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September 11, 2018

Russians protest against pension reform

Russians protest against pension reform

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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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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”.



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September 5, 2018

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.



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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
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September 2, 2018

Final service for US Senator and Vietnam War veteran John McCain as he is buried at the United States Naval Academy

Final service for US Senator and Vietnam War veteran John McCain as he is buried at the United States Naval Academy

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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Obituaries
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  • 9 September 2018: US rapper Mac Miller dies at home in Los Angeles
  • 18 August 2018: Singer Aretha Franklin, ‘queen of soul’, dies aged 76
  • 20 July 2018: Hindi poet and songwriter Gopal Das Neeraj dies, aged 93
  • 23 April 2018: 28-year-old Swedish electronic dance music artist Avicii dies in Oman
  • 28 March 2018: K-pop band 100%’s lead singer Seo Minwoo dies
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Senator John Sydney McCain III of Arizona

Sunday, the United States (US) Republican Senator from Arizona and Vietnam War veteran John Sydney McCain III, age 81, was buried at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. McCain died on the evening of August 25 at his Sedona, Arizona ranch from complications associated with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Ending a week of services, viewings, and speeches, McCain’s body was laid to rest next to his Naval Academy friend Admiral Charles Larson. The motorcade with police escort had streets lined with people saluting and waving American flags. An honor guard would remove the casket to be placed on a horse drawn carriage and offloaded at the burial site. A private service was held at 14:00 EST (1800 UTC) to 16:00 EST (2000 UTC) which concluded with a flyover in the missing man formation.

McCain is remembered by his service to the US during the Vietnam War where he was shot down over Hanoi, North Vietnam being rescued by local fishermen. When offered repatriation due to his father becoming the commander of all US forces in Vietnam, he refused to leave the Hỏa Lò Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton,” suffering pervasive torture unless earlier prisoners of war were repatriated. In all, he was detained for 5 1/2 years. Stateside, he would enter the world of US politics as Congressmen from the Arizona 1st district. When the Republican Senator from Arizona Barry Goldwater vacated his seat in the US Senate, McCain was elected to his seat, which he filled for the next 3 decades, overseeing the military as a ranking member of the politically powerful Senate Armed Services Committee. With McCain’s extensive public service, his death garnered several services that were carried out over the last week.

Starting last Sunday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey lowered all flags at half-mast and announced McCain and would lie in state under the copper rotunda at the Arizona Capitol Building Wednesday in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Also Governor Ducey’s office confirmed through a senior adviser Daniel Ruiz, II, the Constitutional power for appointing McCain’s successor will take place after McCain’s funeral and this person will serve until the 2022 election cycle. The official statement produced by Ruiz reads, “Out of respect for the life and legacy of Senator John McCain and his family, Governor Ducey will not be making any announcements about an appointment until after the Senator is laid to rest … Now is a time for remembering and honoring a consequential life well lived.”

A small service was held around 10:00 a.m. MST (1600 UTC) Wednesday when McCain’s casket arrived at the Arizona Capitol Building. Opening the service was Arizona Governor Doug Ducey with a eulogy, with remarks from former Republican Senator from Arizona Jon Kyle, and the benediction from the Republican Senator from Arizona Jeff Flake. Following the service, the public was allowed into the rotunda with an estimated 12-15 thousand individuals by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

His last ceremony in Arizona took place Thursday at the North Phoenix Baptist Church which featured McCain’s former Chief of Staff John Woods, National Football League wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, and former Vice President Joe Biden. Leaving the church, a personal musical selection by McCain of Frank Sinatra song, “My Way” played. A police escort would take him and his family to Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. Greeting him on the tarmac was the entire Arizona National Guard with Air Force Two, a smaller modified Boeing 757 then the Air Force One Boeing 747 used to fly the president. Air Force Two would land in Washington, DC at Joint Base Andrews with an honor guard ready to receive his casket.

Friday, McCain came to the US Capitol Building for the last time, honored by lying in state under the rotunda on the catafalque originally built for assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. This honor has only been extended to 31 individuals over the past 166 years. As the honor guard removed the casket from the hearse and began climbing the stairs it began to rain. After the ceremony for Congress, the public was allowed to view his casket for the remainder of the day.

Saturday, a service was held at that National Cathedral also in Washington, DC. where former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were personally asked by McCain to give eulogies when they visited him as he recovered from chemotherapy and radiation treatments at his ranch. Absent from the National Cathedral was the current President Donald Trump after tensions with McCain and the McCain family resulted in Trump not being invited. Instead, invitations were extended to Vice President Mike Pence other administration officials including Chief of Staff and retired General John Kelly.

Throughout the week, no speech referenced Trump by name. However Meghan McCain‘s eulogy at the National Cathedral stated, “We gather to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice, those that live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served,” subtly comparing McCain’s war record to Trump’s multiple medical deferments.

Trump would spend the time when the service was taking place at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. During his public appearances this week, he remained silent on McCain’s death with only a single Twitter post directly following McCain’s death, “Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy to the McCain Family. Thank you Senator McCain for your service to the nation.” First Lady Melania Trump also reached out through Twitter with, “Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy to the McCain Family. Thank you Senator McCain for your service to the nation.” Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner attended the National Cathedral service as an invitation extended by Republican Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham.

Trump ordered the flags at half-mast, a showing of national mourning, the Saturday evening when McCain died, with the flag being placed back at full-mast two days later. Trump defended his actions with, “I’ve done everything that they requested and no, I don’t think I have at all.” After quick bipartisan criticism the flag was returned to half-mast until Sunday’s final burial.

USS John S. McCain (DDG-56)
Image: Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Todd Frantom.

A number of honorary measures have been purposed and adopted throughout the federal, state, and city levels. Navy officials, prior to his death, added his name to the Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer USS John McCain originally named for his grandfather and father, both Navy Admirals. Congressional colleagues also entitled the 2019 fiscal year military sending bill, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act. Legislation was also submitted by the Democratic Senator from New York Chuck Schumer to renaming the Russell Senate Office Building dedicated to the late Democratic Senator from Georgia Richard Russell, Jr. Russell was a segregationist and civil rights opponent, but some in Congress have reservations on the renaming like the Republican Senator from Georgia David Perdue stating, “He did so many other things. He was a big supporter of the Great Society, the War on Poverty. Now, we all know those things failed, but he was a big champion of them.” The legislation will be taken up when Congress reopens after Labor Day.



Sister Sites[]

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg John McCain
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Cindy McCain
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Megan McCain

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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 1, 2018

Creativity celebrated at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto

Creativity celebrated at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto

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Saturday, September 1, 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 Informa, a list that also includes the springtime Tornto 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

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.

August 31, 2018

US Senator John McCain lies in state at Arizona Capitol

US Senator John McCain lies in state at Arizona Capitol

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United States
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  • 6 June 2018: Microsoft announces plan to acquire GitHub for US$7.5 billion
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Friday, August 31, 2018

On Wednesday, deceased Vietnam War veteran and Republican United States Senator from Arizona John Sidney McCain III arrived at the Arizona State Capitol, transported via police-escorted hearse, where his remains lay in state. The senator’s remains were later transported to Washington, D.C., ahead of further services planned there for today.

McCain died Saturday evening from complications associated with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, diagnosed 13 months ago after a biopsy on a blood clot which formed above his left eye.

Before the public viewing, a small service was held under the Arizona State Capitol’s copper rotunda with the McCain family, former and present governors of Arizona, Arizona state legislators, and past and current Arizona Congressional delegation. Beginning at approximately 10:00 local time, current Arizona Governor Doug Ducey gave the eulogy, with remarks from former Republican Senator from Arizona Jon Kyle. Republican Senator from Arizona Jeff Flake delivered the benediction. Other public figures included his daughter Meghan McCain, former Vice President Joe Biden and Arizona Cardinals football receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Jr.

The Arizona State Capitol started allowing the public view around 14:00 local time, with the Arizona Department of Public Safety reporting 7,500 people standing for hours in 104°F.



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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.

August 28, 2018

US Attorney indicts thirteen for using false documents to secure jobs

US Attorney indicts thirteen for using false documents to secure jobs

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Thirteen people were indicted in federal court this week for allegedly using false documents to obtain employment in the US. Eleven of the individuals are Guatemalan citizens and the other two are citizens of Mexico, according to news sources. The individuals were initially arrested when federal ICE agents raided Fresh Mark meat packing plant in Ohio in June. That raid initially resulted in 146 individuals being detained. Fresh Mark provided the following statement to local press:

Official ICE logo.

“Fresh Mark is fully cooperating with authorities on this matter.Fresh Mark’s policy and practice is to validate the employment authorization and identity of all workers who join the company, for each of whom we complete an I-9 and confirm the documentation through E-Verify.Fresh Mark has also been a member of the voluntary IMAGE program (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) since 2012. This program between the US Government and private employers ensures a lawful workforce.”

Earlier this week, members of the US agency, ICE raided a vehicle trailer manufacturing plant located near the city of Paris, Texas. That company, Load Trail, is suspected of illegally employing undocumented foreign immigrants. The company reportedly paid a $445,000 fine in 2014 for hiring over 170 undocumented immigrants to work in its plant, according to an ICE report. More than 300 agents and staff took part in the raid.


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August 25, 2018

Fossil genome shows hybrid of two extinct species of human

Fossil genome shows hybrid of two extinct species of human

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Biology
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A team of scientists has announced remains of a human girl from about 50 thousand years ago had one Neanderthal parent and one Denisovan parent, two different species of humans, both species now extinct. The results, from genomic tests in Leipzig, Germany of fossil bone from Siberia, Russia, were published on Wednesday in scientific journal Nature. The researchers said this is the first discovery of a child with parents of different human species.

The single fossilized bone fragment, about two centimetres (less than an inch) long, which researchers said was from a girl at least 13 years old, was found in 2012 in the Denisova Cave in Siberia. The Denisovan species of humans is only directly known from the same cave, where it was discovered in 2011; the cave is also the only site where both Nenderthal and Denisovan remains have been found. Neanderthals have been found in Europe and Asia. Traces of genes from both species occur in some modern humans. Researchers found the nuclear DNA in this bone fragment was split fairly evenly between both species, while the mitochondrial DNA was Neanderthal; nuclear DNA comes from both parents, while mitochondrial DNA comes only from the mother, so they concluded the girl’s mother was Neanderthal and her father Denisovan.

Lead author on the study Viviane Slon, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig, said “We knew from previous studies that Neanderthals and Denisovans must have occasionally had children together […] But I never thought we would be so lucky as to find an actual offspring of the two groups.” The team rechecked the findings several times. Scientist Johannes Krause, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, called the finding “sensational”. Study coauthor Svante Pääbo, of MPI-EVA, remarked on the improbability of discovering such a hybrid when only two dozen human genomes over 40 thousand years old —when the other species of humans were still around— have been done: “The fact that we stumbled across this makes you wonder if the mixing wasn’t quite frequent […] Had it happened frequently, we would not have such divergence between the Denisovans and Neanderthal genomes.”

The researchers also noted the girl’s father, though Denisovan, had a trace of Neanderthal DNA, from perhaps as much as several hundred generations earlier. They also reported the mother’s DNA was not closely related to that of other Neanderthals found in the cave, suggesting multiple migrations of Neanderthals between Siberia and Europe.



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  • Viviane Slon, Fabrizio Mafessoni, Benjamin Vernot, Cesare de Filippo, Steffi Grote, Bence Viola, Mateja Hajdinjak, Stéphane Peyrégne, Sarah Nagel, Samantha Brown, Katerina Douka, Tom Higham, Maxim B. Kozlikin, Michael V. Shunkov, Anatoly P. Derevianko, Janet Kelso, Matthias Meyer, Kay Prüfer, Svante Pääbo. “The genome of the offspring of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father” — Nature (journal), August 22, 2018
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August 9, 2018

Real Madrid agrees with Chelsea FC to sign goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois

Real Madrid agrees with Chelsea FC to sign goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Football
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Yesterday, English football club Chelsea FC announced reaching an agreement with Spanish-capital club Real Madrid to transfer Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Madrid. Real Mardid via their official website said Courtois “has signed for the club for the next six seasons.”

26-year-old Courtois has been Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper for the last four seasons. He joined The Blues in 2011 from Belgian club K.R.C. Genk. In the last four seasons at Chelsea, Courtois won Premier League titles in 2014–15 and 2016–17, an EFL Cup in 2014–15, and the FA Cup in the last season. In his 2016–17 season for Chelsea, the Belgian kept sixteen clean-sheets in league matches.

Just after joining Chelsea in 2011, Courtois was loaned to Real Madrid’s cross-town rivals Atlético Madrid. During this previous spell in Spain, Courtois won one each of the Spanish LaLiga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Super Cup. Courtois won the Adidas Golden Glove in this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, winning the third-place medal with Belgium.

According to report by ESPN, Real Madrid had to pay about £35 million for the transfer. At the same time, Real Madrid’s midfielder Mateo Kovačić is loaned to Chelsea for the next season. In Real Madrid’s official announcement, they said Courtois is to be presented at Santiago Bernabeu today at 1 pm after his medical examination.



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  • “France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup” — Wikinews, July 16, 2018

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