SLM shareholders led by Martin Garbus sue Spider-Man creator Stan Lee and Marvel for $750m

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SLM shareholders led by Martin Garbus sue Spider-Man creator Stan Lee and Marvel for $750m
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Martin Garbus, Esq. filed a shareholder derivative suit Monday against Marvel Entertainment and its Chief Executive Officer Isaac Perlmutter, as well as Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel superhero characters, and Lee’s wife and former Marvel Studios head, Avi Arad. The suit is for more than US$750 million (£528M) — about half of the estimated proceeds from Marvel’s movies.

Plaintiff Stan Lee Media (SLM) has four shareholders who live in Florida, California and Canada, and include Jose Abadin and Nelson Thall. The company is suing for recovery of civil damages representing one-half of film and book earnings from such blockbuster films as Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men, Hulk, and Fantastic Four franchises.

Defendants are accused of copyright violations over both the Marvel superhero characters and intellectual properties created by Stan Lee. Spider-Man’s three cinematic outings, starring Tobey Maguire, earned more than $1bn (£702m). “Most of Marvel’s financial success, including from the films, comes out of assets created by Stan Lee that are the subject of this suit,” the complaint states.

Lee, 86, has denied the allegations and has previously filed his own $50 million counter lawsuit against SLM, claiming the company has destroyed his name and reputation and prevented his effort to develop such properties as “The Accuser” and “The Drifter” and others via his first-look deals with Disney and Virgin Comics. Lee also co-created Daredevil, Doctor Strange and Thor.

Former dot-com company STM further alleges that it has agreed to pay Lee a $250,000 annual salary plus $100 million in company stock in exchange for the rights to the superhero characters. “That money should have gone to the corporation,” said Garbus. Lee’s counsel, Mark Williams, replied: “We look forward to a positive resolution for Stan Lee and his family.” Marvel has said the court pleadings, which were filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, are filled with “ridiculous claims”.

SLM ran out of operating capital during the dot-com meltdown in December 2000, closing operations entirely by December 19 of that year. The company was placed into Chapter 11 Reorganization in Bankruptcy by Stan Lee in 2001. During the insolvency proceedings, Lee assigned the major character franchises he had created to his new public company, POW! Entertainment, without the bankruptcy court’s approval.

Two multi-billion dollar lawsuits for damages were filed against Lee, his new company, his new partner Arthur Lieberman and Marvel Entertainment for cybersquatting and failure to disclose the existence and value of the Rights Assignment Lee made to the company when he founded it.

The company remained under bankruptcy protection until the US Trustee for the Central District of California moved to dismiss the bankruptcy proceedings for failure of the company as debtor in possession to comply with basic requirements of filing monthly reports and paying quarterly fees to the Trustee. SLM was taken back by the shareholders after its dismissal from bankruptcy and hired a legal and accounting forensic consultant to review all transactions that occurred during bankruptcy.

By November 2006, all of the officers and directors of the company had resigned or abandoned their positions and the company’s lawyers for the debtors in possession attempted to obtain court authorization to destroy or dispose of the company’s books and records. This initiated a long-running legal battle between shareholders and the company’s founder, Lee.

The plaintiffs in this most recent suit contend that Lee, Perlmutter, Arthur Lieberman and Avi Arad conspired in bad faith to conceal and misappropriate financial interests in Lee’s creations assigned to Stan Lee Media in 1998. SLM’s meltdown involved its former President Peter F. Paul fleeing to Brazil, contributions made to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Paul’s extradition and more. In 2007, SLM filed a $5 billion lawsuit in which it claimed co-ownership of all of Stan Lee’s creations for Marvel.

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Uncategorized September 18th 2022

Neuroscientists tell Wikinews about empathy and harm aversion observed in lab rats

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Neuroscientists tell Wikinews about empathy and harm aversion observed in lab rats
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Thursday, April 30, 2020

In findings published last month in the journal Current Biology, neuroscientists from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience examined harm aversion in laboratory rats for conspecifics — rats not wanting to hurt other members of the same species — and reported which region of the brain was crucial for it. Wikinews caught up with Dr Christian Keysers and Dr Valeria Gazzola, two of the authors who contributed to the paper.

For the experiment, the rats were put in a container with two levers. The rats were trained to develop a preference for one of the two levers: each delivering one pellet of sucrose. One of the two levers was harder to press.

After developing a preference, the preferred lever was wired to deliver a shock to another rat in a neighbouring compartment, while delivering a single pellet of sucrose. The study showed the actor rat, which pressed the lever tend to switch the lever to avoid shocking the other rat. The rat receiving the shock was called a victim rat.

Aversion of harm to fellow rats was reported to be equal in both male and female rats. If the actor rats were previously exposed to the shocks, their degree of harm aversion for others was heightened, the study revealed.

The investigation reported the rats avoided pressing the preferred lever to shock another rat, even if that lever delivered two sucrose pellets and the no-harm lever delivered only one. However, this was not the case when the rats were given three pellets by the shock lever. Most of the actor rats did not switch when they received three pellets pressing the lever, which also delivered an electric shock. Dr Gazzola called it a “tipping point” and said it was a “cost-benefit” function.

The study also revealed the importance of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) region of the rat’s brain for harm aversion. The scientists tested harm aversion for conspecifics in the rodents after deactivating the ACC using muscimol. Muscimol was injected in the rats belonging to the test group, while saline water was injected to rats in the control group. The observations showed without the active ACC due to muscimol, the active rats in the test group were no longer averse to harming the victim rats, but degree of harm aversion did not drop in the control group rats.

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Uncategorized September 17th 2022

Most Popular Music Venues In Nashville, Brentwood, And Franklin

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Most Popular Music Venues in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin

by

Jack Watson

Moving to Tennessee? Although a move can be extremely stressful and can drain you of energy, you should look on the positive aspects of the relocation. Focus on what the new city has to offer you, what you can do during weekends, the different landmarks to check out, and so on.

Music is something that Tennessee has always been associated with, which is why checking out the best music venues here are a must:

Nashville

Blue Bird Caf

Over 100 people can be seated here but due to its popularity, it is better to make a reservation before you arrive. The genre of music played here is mostly country, with an occasional jazz & blues performance thrown in. Don t let the absence of a dance floor deter you in any way. It is hard not get caught up in the enthusiastic ambience.

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Listening Room Caf

They mostly feature in the round songwriter nights, which are mostly country. There are seating arrangements for 100 people and some standing room only places as well. The food here is great and the martinis are simply out-of-the-world.

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Nashville moving companies

right away for estimates.

Brentwood

Bentley Village Club

The Bentley Village Club is a popular music venue here and is renowned for live band gigs. The place is usually packed even on weekdays and the crowd generally consists of working professionals, students, and some patrons. There is a wide range of cocktails and mocktails to choose from while you enjoy the music around you. The d cor is artsy and exudes a quaint charm.

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Franklin

The Pond

The ambience at this live music venue is casual and there is an option for outdoor seating too. Dancers with hula hoops, amateur comedians, live bands- you never know what to expect here. There is a huge TV featuring highlights of a cricket match or football tournament, which is why patrons huddled over beers glued to the TV, is a common sight! The beer selection is great and includes New Belgium, Laughing Skull, Tennessee Honey by Jack Daniels, which is a favorite among ladies and Yuengling.

Bunganut Pig

Known for having the best Happy Hour , this is British-themed pub is where you get martinis at super-cheap rates and can play pool for free during a certain time of the day. Live music is played here and the place gets pretty packed during weekends, which is why you should make a reservation in advance. Fish & chips and Sheperd s Pie are the favorites here.

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ArticleRich.com

Music Chart September 16th 2022

Judge jails ‘monstrous’ London serial killer Stephen Port

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Judge jails ‘monstrous’ London serial killer Stephen Port
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

More than a year after he was first charged, a judge on Friday sentenced London serial killer Stephen Port to life imprisonment without parole for four murders and a host of poisoning and sexual offences, calling him “wicked and monstrous”. Port was convicted of the murders on Wednesday.

Chef Port, 41, was first charged on October 18 last year and made his first court appearance the following day. He initially faced four counts of murder and four of “administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm”. Two days later a provisional trial date was set in April but Port did not end up entering his pleas of not guilty until July 25.

The truth sounded like a lie, so I lied to make it sound like the truth

Delays were caused by post-charge investigations. By then Port was also facing the remaining charges; six more of administering a poison, seven of rape, and four of assault by penetration. These charges involved eight additional [alleged] victims. The poisoning charges were changed to “administering a substance with intent to stupefy / overpower to allow sexual activity” by the time of the trial.

The case revolved around allegations Port drugged, raped, and murdered men at his London flat. The prosecution told jurors Port’s modus operandi was to arrange to meet gay men via Grindr and other gay dating sites, then administer sometimes-lethal overdoses of recreational drug GHB.

Three of the deaths occurred in 2014. Anthony Patrick Walgate, 23, was found dead on June 19, 2014 in Cooke Street. Port lived in Cooke Street. The other three victims were found in the vicinity of St. Margaret’s Church on North Street. Gabriel Kovari, 22, was discovered dead on August 28, 2014. Daniel Whitworth, 21, was found dead the following month on September 20, 2014. Fourth victim Jack Taylor, 25, was found a year later on September 14, 2015.

The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concerning what police called “potential vulnerabilities in [our response] to the four deaths.” Police only linked the deaths less than a week before Port’s arrest.

Detectives released security footage of Taylor’s movements, with an officer telling the press “the man captured on CCTV may well be the last person to talk to Jack.” Shortly after Port was charged police again appealed for anybody with knowledge of him “no matter how insignificant” to come forward in what local press called a “highly unusual” move.

The ten male jurors and two women were warned at the opening of the trial to face potentially graphic evidence in “a cool, dispassionate and analytical manner” by Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting. He told the court Port satisfied his “appetite for penetrating drugged young men”. The case was tried before Mr Justice Openshaw, who sentenced Port on Friday, at the Old Bailey, a famous London courthouse. Port was represented by David Etherington QC.

CCTV of Port and Taylor at Barking Train Station featured in the trial. After exchanging Grindr messages the duo agreed a meet for September 13, 2014; the day prior to Taylor’s body being found. The meeting was set for 3:00 at the station; Port is seen walking to the scene while Taylor arrives in a taxi. By 7:20 Port had blocked Taylor’s Grindr account and later that day deleted his own account.

I just thought he was disgusting and vile. He thought it was fine. He thought it was funny.

A rubbish collector found Taylor’s body, propped up and with his clothing ridden up as if he had been dragged. A bottle and bag of drugs were on his body, as was a syringe.

Port contacted Walgate on website Sleepyboys. Walgate worked as a prostitute and had notified a friend of the planned night “in case I get killed”. Port left the corpse outside his flat before phoning 999. Initially he denied knowing Walgate but later told police Walgate took drugs voluntarily while alone in the flat. Port, who said he “panicked” after returning from work to find Walgate dying, was imprisoned for eight months and released on licence after three in 2015 for lying in the investigation.

The prosecution told jurors Walgate was too cautious to consume drugs and it must have been Port who slipped him GHB, which led to death. Port’s 999 call was played to jurors; he hangs up early after saying he has to go to his parked car and the operator calls back to ask further questions. In the call Port says the man has apparently collapsed, is possibly drunk, and is a stranger to him.

Port was to tell police he slapped the man’s face and heard a “gurgling noise” in response, but a statement from the first paramedic on-scene stated the body was already cold when help arrived. After being alerted to the death by the ambulance service police tracked down Port. Pathologist Olaf Biedrzycki testified at the trial that Walgate’s death was due to GHB overdose, his underwear was both inside out and back to front, his fly was down, and there were fourteen injuries to the body.

Port’s police statement was that he had also propped the man into a sitting position, which was how paramedics found him. He said after ending the call he went to sleep rather than waiting for the ambulance. Walgate’s top was raised suggesting dragging of the body, and there were drugs in a holdall beside the body. After the trial the BBC reported a nearby CCTV camera was not working.

The bodies of both Kovari and Whitworth were found in the same spot as each other in St Margaret’s churchyard, about 500m (1600 feet) from Port’s home, within a month of each other. Both were found by Barbara Denham who testified she walked her dog at least once a day through the area. Like Walgate, both men were found sitting. Like Walgate, a bottle of GHB was with Whitworth’s body. Both of their clothing had again ridden up suggesting dragging. Whitworth was on a blue sheet; Port’s semen was on the sheet, which had come from his flat.

Whitworth’s body bore an apparent suicide note in which he seemed to blame himself for Kovari’s death, saying he had injected Kovari with GHB. The note said he could not confess to police for fear of his family seeing him going to prison. The note said “please do not blame the guy I was with last night, we only had sex and then I left, he knows nothing of what I have done.”

Rees told jurors an expert in handwriting analysis had ruled out Whitworth as the author and found it to be written by Port in what Rees called a “wicked” bid to frame Whitworth. Rees also said Port’s DNA was on the bottle of drugs on Whitworth’s corpse. Police initially accepted the note as genuine and did not investigate further; no effort was made to find who “the guy I was with last night” might be. The note was written on paper traced to Port’s flat, and in a plastic sleeve also traced to the flat.

Rees said the man was Port, the two having met via Fitlads, and that “cruel and manipulative” Port deleted his Fitlads account shortly after the meet. Rees also said Kovari told friends he had found a flat in the Barking area of London five days before he was found dead, alleging this was Port’s flat. Port’s defence was Whitworth had dictated the note to him.

Whitworth’s boyfriend, Ricky Waumsley, told the court Whitworth’s behaviour was inconsistent with guilty or suicidal thoughts. Waumsley also testified Port had never to his knowledge taken recreational drugs aside from experimenting with cannabis during a holiday in Amsterdam.

Katie Impey, a friend of Whitworth, said the deceased’s mother committed suicide and thereafter Whitworth viewed taking one’s own life as “the most selfish thing anyone could ever do, and you should never do it, so I know he didn’t kill himself.” Impey also spoke of the final conversation she had with her friend in which he spoke of a new romantic interest called Gab. “He was really excited. He said ‘I’ve met someone, he’s really artsy, he’s really cute, I don’t know how I’m going to tell Ricky’.”

The trial featured five months of content from a Facebook account named Jon Luck. Port’s computer was used to access the account, and Port admitted he was the user. The account was used to exchange messages with Kovari’s boyfriend Thierry Amodio, with Port pretending to be a Californian student who knew Kovari.

Port, via the Jon Luck account, told Amodio he spent two days with Kovari and that Kovari attended a drugs-fueled orgy with a man named Dan. Amodio was seeking information on his partner’s death; Port wrote “I hope he wasn’t murdered or anything like that as that would be awful.” After Amodio assured him this was unlikely Port replied “Thanks god for that I would hate anyone who could hurt him”.

Around the time of Whitworth’s death Port informed Amodio he had discovered Dan and Kovari had attended a party where young men were raped whilst drugged. Posing as Luck he said he had “been expecting [police] to come to my door any second cuss of my DNA and my messages on [Kovari’s] phone.” When Amodio told Port he’d been visited by police probing Whitworth’s death Port replied “OMG your joking[…] please don’t let them arrest me.”

please do not blame the guy I was with last night, we only had sex and then I left, he knows nothing of what I have done

Port would also press Amodio for information on police investigations and suggested Dan had accidentally killed Kovari with an overdose and then “did same to himself” because he “could not live with the guilt”, an apparent reference to Daniel Whitworth’s death. Amodio tried to get “Jon Luck” to contact police but this was never successful. Port told a neighbour Kovari died of infection in Spain after travelling to join somebody Kovari had met online.

Kovari had in fact moved from Spain to London, having been living with his Spanish boyfriend Thierry Amodio. After initially failing to find a place to live Kovari met John Pape. Pape allowed Kovari to stay with him, which he did for several weeks before securing a rented room with Port in the Barking area of London. Turning down an offer to stay longer, Kovari moved in with Port on August 23, 2014.

The same day Kovari sent another friend a map showing Port’s Cooke St home as his new abode. The next day Port invited friend and neighbour Ryan Edwards to meet Kovari. On August 25 Kovari texted Edwards “Stephen is not a nice person”. The same day Kovari messaged the friend he sent the map to, saying “I’m fine.”

Pape texted Kovari on August 26, asking “Hey, hows it going in Barking?” There was no reply. A text from Edwards to Port the same day asked “How is Gabriel?” Port responded Kovari had already moved out to live with “some soldier guy he had been chatting to online” in the area. The body was found two days later. The corpse was clad in sunglasses and Kovari’s possessions were in two bags beside him.

The first alleged victim to give evidence, a nineteen-year-old student when he encountered Port, told jurors he met Port via Grindr and accepted a glass of wine at Port’s flat. After noticing a bitter taste and sludge at the bottom of the glass, the complainant said he felt ill and upon sipping a second drink containing vodka he “felt so dizzy. I was ricocheting off the walls. The room was tilting.”

The man told the court he fell asleep and awoke naked on his front with Port raping him, describing himself as “half asleep, half aware of what was happening” before passing out again. He said he left the flat after coming round in the morning, still feeling the effects. The witness claimed that while he was considering having sex with Port when he arrived he did not at any stage consent.

The next alleged victim to give evidence, also a student, told the court he met Port via Fitlads. The witness said they met at Port’s flat on several occasions. He said he declined alcohol because he was Muslim but on his fourth visit he accepted a glass of coke. He said swallowing it caused an instant burning sensation like acid, but Port pled ignorance and they met a fifth time. On that occasion Port gave the man what he said was ‘poppers’, and a massage, according to the witness.

The witness said he fell asleep and on waking was given a glass of what Port claimed was water, which instantly knocked him out. “The next thing I remember I was on the floor screaming and shouting. It was like I was going mad.” The witness claimed he was naked and confused, not even recalling his own name.

Port drove the man to nearby Barking Rail Station. The victim was “screaming and shouting” and described Port “kind of dragging me along and holding me up.” Police and ambulance attended, with British Transport Police Constable Alesha Owers testifying Port seemed “worried and jittery” and accepted he had taken meth. Port claimed the man had turned up at his door and Port was helping him get home.

The witness did not give a statement to police, telling the trial he did not want his family to discover the encounters and simply wished to be home. He says on arriving he telephoned Port. “I was shouting at him: ‘What did you give me? What the hell did you give me, because it certainly wasn’t poppers?'[…] I got the impression it was a normal thing what happened to me.”

The witness added he had one final meeting with Port at the accused’s flat. Port, he claimed, apologised to him but still did not say what substance was involved.

He said, ‘I’m going to sit down here for a bit, I’m feeling tired.’

A transgender man in his early twenties told the court he met Port via Facebook and they met for sex because the witness was angry his boyfriend had cheated on him. The man said after consensual sex and drinking he passed out and Port filmed himself raping the complainant.

The witness claimed Port showed off the video the following morning: “I just thought he was disgusting and vile. He thought it was fine. He thought it was funny.” The witness told the court he “felt angry because you don’t carry on having sex with someone when they pass out. I said, ‘you’re disgusting.'”

Another man, now 24, told the court he met Port via Gaydar when he was 16 and grew close to Port as the man had few friends. He said Port pressured him into taking mephedrone and he passed out, wakening to find himself on his back with his legs over Port’s shoulders and Port raping him. He said he returned a week later, at which time Port again gave him mephedrone and raped him, as well as non-consensually injecting drugs into him. He told the court Port was “god in his flat”, someone “you did not argue with”. He told the Old Bailey “I didn’t feel like I was being treated like a person.”

The court was played six homemade sex tapes from Port’s phone, with police and prosecutors alleging they showed Port raping an unconscious 24-year-old man. The six were amongst over 80 sex tapes in total Port had made involving himself. The alleged victim testified that while he and Port had consensual sex and sniffed poppers after meeting via Manhunt he did not consent to any activity in the videos.

At least three other men can be seen or heard in the videos. Port sniffs a bottle in one video and tells an unidentified man “you fuck him”. In another an unidentified voice says “I’ll leave you guys to carry on, I have got work in the morning.” Port then says to a second man “Shall we do more stuff?” “Yeah babe” comes the reply.

Two of the rape charges are sample counts relating to the videos. Sample counts are a method by which prosecutors can try multiple similar crimes based on a single count. Port routinely browsed the Internet for rape-themed pornography.

Stephen Port’s own sister, Sharon Port, was a prosecution witness. She spoke of a conversation with her brother — who smiled when she entered court to testify against him — the day before Slovakian national Kovari’s body was found. Speaking quietly, she said she had rung him and found him “very distressed”; he said there was a corpse in his flat.

Sharon Port testified that the conversation left her with the understanding the pair had been doing drugs together and Kovari expired. She said she urged Stephen Port to alert the police; the following day, she drove from her Essex home to visit him after he became unresponsive to messages. She described her brother as quiet, and saying he had been released on police bail to return in a month or two.

You try to manipulate the evidence to fit the facts as you know them to be and you have done this throughout this case

Kovari’s body was found that day. Sharon Port said Stephen didn’t mention the incident again at the time.

After Rees finished, defence lawyer Etherington questioned her further. During this she added that in March 2015, when he was imprisoned for lies to police after the first death, Stephen told her that the conversation had not referred to a body at all. Instead, he was talking about another man altogether.

Two former partners of Port testified early in the trial. Both said the accused wore a wig to help him feel confident about his appearance, and one further said both would watch ‘twink’ porn together. In the gay community, slender young men are sometimes referred to as twinks. The man also testified Port “never tried any sexual acts I wasn’t happy with.” The court also heard Port was a prostitute and sometimes wore the wig to meet men. Port was said to have called Kovari his “new Slovakian twink flatmate” who was “quite cute, tall and skinny” to friends.

Port’s sister, during her evidence, spoke of a bullied, quiet schoolboy who revealed his sexuality at 26. She said their mother did not approve. She also testified she was wholly unaware of Port’s drug use until the August 2014 phone call and even after did not know which substances were involved.

Port gave evidence in his own defence. Starting on October 27 he spoke of his version of the deaths. He started with the death of Walgate, confirming he offered the student £800 to spend the night with him. Port claimed Walgate visited the bathroom during sex, returning “high and very rampant.” Port testified he was unaware what Walgate had taken but spoke of his own experiences with GHB, which he said “could knock you out” before reawakening aroused. Port said he used it to have “hyper high” sex and in one relationship it was normal for him to have sex with his partner while the latter was unconscious through GHB use.

Port claimed Walgate became unwell and slept at the flat; Port went to work that morning and returned to find the deceased still there and woke that night to discover the “very rigid” body. Port said he “just panicked” when he carried Walgate’s corpse outside to call an ambulance, lying about the circumstances because he was “in shock”.

The next day Port confirmed Kovari shared his flat and said the pair went to a party to take drugs and have sex. He said his “friend” Kovari left early with ‘Dan’.

Port testified he realised weeks later Dan was Daniel Whitworth, whom he had met online. He spoke of Kovari and Whitworth having sex at the party with several onlookers but said he would not be able to find where the party was held and did not know who lived there. He said Kovari and Whitworth went to his flat “to get a bit more privacy”.

Rees asserted Port was “caught out” in a lie. The prosecution claimed Whitworth could be placed in a pub elsewhere when the alleged party happened and Rees said Port’s account amounted to the pair getting “coy and bashful” after public sex. Rees asked Port to explain Whitworth’s presence “in two places at once”. “I’ve no idea. I just know it was as I remember it,” said Port.

Port said Whitworth later recounted to him a story in which Whitworth and Kovari had sex at St Margaret’s. After both passed out, Whitworth claimed he was unable to rouse Kovari and could not revive him.

“He said he panicked. He was going to call an ambulance but did not know what to do, so he left him.” Port said he reassured a worried and guilt-ridden Whitworth and urged him to go to police. Port and Whitworth had sex with drugs at Whitworth’s suggestion, Port said, before Whitworth dictated the suicide note.

“I thought it was just the [drugs] talking and he was just getting his emotions out of his system,” Port told jurors. “I didn’t believe he was actually going to do it. I would have stopped him. I would have done anything to prevent him doing it.” Port said he added the line reading “please do not blame the guy I was with last night.”

one of the most dangerous individuals I’ve encountered

Rees accused Port of manipulating evidence, saying he left a hoodie belonging to Kovari on Whitworth’s body alongside a bottle of GHB. Port countered he only agreed to write the suicide note because Whitworth promised sex in exchange for it. Port testified they did not in fact have sex because Whitworth gave him a drink laced with GHB, causing Port to fall unconscious.

“You are not suggesting he may have drugged you Mr Port?” asked Rees. “You are not suggesting he may have taken advantage of you whilst you were drugged?” Port confirmed this was possible, leading to Rees asking “Why did you raise the suggestion this young man may have raped or sexually assaulted you? Against this dead boy?” Port answered “I wouldn’t have minded if he did.”

“Come on, Mr Port!” Rees retaliated. “That’s not true, is it? You ‘top’ other people, they don’t top you. So you would have minded if he raped you whilst you were unconscious.” Port’s response was “It’s just a shame we didn’t get to do more together.” Rees later said “You just cannot bring yourself to accept the truth of what is going here. To the families. Lie after lie, that’s what’s being played out here in this court.”

He also recounted his time with Taylor. The pair met on Grindr and Port testified Taylor accepted a suggestion to get “mega high”, before the two left for “fresh air” and had “rampant” sex at St Margaret’s. Port described this in detail: “I realised our height difference was quite significant[…] It was a bit of a struggle at first, I had to hold him around the chest. Then we just had sex like that for two hours.”

Port testified he suggested going back to the flat; “He said, ‘I’m going to sit down here for a bit, I’m feeling tired.'” Port said he left around 2:30 in the morning and never saw Taylor again but he was “very much alive” at this point. He testified he left as he had a new job to go to the next day and did not expect anything further as Taylor “was not happy being gay.”

Port spoke of his previous accounts to police, especially his denials of knowing Taylor and Kovari while being uncertain if he knew Whitworth. He said “The truth sounded like a lie, so I lied to make it sound like the truth.” Under cross-examination from Rees, he also admitted his version was hard to accept and appeared as if he was a “determined liar to save your own skin”.

“The essence of it is, you like playing God and manipulating and controlling young men”, Rees told him in front of jurors. “The key to this case is you like penetrating young men who are unconscious. That is at the heart of this case, isn’t it? You try to manipulate the evidence to fit the facts as you know them to be and you have done this throughout this case.”

Rees asked “Do you agree it is never too late to tell the truth? Do you agree it would be a good thing for the families of the four dead men to learn the truth about what happened to them?” Port responded “of course.” After agreeing all four deceased met similar deaths shortly after being in his company, Port was asked “I know it’s very late in the day, Mr Port, would you care to change any part of your account you have given to the jury?” “No,” he replied.

The jury began deliberations on Monday last week, deliberating for over 28 hours. They faced a question of intent. The prosecution had to prove intent to cause very serious harm for a murder conviction. The prosecution case was Port administered GHB in a bid to cause comas, and Walgate’s death at least was likely unexpected. The jury had to decide if a coma met the test; if not, they could convict on alternative charges of manslaughter. The jury unanimously convicted Port of three murders, and by an 11–1 majority of Walgate’s murder.

Port was simultaneously convicted of most other charges and on Wednesday Mr Justice Openshaw informed jurors a 10–2 verdict would be acceptable for the remaining counts. Port was ultimately convicted of all charges against six surviving victims. He was also convicted of offences against a seventh but acquitted of raping him. The jury acquitted him of two rapes relating to an eighth man.

During Port’s trial one of his drug dealers, Peter Hirons, 48, separately pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court to supplying ?MDMA, crystal meth, mephedrone, brephedrone, chloromsthcathinone, and GBL, the last being metabolised into GHB when ingested. He also admitted possessing £6,060 of drug-dealing proceeds. He was jailed for two and a half years. Gerald Matovu appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, charged with supplying Port with mephedrone and GHB.

If four young well-off women had been murdered in Mayfair, I believe the police would have made a public appeal much sooner and mounted a far more comprehensive investigation

Lead investigator DCI Tim Duffield called Port “one of the most dangerous individuals I’ve encountered”. Victims’ relatives clapped, cheered, and yelled as Port was sentenced.

Police were criticised early in the case after the LGBT website Pink News revealed a friend of Kovari had contacted them after the death. Pink News in turn contacted the Metropolitan Police but received assurances police did not view the death as suspicious. The revelations coincided with the police appeal following Port’s initial charges. “This appeal should have been made in June and August last year after the first two killings”, said human rights activist Peter Tatchell at the time. “If the police had done that, the killer may have been caught and some of these men might still be alive.”

Following murder convictions it was revealed Taylor’s family triggered the homicide investigation themselves after pressuring police. Taylor’s relatives have indicated they intend to sue the police. The IPCC probe is examining possible failings by seventeen officers. In July the IPCC appealed for anybody who raised concerns with police prior to the launch of the murder investigation to contact them, and revealed they had met with London’s LGBT community.

On Wednesday the IPCC reiterated its call for witnesses, revealing seven Metropolitan Police officers had been informed they faced gross misconduct probes and ten more faced less-serious misconduct probes. Officers under investigation rank from constable to inspector. British Transport Police are not under investigation.

IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said “It is important we establish whether the police response to the deaths of all four men was thorough and appropriate in the circumstances, including whether discrimination played any part in actions and decisions[…] our investigators are continuing to work hard to scrutinise the police response to the tragic deaths of these four young men.”

Tatchell accused police of “class, gender and sexuality bias” and called the verdict “no compensation for the loss of four young gay men who had their lives, hopes and dreams cut short.” “If four young well-off women had been murdered in Mayfair, I believe the police would have made a public appeal much sooner and mounted a far more comprehensive investigation”, he said on Wednesday. Tatchell said police could have prevented some murders; Taylor’s family agreed. “We do believe Jack would still be here if they had done their job” they said. “The police should be held accountable for Jack’s death. We do understand it’s not them who took Jack’s life, but Stephen Port would have been stopped.”

“This has been an incredibly detailed and wide-ranging inquiry with detectives not only investigating these crimes but providing full support to all the families and victims” said Stuart Cundy, a Metropolitan Police Commander. “Throughout this case we have worked very closely with the LGBT community” he added. Cundy claimed none of the surviving victims had been in touch with police prior to Port facing murder charges.

A Metropolitan Police statement said the force takes “Offences against members of the LGBT community[…] extremely seriously.” The force said it had 900 hate crimes investigators in addition to 150 specialist LGBT officers.

Cundy however acknowledged “potential missed opportunities” to catch Port. He said he has written to the deceaseds’ families, apologising. “I have offered to meet them if they would like to do so, both now and at the conclusion of the IPCC investigation.” He said police were co-operating with the IPCC probe.

When Port was arrested for perverting the course of justice police seized his laptop, but did not examine it. Detectives took advice from homicide specialists but a murder investigation was not launched and Port was released on bail while the Crown Prosecution Service considered charging him. Port murdered Kovari and Whitworth while on bail.

Port’s laptop, when eventually examined, showed Port first looked at Walgate’s escorting ad on June 13, 2014. On the same day he also sought out gay rape pornography. Searches included “sleeping boy”, “unconscious boys”, “drugged and raped”, “taking date rape drug”, “gay teen knocked out raped” and “guy raped and tortured young nude boy”. Friends of Walgate pressed police to examine the laptop, with one alleging police told her it was too expensive.

We can’t rule out the fact there may be other victims out there who suffered at Port’s hands and have yet to come forward

Amodio emailed a detective about the Jon Luck communications. Over several exchanges the detective asked Amodio to get Luck to contact him, but police did not take it upon themselves to trace Luck. Had they done so they would have found Port. Amodio also linked the deaths of Kovari and Whitworth to the earlier death of Walgate, but the detective told him the first death was “nothing about Gabriel or Daniel.”

Whitworth’s death also caused his friends to press police for further action, but police again did not treat the death as suspicious despite seeking advice from homicide specialists. Port’s DNA was on the blanket with Whitworth’s body; police already had his DNA from arresting Port during the Walgate investigation. Police did not trace his movements or investigate the man referred to in the apparent suicide note.

DCI Tony Kirk said to press the two deaths were “unusual and slightly confusing” but not murders. A pathologist found Whitworth had “bruising below both arms in the armpit regions which is unlikely to have been caused accidentally and may have resulted from manual handling of the deceased, most likely prior to death.” At inquest coroner Nadia Persaud recorded open verdicts and advised police to perform additional forensic tests, but this was not done.

Port was finally caught after Taylor’s murder when the victim’s older sisters linked his death to the other three. While pressing police to take action, they learned of CCTV showing Taylor and an unidentified person. Taylor’s sisters convinced police to release the footage in a bid to trace the man; when this was done, another officer recognised Port from the footage. He was arrested and the case became a murder probe.

Police are re-examining a further 58 fatal GHB overdoses from June 2011 to October 2015. “We can’t rule out the fact there may be other victims out there who suffered at Port’s hands and have yet to come forward,” Cundy said. “We would appeal for them to contact us as soon as possible.”

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Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Judge_jails_%27monstrous%27_London_serial_killer_Stephen_Port&oldid=4278673”
Uncategorized September 14th 2022

Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural ‘insurance policy’

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Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural ‘insurance policy’
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a vault containing millions of seeds from all over the world, saw its first deposits on Tuesday. Located 800 kilometers from the North Pole on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the vault has been referred to by European Commission president José Manuel Barroso as a “frozen Garden of Eden“. It is intended to preserve crop supplies and secure biological diversity in the event of a worldwide disaster.

“The opening of the seed vault marks a historic turning point in safeguarding the world’s crop diversity,” said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust which is in charge of collecting the seed samples. The Norwegian government, who owns the bank, built it at a cost of $9.1 million.

At the opening ceremony, 100 million seeds from 268,000 samples were placed inside the vault, where there is room for over 2 billion seeds. Each of the samples originated from a different farm or field, in order to best ensure biological diversity. These crop seeds included such staples as rice, potatoes, barley, lettuce, maize, sorghum, and wheat. No genetically modified crops were included. (Beyond politics they are generally sterile so of no use.)

It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks.

Constructed deep inside a mountain and protected by concrete walls, the “doomsday vault” is designed to withstand earthquakes, nuclear warfare, and floods resulting from global warming. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called it an “insurance policy” against such threats.

With air-conditioned temperatures of -18 degrees Celsius, experts say the seeds could last for an entire millennium. Some crops will be able to last longer, like sorghum, which the Global Crop Diversity Trust says can last almost 20 millenniums. Even if the refrigeration system fails, the vaults are expected to stay frozen for 200 years.

The Prime Minister said, “With climate change and other forces threatening the diversity of life that sustains our planet, Norway is proud to be playing a central role in creating a facility capable of protecting what are not just seeds, but the fundamental building blocks of human civilization.” Stoltenberg, along with Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, made the first deposit of rice to the vault.

“It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks,” Maathai said. The vault will operate as a bank, allowing countries to use their deposited seeds free of charge. It will also serve as a backup to the thousands of other seed banks around the world.

“Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water and energy supply constraints and for meeting the food needs of a growing population,” Cary Fowler said.

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Uncategorized September 14th 2022

Emergency at JDS Uniphase in San Jose, CA

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Emergency at JDS Uniphase in San Jose, CA
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Friday, March 3, 2006

The San Jose, California fire department and Hazardous Materials crews today responded to a chemical emergency at a JDS Uniphase manufacturing facility. The incident, at 80 Rose Orchard Drive, off North First St., sent between 15 and 17 people, including two firefighters, to the hospital with symptoms and for observation.

Those exposed to the hazard reported a smell of “burnt rubber”, along with symptoms of eye and throat irritation.

Over 48 others were held in a nearby building while the incident was assessed. Rose Orchard Way was closed for much of the day while emergency crews responded. Estimates put the incident at about 10 a.m. (1800 UTC).

As of 6 p.m. television news reports, authorities still had not determined the source or nature of the chemical, but said neighboring buildings were not in danger.

JDS Uniphase manufactures fiber optic communications and test equipment, and was formed from a merger of JDS FITEL and Uniphase Corporation in 1999.

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Uncategorized September 14th 2022

Flowering Plants That Attract Butterflies}

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Submitted by: Eunilda Carpio

In this article, I want to talk about plants, but not all kinds. I want to mention some in particular that every outdoor lover enjoys. These plants bring about not only beauty but also a sincere meaning behind them. They come in different types and in an array colors. Im talking about the ones that attract butterflies to them. Truly, flowering plants and butterflies are made for each other.

In order to attract butterflies to your garden, you need to know exactly what they look for nectar. Plant annual blooming plants amongst your perennial blooming plants to ensure continuous nectar throughout the year. Asters and Parsley are two of the perennials that provide food for the larval hosts. Remember that the more food you provide, the more species of butterfly that you will attract. Plant a garden that will provide continuous bloom as butterflies are active from spring to fall.

Additionally, they like sunny open spaces, shelter from the wind, and freshwater. Specifically, they look for host plants to lay their eggs. Herbs are very attractive to butterflies because they provide a great environment for their eggs.

The following are some of many flowering plants that are attractive to butterflies:

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Lilac: comes in seven different colors, but most of us are familiar with the lilac color. They are perfect for your garden due to their pleasant fragrance. Most lilacs which bloom in the northern states for 2 weeks in late may. They also bloom in early- mid- and late season. They can grow from 5 to 15 feet. They need full sun exposure.

Ironweed: is a late summer bloomer. Ironweed sends flower stalks up to 7 feet. It lasts well into the fall season. It provides nectar for the butterflies that mate in the later seasons. Some species can be used as edible leaf vegetables, such as Vernonia Calvoana, Vernonia Amygdalina, and Vernonia Colorata. Lastly, Ironweed is known to be a larval host for the American Painted Lady butterfly.

Parsley: is the favorite food of black swallowtail caterpillars. It looks beautiful as a border in your flower bed or spilling out of a hanging planter. Parsley is a familiar herb that provides an attractive decoration and a special flavor and nutritious value to dishes.

Coneflower: is easy to grow and provides masses of tall purple bloom. It is also known as a butterfly magnet for its wide variety of colors and prefer by gardeners for its beauty.

Butterfly weed: is a must have in every garden. It tolerates dry soil well, is low maintenance, and has a beautiful flower that can be used as green foliage in your garden when it is not bloom.

Sunflower: is alluring to butterflies, hummingbirds as well as songbirds. They are easy to grow as long as the soil is not soaked. They make an excellent cut flower.

Citrus: are a common place for butterflies to lay their eggs. Popular citrus plants for butterflies include lemons, limes, and oranges.

Dahlia: are big and beautiful shining plants in the garden.

Joe-pye weed: are clusters of pink-purple blooms with a fragrance similar to vanilla. They bloom well into the fall season. Joe-pye weed look great in a cultivated flower bed.The entire plant can be used, including the root and fresh flower, for herbal tea.

Pentas: are plants that have hairy green leaves and clusters of flowers. They come in many shades of white, red, pink, and purple. Pentas are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

About the Author: With this information in mind, choose some of these beautiful plants to add to your garden. Itll be pleasant to sit down and look at all of your different flowering plants in bloom. Youll add some color and vibrancy to your garden decor. It will give you great pleasure to know that you contributed to the environment by providing shelter for butterflies while bringing beauty to your yard. Itll also make a great ambiance to bring friends and family. Dont forget that it is important to know which kinds of butterfly are native to your area when pickings your plants! Come over to

gardendecorplanet.com

we have a huge variety of garden decor to match with your plants.

Source:

isnare.com

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Finance September 13th 2022

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Kristen Monster, Willowdale

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Kristen Monster, Willowdale
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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Kristen Monster is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Willowdale riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

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.

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Uncategorized September 11th 2022

Andrea Muizelaar on fashion, anorexia, and life after ‘Top Model’

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Andrea Muizelaar on fashion, anorexia, and life after ‘Top Model’
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Monday, November 26, 2007

In the 18 months since Andrea Muizelaar was crowned winner of the reality TV series Canada’s Next Top Model, her life has been a complete whirlwind. From working in a dollar store in her hometown of Whitby, Ontario, to modeling haute couture in Toronto, she had reached her dream of becoming a true Top Model.

But at what cost? Unknown to casual television viewers, Muizelaar had been enveloped in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which inevitably became too much for her to bear. She gave up modeling and moved back to Whitby, where she sought treatment for her disorder, re-entered college, and now works at a bank. Where is she now? Happy and healthy, she says.

Recently Andrea Muizelaar sat down with Wikinews reporter Mike Halterman in a candid interview that stretched to nearly two hours, as she told all about her hopes and aspirations, her battle with anorexia, and just what really happened on Canada’s Next Top Model.

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Uncategorized September 11th 2022

Bush attempts to reassure Americans in radio address

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Bush attempts to reassure Americans in radio address
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Saturday, October 11, 2008

George W. Bush, the President of the United States, has attempted to reassure Americans on the economy in his weekly radio address.

“Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market — much of it driven by uncertainty and fear,” he said, introducing the address. “Many Americans have serious concerns about their economic well-being.”

Bush then pointed out the action that the government is taking. “Here are the problems we face and the steps we are taking: First, key markets are not functioning because there is a lack of liquidity. So the Federal Reserve has injected hundreds of billions of dollars into the system. The Fed has joined with central banks around the world to coordinate a cut in interest rates — a step that should help free up credit. The Fed has also announced a new program to provide support for a vital tool that many American businesses use to finance their day-to-day operations — the commercial paper market, which is freezing up. As this program kicks in over the next week or so, it will help revive a key source of short-term financing for businesses and financial institutions.”

“Second, some Americans are concerned about whether their money is safe,” continued the president. “So the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Administration have significantly expanded the amount of money insured in savings accounts and checking accounts and certificates of deposit. That means that if you have up to $250,000 in one of these insured accounts, every penny of that money is safe. The Treasury Department has also acted to restore confidence in a key element of America’s financial system by offering government insurance for money market mutual funds.”

Bush then said that there was an issue with fraud in the economy. He stated that, to address this issue, “the Securities and Exchange Commission is launching rigorous enforcement actions to detect fraud and manipulation in the market.”

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average yesterday fell to its lowest level in five years at 8,579.19, falling 679 points in one day. This, at 7.3%, is the eleventh largest percentage fall in the history of the index. The growth then continued, with the index being up over 150 points on the start of the day at one point.

The index, did however, recover, and as of 19:30 UTC was up 17.68 points, or 0.21%, pushing the index up to almost 8600.

12:00, 11 October, 2008 (UTC)
  • DJIA
  • 8.451,19 128,00 1,49%
  • Nasdaq
  • 1.649,51 4,39 0.27%
  • S&P 500
  • 899,22 10,70 1,18%
  • S&P TSX
  • 9.065,16 535,02 5.57%
  • IPC
  • 19.905,30 404,93 1,99%
  • Merval
  • 1.215,990 71.340 5,54%
  • Bovespa
  • 35.609,54 1,479.75 3,99%
  • FTSE 100
  • 3.932,06 381,74 8,85%
  • DAX
  • 4.544,31 342,69 7,01%
  • CAC 40
  • 3.176,49 266,21 7,73%
  • SMI
  • 5.347,22 451,62 7,79%
  • AEX
  • 258,05 23,92 8,48%
  • BEL20
  • 2.123,44 117,44 5,24%
  • MIBTel
  • 15.438,00 1,081,00 6,54%
  • IBEX 35
  • 8.997,70 905,20 9,14%
  • All Ordinaries
  • 3.939,50 351,80 8,20%
  • Nikkei
  • 8.276,43 881,06 9,62%
  • Hang Seng
  • 14.796,90 1,146,37 7,19%
  • SSE Composite
  • 2.000,57 74,01 3,57%
    Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Bush_attempts_to_reassure_Americans_in_radio_address&oldid=778902”
    Uncategorized September 9th 2022