Canada’s Beaches—East York (Ward 32) city council candidates speak

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

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Beaches—East York (Ward 32). Four candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Donna Braniff, Alan Burke, Sandra Bussin (incumbent), William Gallos, John Greer, John Lewis, Erica Maier, Luca Mele, and Matt Williams.

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

Contents

  • 1 Sandra Bussin (incumbent)
  • 2 William Gallos
  • 3 Erica Maier
  • 4 Luca Mele

Christian youth camp directors charged with dragging 15-year-old girl behind van

Monday, August 13, 2007

Charles Eugene Flowers and Stephanie Bassitt, who run Love Demonstrated Ministries in San Antonio, Texas, United States, have been arrested and charged with aggravated assault for tying a girl to their van and dragging her behind it on her stomach.

The victim had stopped running with a group of campers, after falling behind. She says Bassitt yelled at her while Flowers tied her to the van.

The girl was treated for injuries on her stomach, legs and arms. She reported that this was the second assault. Flowers and Bassitt remain in jail on US$100,000 bond each.

Love Demonstrated Ministries is a 32-day Christian boot camp for girls whose parents feel they are “at risk teens”. Such camps have raised controversy before.

An organization called the International Survivors Action Committee maintains a list of U.S. organizations where numerous abusive incidents have been reported; however, their list should not be taken as exhaustive. Neither Love Demonstrated Ministries nor New Horizons Youth Ministries, which has an alumni site describing abuse appeared.

5 Important Features Of A Good Foundation Company In Ocala

byAlma Abell

Foundation problems are more than just a cosmetic issue. The cracks in your interior walls will not only look unsightly but also reduce the value of your property. A good foundation company in Ocala can help you to restore the beautiful appearance of your home and at the same time maintain its value. Here are the five important characteristics of a foundation company you can trust.

1. Highly experienced contractors

The foundation company needs to have been in the business for long enough. You need to find out if they have experience particularly in foundation repairs. Choosing a construction company to work on your foundation may not be a suitable move. You need experts who specialize in foundations because they are likely to figure out where the problem is fast and have it repaired effectively.

2. A professional and organized business

You can tell that a foundation company will offer reliable services by visiting their business location. A proper foundation company will have a place where they admit clients and discuss issues that arise. You can also visit them onsite and get to see them in action. If you don’t like their level of professionalism and organization, it’s time to move on to the next contender.

3. Provides references

A company that is always willing to give potential clients references shows that it is proud of their work. Be very cautious if the company isn’t ready to offer you contacts of their previous clients. And also make sure they don’t handpick the references. Don’t be satisfied until you contact these references and see what their experiences were.

4. Offers clear terms of payment

Many homeowners have been frustrated when the time comes to pay for the services offered by a foundation company. First, read the contract before you sign. Understand the warranty agreement and don’t pay for any work before it begins. You also need to obtain a service agreement that covers beyond the warranty period. Remember that the foundation company may refuse to transfer the warranty if you sell the house so make sure you are clear about these details beforehand.

5. Uses different methods of repair

Always find out what methods of repair are used by the foundation company. Different companies utilize different methods when offering foundation repair services. The method chosen will determine the effectiveness of the service offered. Ram Jack Solid Foundations has been in the business for many years. We have professionals who can restore your foundation and maintain the value of your property. For more information, contact us.

2005/01/08 Tsunami aid donations in 2005 deductible for 2004 in the U.S.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

U.S. citizens donating in 2005 to help tsunami victims may write off their donations on their 2004 tax returns, thanks to a bill quickly passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on a voice vote, and signed into law by president George W. Bush.

Without the new law, contributors would have waited until 2006 and their 2005 tax returns to be able to write off their charitable donations. The law is intended to promote donating towards the tsunami relief effort.

CBS News reports Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy is estimating approximately 322 million U.S. dollars in goods and cash have been donated by private U.S. citizens and corporations, in addition to the 350 million that was promised by the government.

An AP/ISOS poll has found three in ten U.S. citizens have donated to Tsunami Aid organizations.

UK minor faces charges for calling Scientology ‘cult’ at protest

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

News media in the United Kingdom are reporting that a boy under the age of 18 was served with a court summons by City of London Police because he held a placard calling Scientology a “cult” at a peaceful protest on May 10. Human rights activists have criticized the decision to issue the 15-year-old the summons as an affront to freedom of speech, and representatives for the City of London Police force explained the actions of the police.

Individuals from the group Anonymous were protesting Scientology in the fourth protest in as many months, as part of the anti-Scientology movement Project Chanology. The Project Chanology movement began when the Church of Scientology attempted to get a leaked Scientology promotional video featuring Tom Cruise removed from websites YouTube and Gawker.com.

Members of Anonymous were motivated by the actions of the Church of Scientology, and bombarded Scientology websites and were successful in taking some of them down. Anonymous later changed tactics towards legal measures, and held international protests against Scientology on February 10, March 15, April 12, and most recently May 10.

At the May 10 protest, the 15-year-old boy was present and held up a placard which stated: “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult,” with a mention at the bottom of the sign to the anti-Scientology website Xenu.net. He attended the protest held outside the Church of Scientology building on Queen Victoria Street, near St Paul’s Cathedral in London. In a post made by the boy on the anti-Scientology website Enturbulation.org, he stated: “Within five minutes of arriving I was told by a member of the police that I was not allowed to use that word, and that the final decision would be made by the inspector.” The website describes itself as “A Source for Information on Dianetics and the Scientology Organization”. Using the pseudonym “EpicNoseGuy” at the Enturbulation.org message board, the boy goes on to describe how he was “strongly advised” by police to remove the placard.

City of London Police cited section five of the Public Order Act 1986 to the boy, which deals with “harassment, alarm or distress“. In response, the boy cited a 1984 judgment given by Mr. Justice Latey in the Family Division of the High Court of Justice of Her Majesty’s Courts of Justice of England and Wales, in which Latey called Scientology a “cult” and said it was “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”. In the actual 1984 judgment made by Judge Latey, he stated: “Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious. […] In my judgement it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous. […] It is dangerous because it is out to capture people, especially children and impressionable young people, and indoctrinate and brainwash them so that they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living and relationships with others.” According to the boy’s post at Enturbulation.org, the City of London Police told him he had 15 minutes to remove the sign in question. He was given a court summons by the police about a half-hour later, and his sign was removed and taken by the police as evidence.

I am going to fight this and not take it down because I believe in freedom of speech.

In videos of the May 10 protest posted to YouTube, City of London Police can be seen telling protesters not to use the word “cult” in their signs. Protesters discussed the issue with police and stated that they had checked with lawyers and verified that criticizing religion was a valid form of protest. The police warned protesters that if they violated police instructions regarding usage of signs “you will be prosecuted”. A female police officer read a form statement to the 15-year-old and stated: “I’ve been asked, if you could remove it [the sign] by 11:30, if not then I’ll have to come back and either summons you or arrest you.” The boy read Mr. Justice Latey’s 1984 judgment to the police, and then said: “I’m not going to take this sign down.” He told fellow protesters: “If I don’t take the word ‘cult’ down, here [holding up his sign], I will be either, I think, most likely arrested or [given] a summons. I am going to fight this and not take it down because I believe in freedom of speech, besides which I’m only fifteen.”

After the boy was given a summons one of the protesters asked a member of the City of London Police force: “Are we allowed to say Justice Latey says Scientology is a cult?”, to which the police officer responded: “I’ve already had this discussion with people. Direct quotes by individuals, I haven’t got a problem with.”

This barmy prosecution makes a mockery of Britain’s free speech traditions.

“This barmy prosecution makes a mockery of Britain’s free speech traditions. After criminalising the use of the word ‘cult’, perhaps the next step is to ban the words ‘war’ and ‘tax’ from peaceful demonstrations?” said Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti in a statement in The Guardian. The boy has appealed for help in order to fight the potential charges and possible legal action from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Ian Haworth of the United Kingdom-based Cult Information Centre also commented on the actions of the City of London Police to The Guardian, saying: “This is an extraordinary situation. If it wasn’t so serious it would be farcical. The police’s job is to protect and serve. Who is being served and who is being protected in this situation? I find it very worrying.”

News of the summons issued to the UK minor has received significant attention on the Internet, hitting the front pages of websites Slashdot, Digg, and Boing Boing on Wednesday. The story has also been discussed in hundreds of blog postings, including sites related to the tech-sector and others related to civil liberties.

City of London police had received complaints about demonstrators using the words ‘cult’ and ‘Scientology kills’ during protests against the Church of Scientology on Saturday 10 May.

In a statement given to publications including The Guardian and The Register, a representative for the City of London Police explained the rationale for the summons: “City of London police had received complaints about demonstrators using the words ‘cult’ and ‘Scientology kills’ during protests against the Church of Scientology on Saturday 10 May. Following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service some demonstrators were warned verbally and in writing that their signs breached section five of the Public Order Act 1986. One demonstrator, a juvenile, continued to display a placard despite police warnings and was reported for an offence under section five. A file on the case will be sent to the CPS.”

“City of London Police upholds the right to demonstrate lawfully, but we have to balance that with the rights of all sections of the community not to be alarmed, distressed or harassed as a result of others’ actions,” said City of London Chief Superintendent Rob Bastable in a statement given to The Register and The Daily Telegraph. Unlike the City of London Police, the Metropolitan Police Service (the territorial police force responsible for Greater London excluding the City of London) has not raised an issue with protesters using the word “cult”, according to Londonist.

… if we receive a file we will review it in the normal way according to the code for crown prosecutors.

A spokesman for the CPS told The Guardian that they did not give City of London Police specific instruction about the boy’s protest sign. The spokesman said that the CPS gave the City of London Police “general advice” about the laws governing protests and “religiously aggravated crime”, but did not give advice about this specific case. “… if we receive a file we will review it in the normal way according to the code for crown prosecutors,” said the CPS spokesman.

The City of London Police has faced controversy in the past for its close association with the Church of Scientology. When the City of London Scientology building opened in 2006, City of London Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley praised Scientology in an appearance as guest speaker at the building’s opening ceremony. Ken Stewart, another of the City of London’s chief superintendents, has also appeared in a video praising Scientology. According to The Guardian over 20 officers for the City of London Police have accepted gifts from the Church of Scientology including tickets to film premieres, lunches and concerts at police premises. Janet Kenyon-Laveau, spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology in the UK, told The Guardian that the relationship between the City of London Police and Scientology was mutually beneficial, and said that Scientologists conducted clean-up campaigns in urban areas affected by drug use problems. A City of London Police spokesman released a statement in November 2006 saying: “We are conducting a review to ensure that all members of staff are aware of the force policy on accepting hospitality and to assess whether clarification or amendment of this policy is necessary.”

Each of the Project Chanology international protests against Scientology has had a theme: the February protest called attention to the birthday of Lisa McPherson, who died under controversial circumstances while under the care of Scientology, the March protest was arranged to take place two days after Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard‘s birthday, the April protest highlighted the Church of Scientology’s disconnection policy, and the May protest highlighted the Scientology practice of “Fair Game” and took place one day after the anniversary of the publication of Hubbard’s book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Another international protest is planned for June 14, and will highlight the Church of Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” or “Sea Org”.

 This story has updates See No prosecution for UK minor who called Scientology a ‘cult’ 

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.

Thirteen Israeli soldiers, scores of Palestinians killed in deadly day of fighting in Gaza Strip

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On Sunday, in the deadliest day of fighting for the Israeli military in several years, thirteen Israeli soldiers were reported killed in the Gaza Strip. Over 500 deaths of Palestinians have been reported in the Gaza Strip in the now-fourteen days of Israel’s offensive against Hamas.

Over 67 deaths of Palestinians on Sunday, by one report well over 100 — both civilians and fighters combined — occurred in one area, the Gaza City suburb of Shujai’iya, following heavy fighting and shelling by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed Sunday, including two soldiers who were United States citizens. Furthermore, the armed wing of Hamas claimed in a statement, “We have captured a Zionist soldier and the occupation has not admitted that”, and displaying a identification card and a serial number. The IDF is investigating the claim. A anonymous senior Israeli military source told The Guardian in regards to Hamas fighters, “We have to admit we were facing good fighters, very well equipped with sophisticated weapons systems, accurate weapons, heavy weapons including mortars, booby traps.”

All this occurred while a United Nations Security Council meeting was held in New York City at the request of Jordan. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Rwanda’s UN ambassador Eugene Gasana said, “The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern about the growing number of casualties. The members of the Security Council called for an immediate cessation of hostilities”. Gasana continued saying, “The members of the Security Council called for respect of international humanitarian law including protection of civilians[…] The members of the Security Council emphasized the need to improve the humanitarian situation, including through humanitarian pauses.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in Doha, Qatar meeting with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement, “As I travel the region, I will continue to press for an [immediate] ceasefire — an immediate end to the Israeli military operation in Gaza and the rocket fire by Hamas and Islamic Jihad”. Ban criticized Israel for the civilian death toll saying, “While I was en route to Doha, dozens more civilians, including children, have been killed in Israeli military strikes in the Shejaiyah neighborhood in Gaza[…] I condemn this atrocious action. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians.”

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in press conference, “We will continue this operation for as long as it takes.” Netanyahu also appeared on CNN saying Hamas uses civilians as human shields; “They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better”. He further added, “We try to target military targets and unfortunately there are civilian casualties which we regret and we don’t seek”.

French fishermen blockade Channel ports

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

French fishing vessels have blockaded the English Channel ports of Calais, Bolougne, and Dunkirk.

Not a boat will go in nor out

The protest is an industrial action over tighter fishing quotas imposed by the European Union, with French fishing unions asking for their government to provide financial assistance or take a tougher line. CFTC Fishermans Union spokesman Bruno Dachicourt told Agence France Presse: “There are easily twenty boats blocking the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer in organized ranks. Not a boat will go in nor out.”

The fishermen are protesting the lowering of European Union quotas on fishing, which place a ceiling on the amount of fish that the fishermen of each member country are allowed to catch and sell. The EU has lowered quotas in response to concerns about the sustainability of fisheries, but each drop in quota reduces the amount of work each fishing vessel can do. “The feeble amount of the quota obliges us to close the fishing zones three months after the beginning of the catch”, said Stéphane Pinto, spokesman for the CFDT trade union group representing fishermen in Boulogne.

Ferry sailings between Dover in the United Kingdom and Calais were suspended, with UK authorities implementing the Operation Stack management plan in response. Under the plan sections of the M20 motorway are closed to traffic and used as a managed lorry park. Motorists have been advised to seek alternative routes if possible. Most cars and passengers from the P&O Calais-Dover sailings at 16.10 (apparently the first sailing affected), 17.40 and 18.25 left on the “Pride of Dover” at 11.47 arriving Dover at 12.30. Two SeaFrance ferries, Renoir and another, left slightly earlier.

Fishermen have also used fires and roadblocks to interfere with access to the ports by road.

The blockades come eight days after a similar incident in the Mediterranean, when French fishermen in Marseille, Ajaccio, Toulon and other port cities interfered with oil tanker movements and blockaded ports throughout the south of the country.

Wikinews is unaware of any official statement from the British or French Governments in response to the blockade.

Learning Eligibility Requirements From A Workers Comp Lawyer In Rochester, Ny

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byAlma Abell

Monroe County laws provide a Workers Comp Lawyer in Rochester NY with eligibility requirements. The guidelines require them to submit valid proof of the victim’s employment with the designated company. He or she acquires evidence that specifies why county laws require the company to carry workers compensation insurance. And the attorney offers proof that the injury is work-related. Valid proof is required to substantiate these facts in court. The lawyer provides all evidence of entitlement in the claim.

Verification of Employment

Monroe County laws require the victim to provide verification of employment. A notarized statement is substantial. The human resources department provides the document and provides a starting date for employment. The termination date is required if the employer dismisses him or her from their job. The court requires a reason for this dismissal to rule out wrongful termination.

Insurance Requirements

Companies that are not a one-person operation are required to carry and maintain workers compensation insurance. Any company that hires employees without acquiring this insurance coverage is breaking the law and subject to fines. The laws apply to any for-profit company that utilizes employees, non-paid volunteers or family members that assist in company operations. Your employer must present documentation that provides proof of compliance with these laws.

Work-related Injuries

The last eligibility requirement for these benefits is that the injury was work-related. Evidence must exist to show that you sustained the injury while performing job duties. Proof is obtainable through video surveillance, witness testimony, and medical findings. For example, a factory accident that was caused due to faulty equipment requires work-specific evidence. To present this evidentiary support, the medical findings would define the wounds or injuries as consistent with a machinery-based injury.

Victims consult a Workers Comp Lawyer in Rochester NY, after a denial of these benefits. The attorney outlines eligibility by providing evidence that shows compliance with Monroe County guidelines. Next, he or she examines evidentiary support to establish that proof is available to show that the injuries occurred in the workplace. The attorney files the worker’s compensation claim in court after a viable injury case is established. To know more Click Here.

Interview with Glen Stollery of ScienTOMogy.info

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Glen Stollery is a New Zealand website developer who created the site ScienTOMogy.info in mid 2005. The site, which is a parody of Tom Cruise and his involvement with the Church of Scientology, became the centre of controversy when it was served with a number of cease and desist orders initiated by the Church. On March 19, 2006, Glen issued a media release stating that his web hosting provider, YouTube, had removed videos of Tom Cruise which formed part of the site. The release suggested that YouTube had taken this action under external pressure from Cruise or Viacom.

Responding to a query by Wikinews reporters, YouTube stated “We have not received a DMCA notification letter from Viacom.” The Church of Scientology was offered the opportunity to respond to the claims made by Stollery during the interview. No reply was received.

This exclusive interview deals with these issues and others relating to the website. It was conducted with Glen via email between March 21 and April 3, 2006.