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India: Maharashtra plastic ban comes into force

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India: Maharashtra plastic ban comes into force

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.”

Israeli ex-minister Yaakov Neeman dies aged 77

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Israeli ex-minister Yaakov Neeman dies aged 77

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Yaakov Neeman, an Israeli politician who served as justice minister and finance minister under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, died in his Jerusalem home on Sunday. He was 77.

Born in 1939 in Tel Aviv, Neeman, alongside future President Chaim Herzog, founded law firm Herzog, Fox and Neeman in 1972. He was appointed finance minister in 1979, a position he held until 1981. He was later appointed justice minister by Netanyahu, based on his legal training and loyalty.

Unusually for a senior minister, he had never served in the Knesset. He held the job for two months before resigning; he was being investigated for perjury. Michael Ben-Yair, Attorney General of the day, launched the probe after Neeman testified at a bribery trial. Neeman was cleared.

Neeman regained the Justice Ministry post in 1997, resigning again the next year. He blamed insufficient support from Netanyahu and resumed law. In 2009 Netanyahu was reelected, again appointing Neeman minister of justice. In 2013 this role passed to the Hatnua party’s Tzipi Livni.

Neeman’s last resignation, in 2013, came as he was under investigation by the Israel Tax Authority for evading tax via his law company. The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court ultimately acquitted him.

Outside law and politics Neeman was also an industrialist. He worked with Israel Aircraft Industries, airline El Al, and the Israel Atomic Energy Commission. In 1986 he was credited as key to convincing business partner Herzog, who was then president, with pardoning members of the Israel Security Agency; after a bus was hijacked, security forces shot dead two Palestinians once the hijack had concluded.

Neeman specialised in tax law. A fluent English speaker, he had degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and New York University. His wife and six children survive him.

Current President Reuven Rivlin spoke of a good lawyer and advisor whose wisdom he had sought as recently as last week. “The entire Justice Department bows his head”, said current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Herzog’s son Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition Zionist Union, spoke of “a tender-hearted, broad-minded and generous man” who “was a mentor and close friend for tens of years.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Neeman was “a unique figure in our public life, blessed with talent and pleasantness, who believed in his heritage and his people with his entire body.” Netanyahu called Neeman “one of the senior jurists in the country, of a sharp mind and a warm Jewish heart.”

Fishermen find body of child killed by Chile tsunami in Pichilemu

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Fishermen find body of child killed by Chile tsunami in Pichilemu

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pichilemu, Chile — Pichileminian fishermen found the body of a child on Sunday evening on the beach of Pichilemu. It is another victim of the earthquake and tsunami combo that hit Pichilemu, and many other areas of Chile, in February 27, and later, the March 11 Pichilemu earthquake.

The fishermen were roaming around the coastline, in Chorrillos, when at the 1:00 PM (17:00 UTC) they found the body of a person. They immediately called the police. The Fiscal of Pichilemu, Pablo Muñoz, asked for the presence of the Investigations Police.

The cadaver was moved to the Morgue of the Pichilemu Hospital, where it is being examined. It is known that the child was between three and six years old. The body will be taken to the Servicio Médico Legal in Rancagua, where it will can be identified.

The police believe that the body might belong to one of the persons that disappeared in the tsunami of the rural area of Chorrillos, when two children and an adult were missing.

 This story has updates See Body of child killed in tsunami identified by Chilean police 

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Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

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Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

categories Uncategorized | October 4, 2019 | comments Comments (0)

2005 World Social Forum-Brazil coverage

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2005 World Social Forum-Brazil coverage

Contents

  • 1 The first day of the World Social Forum wraps up
  • 2 Second day
  • 3 Third day
  • 4 Fourth day
  • 5 Fifth day: The closing of the World Social Forum 2005
  • 6 Related news
  • 7 References

categories Uncategorized | September 18, 2019 | comments Comments (0)

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green

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Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coinciding with Easter Sunday, Glasgow Cannabis Social Club’s annual 420 event was held on Glasgow Green, under sunny blue skies, and overlooking the river Clyde. Despite the city’s council attempting to revoke permission for the gathering at the last minute, police were happy for it to go-ahead with approximately a dozen officers attending in high-visibility vests.

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The Daily Record reported five arrests were made for minor offences, likely smoking and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Taking a less-sensational — and more accurate — line of reporting, the Monday edition of Glasgow’s Evening News stated five were referred to the Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for deciding if charges should be brought.

Official figures provided by the police were that 150 attended. With people coming and going, Wikinews reporters estimated upwards of 200 attended, compared to nearly 700 who had signed up for the event on Facebook. Hemp goods were advertised and on sale at the event, and some attendees were seen drinking cannabis-themed energy drinks.

“I was searched and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which is a lot of bollocks)” one attendee noted online, adding “not fair to happen on a brilliant day like it was, other than that I had a great day!” A second said they were openly smoking and ignored by police, who “were only really focusing on people who looked particularly young”.

Cannabis seeds were openly and legally sold at the event and a hydroponics supplier brought a motortrike towing an advertising trailer. Actually growing cannabis is, however, illegal in the UK.

With the event openly advocating the legalisation of cannabis, speakers put their arguments for this to a receptive crowd. Retired police officer James Duffy, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, spoke of the failed United States alcohol prohibition policy; stressing such policies needlessly bring people into contact with criminal elements. Highlighting other countries where legalisation has been implemented, he pointed out such led to lower crime, and lower drug use overall.

One speaker, who produced a bottle of cannabis oil he had received through the post, asserted this cured his prostate cancer. Others highlighted the current use of Sativex by the National Health Service, with a cost in-excess of £150 for a single bottle of GW Pharmaceuticals patented spray — as-compared to the oil shown to the crowd, with a manufacturing cost of approximately £10.

Similar ‘420’ pro-cannabis events were held globally.

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Category:Featured article

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Category:Featured article
Shortcut:WN:FA

Featured articles are selected by the community to represent the best of Wikinews. See the Featured Article Candidates page for nominations and discussions of candidate articles for this page. Or, subscribe to the RSS feed!

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Pages in category “Featured article”

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Bobby Robson recovering from operation

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Bobby Robson recovering from operation

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Earlier today former England-manager Bobby Robson underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his brain.

A statement was made saying the surgery went “very well”, and that the tumour has been completely removed.

The Football Association of Ireland hopes that Sir Bobby Robson will be able to resume his duties as a consultant for the Republic of Ireland team for the games against Cyprus and the Czech Republic in early October.

categories Uncategorized | September 7, 2019 | comments Comments (0)

U.S. Senate debates raising national debt ceiling

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U.S. Senate debates raising national debt ceiling

Monday, March 13, 2006

The U.S. Senate is debating the 2007 budget this week, dealing with, among many things, controversial issues such as the oil drilling in Alaska, raising the national debt ceiling, and an amendment that would fund $1.5 million dollars to veterans’ health-care. The Senate is also considering budget measures over an amendment that would increase funding for local and state law enforcement to combat methamphetamine.

The national debt ceiling is supposed to prevent the U.S. public debt from growing to excessive amounts. If the national debt grows to reach beyond a previously budgeted ceiling level, branches of government are shut down and provide only limited services. The shut down force a reduction in spending. The measure is meant to prevent excessive amounts of national debt from occurring. Rather than letting the level of national debt approach that ceiling, it is typical practice within the U.S. Congress to raise the national debt ceiling annually.

The $781 billion increase asked for this year is the fourth hike request in the last five years. Bush administration budgets have pushed debt ceiling increase request to a level of 46% higher over five years, a $3 trillion increase.

Senator Judd Gregg, Budget Committee Chairman, argued in favor of increasing the ceiling, citing growths in the economy under the Bush administration. Kent Conrad, ranking Democrat member of the Budget Committee, rebutted that the economy has not been recovering as well as it has been after World War II and six other similar recovery periods, and that the economic period after World War II averaged 3.2% in growth.

A “PAYGO” amendment by Conrad Burns would have required offsetts for any new spending beyond the original resolution. It failed, needing 51 votes, but receiving 50. Lincoln Chafee’s amendment would increase funding by $2 billion for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

categories Uncategorized | September 3, 2019 | comments Comments (0)

Soft drink foes cheer victory, lament remaining junk foods in schools

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Soft drink foes cheer victory, lament remaining junk foods in schools

Monday, May 8, 2006

Last week’s announcement that most soda manufacturers will stop selling their sugary products in U.S. schools did not mention that avoiding lawsuits was part of the motivation for the self-imposed ban. Some of those who threatened legal action to stop the soda sales are patting themselves on the back over the agreement, while lamenting that the deal did not go far enough, and now plan to press for more restrictions.

“Though there is room for improvement — sugary “sports” drinks still will be sold in schools, for instance — this voluntary agreement is certainly good enough that CSPI will drop its planned lawsuit against Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cadbury-Schweppes and their bottlers,” said Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest . “I hope this settlement contributes to the momentum that is building in Congress for legislation that would require USDA to update its standards for foods sold outside of school meals. That would enable USDA to eliminate the sale of candy, cookies, French fries, potato chips, and other snack foods, as well as sports drinks, that are standard fare in school vending machines and stores.”

In the wake of the announcement of the agreement by the three largest soft drink companies, their bottlers and the public health advocacy group, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Jacobson thanked his team of litigators for “negotiating effectively with the soft-drink industry over the past six months, and for demonstrating that the judicial system can play an important role in spurring public health advances.”

Richard Daynard, a law professor and president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, which threatened the soft-drink industry with lawsuits, said in an institute press release, “The industry agreement with the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association comes after sustained pressure from potential litigation and negotiations with public health groups and their lawyers. It is a credit to the role of litigation and the legal system as a component of effective public health strategy.”

“This agreement demonstrates the potential of public health litigation to help control the obesity epidemic,” he said.

In an email exchange with the James Logan Courier, Margo Wootan, director of Nutrition Policy for the Center for Science in the Public interest, said, “Last week’s announcement that soft drink companies will pull all sugary sodas from schools is great step toward improving school foods. This agreement is the culmination of the tremendous national momentum on improving school foods — from the local policies (in LA, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, etc.), state bills (in 2005, 200 bills were introduced in 40 states to get soda and junk foods out of schools), the strong bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Congress, and threats of litigation against soda companies.”

“While today’s agreement is a huge step forward, it is by no means the last step” wrote Wootan, ” We still have a lot of work to do to improve school foods.”

The agreement, announced Wednesday morning by the William J. Clinton Foundation, means that the nation’s biggest beverage distributors, and the American Beverage Association, will pull their soda products from vending machines and cafeterias in schools serving about 35 million students, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.

Under the agreement, high schools will still be able to purchase drinks such as diet and unsweetened teas, diet sodas, sports drinks, flavored water, seltzer and low-calorie sports drinks for resale to students.

The companies plan to stop soda sales at 75 percent of the nation’s public schools by the 2008-2009 school year, and at all schools in the following school year. The speed of the changes will depend in part on school districts’ willingness to change their contracts with the beverage distributors.

Some food activists criticized the deal for not going far enough and undermining efforts to go further.

Michele Simon, the director of the Center for Informed Food Choices, based in Oakland, Ca., called the deal “bogus” and a “PR stunt” by “Big Cola” in an effort to “sugar coat it’s image.”

“This announcement could potentially undermine ongoing grassroots efforts, state legislation, and other enforceable policies,” wrote Simon in an article at www.commondreams.org,” For example, in Massachusetts where a stronger bill is pending, a local advocate is worried about the adverse impact, since legislators could easily think that Clinton has taken care of the problem and ignore the bill. What was already an uphill battle—getting schools and legislatures to take this problem seriously—was just made worse, not better, by this bogus agreement.

“Even from a health standpoint, the deal is hardly impressive. Diet soda full of artificial sweeteners, sports drinks high in sugar, and other empty-calorie beverages with zero nutritional value are still allowed in high schools,” Simon wrote, “Also, parents concerned about soda advertising in schools will not be pleased with the agreement. Not a word is mentioned about the ubiquitous marketing children are subjected to daily in the form of branded score boards, school supplies, sports bags, and cups (just to name a few), which is required by exclusive Coke and Pepsi contracts. “

She’s not the only one criticizing the deal.“ While the initial details are promising, PHAI is concerned about some aspects of the agreement as it is being reported,” Daynard said in the press release. “The continual sale of “sports drinks” is a cause for concern. While they have a role for marathon runners and others engaged in sustained strenuous sports, for most students “sports drinks” are just another form of sugar water. Furthermore, the change in beverages offered must be carefully monitored and cannot depend entirely on the schools’ willingness and ability to alter existing contracts. Soda companies have spent decades pushing these unhealthy drinks on children and should bear the responsibility for their removal. PHAI is also concerned about the enforcement of this agreement and its silence on industry marketing activities in the school system,” he said.

“Importantly, the agreement doesn’t address the sale of chips, candy, snack cakes, ice cream, or any of the other high-fat, high-calorie, high-salt foods that are sold widely in schools,” said Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “This is a voluntary agreement and is not enforceable, we need Senator Harkin’s school foods bill to lock in the beverage standards and give them the force of law.”

Even the diet drinks, which will still be offered, need to go, said Ross Getman, an attorney in Syracuse, NY. Getman has advocated that soda should not be sold in public schools and that long-term “pouring rights” agreements, which give a company exclusive access to sell their brands at a school, are illegal for a variety of reasons.

Getman, who contends that some diet sodas are contaminated with benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, said the soda “industry gets an “F” for incomplete” for “the industry’s failure to pull all soda from school and to recall products.”

Schools account for about $700 million in U.S. soft-drink sales, less than 1 percent total revenue for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury, the nation’s largest soda companies.

Ten of the largest U.S. school districts have already removed soft drinks from vending machines, according to Getman. States including California, Maine and Connecticut have also banned sugary sodas in schools.

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