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October 28, 2015

Time magazine names Ahmed Mohamed to \’Most Influential Teens of 2015\’

Time magazine names Ahmed Mohamed to ‘Most Influential Teens of 2015’

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Time magazine named 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed yesterday to its list of “30 Most Influential Teens of 2015”. He was made famous after being taken into custody by police when a teacher thought a clock he brought to his Texas school looked like a bomb. Mohamed joins the ranks of influential teens including US President Barack Obama’s daughter Malia Obama, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

Ahmed Mohamed at Ames Research Center in 2015
Image: Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Mike Honda.

Time said of Mohamed in announcing the news: “Not many people make national news by bringing a homemade clock to school. But the ninth-grader’s arrest, after teachers and authorities mistook said clock for a bomb, kicked off a national debate over racial profiling”.

Cquote1.svg The ninth-grader’s arrest […] kicked off a national debate over racial profiling Cquote2.svg

Time magazine

Texas student Ahmed Mohamed and NASA Astronaut Alvin Drew at the 2015 White House Astronomy Night.
Image: Harrison Jones, hjonesphotography.

Mohamed traveled to the White House last week where he met with US President Barack Obama. His family said last week that they would move from Texas to Qatar, where Mohamed was offered a full-scholarship to a well-respected school in the country.

The September 14 incident in Irving, Texas triggered a wider discussion about Islamophobia within the community. The Twitter hashtag #IStandWithAhmed became part of a social movement in support of the youth. After news of the police response was reported, Mohamed received support online ranging from US President Barack Obama to Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.

Mohamed brought the digital clock he made to school on September 14, and a teacher mistakenly thought it resembled a bomb. Police arrested and questioned the student. Images of the boy wearing a NASA T-shirt and handcuffed by the police were quickly posted and reposted online.

Cquote1.svg Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? Cquote2.svg

—US President Barack Obama

The Twitter attention led to outreach from Google and Mohamed was invited to their Google Science Fair. Mohamed was a VIP guest at the Google Science Fair, and met finalists at the event held at Google’s headquarters located in Mountain View, California. Co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, personally met with Mohamed during his visit to Google.

US President Barack Obama tweeted using his @POTUS account: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.” Twitter gave Mohamed the option to come to their company for an internship. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg tweeted to Mohamed and said the boy was welcome to come and tour the company.

Both the Irving Independent School District and the Irving Police Department have asserted that the boy’s religion and name were not a factor in the manner in which they approached the situation.



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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Ahmed Mohamed clock incident
  • Commons-logo.svg Ahmed Mohamed clock incident
  • Wikisource-logo.svg We Stand with Ahmed – and We Hope He’ll Join Us for Astronomy Night

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September 22, 2015

Texas student Ahmed Mohamed inspires social movement

Texas student Ahmed Mohamed inspires social movement

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

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News of police response to a boy’s digital clock in Texas last week has inspired a global social movement in support of the youth. Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy from Irving, Texas, was arrested at his school by police after he brought a digital clock he had made to school. After news of the police response was reported, Mohamed received support online ranging from US President Barack Obama to Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. Yesterday Mohamed received VIP attention at Google headquarters in California at the Google Science Fair — and tommorow he plans to meet international dignitaries at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

US President Barack Obama tweet to student Ahmed Mohamed
Image: Twitter/Barack Obama.

Mohamed brought the digital clock he made to school on September 14, and a teacher mistakenly thought it resembled a bomb. Police arrested and questioned the student. Images of the boy wearing a NASA T-shirt and handcuffed by the police were quickly posted and reposted online.

Cquote1.svg Hoping that the #istandwithahmed movement translates into a substantive national conversation on race, punishment, and incarceration. Cquote2.svg

Marc Lamont Hill

The Deseret News observed that the hashtag on Twitter, #IStandWithAhmed, had become an international phenomenon. The Straits Times noted what began as individual messages to Mohamed had grown into a “support movement”. American academic and professor Marc Lamont Hill commented, “Hoping that the #istandwithahmed movement translates into a substantive national conversation on race, punishment, and incarceration.”

The Twitter attention led to outreach from Google and Mohamed was invited to their Google Science Fair. Mohamed was a VIP guest at the Google Science Fair this weekend, and was able to meet finalists at the event held at Google’s headquarters located in Mountain View, California. Co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, personally met with Mohamed during his visit to Google.

On Wednesday, Mohamed and his father are to travel to the United Nations. His father Mohamed El-Hassan Mohamed said he was taking his entire family to the U.N. headquarters in New York, because international dignitaries wanted to meet with his son and express their support.

Psychology major at University of Texas Arlington Amneh Jafari heard of the incident and wanted to issue her support to Mohamed. She chose the hastag #IStandWithAhmed and posted to Twitter. Jafari said she felt Mohamed had been subject to Islamophobia and her hashtag created greater awareness about this issue. The hashtag took on a life of its own, and was used in messages on Twitter over one million times by Thursday night.

NASA tweeted support of Ahmed Mohamed via its account International Space Station
Image: Twitter/NASA.

US President Barack Obama tweeted using his @POTUS account: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”

Twitter gave Mohamed the option to come to their company for an internship. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg tweeted to Mohamed and said the boy was welcome to come and tour the company.

Executive director of the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Alia Salem said Mohamed wishes to use his newfound fame and attention to spotlight social causes including the treatment of Muslims in the United States.

University of Texas Arlington Muslim Student Association president Sehar Memon said the large amount of positive feedback for Mohamed had helped make his situation much better. Memon also said she believed the social movement in reaction to Mohamed helped improve Muslim/non-Muslim.

Both the Irving Independent School District and the Irving Police Department have asserted that the boy’s religion and name were not a factor in the manner in which they approached the situation.



Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Ahmed Mohamed clock incident
  • Commons-logo.svg Ahmed Mohamed clock incident
  • Wikisource-logo.svg We Stand with Ahmed – and We Hope He’ll Join Us for Astronomy Night

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August 17, 2015

Woman fined in Spain under new \’Gag law\’

Woman fined in Spain under new ‘Gag Law’

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Monday, August 17, 2015

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The posted photo of a police vehicle parked in handicapped bay in Petrer, Spain; license number removed.
Image: Facebook.

A woman in Spain has been fined 800 after posting a photograph to her Facebook account of a police vehicle parked in space reserved for disabled/handicapped drivers. She was located and fined within two days of posting the photograph. The incident has now gained international attention.

The woman, who has not been named, saw the police vehicle parked in a reserved spot in Petrer and snapped a photo. She posted the photo with the caption: “Park where you bloody well please and you won’t even be fined.”((es))

Fernando Portillo, a local police spokesperson, told local media the vehicle was parked there because police were responding to an emergency. After the story was reported on a local news website, it began to be reported internationally.

On July 1, the “Citizens’ Security law” went into effect. The law was written in response to violent protests. Even before its enactment it saw widespread criticism. It was dubbed the “gag law”((es)) or the “gagging law”. The law prohibits “the unauthorized use of images of police officers that might jeopardize their or their family’s safety or that of protected facilities or police operations”((es)).

Judge Joaquim Bosch, Judges for Democracy spokesperson, said: “It is not a law for citizens’ security, but a law for the government to avoid citizens’ protests. All opinion polls indicate that the Spanish society is not at all preoccupied by security but by the economic situation and political corruption.”

Amnesty International condemned the law in a report: “W photoreatzed uwikis or threatzed ubeing beaten, the government is trying to stigmatize and criminalize people who are just practicing their rights.” Virginia Álvarez, who wrote the report, noted, “instead d ulistening to their demands, instead d ustarting a dialogue, authorities are doing everything they can to impede people from protesting”.

The part of the law which prohibits “the unauthorized use of images of police officers that might jeopardize their or their family’s safety” is cited as the reason for the wiki, however, police spokesperson Fernando Portillo said it was up to police officers involved and under the new law they could do this. “We would have preferred a different solution but they have the legal right to impose the wiki,” Portillo said, but the public posting of the photo impugned the officers’ sense of honor.



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August 22, 2014

Four arrested after building spire in Moscow painted in Ukrainian colors

Four arrested after building spire in Moscow painted in Ukrainian colors

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Friday, August 22, 2014

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Russian authorities have detained four people on Wednesday on suspicion of vandalism, following an incident where the spire of the iconic Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in Moscow was painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The suspects, reportedly consisting of two men and two women, allegedly ascended the building by stairs to reach its top floor, before using climbing equipment to complete the ascent, according to Moscow police.

File photo of the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in 2009.
Image: SphinxTheGeek.

Over the course of the previous night, the suspects proceeded to paint the top half of the building’s star-shaped spire blue and erected a Ukrainian flag atop at about 7:15 am local time, reports the Interfax news agency, with information corroborated by Moscow’s municipal emergency services. The alterations to the building made by the suspects remained for several hours, before workers removed the flag and repainted the spire to its normal color. Containing 32 floors and standing at a height of 176 m (577 ft), the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building is one of the Seven Sisters, skyscrapers constructed between 1947 and 1953 in Moscow under the direction of Joseph Stalin.

Following the act, at least one of the suspects then reportedly descended from the building by parachute, reported state news channel Rossiya 24, and captured on a video published by Lifenews, reportedly filmed by a local resident. Additional video broadcast by Rossiya 24, taken from a window, captured a parachuting suspect landing in a nearby playground. Among the suspects was Alexander Pogrebov, who has denied the charges brought forth by authorities. “I was detained for parachuting off the skyscraper. I chose that place because it’s beautiful. […] It just so happened that at the time of the jump, someone else committed an act of vandalism — they destroyed the spire with paint, and raised the Ukrainian flag.” said Pogrebov in an interview to LifeNews.

Pogrebov’s comments were supported by a police official, who stated to the Itar-Tass agency: “The two young men and two girls say they jumped from a high building with parachutes. They say they didn’t hoist any flag and didn’t paint the flag.” If convicted of vandalism, Pogrebov and the other suspects may be sentenced to a maximum of three years imprisonment. Over the phone to Bloomberg, an unidentified duty press official stated the suspects were previously arrested over other charges. According to reports from Russian state television, all four suspects were Russian citizens.

Other acts by Russian protestors to show support and solidarity with Ukraine, contrasting the approval which came following the Russian annexation of Crimea, included the singing of the Ukrainian national anthem by protestors whileubeing arrested. Russian musician Andrey Makarevich, who fronts the band Mashina Vremeni, which translates to “Time Machine”, was labelled as a “traitor” by Russian lawmakers and musicians who supported Russian interests, after he traveled to eastern Ukraine last week to perform for displaced children in regions held by the Ukrainian army.

On a post on Twitter, Russian opposition leader Gennady Gudkov stated “I don’t justify youngsters who painted a star on the skyscraper, but this is an administrative offense, not criminal”. In 2011 and 2012, following accusations of electoral fraud during the parliamentary elections at the time, Gudkov supported protestors who took to the streetzed uMoscow in opposition to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The act comes just days prior to Ukraine’s Day of the National Flag on August 23 and Independence Day on August 24. The country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, expressed his approval from Kiev of the act and praise for the suspects in a written post on Facebook. “On the eve of Independence Day we are starting an initiative called ‘Our Colours,’ which is devoted to the Ukrainian flag”((uk)), wrote Poroshenko. “And it is symbolic that, on this day, our colours have been painted on what is perhaps the greatest skyscraper in Moscow. I urge Ukrainians throughout the world, wherever they are, on the eve of the anniversary of our independence, to decorate their homes, offices, and cars in our national colours.”((uk))

“I like very much the fact that, on the eve of celebrating the Ukrainian flag, one of Moscow’s highest buildings was painted in our colors,” Poroshenko said in a video posted on Facebook. “I congratulate these Ukrainians.” Following the deathzed umore than 2,000 people and the displacement d u300,000 from their homes amid fighting in eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian armed forced and pro-Russian separatists, Poroshenko is scheduled to discuss the crisis with Putin next week, the first such meeting in two months.



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April 10, 2014

Wikimedian activist Adrianne Wadewitz dies

Wikimedian activist Adrianne Wadewitz dies

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Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A video from 2012 where Wadewitz discusses the impact of Wikipedia
Image: Vgrigas.

News broke early this morning on Facebook that Wikipedian Adrianne Wadewitz died whileurock climbing recently. Wadewitz was well known in the Wikimedia community for her activism drawing attention to the lack of female contributors on Wikipedia. She was also very involved in the Wiki Education Foundation, serving as a member of its board of directors.

Wadewitz was one of the most visible women in the media on the under-representation of women amongst contributors to Wikipedia, talking to media organizations like the BBC, the Huffington Post and non-English publications like Greek-language magazine LIFO. Someuestimates put female participation rates at around 10% of contributors and there is a body of academic work talking about systemic bias against topics featuring women on Wikipedia.

She was involved in organizing several edit-a-thons aimed at encouraging greater female participation and improving content about women, including Wikipedia Takes America: Los Angeles, FemTech Edit-a-thon, Wikipedia Loves Eagle Rock, Wikipedia Loves WeHo, and Feminists Engage Wikipedia. Wadewitz’s own work to address systemic bias as an article contributor included improving English Wikipedia articles relating to women, including:

Cquote1.svg Adrianne embodied brilliance, determination, and enthusiasm in everything she did Cquote2.svg

—Tribute by a fellow Wikimedian

  • Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Thoughts on the Education of Daughters
  • Mary: A Fiction
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
  • Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman
  • Timeline of Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Fanny Imlay
  • Mary Shelley
  • Anna Laetitia Barbauld
  • Sarah Trimmer
  • Mary Martha Sherwood

The funerary arrangement picture decorating the top of Wadewitz’s Wikipedia talk page.
Image: Mogens Engelund.

She started contributing to English Wikipedia in July 2004. She had taught two classes on collaborative work on the project, and was involved with FemTechNet Wikistorming, an academic effort to encourageumore women involved in academia to contribute to Wikipedia. In the past month, she had written several blog entries on HASTAC, an online collaborative platform dedicated to changing the way people learn, about how to write about academics on Wikipedia.

Fellow activist Sarah Stierch said in a public post on Facebook, “My heart hurts. Adrianne was a leading voice – and her legacy still is – in the work we have been doing to getumore women and more diverse peoples contributing to Wikipedia. Two days ago she was quoted in the BBC, for godsake.” Stierch went on to say, “A sarcastic, feminist, smart, brilliant, to the point delivery type of academic genius who held an honest love life for all to see and a life in LA that was becoming one she owned.”

At the time of her death, she was a Mellon Digital Scholarship Fellow at Occidental College. In 2011, she earned her PhD from Indiana University.

Wikimedians are memorializing her on her Wikipedia talk page, which is adorned with a picture of a funerary arrangement of flowers. A notice at the top of the page invites condolences, which have been arriving in their dozens. “This is a crushing loss, for the Wikipedia community and the world. There was no one else like her.” wrote one contributor. Another noted “Adrianne embodied brilliance, determination, and enthusiasm in everything she did.”



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February 20, 2014

Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014

Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014

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A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, February 20, 2014.

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Ukrainian truce established

Kiev’s Independence Square before violence erupted.
Image: Noobuster007.

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych declared a truce after a violent evening in Kiev’s Independence Square. There was brief peace just five days ago when protesters agreed to unblock downtown streets. That was soon broken as violence occurred when interior ministry troops, special “Berkut” security forces, and police officers confronted protesters.

So far 26 people, including protesters and ten police officers, have been killed in Independence Square clashes. This is the most violence the country has seen since it gained independence 20 years ago.

Sources



Facebook plans to purchase messaging service for US$16 billion

WhatsApp logo
Image: WhatsApp Inc..

Facebook yesterday announced a plan to purchase WhatsApp for US$16 billion. Facebook’s plan says it will pay US$12 billion in stocks and US$4 billion in cash. All parties are still waiting regulatory approval. The deal could potentially be worth US$19 billion with US$3 billion more being offered to employees. Employees who remained at Facebook for four years would be offered restricted stock.

WhatsApp is a messaging service where users can send text, picture, and video messages using their data plans, instead of their messaging plan. The company has over 450 million world-wide active users, with about 70 percent of those users being active daily. WhatsApp adds about one million new users per day. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the app will not change for users.

Sources



Australia releases confidential information of thousands of refugees

The records of around 10,000 asylum-seekers in Australia were made available by the Australian government until The Guardian made authorities aware yesterday the data was freely accessible. Confidential refugee files were accessed, featuring the names, nationalities, locations, and arrival information. Paul Power, chief executive of the advocacy group Refugee Council of Australia, said the situation risked those in refugee centers in Australia, as well as their families.

In a speech delivered last November, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that the Australian government was responsible for protecting the identities of refugees. Now the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is being called to account for its role under Australia’s privacy laws, including negligence.

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October 29, 2013

Fleetwood Mac cancel upcoming Australian and New Zealand tour

Fleetwood Mac cancel upcoming Australian and New Zealand tour

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

File photo of Fleetwood Mac from 2009
Image: Matt Becker.

Pop band Fleetwood Mac has cancelled its upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand following diagnosis of their bassist John McVie with cancer.

The tour was expected to begin on November 10 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and continue through the Hunter Valley, Geelong, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth over the following two weeks.

The band’s spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg did not specify what type of cancer Mc Vie is receiving treatment for, nor did she comment on the extent of the disease. A statement on the band’s website apologized to fans for the cancellation of the tour and explained that Mc Vie has been scheduled to receive treatment for during the scheduled dates.

“We are sorry to not be able to play these Australian and New Zealand dates,” the statement read on their official Facebook page. “We hope our Australian and New Zealand fans as well as Fleetwood Mac fans everywhere will join us in wishing John and his family all the best.”

Fleetwood Mac had just finished touring Europe. The band is scheduled to perform in Las Vegas on December 30.



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April 12, 2013

Anonymous muscle in on Canadian teen rape case

Anonymous muscle in on Canadian teen rape case

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Friday, April 12, 2013

On Wednesday, the Internet hacking collective Anonymous vowed to publish the names of the four suspects involved in the alleged rape of Canadian Rehtaeh Parsons, who committed suicide last week.

A message sent to Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) by the hacktivist group called “for immediate legal action” in the case, citing that “If we [Anonymous] were able to locate these boys within 2 hours, it will not be long before someone else finds them.”

This latest operation by the group, dubbed “Operation Justice For Rehtaeh”, led to expression of concern among the members of the RCMP. In an interview with the National Post, Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry spoke of the dangers of releasing this crucial information in this ongoing investigation, “We don’t want another child taking their life because some vigilante group think it’s OK … maybe it’s a wrong name — then what would they do to someone?”

The 17-year-old Parsons was taken off life support on Sunday following an attempt to take her own life days before. Her mother erected a Facebook page celebrating the life of her daughter as well as acknowledging the true reasons for her daughters tragic passing, “Rehtaeh is gone today because of the four boys that thought that raping a 15-year-old girl was okay, and to distribute a photo to ruin her spirit and reputation would be fun.”



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March 25, 2013

Stolen Utahraptor recovered in Australian Capital Territory

Stolen Utahraptor recovered in Australian Capital Territory

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Monday, March 25, 2013

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A different dinosaur from the Dinosaur Garden at the National Dinosaur Museum
Image: National Dinosaur Museum.

Today —Monday— in Page, Australian Capital Territory, ACT Policing recovered a 1.6 metre (5 foot 3 inch) tall stolen fiberglass Utahraptor dinosaur which had been stolen this past Thursday from Canberra’s Gold Creek based National Dinosaur Museum. The museum is about 8.7 kilometres (5.4 miles) from Page where the dinosaur was recovered.

ACT Policing recovered the dinosaur, valued at AU$2500 (about US$2600 or 2000), after an earlier potential lead on Facebook gossip page Canberra Confessions had them searching for the missing dinosaur at Shepherds Lookout, near Holt, roughly 16.5 kilometres (19.25 miles) away.

According to the police, a 20-year-old man stole the Utahraptor as part of a birthday prank and had planned to return the Utahraptor to the museum later today. Police described the thief as contrite and apologetic.

Museum manager Richard Mancuso is quoted by The Canberra Times saying, “We are exceptionally happy it has been found after a few days and it is great that the police will be able to resolve the matter”.

The dinosaur was returned by the police to the museum with its tail detached. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation report it is unclear whether the museum and police plan to pursue charges against the dinosaur thief.



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Stolen Utahraptor recovered in the Australian Capital Territory

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Monday, March 25, 2013

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A different dinosaur from the Dinosaur Garden at the National Dinosaur Museum
Image: National Dinosaur Museum.

Yesterday in Page, Australian Capital Territory, ACT Policing recovered a a 1.6 metre (5 feet 3 inches) tall stolen fiberglass Utahraptor dinosaur which had been stolen this past Thursday from Canberra’s Gold Creek based National Dinosaur Museum. The museum is 8.7 kilometres (5.4 miles) from where the dinosaur was recovered.

ACT Policing recovered the dinosaur, valued at AU$2500 (US$2618.75, 2011.79), after having looked on Facebook gossip page, Canberra Confessions, where they found a potential viable lead. Earlier searches for the missing dinosaur took place at Shepherds Lookout, near Holt, roughly 16.5 kilometres (19.25 miles) away.

According to the police, a 20-year-old man stole the Utahraptor as part of a birthday prank and had planned to return the Utahraptor to the museum on Monday. Police described the thief as contrite and apologetic.

Museum manager Richard Mancuso is quoted by the Canberra Times as saying, “We are exceptionally happy it has been found after a few days and it is great that the police will be able to resolve the matter.”

The dinosaur was returned by the police to the museum missing part of its tail. Both the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Canberra Times report that it is unclear whether the museum and police plan to pursue charges against the dinosaur thief.



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