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Eurovision ’73 winner Anne Marie David discusses her four-decade career and the Contest, past and present

Monday, February 16, 2009

In the 1970s, she was one of the most popular female vocalists in France, and became well-known internationally. Anne Marie David, from Arles in the south of France, parlayed her initial success from playing Mary Magdalene in the French production of Jesus Christ Superstar into taking home the “grand prix” at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973. Her winning song, “Tu te reconnaîtras” (You will recognize yourself), became a Europe-wide hit that spring.

At the height of her popularity, David perfomed world tours, and even lived abroad in Turkey for a time. In 1979, she tried once again to win the Eurovision, and placed a respectable third. Her song “Je suis l’enfant soleil” (I’m a child of the sun) became similarly popular across France and in the Francophone nations.

As time went on, however, her place in the French music scene became less certain. Touring the world had taken a personal toll, and David decided to retire from music completely in 1987. However, with the help of her fan base, she was coaxed out of retirement in 2003 and is returning to a part of her life that she tried to leave, but never left her. Celebrating four decades in the music scene, David is looking forward to adventurous new projects and a newfound zest for life.

Anne Marie David corresponded with Wikinews’ Mike Halterman about her eventful career, her personal anecdotes regarding living abroad, her successes in past Eurovision contests and her grievances with the way the show is produced today. This is the second in a series of interviews with past Eurovision contestants, which will be published sporadically in the lead-up to mid-May’s next contest in Moscow.

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Thai anti-government leaders escape capture

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In a new setback to the Thai government’s efforts to ease mounting political tensions, protest leaders escaped from their hotel Friday after security forces arrived to arrest them.

One, Arisman Pongruangrong, climbed down three floors using a rope, and was rushed away by supporters thronging the building. The police say Arisman led recent rallies at the national parliament, the election commission, and satellite transmission bases.

Officials earlier Friday said the government is preparing to arrest people linked to violent clashes with security forces last Saturday.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Thai security chief, announced the raid on the hotel as it was unfolding, saying that a Special Forces unit had closed in around a downtown Bangkok hotel.

“As I am speaking, the government’s special team is surrounding the SC Park Hotel, where we have learned that there are terrorists and some of their leaders hiding,” Suthep said.

A spokesman for the governing Democrat Party, Baranuj Smuthararaks, says arrest warrants have been issued for those suspected of being involved in the violence. Some of the suspects have been identified from photos taken during the clashes.

“Right now the government’s focusing on issuing warrants for acts of terrorism by the people who fortunately have been captured in action [in photos] by both the local and international media,” he said.

According to the New York Times, as many as five protest leaders had been staying at the same hotel as Pongruangrong. Those leaders later appeared together at a protest rally in Bangkok.

“I would like to thank all of the people who saved me,” Arisman said. “You have saved democracy.”The government says armed men infiltrated protester ranks Saturday and fired on troops trying to disperse a rally. Five soldiers and 19 protesters died during the clashes.

Thailand is facing its most severe political crisis in almost 20 years. The anti-government movement, led by the United Democratic Front against Dictatorship or UDD, demands that the government step down and call fresh elections.

UDD supporters, known as red shirts, have held protests in Bangkok for more than a month.

The UDD largely supports former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup in 2006 and remains overseas to avoid a jail sentence for corruption. Mr. Thaksin has strong support among the rural and urban poor, as well among some sections of the army and police.

Some parties in the governing coalition want to set a clear time frame for elections to ease tensions. But the government says it will only call elections once the political situation has cooled.

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Blob off Alaskan coast identified

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A ‘giant black mystery blob‘ in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska has been identified as marine algae. Initially speculated to be an oil spill, the mass was discovered by a group of hunters earlier this month near Wainwright. The blob is reported to be stringy and hairy, and is tangled with jellyfish, among other debris.

The “thick, dark gunk” stretches for as much as 15 miles, and is moving at a slow drift. Upon being first sighted, the U.S. Coast Guard flew out to investigate the mass, and local officials collected samples for testing. Coast Guard Petty Officer Terry Hasenauer reported that “We responded as if it were an oil product. It was described to us as an oil-like substance, thick and lingering below the surface of the water. Those characteristics can indicate heavy, degraded oil, maybe crude oil, or possibly an intermediate fuel oil.”

Test results subsequently revealed that the blob is some sort of unusually extensive algae bloom. “It’s definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it […] some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism”, Hasenauer said. The substance has remained entirely offshore.

However, there is still great uncertainty among local residents and officials alike: “We’ve observed large blooms in the past off Barrow although none of them at all like this”, said Barry Sherr, an oceanography professor. “The fact that the locals say they’ve never seen anything like it suggests that it might represent some exotic species which has drifted into the region, perhaps as a result of global change. For the moment that’s just a guess.”

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News briefs:June 27, 2006

The time is 18:00 (UTC) on June 27th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Dung appointed Vietnam’s new PM
    • 1.2 Canterbury farmers to get aid because of snow
    • 1.3 Australian government provides $15.8 million for North Adelaide Technical College
    • 1.4 IPod manufacturer Foxconn broke labour laws
    • 1.5 Drunk woman hits police car in Sydney
  • 2 Closing statements

[edit]

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Swedish nuclear reactors shut down over safety concerns

Saturday, August 5, 2006

 Correction — August 14, 2006 This article reports that the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant reactor cooling systems failed. This is incorrect. Two of the four emergency diesel generators supplying power to the plant failed to start as expected, during a reactor shut down. The emergency cooling system, which functioned normally was sufficient to meet the reactor’s needs. Wikinews apologises for the error 

Three of Sweden’s ten nuclear reactors have been shut down due to safety concerns following an incident last week at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant, in which the reactor cooling systems failed. The reactor has since been shut down there. After the incident, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, SKI asked all the nuclear power plants to demonstrate that the same failure could not happen in them. On Wednesday, two more reactors at Oskarshamn were shut down after the operator said their safety could not be guaranteed.

Last week’s incident at the Forsmark plant was triggered by a short circuit that cut power to the reactor cooling system. Two of the four backup generators also failed to start, but the remaining two worked and were sufficient to meet the plant’s needs. Greenpeace reports that the fault in the backup power systems were traced to new equipment installed in 1993.

The spokesman of the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate Anders Bredfell denied that there was any danger of a meltdown, adding that there was also a backup gas turbine to power the cooling system in an emergency.

However, Lars-Olov Höglund, who was responsible for the nuclear plant Forsmark for many years, said the incident was the most dangerous one since Chernobyl and Three Mile island, and that a meltdown was avoided only by pure luck. His views have however been questioned as he is involved in litigation with the Swedish nuclear industry and is known as an outspoken nuclear critic. Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology as well as the personnel at the power plant were critical of Höglunds’ view.

Speaking to BBC News, SKI spokesman Anders Bredfell said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was informed of the incident as required and that the incident classes as a ‘2’ in the 0-7 scale used by the IAEA to assess the severity of the incident.

Another reactor in Forsmark and a fifth at Ringhals nuclear power plant have been offline due to planned maintenance work. With five of its ten reactors down, Sweden’s power generation capacity is down by almost a fifth.

The environmental group Greenpeace called on the government to shut down all reactors and probe whether the fault was a generic one. The Green Party has called for an independent investigation of the incident. Sweden is scheduled to retire all its nuclear power plants in the next few decades, as decided by a referendum in 1980.

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New Zealand prisoners do nothing says National party

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Figures released by Simon Power, law and order spokesman for the National party, show that the New Zealand Labour led government lets 81% of all prisoners not do any work while in prison. Newspaper, Sunday News says that some Christchurch prisoners have been given a barbecue for good behavior.

Simon Power’s figures show that of the 7,612 prisoners only 19% (1,470) of them took part in Corrections Inmate Employment during 2006. But in 2005 it was at 23% and in 2004 it was at 26%. He says that the prisons with the least amount of inmates working are: Rolleston with 8.6%, Mount Eden with 8.7%, Rimutaka with 11%, Christchurch Women’s with 13.5% and Dunedin with 13.8%. Mr Power said: “These figures are an appalling indictment on this Government’s approach to prisoner rehabilitation and preparing them for release.”

“In May, Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor announced a strategy that he said would help in ‘significantly increasing the number of prisoners in work and training. But a week later this was shown to be nothing more than window dressing when the Budget increased funding for prisoner employment by a measly $336,000 – up 1%.”

“They have cut funding [on the Corrections Department] by 27% since 2001/02, from $46.5 million to $34 million.”

Mr Power blames the low work rate on the big prison construction budget of $490 million. “There would have been more than a miserable $336,000 extra to spend on effective rehabilitation and work schemes,” he said.

“[Mr O’Conner] seems happier to spend $11 million on landscaping four new prisons and allow prisoners to sit around playing Playstations and Xboxes on their flat-screen TVs than he is about helping them get better prepared for when they are released.”

“Prisoners should be doing meaningful work, training or study while they are in prisons, and I imagine the public would agree,” Mr Power added.

Mr Power, commenting on the barbecue, said: “These people are in prison because they were found to be in serious breach of the law. The victims of their crimes will be grossly offended by the idea that they are being rewarded for anything. This is the just the latest in a long line of incredibly bad decisions made by the Corrections Department over the past year and taxpayers have had enough.”

Bevan Hanlon, president for the Corrections Officers Association, said: “The Mobsters getting a BBQ was a “joke”. (Christchurch Prison) staff are reporting the smell of dope every day. Mobsters are threatening staff on a daily basis and there appears to be high cellphone use (mobile phones are banned in jail). So what happens? They are given a BBQ.”

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Wikinews interviews 0 A.D. game development team

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

0 A.D. is a historical, open source, strategy game, published by Wildfire Games. It focuses on the period between 500BC and 500AD. The game will be released in two parts: the first covering the pre-AD period, and the second running to 500AD. With development well underway, Wikinews interviewed the development team.

Aviv Sharon, a 24-year-old Israeli student responsible for the project’s PR, compiled the below Q&A, which the full team approved prior to publication.

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US Soccer: Seattle Sounders defeat Portland Timbers

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

In Seattle, on Sunday, Seattle Sounders FC beat the Portland Timbers 1–0 in the Cascadia Cup battle. Stefan Frei notched his fourth shutout this season while Clint Dempsey scored the winning goal in the 77th minute with an assist from Andy Rose. Seattle is now 1–0 in the cup while Portland falls to 0–2.

Portland almost scored minutes later when sub Fanendo Adi rattled the crossbar in the 81st minute. The Timbers also led the Sounders in shots with 11–10. Seattle was glad to have points before hitting the road. Head Coach Sigi Schmid added “We’ve got 13 points now in seven games, so we’re happy with that and we want to come back from these three road games with as many as possible.”

The total crowd on Sunday was tallied at 41,451. Seattle now stands at 4-2-1 with Portland struggling at 2-3-3. Portland hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps next weekend and Seattle travels to face New York City FC.

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Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam

Sunday, February 13, 2005

New York –”Buy cheap Viagra through us – no prescription required!” Anyone with an active email account will recognize lines like this one. According to some reports, unsolicited advertisements (spam) for Viagra and similar drugs account for one in four spam messages.

BACKGROUND

Spamming remains one of the biggest problems facing email users today. While users and systems administrators have improved their defenses against unsolicited email, many spammers now insert random words or characters into their letters in order to bypass filters. The Wikipedia article Stopping email abuse provides an overview of the various strategies employed by companies, Internet users and systems administrators to deal with the issue.

Ever since pharmaceutical giant Pfizer promised to cure erectile dysfunction once and for all with its blue pills containing the drug sildenafil citrate, spammers have tried to tap into male anxiety by offering prescription-free sales of unapproved “generic” Viagra and clones such as Cialis soft tabs. Legislation like the U.S. CAN-SPAM act has done little to stem the tide of email advertising the products.

Now Pfizer has entered a pledge with Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company, to address the problem. The joint effort will focus on lawsuits against spammers as well as the companies they advertise. “Pfizer is joining with Microsoft on these actions as part of our shared pledge to reduce the sale of these products and to fight the senders of unsolicited e-mail that overwhelms people’s inboxes,” said Jeff Kindler, executive vice president at Pfizer.

Microsoft has filed civil actions against spammers advertising the websites CanadianPharmacy and E-Pharmacy Direct. Pfizer has filed lawsuits against the two companies, and has taken actions against websites which use the word “Viagra” in their domain names. Sales of controlled drugs from Canadian pharmacies to the United States are illegal, but most drugs sold in Canada have nevertheless undergone testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is not the case for many of the Viagra clones sold by Internet companies and manufactured in countries like China and India. While it was not clear that CanadianPharmacy was actually shipping drugs from Canada, Pfizer’s general counsel, Beth Levine, claimed that the company filled orders using a call center in Montreal, reported the Toronto Star.

For Microsoft’s part, they allege that the joint effort with Pfizer is part of their “multi-pronged attack on the barrage of spam.” As the creator of the popular email program Outlook, Microsoft has been criticized in the past for the product’s spam filtering process. Recently, Microsoft added anti-spam measures to its popular Exchange server. Exchange 2003 now includes support for accessing so-called real-time block lists, or RTBLs. An RTBL is a list of the IP addresses maintained by a third party; the addresses on the list are those of mailservers thought to have sent spam recently. Exchange 2003 can query the list for each message it receives.

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Kenya government fires health worker strikers over failure to ‘report back to work’

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Kenyan government has dismissed 25,000 striking health workers, mostly nurses, citing failure to heed government orders to recommence work and concern for the welfare of hospital patients. Speaking on behalf of the government, Alfred Mutua stated the workers were dismissed “illegally striking” and “[defying] the directive … to report back to work”, which he called “unethical”. The government asks that “[a]ll qualified health professionals, who are unemployed and/or retired have been advised to report to their nearest health facility for interviews and deployment”, Mutua stated.

The workers, who had been on strike for four days, were wishing to have improvements made to their wages, working conditions, and allowances. The strikes have caused a significant number of Kenyan hospitals to cease operations. According to Kenya Health Professionals Society spokesperson Alex Orina, the average monthly wage plus allowances for health workers in Kenya is KSh25,000 (£193, US$302 or €230) approximately. With an increasing number of reports of patients neglected in hospitals emerging, two trade unions met with the Kenyan government yesterday and negotitated a return to work, although a significant proportion of demonstrators defied the agreement, The Guardian reported.

Orina told Reuters the dismissals were “cat-and-mouse games, you cannot sack an entire workforce. It is a ploy to get us to rush back to work, but our strike continues until our demands are met”. Frederick Omiah, a member of the same society, believed the government’s actions would “make an already delicate and volatile situation worse”, expressing concern that demonstrations may continue in the capital Nairobi, amongst other locations. Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union chairperson Dr. Victor Ng’ani described government actions as “reckless”.

Mutua said the health workers were “no longer employees of the government” and had been eliminated from the payroll. While Ng’ani told the BBC of difficulties with finding other workers as skilled and experienced, Mutua reportedly stated that this would not be an issue. “We have over 100,000 to 200,000 health professionals looking for work today,” Mutua commented. “There will be a lag of a day or two … but it is better than letting people die on the floor, at the gate, or suffer in pain”.

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