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March 16, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: March 16, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: March 16, 2008 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: March 16, 2008

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A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, March 16, 2008.

Earthquake hits sea near southern Ryuku Islands, Japan

The location of the Ryuku Islands earthquake

An earthquake has hit the sea near the Southern Ryuku Islands, Japan. The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 4.6, was 15km away from Ishigaki-jima and 1935km away from Tokyo.

Sources


The location of the Mariana Island earthquake

Mariana Islands region hit by Earthquake

An earthquake has hit the sea near the Mariana Islands. The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 5.0, was 340km away from Hagatna, Guam. It struck at approximately 1300 local time yesterday.

Sources


Banda Sea hit by earthquake

The Banda Sea has been hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.9. It struck approximately 215 km away from Saumlaki, Indonesia.

Sources


Earthquake strikes off the coast of El Salvador

The area off the coast of El Salvador has been hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3. It struck approximately 140 km away from San Miguel and 145 km away from Chinandega, Nicaragua.

Sources



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Thousands attend anti-war protests in London and Glasgow

Thousands attend anti-war protests in London and Glasgow

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Protesters leading the march
Image: Adam Brookes.

Yesterday, thousands of people attended anti-war protests in London and Glasgow organised by the Stop the War Coalition. The event marks nearly five years since the 2003 invasion of Iraq which begun the Iraq War. The main themes were “Troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan”, “Don’t attack Iran”, and “End the siege of Gaza”.

In London, protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square before marching down Whitehall to Parliament Square, across Westminster Bridge, along Lambeth Palace Road before crossing the River Thames again at Lambeth Bridge, returning to Parliament Square via Millbank.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office labelled the Stop the War Coalition’s description of the current situation in Iraq as “simply not accurate”, saying, “In Iraq, there is clear evidence we are making steady progress, particularly in terms of security. We have also acknowledged that mistakes were made, and drawn the appropriate lessons”.

Estimates as to the number of protesters in London range from 10,000 according to the Police, up to 40,000 according to the organisers.



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Protesters arrested at anti-Scientology event in Atlanta

Filed under: Religion,Scientology — admin @ 5:00 am

Protesters arrested at anti-Scientology event in Atlanta

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

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While protesting outside the Scientology Church of Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, two members of the group Anonymous were arrested by DeKalb County riot police while standing opposite the Church of Scientology-owned building.

The two protesters, who earlier participated in the delivery of a ‘global speech’ collaboratively written and read by members of Anonymous at protests worldwide, are believed to have been charged by Dekalb police for protesting without a permit and causing ‘offensive or hazardous conditions’. However, other members of Anonymous who took leading roles in arranging the protest are adamant that the Dekalb police had previously told them they did not need a permit to protest.

Video of the arrest

The arrests were filmed by other members of Anonymous who subsequently posted the videos onto popular video-sharing website YouTube. The videos show a very quick arrest in which the arresting officers did not read the Miranda rights of the protesters, which—contrary to popular belief—is only required to be read before a police officer interviews someone in custody. This was confirmed by other members of the group who say they didn’t hear their rights being read before they were led away. “They were grabbed and taken behind the complex in one swift strike. There was no Miranda rights read when they were initially grabbed” said one member of Anonymous interviewed by Wikinews.

In other videos published on YouTube, the same members of Anonymous were shown thanking police for their work and offering them some of the cake members of Anonymous had brought to the protest, shortly before they were arrested.

Members of Anonymous have composed an open letter to Dekalb’s Chief of Police, asking if such a show of police strength was really needed at a non-violent protest organised and attended mainly by college students and young Americans.

Protester holding up sign at anti-Scientology protest in Atlanta, Georgia, after Police began issuing tickets to cars that honked.
Image: Tim Dorr.

Drivers showing their support for the protesters by honking their car horns while driving past were followed by police bikes waiting in the Scientology building’s driveway and given tickets for violating noise ordinance laws. However, many members of Anonymous have voiced confusion over these tickets, as the honks of support were only 2-3 seconds in duration at most, and noise ordinance laws state a horn must be sounded for longer than 60 seconds to count as a violation of the law. When, after the arrests were made, the police started to adopt the policy of ticketing drivers who honked, members of Anonymous quickly raised “Do not honk” signs to drivers.

Both of the members of Anonymous have been released, one with a bail of $763.00. There are confirmed to be two charges standing against one. No information has been released from the police department at this point.

Cquote1.svg They did no wrong, and that building they were led into was reportedly the Scientology Org building. Cquote2.svg

—Kalira, Doomfeller blog

Initial reaction from bloggers was generally critical of the arrests. Kalira of Doomfeller blog wrote: “This is UNACCEPTABLE. They did no wrong, and that building they were led into was reportedly the Scientology Org building. If the police—nay, the walking tanks, totally uncalled for with a peaceful protest—had them unmask inside … suffice it to say if they get harassed, there will be great big steaming piles of hell to pay.”

Scientology critic Jeff Jacobsen, who was interviewed by Wikinews on February 19, wrote on his blog: “But then I see that the Atlanta police arrested two Anons, and were even stopping cars that honked in approval of the protest! Is Atlanta not a part of the United States? I don’t get it.”

Police stand outside the Church of Scientology building

Interview

The videos and arrests have sparked outrage amongst members of the public and Anonymous, and Wikinews interviewed members of Anonymous who were at the Atlanta protest on Saturday:

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.pngWhat was your initial reaction to the arrests at the protest?

Anonymous 1: Just disbelief. On February 10th, the police were completely cool, and we heard they liked us.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.pngWhat has been your experience dealing with the Atlanta police?

Anonymous 1: Usually the police are very chilled with the protests and such. This is the first time that I can recall them acting like this.
Anonymous 2: They really didn’t talk to us at all at the last protest. Several people had called in before both protests to confirm that we didn’t need a permit and that everything was OK- they knew we were coming, and so on- but at this protest initial requests to get more information from the officers were either ignored or met with hostility.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.pngWas there any statement issued by police on what the two arrested individuals were arrested for?

Anonymous 2: Originally I heard that they couldn’t answer that, but then people started saying it was for inciting disorder and for protesting without a permit. We had contacted the police department earlier, and were told that we wouldn’t need a permit.



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Sources

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Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikipedia Learn more about Project Chanology and Anonymous on Wikipedia.
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Play.com Live multimedia exposition hosted at Wembley Stadium, England

Play.com Live multimedia exposition hosted at Wembley Stadium, England

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Play.com logo

London – Wembley Stadium today hosted the second day of the first Play.com Live multimedia exposition, a large event encompassing many large gaming retailers showcasing their latest games across a wide variety of platforms, as well as live music and entertainment from a wide variety of performers and personalities. Wikinews attended the event today, and reported live from inside Wembley Stadium.

First Floor – Corinthian Room

After being greeted at the front door with goodie bags and press passes – the first room to be visited is the Corinthian Room on the first floor of Wembley Stadium. The atmosphere is calm but excited – people are busying themselves browsing the games on display, and getting involved in the wide variety of competitions and events on offer. The Rock Band competition is well underway, and people are competing for the chance to win a 5-day holiday to Las Vegas, as well as a 4×4 car, games consoles, and other prizes such as £5,000 worth of Play.com Vouchers.

The first band to play inside the Corinthian Room is Saving Aimee, who are playing a selection of their songs. The crowd is gathering around the main stage and upper floors to watch the music – and the band is well received by them. The second band to play was the relatively unknown Go:Audio, who also played a selection of songs from their upcoming album. Their energetic performance style had the crowd cheering and singing along. The final band to play was We Are Scientists, who by far had the largest turnout in terms of crowd numbers. They played a number of songs, both old and from their new album, released tomorrow.

The Corinthian Room also housed the Rock Band competitions, Soul Calibur tournament, and housed the Wikinews reporters as they wrote the story. At the end of the day, a £30,000 prize was awarded to the winning team from the Unreal Tournament competition.

Second Floor – Atrium

The Atrium was host to a number of celebrity faces, including Sylvester McCoy (Dr. Who), Danny John-Jules (Cat from Red Dwarf), and Hattie Hayridge (Holly from Red Dwarf). There was also an exhibition by Dare to be Digital – a video games design competition focusing on University students designing and creating video games. In total, 12 games were on show from the Dare to be Digital competition. Retailers also had stands, including Corgi, SanDisk, and Blu-Ray.

This floor was also home to the Far Cray 2 exhibit, and the Unreal Tournament competition.

Sources

Wikinews
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National Hockey League news: March 16, 2008

National Hockey League news: March 16, 2008

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

There were 10 games played in the National Hockey League on March 15, 2008.

Game summaries

Philadelphia Flyers @ Boston Bruins

  1 2 3 OT Total
Philadelphia Flyers 0 2 0 0 2
Boston Bruins 1 0 1 1 3

Chuck Kobasew scored first for Boston 12:21 into the first period. Mike Richards tied the score with his 24th goal of the season. Daniel Brière’s goal 12:25 into the second period gave the Flyers their first lead of the game. Andrew Ference tied the score with 27 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. In the 4-on-4, Aaron Ward scored to give the Bruins the win.

Nashville Predators @ Detroit Red Wings

  1 2 3 Total
Nashville Predators 1 1 1 3
Detroit Red Wings 1 0 0 1

Dan Hamhuis scored first for the Predators 10:27 into the first period. Detroit tied it up before the first intermission when Niklas Kronvall scored. Nashville retook the lead with Rich Peverley’s goal 6:10 into the second period. Nashville took a two goal lead late in the third with a Jerred Smithson empty net goal.

New Jersey Devils @ Colorado Avalanche

  1 2 3 Total
New Jersey Devils 1 1 2 4
Colorado Avalanche 0 1 1 2

New Jersey broke a scoreless tie with a Dainius Zubrus goal. Paul Stastny put the Avalanche on the board and tied the score at one goal apiece. Jay Pandolfo retook a lead for the Devils a couple minutes later. In the third period, Jamie Langenbrunner and John Madden each scored for New Jersey, putting them ahead by 3. Colorado added a goal when John-Michael Liles scored on the power play.

Vancouver Canucks @ Dallas Stars

  1 2 3 Total
Vancouver Canucks 3 0 1 4
Dallas Stars 1 2 0 3

Matt Pettinger put the Canucks on the board early in the first period. Ryan Kesler scored a power play goal to put Vancouver up by 2, then Markus Naslund scored a goal a couple minutes later to give the Canucks a three goal lead. Dallas went on the board before the period ended, when Joel Lundqvist scored with 14 seconds left in the first period. Mike Modano brought the Stars within 1 goal 7:35 into the second period on a power play goal. Later in the second period, Brad Richards scored a shorthanded goal to tie the score. Brendan Morrison retook the lead for the Canucks early in the third, a goal that turned out to be the game winner. Morrison had three points, assisting on the first two Vancouver goals.

Buffalo Sabres @ Toronto Maple Leafs

  1 2 3 Total
Buffalo Sabres 3 0 3 6
Toronto Maple Leafs 1 0 1 2

Ales Kotalik scored first for Buffalo on a Sabres power play 7:06 into the game. Toronto tied it up a few minutes later when Ian White scored. Just 45 seconds later, Jochen Hecht retook the lead for Buffalo. Drew Stafford scored a few minutes later, putting the Sabres up by 2 going into the first intermission. After a goal-less second period, Toronto came within 1 when Jiri Tlusty scored a power play goal 7:29 into the third. The Sabres scored three goals in the second half of the period, first Jason Pominville’s 24th of the season, then Daniel Paille’s 18th, and finally Henrik Tallinder’s first of the year, which he scored on an empty net.

New York Islanders @ Montreal Canadiens

  1 2 3 Total
New York Islanders 0 0 0 0
Montreal Canadiens 0 1 2 3

The Canadiens broke a scoreless tie when Roman Hamrlik scored a power play goal 7:04 into the second period. Alex Kovalev put the Canadiens up by 2 early in the third, then Guillaume Latendresse also scored for Montreal to put them ahead by three. Jaroslav Halak made the start for Montreal between the pipes, and stopped all of the Islanders’ 30 shots, picking up his third career shutout, and the first one of this season.

New York Rangers @ Tampa Bay Lightning

  1 2 3 Total
New York Rangers 0 0 0 0
Tampa Bay Lightning 0 1 2 3

Alexandre Picard scored with less than a minute left in the second period. Martin St. Louis scored a power play goal 6:40 into the third period, then Michel Ouellet added an empty net goal with 58 seconds left in regulation. Mike Smith made 20 saves for Tampa, and earned his third shutout of the season.

Los Angeles Kings @ Minnesota Wild

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

Brian Rolston scored his 27th goal of the season to break a scoreless tie 14:11 into the second period. The Wild added a second goal by captain Marian Gaborik with 4:04 left in regulation, which was his 36th of the season. Niklas Backstrom made 24 saves, improving his record to 27-13-7, and earning his 3rd shutout of the season.

Edmonton Oilers @ Phoenix Coyotes

  1 2 3 Total
Edmonton Oilers 1 2 2 5
Phoenix Coyotes 0 1 1 2

Ales Hemsky scored a power play goal for the Oilers 6:17 into the first period. Shane Doan had a power play goal early in the second period, tying the score. Joni Pitkanen put Edmonton back on top 7:45 into the second. Kyle Brodziak scored the Oilers’ second goal of the second period with 4:46 left on the clock. Marty Reasoner put the Oilers up by 3 in the third period. Phoenix added a late goal by Mathias Tjarnqvist to come within 2, but Fernando Pisani scored an empty net goal for the Oilers, securing the win.

St. Louis Blues @ Anaheim Ducks

  1 2 3 Total
St. Louis Blues 0 1 1 2
Anaheim Ducks 1 1 3 5

Mathieu Schneider broke a scoreless tie with less than a minute to go in the first period, putting the Ducks ahead by 1. St. Louis tied the score early in the second with a Jamal Mayers goal. Teemu Selanne scored a power play goal to put the Ducks back on top in the second period. The Blues tied the score back up when Jeff Woywitka scored his first of the season. A pair of goals by Rob Niedermayer in the third period put the Ducks ahead by 2. Ryan Getzlaf also scored with 1:38 left in regulation.

Player of the Day

Today’s Player of the Day is Brendan Morrison of the Vancouver Canucks. Morrison assisted in two of Vancouver’s three first period goals, and scored the game winning goal in the third period of Vancouver’s 4-3 defeat of the Dallas Stars. It was Morrison’s first three-point game since February 18, 2007, where Morrison also scored the game winning goal.

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



Related news

Yesterday’s NHL news:

Sources

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Lewis Hamilton wins 2008 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wins 2008 Australian Grand Prix

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

File photo of Lewis Hamilton (Stars and Cars 2007)

Image: User:AngMoKio.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton starting from pole wins the FIA Formula-1 2008 ING Australian Grand Prix on the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne.

Nick Heidfeld took second for BMW Sauber. Nico Rosberg scoring his first Formula One podium in third and a long-awaited for Williams team.

A thrilling race ended with only seven drivers met the chequered flag. It all started when Giancarlo Fisichella, a Force India experienced driver, was out upon the start. His younger teammate Adrian Sutil pitted a couple of laps later and left his car.

Albert Park

Fernando Alonso, who is back in Renault, drove stably although his car could not compete fully with McLaren’s. Heikki Kovalainen overtook him on the last lap, but the Spaniard easily made a detour around McLaren and finished 4th.

Rubens Barrichello made a great deal for Honda with a 6th result. The last year decline appear to be nothing to worry about now for the team. Still Barrichello was disqualified a time after the race for leaving the pit-lane under red lights.

Kazuki Nakajima scored two additional points for Williams (three after disqualification of Barrichello).

The last point was grabbed by Sébastien Bourdais (two after disqualification of Barrichello) whose Toro Rosso-Ferrari engine burnt near the end of the race.

Neither Kimi Räikkönen, last year’s champion and previous Australian race winner, nor his teammate Felipe Massa finished for Ferrari. Still, Kimi managed to get one point after the disqualification of Barrichello.



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HSK Kormoran found, the search for HMAS Sydney continues

Filed under: Archived,Australia,Oceania — admin @ 5:00 am

HSK Kormoran found, the search for HMAS Sydney continues

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced today that the HSK Kormoran has been located approximately 112 nautical miles off Steep Point Western Australia. Sonar imagery of the Kormoran shows the site consists of two main pieces at a depth of 2560 metres. A debris field 4 nautical miles south of the wreck believed to be the site of the battle.

The Kormoran (HSK 8) was a German auxiliary cruiser of Kriegsmarine during World War II. On November 19, 1941, the Kormoran encountered the HMAS Sydney. The resulting battle saw the Sydney sunk with the loss of all 645 hands, the Kormoran was scuttled by the crew with the loss of 60, 320 survivors including three Chinese prisoners of war were rescued.

The loss of the Sydney has been the subject of much controversy, speculation and conspiracy theory. There have been many searches for the two vessels, this latest search is by the “Finding Sydney Foundation”.

“Finding the Kormoran is one big step forward,” said Prime Minister Rudd. “This is an important part in resolving a 65 year old puzzle.”

Warren Snowdon Minister for Defense Science and Personnel said that the Federal Republic of Germany has been advised of the discovery and that the site is to be protected.

Finding Sydney Foundation Chairman Ted Graham says the search area for the Sydney can now be narrowed down to 300 nautical miles. “This gives us a cornerstone if you like, to start the search for the Sydney from,” said Graham. “So if we hadn’t found Kormoron it would have made it much more difficult”

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Crane levels New York City townhouse, leaving 4 dead

Crane levels New York City townhouse, leaving 4 dead

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

A construction crane fell from a New York City condominium on Saturday afternoon, demolishing a four-story townhouse and killing four construction workers.

At least ten people were injured in the accident, three of them critically, mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “This accident is one of the worst the city has had,” said the mayor. “Our thoughts go to the families. I hope we will not find other victims.” He added that authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

The crane broke into pieces as it fell from a height of 15 or 20 stories, according to witnesses. It hit three residential buildings in the course of the fall and completely crushed the aforementioned townhouse, which housed a bar on the first floor. “The top of the crane went right through the building, and it sliced it in half,” said Maryann Krajacic, who lives next to the townhouse.

The bar was closed when the crane fell, but John LaGreco, who owns the bar, fears one of his employees may be dead within the rubble. “Our bar is done,” he said. “If I wasn’t watching a Yankees game, I would’ve come to work early and gotten killed.”

Cars were overturned and buried in rubble, and the air was filled with clouds of smoke and dust. Around 150 police officers blocked off the area, and 300 firefighters frantically searched for any additional victims. The search could continue all night, said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, and would include search dogs and thermal-imaging, and listening devices.

More than half a dozen buildings in the vicinity were evacuated, and a Red Cross shelter was set up nearby.

Stephen Kaplan, an owner of the Reliance Construction Group, says the accident resulted from a falling piece of steel, which severed one of the ties holding the crane to the building. “All the piece of steel had to do was fall slightly left or right, and nothing would have happened,” Kaplan said.

Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer said local residents had often complained about security violations in the building’s construction; they asserted that crews worked illegal hours and that the building was going up too quickly. “Over the last year, this is becoming standard in my borough,” Stringer said. “I think we have a real issue here.”

On March 4, a caller told officials that the crane lacked a sufficient number of safety ties. It was inspected March 6, and no violation was issued. The crane was also inspected Friday, the day before the accident.



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Congressional Hispanic Caucus blocks vote to increase visa number

Filed under: Archived,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Congressional Hispanic Caucus blocks vote to increase visa number

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has blocked voting on legislation that would allow employers to rehire foreign seasonal workers. This year, the U.S. government will only issue 33,000 visas for winter workers and 33,000 for summer workers. This comes as a stark comparison to 2007, when 120,000 foreign workers entered the U.S. with H-2B visas.

Currently, the reduction in visas is having profounds effects on both Mexico and U.S.

In Tlapacoyan, a Mexican town which in the last 30 years has exported a large seasonal workforce, using H-2B visas, to work in U.S. circuses and carnivals, the effects are already a stark reality. The local economy has been paralyzed, and unemployment has reached dramatic highs. The lack of money being pumped into the local economy has caused many businesses to close, and the construction of the town’s new church has come to a screeching halt. Additionally, residents like Pablo Juarez Mendoza, who last year made $450 working in Texan livestock shows, are having difficulties finding local work. Those that do, are only making an average of $50 per week.

U.S. businesses are getting ready to face their own set of economical obstacles caused by the lack of cheap labor. Many employers are finding creative ways to cut costs, including scaling back operations. In Cape Cod, for example, the local chamber of commerce reports that town employers will only receive 15 of the 5,000 visas requested. In response, local Cape Cod business owner, Williman Zammer, has called the situation “a major crisis,” and states that what the Hispanic Caucus is doing is “ruthless.”

Opponents of the change state that recent legislation blocking is part of the Caucus’ efforts to push for comprehensive immigration reform, not seen in the U.S. since the early 1980s. Hispanic Caucus Chairman, Rep. Joe Baca, D-California, hopes that policymakers will place attention not only on helping small businesses, but also on what to do with 12 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S., and improving border security.

The issue of immigration has become a polarizing subject in the U.S., and one that has been an intrinsic part of the fabric that makes up the American society. Since 2006, the U.S. accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than any other country in the world. That same year, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll revealed that the U.S. public was equally divided on the whether immigration helps or hurts the country. Forty-four percent said it helped, forty-five percent said it hurt.

However, a recent Pew Research Center study suggests that the issue will remain at the forefront of the American political agenda for many years to come.

The study revealed that by 2050, one in five Americans will be foreign-born, and the overall U.S. population will double to 438 million. The U.S Latino population will account for 30% of the population, while Asians will account for 9%. Thus, what we see unfolding is a U.S. where minorities will become the majority, and drastic cultural and societal changes seem almost certain.

The study seems to also hint that this growth is in many ways connected to legislation passed by Congress in 1965, that abolished a quota system that had nearly ended immigration from non-European countries since the 1920s, and consequently caused an immigration surge.



Sources

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Concert for peace held on Colombian-Venezuelan border

Concert for peace held on Colombian-Venezuelan border

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Juanes performing at the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

Alejandro Sanz performing in Buenos Aires in 2007.

Tens of thousands of Colombians and Venezuelans attended a free concert Sunday, held on a bridge linking the two countries. It was organized by Grammy-winning rock artist Juanes to celebrate the end of the diplomatic crisis between Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador, and to further improve peaceful relations within the region.

The “Peace Without Borders” concert was staged atop the Simón Bolívar bridge, which connects the Colombian town of Cúcuta with the Venezuelan town of San Antonio del Táchira. “It would have been much more practical and simple to do it in a city,” Juanes told the Miami Herald, “but the border is a symbol of peace between all countries. And this message is for everyone, all the countries in Latin America and the U.S. as well.”

Concert goers gathered in a dried-up riverbed to hear music by many notable Hispanic performers, including Colombian singer Carlos Vives, Dominican musician Juan Luis Guerra, Spanish musicians Miguel Bosé and Alejandro Sanz, Venezuelan musician Ricardo montaner, and Ecuadorian singer Juan Fernando Velasco.

Cquote1.svg I think they all share my feelings: How can we use our music to support this, use our art for something important? Cquote2.svg

—Juanes

Juanes said the artists were “super responsive” when invited to perform. “I think they all share my feelings: How can we use our music to support this, use our art for something important?” he said.

“This is a celebration of the unity between Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia,” Carlos Vives said on the stage. “We want our police and military officers to go home,” he added, referring to the Colombian hostages held by leftist group FARC.

FARC was the center of the recent diplomatic crisis, which began when the Colombian military conducted an air raid against the organization inside Ecuador territory. Venezuela sided with Ecuador in condemning Colombia for the raid, and they each moved troops to their respective borders. The crisis was ended when the nations’ leaders shook hands at a summit.

“It’s not that a song by Alejandro or Carlos is going to change people,” Juanes said. “But music becomes an excuse to send a message, that we’re all here together building peace, that we are here as citizens and this is what we want, and we have to be heard. I think the governments have to understand and listen. We don’t want to get involved in conflicts between people.”

Colombian president Alvaro Uribe had planned to attend the concert, but canceled when Juanes’ manager told him the show “was not to be a political event” and asked him not to come.



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