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August 21, 2012

Pressure mounts on US Senate candidate Todd Akin to withdraw after controversial rape comments

Pressure mounts on US Senate candidate Todd Akin to withdraw after controversial rape comments

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Politics and conflicts
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Congressman Todd Akin represents Missouri’s 2nd congressional district.
Image: United States Congress.

Congressman Todd Akin is facing pressure from fellow Republicans to drop out of the United States Senate election in Missouri after he made controversial comments about abortion in cases of rape. If he withdraws by 5 p.m. central time (1100 UTC) today, the Missouri state Republican party would have 28 days until it would require a court order to replace his name on the ballot.

In an interview with the St. Louis television station KTVI-TV on Sunday, Akin said: “Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

Akin’s comments soon gained national notoriety, with numerous politicians condemning his comments. Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin have both called for him to drop out of the race. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Akin’s comments were “inexcusable”. President Barack Obama said in a press conference on Monday, “…We shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”

The National Republican Senatorial committee has said it will no longer fund Akin’s campaign, regardless if he drops out or not. Other groups who support Akin are considering stopping all campaigning in Missouri.



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April 7, 2012

Military jet crashes in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Military jet crashes in Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Disasters and accidents

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A United States Navy F/A-18 Hornet crashed into a civilian area of Virginia Beach, Virginia yesterday at approximately 12:05 pm EST (1605 UTC). Both pilots of the jet ejected from the aircraft.

The jet’s flight originated from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach. It is reported that the jet crashed shortly after takeoff. The crew are members of the Strike Fighter Squadron 106 based in Oceana.

The jet crashed into the Mayfair Mews Apartments apartment complex. Heavy smoke was seen in the area. Seven people were treated at a local hospital, including five people on the ground and the two pilots. No deaths were reported. Emergency personnel are looking for any other victims, and said three apartment residents had not been accounted for.

Several buildings caught fire. Officials say the crash damaged or destroyed about 40 apartments.

Nearby Interstate 264 was closed off by police in both directions for several hours. By 3:00 pm EST (1900 UTC) I-264 was fully reopened.



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February 5, 2012

Mitt Romney wins 2012 Nevada caucuses

Mitt Romney wins 2012 Nevada caucuses – Wikinews, the free news source

Mitt Romney wins 2012 Nevada caucuses

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mitt Romney at the 2011 CPAC convention.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the 2012 Nevada caucuses yesterday. This win follows his win in Florida’s primary earlier in the week. Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came in second and Ron Paul and Rick Santorum followed.

With 71% of districts reporting, Romney won with 48% of the vote, followed by Gingrich with 23%, Paul with 19%, and Santorum with 11%. Nevada has 28 delegates, which will be distributed proportionally.

According to an entrance poll preformed by CBS News, Romney won 48% of the male vote and 52% of the female vote. Romney also won 56% of the vote among people with postgraduate educations. Newt Gingrich won 32% of the vote from people who make less the US$30,000 a year, while Paul won 31%, Romney won 29% and Santorum won 8%.

At his victory celebration, Romney told supporters “This is not the first time you gave me your vote of confidence and this time I’m going to take it to the White House”. Romney had also won Nevada in the 2008 caucuses.

Newt Gingrich pegged his strategy on the coming Super Tuesday primaries. He also said that “I don’t think a timid approach [by Romney] will beat Barack Obama in the fall… I’m going to run a campaign of big ideas, big solutions.”

Results

Candidate Votes Percentage Results by County
Mitt Romney 11,822 47.6%
Image: Gage.

██ Mitt Romney

██ Newt Gingrich

██ Ron Paul

Newt Gingrich 5,623 22.7%
Ron Paul 4,619 18.6%
Rick Santorum 2,749 11.1%



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February 4, 2012

Unarmed man killed by narcotics officer in The Bronx

Unarmed man killed by narcotics officer in The Bronx

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

New York
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An unarmed man was killed by a New York City Police Department Narcotics Enforcement officer at his home in the Williamsbridge neighborhood of The Bronx, New York on Thursday, according to police. 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was pronounced dead at nearby Montefiore Medical Center. He was shot by a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol. The incident is currently being investigated by Internal Affairs, and a grand jury investigation is expected into whether criminal charges should be filed against the officers involved.

The incident began with Mr. Graham walking on the street near his East 229th Street home, police say. He was approached by plain cloths officers in NYPD marked raid jackets. The officers were investigating suspected drug sales at a bodega. As they were approaching, Graham fled on foot towards his home and was followed by the officers. After officers followed him into the building, he entered the bathroom. An officer ordered Graham to “Show me your hands! Show me your hands!” After he failed to comply, the officer shot Graham once in the chest.

There were no weapons found on Graham’s person or at the scene. There was a small bag of cannabis in the toilet.

Police said the officer who shot Graham and his supervising sergeant have been placed on modified duty in light of the incident. The names of the officers were not released, but the officer who shot Graham is said to be 30 years old and joined the NYPD in 2008.

Police commissioner Raymond Kelly said “We’re obviously trying to get the facts. A young man’s life was taken. … It’s the worst thing that can happen to a parent — to lose a child.” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said “We obviously have some real concerns [about the incident].”

This was the third time within a week a young man had died in a police-involved shooting in New York City. 22-year-old Christopher Kissane was killed in an alleged carjacking in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn and 17-year-old Antwain White was killed in an alleged mugging in Bushwick, Brooklyn.



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Susan G. Komen Foundation reneges on Planned Parenthood funding cuts

Susan G. Komen Foundation reneges on Planned Parenthood funding cuts

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Health
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Susan G. Komen for the Cure has announced it will continue to fund breast cancer screening and educational programming on breast health run by fellow US-charity Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. This news comes shortly after Komen announced it would cut funding to Planned Parenthood due to an ongoing investigation.

Komen for the Cure founder Nancy Brinker in 2009
Image: Cliff.

Komen has changed its internal criteria for grant funding. Previously, it would not support any organization under investigation of any kind; now it says it will only cut support if the investigation involved is “criminal and conclusive”. The old criteria disqualified Planned Parenthood because it was under investigation by United States House Energy Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Representative Cliff Stearns.

In a statement on Komen’s website, the Board of Directors and founder Nancy G. Brinker wrote, “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives. The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.”

Planned Parenthood said in response to the restoration of Komen’s funding, it was “enormously grateful”.

Since the cuts were announced, Planned Parenthood gained $3 million (€2.3m, £1.9m) in donations and 10,000 new Facebook likes. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg personally pledged $250,000 (€190k, £158k). 26 US Senators signed a public letter to the charity; in it they said, “It would be tragic if any woman — let alone thousands of women — lost access to these potentially lifesaving screenings because of a politically motivated attack.”



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January 17, 2012

Woman gives birth on New Jersey PATH train

Woman gives birth on New Jersey PATH train

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New York
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Logo of the Port Authority Trans-Hudson
Image: PANYNJ.

A New Jersey woman, 31-year-old Rabita Sarker, gave birth on a moving Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) train yesterday morning. She and her husband Aditya Saurabh were heading to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan for a “practice run”. She gave birth between the Journal Square and 33rd Street stations at 9:49 am ET (1449 UTC).

Sarker boarded the Manhattan-bound PATH train at Journal Square already experiencing labor pains. At first she believed these were false, but soon realized she was in fact giving birth. A St. Luke’s-Roosevelt physician who was also traveling on the train came to her aid. Once train conductors heard that she was in labor, they switched the train to express service and bypassed stops to go directly to 33rd Street.

Paramedics and three Port Authority police officers were waiting on the platform of the 33rd Street station. “As the train came into the station, the woman had already given birth”, Sgt. Mike Barry of the Port Authority police said. Sarker along with her child were then taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt where they were in stable condition.

The couple has not yet announced a name for their boy but they have nicknamed him “Jhatpat”, which translates from Hindi as “Fast”.



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Online retailer Zappos.com hit by hackers

Online retailer Zappos.com hit by hackers

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Internet
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Zappos.com, one of the largest online retailers of shoes and apparel, disclosed Sunday that it was hit by a cyber attack. The attack compromised as many as 24 million accounts. Personal data may have been taken, but credit card numbers are encrypted and thus cannot be stolen.

Zappos’s corporate headquarters in Henderson, Nevada
Image: Coolcasear.

Information that may have been compromised includes customers shipping addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, account passwords and the last four digits of any credit card used. Though credit card numbers are encrypted by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, other personal information is often not. This is common practice among e-commerce websites.

Cquote1.svg … there’s no one fighting for the individual consumer whose e-mail address falls into the possession of hackers. Cquote2.svg

—Todd Feinman

Todd Feinman of Identity Finder told USA Today, “Visa and MasterCard fight to protect credit card numbers, but there’s no one fighting for the individual consumer whose e-mail address falls into the possession of hackers.”

Zappos.com required its users change their account passwords. It notified users of the required change and updated on the situation through an email. They also advised users to change their password on other websites if it is similar to the one used on Zappos.

In a blogpost, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh said “We’ve spent over 12 years building our reputation, brand, and trust with our customers. It’s painful to see us take so many steps back due to a single incident. I suppose the one saving grace is that the database that stores our customers’ critical credit card and other payment data was not affected or accessed.”



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January 14, 2012

Man killed in police shooting in Brooklyn, New York

Man killed in police shooting in Brooklyn, New York

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

New York
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  • 28 November 2014: Manhattanʼs ‘Little Spain’ comes to big screen, documenting Hispanic immigration in New York City
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Image of the revolver in Browne’s possession.
Image: New York Police Department.

A man was shot and killed by police officers in East New York, Brooklyn, New York who were responding to a 9-1-1 call reporting a home invasion late Thursday night. The deceased, 26-year-old Duane Browne, was carrying a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. Police believe he was responding to armed men who had entered his home.

According to police reconstruction of events, as Browne’s brother, 31-year-old Dale Ogarro, approached the home on 943 Schenck Ave., he was accosted by two armed men who demanded “where’s the money!” He was forced into the building’s basement. His girlfriend in a nearby car called 9-1-1 five times to report the invasion. The robbers escaped as police approached. When police arrived, Ogarro reported he was unharmed but did not say the robbers had left or his brother was carrying a gun. Browne exited the house through a back door holding the revolver and police ordered him to drop it. When he failed to do so, police shot him.

Police found 11 bags of cannabis and a scale in a basement closet. According to police, Ogarro has been arrested in the past on several drug charges, and the firearm he carried was unregistered.

On December 12, 2011, police officer Peter J. Figoski was killed while responding to a burglary at a nearby home.



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January 7, 2012

US government expands definition of rape to include men

US government expands definition of rape to include men

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crime and law
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On Friday, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) expanded its long-standing definition of rape to include men, and the rape of any gender by lack of consent — as opposed to physical coercion. The revised definition should ensure all rapes are recorded in crime statistics. Valerie Jarrett, a White House adviser, said it was a “very, very important step.”

The new definition defines rape as: “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

Describing the changes to crime reporting as “long overdue”, United States Attorney General Eric Holder said the revised definition of rape will, “help ensure justice for those whose lives have been devastated by sexual violence and reflect the Department of Justice’s commitment to standing with rape victims”.

The prior definition of rape — “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will” — was set by the FBI in 1927. In contrast, the revised definition drops the requirement that there be physical resistance, thus including crimes where the victim is unable to give consent because they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or due to their age.

The changes are primarily a revision to the Uniform Crime Reports system (UCR), and are not expected to impact prior cases or current prosecutions. Introducing no changes to current State or Federal law, the FBI expects the revised definition of rape will see victim numbers “more accurately reflected in national crime statistics”.

Close to the revised rape definition is a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which included male rape and non-consensual sex; their figures indicate that, at some point in their lives, about 20% of women and 1.5% of men in the United States have been raped. Writing for Significance magazine, Stephanie Kovalchik says this report shows the US “is experiencing an epidemic of sexual violence.” Comparing with other CDC reports, she highlights “that [the] number of American women who have been raped is greater than the number who are current smokers.”

Vice President Joe Biden, with a history of advocating improved rape legislation, described the changes as “a victory for women and men across the country whose suffering has gone unaccounted for over 80 years.” Whilst still in the Senate, Biden led efforts to implement legislative change — including authoring the Violence Against Women Act.



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Japan Airlines to relist shares

Japan Airlines to relist shares – Wikinews, the free news source

Japan Airlines to relist shares

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Economy and business
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A Japan Airlines Boeing 777-200 departing Kansai International Airport.
Image: BriYYZ.

Japan Airlines (JAL) is planning on relisting its shares in an IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. By September, JAL shareholders intend to sell between ¥500 billion and ¥1 trillion (US$6.4b – US$12.8b, €5b – €10b).

If the sale goes into high-end estimates, it will make JAL the largest airline in the world by market value. It will also be the largest IPO in Japan since the 2010 listing of Dai-Ichi Life. However, Senri Sasahara, chief executive officer of Innovative Advisor Corp, said “The amount sought may be a bit too ambitious.”

JAL entered bankruptcy protection in January 2010 and was later given a government bailout. When it was delisted from TSE, it cut one-third of its workers, and reduced the benefits of remaining employees. JAL emerged from bankruptcy in March 2011. Since then, it has posted a record ¥188.4 billion (US$2.4b, €1.9b) in profit for fiscal year 2010.

JAL faces growing competition from discount airlines, such as AirAsia Japan and Peach. In response, JAL entered into a joint venture to form a low-cost carrier with JetStar Airways.



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