US automakers GM and Chrysler seek more government aid

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US automakers GM and Chrysler seek more government aid
By mYCZNbxh On August 10th, 2018

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The United States auto manufacturer Chrysler, which has been badly affected by the ongoing recession, has asked the US government for an additional US$5 billion in aid on top of the four billion it has already received, saying that it plans to fire three thousand employees. At the end of last year, the auto maker had just over 54,000 employees, meaning that the layoffs will equal about six percent of its total workforce.

In addition, Chrysler will cut the Chrysler Aspen, PT Cruiser, and Durango from production.

Another automaker, General Motors (GM), announced that it seeks $16.6 billion in loans from the government, in addition to the $13.4 billion that it has already received. GM plans to lay off 47,000 employees and close five factories. GM says that it might need as much as $30 billion from the US Treasury Department, an increase over their previous estimate of $18 billion. The company has warned that it might run out of money by March if more aid was not given.

Rick Wagoner, GM’s chief executive, described the firm’s plan as “comprehensive, responsive, achievable, and flexible”. “We have a lot of work in front of us, but I am confident it will result in a profitable General Motors,” he said, adding that “today’s plan is significantly more aggressive because it has to be.” GM says that it could be profitable in two years’ time, and might be able to repay all its loans by 2017.

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A third US car manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, has said that it can make it through this year without any government aid.

The US Treasury Department will review the car makers’ survival plans for several weeks before a decision is made on whether or not to extend the loans. That decision is due by the end of next month.

UK Mobile Data Network Collapses

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UK Mobile Data Network Collapses
By mYCZNbxh On August 6th, 2018

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

London, UK — The Vodafone GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) Mobile Data Network within the UK was off the air for several hours, but Vodafone staff were unable to supply any details as to how or why this had happened. The incident seems to have originated within Southern England, but spread “nationwide” within a short period.

Customers were therefore unable to access data services for a protracted period, including WAP browsing from mobile phones, email from personal devices like Blackberries and Windows Mobile Messengers, and full access over data cards from laptops.

Some criticism has been levelled at the company for failing to provide an easy source of information on the problem, with the only realistic option being to queue for a response from a call centre, as no information could be found on their public-facing website. This practice, whilst far from unique to Vodafone within the telecommunications industry, contrasts poorly with the common practice for most ISPs (Internet Service Providers), who conventionally provide a “system status” page on their website.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

New year introduces Illinois texting while driving ban, among other laws

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New year introduces Illinois texting while driving ban, among other laws
By mYCZNbxh On August 6th, 2018

Sunday, January 3, 2010

About 300 new or amended laws took effect at midnight of New Year’s Day last Friday in Illinois, ranging from government ethics reform to driving laws.

One law that is likely to affect residents’ lives the most is a ban on reading or sending text messages through a hand-held device. Drivers who wish to text must put their vehicle on park or neutral while stopped in traffic or on the shoulder. The law also prohibits reading email or surfing the Internet, although using GPS capabilities is still allowed. Breaking this law is considered a primary offense, which means that law enforcement officers may pull violators over for it, similar to a seat belt violation.

Motorists also are prohibited from talking on their phones in a construction or school zone unless they are using earphones. Truck drivers outside the six-county Chicago area now have a speed limit of 65 mph, increased from 55 mph. In addition, injuring somebody while driving uninsured has become a misdemeanor, punishable with up to a year in jail or a $2,500 fine.

Former governor Rod Blagojevich’s removal from office has led to new legislation to reform state government as well. Changes to the state’s Freedom of Information Act requires government agencies to respond more quickly to requests for information. The Illinois Attorney General also gets broad powers to oversee enforcement of this law. In addition, lobbyists will have to pay a $1,000 annual registration fee, up from $150–$350. They will also have to report frequently on their activities and expenditures.

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Florida man charged with stealing Wi-Fi

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Florida man charged with stealing Wi-Fi
By mYCZNbxh On August 5th, 2018

Update since publication

This article mentions that Wi-Fi stands for “Wireless Fidelity”, although this is disputed.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

A Florida man is being charged with 3rd degree felony for logging into a private Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) Internet access point without permission. Benjamin Smith III, 41, is set for a pre-trial hearing this month in the first case of its kind in the United States.

This kind of activity occurs frequently, but often goes undetected by the owners of these wireless access points (WAPs). Unauthorized users range from casual Web browsers, to users sending e-mails, to users involved in pornography or even illegal endeavours.

According to Richard Dinon, owner of the WAP Smith allegedly broke into, Smith was using a laptop in an automobile while parked outside Dinon’s residence.

There are many steps an owner of one of these access points can take to secure them from outside users. Dinon reportedly knew how to take these steps, but had not bothered because his “neighbors are older.”

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Texas baby removed from life support against mother’s wishes

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Texas baby removed from life support against mother’s wishes
By mYCZNbxh On August 5th, 2018

Tuesday, March 22, 2005Sun Hudson, a six-month old Texas baby died last week when health care providers at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas removed his life support system over the objections of his mother. The action was authorized under the 1999 Futile Care Law which was signed into law by then-Gov. George W. Bush.

Under the Texas Futile Care Law, health care workers are allowed to remove expensive life support for terminally ill patients if the patient or family is unable to pay the medical bills.

Sun Hudson’s mother is dealing with the aftermath of that law. “This hospital was considered a miracle hospital. When it came to my son, they gave up in six months,” Wanda Hudson told reporters how she was forced to give up medical control of her son. “I talked to him, I told him that I loved him. Inside of me, my son is still alive.”

The hospital had blocked the media from the child, despite mother’s invitation to see the baby. “I wanted y’all to see my son for yourself. So you could see he was actually moving around. He was conscious,” she said.

The event stirred national attention as it sparked comparisons to the Terri Schiavo case in Florida. A victim of severe, and otherwise terminal brain damage, Terri Schiavo’s future is locked in a legal battle between her husband who wants to remove life support and her parents, who cite religious reasons for keeping their daughter alive.

Michael Schiavo, husband of Terri Schiavo, was asked about the Hudson situation on the March 21 edition of CNN’s Larry King Live. When King asked how Mr. Schiavo felt when he learned that President Bush had signed such a law in Texas while he was governor, Schiavo was at a loss of words.

But Schiavo’s lawyer did respond, saying, “Obviously, there’s a tremendous amount of hypocrisy there … it would lead one to believe that a lot of this was politically motivated, and I think that’s what the American people have concluded.” Schiavo’s lawyer echoed the sentiments of Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Democrat, who raised the “hypocrisy” question when she first mentioned the 1999 Texas law issue on the House floor last week.

Over the weekend, President Bush signed a special federal law that moved jurisdiction of the Schiavo case out of the state of Florida and into the U.S. federal court system after Florida courts ruled that Michael Schiavo had the right to remove Terri’s life support, which includes a feeding tube and intravenous liquids.

After signing the Schiavo Law Sunday, President Bush said, “It is wisest to always err on the side of life.”

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progessive Conservative candidate Tyler Currie, Trinity-Spadina

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progessive Conservative candidate Tyler Currie, Trinity-Spadina
By mYCZNbxh On August 5th, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tyler Currie is running as an Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario provincial election, in the riding of Trinity-Spadina. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Prohibition Party holds convention; nominates Jack Fellure for U.S. President

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Prohibition Party holds convention; nominates Jack Fellure for U.S. President
By mYCZNbxh On August 5th, 2018

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Retired West Virginia engineer Lowell Jackson “Jack” Fellure won the presidential nomination of the Prohibition Party yesterday at the party’s National Convention in Cullman, Alabama. He won on the second ballot, defeating Thompson Township tax accessor James Hedges of Pennsylvania, who initially ran unopposed. Party Chairman Toby Davis of Mississippi received the vice presidential nomination.

The Prohibition Party is the third oldest existing political party in the United States, having been established in 1869. It reached its height of popularity during the late 19th century. As its name suggests, the party heavily supported the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which banned the sale of alcohol, and resulted in the US period known as Prohibition (1919–33). The party has declined since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, but has continued to nominate candidates for the presidential election.

Fellure, 79, has run for president in every election since 1988, though usually as a Republican. This run marks his first as a member of the Prohibition Party. On his campaign website, he cites the Authorized 1611 King James Bible as his presidential platform, and calls for the teaching of the Bible in public schools, criminalization of homosexuality, and the elimination of abortion, the liquor industry and pornography. On economics, he supports reducing taxes and balancing the federal budget.

While Jim [Hedges] has contributed valuable resources to this Party…his positions regarding Environmentalism and passivity toward war forced me to vote for Jack Fellure.

Hedges, the first Prohibition Party member elected to public office since 1959, announced his campaign in February 2010, and was the only candidate until last month. According to Vice Chairman June Griffin: “While Jim has contributed valuable resources to this Party…his positions regarding Environmentalism and passivity toward war forced me to vote for Jack Fellure. As well, his insistence on a moratorium on the building of nuclear plants caused much unrest among the membership. Yet he prevailed to install this plank.”

The ten voting Prohibition Party convention delegates and a few guests met for the National Convention, which began on Monday at the Holiday Inn Express in Cullman. Tuesday featured a short greeting from Cullman Mayor Max Townson, followed by addresses from Libertarian consultant Stephen P. Gordon, Ballot Access News publisher Richard Winger, and Eunie Smith of the Eagle Forum.

Gordon, who previously worked as the e-Campaign manager for the 2008 Bob Barr presidential campaign, jokingly commented that his speech “stunk”. He opened his address with the joke that “the way to pick out the libertarian at a Prohibition Party function is that I’m the one wearing the Jerry Garcia tie.” He discussed how third party candidates could utilize new media to their advantage, but avoided any ideological topics.

Winger, an expert on election law, discussed ballot access and the history of the Prohibition Party. He notably explained how the party had cost the Republicans presidential victories in the elections of 1884 and 1916, which forestalled the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment by Republicans, who wanted to do away with the alcohol issue. Gordon later commented that Winger’s speech was well-received by the audience.

After Winger’s speech, the convention broke for lunch. Afterwards, Smith, the widow of former Congressman Albert L. Smith, Jr., focused on immigration and education in her address. When asked about the Eagle Forum’s participation in the fight against alcohol, she commented that the group was focused on more pressing issues such as gambling.

After the nomination, some party members traveled to the grave of Sidney Catts in Florida. Catts, who died in 1936, was the first and only state governor elected from the Prohibition Party.

The party will now begin ballot access drives in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, New Jersey, Utah, Colorado, Tennessee and Arkansas. In 2008, the late Gene Amondson appeared on the ballot in Colorado, Florida and Louisiana and picked up a total of 653 votes.

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Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients

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Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients
By mYCZNbxh On August 5th, 2018

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fears of contaminated bone and skin grafts are being felt by unsuspecting patients following the revelation that funeral homes may have been looting corpses.

Janet Evans of Marion Ohio was told by her surgeon, “The bone grafts you got might have been contaminated”. She reacted with shock, “I was flabbergasted because I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I didn’t know I got a bone graft until I got this call. I just thought they put in screws and rods.”

The body of Alistair Cooke, the former host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” was supposedly looted along with more than 1,000 others, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case. The tissue taken was typically skin, bone and tendon, which was then sold for use in procedures such as dental implants and hip replacements. According to authorities, millions of dollars were made by selling the body parts to companies for use in operations done at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Canada.

A New Jersey company, Biomedical Tissue Services, has reportedly been taking body parts from funeral homes across Brooklyn, New York. According to ABC News, they set up rooms like a “surgical suite.” After they took the bones, they replaced them with PVC pipe. This was purportedly done by stealth, without approval of the deceased person or the next of kin. 1,077 bodies were involved, say prosecuters.

Investagators say a former dentist, Michael Mastromarino, is behind the operation. Biomedical was considered one of the “hottest procurement companies in the country,” raking in close to $5 million. Eventually, people became worried: “Can the donors be trusted?” A tissue processing company called LifeCell answered no, and issued a recall on all their tissue.

Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, said, “To know his bones were sold was one thing, but to see him standing truncated before me is another entirely.” Now thousands of people around the country are receiving letters warning that they should be tested for infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis. On February 23, the Brooklyn District Attorney indicted Mastromarino and three others. They are charged with 122 felony counts, including forgery and bodysnatching.

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American teenage girl charged with murder of her mother

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American teenage girl charged with murder of her mother
By mYCZNbxh On August 2nd, 2018

Sunday, December 19, 2004

CRAIG, Alaska –Rachelle Waterman, (aka Rachelle Ann Monica Waterman and “smchyrocky”), a 16-year-old girl from Craig, Alaska, USA, has been charged with the first degree murder of her mother.

The case has rapidly received a wide following on the Internet, partly because Waterman kept a public record of her thoughts and activities on LiveJournal, a popular blogging service. The last entry, which has since been removed from public view, was posted on November 18, 2004 and read:

Just to let everyone know, my mother was murdered.

I won’t have computer acess [sic] until the weekend or so because the police took my computer to go through the hard drive. I thank everyone for their thoughts and e-mails, I hope to talk to you when I get my computer back.

A diverse group of users, both friends and strangers, have posted over 5,000 comments on the journal, positive and negative, transforming the case into an Internet phenomenon. Every entry since March 2004 has apparently now been deleted or hidden, but a ZIP archive of the entire weblog, from before the entries were deleted, is available on Deadly Blogging.

Waterman was a tenth-grade honor (A-average) student in her second year at Craig High School. She was also a member of the Academic Decathlon team (ACDC) and sang in the choir, a profile that has left many people questioning her involvement in the killing and asking what motive there might be. At the time police say the killing occurred, Rachelle Waterman was apparently playing in a volleyball tournament in Anchorage, Alaska.

Apart from the online diary Rachelle kept, the case is also unusual because matricide committed by female minors is extremely rare.

Contents

  • 1 Family background
  • 2 The case
    • 2.1 Police investigation
    • 2.2 Arraignment
    • 2.3 The trial
  • 3 Alleged motive
  • 4 Incarceration
  • 5 Aftermath
    • 5.1 Juvenile crime
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
    • 7.1 Rachelle Waterman on LiveJournal
    • 7.2 Police report on the case
    • 7.3 Press reports about the case
    • 7.4 Press reports which mention the case within a larger context
    • 7.5 Scholastic Accomplishments
  • 8 External links

The Waterman family is a locally prominent, middle-upper class family. Born on August 26, 1988, Rachelle showed an interest in acting, computers, movies and music, and was an honor roll student, involved in many extra-curricular activities, including choir, volleyball, and the decathlon team – advancing to upper levels and winning prizes in almost every endeavor. Her mother, Lauri, was a teachers’ aide and served on the board of the Little League and the town library. Rachelle Waterman’s 60-year-old father, Carl “Doc” Waterman, is a real estate agent and serves as president of the Craig School Board. Rachelle’s older brother, Geoffrey, lives out of town and is a student at Tacoma College.

Waterman and her alleged accomplices, Jason Arrant and Brian Radel, both 24 years old, are accused of murdering and conspiring to murder Waterman’s 48-year-old mother, Lauri Waterman.

Reportedly, Arrant dropped Radel off near the Waterman home shortly after 12:00 a.m. Sunday, November 13, 2004 (local time) where Radel proceeded to kidnap Lauri Waterman, force her into a minivan owned by the Waterman family, and kill her with a blunt object.

Arrant and Radel then allegedly met at Forest Service Road 3012 at about 2:30 a.m., and Arrant followed Radel to its dead end, where Radel had driven the Waterman’s van.

Arrant then allegedly watched as Radel doused the body and van with gasoline and then used a roll of paper towels to set it on fire, in an attempt to destroy the evidence.

Alaska State Police Lt. Rodney Dial has stated that a hunter discovered Lauri Waterman’s body and her burnt-out van, while driving on Forest Service Road 3012, a remote logging road, early in the afternoon of Sunday November 142004.

On Saturday, November 202004, Alaska State Police Trooper Robert Claus stated:

During … interviews all three made admissions as to their involvement in the murder. Physical evidence recovered at the various crime scenes corroborated many of the defendants’ statements … Radel, Arrant and Waterman have been charged with murder in the first degree. Due to the severity of the charges, Waterman has been waived into adult court. Additional charges of solicitation, conspiracy, tampering with physical evidence and other charges are pending. Arrant and Waterman will be arraigned in the District Court in Craig this morning.

On Saturday, November 20, 2004, Rachelle appeared in Craig District Court, dressed in an orange CCJF jumpsuit, for arraignment on the charges. Waterman and her alleged co-conspirators, Jason Arrant, and Brian Radel, faced a 10-count indictment, listing 26 felonies.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that, “the complaint against Rachelle Waterman relied on statements by all three co-defendants. The complaint says the girl told one of the suspects when she and her father would be out of town.”

A report in The Ketchikan Daily News stated that, “The first seven counts of the indictment allege that all three defendants committed the crimes of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder; first-degree murder; second-degree murder; kidnapping; first-degree burglary; first-degree vehicle theft and tampering with physical evidence.” Other charges were made against Arrant and Radel. The same report went on to state, “Trooper Robert Claus, Klawock resident Jan Bush and Deputy State Medical Examiner Susan Klingler testified before the grand jury.”

Magistrate Kay Clark presided over the arraignment and set bail at $150,000. Clark also appointed a public defender to represent Rachelle, who was sent to the Juneau Department of Corrections facility.

Judge Patricia Collins, of the Juneau Superior Court, has been assigned to run the trial for the case. Judge Collins originally set a date of February 3, 2005 for the trial, but, at an arraignment that week, the trial was rescheduled for August 22. According to court officials, another postponement is likely.

Rachelle Waterman’s court-appointed attorney for the trial is Assistant Public Advocate Steven Wells. Assistant District Attorney Daniel Schally is assigned to prosecute the case.

No motive for the crime has been suggested. Readers are closely scrutinizing Rachelle’s online journal for clues.

As early as February 24th of 2004, she posted the following:

“Don’t you hate it when the little pieces of shit pile up to the point you’re at the breaking point, and you want to scream and cry at the same time. I don’t know weather to kill somebody, myself, or just curl up into a fetal[sic] position under my covers and lay there for a couple of days. Either way . . . I’m not good . . . “

Numerous readers have pointed to Rachelle’s negative comments concerning her mother’s wishes to send her to a “fat farm” to lose weight.

“My mom finally gave me back the right to eat but wants to send me to fat camp this summer. I think it’s rather hallarious[sic]. I mean, I agree I’m chunky but if she sends me off I”ll be the skinny girl and get sat apon[sic]. That part wouldn’t be funny, but overall it’s quite amusing. Silly mother,” (verbatim spelling).

In another incident, her mother grounded her (restricted her to home) for receiving an 89% score on a test. Rachelle posted these comments to her journal in response to this situation (verbatim spelling):

“well I’m grounded, last ngiht[sic] my mom went psycho bitch on me and cast me out. So I went to crash at someone’s house then she freaked [out], wanted me home incase[sic] I told someone. Wee for loving parental units”

“I even got to fly…down the stairs….”

Other readers have pointed to the title of Rachelle’s journal, “My Crappy Life (The Inside Look of an Insane Person)”, and her negative description of her hometown as “Hell, Alaska, United States”:

“I live in the suckiest[sic] place on earth, a shit hole in alaska[sic].”

Rachelle posted the following poem to her journal on August 24, 2004, with an indication that she was depressed:

they hold the key to my chamber
locked within it’s depths.
never to see the sunlight,
and contemplating death.
starving more than one way
soul and body combine,
the pain curses through
sending chills up the spine.
will I live to see the stars?
the sunrise once more?
or will I wither and rot
my heart gone forevermore

She also had a strong desire not to be at home:

“I just want a job, keep me occupied and not at home”

and even posted an “Ode to Suicide” under the following post:

“Ever feel completely alone? All the people who you care about and you thought cared about you just leave and you’re….just alone…nobody to connect with, nobody to comfort you when you find out you might die, nobody…nothing….”

Ode to Suicide

Pain consumes my body,
eating away like lye.
Tearing at my flesh,
no more tears left to cry.

Nobody loves me,
nobody cares.
Why continue on?
I want out of these snares.

Relief and release,
is what you bring to me.
No more matters to cry for,
I can finally be free.

“wow I suck amazingly at poetry”

Finally, the weekend before Rachelle left on a trip, during which time her mother was allegedly killed, she noted in her second-to-last entry, “I had a migraine from about 9am-6pm”.

Rachelle Waterman is currently incarcerated at the Lemon Creek correctional facility, in Alaska. She signed an agreement to be placed into the general population. Corrections Deputy Commissioner Portia Parker indicated that Waterman “is an adult in the eyes of the law.”

Alaska law places persons charged with first-degree murder at the age of 16 or older in the adult court system, and most of the records concerning this case are open to the public for inspection.

One of the last entries in Rachelle’s journal wonders whether anyone is reading her comments (verbatim spelling):

“Well not a lot has happened lately I jsut thought I should let people know I”m still alive, not like too many people care cus I’m not even sure if anyone reads these from me anymore.”

Although Waterman has not yet been convicted, sociologists and forensic psychologists are beginning to study her journal and the circumstances of her writing it. (The police have seized her computer and are examining the contents of its hard drive for evidence.)

LiveJournal has subsequently restricted the viewing of her journal.

When interviewed by Alaskan television station KTUU about the nature of online journals, (in late November, 2004) forensic psychologist Susan LaGrande commented that “[i]t’s such an anonymous vehicle that you can be whoever or say whatever you want. You don’t have all the responsibilities that are inherent in a face-to-face real, legitimate relationship.

This same report pointed out that Rachelle Waterman had mentioned suicide in her online journal.

Criminologist Susan Magestro was interviewed by KTUU on the subject of juvenile crime, in late November, 2004, after Waterman became the second teenager within two months to be accused of murdering her own parent. She stated that “I think that we’re starting to see more violence with kids who are younger, and the behaviors that they’re exhibiting are more aggressive and more violent.” Magestro also opined that “we’ve got a lot more fetal alcohol and drug children who are growing up, and they don’t understand the consequences of some of their actions.” (There is no indication that Waterman was a so-called “fetal alcohol” or “drug” child.)

KTUU reported that Magestro “…blames violent movies, TV shows and videogames for desensitizing young people, making them unable to understand the consequences — or even the reality — of their actions.”

Although Waterman has been waived into the adult justice system due to the nature of the crime, the Governor of Alaska, Frank Murkowski, has proposed increasing the number of personnel assigned to the juvenile justice system.

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Owner and manager of Moroccan factory arrested over 55-fatality fire

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Owner and manager of Moroccan factory arrested over 55-fatality fire
By mYCZNbxh On August 1st, 2018

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Police have arrested the owner of a mattress factory in Hay Hassini, Casablanca, Morocco which burned down in a disaster that claimed 55 lives. His son, who was the factory’s manager, was also arrested.

Those killed — 35 of whom were women — were trapped inside by locked fire exits, which were barricaded to stop theft during working hours. “The people who died were either asphyxiated or burned,” commented a firefighter. 17 were wounded. Moustapha Taouil of the Casablanca civil protection service said the blaze was triggered by an inadequatly maintained electric saw on the ground floor. The initial fire quickly engulfed all four storeys of the building.

The Rosamor factory was clearly operating unsafely, officials said. “It’s a building with a ground floor and three upper floors specialising in making furniture, therefore there were highly inflammable products,” said Taouil. “We confirmed during our examination that the owners of the premises failed to respect legal requirements for this kind of industry including staff training… the owner in contravention of the law, locked staff inside the plant apparently to prevent theft of raw material. It was this that prevented them getting out. The fire was caused by lack of proper maintenance of certain machines and electrical installations.” He said a short circuit on the ground floor, which was filled with power saws, triggered the disaster.

As a result of the investigatons, “The plant’s owner, Adil Moufarreh, and his son Abdelali Moufarreh, who was the manager, have been taken into custody after having been questioned by police,” said an official.

28-year-old factory employee Fadila Khadija said “There was no emergency exit, the extinguishers were empty and the working conditions were difficult.” One source said that windows were also unusable as they were covered with iron bars. 20-year-old survivor Omar Elaaz said “I was working on the first floor as an upholsterer. The smoke came up from the ground floor where the foam rubber, wood and glue are stored. I used a gas bottle to break the wire mesh that protects every window.” 31-year-old upholsterer Hakim Hakki told of his own lucky escape and its effect on him from hospital: “I jumped from the third floor with four other colleagues while the women, who didn’t dare to follow us, perished in the inferno. God saved me but I’ll never forget those who died.”

The father of deceased 19-year-old Abdelazziz Darif said his son was paid 250 dirhams (20 euro/31 US dollars) per week and did not have social insurance.

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