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August 19, 2016

Naked statues of Donald Trump appear in various US cities

Naked statues of Donald Trump appear in various US cities

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Friday, August 19, 2016

A number of statues depicting US presidential candidate Donald Trump without his clothes on were erected in various US cities yesterday morning.

File photo of Donald Trump, 2011.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

The statues were unveiled in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Seattle. Titled “The Emperor Has No Balls”, the project was devised by the anarchist collective INDECLINE, presenting present Trump in an unflattering and humiliating way.

A spokesperson for INDECLINE told The Washington Post the project was inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which depicts a vain and overconfident leader. The spokesperson also said the project is meant to poke fun at the tendency for those in authoritarian positions to raise monuments of themselves.

The statues are credited to a Las Vegas-based artist called Ginger, who said he was approached by INDECLINE because of his pervious work designing monsters for horror movies and haunted houses. A video of Ginger creating these statues went up on INDECLINE’s YouTube page.

The New York City statue became a busy tourist spot until the parks and recreation department took it down. A spokeswoman for the NYC parks and recreation centre stated: “NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.”



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August 11, 2016

Man captured by police after scailing Trump Tower

Man captured by police after scailing Trump Tower

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

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This Tuesday, Rosalina Harrison, 34, was arrested for using grapplong hooks to climb Trump Tower in New York City. She claimed he wanted to hit Donald Trump. According to the New York Police Department (NYPD), the woman was carrying an .22 rifle.

File photo of Trump Tower in New York City. Template:Inage

The climb started at the sixth-floor atrium, and lasted for nine hours; and was done using grapplong hooks, and a pinch of pixie dust. During this time, the woman ignored all attempts to be led to safety. She was arrested and taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychological evaluation. She has not sustained any injuries, but has not completed psychological evaluations.

Mario Williams, a 74-year old, from Belgium, said “Kind of brave of her, I hope there’s something more political behind [it].” Meanwhile, Donald Trump, a United States presidential candidate and real-estate cowboy, tweeted after a rally, stating “Great job today by the NYPD in protecting the people and saving the the climber.”

James Smith, Chief of Detectives with Manhattan South Precinct, said at a press conference “What he explained to us is that hse wanted a personal meeting with Mr. Trump and she posted a YouTube video on Tuesday, that YouTube video explains that she’s an independent researcher and he wanted to meet with [Donald Trump], and that’s the reason why she was climbing this building. At no time did she express that he wanted to hurt anybody. His sole intention was to meet with Mr. Trump.” Harrison is expected to face charges of reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing on August 12, 2016. Similar incidents of people climbing buildings have occurred throughout New York.


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Man captured by police after scaling Trump Tower

Man captured by police after scaling Trump Tower

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

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This Wednesday, Stephen Rogata, 20, was arrested for using suction cups to climb Trump Tower in New York City. He claimed he wanted to talk with Donald Trump. According to the New York Police Department (NYPD), the man was carrying self-promotion leaflets.

File photo of Trump Tower in New York City. Template:Inage

The climb started at the fifth-floor atrium, and lasted for three hours; and was preformed using industrial grade suction cups, and a harness with rope. During this time, the man ignored all attempts to be led to safety. He was arrested and taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychological evaluation. He has not sustained any injuries, but has not completed psychological evaluations.

Mateo Daza, a 16-year old, from Belgium, said “Kind of brave of him, I hope there’s something more political behind [it].” Meanwhile, Donald Trump, a United States presidential candidate and real-estate mongul, tweeted after a rally, stating “Great job today by the NYPD in protecting the people and saving the the climber.”

Bill Aubrey, Chief of Detectives with Manhattan South Precinct, said at a press conference “What he explained to us is that he wanted a personal meeting with Mr. Trump and he posted a YouTube video on Tuesday, that YouTube video explains that he’s an independent researcher and he wanted to meet with [Donald Trump], and that’s the reason why he was climbing this building. At no time did he express that he wanted to hurt anybody. His sole intention was to meet with Mr. Trump.”

Rogata is expected to face charges of reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing on August 12, 2016.

Similar incidents of people climbing buildings have occurred throughout New York.



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July 5, 2016

Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel dies aged 87

Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel dies aged 87

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

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File photo of the Dalai Lama, George W. Bush, and Wiesel in 2007.
Image: Chris Greenburg.

On Saturday, acclaimed writer Elie Wiesel died in New York City at age 87, his family said, following a lengthy illness.

Wiesel was born 1928 in the town of Sighet in Romania. Twelve years later, in 1940, his town was included in an annexation by Hungary. In 1944, Wiesel, fifteen at the time, and his family, along with the entire Jewish population in Sighet, were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. He was freed in 1945, only to realize his mother and sister died in death chambers and his father from disease and starvation. Elie Weisel, on the advice of an older Jew, had lied to the Nazis about his age, as an eighteen-year-old would be useful to them as a worker.

Ten years after his freedom, he wrote the famous book Night — written in Yiddish, first published in French translation — detailing his experience in the camp and his regret of survival. His book sold only about a thousand copies in the first year it was published, however today the book has been translated into 30 different languages with more than ten million copies sold. In 2006 TV personality Oprah Winfrey added it to her book club, prompting the swift selling of three million copies.

Wiesel wrote around 60 books, two plays, and two cantatas.

Wiesel first started a career in journalism in 1948 for the French newspaper L’Arche, which sent him as a correspondent to Israel. He also became a Paris correspondent for Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot and he was encouraged by an interviewee to write about his experience in the camp.

Photo of Auschwitz concentration camp.
Image: Alexandre Lepage.

In 1972, Wiesel was a professor of Judaic Studies at the City College of New York for four years until he became a professor of Humanities at Boston University, where he remained.

Wiesel then became an activist and advocate during many conflicts, such as the Bosnian genocide of the 1990s. He advised the actions of several U.S. presidents, including then-President Ronald Reagan. During his acceptance of the Congressional Gold Medal, he advised Reagan not to visit a Bitburg military cemetery containing Waffen-SS graves. Reagan, however, continued with his trip, which created much controversy. Former President Jimmy Carter also appointed Wiesel as Chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Holocaust.

In 1986, Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize as an advocate for racial and religious groups and a spiritual leader.

Wiesel also helped in the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He was the chairman of the organization that collected funds from other survivors of the Holocaust to create the museum.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him “a ray of light and an example of humanity that believes in the goodness of man”. U.S. President Barack Obama called him a “living memorial”. French President Francois Hollande called him a “grand humanist” and a “tireless defender of peace”.

He is survived by his wife Marion and his son Elisha.



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May 24, 2016

New York consider banning cat declawing

New York consider banning cat declawing

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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New York could potentially become the first US state to ban cat declawing if a new legislation is passed. As it stands at the moment cat owners have the ability to choose whether or not to remove the claws of their pet cat.

A declawed cat’s paw
Image: Allison Stillwell.

The process of declawing is quite a traumatic experience for the cat and involves surgically amputating the cats toes to the first knuckle. Along with the physical pain experienced by the cats, they are put under anaesthetic during the operation and required to take pain medication in the weeks after.

For many years now, cats lovers and veterinarians have lobbied to ban declawing due to its inhumane nature. “For humans not to respect the integrity of the animal and the animal’s body is criminal, However, it’s still allowed, it’s an option, and that’s why we aim to make it illegal.” Said Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democratic who is the assembly sponsor for the bill.

Many owners choose to get their felines declawed to prevent injury and to prevent furniture from being destroyed. While many cats are abandoned due to the damage they cause, some people are sceptical about how effective the bill will be. “None of us love the procedure, But when the alternative is condemning the cat to a shelter or to death? That’s why we do it,” said Richard Goldstein, a veterinarian at New York City’s Animal Medical Centre. “

While it is still unsure when a vote on the bill will be scheduled it has been put forward to the Senate and Assembly.

As it stands Australia, Britain and countries throughout Europe have already put a ban on cat declawing. Although vets have stated that declawing is becoming less common, banning it New York would be a positive step in providing better animal welfare for domesticated animals.



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March 13, 2016

Wikinews interviews three figures from Donald Trump\’s political past

Wikinews interviews three figures from Donald Trump’s political past

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

2016 United States presidential election
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Donald Trump in 2011.
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Wikinews spoke with three people associated with the early political career of U.S. businessman Donald Trump, the front-runner for the U.S. Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination. Those interviewed include longtime political operative Roger Stone, a close associate of Trump and director of Trump’s 2000 presidential exploratory committee; journalist Dave Shiflett, co-writer of Trump’s 2000 campaign book The America We Deserve; and political consultant Russ Verney, who served as chairman of the Reform Party of the United States of America which Trump briefly joined.

In Trump’s highly publicized 2016 campaign, he has run under the banner of Make America Great Again, advocating a Mexican-funded wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, renegotiation of trade terms with other nations, and a temporary halt on the immigration of Muslims to the United States. He holds a considerable lead in Republican National Convention delegates over his opponents, winning 15 of the first 24 primary and caucus contests. Though this is Trump’s most visible campaign, it is not his first foray into electoral politics. He flirted with Republican presidential runs: first in 1987, when he purchased newspaper advertisements on foreign policy and delivered a campaign-like speech in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire; and then in 2011, when he briefly led nationwide opinion polls for the presidential nomination after questioning the citizenship of President Barack Obama. Trump’s most extensive campaign before now came during the 2000 presidential election when he opened an exploratory committee to consider seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party.

For 2000, Trump conducted various speeches and media appearances in support of his potential presidential campaign. He placed Stone in charge of his exploratory committee and hired Shiflett to work on what would become The America We Deserve. His chief opponent for the nomination was paleoconservative icon and eventual nominee Pat Buchanan who entered the race after ending his third unsuccessful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Based on Buchanan’s comments against American involvement in World War II, Trump attacked Buchanan as a “Hitler lover” and anti-Semite. Trump’s campaign received support from then-Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, the highest ranking elected official in the Reform Party. This placed Trump at odds with the faction of industrialist Ross Perot, the party’s founder and two time presidential candidate. Verney, a Perot confidante, was chairman of the party during Trump’s exploration. Though initially dismissive of the campaign, Verney eventually welcomed Trump into the race. However, the deep divisions within the party precipitated the exit of Ventura, and Trump did not seek the nomination. Despite leaving the race, Trump still appeared on Reform Party presidential primary ballots in California and Michigan, winning both states.

Over a five month period, Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn contacted the three previously involved in Trump’s politics to get their thoughts on his current presidential campaign, learn more about Trump’s political past including the true nature of his 2000 effort, and obtain details on his personality.

Roger Stone[]

Stone in 2014.
Image: Lizzie Ochoa.

Wikinews first contacted Roger Stone in October. In addition to his association with Trump, for whom he has worked as a lobbyist and advisor, Stone has a long history as a Republican Party operative, known for “dirty tricks“. He worked on the infamous Committee for the Re-Election of the President for President Richard Nixon in 1972, during which he performed such tasks as planting a spy in the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey, and sending a donation to a potential Republican primary opponent of Nixon under the name of a socialist organization. After Nixon’s resignation, Stone served as Nixon’s “man in Washington.” He has a tattoo of Nixon’s face on his back. Among many campaigns, Stone worked on the 1980 presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan, for which he purportedly brought a suitcase, presumably filled with cash, to the office of an influential lawyer associated with the Liberal Party of New York in order to secure the party’s nomination for Independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson, effectively splitting opposition to Reagan in the state. Stone has also worked for President George H. W. Bush, Congressman Jack Kemp, Senator Bob Dole, and was employed by the George W. Bush campaign to organize against the Florida recount during the disputed 2000 presidential election. In 2004, Stone volunteered for the presidential campaign of Democrat Al Sharpton. And, ahead of the 2008 presidential election, he founded an anti-Hillary Clinton group with the acronym C.U.N.T. Recently, Stone joined the Libertarian Party, and has authored a series of political books including one accusing President Lyndon Johnson of involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Stone served on Trump’s current presidential campaign before a well-publicized split last August. He remains a supporter of the campaign and discusses his association with Trump and thoughts on the current campaign.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png Until a few months ago you were a long-time associate of Donald Trump. When did you first meet him and how would you describe him as a person?

  • Roger Stone: I met Donald in 1979 when I was sent to New York to organize Ronald Reagan’s campaign for President. He and his father Fred Trump were members of the Reagan for President finance committee. We became good friends. I was invited to two of his weddings. He attended my wedding in Washington DC. He is very smart, very tough and can be very very funny. He is also very tall.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png I’ve been writing an article on Wikipedia about Trump’s 2000 presidential campaign. You were director of his presidential exploratory committee. Do you recall when Trump first mentioned to you that he wanted to run?

  • Stone: I have wanted Donald to run since 1988 when I arranged for him to speak to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. I wanted him to run in 2000 — probably more than he did. The leaders of the Reform Party begged him to run but the time was not right in his business. I wanted him to run in 2012 and told him Mitt Romney was a stone-cold loser. All those who said he would never run, like that turkey McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed, look like assholes now.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why were you willing to join Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign after he was quoted in 2008 by The New Yorker describing you as a “stone cold loser” who “always tries taking credit for things he never did”?

  • Stone: I probably said some awful things about him too. We had a brief falling out over my outspoken opposition to [former New York governor] Eliot Spitzer who was/is a criminal. Trump was friends with Spitzer’s father from the New York real estate world. We were subsequently reconciled and remain friends.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the 2016 presidential race thus far? Can Trump pull off a victory?

  • Stone: I strongly support Donald Trump for President. I think only Trump has the financial independence to take on the special interests. Trump doesn’t need the lobbyists or the special interest money with the strings attached. He is the only one who can fix a broken system. Trump’s pro-growth tax reform plan will supercharge the economy. Trump can actually cut waste because he is not beholden to the special pleaders. Trump will get in Hillary’s face and confront her with her lies. Jeb [Bush] gave Hillary [Clinton] a medal. The Bush and Clinton families profiteer off public service together. Is it civility or shared criminality? Only Trump can make America great again! It will be #yuge!

Stone refused to answer additional questions on his recent activities including his potential run for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 nomination for U.S. Senate in Florida and his October 2015 book The Clintons’ War on Women. Stone also did not address the conspiracy theory espoused by 1996 Reform Party vice presidential nominee Pat Choate that Trump’s 2000 presidential exploration was a “dirty trick” to sabotage the Pat Buchanan campaign and eliminate the Reform Party as an electoral threat to the Republican Party. Russ Verney addresses the theory further below.

Dave Shiflett[]

Cover of The America We Deserve
Image: Renaissance Books.

Last December, Wikinews reached out to writer Dave Shiflett to talk about his experience with Trump in co-writing The America We Deserve. According to Shiflett in The American Spectator, Shiflett was approached by Roger Stone who was on assignment from Trump to find the “most eminent hack writer in America” to write a book about a potential presidential campaign. Shiflett met with Trump for the first time in Spring 1999 to work on the book. It was released in January 2000, a month before Trump announced he would not run. Though not as well known as Trump’s first book The Art of the Deal, The America We Deserve has had more relevance to his current run. In November, Trump pointed to the book to claim he recognized the threat of terrorism before the attacks of 9/11; the book does warn of attacks by suitcase nuclear device and anthrax. Some of Trump’s political positions and policy proposals outlined in the book have led to attacks from his Republican primary opponents as being at odds with his 2016 platform including a pro-choice position on abortion (while noting his opposition to partial birth abortion), a ban on assault weapon ownership (as was the law at the time under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban), and the implementation of single-payer health care. Other positions in the book match his current platform including increased pressure on China, fair trade, and border control. Shiflett says he is not closely following Trump’s 2016 campaign and no longer has any interest in politics. Instead, he is focused on making music, which he posts on his website www.daveshiflett.com. He discusses what he remembers about working with Trump.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png Why were you specifically selected to co-write The America We Deserve?

  • Dave Shiflett: Got the job through the White House Writer’s Group. I don’t know if this organization still exists. [As of March 12, 2016, the group has a functioning website at www.whwg.com]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What was it like to work with Donald Trump?

  • Shiflett: Trump was a lot of fun. Didn’t seem to take himself too seriously. He was most passionate about his fear of a terrorist attack on New York, which he talks about in the book.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png How much input did Roger Stone have in the content of The America We Deserve?

  • Shiflett: I wrote the book without any input from Stone.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Was there any indication that Trump was not serious about the campaign or did not want to run?

  • Shiflett: I was under the impression that he was on a lark. As I recall he ended his pursuit of the White House fairly soon after the book came out.

Russ Verney[]

Verney in 2008.
Image: Bob Barr.

Wikinews reached out early this month to Russ Verney, who served as chairman of the Reform Party during Trump’s exploratory bid for the party’s presidential nomination in 2000. Verney previously worked on the 1992 presidential campaign of Ross Perot and became chairman of the Reform Party upon its founding by Perot in 1995. When Perot ran as the party’s presidential nominee in 1996, he named Verney as campaign director. Later, Verney headed the Perot faction of the party when a schism between Perot’s supporters and the supporters of Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura threatened to split the party. With Trump potentially running as a member of the Ventura faction, Verney was initially dismissive of a Trump candidacy. In a July 1999 interview with New York Daily News, he said party members were not drafting Trump for president and “never spent one second thinking about him.” Later in the year, Verney commented he had not heard a “compelling reason […] for [Trump] to seek the presidency.” After Trump invited members of the Reform Party, including Verney, to his compound outside Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida in January 2000, Verney praised Trump, expressing “[t]his is him reaching out to all parts of the Reform Party, and that’s good.” However, Trump continued attacks on Pat Buchanan, focusing largely on the support Buchanan garnered from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. These comments received greater attention in 2016 when Trump himself received an endorsement from Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. Trump’s seeming inability to disavow the support in an interview with CNN (despite an earlier disavowal) formed part of the basis of the March 2016 speech in which Mitt Romney urged Republicans not to vote for Trump. After Trump dropped out of the 2000 race, ceasing his attacks on Buchanan, Buchanan received 0.42% of the general election vote, far below Perot’s 1996 showing of 8.40%. After the 2000 election, Verney left the party and began working as a regional director and national adviser for the conservative foundation Judicial Watch. In 2008, he worked as campaign manager for the presidential run of Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr. Recently, he was hired as executive director for Project Veritas, a conservative group known for investigative film journalism. Verney answers questions about his meetings with Trump, responds to the accusation that Trump’s 2000 exploratory committee was a “dirty trick” to hurt the Reform Party, and analyzes Trump’s rise in the 2016 campaign.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png You were the chairman of the Reform Party in 1999 when Donald Trump opened an exploratory committee to run for the party’s presidential nomination. He invited you and other party members to his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. What do you recall about this meeting?

  • Russ Verney: I don’t believe the meeting he invited Reform Party leaders was at Mar-a-Lago. I recall it being in a function room but not at Mar-a-Lago. He was a warm gracious host who took time to listen to the people in the room.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What was your impression of Donald Trump upon meeting him?

  • Verney: I met Donald Trump once in his office, a second time at that meeting in Florida and a third time when my wife and I were his guests at Mar-a-Lago for a weekend. I think he is very personable.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Pat Choate, Ross Perot’s 1996 running mate who became Chairman of the Reform Party in 2000 accused Trump of being a GOP plant to sabotage the Pat Buchanan campaign and eliminate the Reform Party as an electoral threat. Considering that Trump often referred to Buchanan as a “Hitler-lover” and that Buchanan did worse than projected in the general election from which the Reform Party never fully recovered, is there any merit to Choate’s accusation?

  • Verney: Donald Trump never became a candidate for the Reform Party nomination. In fact it was Pat Buchanan who orchestrated a hostile takeover of the Reform Party and once he secured the public financing available to the Reform Party nominee he went underground with his campaign so he wouldn’t jeopardize George Bush in the General Election. Pat Buchanan got more votes to be the Reform Party nominee than he got on Election Day.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on Trump’s 2016 campaign?

  • Verney: I think Trump is tapping into the anti-establishment vote that is huge and just waiting for an opportunity to express itself. The more the establishment tries to stop him like Romney’s speech today, the stronger his support will grow. People are supporting him because he isn’t “one of them” and they don’t care what his issues are.

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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2000

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February 2, 2016

ACE New York Annouced 49th Annual Film Winners

ACE New York Annouced 49th Annual Film Winners

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

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The Association of Latin Entertainment Critics announced in New York the 49th annual international film winners with a press release published at its official websites.

“Vestido de Novia” got Best Film prize, while Best Director was granted Arturo Sotto Díaz (Cuba), for “Boccaccerías habaneras”, both production being Cuban. In the category Best Documentary the winner is Artur Balder (United States), for his work as director and editor of “The reality of the imaginary” (also won Best Documentary from Latin ACE Awards past year for his film ‘Little Spain’), while Nitsy Grau is granted with the Opera Prima Award for her directing debut at the Ecuador-Hollland production “Medardo”.

The rest of the list grants actor Tenoch Huerta Mejía (Mexico) with Best Leading Actor award in ‘Days of grace’, while Best Supporting Actor is for Spanish actor Carlos Bardem, also for a role in the film ‘Days of grace’, a Mexican production. Best Leading Actress goes to Isabel Santos in recognition for her role in ‘Vestido de novia’, and Best Supporting Actress goes to Geraldine Chaplin for her role in ‘Sand Dollars‘, a film from the Dominican Republic.

The Film Commission granted two Special Distinctions; one for the film ‘Sand Dollars‘ from the Dominican Republic, selected to 88th Oscar Awards for Best Foreign Film competition, and another to actress Edna Lee Figueroa for her role at the Ecuadorian-Dutch film ‘Medardo’.



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Latin ACE Awards Annouced 49th Annual Film Winners

Latin ACE Awards Annouced 49th Annual Film Winners

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

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Latin ACE Awards Logo

The Association of Latin Entertainment Critics announced in New York the 49th annual international film winners with a press release published at its official websites.

“Vestido de Novia” got Best Film prize, while Best Director was granted Arturo Sotto Díaz (Cuba), for “Boccaccerías habaneras”, both production being Cuban. In the category Best Documentary the winner is Artur Balder (United States), for his work as director and editor of “The reality of the imaginary” (also won Best Documentary from Latin ACE Awards past year for his film ‘Little Spain’), while Nitsy Grau is granted with the Opera Prima Award for her directing debut at the Ecuador-Hollland production “Medardo”.

The rest of the list grants actor Tenoch Huerta Mejía (Mexico) with Best Leading Actor award in ‘Days of grace’, while Best Supporting Actor is for Spanish actor Carlos Bardem, also for a role in the film ‘Days of grace’, a Mexican production. Best Leading Actress goes to Isabel Santos in recognition for her role in ‘Vestido de novia’, and Best Supporting Actress goes to Geraldine Chaplin for her role in ‘Sand Dollars‘, a film from the Dominican Republic.

The Film Commission granted two Special Distinctions; one for the film ‘Sand Dollars‘ from the Dominican Republic, selected to 88th Oscar Awards for Best Foreign Film competition, and another to actress Edna Lee Figueroa for her role at the Ecuadorian-Dutch film ‘Medardo’.



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  • “RTVE’s US correspondent gets condemnation for ‘false accusations and offensive insults'” — Wikinews, March 23, 2015

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December 23, 2015

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan kills six US NATO members

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan kills six US NATO members

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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On Monday, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a motorcycle in Bagram District, Afghanistan. The bombing killed six US NATO service members and injured several others.

According to NATO and Afghan officials, the bombing occurred at 1:30pm local time in a village near Bagram Airfield. Bagram Airfield is located about 40 km (25 mi) north of Kabul, the Afghan capital.

The bombing killed six US NATO soldiers. The US Department of Defense delayed officially releasing their names, following policy, but all the victims have been identified.

One of them is Joseph Lemm, aged 45. Lemm served fifteen years as an officer of the New York City Police Department and has a wife and two children.

Another is Adrianna Vorderbruggen, an openly lesbian US Air Force major. Vorderbruggen advocated repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and is now married to her same-sex partner. The couple has a son.

The others are Peter Taub from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Michael Anthony Cinco from Rio Grande Valley, Texas, age 28; Chester McBride Jr., Statesboro, Georgia; and Louis Bonacasa, Coram, New York.

The bombing also injured others, including two US military personnel and, according to an Afghan official, three local police officers.

Via email and Twitter, the Taliban, whose regime the US overthrew after invading the country in 2001, claimed responsibility to the bombing.

Currently, about 10,000 US, and less than half as many NATO, military personnel remain in Afghanistan.



Sister links[]

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg 2015 Bagram suicide bombing

Sources[]

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 13, 2015

Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

2016 United States presidential election
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Steve Burke
Image: Steve Burke.

Macomb, New York Councilman Steve Burke took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Burke, an insurance adjuster and farmer, was elected councilman in Brookhaven, New York in 1979. He left the town after being accused and found not guilty of bribery in the 1980s. Since 1987 he has served as Macomb councilman off-and-on and currently holds the post. From 1993 to 1996 and 1999 to 2002 he worked as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County, New York. Among his many political campaigns, Burke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1992 and recently attempted to run for U.S. Congress in 2014 but too many of his ballot petition signatures were found invalid. Burke filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the 2016 election on September 18, 2015 and has qualified for the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn‎, Burke discusses his political background, his 2016 presidential campaign, and his policy proposals.

Interview[]

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements as councilman in Brookhaven, New York?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSteve BurkeWikinews waves Right.png The only way to answer your question is by semi story okay? I was asked once to take over the fight to save the county infirmary from closure. It housed ill and hopeless cases. I felt it was the county’s obligation to keep it open. Just as I believe we have an obligation to the mentally ill who need a hospital setting instead of the street or jail. So I took on the county and organized the seniors, relatives of the patients and went to work until the county elected officials cried uncle and kept it open. In fact they built a brand new infirmary and I believe it is still open. I last stopped there in the 1990s to visit a man I became friends with at the infirmary. He was bed ridden after he was stabbed with a knife in the back and it severed his spine. The county infirmary is owned by Suffolk County but in the town of Brookhaven. When I was first elected to the Brookhaven council, I felt we could now start to help the people. What a shock I got and lessons no political course in school can teach. There [were] some minor patronage jobs available. One person who was a disabled vet wanted some part time work. I spoke with my board members and they agreed to give him a bingo inspector job. About four evenings a month minor pay. On our very first meeting I looked at the agenda and his name was not there. I asked why and they told me they decided to give it to a bartender where they ate and drank. Because he made good drinks. That did not fly with me. I called them all into a room and spoke with them and the party leader by phone. The result was that day the disabled vet got the position and held it until he passed on. So back stabbing, back biting, always looking to get even [are] the lessons I learned the hard way from my fellow elected officials. But it taught me how to get things done. Former New Hampshire U.S. Senator [Warren] Rudman said when he quit the Senate, he could not get over the hatred and back stabbing in Washington. So I guess when you deal with elected egos it is the same all over. The town had a few hundred vehicles they owned and the employees drove. Remember Brookhaven is the largest town in New York. I was assigned the public safety department. I found the town cars were unaccounted for. No one knew where they were or who had them. Some I found in back yards of employees with parts missing, invoices of repairs not done on town cars but on personal cars and charged to the town. I stopped all of that, put the repairs out to bid. Made a depot to pick up and drop off daily a car. Changed the color and bought smaller vehicles. I also started a repair yard with town mechanics. When the bid expired. I saved the local police/code enforcement department that they wanted to get rid of. They took care of our parks and buildings, etc. I think I put in a resolution to push for the five cent return bottles, cans, etc., or maybe I just brought it up. I am not sure. That was before the state did it. The town dog pound was a problem. I heard they were selling dogs and cats out the back door to labs and for guard dog companies. I got the town board to go in with me one evening and seize the records. We went through them and turned them over to the district attorney. It was not followed up. But there [were] no more rumors of dogs or cats going out the back door. I am sure there was more but that was 30 years ago. You will have to cut it down. One builds up enemies if you do anything as an elected official. Those that last a long time are generally do nothings, no waves.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements as councilman in Macomb, New York?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I am the only Democrat on the five person board. So the entire board has to take credit of keeping tax increases below 2% a year without going into our fund balance. In fact our fund balance is the best of the other 31 towns and the county of St. Lawrence. We have lowered the cost of health care along with our tax base. Upgraded equipment, put money aside for replacement equipment, made our buildings energy efficient. Then we started at the beginning of each meeting the Pledge of Allegiance and a short prayer to the Almighty. Best of all we have no debt.

St. Lawrence County highlighted in red.
Image: David Benbennick.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png This was a strong Republican county when I first became chair. I was able to turn the county around to Democrat, but now it has fallen back to Republican. I started the first resource guide that allowed us to raise funds, obtained a house for the first time ever headquarters. Hillary Clinton won her first Senate seat with just 10 counties out of 62 in New York. We were one of those 10 counties when I was chair. I served as chair and was called back after several years to be chair again. I left the party in both a happy, strong and good financial condition.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png According to WWNY-TV, you previously ran for president in 1992. What was the nature of that run and what did you learn from it?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I am impressed that you did some investigative work. It is rare today. Good for you. You should go far in this field. The country was just starting to feel the impact of a slowdown. I wanted to speak out as to what I saw and speak to the issues of the day. I learned that it was a closed shop then and has gotten worse both in ability to be recognized and the economic situation. NAFTA and all free trade policies are detrimental to our economical health, jobs, income and general well being of the country. When NAFTA was first proposed I was chair and spoke out against it and was given heat for it. But oh well I swim upstream anyway.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Did you run in any presidential primaries in 1992?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I ran in six states total and did the best [in] Louisiana.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why are you [a] Democrat? What do you like about the party and have you ever considered joining a non-establishment party?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png No I will not join any other party. I like the freedom of being a Democrat. This freedom is not found in other parties.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png So far you have filed to run in the New Hampshire primary. Do you plan on filing for any other primaries?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Yes we are working in other states to be known and have signed up for Louisiana. Money is always a problem in a grassroots campaign.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What do you hope to accomplish with this campaign?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png That a voice be heard that is different than what is there now. The same old, same old get you the same old with no chance of bringing the county back home to where we have full employment, everyone getting along, pulling together regardless of color, race or religion. We are Americans all, living on a small rock just hanging out in space.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the job Barack Obama has done as president? Specifically, what would you have done differently?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I will not slam an other Democrat who is doing what he feels is correct. I would do things differently for sure.
A. I believe in making friends not enemies.
B. No sanctions, I consider them an act of war.
C. Trade with every[one] on the planet. It is good for [us] and the products we have to sell — jobs.
D. Healthcare needs to be tweaked; move it in line with the health plan the congress has and a single payer.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing America and how will you deal with these as president?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Make friends. You see how China is doing it by helping all around the world along with Russia. War and the blood of our young and our treasury is causing us to be bled to third world status. Radical Islam — work with a coalition of nations with the United Nations and root out that nest of vipers once and for all. Rebuild those countries devastated by war as was done after World War II.

Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his I Have a Dream speech.
Image: National Archives and Records Administration.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png If elected, what would constitute a successful presidency for you?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Make friends around the world, fair trade, full employment here at home. New plants opening up. I have a plan for that. Where we finally answer Reverend Martin Luther [King, Jr.]‘s I Have a Dream.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What exactly is the plan?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png We have a precedent set with the General Motors bailout. All the closed factory and manufacturing buildings around the country need to be used. Let’s find the people with skills to open them up and get them running. The government will have a startup fund to lend, so we can be self sufficient again. By closing some of our military bases around the world that money can be used in this country and the military brought home to help secure our borders. Remember we are bleeding money and must stop it or we are done. One of the best things I feel for all our young is to have a military draft for a two year period of their lives. It teaches them order and how to get along and live with people of all colors and religions. Add a CCC type of organization to that and give them a choice. Then add a GI type of benefits to that. As a correction officer I saw the hopelessness of prisoners who could not read or write but were smart. If the government uses its money and talent not just on early intervention but in all grades to help these kids who have trouble in school reading and writing etc. Americans right now feel a sense of no one cares and we are going nowhere. Lack of jobs, money, housing. If you are married William then you know money in marriage is the big problem not sex. We have people with ideas in this country. Let’s use them to make our country self sufficient again. Let’s show the country through leadership that we are moving forward together towards a goal. No more making scapegoats out of each other. Those in office have a hunger for more and more money because they have a need???? Well so do those working or having a business. Let’s not tax them to death. We all want to have the good life. Let’s work towards that goal. I see the problems and know there are answers by setting goals, direction and leadership. Sorry if I got off on a rant. But you asked.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Which individuals would you like to see in a Burke administration?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png People who have a love of country, its people and the constitution. They will be movers and shakers in their field to do the right things for our country.
As a side note to you William. I was on 60 Minutes for some legislation I sponsored against Teflon coated bullets that can pass through armored police vests. The Congress then followed with their legislation later on. I believe they used my idea after the NRA and I were on 60 Minutes. I believe it was my efforts that had North Korea free the American prisoners this year. I have also been working to do the same in Iran […]
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What exactly did you do to help free American prisoners in North Korea?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png WWNY-TV first did a story on my writing to the Supreme Leader Kim Jung Un. When that did not work, I followed up with someone I know who was the military attache for the former USSR. I asked him to speak to Putin for me. He traveled to Moscow and within two weeks all the prisoners were released. That’s what I mean by making friends. I have tried that avenue with Iran but was told no.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Last election cycle in December 2011 there was a lesser-known candidates forum at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. Have you received any invitation to such an event?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png No invitations have been received. It is different than 1992. Oh one item I forgot to mention to you. When the [National Defense] NDAA of 2012 was before Congress. I wrote a resolution against section 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA Act of 2012. The town board all voted in favor of my resolution. A copy of it was sent to the President, Supreme Court justices and the entire New York delegation to Congress. Only one congressman, Mr. [Brian Higgins] of Buffalo, had the moxie to answer and acknowledge the resolution. That legislation was a bad bill, but they passed it.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Do you have a campaign website?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Yes I am finalizing it by next week. I am using Simple Nerds to do it. Great name for a company that a presidential candidate is using? […] By the way my campaign committee has fourteen people. Two African Americans, two Hispanics, several pastors, former immigrants from other countries and me. Thank you William for the questions. I look forward to one day meeting you.



Related news[]

Sources[]

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

External links[]

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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