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Four arrested in plot to bomb infrastructure at JFK International Airport, New York City

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Four arrested in plot to bomb infrastructure at JFK International Airport, New York City

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reported that four arrests have been made in a foiled plot to blow up jet-fuel supply tanks and pipeline at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), in New York City. The DOJ suggested the plot was interrupted in the early planning stages through cooperative law enforcement work in the United States and abroad.

The four arrested were identified by the DOJ in a press release Saturday as Russell Defreitas, a U.S. citizen and native of Guyana, Abdul Kadir, a citizen of Guyana and past member of the Guyanese Parliament, Kareem Ibrahim, a citizen of Trinidad, and Abdel Nur, also a citizen of Guyana.

Defreitas, a former employee of JFK was arrested in Brooklyn, New York. Kadir and Ibrahim were arrested in Trinidad. It was not made clear where Nur was arrested, however the DOJ indicated that the U.S. will initiate extradition proceedings for the three.

The DOJ alleged that the four began the planning in January, 2006 through to the present. It was revealed that law enforcement officials believed the targets included buildings, fuel tanks, and fuel pipelines at JFK, which were to be destroyed with explosives. The primary pipeline target was the Buckeye Pipeline, which distributes fuel to depots as far away as Pennsylvania. It also serves New Jersey and various boroughs of New York.

It was alleged by the DOJ that the plotters “tapped into an international network of Muslim extremists from the United States, Guyana, and Trinidad, and utilized the knowledge, expertise, and contacts of the conspirators to develop and plan the plot, and obtain operational support and capability to carry it out.”

Defreitas traveled from Guyana to JFK to allegedly conduct surveillance of the airport on four occasions in January 2007. According to the DOJ press release, the four plotters “obtained satellite photographs of JFK airport and its facilities from the Internet and traveled frequently between the United States, Guyana, and Trinidad to discuss their plans and solicit the financial and technical assistance of others.”

U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York Roslynn Mauskopf described the scenario as “one of the most chilling plots imaginable.” She went on to say at a news conference in New York that “the devastation that would be caused…is just unthinkable.”

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Wikinews at Toronto film fest party, with Diddy

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Wikinews at Toronto film fest party, with Diddy

August 16, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, September 8, 2008

Toronto residents are abuzz as the stars walk among them, during the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. The capital of and largest city in Ontario, Canada has been playing host to the premieres of major motion pictures, up-and-coming indy films, and international films alike. Over the last few years, the festival has become one of the most popular in the world.

On September 5, Wikinews sent freelance photographer Richard Burdett to the eTalk Festival Party, held by television broadcaster CTV. Described as a celebration of Canadian and international film and filmmakers, the party was held at CTV’s festival headquarters, the former CHUM-City Building. The red carpet extended into the parking lot stage area meaning celebrity guests were interviewed in the same spot where Diddy performed. DJ Samantha Ronson spun well into the night for revelers, as Lindsay Lohan hid from prying eyes inside the building.

Hosted by Ben Mulroney and Tayna Kim of CTV’s eTalk program, the party was broadcast live for an hour on Startv.

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Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

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Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

August 16, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.

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CyanogenMod: Open-source smartphone OS goes commercial

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CyanogenMod: Open-source smartphone OS goes commercial

August 14, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, September 19, 2013

File:CyanogenMod Cid.svg

The developers of CyanogenMod, an open source free Android-based operating system for smartphones, announced yesterday their incorporation following a successful venture capital campaign which netted the open-source project a US$7 million nest egg, and plan to roll out a simple installation app on Google Play for their Android firmware.

Android runs nearly 80% of new mobile devices; CyanogenMod operates on at least 7 or 8 million of those. CyanogenMod replaces the read-only-memory image in android devices which have been ‘rooted’ —control acquired of the device’s superuser account— allowing continuing development for, and backporting abilities of new generations of the operating system to, older devices.

Investor Mitch Lasky wrote on his blog “We believe that CM is poised to become one of the largest mobile operating systems in the world.” Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures are part of the capital providers to form Cyanogen Inc.

“The only limitation we have right now is with the number of engineers and designers we currently have. As we hire more people and build this company, we’ll be able to work on so many cool things”, said Koushik ‘koush’ Dutta, who took questions alongside Steve ‘cyanogen’ Kondik and team social media manager Abhisek “ciwrl” Devkota in a Reddit Ask Me Anything event shortly after making the announcement on the CyanogenMod blog. The team of 17, including Boost co-founder Kirt McMaster as CEO, are in Palo Alto, California and Seattle.

Kondik says Cyanogen mod is named after him. “I’m terrible with names, so I just slapped ‘mod’ onto the end of my handle and ran with it”, he explained in the incorporation announcement.

An early question raised in the Reddit event concerned profit-making: “Monetization isn’t an immediate concern and our investors […] feel the same”, said Dutta, adding “Creating disruption in a multibilion dollar market is enough to make any investor raise their eyebrow.” This means CyanogenMod would continue to be free. Follow questions asked if the company was planning to release their own model of android device. “We certainly couldn’t take on the monumental task of building/testing hardware [right now]. Hardware would be one of many potential very long term paths we could take”, said Dutta.

The firm’s first announced step is to improve the process of installing the software on owner’s devices, which Kondik described as “hideous”. A new installer app is planned to be released “in the coming weeks” on Google Play. The installer app will not require rooting the device, instead installing by simply clicking a button.

A further step, broadly described without any details, is a project with an unnamed original equipment manufacturer (OEM). “We have a least one OEM partnership in the works, there will be an announcement next week regarding our plans there”, said Kondik. The team mentioned OEM licensing several times during the Q&A session on Reddit.

In addition to these corporate steps, there were questions regarding the roadmap for development of the ROM, which already has improvements regarding privacy and security over the native android loader. With “plenty of things in the product pipeline already” Dutta lists additional security features, AirPlay mirroring, screen recording, and Voice+ as upcoming. The mood throughout the event was jovial, with humourous questions such as “can you guys PLEASE release a CM build for my toaster? I’m not sure what model it is, but it’s white and I got it at Savers.” Kondik promised “Ship it to me and I’ll duct tape a G1 running CM to it”. Dutta said his “10 of your favorite lines of source code” are “The ones that worked when they shouldn’t have.”

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Batman star Adam West dies aged 88

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Batman star Adam West dies aged 88

August 14, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, June 12, 2017

On Friday night, Adam West, a US actor best known for his role as Batman in 1960s television series Batman, died at the age of 88 in Los Angeles, his family spokesperson said. Before his death, West “fought a short but brave battle with leukemia”, his family said via Facebook.

Actors Ben Affleck, Val Kilmer, and Mark Hamill, comic book writer Frank Miller, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane as well as author Neil Gaiman paid tribute to Adam West via Twitter. Affleck and Kilmer portrayed the titular character in, the 2016 film Batman v Superman and the 1995 film Batman Forever respectively.

Burt Ward, who played the role of Batman’s sidekick Robin in the TV series with West, paid tribute via The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Julie Newmar, who played the role of Catwoman in the 1960s show, paid tribute as well via the BBC World Service radio program Newshour.DC Entertainment president and CEO Geoff Johns and publisher Jim Lee paid tribute via DC Comics’s official blog.

Adam West, younger of the two brothers, was born on September 19, 1928 in Washington. His father was a wheat farmer and his mother was a pianist and an opera singer. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in English literature from Whitman College and worked as a station master at Stanford while he was a graduate student.

West worked at McClatchy station in Sacramento, California before moving to Hawaii, where he hosted a weekday show in the late 1950s. He moved to Hollywood, California in 1959 and signed a contract with Warner Bros. He appeared in multiple series before portraying Detective Sergeant Steve Nelson in the 1959–62 television series, The Detectives, from 1961 to 1962. His film debut was the 1959 film The Young Philadelphians, starring Paul Newman. Before Batman, West appeared in many films throughout the 1960s.

Lyle Waggoner and Adam West auditioned for the role of Batman while Peter Deyell and Burt Ward auditioned for the role of Robin. Batman TV series debuted on January 12, 1966 on the ABC network. Though the first season was a success, two subsequent seasons had a significant drop in the Nielsen ratings, and it was cancelled in March 1968.

After Batman, West was given typecast roles throughout his career. He voiced Batman in animated shows, like The New Adventures of Batman, Legends of the Superheroes, and Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show. He also voiced a role in an Academy Award-nominated 1997 short film Redux Riding Hood. He also voiced the role of Mayor Adam West in Family Guy, which MacFarlane called an “alternative universe” version of West.

West married Marcelle in 1970; each had two children from their previous marriages. After the marriage, the couple had two children. West is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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California releases search warrant for Wells Fargo bank on identity theft

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California releases search warrant for Wells Fargo bank on identity theft

August 14, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The California Department of Justice on Wednesday released the warrant and affidavit of a criminal investigation of the Wells Fargo bank. The State of California served the warrant on October 5 to search the San Francisco headquarters of Wells Fargo for felonious activities related to identity theft.

The warrant said property to be seized at the bank’s San Francisco headquarters was related to the unauthorized creation of accounts by Wells Fargo employees including the names of individuals for the accounts; account information and fees; the names of employees and their managers who created accounts without the consent of the Wells Fargo customers in question; and all communications including emails referencing the unauthorised accounts.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris’s criminal probe is part of an increasing list of officials nationwide questioning the business practices of Wells Fargo such as California State Treasurer John Chiang who announced a one-year suspension of State investment with the bank on September 28; Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs followed suit with a year-long ban on October 3; and Democratic United States Senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who wrote to the U.S. Security Exchanges Commission (SEC) suggesting investigation on September 29.

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State Farm Insurance allegedly destroying papers

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State Farm Insurance allegedly destroying papers

August 14, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Zach Scruggs, a lawyer for United States Senator Trent Lott, says that State Farm Insurance Company is destroying records related to claims for damage from Hurricane Katrina.

The records allegedly contain information saying that State Farm fraudulently denied insurance claims made by its policy holders, including Lott, that had homes there were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the Gulf Coast.

Scruggs said that Lott has “good faith belief” that many employees of the insurance company in Biloxi, Mississippi are destroying engineer’s reports that were inconclusive as to whether or not water or wind was the main cause of damage to the buildings affected by the hurricane.

Lott is among thousands of home and/or business owners who had their property damaged or destroyed during the hurricane and had their claims denied because State Farm claimed that their policies don’t cover damage caused by floods or water that was driven by the wind.

State Farm has not issued a statement on the matter so far.

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68 pieces of luggage found behind Texas pet store

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68 pieces of luggage found behind Texas pet store

August 13, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

At least 68 different pieces of luggage has been found behind a pet store inside a garbage dumpster in Houston, Texas. The luggage came from several different international flights and authorities do not know how they got there or if the contents of the luggage have been stolen.

“We’re going to be investigating and the authorities are going to be investigating,” said spokeswoman for Continental Airlines, Mary Clark. All luggage was handed over to Continental Airlines.

The luggage is reported to have been sifted through, and most pieces have come from all over the world. The luggage is reported to have come from Bush Intercontinental Airport. Some pieces of the luggage have name tags and Clark states that “we’re trying to reach whoever we need to let them know the bags are there.”

Officers with the Houston Police Department are in charge of the investigation. The luggage was found by individuals who own the pet store.

The FBI has stated that the bags do not pose any danger.

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Woman finds human finger in bowl of chili at Wendy’s restaurant

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Woman finds human finger in bowl of chili at Wendy’s restaurant

August 13, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, March 24, 2005

San Jose, California — A woman eating a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant bit into a chewy bit that turned out to be a human finger. She immediately spat it out, warned other patrons to stop eating, and upon recognizing the object as a finger, vomited.

“I’m more of a Carl’s Jr. person,” the 39-year-old Las Vegas woman, Anna Ayala, told Knight Ridder. She said this incident was her first visit to a Wendy’s restaurant. Ayala described how she found the finger, “Suddenly something crunchy was in my mouth,” she continued, “and I spit it out.”

According to Devina Cordero, 20, after Ayala found the finger, she ran up to her and Cordero’s boyfriend and said, “Don’t eat it! Look, there’s a human finger in our chili.”

“We went up to the counter and they told us it was a vegetable,” Cordero continued. “The people from Wendy’s were poking it with a spoon.”

The restaurant is located at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

Wikinews reporter David Vasquez drove his car up to the drive-thru menu and found that chili was still on the menu, at a price of US$1.19 for a small serving. He also witnessed workers unloading supplies from a semi-trailer truck in the restaurant’s parking lot, and carting them into the back door of the establishment.

According to Ben Gale, director of environmental health for Santa Clara County, the finger did not come from any of the employees at the restaurant. “We asked everybody to show us they have 10 fingers and everything is OK there,” he said. The found portion of the finger likely belonged to a woman because of its long and manicured fingernail, also found in the food.

Officials seized the food supply at the restaurant and are tracing it back to the manufacturer, where they believe the finger may have gotten mixed in with the raw ingredients used to prepare the chili. The restaurant’s operators were later permitted to re-open after preparing new chili prepared from fresh ingredients.

As this story was filed, there was no mention of the incident on the Wendy’s corporate web site. Wendy’s issued a statement through a spokesman.

“Food safety is of utmost importance to us,” said Wendy’s spokesman Joe Desmond. He referred to the incident as an “unsubstantiated claim.”

“We are cooperating fully with the local police and health departments with their investigation. It’s important not to jump to conclusions. Here at Wendy’s we plan to do right by our customers,” Desmond said.

According to county health officials, the unfortunate woman who bit into the finger is doing fine, despite her initial reaction. Officials also noted that the finger would have been cooked at a high enough temperature to destroy any viruses.

The Santa Clara county medical examiner reported that the finger had a solid fingerprint, although investigators did not say if a search of fingerprint databases would be performed to find the owner of the finger.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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Deadly fire below US President’s Trump Tower residence

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Deadly fire below US President’s Trump Tower residence

August 12, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

On Saturday, the Trump Tower, in Midtown, New York City, caught fire shortly before 18:00 EST (2200 UTC) on the 50th floor, claiming the life of a 67-year-old resident, Todd Brassner, who lived in apartment 50C. All other residents were evacuated without incident. During the fire, six firefighters received non-life-threatening burns and other minor injuries. Neither US President Donald Trump nor the First Family were in the building at the time of the fire.

The high-end Fifth Avenue address is the personal residence of President Donald Trump, whose family occupies the top three stories of the 58-story building. The US Secret Service maintains a constant security presence inside the building with the New York City Police Department guarding a hard perimeter, intended to stop vehicular attacks, and a soft perimeter, intended for on-foot attacks.

The four-alarm fire required 200 firemen, extra police, and paramedics. At 20:00 EST (0000 UTC Sunday), the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) declared the fire was under control. Trump tweeted, “Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!” This is the second fire at Trump Tower since the election; previously on January 8, a fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in a cooling tower on the roof. Three FDNY firefighters received minor injuries, and all residents and office workers evacuated without incident on that occasion.

Trump Tower provides a number of unique problems never before encountered by the Secret Service. Never has a US President’s personal residence been inside a skyscraper or in a densely populated area like Midtown. The security measures have disrupted vehicular and pedestrian traffic requiring time consuming detours and delaying emergency response.

The New York Fire Code did not mandate sprinkler systems at the time Trump Tower was built in 1983, which might have reduced the size and severity of the fire had they been present. The 50th-floor apartment was, according to FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, “[T]he apartment was virtually, entirely on fire.” The Secret Service monitors all the fire alarms in the building but it took time to find the source of the thick black smoke emanating from the fire. Secret Service Agents escorted the firefighters throughout the building, including the Trump residence.

Brassner, the sole casualty, was unconscious when firefighters pulled him out of apartment 50C. He was transported to Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital. Originally listed as critical, he was pronounced dead sometime during the night. Brassner, guitar collector, was acquainted with artist Andy Warhol and was acknowledged in Warhol’s 1989 autobiography, The Andy Warhol Diaries. The cause of the fire is unknown, with investigations into Brassner’s death and the emergency response ongoing. Currently, the Secret Service leads the investigation.

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