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Category:June 7, 2006

September 18th, 2018

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Next Shuttle flight delayed to next year; ISS crew begin spacewalk

September 14th, 2018

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Commander Sergei Krikalev and flight engineer John Phillips began a planned six-hour spacewalk earlier today, their first in the four months both men have been on the station. This week Krikalev exceeded Sergei Avdeyev‘s record of 748 (non-consecutive) days in space.

Their tasks include retrieval and replacement of several experiments, photographing a materials science experiment, retrieving radiation sensors, installation of a television camera for the first arrival of Europe’s new cargo vessel and relocation of a grapple fixture for a crane. This will make room for the next shuttle crew to deliver radiation shields.

However, that delivery is going to have to wait.

NASA delayed the next Shuttle flight until next year so their engineers have time to address the foam problem that occurred during the most recent flight. A rushed timetable for the previous launch has been criticised as a major contributing factor to the “same behavioral problems that contributed to the Columbia tragedy,” an AP story stated.

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Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural ‘insurance policy’

September 14th, 2018

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a vault containing millions of seeds from all over the world, saw its first deposits on Tuesday. Located 800 kilometers from the North Pole on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the vault has been referred to by European Commission president José Manuel Barroso as a “frozen Garden of Eden“. It is intended to preserve crop supplies and secure biological diversity in the event of a worldwide disaster.

“The opening of the seed vault marks a historic turning point in safeguarding the world’s crop diversity,” said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust which is in charge of collecting the seed samples. The Norwegian government, who owns the bank, built it at a cost of $9.1 million.

At the opening ceremony, 100 million seeds from 268,000 samples were placed inside the vault, where there is room for over 2 billion seeds. Each of the samples originated from a different farm or field, in order to best ensure biological diversity. These crop seeds included such staples as rice, potatoes, barley, lettuce, maize, sorghum, and wheat. No genetically modified crops were included. (Beyond politics they are generally sterile so of no use.)

It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks.

Constructed deep inside a mountain and protected by concrete walls, the “doomsday vault” is designed to withstand earthquakes, nuclear warfare, and floods resulting from global warming. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called it an “insurance policy” against such threats.

With air-conditioned temperatures of -18 degrees Celsius, experts say the seeds could last for an entire millennium. Some crops will be able to last longer, like sorghum, which the Global Crop Diversity Trust says can last almost 20 millenniums. Even if the refrigeration system fails, the vaults are expected to stay frozen for 200 years.

The Prime Minister said, “With climate change and other forces threatening the diversity of life that sustains our planet, Norway is proud to be playing a central role in creating a facility capable of protecting what are not just seeds, but the fundamental building blocks of human civilization.” Stoltenberg, along with Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, made the first deposit of rice to the vault.

“It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks,” Maathai said. The vault will operate as a bank, allowing countries to use their deposited seeds free of charge. It will also serve as a backup to the thousands of other seed banks around the world.

“Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water and energy supply constraints and for meeting the food needs of a growing population,” Cary Fowler said.

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Actor Jerry Orbach dead at age 69

September 14th, 2018

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Friday, December 31, 2004

New York City – Actor Jerry Orbach died in his home in Manhattan at age 69. Orbach was a staple of American cinema, stage and television, with his most recent role being in the NBC police drama “Law and Order.”

Orbach is survived by his wife of 25 years, Elaine Cancilla, and his two sons Anthony and Christopher.

Orbach was born in the tough Bronx borough of New York City in 1935 to a family of entertainers. His father Leon Orbach was an vaudeville actor and his mother Emily Orbach was a radio singer and greeting card writer.

The family moved often to keep up with travelling Vaudeville acts, but eventually settled in Waukegan Illinois where Orbach played football at the local high school. After graduation, Orbach got a summer job at the Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling doing odd jobs ranging from stagecraft to small acting parts in plays.

He then studied drama at the University of Illinois before transferring to Northwestern where he studied the Stanislavsky Method of drama acting. In 1955, Orbach dropped out of college and moved to New York City where he got a job as an understudy in The Threepenny Opera.

Orbach continued to work in theater, eventually earning roles in broadway musicals, but by 1961 had grown dissatisfied with being typecast as a musical actor. He tried briefly to break into film without success, and eventually returned to broadway where he earned numerous accolades for his roles in such musicals as “Guys and Dolls” and “Chicago“.

Orbach finally broke into television in the 1980s as a recurring character in shows such as the mystery-drama “Murder She Wrote” and the hit sitcom “Golden Girls“.

He earned the lead role as the title character in his own short-lived series “The Law and Harry McGraw”, a spinoff of “Murder She Wrote”. Orbach also scored key roles in a few Hollywood films, including the action thriller “F/X”, and the dance-musical hit “Dirty Dancing”, but continued to find his mainstay in television crime dramas.

In 1990, he picked up a role in the new NBC crime drama “Law and Order” as the acerbic-witted Lennie Briscoe, a role which soon become a regular job. Orbach continued in this role in addition to movie roles and occasional musical appearances until his death this last week.

Orbach was diagnosed with Prostate cancer in Spring of 2004, a fact he kept private until November when he checked into New York’s Memorial Sloan-Ketting Cancer Center for treatment. In spite of the aggressive nature of the treatment, he died on the evening of December 28.

New York City Subway’s skip-stop 9 service to make its last run May 27

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New York City Subway’s skip-stop 9 service to make its last run May 27

September 5th, 2018

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Friday, May 6, 2005

On Friday, May 27, 2005, 9 trains on the New York City Subway will make their final run, ending rush-hour skip-stop service on the IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line north of 137th Street-City College. During rush hours, the 9 is a skip-stop supplement to the 1, running the same route but skipping some stops in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. At the same time, the 1 skips other stops, which are only served by the 9 at rush hours; some stops are served by all trains. This service pattern results in slightly faster trains, but longer waits for those going to or from skipped stations.

9 service was started on December 12, 1988, at first running during rush hours and middays. In the mid-1990s, midday 9 service was dropped.

The J-Z skip-stop services on the BMT Jamaica Line will not be affected, as many passengers ride straight through the skip-stop portion, making the faster service more worthwhile.

Sea lion walks from beach into Pantai Inn in California

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Sea lion walks from beach into Pantai Inn in California

September 3rd, 2018

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

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Last Tuesday early morning, a sea lion walked from the beach into Pantai Inn in La Jolla, California. The animal was rescued by local animal rescue authorities. Wikinews took an interview from Shane Pappas, a General Manager of the inn.

((Wikinews)) At what time of day did the sea lion enter the Inn?

Shane Pappas: Surveillance footage shows that our sea lion friend made her way onto our property at approximately 5:45am on Tuesday morning. She waddled through our courtyard and climbed up onto one of our lounge chairs.

((WN)) How long did he stay in the Inn before he was moved out of the building?

Shane Pappas: The sea lion was not seen by our staff until about 6:30am. At that point my front desk agent Veronica made frantic calls to the authorities to find someone to come rescue the sea lion. By the time we got a hold of Sea World they were able to come and rescue her at around 9:45am. All told the sea lion was here for about four hours.

((WN)) What do you think attracted the animal? Was it the radio sound? Was it heard as far as the beach?

Shane Pappas: We’re not sure what attracted the sea lion. We like to think that it was the beauty and relaxation of our courtyard. In regards to the radio sound I’m not sure what you are referring to.

((WN)) Who and how transported the animal out of the building?

Shane Pappas: A gentleman named Bill who is a rescue worker with Sea World came out to rescue the pup. He asked if I would assist in the rescue which I was more than happy to do. It’s not every day that you get to rescue a sea lion.

((WN)) Where was the animal transported to?

Shane Pappas: The sea lion was loaded into a crate on a truck and transported back to Sea World. She will be kept there for six weeks so that she can be nursed back to health and returned to the wild.

Australia/2006

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Australia/2006

August 30th, 2018

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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

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Germany legalises medical use of cannabis

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Germany legalises medical use of cannabis

August 30th, 2018

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Yesterday, the German Bundestag passed a law to legalise cannabis drug for medicinal purposes. The law is to come under effect in March.

“Seriously ill people must be treated in the best ways possible” ((de))German language: ?Schwerkranke Menschen müssen bestmöglich versorgt werden., German health minister Hermann Gröhe tweeted. Doctors can prescribe marijuana — cannabis — for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, or loss of appetite or nausea from cancer’s chemotherapy treatment.

Christian Democrats (CDU) lawmaker Rainer Hayek said this law would still prevent recreational use of cannabis. The cost of cannabis is to be covered under health insurance. Patients can buy dried buds or cannabis extracts from pharmacies with a prescription or get synthetic derivatives from other countries, though possession of the drug in large quantities is not allowed.

Cannabis cultivation is to be monitored by the government. Germany has joined other European countries such as Austria, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Netherlands in legalising the drug to some extent.

In October, a 53-year-old multiple sclerosis patient showed cannabis was the only solution to reduce his pain, and the court granted him permission to grow as many as 130 plants in one year for personal use. Purchasing, rather than growing, medical cannabis at the time cost about €15 (US$16.85) per gram.

News briefs:June 9, 2010

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News briefs:June 9, 2010

August 30th, 2018

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Wikinews interviews Great Britain men’s national wheelchair basketball player Joni Pollock

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Wikinews interviews Great Britain men’s national wheelchair basketball player Joni Pollock

August 28th, 2018

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homebush Bay, New South Wales —Wikinews sat down with Great Britain men’s national wheelchair basketball player Joni Pollock before a practice session at the Rollers & Gliders World Challenge in Sydney.

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British-born Pollock was born with the condition spina bifida. He explained he could walk with difficulty up until age twelve or thirteen, after which he began using a wheelchair. Shortly after this, he began playing wheelchair basketball. He attended a disabilities tournament for children with disabilities in England, where he tried both wheelchair basketball, since he came from a town where team sports were popular; and wheelchair tennis, as he’d played with an able-bodied friend. Ultimately, he chose wheelchair basketball as it was a team sport.

Wikinews asked Pollock about being loud towards his team mates during the match on July 20 between the Australian Rollers and the Great Britain Bulldogs. He said he was out of wheelchair basketball for nine months due to a pressure sore and surgery on his shoulder, and has been making a comeback since January, with the doctors and physiotherapists giving him the all-clear in April. On that night, he said, the Australian team used bullying tactics and some of his teammates on the British team didn’t step up to win the game. He also said that no matter what team his team plays against, he has a target on his back because of his calibre of playing in the game, and his team failed to to understand it that night, leaving him frustrated with his team and himself; and, he hates coming to Australia during a Paralympic year since the home town —that is, Australian— referees do not protect the visiting team from the home team’s dirty playing, which puts the British team’s gold medal prospects in jeopardy.

Wikinews also asked Pollock his opinions regarding Oscar Pistorius. Pollock believes Pistorius shouldn’t be competing in the Olympics if other Paralympic athletes can’t compete. He also mentioned reservations about certain technical aspects, such as whether Pistorius would be the same height if he still had his legs rather then his prosthetic legs. Asked about 5 point players playing in wheelchair basketball, he said he believes 5 point players can play with other point players but not in the Paralympics, and said 5 point players currently play in the domestic league but not at the elite level, to boost the number of players participating and to help the development of the game.

Wikinews also questioned him about tattoos worn by members of the British team. In previous years, he said, only one or two forwards had tattoos, but now almost everyone has one as having tattoos is currently in fashion. He said he got his first tattoo at the age of sixteen and only recently had it removed. He also has tattoos on his right arm, depicting the logos of the Paralympics and World championships in which he competed.

Pollocks’s team begins its London campaign on August 30, against the Germany men’s national wheelchair basketball team.