Doha round of trade talks suspended after negotiations fail

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Pascal Lamy, suspended negotiations in the Doha round of trade talks on Monday, after a meeting of six “core” negotiators India, Brazil, the United States, European Union, Japan, and Australia in Geneva failed to make any headway in reconciling differences over agricultural trade liberalisation. The US wanted cuts in import tariffs for farm products, which were rejected by EU, Japan and India, who asked for cuts in agricultural subsidies.

Peter Mandelson, the EU trade commissioner, told the Financial Times: “If the US continues to demand dollar-for-dollar compensation in market access [cutting tariffs] for reducing domestic support, no one in the developing world will ever buy that and the EU will not either.” Brazil also identified the US stand on subsidies as the reason the talks failed.

Susan Schwab, the US trade representative, said that the other countries sought exemptions from tariff cuts for a wide range of goods and that such exemptions would defeat the object of the talks – to expand trade. “As we went through the layers of loopholes . . . we discovered that a couple of our trading partners were more interested in loopholes than market access,” she said.

The Indian Commerce and Industries Minister, Kamal Nath said that developing countries could not allow their subsistence farmers to lose their livelihood and food security to provide market access to agricultural products from developed countries.

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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Police report drug haul seizure worth up to £30 million in Brownhills, England

Monday, December 2, 2013

Police in the West Midlands in England today said nearly 200 kilograms worth of drugs with value possibly as great as £30 million (about US$49 million or €36 million) has been seized from a unit in the town of Brownhills. In what an officer described as “one of the largest [seizures] in the force’s 39 year history”, West Midlands Police reported recovering six big cellophane-wrapped cardboard boxes containing cannabis, cocaine, and MDMA (“ecstasy”) in a police raid operation on the Maybrook Industrial Estate in the town on Wednesday.

The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated

The seized boxes, which had been loaded onto five freight pallets, contained 120 one-kilogram bags of cannabis, 50 one-kilogram bags of MDMA, and five one-kilogram bricks of cocaine. In a press release, West Midlands Police described what happened after officers found the drugs as they were being unloaded in the operation. “When officers opened the boxes they discovered a deep layer of protective foam chips beneath which the drugs were carefully layered”, the force said. “All the drugs were wrapped in thick plastic bags taped closed with the cannabis vacuum packed to prevent its distinctive pungent aroma from drawing unwanted attention.” Police moved the drugs via forklift truck to a flatbed lorry to remove them.

Detective Sergeant Carl Russell of West Midlands Police’s Force CID said the seizure was the largest he had ever made in the 24 years he has been in West Midlands Police and one of the biggest seizures the force has made since its formation in 1974. “The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated”, he said. “The drugs had almost certainly been packed to order ready for shipping within Britain but possibly even further afield. Our operation will have a national effect and we are working closely with a range of law enforcement agencies to identify those involved in this crime at whatever level.”

Expert testing on the drugs is ongoing. Estimates described as “conservative” suggest the value of the drugs amounts to £10 million (about US$16.4 million or €12 million), although they could be worth as much as £30 million, subject to purity tests, police said.

Police arrested three men at the unit on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug. The men, a 50-year-old from Brownhills, a 51-year-old from the Norton area of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, and one aged 53 from Brownhills, have been released on bail as police investigations to “hunt those responsible” continue. West Midlands Police told Wikinews no person has yet been charged in connection with the seizure. Supplying a controlled drug is an imprisonable offence in England, although length of jail sentences vary according to the class and quantity of drugs and the significance of offenders’ roles in committing the crime.

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Doctor robbed, car-jacked and locked in boot while car set alight

Monday, March 19, 2007

A 34 year old obstetrician from Forestville on Sydney’s Northern Beaches has escaped after he was robbed, car-jacked and locked in the boot (trunk) of his BMW, which was set alight. Police say the doctor was locked in the boot while his car was set alight, but was allowed to escape before flames engulfed the vehicle.

The Doctor was believed to have been heading to The Mater Hospital in North Sydney when he was waiting at the intersection of West and Falcon Streets in Chatswood around 3:15AM AEDT when a small red sedan with two men claiming to be police officers signalled him to stop. After crossing the intersection, the doctor stopped his car at the side of the road.

The doctor was then approached by the two men and when he asked to see identification, one man grabbed the keys from his car’s ignition before they both pulled the doctor out of his vehicle, hit him in the stomach with a hammer and stole his mobile phone and wallet. The robbers also demanded his key and credit cards along with their access codes before locking him in the boot.

Police allege that the men drove to several locations to withdraw cash and buy things before driving to Carisbook Street in Linley Point at around 4 a.m. local time where they set the car alight with the doctor still in the boot.

Crime Manager of the Harbourside Local Area Command, Detective Inspector Houlahan said that the doctor then “heard a click in the boot area and he heard someone call out: ‘Get out of the car'”

“When he pushed the boot up he found his car engulfed in flames.”

Det. Insp. Houlahan said the doctor told police he did not unlock the boot himself, and it appeared the man’s captors unlocked it before fleeing.

Det Insp Houlahan said that the doctor appeared to be “very distraught” and tired after the ordeal, and wanted to get home and see his wife and two young daughters.

He could only provide police with a vague description of his captors, but said the men were both Caucasian males aged in their 20s, and that one of them was about six feet tall (183cm) with short blond hair and medium build said Det. Insp. Houlahan.

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On the campaign trail in the USA, October 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The following is the sixth and final edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the Free & Equal Foundation holds a presidential debate with three little-known candidates; three additional candidates give their final pleas to voters; and past Wikinews interviewees provide their electoral predictions ahead of the November 8 election.

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Japan raises severity level of crisis; efforts to cool damaged nuclear power plant continue

Friday, March 18, 2011

As the nuclear crisis in Japan’s crippled Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant appears to worsen, Japan’s nuclear safety agency raised their assessment of its severity from 4 to 5 on the 7-level International Nuclear Event Scale, the same rating given the 1979 Three Mile Island crisis. Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, said bluntly that the situation at the nuclear power plant was “very grave”. Weather forecasts indicate changing winds may begin moving radiation closer to Tokyo by March 30.

Efforts thus far to cool nuclear fuel in the reactors and the spent-fuel pools has produced little if any success, contends United States government officials.

Engineers are working frantically to connect electrical power to two reactors in the plant, as well as to restart the cooling systems and prevent overheating of fuel rods. Tokyo Electric Power Co. stated that it hopes to reconnect a power line needed to restart water pumps to the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors by Saturday morning. However, a TEPCO official cautioned that if the water pumps were damaged by the tsunami, they could fail to restart.

The extent of the damage to the plant’s reactors is still unclear. Japanese officials have concentrated on cooling spent fuel rods in Reactor No. 3’s storage pool. On Friday, however, steam was seen rising from Reactor No. 2., where an explosion occurred on Tuesday. Additionally, engineers said on Thursday that the steel lining of the storage pool at Reactor No. 4 and its concrete base seemed damaged, as attempts to refill the pool with water became increasingly difficult.

In a briefing on Friday, Philippe Jamet, a commissioner at France’s nuclear regulator Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, said, “We must avoid being overly optimistic. This will likely take human intervention like going into control rooms to reconnect valves.”

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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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Canadian Prime Minister Harper meets with U.S. President Bush

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with President George W. Bush at the White House today. The meeting was a short one and focused primarily on global security, particularly bilateral security issues addressing the two countries.

One of the larger issues was the pending U.S. law that would require everyone crossing the Canada-U.S. border to have a passport or a special identification card. Prime Minister Harper said; “if the fight for security ends up meaning that the United States becomes more closed to its friends, then the terrorists have won,” as part of his appeal that Congress delay or reject the proposed border law. [1].

Prime Minister Harper brought birthday greetings and a surprise gift. But Bush found out about it during the press conference in the East Room. A Canadian reporter had allegedly blew the secret. [2].

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inaugurates the “Defence Development Exhibition ‘Self-Defence-2021′”

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

On Monday, on the 76th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea’s founding, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inaugurated a new weapons exhibition in the Three-Revolutions Exhibition House, Pyongyang. Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported the event next day. According to Chinese travel agency Young Pioneer Tours, North Korea closed its border to tourists in January 2020.

The outside ceremony started when Kim Jong Un arrived. Attendees, mainly Korean People’s Army (KPA) officers, party officials and invited defence industry personnel, greeted Kim with “Manse!” (Long Live!). High-ranking party officials Choe Ryong Hae, Jo Yong Won and Hyon Song Wol, premier Kim Tok Hun, Marshal Pak Jong Chon and Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong were also there.

A musical performance by the KPA military band and the Orchestra of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) came before a KPA martial arts demonstration, in it brick breaking with bare fists, bending steel bars with the sternum and jumping over cars. A flypast closed the outdoor sequence, rendering the colours of the North Korean flag with smoke on the sky.

Kim Jong Un’s opening speech indoors remarked that “the US tacit sponsorship [of South Korea] continue to damage the inter-Korean feelings and emotions” and that “South Korea has been unhesitant on several occasions in disclosing its ambition for securing military supremacy over us under the preposterous excuse of deterring threat from us”, but called their military build-up a war deterrence effort. He also called on people to support to the defence capabilities of the country, and dedicated the event to analyze their recent achievements in the field.

An award ceremony for servicepersons and others followed with high decorations handed over, including the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Orders, the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Prizes, the title of Labour Hero, the Order of the National Flag and watches signed with the names of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

After touring the exhibition, Kim Jong Un met with the jet pilots who performed earlier, then left in a limousine.

The exhibition featured missiles, including editions 14, 15 and 16 of the Hwasong intercontinental ballistic missile series.

In reaction on Tuesday, Moon Hong-sik, a spokesperson for South Korea’s Ministry of Defence said that both the United States and South Korea are analyzing the displayed equipment.

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US Marines change hat style in response to manufacturer’s closure

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Following incorrect statements by media organizations that include Fox News and the New York Post earlier in the week that the US Marine Corps were changing their hats in order to make them more gender neutral, the Corps issued a statement yesterday countering the claim, saying they are only changing the dress hat for women. In a statement on their website, they said this change is only “for female Marines because the current manufacturer is going out of business”.

Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos is quoted in the Corps statement as saying, “the President in no way, shape or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover.” The quote follows media claims the US President directed the Marine Corps to make a change to a more “girly” dress hat.

The women’s hats were made by a different manufacturer than the men’s hat. At the same time, the US Department of Defense also asked the Corps to develop a more unisex option for both dress and service hats. In preparation for a quarterly meeting of the Marine Corps Uniform Board scheduled for next week, a survey was sent out asking for feedback on whether women’s hats should be made to more closely model the current men’s dress hat or if all Marines should switch to the Dan Daly cap.

Other changes in the US military uniforms are scheduled to take place by the end of the year. In the Navy, flame-resistant variant coveralls are scheduled to be introduced in December of this year. Admiral Bill Gortney, the head of Fleet Forces Command, is quoted in the Marine Corps Times as saying. “Our sailors’ safety is our primary concern here […] If you’re on board a ship and a fire breaks out, you rush to that scene, you escape that scene or you’re assisting a shipmate in whatever you’re wearing. And so this fills in that particular need. You combine this with our existing flash hoods and gloves and you tuck your leg pants in […] it will provide the fire-resistant capability that we think is needed.”

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