Canada’s Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontoians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16). Two candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Steven Bosnick, Charm Darby, Albert Pantaleo, Yigal Rifkind, Karen Stintz (incumbent), and Steve Watt.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

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Repeal of ministerial control of RU486 bill passes Australian Senate

Thursday, February 9, 2006

The bill on whether the Australian Federal Health Minster Tony Abbott should not exercise ministerial control of the abortifacient RU486 has passed the Australian Senate February 9, 2006. If the bill passes the Australian House of Representatives, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will exercise control and evaluation of the suitability of the drug for use in Australia.

Senators were allowed a free vote on the issue. The result of the vote on the third reading, the final stage of the bill, was 45 for to 28 in favour of TGA exercising control. 23 of the 26 female senators voted in favour of the bill, while numbers were more evenly split between the male senators; 21 of them voted for the bill and 25 were against.

The bill will be debated in the House of Representatives on February 14, 2006.

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Qatari diplomat detained on Las Vegas bound flight

Friday, April 9, 2010

A man tried to ignite his shoes during a flight from Washington, DC to Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday. Air Marshals subdued the Qatari diplomat on board the airplane before it landed safely at Denver International Airport in Colorado. The airplane was United Airlines Flight 663, a Boeing 757 with 157 passengers and 6 crew members on board.

A search concluded that there were no explosives on the plane. NBC News reports that there was smoke coming from a restroom which led to an air marshal subduing the suspect.

The diplomat was reportedly smoking a cigarette in the plane’s lavatory. He also reportedly stated, jokingly, that he wanted to light his shoe on fire. It is unlikely that he will face charges due to his diplomatic immunity.

After the incident was reported by the pilot, military jets scrambled and escorted the airplane safely to Denver. The TSA and law enforcement agencies took the suspect into custody and are currently investigating the incident.

This incident occurs just as many countries are trying to lift their airplane restrictions caused by a Nigerian man who tried to detonate explosives in his underwear.

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U.S. Congress passes CAFTA with 2 vote House margin

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) early morning Thursday, with a narrow vote of 217 in favor, 215 against. Voting was held open for an hour, 45 minutes past the House’s 15-minute voting rule as the President along with other supporters lobbied into the night.

The vote was so close, if one House member changed a “Yea” vote to a “Nay” vote, CAFTA would have failed in a 216-216 tie.

In tallying the votes, 25 Republicans, mostly from Midwest Corn Belt and Rust Belt states and the Southeast United States’s textile industrial belt, broke party line to vote against the measure. Two Republicans were present, but refused to vote.

The Democrats presented a more united front. All but 15 Democrats present voted against the treaty. Independent House members, who usually vote with the Democrats also voted against the measure.

Supporters of the measure include President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. Opponents included most House Democrats.

The trade agreement already passed the Senate in June. President Bush has said he will sign it into law.

DR-CAFTA encompasses the following components:

  • Services: all public services are to be open to private investment.
  • Investment: governments promise to grant ironclad guarantees to foreign investment.
  • Government procurement: All government purchases must be open to transnational bids.
  • Market access: governments pledge to reduce and eventually to eliminate tariffs and other measures that protect domestic products.
  • Agriculture: duty-free import and elimination of subsidies]] on agricultural products.
  • Intellectual property rights: privatization of and monopoly over technological know-how.
  • Anti-dumping]] rules, subsidies and countervailing rights: governments commit to phase out protectionist barriers in all sectors.
  • Competition policy: the dismantling of national monopolies.
  • Dispute resolution: the right of transnationals to sue countries in private international courts.
  • Environmental protection: the enforcement of environmental laws and improvement of the environment.
  • Labor standards: the enforcement of the International Labour Organization’s core labor standards.
  • Transparency: the reduction of government corruption.
  • Test-Data Exclusivity for pharmaceutical corporations
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17 million accounts’ hashed passwords, emails stolen, Zomato says

Friday, May 19, 2017

Yesterday, Zomato, a food ordering and restaurant finding company, announced security breach of more than 17 million accounts, via their official blog. A hacker operating under the alias nclay uploaded evidence to prove they had the stolen data — hashed passwords and emails — for sale, reported. Zomato later announced they contacted the hacker, who asked Zomato to organise a bug bounty programme.

The food ordering company, with 120 million monthly users, said the payment information of the users was not located with this data and was not leaked. Zomato said it uses PCI Data Security Standards.

As a security measure, all the passwords of the involved Zomato accounts were reset and all of the accounts were forcibly logged out from the application and website. The company said only hashed passwords were compromised.

Hashed passwords are encrypted and, per Zomato, every password had a different “salt”, for cryptographic salting was performed before hashing the original password. A “salt” is a random set of characters added before encryption to make decryption to obtain the original passkey more difficult.

The hashed password itself can not be used to access the account. In the blog post before contacting the hacker, saying “internal (human) security breach”, Zomato suggested this could have happened after a worker’s development account was hijacked. After contacting the hacker, and promising a bug bounty programme on Hackerone, they said, the hacker agreed and removed the stolen data which was put on sale on the dark web. Zomato said they are looking forward to working closely with the ethical hacker community on security vulnerabilities.

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All major American TV networks show charity concert for Katrina victims

Saturday, September 10, 2005

On Friday, all six major American television networks; ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, WB, and UPN, along with most PBS stations, united in a rare show of solidarity to air a one hour charity concert called Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast.

The concert aired live at 8pm in the Eastern time zone and 7pm in the Central time zone and on tape-delay in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. It was also shown on the Internet and many cable networks such as USA, Bravo and G4.

The show was produced by Joel Gallen, the same man behind the September 11th tribute concert America: A Tribute to Heroes. The show was not censored for political statements but was for obscenities. Gallen did not expect any political statements. Last week, rapper Kayne West made a remark on an NBC charity show A Concert for Hurricane Relief, in which West claimed that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”, which caused controversy.

The concert began with Randy Newman singing “Louisana 1927.” Throughout the concert there were notable acts, such U2 performing “One” with Mary. J Blige. Another moment was Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and the house band from The Late Show with David Letterman doing a cover of John Fogerty’s “Who’ll Stop The Rain”.

Donations were being solicited for the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Telecom company AT&T provided toll-free calling and 10 call centers for the event and MCI provided volunteers from their call centers.

BET also held a charity concert called S.O.S (Saving OurSelves), a half-hour before cutting to the main one.

MTV, MTV Overdrive, VH1 and CMT will air a charity show Saturday called ReAct Now: Music & Relief.

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Firefighters rescue nearly a dozen animals in Buffalo, New York house fire

Friday, June 22, 2007

Buffalo, New York —A three alarm fire at a house owned by John and Evelyn Bencinich, two of the initiators of a lawsuit filed against the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, required firefighters to rescue eight cats and two dogs in Buffalo, New York today.

At about 8:30 (eastern time) firefighters were called to the home on 48 Granger Place to put out a fire that had started in the basement. It quickly spread to the first floor where the main bathroom was destroyed. The fire did not spread to the second floor or attic.

Initial calls said that many animals were inside the house and firefighters quickly worked to rescue all the cats and dogs. At least one cat and one dog had to receive CPR and oxygen, but both are reported to be in stable condition. At least 3 cats are unaccounted for, but after a search of the house, the cats were not believed to have been inside at the time the fire started.

One elderly woman, Anna Bencinich, the mother of Evelyn, was rescued by neighbors who helped her from the burning house.

“There was smoke all over the house. The fire started in the basement and spread to a small portion of the first floor. Two firefighters were injured while fighting the fire and were transported to Erie County Medical Center,” said Division Fire Chief Thomas Ashe who also said that sections of the kitchen wall at the back of the house had to be torn out to stop the fire from spreading through the walls.

One firefighter is being treated for bite injuries to his face that he received while attempting to rescue a dog. The other firefighter was treated for injuries he received to his hand, which was believed to have been caused by glass or a cat scratching him. The names of the injured firefighters are not known. The injuries are said to not be life threatening.

According to witness reports, the home owners had a new water heater installed just last week, but it is not known if the fire was caused by the heater.

“We believe the fire was caused by an electrical (malfunction). An investigation is being conducted,” said Battalion Chief Joe Fahey who also added that they did not believe arson was the cause.

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UN warns of humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Monday, January 5, 2009

Amidst ongoing Israeli bombings of Gaza, with the death toll of the bombardments up to 537 with another 2,500 people wounded, UN food agencies again warned that the people of Gaza are facing a heavy humanitarian crisis.

“The current situation in Gaza is appalling, and many basic food items are no longer available on the market,” Said Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, the World Food Program‘s (WFP) representative in the Palestinian territory, in a statement that was released on Friday. “This area … is one of the poorest and most heavily affected by the recent conflict,” she added.

The current situation in Gaza is appalling, and many basic food items are no longer available on the market.

WFP officials said that they have begun to give bread to 15,000 new recipients, a number which added to the already large group of people that had been lining up for bread after two years of Israeli blockades of Gaza, the most recent of which began in early November. The blockades, surely a catalyst for violent Hamas attacks, have been condemned by Human Rights Watch as a “violation of international humanitarian law.”

Struggling Gazan hospitals say that they are completely out of even the most basic medical supplies and have little or no capacity to deal with further casualties. In addition, Israeli ground forces entered Gaza on Saturday causing an immediate spike in casualties and even attacks on the hospitals and paramedics themselves.

As sewage runs through the streets, many Gazans are trying to flee the area by storming the border with Egypt, a move which Egyptian police blocked on Sunday and are planning to do so again today as Egyptian leaders ordered their policemen to open fire on Gazans trying to flee into Egypt.

Hasan Khalaf, Gaza’s assistant deputy health minister, described the ongoing assault on Gaza as “an Israeli massacre”.

“There is no comparison between what we have and what [Israel] are doing to us. The international community are standing unable to help us, and yet we know they have been helping Israel for tens of years.”

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