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September 20, 2018

NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet

NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet

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Space
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  • 21 April 2018: NASA launches exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

In findings released to the public on Monday through online site arXiv.org, astronomers reported they have already used data from the first photograph taken by National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to locate an exoplanet. The planet, called Pi Mensae c, was spotted as it was transiting in front of its star, Pi Mensae (HD 39091). The paper describing the findings was being submitted to AAS Letter but had yet to be published in full.

“Here, we report on the discovery of a transiting planet around [Pi Mensae], exactly the type of planet TESS was designed to detect,” states a portion of the paper available to the public.

Scientists say the planet is roughly twice the diameter of Earth but about four times as massive. Findings for Pi Mensae c indicate it may contain helium, methane, hydrogen, and water but is deemed unlikely to support life because it is so close to its star.

TESS, which launched last April, created the light image over the course of 30 minutes on August 7, using four optical telescopes to photograph a small portion of the night sky. Its mission is slated to last two years and reports anticipate it could discover thousands of exoplanets.

This week in an unrelated project, researchers from the University of Florida spotted a planet circling a star named 40 Eriadni A (HD 26965). In the fictional universe of Star Trek, this star system is the home of the Vulcans like Mr. Spock. The exoplanet, officially called HD 26965b, has been nicknamed “Vulcan,” after this fictional planet.



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  • “NASA launches exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS” — Wikinews, April 21, 2018

Sources

  • Chelsea X. Huang (MIT), Jennifer Burt, Andrew Vanderburg, Maximilian N. Günther, Avi Shporer, Jason A. Dittmann, Joshua N. Winn, Rob Wittenmyer, Lizhou Sha, Stephen R. Kane, George R. Ricker, Roland Vanderspek, David W. Latham, Sara Seager, Jon Jenkins, Douglas A. Caldwell, Karen A. Collins, Natalia Guerrero, Jeffrey C. Smith, Sam Quinn, Stéphane Udry, Francesco Pepe, François Bouchy, Damien Sé gransan, Christophe Lovis, David Ehrenreich, Maxime Marmier, Michel Mayor, Bill Wohler, Kari Haworth, Edward Morgan, Michael Fausnaugh, David Charbonneau, Norio Narita, the TESS team. “TESS Discovery of a Transiting Super-Earth in the Π Mensae System” — arXiv, September 16, 2018
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September 19, 2018

Prayers

Filed under: Disputed,Pages with defaulting non-local links — admin @ 5:00 am

Prayers – Wikinews, the free news source

Prayers

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The people in North Carolina and those in South Carolina have a difficult road ahead of them. Floodwaters caused by Hurricane Florence had made it necessary that some people stay away from their homes as rivers continue to rise. Rebuilding damaged property will not be an easy task. Many roads remain closed, and thousands of people remain without power. The country mourns with the families of more than 30 people who lost their lives because of the storm. Many people across the country are praying for the communities who suffered during the last six days. A tweet by Mitchell Johnson reads, “I am viewing these images showing the damage caused by the storm and I just want everyone to know that I am so sorry this is happening. It is sad to think that there are all these families who will never get to eat another dinner or spend another day with their relative ever again.” Another post by Cody Posey states, “It is a sad day in the Carolinas, and my heart goes out to anyone affected by this disaster.”

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 18, 2018

Hurricane Florence results in mass flooding in North Carolina

Hurricane Florence results in mass flooding in North Carolina

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Weather
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Weather in Wilmington, NC, over the last several days. Data from the National Weather Service, United States.

Wind speed and pressure within the hurricane over several weeks in September. Data from the National Hurricane Center, NOAA, United States.

Florence 2018 track, colored by its category. The category of a hurricane is an indicator of its size or strength. Tracking data is from from the National Hurricane Center or the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Views of Hurricane Florence at Landfall, view from International Space Station. September 14.

On Tuesday, the remnants of Hurricane Florence brought heavy rain and gusts of 112 km per hour (70 miles/hour) to the US state of Massachusetts.

Florence originated from a tropical wave over Western Africa in late August. On September 1, the National Hurricane Center assigned the name Florence to the system. Over the next two weeks, favorable conditions allowed the system to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Last Friday, Florence entered the shore of North Carolina, United States. Several days since severe rainfall has occurred in the area. Flooding was ongoing with approximately 24 inches of water being accumulated in Wilmington, North Carolina, according to the official weather data. The hurricane has been responsible for at least 34 deaths in three states so far, with 25 deaths in North Carolina.

Tens of thousands of homes were damaged, with 900 thousand homes without power at the early stages of the hurricane.

Floodwaters were continuing to rise and fill more streets and homes through the area. Wilmington, a town with 120 thousand residents, was isolated by water, with only one road being intermittently available for food supply. Officials were giving away free food to the residents.

According to the official data provided by United States, in the Wilmington area, the rainfall reached a maximum of ten inches on Friday. The rainfall has receded, however, water continued to accumulate and reached 24 inches on Sunday. This figure has continued to be steady for another day til Monday. The hurricane was observed to have wind speed up to 200km/h, a figure that has decreased since the Friday as it hit the land and was unable to maintain its high speed. The landfall of the hurricane was also observed from the International Space Station on Friday.

Gallery[]

Officials and volunteers from other states have provided rescue services to the area, including road closures, rescue operations on helicopters and boats in the areas which were hit the most. As it can be clearly seen from the images, it was impossible to move in the area by car. An incident has been reported when a mother was driving and holding her young son, however, as she was unable to hold the grip, the son was swept away by the water flow and has died. Officials warned residents to stay away from flooded areas and to stay safe.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 11, 2018

Russians protest against pension reform

Russians protest against pension reform

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Russia
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Rally against raising the retirement age (2018-09-09; Saint Petersburg).
Image: VOA.

A member of the protest holds a sign saying “‍[This is] Pension default (not reform)! Impeachment to Putin! Fire Medvedev! Remove Gosduma!”.
Image: VOA.

On Sunday, reportedly over a thousand Russians were arrested for illegally protesting against government plans for pension age adjustment. The protest spanned several regions across the country. The plan would raise the retirement age an additional five years, with new age for men at 65, for women at 60.

According to monitoring data from media project OVD-Info, 1018 people were arrested, including 452 people in St Petersburg, 183 people in Yekaterinburg, 60 in Krasnodar, 43 each in Moscow and Omsk, 23 in Perm, 22 in Kazan, 20 in Tver, 17 in Ufa, 15 in Habarovsk, 13 each in Tomsk and Belgorod, 12 each in Chelyabinsk and Lipetsk, 10 in Novosibirsk, and some 80 in other cities.

Locations of the arrests.

In Moscow, the rally started at Pushkin Square at 2 p.m. local time and anti-riot police pushed people away. They marched toward the Kremlin. On their way, they again clashed with Police and did not complete the route.

The protests reportedly started in the Far East and Siberia first, followed by western regions of the country.

Regional elections were also on Sunday.

The pension adjustment plan has reportedly coincided with a significant drop in approval rating of Russian President Vladimir Putin.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 9, 2018

Boy Scouts of America to begin accepting girls, which raises issues with Girl Scouts

Boy Scouts of America to begin accepting girls, which raises issues with Girl Scouts

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United States
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Sunday, September 9, 2018

This week, the first official female Cub Scouts formed dens and commenced earning badges as part of the Boy Scouts of America.

In October of last year, the Boy Scouts of America announced that their board of directors had unanimously decided the century-old children’s organization would begin accepting girls as Cub Scouts and allow them to apply for and earn Eagle Scout status, a unanimous decision by their board of directors. This has raised questions about the future of an independent but related organization, the Girl Scouts.

A young man at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor in 2006. The Boy Scouts of America have announced they will begin allowing girls to earn this award starting in 2019.
Image: Tom Anderson.

The decision does not mean there will be mixed groups, called dens, of male and female Cub Scouts: “Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls,” the Scouts said in a statement, and it will be up to local scouting organizations to decide whether to establish girls’ dens. These dens can be combined with others to create larger groups, called packs.

The Boy Scouts already admit girls to some of their programs but this move would allow them to become full members of the organization, so long as they are young enough to become Cub Scouts. A new program, slated to begin in 2019, is designed to allow older girls earn the Eagle Scout Award, which is the Boy Scouts’ highest honor.

“I just want to do what the Boy Scouts do — earn the merit badges and earn the Eagle Award,” aspiring Eagle Scout Sydney Ireland told NBC News. “The Girl Scouts is a great organization, but it’s just not the program that I want to be part of. I think girls should just have the opportunity to be a member of any organization they want regardless of gender.” Ireland has been an unofficial member of her local Boy Scout den since she was four and authored a Change.org petition requesting that the organization admit girls.

The National Organization for Women approved of the decision but the Girl Scouts of America did not. Membership in both the Boy and Girl Scout organizations has dropped by millions since the early 2000s, and this measure may bolster membership in the Boy Scouts. The president of the Girl Scouts has accused the Boy Scouts of poaching girls in the past.

“We’ve had 105 years of supporting girls and a girl-only safe space,” Lisa Margosian, chief customer officer for the Girl Scouts, told the press. “So much of a girl’s life is a life where she is in a coed environment, and we have so much research and data that suggests that girls really thrive in an environment where they can experiment, take risk and stretch themselves in the company of other girls.” Margosian also said the Girls Scouts were “blindsided” by the Boy Scouts’ announcement.

“The problem with the Girl Scout curriculum is that it’s very focused on who your leader is for your particular troop,” said Rebecca Szetela, one mother of four from Michigan. “If you have a mom who’s really into crafts and girlie stuff and being a princess, then that’s what your Girl Scout troop is going to be like. If you have a daughter who’s more rough and tumble, it’s not going to be a good fit.”

Girl Scouts working on the Mission Ocean Challenge during the USS California Science Experience at Naval Surface Warfare Center in 2010.
Image: U.S. Navy photo by Greg Vojtko.

A 2011 study in the journal Gender and Society found the Boy Scouts were less likely to engage in artistic projects and the Girl Scouts less likely to engage in science, though the Girl Scouts have made attempts to foster science programs since then.

The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1910 and the Girl Scouts shortly later. The organizations also differ from each other with respect to politics and progressivism. “In some very fundamental ways the Boy Scouts was always backward-looking. It harkened back to a time when men were men, when they were apt in the woods, when they were muscular and strong,” says Arizona State University women’s studies professor Mary Logan Rothschild. “[With Girl Scouts] all the things they were doing were not backward-looking, but forward-looking. These were new things for girls: to be adept at making fires, marching, and doing all these outdoor things. […] It’s my profound belief, based on academic research, that they really have fundamentally different visions.”

Earlier in 2017, the Boy Scouts announced they would accept trans boys as members. In 2013 and 2015, it lifted its ban on openly gay members and leaders, respectively, after years of public debate. The organization still bars entry to atheists and agnostics, and about 70% of Boy Scout organizations are affiliated with religious groups of some kind. In 2015, a Washington State Girl Scout troop returned a $100,000 donation because the donor had stipulated it could not be used to support trans girls.

“The Girl Scouts see it as a threat to their territory and the Boy Scouts are saying ‘we are offering another option,'” New York Times reporter Niraj Chokshi told NBC News. “Depending on how it plays out, we will see how targeted it was at the Girl Scouts.”



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Three soldiers die in clashes in Plateau, Nigeria

Three soldiers die in clashes in Plateau, Nigeria

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Nigeria
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Sunday, September 9, 2018

In the Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau State, Nigeria, three military people died on Saturday. These people belonged to a military group from the government which had allegedly “locked down” the region as a response to a conflict between herders and farmers, who had been causing a number of violent attacks on civilians in this area previously.

The commander of the military group, Augustine Agundu, announced the deaths to journalists on Saturday at Jos, the capital of Plateau State. The locals possessed an excessively large number of arms, he remarked; “The worst of it is that the proliferation of arms in Plateau is out of magnitude. I have locked down Barkin-ladi, this act will never repeat itself. We have made efforts to reconcile the warring factions but they have remained adamant.”

The military burned 200 houses without permission, Nigerian newspaper Premium Times reported. They attributed this claim to local residents, and the state secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.

The Nigerian government called the military operation Operation Safe Haven (OPSH).

Last week on Tuesday and Thursday five miners and two people were killed at Gana-Ropp village and at Nding village, respectively, Plateau State police command said on Thursday. In late August following a religious peacemaking summit, locals burned a church in Barkin Ladi and its pastor and his family.

Other regions of Plateau State affected by the conflicts between farmers and herders included Ryiom and Bassa local government areas.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 8, 2018

US rapper Mac Miller dies at home Los Angeles

US rapper Mac Miller dies at home Los Angeles

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United States
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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Mac Miller in 2017.
Image: Nicolas Völcker.

On Friday, rapper Mac Miller was found dead in his bedroom at home in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California, United States, according to reports. He was 26.

According to news website TMZ, a friend called emergency services from Mac Miller’s apartment, in regard to a cardiac arrest. According to the coroner, Mac Miller was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigation was ongoing to identify the cause of the death.

Reports said Mac Miller previously abused drugs, which reportedly affected his two-year relationship with singer Ariana Grande. They broke up in May this year.

Mac Miller was an US rapper, singer and record producer. He was born Malcolm James McCormick in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US in 1992. In 2007, at the age of fifteen, he released his first mixtape under the nickname “EZ Mac”. He later switched to name “Mac Miller”.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 5, 2018

First year of female Cub Scouts for Boy Scouts of America begins

First year of female Cub Scouts for Boy Scouts of America begins

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United States
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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

This week, as the new school year begins, girls across the United States, including over 100 girls in western Washington State alone registered to become Cub Scouts, form dens and begin their activities as part of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Last year, the Boy Scouts decided to admit girls to their organization in response to a poll of Cub-Scout-aged girls and to a multi-year trend of decreasing enrollment in Scouting.

“I wanted to be a scout because I wanted to do everything my brother did,” said 7-year-old Marlee Perez.

“She’s growing up and she’s getting these skills she probably wouldn’t get anywhere else. It’s just amazing to watch her grow and smile and have a good time and make friendships, some friendships for life,” said Marlee’s father, Lee Perez. “I look at it is this way, what part of the scout oath, scout law can any youth not learn from, whether it be a boy or a girl, you talk about scout oath scout law, you talk about being reverend, being kind obedient, cheerful, being kind, those are great things that even our young ladies can learn.”

Last year, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) polled girls aged 6 to 10 and 87% of these respondents expressed interest in joining the Boy Scouts. “Families with both boys and girls want something where they can participate as an entire family,” says Brian Falin, senior district executive of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) Sequoyah Council. “Families want their daughters to be able to earn BSA rank awards, even to the Eagle Scout level.” The Boy Scouts have a history of including girls in some of their events, but only official members are eligible to earn badges or awards.

In October of last year, the Boy Scouts of America announced that their board of directors had unanimously decided the century-old children’s organization would begin accepting girls as Cub Scouts and allow them to apply for and earn Eagle Scout status. This has raised questions about the future of an independent but related organization, the Girl Scouts.

A young man at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor in 2006. The Boy Scouts of America have announced they will begin allowing girls to earn this award starting in 2019.
Image: Tom Anderson.

The decision does not mean there will be mixed groups, called dens, of male and female Cub Scouts: “Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls,” the Scouts said in a statement, and it will be up to local scouting organizations to decide whether to establish girls’ dens. These dens can be combined with others to create larger groups, called packs.

The Boy Scouts already admit girls to some of their programs but this move would allow them to become full members of the organization, so long as they are young enough to become Cub Scouts. A new program, slated to begin in 2019, is designed to allow older girls earn the Eagle Scout Award, which is the Boy Scouts’ highest honor.

“I just want to do what the Boy Scouts do — earn the merit badges and earn the Eagle Award,” aspiring Eagle Scout Sydney Ireland told NBC News. “The Girl Scouts is a great organization, but it’s just not the program that I want to be part of. I think girls should just have the opportunity to be a member of any organization they want regardless of gender.” Ireland has been an unofficial member of her local Boy Scout den since she was four and authored a Change.org petition requesting that the organization admit girls.

The National Organization for Women approved of the decision but the Girl Scouts of America did not. Membership in both the Boy and Girl Scout organizations has dropped by millions since the early 2000s, and this measure may bolster membership in the Boy Scouts. The president of the Girl Scouts has accused the Boy Scouts of poaching girls in the past.

“We’ve had 105 years of supporting girls and a girl-only safe space,” Lisa Margosian, chief customer officer for the Girl Scouts, told the press. “So much of a girl’s life is a life where she is in a coed environment, and we have so much research and data that suggests that girls really thrive in an environment where they can experiment, take risk and stretch themselves in the company of other girls.” Margosian also said the Girls Scouts were “blindsided” by the Boy Scouts’ announcement.

“The problem with the Girl Scout curriculum is that it’s very focused on who your leader is for your particular troop,” said Rebecca Szetela, one mother of four from Michigan. “If you have a mom who’s really into crafts and girlie stuff and being a princess, then that’s what your Girl Scout troop is going to be like. If you have a daughter who’s more rough and tumble, it’s not going to be a good fit.”

Girl Scouts working on the Mission Ocean Challenge during the USS California Science Experience at Naval Surface Warfare Center in 2010.
Image: U.S. Navy photo by Greg Vojtko.

A 2011 study in the journal Gender and Society found the Boy Scouts were less likely to engage in artistic projects and the Girl Scouts less likely to engage in science, though the Girl Scouts have made attempts to foster science programs since then.

“I wanted to join Cub Scouts because they didn’t do the same things as Girl Scouts. I wanted to do more camping and stuff like that,” said Remi Stewart, age 8, who told the press this week she plans to participate in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts this year.

The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1910 and the Girl Scouts shortly later. The organizations also differ from each other with respect to politics and progressivism. “In some very fundamental ways the Boy Scouts was always backward-looking. It harkened back to a time when men were men, when they were apt in the woods, when they were muscular and strong,” says Arizona State University women’s studies professor Mary Logan Rothschild. “[With Girl Scouts] all the things they were doing were not backward-looking, but forward-looking. These were new things for girls: to be adept at making fires, marching, and doing all these outdoor things. […] It’s my profound belief, based on academic research, that they really have fundamentally different visions.”

Earlier in 2017, the Boy Scouts announced they would accept trans boys as members. In 2013 and 2015, it lifted its ban on openly gay members and leaders, respectively, after years of public debate. The organization still bars entry to atheists and agnostics, and about 70% of Boy Scout organizations are affiliated with religious groups of some kind. In 2015, a Washington State Girl Scout troop returned a $100,000 donation because the donor had stipulated it could not be used to support trans girls.

“The Girl Scouts see it as a threat to their territory and the Boy Scouts are saying ‘we are offering another option,'” New York Times reporter Niraj Chokshi told NBC News. “Depending on how it plays out, we will see how targeted it was at the Girl Scouts.”



Sources[]

External links[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Police Captain’s son gets 20 year prison sentence for terrorist plot

Police Captain’s son gets 20 year prison sentence for terrorist plot

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Crime and law
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Alexander Ciccolo, the son of a police captain for the US city of Boston, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in federal court on Wednesday. Ciccolo’s father, Robert Ciccolo, reportedly tipped off the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to his son’s probable intentions, an action mentioned by the U.S. Attorney during the trial. In 2017, Ciccolo’s mother, Shelley MacInnes, said in a radio interview her son is “very compassionate” and “would not hurt a fly.”

File photo of a federal prison building in Seagoville, Texas

As early as Monday, local news sources were predicting Ciccolo would receive a twenty year prison sentence. Ciccolo formally plead guilty in May to to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, one count of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction, assaulting a nurse in jail, and various other offenses. Reports indicate he told an undercover investigator he planned to detonate pressure cooker bombs in college cafeterias, among other places.

Ciccolo’s attorneys say he dealt with mental health and substance abuse problems, had poorly thought out plans and no real ability to carry out an attack. Law enforcement, however, described him as an Islamic-State loyalist. Ciccolo was originally arrested in 2015. During their investigation, FBI personnel observed Ciccolo purchase a pressure cooker from a WalMart store. An undercover agent gave him four guns that authorities state he had requested. After his arrest, investigators found four partially finished Molotov cocktails. The devices were filled with styrofoam and oil.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 4, 2018

Creativity celebrated at Fan Expo Canada 2018 in Toronto

Creativity celebrated at Fan Expo Canada 2018 in Toronto

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fan Expo Canada ran in Toronto last weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, spread over both multi-storey buildings at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The event is one of North America’s largest pop culture events, with panels, product unveilings, screenings, an artists’ alley, and celebrity autographs.

Featured programming included reunions of cast members from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Back to the Future, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Degrassi: The Next Generation. Other cast panels included Star Trek Discovery, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Grand Theft Auto. Attendees could have their portfolios reviewed by staff from Marvel and DC Comics, speed date others of the same sexuality, or try a Doctor Who escape room.

The end-of-summer event is one of three held in Toronto by convention firm Informa, a list that also includes the springtime Toronto Comic Con.

Wikinews was there, and captured some of the cosplay creativity and booths full of products new and old.



Related news

  • Toronto Comicon celebrates characters from screen and page — Wikinews, March 28, 2018
  • Tim Curry, TV premiere screenings, cosplay feature at Fan Expo Canada — Wikinews, September 6, 2017

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