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July 8, 2016

Italian police charge homeless local with murder of US exchange student

Italian police charge homeless local with murder of US exchange student

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Friday, July 8, 2016

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Map showing locations pertaining to the robbery of Beau Solomon.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

Map showing scene and bar locations pertaining to the robbery of Beau Solomon.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

On Tuesday, Italian police charged homeless forty-year-old Massimo Galioto with the aggravated murder of Beau Solomon, a college student from Wisconsin, US. The police arrested the man after finding the student’s body in the Tiber River in Rome on Monday. The defendant has attorney Michele Vincelli.

According to reports, Massimo Galioto is homeless and lived in a tent under a bridge. Italian police said two witnesses reported they saw someone being thrown from the Garibaldi bridge into the Tiber River. The authorities also reportedly obtained CCTV footage near the bank of the river, showing the incident.

A homeless woman sharing a tent with Massimo Galioto said she saw Massimo Galioto and Beau Solomon fighting each-other, and then saw Beau Solomon fall into the river. The woman alleged Beau Solomon was drunk and the company included two people from North Africa.

On Monday, Italian police found Beau Solomon’s body near Guglielmo Marconi bridge about three miles (five kilometres) downstream from Trastevere, where the student was last seen at about 1AM in G-Bar in Piazza Trilussa on Friday night after his first day in Italy. Solomon was beginning a summer school at John Cabot University. His parents arrived on Monday using emergency passports.

The body had no mobile device or wallet, suggesting to local authorities it was a robbery. The body also had a head wound and bloody shirt, the victim’s 23-year-old brother Cole Solomon told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday.

Last week on Friday morning, Beau Solomon’s parents received bank alerts. According to the student’s brother Jake Solomon, the bank told his parents Beau’s bank card was charged “thousands of dollars”. Authorities later confirmed the amount as about 1,500 euro (about US$1700). The credit card of the victim was charged in Milan over 300 miles away from Rome on Friday.

Beau Solomon was aged 19. He came to Italy to attend summer school on Thursday. Beau Solomon did not attend university student orientation next morning, and the institution reported him missing to the local authorities at 9PM.



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March 10, 2014

Wheelchair curling enters third day at 2014 Winter Paralympics

Wheelchair curling enters third day at 2014 Winter Paralympics

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Monday, March 10, 2014

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Wheelchair curling continued today at the Ice Cube Curling Center at the 2014 Winter Paralympics on difficult playing conditions as a result of the warm temperature outside. In the morning session, the South Korea lost to Russia in the eighth end by a score of 5–7, the United States lost to Canada 2–7 in seven ends, Norway edged out Finland 6–8 in extra ends, and China defeated Sweden 8–4 in seven ends.

At the conclusion of the morning session, round robin standing had Canada in first with 4 wins; Slovakia in second with 3 wins; Russia in third with 3 wins and 1 loss; Great Britain in fourth with 2 wins and 1 loss; China and Norway in fifth with 2 wins and 2 losses; South Korea, Sweden, and the United States in seventh place with 1 win and 3 losses; and Finland last with 4 losses.

Finland and Norway were evenly matched, going point for point in the first pair of ends, trading 2 points each in the next pair of ends, then Norway scored 2 points and 1 point in the next ends with Finland answering back. Tied after eight ends, they went to extra ends which Norway won with 2 points.

Outpacing other curlers on the ice, United States looked like they might be able to come back to tie things after their second end against Canada, and then only being down one after the fourth end, but Canada went on to score points in the next three ends.

While Sweden won three of the seven ends they played against China, they were unable to beat the Chinese team who scored 2 points in two ends and 3 points in another end. In the fourth end, the 3 points came after a precision takeout by the Chinese skip Wang Haitao that cleared two Swedish stones off the sheet.

With the crowd behind them the entire match, Russia came from behind after the first end and third end to tie things up in the fifth end and take the lead. They allowed the South Koreans to score two points in the seventh end to force an eighth end. Russian skip Andrei Smirnov cleared a South Korean stone sitting in front of three Russian stones off the sheet that gave the Russians a two point lead.

The United States has not medaled at the past two Paraympic Games, with their best finish a fourth at the 2010 Games. Of the United States’s curling team, two are returning wheelchair curling Paralympic veterans. James Joseph, the second, competed at the 2006 Winter Paralympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics. The skip and Madison, Wisconsin native, Patrick McDonald, competed at the 2010 Games. Penny Greely, the lead, competed in sitting volleyball at the 2004 Summer Paralympics where she won a bronze medal. David Palmer, the third, is competing at his first games after having a fourth place finish at the 2013 World Championships in Russia and a fifth place finish at the 2012 World Championships in South Korea. Alternate and Cape Cod native Meghan Lino is also at her first Paralympic Games after taking up the sport in 2009.

Sweden’s team has three team members who competed at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada: Jalle Jungnell, Glenn Ikonen, and Patrik Kallin. 60 year old Jungnell has the team’s most Paralympic experience, having competed at the 1988, 1992, and 1996 Summer Paralympics in wheelchair basketball, as well as competing at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Paralympics in wheelchair curling. Finnish born Ikonen had been suspended for six months following the Vancouver Games following a positive doping test. He claimed metroprolol was a drug he had been using for 4 or 5 years, and was unhappy that his doctor prescribed the blood pressure reducing drug because he would not have intentionally taken a banned substance.

The 2014 Games are the first Paralympics for Russia’s wheelchair curling team. Alternate Oksana Slesarenko from Yekaterinburg and skip Andrei Smirnov also from Yekaterinburg have the most experience on the team, both having taken up the sport in 2003, and competing at the 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2013 World Championships.

Team Canada includes all five members of their 2013 World Championship winning team, including 63-year-old skip Jim Armstrong, 51-year-old Dennis John Thiessen, 52-year-old Ina Forrest, 47-year-old Sonja Gaudet, and 37-year-old Mark Ideson. Gaudet is the only wheelchair curling Paralympian with two gold medals, having won them in 2006 and 2010. Teammates Armstrong and Thiessen were part of the 2010 gold medal winning team. Gaudet also has gold medals from the 2009, 2011, and 2013 World Championships. While Armstrong was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1990 for his accomplishments in able bodied curling, Gaudet was the first wheelchair-only curler to be inducted when she was part of the 2013 class.

South Korea has two returning 2010 Games silver medalists, Kang Mi-Suk and Kim Myung-Jin. Both originally played other sports before taking up curling. Kang played table tennis and Kim played wheelchair basketball.

On Saturday, Russia beat China 5–4, South Korea lost to Norway 0–10, Canada beat Great Britain 6–3, and Slovakia defeated the United States 6–4 in the morning session. Sweden beat Finland 7–6, Canada beat Russia 5–4, the United States lost to South Korea 5–9, and Norway lost to China 3–7. In the morning session yesterday, the United States defeated Norway 8–5, Sweden lost to Great Britain by a score of 4–6, China lost to Slovakia 3–8, and Finland lost to Russia 4–7. In the afternoon session yesterday, Canada defeated Sweden 7–4, Finland lost to Slovakia 6–9, and Great Britain beat South Korea by a score of 8–4.

Unlike able-bodied curling, players release the stone from a stationary position and there is no sweeping. Another curler often sits behind the stone thrower to hold their chair in place while they execute their throw. Unlike a number of other Paralympic sports, there is only one classification in wheelchair curling and a variety of lower body disabilities compete in the sport. South Koreans Kim Myung-Jin and Kim Jong-Pan, Swede Kristina Ulander, Team USA’s Meghan Lino, Patrick McDonald, and David Palmer, and Russians Alexander Shevchenko, Svetlana Pakhomova, Oksana Slesarenko, Andrei Smirnov, and Marat Romanov have spinal cord injuries. Canadian Jim Armstrong has injured knees. Canadian Ina Forrest lost her leg in a farming accident. Team USA’s James Joseph has a limb deficiency.

Sochi Wheelchair Curling 3.jpg Team USA confers on a shot
Image: Laura Hale.

Sochi Wheelchair Curling 4.jpg The Russian team confers on a shot
Image: Laura Hale.

Sochi Wheelchair Curling 5.jpg Finland and Norway congratulate eachother following the conclusion of their game
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi Wheelchair Curling 1.jpg Team USA fans watching the matches
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi Wheelchair Curling 2.jpg Bagpipers playing before the start of wheelchair curling
Image: Laura Hale.



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March 30, 2013

Brookfield, Wisconsin man charged for stealing toilet and urinal parts

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

A urinal flush valve similar to what Feerick stands charged with stealing
Image: Terry Johnston .

On Thursday, the Milwaukee County district attorney charged Cory J. Feerick, a 33-year-old from Brookfield, Wisconsin, with five misdemeanor counts of stealing US$35,000 worth of flush valves from fast food restaurants and university toilets and urinals. If convicted, Feerick could spend to 9 to 45 months in jail, and pay between US$10,000 and US$50,000 in fines.

Initially arrested in late January following a local news television story on the thefts, he stands accused of stealing parts worth between US$300 and US$600 each from locations that included Milwaukee Area Technical College, Waukesha County Technical College, ITT Technical Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, the Pick ‘n Save on Capitol Drive in Brookfield, and the Arby’s also located on Capitol Drive in Brookfield.

Feerick was dubbed the “Backpack Bathroom Bandit” by the media because video showed him committing the thefts while wearing a backpack. The thefts reportedly took place in September and October of last year, with several area police departments involved in investigating them.



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November 7, 2012

United States re-elects Barack Obama

United States re-elects Barack Obama – Wikinews, the free news source

United States re-elects Barack Obama

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama speaking to troops at Bagram Airfield in May.
Image: Bill Gowdy, US Navy.

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has been projected enough electoral votes to win re-election, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Many of the major media outlets have called the election for Obama.

Obama’s campaign succeeded in gaining the vote in the battleground states of Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, and New Hampshire. Romney won in Indiana and North Carolina, two states Obama won in 2008.

Obama thanked voters via Twitter, posting: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”

In the race for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, who helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown. In Wisconsin, Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate and will be the first openly gay member of the Senate. In Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill defeated her Republican challenger Todd Akin. In August, Akin suggested that women who are victims of “legitimate” rape are unable to get pregnant.



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United States re-elects Obama

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama speaking to troops at Bagram Airfield in May.
Image: Bill Gowdy, US Navy.

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has been projected enough electoral votes to win re-election, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Many of the major media outlets have called the election for Obama.

Obama’s campaign succeeded in persuading voters in the battleground states of Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and New Hampshire. Romney won in Indiana and North Carolina, two states Obama won in 2008.

Obama thanked voters via Twitter, posting: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”

In the race for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, who helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown. In Wisconsin, Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate and will be the first openly gay member of the Senate. In Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill defeated her Republican challenger Todd Akin. In August, Akin suggested that women who are victims of “legitimate” rape are unable to get pregnant.



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  • “Barack Obama elected 44th President of the United States” — Wikinews, November 5, 2008

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November 2, 2012

Obama and Romney enter final strech of campaign for US Presidency

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama (left) and Republican hopeful Mitt Romney.
Image: Malwack.

2012 United States Presidential Election
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2012 U.S. Presidential Election stories

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have returned to campaigning after taking time out due to Hurricane Sandy.

On Wednesday, Obama visited New Jersey, meeting with Governor Chris Christie in Atlantic City, and spoke to victims of the storm at a community center in Brigantine. Obama earned the praise of the Republican governor who said “[Obama had] sprung into action immediately”. The President’s reaction to the storm also earned him positive polling, with a Washington Post/ABC survey saying 8 out of 10 respondents thought Obama had responded in a “good” or “excellent” manner to the storm.

After restarting the campaign, Obama has campaigned in Wisconsin where he has attacked Romney’s proposed policies as being the same as those of George W. Bush. “Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly – the very same policies we’ve been cleaning up after for the past four years – and he is offering them up as change.” said the President.

Yesterday, the independent mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg gave his endorsement to Obama. With several areas of New York affected by flooding from Hurricane Sandy, the former Republican mayor said Obama’s stance on climate change factored in his decision. Writing an editorial for Bloomberg View, the mayor asserted: “Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

Bloomberg said Obama had taken action to deal with climate change; has proposed measures to reduce emissions from cars and power plants. Bloomberg explained he could not support Romney as the Republican challenger had changed his position on several issues. “In the past he has taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care – but he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the very health care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,” said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg did however have some criticism of Obama. He said that Obama had “engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.” Responding in a statement, Obama said he was “honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement”.

Romney spoke at an event in the city of Roanoke, Virginia, criticising Obama’s proposal to create a cabinet-level position for business development. In his speech in Virginia, Romney stated: “I don’t think adding a new chair in his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street. We don’t need a secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business and I do.” Romney also launched a TV advert which stated that the idea represents a broader failing of the Obama presidency by suggesting that Obama’s “solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat.”

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After speaking in Roanoke, Romney spoke in Doswell, Virginia. His speech was interrupted by a protester who shouted “Climate change caused Sandy! Let’s get real!”

Romney plans to make a last-minute campaign stop in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Jill Stein, the presidential candidate for the Green Party of the United States, was arrested on Wednesday in Winnsboro in east Texas for misdemeanor criminal trespassing while trying to bring food and confectionery to environmental protesters who have been camping in trees for over a month to protest the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Stein has been released pending a court date.

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Obama and Romney enter final stretch in campaign for US Presidency

Obama and Romney enter final stretch in campaign for US Presidency

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Friday, November 2, 2012

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama (left) and Republican hopeful Mitt Romney.
Image: Malwack.

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have returned to campaigning after taking time out due to Hurricane Sandy.

On Wednesday, Obama visited New Jersey, meeting with Governor Chris Christie in Atlantic City, and spoke to victims of the storm at a community center in Brigantine. Obama earned the praise of the Republican governor who said “[Obama had] sprung into action immediately”. The President’s reaction to the storm also earned him positive polling, with a Washington Post/ABC survey saying 8 out of 10 respondents thought Obama had responded in a “good” or “excellent” manner to the storm.

After restarting the campaign, Obama has campaigned in Wisconsin where he has attacked Romney’s proposed policies as being the same as those of George W. Bush. “Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly – the very same policies we’ve been cleaning up after for the past four years – and he is offering them up as change.” said the President.

Yesterday, the independent mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg gave his endorsement to Obama. With several areas of New York affected by flooding from Hurricane Sandy, the former Republican mayor said Obama’s stance on climate change factored in his decision. Writing an editorial for Bloomberg View, the mayor asserted: “Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

Bloomberg said Obama had taken action to deal with climate change; has proposed measures to reduce emissions from cars and power plants. Bloomberg explained he could not support Romney as the Republican challenger had changed his position on several issues. “In the past he has taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care – but he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the very health care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,” said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg did however have some criticism of Obama. He said that Obama had “engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.” Responding in a statement, Obama said he was “honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement”.

Romney spoke at an event in the city of Roanoke, Virginia, criticising Obama’s proposal to create a cabinet-level position for business development. In his speech in Virginia, Romney stated: “I don’t think adding a new chair in his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street. We don’t need a secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business and I do.” Romney also launched a TV advert which stated that the idea represents a broader failing of the Obama presidency by suggesting that Obama’s “solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat.”

HAVE YOUR SAY
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Which candidate do you believe would better-represent the United States?
Add or view comments

After speaking in Roanoke, Romney spoke in Doswell, Virginia. His speech was interrupted by a protester who shouted “Climate change caused Sandy! Let’s get real!”

Romney plans to make a last-minute campaign stop in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Jill Stein, the presidential candidate for the Green Party of the United States, was arrested on Wednesday in Winnsboro in east Texas for misdemeanor criminal trespassing while trying to bring food and confectionery to environmental protesters who have been camping in trees for over a month to protest the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Stein has been released pending a court date.

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August 12, 2012

Romney taps U.S. congressman Paul Ryan as presidential running mate

Romney taps U.S. congressman Paul Ryan as presidential running mate

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Yesterday, in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia, presumptive Republican presidential nominee, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney selected Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate.

Paul Ryan prepares to deliver his acceptance speech after Mitt Romney’s introduction.
Image: Tony Atler.

After an introduction from Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, who himself had been considered a potential running mate, Romney officially made the announcement. He referred to Ryan as “an intellectual leader of the Republican Party” and initially labeled Ryan as the “next president of the United States” before correcting himself after Ryan reached the podium.

Ryan, 42, has represented Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district since 1999 and serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee. Last year, he authored the budget proposal, The Path to Prosperity, which promotes reductions in federal spending of $6.2 trillion from the Obama plan through a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a reformation of Medicare, and capping of federal discretionary spending.

During his acceptance speech, Ryan said that his “record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private sector success outside of Washington.” He added that the campaign “won’t duck the tough issues—we will lead” and went after the record of President Barack Obama, arguing that his policies “didn’t make things better.”

On the announcement, senior Obama staffers explained that Ryan’s selection “makes clear that Romney would be a rubber stamp for the congressional GOP” and that the choice provides the Obama campaign with “clear advantages”.

According to Reuters, Romney made the decision on August 1 after returning from his international trip. Four days later, Ryan was secretly flown to Brookline, Massachusetts to meet Romney at the home of Beth Myers, who was running the vice presidential search. Ryan was supposed to be announced on Friday in New Hampshire, but he had to return to Wisconsin to attend a memorial for victims of the 2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting.

Thereafter, the campaign decided to make the announcement in Virginia, and so Ryan was once again secretly flown, this time to Elizabeth City, North Carolina near Norfolk, where he met with Romney and prepared his acceptance speech.

NBC News first announced the decision, and the Romney campaign announced the news to supporters through a phone application at seven a.m., a couple of hours before the official announcement.



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July 5, 2012

On the campaign trail, June 2012

On the campaign trail, June 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

On the campaign trail, June 2012

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

The following is the eighth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail, a Green Party presidential candidate who announced his 2012 plans to Wikinews four years ago speaks to Wikinews once again, the candidate leading the California American Independent Party presidential primary discusses his campaign, and Wikinews explores whether Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky will be selected as the Republican Party vice presidential nominee.

Summary

In June, California held presidential primary elections for both the Democratic and Republican parties. President Barack Obama was uncontested on the Democratic ballot, and easily won; as did presumptive nominee Mitt Romney on the Republican side. Other presidential primaries in California involved the American Independent, Peace and Freedom, Green, and Libertarian third parties, though not all of these were binding. In the binding Green primary, physician Jill Stein edged comedienne Roseanne Barr to secure enough delegates to become the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. As for other primaries in June, the Republican Party held its final contest in Utah late in the month with Romney easily claiming victory. Afterwards, Fred Karger, the first openly gay presidential candidate for a major party’s nomination, officially ended his campaign.

Starting off, the Obama campaign had a few difficulties in June: a jobs report for the previous month showed a spike in the unemployment rate; Democrats failed to win a recall against the Republican governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, bolstering Romney’s prospects in the state; Romney called Obama “out of touch” for his remark that “The private sector is doing just fine”; and despite Obama’s position against extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, former Democratic president Bill Clinton suggested during a CNBC interview that in current circumstances, extending the Bush tax cuts would be “probably the best thing to do right now.” Clinton’s spokesman later clarified that Clinton backed the president’s position. However, consumer advocate and frequent presidential candidate Ralph Nader speculated that Clinton was “undermining Obama…to appear with Hillary as very friendly to business” in order to lay the groundwork for a 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential run.

Former president Bill Clinton campaigns in Wisconsin in June 2012.
Image: marctasman.

The Romney campaign faced a few challenges of its own: reports surfaced that Romney impersonated police officers in his youth; Obama attacked him for his investments’ alleged outsourcing of jobs; and vice president Joe Biden discussed his Swiss bank account, portraying him as an elitist at odds with the middle class. Nevertheless, a large amount of Romney coverage in June focused on his search for a running mate. After ABC News reported that Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was not being vetted as a possible vice presidential candidate, Romney disputed the report and claimed that in fact Rubio was being vetting for the nomination. Additionally, two prospects, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, both took their names out of consideration for the spot, though Rice reportedly ‘stole the show’ at a Romney retreat. At the end of June, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio received increased mention as a potential nominee after Senator John McCain jokingly told a group of Portman interns, “now you can say you interned for Vice President Portman.”

In mid-June, Obama injected the issue of immigration into the campaign when he announced by decree that illegal immigrants at most 30 years old who entered the United States before the age of 16 and remain in good standing in their communities, would no longer be deported. During the announcement, Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro interrupted the president to ask how the move would affect American workers. A frustrated Obama acknowledged the interruption, and responded, “It’s not time for questions, sir…Not while I’m speaking.” The interruption threatened to overshadow Obama’s announcement, which analysts suggested was aimed to solidify support among Hispanics. Romney did not explicitly respond to the announcement, but said during an interview with Face the Nation that he instead would implement “a long-term solution”. About two weeks after the announcement, Washington Post analyst Aaron Blake of Chris Cillizza‘s The Fix examined polls from Quinnipiac University and reported that though many voters in the swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio favored the new policy, those concerned about the issue were much more likely to oppose it. Blake concluded that the new policy would likely help Obama in the Latino-heavy swing states of Colorado and Nevada, but might possibly hurt him in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Other political events shaped the campaign as June came to a close. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a tax. Though deemed a political victory for President Obama, Romney proclaimed that the ruling brought a “greater urgency” to the election, explaining to his base that repealing the health care bill now required Obama to be voted out of office. In the first three hours after the ruling, the Romney campaign raised one million dollars, a spokesman reported. On the same day as the decision, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. President Obama claimed the documents fell under executive privilege. Many congressional Democrats walked out during the vote and accused Republicans of playing politics. Pollsters said Holder was the most unpopular member of the Obama administration but predicted groups outside the Romney campaign would focus on the issue, in order to not divert Romney from his message on the economy. The Romney campaign ran ads at the end of June that used footage of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, polled as the most popular member of the Obama administration, criticizing Obama during the 2008 primaries for “perpetuating falsehoods”, concluding with “Shame on you, Barack Obama.” On June 30, Obama led Romney in the national RealClearPolitics average, 47.5 percent to 43.8 percent.

Wikinews interviews Green Party candidate

Kent Mesplay at an Earth Day event in 2008.
Image: Kent Mesplay.

In addition to Jill Stein and Roseanne Barr, Kent Mesplay, an air quality inspector from San Diego, participated in June’s California Green Party presidential primary. He finished the contest in third place with 10.8 percent behind Stein’s nomination-clinching showing of 49.3 percent and Barr’s second place 39.9 percent. In the aftermath of the primary and ahead of the July 12–15 Green National Convention, Wikinews reached out to Mesplay.

Mesplay, who serves as a delegate to the Green National Committee, had previously sought the Green presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008, falling short both times. Wikinews first interviewed Mesplay during his second presidential campaign in June 2008, when he announced his intentions to seek the Green Party’s 2012 presidential nomination. During his 2012 bid, Mesplay has campaigned on his support for sustainability, indigenous rights, campaign finance reform, and reductions in military spending. He has received the endorsements of party co-founder John Rensenbrink, 2004 Green Party vice presidential nominee Pat LaMarche, and Green activist Kat Swift.

With Wikinews, Mesplay discusses his thoughts on Stein and Barr, Green policies in general, and his future political plans.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png With the outcome of the California primary, physician Jill Stein has secured enough delegates to be the Green Party presumptive presidential nominee. What are your thoughts on Stein and her policy proposals? How do they compare to your own and have you discussed the vice presidential nomination with her?

Mesplay: The focus of Stein’s campaign has been a “Green New Deal,” which is a federal public jobs program funded by anticipated military cuts and by updated taxes. I support the stated goals of the program, although I question the practicality of relying upon such anticipated funding sources. Our campaigns agree on the severity of the crises to be responsibly addressed: climate change, economic melt-down, crumbling infrastructure, torn social safety-nets. We need to transform toward being a sustainability-driven culture, rather than one that liquidates our natural resources to our collective peril, and green jobs play a central role in this. I introduced the Green New Deal in campaign flyers in 2008; the idea has been floating around Green circles for a decade or so.
Rather than emphasize an apparently centralized, federal, “top-down” approach to improving our governance, my role in the 2012 Green Party presidential campaign season has been to emphasize a “ground-up” approach, making the case for volunteerism, local currency and scrip, and direct, immediate citizen involvement with local solutions to “fund” the transformation. More than just a complementary approach, direct citizen action is practical in that one does not need to wait for a Green President or Congress. At the federal policy level, we would see more success and less resistance by, say, gradually transforming the military to lead the fight in climate-change through re-training. However we go about it, we should be growing food wherever we can, and we should be better prepared and able to quickly meet the health and safety basic needs of masses of people. My “stamp” is an argument for sustainability as security-enhancing emergency preparation. I am also an outspoken advocate for Native Americans, having this as part of my ancestry and upbringing.
I have not directly discussed the vice presidential nomination with Jill Stein, although I have expressed such interest when Skyping in to a recent Michigan Green Party state meeting. I will support Jill Stein as the Green Party nominee in whatever way I can.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Comedienne Roseanne Barr, who finished second in California, seems to be hinting that she may continue her campaign as an Independent after the National Convention. What is your reaction to Roseanne and her campaign? Has she had a positive influence on the Green Party?

Mesplay: Roseanne is an entertainer. Jill and I privately conferred right after Roseanne entered the race, “for real,” knowing that Roseanne’s behavior could draw the party unwanted negative publicity. We were aware of Roseanne’s self-appointed title of (virtual) Prime Minister of Israel in an online parliamentary project and were concerned about her antics. In getting to know her, I now consider her a friend. She is intelligent, thoughtful, well educated and genuinely concerned about societal and environmental problems, and has been a strong advocate for Native people. When helping to shape the effect of Roseanne’s entry into the race, I said, “Roseanne needs to get serious and we [Jill and I] need to have more fun [with our deathly-serious issues].” Over-all, Roseanne has brought positive attention to the Green Party, has helped register voters and has increased our exposure to the media. She entered the race too late to be a serious threat to Jill’s campaign, and early enough to make it more interesting. And (watch out), she is making a movie about her run for president. She says it’s funny.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png When we last interviewed in June 2008, it was under similar circumstances: you were seeking the Green Party presidential nomination; the National Convention was just a few weeks away; and like Stein, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney had already secured enough delegates to be the party’s presumptive nominee. At the time, you mentioned that you were “taking the steps to begin running for the 2012 presidential race.” Now, at this point in the 2012 race, do you have similar plans to run for president in 2016?

Mesplay: I was the first declared Green candidate in 2012. My challenge is to raise enough money that I can take time off work to actually run, full-time. To date, I have not been able to actively participate in a more visible, effective, competitive manner. I am undecided as to whether I will run, again.

American Independent Party primary results

AIP primary results by county: Noonan (blue violet), Roth (red), Riekse (green), No votes (black)
Image: William S. Saturn.

The American Independent Party (AIP), a paleoconservative group formerly affiliated with the Constitution Party that has guaranteed ballot access in California, listed three presidential candidates on its ballot for June’s California primary: the party’s former chairman Edward C. Noonan; radio talk show host Laurie Roth; and former United States Army Lieutenant Colonel “Mad” Max Riekse.

In the tally last updated on June 26, Noonan led Roth 16,625 votes (38.8 percent) to 16,044 (37.4 percent) with Riekse polling 10,227 votes (23.8 percent) for third place. Wikinews tried to contact the leading two candidates, but only successfully connected with Noonan.

Noonan, who ran for both Governor of California in 2006 and U.S. Senate in 2010 as the AIP nominee, told Wikinews that the “only purpose” for his run was to “have standing” in a lawsuit against President Barack Obama. Noonan, who refers to Obama as “Mr. Soetero”, said his most recent suit questioning Obama’s citizenship was dismissed in court. He believes Obama’s birth certificate “is forged and a fraudulent document” due to “multiple layers of different typewriter font sizes”, signatures in “multi-colored [ink] and sliced into the document in different patches.” Furthermore, he says that without a legitimate birth certificate, Obama “cannot prove that he is an American citizen [because his]…birth father was a foreign national from Kenya”. Noonan says that this disqualifies Obama from being president.

As a candidate, Noonan has sent out press releases and made numerous attempts to spread his message through the internet; however, he has received very little media attention. He argues that people are indifferent to politics and that the “corrupt news media” ignores third party candidates such as himself. Additionally, he sees the two major parties as corrupt and refers to them as “two heads from the same beast.” He describes his opponent Roth as “a Republican traitor” and feels the AIP made a mistake by listing such a non-member on the primary ballot.

Roth, who says she feels God has called her to seek the presidency, unsuccessfully sought the Constitution Party presidential nomination earlier this year. On her website, she calls for the institution of a two percent consumption tax, the eventual repeal of all other taxes, and the elimination of the national debt in four to five years. Ahead of the primary, she received the endorsement of notable birther activist Orly Taitz. Wikinews has made numerous attempts to contact Roth, but has thus far received no response.

Former congressman Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party’s presidential nominee, and Tom Hoefling, the America’s Party presidential nominee, are both also reportedly seeking the AIP nomination despite not being listed on the primary ballot. The nominating convention is scheduled to take place August 11.

Might Rand Paul be the GOP VP nominee?

After Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky endorsed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in June, speculation spread that Romney might select Paul as his running mate. However, according to two political analysts, the scenario is unlikely and may not be strategically wise for Republicans.

Paul, who holds libertarian views similar to those of his father, Congressman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas, announced his endorsement of Romney on Hannity. He cited Romney’s support for a Federal Reserve audit, a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act as rationale for the move. However, Paul did not mention his policy disagreements with Romney on such issues as the War on Drugs, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the foreign policy of the United States.

Paul speaks at a Tea Party Express event.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Some libertarians and supporters of Ron Paul reacted angrily to the decision. The Libertarian Party released a statement saying “no true libertarian, no true friend of liberty, and no true blue Tea Partier could possibly even consider, much less actually endorse or approve of, the Father of Obamacare, Big Government tax and spender, Republican Mitt Romney.”

Nevertheless, some saw it as an attempt for Paul to position himself as a potential vice presidential candidate. Paul said it would be “a great honor” for Romney to consider him as a running mate. Proponents of this idea, such as Daniel McCarthy of The American Conservative, say Paul would help steer Republicans and the possible Romney administration away from statist and interventionist policies. Others do not view this as sound campaign strategy.

According to North Star Opinion Research strategist Dan Judy, the endorsement was simply Paul’s “way of supporting the Republican team and hoping to curry some favor with the Romney folks in hopes of getting his dad a speaking slot at the convention“. Though Judy held that the pick would help Romney with those concerned about Romney’s conservatism such as the “hard core Tea Party base”, he sees Paul’s political inexperience, questionable appeal to political independents and moderates, and the lack of any geographic advantage for the ticket as reasons that the scenario has “virtually no shot”.

Political analyst Kyle Kondik of Sabato’s Crystal Ball largely agrees, stating that the selection would be a “real surprise” and that though “supporters of Ron and Rand Paul are a vocal part of the Republican Party, they are but one small constituency, and their views, particularly on matters of war and peace, are too different from Romney and the Republican mainstream to imagine Rand (or Ron) in the No. 2 slot on the ticket.”



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April 2, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: April 2, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: April 2, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: April 2, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, April 2, 2012.

Rockford IceHogs split a pair with San Antonio and Milwaukee

The Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League lost to the San Antonio Rampage in a 4–3 shootout at home on Saturday after finishing regular time 3–3. It was the team’s third straight shootout. Rostislav Olesz, Brandon Pirri, and again Olesz scored for Rockford in regular time, and Bracken Kearns, Michal Repik, and Jon Matsumoto scored for San Antonio. In the shootout, Terry Broadhurst scored Rockford’s only goal, while Mark Cullen and James Wright scored for San Antonio. IceHog Phillip Danault made his team debut. Danault was the Chicago Blackhawks first round NHL Entry Draft pick in 2011. He spent most of the season playing for the QMJHL‘s Victoriaville Tigres.

In last night’s game at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Rockford won 2–1 in shootout win after ending regular time with a score of tied at one in a game similar the previous night’s. Scoring shootout goals for Rockford were Broadhurst and Pirri. Scoring for Milwaukee was Blum.

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Chicago Blackhawks clinch playoff berth before losing final home game

Saturday night, the NHL Chicago Blackhawks clinched a Stanley Cup playoffs spot with a 5–4 victory over the Nashville Predators at Nashville‘s Bridgestone Arena, before losing to the Minnesota Wild 5–4 in an overtime shootout in their final regular season home game. Regular time during last night’s penalty-filled game ended 4–4.

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