Wikinews 2014: An ‘Original reporting’ year in review

Wikinews 2014: An ‘Original reporting’ year in review

December 17th, 2017

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 With the English-language Wikinews continuing to increase the amount of original content published, we take a look back at some of the eighty-plus original reports from our contributors during 2014.

Wikinews 2014: An ‘Original reporting’ year in review

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Out of space in outer space: Special report on NASA’s ‘space junk’ plans

Out of space in outer space: Special report on NASA’s ‘space junk’ plans

December 17th, 2017

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A 182-page report issued September 1 by the United States National Research Council warns that the amount of debris in space is reaching “a tipping point”, and could cause damage to satellites or spacecraft. The report calls for regulations to reduce the amount of debris, and suggests that scientists increase research into methods to remove some of the debris from orbit, though it makes no recommendations about how to do so.

NASA sponsored the study.

A statement released along with the report warns that, according to some computer models, the debris “has reached a tipping point, with enough currently in orbit to continually collide and create even more debris, raising the risk of spacecraft failures”. According to the Satellite Industry Association, there are now about 1,000 working satellites in Earth orbit, and industry revenues last year were US$168 billion (£104.33 billion, 119.01 billion).

The debris consists of various objects, such as decommissioned satellites and exhausted boosters, but the vast majority of the particles are less than one centimetre across. 16,094 pieces of debris were being tracked as of July, although estimates put the current number at over 22,000. The total number of fragments is thought to be as high as tens of millions. While most of the debris is very small, some of it is travelling at speeds as high as 17,500 mi h-1 (28,164 km h-1; 7,823.3 m s-1).

The International Space Station sometimes has to dodge larger fragments, and in June its crew was forced to prepare to evacuate due to a close encounter with debris.

The UK Space Agency told Wikinews that space flight “is likely to be made more difficult” by the debris. However, communications will “[n]ot directly” be affected, “but if the GEO ring became unusable, there is no other altitude at which objects appear [‘]geo-stationary[‘] and so all antennas on the ground would then have to move in order to track the motion of the satellites”.

Donald J. Kessler, the lead researcher and former head of NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office, said that “[t]he current space environment is growing increasingly hazardous to spacecraft and astronauts,” and suggested that “NASA needs to determine the best path forward for tackling the multifaceted problems caused by meteoroids and orbital debris that put human and robotic space operations at risk.”

The current space environment is growing increasingly hazardous to spacecraft and astronauts

Two events are thought to be the largest individual sources of space debris. Kessler said that “[t]hose two single events doubled the amount of fragments in Earth orbit and completely wiped out what we had done in the last 25 years”.

The first of these was a controversial 2007 Chinese anti-satellite weapon test, which smashed the decommissioned weather satellite Fengyun-1C into approximately 150,000 fragments over a centimetre in size—making up roughly twenty percent of all tracked objects—537 miles above the Earth’s surface.

The Chinese government has so far failed to respond to Wikinews’s queries regarding the incident.

The other is a 2009 collision between twelve-year-old active satellite Iridium 33 and the defunct Russian Strela-2M satellite Kosmos-2251—both weighing in excess of 1,000 lbs (454 kg)—that occurred 490 miles over Siberia, the first such collision. The Iridium satellite was replaced within 22 days, according to Iridium Communications, who operated it.

We believe this is a substantial first step in better information sharing between the government and industry and support even more robust interaction which can provide better and more efficient constellation operation.

In a statement released to Wikinews, Iridium Communications said that they “received no warning of the impending collision. Although commercial projections of close encounters (commonly called conjunctions) were available, the accuracy of those projections was not sufficient to allow collision avoidance action to be taken.” They also made the assurance that the Air Force Space Command and United States Strategic Command now provide them with information through the Joint Space Operations Center, and that “when necessary, [they] maneuver [their] satellites based on this information to avoid potential collisions. [They] believe this is a substantial first step in better information sharing between the government and industry and support even more robust interaction which can provide better and more efficient constellation operation.”

Iridium expressed their support for “[l]ong-term investment to improve Space Situational Awareness” and “[i]mproved information sharing between industry and the U.S. government”, as well as more “[g]overnment support for policy and processes which would permit sharing of high-accuracy data as required to allow reliable assessment and warning” and “[i]ncreased cooperation between the government and U.S. and foreign commercial operators.”

They maintained that “the Iridium constellation is uniquely designed to withstand such an event. Because of the resilient and distributed nature of the Iridium constellation, the effects of the loss of a single satellite were relatively minor”, and that “any other system, commercial or military, which experienced the loss of a satellite, would have suffered significant operational degradation for a period of months if not years.” Nonetheless, the company is “concerned over the increasing level of risk to operations resulting from the debris in space.”

Do you think the debris should be cleared? If so, how, and who should bear the responsibility?
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The report makes more than thirty findings, and more than twenty recommendations to NASA. None of the recommendations regard how to clean up the debris. However, it does cite a report by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which suggested various possible techniques for catching and removing space debris, such as magnetic nets.

The Cold War is over, but the acute sensitivity regarding satellite technology remains

However, international law does not allow one country to collect another’s debris. George J. Gleghorn, vice chair of the committee, observed that “[t]he Cold War is over, but the acute sensitivity regarding satellite technology remains”.

The debris will, in time, be pulled into the earth’s atmosphere—where it will burn up—by gravity, but more debris is being created faster than this can happen.

The problem of space debris is similar to a host of other environmental problems and public concerns

The report recommends collaborating with the United States Department of State on “economic, technological, political, and legal considerations.” As already mentioned, international law does not allow one country to collect another’s debris.

It is best to treat the root cause, the presence of debris in orbit, and remove the large objects before they can break up into many thousands of uncontrolled fragments capable of destroying a satellite on impact.

According to the report, “[t]he problem of space debris is similar to a host of other environmental problems and public concerns characterized by possibly significant differences between the short- and long-run damage accruing to society … Each has small short-run effects but, if left unaddressed, will have much larger impacts on society in the future.”

A spokesperson for the UK Space Agency told Wikinews that the organisation “does not have any plans to get directly involved with [the clean-up] initiative but through its involvement with NASA in the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, it is conducting studies to identify which objects present the biggest hazard and how many objects may need to be removed and from where.” It says that the viability of such an operation is “a question of treating the symptom or the cause of the problem. Building more physical protection is costly and if the environment deteriorates too far, becomes unviable. It is best to treat the root cause, the presence of debris in orbit, and remove the large objects before they can break up into many thousands of uncontrolled fragments capable of destroying a satellite on impact.”

The spokesperson also pointed out that “[u]nder current licensing regimes (such as in the UK), countries are now obliging operators to remove satellites from crowded regions of space at the end of operational life”.

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Wikinews Shorts: January 13, 2009

Wikinews Shorts: January 13, 2009

December 17th, 2017

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, January 13, 2009.


  • 1 Anti-government protests in Riga, Latvia cause riots
  • 2 Obama will close Guantanamo Bay in his first week say advisers
  • 3 Greek shipping magnate kidnapped in Athens
  • 4 Microsoft permits additional Windows 7 beta downloads
  • 5 Cristiano Ronaldo crowned Footballer of the Year
  • 6 Change of mind: Democrats accept Burris
  • 7 Obama inauguration to appear in Lego form

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Is Complaining Sabotaging Your Business?}

December 17th, 2017

Submitted by: Wilbert Cloutman

Is Complaining Sabotaging Your Business?

Could something as simple as complaining be wreaking havoc on to not only you, but your level of success?

Last night was one of those nights… I wentto sleep with good intentions, but then woke up way too early with all kinds of thoughts and ideas going through my head.

It actually happens to me quite often…

I crawled out of bed and walked into the other room, the whole time mumbling to myself things like, “What the hell am I doing up so early?!?”

I flipped on the TV and started going about my day, tired and frustrated. All of the ideas that I had for my business (that woke me up early) were no where to be found! I sat in front of the computer and stared at the monitor…

“I’m too tired to do this now.”

I gave up… stood up… and walked away.


Just by chance my ear caught an old story that ran on ABC’s Good Morning America about the author Tim Ferriss. The original story was about how he decided to take a “21 Day No Complaint Challenge”

I had heard about it before, I know it’s not a new concept, but didn’t pay any attention to it.

But this time it definitely grabbed my attention.

Tim Ferriss was talking about how taking this No Complaint Challenge, “Totally changed his life and way of thinking.”

The segment was short, so I decided to look into it a little bit more and I found this post that Tim Ferriss wrote about it for The Huffington Post. (you can read it by clickingHERE)

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I learned two things from reading this post:

1.I complainA LOT…

2.If I sit and actually look at it, complaining is really hurting my productivity and business.


It sounds easy… Place a band around one wrist. If you complain in the next 21 days, take the band off and switch it to the other wrist and start over. Simple, right? Maybe in theory…

I am one who absolutely loves challenges, soI ACCEPT!

What about you?

But what is actually considered complaining?

Tim Ferriss writes

“I defined “complaining” for myself as follows:describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem.I later added the usual four-letter words and other common profanity as complaint qualifiers, which forced me to reword, thus forcing awareness and more precise thinking.

Following the above definition, both of the following would require a wrist switch:

“Man, I went into the post office and had to stand behind this rude jerk for 30 minutes. What a waste of time.”


“John can be such an a**hole. Totally uncalled for.”

The following variations would not:

“Man, I went into the post office and had to stand behind this rude guy for 30 minutes. It was a waste of time. From now on, I’ll go in the mornings before 10 a.m. to avoid the crowd.”

“John was a bit of muppet in there, wasn’t he? I suppose I’ll just send the e-mails directly to Mary in engineering for the next two weeks to get buy-in, then he’ll have to agree.”

-Tim Ferriss fromHuffington Post

It made me instantly take a long look at myself. Maybe I have been sabotaging myself for awhile now!

“It’s too hard”

“There are already so many people who know and do this better”

“It will take too much time”

“I don’t know how to do it”

Do any of those sound familiar to you?

They sure do to me, because I was using them almost daily. There are so many things that I complained about without offering a solution, or even trying. I would just give up!

Not only are they excuses, and don’t get anything accomplished, but they are actually counterproductive and harmful in the long run! It re-programs your brain into a negative thinking juggernaut… and soon it snowballs and turns into non-stop complaining about every situation!


If you are going to complain (because let’s face it, we all do it at times) make sure to offer yourself a solution to that problem that you are complainingabout in the same statement. But to only offer a solution is not good enough… follow through with it!

Let’s see what happens in 21 days from now! I will keep you updated.

Now for a couple of questions for you… Do you ever find yourself not doing things that you should be doing? Complaining and then quitting? Are there any techniques that you have used to stop the complaints from coming that have worked out really well for you? How do you think that complaining about different situations has negatively affected you? And finally… do you think that you could gain anything from going 21 days complaint free?

If you got some use out of this, or know someone who would… Please share socially!

I also love to hear from the readers, and encourage comments!

All The Best,

Jeff Sollee

– See more at:

About the Author: Jeff Sollee is really a 29 season aged Entrepreneur initially from Southern California. He spends his time discovering approaches to increased himself immediately after a protracted battle with addiction and OCD. Whilst locating a brand new job in On the net Advertising and marketing, he continues to be shelling out his time with some in the leaders within the business and studying from the very best.


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Australian Senate to decide sport footage ownership

Australian Senate to decide sport footage ownership

December 16th, 2017

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An inquiry set up by the Australian Senate will decide where footage taken at sporting events can run.

“The potential precedents for this are enormous,” said the head of a major news agency. “This will set a global benchmark — it has been coming to a head for a long time.”

The inquiry was set up off the back of a feud between sporting organisations and media outlets over the use of footage, some of which was uploaded to YouTube, and photos taken at sporting events. It will also look at whether companies who own broadcast rights can get a commercial return by limiting the use of their footage.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Australian Associated Press boycotted the Australian cricket season because Cricket Australia required them to sign documents restricting the use of photos and video footage they [AFP, Reuters and AAP] collected. Journalists working for Fairfax Media and News Limited were almost banned from covering the 2006-07 Ashes Series after their respective organisations refused to sign accreditation documents. The issue was resolved.

“This is a matter that has been of immense concern to the media all over the world and control over access to events is being used to control access to images,” said Chris Warren, secretary of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA). He said that many Australians were unaware of how agreements were limiting their access to sports coverage.

A Wikinews reporter was able to get accreditation for the 2008-09 A-League Finals series. The reporter captured video footage and photos with his own camera. The video footage used was released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike and GNU Free Documentation License copyright licenses.

The debate over video footage has centred on “fair use” provisions in Australian copyright laws. The laws allow a small amount of video owned by some one else for the purpose of news reporting online.

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Violent protests break out in Kyrgyzstan over allegedly rigged parliamentary elections

Violent protests break out in Kyrgyzstan over allegedly rigged parliamentary elections

December 16th, 2017

Monday, March 21, 2005

At least 10,000 protesters stormed government buildings, burnt down a police station, and took control of an airport to prevent reinforcements from being flown into Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan today as they demanded the resignation of president Askar Akayev. The protesters claim that recent parliamentary elections were rigged.

According to a police source in the capital of Bishkek, four police were beaten to death in clashes with protesters.

Last week, Akayev warned civil war would break out if there was an attempt to copy the Ukrainian “Orange Revolution.” However, the government says it wants a peaceful resolution. “We have never gone against our own people, especially not with weapons in our hands,” Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev said.

Opposition leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev says negotiations will only be fruitful if president Akayev himself is involved. “All other lower level negotiations will be just a waste of time,” Bakiyev said.

The U.S. state department issued a statement saying the situation could be dealt with “according to the rule of law,” and spokesman Adam Ereli said, “U.S. officials have been in contact with both the government and opposition to reinforce this message.”

The OSCE stated the elections did not properly measure up to international standards, citing “lack of effective voter access to diverse sources of information, bias in the media, continued de-registration of candidates on minor grounds…, and inaccurate and poorly maintained voter lists.”

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‘Twin Towers’ warship set to enter New York

‘Twin Towers’ warship set to enter New York

December 16th, 2017

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A warship built with steel from the World Trade Center is set to enter New York and travel up the Hudson River to the site of Ground Zero. 7.5 tons of steel from the buildings have been used in the construction of the USS New York. When the ship reaches Ground Zero it will fire a 21-gun salute. The ceremony will be viewed by relatives of those who lost their life during the September 11 attacks as well as rescuers and the public.

The official commissioning ceremony takes place on Saturday.

The crest of the ship features the images of the Twin Towers and the colours of the departments that first responded to the attacks.

The ship has 361 sailors serving aboard of which around 1 in 7 is from New York. A spokeswoman for the U.S Navy said that there had been many requests to serve on the ship.

The USS New York departed from Mississippi on October 14. This is the sixth ship to be named after the State of New York.

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Stock Up On Books, Stationary And More With Our Spring Clearance Sale 2017}

December 16th, 2017

Stock up on books, stationary and more with our Spring Clearance Sale 2017



The sun is out again and the days are getting longer. Whether you want to get your kids reading for the summer holiday, or find a great novel to dive into while on holiday, stock up for the summer months ahead by getting your stationary, books and more.

This spring why not get your hands on some amazing bargains when you shop online. You can get everything from books to stationery, toys and games and more. Save money by buying in the sale so that you get more for your money. Order it all online and then sit back and relax as it is delivered straight to your door.

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Music lovers

There is nothing more satisfying than playing music from a proper record player rather than a couple of tinny sounding earphones! Get your hands on a record player for an unbelievable price in the spring sales so that you can listen to your favourite records the way they were meant to be heard.

Go the whole hog and get a freestanding vinyl turntable record player for the most authentic experience possible when you shop in the Spring Clearance Sale 2017. If you want to impress your friends, then it’s a jukebox you need, and you can get one for an unbelievable price if you buy now. Even better, these days, jukeboxes have that retro feel but operate using Bluetooth.

Book lovers

Whether you need something to help the kids get to sleep with story-time or a romantic novel you can get lost in, you can get discount books of all shapes and sizes. Nursery rhymes are a timeless way of keeping children entertained, so why not buy a book of them, for the classics and a few newer ones?

If you really want to treat yourself or someone special, then book series are perfect. Books like ‘Game of Thrones’ are an additional asset as they are incredibly addictive. Their stories are so gripping that giving someone a whole set of them will keep them occupied for weeks.

For something a little unusual, what about adult colouring books? With themed books such as Star Wars, you can de-stress and get back to your childhood self, while also totally geeking out!

Health fanatics

There are always health fads coming in and out of fashion, and at the moment spiralizing is all the rage. Spiralizing is brilliant as it allows you to make vegetables a yummy substitute for your carbohydrates, such as creating spaghetti out of courgettes. In the spring sales, you can get your hands on spiralisers at an incredibly low price, making getting in shape easier than ever before.


Summer is coming and that means it is crucial to have your paddling pool ready to go for those few sunny days we can expect in the UK. Take your paddling pool experience up a level with models like the whale spray paddling pool, perfect for keeping you cool on those sweltering days. Stock up on books, stationary and more with our Spring Clearance Sale 2017. To know more visit Source:


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PM John Howard’s nuclear push causes alarm

PM John Howard’s nuclear push causes alarm

December 16th, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2006

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Australian nuclear debate

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has announced he wants a “full-scale nuclear debate”, and three of his senior federal government frontbenchers – Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Resources Minister, Ian Macfarlane, and Environment Minister Ian Campbell – have all suggested Australia, which has around 40 per cent of the world’s known uranium reserves, should consider enriching uranium – a step in processing that would allow it to be used as reactor fuel as well as for nuclear weapons.

However there is strong opposition for nuclear power in the Australian community. The Australian Greens have rejected the Prime Minister’s assumption that nuclear power might be ‘desirable’ for Australia. The Greens say they challenge Mr Howard to show “true leadership on climate change and nuclear non-proliferation.

Greens climate change and energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said Mr Howard was “playing politics” by floating the idea and testing public opinion before developing a government position.

“Instead of pandering to US President George Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair – the two most unpopular leaders in the world today – Prime Minister Howard should demonstrate real leadership and put some authenticity into the government’s response to climate change and terrorism,” Senator Milne said. “Nuclear power and nuclear proliferation are a threat to both.”

Senator Milne challenged advocates of nuclear power to explain what they will to do about nuclear waste, how large a public subsidy they are prepared to pay to prop up nuclear power, and why the Sustainable Development Commission was wrong when it recommended last month against expanding nuclear power in Britain.

“Australians have already had to subsidise uranium mining companies to clean up after mines have closed, while last week’s Budget papers revealed that ANSTO can’t estimate the cost of decommissioning the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor,” Senator Milne said. “When will advocates of nuclear power admit that it is too slow, too expensive and too dangerous to be a solution to climate change? Nor is there any safe way to dispose of the waste. It is not even safe to transport, a concern supported by the head of the International Energy Agency…” said Senator Milne in a media release.

“Instead of turning to nuclear power, Australia should ratify the Kyoto Protocol, invest in renewable energy, adopt a national energy efficiency target and improve public transport.

“Several studies examining options to achieve deep cuts in Australian greenhouse emissions all show this goal can be achieved, cost effectively, without resorting to nuclear power,” said Senator Milne in a media release.

Greens leader Bob Brown says the Prime Minister is sending a message of approval for Indonesia to become a nuclear power. “Australia and our region are essentially nuclear-free. Mr Howard is abandoning that security to grab uranium profits and facilitate an Australian role in nuclear enrichment,” Senator Brown said. “This robs Australia of its moral strength to argue against Indonesia resurrecting the Soeharto plan for 12 nuclear reactors and to advance its interest in Russian-built floating nuclear power stations.”

“This will make our region much less secure for the next generation of Australians,” Senator Brown said. “John Howard has talked up regional terrorism. Now he is promoting nuclear power proliferation in our neighbourhood. At best his logic is faulty, at worst he is taking Australia into a future unnecessarily menaced by the nuclear threat,” Senator Brown said.

Labor MP Kelvin Thomson says John Howard’s push towards nuclear power generation could heighten the risk of a terrorist attack. “The problem with nuclear power is that more of it that is around, the easier it is for terrorists to get access to it and I’m not satisfied that in this day and age we can be absolutely certain that terrorists can’t access it,” Mr Thomson said.

Mr Thompson said the Government should be focussing its interest on “much safer and environmentally-friendly” abundant renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. Mr Thomson said Australia was a potential world-leader in solar power. “Surely you exhaust all the other alternatives first before you say let’s go down the nuclear road,” he said.

“The problem with nuclear power is that more of it that is around, the easier it is for terrorists to get access to it,” he said. “I’m not satisfied that in this day and age you can be absolutely certain that terrorists can’t access it.”

Union leader Bill Shorten, a federal Labor candidate at the next election, believes the issue is unpopular with the electorate. A survey in 2005 found 47 percent of Australians supported nuclear power and 40 percent opposed it.

Professor Frank Muller from the University of New South Wales, said the framework to manage nuclear power needs to be put in place first. He says it could take decades before a nuclear power plant could operate. “So it actually takes even longer to provide a greenhouse benefit than it does to build a power plant,” he said. Professor Muller says nuclear power stations are expensive to build, and safety is a major issue.

Opposition environment spokesman Anthony Albanese said: “John Howard’s nuclear fantasy is Australia’s nightmare,” Mr Albanese told reporters. “Intractable problems with nuclear energy when it comes to economic costs, safety, disposal of waste and contribution to nuclear proliferation remain up to some 50 years.”

Mr Albanese said that if Mr Howard was serious about nuclear power he should say where a nuclear power plant would be built, and where the waste it produced would be stored. “If he’s so confident that nuclear energy is safe… I’m sure he’ll have coalition MPs volunteering to have a nuclear reactor in their electorate and to store their waste in the electorate,” he said.

Mr Albanese said the current Labor policy remained opposed to nuclear energy in Australia.

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Category:Science and technology

Category:Science and technology

December 15th, 2017

This is the category for science and technology.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 25 November 2017: Researchers report rapid formation of new bird species in Galápagos islands
  • 24 November 2017: Singapore announces driverless buses on public roads from 2022
  • 6 November 2017: U.S. government report says climate change is human-made
  • 3 November 2017: Astronomers report dwarf star with unexpectedly giant planet
  • 20 October 2017: Arrangement of light receptors in the eye may cause dyslexia, scientists say
  • 8 October 2017: Researchers find preserving spotted owl habitat may not require a tradeoff with wildfire risk after all
  • 6 September 2017: Peggy Whitson, record-breaking ‘American space ninja’, returns to Earth
  • 12 August 2017: Australia: Victorian government to trial driverless vehicles on public roads
  • 21 July 2017: After visa snags, all-girl Afghan team honored for ‘courageous achievement’ at international robotics competition
  • 17 July 2017: Sun’s mood swings not so strange after all, say scientists
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