News briefs:June 10, 2010

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November 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren releases DNA test results, asks Donald Trump to make promised donation

Thursday, October 18, 2018

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren released to newspaper The Boston Globe on Sunday, with public statement following on Monday, the results of a DNA test suggesting she has somewhere from 1/64 to 1/1024 Native American ancestry. She took the test in response to a dare from U.S. President Donald Trump, who promised at a rally this July to donate USD1 million to a worthy cause if she could prove she had Native American genes, as she claimed.

Warren on Monday reminded Trump of his offer publicly on Twitter: “By the way, @realDonaldTrump: Remember saying on 7/5 that you’d give $1M to a charity of my choice if my DNA showed Native American ancestry? I remember – and here’s the verdict. Please send the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center”.

Trump responded by telling the press “I didn’t say that. You better read it again.” He later added he would only write the check if he could personally test Warren’s DNA himself, adding “That will not be something I enjoy doing, either.”

An aide to Warren said her DNA was collected in August. It was tested by Stanford University professor and genetics expert Carlos D. Bustamante, who did not know whose sample he was analyzing at the time. Accoriding to Bustamante’s report, “While the vast majority of the individual’s ancestry is European, the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor in the individual’s pedigree, likely in the range of 6-10 generations ago.” Bustamante himself told the press about a stretch of genes on Warren’s 10th chromosome. “We found five segments, and that long segment was pretty significant. It tells us about one ancestor, and we can’t rule out more ancestors. […] We are confident it is not an error.”

Chuck Hoskin Jr., Secretary of State of the Cherokee Nation, voiced a concern: “Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. […] Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf told the press, “She is most clearly doing the things you do if you’re running for president.”

Teaching from 1987 to 1995 at the University of Pennsylvania, Warren identified there as Native American, and again at Harvard University, where she served as a professor. This fact re-emerged during her 2012 campaign for the senate, drawing some criticism. President Trump has sarcastically referred to Senator Warren by the nickname “Pocahontas” after the famous Powhatan Indian chief’s daughter. Warren has said she identified as Native American during that part of her life because that was when her older female relatives were dying and she wanted to feel closer to her family history. Warren said on Monday via Twitter, “DNA & family history has nothing to do with tribal affiliation or citizenship, which is determined only – only – by Tribal Nations. I respect the distinction, & don’t list myself as Native in the Senate.”

In the 1980s and 1990s, universities like Harvard and Penn were under pressure to show they had minorities on staff. Warren recently released employment documents to The Boston Globe that reportedly indicated her purported ethnicity did not affect her career.

Warren’s family’s history names a great-great-great grandmother called O.C. Sarah Smith. She is listed as white on period documents, but Warren’s family maintained she was, in some degree, Native American.

Bustamante’s report notes searching DNA for Native American ancestry is difficult because the databases of known Native American DNA to which to compare samples are relatively small. Some tribal authorities have asked their members not to participate in genetic studies because of exploitation and misuse by scientists in the past. In one case, beginning in 1989, hundreds of Havasupai Indians provided blood samples to researchers from the University of Arizona who claimed they were performing a study on diabetes, from which many Havasupai suffered. The donors later learned their samples were used not only for diabetes but for other disease studies and for migration studies that contradicted the tribe’s traditional stories about its origin. This was without the donors’ knowledge or permission, in violation of standard medical ethics. This led to the Havasupai Tribe vs. the Arizona Board of Regents lawsuit, which was settled in 2010. Warren’s sample was tested against samples from Mexico and South America believed to have genetic markers in common with Native Americans from what is now the United States.

November 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

November 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

Oil spill hits Australia’s Sunshine coastline

Sunday, March 15, 2009

200,000 litres of oil leaked into waters off the coast of Brisbane from the Pacific Adventurer when their fuel tanks were damaged in rough seas on Wednesday. The figure is about ten times higher than the original estimate of twenty thousand litres of oil. The devastating diesel oil spill has spread along 60 kilometres (37 miles) of the Queensland coast. In addition, 31 containers with 620 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser flew overboard during the violent storm.

Questions are being asked why the Hong Kong cargo ship was out in seas with nine meter waves caused by Cyclone Hamish, a Category 5 tropical cyclone, as well as why the fertiliser containers were not properly secured. One of the overboard containers ruptured the hull of the Pacific Adventurer, causing between 30 to 100 tonnes of oil to spew from the severely damaged ship.

If the ammonium nitrate mixes with the heavy oil, an explosion could occur. None of the containers have been recovered. Some of these may float, but it is believed that they may have sunk which then may cause algal blooms.

Disaster zones have been declared at Bribie and Moreton Islands, and along the Sunshine coast.

The vessel’s owner, Swire Shipping, reported that a second leak began on Friday, when the ship began listing after docking at Hamilton for repairs. “As full soundings of the vessel’s tanks were being taken at the port to determine how much oil had leaked from the vessel, a small quantity of fuel oil escaped from the Pacific Adventurer,” it stated. The ship was brought upright, and a recovery vessel was used to suck up the oil from the water. The leak produced a 500m-long oil slick down the Brisbane River. Booms were placed around this oil spill so that a skimmer could clean up the second spill.

Swire Shipping could face clean up costs of AU$100,000 a day as well as fines up to AU$1.5million (US$977,000; £703,000) if found guilty of environmental breaches or negligence.

Sunshine Coast beaches are slowly starting to be reopened. The beach of Mooloolaba was still closed following reports of burning sensations from swimmers. 12 beaches remain closed; however, 13 have been reopened.

Over 300 state government and council workers are using buckets, rakes and spades in the clean up effort. Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbott says the majority will be gone by Sunday afternoon. The full environmental impact on wildlife is not yet known. One turtle and seven pelicans have been found covered in oil.

There are concerns that the drinking water of Moreton Island is at risk, as the island uses water from the underground water table near the oil spill site.

“Every bucketload of contaminated sand has to be removed from the island by barge, and each bucketload from a front-end loader weighs about one tonne. It’s just an impossible task,” said Mr Trevor Hassard of the Tangalooma Dolphin Education Centre.

The commercial fishing industry has suffered from the incident. Trawlers won’t resume operations until Sunday evening, and any catches will be tested for human consumption.

November 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

Band sticker causes bomb scare at Ohio University

Friday, March 3, 2006

A sticker for the Pensacola, Florida folk-punk band This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb was found on a bike near the Ohio University‘s Oasis restaurant by a university police officer.

The university police, who were unaware of the band’s existence, summoned the Columbus police bomb squad, who destroyed the bike to ensure that there was no bomb inside. The university later discovered their error.

The bike’s owner, a graduate student, has been charged with “inducing panic,” a misdemeanor. He has been released and is due to appear in court March 13 on the charge.

The band’s label, Plan-It-X Records, has not yet commented on the incident. The font and style of the sticker are common among such humorous stickers.

November 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

100s of thousands take to the streets across France

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets across France this weekend to pressure the conservative government to discard a new law, which they say will erode job security.

The marches were mostly reported as festive and peaceful. Other reports indicate that youths pelted police with objects, overturning and setting fire to a car at the end of the main protest in Paris. Police fired many rounds of tear gas. Demonstrations were also reported in Marseille, Rennes and Lille, where police charged and teargassed crowds.

Rally organisers estimate the turnout across the country at over a million people, with around 500,000 of them in Paris. However, the Interior Ministry reported 503,000 nationwide, with 80,000 in Paris.

The protesters are demanding that the Government withdraw the “First Job Contract” (CPE) – which allows employers to fire workers under the age of 26 without explanation in their first two years on the job. The aim of this new law is to encourage businesses to employ more young workers, given that their employment will be more flexible and convenient in economic terms. In the western city of Rennes, students wore plastic garbage bags with signs declaring: “I am disposable.”

The Paris march began with students in front and workers behind, but turned into a multi-generational mix including many parents who joined their teenage children. Banners declared “No to throw-away youths” and “Tired Of Being Squeezed Lemons.” The actions are only the third time in almost four decades – after 1968 and 1994 – that students and workers marched together.

“I risk working for two years for nothing, just to be fired at any moment,” said Paris student Coralie Huvet, 20. Unemployment is currently a major political issue in France. The French national average is 9.6 percent, and youth unemployment is nearly 21 per cent. The rate rises to 40-50 percent in some of the poor suburbs hit by several weeks of youth rioting last year.

Recent opinion polls show that 68 percent of French people oppose the new law, a rise of 13 percentage points in a week, and that French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin‘s popularity has dropped six points to 37 percent.

Since the beginning of March, protests, occupations and direct action against the new CPE employment law in France have been increasing, with university and school students leading the dissent.

Railways have been blockaded, airports disrupted, and up to two thirds of France’s universities have been occupied or disrupted, as well as many schools. Clashes with police have occurred throughout the country.

November 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

Ford Motors posts US$2.7 billion annual profit

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ford Motors Co., the automobile manufacturing firm, has posted an annual profit for the last year of US$2.7 billion, the first gain for four years.

The statistics are an improvement from 2008, when the car company posted a loss of close to $15 billion. For the final quarter of 2009, Ford says it made profits of $868 million, and expects to continue to be profitable this year. The company had cut its costs to $118.3 billion last year, $19.8 billion than the year previous. Ford had a $34.3 billion debt at the end of 2009.

In the fourth quarter, Ford brand sales were up thirteen percent compared to the same time in 2008 in the US, and obtained 15.3% of the automobile market in the country.

The firm’s president and chief executive, Alan Mulally, commented on the profits. “While we still face significant challenges ahead, 2009 was a pivotal year for Ford and the strongest proof yet that our One Ford plan is working and that we are forging a path toward profitable growth,” he said, adding that “global economic conditions are reviving but remain fragile.”

November 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

Reasons To Consider Professional Furnace Installation In Edmonton Ab

byAlma Abell

Furnaces are well-known for lasting decades, but if yours is outdated or costing you more in gas and electricity, it may be time to get a replacement. When that happens, you’ll want to focus on furnace installation in Edmonton AB. While doing it yourself could seem like a good idea, you’re better off hiring a professional who has the right tools and experience.

Correct Sizing

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When you hire a professional, they will help you determine the size of the home and how big of an appliance you need. They can also determine how high your roof is compared to the flooring, and how high your house sits from the ground. All of these factors can affect how the machine works when it is installed, so it makes sense that you have someone available to help with these calculations.

You should also consider the square footage of the home, how many rooms it has, how many vents are there, and more. If you don’t, you may end up paying more to keep your house warm.

Duct Seals

Most homeowners in Edmonton AB do not realize that furnace installation isn’t just about installing the appliance itself. Once installed, the heated air will circulate throughout the home with vents and ducts. If they aren’t sealed properly, you run the risk of leaking hot air when the system is on. This can cause severe problems in the area that has too hot of air, but can also cause the system to work harder than necessary to produce warm air for the home.

Save Money

While hiring a profession for furnace installation in Edmonton AB doesn’t seem like a cost-saving option, you’ll find that they will do things right the first time. You won’t void your warranty and will ensure that the appliance is ready to go and working at peak performance. Visit Capital Plumbing & Heating for more information.

November 13, 2018 in Electricity Providers

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November 12, 2018 in Uncategorized

Wikinews interviews DuckDuckGo, Opera, Mozilla, Wikimedia about DoNotTrack feature

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Following the introduction of a “Do Not Track” feature in modern browsers at the end of last year, Wikinews interviewed several companies and groups about the feature.


  • 1 DuckDuckGo
  • 2 Opera
  • 3 Mozilla
  • 4 Wikimedia
  • 5 Sources
  • 6 External links
November 12, 2018 in Uncategorized