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Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?

May 24th, 2019

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

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Olympic highlights: August 21, 2008

May 24th, 2019

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 21, 2008 is the 12th major day of the 2008 Olympic games. The below article lists some of the highlights.

Contents

  • 1 Events
    • 1.1 Women’s 20km walk
    • 1.2 Star class sailing
    • 1.3 Tornado class sailing
    • 1.4 Men’s marathon 10 km swimming
    • 1.5 Women’s beach volleyball
    • 1.6 Men’s 400 meters sprint
    • 1.7 Women’s 200m sprint
    • 1.8 Men’s Triple Jump
  • 2 Medal Table
  • 3 Sources

Olga Kaniskina, who represents Russia, has set a new Olympic record in the women’s 20km walk with her time of 1 hour and 36 minutes. After the race Kaniskina said that the weather did not affect the record.

“I think my regular training is the most important factor contributing to my victory,” she said, explaining the factors that she believes led her to victory.

Britons Iain Percy and Andy Simptson won the gold medal in the star class sailing event after a successful performance in the final round, which took place today. The pair started today in silver medal position, and gained one place in the final round to win the gold medal.

Spanish Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz won an Olympic gold medal in Sailing’s fast Tornado catamaran class. Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby from Australia finished in second place and the Argentinean pair of Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinola won the bronze medal.

Maarten van der Weijden, a long distance swimmer from the Netherlands, beat the favorites in the men’s marathon 10 km swimming event to secure the gold medal with a time of 1:51:51.6. David Davies, who was one of the favourites to win the gold medal, was overtaken by Weijden in the final 500 metres of the race.

Davies finished 1.5 seconds behind Weijden.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won the Olympic gold medal for the United States in the women’s beach volleyball competition by winning every set in the final against the Chinese Tian Jia and Wang Jie.

Both sets were won 21-18.

American LaShawn Merritt won the final of the Men’s 400 meters in an event which saw all three of the medals going to the American team.

Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown won the gold medal in the final of the women’s 200m sprint with a time of 21.74 seconds.

Allyson Felix, the defending Olympic champion, who was representing United States, won the silver medal, with her time being approximately 0.2 seconds behind the time of the winner.

Nelson Evora won the men’s triple jump at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Evora won the gold medal with a jump of 17.67 meters beating silver medalist Phillips Idowu of Great Britain by 5 centimeters (17.62 meters). Leevan Sanders of the Bahamas won the bronze medal with a triple jump of 17.59 meters. link Nelson Evora of Portugal Wins Men’s Triple Jump Gold Medal


Medal Count update

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Kansas School Board has copyright withheld over teaching Intelligent Design

May 23rd, 2019

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Monday, October 31, 2005

Kansas has been denied permission to use two key documents commonly used in the writing of science education standards for states, the National Science Education Standards (published by the National Research Council) and Pathways to Science Standards (published by the National Science Teacher Association). The respective organizations argued that they could not grant the state of Kansas permission to use these documents in the current form of the Kansas Science Educational Standards, as these overemphasize controversy between the scientific theory of Evolution and the argument of Intelligent Design. Moreover, the organizations criticize that the standards in their current form distort the definition of science. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has expressed its support for the decision to deny Kansas the use of copyrighted material, as “the proposed standards misrepresent both the content and the standing of evolution as a scientific organizing principle”.

Proponents of Intelligent Design have characterized the refusal as “an effort to censor the discussion of scientific criticism of Darwinian theory by intimidation and threat”.

This is likely to further delay the ratification of the final vote on the Kansas Science Educational Standards as they will have to be rewritten either to not violate any copyright restrictions or modify their account of evolution and outlook on science. According to University of Kansas professor Steve Case, rewriting the standards will be very difficult, as “there is copyrighted material on every page” of the current document.

This is the second time that Kansas was denied the right to use copyrighted materials in their state standards, following the case in 1999, when Kansas included Creationism, a precursor of Intelligent Design, into the school curriculum. A later school board overturned that directive.

The dispute in Kansas has brought nationwide responses, ranging from a rebuke by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to the creation of internet-sensation Flying Spaghetti Monster mythology (which is lobbying the Kansas School Board to give equal time teaching their creationism theory as well.)

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Egypt protests: Army say they will not use force on demonstrators as Mubarak announces cabinet

May 23rd, 2019

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The president of Egypt has suffered a “devastating blow” after the country’s army announced they would not use force against their own people, who continue to protest against the government tonight. The news came hours after six journalists who reported on the protests were released from custody.

Hosni Mubarak yesterday announced a new cabinet, which does not include several figures who protesters largely do not approve of. Analysts have, however, suggested little had changed within the government; many positions, they say, are filled with military figures.

To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.

In a statement broadcast on state media in Egypt, the army said: “To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.” A BBC correspondent in Cairo said the announcement meant it “now seems increasingly likely that the 30-year rule of Mr Mubarak is drawing to a close.”

“The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing. The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people,” the statement added. “Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.”

Earlier today, six journalists from the independent news network Al-Jazeera were released from custody after being detained by police. The U.S. State Department criticized the arrests; equipment was reportedly confiscated from the journalists.

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Egyptian officials yesterday ordered the satellite channel to stop broadcasting in the country. Al-Jazeera said they were “appalled” by the government’s decision to close its Egyptian offices, which they described as the “latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt.”

In a statement, the news agency added: “Al-Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.”

On Friday, Wikinews reported the government had shut off practically all Internet traffic both out of and into the nation, as well as disrupting cellphone usage. A spokesperson for the social networking website Facebook said “limiting Internet access for millions of people is a matter of concern for the global community.”

A reported 50,000 campaigners, who are demanding the long-time leader step down and complaining of poverty, corruption, and oppression, filled Tahrir Square in Cairo today, chanting “We will stay until the coward leaves.” It is thought 100 people have so far died in the demonstrations. Today there have been protests in Suez, Mansoura, Damanhour, and Alexandria.

Speaking to news media in the area, many protesters said the new cabinet did little to quell their anger. “We want a complete change of government, with a civilian authority,” one said. Another added: “This is not a new government. This is the same regime—this is the same bluff. [Mubarak] has been bluffing us for 30 years.”

In Tahrir Square today, protesters played music as strings of barbed wire and army tanks stood nearby. Demonstrators scaled light poles, hanging Egyptian flags and calling for an end to Mubarak’s rule. “One poster featured Mubarak’s face plastered with a Hitler mustache, a sign of the deep resentment toward the 82-year-old leader they blame for widespread poverty, inflation and official indifference and brutality during his 30 years in power,” one journalist in the square reported this evening.

New Zealand’s anti-spam legislation kicks in – exclusive report

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New Zealand’s anti-spam legislation kicks in – exclusive report

May 23rd, 2019

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Freelance journalist, Gabriel Pollard, spoke to Joe Stewart and David Farrar about the new anti-spam legislation in New Zealand that comes into effect today. Joe Stewart is the Unit Manager of the Department of Internal Affairs new Anti-Spam Compliance Unit, and David Farrar is Chair of InternetNZ’s Public Policy Committee, who also had significant input into the final bill.

Keith Norris, CEO of the New Zealand Marketing Association, didn’t respond to multiple requests for an interview.

The anti-spam legislation, or the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007, promotes spam education and awareness and will enable international agencies to work together to share information and will enable cross-border pursuit of serious law breakers. And it doesn’t just cover e-mail spam, but all electronic messaging such as SMS/text messaging, etc.

However, New Zealand isn’t the most up-to-date country with implementing similar legislation, Farrar says, “We are in fact almost the last country in the OECD to have such legislation.” He urges Eastern Europe and China to take part in the fight against spam.

Stewart said that the new law would only help combat a small amount of spam, as 99%-99.9% of all spam received originates from overseas. He says the legislation alone will not solve the problem.

As well as it helping to fight New Zealand-sourced spam and preventing New Zealand from “becoming a haven for spammers”, it will promote good practices within the e-marketing community, Stewart said.

The new Act will affect legitimate marketers in New Zealand by making sure they have expressed or inferred consent to continue sending marketing messages to people on their database. Inferred consent is where the marketers have the e-mail address and send messages to those on their database, but didn’t get expressed consent to send messages. Stewart does issue a warning against using inferred consent saying, “They may have been sending these people messages for years, but this does not establish consent.”

A surge in emails has also been felt with companies/marketers making sure they have consent to continue the e-mails and asking those to confirm they wish to continue their subscription.

“However, many marketers are already fulfilling these requirements because they are standard good e-marketing practice,” Stewart said.

Due to legislative requirements, as well as having consent, businesses will have to provide details about the company sending the item, and provide a free way to unsubscribe from future mailings.

Those found breaking these requirements deliberately could find themselves facing a personal fine of up to NZ$200,000. Organisations could face a fine of up to $500,000. Farrar said, “Experience from Australia shows most cases are dealt with by way of education.”

Farrar also gives a final piece of advice to those annoyed with spam levels, “Never ever respond to a spam e-mail, and only give your real address out to people you trust.”

Ozzy Osbourne’s personal possessions fetch $800,000 for charity

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Ozzy Osbourne’s personal possessions fetch $800,000 for charity

May 20th, 2019

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

American heavy metal performer Ozzy Osbourne, who became famous as the lead vocalist for Black Sabbath and later as a solo act, has raised more than US$800,000 for The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, founded by his spouse Sharon Osbourne at the Cedars Sinai Hospital, by auctioning off personal items.

A number of the items that he auctioned off over the two day period have been seen on his reality TV show The Osbournes, which featured home life with Sharon, Ozzy and their two children. Amongst some of the higher-priced items were a carved walnut Victorian-style custom built pool table which raised $11,250, a painting from Edourad Drouot which fetched $10,500, a pair of Ozzy’s famous round glasses which raised $5,250 and a dog bed given to Sharon by Elton John which sold for $2,375.

Some more famous items were also amongst the 500 lots offered. Ozzy’s black satin coat, complete with bat-wing cape, raised $3,300 and a hand-painted floral cup used regularly on The Osbournes made $1,625. A bronze plaque of a demon’s head that was regularly seen in its position adorning the front door of their house had been expected to go for $800 to $1,200instead raised $8,750. A wire model of the Eiffel Tower from on the kitchen table sold for $10,000, while skull-covered trainers Ozzy had worn reached $2,625. Bidders came from as far away as Germany to buy what they could from his mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

However, three cars included in the auction failed to attract bidders and did not sell. They were a 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, estimated at $160,000 to $180,000, a 2005 Cadillac CTS-V sedan estimated at $30,000 to $40,000 and a 1950 Oldsmobile Futuramic 88 Club Coupe previously owned by author Danielle Steel estimated at $40,000 to $50,000. Sharon had earlier said of the cars “We’re not great car people. They really don’t do a lot for us.

Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, which organised the two-day sale, said “It did very well. It raised some good money for a very worthy cause.”

“For a celebrity garage sale, it was pretty spectacular.,” he went on. He also commented on the fact that there was fierce competition for the many artworks included. “We had Ozzy fans bidding against these sophisticated fine art buyers, which you don’t see every day. For the most part the metalheads were outbidding the art crowd.”

National Hockey League news: February 22, 2008

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National Hockey League news: February 22, 2008

May 18th, 2019

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Friday, February 22, 2008

There were 9 games played in the National Hockey League on February 21, 2008.

Contents

  • 1 Game summaries
    • 1.1 Tampa Bay Lightning @ New York Islanders
    • 1.2 San Jose Sharks @ Philadelphia Flyers
    • 1.3 Atlanta Thrashers @ Carolina Hurricanes
    • 1.4 Buffalo Sabres @ Toronto Maple Leafs
    • 1.5 Pittsburgh Penguins @ Montreal Canadiens
    • 1.6 Columbus Blue Jackets @ Ottawa Senators
    • 1.7 Boston Bruins @ Florida Panthers
    • 1.8 Vancouver Canucks @ Nashville Predators
    • 1.9 St. Louis Blues @ Los Angeles Kings
  • 2 Other news
  • 3 Sources

Police describe bloody evidence in NY Sen. Monserrate assault trial

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Police describe bloody evidence in NY Sen. Monserrate assault trial

May 16th, 2019

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

A crime scene police detective and a forensic biologist testified on Tuesday about bloody evidence entered into the court record, in the ongoing criminal trial against New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate. Monserrate faces charges of felony assault in an alleged attack on his girlfriend Karla Giraldo.

The prosecution has asserted that when Monserrate discovered that his girlfriend had the business card of another man, he chose to strike out at her. Monserrate has entered a plea of not guilty to charges he sliced his girlfriend’s face with broken glass during a conflict at their apartment on December 19, 2008. The defense team denied that the injury to the woman by Monserrate was intentional, instead claiming that the incident was “an accident” and the result of Monserrate tripping while bringing Giraldo a glass of water.

An emergency physician that had treated Giraldo stated in court last Thursday that Monserrate’s girlfriend asserted to her that her injuries were not the result of an accident. Though the defense has argued that Giraldo, who is from Ecuador, may have been difficult to understand – the physician stated she conversed with Monserrate’s girlfriend in both Spanish and in English.

…it is nothing more than rank speculation.

The police detective that first inspected the crime scene testified Tuesday to the court about his recollection of discovering broken glass at the apartment, along with blood, towels covered in blood, and a ripped women’s t-shirt. Prosecutors entered into evidence a ripped sleeveless undershirt that police had found in the garbage outside Monserrate’s apartment on the night of the alleged attack. Bloody towels were was also found at the crime scene in the bathroom, and bloody smudges were discovered on a light switch in the bedroom.

According to forensic biologist Ewilina Badja, the majority of the blood found at the scene originated from one woman. Prosecutors assert that this woman is Giraldo, who was treated for injuries surrounding her left eye that took approximately 40 stitches to remedy. Badja identified blood on a male green shirt found in the bathroom sink as that of Monserrate.

Joseph Tacopina, defense counsel for Monserrate, argued that the police detective’s testimony does not prove his client attacked Giraldo. NY1 reported that Tacopina stated: “There’s not a piece of evidence that supports there was a scuffle where someone tore someone’s clothing, so it is nothing more than rank speculation. It was not a blood drenched t-shirt. When it was torn who knows? I have in my closet right now torn T-shirts that I wear to bed every night.”

On cross-examination, Tacopina queried New York City Police Department crime scene analyst Detective David Hernandez regarding the blood discovered on the bedroom light switch. According to Hernandez, police did not evaluate the blood on the light switch; Hernandez also stated that the lights in the apartment were found turned on. Tacopina argued that this bolsters the story provided by defense – that his client stumbled in a dark room while attempted to bring water to his girlfriend, and placed his bloody hand on the light switch after accidentally breaking the drinking glass on Giraldo’s face.

Queens Supreme Court Justice William Erlbaum will judge the case without a jury, as Monserrate waived his right for a trial before his peers. The group National Organization for Women has requested that the judge rule Monserrate should be given “the maximum sentence allowable by law”. If convicted, Democrat Sen. Monserrate could serve seven years in prison and lose his New York State Senate seat.

Monserrate is a former city councilman. He became a member of the New York State Senate weeks after the alleged conflict with Giraldo, and was made chair of the committee overseeing consumer affairs. Along with Democrat Pedro Espada Jr., Monserrate started a shift in control of the Senate by aligning with the Republican Party.

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Category:July 16, 2010

May 16th, 2019

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Germany legalises medical use of cannabis

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Germany legalises medical use of cannabis

May 16th, 2019

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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.