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News briefs:June 10, 2010

December 17, 2018 0

in Uncategorized @ 2:01 am
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6.0 magnitude earthquake rocks eastern Turkey

December 14, 2018 0

in Uncategorized @ 3:17 am

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Basyurt, in the Elazig province or eastern Turkey at 04:32 AM (02:32 GMT) on Monday. According to local Kandilli observatory, the quake struck at a depth of five kilometres; the epicenter was near Karakocan town in the same province.

The pre-dawn earthquake killed at least 40 people and almost 100 were injured. The village of Okcular was worst hit, claimed the press secretary for the provincial governor, Ozcan Yalcin. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, nearly five hours later, a magnitude-5.5 aftershock hit the province. 40 other aftershocks followed shortly, the highest of them being 4.4 magnitude, according to sources.

While no deaths were immediately reported, the government’s crisis management center soon put the toll at seventeen with another 60 injured according to the officials at Ankara, the capital. It was soon confirmed that at least 39 were dead; the toll is expected to rise. At least four of the victims were children.

Muammer Erol, the provincial governor of Elazig, stated Okcular, Yukari Kanatli and Kayali accounted for majority of the dead. He told CNN Turk that “villages consisting mainly of mud-brick houses have been damaged, but we have minimal damage such as cracks in buildings made of cement or stone”.

Okcular, the largest of the affected villages, accounted for at least seventeen of the dead. The village has a population of 800, and the majority of the dwellers live in mud-brick homes built on hillsides. About 25 to 30 houses were demolished in this village. “The village is totally flattened,” Hasan Demirdag, local administrator, told NTV.

Yadin Apaydin, the administrator of Yukari Kanatli, said his village had been severely affected. “Everything has been knocked down – there is not a stone in place,” he told CNN’s Turkey sister network, CNN Türk.

“Many houses have collapsed. Search and rescue teams have been sent to the area,” said the prime minister’s office in a statement. Injured people are being rushed to local hospitals according to sources. At least 100 people have been taken to hospital. Some who panicked after the first quake jumped from balconies or windows were injured.

Rescue workers, consisting of policemen as well as civilians dug with shovels to rescue people from the debris. The Turkish Red Crescent is also sending tents and blankets to be distributed. Neighboring districts are providing ambulances to assist the victims. Cemil Cicek, deputy Prime Minister of Turkey has left for the disaster area. Health Minister Recep Akdag, Housing Minister Mustafa Demir and State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz are accompanying him.

According to CNN Türk, the tremor of the earthquake was felt in the adjacent provinces of Bitlis and Diyarbakir, causing residents to panic.

Turkey lies on highly active fault lines and earthquakes often hit the nation. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake in Istanbul killed 20,000 people in August 1999. Most of the earthquakes that hit Turkey are usually minor.

News briefs:June 1, 2010

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US fans turn out for 2012 Phoenix Comicon

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in Uncategorized @ 2:20 am

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Phoenix, Arizona — Last weekend, Phoenix fans of comics, science fiction, horror, fantasy, cos-play, anime and manga, Society for Creative Anachronism, and more, marked a milestone as the city held its tenth annual Phoenix Comicon at the Phoenix Convention Center. The event — which is entirely the work of more than 700 volunteers according to coordinator Colin Aprill — generated around US$5 million for the “Valley of the Sun” during its four-day run. Wikinews was there.

As one unknown source from the crowd was overheard saying, “It’s all about the fans.” Descending into the hall by escalator gave a sense of the scale to the creativity in the center. Fans could be seen scattering about in a flurry of motion on their way from one event to another and producing their own spectacle, most in costume, on their way.

This year the four-day convention in the Valley was estimated to set a new attendance record as 30,000 visitors showed. Most were clothed in costumes that transformed themselves into Batmans, creeper box heads, furries, Lady and Knight couple, pirates, pixies, Star Trek officers, Star Wars’ Empire troopers, Superwomen, and zombies. One of the most common activities at Comicon was people taking photos of each other while they took turns posing or snapping shots.

The Camp family stopped intermittently to have their photos taken by others. The Camps were led by eldest brother Jim “Batman” Camp. He attended Comicon with his sister Tina “Good Witch” Camp, who brought her daughter Katie “Super Woman.” Sibling Tony Camp, who attended with his daughter Stella “Bat Girl,” was said to be “the instigator” behind the family’s turnout at Comicon. “You get to be dressed up and can act goofy, and you don’t feel weird because everybody is dressing up, too,” said Tony about the family-friendly event.

The exhibit hall was filled with artists and merchants selling comic books, trinkets, memorabilia, wares and keepsakes. Amidst the shoppers, the photo opportunities continued to attract the most attention. For all the star-studded autograph booths and an artist alley with famed comic book artists, the most fun was simply enjoying the presence of other fans in costume.

The Thirteenth Floor Haunted House took advantage of the photo-op activity by supplying monsters “Nemesis” and “Collosus” for more of this activity. Manager Tim Pugsley says the company owns five out of the top 1300 haunted houses in the United States. The monsters’ human counterparts remained anonymous on purpose. “The characters don’t get ruined that way,” said a handler.

Montana E. had his picture taken with “Nemesis” by friend Joey Deihl, while Eddie Deleon and young Raquel Munguia posed with “Collosus.”

Fans also gathered Saturday for a flash mob event, in which people danced or acted to Michael Jackson’s mega-hit song “Thriller”. An entertainment group calling themselves “The Zombie Chicks” attended the flash mob and then later drifted in trance through the exhibitor hall of the convention center. “We’re here for the performance, not for the stuff,” said Tori Hoganson, who pointed like a bored consumer at the trinkets in a stall. She was careful to use as few words as possible to speak her mind out of character before going back mindfully to her mindless performance. She was accompanied by her friends, who in human form are known as Emmalaine Wright and Lyle Yanak. The group was watched closely and held at bay by “The Keeper” Ben Fondren, who lurked nearby as a faceless shadow.

The fans also turned out to see big stars, like William Shatner, who portrayed Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series; LeVar Burton, who is synonymous with the ship’s engineer Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation; or Jon Bernthal, who was the sometimes hero and sometimes anti-hero Shane Walsh in the TV series The Waking Dead.

Father and son John and David Phelps, who are both Star Trek fans, attended the event together and were excited to see Shatner. “He can be funny, but he’s also fun to laugh at,” said John Phelps with a smile. His son David liked to laugh at Shatner when the artist attempted to sing. Shatner has had an alternative “tongue-in-cheek” career singing hits such as “Common People” on the 2004 album Has Been.

Hunter Lewis got Jon Bernthal’s autograph, which came penned with the message, “I F@&#’in hate Zombies.” Zombies were the main source of the angst that bedeviled characters in his hit TV show. Hunter’s friends Justin Rose, Ryan Scola and Taylor Fagen also met with Bernthal in the autograph line. This was just one of many examples of how friends and family were bonding and sharing together in the spectacle throughout the convention center.

There were also breakout sessions for classes, performances, gaming, and crafts. Nyki Robertson Crosby, a.k.a. “Lady Thunder,” who is the matriarch of one of the largest houses for the Society for Creative Anachronism in the Phoenix area, sponsored a class on creating a “Basic T-shirt Tunic” so that anyone who wanted to attend an S.C.A. event in costume could fit in with a minimal investment in time, effort and money. She said the secret is to create a costume that could be one someone would wear between 600–1600 A.D. “We’re the Society of Creative Anachronism and not the Society of Creative Accuracy,” Robertson Crosby said.

The Phoenix Comicon was carnivalesque in its look and feel. And it spread well beyond the convention center as knights and Wonderland characters and more walked the streets of Phoenix and lunched and dined with the “civilians”. The civilians were the ones who kept asking, “What’s going on?”

They may have been “out of towners” visiting the “Valley of the Sun” between May 24–27, because after ten years, Phoenix now has an established tradition.

This year’s largest Comicon is to be Comic-Con International San Diego 2012, July 12–15 in California.

Electronic voting disputed in France

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in Uncategorized @ 2:17 am

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In France, voting has traditionally been a low-tech experience: voters isolate themselves in a booth, put a pre-printed sheet of paper indicating their candidate of choice into an envelope. After officials verify the voter’s identity, the voter drops the envelope into the ballot box and signs the voting roll. French electoral law rather strictly codifies the proceedings. Since 1988, ballot boxes must be transparent so that voters and observers can witness that no envelopes are present at the start of the vote and that no envelopes are added except those of the duly counted and authorized voters. Candidates can send representatives to witness every part of the process. In the evening, votes are counted by volunteers under heavy supervision, following specific procedures.

In the past, voting machines, though authorized by law, were scarce. But this year, during presidential elections (the first round was April 22, the second is on May 6), the country is shaken by controversy about the machines intended to count about 1.5 million votes.

As in the United States, there is a group of academic computer scientists that oppose voting machines. They argue that voting machines replace a public, easily understandable counting process, where large-scale fraud would entail large-scale corruption, by an opaque process where votes are counted by machines that voters have to blindly trust. Voting machines have to be approved by the Ministry of the Interior, but this approval is based on confidential reports by private companies. Opponents to the machines point out that the Ministry was long held by Nicolas Sarkozy, who happens to be the leading candidate. Opponents also list a number of weaknesses and discrepancies that have occurred in other countries using voting machines.

All main political parties except UMP, Mr Sarkozy’s ruling party, oppose the voting machines. Some citizens have filed for court injunctions against the voting machines. Opponents have given detailed instructions that voting witnesses should check whether the machines correspond exactly to an approved type, including software versions, and fulfill all legal conditions. In a sign of the frenzy over the issue, on April 12 the Ministry of the Interior issued a last-minute authorization for a specific model (hardware, firmware). The stakes are high: votes on unapproved machines should be canceled by the Constitutional Council for the official count.

The opposition has crystallized on the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux. Issy’s mayor, André Santini is a well-known technophile; his city organizes a “World E-Gov Forum”. Here too, last minute fixes are at work. The machines delivered to the city are of a yet-to-be-approved type. The manufacturer, the American company ES&S voting systems, is now delivering older 2005 machines. Le Monde reports that other municipalities have already replaced their recent machines by an older, approved, model.

Proponents of the machines, such as the French company France Élection, claim they are being defamed and dispute the competence of their critics. Elected officials supporting the machines claim the machines save on paper, time, and the need to find volunteers to count votes.

News briefs:June 16, 2010

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in Uncategorized @ 2:12 am
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Where To Find Video Editing In Columbia

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in Music Chart @ 2:05 am

byAlma Abell

Almost every video that is shot can benefit from editing. Professional editing can turn even the most boring video into something eye catching and memorable. In fact, post-production is considered a vital part of the process of filming. In Columbia, Maryland, videos are created for a variety of reasons. Many videos are used for television commercials or infomercials. A number of artists like to shoot their own music videos to promote concerts or albums. Videos are utilized with great effect online in webcasts or webinars. With quality video editing in Columbia, you will have a production that sends the right message.

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Making your own video is sometimes the right way to go, especially if you have a limited budget and cannot afford to hire a videographer. Renting video equipment is a good option, but decent production values will demand a bare minimum that you simply should not do without. Thanks to high definition flat screen televisions and stunning video game graphics, people are now more discerning when it comes to the visual medium. This means that you will need a good video camera with high resolution or your video might not attract the attention you want. A good microphone is also necessary for producing a quality video. If you are filming outdoors, you can make use of natural lighting, but lighting equipment is almost unavoidable for indoor shooting. If the job seems like too much for you to handle, then it is best to leave it to a professional videography companies like Infinite resolution. A company like this one will not only take care of the concept and filming, they will be able to provide all the post-production work you need.

Even if you have no idea how to go about shooting a video, you will be able to explain why you need it. A professional videographer will use this information to create a video that aligns with your ideas. A company that does video editing in Columbia should have current software and hardware. You should also have the option of adding post -production features like sounds or special effects if necessary. Whether or not you are shooting your own video, you should discuss the options available to you with the videographer before the filming starts.

Interview with Reggie Bibbs on his life with neurofibromatosis

December 12, 2018 0

in Uncategorized @ 2:47 am

Friday, December 14, 2007

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic condition causing benign tumors (neurofibromas) to grow along certain types of nerves and, in addition, it can affect the development of bones or skin. There are several variants of the disease but type 1 and type 2 NF account for the vast majority of cases.

The disease manifestations can vary from very mild to severe. Major symptoms include growths on and under the skin; skin pigmentations called café au lait spots in type 1; acoustic nerve tumors and consequent hearing loss in type 2. Growths can affect nearly all parts of the body, and pressure on nearby structures can cause a wide variety of complications. There is a small risk that the tumors transform into malignant cancerous lesions.

NF is one of the most common single-gene human diseases; around 1 in 2,500-4,000 live births are affected by NF-1, whereas NF-2 occurs in about 1 in 50,000-120,000. Both type 1 and 2 are autosomal dominant conditions, meaning that only one copy of the mutated gene need be inherited to pass the disorder. A child of a parent with neurofibromatosis and an unaffected parent will have a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder. The gene responsible for NF-1 and possibly NF-2 is thought to function as a tumor suppressor gene.

In most cases of neurofibromatosis 1, patients can live normal and productive lives. In about 25-40% of patients there is an associated learning disability with or without ADHD. In some cases of neurofibromatosis 2, the damage to nearby vital structures, such as the cranial nerves and the brainstem, can be life-threatening. When tumors are causing pain or disfiguration, surgery is thus far the only proven beneficial treatment option.

Reggie Bibbs is a 43-year-old-man living in Houston, Texas. Mr Bibbs was born with a genetic disease called neurofibromatosis (NF), which causes him to develop tumors on his body (see infobox on the right). NF can be a subtle disease, but in Bibbs’ case it has left him with a disfigured face and deformed leg. But he is happy with the way he looks, and doesn’t want to change his appearance to please other people. He has launched a successful campaign entitled “Just Ask”, and that’s just what Wikinews did in a video-interview.

The interview was prepared by Wikinews reporter Michaël Laurent with the help of Bertalan Meskó (who has a popular genetics and web 2.0 blog). Their questions were sent to a close friend of Mr. Bibbs, Lou Congelio, who kindly conducted the interview.

Contents

  • 1 Infobox: What is neurofibromatosis?
  • 2 The interview
    • 2.1 On neurofibromatosis
    • 2.2 Growing up
    • 2.3 A head to toe body tour
    • 2.4 The daily life of Reggie Bibbs
    • 2.5 Raising awareness and his campaign
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

A 1-year long strike against FMC Novamed: Women workers allege unfair treatment

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in Uncategorized @ 2:39 am

Monday, September 17, 2007

In a free trade zone in Antalya, Turkey, 80 women workers of FMC Novamed are in strike for almost a year now, since September 26th, 2006. They allege not only low wages but also severe abuses on FMC’s part.

Novamed, founded in 2001, is a factory managed by Turkish capitalists and located in the free trade zone in Antalya, Turkey. 95% of its workers are women. It is owned by Fresenius Medical Care (FMC), which is an international corporation with its headquarters in Germany. With factories in 12 countries and a total of 100,000 workers, FMC is a monopoly in the market of dialysis products.

Adam Folkard and Nick Norton ready for more men’s softball

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in Uncategorized @ 2:13 am

Monday, March 19, 2012Hawker, Canberra — Coming off a national championship win for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) men’s open team in mid-February, Australia men’s national softball team representatives Nick Norton and Adam Folkard are getting ready for more softball later this year, including the Australian club championships to be held in Brisbane in June.

Folkard and Norton have both won the World Championships and have each won a total of ten national championships with the ACT side. They are both named to the current men’s national team, which has roughly thirty players, and believe they are likely to survive the December cut down to eighteen players who will represent Australia at next year’s World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand.

The World Championship is one of the two most prestigious available to male softball players. The other is the International Softball Congress, an event Folkard and Norton have both competed at.

As national team representatives, there are a lot of expectations for them. In Australia, there is almost no financial support for the men’s game so they must cover most of their own costs, including travel to and from international competitions. According to Folkard’s father, these costs can be prohibitive. In one year, when Folkard was a representative on the men’s U18, U23 and Open team, it cost A$15,000 for travel and other expenses just for Folkard. When costs for bringing family members such as Folkard’s sisters to major international tournaments, the costs were even higher. Folkard, his father and Norton all joked this cost his father an investment property to allow Folkard to continue to compete at the highest level. Both Folkard and Norton currently work as tradesmen to support softball playing.

Beyond money, the national team requires players to be actively involved in wider softball community. Players must represent a club at the club championships in Brisbane if they want to retain a spot in the squad. Folkard plays for a Western Australian club and Norton plays for a Sydney based club, driving down from Canberra to play every Sunday during the season.

Folkard and Norton have both played softball at the highest level in the United States, where the men’s game is not yet fully professionalized but still presents more opportunities for players than are available at home. For several years, Folkard has gone to the United States for three-month stints, playing for teams in Chicago, Pennsylvania, and New York. One side he played was sponsored by Ernst and Young. Folkard currently plays for a Canadian side and has been trying to convince Norton, whom he has grown up playing softball with, to join him like Norton has done one previous season. According to Folkard, playing with a North American club has certain advantages. The clubs pay for his travel to and from Australia, and pay for Championship rings. When asked how North American clubs sign Australian players, he said they follow men’s softball in Australia and call up players to offer contracts. Australian men’s players gain additional exposure to potential clubs when they compete, with some sides approaching them during the North American season and seeking to contract them for the following season.

Both men would love the opportunity to play softball in the Olympics, but believe such an opportunity is unlikely. According to them, softball at the Olympics is a women’s game intrinsically linked to men’s baseball, and men’s softball is unlikely to ever be considered on the programme as a result.

Folkard and Norton both play for the same club in the ACT territory club competition. Their team has secured a grand final berth for the match in ten days. They are waiting to find out who they will play against based on a match this weekend. Both have previously won this competition.

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