Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Associated Press (AP) announced yesterday that it will charge its members for online content, starting on January 1, 2006. The decision occurred at its annual board meeting.

Until the new pricing arrangement takes place, news sites that purchase AP content for their print editions have been able to use the same content on their websites at no additional charge. No pricing scheme has been announced, but the AP did say that it would increase its fees less than usual this year to ease the transition.

Burl Osborne, the chairman of the AP’s board, stated that since the creation of the internet, the “AP’s philosophy was to promote member efforts to develop this new medium, and to give those fledgling online efforts time to grow.”

The price increase was not the only plan mentioned at the meeting. According to an AP report in the New York Times, “The AP also plans to introduce a new multimedia package designed to appeal to young adults, a prized advertising demographic deeply immersed in the Internet and other digital media.”



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.



The time is 17:00 (UTC) on June 7th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 11,000 evacuated in Indonesia as Mount Merapi threatens to erupt
    • 1.2 Gunmen Seize 50 in Iraq
    • 1.3 U.S. Senate defeats bill banning gay marriage
    • 1.4 Australian PM announces nuclear taskforce
    • 1.5 EPA block massive West Australian energy project
    • 1.6 “Ten Commandments” judge loses Alabama gubernatorial primary
    • 1.7 20 percent of Victorians drive on worn tyres
    • 1.8 Body found in the Christchurch, New Zealand Avon River
    • 1.9 Real body found at mock crime scene in Florida
    • 1.10 Raw Audio starts Australia’s first regular live webcast
  • 2 Closing statements


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Torture proliferates American headlines today: whether its use is defensible in certain contexts and the morality of the practice. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone was curious about torture in American popular culture. This is the first of a two part series examining the BDSM business. This interview focuses on the owners of a dungeon, what they charge, what the clients are like and how they handle their needs.

When Shankbone rings the bell of “HC & Co.” he has no idea what to expect. A BDSM (Bondage Discipline Sadism Masochism) dungeon is a legal enterprise in New York City, and there are more than a few businesses that cater to a clientèle that wants an enema, a spanking, to be dressed like a baby or to wear women’s clothing. Shankbone went to find out what these businesses are like, who runs them, who works at them, and who frequents them. He spent three hours one night in what is considered one of the more upscale establishments in Manhattan, Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, where according to The Village Voice, “you can take your girlfriend or wife, and have them treated with respect—unless they hope to be treated with something other than respect!”

When Shankbone arrived on the sixth floor of a midtown office building, the elevator opened up to a hallway where a smiling Rebecca greeted him. She is a beautiful forty-ish Long Island mother of three who is dressed in smart black pants and a black turtleneck that reaches up to her blond-streaked hair pulled back in a bushy ponytail. “Are you David Shankbone? We’re so excited to meet you!” she says, and leads him down the hall to a living room area with a sofa, a television playing an action-thriller, an open supply cabinet stocked with enema kits, and her husband Bill sitting at the computer trying to find where the re-release of Blade Runner is playing at the local theater. “I don’t like that movie,” says Rebecca.

Perhaps the most poignant moment came at the end of the night when Shankbone was waiting to be escorted out (to avoid running into a client). Rebecca came into the room and sat on the sofa. “You know, a lot of people out there would like to see me burn for what I do,” she says. Rebecca is a woman who has faced challenges in her life, and dealt with them the best she could given her circumstances. She sees herself as providing a service to people who have needs, no matter how debauched the outside world deems them. They sat talking mutual challenges they have faced and politics (she’s supporting Hillary); Rebecca reflected upon the irony that many of the people who supported the torture at Abu Ghraib would want her closed down. It was in this conversation that Shankbone saw that humanity can be found anywhere, including in places that appear on the surface to cater to the inhumanity some people in our society feel towards themselves, or others.

“The best way to describe it,” says Bill, “is if you had a kink, and you had a wife and you had two kids, and every time you had sex with your wife it just didn’t hit the nail on the head. What would you do about it? How would you handle it? You might go through life feeling unfulfilled. Or you might say, ‘No, my kink is I really need to dress in women’s clothing.’ We’re that outlet. We’re not the evil devil out here, plucking people off the street, keeping them chained up for days on end.”

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Bill & Rebecca, owners of Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, a BDSM dungeon.

Contents

  • 1 Meet Bill & Rebecca, owners of a BDSM dungeon
    • 1.1 Their home life
  • 2 Operating the business
    • 2.1 The costs
    • 2.2 Hiring employees
    • 2.3 The prices
  • 3 The clients
    • 3.1 What happens when a client walks through the door
    • 3.2 Motivations of the clients
    • 3.3 Typical requests
    • 3.4 What is not typical
  • 4 The environment
    • 4.1 Is an S&M dungeon dangerous?
    • 4.2 On S&M burnout
  • 5 Criticism of BDSM
  • 6 Related news
  • 7 External links
  • 8 Sources


Sunday, March 29, 2009

With the United States in a recession, more and more people are looking for ways to spend less money and get a better bargain at the same time. In a time where prices are higher, ‘recession gardens’ are becoming increasingly popular, echoing the victory gardens which were planted during World War I and World War II which helped to reduce the stress and pressure of food shortages.

“There is more interest in vegetable gardens similar to the victory gardens. Because of the economy, they are being called recession gardens,” said a master gardener who volunteers at Ohio State University‘s Extension Service office, Fred Hanacek.

The new fad recently caught on in Iowa where families have began to plant the recession gardens to save money in the produce sections of supermarkets, especially organic fruits and vegetables. Public News Service quotes the National Gardening Association (NGA) as saying that they expect a nearly 20% increase in personal home garden across the U.S.. Some of the increase is also due to people wanting to know what goes onto their vegetables and in their foods.

“I do believe you’ll find there’s an extra expense in actually producing your own food, but the food quality you get is far better than what you can purchase in a store,” said Beverly Bernhard a veteran gardener from Iowa.

The new trend has also gotten the attention of U.S. president Barack Obama who recently stated that he plans to plant a vegetable garden at the White House. It will be the first vegetable garden to be planted at the White House in over 20 years. The last time a garden of this kind was planted at the White House was in World War II when Eleanor Roosevelt planted her Victory Garden. In 1800, former U.S. president John Adams is reported to have planted the first White House garden. Andrew Jackson went a bit further, building a greenhouse.

Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, broke ground on the new garden with the fifth grade class at Bancroft Elementary located in Washington, D.C. on March 20. The garden, which will be 1,100 square feet and an ‘L’ shape, will be located on the White House’s South Lawn and the Obamas plan to grow over 55 varieties of vegetables.

“Let’s hear it for vegetables. Let’s hear it for fruits,” yelled Mrs. Obama as they broke ground on the garden. “I’ve been able to have my kids eat so many different things that they would have never touched if we had bought them at a store,” she added. Mrs. Obama also said that it will be the entire family’s responsibility to maintain the garden, including the U.S. president.

Many vegetables grow easily, without having to do a lot of work to maintain them. Some examples are lettuce and zucchini. The NGA says at least 9 million Americans will grow vegetable gardens for the first time ever in 2009. An estimated 43 million Americans will plant their own personal vegetable gardens this year.



Friday, July 15, 2016

Yesterday at about 10:30 pm local time (2030 UTC) in the French city of Nice, a truck killed at least 84 people and more than 100 people were injured, at least 18 critically, who were watching fireworks on Bastille Day evening, French officials reported. The attacker was later shot dead by the police.

The attacker drove for some distance — by one report as much as 2 km (more than a mile) — through the crowd along the Promenade des Anglais. The owner of the Le Queenie Restaurant near the seaport told  France Info, “People went down like ninepins”.

Agence France-Presse reported police had discovered identity papers of a 31-year old Tunisian-Frenchman along with, according to one source, fake weapons including rifles and an “inactive” grenade.

20-year-old eyewitness Fanny told Reuters the fast-approaching truck was moving in a zigzag manner, driving in the pedestrian area. Another survivor described sheltering with others in a restaurant. An eyewitness named Nader told BFM TV he thought the driver had lost control of the truck. Later, he also saw the driver taking out a gun.

European Council President Donald Tusk said, “Tragic paradox that the subject of the Nice Attack was people celebrating liberty, equality, and fraternity” ((fr))French language: ?C’est un tragique paradoxe que les cibles de l’attaque Nice attaque soient les gens qui célébraient liberté, égalité, fraternité.

French president François Hollande tweeted, “France is tearful, sorrowful, but she is strong and will always be more than the fanatics who now want to smite her.” ((fr))French language: ?La France est éplorée, affligée, mais elle est forte et le sera toujours plus que les fanatiques qui veulent aujourd’hui la frapper.

A few hours before the incident, Hollande had announced the state of emergency would be lifted on July 26 after November’s Paris attack, but after this incident, he announced extending the state of emergency into October. Condemning the incident, he said, “We will further strengthen our actions in Iraq and in Syria.” He also said “operational reserves” will be called up to support the armed forces in France.

Helpline numbers:

  • 04 93 72 22 22 (Public information ((fr))French language: ?une cellule d’information du public)
  • 01 43 17 56 46 (Interministerial aid to victims ((fr))French language: ?la cellule interministerielle d’aide aux victimes)



read comments (0)
01 17th, 2019

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) has urged the Australian government to increase funding for community broadcasters. CBAA is asking for an extra $AU14 million for “vital community broadcasting services.”

According to CBAA President Deborah Welch, community television is the training ground for the Australian media industry.

“It is the launching pad for the career of thousands of Australian musicians. It is an incredible source of local news, music and culture targeted specifically to local communities and produced by members of the community themselves,” Ms Welch said in a statement.

Stations broadcast a range of programs from religious programing, to car shows and sporting events. Several state based sporting leagues broadcast on community television stations. C31 Melbourne broadcasts an association football show called The Victoria Football Show; Queensland Community Television broadcasts AFL Queensland State League matches; and C31 Adelaide broadcasts Indoor Cricket & Netball and South Australian National Football League matches.

According to the CBAA, the primary income sources for community television stations are sponsorship announcements and community donations.

“The CBBA is calling on the Federal Government to commit $14 million in new funding for content production, infrastructure, training and sector co-ordination and planning,” Ms Walch says. “With $10.4 billion being spent on ‘strengthening the economy’ this is highly targeted $14 million will assist in skills development and employment pathways for many volunteers involved in local stations as well as strengthening local communities ability to sustain themselves in tough times.”

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlum says, “[The] government should always be looking at ways to bring communities together, through sharing information and building partnerships.”



read comments (0)
01 16th, 2019

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

The two miners who had been trapped almost one kilometer beneath the surface in Beaconsfield, Tasmania in a collapsed gold mine for 14 days have now been rescued.

The men, Brant Webb and Todd Russell, were well enough to walk out from the lift onto the surface and threw their arms up in exultation. They then walked to a board and removed their location tags to indicate that they were no longer underground at approximately 5:59 a.m. AEST before embracing family and friends and making their way to the waiting ambulances. The vehicles slowly made their way through the crowds with a police escort and the miners waved to the crowds through the open rear doors. They will undergo medical supervision at Launceston Hospital for a period of time before being confirmed well enough to return home.

The last stages of the rescue, cutting the final sections of the escape tunnel had proceeded very slowly because very hard rock was encountered and work had to proceed gently to minimize the chances of further rock collapses.

The escape tunnel was completed at 4:47 a.m. AEST and it took another hour for the men to be transported to the surface via a “crib room” at “Level 375” (375 metres underground) where they were medically examined and were also able to shower.

A bell at Beaconsfield’s Uniting Church pealed just after 5 a.m. AEST to celebrate the rescue, and an air raid siren was sounded. This was the first time the church bell had been rung since the end of World War II. A local fire engine drove through Beaconsfield’s streets sounding the siren to wake residents for the good news.

A funeral will be held later today for a third miner, Larry Knight, who was killed in the collapse that trapped the miners on April 26.



read comments (0)
01 16th, 2019

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bat for Lashes is the doppelgänger band ego of one of the leading millennial lights in British music, Natasha Khan. Caroline Weeks, Abi Fry and Lizzy Carey comprise the aurora borealis that backs this haunting, shimmering zither and glockenspiel peacock, and the only complaint coming from the audience at the Bowery Ballroom last Tuesday was that they could not camp out all night underneath these celestial bodies.

We live in the age of the lazy tendency to categorize the work of one artist against another, and Khan has had endless exultations as the next Björk and Kate Bush; Sixousie Sioux, Stevie Nicks, Sinead O’Connor, the list goes on until it is almost meaningless as comparison does little justice to the sound and vision of the band. “I think Bat For Lashes are beyond a trend or fashion band,” said Jefferson Hack, publisher of Dazed & Confused magazine. “[Khan] has an ancient power…she is in part shamanic.” She describes her aesthetic as “powerful women with a cosmic edge” as seen in Jane Birkin, Nico and Cleopatra. And these women are being heard. “I love the harpsichord and the sexual ghost voices and bowed saws,” said Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke of the track Horse and I. “This song seems to come from the world of Grimm’s fairytales.”

Bat’s debut album, Fur And Gold, was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, and they were seen as the dark horse favorite until it was announced Klaxons had won. Even Ladbrokes, the largest gambling company in the United Kingdom, had put their money on Bat for Lashes. “It was a surprise that Klaxons won,” said Khan, “but I think everyone up for the award is brilliant and would have deserved to win.”

Natasha recently spoke with David Shankbone about art, transvestism and drug use in the music business.


DS: Do you have any favorite books?

NK: [Laughs] I’m not the best about finishing books. What I usually do is I will get into a book for a period of time, and then I will dip into it and get the inspiration and transformation in my mind that I need, and then put it away and come back to it. But I have a select rotation of cool books, like Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and Little Birds by Anaïs Nin. Recently, Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch.

DS: Lynch just came out with a movie last year called Inland Empire. I interviewed John Vanderslice last night at the Bowery Ballroom and he raved about it!

NK: I haven’t seen it yet!

DS: Do you notice a difference between playing in front of British and American audiences?

NK: The U.S. audiences are much more full of expression and noises and jubilation. They are like, “Welcome to New York, Baby!” “You’re Awesome!” and stuff like that. Whereas in England they tend to be a lot more reserved. Well, the English are, but it is such a diverse culture you will get the Spanish and Italian gay guys at the front who are going crazy. I definitely think in America they are much more open and there is more excitement, which is really cool.

DS: How many instruments do you play and, please, include the glockenspiel in that number.

NK: [Laughs] I think the number is limitless, hopefully. I try my hand at anything I can contribute; I only just picked up the bass, really—

DS: –I have a great photo of you playing the bass.

NK: I don’t think I’m very good…

DS: You look cool with it!

NK: [Laughs] Fine. The glockenspiel…piano, mainly, and also the harp. Guitar, I like playing percussion and drumming. I usually speak with all my drummers so that I write my songs with them in mind, and we’ll have bass sounds, choir sounds, and then you can multi-task with all these orchestral sounds. Through the magic medium of technology I can play all kinds of sounds, double bass and stuff.

DS: Do you design your own clothes?

NK: All four of us girls love vintage shopping and charity shops. We don’t have a stylist who tells us what to wear, it’s all very much our own natural styles coming through. And for me, personally, I like to wear jewelery. On the night of the New York show that top I was wearing was made especially for me as a gift by these New York designers called Pepper + Pistol. And there’s also my boyfriend, who is an amazing musician—

DS: —that’s Will Lemon from Moon and Moon, right? There is such good buzz about them here in New York.

NK: Yes! They have an album coming out in February and it will fucking blow your mind! I think you would love it, it’s an incredible masterpiece. It’s really exciting, I’m hoping we can do a crazy double unfolding caravan show, the Bat for Lashes album and the new Moon and Moon album: that would be really theatrical and amazing! Will prints a lot of my T-shirts because he does amazing tapestries and silkscreen printing on clothes. When we play there’s a velvety kind of tapestry on the keyboard table that he made. So I wear a lot of his things, thrift store stuff, old bits of jewelry and antique pieces.

DS: You are often compared to Björk and Kate Bush; do those constant comparisons tend to bother you as an artist who is trying to define herself on her own terms?

NK: No, I mean, I guess that in the past it bothered me, but now I just feel really confident and sure that as time goes on my musical style and my writing is taking a pace of its own, and I think in time the music will speak for itself and people will see that I’m obviously doing something different. Those women are fantastic, strong, risk-taking artists—

DS: —as are you—

NK: —thank you, and that’s a great tradition to be part of, and when I look at artists like Björk and Kate Bush, I think of them as being like older sisters that have come before; they are kind of like an amazing support network that comes with me.

DS: I’d imagine it’s preferable to be considered the next Björk or Kate Bush instead of the next Britney.

NK: [Laughs] Totally! Exactly! I mean, could you imagine—oh, no I’m not going to try to offend anyone now! [Laughs] Let’s leave it there.

DS: Does music feed your artwork, or does you artwork feed your music more? Or is the relationship completely symbiotic?

NK: I think it’s pretty back-and-forth. I think when I have blocks in either of those area, I tend to emphasize the other. If I’m finding it really difficult to write something I know that I need to go investigate it in a more visual way, and I’ll start to gather images and take photographs and make notes and make collages and start looking to photographers and filmmakers to give me a more grounded sense of the place that I’m writing about, whether it’s in my imagination or in the characters. Whenever I’m writing music it’s a very visual place in my mind. It has a location full of characters and colors and landscapes, so those two things really compliment each other, and they help the other one to blossom and support the other. They are like brother and sister.

DS: When you are composing music, do you see notes and words as colors and images in your mind, and then you put those down on paper?

NK: Yes. When I’m writing songs, especially lately because I think the next album has a fairly strong concept behind it and I’m writing the songs, really imagining them, so I’m very immersed into the concept of the album and the story that is there through the album. It’s the same as when I’m playing live, I will imagine I see a forest of pine trees and sky all around me and the audience, and it really helps me. Or I’ll just imagine midnight blue and emerald green, those kind of Eighties colors, and they help me.

DS: Is it always pine trees that you see?

NK: Yes, pine trees and sky, I guess.

DS: What things in nature inspire you?

NK: I feel drained thematically if I’m in the city too long. I think that when I’m in nature—for example, I went to Big Sur last year on a road trip and just looking up and seeing dark shadows of trees and starry skies really gets me and makes me feel happy. I would sit right by the sea, and any time I have been a bit stuck I will go for a long walk along the ocean and it’s just really good to see vast horizons, I think, and epic, huge, all-encompassing visions of nature really humble you and give you a good sense of perspective and the fact that you are just a small particle of energy that is vibrating along with everything else. That really helps.

DS: Are there man-made things that inspire you?

NK: Things that are more cultural, like open air cinemas, old Peruvian flats and the Chelsea Hotel. Funny old drag queen karaoke bars…

DS: I photographed some of the famous drag queens here in New York. They are just such great creatures to photograph; they will do just about anything for the camera. I photographed a famous drag queen named Miss Understood who is the emcee at a drag queen restaurant here named Lucky Cheng’s. We were out in front of Lucky Cheng’s taking photographs and a bus was coming down First Avenue, and I said, “Go out and stop that bus!” and she did! It’s an amazing shot.

NK: Oh. My. God.

DS: If you go on her Wikipedia article it’s there.

NK: That’s so cool. I’m really getting into that whole psychedelic sixties and seventies Paris Is Burning and Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis. Things like The Cockettes. There seems to be a bit of a revolution coming through that kind of psychedelic drag queen theater.

DS: There are just so few areas left where there is natural edge and art that is not contrived. It’s taking a contrived thing like changing your gender, but in the backdrop of how that is still so socially unacceptable.

NK: Yeah, the theatrics and creativity that go into that really get me. I’m thinking about The Fisher King…do you know that drag queen in The Fisher King? There’s this really bad and amazing drag queen guy in it who is so vulnerable and sensitive. He sings these amazing songs but he has this really terrible drug problem, I think, or maybe it’s a drink problem. It’s so bordering on the line between fabulous and those people you see who are so in love with the idea of beauty and elevation and the glitz and the glamor of love and beauty, but then there’s this really dark, tragic side. It’s presented together in this confusing and bewildering way, and it always just gets to me. I find it really intriguing.

DS: How are you received in the Pakistani community?

NK: [Laughs] I have absolutely no idea! You should probably ask another question, because I have no idea. I don’t have contact with that side of my family anymore.

DS: When you see artists like Pete Doherty or Amy Winehouse out on these suicidal binges of drug use, what do you think as a musician? What do you get from what you see them go through in their personal lives and with their music?

NK: It’s difficult. The drugs thing was never important to me, it was the music and expression and the way he delivered his music, and I think there’s a strange kind of romantic delusion in the media, and the music media especially, where they are obsessed with people who have terrible drug problems. I think that’s always been the way, though, since Billie Holiday. The thing that I’m questioning now is that it seems now the celebrity angle means that the lifestyle takes over from the actual music. In the past people who had musical genius, unfortunately their personal lives came into play, but maybe that added a level of romance, which I think is pretty uncool, but, whatever. I think that as long as the lifestyle doesn’t precede the talent and the music, that’s okay, but it always feels uncomfortable for me when people’s music goes really far and if you took away the hysteria and propaganda of it, would the music still stand up? That’s my question. Just for me, I’m just glad I don’t do heavy drugs and I don’t have that kind of problem, thank God. I feel that’s a responsibility you have, to present that there’s a power in integrity and strength and in the lifestyle that comes from self-love and assuredness and positivity. I think there’s a real big place for that, but it doesn’t really get as much of that “Rock n’ Roll” play or whatever.

DS: Is it difficult to come to the United States to play considering all the wars we start?

NK: As an English person I feel equally as responsible for that kind of shit. I think it is a collective consciousness that allows violence and those kinds of things to continue, and I think that our governments should be ashamed of themselves. But at the same time, it’s a responsibility of all of our countries, no matter where you are in the world to promote a peaceful lifestyle and not to consciously allow these conflicts to continue. At the same time, I find it difficult to judge because I think that the world is full of shades of light and dark, from spectrums of pure light and pure darkness, and that’s the way human nature and nature itself has always been. It’s difficult, but it’s just a process, and it’s the big creature that’s the world; humankind is a big creature that is learning all the time. And we have to go through these processes of learning to see what is right.



read comments (0)
01 15th, 2019

Monday, October 24, 2011

At least 264 people were killed, said Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin, in a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey yesterday. The quake was the strongest to hit Turkey in ten years. The city of Van has been heavily affected. The death toll was expected to rise.

A number of aftershocks has rattled Turkey since then, with the strongest one having a magnitude of 6.0. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reported 55 buildings destroyed in Ercis, north of Lake Van. He said “because the buildings” in affected villages not yet reached “are made of adobe, they are more vulnerable to quakes. I must say that almost all buildings in such villages are destroyed.”

Rescue efforts are being affected due to power outages due to power line damage from the quake.

Over 1,300 people were reported injured.



read comments (0)