New Zealand’s Head of State approves new medal


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Zealand Defence Force personnel now have a new honour; the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) has been approved by the Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand, Prime Minister Helen Clark has said.

The Distinguished Service Decoration is designed to recognise distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the Defence Force, including command, leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations, both at home and abroad, says Clark

Defence Minister Phil Goff said that until 1995 this type of service was recognised by awards of the British Empire Medal (Military Division) and the lower levels of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire.

“Since the change to a totally New Zealand honours system in 1996, awards at these levels have not been available,”

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, says the award is an important addition to the country’s honour system and will be highly regarded like the Queen’s Service Medal.

He says more than 700 personnel are on operations or deployment and that “the DSD is an important addition to the New Zealand Honours system”, and will enjoy precedence comparable to that of The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) and the recently instituted New Zealand Antarctic Medal (NZAM).

The new medal will be made of Sterling Silver. The obverse design is a representation of eight blades of a Kotiate (lobed club) in a circle with a Royal Crown in the centre. The front four blades are in frosted silver, the rear blades are polished silver. The reverse bears the inscription “For Distinguished Service” in English and Maori. The ribbon is dark blue and red, the colours of the British Distinguished Service Order ribbon, with two narrow yellow stripes that signify achievement.

The first awards will be announced on June 4th’s Queen’s Birthday honours list. Recipients will be entitled to use the initials “D.S.D.” after their name.

Horse flu damage spreads


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

As the Federal Labor Party calls for an inquiry into the outbreak of Equine Influenza, federal Opposition leader Kevin Rudd said “if there is a hole in the quarantine system, it needs to be plugged straight away.”

Federal Minister for Agriculture Mr McGauran has cautioned against a rushed judgment that failures at the Eastern Creek Quarantine station was the cause of the outbreak. But an unidentified former quarantine official believes its the most likely source.

Mounted Police patrols during the APEC meeting scheduled for Sydney next week have been canceled, as to plans to bring additional horses from interstate. Deputy Commissioner Andrew Scipione said “It won’t stop us being able to protect dignitaries, the public or police at any planned protest”

Organisers of the World Youth Day Papal mass plans of holding the event at Randwick Race course are also doubt. Vice President of the Randwick Trainers Association Mr O’Shea said of the current outbreak “We are going to take a massive financial hit now…”

“If we go through both World Youth Day and equine influenza that would be the death knell for training at Randwick,” Original plans for the Papal mass required 10 weeks where trainers would not be able to use the Randwick facilities, a revised plan which would use the venue for 3 days was suggested.

Mr O’Shea said the three-day plan was “totally unworkable” as it would require 24 days of disruption.

Australia’s largest wagering company Tabcorp Holdings LTD announced it has lost an estimated A$150 million after the cancellation of last weekends racing, this caused it share price to drop 4.6% on Monday.

A Tabcorp spokes person said “Based on its experience to date, if Australian racing (thoroughbred and harness) were not to resume until next weekend, Tabcorp expects that the loss in turnover will be in the order of A$150m” Further falls are likely with A$1.5 billion in Melbourne Cup and Spring carnival turnover under threat if the outbreak causes cancellation of races.

Tatersalls spokesman said it would have to run into months before it had an significant impact on their earning. Sportsbet said they stood to lose A$20m in turnover each weekend, with A$50m turnover at risk for the Melbourne Cup.

An independent study into the 2005 Melbourne Cup conclude it contribute A$318m into the Victorian economy. The racing industry has called on the Government to setup National disaster relief for the industry.

Peter V’Landy, Chief Executive of Racing New South Wales said “Jockeys can’t earn an income unless they’re riding. You’ve got stable hands, catering staff, totalisator staff and, you know, there are a lot of small businesses. I think this is a natural disaster for the racing industry. It’s a very big industry, it’s one of the top three in Australia, so we are, we are seeking now for financial assistance to these people so they can meet their financial commitment.”

Further developments to this story are available. See:
Horse flu infects Australian thoroughbreds

Canada’s Don Valley East (Ward 33) city council candidates speak


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

Saturday, November 4, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley East (Ward 33). One candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Zane Caplan, Shelley Carroll (incumbent), Jim Conlon, Sarah Tsang-Fahey, and Anderson Tung.

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

Final US manufacturer ceases production of lethal injection drug; executions delayed


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The sole United States manufacturer of a key component of lethal injections announced Friday that it will cease production of the drug, contributing to shortages and delaying executions.

Sodium thiopental, the first of a three drug cocktail used in 34 states to render the prisoner to be executed unconscious, was manufactured in Italy until Italian authorities stated that they would only license the manufacture if it was used for medical purposes and not, crucially, for executions.

In a statement, the company, Hospira, said that they have never condoned the use of their drug, marketed as ‘Pentothal’, in executions, and that they could not “prevent the drug from being diverted to departments of corrections for use in capital punishment procedures”.

The move means that the United States is without a viable supplier for sodium thiopental. Although many European countries manufacture the drug, which is primarily used in Europe as an anæsthetic, no manufacturer has been found that is willing to supply it for use in conjunction with the death penalty, the abolition of which has been lobbied by the EU since 2008.

The shortage means that executions in California and Oklahoma have been delayed, with Texas’ last remaining stocks of the drug due to expire in March, weeks before two scheduled executions. These delays are likely to be prolonged as the legal process of drawing up new drugs to be used for injections is lengthy. Pentobarbital, an alternative which used at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, is used for lethal injections in Oregon, and has started to be used by Oklahoma.

Hospira’s decision caused mixed reactions throughout the medical community, with the American Society of Anesthesiologists stating Monday that sodium thiopental is an “important and medically necessary anesthetic agent” that is a “first-line anesthetic in many cases”, citing geriatric and cardiovascular conditions, among others. It said that, although they disagree with the death penalty, “we also do not condone using the issue as the basis to place undue burdens on the distribution of this critical drug to the United States. It is an unfortunate irony that many more lives will be lost or put in jeopardy as a result of not having the drug available for its legitimate medical use.”

Principal, teacher arrested for allegedly whipping two students late for school in Ayetoro, Nigeria


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ogun state police said the proprietor, the principal, and a teacher at Meteorite Standard School in Ayetoro, Nigeria were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly tying two students — one male and one female — to crosses and lashing them with a horsewhip for being late to school. They are being charged with assault as well as intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

According to police officer Livinus, who witnessed the lashing, he told the proprietor of the private school, identified as Afolayan Joseph, to untie the students. The proprietors “refused, saying there was nothing anybody could tell him that would make him to release them,” Livinus told a local newspaper The Punch. Livinus added that he was beaten when the tried to untie the students. “Before I returned from picking handcuffs from my car, they had grabbed a friend who was with me […] and beaten him up with a horsewhip”, the police officer said.

Livinus said he entered the school property with the help of neighbours, but the principal denied to follow him. Linivous later called Itele police station’s divisional officer for additional police at the scene, who later handled the situation. Calling the act as “barbaric”, Ogun Police Public Relations Officer Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed the arrest of three. Oyeyemi said the investigation is to be conducted by State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.

The public relations officer said, “I don’t see any offence that a secondary school pupil will commit that will make someone to tie him or her and be flogging them in public.” Oyeyemi later added saying, “The act is no longer a corrective measure; it is a barbaric act and it will not be allowed in this 21st century”. Nigeria is not one of the countries who have banned corporal punishment.

John Reed on Orwell, God, self-destruction and the future of writing


Thursday, October 18, 2007

It can be difficult to be John Reed.

Christopher Hitchens called him a “Bin Ladenist” and Cathy Young editorialized in The Boston Globe that he “blames the victims of terrorism” when he puts out a novel like Snowball’s Chance, a biting send-up of George Orwell‘s Animal Farm which he was inspired to write after the terrorist attacks on September 11. “The clear references to 9/11 in the apocalyptic ending can only bring Orwell’s name into disrepute in the U.S.,” wrote William Hamilton, the British literary executor of the Orwell estate. That process had already begun: it was revealed Orwell gave the British Foreign Office a list of people he suspected of being “crypto-Communists and fellow travelers,” labeling some of them as Jews and homosexuals. “I really wanted to explode that book,” Reed told The New York Times. “I wanted to completely undermine it.”

Is this man who wants to blow up the classic literary canon taught to children in schools a menace, or a messiah? David Shankbone went to interview him for Wikinews and found that, as often is the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Reed is electrified by the changes that surround him that channel through a lens of inspiration wrought by his children. “The kids have made me a better writer,” Reed said. In his new untitled work, which he calls a “new play by William Shakespeare,” he takes lines from The Bard‘s classics to form an original tragedy. He began it in 2003, but only with the birth of his children could he finish it. “I didn’t understand the characters who had children. I didn’t really understand them. And once I had had kids, I could approach them differently.”

Taking the old to make it new is a theme in his work and in his world view. Reed foresees new narrative forms being born, Biblical epics that will be played out across print and electronic mediums. He is pulled forward by revolutions of the past, a search for a spiritual sensibility, and a desire to locate himself in the process.

Below is David Shankbone’s conversation with novelist John Reed.

Contents

  • 1 On the alternative media and independent publishing
  • 2 On Christopher Hitchens, Orwell and 9/11 as inspiration
  • 3 On the future of the narrative
  • 4 On changing the literary canon
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On politics
  • 7 On self-destruction and survival
  • 8 On raising children
  • 9 On paedophilia and the death penalty
  • 10 On personal relationships
  • 11 Sources
  • 12 External links

News briefs:June 10, 2010


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Locally designed, low emissions car launched in Qatar


Friday, November 30, 2012

Qatari non-profit organization Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD) launched a low emissions car at the 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 18) in Doha. The car was designed and developed in Qatar.

Revealed during a press conference at the Qatar National Convention Centre, the car in addition to an internal combustion engine, includes an automotive thermoelectric generator designed to capture waste heat to produce hydrogen. GORD expects the heat waste collecting system to be compatible with any gasoline or compressed natural gas car.

GORD chairman Dr Al-Horr summarised the key concepts of the invention in a statement saying, “Our car produces electricity at no cost by capturing thermal waste energy, reducing costs and eliminating the need for an external source of electricity. Also, bulky compressed-hydrogen cylinders are a thing of the past, as our concept accomplishes the production of hydrogen by using water through fuel cells integrated within the car.”

Most of the energy in Qatari vehicle comes from the the car’s gasoline tank, supplemented by a thin film photo-voltaic panel on the roof. Normally in a combustion engine, chemical energy stored in a fuel, such as gasoline, is converted into heat energy through combustion. This heat energy is then converted into mechanical energy, manifested as an increase in pressure in the combustion chamber due to the kinetic energy of the combustion gases. The kinetic energy of these combustion gases are then converted into work; because of the inefficiencies in converting chemical energy into useful work, internal combustion engines have a theoretical maximum effiecincy of 37% (with what is achievable in day to day applications being about half of this). Of the chemical energy in the consumed fuel used by an internal combustion engine 40% is dissipated as waste heat. However, the Qatari vehicle uses a thermoelectric generator to convert this waste heat into electricity. Such generators are used in space vehicles, and produce electricity when thermoelectric materials are subjected to a temperature gradient, the greater the gradient the greater the amount of electrcity produced. In the GORD vehicle the electricity produced is used to electrolyse potable water to produce hydrogen which can be introduced into the vehicle’s existing fuel system.

The researchers showed that the heat waste collection engine caused a decrease in the car’s emissions, including a decrease of carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide emissions by more than 50%, the fuel efficiency increasing by 20%. On its website, GORD said that the heat waste collector engine is universal, “Any car can be adapted to accommodate the system as it doesn’t alter any electro-mechanical systems”.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Bill Bernhardt, Kitchener Centre


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bill Bernhardt is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kitchener Centre riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Please note that Bill provided his answers in “ALL CAPS”; due to the time constraints of this election coverage, it remains in this typographic style.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Wikinews interviews Ubuntu developer Fabrice


Saturday, October 9, 2010

The 10.10 version of Ubuntu (codename Maverick Merkaat), a free operative system is to be released in the next few days. French Wikinews contributor Savant-fou (Baptiste) has interviewed Fabrice (fabrice_sp on Ubuntu), an Ubuntu’s MOTU (Master Of The Universe), member of the development team of the operative system.

Ubuntu is a computer operating system, based on Debian, which is created collaboratively by thousands of people. There are three official Ubuntu versions: Ubuntu Desktop Edition (for desktop and laptop PCs); Ubuntu Netbook Edition (for netbooks); and Ubuntu Server Edition (for use in servers).