The Green Party of Canada to elect new leader

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 16-10-2018

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Green Party of Canada will elect a new leader today. The new leader will replace Jim Harris, who stepped down after holding the position since 2003.

The candidates are:

May and Chernushenko, have emerged as frontrunners of the leadership race.

“We draw pretty much equally from across the entire political spectrum,” Jim Harris told CBC News. “If you were a Progressive Conservative, as I was, where do you go? The Green party supports Kyoto. We were opposed to the war in Iraq and yet at the same time we’re fiscally responsible. This is something that’s attractive to people.”

The Green party didn’t get any member elected in the January 23 general election, but the party did get about 4.5 per cent of the vote, enough to secure $1 million a year in federal funding.Chernushenko, an environmental consultant in Ottawa, got the most votes of any Green candidate.

Most Green party members have already cast their ballots by mail for the next leader.

May says that “her national profile and background as an adviser to the environment minister during Conservative Brian Mulroney‘s government are important for getting more Canadians interested in the party”. May referred to tackling climate change, urging electoral reform and ending Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan.

“I don’t really understand yet what she stands for. It’s a lot of rhetoric,” Globe and Mail columnist Jane Taber told CTV Newsnet.

“We will elect MPs by continuing to gain the trust and confidence of Canadians, and by reaching out to Canadians outside of our traditional base of support,” said Chernushenko. Chernushenko said the party should parachute star candidates into key ridings.

“Chernushenko sees a need for government regulation but wants to involve the private sector a bit more, and that’s consistent with Jim Harris’s ideas,” said Jonathan Malloy, political science professor at Ottawa’s Carleton University.

Jim Fannon, who spoke casually to the audience about his talents as a mediator, capable of bridging political gaps between the Greens, Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats. Chernushenko says though he may not always be able to “wow” a crowd, he remains a strong communicator and team player. “I can’t do the rah-rah motivational thing, like Jim (Harris) did an incredible job at, but I can go very deep on complex issues and explain them in plain language,” he said Friday.

Josh Matlow of Earth Roots said: “Elizabeth May is someone I would want to lock myself to a tree with; David Chernushenko is someone I would want to discuss policy with; and Jim Fannon is someone I would go for a beer with”.

Political analysts consider May, a veteran envirnomental activist but also a newcomer to the party, to be the strong favourite to win the race against party stalwart Chernushenko.

676,000 Canadian census forms unfilled countrywide

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 16-10-2018

Monday, July 31, 2006

Currently there are 676,000 Canada 2006 Census forms unfilled countrywide following the May 16 census, a large number for Alberta and British Columbia. Canada operates a mandatory census, requiring all citizens to participate or face court action, a $500 CAD fine and/or three months imprisonment.

Census workers are coming to citizens’ houses and asking them to fill them out. “We’ll keep following up until we get them; it’s just costing taxpayers lots and lots of money for us to keep doing it,” said Lisa Gibbons from Statistics Canada.

“The census provides a snapshot of the country as a whole and of individual provinces, and each community and how it compares with where it was five years ago,” said Gibbons.

British Airways strike grounds flights at Heathrow

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 15-10-2018

Friday, August 12, 2005

What began as a ground crew strike on Thursday has escalated into the grounding of all flights from Heathrow‘s Terminal 4 until at least 8pm Friday.

The row began with a funding crisis of meal provider, Gate Gourmet, which resulted in the axing of 200 full-time staff earlier on Wednesday. In reaction, unions of ground crews and baggage handlers from British Airways announced a stop work from Friday, which escalated into a full close-down of Terminal 4 on Friday due to overcrowding and backlog.

British Airways grounded more than 100 flights on Thursday evening, and by Friday evening, around 550 flights look to be cancelled. Other airlines which utilise Terminal 4 are also affected, including Qantas, Sri Lankan Airlines and Finnair, with incoming longhaul flights now being redirected to other European airports, including Frankfurt.

The following hotlines have been set up for people who require more information for flights from Heathrow Terminal 4.

British Airways 
0909 894 4349
Qantas 
0870 000 0123
Sri Lankan Airlines 
020 8538 2000
Finnair 
0870 599 7711
GB Airways 
0909 894 5896
British Med Airlines 
0870 850 9850

President Bush to limit congressional oversight in PATRIOT amendment act

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 14-10-2018

Sunday, April 2, 2006

President Bush signed the “USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006” into law. In the signing statement, Bush averred that he could withhold information about the administration’s controversial use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act powers and National Security Letters if he deemed that they impaired foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties. Lawmakers and Legal experts have questioned the president’s authority to contravene the Congress’s intent in such a way.

The Patriot Act reauthorisation bill specifically mandates the Inspector General of the Department of Justice to audit the administration’s use of investigative authority granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and National Security Letters and requires these audits to be submitted for congressional review.

In the signing statement, President Bush wrote “The executive branch shall construe the provisions of H.R. 3199 that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch, such as sections 106A and 119, in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties.”

This follows on the heels of the signing of the congressional ban on torture issued in January of this year, when the President declared that he would view the interrogation limits in the context of his broader powers to protect national security. A senior white house official told a Boston Globe reporter that “Of course the president has the obligation to follow this law, [but] he also has the obligation to defend and protect the country as the commander in chief, and he will have to square those two responsibilities in each case.” The official added “We are not expecting that those two responsibilities will come into conflict, but it’s possible that they will.”

Lawmakers tried to get a handle on President Bush’s use of signing statements in 2003, by passing a Justice Department spending bill that required the department to inform Congress whenever the administration decided to ignore a legislative provision on constitutional grounds.

Bush signed the bill, but issued a statement asserting his right to ignore the notification requirement.

Fantastic Facts About Dibang Valley}

Filed Under (Boutique Hotels) by XpvB79 on 14-10-2018

Fantastic facts about Dibang valley

by

Leesa Steve

Dibang valley district has two divisions to it; the lower Dibang valley and the upper Dibang valley. The divisions were made from the erstwhile joint district of Dibang. Situated in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, the Dibang valley district is quite well known for its scenic landscapes and the adventurous wildlife sanctuaries, rich with flora and fauna. The facts stated in this article about Dibang valley district will only kindle your interest more to visit this place. With hilly surroundings and a quaint look at the outset, Dibang is certainly a spot which can be included in your must visit destinations.

The capital of the whole district is at Anini. The districts Government offices are located here. Roing is also another important town in this district. The major languages spoken here are Assamese, English and Hindi. Another interesting fact about Dibang valley is the wildlife sanctuary that is situated on the outskirts. The sanctuary houses some wild species like the musk deer, black bear and much more. A visit to the sanctuary makes for an adventurous trip. The upper valley doesnt have much tourist attractions to offer for the tourists. Read on to know more about the lower Dibang valley.

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The lower valley is one of the 16 administrative districts in Arunachal Pradesh. Blessed with immense natural beauty, the lower valley has quite a number of tourist attractions to offer. The Mayudia, Sally Lake, Mehao wildlife sanctuary, Mehao Lake and the Forest Park are some of the main attractions at this valley. An interesting aspect about Dibang is its locals. The Adis and the Idus are the local tribal inhabitants of this place. They are quite reserved in nature and very rarely come out of their habitats. But they are quite friendly people to move with once you start communicating with them.

The highest peak in Dibang valley is supposed to be the highest point in the whole of north east India too. The tribal people often indulge in celebrations during the festival times with folk dances and stage shows of their own; an interesting aspect about Dibang valley. The more you venture into the valley, the more you will know about the surroundings and the people. The best time to visit Dibang valley is during the months of November to February. Dibang is certainly a worthy place to visit at least once in your life time.

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Fantastic facts about Dibang valley}

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

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 13-10-2018

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.

SpaceX launches fifth resupply rocket to International Space Station

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 12-10-2018

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Space transport services company SpaceX launched their fifth Dragon resupply vehicle to the International Space Station yesterday. The spacecraft — containing more than 2,200kg (5,000 pounds) of food, experiments, and spare parts — successfully decoupled from the launch rocket and should reach the station early tomorrow.

The launch was postponed from Tuesday because of a technical issue on the second stage of the rocket. The shipment includes replacements for cargo aboard the spaceship Cygnus, destroyed during a failed launch in October. Cygnus belonged to the rival Orbital Sciences Corporation.

SpaceX tried unsuccessfully to land the Falcon 9 delivery rocket for reuse. The rocket reached an unmanned barge in the Atlantic, but landed too hard. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the landing “bodes well for the future, though”. The attempted salvage of the rocket was experimental, using new retractable fins. Next time they will add extra hydraulic fluid, Musk said.

The ship’s support equipment was damaged but, according to Musk, the barge is intact. Last year saw two successful SpaceX splashdowns but landing on such a small target as a ship is unique.

South Africa end All Blacks’ 15-game winning streak

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 12-10-2018

Saturday, September 2, 2006

South Africa have defeated the All Blacks (New Zealand) in a rugby union Tri Nations match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa. The final score was a one-point victory, 21 to 20, ending the All Blacks’ 15 game winning streak. For the Springboks, it ended a five-match losing streak. The All Blacks performed the controversial Kapo O Pango haka before the match. It was the final match for the All Blacks, who had already won the trophy two weeks ago. The final match of the series will take place at Ellis Park in Johannesburg next week, when the Springboks play Australia.

The first opportunity for points came in the 6th minute when New Zealand were penalised. South Africa opted to kick at goal, and even though there was some breeze at the ground, André Pretorius slotted it through the posts, giving South Africa a three point lead. However the All Blacks were able to even the scores in the 10th minute, with Dan Carter kicking a penalty goal after the Springboks were penalised for off-side near their line. Pretorius’ boot was accurate once again, when he successfully kicked another penalty goal in the 17th minute, giving South Africa the lead once again, six points to three. The first try of the match was scored in the 20th minute, when Carter crossed the line and after converting his own try, the All Blacks led 10 to six. However the Springboks bounced back within minutes, with wing Bryan Habana intercepting a New Zealand pass, and racing down to score under the posts. Pretorius converted from in front, and South Africa were back in front, leading 13 to 10. The All Blacks were unable to level the scores in the 27th minute, with Carter missing a penalty goal. The All Blacks’ were denied a try in the 37th minute when the television match official deemed one of the New Zealanders to have been an obstruction. Carter was able to level the scores on the stroke of half time with a penalty kick.

Pretorius attempted to put South Africa back in front, attempting two drop goals, though both missed. A line-out turnover soon led to Pedrie Wannenburg getting over the try line to score South Africa’s second try. Pretorius’ conversion was away to the left, however, South Africa were now leading 18 to 13, with over 20 minutes remaining in the game. Joe Rokocoko scored a try for the All Blacks in the 66th minute, and Carter converted the try from the touchline to give the All Blacks a 2 point lead, the score now 20-18 with 14 minutes remaining. Pretorius attempted another drop kick with nine minutes remaining, though it missed, and the All Blacks remained in front. The Springboks were back in front, by one point, 21 to 20, when Pretorius landed a penalty kick with two minutes remaining in the match. A New Zealand knock-on in the 79th minute led to a South African scrum. The scrum needed to be set a number of times, sending the clock into overtime. However the ball got out and the whistle was blown, sending the crowd and players into celebration.

Payment pending; Canadian recording industry set for six billion penalties?

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 12-10-2018

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A report published last week in the Toronto Star by Professor Michael Geist of Canada’s University of Ottawa claims a copyright case under the Class Proceedings Act of 1992 may see the country’s largest players in the music industry facing upwards of C$6 billion in penalties.

The case is being led by the family and estate of the late jazz musician Chet Baker; moving to take legal action against four major labels in the country, and their parent companies. The dispute centres around unpaid royalties and licensing fees for use of Baker’s music, and hundreds of thousands of other works. The suit was initially filed in August last year, but amended and reissued on October 6, two months later. At that point both the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors (SODRAC) were also named defendants.

January this year SODRAC and CMRRA switch sides, joining Baker et al. as plaintiffs against Sony BMG Music, EMI Music Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. David A. Basskin, President and CEO of CMRRA, with a professional law background, stated in a sworn affidavit that his organisation made numerous attempts over the last 20 years to reduce what is known as the “pending list”, a list of works not correctly licensed for reproduction; a list of copyright infringements in the eyes of the Baker legal team.

The theoretical principle of the list is to allow timely commercial release while rights and apportionment of monies due are resolved. Basskin complains that it is “economically infeasible to implement the systems that would be needed to resolve the issues internally”. And, “[…] for their part, the record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that, in the view of CMRRA, would help to resolve the problem.”

The Baker action demands that the four named major labels pay for and submit to an independent audit of their books, “including the contents of the ‘Pending Lists'”. Seeking an assessment of gains made by the record companies in “failure or refusal to compensate the class members for their musical works”, additional demands are for either damages and profits per the law applicable in a class action, or statutory damages per the Copyright Act for copyright infringement.

[…] for their part, the record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that, in the view of CMRRA, would help to resolve the problem.

This forms the basis for Professor Geist’s six billion dollar calculation along with Basskin’s sworn testimony that the pending lists cover over 300,000 items; with each item counted as an infringement, the minimum statutory damages per case are CA$500, the maximum $20,000.

Basskin’s affidavit on behalf of CMRRA goes into detail on the history leading up to the current situation and class action lawsuit; a previous compulsory license scheme, with poor recordkeeping requirements, and which, had a decline in real terms to one of the lowest fees in the world, was eventually abolished and the mechanical license system introduced. The CMRRA went on to become a significant representative of music publishers and copyright holders, and the pending list an instrument to deal with situations where mechanical rights were as-yet not completely negotiated. Basskin’s affidavit claiming the list grew and circumstances worsened as time progressed.

The Mechanical Licensing Agreement (MLA) between the “majors'” industry body, an attached exhibit to the affidavit, is set to expire December 31, 2012; this is between CMRRA and the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). With the original MLA expiring at end September 1990, CMRRA negotiated more detailed terms and a “code of conduct”. Subsequent agreements were drawn up in 1998, 2004, 2006, and 2008.

Basskin asserts that the named record company defendants are the “major” labels in Canada and states they “are also responsible for creating, maintaining and administering the so-called “Pending Lists” that are the subject of the current litigation”; that, specific to publishing, divisions of the four represent the “‘major’ music publishers active in Canada”. Yet the number of music publishers they represent has decreased over time due to consolidation and defection from the CRIA.

Geist summarizes the record company strategy as “exploit now, pay later if at all”. This despite the CMRRA and SODRAC being required to give lists of all collections they represented to record labels, and for record labels to supply copies of material being released to permit assessment of content that either group may represent interested parties for. Where actual Mechanical License Agreements are in place, Basskin implies their terms are particularly broad and preclude any party exercising their legal right to decline to license.

Specific to the current Mechanical Licensing Agreement (MLA) between the CMRRA and the CRIA; a “label is required to provide an updated cumulative Pending List to CMRRA with each quarterly payment of royalties under the MLA.” The CMRRA is required to review the list and collect where appropriate royalties and interest due. Basskin describes his first encounter with pending lists, having never heard of them before 1989, thus:

[…I]n the early years of my tenure, CRMMA received Pending Lists from the record labels in the form of paper printouts of information. The information contained on these lists varied from record label to record label, [… i]n fact, within a few days after my arrival at CMRRA, I recall my predecessor, Paul Berry, directing my attention to a large stack of paper, about two feet high. and informing me that it was PolyGram’s most recent Pending List. Prior to that introduction I had never heard of Pending Lists.

Alain Lauzon, General Manager of Canada’s Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SODRAC) submitted his followup affidavit January 28, 2009 to be attached to the case and identify the society as a plaintiff. As such, he up-front states “I have knowledge of the matters set out herein.” Lauzon, a qualified Chartered Accountant with an IT specialisation, joined SODRAC in 2002 with “over 20 years of business experience.” He is responsible for “negotiation and administration of industry-wide agreements for the licensing of music reproduction and distribution”; licensing of radio and online music services use is within his remit.

Lauzon makes it clear that Baker’s estate, other rightsholders enjoined to the case, SODRAC, and CMRRA, have reached an agreed settlement; they wish to move forward with a class proceeding against the four main members of the CRIA. He requests that the court recognise this in relation to the initially accepted case from August 2008.

The responsibility to obtain mechanical licenses for recordings manufactured and/or released in Canada falls with the Canadian labels by law, by industry custom, and by contractual agreement.

The preamble of the affidavit continues to express strong agreement with that of David Basskin from CMRRA. Lauzon concurs regarding growing use of “pending lists” and that “[…] record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that would help to resolve the Pending List problem.”

With his background as an authority, Lauzon states with confidence that SODRAC represents “approximately 10 to 15% of all musical works that are reproduced on sound recordings sold in Canada.” For Quebec the figure is more than 50%.

Lauzon agrees that the four named record company defendants are the “major” labels in Canada, and that smaller independent labels will usually work with them or an independent distribution company; and Basskin’s statement that “[t]he responsibility to obtain mechanical licenses for recordings manufactured and/or released in Canada falls with the Canadian labels by law, by industry custom, and by contractual agreement.”

Wikinews attempted to contact people at the four named defendant CRIA-member record labels. The recipient of an email that Wikinews sent to Warner Brothers Canada forwarded our initial correspondence to Hogarth PR; the other three majors failed to respond in a timely fashion. Don Hogarth responded to Wikinewsie Brian McNeil, and, without addressing any of the submitted questions, recommended a blog entry by Barry Sookman as, what he claimed is, a more accurate representation of the facts of the case.

I am aware of another viewpoint that provides a reasonably deep explanation of the facts, at www.barrysookman.com. If you check the bio on his site, you’ll see that he is very qualified to speak on these issues. This may answer some of your questions. I hope that helps.

Sookman is a lobbyist at the Canadian Parliament who works in the employ of the the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). Hogarth gave no indication or disclosure of this; his direction to the blog is to a posting with numerous factual inaccuracies, misdirecting statements, or possibly even lies; if not lies, Sookman is undoubtedly not careful or “very qualified” in the way he speaks on the issue.

Sookman’s blog post opens with a blast at Professor Geist: “his attacks use exaggeration, misleading information and half truths to achieve his obvious ends”. Sookman attempts to dismiss any newsworthiness in Geist’s article;

[… A]s if something new has happened with the case. In fact, the case was started in August 2008 (not October 2008 as asserted by Prof. Geist). It also hasn’t only been going on “for the past year”, as he claims. Chet Baker isn’t “about to add a new claim to fame”. Despite having started over a year and a half ago, the class action case hasn’t even been certified yet. So why the fervour to publicise the case now?
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Should the court use admitted unpaid amounts, or maximum statutory damages – as the record industry normally seeks against filesharers?
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As the extracted [see right] stamp, date, and signature, shows, the court accepted amendments to the case and its submission, as Professor Geist asserts, on October 6. The previously mentioned submissions by the heads of CMRRA and SODRAC were indeed actions within the past year; that of SODRAC’s Alain Louzon being January 28 this year.

Sookman continues his attack on Professor Geist, omitting that the reverse appears the case; analysis of his blog’s sitemap reveals he wrote a 44-page attack on Professor Geist in February 2008, accusing him of manipulating the media and using influence on Facebook to oppose copyright reform favourable to the CRIA. In the more current post he states:

Prof. Geist tries to taint the recording industry as blatant copyright infringers, without ever delving into the industry wide accepted custom for clearing mechanical rights. The pending list system, which has been around for decades, represents an agreed upon industry wide consensus that songwriters, music publishers (who represent songwriters) and the recording industry use and rely on to ensure that music gets released and to the market efficiently and the proper copyright owners get compensated.

This characterisation of the pending list only matches court records in that it “has been around for decades”. CMRRA’s Basskin, a lawyer and industry insider, goes into great detail on the major labels resisting twenty years of collective societies fighting, and failing, to negotiate a situation where the labels take adequate measures to mechanically license works and pay due fees, royalties, and accrued interest.

What Sookman clearly overlooks is that, without factoring in any interest amounts, the dollar value of the pending list is increasing, as shown with the following two tables for mid-2008.

As is clear, there is an increase of C$1,101,987.83 in a three-month period. Should this rate of increase in the value of the pending list continue and Sony’s unvalued pending list be factored in, the CRIA’s four major labels will have an outstanding debt of at least C$73 million by end-2012 when the association’s Mechanical Licensing Agreement runs out.

Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 12-10-2018

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.