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November 30, 2011

Study: Fish reduces Alzheimer\’s disease risk

Study: Fish reduces Alzheimer’s disease risk

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Consumption of grilled or baked fish at least once a week can preserve the brain structure of seniors and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by three to five times, according to the results of a recent US study.

The study, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania, asked 260 volunteers with an average age of 76, about the frequency of their fish consumption. Ten years later, brain scans were carried out on those being researched. Those who regularly ate fish were found to have better preservation of parts of the brain related to memory. An additional five years later, 31% of those who did not regularly consume fish contracted mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease. Of those who ate fish at least once a week, between three and eight per cent contracted the aforementioned medical conditions.

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According to The Daily Telegraph, consumption of grilled or baked fish increases the intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, providing a greater amount of blood flow to the brain; therefore prompting a reduction in inflammation and internal gathering of plaque encountered in the lead-up to Alzheimer’s disease. Fried fish does not reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease due to the low amount of Omega 3 it contains.

Dr. Cyrus Raji, who took leadership of the study, called it “the first study to establish a direct relationship between fish consumption, brain structure and Alzheimer’s risk.” Raji concluded that “people who consumed baked or [grilled] fish at least one time per week had better preservation of grey matter volume on MRI in brain areas at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.”

The Alzheimer’s Society‘s research manager, Dr. Anne Corbett, stated: “This moderately sized study adds weight to existing evidence suggesting that eating fish reduces your risk of developing cognitive decline.” However, she contested these findings, saying they “did not account for lifestyle factors such as other foods or exercise”, which may have affected the overall outcome. Dr. Corbett advised consumers to “eat a healthy diet including fruit and vegetables along with taking regular exercise and giving up smoking” to reduce the risk of contracting dementia.

Meanwhile, Alzheimer’s Research UK lead researcher, Dr. Simon Ridley, believed the study had not clarified “whether other underlying factors may have contributed to the lower risk in people who eat fish.” There is “a clear need for more conclusive research into the effects of dietary fish on our cognitive health,” according to Dr. Ridley.

The results of the study are to be presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

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California judge jails Michael Jackson doctor

Filed under: Michael Jackson — admin @ 5:00 am

California judge jails Michael Jackson doctor

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor of the deceased singer Michael Jackson, has been given a four year prison sentence by a judge in the US city of Los Angeles, California, based on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, the maximum sentence he could receive for this offense. Steve Whitmore, a spokesperson for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, told CBS News that Assembly Bill 109 would automatically halve the sentence to two years.

In November of this year, after a six week trial, a jury found Murray guilty of providing Jackson with an excessive amount of propofol, which caused his death in 2009. Judge Michael Pastor condemned Dr. Murray’s actions, calling his behavior a “continuous pattern of lies and deceit” and him a “danger to the community”, having committed a “horrific violation of trust”. Murray may also lose his medical license.

In the aftermath of the sentencing, Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael Jackson, told KTLA: “Four years is not enough for someone’s life. It won’t bring him back but at least he got the maximum.” Jackson expressed thanks to the prosecutors and the judge, calling the latter “very, very fair”. Meanwhile, Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s brother, said “[o]ne hundred years is not enough”.

The defense had requested probation as Murray already faced “a lifetime sentence of self-punishment” and life-long reputation as “the man who killed Michael Jackson”. The judge refused to allow probation, saying it wasn’t justified by Murray’s actions.



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November 28, 2011

US study examines suicide trends in depressed youth

US study examines suicide trends in depressed youth

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A policeman talks a young woman out of jumping to her death in Dallas.
Image: Dieselgeek.

A study by the University of Washington that looked at people in their late teens in the Pacific Northwest has reached two conclusions: that teenagers may be able to reliably recall the time of their first suicide attempts, and that depressed youth tend to try to kill themselves at a much earlier age than previously believed.

Out of 833 eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds examined, roughly nine percent said they had attempted suicide. Of those, 40% said they had made their attempt before starting high school. The statistics showed a surge of attempts at twelve years old, with the highest rates being amongst those around fifteen years old.

Multiple suicide attempts were reported by 39 subjects, and these generally made their first attempt younger than those who attempted just once. Attempts were reported at as young as nine years old. The participants were involved in the Raising Healthy Children project, and researches were able to look back at contemporary measures of depression. They found the times attempters said they’d tried suicide matched up with high levels of depression, and those who claimed to have attempted suicide had higher levels of depression than those who did not. The paper, published in this month’s edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health, concluded youngster’s recollections of past suicide attempts appeared to be reliable.

“We are likely not giving kids enough credence in assessing their own mental health, and this study shows that we can rely on self-report measures to help identify youth who may be at risk for current mental health concerns, including possible suicidal behaviour,” said lead researcher Professor James Mazza, an educational psychology expert. He called for mental health programs to be available to younger generations through their schools.



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Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven

Filed under: Archived,Disasters and accidents,Indonesia — admin @ 5:00 am

Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven

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The death toll from the weekend suspension bridge collapse on the Indonesian island of Borneo has risen from four to eleven. Search and rescue teams continue to look for bodies in the Mahakam River.

The number of wounded is currently 39 injured; reports from locals suggest 33 people remain missing at the scene in East Kalimantan‘s Kutai Kartanegara district, where “Kalimantan’s Golden Gate Bridge” linked the towns of Tenggarong and the regional capital, Samarinda. A six-month-old baby is among the dead.

Kutai Kartanegara Bridge.
Image: Ezagren.

Cars, motorbikes, and buses all fell into the Mahakam River when the bridge came down during repairs. Another car was left overturned and balanced upon wreckage over the water. State-owned builders PT Hutama Karya completed the bridge about a decade ago in the image of California’s Golden Gate Bridge. A cable on the 720-metre structure is thought to have failed as workers dealt with it; six of the repair crew were reported missing yesterday. It had been the longest suspension bridge in Borneo.

Eyewitnesses described heavy traffic at the time of the collapse, and one survivor said he left his truck to investigate a traffic jam. Some people were left trapped by debris as the bridge came down. “It happened so fast, only about 30 seconds,” according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugoroho.

National search and rescue head Daryatmo said yesterday cranes will attempt to move debris today, with new reports saying echo-sounding equipment will be used to check it is safe to begin lifting. It is believed the bodies of more victims will be found trapped in vehicles beneath the water, which is 35-40 metres deep. Visibility is poor, and one official explained authorities are still unsure how many vehicles are on the riverbed.

The famous Golden Gate Bridge in the USA, which the bridge in Borneo aimed to replicate.
Image: Rich Niewiroski Jr..

“The above-water search is continuing, but underwater operations have not been carried out because we’re worried that the bridge’s pylons are unstable and could collapse any time,” said Nugoroho today. He explained that bodies had washed onto the riverbanks overnight and were recovered today.

The president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has sent three ministers to the site to investigate the accident, while Bambang Widaryatmo, head of East Kalimantan’s police, promised “parties found to be negligent will be prosecuted”. The government has promised a replacement ferry service. The river is closed to boats as rescue operations continue, and a 22-strong team has been dispatched from the national police, comprising six forensics experts, five disaster victim identification specialists, and eleven investigators. They are there to augment the East Kalimantan Police. Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih yesterday visited survivors in Parikesit Hospital and promised them medical treatment at government expense.

Some people swam ashore after falling, with the aftermath filled with screams. Survivor Syakrani, 24, yesterday asserted “The authorities should have closed the bridge if it was under repair.” His words were followed by a Jakarta Globe editorial declaring the accident “unacceptable”.

The Globe went on to comment upon suggestions corruption may have played a role; “It is too early to point fingers and look to place blame, but if shoddy materials were used in the building of the bridge, those responsible must answer to the public.” Another suggestion is coal barges striking the bridge may have weakened it. Local coal company Harum Energy lost five percent of its share value today amid fears the river blockage will hamper their ability to ship coal.

Samarinda’s seen a population and construction boom lately. A few years have seen the population triple and the construction of a large mosque, and a sports stadium; an airport and port are set to follow. However, the Corruption Eradication Commission warns 70% of the corruption it investigates concerns government contracts and up to 40% of money earmarked for infrastructure ends up stolen.



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November 27, 2011

GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson considers Libertarian Party run

GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson considers Libertarian Party run

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gary Johnson in January 2011.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Former New Mexico governor and current Republican Party (GOP) presidential candidate Gary Johnson is reportedly considering a run for the Libertarian Party (LP) presidential nomination. Johnson feels “abandoned by the Republican Party”, he told The Santa Fe New Mexican, due to his exclusion from nine of the eleven GOP debates and believes the LP would give him a fair shot at their nomination.

Johnson espouses libertarian views including marijuana legalization and defense budget cuts, which often run afoul of the GOP mainstream. Earlier this month, after filing suit with the Federal Election Commission and Federal Communication Commission for his exclusion from the November 12 CBS debate, he chastised the GOP establishment for failing to support him. The GOP agreed with the debate’s inclusion criteria, which turned back candidates with less than three percent support in the Real Clear Politics average and third quarter fundraising receipts below US$1 million.

Johnson raised a little under US$240,000 in the third quarter and lately has not even been included in polls. He did appear in an August CNN poll, in which he led former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman. Despite their standing, both Santorum and Huntsman have been invited to every debate.

Johnson believes his exclusion was a “boardroom decision” to protect the GOP’s “status quo.” But Republican party attorney John R. Phillippe Jr. says that without a minimum standard, “the debates would be utter chaos and unhelpful to Republican voters”.

If Johnson decides to leave the GOP and seek the LP nomination, it would not be the first time a member of the Republican Party did so. In 2008, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr ran and was selected as the LP nominee. In the general election, he garnered 0.4 percent of the popular vote.

For 2012, the LP has achieved ballot access in all 50 states, and currently has nine presidential candidates, including National Guard officer R.J. Harris and Libertarian activist R. Lee Wrights.



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  • “Wikinews interviews U.S. Libertarian Party presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights” — Wikinews, June 20, 2011
  • “Wikinews interviews U.S. Libertarian Party potential presidential candidate R.J. Harris” — Wikinews, June 17, 2011
  • Bob Barr wins the Libertarian Party presidential nomination” — Wikinews, May 28, 2008

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Borneo bridge collapse: death toll reaches four, many remain missing

Filed under: Archived,Disasters and accidents,Indonesia — admin @ 5:00 am

Borneo bridge collapse: death toll reaches four, many remain missing

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

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The death toll from yesterday’s suspension bridge collapse on the Indonesian island of Borneo has risen from three to four, with a six-month-old baby among the dead. Search and rescue teams continue to look for survivors in the Mahakam River.

The initial death toll was raised at first to five, but was revised back down to four. The number of wounded rose from at least seventeen to at least nineteen, but Monsters and Critics offers a figure as high as 39 injured; Indonesia Today yesterday suggested the actual figure was 100 hospitalised. Roughly 40 people remain missing at the scene in East Kalimantan‘s Kutai Kartanegara district, where “Kalimantan’s Golden Gate Bridge” linked the towns of Tenggarong and Samarinda.

At least three cars, several motorbikes, and at least one public bus all fell into the Mahakam River. Another car was left overturned and balanced upon wreckage over the water. State-owned builders PT Hutama Karya completed the bridge about a decade ago in the image of California’s Golden Gate Bridge, and it is now reported it was under repair at the time of the failure. New information suggests a cable on the 720-metre structure failed as workers dealt with it; six of the repair crew are among the missing.

Kutai Kartanegara Bridge.
Image: Ezagren.

National police representative Boy Rafly Amar said “It is believed that some victims are still in the river. There are two buses in the river and efforts are under way to lift them.” He said 39 were rescued with 20 still in hospital. Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih visited survivors in Parikesit Hospital and promised them medical treatment at government expense.

“It happened so fast, only about 30 seconds,” according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugoroho. National search and rescue head Daryatmo said Monday will see cranes attempt to move debris.

The president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has sent three ministers to the site to investigate the accident, while Bambang Widaryatmo, head of East Kalimantan’s police, promised “parties found to be negligent will be prosecuted”. The government has promised a replacement ferry service. The river is closed to boats as rescue operations continue, and a 22-strong team has been dispatched from the national police, comprising six forensics experts, five disaster victim identification specialists, and eleven investigators. They are there to augment the East Kalimantan Police.

Some people swam ashore after falling, with the aftermath filled with screams. 40-year-old Adam Nur describes breaking free from a car and swimming 300 metres with one arm after his other arm was injured in the fall. Syakrani, 24, says he survived by clinging to empty plastic containers when he fell from the bridge after leaving his truck to investigate a traffic jam. “The authorities should have closed the bridge if it was under repair,” he said.


 
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See Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven, November 28, 2011
 

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November 26, 2011

Yahya Jammeh wins Gambia presidential election

Yahya Jammeh wins Gambia presidential election

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

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In Gambia, current president Yahya Jammeh has won a presidental election, allowing him to take a fourth term in office. According to the election commission, Jammeh gained 72% of the votes.

File photo of Gambian president Yahya Jammeh from February 2007.
Image: John Armagh.

Mustapha Carayol, electoral chairman, reported an 83% voter turnout. Carayol also stated Ousainou Darboe, the leader of the United Democratic Party, took 17% of the vote, while Hamat Bah, of the United Front coalition, received 11% of votes. Jammeh was confident that he would win this election, saying: “There is no way I can lose unless you tell me that all Gambian people are mad”.

Darboe has disputed the validity of these results, calling them “bogus, fraudulent and preposterous” and claimed that they “constitute a capricious deception of the will of the people”. Before polling commenced, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) expressed concern about the fairness of the election and the freedom of Gambian voters. ECOWAS refused to send poll observers to monitor Gambia’s vote; they cited “intimidation, an unacceptable level of control of the electronic media by the party in power, the lack of neutrality of state and para-statal institutions, and an opposition and electorate cowed by repression and intimidation” as reasons for their refusal to do so.

BBC News Online has reported that the polling was overseen by observers representing the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the African Union (AU). According to Voice of America, AU members were satisfied with the organization of the poll and the conduct of voters. The head of the poll monitoring group at the AU reported: “We didn’t notice any intimidation anywhere. The policemen who were in the polling stations were not armed, and as much as possible tried to do their job without interfering with the process.” Meanwhile, Carayol has contested the accusations of ECOWAS, stating that the Gambia election process is “one of the fairest in the world”. Carayol explained: “We use marbles; we don’t use ballot papers, [and] we have very few invalid votes. All Gambians understand the system”. He insisted that Gambia elections “are free and fair”.

Samuel Fonkam, the chairman of ELECAM — Cameroon’s Electoral Board — says members of the group did not witness any incidents of violence or intimidation in the approach to the election. Fonkam said that in all 24 constituencies they observed, “the turnout was massive, orderly, peaceful and really serene”. The citizens of the Gambia “demonstrated to those who wanted to see that they are the sovereign masters of their destinies,” according to Fonkam.

Jammeh came to power of the Gambia in 1994 as the result of a bloodless coup in which he overthrew the previous president. Speaking about his presidency, Jammeh claimed: “In 17 years, I have delivered more development [to Gambia] than the British were able to deliver in 400 years”.

The stance of the Jammeh government on civil liberties has attracted criticism from international rights groups, with particular disapproval drawn to the government’s attitude towards freedom of the press, as well as the disappearance of journalists there and the detaining of journalists within the country. Jammeh responded to this criticism by stating: “The journalists are less than 1% of the population and if anybody expects me to allow less than 1% of the population to destroy 99% of the population, you are in the wrong place.”

Last year, eight people accused of plotting Jammeh’s overthrow were sentenced to death. In 2007, Jammeh claimed that the sexually transmitted infection AIDS could be cured through the use of a herbal concoction. In 2008, he said he would sentence homosexuals to execution by beheading. The three elections Jammeh previously won have also received a substantial amount of criticism.



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Borneo bridge collapse kills at least three as vehicles fall

Borneo bridge collapse kills at least three as vehicles fall

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

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At least three people died today and seventeen more were injured after a road bridge collapsed on the Indonesian island of Borneo. At least three cars, several motorbikes, and a public bus all fell into the Mahakam River.

File photo of the Islanic centre in Samarinda, with the Mahakam River in the foreground.
Image: Hidayat008.

The bridge was constructed from concrete roughly a decade ago to resemble California’s Golden Gate Bridge, and links the East Kalimantan towns of Tenggarong and Samarinda. Police say there is no indication of why it failed. Completed in 2001, work started in 1995 and locals called it “Kalimantan’s Golden Gate Bridge.”

The wounded have been hospitalised, some with broken bones. The scene at the bridge, in Kutai Kartanegara district, was filled with screams in the aftermath of the collapse. The suspension bridge was erected by state-owned builders PT Hutama Karya and one segment has fallen into the water. Some vehicles are close to entirely submerged, and Indonesia Today suggests as many as 100 people may be injured. One damaged car was left inverted and suspended above the water.

Harmoni Adi, head of a search and rescue agency, said “[t]he death toll is likely to increase,” after the 4:30pm local time collapse, with rescuers in Tenggarong searching the river for survivors. Some people swam ashore after falling from the structure, which spanned 700 metres. An eyewitness described heavy traffic on the bridge when it came down.


 
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See Borneo bridge collapse: death toll reaches four, many remain missing, November 27, 2011,
Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven, November 28, 2011
 

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November 25, 2011

Wikinews interviews Darcy Richardson, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama

Wikinews interviews Darcy Richardson, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Democratic Party presidential candidate Darcy Richardson.
Image: Darcy Richardson.

U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Darcy Richardson of Florida took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Richardson, 55, is a political activist that helped form the New Democrats in 1989 and founded the progressive Battleground Blog earlier this year. He is also a political historian, and has authored six books covering third parties and presidential elections, including A Nation Divided: The 1968 Presidential Campaign (2002). His current work, The Spirit of ’76: Eugene McCarthy’s Struggle for Open Politics, chronicles the late Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy‘s 1976 presidential campaign for which he volunteered. Richardson admires McCarthy, and served as manager for his 1988 presidential run. Recently, Richardson advised Brian Moore‘s Socialist Party USA presidential campaign in 2008.

In addition, Richardson himself has sought political office, albeit unsuccessfully. In 1980, he ran for Pennsylvania Auditor General, and in 1988, vied for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats as a member of the Consumer Party. Last year, he ran for Lieutenant Governor of Florida as the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari.

Richardson has criticized President Barack Obama’s policies for being too similar to those of former President George W. Bush. He hoped to convince several prominent progressives to challenge Obama in the Democratic primaries, but none were available to do so. Last month, Richardson decided to begin a campaign himself and announced through his Battleground Blog that he would challenge Obama in the Democratic Party primaries as a progressive candidate. So far, he has qualified for the New Hampshire primary in January and the Missouri primary in February. In an interview with the Independent Political Report, Richardson proclaimed his campaign slogan as “no fourth term for George W. Bush.”

Background

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngWhen did you first meet Senator Eugene McCarthy, and what attracted you to his campaign?

Senator Eugene McCarthy.
Image: United States Federal Government.

Darcy Richardson: I first met Senator McCarthy during his independent campaign for the presidency in 1976 when I was about 19 or 20 years old. I had been an admirer of the former Minnesota lawmaker dating back to his 1968 campaign when he courageously challenged LBJ for the Democratic presidential nomination, essentially risking his political career to end the unjust war in Vietnam. It was a candidacy of conscience. Similarly, I was strongly attracted to Gene’s 1976 effort, believing that he was far better qualified than either Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford. McCarthy’s campaign that year — striking down burdensome and discriminatory ballot access laws in no fewer than twenty-four states — was an heroic effort to further the cause of open politics in this country. McCarthy’s legal team, headed by young lawyers John C. Armor and Philip L. Marcus, described it as “The Bloodless Revolution of 1976.” McCarthy’s candidacy that year had a lasting effect on my own politics. I knew Gene fairly well and visited him several times in later years in his book-filled home near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a rustic and comfortable dwelling lined with pictures of Yeats and Joyce. Gene was an original voice in American politics. He was also a pretty decent poet.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngIn 1980, to the surprise of many, Senator McCarthy endorsed Republican Ronald Reagan for president. Did you agree with this decision?

Richardson: No, I didn’t agree with that endorsement. In fact, I had campaigned for Ted Kennedy in the New Hampshire and Pennsylvania primaries earlier that spring and later ran for statewide office in Pennsylvania on a ticket headed by environmentalist Barry Commoner, the Citizens Party nominee for president. Some Democrats never forgave Gene for endorsing Reagan. I wasn’t one of them.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngYou are (or were at one time) a member of the Boston Tea Party, a minor third party whose platform supports “reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.” Do you agree with this platform?

Richardson: My involvement with the Boston Tea Party — a freedom-oriented, limited government entity — was relatively short-lived. I assisted them a bit here in Florida because of Tom Knapp’s personal involvement. Tom, a self-styled anarchist and original thinker, had founded the party shortly after the Libertarian Party‘s mid-term convention in 2006. An edgy and contemplative guy, Tom is a libertarian writer and activist for whom I have tremendous respect. He’s one of the smartest people I know and is also probably one of the most talented writers that I’ve ever encountered.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhich presidential candidates have you supported over the past twenty years?

Richardson: There are probably too many to mention here, but Eugene McCarthy, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination again in 1992, and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio would be the two that I’ve been most enthusiastic about during the past twenty years. We need more Democrats like them.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow have your political views changed in the past twenty years?

Richardson: We all change, of course, but my political views have always remained consistently progressive.

Policy

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngIf you had been elected president in 2008, what would you have done differently than Barack Obama?

Richardson.
Image: Darcy Richardson.

Darcy Richardson: The fact that President Obama initially appointed Larry Summers as chairman of his White House Economic Council shortly after taking office, should have given everybody pause. Summers is probably more responsible for the country’s current economic mess than any other individual.
As President Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury from 1999 to January 2001, Summers shaped and pushed the financial deregulation that unleashed the near-collapse of Wall Street in the autumn of 2008, particularly when he pushed through the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 during the final years of the Clinton Administration — legislation, as you know, that had prohibited banks from doing both commercial and investment banking.
An architect-turned-enabler of this never-ending economic crisis, Summers later supported the Commodity Futures Modernization Act that, unbelievably as it might seem, mandated that financial derivatives — including the reckless credit default swaps at the heart of the financial crisis — could be traded between financial institutions without any government oversight whatsoever.
It’s little wonder that Rolling Stone writer William Greider, in a marvelously detailed article in late 2008, pointed out that Obama’s choice of Summers and other key economic advisers, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, seemed designed to sustain the failed economic policies of the Bush presidency — an administration that never saw the financial crisis coming in the first place.
The Summers appointment told me that the President had no earthly clue how this devastating financial crisis happened or how to reverse it.
Things only got worse after that. President Obama failed to resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. He failed to include a public option in health care. He failed to assert his constitutional responsibility during the recent debt limit crisis. Unbelievably, he’s failed to protect Social Security and Medicare. He extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. He failed to push for cap-and-trade. And he failed to close Gitmo. I could go on, but I think you get the point. If anybody deserves a serious intraparty challenge, it’s the current occupant of the White House.
In retrospect, it’s really incredible that a Democrat of national stature and credibility hasn’t entered this race — at least as of now.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngDo you believe Obama has done any good things as president?

Richardson: Nothing I could write a book about, unless it’s a work of fiction. He’s generally been disappointing, allowing the GOP to frame the debate on issue after issue. Who in their right mind wants the Republicans to dictate fiscal or economic policy in this country? The folks in the Occupy Wall Street movement have already figured that out. It’s just a matter of the rest of the country coming to the same conclusion…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat necessary freedoms are currently lacking in American society?

Richardson: Since the beginning of the Bush Administration, most of our personal freedoms have been under constant attack — including freedom of assembly, as many in the Occupy movement can sadly testify.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngDo you disagree with any parts of the current U.S. Constitution?

Richardson: Not really, but I’m not particularly crazy about the second amendment.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are some of your policy proposals, and if elected, how would you implement these?

Richardson: First and foremost, I’m advocating a capital levy on wealth, not unlike the proposal currently being debated in Germany and other European countries. Much of our current $15 trillion national debt should be recouped from the rich — the pampered and privileged class that hasn’t paid its fair share in recent years.
Though I’m still developing my platform, I also support a second stimulus package — roughly five or six times the size of Obama’s meager $447 billion “Son of Stimulus” — to jump-start the U.S. economy; a Medicare-for-All health care plan; and a moratorium on home foreclosures (for primary residences only), not unlike that initiated by Minnesota’s radical Farmer-Labor Party during the Great Depression. I also want an immediate end to the war in Afghanistan and am strongly opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline.
The American people are hurting, and they’re hurting badly.

Campaign

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngYou wrote that you had wanted somebody like former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, economist Jeffrey Sachs, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), or former Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) to challenge President Obama in the primaries. You mentioned that you had “encouraged several of them to run”. Which of these individuals did you contact and what were their reasons for declining?

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.
Image: Robert Reich.

Darcy Richardson: My personal preference was former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, whom I had urged to run several months ago. I never received a response. In my opinion, Reich’s talents are being virtually wasted in academia. He’s a brilliant man and has probably forgotten more than Obama ever knew. The country desperately needs him. I also personally encouraged Kucinich to enter the fray, but he was clearly focusing his attention on being re-elected to the U.S. House, a re-election contest complicated by redistricting. I received a nice reply from Kucinich’s congressional staff. I never got around to contacting Jeffrey Sachs, but the Columbia University professor, like Bob Reich, would have been an ideal candidate, too.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngOf the candidates currently running for the Republican Party nomination, which do you most admire?

Richardson: Well, I sort of miss Harold Stassen; he was a truly progressive Republican. But to answer your question it would probably be Buddy Roemer and gay activist Fred Karger. I also like former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Roemer, a former congressman and ex-governor, is probably the most principled candidate in the crowded Republican field, but the powers-that-be in both the GOP and the media have denied him a fair hearing. I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs as an independent. I also admire Congressman Ron Paul’s tenacity, but I find his politics a little too conservative for my blood. After all, government isn’t the enemy.
I’ve never completely agreed with McCarthy’s assessment that the Republican Party was like the lowest form of plant and animal life, but the rest of the GOP field — from Gingrich to Santorum and Cain — comes awfully darn close to matching that biting description.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat campaign activities have you taken part in and where do you base the campaign?

Richardson: I’ve mostly just done newspaper and television interviews up to this point. I enjoy doing them, but television interviews are probably the toughest. Can you imagine what would have happened to civilization if Aristotle and Plato had to speak in sound bites?
In any case, I do plan to campaign actively in New Hampshire shortly after Christmas and plan to make a major effort in Pennsylvania — my old stomping ground — next spring as part of a major effort of sorts in the tri-state area. We hope to petition our way onto the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware primary ballots and to pay a filing fee in nearby West Virginia. I’m also willing to campaign in other primary and caucus states where we’re organized.
Believe it or not, we actually have a functioning campaign headquarters on St. Johns Bluff Rd. in Jacksonville, about twenty-three miles from my home. We share the office with a couple of local businesses.
Our low-key campaign is progressing nicely. We recently named Frances “Dolly” Simplot — a Hillary Clinton supporter and longtime Democratic activist from Bellingham, Washington — as my honorary campaign chairperson. Dolly is in her mid-seventies, but has more energy than somebody half her age. She’s amazing. Like millions of other lifelong Democrats, she’s deeply disappointed in the Obama Presidency. Then again, she is a Democrat.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHave you or do you plan to file with the FEC?

Richardson: We’ve already raised a few thousand dollars and plan to file with the FEC shortly.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWould you consider running as a third party or Independent candidate?

Richardson: I have no plans to do so, but I’ve learned in life never to entirely rule out anything.



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Scottish football team Hibernian appoint new manager

Scottish football team Hibernian appoint new manager

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Friday, November 25, 2011

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Scottish football team Hibernian F.C. (Hibs) have appointed Pat Fenlon as their new manager. Fenlon signed the contract at Hibs’ Easter Road home ground in the capital, Edinburgh.

Cquote1.svg [Hibernian are] a club with a rich history and proud traditions. Cquote2.svg

Pat Fenlon, Hibernian F.C. manager

Fenlon left Bohemian F.C., an Irish football team he managed since 2008, so that he could manage Hibernian, which he is “really excited by”. Fenlon’s management career has previously remained in his native Ireland. From 2002, Fenlon managed Shelbourne F.C., which won the UEFA Cup in three of the five seasons he managed the team for. Fenlon went on to manage Derby City in 2007 before taking the managing position at Bohemians. According to Fenlon, Hibernian are “a club with a rich history and proud traditions.” Fenlon’s Hibs contract will last until the conclusion of 2013 / 2014 football season.

Hibs have now had five managers in as many years. Colin Calderwood is the most recent before Fenlon, being removed from his position on November 6 after twelve months managing the team. In that time they played in forty-nine matches and won in twelve of them. Calderwood has since gone on to become part of Birmingham City F.C., a football team based in the English city of Birmingham.

At the end of the previous football season, Hibernian F.C. placed tenth. As it stands, the team are currently ninth in the Scottish Premier League table. In reference to what he called the “quality players on Hibernian’s playing staff”, Fenlon stated that “there will need to be a lot of hard work and a clear change in mindset shown collectively by the team” and that a major target for them will be “to provide winning football to the Hibernian supporters, who have gone through some hard times recently.”

File photo of Pat Fenlon from 2007 Image: Maiden City Images.

File photo of Pat Fenlon from 2007
Image: Maiden City Images.

Easter Road, the home ground for Hibernian F.C., as seen in 2010. Image: Jeff Winter.

Easter Road, the home ground for Hibernian F.C., as seen in 2010.
Image: Jeff Winter.

Map of Edinburgh, Scotland. Hibernian F.C. is based in Leith, in the north of the city. Image: OpenStreetMap.

Map of Edinburgh, Scotland. Hibernian F.C. is based in Leith, in the north of the city.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

File photo of former Hibernian F.C. manager Colin Calderwood from 2007. Image: Jonesy702.

File photo of former Hibernian F.C. manager Colin Calderwood from 2007.
Image: Jonesy702.



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