Wikinews interviews U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wikinews held an exclusive interview with Cynthia McKinney, one of the candidates for the Green Party nomination for the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

McKinney is a former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and held her seat for ten years until being defeated by Denise Majette in 2002. She was the first ever African American woman from her state to be elected to Congress.

We asked her why she made the recent switch to the Green Party. She replied, “Due to the importance of environmental issues, Green issues are the issues of today. The Ten Key Values ofthe Green Party stress us getting along with each other in harmony with the planet that gives us life.”

When asked about how she would handle Iraq she replied, “I would instruct the Joint Chiefs to draw up a plan for the orderly withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the country. I would dismantle our military bases in the area, and I would also demand that U.S. andother international corporations relinquish any claims to Iraqi oil orother resources and withdraw as well.”

McKinney is running for president because, basically, she thinks that “it’s time that the people win”.

US declares public health emergency over spread of swine flu

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today at a news conference that the U.S. has declared a public health emergency in light of the swine flu outbreak. The total number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States stands at 20.

Secretary Napolitano said that the United States’ declaration follows suit with the “standard operating procedure” of such an outbreak to make more government resources available to combat the disease. One direct result of the declaration is the government’s mobilization of approximately 12 million doses of Tamiflu to locations where the states can quickly access their share of the medication if needed.

Secretary Napolitano urged residents not to panic saying that the government is issuing a “declaration of emergency preparedness.” Secretary Napolitano added, “Really that’s what we’re doing right now. We’re preparing in an environment where we really don’t know ultimately what the size of seriousness of this outbreak is going to be.”

John Brennan, a Homeland Security assistant, added that “at this point, a top priority is to ensure that communication is robust and that medical surveillance efforts are fully activated.”

This afternoon, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reported that 8 students from the St. Francis Prepatory School in Queens, New York have contracted the swine flu. All in all, more than 100 students from that high school were absent last week with flu-like symptoms.

Meanwhile, public health officials in Ohio today announced one confirmed case of swine flu in the state. Thus far, California has reported 7 confirmed cases of swine flu, while Kansas and Texas have each reported two confirmed cases.

At the same news conference Dr. Richard Besser, the acting director from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said to expect additional cases of swine flu to be reported in the short term. Dr. Besser added that the U.S. could also start seeing cases of the disease where the effects are more dramatic: “We’re going to see more severe disease in this country”. So far, no one in the U.S. has died from swine flu.

Ousted Honduran president says crisis deal has failed

Friday, November 6, 2009

An aide to ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said that a deal designed to end the country’s political crisis has failed, after interim leader Roberto Micheletti announced the formation of a new cabinet.

Micheletti said late on Thursday that he is installing a national unity government without the participation of Zelaya, who has declined to name any cabinet members. The two signed an agreement last week to resolve the four-month political standoff. A new government was set to begin Thursday.

Zelaya warned on Thursday the accord was at risk of collapsing unless the Honduran Congress held a vote to restore him to power immediately to serve out his term that ends in January. Honduras elects a new president on November 29.

Congress must vote on Zelaya’s restitution, but has not yet done so. The recently signed pact does not stipulate a deadline for the Congressional vote.

The United States, a major broker in the mediation efforts, said this week the next step in the political crisis is up to Honduras. The governments of several countries have threatened not to recognize the presidential elections if Zelaya is not first returned to power.

Zelaya was ousted in a military-backed coup in June, but returned to Honduras in September, where he has taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa.

Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

Two Iraqi women, one pregnant, killed by US soldiers

Friday, June 2, 2006

Two women, one of them about to give birth, were shot dead by US forces as they rode in a car headed toward a maternity hospital in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, according to witnesses and Iraqi police Capt. Laith Mohammed.

Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, 35, and her 57-year-old cousin, Saliha Mohammed Hassan, were killed by the gunfire, according to the Associated Press. Jassim, a mother of two, was pregnant with her third child; doctors at a nearby hospital tried unsuccessfully to save the baby.

Khalid Nisaif Jassim told reporters that he was rushing his sister to the hospital for childbirth. “I was driving my car at full speed because I did not see any sign or warning from the Americans. It was not until they shot the two bullets that killed my sister and cousin that I stopped.

“God take revenge on the Americans and those who brought them here,” he added. “They have no regard for our lives.”

A US military statement released Friday disputed the account. “A local national sedan entered a clearly marked prohibited area near coalition troops at an observation post,” the statement read. “As the vehicle neared the troop location and failed to stop despite repeated visual and auditory signals, disabling shots were fired into the vehicle. The vehicle stopped, changed direction, and quickly departed the area.”

The e-mailed statement to the Associated Press also expressed regret for the loss of life, noting that “coalition forces go to great lengths to prevent them.”

The Washington Post reported that the women’s bodies were “wrapped in sheets and lying on stretchers outside the Samarra General Hospital before being taken to the morgue, while residents pointed to bullet holes on the windshield of a car and a pool of blood on the seat”.

The US military has increased the number of investigations into charges of misconduct against US troops, most notably following the alleged mass murder of as many as 24 civilians in the town of Haditha, west of Baghdad. Initially, 15 civilians and eight insurgents were reported dead in gunfire following a roadside bombing that killed a US Marine. Military spokesman Major-General William Caldwell said, “there are three or four (investigations) at least at this time” and that they are in “the first stages.”

Canada’s Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Monday, October 30, 2006

On November 13, Torontoians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13). Two candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Linda Coltman, David Garrick, Greg Hamara, Aleksander Oniszczak, Bill Saundercook (incumbent), and Frances Wdowczyk.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Billy West, voice of Ren and Stimpy, Futurama, on the rough start that shaped his life

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ren and Stimpy. Bugs Bunny. Philip J. Fry and Professor Hubert Farnsworth on Futurama. Sparx. Bi-Polar Bear. Popeye the Sailor Man. Woody Woodpecker. You may not think you have ever heard Billy West, but chances are on a television program, a movie, a commercial, or as Howard Stern’s voice guru in the 1990’s, you have heard him. West’s talent for creating personalities by twisting his voice has made him one of a handful of voice actors—Hank Azaria and the late Mel Blanc come to mind—who have achieved celebrity for their talent. Indeed, West is one of the few voice actors who can impersonate Blanc in his prime, including characterizations of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and other characters from Warner Bros. cartoons.

What is the fulcrum in Mr. West’s life that led him to realize a talent to shape personalities with his voice, and how did the discovery of that gift shape him? Wikinews reporter David Shankbone found that like many great comedians, West faced more sour early in life than he did sweet. The sour came from a physically and emotionally abusive alcoholic father (“I could tell you the kind of night I was going to have from the sound of the key in the door or the way the car pulled up.”), to his own problems with drug and alcohol use (“There is a point that you can reach in your life where you don’t want to live, but you haven’t made the decision to die.”).

I’m telling you stuff that I never said to anybody…

If sin, suffering and redemption feel like the stages of an endless cycle of American existence, West’s own redemption from his brutalized childhood is what helped shape his gift. He performed little bits to cheer up his cowed mother, ravaged by the fact she could not stop her husband’s abuse of young West. “I was the whipping boy and she would just be reduced to tears a lot of times, and I would come in and say stuff, and I would put out little bits just to pull her out of it.”

But West has also enjoyed the sweet. His career blossomed as his talent for creating entire histories behind fictional characters and creatures simply by exploring nuance in his voice landed him at the top of his craft. You may never again be able to forget that behind the voice of your favorite character, there is often an extraordinary life.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with renowned voice actor Billy West, who for the first time publicly talks about the horrors he faced in his childhood; his misguided search for answers in anger, drugs and alcohol; and the peace he has achieved as one of America’s most recognizable voice actors.

Contents

  • 1 The use of celebrities for voiceovers
  • 2 Iconic characters and choosing projects
  • 3 Discovering his talent
  • 4 “It was a horror chamber where I grew up”
  • 5 West moves to Boston after his parents divorce
  • 6 How West dealt with his father’s abuse
  • 7 Rehabilitation and sobriety
  • 8 Is West glad he experienced addiction?
  • 9 West on his career
  • 10 West on politics
  • 11 Billy West on modern American society
  • 12 Billy West on telling it like it is
  • 13 Source

Barclays Bank credit rating cut by Moody’s

Monday, February 2, 2009

An international credit ratings agency has downgraded the creditworthiness of British bank Barclays LSEBARC

The bank’s shares fell on the news that Moody’s had cut long-term debt ratings from “Aa1” to “Aa3” on the back of fears of nationalization, significant losses and write downs of more bad loans as the recession bites. The bank’s financial strength was also downgraded from “C” to “B”. Last week, another agency, Fitch, downgraded the bank one step to “AA-minus”.

Barclays is one of the few major “High Street” banks in the UK not to have taken any government capital support. The support is given in return for shares, giving the government significant – sometimes even controlling – stakes in other banks, such as Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Moody’s said that the downgrades “reflect [our] expectation of potentially significant further losses at Barclays as a result of write-downs on credit market exposures as well as an increase in impairments in the UK, which could weaken profitability and capital ratios… [we consider] the systemic importance of the bank and the likelihood of receiving government support in case of need to be high.”

The bank has forecast a pre-tax profit of £5.3 billion for 2008. It has £36 billion in committed capital equity and expects gross write downs of £8 billion. The bank has recently been referred to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office over allegations of breaching South Africa’s foreign exchange controls, something the bank denies.

Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.