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September 3, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: September 3, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: September 3, 2008 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: September 3, 2008

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A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, September 3, 2008.

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US hands over security for Anbar province to Iraq

Signing of provincial Iraqi control documents

The United States military has handed Anbar province, once the centre of Iraq’s Sunni insurgency, to Iraqi control at a ceremony in the provincial capital. For Iraqi politics, the Anbar handover is especially meaningful because the Shiite-dominated Iraq military will now provide security in a largely Sunni province. Anbar is the eleventh of 18 provinces that the coalition has returned to Iraqi control, but it is the first Sunni province. President George W. Bush said that “Today, Anbar is no longer lost to al-Qaeda, it is al-Qaeda that lost Anbar.”

Sources


Stanford builds helicopters that teach themselves acrobatics

Stanford University has developed an artificial intelligence software that allows their model helicopters to learn complex aerial acrobatics simply by “watching” a human. The human controlled helicopter is monitored by a variety of sensors which funnel all the data into the AI software. Once the acrobatic trick has been repeated a few times, the computer analyzes the data. It is then capable of repeating, with greater accuracy than the human controller, the acrobatics. This system allows the helicopters to preform aerial maneuvers far more complicated than previously possible.

Sources


Malaysian man uses nut to extend penis, gets stuck

A Malaysian man, who was about to be engaged, attempted to use a nut to weigh down and elongate his penis. Once he got an erection, the nut became stuck and he was unable to remove it. He sought treatment at a local hospital where they were able to remove it. He is expected to be released from the hospital shortly.

Sources



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US Senator Joseph Lieberman speaks at Republican National Convention

US Senator Joseph Lieberman speaks at Republican National Convention

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2008 United States Presidential Election
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2008 U.S. Presidential Election stories

Joseph Lieberman
Image: US Government.

United States Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) delivered an impassioned speech yesterday to Republicans at the 2008 Republican National Convention. His choice to do so angered numerous congressional Democrats, and may lead to sanctions by the party.

Lieberman spent 18 years as a Democrat, winning his first Senate race in 1988. After three terms, Lieberman narrowly lost the Democratic primary in the lead-up to the 2006 election. Running instead under the “Connecticut for Lieberman” party banner, Lieberman beat his former democratic opponent Ned Lamont, Republican Alan Schlesinger and third-party candidates thereby retaining his seat. He promptly changed his official party affiliation to “Independent Democrat”, which he continues to use.

Lieberman, who had previously endorsed John McCain for the presidency and was long considered as a possible running mate, spoke to the Republican party about choosing a maverick:

Cquote1.svg But when they look to Washington, all too often they do not see their leaders coming together to tackle these problems. Instead they see Democrats and Republicans fighting each other, rather than fighting for the American people…It shouldn’t take a natural disaster to teach us that the American people don’t care much if you have an “R” or a “D” after your name. Cquote2.svg

Lieberman also took shots at his own party, and its candidate, Senator Barack Obama:

Cquote1.svg Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead. But eloquence is no substitute for a record—not in these tough times. In the Senate he has not reached across party lines to get anything significant done, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party. Contrast that to John McCain’s record, or the record of the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups and worked with Republicans to get important things done like welfare reform, free trade agreements, and a balanced budget. Cquote2.svg

He also elicited booing when mentioning Obama’s stance on ground-troop funding:

Cquote1.svg When others wanted to retreat in defeat from the field of battle, when Barack Obama was voting to cut off funding for our troops on the ground, John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion and support the surge, and because of that, today, our troops are at last beginning to come home, not in failure, but in honor. Cquote2.svg

Lieberman’s decision to speak at the Convention sparked anger from many of his Democratic colleagues. A “Lieberman Must Go” petition, boasting over 50,000 signatures, was launched by filmmaker Robert Greenwald. Greenwald seeks to have Lieberman stripped of his chairmanship on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Pundits consider this likely if Democrats gain Senate seats in the upcoming election, guaranteeing a safe majority. (The current makeup of the Senate is 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats, and two independents, Lieberman and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.)

Lieberman’s speech came on the first day of the convention, and followed that of Senator Fred Thompson and the televised appearance of U.S. President George W. Bush. The convention will conclude on Thursday, 4 September.



Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

UN aid plane crash kills 17 in Democratic Republic of the Congo

UN aid plane crash kills 17 in Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Other stories from the DRC
…More articles here
Location of Democratic Republic of the Congo

A map showing the location of the DRC

To write, edit, start or view other articles on DRC, visit the DRC Portal
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg

A Beechcraft 1900, similar to the one involved in the crash
Image: Adrian Pingstone.

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This audio file was created from the text revision dated 2008-03-09 and may not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)
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A United Nations (UN) aid plane in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has crashed, killing all seventeen passengers on board. According to a spokesperson for the organisation “The plane was found 15 kilometres (eight miles) northwest of Bukavu airport. There were 15 passengers and two crew on board.”

Air Serv International, the operator of the aircraft, said that it did not believe there to be any survivors. They also said in the statement that “the staff of Air Serv International express their condolences and deepest sympathy to the families of the passengers and crew.”

The UN has identified the victims as a Canadian member of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), an Indian who worked for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid, two members of Medecins Sans Frontiers, one from France and one from the Republic of Congo.

The other thirteen were citizens of the DRC. Two were employees of Air Serv and were the crew. Four were with the UNDP and another four were civil servants, while the last three worked for Handicap International.

The UN spokesperson also said that “the helicopter landed far away [from the wreckage] and the search and rescue team headed to the site on foot.”

The plane was on a journey from Kinshasa to Goma, with stops at Mbandaka, Kisangani and Bukavu.

Air crashes are common in the DRC and, as a result, Congolese airliners are banned from flying in the airspace of countries in the European Union.



Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Service held in Nova Scotia on tenth anniversary of Swissair crash that killed 229

Service held in Nova Scotia on tenth anniversary of Swissair crash that killed 229

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A CG render of the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 on the night of the crash

A file photo depicting the memorial

Canadian oceanographic research Ship CCGS Hudson searches for Swissair Flight 111 debris

A memorial service has been held in Nova Scotia, Canada to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Swissair Flight 111 disaster. None of the 229 people on board survived the aircraft’s impact with the sea on September 2, 1998.

Hundreds of search and rescue personnel and local fishermen were mobilised after the crash in St. Margaret’s Bay near Halifax to recover fragments of both the aircraft and the victims. The state of the human remains was such that identifying them resulted in what would remain the largest DNA identification operation up until the World Trade Centre collapsed.

At the ceremony, attended by around 100 people, 229 heart-shaped stones crafted from beach rocks and simply decorated with painted stars flowers and hearts were available for the mourners to take and place at the foot of the memorial at Bayswater, one for each of the 229 names upon the granite monument. Many flowers were also laid there.

The aircraft was a wide-bodied jet which had departed John F.Kennedy International Airport in New York at 8:18 p.m. 53 minutes after takeoff pilot Urs Zimmerman and co-pilot Stephan Loew smelt smoke in the cockpit and within three more minutes smoke was visible. The plane, by then in Canadian airspace, tried to reach Halifax Airport but never made it, hitting the water at around 9:31 p.m. at 350 mph (563 kph).

The cause of the disaster was determined to be highly flammable insulating foam, which caught light after an arcing electrical wire triggered a small fire. The fire was ferocious enough to destroy critical power cables, leaving the aircraft uncontrollable.

The investigation was one of aviation’s costliest and most complicated, costing the Transportation Safety Bureau of Canada $60 million. The TSB produced 23 recommendations to prevent a recurance of the disaster, but only five have been implemented in the decade since the crash, including some flammable material restrictions and electrical safety improvements.

Several people at the hour-long multi-faith ceremony complained at the perceived lack of action. “How come after 10 years we are hearing reports that only five of some 20 recommendations for airplanes have been carried out? What has gone wrong with the bureaucracy – the inertia for that?” asked Rabbi David Ellis. John Butt, who headed the identification effort as Nova Scotia’s chief medical examiner at the time, said it was ‘disappointing’ that action had not been taken and that it was “not very good to think about flying in an aircraft when you know recommendations have been made about the standards of safety and they haven’t been adopted.”

TSB member Jonathan Seymour was also critical of the lack of action, particularly on the US Federal Aviation Administration’s part. “It’s just that obviously after 10 years you would have hoped that things would have moved on quite significantly further than they have. It’s frustrating that we’re still that far away from where we might want to be after 10 years,” he said.



Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

DHS relies on Wikipedia for asylum information, appeals court rules against use

DHS relies on Wikipedia for asylum information, appeals court rules against use

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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.

The seal of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Image: US Government.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Department of Homeland Security was wrong in using the online encyclopedia Wikipedia as a reference when deciding whether to allow asylum seekers to stay in the United States.

The department used the Wikipedia article named laissez-passer to decide whether the document was a valid form of identification. This is despite the fact that the article had a large orange notice at the top of the article saying that “this article does not cite any references or sources.”

Wikipedia logo
Copyright: Wikimedia Foundation.

The Board of Immigration Appeals has stated that it doesn’t “encourage the use of resources such as Wikipedia.com [sic] in reaching pivotal decisions in immigration proceedings.” They said that they allowed the decision to stand due to the fact that the information seemed accurate.

The appeals court noted when making the decision that Wikipedia admits that articles will stay inaccurate and unbalanced for long periods of time. Below is the extract from the court documents that makes this point:

Cquote1.svg …The site acknowledges [that articles], “may become caught up in a heavily unbalanced

viewpoint and can take some time – months perhaps – to regain a better-balanced consensus.” Id. As a consequence, Wikipedia observes, the website’s “radical openness means that any given article may be, at any given moment, in a bad state: for example, it could be in the middle of a large edit or it could have been recently vandalized.”

Cquote2.svg

—United States Court of Appeals

Cary Bass, the volunteer coordinator of the Wikimedia Foundation, gave Wikinews the following statement on this issue:

Cquote1.svg Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia — almost every article can be edited by anyone at any time. The vast majority of the information is accurate and the editors strive to write from a neutral point of view, but the nature of the project is that at any moment, any article can contain erroneous information or pure inaccuracies.

Anyone using Wikipedia as an original source should be mindful of this fact; and anyone citing critical information such as a judge for use in a lawsuit is advised to use the sources provided via each article’s references section, history and talk page to verify that the information they are reading is, in fact, accurate.

Cquote2.svg

—Cary Bass



Sources

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

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Pacific islands look to private scholarships for k-12 education

Filed under: Cleanup,Disputed — admin @ 5:00 am

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A US-based charity is offering more than $5,000.00 in tuition payments to primary and secondary school students in the central Pacific.[1]

The group, Habele, is a scholarship granting organization that serves students from the remote outer islands of Micronesia. Founded by former Peace Corps volunteers and other classroom teachers, Habele has been issuing annual scholarships to Micronesian students since its incorporation in 2006.[2]

Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, comprising hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean. The region consists of many hundreds of small islands spread over a large region of the western Pacific.[3] The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is now an independent and sovereign country, but was administered by the United States as a United Nations trust territory for four decades following World War Two. The FSM government remains heavily dependent upon US foreign aid.[4]

This year’s scholarship winners include students from the islands of Moch, Ta and Kuttu in Chuuk State and Mogmog and Falalop, Ulithi in Yap State. In all six students will receive full scholarships for the 2008-09 school year. The students are chosen through Habele partnerships with serving Peace Corps Volunteers and the Oceanic Society. Habele also provides classroom and library materials to the public schools in Micronesia’s outer islands, sending more than $2,000.00 in donations so far this year.[5]

The Country Director for Peace Corps’ operations in Micronesia, David Reside, has praised Habele’s efforts, noting that “it is particularly important that there be opportunities for those students who show great promise but are at a great disadvantage in accessing continued education.” Reside described the private school scholarships issued by Habele as a way to address the issue, noting that small targeted grants help students from isolated islands pursue educational opportunities.[6]


Sources

  1. Pacific Magazine: “Six Outer Islanders Receive Scholarships From U.S. Fund” Accessed September 3, 2008.[1]
  2. Pacific Island Report: “Chuuk, Yap Islanders Awarded Scholarships” Accessed September 3, 2008.[2]
  3. Wikipedia: “Micronesia” Accessed September 3, 2008.[3]
  4. Wikipedia: “Compact of Free Association” Accessed September 3, 2008.[4]
  5. Now Public: “Volunteers send tuition scholarships to Micronesia” Accessed September 3, 2008.[5]
  6. Pacific Magazine: “Six Outer Islanders Receive Scholarships From U.S. Fund” Accessed September 3, 2008.[6]
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

People LOL\’d today all day in the united states

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:00 am

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Template:It has been reported that all over the United States everyone has “LOL’d” which means laughed out loud.

Sources

cnn.com news.yahoo.com lol.com

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Massive magnitude 9.2 earthquake strikes near Japan

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:00 am

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), A massive magnitude 9.2 earthquake has struck off the coast of Japan.


Sources

  • “Magnitude 9.2 – OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN”. USGS, September 3, 2008
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

US charity offers tuition scholarships to Pacific islanders

Filed under: Cleanup,Disputed,Education,Oceania — admin @ 5:00 am

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A US-based charity is offering more than $5,000.00 in tuition payments to primary and secondary school students in the central Pacific.[1]

The group, Habele, is a scholarship granting organization that serves students from the remote outer islands of Micronesia. Founded by former Peace Corps volunteers and other classroom teachers, Habele has been issuing annual scholarships to Micronesian students since its incorporation in 2006.[2]

Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, comprising hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean. The region consists of many hundreds of small islands spread over a large region of the western Pacific.[3] The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is now an independent and sovereign country, but was administered by the United States as a United Nations trust territory for four decades following World War Two. The FSM government remains heavily dependent upon US foreign aid.[4]

This year’s scholarship winners include students from the islands of Moch, Ta and Kuttu in Chuuk State and Mogmog and Falalop, Ulithi in Yap State. In all six students will receive full scholarships for the 2008-09 school year. The students are chosen through Habele partnerships with serving Peace Corps Volunteers and the Oceanic Society. Habele also provides classroom and library materials to the public schools in Micronesia’s outer islands, sending more than $2,000.00 in donations so far this year.[5]

The Country Director for Peace Corps’ operations in Micronesia, David Reside, has praised Habele’s efforts, noting that “it is particularly important that there be opportunities for those students who show great promise but are at a great disadvantage in accessing continued education.” Reside described the private school scholarships issued by Habele as a way to address the issue, noting that small targeted grants help students from isolated islands pursue educational opportunities.[6]


Sources

  1. Pacific Magazine: “Six Outer Islanders Receive Scholarships From U.S. Fund” Accessed September 3, 2008.[1]
  2. Pacific Island Report: “Chuuk, Yap Islanders Awarded Scholarships” Accessed September 3, 2008.[2]
  3. Wikipedia: “Micronesia” Accessed September 3, 2008.[3]
  4. Wikipedia: “Compact of Free Association” Accessed September 3, 2008.[4]
  5. Now Public: “Volunteers send tuition scholarships to Micronesia” Accessed September 3, 2008.[5]
  6. Pacific Magazine: “Six Outer Islanders Receive Scholarships From U.S. Fund” Accessed September 3, 2008.[6]
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

UN aid plane crashs kills 17 in Congo

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Other stories from Democratic Republic of the Congo
…More articles here
Location of Democratic Republic of the Congo

A map showing the location of Democratic Republic of the Congo

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Democratic Republic of the Congo, see the Democratic Republic of the Congo Portal
Portal:Democratic Republic of the Congo

A Beechcraft 1900, similar to the one involved in the crash Image: Adrian Pingstone.

A Beechcraft 1900, similar to the one involved in the crash
Image: Adrian Pingstone.

A United Nations (UN) aid plane in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has crashed, killing all seventeen passengers on board, according to a source from the UN. According to the spokesperson “The plane was found 15 kilometres (eight miles) northwest of Bukavu airport. There were 15 passengers and two crew on board.”

Air Serv International, the operator of the aircraft, said that it did not believe there to be any survivors They also said in the statement that “the staff of Air Serv International express their condolences and deepest sympathy to the families of the passengers and crew.”

The UN has identified the victims as a Canadian member of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), an Indian who worked for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid, two members of Medecins Sans Frontiers, one from France and one from the Republic of Congo.

The other thirteen were citizens of the DRC. Two were employees of Air Serv and were the crew. Four were with the UNDP and another four were civil servants, while the last three worked for Handicap International.

The UN spokesperson also said that “the helicopter landed far away [from the wreckage] and the search and rescue team headed to the site on foot.”

The plane was on a journey from Kinshasa to Goma, with stops at Mbandaka, Kisangani and Bukavu.

Air crashes are common in the DRC and, as a result, Congolese airliners are banned from flying in the airspace of countries in the European Union.


Sources

  • AFP “UN confirms 17 killed in crash of DRCongo aid plane”. MONUC, September 3, 2008
  • IRIN “Congo-Kinshasa: 15 Aid Workers, Two Crew Killed in Plane Crash Near Bukavu”. AllAfrica, September 2, 2008
  • “Aid plane crashes into mountain in DRCongo: UN”. Agence France-Presse, September 2, 2008
  • Press Release: “Recovery Mission Underway – 020908 DRC”. Air Serv International, September 2, 2008
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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