Zimbabwe cancels education year for 4.5 million after political and economic troubles

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Zimbabwe cancels education year for 4.5 million after political and economic troubles

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Zimbabwe’s 4.5 million students will not receive what was once the golden standard of education in Africa—or any education at all this school year.

Political violence during the country’s recent presidential elections hit schools hard with strikes, murder and violence against teachers, and looting. Some schools were turned into places of torture after teachers were driven out.

The country’s educators were targeted by Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF party, for alleged support of the opposition.

Now the country faces a second crisis due to economic troubles and an inflation rate of two trillion percent. The few teachers still around have seen their salaries made worthless and are unable to acquire teaching supplies. “We don’t even have chalk, or red pens, never mind books,” says Amos Musoni, one of the few teachers still working. Schools like the one where Musoni works have given up educating and simply entertain the children before sending them off for lack of equipment.

Not even Zimbabwe’s four top universities have been spared. The universities have been unable to open without funds, water, or electricity, like many public schools. College students, unable to register, are left waiting for more information.

Pass rates in the nation went from 72 to eleven percent, with many schools not seeing even one pass. Schools in the countries have not been able to prepare students for tests without timetables or even the results from last year.

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Information About Bathroom Remodeling In Mechanicsburg, Pa?

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byAlma Abell

Bathrooms are considered to be one of the most important places in a house. Why? When you have guests over you do not want them to walk into a bathroom that looks like it was hit by a tornado. At the same time a bathroom needs to be very hygienic because of its intended use.

You may be considering Bathroom Remodeling Mechanicsburg PA. You can either decide to do this alone or hiring professionals who specialize in Bathroom Remodeling in Mechanicsburg,PA.Doing it alone may save you some money as you do not have to pay for labor but it may resort in more damages if you are not fully aware of what needs to be done and also the safety precautions.

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Hiring a professional for this job will ensure that the job is done properly and at the same time will leave you free to continue with your daily life. When one is looking to remodel their bathroom they need to consider some of the following items.

Firstly you need to make sure that you know what design you want. You can either create a design yourself or you can go to a company and ask them to help you. Where designing take into consideration the size of you Bathroom Remodeling Mechanicsburg PA, the appliances want in it, tiles, and many other things. Do not be in a hurry.

Next you need to find where you will buy the items you want. This means having to shop around. You may want to ask the company you are working where to buy the products you want. They themselves may be able to provide you with the items.

When you have your design and know where you will buy the items then you need to know that the company you hire is reliable, affordable, and have great workmanship. Ask them for testimonials and pictures of their previous jobs. Also make sure they are registered with the relevant authorities.

Consider your budget for the remodeling and also leave some space in case anything arises. Financial preparation is vital.

If you do not understand what is being done or have question, do not be afraid to ask the project manager.

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Billy West, voice of Ren and Stimpy, Futurama, on the rough start that shaped his life

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Billy West, voice of Ren and Stimpy, Futurama, on the rough start that shaped his life

February 20, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ren and Stimpy. Bugs Bunny. Philip J. Fry and Professor Hubert Farnsworth on Futurama. Sparx. Bi-Polar Bear. Popeye the Sailor Man. Woody Woodpecker. You may not think you have ever heard Billy West, but chances are on a television program, a movie, a commercial, or as Howard Stern’s voice guru in the 1990’s, you have heard him. West’s talent for creating personalities by twisting his voice has made him one of a handful of voice actors—Hank Azaria and the late Mel Blanc come to mind—who have achieved celebrity for their talent. Indeed, West is one of the few voice actors who can impersonate Blanc in his prime, including characterizations of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and other characters from Warner Bros. cartoons.

What is the fulcrum in Mr. West’s life that led him to realize a talent to shape personalities with his voice, and how did the discovery of that gift shape him? Wikinews reporter David Shankbone found that like many great comedians, West faced more sour early in life than he did sweet. The sour came from a physically and emotionally abusive alcoholic father (“I could tell you the kind of night I was going to have from the sound of the key in the door or the way the car pulled up.”), to his own problems with drug and alcohol use (“There is a point that you can reach in your life where you don’t want to live, but you haven’t made the decision to die.”).

I’m telling you stuff that I never said to anybody…

If sin, suffering and redemption feel like the stages of an endless cycle of American existence, West’s own redemption from his brutalized childhood is what helped shape his gift. He performed little bits to cheer up his cowed mother, ravaged by the fact she could not stop her husband’s abuse of young West. “I was the whipping boy and she would just be reduced to tears a lot of times, and I would come in and say stuff, and I would put out little bits just to pull her out of it.”

But West has also enjoyed the sweet. His career blossomed as his talent for creating entire histories behind fictional characters and creatures simply by exploring nuance in his voice landed him at the top of his craft. You may never again be able to forget that behind the voice of your favorite character, there is often an extraordinary life.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with renowned voice actor Billy West, who for the first time publicly talks about the horrors he faced in his childhood; his misguided search for answers in anger, drugs and alcohol; and the peace he has achieved as one of America’s most recognizable voice actors.

Contents

  • 1 The use of celebrities for voiceovers
  • 2 Iconic characters and choosing projects
  • 3 Discovering his talent
  • 4 “It was a horror chamber where I grew up”
  • 5 West moves to Boston after his parents divorce
  • 6 How West dealt with his father’s abuse
  • 7 Rehabilitation and sobriety
  • 8 Is West glad he experienced addiction?
  • 9 West on his career
  • 10 West on politics
  • 11 Billy West on modern American society
  • 12 Billy West on telling it like it is
  • 13 Source

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Rachel Weisz wants Botox ban for actors

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Rachel Weisz wants Botox ban for actors

February 20, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

English actress Rachel Weisz thinks that Botox injections should be banned for all actors.

The 39-year-old actress, best known for her roles in the Mummy movie franchise and for her Academy Award-winning portrayal in The Constant Gardener, feels facial Botox injections leave actors less able to convey emotion and that it harms the acting industry as much as steroids harm athletes.

In an interview with UK’s Harper’s Bazaar, coming out next month, Weisz says, “It should be banned for actors, as steroids are for sportsmen,” she claims. “Acting is all about expression; why would you want to iron out a frown?”

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Currently living in New York, she also mentions that English women are much less worried about their physical appearance than in the United States. “I love the way girls in London dress,” she claimed. “It’s so different to the American ‘blow-dry and immaculate grooming’ thing.”

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Denver Broncos player Kenny McKinley found dead aged 23

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Denver Broncos player Kenny McKinley found dead aged 23

February 20, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kenny McKinley, an American football player for the Denver Broncos, has been found dead at the age of 23. The wide receiver was found dead in the master bedroom of his home in the Denver suburbs. The cause of death is suspected to be suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

President and CEO of the Denver Broncos Pat Bowlen released a statement about McKinley’s death on the Broncos’ official website. He said “Everyone with the Broncos is shocked and saddened by the loss of Kenny McKinley. He was part of the Broncos family and will be greatly missed by our organization. My most heartfelt condolences go out to Kenny’s family and friends.”

Andrew Bondarowicz, McKinley’s agent, said McKinley had been visiting family in Atlanta and had only shortly returned to Denver at the time of his death.

Originally from South Carolina, McKinley was selected in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. In college, he became only the 12th player in SEC history to collect more than 2,700 receiving yards.

McKinley has become the third young Broncos player to die in recent years. Darrent Williams was shot dead on New Year’s Eve in 2007 and Damien Nash died after he collapsed during a charity basketball game a month later. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on his twitter page “No NFL team has been hit harder than Denver. Darrent Williams, Damien Nash. Kenny McKinley. RIP.”

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Three found dead at Fort Hood US military base

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Three found dead at Fort Hood US military base

February 19, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A man and two children were found dead this morning in a home at Fort Hood, a US Army base in Texas. Early reports indicate the deceased were military dependents. The latest reports indicate cause of death to be unclear.

As of 1:00pm local time (0500 UTC), military investigators had not released the names of the deceased. Officials did note, however, that “no further threat to the community” exists. Officials have yet to confirm if foul play is suspected in the deaths.

Approximately 45,000 service members are currently assigned to the military base, located in central Texas. In 2009, Major Nidal Hassan shot and killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at the base’s Readiness Processing Center.

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Swaziland to receive financial bailout from South Africa

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Swaziland to receive financial bailout from South Africa

February 18, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The small African nation of Swaziland will receive a financial bailout from neighbouring South Africa. The South African government agreed to a loan of 2.4 billion rand ($350 million) after several organisations including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rejected King Mswati III’s request for a bailout.

King Mswati III released a statement about the bailout saying, “We are thankful and also appreciate the assistance we have received from South Africa. This shows that they are good neighbours.” He added “But it must be stressed that this is not a gift but a loan, which naturally should be repaid. This is why every Swazi must play his or her role by working hard wherever he is to ensure that the country gets back to its feet the soonest.”

The King has been criticized for living with 13 wives in luxury while the majority of his country lives in poverty.

Despite the South African government’s agreement, the bailout has been met with some concern. The opposition in South Africa said that the government should reject the loan as Swaziland is an “undemocratic state”. However, the government has said that the bailout would bring stability to the state and surrounding region.

The loan is expected to help Swaziland, which is going through a financial crisis. The nation has reportedly been unable to pay some of its civil servants and could not afford antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV. Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world.

Earlier this year, the country saw a wave of protests and demonstrations related to the economic situation.

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RuPaul speaks about society and the state of drag as performance art

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RuPaul speaks about society and the state of drag as performance art

February 18, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Few artists ever penetrate the subconscious level of American culture the way RuPaul Andre Charles did with the 1993 album Supermodel of the World. It was groundbreaking not only because in the midst of the Grunge phenomenon did Charles have a dance hit on MTV, but because he did it as RuPaul, formerly known as Starbooty, a supermodel drag queen with a message: love everyone. A duet with Elton John, an endorsement deal with MAC cosmetics, an eponymous talk show on VH-1 and roles in film propelled RuPaul into the new millennium.

In July, RuPaul’s movie Starrbooty began playing at film festivals and it is set to be released on DVD October 31st. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone recently spoke with RuPaul by telephone in Los Angeles, where she is to appear on stage for DIVAS Simply Singing!, a benefit for HIV-AIDS.


DS: How are you doing?

RP: Everything is great. I just settled into my new hotel room in downtown Los Angeles. I have never stayed downtown, so I wanted to try it out. L.A. is one of those traditional big cities where nobody goes downtown, but they are trying to change that.

DS: How do you like Los Angeles?

RP: I love L.A. I’m from San Diego, and I lived here for six years. It took me four years to fall in love with it and then those last two years I had fallen head over heels in love with it. Where are you from?

DS: Me? I’m from all over. I have lived in 17 cities, six states and three countries.

RP: Where were you when you were 15?

DS: Georgia, in a small town at the bottom of Fulton County called Palmetto.

RP: When I was in Georgia I went to South Fulton Technical School. The last high school I ever went to was…actually, I don’t remember the name of it.

DS: Do you miss Atlanta?

RP: I miss the Atlanta that I lived in. That Atlanta is long gone. It’s like a childhood friend who underwent head to toe plastic surgery and who I don’t recognize anymore. It’s not that I don’t like it; I do like it. It’s just not the Atlanta that I grew up with. It looks different because it went through that boomtown phase and so it has been transient. What made Georgia Georgia to me is gone. The last time I stayed in a hotel there my room was overlooking a construction site, and I realized the building that was torn down was a building that I had seen get built. And it had been torn down to build a new building. It was something you don’t expect to see in your lifetime.

DS: What did that signify to you?

RP: What it showed me is that the mentality in Atlanta is that much of their history means nothing. For so many years they did a good job preserving. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a preservationist. It’s just an interesting observation.

DS: In 2004 when you released your third album, Red Hot, it received a good deal of play in the clubs and on dance radio, but very little press coverage. On your blog you discussed how you felt betrayed by the entertainment industry and, in particular, the gay press. What happened?

RP: Well, betrayed might be the wrong word. ‘Betrayed’ alludes to an idea that there was some kind of a promise made to me, and there never was. More so, I was disappointed. I don’t feel like it was a betrayal. Nobody promises anything in show business and you understand that from day one.
But, I don’t know what happened. It seemed I couldn’t get press on my album unless I was willing to play into the role that the mainstream press has assigned to gay people, which is as servants of straight ideals.

DS: Do you mean as court jesters?

RP: Not court jesters, because that also plays into that mentality. We as humans find it easy to categorize people so that we know how to feel comfortable with them; so that we don’t feel threatened. If someone falls outside of that categorization, we feel threatened and we search our psyche to put them into a category that we feel comfortable with. The mainstream media and the gay press find it hard to accept me as…just…

DS: Everything you are?

RP: Everything that I am.

DS: It seems like years ago, and my recollection might be fuzzy, but it seems like I read a mainstream media piece that talked about how you wanted to break out of the RuPaul ‘character’ and be seen as more than just RuPaul.

RP: Well, RuPaul is my real name and that’s who I am and who I have always been. There’s the product RuPaul that I have sold in business. Does the product feel like it’s been put into a box? Could you be more clear? It’s a hard question to answer.

DS: That you wanted to be seen as more than just RuPaul the drag queen, but also for the man and versatile artist that you are.

RP: That’s not on target. What other people think of me is not my business. What I do is what I do. How people see me doesn’t change what I decide to do. I don’t choose projects so people don’t see me as one thing or another. I choose projects that excite me. I think the problem is that people refuse to understand what drag is outside of their own belief system. A friend of mine recently did the Oprah show about transgendered youth. It was obvious that we, as a culture, have a hard time trying to understand the difference between a drag queen, transsexual, and a transgender, yet we find it very easy to know the difference between the American baseball league and the National baseball league, when they are both so similar. We’ll learn the difference to that. One of my hobbies is to research and go underneath ideas to discover why certain ones stay in place while others do not. Like Adam and Eve, which is a flimsy fairytale story, yet it is something that people believe; what, exactly, keeps it in place?

DS: What keeps people from knowing the difference between what is real and important, and what is not?

RP: Our belief systems. If you are a Christian then your belief system doesn’t allow for transgender or any of those things, and you then are going to have a vested interest in not understanding that. Why? Because if one peg in your belief system doesn’t work or doesn’t fit, the whole thing will crumble. So some people won’t understand the difference between a transvestite and transsexual. They will not understand that no matter how hard you force them to because it will mean deconstructing their whole belief system. If they understand Adam and Eve is a parable or fairytale, they then have to rethink their entire belief system.
As to me being seen as whatever, I was more likely commenting on the phenomenon of our culture. I am creative, and I am all of those things you mention, and doing one thing out there and people seeing it, it doesn’t matter if people know all that about me or not.

DS: Recently I interviewed Natasha Khan of the band Bat for Lashes, and she is considered by many to be one of the real up-and-coming artists in music today. Her band was up for the Mercury Prize in England. When I asked her where she drew inspiration from, she mentioned what really got her recently was the 1960’s and 70’s psychedelic drag queen performance art, such as seen in Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, The Cockettes and Paris Is Burning. What do you think when you hear an artist in her twenties looking to that era of drag performance art for inspiration?

RP: The first thing I think of when I hear that is that young kids are always looking for the ‘rock and roll’ answer to give. It’s very clever to give that answer. She’s asked that a lot: “Where do you get your inspiration?” And what she gave you is the best sound bite she could; it’s a really a good sound bite. I don’t know about Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, but I know about The Cockettes and Paris Is Burning. What I think about when I hear that is there are all these art school kids and when they get an understanding of how the press works, and how your sound bite will affect the interview, they go for the best.

DS: You think her answer was contrived?

RP: I think all answers are really contrived. Everything is contrived; the whole world is an illusion. Coming up and seeing kids dressed in Goth or hip hop clothes, when you go beneath all that, you have to ask: what is that really? You understand they are affected, pretentious. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s how we see things. I love Paris Is Burning.

DS: Has the Iraq War affected you at all?

RP: Absolutely. It’s not good, I don’t like it, and it makes me want to enjoy this moment a lot more and be very appreciative. Like when I’m on a hike in a canyon and it smells good and there aren’t bombs dropping.

DS: Do you think there is a lot of apathy in the culture?

RP: There’s apathy, and there’s a lot of anti-depressants and that probably lends a big contribution to the apathy. We have iPods and GPS systems and all these things to distract us.

DS: Do you ever work the current political culture into your art?

RP: No, I don’t. Every time I bat my eyelashes it’s a political statement. The drag I come from has always been a critique of our society, so the act is defiant in and of itself in a patriarchal society such as ours. It’s an act of treason.

DS: What do you think of young performance artists working in drag today?

RP: I don’t know of any. I don’t know of any. Because the gay culture is obsessed with everything straight and femininity has been under attack for so many years, there aren’t any up and coming drag artists. Gay culture isn’t paying attention to it, and straight people don’t either. There aren’t any drag clubs to go to in New York. I see more drag clubs in Los Angeles than in New York, which is so odd because L.A. has never been about club culture.

DS: Michael Musto told me something that was opposite of what you said. He said he felt that the younger gays, the ones who are up-and-coming, are over the body fascism and more willing to embrace their feminine sides.

RP: I think they are redefining what femininity is, but I still think there is a lot of negativity associated with true femininity. Do boys wear eyeliner and dress in skinny jeans now? Yes, they do. But it’s still a heavily patriarchal culture and you never see two men in Star magazine, or the Queer Eye guys at a premiere, the way you see Ellen and her girlfriend—where they are all, ‘Oh, look how cute’—without a negative connotation to it. There is a definite prejudice towards men who use femininity as part of their palette; their emotional palette, their physical palette. Is that changing? It’s changing in ways that don’t advance the cause of femininity. I’m not talking frilly-laced pink things or Hello Kitty stuff. I’m talking about goddess energy, intuition and feelings. That is still under attack, and it has gotten worse. That’s why you wouldn’t get someone covering the RuPaul album, or why they say people aren’t tuning into the Katie Couric show. Sure, they can say ‘Oh, RuPaul’s album sucks’ and ‘Katie Couric is awful’; but that’s not really true. It’s about what our culture finds important, and what’s important are things that support patriarchal power. The only feminine thing supported in this struggle is Pamela Anderson and Jessica Simpson, things that support our patriarchal culture.

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Apes and birds are able to plan ahead: psychologists

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Apes and birds are able to plan ahead: psychologists

February 14, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Friday, May 19, 2006

According to psychologists in Leipzig, Germany, apes and some birds are able to plan their actions ahead of time.

Psychologists Nicholas Mulcahy and Josep Call at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology say that apes are able to save tools to use at a later time, that will assist them in retrieving food.

The results of the testing are “groundbreaking” and is “a starting point from which we can begin to reconstruct the evolution of the human mind. Apes and jays can also anticipate future needs by remembering past events, contradicting the notion that such cognitive behavior only emerged in hominids,” said Thomas Suddendorf, a psychologist at the University of Queensland Brisbane, Australia.

One aspect of the study is that “our extraordinary abilities of planning for the future did not evolve entirely de novo. Planning for future needs is not uniquely human,” added Suddendorf.

An experiment was performed using bonobos and orangutans. The psychologists placed the apes alone in a room for five minutes. Each of them had a choice of two tools that would allow them to retrieve food and six that would not. The apes were allowed to look at and observe the tools; however, they were not allowed to handle them.

The apes were then taken to a room next door, allowed to take whatever tools they chose, and left alone in the room for at least one hour, while a researcher removed all other tools from the first room. The apes then returned to the first room (where the food was), but the food was not accessible unless they had the right tool to retrieve it.

After repeating the same test several times with each ape, researchers began to see that most apes would begin to use the right tool for the job. Researchers also received similar results even when the apes were left alone in a room overnight where they would sleep.

To make sure that the apes were not associating the tools with the food, they removed the food from the room, but would still give it to the apes if they used the right tool to retrieve it. After this change, most of them did not bring the proper tools, which researchers say confirm that the retrieval is a way of planning for the job.

In experiments using scrub jays (found mostly in the western United States), at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, psychologists have shown that the birds, who usually hide their food to eat later, will hide it again if an enemy bird saw them do it the first time, unless the bird is dominant. The subordinate jay could however, fight the other for the food.

“These results suggest scrub jays remember who observed them make specific caches,” said Joanna Dally who was involved in the study with the scrub jays.

“Together with recent evidence from scrub jays, our results suggest that future planning is not a uniquely human ability, thus contradicting the notion that it emerged in hominids only with the past 2.5 to 1.6 million years,” said Mulcahy and Call in the study.

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Report: British serial killer murdered 250

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Report: British serial killer murdered 250

February 13, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, January 27, 2005The Sixth Report of the Harold Shipman Inquiry, released today, concludes that British family doctor, Shipman, killed about 250 during his career. Shipman was arrested for the murder of Kathleen Grundy in 1998, and concerns arose around this time about the excess number of deaths among his patients.

Shipman was found guilty in 2000 of 15 counts of murder and one of forgery of a will, and jailed for life. The on-going Inquiry, chaired by Dame Janet Smith DBE, began soon after to investigate his past, as well as other suspicious deaths linked to the doctor.

According to the Sixth Report of the Inquiry, it is now thought that he may have begun killing at the very start of his career, possibly through recklessly prescribing drugs, in 1971. [1] It is thought he later developed a deliberate intention to kill, mainly targeting the elderly. His first murder may have been as early as in March 1971, and the Inquiry concluded he continued to kill until 1998, the year of his arrest.

Shipman was found dead, hung with his bedsheets in Wakefield Prison on 13 January last year, raising questions about what measures could have prevented this apparent suicide and another investigation, this time by Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Stephen Shaw.

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