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April 14, 2012

Zimmerman stands before judge for the Trayvon Martin shooting

Zimmerman stands before judge for the Trayvon Martin shooting

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

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2012 mugshot of George Zimmerman.
Image: Superm401.

Cellphone call to the Sanford Police Department by George Zimmerman before the shooting of Trayvon Martin
Audio: City of Sanford, Florida.

George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch captain who shot African American teenager Trayvon Martin in February, stepped into court for his first appearance Thursday afternoon after his arrest the previous night. The judge found probable cause in the charges of second degree murder, but Zimmerman’s lawyer held off on making a bail request out of concern for his clients safety.

Cquote1.svg It is the search for justice for Trayvon that has brought us to this moment. Cquote2.svg

—Angela Corey, Florida special prosecutor

At a Wednesday evening news conference in Jacksonville, Florida, special prosecutor Angela Corey announced Zimmerman willingly turned himself in. A law enforcement official said at the time Zimmerman was in custody at the Seminole County Jail in Florida. Corey said, “It is the search for justice for Trayvon that has brought us to this moment.”

Zimmerman, 28, was involved in an altercation with the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin that led to Martin’s death the night of February 26 in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman claimed self-defense when he shot Martin. Martin was in a gated community returning to the house he and his father were staying at carrying a pack of candy and iced tea when Zimmerman followed him and called the police to report a “suspicious” character. Since then, black leaders have demanded justice for a murder that they believe to be driven by race.

Zimmerman’s arrest and charge occurred after his lawyers announced Tuesday they were quitting the case after having no contact with him since Sunday. They also said Zimmerman was in a fragile mental state.

In Florida, a person charged with second-degree murder can spend life in prison, and the charge is usually when a confrontation ends with the death one of the parties involved. Florida also has a Stand-your-ground law, which means people can use deadly force in cases of self-defense, which is expected to play a major role in the case. In the United States, 24 states, including Florida, have such a law while the other 27 states do not. The National Rifle Association pushed for the law’s passage in Florida seven years ago.

Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, have been publicly calling for Zimmerman to be prosecuted. They appeared at a press conference after the special prosecutor’s announcement with Reverend Al Sharpton in Washington, D.C. Fulton said, “We simply wanted an arrest. We wanted nothing more and nothing less, we just wanted an arrest. And we got it.”

Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara has already signaled that his client will plead not guilty at a future hearing which the judge set for May 29, but he also expects to request bail for his client once safety details are worked out.

Time of important events throughout the Trayvon Martin case. Image:  Kelsey_lyn.



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November 25, 2011

Wikinews interviews Darcy Richardson, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama

Wikinews interviews Darcy Richardson, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Democratic Party presidential candidate Darcy Richardson.
Image: Darcy Richardson.

U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Darcy Richardson of Florida took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Richardson, 55, is a political activist that helped form the New Democrats in 1989 and founded the progressive Battleground Blog earlier this year. He is also a political historian, and has authored six books covering third parties and presidential elections, including A Nation Divided: The 1968 Presidential Campaign (2002). His current work, The Spirit of ’76: Eugene McCarthy’s Struggle for Open Politics, chronicles the late Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy‘s 1976 presidential campaign for which he volunteered. Richardson admires McCarthy, and served as manager for his 1988 presidential run. Recently, Richardson advised Brian Moore‘s Socialist Party USA presidential campaign in 2008.

In addition, Richardson himself has sought political office, albeit unsuccessfully. In 1980, he ran for Pennsylvania Auditor General, and in 1988, vied for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats as a member of the Consumer Party. Last year, he ran for Lieutenant Governor of Florida as the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari.

Richardson has criticized President Barack Obama’s policies for being too similar to those of former President George W. Bush. He hoped to convince several prominent progressives to challenge Obama in the Democratic primaries, but none were available to do so. Last month, Richardson decided to begin a campaign himself and announced through his Battleground Blog that he would challenge Obama in the Democratic Party primaries as a progressive candidate. So far, he has qualified for the New Hampshire primary in January and the Missouri primary in February. In an interview with the Independent Political Report, Richardson proclaimed his campaign slogan as “no fourth term for George W. Bush.”

Background

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngWhen did you first meet Senator Eugene McCarthy, and what attracted you to his campaign?

Senator Eugene McCarthy.
Image: United States Federal Government.

Darcy Richardson: I first met Senator McCarthy during his independent campaign for the presidency in 1976 when I was about 19 or 20 years old. I had been an admirer of the former Minnesota lawmaker dating back to his 1968 campaign when he courageously challenged LBJ for the Democratic presidential nomination, essentially risking his political career to end the unjust war in Vietnam. It was a candidacy of conscience. Similarly, I was strongly attracted to Gene’s 1976 effort, believing that he was far better qualified than either Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford. McCarthy’s campaign that year — striking down burdensome and discriminatory ballot access laws in no fewer than twenty-four states — was an heroic effort to further the cause of open politics in this country. McCarthy’s legal team, headed by young lawyers John C. Armor and Philip L. Marcus, described it as “The Bloodless Revolution of 1976.” McCarthy’s candidacy that year had a lasting effect on my own politics. I knew Gene fairly well and visited him several times in later years in his book-filled home near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a rustic and comfortable dwelling lined with pictures of Yeats and Joyce. Gene was an original voice in American politics. He was also a pretty decent poet.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngIn 1980, to the surprise of many, Senator McCarthy endorsed Republican Ronald Reagan for president. Did you agree with this decision?

Richardson: No, I didn’t agree with that endorsement. In fact, I had campaigned for Ted Kennedy in the New Hampshire and Pennsylvania primaries earlier that spring and later ran for statewide office in Pennsylvania on a ticket headed by environmentalist Barry Commoner, the Citizens Party nominee for president. Some Democrats never forgave Gene for endorsing Reagan. I wasn’t one of them.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngYou are (or were at one time) a member of the Boston Tea Party, a minor third party whose platform supports “reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.” Do you agree with this platform?

Richardson: My involvement with the Boston Tea Party — a freedom-oriented, limited government entity — was relatively short-lived. I assisted them a bit here in Florida because of Tom Knapp’s personal involvement. Tom, a self-styled anarchist and original thinker, had founded the party shortly after the Libertarian Party‘s mid-term convention in 2006. An edgy and contemplative guy, Tom is a libertarian writer and activist for whom I have tremendous respect. He’s one of the smartest people I know and is also probably one of the most talented writers that I’ve ever encountered.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhich presidential candidates have you supported over the past twenty years?

Richardson: There are probably too many to mention here, but Eugene McCarthy, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination again in 1992, and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio would be the two that I’ve been most enthusiastic about during the past twenty years. We need more Democrats like them.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow have your political views changed in the past twenty years?

Richardson: We all change, of course, but my political views have always remained consistently progressive.

Policy

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngIf you had been elected president in 2008, what would you have done differently than Barack Obama?

Richardson.
Image: Darcy Richardson.

Darcy Richardson: The fact that President Obama initially appointed Larry Summers as chairman of his White House Economic Council shortly after taking office, should have given everybody pause. Summers is probably more responsible for the country’s current economic mess than any other individual.
As President Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury from 1999 to January 2001, Summers shaped and pushed the financial deregulation that unleashed the near-collapse of Wall Street in the autumn of 2008, particularly when he pushed through the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 during the final years of the Clinton Administration — legislation, as you know, that had prohibited banks from doing both commercial and investment banking.
An architect-turned-enabler of this never-ending economic crisis, Summers later supported the Commodity Futures Modernization Act that, unbelievably as it might seem, mandated that financial derivatives — including the reckless credit default swaps at the heart of the financial crisis — could be traded between financial institutions without any government oversight whatsoever.
It’s little wonder that Rolling Stone writer William Greider, in a marvelously detailed article in late 2008, pointed out that Obama’s choice of Summers and other key economic advisers, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, seemed designed to sustain the failed economic policies of the Bush presidency — an administration that never saw the financial crisis coming in the first place.
The Summers appointment told me that the President had no earthly clue how this devastating financial crisis happened or how to reverse it.
Things only got worse after that. President Obama failed to resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. He failed to include a public option in health care. He failed to assert his constitutional responsibility during the recent debt limit crisis. Unbelievably, he’s failed to protect Social Security and Medicare. He extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. He failed to push for cap-and-trade. And he failed to close Gitmo. I could go on, but I think you get the point. If anybody deserves a serious intraparty challenge, it’s the current occupant of the White House.
In retrospect, it’s really incredible that a Democrat of national stature and credibility hasn’t entered this race — at least as of now.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngDo you believe Obama has done any good things as president?

Richardson: Nothing I could write a book about, unless it’s a work of fiction. He’s generally been disappointing, allowing the GOP to frame the debate on issue after issue. Who in their right mind wants the Republicans to dictate fiscal or economic policy in this country? The folks in the Occupy Wall Street movement have already figured that out. It’s just a matter of the rest of the country coming to the same conclusion…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat necessary freedoms are currently lacking in American society?

Richardson: Since the beginning of the Bush Administration, most of our personal freedoms have been under constant attack — including freedom of assembly, as many in the Occupy movement can sadly testify.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngDo you disagree with any parts of the current U.S. Constitution?

Richardson: Not really, but I’m not particularly crazy about the second amendment.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are some of your policy proposals, and if elected, how would you implement these?

Richardson: First and foremost, I’m advocating a capital levy on wealth, not unlike the proposal currently being debated in Germany and other European countries. Much of our current $15 trillion national debt should be recouped from the rich — the pampered and privileged class that hasn’t paid its fair share in recent years.
Though I’m still developing my platform, I also support a second stimulus package — roughly five or six times the size of Obama’s meager $447 billion “Son of Stimulus” — to jump-start the U.S. economy; a Medicare-for-All health care plan; and a moratorium on home foreclosures (for primary residences only), not unlike that initiated by Minnesota’s radical Farmer-Labor Party during the Great Depression. I also want an immediate end to the war in Afghanistan and am strongly opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline.
The American people are hurting, and they’re hurting badly.

Campaign

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngYou wrote that you had wanted somebody like former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, economist Jeffrey Sachs, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), or former Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) to challenge President Obama in the primaries. You mentioned that you had “encouraged several of them to run”. Which of these individuals did you contact and what were their reasons for declining?

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.
Image: Robert Reich.

Darcy Richardson: My personal preference was former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, whom I had urged to run several months ago. I never received a response. In my opinion, Reich’s talents are being virtually wasted in academia. He’s a brilliant man and has probably forgotten more than Obama ever knew. The country desperately needs him. I also personally encouraged Kucinich to enter the fray, but he was clearly focusing his attention on being re-elected to the U.S. House, a re-election contest complicated by redistricting. I received a nice reply from Kucinich’s congressional staff. I never got around to contacting Jeffrey Sachs, but the Columbia University professor, like Bob Reich, would have been an ideal candidate, too.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngOf the candidates currently running for the Republican Party nomination, which do you most admire?

Richardson: Well, I sort of miss Harold Stassen; he was a truly progressive Republican. But to answer your question it would probably be Buddy Roemer and gay activist Fred Karger. I also like former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Roemer, a former congressman and ex-governor, is probably the most principled candidate in the crowded Republican field, but the powers-that-be in both the GOP and the media have denied him a fair hearing. I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs as an independent. I also admire Congressman Ron Paul’s tenacity, but I find his politics a little too conservative for my blood. After all, government isn’t the enemy.
I’ve never completely agreed with McCarthy’s assessment that the Republican Party was like the lowest form of plant and animal life, but the rest of the GOP field — from Gingrich to Santorum and Cain — comes awfully darn close to matching that biting description.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat campaign activities have you taken part in and where do you base the campaign?

Richardson: I’ve mostly just done newspaper and television interviews up to this point. I enjoy doing them, but television interviews are probably the toughest. Can you imagine what would have happened to civilization if Aristotle and Plato had to speak in sound bites?
In any case, I do plan to campaign actively in New Hampshire shortly after Christmas and plan to make a major effort in Pennsylvania — my old stomping ground — next spring as part of a major effort of sorts in the tri-state area. We hope to petition our way onto the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware primary ballots and to pay a filing fee in nearby West Virginia. I’m also willing to campaign in other primary and caucus states where we’re organized.
Believe it or not, we actually have a functioning campaign headquarters on St. Johns Bluff Rd. in Jacksonville, about twenty-three miles from my home. We share the office with a couple of local businesses.
Our low-key campaign is progressing nicely. We recently named Frances “Dolly” Simplot — a Hillary Clinton supporter and longtime Democratic activist from Bellingham, Washington — as my honorary campaign chairperson. Dolly is in her mid-seventies, but has more energy than somebody half her age. She’s amazing. Like millions of other lifelong Democrats, she’s deeply disappointed in the Obama Presidency. Then again, she is a Democrat.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHave you or do you plan to file with the FEC?

Richardson: We’ve already raised a few thousand dollars and plan to file with the FEC shortly.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWould you consider running as a third party or Independent candidate?

Richardson: I have no plans to do so, but I’ve learned in life never to entirely rule out anything.



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April 14, 2008

Physicist John Wheeler dies at age 96

Physicist John Wheeler dies at age 96 – Wikinews, the free news source

Physicist John Wheeler dies at age 96

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler died of pneumonia at his residence in Hightstown, New Jersey yesterday. Wheeler is most known in the popular culture for popularizing the term “black hole” to describe stars which had become so dense that nothing, not even light, could escape their gravitational pull. Although Wheeler initially objected to the idea, he later accepted the idea and coined the term “black hole” to describe such objects.

Wheeler was also known for his work along with Richard Feynman and others in the Manhattan Project, which produced the first nuclear fission bomb. He was later involved in the work to build the first fusion bomb. As much as he was known for his research, Wheeler was known for his skill and accomplishment in teaching.

Wheeler was born July 9, 1911, in Jacksonville, Florida and went on to earn his doctorate in physics at the early age of 21. He then went on to work in Copenhagen with Niels Bohr and later returned to the United States to become part of the Manhattan Project during World War II.

Wheeler continued to work in physics after the war and was involved in the United States Matterhorn project to build a hydrogen bomb before the Soviet Union. His politics were more militaristic than many of his fellow scientists at the time, in that he supported the Vietnam War and the building of the hydrogen bomb.

For a long time Wheeler was at Princeton University as the doctoral adviser for many prominent physicists including Kip Thorne and Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman. Wheeler went on to the University of Texas at Austin in 1976 when Princeton’s mandatory retirement age neared.

Wheeler continued to work until near his death. Physicists both young and old have paid tribute to Wheeler; cosmologist Max Tegmark told the New York Times that Wheeler had been “the only physics superhero still standing”.

He is survived by three children, along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.



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March 2, 2007

US: Several NFL stars released from their teams

US: Several NFL stars released from their teams

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Friday, March 2, 2007

Several players in the National Football League are packing their bags. Topping the list is Steelers linebacker Joey Porter. Porter was considering holding out of training camp for a new deal, and the Steelers needed breathing room to fit under the salary cap. Porter, called the “Most Feared Player in the NFL” by Sports Illustrated last fall, had a disappointing 2006 campaign, with only seven sacks.

The New Orleans Saints released Joe Horn by his own request. Horn was a fan favorite, standing up for the city when the team was forced to evacuate following Hurricane Katrina. Horn is also known for infamously pulling a cell phone out of a goal post in a post-touchdown celebration.

Drew Bledsoe in pre-game streches.

As expected, the Dallas Cowboys cut quarterback Drew Bledsoe, although Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did not rule out Bledsoe returning at a lower salary, stating: “I spoke with Drew today and told him that this was primarily a cap decision and that the door was very much open for him being a part of our future.” Bledsoe, a former first pick in the draft, was pushed out of his job by Tony Romo after a terrible first half in 2006.

The San Francisco 49ers released wide receiver Antonio Bryant, after Bryant had several clashes with the law, as well as 49ers head coach Mike Nolan. Bryant lead San Francisco with 40 receptions for 733 yards. Bryant’s short career with the 49ers ended in a four-game suspension to end the season.

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan McCardell was among those released Thursday. The 37 year old receiver had 36 catches for the Chargers last year, his 15th NFL season. The Chargers also released safety Terrance Kiel and linebacker Steve Foley. Kiel had pleaded guilty last month to felony and misdemeanor drug charges. Foley had been shot this past year by a police officer.

Notable Resignings

  • Mike Alstott, who considered retirement, resigned with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Jerrico Cotchery signed a long-term contract with the New York Jets.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars signed running back Fred Taylor through 2010.

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November 25, 2006

Buddhist relic collection tours North America and world

Buddhist relic collection tours North America and world

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

With the hopes of funding the creation of a statue in northern India that would end up dwarfing the Statue of Liberty, an unprecedented collection of Buddhist artifacts continue crisscrossing American, Europe, and Asia in three different, but related collections.

Proposed Maitreya statue in N. India

The Maitreya Project, the brainchild of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, seeks to build a monument and development dedicated to Buddhism at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh in northern India. The centerpiece of this massive development will be a 152m (500 ft) bronze statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha of the future.

Buddhist belief says that there have been Buddhas in the distant past and there will be Buddhas in the distant future. The historical Buddha, the one who was born in India about 2500 years ago, is known as Shakyamuni Buddha. Buddhist belief says that sometime in the distant future the teachings that Shakyamuni Buddha brought to Earth will fade away. At that point the Maitreya Buddha will be born and gain enlightenment in order to refresh and renew Buddhist teachings.

Along with the statue, the development is also planned to include temples, exhibition halls, parks, a museum, library, and a theater as well as a hospital and educational center.

In order to move forward with this project the Maitreya Project has created collections of artifacts that are touring the world. Once the statue is built these artifacts will be housed in it for viewing.

Relics of the Ven. Ananda in stupa.

Buddhist artifacts are usually associated with the body of the person involved. While they can be such things as bone and teeth, usually they are pearl-like objects that are found and collected after the enlightened person is creamated. These pearl-like objects are called ringsel.

There are three collections of artifacts currently touring American, Europe, and East Asia. They include relics from the immediate past Buddha, called Kasyapa, the historical Buddha, five of his original disciples, several Tibetan and Zen masters, and the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

Wikinews reporter Richard Kinne spent three days with the relics when the North American tour came to Ithaca, NY a few weeks ago. The relics travel with two caretakers, one of whom is always in close proximity to the relics. Setup for the relics display can take about four hours depending on the venue. Taking it down takes a bit under two hours.

Relic tour setup recently in MD.

Each morning of the tour the relics are taken out of their padded case and placed in clear plexiglass display cases. The relics are displayed individually in small containers called stupas. Some containers appear very full, while others contian just one very small object. Each evening the process is reversed and the padded case stays with the relic caretakers.

Between the morning and the evening people from all walks of life come to see the relics – believers, people who are curious, academics, Buddhist monks and nuns, both older folks and small children. While the Heart Relic Tour just does deals with displaying the relics, the sponsoring venue can add to the display in various ways such as lectures, meditation classes and demonstrations, or various other rituals.

The tour in North America reaches Jacksonville, FL during the first weekend of December. From there it will go to Miami between the 9th to the 11th, and then to Phoenix, AZ between the 15th to the 17th. In Asia the tour spends time in Malaysia in the first part of December.

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November 1, 2006

Three masked men shoot a man on Halloween night

Three masked men shoot a man on Halloween night

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Location of Jacksonville, Florida.

A Florida homeowner Ronald Langley, currently faces surgery in an effort to save his eye after being shot in the face by masked assailants.

Around 9 p.m on Halloween night the Jacksonville resident answered a knock on his door carrying with him (as is traditional) a bowl of candy. Instead of finding trick-or-treaters, the 67-year-old found three camouflage-wearing masked men, one of the three shot him in the face, hitting the homeowner above the eye. Langley was transported to Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida.

“This is a very nice neighborhood the neighbors are very close,” said Pat Weyer, a neighbor. “It’s just a very strange happening.” “He had surgery last night and they may do more,” Weyer said. “He definitely will lose the sight in his eye, but they are trying to save the eye itself.”

“Outside of Halloween night, that would have aroused suspicion. But they blended very well in the crowd of people,” said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ken Jefferson. “A person should not have to open his door and get shot when you’ve got legitimate reasons to open your door at night.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Crimestoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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October 20, 2006

Florida suffers from summerlike conditions ahead of cold front

Florida suffers from summerlike conditions ahead of cold front

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Most of the U.S. state of Florida is sweltering in summerlike heat and humidity ahead of a cold front, which promises to bring down polar air from Canada to cool down the state next week.

A wide swath of Florida has reported temperatures above 90º Fahrenheit (32º Celsius) over the last three days, with heat indices either approaching or topping 100ºF (38º C), with similar conditions persisting into the weekend.

At the Tampa Vandenberg Airport yesterday, few clouds and south-southwest winds pushed the temperature to 93º (34º C), toppling the previous record set for that date (89º in 1993). At the Tampa International Airport, the recorded high was 88º (31º C), just one degree shy of the record set on that date, also in 1993. Record-breaking highs were also witnessed yesterday at the Orlando International Airport: the recorded high was 93º, breaking the record of 91º set back in 1980.

In downtown Jacksonville, the recorded high yesterday was 88º, three degrees shy of the record set in 1980, but still ten degrees higher than the average high for October 19.

Even normally warm Miami flirted with record highs. On October 18, Miami recorded a high of 89º in downtown, one degree shy of the record high set back in 1993. The only part of the state receiving a respite from the high temperatures is the Panhandle, which is already feeling the effects of the nearly stationary cold front.

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April 29, 2006

U.S. Web host target of denial-of-service attack

U.S. Web host target of denial-of-service attack

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

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The servers of a U.S. Web hosting company that hosts several high-profile weblogs was the target of several denial of service attacks (DoS) on Friday.

Hosting Matters, a Web host located in Jacksonville, Florida, experienced an abnormal surge in Internet traffic at approximately 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 UTC). Upstream providers confirmed shortly afterward that one of their servers was the target of a massive denial-of-service attack.

System administrators took steps to isolate the target server from the network. Partial recovery was achieved and minor disruptions were reported after 12 noon EDT. [1]

The host suffered another attack around 8:30 p.m. EDT, which was resolved shortly before 9:30 p.m. [2]

Glenn Reynolds, whose popular Instapundit blog was one of the sites affected, reports that the attack appears to have originated from computers in Saudi Arabia, though it is not clear whether the perpetrators were also located there. [3] On its emergency operation forum, Hosting Matters would not elaborate as to the target or likely source of the attack, except that it appears to have come from outside U.S. borders. One of their administrators, known only as “Stacy,” said, “I sincerely doubt that country’s leadership has the least bit of concern for extraditing over something like this.” [4]

It is believed, but not confirmed, that the target of the attack was aarons.cc, a weblog that had apparently been hacked in the past. At the time of this writing, the site is still down. Hosting Matters has stated that the target site would not be brought back online in order to avoid further problems.

Hosting Matters hosts several high-traffic blogs, many of which, like Instapundit and Power Line, are generally supportive of the policies of President George W. Bush.

Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin commented on her weblog, “We are all affected by cyberterrorist tactics, wherever they may originate.” [5]

David Allyn of Grouchy’s Liberaltopia, one of the few blogs critical of Bush hosted on Hosting Matters and found via Technorati, commented, “Hopefully, they have isolated the fucknozzles that have been attacking the servers. I can only hope that whoever is doing this DoS attack dies a horrible death that is dragged out for hours.” [6]

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January 30, 2006

Accident in Jacksonville, Florida, releases low-radioactive gas

Accident in Jacksonville, Florida, releases low-radioactive gas

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Monday, January 30, 2006

WTLV news channel in Florida reports an explosion that released radioactive materials at Unison Industries, located at 7575 Baymeadows Way. One person was injured, according to the report.

Unison spokesperson Wayne Moles said “We believe one cylinder of gas may have exploded”. The cylinder was filled with krypton gas according to AP. Firefighters say at least 40 people became exposed to the low-level radiation. All are undergoing decontamination measures.

Unison manufactures aviation equipment and military applications like ignition generators for Tomahawk cruise missiles.

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January 2, 2006

Steelers defeat Lions to advance to NFL playoffs

Steelers defeat Lions to advance to NFL playoffs

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Monday, January 2, 2006

The Pittsbugh Steelers defeated the Detroit Lions 35-21 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The victory earns the Steelers the final spot for an AFC team in the NFL playoffs.

The Steelers, who had a 10-5 record heading into the game, were strong favorites against the Lions, who were 5-10. Pittsburgh took an early lead on an 81 yard Antwaan Randle El punt return less than two minutes into the game. However, the Lions fought back, with quarterback Joey Harrington throwing scoring passes on two consecutive drives in the first quarter to put Detroit up 14-7.

Veteran Steelers running back Jerome Bettis scored the next three touchdowns, matching a career high. His third touchdown resulted in a standing ovation from the crowd of 63,794. This will likely be the last home game for Bettis, as he is expected to retire at the end of this season.

The Steelers (11-5) go on to play the Bengals (11-5) in Cincinnati next Sunday at 4:00pm in the wildcard round. The Steelers split their season series with the Bengals winning 27-13 on October 23 in Cincinnati, but losing 38-31 at home on December 4.

“We play [the Bengals] twice a year and we know them,” said Steelers receiver Hines Ward. “It’s not going to be easy, but we’re more comfortable with them.”

The other AFC wildcard game has the Jacksonville Jaguars (12-4) visiting the New England Patroits (10-6). The winners of the wild card round will face the Indianapolis Colts (14-2) or the Denver Broncos (13-3) in the divisonal round.

Sources

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