US House of Representatives passes universal health care bill

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The United States House of Representatives has passed The Affordable Health Care for America Act or HR 3962, a bill which would ensure that 95–96% of US citizens receive affordable health care.

HR 3962 was passed with 220 yeas and 215 nays. Democrats in the house needed at least 218 votes to pass the bill. 39 Democrats voted against the bill, which contained the Stupak amendment. This amendment curtailed women’s abortion rights. One Republican, Representative Joseph Cao of Louisiana, voted for the bill.

The US Senate has drafted their own health care bill, S. 1679. It is not yet known when the Senate will vote on their version of the bill, but in the end both versions must be merged into one with both the House and Senate voting again.

The health care program associated with HR 3962 is estimated to cost over US$1 trillion over ten years, according to the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who states that it will result in “[…] not one dime added to the deficit.”

US President Barack Obama says that he is “confident” that the Senate will be able to come to an agreement and pass a completed bill. Obama added that he hopes to sign a “comprehensive health insurance reform into law by the end of the year.”

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Internet pirates want their own nation

Monday, January 15, 2007

This article features in a News Brief from Audio Wikinews:
Picture of Sealand.
Location of Sealand.

The Pirate Bay, a file-sharing website based in Sweden, seeks to purchase its own island nation in an attempt to escape copyright laws. A group of people has launched a campaign to collect money via the Internet to acquire a former British sea platform situated in the North Sea, six miles (9.6 kilometers) off the British coast.

The Pirate Bay states that the platform, named Sealand, will give users an easy way of sharing files protected by copyright in other nations. According to the statement made on the website, those who invest in purchasing Sealand will receive citizenship in it.

The platform was occupied in 1967 by the associates and family members of Paddy Roy Bates, a former radio broadcaster and former British Army Major, who now form its royal family. Prince Roy and Princess Joan Bates and their son Prince Regent Michael are willing to sell the platform for £65m. The royal family claims that it is independent and outside of any country’s jurisdiction.

The sovereign status of the platform is disputed. The Government of the United Kingdom extended the territorial waters from 3 to 12 nautical miles after 1987, placing Sealand in its jurisdiction. However, Prince Roy simultaneously expanded the territory of Sealand and claimed continued independence. (See Sealand on Wikipedia.)

Hired estate agents from Spain estimate the price of the floating island to be about 504 million pounds. The Swedish website mentioned that it was looking for alternatives to acquire Sealand. It also mentioned that if the “Internet-pirate” community is not able to buy Sealand, it will look for another small place to claim as its own.

The Pirate Bay website was closed for some time in May 2006 due to Swedish police raids. The site was later re-opened from the Netherlands before moving back to Sweden.

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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Forex Trading

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The first principle of forex trading is to understand that trading is an investment, not an income. If you are looking to constantly boom in forex trading, then you may need to do a reassessment. forex trading, like other forms of trading, allows you to make a good return on your initial capital annually. However, during that year you need to expect some ups and downs in your forex trading. You could even have several months where you have consecutive losses. It is probably in your best interest to have another source of income while you do forex trading.

Another area where beginners sometimes find themselves frustrated is that they try to predict the forex trading markets. Thousands of traders have influence over the forex trading markets, along with politics and economic events, so there is no way to predict which way the market will move. There are some types of analysis that may provide an educated guess into market flow when doing forex trading, but they are not always reliable. Do not be discouraged, though, by the fact that you may lose on more trades that you gain on, as using sound money management can help you be successful with forex trading.


Making money from forex trading means that you need to make enough to cover your losses and gain profit to increase capital. When forex trading, you will need to allow your money-making trades ride while knowing when to cut your losses as soon as possible. forex trading means learning some finesse, as there can be a fine line where you will want to wait a little for the market to turn in your favor on your losing trades and also making sure you do not take your profit to soon on your better trades.

One way to handle your forex trading is to use a tested system and a money management strategy. There is no room for emotion when forex trading, so you will need to use a business-like approach that has been tested on market data. Using a tested approach will save you a lot of stress when forex trading. Also, using a sound money management strategy will allow you to use your capital in the best way when forex trading so that you can maximize profit and avoid major losses.

Read the rest of the article here: Forex Trading.

Canadian soldier who filmed himself sexually abusing colleague has appeal dismissed

Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Canadian Embassy, Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2009. Image: Matthew G. Bisanz.

The Supreme Court of Canada February 17 dismissed 8-0 an appeal by ex-corporal Colin McGregor arguing the investigation that led to his 2019 conviction for sexual assault violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ demands for reasonable search and seizure.

Its unanimous judgment ends McGregor’s multi-year court battle with successively higher bodies by describing the police’s investigation of his US home “reasonable pursuant to Charter standards.”

On September 30, 2019, McGregor was found guilty of two counts of voyeurism, one count of possession of a device for surreptitious interception of private communications, one count of sexual assault and one count of disgraceful conduct for incidents that took place between 2011 and 2017.

That Thursday, he was sentenced by a military judge at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt in British Columbia to three years in prison and another twenty years on the sex offender registry, and was ‘dismissed with disgrace’ from the Armed Forces.

After last Friday’s ruling, his sentence will continue in full. Moreover, after his release, he will be barred from future employment with the Canadian government.

From August 2015 to March 2017, McGregor was posted to the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff at Canada’s US embassy, which automatically gave him diplomatic immunity.

In January 2017, another member of the Canadian Armed Forces, also in Washington, D.C., found two audio recording devices in her home. Believing McGregor was responsible, she reported him to her senior officer, and to investigate, the Embassy waived McGregor’s diplomatic immunity at the request of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS).

On February 16, 2017, CFNIS agents and local Virginia police executed a search warrant at the then-corporal’s staff quarters in Alexandria, seizing computers, CDs, storage devices and five hidden cameras.

Forensic analysis showed a 2011 video of McGregor groping an unconscious woman in Victoria and recordings from inside McGregor’s home of a woman using the restroom and a video of cartoon characters appearing aged under eighteen engaging in sex acts; a child pornography charge for the latter was later dropped.

The woman videoed later told the Esquimalt court she believed it was taken on a night when she invited McGregor over for drinks and video games. She reported blacking out and awakening to find him sexually touching her.

McGregor had sought to have the videos and images excluded from evidence, arguing the search violated Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects Canadians from “unreasonable search or seizure.”

The move and a subsequent appeal were rejected, with the Court Martial Appeal Court holding the Charter did not apply outside Canada and, notwithstanding, the search was permissible.

The Supreme Court on February 7, 2010. Image: D. Gordon E. Robertson.

His latest appeal to Canada’s top court argued the search violated the Charter by inviting a re-evaluation of the controversial 2007 ruling R v Hape, that presently governs extraterritoriality. His counsel Diana Mansour told the court on May 19, 2022 military personnel “ought to have their Charter rights guaranteed when investigated by Canadian military police for Canadian criminal offences.

“The portability of the military justice system allows Canadian criminal law to apply to our military members when they are serving anywhere in the world and with it, so should the Charter apply.”

Patrice Germain, counsel for the Crown respondent, argued that Section 8 “did not apply to the search of the appellant [McGregor’s] residence in the United States, because Virginia state law, under which it was conducted, is not within the authority of Parliament or a provincial legislature.”

Justice Suzanne Côté, writing for the majority, said the warrant the CFNIS obtained and executed under Virginia law authorized the search, seizure and analysis of McGregor’s electronic devices: “A search is reasonable within the meaning of [Section 8] of the Charter if it is authorized by law, if the law itself is reasonable and if the manner in which the search was carried out is reasonable.”

As well as “authorized by law”, the court also found the search was not “more intrusive than necessary”, Côté writing: “It is difficult to see how the CFNIS investigators could have acted differently to attain their legitimate investigative objectives.

“Simply put, I would dismiss the appeal even if I were to accept Cpl. McGregor’s argument that the Charter applies extraterritorially in the present context.”

In fact, the Court left the Charter’s scope ambiguous, explaining: “I [Côté, representing four judges’ opinions and her own] find it unnecessary to deal with the issue of extraterritoriality to dispose of this appeal [because] the CFNIS did not violate the Charter” to begin with.

After the ruling, Mansour said: “We accept the court’s decision which leaves open the opportunity for another matter to address the legal issue of the extraterritorial application of the Charter in the Canadian military context.”

In an email to Law360 Canada, co-counsels for the Crown Chavi Walsh, Natasha Thiessen and Patrice Germain said the CFNIS investigation was “a textbook case of successful international law enforcement cooperation, which respected the rights of the accused and complied with Canada’s international legal obligations.

“This case demonstrates that the Canadian Armed Forces can maintain crucial military discipline by effectively investigating and prosecuting crimes, including those of sexual violence, anywhere the CAF operates.”

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Firefighters rescue nearly a dozen animals in Buffalo, New York house fire

Firefighters and Paramedics perform CPR and provide oxygen to a cat that was rescued from the fire. Image: Jason Safoutin.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Buffalo, New York —A three alarm fire at a house owned by John and Evelyn Bencinich, two of the initiators of a lawsuit filed against the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, required firefighters to rescue eight cats and two dogs in Buffalo, New York today.

At about 8:30 (eastern time) firefighters were called to the home on 48 Granger Place to put out a fire that had started in the basement. It quickly spread to the first floor where the main bathroom was destroyed. The fire did not spread to the second floor or attic.

Initial calls said that many animals were inside the house and firefighters quickly worked to rescue all the cats and dogs. At least one cat and one dog had to receive CPR and oxygen, but both are reported to be in stable condition. At least 3 cats are unaccounted for, but after a search of the house, the cats were not believed to have been inside at the time the fire started.

One elderly woman, Anna Bencinich, the mother of Evelyn, was rescued by neighbors who helped her from the burning house.

“There was smoke all over the house. The fire started in the basement and spread to a small portion of the first floor. Two firefighters were injured while fighting the fire and were transported to Erie County Medical Center,” said Division Fire Chief Thomas Ashe who also said that sections of the kitchen wall at the back of the house had to be torn out to stop the fire from spreading through the walls.

One firefighter is being treated for bite injuries to his face that he received while attempting to rescue a dog. The other firefighter was treated for injuries he received to his hand, which was believed to have been caused by glass or a cat scratching him. The names of the injured firefighters are not known. The injuries are said to not be life threatening.

According to witness reports, the home owners had a new water heater installed just last week, but it is not known if the fire was caused by the heater.

“We believe the fire was caused by an electrical (malfunction). An investigation is being conducted,” said Battalion Chief Joe Fahey who also added that they did not believe arson was the cause.

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Be Aware Of The Laws In Dubai

By Ewan Sherriff

Around 800,000 (yes thats eight hundred thousand!) visitors from the UK alone travel to Dubai each year to enjoy what has been described as paradise on Earth. What most are ignorant of are the strict and often surprising laws in place in this paradise.

Dubai is a Muslim state and as such has a very different view of many things compared to the Western world, especially when it comes to personal relationships, sexuality and narcotics (including alcohol). If you visit Dubai without being aware of these laws you are liable to find yourself being hauled off to jail for seemingly innocuous crimes before you are even aware you that did anything wrong.

Some of you have no doubt heard of the widely publicised case in which a British couple were jailed for openly expressing affection on a public beach in Dubai, but there have been many other examples;

– 4 year jail sentence for possessing 2 grams of cannabis.


– Jail term for man possessing poppy seeds after eating a sandwich at Heathrow on his way to Dubai.

– 4 year jail sentence for microscopic traces of cannabis on a persons shoe.

– One month in jail for kissing a man on the cheek in a Dubai restaurant.

– A lesbian couple jailed for one month for kissing on a Beach.

– Couple jailed for one year for kissing and cuddling in the back of a taxi.

The list goes on… in fact in the year 2006 / 2007 over 200 Britons were arrested for similar crimes.

This shows that anyone planning a trip to Dubai should really do their homework before departing, for instance there are almost 400 substances which are banned in Dubai. Many of these substances are in everyday use in the West, such as Poppy Seeds (mentioned above), Codeine (a common painkiller), Melatonin (used to combat jetlag), and remember it is also illegal to drink alcohol in public.

There is growing frustration with what appears to be a level of hypocrisy in the state, with public consumption of alcohol banned, yet many hotels providing free alcohol. Homosexuality and public displays of affection banned but prostitution legal etc..

When in the holiday spirit (and after drinking in the hotel) it is very easy for Westeners to forget where they are and fall foul of these laws, even many of the 250,000 British expatriates occasionally get caught out so it is understandable that short term visitors are vulnerable. You should also be aware that if you do find yourself in trouble with the law in Dubai, the British embassy are unlikely to be able to help. The Foreign office urge vigilance and mindfulness when visiting Dubai, and offer snippets of advise, such as ensuring any medication is left in original packaging and to carry all prescription documentation with you as proof of validity. There are also restrictions on hand luggage which you should check out before you leave.

The differences in law between The UK and Dubai are not only something new to holidaymakers, but also provide challenges for those in the profession moving from the West to the UAE. Expatriate lawyer Ewan Sheriff is one such person, previously a highly successful lawyer in Scotland, Ewan and the rest of the Sheriff family moved to Dubai in 2010 looking for fresh challenges and a better life for the Sheriff household. Ewan has had to learn a new legal system from scratch, but has relished the task.

About the Author: Ewan Sheriff is a highly experienced lawyer, previously practising in the UK but now resident in Dubai. You can find more information about Ewan here :

Ewan Sheriff



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Scottish Borders minibus crash kills one, injures 23

Monday, December 31, 2018

A minibus overturned on the A6089 road between Gordon and Carfraemill in the Scottish Borders on Saturday night. The rural accident killed one man and injured 23 more.

A file photo of the A6089 near Gordon.Image: James Denham via the Geograph project.

The bus was reportedly carrying an all-male group from Newtongrange to Kelso. Following the accident, local authorities declared a major incident, with Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, NHS Scotland, and Scottish Borders Council all collaborating on the response.

Per the reports, an air ambulance ferried one survivor to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital; fourteen casualties were taken to Borders General Hospital in Melrose; and eight were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The minibus held 23 passengers plus a driver. Authorities closed the road after the crash at around 10:50am, reopening it at 9:00pm.

59-year-old East Lothian man Ross Jones Barker has been identified as the man killed at the accident location. Barker and some other passengers were traveling to Kelso to attend the Kelso Races, a local horse race. Images of the bus showed it upended in a field perpendicular to the road, with extensive crush damage to the roof. BBC reported the minibus left tyre marks on the road.

Traffic Scotland took to Twitter on the day of the accident to warn of strong wind gusts affecting driving in the area. The road has a poor safety reputation among locals, who know it for its multiple blind summits. Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit carried out on-site investigations and was working to establish the circumstances. The vehicle has since been righted and recovered.

Reverend Malcolm Muir of Newtongrange described “a solemnity across the village at the moment” in the “tight-knit community” which “has a very strong sense of identity.”

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Three hostages return home to Florida

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Three American hostages – Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell – that were being held in Colombia by FARC are now free. They are safely in Florida after their rescue by Colombian forces; 12 other hostages were rescued at the same time. They received care from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio before being sent home to their families. The men were taken captive when their drug surveillance plane went down in the jungles of Colombia in 2003 – more than 5 years ago. All three of the men were working for a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation at the time.

Keith Stansell emphasized that while he was grateful to be home, no one should “forget the people that are still there”. “Because of our rescue, there are fellow hostages that are still there,” Stansell said. He reminded those listening that some of the remaining hostages have already been in captivity for 10 years, in squalid conditions. “You wait for a day like yesterday and today, you know, for the end, you… you want it to end,” added Marc Gonsalves.

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Advantages And Disadvantages To Bonds

By Penny Lane

If you have ever been arrested or know someone that has been arrested, you know what a stressful time it can be. Depending on what was done to cause this, it can be life altering and it can be a very frightening experience. Having loved ones sent to jail for something they did is very stressful as well because you do not know how long they have to be there and if they have to be there for an extended period of time, you can start to feel helpless; no one wants to see someone they love spend years sitting in a jail cell. Fortunately, there are bail bonds. A bail bond allows you or your family member to get their freedom back before they have to show up for their hearing.

Every time someone is arrested, a bail amount is set. If the person being arrested is a minor or does something little such as a misdemeanor, the bail amount might not be much. However, if the crime committed was a felony, the bail amount could be a lot worse. If you do not have the money to pay for these amounts, you may have to contact a professional and get these bonds. What they do is the set a certain amount so that you only pay a fraction of the bond price. They basically let the court know that you will be showing up for your court date.


Some people do not deserve to get out of jail no matter how much money they have. If you have heard of someone who has been in and out of jail and they keep making the same mistakes, then they should probably not have the opportunity to get out of their jail sentence. Other people, however, make mistakes and learn from them. If you have not paid your parking tickets and you are arrested for that, you may get a small bond and you may have to make an agreement for paying those tickets back, but that offense is not something that will be physically harmful to anyone.

If someone commits a crime that is harmful to someone, for instance if they rob someone armed or they physically harm someone, these people should have larger bail amounts. There are some benefits to bonds and some disadvantages. First of all, if you have made a mistake and you know never to commit that crime again, then you should have access to these as long as you show up to court. If someone dangerous gets a hold of these bonds, it puts other people’s lives in danger because it gives these people access to freedom that they should not have.

Again, getting arrested is something that can be easily avoided. If you make a mistake and cannot pay the bail and you need to continue going to work, you can have access to these. As long as you go to court, you will be fine, but if you do not, the bond company will be responsible for paying part of your bond and they will most likely track you down.

About the Author: Penny Lane has a son in law school who works closely with a

Las Vegas bail bond

firm as part of his training. Her son enjoyed working with a

Las Vegas bail bonds



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