Monday, February 12, 2007

Cars drove home the big prize last night, from the 34th Annual Annie Awards. The animation industry’s highest honor, ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annies recognise contributions to animation, writing, directing, storyboarding, voice acting, composing, and much more.

As mentioned, Pixar took home the big prize last night, after facing stiff competition from four other Happy Feet, Monster House, Open Season, and Over the Hedge.

But the biggest winner of the night didn’t get a “Best Animated Feature” nod at all. Flushed Away won five feature animation categories including Animated Effects (Scott Cegielski), Character Animation (Gabe Hordos), Production Design (Pierre-Olivier Vincent), Voice Acting (Sir Ian McKellan as Toad), Writing (Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Chris Lloyd, Joe Keenan, and Will Davies).

Over The Hedge won awards for Directing (Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick), Storyboarding (Gary Graham), and Character Design (Nicolas Marlet).

Of little surprise, Randy Newman won an Annie for Cars in the “Music in an Animated Feature Production” category. Newman has won many Oscars for his movie music, and has a nomination this year for the song “Our Town”. Newman didn’t attend the Annies, instead picking up a Grammy for “Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media”.

DisneyToon Studios’ Bambi II won “Best Home Entertainment Production”, while “Best Animated Short Subject” went to Blue Sky Studios’ No Time For Nuts, which is based on Ice Age.

“Best Animated Video Game” went to Flushed Away The Game, while a United Airlines ad named “Dragon” won a “Best Animated Television Commercial” Annie for DUCK Studios.

Contents

  • 1 Foster an Annie fav on TV
  • 2 Wikinews was there
  • 3 Related news
  • 4 Sources
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Scarborough-Agincourt (Ward 40). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Sunny Eren, Norm Kelly (incumbent), George Pappas, and Winston Ramjeet.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An investigation is currently under way in Argyll, Scotland, following a derailment on the Glasgow – Oban railway. The incident took place at 2100 BST (2000 UTC) on Sunday, close to the Falls of Cruachan station. According to reports, both carriages of the derailed unit had also caught fire. At the location of the incident, the railway line is on an embankment above a local roadway, and the lead car came to rest overhanging this road.

All passengers have been successfully evacuated, with eight being taken to hospital with “serious but not life-threatening” injuries. There were no fatalities. A spokesperson for the ambulance service stated soon after the incident: “There’s quite a lot of walking wounded. There’s a couple of bumps to necks and backs and things like that.”

The British Transport Police gave a short statement:

The train involved was the 1820 hours Glasgow Queen Street to Oban service. This is a two-car train and the leading car has derailed and caught fire.

Inspector David McEwan being quoted as confirming that the lead coach was “sitting in a precarious position overhanging the roadway”, and continued “the coach could slip further down the embankment on to the roadway […] This is obviously a major concern for the engineers at this moment in time.”

Railway engineers are currently working to stabilise the site, and re-open the line. According to a Scotrail spokesperson “an investigation is already under way into the cause of the incident by appropriate agencies and industry partners”.The line between Glasgow and Oban remains closed, with buses to Crianlarich and Oban replacing trains.

Australia/2006

Posted by: in Uncategorized
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Apr

Contents

  • 1 January
  • 2 February
  • 3 March
  • 4 April
  • 5 May
  • 6 June
  • 7 July
  • 8 August
  • 9 September
  • 10 October
  • 11 November
  • 12 December

[edit]

Thursday, April 4, 2013

In recent days, North Korea has been issuing threats of war to neighbouring South Korea and the United States. There has been an increase in tensions as well as the decision to close off the Kaesong Industrial Park to South Korean workers.

Wikinews interviewed Dr. Robert Kelly of Pusan National University (PNU) in South Korea, who specialises in security and diplomacy, about the recent threats; and Scott Snyder, a North Korean specialist from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the United States.

((Wikinews)) What is your job role?

Dr. Robert Kelly: I am a Professor of International Relations at PNU.
Scott Snyder: I am a senior fellow for Korea Studies and director of the program for U.S.–Korea policy at CFR.

((WN)) North Korea has issued many threats to South Korea, how likely do you think it is that they will carry out these threats?

RK: Very unlikely. North Korea would lose a war if one began, and if they use nuclear weapons, they will lose all sympathy in global opinion and China will abandon them. The point of these threats is to shake-down SK [South Korea] and its new president for aid, not to start a war.

File:Scott Snyder.jpg

SS: North Korea’s threats have a variety of purposes. Some are defensive and are primarily meant to deter other countries from taking aggressive stances in the face of North Korea’s own weakness; some are designed tactically to set up for negotiations; some are expressions of intent or aspiration that are beyond the capability of North Korea to implement without facing severe consequences, and some are very specific threats that North Korea will attempt to implement as part of a guerrilla strategy so as to avoid escalation and take advantage of the element of surprise. NK [North Korean] threats should be taken seriously, but evaluated carefully to determine circumstances under which they might actually be carried out.

((WN)) How do people in South Korea feel about North Korea’s nuclear weapon’s programme?

RK: They do not like it of course, but they worry far less about it than outsiders would expect. South Koreans have been living under this shadow for many years. The North has made many threats in the past. So NK is like the boy who cried wolf. No one expects them to launch a weapon.
SS: Increasingly unsettled and concerned, especially about the possibility of being subject to nuclear blackmail. At the same time, this circumstance thus far has had negligible impact on South Koreans’ daily lives.

((WN)) Are South Korean citizens carrying on their day to day lives as normal?

RK: Yes, they are. This is not like the Cuban Missile Crisis when people were emptying the store shelves and building bunkers in their basements. My students are coming and going like normal. Indeed, South Koreans’ composure is very impressive.
SS: Yes.

((WN)) Is North Korea becoming further isolated in the world?

RK: Yes, it is. Threatening nuclear war is a genuine escalation that would alienate any state. Importantly though, NK is already fairly isolated. And because China, its main aid supplier, does not cut it off, further isolation has few practical impacts.
SS: North Korea is increasingly politically isolated but it is comparatively more economically and informationally connected than it was a decade ago.

((WN)) Is the South Korean military well-prepared to deal with any conflicts with the North Korean military?

RK: Yes. The ROKA [Republic of Korea Army, of South Korea] is a modern, well-trained, well-groomed force with substantial technical and organization superiority over the KPA [Korean People’s Army, of North Korea]. To date, the South Koreans have not responded to Northern provocation in order to avoid escalation, not because they are incapable. SK conventional superiority is augmented further by US assistance.
SS: South Korea will decisively win most direct conventional engagements with the North, but is vulnerable in selected theaters where North Korea perceives a lack of readiness or a tactical advantage.

((WN)) Is the closure of Kaesong by North Korea, evidence of further escalating tensions between the two nations?

RK: Yes and no. It is important, because it is a source of hard currency for the North, so its closure suggests that the North is willing to carry genuine costs over this feud. On the other hand, the SK media identified the closure of Kaesong early as a marker of NK seriousness, saying very openly that if NK did not close the facility, they did not really mean what they were saying. In other words, NK was, I think, goaded into closing Kaesong in the war of words, not as a part of any larger strategic plan.
SS: Thus far, it is a symbolic evidence of potential for escalating tensions, but has not yet resulted in material changes. Let’s see how the situation plays out over the next couple of days. Kaesong will only become vulnerable when operations halt and when financial transfers connected to failure of operations become operative.

((WN)) North Korea has moved one of its missiles that carries a large range missile to its East Coast, is this a serious move?

RK: I don’t think it’s as serious a move as the media has made it out to be. First of all they just moved one [missile]. Second of all, it’s not clear that North Korea actually has nuclear warheads that are small enough to actually put on top of missiles; they tell us this but nuclear weapons are actually pretty heavy, which is why nuclear missiles are frequently quite large, so moving the weapon there doesn’t necessarily mean it’s pointed at the United States or Tokyo which I suppose would be the likely targets. It’s not clear that it’s necessarily a nuclear missile and it’s not being fueled or anything so far as I know so again it’s sort of more of the same… bluffing…sort of talking around the issue and sort of saying things that don’t actually have genuine consequences so my sense is it’s more of a war of words.

((WN)) There’s a lot of talk about Kim Jong-un being an inexperienced leader — do you think he knows where the ‘brink’ lies?

RK: That’s actually a really good question. No, I don’t, which is why we’re having this whole conversation. Kim’s father, Kim the second [Kim Jong-il], was actually very good about this, “good” in quotations I suppose. He knew really well how to play this game, he knew really well how to play the South, particularly for aid, rice, assistance, fuel, things like that. The new guy — he’s only been in there for a year-and-a-half, right, 14, 15 months — he didn’t go through the grooming institutions of the regime, he didn’t go through the military or the party. And he certainly has no military training, it’s not like he went to some military institute — he went to some boarding school in Switzerland, or something like that. So it’s not at all clear that this guy knows, sort of how this is done. I have a feeling myself that he’s being egged on by the generals at home, and the generals are really doing this because they do not want the military’s position to be lowered in the new order. Under the previous Kim, under the second Kim [Kim-Jong-il], the military was raised in the constitution to a very high level of importance, they were sort of the primary pillar of the government, this is called the ‘Military First’ policy. I think people now worry that the new Kim — in order to re-start the economy might downgrade the role of the military, and I think that is where all this is coming from. I don’t think they want a war.

((WN)) All of these threats, do you think they are just a way of getting more economic aid from the United Nations?

RK: I wouldn’t say the United Nations [UN] because the UN role in this is actually pretty minimal. It is true that there are some UN specialized agencies that operate in North Korea — the World Food Programme I believe is the big one because North Korea constantly has food problems — and there are western NGOs, and aid groups, charities and stuff like that, also operate in North Korea. I’ve actually been to North Korea and I’ve seen these charities operate. I’ve actually met some of the people who actually live there and do this stuff. But they’re actually pretty small, right? I mean, the North Koreans are pretty worried about Westerners running around in North Korea making trouble and saying things and this and that. Any kind of foreign penetration in North Korea is very, very limited. I think the real issue is actually North Korea’s neighbors, specifically Japan, China, the United States and South Korea. Russia’s really sort of a bit player in this drama. And that’s what they really want, the North Koreans now are very dependent on only the Chinese. They used to be able to play the Chinese off the South Koreans off the Japanese off the Americans and extract aid and concessions from each of those. In the last ten years or so it has become harder to do that — particularly Japan, the United States and South Korea have closed ranks and don’t really deal individually with North Korea anymore. This has pushed North Korea to China. North Korea doesn’t like being dependent on just one player. And so I think that’s what this is an effort to shake up, […] a very difficult game for the North were they an economic colony of China.

Sunday, February 27, 2005Nine people were rescued by helicopter from the roof of a blazing skyscraper in Taiwan on Saturday.

The people were dining in the rooftop restaurant when a fire broke out lower in the 25 story Golden Plaza Tower. The fire is said to have started in a disco on the 18th floor at about 4pm local time.

Four people died in the fire, including two employees of the tower. The body of a security officer was found on the 18th floor with another body found nearby. Two more were found in an elevator. Two or three people suffered minor injuries after inhaling smoke.

The building in Taichung, Taiwan’s third largest city, houses offices, shops and schools.

Those fleeing the building at ground level had to cover their heads to protect themselves from falling glass and other debris. Fire fighters extinguished the blaze after an hour and a half.

Monday, November 21, 2016

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn both spoke at the annual Confederation of British Industry conference today, talking about Britain after its planned ‘Brexit’ from the European Union, and future plans for business.

May formally announced plans to cut corporation tax from 20%, without giving details, in order to discourage businesses from leaving the UK post-Brexit. Corbyn said in his speech he believes investment by the government on things such as infrastructure improvements is shared ground between Labour and businesses but “businesses will need to contribute” meaning “some increase in corporation tax” under his administration.

Theresa May also toned down plans to put ordinary workers on corporate boards, a campaign promise from running to become leader of the ruling Conservative Party. She said she is working to create a “model that works for everyone” after consulting firms and the general public, with possible plans including panels or advisory committees. The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress responded by saying “Theresa May made a clear promise to have workers represented on company boards […] This is not the way to show that you want to govern for ordinary working people.” Jeremy Corbyn also criticised this announcement saying “we need to see genuine employee representation at board level, which the prime minister promised, but I see is already backing away from.”

Theresa May also announced she wishes to spend £2Bn annually in research and development, as well as plans to start a small business research initiative to look into helping innovators get ahead. Jeremy Corbyn however said he plans to spend 3% of the UK’s GDP on R&D, significantly more than specified by May.

Jeremy Corbyn’s plans for the UK’s economy focussed on investment. Speaking at the conference he said “First and foremost, a Labour government will prioritise investing in our economy.” As well as the investment in research, Corbyn also promised funds for areas including house building and infrastructure. This would be controlled by the proposed “National Investment Bank”. Corbyn said “Our National Investment Bank will deliver long term strategic investment in our under-powered infrastructure and provide the patient finance that our businesses need across the country.”

May told the conference she would not give “a running commentary on every twist and turn” of the Brexit negotiations. This comes after allegation in the press that she she has no plan to keep under wraps, a claim that has been backed up by an alleged leaked internal government memo that talks about a “lack of overall negotiation strategy” within government.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. The most recent of our interviews is Laurens, South Carolina‘s John Taylor Bowles. Mr. Bowles is running with the endorsement of the National Socialist Order of America, a Minnesota-based Neo-Nazi party created after a recent rift in the National Socialist Movement.

Contents

  • 1 Interview
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links

[edit]

Category:June 8, 2010

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Huge interest takes Wikileaks offline

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30
Mar

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Wikileaks website, which publishes sensitive and censored material submitted by anonymous contributors, has experienced unprecedented levels of Internet traffic today through public interest. This interest has caused the website’s servers to be unable to meet the demand of over 164 gigabytes of download traffic within twenty-four hours, leading the site to be temporarily inaccessible.

The film Fitna, directed and produced by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, has caused controversy for its presentation of Wilders’ negative view of Islam as being committed to world domination and acts of terrorism. A trailer for the film was widely uploaded to many video sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video; this met with anger from Islamic nations, the debacle culminating in Pakistan’s government ordering the nation’s internet service providers to block the YouTube site. This caused YouTube to be inaccessible to residents of other countries whose Internet service providers’ equipment automatically began routing traffic to YouTube via Pakistan Telecom’s servers, due to their ban accidentally propagating to other providers. Ultimately, YouTube acquiesced to the demands made by Pakistan and other organisations, in exchange for access being restored. The site LiveLeak originally hosted a copy of the trailer, which has now been replaced with a video message stating that the lives of their staff have been put at risk due to hosting it.

As a consequence of this censorship, Wikileaks mirrored the video, receiving heavy access traffic through hosting one of the few copies remaining on the Internet. Wikinews has obtained an exclusive statement from a representative of Wikileaks, affirming that the site has not been taken off-line due to external pressure, and is instead suffering technical problems due to this high demand. The representative gave the following statement:

It seems that due to a more than less overwhelming interest in the Fitna video and recent other media coverage from the protests in Tibet, as well as a few dozen new documents leaked on the portal in the last few days, parts of the portal have given up service and need a few warm words from a friendly Wikileaks operator. Please standby, the portal will be back soon.

Wikileaks gained recent public attention in the Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks lawsuit, following publication of leaked documents that were alleged to provide evidence of money laundering, tax evasion and asset hiding by Swiss financial institution Bank Julius Baer. The documents are said to have been uploaded by Rudolf Elmer, a former chief operating officer of the bank’s Cayman Islands division, who was sacked following an investigation by the bank that involved polygraph testing. Wikileaks has not, however, stated that Elmer was the source of the documents. Bank Julius Baer sought an injunction against the operator of Wikileaks’ domain name, Dynadot, to remove access to the site from the Wikileaks.org domain; this was granted by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The site was consequently inaccessible through this domain, although access could be obtained through many alternate addresses. Following activity by organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, who sought to defend the right to free speech that Wikileaks relied upon, the lawsuit was dropped and access was restored.