Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

">
Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.

Contents

  • 1 On Gay Talese
  • 2 On a higher power and how he’d like to die
  • 3 On the media and Iraq
  • 4 On the Iraq War
  • 5 State of Journalism
  • 6 On travel to Cuba
  • 7 On Chinese gay bars
  • 8 On the literary canon
  • 9 Sources

Posted by 5MD3yc on November 17th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Still no action in standoff in Ontario town

">
Still no action in standoff in Ontario town

Monday, April 17, 2006

Seven weeks after citizens of the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve repossessed land near Caledonia, Ontario, on February 28, the Ontario Provincial Police, who have authority from a court to arrest the protesters for contempt of court, have yet to act.

On April 11, more than 50 police cruisers, two paddy wagons, and several vans gathered outside an abandoned school on Unity Road in Caledonia. However, reports from last night are that visible police presence is minimal, with just a few police cruisers parked down the road from the protest site.

Before the site was blocked, Henco Industries had begun construction on 10 luxury homes out of a total of 71 scheduled to be built as part of the $6 million Douglas Creek Estates subdivision.

The tract of land under dispute was registered as a land claim by the Six Nations Band Council in 1987 but its status has yet to be settled. The land originally made up part of a large land grant given in 1784 to the Six Nations for services rendered during the American War of Independence. The government and the developer claim that the Six Nations surrendered title in 1841, but the Band disputes this.

The protesters are demanding a nation-to-nation dialogue with the Canadian government and continue to call for a peaceful resolution. Some protesters, however, have stated that if the OPP forcefully try to remove them, they will defend their land with force.

“If they break the peace, we’ll do what we have to do,” said protester Dick Hill. “Things are very tense. We are trying to defend our lands, which were taken from us. Every time we try to stand up for who we are and what we are, they come and drag us away.”

An injunction was issued to the development company a month ago that allowed for the protesters to be removed. Police have not enforced the injunction.

However, David Ramsay, Ontario’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister, said that the province was going to have a meeting with both protesters and developers in an attempt to address their concerns.

“This is a very serious situation. I have to be very hopeful that we’re going to see a peaceful end to this situation. We think we can resolve this by negotiating, and by talking so that’s what we’re doing,” added Ramsay.

Posted by 5MD3yc on November 15th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Family narrowly escapes fiery death in Christchurch, New Zealand

">
Family narrowly escapes fiery death in Christchurch, New Zealand

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A family visiting Christchurch, New Zealand from Australia was minutes away from being burnt to death.

They were staying in the Meadow Park Holiday Park, Papanui.

The fire started about 3 a.m. NZST and Station officer Paul Rodwell said, “From the description, they were a few minutes away from perishing.”

New Zealand-born Elaine Puku is on life support in Christchurch Hospital’s intensive-care unit after receiving internal and external second-degree burns while trying to rescue her children.

Other family members – Malcolm Puku, 47, and sons Jeremy, 17, Matthew, 13, and Jordan, 10 – were also in the fire, but escaped grievous injury. They are currently recovering from minor cuts and smoke inhalation.

“I opened up the door into the lounge and the room was like a big volcano, so red and bright and yellow, and all this billowing black smoke,” Malcolm Puku said.

There were no smoke alarms in the unit.

“It doesn’t have any fire-protection smoke alarms because it’s an old place,” Rodwell said.

Fire safety officer Graham Davies said that the accommodation is exempt since it was built before fire detectors became compulsory.

The motel is now under investigation by the Fire Service.

Posted by 5MD3yc on October 30th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Woman gives birth on New Jersey PATH train

">
Woman gives birth on New Jersey PATH train

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A New Jersey woman, 31-year-old Rabita Sarker, gave birth on a moving Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) train yesterday morning. She and her husband Aditya Saurabh were heading to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan for a “practice run”. She gave birth between the Journal Square and 33rd Street stations at 9:49 am ET (1449 UTC).

Sarker boarded the Manhattan-bound PATH train at Journal Square already experiencing labor pains. At first she believed these were false, but soon realized she was in fact giving birth. A St. Luke’s-Roosevelt physician who was also traveling on the train came to her aid. Once train conductors heard that she was in labor, they switched the train to express service and bypassed stops to go directly to 33rd Street.

Paramedics and three Port Authority police officers were waiting on the platform of the 33rd Street station. “As the train came into the station, the woman had already given birth”, Sgt. Mike Barry of the Port Authority police said. Sarker along with her child were then taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt where they were in stable condition.

The couple has not yet announced a name for their boy but they have nicknamed him “Jhatpat”, which translates from Hindi as “Fast”.

Posted by 5MD3yc on October 30th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

">
2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This year’s Leisure Taiwan trade show (a.k.a Taiwan Sport Recreation and Leisure Show) started yesterday, with 131 companies participating including sports media companies such as ESPN and VideoLand Television, businesses selling sports equipment and fitness clubs.

There were also a variety of sports being played in the arena built for the trade show. The events included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, free style shooting, and bicycle test-riding. In addition, conferences discussed issues related to sports and physical education.

A major topic in the trade show was energy-efficiency and, as a result, bicycles and similar sports equipment were being heavily promoted.

Next Tuesday, companies from the electronics industry plan to promote their industry at “2008 Digital E-Park.” In previous years, organizations from the electronics industry have showcased their products at Leisure Taiwan instead of at the Digital E-Park, so this move has reduced the number of markets covered by Leisure Taiwan.

Posted by 5MD3yc on October 18th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

On the campaign trail, July 2012

">
On the campaign trail, July 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The following is the ninth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the rules of third party candidate polling are examined, a third party activist causes four other parties to lose their place on the Illinois presidential ballot, and the new vice presidential nominee of the Justice Party speaks with Wikinews.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Polling rules restrict and fuel third party campaigns
  • 3 Ballot access denied in Illinois
  • 4 Wikinews interviews newly-selected Justice Party VP nominee
  • 5 Related news
  • 6 Sources

Posted by 5MD3yc on October 17th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Police search home of Las Vegas woman who found finger in her chili at Wendy’s

">
Police search home of Las Vegas woman who found finger in her chili at Wendy’s

Friday, April 8, 2005

Las Vegas police searched the home of Anna Ayala on Wednesday, looking for evidence related to her claim that she found a finger in her chili at a San Jose, California Wendy’s outlet. A dozen officers conducted the search at Ayala’s home at Maryland Parkway and Serene Street at about 4 p.m. local time (23:00 UTC), according to witnesses at the scene.

“They put guns to us and handcuffed us and threw us to the ground in front of all my neighbors,” Ayala told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday evening. “They treated us like trash, like terrorists. It’s the worst nightmare,” Ayala said.

“I’ve been dragged through the mud. We’ve been treated like animals. I’ve been through too much,” Ayala told the San Jose Mercury News on Thursday evening.

Although police have not named Ayala as a suspect in the case, San Francisco ABC 7 is reporting that the search warrant may be related to Ayala’s dead aunt. Ayala disputed the ABC 7 report.

“I would like to know who she is and why I wasn’t invited to her funeral,” Ayala told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Ayala stated that she does not have a dead aunt. She also denied reports that a cooler had been seized from her home during the search. Ayala also said that her teenage daughter, Genesis Reyes, had torn shoulder ligaments as a result of the search. The Las Vegas Review-Journal ran a photo of Reyes wearing a sling in their Friday edition.

However, Ken Bono, a friend of the Ayala family, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that police had taken a cooler during the search.

“Basically they kicked the door open. They pulled everything out of the closet,” her roommate told a Las Vegas news crew, in a report aired on NBC11 News.

In San Jose, police spokeswoman Gina Tepoorten confirmed to reporters that investigators had served the warrant in cooperation with Las Vegas police on Wednesday, but she refused to reveal specific details about the warrant.

“We’re going to conduct a thorough investigation into this case and our investigators are talking to everybody involved, and that includes customers at Wendy’s at the time as well as the finder of the finger,” Tepoorten said.

Wendy’s is offering a US$50,000 reward for information leading to the source of the finger.

“It’s very important to our company to find out the truth in this incident,” Tom Mueller, Wendy’s president and chief operating officer told Associated Press. “We believe someone knows exactly what happened, and hopefully the reward will encourage this person to come forward.”

Wendy’s claims that their internal investigation shows that the finger did not end up in Ayala’s chili through any of the ingredients in their supply chain.

“With all the facts we have, we find no credible evidence to indicate that Wendy’s was the source of the foreign object,” Mueller said.

Business has fallen off dramatically at Wendy’s outlets in Northern California since the finger was discovered on March 22.

“This has been an ordeal for all of us. Hopefully there will be a resolution soon,” Wendy’s spokesman Bob Bertini said.

The Wendy’s outlet where the finger was found, located at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose, is owned by Fresno-based Jern Management.

Posted by 5MD3yc on October 15th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

US Federal Reserve prepares to take over AIG

">
US Federal Reserve prepares to take over AIG

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Federal Reserve took over American International Group (AIG) on Tuesday in an US$85 billion loan, in exchange for a 79.9% stake in the company.

A press release issued Tuesday stated that “the Board determined that, in current circumstances, a disorderly failure of AIG could add to already significant levels of financial market fragility and lead to substantially higher borrowing costs, reduced household wealth, and materially weaker economic performance.”

The deal allows AIG to draw up to US$85 billion in loans over the next 24 months to shore up the orderly sale of various divisions of the company without further interruption to the economy. In exchange, the Federal Reserve will have a 79.9% equity stake, primarily in the form of equity participation notes. The loan carries an interest rate of LIBOR plus 850 points. Should AIG fail, the loan is covered completely by company assets. Should AIG recover however, taxpayers could potentially recover large profits.

This news comes on the heels of the Federal Reserve refusing to bail out Lehman Brothers, forcing the company to file for bankruptcy on Monday after Bank of America(BoA) and Barclays PLC pulled out of negotiations over the weekend. The fact that AIG has thousands of divisions engaged in business across the globe sets them apart from the recent problems with other banks. AIG was built up over the last several years via the buyouts and mergers of many companies around the world, offering AIG’s stockholders a diverse base of income which allowed it to steadily increase profits.

It is this interconnectedness that had the Federal Reserve worried. Should AIG collapse, it could set off a global chain reaction in multiple markets. In an interview with the New York Times, former Treasury official Roger Altman said, “It’s the interconnectedness and the fear of the unknown. The prospect of the world’s largest insurer failing, together with the interconnectedness and the uncertainty about the collateral damage — that’s why it’s scaring people so much.”

While AIG, like many other banks, found itself embroiled in the middle of the sub-mortgage lending crisis, AIG has also been struggling to deal with controversies in other complex financial instruments such as credit default swaps. These markets have been exploding for several years, but due to lack of regulation by the government, recent reversals have seen AIG’s stock value tumble by over 90 percent in the last year.

Posted by 5MD3yc on October 10th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Three terrorists gunned down by police in India

">
Three terrorists gunned down by police in India

Thursday, June 1, 2006An attack against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh headquarters in Nagpur was thwarted by the Maharashtra police early today morning. The militants were driving a white Ambassador car and were armed with AK-47s. They were confronted and killed by security forces as they tried to break through the security cordon surrounding the building.

Nagpur Police Commissioner S.P.S Yadav said that the car was chased by police after it broke through the first barrier about 200 metres away from the headquarters. When confronted, the militants opened fire and were killed after a five-minute shootout. Yadav also said that two policemen had been injured in the incident, one of whose condition was serious. The identities of the three men is yet to be established. A diary was also recovered from the terrorists.

A high level security alert has been declared in Nagpur and other sensitive areas in the vicinity. R.S.S chief Ram Madhav urged the government to take more steps to safeguard the offices of the organisation. This is the second time the police has prevented a major terror attack from taking place in Maharashtra. Last month the Anti-Terrorist Squad had recovered 30 kilograms of RDX, 17 AK-47 rifles and 50 hand-grenades from a jeep in Aurangabad. Eleven suspected militants were also arrested.

Posted by 5MD3yc on October 10th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Wikinews interviews Aurélien Miralles about Sirenoscincus mobydick species discovery

">
Wikinews interviews Aurélien Miralles about Sirenoscincus mobydick species discovery

Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

A group of researchers published a paper about their discovery of a new species of Madagascar mermaid skink lizards last December. The species is the fourth forelimbs-only terrestrial tetrapods species known to science, and the first one which also has no fingers on the forelimbs.

The species was collected at Marosely, Boriziny (French: Port-Bergé), Sofia Region, Madagascar. The Sirenoscincus mobydick name is after the existing parent genus, and a sperm whale from the 1851 novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

This week, Wikinews interviewed one of the researchers, French zoologist Aurélien Miralles, about the research.

((Wikinews)) What caused your initial interest in Madagascar lizards?

Aurélien Miralles: Well, I would say that since I am a child I am fascinated by the biodiversity of tropical countries, and more especially by reptiles. I did a PhD on the evolution and systematics of skink lizards from South America. Then, I get a Humboldt grant to do a postdoc in Germany, at the Miguel Vences Lab, in order to study Malagasy skinks. Madagascar being a fabulous hotspot for reptiles (and not only for reptiles actually), it was a very nice opportunity. Professor Vences proposed me to associate our complementary fields of expertise: he is expert in herpetology for Madagascar, and I am expert in skinks lizards (family Scincidae). It was a very fruitful experience, and many other results have still to [be] published.

((WN)) How was the new species discovered?

AM: By a very funny coincidence actually. In 2010, I went to Madagascar for a long trip through the south of the island, in the semi-arid bush for collecting lizards and snakes samples. Then, during the last days, just before coming back to Germany, I have visited by coincidence the zoological collection of the University of Antananarivo. In that place, I found an old jar of ethanol with two weird little specimens previously collected by a student who didn’t realize it was something new. Being expert on skinks, I immediately recognised it was something very probably new, very different from all the other known species.

((WN)) What does “Sirenoscincus” stand for?

AM: I am not the author of the genus name Sirenoscincus. This genus name was already existing. It has been described by Sakata and Hikida (two Japanese herpetologists). “Sireno” means mermaid. “Scincus” means skinks, a group of little lizards on which I am particularly focusing my studies. So, Sirenoscinus means “mermaid skink”, in reference to [the] fact it has forelimbs but no hindlimbs.

((WN)) How deep underground do the lizards live?

AM: Hard to answer this question because nothing is known on the ecology of this species. But more reasonably, we can hypothesize, by comparison to similar species of skinks, that it is probably living just under the sand surface, [a] few centimeters deep, probably no more, or below [a] rock, leaf litter, or piece of dead wood.

((WN)) What do the lizards eat?

AM: Again, by analogy, I would say most likely small invertebrates (insects, larvae, worms etc…).

((WN)) What equipment was used during the research?

AM: Classic equipment (microscope) and also a state-of-the-art device: a micro CT-scan. It is a big device producing [a] 3D picture of the internal structure without damaging the specimen. It is actually very similar to the scanner used in human medicine, but this one is specially designed for small specimens. Otherwise, I am currently studying the DNA of this species and closely related species in order to determine its phylogenetic position compared to other species with legs, in order to learn more about the evolutionary phenomena leading to limb loss.

((WN)) There are several news sources that have a photo of the species. Is it a photo as seen in a CT-scan?

AM: No, this picture showing a whitish specimen on a black background is not a CT-scan. It is a normal photograph of the collection specimen preserved in alcohol (the one that was in the jar). You can see the complete of picture (including CT-scan 3D radiography, drawing…) in the original scientific publication.

((WN)) Do you know when the newly discovered mermaid skink species was put into the jar? Do you have its photo (of the jar)?

AM: No, I have no picture of the jar. The specimen has been collected in November 2004.

((WN)) What were the roles of the people involved in the research? What activity was most time-consuming?

AM: As first investigator, I did most of the work…and the longest part of the work was to examine closely related species in order to do comparisons…and also to check the complete bibliography related to this topic and to write the paper.
Mrs Anjeriniaina is the student who […] collected the specimen a couple of years ago.
Mrs Hipsley and Mr Müller learnt me how to use the CT-scan, and helped me concerning some point relative to internal morphology. Mr Vences helped me as supervisors. Additionally, all of them have corrected the article, and gave me many relevant advices and corrections, thus improving the quality and the reliability of the paper.

((WN)) Did you get in touch with an external entity to get the new species officially recognised?

AM: No. In zoology, it is only needed to publish the description of a new species (and to give it a name) in a scientific journal, and to designate a holotype specimen (= specimen that will be the official reference for this species), to get this new species “officially” recognised by the scientific community. That does not mean that this new species is “correct” (it might be invalidated by subsequent counter-studies), but that means that this discovery and the new name of [the] species are officially existing.

((WN)) Are there any further plans on exploring the species habitat and lifestyle?

AM: No, not really for the time being, because ecology is not our field of expertise. But other studies (including molecular studies) are currently in progress, in order to focus on the phylogenetic position and the evolution of this species.

Posted by 5MD3yc on October 10th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »