Rwandan businessmen sentenced for War Crimes

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Two Rwandan businessmen were sentenced to 10 and 12 years for their role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The two, tried in Belgium, could have faced up to 25 years in prison, the court decided on a lesser sentence as the convicted businessmen played no direct role in the killings. They were convicted based on their offers of transportation and weapons to Hutu militas in the planned massacre of Tutsis in a church and a municipal building where Tutsis and Hutus had met.

The trial was one of only two ground-breaking trials held in Belgium since local law changed to allow Belgian courts to prosecute violations of the Geneva conventions on the conduct of war regardless of where the violations occurred. The law was revised in 2003 to limit its scope as activists had attempted to seek the prosecution of world leaders including United States President George W. Bush. As Belgian citizens, the two Rwandans were subject to the new law.

The 1994 Rwandan genocide was an eruption of ethnic conflict where Hutu militia, supported by the Hutu dominated government and encouraged by ‘hate radio’, attempted to ethnically cleanse the minority Tutsi. Despite numerous warnings the international community did not take serious action to prevent the atrocities, which included hacking people to death with machetes, and forcing people into buildings that were then destroyed with bulldozers. Estimates place the number killed at up to one million.

A major programme is trying to complete trials for genocidaires by the end of 2008. Major perpetrators are being tried at four courts of the International Criminal Tribunal in Tanzania, while in Rwanda Gacaca courts are reaching the end of the investigation stage, after which communities will collectively decide on guilt and punishment at weekly Gacaca sessions throughout the summer.

New method of displaying time patented

Saturday, October 14, 2006

An American inventor has patented a pair of new time formats with a footprint less than 50% of that of conventional four-digit time. The more unusual of the two new formats, called “TWELV”, dispenses with numerals altogether. In place of clock hands or digits, the new clock uses color to convey the hour and a moon image to convey the minute, which moon slowly grows throughout the course of an hour from a narrow crescent to a full-fledged circle.

The second and more approachable of the new formats retains numerical digits to indicate the minute but uses colors to convey the hour.

Early critics question whether the aesthetic benefits of the moon-clock will be sufficient to encourage users to learn the color-based time-telling system. However, the size advantages of the new system may make it particularly suitable for mobile applications, particularly cell phones, wearable computers, and head-mounted displays.

Category:August 3, 2010

? August 2, 2010
August 4, 2010 ?
August 3

Pages in category “August 3, 2010”

School on Australia’s Sunshine Coast makes staff redundant, requests they apply for ‘new’ jobs

This article’s primary contributor, Patrick Gillett, is an alumnus of Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wikinews has obtained a list of middle management teaching staff allegedly made redundant, or laid off due to restructuring, by Sunshine Coast Grammar School (SCGS), in Queensland, Australia. Sources say that those staff have been told that they can apply for new positions that have opened up.

The list, published on the SCGS alumni Facebook page, contains the names of twenty-two staff members, eight of which taught this article’s primary contributor. Seventeen positions are reportedly being opened up by the private Christian school, eight of which seem to significantly overlap the old ones.

The changes are, apparently, designed to get teachers back into the classroom. “We are not cutting subject choices and extracurricular activities, but retaining a student-driven curriculum that integrates with the new Australian Curriculum, in keeping with our commitment to teaching and learning opportunities,” said headmaster Nigel Fairbairn.

Fairbairn could not guarantee that any of the staff would be given a position in 2011. “That will depend on how many people on that list apply for new positions of responsibility and are successful,” he said.

“The Head of the School cannot guarantee the 21 staff a job at the School in the future, with many of the positions being advertised to external applicants,” said Terry Burke, secretary for the Independent Education Union of Australia Queensland branch (Queensland Independent Education Union, QIEU).

“There has been little or no consultation with affected staff, who should not have to reapply for their jobs,” he said. “Most of the proposed restructuring is highly questionable and places at risk the high quality education at the School.”

Some former students responded angrily to the news.

Four of the affected teachers “were the backbone of the school when [controversy surrounded founding headmaster John Burgess] happened,” a former prefect (student leader) said. “They got it through that crisis and this is the thanks they get.”

“People are angry and shocked,” they continued. “I am aware of at least 10 families who have said they will pull their children out of the school – it’s that bad.”

The student body has not ruled out protesting the schools plans. “It’s getting to that stage,” the former prefect said. “People are trying to look at it in an intelligent way but there is so much anger out there.”

Wikinews understands that Fairbairn attracted criticism when he was a head teacher in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a former student claimed that Fairbairn “replaced the open and welcoming culture … with the tyrannical and oppressive one.”

US House of Representatives rejects bail out bill in vote

Monday, September 29, 2008

The US House of Representatives rejected a bill on the USD 700 billion bail out of US banks. The voting on the bill has completed.

If passed, the bailout plan would have allowed for the United States government to purchase devalued mortgage backed securities, resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis from troubled financial institutions. The US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has said that the plan could cost up to $700 billion.

There has been considerable debate over several parts of the plan, which failed with 228 votes opposing, 205 supporting, and 1 not voting. The bill had much more support by the Democratic Party (with 60% of Democrats voting “aye”) than the Republican Party (of which only 33% voted for the bill).

George W. Bush described the bill before the vote was made. “This legislation deals with complex issues, and negotiators were asked to address them in a very short period of time. I appreciate the leadership of members on both sides of the aisle, who came together when our nation was counting on them. Negotiations are sometimes difficult, but their hard work and cooperation paid off,” he said, in a speech in which Bush begged politicians to support the bill.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Question One: Should the bill have passed?Question Two: Why didn’t the bill pass?
Add or view comments

Bush continued describing the bill. “The bipartisan economic rescue plan addresses the root cause of the financial crisis — the assets related to home mortgages that have lost value during the housing decline. Under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, the federal government will be authorized to purchase these assets from banks and other financial institutions, which will help free them to resume lending to businesses and consumers.”

According to BBC News, congressmen opposed the bill after receiving 50 times as many letters against the bill as for the bill. George Bush attempted to respond to the criticisms of the bill by US citizens. “I know many Americans are worried about the cost of the bill, and I understand their concern. This bill commits up to 700 billion taxpayer dollars, because a large amount of money is necessary to have an impact on our financial system. However, both the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget expect that the ultimate cost to the taxpayer will be far less than that”.

New method of displaying time patented

Saturday, October 14, 2006

An American inventor has patented a pair of new time formats with a footprint less than 50% of that of conventional four-digit time. The more unusual of the two new formats, called “TWELV”, dispenses with numerals altogether. In place of clock hands or digits, the new clock uses color to convey the hour and a moon image to convey the minute, which moon slowly grows throughout the course of an hour from a narrow crescent to a full-fledged circle.

The second and more approachable of the new formats retains numerical digits to indicate the minute but uses colors to convey the hour.

Early critics question whether the aesthetic benefits of the moon-clock will be sufficient to encourage users to learn the color-based time-telling system. However, the size advantages of the new system may make it particularly suitable for mobile applications, particularly cell phones, wearable computers, and head-mounted displays.

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

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”.

Get Help From A Personal Injury Law Firm In Atlanta

byadmin

Filing a personal injury case is not always easy. This type of tort case places the full burden of proof on the plaintiff. This means you must be able to provide ample information on proving your injuries occurred because of the neglect or willful actions of another person. These types of cases cover medical negligence, slip and falls and auto accidents, among others. If you have been injured because of another party, you have the right to pursue them for your injuries, pain and suffering, damages and even punitive damages. Through the help of a Personal Injury Law Firm in Atlanta, you can know your rights and do all you can to protect them.

What Can You Expect When Filing a Personal Injury Tort Case?

Before your case is filed, the Personal Injury Law Firm in Atlanta will go through the discovery portion of your case. This is when the investigation is done and evidence is gathered. Your lawyer may work with an investigator to gather photographs, video and eyewitness statements. Any information that can be gathered could potentially help you in your pursuit of compensation.

As a part of the gathering process, all discovered information is required by law to be shared with the defendant and his or her attorney. This is typically done before a third-party mediator during what is known as a mediation meeting. This is where both sides discuss any new findings in the case. It is during this time, some cases are able to be settled, though this is not always possible. If any or all of the aspects of the case go unsettled, your case will be scheduled for trial, where both sides will give their evidence and information so the jury can make a final decision.

If you have suffered from a personal injury, there is no reason for you to fight alone. The law is on your side and allows you to pursue the responsible person for compensation. To get legal help with your case, make sure you seek help from the law office of Affleck And Gardon. They will be glad to help you and will fight to get you the compensation you are deserving of.

Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

On the campaign trail in the USA, June 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The following is the second edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the effect of the Brexit vote on the US presidential election is examined; a well known businessman and sports team owner pitches his candidacy for vice president; and Wikinews interviews the winner of the American Independent Party California primary.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Brexit’s impact on the US presidential election
  • 3 Cuban makes vice presidential pitch
  • 4 California American Independent Party primary winner speaks to Wikinews
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources