Q and A with New Zealand Prime Minister hopeful

">
Q and A with New Zealand Prime Minister hopeful
By 5T2Mgk On September 26th, 2018

Sunday, May 18, 2008

This article is part of the series

New Zealand General Election
Other election coverage
  • Q and A with New Zealand Prime Minister hopeful
Background

John Key is the leader of the New Zealand National Party and with the New Zealand General Election this year, Wikinews’ Gabriel Pollard spoke to John Key via email.

Gunman commits suicide at University of Texas

">
Gunman commits suicide at University of Texas
By 5T2Mgk On September 25th, 2018

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A man wearing a ski mask and carrying an assault rifle apparently killed himself in the library of the University of Texas in Austin, Texas earlier today.

The university was placed under lockdown and all classes were canceled as a result of the incident. Nobody else was hurt, but police are still looking for a possible second gunman. Art Acevedo, the chief of Austin police, said that officials are also considering the possibility of explosives left by the suspect. Armored vehicles were seen moving around the campus in response to the event, as well as {{w|SWAT team|SWAT teams}, bomb-sniffing dogs, and police helicopters. An ambulance was seen around 9:00 a.m. CDT (1400 UTC) at the University of Texas’ Perry-Castaneda library.

The school’s website included a notice this morning, which read: “The person involved in this morning’s shooting on campus has been confirmed dead on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Law enforcement are searching for a second suspect. If you are off campus, STAY AWAY. If you are on campus, lock doors, do not leave your building.” The gunman was reportedly killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and no shots had been fired by law enforcement officials.

The shooter has not yet been identified, and the reason behind the incident is not yet known. Witnesses described the man as wearing a dark suit and ski mask, and carrying an assault rifle. Randall Wilhite, a professor at the university, said that he heard gunshots while going to class and saw the suspect heading toward the library just after 8:00 a.m. CDT (1300 UTC). The gunman appeared to be firing shots randomly. “When I pulled up in my car, he stood right in front of me and didn’t stop running but turned in my direction, fired three shots into the ground to the left of my car and kept running,” said Wilhite. The gunman had the chance to shoot students, added Wilhite, but he did not appear to be targeting them.

The school, which has around 50,000 students, sent out an alert around that time warning students to stay where they were. Robby Reeb, a senior at the school, said that “a guy sprinted past me screaming, ‘There’s a guy with a gun.’ I looked up and saw a man in a ski mask, wearing a suit, and carrying an assault rifle. And I called 911.”

Police said that the gun used in the shooting was an AK-47, and that they were examining two different crime scenes: where the shots were fired outside, and where the gunman was found dead in the library. Police would not say whether he was attending the university. Chief Acevado said that there were “reports of a second suspect that was wearing a beanie with a long rifle, wearing blue jeans and a black top” that “may or may not be a white male.”

Several hours after the lockdown began, police allowed students to leave the university’s campus, although nobody is still allowed to enter.

The school was also the site of a shooting spree on August 1, 1966, in which university student Charles Whitman fatally shot fourteen to sixteen people and wounded another 32 before being himself killed by law enforcement authorities; reports of the exact death toll are inconsistent. Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, shot students from the observation platform of the school’s tower. That event was the deadliest school shooting in the United States until the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

Category:April 24, 2005

">
Category:April 24, 2005
By 5T2Mgk On September 25th, 2018
? April 23, 2005
April 25, 2005 ?
April 24

Pages in category “April 24, 2005”

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam

">
Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam
By 5T2Mgk On September 25th, 2018

Sunday, February 13, 2005

New York –”Buy cheap Viagra through us – no prescription required!” Anyone with an active email account will recognize lines like this one. According to some reports, unsolicited advertisements (spam) for Viagra and similar drugs account for one in four spam messages.

BACKGROUND

Spamming remains one of the biggest problems facing email users today. While users and systems administrators have improved their defenses against unsolicited email, many spammers now insert random words or characters into their letters in order to bypass filters. The Wikipedia article Stopping email abuse provides an overview of the various strategies employed by companies, Internet users and systems administrators to deal with the issue.

Ever since pharmaceutical giant Pfizer promised to cure erectile dysfunction once and for all with its blue pills containing the drug sildenafil citrate, spammers have tried to tap into male anxiety by offering prescription-free sales of unapproved “generic” Viagra and clones such as Cialis soft tabs. Legislation like the U.S. CAN-SPAM act has done little to stem the tide of email advertising the products.

Now Pfizer has entered a pledge with Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company, to address the problem. The joint effort will focus on lawsuits against spammers as well as the companies they advertise. “Pfizer is joining with Microsoft on these actions as part of our shared pledge to reduce the sale of these products and to fight the senders of unsolicited e-mail that overwhelms people’s inboxes,” said Jeff Kindler, executive vice president at Pfizer.

Microsoft has filed civil actions against spammers advertising the websites CanadianPharmacy and E-Pharmacy Direct. Pfizer has filed lawsuits against the two companies, and has taken actions against websites which use the word “Viagra” in their domain names. Sales of controlled drugs from Canadian pharmacies to the United States are illegal, but most drugs sold in Canada have nevertheless undergone testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is not the case for many of the Viagra clones sold by Internet companies and manufactured in countries like China and India. While it was not clear that CanadianPharmacy was actually shipping drugs from Canada, Pfizer’s general counsel, Beth Levine, claimed that the company filled orders using a call center in Montreal, reported the Toronto Star.

For Microsoft’s part, they allege that the joint effort with Pfizer is part of their “multi-pronged attack on the barrage of spam.” As the creator of the popular email program Outlook, Microsoft has been criticized in the past for the product’s spam filtering process. Recently, Microsoft added anti-spam measures to its popular Exchange server. Exchange 2003 now includes support for accessing so-called real-time block lists, or RTBLs. An RTBL is a list of the IP addresses maintained by a third party; the addresses on the list are those of mailservers thought to have sent spam recently. Exchange 2003 can query the list for each message it receives.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Cargo plane crashes in Alaska’s Denali Park, sparks wildfire

">
Cargo plane crashes in Alaska’s Denali Park, sparks wildfire
By 5T2Mgk On September 23rd, 2018

Monday, August 2, 2010

A cargo plane crashed into a mountain Sunday afternoon in Alaska’s Denali National Park, killing around three people and sparking a small wildfire after the aircraft disintegrated and burst into flames. According to the National Park Service, the plane crashed into the southern slope of Mount Healy, and the crash was just 200 yards away from Denali’s only road.

Though it is estimated that three people died in the crash, it has been hard to determine exactly how many died as “the plane pretty much disintegrated,” park spokeswoman Kris Fister said. The explosion from the crash sparked a small wildfire that firefighters contained within two acres (one hectare.)

Though George Clare, a man from Las Vegas who witnessed the crash, thought the plane looked like a military aircraft, US military officials have stated that none of their planes were involved. Clare has said that the plane was “… a military khaki green kind of color. It was propeller-driven. It was a fixed wing aircraft and it had kind of a flat underbelly.” The Federal Aviation Administration, which tracks civil flying accidents, later circulated a report that identified the aircraft as a Fairchild C-123K, and echoed the initial reports that all three on board died, including one passenger.

Jeff Kowalczyk, an EMT hiking through the 6,075,107 acre park with his wife, a nurse, said that he saw the plane positioned almost upside-down as it crashed. The crash was only a few hundred yards from where he was watching, and he also said “the whole experience was really surreal.”

The crash came just four days after another major airplane crash in the state, when a military cargo plane crashed a minute after taking off at the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage. The crash killed four people onboard who were training for an airshow.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

News briefs:May 4, 2006

">
News briefs:May 4, 2006
By 5T2Mgk On September 23rd, 2018

The time is 17:00 (UTC) on May 4th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Zacarias Moussaoui to serve life in prison
    • 1.2 Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey meet in Thessalonika
    • 1.3 Voting day for local elections in England
    • 1.4 Lava flows from Mount Merapi
    • 1.5 Rescue attempts continue for Tasmanian miners
    • 1.6 Picasso’s painting sold for $95.2 million
  • 2 Closing words

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Category:June 4, 2010

">
Category:June 4, 2010
By 5T2Mgk On September 23rd, 2018
? June 3, 2010
June 5, 2010 ?
June 4

Pages in category “June 4, 2010”

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

New Jersey files lawsuit against federal sports betting ban

">
New Jersey files lawsuit against federal sports betting ban
By 5T2Mgk On September 22nd, 2018

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A New Jersey state senator has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a federal law banning sports betting in 46 states.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat representing portions of Union County, filed the suit Monday, arguing the 17-year-old law is unconstitutional because it treats four states differently than the other states.

Under the law, sports betting is prohibited in all states except Delaware, Oregon, Montana and Nevada, although only the latter two currently allow wagering.

“This federal law deprives the State of New Jersey of over $100 million of yearly revenues, as well as depriving our casinos, racetracks and Internet operators of over $500 million in gross income,” Lesniak said in a statement to the press.

The 39-page lawsuit is believed to be the first challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. New Jersey missed a 1994 deadline that would have allowed it to join the other states when the law was implemented.

Atlantic City officials and their political allies have argued allowing sports betting would give all the states a new source of revenue needed in the face of a staggering recession.

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was not involved with the lawsuit, but he said legalizing sports betting would help Atlantic City and said it was “worth pursuing”.

Legalizing sports betting in New Jersey could bring the state more than $50 million in annual tax revenue, according to officials from the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based consultant for the electronic gaming industry, which joined Lesniak as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

“This is about more than revenue,” said Joe Brennan Jr., chairman of Interactive Media Entertainment. “It’s about jobs and economic activity.”According to 1999 study, $380 billion in illegal sports betting occurs in the state each year.

New Jersey, in particular, is facing a difficult budget season, and the Atlantic City casinos are in what the Associated Press called a “financial meltdown”. Eleven of the city’s casinos suffered their biggest revenue decline in 30 years last month.

Delaware is reported to be considering regulating sports betting, which New Jersey backers of the lawsuit said adds a sense of urgency to the issue.

“We cannot afford to be naive about illegal sports betting,” New Jersey State Sen. Jeff Van Drew said in a statement to the press. “It’s happening right now, and is funding other criminal enterprises which are far more dangerous.”

The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey and the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey were also listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

At least 21 dead after train accident in India

">
At least 21 dead after train accident in India
By 5T2Mgk On September 22nd, 2018

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Two passenger trains collided in India early on Wednesday, killing at least 21 people and injuring more than twenty others, reports have said. The accident occurred at around 05.30 local time (00.00 UTC), when a passenger train collided with another train which was waiting at a red signal near the northern city of Agra.

Both the trains were in the final leg of their journey at the time of the collision. They were heading to the capital, New Delhi, which is about 200 kilometers north of the accident site.

Passengers said that they were sleeping when they felt a heavy jolt. One eyewitness told television crews that people on the upper berths of the train came tumbling down due to the impact: “We felt a massive jolt. People sleeping on upper berths fell to the floor.”

“There was a loud bang and we were suddenly thrown out of our seats. There was panic everywhere,” another passenger recounted.

A northern railway spokesman, R. D. Vajpayee, told the Voice of America news agency that the rear coach of the stationary train bore the brunt of the collision’s impact. “We had to rescue, take out the passengers which were trapped in the last coach. And, gas cutters were used, and we had called the army also. They had assisted us and, within a few hours, we had completed with rescue operations.”

An unnamed eyewitness told the CNN-IBN news agency that “there are many people who are injured and many people who are dead. A lot of people fell onto the tracks because of the impact of the collision.”

Railway officials said they are not certain what caused the accident, but one of the trains may have overlooked a signal to stop. An inquiry into the incident has been ordered.

Trains are the most popular mode of long-distance travel in India. India operates one of the most extensive and busiest rail networks in the world; 9,000 passenger trains run every day, carrying more than eighty million people daily across the country. There are about 300 rail accidents in the country every year, prompting calls for improving safety standards on the rail network. Earlier this month, one person was killed when a train derailed. In February, another train accident in eastern India claimed sixteen lives.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals

">
California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals
By 5T2Mgk On September 21st, 2018

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday has declared unconstitutional California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793, the California “ultraviolent video games law” that sought to ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

Federal judge Consuelo M. Callahan has ruled that the 2005 statewide ban, which has yet to be enforced, violates minors’ rights under the US Constitution’s First and 14th amendment because even the most graphic on-screen mayhem, video game content represents free speech that cannot be censored without proper justification.

The Court has ruled that there’s no convincing evidence it causes psychological damage to young people. The 3-0 judgment has affirmed an earlier ruling by a U.S. District Court, which barred enforcement of the law on the basis that it was “unduly restrictive” and “used overly broad definitions,” and that the state failed to show that the limitations on violent video games would actually protect children.

In 2005, Leland Yee (???), a California State Senator (in District 8 which includes the western half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County), Speaker pro Tempore of the Assembly (D-San Francisco/Daly City), introduced California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793 which barred “ultra-violent” video games from minors under the age of eighteen in California and mandated the application of ESRB ratings for video games.

“California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793” were commonly called the “ultraviolent video games bills” or simply “video game ban” bills. Bill 1792 banned the sales of such video games while Bill 1793 required signs explaining the regulations on said games to be placed where such were sold. Both bills were passed by the Assembly and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger into law (AB 1179) on October 7, 2005.

Explicitly, these two bills provided that:

  • AB 1792 will place ultra-violent video games into the “matter” portion of the penal code, which criminalizes the sale of said material to a minor.
  • AB 1793 will require retailers to place M-rated games separate from other games intended for children, and will also require retailers to display signage explaining the ESRB rating system.

Yee, a former child psychologist has publicly criticized such games as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Manhunt 2, and opposes the U.S. Army’s Global Gaming League.

On October 17, 2005, before the effectivity of the challenged Act, plaintiffs Video Software Dealers Association, the not-for-profit international trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of the $32 billion home entertainment industry and Entertainment Software Association, a 1994 US trade association of the video game industry have filed lawsuit (D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW) against the defendants Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, CA Attorney General, Edmund G. Brown, Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy, City Attorney for the City of San Jose, Richard Doyle, and County Counsel for the County of Santa Clara, Ann Miller Ravel.

Plaintiffs’ counsel, Jenner & Block‘s Paul M. Smith has filed a declaratory relief to invalidate the newly-enacted California Civil Code sections 1746-1746.5 (the “Act”), on the grounds that it allegedly violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Plaintiffs have submitted that “the Act unconstitutionally curtailed freedom of expression on its face based on content regulation and the labeling requirement, was unconstitutionally vague, and violated equal protection. California’s restrictions could open the door for states to limit minors’ access to other material under the guise of protecting children.”

By December 2005, both bills had been struck down as unconstitutional, by Ronald M. Whyte, District Judge, Presiding in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, thereby preventing either from going into effect on January 1, 2006.

Judge Whyte has granted plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in “Video Software Dealers Ass’n v. Schwarzenegger,” 401 F. Supp. 2d 1034 (N.D. Cal. 2005), and cross-motions for summary judgment, in “Video Software Dealers Ass’n v. Schwarzenegger,” No. C-05-04188, slip op. (N.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 2007).

Similar bills were subsequently filed in such states as Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Michigan and Louisiana have been ruled to be unconstitutional by federal courts on First Amendment grounds, according to Sean Bersell, a spokesman for the Entertainment Merchants Association.

The defendants, in the instant Case No. 07-16620, have timely appealed the judgment. On October 29, 2008, the appealed case was argued and submitted to the Sacramento, California‘s U.S. Court of Appeals, hence, the promulgation of the instant 30 pages decision (No. 07-16620; D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW) by Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Sidney R. Thomas and Consuelo M. Callahan (who wrote the court’s opinion), United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judges.

In the ban’s defense, Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, Zackery Morazzini has contended that “if governments restrict the sale of pornography to minors, it should also create a separate category for ultra-violent video games.” Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr., California Attorney General, has also argued that “the Court should analyze the Act’s restrictions under what has been called the ‘variable obscenity’ or ‘obscenity as to minors’ standard first mentioned in Ginsberg, 390 U.S. 629. The Court’s reasoning in Ginsberg that a state could prohibit the sale of sexually-explicit material to minors that it could not ban from distribution to adults should be extended to materials containing violence.”

The “Fallo” or dispositive portion of the judgment in question goes as follows:

We hold that the Act, as a presumptively invalid contentbased restriction on speech, is subject to strict scrutiny and not the “variable obscenity” standard from Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968). Applying strict scrutiny, we hold that the Act violates rights protected by the First Amendment because the State has not demonstrated a compelling interest, has not tailored the restriction to its alleged compelling interest, and there exist less-restrictive means that would further the State’s expressed interests. Additionally, we hold that the Act’s labeling requirement is unconstitutionally compelled speech under the First Amendment because it does not require the disclosure of purely factual information; but compels the carrying of the State’s controversial opinion. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Plaintiffs and its denial of the State’s cross-motion. Because we affirm the district court on these grounds, we do not reach two of Plaintiffs’ challenges to the Act: first, that the language of the Act is unconstitutionally vague, and, second, that the Act violates Plaintiffs’ rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.—”Video Software Dealers Association; Entertainment Software Association v. Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Kennedy” – No. 07-16620; D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW – Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Sidney R. Thomas and

Consuelo M. Callahan, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Circuit Judges.

“We need to help empower parents with the ultimate decision over whether or not their children play in a world of violence and murder,” said the law’s author, Sen. Leland Yee, announcing he wanted Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr., the current Attorney General and a former governor of the State of California, to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Letting the industry police itself is like letting kids sign their own report cards and that a self regulating system simply doesn’t work. I’ve always contended that the … law the governor signed was a good one for protecting children from the harm from playing these ultra-violent video games. I’ve always felt it would end up in the Supreme Court,” Sen. Yee explained. “In fact, the high court recently agreed, in Roper v. Simmons (2005), that we need to treat children differently in the eyes of the law due to brain development,” he added.

According to Michael D. Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, plaintiff, the Court’s ruling has stressed that parents, with assistance from the industry, are the ones who should control what games their children play. “This is a clear signal that in California and across the country, the reckless pursuit of anti-video game legislation like this is an exercise in wasting taxpayer money, government time and state resources,” Gallagher said in a statement.

California’s violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games. While I am deeply disappointed in today’s ruling, we should not stop our efforts to assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children.

Entertainment Software Association members include Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Corp, THQ Inc, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Take-Two Interactive Software, the maker of “Grand Theft Auto” games.

Judge Callahan has also reprimanded state lawyers for having failed to show any reasonable alternatives to an outright statewide ban against the ultra-violent video games. “Ratings education, retailer ratings enforcement, and control of game play by parents are the appropriate responses to concerns about video game content,” said Bo Andersen, president and chief executive of the Entertainment Merchants Association.

Andersen continues, “retailers are committed to assisting parents in assuring that children do not purchase games that are not appropriate for their age. Independent surveys show that retailers are doing a very good job in this area, with an 80 percent enforcement rate, and retailers will continue to work to increase enforcement rates even further; the court has correctly noted that the state cannot simply dismiss these efforts.”

California was already forced to pay $282,794 to the ESA for attorneys’ fees, money that would’ve helped with the state’s current budget difficulties. Andersen has urged California government officials not to appeal the case. “The estimated $283,000 in taxpayer money spent by the state on this case is so far an ‘ill-advised, and ultimately doomed, attempt at state-sponsored nannyism.’ A voluntary ratings system already exists to avoid the state-sponsored nannyism of a ban,” he explained.

“The governor believes strongly we have a responsibility to our children and our communities to protect against the effects of video games depicting ultra-violent actions,” said Governor Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Camille Anderson adding the governor was reviewing Friday’s decision.

Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini, the state’s counsel in the appealed case, has stressed that “a law restricting sales of violent games is far more effective than industry self-policing, since the technological controls that the court cited as another alternative can be easily bypassed by any kid with an Internet connection.”

According to Jim Steyer, Founder of Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization of 750,000 regular users dedicated to improving children’s media lives, researches have shown that playing these violent video games are detrimental for kids mental and physical health. “The health threat involved with kids playing such games is equivalent to smoking cigarettes,” Steyer said. “These violent video games are learning tools for our children and clearly result in more aggressive behavior,” said Randall Hagar, California Psychiatric Association’s Director of Government Affairs.

The Federal Trade Commission‘s data reveals that “nearly 70 percent of thirteen to sixteen year olds are able to purchase M-rated (Mature) video games, which are designed for adults; ninety-two percent of children play video or computer games, of which about forty percent are rated M, which are the fastest growing segment of the 10 billion-dollar video game industry; the top selling games reward players for killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians and committing despicable acts of murder and torture upon women and racial minorities.”

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »