Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

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Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”

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Bush authorizes oil release from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

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Bush authorizes oil release from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Yesterday, President George W. Bush authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve due to Hurricane Katrina’s effects on oil refineries in the Gulf Coast.

The decision was made late Tuesday and announcement was made Wednesday.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve consists of 700 million barrels of oil located in salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coast. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is meant to act as a cushion for the oil market during disruptions of energy.

Energy production was interuppted by Katrina as more than 735 oil and natural gas rigs had to be evacuated. This shut down 95 percent of crude production and 88 percent of natural gas output in the Gulf of Mexico.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Michael McMahon running in Prince Edward—Hastings

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CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Michael McMahon running in Prince Edward—Hastings

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party candidate Michael McMahon is standing for election in the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings. McMahon moved to Windsor in 1951, getting a degree in education, teaching locally and in Papua New Guinea. He served as Branch President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), served on multiple of their major committees, and recently retired from the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.

Wikinews contacted Michael McMahon, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

Since being redefined in 2003, the riding includes the County of Prince Edward and the County of Hastings (except the City of Quinte West). Conservative Party member Daryl Kramp currently represents the riding, after beating a Liberal in 2004. Ken Cole of the Liberals and Alan Coxwell of the Greens are also running in the riding.

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

Posted on November 15th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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NFL: Ricky Williams applies for reinstatement

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NFL: Ricky Williams applies for reinstatement

Friday, April 6, 2007

Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams, who has applied for reinstatement to the NFL, told ESPN Radio’s Dan Patrick on Friday that he hasn’t gotten high on drugs “in maybe three years.” Williams credited yoga with replacing drugs to ease stress.

Williams was suspended in April 2006 for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy. Reinstatement to the league requires clinical evaluation and sending a hand-written letter to Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL. Williams stated: For the most part, as long as you follow the rules, you have a pretty good shot to be reinstated. Half of it is testing and the other half is you have to talk to someone on a weekly basis.

During the radio broadcast, Patrick asked Williams when the last time he had been drug tested. Williams’ anwser was Two minutes ago. and that he had passed.

Williams blamed the high levels of stress involved in playing football with his use of Marijuana. He said the only way to deal with it was “to go home, relax on the couch, roll up a joint and take a couple of puffs.”

Williams told Patrick during the interview that he hadn’t spoken with new Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron yet. Addressing what the Dolphins may or may not choose to do with him, Williams said that he would be “fine with whatever happens.”

Williams said, when asked why he wants to return to the NFL: “For me, it’s a test to see if all this work I’ve done is really worth something. If I can go to the NFL and have success, that would speak a lot for yoga and what I’ve learned and offer a lot of people who have dealt with the same issues I have a way out.”

Posted on November 15th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

Posted on November 15th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Pakistan: car rams into police truck killing at least seven, injuring 22 in Quetta

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Pakistan: car rams into police truck killing at least seven, injuring 22 in Quetta

Friday, October 20, 2017

On Wednesday, at least seven people were killed and 22 were injured in Quetta, Balochistan province, Pakistan, after a car rammed into a truck carrying policemen. Abdur Razzaq Cheema, a police chief, said five police officials died in the incident and eight were critically injured.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, police official Muhammed Akbar said the incident took place on Saryab road. Sanaullah Zehri, chief minister of Balochi province, said, “it was a sucide attacker who appeared in a car with 70 to 80kg of explosives”. Reuters reported Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Another police official was killed in a different part of the city. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for shooting and killing that official. They also claimed to have installed a bomb on the roadside. Officials said two Pakistani soldiers were killed due to that explosion.

At least five were killed in in a gunfire incident in Quetta last week. Earlier this month, more than a dozen were killed at a Sufi shrine in Balochistan in an alleged suicide attack.

Posted on November 9th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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G20 Summit plans to inject US$5tn into economy before 2011

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G20 Summit plans to inject US$5tn into economy before 2011

Friday, April 3, 2009

The G20 Summit held in London, England concluded Thursday with an injection into the economy of US$5 trillion by the end of 2010.

Global trade would be supported by $250 billion (169.5 billion pounds). “We are going to act decisively to kickstart international trade. We will ensure availability of at least $250 billion over the next two years,” said Gordon Brown Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The International Monetary Fund IMF will have access to $750bn in resources of which $250bn will support special drawing rights.

Developing countries received $100bn which will be dispensed via Multilateral development banks. Towards this end, the IMF will sell off gold reserves.

China will support the IMF fund by $40bn, the European Union by $100bn, and Japan by $100bn.

There will be increased regulation on banking and credit ratings agencies. There was a commitment to clamp down on hedge funds, tax havens and toxic assets. To restore consumer confidence in the financial sector, a new Financial Stability Board will be initiated internationally. There would be new policies implemented to control pay and bonuses paid to the heads of banks and corporations.

The G20 leaders were adverse to protectionism and rallied to support international trade and investment.

The Leaders’ statement said, “We reaffirm the commitment made in Washington: to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organization (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports.”

Eoin O’Malley, senior adviser on international trade at BusinessEurope, said “The measure also needs to be part of wider package to avoid protectionism and conclude the Doha round which will stimulate trade growth. The key point now is to move forward with Doha. The key now is implementation. G20 governments must act quickly to provide this finance to companies that need it urgently.”

Posted on November 9th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Are Antique Coffee Pots Worth Buying?

By Aiden W

An antique coffee pot is not something you normally look for when you want to brew your coffee. In fact, most people who aren’t collectors of antiques or vintage items won’t even think about spending extra money on such an old and used device when they can get a modern coffee maker for much cheaper.

Although not a collector myself I generally like antiques, but even I never considered buying an antique coffee pot. I had always pictured antique coffee pots as tarnished from many years of disuse, and might even have a few dents.

However, one day as I was browsing the shelves in a local antique store my eyes caught a gorgeous sterling silver coffee pot, and I fell in love with it. This antique coffee pot was beautiful. It was smooth and shiny, almost like new. The previous owner must have taken very good care of it.

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As I admired this antique coffee pot I thought about the person who made it and what their life was like. I then approached the store owner, inquiring more about the item. He wasn’t exactly sure when the pot was made but stated that it was at least a hundred years old. Surprisingly, the price wasn’t really that high; something that I definitely could afford. I was excited to bring the antique coffee pot home.

As luck would have it, a month later I spotted an old coffee pot in a neighborhood thrift store which I suspected was an antique. This pot was also made of silver. It didn’t look as shiny and charming as the one I previously purchased, but it had no defects. I was sure with a little bit of polishing it would look really beautiful. The best part was the price, which was only $25. I didn’t think twice about getting it, for it would be money well spent even if the item would turn out not to be an antique.

The following day I took this old coffee pot to an antique appraiser, and to my delight he told me it was indeed an antique and was worth about $300. You see, often times you can find treasures in thrift stores since many people, including the store owners are not aware of the real value of the stuff they trade.

It didn’t take that much effort to get this antique coffee pot the luster it deserves. Now I have a pair of elegant silver antique coffee pots gracing my glass kitchen cabinet. Most of my guests are amazed and they compliment me on finding such fine items. One of my aunts who collects antiques also has a vintage carafe that she found in the basement of her home when she first moved in. Even she says that hers are not as beautiful as mine.

Some people ask me if I actually use them to make coffee. No, I don’t. I prefer to leave that task to my electric coffee maker. The antique coffee pots have done their share of service. Now that they are in retirement, their only job is to sit pretty and charm those who pass by.

So, are antique coffee pots worth buying? Based on my experience, the answer is definitely yes. Just make sure what you’re purchasing is indeed an antique, and it’s worth what you pay for if not more.

About the Author: Visit

1-web-antiques.info

for more information and resources on antiques, vintage items, and other collectibles. Aiden W, owner and webmaster.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=254180&ca=Arts+and+Crafts

A 1-year long strike against FMC Novamed: Women workers allege unfair treatment

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A 1-year long strike against FMC Novamed: Women workers allege unfair treatment

Monday, September 17, 2007

In a free trade zone in Antalya, Turkey, 80 women workers of FMC Novamed are in strike for almost a year now, since September 26th, 2006. They allege not only low wages but also severe abuses on FMC’s part.

Novamed, founded in 2001, is a factory managed by Turkish capitalists and located in the free trade zone in Antalya, Turkey. 95% of its workers are women. It is owned by Fresenius Medical Care (FMC), which is an international corporation with its headquarters in Germany. With factories in 12 countries and a total of 100,000 workers, FMC is a monopoly in the market of dialysis products.

Posted on October 30th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Interview with Vicky Dhillon, City Council candidate for Wards 9 & 10 in Brampton, Canada

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Interview with Vicky Dhillon, City Council candidate for Wards 9 & 10 in Brampton, Canada

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The upcoming 2006 Brampton municipal election, to be held November 13, features an array of candidates looking to represent their wards in city council or the council of the Peel Region.

Wikinews contributor Nick Moreau contacted many of the candidates, including Vicky Dhillon, asking them to answer common questions sent in an email. This ward’s incumbent is Garnett Manning; also challenging Manning is Stella Ambler, Mandeep Dhaliwal, Daljit Gill, and Nalem Malik.

Posted on October 18th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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