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December 31, 2005

Abducted German family freed in Yemen

Abducted German family freed in Yemen – Wikinews, the free news source

Abducted German family freed in Yemen

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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Jürgen Chrobog (1995)

Jürgen Chrobog, former state secretary in the German Foreign Office, his wife and their three sons have been freed, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier confirmed at a press conference.

Steinmeier said the family was doing well. They were abducted on Wednesday in the east of the country while being on a tourism trip on the invitation of the Yemeni government. The captors were demanding the release of five tribesmen held by the government. The Yemeni defense minister was apparently the one who was able to negotiate the release.

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“Former German deputy foreign minister and family abducted in Yemen” — Wikinews, December 28, 2005

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Rapper Obie Trice shot on Detroit freeway

Filed under: Archived,Culture and entertainment,Music,Rap — admin @ 5:00 am

Rapper Obie Trice shot on Detroit freeway

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Saturday, December 31, 2005

The popular rapper Obie Trice was shot while driving on a Detroit Freeway. Trice exited into a nearby suburb, where his girlfriend, uninjured in the incident, waved down police. Trice has now been released from Providence Hospital, where a speedy recovery is expected. There are currently no suspects in the shooting.

Obie was first signed after Eminem introduced him to D12 member Bizarre, and appeared briefly in the movie 8 Mile. He is currently working on his second album.

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December 30, 2005

Uproar over sexual EU spoof posters in Austria

Uproar over sexual EU spoof posters in Austria

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Friday, December 30, 2005

25 Peaces logo

Posters produced and printed by the art project 25peaces, in Austria have caused huge public outcry and debate. The posters depict Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, having sexual intercourse with US president George W. Bush, and French President Jacques Chirac. A number of public figures including Wolfgang Schuessel, the Austrian Chancellor, have publicly denounced the posters.

Its creator, artist Carlos Aires, says he had no desire to offend anyone, “I suddenly had this image of three decision makers who are having an orgy while everything around them collapses“.

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United States Justice Department opens investigation into White House leaks

Filed under: Archived,Crime and law,New York Times,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

United States Justice Department opens investigation into White House leaks

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Friday, December 30, 2005

The United States Justice Department has started an inquiry into leaks of secret information divulged to the New York Times regarding authorization by President Bush for the National Security Agency (NSA) to use wiretaps on suspected terrorist living in the United States. The legality of the spying has been questioned.

James Robertson, a former panel judge member of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, resigned in protest over the murky question of the constitutionality of the NSA eavesdropping on international telephone calls and e-mail, which bypassed the jurisprudence of that court.

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Million Dollar Homepage is close to achieving million-dollar goal

Million Dollar Homepage is close to achieving million-dollar goal

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Friday, December 30, 2005

The Million Dollar Homepage, as of 29 December 2005.

Alex Tew, a student in England, has almost reached his target of one million dollars on his website: Million Dollar Homepage. He came up with the idea after jotting down ideas before he went to bed on how to become a millionaire before he went to university. Then he came up with the million-dollar idea: selling pixels at USD $1 each on a web page. Alex currently believes he can make his goal by the end of 31st December, 2005.

Advertising companies especially appreciate the website, as they wish to “make Internet history” on the Million Dollar Homepage. In fact as of writing, he has already made USD $999,000. The student says advertisers get to keep their ads for a period of five years from purchase and he says he will use the money he has made to guarantee it. Alex has said he has already got numerous job offers from companies aiming to secure his money making talent.

Tew is undergoing a business management course at Nottingham and needed GBP £7000 a year to complete his studies. He is understandably overwhelmed by the success he has achieved: “It’s just nuts. I’m in a state of disbelief. It’s like Monopoly money but then I look at my bank account and there’s a lot of cash in it.” The British National Union of Students claim that 90% of students are in debt. However, what only worries him is how he’s going to spend his money. He has already spent some of his money on a car for himself, as he thinks of what to do with his new fortune.

His website’s method is simple; his website is made up of one page divided into 10,000 boxes, each 100 pixels in size. Companies can buy one or more boxes for USD $100 each and cover it with a logo, which, when clicked on, transports web users to the customers’ own site. The figures add up with the site now carrying over 240 advertisements and has 30,000 hits a day. Even the actor Jack Black, star of “School of Rock” and “Shallow Hal“, is using the site to advertise his band Tenacious D.

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The Million Dollar Homepage

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Colorado College Tigers win 41st annual Great Lakes Invitational tournament

Colorado College Tigers win 41st annual Great Lakes Invitational tournament

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Friday, December 30, 2005

The Colorado College Tigers beat the Spartans of Michigan State University in men’s ice hockey on Friday, for the title of champions of the 41st annual Great Lakes Invitational ice hockey tournament at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The Tigers, the team chosen to be invited into the tournament and appearing for the first time since 1965 in the tournament, led with a 5-0 lead during the second period, after which Michigan State switched goalies. The Spartans put freshmen Jeff Lerg into net, replacing Dominic Vicari, who was earlier given a penalty for his contact with a member of Colorado’s team in front of the net. Michigan State junior Tyler Howells scored two goals during the second period, and Colorado student Brett Sterling made the Tiger’s final goal for the night.

Colorado College took first place in the invitational, and Michigan State ended in second place, after their previous win over Michigan Tech at a score of 3-2. The Tigers previously beat the University of Michigan on Thursday, at a score of 6-1.

Meanwhile, the University of Michigan beat GLI co-sponsor Michigan Tech University with a score of 5-3 for a third place finish in the invitational earlier in the day.

With 2 minutes remaining in the third period, the University of Michigan went one up over Michigan Tech, breaking the 3-3 tie. Michigan Tech pulled their goalie with one minute remaining to gain a man advantage, but the strategy failed and allowed the University of Michigan to get another goal resulting in the final 5-3 score.

The game secured the third place position in the invitational for University of Michigan, and fourth place for Michigan Tech.

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

The final standings in the tournament are:

  1. Colorado College
  2. Michigan State University
  3. University of Michigan
  4. Michigan Tech

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Bolivia\’s new president-elect brands Bush \’the only terrorist\’

Bolivia’s new president-elect brands Bush ‘the only terrorist’

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Friday, December 30, 2005

U.S. President George W. Bush

Bolivia’s new president-elect Evo Morales has branded George W. Bush a “terrorist”, and has referred to Condoleezza Rice as “Mrs Condolences” in an exclusive interview for Qatar’s News Channel Al-Jazeera.

Before departing for an official visit to Cuba, Morales denounced what he calls a “dirty war” undertaken by Bush against him and said that “Bush was the only terrorist because he is the only one who militarily interferes in the domestic affairs of other countries. That’s state terrorism, but those who claim their rights are not terrorists“, he reiterated in what has been regarded as an escalation of his anti-Washington rhetoric.

At the same time, he said in Chapare during the celebration of his victory, that the plan “zero coca” carried out by the US to eradicate coca in Bolivia is terminated. “We are winning the green battle, coca is defeating the American dollar” he said.

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is another head of state who has previously labeled George W. Bush a “terrorist”.

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Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

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Friday, December 30, 2005

The Australian Centre for Languages, a company which has a multi-million dollar contract with the Australian government to provide refugee services, has been accused of breaching its duty of care following the death of a chronically ill child and allegations of failing to provide three women in their care with food.

Richard Niyonsaba

A two-and-a-half year old child, Richard Niyonsaba, died less than 24 hours after arriving in Australia.

In November, Richard and his family came to Australia after spending time in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Richard suffered from chronic sickle-cell anaemia.

The boy’s father, Protais Ntiranyi had been in the country just 18 hours when he woke, at 4am on November 5 to find his son convulsing. Mr Ntiranyi who was alone with his family in a Fairfield flat was frightened and confused as he did not know what to do to help his son.

The family’s case worker, from a company called the Australian Centre for Languages (ACL), had earlier shown them a telephone in the flat and allegedly told them to dial 000 in case of emergency. Mr Ntiranyi had never used a telephone and could not speak English.

Mr Ntiranyi, roamed the neighbourhood screaming for help in his native language. The only attention Mr Ntiranyi got was that of a Sudanese refugee, who couldn’t understand what he was saying but knew he was clearly distressed and in need of help. By the time he brought the neighbour to his flat his son had died.

Denial of food

Two sisters and another woman from Africa, considered refugees have made claims that they were not provided with food by ACL.

Princess and Yeah Yeah Gbdeah arrived in Sydney on November 4, 2005 and were relocated to Newcastle. The sisters allege that when they arrived in Newcastle, a case worker from ACL presented them with a 12-month lease to sign. They claim that when they refused to sign the lease as they were afraid and unfamiliar with the area that the case worker told them they would not be given any food vouchers.

A third woman, Caroline Nykango, was with the sisters and signed the lease. She was given a $50 food voucher, but did not know how to use it as she had never used a supermarket.

According to the women the only food in the house was an apple, a packet of rice and some oil. The women went without food for 5 days before walking out and meeting a man on the street who took them to a church for assistance.

Princess said “There was no food to eat, she didn’t show us how to use the stove, we were sick, we were afraid”. “We were told a case worker would come to see us but no case worker came. We told her we didn’t want that home, we don’t want to sign and she said, ‘We will not give you the vouchers unless you sign, we will not give you the food'”.

Jenny Witmarsh from ACL said the circumstances described by the women “are not the facts as I understand them”.

The two sisters are now living in a house in Hamilton, organised with the help of local citizens.

The matter had been referred to an independent inquiry, which should be completed in early February.

Background and Criticisms

In October the federal government awarded a multi-million dollar contract to ACL for the care and resettlement of refugees – work that was previously carried out by non-profit and volunteer organisations.

It is believed that only days before Richard’s death doctors at the Newcastle Refugee Health Clinic had written to the Immigration Department warning the government that problems relating to the health of new arrivals in Australia had emerged in the Hunter Valley. ACL also had the contract for the care of refugees in the Hunter Valley.

Organisations which formerly provided care to refugees have strongly criticised ACL saying that they can not provide the level of care that these people require.

The family of Richard Niyonsaba have called on the federal government to review its policy of outsourcing refugee services. The federal government is unlikely to hold an inquiry with the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, John Cobb disagreeing with the family’s version of events.

Greg Barnes from Rights Australia is calling for a review saying “We have a child who comes in to Australia who’s obviously extremely ill and his parents are really, on the face of it, given very little or no support at all”.

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Teenager in Florida, United States skips school, goes to Iraq

Filed under: Archived,Iraq,Journalism,Kuwait City,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Teenager in Florida, United States skips school, goes to Iraq

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Farris Hassan, a 16 year old high school student from Florida, decided to visit Iraq and left for the country on December 11, 2005 alone and without having informed his parents.

After catching a connecting flight in Amsterdam, he arrived in Kuwait City on December 13. He called his parents on the telephone and informed them of where he was and his intention to visit Iraq. This was the first time his parents learned of his plans. He then attempted to cross the Kuwait-Iraq border by taxi, but because of tight security for the upcoming elections he was unable to pass through, and spent a week in Beirut, Lebanon, interviewing minority Christians. Then on December 25, he flew in to Baghdad International Airport. Relatives picked him up from the airport and put him at a hotel known to frequently house American citizens.

He financed the trip and made all the arrangements himself with money that he had saved up.

The inspiration for his journey was the result of a segment of his English class on ‘immersion journalism’ at his school, Pine Crest School. He was working on an assignment on the war in Iraq and he wished to experience his subject matter first-hand.

Hassan contacted the Associated Press to announce that he was in Iraq to do research and humanitarian work. They were shocked to see an American teenager walking around unaccompanied. They in turn immediately contacted the US Embassy, who had been contacted by his parents and were on the lookout for him. Hassan’s parents were born in Iraq, but he does not speak any Arabic, making him easily stand out as a foreigner in Iraq, where kidnappings of Americans and violence are an everyday occurrence. His parents planned to take him to see Iraq once the war was over.

U.S. Consul General Richard Hermann reiterated the U.S. Embassy’s strong warning to U.S. citizens against traveling to Iraq as he announced that Hassan was with American troops and was on his way home.

He turned in his assignment via email and is due back home over the New Years Day weekend.

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Mario Draghi succeeds Antonio Fazio as Bank of Italy governor

Filed under: Archived,Economy and business,Europe,Italy — admin @ 5:00 am

Mario Draghi succeeds Antonio Fazio as Bank of Italy governor

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Friday, December 30, 2005

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Fazio has stepped down after an investigation into his role in a controversial bank takeover. Mario Draghi is to fill his shoes. Draghi’s former job was managing director of the investment bank Goldman Sachs. Draghi will serve a six year term under a new law that set term limits for the Central banks governor passed last week.

Draghi, who is 58, has had senior government positions in the past including director general of the Italian treasury. He was born in Rome and earned a doctorate in economics from MIT in 1976. After earning his degree he taught at the University of Florence until 1991. During this time Draghi was an Executive Director of the World Bank. During his tenure as director general of the treasury he carried out extensive privatisation and was appointed chairman of the Italian Committee for Privatisations. Analysts say he has a good reputation but “Draghi has a tough job to restore the Bank of Italy’s credibility, but he is appreciated internationally and has done a lot of jobs and done them well,” said Luigi Speranza, an economist with BNP Paribas.

Lorenzo Codogno, an economist with Bank of America, looks forward to Draghi’s tenure as the governor of the central bank “His appointment should lead to a more open Italian bank market which will, in the end, mean Italians have to pay less for their bank services.”

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