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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Psychiatrist Dr Jerald Block tells Wikinews about addiction to the Internet

Dr Jerald Block is a psychiatrist based in Portland, Oregon, United States. Dr Block has attracted some media attention due to one particular theory of his - the idea that Internet addiction can be viewed as a distinct mental condition.

In an interview with Wikinews, Dr Block explains all about this theory, including what needs done about it, and the idea that withdrawal can cause a violent response from an adict.

>>>Click Here For The Full Exclusive Interview<<<

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Church of Scientology falsely accuses internet group 'Anonymous' of 2007 school shooting

>>Click here for the story you'll only see on Wikinews.<<
Digg! this article!

Wikinews has learned that the Church of Scientology has begun to falsely accuse the internet protest group Anonymous of a 2007 school shooting in Finland.

The Church, on October 18, 2008 accused Anonymous of being involved in the November 2007 shooting at Jokela High School, in which a man named Pekka-Eric Auvinen shot and killed nine people, and himself.

"Anonymous member Pekka-Eric Auvinen shot and killed seven students, a nurse and a teacher at Joleka High School in Finland before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life," said the Church in the October 18 press release. On October 17, the President of the Church of Scientology in New York City, John Carmichael, also accused Anonymous of being behind the shooting.

>>Click here for the story you'll only see on Wikinews.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oscar Diös tells Wikinews about his hostel within a Boeing 747

Oscar Diös is a Swedish businessman looking to invest in a new project within the aviation community. He's already bought the venture's first airliner, a Boeing 747-200.

However, his intention is not to start an airline, and the jet is not intended for flight. Instead, he plans to convert the airliner into a unique business which he calls the 'Jumbo Hostel'. The 450-seat widebodied jetliner will have 25 rooms sleeping a total of 85 people, including some in a luxury suite in the cockpit, and will sit at the entrance to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.

Built in 1976, the aircraft was an "old wreck" when acquired, according to Oscar. The aircraft was being offered for sale at Stolkholm-Arlanda after previous owner Air Transat became bankrupt. The airframe has then been completely gutted and is being fitted with a new, modernised interior. Each room contains three bunk beds. A cafe and a walkway accross the left wing are also featured.

The airliner will sit on a concrete platform at the airport's entrance, with its landing gear secured in steel cradles. It is intended to offer a good view of the day-to-day operation of the airport.
The hostel, which is to open in December, is aimed at families with children, aviation enthusiasts, low-budget travelers and people catching early morning flights who wish to leave it as late as possible before rising to get to check-in - unlike its competitors, the Jumbo Hostel is ten minutes walk from the check-in desks.

Wikinews conducted an email interview with Oscar Diös to talk about the hostel. The full exclusive interview is available below:

>>Click here for the full exclusive interview<<

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oprah Winfrey victim of death hoax

>Click here for the full story.

Internet rumors and also edits made here on Wikinews and Wikipedia, have been the victims of a recent hoax that the talk show host Oprah Winfrey has been found dead in her Chicago, Illinois home. The rumors are considered to be a hoax, connected with the online group known as Anonymous. Other reports say that the website is responsible for starting the rumor which began to spread quickly over the internet. The rumors started after a statement Winfrey made on a recent show, defending a United States Senate bill against pedophiles and child rapists saying a pedophile group has "9,000 penises" harming children. She was referring to a comment someone, left on her website claiming to be a pedophile. Wikinews can confirm through anonymous sources that the rumor was started by the group Anonymous and the website 4chan.

>Click here for the full story.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Records reveal US Senator John Sununu had ties to convicted lobbyist

>>Click here for the full story.

On October 24, 2001, convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and four Alexander Strategies Group associates donated $1,000 each to the Rely on Your Beliefs Fund. This political action committee in turn donated $3,000 to Representative John Sununu's primary campaign in New Hampshire on the same day, through the political action committee Team Sununu. The Greenberg Traurig lobbying company, which also employed Abramoff, gave $1000 to Team Sununu on December 16, 2002 for purposes of 'debt retirement.'

According to a report by the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Jack Abramoff commonly told Native American tribal clients to divert their funds through the Alexander Strategies Group. Earlier that October, Jack Abramoff had met with the legislative director of the Saginaw Chippewa tribe in Michigan. Representative John Sununu, now a sitting senator from New Hampshire, had served on the Appropriations Committee that helped draft the Department of Interior funding bill. In the section on Native American water claims, land claims, and miscellaneous payments, over $6,000,000 in funding was given to Michigan fishing in the Great Lakes.

>>Click here for the full story.

Alleged 'rights group' involved with removal of anti-Scientology videos from YouTube doesn't exist; says EFF‎

>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.

On September 4 and 5, at least 4,000 anti-Scientology videos were removed from the video sharing website, YouTube. The videos removed were done so by a single Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice by an alleged 'rights group' called the American Rights Counsel LLC, which Wikinews has confirmed, does not exist beyond the scope of those requests.

In an exclusive interview with Wikinews the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) acknowledged that they "don't know anything about" the Counsel and that any attempt to intentionally commit fraud by failing false DMCA requests, could lead to criminal charges.

"We don't know anything about this group. However, if these DMCA notices were sent improperly, there could be legal remedies. The particulars would depend on the particulars of the situation," Rebecca Jeschke, a spokeswoman for the EFF, told Wikinews.

>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Alleged 'rights group' tries to have 4,000 anti-Scientology videos removed from YouTube

>>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a rights group called the American Rights Counsel LLC has attempted to have at least 4,000 anti-Scientology videos removed from the video sharing website YouTube. Upon further investigation, Wikinews found that most videos and clips were added to YouTube by the copyright holders of the material; as DMCA requests are for the purposes of requesting removal where service providers host material that infringe on the copyright of the complainant, the merit of these requests remain questionable. It was also discovered that the alleged rights group does not exist as a physical entity. In an in-depth report, Wikinews investigated the incident and obtained exclusive information and interviews from individuals including Mark Bunker.

Within the past 24 hours, according to the EFF, the Counsel "sent out over 4000 DMCA takedown notices to YouTube, all making copyright infringement claims against videos with content critical of the Church of Scientology." A DMCA notice, or Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice means an attempt to limit the use of copyrighted material that is often infringing on the rights of an alleged copyright.

Wikinews made attempts to contact American Rights Counsel LLC for comment on the take-down notices, but was unable to obtain contact details for the alleged organisation. One post on a YouTube discussion page related to the organization states that they "do not appear to exist outside of these claims on YouTube." Wikinews contacted YouTube several times asking them if they have a process of verifying DMCA requests from individuals or entities claiming copyright infringement, but when they responded, they directed Wikinews to their terms of service saying, "item 8 addresses the DMCA and 8 B addresses counter-notice procedures."

>>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sinkhole reported in Buffalo, New York

>>Click here for the full story and exclusive photos.

Buffalo, New York – Officials in Buffalo, New York have closed a portion of a downtown street after a sinkhole was reported. At approximately 4:20 p.m. (Eastern time) Washington street between E. Eagle and Clinton was closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Wikinews was on scene and obtained exclusive photos and statements.

City officials say the sinkhole is located in an area under the road where a tunnel, about 40 feet wide, connects two buildings, formerly the AM&A's warehouse and department store which is now abandoned. It was first reported last week when portions of the blacktop were seen caving in near the sidewalks. When city engineers examined the holes, they found it to span the entire width of the street and nearly a half the block's length with the hole being nearly 15 feet deep. Officials say the only thing holding up the road, is the thin layer of concrete and asphalt that make up the road's surface.

>>Click here for the full story and exclusive photos.

Monday, September 1, 2008

News agencies suggest campaign operative for Republican Party edited article on vice presidential nominee

>>Click here for the full story.

Multiple news agencies, including the New York Times and CNET yesterday suggested that a campaign operative for Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, worked on the Wikipedia article on her in the 24 hours before the vice presidential candidate was announced. After seeing these allegations, Wikinews decided to investigate the claim further.

The user who allegedly added the content on Wikipedia was known as Young Trigg, and Wikinews has learned that the account was created at exactly 08:02 UTC on August 28. Just eight minutes after the user made their first edit to Wikipedia. In this first edit the user said that Palin "briefly worked as a sports reporter for local Anchorage television stations, while also working as a commercial fisherman with her husband, Todd, her high school sweetheart".

In the second edit Palin and her family were described as "avid outdoors enthusiasts." This edit also said that "Sarah and her father would sometimes wake at three am to hunt moose before school, and the family would regularly run 5k and 10k races".

Young Trigg made a total of 43 contributions and announced they would retire from Wikipedia at 07:58 UTC on August 31. In addition to editing the article on Sarah Palin, the user also gave an anonymously contributed to Wikipedia to say that Palin was the VP nominee before the official announcement

This unusual editing pattern aroused some suspicion among other editors of Wikipedia. One of these editors is Justen Deal, who told Young Trigg that "some of yours edits may have affected the article in such a way so as to reflect more favorably on the subject of the article."

>>Click here for the full story.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Australian school at centre of child-sex allegations pulls newsletter mentioning "Penthouse" as recommended reading

Click here for the full story.

The school at the center of child-sex allegations, St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia has removed a newsletter recommending Penthouse magazine as recommended reading for teenage boys. On the schools website, the newsletter has been replaced by a copy which omits these comments.

In the same newsletter, principal of the college John Edwards informs the school community that The Daily Telegraph had contacted him regarding sex abuse allegations.

The controversial comments were made by Ian MacDougall, a HSIE teacher. When asked what book he recommends every teenage boy read, he responded "Besides 'PeCENSOREDse' - any book that stirs the imagination/concious".

A parent who does not wish to be named told Wikinews she took the comment to mean Penthouse magazine.

Click here for the full story.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Staffs for US presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama caught making questionable edits to Wikipedia

>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.

Wikinews has learned through an investigation that the staffs for 2008 United States presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have been spending some of their time making questionable edits to Wikipedia, the open content, online encyclopedia. The investigation also found that Obama's campaign staff seems to be removing more questionable edits more often than they are making them. McCain's campaign staff favored less, in most cases removing unflattering information regarding certain articles.

While using the online internet tool Wikiscanner, Wikinews was able to determine the Internet Protocol Address range for the campaign headquarters for Obama, Obama For America and McCain, After determining the ranges, we were able determine the individual IP addresses used to edit Wikipedia and cross reference them to current edits as early as August of this year for both campaigns.

>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pastor Michael Guglielmucci admits his cancer was a hoax; Videos being removed from YouTube

>>Click here for the full story.

Christian Pastor for the Planetshakers youth movement in Australia Michael Guglielmucci has admitted that his cancer is a hoax. Wikinews has also learned that one of the churches he preached at has had videos showing his claims of cancer removed from YouTube, claiming copyright infringement. He has also admitted to being addicted to pornography for over 16 years.

>>Click here for the full story.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wikinews investigates claim McCain plagiarized speech from Wikipedia

>>Click here here for the full article.

On August 11, US Senator and 2008 presidential republican candidate John McCain gave a speech regarding the crisis between Georgia and Russia. Following the speech, a regular Wikipedia editor noticed that his speech was very similar to an article on Wikipedia also regarding the crisis, in what could be considered plagiarism. Wikinews was able to talk to that editor about how he found out about the similarities and what he did in response. Wikinews also took a deeper look at the claim and investigated further.

While reading the first few paragraphs, the Wikipedia editor Killing Vector, who wishes to be called by his contributor name in fear of retribution for coming forward with the claim, noticed a striking similarity to McCain's speech and the Wikipedia article on the country of Georgia. Not only did he notice the similarities, but after reading through the article's edit history, 'Killing Vector' noticed that his speech might have been lifted from Wikipedia, with some of the material in McCain's speech dating prior to the start of the Georgian and Russian crisis.

>>Click here here for the full article.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chloroform spill forces evacuation of building at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York

Click here for the full exclusive story.

Buffalo, New York – The Buffalo Fire Department and Police were called to a hazmat situation at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York after security reported that a one gallon container containing chloroform broke, spilling about a pint onto the floor of the college's science building.

Firefighters believe the container was knocked over while someone from maintenance was cleaning the floors. There are no reports of injuries.

Chloroform, developed in the 1800s, is used in creating Chlorodifluoromethane, or R-22 which is mainly used in air conditionings. It is also used in scientific experiments to tranquilize mosquitoes and can be used to tranquilize humans. It is also considered a hazardous material and environmentally unsafe.

Click here for the full exclusive story.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Searching for asteroids, extraterrestrial life a little more rocky: Budget cuts threaten to close Arecibo, world's largest radio telescope

>>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE report.

For nearly half a century the world's largest telescope, the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, has been observing the our solar system and the universe around it. Completed by Cornell University along with the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1963, Arecibo's enormous size gives it the ability to collect more light than any other telescope, allowing it to observe objects that are too faint for other radio telescopes to see. Its main purposes are radio astronomy, aeronomy and radar astronomy, but is probably most famous for its continuing use to search for and communicate with extraterrestrial life outside our solar system and beyond.

Now Arecibo is facing severe budget cuts which could ultimately close the facility. In an in depth exclusive report, Wikinews examined how much the observatory's budget was at risk and what the possible outcomes could be for the programs currently relying on Arecibo as their main research tool. Wikinews also spoke to several individuals closely affiliated with projects and facilities who use significant time at the observatory.

Currently, the NSF funds the operations of Arecibo with just over US$10 million every year. By 2011 they plan to drastically cut that funding to only $4 million a year, nearly 65% less than the current budget. To counter that loss, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill that would authorize NASA to spend at least 2 million dollars of their nearly $21 billion budget to fund portions of Arecibo until 2009. But that still leaves more than half of the loss to be recovered, and if something isn't done soon the facility will be closed by 2011 — or sooner if additional cuts are made.

>>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE report.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Chinese Wikipedia unblocked by government

Click here for the full story.

According to reports, the government of China has stopped restricting access to the English version of the Chinese Wikipedia.

The report originated on the Wikimedia Foundation's mailing list, although other sites have now covered the development. Wikinews has confirmed that the reports are accurate through discussion with people attempting to access Wikipedia from China.

Despite the report, there are still some issues with accessing the site according. Sources tell Wikinews that although the English version is unblocked, the Chinese version still remains blocked, or hard to access in many parts of the country. This comes after the Chinese unblocking of the all other language variations of Wikipedia few moths ago.

Click here for the full story.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Libel case against Wikimedia Foundation dismissed

Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.
*Image copyright Wikimedia Foundation. All rights reserved.

Wikinews has has confirmed through several sources that a lawsuit filed against the Wikimedia Foundation, the parent organization of the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, by the 'Barbara Bauer Literacy Agency' has been dismissed. As a result of the associated conflict, edits pertaining to Bauer on Wikipedia were deleted and, following the commencement of legal proceedings, Wikinews exclusively obtained the offending texts and edits.

At the start of the court action, Wikimedia asked the court to dismiss the case. "Wikimedia asks the Court to dismiss the claims against it, with prejudice. The claims against Wikimedia are frivolous because they are barred as a matter of law by the Communications Decency Act (47 U.S.C. § 230( c), "Section 230" or the "CDA"), by the First Amendment, and by New Jersey law. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia written by its users, the content of which can be created, edited, or removed by anyone. The claims arise from statements made on numerous Internet websites, which Plaintiffs assert describe them as being among the "20 Worst Literary Agents" and having "no...significant track record of sales to commercial (advance paying) published" states the motion filed in Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County," said the organization.

Before the case started, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a press release that defends against a suit Bauer filed against Wikimedia which states that contributors on Wikipedia posted "libel statements" against Bauer that labeled her as number three on a list of twenty people grouped as the "worst" publishing agents, and included allegations that she had "no documented sales" through her firm. Complaints filed against her and her firm state that Bauer had a bad record when dealing with "commercial publishers,", and questioning her practice of, "charge[ing] in advance of making a sale, against the generally-accepted industry practice."

Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

City to sue owner of partially collapsed 19th century livery in Buffalo, New York

>>Click here for the full story.

Buffalo, New York – Two weeks after a 19th century stable and livery on Jersey Street partially collapsed and caused 15 homes to be evacuated in Buffalo, New York, residents still do not have answers from the city despite a court order to work with them and come to an agreement on a way to save some or all of the building, Wikinews has learned. A rally was held at the stable's site where residents are hoping to bring more awareness to the situation and gain more support to save the building.

On June 11, a significant portion of the stable's right side wall collapsed into the yard of a resident's home. Authorities, including the Buffalo Fire Department were called to the scene to evaluate the collapse and evacuate 15 homes of residents surrounding the stable as a precautionary measure. The following day, the city ordered an emergency demolition on the building, which was stopped by a restraining order residents with Save The Livery ( won on June 14. Two weeks later, five homes are still evacuated and residents don't know when they will be able to return.

On June 19, Judge Justice Christopher Burns of the New York State Supreme Court ordered a halt to the emergency demolition and ordered the city and residents to come to an agreement to save the building, or at least a significant portion of it. Despite a court date today, no agreement has yet been reached between the two parties.

>>Click here for the full story.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

NY State Supreme court halts demolition of 19th century Stable in Buffalo

>>Click here for the full story.

Buffalo, New York – Judge Justice Christopher Burns of the New York State Supreme Court has ordered a halt to an emergency demolition on a 19th century stable and livery on 428-430 Jersey Street in Buffalo, New York that partially collapsed on Wednesday June 11, initially causing at least 15 homes to be evacuated. At least two homes remain evacuated.

Burns orders that both the city and the group Save The Livery ( have to come to an agreement on what to do with the building, and try to work out ways of saving at least some portions if it including the facade, side walls and a lift tower. Save The Livery is comprised of concerned area residents who have grown to love the building's historic and unique character. On June 14, they won a temporary restraining order to stop demolition. The court ruled that the city was only allowed to remove material in immediate danger to residents and pedestrians, but stated that the demolition could only be performed with "hand tools." The court also ordered that any rubble which had fallen into neighboring yards when the building collapsed, to be removed.

"It is in the interest of the city to have a safe environment--but also important to maintain a sense of historical preservation," stated Burns in his ruling. Burns has given the sides until tomorrow (Friday June 20) to come to an agreement and has ordered both parties to return to court at 9:30 a.m. (eastern time) "sharp." Activists of Save The Livery urge supporters of the stable to "fill the courtroom" to show "continued and ongoing support." The hearing is scheduled to take place at 25 Delaware Avenue in the Supreme Court building, 3rd Floor, trial part 19.

On June 17, developer and CEO of Savarino Companies, Sam Savarino was at the site of the stable, discussing the building with residents and preservationists. In 2006, Savarino proposed and planned The Elmwood Village Hotel, a 'botique' hotel on the Southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues. The project was later withdrawn after residents filed a lawsuit against Savarino and the city. Wikinews extensively covered the story, and contacted Savarino for his professional opinion on the building.

>>Click here for the full story.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wikinews interviews Finnish 'Rock 'N' Troll' band Kivimetsän Druidi

Kivimetsän Druidi‏ is a Finnish female-fronted band formed in 2002 whose music is a fusion of symphonic, fantasy and folk metal, which the band's website dubs 'Rock 'N' Troll'.

Brothers Joni and Antti Koskinen formed the band in Kuovola with Joni playing guitar and growling while Antti played keyboard and sings backing vocals. They joined up with a female lead vocalist, lead and bass guitarists and a drummer. The brothers write the songs between them, with Antti doing the main body and Joni writing the lyrics.

Together the band recorded and released three demos and an EP, all released independently, across 2002-6. Across October and November 2007 they gained international attention by supporting well-known Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani across a large European tour.

On June 6 this year Kivimetsän Druidi‏ was announced to have been signed to Century Media Records in a global deal. The band have now entered Noice Camp studio in Turku to record their debut, with a planned release date in October. This summer the only performances will be at a handful of festivals while the band works on their new album, but after that is released a major tour will follow to support it. The band say they are "extremely pleased" with the deal.

Wikinews was able to discuss these events and what the future holds for the band with the Koskinen brothers and female vocalist Leena-Maria Hovila, who also writes the vocal melodies in an exclusive interview, which is published below for the first time.

>>Click here for the full exclusive interview!!<<

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Temporary restraining order stops demolition of partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York

>>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE report.

Buffalo, New York – In an exclusive report, Wikinews has learned that a restraining order won area residents has temporarily stopped the emergency demolition of a three story building which partially collapsed on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 causing at least 15 homes to be evacuated in Buffalo, New York.

During the early afternoon hours on June 11, the Buffalo Fire Department was called to scene at 428 Jersey Avenue after residents called 9-1-1 stating that part of a building had collapsed. A large portion of a former livery and stable had collapsed into the yards of at least four houses that surround the stable. Some of the bricks landed inside the building, while some fell into the yards of some houses behind homes on Richmond Avenue, leaving a 'V' shape.

According to, a website set up and dedicated to "saving part of this historic structure", the restraining order was granted on Saturday, forcing demolition crews to halt their work. The site also states that court papers will be filed on Monday in an attempt to hold the owner Bob Freudenheim responsible for the damage done to the building, and surrounding properties. The site states that Freudenheim has neglected the building for "the last twenty years."

"We are an outraged and responsibly concerned group of neighbors and citizens who have rallied to oppose the impending demolition of the historic White Brothers Livery and Boarding Stable at 428 Jersey Street, just west of Richmond Avenue," says the site's mission statement. They seek to evaluate all options to saving the building before demolishing it, find immediate support to stop any further collapse, hold Freudenheim personally responsible for "endangering the public safety, and compensation of the city and neighbors for expenses incurred by being displaced from their homes." They also want the city to personally inspect any and all properties he owns and for him to surrender the stable to an interested party who would restore it.

>>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE report.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Surprise demolition of partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York met with opposition

>>Click here for the full story.

Buffalo, New York – Wikinews has learned that, in a surprising turn of events, the city of Buffalo located in New York, has ordered and begun an emergency demolition on a three story 19th century stable which partially collapsed on Wednesday June 11 causing at least five homes to be evacuated. Residents are not happy, and despite the short notice of the demolition, nearly 30 people showed up to protest it. Demolition was not supposed to begin until Monday June 16.

At about 2:30 p.m. (eastern time) on June 13, demolition crew arrived at the stable located at 428 Jersey Avenue and began to unload heavy equipment which will be used to demolish the building. This came as a surprise to residents, as demolition was not supposed to start until Monday June 16.

During the early afternoon hours on June 11, the Buffalo Fire Department was called to scene after residents called 9-1-1 stating that part of the building had collapsed. Material from the building fell into the yards of at least three neighboring houses. Some of the bricks landed inside the building, while some fell into the yards of some houses behind homes on Richmond Avenue, leaving a 'V' shape.

At about 3:30 p.m. crews began to demolish a small portion of the stable located behind Joe Murray's home, a resident who lives behind a portion of the building on Jersey and Richmond avenues. While demolition was taking place, the section collapsed into Murray's backyard, prompting a call to police. Some residents who own home surrounding the building were inside Murray's house holding a neighborhood meeting when demolition began. No one was injured when the section collapsed.

>>Click here for the full story.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York likely to be demolished

>>Click here for the full story

Buffalo, New York – Reports say that a large three-story stable which partially collapsed in Buffalo, New York on June 11, and caused as many as five home to be evacuated, is likely to be demolished.

During the early afternoon hours on June 11, the Buffalo Fire Department was called to 428 Jersey Avenue after residents called 911 stating that part of the building had collapsed. Material from the building fell into the yards of at least three neighboring houses. Some of the bricks landed inside the building, while some fell into the yards of some houses behind homes on Richmond Avenue, leaving a 'V' shape.

The city's preservation board held an emergency meeting today to discuss the issue. Wikinews has learned that the owner of the building, Bob Freudenheim, gave the city permission to demolish the building because he would not be "rehabilitating the building anytime soon." Freudenheim was part-owner of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and was also an advocate to stop the ''Elmwood Village Hotel'' from being built on the corners of Forest and Elmwood Avenues in 2006 and 2007, which ''Wikinews'' extensively covered. He also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built.

>>Click here for the full story

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Residents evacuated after partial building collapse in Buffalo, New York

>>Click here for the full story.

Buffalo, New York – At least 2 homes have been evacuated, and at least 14 others are on standby to evacuate in Buffalo, New York after a very large three story building partially collapsed on the city's West Side.

According to the Buffalo Fire Department, the number four side of an old horse stable 428 Jersey Street off Richmond avenue, collapsed from the roof line half way down the side and into the yards of at least three houses surrounding the building. Some of the bricks landed inside the building, while some fell into the yards of some houses behind homes on Richmond, leaving a 'V' shape.

"[The building] is well worth the designation" as a historical landmark, states Tim Tielman, of the Buffalo Preservation Board. Tielman states that he will likely bring the incident before the board as early as Thursday June 12 to discuss the issue.

>>Click here for the full story.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Buffalo, New York warehouse fire injures 12 firefighters

>>Click here for the full story and pictures.

Buffalo, New York – 12 firefighters in Buffalo, New York, United States have been taken to the hospital and are being treated for smoke and chemical inhalation after a massive fire broke out at a warehouse on Buffalo's west side early this morning. At least three fire companies are battling the blaze, which engulfed the entire warehouse sending a plume of smoke into the air which could be seen for several miles and at one point, darkened the sky. All 12 firefighters are being treated at Erie County Medical Center, but their conditions are not known.

The fire started at the Leisure Living Pool Supplies warehouse at 1130 Niagara street between West Ferry and Albany streets behind the Rich Products building at around 10:30 a.m. EDT (UTC-4). Firefighters worked to put the fire under control just before 12:00 p.m., but wind off Lake Erie reignited the fire at around 3:00 p.m. At around 7:00 p.m., most of the blaze was under control, but smoke could still be seen coming from the building. All employees from both Rich's and the chemical company have been sent home for the day and made it out safely.

Officials have urged all residents near the blaze to stay indoors and to shut all windows and doors due to the smoke which has been blowing close to the ground. At least one civilian who was inside a park at the foot of Ferry, was also taken to the hospital for smoke and chemical inhalation. Officials were able to evacuate the park and no other injuries were reported. At one point, the sun was blocked by the black smoke rising from the building.

>>Click here for the full story and pictures.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Controversial development training cited in religious discrimination lawsuits

>>Click here for the full story

A controversial development training course called "Landmark Forum" is cited in religious discrimination lawsuits in United States federal courts in New York and Washington, D.C. The seminars are run by a San Francisco, California-based for-profit training company called Landmark Education. The company evolved from Erhard Seminars Training "est" which was developed by Werner Erhard, and has faced criticism regarding its techniques and its use of unpaid labor. The sperm bank and surrogacy company Los Angeles-based Growing Generations is named as a defendant in the New York lawsuit, and the Democratic political action committee Twenty-First Century Democrats is a defendant in the Washington, D.C. case.

In separate lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, New York, and in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., former employees are suing their employers for monetary damages and claiming religious discrimination after their employers allegedly mandated that they attend courses at Landmark Education.

This is not the first time employees have sued claiming mandatory attendance at "Forum" workshops violated their civil rights. In a lawsuit filed in December 1988 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, eight employees of DeKalb Farmers Market in Decatur, Georgia sued their employer claiming their religious freedom and civil rights were violated when they were allegedly coerced into attending "Forum" training sessions.

Landmark Education itself has come under scrutiny for its controversial labor practices. The company has been investigated by the United States Department of Labor in separate investigations originating out of California, Colorado, and Texas. Investigations focused on the heavy reliance of unpaid labor in the company's workforce, which Landmark Education calls "assistants" and deems volunteers. Government labor inspectors in France have also investigated Landmark Education for its employment practices and use of unpaid labor.

>>Click here for the full story

Friday, May 16, 2008

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

>>Click here for the full story.
>>Click here to Digg this article.

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd's List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship.

Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

>>Click here for the full story.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

University hosting panel continues discussion on Wikipedia ethics without Wikimedia

>>Click here for the full EXCLUSIVE story.

Wikinews has learned that the Wikimedia Foundation has decided not to participate in a panel discussion that is to take place at Santa Clara University in California. The discussion, which is titled 'The World that Wikipedia Made,' was to be based on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and ethics involved in the editing of the website. It is the ninth such meeting in a series on technology, ethics, and law and is taking place today.

In an e-mail to Wikinews, Miriam Schulman the communications director for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University which is to host the discussion, states that Mike Godwin, legal counsel for the Foundation, will not be speaking during the discussion as was originally planned.

According to Schulman, the Foundation canceled Godwin's scheduled appearance just one week ago and has decided not to have anyone from the foundation replace him. Valleywag, a gossip website about technology, recently reported that Godwin was not attending due to a "groundswell of criticism of Wikipedia," something Schulman denies.

"I don't want to speak for Mr. Godwin or WikiMedia, but someone else made an incorrect assumption about this, so let me clarify that in our understanding, the problem was never with the composition of the panel. Mike Godwin, General Counsel of Wikimedia, was scheduled to participate in the panel, 'The World that Wikipedia Made,' on May 15. Last week, Mr. Godwin informed us that he would not participate, and subsequent discussions with Wikimedia Foundation indicated that they would not designate a replacement speaker," stated Schulman to Wikinews.

>>Click here for the full EXCLUSIVE story.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wikimedia Foundation receives copyright infringement claim from Mormon Church

>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.

The Wikimedia Foundation has received a copyright infringement claim from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. The infringement claim is in reference to a URL used as a source in a Wikinews article about Mormon Church documents leaked to the website Wikileaks, titled "Copy of handbook for leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints obtained by Wikinews". The URL was originally cited as a link in the sources subsection of the article. The Wikimedia Foundation is a donor-supported non-profit organization which runs Wikipedia and Wikinews. This is the first time that the Wikimedia Foundation has received a copyright infringement claim regarding an article published by Wikinews.

The Wikinews article, originally published on April 19, described material in the Church Handbook of Instructions. The work is a two-volume book of policies and is a guide for leaders of the Mormon Church. Wikinews obtained the Church Handbook of Instructions from Wikileaks, a whistleblower website which publishes anonymous submissions of sensitive documents while preserving the anonymity of its contributors. Wikileaks describes the material as significant because "...the book is strictly confidential among the Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka LDS in short form) bishops and stake presidents and it reveal [sic] the procedure of handling confidential matters related to tithing payment, excommunication, baptism and doctrine teaching (indoctrination)."

>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story.

Monday, May 5, 2008

'Suspicious package' causes closure of busy street in Buffalo, New York

>>Click here for the full Special Report.

Buffalo, New York – Early Cinco De Mayo celebrations were interrupted after a suspicious package caused the closure of a busy street in Buffalo, New York's Allentown District. For nearly three hours on Monday May 5, 2008 a busy street, popular with bars and hotels, was shut down while authorities examined the package.

According to Buffalo Police spokesman Mike DeGeorge, workers in the offices on the 500 block of Delaware Avenue witnessed a suspicious person placing a suspicious package inside a United Parcel Service (UPS) drop box at around 4:30 p.m. EDT (UTC-4).

"It is my understanding that at about 4:30 this afternoon, a call went out for a suspicious person. Police responded and it appears there may have been a suspicious individual who was acting somewhat suspicious when he threw or tossed a package into a UPS box," DeGeorge stated to reporters.

"The individual had a package under his jacket which tipped off the person as being suspicious. He dropped the package into the [box], and made his way out to Delaware Ave. towards Allen," stated Buffalo Police Lt., K Szyszkowski.

When police arrived on scene, they evacuated the offices at 570 and the New York State Health Department building at 584 Delaware Avenue, while the Erie County Bomb Squad was called in to examine the drop box and the packages. The street between Allen and North was shut down to traffic while police secured the scene. When Wikinews freelance reporter Jason Safoutin arrived on scene, at least 20 people were standing outside the buildings, most of whom appeared to be office employees.

>>Click here for the full Special Report.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

US Dept of Justice IP address blocked after 'vandalism' edits to Wikipedia

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>>Click here to Digg this article.

Wikinews has learned that a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) IP Address has been blocked on Wikipedia after making edits to an article which were considered "vandalism". In two separate instances, the IP address from the DOJ removed information from the Wikipedia article about the organization Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), regarding an attempt by the organization to secretly gain influence on the site. The IP address has been confirmed by Wikinews to be registered and used by the DOJ located in Washington, D.C.

On April 21, Electronic Intifada published a report based on leaked emails written between CAMERA and Wikipedia contributors who are allegedly planning to gain influence on the online encyclopedia. Information about CAMERA's campaign to influence Wikipedia was first added to the site's article about the organization on April 21 by user 'Bangpound', who cited the Electronic Intifada article.

According to the edit history on the Wikipedia article CAMERA, the entire subsection relating to this controversy was removed by the IP address, which is hosted by '' and is used by the DOJ. The IP address removed information regarding CAMERA's plan to "cooperate with prominent Wikipedia editors to promote a Zionist viewpoint and oppose pro-Arab viewpoints on Wikipedia" at least two separate times, on April 24 and April 25.

The IP address belonging to the DOJ also made edits identified as vandalism to the Wikipedia articles Tracy Jordan, Roger Ebert, and James E. Akins. After several warnings on the IP address's "talk page", the IP address was blocked for four days for "repeated vandalism." Several hours prior to the DOJ edits, an IP address also from Washington D.C.,, removed the same information. Wikinews can confirm the IP address is located in Washington D.C. and belongs to Verizon.

>>Click here for the full EXCLUSIVE story.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Crimes on Wikipedia: A Wikinews interview

>>Click here for the full EXCLUSIVE interview.
>>Click here to Digg this article.

Wikinews interviewed Wikipedia administrator John Reaves, the administrator who contacted police in Los Angeles about the threats made on Wikipedia.

A 15-year-old boy, arrested last Friday in conjunction with criminal threats made on Wikipedia, was charged Thursday with seven felonies in Pomona Juvenile Court in Pomona, California. Prosecutors stated that the teen posted two threats on Wikipedia, saying that six named students as well as members of his school's badminton team would be shot. The court arraignment had initially been set for Tuesday, but was continued until Thursday. Wikinews interviewed the Wikipedia administrator who contacted police after the threats had been made on the site.

Though officials had said the boy made a full confession that he had made threats to other students via the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, he denied the charges at the Thursday court petition. The court ordered that he remain detained pending a May 9 scheduled appearance before Pomona Juvenile Court. He has remained in custody since his arrest.

The threats were made via two separate edits to the Wikipedia article about Glen A. Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, California on April 16. Wikipedia administrators were made aware of the threats in a post to the "Administrators' noticeboard" on April 16 by Wikipedia admin Dreadstar. Another Wikipedia administrator, John Reaves, contacted the police in Los Angeles, California, and helped them work with the Internet service provider to find more information on the IP address that made the threat. A third Wikipedia administrator, Persian Poet Gal, removed the threats from the edit history of the article after finding out that the student had been arrested.

Students' backpacks were searched prior to entering Glen A. Wilson High School on April 17 and all after-school activities were canceled that day. All classes were canceled April 18, and classes resumed on Monday.

>>Click here for the full EXCLUSIVE interview.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Semi truck crashes into viaduct in Buffalo, New York - According to police in Buffalo, New York, no one was injured after a semi truck carrying paper from Ontario, Canada hit a railroad viaduct, tearing the truck in half.

At approximately 11:00 p.m. (eastern time) on April 21, an unidentified man driving the truck westbound on Walden Avenue between Wasmuth and Roetzer streets hit the viaduct which tore his truck in half sending debris and cargo over most of the road.

Police describe the truck's cabin as a "can of sardines."

"He made it all the way through, but his truck looks like a can of sardines," said officers on police radio communications who were on scene.

The driver was given a traffic citation and admits he did not notice signs posted along Walden which state the bridge's clearance.

The street and the viaduct remained closed into the early morning hours of Tuesday April 22. According to Don Poleto of the city's Public Works office, the bridge was not damaged.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Getting even with the law: Wikinews interviews New York City's 'Jimmy Justice'

>>Click here for the full EXCLUSIVE interview.

>>Click here to Digg this article.

A civilian known as 'Jimmy Justice' who resides in New York City (NYC), New York, the largest city in the United States, has been videotaping NYC police officers and city workers, breaking the law while on the job.

Since 2007, he claims to have caught "hundreds of officers and other city employees violating the law," and says he has them all on camera. He has posted his best confrontations with them to the video sharing website YouTube. As a result, Justice states that he has been asked to do a United States television show and Wikinews got an exclusive interview with him. For protection, Justice wished not to be called by his real name in fear of police retaliation.

Last year, Justice videotaped a police officer parking in front of a fire hydrant, but has only recently gained attention on social networking news sites such as Digg and So Wikinews contacted Mr. Justice, known as JimmyJustice4753 on YouTube, for an exclusive interview to find out what caused him to get revenge on the law.

On June 30, 2007, Justice caught officer E. Anderson of the NYPD, traffic division, parking directly in front of a fire hydrant while she went inside a restaurant to take a 15 minute lunch break.

Since 2007 Justice says he has caught "hundreds of law enforcement officers and city officials" on "over 30 hours of video" violating laws from illegal U-turns in business districts to blocking bus stops and fire hydrants. Justice has only uploaded the "most colorful ones to YouTube" and recently, on April 8, 2008, Justice videotaped a NYPD tow truck officer blocking a hydrant while he also ate lunch inside a restaurant. According to NYC law, it is illegal for any vehicle to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant and to park in front of a bus stop. It is also illegal for any person to make a U-turn in a business district. Fines for these violations can cost a driver up to US$115.00 for each violation occurred.

>>Click here for the full EXCLUSIVE interview.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Halema`uma`u crater erupts in Hawaii, USA

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What began as a new gas vent (fumarole) in Halemaʻumaʻu crater sometime between March 10 and March 12 2008, has progressed to be the first explosive eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater since 1924, and the first lava erupted from the crater since 1982. The gases accompanying the eruption have prompted the Hawaiʻi Dept. of Health to announce no-burn days for the island sugar cane industries.

The March 19 explosion of the gas vent partially destroyed the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater Overlook. On April 9 2008, thousands of people were evacuated from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the nearby villages because sulfur dioxide reached critical level creating a very dangerous vog. The evacuation lasted two days. Two more explosions occurred on April 9 2008 and April 16 2008, the latter spreading a faintly pink ash on the overlook parking lot. Scientists think molten lava may reside at shallow depth within the new vent.

Halemaʻumaʻu is a pit crater located in the summit caldera, of Kīlauea, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The roughly circular caldera measures 3x5 km (or 6x6 km, including the outermost ring faults). According to the traditions of the native people, Halemaʻumaʻu is home to Pele, Goddess of Hawaiian volcanoes.

>>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE pictures.

Copy of handbook for leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints obtained by Wikinews

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Wikinews has obtained a copy of the General Handbook for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The document, which was obtained via Wikileaks, was previously only made available to leaders of the church.

It provides information on a variety of different issues. One of these is receiving organ donations. “The decision to receive a donated organ should be made after receiving competent medical counsel and confirmation through prayer,” says the handbook.

The handbook also explicitly bans assisted suicide. It claims that “a person who participates in euthanasia, including so-called assisted suicide, violates the commandments of God.”

>>Click here for the full story.

California student arrested in criminal threats made on Wikipedia

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A student at Glen A. Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, California was arrested Friday on suspicion of making criminal threats against students. The student arrested, described as a male minor by Hacienda La Puente Unified School District police, confessed to making threats against students at the high school via a post to the Wikipedia article about the school.

The student was arrested on Friday at approximately 11:30 a.m. PST, according to a statement from Hacienda La Puente Unified School District Department of Police and Safety Chief Al Vasquez made to Pasadena Star-News. The student made "a complete confession", said Superintendent Barbara Nakaoka to the Whittier Daily News. She also said that "Our police officers are continuing to work with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to determine the validity of the threat."

Sheriff's Lt. Victor Sotelo told the Whittier Daily News that the police filed a "detain petition" which recommends that the minor not be released to his parents, and be held at Juvenile Hall. The California Youth Authority will decide what happens next to the boy. Lt. Sotelo said that law enforcement searched the student's home and recovered evidence.
>Click here for the full story.

Eric Bogosian on writing and the creative urge

Eric Bogosian is one of America's great multi-dimensional talents. "There's sort of three different careers, and any one of them could exist by itself, on its own two feet. There was that solo stuff, and then I started writing plays in the late seventies." Although his work has spanned genres, most readers will recognize Bogosian for his acting, which has included a memorable performance in Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry to co-writing and starring in the Oliver Stone movie Talk Radio (based upon his Pulitzer Prize-nominated play) to playing the bad guy in Under Siege 2 to his current role in Law & Order: Criminal Intent as Captain Danny Ross. They may not know, however, that he had collaborated with Frank Zappa on a album, worked with Sonic Youth, and was a voice on Mike Judge's Beavis & Butthead Do America. He started one of New York City's largest dance companies, The Kitchen, which is still in existence. He starred alongside Val Kilmer in Wonderland and his play Talk Radio was recently revived on Broadway with Liev Schreiber in the role Bogosian wrote and made famous.

Currently at work on his third novel, tentatively titled The Artist, Bogosian spoke with David Shankbone about the craft of writing and his life as a creative.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

YouTube accounts of Scientology critics suspended

>>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story and interviews.
>>Digg this article.

Two well-known critics of Scientology have had their user accounts on the video sharing website YouTube suspended. The YouTube accounts of both Tory Christman and Mark Bunker were suspended this week. In an exclusive statement to Wikinews, YouTube explained why accounts are suspended, but did not specifically state why these particular accounts were suspended. Neither Christman nor Bunker received a notice or explanation from YouTube as to why their accounts were suspended.

On Tuesday April 15, Tory Christman a former Scientologist and volunteer for their Office of Special Affairs, and known as ToryMagoo44 on YouTube, had her account suspended for unknown reasons. On Wednesday, after complaints to YouTube from other YouTube users and from members of the group Anonymous, Christman's account was restored.

Wikinews confirmed Friday that Mark Bunker known as 'xenutv1' on YouTube, a television journalist and critic of Scientology, had his user account suspended. This is the second time that Bunker's account was suspended. He was formerly known as 'xenutv' when his account was suspended the first time.

"I want to see the complaint and on what grounds did YouTube suspend my account. I have done nothing on that account that would violate any of their terms and my videos and account should not have been pulled. The only caveat to this is my first account "XenuTV" was suspended a while back for a Steven Colbert video I had from Comedy Central. At that time I created XenuTV1 and according to YouTube's terms you can only have one account. Any time I have ever been asked to remove something that may violate their terms for copyright materials, I comply immediately. It would be wrong and a misuse of power to pull my account because of this lone loophole in their terms," said Bunker exclusively to Wikinews.

>>Click here for the EXCLUSIVE story and interviews

Monday, April 14, 2008

Teräsbetoni frontman J. Ahola on representing Finland at Eurovision 2008 & more

Teräsbetoni means "steel-reinforced concrete", and is also the name of a Finnish heavy metal band formed in 2002. Their music, which centres on an honourable warrior lifestyle or on metal itself, quickly became popular in 2003 on the Internet, resulting in a petition by fans being sent to several record labels demanding a recording deal. In late 2004 the band signed to Warner Music Finland, and the following year debut single Taivas lyö tulta rose to number one in the Finnish charts, and debut album Metallitotuus hit number two and went platinum, and has now sold about 47,000 copies.
The band, who sing exclusively in Finnish, have just released their third album, Myrskyntuoja. The lead single on this album is Missä miehet ratsastaa, which Teräsbetoni decided to enter in the Finnish selections for the 2008 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, where it was selected to go on to the semi-final in Belgrade, Serbia as Finland's representative this year. Although Finland has seen limited success in the contest, their only victory was with a comparable group. In 2006 hard rock band Lordi - whose monster costumes and pyrotechnic displays are famed - achieved a record 292 points in the final with Hard Rock Hallelujah.
Teräsbetoni's frontman, vocalist and bass guitarist Jarkko Ahola's fame extends beyond the band he heads. He also features in Finnish symphonic power metal cover supergroup Northern Kings, alongside Marco Hietala of Nightwish and Tarot, Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica and Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto of Charon.
Wikinews was able to conduct an exclusive interview with Jarkko Ahola to discuss these various achievements. >> Click here for the full exclusive interview

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wikinews interviews team behind the 2,000th featured Wikipedia article

>>Click here to read the full EXCLUSIVE interview.

This week saw the English-language version of Wikipedia, the collaboratively written online encyclopedia, reach 2,000 featured articles with the inclusion of the article El Señor Presidente. Featured articles (FAs) meet Wikipedia's highest standards for quality, accuracy, neutrality, completeness, and style, and thus are considered the best articles on Wikipedia.

The Wikipedia team that carries out the assessment and quality control before conferring the status of featured articles promoted five articles to FA status at the same time: Walter de Coventre, Maximian, El Señor Presidente, Lord of the Universe, and Red-billed Chough. With five promoted at the same time, conferring the status of 2,000th on one is an arbitrary decision and in some respects any of these articles could actually make a claim to the honour.

The article El Señor Presidente was created and developed by a University of British Columbia class, "Murder, Madness, and Mayhem: Latin American Literature in Translation". While an important milestone, the 2,000th featured article is also symbolic of Wikipedia's growing role in the 21st century learning arena.

The professor of the class, Jon Beasley-Murray, began using Wikipedia as a collaborative space where his students could both do coursework and provide a type of virtual public service. Thus, he created a Wikipedia project, Murder Madness and Mayhem, that focussed on creating articles relating to the Latin American literature covered in his class. Not surprisingly, El Señor Presidente is considered one of the most important books in Latin American literature, written by Nobel Prize-winning Guatemalan writer, Miguel Ángel Asturias.

The Wikinews team contacted Prof. Beasley-Murray, who agreed to be interviewed for this story. His responses can be found below. Included are sections soliciting responses from two students who took the class and helped create and bring El Señor Presidente to Feature Article status. Thus far the project has created seven good articles in addition to the 2,000th featured article.

>>Click here to read the full EXCLUSIVE interview.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Authorities in Belgium raid Church of Scientology

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According to reports, authorities in Belgium have seized documents, financial records and computer equipment form the local branch of the Church of Scientology (Church) and then sealed off the building.

The reports state that the Church in Belgium is being investigated for extortion and fraud for allegedly posting false job openings in newspapers and then attempting to get those who applied to join the Church. Several ex-members of the Church has also reportedly approached authorities with accusations of intimidation and extortion.