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Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 | Author:

Sunday, September 4, 2005

In Louisiana, southeast of New Orleans, two storage tanks estimated to be filled with up to 160,000 barrels (6.7 million gallons) of oil are reported to be leaking into the Mississippi River. It was first noticed on September 1, 2005 by an aircraft flying overhead. Officials are not certain whether the tanks are the cause of the leak or how full the tanks are. Inspection of the storage tanks from the ground is impossible due to flooding in the area.

In comparison, the Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska leaked between 11 and 35 million gallons of oil.

Due to massive efforts directed toward search and rescue in New Orleans, the Coast Guard has not been able to look into the matter.

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Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 | Author:

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
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Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 | Author:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

An internal investigation by the United States Marine Corps into the crash of an F/A-18 jet into a San Diego house has blamed errors on the part of the pilot, his superiors and maintenance personnel for the accident which killed four people.

The report found that mechanics had noticed the aircraft had a faulty fuel transfer system in June 2008 but repairs were never made, with the defective jet performing 146 more sorties in this state before the December accident.

“While we did not find any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the responsible parties are being held accountable for their part in this tragic accident,” said Maj. Gen. Randolph Alles of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Four Marine squadron officers have been relieved of duty, as well as Navy officers. Eight enlisted Marines and one Navy sailor have been reprimanded. The pilot has been grounded.

On the day of the accident the pilot, Lt. Dan Neubauer, had just taken off from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln when he reported that the aircraft’s right engine had low oil pressure.

Neubauer, who was still in training, shut the engine down as a precaution, leaving the plane operating on the left engine. The Abraham Lincoln’s captain and the ‘air boss’ suggested an emergency landing at the North Island military base, which was about 100 miles from the carrier. This would have given an approach from over the ocean.

Neubauer contacted his squadron bosses and instead opted to try to land at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, which was 11 more miles away and involved a flight path over San Diego. Neubauer also failed to read his own emergency checklists, instead having sections read to him by his squadron representatives on the ground. The squadron representatives at Miramar were unaware of all the details of the situation on board and did not read out all the relevant sections.

Officers at Miramar were informed of the fact that a warning light indicated the remaining engine was running low on fuel. However, they did not take heed in what was described by the report as a “critical mistake”. In fact, the plane’s tanks had plenty of fuel, but the engine trouble was caused by the faulty fuel flow system, which fed the left engine. Officers also failed to watch the plane’s location properly.

Upon final approach to Miramar, Neubauer thought, incorrectly, that he could not turn right, towards his inoperative engine. Instead, he conducted a long leftwards loop to line up. The maneuver took around ninety seconds to complete and starved the left engine of fuel, causing it to flameout. At this point the jet fell towards the ground and the pilot attempted to aim the aircraft for a canyon, where it could crash safely. However, the plane did not stay airborne and struck a house at an estimated 150 mph. It is thought that two more seconds would have been enough for the plane to reach the canyon.

While we did not find any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the responsible parties are being held accountable for their part in this tragic accident.

Instead, the crash killed four people inside the house; a grandmother, her daughter and her two granddaughters. The children’s father, Dong Yun Yoon, was among those briefed on the publication of the report, alongside politicians in Washington and San Diego. The pilot safely ejected after holding on as long as possible, the report stating that a second or two more would have likely resulted in his death.

The investigation has a number of implications. The fuel problem was not followed up on as it was not on a list of faults requiring immediate repair, but nonetheless 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing operations officer Col. John Rupp said keeping it in the air “was collectively poor judgment on the part of the squadron’s maintenance department.” The commanding officer, operations officer, aviation maintenance officer and operations duty officer have all been relieved of duty, while eight other marines and a sailor were reprimanded.

Maintenance standards have been upgraded and emergency training enhanced as a result. Flight simulators are set to include a scenario based on the accident. Lt. Dan Neubauer has been grounded and it is up to the deputy commandant for aviation whether he will be allowed to return to the air. Immediately after the accident, all F/A-18s were grounded and inspected. The Marines issued a bulletin to all other operators of the aircraft worldwide to warn them of the circumstances.

So far, the Marines and the United States Navy have identified 40 F/A-18 Hornets with the same problem. None of these have crashed.

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Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 | Author:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Police have arrested the owner of a mattress factory in Hay Hassini, Casablanca, Morocco which burned down in a disaster that claimed 55 lives. His son, who was the factory’s manager, was also arrested.

Those killed — 35 of whom were women — were trapped inside by locked fire exits, which were barricaded to stop theft during working hours. “The people who died were either asphyxiated or burned,” commented a firefighter. 17 were wounded. Moustapha Taouil of the Casablanca civil protection service said the blaze was triggered by an inadequatly maintained electric saw on the ground floor. The initial fire quickly engulfed all four storeys of the building.

The Rosamor factory was clearly operating unsafely, officials said. “It’s a building with a ground floor and three upper floors specialising in making furniture, therefore there were highly inflammable products,” said Taouil. “We confirmed during our examination that the owners of the premises failed to respect legal requirements for this kind of industry including staff training… the owner in contravention of the law, locked staff inside the plant apparently to prevent theft of raw material. It was this that prevented them getting out. The fire was caused by lack of proper maintenance of certain machines and electrical installations.” He said a short circuit on the ground floor, which was filled with power saws, triggered the disaster.

As a result of the investigatons, “The plant’s owner, Adil Moufarreh, and his son Abdelali Moufarreh, who was the manager, have been taken into custody after having been questioned by police,” said an official.

28-year-old factory employee Fadila Khadija said “There was no emergency exit, the extinguishers were empty and the working conditions were difficult.” One source said that windows were also unusable as they were covered with iron bars. 20-year-old survivor Omar Elaaz said “I was working on the first floor as an upholsterer. The smoke came up from the ground floor where the foam rubber, wood and glue are stored. I used a gas bottle to break the wire mesh that protects every window.” 31-year-old upholsterer Hakim Hakki told of his own lucky escape and its effect on him from hospital: “I jumped from the third floor with four other colleagues while the women, who didn’t dare to follow us, perished in the inferno. God saved me but I’ll never forget those who died.”

The father of deceased 19-year-old Abdelazziz Darif said his son was paid 250 dirhams (20 euro/31 US dollars) per week and did not have social insurance.

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Friday, September 21st, 2018 | Author:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Three American hostages – Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell – that were being held in Colombia by FARC are now free. They are safely in Florida after their rescue by Colombian forces; 12 other hostages were rescued at the same time. They received care from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio before being sent home to their families. The men were taken captive when their drug surveillance plane went down in the jungles of Colombia in 2003 – more than 5 years ago. All three of the men were working for a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation at the time.

Keith Stansell emphasized that while he was grateful to be home, no one should “forget the people that are still there”. “Because of our rescue, there are fellow hostages that are still there,” Stansell said. He reminded those listening that some of the remaining hostages have already been in captivity for 10 years, in squalid conditions. “You wait for a day like yesterday and today, you know, for the end, you… you want it to end,” added Marc Gonsalves.

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Friday, September 21st, 2018 | Author:

Monday, June 25, 2018

On Saturday, the plastic ban in the Indian state of Maharashtra came into force. In an attempt to minimise pollution, the state government has introduced a ban on single-use plastics.

The leader of the Yuya Sena political party, Aaditya Thackeray, said on Twitter, “The ban on single use disposable plastic cups, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic plates and cutlery, styrofoam cutlery and non woven bags”. He added, “these are global issues now and we have taken a step to combat it”.

Plastic pollution has led to the choking of drains, marine pollution and a risk of animals consuming plastics. This year, India’s motto for World Environment Day — June 5 — was “Beat Plastic Pollution”. People violating the plastic ban are to face a fine of 5,000 Indian Rupees (INR) for the first offence. For the second offence, the fine is INR 10,000 and the third time offence is INR 25,000 and a three-month prison term. Deputy municipal commissioner Nidhi Choudhary said, “To weed out corruption, we plan to give inspectors payment gadgets for electronic receipts of the fines”.

The Maharashtra government has given a 90-day period for manufacturers to dispose of existing polyethylene terephthalate (PET/PETE) plastic spoons and plates, while shopkeepers and citizens in general have six months to dispose of plastics. However, the ban does not prohibit plastic usage for wrapping medicines or milk cartons thicker than 50 microns.

The state government had announced the decision for the plastic ban on March 23. According to NDTV’s report, Maharashtra is the eighteenth Indian state to enforce a state-wide plastic ban. Aaditya Thackeray also said, “I congratulate the citizens for making this into a movement, even before the ban was enforceable, giving up single use disposable plastic.”

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Friday, September 21st, 2018 | Author:

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 North Carolina, Tom Millican, an independent corporate manager and Vietnam veteran.

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Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 | Author:

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jim Reeves is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the York-Simcoe riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Friday, September 14th, 2018 | Author:

Monday, August 29, 2005

On July 18, 2005 CN Rail notified the CAW that they intend to cancel the CN-CAW previously Negotiated Health & Safety Plan. The CAW will be going to arbitration this fall to address the issue. The CAW has asked that employees notify their Health and Safety Rep about any safety concerns at the work place.

One terminal has lost 5-6 full-time positions. CN Rail used to have part-time positions filled as well, but at this time there are no part-time employees to cover work if a full-time employee is absent. Overtime is necessary to keep the trains running on time. Intermodal traffic goes up, but staff goes down. CN Rail expects the trains to go out on time, and in a safe condition, but staff is overworked, because there are not enough of them. In fact, one worker noticed that most of the rail cars that contained 40 foot overseas containers did not have their loading guides in place. Trains are not allowed to go out without these guides placed into the cars (the guides stop the loads from swaying from side to side in the cars), important for safety with double stacked containers, but it seems that in this case the lack of employees forced the train to leave without them.

Some recent derailments have come to the attention of the media and politicians.

On August 3rd 2005 there was a derailment in Wabamun Lake Alberta that spilled toxins into the lake. 2 days later there was a derailment in Cheakamus River near Squamish BC. Both derailments spilled hazardous materials into the water. Many are saying that CN took too long to notify people of the toxic spills.

The Conductor on each train carries with him the shipping manifest with him and has access to that information at all times. Almost any CN terminal that has a clerk working at it with access to the CN Intranet can get this information within minutes.

CTV news has said that this is the 5th derailment for CN this month.

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