Australian man to be executed in Singapore
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Australian man to be executed in Singapore

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Supporters of convicted Australian drug trafficker, Van Nguyen, gathered outside the State Library in Melbourne yesterday to display thousands of messages of opposition to his death sentence.

Callers to talkback radio in Melbourne were overwhelmingly against the death penalty of Nguyen, who immediately admitted his guilt and has cooperated with authorities since being caught smuggling heroin into Singapore. Many called for a boycott of Singaporean products.

25-year-old Nguyen was arrested at Changi Airport in 2002 for carrying heroin and sentenced to death in March. Nguyen claims he carried the 396 grams of heroin strapped to his body in an attempt to pay off his brother Khoa’s $30,000 legal debts.

The Singapore government have announced they will execute Nguyen at dawn on December 2nd. Singapore President S. R. Nathan rejected Nguyen’s clemency four weeks ago. The Melbourne salesman was sentenced to death under Singapore law which determines a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty of possessing 15 grams of heroin or more.

Nguyen’s mother was informed on Thursday by registered mail from the Singapore prisons service of the execution date. The letter stated that she should start making funeral arrangements. She will get to see her son in the three days leading up to the execution.

Despite repeated pleas for clemency from many thousands of supporters; religious groups; human rights organisations; the Pope; and the Australian Government – including Prime Minister, John Howard – Singapore officials have said Nguyen’s execution is irreversible.

Mr Howard had argued that Nguyen should be spared, citing mitigating circumstances in his case which pointed to the fact that he was not a serial drug trafficker but had merely been trying to pay off his brother’s debts.

The Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, says the Singaporean Government has shown no compassion whatsoever in its treatment of Van Nguyen and his family.

“What’s happening is brutal, is inappropriate. I, and the Victorian Government, vehemently oppose the death penalty in any circumstances”, he told ABC Radio. “This is a young kid who has assisted the police all the way… In any other country, he would get a discount in relation to the penalty. But because there is a mandatory death penalty for drug offences in Singapore, this young man may well be executed. It is just grossly inappropriate.”

“Singapore maintains that capital punishment is a criminal justice issue; it is the sovereign right of every country to decide whether or not to include capital punishment within its criminal justice system,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Singapore argues that there was no international consensus that capital punishment should be abolished. At the most recent meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, 66 countries dissociated themselves from a resolution calling for the abolition of capital punishment.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong affirmed Singapore’s position by saying that it has to “stand firm on drugs to protect its citizens from the scourge and to ensure the country does not become a conduit for the trafficking of illicit drugs.”

In reply to a letter appealing for clemency from his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said: “Mr Nguyen imported almost 400gm of pure heroin which would have supplied more than 26,000 doses to drug addicts.”

No one will be permitted to see Nguyen on the morning of his execution. His body will be released to his mother.

British Airways and Iberia sign merger deal
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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.

White House urges patience on Iran
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White House urges patience on Iran

Monday, June 5, 2006

Bush administration officials say Iran should be given time to consider a package of incentives aimed at halting the country’s nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities.

Tehran will need some time to mull over the offer, and the first response may not be the last word, says White House spokesman Tony Snow.

“I would caution against leaping to conclusions, until the leadership in Iran has actually had an opportunity to look over the packages of incentives and disincentives offered by the EU-3 with the support of the United States,” he said.

The plan was drafted by the three European nations that have been negotiating the nuclear issue with Iran – Britain, France and Germany – with the backing of the United States, Russia and China. Details of the package have not been formally released.

During a session with reporters, Snow downplayed comments made over the weekend by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iran’s supreme leader said the flow of Iranian oil would be disrupted if the United States makes – what he called – a wrong move.

The White House spokesman predicted there would be a number of statements coming out of Iran before Tehran gives its final answer. He said, at the moment, the White House is neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but hopeful.

“It is easy to make comments into a vacuum, and my sense is that, again, the Iranians are going to realize this is a serious offer, and it is an offer that offers great promise for them,” Snow said.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana is to formally present the package to the Iranian government in Tehran, perhaps as early as Tuesday.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Iran to give careful consideration to the plan, but indicated Tehran would not have an indefinite amount of time to respond.

Iranian officials have indicated they plan to study the document. But, they stress, have no plans to suspend uranium enrichment, which is a key condition that has been attached to the deal.

Tehran says uranium will be processed for use in power plants. But the United States and Europe say they are concerned Iran’s civilian nuclear power program is really a cover for the development of nuclear weapons.

Democratic holdout agrees to support health care reform in US
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Democratic holdout agrees to support health care reform in US

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A conservative Democratic United States senator has agreed to supply the key 60th vote needed for passage of a sweeping health care reform package. Senate Democrats have reached a breakthrough in their struggle to pass sweeping heath care reform legislation, lining up the 60 votes needed to overcome fierce Republican opposition. Senators met Saturday in Washington, D.C. during a driving snowstorm in a frenzied effort to move forward on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

The spotlight was on moderate Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who had been the last holdout as Senate Democrats raced against the clock and against determined Republican opposition to pass their health care bill by their self-imposed deadline of December 25th, Christmas.

Change is never easy, but change is what is necessary in America today and and that is why I intend to vote for cloture, I intend to vote for cloture and for health care reform.

Nelson said he is now ready to vote for cloture, which would advance the bill. “Change is never easy, but change is what is necessary in America today and and that is why I intend to vote for cloture, I intend to vote for cloture and for health care reform,” he said.

Nelson said he decided to support the bill after winning new concessions from Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to limit the availability of abortions in insurance sold under the new legislation along with millions of dollars in Medicaid funding for Nebraska.

The legislation would extend health benefits to more than 30 million uninsured Americans and impose new regulations on the health insurance industry.

Senator Reid of Nevada has been working for months to win over one holdout Democratic senator after another, repeatedly altering the bill to satisfy different demands. Reid says reform is essential. “The broken system cannot continue and it will not continue. When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will officially end the era in which insurance companies win only when patients lose,” he said.

The broken system cannot continue and it will not continue. When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will officially end the era in which insurance companies win only when patients lose.

Nelson’s support should pave the way for Senate Democrats to win the first of a series of crucial procedural votes scheduled to begin at one o’clock in the morning on Monday and set to conclude — if everything goes smoothly for them — with final passage on Christmas Eve.

Republicans have been using a number of parliamentary procedures to delay action on the bill, including forcing a reading on the Senate floor Saturday of Reid’s 338-pages of last minute amendments. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky responded to the apparent Democratic breakthrough. “And Democrats are forcing a vote on it, as I indicated, over the weekend, counting on the fact that the American people are preoccupied with Christmas and not paying much attention to what they are doing,” he said.

The history that is being made here, make no mistake about it, the history that is being made here, is the ignoring of the will of the American people.

Republicans are unified in their opposition, saying the bill is too expensive and will not solve the problems with the current health care system. Senator McConnell dismissed claims by Democrats that the bill is historic. “The history that is being made here, make no mistake about it, the history that is being made here, is the ignoring of the will of the American people,” he said.

Senator John McCain of Arizona echoed those comments in the weekly Republican radio address saying, “Regrettably, there’s nothing in this legislation that effectively addresses the problem of health care hyperinflation. In fact, experts tell us the Democrat legislation makes matters worse.”

Democrats say they have been trying to reform the nation’s health care system for close to 70 years, ever since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in office. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut was emotional as victory seemed within reach. “All we are trying to do is to guarantee that if you are a fellow citizen of ours, and you are struck with illness or a loved one is, that you will never again have that fear, that you will end up losing your home, your job, your retirement and your life savings because you have been afflicted with an illness through no fault of your own.”

If the Senate is able to pass a bill next week, it would be viewed as a major victory for President Obama. But the bill would still need to be reconciled with a health-care reform bill passed last month by the House of Representatives before the president could sign it into law next year.

Dove’s Real Beauty looks at photoshoot techniques in commercial
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Dove’s Real Beauty looks at photoshoot techniques in commercial

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dove soaps continues their North American “Campaign for Real Beauty” advertising with a television commercial that explores the alterations that can be done on models.

Labeled “a Dove film”, the commercial is entitled “evolution”. Beginning with a woman walking into a photo shoot. From there, she is primped and plucked by hair and makeup artists, then tweaked on a Photoshop-like program.

The photo-manipulation is then posted on a billboard for the fictional “Easel Foundation Makeup” brand. Two young, teenage girls walk past, glancing at the board.

“No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted” ends the ad in text, “Every girl deserves to feel beautiful just the way she is.”

Dove runs the Dove Self-Esteem Fund as a part of their Campaign for Real Beauty. In the marketing campaign, Dove uses “real” women, instead of professional models, in an attempt to instill self-esteem in their customers.

This continuing promotion, launched in 2004, was on the forefront of a current trend in Western culture to abandon the overly idealised images the media portrays of women. Recently some fashion capitals have mandated minimum body mass indexes for runway models. The top rated comedy in the United States and Canada is Ugly Betty, a series that stars an average girl coping at a fashion magazine. The series is based on Betty la Fea, an extremely popular Colombian telenovela, which has been reproduced internationally.

Only two percent of women surveyed worldwide consider themselves beautiful, according to ABC Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, whose program debuted the commercial this morning at 8:07 am EST.

The ad is currently playing on the Campaign for Real Beauty’s homepage.

Curfew in Haryana as protesters demand reservation for Jat quota
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Curfew in Haryana as protesters demand reservation for Jat quota

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A growing number of cities in the Indian state Haryana have been under curfew since Friday. At least eight people are reported dead, with government offices, property, dozens of buses, and eight railway stations burned after protests over job quotas for the Jat caste turned violent in several cities including Rohtak, Bhiwani, and Jhajjar. Reportedly some protesters broke into an armory in Rohtak, stealing arms and ammunition.

I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society.

Shoot-at-sight was ordered for Rohtak, Bhiwani, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Jind and Hisar. Shops, hotels, and restaurants were set afire by protesters. Thirteen national army columns were called, and helicopters were used to reach various places in the state. Internet was disabled in affected districts, and the state government ordered blocks of all social networking websites.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held a meeting to decide if Jats should also gain the reservation rights for government jobs and colleges by classifying them under Other Backwards Castes.

Burning of stations and uprooting of tracks affected 810 scheduled trains, according to The Indian Express. Police said protesters torched Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu’s house. The state might face water crises. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was to hold the Haryana Central Teacher Eligibility Test today, but cited “administrative difficulties” for suspending it.

Back in 2014, the UPA government appealed for a Jat quota which was rejected by the Supreme Court. This morning, Manohar Khattar tweeted “I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society.”

Last year, similar protest took place in Gujarat as Patels protested for reservation led by Hardik Patel.

Police describe bloody evidence in NY Sen. Monserrate assault trial
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Police describe bloody evidence in NY Sen. Monserrate assault trial

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A crime scene police detective and a forensic biologist testified on Tuesday about bloody evidence entered into the court record, in the ongoing criminal trial against New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate. Monserrate faces charges of felony assault in an alleged attack on his girlfriend Karla Giraldo.

The prosecution has asserted that when Monserrate discovered that his girlfriend had the business card of another man, he chose to strike out at her. Monserrate has entered a plea of not guilty to charges he sliced his girlfriend’s face with broken glass during a conflict at their apartment on December 19, 2008. The defense team denied that the injury to the woman by Monserrate was intentional, instead claiming that the incident was “an accident” and the result of Monserrate tripping while bringing Giraldo a glass of water.

An emergency physician that had treated Giraldo stated in court last Thursday that Monserrate’s girlfriend asserted to her that her injuries were not the result of an accident. Though the defense has argued that Giraldo, who is from Ecuador, may have been difficult to understand – the physician stated she conversed with Monserrate’s girlfriend in both Spanish and in English.

…it is nothing more than rank speculation.

The police detective that first inspected the crime scene testified Tuesday to the court about his recollection of discovering broken glass at the apartment, along with blood, towels covered in blood, and a ripped women’s t-shirt. Prosecutors entered into evidence a ripped sleeveless undershirt that police had found in the garbage outside Monserrate’s apartment on the night of the alleged attack. Bloody towels were was also found at the crime scene in the bathroom, and bloody smudges were discovered on a light switch in the bedroom.

According to forensic biologist Ewilina Badja, the majority of the blood found at the scene originated from one woman. Prosecutors assert that this woman is Giraldo, who was treated for injuries surrounding her left eye that took approximately 40 stitches to remedy. Badja identified blood on a male green shirt found in the bathroom sink as that of Monserrate.

Joseph Tacopina, defense counsel for Monserrate, argued that the police detective’s testimony does not prove his client attacked Giraldo. NY1 reported that Tacopina stated: “There’s not a piece of evidence that supports there was a scuffle where someone tore someone’s clothing, so it is nothing more than rank speculation. It was not a blood drenched t-shirt. When it was torn who knows? I have in my closet right now torn T-shirts that I wear to bed every night.”

On cross-examination, Tacopina queried New York City Police Department crime scene analyst Detective David Hernandez regarding the blood discovered on the bedroom light switch. According to Hernandez, police did not evaluate the blood on the light switch; Hernandez also stated that the lights in the apartment were found turned on. Tacopina argued that this bolsters the story provided by defense – that his client stumbled in a dark room while attempted to bring water to his girlfriend, and placed his bloody hand on the light switch after accidentally breaking the drinking glass on Giraldo’s face.

Queens Supreme Court Justice William Erlbaum will judge the case without a jury, as Monserrate waived his right for a trial before his peers. The group National Organization for Women has requested that the judge rule Monserrate should be given “the maximum sentence allowable by law”. If convicted, Democrat Sen. Monserrate could serve seven years in prison and lose his New York State Senate seat.

Monserrate is a former city councilman. He became a member of the New York State Senate weeks after the alleged conflict with Giraldo, and was made chair of the committee overseeing consumer affairs. Along with Democrat Pedro Espada Jr., Monserrate started a shift in control of the Senate by aligning with the Republican Party.

Drawbacks And Benefits Of New York City Condos

byadmin

If you are like many, you want the comforts of home with all the amenities that can be found with condos in New York City. However, condo living isn’t for everyone, so it’s important that you go through all the drawbacks and benefits before making a decision. That way, you’ll know what means the most to you and whether or not you can deal with the negative aspects of condo life.

Community Living

While some people don’t mind community life and think of it as a benefit, some people don’t like sharing common areas, such as pools and fitness centers, and may not want to feel part of a community in their condo. These people should probably consider a house.

Fees

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Every month you’ll have homeowner’s association fees (HOA), so you’ll constantly be paying for the maintenance of the common areas and grounds. While this can reduce large one-time expenses you may find with living in a home, it isn’t for everyone, especially if you don’t care about the amenities provided.

Rules

Buying a house means you can do whatever you want to the property, walls and building. New York City condos have rules that state what is allowed and what isn’t. You may be able to hang decorations, but may not be able to paint your walls and won’t have a say with the property. You may also be restricted when it comes to guests.

Convenience

Though the disadvantages of a condominium may deter some, it does offer various conveniences. For one thing, it will be nearer to city centers and entertainment options. For another, you’ll likely notice better transportation routes though that isn’t the case for every location.

Affordability

A condo unit can be more affordable than a house though many are expensive in large cities. However, there are usually lower-budget options for those single-income families and first-time buyers so don’t hesitate to ask and look around.

Security

A condominium usually offers better security options, as there is always a doorman available, as well as lobby personnel to ensure that those who enter should be there. You’ll also have neighbors nearby, which can help if something goes wrong.

Amenities

The amenities alone are usually worthwhile to people, and can include pools, spas, fitness centers, children’s playrooms and more. Just make sure you’ll use the amenities, as you’ll be required to pay for them regardless.

If you are interested in New York City condos, you probably realize the benefits of convenience, security and amenities. Visit Carnegie Park’s website today to learn more about availability or to contact them.

Press conference to be held Thursday on new ‘Star Trek 11’ movie
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Press conference to be held Thursday on new ‘Star Trek 11’ movie

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wikinews has learned that George Takei, who played Sulu on the American television show Star Trek, has announced on the radio talk show Coast to Coast AM With George Noory on Monday night that a “press conference” will be held on Thursday July 26 regarding the new Star Trek 11 movie. The movie is planned to be released in December 2008.

“I understand that there will be a press conference on Thursday, regarding the new Star Trek movie, and major casting announcements will be made then,” said Takei.

Brad Altman of www.georgetakei.com, has told Wikinews that the conference is scheduled to take place at the San Diego Comic Convention on July 26 from 1:00 p.m. (pacific time) until 3:30 p.m..

The director of the new movie, J. J. Abrams is expected to announce a “few surprises,” says a statement posted on the Comic-Con 2007 website.

The conference is apparently to put to rest rumors that started to circulate online that Matt Damon was going to star in the new movie as Captain James T. Kirk. Damon later said in an interview with ign.com that he was “too old” to play the role and that it was nothing but an “internet rumor” and that he was not approached by anyone to be in the film.

It is rumored that Leonard Nimoy will be cast as Spock, or that Zachary Quinto will play the role.

It is also rumored that the movie will be a prequel to the TV show. According to IMDb the movie is going to be “set before ‘The Original Series’ [when] Kirk and Spock are newly graduated Cadets fresh from Starfleet Academy and are sent on their first space mission.”

Wikinews interviews former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party
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Wikinews interviews former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party

Monday, November 5, 2012

With the U.S. presidential election looming, former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson spoke with Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn on an assortment of economic, foreign, and social issues. In the interview, Johnson makes his final plea to voters before they cast their ballots on Election Day, November 6.

Though a member of the Libertarian Party in the early 1990s, Johnson was elected and re-elected governor of New Mexico in 1994 and 1998 as a Republican. During his governorship, he vetoed over 750 bills, more than all other then-governors combined, and left the state with a $1 billion budget surplus. He briefly ran for president as a Republican in 2011 before rejoining the Libertarian Party to seek its 2012 presidential nomination.

After winning the nomination this past May, Johnson has campaigned throughout the nation espousing the Fair Tax, spending cuts across the board, a repeal of Obamacare, an audit of the Federal Reserve, a non-interventionist foreign policy, an end to the Drug War, and legalization of same-sex marriage. He and his running mate, Judge Jim Gray of California, have attained ballot access in all U.S. states except Michigan, where he is a write-in candidate, and Oklahoma. Nationally, he has received four percent registered-voter support in the past two CNN/Opinion Research Polls that included him with President Barack Obama, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. It is the campaign’s goal to reach five percent on Election Day, which will enable the party to receive ballot access and federal funding on par with the two major parties.

With Wikinews, Johnson discusses the federal budget, education, entitlements, the Syrian uprising, Mexican Drug War, same-sex marriage, the Libertarian Party, and his political future.

Contents

  • 1 Economic matters
  • 2 Foreign affairs
  • 3 Social issues
  • 4 Libertarian Party and political future
  • 5 Related news
  • 6 Sources

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