Former Timberwolf Eddie Griffin dies at 25

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Former Timberwolf Eddie Griffin dies at 25

Friday, August 24, 2007

Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Eddie Griffin died on August 17, 2007, at age 25 due to injuries sustained in a car crash, the Harris County medical examiner’s office confirmed on Tuesday.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves forward, who was waived in March for violating the League’s substance abuse program, ignored a railroad warning, drove his SUV through a barrier, and collided with a moving train at about 1:30 a.m., according to Houston Police. His vehicle caught fire and was soon engulfed in flames.

No identification was found and the body was badly burned. For that reason, dental records were used to identify him. Griffin, who played college Basketball at Seton Hall University, played for the Houston Rockets from 2001–2003, and the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2004–2007. The five-year veteran had been battling alcoholism since leaving Seton Hall. He is survived by his three-year-old daughter Amaree.

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Canada’s Don Valley East (Ward 33) city council candidates speak

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Canada’s Don Valley East (Ward 33) city council candidates speak
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley East (Ward 33). One candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Zane Caplan, Shelley Carroll (incumbent), Jim Conlon, Sarah Tsang-Fahey, and Anderson Tung.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

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Commerce Commission fines BNZ $5 million

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Commerce Commission fines BNZ $5 million

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The New Zealand Commerce Commission has fined the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ). It has been forced to pay NZ$5 million in compensation to its customers, $500,000 in fines and $80,000 in costs to the Commerce Commission. The money will be placed into a bank account to be monitored by an auditor, and if there is any money left over it will be donated to a consumer organization.

BNZ has been forced to pay these fines for failing to disclose that they were charging their customers for the exchange of foreign currency during February, 2002 until May, 2004 on its credit and debit cards, which is a breach of the Fair Trading Act. They pleaded guilty to 21 counts of breaching the act. The BNZ say that they will contact their affected customers and that they should get their compensation by November this year. The bank is responsible for contacting all their customers.

The BNZ is the third bank to be charged, the two others were ANZ and the National Bank, which were charged $11.325 million combined as they had since become a single company.

There are still other ongoing prosecutions on these other financial services: Westpac, ASB, TSB, American Express, Diners Club and The Warehouse Financial Services. The Commission would not comment on these cases.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Paula Rebsotck, Commerce Commission Chairperson, said “the result was a victory for New Zealand consumers, many of whom would have unknowingly paid the currency transaction charges. While fees like these remain hidden, banks have no incentive to offer lower fees.”

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Posted: January 30th, 2023 by Admin

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Flight recorders from Air France Flight 447 found

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Flight recorders from Air France Flight 447 found

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Officials from France’s aviation accident investigation agency, the Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA), announced on Tuesday that they had recovered the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of Air France Flight 447. It was located and brought to the surface by a Remora 6000 unmanned submarine, then taken aboard the Île de Sein, one of the vessels taking part in the recovery and salvage efforts.

This came two days after an announcement on Sunday that the crash-survivable memory unit of the flight data recorder (FDR) of the aircraft had been located and brought to the surface. The chassis of the FDR was located on April 27, with the memory unit missing. It was found a short distance from the chassis. It was also brought to the surface by the Remora 6000.

With the recovery of both recorders, which are reported to be “in good condition”, French officials hope to determine what caused the Airbus A330-200 to crash into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, when it departed Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão International Airport before it was lost 600 miles (965 km) off the coast of Brazil en route to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport with 228 passengers and crew on board.

If you were to throw a computer into the ocean, imagine how all the parts would eventually split and you have the corrosive effects of seawater and the depths involved.

The leading theory at the moment is that the crew received incorrect air speed readings from the aircraft’s pitot tubes, devices which measure how fast the aircraft is traveling. Experts say the tubes may have become iced over, causing the crash. The plane’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) sent out 24 messages over a four-minute long period stating numerous problems and warnings, including incorrect air speed warnings occurring aboard the aircraft, just prior to it going down.

However, chief operating officer of the International Bureau of Aviation, Phil Seymour, speaking to CNN, believes the memory unit will not be of much use to investigators saying because of the depth it was located at, “If you were to throw a computer into the ocean, imagine how all the parts would eventually split and you have the corrosive effects of seawater and the depths involved.” Seymour believes the wreckage will help reveal what happened as more is recovered.

“It may be that the more wreckage they find will help them to piece it all together, which bit by bit could help them build a picture of what caused the plane to come down,” he added.

A BEA spokesperson had agreed with that possibility a few days earlier when speaking to the Associated Press about the recovery of the flight data recorder. “We can’t say in advance that we’re going to be able to read it until it’s been opened,” the spokesperson said. As

The wreckage of the Airbus A330-200, was found back on April 8 at a depth of 3,800 and 4,000 meters (2,070 to 2,190 fathoms or 12,467 feet and 13,123 feet), by a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, using a Remus robotic submarine and its side-scan sonar. After the wreckage was found, another Remus robot submarine with cameras was sent down to the site, where it filmed bodies in the wreckage. The location of the recorders were localized within 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) of the flight’s last position last year.

In March, a French judge placed the European aircraft maker Airbus and Air France under investigation for possible involuntary manslaughter charges in the 2009 crash. Both are paying the cost of the search which is estimated to be $12.7 million (nine million euro). The crash is the deadliest in Air France’s history.

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Posted: January 28th, 2023 by Admin

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Singapore police arrest death penalty book author

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Singapore police arrest death penalty book author

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Singapore police arrested British author and journalist Alan Shadrake one day after the launch of his book about the country’s use of the death penalty.

Shadrake, 75, was arrested on Sunday morning at a hotel in Singapore and taken into custody by police on charges of criminal defamation, in response to a complaint lodged by the city-state’s Media Development Authority (MDA) over the contents of his new book, Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock. Separately, the Attorney-General served Shadrake with an application for an order of committal for contempt of court, accusing him of “cast[ing] doubt on the impartiality, integrity, and independence” of Singapore’s courts through his book.

Shadrake’s latest book discusses alleged “double standards” in the country’s application of the death penalty, and contains interviews with local human rights activists, lawyers, and former police officers, including retired Changi Prison executioner Darshan Singh; Singh later claimed that he had been “tricked” into the interview. In earlier media comments, Shadrake stated that he expected “trouble” but no concrete action from authorities over his book, lest they draw even more attention to its claims. Retailers took his book off shelves after inquiries by the MDA; a spokesman for the MDA stated that the book was not banned, but suggested that booksellers “seek legal advice to ensure that the books they sell do not contravene Singapore laws”.

Shadrake has written for a variety of newspapers, including The Daily Telegraph of London as well as the New Straits Times of neighbouring Malaysia. His previous book, The Yellow Pimpernels, told the tale of various attempts to escape from East Germany over the Berlin Wall. If convicted, he faces a two-year imprisonment and a fine.

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Posted: January 27th, 2023 by Admin

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Wikinews interviews three figures from Donald Trump’s political past

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Wikinews interviews three figures from Donald Trump’s political past

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wikinews spoke with three people associated with the early political career of U.S. businessman Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination. Those interviewed include longtime political operative Roger Stone, a close associate of Trump and director of Trump’s 2000 presidential exploratory committee; journalist Dave Shiflett, co-writer of Trump’s 2000 campaign book The America We Deserve; and political consultant Russ Verney, who served as chairman of the Reform Party of the United States of America which Trump briefly joined.

In Trump’s highly publicized 2016 campaign, he has run under the banner of Make America Great Again, advocating a Mexican-funded wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, renegotiation of trade terms with other nations, and a temporary halt on the immigration of Muslims to the United States. He holds a considerable lead in Republican National Convention delegates over his opponents, winning 15 of the first 24 primary and caucus contests. Though this is Trump’s most visible campaign, it is not his first foray into electoral politics. He flirted with Republican presidential runs: first in 1987, when he purchased newspaper advertisements on foreign policy and delivered a campaign-like speech in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire; and then in 2011, when he briefly led nationwide opinion polls for the presidential nomination after questioning the citizenship of President Barack Obama. Trump’s most extensive campaign before now came during the 2000 presidential election when he opened an exploratory committee to consider seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party.

For 2000, Trump conducted various speeches and media appearances in support of his potential presidential campaign. He placed Stone in charge of his exploratory committee and hired Shiflett to work on what would become The America We Deserve. His chief opponent for the nomination was paleoconservative icon and eventual nominee Pat Buchanan who entered the race after ending his third unsuccessful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Based on Buchanan’s comments against American involvement in World War II, Trump attacked Buchanan as a “Hitler lover” and anti-Semite. Trump’s campaign received support from then-Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, the highest ranking elected official in the Reform Party. This placed Trump at odds with the faction of industrialist Ross Perot, the party’s founder and two time presidential candidate. Verney, a Perot confidante, was chairman of the party during Trump’s exploration. Though initially dismissive of the campaign, Verney eventually welcomed Trump into the race. However, the deep divisions within the party precipitated the exit of Ventura, and Trump did not seek the nomination. Despite leaving the race, Trump still appeared on Reform Party presidential primary ballots in California and Michigan, winning both states.

Over a five month period, Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn contacted the three previously involved in Trump’s politics to get their thoughts on his current presidential campaign, learn more about Trump’s political past including the true nature of his 2000 effort, and obtain details on his personality.

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Posted: January 27th, 2023 by Admin

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New Jersey officials: Stimulus bill hurting Atlantic City casinos

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New Jersey officials: Stimulus bill hurting Atlantic City casinos

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A New Jersey congressman says restrictions on federal stimulus money are hurting gaming destinations like Atlantic City, and he is seeking to repeal a provision banning the use of funds for casinos or other gaming establishments.

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“The demonization of gaming destinations such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City for business travel is wrong, wrong, wrong,” U.S. Rep Frank LoBiondo said Friday during a press conference in front of Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

The $787 billion federal stimulus bill passed in February specifically prohibits casinos from applying for funds for infrastructure improvements and other similar projects. LoBiondo said Atlantic City is losing millions of dollars in business as a result of that provision.

Casinos’ revenues dropped 19.2 percent in February 2009 month compared to February 2008, according to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. LoBiondo said $160 million worth of business and 120,000 visitors have chosen other cities for their tourism plans due to the stimulus bill, according to Atlantic City Convention Center figures.

The administration also recently determined other groups like nonprofit organizations and local governments may not spend their stimulus money at casino properties. State officials said the rules are damaging a major pillar of the New Jersey economy.

“Are those jobs somehow less important or less meaningful than those in the manufacturing, retail or financial industries?” said Ken Calemmo, chairman-elect of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

Anti-gambling officials said the stimulus law does not prohibit casinos from taking advantage of tax breaks, and Atlantic City officials should not complain about the stimulus bill because the city is too reliant on an unreliable revenue stream.

“There isn’t a state, including New Jersey or Nevada, that could gamble themselves rich, any more than an individual could gamble themselves rich,” said Tom Grey, field director for StopPredatoryGambling.org. “They should’ve diversified (the economy) instead of chasing their loss.”

But Joe Kelly, chamber president, said 35,000 people work at New Jersey casinos, and thousands more around the state work for outside vendors that depend on casinos for their business.

“It is not just an Atlantic County issue. It is not just a Cape May issue,” Kelly said. “There’s purchasing done by every county.”

LoBiondo is working to repeal the provision with U.S. Rep Shelly Berkley, co-chair of the Congressional Gaming Cascus, and has reached out to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has a history of representing the interests of the gaming industry.

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Posted: January 25th, 2023 by Admin

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US financier Madoff to remain free on bail

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US financier Madoff to remain free on bail

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A federal court in New York, New York ruled Monday that American financier Bernard Madoff can remain free on a US$10 million bond. Madoff faces charges of securities fraud in case that may reveal losses as large as US$50 billion. He was originally arrested on December 11, 2008.

Federal prosecutors had argued that Madoff had violated terms of his bail by mailing valuables to relatives from his Manhattan apartment, where he is under house arrest.

Judge Ronald L. Ellis ruled that, “The government fails to provide sufficient evidence that any potential future dissemination of Madoff’s assets would rise to the level of an economic harm.”

The judge, however, did say that “it is appropriate that his ability to transfer property be restricted as completely as possible.” Madoff will be required to submit a complete inventory of items in his apartment.

A Wall Street adviser, Madoff was arrested and charged by the FBI last December with a single count of securities fraud, also known as stock fraud and investment fraud. He allegedly told senior employees of his firm on December 10, that his business “is all just one big lie” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme [since at least 2005].”

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Posted: January 25th, 2023 by Admin

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SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch

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SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch

Monday, November 28, 2005

SpaceX called off the much-delayed inaugural launch of their new Falcon 1 rocket on Saturday from Kwajalein’s Omelek Island launch site. The intent was to launch the U.S. Air Force Academy’s FalconSat 2 satellite, which will monitor plasma interactions with the Earth’s upper atmosphere and magnetosphere.

The launch was delayed, then finally cancelled after an oxygen boil-off vent had accidentally been left open. The oxygen was unable to cool the helium pressurant, which then proceeded to evaporate faster than it could be replenished. A main computer issue, probably serious enough to cause a scrub on its own, was also discovered.

This long-anticipated flight was originally expected to be launched in January 2005, however a series of setbacks forced a series of delays, with the flight most recently scheduled to be in early 2006. It was intended to be launched from the Kwajalein atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The maiden voyage was originally intended to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a Naval Research Laboratory satellite and a Space Services Incorporated space burial payload.

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Posted: January 22nd, 2023 by Admin

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CFPB records fewer complaints in early days of US government shutdown

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CFPB records fewer complaints in early days of US government shutdown

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Unlike some parts of the US Federal Government, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been open during the federal government shutdown and recording a record-low number of complaints submitted by consumers against mortgage companies, credit card companies, student loan providers, banks, money transfer providers, companies who provide credit reports, and other companies providing consumer loans.

With data not available for yesterday, the first four days of the shutdown had daily totals of 37, 16, 13, and 3 complaints. With the exceptions of September 29 with 15 complaints and September 28 with 23, it is the lowest daily total since March 16 of this year when 36 total complaints were recorded and February 23 of this year with 14. The total complaints are also down from the same dates last year, when the total complaints per day for the first four days of October 2012 were 272, 298, 288, and 225.

Of the 69 filed complaints recorded so far this month, 27 were complaints about mortgage companies, 21 were about bank accounts and 10 were about credit card companies. 40% of credit card companies complaints, 42.9% of bank account complaints and 48.1% of mortgage complaints are currently listed as still in progress. Most of the rest have been closed with an explanation.

Bank of America leads all companies in terms of total complaints filed this month with 9. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC andJPMorgan Chase have 7 complaints each. Ally Bank, Sovereign Bank, and Wells Fargo have 4 each. Flagstar Bankand Equifax have 3 each. Citibank, Nationstar Mortgage, TD Bank, Amex, and FirstMerit Bank have 2 complaints each. 18 financial services companies have 1 complaint each filed against them.

During the government shutdown, some CFPB staff have voiced their opinions on Twitter. Dan Munz, deputy assistant director for consumer engagement at the CFPB, tweeted, “Boy, shutdown week has really created a sudden bumper crop of amateur federal management experts.”; “Also, seems like Boehner is singlehandedly undoing whatever progress he’d made in portraying this as a Dem [Democratic Party] shutdown.”; and “Basically, there’s now a strong incentive to fill legislation with minor symbolic things you can bargain away later to protect the core.”

The agency has been able to stay open during the government shutdown because it is funded by the Federal Reserve. According to Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post, Republican members of the United States House of Representatives have put closing the CFPB on their wish list of items in negotiating for a new debt ceiling limit. Party members have previously stalled the appointment of Richard Cordray as the CFPB boss as a way of hindering it from engaging in oversight of financial organizations in the the US.

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Posted: January 21st, 2023 by Admin

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