Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellen while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother’s amorous pursuit.

The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950’s America and that White’s work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White’s enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.

Contents

  • 1 On literature
  • 2 On work as a gay writer
  • 3 On sex
  • 4 On incest in his family
  • 5 On American politics
  • 6 On his intimate relationships
  • 7 On Edmund White
  • 8 On Larry Kramer
  • 9 Source

Mass panic as Zimbabwean officials fake air crash

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Today, Zimbabwean officials informed the media that an Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767 aircraft carrying 250 people had crashed at Harare International Airport, before they announced the reports were false and the incident had in fact been a drill to simulate the occurrence of such an event. Initial reports suggested that a flight from London had crashed upon landing at the airport. However, Medical Rescue International later stated in a post on Facebook that no airplane had crashed and it had “joined up with other services to attend to a mock accident at Harare International Airport … Good to keep the practising up.”

Those behind the staged accident had reportedly not told any other governmental departments, resulting in relatives inquiring with Air Zimbabwe as to what had happened. A senior figure for Air Zimbabwe stated that he was “concerned that this incident led to many, many calls to us. People were frightened. No actual plane was involved, but there was a scenario involving a Boeing 767 plane that had been hijacked and forced down at Harare airport.”

It was reported that Peter Chikumba, chief of Air Zimbabwe, had also not been informed that the exercise was to take place, and that the airline had set up an emergency helpdesk to liaise with the families of victims. Alan McGuinness, a correspondent for Sky News, stated, “journalists who arrived at the airport saw smoke rising from a runway and were then taken to a room where they were told to wait. David Chawota, the head of the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority, said the media was duped to make the drill more realistic.” Chawota stated, “telling the media was part of the exercise. We wanted to see how the media would react,” he said.

Chawota himself told BNO News that an airliner had crashed. Michael van Poppel, head of BNO News said that “while I first thought Chawota was just misinformed by others, although that would be odd since he is the CEO of the aviation authority, I was stunned to hear that he actually knew it was a drill and wanted to see the media’s response … This basically means he was lying to me when I spoke to him, but also to other reporters he spoke to … I think it was absolutely irresponsible of this CEO and I can’t imagine what the families of passengers travelling to Harare around that time must have gone through when they heard news reports that there had been an ‘accident’ at the airport.”

McGuinness reported, “Stuart Sprake, general manager of FX Logistics, works at Harare airport and believed the secrecy surrounding the drill will help emergency crews learn valuable lessons.” Sprake told reporters “they (the crews) had to find their way through crowds and traffic … training exercises should be ad hoc — the less people know about it the better.”

Buffalo, New York snow storm closes schools, leaves nearly 400,000 without power

Friday, October 13, 2006

Buffalo, New York —Lake effect snow has come early to parts of Western New York prompting a State of Emergency and a flood watch to be issued, especially in Buffalo, New York and its suburbs where nearly 2 feet of snow fell during the afternoon and last night. Snow started to fall at around 12:00 pm EST on Thursday, October 12, heavy at times, and accompanied by thunder and lightning. Forecasters called the weather event “unprecedented.” A driving ban has been issued for Tonawanda, New York, Buffalo and Amherst where at least “80% of roads in Amherst are impassible.” The Buffalo Niagara International Airport opened at almost 3:30 p.m. [EST]. The New York State Throughway, or interstate 90 is closed from nearly Rochester, New York to Dunkirk, New York which is nearly 110 miles long. Motorists at the Williamsville, New York toll barrier are being turned around. A driving ban remains in effect while a state of emergency exists.

Water will be shut off in 24 hours due to the lack of electricity to water pumps in the area and in a press conference, Mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown issued a “boil water advisory.” Brown also said that “70,000 of the 75,000 residents and businesses in Amherst are still without power.” Residents are asked to bottle water and prepare for the outage. It is not known when water will be turned back on. At least 30 water intake pumps in Erie County, out of the 50 the county has, have no power. Officials say that businesses and residents could be out of water by 5:00 p.m. [EST].

At least 3 people have been killed due to the storm. Two of those people were killed in a two-car accident in Lancaster, New York, and the other person was in Niagara County and died after being hit by a vehicle. One person was crushed and killed by a falling tree in Amherst, while in the process of removing snow from his property.

Hundreds of trees have snapped in half as the snow began to fall around the city. Many trees, which still have their leaves, have broken into pieces as the heavy, wet snow began to pile up, as much as an inch an hour. Early on Thursday, the airport had received nearly 9 inches (23cm) of snow and climbing. The storm has caused many delays and cancellations in flights leaving from or going to Buffalo.

Nearly 400,000 people in Buffalo and surrounding suburbs are still without power and forecasters at the NOAA are warning people “not to go outside in an area where heavy snow has fallen unless absolutely necessary.” Power may not be restored to the affected areas until Sunday and possibly next week in some areas. Damage to trees is extensive with nearly every tree destroyed on Granger Place in Buffalo.

“This was extremely heavy snow and most of the trees still have most of their leaves … we can’t do a complete damage assessment until the snow stops falling,” said spokesman for Niagara Mohawk, Western New York’s area power company, Steve Brady.

“At 8 pm [on Thursday], utility companies were reporting over 50,000 customers without power. The reason for the widespread power outages has been the combination of very heavy water laden snow accumulating on the trees that still have most of their leaves. Tree’s limbs break under the weight of the snow and bring down power lines as they fall,” said a statement on NOAA’s website.

“[This is the] snowiest day in 137 years [of weather records]. Six inches of snow occurred on October 13, 1909 and again on October 31, 1917,” added the NOAA weather statement.

Many business and nearly every school in Western New York are still closed due to the weather and the snow is forecasted to move south again over the Buffalo Metropolitan area, but snow amounts are not expected to be significant. Wind is expected to be strong and gusty which could bring down tree limbs which are broken but still attached to the tree. Some areas could se an additional 6 inches of snow by Saturday morning.

The flood watch takes effect at 2:00 p.m. [EST] and continues through Saturday.

School on Australia’s Sunshine Coast makes staff redundant, requests they apply for ‘new’ jobs

This article’s primary contributor, Patrick Gillett, is an alumnus of Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wikinews has obtained a list of middle management teaching staff allegedly made redundant, or laid off due to restructuring, by Sunshine Coast Grammar School (SCGS), in Queensland, Australia. Sources say that those staff have been told that they can apply for new positions that have opened up.

The list, published on the SCGS alumni Facebook page, contains the names of twenty-two staff members, eight of which taught this article’s primary contributor. Seventeen positions are reportedly being opened up by the private Christian school, eight of which seem to significantly overlap the old ones.

The changes are, apparently, designed to get teachers back into the classroom. “We are not cutting subject choices and extracurricular activities, but retaining a student-driven curriculum that integrates with the new Australian Curriculum, in keeping with our commitment to teaching and learning opportunities,” said headmaster Nigel Fairbairn.

Fairbairn could not guarantee that any of the staff would be given a position in 2011. “That will depend on how many people on that list apply for new positions of responsibility and are successful,” he said.

“The Head of the School cannot guarantee the 21 staff a job at the School in the future, with many of the positions being advertised to external applicants,” said Terry Burke, secretary for the Independent Education Union of Australia Queensland branch (Queensland Independent Education Union, QIEU).

“There has been little or no consultation with affected staff, who should not have to reapply for their jobs,” he said. “Most of the proposed restructuring is highly questionable and places at risk the high quality education at the School.”

Some former students responded angrily to the news.

Four of the affected teachers “were the backbone of the school when [controversy surrounded founding headmaster John Burgess] happened,” a former prefect (student leader) said. “They got it through that crisis and this is the thanks they get.”

“People are angry and shocked,” they continued. “I am aware of at least 10 families who have said they will pull their children out of the school – it’s that bad.”

The student body has not ruled out protesting the schools plans. “It’s getting to that stage,” the former prefect said. “People are trying to look at it in an intelligent way but there is so much anger out there.”

Wikinews understands that Fairbairn attracted criticism when he was a head teacher in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a former student claimed that Fairbairn “replaced the open and welcoming culture … with the tyrannical and oppressive one.”

Claw Hammer And Sledgehammer For Industrial Work

Claw Hammer and Sledgehammer for Industrial Work

by

Article Publeser

An essential hand tool for wood working and various other repairing jobs, claw hammer is the fundamental requirement for carpenters. Used primarily for pounding nails into, or extracting nails from any object, claw hammer is the tools that can be seen with any carpenter when he is working. Though, it is a primary tool for carpenters, it has its use in metal work too wherein it is used to pound nails or extract nails from one place and place at some other place.

As claw hammer cannot be used for heavy hammering on metal surfaces, sledgehammers are used for the purpose. A claw hammer has T shape and flat head one side. The other side has curved head that is split in the middle forming a “V” shape – this is claw of the hammer. Thus, it is basically designed to meet numerous requirements in wood working or metal work i.e. extracting nails or pounding the nails. Nevertheless, the blunt side of the claw hammer is used to impact other surfaces.

Sledgehammer

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Like claw hammer, sledge hammer too is used for various industrial purposes. A tool consisting of a large, flat head attached to a lever, sledgehammer was perhaps one of the first hand tools that were invented by humans. A typical sledgehammer contains a head usually made of some strong metal e.g. iron. Depending upon the use or purpose, the size of the head in sledgehammer is determined. For instance in stone mines it is big, in wood working it is usually small.

Spirit Levels

Used in various sectors or industries including of construction, wood working, engineering, surveying, etc. a spirit level or bubble level is an instrument that indicates whether a surface is horizontal or vertical. Thus, it helps in bringing out precision in wood working and engineering as well as surveying. Used mainly by professionals such as carpenters, stonemasons, bricklayers, building trades workers, surveyors, millwrights, metalworkers, etc. Spirit Levels contain ethanol in it for the purpose.

Spirit Levels are highly recommended for surveying as it works as surveyor’s leveling instrument wherein a surveyor can map down tilting level, dumpy level or automatic level and plan out the leveling accordingly. Similarly, it can be used by carpenters to know the exact level of surfaces in furniture. Construction industry too uses Spirit Level to know Line Level of buildings. Engineers on the other hand use it to bring precision and accuracy.

Rocktools.com.au is Australia’s favourite online hardware store, provides quality

Claw Hammer

, claw hammer steel and

Sledgehammer

at trade prices.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Glencore announces Tahmoor mine in New South Wales to close

Friday, June 3, 2016

Swiss mining company Glencore announced yesterday the closure of its coal mine in Tahmoor, New South Wales, Australia. The mine is to be closed by early 2019, pointing to the downturn of coal prices in global markets.

Glencore stated, “The decision has been made as a result of continued low prices in global coal markets, which has meant the economic return from reserves still available at Tahmoor are not sufficient to warrant the investment required to mine them”.

The closure will result in a loss of 350 jobs according to the company, who said they are consulting with the employees.

The mine is not the only operation impacted by the fall of global coal and commodity prices. The Australian arm of mining magnate Peabody Energy has reported losses of almost A$3 billion in 2015. According to latest financial reports for Peabody subsidiary Peabody Australia Holdco lodged via Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the company earned a net loss of A$2.7 billion — after a loss of A$1.2 billion in 2014. Accountants at Peabody Australia have warned the mine might not be able to continue operating, with the market persistently weak since December.

Despite low coal and commodity prices, both the major political parties have been supportive of coal mines. While appearing on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Coalition MP Steve Ciobo confirmed party support of coal mines. In response to an audience member question, concerning what policies the panellists had planned to combat job and economic loses in Queensland after the mining boom, Ciobo stated the Coalition government supports Adani’s new Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin — as an example of “transitioning” the state’s economy.

Labor MP Terri Butler said although she doesn’t personally support Adani’s Carmichael project, the state Labor government “didn’t have much discretion” surrounding its approval. Meanwhile, Greens party leader Richard Di Natale criticised responses from the panellists claiming the “great tragedy” is both major parties support of coal mines such as Carmichael.

“If you care about tourism you don’t open up a whopping great big coal mine and fuel catastrophic global warming”, said Di Natale.

Di Natale accused both major parties of being deceitful in “slashing” both the target of and agency funding for renewable energy, leaving no plan to realize the investment potential of the renewable sector.

Two teenagers charged over shooting of student at C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute, Toronto

Monday, May 28, 2007

Two 17-year-old men have been arrested and charged with first degree murder over the shooting last week of Jordan Manners, a 15-year-old student at the C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute. He was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest.

They cannot be named due to limitations in the Youth Criminal Justice Act. One was arrested in a raid early on Sunday morning, the other handed himself in later the same day. Three others, two men and a woman, were also arrested in raids but released without charge.

Toronto police Staff Insp. Brian Raybould stated at a press conference Monday that the two accused knew Manners and “probably were friends” with him. He also stated that a motive is yet to be established, but the attack was not gang-related. He also said that although there had clearly been only one shooter, both men had been charged with first degree murder. Crown prosecutors announced that they will seek full length sentences for the two, as opposed to restricted sentences reserved for minors.

Lawyers for the two accused have said that they have not been told exactly what the allegations against their clients are beyond the simple fact that they were involved in the shooting. The lawyers also said that the families were “shocked and upset” by the arrests.

Police have said that the two arrests came as a result of people within the school community coming forward with information regarding the shootings. They also urged more people to come forward to help clarify what they described as a “complex” case.

Four people shot outside New Life Church in Colorado Springs, USA

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Early afternoon saw a shooting in the church parking lot of New Life Church, an Evangelical Megachurch, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States. According to a report quoting the church’s pastor four people were shot by a gunman in the car park.

At this time it is unknown if there is any connection with yesterday’s shooting approximately 70 miles away in Arvada, Colorado, where a gunman shot two and injured two people at Faith Bible Chapel’s missionary training centre in a dormitory.

Up to 31 women sue UK police force over rapist officer

Friday, November 26, 2010

Up to 31 women are suing Northumbria Police—which covers northeast England—over abuse they claim to have received from Police Constable Stephen Mitchell. Mitchell was this week convicted of two rapes, three indecent assaults, and six counts of misconduct in a public office against seven separate victims. They were among sixteen, all female, who testified at his five-week trial, which also saw acquittals over three rapes, three indecent assaults, and nine misconduct charges.

One woman, whose complaint against Mitchell triggered the three-year probe that convicted him, says she has decided to sue because he was cleared of raping her. She alleges rape, sexual assault, false imprisonment, and a breach of human rights, claiming the policeman raped her at Pigrim Street’s police station in 2006, the culmination of four years using her as a sex slave. Now a mother-of-four and a PhD student, she “do[es] not accept the not guilty verdict. I want justice and I will prove his guilt.” It is alleged he tracked her on the police database.

Mitchell claimed at trial the alleged victims were all liars, involved in a joint conspiracy to frame him and driven by a single woman. He described her motivation as “self-preservation” but refused to elaborate on this in open court.

It has since emerged that Mitchell was considered emotionless by other officers during the probe, earning the nickname ‘PC Cucumber’. “We are making claims for damages for sexual assault, false imprisonment and breach of human rights,” said Lindsey Houghton of lawyers Irwin Mitchell. “Mitchell was in a position of trust and authority. He abused that position, taking advantage of vulnerable young women in the most horrific way… we hope to be able to provide our clients with some comfort as they try to get their lives back.” As well as the sixteen in court, fourteen more were willing to give evidence against him.

It does not get any worse than being a police officer with a rape conviction in prison, but he never flinched.

Inquiry leader Detective Chief Inspector Chris Sharman said he had “never seen anything like it in interviews. He showed no emotion whatsoever.” Sharman was accused at trial by Mitchell’s defence lawyer of offering the rapist a chance to resign in exchange for dropping the case, citing a secret recording between the two. The prosecution disputed this assessment of their conversation. An unnamed colleague who knew Mitchell said “It does not get any worse than being a police officer with a rape conviction in prison, but he never flinched.”

Glasgow-born Mitchell’s convictions cover 1999 through 2004. He previously served in the Army, as which time he appeared before court in Scotland over sex charges, but was cleared in 1997 before Edinburgh High Court; he lied about this on his police application.

The Mirror reports the total claimed to be in the region of millions of pounds.

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”