Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Kristen Monster, Willowdale

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Kristen Monster is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Willowdale 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.

Harp seal hunt approved by Canada, activists call for boycott of Canadian seafood

March 23, 2005

Ottawa says it will allow the harvest of 320,000 young seals this year, prompting a backlash from international environmental activists who call for a boycott of the Canadian fisheries products.

The seal hunt is an annual event on the ice floes off the east coast of Canada where the seal nurseries give birth. This year’s hunt begins March 29, and lasts for two months.

The government reports the harp seal population is large and healthy. “The harp seal herd – the most important seal herd for this industry – is estimated at around five million animals, nearly the highest level ever recorded, and almost triple what it was in the 1970s,” a Department of Fisheries and Oceans statement said. Large scale hunts will continue to be allowed until the harp seal population drops below four million.

Environmental activists protest and observe the hunt annually, but this year’s larger number of seals has brought a bigger response. Observers are already in the hunt area, and officials said if too many show up they will be prevented from interfering with the hunt. The annual protests, and the publication of photos of the hunt, are a public relations problem for Canada.

Protests were held in 50 cities around the world last week, and activists say they would press consumers and restaurants to avoid Canadian fish for at least the duration of the hunt.

“We’re going to be encouraging consumers to enter into dialogue with their grocery stores and their restaurants and say ‘Please don’t serve Canadian seafood’ or ‘I won’t buy Canadian seafood until this hunt is over’,” said Pat Ragan of the Humane Society of the United States [HSUS] to Reuters.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare sponsored two independent veterinary teams to observe the 2001 hunt which concluded the animals are often (42% of the time) killed in an inhumane manner and not in accordance with Canada’s own laws.

Boyzone member Stephen Gately dies at age 33

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Boyzone member Stephen Gately has died suddenly at the age of 33 while on holiday on the Spanish island of Majorca.

Gately was on holiday with his partner Andrew Cowles when his body was found on Saturday. The information was confirmed on Boyzone’s official website on Sunday. The other members of Boyzone were said to be travelling to the same island on Sunday before his death was discovered. Dan Wootton, showbusiness editor for British tabloid News of the World, told BBC News that the singer had left the means of accommodation to go out for some drinks, returned, fell asleep and never woke up again. Spanish police report his body was found on a sofa in the lounge.

Louis Walsh, manager of the group and also a judge on UK television singing competition The X Factor, commented, “We’re all absolutely devastated. I’m in complete shock. I was only with him on Monday at an awards ceremony. We don’t know much about what’s happened yet. I only heard after The X Factor and we will rally around each other this week. He was a great man.”

A spokesperson for Spanish police said today in Majorca, “[a]t the moment it is not known how he died. There are no signs of suspicious circumstances. “Gately’s time of death was given as approximately 13.45 UTC. The police spokesperson added, “[d]etails remain pretty unclear. We managed to take a look at some documents, they tell us that police received the body around half past four. We think we know he was drinking in a bar, perhaps they went to a restaurant, but none of this is confirmed.”

Gately’s family hope to hold his funeral in Dublin, Gately’s home town. A representative of the family stated they are “shattered”.

British motorists showered with cash on motorway

Friday, June 17, 2005

Drivers on Britain’s M3 motorway were stunned to be confronted with a shower of cash on Tuesday evening.

Eleven thousand pounds‘ worth of £20 notes were blown from the rucksack of a passenger on a motorcycle at 7:30pm, while the motorway was busy with traffic.

Just £500 was recovered; the rest is believed to have been blown away in the windy evening. At least four other drivers quickly stopped, causing Hampshire police concern for safety.

The police are now investigating as to why the pair were carrying so much money. Carrying large amounts of money is not illegal, but is highly unusual. The riders said they had been to a car auction, returning empty-handed.

The motorcyclists re-started their journey, but the cycle broke down just two junctions on.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Airline checks Dell and Apple computers for hazard

Thursday, January 18, 2007

 Correction — May 3, 2007 The author of this article has not provided sufficient references for all claims made in this story. As such, it might not be 100% accurate. 

Qantas, Australia’s primary airline, has begun checking the batteries of Dell and Apple computers and in some cases removing them for the safety of the passengers. This relatively new safety precaution was sparked by a battery recall a few months ago. 4 million Dell laptops worldwide were recalled after some of the laptop batteries exploded, causing the laptop to erupt into a fireball.

Although Qantas has yet to release a statement, they are expected to within the next few days. The company said in an interview that the practice has been occurring for a number of months for the passengers’ safety to mitigate the rare chance of fire.

In some circumstances yes, the cabin staff shall ask some passengers to remove the battery of their laptop in order for them to check there is no chance of the battery being a fire hazard. This is however managed by the cabin crew and not the airline management itself.
—Sharron, an employee of Qantas.

Romanian government to strengthen laws against tax evasion

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Romanian government has drafted legislation pertaining to tax evasion that makes it a criminal offence on the same level as crimes against individuals. Developed with the aid of Romania’s business community, the new law is expected to reduce corruption and tax evasion. According to the new law, the maximum jail term for tax evasion will be boosted up to 20 years. This sentence, however, will only be passed in circumstances of large-scale fraud. For evasion of up to the equivalent of 10,000 euro, the punishment will be either a fine or up to 2 years in prison. For tax fraud of up to 500,000 euro, the term will be extended to 2-8 years in prison. It is only for those whose tax evasion exceeds 1 million euro that the jail term will range between 10 and 20 years.

In the same package of legislation, the government approved several changes to banckruptcy law, which makes it easier for businesses to file for bankruptcy. The new laws are expected to make Romania’s business environment cleaner, resulting in more foreign investment, less corruption and more revenue for the government.

At the start of the year, the Romanian government introduced a new flat tax system for Romania, in which the tax rate is 19% for both personal income and corporate profit. This has led Romania to have one of the most liberal tax policies in Europe. The lower rate of tax has already reduced fiscal evasion to a significant extent because more people and businesses are encouraged to pay the tax. However, in order to further reduce the grey economy in Romania, advisers said at the start of the year that the government must also back this up with tougher legislation against tax evasion. Previously, Romania’s tax evasion laws were fairly lax, leading to quite a significant extent of tax fraud. Now, with the new, highly-publicised tax evasion laws, it is expected that the risk of getting prosecuted for not paying an already-low tax rate will force many businesses out of the black market into the legal economy.