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February 23, 2011

Anti-abortion activist Bernard Nathanson dies aged 84

Anti-abortion activist Bernard Nathanson dies aged 84

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 File:Nathanson.jpg

Bernard Nathanson in an undated picture
Image: Jorosmtz.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Obstetrician Bernard Nathanson, who provided abortions and then became an anti-abortion activist, is dead at the age of 84. Nathanson died in New York; the cause of death was announced as cancer. During his time as an obstetrician he estimated that he was involved in nearly 75,000 abortions, about 5,000 of which he performed himself. He performed his last abortion in 1979; shortly thereafter he became an anti-abortion activist.

Nathanson opened an abortion clinic in New York City in the 1960s but had performed abortions beforehand. In the 1940s he completed an abortion on his then girlfriend who was pregnant with his child. In 1969, he became one of the founders of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, an organization that still exists today.

After performing his last abortion and becoming an anti-abortion advocate, Nathanson narrated The Silent Scream, a film that showed a three month-old fetus being aborted. As well as films he also wrote books about abortion including his 1996 autobiography The Hand of God.

His wife, Christine Reisner-Nathanson spoke about his change of views. She said, “When he was an abortion doctor he was seen as a pariah by the medical community and when he went pro-life he was scorned by the women in the pro-abortion movement.”



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February 22, 2011

Runways \’destroyed\’ at Libya’s Benina International Airport

Runways ‘destroyed’ at Libya’s Benina International Airport

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

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An aerial shot of Benina International Airport

The runways at Benina International Airport in Benghazi, Libya have been destroyed according to an Egyptian government minister. Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that the runways had been destroyed during the violence that is currently taking place. Protests have spread to Tripoli as Muammar Gaddafi has made no signs of stepping down from his 35-year rule as leader of Libya.

Aboul Gheit told media at a news conference “Regarding east of Libya, the Benghazi airport runways have been destroyed. It is not possible for Egyptair flights or any other flights to land in that airport.” He added “If Egyptians need to leave, and I always advise [them] to stay home, then they would have to travel to Egyptian borders by land some 500km in proximity to danger. Such trips must be in groups and in buses.”

Egypt is currently awaiting permission to land at Tripoli Airport. Aboul Gheit compared the situation to the evacuation of Egyptian nationals from Iraq in 1991 during the outbreak of the Iraq war. Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands have all sent transport planes to bring their nationals back home.



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Phones without Internet access join the Facebook revolution

Phones without Internet access join the Facebook revolution

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Nokia 1108 cellphone, without Internet access.
Image: Diego Grez.

Logo of the Facebook website.

Amsterdam-based electronics company Gemalto has announced that it has developed a way of putting Facebook compatibility on to a mobile phone SIM card, to allow mobile phones with no data or internet connection to access the popular social networking site.

The report, appearing on the Slovenian tech site Monitor, says that users will be able to communicate directly with the site via SMS messages, as well as being able to exchange messages online and having the facility to write on other Facebook users walls. The formal announcement of the technogical breakthrough was made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on February 14.

Users will see the changes to the website appear as messages on their phones, so they will be able to keep track of updates to the site. The announcement has drawn much interest from mobile phone companies and service providers, who are keen to take advantage of the new functionality which would significantly increase revenue due to the scaling up of SMS messages passing through their networks.

“Increasingly people want to be able to stay connected and communicate with their friends on Facebook anytime, anywhere. Gemalto has developed a creative solution in Facebook for SIM that enables people without mobile data plans to stay connected to their friends on Facebook in an affordable way,” Gemalto’s Head of Mobile Business (Facebook), Henri Moissinac, said in a statement.



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Egyptian man names daughter \’Facebook\’

Egyptian man names daughter ‘Facebook’ – Wikinews, the free news source

Egyptian man names daughter ‘Facebook’

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

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An Egyptian man in his early twenties has named his newborn daughter ‘Facebook’ following the 2011 Egyptian Revolution which was almost solely organized on the social-networking site Facebook. The father, Gamal Ibrahim, told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram that he gave his child the name to “express his joy at the achievements made by the January 25 youth.”

The protests, which were largely organized on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, began on January 25 and led to the end of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign as president of Egypt.

The Al-Ahram report stated that, “The girl’s family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook. ‘Facebook’ received many gifts from the youth who were overjoyed by her arrival and the new name. A name that shocked the entire world.”

The Egyptian spelling of ‘Facebook’ is فيس بوك.



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Australian Governor-General travels to Kuwait amidst terror threats

Australian Governor-General travels to Kuwait amidst terror threats

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Her Excellency, Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia is set to travel to Kuwait to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the liberation of the country from Iraqi rule. This comes as terrorist threats and civil unrest begin to spread throughout the region.

In a tour that is set to conclude on February 27th, Ms Bryce will be representing Australia at several ceremonies marking 20 years since the first Gulf War and 50 years since Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom. In addition, she will visit The Australian College of Kuwait and other locations of national interest including sites of Australian wheat imports.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs released a statement claiming “Terrorists have demonstrated intent to conduct attacks in Kuwait against a range of targets, including United States military and identifiably Western targets such as hotels, restaurants and symbols and buildings associated with the Kuwaiti government.”

The visit occurs in conjunction with the news of anti-government protests igniting across the Middle East including Kuwait. Despite this, the Governor-General’s secretary told a Senate committee that the trip shall proceed.



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  • “Kuwait stateless protest for rights” — Wikinews, February 19, 2011

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Libya blocks access to Internet

Libya blocks access to Internet – Wikinews, the free news source

Libya blocks access to Internet

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 File:Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi in Dimashq.jpg

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, also known as Colonel Gaddafi, has been the leader of Libya since 1969. In the picture, al-Gaddafi in Dimashq, Syria.
Image: James Gordon.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The Libyan government has cut off Internet access in the country. The General Posts and Telecommunications Company, Libya’s main provider of Internet access, has ceased to function. It was shut down following citizen protests against the country’s leader, Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, who has been in power since 1969.

The government of Egypt took a similar measure last month, when it cut off Internet trying to quell public protests against the regime. Despite the government’s efforts, Egyptians who took to the streets for two weeks were able to oust the nation’s president, Hosni Mubarak, after 30 years in office.

Limited access to the Internet makes it difficult to get information from the country. Libya is a country with a smaller population than Egypt, and has fewer service providers, which has apparently made the task of disconnecting everything a little easier.

In Egypt, the military refused to attack people protesting. The situation is different in Libya, where the armed forces attacked hundreds of demonstrators in the square of the city of Benghazi, causing many deaths.

The increasing violence in Libya has prompted the 27 European Union ministers to issue a statement protesting Libyan governmental violence toward protesters, saying it “condemns the ongoing repression against demonstrators in Libya and deplores the violence and death of civilians.” Two Libyan pilots have defected to Malta and asked for asylum, saying that they were ordered to fire on protesters, according to Maltese officials.

The violence has spread to Tripoli. Witnesses have reported that a “massacre” occurred today in suburbs of the Libyan capital with the indiscriminate shooting of women and children. According to Human Rights Watch, hundreds have died over the last four days.

The escalating violence is causing turbulence in the world energy markets. The International Monetary Fund says that energy exports accounts for approximately 95% of Libya’s export earning.

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6.3 quake hits Christchurch, NZ

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The ChurchChrist Cathedral was badly damaged by the earthquake.
Image: Arthur Shih.

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand at 12:51 PM local time on Tuesday (Monday 23:51 UTC). Deaths are reported from collapsing buildings in the central city. The top of the iconic Anglican ChristChurch Cathedral has fallen and rubble is strewn throughout the central business district. Two buses are reported to be crushed under the bus exchange. Pools of mud have erupted due to burst water mains and liquefaction. The hospital has been evacuated as people reported cracks and ceilings collapsing. Roads and carparks have cracked and lifted.

The quake was centered in Lyttelton, at a depth of five kilometers. Unlike previous quakes in the region that caused no fatalities, Tuesday quake was shallower and closer to the central city and the damage was much worse. Condemned buildings, weakened by last year’s widespread earthquakes, were destroyed. Some aftershocks have occurred in the area after the earthquake. The historic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch has half collapsed, while the old Canterbury Provincial Chambers building, Piko Wholefoods, and a church on Durham Street have been destroyed.

Emergency services were hampered by gridlock as motorists and pedestrians evacuated the CBD. Electricity, telephone services, and traffic lights suffered outages. Telecom is attempting to assess the damage. Civil Defence is mounting a response with all available national resources, and Cabinet is holding an emergency session. Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Mayor Bob Parker said he was “thrown quite a distance”, that there were scenes of “great confusion” on the streets, and that the quake was “as violent as the one that happened on the 4th of September”. The emergency telephone code, 111 was not working for the entire region of Southland, New Zealand but is apparently stable as of approx. 4 pm NZDT.



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February 21, 2011

Strikeforce Challengers 14 MMA Results

Strikeforce Challengers 14 MMA Results – Wikinews, the free news source

Strikeforce Challengers 14 MMA Results

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Veteran striker Pat “Bam Bam” Healy put an end to the undefeated streak of Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm in a close main event fight that went to the judges’ decision at the Strikeforce Challengers 14 event at Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas on Friday night. Veteran fighter Carlo “Neo” Prater also prevailed in his Strikeforce debut against Bryan Travers. Ryan Couture, son of MMA legend Randy Couture, remained undefeated in his second-ever bout.

Lyle Beerbohm came into the main event bout with an undefeated 15-0-0 record, in addition to his 8-0-0 amateur record. “This is going to be a fun, tough, hard fight that I expect will go everywhere,” stated Beerbohm in a pre-fight media workout on Wednesday. “There’ll be stand-up, wrestling, a little bit of everything. My time has come and I am really looking forward to the fight.” Beerbohm also stated he wanted to eventually fight for a Strikeforce Lightweight title, but recognized that he first needed to move past his veteran opponent, Pat Healey, who came into the fight with a record of 25-17-0, who was making his return to action since his loss to Josh Thompson via submission in 2010.

The bout was very close, going the distance through all three rounds. While Beerbohm pushed a lot of the action, especially with grappling on the ground, Healey was able to land more effective strikes and weathered persistent take-down attempts from Beerbohm. The action was back-and-forth, neither fighter never able to clearly dominate the other. The last few minutes of the fight proved to be the best for Healey, who wore down Beerbohm’s strength and left him gasping for air, allowing Healey to attempt more submissions on the ground. The three judges scored the bout 29-28, 29-28, and 29-28 to give Healey the unanimous decision win.

Cquote1.svg He talked a lot of trash, but if he wants a rematch, I’ll give him one anytime. Cquote2.svg

—Pat “Bam Bam” Healey

After the match, Beerbohm was upbeat, but felt he had won the bout. “I definitely thought I won. I thought going into the third we’d each won a round, but I definitely thought I won that last round. I took the fight to him from the start. But that’s what happens when you let it go to the hands of the judges.” Healey complimented his opponent, “Beerbohm fought a good fight but I think I outworked and outhustled him.” Healey also welcomed the idea of a rematch, stating, “He talked a lot of trash, but if he wants a rematch, I’ll give him one anytime.” Asked who he wanted to face next, Healey stated he wanted to fight the winner of the Billy “Cyborg” Evangelista and Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal on March 5, noting that both fighters had previously defeated his brother, Pat Healey.

The co-main event for the show featured Carlo “Neo” Prater, a veteran fighter with a 25-10-1 record making his Strikeforce debut against the 14-3-0 Bryan Travers. The bout was over in just 38 seconds as Prater used his superior reach to jab Travers several times before using a trip to take Travers to the ground and submitting him with an Anaconda Choke. Prater showed a lot of emotion in his post-fight interview. “My record shows I’m not a perfect fighter, but when you’re down you get up,” Prater said. “This was a good win, I’ll get better off this fight, but I’ll be right back in the gym soon.”

Ryan Couture, the son of MMA legend Randy “the Nature” Couture, pushed his fight record to 2-0-0 with a victory over 2-0-0 opponent Lee Higgins. Most of the first round featured very little action until Higgins attempted to take down Couture, and found himself fighting off Guillotine Choke and a D’Arce Choke in the last minute of the round. Couture dominated nearly all of the second round with superior stand-up striking and ground control. Higgins fared little better in the third, as Couture was able to put Higgins against the cage and stop Higgins’ take-down attempts, and then eventually control Higgins on the ground before submitting him with a Rear Naked Choke with 20 seconds left in the bout.

To round out the broadcast, Ryan Lawson (5-2-0) defeated Erik Apple (10-2-0) at 3:14 of Round 2 by Triangle Choke, and David “Tarzan” Douglas (6-2-0) defeated Nick Gonzalez (16-8-0, 1 NC) at 1:05 of Round 1 by a Rear Naked Choke submission. The undercard results that were not broadcast, Drew Pendleton (2-0-0) defeated Dennis Dombrow (2-0-0) at 2:38 of Round 2 by Guillotine Choke submission, and Aaron Lanfranco (2-0-0) defeated Ousmane Thomas Diagne (1-2-0) at 4:22 of Round 1 by Knockout.

The main card was broadcast in the United States on premium broadcast network Showtime. The Showtime Strikeforce Challengers series highlights mixed martial arts fights between up-and-coming fighters as well as veteran fighters who are looking to move up towards the larger Strikeforce events.



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NASCAR: Trevor Bayne wins the 2011 Daytona 500

NASCAR: Trevor Bayne wins the 2011 Daytona 500

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Monday, February 21, 2011

File photo of Trevor Bayne
Image: Royalbroil.

Wood Brothers Racing driver Trevor Bayne, who qualified thirty-second, won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2011 Daytona 500 held on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. This became his first win of his career, and his first at Daytona International Speedway. Throughout the course of the race there were 16 cautions and 74 lead changes among 22 different drivers.

Bayne had only one start in the series before the race, and by winning it, became the youngest winner of the Daytona 500 in history at age 20. The win also gave Wood Brothers Racing their second Daytona 500 win, which their first was in the 1976 Daytona 500. Following Bayne, Carl Edwards finished in the second position, ahead of David Gilliland, Bobby Labonte, and Kurt Busch. Juan Pablo Montoya followed Busch in sixth, while Regan Smith could only manage seventh.

Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, and Mark Martin rounded out the top ten finishers in the race. Ryan Newman led the most laps during the race with 37, but finished 22nd. Following the race, Bayne described his enjoyment of winning the race, “I keep thinking I’m dreaming. Our first 500 — are you kidding me? To win our first one in our second-ever Cup race, I mean this is just incredible. Wow, this is unbelievable. How cool is it to see the Wood Brothers back in Victory Lane? It’s crazy to get my first win before a Nationwide win — I didn’t know how to get to Victory Lane.”

Afterward, second placed Edwards said, “Look, right now this is going to be a long night for me. I’m going to go back to the motor home, I’m going to watch the replay, think about a hundred things I could have done, think about, ‘Man, what would it have been like to [win] the race?” Following the race, Edwards was the Drivers’ Championship leader with 42 points. Next, Gilliland and Labonte was tied for second, only one point behind Edwards. Kurt Busch was placed fourth with 40 points, ahead of Montoya and Smith in fifth and sixth. Kyle Busch, Menard, Martin, and A. J. Allmendinger rounded out the top-ten point positions.

The 2011 season will continue on February 27, 2011 at Phoenix International Raceway for the 2011 Subway Fresh Fit 500. The race will be televised on Fox at 3:00 p.m. EST.



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38 killed in attack on Afghani bank

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Monday, February 21, 2011

38 people were reported dead Sunday, in a Taliban attack on a bank in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The incident, orchestrated by five suicide bombers disguised as policemen and soldiers, quickly escalated into a confrontation between security forces and the invaders armed with machine guns.

After a several-hour standoff, four of the five attackers detonated their bombs while the fifth was arrested by police. A representative for the Interior Ministry told the press that “Thirty eight people were martyred which includes 21 security forces personnel and 17 civilians.” Members of the police force were apparently receiving their paychecks when the attackers entered the bank and began indiscriminately firing at guards and civilians. 70 others were also wounded.

Although officials refused to itemize the casualties, they claimed that due to the random nature of the gunfire, both security personnel and civilian bankers were killed. Attacks targeting police have become common in the Nangarhar province; this incident was the third major attack this week.



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