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February 26, 2015

Super Bowl LIII

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Super Bowl LIII – Wikinews, the free news source

Super Bowl LIII

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Super Bowl LIII will be the 53rd championship game in the National Football League. The planned date of the event will be in February 2019.



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Southwest Airlines grounds 128 uninspected planes

Southwest Airlines grounds 128 uninspected planes

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Image: Kevinboydston.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

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The US carrier Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest low-cost carrier, announced grounding 128 planes on Tuesday because the planes had not be adequately inspected.

Company spokesperson Brandy King explained backup hydraulic systems of 128 of the company’s Boeing 737-700s should have been inspected sooner. The systems overdue for inspection back up the main rudder control systems.

King said the the incident is inadvertent and emphasised the airline’s commitment to safety. The airline decided to ground the planes involved in the missed inspections and notified the authorities.

As of last year, Southwest Airlines’ fleet had around 665 Boeing 737s. The uninspected planes incident involves about twenty percent of its fleet, and caused the airline to cancel about 80 flights on Tuesday, with possibly another 19 cancellations yesterday.

Following the airline’s actions, the Federal Aviation Administration ruled grounding of the planes is not mandatory provided inspections are completed within five days.



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February 22, 2015

Peterborough United F.C. manager Darren Ferguson leaves club

Peterborough United F.C. manager Darren Ferguson leaves club

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

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Ferguson pictured in 2013.
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Darren Ferguson resigned yesterday as the manager of Peterborough United Football Club. His departure comes after a 3–0 defeat yesterday to MK Dons. Peterborough United are currently in fifteenth position of League One, the third tier of English football.

Peterborough United’s chairman, Darragh MacAnthony, released a statement on the club’s website regarding the resignation. He said “It saddens me to say that the club has this evening parted ways with one of the finest managers in our clubs[sic] history. After Speaking with Darren, he feels that a new challenge is needed for both himself and the football club.”

MacAnthony also spoke about the club’s current performance. He said “I’m personally very disappointed in our current league position, the performances from our playing squad and the fact that we have dropped way below our own standards that we set out at as a football club.”

Ferguson has managed Peterborough United twice. He had previously led the team from 2007 to 2009. Over his two tenures he has twice led the team to the Championship, the second tier of English football.

With Ferguson’s resignation five other coaches and officials have left the club. Dave Robertson, the academy manger, has been put in caretaker charge and is to lead the club until a replacement manager has been found.

Darren Ferguson is the son of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.



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February 21, 2015

Harris Wittels, Parks and Recreation executive producer, found dead aged 30

Harris Wittels, Parks and Recreation executive producer, found dead aged 30

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Television
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Harris Wittels, an executive producer on the comedy television series Parks and Recreation, has been found dead. The 30-year-old was found unresponsive at his home in Los Angeles by his assistant on Thursday. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have announced they are investigating the possibility of a drug overdose.

Wittels had a history of drug abuse and spoke openly about his addiction and treatment in drug rehabilitation centers. As well as working as a producer he was also a writer, musician, and stand-up comedian. He performed a stand-up set in Hollywood the night before his death.

Wittels, from Texas, started work on Parks and Recreation as a writer before being promoted to producer and eventually executive producer. Parks and Recreation is in its seventh and final season. The last episode is due to be broadcast on NBC next week.

His other working credits include work on The Sarah Silverman Show and Eastbound and Down. He authored a book, Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty, which came from a phrase he coined on Twitter. #humblebrag was used as a term to describe the art of false modesty.

Tributes have come from across the world of television and comedy. Sarah Silverman called Wittels her “baby”. She said on Twitter “You should know that Harris was brilliant beyond compare. That his imagination was without limit. That he loved comedy more than anything”.

Parks and Recreation actress Amy Poehler said at a Variety event where she was being honored “I don’t really feel like telling any jokes. Today, I lost a friend. I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction.”

Fans of Wittels also paid tribute to him. Posting on culture website The AV Club, one fan wrote “I don’t mean to belittle what those who knew him are going through at all, I know how I feel is nothing compared to what they’re dealing with, but it does feel like I lost a friend.” Another posted “Been sitting here crying since I found out an hour ago. Just unbelievably awful. Said this elsewhere but I genuinely feel like I lost a friend, don’t care how lame that sounds. RIP Harris.”

An official cause of death will not be known until results are released by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.



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February 19, 2015

Senior Telegraph writer Peter Oborne alleges paper suppressed reports on HSBC

Filed under: Archived,Banking,Europe,HSBC,Journalism,Media,United Kingdom — admin @ 5:00 am

Senior Telegraph writer Peter Oborne alleges paper suppressed reports on HSBC

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

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Peter Oborne, former chief political commentator at British broadsheet newspaper the Daily Telegraph, has alleged the paper suppressed and under-reported stories involving banking giant HSBC so as to avoid a loss of advertising revenue. In a public resignation from the paper published on the openDemocracy website on Tuesday, the veteran journalist and columnist alleges the division between advertising and editorial had not been kept watertight and that editors were committing a form of “fraud” on readers of the newspaper.

In Oborne’s article, he details how he submitted a story to the Telegraph regarding HSBC closing a number of prominent British Muslims‘s accounts — despite assurances to the contrary, the story was not published by the paper. This led to Oborne investigating other coverage of HSBC in the newspaper. He cites the example of a story written by the Telegraph banking correspondent Harry Wilson on problems with HSBC’s accounts, which Oborne claims was quietly removed from the Telegraph website. Oborne says the failure of the Telegraph to cover HSBC is also present in the relative coverage given in November 2014 after the bank had to allocate a fund of £1 billion to compensate customers, as well as an investigation into manipulation of the currency market: Oborne argues these developments were given considerable coverage in competing newspapers including the Guardian, Times, and Mail but the Telegraph covered them only briefly several pages into the business section.

Oborne’s article alleges a number of other examples of suppression — calling the coverage of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong “bizarre”, and noting that the paper under-reported news of false accounting at Tesco but gave significant prominence to stories about the company without a critical edge.

Following Oborne’s article, a spokesman for the Telegraph responded: “Like any other business, we never comment on individual commercial relationships, but our policy is absolutely clear. We aim to provide all our commercial partners with a range of advertising solutions, but the distinction between advertising and our award-winning editorial operation has always been fundamental to our business. We utterly refute any allegation to the contrary. It is a matter of huge regret that Peter Oborne, for nearly five years a contributor to the Telegraph, should have launched such an astonishing and unfounded attack, full of inaccuracy and innuendo, on his own paper.”

Media commentator Roy Greenslade, writing for the Guardian, described Oborne’s allegations against the Telegraph as “dynamite” and said they go “to the heart of a paper’s credibility”. The Barclay brothers, owners of the Telegraph, “are being held to account”, according to Greenslade, and Oborne “has shone a light on a dark reality”.



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February 18, 2015

Pakistan releases 173 Indian prisoners at Wagah border

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Pakistan releases 173 Indian prisoners at Wagah border

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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Pakistan released 173 inmates to Indian authorities at the Wagah border on Monday, out of which 172 were fishermen. The Pakistani Government ordered the fishermen released from two Karachi jails on Sunday. Alleged violation of the Arabian Sea maritime boundary of Karachi]] led the fishermen to imprisonment in the Malir and Landhi District Jail.

Flags of Pakistan and India.
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Earlier during the week Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi provided his warm greeting to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and leaders of other nations in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation who are taking part in the 2015 Cricket World Cup. The Indian fishermen reportedly had completed the terms of their imprisonment sentences last year; Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry released a statement on Monday expressing hope for release of Pakistanis whose sentences in India are complete.

India and Pakistan often imprison each other’s fisherman for violating the maritime border. There are still about 350 prisoners in Pakistan’s jail as of now. Pakistan arrested another 38 fishermen last month.



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February 16, 2015

Welsh historian John Davies dies aged 76

Welsh historian John Davies dies aged 76

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Monday, February 16, 2015

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John Davies, highly regarded Welsh historian, has died at the age of 76. Davies worked closely with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during his career, often as a commentator on BBC Wales. As well as his work as a broadcaster he was also an author and a teacher at several universities across Wales.

As an author he won the Glyndwr Award, an award that recognizes an outstanding contribution to the arts in Wales, and the Wales Book of the Year in 2010. He won the later award for his work Cymru: Y 100 Lle I’w Gweld Cyn Marw (Wales: 100 Places to See Before Dying). He also wrote A History of Wales, a book regarded, according to the BBC, by many as definitive on Welsh history.

Tributes have been paid to Davies from many people including politicians and broadcasters. Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said “He’ll be remembered as one of our great historians […] of Wales’ past which he gladly and passionately shared through his teaching, writing and broadcasting.”

Current BBC presenter Huw Edwards said “He had an extraordinary way of sharing his message in an engaging and lively way — in both languages — and that was incontrovertibly proved in his excellent and comprehensive work A History of Wales[…] He was a colourful character and great company.” Another BBC tribute came from Rhodri Talfan Davies, the director of BBC Cymru Wales. He said “He didn’t just bring the story of Wales and its people to life — he did so in technicolor.”

Davies, who lived in Grangetown, Cardiff, would go on to share his knowledge of Welsh history by teaching at both Swansea and Aberystwyth universities. He also held the position of warden at Aberystwyth, monitoring a student residence hall.

He is survived by his wife Janet and four children.


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Islamic State execute 21 Coptic Christians held in Libya

Islamic State execute 21 Coptic Christians held in Libya

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Monday, February 16, 2015

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A video purporting to show the execution of 21 Coptic Christians by supporters of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been released yesterday. The video shows them being beheaded in a location apparently near Tripoli in Libya.

The captives, all shown being executed in orange jumpsuits in the video, were picked up in Sirte, a coastal town in Libya, during December and January. The video asserts the Christians were targeted by ISIL because of their religion.

The Coptic Orthodox Church stated they were “confident” justice would be done on those who executed their followers. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stated: “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals”.

Al-Azhar University, a Cairo-based centre for Islamic learning, described the killing of Christians “barbaric” and stated the actions have “nothing to do with any religion or human values”.



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February 15, 2015

Police shoot dead suspect in Copenhagen attacks

Filed under: 2015 Copenhagen attacks,Denmark — admin @ 5:00 am

Police shoot dead suspect in Copenhagen attacks

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

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Press on the scene at the cordoned-off Krudttønden.
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Police in Denmark have shot dead a man they believe was responsible for two gun attacks that killed two people in Copenhagen yesterday. Police had kept a property in the Nørrebro district of the city under surveillance. When the man returned to the property, they confronted him and shot him in the ensuing fire fight.

Jorgen Skov, a police investigator, said “nothing at this point suggests there were other perpetrators” than the man shot today. Yesterday, he was allegedly involved in two shooting incidents in the city.

The first shooting took place in a café at the Krudttoenden cultural center which was hosting a discussion about blasphemy and free speech, relating to the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who organised the meeting, was subjected to death threats following publication of a number of drawings of the Prophet Muhammad. Vilks’ website says the event was timed to coincide with the fatwa placed on the British novelist Salman Rushdie. The event also hosted Inna Shevchenko, an activist with the feminist protest group FEMEN.

François Zimeray, France’s ambassador to Denmark, attended the event. He told reporters: “They shot from the outside [and] had the same intention as Charlie Hebdo, only they didn’t manage to get in[…] Intuitively I would say there were at least 50 gunshots, and the police here are saying 200. Bullets went through the doors and everyone threw themselves to the floor.”

The second attack yesterday took place outside a synagogue in the Krystalgade area of Copenhagen. The attacker shot and killed, according to the local Jewish community, Dan Uzan, a 37-year-old Jewish man who was volunteering as a security guard outside the synagogue while a bat mitzvah service was held inside.

Floral tributes outside the synagogue.
Image: Kim Bach.

Following the attacks, police released a description and photo of the suspect: he was depicted wearing a black puffer jacket, carrying a black bag, wearing a maroon balaclava, aged between 25 and 30 with a black automatic weapon. The chief police inspector Torben Molgaard Jensen told reporters: “We assume that it’s the same culprit behind both incidents.”

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Danish Prime Minister, said yesterday: “We feel certain now that it’s a politically motivated attack, and thereby it is a terrorist attack.”

Lars Vilks in a statement to Associated Press said he believed the first attack was directed at him: “What other motive could there be? It’s possible it was inspired by Charlie Hebdo”.

World leaders have condemned the shooting. French President François Hollande described the attacks as “deplorable” and promised the Danish “full solidarity of France in this trial”. British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “I condemn the shootings in Copenhagen. Free speech must always be protected.” British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Sickened by shooting at free speech event in Copenhagen. My thoughts are with the people of the city and country.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the Australian government “condemns the shooting at a free speech event in Copenhagen overnight” and “[t]he thoughts of all Australians are with the people of Denmark and, in particular, the family of the victim who lost his life and the police officers injured in this brutal act of terror. As with the Charlie Hebdo atrocity in Paris, the Copenhagen attack is an affront to one of our most fundamental values — freedom of speech. We stand with the people and government of Denmark in confronting this cynical attempt to undermine that fundamental right.”



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Netanyahu calls for European Jews to move to Israel

Filed under: Archived,Israel,Middle East — admin @ 5:00 am

Netanyahu calls for European Jews to move to Israel

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Israel
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has today called for European Jews to emigrate to Israel following the attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen yesterday. The Israeli government is to discuss a plan to allocate $46 million (40 million) of funds to aid immigration by Jews in France, Belgium and Ukraine.

Meeting with the Israeli Cabinet, Netanyahu said: “Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews and this wave of terrorist attacks – including murderous anti-Semitic attacks – is expected to continue[…] Jews deserve protection in every country but we say to Jews: Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe. I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: ‘Israel is the home of every Jew.’ […] Israel is waiting for you with open arms.”

The Israeli economy minister Naftali Bennett backed up Netanyahu’s statement: “Israel is always waiting for them. This will never change. Jews can and should have the right to live anywhere, but if there are Jews who are concerned about their future, we are certainly waiting for them.”

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman stated the Danish attacks “prove what we have said over the years – that Israel and the Jews are affected by this terrorism before anyone else because they are on the frontline in the war terror is waging against the West and the entire free world.” He also said the international community needed “to ask for more than declarations and demonstrations against this terrorism, but also shake off the rules of political correctness and fight a real all-out war against Islamic terror and its roots.”

Denmark’s chief rabbi Jair Melchior said Netanyahu’s comments “disappointed” him, and argued: “Terror is not a reason to move to Israel. […] People from Denmark move to Israel because they love Israel, because of Zionism. If the way we deal with terror is to run somewhere else, we should all run to a deserted island.”

Netanyahu offered a similar statement following the attacks in Paris last month against the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.



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