Canadian PM: Liberal leadership hopefuls ‘anti-Israeli’

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Michael Ignatieff, the frontrunner in the Liberal leadership race, said that Israel committed a war crime when it bombarded the Lebanese village of Qana in July.

“This is consistent with the anti-Israeli position that has been taken with virtually all of the candidates of the Liberal leadership, and I don’t think it’s helpful or useful,” said Harper, who has refused to back down from his comment. “I think we all remember last summer when the Liberals were making all these anti-Israeli comments.”

Harper told reporters that the only two of the eight Liberal leadership candidates who had distanced themselves from such remarks at the time were Joe Volpe and Scott Brison.

Ignatieff said yesterday that “it would be up to international bodies to determine whether Israel had committed war crimes at Qana.” He also said he thought both sides in the conflict were guilty of crimes against civilians and that it was “disgraceful for Harper to suggest the Liberals were anti-Israeli”.

“Canadians deserve a Prime Minister that helps Canadians from all communities to find a common language in which we can speak about difficult issues together,” Ignatieff said. “All communities in Canada have a right to contribute to the public debate about where Canada’s national interest lies but no community has the right to determine what can and cannot be said.” “And no Prime Minister has the right to say that anyone who voices criticism of Israel is an enemy of Israel.”

Liberal MP Ariela Cotler, whose husband Irwin Cotler is supporting Bob Rae’s campaign, announced that she has quit the party over Ignatieff’s assertion that Israel committed war crimes. Ignatieff lacks “moral integrity” and accused him of “sacrificing the truth for personal political gains in the upcoming leadership election.” She said she “and many of her friends” are no longer planning to attend the Liberals’ December leadership convention in Montreal, Ariela Cotler said on Friday, in a letter to the editor in the National Post.

Ignatieff’s comment last week has also cost him the co-chair of his Toronto campaign, MP Susan Kadis, who withdrew her support from his leadership bid on Wednesday.

Canadian Jewish groups criticized the candidate for his comments. Israel’s ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, said Thursday that Ignatieff’s statement was “upsetting and disappointing.”

Bob Rae, commenting on the PM’s remarks, said it is dangerous “to suggest there is a pro-Israel party in Canada and an anti-Israel party in Canada.”

“It’s untrue. It’s a big lie. It’s a big smear. And it isn’t going to work on me. And if he thinks he can get away with it, he’s sadly mistaken,” Mr. Rae said. “It’s just a basically thoughtless, deeply divisive thing to say, and I think it’s something we have to put a stop to right now. That’s it. We cannot carry on politics in this country like this. It will not work. It divides Canadians. It’s something for which he should be thoroughly embarrassed.”

Stéphane Dion, one of the leadership candidates, said the Prime Minister insulted everyone who wanted to see a ceasefire in the fighting between Israel and Lebanon.

“He is insulting all the people that legitimately thought that the solution was a ceasefire. And these people are not anti-Israel. The vast majority of them, they thought that the best way to help a friend was to request a ceasefire,” Mr. Dion said. “I will not allow the Prime Minister to distort what was said in so shameful a way.”

Gerard Kennedy, another leadership candidate, described Mr. Harper’s “brand of politics as creating divisions within the country and diminishing Canada’s reputation” abroad. He said it was unfair and unacceptable to brand the Liberal Party as anti-Israel, and damaging to the quality of public life in the country.

Mr. Ignatieff said his initial comments on Qana were “ripped flagrantly out of context.”

Mr. Ignatieff said he’s accepted a Jewish group’s invitation to visit the Middle East next month to discuss longterm peace solutions, and will meet with the Israeli prime minister as well as Palestinian leaders.

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Wikinews interviews candidate for New York City mayor Vitaly Filipchenko

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

In early May, Wikinews extended an invitation to Vitaly Filipchenko, an independent candidate in the 2021 New York City mayoral election, set to take place November 2nd, alongside other candidates. Filipchenko answered some questions about his policies and campaign during a phone interview.

Filipchenko, registered on the New York City Campaign Finance Board as Vitaly A. Filipchenko, is the first Russian candidate for New York City mayor, being born in Tomsk, Siberia in 1973, according to news agency Sputnik. He has since naturalised as a United States citizen. According to the web site, Filipchenko has been educated in road construction and maintenance and owns a moving services company; he describes himself on his web site as a “small business owner”. On his web site’s platform page, he says that “[m]y English may not be perfect – but my platform is.”

Incumbent Democrat mayor Bill de Blasio, who won re-election in the 2017 New York City mayoral election by 66.5%, cannot run for a third term under term limits. As of April 28, 22 candidates are currently running, the majority of whom are also Democrats. Ahead of the June Democratic primary for New York City mayor, a poll conducted May 23 and 24 by WPIX and Emerson College of 12 Democratic candidates with a margin of error of 3.2 per cent has former commissioner for the New York City Department of Sanitation Kathryn Garcia and Borough President of Brooklyn Eric Adams leading with 21.1% and 20.1%, respectively.

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Iranian International Master Dorsa Derakhshani discusses her chess career with Wikinews

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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Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellen while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother’s amorous pursuit.

The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950’s America and that White’s work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White’s enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.

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Wikinews interviews Spain’s most decorated Paralympian, Teresa Perales

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Zaragoza, Spain — On Thursday, Wikinews traveled to Zaragoza, Spain to interview the nation’s most decorated Paralympian and IPC Athlete Council representative Teresa Perales. A wide range of topics about the Paralympics and sport in Spain were discussed including the evolution of Paralympic sport, disability sport classification, funding support across all levels of elite sport including the Paralympics and Olympics, the role of sportspeople in politics, sponsorship issues, and issues of gender in Spanish sport.

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Australian art gallery raided by police; photographer faces possible indecency charge

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Rosley Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney, Australia was raided by police over the weekend following complaints of child pornography. The complaints related to an exhibition of works by photographer Bill Henson, which included several photographs of naked pubescent children. Twenty-one of the forty photographs in the exhibition were seized during the raid, and police have announced that charges will be laid under the NSW Commonwealth and Crimes Act for “publishing an indecent article”. Digital versions have also been removed from the Gallery’s website.

Whatever the artistic view of the merits of that sort of stuff – frankly I don’t think there are any – just allow kids to be kids.

Politicians on both sides of the fence spoke out against the exhibition. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, speaking to the Nine Network, said he found the photos to be “absolutely revolting […] Whatever the artistic view of the merits of that sort of stuff – frankly I don’t think there are any – just allow kids to be kids.” His Opposition counterpart, Brendan Nelson, believes that the exhibition “violates the things for which we stand as Australians and indeed as parents”.

Art experts have supported Henson and defended his work, denying claims of child pornography and exploitation. According to Betty Churcher, a former director of the National Gallery of Australia, “[t]here is absolutely no suggestion of pornography in these photographs”. Sydney art dealer Denis Savill hung one of Henson’s works, featuring two nudes, in his gallery window beside an Arthur Boyd nude, to “give them something to grizzle about”.

According to Tony Oxley, husband of gallery owner Roslyn, the gallery’s answering machine has recorded several threats to burn the building down. The police action also calls into question the fate of similar works by Henson in other galleries in Australia and around the world.

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Cargo ship Arctic Sea may be found

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A cargo ship spotted off the African island nation of Cape Verde could be the missing MV Arctic Sea.

The Maltese flagged MV Arctic Sea disappeared off the French coast sometime after July 29. Owned by the Russian Arctic Sea company she was operated by the Finnish Solchart Management company and had a Russian crew.

French intelligence sources have found a ship matching the Arctic Sea’s description about 400 Nautical miles north of São Vicente.

The Arctic Sea was on a scheduled route from the Finnish seaport of Pietarsaari to the Algerian seaport of Béjaïa with a cargo of timber when it was boarded in Swedish waters between the islands Öland and Gotland on the night of July 24. The alleged boarders left the ship the same day according to its crew and the ship continued her voyage although it would have been expected to anchor at the nearest port.

The last official contact with the ship was with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in Britain on July 28. Viktor Matveyev, the director of Solchart Management says the ship radioed that it was off the coast of Portugal on July 31. The 98-meter-long ship has so far not reached the Straits of Gibraltar and is now being sought by the Portuguese Navy and Russian Navy.

If proven this could be the first case of piracy in Europe in the modern era. There is speculation as to the reason for the ship’s hijacking, as its cargo of wood, valued at 1.3 million euros, is not especially valuable. Suggestions include possible contraband, and the possibility of a commercial dispute between the crew or some other party and the ship’s owners.

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Chili Finger Incident

 Correction — October 10, 2019 The day of the alleged incident, March 22, 2005, was a Tuesday, not a Thursday. 

Friday, May 6, 2005

On Thursday the 22nd of March, 2005, Anna Ayala, a woman from Las Vegas, claimed to have found a human finger in her bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant located at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose, California, owned by Fresno-based Jern Management.. The finger, which probably belonged to a woman as it had a long and manicured fingernail, did not belong to any of the restaurant employees. The food supplies were seized by officials to be traced back to its manufacturers, while the restaurant was permitted to open again later with chili prepared from fresh ingredients.

Wikinews reporter David Vasquez drove his car up to the drive-thru menu and found that chili was still on the menu, at a price of US$1.19 for a small serving. He also witnessed workers unloading supplies from a semi-trailer truck in the restaurant’s parking lot, and carting them into the back door of the establishment.

Initially, county health officials said Ayala was fine and the finger had been cooked, which would have killed any bacteriae in the finger. However, on March 27, officials admitted they were not so sure anymore. Tests were done on the finger to determine this. Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County’s health officer, said that even if the finger was still raw when Ayala bit into it, the risk was low that she would have become infected with anything. However, he advised that Ayala should undergo a series of precautionary follow-up tests.

Sales at Wendy’s went down because of the incident. Wendy’s International, Inc. (WEN) closed at US$39.43 on Thursday the 22nd, and as the stock exchange was closed for the Good Friday holiday, traders did not weigh in the stock until the next Monday.

By Tuesday the 5th of April, officials had still not succeeded in tracking down the owner of the finger. The fingerprint on the detached digit has been run through an FBI database as well as the local criminal database in Santa Clara County, but no matches were found. According to Rich Reneau, who was leading the investigation at the time, the fingerprint was marginal, and the likelihood of finding a match was slim.

Wendy’s stock did not go down significantly and was trading at US$39.37 that morning.

The next day, on Wednesday the 6th, Las Vegas police searched the home of Anna Ayala. About a dozen officers conducted the search at Ayala’s home at Maryland Parkway and Serene Street at about 4 p.m. local time (23:00 UTC), according to witnesses at the scene. Ayala and other residents were handcuffed and brought out of the house. Ayala said that her teenage daughter, Genesis Reyes, had torn shoulder ligaments as a result of the search. The Las Vegas Review-Journal ran a photo of Reyes wearing a sling in their Friday edition. In San Jose, police spokeswoman Gina Tepoorten confirmed to reporters that investigators had served the warrant in cooperation with Las Vegas police on Wednesday, but she refused to reveal specific details about the warrant. By that time, Wendy’s was offering a US$50,000 reward for information leading to the source of the finger.

Research by the Associated Press uncovered Ayala’s history of lawsuits. Ayala successfully won her suit for medical expenses against the national El Pollo Loco chicken-chain, a previous employer, after her daughter Genesis contracted salmonella poisoning, allegedly from eating at the restaurant. However, Ayala lost another suit against General Motors in 2000 claiming that a wheel fell off her car. She also started a sexual harassment suit against her former boss in 1998. A total of 13 lawsuits in California and Nevada had been filed. Ayala replied the focus should be on Wendy’s, and not her record of law suits. Nick Muyo, a spokesman for the San Jose Police department, said not to expect new information in the case for at least a week.

On Wednesday the 13th there was a potential new lead in the investigation. A spotted leopard had torn off part of a finger from an owner of exotic animals, Sandy Allman, in Pahrump, Nevada. The portion of Allman’s torn off finger was approximately the same size – 1 1/2-inches long. Pahrump is approximately 45 miles away from Las Vegas. Carol Asvestas, who owns an exotic animal sanctuary, told the San Jose Mercury News she witnessed the leopard tear off the finger. She reported the incident to a hotline run by Wendy’s offering the US$50,000 reward. Cindy Carroccio told the San Jose Mercury News that the finger was not reattached, and that the clinic “gave it back to her (Allman) in a little bag of ice.” On the same day the lead was announced, Ayala decided to drop her lawsuit against Wendy’s, due to emotional stress.

However, when Allman’s prints were sent to San Jose police, they didn’t match. Two days later, on Friday the 15th, Wendy’s doubled the reward to US$100,000. The company revealed that employees had passed polygraph tests. Wendy’s continues to claim that there is no evidence that the finger ever entered their supply chain, pointing to a lack of any accidents among the workers at their suppliers. Wendy’s tip line had received reports from across the United States, from “folks who either have lost a finger, or know somebody who lost a finger,” San Jose police Sgt. Nick Muyo told the Associated Press.

On Thursday the 21st of April, Anna Ayala was arrested at or near her home in Las Vegas on Thursday evening, in connection with the case, shortly after Wendy’s finished its own internal investigation. According to court documents, she has been charged with one count of attempted grand larceny related to the chili case, and one count of grand larceny in an unrelated real estate deal, and is being held without bail in Clark County, Nevada, pending extradition. A press conference by the San Jose Police and Wendy’s was held on Friday, April 22, at 13:00 PDT. The charge related to the case states the finger could not have been prepared at Wendy’s, where the chili is heated to 170 degrees for 3 hours. There is also an inconsistency in Ayala’s account of finding the finger and claiming it caused her to vomit compared with police saying there was no vomit at the scene. The incident has caused Wendy’s 2.5 million dollars worth of damages, which Ayala could be criminally responsible for. Until recently, the San Jose police had not accused Ayala of planting the finger herself.

The unrelated charge stems from an incident, also in San Jose, when Ayala allegedly received an $11,000 down payment on a mobile home she did not own.

Ayala was incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center, awaiting a fugitive review hearing on Tuesday, April 26, 2005, at 7:30 a.m. local time. She was processed and given inmate ID 01964047. Her case number was 05F07229X. Ayala waived extradition at the hearing, and her attorney said they were ready to come to San Jose to defend against the charges.

On Friday, May 6, 2005, Ayala was transported to San Jose, California. Ayala was booked into the main Santa Clara County jail, and is awaiting arraignment. Ayala will likely be arraigned on Monday or Tuesday at the Santa Clara County Superior Court, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney David Boyd.

On September 9, 2005, Ayala plead guilty to conspiring to file a false claim and attempted grand theft, and will be sentenced on November 2, 2005. She faces up to ten years in prison, and her husband faces up to 13 years behind bars.

Until the middle of May, the owner of the finger still had not been found.

But on May 13, 2005, police announced that they had identified the finger tip as belonging to an associate of Ayala’s husband [1]. The associate had lost his finger tip in an industrial accident at an asphalt company[2] in December, 2004. Police had received the information from an undisclosed caller to Wendy’s hot-line.

Photos related to this incident:

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Imprisoned Haitian priest may need US doctors

Friday, December 16, 2005

Supporters of jailed priest Jean-Juste say that he needs medical treatment in the United States. His attourney, Bill Quigley, told reporters that the priest, who was considered a potential presidential candidate before his arrest and long detainment, may have cancer and should be released so that he can seek medical attention in the United States. A doctor, Dr. John Carroll, who examined Jean-Juste said that an abnormal white blood cell count, as well as swelling in his neck and under his arms could be early signs of cancer. The government of interim President Alenxandre said that their doctors have examined the priest as well and said no signs of cancer exist.

Jean-Juste has been in jail since July when he was arrested at a funeral of a popular Haitian journalist and poet. He was originally detained for questioning related to the murder but also allegations of illegal weapons possessions have been brought up. He’s yet to be charged in any crimes. The doctor who made the claim of possible cancer is a supporter of Jean-Juste and some might think that this is an exaggeration to allow Jean-Juste out of Haiti to plan his political future.

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Liverpool Biennial 2006 art festival starts

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The 2006 Liverpool Biennial art festival will start its ten week run on September 16, finishing on the November 26. The exhibition uses public places located across the city.

Installation will be situated at sites across the city including St. George’s Hall and Church of St Luke with specialist centers such as the Bluecoat Arts Centre, FACT centre, Tate Liverpool and the Walker Art Gallery providing exhibition space.

The international ’06 exhibition includes 35 commissioned works, while the 24th John Moores Exhibition of Contemporary Painting is the UK’s longest running open painting competition.

The Independents is an art exhibition that runs alongside the Biennial. Several shorter festivals will run over this period including the Hope Street festival.

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