18 Motorcyclists killed during Bike Week

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18 Motorcyclists killed during Bike Week

Posted by VZWk94v8 on December 3, 2019

Monday, March 13, 2006

2006 was the deadliest Datona Beach Bike Week ever, with a total of 18 bikers being killed on Florida roads, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. This year’s festivities brought in about 500,000 bikers to the Daytona area, and 14 of those killed were from Florida. Walter Fliss, 51, had recently bought his motorcycle before being killed when he drove into a construction site. Another biker rode into a guardrail, and others were killed on their way home.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Stuart Ryan, Ottawa Centre

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Stuart Ryan, Ottawa Centre

Posted by VZWk94v8 on November 15, 2019

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Stuart Ryan is running for the Communist Party in the Ontario provincial election in Ottawa Centre. Wikinews interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

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The Deadliest Fall

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The Deadliest Fall

Posted by VZWk94v8 on November 9, 2019

18 December 2004

http://www.ideaexplore.net/news/041116/flu.jpg

Emergency hospital during 1918 influenza epidemic, Camp Funston, Kansas (source: National Museum of Health and Medicine, AFIP).

A bout of the flu can be mild. In young, healthy adults, many infections pass unnoticed. But sometimes the influenza virus evolves into a strain that decimates its victims. The worst known strain swept the world in the Fall of 1918, infecting 500-1000 million and killing 40-100 million, about 2-5% of people.

There are several theories about where the pandemic began, but the likeliest origin was in Haskell County, Kansas, in the United States. People in the sparsely populated county, where farmers raised pigs, poultry, cattle, and grain, began suffering from influenza in late January 1918. Unusually for flu, it was young, healthy adults who were hardest hit. Victims fell ill suddenly, many progressing to pneumonia and dying, often within days. Within weeks, however, the epidemic ended. The natural geographic isolation of this community normally might have contained the fatal flu in a sort of unintentional quarantine, but the First World War intervened. Men were uprooted from their home towns and congregated in huge numbers in army camps for training and then shipping out to other camps or to fight in Europe. The destination for men from Haskell County was Camp Funston, part of Fort Riley, Kansas, where the first influenza case was reported in early March. As soldiers moved among camps, the virus spread. Within two months, the epidemic spread to most of the army camps and most of the largest cities in the United States. As American soldiers went to France, so did the virus, spreading first from the port of Brest.

The flu then spread worldwide. The pandemic reached its height in the Fall of 1918. Spain was affected early, and because Spain was not fighting in the World War, there was no wartime censorship, and news of the outbreak became widely known, leading to the flu being called the Spanish Flu in many countries. In Spain, however, it was called French Flu or the Naples Soldier. In India, about 12 million people died of flu. In some US cities, people died so quickly that morticians couldn’t cope with the bodies. According to Jessie Lee Brown Foveaux, who worked in the Fort Riley laundry during the epidemic: “They were piling them up in a warehouse until they could get coffins for them.”

The disease started with cough, then headache. Temperature, breathing and heart rate increased rapidly. In the worst cases, pneumonia came next, the lungs filling with liquid, drowning the patients and turning them blue from lack of air. Patients bled from every orifice: mouths, noses, ears, eyes. Those who survived often suffered temporary or permanent brain damage. Several million developed encephalitis lethargica, in which victims were trapped in a permanent sleeplike and rigid state, as portrayed in the 1990 movie “Awakenings.” In others, normal thought processes were impaired. During negotiations to end World War I, US President Woodrow Wilson was struck with flu, and people around him noted that his mental abilities never fully recovered. The French leader George Clemenceau had wanted harsher punishment of Germany than Wilson had desired. Clemenceau may have convinced Wilson in his weakened state to accept such harsh terms, which may have been one of the factors causing World War II.

Since flu is highly contagious early in the illness, even before symptoms appear, strict quarantine may be necessary to stop its spread during an epidemic. Australia kept its 1918 flu death rate relatively low by enforcing quarantines. However, in many parts of the world, public health officials hesitated to impose such measures, giving the disease time to gain a foothold. In the US city of Philadelphia, a rally of half a million people was planned in September 1918 to sell bonds to fund the war, at just the time when the flu started to infect residents. Although doctors warned the public health director to cancel the rally, he wanted to meet the city’s quota to raise money for the war and refused to cancel the event. Within days after the rally, half a million city residents caught the flu.

Why was the 1918 flu so deadly? The influenza virus wasn’t preserved at the time of the outbreak, at least on purpose. But in the late 1990s researchers Ann Reid, Jeffery K. Taubenberger, and their colleagues extracted and sequenced the genetic material of the virus, RNA, from tissue of victims who died in the pandemic. They used bits of lung that were preserved in formalin from victims on army bases or from victims buried in permafrost in the Alaskan village of Brevig Mission, where flu killed 85% of adults. Comparisons with known flu viruses in humans, pigs, and birds suggest that some genes of the 1918 virus came from birds or an unknown animal source. Other scientists then were able to show that the amino acid sequence of hemagglutinin protein from the 1918 virus had several changes from other flu viruses that may have helped it to easily bind and invade human cells, and that made the virus look different enough from earlier flu virus strains that people had no immunity.

The possibility exists that another flu pandemic will sweep the world like the one in 1918. In 2004, an H5N1 influenza virus has killed millions of birds and at least 30 people in southeast Asia. So far this virus strain has not evolved the ability to pass directly from human to human, but that possibility becomes more likely as the bird flu pandemic continues and humans remain in contact with chickens, ducks, and other birds. The virus has killed two-thirds of people reported to be infected. Dr. Tim Uyeki, an epidemiologist for the US Centers for Disease Control, says, “you have the ingredients in Asia right now for a public health disaster.”

But since sequences of this bird flu virus are known, it may be possible to develop a vaccine or set of vaccines to protect against it. At a special meeting of influenza experts on November 11th and 12th, World Health Organization influenza program chief Klaus Stohr said, “It is not only possible, but also important, that influenza pandemic vaccines be made available… and there’s a shared responsibility needed to make that happen…. We have a huge window of opportunity now.”

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Chrysler files for bankruptcy, Fiat Group SpA to run company

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Chrysler files for bankruptcy, Fiat Group SpA to run company

Posted by VZWk94v8 on November 9, 2019

Friday, May 1, 2009

The American auto company Chrysler filed for bankruptcy Thursday, however a deal with European auto maker Fiat went through. The emerging Chrysler will be owned 55 percent by the United Auto Workers, eight percent by the United States Government, two percent by the Canadian Government and Fiat would begin with a 20 percent share.

Chrysler Chief Executive Robert Nardelli will step down when the bankruptcy proceedings are finalized.

Initially, the Italian company, Fiat, will appoint three members on the emerging Chrysler’s new board, and the United States government will appoint six. Fiat can assume the majority of the ownership upon repayment of American loans.

Chrysler administrators expect that the bankruptcy should take a couple of months.

“We expect this to be a very short, 30-to-60-day bankruptcy process, during which the company will function normally,” a top administration official said, “People will be able to buy cars, they will have their warranties honored, and everything should go on normally.”

The bankruptcy filing indicated that Chrysler was in debt to 20 creditors to a tune of more than $10 million each.

Meanwhile, the deal with Fiat did go through, and Chrysler should have cars designed by Fiat out on the market by 2011.

“It’s a partnership that will give Chrysler a chance not only to survive, but to thrive in a global auto industry,” said American president Obama, “Fiat has demonstrated that it can build the clean, fuel-efficient cars that are the future of the industry.”

However, automotive analyst Erich Merkle has hesitations.

“History would show that alliances really don’t work that well,” Merkle said, “even though, no matter how good they may look on paper.”

The restructuring has been managed by Steve Rattner, a former investment banker, and the U.S. Government auto task force.

Obama has set three ultimatums before Fiat. Fiat should produce a 40 mile per gallon vehicle while managing the new Chrysler, transfer fuel efficient Fiat technology to Chrysler factories in the United States, and produce cars in Chrysler factories and distribute them in Europe.

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Japanese researchers create smell sensor using genetically engineered frog eggs

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Japanese researchers create smell sensor using genetically engineered frog eggs

Posted by VZWk94v8 on October 30, 2019

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A University of Tokyo group of researchers, led by bioengineer Shoji Takeuchi, has made an electronic sensor capable of smelling gases. The sensor uses genetically engineered frog cells. Since previous sensors were not very accurate, the scientist decided to try a biological approach. The invention was revealed in a US scientific journal yesterday, and is supposed to be used to design better machines to detect polluting gases in the atmosphere.

Previous smell sensors were based on quartz rods, which vibrate when a substance binds to them. The gases are distinguished by their molar masses, which can be similar for molecules with different structure, thus relatively often triggering a false positive. Trying to find a more accurate solution, Takeuchi decided to follow an example from insect world. As he explained, “when you think about the mosquito, it is able to find people because of carbon dioxide from the human. So the mosquito has CO2 receptors. When we can (extract) DNA (from the mosquito) we can put this DNA into the frog eggs to detect CO2.”

Genes of several insects (the silk moth, diamondback moth and fruit fly), injected into African clawed frog Xenopus laevis eggs, allowed them to produce relatively inexpensive and useful sensors. The choice of the species was caused by their widely studied and well-understood protein expression mechanism.

The modified cells responded to three kinds of pheromones and one odourant, which have similar chemical properties. When a molecule of an odorous substance adhered to the receptor on the membrane protein, ion channels opened for a certain period of time, and a current was generated. Its magnitude was clearly different for all four tested substances, allowing to distinguish between them accurately.

The colleagues embedded the sensor into a mannequin, so that it could shake its head when a gas was detected. It was easier to observe. Pheromones and molecules with quite similar molecule structure produced clearly distinguishable reaction, with higher accuracy than other biological or human-made sensors. As the research group said, the detection sensitivity of the odor sensor is several tens of parts per billion (ppb), and it is as high as the sensitivity of an existing odor sensor that uses an oxide semiconductor. The distinctive feature of the new sensor is its capability to selectively detect some odorous substances, rather than its sensitivity. Very few false positives were possible due to the biological mechanism involved.

At normal temperature, the sensor lifetime is about 12 hours, which can be extended by putting it into a refrigerator before first use.

Shoji Takeuchi says has a great hope for research use in future, since the frog eggs are very practical for genetic engineering, and can be conveniently used to develop smell sensors for a wide range of gases. He said, “The X. laevis oocyte has high versatility for the development of chemical sensors for various odorants. We believe that a shared ability to smell might open a new relationship between man and robot. .. The research will have wide implications… If the sensor is embedded in a nursing robot, it will be able to identify certain mouth odors or body odors. Also, it can be used for detecting CO2, air pollution, water pollution and food. It’s very important for the environment.”

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

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

Posted by VZWk94v8 on October 30, 2019

Saturday, April 17, 2010

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

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

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

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with NDP candidate Glenn Crowe, Bramalea-Gore-Malton

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with NDP candidate Glenn Crowe, Bramalea-Gore-Malton

Posted by VZWk94v8 on October 30, 2019

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Glenn Crowe is running for the NDP in the Ontario provincial election, in the Bramalea-Gore-Malton riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Crowe did not reply to various questions asked.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Hurricane Katrina causes upwards of $12bn of damage; oil prices surge

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Hurricane Katrina causes upwards of $12bn of damage; oil prices surge

Posted by VZWk94v8 on October 28, 2019

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina is now over the U.S. mainland and has caused more than US$12 billion of damage. Some estimates are as high as $30 billion.

New Orleans was spared the most intense winds as the hurricane weakened as it made landfall, and its track turned slightly east, away from the city. However, the area was still subjected to sustained winds of more than 100mph, and rainfall as heavy as six inches per hour.

Future prices of crude oil rose above $70/barrel in the U.S. on Monday in the wake of Katrina’s surge through oil and refinery processing facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm forced operators to shut down an estimated 1 million barrels of daily refining capacity in the region that accounts for nearly a quarter of total domestic production.

A U.S. spokesman for the Bush administration said the government will consider releasing crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if requested by refiners. OPEC has pledged to blunt the impact by increasing production to compensate.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters that Michael Brown, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), briefed Mr. Bush before he left his Texas ranch for Arizona where he will deliver a speech on Medicare. Brown said it would take time before an assessment is possible for when refineries could resume activity.

President Bush authorized loans from the strategic reserve to help make up for missing supplies when Hurricane Ivan struck in 2004.

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Strike ballot to go ahead despite British Telecom’s belated new pay offer

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Strike ballot to go ahead despite British Telecom’s belated new pay offer

Posted by VZWk94v8 on October 18, 2019

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The UK’s Communication Workers’ Union have effectively rejected a belated revised pay offer by telecoms giant British Telecom. Their statement, released early this evening, indicates a formal ballot on strike action is inevitable – unless the company revises their two percent offer for 2010.

The deadline set by the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) passed at noon last Friday, apparently unheeded by BT. The union’s announcement of their intent to ballot members apparently resulted in the offer — one with no new money on the table for this year.

Last week, when their ultimatum was ignored, CWU deputy secretary general (DSG) Andy Kerr expressed deep disappointment, citing the substantial profits made by the company in the last financial year: “[w]e’re obviously very disappointed that BT has not improved its pay offer of 2% despite their healthy profits this year.”

The turnaround from losses of £244 million to a billion-pound-plus profit has, the union claims, galvanised their membership into seriously considering industrial action. Reports of senior directors receiving million-pound bonuses, and former Labour minister Patricia Hewitt landing over over £50,000 extra per-year, are characterised as “directors’ ‘snouts in the trough'”. Hewitt was suspended from her parliamentary party in March over cash-for-access accusations, and works two to three days each month on BT’s remuneration committee.

The UK’s Press Association described the now-rejected offer as being worth 2% this year, and an additional 3% in 2011 with staff bonuses of up to £250. The package supposedly contains pledges on no compulsory redundancies and the return of call centre and non-frontline work from outsource companies in India.

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Wikinews called both the Communication Workers’ Union, and British Telecom, seeking clarification on a number of points. Richard Knowles, a BT press officer in London, forwarded their terse sub-400-word statement, refusing to be drawn on reports that the offer includes the repatriation of call centre and back-office jobs. When challenged on this work being carried out in a jurisdiction with less-stringent data protection, and computer misuse legislation, our reporter was referred back to the company’s statement.

Sian Jones of the CWU’s Press Office, commenting prior to the union’s evening statement, remarked that repatriation of call centre work was an issue that the union had prior, unrelated, discussions with BT about; she gave no indication to Wikinews this was, or was not, part of BT’s revised offer.

The press release, shortly after 1630 BST, expressed clear intent to carry on with the process of balloting members on strike action. In the statement, CWU DGS Andy Kerr states, “[w]e’re very disappointed that BT’s revised offer remains materially unchanged for this year in terms of pay.”

Continuing, he emphasised, “[…] we’ve made clear, 2 per cent is unacceptable for our members as it does not reflect the reward they expect given the contribution they have made to cost savings of £1.75 billion and profits of over £1bn. In addition, inflation is at 5.3 per cent and staff are comparing this offer with the large salary rises and bonuses for senior executives which expose the blatant double standards being adopted by the company when it comes to remuneration.”

The CWU statement also expresses concern over BT’s disclosure of details within the offer; “BT’s decision to leak their offer to the media today has also raised trust issues for us with the company.”

Any sustained action by CWU members in BT’s employ could have a major impact on the country’s communication infrastructure. Millions of UK households and businesses are reliant on BT for internet access – in addition to telephony services.

Following the release of their statement, the CWU’s Sian Jones confirmed that the union had not, as-yet, given BT the formal seven-days notice of balloting members on strike action.

Any ballot would run for a two-week period; following such, the union would, again, be required to give seven days notice to BT; this time of their intent to take workers out on strike. She emphasised, “nobody wants to be on strike”, stressing that the union last took such action in 1987, and would prefer round-table discussions and an improved offer.

The structure of BT’s privatisation, and breakup to permit level playing-field telephony and broadband competition, would see other Internet service providers who rely on the ageing, once GPO-owned, copper POTS infrastructure unable to resolve customer faults. According to the CWU, BT has been querying managerial staff on their skillsets – as a form of preparation for any industrial action. A union spokesperson described this as “laughable”.

When called for comment on the union’s rejection of their revised offer, the BT press office declined to comment at this time.

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Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb

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Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb

Posted by VZWk94v8 on October 18, 2019

Friday, March 13, 2009

A team of archaeologists excavating an Ancient Egyptian tomb have discovered golden jewelry in a recently-discovered lower chamber at the Valley of the Kings burial site in Luxor, Egypt.

Two golden rings and five golden earrings were found in the tomb of Djehuty, an 18th-dynasty official of Queen Hatshepsut, and were probably the property of Djehuty or his family.

The discovery was announced by Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s current Minister of Culture.

Djehuty was overseer of the treasury and overseer of works for the Queen. Hatshepsut reigned approximately 1479–1458 BCE. Djehuty was responsible for managing the huge amounts of precious goods brought in from Egypt’s military expedition to Punt in the Horn of Africa and the vast building projects of Hatshepsut which have made the female pharaoh one of the most-remembered of any from ancient Egypt.

Djehuty died after Hatshepsut did, sometime during the reign of Thutmosis III. Both Hatshepsut’s and Thutmosis’s names are recorded on the tomb. In a fashion typical of ancient Egyptian rivalries, Hatshepsut’s name was partly obscured on the monument over the tomb sometime after the queen’s death.

The team, led by José Manuel Galán of the National Research Center (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC), in Madrid, Spain, had been excavating the tomb, designated TT11 and located in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, since 2002. While much of Djehuty’s funerary equipment was lost to fire in antiquity, the lower chamber of his tomb was concealed at the end of a three-meter shaft and discovered at the end of 2008.

A superficial description of the tomb itself was recorded almost two hundred years ago by 19th-century French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, rubble blocking the entrance hindered excavation until the 21st century. In that time, emphasis in Egyptology has changed from the cataloging of treasures to the investigation of ancient culture, life and religion.

Since excavation began, Djehuty’s tomb has yielded a number of surprises. It was discovered that the tomb was re-used repeatedly up to and during the Greco-Roman period. There is an unusual face-on depiction of pharaoh Thutmosis III hunting ducks, and the mummy of a young, bejewelled, as-yet unidentified woman.

In 2007, 44 preserved bunches of flowers thought to be from Djehuty’s funeral were found in the site. In their 8th season of excavation, which ended on February 22, 2009, the team also found considerable evidence that below Djehuty’s tomb is a network of burial sites from the 11th dynasty, four thousand years old.

The lower chamber also displays passages from the Egyptian funerary text the Book of the Dead on its walls and a colorful mural of the goddess Nut, an embodiment of the heavens, on the ceiling. The names of Djehuty and his parents were also intact in the second chamber; the names were defaced in the previously-known first chamber of the tomb, which had also been looted.

According to a press release from Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Djehuty’s tomb is only the fifth known decorated burial chamber of the 18th dynasty. An additional unusual feature of the tomb is that its upper chamber is decorated in relief, rather than simply paint. When the excavation is completed, Dr Galán’s team plans to open the site to the public as the carved stoneworks will not be destroyed by tourists’ activities as paint would.

The identification of Djehuty is a complicated one, as a number of officials of the 18th dynasty bore the name, including a general and several governors. The name itself is an alternate transliteration of the name of the Egyptian god usually written in English as Thoth.

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