Thousands strike in UK over pensions

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Thousands strike in UK over pensions
September 18th, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

As many as 1.5 million government workers, members of 11 unions, went on strike on Tuesday in protest of a government decision to reduce their retirement benefits, a change which would take effect in October.

The strike closed thousands of schools, libraries and leisure centres, disrupted commuters, and reduced some facilities to emergency only staffing.

UNISON claimed that more than a million workers had joined the strike, with General Secretary Dave Prentis saying “this overwhelming show of strength from Lands End to John O’Groats has obviously taken the Local Government Association and some local councils by surprise”.

The benefits change, would effect the “85 year rule,” of the Local Government Pension scheme, which allows government employees to retire at 60 as long as the sum of their age and their years of employment sum to 85 or greater. According to union representatives, the new retirement plan is targeted at lower paid employees, leaving higher paid employees to enjoy the same benefits as before.

Ahead of the strike, the Local Government Association claimed that the changes proposed by unions “would add at least 2% a year to every council taxpayer’s bill”.

The participating unions point out this is likely to be the largest strike in Britain since 1926.

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Fur fans flock to Toronto’s Furnal Equinox 2019

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Fur fans flock to Toronto’s Furnal Equinox 2019
September 18th, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu

Monday, March 25, 2019

From March 15 to 17, the Canadian city of Toronto played host to the tenth Furnal Equinox, an annual event dedicated to the “furry fandom.” Wikinews attended. Programming ranged from music to gender, science to art, covering dozens of aspects of the varied subculture. The event’s featured guests were visual artists Moth Monarch and Cat-Monk Shiro, as well as the co-owners of US fursuit costume builders Don’t Hug Cacti.

The event raised nearly CDN$11,000 for Pet Patrol, a non-profit rescue organization in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, run by volunteers. This exceeded their goal of $10,000, the funds needed to finish a rural sanctuary. The furry community is well-known for their charitable efforts. Along with direct donations, the funds were raised through a charity auction offering original artwork, and a fursuit design by guests of honour “Don’t Hug Cacti.” Last year, Furnal Equinox raised funds for a farm animal sanctuary.

While only 10–15% of people within the fandom own a fursuit according to a 2011 study, event organizers reported this year 908 of the 2240 attendees at Furnal Equinox brought at least one elaborate outfit to the event. The outfits are usually based on original characters, known as “fursonas”.

Guests of Honour Cherie and Sean O’Donnell, known within the community as “Lucky and Skuff Coyote”, held a session on fursuit construction on Saturday afternoon. The married couple are among the most prominent builders in the fandom, under the name Don’t Hug Cacti. The scale of their business was evident, as Sean had made over a thousand pairs of “handpaws”, costume gloves.

The couple encouraged attendees to continue developing their technique, sharing that all professional fursuit makers had developed different techniques. They felt that they learned more from failed projects than successful ones, citing the Chuck Jones quote that “every artist has thousands of bad drawings,” and that you have to work through them to achieve. Cherie, known as Lucky, recalled receiving a Sylvester the Cat plush toy from a Six Flags theme park at age 10. She promptly hollowed the toy out, turning it into a costume. Creating a costume isn’t without its hazards: the company uses 450°F (232°C) glue guns. They’re “like sticking your hand in an oven.”

Other programming included improv comedy, dances, life drawing of fursuiters, a review of scientific research by a research group at four universities called FurScience, a pin collector’s social, and workshops in writing.

The “Dealer’s Den” hall was expanded this year, with even more retailers and artists. While many offered “furry” versions of traditional products, at least one business focused on “pushing the boundaries of fursuit technology.” Along with 3D printing a bone-shaped name tag when Wikinews visited, Grivik was demonstrating miniature computer screens that could be used as “eyes” for a fursuit. The electronic displays projected an animation of eyes looking around, blinking occasionally. The maker has also developed “a way to install a camera inside suit heads, to improve fursuiter visibility.” He hopes the tech would reduce suiting risks and accidents. Without the need for eyeholes, fursuit makers would have “more options for building different eyestyles.”

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Category:April 16, 2010

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Category:April 16, 2010
September 18th, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu
? April 15, 2010
April 17, 2010 ?
April 16

Pages in category “April 16, 2010”

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Fur fans flock to Toronto’s Furnal Equinox 2019

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Fur fans flock to Toronto’s Furnal Equinox 2019
September 7th, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu

Monday, March 25, 2019

From March 15 to 17, the Canadian city of Toronto played host to the tenth Furnal Equinox, an annual event dedicated to the “furry fandom.” Wikinews attended. Programming ranged from music to gender, science to art, covering dozens of aspects of the varied subculture. The event’s featured guests were visual artists Moth Monarch and Cat-Monk Shiro, as well as the co-owners of US fursuit costume builders Don’t Hug Cacti.

The event raised nearly CDN$11,000 for Pet Patrol, a non-profit rescue organization in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, run by volunteers. This exceeded their goal of $10,000, the funds needed to finish a rural sanctuary. The furry community is well-known for their charitable efforts. Along with direct donations, the funds were raised through a charity auction offering original artwork, and a fursuit design by guests of honour “Don’t Hug Cacti.” Last year, Furnal Equinox raised funds for a farm animal sanctuary.

While only 10–15% of people within the fandom own a fursuit according to a 2011 study, event organizers reported this year 908 of the 2240 attendees at Furnal Equinox brought at least one elaborate outfit to the event. The outfits are usually based on original characters, known as “fursonas”.

Guests of Honour Cherie and Sean O’Donnell, known within the community as “Lucky and Skuff Coyote”, held a session on fursuit construction on Saturday afternoon. The married couple are among the most prominent builders in the fandom, under the name Don’t Hug Cacti. The scale of their business was evident, as Sean had made over a thousand pairs of “handpaws”, costume gloves.

The couple encouraged attendees to continue developing their technique, sharing that all professional fursuit makers had developed different techniques. They felt that they learned more from failed projects than successful ones, citing the Chuck Jones quote that “every artist has thousands of bad drawings,” and that you have to work through them to achieve. Cherie, known as Lucky, recalled receiving a Sylvester the Cat plush toy from a Six Flags theme park at age 10. She promptly hollowed the toy out, turning it into a costume. Creating a costume isn’t without its hazards: the company uses 450°F (232°C) glue guns. They’re “like sticking your hand in an oven.”

Other programming included improv comedy, dances, life drawing of fursuiters, a review of scientific research by a research group at four universities called FurScience, a pin collector’s social, and workshops in writing.

The “Dealer’s Den” hall was expanded this year, with even more retailers and artists. While many offered “furry” versions of traditional products, at least one business focused on “pushing the boundaries of fursuit technology.” Along with 3D printing a bone-shaped name tag when Wikinews visited, Grivik was demonstrating miniature computer screens that could be used as “eyes” for a fursuit. The electronic displays projected an animation of eyes looking around, blinking occasionally. The maker has also developed “a way to install a camera inside suit heads, to improve fursuiter visibility.” He hopes the tech would reduce suiting risks and accidents. Without the need for eyeholes, fursuit makers would have “more options for building different eyestyles.”

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“Camp Casey” moves to safer land, as Mother’s protest continues

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“Camp Casey” moves to safer land, as Mother’s protest continues
September 7th, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

In Crawford, Texas, anti-war protesters led by American Cindy Sheehan, mother of a fallen soldier, have found a new place to demonstrate. “A kind gentleman from down the road, closer to the Bush ranch, has offered us the use of his property,” said Sheehan to the reporters, as the camp prepared a move to private land.

The property owner, U.S. Army veteran Fred Mattlage, said, “I just think people should have a right to protest without being harassed, and I’m against the war. I don’t think it’s a war we need to be in.”

Sheehan continued to tell the reporters, “He offered it because he heard about the shots fired at us the other day and he didn’t think that was right. He happens to be the third cousin of the person that fired the shots and so he came down and he said he supports us 100 percent.”

The “shots fired” were those of nearby resident Larry Mattlage, whose land borders the protesters at their current location. After complaining about the proximity of the protesters, he fired a shotgun twice into the air Sunday – in order to prepare for duck hunting season, he said. Mattlage says at no time was he ever threatening the protesters with his shots.

Not all Americans agree with Mrs. Sheehan’s position. On Monday, a man was arrested and charged with vandalism of Camp Casey’s memorial for troops lost in Iraq. Around 10pm the previous night, authorities say the accused used his pickup truck to run over hundreds of small wooden crosses bearing names of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

In comments to the press, Bush offered sympathy to Sheehan, “I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan. She feels strongly about her — about her position. And she has every right in the world to say what she believes.”, he said. However, he has still declined to meet her. “I think it’s important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say.” Bush told reporters, “But, I think it’s also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life.”

Others have commented that Sheehan is being used by those with their own agendas, “What started out as a grieving mom that we all sympathized with has now turned into … an orchestrated far-left campaign,” commented Greg Mueller, a conservative public-relations executive.

A former FBI special agent, Rowley, and Becky Lourey, whose son was killed in Iraq, will leave for Texas on Thursday and camp at the site for a few days.

Rowley said, “It puts a human face on this issue; many people, if they don’t have a personal connection to the troops, it’s so easy for this to become a discussion that lacks seriousness and urgency. I think it’s good to show that there are real people that are being affected.”

“Our children are dying and I think it’s time to go support Cindy and see if Bush will come out and we can say, ‘President Bush, what is the mission exactly?’,” Becky Lourey added. “Truth has been shifting all around and I think we need to rejoin the world community and not occupy another nation.” Lourey said.

Sheehan wants the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq. President Bush claims that leaving Iraq now wouldn’t be helpful for Iraqis or Americans, but only for terrorists.

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Wikinews interviews Mark Bunker, producer of anti-Scientology website ‘XenuTV’

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Wikinews interviews Mark Bunker, producer of anti-Scientology website ‘XenuTV’
September 7th, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu

Monday, February 18, 2008

Television producer and owner of the anti-Scientology website www.xenutv.com (XenuTV), Mark Bunker, also known as Wise Beard Man, chatted online with Wikinews for nearly three hours. More than 120 people followed the interview live (many from Project Chanology), which makes this exclusive Wikinews interview our most attended IRC interview to date.

Bunker started XenuTV in 1999 and began to make videos that he provided for the Lisa McPherson Trust. Bunker has been a critic of the Church of Scientology since 1997.

In 2006, he won a Regional Emmy Award after he and KUSI-TV news reporter Lena Lewis produced a documentary news video on the issues with the United States – Mexico border with San Diego, California.

Contents

  • 1 The Interview
    • 1.1 Questions from IRC users
  • 2 Sister links
  • 3 Sources

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TESEV Report on Eastern Turkey for UNDP released

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TESEV Report on Eastern Turkey for UNDP released
September 5th, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu

Friday, November 24, 2006

According to a report released by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) for United Nation’s Development Plan, the per capita GNP in Eastern Turkey, an area predominantly inhabited by Kurdish people, is as low as seven percent of that of the European Union on average. The report analyzed a region of 21 cities in Eastern Turkey*. One of the cities included in the report, ??rnak, was reported to be as poor as Botswana, Southern Africa.

Other points highlighted in the report included:

  • 60% of the population in the region was under the poverty line. If this situation persists, people may start to migrate to Northern Iraq.
  • If 1% of the national income is spent on Eastern Turkey’s infrastructure and social investment for 7 years, the region will be enabled to finance itself. If the economic and social conditions in the region are fixed, the fragile relationship between the Turkish government and the Kurdish people of the region may improve.
  • Access to health services is a primary human right. Without access to health services, one cannot expect that people of this region can live in confidence. Health institutions should employ nurses who speak Kurdish so the patients can communicate with the health services staff.
  • The use of the private sector is not reliable as a solution. The government should act to remedy the lack of infrastructure in the region.

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Chinese chef Peng Chang-kuei’s death announced

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Chinese chef Peng Chang-kuei’s death announced
September 5th, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Peng Chang-kuei, a Chinese-born chef credited with creating the internationally popular dish General Tso’s chicken, was yesterday announced to have died by his son.

Chuck Peng told The Associated Press his father died of pneumonia in Taipei, Taiwan on Wednesday. The chef fled China to Taiwan in 1949 and invented the dish shortly thereafter. In the 1970s Peng opened a New York restaurant, which he claimed was a regular haunt of Henry Kissinger. Peng credited Kissinger with the dish’s popularity.

Peng conceived the famed dish, which is unknown in China, as unfried. Garlic and soy sauce provided flavour, as did chillies. Today the chicken is served across the US as fried chicken in a sweet, sticky sauce. The chillies remain, with broccoli also appearing. Peng named it after Zuo Zongtang from his native Hunan Province; Zongtang assisted in suppressing the 19th-century Taiping Rebellion.

Peng said the meal was invented for a US admiral visiting Taiwan. Over three days, Peng was contracted to produce several banquets, with not one repeated dish. After exhausting traditional chicken dishes Peng said he created what became General Tso’s chicken as an experiment.

In later years he ran Peng’s, a chain of Taiwanese restaurants. General Tso’s chicken also remained popular across the US. His son claimed he remained working in the kitchen until a few months before his death, at 97. In a documentary two years ago, shown photos of General Tso’s chicken served in the US in modern times, he remarked “This is all crazy nonsense.”

Running away from his farming family in Changsha, Peng trained under Cao Jingchen. He fled communist rule that followed the 1930s Japanese invasion. He fathered seven children, six of whom remain alive, from three marriages. Chuck Peng described his father as “very good to other people, [but] very hard on his family.” Peng Jr. spoke of a “very demanding” man who “thought other people’s cooking was no good.”

Two years ago the Taipei City Government awarded Peng an Outstanding Citizen award. Peng, then 95 and unstable, collected the award in person and delivered a speech in Mandarin Chinese.

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US rapper Mac Miller dies at home in Los Angeles

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US rapper Mac Miller dies at home in Los Angeles
September 5th, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu

Sunday, September 9, 2018

On Friday, rapper Mac Miller was found dead in his bedroom at home in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California, United States, according to reports. He was 26.

According to news website TMZ, a friend called emergency services from Mac Miller’s apartment, in regard to a cardiac arrest. According to the coroner, Mac Miller was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigation was ongoing to identify the cause of the death.

Reports said Mac Miller previously abused drugs, which reportedly affected his two-year relationship with singer Ariana Grande. They broke up in May this year.

Mac Miller was an US rapper, singer and record producer. He was born Malcolm James McCormick in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US in 1992. In 2007, at the age of fifteen, he released his first mixtape under the nickname “EZ Mac”. He later switched to name “Mac Miller”.

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FEMA accused of misusing trained disaster workers as public-relations workers

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FEMA accused of misusing trained disaster workers as public-relations workers
September 3rd, 2019 by 6FjUhLbu

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is being criticized for misallocation of personnel in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. FEMA representatives said they requested volunteers from fire departments around the U.S., to handle its community relations campaign. However, a document FEMA sent to local fire departments asked for firefighters with very specific skills and who were capable of working in “austere conditions”. Fire departments around the nation responded by sending crews to the FEMA staging ground in Atlanta. Some of these crews were unaware that they were only going to be used for public relations work. Others, however, merely hoped that FEMA would allocate them to rescue and damage control operations once it saw their qualifications.

The firefighter’s objections are particularly poignant as one of FEMA public relations training seminars coincided with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin plea for firefighters on national television, to relieve his own exhausted crews. It is unclear if FEMA’s request for firefighters prevented any municipalities from responding to Mayor Nagin’s request.

Some firefighters have objected to their use as FEMA public relations officers because their municipalities must bear the cost of their salaries, as well as endure reduced firefighting capacity. FEMA has stated that it sought to use firefighters to avoid background checks required of federal employees.

Firefighters began receiving their assignments Monday, September 5th. Among these was a crew of 50 assigned to tour the devastated areas with President Bush and the press.

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