Wikinews interviews 2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor Candidate Wayne Tseng
">

Wikinews interviews 2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor Candidate Wayne Tseng

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

Thursday, October 22, 2020

2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor candidate Wayne Tseng answered some questions about his campaign for the upcoming election from Wikinews. The Lord Mayor election in the Australian city is scheduled to take place this week.

Tseng runs a firm called eTranslate, which helps software developers to make the software available to the users. In the candidate’s questionnaire, Tseng said eTranslate had led to him working with all three tiers of the government. He previously belonged to the Australian Liberal Party, but has left since then, to run for mayorship as an independent candidate.

Tseng is of Chinese descent, having moved to Australia with his parents from Vietnam. Graduated in Brisbane, Tseng received his PhD in Melbourne and has been living in the city, he told Wikinews. Tseng also formed Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce, an organisation responsible for many “community bond building initiatives”, the Lord Mayor candidate told Wikinews.

Tseng discussed his plans for leading Melbourne, recovering from COVID-19, and “Democracy 2.0” to ensure concerns of minorities in the city were also heard. Tseng also focused on the importance of the multi-culture aspect and talked about making Melbourne the capital of the aboriginals. Tseng also explained why he thinks Melbourne is poised to be a world city by 2030.

Tseng’s deputy Lord Mayor candidate Gricol Yang is a Commercial Banker and works for ANZ Banking Group.

Currently, Sally Capp is the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Victorian capital. Capp was elected as an interim Lord Mayor in mid-2018 after the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle resigned from his position after sexual assault allegations. Doyle served as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for almost a decade since 2008.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_2020_Melbourne_Lord_Mayor_Candidate_Wayne_Tseng&oldid=4598699”

U.S. Senator Obama announces presidential candidacy
">

U.S. Senator Obama announces presidential candidacy

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Junior Illinois Senator Barack Obama officially announced his presidential candidacy, today, in Springfield, Illinois. Obama’s speech was given from the same spot that Abraham Lincoln gave his “House divided” speech over 125 years ago and from the place where Obama began his elected career 10 years ago.

Obama is the second major Democrat to announce his candidacy, after New York Senator Hillary Clinton. If elected, Obama would be the first African American president of the United States.

It’s time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else’s civil war.

Obama placed topics such as healthcare reform, ending poverty, re-building labor unions, energy independence, repairing the US’s global image, and the Iraq War in the context of generational change. Obama spoke against keeping troops in Iraq, saying that “all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq […] America, it’s time to start bringing our troops home. It’s time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else’s civil war.”

The announcement kicks off a weekend of rallies and events that will take Obama from Springfield to Iowa and then on to Chicago before he wraps up Monday in New Hampshire.

Obama broke onto the national scene with his popular speech at the Democratic National Convention. Born in Hawaii, Obama graduated from Columbia University before receiving his JD from Harvard Law School. In 1996, Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate, before rising to his current position in the US Senate in 2004.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=U.S._Senator_Obama_announces_presidential_candidacy&oldid=4583393”

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008
">

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews%27_overview_of_the_year_2008&oldid=4326966”

British Airways and Iberia sign merger deal
">

British Airways and Iberia sign merger deal

Friday, April 9, 2010

British Airways (BA) and the Spanish airline Iberia have signed a merger deal, which will create one of the largest air carrier groups in the world.

The two announced the merger yesterday, and said that the deal, which has been expected for a long time, is to be implemented by the end of 2010. The move will make a group with a market value of US$8 billion. The deal has been negotiated since July 2008.

Under the plan, both companies keep their own brands and operations, but will be owned by International Airlines Group, a new holding company. It will be listed in London, but taxed in Spain.

The airlines believe the merger will save $530 million annually. In February, BA reported a loss of $102.4 million for the final three quarters of 2009, whilst Iberia posted an operating loss of $629 million.

Meanwhile, investors in BA will receive an IAG share for every BA share they own, and stockholders in Iberia 1.0205 shares for each share in the Spanish airline; thus, BA shareholders will take 55% of IAG.

“The merged company will provide customers with a larger combined network,” commented BA chief executive Willie Walsh. “It will also have greater potential for further growth by optimising the dual hubs of London and Madrid and providing continued investment in new products and services.”

Meanwhile, Iberia chief executive Antonio Vázquez remarked: “This is an important step in creating one of the world’s leading global airlines that will be better equipped to compete with other major airlines and participate in future industry consolidation.”

Independent aviation specialist James Halstead said he believed the merger was necessary for BA to remain competitive amongst other European air carriers. “BA’s unique position at Heathrow could help it survive for a short while, but in the long run it needs more than just Heathrow. The main point of the Iberia deal is to be able to cut costs and put the combined company in the position that Air France-KLM and Lufthansa are already in,” he said, quoted by The Independent.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=British_Airways_and_Iberia_sign_merger_deal&oldid=4577479”

Factors To Be Considered In Searching Good London Decorators

Factors to be-considered in-searching good-London-decorators

by

Geoff Fannin

Have you ever desired to employ London decorators and dulux decorators but never knew what to anticipate? You are not only in this as lots of people think what they should assume from a job well carried out. There are particular variables that you should consider to be able to find out if the work has been completed effectively. Additionally, when selecting a specialist for London decorators and dulux decorators you should find out what solutions they present.

YouTube Preview Image

The quality of work from London decorators and dulux decorators For a job to be effectively carried out the grade of work needs to be to a certain standard. London decorators and dulux decorators need to maintain to this level in order to say that any job they do is effectively done. This specialized level regarding the painters should include that they do not mess paint on floors and glass, that corners are painted neatly and that they have used the appropriate paint color. If the service provider does not used the color or kind of paint that you wanted then it was not accomplished appropriately. London decorators and dulux decorators are a little bit distinctive. If you like, it is possible to give them free reign when it comes to your home. Obviously, you might want some things to be integrated into the decoration. If these things are disregarded then the work has not been carried out appropriately. The elements employed for house painting and decorating The materials employed for the designing and house painting are also quite important. No one likes their home to look low-cost. It is up to these experts to be sure that their job looks professional even if it does not charge too much. Excellent supplies do not have to charge you an arm and a leg therefore be aware of that. There are some experts for London decorators and dulux decorators who cost you more than the actual cost of the supplies as they assume you do not understand what the cost is. You should try out and determine as much as you can about the resources these people will be using. Is a house painter the only service they offer? If you are having a designing service in then you need to realize what they can offer you. Do you actually need to hire a service just to see that they only have a house painter? Few services that these folks can present you will incorporate artwork, filling, wallpapering and skimming. Interior decorating may be something additional that you would have to seek out. It is better that you have certain idea of what you like carried out prior to considering contractors for London decorators

and

dulux decorators

. This way you can find if the folks you are speaking to will be capable to finish the entire work.

There are many elements that make up a well completed decorating job. The quality of the work has to be good and the resources used should be of high quality. It is right that you figure out what services are on offer from the people before you employ them for something.

The author loves to write about different interior designing tips and he is working in Fengeos one among finest London decorators and dulux decorators

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Elite Boston Marathon runner Emily Levan discusses life and running
">

Elite Boston Marathon runner Emily Levan discusses life and running

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The interview below was conducted by Pingswept over the phone with Emily Levan on April 21, 2005. Levan lives in Wiscasset, Maine, with her husband and daughter, and she ran in the Boston Marathon women’s race on April 18, 2005.

To summarize for our readers, you recently came in 12th in the Boston Marathon, right?

That is correct.

You were the first American finisher.

Yes.

There was also a Russian woman who lives in the US who finished ahead of you.

You know, I believe it is, I’m not actually positive, but I think you’re right. There’s often a lot of foreign runners that live and train in different parts of the US for a variety of reasons. Some live in Colorado and might train at high altitude, or they might have coaches in the US.

OK, but as far as you know, for straight up Americans, people who were born here, who have lived here for long periods of time and are not going anywhere special to train, you were the first finisher.

That is correct.

So congratulations, that’s very impressive. In the rest of your life, my understanding is that you are going to nursing school.

I am. I’m at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. and I have been going to nursing school for a couple years now. I’m just going part time right now because of the baby and other things going on in my world.

Your baby is currently one and a half?

She’s fifteen months.

Fifteen months, so one and one quarter. 1.25, sure.

Hopefully I’ll finish up nursing school in December. That is the tentative plan.

So you’re almost done.

I just have a couple classes left.I’ll take one class this summer and two classes in the fall.

You ran the Boston Marathon originally two years ago?

Actually, I ran it for the first time in 99. I’ve run it four times.I did run it two years ago as well.

You ran it two years ago, and you also came in twelfth then, if not the top American finisher then. You were the fourth?

I think third or fourth. I can’t remember exactly.

How long were you actually training for this marathon in particular?

I’d say about 4 months. I typically try to train about four months for each race. It depends a little bit on what kind of shape I’m in leading up to the training. Four months is usually the time frame I shoot for.

And how many miles a week were you doing–I assume you peaked somewhere right before the marathon.

At the peak, I have a month or six week period where I’ve built up to my peak training, and I was probably doing between 90 to 100 miles a week.

Was there a lot of variation in your day to day mileage, or was it pretty much you’re doing 1/7th of that mileage every day?

There’s definitely variation, probably more so in the type of workout that i did each day. For example two days a week I would do a speed workout, so I might be doing mile repeats, which just means that I do a mile in a specific time, and then I might jog for a couple minutes and then another one and another one. I’d do a series of eight mile repeats on that specific workout day. My other speed workout would be a marathon pace run, so I might run 8 or 10 miles at my marathon pace. If my marathon pace is 6 minute miles, I’d do a two mile jog warm up, and then I might do 8 or 10 miles at a six minute pace, and then a two mile cool down.

So you maybe end up running 14?

Sometimes what I would do on those speed workout days– on those days I might end up with about 14 miles. On some other days, I might run twice during the course of the day. Say in the morning, I might run eight miles, and then in the afternoon I might do six or eight more miles.

Wow.

Those days tend to be a little bit more mellow. More of kind of a maintenance run, a little bit of a recovery day. I try to have a recovery day after every hard workout.

Do you think that all of your training could fit into four hours a day? Do you think that’s true?

You mean the workouts for a specific day? Probably even less than that. Depending on the day a little bit, probably between 2 or 3 hours. Usually on Sunday I would go out and do a long run, and that would be a 20 or 22 mile run, all in one fell swoop and that usually takes two and a half hours.

So that explains how you’re able to do this, as well as go to nursing school, as well as have an extremely young child. I assume you talk to your friends occasionally.

I try to at least– have some sort of social life. This is not a job, so it’s not something that I do 8 hours a day. It’s something that I fit in with all the other obligations, things that I like to do too. I like to be able to pursue other interests as well.

You live on a road with no one else near by. Do you pretty much just run from your house every day?

The winter is harder because with the baby, I often end up running with a treadmill down in the basement. Brad, my husband, has pretty long hours at the farm, and especially in the winter months, it’s hard to find daylight when he’s able to watch Maddy, so I ended up running a lot on the treadmill this winter, as opposed to last summer, I would take her with me. I have one of those baby joggers, and that was great. I could just leave right from the house, and I could take her. She would be pretty happy to go eight or ten miles with me. Typically what I do when I go outside, I just go right from the house. The roads are so pretty around here. We’re pretty secluded, so I don’t have to worry too much about crazy drivers.

Do you ever try to go find big hills to run up and down?

I do. In the past, I have done a hill workout as a part of my training, usually early on in the training during the first six weeks or 2 months of the training I do a hill workout and I would find some place close by that I could find a warm up jog and run to and then do a hill workout. If I couldn’t find one within a couple miles, I would drive to it. It’s a little bit harder now with Maddy because I don’t have as much leeway and freedom with when I go running and where I go running. I’m a little more limited.

You’d have to load up the cart, er, the carriage into the car.

I’ve done that sometimes. Sometimes it’s easier to go straight from home.Running with the jogger up hills is not an easy thing to do.

When you’re in the race, you feel like, “Hey, I’m not even pushing a kid anymore.” Heartbreak Hill without the kid is substantially easier, I suppose.

Yeah.

Do you know most of the elite runners in the race? You know who they are, but are you friends with them, or not really?

It’s funny–I know who people are, but I don’t run that many races to really get to know that many of the runners. If you’re a professional runner, and that’s your job, a lot of those people travel in the same circles. They run the same races and they have the same schedules in terms of when they compete. I pick out a couple of races each year to focus on and because of that, I don’t get to know as many of the runners. As time goes on, you do get a little bit you do get a little more familiar with people.

During the race, do you talk to the other runners, or do you just run along and think things like, “I wish I were at the end right now”?

I think that really depends I find that if I’m feeling good and the run is going well, then it’s easier for me to talk to people, just because you’re feeling strong, and you’re not focusing so much on “I’m not doing so great.” I might talk to some folks along the way. Sometimes if someone passes me, I’ll encourage them and say “Good job, go get them,” and just stuff like that. I certainly find I’m not carrying on lengthy conversations with people because you’re expending energy that should be focused on the race itself. I enjoy getting to know folks along the way and knowing what pace they’re hoping to run.

In races other than the Boston Marathon do you find that you have good competition? I don’t really know what the running scene in Wiscasset, Maine, is like at all, but I imagine that being the fastest female marathon runner in the United States, you might not find a whole lot of competition. You say that you encourage people when they pass you, but having read some of the other interviews with you on the web, it doesn’t seem like people pass you very often.

It definitely depends on the race. Like I said before, I don’t run that many races. At this point, what I’m trying to do is to find races that are competitive so I can be pushed by competition. For example, when I ran the Maine Marathon last fall, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. That just gets hard. I ran alone for most of the race. Running 26 miles at a fast pace all by yourself without anyone around you to help push you and motivate you, can be pretty hard. Because of that, as I’ve been looking toward the future and thinking about which races I want to do, I’ve been targeting races that will have a little more competition. That’s why Boston was one that I wanted to shoot for and I’m thinking about in the fall going to Chicago because they’ve got a pretty competitive marathon. It’s also a pretty flat course, so people tend to run pretty fast times there.

Most people run a couple of minutes faster in Chicago, right?

Yeah, exactly. And I’ve heard good things about the race too, so I’m looking forward to that.

Have you thought about running internationally?

Not at this point, no. It’s hard to find the time to travel to races, and It gets expensive too. A lot of my family members say, “Wouldn’t it be great to do the London Marathon or the Paris Marathon,” because they like coming to watch. At this point, I think I’m going to stick closer to home. I’ve got a few races, like I was mentioning Chicago, here in the States that I’d really like to do. Maybe once I’ve done those, I might think about something else, it really just depends. A lot of it’s a time issue, because I have other things that I’m pursuing and it gets hard to spend too much time traveling off doing different races.

Do you know Alan Culpepper?

Oh, yeah, yeah.

You at least know of him, right?

Yes, exactly.

Have you ever been in any races against him?

This was the first race that I had run in that he ran in. He was the fourth overall male finisher. That’s a really good showing for an American male. I’ve read a lot about him in different running magazines and just heard a lot about him through running circles.But this was the first time that I’ve actually seen him run. It was neat because in this particular race, they start the women’s elite group about 25 minutes ahead of the rest of the start.

29 minutes actually, I believe.

That’s right, 29 minutes. So, I didn’t see a male runner until pretty close to the end, so it was really neat to see–I think I saw the top five male finishers because they passed me in the last couple miles. It was really interesting–there’s all these cars and press and motorcycles, policemen, so I could tell when the first male was coming up behind me because there was a lot more going on on the course. Alan Culpepper was one of the ones that passed me in the last mile or two. It was pretty neat to see him finishing strong.

You might not be able to beat him in a race but do you think you could maybe, I don’t know, beat him in a fist fight? He’s pretty skinny, right? He only weighs 130 pounds.

I don’t know. I don’t know. I wouldn’t make any bets on it at this point.

No?

No.

OK. Have you thought about doing things longer than a marathon? Like a 50 K or a 100 K?

At this point, I haven’t because I’ve gotten into the marathon, and I’ve really been enjoying that so far. I feel like I still have some room to improve and grow in the marathon, but I think at some point I’d really like to do one of those ultra-type races. For the next several years, I’ll stick towards the marathon distances. Once that competitive part of my life is over, I might move on to something different.

Based on your age, are you likely to peak around now, or you maybe have a few years to go before your legs start to fall off?

Before I can’t walk anymore? I don’t know. It’s really interesting because for marathoning you’ve got a longer life span than in a lot of competitive sports. The fifth place female finisher in Boston this year was over forty. You can still be competitive into your forties. I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing it that long– at least another 3 years or so. One thing in the back of my mind looking at is the Olympic Trials for 2008. I’m looking at that time frame right now. If I want to keep running competitively after that, then I’ll assess things from there.

That sounds good. When you came in as the first American finisher, did you get any certificates or cash or a medal or anything like that?

Yeah, actually, I won $2100.

Oh, great– two thousand bucks!

Which is pretty nice.

That’s a lot of baby clothes.

I know– or a lot of shoes. The shoe expense is pretty expensive, and I’ve been trying to find a shoe company that might give me some shoes.

I would think–couldn’t you just call up New Balance and say, “Hey, look, I’m pretty good, why don’t you give me some shoes?”

Well, this past November, after I ran New York– I usually wear Asics or New Balance– I wrote to both of those companies. I sent them a little running resume. I said I’d be interested in pursuing some sort of sponsorship opportunity, and they both wrote back and said, “Sorry, we don’t have any space or funds available at this time.” I was a little disappointed by that, because I was hoping to at least get someone to help me out with my shoes.

Yeah, at least some sneakers.

But in addition at Boston, they do have these crystal vases that they give out for the top 15 finishers, so I got a little piece of hardware there too.

So you get to put flowers in that.

I had some flowers in it; they’ve wilted so I decided to compost them.

Oh, that’s good.

Yeah, send them back to the earth, you know.

Has anyone else tried to interview you? Local paparazzi following you?

I hide in my car for most of the day. I did some local interviews–with the local NBC affiliate, and I’m going to do an interview tomorrow with the ABC affiliate in Portland, and some affiliated newspaper interviews as well.

You’re officially famous, then.

I don’t know. I guess. It’s been pretty busy.

Has anyone asked you for an autograph yet?

No. No autograph seekers yet, no.

Maybe in the Yellowfront Grocery in Wiscasset? “Hey, I know you!”

“I saw you on TV!” No, not yet.

That’s surely coming. The Chewonki Foundation, which is where you live, recently had Eaton Farm donated to it.

Yes.

And they’re planning on making a 12 mile long trail that runs from approximately your house to Wiscasset.

Oh, you know more about this than I do, that’s great.

I don’t know if it’s going to start right at your front door; you might have to cut through the woods a little bit.

That’s OK, I can do that.

Have you run on trails at all, or is it just, “I want to run on the pavement because I don’t want to twist an ankle”?

I’m not a big trail runner. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to running on trails. Now it would be much more difficult, because I have the baby with me. The baby jogger has some nice wheels on it, but I don’t know if it could handle trail running.

Yeah.

It’s a nice change of pace every once in a while. I don’t worry too much about twisting an ankle–you just have to be careful. I figure I can walk out my door and step in a pothole and twist my ankle, so I don’t worry too much about that. That goes along with being alive in our world. We’ll see. I’m going to have to look into that 12 mile trail.

Because 12 miles, you do that there and back, you’ve got a marathon on your hands.

There you go.

What’s your next target? Can you walk right now?

If I train well, I’m usually not sore. Especially on the long runs, my body gets used to running for that length of time and sure, I’m running faster during the marathon than I do on my long runs, but I think my body tends to adjust to the rigors. It’s usually a good sign if a few days afterwards I don’t have any major soreness. I certainly feel like I’ve done something significant.

Yeah, I can imagine feeling too.

No major aches or pains.

That’s great. What’s your next race? Do you have one targeted? Is it Chicago?

Yeah, I think the next marathon will be Chicago in the fall. there’s a 10 K race, the Beach to Beacon, you may have heard of it.

In Portland?

It’s actually in Cape Elizabeth. It’s put on by Joan Benoit Samuelson. It’s in August, so I’ll probably do that one and then shoot for the fall marathon.

Well, I think that’s all my questions.

Nice, well, thanks for calling. I appreciate it.

Sure, well, thanks for running so fast.

No problem.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Elite_Boston_Marathon_runner_Emily_Levan_discusses_life_and_running&oldid=4521781”

Honda recalls fire risk cars
">

Honda recalls fire risk cars

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Honda have issued a recall for 646,000 cars around the world due to a potential fault that could cause a fire. The recall involves the ‘Jazz’ range of cars, which is known by its alternative name, Fit, in some countries.

water intrusion into the power window switch housing may in some instances cause a short circuit

Three incidents involving the problem, caused by a defective master switch, have been reported worldwide, two in the US and one in South Africa. In September 2009, Vanilla Nurse, a two-year old girl, was sleeping in one of the models, when the hatchback in Cape Town caught fire. Following the accident, Honda “launched an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the incident,” according to a statement issued today. Although they could not isolate the cause of the fire, “the investigation has shown that water intrusion into the power window switch housing may in some instances cause a short circuit, which in exceptional circumstances may lead to potential damages”.

Just 10% of cars are expected to need new switches. The remainder will need a waterproof skirt in order to keep water out.

Rival Toyota was forced to recall vehicles on Thursday, citing floor mats that may stick accelerator pedals to the floor. There are fears that Toyota may have to widen their recall to cover up to eight million cars.

[edit]

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Honda_recalls_fire_risk_cars&oldid=2715587”

Scores feared dead in Indonesian landslides after heavy rain
">

Scores feared dead in Indonesian landslides after heavy rain

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Heavy rains in western Indonesia have triggered landslides across the region that have killed dozens of people. Meanwhile, other areas were devastated by major flooding, with water reaching two metres high in some locations.

Search and rescue chief Eko Prayitno in Java told reporters that police, soldiers and volounteers were working together to attempt to reach survivors, some digging with their hands or traditional tools. Heavy equipment is available and efforts are underway to get it into place, he said, but blocked roads are making such efforts difficult.

Prayitno also said that a single landslide in the Karanganyar region buried 61 people who were attending a dinner to celebrate a successful clean up of a house affected by another landslide, which had caused no injuries. “They were having dinner together when they were hit by another landslide… At least 61 people were buried.” Landslides affected the region over a four hour period from 01:00 a.m. to 05:00 a.m. local time. Meanwhile, seventeen people are feared dead in the neighbouring district of Wonogiri, which has also been hit by landslides after twelve hours of nonstop torrential rain.

Andi Mallarangeng, spokesperson for president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, told reporters “The president sends his deep condolence, and has ordered Home Minister [Mardiono] to inspect the scene [in Karanganyar] and monitor the emergency responses.”

Many fleeing residents have attempted to salvage their possessions, with some using tyres to float television sets and refrigerators to dry ground. Another single massive slide in Tawangmangu, a mountainous resort, buried 37. Metro TV News was told by an eyewitness, identified only as Karsidi, that “Those people were gathering for a tea break during communal works after the rains, and suddenly the land collapsed onto them.”

The affected regions spread across Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi. The population distribution in Indonesia has worsened the situation, with many people living on river flood plains to utilise the fertile soil and many more living in inaccessible mountain regions. The total death toll is estimated at up to 81 people, and eyewitnesses and local media report that thousands of homes are affected.

Landslides are common in Indonesia, where large-scale rainfall is a regular occurrence. This is often exacerbated by deforestation. However, Heru, head of the local disaster coordinator agency in Karang Anyar, commented that “The forest in the area is thick,” and consequently he did not believe deforestation was a causal factor. The region he is responsible for has recorded 36 deaths and 30 more buried in thick mud near the banks of the Bengawan Solo river. Meanwhile Julianto, another provincial government official, said “The landslides took us by surprise. This is the first time in the last 25 years anything of this scale occurred here in Central Java.”

Julianto also commented that thousands of people displaced from their homes by flooding and landslides have been forced into temporary accommodation in buildings and tents provided by emergency response teams.

Today’s disasters coincide with the third anniversary of the Asian tsunami, which killed an estimated 230,000 people. A tsunami drill on Java was unaffected as the seasonal poor weather did not have an adverse affect on the area of the drill.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Scores_feared_dead_in_Indonesian_landslides_after_heavy_rain&oldid=3130995”

Controversial development training cited in religious discrimination lawsuits
">

Controversial development training cited in religious discrimination lawsuits

Friday, May 23, 2008

A controversial development training course called “Landmark Forum” is cited in religious discrimination lawsuits in United States federal courts in New York and Washington, D.C. The seminars are run by a San Francisco, California-based for-profit training company called Landmark Education. The company evolved from Erhard Seminars Training “est”, and has faced criticism regarding its techniques and its use of unpaid labor. The sperm bank and surrogacy company Los Angeles-based Growing Generations is named as a defendant in the New York lawsuit, and the Democratic political action committee Twenty-First Century Democrats is a defendant in the Washington, D.C. case.

In separate lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, New York, and in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., former employees are suing their employers for monetary damages and claiming religious discrimination after their employers allegedly mandated that they attend courses at Landmark Education.

In the US$3 million federal lawsuit filed in New York, Scott Glasgow is suing his former employer Growing Generations and its CEO Stuart Miller. Growing Generations maintains sperm banks and also arranges surrogacy for gay couples who wish to have children. The company has offices in New York and Los Angeles, and has done business with celebrities including actor B. D. Wong of Law & Order: SVU.

Glasgow was marketing director of Growing Generations, and claims he was fired in June 2007 after refusing to continue attending Landmark Education seminars. Glasgow is also suing for sexual harassment, and claims Miller came on to him in September 2006. He made approximately $100,000 per year as the company’s marketing director, and was the company’s only employee based out of New York City. The company’s main offices are in Los Angeles.

I want them to stop imposing Landmark on the employees, and I want an apology.

“I was shocked when I was fired. It took me months to right myself. I want them to stop imposing Landmark on the employees, and I want an apology,” said Glasgow in a statement in The Village Voice. Brent Pelton, one of Glasgow’s attorneys, stated that: “The Landmark philosophy is deeply ingrained in the culture of the company”. Glasgow said that the Landmark Education training courses were “opposite” to his Christian beliefs. According to Glasgow he was questioned by Miller in May 2007 after he walked out of a Landmark Education course, and was fired shortly thereafter. “We stand by the allegations contained in the complaint and we look forward to proving them at trial,” said Pelton in a statement to ABC News.

Ian Wallace, an attorney who represents Growing Generations, claimed that Glasgow wasn’t fired but walked away from his position. “Growing Generations and Mr. Miller are very confident that these claims will be dismissed ultimately, and there’s no factual basis for them whatsoever,” said Wallace in a statement to The Village Voice. Lawyers representing Growing Generations and Stuart Miller declined comment to The New York Post, and did not immediately return a message from ABC News.

In Glasgow’s complaint, entered into federal court record on April 18, he asserts that Landmark Education constitutes a “religion”, and “perceived their philosophy as a form of religion that contradicted his own personal beliefs”. He states that when he was promoted to Director of Marketing, he asked Miller if he could stop attending the Landmark sessions but was told that they were mandatory for all of the company’s executives and that Landmark is “very much the language of the company.” Glasgow said his performance at the company was assessed based on how he was “touching, moving and inspiring” others, a phrase from the Landmark philosophy, as opposed to his business accomplishments at the company. The complaint claims that the actions of Miller and Growing Generations violated Federal, New York State and New York City civil rights laws.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. deals with a separate plaintiff and company, but the plaintiff in the suit also claims that religious discrimination took place for allegedly being mandated to attend Landmark Education courses. Kenneth Goldman is suing the United States Democratic political action committee Twenty-First Century Democrats (also 21st Century Democrats) and its former executive director Kelly Young. Goldman was formerly the communications director of 21st Century Democrats.

According to Goldman’s complaint, three employees of 21st Century Democrats were fired after refusing to attend the Landmark Forum course. The complaint asserts that Landmark Education has “religious characteristics and theological implications” which influenced the mission of 21st Century Democrats and the way the organization conducted business. Goldman’s complaint states that in addition to himself, a training director and field director were also fired after they made it clear they would not attend the Landmark Forum.

Goldman says executive director Young infused Landmark Education jargon terms into staff meetings such as “create possibilities”, “create a new context”, and “enroll in possibilities”. He also claims that Young “urged” staff members to participate in Landmark Education events outside of the workplace, drove employees to and from Landmark functions, and used funds from 21st Century Democrats to pay for employees to attend those functions. Goldman’s complaint asserts that he was discriminated against in violation of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.

While we are not a party to this lawsuit and have no firsthand knowledge of it, we can only assume that we are being used as a legal and political football to further the plaintiff”s own financial interests.

In a statement in The Washington Times, the executive director of 21st Century Democrats, Mark Lotwis, called the lawsuit “frivolous” and said: “we’re going to defend our organization’s integrity”. Landmark Education spokeswoman Deborah Beroset said that the Landmark Forum “is in no way religious in nature and any claim to the contrary is simply absurd,” and stated: “While we are not a party to this lawsuit and have no firsthand knowledge of it, we can only assume that we are being used as a legal and political football to further the plaintiff”s own financial interests.”

The New York lawsuit was filed April 14, and is still in early filing stages. A conference with the federal court judge in the case has been scheduled for June 17. The Washington, D.C. suit began in November 2007, and entered mediation this past March. As of April 15 the parties in the case were due back to court on July 11 to update the court on the mediation process.

Landmark Education is descended from Erhard Seminars Training, also called “est”, which was founded by Werner Erhard. est began in 1971, and Erhard’s company Werner Erhard and Associates repackaged the course as “The Forum” in 1985. Associates of Erhard bought the license to his “technology” and incorporated Landmark Education in California in 1991.

This is not the first time employees have sued claiming mandatory attendance at “Forum” workshops violated their civil rights. In a lawsuit filed in December 1988 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, eight employees of DeKalb Farmers Market in Decatur, Georgia sued their employer claiming their religious freedom and civil rights were violated when they were allegedly coerced into attending “Forum” training sessions. “Many of these training programs, particularly at large corporations, claim to be purely psychological, aimed at improving productivity and morale and loyalty. But in fact they are religious,” said University of Denver religious studies professor Carl Raschke in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.

The DeKalb Farmers Market employees were represented by lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union. Consulting Technologies Inc., an affiliate of Transformational Technologies Inc., was named as a party in the lawsuit. Transformational Technologies was founded by Werner Erhard, and was not named as a party in the suit. The “Forum” course that the employees claimed they were mandated to attend was developed by Werner Erhard and Associates. Employees said that they were fired or pressured to quit after they objected to the Forum courses.

The workers claimed that the Forum course contradicted with their religious beliefs. The plaintiffs in the suit included adherents of varying religious backgrounds, including Christianity and Hinduism. “The sessions put people into a hibernating state. They ask for total loyalty. It’s like brainwashing,” said Dong Shik Kim, one of the plaintiffs in the case. The plaintiffs said they lost their jobs after objecting to a “new age quasi-religious cult” which they said was developed by Werner Erhard.

The DeKalb Farmers Market denied the allegations, and an attorney for the company Edward D. Buckley III told The Wall Street Journal that employees were encouraged, not coerced, to attend the training sessions. According to The Wall Street Journal, The Forum said it would not sanction workers being coerced to attend its training sessions.

The parties in the DeKalb Farmers Market religious discrimination case came to a settlement in May 1989, and the case was dismissed with prejudice in June. The terms of the out-of-court settlement were not made public, but the employees’ attorney Amy Totenberg told The Wall Street Journal that the case “has made employers come to grips with the legitimate boundaries of employee training”.

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers must “reasonably accommodate” their employees’ religious beliefs unless this creates “undue hardship”. In September 1988, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a policy-guidance notice which stated that New Age courses should be handled under Title VII of the Act. According to the Commission, employers must provide “reasonable accommodation” if an employee challenges a training course, unless this causes “undue hardship” for the company.

In October 2006, Landmark Education took legal action against Google, YouTube, the Internet Archive and a website owner in Queensland, Australia in attempts to remove criticism of its products from the Internet. The company sought a subpoena under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in an attempt to discover the identity of an anonymous critic who uploaded a 2004 French documentary of the Landmark Forum to the Internet. “Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous” (Voyage to the Land of the New Gurus) was produced by Pièces à Conviction, a French investigative journalism news program. The Electronic Frontier Foundation represented the anonymous critic and the Internet Archive, and Landmark withdrew its subpoena in November 2006 in exchange for a promise from the anonymous critic not to repost the video.

Landmark Education itself has come under scrutiny for its controversial labor practices. The company has been investigated by the United States Department of Labor in separate investigations originating out of California, Colorado, and Texas. Investigations focused on the heavy reliance of unpaid labor in the company’s workforce, which Landmark Education calls “assistants” and deems volunteers.

An investigation by the U.S. Dept. Labor based out of Colorado found that activities performed by Landmark Education’s “assistants” include: “office, clerical, telephone solicitation and enrollment, as well as greeting customers, setting up chairs, handling microphones during the seminars and making coffee. Additionally, a number of volunteers actually teach the courses and provide testimonials during and after the courses.” The Colorado investigation’s 1996 report found that “No records are kept of any hours worked by any employees.” According to a 1998 article in Metro Silicon Valley: “In the end the Department of Labor dropped the issue, leaving Landmark trumpeting about its volunteers’ choice in the matter.” Metro Silicon Valley reported that Landmark Education at the time employed 451 paid staff, and also utilized the services of 7,500 volunteers.

After an investigation into Landmark Education’s labor practices by the U.S. Dept. Labor’s offices out of California, the company was deemed to have overtime violations. According to the Department of Labor’s 2004 report on the investigation, back wages of $187,569.01 were found due to 45 employees. An investigation by the U.S. Dept. Labor in Texas which concluded in 2005 stated: “Minimum wage violation found. Volunteers (Assistants) are not paid any wages for hours worked while performing the major duties of the firm. The assistants set up rooms, call registrants, collect fees, keep stats of classroom data/participants, file, they also are answering phones, training and leading seminars.”

The Texas investigation also discovered an overtime violation. Landmark Education agreed to pay back wages for the overtime violation, but did not comply with the overtime violation found by the U.S. Dept. Labor for the “assistants”. Landmark Education denied that the “assistants” are employees, though the Department of Labor report concluded: “Interviews reveal that the employees are taking payments, registering clients, billing, training, recruiting, setting up locations, cleaning, and other duties that would have to be performed by staff if the assistants did not perform them.”

According to the 2004 investigative report by Pièces à Conviction in the “Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous” program, Landmark Education was investigated by the French government in 1995. In the “Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous” program volunteers were filmed through a hidden camera and shown performing duties for Landmark Education in France including manning phones, recruitment and financial work for the company, and one volunteer was shown cleaning a toilet.

Le Nouvel Observateur reported that after “Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous” aired in France, labor inspectors investigated Landmark Education’s use of unpaid volunteers. According to Le Nouvel Observateur, one month after the labor investigation took place the French branch of the company had disbanded. A former “Introduction Leader” to the Landmark Forum, Lars Bergwik, has recently posted a series of videos to YouTube critical of the company and its practices. Bergwik appeared on a 2004 investigative journalism program on Sweden’s Channel 4, Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts). According to Bergwik, after the Kalla Fakta program on Landmark Education aired, “Landmark left Sweden”.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Controversial_development_training_cited_in_religious_discrimination_lawsuits&oldid=4598063”

Rescue attempts continue for Tasmanian miners
">

Rescue attempts continue for Tasmanian miners

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Rescuers are continuing their efforts to reach the trapped miners in the Beaconsfield mine in northern Tasmania.

A five tonne borer drilling machine has been secured in place to drill a one metre hole through the remaining 12-16 metres of rock that fell into the main shaft.

Since drilling began at 7pm last night, the machine has made a 2 cm wide pilot hole half way to the miners.

The trapped miners have been given egg sandwiches and yogurt, and have received apple ipod MP3 players filled with the miners favourite songs to pass the time and drown out the sounds of the drilling.

Meanwhile on the surface, the ever-growing media frenzy in Beaconsfield has forced the mine operators to enforce bag checks of rescuers entering the mine to ensure that no recording devices are taken into the mine.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Rescue_attempts_continue_for_Tasmanian_miners&oldid=1167387”

« Previous Entries