Thursday, February 18, 2016

On Monday, US singer Taylor Swift won the 58th Grammy Awards Album of the Year for her album 1989, and her video song Bad Blood won the Grammy Award for the Best Music Video.

There will be people who will try to undercut your success

This was the second time Swift has won the award for the Album of the Year. She previously won for her album Fearless in 2010. Swift collected three Grammys at this year’s awards ceremony: Best Music Video, Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year.

With this Album of the Year win, she became the first woman to win two Grammy Awards in the category. At the beginning of the award ceremony, Swift performed her song Out of the Woods live.

The other nominees for the Album of The Year were Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Chris Stapleton’s Traveller, and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness. Canadian singer The Weeknd won two awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Performance.

While receiving her award, Swift left a message for younger women saying “there will be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments […] don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going you’ll look around and you’ll know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”

Kendrick Lamar, who featured in the Bad Blood video, won five awards including for Bad Blood. Swift’s friend Ed Sheeran won the Song of the Year for Thinking Out Loud ahead of her song Blank Space from the album 1989.



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This past Sunday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill known as “Rocky’s Law” that requires Illinois high schools, through the local school district, to buy catastrophic injury insurance up to US$3 million or medical costs for up to five years, whichever one comes first, that covers student athletes. The insurance must cover student athletes while they are competing.

The legislation was named after Rasul “Rocky” Clark. In 2000, the Eisenhower High School football player became paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a tackle during a game. His school based health insurance covered the costs of his medical treatment. A legislator sponsoring the bill noted that the need for this type of insurance is rare. Clark’s mother attended the legislation signing. Her son died last year.

Before parents can claim money from school insurance, they first must pay out US$50,000. Schools have until January 1, 2014 to comply with the law. Schools cannot charge students more than US$5 to defray the cost of insurance. If a school district already requires student to be covered through private health insurance, they are exempted from this law.



Monday, July 19, 2010

After an investigation, Wikinews has learned that oil spewing from a rupture in the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico on June 13 was 50 to 60 feet from the Deepwater Horizon leak.

A nearly four and a half minute video posted on YouTube on June 13 was from the Viking Poseidon ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) 1. It shows oil and methane leaking from the seafloor at around 2:48 a.m. on June 13. The ROV monitors the leak for a minute and even gets covered in a plume of oil and sand before it moved on to the next spot. Smaller eruptions were seen as the ROV traveled, making the leak locations vary from 50 to 60 feet from the damaged well.

Until now, there was no way to determine the location of the ROVs in relation to the previously leaking Deepwater Horizon well. Alexander Higgins, an independent computer programmer, developed the ‘Gulf Oil Spill ROV UTM Distance Calculator.’ Using the coordinates for the location of the Deepwater Horizon, and the location of the Viking Poseidon on June 13, Wikinews was able to determine that the first rupture and leak was approximately 50.45 feet from the leaking well or “21.56 feet [n]orth and 45.61 feet [w]est” of the Deepwater leak point.

Higgins told Wikinews how he created the calculator, and says it is “very accurate,” but that the tool would “not give you accurate measurements over a large distance, e.g. from the well head to New Orleans.”

“This tool was created using java script that uses basic Pythagorean theorem ( A 2 + B 2 = C 2 {\displaystyle A^{2}+B^{2}=C^{2}} ) to calculate the distance between two points. The distance is simply ( N 1 ? N 2 ) 2 + ( E 1 ? E 2 ) 2 {\displaystyle {\sqrt {(N_{1}-N_{2})^{2}+(E_{1}-E_{2})^{2}}}} . ROV coordinates match the location within a few feet when looking at the well because obviously the ROV can not be over the exact center because that is where the BOP is,” said Higgins.

BP, who owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon, has denied that any oil or methane gas is leaking from the sea floor. On July 16, Kent Wells, the senior vice president of BP, said on their official Twitter page that “4 ROVs using sonar scanning [are] looking for anomalies in seabed floor. No indications any oil or gas escaping.” Seismic tests were conducted on July 16; Admiral Thad Allen of the United States Coast Guard said that “no anomalies” were found, but also that the tests were “not comprehensive.”

On Sunday, Wikinews contacted BP, who authenticated the video, and asked if any ROVs were sent back to the crack and leak location on June 13 for further investigation. According to their office in London, England, they “sent ROVs to investigate and monitor that and no further signs of oil or gas were found.” They also stated that they “have continued to monitor” and “have also carried out seismic surveys. Nothing found to give concern.” Wikinews also asked if they could confirm the location of the leak and crack, but no response was given.

However, on July 18, the Associated Press reported that there was “seepage” coming from the area at the bottom of the Deepwater well head. For the past two days, ROV cameras showed bubbles coming from the base of well. BP said it would test the bubbles to determine what they are and as of Sunday, COO of BP Doug Suttles says the bubbles are not methane, but further tests are being conducted. “If you can imagine, it is not an easy operation to collect those bubbles so that they can be tested to see what their make-up is.”

Since the June 13 video surfaced, other videos have been posted to YouTube allegedly showing some of the ROVs being tossed around by large amounts of oil seeping through the seafloor. One video showed an alleged eruption spraying oil and debris around the BOA DEEP C 2 ROV before it was tossed from side to side. It then immediately retreated to the surface. Some of the cracks on ocean floors, where oil has leaked from, have occurred naturally. One such oil spill in California in 2005 was the result of a naturally occurring crack in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Some of those cracks can cause oil to leak through at a rate as high as 5,000 gallons a day, with most of the oil not even reaching the water’s surface. In the Gulf of Mexico, oil leaks through natural cracks at a rate several times less than leaked from the Deepwater well.

“The Deepwater Horizon site releases 3 to 12 times the oil per day compared to that released by natural seeps across the entire Gulf of Mexico. By May 30, the Deepwater Horizon site had released between 468,000 and 741,000 barrels of oil, compared to 60,000 to 150,000 barrels from natural seeps across the entire Gulf of Mexico over the same 39 day period,” said Cutler Cleveland, a Boston University professor at the university’s Department of Geography and Environment.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill started on April 20 after an explosion on the rig. Efforts to put out the fire failed and the rig subsequently sank to the bottom of the Gulf. On April 22, an oil slick appeared on the surface of the Gulf. BP capped the leaking well on July 13 which effectively stopped oil from leaking into the Gulf. The company has been running a pressure integrity test on the 150,000 pound cap for 48 hours. Earlier on July 17, they announced the test would continue for another day. BP hopes for the well’s pressure to rise to or above 7,500 PSI. As of Saturday morning the well’s pressure was just above 6,700 PSI. BP fears anything lower than the expected PSI could mean a leak in the cap or elsewhere, such as oil or methane seeping up from the seafloor.

“We are feeling more comfortable we have integrity. We will keep monitoring and make the decisions as we go forward. The longer the test goes the more confidence we have in it,” said Allen.



Monday, June 7, 2010

An acrobatic group known by the name of Spelbound has been declared as the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010, a televised variety talent show competition broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom. As the winning act of the show, Spelbound have won £100,000 (US$144,580, €120,313, A$175,079) and a place at The Royal Variety Performance, an annual gala evening that is attended by senior members of the British Royal Family.

In no particular order, the top three acts were revealed to be two dancers known by their stage name of Twist and Pulse, gymnastic group Spelbound and Kieran Gaffney, whose act involves playing on the drum kit. After Kieran Gaffney was revealed to be in third place, Anthony McPartlin, who hosts Britain’s Got Talent with Declan Donnelly, said to Kieran: “Well done Kieran. Kieran, you’re a star, you came back, you got all the way to the final. I know you’ve loved this. You’ve loved this, haven’t you?” In response to this, Kieran Gaffney stated: “Thank you very much. Thank you, everyone for supporting me. Thank you.”

Shortly afterwards, on the episode that was broadcast live on ITV1 on Saturday, Anthony announced: “After tens of thousands of auditons, five semi-finals and an amazing final, this…this is it. One of you is about to walk away with £100,000 and a place at this year’s Royal Variety Performance. The winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010 is…Spelbound!” Glen Murphy from Twist and Pulse commented about finishing in second place, stating: “Yeah, it’s amazing. I can’t even believe it. I can’t believe it at all.”

Alex Uttley, a 24-year-old member of Spelbound, commented on the gymnastic group’s victory, commenting: “Oh, my god. This is unbelieveable. We just want to say thank you to everyone out there. It just shows that all our hard work has paid off.” One of the coaches of Spelbound, named Neil Griffiths, stated about Spelbound: “Oh, they’ve worked so hard over the last few weeks. Um, since the semi-final, we…we really had to pull out the stops to try and up the game. They’ve not known they’ve worked in the gym from six in the morning till twelve…twelve o’clock of the night. I couldn’t have asked for more. Um, it’s a team of coaches. I don’t take all the credit myself. There’s, uh, two people up there that know who they are who’ve been fantastic.”

Spelbound consists of 24-year-old Alex Uttley, Nicholas Illingworth, aged 24, Adam Buckingham, aged 21, 20-year-old Adam McAssey, 19-year-old Douglas Fordyce, 18-year-old Edward Upcott, 18-year-old Leighanne Cowler, 17-year-old Katie Axten, 17-year-old Lauren Kemp, 15-year-old Jonathan Stranks, Abigail Ralph, aged 15, 13-year-old Hollianne Wood and Amy Mackenzie, aged 12. Bookmakers had previously predicted that Spelbound would be the most likely act to become the winner of the series.

The running order for the final started with Twist and Pulse. The second act to perform was Liam McNally, a 14-year-old singer. The running order subsequently continued with 40-year-old impressionist Paul Burling, singer Christopher Stone, aged 28, Tina & Chandi, a woman and dog dancing act, Connected, a five-piece singing group, Kieran Gaffney, aged 12, 22-year-old Tobias Mead, a dancer, 80-year-old singer Janey Cutler and Spelbound in that particular order.

Earlier on in the final, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden has stated to Spelbound: “We are hosting the 2012 Olympics and I think ‘what a brilliant opening act’.” Fellow judge Piers Morgan also commented that “[t]he purpose of this show is to identify hidden great British talent. You are that act.” After Spelbound won in the final, another judge, named Simon Cowell, stated that “the right boys and girls won on the night” and that he could “only say on live TV that that was one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen. Seriously.”



Saturday, January 1, 2005

The National Archives of Australia have, as part of their standarddocument release cycle, released thirty year old documents from theWhitlam government.

The centre piece of the 1974 archives are a series of documents fromthe Australian Cabinet and the Treasury pertaining to the attempt toobtain a $US4 billion loan by the Whitlam government from the MiddleEast. The obtaining of these loans and the scandal generated becamecollectively known as the “Loans Affair,” and contributedsignificantly towards the dismissal of the Whitlam government by SirJohn Kerr the following year.

The documents from Treasury, which include descriptions of both theloan itself and the people involved in arranging them, are scathing.The “Points that might be made” document of December 13, 1974 clearlystates that Treasury believed the distinct possibility that the loansmight be part of “a confidence trick of major proportions”. Minutesfrom another meeting five days later state the “incredulity” on thepart of the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Bank of New Yorkregarding the viability of the loan.

Those documents now available comprise the beginning of the LoansAffair, from the initial offers to the end of 1974. The remainder ofthe Loans Affair documents, as well as everything else from 1975 willbe released on January 1, 2006.



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The president of Egypt has suffered a “devastating blow” after the country’s army announced they would not use force against their own people, who continue to protest against the government tonight. The news came hours after six journalists who reported on the protests were released from custody.

Hosni Mubarak yesterday announced a new cabinet, which does not include several figures who protesters largely do not approve of. Analysts have, however, suggested little had changed within the government; many positions, they say, are filled with military figures.

To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.

In a statement broadcast on state media in Egypt, the army said: “To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.” A BBC correspondent in Cairo said the announcement meant it “now seems increasingly likely that the 30-year rule of Mr Mubarak is drawing to a close.”

“The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing. The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people,” the statement added. “Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.”

Earlier today, six journalists from the independent news network Al-Jazeera were released from custody after being detained by police. The U.S. State Department criticized the arrests; equipment was reportedly confiscated from the journalists.

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Egyptian officials yesterday ordered the satellite channel to stop broadcasting in the country. Al-Jazeera said they were “appalled” by the government’s decision to close its Egyptian offices, which they described as the “latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt.”

In a statement, the news agency added: “Al-Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.”

On Friday, Wikinews reported the government had shut off practically all Internet traffic both out of and into the nation, as well as disrupting cellphone usage. A spokesperson for the social networking website Facebook said “limiting Internet access for millions of people is a matter of concern for the global community.”

A reported 50,000 campaigners, who are demanding the long-time leader step down and complaining of poverty, corruption, and oppression, filled Tahrir Square in Cairo today, chanting “We will stay until the coward leaves.” It is thought 100 people have so far died in the demonstrations. Today there have been protests in Suez, Mansoura, Damanhour, and Alexandria.

Speaking to news media in the area, many protesters said the new cabinet did little to quell their anger. “We want a complete change of government, with a civilian authority,” one said. Another added: “This is not a new government. This is the same regime—this is the same bluff. [Mubarak] has been bluffing us for 30 years.”

In Tahrir Square today, protesters played music as strings of barbed wire and army tanks stood nearby. Demonstrators scaled light poles, hanging Egyptian flags and calling for an end to Mubarak’s rule. “One poster featured Mubarak’s face plastered with a Hitler mustache, a sign of the deep resentment toward the 82-year-old leader they blame for widespread poverty, inflation and official indifference and brutality during his 30 years in power,” one journalist in the square reported this evening.



Sunday, April 17, 2005Starting in 2006, HM passport service of Britain will begin use of biometric chips in the issuance of passports. Essential to this scheme is the creation of a central database for passport holders that contains fingerprint and biometric data. This database, along with fingerprinting facilities, will be shared by the controversial Identity Card scheme.

The UK Passport Service is a royal prerogative, meaning the proposals do not require parliamentary approval. Critics say this is an attempt by the government to introduce key elements of the Identity Card scheme by stealth, without approval, appearing to reduce the cost and novel controversiality of the scheme.

The national fingerprint and biometric database is the most controversial element of the British government’s Identity Card proposal, which drew debate prior to the recent election. All UK residents would be required to register on a central computer database — containing at least the fingerprint, iris scan, photograph, address and birth date and place of each resident.

Further information stored on individuals may include police, motoring, financial, health, telephone and email communications and movement data.

This would be used by government agencies including the police, immigration, medical and social security. Access would likely be extended to overseas intelligence agencies such as CIA and Interpol. Partial access would be given to banks and other parties interested in secure identification.

The database itself may be administered by the private sector. Critics argue that there is huge potential for willful misuse of this personal data.

Speaking to The Guardian, the Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, Mark Oaten, said the government was trying to hide the true costs of its Identity Card scheme by turning the passport into a biometric identity card.

“The compulsory identity cards scheme is an expensive white elephant and a serious threat to civil liberties. It is an abuse of democracy for Labour to use the royal prerogative to put the nuts and bolts of the system in place without parliamentary approval,” Mr Oaten told The Guardian. “There are no international obligations on the UK to put fingerprints in passports. The idea raises important privacy questions which must be properly debated, both in public and in Parliament.”

Other elements of the Identity Card Scheme are being trialed and costed under the UKPS. Silicon.com reports:

“Other projects under way at the UKPS include:”

“- Trials of the Personal Identification Project (PIP), testing the use of data sharing with the private sector and other government departments to strengthen identity authentication”

“- Cutting fraud by creating an electronic link to birth, marriage and death records to eliminate reliance on paper documentation”

“- Launch of an electronic passport application system integrated with UKPS’ back-office processing in the third quarter of this year.”

“- Creation of a person-centric database. UKPS said there could be significant benefits in storing the data on a person-by-person rather than a passport-by-passport basis.”

The British Government has not yet answered critics claims that the scheme is unwarranted and harmful.

European governments have come under pressure from the USA to produce passports that incorporate a biometric chip. They have imposed a deadline of 26 October 2005 after which EU citizens without a biometric chip will require a visa to visit or transit in USA. Presently USA ports take fingerprint and iris scans on arrival.



Monday, March 20, 2006

Fears of contaminated bone and skin grafts are being felt by unsuspecting patients following the revelation that funeral homes may have been looting corpses.

Janet Evans of Marion Ohio was told by her surgeon, “The bone grafts you got might have been contaminated”. She reacted with shock, “I was flabbergasted because I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I didn’t know I got a bone graft until I got this call. I just thought they put in screws and rods.”

The body of Alistair Cooke, the former host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” was supposedly looted along with more than 1,000 others, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case. The tissue taken was typically skin, bone and tendon, which was then sold for use in procedures such as dental implants and hip replacements. According to authorities, millions of dollars were made by selling the body parts to companies for use in operations done at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Canada.

A New Jersey company, Biomedical Tissue Services, has reportedly been taking body parts from funeral homes across Brooklyn, New York. According to ABC News, they set up rooms like a “surgical suite.” After they took the bones, they replaced them with PVC pipe. This was purportedly done by stealth, without approval of the deceased person or the next of kin. 1,077 bodies were involved, say prosecuters.

Investagators say a former dentist, Michael Mastromarino, is behind the operation. Biomedical was considered one of the “hottest procurement companies in the country,” raking in close to $5 million. Eventually, people became worried: “Can the donors be trusted?” A tissue processing company called LifeCell answered no, and issued a recall on all their tissue.

Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, said, “To know his bones were sold was one thing, but to see him standing truncated before me is another entirely.” Now thousands of people around the country are receiving letters warning that they should be tested for infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis. On February 23, the Brooklyn District Attorney indicted Mastromarino and three others. They are charged with 122 felony counts, including forgery and bodysnatching.



Thursday, February 16, 2006

On February 13, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Deion Sanders announced his re-retirement from the NFL. Last January, many assumed Sanders would be leaving the league after spending 14 years in it.

Sanders won back-to-back Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. Sanders is the first professional athlete to win a World Series and Super Bowl in his pro career. The All-Pro Cornerback had 53 interceptions, was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times and was once Defensive Player of the Year.

Reports speculate Sanders, who broadcast with CBS after his first retirement, may go back into news broadcasting, possibly on the [w:Fox Broadcasting Company|Fox]] NFL Pre-Game Show.

After his retirement, current Ravens Cornerback Chris McAlister stated, “I’ll miss Deion, just as the rest of the Ravens organization will. I learned a lot from him.”



Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones was not available to speak with reporters Thursday after a Tuesday night incident involving Jones and a bodyguard in a hotel bathroom in the south-Central American city of Dallas, Texas. Officials are calling the incident private and said charges are not likely to be filed. As of Thursday, the Cowboys have not disciplined Jones.

Police were notified by hotel staff after workers heard a disturbance in the hotel lobby men’s bathroom where Jones and his bodyguard arguing. Jones and his bodyguard told police everything was fine and were driven away by a friend.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke with members of the media on Thursday, saying that he was “very disappointed in that we’re having to deal with this,” saying that the altercation was not a big deal.

“They were literally kidding each other,” Jerry Jones told the Associated Press on Thursday. “They were jiving around … and all of a sudden one of them starting saying some things, and here you go.”

Cowboys nose tackle Tank Johnson said everything was overblown and shouldn’t distract the team.

“This is not that big of a deal,” Johnson told the Associated Press. “Nobody’s in jail, nobody’s in trouble, nobody’s hurt. We’re all here ready to practice, ready to work.”

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN radio that he was frustrated that the league was even discussing the incident involving Jones and his bodyguard. Goodell also said the NFL league is investigating the matter.

Jones has already been in police trouble in connection with a shooting at a Las Vegas strip club and other incidents which have led to his arrest six times since he was drafted in 2005 by the Tennessee Titans. Jones was suspended in April 2007 by Goodell and allowed to return to play in August.

Jones said this after his reinstatement: “I know my responsibilities to the NFL and I’m going to hold my own and do what I need to do to make sure I stay where I am right now, which is reinstated. I work hard every day to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes. Can I say I would never ever make the same mistakes? No, I can’t say that. I’ll make sure I put myself in way better situations than I have put myself in the past.”

The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the NFL. They are based in the Dallas suburb of Irving.



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