Wednesday, February 6, 2008

David S. Touretzky, prominent free speech activist and critic of Scientology, discussed his opinions on the recent Internet backlash against the Church of Scientology in an interview with former Scientologist and Wikinews reporter Nicholas Turnbull. The recent conflict on the Internet between critics of Scientology and the Church has been spurred on in declarations by a nebulous Internet entity using the name Anonymous that the Church of Scientology “will be destroyed”. Anonymous has directed recent protests at Scientology centres across the world, which have attracted significant numbers of individuals supporting the cause. In recent e-mail correspondence with Wikinews, a representative of the Church of Scientology declared that the Church considers the activities of Anonymous to be illegal, and that Anonymous “will be handled and stopped”.

Touretzky, a research professor in artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University, has been a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology since mid-1995, and has been protesting against Scientology vociferously since then; he has also run websites that publish material that Scientology wishes to keep suppressed from the public eye, such as extracts from Scientology’s formerly-confidential Operating Thetan (OT) materials. Touretzky views the actions of the Church of Scientology as being “a threat to free speech”, and has endured harassment by the Church of Scientology for his activities.

The Church of Scientology continues to suffer damage to its public reputation through increased exposure on the Internet and vocal protests by Scientology critics such as Prof. Touretzky. A recent event that focused intense attention on Scientology’s totalitarian attitude was the leak of an internal Church of Scientology propaganda video to the Internet video sharing site YouTube, in which celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise spoke heavily in Scientology’s jargon and stated that that “we [Scientology] are the authorities” on resolving the difficulties of humanity. The declaration of war by Anonymous followed shortly after this leak, in the form of a video posted to the Internet.

The ongoing dispute, cast by some as Scientology versus the Internet, brought Scientology terms such as “SP” (Suppressive Person, an enemy of Scientology) and “KSW” (Keeping Scientology Working) into general usage by non-Scientologists from the late 1990s onwards; increased attention has been drawn to Scientology by the release of the Cruise video in addition to media coverage. This focus has caused an even greater propagation of these terms across the outside world, as Touretzky comments in the interview.

Wikinews asked Prof. Touretzky about the impact that the activities of Anonymous will have on Scientology, the public relations effect of the Tom Cruise video, the recent departure of individuals from the Church of Scientology’s executive management, the strategies that Anonymous will employ and Touretzky’s experiences of picketing the Church.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This year’s Leisure Taiwan trade show (a.k.a Taiwan Sport Recreation and Leisure Show) started yesterday, with 131 companies participating including sports media companies such as ESPN and VideoLand Television, businesses selling sports equipment and fitness clubs.

There were also a variety of sports being played in the arena built for the trade show. The events included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, free style shooting, and bicycle test-riding. In addition, conferences discussed issues related to sports and physical education.

A major topic in the trade show was energy-efficiency and, as a result, bicycles and similar sports equipment were being heavily promoted.

Next Tuesday, companies from the electronics industry plan to promote their industry at “2008 Digital E-Park.” In previous years, organizations from the electronics industry have showcased their products at Leisure Taiwan instead of at the Digital E-Park, so this move has reduced the number of markets covered by Leisure Taiwan.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

An infectious superbug spreading in the United States is to “emerge in force” in Canada, doctors fear. The bacteria have been reported popping up in day care centers and locker rooms across the U.S. Usually elderly or very ill hospital patients get the disease.

More than 2 million U.S. residents are infected every year, the Centers for Disease Control estimates.

An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) on Tuesday said that Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are “spreading with alarming rapidity.” The bacteria can cause boils, pimples, or in extreme cases, flesh-eating disease, and more.

“The resistant bacteria is an old foe with new fangs: a pathogen combining virulence, resistance and an ability to disseminate at large,” wrote Dr. John Conly, medical professor and an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary.

British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario are the provinces which already have had MRSA in hospitals.

A 30-year-old Calgary, Alberta man died last year of lung abscesses associated with the infection, as well as a three-month old toddler in Toronto, Ontario.

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios, last summer, suffered from an infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus in his leg. Pitcher Ty Taubenheim had a similar infection on his foot.

Doctors are currently investigating some Calgary residents, who could be one of the first Canadian reports of MRSA outside of a hospital setting.

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley East (Ward 33). One candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Zane Caplan, Shelley Carroll (incumbent), Jim Conlon, Sarah Tsang-Fahey, and Anderson Tung.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tuesday, World Bank released the 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development. In discussing Iceland, it suggests mandatory paid parental leave for mother and father have played an important role in changing norms in the country. Parents have a government mandated nine months leave, three for the mother, three for the father and three to to distribute between the two. Leave is paid at 80% of their wages. The report describes the changes in gender relations in Iceland as “promising” in terms of impact at work and at home.

Iceland’s boys and girls mean scores for the Programme for International Student Assessment mathematics test were nearly identical with boys just edging out girls with both scores around 510. Girls outperformed boys on the literacy test with a mean score of approximately 525 to 480. Iceland’s girls mathematics performance was similar to that of girls from Estonia, Germany and Belgium. Their performance on literacy was similar to Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Estonia and Belgium.File:MargretSverrisdottir.jpg

Mortality rates in Iceland for 1,000 people aged 15–60 sits at 56, significantly better than the United States at 107, China at 113, India at 213, Iraq at 285, Afghanistan at 479, Malawi at 481 and Zimbabwe at 772. One of the reasons the report cites for Iceland’s relatively low mortality rate is it not located in a conflict country or in an HIV/AIDS affected country.

Iceland was one of 23 countries that currently have over 30% of its Parliamentarians who are female. Other countries with over 30% representation include Rwanda, Argentina, Cuba, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. In the mid-1990s, there were only 5 countries. The report cites the 1983 creation of the Women’s Alliance, an all women’s political party, as bringing additional attention to women’s issues and deliberately attempting to increase the representation of women in Icelandic politics.

Despite some of the good news highlighted in the report about Icelandic women, there exists a systematic gender difference in earning potential. Icelandic women in both the private and public sector earn approximately 22% less than their male counterparts. Icelandic men have slightly more access to the Internet than Icelandic women by about 2%. Despite this slight disadvantage for Icelandic women, it is much better than some countries where the percentage differences are much greater. These countries include Austria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Turkey, and Macedonia.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The following is the third edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: two individuals previously interviewed by Wikinews announce their candidacies for the Reform Party presidential nomination; a former Republican Congressman comments on the Republican National Convention; and Wikinews interviews an historic Democratic National Convention speaker.


  • 1 Summary
    • 1.1 RNC
    • 1.2 DNC
  • 2 Reform Party race features two Wikinews interviewees
  • 3 Former Congressman responds to Cruz RNC speech
  • 4 Wikinews interviews history-making DNC speaker
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources

Submitted by: John Schofield

Roll up window blinds have slats that are effective at stopping light from penetrating a room. There are slats that are made of metal, wood, plastic and fabric. Roll up window binds that are made of metal are ideal for outdoors use because they are durable and weather resistant. They have a cord or string, which can be used to change the degree that the slats are opened. You can adjust the slats based on the amount of light that you need. The slats can be positioned vertically or horizontally. Horizontal blinds are also called as venetian blinds. Vertical blinds are less popular than horizontal roll up blinds, but they can be cleaned easily and can even be used in doors.


Before you go around shopping for roll up blinds, you have to get acquainted with the different types of these blinds. You can make a better buying decision if you are aware about what each type of blinds can do for you. At least you will save yourself from regret in making a wrong decision. Here are the different types of roll up window blinds that you can choose from:

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Plastic blinds. The slats are made of plastic. Each slat is closely tied to one another to avoid having gaps formed between them. These are ideal for use in washrooms and bathrooms because they can resist moisture and water. They are also used in kitchens with their humid environment. When it comes to cleaning them, plain water can be used.

Vinyl blinds. These are made of flexible and shiny plastic materials. They are beneficial due to being low maintenance. They are ideal for use in different rooms in the house. Moreover, they are more durable than other blinds.

Wooden or bamboo blinds. These have slats made of bamboo or real wood. These are available in natural wood colours, but modern technology is useful in making these blinds available with more designs and colours.


Window blinds can be used just like window curtains. The roll up blinds can be used to adjust the amount of light that enters your home. These are useful for use in the winter and summer. During summer, the sunlight can be blocked to keep the room cool and keep the room warm during winter. These blinds are essential for use in keeping your privacy. They also have a decorative appeal due to the designs and colours that they have.


Cleaning window blinds found in the outdoors is easy. Just hose them down with plain water. However, indoor blinds are more complicated and time consuming. You need to close the blinds to have the slats separated from each other. Remove the dust from the slats with a duster. Wipe each slat with a wipe rag cloth. If you still find the blinds unclean, you can remove them from the window and clean them well with mild detergent solution. If there are heavy stains, detergents are useful. However, you need to dry them well before hanging them on your windows again.

About the Author:

Venetian blindswindow blinds


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Friday, August 28, 2009

A sheep has been sold for £231,000 (US$377,223) at an auction in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Farmer Jimmy Douglas bought the sheep for 220,000 guineas — the equivalent of roughly £231,000. The name of the sheep is ‘Deveronvale Perfection’ and it was bred in Banffshire by Graham Morrison, who eventually sold it. The sheep has a Texel ribbon attached to it and is a tup. In farming terms, a tup is an uncastrated male.

Graham Morrison stated that “He’s [the sheep] the best lamb I’ve ever bred and the price surpassed my wildest dreams.” Morrison mentioned that the sheep lives up to its name and that it was “perfection” when he was breeding it.

This is reported to be a new world record for the most amount of money paid for a sheep. It beats the previous record of the equivalent of £205,000 ($334,765) set in Australia in 1989. Eventually, its semen could be sold as well.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Alberta premier Ralph Klein was at the annual Calgary Homeless Foundation roast Tuesday evening when he poked fun at Liberal MP Belinda Stronach crossing the floor from the Conservatives to the Liberals. “I wasn’t surprised that she crossed over to the Liberals. I don’t think she ever did have a Conservative bone in her body. Well, maybe one.” [Referring to Conservative MP Peter MacKay, her ex boyfriend]. “Well, speaking of Peter MacKay…,” he continued.

Klein refused to apologize for the remark saying: “I’m making no apologies….I read the copy and I approved. I thought it was a funny line….So did Bruce [his bodyguard],” he added.

“A roast is a roast is a roast. It’s not a toast,” Klein told reporters.

The audience laughed at the joke, but after some people said they felt uncomfortable with it.

“Ms. Stronach roasted the premier two years ago and made remarks about his weight, his clothing and even his flatulence,” Marisa Etmanski, Klein’s press secretary, told the Canadian Press. “In a roast situation, these remarks were hysterical, and that’s the same kind of thing that happened this year.”

Stronach, a feminist, was offended by the joke and said that “we want to attract many more women to participate in politics” and “improve the civility that occurs in public life.”

Stronach was in Montreal on Thursday for an international conference on global poverty and defended herself from the comment. “Ralph should put his money where his mouth is and buy a whole bunch of bednets to save kids from malaria in Africa.”

The joke was taken from Mr. MacKay’s alleged comment calling Stronach a “dog” last month in the House of Commons.

“I don’t know of any person who is more respectful of women, who is less inclined to tell off-colour stories or use improper language,” said Shirley McClellan, Klein’s deputy premier. “I’ve worked with this gentleman for 17 years, and have never been treated with anything more than the utmost respect. And I am so disappointed in our media.”

The video (see external links section) has made its way around the popular internet video site YouTube. It has been viewed more than 19,500 times and more than 100 comments had been posted about the video.

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