Wiki Actu en

March 31, 2005

Voting in Zimbabwe starts amid accusations of rigged outcome

Voting in Zimbabwe starts amid accusations of rigged outcome

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005

The main opposition — the Movement for Democratic Change, claims that the election has been rigged.

Elections in Zimbabwe began with both the ruling and opposition parties predicting victory.

Current president Robert Mugabe predicts a “mountainous victory” for his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF). The main opposition — Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claims the election is being rigged, and despite being allowed to freely campaign, the government’s intimidation of voters and moves to hurt opposition supporters will prevent the MDC win.

The government recently withheld food aid from those supporting the MDC, according to a United Nations report. The UN further reports the government dismissed election officials and poll workers suspected of supporting MDC.

Criticism of the government has been loud. Last week, a Catholic archbishop in Zimbabwe urged followers to start a non-violent, popular uprising against Mugabe, and rallies have been common in recent days. The previous elections, which the MDC almost won, were marred by violence and similar allegations of vote-rigging.

More than 5.7 million Zimbabweans are registered to vote, and can cast their ballots at one of the more than 8,000 polling stations.

Related news

  • “Zimbabwe’s Mugabe: Vote for us or starve” — Wikinews, March 26, 2005
  • “Zimbabwe church leader calls for uprising against Mugabe” — Wikinews, March 28, 2005

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


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.

UN Report: Earth ecosystem in peril

UN Report: Earth ecosystem in peril – Wikinews, the free news source

UN Report: Earth ecosystem in peril

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005 A report Tuesday from a United Nations-backed project, consulting more than 1,300 scientists from 95 countries, and written over the last four years, warns that 60 percent of the basics of life on Earth — water, food, timber, clean air — are currently being used in ways which degrade them. Furthermore, fisheries and fresh water use-patterns are unsustainable, and getting worse.

“The harmful consequences of this degradation could grow significantly worse in the next 50 years,” according to a press release from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), a massive four-year study begun in 2001.

“We’ve had many reports on environmental degradation, but for the first time we’re now able to draw connections between ecosystem services and human well-being,” Cristian Samper, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington and a chief architect of the study, told the Christian Science Monitor.

The project’s Synthesis Report, first in a series of eleven documents and published yesterday, explains the objective: “to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and to establish the scientific basis for actions needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems and their contributions to human well-being.”

It then goes on to report on four main findings:

  • Changes over the last 50 years to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel, have effected substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth.
  • Net gains in human well-being and economic development are offset by growing costs, in the form ecosystem degradation, the possibility of abrupt and unpredictable ecosystem changes, and worsened poverty for some groups. Unless addressed, these problems will substantially diminish the benefits that future generations obtain from ecosystems.
  • Ecosystem degradation could grow significantly worse over the next 50 years, presenting a barrier to meeting UN Millennium Development Goals.
  • The challenge of reversing the degradation while meeting increasing ecological demands can be partially met under some scenarios, but only with significant changes in policies, institutions and practices — changes that are not currently under way.

Walter Reid, the study’s director, speaking at yesterday’s London launch of the report said it shows that over the last 50 years “humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable time in human history.”

“This has resulted in substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth,” he said.

It is unclear what this will mean to future generations or the possible emergence of new diseases, absence of fresh water and the continuing decline of fisheries and completely unpredictable weather.

With half of the urban populations of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean suffering from several diseases associated with these problems, the death toll is reaching 1.7 million people a year. Entire species of mammals, birds and amphibians are disappearing from the planet at nearly 1,000 times the natural rate, according to the study. Oxygen-depleted coastal waters and rivers result from overuse of nitrogen fertilizer – an effect known as “nutrient loading” which leads to continuing biodiversity loss.

With the United States’ non-participation in the Kyoto Treaty, former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth, president of this U.N. Foundation, says “U.S. leadership is critical in providing much-needed expertise, technological capabilities and ingenuity to restore ecosystems.

“We can take steps at home to reduce our nation’s adverse impact on the global environment.”

“At the heart of this assessment is a stark warning,” said the 45-member board.

Sources

Sources providing unjustified claims about the report

See also

  • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Project. “Synthesis Reports” — Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Project, viewed March 31, 2005
  • Wikipedia article on ecology
  • Wikipedia article on Global warming


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.

U.S. Supreme Court hears MGM v. Grokster

Filed under: Archived,United States,US Supreme Court — admin @ 5:00 am

U.S. Supreme Court hears MGM v. Grokster

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Oral arguments in the landmark case of MGM v. Grokster legal battle were heard before the Supreme Court of the United States March 29. In the case, 28 entertainment companies have joined together to sue StreamCast, maker of Morpheus software, and Grokster.

A final ruling is expected on the case within a few months. The issue heard before the court was an appeal of prior decisions made since 2001 at the U.S. district court level and from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both of those decisions were in favor of Grokster’s right to market its P2P software.

P2P stands for peer-to-peer software, which uses the Internet as a medium for millions of users to distribute digital content, such as music, movies, books, and software, among themselves. By far the majority of the content distributed through this method is without the permission of the copyright holder.

Morpheus is one of the most-popular peer-to-peer software products worldwide. StreamCast also operates MusicCity.com. Lawyers from the EFF Foundation (www.eff.org) are serving as defense counsel in the case.

The result of this case could determine the ultimate fate of P2P software in the U.S., whether it is legal for software companies to produce and sell software that, in the opinion of some, facilitates profit illegally from the trade in copyrighted materials. However, even if illegal in America, such software might still be widely available from international hosts due to technological limitations of enforcing such a ruling. The companies behind this effort are aiming to hold technological innovators legally responsible for infringing uses of their technology.

“About 36 million Americans — or 27 percent of internet users—say they download either music or video files and about half of them have found ways outside of traditional peer-to-peer networks or paid online services to swap their files”. As a measure of public opinion on the issue, they stated, “49% of all Americans and 53% of internet users believe that the firms that own and operate file-sharing networks should be deemed responsible for the pirating of music and movie files,” according to Pew Internet & American Life Project in their most recent survey,

The landmark Betamax decision of 1984 (Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios) is the most relevant U.S. case law in this matter (note: the precedent Betamax case supports the legality of P2P netowrks). A decision in the MGM v. Grokster case could either affirm Betamax, or overturn it. This is the case that essentially created the VCR market in America for distributing movies at home, and so in this modern technologically updated version, there are billions of dollars in future revenues now at stake.

Sources


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.

Terri Schiavo dies

Terri Schiavo dies – Wikinews, the free news source

Terri Schiavo dies

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo died this morning in St. Petersburg, Florida, moments after 9 a.m. EST. Thirteen days ago, her feeding tube was removed after courts repeatedly ruled Schiavo would not want to be kept alive in her current state. Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 after a mysterious cardiac arrest.

Many news sources allege the cardiac arrest was caused by an eating disorder, while her family maintains she had no eating disorder at all. During the attack, her brain was starved of oxygen for 14 minutes, leading to the death of many of the neurons in her brain and possibly leaving her in a persistent vegetative state (PVS).

Michael Schiavo argued before the courts that his wife would not want to live for a prolonged period on a feeding tube. In 2001, the tube was removed, but was reinserted two days later after an appeal by Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. After the Schindler family had all of their appeals rejected, the tube was removed once again in 2003, but reinserted six days later when Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida legislature collaborated on a bill, allowing Bush to order the tube reinserted. After the law was overturned in May of 2004, and the Schindler family’s numerous appeals were again rejected, the tube was removed on March 18th.

President George W. Bush held a press conference, in part to offer his condolences to the friends and family of Schiavo. The president commended those on both sides of the issue.

An autopsy is planned to be performed in the coming days, which both the Schindler family and Michael Schiavo hope will shed some light on the cause of her brain damage.

Schiavo is survived by her husband, parents and her younger siblings Robert Jr. and Suzanne; she had no children. Schiavo was 41 years old.



Related news

Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Terri Schiavo

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


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.

MS-13 \”gangsters\” and Arizona \”vigilantes\” prepare to rumble

Filed under: Archived,Mexico,Minuteman Project,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

MS-13 “gangsters” and Arizona “vigilantes” prepare to rumble

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ebner Anivel Rivera-Paz, A leader of the vicious Mara Salvatruchas(MS-13) gang, has issued orders from his prison cell for his followers to teach the American “Minutemen” volunteers a lesson when they begin patrolling the Mexican border tomorrow.

MS-13 gang members are considered to be America’s most violent gang with such acts of barbarism as to “cut off the testicles of their enemies and feed them to their vicious dogs” and “cut the heads off their opponents to play soccer with them”. However, such allegations of brutality doesn’t seem to frighten the “Minutemen” who are a group of Americans who are organizing more than 1,000 volunteers to patrol the Arizona-Mexico border beginning April 1st. They have been called vigilantes by Presidents Bush and Fox and sometimes sarcastically refer to themselves as “undocumented border patrol agents”. James Gilchrist, a Vietnam veteran and spokesman for the minutemen in response to the MS-13 threat; “We’re not worried because half of our recruits are retired trained combat soldiers..they(MS-13) are just a bunch of punks.”

MS-13 gang now has about 20,000 members nationwide and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has begun to focus on the gang with an initiative they call “Operation Community Shield”. The very existence of MS-13 is considered by the Conservative Voice to be a direct consequence of the USA government’s 1980’s policies in Central America; “the chickens are coming home to roost.Its(MS-13) members are the sons of immigrants from El Salvador and other Central American countries that were forced to flee because of the CIA instigated war during the Reagan Administration that completely destroyed the physical, economic, social, religious and cultural infrastructure of the region. MS-13 was founded in Los Angeles by the offspring of the immigrants for protection.”

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


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.

EU nabs US$300 million illegal trafficking in Spain

EU nabs US$300 million illegal trafficking in Spain

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Officials arrested 41 people from five countries Sunday in connection with a trans-European money laundering operation. The individuals are suspected in laundering US$300 million in gang-related activities such as prostitution, murder, and arms and drug trafficking, according to police with Interpol and Europol.

The BBC reported citizens of Spain, France, Finland, Russia, and Ukraine were among those arrested and charged with illegally siphoning money from Yukos, a large Russian oil company. Yukos maintains it was unaware of such activities.

The crackdown went by code name Operation White Whale and was a joint effort between Spain and Russia, officials said. The arrests were centered in the Costa del Sol area of Spain’s southern Mediterranean coast.

Sources

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Operation White Whale


Bookmark-new.svg


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.

Chlorine spill in China\’s Jiangsu province kills 28, injures hundreds

Filed under: Archived,Asia,China,Disasters and accidents — admin @ 5:00 am

Chlorine spill in China’s Jiangsu province kills 28, injures hundreds

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005

350 people remain hospitalized after a chlorine spill in China’s Jiangsu province.

A tanker truck filled with 35 tons of liquid chlorine collided with another truck and crashed in China’s Jiangsu province on Wednesday, leaking its load, killing at least 28 and injuring hundreds. 10,000 villagers have been evacuated from the surrounding area along the Beijing-Shanghai expressway.

The driver left the scene of the accident in Huai’an city, but later in the day turned himself over to authorities in Nanjing, the provincial capital. The driver of the other truck died on the scene.

Vice mayor Lu Changsu told China’s Xinhua that the death toll may increase because three patients are still in critical condition. Lu said that 350 people remain hospitalized.

A cleanup crew is treating the accident site with a caustic soda. Area farmers are concerned that local farmland will be rendered infertile by the spill.

CPC Vice Premier Huang Ju asked the provincial Jiangsu government to “spare no efforts”, according to Xinhua.

Sources


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.

Brazilian president defends Chavez and criticizes US

Brazilian president defends Chavez and criticizes US

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met the leaders of Colombia, Venezuela and Spain, in Ciudad Guyana, 500 km (311 miles) from Caracas, in Venezuela, Tuesday, March 29.

The regional summit aimed to improve the diplomatic relations between Colombia and Venezuela, that had been shaken after the arrest of the FARC communist member Rodrigo Granda, in December, last year.

The following leaders were present at the meeting: the President of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Velez, the Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez, and the President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

During the summit, the Brazilian president defended the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and he criticized indirectly the government of the United States for his opinions in relation to Chávez. According to Lula, South America is capable of taking care of its own problems.

Lula said: “We do not accept defamations against our “companheiros” (comrades). We do not accept insinuations against comrades. Venezuela has the right to be a sovereign country, to take its own decisions”. Lula also added that he is not afraid of doing this affirmation in “any place of the world”.

The US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was in Brazil on March 22 and he said that he was very worried about the political situation in Venezuela. Venezuela is buying weapons and warlike material in great quantity and Washington is considering the country a harmful influence in the region. Recently Venezuela announced that it would buy 100,000 AK-47 rifles.

Lula also said:”I believe that Venezuela has the right to be a sovereign country, of making its own decisions and, at the same time, Venezuela does not need to be accused of things that those who are with you know that this is not part of your thought nor of your behavior.”

“There is[sic] many people talking badly about us in the world”, he added.

The Venezuelan President did a calmer speech for the US: “We are not here to cause problems to anybody, for any reason. We were called to form this new geopolitical map, without confrontation with nobody (…) because it is convenient for us and all: it is convenient for the investors, for international businessmen, for national businessmen and for the United States themselves.”

Chávez and Lula both denied any involvement between their governments and the FARC guerrilla.

The Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Zapatero said: “This is a meeting for the dialogue and the cooperation between free and democratic nations that want the advance of their people”.

Related news

  • “Capture of FARC member creates crisis between Venezuela and Colombia” — Wikinews, January 15, 2005

Sources


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.

Pressure building on Myanmar to decline ASEAN chair

Pressure building on Myanmar to decline ASEAN chair

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005

The UN special envoy to Myanmar, Tan Sri Razali Ismail, has backed moves by Malaysian lawmakers earlier this week against Myanmar’s chairing.

Pressure is building on Myanmar to decline next years revolving ASEAN chair due to its human rights record. The US Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, has said that the USA should boycott ASEAN meetings next year if Myanmar takes the chair.

The UN special envoy to Myanmar, Tan Sri Razali Ismail, has backed moves by Malaysian lawmakers earlier this week against Myanmar’s chairing, saying “The UN is always on the side of democracy. It supports the principles these people are pushing and these principles are very important for all governments to adhere to,”

“I don’t think there’s any attempt to punish Myanmar but to make them understand ASEAN is guided by certain principles in order to be a member or in order to be leading ASEAN for a certain period,”

Filipino legislators are also following Malaysian lawmakers, and are expected to propose that all member countries adopt a stand on Myanmar when ASEAN legislators meet in an Inter-Parliamentary Union conference in Manila on April 3.

Sources


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.

Palestinian security chief quits, says too little is being done to curb lawlessness

Filed under: Archived,Middle East,Palestine,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Palestinian security chief quits, says too little is being done to curb lawlessness

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Tawfik Tirawi, head of Palestinian Intelligence in the West Bank, resigned Thursday. Fatah officials said he told President Mahmoud Abbas that too little was being done to curb lawlessness in the West Bank and Gaza.

“I cannot work under these conditions,” he wrote in a letter of resignation given to Abbas.

He reportedly claims other heads of Palestinian security organizations had not done enough to impose the rule of law Abbas has promised. Abbas himself said some senior Palestinian officials are blocking his reform efforts.

Tirawi is the most senior security official to resign since Abbas’ election in January.

Sources


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.
Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress