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Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, on animal rights and the film about her life

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Last night HBO premiered I Am An Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA. Since its inception, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has made headlines and raised eyebrows. They are almost single-handedly responsible for the movement against animal testing and their efforts have raised the suffering animals experience in a broad spectrum of consumer goods production and food processing into a cause célèbre.

PETA first made headlines in the Silver Spring monkeys case, when Alex Pacheco, then a student at George Washington University, volunteered at a lab run by Edward Taub, who was testing neuroplasticity on live monkeys. Taub had cut sensory ganglia that supplied nerves to the monkeys’ fingers, hands, arms, legs; with some of the monkeys, he had severed the entire spinal column. He then tried to force the monkeys to use their limbs by exposing them to persistent electric shock, prolonged physical restraint of an intact arm or leg, and by withholding food. With footage obtained by Pacheco, Taub was convicted of six counts of animal cruelty—largely as a result of the monkeys’ reported living conditions—making them “the most famous lab animals in history,” according to psychiatrist Norman Doidge. Taub’s conviction was later overturned on appeal and the monkeys were eventually euthanized.

PETA was born.

In the subsequent decades they ran the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty against Europe’s largest animal-testing facility (footage showed staff punching beagle puppies in the face, shouting at them, and simulating sex acts while taking blood samples); against Covance, the United State’s largest importer of primates for laboratory research (evidence was found that they were dissecting monkeys at its Vienna, Virginia laboratory while the animals were still alive); against General Motors for using live animals in crash tests; against L’Oreal for testing cosmetics on animals; against the use of fur for fashion and fur farms; against Smithfield Foods for torturing Butterball turkeys; and against fast food chains, most recently against KFC through the launch of their website

They have launched campaigns and engaged in stunts that are designed for media attention. In 1996, PETA activists famously threw a dead raccoon onto the table of Anna Wintour, the fur supporting editor-in-chief of Vogue, while she was dining at the Four Seasons in New York, and left bloody paw prints and the words “Fur Hag” on the steps of her home. They ran a campaign entitled Holocaust on your Plate that consisted of eight 60-square-foot panels, each juxtaposing images of the Holocaust with images of factory farming. Photographs of concentration camp inmates in wooden bunks were shown next to photographs of caged chickens, and piled bodies of Holocaust victims next to a pile of pig carcasses. In 2003 in Jerusalem, after a donkey was loaded with explosives and blown up in a terrorist attack, Newkirk sent a letter to then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat to keep animals out of the conflict. As the film shows, they also took over Jean-Paul Gaultier‘s Paris boutique and smeared blood on the windows to protest his use of fur in his clothing.

The group’s tactics have been criticized. Co-founder Pacheco, who is no longer with PETA, called them “stupid human tricks.” Some feminists criticize their campaigns featuring the Lettuce Ladies and “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” ads as objectifying women. Of their Holocaust on a Plate campaign, Anti-Defamation League Chairman Abraham Foxman said “The effort by PETA to compare the deliberate systematic murder of millions of Jews to the issue of animal rights is abhorrent.” (Newkirk later issued an apology for any hurt it caused). Perhaps most controversial amongst politicians, the public and even other animal rights organizations is PETA’s refusal to condemn the actions of the Animal Liberation Front, which in January 2005 was named as a terrorist threat by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

David Shankbone attended the pre-release screening of I Am An Animal at HBO’s offices in New York City on November 12, and the following day he sat down with Ingrid Newkirk to discuss her perspectives on PETA, animal rights, her responses to criticism lodged against her and to discuss her on-going life’s work to raise human awareness of animal suffering. Below is her interview.

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

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How To Calculate How Much Home Insurance You Need

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By Joseph Kenny

Buying home insurance is a good investment. The primary reason is that you just never know what can happen, and having that coverage may be the single factor that can prevent financial ruin. Knowing just how much insurance is needed, though, may be a little tricky. Here are some tips on how you can protect your home and possession with the right amounts of home insurance.

Start With The Value Of Your Home

Knowing how much you home is worth when you buy home insurance is a good place to start. Then you will need to know the two ways to insure your home. The first way is to insure your home for a certain value. This means that you insure it for a specified amount – say $150,000. You cannot receive any more than this value for a claim.

The other way is to insure it according to replacement value. This method will enable you to get an amount equal to what it would cost to replace the original. This is the better way to go, but, of course, it will also cost more.

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Select The Coverage

The coverage that you want will come with some options. You have a choice between being covered for a few things, which may be about a dozen possibilities of calamities, the next level which will have a few more added in, and what may be termed as All Risks. This last one will probably exclude some, though, like floods and hurricanes, and maybe earthquakes – those are usually extra.

In this choice, you will also need to select between actual cash value or replacement value. The terms actual cash value refers to the value of the item when it was destroyed. It also means the depreciated value. This will actually provide you with far less value than the other form, and probably (in most cases) will not give you enough in return to rebuild what you lost. The other form, replacement value, means that your house is replaced the way it was – regardless of what it costs.

Add Your Possessions

The same is true of your possessions. You choose how you want to insure them. Then, you will need to provide a written description of your possessions, and it is best that you also supply pictures. The easiest way to do this is to walk through the house with a movie camera and talk about the main and most valuable items. This includes going through the closets, too, and the basement – anywhere you have anything that you want to be insured.

Home insurance providers will demand that you have at coverage for at least 80% of the value of the house – 90% is preferred. You will need to know at what percentage of the value of your home will things like personal property, outbuildings, boats, etc., be covered for. Also, make sure you have the recommended amount of liability in case

someone gets injured or sues.

Much more is involved in the process of buying a good homeowner’s policy, but these things will give you a basic understanding. Shop around for the best prices, and talk to your home insurance agent about how to reduce your cost by things such as alarm systems, fire extinguishers, fire-retardant materials, and more.

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Smoking in public places banned in France

Friday, February 2, 2007

The French government has banned the smoking of cigarettes in all public places.

The ban includes no smoking in hospitals, airports, schools, places of employment and any public area that is “closed or covered.” Eleven months from now, the ban will include restaurants and cafes.

Some members of France’s Parliament are surprised to see how quick the ban was enacted.

“Nobody, not even I, thought a year-and-a-half ago that France would abandon tobacco so fast,” said member of Parliament (MP) and an advocate of the prohibiting of smoking, Yves Bur.

Police and other law enforcement agents are required to fine anyone who violates the ban. Fines for smoking in banned areas could be as much as $88.00 [USD]. Employers who do not enforce the smoking ban could be fined at least $174.00 [USD].

At least 15 million people who live in France smoke cigarettes, but a poll conducted by the French government had shown that 76% of the country’s population was in favor of the ban. 74% of the population also backs the restaurant and cafe ban to take place in one year.

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New method of displaying time patented

Saturday, October 14, 2006

An American inventor has patented a pair of new time formats with a footprint less than 50% of that of conventional four-digit time. The more unusual of the two new formats, called “TWELV”, dispenses with numerals altogether. In place of clock hands or digits, the new clock uses color to convey the hour and a moon image to convey the minute, which moon slowly grows throughout the course of an hour from a narrow crescent to a full-fledged circle.

The second and more approachable of the new formats retains numerical digits to indicate the minute but uses colors to convey the hour.

Early critics question whether the aesthetic benefits of the moon-clock will be sufficient to encourage users to learn the color-based time-telling system. However, the size advantages of the new system may make it particularly suitable for mobile applications, particularly cell phones, wearable computers, and head-mounted displays.

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The Duties Of A Security Officer


As a security officer, it is your job to protect your employer’s building and other property. Security officers and guards work in many settings-;universities, banks, museums and other public buildings are all guarded. If you are considering becoming a security officer, read further for tips on what to expect.

Job Duties of Security OfficersYour daily job description depends on the type of facility which you’ll be protecting, be it an apartment complex, hospital or retail outlet, and whether you’re a stationary or mobile guard. In general, you’ll be responsible for the enforcement of rules, upholding public safety and responding to security issues. Your duties fall into three main categories: communication, response and prevention, which are described in greater detail below.

CommunicationTo be effective, Security Officers Kansas City must be able to communicate with citizens. For instance, you may have to help someone in trouble, offer directions to someone who’s lost, or render first aid to someone who’s hurt. Depending on your facility, you may be charged with checking people in and out of the building and searching them for dangerous or illicit objects.

ResponseYour responsibilities and duties during an incident may vary depending on whether you’re allowed to carry a weapon, and on state licensure laws. You might be asked to remove a disruptive person from the building, manage a crowd, or sweep for intruders. If you are guarding by yourself, you’ll likely handle other problems such as medical emergencies and fires by notifying the appropriate service and helping to contain the problem to the best of your ability.

PreventionYour presence may deter petty crimes such as assault, vandalism and theft. As a security officer, you will patrol the entire premises, watching for anyone behaving unusually or causing a security issue. You may also be assigned to a specific post, where you will watch security monitors; if you are protecting a closed facility, you might need a key card to prove that you’ve checked key areas, and you’re likely to be asked for a written report at the end of each shift.

Those wanting to become Security Officers Kansas City will need a high-school diploma or its equivalent, but in some cases you may need to pass an exam, complete training and submit to drug screens and background checks. Some employers seek applicants with prior military or law enforcement experience, but most offer on the job training to qualified people.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi killed in airstrike

Thursday, June 8, 2006

The head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been killed in an air strike on a building north of Baqubah city, according to the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

“Today [sic] Zarqawi has been terminated,” he said Thursday, and suggested the man the United States had placed a $25 million price tag on for death or capture was located through intelligence.

“What happened today is a result of co-operation for which we have been asking from our masses and the citizens of our country,” he said.

The leader of coalition forces in Iraq, General George Casey said al-Zarqawi was killed in a two-storey safehouse about 8 km north of the city in Diyala province.

Several aides also died with him in the Wednesday evening raid by U.S. F-16 warplanes, including his key lieutenant and spiritual adviser Sheik Abdul Rahman. Some analysts believe a US counter-terrorism unit, Task Force 145, was involved in the attack.

Al-Zarqawi’s body, recovered after two 500-pound bombs had blown through his cover, was identified through fingerprint, tattoo and scar analysis and head likeness. Al-Zarqawi, whose real name was Ahmed Fadhil Nazzal al-Khalayleh, was believed to be in his late 30s when he died of injuries while US forces gave medical aid.

The first munition exploded at 6:15pm was a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb that was shortly followed by the newer GBU-38; both carried 500lb of explosives for total cost of $40,000.

The self-proclaimed frontman for Osama Bin Laden’s activities in Iraq, al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian national, is said to have been involved in the beheading of foreigners, hundreds of suicide attacks, and an insurgency against coalition forces after the Iraq war in 2003.

It had been reported Al-Zarqawi’s most recent campaign was to create problems between Shi’ite and Sunni groups in Iraq with ethnic killings.

For the Iraqi government the killing of the wanted murderer is what they sought but it remains unknown what effect the removal of this known figurehead of the Iraq insurgency will have on levels of violence in the country. Al-Zarqawi was not the only person to oppose the US-backed Iraqi government.

“Zarqawi didn’t have a number two. I can’t think of any single person who would succeed Zarqawi…In terms of effectiveness, there was no single leader in Iraq who could match his ruthlessness and his determination,” was the view of Rohan Gumaratna at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore.

Applause was heard as Mr Maliki, with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. Gen. George Casey, by his side, told news reporters “al-Zarqawi was terminated.”

Sources claiming to be Al-Qaeda in Iraq later confirmed that al-Zarqawi had been killed and said that they would fight the United States and the interim Iraqi government despite his death.

United States President George Bush spoke to journalists in the White House Rose Garden about al-Zarqawi’s death. “Zarqawi’s death is a severe blow to al-Qaeda. It’s a victory in the global war on terror, and it is an opportunity for Iraq’s new government to turn the tide of this struggle,” he said.

The US military also confirmed that six people were killed in the strike, including al-Zarqawi, and his spiritual adviser Sheikh Abd-al-Rahman The death toll is reported at three men, three women.[1] Some reports had said al-Zarqawi’s wife and daughter died. However U.S. officials state that there is no evidence confirming the death of al-Zarqawi’s wife and daughter.

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Yahoo’s new Internet ad sales system is a progress

Friday, January 26, 2007

The introduction by Yahoo Inc. of its new Internet ad sales system was successful. The company’s new feature may turn out to be very useful for Yahoo’s shares, since investors are betting on rapid growth of the company’s revenue.

When Yahoo stated that it will launch on February 5 a full version of its new system, entitled Panama, the company’s shares rose by 8 percent on Wednesday. The system, being introduced in the United States, will be launched a month earlier than Wall Street expected.

The ad system is to bring the company in closer league with the number one search engine Google Inc. Yahoo’s technology will permit various advertisers to pay for specific search terms, which are based on their popularity.

Panama will also help advertisers in targeting ads that are sent to a specific audience on the Internet. The system will allow rotating ads in accordance with their effectiveness. Google have been offering these features for several years.

Martin Pyykkonen, who is the analyst at Global Crown Capital, said that Yahoo was not as successful as Google but it still continues to strengthen its position as number 2. Although Google had a stronger software platform, Yahoo continues to register good results, which is worth something.

Pyykkonen also mentioned that he is not forecasting any shifting in wholesales, and especially a sudden fall of Google, but he is sure that Yahoo will not be far behind Google; in fact the company is to shorten the gap between the two.

The ability of Yahoo’s new system, to draw more ad dollars from customers, should boost the company’s growth in this year’s second half. Yahoo is also dealing with a potential drop in prices regarding its key branded advertising sales. This is due to the competition provided by and YouTube.

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Olympic torch reaches Hong Kong

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Olympic torch has returned to Chinese soil. More than 1 million Hong Kong residents and visitors ignored light showers on Friday to greet and cheer the Olympic torch relay. Hong Kong is the first Chinese destination to welcome the Olympic flame after its month-long journey across the world, spanning 19 cities.

It was the Hong Kong’s first Olympic torch relay since the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The eight-hour torch run included carrying the flame aboard a dragon boat across the Shing Mun River, and on horseback into the Hong Kong Olympic Equestrian Venue and Sha Tin Racecourse. Hong Kong, a co-host city of the Beijing Games in August, will stage the equestrian events.

“Today, the Olympic torch relay resumes on Chinese soil after its global journey across five continents. It is a great and solemn honor for Hong Kong, Asia’s world city, to be the first in China to welcome back the Olympic flame on behalf of our proud nation,” said Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang.

The torch relay began at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre at Tsim Sha Tsui where 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medalist for windsurfing, Lee Lai-shan received the torch from Chief Executive, Donald Tsang. Lee then handed the Olympic flame to Olympic table tennis silver medalist Li Ching, who passed it to his doubles partner Ko Lai-Chak. Lee said, “It is one of my big moments and I am feeling the same excitement I did when I won the Olympic gold medal.”

Early in the morning, a large number of people gathered on both sides of Nathan Road in preparation for the events. Many of the spectators wore red clothes to match the colour of the Chinese flag.

One hundred and twenty torchbearers carried the torch on a 26-km route. The torch bearers passed landmarks such as the Tsing Ma Bridge and the Avenue of Stars, before it was ferried across Victoria Harbor to Hong Kong Island.

Asian Games champion cyclist Wong Kam-po was the last to the carry the Olympic torch. Wong carried the torch to the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, where he lit the cauldron, pulling down the curtain and ending the Hong Kong leg of the torch relay.

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Know About Oil And Gas Investments Before Putting Your Money Into The Sector

Know about oil and gas investments before putting your money into the sector



While looking for investment opportunities, it is always advisable to look for sectors which can ensure steady and stable income. Oil and natural gas are few such sectors which have generated good returns over a long period.

We just can t imagine a growing economy surviving without the natural resource, oil. In fact, we have to depend on natural resources like oil and gas for regular day-to-day activities. This is why global oil consumption has reached its peak thus resulting in high demand for oil and natural gas production.

Many US based companies are doing really well in this sector, ensuring steady production activities. Breitling Oil and Gas is one such company which has not only strived in the field of oil and natural gas exploration and extraction, but it has also extended investment opportunities to their willing investors. This company is one of the largest independent oil and natural gas companies in the U.S. The company has rich reserves throughout major basins in North America. The company s exploration activities are mainly focused on profit generating production to existing core areas. They have also concentrated on developing potential new core areas. It supplies liquid hydrocarbons and natural gas to the vast energy market spread worldwide.

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Oil and gas investments in this organization have reaped rich benefits to its investors. The reason is this company s application of latest computerized techniques which ensure maximum success from their drilling operations. Breitling was founded in October 2004 with the main aim of applying state-of-the-art petroleum and natural gas exploration and extraction technology which will help in developing onshore oil and natural gas projects. For their exploration activities, they have focused on areas like Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. The company further holds ownership interests in both operated and outside-operated leases in countries like Canada, Europe and Middle East.

Breilting has offered highly convenient oil and gas investment opportunities through direct participation programs. Further, oil and gas direct participation working interest enables investors to participate in the potential cash flow which can be really attractive. Besides, they can also avail of unique tax benefits associated with

Oil and gas investments

. These are investment opportunities which allow savvy investors to diversify their investment portfolios into a stable commodity market that is in steady demand.

Not only lucrative returns but direct participation in oil and gas sector can generate several tax benefits too. These benefits can be large up front deductions the investor can claim for intangible drilling costs (IDC). Further, they can avail of tax credits for the development of certain types of tight formations. Such deductions are mainly generated from the cost of non salvageable equipments or services which are conducted during different phases like the drilling, testing, and/or during completion of the well.

Though investments in oil and natural gas drilling programs are considered high risk, these can ensure significant returns and substantial tax advantages. To add to this, domestic oil and gas development can make the country more self-sufficient in energy production and reduce its dependence on foreign imports. By investing in a reputed company like Breitling Oil and Gas, investors can reduce the risk factor related to such investments. Their high tech drilling activities are aimed at reducing labor expenses, drilling rig time, etc. This ensures generating steady income on investors money.

Before investing on the oil and natural gas sector, it is always advisable to do some study of the company profile and assess its success rates. This can be done by visiting the company website to know more about its drilling and exploration activities.

Adam Sperez is an investment consultant who has vast knowledge about commodity market. He has written several online articles on

Oil and gas investments

and related sector.

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