Correction — May 8, 2018 This headline incorrectly locates the tsunami in Southeast Asia; it was in the South Pacific, as stated in the lede. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A tsunami that was generated in the South Pacific by a powerful undersea earthquake has killed at least 110 people, according to authorities.

The majority of the fatalities occurred in Samoa, where rescue workers say at least 84 people were killed. Another 24 people are confirmed dead on American Samoa, while at least seven fatalities have been reported in nearby Tonga.

The US Geological Survey says an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck early Tuesday local time. It generated waves that devastated coastal areas, knocked down buildings and sent cars floating out to sea.

Strong aftershocks followed the initial earthquake, with at least one measuring a magnitude 5.6. Tsunami alerts were issued for the entire South Pacific region but were later canceled. Survivors fled to high ground and stayed there for hours.

Several villages were destroyed on the southern Samoan coast of Upolu, which is also home to many tourist resorts.

During a flight on from Auckland, New Zealand to Apia, Samoa, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told reporters he was shocked by the disaster. “So much has gone. So many people are gone. I’m so shocked, so saddened by all the loss.”

“The situation is very bad,” said Marie-Francoise Borel, a spokesperson for the International Red Cross, to the CTV News Channel by telephone. “This massive wave has swept across – it’s destroyed villages, it’s destroyed homes, people are in shock.”

The assistant chief executive of Samoa’s disaster management predicted that the death toll in the country could surpass one hundred, saying that searches for bodies in the region are still ongoing.

“They are still continuing the searches for any missing bodies in the area. Some areas have been flattened and the tsunami had brought a lot of sand onshore, so there have been reports the sand has covered some of the bodies. So we need specialised machines to search for bodies that are buried under the sand,” he said.

The communications head for the International Federation of the Red Cross, Jason Smith, told the Al Jazeera news agency that the Red Cross “[…] is working hard through five evacuation centres to provide people with safe places to stay and access to clean water,” estimating that up to 15,000 people in sixty villages were affected by the tsunami.

At the capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago, the tsunami measured 1.57 meters in height. The superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa Mike Reynolds reported four waves as high as six meters. People who experienced the quake said it was long, lasting from 90 seconds to three minutes.

We’re focused on bringing in the assistance for people that have been injured, and for the immediate needs of the tens of thousands of survivors down there.

Pago Pago city streets were strewn with overturned vehicles, cars, and debris. Some buildings located only slightly above sea level were completely destroyed by the waves, and power in some locations is not expected to be restored for up to a month. FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said that “we’re focused on bringing in the assistance for people that have been injured, and for the immediate needs of the tens of thousands of survivors down there.”

“The first federal team members are currently en route to American Samoa aboard a Coast Guard plane and will be providing on the ground assessments once they arrive on the island,” Fugate said. “FEMA, who has provisions pre-positioned in a distribution center in Hawaii, is also preparing to send supplies as needed to help meet the immediate needs of the survivors.”

Didi Afuafi, 28, who was riding on a bus in American Samoa when the tsunami struck, described her experiences. “I was scared. I was shocked. All the people on the bus were screaming, crying and trying to call their homes. We couldn’t get on cell phones. The phones just died on us. It was just crazy,” she said. “This is going to be talked about for generations.”

US President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in American Samoa, and has sent federal aid to support local recovery efforts in the US territory.

“My deepest sympathies are with the families who lost loved ones and many people who have been affected by the earthquake and the tsunami,” Obama said. He had earlier pledged in a written statement to give a “swift and aggressive” government response to the disaster.

“I am closely monitoring these tragic events, and have declared a major disaster for American Samoa, which will provide the tools necessary for a full, swift and aggressive response,” Obama said.

During a Wednesday appearance near Washington, D.C., the president said the US was ready to help its “friends” in neighboring Samoa and throughout the region.

In Tonga, seven people were confirmed dead and another three missing, after waves struck Niuatoputapu, a northern island.Acting prime minister Lord Tuita said in a statement that “according to information gathered from Niuatoputapu so far, seven people are confirmed dead, three missing and four with very serious injuries,” Lord Tuita, the acting prime minister, said in a statement. “It is reported that the tsunami did serious damage to the village of Hihifo, which is like the capital of the island.

“The hospital on the island is reported to have suffered major damage; telephone communication has been cut as a result of damage to equipment and facilities on the island; homes and government buildings have been destroyed,” he said.

An airplane was reportedly chartered by Tongan authorities to determine the amount of damage done to Niuatoputapu, but wasn’t able to land.



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.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

The small African nation of Swaziland will receive a financial bailout from neighbouring South Africa. The South African government agreed to a loan of 2.4 billion rand ($350 million) after several organisations including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rejected King Mswati III’s request for a bailout.

King Mswati III released a statement about the bailout saying, “We are thankful and also appreciate the assistance we have received from South Africa. This shows that they are good neighbours.” He added “But it must be stressed that this is not a gift but a loan, which naturally should be repaid. This is why every Swazi must play his or her role by working hard wherever he is to ensure that the country gets back to its feet the soonest.”

The King has been criticized for living with 13 wives in luxury while the majority of his country lives in poverty.

Despite the South African government’s agreement, the bailout has been met with some concern. The opposition in South Africa said that the government should reject the loan as Swaziland is an “undemocratic state”. However, the government has said that the bailout would bring stability to the state and surrounding region.

The loan is expected to help Swaziland, which is going through a financial crisis. The nation has reportedly been unable to pay some of its civil servants and could not afford antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV. Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world.

Earlier this year, the country saw a wave of protests and demonstrations related to the economic situation.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Elizabeth Mitchell, who plays Juliet Burke on the popular series Lost, has been cast in the ABC pilot for V, its remake of the classic science fiction television miniseries, according to an Entertainment Weekly report.

Although ABC and Warner Bros. officials told the magazine she was only cast as a guest star, the announcement led to speculation and concern that the casting could mean Mitchell’s character will be bumped off at the end of Lost‘s fifth season.

EW reports at least two characters will be killed during this season, which ends in May 2009.

During a January interview with New York magazine, Mitchell said of the Shakespearean roots in her name, ” I’m certain it’s not random because they’re never random. It does seem to me that she’s pretty much destined for tragedy, whichever way she goes, no matter how hard she tries to fight against it.”

Juliet, who was introduced in show’s third season, was one of the “Others” who were on the island before the main characters’ plane crashed there. She is currently involved in a love-quadrnagle with characters Sawyer, Jack and Kate.



Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Three Islamic militants were arrested by German police in Oberschloedorn, Germany, a remote village located north of Frankfurt. The suspects who had been trained in Pakistan belong to the so-called Jihad-Union. They are also reported as having strong links to Al Qaeda.

Two of the suspects were German citizens and one was a Turkish resident of Germany. They were found in possession of 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide, which was the main chemical used in suicide bombings in London in July of 2005. One of the suspects was supposedly willing to commit a suicide attack.

“They were planning massive attacks,” the German federal prosecutor, Monika Harms, said at a news conference, outlining a vast six-month investigation. The targets of the attacks were thought to include places used by Americans, such as the Frankfurt international airport, and the U.S. Air Force Base at Ramstein.

The plot was thought to have been planned to occur next week, 6 years after the September 11 tragedy.



Friday, March 28, 2008

2008 Taipei International Cycle Show (Taipei Cycle) & Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO) not only did a best reunion with conjunctions of the launch of Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition and the concurrent cycling race of 2008 Tour de Taiwan but also provide opportunities and benefits for sporting goods, bicycle, and athlete sports industries to establish the basis of the sourcing center in Asia and notabilities on the international cycling race.

Although the Taipei cycle was split from the TaiSPO since 1988, but the trends of sporting good industry in Taiwan changed rapidly and multiply because of modern people’s lifestyles and habits. After the “TaiSPO Innovation Award” was established since 2005, the fitness and leisure industries became popular stars as several international buyers respected on lifestyle and health.

For example, some participants participated Taipei Cycle and TaiSPO with different product lines to do several marketing on bicycle and fitness equipments, this also echoed the “Three New Movements” proposed by Giant Co., Ltd. to make a simple bicycle with multiple applications and functions. As of those facts above, Wikinews Journalist Rico Shen interviewed Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva, designer of “3G Steeper” to find out the possibilities on the optimizations between two elements, fitness and bicycle.



Thursday, November 23, 2006

The family of a woman who committed suicide recently after appearing on CNN Headline News Nancy Grace’s self titled show said Tuesday that they will be taking her to court.

Melinda Duckett, the mother of an infant son, Trenton Duckett, reported him missing on August 27, and fatally shot herself in her grandparents’ retirement home on September 8. Shortly before her death, she had appeared on Grace’s show, where she engaged in debate with the former Georgia prosecutor regarding her perceived lack of transparency regarding the disappearance. A suicide note was later found at the scene. The case made national headlines after her appearance.

“Nancy Grace and the others, they just bashed her to the end,” said Duckett’s grandfather, Bill Eubanks, during an interview with The Orlando Sentinel. “She wasn’t one anyone ever would have thought of to do something like this. She and that baby just loved each other, couldn’t get away from each other. She wouldn’t hurt a bug.”

Grace’s spokeswoman called the suicide “a sad development,” and Grace herself issued a statement saying, “I do not feel that our show is to blame for what happened to Melinda Duckett.”

“The truth,” said Grace, “is not always nice or polite or easy to go down. Sometimes it’s harsh, and it hurts.”

However, thesmokinggun.com, a true crime website run by Court TV (where Grace also hosts a show), revealed pending litigation by the family on the behalf of Melinda Duckett’s estate. Duckett’s family is issuing a wrongful death claim against both CNN and Nancy Grace.

After the murder of Grace’s fiancee in 1979, she became a prosecutor in her native Georgia and later hosted her own show on Court TV, followed later by her CNN tenure. Grace, however, has been criticized for her sense of ethics and allegedly playing fast and loose with the facts, both in the courtroom and on the air.

Grace’s heated interview, however, was not without proper motive. The police had long suspected Melinda Duckett of involvement in her son’s disappearance, due to her behavior and contradictory statements. After Duckett’s suicide, police named her as a prime suspect in her son’s disappearance. Recently, they have announced that they have reason to believe that Trenton Duckett is still alive.



Monday, April 23, 2012

English football club Wolverhampton Wanderers have been relegated from the Premier League after a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City. Goals from Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri confirmed the fate of Wolves, ending their three year spell in the top division of English football. Wolves are currently at the bottom of the table with 23 points.

Manager Terry Connor said to Sky Sports “It’s tough – a raw day. We knew coming in we had to try and win it – it is raw for the players, staff, supporters and everyone connected to Wolves. It probably will be for a few days”. He also commented about fans in attendance at the Molineux saying “They were superb today and for the majority of the season they’ve been great. Today is a raw, emotional day. I understand they’ll be hurting over the next weeks to come.”

The result also left Manchester City three points behind top of the table Manchester United. Should they defeat Manchester United on April 30 they will top the table on goal difference only. At the other end of the table sit Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers with 30 and 31 points respectively. Just outside of the relegation zone is Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers both on 34 points.



Sunday, November 20, 2005

The carcasses of two deer, a coyote, and a possum were dumped in the Delta Gamma Iota fraternity house on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana on November 10. The dead animals were apparently placed in the house while members slept. A repairman discovered the prank while working in the house’s kitchen.

Members left the house for at least a day while the animals were removed and the house was disinfected by the Delaware County Health Department.

The fraternity house is located off-campus and is recognized by Ball State — the DGI house is unaffiliated with the intra-fraternity council, however.

The animals were apparently “roadkill” (struck and killed by automobiles on the road). The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is investigating the incident due to the use of deceased animals in vandalism.



Monday, December 3, 2018

On Friday, German police investigators continued their previous day’s search of the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, for evidence of money laundering and other wrongdoing in connection to the group of leaked financial documents called the Panama Papers. A police spokesperson explained the roughly 170 searchers, including officers, prosecutors and tax experts, encountered such a volume of material the matter could not be concluded in one day.

The allegations are that, from 2013 onward, two employees of Deutche Bank helped clients to avoid taxes and other regulations by creating offshore companies. Bank officials announced Thursday they were cooperating with authorities but made no further comment.

The stock value of Deutsche Bank dropped roughly by half over the course of 2018. Last year, the governments of the United States and United Kingdom fined Deutsche Bank US$630 million for laundering money from Russia through its offices in Moscow and London. This fall, BaFIN, a German regulator, sent a special representative to order Detusche Bank to improve its anti-money-laundering practices and see that it did.

“Panama Papers” is an umbrella term for roughly ten million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, leaked to the press in spring 2016. The documents showed fourteen banks helped wealthy clients hide billions of US dollars of wealth to avoid taxes and other regulations. British newspaper The Guardian suggested Deutsche Bank controlled roughly a third of the 1200 shell companies used to accomplish this. There were protests worldwide, several criminal prosecutions, and the leaders of the governments of Iceland and Pakistan both resigned.

Ava Lee of anti-corruption organization Global Witness said, “Almost three years on, and law enforcement are still relying on the Panama Papers for their work. It shows how investigative journalism has been at the forefront of opening the door on a morass of morally dubious — and sometimes illegal — activity by banks[.]”

Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist who played a prominent role in investigation based on the Panama Papers, was killed in a car bombing last year.



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