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Che Guevara’s ”Motorcycle Diaries” companion dies

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Alberto Granado Jiménez, the Argentinian biochemist who was Che Guevara’s companion on his transformative motorcycle trip through South America, died in Havana on Saturday, reported Cuban state television. He was 88 and died of natural causes.

The politically active Jiménez met Ernesto “Che” Guevara, then a medical student, in Hernando, Argentina where Guevara had gone to play rugby. Both were intellectually curious and interested in exploration. In 1951 they set out on an eight-month motorcycle trip through South American that exposed them to the poverty in which most South Americans lived. The pair worked in a leprosy colony and met wtih destitute miners and indigenous people. Both men kept diaries which served as the basis for the 2004 film, The Motorcycle Diaries, produced by Robert Redford and directed by Walter Salles.

According to the Guardian, “Their road trip awoke in Guevara a social consciousness and political convictions that would turn him into one of the iconic revolutionaries of the 20th century.” The trip is widely believed to have inspired Guevara to go to Cuba and join Fidel Castro in his 1959 revolt against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

By the time the two men met again eight years later, Guevara was a revolutionary hero and chief of Cuba’s central bank. Jiménez, who had remained in Argentina working in a clinic, accepted Guevara’s invitation to move to Cuba in 1961 and founded a medical facility in Santiago. Later he moved to Havana where he continued his medical work. The two remained friends although they did not always agree. Jiménez rejected Guevara’s belief that social reform in Latin America had to be accomplished through guerrilla warfare.

The book The Motorcycle Diaries was published in the 1990’s. Jiménez said of the book that it inspired the image of the young Che as a romantic figure.

Jiménez authored the book Traveling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary, published in 2003.

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England’s elderly face human rights breaches in home care system

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A report published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) finds that, in many cases, England’s home care system breaches the human rights of the elderly it is supposed to serve. The Close to home: older people and human rights in home care report is the result of a twelve-month investigation into care generally provided by local authorities.

Approximately half of those receiving home care, plus friends and family, providing evidence to the inquiry were satisfied with the quality of care provided. However, the report stresses that there are “systemic problems” arising from “a failure to apply a human rights approach to home care provision”. The report asserts that it is generally not the fault of individuals providing care, but serious problems exist as local authorities seem unaware of their obligations under the Human Rights Act and fail to commission, procure, and monitor care accordingly.

The report says articles two, three and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights are frequently being breached. These, respectively, cover an individual’s right to life, protection from inhumane and degrading treatment, and respect for dignity and personal independence. Criticisms include that care is not provided in a common-sense manner, and funding of care for the elderly is at lower levels than for younger people with similar problems and needs.

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The EHRC’s investigation highlights a range of recurring complaints and attempts to identify the underlying causes; cost is repeatedly mentioned, with use of the private-sector leading to some local authorities offering a “one size fits all” service leaving many elderly feeling they are “a task to be undertaken” and have “little or no choice” as to help received, or when care workers visit. A failure to invest in care workers is noted, with significant responsibility and the wide range of skills required being rewarded with low pay and status; this, the report states, adversely impacts staff retention and, a high turnover of care workers can put the security of care recipients at-risk.

Within the wider investigation, a commissioned independent social report by The Arndale Centre conducted in-depth interviews with a cross-section of 40 elderly individuals receiving home care. As-stressed in the report, those selected were not on the basis of good, or bad, experiences with their – mainly local authority-provided – care. It highlights a widespread feeling amongst those interviewed that they are treated “like a number”, and that aspects of the care provided lead to, or fail to resolve, feelings of social isolation.

The Manchester-based Arndale Centre report concludes that, “[t]he general picture is of a wider home care system in which older people are noteffectively involved: which they do not understand, and which does not often make the extra effort required to involve them in ways tailored to their state of health and other needs”.

nobody to talk [to] face to face. Nobody will knock on that door,[…] a life of isolation.

A recurring theme in the responses of those interviewed is the social isolation that their home care is not adequately addressing. One male interviewee in his seventies who previously used a scooter to get about said in his interview, “I haven’t been out of the house now for about four weeks. I daren’t. The last time I went out on the scooter I hit the kerb and it frightened the living daylights out of me.” Another, an 85-year-old woman who lives alone, expressed sadness at her inability to do normal things, “I would love to go to town to do some shopping. I haven’t been to town for about two years… Wander round the town and have a cup of tea… I’d love that.”

The social isolation many elderly experience was summed up neatly by another woman in her eighties in her interview: “When you go now, I will maybe not talk to anybody till tomorrow; maybe the whole of tomorrow nobody to talk [to]… face to face. Nobody will knock on that door, that is it, a life of isolation.”

The EHRC, having commissioned this report in the face of funding changes and reform of the care system, intends to press for legislative changes to ensure those receiving care at home are given the same protections under the Human Rights Act as those in residential care. In the conclusions of their report they offer to work with, and support, local authorities in understanding and delivering care that respects peoples’ rights and dignity; and, recommend better guidance as to the choices available to the elderly, and their families, be made available.

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MTV debuts ‘Logo’ cable channel targeting gay market

Saturday, July 2, 2005

MTV Networks launched a new cable channel to 10 million homes Thursday featuring movies, documentaries and original programming targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender audience becoming the first 24-hour digital cable network offered in the United States on several cable providers and satellite systems.

Logo will present original series, documentaries and specials as well as a library of over 200 lesbian and gay films. The cable channel is also teaming up with CBS News to cover lesbian and gay stories and headlines.

While the channel debuted Thursday, Viacom, the parent comany of Logo, had still not signed licensing agreements with several of the largest cable providers including Comcast and Cox. DirecTV signed a deal Wednesday making Logo available to 13 million households, and Time Warner and Atlantic Broadband have committed to carry the network.

Advertisers will include Orbitz, Tylenol, Motorola, Miller Lite, Lions Gate Films and Subaru wishing to market to the coveted 25-to-49 age range providing an opportunity to reach out to the lesbian and gay market.

Wikipedia has more about this subject:

Opposition to the new channel was expected with MSNBC quoting Janice Crouse, senior fellow at Concerned Women for America, a conservative public-policy women’s organization based in Washington, D.C., calling Logo “another example of an assault on children’s innocence, a means of legitimizing a homosexual lifestyle, mainstreaming homosexuality in a positive and appealing way.”

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) hails the launch of Logo.

“Logo has the potential to reach millions of American television viewers with images and stories that can play a vital role in broadening understanding of our lives, our families and our relationships,” says GLAAD Entertainment Media Director Damon Romine. “MTV Networks has a long history of groundbreaking gay and lesbian programming, and devoting an entire network to telling our stories gives us cause to celebrate.”

“What these networks provide is something new: an unprecedented opportunity for gays and lesbians to see ourselves depicted as we are, rather than as others see us,” Romine says. “At its best, television holds up a mirror to our lives, and the advent of these three networks means that LGBT viewers can now see themselves more accurately and fully reflected in that mirror.”

Many have wondered why it took as long as it did to introduce a national LGBT cable channel considering the success of mainstream network shows like “Will & Grace” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

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Two killed, two seriously injured after boulder collapses onto house in Stein an der Traun, Germany

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I have never seen anything like this.

Two people were killed and two others were seriously injured yesterday when a boulder collapsed onto a house in the German town of Stein an der Traun, south-east of Munich. A family of four were said to have been watching television together in the lounge when a large lump of rock, about 50 tons, broke off from a 50 foot cliff above the house.

The boulder fell from about 15 metres above the residence and landed on top of the house, crushing it. The cause of the rock fall is unknown, but police have said that there had been no prior signs that the cliff was unstable.

The accident, which happened at approximately 1940 local time, killed a 45-year-old father and his 18-year-old daughter. A 40-year-old mother and her 16-year-old son were seriously injured and were taken to hospital for treatment, after a rescue operation that lasted into the early hours of the following morning. The task involved up to 250 rescue personnel, some with sniffer dogs.

An official from the international humanitarian movement the Red Cross said “[w]e made contact with them early on and kept talking with them through the night as we pulled away at the debris.” Joachim Herrmann, the Bavarian Interior Minister, spoke of his thoughts about the incident. “I have never seen anything like this,” he was quoted as saying. “This is an extremely sad and terrible day.”

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Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coinciding with Easter Sunday, Glasgow Cannabis Social Club’s annual 420 event was held on Glasgow Green, under sunny blue skies, and overlooking the river Clyde. Despite the city’s council attempting to revoke permission for the gathering at the last minute, police were happy for it to go-ahead with approximately a dozen officers attending in high-visibility vests.

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The Daily Record reported five arrests were made for minor offences, likely smoking and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Taking a less-sensational — and more accurate — line of reporting, the Monday edition of Glasgow’s Evening News stated five were referred to the Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for deciding if charges should be brought.

Official figures provided by the police were that 150 attended. With people coming and going, Wikinews reporters estimated upwards of 200 attended, compared to nearly 700 who had signed up for the event on Facebook. Hemp goods were advertised and on sale at the event, and some attendees were seen drinking cannabis-themed energy drinks.

“I was searched and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which is a lot of bollocks)” one attendee noted online, adding “not fair to happen on a brilliant day like it was, other than that I had a great day!” A second said they were openly smoking and ignored by police, who “were only really focusing on people who looked particularly young”.

Cannabis seeds were openly and legally sold at the event and a hydroponics supplier brought a motortrike towing an advertising trailer. Actually growing cannabis is, however, illegal in the UK.

With the event openly advocating the legalisation of cannabis, speakers put their arguments for this to a receptive crowd. Retired police officer James Duffy, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, spoke of the failed United States alcohol prohibition policy; stressing such policies needlessly bring people into contact with criminal elements. Highlighting other countries where legalisation has been implemented, he pointed out such led to lower crime, and lower drug use overall.

One speaker, who produced a bottle of cannabis oil he had received through the post, asserted this cured his prostate cancer. Others highlighted the current use of Sativex by the National Health Service, with a cost in-excess of £150 for a single bottle of GW Pharmaceuticals patented spray — as-compared to the oil shown to the crowd, with a manufacturing cost of approximately £10.

Similar ‘420’ pro-cannabis events were held globally.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Dan McCreary, Brant

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dan McCreary is running for the Progressive Conservative in the Ontario provincial election, in the Brant riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his 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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Canada women’s national wheelchair basketball team gets its first win of London Paralympics

Sunday, September 2, 2012

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London, England — Yesterday at London’s Basketball Arena, the Canada women’s national wheelchair basketball team earned their first victory of the London Paralympics when they defeated the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team 57–50.

Canada took a one point lead into the second half, when the scores were 33–32 because of a last minute foul that sent Canada to the free throw line where they capitalized by making one of their shots. 4.5 point player Janet McLachlan and 2 point player Katie Harnock dominated in minutes played for Canada during the first half, playing all 20 minutes and leading their team in scoring with 11 first half points for McLachlan and 12 for Harnock. The Canadian team was loudly supported by spectators, earning more cheering from the largely Great Britain supporting fans than the Australians.

The second half saw Canada slowly increase their lead, keeping tied with Australia 4–4 in the first half of third, 6–4 in the last half of the third, 6–4 in the first half of the fourth, and 8–6 in the last half of the fourth. McLachlan finished the game as Canada’s leading scorer with 28 total, 17 in the second half. Harnock had a quieter second half only scoring 2 points to finish with 14. Cindy Ouellett was the team’s third leading scorer, finishing the game with ten.

The Canadian team supported their team from the bench, chanting “Get it out! Get it out!” when on defense and “Let’s go Canada” when on the offense. Other times, one player led the team in chanting support for their players on the court. The team was consistently louder than the Australian bench.

Throughout the game, the Canadians tipped themselves over more in their chairs than the Australians. Ouellett tipped once, and bounced in her chair, with a wheel leaving the ground as she attempted to block shots and steal the ball. Ouellett and Australian Cobi Crispin locked wheels, and required a break in the game where Australia’s coach came on to the court and removed Ouellett’s wheel to detach the pair before putting it back on again.

Following the game, Australia’s Amber Merritt said of playing Canada, “I have the utmost respect for Canada. They’re a great team, but we’ll refocus on the game tomorrow [against the Netherlands] and go out and play like we know we can, the Australian way.”

Prior to the start of the game, McLachlan was the team’s dominating player in the competition. She was ranked eighth in the competition in field goal percentage, and was Canada’a highest ranked player in this category. She ranked second in the tournament in total field goals made per game, with 12. Teammate Katie Harnock ranked eighth. Tara Feser ranked fourth in the tournament for 2 point field goal percentage at 57.1%, while McLachlan ranked ninth with 50.0%. McLachlan was second in 2 point field goals made per game, at 12. Harnock was tied for first with Mexico’s Floralia Estrada Bernal in the competition for 3 point field goal percentage at 20%, and was ranked second in the tournament for most 3 point field goals made with one.

As a team coming into the game, Canada was ranked sixth in total field goal percentage, eighth in free throw percentage, sixth in average rebounds per game, second in fouls, and last in turnovers.

Coming into this game, Canada had lost their first game 70–59 to the Netherlands. They are scheduled to play Brazil today.

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Air Pacific re-brands as Fiji Airways

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fiji’s national airline Air Pacific has now officially returned to its original name: Fiji Airways. Fiji Airways adopted the Air Pacific name in 1971, slightly prior to its first international flight on June 3, 1973. The re-brand was described by interim CEO Aubrey Swift as allowing the airline to align itself “closer with Fiji as a destination”. The name change is designed in part to reduce the confusion which surrounded the name Air Pacific. Swift noted that “Air Pacific just didn’t resonate with our customers” and said that same people “thought we were an air conditioning company”.

Along with the name change, the airline has redesigned its website, and changed the name of each of its classes of service. Pacific Voyager and Tabua Class have been replaced with economy and business class respectively. The airline has also introduced plans to overhaul its fleet of older Boeing 747s with Airbus A330s. It has said that the completion of this overhaul and the re-branding efforts will be completed by the end of the year.

The airline’s new brand-mark and livery features a masi design created by Fijian artist, Makereta Matemosi. The new identity is to “symbolises the airline’s new identity and epitomises all that Fiji Airways represents. It is authentic, distinctive, and true to the airline’s Fijian roots”, the airline said.

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Three-car accident in Birmingham, England leaves eight injured

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In the centre of the English city of Birmingham, three vehicles collided and eight people are reported injured. The crash was on the Aston Expressway; of the eight injured two are said to be in a serious condition. No fatalities have been reported.

The two people most seriously injured are both female, one in her 30s and the other an elderly woman. Both women had to be freed from the vehicle they were in when the crash occurred at approximately 1845 UTC yesterday. According to a spokeswoman for West Midlands Ambulance Service: “The elderly woman sustained chest and abdominal injuries and the woman in her 30s suffered head and pelvic injuries in the crash.” Both were transported to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham by ambulance.

Meanwhile, two women in another car also had to be freed from the vehicle they were in. One of them was injured in the shoulder while the other female’s collar bone was fractured. “Both were immobilised with neck collars and spinal boards before being conveyed by land ambulance to City Hospital,” according to the ambulance service spokeswoman. Two males in the same vehicle were also taken to City Hospital, Birmingham, having experienced minor injuries.

A man and a woman travelling in a separate vehicle managed to escape serious injury in what the ambulance spokewoman called a “significant collision”. They were taken to Heartlands Hospital by ambulance.

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“Metric tonne” of date rape drug was bound for US

Friday, June 2, 2006

Scottish police have arrested a man and a woman after finding Britain’s largest ever stash of Gamma-butyrolactone. The man in charge of the operation, Graeme Pearson, director of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, called the find “the most significant discovery of the drug in the UK.”

Denise Caron MacPherson, 45, and Hanan Rabin, 53, have been charged with exporting the drug, also known as GHB, to the United States between 19 April and 24 May. The news of the Scottish factory comes as a US study found drug use was involved in two-thirds of sex attacks, while 5 per cent were given an actual “date rape” drug.

Graham Rhodes for The Roofie Foundation, a helpline for victims of drug rape, said: “I am very relieved this has been recovered as in the wrong hands it is very dangerous. Not only is it used to spike the drinks of people to rape them but it’s also used to assault and rob people.”

Used by ravers, robbers and bodybuilders, the base chemical (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) was taken during a raid on a house and business in West Lothian. The haul would have been put on the United States illicit drug market and sold for fun and more sinister purposes.

In its non-powder form GHB is barely detectable: clear and having no smell it can be particularly potent with a few drops mixed into an alcoholic drink. Once a sufficient amount of the salty liquid has been ingested the victim can be knocked out within an hour.

While GHB is known both as “liquid ecstasy” and the date rapist’s “Plan A”, the versatile compound is also used by body builders instead of anabolic steroids, by dieters and as a sleeping aid.

In Britain, GHB is a “Class C” drug which means making it, holding it and selling it is punishable with up to two years in prison. The effects of rape, for which the drug is reportedly used, can last a lifetime. Jane Cumming, from support group Crisis, said she received an average of 4 calls a week from people claiming to be victims of date rape.

The pair, who were caught in Livingston, were accused of distributing the drug in Scotland from MacPherson’s house around the same time as they were exporting to the United States, while MacPherson was also charged with Cannabis possession.