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December 30, 2013

20131230

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20131230

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Monday, December 30, 2013

This morning, Clitus Bond and his girlfriend Michaela listened to the song Lana Del Rey’s Young and Beautiful, because, his love for Michaela knows no bounds. They also danced together as well.

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December 26, 2013

Palestinian released from Israeli prison following eight-month hunger strike

Filed under: Archived,Israel,Middle East,Palestine,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Palestinian released from Israeli prison following eight-month hunger strike

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

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Samer al-Issawi, a Palestinian prisoner who went on a hunger strike in an Israeli prison as a protest against his imprisonment, was released on Monday to his home in East Jerusalem.

Issawi returned Monday to his home in the Issawiyeh neighborhood in East Jerusalem after his release from the Shatta prison in northern Israel. Hundreds of people came to welcome him home and celebrate his release, despite an Israeli order given to his family not to have a public party for his arrival.

After his release, Issawi said during a TV interview, “It is our obligation as freedom fighters to free all the Palestinian political prisoners!”.

Issawi was arrested in 2002 in Ramallah, during the second intifada by the Israeli army for shooting at Israeli vehicles and reportedly also charged with making pipe bombs. He was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison.

In 2011, during a prisoner exchange deal Israel made with Hamas, Issawi was released along with over a thousand other Palestinian prisoners. He was released under restrictive conditions and forbidden to go outside of Jerusalem, his residence. However, after only nine months from his release date he was arrested again for breaking the conditions. He was required to serve the rest of the 2002 sentence and stay in prison till 2029.

As a protest against the punishment, Issawi began a publicized hunger strike. For more than 260 days he was fed water, vitamins, and additional materials only by infusion. Consequentially, his medical condition deteriorated and became critical. According to the Los Angeles Times, Israel decided to start a negotiation lest Issawi’s death in the Israeli prison cause violence from the Palestinians in the West Bank. In the end, Issawi agreed to stay in the Israeli prison for an additional eight months to serve the administrative arrest he was under and in exchange he stopped his hunger strike.



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December 22, 2013

Rebels take over South Sudan oil regions

Rebels take over South Sudan oil regions

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

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  • 22 December 2013: Rebels take over South Sudan oil regions
  • 26 January 2012: ‘Davos man’ versus ‘Camp Igloo’; 42nd World Economic Forum convenes in Swiss alps
  • 10 July 2011: South Sudan gains independence
  • 10 February 2011: South Sudan minister Milla shot, killed
  • 26 April 2010: Spokesman: At least 55 dead after violence in Darfur, Sudan
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Rebel troops under the command of Riek Machar, former vice president of South Sudan, today stated they now control a number of areas of the country including the oil-rich Unity State which borders Sudan. Government troops are attempting to take back Bor, the capital of the state of Jonglei.

Location of Unity State within South Sudan.
Image: Ivan25.

In Juba, reportedly at least 500 people were killed in the last week. The US military said three US military aircraft — CV-22 Ospreys — were attacked by the rebel troops around Bor, and four US soldiers were injured and taken to Nairobi, Kenya for treatment. At a United Nations facility in Akobo, an attack killed two Indian peacekeepers and at least eleven civilians on Thursday.

Since South Sudan’s 2011 independence from Sudan, ethnic conflicts have caused hundreds of deaths.

World leaders have reacted to the violence. UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon said: “I demand that all political, military and militia leaders stop hostilities and end the violence against the civilians. I call on them to do everything in their power to ensure that their followers hear their message loud and clear.”

US President Barack Obama said “any effort to seize power through the use of military force will result in the end of longstanding support from the United States and the international community”.



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December 20, 2013

Public health officials advise on rising flu levels in Texas 2013/2014 season

Public health officials advise on rising flu levels in Texas 2013/2014 season

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Friday, December 20, 2013

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Image: Biggishben.

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With current flu levels classified as “high” around the state, public health officials in Texas are encouraging citizens to seek vaccination. While many officials anticipated the flu season to peak in January, it has seemingly arrived much earlier in many parts of the state.

Health officials are urging citizens to seek care with their primary doctors, instead of their local hospital emergency rooms. They also recommend that everyone over age six months receive a flu vaccination. Thus far in December, over 450 cases of influenza have been reported in just a small portion of central Texas. Four recent deaths are being blamed on a flu-like illness. Other citizens are also showing signs of the same unknown condition, health officials said.

A nurse for a Texas school system noted during a media interview, “The number one prevention for the flu and cold is hand washing, [from] little kids [up to] big kids.” People suffering from the symptoms report fever, and coughing along with headaches and fatigue. One Texas man told Wikinews, “I had the flu just a few weeks ago. It was awful. I was miserable.”



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December 19, 2013

Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins sentenced to 29 years in prison for attempting to rape baby

Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins sentenced to 29 years in prison for attempting to rape baby

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

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Ian Watkins in 2007.
Image: Lprandyb.

Ian Watkins, frontman of Welsh rock group Lostprophets, was sentenced to 29 years in prison yesterday for his involvement in a series of sex-related offences involving children. He pleaded guilty to offences including attempted rape and sexual assault, conspiracy to rape a child, sexual assault of a child, possession of indecent images of children, and possession of an extreme pornographic image involving sex with an animal.

Watkins had pleaded guilty to the offences along with two others, the mothers of two of the children he abused. The two women — who are being kept anonymous to protect the identity of their children — were jailed for 14 and 17 years respectively.

Watkins is to be eligible for release after two-thirds of his prison sentence, and is to spend six years on licence.

Mr Justice Royce, in his sentencing remarks, said the actions of the defendants “plunged new depths of depravity”. He also said: “Any decent person looking at and listening to the material here will experience shock; revulsion; anger and incredulity.”

The sentencing remarks detail text messages sent between Watkins and one of the mothers planning to abuse children, as well as giving the infant in their care methyl amphetamines. The evidence, according to the judge, “is a dreadful catalogue of abuse of a previously innocent boy to satisfy your own interests and lusts.” In other communications, Watkins planned to turn the life of the other defendant’s child into “a life of filth”.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle from the South Wales Police said investigating Watkins’ actions exposed him to “the most disturbing child abuse evidence” of his police career.

Following his guilty plea but before his sentencing, Watkins discussed his sentencing with a friend via telephone. The singer told his friend: “I’m going to put a statement on [December] 18th now just to say it was megalolz, I don’t know what everyone is getting so freaked out about.” Lolz is a variant form of LOL — laugh out loud.

He also told his friend: “You know I plead[sic] guilty just to avoid a trial, not realising ‘Hang on, that makes me look a bit guilty’ but I would never harm anybody.” Watkins’ “mega lolz” comment was the front page story today in the taboid newspaper The Sun.

Investigation into Watkins’ activities continue, as do attempts to seek more possible victims. There are also investigations going on by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into how police failed to pick up on Watkins’ activities before 2012.



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December 18, 2013

Toronto Mayor responds to libel notice from Toronto Star reporter

Toronto Mayor responds to libel notice from Toronto Star reporter

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto, Ontario in Canada, responded yesterday — with an apology which was not accepted — to libel proceedings served to him by lawyers for Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale on Thursday.

File photo of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in 2011.
Image: The City of Toronto.

The proceedings were filed in response to comments made in a televised discussion with Conrad Black on the VisionTV program “theZoomer” on December 9, in which Ford allegedly insinuated pedophilia by Dale. On Monday, Dale announced he intended to proceed with a statement of claim after Ford failed to respond to the libel notice in a timely manner.

In his apology, delivered at a Toronto city council meeting yesterday, Ford stated it was never his intention to suggest Dale was a pedophile, and he never personally witnessed the reporter in his backyard or peering over his fence, as alleged in the television program. He said the allegations were based upon the word of a long-time neighbour, that someone had been “lurking” near the Mayor’s backyard.

Dale was not present in the council chambers at the time of the Mayor’s statement, and has indicated he deemed the apology insufficient, and will be proceeding with a defamation action in an Ontario court.



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  • “Toronto Star reporter pursues legal action against Toronto Mayor” — Wikinews, December 14, 2013

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December 17, 2013

Wikinews interviews former Matilda\’s player Sarah Walsh about Australian women\’s soccer

Wikinews interviews former Matilda’s player Sarah Walsh about Australian women’s soccer

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Earlier this week, Wikinews interviewed Sarah Walsh, a former Australian women’s national soccer team (Matilidas) player, about women’s football in the country.

The Australian women’s team is currently ranked ninth by FIFA, down one spot from the previous quarter when they were tied at eighth with the North Korea women’s national football team. Meanwhile, Australia’s men (Socceroos) are currently ranked 59th in the world, between the Burkina Faso and Slovakia national football team. Walsh retired from the national team in September of last year, after scoring 32 goals in 71 appearances. She was on Matildas side that qualified for the World Cup for the first time while playing in the Asian Football Confederation instead of the Oceania Football Confederation. She also played in two World Cup quarter-finals for the team. Playing in Australia’s top level domestic league, the W-League, she won the league championship in 2009. She retired from the league this year. Walsh played professionally in the United States for Sky Blue FC and Saint Louis Athletica.

Sarah Walsh playing for the Matilidas against Italy in a friendly international in 2009.
Image: Camw.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: The Socceroos are ranked 59th by FIFA. The Matildas are ranked 8th by FIFA in the latest rankings. Should media coverage correlate to team performance and internationally rankings? Is there an element of tall poppy syndrome in the coverage of the Socceros? What other factors can be used to explain the relative differences in media attention other than performance?

Sarah Walsh: Traditionally in Australia, male sports have dominated media coverage. Slowly we are seeing women’s sports feature more frequently in mainstream media publications. There is a growing interest in women’s sports, especially women’s national teams in general here in Australia. With time, the public will be exposed to more female sports on a daily basis and perhaps will build the same affections for these female sports. As a teenager, I was exposed to NRL living in Sydney, so naturally I have a strong interest in this game along with football (soccer). Young female teenagers today, have the option to turn the TV on and watch the W-league and follow their heroes. I believe in 5–10 years’ time we will see a cultural change with regards to media coverage and gender bias.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: What’s the difference in style of play between the men and women’s national teams?

Sarah Walsh: Men
They appear to play a possession-based game working at effective possession combined with a developing system of pressing using our natural athleticism and high work rate as well as our cultural mental strength.
Sarah Walsh: Women
The women seem to employ a more defensive and well organized “block” making it hard for teams to play through particularly in the middle and our back thirds utilizing transitional moments (BPO – BP) to good effect with quick attacks through the natural speed of certain players.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Why are the Matildas more successful in international competitions and ranking wise than the Socceroos?

Sarah Walsh: There could be a number of contributing factors. One in particular could be dues to financial reasons. Given there is more financial support for men’s national teams globally in general, I believe the competition across the board is more extensive. Due to this, there are more teams that compete at a higher level, so effectively this would make it difficult for the Socceroos to reach the same ranking as Matildas.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Why do you think men don’t watch the Matildas in the same numbers as they watch the Socceroos?

Sarah Walsh: Answer similar to question 1.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Does the media feed into traditional Australian gender stereotypes by not covering elite women’s sports?

Sarah Walsh: Similar to question 1.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: What is your role in sports? Journalist? Academic? Sport administrator? Player? Please provide one to two sentence biography to contextualize your answers.

Sarah Walsh: I started playing football at 5 years of age. I made my debut for the Matildas at 21 (2004–2012) I have spent the past two years working in community football at FFA delivering a Drug and Alcohol program. I am currently the Women’s Football Coordinator and Female Elite Player mentor at FFA. Actually on wikipedia if you would like to cut and paste all that info!



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  • “Wikinews interviews academic Steve Redhead about Australian women’s soccer” — Wikinews, December 7, 2013

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December 16, 2013

Fundosa ONCE defeats Servigest Burgos 80-20 in Spain\’s top wheelchair basketball league

Fundosa ONCE defeats Servigest Burgos 80-20 in Spain’s top wheelchair basketball league

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Monday, December 16, 2013

In a wheelchair basketball game Saturday night at Colegio San Agustin in Madrid in Spain’s top level league, La Liga de Honor, CD Fundosa ONCE defeated Servigest Burgos 80–20. ONCE led the whole game, and ten of Burgos’s points came in the last four minutes with Helder Da Silva scoring eight of them. Burgos lost the game on poor shooting and an inability to control the shot clock. Earlier in the season, ONCE defeated Burgos 89–23. Burgos has not won a game against ONCE in the six total matches they have played against ONCE in La Liga de Honor play.

No. 16 Helder Da Silva scores for Burgos in the fourth quarter
Image: Laura Hale.

No. 16 Helder Da Silva scores for Burgos in the fourth quarter
Image: Laura Hale.

Bill Latham passes, rebounds, shoots and scores
Image: Laura Hale.

Rafael Muiño scores for ONCE
Image: Laura Hale.

ONCE v Burgos, Madrid, December 14, 2013 03.JPG The opening tip off.
Image: Laura Hale.
ONCE v Burgos, Madrid, December 14, 2013 06.JPG Jorge Iglesias takes the ball down the court for Burgos while followed by ONCE’s Rafael Muiño.
Image: Laura Hale.
ONCE v Burgos, Madrid, December 14, 2013 A 05.JPG Jorge Iglesias dribbles past Rafael Muiño.
Image: Laura Hale.
ONCE v Burgos, Madrid, December 14, 2013 A 18.JPG Alejandro Zarzuela takes a free throw while watched by ONCE’s Australian national team player, Bill Latham and Burgos’s Juan Carlos Gavira
Image: Laura Hale.
ONCE v Burgos, Madrid, December 14, 2013 A 27.JPG Daniel Rodríguez and Rafael Muiño‎ on the floor in the first quarter.
Image: Laura Hale.



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  • “ONCE defeats Getafe 86-36 in Spain’s top level wheelchair basketball league” — Wikinews, November 13, 2013

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December 14, 2013

Toronto Star reporter pursues legal action against Toronto Mayor

Toronto Star reporter pursues legal action against Toronto Mayor

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

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Daniel Dale, a reporter for the Toronto Star, served notice on Thursday to Rob Ford, the Mayor of Toronto, Ontario in Canada, of libel proceedings based on allegedly defamatory comments made by Mayor Ford against Mr. Dale on the VisionTV program “theZoomer”, broadcast on Monday.

During the interview, Ford is alleged to have made an insinuation of Dale based upon an incident that took place on May 2, 2012. In describing the incident, Ford said, “I have little kids. When a guy is taking pictures of little kids, I don’t want to say the word, but you start thinking, you know, what’s this guy all about?”

File photo of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in 2011.
Image: The City of Toronto.

Thursday morning, Ford described the 2012 incident in similar terms on a Washington, D.C. sports radio program.

In an editorial posted to the Toronto Star website, Dale says “I’m a non-confrontational guy, and I just wanted to write articles and go home. I didn’t want to be goaded into a legal battle that could last a long time.”

A statement issued by ZoomerMedia, owners of VisionTV, states they will not be making further comment until such time as they are able to speak to their attorneys, as there is now a threat of legal action. The office of the Mayor has not responded to a request from Wikinews for comment in the matter.


 
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Nelson Mandela lies in state as South Africa mourns

Filed under: Africa,Archived,Original reporting,South Africa — admin @ 5:00 am

Nelson Mandela lies in state as South Africa mourns

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

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Wednesday was the first of three days for the body of former South African President Nelson Mandela to lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, at the same amphitheatre where he was inaugurated on May 10, 1994. The amphitheatre was renamed The Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre, by President Jacob Zuma at the Mandela memorial service held in FNB Stadium in Soweto on Tuesday.

View of crowd in FNB stadium
Image: Clement Khanye.

The weather for the memorial service on Tuesday was inclement, as the day was filled with rain and cold wind. There were logistical “glitches” in ferrying the public to the stadium which resulted in long waiting times. A less than expected attendance by the public resulted in a partially filled stadium. Some sections of the crowd were heard booing the state president Jacob Zuma when his image appeared on the stadium screen, prompting the program director Cyril Ramaphosa to call for discipline amongst the crowd. The discovery that the sign language interpreter was actually signing “rubbish” has since caused uproar in the deaf communities of South Africa and around the world.

US president Barack Obama and Mbuso Mandela both received the loudest cheer and standing ovation as they each delivered their tributes. They drew on Mandela’s quotations over the years as they delivered heartfelt and spirit stirring eulogies.

The GCIS has advised that tight security measures will be taken in Qunu Eastern Cape Province where Nelson Mandela is to be buried. No members of the public or Media are to be allowed near the home stead.

The body of the former state man lay in state through yesterday. This morning it was to be transferred from the 1 Military hospital to the Waterkloof Air Force Base and flown by the South African Military to Qunu Eastern Cape Province. The former state man is to be laid to rest amongst his ancestors tomorrow.



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