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West African cholera claims more than 500 lives, more deaths feared

Thursday, September 1, 2005

An outbreak of cholera in West Africa has resulted in the deaths of more than 500 people, and United Nations (UN) health officials are concerned that inadequate health services in the region could result in many more deaths.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that over 31,250 cases of cholera have been reported so far this year in nine West African countries. It has claimed 488 lives at this point. “If we look at this year’s trends, the figures are still going up in many countries,” said John Mulangu, a senior regional advisor for the WHO. “If cholera is not brought under control in certain regions, we will soon be talking of… 100,000 cases,” he said. “And hospitals and health centres will be overwhelmed. Last year we were not on this scale. The problem is getting worse,” Mulangu said.

The UN says that the increase could also be related to the fact that due to poverty, many West Africans move around, sometimes out of the country, in order to receive higher wages for their work, and the region has been hit with heavy rains. This helps spread the disease, according to the UN.

“We are about to enter the harvest season where people will be moving around,” said Herve Ludovic de Lys, the head of OCHA’s West Africa office. “The main goal is to halt the transmission of this disease,” he said. “It’s not business as usual. This crisis needs a rapid response.”

The following West African nations have all been hit by cholera epidemics: Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Senegal. The WHO issued a statement on Thursday that more countries were at risk. “Outbreaks are likely to spread to Central Africa – Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad – in the next weeks,” it said.

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New England area of USA braces for winter storm

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A storm that has been passing through the midwest some parts of the nation will arrive in New England late tonight. This will be the first major snowstorm of the winter season for the northeast.

There is currently a winter storm warning for most of Massachusetts. It is predicted that there could be near-blizzard conditions in the morning. The storm is expected to bring several inches of snow to the area.

There are currently parking bans in effect in some areas of Massachusetts.

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Triathletes from Belgium and Luxembourg compete in championship race

Monday, August 20, 2007

In the hills of Weiswampach, Luxembourg yesterday, the 12th International Wämper Triathlon became the setting for the national championship Olympic distance (1,5 km swimming, 40 km cycling, 10 km running) triathlon for both Belgium and Luxembourg. The Belgian championship was scheduled to take place in Vilvoorde, Belgium, but because the concentration of Salmonella bacteria in the water was too high, the Belgians moved to Luxembourg.

On Saturday, an event for children and for the handicapped took place, along with the 10 kilometre running event. On Sunday, the Juniors and the athletes for the Promotion race started the day, followed at 15:00 by the elite athletes. Even though dark clouds hung over Weiswampach most of the afternoon, there was only a short rain shower during the cycling course.

In the men’s race, Peter Croes (Belgium, Atriac team) and Dirk Bockel (Luxembourg, Celtic Diekirck team) started together for the final 10 kilometre run, but Bockel managed to outrun Croes by 23 seconds, prolonging his victory of last year. Last year’s winner, Stijn Goris from Belgium (LTTL team), came in third, followed closely by Bas Diederen from the Netherlands. Lander Dircken (Atriac, Belgium) came in fifth.

In the women’s race, the top two athletes remained the same as last year; Elisabeth “Liz” May from Luxembourg managed to stay ahead of a pursuing group the entire race, and finished first ahead of Jessica Mayon. Mayon secured the title of Belgian 1/4 Triathlon champion, in addition to the previously won Sprint Triathlon and Long Distance championships. Evelyn Williamson from New Zealand finished third.

Wikinews Shorts: November 13, 2008

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Wikinews Shorts: November 13, 2008

25 Sep

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, November 13, 2008.


  • 1 Study shows that carrying excess fat around waist increases risk of early death
  • 2 EU abolishes rules banning oddly-shaped fruit
  • 3 Vase bought for £1 sells for £32,450
  • 4 Blackwater may pay financial penalties for improper arms shipments
 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

A new study has found that people storing extra fat around their waist have a strongly increased chance of early death, even if their overall weight is average. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine today, found that for each addition 5 cm on the waist, the chance of early death is increased by between 13% and 17%.

In the study, 360,000 people from across nine countries in Europe were surveyed.

One of the study’s authors, Professor Elio Riboli of Imperial College London, commented on the findings. “We were surprised to see the waist size having such a powerful effect on people’s health and premature death,” he stated.


The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has today lifted its ban on unusually shaped fruits and vegetables, in what the EU’s agriculture commissioner has called “a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot”.

The regulation has previously been criticized as an example of the EU’s bureaucracy by critics of the organisation.

The products affected by the deregulation are apricots, artichokes, asparagus, aubergines, avocadoes, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, cherries, courgettes, cucumbers, cultivated mushrooms, garlic, hazelnuts in shell, headed cabbage, leeks, melons, onions, peas, plums, ribbed celery, spinach, walnuts in shell, water melons and witloof/chicory.


A vase purchased at a car boot sale for £1 has sold for £32,450, following advice from experts on the BBC‘s Antiques Roadshow television program. The vase was sold in an auction at Christie’s.

The vase was found to be a 1929 work made by the French designer Rene Lalique.


Recent anonymous press briefings by US State Department officials indicated that its arms control division may punish Blackwater Worldwide for improper paperwork.

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has the power to fine or agree voluntary penalties with exporters of certain weapons, who do not follow correct procedures. Blackwater Worldwide, a private military company, exported automatic weapons to Iraq that became the subject of a federal investigation first disclosed in 2007.Concern was expressed by the unnamed officials that paperwork errors may make the weapons untraceable, and that some reached Iraq’s black market.


Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progessive Conservative candidate Tyler Currie, Trinity-Spadina

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progessive Conservative candidate Tyler Currie, Trinity-Spadina

24 Sep

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tyler Currie is running as an Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario provincial election, in the riding of Trinity-Spadina. 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.

Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund gains 2.4% in first quarter

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Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund gains 2.4% in first quarter

24 Sep

Friday, April 22, 2005

Ireland’s National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) has posted a 2.4% return for the first quarter (9.6% annualized). On March 31, the funds value stood at €12.3bn, a rise of €290m (excluding state contributions) since December 31.

Donal Geaney, the fund’s chairman, told the press that growth in the past quarter had been driven by the Fund’s European equity investments.

Mr Geaney, former Élan CEO, has pursued a policy of diversification since February of this year, with the stated aim of placing a larger amount of the funds assets in companies with small market capitalizations and in property funds.

The fund was set up by the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act, 2000 to partially meet the expected rise in Irish pension costs from 2025 onwards.

Possible eruption at Ruapehu Volcano in New Zealand

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Possible eruption at Ruapehu Volcano in New Zealand

24 Sep

Thursday, October 5, 2006

A volcano alert has been issued after a moderate 2.8 magnitude earthquake occurred at Mount Ruapehu last night at 10.30 p.m. (NZDT). The quake also broke the Crater Lake cable which generated a call-out from the lahar response team.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation has issued a high risk warning for the crater at Mount Ruapehu and Dave Wakelin, community relations officer for Tongariro-Taupo, said: “The warning was issued Thursday morning, in case more volcanic activity follows.”

It is yet to be confirmed if there was an eruption, as poor weather made it hard to see the crater from plane. Craig Miller, vulcanologist for Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS Science), said: “I had hoped to see if the lake was surrounded by blackened snow. All we could see was cloud.” Steve Sherburn, duty vulcanologist for GNS Science, said: “The cause of the alert would remain uncertain until the weather cleared and there could be a proper examination. Part of the DOC lahar monitoring system appears to have been damaged at the time of the earthquake which suggests there may have been an eruption, but other monitoring data says that any eruption must have been relatively small.” If there was an eruption it was probably only a small one.

The alert level is remaining at one, which means there are signs of volcanic unrest.

Monitoring of Mount Ruapehu will continue.

This was the first reported call-out since 1995.

Investing In Firearms? Talk To The Pros At Your Gun Shop In Bellingham, WA

byAlma Abell

Start with the fact that the demand for guns and ownership of guns has reached and passed previous records in several countries, including the U.S. Much of this growth can be attributed to the increased interest in self-protection. However, here’s another way to look at firearms, and a few individuals consider this to be the most important viewpoint of all.

A Wise Investment

Many people purchase guns as an investment, a decision that brings numerous benefits. Just ask the specialists at your gun shop in Bellingham, WA. For example, because there is widespread demand for firearms among the general public, gun collectors often find their current collection rising in value. It’s the tried-and-true economic factor: supply and demand. This growing interest has also helped gun manufacturers, making their stock more valuable along the way.

One of the pripercent in a year’s time.

Is There a Downside?

As with every investment, there are no guarantees. You’ll get your best value by talking with the professionals at the gun shop to get a feel for what’s available and what’s in demand. If you’re lucky, you may find a gun that is in the middle or near the top of a spike in price because of rarity or due to simple demand. This can happen with firearms that capture the imagination of the buying public.

No matter how you look at guns, whether as something for sport or as an investment, you can get started today when you click here and browse the website of a trusted provider.

Navy helping New Orleans pets

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Navy helping New Orleans pets

24 Sep

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Spanish word “tortuga” means “turtle.” But in the wake of the New Orleans disaster, the USS Tortuga is helping other animals.

For nearly two weeks now, sailors from Tortuga’s repair division have devoted much of their time during this disaster relief operation to ensure the health and comfort of displaced pets.

September 4th, just after the ship moored to a pier at Naval Support Activity (NSA) New Orleans, HT1(SW) Mark Hanley and DC1(SW) Antony Graves gathered materials from the repair shop on board to construct a kennel along the levee. The facility they made soon became a popular shelter for the homeless animals of the storm.

Tortuga’s search and rescue team brought aboard more than 170 displaced citizens during this past week, providing them with food, water, medical aid and a place to sleep.

Tortuga’s makeshift kennel, named ‘Camp Milo & Otis,’ has housed as many as 90 dogs, eight cats, one rabbit, one guinea pig, a pair of parakeets and a flightless pigeon during the past week of operation.

Currently, there are 14 dogs that remain in Tortuga’s care, as many of the other pets have been taken to animal shelters in the area for extra medical attention, or been claimed by their owners upon arrival to Tortuga. The pets that Tortuga has registered have all been in the hands of professional veterinarians assigned to provide expert medical attention to the members of Camp Milo & Otis.

Dr. Kelly Crowdis and Dr. Latina Gambles, both from Tuskegee University and Christian Veterinary Missions, have treated many of the pets for infection, dehydration, malnourishment and broken bones at the Camp during the past week.

“The animals were bathed and assessed before physical interaction with the sailors,” said Dr. Crowdis. “They’ve been given immunizations, antibiotics and medications based on their medical needs.”

Dr. Crowdis added, “What these sailors have done on their own has been such a heart-warming thing. As an animal lover, it is so comforting to know that everyone cares about the animals in addition to the human lives rescued from the storm. I’m very pleased with these guys for taking the initiative to construct this kennel.”

Graves, Hanley and other members of their division have consistently bathed, fed, walked and given special attention to every dog, every day.

“We play with them,” said Hanley. “We take them out of their kennels to give them attention every day. And we’ll continue to do that for as long as our ship’s mission keeps us here.”

September 11th, the Agricultural Center at Louisiana State University donated supplies to “Camp Milo & Otis” in support of Tortuga’s efforts to help the animal victims.

”We got medical supplies, bowls, food, cages, leashes, collars, toys, cat litter and cleaning supplies from these people yesterday,” said Graves. “It’s nice to know that so many people out there have heard about what our ship is doing, and responded by donating so much to support us the best they can.”

A photo gallery of unclaimed pets is on the USS Tortuga’s web site.

As part of disaster plans, the Department of Homeland Security has also deployed Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams to provide medical care to pets and livestock, as well as provide any needed veterinary medical care for search and rescue dogs.

There are over 3,850 animals being sheltered around the state. If someone is looking for a pet they should contact their nearest Humane Society or go online to http://www.petfinder.org// . More information is also available at http://www.vetmed.lsu.edu//.

Two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants close in Buffalo, New York, USA

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Two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants close in Buffalo, New York, USA

24 Sep

Friday, May 11, 2007

At least two Kentucky Fried Chicken [KFC] restaurants, operated by G & H Restaurant Specialties, have closed in Buffalo, New York “for remodeling,” according to signs placed on the front doors of at least one location on Elmwood Avenue and Bryant Street in Buffalo. The other KFC is located on East Delavan Avenue, also in the City of Buffalo.

Despite the claim of closing for remodeling, the Erie County Health Department says that several health code violations were found at both locations. The most recent violation was logged by the health department in March at the Elmwood location for failing to keep food stored at correct temperatures. Violations were also cited for failing to keep cooking supplies and equipment sanitary and for not supplying hot water to the bathroom for employees.

G & H Restaurant Specialties has not released a statement regarding the violations, but the corporate offices in Louisville, Kentucky for KFC said, “our franchisee has finalized a plan for some structural repairs… The units will be temporarily closed while these building maintenance issues are addressed. [They will be] re-opened as soon as the repairs are complete.”

The health department also gave violations out to the East Delevan store for failing to maintain a clean floor throughout the restaurant and for not stopping food from becoming contaminated. Several rat traps were also found inside the storage cooler and around the kitchen area, but the establishment was “not free of rodents,” said Commissioner of the Erie County Health Department, Dr. Anthony Billittier.

Billittier also said that caulking and traps were seen on the outside of the East Delevan restaurant, which was an attempt to keep the rats out. “It shows that they’re trying to take care of a problem. But it also shows that they have a problem.”

As of Thursday, May 10, 2007, the Elmwood KFC has yet to reopen. It is not known if the East Delevan location opened today or not.