Wiki Actu en

April 23, 2006

US Congress drafting bill that may affect Internet freedoms

US Congress drafting bill that may affect Internet freedoms

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

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The United States Congress is currently drafting a bill known as the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Efficiency Act of 2006 that would revise and update the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Currently phone and cable lobbyists who own the broadband networks, such as those from AT&T and BellSouth, are calling on the federal government to permit them to operate Internet and other digital communications services as private networks. The bill as it now stands states that certain classes of Internet providers “may not unreasonably” impair, interfere, restrict or limit applications or services, such as Web sites or voice-over-IP phone connections.

Consumer advocates such as Common Cause and some large Internet companies such as Google and Yahoo are concerned that this change will result in a loss of what is being called network neutrality, and are demanding specific language in the bill to address it. Three weeks ago, the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications rejected an amendment to the bill that would have strengthened provisions for network neutrality. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 28 to 8.

Network neutrality is a principle of computer networking that describes networks designed so that no communication, application, or service is either given preferential treatment or restricted.

Advocates of network neutrality fear that allowing broadband networks to operate unregulated could lead to preferential treatment toward certain companies at the expense of others. Phone companies who oppose network neutrality legislation contend that some mechanism needs to be in place in order to pay for expansion of the public Internet.

Edward Whitacre, AT&T’s chief executive officer, had made remarks on the issue that consumer groups found inflammatory. In remarks made on November 7, 2005, presumably referring to Internet sites using their network connections, he called for “some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they’re using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?”

Whitacre has since reversed his public statements, saying on March 21, 2006, “Any provider that blocks access to content is inviting customers to find another provider. And that’s just bad business.”

Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin believes that the FCC already has the authority to enforce network neutrality provisions, citing a North Carolina case in which the FCC acted against Madison River Communications for blocking Vonage VoIP phone service.

Representative Fred Upton from Michigan, chairman of the Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, describes the bill as a way to “ignite the marketplace — unleashing great advances in technology and delivering to consumers a variety of new services at a lower cost that were once never even imagined. Every consumer in the nation with a telephone, television and access to the Internet will be better for it — the wave of the future is now.”

Michael Copps, a FCC Commissioner, said recently, “This Internet may not be the one we know in the future there are threats to it out there… Entrenched interests are already jockeying to constrain the openness that has been the Internet’s defining hallmark.”

A recent poll done by The Consumer Federation of America (See source 5) shows that the Internet has taken on an important role in the daily life of Americans. With two-thirds reporting it is important for personal communications and researching products, over half said it is important for getting news and, about 40 percent cited online banking, e-commerce, and retrieving government information as significant ways in which they used the internet. They expressed a great deal of concern about discriminatory practices of communications network operators.

The revision of the 1996 Telecommunications Act was proposed by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, RTexas, and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, DIll., in late March and went on to the full committee on April 5.

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.

Swazi King says political parties are no longer banned

Filed under: Africa,Audio reports,AutoArchived,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Swazi King says political parties are no longer banned

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

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Swaziland is a small landlocked country in southern Africa

King Mswati III, of Swaziland has said that political parties are no longer banned under the country’s new constitution that came into force in February.

King Mswati III is the absolute monarch of Swaziland, a small landlocked country in southern Africa. Mswati’s father, King Sobhuza II, banned political parties in 1973. A new constitution was brought into effect by royal decree in February by King Mswati, which proclaimed the right to freedom of association and freedom of speech but did not explicitly lift the ban on political parties.

In an interview with the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), King Mswati said, “The old constitution had actually written that we banned political parties but these days when you read our new constitution, our new constitution allows the freedom of rights.” He added, “There is nothing which says we ban parties.”

This week marks the 20th year of Mswati’s ascention to the throne. He has been criticised for his lavish lifestyle, while ruling over a country struggling with unemployment, poverty and the world’s highest HIV infection rates. A pro-democracy movement has been active in the country since its independence from British colonial rule. In the last few months, there have also been firebombings of government offices and official residences, and members of a banned pro-democracy group, the People’s United Democratic Movement have been arrested on treason charges.

In the AFP interview, the King also spoke against using violence to bring about change in the country, and said that “doors are wide open” to those who wanted to convey a message. He also expressed hope of international assistance in overcoming the challenges facing the country.

Icon of loudspeaker
This audio file was created from the text revision dated 2006-04-24 and may not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)
Audio Wikinews

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.

South Thailand election reruns hit by violence

South Thailand election reruns hit by violence

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

Sunday, April 23, 2006

South Thailand insurgency
Related stories

The involved provinces and surrounding area of Thailand and Malaysia The involved provinces and surrounding area of Thailand and Malaysia

Wikipedia has articles on
  • Thailand
  • South Thailand insurgency
  • 2005 Songkhla bombings
  • Patani United Liberation Organization

and the involved provinces,

  • Pattani
  • Narathiwat
  • Yala
  • Songkhla
See also

Thailand’s troubled southern province of Narathiwat saw the driver of an election official shot dead in the hours immediately leading up to today’s by-elections. The attack, shortly after 6 a.m. local time (2300 UTC), saw the 41 year old driver instantly killed and a woman passenger hospitalised from injuries sustained in the attack.

Thailand’s three southernmost provinces have been the centre of an insurgent campaign that has left over 1000 dead in the last two years. The predominantly Muslim region overwhelmingly rejected the Thai Rak Thai party candidates who stood unopposed in the April 2 general election forcing by-elections in an effort to fill the country’s lower house of parliament before it is due to reconvene on May 2. Rules laid out in the country’s constitution require that any candidate standing unopposed must receive votes from 20% of the eligible electorate to be elected. With the major opposition parties continuing their election boycott, these is some doubt if the full compliment of 500 MPs will be elected by the May 2 deadline.

According to the Thai News Agency, there are by-elections in 40 constituencies spread over 17 provinces, despite voting being compulsory, turnout is expected to be low as this is the third set of elections since the start of the month.

Related news

  • Seven south Thailand constituencies face one horse race” — Wikinews, April 10, 2006
  • “Third of Thais vote ‘none of the above'” — Wikinews, April 4, 2006
  • “Thais head to the polls for snap election” — Wikinews, April 2, 2006
  • “Opposition may boycott Thai election; demonstrators want Thaksin out” — Wikinews, February 26, 2006
  • “Thai snap-election set for April 2, 2006” — Wikinews, February 24, 2006

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.

Nagin, Landrieu advance to runoff in New Orleans mayoral election

Nagin, Landrieu advance to runoff in New Orleans mayoral election

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

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ray Nagin

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Secretary of State Mitch Landrieu will most likely face each other in a May 20 runoff election for mayor of New Orleans.

With all 442 precincts reporting from elections on Saturday, Nagin has reportedly received 41,489 votes (38%), leading all candidates but falling short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Landrieu received 31,499 votes (29%); Ron Forman, 18,734 votes (17%). All three are Democrats.

Nagin, 49, was first elected in 2002 on a platform of fighting government corruption, but he has since become better known for leading the recovery effort in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. At the same time, he has come under criticism for certain remarks, such as asserting that New Orleans would remain a “chocolate city” with an African-American majority.

Nagin said that he was “humbled by the support from this community,” and called on New Orleanians to “bring this city together … it’s time for black and white, Hispanic and Asian, everybody to come together for one New Orleans. It’s time for us to stop the bickering.”

Landrieu, 45, brother of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and son of former New Orleans mayor Moon Landrieu, said, “Tonight, we take the second step on this journey back home, and I ask all New Orleanians to join with me in this march as we proclaim to America that New Orleans will be rebuilt.”

Forman pledged to “work day and night with either Mitch or Ray to rebuild this city.”

A special challenge in this election was bringing together New Orleans residents displaced by the catastrophic flooding in the aftermath of Katrina. It is estimated that nearly six out of every ten residents still registered to vote in New Orleans live outside the city.

Polling was held at 76 polling stations (compared with 262 four years ago) and ten satellite stations were opened throughout the state for absentee voting. Civil rights groups challenged the plan, and instead advocated for polling stations to be setup in Houston and Atlanta where many displaced residents now live. State officials and federal courts rejected the plan, citing legal questions.

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.

Michael Schumacher breaks Formula One record for most poles

Filed under: AutoArchived,Europe,Formula One,Nico Rosberg,San Marino,Sports — admin @ 5:00 am

Michael Schumacher breaks Formula One record for most poles

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

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Michael Schumacher-I'm the man (cropped).jpg

Bologna, Italia – Michael Schumacher has set the Formula One pole record. “Schumi” won the pole position at the San Marino Grand Prix. The pole position was the 66th for Schumacher. Ayrton Senna held the previous record. Senna won his F1-career 65 pole positions between years 1984-1994. Schumacher has been racing in the F1-series since 1991. Senna won 40% of his pole attempts (161 races) compared to Schumacher’s 28% (235 races so far). This new pole record reawakened the affection for Senna who died in 1994 on the fifth lap at the same race, the San Marino Grand Prix, a race won by Schumacher who was also champion the same year.

Results of timetrial

Starting Order

1. Michael Schumacher Ferrari
2. Jenson Button Honda
3. Rubens Barrichello Honda
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari
5. Fernando Alonso Renault
6. Ralf Schumacher Toyota
7. Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren
8. Kimi Räikkönen McLaren
9. Jarno Trulli Toyota
10. Mark Webber Williams
11. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault
12. Jacques Villeneuve BMW-Sauber
13. Nico Rosberg Williams
14. David Coulthard Red Bull
15. Nick Heidfeld BMW-Sauber
16. Vitantonio Liuzzi Squderia Toro Rosso
17. Christian Klien Red Bull
18. Scott Speed Squderia Toro Rosso
19. Tiago Monteiro MF1
20. Christijan Albers MF1
21. Takuma Sato Super Aguri
22. Yuji Ide Super Aguri

Results of 3rd part of the time trial

1. Michael Schumacher 1.22,795
2. Jenson Button 1.22,988
3. Rubens Barrichello 1.23,242
4. Felipe Massa 1.23,702
5. Fernando Alonso 1.23,709
6. Ralf Schumacher 1.23,772
7. Juan Pablo Montoya 1.24,021
8. Kimi Räikkönen 1.24,158
9. Jarno Trulli 1.24,172
10. Mark Webber 1.24,795

Results of 2nd part of the time trial

1. Michael Schumacher 1.22,579
2. Kimi Räikkönen 1.23,190
3. Ralf Schumacher 1.23,565
4. Felipe Massa 1.23,595
5. Mark Webber 1.23,718
6. Jarno Trulli 1.23,727
7. Fernando Alonso 1.23,748
8. Jenson Button 1.23,749
9. Rubens Barrichello 1.23,760
10. Juan Pablo Montoya 1.23,760
11. Giancarlo Fisichella 1.23,771
12. Jacques Villeneuve 1.23,887
13. Nico Rosberg 1.23,966
14. David Coulthard 1.24,101
15. Nick Heidfeld 1.24,129
16. Vitantonio Liuzzi 1.24,520

Results of first part of the time trial

1. Fernando Alonso 1.23,536
2. Kimi Räikkönen 1.24,259
3. Ralf Schumacher 1.24,370
4. Giancarlo Fisichella 1.24,434
5. Jarno Trulli 1.24,446
6. Jenson Button 1.24,480
7. Nico Rosberg 1.24,495
8. Michael Schuamcher 1.24,598
9. Rubens Barrichello 1.24,727
10. David Coulthard 1.24,849
11. Vitantonio Liuzzi 1.24,879
12. Felipe Massa 1.24,884
13. Juan Pablo Montoya 1.24,960
14. Mark Webber 1.24,992
15. Jacques Villeneuve 1.25,081
16. Nick Heidfeld 1.25,410
17. Christian Klien 1.25,410
18. Scott Speed 1.25,437
19. Tiago Monteiro 1.26,820
20. Christijan ALbers 1.27,088
21. Takuma Sato 1.27,609
22. Yuji Ide 1.29,282


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.

Aljazeera airs new audiotape by Osama bin Laden

Aljazeera airs new audiotape by Osama bin Laden

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

Sunday, April 23, 2006

FBI photo of Osama Bin Laden.

Aljazeera has aired a new audiotape it says contains the voice of al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden. The tape is 11 minutes and 26 seconds long, believed to have been made after March 14, 2006.

According to Aljazeera, in the tape, Bin Laden talks about the “situation in Iraq, Palestine and Sudan” and says that the isolation of the Hamas-led Palestine is a “war by crusaders and Zionists against Islam.”

“I say that this war is the joint responsibility of the people and the governments. While the war continues, the people renew their allegiance to their rulers and politicians and continue to send their sons to our countries to fight us. The war goes on and the people are renewing their allegiance to its rulers and masters. They send their sons to armies to fight us and they continue their financial and moral support while our countries are burned and our houses are bombed and our people are killed,” said bin Laden.

“The blockade which the West is imposing on the government of Hamas proves that there is a Zionist crusaders war on Islam. I have sworn to only live free. Even if I find bitter the taste of death, I don’t want to die humiliated or deceived. The war is a responsibility shared between the people and the governments. They do not want a truce unless it is from our side only. They insist on continuing their crusader campaign against our nation and to loot our wealth,” he added.

Bin Laden also talked about Sudan saying, “I call on mujahedeen and their supporters, especially in Sudan and the Arab peninsula, to prepare for long war again the crusader plunderers in Western Sudan. Our goal is not defending the Khartoum government but to defend Islam, its land and its people. The politicians of the West do not want dialogue except for the sake of dialogue to drag us on, for them to gain more time. They want an armistice that is observed only by us.”

The United States has since said that they believe the tape is authentic.

“We just heard from the intelligence community that they believe it’s authentic,” said Scott McClellan, spokesman for the White House.

“We are continuing to take the fight to the enemy abroad and making it difficult for them to plan and plot against Americans. The al Qaeda leadership is on the run and under a lot of pressure. We continue to take all terrorist threats seriously and that is why we are acting on all fronts doing everything within our power to prevail in the war on terrorism,” added McClellan.

Aljazeera last aired an audiotape in January by bin Laden, where he promised new terrorist attacks in the U.S. but also offered the U.S. a “long-term truce.”

Related news

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.

Powered by WordPress