Thursday, July 1, 2010

A court in England, UK has jailed a policeman for ten months after he was convicted of defrauding his car insurance company.

Police Constable Simon Hood, 43, arranged for a friend who dealt in scrap metal to dispose of his Audi TT, then claimed it had been stolen.

Hood had been disappointed with the car’s value when he tried to sell it two years after its purchase in 2008. He arranged for friend Peter Marsh, 41, to drive the vehicle to his scrapyard in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Marsh then dismantled the vehicle with the intent of disposing of it, but parts were later found wrapped in bubblewrap at Ace Tyre and Exhaust Centre.

Marsh picked up the TT from outside nearby Gorleston police station. Records show mobile phone conversations between the conspirators that day in March, both before and after the vehicle was reported stolen. The pair denied wrongdoing but were convicted of conspiring to commit insurance fraud after trial.

The fraud was uncovered after Hood told former girlfriend Suzanne Coates of the scheme. It was alleged before Norwich Crown Court that he had confessed to her in an effort to resume their relationship. Coates said that after the pseudotheft, Hood told her “he didn’t want to look for it. He said it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, which I thought was a bit strange.”

You knew throughout your career that policemen that get involved in serious dishonesty get sent to prison

Shortly afterwards Hood suggested they should become a couple once more, she said; she challenged his version of events regarding the car: “He said he did it but I couldn’t tell anyone. He said he did it with Peter. Peter had a key and took the car away and it was going to be taken to bits and got rid of so it was never found.”

Hood was defended by Michael Clare and Marsh by Richard Potts. Both lawyers told the court that their clients had already suffered as a result of the action in mitigation before sentencing. Clare said Hood had resigned from the police after fifteen years of otherwise good service and risked losing his pension. “It is not a case where his position as a police officer was used in order to facilitate the fraud,” he pointed out. “His career is in ruins.” Hood is now pursuing a career in plumbing.

Potts defended Marsh by saying that he, too, had already suffered from his actions. His own insurers are refusing to renew their contract with him when it expires and his bank withdrew its overdraft facility. His business employs 21 people and Potts cited Marsh’s sponsorship of Great Yarmouth In Bloom as amongst evidence he supported his local community.

Judge Alasdair Darroch told Marsh that he did accept the man was attempting to help his friend. He sentenced Marsh to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 250 hours of community service. He was more critical of Hood:

“As a police officer you know the highest possible standards are demanded by the public. You have let down the force. You knew throughout your career that policemen that get involved in serious dishonesty get sent to prison.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has announced plans to rebuild the interchange of Interstate 75 (I-75) and U.S. Highway 224 (US 224) in northwestern Findlay, Ohio, signed as exit 159 on I-75. Plans for the interchange, a standard diamond interchange that also carries State Highway 15 on the west and south approaches, include reversing the flow of traffic on the bridge over I-75, in what is known as a “diverging diamond interchange“.

Such an interchange does not exist in the United States; ODOT based the plan on an interchange in Versailles, France of the same design, introduced to them by a report in a trade magazine. Instead of the standard approach, widening the four-lane bridge to add turn lanes, traffic flow will be reversed between the two sets of ramps, with traffic signals controlling the flow. The only conflicts will be between the two directions of US 224; all turns to and from the ramps will be free-flowing. Traffic will be guided by barriers and islands, preventing errors in movement. As it eliminates left turns across traffic, the accident rate at the interchange is expected to be cut in half. The plan will also be cheaper than a rebuild of the bridge, and will be able to carry more traffic.

Left-hand driving is very rare in the United States, but a few freeway-to-freeway interchanges incorporate it. In those cases, rather than being traffic-light controlled, the crossings between opposite directions are separated by bridges. Another related case is the Single Point Urban Interchange, in which opposing streams of left-turning traffic pass each other on the left.

The bridge, built in 1956, currently carries about 20,000 vehicles per day. The land west of the interchange, across from downtown Findlay, is being rapidly developed, and plans for the area include a Wal-Mart.

Mayor Tony Iriti of Findlay thinks “it’s a great idea. It’s amazing to me that this has never been done before. We’ll be written up in all those magazines nobody wants to read.” Hancock County officials are similarly enthusiastic.

The decision on whether to build the interchange will not be made until late summer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

In the United States, there are two major political parties; the Republican and the Democratic. However, there are several other minor – commonly referred to as “third” – parties. One of these is the Modern Whig Party, which has been steadily increasing in popularity over recent months.

Last week, Wikinews reporter Joseph Ford was able to speak with MWP Chairman Mike Lebowitz about how his party was formed, what it stands for, and why you should consider joining. The interview can be read below.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Just before midnight Wednesday, four-year-old Taylor Bailey, nicknamed Bucky, was attacked by a neighbor’s dog. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix named Money chased the boy after he stepped out of his mother’s car, eventually knocking the boy to the ground and latching onto his leg.

The same dog had bitten the boy’s father the week before, according to the family, although this has not been confirmed by police. He recognized the dog and alerted his mother to the dogs presence just moments before the attack. She urged her son to come to her, but the one-year-old, 85-pound (~39 kg) male broke free from his restraints and attacked the screaming boy.

The struggle lasted several minutes before the boy’s mother, Melinda Walters, was able to fight off the dog, leaving her knees scraped and thigh scratched. The boy’s legs were punctured, scratched and bruised with bits of flesh missing. “It didn’t go away. It was just trying to grab me … trying to kill me,” the boy said. Walters was carrying her three-year-old son Jason on her hip during much of the fight.

The dog’s owner, Marquita Mooney, 23, was ticketed along with a relative who was watching the dog. She said that rather than register the dog as a potentially dangerous animal—which involves an insurance bond, fees, kennel requirements and more—she would have the dog put down. Police reports indicate that the dog bit two other dogs about two weeks ago. Mooney has been ticketed for both incidents.

This is the second such incident in Minneapolis this month—seven-year-old Zach King Jr. was attacked and killed in his home last week by his family’s pit bull—fueling the debate over banning pit bulls and other “dangerous breeds” in some communities. Since 1966, there have been four other deaths from dog attacks in Minnesota, all but one of which were of children seven-years-old or younger.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Many thousands of anime and manga fans descended on the Toronto Congress Centre for Anime North, a fan-run convention launched in 1997. Spread between four venues over three days, May 24 to 26, the event featured J-pop maid idols, voice actors, writers, and more. Wikinews attended.

Despite the ample indoor spaces, the parking lot of the Centre is also a hub of activity, with cosplayers posing for photos. Attendees were sent running for cover on Saturday, as heavy rains and a severe thunderstorm warning put a damper on festivities.

The event is organized by a massive team of volunteers, and known for its specialized programming for fans, by fans. On the night of May 25, for example, attendees could catch “Pokemon Biology”, “Kimono Obi Tying”, and “Underappreciated Sports Anime/Manga.”

US voice actor Alexis Tipton marveled at the growth of the anime industry in the last decade. “Back when I was going as a fan, there wasn’t as much anime, so it was easier to know about everything,” Tipton observed during a question and answer session. “I’m so overwhelmed by how much there is.”

Tipton held a panel on her career, dubbing anime for US distribution company Funimation Entertainment. While many anime voice actors weren’t fans going into the industry, Tipton recalled going to anime conventions with her friends during middle school and high school. Once she was an invited guest, Tipton recalls realizing “oh, I’m not here to just have fun, I’m here to work; I have a set schedule and I can’t just, like, you know, go do what I want.”

Early in her career, Tipton was cast as a voice for My Bride is a Mermaid, a role that required singing. Then just 19 years old, she looked at the role as a “chance to face my demons,” having questioned her abilities for years. “I was in an extremely competitive [singing musical theatre] program in high school. I had started working at Funimation when I was 19, so I was just barely in college. And so those scars were still like, really fresh. I had a lot of competition and people would find what your perceived weakness was, or what your actual weakness was in the program, and they would take advantage of it. And so I had people trying to make me feel like I couldn’t sing my way out of a paper bag, and then I would get so nervous when I would sing that I couldn’t support my notes, and so it would just prove them right.”

Tipton was devastated when she got a sinus infection, the week of the audition. “This director doesn’t know me, I haven’t worked with him, he’s going to think that this is what I sound like,” she recalls thinking. “I don’t know if I had a shot to begin with, but now I really don’t have a shot.” She was thrilled when she was cast.

Another voice actor, Lauren Landa, would list Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus as dream roles, when asked at conventions. She was given a chance to audition for the characters years later, when Vizmedia dubbed the first two seasons of Sailor Moon. When she was cast, “I swear to you, I was speechless,” she told an audience at her Q&A session.

Cosplay model and professional singer Jillea attended the Saturday of the convention dressed as Pokemon species Charizard. Wikinews spoke with her by email, after the event:

((WN)) What got you into cosplay modelling?

Jillea: My love for cosplay started with the community, what started as a fun hobby I would do periodically quickly became a huge part of my life, and the reason for that being how amazing the cosplay community embraced me and my work. I’ve always been a creative person, so getting to make my costumes and have people say ‘oh my gosh, I love that character!!’ got me hooked right away. They’re just my people, what can I say, they really make me feel welcomed and I love them for it.

((WN)) How did you choose Charizard?

J: I’m a 90’s baby so you could say I’m a bit of a Pokémon OG! I had a Game Boy as a kid and my very first purchase was Pokémon Red, solely based on how cool Charizard looked on the cover. Charizard has always been my favourite Pokémon and I can’t resist a challenging cosplay… and the nostalgia!

((WN)) What was your favourite part of Anime North?

J: This was my very first time attending Anime North and I was blown away! The booths were incredible and unique, every time I turned around I was seeing something different I’ve never seen at a convention before. Everything was easy to access and I even made use of the Cosplay Recharge station that literally saved the day with their hot glue! Extremely friendly environment it will not be my last time back for sure.

Wikinews?’ Nick Moreau photographed the event.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

Wikinews Shorts: April 14, 2012

August 4, 2019 1:31 am | No Comments

A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, April 14, 2012.

Contents

  • 1 Yemen al-Qaeda attack leaves twelve dead
  • 2 Iran nuclear negotiations continue
  • 3 US Secret Service agents relieved in light of alleged misconduct
  • 4 Severe ‘life-threatening’ weather forecast for Midwestern US
  • 5 Antarctic emperor penguin population approximated from space

Twelve people were killed in an al-Qaeda militant attack on a security checkpoint yesterday in Aden, Yemen, according to the country’s Defense Ministry. Four Yemeni security force members and eight al-Qaeda militants are among the dead. Four additional people were wounded, including two al-Qaeda fighters and two members of the security force.

Al-Qaeda has been present in Yemen for several years, but gained traction last year when movements across the country called for the ouster of leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. Officials, who were unauthorized to speak to the press, spoke of the attack on the condition of anonymity.

Sources


Nuclear negotiations between Iran and six other nations continued yesterday and have made progress, according to diplomats. The meeting is the first time Iran has met with world powers in over a year. When the meeting broke for lunch, a diplomat warned of premature optimism, however. The diplomat also mentioned the possibility of reaching common ground in the future.

Iran continues to insist that the development of a nuclear program is intended solely for peaceful purposes, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened a preemptive strike, saying that his country would be threatened by Iran achieving nuclear capability. Although U.S. President Barack Obama has not eliminated the possibility of using military force against Iran, he has expressed desire for a diplomatic solution instead.

Sources


Approximately twelve members of the United States Secret Service, including agents, were relieved from their duties after allegations of misconduct, reportedly involving prostitution. The agents were serving in Colombia preceding a visit by President Barack Obama. Despite the incident, however, the agency claims that security for the President was never compromised.

All questions directed to the White House pertaining to the matter have been redirected to the Secret Service. President Obama is visiting Colombia to participate in the Summit of the Americas, where he plans to discuss issues including trade policy.

Sources


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center issued a high risk warning on Friday for parts of several U.S. states, with Oklahoma and Kansas expected to be the most impacted by severe weather. Accuweather meteorologist Paul Walker told ABC News that the weekend “should be particularly dangerous” and that the issuance of a warning two days prior to severe weather is unusual.

Officials in Kansas and Oklahoma are urging residents to watch the situation and make emergency plans with their families.

Sources


Scientists from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia used satellite imagery to approximate the Antarctic population of emperor penguins at approximately 600,000, nearly double that of previous estimates. The scientists used high resolution imagery to ensure the ability to distinguish between shadows, excrement and the penguins themselves. They also found approximately 238,000 breeding pairs of penguins in Antarctica. Two-decade-old studies estimated this number to be between 135,000 and 175,000.

Although the population estimate is higher than before, their numbers may decline in the coming years if current climate trends continue, according to researchers. Researcher Phil Trathan said “Current research suggests that emperor penguin colonies will be seriously affected by climate change.” The species, which only occupies Antarctica, is currently listed as “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Sources


Sunday, December 24, 2006

A unanimously passed United Nations Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran has been dismissed by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a “piece of paper.” Ahmadinejad said that it is in “the best interest of the West” to have a “nuclear Iran” and that Iran will not stop enriching uranium.

“It is a piece of torn paper … by which they aim to scare Iranians … It is in the Westerners’ interests to live with a nuclear Iran,” said Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad also goes on to say that anyone who “backs” the U.N. resolution will “soon regret” their acts. He also added that in “February, Iranians will celebrate” the nation becoming a nuclear power.

“This resolution will not harm Iran and those who backed it will soon regret their superficial act. Iranians are neither worried nor uncomfortable with the resolution … we will celebrate our atomic achievements in February,” added Ahmadinejad.

On December 23, 2006, the U.N. stated that the resolution is “determined to give effect to its unmet 31 July demand that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. The Security Council today imposed sanctions on that country [Iran], blocking the import or export of sensitive nuclear material and equipment and freezing the financial assets of persons or entities supporting its proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear-weapon delivery systems,” reported the press release on the U.N.’s website.

The U.N. also said that Iran must suspend all uranium enrichment and that the sanction would be lifted if the country complies with the U.N..

“Unanimously adopting resolution 1737 (2006) under Article 41 of the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council decided that Iran should, without further delay, suspend the following proliferation sensitive nuclear activities: all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development; and work on all heavy-water related projects, including the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water. The halt to those activities would be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”

The U.N. also stated that “specifically, all States [countries] should prevent the supply, sale or transfer, for the use by or benefit of Iran, of related equipment and technology, if the State determined that such items would contribute to enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy-water related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems. The Council decided it would terminate the measures if Iran fully complied with its obligations, or adopt additional ones and possible further decisions if the country did not.”

Iran also said that beginning on “Sunday morning, we [Iran] will begin activities at Natanz” which has “3,000 centrifuges” which they “will drive them with full speed” in response to the U.N.’s resolution.

“From Sunday morning, we will begin activities at Natanz, the site of 3,000-centrifuge machines, and we will drive it with full speed. It will be our immediate response to the resolution,” said Ali Larijani, the top nuclear negotiator for Iran.

The U.N. will review the resolution and Iran’s activities in 60 days.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling announced to a shocked House of Commons today that two password-protected — but not encrypted — computer disks containing the entire Child Benefit database have been lost in transit between the offices of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in Washington, Tyne & Wear and the National Audit Office (NAO) in London, in what has been described as “one of the world’s biggest ID protection failures”.

The database contains details of all families in the UK who receive Child Benefit — all families with children up to 16 years of age, plus those with children up to 20 years old if they are in full-time education or training — estimated to contain 25 million individuals in 7.25 million families. Among other items of information, the database contains names, addresses, dates of birth, child benefit and National Insurance numbers, and where appropriate, bank or building society account details.

The discs were created by a junior official at the HMRC in response to a request for information by the NAO, and were sent unregistered and unrecorded on 18 October using the courier company TNT — which operates the HMRC’s internal mail system. When it was found that the discs had not arrived for audit at the NAO, a further copy of this data was made and sent — this time by registered mail — and this package did arrive. HMRC were not informed that the original discs had been lost until 8 November, and Darling himself was informed on 10 November.

The violation of data protection laws involved in the creation of the discs has led to strong attacks on the government’s competence to establish the proposed National Identity Register, when all UK residents will have an identity card. Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne described the loss of data as “catastrophic” and said “They [the government] simply cannot be trusted with people’s personal information”.

The Chairman of HMRC, Paul Gray, has resigned over the affair, and critics are calling for Darling to do likewise.

This is the third data embarrassment for HMRC in recent weeks — earlier this month it was reported that the details of over 15,000 Standard Life customers had been put on disk, and then lost en route from HMRC in Newcastle to Standard Life in Edinburgh — and last month a laptop containing the data of 400 people with high-value ISAs was stolen from the boot of a car belonging to a HMRC official who had been carrying out a routine audit.

Monday, August 27, 2012

London, England — As Paralympians ready for the Games which are set to open later this week, they have access to a world class fitness center inside the Paralympic Village which is designed to maximise their pre-Game preparations.

According to volunteers staffing the center, instead of being a single large room, as in Beijing, the building has numerous rooms. It, along with the adjacent Village Services Centre, is designed to be converted into a school after the games conclude. Rooms have been structured as a gym, an auditorium, and science laboratories.

Gym equipment is supplied by Technogym, an Italian firm that has supplied gym equipment for the Olympics since 2000. Equipment has been provided not just for for the Fitness Centre, but for gyms at all the Olympic venues. The newest equipment is oriented toward maximum flexibility, allowing athletes to exercise the particular muscles that they most require for their sport.

In addition to the equipment, the Fitness Centre also provides instructors trained in the use of the equipment, the likes of which athletes from many countries have never seen before. There are also a number of instructors available to provide motivational training.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

About

about imageBlockquotes anyone? Lorem ipsum in blockquotes anyone? Lorem ipsum blockquotes anyone? Now we are talking!