July 6, 2019

Australian man to be executed in Singapore

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Supporters of convicted Australian drug trafficker, Van Nguyen, gathered outside the State Library in Melbourne yesterday to display thousands of messages of opposition to his death sentence.

Callers to talkback radio in Melbourne were overwhelmingly against the death penalty of Nguyen, who immediately admitted his guilt and has cooperated with authorities since being caught smuggling heroin into Singapore. Many called for a boycott of Singaporean products.

25-year-old Nguyen was arrested at Changi Airport in 2002 for carrying heroin and sentenced to death in March. Nguyen claims he carried the 396 grams of heroin strapped to his body in an attempt to pay off his brother Khoa’s $30,000 legal debts.

The Singapore government have announced they will execute Nguyen at dawn on December 2nd. Singapore President S. R. Nathan rejected Nguyen’s clemency four weeks ago. The Melbourne salesman was sentenced to death under Singapore law which determines a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty of possessing 15 grams of heroin or more.

Nguyen’s mother was informed on Thursday by registered mail from the Singapore prisons service of the execution date. The letter stated that she should start making funeral arrangements. She will get to see her son in the three days leading up to the execution.

Despite repeated pleas for clemency from many thousands of supporters; religious groups; human rights organisations; the Pope; and the Australian Government – including Prime Minister, John Howard – Singapore officials have said Nguyen’s execution is irreversible.

Mr Howard had argued that Nguyen should be spared, citing mitigating circumstances in his case which pointed to the fact that he was not a serial drug trafficker but had merely been trying to pay off his brother’s debts.

The Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, says the Singaporean Government has shown no compassion whatsoever in its treatment of Van Nguyen and his family.

“What’s happening is brutal, is inappropriate. I, and the Victorian Government, vehemently oppose the death penalty in any circumstances”, he told ABC Radio. “This is a young kid who has assisted the police all the way… In any other country, he would get a discount in relation to the penalty. But because there is a mandatory death penalty for drug offences in Singapore, this young man may well be executed. It is just grossly inappropriate.”

“Singapore maintains that capital punishment is a criminal justice issue; it is the sovereign right of every country to decide whether or not to include capital punishment within its criminal justice system,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Singapore argues that there was no international consensus that capital punishment should be abolished. At the most recent meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, 66 countries dissociated themselves from a resolution calling for the abolition of capital punishment.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong affirmed Singapore’s position by saying that it has to “stand firm on drugs to protect its citizens from the scourge and to ensure the country does not become a conduit for the trafficking of illicit drugs.”

In reply to a letter appealing for clemency from his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said: “Mr Nguyen imported almost 400gm of pure heroin which would have supplied more than 26,000 doses to drug addicts.”

No one will be permitted to see Nguyen on the morning of his execution. His body will be released to his mother.

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British music royalties suffer first ever decrease

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In the United Kingdom, PRS for Music has announced that the total royalties that artists in the music industry receive has decreased by 1%. This is the first time that such a decline has ever occurred.

The company has reported that the total was £611.2 million (US$977.8 million, €693.9 million) in 2010, a decrease of overall annual revenue of 1%, or £7 million (US$11.2 million, €7.9 million), from 2009. PRS for Music has claimed that this fall was due to lower sales of Compact Discs and DVDs, as well as digital copyright infringement.

The collection society, which is a representation of seventy-five thousand writers, composers and publishers of music, gathers royalties from music being used in excess of twenty-five billion times annually by various means, including television / radio, commercial businesses, musical venues, Compact Discs and DVDs.

Robert Ashcroft is the Chief Executive Officer of PRS for Music and is responsible for being the representative of such British music artists as Adele, Jessie J and Florence Welch. Speaking about this news, Ashcroft said: “The loss of high street outlets, the slowdown in physical music sales as well as the challenges capturing the full value of music usage online has meant that for the first time we have seen royalties collected dip. Previously, any reduction from falling physical sales had been offset by our strong performance in music licensing both in the UK and internationally. In 2010 slower growth at home and abroad failed to fully mitigate the decline.”

In 2010, the sales of music physically and digitally grew by 7% to achieve 120 million units. Meanwhile, sales of compact discs fell by 12.4% to a total of 98.5 million. British global entertainment retail chain HMV has attempted to save money by closing down sixty of its shops in the UK. In 2010, royalties’ growth reduced in speed to 4.3%.

Simon Neil, of Scottish rock group Biffy Clyro, explained that “[t]he thing about PRS is for a lot of bands it’s the only way you make money. In our first six years of being in a band that was the only kind of income we had. It’s the bread and butter for bands. It’s almost your only guaranteed source of income.”

PRS for Music has stated that its payout to its members was decreased by £800,000 (US$1,3 million, €900,000), due to improved society efficiency and a reduction in costs related to administration. According to Newsbeat, the small royalty drop may trigger a larger decline, causing new musical composers and writers to avoid joining the music industry. The company believes that further action needs to be taken to prevent the lack of CD sales and compete with illegal downloads, including the development of legal download services.

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July 5, 2019

Australia/2006

Contents

  • 1 January
  • 2 February
  • 3 March
  • 4 April
  • 5 May
  • 6 June
  • 7 July
  • 8 August
  • 9 September
  • 10 October
  • 11 November
  • 12 December

[edit]

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Venezuela opens granite processing facility in Bolívar

Monday, February 18, 2013

Venezuela’s government has opened a granite processing plant in the state of Bolívar, with the intention of providing about 25% of the granite required nationwide.

Ricardo Menéndez, vice president of the Productive Economic Area, said Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has yearned for the creation of this project to empower Venezuelan construction. Granito Bolívar is reportedly the most modern Venezuelan granite plant, not consuming community water or electricity, and is also the largest, with a daily capacity to supply enough material for use in construction of about 820 houses.

Menéndez said, “These granite blocks are the natural resources of our country, are the wealth we have as a country and often [some] simply decided to remove this richness from our country and take them to other countries” ((es))Spanish language: ?Esos bloques de granito son la riquezas naturales de nuestro país, son las riquezas que tenemos como patria y que muchas veces sencillamente esas riquezas decidieron sacarlas de nuestro territorio nacional y llevarlas a otros países.

According to Menéndez, with the help of a state plan, Venezuela intends to exploit its 40,000 million cubic meters or more of granite reserves, generating a set of factories. “[T]he central theme is that these plants, all these factories, are for the construction of socialism; that means using our potential, develop the value chain within the country and of course that yields benefits from the point of view of the production system’s organization…. [Granito] Bolívar is not only the vision that historically we had of exposing richness, but the industries, basic industries we have, that level of our workers in the basic industries and in addition the development of the potential we have in the state” ((es))Spanish language: ?el tema central es que estas plantas todas estas fábricas son para la construcción del socialismo, eso significa utilizar nuestras potencialidades, dessarrollar la cadena de valor dentro del país y por supuesto que eso genere beneficios desde el punto de vista de la organización del sistema productivo … Bolívar no solamente es la visión que históricamente se tuvo de exponer las riquezas, sino que son las empresas, las empresas básicas que tenemos, ese nivel de nuestros trabajadores de la empresas básicas y adicionalmente el desarrollo del potencial que tenemos en el estado.

For the construction of the plant, supplied by 23 quarries, the government of Bolívar provided about 30 million bolívares (US$4.7 million) and the national government €2.3 million (US$3 million). Bolívar reportedly has reserves of about 40,000 million tons of red, black, pink and white granite, sufficient for domestic demand for 200 years.

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June 20, 2019

US President Bush nominates new surgeon general

Friday, May 25, 2007

Yesterday, United States President George W. Bush nominated James W. Holsinger as the next Surgeon General of the United States.

Today, I have announced my intention to nominate James W. Holsinger, Jr., to serve as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Holsinger is an accomplished physician who has led one of our Nation’s largest healthcare systems, the State of Kentucky’s healthcare system, and the University of Kentucky’s medical center.
 

Since August 1, 2006, Kenneth P. Moritsugu has been the acting surgeon general. Richard Carmona was the last surgeon general. He left when his four year term expired at the end of July, 2006.

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Britons seized from finance ministry in Iraq

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Five British citizens have been seized in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The group, comprising a finance expert and four bodyguards, were captured from the finance ministry by kidnappers wearing police uniforms and driving police vehicles. The BBC is reporting that over 40 police vehicles were involved in the incident.

In separate incidents, at least 22 people were killed and 55 injured in a bus explosion elsewhere in the city, and at least 15 people were killed in a car bomb which injured a further 36, possibly more.

It is believed the four bodyguards are employed by Canadian GardaWord, a subsidiary of Garda.

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June 19, 2019

Canadian rapper Bad News Brown murdered in Montreal

Monday, February 14, 2011

Canadian rapper Bad News Brown has been found dead in southwestern Montreal. Brown, whose real name was Paul Frappier, was found by some abandoned buildings near the Lachine Canal by a passerby. He was 33 years-old.

Oliver Lapointe, a police spokesman, said Frappier’s upper body had “clear signs of violence”. He added “We do not know the motive and we have no witnesses.”

Henry Gelot, Frappier’s manager, released a statement saying “Bad News Brown’s death is a great loss for the entire hip-hop and music community in Quebec. In addition to being one of the first rappers from Quebec to reach international acclaim, Bad News Brown has certainly left a mark on everyone who knew him.”

Frappier was born on the island of Haiti. He moved to Canada when still young and was adopted by a family from Montreal. He started his career as a street busker and performed in several Montreal Metro stations. According to his Facebook page he later became an opening act for several major stars including 50 Cent, Snoop Dog, and Kanye West. Born 2 Sin, Frappier’s first album, was released a year ago.

Fans have also paid tribute to Frappier through his Facebook page. One person commented “Your sounds will flow for eternity.”

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June 17, 2019

5-year old American girl dies after visiting the dentist

Friday, September 29, 2006

Diamond Brownridge, a 5-year old girl from Chicago, Illinois, has died after a visit to the dentist. Children’s Memorial Hospital officials say that the girl was rushed to the hospital when she never woke up after being sedated for a dental procedure. She had been in a coma, on life support, since being admitted to the hospital early in the weekend.

“She passed very peacefully and beautifully,” said the hospital in a statement that the family issued.

Ommettress Travis, the mother of the girl, was asked not to remain inside the room while dentists were operating on the girl to repair two cavities and to have at least two caps replaced. Travis says after thirty minutes she was asked to come back in and found Brownridge not breathing, in the dentist chair.

Hicham Riba, a specialist and professional in anesthesia, who was also licensed, was the dentist in charge of the procedure.

“My family and I are so sad. May God bless Diamond and her family. Every time you have a tragedy like this, you pray more. I don’t think I will ever go back to a normal life after an experience like this,” Riba said in a statement on Wednesday, September 28.

According to the family, the girl had been given at least a triple dose of medicine that sedated her. Those drugs include: nitrous oxide gas, a single dose of an “oral agent” and an IV.

A judge has ordered that all equipment and materials used during the operation be protected and examined. The girl’s medical records have also been ordered to be examined.

There is no word on whether or not any charges will be filed against Riba or any of the dentist’s staff.

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June 13, 2019

Australia Votes 2007: Labor releases tax plan

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Election 2007

Labor has released its tax plan, following the announcement from the Liberal/National coalition that they would provide tax cuts costing AU$34 billion if re-elected. The government has placed pressure on Labor since their announcement on Monday, urging Mr Rudd to release the opposition’s tax plan.

Under Labor’s system, the government’s planned tax cuts for Australians earning more than $180,000 per year would be scrapped, saving $3 billion. The savings would be spent on health and education for working families.

Speaking in Canberra today, Mr Rudd announced that if elected he would spend $2.3 billion on tax rebates for parents with children in primary and secondary schools. The refunds would be available to those who are eligible for Family Tax Benefit A. Mr Rudd claims the plan would be available to around two million children.

A Rudd government would offer a 50 percent education rebate to parents, up to $750 per child for primary school aged children and up to $1500 for children in secondary school. The rebate could be used for a variety of purchases but not for school fees. Mr Rudd said the rebate would help to equip children for the digital age.

“If mum and dad are spending money on buying a laptop, spending money on buying a home computer, spending money on … purchasing internet connection, education software printers and books, those expenditures, (they) will be eligible to claim the 50 per cent education tax refund that we are putting forward,” Mr Rudd said.

“We need to equip our young people with the skills necessary to participate in the digital economy of the 21st century.”

Mr Rudd vigorously denied that he rushed the plan out after the government’s announcement. “We have been working on this education tax refund for the better part of four, five months,” Mr Rudd told reporters.

Labor would spend $400 million of the savings on Labor’s national health reform plan, while the remaining $200 million would go to the budget surplus.

Under the health reform plan, an elective surgery strategy would be implemented with the aim of reducing waiting times. Mr Rudd said the waiting times experienced by some Australians were unacceptable.

“We intend … to establish through the use of other funds as well a plan which would create a national elective-surgery strategy to reduce waiting times across the nation,” Mr Rudd said.

About 25,000 Australians are on waiting lists for elective surgery despite having passed the clinically acceptable waiting period, he said.

“That’s unacceptable,” he said.

Mr Rudd also said that Labor would embrace tax reform by flattening the number of tax rates from four to three, at 15, 30 and 40 percent by 2012-13. This contrasts to the government’s planned tax cuts bringing rates to 15, 30, 25 and 40 percent.

If Labor is elected, those paying the highest tax rate would pay around $10 a week more than they would under a Howard government. Mr Rudd said that he was not waging a class war and believed those paying the top tax rate wouldn’t mind investing in the country.

“If you’re on $180 grand and more, as people like myself are, I don’t think you really need it just now,” said Mr Rudd.

“What I say instead is that most people in that bracket wouldn’t mind an investment going into bridging the digital divide for the whole country.”

“If we were waging some sort of class warfare, we wouldn’t be in the business of outlining the long term goals that we’ve put forward – a flattening, prospectively, of the tax system down to three rates rather than four with a top marginal tax rate of 40.”

The government has criticised the plan, with Treasurer Peter Costello claiming that Mr Rudd copied “91.5 percent” of their tax policy. He accused the opposition of never having a tax plan.

“Mr Rudd talks about education – if he’d have brought his exam paper in after copying 91.5 per cent of the answers from the student sitting next to him, he would have got an F for fail.”

The Treasurer said that it would be unlikely that a Rudd government could deliver tax cuts as it could not manage the economy well enough to deliver them.

“Unless you can manage the Australian economy, these tax cuts will not be deliverable,” he said.

“Mr Rudd and Mr Swan do not understand the Australian economy. This is entirely clear from the fact they have spent four days copying 91.5 per cent of our tax plan.”

Mr Costello said that a Rudd government would have a dilemma if elected, in that he could not follow the coalition’s policies.

“He never had a tax policy,” Mr Costello said.

“He hadn’t done the work, five days after our tax policy, his great contribution to the tax debate in this country is to say ‘me too, but’.”

“The trouble with ‘me too, but’ is, it’s OK for Mr Rudd to say ‘me too, I’ll be like Howard and Costello and adopt their policies’, but if he gets in Howard and Costello won’t be there writing the policies.”

Mr Costello said that when Kevin Rudd runs out of ideas, the union movement would step in to provide guidance. “So who is going to say ‘me to, but’ to them? I think the union movement will be giving him a few ideas,” said Mr Costello.

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June 11, 2019

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Kristen Monster, Willowdale

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Kristen Monster is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Willowdale riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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