Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Johan Boyden, Toronto Centre

Friday, October 5, 2007

Johan Boyden is running for the Communist Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Toronto Centre riding. Wikinews interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

How To Teach Your Dog Basic Obedience}

How to Teach Your Dog Basic Obedience

by

Thomas Turner

You’ll come to find that the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”, is completely false. A dog, no matter what age they are, can learn to do basic obedience. You just have to know a few things yourself. Everyone can train a dog, but if you’re not training them correctly they’re not going to pick up on it, and it’s going to learn you frustrated, and your poor dog extremely confused. So to make it easier on everyone take these simple tips on how to teach your dog to do these four basic commands:

1. ComeYour dog should know when to come at your command. You’ll find that you can do this simply by letting them wander on a long leash and then pulling them towards you when calling ‘come’ or their name. You’ll find that this can go a long way towards making them safer when it comes to taking them off of your property, like to the park or to the countryside. Praise them when they come back to you, no matter how long it takes them to figure this out.2. DownIt can be annoying and frustrating when your puppy jumps up on you; think about how much worse it could be if they did it as a full-grown dog? If you are looking to make sure that your dog doesn’t jump up on you, give them the command down and ignore them until they have all four paws on the ground. Remember that your dog is jumping up on you to get your attention, and that if you don’t give it to them that they should stop and see what is going on.3. HeelThe command “heel” is one of the most time consuming. While all tricks and commands will take persistence, and patience this command will need a little extra time for your dog to grasp fully. It’s hard for your dog to understand that their place is a 2-3 foot space right by your side. For this command put your dog on a short lead. Every time they pull too far forward, say in a stern voice, “HEEL!”, and tug sharply toward you and the lead. Repeat this action if they fall too far behind. When your dog obeys, praise them. Remember: This is not only to ensure proper behavior, but also helps protect your dog from future health problems. When they pull too hard on the lead it crushes their windpipe, giving them breathing problems later in life. Plus, if they wander too far from you, you can never see what they are getting into, and if they consume something off the ground you’ll never know if it was harmful. Plus, eating random things off the ground causes havoc to their digestive system, which will cause doggy messes at home. Creating frustration, stress, and could end up costing you a vet visit if what they ate was harmful.4. SitThere are plenty of situations where you want to let your dog sit and cool their heels for a while, and it is lucky that this is one of the most easy commands to learn. Say the command word while keeping their head up and pressing their hindquarters down; this can tell them what you want out of them. Praise them when they do this, and you’ll find that they will soon respond.Be persistent, consistent, and have a little patience. This and repetitiveness is what it’s going to take for your dog to understand what you expect from them.

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How to Teach Your Dog Basic Obedience}

KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wikinews reporter Iain Macdonald has performed an interview with Dr Isabella Margara, a London-based member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In the interview Margara sets out the communist response to current events in Greece as well as discussing the viability of a communist economy for the nation. She also hit back at Petros Tzomakas, a member of another Greek far-left party which criticised KKE in a previous interview.

The interview comes amid tensions in cash-strapped Greece, where the government is introducing controversial austerity measures to try to ease the nation’s debt-problem. An international rescue package has been prepared by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund – should Greece require a bailout; protests have been held against government attempts to manage the economic situation.

Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural ‘insurance policy’

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a vault containing millions of seeds from all over the world, saw its first deposits on Tuesday. Located 800 kilometers from the North Pole on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the vault has been referred to by European Commission president José Manuel Barroso as a “frozen Garden of Eden“. It is intended to preserve crop supplies and secure biological diversity in the event of a worldwide disaster.

“The opening of the seed vault marks a historic turning point in safeguarding the world’s crop diversity,” said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust which is in charge of collecting the seed samples. The Norwegian government, who owns the bank, built it at a cost of $9.1 million.

At the opening ceremony, 100 million seeds from 268,000 samples were placed inside the vault, where there is room for over 2 billion seeds. Each of the samples originated from a different farm or field, in order to best ensure biological diversity. These crop seeds included such staples as rice, potatoes, barley, lettuce, maize, sorghum, and wheat. No genetically modified crops were included. (Beyond politics they are generally sterile so of no use.)

It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks.

Constructed deep inside a mountain and protected by concrete walls, the “doomsday vault” is designed to withstand earthquakes, nuclear warfare, and floods resulting from global warming. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called it an “insurance policy” against such threats.

With air-conditioned temperatures of -18 degrees Celsius, experts say the seeds could last for an entire millennium. Some crops will be able to last longer, like sorghum, which the Global Crop Diversity Trust says can last almost 20 millenniums. Even if the refrigeration system fails, the vaults are expected to stay frozen for 200 years.

The Prime Minister said, “With climate change and other forces threatening the diversity of life that sustains our planet, Norway is proud to be playing a central role in creating a facility capable of protecting what are not just seeds, but the fundamental building blocks of human civilization.” Stoltenberg, along with Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, made the first deposit of rice to the vault.

“It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks,” Maathai said. The vault will operate as a bank, allowing countries to use their deposited seeds free of charge. It will also serve as a backup to the thousands of other seed banks around the world.

“Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water and energy supply constraints and for meeting the food needs of a growing population,” Cary Fowler said.

Interview: Danny O’Brien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

January’s second Interview of the Month was with Danny O’Brien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on 23 January in IRC.

The EFF is coming off a series of high-profile successes in their campaigns to educate the public, press, and policy makers regarding online rights in a digital world, and defending those rights in the legislature and the courtroom. Their settlement with Sony/BMG, the amazingly confused MGM v Grokster decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, and the disturbing cases surrounding Diebold have earned the advocacy organization considerable attention.

When asked if the EFF would be interested in a live interview in IRC by Wikinews, the answer was a nearly immediate yes, but just a little after Ricardo Lobo. With two such interesting interview candidates agreeing so quickly, it was hard to say no to either so schedules were juggled to have both. By chance, the timing worked out to have the EFF interview the day before the U.S. Senate schedule hearings concerning the Broadcast flag rule of the FCC, a form of digital rights management which the recording and movie industries have been lobbying hard for – and the EFF has been lobbying hard to prevent.

Wikinews Shorts: March 1, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, March 1, 2007.

Two paintings by renowned Spanish artist Pablo Picasso were stolen from the home of his granddaughter, according to the French authorities. The two oil paintings stolen were Maya With Doll and Portrait of Jacqueline; they were taken sometime between Monday, February 26 and Tuesday, February 27. The combined worth of the paintings is estimated at $66 million.

Sources


Iran will probably participate in a security conference dealing with the situation in Iraq,according to Iranian official Ali Larijani. The conference, according to Iraqi prime minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki will be held March 10 in Baghdad. It will include the first high-level diplomatic contact between Iranian and U.S. officials in over two years; however, U.S. officials will not directly speak with Iranian or Syrian officials, according to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow. The topics to be focused on will include the recent spate of lethal attacks by insurgents throughout Iraq, especially in Baghdad itself. Nations attending the conference include Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Other countries invited include France, Russia, China, and Turkey.

Sources


Rescue workers search wreckage of Brazilian air crash

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907 crashed 1,750km (1,100 miles) north-west of Rio de Janeiro killing all people onboard, on Friday September 29. National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) has confirmed that the crashed Brazilian airplane did crash into a smaller aircraft. Rescue workers and air force personnel are searching the wreckage for bodies

Media round-up: April Fools’ Day 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Many media outlets traditionally deliberately spread hoaxes on April Fools’ Day, including notable quality sources such as National Geographic and Science.

The popular British tabloid The Sun wrote that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to undergo stretch surgery to make him taller than his wife, Italian artist and model Carla Bruni. The report claimed the 5 foot 5 inch leader would be made 5 inches taller in one year using a method by Israeli professor Ura Schmuck. The Sun noted that during his visit to Britain last week, Sarkozy had high-heel shoes while his wife wore a pair of flat pumps.

The Guardian on the other hand ran an article that suggested that Carla would head an initiative by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to bring more glamour, good taste and sophistication to the U.K. general population. This would involve collaboration with Marks & Spencer for high-street fashion and Jamie Oliver for meals and wine.

BBC News had real-looking footage of flying penguins fronted by documentary host Terry Jones, which were actually an advertisement for its new iPlayer.

One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Across Egypt hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets for the day, marking exactly one year since the outbreak of protests leading to 83-year-old longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The country’s decades-long emergency rule was partially lifted this week; meanwhile, a possible economic meltdown looms and a newly-elected parliament held their first meeting on Monday.

Despite the new parliament, military rule introduced following Mubarak’s fall last spring remains. Echoing the demands from a year ago, some protesters are demanding the military relinquish power; there are doubts an elected civilian leader will be permitted to replace the army.

The brief unity against Mubarak has since fragmented, with Secularists and Islamists marking the revolution’s anniversary splitting to opposing sides of Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square and chanting at each other. Initial demonstrations last year were mainly from young secularists; now, Islamic parties hold most of the new parliament’s seats — the country’s first democratic one in six decades.

Salafis hold 25% of the seats and 47% are held by the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought supporters to Cairo for the anniversary. Tahrir Square alone contained tens of thousands of people, some witnesses putting the crowd at 150,000 strong. It’s the largest number on the streets since the revolution.

Military rulers planned celebrations including pyrotechnics, commemorative coins, and air displays. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces took power after last year’s February 11 resignation of Mubarak.

Alaa al-Aswani, a pro-democracy activist writing in al-Masry al-Youm, said: “We must take to the streets on Wednesday, not to celebrate a revolution which has not achieved its goals, but to demonstrate peacefully our determination to achieve the objectives of the revolution,” — to “live in dignity, bring about justice, try the killers of the martyrs and achieve a minimum social justice”

Alexandria in the north and the eastern port city of Suez also saw large gatherings. It was bitter fighting in Suez led to the first of the revolution’s 850 casualties in ousting Mubarak. “We didn’t come out to celebrate. We came out to protest against the military council and to tell it to leave power immediately and hand over power to civilians,” said protestor Mohamed Ismail.

“Martyrs, sleep and rest. We will complete the struggle,” chanted crowds in Alexandria, a reference to the 850 ‘martyrs of the revolution’. No convictions are in yet although Mubarak is on trial. Photos of the dead were displayed in Tahrir Square. Young Tahrir chanters went with “Down with military rule” and “Revolution until victory, revolution in all of Egypt’s streets”.

If the protestors demanding the military leave power get their way, the Islamists celebrating election victory face a variety of challenges. For now, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi — whose career featured twenty years as defence minister under Mubarak — rules the nation and promises to cede power following presidential elections this year.

The economy is troubled and unemployment is up since Mubarak left. With tourism and foreign investment greatly lower than usual, budget and payment deficits are up — with the Central Bank eating into its reserves in a bid to keep the Egyptian pound from losing too much value.

Last week the nation sought US$3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF insists upon funding also being secured from other donors, and strong support from Egypt’s leaders. IMF estimates say the money could be handed over in a few months — whereas Egypt wanted it in a matter of weeks.

The country has managed to bolster trade with the United States and Jordan. Amr Abul Ata, Egyptian ambassador to the fellow Middle-East state, told The Jordan Times in an interview for the anniversary that trade between the nations increased in 2011, and he expects another increase this year. This despite insurgent attacks reducing Egyptian gas production — alongside electricity the main export to Jordan. Jordan exports foodstuffs to Egypt and has just signed a deal increasing the prices it pays for gas. 2011 trade between the countries was worth US$1 billion.

The anniversary also saw a new trade deal with the US, signed by foreign trade and industry minister Mahmoud Eisa and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. President Barack Obama promises work to improve U.S. investment in, and trade with, nations changing political systems after the Arab Spring. Details remain to be agreed, but various proposals include US assistance for Egyptian small and medium enterprises. Both nations intend subjecting plans to ministerial scrutiny.

The U.S. hailed “several historic milestones in its transition to democracy” within a matter of days of Egypt’s revolution. This despite U.S.-Egypt ties being close during Mubarak’s rule.

US$1 billion in grants has been received already from Qatar and Saudi Arabia but army rulers refused to take loans from Gulf nations despite offers-in-principle coming from nations including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Foreign aid has trickled in; no money at all has been sent from G8 nations, despite the G8 Deauville Partnership earmarking US$20 billion for Arab Spring nations.

A total of US$7 billion was promised from the Gulf. The United Kingdom pledged to split £110 million between Egypt and Arab Spring initiator Tunisia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development says G8 money should start arriving in June, when the presidential election is scheduled.

The African Development Bank approved US$1.5 billion in loans whilst Mubarak still held power but, despite discussions since last March, no further funding has been agreed. The IMF offered a cheap loan six months ago, but was turned away. Foreign investment last year fell from US$6 billion to $375 million.

Rights, justice and public order remain contentious issues. Tantawi lifted the state of emergency on Tuesday, a day before the revolution’s anniversary, but left it in place to deal with the exception of ‘thuggery’. “This is not a real cancellation of the state of emergency,” said Islamist Wasat Party MP Essam Sultan. “The proper law designates the ending of the state of emergency completely or enforcing it completely, nothing in between.”

The same day, Amnesty International released a report on its efforts to establish basic human rights and end the death penalty in the country. Despite sending a ten-point manifesto to all 54 political parties, only the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (of the Egyptian Bloc liberals) and the left-wing Popular Socialist Alliance Party signed up. Measures included religious freedom, help to the impoverished, and rights for women. Elections did see a handful of women win seats in the new parliament.

The largest parliamentary group is the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Amnesty say did not respond. Oral assurances on all but female rights and abolition of the death penalty were given by Al-Nour, the Salafist runners-up in the elections, but no written declaration or signature.

“We challenge the new parliament to use the opportunity of drafting the new constitution to guarantee all of these rights for all people in Egypt. The cornerstone must be non-discrimination and gender equality,” said Amnesty, noting that the first seven points were less contentious amongst the twelve responding parties. There was general agreement for free speech, free assembly, fair trials, investigating Mubarak’s 30-year rule for atrocities, and lifting the state of emergency. A more mixed response was given to ensuring no discrimination against LGBT individuals, whilst two parties claimed reports of Coptic Christian persecution are exaggerated.

Mubarak himself is a prominent contender for the death penalty, currently on trial for the killings of protesters. The five-man prosecution team are also seeking death for six senior police officers and the chief of security in the same case. Corruption offences are also being tried, with Gamal Mubarak and Alaa Mubarak accused alongside their father Hosni.

The prosecution case has been hampered by changes in witness testimony and there are complaints of Interior Ministry obstruction in producing evidence. Tantawi has testified in a closed hearing that Mubarak never ordered protesters shot.

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Hisham Talaat Moustafa, an ex-MP and real estate billionaire, is another death penalty candidate. He, alongside Ahmed Sukkari, was initially sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim. A new trial was granted on procedural grounds and he is now serving a fifteen-year term for paying Sukkari US$2 million to slit 30-year-old’s Tamim’s throat in Dubai. Her assassin was caught when police followed him back to his hotel and found a shirt stained with her blood; he was in custody within two hours of the murder.

The court of appeals is now set to hear another trial for both men after the convictions were once more ruled unsound.

A military crackdown took place last November, the morning after a major protest, and sparking off days of violence. Egypt was wary of a repeat this week, with police and military massed near Tahrir Square whilst volunteers manned checkpoints into the square itself.

The military has pardoned and released at least 2,000 prisoners jailed following military trials, prominently including a blogger imprisoned for defaming the army and deemed troublesome for supporting Israel. 26-year-old Maikel Nabil was given a three year sentence in April. He has been on hunger strike alleging abuse at the hands of his captors. He wants normalised relations with Israel. Thousands have now left Tora prison in Cairo.

California Wine Tours For Bikes: A Quick Guide

By Wade Robins

California is one of the must-visit places at the moment for so many reasons. You can experience so much from just one place that it is impossible to get bored. However, you will not have experienced California properly until you go on a wine tour. Certain areas of the American state are all about the wine and this is most definitely the case in Napa Valley. Those looking for something different may still want to go on a wine tour, but something like the California wine tours for bikes. You can easily ride from winery to winery in Napa Valley because there are over three hundred within a relatively small area. You can visit several within a short space of time. California wine tours for bikes may therefore be worth a go!

California wine tours for bikes have a distinct beauty about them. Not only are you riding through the most beautiful countryside in the United States and will be blown away by the stunning landscape, you will also be able to access some of the best wineries in the world. There are some huge vineyards that would take all day to walk around but there are several other little treasures dotted all over the place that you can quite easily visit within the space of a day. Small family businesses often provide some of the best wines and you can truly experience the wine culture in California. Discovering these little gems would be a result of the California wine tours for bikes!

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The weather in California is perfect for California wine tours for bikes. The blue skies are present for most of the year and make the bike ride an absolute joy. As an extra bonus for those going on California wine tours for bikes, there are lanes on public highways especially for bikes so you can get from winery to winery without risking your life! You can arrange your own California wine tours for bikes or go with one of many companies that actually provide them as par for the course. There are many of these, but they are matched in number by bike hire places in the Napa Valley. You can hire a bike for the day or book onto California wine tours for bikes that last for a specific amount of hours with likeminded people.

California wine tours for bikes may also be offered as a vacation package with meals and accommodation thrown in. These are fantastic because you spend all week or weekend going around wineries experiencing the win and the atmosphere with people that may become friends! California wine tours for bikes should be a part of your vacation there.

The California wine tour is a must for anyone interested in wine and visiting California. There are many wineries open to the public so it may be worth just taking a few days to explore as many of them as you can. I guarantee that you will not be bored when you get there!

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