Million Dollar Homepage is close to achieving million-dollar goal
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Million Dollar Homepage is close to achieving million-dollar goal

Friday, December 30, 2005

Alex Tew, a student in England, has almost reached his target of one million dollars on his website: Million Dollar Homepage. He came up with the idea after jotting down ideas before he went to bed on how to become a millionaire before he went to university. Then he came up with the million-dollar idea: selling pixels at USD $1 each on a web page. Alex currently believes he can make his goal by the end of 31st December, 2005.

Advertising companies especially appreciate the website, as they wish to “make Internet history” on the Million Dollar Homepage. In fact as of writing, he has already made USD $999,000. The student says advertisers get to keep their ads for a period of five years from purchase and he says he will use the money he has made to guarantee it. Alex has said he has already got numerous job offers from companies aiming to secure his money making talent.

Tew is undergoing a business management course at Nottingham and needed GBP £7000 a year to complete his studies. He is understandably overwhelmed by the success he has achieved: “It’s just nuts. I’m in a state of disbelief. It’s like Monopoly money but then I look at my bank account and there’s a lot of cash in it.” The British National Union of Students claim that 90% of students are in debt. However, what only worries him is how he’s going to spend his money. He has already spent some of his money on a car for himself, as he thinks of what to do with his new fortune.

His website’s method is simple; his website is made up of one page divided into 10,000 boxes, each 100 pixels in size. Companies can buy one or more boxes for USD $100 each and cover it with a logo, which, when clicked on, transports web users to the customers’ own site.The figures add up with the site now carrying over 240 advertisements and has 30,000 hits a day. Even the actor Jack Black, star of “School of Rock” and “Shallow Hal“, is using the site to advertise his band Tenacious D.

US Senator Kennedy has brain tumor surgically removed
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US Senator Kennedy has brain tumor surgically removed

Monday, June 2, 2008

Today, United States Senator Ted Kennedy underwent surgery for a brain tumor at Duke University Medical Center. Kennedy, 76, was diagnosed with malignant glioma, a common but dangerous form of cancer, after suffering a seizure on May 17.

Kennedy has met repeatedly with friend and medical advisor Dr. Lawrence C. Horowitz to plan a course of treatment. The first, of the major phases of that treatment has now been completed, and it is expected that chemotherapy and radiotherapy will follow.

“I am pleased to report that Senator Kennedy’s surgery was successful and accomplished our goals,” said Dr. Allan Friedman, the chief of neurosurgery at Duke, who performed the surgery. “After a brief recuperation, he will begin targeted radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital and chemotherapy treatment,” Friedman added.

In talks with the press, the senator has focused on his future beyond surgery. In a prepared statement issued by his office, Kennedy stated, “after completing treatment, I look forward to returning to the United States Senate and to doing everything I can to help elect Barack Obama as our next president.”

Toll of the phosphor accident in Ukraine still rising
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Toll of the phosphor accident in Ukraine still rising

Friday, July 20, 2007

Between 143 and 152 people have now been hospitalized in the wake of Monday’s train derailment near Lviv, Ukraine, and subsequent phosporous cloud. According to the Ukrainian Healthcare Ministry’s spokesperson, Igor Gerych, 43 of the injured are children, 13 are firemen and three are medical personnel. None are considered to be in mortal danger, yet some cases remain at medium risk level.

Nearly 400 people are involved with the clean-up operations. Among them are military specialists for chemical warfare. The Ukrainian Army alert state was raised to “high readiness” state on Tuesday, when the scale of the accident became clear. 27 medical brigades, 13 consultants and seven specialists are inspecting the surrounding inhabited areas.

Two of the fifteen phosphor containers that were involved in the accident have been raised and put on new transports; nine of them need more work to treat leaking and damaged areas. All containers are to be transported to a more secure location by Saturday.

The situation on the ground appears to be confusing. Political TV channel, Kanal 5, reports that the village closest to the accident, Ozhidovo, is still requesting volunteers to send medicines and water, as they do not have any. Journalists of three TV channels (Inter, Novyj Kanal, ICTV) needed medical care themselves after being in the village.

TV channel, UT-1 reports this evening that the Ukranian President, Viktor Yushchenko, has called an urgent meeting of the National Security Council.

The accident appears to be likely to become a topic of contention in the long-standing rivalry between the President and the Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Yesterday, the President publicly criticized the government’s work.

Politicization of the disaster is likely to be the main reason behind the extreme differences among the versions of the Ukrainian media. Some declared the accident “ended” a few hours after it occurred, while others are still making alarming reports.

On July 18, the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) of the European Commission reportedly offered EU assistance to the Ukrainian government. The same sources say that Ukraine has not officially requested the help. Without a formal request, EU assistance cannot begin.

On the same date, NATO Spokesman in Brussels, Mr. James Appathurai, is reported by Podrobnosti to have declared that the Alliance is following the situation, and that NATO has not received any request for help from the Ukraine, either.

Kony 2012 campaign faces ridicule, praise
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Kony 2012 campaign faces ridicule, praise

Friday, May 4, 2012

Recently, the non-profit activist organization, Invisible Children, Inc. released a video online which served to kick start the Kony 2012 campaign. The campaign was meant to raise awareness about the Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony. Both support and condemnation followed the release of the video.

The video attracted over 100 million views and lead to significant discussion via an array of social networking sites. The campaign assertively called for people to “pledge” to stand up and take action against Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. However, of the 104 million views of the film, only 3.4 percent of those people pledged to do something about the issue.

“I know that there is some criticism, in particular about the campaign and Invisible Children as an organization,” said Josh Schuler, the director of programming at Christian Fellowship Church in Evansville, Indiana. “I really think that some of that stuff is unfounded and people don’t understand what it’s like for the Ugandans.”

Schuler is an advocate for Invisible Children’s push to capture Joseph Kony. He has visited Uganda twice, once in 1997 and again in 2010. There, Schuler and a missions team from the church, spent the majority of their time speaking to school children in orphanages, and similar institutions and also addressed groups in various men’s and women’s prisons, in and around Kampala, Uganda.

Some of the criticism of Invisible Children comes from people questioning what they do with their donations. Invisible Children’s website provides financial statements from 2006 to 2011. Statements reveal that, in 2011 the organization’s net income was US$4,870,547. However, the report does not state how the organization spends those monies. Invisible Children did not provide a statement to Wikinews about the net income.

“If you look at Invisible Children’s budget, a lot of it is awareness; raising money so they can build awareness, not necessarily so they can execute justice, because they are not a justice organization,” Schuler said.

Invisible Children’s 2011 annual report compares their Central Africa Programs from 2011 with years 2010 and 2009. It shows that Invisible Children spent only 37 percent on these programs in 2011, compared with 46.5 percent in 2010, when Invisible Children made a revenue of 67 percent more in 2011 than in 2010.

“Honestly, even if Invisible Children was completely illegitimate, Kony is still a madman and he still needs to be brought to justice,” Schuler said. Schuler emphasized that the value of awareness is huge, however he believes the next step to take is “calling congressmen, senators and lobbying for them to take action.”

“There are bills out there trying to allocate dollars that are already in the U.S. budget to continue to fund the work of these groups in countries to bring people to justice,” Schuler said.

The United States is taking few steps to apprehend Kony. “If Uganda was resource rich to the degree that Iraq was, in the United States we would be talking about Joseph Kony to the same degree that we talk about Saddam Hussein, it’s just that Uganda is not full of oil,” Schuler said. “There is no economic benefit for the U.S. to go prosecute [Kony], it’s purely justice.”

Honestly, even if Invisible Children was completely illegitimate, Kony is still a madman and he still needs to be brought to justice.

United States President Barack Obama first assigned 100 troops in October 2011 in Uganda to search for Kony. On April 25, 2012 Obama announced that he had extended their time in Africa, aiming for Kony’s capture. “There is legislation out there; an organization, International Justice Mission, which is a prosecuting organization working around the world for issues with social justice, prosecuting cases with sex slavery and child labor around the world,” Schuler said.

There have also been questions raised asking whether Kony is even still alive and doubts about his current location. “Kony and the LRA have been pushed out of Uganda, but they still do raids into northern Uganda,” Schuler said. “Taking Kony out, doesn’t fix all of the problems. It would definitely start to help with some of it. And I think the corruption stuff could actually be solved democratically.”

The film, released on March 5 shows clips of two different trips that co-founder and director of Invisible Children, Jason Russell, took to Uganda. They want to the campaign to raise awareness in hope that if enough people call for Kony’s capture, US leaders would have to respond. Using this strategy, Invisible Children’s goal is to detain Kony by December 2012.

Invisible Children was started in 2004 after Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey and Laren Poole traveled to Uganda to film a documentary, Invisible Children: The Rough Cut, about the ongoing civil war in Uganda. Since its establishment, Invisible Children has started multiple campaigns to raise awareness.

After the initial release of the first Kony 2012 video, both support and condemnation followed. The negative reviews from the public lead Invisible Children to release a second video titled Kony 2012 Part II- Beyond Famous, on April 2, 2012. The video was published to address the criticism and issues of the first video and shed light on what the organization has accomplished in Uganda.

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Immigration Detainees on Hunger Strike in Oxford UK
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Immigration Detainees on Hunger Strike in Oxford UK

Thursday, June 15, 2006

One hundred and twenty detainees at an immigration removal centre in Oxford, UK, are on hunger strike. The protest started when some detainees refused breakfast on Wednesday 14th June 2006. A letter from the hunger strikers explaining why they are seeking to draw attention to their plight in this way has been reproduced in full below.

Those detained at the centre are mostly men who have sought asylum in the UK and whose asylum applications have been rejected. These people are then held without knowing how long they will be detained for – some end up being held for many years while awaiting deportation.

The removal centre, known as Campsfield, or Campsfield House is approximately 5 miles north of Oxford and has been in operation since 1993. It was managed on behalf of the UK Government by Global Solutions Limited, until may 2006 when it was taken on by GEO UK, the centre has a capacity of 198. Only males are detained at Campsfield.

According to the campaign group Barbed Wire Britain Over 2,600 individuals, mostly asylum seekers, are detained indefinitely in the UK without trial and with no automatic right to bail.

There have been reports in the UK press of the state taking people to detention centres without notice, in the early hours of the morning using excessively heavy handed tactics, taking children out of schools and separating families.

Many UK people and politicians express their disgust at the way detainees are treated, yet it continues. Perhaps this action by the detainees themselves will further highlight their plight and result in more UK electors writing to their MPs and demanding improvements to the way in which rejected asylum seekers are treated.

“We are detainees at Campsfield removal centre in Oxford. Most of us have been here for a long while now. There are people who have been detained for up to two years and down to three months. We are cramped in here like animals. We are treated like animals and moved around different detention centres like animals. The immigration service have taken husbands from their families and taken people who ran away from persecution in their various countries, and dumped everyone in here.

Once you are put in here the immigration service forget you. There are detainees who have applied to go back to their own countries that are still being held here for months without any news about their cases, just so that the private security companies get more money.

Detainees are asked to seek asylum and then refused. The immigration service also ask detainees to apply for bail. When you get a bail hearing date all of a sudden they serve you with removal papers that are not valid. There are many of these situations. In most cases the immigration service don’t take you to your court hearings. And then they tell the judges you refused to turn up, just so the hearing goes ahead in your absence. Many detainees have been served with removal papers and travel documents but nothing happens on the removal day.

Campsfield has become a slave house. We detainees are treated like slaves, to do odd jobs for officers. Detainees are handcuffed to see doctors or dentists in hospitals or clinic appointments. We have some racist security officers who make racist comments to detainees and go out of their way to make you feel like committing suicide. Detainees have to be at the point of death before they get to see the doctors.

The food is not worth eating. Even dogs would refuse to eat what we eat. But we don’t have a choice; every single day we eat the same food (the food we eat is rice, chicken, sandwiches, and left-over eggs)”.

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RTÉ’s Eddie Hobbs attracts massive audience
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RTÉ’s Eddie Hobbs attracts massive audience

Thursday, August 25, 2005

In Ireland, RTÉ’s new “Rip Off Republic” TV series has attracted a record audience of 667,000 for its second show, making it one of Ireland’s top TV programs. The second show broadcast on Monday 15th August captured 50.5% of all TV viewers in Ireland.

The series which contains four shows broadcast from Dublin City University’s “Helix” centre, aims to expose over pricing and the exploitation of consumers in Ireland. Hosted by financial advisor Eddie Hobbs, the show has attracted huge media commentry, particularly as it has attracted the attention of the governments main party, Fianna Fail.

The main argument against the show has been that it generalises issues and makes exaggerated claims – for example it claimed that restaurants make a 300%+ profit on a typical bottle of wine, leading the viewer to believe that all businesses are making such a profit. This claim has since come under attack by restaurant owners nationwide. Other arguments against the show have stated that while inflation is less than 3%, wage growth is over 6% meaning people are still better off.

The third show will be broadcast on 29th August at 9.30pm on RTÉ One. It will focus on the transport sector in Ireland.

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US automaker bailout deal fails to pass Senate
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US automaker bailout deal fails to pass Senate

Friday, December 12, 2008

A US$14 billion bailout package deal for the “Big Three” United States automakers — Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors — has been rejected in the United States Senate after failing a procedural vote.

The bill was rejected after bipartisan discussions on the bailout broke down when Republican Party leaders insisted that the United Auto Workers (UAW) union agree to increase wage cuts by next year in order to bring their pay into line with those of Japanese automobile companies in the United States. The UAW refused to meet the demands.

The final vote count in the Senate was 52-35, eight short of the 60 needed to pass. Only ten Republicans joined forty Democrats and two independents in voting for the bill. Three Democrats voted with thirty-one Republicans against it.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said that he was “terribly disappointed” by the failure of the bill to pass. “I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight,” Reid said. “Millions of Americans, not only the auto workers but people who sell cars, car dealerships, people who work on cars are going to be directly impacted and affected.”

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Republican Senator Bob Corker was also unhappy about the rejection. “We were about three words away from a deal. We solved everything substantively and about three words keep us from reaching a conclusion,” he said.

Some Democrats now want U.S. President Bush to reserve a portion of the $700 billion bailout package earmarked for Wall Street to assist the flagging car industry.

Stock markets worldwide fell dramatically on the news, with Japan’s Nikkei average losing 484.68 points, or 5.6 percent, reaching a level of 8253.87 points. Shares in the auto companies Toyota, Nissan and Honda all dropped by no less than 10 percent apiece. European stocks, such as those in the United Kingdom and Germany, also lost ground, with the FTSE-100 index of leading shares falling 176.3 points to a level of 4,211 at midday.

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News briefs:July 14, 2010
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News briefs:July 14, 2010
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Suspected serial killer appears in British court
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Suspected serial killer appears in British court

Friday, May 28, 2010

A man accused of being a serial killer has appeared in Bradford magistrates court in West Yorkshire today charged with three counts of murder. 40-year-old Stephen Griffiths is accused of killing Suzanne Blamires, 36, Susan Rushworth, 43, and Shelley Armitage, 31, all prostitutes.

Griffiths, a former van driver with a degree in psychology and studying for a PhD in criminology, gave his name as “Crossbow Cannibal” when asked. He has been in police custody since Monday when police were alerted to a CCTV recording that appeared to show a murder.

A caretaker had been reviewing footage from the flats where Griffiths lives when he saw footage of a woman and a man enter a flat early on Saturday morning. Two minutes later, she ran out and was followed by the man, who beat her to the ground and shot her in the head with a crossbow. Over the course of the weekend, the man was seen several times with bin bags and a rucksack.

On Tuesday, the day after the arrest of Griffiths, Blamires’ remains were found in the River Aire in nearby Shipley. She had been cut into several pieces and her head was located in a rucksack. Police continue to search for the other two alleged victims; Rushworth has been missing since June last year and Armitage vanished in April.

Police have searched much of Bradford’s red-light district, where Griffiths’ third-floor flat is located. Forensic investigations at the flat are expected to last around three weeks. There are plans to search landfill sites for bodies, and police may yet expand the inquiry to cover three more cold cases, although at present they have not been linked to the current inquiry.

Sniffer dogs have been used throughout the city, and police have been taking away plastic evidence bags. Some alleyways remain closed off. Police charged their suspect yesterday.

Griffiths was known as “the lizard man” in his block of flats owing to his habit of walking his two pet monitor lizards in the area. One neighbour is reported to have quoted him as saying he was studying for “a PhD in murder and Jack the Ripper,” and he has spent time in a high-security psychiatric hospital. During his five-minute court appearance he did not enter a plea, kept his head bowed and fidgeted with his cuffed hands. He said “Here, I guess,” when asked for his address.

As he stood in the glass-fronted dock, guarded by three security officers, he was watched by the families of Rushworth and Armitage, who were accompanied by police family liaison officers. Blamires’ family chose not to be present, but the victim’s mother Nicky Blamires, 54, has told the press that Suzanne was a “much-loved” family member even though she “went down the wrong path and did not have the life she was meant to have.” “Nobody deserves this,” she said. “All these girls were human beings and people’s daughters.”

Griffiths’ morning court appearance was followed by a second one this afternoon, at Bradford Crown Court. This time, he confirmed his name without incident. He was remanded into custody until next month, when he will appear in court again.

British media has been quick to compare the case to Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed the “Yorkshire Ripper”. Sutcliffe was a Bradford killer responsible for thirteen murders and seven attempted murders, including several prostitutes. Since his 1981 conviction he has spent most of the last three decades in Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital near London.

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Former Timberwolf Eddie Griffin dies at 25
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Former Timberwolf Eddie Griffin dies at 25

Friday, August 24, 2007

Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Eddie Griffin died on August 17, 2007, at age 25 due to injuries sustained in a car crash, the Harris County medical examiner’s office confirmed on Tuesday.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves forward, who was waived in March for violating the League’s substance abuse program, ignored a railroad warning, drove his SUV through a barrier, and collided with a moving train at about 1:30 a.m., according to Houston Police. His vehicle caught fire and was soon engulfed in flames.

No identification was found and the body was badly burned. For that reason, dental records were used to identify him. Griffin, who played college Basketball at Seton Hall University, played for the Houston Rockets from 2001–2003, and the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2004–2007. The five-year veteran had been battling alcoholism since leaving Seton Hall. He is survived by his three-year-old daughter Amaree.

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