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September 17, 2007

US President Bush nominates Michael B. Mukasey as Attorney General

US President Bush nominates Michael B. Mukasey as Attorney General

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Monday, September 17, 2007

President George W. Bush listens to remarks by Judge Michael Mukasey after announcing his nomination Monday, September 17, 2007, in the Rose Garden, to be the 81st Attorney General of the United States.

United States President George W. Bush has today nominated Michael B. Mukasey as Attorney General. If confirmed by the Senate, Mukasey, a former Chief Judge for the Southern District of New York, will replace Alberto Gonzales.

“He knows what it takes to fight this war effectively and he knows how to do it in a manner consistent with our laws and our Constitution,” Bush said, while announcing Mukasey’s nomination in the Rose Garden.

“I look forward to meeting with members of Congress in the days ahead and, if confirmed, to working with Congress to meeting our nation’s challenges,” Mukasey said in his comments.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who was among those who sought the ouster of Gonzales, said Mukasey “is certainly conservative,” but “seems to be the kind of nominee who would put rule of law first and show independence from the White House – our most important criteria.”

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said: “A man who spent 18 years on the federal bench surely understands the importance of checks and balances and knows how to say no to the president when he oversteps the Constitution, but there should be no rush to judgment. The Senate Judiciary Committee must carefully examine Judge Mukasey’s views on the complex legal challenges facing the nation.”

Michael B. Mukasey was nominated as a federal district judge in Manhattan by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. He took the bench in 1988 and served in that position for 18 years, including a 6-year tenure as Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York from 2000 to July 2006.



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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Marija Minic, York Centre

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Marija Minic, York Centre

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Ontario general election, 2007

Algoma-Manitoulin: FCP
Ajax-Pickering: GRN
Beaches-East York: FCP
Bramalea-Gore-Malton: GRN, NDP, PC
Brant: PC
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound: NDP
Carleton—Mississippi Mills: GRN
Chatham—Kent—Essex: FCP
Don Valley East: FRE
Don Valley West: FCP
Durham: PC
Essex: LBR
Hamilton Centre: GRN
Hamilton East: FCP
Kenora—Rainy River: PC
Kitchener Centre: FCP
Kitchener-Conestoga: LBR
Lambton—Kent—Middlesex: FCP
London-Fanshawe: PC
London North Centre: GRN
Nepean-Carleton: FCP, GRN
Newmarket-Aurora: FCP
Oakville: GRN
Ottawa Centre: COMM
Ottawa-Orleans: FRE
Ottawa West-Nepean: GRN
Oxford: LIB
Parkdale-High Park: LBR
Peterborough: GRN
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke: NDP
Scarborough-Rouge River: LBR, NDP
St. Paul’s: FCP, IND
Sudbury: FCP
Thornhill: GRN
Toronto Centre: COMM
Toronto—Danforth: LBR, COMM
Thunder Bay-Atikokan: GRN
Trinity-Spadina: LIB, PC
Vaughan: GRN, NDP
Welland: GRN
Willowdale: GRN, FCP
Windsor-Tecumseh‎: GRN
Whitby-Oshawa‎: GRN
York Centre: GRN

What colours will the map be October 11th?

Map of the new ridings in Southern Ontario coloured in by using the transposition of the results of the 2003 election.

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal
Elections Ontario

Marija Minic is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the York Centre riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Interview

Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process? Why did you choose to run in this constituency?

I have chosen to involve myself in the political process because I am a conservation biologist by trade, therefore I’m passionate about the environment and its limited resources, and I am also passionate about social justice. I feel that I would have much more of a positive effect if I got involved politically than by doing research and writing reports which will only be read by those in the field. I chose to run in this constituency because I am in the riding often for work, and feel that locally, there needs a lot to be done.

What prior political experience do you have? What skills and insight can you bring to office, from other non-political positions you may have held?

Although I have no prior political experience, apart from running for secondary school student council, I feel I have a lot of energy, knowledge and passion to bring to the position of an elected representative. I am a hard worker and enjoying listening to, learning from and working with people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why? What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?

The Liberal incumbent, Monte Kwinter, has a great deal of experience, having been a Member of Provincial Parliament for many years. However, I have youth, energy and a great deal of passion on my side as desirable qualities of all the candidates.

What do you feel are the three most important issues to voters in your riding? Are these the same top three issues that are most important to you? What would you do to address these issues?

The top three issues are education, the environment and healthcare for voters in York Centre riding. These also happen to be the top three issues that are most important to me. I would push for a single, publicly-funded school system, preventative healthcare, bringing back Branson Hospital to fully function as a hospital (not just a clinic), and implement much tougher legislation on renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions.

What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?

Tougher legislations on greenhouse gas emissions should be the first order of business, in my opinion.

Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?

I don’t believe that property taxes are at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality. I would push for “tax shifting” away from income and property and onto the big polluters and resource users, according to the “polluter-pays-principle”.

How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?

If sustainability (not just in the environmental sense) is taken into account in all provincial legislation, more jobs would be created and less would be lost. Also, if money is more wisely and efficiently spent on elementary, secondary and tertiary education as well as job training, students would benefit from having the proper skills to enter the workforce and succeed in it.

What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?

I feel that mixed member proportional representation (MMP) is a fairer system that works well in countries like New Zealand. I feel that Ontario should adopt this system for future elections.

What role, if any, does “new media” play in your campaign, and the campaign of your party? (websites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube videos, etc) Do you view it as beneficial, or a challenge?

“New media” has definitely allowed for reaching out to a wider audience which was not earlier possible. It is definitely beneficial to the campaign!

Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your this electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your this riding? To the province as a whole?

To the people of the province of Ontario as a whole, the many promises Premier Dalton McGuinty has broken has been most harmful to us, as well as members of York Centre riding, including those of not phasing out coal and nuclear plants by the originally stated dates. Also, the closing down of Branson Hospital has hit the people of York Centre riding hard. Some of the environmental legislations implemented by the 38th Legislative Assembly have been beneficial, but could definitely be improved upon. This is why I encourage you to vote for the Green Party of Ontario in the upcoming election on October 10, 2007.



Sources

Wikinews
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Wikinews
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Lord Ganapathi festival celebrations begin

Lord Ganapathi festival celebrations begin

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Ganapathi deity

Ganapathi deity

This September 15, 2007, being the birthday of Lord Ganesha, marks the important festival of Ganesh Chaturthi for Hindus in India and world wide.

Lord Ganesha occupies a special god status in Hindu tradition, and is considered as the bestower of all auspiciousness and destroyer of all negativity. Typically these festive celebrations last from one to 11 days, concluding with a Nimajjan ceremony (immersing the deity in the waters of lake/pond/river/sea/ocean etc). These celebrations are splendidly carried out in India amidst strict security as thousands participate. However; several Indian Hindu communities spread across the globe from Australia to North America have celebrated with no less pomp.

Notable ones were the celebration in the Scandinavian towns of Roskilde and Skovde, where due to the unavailability of Ganesh Maharaj statue (which are readily available in India), the organizers made a deity with black sticky clay soil collected from local farmlands with no added artificial colours.

These celebrations in Scandinavia besides having the usual religious significance has an added flavor demonstrating the environmental awareness in nordic countries. Recently eco-friendly Ganesh immersions are being urged by various environmental activists in India as well.

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A 1-year long strike against FMC Novamed: Women workers allege unfair treatment

A 1-year long strike against FMC Novamed: Women workers allege unfair treatment

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Turkey
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In a free trade zone in Antalya, Turkey, 80 women workers of FMC Novamed are in strike for almost a year now, since September 26th, 2006. They allege not only low wages but also severe abuses on FMC’s part.

Novamed, founded in 2001, is a factory managed by Turkish capitalists and located in the free trade zone in Antalya, Turkey. 95% of its workers are women. It is owned by Fresenius Medical Care (FMC), which is an international corporation with its headquarters in Germany. With factories in 12 countries and a total of 100,000 workers, FMC is a monopoly in the market of dialysis products.

Abuses by FMC Novamed

Following is a list of some of the abuses as alleged by the woman workers of the union:

  • Married woman workers are not allowed to become pregnant without FMC Novamed’s approval. Each worker is given a schedule, which specifies during which months they are allowed to become pregnant. If a woman worker becomes pregnant in “breach” of this given schedule, she is terminated without compensation.
  • Woman workers are required to get permission from the employer before getting married.
  • To “save energy” for their work at the factory, workers are being advised:
    • not to accept guests in their own homes when they are off the clock,
    • not to communicate or even have sex with their spouses when they are off the clock,
    • not to see each other when they are off the clock,
    • only to eat and sleep when they are off the clock.
  • Workers are treated inhumanely, and continuously humiliated regardless of whether they make a mistake or not.
  • Managers and supervisors call their workers to their office and accuse and humiliate them in such a way that there are few workers who come out of these accusation-performances without crying.
  • Workers are not allowed to talk to each other during work hours, as well as in the shuttle during their trips from and to work.
  • Workers are allowed inside the factory premises after being “sniffed” by their supervisors, because smoking during work hours is forbidden.
  • During work hours, there is only a 15-minute break and a 25-minute lunch break. During lunch, instead of food, the factory is serving tea and cookies.
  • An average shuttle trip from home to work may take as long as 2 hours because there are not enough shuttles allocated by the factory for the workers.

The Road to Forced Strike

In 2005, FMC Novamed had 264 workers. Workers applied to the Labor Ministry of Turkey for a union license after its union members (162 then) became the majority among the factory’s workers. However, they were sued for the license and due to the procedures of the lawsuit, the membership list of the union had to be given to the employer, FMC Novamed. Following pressure from the company, workers started to quit the union, and even the factory itself.

When the union finally managed to start negotiations with FMC Novamed, they were greeted by an attitude of indifference. As the negotiations were blocked, the union had to decide whether to strike. They were inclined to apply to “Grand Arbitrator Committee” (Yüksek Hakem Kurulu), a committee whose duty is to arbitrate between the employer and the employee when they cannot negotiate themselves and are bound for a strike.

However, in the meantime, FMC Novamed employed an unfamiliar anti-union strategy: the factory employed workers and enrolled them in the union, but interestingly not as strike-breakers. While the union workers voted for an arbitrator instead of going to strike, the factory-employed workers, now the majority, voted for the strike and won. In the end, those who voted yes for the strike kept on working during the strike, while those who voted no ended up in a forced strike: if they would not strike, their union license would be revoked…

FMC Novamed’s Response

FMC Novamed maintains that all the allegations by the union workers are a lie. According to Cem Günaltay, the Finance Manager for Novamed, the workers who are on strike and all the members of the union are lying. FMC’s International Production Manager Antonio Raffa claimed that the union is insincere and hypocritical in its allegations.

The Significance of Free Trade Zones

According to Burn (2005, p. 170-172), Free Trade Zones are established in “Third World” countries because they are generally exempt from tax, labor, safety, health, and environment laws when they do business in these zones. In these zones, women are the preferred labor force because they can be hired for significantly lower pay and under significantly less desirable working conditions than men can. Often from rural areas and unaware of their rights, in a setting with high unemployment rates, left unprotected by their nation-state, and already oppressed by the harsher patriarchal conditions of their societies, women workers in a transnational factory have little choice other than to accept the questionable work conditions imposed on them.

Support Meetings by Other Organizations

  • September 17th, 2007 – 7am – In front of the Şişli Adliyesi, İstanbul.
  • September 17th, 2007 – 5pm – In front of the Eminönü Üsküdar İskelesi, İstanbul.



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