News briefs:May 30, 2008

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 03 22nd, 2019  |  No Comments »


  • 1 Monarchy abolished in Nepal
  • 2 UK study highlights child abuse by humanitarian workers
  • 3 Two MBTA Green Line trains collide in Newton, Massachusetts
  • 4 First fertilised fish fossil found


Poet, lyricist, and digital activist John Perry Barlow dies, aged 70

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Friday, February 9, 2018

On Wednesday morning, US poet, lyricist, and digital rights activist John Perry Barlow died in his sleep at his San Francisco home. The announcement of his death specified no cause, but reportedly Barlow had recently experienced debilitating health problems. The co-founder of the digital rights legal defense non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and former lyricist of rock band Grateful Dead was 70. The EFF announced his death.

Barlow composed lyrics for the Grateful Dead, several songs for the psychedelic rock band over almost 25 years. In the 1990s, he shifted his focus to the Internet, composing essays on Internet culture and working with the EFF to protect digital rights.

Born to Republican state legislator Norman Barlow and his wife Miriam, Barlow was raised on the Bar Cross Ranch in Pinedale, Wyoming. Barlow became friends with future Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir in high school before attending Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut, where he studied comparative religion. During his studies, Barlow began visiting LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) drug advocate Timothy Leary.

After graduation in 1969, he opted to travel the world and returned to his family’s ranch in 1971. With his father ill from a stroke, the younger Barlow began ranching before Weir contacted him to finish songs for the latter’s solo album Ace. The collaboration continued with the Grateful Dead and their individual members, with Barlow contributing occasional lyrics until the band’s 1995 dissolution. In 1977, he married Elaine Parker. He sold the family ranch in 1988 due to financial strain.

Barlow became interested in the online world in the 1980s, including becoming a leader at on-line forum the WELL. In 1990, Barlow was interrogated by an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent about possible connections to underground hackers. He posted his experience to the WELL and discovered that Mitch Kapor had had a similar encounter. The duo decided to join together to help provide legal defense for the hackers and formally incorporated the EFF, adding to the EFF board Stewart Brand, John Gilmore, and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak. He served on the board of the EFF until his death. He and Elaine divorced in 1995. He met Cynthia Horner in 1993 and was briefly engaged to her before her unexpected death from an undiagnosed health condition at the age of 29.

In addition to digital activism, Barlow was an early commentator on Internet culture, writing several pieces for Wired in its early years and penning essays such as “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” (1996) that helped define digital citizenship. In 1998 he became a fellow of Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and in 2013 he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. Barlow stayed active in issues related to civil liberties and rights, helping to create the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2012. Although he had mostly retired from songwriting, he contributed to several songs by jam band The String Cheese Incident.

Barlow suffered a major heart attack in 2015. By late 2016, he faced several serious health conditions, leading several musicians to hold a benefit concert for him to raise funds for his medical bills. He recently completed his memoir Mother American Night, slated for release on June 5.

Barlow is survived his ex-wife Elaine Parker Barlow; the couple’s three daughters Leah Justine, Anna Winter, and Amelia Rose; and a granddaughter.

Apartment gas blast in Yevpatoria, Ukraine

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

At least 27 people, including three children, have been killed and about twenty are still missing after a Wednesday gas explosion in an apartment building in the Ukrainian town of Yevpatoria, Crimea. Five injured are treated in local hospitals, one of them in a serious condition.

According to Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry, the blast occurred at about 9:45 p.m local time on Wednesday, destroying 35 apartments of a five-storey post-Soviet block. The rescuers, in the number of 565, managed to pull out alive 21 residents of the building; about twenty people are still unaccounted for, the Ministry spokesmen said. The search was regularly suspended so the rescuers could hear voices of victims still trapped under the rubble, the AFP reports.

Olexander Mazilin, head of the regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry, said that 26 out of 27 bodies have been identified so far. He told the journalists that entire families, including one family of five, were among the dead. Eduard Grivkovsky, the Crimea’s deputy prime minister, told the reporters that there are likely more casualties, as the rescuers were working through the rubble of the third floor to get to the lower floors and basement.

According to the outcome of the government experts, the blast was caused by a leak of oxygen; the gas is reported to have been stored in cylinders in the building’s basement. Yulia Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian Prime Minister, however, told the journalists that a certain information about the content of the cylinders, which is to be oxygen or acetylene, will be revealed only when rescuers get to the basement. “”According to preliminary expert conclusions, there was a workshop in the building’s basement where explosive materials have been used without any kind of permission,” she said. The Ukrainian government has allocated UAH 70 million (about US$ 13.865 million) for work against the effects of the blast. According to the official website of the Prime Minister, the funds will be used to pay peculiarly compensations for lost properties and purchase temporary accommodations for the victims of the blast.

Gas explosions are not rare in the post-Soviet and poorly maintained areas of Ukraine. In 2003 and 2007, such blasts happened in Dnipropetrovsk in the south-central region of the country. In 2003, ten buildings, including a nine-story apartment building, were destroyed after a series of gas blasts; the occurrence resulted in 23 victims. One year ago, a nine-story building was partially destroyed with 15 people dead.

2008 Young Designers’ Exhibition to interact with the world

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Friday, May 16, 2008

2008 The 27th Young Designers’ Exhibition, opened on May 15 at the Taipei World Trade Center and closes Sunday May 18. It features participation by 87 academic groups in Taiwan and 20 groups from United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Australia to showcase various achievements in industrial design. It is recognized by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) as the largest show of student creations.

Besides the several design competitions, sponsors like International Forum Design (iF), EPSON, MUJI (in Japanese: ????, Mujirushi Ry?hin), Tsann Kuen Trans-nation Group will showcase different solutions for the design, creative, and cultural industries. The show’s organizer, Taiwan Design Center, also designed several on-site events like “On-line Graduate Season Show”, “Career Match-up”, “Creative and Cultural Showcase and Performance”, “Seminars of YODEX 2008” to link the actual exhibition with the on-line exhibition.

Besides of the previously announced “Wow! Taiwan Design Award”, winners from “2008 Young Designers’ Competition” and “2008 YODEX Interior Design Competition” were announced on Saturday, May 17.

Strongest earthquake in 40 years hits Southeast Asia

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Sunday, December 26, 2004

Indian Ocean – The death toll continues to grow and millions face a homeless life in the new year as coastal communities in south Asia struggle against continued aftershocks and flooding caused by the largest earthquake to strike the planet in more than a generation.

The magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake struck off the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia on December 26, 2004, at 00:58:50 UTC (or 07:58:50 local time in Jakarta and Bangkok).

The earthquake was the strongest in the world since the 9.2-magnitude Good Friday Earthquake which struck Alaska, USA in 1964, and the fourth largest since 1900. More than 140,000 deaths[1] were caused by resulting tsunami, which in Thailand were up to 10 meters (33 feet) tall, and struck within three hours of the initial event.

Multiple tsunamis struck and ravaged coastal regions all over the Indian Ocean, devastating regions including the Indonesian province of Aceh, the coast of Sri Lanka, coastal areas of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the resort island of Phuket, Thailand, and even as far away as Somalia, 4,100 km (2,500 mi) west of the epicenter.

While the earthquake and the tsunamis are no longer ongoing (other than aftershocks), the humanitarian and economic crisis generated by the disaster is still ongoing. This report will attempt to cover the crisis as it continues to develop.


  • 1 Damage and casualties
  • 2 Quake characteristics
  • 3 Post-tsunami humanitarian situation
    • 3.1 Humanitarian assistance
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 See also
  • 6 External links
    • 6.1 Aid efforts
    • 6.2 Video and Pictures of the devastation
  • 7 Video
  • 8 Pictures


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This is the category for Queensland, an Australian state.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 30 August 2018: Brisbane, Australia Magistrates Court charges two cotton farmers with $20m fraud
  • 10 August 2018: New South Wales, Australia government says entire state in winter 2018 drought
  • 9 April 2018: Woolworths, Australia moves single-use plastic bags ban date to June 20
  • 24 November 2016: Gympie win Twenty20 cricket final on Australia’s Sunshine Coast
  • 6 June 2016: Brisbane man granted bail on charge of raping 15-year-old girl
  • 31 May 2016: Australian Opposition Leader pledges to save Great Barrier Reef
  • 25 April 2016: University defeat Toads in 2016 Sunshine Coast Rugby Union round 4
  • 23 April 2016: Lebanon child abduction charges against mother may be dropped in exchange for custody
  • 20 April 2016: Charges against Sally Faulkner and 60 Minutes news crew dropped in Lebanon abduction case
  • 3 September 2015: Dedicated domestic violence court opens on Australian Gold Coast

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write.

Location of Queensland within Australia

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Wikinews interviews Jeff Jacobsen, creator of

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On Sunday, Wikinews interviewed creator of memorial site, former Lisa McPherson Trust employee and long time Scientology critic Jeff Jacobsen. is a memorial site created in 1997 containing information on her death and the resulting legal case against the Church of Scientology.

Lisa McPherson died in 1995 while in the care of the Church of Scientology. After a car accident, she became mentally unstable. Scientologists removed her from the hospital and placed her in the Introspection Rundown, she died 17 days later while still in care of the Church. She was used as an icon during Project Chanology, the protest of the Church of Scientology by Anonymous. Protesters were pictured with signs that said “Remember Lisa McPherson” and “Ask Scientology Why Lisa McPherson Died”, other protesters had posters with her picture on it.

Yahoo! to purge personal data after 3 months

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Internet giant Yahoo! announced on Wednesday that by January 2009 it will begin purging personal data collected when users access its search page at the 3 month mark, a far shorter time period than any of its search engine rivals such as Google, which retains personal data for 9 months, down from 18 months as of September, and Microsoft, which retains data for an 18 month period, though Microsoft has stated support for a six month industry standard. Prior to the announcement, Yahoo purged data at 13 months.

Just three years ago, the policy of all three search engines was to keep collected private data permanently, on the basis that it was necessary in order for them to run their services. However, in the wake of substantial public pressure, private advocacy and indications from regulators that if the industry did not police itself, it would be imposed upon them, all three companies instituted data protection schemes. Calls for shortening the time period before data is removed or obscured soon began and have grown in pitch.

Anne Toth, Yahoo’s vice president of policy and head of privacy stated that “we want to take the issue of data retention off the table.”

The move puts pressure on Google and Microsoft to follow suit, in a climate where European Union regulators have pushed for legislation, private advocacy groups are planning such a push in the U.S., and where Congress has raised questions about the extent Internet tracking of private data by telecommunications companies is being used to target advertising based on personal information.

Despite Yahoo’s data policy being more restrictive than that of Google’s or Microsoft’s, personal data will not be destroyed entirely but will by “anonymized”—hidden in various ways, including: deleting the final eight bits of a user’s IP address; changing the user’s Yahoo! ID to a one-way, secret, hash code and deleting one half of the identifier created; a similar hash obscuring of all cookie identifiers; and will filter certain types of unique personal identifiers such as credit card and social security numbers. Additionally, Yahoo indicates that it will purge information on page views, ad views, page clicks and ad clicks.

In a press release, Massachusetts Democrat Edward J. Markey, chairman of the House Energy Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, praised the restriction, and stated, “I urge other leading online companies to match or beat the commitments announced by Yahoo.”

One dead, two injured after car crash in Somerset, England

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

A man has died and another man and a woman are injured after a road traffic accident in Somerset, England, United Kingdom. At approximately 02:00 British Summer Time (01:00 UTC) yesterday, a BMW 328 that was carrying the three along the A370 road in East Brent — close to the location of Burnham-on-Sea — struck a telegraph pole before becoming stationary in a hedge and subsequently caught fire.

The 19-year-old male driver died at the location of this one-vehicle collision. The male passenger and female passenger, both of which were also teenage, were transported to Weston General Hospital. The road — which electricity cables had fallen onto — was closed down for approximately nine hours, with the fire service and police present.

It is thought that the A-road has now been re-opened. The police have commenced an investigation to attempt to establish the chain of events.

Collision Investigation Unit: 0845 456 7000

Grand Theft Auto under fire

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Grand Theft Auto (G.T.A.) game series, based on the underworld, pushes social limits on violence and sexual content in the video gaming industry. The newer Grand Theft Auto 3 release sparked controversy when it came to light the plot was based on an unnamed character’s mission to destroy and slaughter his way to the top of the local crime scene. Since that release, further games were developed: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Thursday, according to a report filed by Gamespot, congresswoman Hillary Clinton called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to “take immediate action to determine the source of graphic pornographic and violent content appearing on the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game.” Clinton also wanted the FTC to determine if an “AO” rating would be more suitable for the game than current “M” rating.

Clinton said she would work quickly to create a bill for a federal law that would “put some teeth into video game ratings.” The federal legislation by Clinton would follow similar state initiatives. California assemblymen Leland Yee introduced a bill in his state, as did Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. The purpose of the state and federal bills would be to “prohibit the sale of violent and sexually explicit video games to minors.” The passage and enactment of the proposed bill by Clinton would make it a federal offence to sell video game content to persons under the age of the games’s rating.

Like many Grand Theft Auto gamers, the Entertainment Software Rating Board(ESRB) is cautious over Clinton legislative proposal. Patricia Vance, the president of ESRB, issued this statement: “We urge all parties not to rush to judgment until all of the relevant facts, some of which are highly technical and complicated, have been established. Any second guessing at this point would be premature and inappropriate as this investigation continues.” Vance said amongst the ESRB’s top interests were to protect children, to educate parents, and make sure parents make good decisions on what video games their children be allowed to play.

Jack Thompson, the subject of beefs with Grand Theft Auto in the past, is a Republican attorney from Miami. Thompson sent out an email to major gaming outlets (Gamespot for example). The letter at first stated “I, as a lifelong Republican, am going to thank Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton,” and offered admiration for Clinton’s campaign against violence and sexual content in video games. The email then went on to criticize Doug Lowenstein, who helps manage ESRB and is the president of the Entertainment Software Association. Thompson wrote, “Doug Lowenstein could have prevented what is going to happen today, but he preferred to shoot the messengers.” Thompson also mentioned the Columbine High School massacre, and claimed it was the fault of the developers of games (specifically id Software, the maker of Doom). He claims the U.S. Constitution first amendment right to freedom of speech in no way protects the gaming industry from censorship.

Lowenstein issued the following statement regarding the current video game/Hot Coffee issue: “Retailers should not sell Mature games to minors, parents should watch what their kids watch, and parents should and can rely on the ESRB ratings to make the right choices for their families. We hope that… Senator Clinton will abandon the bill and work cooperatively with industry and others to ensure that parents take advantage of the effective tools on the market to regulate the games their kids play.”

Although some of the statements mentioned are related to video games in general and not so much GTA, a majority of all of this recently publicity did indeed start with the Hot Coffee mod for Grand Theft Auto. ESRB has never been pressured any harder in the past than they are now, and Rockstar still denies that they put the sex scenes in the game; although it has been recently demonstrated that Action Max-Replay (a cheat/feature-unlocking system for the Sony PlayStation 2) allows the user to play the “mini sex games” – the exact same thing the Hot Coffee mod unlocks for the PC version of GTA San Andreas.