Australian artist Pro Hart dies

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Australian artist Pro Hart dies

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pro Hart, the self-taught, internationally-acclaimed Australian artist, died at home in Broken Hill on March 28 after family members decided to cease his medication. The 77-year-old had been ill with motor neurone disease. Family members described his passing as peaceful. Hart is a household name in Australia.

Hart’s son, John Hart, says a State funeral is being organised for his father. He says his father lost the ability to paint about six months ago. Pro Hart’s son David today said the funeral for the “brushman of the bush” will be held in the far-western New South Wales mining city of Broken Hill next Tuesday. “It will be held next Tuesday”, he said, “probably in the town’s civic centre.”

Born Kevin Charles Hart in Broken Hill on May 30, 1928, his mining mates nicknamed him ‘Professor’ due to his passion for invention. He started painting “cheeky” pictures on the wooden beams of the mines he worked in. Hart went to few art classes and started painting full-time in 1958.

Since then, he has exhibited all over the world, including London, New York, Paris and Tokyo. He also illustrated several books. Hart’s preoccupation with art began as a teenager on his family’s sheep station near Menindee.

His work hangs in collections all over the world. Agent Amanda Phillips says Hart was one of Australia’s most renowned artists yet his paintings are not in the National Gallery of Australia. “He’s a great Australian, I mean he’s been given an MBE for his services to art, he’s been honoured all around the world, his work hangs in major collections around the world, why isn’t he displayed here in Australia? A spokeswoman for the National Gallery confirmed they had a “very limited collection” of Pro Hart’s works although no paintings.

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Australians unite against whaling in Southern Ocean

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Australians unite against whaling in Southern Ocean

April 22, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, January 18, 2006File:Greenpeace Vessels Esperanza and Arctic Sun.jpg

Anti-whaling protesters have joined forces across Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the U.S.A calling for an end to the killing of whales for meat by Japan. Greenpeace organised the international day of action as it continued its efforts to disrupt the hunting of minke whales by the Japanese whaling fleet currently in the Southern Ocean.

The day of action was being marked to protest the actions of the fleet which protesters believe violate the 1986 International Whaling Commission (IWC) global ban on commercial whaling. Japan’s JARPA Japanese Whale Research Program was allowed to operate under a Special Permit in the Antarctic according to Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. In its JARPA-2 plan, Japan plans to double its annual scientific research catch of Minke whales to 935, and to add 10 Fin whales to its quota. The International Fund for Animal Welfare states that over the next two years, Japan plans to kill 50 endangered Humpback whales and an additional 40 fin whales.

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English court jails policeman over insurance fraud

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English court jails policeman over insurance fraud

April 22, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A court in England, UK has jailed a policeman for ten months after he was convicted of defrauding his car insurance company.

Police Constable Simon Hood, 43, arranged for a friend who dealt in scrap metal to dispose of his Audi TT, then claimed it had been stolen.

Hood had been disappointed with the car’s value when he tried to sell it two years after its purchase in 2008. He arranged for friend Peter Marsh, 41, to drive the vehicle to his scrapyard in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Marsh then dismantled the vehicle with the intent of disposing of it, but parts were later found wrapped in bubblewrap at Ace Tyre and Exhaust Centre.

Marsh picked up the TT from outside nearby Gorleston police station. Records show mobile phone conversations between the conspirators that day in March, both before and after the vehicle was reported stolen. The pair denied wrongdoing but were convicted of conspiring to commit insurance fraud after trial.

The fraud was uncovered after Hood told former girlfriend Suzanne Coates of the scheme. It was alleged before Norwich Crown Court that he had confessed to her in an effort to resume their relationship. Coates said that after the pseudotheft, Hood told her “he didn’t want to look for it. He said it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, which I thought was a bit strange.”

You knew throughout your career that policemen that get involved in serious dishonesty get sent to prison

Shortly afterwards Hood suggested they should become a couple once more, she said; she challenged his version of events regarding the car: “He said he did it but I couldn’t tell anyone. He said he did it with Peter. Peter had a key and took the car away and it was going to be taken to bits and got rid of so it was never found.”

Hood was defended by Michael Clare and Marsh by Richard Potts. Both lawyers told the court that their clients had already suffered as a result of the action in mitigation before sentencing. Clare said Hood had resigned from the police after fifteen years of otherwise good service and risked losing his pension. “It is not a case where his position as a police officer was used in order to facilitate the fraud,” he pointed out. “His career is in ruins.” Hood is now pursuing a career in plumbing.

Potts defended Marsh by saying that he, too, had already suffered from his actions. His own insurers are refusing to renew their contract with him when it expires and his bank withdrew its overdraft facility. His business employs 21 people and Potts cited Marsh’s sponsorship of Great Yarmouth In Bloom as amongst evidence he supported his local community.

Judge Alasdair Darroch told Marsh that he did accept the man was attempting to help his friend. He sentenced Marsh to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 250 hours of community service. He was more critical of Hood:

“As a police officer you know the highest possible standards are demanded by the public. You have let down the force. You knew throughout your career that policemen that get involved in serious dishonesty get sent to prison.”

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Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners

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Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners

April 20, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

Buffalo, New York —Savarino Construction Services Corp. has proposed a $7 million hotel project at the Forest and Elmwood Avenue intersection, according to The Buffalo News. The proposal calls for a 5-story, 45,000 square-foot 80-room hotel with underground parking for at least 50 vehicles, and 4,500 square-feet of retail space on the lower level.

Hans Mobius, the owner of the five properties to be purchased in the plan (1109 to 1121 Elmwood), reportedly signed a contract with Savarino to assemble the development.

“We saw a huge opportunity to bring something to the Elmwood Village that will make sense and bring a service that’s currently not available,” said Eva Hassett, vice president of Savarino. “Elmwood is such a wonderful place to eat, shop, walk and spend time. We believe this project will add to that vibrant environment.”

Some business owners in the area see it differently. Wikinews interviewed 2 of the 4 owners whose business’s would be demolished if the development goes through.

Nancy Pollina, of Don Apparel at 1119 Elmwood, who found out about the development only yesterday, said she is “utterly” against the proposal. Her apparel shop has stood at the same location for nearly 14 years. She has volunteered in the community, and helped create several gardens around bus shelters in the city, and served on Forever Elmwood Board for six years as head of Beautification. Patty Morris co-owns Don Apparel with Pollina.

“To say this is a good looking project, I want to say the emperor has no clothes. This [project] does not take into consideration the needs of the college students. I have been told by college students, these shops here, are the reason they leave the campus,” said Mrs. Pollina.

Buffalo State College is 500-feet from the intersection.

Michael Faust, the owner of Mondo Video said, “Well, I do not really want to get kicked out of here. The landlord was very open, and the deal he made with me when I moved in here was ‘the rent is cheap and I [the landlord] will not fix anything and that will not change.'” Faust said he first learned of the development plan, “about 48 hours ago. I found out on Tuesday when the Buffalo News called and asked for my opinion on this.” Faust has not said if he will make plans to relocate. “We have to see if this [house] is going to get knocked down first,” said Faust.

An “informational” meeting, where citizens can voice opinions and learn about the proposal, will be held on Tuesday February 21, 2006 at 5:00pm (eastern), at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center Gallery at Buffalo State College, Rockwell Hall.

Executive director of Forever Elmwood Corporation, Justin P. Azzarella would not comment on whether or not the organization supports the development, saying, “you will just have to come to the meeting.”

Forever Elmwood Corp. is designed to preserve and protect the unique and historic nature of Elmwood Avenue and its surrounding neighborhoods and encourage neighborhood commercial revitalization. The organization was founded in 1994.

Nearly two years ago, the Forever Elmwood Corp. assisted in the blocking of the demolition of the Edward Atwater house at 1089 Elmwood next to Pano’s Restaurant which is at 1081 Elmwood. Owner Pano Georgiadis wanted to expand his restaurant onto the property where the house now stands, but the Common Council denied his permit to demolish saying the house is a historical landmark and needs to be protected. Georgiadis, who has a bleeding ulcer, said that all the court cases landed him in the hospital. “I got a bleeding ulcer, and since then, I don’t care about this house anymore, or this city. I just go to work every day. I think [preservationists] are parasites,” said Georgiadis.

Georgiadis will not be attending Tuesday’s meeting saying, “I will be out of town.”

In 1995 Hans Mobius proposed a plan to develop a Walgreens, that was to be placed in the same location, but residents and business owners shot down the proposal. Walgreens eventually withdrew its request for a variance after pressure from the community.

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Wikinews’ overview of the year 2007

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Wikinews’ overview of the year 2007

April 18, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, December 31, 2007

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2007 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 year’s time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2007, what would the question be? The year that you first signed on to Facebook? The year Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse fell apart? The year author Kurt Vonnegut or mime Marcel Marceau died, both at 84?

Let’s take a look at some of the international stories of 2007. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in bold.

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Student commits suicide at school near Philadelphia, U.S.A.

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Student commits suicide at school near Philadelphia, U.S.A.

April 18, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shane Halligan, a 16-year old student in 11th grade, is dead after he shot himself once with an AK-47 at Springfield High School located north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police searched the grounds for possible explosives and say a bag carried by the shooter tested positive for traces of explosives.

Halligan walked into the school and began to fire shots from his rifle into a hallway ceiling then shot himself according to the Springfield Township Police Chief, Randall Hummel. No other injuries to students occurred and all students were safely evacuated to a middle school not far from the location of the shooting.

“[He died of an] apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said Hummel. Authorities located a suicide letter in Halligan’s pocket, but have not released its contents

The school does not have metal detectors, but according to Roseanne Nyiri, the superintendent of the high school, security at the school will “now be reviewed.” Security cameras are on school grounds and police say they have video of the boy firing the gun into the hallway ceiling.

“We’re all very much aware that even metal detectors have not deterred students from bringing guns into schools in the past,” added Hummel.

According to Michael Delaurentis, 18 a witness and senior attending the school, the student was a “nice kid” and Delaurentis’s father, also named Michael, described the student’s family as “wonderful.”

“It just makes you a little in fear of the future, and not just at this school, any school, because I don’t think any school is 100 percent secure,” said Delaurentis’s father.

“I was walking to my class. I just hear ‘Get down.’ I heard shots fired into the ceiling and I saw smoke,” said Delaurentis.

According to police reports, Halligan committed suicide because of his parents threatening to cut back on his after school activities due to poor performance in school. According to Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr., “The picture that’s emerging is he was despondent over (the fact) that his grades were down, his parents were taking appropriate steps to limit extracurricular activities to get the grades up, and he saw the things that he felt were important in his life being taken from him.” but this is not the first time a weapon was brought onto school grounds.

Back in September, at the same school, a student brought a gun to show-off to other fellow students causing the entire school to be locked down.

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UK Serious Fraud Office to investigate MG Rover collapse

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UK Serious Fraud Office to investigate MG Rover collapse

April 18, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office is to launch an investigation into the collapse of car manufacturer MG Rover. The move follows the conclusion of a four-year enquiry started immediately after the firm became insolvent.

The group of four who owned MG Rover — John Towers, Nick Stephenson, Peter Beale and John Edwards — have been accused of asset stripping. The quartet, known as the Phoenix Four, paid a symbolic £10 (approximately €15) for Rover in 2000. At that time the company received an interest-free loan from former owner BMW for £427 million (approximately €700 million) and came with a large amount of unsold stock.

Between then and Rover’s April 2005 bankruptcy, by which time there were unpaid debts of £1 billion (approximately €1.5 billion), the Phoenix Four had removed an estimated £40 million worth of assets including pensions and salaries. An enquiry was launched by ministers that was expected to take a year, but the final report was not delivered to business secretary Lord Mandelson until three weeks ago.

The government used taxpayer’s money to fund a £6 million loan to MG Rover and attempted to negotiate a deal with a Chinese company, but these efforts failed. MG Rover’s collapse caused the loss of an estimated 15,000 jobs, including with various suppliers. A former MG Rover factory does still build a small number of MG sports cars in Longbridge by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, who bought most of the designs.

The Phoenix Four released a statement criticising the criminal investigation. “There has never been any suggestion of improper conduct by the directors and this was confirmed in a report by the administrators PWC six months after they took over the running of the company. Four years on, any suggestion [of] another further investigation is frankly ridiculous and smacks of kicking this issue into the long grass. If the government has been so concerned to get to the heart of the matter why has it flatly refused more than 30 requests under the Freedom of Information Act which would have revealed correspondence and documents the directors believe would have shed some light on the government’s role in the affair?”

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Steve Wright, killer of five women in Suffolk, England, sentenced to life imprisonment

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Steve Wright, killer of five women in Suffolk, England, sentenced to life imprisonment

April 17, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Friday, February 22, 2008

Steve Wright, yesterday convicted of the murder of five women in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, has today been sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court to life imprisonment. The bodies of the five women who worked as sex workers in Ipswich were found around the town in December 2006.

The judge, Mr Justice Gross said that a “substantial degree of pre-meditation and planning” was involved meaning the requirments for a whole life sentence for Wright was met. He said, “This was a targeted campaign of murder. It is right you should spend your whole life in prison.”

Speaking after the sentencing, Deputy Chief Constable of Suffolk Police, Jacqui Cheer said, “At the start of the inquiry we could not have asked for anything more. It is a tribute to all the people who have been involved – not only police officers but their support teams and all the members of the public who phoned-in offering information.”

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Hell Pizza condom advertisements: complaints upheld

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Hell Pizza condom advertisements: complaints upheld

April 16, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A record number of complaints, over 600, against the New Zealand restaurant chain Hell Pizza for its advertising campaign using condoms delivered via letterbox have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Family First “welcomes heavenly decision from ASA on Hells Pizza.”

Hell Pizza delivered sealed foil condoms in a cardboard box to households nationwide. On the outside of the box were the words: “Our pizza for meat lovers!” and the restaurant logo. The inside of the box included the condom and explicit instructions on how to use it. Hell Pizza delivered 70,000 condoms to households. An additional 100,000 were distributed to health and community groups who the chain said were “very supportive.”

Bob McCoskrie, director of Family First, said: “This is a victory for the protection of families from grubby advertising by companies like Hell’s Pizza, and is also a message to other companies who cross the line of what is decent and acceptable to our community. This is a pizza delivery company taking the moral high ground on sex education and telling parents how to give sex education to their kids, implying that all parents have failed at this, and kids as young as five should be exposed to this type of material.”

S. Nicholas filed a formal complaint and said in the complaint:” Any child can open the box take out these condoms and play with them. These are contraceptive devices, not playthings. The package also gave full instructions ‘how to use the condom’ in case some young person wanted to ‘experiment’! It shows lack of taste and is irresponsible.”

Other complainants said that it is inappropriate to promote food with a condom, the text “meat lovers” was offensive, that it undermined family values, and removed the right for families to teach sex education to their children. Condom use instructions that came with the advertising campaign were unnecessary and unacceptable and that there are health and safety issues if the condom broke during delivery.

The ASA said that three code of ethic rules were broken. They were basic principle 4, advertisements should follow a sense of social responsibility to both the consumers and society; rule 4, advertisements should not contain anything generally offensive and rule 5, advertisements should not contain anything that would cause serious widespread offence.

The agency Cinderella, acting on behalf of Hell Pizza, said that they “most certainly did approach this campaign with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and society.”

Cinderella said: “From the very beginning, the company’s marketing activities were unconventional and memorable… HELL has built a successful brand by utilizing a limited marketing budget in ways that sought to grab attention and secure significant additional media coverage that would never have been able to be sustained using conventional, paid-for, advertising techniques.”

“LUST and sex are, in our experience, often found not far apart. One generally follows the other. And enjoying great food either before or after is also not such a stretch.”

Replying to the instructions that have to be printed, Cinderella said: “The terms are not really sexually arousing and the suggestion made by one hysterical complainant that they could then go and act out the instructions on the next door child is just not plausible and probably not even physically possible. It borders on insane to believe that this is a credible risk. …there has not been an explosion of sexual assault of children after being exposed to government health warnings.”

The ASA then considered all information given to them by both complainants and the advertiser.

The ASA agreed that the advertisements were in breach of basic principle 4 because: “Unsolicited, unaddressed delivery of a condom to letterboxes to promote a food brand did not meet [the basic principle 4] standard.” The standard “required all advertising to be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and society.”

The ASA then reviewed whether or not the advertisement programme had breached rule 4 and rule 5. “The method of distribution was a key factor in considering whether or not the promotion had breached the Rules, taking into account the random context, medium, audience and product. The majority of the Board noted that it was difficult to target specific groups or ages using unaddressed letterbox distribution. In addition, it was concerned that such a method of distribution allowed any member of a household access to the advertising.” The majority of the ASA board did not find the instructions offensive but did agree that it would cause widespread offense. The advertisement programme is in breach of rule 4 and rule 5.

Some of the ASA board said: “…While the promotion had caused offence to some, this was offset by the possibility that the promotion had reached an audience that may not access the safe sex message via other media.”

The ASA decided to uphold the complaints, “complaints were unanimously upheld.”

“Our message to Hell’s Pizza is simple – stay out of the bedroom and get back into the kitchen,” Mr McCoskrie said.

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Interview with Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret

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Interview with Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret

April 16, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, January 7, 2006

PostSecret is a community art project where people release their secrets by anonymously mailing them on a homemade postcard. Frank Warren started PostSecret in November, 2004 and has since received thousands of secrets from all over the world. The cards appeared in an All-American Rejects music video for the song Dirty Little Secret, and PostSecret’s fee? a $2,000 donation to The National Hopeline Network 1(800)SUICIDE, a suicide hotline. PostSecret has recently published a book of some of the postcards with some of the proceeds also going to the hotline.

Wikinews: What is PostSecret for you?

Frank Warren: PostSecret is a community art project where anyone can write a secret on a postcard and mail it in.

You originally sent out 3,000 postcards at the projects inception in November, 2004. Over a year later, approximately how many cards have you received?

20,000.

Geographically, how far away have you received postcards?

The cards come from all over the world; Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Australia, Ireland, India…

You let the All-American Rejects use the postcards in their video for a donation to the National Hopeline Network, a suicide hotline. You also have a book out now with some of the proceeds going to National Hopeline. Is depression the most common theme in the secrets that you have received?

I do not know if depression is the most common theme, but I picked the charity because of my own experiences with suicide and because I have first-hand knowledge of the good work done by 1(800)SUICIDE.

What, in your opinion, is the motivation for people to send you their secrets?

I think some people are looking to share a funny story, others want to talk about a secret kindness they performed but most people, I believe, are looking to better understand their own secrets and perhaps use this project as a first step in taking action upon their secrets.

Have you ever gotten into any sort of trouble or controversy because of what you have posted on your site? If so, what has happened as a result?

I once received a postcard from a girl saying, “I worked really hard to get into [Ivy League School] but now I hate it here.” She later contacted me and said her friends and family recognized her handwriting and the posting was causing her distress. She asked me to remove it and I did. But I asked her to let me know how things turned-out in the long-run. Maybe this event will cause her to change schools or find new ways to appreciate where she is now.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Finally, PostSecret has touched and aided the lives of many people. How can people help the project?

I hope people just continue to bravely share their secrets on the site and visitors continue to express their understanding and compassion.

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