Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Wikinews extended invitations by e-mail on March 23 to multiple candidates running in the Texas’ 6th congressional district special election of May 1 to fill a vacancy left upon the death of Republican congressman Ron Wright. Of them, independent candidate Adrian Mizher agreed to answer some questions by phone on March 30 about their campaigns and policies. The following is the interview with Mr Mizher.

Mizher describes himself as a senior loan closer on his LinkedIn profile at BBVA USA, a Birmingham-based subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria. He has lived in Kennedale, Texas for five years and the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area for 16 of the last 24 years. A cum laude graduate of Southwestern Adventist University, he grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has lived for eight years in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He endeavours to bring “a never ending fight for fidelity to the Constitution and promotion of our Conservative values”, speaking to Wikinews on matters ranging from the economy to immigration.

An Inside Elections poll published on March 18 shows Republican candidate Susan Wright, the widow of Ron Wright, is ahead by 21% followed by Democrat Jana Sanchez with 17% and Republican Jake Ellzey with 8% with a 4.6% margin of error among 450 likely voters. The district is considered “lean Republican” by Inside Elections and voted 51% in favour of Donald Trump in last year’s US presidential election. This is down from 54% for Trump in 2016’s presidential election, the same poll stated.

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor candidate Wayne Tseng answered some questions about his campaign for the upcoming election from Wikinews. The Lord Mayor election in the Australian city is scheduled to take place this week.

Tseng runs a firm called eTranslate, which helps software developers to make the software available to the users. In the candidate’s questionnaire, Tseng said eTranslate had led to him working with all three tiers of the government. He previously belonged to the Australian Liberal Party, but has left since then, to run for mayorship as an independent candidate.

Tseng is of Chinese descent, having moved to Australia with his parents from Vietnam. Graduated in Brisbane, Tseng received his PhD in Melbourne and has been living in the city, he told Wikinews. Tseng also formed Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce, an organisation responsible for many “community bond building initiatives”, the Lord Mayor candidate told Wikinews.

Tseng discussed his plans for leading Melbourne, recovering from COVID-19, and “Democracy 2.0” to ensure concerns of minorities in the city were also heard. Tseng also focused on the importance of the multi-culture aspect and talked about making Melbourne the capital of the aboriginals. Tseng also explained why he thinks Melbourne is poised to be a world city by 2030.

Tseng’s deputy Lord Mayor candidate Gricol Yang is a Commercial Banker and works for ANZ Banking Group.

Currently, Sally Capp is the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Victorian capital. Capp was elected as an interim Lord Mayor in mid-2018 after the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle resigned from his position after sexual assault allegations. Doyle served as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for almost a decade since 2008.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A storm that has been passing through the midwest some parts of the nation will arrive in New England late tonight. This will be the first major snowstorm of the winter season for the northeast.

There is currently a winter storm warning for most of Massachusetts. It is predicted that there could be near-blizzard conditions in the morning. The storm is expected to bring several inches of snow to the area.

There are currently parking bans in effect in some areas of Massachusetts.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

In February 2017, the Iranian Chess Federation announced two teenage chess players, Dorsa Derakhshani and her younger brother Borna Derakhshani, were banned from representing the national team. The federation announced their decision although Dorsa Derakhshani had previously decided and informed the chess federation she did not wish to play for Iran.

Dorsa Derakhshani is currently 21 years old and holds the International Master (IM) as well as Woman Grand Master (WGM) titles. Her brother, Borna, plays for the English Federation and holds the FIDE Master title.

Dorsa Derakhshani was banned since she did not wear a hijab, an Islamic headscarf, while competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival in January 2017. Under the laws of Islamic Republic of Iran, hijab is a mandatory dress code. Her brother Borna Deraskhsani was banned for playing against Israeli Grand Master (GM) Alexander Huzman at the same tournament. Iran does not recognise the existence of Israel, and previously, Irani athletes have avoided playing against Israeli athletes.

Mehrdad Pahlavanzadeh, the president of the country’s chess federation, explained the decision to ban the players saying, “As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran and in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.” ((fa))Farsi language: ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???????? ?? ?? ????? ? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ????. He further stated, “Unfortunately, something that should not have happened has happened and our national interest is paramount and we have reported this position to the Ministry of Sports.” ((fa))Farsi language: ????????? ?????? ?? ????? ????????? ?????? ??? ? ????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????.

IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who currently studies at Saint Louis University in the United States and plays for the United States Chess Federation, discussed her chess career, time in Iran and the 2017 controversy, and her life in Saint Louis with a Wikinews correspondent.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Andrew McAvoy is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Windsor-Tecumseh riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his 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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Tuesday, November 7, 2006

A new study released by Christchurch researcher from the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, David Fergusson, shows that “substantional benefits” come from a circumcision, a baby boy having his foreskin removed.

Mr Fergusson said that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases is halved due to circumcision, even after accounting for the amount of sex partners, unprotected sex and their family background. “Circumcision also reduces the risk of transmitting HIV and the incidence of urinary tract infections.”

The report, which was published in the international scientific journal Pediatrics, took 25-years to complete as it followed 510 males from birth until they were 25-years-old.

“The public health issues raised by these findings clearly involve weighing the longer-term benefits of routine neonatal circumcision in terms of reducing risks of infection within the population, against the perceived costs of the procedure,” Mr Fergusson said.

However the American Academy of Pediatrics has described the current study as “complex and conflicting.” The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes the practice, which is why in the US the circumcision rate has been falling since 1999.

In New Zealand, only between ten and twenty percent of all males are circumcised, which is one of the lowest rates in the world. Circumcision is the normal practice in Samoa and Tonga and also among Jewish and Muslim men.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians said in 2004, “There is no medical reason for routine circumcision of newborn boys.”

The current study has made some health specialists reconsider their stance on the issue. “People feel passionate on both sides, but I’m going to recommend that we take another careful look at this,” said Jay Berkelhamer, US Academy of Pediatrics president and professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida.

Edgar Schoen, who has reconsidered his stance on the issue, he said: “The academy’s opposition is irresponsible. The benefits of circumcision far outweigh risks, and doctors should be telling parents that.”

“Even if it does bring down sexually transmitted disease, cutting normal tissue of an unconsenting minor is a human rights violation,” said Marilyn Milos, from anti-circumcision group, National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC).

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Peter Moore, a British IT consultant and computer programmer who was taken hostage by Iraqi militants during a May 2007 militant raid on the finance ministry in Baghdad, has been released alive and in good health.

He is the only known survivor of a group of five hostages, consisting of himself, three bodyguards, and Alan McMenemy, a security guard from Glasgow. The bodyguards (Alec Maclachlan, Jason Swindlehurst, and Jason Creswell) were later shot and killed, and their bodies have been returned to Britain. McMenemy is believed to have met the same fate. The last time Moore was known to be alive was when a DVD showing him was handed to Iraqi authorities earlier this year.

The five men were captured by a group of approximately forty men disguised as Iraqi policemen in May 2007, who are believed to belong to the Islamic Shia Resistance, an obscure militant organisation also known as the Righteous League. Moore is now in the British Embassy in Baghdad, and is to be reunited with his family as soon as possible, according to Milliband.

United Kingdom foreign secretary David Milliband said that he was “absolutely delighted at his release” after two and a half years of “misery, fear and uncertainty”. He claimed to be in a “remarkable frame of mind” after a “very moving” conversation with Moore. He also asked for the release of McMenemy’s body. He said that no “substantive concessions” had been made by the British government, instead praising Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for his government’s process of reconciliation.

remember the families of British hostages who have been killed in Iraq and elsewhere

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a statement in which he said he was “hugely relieved by the wonderful news that Peter has been freed”, calling for the British people to “remember the families of British hostages who have been killed in Iraq and elsewhere.” He continued with a pledge that the government would “continue to do everything [it] can to bring British hostages back to their loved ones, including the remaining hostage of the group in Iraq, Alan McMenemy”. He said, “I demand that the hostage takers return him to us.”

Moore’s father, Graeme, said he was “over the moon” about his son’s release, saying, “We are so relieved and we just want to get him home, back now to his family and friends. I’m breaking down, I’m just so overjoyed for the lad. It’s been such a long haul. I know that there have been one or two people working in the background to get Peter released. Peter is a very resilient lad and he always has been because of his background.” He said the British Foreign Office had been “obstructive” with regards to his son’s release.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Yesterday, former English and Liverpool F.C. football captain Steven Gerrard announced retirement from professional football.

Gerrard posted on Instagram: “Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm my retirement from playing professional football.” Graduating from Liverpool’s youth academy, Gerrard made his professional debut in November 1998. Since then, the midfielder has played 710 games of Liverpool netting 186 goals. Gerrard spent seventeen years at Anfield stadium, and served as the captain since October 2003.

In 2005, Gerrard guided Liverpool to UEFA Champions League victory over Italian club A.C. Milan in a dramatic final in Istanbul, Turkey. Gerrard scored one of the three goals for Liverpool in the final, who were trailing 3–0 at half time. Liverpool who were under the management of Rafael Benítez, won by a penalty shootout. Two years later, Liverpool including Gerrard collected the Champions League runners-up medal following defeat against AC Milan. Gerrard was with the team when they won the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup during the 2000-2001 season. The team, including Gerrard, also lifted the League Cup trophy in 2012, and 2006 FA Cup against London based club West Ham United.

In 2014, Liverpool failed to secure the Premier League trophy on the last day of the season. Manchester City F.C. won the title. Steven Gerrard has never won the Premier League trophy in his 17-year spell at Anfield.

Gerrard left Anfield for LA Galaxy in 2015. In 34 appearances for the Los Angeles club, Gerrard scored five goals and provided fourteen assists, helping the club to find a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Gerrard has played 114 matches for England debuting in 2000 and is the fourth most capped player in the country behind Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham. Gerrard has scored 21 goals for England and featured in six major tournaments. He became the caption of the national team in 2102. Gerrard also represented England in the U-16, U-18 and U-21 teams. He was voted England Player of the Year twice, in 2007 and in 2012. Gerrard retired from international football after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

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Friday, March 25, 2005A Spotsylvania County woman, whose three dogs allegedly attacked and killed her elderly neighbor, was freed Wednesday by posting a $10,000 bond. Dianna Large, 36, received one felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and three misdemeanor charges in an indictment issued last week.

In her first appearance before a judge, she answered Circuit Court Judge William H. Ledbetter questions with simple “Yes sir.” and “No sir.” responses. The short hearing, held Thursday, formalized the charges against her. The involuntary manslaughter charge, a first in the severity of punishment being sought on a dog owner in the Virginan state of USA, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.

State procecutor Wiliam Neely said that Large knowingly let her three Pit Bull dogs run free, and that an animal control agency person had warned her to keep them under better control. She also a violated a county ordinance requiring owners of dangerous dogs to post a warning sign to visitors. The prosecution also noted that none of the three male dogs were neutered.

The Animal Control Department of Virginia maintains a dangerous dog registry. It contains a list of owners whose dogs are deemed dangerous to society. The link to the registry was moved to a more prominent position on the county web page following the attack.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

24 of 26 Swiss Cantons rejected the proposal for a single health insurance system, in which premiums would be based on income and wealth. The vote on Sunday was the latest in a series of attempts to cut rising costs and ease the financial burden on citizens.

Around 71% of voters rejected the reform. Turnout was at about 46%, slightly above the Swiss average.

As expected, voters in the main German-speaking part of the country turned down the planned reform, which was supported by the centre-left but opposed by the centre-right as well as the business community, parliament and the government.

Opposition in the French and Italian speaking regions was less pronounced. The cantons Jura and Neuchâtel in the French speaking regions voted in favor of the proposed reforms.

Health insurance premiums are higher in southern and western Swiss cantons than in German-speaking areas.

The Swiss Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin said an important part of the Swiss Population appeared to be opposed to “a revolution” in health insurance but he said that he wanted current reforms currently under discussion in the Swiss Parliament to go ahead. He called on all sides, especially health insurers and the cantonal authorities, to make efforts to reduce spending on health insurance and aim for a greater cost efficiency. Currently Switzerland has 87 private insurers providing mandatory basic health care coverage for Swiss residents under a 1996 law. But costs have sky-rocketed. Over 100,000 people are not covered by health insurance due to non payment.

To win the battle of the cost of health care, everyone must place his or her private interests behind the interests of the general public. -Pascal Couchepin at a news conference

Opponents to the initiative argued that a single insurance system would lead to complacency and create a two-tier system, in which the wealthy would be the only ones available to afford to have additional private insurance coverage.

Supporters of the initiative said a single health insurer would increase the system’s efficiency and allow for annual savings of at least 300 million Swiss Francs (about $245 million) in administrative costs. Currently, the funding system is unbalanced, since many clients on low incomes use state subsidies to pay their premiums, according to the Green Party and the Social Democrats.

The initiative to unite all the insurance companies and introduce premiums based on wealth and income was the most recent in a series of attempts over the past ten years to reduce the public spending on health care. A proposal, similar to this recent proposal, to modify the funding system of the health insurance companies was rejected by 73% of voters in 2003.

Switzerland has the most expensive health system in Europe. Switzerland’s expenditure on health care was 11.6% in 2005, in front of Germany and France but behind the United States.

Learn more about Swiss Federal Council and Voting in Switzerland on Wikipedia.
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