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October 12, 2015

Wikinews interviews painter Pricasso on his art and freedom of expression

Wikinews interviews painter Pricasso on his art and freedom of expression

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Wikinews interviewed Australian painter Pricasso on his unique artwork created using his penis, and how his art relates to freedom of expression and issues of censorship. He is to be featured at the upcoming adult entertainment event Sexpo Australia in Melbourne this November 5 to November 8.

File photo of Pricasso, 2012.
Image: Eva Rinaldi.

Background

Pricasso painting a portrait in Australia at Sexpo (2012)
Image: Eva Rinaldi.

Pricasso is the stage name of Australian painter Tim Patch, in a nod to the artist Picasso while using the word prick. Pricasso has been painting portraits using his penis for more than ten years.

Based in Australia, Pricasso paints his artwork using his buttocks and scrotum in addition to his penis. According to 640 Toronto News, Pricasso markets himself as “The World’s Greatest Penile Artist”.

Cquote1.svg I consider my work as satire just like late night TV, something that gives light relief to a serious subject. Cquote2.svg

Pricasso

He is able to create 20 paintings in one day. Pricasso also practices other styles besides portraits, including landscape painting and nudes. Typically his portraits take him not more than 15 minutes to paint. He told Coconuts TV he chose to specialize in creating artwork in this manner because he felt it was a niche market.

His fanbase is international; Pricasso has journeyed to locations including the United States, Holland, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and China to paint portraits for people. Though he is willing to travel to display his talent, Pricasso told In Touch Weekly most of his income is Internet-based.

Wikinews interviewed Pricasso about his artwork and asked for his thoughts on topics of censorship and freedom of expression. We discussed what are considered appropriate forms of parody and satire of public figures — protected in the United States following the Supreme Court case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell.

The interview touched upon a 2013 conflict which arose on our sister site for images and media, Wikimedia Commons, when an image of a portrait of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales painted by Pricasso was uploaded to the site. Wales called it “harassment” and a succession of deletion discussions ensued. We asked Pricasso about this as well as the different reaction from former-Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille, who called his painting of her part of a “free society” where artists “exercise their freedom in unusual ways.”

Interview

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Pricasso, thanks for agreeing to do this interview with Wikinews.

Pricasso: Thanks for doing this, great questions.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How long have you been painting in this particular fashion?

Pricasso: I first tried it over 10 years ago and realised it would be possible with practice to get as good with it but in a slightly more impressionistic style than I could with a brush, and I really liked the results, of course at first I had to work out the paint formula and what to paint on which was done by trial and error — and then finding somewhere to practice, which was a problem until I was invited to become a member of a Bondage club in Brisbane, my first patron. There I realised that there were so many people with totally different views on what is acceptable in society, and were always protesting over most censorship issues.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How long can you paint with your penis at one time before it gets too tiring?

Pricasso: At most Sexpo’s and Adult Expos I paint for 13 hours a day in half slots so I paint 20 plus paintings a day. When I am painting I have to concentrate hard and go into a meditative state; I don’t notice much going on around me until I have finished.

Example of Pricasso applying paint before creating a piece of artwork.
Image: Pricasso.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Other than your penis, what other parts of your body do you use in the painting process?

Pricasso: I quickly worked out that I could speed it up by using my testicles and butt cheeks to cover large areas in no time at all, but only recently do I paint the edges using my butt-crack, I call it the credit card swipe!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How did you come up with the name Pricasso?

Pricasso: That was the heading they christened me with in the Picture Magazine interview in 2006. I realised it was Gold and took out the website and trademark.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What’s the most positive reaction you’ve had to one of your paintings?

Pricasso: It is always satisfying to get applause when a painting is finished; at most adult shows this happened all the time; but I do like painting disabled people. I have painted several people with severe cerebral palsy and they are over the moon with the result; this gives me the most pleasure, as I do realise that they are still sexually active people and everyone should realise this.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have any of your paintings been featured in a gallery somewhere?

Pricasso: I have entered the Bald Archy Exhibition in Australia every year and sold a few. Also at an exhibition of politicians in Australia, and last November I went to Miami for the Art undressed exhibition and also painted 15 minute portraits there which was fun.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you consider it a form of freedom of expression to create your artwork in the way you do with your penis?

Pricasso: When I first thought of the idea I was really thinking I could get invited to a few parties as the entertainment which I do regularly, but now I am getting a good style about my work and want to take it to the next level and be accepted as an innovator.

Cquote1.svg A free society throws up these kinds of people, who exercise their freedom in unusual ways. Cquote2.svg

—Cape Town former-Mayor Helen Zille

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png In 2008, prior to a Sexpo event in South Africa, you uploaded a video to the Internet of yourself painting a portrait of then-Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille. Why did you decide to do this?

Pricasso: No particular reason on my behalf, it was the organisers of the Sexpo who got me to paint it mainly for publicity. But also to have a portrait on my stand, who people in Cape Town would relate to as I now know she is very popular and has a great sense of humour.

Cape Town former-Mayor Helen Zille
Image: Helen Zille, Democratic Alliance, South Africa.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille commented of your portrait painting of her: “This is a free country. A free society throws up these kinds of people, who exercise their freedom in unusual ways. And if this is how he wants to do it, I must accept his constitutional right to do so.” — what are your thoughts on her reaction?

Pricasso: Sounds a bit formal but that is how politicians usually talk, guarded and a totally correct response, the trouble is that if they spoke from the heart it might come back to bite them one day, but I did talk to one of her aides privately and she said they were all really impressed and loved the concept, I really should have offered to paint her too but I was probably flat out all day — I always am at the South African shows.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Mayor Zille further commented about the quality of your painting of her: “[Pricasso] has achieved a good likeness and I can’t imagine how he painted it without brushes or conventional equipment.” — what do you think of this assessment?

Pricasso: Most people are impressed when they see it done, skeptical at first but after the initial shock they all usually stop to watch until I finish that particular painting, usually they take about 15 minutes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png If you could speak to Mayor Zille, what would you say to her about her reaction to your painting of her?

Pricasso: I would say I was impressed with her response, mostly girls are much more impressed than guys only a minority of guys I might add, lots of them love it and me too!! But in general she gave a responsible and educated reply and was not at all offended by the experience.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png In 2011, one member of the Gold Coast Sculptors’ Society quit in protest due to your participation in the ‘Exotic Erotic’ show — how do you feel when people react to your artwork in this way?

Pricasso: I guess I could say; This is a free country. A free society throws up these kinds of people, who exercise their dissaproval in various ways. And if this is how she wants to protest, I must accept her constitutional right to do so. There was that politically correct enough? Or maybe the silly old B***ch — but her reaction did get heaps of publicity for the show and they had record numbers coming through the doors so there was a silver lining. But obviously it is a bit confronting and not everyone’s cup of tea but if they could just see it before they get on their high horse they might have a different point of view.

The painting of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, the uploading of which Wales called “harassment”. 2013.
Image: Pricasso.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You painted a portrait of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales in 2013; a picture and a video file of the making of this painting were uploaded to Wikipedia’s sister site for images and media, Wikimedia Commons. Shortly thereafter, the files were nominated for deletion and a deletion discussion ensued — what are your thoughts on this discussion?

Pricasso: I did not think Wikipedia censored anything as on Jimmy Wales’ Twitter account his banner heading is: “Wikia guy. Free speech activist, entrepreneur.” Either this is misleading in the very least or blatantly untrue.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The deletion discussion at Wikimedia Commons resulted in keeping the photograph of your portrait of Jimmy Wales, but deleting the video of your making-of-the-portrait — do you consider a video of your portrait painting to be offensive?

Pricasso: Not in the least; it’s pure performance art.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png During the deletion discussion, Jimmy Wales commented “I encourage people to go to commons and work to explain to the community there some of the concepts behind Hostile environment sexual harrassment. I encourage everyone to seriously consider whether it is appropriate behavior to upload a clearly non-notable film of someone using his penis to paint a picture of a Wikipedia volunteer. It is harassment, it is trolling, and I am deeply disappointed to have to point this out to some people.” What do you think of his response to your artwork? Do you feel your paintings constitute harassment?

Pricasso: Harassment is when one continually annoys someone, over and over again; I only painted the one painting of him and it to my mind was not offensive, I consider my work as satire just like late night TV, something that gives light relief to a serious subject. There are many examples of political cartoon images on Wikipedia, so why are they still up there or is it just the things Jimmy Wales doesn’t like get taken down? By the way anyone who has not seen the offending Video can view it on Vimeo under Pricasso: http://vimeo.com/user10315938/review/68837137/893b31ca54

I paint about 1000 portraits a year and get paid by the sitters or a close friend of them to do so. I had a request to paint a portrait, to do [this] portrait of Jimmy Wales with a video of me painting, by Russavia (who is an editor at Wikipedia), something I do all the time and I have great feedback as to how funny the videos are; I had no idea who Jimmy Wales was at the time of the request, but painted him only once so it can’t be called Harassment. Is he just using his position of power to cut and censor … It took me a lot of effort and time to put this together so I was pretty upset. And would really like it to be republished next to the portrait as originally it was before Mr Wales had it removed.

[Editor’s note: Accusations of harassment focused on the uploader, rather than the artist; the successive heated discussions, over about six months, that ultimately led to the video’s deletion from Commons may be read here. Jimmy Wales expressed his position elsewhere and did not directly participate in the discussions themselves.]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How do you compare the reactions by Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille who said your portrait painting of her was a product of a “free society” and a reflection of how people “exercise their freedom” with the comment by Jimmy Wales calling the publication of your artwork “harassment” ? Which of these individuals do you feel is correct, Mayor Zille or Wales, and why?

Pricasso: I think Helen got it. They in South Africa are struggling with change from being suppressed to one of freedom as she said “a free society”. Jimmy Wales on the other hand although promoting himself as The Free Speech Guy is censoring things he does not agree with and calling it Harassment, not a good look Jimmy!!

I did put the video of Helen Zille being painted on YouTube. It was there for a few months but they too delete my work quite regularly so it’s probably long gone.

She is an experienced politician and would weigh up the fors and against before she acted, obviously the fors had it.

Mr. Wales on the other hand has probably not seen a lot of my work; if he had he would know I do it for fun and not really to be taken too seriously, it’s a comedy performance, but he could not see the unique talent of someone who has cornered the world market of penis portraits painting with no imitators for the past 10 years, so before too many people could have a small chuckle at his expense he had it deleted, I’m sure there would be many others who would like to remove things on Wikipedia but don’t have the muscle to do so.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have you experienced censorship or attempts by others to limit your freedom of expression? How so, and what was your reaction?

Pricasso: As I said before YouTube is always deleting my videos when someone complains, sometimes even when there is no genitals visible. Once one was taken down because the guy I was painting had the word (fuck) on his tee shirt; I mean how many films have this word in the dialogue. Also in Macau at the adult show, the people who make the rules make me perform inside an enclosed area, and people are wary of coming in through the door so is a bit slow there; and the guys that run the show are so polite and passionate trying to change China slowly, making it more open, that I keep on returning year after year.

Signed painting of a French Bulldog, by Pricasso. 2013.
Image: Pricasso.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you consider some of your art pieces to be forms of parody or satire of famous people?

Pricasso: Oh yes I love creating something topical and painting a spoof on famous people, and painting with a penis really lends itself to this form of art, but I just painted a normal portrait of Jimmy Wales, as I said before I had no idea who he was before I googled him. And found this heading [on] his Twitter account (seems to me he has a few double standards) “Jimmy Wales
 Verified account
‪ @jimmy_wales You know, the ‪@Wikipedia and ‪@Wikia guy. Free speech activist, entrepreneur.”

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court case, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell ? How do you feel after reading about the unanimous decision protecting parody as a form of freedom of speech in that case?

Pricasso: Thanks for sharing that with me, I had no idea about this case and it’s good to know that freedom of speech is alive and well in America. Actually I was a bit taken aback by the parody and slightly offended that I have been put in the same category, my painting is pure performance art and I don’t go out of my way to offend. And I am totally against censorship. It’s a shame the same is not true about Wikipedia and Mr. Wales.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Pricasso, thanks again for doing this interview with Wikinews, is there anything else you’d like to add?

Pricasso: Not at the moment. I’m exhausted! Thanks.



Related news

Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Pricasso
  • Commons-logo.svg Pricasso
  • Wikiquote-logo.svg Pricasso
  • Wiktionary-logo.svg Pricasso

Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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November 30, 2013

Wikinews Interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Caitlin de Wit

Wikinews Interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Caitlin de Wit

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wikinews Sports
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Thai-Japanese Bangkok Youth Center, Bangkok — Wikinews interviewed Caitlin de Wit, of the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders. The Gliders are in Bangkok, Thailand, for the Asia–Oceania Zone Wheelchair Basketball Championships, which are being held at the Thai-Japanese Bangkok Youth Center. Wikinews caught up with her on Tuesday, before the Gliders’ match against China.

Georgia Inglis at the Thai-Japanese Bangkok Youth Center, Bangkok, during the Asia-Oceania Zone Championships
Image: Hawkeye7.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Where were you born?

Caitlin de Wit: In Cape Town in South Africa.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When did you come to Australia?

Caitlin de Wit: When I was six.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And then you moved to whereabouts?

Caitlin de Wit: And I grew up on the Central Coast.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png A I believe you had a horse riding accident?

Caitlin de Wit: I had a horse riding accident in Wagga.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What sort of horse riding were you doing?

Caitlin de Wit: I was just riding with friends. We were just like out on a ride.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you fell off.

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you were at uni[versity] at the time?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah, I was at uni in Wagga and that’s where I had my accident. And I went obviously to hospital for a little while and rehab and then I moved back to Wagga to finish my degree.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What was the degree in?

Caitlin de Wit: Equine studies. Horses.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you played sport before then?

Caitlin de Wit: I ran a little bit, and I rode horses. They were my sports. And then in my first year of uni I started soccer. That was my first team sport that I played.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So what made you take up basketball?

Caitlin de Wit: I suppose when I lefty hospital I was a bit bored. I wanted something to do. Keep me fit and occupied. So.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So which team did you join?

Caitlin de Wit: I just joined the local Wagga team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png There’s a local Wagga team?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah, there was. I don’t know if its still there. And then I joined… and then Sarah Stewart saw me at a juniors’ camp. And I joined what was then the Hills Hornets in the women’s league.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So you played with the Hills Hornets.

Caitlin de Wit: mmm hmm

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And when was that?

Caitlin de Wit: My first season was 2007.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Did they win the championships that year?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They won for a series of years straight…

Caitlin de Wit: They won straight up until 2011. We had one win as the Flames.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you joined the junior Australian women’s team?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah, the under 25s.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And where did you go with them?

Caitlin de Wit: We went to Canada for the under 25 World Championships.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When was that?

Caitlin de Wit: 2011.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you’re still playing with the Flames in Sydney. And you played for the Gliders at the Osaka Cup?

Caitlin de Wit: Yep.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And that was in January this year?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah. February maybe? January-February?

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And that was your first trip overseas with the senior side

Caitlin de Wit: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And now this is therefore your second trip with the Gliders?

Caitlin de Wit: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Been overseas much before then?

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah. Been overseas a little bit. Not with basketball.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Being from South Africa.

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah. My family traveled a little bit as a kid, so… yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have you played anywhere overseas with any other teams?

Caitlin de Wit: No.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So how are you enjoying it here in Bangkok?

Caitlin de Wit: Good. It’s been a really great experience.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I keep worrying about whether they are going to blockade the airport when we need to get out of here.

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah, it should be fine.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay, so enjoy it!

Caitlin de Wit: Yeah!



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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February 28, 2013

British Explorer Ranulph Fiennes leaves Antarctic expedition after frostbite

British explorer Ranulph Fiennes leaves Antarctic expedition after frostbite

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

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A file photo of Ranulph Fiennes.
Image: B Milnes.

After suffering severe frostbite the British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has decided to pull out from The Coldest Journey expedition across Antarctica. The 68-year-old was frostbitten whilst training at a base camp in Antarctica. He fell over and fixed a ski with his bare hands in roughly -30C temperatures.

He is now on his way to Cape Town after several days of blizzard conditions halted his evacuation. Despite his withdrawal, the expedition is to continue without him and his fellow team members are to trek the 2,000 miles (3,219km) across Antarctica from Novolazarevskaya Station (Novo) to the Ross Sea starting on March 21, at the autumnal equinox and approaching winter, taking six months. A team successfully travelled approximately 70km to transport him by snowmobile to the Princess Elisabeth Station. He is now to be flown on to Novo for a flight to Cape Town.

Organisers of The Coldest Journey expedition said in a statement, “The condition is such that he has very reluctantly decided with the support of the team doctor and in the interests of the success of the expedition and its associated aims, to withdraw from Antarctica while the possibility to do so still exists, before the onset of the Antarctic winter”.

Expedition organiser Tony Medniuk told the BBC, “After five years of preparation, a small slip like this and a few moments can undermine the most meticulous preparation”. Ian Prickett, a member of the team, said on Twitter “Sir Ran is leaving but we will carry on.”

The team hopes to raise US$10 million (£6.2 million) for avoidable-blindness charity Seeing is Believing. This is to be the first time any human has walked across Antarctica during winter and the expedition team are bracing themselves for cold around -90C and near-permanent darkness.

Fiennes also suffered from frostbite whilst on an expedition to the North Pole in 2000 and, as a result, lost the tips of the fingers on his left hand.

Guinness World Records has called Sir Ranulph “the world’s greatest living explorer”. In the past he became the first person to reach both the North and South Pole by surface as well as the oldest Briton, at age 65, to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 2009. Another British explorer, Captain Scott, died a century ago on his Antarctic expedition after being caught out by the beginning of winter.



Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg The Coldest Journey

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External links

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June 12, 2010

Rescue underway for teen solo sailor

Rescue underway for teen solo sailor – Wikinews, the free news source

Rescue underway for teen solo sailor

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

California
Other stories from California
…More articles

A map of California

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A map showing Abby Sunderland’s route

A rescue operation is underway after sixteen-year-old American Abby Sunderland, attempting to sail around the world by herself, lost contact with her family while in the Indian Ocean.

Sunderland, from Thousand Oaks, California, had originally hoped to become the youngest person to sail around the world nonstop by herself. She departed from Marina del Rey, California on January 23, 2010 and was about halfway through the attempt when Sunderland’s family lost communication with her Thursday morning. That night, an Australian plane was able to locate her 40-foot (12.2-metre) long boat, Wild Eyes, which had lost its mast earlier.

Sunderland had been sailing amid a rough storm in the Indian Ocean early Thursday when her boat was flipped over. The mast broke off as a consequence. After losing contact, the teenager activated two manual distress radiobeacons, or EPIRBs, and a search-and-rescue operation was formed. As part of the operation, a Qantas Airways Airbus A330 was sent over the ocean by Australian authorities. The plane’s crew was able to make radio contact with Sunderland, and confirmed that she was not injured and that her boat was upright, but was unable to continue sailing. The closest rescue boat, a French fishing ship, was about 24 hours away from Sunderland’s location when she was found, and is expected to meet her later today. She was stranded about 2000 miles (3218.7 kilometres) southwest of Australia’s coast.

This is not Sunderland’s first obstacle during the journey. Near the beginning of the voyage, she made a stop at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, after the boat’s generators were not producing enough power. She resumed the attempt in February, but autopilot problems forced another stop at Cape Town, South Africa for repairs in April, and she had to give up going for the unassisted record.

Sunderland’s parents, Laurence and Marianne, have vigorously defended against claims that their daughter was too young to be attempting such a feat. They have also been criticized for allowing her to depart the United States at the beginning of the year, because Sunderland would likely arrive in the Indian Ocean during the region’s winter. Marianne Sunderland has said that Abby would likely not try “something of this magnitude again.” Last year, her brother Zac had completed a circumnavigation when he sailed solo around the world at the age of seventeen. She had begun preparing for this journey at the age of thirteen.



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January 30, 2010

Honda recalls fire risk cars

Honda recalls fire risk cars – Wikinews, the free news source

Honda recalls fire risk cars

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

The recall affects Honda Jazz models.

Honda have issued a recall for 646,000 cars around the world due to a potential fault that could cause a fire. The recall involves the ‘Jazz’ range of cars, which is known by its alternative name, Fit, in some countries.

Cquote1.svg water intrusion into the power window switch housing may in some instances cause a short circuit Cquote2.svg

—Honda

Three incidents involving the problem, caused by a defective master switch, have been reported worldwide, two in the US and one in South Africa. In September 2009, Vanilla Nurse, a two-year old girl, was sleeping in one of the models, when the hatchback in Cape Town caught fire. Following the accident, Honda “launched an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the incident,” according to a statement issued today. Although they could not isolate the cause of the fire, “the investigation has shown that water intrusion into the power window switch housing may in some instances cause a short circuit, which in exceptional circumstances may lead to potential damages”.

Just 10% of cars are expected to need new switches. The remainder will need a waterproof skirt in order to keep water out.

Rival Toyota was forced to recall vehicles on Thursday, citing floor mats that may stick accelerator pedals to the floor. There are fears that Toyota may have to widen their recall to cover up to eight million cars.



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January 26, 2010

Dubai World refused permission to use QE2 as floating hotel in Cape Town

Dubai World refused permission to use QE2 as floating hotel in Cape Town

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The QE2

RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (the QE2) will not be sailing to Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town has refused the vessel permission to berth for use by owner Dubai World as a floating hotel.

The Transnet National Ports Authority said that the famed vessel is much too large for Cape Town and that the facilites for the ship do not exist. Dubai World had hoped the ocean liner could serve as a hotel to accommodate football fans attending the World Cup and had previously told the Associated Press that Cape Town was among several possible destinations. No others have been named.

Transnet National Ports Authority port manager Sanjay Govan commented that “It’s the length of stay that was an issue … They wanted to stay much longer than just the World Cup. You have to sacrifice a normal cargo-working berth for such an operation. You wouldn’t do that for such a long time.” Dubai World has confirmed the trip to South Africa is off. South Africa’s Protea Hotels were thought to have won a contract to perform the management of the hotel during its stay in Cape Town. Dubai World also considered private terminals but met the same issue.

Dubai World’s investment arm Istithmar World paid Cunard US$100 million for the British liner in 2007. Since then it has been moored off Dubai’s Port Rashid, having arrived in the emirate in 2008. Original plans were to create a luxury floating hotel for tourists that would be moored beside an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree, but this idea was cancelled in the wake of global market uncertainty.

State-owned conglomerate Dubai World is currently in severe financial difficulties. The firm is seeking an extra six months to pay at least US$22 million in debts and the government has supported a six month delay as the first step towards a restructuring plan. Dubai World’s main units Nakheel and Limitless are the most indebted companies. World markets and media reacted sharply to the revelations on November 25 last year.

Dubai World is rumoured to need to sell assets, including the Queen Elizabeth 2. The company has refused to confirm or deny this, only stating that “There are a number of options being considered for the QE2. Istithmar World is considering which option will best maximise value of the vessel.”

The same year as the Queen Elizabeth 2 the conglomerate also obtained Barneys New York, a luxury retailer based in the United States. Istithmar World paid US$942.3 million for the company. Istithmar World chief executive David Jackson resigned last week; he presided over the acquirements. In December a New York foreclosure auction sold off the W Hotel Union Square for US$2 million, which was owned by Istithmar World.



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December 5, 2009

Final draw sets groups for FIFA World Cup 2010

Final draw sets groups for FIFA World Cup 2010

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup logo.svg
Other 2010 FIFA World Cup stories
  • 12 July 2010: Spain defeat the Netherlands 1-0 in extra time to win 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • 9 July 2010: ‘Psychic’ octopus backs Spain to win World Cup
  • 8 July 2010: Spain advances to first World Cup Finals
  • 7 July 2010: Netherlands beats Uruguay 3-2 in FIFA World Cup semifinals
  • 27 June 2010: 2010 FIFA World Cup: arrivederci Italia!
More info from Wikipedia
  • 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
  • 2010 FIFA World Cup schedule

The FIFA final draw, which determined team positioning in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, was held Friday in Cape Town, South Africa. The globally televised event, which featured traditional African music and dance, is estimated to have been watched by as many as 200 million people around the world. FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke and South African-born actress Charlize Theron announced the random selection of teams for their round-robin tournament style groupings. Also introduced during the ceremony was Adidas’ official 2010 Match Ball, Jabulani, a name meaning ‘to celebrate’ in Zulu.

The final group pairings are:

Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France

Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic, Greece

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana

Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia

Group G: Brazil, Korea DPR, Côte d’Ivoire, Portugal

Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile



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Wikipedia
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December 3, 2009

FIFA to make changes after Thierry Henry handball

FIFA to make changes after Thierry Henry handball

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

The FIFA logo.

FIFA, the world governing body for association football, yesterday announced it was setting up a working group to conduct an inquiry into the introduction of assistant referees and technology into the world game, in the wake of the reactions to the controversial handball committed by French captain Thierry Henry during the 18 November France vs Republic of Ireland qualifying play-off game for the 2010 World Cup.

Yesterday, at the request of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, FIFA held an emergency meeting of its 24 member Executive Committee in Cape Town, to look into various issues which had recently affected the world game, including the Henry handball.

After the meeting, FIFA announced it will set up an inquiry to investigate the introduction of goal line technology and the global experimentation of using additional referee’s assistants to officiate during a match, already being trialled in Europe. FIFA did not however take the widely expected action of announcing there would be extra assistants in place for the upcoming 2010 World Cup, stating this was “too soon” to be made possible. Blatter also re-iterated his long-standing opposition to the adoption of video refereeing used in many other sports.

Blatter confirmed yesterday that Thierry Henry would be investigated by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. Blatter also apologised to the FAI for his handling of their request to become the 33rd team at the 2010 World Cup.

Henry handball incident

2010 FIFA World Cup logo.svg

There was a worldwide reaction after the Henry handball incident, which was missed by the referee Martin Hansson, with FIFA coming under pressure to make changes to avoid such a recurrence.

Henry’s illegal handball had led to the decisive goal being scored in the game by William Gallas, which saw France qualify for the World Cup ahead of the Republic of Ireland. The Irish football federation (“FAI”) first called on FIFA and the French for a replay, but this was rejected by FIFA. They later requested to be allowed to be given an extra place at the World Cup.

Yesterday, Blatter appealed to all players and officials that would be appearing in the upcoming 2010 World Cup to observe the principles of fair play. Henry had been criticised for admitting the handball after the game, but not informing the referee at the time.

Refereeing working group

Sepp Blatter in 2007

Blatter said of the crisis in refereeing in the world game that:

The committee was of the opinion that we are at a crossroads: where shall we go with refereeing in the future? The game at the highest level is so tense that it is impossible for one referee and his assistants to see everything…The executive committee came to the decision that the referee is not any longer consistent with the quality and the speed of the game, and the interest of television and 32 cameras as we will have in the World Cup

To address these issues, FIFA announced they were going to set up a committee of inquiry to “look at technology or additional persons”. Blatter confirmed the inquiry would involve a cross section of FIFA personnel, involving the referee, football, technical and medical committees.

On the subject of assistant referees, FIFA said:

… the Executive Committee expressed its support for the current experiment of including two additional referees behind the goal lines. However, the committee stressed that it would be too soon to implement this new system at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

Blatter said FIFA was not ignoring the ongoing trials of extra assistant referees, which would continue in the Europa League into the 2010 knock-out stages, but the executive was of the opinion that with these trials only occurring on one continent, any experiment should “be carried out globally” before being adopted in a World Cup, and that the six months remaining until the 2010 World Cup starts was too short a time to prove any such system. The 2010 tournament, to be held in June and July, would instead remain with the normal FIFA appointed officiating team consisting of four officials led by the match referee.

On the issue of what types of technology might be investigated, Blatter confirmed that two companies looking at goal-line technology were due to report to the rule-making International Football Association Board (IFAB) in March. According to AFP, the meeting also ‘ruled out’ the adoption of the type of video refereeing as used in rugby, cricket and tennis.’, while Blatter stated such a system would ‘damage the flow’ of the game and “take away talking points”.

Investigation of Henry

Thierry Henry in 2008, in his club colours of FC Barcelona of Spain

FIFA confirmed the FIFA Disciplinary Committee would “examine the case of Thierry Henry related to the play-off match”. Blatter said:

I have not said that Thierry Henry will be punished, I have said that Thierry Henry will be examined by the disciplinary committee of FIFA”, but he added “it was a blatant unfair playing and was shown all around the world, but I don’t know what the outcome will be, let them make the decision. Fair play must be maintained in our game

No timetable was given for when the Disciplinary Committee, headed by Swiss lawyer Marcel Mathier, might make their decision on Henry. According to the Associated Press, the committee has the ‘authority to impose a one-match suspension on Henry, which would take effect at the start of the World Cup in June.’ According to the BBC, there was no certainty that Henry would even be banned if found guilty.

Apology to the FAI

After FIFA rejected an Irish request for a replay of the game, the FAI had asked Sepp Blatter to privately raise the issue at the FIFA meeting of whether the Irish could be entered into the 2010 World Cup as a 33rd team. According to the BBC, the FAI ‘knew all along that there was very little chance of their request being granted but had decided to make it anyway on principle’. The FAI withdrew it before the meeting, after Blatter made their request public during his opening address of the Soccerex conference in Johannesburg on 29 November. Blatter yesterday apologised to the FAI for how he had handled their request, saying:

In this connection I would like to express my regrets – my regrets to a wrong interpretation of what I have said in the Soccerex. I have only announced they have asked it, but the presence in the Soccerex they don’t took it very, I would say, seriously. So I regret what I have created and especially towards the Irish Football Association, I am sorry about these headlines going around the world. Contrary I have nothing against the Irish, they were very sporting people when they came to FIFA and it is a pity that it has been now communicated in this way. Sorry again.”



Related news

  • “Ireland requests replay of FIFA World Cup play-off with France” — Wikinews, November 20, 2009

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November 17, 2008

Pirates capture Saudi oil tanker

Pirates capture Saudi oil tanker – Wikinews, the free news source

Pirates capture Saudi oil tanker

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Monday, November 17, 2008

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Pirates have seized control of the Sirius Star, a Saudi-owned oil tanker off the coast of Kenya and are steering her towards Somalia, reports the US Navy. The ship was captured roughly 830 kilometers south-east of Mombasa and is reportedly heading towards the Somali port of Eyl.

AbQaig, an oil tanker of similar capacity as the Sirius Star.

The oil tanker was carrying over 2 million barrels of oil at the time of her capture, and was on her way to the United States via Cape Town. Reuters claimed that news of the attack raised crude oil prices around the world.

Vela International Marine, the ship’s owner, has said the Sirius Star is fully loaded. The oil could be worth up to US$100 million. The US Navy reports that all 25 crew from the United Kingdom, Croatia, the Philippines, Poland, and Saudi Arabia are ‘safe’.

The area off the East coast of Africa has seen a significant amount of piracy. In 2007, one-third of the world’s piracy incidents occurred in this region.

Hijacking off the coast of Somalia has become increasingly common over the last decade. Over the last year multiple countries have expressed concern or committed their navies to dealing with Somali pirates. Most recently, South Korea has announced intentions to send one of its destroyers after five South Koreans were kidnapped in a Japanese cargo ship hijacking.

The Sirius Star is the largest ship captured by pirates in the area to date. This also sets a record for the farthest from the shore that pirates have struck.



Related news

  • “Somalian pirates capture military ship, weapons, tanks” — Wikinews, September 26 ,2008
  • “Somali pirates seize Greek freighter, 25 crew in the Gulf of Aden” — Wikinews, September 18, 2008

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MV Sirius Star
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October 30, 2007

Rugby player Bryan Habana tackled by fan

Rugby player Bryan Habana tackled by fan

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bryan Habana.
Image: A’s Phlog.

Bryan Habana, a rugby player for the South Africa national rugby union team and the Blue Bulls, was tackled by a fan who tried to grab the Webb Ellis Cup from Habana while he was accepting the award at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.

“[The fan] came like a bullet, flying through a crowd of people that were behind Bryan. Bryan luckily saw him and kept the trophy tight,” said Rayaan Adriaanse, a spokesman for South African Rugby who said that the man was the only “individual intent on spoiling the enjoyment of a lot of people.”

The fan can be seen coming out of the left of the screen and jumping up in an attempt to grab the trophy, which Habana was raising above his head. The trophy did fall, but was not damaged despite its lip hitting the ground.

The unnamed man was immediately apprehended by stadium officials and was given a warning. He was not arrested. He was reported as an “overexcited fan.”



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