Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Sunday, December 13, 2015

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Macomb, New York Councilman Steve Burke took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Burke, an insurance adjuster and farmer, was elected councilman in Brookhaven, New York in 1979. He left the town after being accused and found not guilty of bribery in the 1980s. Since 1987 he has served as Macomb councilman off-and-on and currently holds the post. From 1993 to 1996 and 1999 to 2002 he worked as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County, New York. Among his many political campaigns, Burke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1992 and recently attempted to run for U.S. Congress in 2014 but too many of his ballot petition signatures were found invalid. Burke filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the 2016 election on September 18, 2015 and has qualified for the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn?, Burke discusses his political background, his 2016 presidential campaign, and his policy proposals.

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Chantelle wins Celebrity Big Brother

Friday, January 27, 2006

Chantelle Houghton has won the British reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother. Michael Barrymore came in second place.

Houghton, 22, was the only non-celebrity on the show and was given a secret mission for four days by Big Brother to convince the other housemates she was a member of the fictional band “Kandy Floss”.

The television show, aired on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom is a spin off of the popular series shown around the world. This series of the show started on 5 January 2006 and lasted for 23 days. There were 11 housemates, six of whom were evicted on the 27 January 2006.

Unknown to either the audience nor the winner until her exit interview, Houghton won £25,000 for winning the show and not being a Celebrity.

Also evicted on the 27th were:

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Payday Cash Loan Tips To Save Money Throw 5 Things Away

It has been tried-and-tested that there is money in trash. There even has been stories about people who had it big through selling other people’s trash. So if you want to earn money, you know what to do. This idea is even better than putting up your business because you don’t need a capital. As such, there is no need to apply for an instant source of cash through loans. But for emergency purposes, these loans can be of great help.

If you have wanted to earn more cash without getting into business, this is your chance. Just de-clutter your home and you can find money in the things you don’t need anymore. Segregate the things you can sell, you can put on auction, and more. Here are some ideas.

Old magazines. Magazine subscriptions can give you a pile high of reads every year. If you don’t need these magazines anymore, other people would be interested to keep them. Check for special editions especially and you can sell them for a higher price. You can even make arts and crafts products out of pages of these glossies so consider this option as well. You can create wrappers, envelopes, and whatnot.

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Receipts and bills. These pieces of papers may help you cut out some amount off your tax payments. But if years have passed and you still keep them, you are collecting nothing but trash! Throw them away or recycle them. To save on paper, opt to receive online receipts instead.

Old clothes. Commonly, the life span of your clothes in two years. So unless they are a designer brand or collection-worthy, it is time to throw them away. You can start a garage sale or sell them on Ebay. You can also donate them to charity or hand them down to your relatives or friends who find them useful.

Books. Books are a treasure but if you too many, it doesn’t hurt to share them with others. You can give them or donate them to libraries or public schools but you can also make money out of them. There are second hand bookstores out there that are willing to pay you for your old collection. You can also sell them online such as Ebay and Craigslit.

Medicines and vitamins. Food have an expiration date so consume them before they reach the date. Check your pantry for expired food and consume those that are nearing the deadline. And to avoid wasting such precious grace, avoid buying too much food. Make pastries out of them, too. You can earn money from canned goods as long as they are in good condition.

If you want to earn money, sell some of your trash. It’s a win-win situation because you get to clean your home and you get to earn on the side. This is one sideline you don’t need payday cash loans for. But for your urgent needs, there is nothing more helpful than these loans. Just go for the best lender and get the money within 24 hours.

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This is the last time that author E.A. Hammer will write about financial starvation as she has created many great works on financial wisdom at her Payday loans website. You, too, can benefit from her savings tips.Author: Faye Dayton

News briefs:June 1, 2010

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Japanese researchers create smell sensor using genetically engineered frog eggs

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A University of Tokyo group of researchers, led by bioengineer Shoji Takeuchi, has made an electronic sensor capable of smelling gases. The sensor uses genetically engineered frog cells. Since previous sensors were not very accurate, the scientist decided to try a biological approach. The invention was revealed in a US scientific journal yesterday, and is supposed to be used to design better machines to detect polluting gases in the atmosphere.

Previous smell sensors were based on quartz rods, which vibrate when a substance binds to them. The gases are distinguished by their molar masses, which can be similar for molecules with different structure, thus relatively often triggering a false positive. Trying to find a more accurate solution, Takeuchi decided to follow an example from insect world. As he explained, “when you think about the mosquito, it is able to find people because of carbon dioxide from the human. So the mosquito has CO2 receptors. When we can (extract) DNA (from the mosquito) we can put this DNA into the frog eggs to detect CO2.”

Genes of several insects (the silk moth, diamondback moth and fruit fly), injected into African clawed frog Xenopus laevis eggs, allowed them to produce relatively inexpensive and useful sensors. The choice of the species was caused by their widely studied and well-understood protein expression mechanism.

The modified cells responded to three kinds of pheromones and one odourant, which have similar chemical properties. When a molecule of an odorous substance adhered to the receptor on the membrane protein, ion channels opened for a certain period of time, and a current was generated. Its magnitude was clearly different for all four tested substances, allowing to distinguish between them accurately.

The colleagues embedded the sensor into a mannequin, so that it could shake its head when a gas was detected. It was easier to observe. Pheromones and molecules with quite similar molecule structure produced clearly distinguishable reaction, with higher accuracy than other biological or human-made sensors. As the research group said, the detection sensitivity of the odor sensor is several tens of parts per billion (ppb), and it is as high as the sensitivity of an existing odor sensor that uses an oxide semiconductor. The distinctive feature of the new sensor is its capability to selectively detect some odorous substances, rather than its sensitivity. Very few false positives were possible due to the biological mechanism involved.

At normal temperature, the sensor lifetime is about 12 hours, which can be extended by putting it into a refrigerator before first use.

Shoji Takeuchi says has a great hope for research use in future, since the frog eggs are very practical for genetic engineering, and can be conveniently used to develop smell sensors for a wide range of gases. He said, “The X. laevis oocyte has high versatility for the development of chemical sensors for various odorants. We believe that a shared ability to smell might open a new relationship between man and robot. .. The research will have wide implications… If the sensor is embedded in a nursing robot, it will be able to identify certain mouth odors or body odors. Also, it can be used for detecting CO2, air pollution, water pollution and food. It’s very important for the environment.”

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German tax authority migrating 12,000 desktops to SuSE Linux and KDE

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Lower Saxony, Germany tax authority is migrating 12,000 desktops to use SuSE Linux with KDE as the desktop environment. The systems are being migrated from Sun’s Solaris x86 version 8, which has been in use at the organization since 2002.

According to Eva Brucherseifer, president of the KDE community in Germany and managing director of basysKom, the migration process in its “peak phase” and is porting 300 systems every day. The company basysKom is configuring the desktops.

Brucherseifer said “The decision made by the Regional Tax Office in Lower Saxony represents an important step towards increased flexibility, enhanced usability and — last but not least — reduced training and support costs.”

German cities using or planning to use open source software include Schwäbisch Hall, Mannheim, Treuchtlingen, Leonberg and Isernhagen. Mannheim is planning to deploy Linux on 110 servers and 3,700 desktops.

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Top Reasons To Install Window Tint In Connecticut

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byAlma Abell

Auto window tinting is one of the most common additions owners of new and used vehicles make to their cars or trucks. One of the biggest motivations for tinting vehicles is the way that the tint enhances the way a car or truck looks. Adding tint to the windows can make a common or basic vehicle look sporty, sophisticated and unique as soon as the application is complete. However, the following points are a few of the many other top reasons to install window tint in Connecticut.

Protection for the interior of your vehicle

One of the best reasons to tint the windows of your car is for the protection it provides to the interior of your vehicle. Harsh UV rays from the sun have a negative long-term effect on materials on the inside of your vehicle such as seat covers, dashboards, air vents and even the windshield. Heat trapped inside the vehicle, as well as the fading effect that the sun has on fabrics, can speed up the wear and tear on your vehicle and make it look older than it really is.

Keep the car cooler in hot weather

During the summer and in moments of warmer weather, having tinting in your car or truck actually assists with keeping the inside of your vehicle cooler. The tint either absorbs or reflects the rays of the sun and keeps it from overheating the car. This makes spending time in your vehicle a more comfortable experience and helps to make the cooling factor of the air conditioner more effective.

Protection from harsh UV rays

Driving your car during daylight hours or sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic without tinted windows leaves you susceptible to the harsh effects of UV rays. One of the best ways to protect you and your passenger’s skin from the damaging effects of the sun is by installing tinting over your auto glass.

These are a few of the top reasons to install window tin in Connecticut. If you are ready to gain all of the benefits that having your auto windows tinted offers, visit Tint Master today to explore your options and schedule an appointment for professional installation.

US Senate committee investigates credit card practices

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

On Tuesday, the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs‘s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing titled “Credit Card Practices: Unfair Interest Rate Increases.” The hearing examined the circumstances under which credit card issuers may increase the interest rates of cardholders who are in compliance with the terms of their credit cards. It was a follow-up to a March 2007 hearing.

Subcommittee Chairman Carl Levin said in his opening statement: “Today’s focus is on credit card issuers who hike the interest rates of cardholders who play by the rules — meaning those folks who pay on time, pay at least the minimum amount due, and wake up one day to find their interest rate has gone through the roof — again, not because they paid late or exceeded the credit limit, but because their credit card issuer decided they should be ‘repriced’.”

Present to testify on behalf of credit card issuers were Roger C. Hochschild of Discover Financial Services, Bruce L. Hammonds of Bank of America Corporation, and Ryan Schneider of Capital One Financial Corporation.

Much of the 90 minute hearing focused on specific cases where interest rates were raised, allegedly because credit scores of the debtor dropped, and not because they were delinquent or otherwise behind on payments. According to Levin, this practice made it so that almost all payments went towards finance charges with almost none toward repaying the principal. This, he felt, is an unfair practice, as the credit card companies were negligent in informing their customers of the rate hikes and the reason for such hikes.

Families find themselves ensnared in a seemingly inescapable web of credit card debt.

The collective credit card debt of Americans totals an estimated US$900 billion. Issuers have come under pressure to disclose their policies in regards to setting fees and interest rates. The US Truth in Lending Act requires that terms of a loan be set forth up front. Fluctuating interest rates on credit cards would, on the surface, appear to violate this act.

Roger C. Hochschild disagreed, arguing that “every card transaction is a new extension of credit … This makes it difficult — and risky — to underwrite, and price, the loan based solely on the borrower’s credit-worthiness at the time of application [for the card].”

Ryan Schneider, agreed: “The ability to modify the terms of a credit card agreement to accommodate changes over time to the economy or the credit-worthiness of consumers must be preserved.”

“Attempts to interfere with the market here … will inevitably result in less credit being offered,” warned Bruce Hammonds. “Risk-based pricing has democratized access to credit,” he added.

All three credit card executives also mentioned an ongoing Federal Reserve System review of credit card rules that already proposes a 45-day notification ahead of any rate changes.

Committee members criticized the industry for varying practices. Included in the criticism was the practice of mailing checks to card-holders, failing to notify applicants that obtaining additional cards could lower their credit score and raise their rates, and “ambushing” card-holders with raised rates.

Ranking minority member of the subcommittee, Norm Coleman said, “families find themselves ensnared in a seemingly inescapable web of credit card debt. They particularly report being saddled with interest rates that skyrocketed on them seemingly out of the blue.”

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Zara Kay tells Wikinews about her non-profit organisation Faithless Hijabi

Monday, July 6, 2020

A number of Muslim-majority countries around the world implement Shari’a — commonly known as Islamic law — and have laws against apostasy and blasphemy. Numerous times, over the years, people have been sentenced to death penalty for renouncing Islam. Back in 2018, a Pakistani journalism student Mashal Khan was killed by a mob lynch after he was accused of blasphemy. At times there have been protests against the restrictions on free speech in Islam.

Other than the restriction of free speech, many Muslim majority countries have declared homosexuality as a capital crime, and observe a strict dress code for women. Iran has banned a number of female chess players for not wearing a hij?b. An Iranian woman was sentenced 20 years for removing hij?b while protesting the strict dress code.

Wikinews had gotten in touch with Tanzanian-born ex-Muslim Zara Kay to discuss the struggles an ex-Muslim woman faces, as well as her organisation: Faithless Hijabi.  Faithess Hijabi is an organisation which helps other ex-Muslim women by sharing their stories and experiences.  Its Facebook page has over 7000 likes, and Zara Kay, who identifies herself as an antithiest, had prefiously helped a Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed escape to Canada.

The following is the interview with Zara Kay that took place last year.


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Appalachia Mountains coal company plays State politics

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Massey Energy Co., the fourth largest coal producer in the U.S., filed a federal lawsuit against the Governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin.

Massey’s CEO Don Blankenship alleged that Gov. Manchin acted in retaliation against the company’s coal mining operations because the company spent $650,000 in an advertising campaign to defeat the governor sponsored pension bond proposal. The $5.5 billion bond proposal, intended to shore up the state’s sagging pension plan, was defeated in a special election held in June.

The Massey lawsuit, filed last Tuesday on July 26 in the U.S. District Court in the W.V. southern district, was referred to by Gov. Manchin as having less to do with the bond proposal than with the newly increased state “severance tax” on coal. Nearly 40 million tons of coal production will be subject to the 56-cent tax.

According to Blankenship, that tax amounts to $22.4 million in additional costs for the company, but he denied the increase has anything to do with the lawsuit.

The company reported profits that almost tripled during the second quarter compared to a year ago. Of the company’s rosy earnings picture, Blankenship urged states to “show some frugality” by not placing tax burdens on coal to solve state budget shortfalls. He said his company is “playing a role” because there was no need for the bond sale and the state can afford to make payments into the pension system.

Blankenship acknowledged during a conference call the now-rescinded June 30 permit by the W.V. Department of Environment Protection (DEP). At issue was the department’s permit for mining operations near the Marsh Fork Elementary School, in Sundial, W.V. The school rests at the base of a mountain selected by Massey for “Mountain Top Removal” (MTR) mining techniques. Along with the mining equipment, a coal preparation plant and a sludge pond were established on the mountain. Protest groups, mainly the Coal River Mountain Watch and Mountain Justice Summer, presented a list of demands to Massey officials that included shutting down the preparation plant, ceasing all MTR mining above the Marsh Fork Elementary School, and abandoning plans for a second coal silo near the school. They also ask that the Marsh Fork school be cleaned up or relocated. The state permit for a second coal storage silo was rescinded by the DEP the same day Massey filed the Manchin lawsuit.

Gov. Manchin in June said that Blankenship could expect tougher state scrutiny of his business affairs since the Massey media campaign against the pension bond proposal. “I think that is justified now, since Don has jumped in there with his personal wealth trying to direct public policy,” he said at an appearance at an American Electric Power event in Putnam County.

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