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HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer
November 13, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.

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Hospitality exchange organisation grows to 100,000 members
November 13, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Hospitality Club became the first hospitality exchange network to pass the 100,000 members milestone on January 11, 2006. Its closest competitors, CouchSurfing and GlobalFreeLoaders, have 40,000 and 30,000 members.

Hospitality exchange organisations are dedicated to putting travellers in contact with locals offering to host them in their house for free, or simply offer them a tour of their city or share a meal with them. Besides the obvious financial advantage, the Hospitality Club believes that “bringing people together and fostering international friendships will increase intercultural understanding and strengthen peace.”

Servas Open Doors, the oldest network, in fact formally views itself as a peace initiative, and there are also a number of smaller hospitality exchange networks which focus on specialized audiences, such as Agritourism.

w:Veit Kühne from Dreseden, Germany, who founded the Hospitality Club in 2000 while he was still a student, believes that “one day, everyone will have the opportunity to visit any country knowing that someone will be waiting to receive them with open arms. People will travel in a different way, meet each other and build intercultural understanding through personal contact.”

“There will be many members in places like Israel and Palestine, Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Chechnya, Rwanda, or Timor who will exchange hospitality with each other, and in small steps the Hospitality Club will have helped making peace a lasting vision for our wonderful planet,” he adds.

Hospitality Club was the first online organisation to offer on a major scale the possibility for travellers to find and contact locals open to cultural exchange. The whole system is entirely free, and hosting fees are supported by Google advertisements. The safe and efficient operation of the 30+ languages website and its database, forum, and chatroom depends on the work of hundreds of volunteers from around the world.

Anybody can become a member, but they must provide their full name and address, for security reasons. All members have a profile they can fill with information about themselves and their preferences, to help prospective visitors contact the person most likely to welcome them.

The most often mentioned drawback of the system is lack of security. The main difference between hospitality exchange networks and other social networking platforms such as Orkut or LiveJournal is that the former’s ultimate objective is to allow for face-to-face meetings. Users should realise that there is a risk involved, although according to Frenchman Jean-Yves Hégron, main software developer of the Hospitality Club, “By using the Club you have the same level of risk as the one you face whenever you get out from your home.”

Discussion about strategic or security issues is not allowed on the website’s forum, hence critics often mention lack of transparency in how they perceive decisions are taken by volunteers in Hospitality Club. Another point of critique is the fact that there is no legal organisation behind Hospitality Club, and the domain name is registered to the founder of the Club himself. Messages containing links to other hospitality exchange networks were at some point deleted without further notice though this policy has since then been reverted. Exponential growth of the network has also caused server failures alike to those observed in Wikipedia until recently.

The idea of free hospitality exchange is not new. Servas was the first organisation to develop it, right after World War II. It still exists to this day, with over 15,000 members, and is represented as an NGO in the United Nations. Because democratic, paper-based Servas is perceived as bureaucratic by some, Hospex was created as the first online network in 1991.

Hospitality Club succeeded to Hospex in August 2000, introducing innovative security features ranging from spam protection to passport control and a sophisticated feedback system, thus making online hospitality exchange available to travellers with higher safety concerns. From 1000 members in July 2002 to 10,000 in February 2004, it quickly grew to 100,000 on 11 January 2006 and is expected to reach the million in about two years.

A Wikipedia article has a list of hospitality exchange services.
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California jury orders Skilled Healthcare to pay $671 million in damages
November 12, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Friday, July 9, 2010

A California jury in a Humboldt County courthouse ordered nursing home operator Skilled Healthcare (SH) to pay $671 million (about €531 million) in a class action lawsuit from patients of SH’s 22 California facilities and their families. The jury found that SH failed to properly staff its facilities to comply with California state law.

The jury has not heard the case for punitive damages; however, it awarded the plaintiffs $613 million (about €484 million) in statutory damages. The remaining $58 million (about €46 million) was in restitution.

After the verdict was issued, Skilled Healthcare stocks plunged over 75% to a record low.

An official statement from SH says it “strongly disagrees” with the jury’s verdict. SH plans on filing an appeal to the decision. The company could possibly face bankruptcy because of this verdict.

One of the lawyers for the nearly 32,000 plaintiffs, Timothy Needham, claimed that inadequate staffing levels put SH’s patients at risk. He said, “The company knows that this lack of staffing causes a higher risk of problems for patients. Call lights don’t get answered, persons don’t get proper hygiene, persons don’t get their medications on time or the care they need.”

This lawsuit does not apply to SH’s facilities in Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal
November 12, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President

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Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President
November 11, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

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

Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. We now interview independent Presidential candidate Frank Moore, a performance artist.

Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

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Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101
November 9, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

Pakistan to Turkey container train service launched

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Pakistan to Turkey container train service launched
November 9, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has launched Pakistan’s first international container train service from Islamabad to Istanbul via the Iranian capital, Tehran, as a trial project of the Economic Cooperation Organization to boost Pakistan’s trade with Turkey and Iran.

The train is carrying 20 containers on its first journey from Islamabad railway station, delivering 14 to Tehran and 6 to Istanbul and will cover 6,500 kilometres in two weeks.

Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said a successful trial phase of the freight train service would be followed by a passenger train service in an effort to boost tourism in the region.

There are also hopes the route will eventually provide a link to Europe and Central Asia.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Russell Korus, Vaughan

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Russell Korus, Vaughan
November 9, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Russell Korus is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Vaughan 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.

Colorado College Tigers win 41st annual Great Lakes Invitational tournament

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Colorado College Tigers win 41st annual Great Lakes Invitational tournament
November 8, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Colorado College Tigers beat the Spartans of Michigan State University in men’s ice hockey on Friday, for the title of champions of the 41st annual Great Lakes Invitational ice hockey tournament at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The Tigers, the team chosen to be invited into the tournament and appearing for the first time since 1965 in the tournament, led with a 5-0 lead during the second period, after which Michigan State switched goalies. The Spartans put freshmen Jeff Lerg into net, replacing Dominic Vicari, who was earlier given a penalty for his contact with a member of Colorado’s team in front of the net. Michigan State junior Tyler Howells scored two goals during the second period, and Colorado student Brett Sterling made the Tiger’s final goal for the night.

Colorado College took first place in the invitational, and Michigan State ended in second place, after their previous win over Michigan Tech at a score of 3-2. The Tigers previously beat the University of Michigan on Thursday, at a score of 6-1.

Meanwhile, the University of Michigan beat GLI co-sponsor Michigan Tech University with a score of 5-3 for a third place finish in the invitational earlier in the day.

With 2 minutes remaining in the third period, the University of Michigan went one up over Michigan Tech, breaking the 3-3 tie. Michigan Tech pulled their goalie with one minute remaining to gain a man advantage, but the strategy failed and allowed the University of Michigan to get another goal resulting in the final 5-3 score.

The game secured the third place position in the invitational for University of Michigan, and fourth place for Michigan Tech.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

The final standings in the tournament are:

  1. Colorado College
  2. Michigan State University
  3. University of Michigan
  4. Michigan Tech

Study suggests Mars hosted life-sustaining habitat for millions of years

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Study suggests Mars hosted life-sustaining habitat for millions of years
November 8, 2018 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In a new study announced on Monday and available in the current volume of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, an international team led by scientists from Brown University in the United States said the planet Mars once had the right water and temperatures to host simple life forms — just not on its surface. Mars’s rocky, subterranean layer once, for some hundreds of millions of years, had enough water and reductants to support some of the same kinds of microbial communities seen on Earth.

“We showed, based on basic physics and chemistry calculations, that the ancient Martian subsurface likely had enough dissolved hydrogen to power a global subsurface biosphere,” reported lead author and current Brown graduate student Jesse Tarnas. The paper does not claim life on Mars did exist but rather that conditions suitable for life are very likely to have lasted for an extended time. This habitable zone, located beneath Mars’s then-frozen surface, would have reached several kilometers into Mars’s surface, potentially protected by ice above.

The study showed that, during Mars’s Noachian period (4.1–3.7 billion years ago), radiolysis, the process by which radiation splits water molecules apart, produced enough hydrogen gas (H2) for microbial organisms to live on so long as they remained within the area just beneath the cryosphere, the SHZ (subcryospheric highly-fractured zone). The concentration of hydrogen in the groundwater could have ranged from about 35 to about 55 millimoles per liter depending on whether ancient Mars was warm or cold, respectively, and higher if the subsurface medium also contained enough salt. The researchers determined this by establishing three factors. First, they examined data from the gamma ray spectrometer aboard NASA’s Odyssey spacecraft, from which they inferred how much of various radioactive elements would have been present in Mars’s crust during the Noachian, and therefore how much radiation would have been available to split water and so produce hydrogen. They then built on existing models of water flow on Mars to determine how much groundwater would have been present. Third, they used climate and geothermal modeling to determine how much of that water would have been in liquid form and at a suitable temperature for living things.

In subterranean environments on Earth called subsurface lithotrophic microbial ecosystems, or SLiMEs, ecosystems sustain themselves not on plants that harness sunlight through photosynthesis but on microbes that harvest electrons from nearby molecules. Molecular hydrogen is an especially good electron donor.

One of the study authors, Brown Professor John Mustard, is on the team designing the next Mars Rover mission, scheduled for 2020. He and Tarnas recommended the Rover examine the sites of meteorite crashes, which may have excavated rocks from this possibly habitable depth that may hold traces of ancient life.