News briefs:August 5, 2010

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Evangelist Hovind found guilty for tax fraud

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Evangelist Kent Hovind and his wife, Jo, was found guilty on all counts of tax fraud concerning merchandise and amusement park admission sales. The trial began at United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida on Tuesday October 18, 2006, and prosecutors rested their case against Hovind on November 1. Defense lawyers rested their case on the same day without presenting evidence or calling witnesses; Hovind claims that he runs a church, and thus should not have to pay taxes, while prosecutors claimed that he was actually running a business.

 

Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb

Friday, March 13, 2009

A team of archaeologists excavating an Ancient Egyptian tomb have discovered golden jewelry in a recently-discovered lower chamber at the Valley of the Kings burial site in Luxor, Egypt.

Two golden rings and five golden earrings were found in the tomb of Djehuty, an 18th-dynasty official of Queen Hatshepsut, and were probably the property of Djehuty or his family.

The discovery was announced by Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s current Minister of Culture.

Djehuty was overseer of the treasury and overseer of works for the Queen. Hatshepsut reigned approximately 1479–1458 BCE. Djehuty was responsible for managing the huge amounts of precious goods brought in from Egypt’s military expedition to Punt in the Horn of Africa and the vast building projects of Hatshepsut which have made the female pharaoh one of the most-remembered of any from ancient Egypt.

Djehuty died after Hatshepsut did, sometime during the reign of Thutmosis III. Both Hatshepsut’s and Thutmosis’s names are recorded on the tomb. In a fashion typical of ancient Egyptian rivalries, Hatshepsut’s name was partly obscured on the monument over the tomb sometime after the queen’s death.

The team, led by José Manuel Galán of the National Research Center (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC), in Madrid, Spain, had been excavating the tomb, designated TT11 and located in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, since 2002. While much of Djehuty’s funerary equipment was lost to fire in antiquity, the lower chamber of his tomb was concealed at the end of a three-meter shaft and discovered at the end of 2008.

A superficial description of the tomb itself was recorded almost two hundred years ago by 19th-century French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, rubble blocking the entrance hindered excavation until the 21st century. In that time, emphasis in Egyptology has changed from the cataloging of treasures to the investigation of ancient culture, life and religion.

Since excavation began, Djehuty’s tomb has yielded a number of surprises. It was discovered that the tomb was re-used repeatedly up to and during the Greco-Roman period. There is an unusual face-on depiction of pharaoh Thutmosis III hunting ducks, and the mummy of a young, bejewelled, as-yet unidentified woman.

In 2007, 44 preserved bunches of flowers thought to be from Djehuty’s funeral were found in the site. In their 8th season of excavation, which ended on February 22, 2009, the team also found considerable evidence that below Djehuty’s tomb is a network of burial sites from the 11th dynasty, four thousand years old.

The lower chamber also displays passages from the Egyptian funerary text the Book of the Dead on its walls and a colorful mural of the goddess Nut, an embodiment of the heavens, on the ceiling. The names of Djehuty and his parents were also intact in the second chamber; the names were defaced in the previously-known first chamber of the tomb, which had also been looted.

According to a press release from Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Djehuty’s tomb is only the fifth known decorated burial chamber of the 18th dynasty. An additional unusual feature of the tomb is that its upper chamber is decorated in relief, rather than simply paint. When the excavation is completed, Dr Galán’s team plans to open the site to the public as the carved stoneworks will not be destroyed by tourists’ activities as paint would.

The identification of Djehuty is a complicated one, as a number of officials of the 18th dynasty bore the name, including a general and several governors. The name itself is an alternate transliteration of the name of the Egyptian god usually written in English as Thoth.

 

Inquiry ordered into video of US troops urinating on Taliban fighters

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered an investigation into a video allegedly showing US Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters. Panetta has called the videos “utterly deplorable” and not appropriate conduct for United States armed forces personnel. Afghan president Hamid Karzai called for “the most severe punishment for anyone found guilty in this crime.”

The video shows four men apparently dressed in US Marine uniforms urinating on three dead bodies. In it the men are heard saying “Have a great day, buddy” and “hope you like your shower“. The exact date the video was taken is unknown. It appeared on internet sites, including YouTube. The photographing or video taking of human casualties is specifically forbidden by the US military’s code of conduct.

A statement by Coalition Forces said the men in uniform probably aren’t in Afghanistan anymore; the US Marine Corps has since stated they aren’t. The coalition statement also reiterated the Department of Defense’s stance, saying “this behavior dishonors the sacrifices and core values of every service member representing the 50 nations of the coalition…. Any individuals with confirmed involvement will be held fully accountable.”

The incident will be investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) which investigates criminal matters for the US Navy.

The Taliban responded by saying “First they killed the Afghans with mortars, and they then urinated on their bodies. We strongly condemn this inhumane action by the wild American soldiers.”

 

An interview with Jimbo Wales

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Just five years ago, when Jimbo Wales founded Wikipedia, the project’s goal of 100,000 articles [1] seemed ambitious. Yet today, the project, now one of the top 25 websites in the world according to Alexa, is nearing closer 1,000,000 articles in English, and 3.5 million articles across all languages. This week, we interviewed Jimbo Wales.

Color-free version

Wikinews: Raul654 asks: “Recently, there were revelations about organized attempts by US Congressmen to whitewash their articles. What is your take on this, as well as earlier reports of Corporate astroturfing?”

Jimbo Wales: The question is invalid. There were no revelations of organized attempts by US Congressmen to whitewash their articles. Not any evidence of “corporate astroturfing” of which I am aware. There was evidence that some congressional staffers edited Wikipedia in inappropriate ways. But the internal evidence of the type and style of these edits do not suggest “organized attempts”.

WN: Nichalp asks: “Budget permitting, are there any plans to increase the number of Wikipedia servers, specifically into the less developed countries?”

JW: We are always buying new servers. There are no specific plans to add servers in less developed countries, but we have looked into it as a possibility. We are particularly interested in doing so if it helps increase access and reduce costs for those users.

WN: An anonymous reader asks: “How much of a role do you feel the Wikipedia community (and the communities of its sister projects) should have in the running of the Wikimedia Foundation? Do you see an increasing separation of the organization from the projects? If so, do you regard that as beneficial or a potential problem?”

JW: The community has always been and will always be absolutely crucial to the running of the Wikimedia Foundation. We are increasing the community input and activity in the foundation through a new series of committees to delegate things to community members which have traditionally been handled by me or the Board. I do not see any increasing separation of the organization from the projects, quite the opposite. I consider the increasing integration of the community and the foundation as overwhelmingly beneficial.

WN: ALoan asks: “English Wikipedia is approaching 1 million articles, but less than 1 in a thousand are Featured articles. The list of featured articles English Wikipedia should have has few featured articles, and recent surveys of articles chosen at random show that many articles are poorly written. How can we get from here to an encyclopedia of well-written articles? Or should we not worry too much about coverage and content?”

JW: We should be tightly focused on the quality of our coverage and content. The goal of Wikipedia is to create and distribute a freely licensed high quality encyclopedia. The path to that goal will require us to be flexible and thoughtful. The first steps will come soon with the article review system, which will initially be used simply to gather data. After we have data, we can begin to work on how we will focus our attention to improve quality.

WN: GeorgeStepanek asks: “You’ve said that ‘Wikimedia’s mission is to give the world’s knowledge to every single person on the planet in their own language.’ But very few of the wikipedias in the languages of third-world countries are seeing as much activity as the first-world language wikipedias. Do you have any ideas on how this could be turned around?”

JW: I am a believer in outreach. I would like for the Foundation to raise money specifically to pay one or more minority language co-ordinators. The goal would be to reach out in a more organized way to professors and graduate students and expat communities who have good Internet access, to seed projects for languages where the majority of speakers have poor internet access.

WN: Jacoplane asks: “How do you feel we will be able to reach Wikipedia 1.0? The tools currently available for vetting our articles are crude at best. The Featured article process seems too slow, and the article validation feature seems to have died a quiet death. Are you planning a big push on this front?”

JW: Isn’t that the same question as the quality question? The article validation feature has not died a quiet death at all.

WN: Quadell asks: “Most important decisions on Wikimedia projects are handled with consensus. However, we sometimes have to deal with legal issues, especially related to copyright law. For instance, we as a community may need to decide whether to consider a certain use “fair”, or how to deal with conflicting copyright claims. Dealing with this through consensus is problematic, since we can’t do something illegal even if there is widespread misguided support for it. In general, how can we as a community deal with these issues?”

JW: I don’t think there is any real problem with this. The community is strongly in support of following the law. I don’t know of any particular cases of widespread misguided support for something illegal. In particular cases, there can of course be [dis]agreement, but I have never seen anyone in the community argue that we should not listen to the advice of our legal team.

WN: Raul654 asks: “Where do you see Wikipedia in 10 years?”

JW: I don’t know. My favorite answer to this is to say, the real question is: where will the world be after 10 more years of Wikipedia. 🙂 Seriously, I think we’ll eventually see a tapering off of new article creation in the large language wikipedias as more and more “verifiable” topics are covered. At this point, most changes will be expansions and updates and quality improvements to existing articles. But in 10 years, it seems likely to me that many languages which are now quite small will have very large Wikipedia projects. Our community will continue to become more diverse as more and more people worldwide come online.

WN: Kevin Myers asks: “The values reflected in certain Wikipedia policies (anti-censorship, neutral point-of-view) are problematic in cultures where freedom of expression is limited, as the blocking of Wikipedia in mainland China and arguably the Muhammad cartoons controversy attest. As Wikipedia expands internationally, do you foresee Wikipedia becoming increasingly controversial in countries where “Western values” are seen as a potential threat?”

JW: I don’t think that neutrality and objectivity are really controversial among most people of the world. It is true that the leadership in some places does not value these things, and may actually work against these things, but we can not deviate from our goals to accommodate them.

WN: On a similar topic, Vsion asks: “Are there currently any efforts being undertaken by the Foundation to address the People’s Republic of China’s blocking of Wikipedia or to alleviate its effect?”

JW: Beijing-area Wikipedians are working to have the block lifted. Our position is that the block is in error, even given China’s normal policies. Wikipedia is not propaganda, it is basic information. We expect that the block will be lifted.

WN: David.Monniaux asks: “The Foundation receives daily accusations of libel from semi-well-known people who have an entry on Wikipedia or are mentioned in some Wikipedia entry. What do you propose? Would a strict application of the rule of citing controversial claims suffice, in your opinion?”

JW: Yes. I think that our current systems do a good job of addressing these sorts of complaints, although it is very time-consuming for us here in the office. What really works wonders is a very strict application of the rule of citing controversial claims particularly relating to biographies of living persons. The new policy on biographies of living persons is a very strong step in the right direction.

WN: Tony Sidaway asks: “In the past six weeks the number of userboxes on English Wikipedia has risen from 3500 to 6000 and, despite your appeals for restraint, the number pertaining to political beliefs has risen from 45 to 150. Can the problem of unsuitable userboxes still be resolved by debate?”

JW: My only comment on the userbox situation is that the current situation is not acceptable.

WN: Larsinio asks: “How can Wikipedia effectively explain to the public its open-contribution model without simultaneously worrying the public about inaccurate information?”

JW: I think we do a reasonably good job of that. The best thing is to point to our overall quality while at the same time pointing out that we are currently a work in progress. Over time, this answer will change as we move toward ‘1.0’. At that time, we can point to ‘1.0’ for those who are made nervous by the live editing.

WN: Rob Church asks: “Do you consider the encyclopedia to be ‘finished’? Do you think it ever can be?”

JW: Nothing is ever finished. Human knowledge is always growing.

WN: Raul654 and Pavel Vozenilek both asked, “What kind of cool new features/announcements can we expect to see in the next year or two?”

JW: I think this question is too hard for me to answer. I almost never “announce” anything, and features are developed publicly by the community. I think other people have a better idea than I do what will happen in the next year or two. 🙂 Ask Brion [Vibber].

WN: Celestianpower asks: “If you had not founded Wikipedia, and had just been referred to it by a friend, how active a contributor do you think you would be?”

JW: [I] dream fondly of such a scenario. I might actually get to edit articles then. Instead of spend the morning (this morning) documenting transactions and taking phone calls.

WN: OpenToppedBus asks: “The last fundraising drive was less successful than had been anticipated. Do you see a shortage of money holding back Wikipedia/Wikimedia in the short-to-medium-term, and are there any plans to bring in income from sources other than individual donations?”

JW: The last fundraising drive was more successful than had been anticipated, by a long shot. It was the most successful fund drive in our history. [Regarding a quoted goal of $500,000], Mav wrote something like that somewhere, in a scratchpad kind of way. That number was just a placeholder and had nothing to do with me or the official view of the foundation. He’s apologized repeatedly for it.

WN: Thryduulf asks: “What is your single greatest wish for Wikipedia?”

JW: I would have to just point back to our original goal: a freely licensed high quality encyclopedia for every single person on the planet. That’s what I remain focused on daily.

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

 

Wikinews Shorts: March 28, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, March 28, 2007.

Contents

  • 1 US to seek less than 20 years for Hicks
  • 2 Global stock markets are lower
  • 3 Gunmen kill 50 overnight in Sunni district in Iraq
  • 4 UK releases GPS data in dispute with Iran
  • 5 First black airmen in US Airforce to be honored

The United States will reportedly seek a jail sentence of less than 20 years for Australian David Hicks. He pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism, but not an act of terrorism. Hicks may be sentenced by the end of the week. He could be returned to Australia to serve out his sentence, with credit for the years at Guantanamo Bay.

Related news

  • “Guantanamo detainee David Hicks pleads guilty to providing “material support”” — Wikinews, March 27, 2007
  • “US charges Australian David Hicks” — Wikinews, March 26, 2007

Sources


US stocks fell on Tuesday starting another round of global selling, as worries about the US housing market and weaker consumer confidence. Lennar Corp., one of the largest US home builders reported that profits fell 73%. Wednesday, Asia markets opened steady to higher, but fell as rising oil prices and the geopolitcal standoff between Britain and Iran made investors seek the safety of government bonds. European and North American markets are trading lower in the Wednesday trading session.

Sources


In an apparent reprisal for bombings in Shi’ite areas, gunmen went on a rampage in a Sunni in Tal Afar, Iraq, killing about 50 people. There have been reports that the gunmen included police.

Sources


The United Kingdom has made public GPS data that it says proves that the 15 navy personnel were well inside Iraqi waters when they were seized by Iran. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the dispute would be solved “based on rules and regulations” and that the female sailor would be released soon.

Related news

  • “UK prepared to go ‘into different phase’ if sailors and marines not released by Iran within days” — Wikinews, March 27, 2007
  • “British sailors detained by Iran “to be tried for espionage”” — Wikinews, March 25, 2007
  • “15 Royal Navy sailors captured at gunpoint by Iranian guards” — Wikinews, March 23, 2007

Sources


Surviving members of the 332d Air Expeditionary Group and 99th Pursuit Squadron, widely known as the Tuskegee Airmen, will be honored on Thursday by President Bush at a ceremony at the US Capitol. They will receive the Congressional Gold Medal for fighting both the Nazis abroad and racial segregation at home.

Sources

 

Features Available On Digital Pianos In Cincinnati, Oh

byAlma Abell

The piano has benefited from a high-tech makeover. It has crossed over into the digital world. There are many cool features associated with the digital piano. While the sound might be slightly different than from the standard piano, the features help make up for this. With the keyboard, the digital piano is still played in much the same way as a standard piano.

YouTube Preview Image

One of the big features of Digital Pianos Cincinnati OH is the ability to change the sound of the piano. This option allows you to change to a pipe organ or the sounds of a grand piano. This allows the user to change the sound depending on their mood with just the touch of a button. It is almost like having multiple pianos in the same room.

Another feature of the digital piano is the ability to add in background sounds such as the sound of drums or other instruments. This means that the player has an entire band at their finger tips to accompany them while they play. This eliminates the need to find individuals who play certain instruments to create the simulation of a band.

The ability to learn the keyboard is another advantage of Digital Pianos Cincinnati OH. This teaching application means that anyone can play a song with a little help. Some digital pianos will show the exact keys that are needed for a song. They can help with practicing how to play the piano and help with the task of learning to read music. While it won’t replace good instruction, this is great for students who need to practice what their instructors are teaching them. Thus, students have a chance to pick up things a little more quickly.

For high quality digital pianos, check out PianoCenter.com. There are many features to explore and many designs to choose from. If you decide to go digital with your piano, take the time to test these features out and check out the other features that are available in digital pianos. They may help you turn into a piano player or at least make you sound like you can play.

 

Wedding next year for Sweden’s crown princess

Friday, February 27, 2009

On February 24th the Swedish Royal Court announced that the Crown Princess Victoria is to be married in 2010 to her boyfriend and former fitness trainer Daniel Westling. KP Victoria, 31, and Daniel, 35, have been in a relationship for seven years. As the wedding is to be held in the summer of 2010, it gives the court 18 months to prepare, contemplate the wedding dress of the Crown Princess, and complete the guest-list – which will include prominent guests from Europe and the world.

According to the Swedish constitution, KP Victoria must ask for the King’s approval for the marriage, who then has to call a cabinet council so that the government can give its approval. This was done on Tuesday morning, just before the court announced the engagement.

After the wedding, Daniel will be given the title of Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. Their children will be next in line to the throne after Crown Princess Victoria.

 

Explosives found in Malegaon, Nashik, India

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Police in the town of Malegaon have recovered explosives from a yellow container placed in the Mohammadiya Madrassa shopping complex on Kidwai Road. A bomb disposal squad has been rushed to the site, and the surrounding area has been cordoned off. Officers from the Anti-Terrorist Squad, along with IG P.K Jain and Superintendent of Police Rajyawardhan, are also at the site. Jain, however refused to confirm whether the device was a bomb, saying only that it was a “suspicious looking container with wires and a battery attached to it.” He said that if it was indeed an IED, police would either attempt to defuse it, or detonate it in an isolated area.

Meanwhile, police in Nashik have seized 11 detonators, 5 blasting gelatin(gelignite) sticks and a revolver from a building named Raj Sarthi. At least 38 people were killed and over 180 injured on 8 September, when three bombs went off near the Hamidia Mosque during the Shab-e-Barat festival. Although the communally sensitive town has so far been quiet, officials have once again declared an alert in Malegaon.

 

News briefs:June 16, 2010

Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
Produced By
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Recorded By
Turtlestack
Written By
Turtlestack
Listen To This Brief

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