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March 31, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: March 31, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: March 31, 2007 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: March 31, 2007

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A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, March 31, 2007.

Hicks to serve 9 months in Australia

Full report: First Guantánamo Bay prisoner sentenced

Recreation yard at Guantánamo

David Hicks of Australia has been sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment following his guilty plea. However, all but 9 months of that sentence has been suspended per the military judge. Hicks has already spent 5 years at Guantánamo. The United States will send him home by May 29. Hicks is first person convicted at Guantánamo since detainees began arriving in 2001.

Related news

  • “Guantanamo detainee David Hicks pleads guilty to providing “material support”” — Wikinews, March 27, 2007

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US Naval officer temporarily relieved for \”possible supremacist activities\”

Filed under: AutoArchived,Crime and law,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

US Naval officer temporarily relieved for “possible supremacist activities”

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

USS Carl Vinson on patrol

On March 7, 2007, the US Navy has relieved Lieutenant Commander John F. Sharpe of his duties pending an investigation into allegations that he was involved in supremacist activities.

Sharpe served as public affairs officer for the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, which is currently undergoing repairs in Newport News, Virginia.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) says Sharpe runs the Legion of St. Louis and IHS Press, organizations that allegedly espouse anti-Semitic views.

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Two Wikimedia employees announce resignations

Filed under: Archived,Computing,Internet,Wikimedia Foundation — admin @ 5:00 am

Two Wikimedia employees announce resignations

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Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Brad Patrick, former General Counsel for the WMF

Brad Patrick and Danny Wool announced their resignations from the Wikimedia Foundation last week.

Danny Wool, previous Grants Coordinator for the Foundation made his resignation first known on March 20, by removing his name from the current staff listing on the Foundation’s website. Unlike Patrick, this was the first indication of Wool’s resignation.

According to a mailing list post by Wool, he will be running for a seat on the Board of Trustees, the Wikimedia Foundation’s governing body, in June. Earlier in the same message, he says that he is unwilling to discuss the reasons of his resignation with the community.

Danny Wool, former Grants Coordinator for the WMF

Brad Patrick’s resignation was known to the Board of Trustees about a month previously and was made public on March 22. Patrick says in his mailing list message that his resignation is not related to Wools, and that “the timing is just unfortunate”. Patrick says that he will not be leaving the Wikimedia projects, just “not going to be the WMF’s General Counsel” anymore.

In an interview with Wired News, Patrick criticized the Board’s ability to “handle things”, as well as concerns with the “informal structure of the Board” and “the inexperience of its seven members”. When contacted by phone, Jimbo Wales said that he was confused by Patrick’s statements.

“What I hope for is for the board to decide to choose a future that will be conducive to a very powerful executive director who can provide some much needed leadership right now,” Patrick said.

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Sydney holds voluntary one hour blackout

Sydney holds voluntary one hour blackout

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House during Earth hour

Many lights in Sydney, Australia’s largest city, were turned off for one hour at 19:30 local time (09:30 UTC) on March 31, 2007 to raise awareness of climate change. This Earth hour, which was organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), received support from the government of New South Wales, many environmental groups and some businesses.

Many famous buildings such as the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Luna Park took part.

Organisers also hoped the event would encourage Australians to conserve energy, claiming if various electronics were switched off when they were not in use the country’s greenhouse gas emissions could reduce by up to 5%.

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Israeli website reports speculation over U.S. attack on Iran in April

Filed under: AutoArchived,Iran,Politics and conflicts,World — admin @ 5:00 am

Israeli website reports speculation over U.S. attack on Iran in April

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

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Reports from the Israeli website Debka.com, which reports on intelligence matters, say that the United States is planning to launch air strikes on Iran targets on Good Friday, April 6 at 4:00 a.m. local time (UTC+3:30), citing unnamed Russian intelligence officials.

Cquote1.svg Russian intelligence has information that the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in the Persian Gulf have nearly completed preparations for a missile strike against Iranian territory. Cquote2.svg

—Russian intelligence official

The Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the United States State Department, Nicholas Burns, however, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday that diplomacy was the “best and preferred” course of action in dealing with Iran, adding “I do not believe a military confrontation with Iran is either desirable or inevitable.”

Another newspaper, the Russian weekly “Argoumenty Nedeli” (Week Arguments) is quoted by the Russian Information Agency (RIA) Novosti as saying that the attack is planned for a single continuous attack of 12 hours from 4am to 4pm, with the choice of the Easter holidays in many Western countries likely since “Western opinion” will be “on holidays”. Friday 6 April is cited by Novosti as a likely, though not definite, date. Another RIA Novosti report written in French and dated March 30 states that the US military command is ready to make an attack during the first fortnight of April, but that any final decision will be made by US political leaders.

The targets will be “Iranian nuclear installations” that will be “designed to be devastating enough to set Tehran’s nuclear program several years back,” said the website quoting unnamed Russian intelligence officials.

United States forces completed a large-scale series of military exercises in the Persian gulf off the Iranian coastline this week, involving 15 ships, 125 aircraft and 13,000 sailors. Naval commanders said the exercises were meant to demonstrate United States’ commitment to security in the region, including keeping sea-lanes open for oil shipment and were defensive in nature.

Despite the claims by the Russian official, Iran does not think that the U.S. can “pressure” the U.S. tax payers into another war.

“U.S. officials are under pressure from Americans. I don’t think the U.S. is in a position to mount its pressure on the U.S. taxpayers,” said Manuchehr Mottaki, Iran’s Foreign Minister.

The Gulf Cooperation Council has called on its member nations – Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, all home to U.S. forces in the region, to not take part in an attack on Iran. Qatar and the Emirates have already said that they would not.

“Russian intelligence has information that the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in the Persian Gulf have nearly completed preparations for a missile strike against Iranian territory. The Pentagon has drafted a highly effective plan that will allow the Americans to bring Iran to its knees at minimal cost,” said the unnamed Russian intelligence official as reported by RIA Novosti a Russian based news agency.

The strike force is allegedly going to be composed of the “USS Nimitz and its support ships” which will join forces with the John C. Stennis strike group when it leaves the U.S. on April 2.

Although the Nimitz is scheduled to relieve the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, all three ships will remain in the Persian Gulf if the 15 British sailors and marines being detained by Iran are not released and will also remain if any armed conflict begins between the two nations.

The USS Bataan and USS Boxer will also be part of the strike force.

The Nimitz strike force will be “composed of the USS Princeton guided-missile cruiser, four guided missile destroyers – the USS Higgins, USS Chafee, USS John Paul Jones and the USS Pinckney. The strike force is armed with two helicopter squadrons and a special unit for dismantling sea mines and other explosive devices,” said Debka according to Russian intelligence officials.

USS Nimitz (CVN-68), a US Navy aircraft carrier. Photo is from after her 1999-2001 refit.

Despite the claim, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov says that the situation will be resolved “peacefully.”

“We are constantly working on how to resolve the situation around the Iranian nuclear program and other conflicts peacefully. This policy is unchanged and we will pursue it in the future,” said Lavrov.

Russian intelligence officials also say that the recent U.S. military exercise in the Gulf on March 27 was “practice” for the strike in April and that it will be up the U.S. “leadership” to give the go ahead as by April, the military is expected to be ready for the strike.

Different sources agree that the attack is allegedly only going to take place by air and will last 12 hours. No attack by land is expected. The attack is allegedly going to be called “Operation Bite.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry refuses to comment on the reports.

Sources

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Football: Crouch hat-trick lifts Liverpool to victory

Football: Crouch hat-trick lifts Liverpool to victory

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Liverpool FC 4 1 Arsenal FC

Match Stats
Attendance 43958
Goalscorers for Liverpool FC Crouch (4′, 35′, 81′), Agger (60′)
Goalscorers for Arsenal FC Gallas (73′)
Bookings (Liverpool FC) Alonso (Yellow (1))
Bookings (Arsenal FC) Diaby, Lehmann, Fabregas (Yellow (3))

Three goals by Peter Crouch gave Liverpool a comfortable 4-1 win over rivals Arsenal on Saturday at Anfield. The two teams are in a battle for third place in the league at the moment, and both are in need of points to guarantee a Champion’s League berth for next season. Liverpool’s win puts them in third for the time being, but Arsenal have a game in hand still to be played out against Manchester City. Saturday’s match acted as a return to the Premiership for Peter Crouch after his broken nose kept him out for several games, and he played as a lone striker with Steven Gerrard acting as close support from midfield. Arsenal meanwhile played two strikers with Emmanuel Adebayor returning from suspension being paired with Julio Baptista.

Liverpool started the game very strongly, with Peter Crouch scoring after only four minutes. A back heeled one-two between Pennant and Arbeloa release Arbeloa on the right side, and his low cross found Crouch, who slotted the ball past Jens Lehmann. Arsenal responded positively with a header by Adebayor, but the ball flew just over the crossbar and landed on top of the netting. Baptista then had a chance on goal for Arsenal after he was found open by Adebayor, but the Brazilian’s shot was scuffed well wide of the net and failed to trouble Jose Reina. Arsenal would be made to pay for their missed chances minutes later as Crouch bagged his second of the afternoon when he headed in a cross from Fabio Aurelio.

Jens Lehmann was awarded a yellow card during the halftime break for allegedly spitting water at a Liverpool supporter, but the game continued without further incident. Steven Gerrard had the first of the chances in the second half, but his shot from just outside the box was directly at Lehmann. Arsenal then had their best chance through Adebayor, but he was unlucky to see his low drive cannon off the base of the post with Reina well beaten. Liverpool then increased their lead on sixty minutes when Agger directed Aurelio’s curling free kick into the back of the net past a diving Lehmann. Adebayor continued to threaten Liverpool’s goal however, and if not for a fingertip save from Reina, he would have pulled one back for Arsenal off a header. Arsenal would pull one back minutes later through William Gallas has he tapped home a corner from Cesc Fabregas. Arsenal put on pressure for a few minutes in an attempt to force a grand-stand finish, but it was to be Liverpool who would score next. Germain Pennant’s cross into the box found Crouch, and after some good control and a flick between his legs, the tall Englishman powered his third into the back of the net, sealing the victory for Liverpool.

Liverpool now travel to Holland to take on PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League, the team that dropped Arsenal out of the same competition. Arsenal meanwhile have no competitions left but the Premiership to take part in, and their next game is at home to strugglers West Ham United.


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NHL: Penguins rally, fall to Leafs in OT

NHL: Penguins rally, fall to Leafs in OT

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pittsburgh Penguins 4 5 Toronto Maple Leafs

The Pittsburgh Penguins need points, but not as bad as the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was evident, Saturday, as the Maple Leafs held on to defeat the Penguins 5-4 in overtime. Toronto threw away a four goal advantage, as the Penguins managed to pick up a precious point in the quest for home-ice advantage in the playoffs. Every game is crucial for Toronto, as they currently sit in ninth spot in the east, one point back of Montreal for the final playoff spot.

It didn’t take long for Toronto to take over the game, scoring 4:28 into the first period. Chad Kilger beat starting goaltender Jocelyn Thibault for his 14th goal of the season. Kyle Wellwood and Darcy Tucker assisted Kilger on the goal. Gary Roberts, the product of one of Pittsburgh’s deadline trades anwsered just over two minutes later to tie the match. Sergei Gonchar, one of the NHL’s highest scoring defenders picked up an assist along with Rookie of the Year contender Evgeni Malkin. Toronto would strike back at 18:30, when Alexei Ponikarovsky scored his 20th goal of the season, assisted by Nik Antropov and Mats Sundin. The Maple Leafs kept piling on goals, with Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe each scoring to make it 4-1. The goals caused Pens coach Michael Therrien to pull goaltender Jocelyn Thibault in favor of Mark Andre Fleury. Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot scored at 16:31 to end the second period at 4-2. Pittsburgh climbed back into the game with less than five minutes remaining, when Sidney Crosby, assisted by Ryan Whitney and Evgeni Malkin, scored his team-high 36th goal of the season. Trailing by one goal, Ryan Whitney stepped up for the Penguins, firing a pass from Sergei Gonchar beyond Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft with four seconds remaining in regulation. The stunned fans inside the AirCanada Center got their money’s worth, however, as Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle, the eventual 1st star of the game would score in overtime to give the Maple Leafs the win and the critical extra point.

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Three Stars of the Game

  • #1 – Tomas Kaberle, D, TOR – 2 Goals, 1 Assist
  • #2 – Ryan Whitney, D, PIT – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
  • #3 – Pavel Kubina, D, TOR – 1 Assist

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NHL: Avalanche defeat Wild 2-1

NHL: Avalanche defeat Wild 2-1 – Wikinews, the free news source

NHL: Avalanche defeat Wild 2-1

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Colorado Avalanche 2 1 Minnesota Wild

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 with goalie Peter Budaj’s 10th win in March, keeping their playoff hopes alive.

Marian Gaborik scored the opener for the Wild only 1:21 into the first period, but answered goals from Justin Lilles and Peter Stastny in the second period lifted the Avalanche to victory.

With the win, the Avalanche tied a team record with 11 wins in a month. Budaj had a 10-0-2 record this March, tying the franchise record for wins in any month. It was set by the Quebec Nordiques’s Daniel Bouchard in February 1981.

Colorado is five games behind the Calgary Flames in the race for the 8th spot the Western Conference, the last spot for the playoffs. The Flames play the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night and play Colorado Tuesday night.

Minnesota lost its third straight game, jeapordizing their chances in their close race with Vancouver for the Northwest Division title.

Three Stars

1. Colorado: J. Liles
2. Colorado: P. Budaj
3. Colorado: T. Arnason

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March 30, 2007

Women\’s groups promote \”Equal Pay Day\” in Belgium

Women’s groups promote “Equal Pay Day” in Belgium

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Catholic Worker’s Women Movement (KAV) militants gave out big Easters eggs to women, and small ones to men, to compensate for the gender pay gap.

The ACV trade union’s easter bunny also handed out chocolates on the Friday morning market in Leuven.

Today, several trade unions and women’s organisations organised actions in public places and companies all over Belgium to promote equal pay for women. Volunteers handed out flyers about the issue at the Brussels Airport and the Brussels subway and in train stations, companies, hospitals and schools throughout the country.

The third edition of the U.S.-inspired Equal Pay Day was called for by the socialist women’s organisations zij-kant and the women-section of the trade union ABVV, in partnership with their Francophone equivalents, PS-women and the union FGTB, the Institute for Equality of Women and Men, the Catholic Worker’s Women Movement (KAV) and the union ACV.

The Institute for Equality of Women and Men reports that wages are still on average 15% lower for women in Belgium. This figures varies in different studies. In a report ordered by the trade unions, the Higher Institute for Work of the Catholic University of Leuven reports a pay difference of 26%, based on an analysis of the wages of 20 000 men and women. This also results in an inequity in pensions.

According to the Structure of Earnings Survey by Eurostat, the European gender pay-gap mounts to 26%, whereas in Belgium the difference is around 17%. Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Slovenia are doing even better, while in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Cyprus women earn around 30% less.

ABVV volunteers handed out flyers and recompensated women by giving chocolate euros.

The inequity in payment results from company’s human resource management, but is also influenced by the role of the women in the family, education, and so on. But even when these factors are taken into account, there is still a difference of 5 to 7%.

The organisations acknowledge that there have been small improvements, and that there have been hopeful political steps since their action last year. Because their target of equal wages for men and woman has moved a little bit closer, they’ve decided to hold the third edition one day earlier, on March 30 instead of March 31. This date symbolises the 15 months a woman has to work on average to earn the same as her male colleague. In the United States, the difference is bigger, and hence the Equal Pay Day is only held on April 24. The European Equal Pay Day was been held last February 22.

With their campaign, the organisation urges politicians to improve the rapports on the phenomenon, to encourage gender-friendly human resource management in businesses, to address gender-issues in the schools, and to keep their previous promises.

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Wikinews Shorts: March 30, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: March 30, 2007 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: March 30, 2007

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A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, March 30, 2007.

Boat capsizes in Guinea, up to 60 dead[]

Small piroque with passengers

A boat carrying around 120 passengers capsized and sank off the coast of Guinea and as many as 60 did not survive. State television called the type of boat a pirogue, which is usually used for fishing. However, many people living in coastal communities in Guinea use open boats to travel between towns due to the poor roads.

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Maradona out of danger[]

Diego Maradona in a TV interview in 2006

Diego Maradona, the Argentinian soccer legend is stable and recovering after being hospitalized on Wednesday. Doctors said that he was given sedatives to curb alcohol cravings. This is not the first health crisis for the 46 year-old Maradona.

Sources


Thailand elections announced[]

Flag of Thailand

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has announced that a general election will be held on December 16 or 22. At the same time, he resisted requests from the military for emergency powers as anti-coup protests grow. Surayud was appointed prime minister by the military after the overthrow of his predecessor Thaksin Shinawatra in a coup last September.

Sources


Ethiopian helicopter shot down in Somalia[]

A helicopter flies over Mogadishu

An Ethiopian helicopter battling rebel forces near Mogadishu in Somalia was hit by a missle and crashed. No survivors were reported. Ethiopian troops are helping Somali government forces against an insurgency. Dozens were killed in fighting on Thursday as a six-day truce was broken.

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