Tuesday, April 14, 2020

In February 2017, the Iranian Chess Federation announced two teenage chess players, Dorsa Derakhshani and her younger brother Borna Derakhshani, were banned from representing the national team. The federation announced their decision although Dorsa Derakhshani had previously decided and informed the chess federation she did not wish to play for Iran.

Dorsa Derakhshani is currently 21 years old and holds the International Master (IM) as well as Woman Grand Master (WGM) titles. Her brother, Borna, plays for the English Federation and holds the FIDE Master title.

Dorsa Derakhshani was banned since she did not wear a hijab, an Islamic headscarf, while competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival in January 2017. Under the laws of Islamic Republic of Iran, hijab is a mandatory dress code. Her brother Borna Deraskhsani was banned for playing against Israeli Grand Master (GM) Alexander Huzman at the same tournament. Iran does not recognise the existence of Israel, and previously, Irani athletes have avoided playing against Israeli athletes.

Mehrdad Pahlavanzadeh, the president of the country’s chess federation, explained the decision to ban the players saying, “As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran and in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.” ((fa))Farsi language: ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???????? ?? ?? ????? ? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ????. He further stated, “Unfortunately, something that should not have happened has happened and our national interest is paramount and we have reported this position to the Ministry of Sports.” ((fa))Farsi language: ????????? ?????? ?? ????? ????????? ?????? ??? ? ????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????.

IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who currently studies at Saint Louis University in the United States and plays for the United States Chess Federation, discussed her chess career, time in Iran and the 2017 controversy, and her life in Saint Louis with a Wikinews correspondent.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Iranian_International_Master_Dorsa_Derakhshani_discusses_her_chess_career_with_Wikinews&oldid=4703628”

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

An Australian munitions factory exploded in South Australia. Two people were killed, another two were injured and one is still missing.

The factory produced explosives for quarrying, civil engineering and the military.

The explosion leveled everything within 100 metres and could be heard from 70km away.

Emergency services have been held back to a one kilometre radius of the factory until an explosives expert from Adelaide could come.

“It’s very dangerous, so we’re holding back,” police inspector Phil Warwick said, “It’s an explosives factory. All right it’s exploded, but that doesn’t mean all the explosives have gone. There’s still smoke coming from the area, which means there must be fire or heat. Put them (remaining explosives and fire) together and we could have another (explosion).”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Southern_Australian_munitions_factory_explodes&oldid=3130517”

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Yao Jiaxin, a 21-year-old student at the Xi’an Conservatory of Music, was sentenced to death on Friday. Yao, from Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi province, was convicted of homicide after stabbing a cyclist to death.

On the night of October 20, 2010, Yao ran into 26-year-old cyclist and mother of a two-year-old, Zhang Miao, while driving his car. After he saw her writing down his vehicle’s license plate number following the accident, he feared she would report him, and proceeded to murder her by stabbing her six times. Prior to her murder, Zhang had suffered only minor injuries in the accident, according to police.

On October 23, after being accused of murdering her, Yao went to the local police station with his parents and confessed to the crime. He said he killed Zhang because she had seen his license plate number, and he feared that the “peasant woman would be hard to deal with.”

During a three-hour trial on March 23, 2011, Yao’s lawyer pleaded for a lenient sentence, saying it was a “crime of passion.” Yao tearfully described how he had been forced to play the piano, leading him to thoughts of suicide. But prosecutors and judges said Yao did not deserve leniency, as he had not attempted to help the woman after the accident but instead murdered her.

Public passions were raised and some thought Yao would get off through the influence of his family. The case triggered a public debate over the death penalty.

“The motive is extremely despicable … the measures are extremely cruel … and the consequence is extremely serious,” said the court in its judgment.

[edit]

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Murderer_of_road_accident_victim_sentenced_to_death&oldid=4692053”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A 13-year-old boy was killed and ten people were injured in an accidental shooting incident in the Brazilian town of Rondonopolis.

The police were staging a mock hijack as a training exercise with real people in a bus as an audience on Saturday. They fired their guns at cardboard cutouts of criminals in the exercise. However, they used live ammunition in their guns, and the shots went straight through the cutouts and the glass windows of the bus.

Luis Henrique Dias Bulhoes, 13, was killed by a single shot to the head received from one of three 12-gauge shotguns that were amongst the weaponry the 16 police were using. Among the 600 people attending the exercise, six children and three adults were also injured.

Police admitted to the blunder on Monday. They believe bullets from more than one gun reached the audience. Seven of the 16 policeman are temporarily dismissed from their positions pending investigations.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=13-year-old_shot_dead_by_Brazilian_police_in_mock-up_of_hijacking_situation&oldid=3314876”

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontoians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16). Two candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Steven Bosnick, Charm Darby, Albert Pantaleo, Yigal Rifkind, Karen Stintz (incumbent), and Steve Watt.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Canada%27s_Eglinton—Lawrence_(Ward_16)_city_council_candidates_speak&oldid=435115”

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Official portrait of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Icelandic Prime Minister. Image: Icelandic Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Security.

The Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and her coalition government narrowly escaped a commitment to resign as a €3.8 billion bill to repay British and Dutch savers following the collapse of Icesave online banking passed. The vote margin was only three votes.

Only a matter of hours before the anticipated final vote, Wikileaks announced the disclosure of one of 23 documents suppressed by the Icelandic Minister of Finance: an apparent legal summary of meetings between Icelandic and EU representatives held in Brussels in November 2008. The leaked document discusses the then-assessed liabilities of Iceland at 60% of GDP, considerably higher than the reported 40% which repaying Icesave deposit holders entails.

Amongst the other details in the report is emphasis of the deep-seated anger of the Icelandic people at the situation around the financial collapse, particularly the UK’s use of anti-terrorism legislation in its approach to the country’s banks. Iceland’s interpretation of the situation, and its financial treaty obligations with the EU, considered foreign deposits lost through force majeure. All 27 EU members disagreed with Iceland’s interpretation and Peter Mandelson, although he resigned from the Barroso Commission in October, presented the legal position that Iceland could not pass legislation that did not ensure treaty-mandated minimum balance returns from failed Icelandic banks.

Leaked private communication from Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Iceland’s then-foreign minister, compared the potential liabilities the country faced with the reparations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles in the wake of World War I.

Three banks failed in the financial crisis: Kaupthing, Glitnir, and Landsbanki. As the list of creditors emerged it was found that, among others, UK councils had around £900 million with the banks. Landsbanki agreed to repay the majority of funds held, giving council depositors priority status. Approximately £200 million on deposit with Glitnir is at-risk; the bank has stated the councils will be treated equally with all other creditors seeing them likely to only recover 30% of the amount Glitnir held.

Kaupthing faces other difficulties. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office began an investigation earlier this month into the bank’s UK activities. At issue are allegations savers were misled into selecting one particular account type, plus suspicious financial activity suggesting substantial amounts were moved out of the bank in the days prior to its collapse.

At present, UK councils have received little more than ten percent of their over £900 million deposits. They are among over 8,500 creditors claiming a staggering total of £20 billion. The largest single claimant is the British Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund seeking €5 billion, and, of some note, Formula One racing team Williams claiming around £10 million in unpaid sponsorship from Glitnir who took on the liability from the Icelandic buyers of Hamleys.

Wikinews
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Debt to 84% government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) by Glitnir stands at around £500 million; much of the actual debt written off in 2008 as RBS posted £24 billion losses. Further write-offs by the bank are expected to total less than £50 million.

Icelanders resented the discovery that fifteen senior ex-employees of Landsbanki claim €14 million between them, including a single claim of €2.7 million. Suspicion exists that the banks arranged substantial interest-free loans for various of their shareholders and executives.

Today’s announcement of the Icelandic government’s agreement to pay out €3.8 billion keeps their application for EU membership on-track, although each one of the country’s 320,000 citizens effectively faces a €12,000 debt.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Icelandic_government_passes_Icesave_deal;_€12,000_debt_per_citizen&oldid=2571201”

Friday, June 8, 2012

Libby Kosmala’s selection in the Australian shooting team for the 2012 London Paralympics highlights age is not a barrier in the Paralympics. Celebrating her seventieth birthday in early July, expected to set a record for most appearances at her eleventh Games, Kosmala is likely to be the oldest athlete in attendance.

Her first Games were the 1972 Heidelberg Games competing in swimming and athletics events and winning a bronze medal in the mixed medley relay. Kosmala then switched to shooting and between 1976–1988 won nine gold and three silver medals.

At the 2008 Beijing Games she narrowly missed a medal, coming fourth in the Women’s Air Rifle Standing SH1. In 2011 at the IPC Shooting World Cup, her level of competitiveness was highlighted by finishing fifth in the final of the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1. Kosmala is looking forward to the London Games saying: “It’s very exciting. I’m looking forward to it. In over ten Paralympic Games, my greatest success was at Stoke Mandeville in 1984, so I’m looking forward to competing in London again for Australia”.

Kosmala loves beating athletes half her age: “Competition brings out the best in you. I’m old enough to be their grandmother for a lot of the players, but they really are lovely”. Kosmala’s training involves physical training, three shooting sessions per week and mental relaxation training. The London Games will be her swansong but she will still keep shooting. She puts her longevity down to steadiness and a keen eye. Ashley Adams is to join her on the shooting team, attending his fourth Games, as will newcomers Luke Cain, Jason Maroney and Bradley Mark.

Russell Short, a vision-impaired thrower and the Australian Institute of Sport’s first athlete with a disability scholarship, in 1988, has been selected for his seventh Games. Another athlete likely to attend his seventh Games is Kieran Modra, a vision impaired cyclist. Selections for the cycling team are yet to be confirmed.

Two athletes who extended their Paralympic careers by changing sports have been selected; Greg Smith, who previously took part in track and field events, will be competing in wheelchair rugby. This is to be his fifth Games. Liesl Tesch, a former Australian wheelchair basketball player and captain, will be competing in sailing for her sixth Games.

Contrasting Australian Paralympians with their Olympian counterparts, the Australian Olympic Committee recently selected sporting shooters Russell Mark and Michael Diamond for the London Games; this to be their sixth Olympics and equalling the participation records of rower James Tomkins, sailor Colin Beashel, and equestrian Andrew Hoy.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Kosmala%27s_2012_Games_inclusion_highlights_Australian_Paralympians%27_longevity&oldid=3836154”

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Buffalo, New York —For the second weekend in a row, demonstrators protested the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal on the proposed site.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed hotel by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and is designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. It is to be placed on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo and will require the demolition of at least five properties (1109-1121 Elmwood).

The proposal also required that all five properties, including 605 Forest, be rezoned to a “C-2” zone, or a “special development plan.” The rezoning was passed by Buffalo’s Common Council on March 21, 2006.

Russell Smith, owner of the Six Nation’s Gift Shop at 1121 Elmwood, also participated in the protest.

“I am a Native American and we opened a Native American gift shop and we are just brand new [and just] opened. Having started out a business for the first time, and it the only Native American shop in the city, and I do not see the use of any hotel, especially at this district. The Elmwood Strip is pretty well established. Some of these people have been here a long while you know and they’re [Savarino Construction] disrupting their livelihood,” said Smith to Wikinews.

When Smith was asked if he was going to be in any of the shops in the new hotel he replied, “we don’t have the option of getting into the hotel or any of the shops that are going to be there. We haven’t [had] any idea that they [Savarino] were even planning to tear these buildings down to put a hotel here until we had moved in. I think thats a little unfair.”

Former City of Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello was asked to sign the petition to stop the hotel when he walked by, but he declined saying, “I respect what you are doing, but I am for the hotel.”

Despite the cold weather, at least 45 people showed up to walk the picket line.

For the moment, no further protests have been scheduled, pending the final decision on the hotel proposal by the city’s Planning Board which meets Tuesday, March 28, 2006. The meeting begins at 8:00am and will be held in room 902 on the 9th floor of City Hall in downtown Buffalo.

On Saturday morning several individuals attended a meeting with a lawyer to see what could be done, if anything, about the proposal and about Hans Mobius, former Buffalo mayoral candidate and owner of the properties to be demolished at 1109-1121 Elmwood.

One of the attendees, Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris, stated that “there is a case” but that she is likely unable to afford the large attorney’s fees. Pollina reports that she is looking into a “legal fund.”

Some of the affected are considering going to the New York State Supreme Court pro se to seek an injunction.

Some tenants of Mobius’s buildings have accused him of being a “slumlord” and claim that he “intentionally neglected” his properties with the intention of selling. Mobius, who has owned the properties for about 20 years, tried in 1995 to sell them to a developer who wanted to build a Walgreens Drugstore on the same site as the proposed hotel.

Mobius is expected to appear in housing Court on April 11, 2006. He has not returned any phone calls from Wikinews.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Protesters_rally_for_a_second_time_against_Buffalo,_N.Y._hotel_proposal&oldid=1981802”

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued border alerts for specific protein ingredients, imported from China, that may be incorporated into products destined for human consumption.

Inspectors from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will hold products, such as wheat and corn gluten, as well as soy and rice proteins until they can be tested for melamine, the contaminant found to have sickened pets through its use in pet food. If determined to be free of melamine, the ingredients will be released to the intended recipient. Materials such as glutens and protein powders are used commonly in many forms of food products.

The CFIA said it was not acting on specific information, but rather taking a cautious approach to human protection. “That’s why we have the border lookout for the ingredient, so that we can proactively assess any potential that the product is contaminated,” Paul Mayers of the CFIA told CBC News.

Since the border alert for melamine is a new procedure, the government can’t be sure if the contaminant made it into the food chain previously. The CFIA acknowledged that the same Chinese company under suspicion in the tainted pet food affair had shipped wheat gluten to a Canadian company, which in turn used it in food for fish farms. Although the fish were subsequently eaten by people, the CFIA believes the health risk from such consumption would be low.

In related news, Canadian researchers at the University of Guelph believe they may have determined the mechanism of how melamine caused illness in cats and dogs.

Both cyanuric acid and melamine were found in urine samples from pets that died after consuming contaminated pet food. The two compounds react with one another to form crystals that may block kidney function, researchers at the university said. The researchers observed crystals formed in cat urine by the addition of melamine and cyanuric acid. The composition of these crystals matches those found in the urine of affected pets when compared by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).

“You wouldn’t normally expect to find those compounds in pet food, and hence nobody was really looking for it,” said John Melichercik, director of analytical laboratory services. “It’s just another piece of the puzzle along the way in this particular pet-food issue.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Canadian_inspectors_to_test_food_ingredients_from_China&oldid=4698302”

Friday, April 28, 2017

In findings published Tuesday in Nature Communications, a team mostly from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia announced they have successfully created an artificial womb in which premature lambs can be brought to term. The researchers say this technology could develop into a means of helping premature human babies survive, but it has also drawn concern from bioethicists.

According to first author Emily Partridge and her team, previous efforts at creating an artificial womb have failed because the pumps used, to provide oxygen and nutrients to the developing animal, put too much stress on the heart, causing circulatory failure; and because they used open-fluid systems, which were easily exposed to germs. Partridge et al.’s system uses a closed-fluid apparatus, which they’ve called the Biobag. The sound of a maternal heartbeat was played in the room where the fetuses were kept.

The animals housed in the artificial womb showed normal blood gases and their lungs, brains and nervous systems showed normal development. They opened their eyes and grew wool. When they were removed from the circuit and dissected, their brains, lungs and other organs were found similar to those of lambs delivered by hysterotomy (Caesarean section) when nearly full term.

Although lambs often serve as an experimental model of fetal development, the researchers concede that not all of their findings can be translated to humans. While the lambs’ brains appeared healthy, they also develop certain traits much earlier than human brains, so not all of these effects may be attributable to the Biobag system.

The researchers also acknowledge the startling appearance of a fetus wrapped in plastic. “It is important to consider that the comparator is the extreme premature infant on a ventilator and in an incubator,” reads the official paper. “We feel that parents will be relatively reassured that their fetus is being maintained in a relatively protective and physiologic environment.”

One of the researchers, Dr. Alan Flake, also of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, says the apparatus may be ready for testing on human babies in three to five years. The researchers noted premature birth is the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, with about nine out of ten infants born at 23 weeks gestation or earlier suffering complications such as mental retardation, deafness, blindness, paralysis, and cerebral palsy. When a fetus is removed from the amniotic fluid and placed on a respirator, the shift from liquid to gas can cause the lungs to stop developing. The most common direct cause of death among premature infants is failure of the lungs to properly oxygenate the blood.

Bioethicist Dena Davis of Lehigh University notes this invention raises several ethical issues. “If it’s a difference between a baby dying rather peacefully and a baby dying under conditions of great stress and discomfort then, no, I don’t think it’s better,” she told National Public Radio. She also notes the problem of babies who would otherwise have died surviving with severe side effects and the implications that this has for the abortion debate: “Up to now, we’ve been either born or not born. This would be halfway born, or something like that.” Scott Gelfand of Oklahoma State University worries that women who would otherwise seek abortion could be pressured into putting their fetuses in Biobags instead or that employers would punish mothers who took maternity leave instead of using an artificial uterus.

“I want to make this very clear: We have no intention and we’ve never had any intention with this technology of extending the limits of viability further back,” Dr. Flake said in response to these issues. “I think when you do that you open a whole new can of worms.” He went on to call gestating fetuses younger than 23 weeks “a pipe dream at this point.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Shrink-wrapped_sheep_survive:_Researchers_say_%27Biobag%27_artificial_uterus,_successful_on_lambs,_may_one_day_be_suitable_for_use_on_premature_human_babies&oldid=4700351”