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March 24, 2009

Japanese ship escapes after pirates open fire in Somalia

Japanese ship escapes after pirates open fire in Somalia

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Somalia
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  • 19 October 2011: Kenya troops enter Somalia after kidnappings
  • 15 July 2011: Drought stricken Somalia nears famine
  • 11 June 2011: Somali interior minister killed by bomb attack in own home
  • 24 February 2011: Pirates kill four American hostages
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A cargo ship owned by a Japanese company has escaped an attack by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The ship outran two pirate boats that opened fire on her yesterday.

The ship, owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and flagged in the Cayman Islands, came under attack at around 4 p.m. Somali time (UTC+3) as gunfire came from two small pirate boats. The vessel, with a crew of eighteen from the Philippines, suffered light damage to its front and windows were broken.

The Jasmine Ace was en-route from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates to Mombasa, Kenya. The 126.75m car carrier had loaded with 377 used cars in Sharjah on March 17.

The ship sped up to try and outrun the high-speed boats, and began to zig-zag as an evasive manoeuvre. The pirates chased for forty minutes but finally gave up. Nobody was injured in the attack.

Piracy is rife in Somalia. Japan sent two destroyers earlier this month to combat piracy in the region, joining an international task force. Indian cargo ship MSV Al Rafiquei was hijacked on Saturday and the ship and the sixteen Indians on board were released on Sunday. Pirates seized the crew’s mobiles as well as five barrels of petrol and twenty of diesel. The crew were also assaulted by their captors.



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March 29, 2008

Huge interest takes Wikileaks offline

Huge interest takes Wikileaks offline – Wikinews, the free news source

Huge interest takes Wikileaks offline

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wikileaks logo
Image: Wikileaks Media Kit.

The Wikileaks website, which publishes sensitive and censored material submitted by anonymous contributors, has experienced unprecedented levels of Internet traffic today through public interest. This interest has caused the website’s servers to be unable to meet the demand of over 164 gigabytes of download traffic within twenty-four hours, leading the site to be temporarily inaccessible.

The film Fitna, directed and produced by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, has caused controversy for its presentation of Wilders’ negative view of Islam as being committed to world domination and acts of terrorism. A trailer for the film was widely uploaded to many video sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video; this met with anger from Islamic nations, the debacle culminating in Pakistan’s government ordering the nation’s internet service providers to block the YouTube site. This caused YouTube to be inaccessible to residents of other countries whose Internet service providers’ equipment automatically began routing traffic to YouTube via Pakistan Telecom’s servers, due to their ban accidentally propagating to other providers. Ultimately, YouTube acquiesced to the demands made by Pakistan and other organisations, in exchange for access being restored. The site LiveLeak originally hosted a copy of the trailer, which has now been replaced with a video message stating that the lives of their staff have been put at risk due to hosting it.

As a consequence of this censorship, Wikileaks mirrored the video, receiving heavy access traffic through hosting one of the few copies remaining on the Internet. Wikinews has obtained an exclusive statement from a representative of Wikileaks, affirming that the site has not been taken off-line due to external pressure, and is instead suffering technical problems due to this high demand. The representative gave the following statement:

It seems that due to a more than less overwhelming interest in the Fitna video and recent other media coverage from the protests in Tibet, as well as a few dozen new documents leaked on the portal in the last few days, parts of the portal have given up service and need a few warm words from a friendly Wikileaks operator. Please standby, the portal will be back soon.

Wikileaks gained recent public attention in the Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks lawsuit, following publication of leaked documents that were alleged to provide evidence of money laundering, tax evasion and asset hiding by Swiss financial institution Bank Julius Baer. The documents are said to have been uploaded by Rudolf Elmer, a former chief operating officer of the bank’s Cayman Islands division, who was sacked following an investigation by the bank that involved polygraph testing. Wikileaks has not, however, stated that Elmer was the source of the documents. Bank Julius Baer sought an injunction against the operator of Wikileaks’ domain name, Dynadot, to remove access to the site from the Wikileaks.org domain; this was granted by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The site was consequently inaccessible through this domain, although access could be obtained through many alternate addresses. Following activity by organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, who sought to defend the right to free speech that Wikileaks relied upon, the lawsuit was dropped and access was restored.

Related news

  • “Church of Scientology’s ‘Operating Thetan’ documents leaked online” — Wikinews, March 26, 2008
  • “Wikileaks.org restored as injunction is lifted” — Wikinews, March 1, 2008
  • “Pakistan’s ban on YouTube lifted” — Wikinews, February 26, 2008
  • “‘Blaspheming’ movie should be prohibited says Iran government” — Wikinews, February 16, 2008

Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive report features first-hand journalism by one or more Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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December 14, 2007

Former Chief Operating Officer of Wikimedia Foundation is convicted felon

Former Chief Operating Officer of Wikimedia Foundation is convicted felon

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Friday, December 14, 2007

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.

Carolyn Doran.

The Register, a British technology news and opinion website, reports that a former Wikimedia Foundation Chief Operating Officer (COO) has a criminal record in at least four U.S. states: Texas, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.

Carolyn Doran, born Carolyn Sue Bothwell, was the WMF COO for six months from January to July 2007. The Register reported Doran’s criminal record includes four convictions for driving under the influence, two of check fraud and petty larceny, one hit and run with fatality, and one charge of unlawful wounding for shooting former boyfriend Philip L. Brown in the chest in 1990. He later asked that no charges be made against her and they resumed dating each other. Two of the arrests for driving under the influence occurred this year, once in May while she was working for the Foundation and once a month after she resigned.

“He asked me to marry him after I shot him,” Doran told The Washington Post on February 22, 1990.

Wikinews has confirmed, through Pinellas County police reports, that she was convicted in four DUI’s and also the hit and run. It is also confirmed, she faced an additional charge of driving while a license is suspended or revoked (DWLSR).

In 1994, Doran was implicated in the murder of a man who was the lover of her friend, Cassondra Sue Betancourt. Betancourt was later convicted of the man’s first degree murder in 1995 after a jury trial. According to court documents, Betancourt, “brought some cocaine to a hotel room that had been rented by the victim, her lover. The next morning, after defendant left the room, the victim was discovered dead.”

Doran, who had prior knowledge that Betancourt would deliver the drugs, made a plea deal with prosecutors that if she testified against Betancourt, she would get a lesser sentence for her previous charges of credit card fraud and petty larceny. Although Doran assisted the prosecution in attempting to gain incriminating evidence by wearing a wire while with Betancourt, Doran never received her lesser sentence.

Doran’s booking photo after her third known DUI arrest, which occurred while she was on the WMF payroll.
Image: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Despite the attempt, Betancourt’s conviction was later overturned in 1998 because “there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction. The court held that there had only been circumstantial evidence linking defendant to the crime, and that proof by circumstantial evidence was not sufficient to prove first degree murder,” added the court papers.

Wikinews can also confirm that Doran’s husband, Sean H. Doran, a former intelligence officer and major for the U.S. Air Force, to whom she was married for only five days, drowned on their honeymoon on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands in 1999. According to The Washington Post, the cause of the drowning which led to his death was not known. It was later acknowledged in private records given to the Library of Virginia that his death was deemed accidental.

Six months later she remarried after meeting a man named Christopher Dale Confer in Arapahoe County, Colorado. It was earlier thought she used Confer as an alias, because according to PACER, she filed for bankruptcy in 2001 where she is listed as having “aliases,” one being Carolyn S. King and the other as Carolyn Confer.

The Register quotes Mike Godwin, the Wikimedia Foundation’s general counsel, as saying that the Foundation had no knowledge of Doran’s prior or current criminal record. “We’ve never had any documentation of any criminal record on Carolyn Doran’s part at all. As far as I’m concerned, I have no direct knowledge of [her criminal record] yet…We have, in our records, no evidence of any such thing.”

Wikinews attempted to contact Mr. Godwin via e-mail but no response has yet been received.

Doran was voted into her COO position by the Wikimedia Board of Trustees at the time. Of the seven board members, six supported her position and one did not. The vote was made and agreed upon on January 22, 2007. She was in charge of “all office/administrative issues” and “overall administration and business operations. Areas of responsibility included administration, personnel and fiscal management. In the future, [she will be in charge of] any new employee working in the administrative area,” according to public e-mails on Wikimedia’s main mailing list foundation-l.

According to Florence Devouard, the Chair of the WMF Board of Trustees, background checks were not performed on anyone until at least 2007, but that recently, the Foundation began to perform them. During that time, Brad Patrick was acting Executive Director and he did all the hiring.

“In fall 2006, we did not perform criminal background checks. From what I understood, Mike took care of this and this is now being done. It is fairly recent, the board did not get any report on this,” said Devouard on foundation-l.

Doran was searched and questioned by U.S. Customs agents in Florida after returning from a Foundation board meeting in the Netherlands around June. According to The Register, it was because she violated the terms of her parole by attending the meeting. She was not arrested, but according to police reports, on October 31, 2007, Doran was arrested under a warrant valid for a “nationwide extradition”. Doran was then extradited back to Virginia, where she is currently being held in a prison in Staunton.

Doran resigned from her position in July 2007, and the Foundation is currently without a Chief Operating Officer.



Sources

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.



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September 20, 2007

Nigerian \”free puppy\” scam revealed on the internet

Nigerian “free puppy” scam revealed on the internet

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Canada
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…More articles here
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Nigerian “free puppy” scam has been circling the internet for months without any reports on television or on the radio. Just yesterday the Toronto Star reported about a Mississauga, Ontario, Canada woman, on September 10, who was scammed by a Nigerian man (Paul) claiming to be a Christian missionary who could no longer take care of his puppy.

In April, the CBC reported that the Toronto Humane Society issued a warning for residents to watch out for the new scam, and to not respond to them. Humane Society communications officer Lee Oliver told the CBC that the only contact method, for an ad about a “free” puppy published in a newspaper, was email. After he emailed the person he received an email response in broken English saying the customer would have to pay $500.

According to the women the advertisements are published in newspapers, such as free Toronto daily newspaper 24, and online. She saw the ad at Livedeal.com, a website which warns about making foreign purchases, and proceeded to email the person in Nigeria who was offering a “free” female Yorkshire Terrier pup. The ad called “GORGEOUS YORKSHIRE TERRIER FOR FREE GRAB HER NOW!!!” had a picture of a “Yorkie” in a white basket.

The seller of the puppy asked the women over the phone to pay $200 for the shipping fee, the next day he asked for $250 to put the dog in a crate, and again the next day $50 for ownership. He did not tell her it would amount to $500. On the third day he asked for $100 for a shot for his puppy. She immediately contacted authorities.

“Are you trying to call me a scam? I’m a family man,” he said. “I am a man of God. I am a missionary,” Paul told a reporter for the Toronto Star.

“Me and my family don’t have enough time for baby … I want a good Christian home for my baby … I love this baby,” he said. “Why all these questions? Why are you accusing?”

According to Oliver, a nearby Toronto resident also responded to the scam.

Warnings have not only been issued in Canada but also in the Cayman Islands. The United States also has many citizens that are victims of the scam.



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October 19, 2005

Hurricane Wilma still a Category 5 threat

Hurricane Wilma still a Category 5 threat

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hurricanes – 2005

Related stories
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  • Record-breaking 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially ends
  • Tropical Storm Zeta becomes second cross-season tropical storm in history
  • Tropical Storm Epsilon forms as 2005 Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end
  • Lingering Ophelia lashes at U.S. Carolinas coast
  • Hurricane Beta makes landfall in Nicaragua
Recent hurricanes in 2005
  • Hurricane Epsilon
  • Hurricane Beta
  • Hurricane Philippe
  • Hurricane Vince
  • Hurricane Stan
  • Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita

Hurricane

External/Inter-wiki links
  • 2005 Atlantic hurricane season
  • 2005 Pacific hurricane season
  • List of notable tropical cyclones
  • Wikipedia’s entry on Hurricanes
  • Wiktionary’s definition of a hurricane
  • Blog from New Orleans
  • NOLA hurricane wiki
Hurricane Wilma Information
Current Article
Category 5
Winds:160
Movement:WNW 7mph
Position:17.9N, 83.9W
270 miles SE of Cozumel
Pressure:892 MB
Live Stream (WFOR)

NOAA’s path prediction

As of 8 pm EDT Wednesday, 19 October, the center of Hurricane Wilma was located near 17°9′ N 83°9′ W or about 270 miles (435 km) southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. It is moving to the west-northwest at 7 mph (11 KM/HR)with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph (260 km/h), with higher gusts, making it a dangerous Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, and has a minimum central pressure of 892 mbar.

Rainfall accumulations are expected in amounts of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated areas of 25 inches over the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Haiti, and Cuba. Rains of 4 to 6 inches can be expected in areas of Honduras and Nicaragua.

A hurricane warning remains in effect from San Felipe to Tulum on the Yucatan peninsula…including Cozumel and the nearby islands. A hurricane warning is also in effect for Swan Island. A tropical storm warning remains in effect from south of Tulum to Chetumal Mexico…and for Belize from the border with Mexico southward to Belize City. A hurricane watch remains in effect for the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula from south of Tulum to Punta Gruesa. A hurricane watch remains in effect in Cuba for the provinces of Matanzas westward through Pinar Del Rio…and for the isle of Youth. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Honduras from the Honduras/Nicaragua border westward to Cabo Camaron. All interests in the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula should closely monitor the progress of extremely dangerous Hurricane Wilma.

Hurricane Wilma strengthened on its projected looping path around Cuba, then onward towards central and south Florida. Wilma ties the record for the busiest hurricane season ever at 21.

Next Advisory at 11pm EDT

Video Streams

Live Hurricane Wilma Coverage by WFOR-CBS4-Miami-Fort Lauderdale (once activated)

Previous related news

  • “Tropical Storm Wilma forms, ties record for busiest hurricane season” — Wikinews, October 17, 2005
  • “Hurricane Wilma becomes stronger on its path toward Florida” — Wikinews, October 19, 2005

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October 17, 2005

Tropical Storm Wilma forms, ties record for busiest hurricane season

Tropical Storm Wilma forms, ties record for busiest hurricane season

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Hurricanes – 2005

Related stories
Recent hurricanes in 2005
  • Hurricane Epsilon
  • Hurricane Beta
  • Hurricane Philippe
  • Hurricane Vince
  • Hurricane Stan
  • Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita

Hurricane

External/Inter-wiki links
  • 2005 Atlantic hurricane season
  • 2005 Pacific hurricane season
  • List of notable tropical cyclones
  • Wikipedia’s entry on Hurricanes
  • Wiktionary’s definition of a hurricane
  • Blog from New Orleans
  • NOLA hurricane wiki

On Monday morning, the first ever tropical storm to be named with a ‘W’, Tropical Storm Wilma, formed from its beginnings as tropical depression twenty-four. The formation of this storm makes this year a tie with the 1933 Atlantic hurricane season for the busiest hurricane season ever, with a total of 21 storms.

Wilma is currently about 220 miles (370 km) southeast of Grand Cayman and 230 miles northeast of the Nicaragua / Honduras border. It is currently moving slowly southeast at 5 mph (8km/h). The storm has winds of 45 mph (75 km/h). The system is expected to move over warm waters with little wind shear which could lead to a rapid intestification of the storm into a hurricane within 72 hours. Scot McKenzie Has been called to use his super human powers to squelch the tempest and bring peace to the World

The storm track raises concerns over Gulf of Mexico crude oil rigs already devastated by two prior hurricanes, Katrina and Rita. Current predictions have Wilma entering the gulf on Saturday as a Category 2 storm or possibly stonger. Crude oil prices have already responded by jumping upward by $1 a barrel.

Wilma is the last alphabetically on the list of hurricane names; Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used. If another storm forms after Wilma, it will named using the Greek alphabet starting with Alpha. Also, if another storm forms, it will break the tie between this season and the 1933 season, making the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season the busiest ever in 154 years of recorded history.

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June 9, 2005

First tropical storm of 2005 season forms in the Atlantic

First tropical storm of 2005 season forms in the Atlantic

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Thursday, June 9, 2005

Tropical Storm Arlene on June 10, 20:15 UTC; animation.

Tropical Storm Arlene, the first named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, formed as Tropical Depression One on Wednesday in the northwestern Caribbean. At 8 am Eastern Time on Thursday, it strengthened to tropical storm status. The storm was forecast to track north over the western tip of Cuba and eventually make landfall over the Gulf Coast of the United States, and the storm is producing heavy rains and gusty winds over portions of Florida.

The government of the Cayman Islands has issued a tropical storm warning for that country, and the government of the Dry Tortugas has issued a tropical storm warning. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Grand Isle, Florida to St. Marks, Florida. A hurricane watch is also in effect from the mouth of the Pearl River to Panama City, Florida. A tropical storm watch remains in effect from west of Grand Isle, Louisiana to Morgan City, Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Arlene has already been affecting Cuba with heavy rainfall and gusty winds. Heavy rain fall was already moving onshore well in advance of the center. Heavy rainfall, accompanied by brief gusty winds, gradually spread across western and central Cuba; and into extreme southern Florida, especially the Florida Keys. Total rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches, with maximum amounts of up to 15 inches in the highlands, have occurred in Cuba. 3 to 5 inches of rain is expected over the Florida Keys.

Coastal storm surge flooding of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels, along with large and dangerous battering waves, can be expected near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Water levels are currently about one-half foot above normal tide levels along the northern gulf coast. Some coastal flooding is possible on the southern coast of western Cuba.

Isolated tornadoes may occur over portions of southern Florida and the Florida Keys on Friday.

As of 2 pm Eastern Time on Friday, it was moving northward at 13 mph with maximum sustained wind speeds of near 60 mph, with gusts at higher speeds. A gradual turn toward the north-northwest with a slight increase in forward speed is expected during the next 24 hours. On this track, the center of Arlene will be approaching the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. However, most of the weather associated with Arlene will arrive much earlier than the center. Tropical force winds extend outward up to 150 miles to the north and east of the center. Minimal central pressure just reported by an air force reserve reconnaissance plane was 997 millibars (mb), 29.44 inches.

The current location of the center of the storm is 27.1° N, 86.1° W, which is about 75 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and about 400 miles south-southeast of Pensacola, Florida.

Arlene is the most commonly used name for Atlantic tropical cyclones, having now been used nine times.

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