Correction — September 10, 2013 The headline should not contain the word fake: the employees posed as reporters; they didn’t pose as fake reporters, on the contrary they were fake reporters posing as real reporters. We aopologize for the error. 

Friday, October 26, 2007

The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is under fire after the agency held a fake press conference with fake news reporters in regards to individuals affected by the California wildfires and the assistance they could receive.

The agency called a press conference on Tuesday, giving the press only 15 minutes to show up. When many did not, FEMA brought in agency officials to pose as fake reporters and ask questions. The option for reporters to call into the conference was also available, but the ones who did call in only got to listen to the press conference, and could not ask questions. No reporters were actually present during the conference, parts of which were carried live on Fox News and MSNBC.

During the briefing, FEMA employees asked Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson a series of what The New York Times called “decidedly friendly questions” such as “What type of commodities are you pledging to California?”, “What lessons learned from Katrina have been applied?” and “Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?”. The briefing followed the format of a press conference, with FEMA’s press secretary at one point cautioning that he would allow just “two more questions”, then calling later for a “last question”. Officials who posed as fake reporters included the deputy director of public affairs Cindy Taylor and Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin.

White House officials said that they do not condone FEMA’s actions and also state that they had no idea that the conference was taking place.

“FEMA has issued an apology, saying that they had an error in judgment when they were attempting to get out a lot of information to reporters, who were asking for answers to a variety of questions in regard to the wildfires in California. It’s not something I would have condoned. And they — I’m sure — will not do it again,” said Dana Perino, the White House’s press secretary in a statement.

FEMA apologizes for the mishap and says that their intentions were only to get the information to the citizens of California.

“[The purpose was] to get information out as soon as possible, and in trying to do so we made an error in judgment. Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received. We can and must do better,” said Harvey E. Johnson, the agency’s vice administrator. “The real story — how well the response and recovery elements are working in this disaster — should not be lost because of how we tried to meet the needs of the media in distributing facts,” a FEMA statement said.

FEMA is currently deciding whether or not any officials should face punishment for the incident. One of the officials responsible, Pat Philbin, is going on to be the new head of public relations for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

This is not the first time that the Bush administration has come under fire for planting reporters at press conferences. In February of 2005, White House reporter Jeff Gannon was accused of being planted to ask softball questions to President Bush. FEMA itself had earlier undergone criticism during Hurricane Katrina for using disaster workers for public relations in 2005.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

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Submitted by: Gert Strand AB

Handheld Pocket GPS Receiver: What is it, and who Uses It?

GPS is an acronym for Global Positioning System. The System is a whole network of satellites that surround the earth and transmit information back at all times. A pocket GPS receiver is a handheld GPS navigator unit that can receive information from the satellites in order to pinpoint a certain location on the earth, using longitude and latitude.

The Three Parts Of The Pocket GPS

The Global Positioning System has three segments to it: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment. The space segment are the satellites. These 24 satellites are orbiting the earth at about 12,000 miles above the earth. Being so high allows them to cover a great area.

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The way the satellites are spaced out around the earth, a pocket GPS receiver can always get a signal from at least four of them at once. These satellites (that the pocket GPS receivers use) are traveling at 7,000 miles per hour circling the earth every 12 hours. They use solar energy for power, but have backup batteries. They transmit back to the earth in line of sight , so they go through clouds, plastic, and glass, but not through mountains or buildings.

The control segment consists of the five control stations on earth. They track the satellites and give them corrected time and orbit information. There is one master control station that the other four send information to. The master control station determines what the satellite needs to know, and it sends uplinks to the satellites that the pocket GPS receiver is getting information from.

The user segment is each individual person with their pocket GPS receiver. They can be a wide range of people, with a large range of hobbies or work. These include hikers, pilots, boaters, hunters, and the military. It also includes geocachers, those playing the treasure hunting sport elaborated more online at Anyone who wants to know where they are, where they ve been, and where they re going will benefit from having a pocket GPS receiver.

Is handheld pocket GPS 100% accurate?

That would be nice, but it is unrealistic to expect that a pocket GPS receiver can be totally accurate, given all the things that can cause errors in the data. A few of these causes are: a delay in data from the layers in the atmosphere, tall buildngs or mountains that the signal can bump against, errors in the clock in the GPS, inaccuracies in the reported location of the satellite, and not having enough satellites visible . Some things that can interfere with your handheld pocket GPS receiver. The clearer the view of the sky, the better it will work.

GPS systems

Many consumers know what GPS devices can do, but they probably don t have any idea of all the advanced features available for users. GPS system reviews are written by tech gurus, so you know that you ll be seeing the complete picture with GPS system reviews. Of course, you may find that you don t need all of the advertised features of a particular model, and that is quite all right. However, if you aren t aware of what features do, then you won t be able to make an informed decision about the product to begin with, and you may end up spending too much or too little on the product.

About the Author: Webmaster Mike Walker of


explanes in an easy to read manual of the handheld GPS systems. Learn all about the handheld pocket GPS, the value of using the handheld navigator unit and how accurate the handheld GPS is conserning satelite technology.


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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.

Retrieved from “,_Independent_U.S._presidential_candidate&oldid=4497624”

Submitted by: Bennett Kallas

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

A couple from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has been arrested on charges of public mischief after listing their seven day old baby girl on the popular Internet classified ads website Craigslist.

The listing claimed that the baby was unexpected, “healthy and very cute”. It asked CAN 10 000 for the baby. It also listed a phone number belonging to a stolen cellphone, which was used to find the couple.

It was first noticed by a 62-year old grandmother browsing the website for furniture, who said “I was shaking, and I thought, ‘Come on, how did this even get through?'” The couple claimed that the listing, which has since been removed, was a hoax.

The father, Jeremy Pete, had a history of car thefts and evasion of police, while the mother, 23-year-old Bethany Granholm, had convictions of property theft, fraud and impersonation. The parents have now been released, but charges are still being considered. The baby has been placed in provincial care.

A suspected copycat incident occurred just four days later, also offering a seven-day-old baby girl for CAN 10 000 on Craigslist. This incident turned out to be a hoax, and no child was in danger.

Last week saw a similar incident in Germany, where a couple listed a seven month old baby on eBay. In this case the police have launched a child trafficking investigation, despite the parents’ assertion that the listing was a joke.

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Beaches—East York (Ward 32). Four candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Donna Braniff, Alan Burke, Sandra Bussin (incumbent), William Gallos, John Greer, John Lewis, Erica Maier, Luca Mele, and Matt Williams.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Retrieved from “—East_York_(Ward_32)_city_council_candidates_speak&oldid=2584822”


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Friday, July 17, 2009Following similar threats by workers at New Fabris and Nortel, workers at JLG in Tonneins, France, threatened to blow up several platform cranes. The JLG factory announced in April 2009 that it will fire 53 of its 163 workers by the end of 2009, while the remaining 110 jobs will not be secure over the next 2 years.

JLG Tonneins was acquired in 2006 with its parent JLG Industries, a maker of aerial work platforms, by the U.S.-based Oshkosh Corporation. Despite being hugely profitable in the past, production has been much reduced since 2008 with the contraction of the construction industry and lower demand for its products. Despite excellent past results the new American management demanded sweeping cuts at the company.

In the view of locals, “the company’s actions are a disgrace given the expensive perks, such as official cars, for its corporate fat cats, compared to the sacrifice, silence, and dignity demanded by the company of those it has made redundant.”

The management offered severance pay of 3,000 (US $4,200), however the workers demanded a severance package commensurate with “the wealth that their labor has generated.” Worker’s delegates requested a “supra-legal” payment of € 30,000, on Thursday 16 of July the management responded with a counter offer of € 16,000. On Thursday night the worker’s actions secured the € 30,000 settlement initially demanded.

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Chinese archaeologists at the Lajia Ruins in the Qinghai province of China have discovered well-preserved millet noodles dating back to the neolithic age. The 4,000-year-old noodles were found underneath an upturned bowl that had been buried in three meters of sediment, consisting of brownish-yellow clay. The sediment is thought to have been caused by a devastating flood of the upper Mekong.

This discovery significantly reframes the debate over which people first made noodles, establishing Chinese culture—at least for now—as the most likely candidate for having originally developed the idea of making noodles. Previously, Italian, Chinese, and Arab cultures have all been claimed as the originator of noodles. Prior to this discovery, the oldest record of noodles existing in China were from 1900-year-old recipes.

The Lajia Ruins are of a central Qijia settlement, which has been the site of other significant discoveries, such as the largest stone chime ever found in China, and the largest and most intact prehistoric oven found in Northwestern China. The site has also been significant to researchers studying the impact of natural disasters on ancient civilizations—it was the site of a cataclysmic flood, and at least one major earthquake.

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