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March 3, 2008

Wikileaks spokesperson discusses recent court case with Wikinews

Wikileaks spokesperson discusses recent court case with Wikinews

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Monday, March 3, 2008

The Wikileaks logo

The website wikileaks.org has recently been brought back online following the lifting of a court injunction forcing the site to be taken down. According to a Wikileaks press release from when the site was taken offline, the injunction stated that “Dynadot [Wikileaks host] shall immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the wikileaks.org domain name and prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court.”

As Wikleaks is a wiki and is therefore not run by anyone, Jonathon Winterview interviewed a spokesperson of Wikileaks, who answered all the below questions.

Interview

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinews (Jonathon Winterview)Wikinews waves Right.pngWhat do you believe Judge Whites reasoning was for lifting the injunction?

Wikileaks: Judge White stated that he lifted the order based on first amendment grounds. He also mentioned the counter-productive effect of the previous order, which only served to draw attention to and spread the documents concerned. While no doubt these reasons play a part in the decision, we should not forget that by having 12 lawyers physically in the court room arguing against the censorship order — and many newspapers outside it — Wikileaks displayed more “power” at this hearing than the Swiss Caymans bank was able to muster. The anti-censorship side also spent considerably more money. While the outcome is certainly just, let us not forget that what it took to achieve it. What it took to overturn the order was raw power — Wikileaks in solidarity with 18 large media organizations and constitutional rights groups. While we hope we have set an example to other judges who would make similiar [sic] orders, every day less well-connected individuals and groups are censored because they lack the resources to engage in a Wikileaks-style technical, political and legal fight. Let us not forget them.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.pngBank Julius Baer have claimed in a recent press release that they did not wish for wikileaks.org to be taken off line. Do you believe the claims in this statement? If not, why not?

WL: This is a lie. See “Wikileaks blasts Cayman Islands bank” for our full response. [In Wikileaks blasts Cayman Islands bank they say “Baer’s requests to the court to do just that are a matter of public record. The only change made by Judge Jeffery White to Baer’s proposed “Wikileaks.org’ takedown order was to cross out the word ‘proposed’! Baer also wrote-for-the-judge a separate order in relation to the documents alone, which was similarly granted. Further, at any time subsequent Baer could have asked the court that its earlier request on the shutdown order be rescinded. It has not done so. While one might be tempted to blame the bank’s Hollywood lawyers Lavely & Singer for running amuck, Baer continues to employ the same law firm. This can only be seen as an endorsement of its conduct.”]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.pngDo you believe Bank Julius Baer will suffer as a result taking Wikileaks to court?

WL: Baer will lose millions of dollars, possibly hundreds of millions dollars as a result of its attack. Baer has a prospective US IPO listed at close to $1 billion. Apart from the world-wide ill will and increased scrutinty from regulators Baers actions must have produced, it is not unreasonable to suggest a fall of 10% to 30% of the IPO price — $100M to $300M.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.pngBank Julius Baer have said that they were not able to negotiate with Wikileaks. Is this true?

WL: This is a lie. See “Wikileaks blasts Cayman Islands bank” for our full response.
[ed. In this message, Wikileaks blasts the Cayman Island bank saying that “Wikileaks responded with grace and speed to every one of Baer’s highly irregular… demands and left communication open.”]



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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Representative for ACLU tells Wikinews their opinion on lifting of Wikileaks court injunction

Representative for ACLU tells Wikinews their opinion on lifting of Wikileaks court injunction

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Monday, March 3, 2008

ACLU logo

Wikileaks logo

The website wikileaks.org has recently been brought back online following the lifting of a court injunction forcing the site to be taken down. A representative of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which supported Wikileaks, has told Wikinews their opinion of the court injunction. They have claimed that the lifting of the injunction was a “victory for the first amendment.”

The representative stated that the ACLU hopes this injunction acts as an example to other judges who take part in similar cases. This opinion was shown when the representative said that the lifting of the injunction will “hopefully help show other courts that injunctions against speech, including speech on the Internet, are not appropriate.”

The permanent injunction was granted in the California Northern District Court in San Francisco, California to Bank Julius Baer, a Swiss bank, which has caused the domain to be taken off line in the U.S..Wikileaks previously published several documents obtained from a whistleblower of the Swiss Bank, “purportedly showing offshore tax evasion and money laundering by extremely wealthy and in some cases, politically sensitive, clients from the United States, Europe, China and Peru.”

“Blocking access to the entire site in response to a few documents posted there completely disregards the public’s right to know,” said Ann Brick a lawyer for the ACLU, in a statement made before the injunction was lifted. At least 18 other organizations have signed documents in defense of Wikileaks. Those documents have been forged into a joint amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief; which will be submitted to the court and used as defense evidence in a hearing scheduled for Friday February 29.



Sources

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


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Nepali goddess retires at age 11

Filed under: Archived,Asia,Culture and entertainment,Nepal,Religion — admin @ 5:00 am

Nepali goddess retires at age 11 – Wikinews, the free news source

Nepali goddess retires at age 11

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Monday, March 3, 2008

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Sajani Shakya during her 2007 visit to the United States.
Image: Acarvin.

Nepal’s controversial “living goddess” has voluntarily retired from her position at age 11.

Eleven-year-old Sajani Shakya has retired from her status as the Kumari of Bhaktapur at the request of her family, an official said Saturday.

“She is no more a Kumari,” said Dipak Pandey, a senior official of the state-run Trust Corporation that oversees the cultural affairs in Nepal, a deeply religious nation.

Pandey said that Shakya’s family wanted to partake in another religious ritual, a symbolic wedding with a bael fruit, that ensures young Newa women will not be treated as widows if their husband should die before them. The ritual is incongruent with her position as a Kumari.

Last year, Shakya made headlines and sparked controversy when she visited the United States to attend the release of the movie Living Goddess, which portrayed three Kumari during the Nepalese Civil War. She risked losing her title because the visit was against tradition, but the threat was later withdrawn.

Kumari are believed to be living incarnations of the goddess Kālī. In order to become a Kumari, one must be chosen by Nepal’s indigenous Newa people by passing ritual tests and having 32 beautiful physical attributes. Examples of these attributes include having eyelashes like a cow and thighs like a deer.

Kumaris automatically lose their status when they menstruate, at which point Kālī supposedly leaves her body. Severe illness or extreme loss of blood are also reasons to have a girl lose her Kumari status.

Nepal is a landlocked country famous for having Mount Everest on its border with Tibet. Roughly the size of England, its unemployment rate is at approximately 47%, according to a 2001 estimate.

Some human rights activists have petitioned the Supreme Court of Nepal to end the practice because it denies the girl a normal life; the apex court has yet to deliver a judgment.



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National Hockey League news: March 3, 2008

National Hockey League news: March 3, 2008

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Monday, March 3, 2008

There were 7 games played in the National Hockey League on March 2, 2008.

Game summaries

Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Rangers

  1 2 3 OT SO Total
Philadelphia Flyers 3 0 1 0 0/2 4
New York Rangers 3 1 0 0 2/2 5

Vaclav Prospal put the Flyers on the scoreboard first early in the first period. Martin Straka scored a power play goal 4:20 into the first period to tie the score. Braydon Coburn scored a power play goal of his own to retake the lead for the Flyers. Fredrik Sjostrom retied the score at 11:36. Ryan Callahan scored a goal at 13:58, giving the Rangers their first lead of the game, but it wouldn’t last long, as Jeff Carter scored for the Flyers less than two minutes later. Christian Backman retook the lead for the Rangers 1:51 into the second period. Carter scored his second goal of the game at 11:49 in the third period, which tied the score and forced overtime. In the shootout, Brendan Shanahan and Nigel Dawes each scored. Kimmo Timonen and Carter’s attempts were unsuccessful, and the Rangers pick up their fourth win in a row, and snap Philadelphia’s three game winning streak.

Vancouver Canucks @ Chicago Blackhawks

  1 2 3 Total
Vancouver Canucks 0 1 0 1
Chicago Blackhawks 1 1 2 4

Andrew Ladd broke the scoreless tie 17:02 into the first period. In the second period, Patrick Kane scored his 15th goal of the season on a Blackhawks power play. Vancouver cut Chicago’s lead in half at 18:31 in the second period when Ryan Kesler scored. In the third period, Patrick Sharp scored at 5:26. Chicago went up by 3 goals when Kane scored his second of the night at 9:24. Chicago outshot Vancouver 28-10; Vancouver only had 2 shots on goal in the first and third periods.

Florida Panthers @ New York Islanders

  1 2 3 Total
Florida Panthers 1 0 0 1
New York Islanders 0 0 0 0

David Booth scored the only goal of the game for the Panthers, which came at 9:57 in the first period. Craig Anderson stopped all of the Islanders 53 shots, and made his third career shutout. Islanders goaltender Wade Dubielewicz, who filled in for first-string goaltender Rick DiPietro, who was a scratch, made 29 saves, only giving up the single goal.

Atlanta Thrashers @ Pittsburgh Penguins

  1 2 3 OT SO Total
Atlanta Thrashers 1 1 0 0 0/3 2
Pittsburgh Penguins 2 0 0 0 1/3 3

In the opening minute of the first period, Ryan Malone scored his 23rd goal of the season to give the Penguins an early lead. Maxime Talbot put Pittsburgh ahead by two goals 1:19 later. Jim Slater put Atlanta on the board 14:25 into the first period. Atlanta also scored early the third period, a goal by Vyacheslav Kozlov that was assisted by the former penguin Colby Armstrong, to tie the score. In the shootout, Kris Letang scored the only goal, beating Kari Lehtonen with a backhand shot. Atlanta has now lost seven straight, and the Penguins earn their first win in 3 games.

Detroit Red Wings @ Buffalo Sabres

  1 2 3 Total
Detroit Red Wings 1 2 1 4
Buffalo Sabres 1 0 1 2

Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta scored his second career goal less than 3 minutes into the first period. Detroit tied it up with a Kirk Maltby goal at 11:56. The Wings took the lead in the second period when Valtteri Filppula scored a power play goal. Johan Franzen scored almost 10 minutes later to put Detroit ahead by 2. Buffalo cut the Detroit lead to 1 when Jason Pominville scored his 20th goal of the season on a Sabres power play in the third period, but Detroit answered with a goal by Kirk Maltby late in the period, which would secure Detroit’s victory, breaking a 4 game losing streak. Former Sabres goalkeeper Dominik Hasek made 22 saves, and earned his 21st win of the season.

Los Angeles Kings @ Minnesota Wild

  1 2 3 OT Total
Los Angeles Kings 1 0 0 0 1
Minnesota Wild 0 1 0 1 2

Los Angeles struck first when Mike Cammalleri scored with 2:07 left in the first period. Minnesota tied it up when captain Marian Gaborik scored his 34th goal of the season. This game eventually went to overtime, where Martin Skoula scored 3:45 into the 4-on-4 to give the Wild their third straight win. Los Angeles’ goaltender Erik Ersberg had his first career start, stopping all but two of Minnesota’s 35 shots. Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves for the Wild, improving his season record to 26-12-4.

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Edmonton Oilers

  1 2 3 OT SO Total
Columbus Blue Jackets 1 0 2 0 0/3 3
Edmonton Oilers 1 0 2 0 1/2 4

Rick Nash scored his 35th goal of the season to break the scoreless tie 16:39 into the first period. Twenty-three seconds later, Andrew Cogliano scored tied the game at 1 goal a side. The score remained tied until the second half of the third period, when Jason Chimera’s goal reclaimed the lead for the Blue Jackets. Two goals 20 seconds apart put Edmonton in front, first a power play goal by Ales Hemsky, then defenseman Steve Staios’s 7th goal of the season. Dick Tarnstrom retied the score with 2:39 left in regulation to send the game into overtime, and then a shootout. Hemsky scored the only shootout goal, which extended Edmonton’s record for most shootout wins in a season to 14. Mathieu Garon made 35 saves, and also stopped all three Columbus shootout attempts.

Wikinews Player of the Day

Craig Anderson made 53 saves, allowing no goals against the New York Islanders, making him the Wikinews Player of the Day

Tonight’s Wikinews Player of the Day is Craig Anderson of the Florida Panthers. Anderson, making his 12th appearance of the season filling in for the first-string goalkeeper Tomas Vokoun, allowed no goals and stopped 53 shots. His shutout is the third of his career, and his second of the season.

For information on the selection process of the Player of the Day, see this page.



Sources

Game summaries:

Yesterday’s NHL news:

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Medvedev becomes Russian president-elect

Medvedev becomes Russian president-elect

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Monday, March 3, 2008

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Dmitry Medvedev.

Dmitry Medvedev, age 42, has won the presidential election in Russia and is expected to take office on May 7, 2008, replacing Vladimir Putin who has served two 4-year presidential terms since 2000.

The elections were held on Sunday, March 2, and participation among registered voters was 69.65%. On Monday morning, Russian Central Election Commission announced that almost all of the votes were counted with Medvedev receiving 70.21% of votes that were cast. In second place was Communist Party leader Gennady Zuyganov with 17.77%, followed by Liberal Democrat Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 9.37%, and Democratic Party candidate Andrey Bogdanov who got 1.29% percent of the votes.

Medvedev is Putin’s announced “successor”. Medvedev has repeatedly promised to continue the political course of the current Russian government. Medvedev officially ran as an independent but was endorsed by United Russia, Fair Russia and other political parties.

Fairness questioned

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, human rights activist Vladimir Bukovsky, reformer Boris Nemtsov and former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov were all prohibited from taking part in the election for various technicalities. The Russian media have focused heavily on Medvedev while giving little attention to the opposition candidates.

The head of the Western observer organisation Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called the elections “neither free nor fair”, but also admitted that “to reduce the whole election to a spin by the forces working in the Kremlin, would be too simple.” He added that “The president-elect will have a solid mandate given him by the majority of Russians.” Kasparov called the elections “a farce” and demonstrated in St. Petersburg with over 1000 activists.

Only 300 foreign observers monitored the election that involved about 96,000 polling stations across Russia’s 11 time zones. The key European monitoring group, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, refused to come, saying restrictions imposed by the Russians would have made a meaningful assessment impossible.

Vladimir Putin, who has been working with Medvedev since he was a KGB agent, is expected to become Prime Minister. Medvedev is currently Putin’s chief of staff and also holds the position of chair of Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned giant natural gas company. Medvedev is expected to give up that post, since it cannot be combined with the presidency. Medvedev is considered as a pro-democratic, less nationalistic politician compared to Putin.



Related news

  • “Putin will accept prime minister position if Medvedev wins” — Wikinews, December 17, 2007
  • “Putin backs Medvedev as United Russia party’s candidate” — Wikinews, December 10, 2007

Sources

Wikipedia Learn more about Russian presidential election, 2008 and Dmitry Medvedev on Wikipedia.
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Colombian police claim that Venezuelan government paid FARC rebels $300 million

Colombian police claim that Venezuelan government paid FARC rebels $300 million

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Monday, March 3, 2008

File:Pr032206a 2.jpg
FARC troops.

Speaking at a press conference Monday, Colombia’s national police chief Gen. Oscar Naranjo said evidence from the computers of slain members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) suggests the Venezuelan government recently paid the militant guerrilla group US$300 million. He suggested that this may have been part of a deal to release several hostages held by the FARC.

“This unmasks the relations of the FARC with a series of governments, with a series of personalities, some public, some more sinister,” Naranjo said. A representative of the Ecuadorian government may have been involved with the organization as well, he says, though Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa has already denied these charges.

“They said we had a pact with terrorists, and that is completely false,” Correa said during a Cabinet meeting. “We are dealing with an extremely cynical government.”

Hugo Chávez

The police chief also said there was evidence of the Venezuelan government offering to help supply rifles and of 50 kilograms of uranium to FARC. To verify the evidence, the police chief said he will send the documents to the Organization of American States, who will meet in Washington on Tuesday to discuss the South American situation.

In addition, he says there is evidence that FARC had given U$150,000 to Hugo Chávez in 1992 when he was a jailed rebel leader. “A note recovered from Raúl Reyes speaks of how grateful Chávez was for the 100 million pesos that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, delivered to Chávez when he was in prison,” Naranjo said.

Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador are involved in a conflict over the killing on Saturday of FARC spokesman Luis Edgar Devia Silva, also known as Raúl Reyes. Colombian security forces conducted a raid that extended into Ecuadorian territory.

Venezuela and Ecuador have ordered troops to the border with Colombia and have pulled their diplomats from the capital Bogota.

“We will not permit this outrage,” said Rafael Correa. “The situation is extremely grave, and the Ecuadoran government is disposed to go to the ultimate consequences.” President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez said the act was a “cowardly murder” and insulted Colombian President Alvaro Uribe as a liar, criminal and gangster.

Colombia says it has decided not to send extra troops to its borders or sever diplomatic ties with either of the two countries, Uribe said that his fight was against FARC and not any of these countries.



Related news

  • “FARC second-in-command killed by Colombian military” — Wikinews, March 1, 2008

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Canadian musician Jeff Healey dies of cancer

Canadian musician Jeff Healey dies of cancer

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Jeff Healey playing with his Jazz Wizards Band in Peterborough, Ontario on September 8, 2007.

Musician Jeff Healey, 41, has died in Toronto, Canada from cancer, it was announced Sunday. Healey is internationally known for his 1988 album See the Light and for his appearance the following year in the movie Road House with Patrick Swayze. His hits included Angel Eyes.

He was born Norman Jeffery Healey on March 25, 1966 in Toronto. At the age of 1, he was blinded from retinoblastoma, but still learned how to play the guitar by positioning the instrument on his lap.

Healey was host of various Canadian radio programs in recent years and was set to release a new blues-rock album within weeks. He is survived by his wife and two children, 13-year-old Rachel and 3-year-old Derek.



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