utmost importance to us,” said Wendy’s spokesman Joe Desmond. He referred to the incident as an “unsubstantiated claim.”

“We are cooperating fully with the local police and health departments with their investigation. It’s important not to jump to conclusions. Here at Wendy’s we plan to do right by our customers,” Desmond said.

According to county health officials, the unfortunate woman who bit into the finger is doing fine, despite her initial reaction. Officials also noted that the finger would have been cooked at a high enough temperature to destroy any viruses.

The Santa Clara county medical examiner reported that the finger had a solid fingerprint, although investigators did not say if a search of fingerprint databases would be performed to find the owner of the finger.

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.
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Basic Computer Skills Training

Basic Computer Skills Training



The increasing use of computers at practically all levels, whether personal or professional has intensified the need to increase computer literacy amongst developing nations as it could be a key to reducing poverty. As more and more employers list basic computer skills, training in this field has gained momentum. Workers are trying to update their skills or risk becoming obsolete in this age of information technology, as every industry is relying on the use of computers to decrease costs and increase efficiency.

The Government\’s Dilemma:

Governments often fail to address low rates of computer literacy as mostly departments are focused on developing the infrastructure on a macro level versus tackling it in small amounts. In countries where literacy levels are in single digits, providing basic computer skills training is a conundrum in itself as resources have to be allocated to mutually exclusive projects such as amongst building schools in an entire province or building a few schools equipped with computer labs. Although seemingly unfair, economists argue that the latter objective should be pursued, as it will allow the qualified students to become productive citizens and contribute to state resources and form a chain. Otherwise, children with only basic education would be marginalized and the state would lose out on potential taxes.

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As a result, many organizations including NGO\’s and the corporate sector are providing basic computer skills training to the impoverished people so they are not further sidelined by those more competitive than them. In order to break this vicious cycle, Microsoft initiated such a Corporate Social Responsibility project in South Africa. As a part of the campus licensing agreement, Microsoft will provide training to tertiary students free of cost. This was received with skepticism amongst critics, and was called out as a shrewd marketing strategy, but the company defended itself and defended that the move was to improve computer literacy rates in the country.

India, a country where almost 400 million people live on less than $1 per day, has also seen an increase in its IT sector. The wealthy entrepreneurs of this country have resolved to introduce their poverty stricken country men to basic computer skills training as a means to empower them and improve their lifestyles.

Aggregate Benefits:

Thus an increase in investment in this sector by wealthy residents and expatriates is often a more successful way of alleviating this problem. When people acquire basic computer skills training, it makes them more competent not only amongst their peers in their local environment, but also by using the computer and the internet to gain information and seek better job opportunities. A person who has well-developed computer skills is often able to add more value to his employing organization and thus increases his self worth. At a time when resources are scarce and expensive, all businesses are seeking to reduce costs, and therefore computerizing their processes is the best way to increase efficiency. As more invest is made in computerized equipment, the demand for computer literate people will increase, making this a lucrative skill to possess.\”

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Guatemalan Supreme Court approves impeachment of President Molina

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Yesterday in Guatemala, the Supreme Court approved the attorney general’s request to impeach President Otto Pérez Molina.

The final decision on lifting Presidential immunity now falls to Congress. The case relates to a corruption scandal known locally as La Linea ((en))English language: ?The Line which has seen Vice President Roxana Baldetti arrested and charged with fraud and receiving bribes. Prosecutors allege Baldetti and Molina between them received half of all bribes in the case.

Congress previously refused to impeach Molina but the investigation has since broadened, with ministerial resignations. Molina, however, has stood firm in the face of widespread popular protests demanding he leave office. Elections are scheduled for September 6.

The Social and Popular Assembly, formed during protests in recent months, allege violations of electoral law by many parties, and want an electoral commission crackdown. One member organisation, the Committee for Campesino Unity, wants a delay until elections are reformed. They also seek a new constitution.

Molina is accused of conspiring to corruptly divert customs funds. He denies any misconduct.

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27 believed dead in Indonesian plane crash

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Officials say 27 people are dead after a plane crashed into the sea off east Indonesia today. Fifteen bodies have been recovered and it is thought the others on board have sunk with the wreckage.

“I can confirm that all the passengers were killed when the plane exploded as it crashed into the sea,” an Indonesian navy official told local radio station ElShinta. He said around ten navy divers were sent to the Papua crash site 400 metres off-shore in six kilometres of water but “had difficulties locating them [trapped passengers] due to strong currents and limited equipment.”

I can confirm that all the passengers were killed when the plane exploded as it crashed into the sea

Merpati Nusantara Airlines has not confirmed passenger numbers. A transport ministry spokesman said the ministry is “still checking on the passengers’ situation,” adding “the weather was pretty bad at the time [of the crash].” Built by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the propellor-driven MA60 was 500 metres from a runway when it crashed, according to airport officials.

The nation of islands has heavy use of aviation and a poor safety record, including the crash of an Adam Air jet in 2007 that killed 102 people near Sulawesi. The European Commission had banned all Indonesian airlines from entering it, but two years ago flag carrier Garuda Indonesia was deemed to have improved and allowed to enter.

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