Archive for April, 2018

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal
April 30, 2018

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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WHO’s reaction to H1N1 influenced by drug companies, reports claim
April 30, 2018

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Reports suggest the World Health Organisation’s declaring a swine flu pandemic was an error driven by drug companies, and lead to unjustified fear. A year after the swine flu pandemic was declared, stocks are left unused and governments try to abandon contracts, pharmaceutical companies have profited at least £4.6billion from the sale of vaccines alone.

Reports by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) and the Council of Europe claim that The World Health Organisation reaction to H1N1 was influenced by pharmaceutical companies and that key scientists behind advice had financial ties with firms Roche and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). These conflicts of interest have never been publicly disclosed by WHO, an apparent violation of its own rules.

The World Health Organisation issued H1N1 guidelines in 2004, recommending countries to stockpile millions of doses of antiviral medication. The advice prompted many countries around the world into buying up large stocks of Tamiflu, made by Roche, and Relenza manufactured by GSK.

A joint investigation with the BMJ and the BIJ, found that scientists involved in developing the WHO 2004 guidance had previously been paid by Roche or GSK for lecturing and consultancy work as well as being involved in research for the companies. “The WHO’s credibility has been badly damaged,” BMJ editor Fiona Godlee said in an editorial.

A report by the health committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a 47-member human rights watchdog, found that the WHO’s reaction was influenced by drug companies that make H1N1 antiviral drugs and vaccines. It criticised WHO lack of transparency around the handling of the swine flu pandemic and says the public health guidelines by WHO, EU agencies and national governments led to a “waste of large sums of public money and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public.”

We’re still in the pandemic

A spokesman for WHO said the drug industry did not influence its decisions on swine flu. Margaret Chan, the organisation’s director, had dismissed inquiries into its handling of the A/H1N1 pandemic as “conspiracy theories” earlier this year, she had said: “WHO anticipated close scrutiny of its decisions, but we did not anticipate that we would be accused, by some European politicians, of having declared a fake pandemic on the advice of experts with ties to the pharmaceutical industry and something personal to gain from increased industry profits.”

Yesterday, a 16-member “emergency committee” consisting of advisors from the World Health Organisation said that the H1N1 pandemic is not yet over. The WHO has refused to identify committee members, arguing that they must be shielded from industry pressure, so possible conflicts of interest with drug companies are unknown. The BMJ report also reveals that at least one expert on the “emergency committee” received payment during 2009 from GSK.

In related news, Reuters reported, Pfizer Inc, the world’s biggest drugmaker, is selling its swine vaccine business to Chinese Harbin Pharmaceutical Group for $50 million.

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Pop culture celebrated at Fan Expo Canada 2016 in Toronto
April 30, 2018

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The 22nd Fan Expo Canada took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this weekend, attracting thousands to the event, one of the most popular in North America. Crossing between the genres of science fiction, horror, anime, fantasy and comics, the event sprawled throughout all corners of the facility. Hundreds of vendors offered products new and old, joined by celebrity guests like Stan Lee, Mark Hamill, and Margaret Atwood. Various local fan organizations were there in a charitable capacity, and thousands of fans donned costumes, many of which they themselves created.

Atwood, a Booker Prize-winner, was there to launch her graphic novel Angel Catbird, with illustrator Johnnie Christmas. Lee was making his final Canadian convention appearance, part of a larger farewell tour. Hamill’s schedule included a panel with Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series, in which the Star Wars lead played the Joker.

Ubisoft, Microsoft, and PlayStation VR all had large areas set up for attendees to try their latest games. In the 20-minute PlayStation VR demonstration of Batman: Arkham VR, players are dropped down a secret elevator in Bruce Wayne’s manor, to the Bat Cave, to suit up. From there, the demonstration took players to investigate the murder of Nightwing.

The Northern Arena Esports Championship ran throughout the weekend, facing off teams of video gamers in a packed hall. Even in early rounds, the event was well attended, with the stands full of gamers, watching the matches with live colour commentary. The finals saw US team Cloud9 and Immortals, from Brazil, face off in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Both unbeaten teams going in, the Brazillian team won the championship and $50,000.

Gameplay was delayed during the “third map” (third round) of the finals, when one Immortals player was caught with their headset off. After nearly half an hour, the team was deducted a point, leading to a sudden but temporary rush of success by the US team.

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The Canadian garrison of 501st Legion returned with their setup of photo-ops, with proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Volunteer organization Comic Corps of Canada collects donations of comics, to distribute to children and youth in the hospital. Along with collecting comics on-site, the group was fundraising through raffles and button sales.

Other charitable fan-based groups included The Ontario Ghostbusters, Doctor Who Society of Canada, and Klingon Assault Group.

The thousands of cosplay outfits on parade around the various halls offered a tremendous cross-section of genres and eras of pop culture. The majority of outfits involved at least some elements made from scratch, a fantastic display of craftsmanship. Of the thousands, Wikinews spoke with a cosplayer going by the name “The Katherinator”. She was outside the building in the gardens, waiting for a photographer she had arranged to shoot her new Epic Mickey costumed character-style outfit. With shoes as wide as a forearm, and a rigid torso of carved foam, she remained exuberant even when caught in the traffic between halls, many hours into wearing the outfit.

Disney

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Superheroes

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Anime

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Video games, movies, and more

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Latest ‘CableGate’ disclosures hint at US diplomatic tactics in Spain and beyond

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Latest ‘CableGate’ disclosures hint at US diplomatic tactics in Spain and beyond
April 30, 2018

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yesterday’s release of more US diplomatic cables by Wikileaks covered pressure on governments, Spain’s judiciary, and buying foreign assistance with detentions at Guantanamo Bay. El Pais, one of five mainstream papers partnering with Wikileaks’ release of documents, examined key output from Madrid’s US embassy.

The latest cables focus on US–Spain relations, particularly during the George W. Bush presidency, with Eduardo Aguirre serving as ambassador in Madrid. He is cited as having “personally exerted” pressure on Spain’s government and judiciary; this leading to at least three investigations being dropped.

Of concern to the press is the death of José Couso in 2003. The Spanish cameraman was killed during the battle for Baghdad; the Spanish judiciary intended to prosecute three US servicemen over the fatality.

American use of Spanish air bases for ‘extraordinary rendition’ was a second concern the US embassy in Madrid pressured the government on. Spanish prosecutors had been keen to pursue 13 CIA officers over the illegal flights.

Repeatedly, concern over Spain’s independent judiciary invoking ‘universal jurisdiction’ appears in leaked cables. Reports at the time showed magistrates considered actions at Guantanamo Bay torture, and seemed keen to pursue ex-US government officials on grounds of “criminal responsibility”.

Cable 06MADRID1914 highlights the cases of Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed and Moroccan Lahcen Ikassrien; respectively transferred from Guantanamo Bay, to Spanish custody, in February 2004 and July 2005.

Describing conditions at the Cuban detention centre as “impossible to explain, much less justify”, Hamed — better known as the “Spanish Taliban” — saw a July 2006 ruling by the country’s Supreme Court annul his six-year prison sentence, granting him an immediate release. The ruling cast doubt on the reliability of evidence against Lahcen, who was released on bail.

Hamed and his family, at the time, announced their intent to sue the US government over his suffering in Guantanamo Bay.

Later cables illustrate how concerned the Bush administration were over possible prosecution by Baltasar Garzón. Citing an op-ed he penned for a Spanish paper in March 2007, and this subsequently being picked up by Socialist Party secretary José Blanco Lopéz. Pronouncements by the two, and others, on “criminal responsibility” were met with a diplomatically stern response; cable 07MADRID546 states that the government of Spain was “cautioned that continued statements on this issue by senior Spanish figures would be viewed negatively.”

Garzón, best-known for indicting former dictator Augusto Pinochet, seemed to still trouble US diplomats when planning high-level defence talks in March 2007. Mention is made to a possible investigation, and indictment of, Donald Rumsfeld. Spain had informed the US embassy in Madrid the judge in the case was working to dismiss it.

As recently as March last year, Garzón sought to prosecute officials from the Bush administration.

[…]continued statements on this issue by senior Spanish figures would be viewed negatively.

Named as potential defendants in a Reuters report, John Ashcroft, John Yoo, William Haynes II, Jay Bybee, and, aide to Vice-President Dick Cheney, David Addington were all being investigated by Garzón.

Come April this year, Garzón himself faced prosecution. A probe into Franco-era war crimes saw him suspended, possibly to be tried for acting contrary to an amnesty extended to Franco supporters. It is alleged he “acted without jurisdiction”.

At present, the former Spanish Supreme Court judge is working at the International Criminal Court. Reports based on El Pais’ investigation around the leaked cables suggest the country’s judiciary has been politicised to suit American interests.

With a price of US$85,000 cited for each former Guantanamo Bay detainee that Spain was to take, recent reports assert other countries have been offered financial incentives to help empty the camp.

Belgium, alongside Spain, was supposedly offered more influence within the European Union in exchange for cooperating with US plans.

Kuwait’s interior minister is said to have refused to take any of their citizens from the camp. Describing inmates as “rotten”, DPA alleges he told the US to “get rid of” detainees in an Afghan war zone.

Yemen, in exchange for agreeing to take Guantanamo detainees, is said to have asked for US$11 million for the construction of a centre to rehabilitate Muslim extremists.

So far, only a tiny fraction of the documents in Wikileaks possession have been made public.

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Parents arrested after putting baby on Craigslist

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Parents arrested after putting baby on Craigslist
April 29, 2018

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A couple from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has been arrested on charges of public mischief after listing their seven day old baby girl on the popular Internet classified ads website Craigslist.

The listing claimed that the baby was unexpected, “healthy and very cute”. It asked CAN 10 000 for the baby. It also listed a phone number belonging to a stolen cellphone, which was used to find the couple.

It was first noticed by a 62-year old grandmother browsing the website for furniture, who said “I was shaking, and I thought, ‘Come on, how did this even get through?'” The couple claimed that the listing, which has since been removed, was a hoax.

The father, Jeremy Pete, had a history of car thefts and evasion of police, while the mother, 23-year-old Bethany Granholm, had convictions of property theft, fraud and impersonation. The parents have now been released, but charges are still being considered. The baby has been placed in provincial care.

A suspected copycat incident occurred just four days later, also offering a seven-day-old baby girl for CAN 10 000 on Craigslist. This incident turned out to be a hoax, and no child was in danger.

Last week saw a similar incident in Germany, where a couple listed a seven month old baby on eBay. In this case the police have launched a child trafficking investigation, despite the parents’ assertion that the listing was a joke.

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British dancer and talent show winner Robert Anker dies in car accident aged 27

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British dancer and talent show winner Robert Anker dies in car accident aged 27
April 28, 2018

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Robert Anker, a British dancer and member of troupe Diversity when they won the 2009 season of Britain’s Got Talent, died in a car accident in Canada on Thursday. Anker died after a collision between his Chevrolet Cobalt and a Ford pick-up truck. The accident occurred in Vaughan, Ontario at around 6:00 AM Thursday morning, local time. Anker, who moved to Canada last year, was 27 years old.

York Regional Police confirmed the accident had occurred and the driver of the pick-up truck was not injured. A spokesman for the British Foreign Office said “We are aware of the death of a British man in Canada. We are providing assistance to his family at this sad time”.

Anker’s cousin Rochelle Hanson set up a JustGiving page, by yesterday already past its target of £5,000, to raise funds for his family to travel to the funeral in Canada. Hanson said “The family are devastated. He was an amazing and talented dancer. We would love to ensure that his family don’t worry or stress about money at this time.”

Diversity, Anker’s former dance crew, tweeted “A former member of our group has tragically passed away. He inspired so many with his talent and was taken far too soon. R.I.P Rob.” The Twitter account for Britain’s Got Talent said “We are so sorry to hear of the loss of Robert Anker, our thoughts and condolences go out to his friends, family and the whole of Diversity.”

Dean Lee, a choreographer on talent show The X Factor, tweeted, “Rob Anker. I have no words to speak after hearing of your passing. This is truly heart breaking. Thanks for the memories. Shine bright.”

After winning the 2009 series of Britain’s Got Talent, Anker performed in music videos of singers Jessie J and Paloma Faith, and in the production of Thriller Live in the West End. Anker and his girlfriend Cyndi married in September.

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Israel declares Gaza Strip ‘enemy entity’; preparing for military incursion

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Israel declares Gaza Strip ‘enemy entity’; preparing for military incursion
April 28, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Israeli government has declared the Gaza Strip an “enemy entity” due to the continued firing of rockets into Israel from Gaza. Gaza’s ruling Hamas party has stated that it considers the announcement a “declaration of war.”

The definition means that Israel could stop supplying Gaza with fuel, electricity and other commodities.

“Following extensive legal consultations, Israel has decided to declare Gaza as a hostile entity, with all the international implications. This move will prepare the groundwork for sanctions against Gaza, such as the interruption of gas, electricity and water supply, which will occur in a gradual process,” said an unnamed Israeli government official.

Ehud Barak, the Israeli Minister of Defense said the “objective is to weaken Hamas” , while Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum suggested “…they aim to starve our people and force them to accept humiliating formulas that could emerge from the so-called November peace conference,”

Barak also said that Israel is considering a military operation in the Gaza Strip saying that “every day that passes brings us closer to an operation in Gaza.”

The democratically-elected Hamas party, and its militant wing the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have been labeled “foreign terrorist organization”s by a number of bodies including the European Union, Israel, the United States, Canada and others.

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Category:April 23, 2010

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Category:April 23, 2010
April 28, 2018
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What To Expect When Working With A Bergen County Personal Injury Attorney

April 27, 2018

byAlma Abell

A Bergen County personal injury attorney is an attorney who represents people who have been injured in different types of accidents. These attorneys represent their clients in these cases, which fall under the field of civil law under the tort law system. A personal injury lawyer has the responsibility of making sure that his or her client receives sufficient compensation for the injuries suffered resulting from the accident. If you have suffered an injury due to the negligent actions of another person, it is advisable that you contact a personal injury attorney in Bergen County for help and to know the way forward in your situation.

The attorney will let you know that you qualify to receive compensation or might be eligible to make claims to make sure that the party responsible for your injuries pays for their negligent or wrongful actions. The compensation usually seeks to compensate you to the position that you would have been in before the injury. The lawyer has to make sure that you sue the responsible party to make sure that you recover the damages that you suffered, which are such as medical bills, pain and suffering among many others. The personal injury attorney in Bergen County has the responsibility of filing the necessary papers in court to initiate the lawsuit.

The Bergen County personal injury attorney has the responsibility of helping the plaintiff to prove before the court the elements of the cause of action. This is usually based on negligence or intentional actions. A personal injury lawyer in Bergen County can work under a contingency fee basis. This system ensures that the lawyer only recovers if the client wins the case and receives payments as a percentage of the compensation that the plaintiff has received from the defendant. Personal injury lawyers can represent people who have been injured in slip and fall injury, medical malpractice, car accidents and battery and assault among many others.

Personal injury attorneys understand that their clients are going through a tough time and always make sure to handle all the matters of the case. A Bergen County personal injury attorney is responsible for guiding his or her client on how to conduct himself or herself during the trial. This ensures that the client does not jeopardize the outcome of the case. The attorney is professional in his work because he or she adheres to the legal ethics of the profession, which ensures that he provides his client with quality services from the beginning to the end of the case. With the help of a personal injury lawyer in Bergen, you can be sure that you will receive the right amount of compensation that you deserve.

If you have suffered injuries in an accident, you should contact Greenberg, Walden & Grossman LLC by calling 866-578-5362

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