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April 30, 2014

UK government announce police stop-and-search powers rethink

UK government announce police stop-and-search powers rethink

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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Home Secretary Theresa May in 2010.
Image: UK Home Office.

The UK government is to give new guidelines to police officers on the use of “stop and search” powers after a government inquiry found a quarter of stop and searches by officers may have been illegal. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, said today she will introduce a “comprehensive package” of measures including revised guidance to the police on the use of stop and search powers. The new guidance would clarify what counts as “reasonable grounds for suspicion” under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

The reforms also include an attempt to push the police to make stop and search records public, and adding new “unconscious bias awareness training” to try to reduce the possibility of prejudice influencing decisions by police officers. The reform announcement follows a consultation launched last July into the future of stop and search powers by the government.

May says she is not going to introduce new legislation to change stop and search but has not ruled it out if statistics do not change: “I want to make myself absolutely clear: if the numbers do not come down, if stop and search does not become more targeted, if those stop-to-arrest ratios do not improve considerably, the government will return with primary legislation to make those things happen”.

May also told Parliament: “Nobody wins when stop and search is misapplied. It is a waste of police time. It is unfair, especially to young, black men. It is bad for public confidence in the police”.

Research into stop and search powers found only one in ten searches led to an arrest, and black people were about six times more likely to be the subject of a search than their white counterparts. Following the reforms, officers who misuse stop and search powers may be subject to disciplinary procedures or lose the ability to use stop and search powers.

The shadow home secretary, Labour’s Yvette Cooper, said more radical plans for reform had been abandoned due to “regressive attitudes in Number 10” and the home secretary had “backed down” on the needed reforms.



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LA Clippers owner receives lifetime ban from NBA for racist comments

LA Clippers owner receives lifetime ban from NBA for racist comments

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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File:Donald Sterling.jpg

Donald Sterling in 1989.
Image: Cliffwildes.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has received a lifetime ban from the NBA (National Basketball Association) and has been fined $US2.5million for his racist comments this week. Sterling, who has owned the team since 1981, was overheard telling a woman, identified as girlfriend V. Stiviano, not to bring black people to games or associate with them.

The comments have caused an uproar, not just in the NBA, but within the Clippers team. In protest, players wore their warm-up jerseys inside out before their Game 4 playoff loss against the Golden State Warriors, while in other games throughout the league the San Antonio Spurs played in black socks and the Miami Heat practiced with their warm-up shirts inside out to mimic the LA Clippers.

Former NBA player Kevin Johnson, now mayor of Sacramento, said the league needed to hand out the maximum possible penalty. While NBA legend Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats said there is no room in the NBA, or anywhere, for this kind of hatred.

The conversation took place on April 9, when a man’s voice, later identified as Sterling’s, told the woman not to pose for photos with black men, including Hall of Famer Ervin “Magic” Johnson. Sterling goes onto say it annoys him that she has to promote her association with black people.

It isn’t the first time Sterling has caused controversy with racist comments. Back in 2009 he was sued by his former General Manager Elgin Baylor who criticised Sterling’s attitude and quoted him as saying “I’m offering you good money for a poor black kid” when negotiating a contract with Danny Manning.

The situation is far from over as Sterling is refusing to sell the team, and the other teams have lobbied against him to force him to sell. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver needs 75% support, or 23 out of the 30 teams, to force Sterling out of the league permanently.

“The fine will be donated to organisations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players’ Association” Mr Silver said.



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April 27, 2014

University defeat Caloundra in first round of 2014 Sunshine Coast Rugby Union season

University defeat Caloundra in first round of 2014 Sunshine Coast Rugby Union season

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

 
Notice — December 22, 2014
 
There is a discrepancy between the score published here (38–9 in University’s favour) and the official score (36–9). Our reporter has expressed doubts of the official score sheet’s accuracy.
 
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April 26, 2014
University 38
Caloundra 9
University of the Sunshine Coast,
Sippy Downs, Queensland
Australia

University of the Sunshine Coast defeated Caloundra 38 points to 9 yesterday in their round one Sunshine Coast Rugby Union match in Sippy Downs, Australia.

Noosa defeated Maroochydore 55 points to 10 in the round’s other result.

Uni steal a line out vs. Caloundra April 26, 2014.JPG Universty’s stealing of this line out highlighted their second half dominance
Image: Patrick Gillett.

University scored three tries in the second half to secure a bonus point win.
Video: Patrick Gillett.

Uni conversion vs. Caloundra April 26, 2014.JPG Straight enough. University kicked three conversions from four attempts and four penalty goals from five attampts.
Image: Patrick Gillett.
Caloundra halftime vs. Uni April 26, 2014.JPG Caloundra went into halftime having kicked three penalty goals — their entire score for the match.
Image: Patrick Gillett.
Uni vs. Caloundra crowd April 26, 2014.JPG An interested crowd watched University score 19 points in each half.
Image: Patrick Gillett.

The match wasn’t without its tense moments
Video: Patrick Gillett.

Uni halftime vs. Caloundra April 26, 2014.JPG
Image: Patrick Gillett.



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April 26, 2014

Crucifix in Northern Italy collapses, crushing man to death

Crucifix in Northern Italy collapses, crushing man to death

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

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  • 18 August 2014: Kurdish forces advance as international opposition to Islamic State grows
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Ahead of Sunday’s scheduled canonization of Pope John Paul II, in the Italian village of Cevo, a massive stone and wood crucifix dedicated to the late pontiff collapsed, instantly crushing a man to death and landing another in the hospital. Reports variously say the collapse took place on Wednesday or Thursday.

File photo of the crucifix in 2008.
Image: Luca Giarelli.

Marco Gusmini, 21, died after part of the wood of the crucifix splintered and broke, sending it, along with the attached statue of Jesus Christ, toppling to the ground. He was reportedly posing for a photograph under the monument.

The mayor of Cevo, Silvio Citroni, termed the incident “an unexplainable tragedy. A young life, so many hopes destroyed this way”. Describing the tragedy, he elaborated, “The young people were making a snack for lunch and when they heard the crunching noises coming from the cross they fled in all directions. Unfortunately Marco ran in the wrong direction.” Citroni also said the crucifix had undergone maintenance work last summer. “This is a place for pilgrimages and family visits. We never imagined that something like this could happen.” In light of the untimely tragedy, he said, plans for any further celebrations to commemorate the late pontiff’s impending canonization have been scrapped.

Sculptor Enrico Job designed the crucifix, which stood 100 ft (30 m) tall; curved unusually to symbolize, reportedly, the scars of World War II; mounted with a 20 ft (6 m) tall statue of Jesus Christ weighing 1,320 lbs (600 kg). Commissioned to commemorate Pope John Paul II’s 1998 visit to Brescia, and reportedly originally erected at a stadium there, the crucifix was moved to its present location in nearby Cevo in 2005.

Gusmini and his parents reportedly lived on Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, a street in Lovere named after another late pontiff to be canonized alongside Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII. In celebration of this double canonization, Rome is expected to play host to 19 heads of state, 24 heads of government, and some 800,000 Catholic pilgrims, visiting from around the world, according to the Interior Ministry of Italy.



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  • Cevo: la «Croce del Papa» ha bisogno di fondiItalian Wikinews, August 29, 2008 (Italian)

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April 25, 2014

UK announces £200 million polar research ship

UK announces £200 million polar research ship

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Friday, April 25, 2014

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UK Chancellor George Osborne today announced a new £200 million research ship to ply Arctic and Antarctic waters.

Cquote1.svg The new vessel will make Nerc’s entire fleet, ton for ton, the most advanced scientific fleet in the world Cquote2.svg

—Nerc boss Professor Duncan Wingham

“One of the final frontiers in the world where there is still much discovery to be done are the polar oceans” said Osborne, explaining “our two current polar exploration ships are nearing the end of their life and need replacing. So I am delighted that we are investing in a new polar research ship to carry cutting edge British technology to put British scientists at the forefront of research in both the Antarctic and the Arctic oceans”.

The icebreaking ship is to belong to the British Antarctic Survey and is funded from a £7 billion pot earmarked for science over the next six or seven years. Osborne told those gathered at Cambridge‘s Laboratory of Molecular Biology today he had “made it [his] personal priority in government to support [scientific] endeavour.”

RRS James Clark Ross, one of two aging ships currently filling the role.
Image: Tom L-C.

Funding body the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) says the current ships, RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton, are to carry on operating at least until 2020. They were built in 1990 and 1995 respectively; RRS Ernest Shackleton is a leased Norwegian vessel. The new vessel is intended to be able to stay in the field longer and, unlike RRS James Clark Ross, feature a helipad.

Other specifications include the ability to launch unmanned submarines and scientific gliders, devices towed behind ships to gather data, as well as power through 2m (6.6ft) thick ice at three knots.

Osborne also announced the start of consultations on how to spend the rest of the £7 billion. The announcements come shortly after Nerc completed upgrades to ocean-going ‘bluewater’ ships RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook. “The new vessel will make Nerc’s entire fleet, ton for ton, the most advanced scientific fleet in the world” according to Nerc head Professor Duncan Wingham, speaking to the BBC.



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April 22, 2014

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate \’green\’ on city green

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coinciding with Easter Sunday, Glasgow Cannabis Social Club’s annual 420 event was held on Glasgow Green, under sunny blue skies, and overlooking the river Clyde. Despite the city’s council attempting to revoke permission for the gathering at the last minute, police were happy for it to go-ahead with approximately a dozen officers attending in high-visibility vests.

Setting up the stalls, with the river Clyde and Adelphi distillery as a backdrop
Image: Brian McNeil.

Good weather, albeit tempered with a cool breeze, saw higher numbers than the prior year’s event
Image: Brian McNeil.

Glasgow Green, in the East End is the city’s oldest park
Image: Brian McNeil.

A speaker from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) explained his organisation’s position on cannabis
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police were in-attendance from early-on, with Monday’s issue of the Daily Record reporting five arrests, but no trouble
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A section of the crowd, with the People’s Palace in the background
Image: Iain Macdonald.

One of the bands setting up to entertain the crowd
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A neon-bright sign for the Glasgow branch of the UK Cannabis Social Club
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Small stall, with obvious pro-cannabis signage
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Home-made sign for the Legalise Cannabis Campaign Scotland
Image: Iain Macdonald.

View of stage from partway up the hill
Image: Iain Macdonald.

People buying refreshments from the stall
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Several attendees wore clothing with slogans openly advocating cannabis
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A view of the tents over the stage and stalls from across the Clyde
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Attendees watch the stage entertainment while police look on
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Small groups of attendees regularly walked away from watchful police once it was made clear people would be arrested and cautioned for smoking
Image: Iain Macdonald.

View of the stage area from opposite bank of the Clyde
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Trumpet player in one of the Reggae bands that performed
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A small stand offered hydroponic supplies
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Clear view of the hemp products stall
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Close-up of some hemp-based products on sale
Image: Iain Macdonald.

The Daily Record reported five arrests were made for minor offences, likely smoking and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Taking a less-sensational — and more accurate — line of reporting, the Monday edition of Glasgow’s Evening News stated five were referred to the Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for deciding if charges should be brought.

Official figures provided by the police were that 150 attended. With people coming and going, Wikinews reporters estimated upwards of 200 attended, compared to nearly 700 who had signed up for the event on Facebook. Hemp goods were advertised and on sale at the event, and some attendees were seen drinking cannabis-themed energy drinks.

“I was searched and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which is a lot of bollocks)” one attendee noted online, adding “not fair to happen on a brilliant day like it was, other than that I had a great day!” A second said they were openly smoking and ignored by police, who “were only really focusing on people who looked particularly young”.

Cannabis seeds were openly and legally sold at the event and a hydroponics supplier brought a motortrike towing an advertising trailer. Actually growing cannabis is, however, illegal in the UK.

With the event openly advocating the legalisation of cannabis, speakers put their arguments for this to a receptive crowd. Retired police officer James Duffy, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, spoke of the failed United States alcohol prohibition policy; stressing such policies needlessly bring people into contact with criminal elements. Highlighting other countries where legalisation has been implemented, he pointed out such led to lower crime, and lower drug use overall.

One speaker, who produced a bottle of cannabis oil he had received through the post, asserted this cured his prostate cancer. Others highlighted the current use of Sativex by the National Health Service, with a cost in-excess of £150 for a single bottle of GW Pharmaceuticals patented spray — as-compared to the oil shown to the crowd, with a manufacturing cost of approximately £10.

Similar ‘420‘ pro-cannabis events were held globally.


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Canadian former deputy PM Herb Gray dies at age 82

Canadian former deputy PM Herb Gray dies at age 82

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gray in 2008
Image: Christine St. John.

Herb Gray, a Canadian former deputy Prime Minister whose federal political career stretched 39 years, died yesterday. He was 82.

The lawyer from Windsor was undefeated through thirteen consecutive elections, from 1962 to his last in 2000. The Liberal was the third longest serving Parliamentarian of the nation. Nicknamed Gray Herb for his seriousness and The Gray Fog for his ability to deflect questions, Herb was the first Jewish minister in Canada.

Deputy PM Sheila Copps‘s 1997 resignation saw Gray promoted to fill the role. Prior to that he served as interim Liberal leader in 1990.

Despite his professional seriousness he had a love of political satire, collecting editorial cartoons and listening to radio shows such as Royal Canadian Air Farce and Double Exposure. Outside of politics he enjoyed rock music and played classical piano.

Gray survived throat cancer treated with radiation in the 1990s and operations for prostate and heart conditions in 1999 and 2001 respectively.

James Moore, Conservative current Minister for Industry, tweeted about the “marvel” of Gray “swatting away our questions […] when we were in opposition.” Current Liberal head Justin Trudeau said Gray was a “great statesman” who “left behind an immense legacy unmatched by most in Canadian history”.

Copps said he was “an incredible Canadian and a brilliant parliamentarian” and ex-leader of the Liberals Bob Rae said he “served Canada with such distinction and care”. Current Prime Minister Stephen Harper called Gray “an honourable parliamentarian who served his country well”.

Gray is survived by wife Sharon Sholzberg, who once said she not once witnessed her partner heading “out for a drink with the boys”, and their two children and eight grandchildren.



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April 21, 2014

Wikinews interviews Paúl M. Velazco about new yellow-shouldered bat species

Wikinews interviews Paúl M. Velazco about new yellow-shouldered bat species

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Paul Velazco with a Vampyrum spectrum.
Image: Marco Tschapka.

Distribution range of species formerly ascribed to Sturnira lilium (gray tone) and the type localities (stars) of species in the S. lilium complex.
Image: Paúl M. Velazco.

Scientists at Chicago‘s Field Museum and New York‘s American Museum of Natural History have discovered three new species of yellow-shouldered bats, genus Sturnira, in the Neotropics. On Wednesday open-access journal ZooKeys published their paper on two of the new species, Sturnira bakeri and Sturnira burtonlimi. The two new species were previously confused with S. ludovici, and S. lilium and S. luisi, respectively. With the discovery, genus Sturnira now has the most species of any genus in family Phyllostomidae, the leaf-nosed bats.

Species S. bakeri was named after Dr. Robert J. Baker, who “has made enormous contributions to our [Authors of the ZooKey paper] understanding of bats, particularly to the evolution of Neotropical phyllostomids”; and S. burtonlimi after Dr. Burton K. Lim, who “collected the type series of this species and has made many other important collections throughout the Neotropics and beyond”, the authors noted in the paper.

Within the New World tropics, the distribution range of the genus, the new species’ known living areas are in Costa Rica and Panama for S. burtonlimi, and Western Ecuador for S. bakeri. The researchers identified differences between different specimens, including those in their teeth, skull shapes, and DNA sequences.

Wikinews interviewed one of the chiropterologists, Paúl M. Velazco of the American Museum of Natural History, about the study.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png The Sturnira genus now has 22 species, over 1.5 times larger than it was a year ago (14 species). Who contributed to this change? Did you participate throughout the entire process, or only the discovery of the last 2 species?

Paúl M. Velazco: The last Mammal Species of the World (Simmons, 2005) recognized 14 species for Sturnira. Since then three new species have been described [S. sorianoi Sánchez-Hernández et al., 2005; S. koopmanhilli McCarthy et al., 2006; and S. perla Jarrín-V. and Kunz, 2011] and one subspecies was elevated to the species level (S. hondurensis) by Gardner (2008). This brought the number of species of Sturnira to 18 by 2011. Along with my coauthor Bruce Patterson, we generated the most comprehensive phylogeny of the genus. For this we sequenced two nuclear and three mitochondrial genes from the liver or muscle tissue that had been frozen or preserved from each bat specimen, isolating nearly 5,000 base pairs of DNA. These sequences were obtained from specimens we have collected in the past (38) and from tissues we borrowed from different natural history collections. We published this phylogeny last year in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Results of this study found that two subspecies of Sturnira lilium should be recognized as valid species (S. parvidens and S. paulsoni). Additionally we found three new species, two of them described in the ZooKeys paper. The third one hopefully will be published later this year.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The genus is called Sturnira Gray in the paper. I’ve not seen extra adjectives in genus names, before. What is the context for such name?

PMV: Usually in papers that deal with taxonomy and nomenclature, the first time that a genus or species is mentioned in text is accompanied by the authority that describes that taxon. In the case of Sturnira, it was Gray in 1842 that named the genus.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What caused your initial interest in the question in the genus? When did you become interested?

PMV: I have been studying bats for the past eighteen years and I am especially interested in the family Phyllostomidae that is endemic to the Neotropics. This family includes more than 160 species. It is the most diverse family of bats in the Neotropics, which together exhibits more variation in morphological features and feeding ecology than any other family-level group of mammals. Phyllostomid bats exploit an unusually diverse array of feeding habits including sanguivory, insectivory, carnivory, omnivory, nectarivory, pollennivory, and frugivory. Because of all mentioned before, phyllostomids are a really interesting group to work with. Sturnira and Platyrrhinus are members of this family.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The paper mentions that the genus is now the most speciose genus in the Neotropical family Phyllostomidae. What genus did it beat? How many species does it include?

PMV: The other genus with the most species in the family is Platyrrhinus. Currently, it has 20 species, but soon it will increase to 21. Along with another colleague, Burton Lim, we have a paper in press describing a new species based on molecular and morphological data from the Guianan Shield.

Dorsolateral views of the left mandibular toothrows in Sturnira bakeri (A, QCAZ 14635 ♀) and S. burtonlimi (B, ROM 104294 ♂), illustrating taxonomic differences in the shape of the metaconid and entoconid of m1 and m2.
Image: Paúl M. Velazco.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What equipment did you use?

PMV: For the ZooKeys paper, we examined several specimens under the stereoscope. The molecular phylogeny gave us the separation between species, from there our job was to focus on finding morphological differences between these groups.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Did you conduct field study to identify the species’ habits? If so, where and how did you do that?

PMV: I have done fieldwork in Belize and Peru, and my coauthor did field work in Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, where we collected several specimens of Sturnira (including the third species that has not been described yet). But the two species that were described in the ZooKeys paper are based on specimens collected by our colleagues Dr. Robert Baker from Texas Tech University and Dr. Burton Lim from the Royal Ontario Museum.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How do you isolate of the living area of the new species from the living area of the old species?

PMV: We used the phylogeny of Velazco and Patterson 2013 (Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution) as a framework for this.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How long did the study take? What has been the most time-consuming activity?

PMV: It took almost a year. The most time consuming part was spending several hours behind the stereoscope looking for the diagnostic characters.

Sturnira tildae
Image: Burton K. Lim.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Who participated in the study? What were their roles?

PMV: Dr. Bruce Patterson from the [American] Museum of Natural History and I. I was the one in charge of finding the diagnostic characters and together we both worked on the manuscript.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Who do you collaborate with internationally about your study?

PMV: For this study I collaborated directly with Dr. Bruce Patterson from the Field Museum of Natural History, but studies like this cannot be completed without the contribution of scientific collections. We used specimens from the American Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Louisiana State University, Museum of Southwestern Biology, Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Nacional de San Marcos, Museo de Zoología of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley, Royal Ontario Museum, Texas Tech University, and the National Museum of Natural History.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What future research do you plan?

PMV: To keep doing what I love, which is going to the field, working at collections, and collaborating with the wonderful collaborators I have, all of this is an effort to try to understand bat diversity and evolution in the Neotropics, especially why phyllostomid bats are so successful at this. There is still much to discover, and hopefully we could, in time, implement conservation actions for species that have small distributions.



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April 18, 2014

News briefs: April 18, 2014

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News briefs: April 18, 2014 – Wikinews, the free news source

News briefs: April 18, 2014

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Wikinews Audio Briefs
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Friday, April 18, 2014
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Today on Wikinews: We briefly recap some of the stories appearing on Wikinews last week and from around the world.

Today is Friday, April 18, 2014. I am Chad Tew and this is Wikinews.

Briefs

Writer and TV presenter Peaches Geldof dies aged 25 (0:30)

Television presenter and writer Peaches Geldof was found dead on April 7 in her home near Kent, England. The police called Geldof’s death “unexplained and sudden”. Peaches was the daughter of famous rocker Bob Geldof. She was 25 years old.

Western Australian school performance undisrupted by WBC (0:54)

Westboro Baptist Church did not picket a Western Australian high school’s performance of The Laramie Project in early April, as it had threatened. In its statements, the church group condemned homosexuals and threatened to picket the performance. However, Margaret River Senior High School performed the play, which is based on the 1998 beating and death of Matthew Shepard, to a large audience without disruption.

Australian swimmer Steph Rice announces retirement (1:28)

Australian Olympian Steph Rice announced her retirement via video on April 9. After a few operations on her shoulder, she didn’t perform the way she had expected to during the 2012 London Olympics. In the video she says she feels she’s losing a part of herself but she looks forward to the future.

Spain’s men remain on top of FIFA global rankings for April 2014 (1:54)

In the latest FIFA global rankings, there were changes for eight of the top ten ranked teams, but the Spanish team’s top ranking remained unchanged. Portugal, Colombia and Uruguay each moved up in ranking, making them third, fourth and fifth respectively. Later this year, Spain is scheduled to play The Netherlands, Chile, and Australia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

weev iPad hacking conviction overturned (2:27)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned the conviction of Andrew “weev” Auernheimer on April 11. Auernheimer was convicted of conspiracy to unlawfully access AT&T’s servers and identity theft. The three judges on the court unanimously decided that the New Jersey courtroom was inappropriate for the initial trial.

GWAR announce Dave Brockie arts foundation (2:56)

The surviving members of the metal band GWAR announced the creation of a charitable arts foundation April 11. The foundation was created on behalf of deceased member Dave Brockie, who died at the age of fifty last month. A public memorial for Brockie was scheduled for August 15 with the annual GWAR-B-Q the following day. Donations can be made on GWAR’s website.

Wikimedian activist Adrianne Wadewitz dies (3:27)

The Wikimedia community lost two of its own last week. Adrianne Wadewitz, known by her user name Wadewitz, died recently while rock climbing. She was a well-known Wikimedian activist who organized edit-a-thons, encouraged women to participate, and sought to improve Wikipedia content about women. She was a board member of the Wiki Education Foundation.

Wikimedian Cindy Ashley-Nelson dies at conference in Berlin (3:59)

And Cindy Ashley-Nelson, also known by her user name Cindamuse, died at a Wikimedia conference in Berlin, Germany. She was vice-chair of Wikimedia’s Affiliations Committee. Ashley-Nelson was an administrator on Wikipedia and involved in many activities. The conference attendees gathered to mourn and remember Cindy.

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Eastern Slovak village Buzica honored as European Stork Village

Eastern Slovak village Buzica honored as European Stork Village

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Friday, April 18, 2014

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Eastern Slovak village Buzica, located southwest of Košice on the Slovakian–Hungarian border, was awarded “European Stork Village” by German environmental foundation EuroNatur. The mayor of Buzica, Jozef Mohňanský, received the award last Saturday.

Stork nest built near the local Lutheranian church
Image: Rauenstein.

Mohňanský told the TASR news agency, “At the moment, we have fifteen stork nests occupied. In about two-three weeks, more storks will arrive in the village.”((sk)) In 2013 there were eleven breeding pairs recorded.

Storks nest in the village center on electricity poles and on artificial breeding platforms raised by local authorities. Local residents respect storks. The village holds an annual festival for the arrival of the storks, and has kept a stork census since 1976. An important part of local environmental activities is education programme “Stork” carried out in local kindergarten and primary school, which regularly issues the school magazine “Stork”.

Buzica is one of Slovakia’s three most important white stork nesting areas. It lies partly in Košice Plain Protected Bird Area((sk)), which was declared on January 7, 2008 by the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic. Wetlands near the village naturally attract storks.

Since 1994 EuroNatur has chosen different villages with resident stork colony to award residents’ storks protection activities with the honour of the title “European Stork Village”. The foundation started this initiative to strengthen the stork conservation network. “The aim of the European Stork Village award is for these places to become internationally known for their special cultural and natural heritage and to hold up their commitment as an example to others”, says the foundation’s official report.

Buzica is the thirteenth location awarded. The first was the small village of Čigoč in Croatia; last year the Macedonian municipality of Češinovo-Obleševo was awarded.

An awarded village may have the most breeding pairs in its country, or a rapidly increasing stork population. However, the award also considers local government’s, and residents’, attitude toward storks.



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