Texan bystanders kill car passenger after child injured

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A man who was trying to protect the driver of a vehicle that had hit a child pedestrian was killed by an angry crowd the evening of Wednesday, June 20, in Austin, Texas.

The man was identified today by Austin police as David Rivas Morales, age 40. The driver had just dropped Morales off at his sister’s townhouse moments before. Then while still in the parking lot, he allegedly bumped the toddler with the vehicle. The child was not injured and was not taken to the hospital. A group of 3 or 4 men confronted the driver and Morales came back to assist him. The assailants then turned on Morales. Police indicated the driver, who had escaped the scene of the crime, was cooperating with the investigation. Morales died at the hospital from injuries that included a cracked skull and brain hemorrhaging.

The neighborhood was crowded at the time with some 2,000 to 3,000 people who were participating in the annual Juneteenth celebration, which commemorates the day the emancipation of slaves was announced in Texas. It was not immediately known whether any of the attackers had been part of the celebration.

In a news conference on Wednesday, members of League of United Latin American Citizens called on the community not to assume the killing was racially motivated solely because Juneteenth celebrants are predominately African-American and the victim was Latino. Police officers stated that early reports were incorrect in implying thousands of potential witnesses, as investigations suggested only 10 to 15 people had been in the parking lot when the incident occurred and most of these were residents of apartments nearby.

August 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

Capital Punishment mountain bike race won by Shaun Lewis

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mount Stromlo, Canberra — Earlier today, Capital Punishment, the Canberra based 50km and 100km mountain bike race, was unofficially won by Shaun Lewis in the 100km distance in about four hours. Official results are set to be announced tomorrow at cyclenation.com.au because of a minor computer glitch. In a parallel youth competition run as part of the event, Zoe Cuthbert won the girls 10 and 11 year old three lap event.

Last year’s event was marred by rain, but this year the weather was ideal with no precipitation. First time on site, paramedics Theodora Magar and Chris Runcher reported no serious injuries, only a few minor cuts and bruises with the exception of one dislocated collar bone. They were backed up by other medical personnel located on the course. Events started at 7:00 a.m. at Sparrow Hill for the 100km race and and on through Canberra’s downtown where the 50km started before going to the Black Mountain Reserve and the National Arboretum and ending at Mount Stromlo.

Capital Punishment was part of a series of seven races organized by CycleNation which between 6,000 and 8,000 total riders participated in. There were a variety of cyclists of different skill levels including former Australian national team members, casual cyclists like Michael Courtney and Tracey Kloos alongside youth cyclists like Zoe Cuthbert. 40 year old Courtney traveled from Sydney to ride, finishing the 50km race in about 4 hours, 30 minutes but not setting a personal best. He enjoys riding in Canberra and finds the pain of going up the hills worth the ride down. Kloos also participated in the 50km race as a member of the 20 strong Newcastle women’s based club, Newy Cogheads’s Team Torque Talk. In her second time in the race, she did not set a personal best.

Of the youth event, Cuthbert’s father Paul said his first place finishing daughter regularly participated in mountain biking events, with the sport being her primary one though she does play netball casually. The eleven year old was celebrating her birthday on race day.

Organizer Theo Grobler said most cyclists would be done by 3:00 p.m. Canberra Time (5:00 UTC) and that some would need the eight hours to complete the 100km course.

Another 50km and 100km race, the Convict 100, will be held in Australia in the Sydney area next weekend on Saturday with a start time of 6:00 a.m. Sydney Time (20:00 UTC).

August 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

Travel warnings issued for Sydney

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: 2005 Sydney race riots

Following the racial violence which occurred in Sydney last week Britain, Canada and Indonesia have issued travel warnings for their nationals in or wishing to travel to Sydney. The British warning cites recent “sporadic outbreaks of racially motivated violence in Cronulla, Maroubra, Brighton-le-Sands” and “areas of south-west Sydney”. British nationals are advised to “monitor the situation and exercise caution”.

August 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

Eurovision ’04 winner Ruslana discusses her paths as singer, spokesmodel, stateswoman and source of inspiration

Monday, March 30, 2009

First becoming famous in her native Ukraine in the 1990s, long-haired self-described “AmazonRuslana gained international recognition for winning the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with her song “Wild Dances,” inspired by the musical traditions of the Hutsul people of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains.

In the five years since, Ruslana has decided to use her name and public status to represent a number of worthy causes, including human trafficking, renewable energy, and even the basic concept of democratic process, becoming a public face of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and later serving in Parliament.

Currently, she is on an international publicity tour to promote her album Wild Energy, a project borne out of a science fiction novel that has come to symbolize her hopes for a newer, better, freer way of life for everyone in the world. She took time to respond to questions Wikinews’s Mike Halterman posed to her about her career in music and her other endeavors.

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with past Eurovision contestants, which will be published sporadically in the lead-up to mid-May’s next contest in Moscow.

August 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005File:Turing1.jpg

More than 50 programmers, scientists, students, hobbyists and fans of the A.L.I.C.E. chat robot gathered in Guildford, U.K. on Friday to celebrate the tenth birthday of the award winning A.I. On hand was the founder the Loebner Prize, an annual Turing Test, designed to pick out the world’s most human computer according to an experiment laid out by the famous British mathematician Alan Turing more then 50 years ago. Along with A.L.I.C.E.’s chief programmer Dr. Richard S. Wallace, two other Loebner prize winners, Robby Garner and this year’s winner, Rollo Carpenter, also gave presentations, as did other finalists.

The University of Surrey venue was chosen, according to Dr. Wallace, not only because it was outside the U.S. (A.L.I.C.E.’s birthday fell on the Thanksgiving Day weekend holiday there, so he expected few people would attend a conference in America), but also because of its recently erected statue of Alan Turing, who posed the famous A. I. experiment which inspired much of the work on bots like A.L.I.C.E. University of Surrey Digital World Research Centre organizers Lynn and David Hamill were pleased to host the event because it encourages multi-disciplinary interaction, and because of the Centre’s interest in interaction between humans and computers.File:ALICE Birthday Cake.jpg

Dr. Wallace gave a keynote address outlining the history of A.L.I.C.E. and AIML. Many people commented on the fact the he seemed to have moved around a lot in the last ten years, having lived in New York, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Maine, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, while working on the Alicebot project. The A.L.I.C.E. and AIML software is popular among chat robot enthusiats primarily because of its distribution under the GNU free software license. One of Dr. Wallace’s PowerPoint slides asked the question, “How do you make money from free software?” His answer: memberships, subscriptions, books, directories, syndicated ads, consulting, teaching, and something called the Superbot.

Rollo Carpenter gave a fascinating presentation on his learning bot Jabberwacky, reading from several sample conversations wherein the bot seemed amazingly humanlike. Unlike the free A.L.I.C.E. software, Carpenter uses a proprietary learning approach so that the bot actually mimics the personality of each individual chatter. The more people who chat with Jabberwacky, the better it becomes at this kind of mimicry.

In another interesting presentation, Dr. Hamill related present-day research on chat robots to earlier work on dialog analysis in telephone conversations. Phone calls have many similarities to the one-on-one chats that bots encounter on the web and in IM. Dr. Hamill also related our social expectations of bots to social class structure and how servants were expected to behave in Victorian England. He cited the famous Microsoft paperclip as the most egregius example of a bot that violated all the rules of a good servant’s behavior.

Bots have advanced a long way since philanthropist Hugh Loebner launched his controversial contest 15 years ago. His Turing Test contest, which offers an award of $100,000 for the first program to pass an “audio-visual” version of the game, also awards a bronze medal and $2000 every year for the “most human computer” according to a panel of judges. Huma Shah of the University of Westminster presented examples of bots used by large corporations to help sell furniture, provide the latest information about automotive products, and help customers open bank accounts. Several companies in the U.S. and Europe offer customized bot personalities for corporate web sites.

Even though Turing’s Test remains controversial, this group of enthusiastic developers seems determined to carry on the tradition and try to develop more and more human like chat bots.Hugh Loebner is dedicated to carry on his contest for the rest of his life, in spite of his critics. He hopes that a large enough constituency of winners will exist to keep the competition going well beyond his own lifetime. Dr. Wallace says, “Nobody has gotten rich from chat robots yet, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. There is such a thing as ‘bot fever’. For some people who meet a bot for the first time, it can pass the Turing Test for them, and they get very excited.”

August 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

Wikinews interviews Brian Moore, Socialist Party USA presidential candidate

Sunday, March 30, 2008

While nearly all cover 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.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, who are looking to become the 43rd person elected to serve their nation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Wikinews’ own Patrick Mannion corresponded with the Socialist Party USA nominee and candidate, Brian Moore via e-mail.

August 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

Hand Wraps Protect Your Hands

Hand Wraps – Protect Your Hands



Whether you are a professional boxer, an amateur looking to take on the world you are going to need a good high quality pair of hand wraps. They will help to protect your hands while you train.

Inside your hand there are many very small bones and a vast network of oxygen rich veins, tendons and ligaments. They are going to need some protection once you start hitting the bag during your training. The constant abuse can really damage your hands with out the proper protection. Hand wraps offer you the protection that you need and so much more.

A quality pair of hand wraps will also support your knuckles and wrist. Without the proper support you can really hurt yourself. Wraps will help train you to keep your hands in the proper positions. 9 out of 10 amateur fighting injuries are caused by punching or hitting an opponent incorrectly. Keep your hands in the proper positions and you will not only protect them but you will also avoid a trip or two to the emergency room.

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Here are a few things to look for when choosing yours.

Thumb Slots or loops – Makes self wrapping simple and easy.

Velcro closures – You must have a secure tight fit. Who wants to keep adjusting while you are working out?

They come in a variety of colors as well. You can find wraps that are black, white, blue, red, pink and even purple!

You only get one set of hands and they are your only weapons in the ring, make sure you protect them well with a pair of hand wraps.

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August 13, 2018 in Jewellery

Trailer released for Lordi horror movie

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A short trailer for the movie Dark Floors, a horror starring Finnish theatrical hard rock band Lordi, has been released.

The film, set in a hospital, follows a group of people left trapped by a broken lift as they are attacked by monsters, and focuses heavily on one particular patient, a little autistic girl.

Dark Floors, acted in English by a largely Finnish cast, cost 4.2 million (approximately US$6 million) to make. It will make its full premiere in Finland on February 8, 2008, although advance screenings will begin this year.

Lordi recently attended the Cannes Film Festival to promote the movie, where the band’s lead vocalist and frontman described it as a “traditional modern horror” and promised “horrific scenes.”

August 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

Portuguese Air Force Merlin helicopters enter service

Saturday, February 4, 2006

On Friday the 3rd, the Portuguese Air Force started to operate eight EH101 Merlin helicopters, replacing the old French made Puma helicopters; which have had more than 30 years of service, first used during the Portuguese Colonial War.

After the war, the Puma were used in missions of search and rescue,transport of patients and evacuation missions, and also assisted the USAF in recovery of NASA‘s Space Shuttles.

Twelve Merlin have been purchased; in three different models: six SAR (for use with Search & Rescue), four in CSAR (for deployment of troops to zones out of the country) and two in SIFICAP (for Fisheries Control).

The Merlin is capable of carrying more than 3 tons, its maximum speed is 309 km/h and it has a range of 1390 km. The Merlin is the helicopter used for the transportation of the president of the United States George W. Bush and other VIP’s.

Four Puma operating in the Azores and in Madeira will continue in service, for the next few months, until the last four Merlin CSAR helicopters are delivered. The air force is currently considering using these four onboard a future logistic support ship. (LPD)

A ceremony was held at the Air Base of Montijo, attending was Portuguese minister of National Defence, Luís Amado. He said during the ceremony that the old Puma might be converted for civilian protection missions, such as fire fighting.

“The Government will decide the future of the Puma helicopters on the board of appreciation that is being done with other sectors of the Government, namely the Ministry of Internal Administration, in the possibility of the Puma being adapted for other missions, for example on the scope of the civilian protection”.

The Merlin, was purchased in 2001 by the Government of António Guterres. The two first helicopters arrived in February 11 of last year, being held in February 24 an official ceremony in the Montijo Air Base, attending both the president of the Portuguese Republic, Jorge Sampaio, and the then minister of National Defense, Paulo Portas.

They have cost the Portuguese Government 446 million, (approximately US$536 million). This deal has given €60 million in counterparts, relatively in orders of production in the workshops of OGMA. It’s expected that this sum will grow to almost a total of €315 million.

August 12, 2018 in Uncategorized

NSW govt to rebuild high school with private funding

Monday, May 22, 2006

New South Wales minister for Education and Training, Carmel Tebbutt told parliament that Kelso High School, which was destroyed by fire on August 18, 2005 will be rebuilt under the NSW government’s New Schools Public Private Partnerships (PPP) program. Under the program, the bulk of construction costs come from private companies who own the schools for 30 years, after which time they revert to government ownership.

The PPP program began in October 2001. According to the government, 19 schools will be delivered under the PPP program by 2009.

The announcement follows Member for Bathurst, Gerard Martin’s statement to parliament on September 14, 2005 that the government would be rebuilding the school at a cost of $18 to $25 million. “The Government has accepted the responsibility of the $18 million to $25 million to rebuild the school, which is proceeding post haste” he said.

The PPP announcement has been seen as a backflip by the government.

When approached by Wikinews, Brad Hazzard, the opposition’s education spokesperson said that the coalition did not have a formal policy in this area but generally were supportive of the PPP program so long as infrastructure and maintenance are addressed.

Australian Greens education spokesperson, John Kaye, said that problems were already emerging with the PPP program in NSW. In March 2006, it was revealed that the government had to negotiate an exit strategy so that after school hours child care could be provided. In a media release provided to Wikinews, Dr Kaye said, “Yet another flaw in a NSW Public Private Partnership (PPP) has been uncovered. Just like the Cross City Tunnel, the community suffered because the contract failed to protect the quality of service delivery,”

“After numerous complaints from parents, the Iemma government had to negotiate an exit strategy from the contract to provide out-of-school-hours childcare. Corporate giant ABC Learning which had purchased the original provider, Peppercorn, was clearly not interested in the expensive end of childcare”.

Dr Kaye also pointed out that an Auditor general’s report found alarming evidence that the basis for PPP in NSW could be based on unreliable financial models. Dr Kaye said that the Auditor General has “cast a very large shadow” over the government’s claimed savings from the PPP program.

“It appears that the NSW government does not know with any degree of certainty how much it would cost to perform the same function in the public sector. Any attempt to say that private sector control is cheaper is now fraught with danger,”

“The Auditor General’s report proves that the methodology used by the Government to estimate the costs of public sector provision is highly unreliable and suspect” said Dr Kaye.

Both Carmel Tebbutt and Gerard Martin gave no response when contacted by Wikinews.

August 12, 2018 in Uncategorized