February 2, 2019

eBay Australia to only permit payment via PayPal

Saturday, April 12, 2008

On the back of new restrictions being imposed on eBay users in the United Kingdom requiring that sellers offer PayPal payments for all sales, eBay Australia is mandating that only PayPal payments will be acceptable as of June 17. PayPal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay, and charges a 30¢ transaction fee, plus a commission between 1.1% for high volume traders, and 2.4% for low value or low volume traders. These higher costs will be passed onto buyers.

Cash payment on pick up will be the only other payment option, and it may only be offered in conjunction with PayPal.

eBay has brought in this restriction under the guise of improving customer protection, bolstering its “Paypal Buyer Protection” insurance programme to allow claims up to A$20,000 instead of the previous maximum of $3,000, however as of June 17 many of the items which would exceed $3,000 are no longer covered by the programme, such as services, vehicles, real estate and businesses.

eBay Trust and Safety director Alastair MacGibbon said this change was not in response to the once-off fund established in March to refund eBay buyers who lost their non-existent holiday accommodation packages from the Melbourne eBay seller Robert Kobis. Mr MacGibbon said “It is part of a much larger initiative”.

In addition to these measures, Paypal will be withholding funds from some sellers for 21 days

.. until the earliest of the following occurs:

  • the buyer leaves positive feedback,
  • 3 days after confirmed item delivery
  • 21 days without a dispute, claim, chargeback, or reversal filed on that transaction

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has held discussion with eBay, but declined to comment. The Australian Consumers Association spokesman Christopher Zinn said the unique use of PayPal could give rise to competition issues, however if the costs charged stayed as they were, they had no further concerns.

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February 1, 2019

Wikinews Shorts: January 20, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, January 20, 2008.

Former Indonesian president Suharto, 86, is now moving and speaking softly, doctors say. He was admitted to Pertamina Hospital in Jakarta on January 4 after suffering multiple organ failure.

“He is fully conscious, he can follow instructions and answer our questions in a weak voice,” Dr. Jusuf Misbach said. “He scratched himself and raised his hands. It’s an amazing accomplishment.”

Mardjo Soebiandono said that Suharto would be given physiotherapy, but he also stated that his condition is still considered critical.

According to doctors, Suharto’s blood pressure is now stable, his heart and lungs are functioning better, and infections are being treated with antibiotics.

Preparations for a state funeral had begun last week when Suharto developed pneumnonia and sepsis. He was given only a 50:50 chance of survival.

Related news

  • “Former Indonesian president, Suharto in critical condition” — Wikinews, January 5, 2008

Sources


Major power outages in Zimbabwe and Zambia left many without services such as electricity, water, and mobile phone connections for much of Saturday and Sunday.

The blackout reportedly hit the two nations almost simultaneously on Saturday evening. In Zambia, the power was restored eight hours later, but residents of Zimbabwe had to wait until Sunday afternoon for power.

Officials in Harare said the cause of the blackout was a fault that “tripped” the power grid, while some in Zambia blamed “turbine problems” at one of the country’s hydroelectric dams.

40% of Zimbabwe’s power is imported from neighboring countries like South Africa. As the power situation in South Africa has also been worsening, state utility company Eskom announced it will stop supplying power to Zimbabwe and other countries in order to meet domestic needs.

Sources


Francis Joyon of France completed his maritime journey around the globe in a 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes, and 6 seconds, breaking Ellen MacArthur‘s record by 2 weeks. He sailed the world’s oceans in a trimaran of his own making.

The journey began November 23 in the port of Brest. Joyon then sailed under the tip of Africa and across the Southern Hemisphere before making his way back to France.

MacArthur was there to greet him when he landed on shore. “I’m really happy for him, proud of him,” she said. “He was very fast, he played really well, and he really deserves this record.” MacArthur had previously beaten Joyon’s record in 2005.

“The speed part, the sailing passion part, that’s extraordinary. But what is the strongest of all is having precious moments when you can be in harmony with the planet, with the elements. That is what will stay with me,” Joyon said.

Related news

  • “Ellen Macarthur sets round the world solo sailing record” — Wikinews, February 7, 2005

Sources

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Evangelist Kent Hovind’s tax trial begins

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Evangelist Kent Hovind and his wife, Jo, are trying to convince a federal jury that their money from video and amusement park admission sales belong to God and cannot be taxed. The trial began at United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida on Tuesday October 18, 2006 after twelve jury members and two alternates were selected to decide on the 58 federal courts against Hovind and his wife. The trial was expected to take at least two weeks to complete with the prosecution hoping to rest its case Tuesday, but a defense attorney became ill and the Judge delayed the trial until October 30th.

Hovind is a Young Earth creationist who does many speaking engagements and debates. He also sells videos giving a pro-creationism perspective, which he receives income for. Hovind, who calls himself “Dr. Dino”, received a Ph.D in “Christian education” from the unaccredited correspondence school Patriot Bible University in 1991.

Contents

  • 1 Charges
  • 2 Government witnesses
  • 3 Hovind’s employees
  • 4 Pensacola Christian College
  • 5 IRS and ‘beating the system’
  • 6 Related news
  • 7 Sources

Prosecutor Michelle Heldmeyer said from 1999 to March 2004, the Hovinds took in more than $5 million. Heldmeyer charged Hovind on 12 counts for failing to pay about $470,000 in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes for his ministry employees between March 31, 2001, and Jan. 31, 2004. Counts 13 through 57 include Hovind’s wife for making 45 transactions in a little more than a year, sometimes taking out as much as $9,500 at a time. Banks are required to report cash withdrawals that exceed $10,000.

In count 58 against Kent includes filing a frivolous lawsuit against the IRS, demanding damages for criminal trespass, filing an injunction against an IRS agent, making threats against investigators and those cooperating with the investigation, and filing false complaints against the IRS for false arrest, excessive use of force and theft.

In July with his attorney, Public Defender Kafahni Nkrumah, Hovind stated that he did not recognize the government’s right to try him on tax-fraud charges.

This is not the first time Hovind has found himself in legal trouble. In 2002 he refused to get a $50.00 building permit for his Dinosaur Adventure Land, and after three years of legal battles the court ruled that he get a permit or the building would be razed. The park, which depicts dinosaurs as coexisting with humans in the last 6-4,000 years with the more recent “dinosaurs” being the Loch Ness monster, is reportedly open after Hovind paid for the permit and fines totaling $10,402.64.

More directly, M.C. Powe, an IRS officer who investigates people who have unpaid tax returns or unpaid tax liabilities, testified at Hovind’s current trial on October, 19, 2006 that she first attempted to collect taxes from the Hovinds in 1996. She noted Hovind tried several “bullying tactics” that included suing her at least three times. These resulted in each case being thrown out.

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Beard handled Hovind’s bankruptcy in 1996 testified on Wednesday that in 1996 after Hovind’s vehicles were seized by the IRS, he filed under the Chapter 13 “wage-earner plan,” available only to those who have a regular source of income. However, Hovind wrote that he had no form of income, that he rejected his Social Security number and that his employer was God, Beard testified.

In a 2005 affidavit, the Hovinds argue that Social Security is essentially a “Ponzi scheme.” The Hovinds referred to the United States Government as “the ‘bankrupt’ corporate government” and said they were renouncing their United States citizenship and Social Security numbers to become “a natural citizen of ‘America’ and a natural sojourner.”

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

On Thursday an employee of AmSouth Bank explained that the Currency Transaction Reports requires the bank to report any time a cash amount of $10,000 or more is withdrawn or deposited. This employee noted that various records demonstreated Jo Hovind had made transactions up to $15,000 at a time.

Also on Thursday Hovind’s former neighbor testified regarding Hovind’s purchasing of her Palafox Street home. On the stand she said Hovind paid her $30,000 in cash as part of the $155,000 sale.

In this week’s trial two of Hovind’s workers testified in federal court that they didn’t consider where they worked to be a church. In court Hovind maintains he does not have to pay the taxes because his employees were “volunteers,” “missionaries” or “ministers” and his business was a ministry.

However, Brian Popp, Hovind’s employee for at least eight years, said he considered himself a minister at the time of his employment, but said Hovind’s ministry isn’t a church. Popp also testified that Hovind knew about the bank’s requirement to report transactions over $10,000 and said it was “not safe to carry large sums of cash.”

Further, Popp said Hovind told his workers not to accept mail addressed to “KENT HOVIND” because Hovind told the workers the government created a corporation in his “all-caps name” and if the mail was accepted, Hovind claimed, it would be accepting the responsibilities associated with that corporation.

Diane P. Cooksey, served as a sales representative for the ministry from January 2003 to June 2005, and said Hovind expected to pay her own taxes. Cooksey said, “He explained what his belief was, right up front in the interview, that I would pay my own taxes.” As told’s worker, she received $10 an hour in a weekly paycheck, punched a time clock, was given 10 paid vacation days a year, and considered herself an employee, not a missionary as a few others called themselves.

The IRS raided Hovind’s Dinosaur Adventure Land in April 2004, after which Hovind required his employees to sign nondisclosure agreements. “I was uncomfortable signing it, I guess, because of not having a full understanding,” Cooksey said.

Rebekah Horton, vice president of the unaccredited Pensacola Christian College, took the stand on the second day of the trial and testified that “We know the Scriptures do not promote (tax evasion)”. “It’s against Scripture teaching.”

Horton was given a videotape in the mid 1990s from a woman who worked for Hovind. The video contained “another evangelist advocating tax evasion,” Horton explained. The woman who gave the tape to Horton claimed Hovind’s philosophy as “You were giving a gift with your work, and they were giving a gift back to you.”

Pensacola Christian College decided to disallow its students from working with Hovind’s Creation Science Evangelism and reported Hovind’s scheme to the IRS.

On Friday, attorney David Charles Gibbs testified that Hovind claimed he had no obligation to pay employee income taxes and explained with “a great deal of bravado” how he had “beat the tax system.” Gibbs is an attorney with the Gibbs Law Firm, also is affiliated with the Christian Law Association, a nonprofit organization founded by his father that offers free legal help to churches nationwide in a suburb of St. Petersburg, Florida. Gibbs attended the Marcus Pointe Baptist Church when Hovind was a guest speaker at the church on October 17, 2004. Hovind invited Gibbs and others to Hovind’s home for pizza and soda.

Gibbs testified they talked for many hours, and Hovind “tried to stress to me that he was like the pope and this was like the Vatican.” Also Gibbs explained Hovind also told him he preferred to deal in cash because “dealing with cash there is no way to trace it, so it wasn’t taxable.”

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Later on Friday, Special IRS Agent Scott Schneider took up the remainder of the day and is expected to resume Monday. Schneider told the jury his investigation revealed that Hovind “hadn’t filed tax returns ever, to my knowledge.”

Hovind tried suing the IRS and Schneider several times to avoid providing information required by the IRS. Each filing was thrown out by the judges.

Schneider’s discussed documents seized during the 2004 raid of Hovind’s property. These documents, Schneider explained, indicated Hovind ran his ministry as a business with “meticulous” payroll documents and a time clock employees had to punch in and out.

In the raid cash was found “all over the place.” Ultimately, $42,000 in cash was seized along with half-dozen guns (including a SKS semiautomatic) at the Hovinds’ home.

The Pensacola News Journal noted that “in one memo, Jo Hovind informed her daughter, who works at the park, that her pay would be docked $10 for talking too long on the telephone when she should have been working.”

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January 31, 2019

Wikinews Shorts: December 4, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, December 4, 2008.

On December 2, the Toronto city council voted in favor of banning the sales and distribution of bottled water on city property. The council also agreed to provide public drinking fountains on their properties, as well as on a measure that would make shoppers pay at least five Canadian cents for plastic grocery bags and force business owners to offer reusable bags and carry-out containers.

“Toronto’s decision to ban the bottle and turn on the tap sends a clear message that bottled water’s 15 minutes are up,” said Polaris Institute’s campaign coordinator, Joe Cressy.

All of the city’s facilities should be following the water ban by 2011, while businesses will have to implement their bag fees by 2010. Toronto has become the largest city in the world to ban bottled water on government property.

Related news

  • “Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada” — Wikinews, August 23, 2008

Sources


On Tuesday, American actor, Patrick Swayze, who suffers from pancreatic cancer, denied reports that he was near death. American tabloid National Inquirer reported on November 28 that Swayze’s cancer had spread to his liver and that he was preparing for his death.

“The only thorn in my side being that many tabloids have been consistently reporting lies and false information about me and those close to me,” said Swayze in a statement to the press who also added that he knows he is in “the fight for his life,” but that it is a fight that he “is winning.”

“I’m one of the lucky few that responds well to treatment,” added Swayze.

Swayze has starred in over a dozen films, including the 1987 hit film Dirty Dancing.

Related news

  • “Wikinews Shorts: November 28, 2008” — Wikinews, November 28, 2008

Sources


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Wikinews holds a follow-up interview with Kevin Baugh, president of the Republic of Molossia

Thursday, May 1, 2008

In March, Wikinews reporter Joseph Ford held an exclusive interview with Kevin Baugh, president of the Republic of Molossia, a micronation located near Dayton, Nevada. Due to the interest the article gained, both online and off, a follow-up interview was held this week.

Molossia’s capital city, Espera, is situated on little over an acre of land in Western Nevada, within driving distance of Reno. Another territory, Desert Homestead Province, is located in Southern California. Unlike most of today’s micronations, Molossia allows visitors and has its own economy. It also has its own time zone and holidays as well as a few tourist attractions.

When asked about the culture of his country Baugh replied, “Molossian culture is a mix of several sources. Above all, we value the lifestyle of the western U.S., especially as it pertains to living in a wide-open place such as we do. Life here is fairly relaxed and easygoing.”

He also said that Molossia and the United States “generally ignore each other” and that there haven’t been “any altercations” between the two, despite claiming each other’s land. He went on to tell us much more about his tiny nation, which can be read in the interview below.

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January 30, 2019

Domestic Violence: The Most Written Bail Bond

Get More Information Here:

byAlma Abell

There are many types of domestic violence that can end up with an arrest. Chances are that you have had either a family member or friend that was once arrested for a domestic violence dispute. Disputes can happen easily and within many different types of situations that include child custody cases, arguments, divorce cases, and situations where people are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Whether you are a person who has been in custody before, or you are trying to help a loved one, understanding how bail works for domestic violence in Reno, NV, is important.

Understanding the Bail Process for Domestic Violence

There are strict guidelines in place once a person has been arrested for domestic violence. It tends to be the one offense that has more bail bonds written for it. Chances are an offender will not be released of their own accord. Depending on the number of domestic violence offenses a person % of the amount set for bail will be paid directly to the bail bonds company as a premium and is not refundable.

The Importance of Bail Bond Agents

When bail needs to be paid, it is important to have an experienced bail bond agent. Not just any bail bond agent will work either. You want to make sure that the company you choose is capable of keeping private information secure. They should be able to guarantee information confidentiality. Skilled bail bonds agents are capable of explaining the process and what is expected of the accused. Bail bonds companies with many years of experience are more than proficient in handling specific domestic violence cases and providing bail.

Protect Your Rights

Even if someone has been arrested and put in jail due to domestic violence charges, they still have the right to their day in court. Having bail posted is just the beginning. When someone is released on bail, they are still accountable for the crime until their day in court. It is the job of the bail bondsman to make sure they check in with them on a continual basis. The bail bondsman has the task of making sure the accused shows up in court when they are scheduled for a hearing. While it may seem that a being out on bail is letting someone go free, it is not. It is simply the act of allowing the accused to be free from jail until their day in court. Until proven guilty, being out on bail is just another way of protecting their rights.

Able Bail Bonds has been providing bonds for those accused of domestic violence in Reno, NV. Contact them to find out how to post bail for a loved one accused of a crime. Visit AbleBailBonds.net.

Record number of bicycles sold in Australia in 2006

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Bicycle sales in Australia have recorded record sales of 1,273,781 units for 2006, exceeding car sales by 32 percent. It is the fifth year in a row that the bicycle industry has sold more than one million units, a figure yet to be realised by car manufacturers.

The Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) spokesman Ian Christie said Australians were increasingly using bicycles as an alternative to cars. Sales rose nine percent in 2006 while the car market stalled. Mr Christie said people were looking to cut their fuel costs and improve their fitness.

Mr Christie said organisations were beginning to supply bicycles as a company vehicle. “There is an emerging trend towards people using bikes as their official company-supplied vehicle in place of the traditional company car,” he said.

“Some of Australia’s biggest corporations now have bicycle fleets, and when you add in government organisations, we now know of at least 50 organisations which operate fleets of bikes.”

“Although the company bicycle is a long way from taking over from the company car, it’s an important trend when you consider that nearly half of all cars sold are to company fleets.”

The CPF claims most commutes to work are less than 5 kilometres (3 miles) making bicycle travel a viable alternative.

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Congressional dems visit to Iraq encourages support of Bush $81B “reconstruction” plan

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A visit to Baghdad’s “Green Zone” on two separate days last week (March 22 and 24, 2005) has convinced Washington’s Democratic senators and representatives that things are going well.

The Senate delegation, led by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev), visited on Tuesday. The House delegation, led by Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), visited two days later. They all came away from their whirlwind visits with opinions that although conditions were improving there would still be many years of American occupation before Iraq could be a true democracy.

“Although progress has been made, there is a significant way to go until the Iraqis are capable of providing for their security,” said Pelosi, the House Democratic leader. She led an eight-member group that included seven Democrats and Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) (San Diego County).

The delegations spent their one day in Iraq’s Green Zone, the heavily protected area in downtown Baghdad that serves as headquarters for the 150,000 U.S. military forces and diplomats and the Iraqi government. They headed to their other stops in Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Egypt. Security was tight and didn’t allow for any additional travel in the war torn nation.

The sole Republican in the Congressional delegation, Issa, said “I believe it will be a fairly long stay.”

Pelosi’s comments echoed Issa, and added “the cost of this war is huge to the American people,” citing 1,500 service personnel the Bush administration has admitted were killed in action, and the estimated $500 million-a-day price tag. “The message some of us had for our military leaders and Iraqi leaders is that whatever it takes to transfer security responsibilities should be applied now. It’s long overdue,” she added.

An emotional trip to Beirut, Lebanon, by the congressional delegation included a visit to the grave of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in a Feb. 14 bombing that is blamed, but not substantiated, to have been committed by Syrian agents. Darrell Issa, of Lebanese descent, noted “there’s a huge permanent group of mourners at his grave, with hundreds of tents set up.’’

Senator Reid stressed the need for continued U.S. support for reconstruction efforts, along with training Iraqi security forces to replace U.S. military personnel and help bolster the Iraqi economy and political structure. “Everyone understands that reconstruction is an important part of the U.S. mission here,” he added.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) agreed: “I believe what we are seeing here is good.”

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), a leading critic of the Bush administration’s Iraq policy, seemed upbeat about the future of the new Iraq government. Iraq’s future stability “greatly depends on the training of Iraqi security forces.”

“We got a very, very upbeat report from the top U.S. military officials,” she added.

All of the delegation seemed to agree that their trip enforced the enormity of the challenge and the financial need to help the Iraqi people. This would require a continued input of American taxpayer dollars and left little doubt that they would line up to support the Bush administration’s proposed new $81 billion dollars (US) in expenditures there.

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January 29, 2019

Photo Essay: Cherry Blossoms Bloom in DC

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Washington, D.C. — The Japanese Cherry Blossoms have again bloomed around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. and a city along with thousands of visitors mark the beginning of Spring with their arrival. The accompanying National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual celebration, commemorating the March 27, 1912, gift to the city of 3,000 Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo. Mayor Ozaki donated the trees in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and also celebrate the continued close relationship between the two peoples.

 
 
 
 
 
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Several dozen protesters arrested outside White House for permit violations

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Police arrested over two dozen anti-war protesters for demonstrating without a permit in front of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

The rally consisted of protestors organized in a “die-in”, appearing to be deceased. The peace rally was performed shortly after reports that the death toll for U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq reached 2,000.

The left-leaning MoveOn.org led a national campaign to galvanize anti-war vigils. Organization members on their e-mail lists received a notice Wednesday that read: “Dear MoveOn member, Yesterday we reached the sad milestone of 2,000 killed in Iraq. But for the most part, the national media are ignoring this tragic milestone.”

Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies said that changes in U.S. public opinion are showing signs that peace activists are “beginning to give voice to the majority in this country.”

Among those arrested was activist Cindy Sheehan. She was arrested for the same offense in another anti-war demonstration just last month.

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