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April 29, 2007

US: Melamine from contaminated pet food enters human food chain

US: Melamine from contaminated pet food enters human food chain

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

At least 45 people are reported to have eaten pork which came from a hog farm in Ceres, California in the United States, where pigs from the farm were fed pet food which was recalled because it was contaminated with the chemical melamine.

So far none of the individuals have experienced signs of illnesses, but it is not known what effect the chemical, when ingested, has on humans because no major study has taken place on melamine.

On April 21, at least seven urine samples taken from pigs at hog farm, were tested and the results came back positive for the chemical melamine. At least three samples from the feed used to feed the pigs were tested and those results also came back positive for melamine.

Yesterday, the United States Food and Drug Administration or FDA, said in a statement that “we have no evidence of harm to humans associated with the processed pork product” and that “no recall of meat products processed from these animals is being issued.”

Despite the consumption of pork by humans, the FDA states that the risk to human health is minimal.

“The assessment that, if there were to be harm to human health, it would be very low, is based on a number of factors, including the dilution of the contaminating melamine and melamine-related compounds from the original rice protein concentrate as it moves through the food system. First it is a partial ingredient in the pet food; second, it is only part of the total feed given to the hogs; third, it is not known to accumulate in the hogs and the hogs excrete melamine in their urine; fourth, even if present in pork, pork is only a small part of the average American diet. Neither FDA nor USDA has uncovered any evidence of harm to the swine from the contaminated feed,” added the statement.

On March 19, the manufacturer of the food, Menu Foods, which is based in Mississauga, Ontario in Canada, recalled all of its dog and cat food which totaled over 60 million items. On April 28, Canadian officials announced that they will hold products, such as wheat and corn gluten, as well as soy and rice proteins that have been imported from China until they can be tested for melamine.

It is not known how extensive the outbreak is.

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New York state Governor Eliot Spitzer proposes legalization of same-sex marriages

New York state Governor Eliot Spitzer proposes legalization of same-sex marriages

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Eliot Spitzer at a news conference in Schenectady, New York on April 24, 2007.

The Governor of the state of New York, Eliot Spitzer is proposing a bill that would make same-sex marriages legal in the state.

“This legislation would create equal legal protection and responsibilities for all individuals who seek to marry or have their marriage protected in the state of New York. Strong, stable families are the cornerstones of our society. The responsibilities inherent in the institution of marriage benefit those individuals and society as a whole,” said Spitzer in a statement he issued to the press.

Although Spitzer said that the time to propose the bill “is right,” he doubts that it will pass the state legislature.

“I do not think there is a realistic shot that it gets passed, but I will submit it because it’s a statement of principle that I believe in and I want to begin that dynamic,” added Spitzer.

The bill states that it would “establish equal responsibilities, recognition, benefits and protections for all married couples [and] would additionally stipulate that no clergy member or religious institution should be compelled to perform any same-sex marriage ceremony.”

Currently, same-sex marriages are only legal in the state of Massachusetts. Civil unions, are only legal in Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont and domestic partnerships are currently only legal in the states of California, Maine and Washington. In New York City and Washington D.C., domestic partnerships are also legal.

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Justin Trudeau wins Liberal Party nomination

Justin Trudeau wins Liberal Party nomination

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau, son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has won his riding nomination for the Liberal Party of Canada in Papineau, Montreal, Quebec. To win he needed 634 votes. He received 690.

This is his first attempt at running for politics. His father was Prime Minister of Canada from the 1960s until the mid-1980s.

His two other competitors for the nomination were natives from the town; Mary Deros, a city councillor and Basilio Giordano, a former city councillor and journalist for a local Italian newspaper. Competitors for the other federal party’s have not yet been chosen. According to reports Deros received 350 votes and Basilio Giordano received 220.

Trudeau will run in the 40th Canadian federal election, which must be called no later than February 13, 2011.

“I’m a teacher; I’m a convenor; I’m a gatherer; I’m someone who reaches out to people and is deeply interested in what they have to say,” Trudeau said. “And people see that I’m not faking it. I’m actually genuinely committed to this dialogue that we’re opening up, and this understanding that needs to happen in order to be an effective MP.”

Trudeau does not live in Papineau. It is the poorest riding in Canada and the smallest. It consists of blue-collar residents.

The riding has a long history of Liberal MPs. In the 1949 federal election an Independent MP held the riding. Liberal Adrien Meunier was re-elected three times holding the riding from 1949 to 1962. Liberal Guy Favreau was re-elected once holding the riding from 1963 to 1965. Liberal André Ouellet was re-elected six times holding the riding from 1967 to 1984. Liberal Pierre Pettigrew was elected in 2004, he came in second to current Bloc Québécois MP Vivian Barbot, who won by 17,775 votes.

Trudeau, 35, is the second child born to a Prime Minister during his term in office to Canada’s first, Sir John A. Macdonald, who had a his daughter Margaret Mary Macdonald during his time in office. He has a Bachelor of Arts of English literature from Montreal’s McGill University and the Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia. He eventually became a teacher there.

He married French-Canadian television personality Sophie Grégoire on March 18, 2005. In April this year they announced they are expecting their first child. Since his youngest sibling Michel Trudeau died in an avalanche in 1998, Trudeau has been an active campaigner for winter sports safety. His younger brother Alexandre Trudeau is a journalist.

His father died on 28 September 2000 at the age of 80. During the state funeral, Trudeau, then 28, delivered an emotional speech which led to speculation in the media that a career in politics could be his future. He has also openly stated that he opposes Quebec nationalism. Trudeau put his support behind Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy during the 2006 Liberal Party of Canada leadership convention. Kennedy dropped out of the second ballot of voting and both he and Trudeau went on to support now leader Stéphane Dion.

Results

Votes needed to win: 634

Candidate Votes
Justin Trudeau 690
Mary Deros 350
Basilio Giordano 220

Related news

  • “Son of former Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau wants to run for office” — Wikinews, February 23, 2007
Wikipedia Learn more about Justin Trudeau and Pierre Trudeau on Wikipedia.

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Telecom New Zealand bounces gay e-mail

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Telecom New Zealand bounces gay e-mail – Wikinews, the free news source

Telecom New Zealand bounces gay e-mail

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

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Telecom New Zealand has apologised to Gay Hamilton after her e-mail was bounced because it contained the word gay eight times. The automatic reply Ms Hamilton received stated that the e-mail was not suited for “business-like communication”.

Website designer and lesbian, Gay Hamilton had sent the largest public company in New Zealand a message to their help desk via e-mail, asking if she was able to receive their broadband services in her Nelson suburb.

Lenska Papich, spokesperson for Telecom, has said that e-mails are usually only monitored internally, and the words are blocked to help reduce harassment cases by threatening disciplinary action. “Our systems internally detect a number of words, including both the words gay and heterosexual, that could be deemed as inappropriate for use at work.” Telecom refused to list the other words that are blocked.

Ms Hamilton has said that she is worried about the amount of time and effort Telecom must have put into deciding that gay was an inappropriate word in e-mail communication. “If they do have to put content filters on, then maybe they should ensure that it only gets genuinely abusive words.”

Ms Hamilton has been apologised to by Lenska Papich, who said that she was very good about it all.

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MLB: Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock killed in car accident

MLB: Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock killed in car accident

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pitcher Josh Hancock passed away early Sunday after crashing his car into a tow truck. The accident occurred on Interstate 64 in St. Louis, Missouri at about 12:30am, and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 29 years old.

Josh Hancock was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1998 and made his Major League debut in 2002. He was later traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds before being signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. He was part of the 2006 World Series Cardinals team, and a current member of the Cardinals roster. He had just played in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Chicago Cubs, pitching three solid innings.

Hancock was mourned around the league. The Cleveland Indians held a moment of silence before their game, displaying Hancock’s picture on the scoreboard. Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball, said “All of baseball today mourns the tragic and untimely death of St. Louis pitcher Josh Hancock. He was a fine young pitcher who played an important role on last year’s World Series championship team.”

This is the second time in recent years that a Cardinals pitcher has died during the regular season. In 2002, Darryl Kile was found dead in his room at the team’s hotel during a series against the Cubs in Chicago, Illinois. The final game of the Cardinals-Cubs series, scheduled for 7:00pm tonight, has been postponed because of the tragedy.

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BBC and ITV to provide free satellite TV in the UK

BBC and ITV to provide free satellite TV in the UK

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Approval has been given to the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) by the BBC Trust to go ahead with a proposal that would allow satellite TV to be “subscription free.”

Freesat will have no monthly subscription fee, and according to the BBC, the new system would “require a one-off payment for reception equipment.”

“Envisaged as a joint venture, Freesat will ensure the public remain in control of how they access the BBC’s television channels and radio networks for which they have already paid. It is guaranteed to remain subscription free, ensuring that the benefits of digital television do not equal ‘pay television’,” said Chitra Bharucha, the acting Chairman of the BBC Trust.

The service will be offered to anyone who is unable to watch digital TV from the current provider, Freeview, which is not available to at least 25% of people in the United Kingdom who watch or have a TV.

“Its [Freesat’s] primary purpose is to drive digital take-up in analogue homes, particularly in those areas which are out of digital terrestrial coverage,” said Mark Thompson, the Director-General of the BBC.

Freesat will also be jointly operated by ITV. It is expected to launch in 2008 and is scheduled to be completed in 2012. The service will be installed “region by region,” according to the BBC.

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April 28, 2007

U.S. nonprofit news agency shuts down

U.S. nonprofit news agency shuts down – Wikinews, the free news source

U.S. nonprofit news agency shuts down

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

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The online news agency The NewStandard (TNS), a U.S.-based daily dispatch service, ceased publications on Friday, April 27. The not for profit media organization run by the PeoplesNetWorks Collective out of Syracuse, New York was begun in 2004. The 5 staffers that run the collective said that the reason for closure was a “lack of support”.

An announcement made earlier this week on Monday said,

As those familiar with us or our work can imagine, this was a tremendously difficult decision for us to reach. But the five staffers who form the PeoplesNetWorks Collective – the nonhierarchical nonprofit that publishes TNS – have accepted that the news publication we envisioned cannot be achieved without a greater level of support. We do not believe we will be able to obtain that support in the foreseeable future, and as individuals, we have reached a point at which we are unable to sustain the long hours and stress that publishing TNS entails.

A Friday email to subscribers again announced that it would be the last daily dispatch, in what the publication called “our unusual endeavor”, where unusual meant because it did not accept advertising revenue for any of its online page content. All TNS publications were ad free. Premium donors, those who donated US$10 or more each month, and contributions made by its readership and other organizations, funded the news agency during its 3 and a half year life. In this way, donations were the revenue substitute for advertising dollars.

TNS came close to shutting down once before, over a year ago. Readers were warned of the pending end, and the publication managed to survive with financial support given by both large donors and small. The publication never took off according to an Alexa web traffic ranking result shown in a graph in the ‘External links’ section below. In comparison to The Washington Post, where the line on top in that graph represents their ranking, TNS was barely on the radar screen.

The content of the online publication was derived from original and featured article reports written by contributors to the publication who were paid between $125 — 100 per article. $50 — $25 was paid to suppliers of news briefs derived mainly from other news agencies, and $25 to cartoonists for their published submissions. Contributors came from all areas of the United States, along with some international.

Cartoonist Daryl Cagle, of CagleCartoons.com, who recently starting posting blog content on emails sent to subscribers of his featured cartoon of the day, blogged Wednesday this week in what he titled, Newspapers and Cartoonists Wandering Blindly:

For many newspaper editors, internet strategy is a fantasy from the movie “Field of Dreams.” “If you build it, they will come.” Good content is nice (Slate has great original content) but securing a continuing audience for that content is more important. Yahoo and Google maintain top news sites with almost no original content. That’s journalism 2.0: circulating content that is created in other media, while paying little or nothing for the content.

Cagle, currently employed by MSNBC.com and formerly Slate, also remarked that, “I still make my living selling cartoons that are printed in ink on paper from traditional clients who actually pay.” He said The Washington Post is one of the most visited online media outlets to grow out of the newsprint era.

“When The Washington Post Company bought my old employer Slate.com from Microsoft, the negotiations focused on Slate continuing to receive a huge audience flow from promotions on MSN.com. The Post understands the Web where traffic flows like a river – the river has to keep flowing or the lake will dry up.” Cagle said.

The staffers that run TNS are in the process of wrapping things up and promise to archive as much of the site as possible for future reference, and give a fuller explanation for the site’s closure in this coming week.

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Clashes over World War II monument in Estonia continue

Clashes over World War II monument in Estonia continue

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

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The Bronze Soldier of Tallinn.

According to BBC News Online more than 300 people were detained and at least 10 hurt after a second night of riots in Estonia’s capital, Tallinn.

Clashes began last night after Estonian authorities removed a controversial Soviet monument, the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn, which Russian-speaking Estonians see as a symbol of the liberation of Eastern Europe from Nazism, while Estonian nationalists view it as a reminder of Soviet occupation.

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  • “One killed in clashes over World War monument in Estonia” — Wikinews, April 27, 2007

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Australia defeats Sri Lanka in 2007 Cricket World Cup Final

Filed under: Australia,AutoArchived,Cricket,Sri Lanka — admin @ 5:00 am

Australia defeats Sri Lanka in 2007 Cricket World Cup Final

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Australia have defeated Sri Lanka by 53 runs (DL method) in the Final of the World Cup at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados, giving them their third successive title.

Australia progressed to the final without losing a single match – their smallest victory was still by a reasonable 83 runs against South Africa in the group stages.

Sri Lanka lost twice on their way to the final, first against South Africa in their first game of the Super 8s, made famous due to Lasith Malinga’s 4 wickets in 4 balls, though Sri Lanka went on to lose by 1 wicket anyway. Their other loss came against today’s opponents Australia, however they rested 2 of their main bowlers (Muttiah Muralitharan and Charminda Vaas), as well as strike bowler Lasith Malinga being out injured at the time. All 3 bowlers are expected to be in the squad today, giving Australia a different challenge today.

This is a repeat of the 1996 World Cup Final which Sri Lanka won – however Australia have won both World Cups since, in 1999 and 2003, and have beaten Sri Lanka in every other World Cup match they have faced.

Gilchrist played an incredible innings of 149 – the highest for any batsman in a World Cup final – to give Australia an imposing total going in at to break. Hayden fell for 38, leaving him just 14 runs short of Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 673 in a single World Cup, set in 2003.

The match almost concluded in confusing circumstances: the game had run on late, having been reduced to 38 overs a side initially and later 36 overs for Sri Lanka, and bad light ended up stopping play with Sri Lanka’s agreement, despite having 3 wickets left in hand and 18 balls left to bowl.

The Australians began to celebrate the win before the match officials informed them, incorrectly, that the remaining three overs still had to be bowled. If light conditions were not good enough for play to resume then they would have to wait for the next day to complete the match. Eventually the Sri Lankan captain sent his batsmen back out to play in near-complete darkness, the Australian captain agreeing to only allow spinners to bowl for the safety of the batsmen.

The final 3 overs were eventually bowled but nothing really changed: Malinga was stumped and sent on his way by Man of the Match Gilchrist but the balls slowly ran out and Australia stormed home to win the tournament.

Match statistics

Toss: Australia won, and elected to bat first.

Flag of Australia.svg Australia innings
Player Status Runs Balls 4s 6s Strike rate
Adam Gilchrist c Silva b Fernando 149 104 13 8 143.26
Matthew Hayden c Jayawardene b Malinga 38 55 3 1 69.09
Ricky Ponting run out (Jayawardene) 37 42 1 1 88.09
Andrew Symonds not out 23 21 2 0 109.52
Shane Watson b Malinga 3 3 0 0 100.00
Michael Clarke not out 8 6 1 133.33
Extras (lb 4, w 16, nb 3) 23
Total (4 Wickets; 38 overs) 281 19 10

Fall of wickets: 1-172 (Hayden, 22.5 ov), 2-224 (Gilchrist, 30.3 ov), 3-261 (Ponting, 35.4 ov), 4-266 (Watson, 36.2 ov)

Did not bat: Michael Hussey, Brad Hogg, Nathan Bracken, Shaun Tait, Glenn McGrath

Flag of Sri Lanka.svg Sri Lanka bowling
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Econ
Chaminda Vaas 8 0 54 0 6.75
Lasith Malinga 8 1 49 2 6.12
Dilhara Fernando 8 0 74 1 9.25
Muttiah Muralitharan 7 0 44 0 6.28
Tillakaratne Dilshan 2 0 23 0 11.50
Sanath Jayasuriya 5 0 33 0 6.60
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg Sri Lanka innings (Target: 269 runs from 36 overs)
Player Status Runs Balls 4s 6s Strike rate
Upul Tharanga c Gilchrist b Bracken 6 8 1 0 75.00
Sanath Jayasuriya b Clarke 63 67 9 0 94.02
Kumar Sangakkara c Ponting b Hogg 54 52 6 1 103.84
Mahela Jayawardene lbw b Watson 19 19 1 0 100.00
Chamara Silva b Clarke 21 22 1 1 95.45
Tillakaratne Dilshan run out (Clarke / McGrath) 14 13 2 0 107.69
Russel Arnold c Gilchrist b McGrath 1 2 0 0 50.00
Chaminda Vaas not out 11 21 0 0 52.38
Lasith Malinga st Gilchrist b Symonds 10 6 0 1 166.66
Dilhara Fernando not out 1 6 0 0 16.66
Extras (lb 1, w 14) 15
Total (8 Wickets; 36 overs) 215 20 3

Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Tharanga, 2.1 ov), 2-123 (Sangakkara, 19.5 ov), 3-145 (Jayasuriya, 22.6 ov), 4-156 (Jayawardene, 25.5 ov), 5-188 (Dilshan, 29.6 ov), 6-190 (Silva, 30.1 ov), 7-194 (Arnold, 31.5 ov), 8-211 (Malinga, 33.6 ov)

Did not bat: Muttiah Muralitharan

Flag of Australia.svg Australia bowling
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Econ
Nathan Bracken 6 1 34 1 5.66
Shaun Tait 6 0 42 0 7.00
Glenn McGrath 7 0 31 1 4.42
Shane Watson 7 0 49 1 7.00
Brad Hogg 3 0 19 1 6.33
Michael Clarke 5 0 33 2 6.60
Andrew Symonds 2 0 6 1 3.00

Australia: M L Hayden, A C Gilchrist (wkt), R T Ponting (capt), M J Clarke, A Symonds, M E K Hussey, S R Watson, G B Hogg, N W Bracken, S W Tait, G D McGrath
Sri Lanka: S T Jayasuriya, W U Tharanga, K C Sangakkara (wkt), D P M D Jayawardene (capt), L P C Silva, T M Dilshan, R P Arnold, W P U J C Vaas, C R D Fernando, S L Malinga, M Muralitharan

Player of the match: A C Gilchrist Player of the Tournament: G D McGrath

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and S A Bucknor (West Indies)
TV umpire: R E Koertzen (South Africa)
Match referee: J J Crowe (New Zealand)
Reserve umpire: B F Bowden (New Zealand)

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Prosecutor investigates possible terrorist training camps in Belgium

Prosecutor investigates possible terrorist training camps in Belgium

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

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Belgian Federal prosecutor Johan Delmulle has said in an interview published in the Flemish newspaper De Tijd today that the Federal police are investigating a possible terrorist group that recruits Belgians to commit suicide attacks in Iraq.

According to Delmulle, the Federal police started a record 106 new terrorism inquiries last year, compared to 89 in 2005, and 134 between 2004 and 2002. The trend also confirms itself in 26 cases that were handed over to the courts in 2006, compared to 14 the year before. The majority, i.e. 17 of those cases, concerned terrorist cells that were located in the capital city of Brussels.

The cases drew from 318 messages of possible terrorist activities that were received in 2006. Every single case was reviewed carefully, according to Delmulle: “We treat every report as if a real terrorist attack was pending. The margin of error has to be zero.” In an interview with TV-station VTM, Delmulle attributed the increasing reports on terrorism to the increased attention for the phenomenon, and not to an increased terror threat.

The federal prosecutor told De Tijd that Belgium mostly has to deal with “sleeping terrorist cells”:

Those cells will not immediately become operational here [in Belgium, ed.], but they often offer logistic support to operational cells abroad. For example, they deliver false documents or help persons ex- [sic.] or infiltrate from and to areas of increased risk, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. There is even an ongoing judicial investigation about a cell that recruits Belgian subjects here to commit suicide attacks in Iraq.

Delmulle told VTM he wanted the next Justice Minister to deal with the fact that the names of investigators are mentioned in judicial files. According to the prosecutor, people in the terrorist environment are trying to get a hold on names and locations of inspectors, information about their families and so on, which in turn leads to actual threats. Delmulle himself has been under police protection for the last 5 months because he is the prosecutor in the case of Ferye Erdal and other members of the Turkish resistance group DHKPC.

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