Swan in Fife, Scotland dies with H5N1 bird flu virus infection

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Swan in Fife, Scotland dies with H5N1 bird flu virus infection

Thursday, April 6, 2006

It has been confirmed that tests done on a dead Mute Swan found in the village of Cellardyke in Fife, Scotland has tested positive for the deadly strain of H5N1 Bird Flu virus. The swan is believed to have been native to Scotland.

Two other swans found in Richmond Park in Glasgow are being tested for the H5N1 virus. They are among at least 14 other dead birds and 12 more swans found in Glasgow, that are being tested for the H5N1 virus.

This is the United Kingdom‘s first confirmed case of the H5N1 virus and would make the U.K. the 14th country to report the virus.

“The risk to humans has not changed by the fact that we have found the virus in the U.K.. There is a better chance of a person winning the national lottery than catching bird flu in the U.K. today,” said Doctor Jim Robertson from the National Institutes for Biological Standards and Control in a press conference.

“We also have to work on the assumption that there is some spread among wild birds. There is no doubt we are getting closer to the day when moving birds indoors will be necessary,” said former President of the British Veterinary Association, Bob McCracken. “The situation is that the virus is there, and it will probably continue to circulate among the birds. It will spread through close contact, irrespective of species. There is one big question mark: Will the virus disappear from wild birds after a period of six months, or will it still be present after a period of six years?” added McCracken.

McCracken also said that the virus could turn up in more birds saying, “I would start from the assumption that a small pool of wild birds in the Fife area are infected and potentially passing it on to other birds” and that seagulls could pose a threat of passing on the virus because they have been known to peck at the bodies of other dead birds that were infected. “We have to assume that,” he said.

In a statement by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, released yesterday, the Scottish Executive confirmed that a “highly pathogenic H5 avian flu” virus was found in a sample taken from the dead swan.

The swan was discovered March 29, 2006 and has been confirmed as a domestic species and officials say that it may have caught the virus from another infected bird. Officials also report that the area where the swan has been found is being sealed off.

“In accordance with a recent EU decision the Scottish Executive is putting in place a protection zone of a minimum of three kilometres radius and a surveillance zone of 10 kilometers. Keepers of birds in the protection zone are being instructed to isolate their birds from wild birds, by taking them indoors where ever possible,” said the Scottish Executive in a statement.

Samples from the swan were sent to the European Union Bird Flu Laboratory at Weybridge.

“Bird keepers outside the protection zone should redouble their efforts to prepare for bringing their birds indoors if that becomes necessary. They must also review their biosecurity measures to ensure that all possible precautions have been taken,” said Charles Milne, Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland yesterday in the statement.

An exercise named ‘Exercise Hawthorn’ was to prepare people for a possible pandemic was taking place yesterday and was halted just after the discovery of the dead swan. Officials were in the second phase of the exercise. Taking part in the exercises were the Ministry of Defence, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Environment Agency and several other areas of the British government.

“I brought to an end the national avian influenza exercise to ensure that we can bring all our resources to bear on this situation. We are already in a high state of readiness and I have every confidence that officials north and south of the border will work together to manage this incident successfully,” said the United Kingdom’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds.

However; today Reynolds stated “there is no reason for public health concern” and also stated that in order for Bird Flu to infect humans, it would require “extremely close contact with infected birds, particularly feces.”

According to the World Health Organization H5N1 has killed 109 people worldwide since 2003.

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The Onion: An interview with ‘America’s Finest News Source’

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The Onion: An interview with ‘America’s Finest News Source’

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Despite the hopes of many University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) students, The Onion was not named after their student center. “People always ask questions about where the name The Onion came from,” said President Sean Mills in an interview with David Shankbone, “and when I recently asked Tim Keck, who was one of the founders, he told me the name—I’ve never heard this story about ‘see you at the un-yun’—he said it was literally that his Uncle said he should call it The Onion when he saw him and Chris Johnson eating an onion sandwich. They had literally just cut up the onion and put it on bread.” According to Editorial Manager Chet Clem, their food budget was so low when they started the paper that they were down to white bread and onions.

Long before The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Heck and Johnson envisioned a publication that would parody the news—and news reporting—when they were students at UW in 1988. Since its inception, The Onion has become a veritable news parody empire, with a print edition, a website that drew 5,000,000 unique visitors in the month of October, personal ads, a 24 hour news network, podcasts, and a recently launched world atlas called Our Dumb World. Al Gore and General Tommy Franks casually rattle off their favorite headlines (Gore’s was when The Onion reported he and Tipper were having the best sex of their lives after his 2000 Electoral College defeat). Many of their writers have gone on to wield great influence on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert‘s news parody shows.

And we are sorry to break the news to all you amateur headline writers: your submissions do not even get read.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Chet Clem and Sean Mills about the news empire that has become The Onion.

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

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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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Sewage spill fouls Waikiki Beach

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Sewage spill fouls Waikiki Beach
February 20th, 2021 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday, March 31, 2006

More than 48 million gallons (180 million L) of untreated sewage that flowed into the ocean from a sewer spill on Friday, March 24, have forced city officials in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, to post signs warning tourists on Waikiki Beach to stay out of the water.

A 42-inch pressurized sewer line in Waikiki cracked on Friday, March 24, sending untreated sewage into the Ala Wai Canal on the inland (mauka) side of Waikiki. Engineers believe that heavy rains since February 19 overwhelmed the sewer line, which was constructed in 1965.

City officials say that they had no alternative but to pump the raw sewage into the Ala Wai Canal, which empties just west of Waikiki, to prevent the wastewater from backing up into homes and hotels. Repair crews worked around the clock to fix the sewer break. The spill was finally stopped on Thursday.

At first, tides and winds took the sewage spill out to sea, but southerly winds sent the sewage back toward Waikiki Beach, forcing city officials to take action. Signs were posted on beaches on the west side of Waikiki. Bacteria tests taken on the 29th showed levels of bacteria from three to sixty times acceptable levels.

Health officials will continue to test bacteria levels daily, but there is no estimate as to when the contamination will dissipate; warning signs may be in place for as long as several months.

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Up to 18 arrested, police injured in APEC rally

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Up to 18 arrested, police injured in APEC rally
February 16th, 2021 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Saturday, September 8, 2007

An anti-APEC rally through the streets of Sydney has attracted around 5000 demonstrators, with up to 18 arrests and two police injured. In the days leading up to the rally, police had warned that the demonstration could attract up to 20,000 people and turn into a full scale riot, however these fears were not realised.

The mostly peaceful demonstration marched from Sydney’s Town Hall to Hyde Park where they were greeted with a carnival atmosphere. The demonstrators protested against the 2003 Iraq invasion, climate change, workers’ rights and globalisation with many blowing whistles, yelling chants and beating drums.

While reports in the media vary, up to 18 people were arrested when they turned violent. Two police officers were injured, one when hit by an iron bar and another when he was hit with a dart. Those arrested have been charged with offences ranging from assaulting police, hindering police, resisting arrest, offensive conduct and breaching a secure area.

Despite the arrests, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione praised the conduct of the majority of protesters. Mr Scipione credited the huge numbers of police and poor weather for the successful outcome of the rally.

“It certainly caused numbers to dwindle, in fact it surely caused numbers not to turn up,” he said.

“But more importantly, I think it was the combination of the show of force, the police were out there in big numbers, and we don’t apologise for that.

“We always indicated that we would be there, in sufficient numbers to be able to act swiftly against those that broke the law.

“So was that overkill? I don’t think so.”

Security surrounding the APEC summit is the tightest ever seen in Australia with a 5 km fence restricting access to Northern parts of Sydney’s CBD, overflights by airforce jets, police on jet skis, snipers, riot squad members and special laws to crack down on security during the summit.

There have been complaints about the conduct of police which are alleged to of misused special search powers which only apply to the fenced zone surrounding APEC facilities and of heavy-handedness by police. Several protesters claimed that Sydney had been turned into a “police state” as a result of the security measures. Commissioner Scipione said “all allegations of police misconduct would be investigated”.

A second protest, held in Belmore Park attracted around 1,000 people from Vietnamese and Tibetian backgrounds protested against Chinese President Hu Jinato’s human rights record. Organiser of the protest, Tenpa Dugdak said Australian Prime Minister John Howard should make human rights in China an APEC issue.

“It’s so important – this meeting that happened, 21 leaders – great, but [don’t] just discuss about trade, discuss about human rights, environmental problems that can really impact on a global scale,” he said.

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News briefs:August 3, 2010

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News briefs:August 3, 2010
February 11th, 2021 in Uncategorized | No Comments
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Wikinews interviews the Socialist Alliance about the upcoming Queensland State election

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Wikinews interviews the Socialist Alliance about the upcoming Queensland State election
February 9th, 2021 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Monday, March 2, 2009

With a Queensland state election coming up in Australia, many minor parties will be looking to hold balance of power and making the major parties listen to what they have to say. The Socialist Alliance (SA) is one of these parties.

SA is a left-wing political party. There stated describes itself as an anti-capitalist party which believes in “a democratic society that is run by and for working people, not the tiny, greedy, destructive elite that now rules.”

It should be noted that SA is not registered for Queensland elections due to what they describe as “restrictive rules for registration.” Their candidates will run as independents. They are, however, registered for federal elections and elections in other states.

Queensland’s unicameral parliament is up for election on March 21. The election campaign will run for a total of 26 days following the issue of the writs by Governor Penelope Wensley.

Wikinews held an exclusive interview with the SA. Answering on behalf of the party was Queensland State Gonvenor Paul Benedek.

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Steve Kubby, co-author of California Proposition 215, grows dangerously ill in US custody

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Steve Kubby, co-author of California Proposition 215, grows dangerously ill in US custody
February 4th, 2021 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Steve Kubby who was facing extradition from Canada, returned to California, was arrested, and is now in custody in Placer County, California Jail, pending a hearing today. He is a medical cannabis patient who relies on the drug to regulate the symptoms of malignant phenochromocytoma, a cancer of the adrenal gland which can cause the level of adrenaline in his system to fluctuate out of control. If left unregulated, this can result in sudden, fatal heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, and a variety of other conditions.

Kubby was arrested on arrival at San Francisco International Airport Thursday night on behalf of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, having exhausted his extradition appeals in Canada. He was taken to San Mateo County Jail, pending transport to Placer County Jail. While at San Mateo County Jail, he was reportedly denied access to medication and sufficient bedding. On arrival at Placer County Jail, his blood pressure was dangerously high, and so was given Marinol, a THC synthetic.

Communication with Kubby is highly restricted. According to his wife, Michele, Kubby has been placed in solitary confinement, denied access several times to sufficient bedding to keep him warm, and denied access to the cannabis which, according to several experts on his universally fatal condition, has been solely responsible for keeping him alive for decades. The Marinol he is being given partially mitigates his symptoms, but does not completely control them. He now grows dangerously ill.

In particular, he relates how he was ordered by prison medical staff to take beta-blockers for his blood-pressure. Due to the episodic nature of the adrenaline spikes causing the high blood-pressure, according to all of his doctors, the beta-blockers would likely kill him once the spikes dropped. In an interview by phone with journalist Pat McCartney over the weekend, Kubby reported that, for refusing the beta-blockers, he was coerced into signing a waiver absolving the prison of liability, and has since been refused all care, including even Tylenol for pain management.

Activists concerned with medical marijuana, human rights and prison reform will hold a rally at noon today in front of the Placer County Superior Courthouse, where Steve Kubby is scheduled to be arraigned on violation of probation charges.

Kubby was a co-author of California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996, also known as Proposition 215. He fled to Canada in 2001 to escape the possibility of incarceration for an extended period without access to cannabis, a possibility which, in both his and expert medical opinion, would certainly prove fatal.

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Britain thinks Africans are barbaric, claims South African President

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Britain thinks Africans are barbaric, claims South African President
January 26th, 2021 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday, March 5, 2010

Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, claimed Britain believed Africa is “barbaric”, hours before a state visit to Queen Elizabeth II. These claims were made after the Daily Mail described him as a “sex-obsessed bigot and vile buffoon.”

Zuma accused Britons of considering themselves to be culturally superior owing to their past colonial activities. “When the British came to our country they said everything we did was barbaric, was wrong, inferior in whatever way. Bear in mind that I’m a freedom fighter and I fought to free myself, also for my culture to be respected. And I don’t know why they are continuing thinking that their culture is more superior than others, those who might have said so,” stated Zuma in an African newspaper.

According to him, he had never “looked down upon any culture of anyone” and that no one has the authority of judging other cultures. Zuma added, “The British have done that before, as they colonised us, and they continue to do this, and it’s an unfortunate thing. If people want an engagement, I’m sure we will engage on that issue.”

The President’s comments were published in a local private newspaper. Zuma, who has three current wives, made these comments after arriving in Britain with Thobeka Madiba, 38, his third wife.

The Queen will welcome them at the Horse Guards Parade and take them to Buckingham Palace thereafter. A state banquet will also be held in his honor at the palace, where he is set to spend two nights.

Zuma, a member of the Zulu tribe, was compelled to make a public apology following a love child with the daughter of a friend. This incident triggered the articles in Daily Mail and Daily Mirror which attacked Zuma.

Bear in mind that I’m a freedom fighter and I fought to free myself, also for my culture to be respected. And I don’t know why they are continuing thinking that their culture is more superior than others, those who might have said so.

Zuma, whose state trip includes meetings with Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, as well as a speech to members of parliament, plans to continue with the visit. This was confirmed by officials today.

Vincent Magwenya, Zuma’s spokesman said the incident would have no impact in Zuma’s trip.

Magwenya stated: “Mr Zuma is in the UK for wide-ranging programme of substantial and serious issues. The comments he made were not aimed at the British public in general but at certain sections of the media which have lambasted him for what he considers to be his culture. Mr Zuma had a meeting with British journalists yesterday and was asked not one question about his private life”.

He also added that Zuma did not “appreciate reading things which he considers are patronising to his culture” and claimed that it was obvious that “his comments will have no bearing on the state visit.” The President, according to Magwneya, looks forward to the visit and will continue with the full schedule.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s principal opposition party, stated that the reports in the British newspapers did not warrant Zuma’s lashing out at Britain.

Kenneth Mubu, of the opposing political party said, said: “Instead of rising above predictable criticism from a particular quarter of the British press, he has allowed himself to be dragged down to the level of the tabloids. By accusing the British people of believing that Africans are barbaric and inferior, he has insulted his hosts, and no doubt undermined the entire purpose of the state visit – which is to strengthen relations between South Africa and the United Kingdom.”

The youth sector of the African National Congress supported the President. It expressed its disgust at the British reports.

“British media seem to have developed a habit of rubbishing our president and constantly portray him as barbaric and of inferior belonging,” the youth league said. “It is quite apparent that the British media is the one that is characterised and defined by the worst form of barbarism, backwardness and racism. These British racists continue to live in a dreamland and sadly believe that Africans are still their colonial subjects, with no values and principles. They believe that the only acceptable values and principles in the world are British values of whiteness and subjugation of Africans,” stated the party.

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Study: Fish reduces Alzheimer’s disease risk

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Study: Fish reduces Alzheimer’s disease risk
January 21st, 2021 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Consumption of grilled or baked fish at least once a week can preserve the brain structure of seniors and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by three to five times, according to the results of a recent US study.

The study, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania, asked 260 volunteers with an average age of 76, about the frequency of their fish consumption. Ten years later, brain scans were carried out on those being researched. Those who regularly ate fish were found to have better preservation of parts of the brain related to memory. An additional five years later, 31% of those who did not regularly consume fish contracted mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease. Of those who ate fish at least once a week, between three and eight per cent contracted the aforementioned medical conditions.

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According to The Daily Telegraph, consumption of grilled or baked fish increases the intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, providing a greater amount of blood flow to the brain; therefore prompting a reduction in inflammation and internal gathering of plaque encountered in the lead-up to Alzheimer’s disease. Fried fish does not reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease due to the low amount of Omega 3 it contains.

Dr. Cyrus Raji, who took leadership of the study, called it “the first study to establish a direct relationship between fish consumption, brain structure and Alzheimer’s risk.” Raji concluded that “people who consumed baked or [grilled] fish at least one time per week had better preservation of grey matter volume on MRI in brain areas at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.”

The Alzheimer’s Society’s research manager, Dr. Anne Corbett, stated: “This moderately sized study adds weight to existing evidence suggesting that eating fish reduces your risk of developing cognitive decline.” However, she contested these findings, saying they “did not account for lifestyle factors such as other foods or exercise”, which may have affected the overall outcome. Dr. Corbett advised consumers to “eat a healthy diet including fruit and vegetables along with taking regular exercise and giving up smoking” to reduce the risk of contracting dementia.

Meanwhile, Alzheimer’s Research UK lead researcher, Dr. Simon Ridley, believed the study had not clarified “whether other underlying factors may have contributed to the lower risk in people who eat fish.” There is “a clear need for more conclusive research into the effects of dietary fish on our cognitive health,” according to Dr. Ridley.

The results of the study are to be presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

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