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News briefs:May 26, 2010
August 18, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)
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Van Canto’s Stefan Schmidt on a capella metal, Wacken, Nightwish, piracy & more
August 18, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

“Five singers, one drummer. No guitars, no bass, no keyboards but nevertheless an unbelievable melodic metal experience.”

That’s how the official website of van Canto describes the band. Hailing from Germany, van Canto are what is called an a capella metal band, the pioneers of this new genre.

The band released their debut, A Storm to Come, in December 2006. Exactly a year later, van Canto announced a global signing to Gun Records/Sony BMG, and their debut was released worldwide on December 14.

Van Canto are now experiencing considerable success. They recently provided support for Finnish symphonic power metal band Nightwish, as well as receiving a slot at the internationally famous Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. The prestigious event sees them sharing the bill with acts such as Hatebreed, Sonata Arctica, As I Lay Dying, Soilwork, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, Lordi and headline act Iron Maiden.

Van Canto’s second album will be recorded across this month and next, with famed producer Charlie Bauerfeind, although no release date has yet been confirmed.

In light of recent events, van Canto member and founder Stefan Schmidt has given the band’s first interview in English, all previous interviews being in German or Italian. Wikinews now exclusively brings you that interview below.

Contents

  • 1 Interview
    • 1.1 On the early days
    • 1.2 On the new album
    • 1.3 On Wacken Open Air
    • 1.4 On the future of metal
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Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/OH-WY
August 18, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)
See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list and for an alphabetically arranged listing of schools.

Due to the damage by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, a number of colleges and universities in the New Orleans metropolitan area will not be able to hold classes for the fall 2005 semester. It is estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 students have been displaced. [1]. In response, institutions across the United States and Canada are offering late registration for displaced students so that their academic progress is not unduly delayed. Some are offering free or reduced admission to displaced students. At some universities, especially state universities, this offer is limited to residents of the area.

Contents

  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Ohio
  • 3 Oklahoma
  • 4 Oregon
  • 5 Pennsylvania
  • 6 Rhode Island
  • 7 South Carolina
  • 8 South Dakota
  • 9 Tennessee
  • 10 Texas
  • 11 Utah
  • 12 Vermont
  • 13 Virginia
  • 14 Washington
  • 15 West Virginia
  • 16 Wisconsin
  • 17 Wyoming

Tennessee Lieutenant Governor suggests that Islam is a ‘cult’

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Tennessee Lieutenant Governor suggests that Islam is a ‘cult’
August 18, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, July 29, 2010File:Loya7.jpg

A Tennessee politician has been criticised by Islamic groups and Islamic leaders by suggesting that Islam is a cult and is therefore ineligible for protection under the first amendment of the United States constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion.

Though Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, at a campaign stop in Chattanooga earlier in the month, said he’s “all about freedom of religion”, he also said that “[y]ou could even argue whether that being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult or whatever you want to call it”.

Lt. Gov. Ramsey had been asked about a proposed Islamic mosque and community centre that has been slated for construction in the town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and also about the “threat that is invading our country from Muslims”.

Ramsey’s comments have been scrutinized by groups all over the country, while Ramsey’s rivals for the lieutenant governor position tried to avoid the controversy.

Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called Ramsey’s remarks “part of an unfortunate trend in our society” and part of “a disturbing trend in our nation in which it is suggested that American Muslims should have fewer or more restricted constitutional rights than citizens of other faiths.” Hooper also encouraged Ramsey to find people “who can offer him balanced and accurate information about Islam.”

Ramsey’s Republican rivals, U.S. Representative Zach Wamp and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, both tried to avoid the controversy about the cult comments. According to campaign spokesman Sam Edelen, Wamp declined to comment as he was “busy with voting”. Meanwhile Bill Haslam’s campaign spokesman Dave Smith stated in an e-mail that “The mayor’s faith is very important to him, and he respects the right of others to practice their faith, so long as they are respectful of the communities in which they live and the laws of the land.”

Later, Ramsey clarified his position by stating that he has “no problem — and I don’t think anyone in this country has a problem — with peace-loving, freedom-loving Muslims that move to this country and assimilate into our society.” However, Ramsey said he’s concerned that “far too much of Islam has come to resemble a violent political philosophy more than peace-loving religion. It’s time for American Muslims who love this country to publicly renounce violent jihadism and to drum those who seek to do America harm out of their faith community.”

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, there are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world and 7 million in the United States. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has stated that there are 63,000 Muslims in Tennessee, or 1% of that state’s population.

Apple to give free cases, refunds to iPhone 4 owners

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Apple to give free cases, refunds to iPhone 4 owners
August 11, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Apple Inc. announced Friday that it will give owners of its new iPhone 4 a free case in response to mounting concerns over the device’s antenna placement. The iPhone 4 antenna is actually a metal strip that wraps around the side of the device, which has caused dropped calls when held in a certain way.

The announcement came in a rare press conference held by Apple on Friday morning. During the event, company CEO Steve Jobs attempted to address reports by both consumers and the media of signal reception issues relating to the positioning of the phone’s antenna. Rather than recall the devices or offer a hardware fix, Jobs said yesterday that Apple will offer a free case to anyone who has purchased an iPhone 4.

The rubber cases, or “bumpers”, wrap around the side of an iPhone and have been found to alleviate the reception issues. Apple’s bumpers were priced at US$29 before the press conference, but will be free to anyone with an iPhone 4 until September 30. Jobs also said that those who had already purchased a bumper will receive a full refund for the accessory. For consumers still dissatisfied with iPhone 4, Jobs said that the phones can be returned for a refund as well.

Jobs acknowledged that “a very small percentage of users” were experiencing antenna issues, but dismissed the existence of an “Antennagate,” saying that similar problems plague all cellular phones and that the iPhone issue “has been blown so out of proportion that it is incredible.” He showed videos demonstrating a drop in signal strength when held in a certain way for other smartphones to help make his point.

According to company statistics, about one out of every 200 iPhone 4 customers have called AppleCare to complain about the antenna. The iPhone 4 return rate is about one-third of the iPhone 3GS return rate. However, Jobs admitted that the percentage of calls dropped on the iPhone 4 was slightly greater than the percentage of calls dropped on the 3GS. Jobs attributed the small increase to fewer iPhone 4 users putting cases on their devices.

In response to critics saying that Apple had not addressed the reception problem quickly enough, Jobs said that iPhone 4 had only been out for 22 days and that the company could not have resolved the issue any faster. The press event came just days after Consumer Reports declined to give Apple’s newest phone a “recommended” rating due to the antenna’s placement. The group said that Apple’s move to give away free cases is a good first step, but not permanent enough to earn a higher rating.

Earlier, on June 24, Apple told customers to either hold the phone without covering the antenna, or to use a case. The so-called “death grip”, however, has not been as big an issue for other phones as it has for iPhone 4, said Mike Gikas of Consumer Reports. On July 2, Apple associated the issue with a long-undiscovered software bug relating to the formula for calculating signal strength. An iOS update released Thursday came with an updated, more accurate method of calculating the number of cellular signal bars to display, but did not actually prevent the signal loss that comes with covering the antenna.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Marion Schaffer, Oakville

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Marion Schaffer, Oakville
August 4, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Marion Schaffer is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Oakville riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Scottish Justice Secretary ‘acutely aware of unusual publicity’ in Kular case

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Scottish Justice Secretary ‘acutely aware of unusual publicity’ in Kular case
August 4, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wikinews has obtained a letter by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to former Conservative justice spokesman John Lamont in response to questions raised by our correspondent about the Mikaeel Kular murder case. Wikinews has investigated possible contempt by media publishing potentially prejudicial material, and MacAskill wrote he has “been following the case of Mikaeel Kular and [is] acutely aware of the unusual publicity this case has attracted.”

When Mikaeel Kular, three, vanished from his Edinburgh home last month police and volunteers scoured the capital for him. His body was found in Fife just before midnight on January 17, and his mother was arrested on January 18. That’s when Wikinews first reported on possible widespread contempt by UK and Scottish media.

Our correspondent is based in Scotland and has been advised by a lawyer not to identify anybody detained until they have appeared in court, even if they have been arrested and charged. Professor James Chalmers of the University of Glasgow has since reviewed our coverage and confirmed this position. Despite that a large number of major media outlets identified Rosdeep Adekoya, nee Kular, 33, as the arrested individual.

Adekoya has since been in Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with murdering her son. She is in custody pending indictment and trial, but any eyewitness evidence may be tainted because her image has been widely published. This is common practice elsewhere in the UK but Scottish justice works differently and courts have viewed publication of photos as potentially prejudicial. Professor Pamela Ferguson of the University of Dundee notes “journalists do seem to be walking a dangerous line if publishing photos etc of suspects.” Crown Office, which is in overall charge of prosecutions, has indicated to journalists that no further comment will be made at least until indictment.

MacAskill however expressed confidence in the Scottish court system to deal with the situation. “I am confident… the courts themselves will intervene if they believe publicity is in danger of being prejudicial.” He also wrote to Lamont that he has faith in the court to successfully direct any jury that may try the case in order to maintain fairness.

The courts have said that the only safe route to avoid committing a contempt is to avoid publishing a photograph

The Contempt of Court Act 1981 is designed to prevent prejudicial material going in front of juries before trial. Although UK-wide legislation, the law is interpreted differently north of the border than in England and Wales. Witnesses in Scotland may be asked to identify accused persons standing in the dock. The BBC College of Journalism advises legal advice be sought ahead of publishing photos and notes it has previously been ruled contempt. The BBC used the accused’s photo prominently in their own online coverage.

Chalmers explains: “It may be a contempt of court to create a substantial risk of serious prejudice to someone’s right to a fair trial. A photograph might do this in a case where identification is an issue; on the face of it, that does not seem especially likely in this case, but it is impossible to know for certain at this point. The courts have said that the only safe route to avoid committing a contempt is to avoid publishing a photograph, but that does not mean that publishing a photograph is automatically a contempt.” MacAskill noted “the kind of issue that publicity might raise may become apparent only during the trial itself.”

Contempt has been a considerable issue in the UK in recent years after high-profile cases. In one instance a charge against serial killer Levi Bellfield was dropped owing to publicity while the jury were deliberating; in another, newspapers were fined and sued for libel over reporting on the arrest of a suspect who turned out to be innocent in a prominent investigation.

A proposal was mooted to ban identification of suspects arrested anywhere in the UK, but this was subsequently shelved. MacAskill confirmed “the Scottish Government is content with the way the courts are operating the rules on contempt of court in Scotland at the moment and has no plans to make changes.” He also wrote of the difficulties with trying to individually cover all eventualities with prescriptive legislation, saying “A trial for a sexual offence will raise very different issues — particularly of protecting victims — from those that are raised by a tax fraud trial.”

MacAskill says it is the Scottish Government’s position that the task of “counterbalancing the public interest in reporting with upholding the criminal law should be left to those whose job it is to do so — the courts and the judiciary, acting in the individual circumstances of the case”.

Sulpicio Lines pay PHP6.2 million for death of man in 1998 ferry disaster

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Sulpicio Lines pay PHP6.2 million for death of man in 1998 ferry disaster
July 27, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sulpicio Lines, a ferry company in the Philippines, have been ordered to pay PH?6.24 million over the death of a man on board MV Princess of the Orient, which sank in stormy weather off Batangas in 1998. Ernesto Unabia was one of seventy confirmed fatalities in the disaster, which left eighty more missing.

Unabia was a 37-year-old seaman who worked on international vessels, and earned a ?120,000 salary. According to widow Verna Unabia, who filed the case with her three children, he was going to work on for thirteen more years and then retire. Unabia’s case is the first to be concluded, although most victims settled with Sulpicio without claims being filed.

Although Sulpicio lost their appeal several weeks ago, reporters have only today received access to documentation concerning the case.

Under Philippines law, employers are responsible for their employees actions. However, in Pestaño vs. Sumayang the Supreme court ruled that if it could be proved an employer had taken appropriate diligence when selecting employers then they could not be held responsible.

It was viewed that Sulpicio was responsible as they failed to remove captain Esrum Mahilum from the vessel despite a number of incidents involving the ferry while he was in command of it. Princess of the Orient had struck the bottom of Manila‘s North Harbour, sideswiped a container ship and suffered a crippling engine fire while berthed at North Harbour, being towed first to Cebu and ultimately Singapore for repairs.

Despite these serious incidents while the ship was under Mahilum’s care, however, he was not removed from captaincy or even disciplined. A Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) investigation into the ultimate sinking of the Princess of the Orient would later say that Sulpicio did not have enough initiative to take action against him. The court ruled this made them responsible for his actions.

On September 18, 1998, the day of the sinking, Captain Mahilum was warned before starting out that severe weather was approaching. He wrongly calculated that the storm was safely distanced and left port regardless, running into the storm two hours later. Princess of the Orient began listing to the left and a distress call was sent, but she sank before help arrived. The BMI’s report blamed the disaster on the captain making “erroneous maneuvers of the vessel before it sank.” He remains missing to this day.

After the court ruled that this made Sulpicio liable to pay civil damages an appeal was filed, in which Sulpicio said that the captain “valiantly tried to save his ship up to the bitter end. He heroically went down with his ship.” Although he failed to properly supervise the abandon ship order he gave, he was last seen helping passengers to board life rafts. Sulpicio further alleged that careful analysis of the BMI report showed he did not directly cause the disaster.

The court rejected the appeal, with judge Estella Alma Singco saying that while the failure to remove the captain wasn’t the direct cause, “such failure doubtless contributed materially to the loss of life.” Sulpicio were ordered to pay P6.240 million in lost earnings, P100,000 moral damages, P50,000 indemnity – which Sulpicio had already offered to all the families of the deceased – and P50,000 in pursuer’s litigation costs.

Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan dies in car accident aged 50

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Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan dies in car accident aged 50
July 27, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Plastic surgeon to the stars Dr. Frank Ryan has died in a car accident at age 50. It is reported that the Jeep Ryan was driving crashed over the side of the Pacific Coast Highway and landed on rocks. Lifeguards were first on the scene and unsuccessfully tried to rescue Ryan. It is thought that no other vehicle was involved in the incident.

Dr. Ryan, a celebrity in his own right, performed plastic surgery on several stars including Janice Dickinson, Gene Simmons, Shauna Sand and Adrianne Curry. He appeared on several television shows and became one of the first people to perform plastic surgery on television in 1995.

A representative for Janice Dickinson released a statement about the death of Ryan. She said “Janice is deeply, deeply anguished! She is stunned and wants the world to know what a genius Dr. Ryan was.”

Ryan was traveling with his pet dog at the time of the crash; the dog was found seriously injured in the ocean and was transported to a local veterinarian. Dr. Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene.

India: Jammu and Kashmir government orders private tuitions to shut down for 90 days

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India: Jammu and Kashmir government orders private tuitions to shut down for 90 days
July 12, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

On Sunday, the government of Jammu and Kashmir, India, ordered private academic coaching institutions for students until and including class XII to shut down for the next three months calling those institutions “distractions” for the students; with an exception of coaching institutions preparing students for professional exams.

After meeting the heads of some educational institutions, the state’s education minister Syed Altaf Bukhari said: “We had a discussion with our principals today to how to make the education system better. We have come to a conclusion that the distractions which affect our education system […] one of those distractions are the coaching centres”. He added the government is to review the status of the tuition centres with respect to their decisions twice a month.

High schools and colleges have suspended classes since the beginning of the month. Boycotting the classes, students protested against two encounters in Shopian that resulted in the killing of four civilians as well as twelve militants. Then there were protests against the gang rape and murder of eight-year-old girl Asifa Bano in Kathua who police said was held captive and sedated at a temple in January. Retired government official Sanji Ram and several others —including multiple police officers— were arrested earlier this month for, or in relation to, the gang rape and murder of Asifa. Asifa’s corpse was found in the village of Rasana on January 10.

Some of the protesters clashed with the state security forces, and pellets were fired over the protesters. Bukhari said, “Security of the students is paramount, that is why we kept schools and colleges closed. But now the students should control their emotions and go back to their classes […] Now, enough is enough, they have their protest and should attend school now.” Bukhari went on to add that they cannot “afford to have future a generation of illiterates and uneducated.” He said the students who come to the road for protests “would be treated as rowdies”.

According to an official in Jammu and Kashmir’s education department, the motivation behind the temporary shut down of tuitions was “when the coaching centres are closed, students would not have an option but to attend schools”. Coaching Centre Association president Junaid Yousuf responded to this ban, saying: “What is the point of ordering closure of coaching centres and keeping schools open? This defies logic. You are not shutting down the places where protests occur and closed those centres where there are no protests”.

“This distraction leads to fall in attendances in schools. We are not against coaching centres; we will first see how schools function. Therefore immediately we will request and order the coaching centres to stop their shops for some time[…] We are the custodians of the students and want that they are not distracted”, the Education Minister said.