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Scottish artist Alan Davie dies at age 93
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The death of Scottish artist Alan Davie was announced on Sunday. Davie, 93, was known for his colourful abstract paintings.

Davie’s career also saw turns as a jeweler, a jazz musician, a lecturer, and a poet. Born in Grangemouth, near Falkirk, in 1920, he studied painting from 1938 to 40 at Edinburgh College of Art.

It’s an urge, an intensity, a kind of sexual need

His father was a teacher who dabbled in art and his mother’s family was musically inclined. Upon seeing Coleman Hawkins performing in a music shop in Edinburgh, Davie borrowed £600 from his father to buy himself a saxophone. After serving in the Second World War, at which time he wrote much poetry later transcribed by his father, Davie toured with Scottish jazz bands.

Davie’s work was admired by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and David Hockney. Davie himself collected non-Western art and liked tattoos, graffiti, and ‘outsider art’. His final interview before death, with The Telegraph, gave an insight into how he viewed art: “It’s an urge, an intensity, a kind of sexual need[…] something I do from an inner compulsion, that has to come out.”

He initially avoided painting as a career at all, then spent several years earning money by other means whilst his paintings failed to sell. His exhibitions in the late 1950s, however, were highly successful and launched his career. He was in the habit of choosing titles for his art only after completion.

Despite a strong presence owing to his lengthy red beard and off-beat humour, he was shy; his international fame waned. Recent years have seen a revival of interest with price increases for his early art. London alone is host to three exhibitions this month including at the Tate.

Tate Britain calls Davie “one of the first British artists after the war to develop an expressive form of abstraction” producing “kaleidoscopic canvases[…] that the artist relates to his love of jazz”.

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Gunman commits suicide at University of Texas
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A man wearing a ski mask and carrying an assault rifle apparently killed himself in the library of the University of Texas in Austin, Texas earlier today.

The university was placed under lockdown and all classes were canceled as a result of the incident. Nobody else was hurt, but police are still looking for a possible second gunman. Art Acevedo, the chief of Austin police, said that officials are also considering the possibility of explosives left by the suspect. Armored vehicles were seen moving around the campus in response to the event, as well as {{w|SWAT team|SWAT teams}, bomb-sniffing dogs, and police helicopters. An ambulance was seen around 9:00 a.m. CDT (1400 UTC) at the University of Texas’ Perry-Castaneda library.

The school’s website included a notice this morning, which read: “The person involved in this morning’s shooting on campus has been confirmed dead on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Law enforcement are searching for a second suspect. If you are off campus, STAY AWAY. If you are on campus, lock doors, do not leave your building.” The gunman was reportedly killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and no shots had been fired by law enforcement officials.

The shooter has not yet been identified, and the reason behind the incident is not yet known. Witnesses described the man as wearing a dark suit and ski mask, and carrying an assault rifle. Randall Wilhite, a professor at the university, said that he heard gunshots while going to class and saw the suspect heading toward the library just after 8:00 a.m. CDT (1300 UTC). The gunman appeared to be firing shots randomly. “When I pulled up in my car, he stood right in front of me and didn’t stop running but turned in my direction, fired three shots into the ground to the left of my car and kept running,” said Wilhite. The gunman had the chance to shoot students, added Wilhite, but he did not appear to be targeting them.

The school, which has around 50,000 students, sent out an alert around that time warning students to stay where they were. Robby Reeb, a senior at the school, said that “a guy sprinted past me screaming, ‘There’s a guy with a gun.’ I looked up and saw a man in a ski mask, wearing a suit, and carrying an assault rifle. And I called 911.”

Police said that the gun used in the shooting was an AK-47, and that they were examining two different crime scenes: where the shots were fired outside, and where the gunman was found dead in the library. Police would not say whether he was attending the university. Chief Acevado said that there were “reports of a second suspect that was wearing a beanie with a long rifle, wearing blue jeans and a black top” that “may or may not be a white male.”

Several hours after the lockdown began, police allowed students to leave the university’s campus, although nobody is still allowed to enter.

The school was also the site of a shooting spree on August 1, 1966, in which university student Charles Whitman fatally shot fourteen to sixteen people and wounded another 32 before being himself killed by law enforcement authorities; reports of the exact death toll are inconsistent. Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, shot students from the observation platform of the school’s tower. That event was the deadliest school shooting in the United States until the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

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President Bush to limit congressional oversight in PATRIOT amendment act
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Sunday, April 2, 2006

President Bush signed the “USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006” into law. In the signing statement, Bush averred that he could withhold information about the administration’s controversial use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act powers and National Security Letters if he deemed that they impaired foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties. Lawmakers and Legal experts have questioned the president’s authority to contravene the Congress’s intent in such a way.

The Patriot Act reauthorisation bill specifically mandates the Inspector General of the Department of Justice to audit the administration’s use of investigative authority granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and National Security Letters and requires these audits to be submitted for congressional review.

In the signing statement, President Bush wrote “The executive branch shall construe the provisions of H.R. 3199 that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch, such as sections 106A and 119, in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties.”

This follows on the heels of the signing of the congressional ban on torture issued in January of this year, when the President declared that he would view the interrogation limits in the context of his broader powers to protect national security. A senior white house official told a Boston Globe reporter that “Of course the president has the obligation to follow this law, [but] he also has the obligation to defend and protect the country as the commander in chief, and he will have to square those two responsibilities in each case.” The official added “We are not expecting that those two responsibilities will come into conflict, but it’s possible that they will.”

Lawmakers tried to get a handle on President Bush’s use of signing statements in 2003, by passing a Justice Department spending bill that required the department to inform Congress whenever the administration decided to ignore a legislative provision on constitutional grounds.

Bush signed the bill, but issued a statement asserting his right to ignore the notification requirement.

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Roland De Wolfe wins the European Poker Tour Dublin
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Thursday, November 2, 2006

London resident Roland De Wolfe, will take a Euro 554 300 credit boost this week after winning the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Dublin.

With a victory at the World Poker Tour (WPT) in Grand Prix de Paris already under his belt, this latest win makes him the first person to be both an EPT and WPT champion.

“This week I didn’t have the luck of the Irish, I had the luck of the whole of Europe”, De Wolfe said. “It’s an honour to be the first person to win an EPT title and a WPT title when there are so many good players out there. I’m thrilled”.

The Dublin EPT event brought up a field of 389 players from around the globe, De Wolfe managed to outplay the entire field to gain his champion slice of the Euro 1,847,750 prize pool.

Fighting for the top prize or at least a slice of the Euro 1 847 750 prize pool were many international players, and the final table was made up of U.K. players Rob Yong, Gavin Simms, and Nick Slade as well as William Thorson, of Sweden; George McKeever, from Ireland; and Patrick Bueno and David Tavernier, both from France.

Some other poker professionals that participate in the event included Simon Trumper, the Hendon Mob, Greg Raymer, Mel Judah, Chris Moneymaker, Andy Black, David Colclough, Tony Guoga.

The final rankings were as follows:

  • 1st Roland De Wolfe Euro 554,300
  • 2nd David Tavernier Euro 314,120
  • 3rd William Thorson Euro 184,780
  • 4th Gavin Simms Euro 138,580
  • 5th George McKeever Euro 112,710
  • 6th Rob Yong Euro 88,690
  • 7th Nick Slade Euro 70,210
  • 8th Patrick Bueno Euro 51,740

The next EPT will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from January 17 to January 20 2007.

Puerto Rico power company cancels US$300 million Whitefish contract

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Puerto Rico power company cancels US$300 million Whitefish contract
Published in March 25th, 2019
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Monday, October 30, 2017

At the request of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority (PREPA) yesterday announced it has cancelled a US$300 million contract with a Montana-based company called Whitefish Energy Holdings amid concerns it may have been awarded improperly and the prices may be unusually high. Whitefish was to have rebuilt parts of the United States commonwealth’s energy infrastructure, which was recently destroyed when Hurricane Maria struck the island.

According to Whitefish spokesperson Chris Chiames, Whitefish was “very disappointed” and may consider a lawsuit. He also said about 350 Whitefish employees have been working on Puerto Rico for the past month, and their efforts will restore power to much of San Juan soon. He noted, “We will certainly finish any work that [PREPA] wants us to complete and stand by our commitments.” According to Governor Rosselló, Whitefish has already been paid eight million dollars.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) questioned whether the prices negotiated were reasonable and how Whitefish came to be awarded the contract. Whitefish is two years old, when the contract was signed only two people worked for it full-time, and it has connections to the current U.S. Secretary of the Interior. According to PREPA head Ricardo Ramos, FEMA approved the Whitefish deal, but FEMA officials said they did not.

Whitefish is based in the town of Whitefish, Montana, the hometown of Ryan Zinke, who is currently serving as U.S. Secretary of the Interior in the administration of the US President Donald Trump. Zinke and Andy Techmanski, Whitefish’s chief executive, are acquaintances, and Zinke’s son worked for Whitefish one summer. The founder of one of Whitefish’s financial backers, HBC Investments, has made nontrivial campaign contributions to Republicans and specifically to Trump.

Zinke told the public, “I had absolutely nothing to do with Whitefish Energy receiving a contract in Puerto Rico[…] Any attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding or influencing any contract involving Whitefish are completely baseless.”

Zinke also posted online, “Only in elitist Washington DC would being from a small town be considered a crime.”

The head of the U.S. House of Representatives natural resource committee, Republican Rob Bishop, has sent PREPA a letter requesting documentation of the deal and an explanation of the means by which it was made.

Maria Cantwell, a Democrat serving on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources called for “an investigation to determine how we got into this situation in the first place,” saying “taxpayers should pay a fair rate for the emergency repairs Puerto Rico desperately needs, […] not be gouged by Whitefish Energy or anyone else.”

According to the Associated Press, in one copy of the Whitefish contract, each employee would be paid a US$80 food allowance each day, and US$1000 each time they fly to or from the mainland U.S., with hourly pay rates for foremen, linemen and mechanics in the hundreds of dollars.

The federal control board in charge of Puerto Rico’s finances recently said they had appointed retired Air Force Colonel Noel Zamot to oversee the restoration of Puerto Rico’s power infrastructure, but Governor Rosselló said Puerto Rico’s own government is responsible for the power company, which has debts in the billions.

The category 4 Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico several weeks ago with high winds and intense rain. About 70% of Puerto Rico still has no electricity.

Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain and came under U.S. control in the Spanish-American War in 1898, along with Guam and the Philippines. Every person born in Puerto Rico is a United States citizen by birth. Puerto Rican residents do not participate in national elections, and have a non-voting representative in the U.S. congress. Mostly, they are exempt from federal income tax but not other federal taxes.

Israel announces 10 month halt to settlement construction in West Bank

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Israel announces 10 month halt to settlement construction in West Bank
Published in March 25th, 2019
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The prime minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, told a news conference earlier today that there will be a ten-month stop in the construction of new settlement housing in the West Bank. The Israeli cabinet approved the move by a margin of eleven to one.

“We have been told by our friends that once Israel takes the first meaningful steps towards peace, the Arab world and the Palestinians will follow,” said Netanyahu following the cabinet’s endorsement of the move. “Well, the government of Israel has taken a very big step towards peace today, and I hope the Palestinian and the Arab world will work with us to forge a new beginning for our children and theirs.”

The freeze was made “out of broad national interests with the aim of encouraging negotiations with our Palestinian neighbours,” he continued. “When the period of freeze ends my government will return to the previous policy of building in Judea and Samaria [the Jewish name for the West Bank].”

“This is a far-reaching and painful step […] We hope that this decision will help launch meaningful negotiations to reach an historic peace agreement that will finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” Netanyahu later said.

Under the plan, construction permits for new residential buildings would be put on hold for ten months. The government said that “natural growth” — characterised by the construction of homes by young people, who were raised in the settlements and want to build houses for their own families — would be exempt from the freeze. Parts of the West Bank that Israel annexed to the Jerusalem municipality would also be excluded from the freeze. The building of schools and places of worship, which will enable settlers to live what Netanyahu described as “normal lives”, will also continue.

“We will not halt existing construction and we will continue to build synagogues, schools, kindergartens and public buildings essential for normal life in the settlements,” he commented.

The prime minister added that there would be no change to Israel’s existing policy on the issue of Jerusalem. “Regarding Jerusalem, our sovereign capital, our position is well-known. We do not put any restrictions on building in our sovereign capital,” he said.

Several members of the Israeli cabinet expressed their disapproval at the proposal, with the conservative, ultra-Orthodox Shas party boycotting the cabinet meetings.

“I think it’s a complete crumbling of Netanyahu’s position and is contrary to all of his electoral promises. He promised an end to unilateral steps, and here we see him after only a few months in office giving up, even though there is no reciprocity from the Palestinians,” said the head of the main settler lobby, Danny Dayan, to the Christian Science Monitor. We are 300,000 citizens, living in 150 communities. It is impossible to freeze us. I don’t how it will happen, but we will break this freeze.”

Many Palestinians also criticised the proposal, mainly because East Jerusalem was not included in the settlement freeze. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a Palestinian spokesman, said to the Wafa news agency that Palestine “rejects returning to peace talks without the complete cessation of settlement activities in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad also rejected the plan. “The exclusion of east Jerusalem is a very, very serious problem for us. We are not looking for the resumption of the process just for the sake of it, for it to falter a week or two down the road,”

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordanian control, following Israel’s victory in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The Jewish state annexed that part of the city in a move that was not recognized by the international community.

Earlier this week, on a visit to Argentina, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stepped up his campaign to put international pressure on Israel to stop building on lands that Palestinians say are their own. Abbas urged US president Barack Obama, as well as leaders of other nations that support Israel, to press the Jewish state to end its construction of settlements on occupied lands.

Netanyahu has in the past offered to restrain settlement growth, but today’s announcement was the first time that he set a clear timeframe.

Cisco sues Apple for iPhone trademark

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Cisco sues Apple for iPhone trademark
Published in March 24th, 2019
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Friday, January 12, 2007

The iPhone only made its appearance as a prototype and there have been controversies aroused.

The dispute has come up between the manufacturer of the iPhone (which was resented on Wednesday for the first time) – Apple Inc. – and a leader in network and communication systems, based in San JoseCisco. The company claims to possess the trademark for iPhone, and moreover, that it sells devices under the same brand through one of its divisions.

This became the reason for Cisco to file a lawsuit against Apple Inc. so that the latter would stop selling the device.

Cisco states that it has received the trademark in 2000, when the company overtook Infogear Technology Corp., which took place in 1996.

The Vice President and general counsel of the company, Mark Chandler, explained that there was no doubt about the excitement of the new device from Apple, but they should not use a trademark, which belongs to Cisco.

The iPhone developed by Cisco is a device which allows users to make phone calls over the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).

Buffalo, N.Y. restaurant to end nearly 30-year tradition

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Buffalo, N.Y. restaurant to end nearly 30-year tradition
Published in March 24th, 2019
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Monday, August 21, 2006

Buffalo, New York —

After nearly thirty years, Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, New York will end a tradition of being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week by ending its overnight food service.

The tradition for Buffalonians, who are able to enjoy drinks at the bars and clubs until 4:00 a.m. will end sometime at the end of August or September, according to overnight manager Wendi Dittmar and restaurant accountant Roseanne Jones.

“We will be starting the closure of the overnight shift sometime in the next 2 weeks to a month,” said Dittmar in an exclusive interview with Wikinews.

Jones told Wikinews that owner Pano Georgiadis is “just fed up” with the “destruction, the walk-outs of bills and fights that the ‘drunk’ people cause” in his restaurant.

Pano’s opened in 1977 on the day of the blizzard of ’77’ and has “remained open for 24 hours since then”, only closing for an hour at a time on the weekends to clean up and prepare the restaurant for breakfast, said Georgiadis.

Artvoice, which holds the “Best of Buffalo” competition every year where readers vote for their favorite Buffalo place, has listed Pano’s as the Best of Buffalo for best brunch, best Greek restaurant, best patio and best super-cheap breakfasts for 2006.

Dittmar also says that Georgiadis is expected to make several “public service announcements” within the next few weeks to “thank customers for their patronage.”

Million Dollar Homepage is close to achieving million-dollar goal

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Million Dollar Homepage is close to achieving million-dollar goal
Published in March 23rd, 2019
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Friday, December 30, 2005

Alex Tew, a student in England, has almost reached his target of one million dollars on his website: Million Dollar Homepage. He came up with the idea after jotting down ideas before he went to bed on how to become a millionaire before he went to university. Then he came up with the million-dollar idea: selling pixels at USD $1 each on a web page. Alex currently believes he can make his goal by the end of 31st December, 2005.

Advertising companies especially appreciate the website, as they wish to “make Internet history” on the Million Dollar Homepage. In fact as of writing, he has already made USD $999,000. The student says advertisers get to keep their ads for a period of five years from purchase and he says he will use the money he has made to guarantee it. Alex has said he has already got numerous job offers from companies aiming to secure his money making talent.

Tew is undergoing a business management course at Nottingham and needed GBP £7000 a year to complete his studies. He is understandably overwhelmed by the success he has achieved: “It’s just nuts. I’m in a state of disbelief. It’s like Monopoly money but then I look at my bank account and there’s a lot of cash in it.” The British National Union of Students claim that 90% of students are in debt. However, what only worries him is how he’s going to spend his money. He has already spent some of his money on a car for himself, as he thinks of what to do with his new fortune.

His website’s method is simple; his website is made up of one page divided into 10,000 boxes, each 100 pixels in size. Companies can buy one or more boxes for USD $100 each and cover it with a logo, which, when clicked on, transports web users to the customers’ own site.The figures add up with the site now carrying over 240 advertisements and has 30,000 hits a day. Even the actor Jack Black, star of “School of Rock” and “Shallow Hal“, is using the site to advertise his band Tenacious D.

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