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Scientology protest group celebrates founder’s birthday worldwide
September 25, 2018
 Correction — March 19, 2008 The next protest is scheduled for April 12, 2008. The article below states April 18 which is incorrect. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Internet group Anonymous today held further protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

In a global speech, the Internet protest movement said Scientology “betrayed the trust of its members, [had] taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives.” The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed “an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses.” The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of “hate speech and hate crimes”, alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to “identify members” of the group it brands as “cyber-terrorists”.

Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the events.

Anonymous states that the next protest is scheduled to take place on April 18, which happens to be the birthday of Suri, the daughter of Tom and Katie Cruise.

Contents

  • 1 Location reports
    • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
    • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
    • 1.3 Austin, Texas
    • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
    • 1.5 Brussels, Belgium
    • 1.6 London, England
    • 1.7 Manchester, England
    • 1.8 New York, New York
    • 1.9 Buffalo, New York
    • 1.10 Seattle, Washington
    • 1.11 Sydney, Australia
    • 1.12 Portland, Oregon
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
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Wikinews interviews Tom Millican, independent candidate for US President
September 25, 2018

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. The most recent of our interviews is North Carolina, Tom Millican, an independent corporate manager and Vietnam veteran.

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Space Shuttle Discovery launches on final mission
September 25, 2018

Friday, February 25, 2011

At 4:53 p.m. (EDT), Space Shuttle Discovery took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on its final mission, STS-133. Its mission is to deliver and install onto the International Space Station (ISS), the Permanent Multipurpose Module Leonardo, the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier-4 and provide critical spare components for the station. Six astronauts, Steve Lindsey, Eric Boe, Alvin Drew, Nicole Stott, Michael Barratt, and Steve Bowen, are participating in the mission. The shuttle is also carrying Robonaut2, the first dexterous humanoid robot to be in space. Although its first priority will be to test its operation in microgravity, upgrades could eventually allow it to fulfill its ultimate purpose of becoming an astronaut helper on boring or dangerous tasks.

The launch of Discovery, which was supposed to occur at 4:50 p.m., was delayed for three minutes due to a technical problem in the shuttle’s command system and a chipped heat shield tile near the crew hatch which needed to be patched. The launch was also repeatedly postponed since November 1 due to various technical problems with the shuttle’s systems and a hydrogen leak in the fuel tank along with cracks and bad weather. A small piece of foam broke off during the launch but NASA has reported that it is unlikely to cause problems.

Discovery and the crew of STS-133 are scheduled to spend about two weeks in space and aboard the ISS, logging 4.5 million additional miles of flight.

The launch comes just hours after an unmanned automated European cargo spacecraft, ATV-2, docked with the orbiting outpost to deliver supplies and equipment to the crew.

STS-133 is scheduled to be the final mission of Discovery, with its first being STS-41-D in 1984. Discovery flew 39 flights in its operational history, including the current mission, delivering several payloads to space including the Hubble Space Telescope and visiting two different space stations: Mir and the ISS. STS-133 is the 133rd shuttle mission and the 35th mission to the ISS. Discovery is the oldest surviving shuttle, and has flown more missions than any other shuttle. It was also the first shuttle to fly after the Challenger disaster and was the first shuttle to fly after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Later, Discovery became the first shuttle to fly a Russian cosmonaut.

After the current mission, there will be at most two remaining shuttle flights. Endeavor has one more mission remaining, and if an emergency rescue is needed or more funding is secured, Atlantis will also fly once more before the entire fleet is retired.

“The shuttle has provided an amazing capacity for this country to gather data. I think we’re still sorting through a lot of it, trying to figure out what all we’ve learned from it. This chapter in our space history known as the space shuttle has been incredible,” said Bryan Lunney, lead space shuttle flight director for the mission.

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ASIO settle out of court, wrongful detention case
September 24, 2018

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the Federal government of Australia have settled out of court with a couple whose house had been raided a couple weeks after the 11 September 2001 attacks against the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers in the USA.

ASIO, a domestic counter-intelligence service, mistakenly raided the couples house when they had a search warrant for another house.

The couple were detained for an hour and claimed they were assaulted, wrongfully detained and experienced severe shock when, according to their claims, ASIO officers threatened to destroy their door and then held them at gun point.

It is also claimed that until an hour after the attack, ASIO officers would not allow Mrs. Fatme Iali to put on her clothes. As compensation, the couple asked the court for Aus$1.5 million in damages. Although it is unknown how much Bilal Daye and his wife received in the out of court settlement (under the terms of the deal, the settlement cannot be disclosed), they stated that they were satisfied with the result.

“Just relieved, I can take care of my family now, that’s all I wanted,” Mr Daye said.

Mr Daye’s solicitor Stephen Hopper said the victory was very important for civil rights, but suggested that close scrutiy of government actions was required in the future.

“What this case demonstrates is that ASIO can be held accountable … the government can be held open to scrutiny,” he said.

“Control orders can be slapped onto a person before the evidence can be tested in court … they should have to justify why such orders and restrictions should be put on a free person before they do it.”

“The government’s got to be scrutinised for all of its actions and if they make a mistake they should be held accountable.”

Mr Hopper argued that the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill could prevent media reporting of incidents such as this.

“If the new laws were brought in and it was an issue of preventative detention no probably not, no,” he said

“If it’s an issue of an ASIO warrant, under section 34d of the ASIO Act, no, you wouldn’t and the Government’s got to be scrutinised for all of its actions and if they make a mistake they should be held accountable,” he added.

It is unclear what implications it could have for websites like Wikinews, which are hosted on servers outside Australia.

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British TV presenter Rico Daniels tells Wikinews about being ‘The Salvager’
September 24, 2018

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rico Daniels is a British TV presenter living in France who is known for his two television series — The Salvager — whilst he still lived in the UK and then Le Salvager after he moved to France. Rico has been in a variety of jobs but his passion is now his profession – he turns unwanted ‘junk’ into unusual pieces of furniture. Rico’s creations and the methods used to fabricate them are the subject of the Salvager shows.

Rico spoke to Wikinews in January about his inspiration and early life, future plans, other hobbies and more. Read on for the full exclusive interview, published for the first time:

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Highway overpass collapses near Montreal
September 24, 2018

Sunday, October 1, 2006

An overpass has collapsed in Laval, a suburb of the Montreal area of Quebec, Canada. Three lanes of the Concorde Boulevard overpass collapsed into Highway 19. At least 5 people are dead, 6 others injured, 2 critically and least 3 cars are reported to be trapped underneath the overpass. Authorities have stated that 3 cars and a motorcycle were on the overpass when it collapsed.

Rescue workers and construction engineers have brought in heavy equipment, cranes and drills to break up the overpass into roughly a dozen smaller segments for removal. At the time of the collapse, authorities reported that 2 vehicles were trapped under the debris. Around midnight, the two vehicles were removed from the debris, and the five occupants of both vehicles were pronounced dead on the site.

Transport Quebec and Sûreté du Québec have reported that around 9:30 a.m. local time, people called 911, reporting that small chunks of concrete had fallen from the Boulevard de la Concorde (Concorde Boulevard) overpass over Autoroute 19, and Transport Quebec sent a crew to inspect. At around 11:55 a.m., Transport’s Québec patrol arrived at the overpass confirming the facts. The patroller moved the chunks off the highway and produced a report, sent to the Transports Quebec branch responsible for Laval.

The incident happened at approximately 12:30 p.m. local time, local residents described what sounded like “an earthquake”. It is not known at this time how the collapse occurred, or when it might be repaired. It is currently assumed that the cement bondings to the steel rods which held the overpass to its approaches gave way, and with nothing to hold the overpass’ central span up, it collapsed.

This isn’t the first overpass collapse in Laval. In 2000, a section of the Highway 15 overpass collapsed, killing one and injuring two others. It was later determined that the collapse in 2000 was caused by a manufacturing defect.

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Suspect in Laos plot detained in Thailand; suspects plead not guilty in California
September 24, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A suspect whom police believe to be connected with the alleged plot by Hmong Americans to overthrow the government of Laos has been captured and detained in Thailand, police said yesterday.

The man was identified as Sha Wang Lee, 53. He was arrested on Monday while trying to cross the border into Laos in northern Thailand‘s Nan Province. Police said he was carrying an expired United States passport that showed his hometown as Fresno, California. He also had a military-training certificate signed by Vang Pao.

Royal Thai Police Captain Sitthinan Sithkamjorn told the Associated Press that the man was taken to the U.S. embassy in Bangkok.

Kathleen Boyle, an embassy spokeswoman, said she could not comment on the case because of privacy concerns.

Sittihinan said the man would be detained in Thailand for overstaying his visa if he was not deported to the U.S.

Also on Monday, Vang Pao and nine others accused in the plot pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges in U.S. district court in Sacramento, California. They are charged with violating the Neutrality Act, which makes it a crime to conspire to overthrow a foreign government that is on friendly terms with the United States, as well as conspiracy to kill, kidnap and maim, and conspiracy to export munitions without a license. They could face life in prison if convicted.

Vang Pao, 77, is a former general in the Royal Lao Army who led U.S.-backed Hmong forces against the communists in the Laotian Civil War, or “Secret War” that paralleled the Vietnam War. After the war, Vang Pao immigrated to the U.S.

Among the suspects is Harrison Jack, 60, a former California National Guard colonel and U.S. Army Ranger who ran covert operations during the Vietnam War. The others charged are all Hmong-American men, many of them prominent members of Hmong community in California’s Central Valley. They were Lo Cha Thao, 34; Youa True Vang, 60; Hue Vang, 39; Chong Yang Thao, 53; Seng Vue, 68; Chue Lo, 59; and Nhia Kao Vang, 48. An 11th suspect, Dang Vang, 48, was arrested last week and had already pleaded not guilty.

U.S. authorities arrested Vang Pao and nine others in a sting operation set up by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in which the defendants met at a Thai restaurant in Sacramento with a man they believed was an arms dealer but was in fact an undercover ATF agent.

After leaving the restaurant, they examined a truckload of weapons that contained AK-47s, M-16 rifles, C-4 explosives, anti-tank rockets, rocket-propelled grenades and Claymore mines, according to the federal indictment.

Their plan was, authorities say, to ship the weapons to Thailand, where they would then be smuggled into Laos and used to blow up government buildings in the Laotian capital, Vientiane.

The court has refused to grant bail to any of the defendants, saying those pose too great a danger and flight risk.

About 1,000 Hmong people rallied on the Sacramento district courthouse steps, calling for the release of Vang Pao. Waving American flags, signs and posters of Vang Pao, among their chants was “Free Vang Pao! Freedom Now!”

Another rally by around 1,500 Hmong people was held on the steps the state capital in Sacramento, where demonstrators demanded that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speak about the case.

“We want Arnold to come out and say something!” protest leader Vanmong Xiong of Sacramento was quoted as saying by the Sacramento Bee. “Arnold has the power to talk to President Bush, and Bush should dismiss it [the case]!”

According to Xiong, about 8,500 Hmong refugees from the Secret War are still in Laos, on the run in the mountain jungles, fleeing from the persecution of the communist government that has ruled the country since 1975.

“Who paid for this?” he thundered. “The taxpayers of the U.S.! We pay Laos to murder our men, women and children in the jungle!”

Laotian Ambassador to the United States Phiane Philakone, was interviewed by the Sacramento Bee, saying there are no human rights violations against the Hmong in Laos, and he invited reporters to go see for themselves.

Simply referred to as The General by admirers in the Hmong community, Vang Pao is viewed as a folk hero by Hmong-Americans of his generation.

In Wisconsin, home to many Hmong war refugees, an elementary school was to be named after Vang Pao. On Monday in Madison, Wisconsin, the school board voted 7-0 to remove Vang Pao’s name from the school, which is under construction.

Board members apologized to the Hmong community, but said the move was needed to defuse dissension in the community, and that the time was not right to name a school after Vang Pao.

“We have to make sure that there’s not a lot of controversy surrounding a school that children will attend,” board president Arlene Silveira was quoted as saying by WISC-TV.

The board had approved the name unanimously earlier this year, but the name had sparked controversy even before Vang Pao’s arrest, with opponents cited allegations of Vang Pao’s involvement in drug trafficking and war crimes during the Secret War.

Now there is uncertainty about what to name the new school.

“I think it is painful, but there’s hope that the school board members are thinking about changing its policy and with that discussion we hope that the intention is to work with us again,” Hmong community leader Koua Vang, executive director of United Refugee Services, was quoted as saying by WISC-TV.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate David Sparrow in Don Valley West
September 23, 2018

Friday, October 10, 2008

In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with David Sparrow. Sparrow is a candidate in Ontario’s Don Valley West riding, running under the New Democratic Party (NDP) banner. The riding was set to vote in a by-election on September 22, 2008, following the resignation of John Godfrey, but Stephen Harper’s sudden election call nulled that effort.

Also running in the Toronto riding are Liberal Rob Oliphant, Conservative John Carmichael, Green Georgina Wilcock, and Communist Catherine Holliday.

The following is an interview with Sparrow, conducted via email. The interview is published unedited, as sent to Wikinews.

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News briefs:June 4, 2010
September 21, 2018
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School on Australia’s Sunshine Coast makes staff redundant, requests they apply for ‘new’ jobs
September 18, 2018
This article’s primary contributor, Patrick Gillett, is an alumnus of Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wikinews has obtained a list of middle management teaching staff allegedly made redundant, or laid off due to restructuring, by Sunshine Coast Grammar School (SCGS), in Queensland, Australia. Sources say that those staff have been told that they can apply for new positions that have opened up.

The list, published on the SCGS alumni Facebook page, contains the names of twenty-two staff members, eight of which taught this article’s primary contributor. Seventeen positions are reportedly being opened up by the private Christian school, eight of which seem to significantly overlap the old ones.

The changes are, apparently, designed to get teachers back into the classroom. “We are not cutting subject choices and extracurricular activities, but retaining a student-driven curriculum that integrates with the new Australian Curriculum, in keeping with our commitment to teaching and learning opportunities,” said headmaster Nigel Fairbairn.

Fairbairn could not guarantee that any of the staff would be given a position in 2011. “That will depend on how many people on that list apply for new positions of responsibility and are successful,” he said.

“The Head of the School cannot guarantee the 21 staff a job at the School in the future, with many of the positions being advertised to external applicants,” said Terry Burke, secretary for the Independent Education Union of Australia Queensland branch (Queensland Independent Education Union, QIEU).

“There has been little or no consultation with affected staff, who should not have to reapply for their jobs,” he said. “Most of the proposed restructuring is highly questionable and places at risk the high quality education at the School.”

Some former students responded angrily to the news.

Four of the affected teachers “were the backbone of the school when [controversy surrounded founding headmaster John Burgess] happened,” a former prefect (student leader) said. “They got it through that crisis and this is the thanks they get.”

“People are angry and shocked,” they continued. “I am aware of at least 10 families who have said they will pull their children out of the school – it’s that bad.”

The student body has not ruled out protesting the schools plans. “It’s getting to that stage,” the former prefect said. “People are trying to look at it in an intelligent way but there is so much anger out there.”

Wikinews understands that Fairbairn attracted criticism when he was a head teacher in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a former student claimed that Fairbairn “replaced the open and welcoming culture … with the tyrannical and oppressive one.”

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