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HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.

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Wikinews interviews Democratic candidate for the Texas 6th congressional district special election Daryl Eddings, Sr’s campaign manager

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Wikinews extended invitations by e-mail on March 23 to multiple candidates running in the Texas’ 6th congressional district special election of May 1 to fill a vacancy left upon the death of Republican congressman Ron Wright. Of them, the office of Democrat Daryl Eddings, Sr. agreed to answer some questions by phone March 30 about their campaigns and policies. The following is the interview with Ms Chatham on behalf of Mr Eddings, Sr.

Eddings is a federal law enforcement officer and senior non-commissioned officer in the US military. His experience as operations officer of an aviation unit in the California National Guard includes working in Los Angeles to control riots sparked by the O. J. Simpson murder case and the police handling of Rodney King, working with drug interdiction teams in Panama and Central America and fighting in the Middle East. He is the founder of Operation Battle Buddy, which has under his leadership kept in touch with over 20 thousand veterans and their families. He was born in California, but moved to Midlothian, Texas. He endeavours to bring “good government, not no government”. Campaign manager Faith Chatham spoke to Wikinews on matters ranging from healthcare to housing.

An Inside Elections poll published on March 18 shows Republican candidate Susan Wright, the widow of Ron Wright, is ahead by 21% followed by Democrat Jana Sanchez with 17% and Republican Jake Ellzey with 8% with a 4.6% margin of error among 450 likely voters. The district is considered “lean Republican” by Inside Elections and voted 51% in favour of Donald Trump in last year’s US presidential election. This is down from 54% for Trump in 2016’s presidential election, the same poll stated.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Libertarian candidate Larry Stevens, Kitchener-Conestoga

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Larry Stevens is running for the Libertarian Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Computer glitch delays online tax filing in Canada

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Computer systems used by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the handling of tax filing data for Canadians have been temporarily shutdown due to infrastructure problems.[1] A March 7 article in the Toronto Star[2] states that due to errors in the electronic filing system, Canada Revenue Agency will be unable to accept any tax filings electronically or corrections to prior filings.

A fact sheet from the CRA [3] states that “until the problem is resolved, we cannot process returns filed on paper, or returns filed electronically before the system interruption. Refunds will be delayed until processing is resumed”.

A check of the taxing authority’s website[4] regarding the issue states “We have temporarily shut down public access to electronic services to ensure the integrity of taxpayer information.” and that “We have now traced the source of the problem to software maintenance conducted on March 4, 2007. We are currently working to bring all systems back online gradually.”

A CRA press release dated March 6 [5] states “Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Michel Dorais today instructed some computer applications related to personal income tax filing to be temporarily halted.” he also said, “there is no indication that this situation was caused by intrusion, hacking, or computer virus”. Further, “These applications include online services like Efile, Netfile, and My Account. Mr. Dorais said that he instructed that this preventative measure be taken following indications that CRA computer systems have run into infrastructure problems. In order to safeguard existing systems and to maintain the integrity of CRA’s taxpayer information holdings, Mr Dorais ordered tax filing processes halted.”

An article in The Globe and Mail [6] states that taxpayers “can wait for Netfile to return to service, or they can print their returns and mail them to the CRA”, which will be processed when the computer glitch is resolved.

The deadline for Canadians to submit tax returns is April 30. The CRA indicates it is too soon to speculate on whether the filing deadline will be extended. They expect to restore all services, including EFile and Netfile, well in advance of the filing deadline.[7]

The shutdown also affects third-party companies that prepare tax returns and electronically file the data using the EFile facility on behalf of clients. According to the CRA, millions of individual Canadians use the Netfile service each year.

The Agency will provide updates daily to the media until the situation is resolved.

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Wikinews Shorts: June 15, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, June 15, 2008.

Morgan Tsvangirai has been arrested again according to his party, the Movement for Democratic Change.. The police detention of Tsvangirai and 11 co-workers occurred in Shurugwi, but all were released after three hours. In the past week, the MDC leader was arrested four times as Zimbabwe approaches the June 27 secondary elections to determine if he, or incumbent President Robert Mugabe will receive a clear majority of votes.

Sources

  • David Watts. “Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrests MDC chiefs” — The Times, June 15, 2008
  • Press Release: “President Tsvangirai released after a three-hour detention” — Movement for Democratic Change, June 14, 2008
  • News 24. “Tsvangirai arrested again” — Reuters, June 14, 2008

Space Shuttle Discovery landed at 11:15 AM Saturday on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-124 mission successfully delivered parts for Kibo, an experimental module developed in Japan, to the International Space Station.

Sources

  • Irene Klotz. “Space shuttle Discovery returns to Earth” — Reuters, June 14, 2008
  • “U.S. space shuttle Discovery safely lands after 14-day space trip” — Xinhua, June 14, 2008
  • Anna Heiney. “NASA landing blog” — NASA, June 14, 2008

R. Kelly, a popular American R&B musician has been found not guilty on all 14 charges involving a videotape of him having sex with a minor. Both Kelly and the girl who was alleged to be his partner both denied they were participants in the video recording. Had the Chicago-based trial jury convicted the singer, he could have faced a 15-year prison term.

Sources

  • Associated Press. “R. Kelly acquitted of all child porn counts” — CNN, June 14, 2008
  • “R Kelly not guilty of porn charges” — The Press Association, June 14, 2008
  • David Streitfeld. “R. Kelly cleared of kid porn” — Toronto Star, June 14, 2008

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Apple to hold media event on September 1, may update iPods and Apple TV

Friday, August 27, 2010

Apple Inc. will hold a music-centered event in San Francisco, California on September 1. It has been widely speculated that the company will introduce an updated line of iPod portable music players and a new Apple TV.

The company e-mailed invitations for the event to various media organizations on Wednesday. The message included a picture of a guitar and the time of the event. Apple did not release any information about what products would be involved.

Apple has released new iPods through previous similar events in September in anticipation of the holiday shopping season. This year, Apple may unveil a new iPod Touch with two cameras, similar to their recent iPhone 4 design. It will likely also update the iTunes music store and software.

Speculation about a new Apple TV is mixed. While many blogs are reporting that a refresh of the device will be announced, analysts say that it is unlikely to happen during next Wednesday’s event. According to Reuters, sources are saying that Apple is negotiating with major television networks, including ABC and NBC, in order to provide shows for purchase on iTunes. However, they also reported that the deal has not been completed, and none of the companies involved have commented on the rumors.

It has also been rumored that Apple will introduce a new online music service. In 2009, Apple took over a company that allowed users to stream music online rather than download individual songs. Apple has not confirmed the rumors.

Last September’s media event saw the return of Apple CEO Steve Jobs after he took a break to undergo a liver transplant. This year, the event will be held in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, previously used by Apple in April for the unveiling of the iPad.

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On the campaign trail in the USA, October 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The following is the sixth and final edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the Free & Equal Foundation holds a presidential debate with three little-known candidates; three additional candidates give their final pleas to voters; and past Wikinews interviewees provide their electoral predictions ahead of the November 8 election.

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Michael Moore’s new film ‘Sicko’ leaked via P2P

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A number of reports confirm that Michael Moore’s forthcoming documentary has been leaked onto Peer-to-peer networks. This is the second pre-release leak in a month of a film from Lionsgate Studios.

The movie, SiCKO contrasts the U.S. healthcare system with that of several other countries and includes a trip to Cuba for which Moore is being investigated. The investigation by the Office of Foreign Assets Control within the United States Department of the Treasury is looking into whether Moore has violated United States embargo against Cuba, which has been in effect since 1962 and codified in 1992.

Moore has, according to agency reports, stored a copy of the original film in Canada as a result of the Federal investigation by the Treasury department. His concern is that an attempt may be made to confiscate the section of the film shot in Cuba.

According to Associated Press, David Boies, attorney for Michael Moore, believes the targeting of Moore for his unauthorised trip to Cuba may be the result of the criticism of the current administration in such films as Fahrenheit 9/11.

Tuesday Moore was seen at two pre-release screenings of the movie in Sacramento, California. His audiences were a group of politicians and a number of nurses, each attending their own screening.

The movie opens with a cold statistic that approximately 45 million Americans are without healthcare insurance. It continues by giving examples of people with healthcare insurance who have been denied all or part of their treatment for technical reasons. As well as getting thousands of responses from people who had problems with their insurance he received information from people working inside Health maintenance organizations and ex-employees who claim the system is set up to provide the minimum care and the maximum profit to the company.

The segment of the film that triggered the Federal investigation is his trip to Cuba with a number of people who relate their experiences with healthcare. Among these are several volunteer workers who worked at ground zero following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. These people claim to have been refused aid from the fund set up for 9/11 workers and were thus unable to afford their required treatment. After an attempt to obtain treatment at Guantanamo Bay detention facility – which Moore described as the only place on U.S. soil where there is “socialised medicine” – they seek out a hospital in Havana. All are checked and treated free of charge. One woman discovers that an inhaler for her respiratory problems costs approximately five cents in Cuba compared to 120 dollars in the U.S.

Health insurance companies, speaking through their trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), are critical of the film, which calls for healthcare similar to that of Canada, France, or the UK. “We need a uniquely American solution in which the public and private sectors work together to make sure that everyone has high-quality, affordable healthcare,” said Karen Ignagni, president of AHIP, on Wednesday.

The film is scheduled for wide release in the U.S. and Canada on June 29, 2007.

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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US General David Petraeus passes out during Senate testimony

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The general appears to be doing very much better.

While testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, passed out briefly while answering a question from Senator John McCain from Arizona.

While answering the question, Petraeus slumped over in mid-sentence and the hearing was immediately suspended while several people rushed over from the table to help him. Shortly after, Gen. Petraeus regained consciousness and walked from the hearing room under his own power.

The chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Michigan Senator Carl Levin said the general “appears to be doing very much better.” The senator also said that Petraeus was eating and may have been dehydrated, and that the hearing might resume. Petraeus was testifying on the Afghanistan War.

After a short time, Petraeus returned from the room he was in, smiling and sipping from a cup. Though the hearing was resumed briefly, given the circumstances, Levin postponed the hearing until Wednesday. As the hearing closed, McCain called the general one of the “nation’s heroes” and also said “we’re glad you have recovered and look forward to seeing you again tomorrow.” As Levin sounded the gavel that closed the hearing for the day, applause broke out.

Some people have speculated that Petraeus passed out because of McCain’s questions, as the General slumped over while answering McCain. However, later General Petraeus said “It wasn’t Sen. McCain’s questions. I just got dehydrated.”

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