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April 29, 2013

Wikinews at the Rugby: Sunshine Coast Stadium April 27, 2013

Wikinews at the Rugby: Sunshine Coast Stadium April 27, 2013

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Woman’s sevens
Sunshine Coast Stingrays 26
Toowoomba Army 15

Wikinews witnessed three rugby union matches at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Queensland, Australia this past Saturday. Upon arrival, a woman’s sevens match was in progress between the Sunshine Coast Stingrays and Toowoomba Army. Sunshine Coast won this contest 26 to 15, an 11 point margin.

Sunshine Coast Rugby Union A-Grade
Unversity 21
Caloundra 32

The local A-Grade contest between University and Caloundra started almost immediately after the completion of the woman’s game. Caloundra went ahead after 12 minutes with a converted try. They would lead by 26 points early in the second half before University gained the momentum.

University put on 21 points to 6 in the final half an hour. The final result — Caloundra 32 defeated University 21.

In other local A-Grade games, Maroochydore thrashed Nambour to the tune of seventy points, 75 points to 5; and Caboolture easily accounted for Fraser Coast 46 points to 6. Noosa had the week off.

Queensland Premier Rugby
Sunshine Coast Stingrays 6
Sunnybank Dragons 36

The Sunshine Coast Stingrays lost there last Premier Rugby home game for a month against Sunnybank 36 points to 6. Sunnybank lead 17 points to 3 in the dying moments of the first half, but conceded a penalty which resulted in the hosts scoring what would ultimately be their final points of the game.

The visitors would capitalise on Sunshine Coast mistakes. They won lineouts against the throw and counter rucked in a more efficient manner than Sunshine Coast. Sunnybank scored 19 unanswered points in the second half. The final score in a lop side contest — Sunnybank Dragons 36 defeated Sunshine Coast Stingrays 6.

Sunshine coast v Toowoomba Army womans 7's.JPG Sunshine Coast (light blue) defeated Toowoomba Army 26-15
Image: Patrick Gillett.

University (green) played Caloundra
Video: Patrick Gillett.

Caloundra convert the games opening try.
Video: Patrick Gillett.

A passage of play from the first half of Uni vs. Caloundra
Video: Patrick Gillett.

Sunshine Coast missed penalty goals
Video: Patrick Gillett.



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Prague explosion injures dozens

Prague explosion injures dozens – Wikinews, the free news source

Prague explosion injures dozens

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Monday, April 29, 2013

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A massive explosion in the centre of Czech capital Prague has injured 35 or more people this morning.

The blast occurred just before 10am local time in a building on Divadelní Street. Spokesman for local authorities Tomas Hulan says it is uncertain what caused the detonation but a natural gas leak is suspected. “A gas blast seems to be the most likely cause”, he said. “The explosion was rather massive and damaged windows in several streets”.

The blast shattered windows of buildings in the area, including the National Theatre. Police have sealed off the area and are currently searching for people they believe may be trapped beneath the rubble.

Zdeněk Schwarz, head of the Prague rescue service, said rescue workers had not yet been able to enter the building where the explosion occurred to search for missing people and determine any further gas leaks.



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Australian Jesse Williams drafted in fifth round by the NFL\’s Seattle Seahawks

Australian Jesse Williams drafted in fifth round by the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks drafted Brisbane, Australia native nose tackle Jesse Williams in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. Going into the draft, there were some expectations by the Brisbane Times and other media outlets that Williams might be selected in the first round. Injuries, which resulted in Williams being unable to participate fully in the NFL Combine, likely were reasons why he was not selected higher.

Gridiron football is not the most popular football code in Australia, with rugby league, rugby union, soccer, and Australian rules football all being more popular participation sports. Williams’ youth sporting career reflected this, with Williams playing rugby union until he was 15 years old at which time he switched codes and joined the local gridiron team, the Bayside Ravens. A year later, his playing ability earned him a scholarship offer from the University of Hawaii. He could not meet the university’s academic standards so eventually he attended Western Arizona Community College instead. In 2011, he transferred to the University of Alabama and played for the Alabama Crimson Tide for two seasons. Both seasons, his Crimson Tide team won the national championship.

Williams’ selection is unique amongst Australians as most Australians who have played in the NFL have been kickers. He is also only the second Australian ever to be drafted in the NFL Draft.



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April 28, 2013

Chicago Bears select Marquess Wilson in seventh round of NFL draft

Chicago Bears select Marquess Wilson in seventh round of NFL draft

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Yesterday, the Chicago Bears selected Washington State University‘s Marquess Wilson as a seventh-round pick in the National Football League (NFL) Draft. Wilson was the 236th pick overall.

Wilson comes to the Bears organization following a tumultuous final season of university football. He quit his team after nine games following abuse accusations he made against Washington State’s head coach Mike Leach. In talking with the Chicago Tribune, he said “I feel like I could have handled it a little better but like I said I am just moving forward […] I am excited about the opportunity I have at hand.”

Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman said regarding Wilson’s selection, “I would consider it a young guy making a very, very small mistake that put him in a position that got him in trouble. […] I think that like any young guy, I am a parent, we’re parents here. Our kids have made mistakes along the way. He’s a good kid with a big upside. He’s come to the right place. He’s come to a locker room where we have players and coaches that will set him straight right from the beginning and get him going the right direction. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to grow a young man, to allow him to mature off the field as well as on it and the upside as a talent, we’re very excited about it.”

The 20-year-old draft pick’s university highlights included playing in 33 games with 27 starts, where he had 189 receptions for 3,207 yards for an average of 17 yards per catch. He also had 23 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he made 82 receptions that he converted into 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The team was able to pick Wilson because they traded their 20th selection pick in the fifth round to the Atlanta Falcons for a 30th round pick in the fifth round and an additional draft pick in the seventh round.



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As Italy prepares for new government, shots fired near prime minister\’s office

As Italy prepares for new government, shots fired near prime minister’s office

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quirinal Palace, the Italian Presidential Palace, in Rome, Italy
Image: MM.

Earlier today in front of the office of Italy’s prime minister in Rome, shots were fired. According to Reuters, a witness reported around eight shots fired. This happened the same day the new Italian government is being sworn in.

Reuters is also reporting at least two policemen were shot. Reportedly the gunman has been arrested.

The process of selecting a new government took two months, with Democratic Party member Enrico Letta becoming the Prime Minister today. The Democratic Party joined with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party to form a coalition government. Letta was at the Quirinal Palace, less than a kilometer away, at the time of the shooting for his inauguration.



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April 24, 2013

Man drowns in Texas lake after falling from boat

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

Man drowns in Texas lake after falling from boat

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rescue personnel have found the body of a 46 year-old man, who drowned in Lake Palestine, in northeast Texas, while fishing on Sunday. Rescue crews began searching the lake for a missing person on Sunday evening around 8:30pm (local time). A police official told reporters the man was found just before midnight on Sunday evening.

The man, identified as Fredrick Perkins, was a resident of the city of Tyler. Perkins was fishing with a woman, when they fell out of their boat. Reports indicate Perkins was not wearing a life vest, although the woman was. She said he fell into the water when attempting to bring in a stringer of fish.

Onlookers stated it was unclear if the boat overturned or if the man simply fell from the boat. Witnesses reported the boat was about 300 yards from the shore when the man fell into the water. Officials used a sonar device to locate Perkins’ body. His remains were found along the bottom of the lake at 11:53pm.



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April 23, 2013

Six dead after shooting spree in Belgorod

Six dead after shooting spree in Belgorod

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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A gunman opened fire at a hunting shop in the Russian city of Belgorod yesterday, leaving six people dead. Two of the victims were young girls aged 14 and 16.

The Moscow Investigative Committee identify the main suspect as former convict Sergei Pomazun.

Authorities said the man, believed to have used a hunting rifle, killed three salespeople and two bystanders, and injured another woman who died of head wounds shortly after the incident. The man left the scene in a BMW, later abandoning the vehicle.

The assailant has yet to be arrested. Police yesterday requested Belgorod residents stay inside their homes. Local authorities have said the search involves around 1200 police; InSerbia reports a team of 50 SWAT troops have also been dispatched to assist with the manhunt.

Police also warned civilians the suspect may have a gas pistol and a semi-automatic rifle.

Regional police spokesperson Alexei Pomorov told AFP, “We do not know whether it was a conflict because there’s no one we can ask: everyone’s dead”.

Police cordoned off the suspect’s residence and found an empty weapons-storage safe.



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April 21, 2013

Maroochydore defeat University in week five of Sunshine Coast Rugby Union

Maroochydore defeat University in week five of Sunshine Coast Rugby Union

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

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April 20, 2013
Maroochydore 21
University 11
Cotton Tree Oval
Maroochydore, Queensland
Australia

Maroochydore came from behind to defeat University 21–11 in their week five rugby union match on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. Trailing 8–6 at half time, Maroochydore kicked five penalties to one in the second half to seal the win.

University went ahead 8 to 3 after scoring an unconverted try and a penalty goal.
Video: Patrick Gillett.

Video: Patrick Gillett.

All 21 of Maroochydore’s points came from penalty goals.
Video: Patrick Gillett.

USC penalty goal.JPG The side traded penalty goal attempts.
Image: Patrick Gillett.

Maroochydore won the game despite missing some chances.
Video: Patrick Gillett.

University’s missed penalty shots cost them the game.
Video: Patrick Gillett.

Video: Patrick Gillett.

In other matches, Caboolture defeated Nambour 65 points to 20 and Noosa defeated Fraser Coast 72 points to five. Caloundra had the bye.



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April 19, 2013

Gun background checks a no-go in US Senate

Filed under: United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Gun background checks a no-go in US Senate

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Friday, April 19, 2013

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The US Senate rejected Wednesday a bill amendment aimed at increasing the security of gun background checks, on what President Barack Obama described as “a shameful day for Washington.”

President Barack Obama.
Image: Elizabeth Cromwell.

On April 10 Senator Pat Toomey, accompanying Senator Joe Manchin in announcing the amendment, said it aimed to make “it more difficult for criminals and mentally ill people to obtain guns”. The amendment would expand checks to sales online and at gun shows.

The vote followed weeks of campaigning by the President, who was supported by a speech by First Lady Michelle Obama describing his proposed measures as “common sense.”

The bill received only 54 of the required 60 votes to proceed, despite strong public support for tighter gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year. Gun rights groups have campaigned strongly against the vote, claiming that the measures would violate constitutional rights, and targeting individual Senators with mocking material appearing online.

Other proposed amendments to the bill which endeavoured to ban the sale of assault weapons like the one used in the Sandy Hook shooting and to place limits on the amount of ammunition which could be purchased in a single transaction also failed to garner sufficient votes.

An onlooker in the gallery shouted “Shame on you” as the result of the vote was announced.

The President spoke to the press and spectators shortly after the vote was announced, passionately assuring his audience that he would continue to pursue measures to reduce the incidence of gun violence in the United States.



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April 17, 2013

High Court of Australia dismisses appeal against conviction, compulsory voting

High Court of Australia dismisses appeal against conviction, compulsory voting

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Australian coat of arms, used as the High Court logo.

Last Friday, following over two years of lawsuit over failure to participate in general election, Anders Holmdahl attended a High Full Court of Australia hearing with an audio-link from Canberra to Adelaide, South Australia, claiming voting is a right, not a duty, citing the Australian constitution. However the Justices dismissed the application for leave to appeal against conviction, ruling it had “no prospect of success” over a point that the Commonwealth Electoral Act was enacted within power.

Anders Holmdahl was represented by Kevin Borick, QC, the president of the Australian Criminal Lawyers Association, throughout the process.

Anders Holmdahl cited “fundamental distinction” between the words vote, which he defined as “exercise of free will”; right, “something you are privileged to be granted”; and duty, “something you are required to do”. After a 20-minute discourse with the lawyer representing the applicant, Justice Kenneth Hayne said, “An appeal to this Court would enjoy no prospect of success. Special leave to appeal is refused.” and adjourned the Court. Justices Stephen Gageler, Patrick Keane were also present at the hearing and participated in the verbal discourse, also enquiring the lawyer about their reasoning but not specifying reasons other than what Hayne J said. Wikinews contacted both Anders Holmdahl and the High Court and confirmed there was no other documentation of reasons behind the judgment.

The standard High Court procedures involve hearing each matter by a single Justice and only escalating it after a special leave to appeal is granted. The current case had been irregular, as the matter had been escalated to the Full Court (three Justices) directly.

The appeal also had exhausted lower means of appeal before being lodged in High Court; the Supreme Court of South Australia had dismissed it on September 24, 2012. It cited that the Australian Constitution allows each state to enact their own election laws, and the Federal Parliament has the power to make laws “with respect to … matters in respect of which this Constitution makes provision until the Parliament otherwise provides”. The Court concluded that the Commonwealth Electoral Act was legislation enacted within power.

Prior to escalation to the Supreme Full Court of South Australia, in May 2012, a single Justice Gray had forwarded the matter for consideration of Full Court (three Judges) at his discretion. This happened several months after a Magistrate had recorded the conviction following a trial in February 2012. Anders Holmdahl originally pleaded not guilty during his first Magistrates court appearance in December 2011 regarding the August 21, 2010 election.

The electoral system of Australia requires all citizens to enroll. Then they must vote at each general election — election of members of the House of Representatives and Senate of the Parliament of Australia. At the time of the election, Anders Holmdahl was enrolled as an elector on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll for the Division of Hindmarsh.

The High Full Court hearing was a last instance of appeal with further escalation only possible at international level. Anders Holmdahl had decided to take the case before the United Nations Human Rights Council.



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