Clashes between herders and farmers in Nigeria kill thirty


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

According to reports, at least 30 people have been killed in fighting between farmers and cattle herders in the central Nasarawa State of Nigeria.

Member of parliament Mohammed Baba Ibaku said that the incident began on Friday, when armed herders raided the farm village of Udeni Gida. He commented that scores of homes were set on fire during the attack, and added that the herders were from the neighboring Kogi and Taraba states. The violence had occurred after a few weeks of tension between the two, mainly due to competition for land, which is becoming scarcer because of desertification.

Some reporters in the village said that they had seen at least fifty bodies of people killed in the violence. The town has now been placed under police control.

A clash similar to this one erupted two weeks ago, after herders led their cattle into rice fields. One farmer was killed during that incident.

Nasarawa State police commissioner Shehu Babolola confirmed the farmers and herders clashed again on Friday, but declined to give casualty figures.

Law center helps defend open source


Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Eben Moglen, Columbia University Law Professor, will head the newSoftware Freedom Law Center (SFLC). An initial 4 million dollars has been provided by Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) to fund the project.

The law center will provide free legal service for open source projects and developers. In 2004 OSDL established a separate $10 million Linux Legal Defense Fund providing legal support for Linus Torvalds, Linux kernel creator and end user companies subjected to Linux-related litigation by the SCO Group. The new law center will not be affiliated with the OSDL.

“This is about taking care of the goose that laid the golden egg and not letting wolves come in the middle of the night and steal it away,” Moglen said during a press conference. “This is a legal firm not involved so much in litigating and defending as it will be for counseling and advising and nurturing non-profits and to prevent millions of dollars in litigation.”

Moglen will serve as chairman and director-counsel of the non-profit organization. Also on board as directors are: Lawrence Lessig, law professor at Stanford Law School; Daniel Weitzner, director of the World Wide Web Consortium‘s technology and society activities; and Diane Peters, general counsel at the OSDL. Daniel Ravicher, executive director of the Public Patent Foundation, will help manage as legal director.

Moglen, one of the world.s leading experts on copyright law as applied to software, will run the new Law Center from its headquarters in New York City. The Law Center will initially have two full-time intellectual property attorneys on staff and expects to expand to four attorneys later this year. Initial clients for the Law Center include the Free Software Foundation and the Samba Project.

Other services provided by the SFLC include: asset stewardship, to avoid intellectual property claim conflict; license review and compatibility analysis; legal consulting and lawyer training.

Nepal Parliament passes resolution to curb King’s power


Thursday, May 18, 2006Prime Minister of Nepal, Giriraj Koirala proposed in Parliament a resolution which is aimed at drastically curtailing the monarch’s powers. According to the resolution, the King will be stripped of his status as the Supreme Commander of the Royal Nepal Army (which is to be renamed as the Nepal Army Cabinet). Portions of the Nepalese national anthem that praise the King have been cut.

The proposal also aims at cutting down on the King’s allowance and his right to be exempted from paying taxes. The government which is currently referred to as the “King’s administration” will henceforth be known as the “Nepalese Government”. The resolution also changes Nepal’s status from that of a Hindu nation to a secular one. The King’s Advisory Council will no longer exist and his security will be taken care of by Parliament. The King will also now no longer have the privilege of being above the law of the land since the resolution provides for him to be tried in court if the situation so warrants.

Analysts have expressed concerns saying that under the current Constitution, this proposal cannot become law till the King signs it. Politicians say however that this proposal is above the Constitution and reflects the will of the people. King Gyanendra restored democracy to the Himalayan Kingdom after weeks of massive anti-monarchy protests earlier this year.

2006 Commonwealth Games open in Melbourne


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The XVIIIth Commonwealth Games were opened officially by Queen Elizabeth II tonight, in Melbourne, Australia in a two-and-a-half hour spectacular Opening Ceremony held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. About 80,000 spectators were in attendance, and hundreds of thousands lined the riverbank of the nearby Yarra River, watching as the Queen’s baton made its way to the stadium.

The Queen’s Baton final runner was John Landy, the current Governor of Victoria, and a Bronze medalist in the 1956 Summer Olympics.

The ceremony began with the flags of Australia, England, (previous host) and India, (next host) being raised.

In a change from the traditional format, the teams did not enter in alphabetical order; instead, they entered in order of regions of the Commonwealth, starting with the European nations. Then Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean and finally Oceania entered the stadium.

Melbourne funk band The Cat Empire provided musical accompaniment as the athletes marched into the arena, playing music specifically written for each continent.

The Queen, dressed in gold and accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, received the baton, which has travelled to all 71 competing nations, where she read the message placed within the baton (366 days earlier on Commonwealth Day, March 14, 2005).

The Queen’s said “I am glad to have this opportunity to offer my best wishes to every athlete and official taking part in these friendly Games …. It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 18th Commonwealth Games open.”

The Queen, who is 80 next month (21 April), was taken aback when the audience joined in a tribute of Happy Birthday, ending with eight bars from God Save the Queen, led by New Zealand opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

4,500 athletes representing 71 teams from 53 Commonwealth countries will be competing at the games this year. A potential global television audience of 1.5 billion is expected to tune in. The Commonwealth Games will run through to the 26th March.

Five hundred cattle die of neglect on West Australia property


Thursday, February 17, 2005 RSPCA inspectors found about 500 cattle dead on a remote station in Western Australia. Water is being trucked in to care for another 2500 cattle on Windidda station, east of Wilun, which is leased to an Aboriginal corporation.

State Agriculture Minister Kim Chance says the propery was found abandoned and only two of the property’s 13 watering stations were working.

“The lease is owned by an aboriginal corporation (but) the precise of identity of the corporation is somewhat obscure,” Mr Chance said.

WA RSPCA spokesperson Kelly Oversby said they made the shocking discovery after an anonymous tip-off.

“Experienced inspectors have told us it is the worst case of animal cruelty they have ever seen,” Ms Overby said.

“As well as the cattle, brumbies, camels, dogs and kangaroos have all perished.”

Athletes prepare for 2012 Summer Paralympics at the Paralympic Fitness Centre


Monday, August 27, 2012

London, England — As Paralympians ready for the Games which are set to open later this week, they have access to a world class fitness center inside the Paralympic Village which is designed to maximise their pre-Game preparations.

According to volunteers staffing the center, instead of being a single large room, as in Beijing, the building has numerous rooms. It, along with the adjacent Village Services Centre, is designed to be converted into a school after the games conclude. Rooms have been structured as a gym, an auditorium, and science laboratories.

Gym equipment is supplied by Technogym, an Italian firm that has supplied gym equipment for the Olympics since 2000. Equipment has been provided not just for for the Fitness Centre, but for gyms at all the Olympic venues. The newest equipment is oriented toward maximum flexibility, allowing athletes to exercise the particular muscles that they most require for their sport.

In addition to the equipment, the Fitness Centre also provides instructors trained in the use of the equipment, the likes of which athletes from many countries have never seen before. There are also a number of instructors available to provide motivational training.

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New Ghanaian currency introduced


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New currency notes are being introduced in Ghana today. The new currency, to be called the Ghanaian cedi, replaces the previous cedi which has been in circulation since 17 February, 1967.

The Ghanaian cedi will be exchanged at 10,000 old cedis to one new Ghanaian cedi. The exchange rate against the U.S. dollar starts at GH¢0.92 to one U.S. dollar. The new ISO code for the currency is GHS, and the new symbol, GH¢.

The change, which was originally scheduled by the Bank of Ghana to start on July 1, 2007, will instead start on Tuesday July 3, as the original date is Ghana’s Republic Day.

Monday, July 2, was declared a public holiday as the actual Republic Day fell on a Sunday. July 3, is thus the first day that the currency will be available to the public as banks open to the general public. This is because ATMs were shut down over the weekend so that the currencies could be checked and replaced in all of them nationwide. The old and new currencies will be used concurrently until the end of December 2007, when the old currency will cease to be legal tender.

This is the third Ghanaian cedi to be introduced in the country since 1965.

Wikinews interviews Brian Moore, Socialist Party USA presidential candidate


Sunday, March 30, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, who are looking to become the 43rd person elected to serve their nation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Wikinews’ own Patrick Mannion corresponded with the Socialist Party USA nominee and candidate, Brian Moore via e-mail.

Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend


Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

A380 makes maiden flight to US


Monday, March 19, 2007

The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, was set to land in the United States of America on Monday after a test flight. One of the A380s is flying from Frankfurt to Chicago via New York; the airplane will be carrying about 500 people.

It is being billed as the first time it has carried a near-normal number of passengers, though most will be staff of Airbus and German airline Lufthansa.

A second A380 is also travelling to the U.S. on Monday, but without passengers. This will be branded as a Qantas flight and fly from Frankfurt to Los Angeles LAX airport. The first leg of the flight going towards New York will be travelling under a Lufthansa flight number, and is due to arrive at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport at 12:30 EST (16:30 UTC).

The test flights are being used to monitor everything from how easily the plane docks at the terminal gate to the way the in-flight dining and entertainment services work. Deliveries to Singapore Airlines, its launch customer, are not due until October – two years late.

Delays of the production of the A380 have cost Airbus more than 6 billion dollars. Airbus has warned there could be additional charges to come.

These monetary problems have led to a recently-announced restructuring program at Airbus, called Power8, in which 10,000 jobs go and several factories will be sold to Airbus partners. France will lose 4,300 jobs, followed by Germany having a loss of 3,700 jobs, while the United Kingdom and Spain will see 1,600 and 400 jobs cut respectively.

The Belgian government has announced that it will give up to 150 million (US$ 199 million) in aid to help sub-contractors which supply Airbus and employ thousands of workers.