Truck bomb kills at least 80 in Afghan capital city center

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

In what Afghan president Ashraf Ghani called “a crime against humanity,” earlier this morning, local time, a septic tanker truck filled with explosives detonated not far from the German embassy in Kabul’s Wazir Akbar Khan area, during the city’s morning commute. According to the country’s health ministry, at least 83 bodies have been found and over 450 have been wounded. The ministry’s spokesperson, Ismail Kawasi, said most of the victims were civilians, including children.

It was a car bomb near the German embassy, but there are several other important compounds and offices near there too. It is hard to say what the exact target is

“The attack demonstrates a complete disregard for civilians and reveals the barbaric nature of the enemy faced by the Afghan people,” Ghani said in an official statement. “The terrorists, even in the holy month of Ramadan, the month of goodness, blessing and prayer, are not stopping the killing of our innocent people,” he said. General John W. Nicholson Jr., commander of American and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Afghanistan congratulated city security forces for preventing the truck from coming any closer to important government buildings and embassies.

This attack was unusual, though not unheard of, because of the sheer volume of the bomb involved. According to Kabul’s police chief, General Hassan Shah Frogh, “The blast was so huge that it dug a big crater as deep as four meters” (13 feet) and it damaged buildings as far as one mile (1.2 km) away.

Though an initial report by Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish claimed the site of the detonation as near one of the gates to the Afghan Presidential Palace, it was actually closer to the German embassy, which sustained considerable damage, according to NBC. Germany currently has more than 950 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and helped the Afghan security personnel in their training. “It was a car bomb near the German embassy, but there are several other important compounds and offices near there too. It is hard to say what the exact target is,” said police spokesperson Basir Mujahid.

The Taliban has denied any association with this attack. Western countries have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan for about 15 years, including the U.S., Germany, and Britain, but many of these countries withdrew much of their forces before 2015. Since then, the Taliban has come to control about 40% of Afghanistan, per U.S. estimates.

Wikinews interviews the Wikimania 2010 Poland bid promoter

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

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

Wikimania is an annual conference for users, developers and other people involved in the wiki projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is held yearly since 2005. The first conference was held in Frankfurt, Germany, on August 4-8, 2005. The second one was held in Boston, USA (on August 4-6, 2006), the third one was held in Taipei, Taiwan (on August 3-5, 2007), the fourth Wikimania was held in Alexandria, Egypt (on July 17-19, 2008) and Wikimania 2009 will be held in Buenos Aires.

Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Gda?sk, Montpellier and Oxford are among current unofficial Wikimania 2010 bids. Below is Wikinews‘ conversation with the Gda?sk bid promoter and initiator, Wojciech P?dzich.


Wikipedians from Tricity are involved in the process of making an offer, which will give Poland a chance of organizing a world-wide conference of Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimania 2010. Among the competing cities are Washington, D.C., Rio de Janeiro, and Oxford. This year the conference was held in Alexandria, Egypt, where the famous Library of Alexandria is located. Does Gda?sk stand a chance among such known cities?

Poland is still an interesting, unknown, and a cheap-to-visit country
  • Wojciech P?dzich: Because of Wikimania continental rotation, Australian and European bids have the biggest chances in 2010. Australian, because they have not hosted Wikimania yet, and Europe, because the first Wikimania was held in Frankfurt back in 2005. Do we have a chance among other European cities’ proposals? Poland is still an interesting, unknown, and a cheap-to-visit country with a comprehensive list of countries from which their members can visit Poland without requirement of having a visa. We propose the conference to be held inside two adjacent buildings – Polish Baltic Philharmonic and the Polish Maritime Museum buildings, located just few steps from Long Market at the city’s centre. Yes, I do think that our offer will be attractive and will give us a real chance of organizing the Wikimania 2010 in grad upon Mot?awa.

((WN)) The tagline of your proposal is Gda?sk – the city of freedom. Could you tell us, why do you promote yourself with this line?

  • Gda?sk is associated by many with freedom, with its political impact. On the other hand, we have the Wikimedia Foundation and its values of sharing knowledge created freely by volunteers. A conjunction of a cosmopolitan city with strong revolutionary and liberal inclinations and a world-wide free culture is in this case, kind of, natural.

((WN)) How many are involved into creating a proposal? Poland is relatively small country. Are you sure you will be able to guarantee the efficiency of conference, if your proposal wins?

We can say we have a great community potential here.
  • Poland is not exactly small – of course we cannot be compared to the USA, India, or China, but we are not a small country either. Let’s remember that according to the old way of presenting the Wikipedia language editions’ ranking, we were the fourth edition. Even after committing a change to this ranking system, we are still in the first ten. Therefore, we can say we have a great community potential here. Moreover, other Polish Wikimedia projects also place themselves within first tens of respective projects.
Speaking about people involved – so far we have only few, and sometimes I lament about that. Every next person is a possibility of sending few mails, talking with other people, additional pair of eyes looking at the offer, some ideas, contacts, knowledge. That’s why Patrol110 has spammed Pomeranian Wikipedians, so they could get involved, and so am I giving a weight to this: we need more people. Especially if our offer will win, but then I believe in another famous Polish “national spurt”.

((WN)) Were there, in Gda?sk, already some world-wide conferences? Did the city manage to organize them?

I do have a hope that we will get a world-wide coverage thanks to the Wikimania
  • On December 5 and 6, 2008, the 25th anniversary of awarding president Lech Wa??sa with Nobel Peace Prize was held. Furthermore, it was held inter alia inside the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, which we propose as a place of the Wikimania 2010 conference. It was an event with over one thousand attendants from all over the world, and the city, in my humble opinion, did manage to organize this very well. The mayor of the city, Pawe? Adamowicz, has confirmed it, by saying After successful celebrations of 25th anniversary of awarding Lech Wa??sa with the Nobel Peace Prize we see that we can organize big events. […] O?owianka does its job as a big congressional place perfectly. […] Gda?sk will, once again, get a world-wide coverage in Dziennik Ba?tycki interview. I do have a hope that we will get a world-wide coverage thanks to the Wikimania.
The City organizes a lot of cultural and trade events. There are Gda?sk International Fair, St. Dominik Fair, Shakespeare Festival, Good Humor Festival. We should also not forget other parts of the Tricity: Sopot and Gdynia which are also rich in cultural events.

((WN)) Lately Poland tried to get a bid for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and Euro 2012. Both actions have brought a large government support. How is it this time?

  • We’ve contacted the city’s authorities. After a meeting with representatives of the Mayor’s Promotion and Chancellery Department we have got assurance about supporting our actions, what was confirmed by Mayor’s letter sent to us. The representatives assure us about their support all the time. They even have made an initial reservation of both buildings for July 9-11, 2010. They also offer an organizational support, which will be extremely important in case or city is chosen.

((WN)) Poland is a part of the European Union. What about Wikimedians, who are inhabitants of countries requiring a visa?

  • As I stated before, the list of countries, which citizens are not required to have a visa when entering Poland for 90 days is pretty long[1], and it does not restrict to Schengen Agreement participants. Long list of Polish missions abroad[2] and freely available Visa application form [3] should allow easy access to Poland for other countries citizens.

((WN)) Information about Gda?sk application to host Wikimania started to appear in local media. What is local community reaction to this idea?

  • One can see it in the comments to the articles. Those that do not like Gda?sk in general are slightly against but most is for the idea. There are also people and organisations declaring help – I’ve got already some mails from potential supporters.

((WN)) As you said before some people are objecting, probably not knowing possible benefits. How will Gda?sk and it’s inhabitants benefit?

  • In addition of prestige, as we are talking about international event run by the organisation managing a flagship of Free Culture movement, world’s focus, city presence in world’s media, the conference will cause a money influx, new guests who can decide whether to come back to the city or suggest visiting it to their friends. We try not to make any troubles to city inhabitants, hoping that a conference held in one place will not paralyse the whole city.

((WN)) Many possible visitors are not able to cover the cost of travel to Wikimania. What about organizers sponsorship?

  • It will depend on talks with companies willing to be sponsors. But I do not imagine leaving such requests unanswered.

((WN)) Wikimania is not only lectures, but also a possibility for long night talks with participants from other countries. How does Gda?sk’s night-life looks like?

  • There are plenty of places where you can meet and talk with each other. You can see it in a draft offer where one can see hundreds of places where you can talk while eating and drinking. Proximity of Old Town invites for a walk through streets with a wonderful and unmatched atmosphere, you can only feel by yourself.

((WN)) English is the language of Wikimania. Will the attendants be able to communicate with employees of restaurants, clubs, shops, etc.?

  • Personally, I encountered the shop assistant, who couldn’t sell the product to foreign people only once; also just once I saw a rough translation of “polska kuchnia” as “Polish kitchen” instead of “Polish cuisine”. The Poles are able to communicate in English, I saw their communicativeness by teaching adults English for seven years. Most of menus and other informations in Old City’s venues are translated into English and German, and the waiters know English at a level, which allows the customers to get a trouble-free service.

File:Wpedzich z synkiem.jpg

Wojciech P?dzich (b. 1979) – comes from Szczytno, graduate of English linguistics in 2001, inhabitant of Gda?sk since 2001. Except of husband and father’s roles, an employee of the Purchase Department in a power hydraulics company. Involved in Wikimedia projects since December 2006, in the beginning as a translator of articles and guidelines for Polish Wikipedia, then the administrator of the project, a member of the first Arbitration Committee Board in Polish Wikipedia. Wikimedia projects’ steward since December 2007, member of the Wikimedia Polska Association. One of the initiators of Gda?sk Wikimania 2010 bid proposal.

EPA block massive West Australian energy project

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

The Western Australian (WA) Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has advised against the massive Greater Gorgon liquefied natural gas project off WA’s Pilbara coast. Proponents of the projects say Gorgon is one of Australia’s biggest export ventures, scheduled to provide up to 6,000 jobs and exports of up to $1.2 billion.

EPA chairman Dr Wally Cox said the Gorgon project operators (Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell), had made an effort on flora and fauna issues but in its present state, the Gorgon proposal was “unacceptable.” Gorgon LNG general manager Colin Beckett said that Gorgon was a world-class gas field and that the joint venture partners were confident that the decision would be reversed.

Environment Minister Mark McGowan said there was a definite process to be followed. The Minister says he will make a final decision on the Gorgon proposal after considering the EPA report – and any subsequent report from the Appeals Convenor. The EPA recommendations on the Gorgon proposal are subject to a two-week appeals period.

The EPA’s Dr Cox said that joint venture had “not been able to demonstrate that impacts from dredging, the introduction of non-indigenous species and the potential loss of fauna could be reduced to acceptable levels.”

In September 2003 the WA government provided “in-principle agreement” to the Gorgon joint venturers subject to a number of conditions. Dr Cox said that the Environmental Review and Management Programme had further highlighted the terrestrial and marine conservation values of Barrow Island and the adjacent waters.

Flatback turtles in particular would be put at risk from the proposal with two of the most important nesting beaches located adjacent to the proposed LNG processing plant site and the materials off-loading facility,” Dr Cox said. “There is very little science available on the life-cycle, behaviour and feeding habits of Flatback turtles and as a consequence it is not possible at this time to identify management measures that would ensure ongoing survival of this Pilbara Flatback turtle population.”

Dr Cox also said that the Proponent had not been able to demonstrate that risk could be reduced to satisfactory levels in the areas of: Impacts on the marine ecosystem from dredging; The introduction of non-indigenous species; Potential loss of subterranean and short range endemic invertebrate fauna species. “As a result, the proposal in its present form cannot meet the EPA’s environmental objectives and is considered environmentally unacceptable,” Dr Cox said.

SEPTA buys rail cars from NJ Transit to deal with crowding

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

As gas prices have risen in the United States, the regional transport authority for southeastern Pennsylvania, SEPTA, has seen a sharp increase in ridership, which has caused overcrowding on the trains.

“As fuel prices have continued to rise, SEPTA ridership has steadily increased and is the highest in 18 years,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey. Monthly ridership was 22 percent higher last month than a year ago.

“They have crushed loads on their rail lines, already where people are standing, and there’s not enough seats,” said Rich Bickel, the director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

“At peak times some railcars are standing room only and commuter parking lots are nearly full. All Regional Rail lines are running near full capacity and the train station parking lots are at about 90 percent capacity or more,” SEPTA spokesperson Felipe Suarez said.

While SEPTA awaits new Silverliner V trains from Hyundai Rotem, which begin arriving in 2009, it had hoped to lease eight rail cars from New Jersey Transit, at an agreed-upon rate of US$10,000 per month. However, due to problems with insurance and liability indemnification, the deal fell through, according to Casey.

SEPTA has entered a new agreement to purchase the eight rail cars from NJ Transit. The transit authority will pay US$670,000 for the cars and assorted supplies plus one additional inoperative car which will be used for spare parts. The rail cars will be operated using a SEPTA provided locomotive as they are not self-propelled.

The cars are being disposed of by NJ Transit because it has switched from single-floor cars to double-decker cars.

SEPTA is expecting to raise US$3.1 million by selling rail that has been out of service since 1981 at auction.

Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics

Monday, December 3, 2007

At Thanksgiving dinner David Shankbone told his white middle class family that he was to interview Reverend Al Sharpton that Saturday. The announcement caused an impassioned discussion about the civil rights leader’s work, the problems facing the black community and whether Sharpton helps or hurts his cause. Opinion was divided. “He’s an opportunist.” “He only stirs things up.” “Why do I always see his face when there’s a problem?”

Shankbone went to the National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem with this Thanksgiving discussion to inform the conversation. Below is his interview with Al Sharpton on everything from Tawana Brawley, his purported feud with Barack Obama, criticism by influential African Americans such as Clarence Page, his experience running for President, to how he never expected he would see fifty (he is now 53). “People would say to me, ‘Now that I hear you, even if I disagree with you I don’t think you’re as bad as I thought,'” said Sharpton. “I would say, ‘Let me ask you a question: what was “bad as you thought”?’ And they couldn’t say. They don’t know why they think you’re bad, they just know you’re supposed to be bad because the right wing tells them you’re bad.”

Contents

  • 1 Sharpton’s beginnings in the movement
  • 2 James Brown: a father to Sharpton
  • 3 Criticism: Sharpton is always there
  • 4 Tawana Brawley to Megan Williams
  • 5 Sharpton and the African-American media
  • 6 Why the need for an Al Sharpton?
  • 7 Al Sharpton and Presidential Politics
  • 8 On Barack Obama
  • 9 The Iraq War
  • 10 Sharpton as a symbol
  • 11 Blacks and whites and talking about race
  • 12 Don Imus, Michael Richards and Dog The Bounty Hunter
  • 13 Sources

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik sentenced to four years in prison

Thursday, February 18, 2010

File:At the Landfill.jpg

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release on Thursday after pleading guilty to eight felony charges. Among these were tax fraud and lying to Bush administration officials during his unsuccessful nomination for US Secretary of Homeland Security in 2004.

This sentence is contrary to a plea agreement made in November between Kerik’s legal counsel and the prosecution. Per this accord, federal attorneys recommended a sentence of no longer than 33 months in prison, opposed to the 48 months that US District Judge Stephen Robinson (who was not bound to this agreement) chose to hand down instead.

“I think it’s fair to say that with great power comes great responsibility and great consequences,” Judge Robinson said upon sentencing. “I think the damage caused by Mr. Kerik is in some ways immeasurable.”

“Today’s sentencing of Bernard Kerik is one of the most powerful recent reminders that no one in this country is above the law,” added US Attorney Preet Bharara.

Kerik, who was accompanied by his wife and three children, briefly addressed the court: “I make no excuses. I take full responsibility for the grave mistakes I’ve made. Believe me when I say I have learned from this and I have become and will continue to become a better person.”

“I know I must be punished,” he went on to say. “I only ask that you allow me to return to my wife and two little girls as soon as possible.”

According to the New York City Department of Corrections, Kerik is slated to begin serving his sentence on May 17. Although the prosecution made clear their desire for Kerik to be imprisoned immediately, Judge Robinson allowed him to surrender himself later in the day so that he would have sufficient time to “get his affairs in order.” Kerik has been awaiting sentencing under house arrest at his home in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey since November when said plea agreement was reached.

Kerik, a military veteran and undercover detective, was a trusted advisor to former US Attorney and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for whom he worked for as a bodyguard and a driver.

Kerik later served as both corrections and police commissioner. His distinguished actions following the 2001 September 11th Attacks transformed him into a respected national figure. This earned him the praise of then-president George W. Bush, who in turn nominated him for the lead Homeland Security post. It was during the vetting process that Kerik’s suspected ties to organized crime came out. This marked the beginning of his long fall from grace.

Outside the courthouse, Kerik gave a statement to the media and general public before being driven home: “I’d like to apologize to the American people for the mistakes I have made and for which I have just accepted responsibility. As history is written, I can only hope that I will be judged for the 30 years of service I have given to this country and the City of New York. It has not and will not diminish my love for this country.”

Kerik’s lawyer, when asked by The New York Times if they planned to appeal this sentence, simply replied, “No comment.”

Peepal Farm helps 9 rescued dogs cross 8000+ miles across 3 countries to their homes

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Nine rescued Indian-breed dogs are scheduled to join homes in the United States through the India-based animal rescue and recovery center Peepal Farm. The organization decided to take all nine in one big trip to consolidate the costs and paperwork and number of volunteers. Co-founder Joellen Anderson plans to take the animals across the U.S. in a camper van starting the first week of December.

Peepal Farm is an animal rescue and recovery center in Himachal Pradesh, India. It was founded by Shivani, Robin, and Anderson to help stray animals in and around the area and raise awareness of the cruel treatment of strays in India.

Peepal Farm is a stray animal rescue, vegan organic farm, and a low-impact farmstay. It was built in the Himalayan Foothills to accommodate recovering injured stray animals, people who want to do good work, and an organic garden to supplement the diet of all residents.

Peepal Farm is based on the philosophy that every action for survival leaves a “suffering footprint,” especially any act of consumption. As such, the organization focuses on mindful consumption and making survival purposeful through good work, such as alleviating physical pain.

Due to limited space at the recovery center, they have to release the stray animals back on the streets to make space for the incoming patients. However, some animals are either too young or need long term care, so they started a dog adoption campaign called “Adopt Happiness.” They had some success in getting the dogs adopted by locals and dog lovers in India and abroad.

The costs of getting the dogs to their homes was often a consideration of people willing to adopt and Peepal Farm adapted by sharing the cost by getting volunteers traveling the same destinations as the dog’s intended home.

[edit]

Tornadoes cause millions in damages in Waco, Texas

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Early Saturday morning winds up to 90 miles per hour struck Waco, Texas and central McLennan County, United States, causing widespread damage and leaving many households without electricity.

No deaths or serious injuries have been reported; however, there is a tremendous amount of damage in 15 areas of the city, leading Mayor Virgina DuPuy to declare the city a disaster area.

The hardest hit area was Franklin Avenue, where the Coca-Cola bottling plant’s roof was peeled open as if by a giant can-opener. There were Sprite bottles spread out onto the street. The nearby Furniture Row shopping center was also hit hard. Some furniture was found as far as three-quarters of a mile away. Other hard-hit areas were Robinson, Hewitt, Woodway, and Speegleville. Densely populated Inner Waco was spared of any catastrophic damage, though hundreds, and possibly thousands, of trees have fallen, and roofs destroyed.

The main concern is restoring power to over 23,000 households and businesses. Many gas stations and grocery stores in the disaster areas were closed until power is restored. Those that remained open have had to throw out all perishable items. Also of concern is getting electricity to those with medical needs. The city has provided help to those without power at the Dewey Recreation Center.

The storm is the hardest to hit the area since the tornado that struck on May 11, 1953, which tore through downtown and killed 114 people.

Waco has seen more than its share of tornadoes recently. Only a week ago, an F1 tornado damaged many houses along Orchid and Kendall Lanes. No people were injured, though two horses were killed when their stable collapsed.

The National Weather Service confirmed this morning’s winds were a F2 tornado, where wind speeds may have reached 115 miles per hour in some locations.

Category:United States Geological Survey

This is the category for the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a federal scientific agency of the US Government that studies landscape, natural resources, and natural hazards.

In most cases it is NOT sufficient, for inclusion in this category, that an article cite USGS for the magnitude of an earthquake. That’s routine statistics-gathering for USGS, and probably applies to a large fraction of all articles in Category:Earthquakes, so automatic inclusion of all such articles here would dilute the category, making it less useful for finding articles of particular relevance to USGS.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

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Interview with Tony Ciufo, City Council candidate for Ward 10 in Mississauga, Canada

Friday, September 22, 2006

The upcoming 2006 Mississauga municipal election, to be held November 13, features an array of candidates looking to represent their wards in city council.

Wikinews contributor Nicholas Moreau has contacted as many candidates as possible, including Tony Ciufo, asking them to answer common questions sent in an email. There is no incumbent in the newly created ward; the sixteen resident competing for the position are Shah Rukh Alam, John Briers, Jamie Dookie, Dale D’Souza, Prag Euclid, Adnan Hashmi, Elias Hazineh, Jack Janiak, Fasal Javaid, Craig Lawrence, Sue M. McFadden, Patrick Mendes, Barbara Polis, Graziano Roti, Ali Tahmourpour, and Scott Wilson.