Dozens killed after gunmen storm Turkish wedding reception
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Dozens killed after gunmen storm Turkish wedding reception

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

As many as 45 people have been killed and six others were injured after at least four gunmen with grenades stormed a wedding reception in the village of Bilge located in Turkey. Many of those killed were women and children. The attack is not believed to be related to terrorism.

“According to our investigations so far nothing indicates that this is a terror attack but a larger investigation is being run by the regional prosecutor,” said the interior minister of Turkey, Besir Atalay. The attack is believed to be part of an ongoing blood feud between two families. Al Jazeera says the attack may also be related to rival gangs of village guards.

According to one unnamed witness as quoted by Reuters, “a few people” wearing masks entered the house where the reception was being held, “spraying the place with bullets” and began to shoot people, with the attack lasting at nearly 15 minutes. At least 200 people were believed to have been attending the reception.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal
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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs
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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

Film project aims to raise £1 million to make a Creative Commons-licensed film
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Film project aims to raise £1 million to make a Creative Commons-licensed film

Friday, June 23, 2006

Matt Hanson aims to raise £1 million to fund the production of a feature-length film which would be distributed freely via the Internet under a Creative Commons licence, all funded through 50,000 people each donating £25 to the project, which he’s called ‘A Swarm of Angels‘.

No stranger to filmmaking, Matt has produced numerous digital short films, a series of books on digital filmmaking and set up the digital film festival onedotzero, now in its tenth year. He wants to finally make a feature length film, and decided that it was better to turn to the Internet for help and funding rather than plod through the usual ‘development hell‘.

“I wanted to put into practice what I’ve been preaching as a film futurist for ten years, and the technology and Internet infrastructure has just really caught up with that vision now for me to put it into practice.”

The process is inspired by the ‘web 2.0‘ movement, using social and collaborative communities on the Internet. Matt doesn’t see the funding as coming from donations, but as people paying a subscription to become part of a ‘Swarm’. “Rather than the ‘many producer’ model, this is more of an [sic] ‘smart consumer’ model … members can help implement and bring their expertise into play, and so become more actively involved in the production.”

The project hopes to use professional actors and crew, but use qualified members from the swarm as much as possible. The cast and the crew, including any volunteers that get chosen, would be paid for their work on the film, with Matt suggesting that this is “a great way for people to get into the industry”.

Those members not directly involved in making the film can still participate in the process by discussing ideas on a messageboard, and having a vote on certain crucial decisions such as which script gets chosen for production. Asked how he would balance his own creative direction with input from members, Matt said “my vision will lead the project forward and define the parameters, but the Swarm can influence that, and indeed offer improvements or insights I might not think of alone”.

“Remember filmmaking is always a team effort – whether you are Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick or Jean Luc Godard, you promote people within the project that will complement and bring something extra to the vision of the film. Give it more life. With the Swarm we are making that process more democratic, and giving a wider range of people an opportunity to shine and have creative input.”

Members are promised a collector’s edition DVD of the end product and exclusive merchandise, but the main distribution of the film will be via the Internet, using ‘BitTorrent‘ and peer-to-peer networks. “Unlike many other filmmakers, I’m not wedded to cinema projection as the ‘be all and end all’ – I’m much more excited about people viewing remixed versions on their video iPods,” explains Matt.

The ‘remixing’ of the film will be possible thanks to it being distributed under a Creative Commons licence. Matt suggests that the ‘younger generation’ is more used to being involved with and interacting with entertainment, and points to remixes of the Star Wars films (eg ‘The Phantom Edit‘) as an example of these ‘mashups’. “At the end of the project I would love to have an event that showcased five wildly different versions of the film, different visions from people other than my definitive initial edit,” he suggests. The licence will be for non-commercial use only, however, and so commercial TV stations would still have to pay in order to screen the film.

The project is partly inspired by the success of ‘The Million Dollar Homepage‘, in which British student Alex Tew aimed to raise a million dollars to fund his university education, simply by selling advertising space on a single web page. The publicity surrounding the idea, coupled with the ‘viral’ effect of Internet users passing the page on, meant that he eventually managed to make himself the million dollars.

The success of these projects partly seems to depend on them being interesting and original enough to attract enough attention, and it’s often difficult to see how they could be repeated. Copy-cat versions of the million dollar homepage have so far failed to hugely take off. When asked about this idea, Matt responded “I already expect people to copy the model we are inventing with A Swarm of Angels – it’s a perfect way to create cult media, where the director gets more creative control and organically funds a project, and the fans of the project get more involvement within it. If the market gets too crowded with these projects though, then they’ll have to be packaged differently to stand out. But that’s what traditional film and media projects need to do anyway.”

Over 600 members have signed up to the ‘swarm’ so far, which Matt comments is already an early success, but 50,000 members in total will be needed in order to fully fund the £1 million budget. Matt suggests that getting to the next stage, of reaching 1,000 members, followed by the phase of getting 5,000 members, will be the hardest part, as after that the film will be more ‘tangible’. He expects to raise the full budget, but comments that if the fundraising stalls, “options will be presented by advisors and The Swarm, and based on some kind of consensus we’ll come up with the best option for moving forward.”

Traditionally, independent films are funded either through persuading wealthy individuals to invest, who sometimes are sometimes given ‘Executive Producer‘ credits, or through organisations like the UK Film Council, who award funds from the National Lottery. A tax credit for producers making small films in the UK was announced by the government in 2005, in a bid to give a boost to the UK independent film industry.

Matt says that the film will be “a thriller with soft science fiction elements”, which he says will suit his target audience. “But it will have an indie edginess to it, and be far more visually inventive than you would get with a ‘normal’ British independent feature.” Contributors to the project include artists The Kleptones, who will help with the soundtrack, comic book writer Warren Ellis and documentary filmmaker Grant Gee.

The Swarm of Angels project is online at aswarmofangels.com and costs £25 as an individual to become a member.

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Global markets surge in value
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Global markets surge in value

Monday, October 13, 2008

Markets worldwide have surged in value following efforts by governments to ease the effect of the ongoing financial crisis, which has recently caused a massive decline in the value of stock markets.

On Sunday, the fifteen countries from the Eurogroup – that is, those countries which use the euro as official currency – had agreed on a joint plan to face the crisis, which would consist in supporting financial institutions and by guaranteeing interbank loans.

The Eurogroup meeting was the last of many which took place during the weekend. The G7 nations had met in Washington at the same time that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held their Autumn meetings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average index is one of the indexes that have done particularly well today, and it closed up 11.08%, well over 9,000 points. General Motors was the best performer in this index, with its value rising by 31.49%. The Nasdaq rose by 11.81%.

The FTSE 100 has today gone up in value by 8,26%, to take the index back over the four thousand mark. TUI Travel was the best performing company in this index. It went up by 41.25 points (21.48%), to take it to a new share price of 233.25. Some shares in the FTSE, however, have continued to fall dramatically. HBOS today dropped in value by 31.48%.

The Brazilian Bovespa index today went up by 14,66%, while the Hang Seng and Singapore Straits Times went up by 10.24% and 6.57% respectively.

Stocks exchanges in Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Toronto were closed due to national holidays.

22:00, Monday, October 13, 2008 (UTC)
  • DJIA
  • 9.387,61 936,42 11,08%
  • Nasdaq
  • 1.844,25 194,74 11.81%
  • S&P 500
  • 228,14 23,30 11,37%
  • S&P TSX
  • 9.065,16 0,00 0.00%
  • IPC
  • 22.095,90 2.190,62 11,01%
  • Merval
  • 1.215,990 0.00 0,00%
  • Bovespa
  • 40.829,13 5,219.63 14,66%
  • FTSE 100
  • 4.256,90 324,84 8,26%
  • DAX
  • 5.062,45 518,14 11,40%
  • CAC 40
  • 3.531,50 355,01 11,18%
  • SMI
  • 5.956,32 609,10 11,39%
  • AEX
  • 285,27 27,22 10,55%
  • BEL20
  • 2.324,80 201,36 9,48%
  • MIBTel
  • 17.125,00 1.687,00 10,93%
  • IBEX 35
  • 9.955,70 958,00 10,65%
  • All Ordinaries
  • 4.141,90 202,40 5,14%
  • Nikkei
  • 8.276,43 0,00 0,00%
  • Hang Seng
  • 16.312,20 1.515,29 10,24%
  • SSE Composite
  • 2.073,57 73,00 3,65%

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    Clashes in Nigeria kill hundreds, troops on alert
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    Clashes in Nigeria kill hundreds, troops on alert

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    According to witness and media reports, at least two hundred people in Nigeria have been killed after pastoralists and villagers clashed near the city of Jos, which has been the source of repeated tension between Christians and Muslims.

    Local authorities, however, contradicted witness reports, saying that there were eight casualties, as did Mark Lipdo, an aid worker for the Stefanus Foundation charity, who reported that at least a hundred people were dead.

    Witness reports state that pastoralists started firing into the air in the village of Dogo Nahawa, about five kilometres south of Jos, at night, and attacked those who emerged from their homes. “They came around three o’clock in the morning and they started shooting into the air. The shooting was just meant to bring people from their houses and then when people came out they started cutting them with machetes,” commented Peter Jang, who lives in the village, as quoted by Al Jazeera.

    According to the Agence France-Presse news agency, some of the victims were children.

    Acting Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan said he had placed national troops on “red alert” following the clashes. “The acting president has placed all the security forces in the plateau and neighbouring states on red alert so as to stem any cross-border dimensions to this latest conflict,” read a statement released by his office. Armed forces are already present in Jos.

    “The security services are on top of the situation,” said Jonathan’s spokesman Ima Niboro in an email statement to the Bloomberg news service.

    In January, at least 400 people were killed and a further four thousand injured in the city of Jos after tensions between Christians and Muslims.

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    Funeral Homes Middletown: Funerals And Cremations

    byAlma Abell

    It is during funeral where people can comfortable talk with emotions and feelings. Funeral provides an opportunity for people to offer comfort to grieving family during this time of loss. Many Funeral Homes Middletown area support traditional funerals. With the help of Middletown funeral homes directory, you can arrange a funeral according to closest location and at cheapest cost. The directory provides relevant information that will help you make an informed decision.

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    There are three major funeral process- visitations, funeral and cremation or burial. John P. Condon Funeral Home does all these steps. It is not an easy task to arrange a funeral and many people do it after few days of the death. In some cases, the deceased can pre-plan their own funeral. However, family members and friends arrange most of the funerals.The first part of funeral takes place in a large area. Family members and friends gather to view the body. The casket containing the body is opened and everyone is allowed to give last respect. It is the time to remember the deceased and pay the last respect. The family members may need some worship and prayers led by priest. This process of visitation can continue for one or two days. When this is done, the body is transported to the funeral home for the subsequent step.

    The last step is transporting the casket to the site for burial or cremation. Normally, funeral home director is the person in charge of all funeral process. He takes care of everything that needs to be done at the time of arranging a funeral. He arranges for many things including caskets, hearse, funeral flowers and funeral music. However, some things are planned according to family wishes of the deceased one. For example, family and friends plan for the type of casket, funeral songs and funeral poems.

    If you a family member pass on, approach a good Funeral Homes Middletown area. John P. Condon Funeral Home offer great services. The staff members will organize for you a meaningful ceremony to honor the life and memory of deceased the way you want it. You can visit JohnPCondonFuneralHome.com and review their services.

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    UK Wikinews Shorts: December 23, 2009
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    UK Wikinews Shorts: December 23, 2009

    A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, December 23, 2009.

    Contents

    • 1 Two-year-old child in Northern Ireland dies of H1N1 swine flu virus
    • 2 Woman killed in collision with ambulance in Staffordshire, England
    • 3 90-year-old man dies after car crash in Northern Ireland
    • 4 Man dies while carrying child in railway station in Edinburgh, Scotland
     Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

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    England’s elderly face human rights breaches in home care system
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    England’s elderly face human rights breaches in home care system

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    A report published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) finds that, in many cases, England’s home care system breaches the human rights of the elderly it is supposed to serve. The Close to home: older people and human rights in home care report is the result of a twelve-month investigation into care generally provided by local authorities.

    Approximately half of those receiving home care, plus friends and family, providing evidence to the inquiry were satisfied with the quality of care provided. However, the report stresses that there are “systemic problems” arising from “a failure to apply a human rights approach to home care provision”. The report asserts that it is generally not the fault of individuals providing care, but serious problems exist as local authorities seem unaware of their obligations under the Human Rights Act and fail to commission, procure, and monitor care accordingly.

    The report says articles two, three and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights are frequently being breached. These, respectively, cover an individual’s right to life, protection from inhumane and degrading treatment, and respect for dignity and personal independence. Criticisms include that care is not provided in a common-sense manner, and funding of care for the elderly is at lower levels than for younger people with similar problems and needs.

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    The EHRC’s investigation highlights a range of recurring complaints and attempts to identify the underlying causes; cost is repeatedly mentioned, with use of the private-sector leading to some local authorities offering a “one size fits all” service leaving many elderly feeling they are “a task to be undertaken” and have “little or no choice” as to help received, or when care workers visit. A failure to invest in care workers is noted, with significant responsibility and the wide range of skills required being rewarded with low pay and status; this, the report states, adversely impacts staff retention and, a high turnover of care workers can put the security of care recipients at-risk.

    Within the wider investigation, a commissioned independent social report by The Arndale Centre conducted in-depth interviews with a cross-section of 40 elderly individuals receiving home care. As-stressed in the report, those selected were not on the basis of good, or bad, experiences with their – mainly local authority-provided – care. It highlights a widespread feeling amongst those interviewed that they are treated “like a number”, and that aspects of the care provided lead to, or fail to resolve, feelings of social isolation.

    The Manchester-based Arndale Centre report concludes that, “[t]he general picture is of a wider home care system in which older people are noteffectively involved: which they do not understand, and which does not often make the extra effort required to involve them in ways tailored to their state of health and other needs”.

    nobody to talk [to] face to face. Nobody will knock on that door,[…] a life of isolation.

    A recurring theme in the responses of those interviewed is the social isolation that their home care is not adequately addressing. One male interviewee in his seventies who previously used a scooter to get about said in his interview, “I haven’t been out of the house now for about four weeks. I daren’t. The last time I went out on the scooter I hit the kerb and it frightened the living daylights out of me.” Another, an 85-year-old woman who lives alone, expressed sadness at her inability to do normal things, “I would love to go to town to do some shopping. I haven’t been to town for about two years… Wander round the town and have a cup of tea… I’d love that.”

    The social isolation many elderly experience was summed up neatly by another woman in her eighties in her interview: “When you go now, I will maybe not talk to anybody till tomorrow; maybe the whole of tomorrow nobody to talk [to]… face to face. Nobody will knock on that door, that is it, a life of isolation.”

    The EHRC, having commissioned this report in the face of funding changes and reform of the care system, intends to press for legislative changes to ensure those receiving care at home are given the same protections under the Human Rights Act as those in residential care. In the conclusions of their report they offer to work with, and support, local authorities in understanding and delivering care that respects peoples’ rights and dignity; and, recommend better guidance as to the choices available to the elderly, and their families, be made available.

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    South Africa end All Blacks’ 15-game winning streak
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    South Africa end All Blacks’ 15-game winning streak

    Saturday, September 2, 2006

    South Africa have defeated the All Blacks (New Zealand) in a rugby union Tri Nations match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa. The final score was a one-point victory, 21 to 20, ending the All Blacks’ 15 game winning streak. For the Springboks, it ended a five-match losing streak. The All Blacks performed the controversial Kapo O Pango haka before the match. It was the final match for the All Blacks, who had already won the trophy two weeks ago. The final match of the series will take place at Ellis Park in Johannesburg next week, when the Springboks play Australia.

    The first opportunity for points came in the 6th minute when New Zealand were penalised. South Africa opted to kick at goal, and even though there was some breeze at the ground, André Pretorius slotted it through the posts, giving South Africa a three point lead. However the All Blacks were able to even the scores in the 10th minute, with Dan Carter kicking a penalty goal after the Springboks were penalised for off-side near their line. Pretorius’ boot was accurate once again, when he successfully kicked another penalty goal in the 17th minute, giving South Africa the lead once again, six points to three. The first try of the match was scored in the 20th minute, when Carter crossed the line and after converting his own try, the All Blacks led 10 to six. However the Springboks bounced back within minutes, with wing Bryan Habana intercepting a New Zealand pass, and racing down to score under the posts. Pretorius converted from in front, and South Africa were back in front, leading 13 to 10. The All Blacks were unable to level the scores in the 27th minute, with Carter missing a penalty goal. The All Blacks’ were denied a try in the 37th minute when the television match official deemed one of the New Zealanders to have been an obstruction. Carter was able to level the scores on the stroke of half time with a penalty kick.

    Pretorius attempted to put South Africa back in front, attempting two drop goals, though both missed. A line-out turnover soon led to Pedrie Wannenburg getting over the try line to score South Africa’s second try. Pretorius’ conversion was away to the left, however, South Africa were now leading 18 to 13, with over 20 minutes remaining in the game. Joe Rokocoko scored a try for the All Blacks in the 66th minute, and Carter converted the try from the touchline to give the All Blacks a 2 point lead, the score now 20-18 with 14 minutes remaining. Pretorius attempted another drop kick with nine minutes remaining, though it missed, and the All Blacks remained in front. The Springboks were back in front, by one point, 21 to 20, when Pretorius landed a penalty kick with two minutes remaining in the match. A New Zealand knock-on in the 79th minute led to a South African scrum. The scrum needed to be set a number of times, sending the clock into overtime. However the ball got out and the whistle was blown, sending the crowd and players into celebration.

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