Possible eruption at Ruapehu Volcano in New Zealand

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Possible eruption at Ruapehu Volcano in New Zealand
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Thursday, October 5, 2006

A volcano alert has been issued after a moderate 2.8 magnitude earthquake occurred at Mount Ruapehu last night at 10.30 p.m. (NZDT). The quake also broke the Crater Lake cable which generated a call-out from the lahar response team.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation has issued a high risk warning for the crater at Mount Ruapehu and Dave Wakelin, community relations officer for Tongariro-Taupo, said: “The warning was issued Thursday morning, in case more volcanic activity follows.”

It is yet to be confirmed if there was an eruption, as poor weather made it hard to see the crater from plane. Craig Miller, vulcanologist for Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS Science), said: “I had hoped to see if the lake was surrounded by blackened snow. All we could see was cloud.” Steve Sherburn, duty vulcanologist for GNS Science, said: “The cause of the alert would remain uncertain until the weather cleared and there could be a proper examination. Part of the DOC lahar monitoring system appears to have been damaged at the time of the earthquake which suggests there may have been an eruption, but other monitoring data says that any eruption must have been relatively small.” If there was an eruption it was probably only a small one.

The alert level is remaining at one, which means there are signs of volcanic unrest.

Monitoring of Mount Ruapehu will continue.

This was the first reported call-out since 1995.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Possible_eruption_at_Ruapehu_Volcano_in_New_Zealand&oldid=4510490”
Uncategorized January 27th 2023

Australian man to be executed in Singapore

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Australian man to be executed in Singapore
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Supporters of convicted Australian drug trafficker, Van Nguyen, gathered outside the State Library in Melbourne yesterday to display thousands of messages of opposition to his death sentence.

Callers to talkback radio in Melbourne were overwhelmingly against the death penalty of Nguyen, who immediately admitted his guilt and has cooperated with authorities since being caught smuggling heroin into Singapore. Many called for a boycott of Singaporean products.

25-year-old Nguyen was arrested at Changi Airport in 2002 for carrying heroin and sentenced to death in March. Nguyen claims he carried the 396 grams of heroin strapped to his body in an attempt to pay off his brother Khoa’s $30,000 legal debts.

The Singapore government have announced they will execute Nguyen at dawn on December 2nd. Singapore President S. R. Nathan rejected Nguyen’s clemency four weeks ago. The Melbourne salesman was sentenced to death under Singapore law which determines a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty of possessing 15 grams of heroin or more.

Nguyen’s mother was informed on Thursday by registered mail from the Singapore prisons service of the execution date. The letter stated that she should start making funeral arrangements. She will get to see her son in the three days leading up to the execution.

Despite repeated pleas for clemency from many thousands of supporters; religious groups; human rights organisations; the Pope; and the Australian Government – including Prime Minister, John Howard – Singapore officials have said Nguyen’s execution is irreversible.

Mr Howard had argued that Nguyen should be spared, citing mitigating circumstances in his case which pointed to the fact that he was not a serial drug trafficker but had merely been trying to pay off his brother’s debts.

The Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, says the Singaporean Government has shown no compassion whatsoever in its treatment of Van Nguyen and his family.

“What’s happening is brutal, is inappropriate. I, and the Victorian Government, vehemently oppose the death penalty in any circumstances”, he told ABC Radio. “This is a young kid who has assisted the police all the way… In any other country, he would get a discount in relation to the penalty. But because there is a mandatory death penalty for drug offences in Singapore, this young man may well be executed. It is just grossly inappropriate.”

“Singapore maintains that capital punishment is a criminal justice issue; it is the sovereign right of every country to decide whether or not to include capital punishment within its criminal justice system,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Singapore argues that there was no international consensus that capital punishment should be abolished. At the most recent meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, 66 countries dissociated themselves from a resolution calling for the abolition of capital punishment.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong affirmed Singapore’s position by saying that it has to “stand firm on drugs to protect its citizens from the scourge and to ensure the country does not become a conduit for the trafficking of illicit drugs.”

In reply to a letter appealing for clemency from his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said: “Mr Nguyen imported almost 400gm of pure heroin which would have supplied more than 26,000 doses to drug addicts.”

No one will be permitted to see Nguyen on the morning of his execution. His body will be released to his mother.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Australian_man_to_be_executed_in_Singapore&oldid=3125348”
Uncategorized January 26th 2023

Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs
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Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Surgeons_reattach_boy%27s_three_severed_limbs&oldid=440114”
Uncategorized January 25th 2023

Canadian inspectors to test food ingredients from China

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Canadian inspectors to test food ingredients from China
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Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued border alerts for specific protein ingredients, imported from China, that may be incorporated into products destined for human consumption.

Inspectors from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will hold products, such as wheat and corn gluten, as well as soy and rice proteins until they can be tested for melamine, the contaminant found to have sickened pets through its use in pet food. If determined to be free of melamine, the ingredients will be released to the intended recipient. Materials such as glutens and protein powders are used commonly in many forms of food products.

The CFIA said it was not acting on specific information, but rather taking a cautious approach to human protection. “That’s why we have the border lookout for the ingredient, so that we can proactively assess any potential that the product is contaminated,” Paul Mayers of the CFIA told CBC News.

Since the border alert for melamine is a new procedure, the government can’t be sure if the contaminant made it into the food chain previously. The CFIA acknowledged that the same Chinese company under suspicion in the tainted pet food affair had shipped wheat gluten to a Canadian company, which in turn used it in food for fish farms. Although the fish were subsequently eaten by people, the CFIA believes the health risk from such consumption would be low.

In related news, Canadian researchers at the University of Guelph believe they may have determined the mechanism of how melamine caused illness in cats and dogs.

Both cyanuric acid and melamine were found in urine samples from pets that died after consuming contaminated pet food. The two compounds react with one another to form crystals that may block kidney function, researchers at the university said. The researchers observed crystals formed in cat urine by the addition of melamine and cyanuric acid. The composition of these crystals matches those found in the urine of affected pets when compared by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).

“You wouldn’t normally expect to find those compounds in pet food, and hence nobody was really looking for it,” said John Melichercik, director of analytical laboratory services. “It’s just another piece of the puzzle along the way in this particular pet-food issue.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Canadian_inspectors_to_test_food_ingredients_from_China&oldid=4698302”
Uncategorized January 24th 2023

Wikinews interviews Mark Bunker, producer of anti-Scientology website ‘XenuTV’

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Wikinews interviews Mark Bunker, producer of anti-Scientology website ‘XenuTV’
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Television producer and owner of the anti-Scientology website www.xenutv.com (XenuTV), Mark Bunker, also known as Wise Beard Man, chatted online with Wikinews for nearly three hours. More than 120 people followed the interview live (many from Project Chanology), which makes this exclusive Wikinews interview our most attended IRC interview to date.

Bunker started XenuTV in 1999 and began to make videos that he provided for the Lisa McPherson Trust. Bunker has been a critic of the Church of Scientology since 1997.

In 2006, he won a Regional Emmy Award after he and KUSI-TV news reporter Lena Lewis produced a documentary news video on the issues with the United States – Mexico border with San Diego, California.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Mark_Bunker,_producer_of_anti-Scientology_website_%27XenuTV%27&oldid=4567680”
Uncategorized January 24th 2023

Wikinews investigates disappearance of Indonesian cargo ship Namse Bangdzod

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Wikinews investigates disappearance of Indonesian cargo ship Namse Bangdzod
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Thursday, January 10, 2019

In late December, Indonesian cargo ship MV Namse Bangdzod vanished in local waters. The tanker, gross tonnage around 1,150 and loaded with crude palm oil, had over ten crewmembers. Wikinews examined data and contacted experts and local authorities in an effort to establish further details.

The exact date of disappearance is unclear, with industry publications reporting either December 27 or December 28. Crew totals are also unclear, with both eleven and twelve reported by industry sources while The Jakarta Post reports a captain and eleven other crew. Wikinews has contacted the Command and Control Centre of the Coast Guard seeking to clarify, among other things, the date of the disappearance and is awaiting a response.

Wikinews is also awaiting responses from both the Coast Guard and the National Search and Rescue Agency detailing the efforts being made to find the ship, which was last known to be in the Java Sea. MV Namse Bangdzod sailed with cargo from Sampit, a port town on a river in Borneo; it was last bound for Jakarta. It is owned and operated by Indonesian companies and also registered in Indonesia. The 75 m (250 ft) ship was built in 1993 in Japan.

Ships broadcast their position and other information via both the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system. AIS is a ship-to-ship safety system, but can also be detected from further afield by satellites. Marine Traffic’s AIS tracking database shows a reestablishment of AIS contact by MV Namse Bangdzod on January 6, with a pattern described by Marine Bulletin as “rather hectic and kind of confused”. In addition to asking local authorities, Wikinews sought expert input on the AIS data.

Dr. Tristan Smith of University College London, a shipping researcher with expert experience interpreting AIS results, explained to Wikinews that crews might turn their AIS transponders off on purpose for security reasons, such as “in certain sea areas where piracy is a risk” in order to “avoid attracting unwanted attention. This can involve them being turned off for several days at a time.” Doug Miller of Milltech Marine, a firm specialising in AIS, told our correspondent an AIS transponder will broadcast automatically provided it has power and antennae, even if the crew abandoned the vessel.

Baslan Damang, a security official from the port of departure, on Tuesday told The Jakarta Post radio broadcasts were being used to alert other traffic such as fishing vessels to look out for MV Namse Bangdzod. He added authorities “are still waiting for updates on the tanker’s condition, so please refrain from speculating that it had been hijacked”. As of yesterday, no oil slicks or other evidence of accidents have been found along the scheduled route the vessel was due to take. A major search continues.

Miller and Smith both acknowledged faults with the AIS system on-board as possible explanations, with Miller describing issues with the signal between the transponder and the satellite receiving it as one potential scenario for intermittent data reception. He too suggested a hypothetical scenario, in which “the AIS equipment has been tampered with or has been turned off for some of the time — either intentionally or accidentally or due to a power malfunction.” Smith called the disappearance an “interesting” case; Miller said “It is a little hard to definitively say what’s going on”. Miller explained that while transponders generally transmit every ten seconds “even if the transponder is transmitting there is no guarantee that other vessels or MarineTraffic can see it”. “It could also be a power supply issue or faulty transponder”, said Smith.

Smith told Wikinews “There are also some operations done on ships containing hazardous cargoes[…] where all risks of sparking/arcs need to be removed and radio transmitting equipment is sometimes turned off for this reason.” He said this applied to product tankers, but the long duration of AIS downtime would in this instance be unusual if this is the reason. Smith had one more theory: Namse Bangdzod could be the victim of identity theft, with a second vessel conducting manoeuvres it wished to conceal while falsely transmitting information identifying itself as Namse Bangdzod. Smith told Wikinews this might happen in cases of illegal fishing. He stated “In this scenario, it would normally be expected that both the legal and illegal transmission would be received but depending on how Marine Traffic handle this, it’s possible the two signals could be confused.”

Smith drew attention to LRIT as another method for search and rescue personnel to find the tanker. Unlike AIS, which is a safety and tracking system, LRIT is used for maritime security by seagoing nations. Created under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization, LRIT allows states to examine data about ships bearing their flag, visiting their ports, or in or near their waters.

Like all vessels exceeding 300 tons, Namse Bangdzod is required to transmit LRIT data. Search and rescue bodies can also access this information; Smith told Wikinews he believed this would include foreign navies with ships in the Java Sea. Singapore, India, and Australia have in the past conducted emergency searches of the Java Sea: All three nations offered military assistance after Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 vanished in December 2014.

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Marine Traffic’s website’s most recently publicly available AIS result, as of Tuesday, showed the ship underway a few miles off Jakarta. VesselFinder listed no AIS results for the last month. Vessel Tracker’s database had no sighting of the ship within the last 59 days on Tuesday; the website noted the AIS signal received from Jakarta but declared the ship was not actually there. Maritime Connector has an entry for the ship in its database but has no location data available.

Local authorities, according to Maritime Bulletin, have noted other unusual AIS data. The website yesterday suggested piracy, perhaps to obtain the valuable cargo, is now the most prominent theory. The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association reports a value of US$473.60 per metric ton of crude palm oil as of November 2018, with the price decreasing that month. “Its plausible that an explanation [why] the AIS transponder is not transmitting is that it had been turned off by pirates who wanted to hamper the efforts of a rescue mission” Smith told Wikinews yesterday.

Yesterday the Search and Rescue Agency told The Jakarta Post it was intending to end its search on the basis of piracy, which is outside its remit; the paper also spoke to the Navy, who told it this was as-yet uncomfirmed and noted no ransom has been sought and the ship vanished from an area without previous piracy problems. Four Navy ships assisted by aircraft are searching. “We will continue searching until we find it,” 1st Fleet Command’s Navy Information Agency head Arba Agung told The Jakarta Post, which also today reported location data falsely showing the ship in Sunda Kelapa Port after its inaccurate position in Jakarta Bay was recorded.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_investigates_disappearance_of_Indonesian_cargo_ship_Namse_Bangdzod&oldid=4490724”
Uncategorized January 23rd 2023

Wikinews interviews Rocky De La Fuente, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

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Wikinews interviews Rocky De La Fuente, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Businessman Rocky De La Fuente took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

The 61-year-old De La Fuente resides in San Diego, California, grew up in Tijuana, and owns multiple businesses and properties throughout the world. Since getting his start in the automobile industry, De La Fuente has branched out into the banking and real estate markets. Despite not having held or sought political office previously, he has been involved in politics, serving as the first-ever Hispanic superdelegate to the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

De La Fuente entered the 2016 presidential race last October largely due to his dissatisfaction with Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He argues he is a more accomplished businessman than Trump, and attacks Trump as “a clown,” “a joke,” “dangerous,” and “in the same category as Hitler.” Nevertheless, De La Fuente’s business background begets comparisons with Trump. The Alaskan Midnight Sun blog described him as the Democrats’ “own Donald Trump.”

While receiving only minimal media coverage, he has campaigned actively, and according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing, loaned almost US$ 4 million of his own money to the campaign. He has qualified for 48 primary and caucus ballots, but has not yet obtained any delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Thus far, according to the count at The Green Papers, De La Fuente has received 35,406 votes, or 0.23% of the total votes cast. He leads among the many lesser-known candidates but trails both Senator Bernie Sanders who has received nearly 6.5 million votes and front-runner Hillary Clinton who has just shy of 9 million votes.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn?, De La Fuente discusses his personal background, his positions on political issues, his current campaign for president, and his political future.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Rocky_De_La_Fuente,_U.S._Democratic_Party_presidential_candidate&oldid=4585942”
Uncategorized January 21st 2023

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Johan Boyden, Toronto Centre

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Johan Boyden, Toronto Centre
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Friday, October 5, 2007

Johan Boyden is running for the Communist Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Toronto Centre riding. Wikinews interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Ontario_Votes_2007:_Interview_with_Communist_Party_candidate_Johan_Boyden,_Toronto_Centre&oldid=1838596”
Uncategorized January 18th 2023

Arson charge for man who cleaned home with gasoline

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Arson charge for man who cleaned home with gasoline
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ernest Krajniak from Chilton, Wisconsin in the United States has been charged with arson after a lit cigarette ignited gasoline soaked clothes, setting his apartment ablaze.

On Friday April 3, Krajniak, 47, cleaned his entire apartment with about five gallons of gasoline, wiping everything down with the soaked clothes. After he was finished, he piled the soaked clothes in the center of his bedroom, lit a cigarette and then threw what was left of the still lit cigarette, into the pile.

Krajniak never called the fire department and never pulled the alarm. Instead he yelled ‘fire’ a few times then walked to the police station where an ambulance took him to a local hospital for the treatment of minor burns. The fire department later arrived to put out the blaze and his apartment was extensively smoke damaged. 11 other apartments were also damaged, leaving the occupants without a place to stay for at least a week.

“I should have never used that,” said Krajniak during a court appearance on Monday. He admitted to knowing that gasoline was highly flammable. He was arrested and his bond has been set a US$2,500. Krajniak’s next court appearance is scheduled for Monday, April 13. According to WISinfo.com, Krajniak has no prior criminal record.

The careless smoking of cigarettes has been blamed for thousands of fires across the U.S. In January 2008, an unnamed elderly woman in Buffalo, New York was receiving oxygen for medical problems in her home and lit a cigarette and began to smoke it. The oxygen coming from her mask then facilitated the ignition of her clothing, setting her on fire.

In the U.S. in 2002, only 4% of all residential fires were reportedly caused by smoking materials. These fires, however, were responsible for 19% of residential fire fatalities and 9% of injuries. The fatality rate due to smoking is nearly four times higher than the overall residential fire rate; injuries are more than twice as likely. Forty percent of all smoking fires start in the bedroom or living room/family room; in 35% of these fires, bedding or upholstered furniture are the items first ignited.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Arson_charge_for_man_who_cleaned_home_with_gasoline&oldid=3291884”
Uncategorized January 18th 2023

Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Joe_Schriner,_Independent_U.S._presidential_candidate&oldid=4497624”
Uncategorized January 14th 2023