Wikinews interviews specialists on Russian intervention in Ukraine

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

In the past few days, tension has been increasing due to conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation which has led to the United States, the United Kingdom, and France increasing pressure on Russia to remove their troops from Crimea.

Wikinews interviewed specialists in Russian foreign policy and specialists in international law about the legality of Russia’s actions and the consequences of any sanctions imposed by G7 nation economies.

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Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

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You Don\’T Have To Live With Those Imperfections With The Help Of Plastic Surgeons!

You Don\’t Have to Live with Those Imperfections with the Help of Plastic Surgeons!


Monica Lohan

Nobody is born perfect, they say and that\’s more or less true if you look around you, as everyone has their small flaws. Some learn to live with those flaws, others are extremely bothered by them, and in any case this will depend on how big those flaws are in the first place. Nowadays though, you have to remember that if something is bothering you about the way you look, you don\’t have to live with that problem you can take care of it in a pretty easy way with the right kind of help.

Plastic surgeons are people who specialize in correcting people\’s imperfections, and this is probably the kind of help that you need if you have something you don\’t like about your appearance. A good plastic surgeon can not only help you get rid of those small problems and fix up your appearance, but they can go beyond that as well for example, you can improve certain aspects of your looks nowadays relatively easily, such as making your facial features more defined or improving certain body parts.

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All of this can be done relatively easily by a good plastic surgeon with enough experience, but you\’ll need to make absolutely sure you\’re putting yourself in the right hands if you want to see good results in the end. There\’s a huge difference between a mediocre plastic surgeon and a good one, and remember this is something that\’s going to stay with you, as the results of that operation are going to be more or less permanent. If you want to make sure that you won\’t regret this decision later on, then it\’s in your interest to spend as much time as you need searching for the ideal plastic surgeon for your needs.

And sometimes this might mean making a few compromises such as paying a bit more for your plastic surgery than you originally intended to. The cost of most plastic procedures tends to be standard among experts of a high skill level, but sometimes you can get a better deal by changing small details of the job, such as the exact area of your face that\’s going to be affected by the surgery. There are many ways to get a better deal out of your plastic surgeon, but it\’s up to you to explore them and make use of them.

Also, try not to get too carried away with this. The excitement of being able to alter your appearance so easily might be great, but it can also be overwhelming for some people. You should have some restraint and avoid going too far only change what truly bothers you and leave the rest of your appearance alone. After all, you\’ll still need your original natural charm and beauty to be attractive, and this is something you\’ll gradually lose if you overdo your plastic surgery treatments. Your surgeon should be able to give you help with that too, in case you\’re feeling troubled, so talk to them if you need to.

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Excessive surgeries swell Medicare costs in United States

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

At least 10% of the increase in Medicare expenditures since the mid-1990s is due to increased rates of one type of elective surgery, according to a recent study, and many of the patients may not need it. University of California, San Francisco found that only 44% of patients who undergo an elective cardiac surgery called angioplasty get the recommended test to determine whether the procedure is appropriate.

As a result, patients may be receiving a procedure that they either do not need or for which the risk outweighs the benefit. The operation opens partially clogged arteries in patients with heart disease and the annual rate of elective angioplasties has tripled in the United States during the last decade.

Angioplasties are currently being performed at a rate of over 800,000 per year in the U.S. The average cost was $44,110 per procedure in 2004. Since the operation tends to be performed on older Americans, Medicare covers most patients and compensates US$10,000 to $15,000 for each case.

Reuters reporter Julie Steenhuysen writes that angioplasty is “big business for medical device makers including Boston Scientific Corp, Medtronic Inc, Abbott Laboratories Inc and Johnson & Johnson”. Dr. Raymond Gibbons, a professor of medicine who specializes in cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, criticizes the current U.S. health care system for compensating doctors based upon procedures performed rather than for following recommended practices.

We didn’t expect to find 100 percent, but we expected a much higher percentage than 44

A stress test in which the patient walks on a treadmill is recommended to determine whether a partial obstruction impairs heart function. Although not all patients who need angioplasty are strong enough to undergo the stress test, UC San Francisco researchers were surprised that testing preceded so few of the surgeries.

Professor of medicine Dr. Rita F. Redberg told U.S. News and World Report, “We didn’t expect to find 100 percent, but we expected a much higher percentage than 44”. Dr. Redberg co-authored a report on the findings for the Journal of the American Medical Association this month.

Dr. Grace Lin, another co-author of the study, noted: “What really matters is whether or not that blockage is affecting blood flow to the heart. That is why the stress test is important.” Their research analyzed over 23,000 Medicare cases and over 1,600 commercial insurance cases.

American Heart Association president Timothy Gardner called the study “a good wake-up call” to remind medical doctors to make sure they do not perform unnecessary procedures. Dr. Gardner regards the study as evidence that many unnecessary angioplasties are being performed.

You can do a stress test every year to be sure things are normal. That is an important baseline that is being ignored all too frequently.

The study found great variation in the rate of stress testing. Geographic areas ranged from 22% to 76% with the highest rate of testing in the Northeastern and Midwestern states. Testing rates also varied by gender, with men more likely to receive a stress test than women, and by other factors including the age of the physician. Dr. Gibbons points to some of these variances as indications that some physicians may be performing angioplasties indiscriminately.

Not all physicians agree. Although the various types of stress testing usually cost a few hundred dollars instead of tens of thousands, the chief cardiologist at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Dr. Matthew Wolff notes that stress tests yield false negative results in about 10% of cases. In his opinion, doctors who rely on stress tests “are going to be missing people with severe disease.” Although he agrees that some angioplasties are unnecessary, he contends that the new study does not offer a solution to the dilemma.

The American College of Cardiology plans to release new guidelines soon to help doctors determine when a stress test is appropriate, yet the payment system lacks a financial incentive to abide by testing guidelines. Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California noted the underuse of stress tests in a study of private insurance records 14 years ago. Dr. Topol agrees that testing guidelines “should be much more clear-cut”, and adds that stress tests ought to be performed annually. “You can do a stress test every year to be sure things are normal. That is an important baseline that is being ignored all too frequently.”

Cardiologist, Dr. Anthony DeFranco of Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, considers stress testing to be appropriate in at most 65% of cases, since a substantial minority of patients have other health problems that prevent them from undergoing the test.

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Techniques For Nurturing An Obedient Puppy

Techniques For Nurturing An Obedient Puppy


Candyce Nickleson

You should get moving on puppy training the earliest time possible. Challenges start out when puppies are not alerted for negative behavior. Every time you keep putting off taining, it will be difficult to teach a dog good behavior. It entails a simple \’no\’ to tell your puppy that it is doing something inappropriate. Do this with a rigid voice and put the puppy in a corner for around fifteen minutes. Realize though that animals are not creatures of reason and won\’t remember incorrect behavior it had made earlier. Probably you\’ve gotten home and found out the puppy has chewed on your shoes or messed up the lounger. It is not sensible however, to penalize it hours after. It is best to catch a puppy in the act in order for it to understand that such conduct or action is not appropriate.

Use positive reinforcement to make your puppy learn exactly what behaviors you wish to see. Show approval to your puppy, stroke it and reward it with some goodies after it does something properly. This method is very effective particularly when you\’re housebreaking a young dog. This will teach the dog that there are actions it has to do outside of your home. You should also plan on committing a little extra time to coach your dog daily. It requires as little as fifteen minutes at a time to teach basic obedience to a dog. The key element to successful puppy training is repetition.

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Communicate to your dog in a basic and clear-cut manner and stick to it. Your dog only understands what you want it to do because of the tone of voice you use and whether or not you give a treat. For this reason, it is critical never to acknowledge bad behavior as dogs may likely confuse them with the acceptable ones. For example, if you open the gate or the door when your dog barks, whines or whimpers, the animal will only recognize that you\’re acknowledging its noisemaking. The right thing to do is to dismiss the barking and allow the dog to go outside once it stops.

Develop a strong bond with the puppy by spending some exclusive time together, doing wholesome activities and petting your puppy a lot. But bear in mind, you\’ll need to be conscious about how your dog perceives you. Never allow the puppy to leap on you or bite you in a playful approach. Similarly, don\’t get down on the floor for any rough play as this may foster dominance in a dog. Make it clear to your puppy that you\’re the leader or the \’alpha\’ and you will have no problems bringing up an obedient dog.

It will be a lot quicker for your puppy to focus on the training sessions if you let it play and run for a bit. Puppies and juvenile dogs are brimming with energy and spend a lot of time frolicking and playing. It\’s difficult to coach them when they have plenty of pent-up energy in their bodies, so exercise your dog first by taking it for a stroll or letting it play in a dog park. However, there are some dogs which are way too energetic. If you have one that has a hard time paying attention on training following some activity, a dog obedience school or a certified obedience trainer may be able to give you a hand.

Every responsible pet owner is aware that puppy training is vital to raising a fit, submissive and well balanced dog. Dog training demands time, patience, hard work and a good amount of perseverance. Keep these dog training hints in your head and it will be a lot easier for you to teach basic obedience to your puppy.

It\’s easy to have a good rapport with your dog. Head to

and get complimentary tips about dog training today.

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Las Vegas ‘chili finger’ woman has history of lawsuits

Story sources
  • Barbara Grady, Reuters. “Wendy’s Offer Reward Over Chilli Finger” — xtra msn, April 11, 2005
  • Dave Murphy and Ryan Kim. “Loyalists still visit the Wendy’s, Some even get the chili, although business is down” — San Francisco Chronicle, April 10, 2005
  • Dan Reed, Crystal Carreon. “Scrutiny intensifies for woman who found finger in chili” — AJC, April 10, 2005
  • Ken Ritter, AP. “Wendy’s finger finder has litigious history” — Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 9, 2005
  • Brandon Bailey and Rodney Foo. “Finger-finder involved in other claims” — San Jose Mercury News, April 9, 2005
  • Rachel Konrad, AP. “Woman who claimed to find finger at Wendy’s has litigious history” — San Jose Mercury News, April 8, 2005
  • Brian Haynes. “Chili investigation comes to Las Vegas” — Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 8, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005

Anna Ayala, the Las Vegas woman who claims to have found the notorious “chili finger” at a Wendy’s outlet in San Jose, California, has filed lawsuits against other businesses, according to researchers at the Associated Press. Her previous court battles included the national El Pollo Loco chicken-chain, a previous employer, and even General Motors.

Ayala successfully won her suit for medical expenses against El Pollo Loco, after her daughter Genesis contracted salmonella poisoning from eating at the restaurant. However, Ayala lost another suit in 2000 claiming that a wheel fell off her car.

Ayala’s original account of the incident spoke “emotionally and with disgust” to the San Jose Mercury News when she described it to the paper.

“Lies, lies, lies, that’s all I am hearing. They should look at Wendy’s. What are they hiding? Why are we being victimized again and again?” Ayala recently told The Associated Press. Ayala is now in her Las Vegas home, avoiding reporters.

“It doesn’t prove anything,” family spokesman Ken Bono told the San Francisco Chronicle. “My mom has 10 lawsuits. A lot of people have lawsuits. Why would she sue for money? She has plenty of money,” he said.

Nick Muyo, a spokesman for the San Jose Police department, said not to expect new information in the case for at least a week.

“We just want to step back and take a deep breath,” Muyo told Knight Ridder Newspapers. “From a law enforcement point of view, once you establish it is a human finger, you have to wonder is this a case of industrial accident or is this a case of unreported homicide,” he said.

Las Vegas police searched Anna Ayala’s home on Wednesday, retrieving a cooler and other effects from her home, such as a makeup case.

Despite the incident, which has dramatically reduced sales at Northern California Wendy’s outlets, die-hard Wendy’s fans are still turning up for lunch, even at the outlet where the finger was found, at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

“We’ve eaten here for years,” a police officer told the San Francisco Chronicle under the condition that he remain anonymous. “They’re very nice people. When we work Spartan Stadium, we always eat here,” he said.

San Jose City Council candidate Andrew Diaz still eats the chili. And he witnessed the finger discovery.

“I walked away real slow,” Diaz told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I didn’t want any commotion,” he said.

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President Trump says he ‘can’ and ‘may’ put US into state of emergency to build border wall

Monday, January 7, 2019

United States President Donald Trump said on Friday he can and may declare a national state of emergency, which he said would allow him to act without approval from Congress and allocate funding for the construction of a wall along the country’s border with Mexico. The US government is currently partially shut down because the president and Congress could not agree on a national budget. The President insists that the budget include funding for the wall, which was one of his campaign promises, but Congress has not passed his proposed budget.

Trump said on Friday “I can do it [call a national emergency] if I want. I may do it.” Trump also said that he would prefer to agree a solution with the opposition. He also said, “I never threaten anybody.” He also claimed that the wall was a crucial part of America’s border security. The Vice President, Mike Pence, said on Friday the United States is “in the midst of a crisis on our southern border.” Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, said on Friday “We are committed to keeping our border safe. We can do that best when government is open. We made that clear to the president.”

The Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, said on Friday “We made a plea to the president once again: don’t hold hundreds of thousands of federal workers hostage” and “So we told the president we needed the government open. He resisted.”

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin and incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee Represenative Adam Schiff both yesterday questioned the President’s power to do as he proposed. Schiff called it “a non-starter”. Durbin said “I can just tell you, I don’t know what he’s basing this on, but he’s faced so many lawsuits when he ignores the law and ignores tradition and precedent and just goes forward without any concern”.

President Trump claims he would be okay if the impasse over the shutdown went on for “years.” This lockdown started on December 22, last year. Some museums, the National Zoo, and immigration courts have shut, with some people working in still-open services without pay. The Internal Revenue Service website advises citizens to continue paying their federal taxes. Some services are still open, including medical services Medicare and Medicaid. Federal courts are relying on non-government sources, like court fees, for funding.

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First penis transplant reversed after two weeks

Friday, September 22, 2006

Two weeks after Chinese surgeons successfully transplanted a donated penis onto an unidentified 44-year-old man, they were requested to remove it. Despite functioning perfectly and having been physically accepted by the body, the patient and his wife asked for the penis to be amputated, due to the severe psychological trauma they had both suffered.

A team of surgeons led by Dr Hu Weilie took 15 hours to attach the penis, which was donated by the family of a 22-year-old brain-dead patient. Doctors have successfully re-attached patients’ own severed members in the past, but this was the first use of a second-party penis.

The psychological rejection of the penis is not unusual from a medical point of view; in 2001 surgeons removed the world’s first transplanted hand from donee Clint Hallam, who wanted the “hideous and withered” hand to be removed because he had become “mentally detached” from it. The team that led the transplant have since performed the world’s first double arm transplant.

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Guaranteed Military Auto Loan Car Loans For Military Personnel

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By John B Mayall

There are many people in the military that do not know many of the special offers that are specially been designated for the utilization of military servicemen and women. One such offer is a military car sales loan that can be taken up by a military person for the purpose of buying a car. This loan has a very low rate of interest in comparison to many other car loans. Being unaware, many military personnel do not utilize this advantage of taking up a military car sales loan.

Let us now get a more detailed insight into what are the advantages of taking up a military car sales loan and who are eligible to go in for such a loan and the process to obtain it.

The Benefits of a Military Auto Loan

Any armed force personnel is eligible to obtain this loan to purchase a car, either used or new. Another option under this scheme is it can be used to refinance an already existing car loan. The advantage as was mentioned earlier is the lower rate of interest than other conventional car loans making it cheaper. Also, the monthly payments can be further reduced because the loan can be opted for a longer tenure than other loans.

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The military car loans are provided to these military personnel at lesser rates of interest by the lenders who try to promote these loans. They look at the earnings of the military personnel as a steady income that makes them eligible to be provided such loans. They feel that the risk taken up by the lender is quite low that enables them to provide the loan at a much lower rate of interest than conventional loans but will still end up with a profit for them.

Among other advantages offered by military car sales loan is the flexibility of repayment. The borrower is given the option of paying low monthly installments for a longer duration or can take up the option of paying higher than stipulated to finish off the loan much faster thereby saving more by avoiding paying the interest. Even the amount offered as loan is significantly higher than what is provided for a conventional auto loan.

Eligibility Norms

In order to be eligible for a military car loan, the borrower should be actively serving in the armed forces. This loan is even provided to many of them with bad credit ratings as well as to personnel that have recently entered the armed forces too. But, the tenure of service does play a role in getting an approval for military auto loan.

The process of application is quite simple and can be done online over the internet too. The documentation that is necessary for approval is the proof of being in the armed forces. Other requirements is details such as address of residence, base where the person is located, telephone number, email details, contact person whom the lender can reach when the borrowing military person is posted abroad. The contact person should be someone who can communicate to the borrower any information that is given by the lender.

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Free Software Foundation releases first draft of GPLv3

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Free Software Foundation released the first draft for the next version of the GNU General Public License at the International Public Conference for GPLv3 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, today. The revisions mark the first changes to the GPL since the second version was released in 1991.

According to Richard M. Stallman, the president of the Free Software Foundation, the most significant change to the license are changes to allow GPLv3 to be compatible with other popular free software licenses, notably the Apache Software License 2.0 and the Eclipse license. A second significant change, according to Stallman, is the addition of a clause prohibiting the use of GPL software for Digital rights management (DRM), “something for which there can never be toleration.”

As of noon EST today, the license is available in draft form on the Free Software Foundation’s website. The conference about the license, which continues now and into Tuesday, is being held in Building 10, Room 250, on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Approximately 200 people attended the morning session of the conference, during which Eben Moglen gave what he called a “quick” 90 minute overview of the license changes.

While Moglen’s presentation covered a great deal of legal detail, it was not without levity. When the cell phone of Dave Turner, an FSF staff member sitting in the front row, rang during Moglen’s speech, Stallman broke in, requesting of the audience, “If you have brought in a portable tracking and surveillance device, you should turn it off,” before making other remarks about the police.

The crowd at the conference included a large number of free software celebrities, including Bruce Perens, Andrew Tridgell, and Chris diBona. According to Wikinews reporter Brandon Stafford, it seemed that IBM and Sun were the corporations with the most employees present. Representing the companies were Bob Sutor, Craig Cook, and Mark Brown from IBM and Simon Phipps and Doug Johnson from Sun. Also in attendance were representatives from Intel, Redhat, MySQL AB, Hitachi, and Qualcomm, among others.

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