Out of a record number of applications and 273 nominees, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has chosen the Wikimedia Foundation as one of the 2008 Pioneers of Technology. 38 other organisations or companies have also been selected for the list of pioneers.
"Technology Pioneers are companies that have been identified as developing and applying highly transformational and innovative technologies in the areas of energy, biotechnology and health, and information technology," said a press release issued by the Forum.
The Wikimedia Foundation was chosen in part because of the ability to provide free, collaborative knowledge which is distributed by people all over the world and its involvement in "the development of life changing technology innovation" with the "potential for long-term impact on business and society, demonstrating visionary leadership and having a proven technology," referring to Wikipedia, Wikinews, Wikiversity and Commons.
Click here for the full story.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
On November 15, 2007, Wikinews reported about an internal United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo, in an exclusive report, detailing the threat of al-Qaeda and Hezbollah to the mainland of the U.S. and us interests abroad.
The authenticity of the 27-page document can now be undeniably confirmed. Wikinews, in another exclusive report, has obtained a DHS video of a recording from the briefing on the report, which is presented by Steven Maebus, a representative for the DHS and ex U.S. army intelligence officer of 21 years. The video also shows the memo projected onto a screen, in nearly 20 slides, so that the attendees of the briefing can see it in detail.
Maebus, who says he is at the briefing "on behalf of his boss Charles Allen," who is the chief intelligence officer and former CIA member of 50 years, talks about "threats to the homeland" and begins to go into detail about alleged foiled terror plots involving bombs, and individuals overseas. The briefing was held on or around the date of October 22, 2007, and the alleged plots and threats not mentioned in the memo, took place within the "past few weeks," says Maebus.
Click here to see the full story.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Wikinews is currently taking questions for nine past 'America's Next Top Model' contestants in our next free, collaborative interview.
The following past contestants will be interviewed:
Jennipher (Cycle 3)
Michelle (Cycle 4)
Keenyah (Cycle 4)
Furonda (Cycle 6)
Brooke (Cycle 7)
Jaeda (Cycle 7)
Samantha (Cycle 8)
Diana (Cycle 8)
Whitney (Cycle 8)
We encourage anyone and any agencies to ask a question. If you would like to be part of this interview, please go here and ask your questions(s) at the bottom of the page.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
In the 18 months since Andrea Muizelaar was crowned winner of the reality TV series Canada's Next Top Model, her life has been in a complete whirlwind. From working in a dollar store in her hometown of Whitby, Ontario, to modeling haute couture in Toronto, she had reached her dream of becoming a true Top Model.
But at what cost? Unknown to casual television viewers, Muizelaar had been enveloped in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which inevitably became too much for her to bear. She gave up modeling and moved back to Whitby, where she sought treatment for her disorder, re-entered college, and now works at a bank. Where is she now? Happy and healthy, she says.
Recently Andrea Muizelaar sat down with Wikinews reporter Mike Halterman in a candid interview that stretched to nearly two hours, as she told all about her hopes and aspirations, her battle with anorexia, and just what really happened on Canada's Next Top Model.
Despite the hopes of many University of Wisconsin at Madison 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 UWM 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.
David Shankbone a freelance journalist writing for Wikinews sat down to interview Chet Clem and Sean Mills about the news empire that has become The Onion.
You can see the full interview by clicking here.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Naked News' slogan reads “The Program With Nothing to Hide,” and everything holds true to that. The Canadian-based programme presents the news completely bare, with little exception, including a segment they present outside naked. The exception being if they are in the process of disrobing, or if they are reporting a tragic news event. Gabriel Pollard, writing for Wikinews, interviewed Victoria Sinclair about the “sensual, but not sexual” Naked News, and her presenting role.
The show had a fairly basic start, with two friends, Fernando Perreira and Kirby Stasnyk, bluntly thinking that the news would be better presented naked. Sinclair said, “In this case, these men had the means and the will to turn their idea into reality.” A Russian program with a similar concept, "600 seconds" on M1 TV, in which news anchor Svetlana Pesotskaya removed an article of clothing after each story, received high ratings within eight months of its introduction in 1999. Naked Broadcasting Network Inc. also started a male edition in 2001, but this was later discontinued a few years later due to lack of interest from its key demographic, the gay community. It failed to get the same kind of grounding experienced by the female edition. Later imitators in Hong Kong and Japan have also proved successful.
In 1999—its inception—Naked News only had around 8,000 subscribers of a free five-minute show hosted on Daily Dirt. They now boast six million paid subscribers to a much longer news programme of 22-minutes produced every six days from 172 countries worldwide. Lead Anchor and spokeswoman Victoria Sinclair puts the success of the international viewership due to the “captivating, saucy, and certainly different” way of presenting the news.
Click here for the full story.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Last night HBO premiered I Am An Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA. Since its, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has made headlines and raised eyebrows. They are almost single-handedly responsible for the movement against animal testing and their efforts have raised the suffering animals experience in a broad spectrum of consumer goods production and food processing into a cause célèbre.
PETA first made headlines in the Silver Spring monkeys case, when Alex Pacheco, then a student at George Washington University, volunteered at a lab run by Edward Taub, who was testing neuroplasticity on live monkeys. Taub had cut sensory ganglia that supplied nerves to the monkeys' fingers, hands, arms, legs; with some of the monkeys, he had severed the entire spinal column. He then tried to force the monkeys to use their limbs by exposing them to persistent electric shock, prolonged physical restraint of an intact arm or leg, and by withholding food. With footage obtained by Pacheco, Taub was convicted of six counts of animal cruelty—largely as a result of the monkeys' reported living conditions—making them "the most famous lab animals in history," according to psychiatrist Norman Doidge. Taub's conviction was later overturned on appeal and the monkeys were eventually euthanized.
David Shankbone, a freelance journalist writing for Wikinews attended the pre-release screening of 'I Am An Animal' at HBO's offices in New York City on November 12, and the following day he sat down with Ingrid Newkirk to discuss her perspectives on PETA, animal rights, her responses to criticism lodged against her and to discuss her on-going life's work to raise human awareness of animal suffering. Below is her interview.
Click here for full story.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Buenos Aires, Argentina – On Saturday the 17th of November, thousands of lesbians and gays marched in the 16th Gay Pride Parade in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.
During the early hours of the evening, a crowd of people began to gather in the traditional and historical Plaza de Mayo, near of the Casa Rosada, seat of the country's executive power. The police positioned operatives by the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral to avoid clashes between Catholic groups and those protesting for gay and lesbian rights.
In statements made exclusively to Wikinews, the chairwoman of the National Institute Against the Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (INADI) expressed that the march was of utmost importance.
"This is an advance for democracy, that we can gather so many people to celebrate diversity. We must work against all type of discrimination, and especially on this day against homophobia, and also pursue the rights not afforded us; for example, the identity of transsexual people," stated María José Lubertino, chairwoman of the INADI.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Drag—dressing in the clothing atypical of your born gender—in recent years has found mainstream success. Films such as Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar have prominently featured drag performers. But they have all focused on men in drag as women.
Murray Hill is a comedian, emcee and performer. He is also a drag king. Called "The Hardest Working Middle-aged Man in Show Business", The New York Times christened him "the current reigning patriarch of the downtown performance community." He is seemingly everywhere, emceeing a bingo night at the now closed, Jimmy Fallon-backed Mo Pitkins' House of Satisfaction on Avenue A, or hosting the Polyamorous Pride Day in Central Park. Hill has become a legend in New York's "anything goes" counterculture theater scene who is beginning to find mainstream success; which would be a first for a drag king.
David Shankbone's examination of New York City's culture has brought him to the whip's end of a BDSM dungeon, on the phone with RuPaul, matching wits with Michael Musto, grilling Gay Talese, eating dinner with Augusten Burroughs and quizzing the bands that play the Bowery Ballroom. In this segment he talks to downtown legend Murray Hill, former New York City mayoral candidate and comedian, on the last night of Mo Pitkins' House of Satisfaction.
GO HERE TO READ THE INTERVIEW.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department in the Netherlands has confirmed to the Dutch magazine Intermediair that it will temporary suspend access to Wikipedia for it's 30,000 employees, following recently revealed vandalism by staff members.
The magazine has confronted the department with some untasteful edits which originated from their IP addresses. Anonymous users are registered through these unique internet fingerprints when they edit Wikipedia. The magazine exposed the vandalism through Wikiscanner.nl, a website which combines a database of Wikipedia alterations with a server database from large institutions. The site can be used to reveal which organisations are behind anonymous Wikipedia editors.
One of the edits involved the article on the murder of controversial filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a muslim extrimist, which shocked the Netherlands and led to an intense debate about integration and the safety of public figures. In 2005, the vandal added to the article that Mr. van Gogh was riding his bicycle through a street in Amsterdam "with his penis hanging out of his pants" when he was shot.
>> READ THE FULL STORY
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
In an exclusive report, Wikinews has obtained documents via Wikileaks that state al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and or single interest groups is planning to attack the United States homeland within three years, this according to a 27-page internally distributed memo circulated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the threat of al-Qaeda. The document also details al-Qaeda's threat in other parts of the world including Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and Pakistan. Wikileaks claims that the report was published on October 22, 2007.
"Al-Qaeda is intent in striking the U.S. homeland and the U.S. will face a persistent and evolving terrorist threat over the next three years. Al-Qaeda homeland plotting is likely to continue to focus on prominent political, economic, and infrastructure targets. Lebanese Hezbollah may (also) attempt to attack the Homeland and non-muslim, 'single-issue' groups will probably conduct attacks," stated the report which also said that likely targets include the "mass transit sector and the aviation sectors."
Click here for the full story and link to the report.
Kasur Tashi Wangdi was appointed Representative of the Dalai Lama to the Americas on April 16, 2005. He had previously served as His Holiness' representative in Delhi, the Indian capital. He has served the Tibetan government-in-exile since 1966, starting as a junior officer and rising to the highest rank of Kalon (Cabinet Minister). As a Kalon, he at one time or another was head of the major ministries, including the Department of Religion and Culture, Department of Home, Department of Education, Department of Information and International Relations, Department of Security, and Department of Health. He is not a Buddhist scholar but describes himself as a civil servant. He possesses a BA in Political Science and Sociology from Durham University.
Wikinews reporter David Shankbone recently spoke to him about Chinese-Tibetan relations, the status of the Panchen Lamas, the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th and current Dalai Lama, the appointment of Tibetan high monks by the Chinese government and some of the Dalai Lama's views on topics on religions and societal topics.GO HERE TO READ THE INTERVIEW
In an exclusive report, Wikinews has obtained an internal FBI document from Wikileaks detailing symbols used by organized pedophiles to identify one another.
Wikileaks obtained the document though an organization in Spain called "child erotica networks." The document was supposed to be issued to local law enforcement agencies under "Crimes Against Children Standing Intelligence Requirements." According to Wikileaks, the document was only briefly published by the Ann Arbor, Michigan police department in a newsletter, which was later removed from the internet.
The document, which is titled Symbols and Logos Used by Pedophiles to Identify Sexual Preferences states that "pedophiles, to include those who sexually abuse children as well as those who produce, distribute, and trade child pornography, are using various types of identification logos or symbols to recognize one another and distinguish their sexual preferences."
Click here for the full story and pictures.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Wikinews is currently taking questions for Canada's first 'Top Model' in our next free, collaborative interview.
We encourage anyone and any agency(s) to ask a question. If you would like to be part of this interview, please go here and ask your questions(s) at the bottom of the page.
Vanity Fair contributing editor Craig Unger on the Bush family feud, neoconservatives and the Christian right
In a recent interview with the Dalai Lama’s Representative to the Americas, Tashi Wangdi, David Shankbone remarked to him that Americans have trouble relating to centuries-long conflicts that exist between peoples around the world, including those in Asia. Many Asian countries dislike each other tremendously, and the conflict over Tibet is just one enduring multi-national battle. Americans wonder why other people can not settle their differences and get along, like we do in the United States.
According to Vanity Fair contributing editor Craig Unger, it is not that Americans do not have these deep-seeded conflicts; it is that they do not remember them and thus have no context in which to see them as they resurface in our political culture.
On the same day he spoke to the Dalai Lama’s representative, Shankbone sat down with Unger, author of The New York Times best-seller House of Bush, House of Saud. In his new book, The Fall of the House of Bush, Unger attempts to fill in some of the blanks of an epochal narrative in American politics. Using a mix of painstaking research, interviews with cultural and political leaders and delving into previously classified records to come up with some overview of how America has arrived at this particular political moment.
To make sense of such complicated history, Unger draws upon three themes: He illustrates the conflict within the modern Republican Party via the oedipal conflict between George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush. Things are not well within the House of Bush. Bush Jr. has not only shut out his father and his allies from his administration—something Bob Woodward discovered in his interviews with the President—but he also appointed many of his father’s bitterest enemies to key cabinet positions.
Unger’s second theme draws upon this Bush family feud: many of Bush Sr.’s foes happen to be leaders of the neoconservative movement, who had been working against the President’s father since the 1970’s. Back then the neoconservatives did not have a base of political support within the Republican Party, which brings Unger to his third theme: the marriage between the neoconservatives and the Christian right to create a formidable ideological block.
Unger is a Fellow at the Center for Law and Security at NYU’s School of Law. In addition to his work at Vanity Fair, he is a former editor-in-chief of Boston Magazine, and former Deputy Editor of the New York Observer. A journalist of the old school who believes in verifying his sources’ veracity, Unger illuminates the Republican Party’s ideological struggle between the old and the new and traces its history for those who do know it.
Unger disputes the recent assertion by The New York Times that these forces are dead; they are thriving. Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Craig Unger about his book, The Fall of the House of Bush.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I got a lot of this report from a police scanner and an anonymous witness. I read this over and over, and still cannot comprehend, thinking: What the hell?
The Buffalo Fire Department is currently investigating how 12 "fire bombs" ended up inside an abandoned apartment house on 15 Allen Street in Allentown, a neighborhood in Buffalo, New York on Wednesday November 7.
In an exclusive report, Wikinews has learned from a witness who wishes to remain anonymous, that at approximately 12:00 p.m. EST (UTC-5) Heidi Garner called 9-1-1 to report that while walking her dog, it had been attacked by two other dogs when it sniffed under a gate of the house. When police arrived to investigate and retrieve the assaulting dogs, they entered the house and found the 12 fire bombs. It is not known what the devices were made of or what the explosive material was, but unconfirmed reports say the main explosive source was gasoline.The Hazmat team, the bomb squad and emergency services were then dispatched to the scene, to dispose of the devices according to witness reports. It is known where they were taken.
Click here to read the full article, and see what happened to the dogs
>> Full story
India is the latest of the countries where the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) experiment has started. Children from the village of Khairat were given the opportunity to learn how to use the XO laptop.
What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellan while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother's amorous pursuit.
The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950's America and that White's work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.
David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White's enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Every year around November 5th, people in Great Britain and some parts of the Commonwealth celebrate Guy Fawkes night to commemorate the dissident from York and his Roman Catholic conspirators who failed to blow up the houses of Parliament on November 5, 1605. This so-called Gunpowder Plot is celebrated with firework displays and sparklers, bonfires and Guy Fawkes effigies.
>> Read more on Wikinews
Sunday, November 4, 2007
In the 1980's and the 1990's there were multiple allegations of sexual abuse of children or non-consenting adults in the context of Satanic rituals that has come to be known as The Satanic Panic. In the United States, the Kern County child abuse cases, McMartin preschool trial and the West Memphis 3 cases garnered worldwide media coverage. One case that took place in Jordan, Minnesota, when children made allegations of manufacturing child pornography, ritualistic animal sacrifice, coprophagia, urophagia and infanticide, at which point the Federal Bureau of Investigation was alerted. Twenty-four adults were arrested and charged with acts of sexual abuse, child pornography and other crimes related to satanic ritual abuse; only three went to trial with two acquittals and one conviction. Supreme Court Justice Scalia noted in a discussion of the case, "[t]here is no doubt that some sexual abuse took place in Jordan; but there is no reason to believe it was as widespread as charged," and cited the repeated, well-intentioned but coercive techniques used by the investigators as damaging to the investigation.
One of the most visible Satanic organizations--though one that was never a suspect of charged in any of the Satanic Panic cases--was the Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey. Members of the Church, such as Peter Gilmore, Peggy Nadramia, Boyd Rice, Adam Parfrey, Diabolos Rex, and musician King Diamond, were active in media appearances to refute allegations of criminal activity and the FBI would later issue an official report debunking the criminal conspiracy theories of this time.
LaVey's teachings are based on individualism, self-indulgence, and "eye for an eye" morality, with influence from Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand; while its rituals and magic draw heavily from occultists such as Aleister Crowley. They do not worship--nor believe in--the Devil or a Christian notion of Satan. The word "Satan" comes from the Hebrew word for "adversary" and originated from the Abrahamic faiths, being traditionally applied to an angel. Church of Satan adherents see themselves as truth-seekers, adversaries and skeptics of the religious world around them.
On a windy October day in Central Park, David Shankbone sat down with the High Priest of the Church, Peter Gilmore, who has led a LaVey's congregation of Satanists since his passing. They discussed the beliefs of the Church, current events, LaVey's children and how Satanism applies to life and the world.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Wikinews is currently preparing an interview with Tashi Wangdi, the representative for Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama and we need questions to ask him.
Anyone can ask a question. If you would like to participate, then go here to the interview page and post your question. If there is not already a section that interests you, then you are welcome to start a new one.
You have to hurry though, because the representative is only available for a short period.
>>Click here to ask a question<<