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April 28, 2008

Zenit rocket launches AMOS-3 satellite

Zenit rocket launches AMOS-3 satellite – Wikinews, the free news source

Zenit rocket launches AMOS-3 satellite

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Monday, April 28, 2008

A Zenit-3SLB

At 05:00 GMT this morning, the maiden flight of the Ukrainian-built Zenit-3SLB rocket lifted off from Site 45/1 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Atop it was the AMOS-3 communications satellite for Israeli company Spacecom. The satellite separated from the carrier rocket directly into a geosynchronous orbit, several hours after launch.

The Zenit-3SLB is a modernised version of the Zenit-3SL, used by Sea Launch. New features include an upgraded guidance and control system, first flown on the Zenit-2M in June 2007. Today’s flight was also the first conducted by Land Launch, a subsidiary of the international Sea Launch consortium, and the first launch of a three-stage Zenit rocket from Baikonur. The first Land Launch mission was originally scheduled for 2007, but was delayed after another Zenit exploded on its launch pad in late January 2007. A further delay from Thursday morning occurred when the errector/transporter component of the launch pad failed to back away from the rocket.

This was the 22th orbital launch of 2008. The next Zenit launch is scheduled for late May, when a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL will place the Galaxy 18 satellite into orbit. Launched a little over an hour after an Indian PSLV placed ten satellites into orbit, it also marked the first occurrence for 2008 of two orbital launches on the same day as each other, in GMT.



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Wikinews Shorts: April 28, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: April 28, 2008 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: April 28, 2008

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A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, April 28, 2008.

Another taxi driver’s strike possible in Bristol

Taxi drivers in Bristol, United Kingdom have said that they may plan another strike in protest of new regulations from the local city council. This announcement comes after a one day taxi drivers strike across Bristol in protest of the regulations.

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Iran in talks with India and Pakistan about pipeline

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, is visiting Pakistan and India to discuss a 2,700 kilometer (1,674 miles) pipeline that would supply both countries.

The deal is close to being signed according to The Hindu.

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US president Bush to visit Middle East

George W. Bush, the president of the United States, will visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt in the days of May 13 to May 18, 2008. He is scheduled to meet with leaders of each country and deliver remarks at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East.

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Programmer Hans Reiser Convicted Of Murdering Wife

A jury in California, United States, has convicted Hans Reiser of murdering his wife Nina Reiser. Ms. Reiser’s body was never found. The jury convicted despite defense claims that Ms. Reiser is alive and living in her native country, Russia. Police claim Mr. Reiser killed his wife in early September 2006. There was a large amount of circumstantial evidence against Hans Reiser, including blood evidence and unusual financial transactions.

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Two trains collide in China killing dozens and injuring hundreds

Filed under: Archived,Asia,China — admin @ 5:00 am

Two trains collide in China killing dozens and injuring hundreds

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Monday, April 28, 2008

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Location of Shandong within China.

Two trains collided in Shandong, China 4:41am local time on Monday killing at least 71 people and injuring over 400, including four French citizens. It is still not known exactly how many people were on either of the trains.

The collision occurred in Zibo when one of the trains traveling from Beijing to Qingdao jumped tracks and collided head on with a train traveling in the opposite direction from Yantai to Xuzhou. Both of the trains are reported to have been traveling at their maximum speeds when they collided.

“It toppled 90 degrees to one side and then all the way to the other side. When it finally went off the tracks, many people fell on me and hot water poured out of their thermos flasks,” said Zhang, a passenger, to Xinhua.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but reports say that the tracks were broken under the train traveling from Beijing. The tracks are said to have been built in 1897.

Jinan Railway Bureau officials Chen Gong and Chai Tiemin have been fired after the accident. The two top officials who were the former director and former Communist Party chief, respectively, will face an investigation by the Ministry of Railways.

Four Frenchmen were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities named them as Pascal Boisson, 54, his son Pierre Emmanuel Boisson, 14, his daughter Joanne Boisson, 22, and his girlfriend Robin Naurence, 42. No foreigners were killed in the accident, officials said.



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PSLV rocket launches ten satellites

PSLV rocket launches ten satellites – Wikinews, the free news source

PSLV rocket launches ten satellites

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Monday, April 28, 2008

File:Pslv-pad.jpg

An earlier PSLV on its launch pad
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

An Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has successfully launched ten satellites. The 44-metre long rocket lifted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 03:53:51 GMT (09:24 local time), and reached a polar, Sun-synchronous low Earth orbit a little over seven minutes later. Following burnout of the fourth stage of the carrier rocket, the payloads were released. The PSLV flew in the CA, or Core Alone, configuration, with no solid rocket boosters around the first stage.

The ten satellites aboard the rocket will be used for several purposes by a variety of organisations. The primary payload, Cartosat-2A, is a remote sensing satellite, which will be operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). IMS-1, also known as TWSAT, another ISRO remote sensing satellite, was the secondary payload. In addition, eight commercial payloads were flown, as part of the Nanosat Launch Service-4 and 5 programmes. There satellites were Cute 1.7+APD-2 and SEEDS-2 for the University of Tokyo, Japan, CanX-2 and CanX-6 for the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, Canada, Delfi-C3 for the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, AAUSAT-II for the University of Aalborg, Denmark, COMPASS-1 for Aachen University, Germany, and RUBIN-8 for German aerospace company OHB System.

This is the 21st orbital launch of 2008, and the second to be conducted by a PSLV. It is the 13th total PSLV launch. The next PSLV launch is scheduled for either July or December, with the Chandrayaan-I spacecraft, India’s first Lunar probe.



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Journalists banned from Mount Everest

Filed under: Archived,Asia,China,Journalism,Nepal,Politics and conflicts,Tibet — admin @ 5:00 am

Journalists banned from Mount Everest – Wikinews, the free news source

Journalists banned from Mount Everest

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Mount Everest
Image: Che.

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Journalists are no longer allowed to go any higher than base camp on Mount Everest when visiting the Nepalese side of the mountain, which is the world’s highest. This comes after new regulations from the Government of Nepal restricted access to the mountain for all journalists.

“We knew there were restrictions on video cameras and satellite phones but we’re now told even pre-recorded radio material on non-political subjects would not be allowed,” said BBC reporter Charles Haviland on the incident. This move comes after an American was forced off the mountain after being discovered with a Tibetan flag. These are not permitted on the Tibetan side of the mountain. A Nepali official aimed to justify the new restriction. “We are doing this for our friend China,” he said.

The Chinese government has already imposed similar restrictions on the Tibetan side in the mountain

Mount Everest is located in the Himalayas mountain range. It is 8,848 metres (29,029 feet) high, making it the highest mountain in the world, although not the tallest. Mauna Kea is considered the tallest mountain since it begins well below sea-level.



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Eos Airlines files for bankruptcy

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

Eos Airlines files for bankruptcy – Wikinews, the free news source

Eos Airlines files for bankruptcy

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Monday, April 28, 2008

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All-business transatlantic company Eos Airlines has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The United States based company ran flights between London Stansted Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Eos, named after Greek goddess of the dawn, flew what will likely be its last service on Sunday. Founded in 2005, the airline had had difficulty in securing investment to keep it going, starting last year. Plans had been aiming for securing funding to keep the service running up until 2009, but this failed and the business has insufficient funds to continue.

Several other airlines have closed worldwide recently over difficult conditions in the industry, including all-business carriers like Eos. Last year the sudden collapse of MAXjet Airways left passengers stranded on Christmas Eve. The company offered services connecting London with New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Eos had been considered by analysts as the most viable of the transatlantic all-business carriers.



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April 27, 2008

Wikimedia board of trustees announces restructure

Wikimedia board of trustees announces restructure

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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.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jan-Bart, who was interviewed by Wikinews on the decision
Image: Lane Hartwell.

The Wikimedia Board of Trustees recently announced that it would dramatically restructure the makeup of the board. The Board announced that there would now be three seats elected by the Wikimedia community, two seats elected by the Wikimedia chapters, one ‘community founder’ seat appointed by the Trustees, and four ‘specific expertise’ seats, also appointed by the Trustees.

An image illustrating the restructure
Image: Wikimedia Foundation.

Jan-Bart Vreede, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, gave Wikinews more information about the decision in a short email interview, which was carried out yesterday. Below is the text of the interview:

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.pngHow long was this decision process in the works?

Jan-Bart: We have known that we need to carefully look at the board as a whole for quite a while. We weren’t sure how drastic our steps needed to be. We spend a large amount of time on this during our April board meeting, using the additional insights from our newest board members Michael Snow and Domas Mituzas. It took us a while after that fill in all the details. The election committee has been very patient in waiting for us to complete this process, because they were unable to move forward without us.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.pngWhy did you chose to have a “community foundation person” position, a position not common among other non profits?

Jan-Bart: There have been and will always be discussions with regards to the position of Jimmy within the board, does he count as a community member or not. Keeping in mind his special role we thought it was best to take this opportunity to make his position clear as well. He does have a special seat which doesn’t go in any of the other categories. His seat is up for re-appointment every year (which Jimmy himself insisted on), the big difference is that if the seat is not taken by him, it is left vacant and the board reverts to 9 members. [Note-Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Founder, is the person who will have the “community foundation” position]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How/when will the elections be held for the new open seats?

Jan-Bart: This has been announced by the election committee today. Please note that these are only the community elected seats. The chapters are going to formulate their own process for filling the chapter-selected seats, this may or may not involve elections. [Note: Kwan Ting Chan announced on the Wikinews Water Cooler that candidates may nominate themselves for election between May 8 and May 22, and that the voting will occur between 1 June and 21 June. ]



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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
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Vandals deface family crypt of Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Vandals deface family crypt of Pierre Elliott Trudeau

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pierre Eliott Trudeau in 1977

A woman in the tiny farming community of Saint-Rémi, Quebec, south of Montreal visited the local cemetery Saturday and received a rude shock. Graffitied on former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Eliott Trudeau’s family crypt were “FLQ”, the initials of the Front de libération du Québec and the French words for “traitor” and “bastard” in black spray-paint.

“It’s very sad,” said Pierre Sauriol, whose organization maintains the graveyard. “He made errors and good decisions like everyone, but he was one of the prime ministers of Canada, and he should rest in peace.”

Trudeau, who served as Canada’s prime minister from 1968-79 and again in 1980-84, was a controversial figure in the history of Quebec.

During the FLQ crisis in October 1970, Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act after a British diplomat, James Cross and a provincial cabinet minister, Pierre Laporte were kidnapped, leading to arrests of any individuals the police thought to be separatists, and to their detentions without bail. Laporte was later strangled to death by the FLQ.

Trudeau, who died in September 2000, is entombed in the grey-stone mausoleum with his parents and 11 other family members.

Mr. Sauriol said this was the first time vandals have left their mark on the crypt.

Police believe the tomb was vandalized sometime on Friday night or early Saturday morning.

The Trudeau crypt, which stands taller than any monument in the cemetery, was cordened off Saturday using orange police tape tied to tombstones.

Provincial police are searching the area in the hope of finding any clues. They have also measured and taken photos of the graffiti, which was applied to every wall of the structure. The letters “FLQ” on the front of the crypt covered a pair of names on a plaque posted by the door. As of now, there have been no arrests or suspects.

The crypt is located a few metres from a major road and many residents from the town of 6,000 slowed to see the damage as they passed by in their vehicles.

Trudeau’s family could not be reached for comment but the head of a prominent nationalist group gave his opinion on the matter, calling the vandalism “extremely deplorable.”

“It isn’t acceptable,” said Jean Dorion of the Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montreal. “Of course we disagree with the Constitution that has been imposed forcibly on Quebec – this is not acceptable. But it’s not a reason to desecrate a burial place.”

Environment Minister John Baird, who is responsible for Parks Canada, said in a statement that his department would remove the offensive graffiti.

“It is important to protect the historic resting places of former prime ministers, and these places should at all times be given the respect and honour they deserve,” Baird said.

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Toronto transit workers ordered back to work

Toronto transit workers ordered back to work

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

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Toronto subway train at St Andrew station

Canada’s largest public transit system is expected to resume service Sunday evening after the Ontario provincial government ordered striking Toronto transit workers back to work today. Service was shut down when transit workers suddenly walked off the job on Friday, having just voted to reject a labour contract deal made the previous weekend.

The provincial legislature met in an extraordinary Sunday afternoon session to pass Bill 66, the Toronto Public Transit Service Resumption Act, 2008 which not only orders the transit work to resume, but includes follow-up arbitration to resolve outstanding disagreements between transit management and its unions. The largest union affected is Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, but the legislation also affects workers unionised under International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 235, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2.

Union members who defy this law could be fined C$2000 per day, while the union itself would risk a daily fine of C$25,000. However, ATU Local 113 president Bob Kinnear indicated that his union would respect the law and return to work while supporting the choice of Kevin Burkett as arbitrator. Wages were not an issue for union members, who voted against the earlier draft contract out of fears regarding compensation for on-the-job injuries, and for maintenance workers’ job security.

Toronto’s subways, streetcars and buses will operate on a limited service for Sunday evening, with full service expected as the work week begins Monday morning.



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  • “Strike shuts down Toronto’s transit system” — Wikinews, April 26, 2008

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Spectator killed and 10 injured in German airshow crash

Spectator killed and 10 injured in German airshow crash

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

This Z-37 is very similar to the aircraft involved, although the accident aircraft was painted almost entirely in yellow, except a tailfin as shown here.

A spectator has been killed and at least 10 people injured after an aircraft struck spectators at an airshow in Germany yesterday. The one-engined propellor-driven aircraft exited the runway after failing to take off and ploughed into a group that had congregated around a snack stand.

The accident occurred at Kindel Air Field, which is located south of Berlin, near Eisenach. The aircraft involved was a Zlin Z-37 Cmelak, a Czech built single-seater plane which had been used by authorities in former East Germany as a cropduster.

A 45-year-old woman was killed, and the 35-year-old pilot had to be freed from his wrecked aircraft and was badly injured. A 14-year-old girl is hospitalised in a critical condition, according to Bloomberg, although other sources suggest the 14-year-old and a nine-year-old child were amongst those less seriously injured. Some reports suggest 15 people were wounded by the crash, and German TV network ZDF suggested the plane struck a children’s carousel near the runway’s end and not a refreshments stall.



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