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Former Governor of Texas Mark White dies aged 77

Monday, August 7, 2017

Former governor of Texas, Mark White died at the age of 77 in Houston on Saturday, his son Andrew White told the Associated Press. The Democrat served as Texas’ governor from 1983 till 1987. White was considered as an education reformer during his single-term in office for bringing some policies focusing on education. White had suffered from kidney cancer for several years.

White’s son, Andrew paid tribute to his father and said, “He [Mark White] cared about Texas deeply […] He realized that this wasn’t about getting re-elected. This wasn’t about being popular. This was about making Texas a better place.” Former Texan Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby called White “one of Texas’ greatest governors”.

The current Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott also paid tribute to White saying, “Mark White cared deeply about Texas […] and he devoted his life to making our state even better, particularly when it came to educating our children.”

Born in 1940, White served as Texas’ secretary of state and attorney general before he became the governor. He defeated then-incumbent Republican, Bill Clements to become Governor in 1983 despite Clements spending thirteen million dollars on his campaign. Four years later, Clements defeated White to become Texas’ governor.

White brought few educational reforms including the “No-Pass, No-Play” policy. Per the policy, students had to maintain a minimum threshold of grades to participate in school sports and extra-curricular activities. The decision was unpopular among many and even blocked by a state-district judge. The state Supreme Court eventually approved the policy.

Defending the “No-Pass, No-Play policy” in 1987, White told the state lawmakers, “Let’s be real: Anyone who can study a playbook can study a textbook. Americans didn’t get to the moon on a quarterback sneak.”

After losing in his re-election attempt in 1987, White returned to private law practice and also became the owner of a security company. In 1990, he ran for the office again, but lost to Ann Richards in the Democratic primary who later became the Governor.

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IEEE approves 802.11n standard after six years

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On Friday, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) ratified the next generation of Wi-Fi Alliance certification known as 802.11n. The path to ratification began on September 11, 2003 with 11 major drafts of the specification over the course of six years. Even though just approved, wireless devices have been available on the the market for over two years, running on what is known as “draft n” or “pre-N”.

The 802.11n standard operates on both the 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz frequencies. This will allow it to be backwards compatible with 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g, provided that the base station has dual radios. The speeds of 802.11n are substantially faster than that of its predecessors with a maximum theoretical throughput of 600Mbit/s.

Very few additions were made to the 802.11n draft standard over the last two years, so most if not all “draft n” hardware available on the market today is expected to be compatible with n-standard devices available in the future. In a similar process of the upgrade from “pre-G” to 802.11g, it is expected that most manufacturers of wireless hardware will release new firmware to bring all draft devices up to full standard compliance.

Wikinews interviews You-peng Wang of Taipei Electrical Commercial Association

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Wikinews interviews You-peng Wang of Taipei Electrical Commercial Association

19 Oct

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Besides becoming a political stomping ground for the Pan-Green and Pan-Blue coalitions, there are other changes from past years of Taipei Audio Video Fair (TAVF). With those changes in mind, Wikinews reporter Rico Shen interviewed You-peng Wang, chairman of the Taipei Electrical Commercial Association (TECA), the main organizer of TAVF, about the 60th year anniversary of TECA and the changes to the show.

English actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93

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English actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93

19 Oct

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Famed English actor, singer and author Sir Christopher Lee died last Sunday morning in London aged 93, after being admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for heart failure and respiratory problems. News of his death only became public on Thursday, as his wife of 54 years, Birgit Krøncke Lee, wished first to inform friends and family.

A spokesman for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea confirmed the issuing of his death certificate.

Lee first rose to prominence in the 1950s starring in Hammer Horror films as the classic movie monsters Dracula and Frankenstein and was more recently seen as Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films as well as portraying the villainous Count Dooku in the Star Wars films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

In 2010 Lee released a heavy metal album titled Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross followed by another metal album in 2013, Charlemagne: The Omens of Death and several collections of Heavy Metal cover songs including A Heavy Metal Christmas, A Heavy Metal Christmas Too and Metal Knight.

In 2008 Lee was knighted for services to drama and charity, and in 2001 received a Bafta Fellowship.

Lee is survived by his wife Birgit and daughter Christina.

Discover New Flavors With Mexican Dining In New Orleans


Travelers to the New Orleans area, or NOLA as it is known to locals, often marvel at the sheer range of dining experiences before them. No matter where they go, every section of this historic city holds a wide array of restaurants and cafes. The diversity of food and chef prepared meals only rivals the sheer cultural mecca that this city has evolved into. On every corner, there is another restaurant beckoning one to sit down and enjoy a plate of the chef’s specialties.

One cuisine that many people are surprised to find in New Orleans is Mexican food. They formerly had come to associate this style of cooking only with states like California, Arizona and New Mexico. However, once they look around, hungry travelers discover that Mexican dining in New Orleans is indeed available and presented at its highest levels.

La Casita is an NOLA restaurant that has elevated cooking styles developed South of the border into an art form of its very own. In addition to food and desserts, their staff has designed a number of cocktails not seen in other dining venues. It doesn’t matter whether they are sitting down to lunch, dinner or an early evening feast, diners feel right at home. They have a choice of eating indoors in a rustic and yet modern interior or dining outside in a decorative courtyard setting.

Mexican dining in New Orleans is known for such traditional dishes as homemade guacamole from fresh avocados and tacos filled with everything from vegetarian beans to native seafood. People find that when they dine in an atmosphere of fun, every day can truly be Mardi Gras. This is as true of business-oriented lunch meetings as it is of happy hour revelers who wish to cool off with a pitcher of Margaritas mixed especially for them.

To learn more and see photographs of this kind of restaurant, visit the web pages of Eatlacasita.com. This website features restaurant menus and a glimpse into how special this dining experience really is. Newcomers to the city as well as local residents can contact the restaurant through their website to make group reservations or ask questions.

India Railway Minister presents 2014-15 budget

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India Railway Minister presents 2014-15 budget

18 Oct

Friday, July 11, 2014

On Tuesday, Indian Railway Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda presented his first budget for Indian Railways.

The budget emphasized increased amenities for travelers, better safety, and timely completion of projects. There were no fare hikes announced as both passenger and freight fares had been increased last month. But, it was announced that fares will be revised twice a year to absorb fuel costs. Gowda criticized previous governments for announcing new projects and failing to complete them. He said projects will now be prioritized, such as decongesting major routes instead of announcing new ones. Gowda announced no major new projects, but announced 54 new trains. He also criticized the last government for driving the railways into a loss.

Gowda announced a bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad; new semi-high speed trains in nine sectors connecting metros; and new measures towards improving cleanliness, food, and e-ticketing were announced. He said CCTVs will be installed in major stations to monitor cleanliness, and major stations will have food courts serving local cuisines and precooked food from reputable catering brands will be served on-board. The railways have faced complaints of substandard food in the past.

He announced the introduction of a new rail-flaw detection system to better investigate the causes of accidents. The budget allocated a significant sum to the construction of bridges at unmanned crossings, a major cause of rail-track deaths. He announced a new project to introduce automatic closing doors on mainline and suburban trains, and said wi-fi will be provided in larger stations and select trains. Workstations will be available for on-board use for a fee by Business travelers. The e-ticketing system will be extended from booking tickets to booking coaches and entire trains, and also retiring rooms in stations. Electric mobility carts will be provided to elderly and handicapped passengers at all major stations. Also, Railway Protection Force will recruit four thousand female constables and escorted carriages will be provided for women. A significant amount was announced for improving rail connectivity in north-east India.

Gowda emphasized use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to fund future projects. He also said he will ask the Cabinet to approve foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian Railways. Some stations are to be improved using PPPs. Manish R. Sharma, executive director of capital projects and infrastructure at PricewaterhouseCoopers, pointed out the budget didn’t contain any information on how the government intends to attract private investors. Deven Choksey, managing director at K. R. Choksey securities, said the government now seemed to be more inclined towards PPPs than before. India’s stock index SENSEX dropped and closed 2% below opening. Investors were observed selling shares in energy, infrastructure, and real estate sectors.

Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam

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Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam

18 Oct

Sunday, February 13, 2005

New York –”Buy cheap Viagra through us – no prescription required!” Anyone with an active email account will recognize lines like this one. According to some reports, unsolicited advertisements (spam) for Viagra and similar drugs account for one in four spam messages.


Spamming remains one of the biggest problems facing email users today. While users and systems administrators have improved their defenses against unsolicited email, many spammers now insert random words or characters into their letters in order to bypass filters. The Wikipedia article Stopping email abuse provides an overview of the various strategies employed by companies, Internet users and systems administrators to deal with the issue.

Ever since pharmaceutical giant Pfizer promised to cure erectile dysfunction once and for all with its blue pills containing the drug sildenafil citrate, spammers have tried to tap into male anxiety by offering prescription-free sales of unapproved “generic” Viagra and clones such as Cialis soft tabs. Legislation like the U.S. CAN-SPAM act has done little to stem the tide of email advertising the products.

Now Pfizer has entered a pledge with Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company, to address the problem. The joint effort will focus on lawsuits against spammers as well as the companies they advertise. “Pfizer is joining with Microsoft on these actions as part of our shared pledge to reduce the sale of these products and to fight the senders of unsolicited e-mail that overwhelms people’s inboxes,” said Jeff Kindler, executive vice president at Pfizer.

Microsoft has filed civil actions against spammers advertising the websites CanadianPharmacy and E-Pharmacy Direct. Pfizer has filed lawsuits against the two companies, and has taken actions against websites which use the word “Viagra” in their domain names. Sales of controlled drugs from Canadian pharmacies to the United States are illegal, but most drugs sold in Canada have nevertheless undergone testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is not the case for many of the Viagra clones sold by Internet companies and manufactured in countries like China and India. While it was not clear that CanadianPharmacy was actually shipping drugs from Canada, Pfizer’s general counsel, Beth Levine, claimed that the company filled orders using a call center in Montreal, reported the Toronto Star.

For Microsoft’s part, they allege that the joint effort with Pfizer is part of their “multi-pronged attack on the barrage of spam.” As the creator of the popular email program Outlook, Microsoft has been criticized in the past for the product’s spam filtering process. Recently, Microsoft added anti-spam measures to its popular Exchange server. Exchange 2003 now includes support for accessing so-called real-time block lists, or RTBLs. An RTBL is a list of the IP addresses maintained by a third party; the addresses on the list are those of mailservers thought to have sent spam recently. Exchange 2003 can query the list for each message it receives.

Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

17 Oct

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

Kansas School Board has copyright withheld over teaching Intelligent Design

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Kansas School Board has copyright withheld over teaching Intelligent Design

17 Oct

Monday, October 31, 2005

Kansas has been denied permission to use two key documents commonly used in the writing of science education standards for states, the National Science Education Standards (published by the National Research Council) and Pathways to Science Standards (published by the National Science Teacher Association). The respective organizations argued that they could not grant the state of Kansas permission to use these documents in the current form of the Kansas Science Educational Standards, as these overemphasize controversy between the scientific theory of Evolution and the argument of Intelligent Design. Moreover, the organizations criticize that the standards in their current form distort the definition of science. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has expressed its support for the decision to deny Kansas the use of copyrighted material, as “the proposed standards misrepresent both the content and the standing of evolution as a scientific organizing principle”.

Proponents of Intelligent Design have characterized the refusal as “an effort to censor the discussion of scientific criticism of Darwinian theory by intimidation and threat”.

This is likely to further delay the ratification of the final vote on the Kansas Science Educational Standards as they will have to be rewritten either to not violate any copyright restrictions or modify their account of evolution and outlook on science. According to University of Kansas professor Steve Case, rewriting the standards will be very difficult, as “there is copyrighted material on every page” of the current document.

This is the second time that Kansas was denied the right to use copyrighted materials in their state standards, following the case in 1999, when Kansas included Creationism, a precursor of Intelligent Design, into the school curriculum. A later school board overturned that directive.

The dispute in Kansas has brought nationwide responses, ranging from a rebuke by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to the creation of internet-sensation Flying Spaghetti Monster mythology (which is lobbying the Kansas School Board to give equal time teaching their creationism theory as well.)