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Riyo Mori is crowned Miss Universe as Japanese after 48 years’ absence

Thursday, May 31, 2007

According to The Japan Times, the 20-year-old Japanese delegate Riyo Mori was crowned as the 56th Miss Universe, in a ceremony held at Mexico City on May 28 .

Riyo, the new Miss Universe titleholder, is from Shizuoka, Japan. She had stayed in Canada to study ballet while in high-school.After Riyo returned to her country, she became to an instructor of a dance school.

Riyo Mori achieved the brilliant feat of winning this beauty contest as Japanese after 48 years’ absence.Incidentally, preceded runner-up is Kurara Chibana.

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On the campaign trail, July 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The following is the ninth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the rules of third party candidate polling are examined, a third party activist causes four other parties to lose their place on the Illinois presidential ballot, and the new vice presidential nominee of the Justice Party speaks with Wikinews.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Polling rules restrict and fuel third party campaigns
  • 3 Ballot access denied in Illinois
  • 4 Wikinews interviews newly-selected Justice Party VP nominee
  • 5 Related news
  • 6 Sources
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Category:Featured article

Shortcut:WN:FA

Featured articles are selected by the community to represent the best of Wikinews. See the Featured Article Candidates page for nominations and discussions of candidate articles for this page. Or, subscribe to the RSS feed!

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Pages in category “Featured article”

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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Several businesses catch fire in Queens, New York

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, a fire rushed through seven businesses at the Whitestone Shopping Center in Whitestone, Queens, New York, near the Cross Island Parkway in New York City.

The fire started at around 1:00 AM EST (UTC-5) on November 2, 2008 in a diner known as Lollipops. According to local sources, Lollipops was a popular restaurant in the area. The fire spread through the stores, up an awning and continued all the way to a corner of the shopping center. In the end, seven businesses were destroyed, including two banks, two restaurants and a GNC Nutrition Center. It took dozens of firefighters to put out the large blaze.

According to WCBS-TV, with his diner Lollipops destroyed, the owner was too upset to comment.

Nearby Chinese restaurant, King’s Chef, was also damaged. “I cannot open because of whatever rules – tomorrow’s Monday, Tuesday is a holiday,” the owner, Patrick Chan, told WCBS-TV. “If I cannot get them to come tomorrow, I am going to lose big time.”

This is a calamity for many of these small businesses to be out of business, particularly in this economy.

Nearby residents reacted to the situation. Several residents have reported that it is a major loss to the community as they considered Lollipops to be a landmark. Several residents have reported knowing members of either the victim stores or others in the strip mall.

State Senator Frank Padavan commented on the loss of the shopping center.

“This is a calamity for many of these small businesses to be out of business, particularly in this economy,” he said.

The next day, investigators were boarding up the windows of the damaged stores. No one was hurt because all the stores were closed at the time of the blaze.

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John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of the location of a viewpoint used by English painter John Constable has been solved, after nearly 200 years. The Stour Valley and Dedham Church was painted in Suffolk, England, between 1814 and 1815, but changes to the landscape meant that the spot he chose was not known, despite the best efforts of historians and art experts.

Now the puzzle has been answered. Martin Atkinson, who works for the National Trust as property manager for East Suffolk, used clues from the painting and looked at old maps to track down the viewpoint. Trees had grown, a hedgerow had been planted and boundaries had moved or disappeared, but Atkinson eventually worked out where Constable had stood. He said, “When I discovered that I had worked out the location where Constable painted this particular masterpiece, I couldn’t believe it. All the pieces of the jigsaw finally fitted together.”

Atkinson used an 1817 map of East Bergholt, where Constable grew up, as a reference point, but found that the view would have changed not long after the painting was completed. “The foreground didn’t fit at all, it was quite unusual as we know Constable painted it in the open air so he would have been standing in the scene. The hedgerow in his work no longer exists and there’s another hedgerow that runs across the scene today which wasn’t there. When you stand on the road on which he would have stood, and use the oak tree as a reference point, you see the same view. It’s great to see where an old master stood – and be inspired by the same view,” he said.

Suffolk, where Constable painted many of his finest paintings, is often called “Constable country”. Most, but not all, of the locations that Constable depicted are known. The picture is now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

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UK government loses personal information of 25 million people

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling announced to a shocked House of Commons today that two password-protected — but not encrypted — computer disks containing the entire Child Benefit database have been lost in transit between the offices of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in Washington, Tyne & Wear and the National Audit Office (NAO) in London, in what has been described as “one of the world’s biggest ID protection failures”.

The database contains details of all families in the UK who receive Child Benefit — all families with children up to 16 years of age, plus those with children up to 20 years old if they are in full-time education or training — estimated to contain 25 million individuals in 7.25 million families. Among other items of information, the database contains names, addresses, dates of birth, child benefit and National Insurance numbers, and where appropriate, bank or building society account details.

The discs were created by a junior official at the HMRC in response to a request for information by the NAO, and were sent unregistered and unrecorded on 18 October using the courier company TNT — which operates the HMRC’s internal mail system. When it was found that the discs had not arrived for audit at the NAO, a further copy of this data was made and sent — this time by registered mail — and this package did arrive. HMRC were not informed that the original discs had been lost until 8 November, and Darling himself was informed on 10 November.

The violation of data protection laws involved in the creation of the discs has led to strong attacks on the government’s competence to establish the proposed National Identity Register, when all UK residents will have an identity card. Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne described the loss of data as “catastrophic” and said “They [the government] simply cannot be trusted with people’s personal information”.

The Chairman of HMRC, Paul Gray, has resigned over the affair, and critics are calling for Darling to do likewise.

This is the third data embarrassment for HMRC in recent weeks — earlier this month it was reported that the details of over 15,000 Standard Life customers had been put on disk, and then lost en route from HMRC in Newcastle to Standard Life in Edinburgh — and last month a laptop containing the data of 400 people with high-value ISAs was stolen from the boot of a car belonging to a HMRC official who had been carrying out a routine audit.

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NSW govt to rebuild high school with private funding

Monday, May 22, 2006

New South Wales minister for Education and Training, Carmel Tebbutt told parliament that Kelso High School, which was destroyed by fire on August 18, 2005 will be rebuilt under the NSW government’s New Schools Public Private Partnerships (PPP) program. Under the program, the bulk of construction costs come from private companies who own the schools for 30 years, after which time they revert to government ownership.

The PPP program began in October 2001. According to the government, 19 schools will be delivered under the PPP program by 2009.

The announcement follows Member for Bathurst, Gerard Martin’s statement to parliament on September 14, 2005 that the government would be rebuilding the school at a cost of $18 to $25 million. “The Government has accepted the responsibility of the $18 million to $25 million to rebuild the school, which is proceeding post haste” he said.

The PPP announcement has been seen as a backflip by the government.

When approached by Wikinews, Brad Hazzard, the opposition’s education spokesperson said that the coalition did not have a formal policy in this area but generally were supportive of the PPP program so long as infrastructure and maintenance are addressed.

Australian Greens education spokesperson, John Kaye, said that problems were already emerging with the PPP program in NSW. In March 2006, it was revealed that the government had to negotiate an exit strategy so that after school hours child care could be provided. In a media release provided to Wikinews, Dr Kaye said, “Yet another flaw in a NSW Public Private Partnership (PPP) has been uncovered. Just like the Cross City Tunnel, the community suffered because the contract failed to protect the quality of service delivery,”

“After numerous complaints from parents, the Iemma government had to negotiate an exit strategy from the contract to provide out-of-school-hours childcare. Corporate giant ABC Learning which had purchased the original provider, Peppercorn, was clearly not interested in the expensive end of childcare”.

Dr Kaye also pointed out that an Auditor general’s report found alarming evidence that the basis for PPP in NSW could be based on unreliable financial models. Dr Kaye said that the Auditor General has “cast a very large shadow” over the government’s claimed savings from the PPP program.

“It appears that the NSW government does not know with any degree of certainty how much it would cost to perform the same function in the public sector. Any attempt to say that private sector control is cheaper is now fraught with danger,”

“The Auditor General’s report proves that the methodology used by the Government to estimate the costs of public sector provision is highly unreliable and suspect” said Dr Kaye.

Both Carmel Tebbutt and Gerard Martin gave no response when contacted by Wikinews.

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Two-and-a-half tonnes of marijuana destroyed in Afghan school

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The combined efforts of agents from the Afghan Commandos and Coalition forces have led to the discovery and destruction of two-and-a-half tonnes of marijuana in an abandoned school in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Friday.

Kandah?r province or Qandahar (??????,{??????) is one of the largest of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in southern Afghanistan, between Helamand, Oruzgan and Zabul provinces. Its capital is the city of Kandah?r, also spelled Qandah?r, (?????? or ??????), the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of 450,300 (2006 estimate). Kandahar City is located on the Arghandab River. The province has a population of nearly 890,000, with more than 300,000 living in its capital city. The main inhabitants of Kandahar province are the Pashtun people.

An improvised explosive device and an unexploded mortar round, both 100-meters away from the school, also were destroyed.Foot patrol by the combined forces yielded tips which led to the drug discovery. A Commando also discovered a large room filled with marijuana seeds. The marijuana was placed in two-foot-tall (0.6-meter) stacks that filled multiple 12ft-by-12ft rooms. Rust on the furniture suggests the Afghan schoolhouse may not have been used as such for a long period of time. No students or faculty were around at the time of the drug bust.

U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesperson, Col. Jerry O’Hara said that “using drugs to fund insurgent activity is bad enough; using a school as a drug warehouse is an attack on the future of all Afghanistan.”

Xinhua has reported that “according to a recent U.N. report, Afghanistan produces over 90 percent of the world’s opium as Taliban militants will benefit nearly 500 million U.S. dollars from opium trade in 2008.”

Meanwhile, coalition troops have killed four militants in Zabul Province. They also detained five suspects on Saturday. Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “the United States would send between 20,000 and 30,000 more forces to Afghanistan by summer.” “Those forces will primarily move into the country’s south, where the insurgency is the most entrenched,” he added.

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