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June 8, 2015

F.C. Barcelona wins UEFA Champions League 2014/15

F.C. Barcelona wins UEFA Champions League 2014/15

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Monday, June 8, 2015

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On Saturday, F.C. Barcelona football club of Barcelona, Spain won the UEFA Champions League 2014–2015 which was held in Olympiastadion stadium in Berlin. The team defeated Turin, Italy based football club Juventus 3–1 to clinch the title for the fifth time.

Italian defender Chiellini could not play after suffering a calf injury.

Ivan Rakitić scored for Barca in the opening minutes of the game. This gave The Catalans an early lead over The Old Lady. Álvaro Morata, playing for Juventus, scored but could not match up La Liga winners Barca. Luis Suárez and Neymar scored in the second half for Barca.

Barcelona won the treble — domestic league, domestic cup, and European title — for a second time by winning the European title. Both teams had won the respective cups.

Luis Enrique, ex-Barcelona player and current manager of the team, wins the league for Barcelona in his first year as its manager.




June 6, 2015
Juventus 1-3 F.C. Barcelona Olympiastadion, Berlin
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
Álvaro Morata Scored after 55 minutes 55′ Rakitić Scored after 4 minutes 4′
Luis Suárez Scored after 68 minutes 68′
Neymar Scored after 90+7 minutes 90+7′

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January 12, 2015

Millions march in France and around the world in support of Charlie Hebdo

Millions march in France and around the world in support of Charlie Hebdo

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Monday, January 12, 2015

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Marchers in Paris.
Image: Yann Caradec.

Following the shootings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, millions of people turned out yesterday for marches in Paris, in cities across France, and around the world. Reported estimates of between 1.5 and 2 million people rallied in Paris, and the French interior ministry estimated 3.7 million or more rallied across France.

44 world leaders attended the Paris march including French President François Hollande; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; British Prime Minister David Cameron; Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy; Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority; King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan; Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu; the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov; the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; and the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba.

US Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley attended. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest responded to criticism for not sending a higher level representative on behalf of the United States: “It is fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile.” Earnest said the rally had been planned on Friday and President Obama attending the rally on such short notice presented “significant security challenges”. Secretary of State John Kerry said he already had a prior engagement in India.

Charlie Hebdo has previously published cartoons featuring the Islamic prophet Muhammed. These include original depictions and reprints of controversial cartoons originally by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Some of these cartoons were on display at the marches.

Marche Charlie Hebdo Paris 07.jpg

Paris: flowers and tributes to the victims of the shooting.
Image: Guerric Poncet.

6 Marche républicaine 11 janvier 2015 Paris - Le crayon comme pancarte AB P1340202.jpg

Paris march: a protester holding up two colouring pencils, in solidarity with journalists and cartoonists killed in the attack.
Image: Basili.

Crayons libres 2.jpg

Paris march: protestors holding up two giant pencils.
Image: Eric Walter.

Les crayons.jpg

Paris march: more protestors holding up giant pencils.
Image: Eric Walter.

Foule en défilé.jpg

Paris march: marchers fill the street.
Image: Eric Walter.

Marche du 11 Janvier 2015, Paris (4).jpg

Paris march: more marchers filling the streets.
Image: Yann Caradec.

Pancarte 2.jpg

Paris march.
Image: Eric Walter.

Paris Rally, 11 January 2015 - Boulevard Beaumarchais - 05.jpg

Paris march: marchers moving up Boulevard Beaumarchais.
Image: Poulpy.

2 Marche républicaine 11 janvier 2015 Paris - Foule des manifestants quai station Mirosmenil AB P1340193.jpg

Paris march: marchers fill the platform at the Miromesnil Métro station.
Image: Basili.

Rassemblement de soutien à Charlie Hebdo - 11 janvier 2015 - Bordeaux 10.JPG

Bordeaux rally.
Image: LeJC.

Bourg-en-Bresse rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting, 11 January 2015 (2).JPG

Rally in Bourg-en-Bresse.
Image: Benoît Prieur.

Marche républicaine 2015, Chambéry 9.JPG

Rally in Chambéry.
Image: Florian Pépellin.

Marche républicaine du 11 janvier 2015 à Lyon 49.JPG

Rally in Lyon.
Image: Jitrixis.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-1.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-11.jpg

A sign at the march in Rennes showing a number of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-7.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Rennes 11 janvier 2015 - Marche républicaine 03.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Pymouss.

Dimanche 11 janv 2015 Reims soutien à Charlie 05969.JPG

Rally at the Place Royale in Reims.
Image: G.Garitan.

French flag projected onto The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London.JPG

French flag projected on to the side of the National Gallery in London as a sign of solidarity.
Image: Simeon87.

Tributes to the victims.jpg

Signs, pens, sketch pads and cartoons left as a memorial in Trafalgar Square in London.
Image: Zefrog.

Participant holding a pen.jpg

A pen held up as part of the rally in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Image: Zefrog.

Je suis Charlie rally at Daley Plaza in Chicago, 11 January 2015 (5).jpg

A man holding both a French and American flag at a rally in Daley Plaza in Chicago.
Image: Stel Cape.

Cologne rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting-191954.jpg

A small rally in Cologne.
Image: Raimond Spekking.

JeSuisCharlie in Moscow S0147494 (16255052582).jpg

Candle lights at a rally in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

JeSuisCharlie in Moscow S0177502 (16070064457).jpg

Snow-covered flowers and tributes outside the office of the French Ambassador in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

JeSuisCharlie in Moscow S0357555 (16068596810).jpg

At the rally in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

Je suis Charlie, Stockholm 11 January 2015 (2).jpg

Rally in Stockholm.
Image: Henrik M F.

Stockholm rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting (15).jpg

Rally in Stockholm.
Image: fcruse.

Stockholm rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting (9).jpg

A pencil in the snow at the Stockholm rally.
Image: fcruse.

Wien - Gedenkkundgebung Gemeinsam gegen den Terror - Je Suis Charlie - I.jpg

Rally in Vienna.
Image: Haeferl.

Je suis Charlie, Berlin 11 January 2015 (2).jpg

Rally in Berlin.
Image: Tim.

Je suis Charlie, Brussels 11 January 2015 (122).jpg

Rally in Brussels.
Image: Miguel Discart.



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  • “Twelve dead in shooting at offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo” — Wikinews, January 7, 2015

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April 12, 2014

Wikimedian Cindy Ashley-Nelson dies at conference in Berlin

Wikimedian Cindy Ashley-Nelson dies at conference in Berlin

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

File photo of Cynthia Ashley-Nelson from 2006
Image: Cynthia Ashley-Nelson.

Cynthia Ashley-Nelson died the night before last while attending the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin, Germany. She was very active in the Wikimedia movement, and was named the vice-chair of Wikimedia’s Affiliations Committee on Thursday, the day prior to her death, after only having joined the Committee earlier this year. The day before she died, she spent a lot of time talking to a number of the event’s attendees and spent time with several members of the Affiliations Committee.

An announcement regarding her death was made on the main Wikimedia mailing list this morning by Bence Dakamos, a conference attendee and the previous chair of the Affiliations Committee. In part, the e-mail announcement said, “We are sad beyond words and so is everyone who came to Berlin to participate in the Wikimedia Conference. Her passing is a great loss for everyone in the Wikimedia movement. This morning all the conference attendees gathered together to grieve and talk about the loss of Cindy. We decided that all of us at the Wikimedia Conference could choose to continue the conversations about the future of the movement Cindy cared so much about, as well as spending our time here to remember and celebrate her. She will be greatly missed.”

Fellow Affiliations Committee member Gregory Varnum said, “The Lord giveth, and The Lord taketh away. While the passage of time may allow us to forgive whatever greater presence you may believe in for taking her away, the passage of time will not result in us forgetting the amazing person she was, her passion for our movement, or the brilliance she brought to her volunteer work.”

Wikimedia Foundation board member María Sefidari said in her part on her personal blog, “I got to know Cindy a bit beyond that, for she wanted to test ideas and potential directions in which to take the movement. We would send each other long emails about movement roles and how to move forward with the movement. And as it usually happens, conversations turned from the more formal to the informal, eventually including little snippets of our every day lives, the good things that happened to us and the not so good. When we met for the first time face to face two days ago, we gave each other a big hug. In the session we had during the AffCom meeting she once again showed her passion and commitment to help reimagine the role of AffCom and how to help emerging and new affiliates. And at the end of that session, she was confirmed as the new vice-chair of AffCom. That speaks to the impact she made inside the committee in such a short time. I think our last interaction was about getting together at some moment during the conference to just hang out and talk. She had a great smile.”

Ashley-Nelson was actively involved in many parts of the Wikimedia community beyond her position on the Affiliations Committee. She served as a moderator on the Wikimedia Foundation’s gendergap mailing list, a list dedicated to addressing the under representation of women as contributors. She became an Open-source Ticket Request System agent, handling requests from Wikimedia users who had problems they needed assistance with issues like copyright. She was an administrator on English Wikipedia. She had previously been a member of Wikimedia’s Grant Advisory Committee, where she assisted in reviewing grant applications submitted by members of the Wikimedia community. She was involved with Wikimedia’s Global Education Program, assisting students and professors with improving articles about global and United States public policy. She was also involved in the education program as an Online Ambassador, a member of the Ambassador Selection Team and Wikipedia Ambassador Steering Committee.

An active Wikipedia contributor since 2007, she made over 30,000 contributions to English Wikipedia. She wrote eight Did You Knows that appeared on the front page of the project, and contributed to two Good Articles, the Washington: A Life article and the Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 10th Earl of Shaftesbury article. The day prior to her death, she welcomed a number of new users to the project and did other editing tasks like removing copyright violations and cleaning up promotional language found in articles.

A Washington state resident, she was the founder and Executive Director of Catalyst Resource Network, having started the organization in December 2006. During the course of her professional career, she also worked for the Sycamore Street Review as a staff writer, Hookers for Jesus as the organization’s Vice President, the Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council for the State of Washington, and several other roles for the State of Washington. She was honored several times in connection with her work.

Members of the Affiliations Committee got together for a breakfast before heading to the conference. A grief counselor was available at the conference. A brief tribute was held at the start of today’s proceedings, which Sefidari described as “touching”.



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  • “Wikimedian activist Adrianne Wadewitz dies” — Wikinews, April 10, 2014

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August 26, 2013

United States spies accused of illegally bugging the United Nations headquarters

United States spies accused of illegally bugging the United Nations headquarters

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Monday, August 26, 2013

File photo of the sign of the National Security Agency headquarters.
Image: National Security Agency.

German weekly publication Der Spiegel yesterday accused the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) of spying on the United Nations headquarters in New York. The magazine claims to have access to official NSA documents, provided by former NSA and CIA computer specialist and current fugitive Edward Snowden.

If the allegations of bugging are confirmed, it would mean that the United States has breached International Treaties including the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. The Treaty states that countries must not carry out covert operations that relate to the UN’s activities.

“The property and assets of the United Nations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by executive, administrative, judicial or legislative action”, the Convention stipulates.

The documents analysed by Der Spiegel indicate that the NSA runs bugging programs in more than 80 embassies and consulates across the globe, in what is reportedly called the “Special Collection Service”.

Der Spiegel claimed that, according to their intelligence, the NSA was able to bug the UN headquarters by hacking into its video conferencing system in the summer of 2012. Their article included quotes from the leaked documents like ““The data traffic gives us internal video teleconferences of the United Nations (yay!)”.

Allegedly, decoded UN communications rose from 12 to 458 within three weeks of the NSA gaining access. Analysed documents also indicated the NSA found evidence Chinese spies were also monitoring the UN, and began logging what the Chinese were accessing.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the European Union are said to be among the organisations NSA spies have been targeting. The US government has previously denied any wrongdoing by the NSA, although President Barack Obama this month announced plans to curb government spying activities.



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March 14, 2013

Heavy snow causes disruption across northwestern Europe

Heavy snow causes disruption across northwestern Europe

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

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Wintry conditions are causing widespread disruption across parts of northwestern Europe over the past two days. Heavy snow as well as sub-zero temperatures have resulted in cancellations of hundreds of flights and caused traffic disruptions on major roads.

Many hundreds of passengers became stranded at Frankfurt Airport in Germany on Tuesday night as the airport closed, with many more flights cancelled yesterday. Tuesday in Paris, at the Charles de Gaulle Airport a quarter of the flights were cancelled. At Orly Airport a landing Tunisair slid, prompting evacuation of 140 passengers.

The Eurostar train service which connects London, United Kingdom with Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium was suspended after heavy snow. Many drivers stayed in their cars overnight in south Britain.

Maria Fanucchi from the Montmartre area of Paris said, “It was a winter wonderland for a day (yesterday [Tuesday]), but now it’s melting very fast. The streets are full of a dirty, slushy mix of black snow and water […] [my] trip to The Hague was canceled because the bus company didn’t want to risk getting stuck in the snow.”

Randy Tahtouh of Berlin said, “it snowed more then usual this year, well the public transport were not functioning properly and some roads were jammed”, and “in Friedrichsfelde, there was about 4 inches of snow.”

Helena Kristiansson from Brussels said she was stuck on a road for nine hours in 65 kilometers of queues; she tweeted, “Stuck at a road for Brussels closed since 5pm yesterday due to shoulder deep snow.. Really France? Really? #FML #fb”.

Belgium had over 1,600 kilometers of traffic jams during the Tuesday morning rush hour, reported the Touring breakdown assistance association, as lying snow on roads made driving difficult. The Belgian Pensions Minister Alexander De Croo struggled to attend the cabinet budget meeting as the snow hit. He said, “The budget won’t be simple, but just getting into Brussels to get started is a task of a different order altogether”.

Guernsey Airport, one of the major airports in the Channel Islands, opened on time this morning after heavy snow and ice caused the airport to close for a time yesterday.

Snow covering a landscape across a park in Paris.
Image: Bellanda.

A view of the Tuileries Garden in Paris covered under snow.
Image: MOYNAT.

A thick covering of snow in Tongeren, Belgium.
Image: Johan Neven.

An aerial perspective of the snow that has fallen in Paris.
Image: Ryan O’Connor.

A sculpture in the St Emilion Park surrounded by a frozen pond.
Image: Bellanda.

File:Snow in Europe 14.jpg

A photo showing icicles looking across at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Image: Olivier Milcent.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

A photo of the thick snow covering in Berlin, Germany.
Image: Randy Tahtouh.

Many inches of snow accumulated in Paris leaving a covering on this balcony.
Image: Vincent Perrin.

A slippery pavement in Paris.
Image: Carla Fournier.

Snow at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.
Image: Charles Stross.

A photo of a snowy road in the German capital of Berlin.
Image: Emma Kiiski.

A road in Berlin with lying snow.
Image: TRANSIT RECORDS.

File:Snow in Europe 16.jpg

A car is covered under several inches of snow in a car park in Brussels.
Image: Gregg Svingen.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Snow fell too, in the northern French city of Rouen as a residential road has become blanketed under snow.
Image: Pierre Moulis.

A photograph of swans in a lake in Rouen.
Image: Tatyana Ilyin.

File:Snow in Europe 21.jpg

A picturesque scene of a road in Rouen.
Image: CherryRedCheeks.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

A covering of snow in Rouen.
Image: ArmenianDancer.

A hotel restaraunt in Paris under the snow.
Image: Hotel California Paris Champs-Elysées.

File:Snow in Europe 5.jpg

The Eiffel Tower in the French capital of Paris under the snow.
Image: Mehdi.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

File:Snow in Europe 6.jpg

A photo of a snowman outside the Eiffel Tower.
Image: Dounia L.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)



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January 24, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 24, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 24, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: January 24, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, January 24, 2012.

If you believe any of these stories deserves more in-depth coverage, feel free to write a full article on the issues raised.

Christine Lagarde: World economy ‘faces a downward spiral’

In a speech yesterday in Berlin, International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director, Christine Lagarde warned that the world was facing “[a] 1930s moment… A moment, ultimately, leading to a downward spiral that could engulf the entire world.” To avoid a repeat of the Great depression she urged leaders of the Eurozone to moderate austerity measures in order to maintain demand and to find further funds to bolster the 500 billion European Stability Mechanism.

In order to mitigate the Eurozone crisis the IMF is also seeking to raise 500 billion US dollars to support developing economies that would be caught up in the fallout of a Eurozone collapse.


International Criminal Court calls for four Kenyans to face trial for communal violence

The International Criminal Court has presented formal charges against three senior Kenyan politicians and a radio executive accused of orchestrating the wave of communal violence that followed the 2007 presidential election in that country. Of the six individuals initially investigated enough evidence to prosecute has been found in only four cases – including 2012/13 presidential hopefuls Uhuru Kenyatta and his rival William Ruto a former education minister. Menyatta is deputy prime-minister and finance minister.

In the past the rich and powerful in Kenya have often escaped justice. Kenyatta is the nation’s richest man.


Syria accuses Arab League of interference as GCC withdraws observers

The Gulf Co-operation Council is to withdraw its observers from the Arab League observer mission in Syria following Syrian dismissal of plans for President Bashar al-Assad to hand power to his deputy and share power in a unity government as “flagrant interference”.

The United Nations estimate that upwards of 5000 people have died in almost a year of anti-government protests and demonstrations.

Salman Rushdie literature festival video-link cancelled over fears of violence

A planned video-link address by Salman Rushdie at the Jaipur Literature Festival has been cancelled admidst fears of violence. Sanjoy Roy, the festival’s organiser, said “Earlier today, a number of organisations came to us and threatened violence.”

Salman Rushdie, whose book The Satanic Verses remains controversial 24 years after its publication, had earlier cancelled attending the festival citing assassination threats, and it is claimed several authors who read excerpts from The Satanic Verses in support can be prosecuted.





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April 17, 2011

Syrian protests met with crackdown

Syrian protests met with crackdown – Wikinews, the free news source

Syrian protests met with crackdown

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

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President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
Image: Ricardo Stuckert/ABr.

Tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets Friday in cities across the country protesting for freedom. Syria’s official news agency (SANA) reported, “scattered groups of citizens came out to the streets in several areas of the provinces after Friday prayers and chanted slogans calling for freedom without the intervention of security forces.” However, protests in Damascus reportedly turned violent as security forces were said to disperse the crowds with batons and tear gas to prevent protesters reaching the capital’s main square.

“I counted 15 mukhabarat [secret police] busloads,” a source reported to Reuters news agency. “They went into the alleyways just north of the square chasing protesters and yelling ‘you pimps, you infiltrators, you want freedom? we will give it to you’.”

Protests in Syria have intensified since mid-March after families of political prisoners held rallies in Damascus and people in Daraa protested against the arrests of more than a dozen children for anti-regime graffiti. The protests continued as Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad failed to lift the emergency law the country has operated under since his Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party came to power in 1963. The Assad government has met protests with a mixture of minor concessions and force.

After a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The Syrian government did not meet the legitimate demands of the Syrian people. It is time for the Syrian government to stop its crack down on these people and begin to meet their aspirations.” Assad met with a delegation from Dara’a yesterday. The delegation asked for a deadline for their demands to be met. Al Jazeera correspondent Rula Amin said, “It seems from the people in Daraa that the government is seriously trying to contain [the situation in] Daraa because that is where it all started. If they manage to calm the situation in Daraa, the government believes it will be able to contain the situation throughout Syria.”



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April 4, 2011

Female boxer shot before fight by stepfather in Berlin

Female boxer shot before fight by stepfather in Berlin

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Monday, April 4, 2011

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Rola El-Halabi in 2008

A female boxer has been shot by her stepfather in her dressing room before a world championship title fight in Berlin, Germany. Lebanese born Rola El-Halabi was shot in the hands, knees, and feet while she was preparing for the fight. She survived the shooting but may never be able to return to the ring. Two security guards were also injured in the attack.

El-Halabi has spoke about the shooting to German media saying “I was with my coach and manager in the changing room when Dad rushed into the room, threatening us with a gun and shouted ‘All Out!’. Then he shot me in the hand from three feet away, I cried and cried, begging him to put the gun away. He threatened to shoot himself, but he was too cowardly. He took his time aiming and and shot me in the knee, then in my right foot.”

Malte Mueller-Michaelis, her promoter, commented on her condition saying “Her operation went smoothly, but the shots were intended to end her career and it seems almost certain that that will happen.” It is believed that the shooting was due to El-Halabi’s decision to stop working with her stepfather as her manager.

The 26 year-old had been due to fight Irma Adler of Bosnia for the WIBF world lightweight title. El-Halabi has an undefeated record with 11 wins and is the former holder of two world titles.



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April 2, 2011

Polar bear Knut\’s death linked to encephalitis

Polar bear Knut’s death linked to encephalitis

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Knut at his debut at the Berlin Zoo in 2007

Two weeks after the celebrity polar bear Knut died unexpectedly, an autopsy report shows that the immediate cause of death was drowning. It also reveals Knut was suffering from a brain disorder resulting in a seizure that led to his fall into the water.

The four-year-old polar bear had been living at the at the Berlin zoo since birth and was a popular attraction. Just before his death he turned around in circles in front of hundreds of zoo visitors, and then fell into the pool in his enclosure and died.

The final autopsy report determined that a large amount of water was found in his lungs and the immediate cause of his death was drowning, said Achim Gruber, animal pathologist of Berlin’s Free University, at a news conference.

The autopsy also showed that Knut was suffering from encephalitis, a swelling and inflammation of the brain that can cause seizures, and is the likely explanation for his collapse into the pool, according to experts who studied the report. Knut’s encephalitis was the result of an undetermined infection that was probably caused by a virus, said Claudia Szentiks, lead pathologist of Knut’s autopsy. Ruled out during the autopsy were causes of encephalitis such as rabies or a prion disease.

Szentiks said, “Given the massive scale of the inflammation, Knut would probably have died sooner or later.”

The zoo’s original plan to stuff Knut for display is being vigorously opposed by his fans, who have organized a “Stop the Stuffing of Knut” protest scheduled for Saturday.



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March 20, 2011

Celebrity bear Knut dies suddenly at the Berlin Zoo

Celebrity bear Knut dies suddenly at the Berlin Zoo

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Knut at his debut at the Berlin Zoo in 2007

Berlin zoo’s celebrity polar bear named Knut died suddenly in his compound at the Berlin Zoo yesterday. No immediate cause of death was given. Knut has been featured on magazine covers and merchandise, and doubled the attendance at the zoo, according to Zoo officials.

One of the bear keepers at the zoo, Heiner Kloes, said: “It was a completely normal day. He was with the female bears before, who had just been shut away. Then Knut strolled around the enclosure, went into the water, had a short spasm and died.”

Knut was four years old. In the wild polar bears have a life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years, while in captivity they can live longer. An autopsy is expected to be performed.

Knut was born in captivity and was raised by humans after his mother rejected him. He first drew attention when caregiver, Thomas Dörflein, temporarily lived at the zoo to be able to give the cub his bottle every two hours. Knut made daily public appearances in which his caregiver cuddled and played with the cub to the pleasure of thousands of visitors. Around the world fan clubs formed, including in the United States, Japan, and Germany. Fans were interested in all aspects of his life, including his battle with gaining weight and plans to relocate to a different zoo.

Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz shot a 2007 Vanity Fair cover featuring Knut with actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Knut was a money maker for the Berlin Zoo through the sales of various merchandise including photos, key chains, food items, and stuffed likenesses.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit called the death of Knut “awful”.



Sources

Wikipedia
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Knut (polar bear)
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