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Two Lordi fans mugged while manager and bodyguard were shot at in Louisville, US


Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-03-2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It has been reported recently by Blabbermouth and DotMusic.com that two fans of Finnish theatrical hard rock band Lordi were robbed at gunpoint on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky, United States and the band’s manager as well as a bodyguard were shot at. No-one was injured.

Following a gig in Louisville the band had split up, with three of the members going to a nearby bar for a drink. Lead vocalist Mr. Lordi, his wife, and keyboardist Awa had entered the tour bus, while manager Rikk Scholvinck and a bodyguard were escorting two fans towards the bus.

According to those at the scene, a van pulled up next to the bus and several youths emerged, at least one of which was carrying a gun. Mr Lordi describes what happened next: “One of the men with a gun took a fan, a girl, put the gun to her head and forced her to lie down on the ground. Also one of the boys froze on the spot while the others fled away, including Rikk and the bodyguard while another man started shooting at them. Luckily he missed and no one was hurt. Rikk ran to the bar and called the police who arrived soon. In a moment we were surrounded by like five police cars but the guys managed to escape. They were a group of drug addicts that had stolen the car earlier that night, and police were already looking for them but have still not managed to catch them.”

“The girl that was held at gunpoint is obviously very shocked. We did our best to comfort and calm her down, but one can only wonder what could happen when people start running around with guns and even using them! It is a bit amusing that the boy fan was just happy he didn’t lose the t-shirt he was wearing with all the autographs on it, even if they both lost everything else.”

Both the fans were given lifelong all access passes to Lordi concerts worldwide to compensate.

Lordi has had previous altercations with criminals in the US. Earlier this year the bus the band was using for their tour as part of Ozzfest was hijacked with several of the technical crew on board. During the same tour, two other fans were also robbed. “This was like a deja vú of that, once again we were surrounded by police cars and their flashing lights,” Mr Lordi commented.

U.K. National Portrait Gallery threatens U.S. citizen with legal action over Wikimedia images


Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-03-2018

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The English National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London has threatened on Friday to sue a U.S. citizen, Derrick Coetzee. The legal letter followed claims that he had breached the Gallery’s copyright in several thousand photographs of works of art uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons, a free online media repository.

In a letter from their solicitors sent to Coetzee via electronic mail, the NPG asserted that it holds copyright in the photographs under U.K. law, and demanded that Coetzee provide various undertakings and remove all of the images from the site (referred to in the letter as “the Wikipedia website”).

Wikimedia Commons is a repository of free-to-use media, run by a community of volunteers from around the world, and is a sister project to Wikinews and the encyclopedia Wikipedia. Coetzee, who contributes to the Commons using the account “Dcoetzee”, had uploaded images that are free for public use under United States law, where he and the website are based. However copyright is claimed to exist in the country where the gallery is situated.

The complaint by the NPG is that under UK law, its copyright in the photographs of its portraits is being violated. While the gallery has complained to the Wikimedia Foundation for a number of years, this is the first direct threat of legal action made against an actual uploader of images. In addition to the allegation that Coetzee had violated the NPG’s copyright, they also allege that Coetzee had, by uploading thousands of images in bulk, infringed the NPG’s database right, breached a contract with the NPG; and circumvented a copyright protection mechanism on the NPG’s web site.

The copyright protection mechanism referred to is Zoomify, a product of Zoomify, Inc. of Santa Cruz, California. NPG’s solicitors stated in their letter that “Our client used the Zoomify technology to protect our client’s copyright in the high resolution images.”. Zoomify Inc. states in the Zoomify support documentation that its product is intended to make copying of images “more difficult” by breaking the image into smaller pieces and disabling the option within many web browsers to click and save images, but that they “provide Zoomify as a viewing solution and not an image security system”.

In particular, Zoomify’s website comments that while “many customers — famous museums for example” use Zoomify, in their experience a “general consensus” seems to exist that most museums are concerned with making the images in their galleries accessible to the public, rather than preventing the public from accessing them or making copies; they observe that a desire to prevent high resolution images being distributed would also imply prohibiting the sale of any posters or production of high quality printed material that could be scanned and placed online.

Other actions in the past have come directly from the NPG, rather than via solicitors. For example, several edits have been made directly to the English-language Wikipedia from the IP address, one of sixteen such IP addresses assigned to computers at the NPG by its ISP, Easynet.

In the period from August 2005 to July 2006 an individual within the NPG using that IP address acted to remove the use of several Wikimedia Commons pictures from articles in Wikipedia, including removing an image of the Chandos portrait, which the NPG has had in its possession since 1856, from Wikipedia’s biographical article on William Shakespeare.

Other actions included adding notices to the pages for images, and to the text of several articles using those images, such as the following edit to Wikipedia’s article on Catherine of Braganza and to its page for the Wikipedia Commons image of Branwell Brontë‘s portrait of his sisters:

“This image is copyright material and must not be reproduced in any way without permission of the copyright holder. Under current UK copyright law, there is copyright in skilfully executed photographs of ex-copyright works, such as this painting of Catherine de Braganza.
The original painting belongs to the National Portrait Gallery, London. For copies, and permission to reproduce the image, please contact the Gallery at picturelibrary@npg.org.uk or via our website at www.npg.org.uk”

Other, later, edits, made on the day that NPG’s solicitors contacted Coetzee and drawn to the NPG’s attention by Wikinews, are currently the subject of an internal investigation within the NPG.

Coetzee published the contents of the letter on Saturday July 11, the letter itself being dated the previous day. It had been sent electronically to an email address associated with his Wikimedia Commons user account. The NPG’s solicitors had mailed the letter from an account in the name “Amisquitta”. This account was blocked shortly after by a user with access to the user blocking tool, citing a long standing Wikipedia policy that the making of legal threats and creation of a hostile environment is generally inconsistent with editing access and is an inappropriate means of resolving user disputes.

The policy, initially created on Commons’ sister website in June 2004, is also intended to protect all parties involved in a legal dispute, by ensuring that their legal communications go through proper channels, and not through a wiki that is open to editing by other members of the public. It was originally formulated primarily to address legal action for libel. In October 2004 it was noted that there was “no consensus” whether legal threats related to copyright infringement would be covered but by the end of 2006 the policy had reached a consensus that such threats (as opposed to polite complaints) were not compatible with editing access while a legal matter was unresolved. Commons’ own website states that “[accounts] used primarily to create a hostile environment for another user may be blocked”.

In a further response, Gregory Maxwell, a volunteer administrator on Wikimedia Commons, made a formal request to the editorial community that Coetzee’s access to administrator tools on Commons should be revoked due to the prevailing circumstances. Maxwell noted that Coetzee “[did] not have the technically ability to permanently delete images”, but stated that Coetzee’s potential legal situation created a conflict of interest.

Sixteen minutes after Maxwell’s request, Coetzee’s “administrator” privileges were removed by a user in response to the request. Coetzee retains “administrator” privileges on the English-language Wikipedia, since none of the images exist on Wikipedia’s own website and therefore no conflict of interest exists on that site.

Legally, the central issue upon which the case depends is that copyright laws vary between countries. Under United States case law, where both the website and Coetzee are located, a photograph of a non-copyrighted two-dimensional picture (such as a very old portrait) is not capable of being copyrighted, and it may be freely distributed and used by anyone. Under UK law that point has not yet been decided, and the Gallery’s solicitors state that such photographs could potentially be subject to copyright in that country.

One major legal point upon which a case would hinge, should the NPG proceed to court, is a question of originality. The U.K.’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 defines in ¶ 1(a) that copyright is a right that subsists in “original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works” (emphasis added). The legal concept of originality here involves the simple origination of a work from an author, and does not include the notions of novelty or innovation that is often associated with the non-legal meaning of the word.

Whether an exact photographic reproduction of a work is an original work will be a point at issue. The NPG asserts that an exact photographic reproduction of a copyrighted work in another medium constitutes an original work, and this would be the basis for its action against Coetzee. This view has some support in U.K. case law. The decision of Walter v Lane held that exact transcriptions of speeches by journalists, in shorthand on reporter’s notepads, were original works, and thus copyrightable in themselves. The opinion by Hugh Laddie, Justice Laddie, in his book The Modern Law of Copyright, points out that photographs lie on a continuum, and that photographs can be simple copies, derivative works, or original works:

“[…] it is submitted that a person who makes a photograph merely by placing a drawing or painting on the glass of a photocopying machine and pressing the button gets no copyright at all; but he might get a copyright if he employed skill and labour in assembling the thing to be photocopied, as where he made a montage.”

Various aspects of this continuum have already been explored in the courts. Justice Neuberger, in the decision at Antiquesportfolio.com v Rodney Fitch & Co. held that a photograph of a three-dimensional object would be copyrightable if some exercise of judgement of the photographer in matters of angle, lighting, film speed, and focus were involved. That exercise would create an original work. Justice Oliver similarly held, in Interlego v Tyco Industries, that “[i]t takes great skill, judgement and labour to produce a good copy by painting or to produce an enlarged photograph from a positive print, but no-one would reasonably contend that the copy, painting, or enlargement was an ‘original’ artistic work in which the copier is entitled to claim copyright. Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”.

In 2000 the Museums Copyright Group, a copyright lobbying group, commissioned a report and legal opinion on the implications of the Bridgeman case for the UK, which stated:

“Revenue raised from reproduction fees and licensing is vital to museums to support their primary educational and curatorial objectives. Museums also rely on copyright in photographs of works of art to protect their collections from inaccurate reproduction and captioning… as a matter of principle, a photograph of an artistic work can qualify for copyright protection in English law”. The report concluded by advocating that “museums must continue to lobby” to protect their interests, to prevent inferior quality images of their collections being distributed, and “not least to protect a vital source of income”.

Several people and organizations in the U.K. have been awaiting a test case that directly addresses the issue of copyrightability of exact photographic reproductions of works in other media. The commonly cited legal case Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. found that there is no originality where the aim and the result is a faithful and exact reproduction of the original work. The case was heard twice in New York, once applying UK law and once applying US law. It cited the prior UK case of Interlego v Tyco Industries (1988) in which Lord Oliver stated that “Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”

“What is important about a drawing is what is visually significant and the re-drawing of an existing drawing […] does not make it an original artistic work, however much labour and skill may have gone into the process of reproduction […]”

The Interlego judgement had itself drawn upon another UK case two years earlier, Coca-Cola Go’s Applications, in which the House of Lords drew attention to the “undesirability” of plaintiffs seeking to expand intellectual property law beyond the purpose of its creation in order to create an “undeserving monopoly”. It commented on this, that “To accord an independent artistic copyright to every such reproduction would be to enable the period of artistic copyright in what is, essentially, the same work to be extended indefinitely… ”

The Bridgeman case concluded that whether under UK or US law, such reproductions of copyright-expired material were not capable of being copyrighted.

The unsuccessful plaintiff, Bridgeman Art Library, stated in 2006 in written evidence to the House of Commons Committee on Culture, Media and Sport that it was “looking for a similar test case in the U.K. or Europe to fight which would strengthen our position”.

The National Portrait Gallery is a non-departmental public body based in London England and sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Founded in 1856, it houses a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people. The gallery contains more than 11,000 portraits and 7,000 light-sensitive works in its Primary Collection, 320,000 in the Reference Collection, over 200,000 pictures and negatives in the Photographs Collection and a library of around 35,000 books and manuscripts. (More on the National Portrait Gallery here)

The gallery’s solicitors are Farrer & Co LLP, of London. Farrer’s clients have notably included the British Royal Family, in a case related to extracts from letters sent by Diana, Princess of Wales which were published in a book by ex-butler Paul Burrell. (In that case, the claim was deemed unlikely to succeed, as the extracts were not likely to be in breach of copyright law.)

Farrer & Co have close ties with industry interest groups related to copyright law. Peter Wienand, Head of Intellectual Property at Farrer & Co., is a member of the Executive body of the Museums Copyright Group, which is chaired by Tom Morgan, Head of Rights and Reproductions at the National Portrait Gallery. The Museums Copyright Group acts as a lobbying organization for “the interests and activities of museums and galleries in the area of [intellectual property rights]”, which reacted strongly against the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. case.

Wikimedia Commons is a repository of images, media, and other material free for use by anyone in the world. It is operated by a community of 21,000 active volunteers, with specialist rights such as deletion and blocking restricted to around 270 experienced users in the community (known as “administrators”) who are trusted by the community to use them to enact the wishes and policies of the community. Commons is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a charitable body whose mission is to make available free knowledge and historic and other material which is legally distributable under US law. (More on Commons here)

The legal threat also sparked discussions of moral issues and issues of public policy in several Internet discussion fora, including Slashdot, over the weekend. One major public policy issue relates to how the public domain should be preserved.

Some of the public policy debate over the weekend has echoed earlier opinions presented by Kenneth Hamma, the executive director for Digital Policy at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Writing in D-Lib Magazine in November 2005, Hamma observed:

“Art museums and many other collecting institutions in this country hold a trove of public-domain works of art. These are works whose age precludes continued protection under copyright law. The works are the result of and evidence for human creativity over thousands of years, an activity museums celebrate by their very existence. For reasons that seem too frequently unexamined, many museums erect barriers that contribute to keeping quality images of public domain works out of the hands of the general public, of educators, and of the general milieu of creativity. In restricting access, art museums effectively take a stand against the creativity they otherwise celebrate. This conflict arises as a result of the widely accepted practice of asserting rights in the images that the museums make of the public domain works of art in their collections.”

He also stated:

“This resistance to free and unfettered access may well result from a seemingly well-grounded concern: many museums assume that an important part of their core business is the acquisition and management of rights in art works to maximum return on investment. That might be true in the case of the recording industry, but it should not be true for nonprofit institutions holding public domain art works; it is not even their secondary business. Indeed, restricting access seems all the more inappropriate when measured against a museum’s mission — a responsibility to provide public access. Their charitable, financial, and tax-exempt status demands such. The assertion of rights in public domain works of art — images that at their best closely replicate the values of the original work — differs in almost every way from the rights managed by the recording industry. Because museums and other similar collecting institutions are part of the private nonprofit sector, the obligation to treat assets as held in public trust should replace the for-profit goal. To do otherwise, undermines the very nature of what such institutions were created to do.”

Hamma observed in 2005 that “[w]hile examples of museums chasing down digital image miscreants are rare to non-existent, the expectation that museums might do so has had a stultifying effect on the development of digital image libraries for teaching and research.”

The NPG, which has been taking action with respect to these images since at least 2005, is a public body. It was established by Act of Parliament, the current Act being the Museums and Galleries Act 1992. In that Act, the NPG Board of Trustees is charged with maintaining “a collection of portraits of the most eminent persons in British history, of other works of art relevant to portraiture and of documents relating to those portraits and other works of art”. It also has the tasks of “secur[ing] that the portraits are exhibited to the public” and “generally promot[ing] the public’s enjoyment and understanding of portraiture of British persons and British history through portraiture both by means of the Board’s collection and by such other means as they consider appropriate”.

Several commentators have questioned how the NPG’s statutory goals align with its threat of legal action. Mike Masnick, founder of Techdirt, asked “The people who run the Gallery should be ashamed of themselves. They ought to go back and read their own mission statement[. …] How, exactly, does suing someone for getting those portraits more attention achieve that goal?” (external link Masnick’s). L. Sutherland of Bigmouthmedia asked “As the paintings of the NPG technically belong to the nation, does that mean that they should also belong to anyone that has access to a computer?”

Other public policy debates that have been sparked have included the applicability of U.K. courts, and U.K. law, to the actions of a U.S. citizen, residing in the U.S., uploading files to servers hosted in the U.S.. Two major schools of thought have emerged. Both see the issue as encroachment of one legal system upon another. But they differ as to which system is encroaching. One view is that the free culture movement is attempting to impose the values and laws of the U.S. legal system, including its case law such as Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., upon the rest of the world. Another view is that a U.K. institution is attempting to control, through legal action, the actions of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.

David Gerard, former Press Officer for Wikimedia UK, the U.K. chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, which has been involved with the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest to create free content photographs of exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum, stated on Slashdot that “The NPG actually acknowledges in their letter that the poster’s actions were entirely legal in America, and that they’re making a threat just because they think they can. The Wikimedia community and the WMF are absolutely on the side of these public domain images remaining in the public domain. The NPG will be getting radioactive publicity from this. Imagine the NPG being known to American tourists as somewhere that sues Americans just because it thinks it can.”

Benjamin Crowell, a physics teacher at Fullerton College in California, stated that he had received a letter from the Copyright Officer at the NPG in 2004, with respect to the picture of the portrait of Isaac Newton used in his physics textbooks, that he publishes in the U.S. under a free content copyright licence, to which he had replied with a pointer to Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp..

The Wikimedia Foundation takes a similar stance. Erik Möller, the Deputy Director of the US-based Wikimedia Foundation wrote in 2008 that “we’ve consistently held that faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works which are nothing more than reproductions should be considered public domain for licensing purposes”.

Contacted over the weekend, the NPG issued a statement to Wikinews:

“The National Portrait Gallery is very strongly committed to giving access to its Collection. In the past five years the Gallery has spent around £1 million digitising its Collection to make it widely available for study and enjoyment. We have so far made available on our website more than 60,000 digital images, which have attracted millions of users, and we believe this extensive programme is of great public benefit.
“The Gallery supports Wikipedia in its aim of making knowledge widely available and we would be happy for the site to use our low-resolution images, sufficient for most forms of public access, subject to safeguards. However, in March 2009 over 3000 high-resolution files were appropriated from the National Portrait Gallery website and published on Wikipedia without permission.
“The Gallery is very concerned that potential loss of licensing income from the high-resolution files threatens its ability to reinvest in its digitisation programme and so make further images available. It is one of the Gallery’s primary purposes to make as much of the Collection available as possible for the public to view.
“Digitisation involves huge costs including research, cataloguing, conservation and highly-skilled photography. Images then need to be made available on the Gallery website as part of a structured and authoritative database. To date, Wikipedia has not responded to our requests to discuss the issue and so the National Portrait Gallery has been obliged to issue a lawyer’s letter. The Gallery remains willing to enter into a dialogue with Wikipedia.

In fact, Matthew Bailey, the Gallery’s (then) Assistant Picture Library Manager, had already once been in a similar dialogue. Ryan Kaldari, an amateur photographer from Nashville, Tennessee, who also volunteers at the Wikimedia Commons, states that he was in correspondence with Bailey in October 2006. In that correspondence, according to Kaldari, he and Bailey failed to conclude any arrangement.

Jay Walsh, the Head of Communications for the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the Commons, called the gallery’s actions “unfortunate” in the Foundation’s statement, issued on Tuesday July 14:

“The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. To that end, we have very productive working relationships with a number of galleries, archives, museums and libraries around the world, who join with us to make their educational materials available to the public.
“The Wikimedia Foundation does not control user behavior, nor have we reviewed every action taken by that user. Nonetheless, it is our general understanding that the user in question has behaved in accordance with our mission, with the general goal of making public domain materials available via our Wikimedia Commons project, and in accordance with applicable law.”

The Foundation added in its statement that as far as it was aware, the NPG had not attempted “constructive dialogue”, and that the volunteer community was presently discussing the matter independently.

In part, the lack of past agreement may have been because of a misunderstanding by the National Portrait Gallery of Commons and Wikipedia’s free content mandate; and of the differences between Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Wikimedia Commons, and the individual volunteer workers who participate on the various projects supported by the Foundation.

Like Coetzee, Ryan Kaldari is a volunteer worker who does not represent Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Commons. (Such representation is impossible. Both Wikipedia and the Commons are endeavours supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, and not organizations in themselves.) Nor, again like Coetzee, does he represent the Wikimedia Foundation.

Kaldari states that he explained the free content mandate to Bailey. Bailey had, according to copies of his messages provided by Kaldari, offered content to Wikipedia (naming as an example the photograph of John Opie‘s 1797 portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft, whose copyright term has since expired) but on condition that it not be free content, but would be subject to restrictions on its distribution that would have made it impossible to use by any of the many organizations that make use of Wikipedia articles and the Commons repository, in the way that their site-wide “usable by anyone” licences ensures.

The proposed restrictions would have also made it impossible to host the images on Wikimedia Commons. The image of the National Portrait Gallery in this article, above, is one such free content image; it was provided and uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licence, and is thus able to be used and republished not only on Wikipedia but also on Wikinews, on other Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as by anyone in the world, subject to the terms of the GFDL, a license that guarantees attribution is provided to the creators of the image.

As Commons has grown, many other organizations have come to different arrangements with volunteers who work at the Wikimedia Commons and at Wikipedia. For example, in February 2009, fifteen international museums including the Brooklyn Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum established a month-long competition where users were invited to visit in small teams and take high quality photographs of their non-copyright paintings and other exhibits, for upload to Wikimedia Commons and similar websites (with restrictions as to equipment, required in order to conserve the exhibits), as part of the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest.

Approached for comment by Wikinews, Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said “It’s pretty clear that these images themselves should be in the public domain. There is a clear public interest in making sure paintings and other works are usable by anyone once their term of copyright expires. This is what US courts have recognised, whatever the situation in UK law.”

The Digital Britain report, issued by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport in June 2009, stated that “Public cultural institutions like Tate, the Royal Opera House, the RSC, the Film Council and many other museums, libraries, archives and galleries around the country now reach a wider public online.” Culture minster Ben Bradshaw was also approached by Wikinews for comment on the public policy issues surrounding the on-line availability of works in the public domain held in galleries, re-raised by the NPG’s threat of legal action, but had not responded by publication time.

‘Top Model’ winner Jaslene Gonzalez on her career and being a Latina role model


Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2018

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jaslene Gonzalez is not your typical model. She rose to fame after winning Cycle 8 of America’s Next Top Model, and since then, has been aggressively tapping into the fashion industry. As a result of her Latin background, Gonzalez has been successful at marketing herself both in the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking worlds. However, Gonzalez is much much more – a fighter, a humanitarian, and a good Latin granddaughter.

Born in Chicago to a Latina mother, and a Puerto Rican-born father, Gonzalez had, in many ways, a typical U.S. Latino experience – her tight knit family, grandparents, and spirituality played an intrinsic part in her upbringing.

“I went to an all-girl Catholic school and grew up with tons of family…..My family was very close knit and supportive. They were involved in my life everyday. So there was so much joy in every little occasion…..Every Sunday we would go to my grandmother’s house where we [the family] would hang out together….We enjoyed being around each other and being together,” states Gonzalez.

Her grandfather was the director of a local dance group, Viva La Gente, which Gonzalez credits with impacting her life positively.

“I was a dancer for 12 years and life revolved around dancing. I was a very active girl, and was always involved with my grandfather’s dance studio. The whole family was. My aunts, my cousins – everyone took part in performances and were involved in the group…That’s how we spent our summers, and we looked forward to being outside, dancing salsa, hip hop, merengue,” states Gonzalez. Through her involvement in the dance studio, Gonzalez’s horizon was broadened significantly, and her humanitarian streak began to deepen.

“We were always constantly traveling. We traveled to Mexico to poor villages where we gave performances to give back to the community,” said Gonzalez.

Ironically, ANTM gave her the opportunity to overcome her own difficulties and to further help those in need. “I went in there, without knowing that I was in an abusive relationship. They were the ones that brought that up to me…they felt I was emotionally destroyed, they wanted me to get support,” commented Gonzalez. While the ANTM staff was supportive, she also credits her life long dream for helping her get out of the abusive relationship.

“Having a dream and having a goal in life, is the most important thing I did in my life. Because of that I maneuvered my way to that dream. I knew I was better than that, I wanted to be happier,” stated Gonzalez.

Soon after winning ANTM, Gonzalez became a spokesperson for Liz Claiborne and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and began traveling the country reaching out to women.

“We had several meetings, and they asked me to be a spokesperson. I was so happy and blessed to help women, to have that title. It’s something I want to do, besides modelling….I enjoy sharing my personal experiences because I can educate them, but I can also save someone’s life. It’s something precious, it’s a gift,” stated Gonzalez.

Abuse is not the only obstacle Jaslene has had to face. Growing up Latina had its own set of difficulties. “Being a minority is a challenge no matter what,” states Gonzalez.

However, Gonzalez also states that being a Latina has many positive aspects in regards to her profession. “As a Latina, you have the advantage of being a Latina. Not only do you have this corporate job, but you can relate to many groups as a person.”

When asked if the fashion industry forces Latina models to change certain aspects about themselves, she remarks that she focuses on always staying true to herself. “Modeling is a difficult job because of what you go through. 80% of the time it’s a no…When I go in, I go in like me, I don’t have to change anything. Any time I get a chance to show who I am, I do. I am a Spanish girl, trying to pursue my dreams. I try to be the best I can be,” remarked Gonzalez.

It is that same confidence and will to succeed that she seems to appreciate in other woman. “I find women beautiful. I find a girl with no makeup, not worrying about her style and appearance, I find that sexy. I find confidence beautiful…Its so simple. It’s being natural and confident,” said Gonzalez.

As a role model, she has two key pieces advice that she offers women: nurture your mind with positive thoughts, and identify and foster the principles in life you value.

It is not surprising to see why Gonzalez’s family is proud of her. “My family is so funny. They are so happy. I’ve never seen them so full of life. My mom acts like she won. My grandmother screams ‘mi flaca‘ every time she sees me. They are so proud. Especially my grandparents. I was practically raised by them. To see them see you so happy and successful, there couldn’t be a better feeling,” said Gonzalez.

She adds that her grandparents would be extremely happy if she appeared on Cristina, the Spanish-language talk show whose host is referred to as “the Spanish Oprah Winfrey.”

In the coming years, Gonzalez plans to continue on the path she is on. She wants to continue gracing magazine covers, as well as dedicating herself to helping young teens develop self growth and esteem. “Every time I wake up, God gives me the opportunity to be a better me…Life gets better as it goes by.”

This is the third in a series of articles with America’s Next Top Model contestants.

Science curriculum director resigns from Texas Education Agency


Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2018

Friday, November 30, 2007

Christine Comer resigned this month as the director of the science curriculum for the Texas Education Agency‘s (TEA) director after more than nine years. Comer said her resignation was due to pressure from officials who claimed she had given the appearance of criticizing the teaching of intelligent design.

According to documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, “Comer was put on 30 days paid administrative leave shortly after she forwarded an e-mail in late October announcing a presentation by Barbara Forrest, a critic of the intelligent design/creationist movement. Forrest served as an expert witness at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial. At Dover, intelligent design was ruled “a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.” There is widespread scientific support for evolution, while creationism has been described as pseudoscience by the scientific community.

Comer’s resignation comes shortly ahead of the TEA’s State Board of Education (SBOE) reviews of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), which determine what should be taught in the classrooms and what textbooks are bought.

The advocacy group Texas Citizens for Science have released a statement saying, in part, “The real reason [Comer] was forced to resign is because the top TEA administrators and some SBOE members wanted her out of the picture before the state science standards—the science TEKS—were reviewed, revised, and rewritten next year. Plans are underway by some SBOE members and TEA administrators to diminish the requirement to teach about evolutionary biology in the Biology TEKS and to require instead that biology instructors ‘Teach the Controversy’ about the ‘weaknesses’ of evolution, that is, teach the Creationist-inspired and -created bogus controversy about evolution that doesn’t exist within legitimate science.”

Professor PZ Myers, biology professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, wrote that Forrest is “exactly the kind of person boards of education ought to consult before going down the road of attempting to legislate religion into the public schools.”

In reaction to the news Forrest told National Center for Science Education, “In my talk, I simply told the truth — about the history of the ‘intelligent design’ movement, about the complete rejection of its claims by the scientific community, and about the Kitzmiller trial and my involvement in it. Maybe the TEA can’t afford to take a position on what constitutes good science education — maybe it must remain neutral on whether or not to lie to students about evolution — but if so, that’s just sad.”

Agency officials declined to comment, saying it was a personnel issue.

Asian Dating Sites For Asian Dating Women}


Posted by | Posted in Hardware | Posted on 16-03-2018

Asian Dating Sites for Asian Dating Women


Tantric ClubIt’s so easy for everyone now to get connected in the different side of the world, get in touch with somebody you imagine even from so many miles between you and start your romance that can last for a lifetime, of course, with the help of internet. Online dating has become a trend all over the world, as it builds easy way to meet somebody in just a few clicks. Dating online sites have come in different kinds and area, such as local community sites, worldwide sites and countrywide sites.In the Western sides of the world, the demand for this service is strong. Some people get a registration and even pay just to get an access to thousands of profiles of singles that are also looking for people to date. This elemental world has become a hot spot for romance and distant dating.On the other hand, this does not only provide to the singles of America and Europe. The more traditional Asian counterparts have now embraced this contemporary idea and are launching their own Asian dating sites, to provide to the Asian group of people, and more so, to attach the Asian communities to the world through dating online sites. These sites feature helpful online tools that make it feasible for Asians to chat in real-time, send personal mail messages to other site members, and rate other members’ profiles, contact members through phone or personal email-addresses. However, generally, its purpose is not just only introduce Asian to the singles of their areas, but introduce them as well in different parts of the world. At the present times, these Asian dating sites have become too many, tripled and even quadrupled its number for the past years as it becomes easiest way to meet other people. In just a few clicks, a site can present matchmaking results of the people that might notice you, according to your own profile. From here on, you can browse for the people whom you like, and you may attach with them, or communicate to them your interest to know them well by sending them a message or a wink. If the person from the other end of the virtual world shares your fancy, he may respond to you, and this becomes the start of a virtual dating, that may ultimately lead to a meet up, and if you’re lucky, find your dream buddy. It’s all up to you who you will choose from them and make him or them one of your friends.There are lots of online sites at present that has these kind services, offering online search for you preferred races and eventually enables you to find the right one suitable for you. Tantric Club connects single Asian professionals. Tantric Club helps single Asian professionals to meet like-minded individuals face-to-face and access a new & exciting social world full of opportunities, to network, make friends and potentially meet that special someone, through fun activity-based social events, dinner parties, members drinks evenings and a personal matchmaking service.

Tantric Club connects single Asian professionals. We are not an online Asian dating site, an Asian speed dating organisation or a traditional Asian matchmaking service or marriage bureau. Tantric Club helps single Asian professionals to meet like-minded individuals face-to-face and access a new & exciting social world full of opportunities, to network, make friends and potentially meet that special someone, through fun activity-based social events, dinner parties, members drinks evenings and a personal matchmaking service.

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Pennsylvania cop on trial for allegedly murdering girlfriend’s estranged husband


Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2018

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The trial began today for a Pennsylvania state trooper accused of killing his girlfriend’s estranged husband.

Kevin Foley, 43, is accused of cutting the throat of John Yelenic, a dentist who was in the final stages of finalizing a divorce from his wife, Michele. According to prosecutors, Foley “loathed Dr. Yelenic” so much that he asked another fellow trooper to help him commit the alleged murder, which occurred in Yelenic’s Blairsville home.

Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek told an Indiana County jury that Foley also prayed Yelenic would die, and spread false rumors that Yelenic molested his adopted son.

“You will see Kevin Foley has the motive, the opportunity and the ability to commit this crime, almost to the exclusion of anybody else,” Krastek said.

Foley’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Monzo, said during opening statements that DNA evidence was not conclusive. Monzo admitted to the jury that Foley did not like Yelenic, but said that does not mean he murdered him.

“Kevin Foley is innocent,” he said.

Prosecutors said they could call as many as 70 witnesses to try and prove Foley wanted Yelenic to die. The trial, at the Indiana County Courthouse, is expected to last about three weeks.

Foley, who is on unpaid suspension from the Pennsylvania State Police, is charged with criminal homicide. The jury has the option of convicting him of first-degree murder, which could put Foley in prison for life without parole, or of a lesser degree charge, like manslaughter.

John Yelenic was found dead in his home on April 13, 2006, one day before he was planning on signing his divorce papers. Prosecutors said Foley killed Yelenic after going to the dentist’s house to confront him over the terms of the divorce. Prosecutors claim Foley slashed Yelenic several times with a knife and pushed his head through a small window, causing a further gash on his neck. Yelenic bled to death.

Foley had been living with Michele Yelenic for two years at the time of the alleged homicide. Krastek said Michele also helped perpetuate rumors that Dr. Yelenic molested their son. John and Michele Yelenic had been separated in 2002. Michele Yelenic stood to collect Dr. Yelenic’s estate and a $1 million life insurance policy, and could lose about $2,500 a month in support if the divorce was finalized, a Pennsylvania grand jury previously determined.

Michele Yelenic is expected to testify that Foley was home with her when the alleged murder occurred. Krastek told the jury DNA under Yelenic’s fingerprints will ultimately link him to the murder, as will bloody shoe prints found at the crime scene that match athletic shoes Foley is known to wear.

Monzo also said authorities have failed to investigate several other suspects, including Yelenic’s neighbor. Monzo said Yelenic was on very friendly terms with the neighbor’s wife, which could have given him a motive to commit the murder.

Prior to the trial, Foley’s defense attorneys unsuccessfully sought a change of venue because an overwhelming majority of the jury pool was familiar with the allegations. The change was denied when jurors insisted they had not formed an opinion about the charges.

Competition Commission of India fines Google ?1.36 billion for ‘search bias’


Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-03-2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018

On Thursday, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), a government anti-trust watchdog, fined US-based internet technology company Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc. ?135.86 crore (about ?1.36 billion, US$21 million) for manipulating their search results in favour of its products and syndicates, which affected business of rival companies. In the 190-page long decision, CCI said, “Google was leveraging its dominance in the market for online general web search, to strengthen its position in the market for online syndicate search services”.

In the ruling passed 4–2, the watchdog said, Google’s “search bias” caused “harm to its competitors as well as to users”. In 2012, Consumer Unity and Tests Society (CUTS), which is a non-profit organisation, and Bharat Matrimony filed a complaint against the search engine for manipulating the search results.

Google is to pay the fine within 60 days. CCI had fined them five percent of the average profit Google made over three fiscal years due to its Indian user base. Per the law, CCI could have fined Google up to ten percent of the profit.

Last year, Google was fined by the European Commission (EC) for favouring certain shopping services for the amount of €2.42 billion (about US$3 billion). That accounted for five percent of “average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet”, EC’s official statement read. Google was also fined by Russian Federation Antimonopoly Service for US$6.8 million in 2016 for favouring its own digital services.

“Whilst finding Google to have abused its dominant position, the CCI has nonetheless exercised restraint in recognizing the dynamic nature of online markets and not found Google guilty of every allegation”, Naval Shah, who was representing Bharat Matrimony from Shardul Amarchand law firm, told Reuters News agency.

A Google spokesperson said, “We have always focused on innovating to support the evolving needs of our users. The Competition Commission of India has confirmed that, on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws”.

Grooming And Shaping Your Eyebrows Using Henna!!


Posted by | Posted in Medicine | Posted on 15-03-2018

Grooming and Shaping Your Eyebrows using Henna!! by Vishal PariharEyebrows are without a doubt the most important step when it comes to crafting a look. It can transform your appearance in dramatic leaps and bounds. Almost everyone wants to achieve a brow-match made in heaven. However, the confusion of not knowing where to start can be off-putting. It’s daunting enough having to deal with the countless tasks ahead of your day never mind putting together eyebrows that convey the right expressions and that match your personality. If you are like most people, getting amazing eyebrows seems like too much work. Well, the good news is that: Getting an amazing pair of eyebrows does not need to be immensely difficult. With the right preparation and technique at your disposal, you can easily create beautiful eyebrows that not only boost your confidence, but also convey positive expressions -all without spending money on expensive makeup kits, or dealing with the frustration of trial and error. “Makeup the brows” means painting on the brow and includes Powdered brows, Gel brows, penciled brows and high lighting and low lighting the brows. Now in the market great need of Henna Powder Henna powder suppliers for Eyebrows.Henna is a great natural alternative to other chemical dyes. It is easy to mix, can be used at home, and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 30 days prior to use. Henna might be a good choice if you already use henna on your hair and want your brows to have the same reddish color. To buy henna for eyebrow hair, go Henna for Eyebrow Suppliers in India. Applied correctly, henna creates a stain that should last between five and seven days. The stain underneath the brow hair can also help to create the illusion of darker brows.The benefits of eyebrow tinting are immediate. Having full eyebrows through eyebrow tinting means you can wear less makeup and still look very attractive. This treatment is ideal for those who have normal brows and would like to get stronger look without needing to fill them in every day.The result of Eyebrow tinting semi-permanent fix that can give long-lasting results. Tinting involves a dye treatment that takes about ten to fifteen minutes to complete. That tinting technique will help you to darken your eyebrow hairs a full shade, which is enough to create a noticeable change in the appearance of your eyebrows. A second coat is then applied to achieve the final look. After the brows have ready to set, dye is cleansed with a solution and the eye area is gently wiped clean. Best Organic Henna Powder Suppliers in India is famous for Henna mehandi. So NMP Udhyog is here with great and herbal henna powder in market and known as Henna for Eyebrow Manufacturer & Suppliers in India. We do hope that this guide has been helpful to you; please let us know if you have any concerns or further questions by contacting us directly at NMP Udhyog also provides the Herbal Hair Dye suppliers in india, BAQ Henna, Red Chilli Powder Suppliers in India & Neem Products Suppliers in India etc.Get In Touch With UsMobile +91-9910415530Web http://www.nmpudhyog.comMail ID online@nmpudhyog.comNMP Udhyog is best choice for Best Organic Henna Powder Suppliers in India It has all kinds of variety which is 100% certified and pure.Article Source: eArticlesOnline.com

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68 pieces of luggage found behind Texas pet store


Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-03-2018

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

At least 68 different pieces of luggage has been found behind a pet store inside a garbage dumpster in Houston, Texas. The luggage came from several different international flights and authorities do not know how they got there or if the contents of the luggage have been stolen.

“We’re going to be investigating and the authorities are going to be investigating,” said spokeswoman for Continental Airlines, Mary Clark. All luggage was handed over to Continental Airlines.

The luggage is reported to have been sifted through, and most pieces have come from all over the world. The luggage is reported to have come from Bush Intercontinental Airport. Some pieces of the luggage have name tags and Clark states that “we’re trying to reach whoever we need to let them know the bags are there.”

Officers with the Houston Police Department are in charge of the investigation. The luggage was found by individuals who own the pet store.

The FBI has stated that the bags do not pose any danger.

Gene therapy trial for skin cancer cures two terminal patients


Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-03-2018

Friday, September 1, 2006

Results of gene therapy trials at the US National Cancer Institute, Bethesda to fight cancer published online yesterday by the scientific journal Science show some levels of success. However experts have warned that despite the promise more work is needed for this to become a viable cure.

Dr Stephen Rosenberg, who lead the research team, said “It’s important to emphasize this is a highly experimental treatment that’s still in the course of development.”

The team treated 17 terminal skin cancer patients with modified cells from their immune systems. The technique uses genetically modified white blood cells (more specifically T cells) to attack and kill the cancer cells. Of the 17 subjects only 2 were cured of the disease (an aggressive form of skin cancer called a melanoma which is usually fatal in advanced stages). Before the treatment, which lasted 18 months, the patients were only expected to live for up to 6 months. The remaining 15 patients were not affected by the treatment.

One of the successful patients was Mark Origer (53) from Wisconsin. He has been fighting cancer since first being diagnosed in 1999. After finding out about the new trial on the internet he applied and, after interviews, was accepted along with 16 other candidates. The treatment removed Origer’s melanoma and also shrunk another tumor in his liver – to the extent it could be removed surgically. Doctors confirmed he was free of the disease last week, nearly 2 years after treatment began. A second man (39) was cleared of his cancer which had spread to the lungs, liver and lymph nodes. Cancer that progresses to the lymph nodes is usually untreatable and fatal.

T cells can attack and destroy bacteria and other harmful cells like cancer cells. However cancer cells sometimes reduce the signals on their outer surface by which they are recognised, so the immune system cannot affect them. Gene therapy involves modifying some of a patients T cells to contain a new receptor. (Receptors are what enable the immune cell to identify harmful cells, like those corrupted by viruses. The new receptor is inserted with the use of a viral vector, i.e. a virus made safe to insert the receptor in the cell.

In the trial, T Cells were removed from each patient and modified in the laboratory. Patients underwent chemotherapy to kill most of their current immune system, which was replaced by the mutated cells. The modified cells successfully survived after injection into the body – making up 10% of the subject’s T cell count during the first 2 months. The team is now looking for ways to enable the cells to survive longer and in greater numbers.

Experts have called this a significant technical advance but warn that more patients need testing and the technique refining before any conclusive results can be drawn. Dr Edel O’Toole, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesman, said: “I think that the success of this approach in two patients shows promise, however 15 patients did not respond to the treatment suggesting that further work is needed to optimise this approach for all patients, which could take many years.”

Rosenberg now hopes to run a new trial with possibly stronger gene therapy treatments, he is currently awaiting FDA approval.

Gene therapy was much hyped after it’s first successful application in so called “bubble boys” (patients with severe combined immunodeficiency). After follow-up, these trials were stopped when it was discovered that three of eleven patients in one trial had developed leukemia.