No prosecution for UK minor who called Scientology a ‘cult’
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No prosecution for UK minor who called Scientology a ‘cult’

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the government of the United Kingdom told the City of London Police on Friday that there will be no prosecution for a 15-year-old boy who called Scientology a “cult” at a May 10 peaceful protest. The City of London Police had previously confiscated the boy’s protest placard and gave him a court summons at the demonstration, which took place near St Paul’s Cathedral at the Church of Scientology‘s London headquarters on Queen Victoria Street. The boy’s poster read: “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult”. The human rights organization Liberty has come out strongly against the City of London Police for their actions at the protest, and said they are pursuing an inquiry into the police force for what they say is a troubling freedom of speech issue.

Individuals from the group Anonymous have held monthly international protests against the Church of Scientology since February, 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.

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

City of London Police approached the 15-year-old boy at the May 10 protest and cited section five of the Public Order Act 1986, 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.” The boy told fellow protesters he was not going to take the sign down, saying: “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.”

… it is not abusive or insulting and there is no offensiveness, as opposed to criticism, neither in the idea expressed nor in the mode of expression. No action will be taken against the individual.

When the boy refused to take his sign down, City of London Police removed it, cited him with a court summons and informed him that the matter would be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. The boy was the only protester who did not comply with the police requests to remove signs which referred to Scientology as a “cult”. According to The Guardian, a CPS spokesman stated Friday that: “In consultation with the City of London police, we were asked whether the sign, which read ‘Scientology is not a religion it is a dangerous cult’, was abusive or insulting. Our advice is that it is not abusive or insulting and there is no offensiveness, as opposed to criticism, neither in the idea expressed nor in the mode of expression. No action will be taken against the individual.”

“The CPS review of the case includes advice on what action or behaviour at a demonstration might be considered to be threatening, abusive or insulting. The force’s policing of future demonstrations will reflect this advice,” said a spokeswoman for the City of London Police in a statement in The Guardian.

The 15-year-old boy’s mother called the CPS decision a “victory for free speech”, saying: “We’re all incredibly proud of him. We advised him to take the placard down when we realised what was happening but he said ‘No, it’s my opinion and I have a right to express it’.”

The incident has generated significant interest on the Internet, from civil rights groups and anti-cult groups, and in the press. Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, and Ian Haworth of the United Kingdom-based Cult Information Centre were highly critical of the actions of the City of London Police. George Pitcher of The Daily Telegraph called the actions of the City of London Police “a mockery of the law”. Other publications also criticized the actions of the police, compared the boy to past civil rights protesters, and analyzed how the characterization of “cult” applied to Scientology. The Guardian reported that human rights activists “were outraged” when reports of the actions of the City of London Police at the protest surfaced this week. Marina Hyde wrote in a comment piece in The Guardian that the City of London Police should spend a little less time “reaching for the collar of free-speaking children”. An article in The Guardian about the boy’s court summons hit the front page of the website Slashdot on Wednesday, and an article about the statement by CPS hit the site’s front page on Friday. The anti-Scientology website Enturbulation.org devoted its front page to the incident on Saturday.

The police may have ended their inquiries into this tawdry incident but rest assured that Liberty’s inquiry will continue.

BBC News reported that attorneys for Liberty represented the 15-year-old boy to the CPS. In media statements Friday, Liberty said it would continue its inquiry into the actions of the City of London Police. “The police may have ended their inquiries into this tawdry incident but rest assured that Liberty’s inquiry will continue. Democracy is all about clashing ideas and the police should protect peaceful protest, not stifle it,” said James Welch, legal director at Liberty. “Reason has prevailed in the case of the anti-Scientology protester”, wrote Welch in a comment piece in The Observer. According to The Press Association, Liberty’s inquiry may result in actions taken against the City of London Police.

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.

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 placards with similar wording at protests against Scientology, according to The Guardian and Londonist.

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 UK group Liberty, Edinburgh city council on Scientology ‘cult’ signs 

HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer
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HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.

Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out
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Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”

Category:August 3, 2010
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Auckland City Council acts to remove suspect chemicals in pre-school’s soil
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Auckland City Council acts to remove suspect chemicals in pre-school’s soil

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Chemicals, which the Auckland City Council said are a suspected cause of cancer and are considered toxic, have been found in soil at a children’s playcentre in Auckland. The contamination was found at the Auckland Central Playcentre in Freemans Bay, and the Council will now spend $100,000 removing the top 50 cm (about 20 in) of soil at the playcentre, doing landscaping and replacing playground equipment.

The presence of “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including benzo-a-pyrene,” was suspected at the school playground and was confirmed by a chemical analysis on Tuesday. The chemicals may cause temporary digestive and respiratory distress, as well as irritation of the eyes and skin. The levels of benzo-a-pyrene found were between 0.06 and 4.82 milligrams per kilogram of soil at surface level, according to the Ministry of Education. A potential risk is present at levels above 3.5 mg.

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Eleven killed in train crash in northern Victoria, Australia
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Eleven killed in train crash in northern Victoria, Australia

Tuesday, June 5, 2007File:Swan Hill3.jpg

Eleven people have been killed, and more than 20 injured, when a V/Line passenger train and a semi trailer collided at a level crossing on the Murray Valley Highway in northern Victoria, Australia. At least 13 more are still missing and are believed to be trapped in the wreckage.

The collision, which occurred at 1:40 p.m. local time, was approximately 10 km north of the town of Kerang, on the Swan Hill railway line.

The train involved in the accident was a service from Swan Hill, which departed at 1:00 p.m. from Swan Hill railway station, and was destined for Melbourne. The train was comprised of a locomotive and three carriages.

Witness reports say that the semi-trailer collided into the second of the three carriages, and then detached the third carriage from the remainder of the train and causing it to derail. The whole side of the second carriage was ripped open from the direct impact of the semi-trailer.

The injured have been transferred from the scene to hospitals in the area, including Kerang and Mildura, by ambulance. Helicopters and light aircraft have been used to transfer patients to Melbourne, as local hospitals struggle with the sudden influx of patients. The driver of the semi-trailer has been moved to the hospital in Mildura in “critical condition”, according to police at the scene.

The train had 39 people on board the 1:00 p.m. service, according to train documents. This included three staff employed by the train operator V/Line, who have all been accounted for and are not injured. Of the 36 passengers on the train, it has been reported that 23 have suffered injuries.

Reports say six people were airlifted to Melbourne for treatment, however one has since died. The remaining 17 have been moved to regional hospitals, including the temporary relief centre in Kerang, according to a Rural Ambulance Service spokesperson.

Although there are still 13 people unaccounted for, police say it is possible that some had bought tickets and were therefore listed on the train manifest, but did not end up catching the service.

Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks is expected to fly to the crash scene this evening. He has ordered a full investigation into the incident. Federal Minister for Transport Mark Vaile has offered Federal government assistance from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to help with the investigation. The Prime Minister John Howard has offered the Victorian government any additional aid that is requires in the aftermath of this incident.

Train operator V/Line have set up an emergency hotline to assist relatives and friends of those on the train receive information. The number is 1800 800 120.

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Evolution Of Arcade Games

By Tia Briggs

Arcade games started from a humble title, Pong, and then went on to become a rage. The games primarily evolved around a simplistic design and raw game play. The newer arcade games made the use of immense leaps in the graphic technology. The arcade games were designed to be played with a group of friends in pubs, malls and restaurants.

These days arcade games are more than isolated gaming sessions. Arcade games have numerous communities and clans committed to keeping the tradition. The arcade games later appeared on home consoles. They started out as redemption games, pinball machines and video games.

The popularity suffered as the arcades were labeled as seedy, unsafe places. They saw resurgence with the advent of the “two players fighting each other” games such as Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Killer Instinct.

But, then, again the game consoles and PC’s with 3d accelerator cards successfully dwarfed the advantage arcade games enjoyed. The success of arcade games over the previous generation of home computer was the ability to customize and use the newest graphics and sound cards.

The steep decline ensured that they could no longer fund their technologies. By late 90’s the internet made matters worse for the arcades. The human to human competition was taken to a newer level. Since then, the arcade games have been ported to other consoles and emulated on PC’s. Today the online arcade games have a huge fan following with thousands of tournaments being held online every year.

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Ganes and their Evolution: The most popular online games are Pac-man, Pong, Bejeweled and Street Fighter. These games have a timeless virtue that keeps them alive even in today’s world of hi-definition graphics and sophisticated game play.

Joust

Joust is a classic arcade game that puts you in the role of a knight with a lance while mounted on an ostrich. The game screen is a simple static screen with five platforms hanging in mid air. The enemies come in wave after wave from the one end of the screen. They appear at the screens in four different spawn points. To destroy an enemy knight one has to collide with the knight at a higher position.

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong was released by Nintendo. The game was the pioneer in the platform genre as the game play basically revolved around maneuvering.

The main character comes across a series of platforms while dodging various obstacles. The hero of the game and a giant ape named Donkey Kong has become the most popular game characters. Despite an initial slow down, the game went on to become a tremendous success. Consequently, the game was developed for personal consoles.

Crimson skies

Crimson Skies is an arcade flight game developed by FASA. The game was released as a flight simulator with an arcade touch. Flight control scheme is fairly simple. The take off and landing are completely automated. Players can choose from a fleet of fighters, all loaded with magnetic rockets and Tesla coils. The game has recently been released on Xbox.

The online arcade games are evolving at a fast pace and the arcade world visualizes an altogether different future for the industry.

About the Author: Arcade games are from another era that is hard pressed to survive an intense competition. This is the primary reason for the close knit nature of free arcade games online community.. read more at http://www.rba-arcade.com/

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=481175&ca=Computers+and+Technology

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CARTOSAT-I and HAMSAT satellites launched precisely by PSLV-C6, will have longer life
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CARTOSAT-I and HAMSAT satellites launched precisely by PSLV-C6, will have longer life

Saturday, May 7, 2005

India’s recently launched satellites, the 1560 kg Indian Remote Sensing satellite, CARTOSAT-1 for stereoscopic cartographic applications and 42.5 kg HAMSAT will have a longer life as per the Project Director, PSLV, N Narayana Murthy.

Murthy told reporters that the additional fuel in the satellites for putting them into the right orbit can now be utilized for orbit maintenance maneuvers. This is due to their precise injection into the orbit by the PSLV-C6 Launcher.

PSLV-C6 was launched by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on May 5, 2005 10:15 IST (May 05, 04:45 UT). PSLV-C6 placed both the satellites in polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) at an altitude of 632 x 621 km with an inclination of 97.8 deg with respect to the equator. The solar panels of CARTOSAT-1 were deployed soon after its injection into orbit.

CARTOSAT-1 is the eleventh satellite in the Indian remote sensing satellite series and is intended for cartographic applications. It carries two panchromatic cameras that take black-and-white stereoscopic pictures in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

HAMSAT is a Micro-satellite for providing satellite based Amateur Radio services to the Indian as well as International community of Amateur Radio Operators (HAM).

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Wikinews attends Maker Faire in Tyler, Texas
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Wikinews attends Maker Faire in Tyler, Texas

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Wikinews attended the sixth annual Mini Maker Faire in Tyler, Texas, United States on Saturday. Similar to a giant science fair, the event featured a variety of science, engineering and technology projects and items.

An array of technologies were on hand including 3D printers, drones, and various other physics devices. The owner of the Make Crate subscription service stated her company’s products place a strong emphasis on teaching young people about technology and coding. A traditional blacksmith was also on hand displaying metal working techniques.

Numerous Maker Clubs from an array of local schools were on hand, displaying a broad swathe of tech projects. A group of amateur hobbyists diplayed a model of the deck of the aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan with a solenoid device hooked up to launch paper airplanes.

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Lobby groups oppose plans for EU copyright extension
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Lobby groups oppose plans for EU copyright extension

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The European Commission currently has proposals on the table to extend performers’ copyright terms. Described by Professor Martin Kretschmer as the “Beatles Extension Act”, the proposed measure would extend copyright from 50 to 95 years after recording. A vast number of classical tracks are at stake; the copyright on recordings from the fifties and early sixties is nearing its expiration date, after which it would normally enter the public domain or become ‘public property’. E.U. Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy is proposing this extension, and if the other relevant Directorate Generales (Information Society, Consumers, Culture, Trade, Competition, etc.) agree with the proposal, it will be sent to the European Parliament.

Wikinews contacted Erik Josefsson, European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (E.F.F.), who invited us to Brussels, the heart of E.U. policy making, to discuss this new proposal and its implications. Expecting an office interview, we arrived to discover that the event was a party and meetup conveniently coinciding with FOSDEM 2008 (the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting). The meetup was in a sprawling city centre apartment festooned with E.F.F. flags and looked to be a party that would go on into the early hours of the morning with copious food and drink on tap. As more people showed up for the event it turned out that it was a truly international crowd, with guests from all over Europe.

Eddan Katz, the new International Affairs Director of the E.F.F., had come over from the U.S. to connect to the European E.F.F. network, and he gladly took part in our interview. Eddan Katz explained that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is “A non-profit organisation working to protect civil liberties and freedoms online. The E.F.F. has fought for information privacy rights online, in relation to both the government and companies who, with insufficient transparency, collect, aggregate and make abuse of information about individuals.” Another major focus of their advocacy is intellectual property, said Eddan: “The E.F.F. represents what would be the public interest, those parts of society that don’t have a concentration of power, that the private interests do have in terms of lobbying.”

Becky Hogge, Executive Director of the U.K.’s Open Rights Group (O.R.G.), joined our discussion as well. “The goals of the Open Rights Group are very simple: we speak up whenever we see civil, consumer or human rights being affected by the poor implementation or the poor regulation of new technologies,” Becky summarised. “In that sense, people call us -I mean the E.F.F. has been around, in internet years, since the beginning of time- but the Open Rights Group is often called the British E.F.F.

Contents

  • 1 The interview
    • 1.1 Cliff Richard’s pension
    • 1.2 Perpetual patents?
    • 1.3 The fight moves from the U.K. to Europe
    • 1.4 Reclaiming democratic processes in the E.U.
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links
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