News briefs:February 04, 2008
News briefs:February 04, 2008


  • 1 Wikinews News Brief February 04, 2008
    • 1.1 Introduction
  • 2 Events of worldwide notability, military action, disasters etc.
    • 2.1 Tribunal considers role of Canadian minor in alleged war crimes
    • 2.2 Tadi? re-elected President of Serbia
    • 2.3 Egypt seals border with Gaza after 11 days
    • 2.4 Sentences handed down over Paraguay’s worst fire
    • 2.5 At least 30 killed by earthquakes in Rwanda and Congo
    • 2.6 Drug-resistant flu rising, says WHO
  • 3 Non-disastrous local events with notable impact and dead celebrities
    • 3.1 Church of Scientology: ‘”Anonymous’ will be stopped”
  • 4 Business, commerce and academia
  • 5 Arts and culture
    • 5.1 Fall ’08 styles at New York Fashion Week: the miniskirt is back again
  • 6 Frivolities and trivia
  • 7 Footer


Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Penny Lucas, Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Penny Lucas, Kenora—Rainy River

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Penny Lucas is running for the Progressive Conservative in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kenora-Rainy River riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

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

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Libertarian candidate Larry Stevens, Kitchener-Conestoga
Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Libertarian candidate Larry Stevens, Kitchener-Conestoga

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Larry Stevens is running for the Libertarian Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

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

Inquiry finds proper maintenance might have prevented 2009 North Sea helicopter disaster
Inquiry finds proper maintenance might have prevented 2009 North Sea helicopter disaster

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) ruled on Thursday a helicopter crash into the North Sea might have been prevented had proper maintenance procedures been followed. All sixteen on board died when the aircraft went down off the Scottish coast.

After a hearing in Aberdeen, Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle found Bond Offshore Helicopters failed to remove a component after a metal shard was found. The shard suggested spalling, or the shedding of metal particles in the aircraft’s gearbox. “The size and shape of the particle found […] were consistent with an advanced stage of classic spalling” according to the inquiry’s findings.

A week before the crash Bond mulled partially replacing the gearbox. The aircraft went down after the gearbox failed in flight. Pyle found a failure in communication between Bond and helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter had led to the decision not to replace the gearbox.

The routine flight was taking oil workers back to Aberdeen from the Miller offshore oil platform, owned by BP. The aircraft radioed air traffic control to inform they were twenty minutes from Aberdeen Airport but six seconds later was confronted with an oil warning light and grinding sounds. The crew declared an emergency but the main rotor broke free, which in turn smashed through the tail leaving the aircraft to plunge into the sea. The aircraft crashed within twenty seconds of the first sign of trouble.

The inquiry is surrounded by controversy owing to the five-year gap between accident and findings, and the decision by Crown Office not to prosecute over the crash. “For a criminal prosecution to have taken place, the Crown would have to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt” a Crown Office statement said on Thursday. “The Sheriff Principal makes clear that a reasonable doubt remained over the technical cause of the crash”.

Although the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Sheriff Pyle found a catastrophic gearbox failure triggered the crash, the exact cause of the failure was never conclusively decided. After hearing expert evidence Pyle found the balance of probabilities pointed to spalling, but could not rule out a manufacturing defect.

The inquiry’s findings note “that it would be an extraordinary coincidence if the failure properly to carry out inspection and maintenance of the helicopter’s gearbox was not causative of a catastrophic failure of the same within a matter of days. But, as the evidence made clear, such a coincidence was indeed a possibility.” Pyle’s report added “the small piece of the helicopter which would have proved the matter beyond any doubt [has] not been recovered from the seabed”.

We have always accepted that we made mistakes through honest confusion over telephone calls and emails

Bond have released a statement noting “We have always accepted that we made mistakes through honest confusion over telephone calls and emails.” Sheriff Pyle found Bond’s employees “tried to carry out their jobs as diligently as they could. All of them impressed me as engineers who well understood the vital importance of their role in ensuring […] safety”. He also found staff were well-trained and resourced, echoing findings by the AAIB and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Pyle noted Bond readily accepted they should have properly followed the maintenance manual and normally did, but “on one occasion, that fundamental rule was broken” and the crash was likely a result. Bond, Eurocopter, and investigators all gave evidence.

Trade unions and victims’ families, however, have slammed the decision not to prosecute. While welcoming the FAI’s conclusions, victims’ lawyer Tom Marshall said the families wanted to review the decision not to prosecute with the Lord Advocate, and are also seeking a broader public inquiry. Audrey Wood, whose son Stuart died in the disaster, said “How [Crown Office] arrived at that decision [not prosecuting] will haunt us, as not only did we hear of multiple breaches of health and safety, but the decision was also made without all the evidence being present, as vital witness statements had not been given”.

Wood said there were multiple breaches of health and safety law that could be prosecuted. Crown Office’s statement counters “evidence presented during the FAI has not altered the insufficiency of evidence, therefore the decision not to hold criminal proceedings remains the correct one”. Unite union branded their decision a “travesty of justice”.

Politicians have criticised the five-year delay holding the FAI, as has Scottish Trades Union Congress general secretary Grahame Smith who said “It is vitally important that lessons are learned at the earliest opportunity following tragedies where lives are lost”. Sheriff Pyle himself concluded “what can, I think, very properly be said is that nearly five years [delay] is on any view far too long and that we all have a responsibility for that. […] everyone concerned in future fatal accidents involving aircraft of whatever kind should do much better.”

Labour have called for new FAI rules; MSP Patricia Ferguson has put a bill before parliament; the Scottish Government says Sheriff Pyle’s conclusions are being scrutinised. MSP Richard Baker said the victims’ families and North Sea oil workers, who routinely use helicopters, had waited “far too long” for the FAI to conclude. “FAIs should never be delayed so long again.”

Crown Office expressed sympathy with the families involved for the delay but blamed the complex nature of the investigation, and pointed out the AAIB, Civil Aviation Authority, and local police had all already conducted their own enquiries. The AAIB spent 30 months investigating.

Twelve victims were from Scotland, many of those from in and around Aberdeen where the six-week inquiry was held. Three more were from elsewhere in the UK and the last was a Latvian national. Half of the fourteen passengers and two crew died “instantaneously” and the rest died very shortly after impact with the sea from blunt force trauma, the inquiry found.

None survived long enough to drown, according to Sheriff Pyle. Nonetheless he noted “there was a poignant moment when a witness was being taken through the graph in the AAIB report which set out the timeline of the accident that I, if not others present, understood for the first time the true horror of what took place.”

Audrey Wood said “The length of wait for nearly five years has been intolerable for all the families and we, the families, feel let down by the system.” Bond’s statement this week says “We would like to express again our deep sorrow at the 16 lives lost. Bond Offshore hopes [the inquiry] brings a degree of closure to the families, friends and dependents of those who died in the tragedy of 2009.” The sheriff also noted the “courage” of victims’ families, who attended the full hearing.

Ed Sheeran wins Song of Year Grammy for Thinking Out Loud
Ed Sheeran wins Song of Year Grammy for Thinking Out Loud

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Yesterday, UK singer Ed Sheeran won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for his song Thinking Out Loud from his album × ahead of Kendrick Lamar’s Alright; Wiz Khalifa’s, featuring Charlie Puth, See You Again; Little Big Town’s Girl Crush; and Taylor Swift’s Blank Space. Girl Crush won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

Welsh singer Amy Wadge co-wrote the song. Sheeran during the ceremony said they wrote the song on a couch in his house. In remarks to the Western Mail, Wadge said the album was already complete when they wrote the song.

Thinking out Loud remained #2 on Billboard Hot 100 for almost two months, and topped the UK rankings last year. Its video song has 969 Million YouTube views and has more than four million likes. The song also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance.

US singer Stevie Wonder announced the winner for the Song of the Year, and the envelope was written in Braille script. He joked about it saying “You can’t read it, you can’t read Braille!”

Along with Ed Sheeran’s first Grammy, Canadians The Weeknd and Justin Bieber won Grammy awards for the first time.

An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer
An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

As families fled their homes in the early morning hours on Thursday October 26, there was no warning. The Esperanza Fire southeast of Los Angeles and West of Palm Springs, California, had ballooned under the influence of Santa Ana winds to more than 19,000 acres as of the morning of October 27. No time to get the animals, no time for crates or even a leash. Sadly, owners left behind not only their horses, lamas, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, but also their dogs and cats.

Many of the families who did manage to evacuate their pets found themselves in the parking lot at the Fellowship in the Pass Church Red Cross Shelter where a MuttShack Animal Rescue team caught up with them.

Pam Anderson, Director of the emergency Red Cross shelter said that many people with animals had come and left.

The air was thick with smoke, and ash was raining down on the parking lot where dog owners, not able to take their dogs into the shelter were camping out in pup tents andin their cars.

Those who could afford it checked themselves into pet friendly hotels in nearby towns.

Some were prepared. Jane Garner, a small dog breeder was able to get all her animals out, and had set up her puppy runs alongside her RV in the parking lot. Others were not doing too well, having left home without as much as a leash.

The same scenario played out at the Red Cross shelter at Hemet High School. Animals were being boarded in vans, trailers and cars and small travel crates.

When MuttShack Animal Rescue arrived, a small fracas had sent several dogs off in different directions, running out of the school parking lot down busy streets necessitating an instant rescue response.

The Incident Command for the Esperanza Animals, Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto welcomed MuttShack‘s offer to help at the shelters.

Ramona Humane Society had recently published a notice in their Newsletter about the newly passed “PETS Act”and warned owners not wait until a major disaster such as an earthquake or fireto prepare. “Be proactive to ensure that your pet will be taken care of.”

MuttShack and PetSmart Charities set up ad hoc facilities for the animals at both shelters.

The Red Cross shelter, run by Madison Burtchaell of the Orange County Red Cross was very accommodating about allowing a small emergency pet shelter adjacent to the School.

Barbara A. Fought of PetSmart Charities, an organization that works with animal welfare organizations and provide assistance in disasters, provided crates and emergency supplies.

MuttShack and Red Cross volunteers, Martin St. John, Tom Hamilton, and Steve Meissner helped assemble the crates to secure a safe environment for evacuated pets.

It was a great relief for evacuees who had camped out in the parking lot to finally leave their vehicles and relax at the shelter, setting up their cots to grab some sorely needed rest.

Firefighters and residents reported loss of wildlife and animals. The Esperanza fire burned 34 homes, consumed 40,000 acres and cost five Firefighters their lives before it was contained four days later on October 30. Firefighting operations cost nearly $10 million.

MuttShack Animal Rescue is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization active in disasters and dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and care of lost or discarded dogs, cats and other animals.

Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines
Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines

Thursday, November 8, 2007

India is the latest of the countries where the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) experiment has started. Children from the village of Khairat were given the opportunity to learn how to use the XO laptop. During the last year XO was distributed to children from Arahuay in Peru, Ban Samkha in Thailand, Cardal in Uruguay and Galadima in Nigeria. The OLPC team are, in their reports on the startup of the trials, delighted with how the laptop has improved access to information and ability to carry out educational activities. Thailand’s The Nation has praised the project, describing the children as “enthusiastic” and keen to attend school with their laptops.

Recent good news for the project sees Uruguay having ordered 100,000 of the machines which are to be given to children aged six to twelve. Should all go according to plan a further 300,000 machines will be purchased by 2009 to give one to every child in the country. As the first to order, Uruguay chose the OLPC XO laptop over its rival from Intel, the Classmate PC. In parallel with the delivery of the laptops network connectivity will be provided to schools involved in the project.

The remainder of this article is based on Carla G. Munroy’s Khairat Chronicle, which is available from the OLPC Wiki. Additional sources are listed at the end.


  • 1 India team
  • 2 Khairat
    • 2.1 The town school
  • 3 The workplace
  • 4 Marathi
  • 5 The teacher
  • 6 Older children, teenagers, and villagers
  • 7 The students
  • 8 Teacher session
  • 9 Parents’ meetings
  • 10 Grounding the server
  • 11 Every child at school
  • 12 Sources
  • 13 External links

Atlantis launched, heads for International Space Station
Atlantis launched, heads for International Space Station

Saturday, June 9, 2007

In the first space flight of 2007, Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off on schedule yesterday, starting on an 11-day mission to the International Space Station.

Atlantis and its seven astronauts lifted off at 7:38 p.m. EDT (2338 GMT) from the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The launch pad, newly refurbished by NASA, had not been used since the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia, which ended in disaster on Feb. 1, 2003.Atlantis is scheduled to dock with the space station at around 1930 GMT tomorrow.

The goal for the Atlantis crew is to carry out the two missions that were left incomplete from the previous flight due to broken and jammed equipments. During the flight, the shuttle and its seven astronauts will deliver a new segment and will install energy-producing solar panels to the International Space Station. The payload is the heaviest ever flown to the space station, and includes a 45-foot (14-meter), 35,678-pound (16,183 kilogram) aluminium segment that will become part of the station’s superstructure.

The mission, STS-117 has been dogged by trouble. It was scheduled to launch in March, but a hailstorm in February damaged the orange external fuel tank, so the shuttle had to be rolled back into the Vehicle Assembly Building for repairs. After repairs, the tank had white specks visible in the orange insulation, and there was some concern over whether the insulation would hold. Falling foam insulation was blamed for the Columbia crash, in which all seven astronauts aboard were killed.

But yesterday’s launch appeared to be flawless. “Give me more speckled tanks,” the shuttle program manager, N. Wayne Hale Jr., was quoted as saying.

The delay in the launch of Atlantis also pushed back other missions.

NASA faced a scandal earlier in the year when one of its astronauts, Lisa Nowak, was fired after being charged in the attempted kidnapping of a fellow astronaut, William Oefelein, with whom she had been having an affair.

Eye Doctor San Diego: Expert Solutions For Vision Problems


Eye problems that result from various reasons can occur to different individuals anytime. Regardless of the cause, an eye doctor San Diego clinic can help alleviate the problem by providing people with the right eye glass prescriptions.

Solving various eye problemsPeople can suffer from eyesight problems and this stands to affect daily vision and focus. An eye doctor San Diego local venue with the finest professionals can help fix these problems to restore their quality of life. Here are the most common issues that individuals with poor eyesight have:

1. Nearsightedness. People who have this vision problem can’t see clearly when the main object is at a farther distance. Eyeglasses with the right grade or prescription lenses will surely help people focus their visions properly.2. Farsightedness. This vision problem is the reverse effect of nearsightedness but can also be solved with the prescribed pair of eyeglasses which is suited to the individual.

3. Astigmatism. This issue often comes with blurred vision and headache or nausea. Fixing the vision of a person with this type of eye problem is possible with prescription glasses prepared by an able eye doctor San Diego practitioner.

4. Other vision problems like cross eye issues may present a problem to people due to specific circumstances. Like the other issues, this can also be given a solution by means of fitting affected individuals with corrective eyeglasses.

Expert procedures in making prescription glassesAn eye doctor San Diego specialist has the latest equipment used for checking people’s vision. Examining the actual vision difficulty is the key in accurately solving these problems. Utilizing the latest technology and updated knowledge can make every solution perfect for any patient.In addition to modern tools, eye doctor San Diego clinics employ practitioners who are highly qualified to use any equipment that can help lots of individuals with any type of eye problems. These prescription eyewear can be done inside the premises of their clinics and all the patient has to do is to wait for a few hours. Frames can be chosen from a wide assortment of styles on display as well.

Getting eyeglasses at the best valueIn the past, prescription glasses have been regarded as costly because of the time it takes to make them; today an eye doctor San Diego locale can offer these glasses at more affordable prices and give buyers real value for their money. They are now available at cheaper prices and this makes vision problems no longer something that is considered uncorrectable.

To know more about the latest offers and technology offered by the best eye doctors, visit Lake Murray Optometric Center or contact them at to solve your vision problems.

News briefs:January 04, 2008
News briefs:January 04, 2008


  • 1 Wikinews News Brief January 04, 2008 23:35 UTC
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Israeli troops kill 9 in Gaza
    • 1.3 Georgian President faces election challenge
    • 1.4 US unemployment hits two-year high
    • 1.5 Israel plans crackdown on West Bank settlement outposts
    • 1.6 Transaven Airlines plane carrying 14 people crashes off Venezuelan coast
    • 1.7 Sportswriter Milt Dunnell dies at 102
    • 1.8 2007 was particularly good year for aviation safety
    • 1.9 U.S. Senator Dodd bows out of presidential race
    • 1.10 Intel ends partnership with One Laptop Per Child program
    • 1.11 British Investigators arrive in Pakistan to join Bhutto investigation
    • 1.12 Disgorge bassist Ben Marlin dies from cancer
    • 1.13 Egypt lets 2000 pilgrims through Rafah
    • 1.14 Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis once again delayed
    • 1.15 Study suggests hospitals are not the best place for cardiac arrest treatment
    • 1.16 US dollar no longer accepted at Taj Mahal and other Indian historical sites
    • 1.17 Footer


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