Wikinews interviews a Restore the Fourth organizer
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Wikinews interviews a Restore the Fourth organizer

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A grassroots movement known as Restore the Fourth, dedicated to the protection of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution, are to hold protests countrywide on July 4. The planned protests come in the wake of information about NSA surveillance leaked last month, notably the PRISM surveillance program and the collection of Verizon phone records. Wikinews interviewed Jett, a national organizer from this recently created movement.

((Wikinews)) First of all, could you explain what Restore the Fourth is all about?

Jett: At its core, RestoreTheFourth is about protecting citizens’ constitutional rights. Specifically, we’re dedicated to bringing awareness and action to the expanding overreach and elimination of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution.

((WN)) What is your role at Restore the Fourth?

Jett: My job at RestoreTheFourth could be summarized as ‘project coordinator’. Every person who wants to help can help in a tremendous way. I simply make sure that their skills get used in a way that would be most beneficial to the movement: web development, public relations, etc. I also field questions from the press and promote knowledge of our cause.

((WN)) What are your plans for direct action, outreach, etc.?

Jett: Our press release includes a list of ‘demands’ for what we want to see in order to restore our privacy rights, including reform of the PATRIOT Act and increased accountability for public officials. In the very short term, these protests and demonstrations bring awareness to the issue, something that’s really important in enacting reform. In the long term, however, we expect to create a legal organization dedicated to restoring these rights inherent to every American. By partnering with various other organizations that share our moral values, we can further these goals.
On July 4, we will have over 100 protests in all 50 states, showing that the citizens of America are truly serious about protecting their rights.

((WN)) By what means do you hope to achieve such change?

Jett: This movement started only a few weeks ago, and since then we’ve experienced exponential growth and progress. Since the movement is still very young, plans diverge in the long term on what we hope to achieve. Personally, I’d like to see a combination of legislative and litigative action (something like what the ACLU does), and others want to see further plans of action. With organizations such as the BORDC, stopwatching.us and the EFF behind us, I feel that we can achieve all of this and much more.
HAVE YOUR SAY
What do you think is the right balance between surveillance and privacy?
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((WN)) Is the movement US-only or will it extend to other jurisdictions as well? Do you think it would be fair for the US to spy on non-citizens?

Jett: I believe that rights are inherent to all humans, not only United States citizens. In the long term I’d certainly like to see people of all nations protected from the slow elimination of privacy that we’re all experiencing.
He’s [Edward Snowden] being treated as a ‘martyr’ of sorts. It seems to distract from what he truly believed in.

((WN)) What do you think about Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing?

Jett: I think that too much attention is being given to his personality instead of what he fought for. He’s being treated as a ‘martyr’ of sorts. It seems to distract from what he truly believed in — transparency for the government and inherent privacy for all Americans.

((WN)) What do you think about his future, given the legal grey zone in which he currently is?

Jett: Hard to say. He may be captured by any number of agencies, or he may live a free man. Whatever happens, he has the eyes of millions of people on him, all of whom will yell very loudly if anything occurs.

((WN)) Thank you very much for your time.

Jett: Thanks for the opportunity.
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Volunteers and food needed for flooded Manitoba, Canada
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Volunteers and food needed for flooded Manitoba, Canada

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Local municipal and provincial volunteers in Manitoba, Canada are exhausted in their efforts to divert the rising waters of the Red River of the North.

It has been hard work with little sleep for the residents who live on the shores of the Red River to shore up their defences with sandbags, build dikes, clear frozen culverts and break ice jams

Volunteers to spell relief for local volunteers and food are desperately needed.

“It’s a week now we’ve been doing this … you’re talking four, five, six public works guys. In my one community we’ve got 25 volunteer firefighters and those guys have been going 24/7, so of course it’s wearing them down.” said Paul Guyader, Manitoba’s emergency measures coordinator.

“We’re dealing with one of the biggest floods the province has ever seen,” said Steve Strang, mayor of St. Clements, Manitoba “We’ve put out hundreds of thousands of bags already. The municipalities are working very well, we’re working with the provincial government, we’ve brought in every possible resource we could to address this issue. The volunteerism within the community has been phenomenal.”

The Portage Diversion has taken some spring waters from the Assiniboine River and diverted the flow to Lake Manitoba.

Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation has been totally evacuated, as well as many homes near the Canada – United States border.

The cold weather is freezing the ice jams into place. Guyader has had 2 Amphibex Excavators operating on the river breaking up ice.

The Red River is right now 16.7 feet (5 metres) above spring ice conditions. The Red River Floodway gates cannot be opened with the current ice jams.

“If we operate now, we can get ice jamming going into the floodway, jamming up against the St. Mary’s bridge, as such, the floodway capacity would be reduced and would cause higher water levels in the city of Winnipeg.” said Steve Topping, Manitoba Water Stewardship spokesman

The floodway was constructed in 1968 following the 1950 flood to divert the overflow spring flooding waters of the Red River. The floodway has been widened the since the 1997 “flood of the century” and the expansion is expected to be completed this spring. As well Manitoba built permanent dikes around communities within the flood plain since the last two major floods..

The Red River waters will crest between the beginning of April to mid April, at which time also the weather should be warming up. Communities are bracing for higher water levels, more ice jams as well as melting snow in the warmer spring temperatures.

Wikinews interviews Spain’s most decorated Paralympian, Teresa Perales
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Wikinews interviews Spain’s most decorated Paralympian, Teresa Perales

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Zaragoza, Spain — On Thursday, Wikinews traveled to Zaragoza, Spain to interview the nation’s most decorated Paralympian and IPC Athlete Council representative Teresa Perales. A wide range of topics about the Paralympics and sport in Spain were discussed including the evolution of Paralympic sport, disability sport classification, funding support across all levels of elite sport including the Paralympics and Olympics, the role of sportspeople in politics, sponsorship issues, and issues of gender in Spanish sport.

Contents

  • 1 Evolution of the Paralympics
  • 2 Sponsorship
  • 3 Classification
  • 4 Mixing sport and politics
  • 5 Funding Spanish sport
  • 6 Being an elite female athlete
  • 7 Related news
  • 8 Sources
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Sandra Fluke insists she will not be silenced
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Sandra Fluke insists she will not be silenced

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In an opinion piece published by CNN on Tuesday, Georgetown University law student and women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke insisted she will not allow slurs from critics to silence her and other women from continuing to speak out on issues regarding women’s health and contraception.

Fluke has faced slurs and personal attacks after speaking before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in the United States House of Representatives about women’s health and contraception. She was called a “slut” and a “prostitute” by talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh. In response to these attacks, Fluke has received public support from women, members of the media, and politicians including the President of the United States.

Attacking me and women who use contraception by calling us prostitutes and worse cannot silence us.

In her piece for CNN, Fluke took the opportunity to thank her supporters, writing, “By now, many have heard the stories I wanted to share thanks to the congressional leaders and members of the media who have supported me and millions of women in speaking out.” She characterized the “opponents of reproductive health access” who issued personal attacks against her as being motivated by an attempt to change the topic of conversation away from a dialogue about women’s health, and “to silence women’s voices regarding their own health care.”

Fluke wrote that the efforts by some to drown out women from speaking out about women’s health were unsuccessful. She came to this conclusion due to the multitude of positive comments and encouragement sent to her by both female and male individuals urging that contraception medication be considered a medical necessity.

Asserting that she would not remain silent on this issue of women’s health, Fluke wrote, “Attacking me and women who use contraception by calling us prostitutes and worse cannot silence us.”

She noted that a significant majority of women have utilized contraception medication, and commented that there exists a social disconnect between politicians attempting to make it more difficult for women to access this type of health care, and the views of society-at-large about the matter: “Restricting access to such a basic health care service, which 99% of sexually experienced American women have used and 62% of American women are using right now, is out of touch with public sentiment.”

Fluke concluded her piece by emphasizing that those in power should not govern based on ideology: “I am proud to stand with the millions of women and men who recognize that our government should legislate according to the reality of our lives — not for ideology.”

After being banned by Congressman Darrell Issa from speaking before a Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on February 16 which consisted mainly of male panelists, Fluke appeared before a meeting of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee convened by Minority leader of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi on February 23.

Fluke spoke to the committee about the need for contraception to be covered by health care plans offered by employers, as a matter integral to women’s health. She cited multiple cases where women take contraception medication as part of their health care for treatment of medical conditions unrelated to birth control, including two women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, a woman who is afflicted with endometriosis and another who takes contraception in order to prevent seizures.

Time and time again, women have been silenced in this discussion, a discussion about our own very personal health care decisions.

Speaking before the United States Senate on February 17 along with fellow members Patty Murray, Kirsten Gillibrand, Barbara Boxer, and Charles Schumer, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire expressed her support for Fluke. Like Fluke, Senator Shaheen pointed out the need not to silence the voices of women in the public government debate about women’s health care: “Time and time again, women have been silenced in this discussion, a discussion about our own very personal health care decisions.” Senator Shaheen concluded her remarks with an explanation as to why she believes women should have significant representation in discussions about their health care: “Women deserve a voice in this debate because, after all, in the end this is about our health and it is about a health care decision that is between women, their families, their doctors, and their own faith.”

President Barack Obama called Fluke on March 2 to express his support for her courage to speak out on issues of women’s health. In his first press conference of 2012 on March 6, he discussed his reasons for deciding to call Fluke.

The President cited his personal thoughts about his own two daughters: “And the reason I called Ms. Fluke is because I thought about Malia and Sasha [Obama’s daughters], and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.”

President Obama went on to state that Fluke served as a positive role model for citizen participation in democracy and society: “And I wanted Sandra to know that I thought her parents should be proud of her, and that we want to send a message to all our young people that being part of a democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate, and we want you to be engaged, and there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve you being demeaned and insulted, particularly when you’re a private citizen.”

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Northern Ireland police arrest man over Belfast double shooting
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Northern Ireland police arrest man over Belfast double shooting

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Police Service of Northern Ireland arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder and threatening to commit murder Saturday after a shooting incident in the Northern Irish capital Belfast Friday.

Two men, one aged 24 and the other 22, were both seriously injured in the incident at Old Park Road in the north of Belfast, which was reported to police about 7:30pm local time Friday. The 24-year-old man, identified by UTV Live as Sean Corbett, had recently departed from a shop and was standing near a vehicle when as many as ten gunshots were fired at him. The 22-year-old victim, who has not been identified, was sitting inside the vehicle and also suffered numerous gunshots wounds.

Corbett was transported to Mater Infirmorum Hospital, where he was subsequently given urgent surgery. The other man, who managed to drive to hospital himself, was also given medical treatment for his wounds. The last reports indicated both men were in stable condition.

North Belfast Area Commander Chief Inspector Andy Freeburn spoke against the shooting, calling it, “unacceptable in our community”. He described the incident as “an utterly reckless attack with up to 40 members of the public, including women and children, in close proximity”, adding: “[W]e are lucky that we are not dealing with many more casualties today.” The suspect is understood to be cooperating with police as they investigate the incident.

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Rage Against The Machine top UK singles chart
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Rage Against The Machine top UK singles chart

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rock band Rage Against The Machine have beaten Joe McElderry to become the UK’s official Christmas number one, following one of the biggest battles in the history of the UK Singles Chart. Their song Killing in the Name pushed the X Factor winner’s new single The Climb into second place.

A Facebook campaign backing the American band aimed to stop an X Factor winner reaching the Christmas number one spot once again. Artists from the TV talent show, owned by music mogul Simon Cowell, have taken the festive top spot for four years in a row. The group attracted over 900,000 members and widespread press attention, after it was started by Jon and Tracy Morter.

“Are you getting fed up about the possibility of ANOTHER X-Factor Christmas No.1? …us too…so we’re going to do something about it!,” they said on the group’s Facebook page. They decided to back “Killing In The Name”, first released in 1992.

Cowell had previously branded the campaign “cynical”, but on Saturday contacted the Morters to congratulate them on making a “very exciting race for the Christmas number one”. The campaign has also raised over £69,000 for homeless charity Shelter.

Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello had backed the campaign on Twitter. He announced that the band would play a free victory gig in the UK if they reached number one.

The result was announced on BBC Radio 1‘s chart show this evening by Scott Mills. McElderry had been due to appear on the show, but did not arrive.

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Wikinews interviews Florence Devouard, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation
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Wikinews interviews Florence Devouard, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation

Monday, December 18, 2006

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

Florence Devouard has been a contributor to the French Wikipedia since 2002. In October, 2006, she was nominated to be the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, which manages and hosts several popular wikis, including Wikipedia, a multilingual, collaboratively-written, free encyclopedia. She is also a member of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Communications Committee, and is one of four community representatives to the board[1].

Wikinews: What were you thinking when Jimmy nominated you to become the new Chair?

Florence Devouard: It was not really a surprise. It had been discussed already for a while, so I had time to collect my thoughts already as to what I intended to do as a chair, thoughts I gave on the Foundation mailing list a few days later. When Jimbo nominated me chair, my thoughts were mostly oriented toward the desire that the change happens smoothly, with no wrong perception of the community or in the press. The fact I became chair is first the sign the organisation is maturing.

This said, it is *difficult* to become the chair after Jimbo. Not internally, as all board members were in agreement and happy with the switch. Jimbo is also very helpful. The main difficulty is rather due to the perception from outside parties that Jimbo still is the chair, or if they are informed he is no more, with their belief he is still in charge anyway. It will take time 🙂

WN: What do you consider your greatest achievement on the Wikimedia projects themselves?

FD: Very difficult to say. I was probably an average editor on the French and English wikipedia. My achievement is probably rather in my involvement in community building. When I joined Wikipedia, the project was essentially monolingual, and it took a lot of dedication to really make it multilingual, with recognition of the importance of cultural diversity. As an admin on several projects, steward for over 3 years now, meta-oriented person, I was hopefully one of these “glue people” who helped to develop the global side of our projects.

WN: When did you first join the Wikimedia projects?

FD: February 2002 as an anonymous on the English wikipedia. I later created my pseudonyme, Anthere, and joined the embryo of French community (less than 10 people) in may 2002.

WN: What is your view on the annual ‘pranking’ of Wikipedia on April 1st?

FD: I… never participated to the annual pranking of the English Wikipedia on April 1st? However, I was more than once the author of “jokes” which were sometimes appreciated, sometimes not so much appreciated…. I especially loved changing the logo. I created false articles. And did some moves I will not publicly revealed as not so proud of them. But overall, I like fun; the fun may stay within reasonable limits of course, and April joke did not always…

WN: Wikimedia Commons recently reached 1 million files. What is your impression of this?

FD: Fabulous job ! I receive more and more phone calls of people willing to use an image from the Commons, which is for me a good measure of this site success. On another note, this project is specifically dear to my heart, because it is one where all languages mix. It is the true Babel Tower (which Wikipedia is not), where people work together, sometimes not sharing even one language. The current state is fabulous. And there is much left to do.

WN: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be, and why?

FD: I often sign “ant”, mostly because of a wiki I participated to severalyears ago, where providing a real name was mandatory; I cheated, and called myself AntHere. The ant is a social insect. The ant is very industrious. The ant is never alone, it dies if alone. The ant lives with others in an anthill. And the head of the anthill is a Queen 🙂 (the Queen essentially being a mother actually).

So, Anthere or AntHere is just THE word.

WN: Considering past donations, and the rate we are going at now, do you think we will meet our goal by the deadiline of our current fundraiser?

FD: That is a very good question. I do not know. I can only hope, because the more money we’ll make, the more we’ll be able to make the suitable investments for the future of the projects. According to our Executive Director, Brad Patrick, our basic operations right now, cost around 75 000 dollars per month. This does not count the investments in hardware, which should be around $1,670,000 before June, nor the additional costs in terms of hosting, and bandwidth, due to the ever growing traffic. Add to this the much delayed need to hire more staff and project specific expenses. An insufficient fundraiser at this point would mean we’ll have to organise a new one in the next few months; However, we are currently exploring other ways to collect money, now possible thanks to the completed audit. So let’s be optimistic.

WN: Wikinews gives people credentials (excuse my spelling) which allow us to report in the field. I, myself am not accredited, but what’s your view on this?

FD: I understood this was extremely helpful to approach candidates for interviews and participate to special events. I trust the Wikinews community to be careful in giving these credentials.

WN: If you were explaining Wikipedia to someone who has never heard of Wikipedia (I know, impossible), what would you say?

FD: In the shortest way, an encyclopedia, which aims to bring knowledge to the largest number of people on Earth. Which means 1) lower the financial barrier to access (it’s free of charge), 2) lower the linguistic barrier (we work in over 200 languages), 3) lower the barrier of use (it is under a free licence which allow anyone to reuse the content). On top, an oddity, it is a collective work, with open access and multiauthoring.

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
  1. ? She and Erik Moeller were both elected Member Representatives according to the foundation bylaws at the time. In December 2006, the bylaws were amended and the Board was expanded by two seats. Those two seats will be filled by elected community representatives in elections next summer; the interim appointments to those seats are Oscar van Dillen and Kat Walsh.

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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive
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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

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