Wikinews interviews journalist Konrad Godlewski, who uncovered BATUTA hoax

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Wikinews interviews journalist Konrad Godlewski, who uncovered BATUTA hoax

Sunday, February 14, 2010

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

Four years ago, on February 9, a major Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza published a report detailing a hoax in Polish Wikipedia entitled Henryk Batuta. The author of the report was Konrad Godlewski; several weeks later, Godlewski began editing Polish Wikipedia. The results of his work include one featured article – pismo chi?skie (Polish for “Chinese character”) – as well as various articles relating to China.

During our interview, Godlewski discusses memes, hoaxes, and the Batuta Army – the creators of the hoax his paper reported on. From February this year, a special project on the Polish Wikipedia, BATUTA, saw a makeshift taskforce work on improving the quality of content. BATUTA stands for “Bezwzgl?dna Akcja Troskliwego U?ród?awiania Tysi?cy artyk?ów”, roughly translated as “Ruthless Action of Carefully Adding References to Thousands of Articles”.

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Category:August 3, 2010

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Category:August 3, 2010
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Islamabad on red alert for possible terrorist attack

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Islamabad on red alert for possible terrorist attack

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The City of Islamabad Image: Arif Hussain / TreksToDo.

Pakistani officials placed the capital, Islamabad, on red alert after they received information of possible terrorist attacks on Pakistan Air Force headquarters. Action was taken quickly, with Air Force and Navy helicopters seen above Islamabad shortly after the officials were notified.

“Current information suggests that Al-Qaeda and affiliated organisations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” a United States State Department statement said.

Pakistani security forces and policemen are maintaining high surveillance in the area as search operations are conducted.

“This thick security blanket has been laid over the capital to head off any untoward incident,” Senior Superintendent of Police Operations, Dr Rizwan told GEO News.

The threat of an attack remains high and searches continue after a number of suspects were detained as a result of an operation in Margallah Hills. The area remains under surveillance, with all inns, hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, Afghan refugee settlements and slums subject to scrutiny.

Warning has been spread to the U.S., where Americans have been urged to take extra precautions overseas. The State Department identified subways and rail networks as potential danger areas, because of their history in previous terrorist attacks. This information accompanies the red alerts placed on Europe, South Asia, Africa and the Middle East earlier this year.

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Quiznos restaurant chain airs controversial commercial

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Quiznos restaurant chain airs controversial commercial
February 2nd, 2023 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quiznos, a fast food restaurant chain that specializes in selling submarine sandwiches, has aired a controversial television commercial, with an extended version only appearing in the late-night lineups. The commercial is a promotion for the company’s new sandwich, the ‘Toasty Torpedo’. Bob Sassone, a writer for TVSquad.com, argues that it is homosexually themed and compares it to pornography.

The commercial begins with a toaster oven talking to Scott, a Quiznos sandwich maker, in a male voice. “Scott, I want you to do something,” says the toaster to Scott. As he takes a bite of a Torpedo and appears to look in the direction of his genitals, Scott says to the toaster, “[sic] not doing that again. That burned.” The toaster replies, “We both enjoyed that.”

Later in the commercial, the toaster asks Scott to make one of the sandwiches and says the price of it is “sexy” and then “sexier.” Scott grins and does so. The toaster then asks Scott to “stick it in me”. The sandwich just happens to be 12 inches long, giving the appearance of a special relationship between Scott and the toaster oven.

Quiznos published a press release on March 24 announcing the new line of sandwiches. They stated that their price of US$4 helps to ease the economic pinch. In a statement to Wikinews Quiznos stated that their commercials are within the company’s character and they were designed to get people talking.

“We developed our new ads to be consistent with the Quiznos brand and to get people excited about our new Toasty Torpedoes. Some of the ads are edgy and provocative, but they’re well within the confines of the Quiznos brand character,” said Rebecca Steinfort, chief marketing officer for Quiznos to Wikinews.

“Since Quiznos has a broad range of consumers that eat at its more than 4,500 restaurants nationwide, we tailor our commercials to be relevant and appeal to our diverse customers – all of whom are watching different kinds of programming. The new ads are fun and entertaining, and the edginess and innuendo of the ads are designed to get people talking about our new Toasty Torpedoes, and that’s exactly what we want: people to talk and taste our new sandwiches,” added Steinfort.

Bob Sassone a writer for TVSquad.com, one of the Internet’s top television weblogs, compared the commercial to a pornography film.

“The new Quizno’s commercial is probably the closest we’ll get to a gay porn flick in a mainstream sub shop ad,” Sassone wrote.

In 2007, the company made another controversial commercial. It featured people on the street eating samples of a Quiznos ‘Prime Rib Dinner’ sandwich. They promoted it as having a lot of “meat” and near the end it featured two women eating a sandwich saying, “It’s not lacking any meat. And that’s what real women need”.

“Nevertheless, Quiznos remains committed to providing its customers with high-quality ingredients at everyday lower prices, all with excellent service. As such, we encourage consumers to give feedback on the commercials to our corporate marketing department through the website,” said Steinfort.

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American teenage girl charged with murder of her mother

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American teenage girl charged with murder of her mother
January 29th, 2023 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Sunday, December 19, 2004

CRAIG, Alaska —Rachelle Waterman, (aka Rachelle Ann Monica Waterman and “smchyrocky”), a 16-year-old girl from Craig, Alaska, USA, has been charged with the first degree murder of her mother.

The case has rapidly received a wide following on the Internet, partly because Waterman kept a public record of her thoughts and activities on LiveJournal, a popular blogging service. The last entry, which has since been removed from public view, was posted on November 18, 2004 and read:

Just to let everyone know, my mother was murdered.

I won’t have computer acess [sic] until the weekend or so because the police took my computer to go through the hard drive. I thank everyone for their thoughts and e-mails, I hope to talk to you when I get my computer back.

A diverse group of users, both friends and strangers, have posted over 5,000 comments on the journal, positive and negative, transforming the case into an Internet phenomenon. Every entry since March 2004 has apparently now been deleted or hidden, but a ZIP archive of the entire weblog, from before the entries were deleted, is available on Deadly Blogging.

Waterman was a tenth-grade honor (A-average) student in her second year at Craig High School. She was also a member of the Academic Decathlon team (ACDC) and sang in the choir, a profile that has left many people questioning her involvement in the killing and asking what motive there might be. At the time police say the killing occurred, Rachelle Waterman was apparently playing in a volleyball tournament in Anchorage, Alaska.

Apart from the online diary Rachelle kept, the case is also unusual because matricide committed by female minors is extremely rare.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=American_teenage_girl_charged_with_murder_of_her_mother&oldid=4700349”

Details emerge on how al-Zarqawi’s location was pinned

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Details emerge on how al-Zarqawi’s location was pinned
January 28th, 2023 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday, June 9, 2006

Someone said to be an informant within Abu Musab al-Zarqawi‘s trusted circle told Coalition forces the insurgent leader was going to have a meeting, it has emerged. This information appears to have led US F-16Cs to a safehouse in the Iraqi town of Hibhid, where the Jordanian and five others, including a child, were killed on Wednesday.

“We had absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Zarqawi was in the house. There was 100 percent confirmation,” Caldwell said.

The informer is said to want the insurgency to pursue a strategy within the Iraqi political process, which in the informer’s view was in contrast to tactics executed by al-Zarqawi’s leadership that involved ethnic killings.

It was one of the last in a long line of breadcrumbs leading the hunt for the Iraqi government’s most-wanted murderer to the doorstep of an attractive isolated house in Hibhid.

In a late-April video al-Zarqawi had been shown spraying bullets from a machine gun with a horizon in the background. This is said to have revealed the general location of al-Zarqawi, found near Diyala province, in the north east of Iraq. The ethnically mixed region had seen an upsurge in violence and over days preceding the airstrike.

Murders had included a number of decapitated heads left in fruitboxes. Al-Zarqawi had been known for kidnapping and video beheadings of westerners in Iraq.

Another al-Zarwaqi insider also had given vital clues to the investigators before the final tip-off. A former customs clearance officer in Rutba identified as Ziad Khalaf al-Karbuli had named Sheikh Abu Abdul-Rahman as al-Zarqawi’s spiritual advisor and gave-up contact details.

Ziad Khalaf al-Karbuli had appeared on Jordanian television, May 23, to confess his links to al-Zarqawi, and to his murder of a Jordanian driver and his kidnap of two Moroccan embassy employees in 2005. The vital clue about Abu Abdul-Rahman was not broadcast.

With details from the al-Karbuli interrogation the gunsights got closer to al-Zarqawi. “Through painstaking intelligence effort, they were able to start tracking him, monitoring his movements and establishing when he was doing his link-ups with Zarqawi, ” Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said of the investigators.

The US search for the Sheikh included the use of remote controlled aircraft, it was revealed.

However; it is said neither the al-Karbuli information nor the al-Zarqawi betrayer lead the Americans to press the fire button on al-Zarwaqi’s two-story home. Al-Zarqawi was hard to catch because he reportedly eschewed trackable cell-phones in favour of high-tech Thuraya-made satellite phones to communicate.

The death certificate was signed by the secret informant who said both Sheikh Abu Abdul-Rahman and al-Zarqawi would be in Hibhid, Wednesday night.

For the elusive insurgent who had previously escaped attempts to bomb him, the execution came after comparison of this source’s information with tracks of the location of satellite phone users.

The location found was beside a property with a courtyard surrounded by fields away from other buildings. It appears then the US command made the decision to strike at an address in the small town, near Baqubah.

US special forces were on the scene to photograph the dead al-Zarqawi at 6:17 p.m., two minutes after two 500lb bombs were dropped. Al-Zarqawi was said to be alive and being given medical assistance when he died of wounds sustained in the bombing.

The announcement of the killing was made Thursday by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said to viewers of Iraqi television the $25 million bounty for information leading to the death or capture of al-Zarqawi would be “honored.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Details_emerge_on_how_al-Zarqawi%27s_location_was_pinned&oldid=565841”

Wikinews interviews Democratic candidate for the Texas 6th congressional district special election Daryl Eddings, Sr’s campaign manager

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Wikinews interviews Democratic candidate for the Texas 6th congressional district special election Daryl Eddings, Sr’s campaign manager
January 26th, 2023 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tuesday, April 20, 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, the office of Democrat Daryl Eddings, Sr. agreed to answer some questions by phone March 30 about their campaigns and policies. The following is the interview with Ms Chatham on behalf of Mr Eddings, Sr.

Eddings is a federal law enforcement officer and senior non-commissioned officer in the US military. His experience as operations officer of an aviation unit in the California National Guard includes working in Los Angeles to control riots sparked by the O. J. Simpson murder case and the police handling of Rodney King, working with drug interdiction teams in Panama and Central America and fighting in the Middle East. He is the founder of Operation Battle Buddy, which has under his leadership kept in touch with over 20 thousand veterans and their families. He was born in California, but moved to Midlothian, Texas. He endeavours to bring “good government, not no government”. Campaign manager Faith Chatham spoke to Wikinews on matters ranging from healthcare to housing.

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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Augusten Burroughs on addiction, writing, his family and his new book

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Augusten Burroughs on addiction, writing, his family and his new book
January 26th, 2023 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday, October 12, 2007

I had an unofficial phone call from Gay Talese last Tuesday. He had just flown back from Colombia and he was cranky. “I’m happy to do an interview with you,” he said, “but what the hell could you ask me that’s not already out there? Have you even bothered to look?!”

“Jeez, Mr. Talese, lots of things,” was my response. I lied. The truth is that when I call people to interview them, I do not have a set of preconceived questions. My agenda is to talk to them and gain a sense of who they are; to flesh them out as humans. To find out what they think about the world around them at that moment. With Gay Talese I had little interest in talking about Frank Sinatra Has a Cold and with Augusten Burroughs I had little interest in discussing Running with Scissors. I want to know what they think about things outside of the boxes people have placed them in.

With a memoirist like Burroughs, even this is a challenge. What parts of his life he has not written about himself, other interviewers have strip-mined. When we met for dinner at Lavagna in the East Village, I explained to Augusten this issue. I suggested we make the interview more of a conversation to see if that would be more interesting. “Instead of you in the catbird seat,” I said, “let’s just talk.”

We struck an instant rapport. What set out to be an hour and half interview over dinner had turned into four hours of discussion about our lives similarly lived. I removed half of the interview: the half that focused on me.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s conversation with writer Augusten Burroughs.


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Kennedy Center names 2007 honors recipients

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Kennedy Center names 2007 honors recipients
January 26th, 2023 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Kennedy Center announced that its 30th presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors would go to pianist Leon Fleisher, comedian Steve Martin, singer Diana Ross, director Martin Scorsese and musician Brian Wilson. The Center was opened to the public in 1971 and was envisioned as part of the National Cultural Center Act, which mandated that the independent, privately-funded institution would present a wide variety of both classical and contemporary performances, commission the creation of new artistic works, and undertake a variety of educational missions to increase awareness of the arts.

In a statement, Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman said that “with their extraordinary talent, creativity and perseverance, the five 2007 honorees have transformed the way we, as Americans, see, hear and feel the performing arts.”

Fleisher, 79, a member of the Peabody Institute‘s music faculty, is a pianist who lost use of his right hand in 1965 due to a neurological condition. He became an accomplished musician and conductor through the use of his left hand. At 67, he regained the use of his right hand. With the advent of Botox therapy, he was once more able to undertake two-hand performances in 2004, his first in four decades. “I’m very gratified by the fact that it’s an apolitical honor,” Fleisher said. “It is given by colleagues and professional people who are aware of what [an artist] has done, so it really is apolitical — and that much more of an honor.”

Martin, 62, a comedian who has written books and essays in addition to his acting and stand-up comedy career, rose to fame during his work on the American television program Saturday Night Live in the 1970’s. Schwarzman praised his work as that of a “renaissance comic whose talents wipe out the boundaries between artistic disciplines.” Martin responded to the honor saying, “I am grateful to the Kennedy Center for finally alleviating in me years of covetousness and trophy envy.”

Ross, 63, was a product of Detroit‘s Brewster-Douglass Projects when as a teeager she and friends Mary Wilson and Florence Ballardis formed The Supremes, a ground-breaking Motown act. She portrayed singer Billie Holiday in the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues, which earned her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award. “Diana Ross’ singular, instantly recognizable voice has spread romance and joy throughout the world,” said Schwarzman. Ross said she was “taken aback. It is a huge, huge honor and I am excited to be in this class of people.”

Scorsese, 64, is one of the most accomplished directors the United States ever produced, whose work includes Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, Cape Fear, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Departed, for which he won a 2006 Academy Award for Best Director after being nominated eight times. Scorsese said, “I’m very honored to be receiving this recognition from the Kennedy Center and proud to be joining the company of the very distinguished individuals who have received this honor in years past.”

Wilson, 65, along with his brothers Dennis and Carl, formed the Beach Boys in 1961. They had a series of hits that included “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Their 1966 album Pet Sounds is considered one of the most influential recordings in American music. “This is something so unexpected and I feel extremely fortunate to be in the company of such great artists,” said Wilson, who is currently on tour.

The Kennedy Center’s board of trustees is responsible for selecting honorees for “lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts.” Previous honorees, including Elton John and Steven Spielberg, also submitted recommendations. A wide variety of people were under consideration, including Emanuel Ax, Evgeny Kissin, Renee Fleming, Laurence Fishburne, Francis Ford Coppola, Melissa Etheridge and Kenny Chesney.

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will attend the center’s presentation at its opera house on December 2, 2007, which will broadcast on December 26 on CBS.

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Bush, Brown threaten further sanctions against Iran

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Bush, Brown threaten further sanctions against Iran
January 25th, 2023 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have promised new sanctions on Iran if the Gulf country continues to enrich weapons-grade uranium.

At a joint press conference in London today, Brown announced that “today we will urge Europe – and Europe will agree – to take further sanctions against Iran.” Britain is pressuring the European Union to freeze the overseas assets of Iran’s Bank Melli, which the United States accuses of supporting Iran’s missile programs. European Union spokesperson Cristina Gallach says that Europe is prepared to take action.

Iran denies its enrichment program is aimed at the creation of nuclear weapons, insisting that they will use the technology to generate electricity. In response, Brown announced that during weekend negotiations, “we put our enhanced offer on the table – including political and economic partnership and help with nuclear technology for civilian use. We await the Iranian response and will do everything possible to maintain the dialogue.”

In response to the announcement, Iran has withdrawn approximately $75 billion of its European foreign assets. “Part of Iran’s assets in European banks have been converted to gold and shares” said Iranian deputy foreign minister Mohsen Talaie, “and another part has been transferred to Asian banks.” The Iranian government gauges its foreign exchange reserves at $80 billion.

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