Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

Technical troubles hold up International Space Station repairs

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Monday, August 9, 2010

A faulty ammonia line fitting delayed repairs to a cooling pump on the International Space Station Saturday during an eight-hour spacewalk.

During the spacewalk, astronauts Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson were to repair a faulty cooling system, which failed on July 31. The faulty cooling unit was to be swapped with a new one that was previously in storage to solve the problem; however, an ammonia leak in the final line to be disconnected from the unit halted attempts for a repair.

Upon discovering the problem, the astronauts were instructed to reconnect the line and install a positioning device to maintain the proper pressure on the line.

Upon completing the spacewalk, Wheelock and Dyson spent additional time in the airlock to get rid of any ammonia particles that may have attached themselves to their spacesuits.

NASA officials are analyzing possible solutions to the issue to attempt during a planned spacewalk Wednesday. Wednesday’s spacewalk was previously intended to be second in the series to repair the cooling system by reattaching fluid and electrical lines.

Before Saturday’s spacewalk, NASA officials projected that up to three spacewalks may be needed to repair the cooling system.

Most of the space station’s non-critical scientific components have been temporarily shut-down in order to reduce heat generation with only one cooling loop available to the station.

NASA reports that the station’s crew, three Russians and three Americans, are not in any danger; however, it is in the best interests of the crew to restore systems to nominal condition as soon as possible.

The eight-hour spacewalk is reportedly the longest ISS-based spacewalk, and the sixth longest in the history of human spaceflight.

News briefs:August 27, 2006

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The time is 18:00 (UTC) on August 27th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Many dead after jet crashes in Kentucky
    • 1.2 Canadian soldiers kill Afghan police officer
    • 1.3 British soldier shot and killed in southern Afghanistan
    • 1.4 Deadline to release Muslim prisoners passes, journalists released
    • 1.5 Guantanamo inmate Murat Kurnaz transferred to Germany and released
    • 1.6 Chad orders oil companies out of the country
    • 1.7 Eleven year-old boy arrested on suspicion of assaulting a four year-old boy in East Yorkshire
    • 1.8 Filipe Massa wins 2006 Turkish Grand Prix
  • 2 Closing statements

[edit]

Bird Flu found in Africa

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Wednesday, February 8, 2006

The H5N1 Avian Flu virus, also known as Bird Flu, has been found in Nigeria by Italian scientists. Tests done on samples in a laboratory confirm that the strain is the one that can kill people, although no human cases have been reported said the Paris-based United Nations body. This is the first time is has appeared on the continent.

Reports say tests of the virus closely resemble the virus in Asia. The virus has been discovered in poultry flocks in a large Nigerian farm. “It is the first report of the disease in Africa,” the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday.

“It’s going to be very difficult to mount an eradication campaign,” said Dr. Alex Thiermann, president of the OIE’s international animal health code, from Paris, France. “With what we have today, it is a highly pathogenic H5N1 – the same, or very closely related to the previous ones,” said Thiermann. He also added, “a full genetic analysis of sample viruses is expected to be completed by late Thursday.”

Maria Zampaglione of the Paris-based OIE said “An outbreak has been detected. A local poultry farm keeping 46,000 birds was affected, of which 42,000 were infected and 40,000 of those, died.” The farm is located in Jaji, which is a village in the northern state of Kaduna.

“The farm is located near the Niger Delta, one of the largest over-wintering areas for wild birds in Africa.” said Thiermann.

Quarantine measures on the control and movement of poultry have been taken, and the farm has been disinfected said Nigerian authorities.

“However, it is too early to say how serious the outbreak is and how big its spread could be,” said Ilaria Capua of the Italian bird flu centre in Padua. “We have to be cautious in evaluating the possible implications of these findings.”

In Rome, Samuel Jutzi, a director of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said, “if the situation in Nigeria gets out of control, it will have a devastating impact on the poultry population in the region. It will seriously damage the livelihoods of millions of people and it will increase the exposure of humans to the virus.”

“When you have 46,000 chickens in a house, usually you have some degree of biocontainment…So these (chickens) are not likely to be the ones to first encounter migratory waterfowl,” Thiermann said.

Wildlife circles have been debating on whether or not wild birds are spreading the virus around the globe. Experts believe they are playing a role but most believe poultry movement, poultry products and poultry manure is the main cause of the spreading of the virus.

“But probably not in this case,” said Thiermann. “While it’s too early to blame the wildlife, it’s very likely to be in an area that’s remote enough that it’s not likely to be associated with international trade.”

OIE spokeswoman Zampiglione also said, “Experts had been fearing an African outbreak for months. The conditions there are more likely to lead to contagion from birds to man.”

Keep Your Home Comfortable With Heating And Air In Wichita Kansas

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Controlling the temperature in your home is a big job that can be handled by several appliances, but the most common is the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system. The HVAC is a centralized air treatment system that comes in two cabinets. The condensing system is mounted outside the home so the collected heat can be released outdoors. The furnace and air exchange will be positioned inside the home to avoid loss of treated air. Common installation locations include the attic or basement as long as the air ducts can reach every room.

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Experts in Heating And Air in Wichita Kansas will tell you that the best way to get the most out of your HVAC system is routine maintenance. Manufacturers suggest servicing the air conditioner in the early spring before a heavy load is placed on the appliance and the furnace in the fall before it is first used. Maintenance should include cleaning the system, testing the electronics and generally verifying its fitness for the job. For example, the furnace’s burning chamber needs to be cleaned on a yearly basis before the unit is used. This is because dust and lint can accumulate inside this area. This stuff can be very flammable and may cause a fire if not removed.

The AC works by compressing a refrigerant that is cycled through a couple of coils. As the refrigerant is compressed, it enters a state change which helps it to collect heat. This heat is picked up through the evaporator coil and carried outside the building where it is released into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, this cycle puts a lot of pressure on the condensing unit which is one of the most likely components to fail. When the condenser is replaced, the HVAC specialist must remove all the refrigerant, swap out the condensing unit and fill the system again. Refrigerant doesn’t break down so the technician will probably use the original coolant from your AC and any additional coolant to ensure it is charged properly. If you are having trouble with your Heating And Air in Wichita Kansas then it is time to contact an expert like Kelley and Dawson Service.

Wikinews interviews Jim Hedges, U.S. Prohibition Party presidential candidate

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

U.S. Prohibition Party presidential candidate Jim Hedges of Thompson Township, Pennsylvania took some time to answer a few questions about the Prohibition Party and his 2012 presidential campaign.

The Prohibition Party is the third oldest existing political party in the United States, having been established in 1869. It reached its height of popularity during the late 19th century. The party heavily supported the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which banned the sale of alcohol, and resulted in the US period known as Prohibition (1919–33). It was repealed in 1933. The party has declined since this period, but has continued to nominate candidates for the presidential election.

In 2003, the party split into two factions. Preacher Gene Amondson and perennial candidate Earl Dodge were nominated for the presidency by their respective factions. After Dodge’s death in 2007, the party reunified and named Amondson as its sole presidential nominee for 2008. During the election, Amondson was interviewed by Wikinews. He died in 2009, leaving an opening in the party for 2012.

Jim Hedges is a longtime Prohibition activist, who holds the distinction of the first individual of the 21st century (and the first since 1959) to be elected to a political office under the Prohibition Party banner. In 2001, he was elected as the Thompson Township tax assessor, and was re-elected to the post in 2005. He served until his term expired in 2010. Hedges declared his intent to run for the Prohibition Party presidential nomination on February 18, 2010. This marks his first run for the presidency.

Strongest earthquake in 40 years hits Southeast Asia

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Sunday, December 26, 2004

Indian Ocean – The death toll continues to grow and millions face a homeless life in the new year as coastal communities in south Asia struggle against continued aftershocks and flooding caused by the largest earthquake to strike the planet in more than a generation.

The magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake struck off the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia on December 26, 2004, at 00:58:50 UTC (or 07:58:50 local time in Jakarta and Bangkok).

The earthquake was the strongest in the world since the 9.2-magnitude Good Friday Earthquake which struck Alaska, USA in 1964, and the fourth largest since 1900. More than 140,000 deaths[1] were caused by resulting tsunami, which in Thailand were up to 10 meters (33 feet) tall, and struck within three hours of the initial event.

Multiple tsunamis struck and ravaged coastal regions all over the Indian Ocean, devastating regions including the Indonesian province of Aceh, the coast of Sri Lanka, coastal areas of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the resort island of Phuket, Thailand, and even as far away as Somalia, 4,100 km (2,500 mi) west of the epicenter.

While the earthquake and the tsunamis are no longer ongoing (other than aftershocks), the humanitarian and economic crisis generated by the disaster is still ongoing. This report will attempt to cover the crisis as it continues to develop.

Contents

  • 1 Damage and casualties
  • 2 Quake characteristics
  • 3 Post-tsunami humanitarian situation
    • 3.1 Humanitarian assistance
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 See also
  • 6 External links
    • 6.1 Aid efforts
    • 6.2 Video and Pictures of the devastation
  • 7 Video
  • 8 Pictures

Foot-and-mouth source confirmed as research laboratory

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A report released tonight by the Health and Safety Executive has confirmed that there is a “strong possibility” that the cause of the recent foot-and-mouth outbreak is contamination, most probably by human movement, from a nearby research facility in Guildford, Surrey, UK.

The labs in Pirbright, where both private firm Merial and the governmental Institute for Animal Health operate, have been subject to ongoing investigations since the discovery of a new foot-and-mouth outbreak on Friday. The strain of the disease had already been identified as an O1 BFS67-like virus, which was isolated in a 1967 outbreak and was being used at the labs for research and the production of vaccines. It is not yet known whether the virus escaped from the Merial or the IAH lab.

Since foot-and-mouth was confirmed in cows at a Surrey farm, more than 200 cattle have been culled as a preventative measure. A protection zone has been set up around the affected areas and rules preventing the movement of livestock have been introduced throughout the country, with the aim of stopping further spread of the contagious disease. Restrictions on the import of English beef have already been imposed.

The last outbreak of foot-and-mouth in the UK, in the spring and summer of 2001, resulted in total losses estimated at £8bn. Seven million animals were slaughtered, and tourism was also badly hit.

News briefs:June 8, 2010

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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

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