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Thursday, April 9, 2009
Protests which began Monday escalated to a riot on Wednesday consisting of over 10,000 people in Chi?in?u, the capital of Moldova, protesting the results of Sunday’s 2009 Moldovan parliamentary election, which showed an apparent, narrow victory for the Communist Party (Partidul Comuni?tilor din Republica Moldova, PCRM). Demonstrators claim the victory was the result of electoral fraud.
The demonstration escalated to a “flash mob” of between 10,000 to 15,000 communicating via online tools like email, micro-blogging tool Twitter, and social-networking website Facebook. “We sent messages on Twitter but didn’t expect 15,000 people to join in. At the most we expected 1,000”, said Oleg Brega of the activist group Hyde Park.
Police deployed tear gas and water cannons, and fired blanks into the crowd. The rioters threw stones at the riot police and took control of the parliament building and presidential office. A bonfire was built out of parliamentary furniture and all windows below the 7th floor were broken.
Approximately one hundred protesters and 170 police officers are reported as injured. There have been conflicting reports as to whether a female protester died during the altercation.
193 protesters “have been charged with looting, hooliganism, robbery and assault,” said an Interior Ministry spokesperson. This announcement sparked another protest by those demanding the release for those detained.
There is wide speculation about who was to blame for the rioting.
President Vladimir Voronin has expelled the Romanian ambassador from Moldova, blaming Romania for the violent protests. “We know that certain political forces in Romania are behind this unrest. The Romanian flags fixed on the government buildings in Chisinau attest to this” said Voronin. “Romania is involved in everything that has happened.“ Voronin also blamed the protests on opposition leaders who used violence to seize power, and has described the event as a coup d’état.
Protesters initially insisted on a recount of the election results and are now calling for a new vote, which has been rejected by the government. Rioters were also demanding unification between Moldova and Romania. “In the air, there was a strong expectation of change, but that did not happen”, said OSCE spokesman Matti Sidoroff.File:Dorin Chirtoaca.jpg
“The elections were fraudulent, there was multiple voting” accused Chi?in?u mayor Dorin Chirtoac? of the Liberal Party. “It’s impossible that every second person in Moldova voted for the Communists. However, we believe the riots were a provocation and we are now trying to reconcile the crowd. Leaders of all opposition parties are at the scene,” said Larissa Manole of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) proclaimed the PCRM to have won 61 seats in initial counts, enough to guarantee a third term in power for Voronin, who has held the position since 2001. But the Central Election Commission has received evidence of election violations, according to RIA Novosti, and upon recounts conducted of disputed polls, the commission reported that the Communists achieved 49.48% of the Moldovian vote, giving them 60 parliamentary seats — one short of the total needed to win the presidential election. “The electoral commission also granted opposition parties permission to check voter lists, fulfilling one of their chief demands,” said Yuri Ciocan, Central Election Commission secretary.
Voronin will step down in May, however his party could elect a successor with 61 parliamentary seats without any votes from outside parties as well as amend the Constitution. With the PCRM garnering 60 seats, the opposition will have a voice in the presidential election for a new successor.
The western part of Moldova was a part of Romania from the Romania’s independence until the region was detached by the USSR in 1940 to form the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. On independence in 1990 the country sought union with Romania but the eastern, Russian- and Ukrainian-inhabited areas of the country declared themselves independent from Moldova and formed the state of Transnistria and movement toward union was halted.
Moldova is Europe’s poorest country, where average income is less than $250 (£168) a month. The country’s neighbours are Romania and Ukraine. Romania is a European Union (EU) state.
Thursday, November 2, 2006
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced today the release of the first version of gNewSense, a new GNU/Linux distribution based on both Ubuntu and Debian. The goal of the newly created distribution is to offer an operating system which is 100% proprietary software free.
Generally, GNU/Linux distributions comes with proprietary software such as kernel drivers (eg. NVIDIA and ATI card drivers), the Opera web browser or the VoIP Skype software among others. According to its developers: “From a philosophical perspective we wanted to create a GNU/Linux distribution where the user has access to all the sources for all software on the system. This includes everything from the heart of the kernel through to the everyday desktop applications.”
Ted Teah, FSF’s free software directory maintainer explained, “With all the kernel firmware and restricted repositories removed, and the reliance on Ubuntu’s proprietary distribution management tool gone, this distribution is the most advanced GNU/Linux distribution that has a commitment to be 100% free.”
gNewSense will provide users with full security updates and is available for immediate download in LiveCD ISO format along with a version of the Ubiquity graphical installer. The developers have also created a set of tools called Builder that allows users to create their own gNewSense-based distributions.
In the new 1.0 version, gNewSense has removed all non-free firmware from the kernel, removed access to the Ubuntu Restricted component (such as links to LaunchPad which are redirected to the gNewSense webpage for now) and replaced the Ubuntu logos with its own. Also the UniVerse component is enabled by default and Emacs, BSD games, NetHack, and build-essential part of the default install.
There already exists such a distribution called Ututo which aims for zero proprietary software but it never really took off in popularity. A few years ago, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu distribution, also initiated a similar initiative dubbed Gnubuntu but it never materialized.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Ren and Stimpy. Bugs Bunny. Philip J. Fry and Professor Hubert Farnsworth on Futurama. Sparx. Bi-Polar Bear. Popeye the Sailor Man. Woody Woodpecker. You may not think you have ever heard Billy West, but chances are on a television program, a movie, a commercial, or as Howard Stern’s voice guru in the 1990’s, you have heard him. West’s talent for creating personalities by twisting his voice has made him one of a handful of voice actors—Hank Azaria and the late Mel Blanc come to mind—who have achieved celebrity for their talent. Indeed, West is one of the few voice actors who can impersonate Blanc in his prime, including characterizations of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and other characters from Warner Bros. cartoons.
What is the fulcrum in Mr. West’s life that led him to realize a talent to shape personalities with his voice, and how did the discovery of that gift shape him? Wikinews reporter David Shankbone found that like many great comedians, West faced more sour early in life than he did sweet. The sour came from a physically and emotionally abusive alcoholic father (“I could tell you the kind of night I was going to have from the sound of the key in the door or the way the car pulled up.”), to his own problems with drug and alcohol use (“There is a point that you can reach in your life where you don’t want to live, but you haven’t made the decision to die.”).
|I’m telling you stuff that I never said to anybody…|
If sin, suffering and redemption feel like the stages of an endless cycle of American existence, West’s own redemption from his brutalized childhood is what helped shape his gift. He performed little bits to cheer up his cowed mother, ravaged by the fact she could not stop her husband’s abuse of young West. “I was the whipping boy and she would just be reduced to tears a lot of times, and I would come in and say stuff, and I would put out little bits just to pull her out of it.”
But West has also enjoyed the sweet. His career blossomed as his talent for creating entire histories behind fictional characters and creatures simply by exploring nuance in his voice landed him at the top of his craft. You may never again be able to forget that behind the voice of your favorite character, there is often an extraordinary life.
Below is David Shankbone’s interview with renowned voice actor Billy West, who for the first time publicly talks about the horrors he faced in his childhood; his misguided search for answers in anger, drugs and alcohol; and the peace he has achieved as one of America’s most recognizable voice actors.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Funerals and prayers for nine activists, who died in Israel’s Gaza flotilla raid, were held in Istanbul on Thursday.
Tens of thousands attended the funeral of the nine Turkish nationals, including one teen of dual U.S.-Turkish citizenship. The coffins were draped in Turkish and Palestinian flags. There was widespread anger from those attending. Released activists arrived to their home countries yesterday and today.
The Turkish President Abdullah Gül said that Turkey would act calmly and said;
|Turkey will never forget such an attack on its ships and its people in international waters. The relations between Israel and Turkey will never be the same again, unless Israel apologises.|
The youngest of the nine activists killed, a 19-year-old high school student Furkan Dogan, was shot in the head and chest. He was born in Troy New York, but moved to Turkey when he was two. He will be buried in his family’s hometown of Kayseri in central Turkey on Friday. A United States State Department spokesman said it would probe the death of the Turkish-American killed, but said the FBI were not involved “at this point.”
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that soldiers were acting in self-defence. He said the activists were not peace activists but “violent supporters of terrorism”. Israel has stated that of the 7 soldiers wounded during the assault, 2 were shot with weapons wrestled from Israeli forces. But Swedish activist Mattias Gardell scoffed at such statements, replying, “the Israelis started shooting first. We had no weapons, the Israelis had weapons”.
Abdullah Gül said Israel committed “one of the biggest mistakes ever in its history,” and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an called Israel’s actions “a historic mistake.” The leader of the Islamic charity IHH spoke to the crowd, saying, “The whole world supports us. We will shake the foundations of Zionism”.
The activists had attempted to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The Irish ship MV Rachel Corrie arriving some time this weekend, will be the next ship to challenge the blockade.
- Read An Opinion On:
- Mortgage Broker Coogee
By Elizabeth Allen
It’s a sad but real fact that many marriages end in divorce yet at the time of the marriage both happily agreed to share everything in their lives for better or for worse; no way would it end in the divorce courts.
During the period of marriage a couple acquire a lot of possessions; no consideration is given as to whom the possession belong; they are jointly owned. Or rather they are jointly owned until the marriage breaks down and now somehow they have to be divided.
The Family home is likely to be the largest thing that is jointly owned; indeed it is jointly financed as well. Now things aren’t going so well the family home can become an item that causes a lot of aggravation, heartache and stress. It’s is of course understandable as a home is the biggest and most expensive purchase most people ever make in their lives.
Understanding property rights, specifically relating to the state where the house is situated is imperative. For example, if you owned a property prior to getting married and you kept it but didn’t live in it as a couple, it remains yours in its entirety; providing your spouse did not contribute to its upkeep. Alternatively, if you have received a property as an inheritance or gift from a third party, it does not necessarily form part of the joint estate, unless bequeathed to both you and your spouse.
Taking Virginia as an example, the laws in place are clear insofar that marital property must, in the event of a divorce, be split in an equitable manner. This does not necessarily mean a split of 50 per cent each; it depends on the needs of a person, how much they contributed during the marriage and each person’s own personal financial position.
Other properties owned, but not lived in by the couple getting divorced, which are looked after or paid for jointly become part of the marital estate and will be included for the purposes of equitable distribution.
Curt have the power to determine how to separate the property. This may be by awarding a monetary amount to one party and letting the other retain the property. Alternatively the court can decide that the property has to be sold to a third party or that one of the party getting divorced purchases the property from the other half at a price applicable on the open market at the time.
A court will look at various aspects relating to who has contributed more to buy the property and what contribution each party has played in maintaining it, looking after it and cleaning it. For example, if one of the parties has been paying for the home loan, but the other has looked after the home and maintained it the court will not necessarily decide to award more of the home’s value to the person paying the loan.
The simplest and best method to divide up your property to is try to do it amicably outside of the jurisdiction of the court if at all possible.
About the Author: by Elizabeth Allen – Visit
for uncontested divorce in Virginia.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
On Saturday April 16, students at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and Dr. Richard Wallace of the A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation for their first time tested Alan Turing’s thought-experiment. The Imitation Game, based on the original Turing model for testing the ability of humans to recognize artificial intelligence (AI), was carried out with nearly eighty human and AI participants.
The ‘Original Imitation Game’ is described in Turing’s 1950 paper. A popularized version now dubbed the “Turing Test” involves a judge knowingly interviewing a software program and a human person during a computer chat, and then trying to discern which is which. The Turing Test has been conducted many times as Artificial Intelligence programs developed. However, no study was ever published following the guidelines of the original thought-experiment itself.
The Imitation Game involved playing a “gender guessing game”, wherein two human subjects, a male and a female, communicate via computer chat to the judge. Both the male and the female would try to convince the judge that s/he is female. Turing’s original question was, if a gender guessing game were done with two humans, and then with an AI replacing the male, would the judge be more accurate in guessing who the real female was?
Three students at Simon’s Rock — Cameo Wood, Melissa Leventhal, and Allyson Sgro — wrote a grant to support the experiment, and shepherded the proposal through the Human Research Review Committee under the oversight of Professor Anne O’Dwyer. The experiment was funded by the departments of Natural Science and the department of Social Science at the college.
The experiment utilized a program called A.L.I.C.E., which is designed to hold one end of an interactive conversation. The program was provided by the ALICE Artificial Intelligence Foundation. Dr. Richard Wallace was on hand during the experiment to troubleshoot the AI robot, later gave a lecture about on The Anatomy of A.L.I.C.E. and blogged the event.
Six human subjects from Simon’s Rock composed the human players in the game; the judges were recruited from various non-technical internet communities. Roughly eighty individuals participated in the experiment, which required the organizers to maintain strict secrecy about the experiment until it was concluded. All subjects who participated in the experiment were required to be over 18, not affiliated with the college, and were not allowed any foreknowledge of the use of AI in the experiment. Roughly 70 interviews were conducted over a three hour period last Saturday, via AOL’s Instant Messenger, a messaging tool that allows individuals to write to one another online.
The research team at Simon’s Rock has started to analyze the data they acquired during the experiment and will be writing a paper for publication in the coming months. Inquiries regarding the experiment may be directed to email@example.com.
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Thursday, October 22, 2020
2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor candidate Wayne Tseng answered some questions about his campaign for the upcoming election from Wikinews. The Lord Mayor election in the Australian city is scheduled to take place this week.
Tseng runs a firm called eTranslate, which helps software developers to make the software available to the users. In the candidate’s questionnaire, Tseng said eTranslate had led to him working with all three tiers of the government. He previously belonged to the Australian Liberal Party, but has left since then, to run for mayorship as an independent candidate.
Tseng is of Chinese descent, having moved to Australia with his parents from Vietnam. Graduated in Brisbane, Tseng received his PhD in Melbourne and has been living in the city, he told Wikinews. Tseng also formed Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce, an organisation responsible for many “community bond building initiatives”, the Lord Mayor candidate told Wikinews.
Tseng discussed his plans for leading Melbourne, recovering from COVID-19, and “Democracy 2.0” to ensure concerns of minorities in the city were also heard. Tseng also focused on the importance of the multi-culture aspect and talked about making Melbourne the capital of the aboriginals. Tseng also explained why he thinks Melbourne is poised to be a world city by 2030.
Tseng’s deputy Lord Mayor candidate Gricol Yang is a Commercial Banker and works for ANZ Banking Group.
Currently, Sally Capp is the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Victorian capital. Capp was elected as an interim Lord Mayor in mid-2018 after the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle resigned from his position after sexual assault allegations. Doyle served as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for almost a decade since 2008.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
A two-vehicle road traffic accident in County Donegal in Ireland has left one person dead and injured two others. The accident occurred when a camper van collided with an oncoming car on the N15 road between the towns of Ballybofey and Donegal at approximately 1540 BST (1440 UTC) on Monday.
The fatality was reportedly a man in his 70s from the town of Lifford; he has not yet been publicly identified. He was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The female passenger he was travelling in the car with, thought to be the wife of the man, was taken to the same hospital after suffering serious injuries.
The man and woman in the camper van were transported to Sligo Regional Hospital. The condition of the two occupants is not clear, although the woman in the vehicle reportedly injured her leg in the accident.
The road where the crash occurred was closed to allow the Garda to investigate the incident.