Women reveal accounts of forced abortion in Scientology

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scientology is facing renewed criticism, due to an extensive exposé in the Florida newspaper the St. Petersburg Times which contains revealing accounts of women involved in the organization who say they were forced to have abortions. Multiple different female members of the Scientology group called the Sea Org said they were pressured to have abortions, and were threatened with separation from their families, hard labor, interrogations, and shunning, if they did not comply.

Women that came forward to the St. Petersburg Times said that those who did not wish to undergo an abortion were shunned by others within the Sea Org group, and were labeled as “out ethics” and “degraded beings”. The Sea Org consists of 6,000 members of Scientology, who sign billion-year contracts to work for the organization for multiple lifetimes. Joining the Sea Org is considered a high calling within Scientology.

L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, stated his appreciation for families within the Sea Org. Scientology’s subsequent leader, David Miscavige, issued an order that children were to be banned in the Sea Org. The mandate by Miscavige asserted that children hampered the productivity of the Scientology order.

There is no church policy to convince anyone to have an abortion, and the church has never engaged in such activity.

Scientology representative, Tommy Davis denied all of the assertions made by the women. “There is no church policy to convince anyone to have an abortion, and the church has never engaged in such activity. The decision to have a child or terminate a pregnancy is a personal decision made by a couple. That applies to all Scientologists. If any current or former Sea Org member ever ‘pressured’ someone to have an abortion, they did so independently, and that action was not approved, endorsed or advocated by the church,” stated Davis to the St. Petersburg Times.

Another woman is suing the Scientology organization in United States federal court, and stated she was threatened with severe repercussions if she did not have an abortion. Claire Headley, 35, a member of the Sea Org when she was in Scientology, told the St. Petersburg Times, “The policy was if a staff member became pregnant, that they were to have an abortion.”

In 1991, Headley became a member of the Sea Org at age sixteen, and began work with the division of the organization in Los Angeles, California. She married at age seventeen, while a member of the organization. Headley said that officials within Scientology leadership pressured her to have two abortions: one at age nineteen, and another at age 21. Headley believed she had “no choice”, as she had witnessed other women that refused to have abortions instructed to perform manual labor, with one pregnant woman ordered to dig ditches. Headley said that during pressure to have her second abortion she was forbidden to phone her husband to discuss the decision. She spent a total of thirteen years in the Sea Org.

The policy was if a staff member became pregnant, that they were to have an abortion.

Laura Dieckman, 31, said that she was enthusiastic about beginning a family when she became pregnant within Scientology at age seventeen, but was instructed to have an abortion. In a federal lawsuit against Scientology, Dieckman stated she joined with the Sea Org at the age of twelve, and at age sixteen she married another member of the group, Jesse DeCrescenzo. She said she was pressured to have an abortion in 1996.

Dieckman said to the St. Petersburg Times: “I was pounded for two days by the top person in my organization … about how the baby wasn’t a baby yet, it was just tissue and it wouldn’t matter if I aborted the baby.” Dieckman left Scientology in 2004. In a video posted to the website of the St. Petersburg Times, Dieckman emotionally recounted how she had immediately regretted going through with the procedure, “They will do an ultrasound before the procedure so you see the heartbeat. … I’m lying there … and I was like, ‘No.’ But it’s too late. I’d already done it.”

Natalie Hagemo said that 20 years ago at age nineteen, she was pressured by Scientology officials to have an abortion, but she resisted. Hagemo gave birth to Shelby on August 20, 1990. Hagemo’s daughter was recruited into the Sea Org at age 14. Shelby contacted her mother a week later wanting to leave the Sea Org; Hagemo had a difficult time getting Shelby out of the group. It was not until this year that Hagemo told her daughter about experiencing pressure from Scientology officials to have an abortion.

The St. Petersburg Times received sworn depositions from additional women including Sunny Pereira, who said they were intimidated into having abortions they did not wish to undergo. “They put you in this position where you’re weighing the lives of all these people you’re supposed to be saving against this one little tiny speck of nuisance that’s growing inside of you,” said Pereira. Spokesman Tommy Davis stated the women were accusing Scientology of forced abortions because of choices they now “appear to regret”.

In Nevada, Republican party candidate for the United States Senate, Sharron Angle, was the focus of criticism for her support of a Scientology-associated program. Angle’s opponent, incumbent Senator and Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid, took out a 30-second negative political ad critical of Angle for supporting “a Scientology plan to give massages to prisoners”. The prison program Angle had supported was based on techniques developed by Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Angle had previously been the subject of a similar ad in the Republican primary, generated by the campaign of her opponent Sue Lowden. Sharron Angle is pro-life, and The New York Times columnist Ramesh Ponnuru noted her position against abortion helped her win the Republican primary. “Angle would not have been able to unite populist conservatives and beat the party establishment’s candidate had she been pro-choice,” noted Ponnuru.

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A380 makes maiden flight to US

A380 makes maiden flight to US
April 17th, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, was set to land in the United States of America on Monday after a test flight. One of the A380s is flying from Frankfurt to Chicago via New York; the airplane will be carrying about 500 people.

It is being billed as the first time it has carried a near-normal number of passengers, though most will be staff of Airbus and German airline Lufthansa.

A second A380 is also travelling to the U.S. on Monday, but without passengers. This will be branded as a Qantas flight and fly from Frankfurt to Los Angeles LAX airport. The first leg of the flight going towards New York will be travelling under a Lufthansa flight number, and is due to arrive at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport at 12:30 EST (16:30 UTC).

The test flights are being used to monitor everything from how easily the plane docks at the terminal gate to the way the in-flight dining and entertainment services work. Deliveries to Singapore Airlines, its launch customer, are not due until October – two years late.

Delays of the production of the A380 have cost Airbus more than 6 billion dollars. Airbus has warned there could be additional charges to come.

These monetary problems have led to a recently-announced restructuring program at Airbus, called Power8, in which 10,000 jobs go and several factories will be sold to Airbus partners. France will lose 4,300 jobs, followed by Germany having a loss of 3,700 jobs, while the United Kingdom and Spain will see 1,600 and 400 jobs cut respectively.

The Belgian government has announced that it will give up to 150 million (US$ 199 million) in aid to help sub-contractors which supply Airbus and employ thousands of workers.

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Excavators: A Condensed Soup

April 17th, 2021 | Civil Excavation And Demolition Services |

Submitted by: Robert Tate

Innovation; it is what drives the people of the world to a better life. It is innovation that allowed the excavator to come into being. The excavator is a vehicle that is composed of a moveable arm attached to a bucket for scooping, as well as an operator s cab mounted on a rotating platform. These sit atop an underbody with either tracks or wheels, depending upon the application. Excavators are commonly used in the digging of trenches and foundations, material handling, demolition, river dredging, mining, and grading and landscaping.

The vehicle itself is produced in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Smaller vehicles are called compact excavators while larger ones are simply called excavators. Recently, hydraulic excavators have opened up new possibilities in the capabilities of the machinery. The equipment is now capable of compacting, pulverizing, hammering, and grappling objects through the use of attachments. Several newer excavators include quick-attaching mounting systems to simplify the attachment process on the job site. Another advancement in the potential of the machinery occurred in the early nineteen-nineties. The Komatsu Engineering Company noticed that a counterweight that was built into the rear of machines to provide more lifting capacity obstructed the excavators ability to turn in constricted areas, thus rendering it relatively useless in such situations. Therefore, the company launched a prototype model that eliminated the counterweight design; this type of machinery is now extensively used throughout the world.

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Akin to many things, the realm of excavators has its own language, so to speak. There is a distinct set of vocabulary that is associated with the machinery; the devices themselves are sometimes referred to as diggers or three-hundred and sixty degree excavators. Also, excavators are sometimes called front hoes because of the location of their bucket. An excavators bucket moves in the same way as a backhoes’ — that is, toward the machine. Therefore, the previously mentioned term is incorrect.

An interesting side note is that excavating technology has even made its way onto Mars with the one of the exploration rovers. It features a robotic excavating arm controlled by an embedded operating system or the NASA Operations Center on Earth. The excavating arm is festooned with a bucket, auger, camera, and various sensors; the system has failed many times, however. This is because of the intense weather conditions on Mars.

Essentially, excavators are what have driven the world into this age of technologically advanced buildings and cities. The excavator is an advanced piece of machinery, complete with a bucket, articulated arm, and tacks or wheels. It is used for digging, auguring, mining, material handling, and many other things. Modern excavators allow for the use of many attachments such as drills and grappling devices. It has its own set of vocabulary that is used to describe the equipment itself and various attachments. All in all, the excavator is a beautiful vehicle in both the engineering sense and design. The excavator is an innovation. Perhaps you will one day create an innovative product too.

About the Author: Robert Tate Region Sales Manager of Mascus UK. Mascus is an electronic marketplace for used trucks, trailers and tractors. Mascus makes trading in


more efficiently by collecting all information about supply and demand in one place. Contacts: Robert Tate Regional Sales Manager – UK Mob:+ 44 (0) 7970 230055 E mail:


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ACLU, EFF challenging US ‘secret’ court orders seeking Twitter data

ACLU, EFF challenging US ‘secret’ court orders seeking Twitter data
April 16th, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Late last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed objections to the United States Government’s ‘secret’ attempts to obtain Twitter account information relating to WikiLeaks. The ACLU and EFF cite First and Fourth amendment issues as overriding reasons to overturn government attempts to keep their investigation secret; and, that with Birgitta Jonsdottir being an Icelandic Parliamentarian, the issue has serious international implications.

The case, titled “In the Matter of the 2703(d) Order Relating to Twitter Accounts: Wikileaks, Rop_G, IOERROR; and BirgittaJ“, has been in the EFF’s sights since late last year when they became aware of the US government’s attempts to investigate WikiLeaks-related communications using the popular microblogging service.

The key objective of this US government investigation is to obtain data for the prosecution of Bradley Manning, alleged to have supplied classified data to WikiLeaks. In addition to Manning’s Twitter account, and that of WikiLeaks (@wikileaks), the following three accounts are subject to the order: @ioerror, @birgittaj, and @rop_g. These, respectively, belong to Jacob Apelbaum, Birgitta Jonsdottir, and Rop Gonggrijp.

Birgitta is not the only non-US citizen with their Twitter account targeted by the US Government; Gonggrijp, a Dutch ‘ex-hacker’-turned-security-expert, was one of the founders of XS4ALL – the first Internet Service Provider in the Netherlands available to the public. He has worked on a mobile phone that can encrypt conversations, and proven that electronic voting systems can readily be hacked.

In early March, a Virginia magistrate judge ruled that the government could have the sought records, and neither the targeted users, or the public, could see documents submitted to justify data being passed to the government. The data sought is as follows:

  1. Personal contact information, including addresses
  2. Financial data, including credit card or bank account numbers
  3. Twitter account activity information, including the “date, time, length, and method of connections” plus the “source and destination Internet Protocol address(es)”
  4. Direct Message (DM) information, including the email addresses and IP addresses of everyone with whom the Parties have exchanged DMs

The order demands disclosure of absolutely all such data from November 1, 2009 for the targeted accounts.

The ACLU and EFF are not only challenging this, but demanding that all submissions made by the US government to justify the Twitter disclosure are made public, plus details of any other such cases which have been processed in secret.

Bradley Manning, at the time a specialist from Maryland enlisted with the United States Army’s 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, was arrested in June last year in connection with the leaking of classified combat video to WikiLeaks.

The leaked video footage, taken from a US helicopter gunship, showed the deaths of Reuters staff Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen during a U.S. assault in Baghdad, Iraq. The wire agency unsuccessfully attempted to get the footage released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 2007.

When WikiLeaks released the video footage it directly contradicted the official line taken by the U.S. Army asserting that the deaths of the two Reuters staff were “collateral damage” in an attack on Iraqi insurgents. The radio chatter associated with the AH-64 Apache video indicated the helicopter crews had mistakenly identified the journalists’ equipment as weaponry.

The US government also claims Manning is linked to CableGate; the passing of around a quarter of a million classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Manning has been in detention since July last year; in December allegations of torture were made to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the conditions under which he was and is being detained.

Reports last month that he must now sleep naked and attend role call at the U.S. Marine facility in Quantico in the same state, raised further concern over his detention conditions. Philip J. Crowley, at-the-time a State Department spokesman, remarked on this whilst speaking at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; describing the current treatment of Manning as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid”, Crowley was, as a consequence, put in the position of having to tender his resignation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Despite his native Australia finding, in December last year, that Assange’s WikiLeaks had not committed any criminal offences in their jurisdiction, the U.S. government has continued to make ongoing operations very difficult for the whistleblower website.

The result of the Australian Federal Police investigation left the country’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, having to retract a statement that WikiLeaks had acted “illegally”; instead, she characterised the site’s actions as “grossly irresponsible”.

Even with Australia finding no illegal activity on the part of WikiLeaks, and with founder Julian Assange facing extradition to Sweden, U.S. pressure sought to hobble WikiLeaks financially.

Based on a State Department letter, online payments site PayPal suspended WikiLeaks account in December. Their action was swiftly followed by Visa Europe and Mastercard ceasing to handle payments for WikiLeaks.

The online processing company, Datacell, threatened the two credit card giants with legal action over this. However, avenues of funding for the site were further curtailed when both and Swiss bank PostFinance joined the financial boycott of WikiLeaks.

Assange continues, to this day, to argue that his extradition to Sweden for questioning on alleged sexual offences is being orchestrated by the U.S. in an effort to discredit him, and thus WikiLeaks.

Wikinews consulted an IT and cryptography expert from the Belgian university which developed the current Advanced Encryption Standard; explaining modern communications, he stated: “Cryptography has developed to such a level that intercepting communications is no longer cost effective. That is, if any user uses the correct default settings, and makes sure that he/she is really connecting to Twitter it is highly unlikely that even the NSA can break the cryptography for a protocol such as SSL/TLS (used for https).”

Qualifying this, he commented that “the vulnerable parts of the communication are the end points.” To make his point, he cited the following quote from Gene Spafford: “Using encryption on the Internet is the equivalent of arranging an armored car to deliver credit card information from someone living in a cardboard box to someone living on a park bench.

Continuing, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) expert explained:

In the first place, the weak point is Twitter itself; the US government can go and ask for the data; companies such as Twitter and Google will typically store quite some information on their users, including IP addresses (it is known that Google deletes the last byte of the IP address after a few weeks, but it is not too hard for a motivated opponent to find out what this byte was).
In the second place, this is the computer of the user: by exploiting system weaknesses (with viruses, Trojan horses or backdoors in the operating system) a highly motivated opponent can enter your machine and record your keystrokes plus everything that is happening (e.g. the FBI is known to do this with the so-called Magic Lantern software). Such software is also commercially available, e.g. for a company to monitor its employees.
It would also be possible for a higly motivated opponent to play “man-in-the-middle”; that means that instead of having a secure connection to, you have a secure connection to the attacker’s server, who impersonates Twitter’s and then relays your information to Twitter. This requires tricks such as spoofing DNS (this is getting harder with DNSsec), or misleading the user (e.g. the user clicks on a link and connects to tw! or Twitter.c0m, which look very similar in a URL window as It is clear that the US government is capable of using these kind of tricks; e.g., a company has been linked to the US government that was recognized as legitimate signer in the major browsers, so it would not be too large for them to sign a legitimate certificate for such a spoofing webserver; this means that the probability that a user would detect a problem would be very low.
As for traffic analysis (finding out who you are talking to rather than finding out what you are telling to whom), NSA and GCHQ are known to have access to lots of traffic (part of this is obtained via the UK-USA agreement). Even if one uses strong encryption, it is feasible for them to log the IP addresses and email addresses of all the parties you are connecting to. If necessary, they can even make routers re-route your traffic to their servers. In addition, the European Data Retention directive forces all operators to store such traffic data.
Whether other companies would have complied with such requests: this is very hard to tell. I believe however that it is very plausible that companies such as Google, Skype or Facebook would comply with such requests if they came from a government.
In summary: unless you go through great lengths to log through to several computers in multiple countries, you work in a clean virtual machine, you use private browser settings (don’t accept cookies, no plugins for Firefox, etc.) and use tools such as Tor, it is rather easy for any service provider to identify you.
Finally: I prefer not to be quoted on any sentences in which I make statements on the capabilities or actions of any particular government.

Wikinews also consulted French IT security researcher Stevens Le Blond on the issues surrounding the case, and the state-of-the-art in monitoring, and analysing, communications online. Le Blond, currently presenting a research paper on attacks on Tor to USENIX audiences in North America, responded via email:

Were the US Government to obtain the sought data, it would seem reasonable the NSA would handle further investigation. How would you expect them to exploit the data and expand on what they receive from Twitter?

By requesting 1) and 2) for Birgitta and other people involved with WikiLeaks (WL) since 2009, one could derive 2 main [pieces of] information.
First, he could tell the mobility of these people. Recent research in networking shows that you can map an IP address into a geographic location with a median error of 600 meters. So by looking at changes of IP addresses in time for a Twitter user, one could tell (or at least speculate about) where that person has been.
Second, by correlating locations of different people involved with WL in time, one could possibly derive their interactions and maybe even their level of involvement with WL. Whether it is possible to derive this information from 1) and 2) depends on how this people use Twitter. For example, do they log on Twitter often enough, long enough, and from enough places?
My research indicates that this is the case for other Internet services but I cannot tell whether it is the case for Twitter.
Note that even though IP logging, as done by Twitter, is similar to the logging done by GSM [mobile phone] operators, the major difference seems to be that Twitter is subject to US regulation, no matter the citizenship of its users. I find this rather disturbing.
Using 3), one could search for Birgitta on other Internet services, such as social networks, to find more information on her (e.g., hidden accounts). Recent research on privacy shows that people tend to use the same e-mail address to register an account on different social networks (even when they don’t want these accounts to be linked together). Obviously, one could then issue subpoenas for these accounts as well.
I do not have the expertise to comment on what could be done with 4).
((WN)) As I believe Jonsdottir to be involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), what are the wider implications beyond the “WikiLeaks witchhunt”?

Having been alerted to the ongoing case through a joint press release by the ACLU and EFF, Wikinews sought clarification on the primary issues which the two non-profits saw as particularly important in challenging the U.S. Government over the ‘secret’ court orders. Rebecca Jeschke, Media Relations Director for the EFF, explained in more detail the points crucial to them, responding to a few questions from Wikinews on the case:

((WN)) As a worse-case, what precedents would be considered if this went to the Supreme Court?
((WN)) Since this is clearly a politicised attack on free speech with most chilling potential repercussions for the press, whistleblowers, and by-and-large anyone the relevant U.S. Government departments objects to the actions of, what action do you believe should be taken to protect free speech rights?
((WN)) Twitter via the web, in my experience, tends to use https:// connections. Are you aware of any possibility of the government cracking such connections? (I’m not up to date on the crypto arms race).
Iranian hackers obtain fraudulent httpsEFF website.
((WN)) And, do you believe that far, far more websites should – by default – employ https:// connections to protect people’s privacy?

Finally, Wikinews approached the Icelandic politician, and WikiLeaks supporter, who has made this specific case a landmark in how the U.S. Government handles dealings with – supposedly – friendly governments and their elected representatives. A number of questions were posed, seeking the Icelandic Parliamentarian’s views:

((WN)) How did you feel when you were notified the US Government wanted your Twitter account, and message, details? Were you shocked?
((WN)) What do you believe is their reasoning in selecting you as a ‘target’?
((WN)) Are you concerned that, as a Member of Parliament involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), the US attempt to obtain your Twitter data is interfering with planned Icelandic government policy?
((WN)) In an earlier New York Times (NYT) article, you’re indicating there is nothing they can obtain about you that bothers you; but, how do you react to them wanting to know everyone you talk to?
Do you believe the U.S. government should have the right to access data on foreign nationals using services such as Twitter?
Add or view comments
((WN)) The same NYT article describes you as a WikiLeaks supporter; is this still the case? What attracts you to their ‘radical transparency’?
((WN)) How do you think the Icelandic government would have reacted if it were tens of thousands of their diplomatic communications being leaked?
((WN)) Your ambassador in the US has spoken to the Obama administration. Can you discuss any feedback from that? Do you have your party’s, and government’s, backing in challenging the ordered Twitter data release?
((WN)) Wikinews consulted a Belgian IT security expert who said it was most likely companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, would have complied with similar court orders *without advising the ‘targets*’. Does that disturb you?
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
((WN)) Has there been any backlash within Iceland against US-based internet services in light of this? Do you expect such, or any increase in anti-American sentiments?
((WN)) Does this make you more, or less, determined to see the IMMI succeed?

The U.S. Government continues to have issues internationally as a result of material passed to WikiLeaks, and subsequently published.

Within the past week, Ecuador has effectively declared the U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges persona-non-grata over corruption allegations brought to light in leaked cables. Asking the veteran diplomat to leave “as soon as possible”, the country may become the third in South America with no ambassadorial presence. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have no resident U.S. ambassador due to the two left-wing administrations believing the ejected diplomats were working with the opposition.

The U.S. State Department has cautioned Ecuador that a failure to speedily normalise diplomatic relations may jeapordise ongoing trade talks.

The United Kingdom is expected to press the Obama administration over the continuing detention of 23-year-old Manning, who also holds UK citizenship. British lawmakers are to discuss his ongoing detention conditions before again approaching the U.S. with their concerns that his solitary confinement, and treatment therein, is not acceptable.

The 22 charges brought against Manning are currently on hold whilst his fitness to stand trial is assessed.

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Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients">
Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients

April 16th, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fears of contaminated bone and skin grafts are being felt by unsuspecting patients following the revelation that funeral homes may have been looting corpses.

Janet Evans of Marion Ohio was told by her surgeon, “The bone grafts you got might have been contaminated”. She reacted with shock, “I was flabbergasted because I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I didn’t know I got a bone graft until I got this call. I just thought they put in screws and rods.”

The body of Alistair Cooke, the former host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” was supposedly looted along with more than 1,000 others, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case. The tissue taken was typically skin, bone and tendon, which was then sold for use in procedures such as dental implants and hip replacements. According to authorities, millions of dollars were made by selling the body parts to companies for use in operations done at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Canada.

A New Jersey company, Biomedical Tissue Services, has reportedly been taking body parts from funeral homes across Brooklyn, New York. According to ABC News, they set up rooms like a “surgical suite.” After they took the bones, they replaced them with PVC pipe. This was purportedly done by stealth, without approval of the deceased person or the next of kin. 1,077 bodies were involved, say prosecuters.

Investagators say a former dentist, Michael Mastromarino, is behind the operation. Biomedical was considered one of the “hottest procurement companies in the country,” raking in close to $5 million. Eventually, people became worried: “Can the donors be trusted?” A tissue processing company called LifeCell answered no, and issued a recall on all their tissue.

Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, said, “To know his bones were sold was one thing, but to see him standing truncated before me is another entirely.” Now thousands of people around the country are receiving letters warning that they should be tested for infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis. On February 23, the Brooklyn District Attorney indicted Mastromarino and three others. They are charged with 122 felony counts, including forgery and bodysnatching.

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Calls for corporate tax reform in Australia goes unheeded">
Calls for corporate tax reform in Australia goes unheeded

April 16th, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Friday, May 12, 2006

Peter Costello’s budget announcement has led to rejoicing for small businesses, but the lack of joy for those pushing for radical corporate taxation reform has led to many businesses asking “what about us?”

Personal taxation and small business have been the big winners after this year’s federal budget. Although dampened by the twin economic threats of rising interest rates and petrol prices, there should be a reasonable amount of real income savings for both low and high income earners, with those receiving Medicare, or a superannuation benefit, privy to an even lower level of taxation (0% for those on super benefits).

Small business also has benefited from the Howard government’s 11th annual budget, with them receiving a higher level of reducing depreciation, leading to a higher level of deductions in the years following the uptake of new technology or other capital. They are also privy to a AU$435 million dollar tax cut to compensate for their changing accounting requirements under the government’s new AIFRS reporting standards, as well as increasing the uptake of both the small business tax relief scheme and CGT (Capital Gains tax) Concessions.

The budget was not a complete loss for big business however, as superannuation laws have been tweaked to streamline contribution and payment rules previously impeding those with multitudes of staff.

But this is not enough, says Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young. In their newly published paper “Taxation of Investment in Australia: the need for ongoing reform”. In it they lead the charge for a greater streamlining and organization of the corporate tax system in Australia, submitting that it will lead to reductions in “disincentives to work save and invest in Australia [as well as improving] the international competitiveness of Australian businesses.” This follows from a recent report brought out by Mr. Costello himself about the need for tax reform in Australia.

A budget night Mr. Costello was notably coy about any future reform of corporate tax in Australia. He alluded to the report by his ministers but kept from outlining the government’s plan precisely.

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Tips For Tuxedo Rental

April 15th, 2021 | Yoga |


A tuxedo can give you a formal look for a wedding or a prom. Tuxedo rental is an affordable option if you will not wear this formal outfit often. You can look distinguished without burning a hole in your wallet. There are many options when it comes to this outfit- you could choose from designer wear, and you need to decide on whether you want a bow or a tie.

You can begin your search on the web. Make a list of shops that offer rental services, so that you can choose from their designs after you compare their fees. If you have a senior who opted to rent, you can ask for recommendations.

Start your search three months before the event, so that you are not in a hurry. The company staff will also be able to pay more attention to you. You should think of any questions you have for them in advance so that you can clarify your doubts quickly.

Check the fashion trends popular then so that you can look contemporary. Wearing an old fashioned style can make you look out of place. You should also make sure that the tux you are planning to wear fits you well. Check the condition of the suit carefully.

You can also research fashion trends online before you start doing the rounds of shops. Resist the temptation to choose an outfit which matches your date’s. She would not consider matching her outfit to yours, so why should you?

Budget for the rental so that you do not have to cut back on other expenses when the time comes. Read the terms and conditions so that you know what will happen if you rip the suit accidentally. You should also decide on the shoes that you will be wearing.

Tight shoes can spoil the look of your outfit, so be prepared. You can check with your date if she is renting a dress. You can ask the same shop if they also rent tuxedos. It may be convenient to pick up and bring back the outfits in that case.

Choose a reputed shop for tuxedo rental. Tucson residents should consider one which is nearby, so that it is easy to visit. You may study at the last minute, but decisions like these should be made in advance to create the right impact. Your date will appreciate the effort that you make.

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MSN Encarta introduces wiki-like enhancements">
MSN Encarta introduces wiki-like enhancements

April 15th, 2021 | Uncategorized |

April 9, 2005

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Microsoft’s Encarta has announced the addition of a blog as well as some wiki-like functionality to the online subscription encyclopedia.Encarta is welcoming revision suggestions from their users, but they have a disclaimer:

Encarta is different from open-content encyclopedias found elsewhere on the Web that post users’ changes immediately.

When the changes are implemented at Encarta, readers can click an “Edit this article” link to have their contribution reviewed by editors at Microsoft for possible use.

The web enhancement has introduced a minor security glitch for the subscription service. When trying to look up an article on Encarta as a non-subscriber, web surfers receive a teaser page suggesting the user sign up for a subscription [1]. However, using the editor URL for the same article will get a WYSIWYG display of the article requested; a simple way around the subscription requirement [2].

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Interim report blames ice for British Airways 777 crash in London">
Interim report blames ice for British Airways 777 crash in London

April 15th, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The United Kingdom’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has released an interim report into the crash of British Airways Flight 38. The Boeing 777-ER crashed early this year as it tried to land at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The report states that the AAIB believes the crash occurred when ice crystals formed within the fuel system. However, it should be noted that the report only serves as an update into the progress of the investigation and that the final report is yet to be published and may yet reach a different conclusion into the cause of the accident.

The flight from Beijing, China had been normal until final approach at Heathrow, at which point the aircraft was coming in for landing with the autopilot and autothrottle engaged. However, engine power became greatly reduced when the autothrottle requested more thrust, and the aircraft made a forced landing 1,000 feet from the runway. The aircraft suffered substantial damage as it slid across the grass to the runway threshold, where it came to rest, and was written off. There was only one serious injury and eight minor ones to the 136 passengers and 16 crew.

As the jet passed over Siberia it encountered significantly reduced temperatures. The AAIB has determined that the fuel was at a temperature below 0°C for an unusually long duration. This is believed to have caused water in the fuel – which met all relevant international standards – to have frozen into crystals. These were able to form undetected as the aircraft cruised with a low fuel requirement, and it was only when extra fuel was pumped in from the tanks for the landing that the crystals became a problem.

The report says that the current explanation being offered for the accident is an “apparently hitherto unknown phenomenon” and warns that other combinations of aircraft models and engines may also be vulnerable. The 777 involved was powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 800s, like 222 of the 736 777s currently operating. Data from 141,000 other flights of such aircraft has not yielded any other set of circumstances similar to the one in the crash flight.

In light of these results, a worldwide alert has been issued to the 11 airlines that between them operate all the aircraft identical to the lost jet. Boeing have instructed airlines to vary altitude regularly when fuel is below 10°C and to run the engines at max power for ten seconds before attempting a landing if the fuel has been at such temperatures for over three hours. The extra power is intended to clear out any buildup of water. To prevent buildup of water during ground operation at freezing temperatures all fuel pumps should be run at full power for one minute.

Air New Zealand have already confirmed they will introduce the new measures, and United States authorities are expected to make them mandatory within days. The affected aircraft are operated by US carriers American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

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Apollo Moon landings tapes reported missing">
Apollo Moon landings tapes reported missing

April 14th, 2021 | Uncategorized |
 Correction — August 13, 2006 

This article incorrectly reports that magnetic tapes of first moon landing and five other Apollo missions are missing. This is erroneous. Only the magnetic data tapes containing the recorded transmission from the moon’s surface are missing. The data on these tapes includes the original slow-scan TV signals, plus voice and telemetry data of the first Apollo landing. The originally broadcast conversion of the slow-scan recordings of the landing are preserved at the National Archives.

The article also reports the Goddard centre is scheduled to be closed in October. This is incorrect. Only the Data Evaluation Laboratory at the Goddard centre is planned for closure.

Wikinews apologises for any confusion caused by these errors

See Also: Erroneous tabloid report garners publicity for Moon landing tapes 

Saturday, August 5, 2006

The magnetic tapes of the first moon landing that was beamed to the world via three tracking stations and those of other 5 Apollo missions have gone missing. There will be a search for these tapes in the hope that they may be found before they deteriorate.

The missing tapes contain original recordings of five Apollo Moon Landings. Due to the format incompatibility between the Apollo recordings and the commercial TV, the public transmissions were projected onto a screen from which they were filmed using conventional TV cameras which substantially degraded the quality of the picture. These were digitized and can be seen in the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal website, where all the graphic documentation of the Apollo Moon landings is maintained.

The tapes were originally stored at Goddard Space Flight Center, but, without any explanation, were taken to the US National Archives in 1970. A few years after, in 1984, about 700 hundred boxes of tapes were returned to Goddard along with documents stating that the tapes were withdrawn.

“We have the documents to say they were withdrawn, but no one knows exactly where they went,” said John Sarkissian, a CSIRO scientist.

Mr. Sarkissian who has been working at the Parkes Observatory for more than decade, initiated a study about the participation of Australia in the Apollo Mission. He requested the tapes from NASA and they told him the tapes were missing.

“We are working on the assumption they still exist,” Mr Sarkissian said, “Your guess is a good as mine as to where they are.”

“People may have thought ‘we have tapes of the moon walk, we don’t need these’,”

“We want the public to see the way the moon walk was meant to be seen,”

Mr Sarkissian proposes that if the tapes are found that they be digitised and stored.

The Goddard centre, home to the only known piece of equipment that decodes the analogue tapes, is set to be closed in October raising fears that, even if they are found, it might not be possible to decode and copy them.

Only a few people saw the original high-quality broadcast. One of these people is David Cooke, a Parkes control room engineer in 1969.

“I can still see the screen,” Mr Cook, 74, said. “I was amazed, the quality was fairly good.”

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