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Medal-seeking Spanish men arrive at 2014 Goalball World Championships

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-02-2019

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Spain’s men’s national goalball team arrived in Espoo, Finland Friday for the start of the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships. The team comes into the tournament with the goal of securing a medal, which would qualify them for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The team missed the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

Head coach Francisco Monreal said, “The objective is to reach the medal round, and qualify directly for the 2016 Games, but we need to be realistic and not think game by game, we can get a surprise. […] The competition will be decided in one game, head or tails, where it doesn’t matter what happened before. ((es))Spanish language: ?el objetivo previsto es alcanzar las medallas y clasificarnos directamente para los Juegos de 2016, pero hay que ser realistas y como no vayamos pensando partido a partido, nos podemos llevar una sorpresa. […] La competición se decidirá en un partido a cara o cruz, como son los cruces de cuartos, y donde no sirve de nada lo realizado en la primera fase

Coming into the competition, the team was ranked eleventh in the world based on the IBSA Unofficial rankings published late last month, down one spot from the April rankings. The team is scheduled to play their first game against the ninth ranked United States men’s team on Monday morning, before playing twenty-first ranked Germany later in the afternoon. Their other scheduled competitors in pool play are top ranked Iran, third ranked Algeria, seventh ranked Finland, twelfth ranked Czech Republic and twentieth ranked Ukraine. The team needs to finish in the top four in their group to advance to the second round.

The team’s roster includes Jose Daniel Fernández, Cristian Santamaria, Félix Vargas, Roman Martínez, Jesús Santana, and Javier Serrato. They are led by head coach Monreal, with assistant coach Carles Estrany and physiotherapist José Bravo. The team is drawn from around the country, with Santana playing for a club in the Canary Islands, Serrato playing for Valencia, Fernández for Madrid area Chamartín, Santamaría for Cantabria, Vargas coming from Barcelona and Martínez from Aragón.

Absent from the 2012 Summer Paralympics, the last major international competition the team competed in was the 2010 Goalball World Championships in Sheffield, England where the team finished fifth. In last year’s IBSA European Goalball Championships in Turkey, the team finished second, behind World Championship hosts and Paralympic gold medalists Finland.

Goalball was created in 1946, exclusively for people with a visual disability and designed to help with the rehabilitation of veterans returning from World War II. Play in the Paralympics consists of two twelve-minute periods, with a three minute break between halves. Players are blindfolded to ensure all are equally visually handicapped on-court, and the game can be stopped to ensure goggles are properly fitted. Standing in front of a long goal, they throw the ball at the opposition team’s net who in turn try to block it by listening to the ball, which contains a bell, and using their bodies to prevent the ball from going in. The audience is asked to remain silent during play.

Teacher sexual misconduct rampant in American schools, says AP

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-02-2019

Monday, October 22, 2007

An Associated Press investigation published Sunday revealed findings of more than 2,500 cases of sexual misconduct by educators in the American educational system over a five year period.

The cases reported in the investigation ranged from the merely strange, with cases involving verbal abuse, to the barbarous, with cases involving molestation and rape.

Investigations suggest that many cases of sexual abuse are never reported, and those that are reported often do not lead to punishment for the offender. The cases do not always include enough evidence, and for this as well as other reasons the schools, courts, state governments, and federal governments cannot be sure that they are keeping sexual deviants out of teaching.

Certain academic studies estimate that only about ten percent of victimized children report sexual abuse of any kind to a person who can take action to help them. When sexual misconduct is reported, teachers, administrators and some parents frequently cannot, either subconsciously or consciously, recognize the warning signs of a crime.

After examining records in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the AP found that 2,570 educators had their teaching licenses taken away, denied, surrendered voluntarily or restricted from the period of 2001 through 2005, all as a result of sexual misconduct allegations.

Minors were the victims in at least 1,801 of the cases, and more than 80 percent of those minors were students of the accused criminals. More than half of the educators who were disciplined by their state governments were consequently convicted of crimes related to the allegations of misconduct.

The cases that the AP found were those of all types of educators — teachers, school psychologists, and even principals and superintendents. The accused are often popular with students and parents, and are widely perceived as good teachers. In nearly 90 percent if the cases, the offenders are male. While certain educators were accused of sexual misconduct in school, others were cited for abuse that occurred after hours and did not always involve one of their own students. At least 446 of the cases uncovered by the AP involved educators with multiple victims.

A preponderance of cases involved teachers in public schools since many private schools do not require their teachers to be licensed and most private schools do not allow their disciplinary records to be publicly viewed.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), two large teaching unions, each decried sexual abuse while pinpointing the importance of considering educators’ rights.

“If there’s one incident of sexual misconduct between a teacher and a student that’s one too many,” Kathy Buzad of the AFT told the Associated Press.

“Students must be protected from sexual predators and abuse, and teachers must be protected from false accusations,” said NEA President Reg Weaver in a press release.

However, while the AP found attempts to stop particular offenders, it also discovered a firm resistance towards identifying and preventing abuse. In schools, fellow teachers often ignore the abuse or feel they cannot help. School administrators cut backdoor deals to sidestep lawsuits or bad press. And in state governments and Congress, lawmakers are weary to impose harsher punishments or any national policy in fear of harming an important profession.

For example, in the state of California some of the most sadistic sex abuse is flagged, but state law allows a multitude of offenses to remain confidential in disciplinary records, even when teachers are sentenced to imprisonment and become registered sex offenders.

The dearth of information is evidence of a system of disciplining teachers that, nationwide, is often cloaked in secrecy. It is difficult for states to share necessary information about those accused of misconduct and allows some to find classroom jobs in other states.

An additional problem is that while the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification maintains a listing of educators who’ve been disciplined for any reason, it only shares this information with other state agencies. Also, many teachers do not appear on the list because they resign before losing their licenses.

“(Schools) might deal with it internally, suspending the person or having the person move on. So their license is never investigated,” says Charol Shakeshaft, an expert in educational sexual abuse who leads Virginia Commonwealth University‘s educational leadership department.

“There is the possibility that one of these people could move to another jurisdiction, most likely another state, and you wouldn’t be able to find out their history,” says Todd Spitzer, a Californian assemblyman, former prosecutor, and former high school English teacher.

Another disturbing trend is that cases of misconduct seem to be on the rise in many places. According to a New York State Education Department report, the number of “moral misconduct” accusations against educators in New York has doubled in five years. In 2005, 134 cases of “moral misconduct” were reported involving teachers and other school employees, as compared to just 70 cases in 2001. According to an overview of the cases, almost 75 percent of the “moral conduct” cases involved sexual acts or an improper relationship. In all, 485 misconduct cases occurred over the five year period in New York state.

The AP’s national analysis shows Texas and California with the most sexual misconduct cases, each with two to three times as many cases as New York. Florida proved about the same as New York.

Mary Green, a parent in Washington County who rallied against a teacher she suspected of misconduct, says the key to stopping the abuse is listening.

“If a child says such-and-such a person, teacher, coach or neighbor is `weird,’ the parent should not simply dismiss this comment, but have the child explain why the person is weird,” she said. “Often we simply shush them without finding out why the child feels that way. People tend to think it won’t happen to them.”

Australian MPs suggest Australia and New Zealand unification

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-02-2019

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

A committee of Australian MPs have suggested that Australia and New Zealand become a single nation in the future. The suggestion follows an investigation into harmonising the countries’ legal systems.

The two countries are separated by 1900 km (1200 miles) of sea. Australia has a population of 20 million, while New Zealand has a population of 4 million.

Prior to 1901, New Zealand was considered one of the seven British colonies of Australasia, six of which united to form Australia in 1901.

The committee, which had representatives from both sides of Australian politics found that there were close ties between the two countries. People are free to move between the two countries without visas and there is a high-degree of co-operation between governments. The committee’s report said “While New Zealand ultimately chose not to join the federation, it is still included in the definition of the states in the Australian constitution.

“This historical context forms a backdrop to the closeness and breadth of the relationship between Australia and New Zealand today.

“While Australia and New Zealand are, of course, two sovereign nations, it seems to the committee that the strong ties between the two countries – the economic, cultural, migration, defence, governmental, and people to people linkages – suggest that an even closer relationship, including the possibility of union, is both desirable and realistic.”

Chairman of the committee, Peter Slipper said Australia now wished for another committee to be established to look at integration between the two nations in the future. Such a committee would be poised to look at monetary and national union.

The committee acknowledged that despite legal harmonisation being relatively easy, the merger of the two countries could be difficult. “The committee is also mindful that the harmonisation of laws is very much the art of the possible. Thus the merger of Australia and New Zealand or the progression to a unitary system of government in Australia, however desirable, might not be easy to achieve,” the committee’s report said.

The suggestion has received a cold reception in New Zealand. New Zealand’s citizens have regularly rejected suggestions that their country be part of Australia, a sentiment echoed by Prime Minister Helen Clark. Mrs Clark said she had no intention of placing the proposal on the government’s agenda.

“It won’t be on our agenda 105 years later”, she said.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Winston Peters dismissed the proposal calling it a case of “parliamentary adventurism”. He said despite the two countries close relationship, the two countries were too geographically separated. “New Zealand is 1200 miles (1900 km) away from Australia and that’s 1200 reasons why I don’t go along with that committee, nor will New Zealanders,” Mr Peters said.

European football: Santa Cruz to Rovers

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 13-02-2019

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Paraguayan footballer Roque Santa Cruz has left Bayern Munich for Blackburn Rovers. Roque Santa Cruz signed a four year deal. Roque Santa Cruz became expendable after major signings by Bayern Munich. Santa Cruz became 5th choice striker after Luca Toni, Miroslav Klose, Lucas Podolski and Jan Schlaudraff. Blackburn Rovers beat Manchester City, Porto and Espanyol for the signature of Roque Santa Cruz. The fee is reported to be around £3.4million.

Santa Cruz experienced an injury-plagued and trophy-laden eight-year career in Munich. Santa Cruz scored 31 goals in 155 league appearances and seven goals in 51 UEFA Champions League games for Bayern Munich. He won five German titles, four German Cups and one UEFA Champions League title with Bayern Munich.

Blackburn coach Mark Hughes was quoted as saying, “Santa Cruz is a young player, an international with a good reputation who is playing at a top European club.” and “The good thing from our point of view is that his fitness levels are fine as he has been playing in the Copa America.”

Somali piracy: Kenyan navy kills three, Chinese ship hijacked, British couple freed

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 13-02-2019

Monday, November 15, 2010

Three pirates were killed late Friday during a presumed attack in error, while other pirates successfully hijacked the Yuan Xiang, a Panamanian-flagged vessel with an all-Chinese crew, and a media embargo was lifted regarding the release of a British couple whose yacht was seized more than a year ago over the weekend.

At 11 p.m. on Friday a Kenyan patrol vessel was near Kilifi in Kenyan coastal waters “when four suspected Somali pirates on board a speed boat climbed the vessel, mistaking it for a merchant vessel,” according to Kenyan Defence Department spokesman Bogita Ongeri. He said three were shot dead but the fourth “dived into the sea with bullet wounds during the scuffle,” and is thought to have died. The speed boat with more pirates on board fled, the three bodies were taken to Coast General Hospital, Mombassa.

Ongeri promised more details after discussions with the vessel’s captain adding, “[t]he government will not relent in its fight against piracy.” Kenya, along with the Seychelles, performs international prosecutions of pirates, but convictions are rarely secured; 26 suspects were freed last week by Kenya owing to lack of evidence or jurisdiction.

Andrew Mwangura of the Seafarers’ Assistance Program said Saturday, “I can confirm the pirates hijacked Yuan Xiang on Friday at midnight Kenyan time in the Arabian Sea near India. The vessel has 29 Chinese crew.” The Yuan Xiang was sailing outside the zone covered by a multinational task force combating piracy. Reports suggest its captors are heading to Somalia.

Retired British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler were released after their yacht Lynn Rival was captured near the Seychelles en-route to Tanzania 388 days ago, in October 2009. An injunction prevented reporting the release until 56-year-old Rachel and 60-year-old Paul, from Kent, were out of Somalia.

“Men with guns came aboard,” Paul told ITV News over the phone a week after their capture. “Then we were forced to sail … toward Somalia.” The seizure was witnessed by UK refueling ship RFA Wave Knight but they were not helped for fear their lives would be endangered. “This is not piracy and must not be reported as such,” Paul said in custody. “It is kidnapping and extortion and even torture.” It is unclear if money changed hands; US$7 million was originally demanded but UK government policy forbids ransom payments. “We’re fine,” said Paul. “We’re rather skinny and bony but we’re fine.”

New figures show 790 people have been kidnapped by Somali pirates this year, on course to beat last year’s record of 867. Of these, 435 remain hostage. Dr Alex Coutroubis and George Kiourktsoglou of London’s University of Greenwich say crews are repelling more attacks, and attackers have responded with increased violence. “As it gets harder for pirates to capture ships, the Somali gangs are more likely to fire at sailors with automatic weapons in order to force vessels to stop”. Some tankers have had rocket propelled grenades fired at them.

Last year saw 217 hijack attempts. This year, to date, 140, and 40 ships seized – versus 47 for the whole of 2009.

Thousands protest privatisation of Australian electricity industry

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-02-2019

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In New South Wales today, thousands of people joined a protest including 15 Labor Members of Parliament about the State Government’s plans to privatise the electricity industry.

The MPs included Paul Gibson, Upper House president Peter Primrose, and former MPs Kerry Hickey and Grant McBride.

Mr Gibson was reported as saying, “I’m a member of the Australian Labor Party and I’m sticking to the Labor platform and policy.”

The Government seems to have ignored the positions of the protesters, with Premier Morris Iemma expressing to the first sitting of Parliament for 2008 that his Government’s plans would proceed.

Related instances in Tamworth occurred, when workers in the Electricity Trade Union walked off the job.

Fifteen people killed in attack on Nigerian college

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-02-2019

Friday, September 19, 2014

Officials said at least fifteen people were killed in an attack on a teachers training college in the Northern Nigerian city of Kano by a group of armed gunmen on Wednesday. Over 30 others were wounded.

News agencies have reported while there has been no claim of responsibility, suspicion will likely fall on the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. The group has previously targeted Western-style schools within the country, including past attacks on secondary schools.

According to official reports, police first approached the group in the area of the school, concerned about their unusual activity, and the attackers engaged police in a firefight. The attackers gained entry to the school and started throwing bombs.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan described the incident as a “dastardly attack”. He has already declared a state of emergency in three northern states, and is being criticized along with the country’s armed forces for failure to prevent extremist attacks.

A police spokesman said police killed two attackers at the scene.

Wikinews interviews John Wolfe, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-02-2019

Sunday, May 20, 2012

U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate John Wolfe, Jr. of Tennessee took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Wolfe, an attorney based out of Chattanooga, announced his intentions last year to challenge President Barack Obama in the Democratic Party presidential primaries. So far, he has appeared on the primary ballots in New Hampshire, Missouri, and Louisiana. In Louisiana, he had his strongest showing, winning 12 percent overall with over 15 percent in some congressional districts, qualifying him for Democratic National Convention delegates. However, because certain paperwork had not been filed, the party stripped Wolfe of the delegates. Wolfe says he will sue the party to receive them.

Wolfe will compete for additional delegates at the May 22 Arkansas primary and the May 29 Texas primary. He is the only challenger to Obama in Arkansas, where a May 10 Hendrix College poll of Democrats shows him with 38 percent support, just short of the 45 percent for Obama. Such an outing would top the margin of Texas prison inmate Keith Russell Judd, who finished 18 percent behind Obama with 41 percent in the West Virginia Democratic primary; the strongest showing yet against the incumbent president. Despite these prospects, the Democratic Party of Arkansas has already announced that if Wolfe wins any delegates in their primary, again, due to paperwork, the delegates will not be awarded. Wolfe will appear on the Texas ballot alongside Obama, activist Bob Ely, and historian Darcy Richardson, who ended his campaign last month.

Wolfe has previously run for U.S. Congress as the Democratic Party’s nominee. On his campaign website, he cites the influence “of the Pentagon, Wall Street, and corporations” on the Obama administration as a reason for his challenge, believing these negatively affect “loyal Americans, taxpayers and small businesses.” Wolfe calls for the usage of anti-trust laws to break up large banks, higher taxes on Wall Street, the creation of an “alternative federal reserve” to assist community banks, and the implementation of a single-payer health care system.

With Wikinews, Wolfe discusses his campaign, the presidency of Barack Obama, corporations, energy, the federal budget, immigration, and the nuclear situation in Iran among other issues.

Contents

  • 1 Campaign
  • 2 Challenging the incumbent
  • 3 Policy
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 Sources

Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 11-02-2019

Friday, March 20, 2009

Following the Pilkhana massacre which occurred February 25 and 26 leaving 74 dead and the inferno at the Bashundhara City shopping mall complex March 13 leaving seven dead, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said security measures are being tightened countrywide across Bangladesh.

Fire drills will be enacted at all key-point installations (KPI). Fire fighting systems will be examined by the fire brigade and the public works department (PWD) to ensure functionality. Security measures will be enhanced supplementing areas under private security such as at the Bashundhara City Complex.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence Department requires modernization and needs new equipment to fight fires past the sixth floor of buildings. The Fire Brigade says it needs turntable ladders, snorkels, foam-tenders, lighting units, emergency tenders, fireproof uniforms, and rescue ropes for fire fighting and rescue operations. Transportation to fires is also an issue due to narrow roads, low electrical wires and congestion.

The Bangladesh National Building Code requires fire fighting equipment installed in buildings over seven floors. This code is to be monitored by authorities to ensure compliance with the new guidelines and to make sure buildings are being maintained.

The Bashundhara City Complex opened Monday for shoppers two days after Friday’s blaze. A probe is underway to determine the cause of the fire and to assess structural damage.

Loss of life was minimized as the blaze broke out on a Friday, the beginning of the weekend in Bangladesh, so offices in the upper floors were empty. The lower eight floors are used for shopping and the upper floors are all Bashundhara Group offices.

The mall is valued at Tk 7.0 billion (US$100 million). It is not known if the complex is covered by fire insurance.

It is estimated that it will take over two years to rebuild the area damaged by flames which were burned down to a skeleton. Bashundhara City’s technical advisor, Latifur Rahman, estimated damages at Tk 2.0 billion (US$29m).

Only one television cameraman has been allowed in to film the burnt area. None of the 2,500 shops, cinemas or cafes were burnt by the inferno. The seventh and eighth floors still experience smoke damage, and there was water damage to merchandise.

A three member committee is currently investigating the cause of the fire which will consist of Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary of the ministry, representatives of the police, IGP Noor Muhammad, and fire brigade, Director General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah. The committee is required to report within the week with their findings. The forensics department is also sifting through the burnt remains.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries has also formed a committee which has begun interviewing witnesses and recording their testimony alongside the government committee.

It has been discovered that 150 closed circuit cameras were not being used when the fire started. Another mystery is why the mall fire fighting system has been found unused.

Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think….These matters seem to be mysterious

“In the shopping mall there is an ultra-technology elevator which runs even without electricity but we have found that locked,” Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary (Police) of the home ministry, said. “Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think. We have to see if there was any incendiary substance there. These matters seem to be mysterious.”

Mall management has been asked to submit substances and items which would have been in the upper floors when the fire started. The fire erupted on the 17th floor and spread quickly to the two floors above and engulfed the three floors below. The aerial ladders belonging to the Fire Service and Civil Defence reached as high as the 13th floor of the 21-storey building.

Videos have been sent to the United States (US) for examination to assist in determining the cause of the fire and to help in the damage assessment. Experts from the US are expected to arrive soon.

Firefighters were brought to the rooftop of the 20-storey tower by helicopter. The only fatality in this operation was Baki Billa, a firefighter of Bashundhara City firefighting department, who fell when climbing down a rope from a helicopter to the roof of the building. Three other firefighters made the transition safely. At this same time, the chief security officer was safely rescued by the Bangladesh Air Force helicopter, a Bell 212. Six security officers of the complex also lost their lives.

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 11-02-2019

Relief efforts continue

Over 116,000 are reported dead in the coastal areas of Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and other regions. As international aid begins to flow to the region, casualties caused by outbreaks of cholera, typhoid and related diseases, as well as by increasingly unsanitary conditions, threatens to push the death toll even higher.

‘Fockers’ set to meet another weekend title

With no new wide releases, last weekend’s films are set to rule U.S. and Canadian box office receipts once again.

Yushchenko claims victory in re-run

In Ukraine, the opposition candidate wins, and the Ukraine Elections commission rejects Prime Minister Yanukovych’s claims over election.

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