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Submitted by: Scott Wilhelmy

Claddagh rings appeal to the sentimental side of everyone who has ever heard the story of Richard Joyce. Interestingly enough, the men who hear this possible legend seem to enjoy the telling as much as do the women. Perhaps, this is because loyalty, steadfastness, hard work and succeeding when everything was stacked against him appeals to the best characteristics in every person. Women may be as much interested in the above sentiments, but they also enjoy hearing about the love that was displayed by the young man in question. It is appealing to think of being loved so much that a half world of distance, slavery and the enticement of wealth and security did not sway the man.

History

Elements of the ring that became known as the Claddagh ring have been around since Roman times. Finger rings of all sorts were created to demonstrate commitment to another person at some level. Claddagh rings belong to a group of rings known as faith rings, since they were provided to demonstrate the sealing of a promise, that of faith in another individual. More specifically, this particular version of the ring was more elaborate than others and espoused the sentiments of love, loyalty and friendship or voluntary choices.

Symbolism

The particular symbols that go along with the presentation of Claddagh rings to a loved individual may vary according to the relationship and to the level of commitment that it is intended to portray. Claddagh rings have been given to recognize a birthday, to recognize a woman as the mother of one’s children, or to show a recognition of a commitment to wed. Couples today commonly exchange these rings and wear them proudly as wedding rings. The rings may incorporate precious or semi precious stones which have their own symbolism.

Claddagh Village

Claddagh village and the surrounding area, including the environs of the city of Galway is commonly recognized–both in history and in the naming of the Claddagh rings–as the location of the original design. This is a relatively small area geographically, but it has given the world a beautifully crafted design and symbol of lasting love. The name Joyce or Joyes is well known as a clan name in the area and as the primary person in at least two versions of the legend.

Legend of the Ring

Regardless of which of the legends of the Claddagh rings that appeals to you, it portrays a beautiful and timeless story of true love and commitment to another person which was not affected by separation, distance or enticements of wealth and fame. Another version of the Claddagh ring legend is less devoted to romantic love than to love and care for one’s fellow man. Margaret Joyce supposedly spent her personal fortune to help the people of her adopted community of Galway and was rewarded from the heavens with the Claddagh ring. Whether any of the legends are fairy tales or completely verifiable is less important than the belief in the lofty sentiments that they portray.

About the Author: Losing a

Claddagh Ring

in a break up is absolutely awful. Whether it be an

Irish Claddagh Ring

or a

Silver Claddagh Ring

, you’ll find a huge collection of claddagh rings at /www.irishindeed.com

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=320162&ca=Break-up }

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City to sue owner of partially collapsed 19th century livery in Buffalo, New York

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buffalo, New York — Two weeks after a 19th century stable and livery on Jersey Street partially collapsed and caused 15 homes to be evacuated in Buffalo, New York, residents still do not have answers from the city despite a court order to work with them and come to an agreement on a way to save some or all of the building, Wikinews has learned. Despite the frustration from residents, the city is planning on suing the building’s owner. A rally was held at the stable’s site where residents are hoping to bring more awareness to the situation and gain more support to save the building.

On June 11, a significant portion of the stable’s right side wall collapsed into the yard of a resident’s home. Authorities, including the Buffalo Fire Department were called to the scene to evaluate the collapse and evacuate 15 homes of residents surrounding the stable as a precautionary measure. The following day, the city ordered an emergency demolition on the building, which was stopped by a restraining order residents with Save The Livery (www.savethelivery.com) won on June 14. Two weeks later, five homes are still evacuated and residents don’t know when they will be able to return.

On June 19, Judge Justice Christopher Burns of the New York 906-632-9691 ordered a halt to the emergency demolition and ordered the city and residents to come to an agreement to save the building, or at least a significant portion of it. Despite a court date today, no agreement has yet been reached between the two parties.

“It is in the interest of the city to have a safe environment–but also important to maintain a sense of historical preservation,” stated Burns in his June 19th ruling. The court ruled that a limited demolition could take place and that the city was only allowed to remove material in immediate danger to residents and pedestrians, but stated that the demolition could only be performed with “hand tools.” The court also ordered that any rubble which had fallen into neighboring yards when the building collapsed, to be removed. Since then, most of not all the significantly damaged portions of the building or portions in immediate danger of falling have been demolished. The roof has also been removed to put less stress on the stable’s walls.

“Its been over three years since we have been having problems with part of the livery falling down. There was an implosion two weeks ago and suddenly the city wanted to have an emergency demolition,” said Catherine Herrick who lives on Summer Street immediately behind the stable and is the main plaintiff in the lawsuit against the city. Many homes on Summer are small cottages which were used as servants quarters when the stable was in operation, many of which were built in the 1820’s. At least seven homes on Summer border the stable’s back walls. Residents in those homes have significant gardens which have been planted against the building and growing for decades.

“Both parties are to continue to work together to see how we can meet everybody’s needs. This is the third time we have been in that courtroom, and that is what we were basically told to do,” added Herrick who said the rally was held today because this “is Buffalo’s history. Buffalo is a wonderful place to live because of its history and this is a historical, beautiful building and we need to keep those beautiful buildings.”

Herrick states that the city is working with residents, but also believes that its “slow moving” and they are allowing the owner to get away with neglect on the property.

“I believe right now that they are letting the owner get off. The owner was negligent for 20 years, and hasn’t done anything to it despite what he has claimed to say. Now that this is an emergency situation, the city has a lot to say about it,” added Herrick.

Currently the building is owned by Bob Freudenheim who has several building violations against him because its poor condition. He has received at least five violations in three months and residents who live near the building state that Freudenheim should be “100% responsible” for his actions.

Freudenheim gave the city permission to demolish the building on June 12 during an emergency Preservation Board meeting, because he would not be “rehabilitating the building anytime soon.” Freudenheim, along with his wife Nina, were part-owners of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and were advocates to stop the Elmwood Village Hotel from being built on the Southeast corner of Forest and Elmwood Avenues. They also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built. Residents say that he has been the owner for at least 22 years. Attorneys for Freudenheim confirm that the city is starting proceedings against him for his violations beginning as early as Wednesday June 25. Freudenheim has not released a statement and could not be reached for comment.

Many residents want the building preserved and Herrick states that their engineer can have it stable in “four days” as opposed to the 14-30 days it would take to demolish the building and “at a lesser cost than what it costs to demolish it.”

It will cost the city nearly US$300,000 to demolish the building which is paid for with tax money collected from residents in the city. The Buffalo News reports that fees are approaching $700,000. Though reports say there is a potential buyer of the stable, Wikinews cannot independently confirm those reports.

Residents say the stable was designed by Richard A. Waite, a 19th century architect, and was first owned by a company called White Bros., used as a stable and housed at least 30 horses at any given time. It also stored “coaches, coupes, broughams, Victorias and everything in the line of light livery,” stated an article from the West Side Topics dated 1906. According to the article, The company first opened in 1881 on Thirteenth Street, now Normal Avenue, and later moved into the Jersey building in 1892. The Buffalo Fire Department believes the building was built around 1814, while the city property database states it was built in 1870. It is believed to be only one of three stables of this kind still standing in the country.

At about 1950, the stable was converted into an automobile body shop and gasoline station.A property record search showed that in 1950 at least four fuel storage tanks were installed on the property. Two are listed as 550 square feet while the other two are 2,000 square feet. All of the tanks are designated as a TK4, which New York State says is used for “below ground horizontal bulk fuel storage.” The cost of installing a tank of that nature according to the state, at that time, included the tank itself, “excavation and backfill,” but did not include “the piping, ballast, or hold-down slab orring.” It is not known if the tanks are still on the property, but residents are concerned the city was not taking the precautions to find out.

Wikinews has called the city along with the Mayor’s office several times, but both have yet to return our calls. There are conflicting reports as to the date of the next hearing. According to Herrick, the next hearing is July 1, 2008 though the Buffalo News states the next hearing is July 8. The News also states that Burns will make a final ruling on the stable at this time.

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Eleven alleged Russian spies arrested in US

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The United States announced the arrest of eleven people accused of acting as spies for Russia, breaking up what the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) called a “long term, deep cover” spy ring within the US.

Those arrested were, according to the US government, members of a spy ring that had existed for several years, involving Russian agents adopting civilian identities. All are charged with acting as unlawful agents for Russia, which carries a sentence of a prison term up to five years. Nine were charged with money laundering, a crime that carries a prison term of up to twenty years.

According to the US government, the suspects had been trained by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service to obtain information about US military policies, including those concerned with nuclear weapons, as well as intelligence about leadership at the CIA and the White House.

The FBI said that to obtain those objectives, the suspects were instructed to live as American citizens under false names, some as married couples. Some suspects were able to achieve ties with prominent US citizens, including a scientist working with nuclear weapons and a New York financier who had ties to officials within the US government.

Communication with Russian authorities was allegedly via several disparate methods, including unique wireless internet connections or pictures posted on the Internet with hidden messages, as well as more traditional methods such as burying messages or swapping bags between agents.

The Russian Foreign Ministry told the AFP that they are investigating the allegations, but say that “there are a lot of contradictions.” No further comment has been made.

Names in quotes are cover names, while those not in quotes are real names of the alleged agents. Couples are on the same bullet, while those living alone are separate. Locations are where the suspects were arrested.

  • “Richard and Cynthia Murphy” (Montclair, New Jersey)
  • Vicky Paleaz (Yonkers, New York)
  • “Juan Lazaro” (Yonkers, New York)
  • Anna Chapman (Manhattan, New York City)
  • Mikhail Zemenko (Arlington, Virginia)
  • “Michael Zottoli” and “Patricia Mills” (Arlington, Virginia)
  • “Donald Howard Heathfield” and “Tracy Lee Ann Foley” (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • “Christopher R. Metsos” (Larnaca, Cyprus)

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 27.

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Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Australian researchers say they have scientifically proven that stress causes sickness. The Garvan Institute in Sydney has discovered that a hormone, known as neuropeptide Y, (NPY) is released into the body during times of stress. Their findings show the hormone can stop the immune system from functioning properly.

Neuropeptide Y is one of those hormones that gets unregulated or released from neurones when stressful situations occur…it’s known for example that it regulates blood pressure and heart rates so your heart rate goes up but it hasn’t been known that it actually can affect immune cells as well,” said Professor Herbert Herzog, one of the researchers.

Herzog feels it is good to finally have proof of something people have suspected for so long.

“Now we have proven without doubt that there is a direct link and that stress can weaken the immune system and that makes you more vulnerable when you for example have a cold or flu and even in the more serious situations such as cancer can be enhanced in these situations,” said Herzog.

The Garvan Institute study centres on two key events that enable the human body to recognise foreign substances and control invaders. When our body encounters a pathogen (bacteria and viruses), the immune cells retain and interrogate suspects. Their activation is made possible by NPY. These cells then return to the lymph nodes, which are found all over the body, with information about the foreign invaders. The lymph nodes are where decisions about defence are made.

“Most of us expect to come down with a cold or other illness when we are under pressure, but until now we have mostly had circumstantial evidence for a link between the brain and the immune system,” said lead Garvan researcher, associate Professor Fabienne Mackay. “During periods of stress, nerves release a lot of NPY and it gets into the bloodstream, where it directly impacts on the cells in the immune system that look out for and destroy pathogens (bacteria and viruses) in the body.”

In the case of bacteria and viruses, TH1 cells are part of the attack team that is sent out on the ‘search and destroy’ mission. But when their job is done they need to be turned ‘off’ and the immune system reset. The same hormone, NPY, that activates the sentry cells now prompts the TH1 cells to slow down and die.

“Under normal conditions, circulating immune cells produce small amounts of NPY, which enables the immune cells on sentry duty and the TH1 immune cells to operate – it’s a yin and yang kind of situation. But too much NPY means that the TH1 attack is prevented despite the foreign invaders being identified – and this is what happens during stress,” added McKay.

The impact of stress on the body has been observed in athletes. Ph. D researcher at the University of Queensland, Luke Spence, together with the Australian Institute of Sport, studied elite and recreational athletes over five months.

They found elite athletes were more susceptible to respiratory diseases under stress.

“A lot of elite athletes put themselves through vast amounts of physical stress in their training, but also their emotional, psychological stress of feeling the pressure of Australia on their shoulders, wanting to compete and wanting to do their best,” said Spence.

It’s not just athletes who are prone to stress. Pressures at work and at home may cause emotional and mental stress that can be equally damaging. Almost a third of all work absenteeism in Australia is due to illness, costing employers over $10 billion a year.

“I think it has a huge impact for the work force and also for employers – if their employees are constantly stressed, constantly under pressure, they are more likely to get sick,” Spence said.

Further research could lead to the development of new drugs which may inhibit the action of the neuropeptide Y hormone.

Herzog warns people to minimise stress before it becomes a problem.

“Relaxation methods like yoga will help you to prevent that but there will still be people out there that are not responding to that and treatment by interfering with the system will be important,” he said. “There’s obviously some time until such a treatment will be available but this is something we will definitely work towards.”

The Garvan research will be published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Volume 202, No. 11.

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September

15

Guide To Cheap Wedding Favors}

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Guide To Cheap Wedding Favors

by

Jnet Verra

Let’s face it, even affluent couples do mind about money matters when planning their wedding. Most couples nowadays are being disturbed by high prices of supplies that are very essential for weddings, which is one of the reasons why no one seems to get married anymore. If you are a couple who are planning to get married inexpensively, you have to modify your budget a little bit. For you to make it work, you have to choose wedding supplies within the capacity of your savings.

Wedding favors are one of the most important accessories during weddings these days. Although they are not mandatory, but offering them to your guests leave a sentimental thought which will remind your guests about your wedding whenever they see or use them. If you are worried about the cost that wedding favors will bring to you, worry no more as you can always find cheap party favors that are as great as expensive ones.

Finding cheap wedding favors are not as hard as you think when you go online. In fact, there are thousands of websites these days that specialize on wedding supplies, including wedding favors. Online stores offer cheaper rates of these items than local stores, as they don’t have overhead charges that much compared to local retailers who need to compensate their sales reps or rental fees. Because of the advent of the Internet, getting married nowadays doesn’t need to bankrupt you. Be practical and consider alternative ways that can help you save dollars on your wedding.

You don’t have to go all out either when it comes to your wedding favors. If you don’t want to spend a fortune planning wedding, but you have lots of guests to come, purchase wedding supplies in bulk. Bulk shopping gives you discounts from whole sellers, who will be glad to give you great discounts for purchasing their products in volume. Opting wholesale wedding favors can really help you save money! They can be anything from assorted candles and soaps, candies and chocolates to etc. Empty jars, favor boxes and boxes can be purchased in bulk as well.

Hunt first before you buy. Take time to look around for wedding favor ideas an compare their prices. You can do that in advance so that all you need then is to grab and pay. Make a list of all the possible choices you saw after you hunt, then narrow it down according to your budget. Do not compromise the quality of the items just because your budget it limited. Remember, opting for cheap wedding favors doesn’t always mean you will end up with things that have low quality.

Distributing wedding favors to everyone at your wedding is a nice gesture to show appreciation for their presence and effort for coming in the most special day of your lives. Having a limited budget will never be a hindrance of making a dreamed wedding come true. Go online if you are looking for ideal party favors for your big day or bridal shower. Find comfort and convenience while shopping cheap wedding favors online, at home!

Jnet is an author for a variety of lifestyle issues and topics including weddings. If you’re looking for

wedding favors

, visit the website Americanbridal.com and browse their extensive collection. Find

party favors

to make your wedding extra special!

Article Source:

Guide To Cheap Wedding Favors

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Colorado parents burn books

Thursday, September 29, 2005

5735239794 parents recently burned copies of Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima after having them pulled from the area high school’s curriculum. Millie Davis, of the National Council of Teachers of English, said “I’m flabbergasted that something like this would be happening in this day and age”. The Hispanic coming-of-age story is commonly included as part of high school curriculums, and won the Premio Quinto Sol national Chicano literary award. The novel explores some minority religious views such as paganism.

The Colorado parents who burned the copies claim they “mainly” object to some profanity in the novel. Rudolfo Anaya, a professor emeritus of English at the self-filler, said “The book should be judged in its entirety. There is some strong language in strong situations, but there is no flippant use of profanity.”

“Bless Me, Ultima” has survived a challenge in New York without being banned, or indeed, burned. It came in 75th on the American Library Association’s list of the 4233721628. By comparison, the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh positions are occupied by Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War, Mark Twain’s (619) 639-4343, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, respectively.

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News briefs:June 30, 2006

The time is 20:00 (UTC) on June 30th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Interior Ministry, Fatah offices in Gaza hit by Israeli airstrikes
    • 1.2 Palestinian PM: Israel aims to topple gov’t
    • 1.3 Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Freitas do Amaral resigns
    • 1.4 French Parliament adopts controversial copyright bill
    • 1.5 Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney
    • 1.6 Amsterdam to open a “Chocolate Factory”
    • 1.7 Australian shot in Thailand
    • 1.8 Germany master penalties to beat Argentina to semi-final spot
    • 1.9 Ullrich and Sevilla suspended from Tour de France
  • 2 Closing statements

[edit]

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September

13

MuchMusic Video Awards this Sunday in Toronto, Canada; Wikinews will be there

">
MuchMusic Video Awards this Sunday in Toronto, Canada; Wikinews will be there
Posted by 5f2FsW , agaricaceous
This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wikinews will be attending The 2007 MuchMusic Video Awards this weekend, a popular annual event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. True stars will be out to play, present, and else wise schmooze at the 6045182254 just above the city’s Entertainment District in the Queen Street West neighbourhood.

MuchMusic is the most popular music channel in Canada, and has been holding the event since 1990. Roughly 6000 fans line the streets surrounding Much headquarters each year, and 1200 more score “the wristband” and enjoy a free festival-style show in the parking lot, watching four outdoor performance areas spread out in the downtown location. New this year is a special roof-top stage, on the top of the building.

Last year’s show reached 3.5 million viewers in Canada and 100 million around the globe, with broadcasts in 65 countries.

Performing at the show will be 901-561-6536, (201) 563-0471, Billy Talent, Hilary Duff, Alexisonfire, 413-993-9147, Belly, The Used, and Finger Eleven.

On stage presenting will be Nickelback, Jay Manuel (Canada’s Next Top Model, America’s Next Top Model), Tara Reid (American Pie, this fall’s Land of Canaan), Joss Stone, Sum 41, Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia, Grudge 2), Hedley, Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Sean Avery (New York Rangers), George, Sam Roberts, Emilie de Ravin (LOST), Marianas Trench, and Kardinal Offishall.

Photographer Robin Wong will be photographing the red carpet of the MMVAs for Wikinews and Wikipedia. He first helped the sites in April of this year, photographing Hilary Duff at MuchMusic. Wong’s extensive client list includes Fidelty Investments, Flare Magazine, Masterfile, First Light, Fashion Television, FCB Canada, Profit Magazine, Financial Post, and Publicis. His works have appeared in the 2004 and 2005 Applied Arts Awards Annual, the top publication for the creative industry.

Contents

  • 1 Still open for voting
  • 2 FLICK OFF at Gift Lounge
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Sources
  • 5 External links
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September

13

‘Top Model’ winner Jaslene Gonzalez on her career and being a Latina role model

">
‘Top Model’ winner Jaslene Gonzalez on her career and being a Latina role model
Posted by 5f2FsW , desperado

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

5732924267 is not your typical model. She rose to fame after winning 9122765306 of 2817690513, and since then, has been aggressively tapping into the fashion industry. As a result of her Latin background, Gonzalez has been successful at marketing herself both in the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking worlds. However, Gonzalez is much much more – a fighter, a humanitarian, and a good Latin granddaughter.

Born in Chicago to a Latina mother, and a Puerto Rican-born father, Gonzalez had, in many ways, a typical U.S. Latino experience – her tight knit family, grandparents, and spirituality played an intrinsic part in her upbringing.

“I went to an all-girl Catholic school and grew up with tons of family…..My family was very close knit and supportive. They were involved in my life everyday. So there was so much joy in every little occasion…..Every Sunday we would go to my grandmother’s house where we [the family] would hang out together….We enjoyed being around each other and being together,” states Gonzalez.

Her grandfather was the director of a local dance group, Viva La Gente, which Gonzalez credits with impacting her life positively.

“I was a dancer for 12 years and life revolved around dancing. I was a very active girl, and was always involved with my grandfather’s dance studio. The whole family was. My aunts, my cousins – everyone took part in performances and were involved in the group…That’s how we spent our summers, and we looked forward to being outside, dancing salsa, hip hop, merengue,” states Gonzalez. Through her involvement in the dance studio, Gonzalez’s horizon was broadened significantly, and her humanitarian streak began to deepen.

“We were always constantly traveling. We traveled to Mexico to poor villages where we gave performances to give back to the community,” said Gonzalez.

Ironically, ANTM gave her the opportunity to overcome her own difficulties and to further help those in need. “I went in there, without knowing that I was in an abusive relationship. They were the ones that brought that up to me…they felt I was emotionally destroyed, they wanted me to get support,” commented Gonzalez. While the ANTM staff was supportive, she also credits her life long dream for helping her get out of the abusive relationship.

“Having a dream and having a goal in life, is the most important thing I did in my life. Because of that I maneuvered my way to that dream. I knew I was better than that, I wanted to be happier,” stated Gonzalez.

Soon after winning ANTM, Gonzalez became a spokesperson for Liz Claiborne and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and began traveling the country reaching out to women.

“We had several meetings, and they asked me to be a spokesperson. I was so happy and blessed to help women, to have that title. It’s something I want to do, besides modelling….I enjoy sharing my personal experiences because I can educate them, but I can also save someone’s life. It’s something precious, it’s a gift,” stated Gonzalez.

Abuse is not the only obstacle Jaslene has had to face. Growing up Latina had its own set of difficulties. “Being a minority is a challenge no matter what,” states Gonzalez.

However, Gonzalez also states that being a Latina has many positive aspects in regards to her profession. “As a Latina, you have the advantage of being a Latina. Not only do you have this corporate job, but you can relate to many groups as a person.”

When asked if the fashion industry forces Latina models to change certain aspects about themselves, she remarks that she focuses on always staying true to herself. “Modeling is a difficult job because of what you go through. 80% of the time it’s a no…When I go in, I go in like me, I don’t have to change anything. Any time I get a chance to show who I am, I do. I am a Spanish girl, trying to pursue my dreams. I try to be the best I can be,” remarked Gonzalez.

It is that same confidence and will to succeed that she seems to appreciate in other woman. “I find women beautiful. I find a girl with no makeup, not worrying about her style and appearance, I find that sexy. I find confidence beautiful…Its so simple. It’s being natural and confident,” said Gonzalez.

As a role model, she has two key pieces advice that she offers women: nurture your mind with positive thoughts, and identify and foster the principles in life you value.

It is not surprising to see why Gonzalez’s family is proud of her. “My family is so funny. They are so happy. I’ve never seen them so full of life. My mom acts like she won. My grandmother screams ‘mi flaca‘ every time she sees me. They are so proud. Especially my grandparents. I was practically raised by them. To see them see you so happy and successful, there couldn’t be a better feeling,” said Gonzalez.

She adds that her grandparents would be extremely happy if she appeared on 435-562-3432, the Spanish-language talk show whose host is referred to as “the Spanish Oprah Winfrey.”

In the coming years, Gonzalez plans to continue on the path she is on. She wants to continue gracing magazine covers, as well as dedicating herself to helping young teens develop self growth and esteem. “Every time I wake up, God gives me the opportunity to be a better me…Life gets better as it goes by.”

This is the third in a series of articles with America’s Next Top Model contestants.

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September

13

British ISPs restrict access to Wikipedia amid child pornography allegations

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British ISPs restrict access to Wikipedia amid child pornography allegations
Posted by 5f2FsW , No Comments

Sunday, December 7, 2008

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

Wikinews has learned at least six of the United Kingdom’s main Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have implemented monitoring and filtering mechanisms that are causing major problems for UK contributors on websites operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, in addition to 1,200 other websites. The filters appear to be applied because Wikimedia sites are hosting a 5089434224 album cover which some call child pornography. Scorpions are a German 281-851-4930 band who have used several controversial album covers and are perhaps best known for the song 201-635-4273.

The measures applied redirect traffic for a significant portion of the UK’s Internet population through six servers which can log and filter the content available to the end user. A serious side-effect of this is the inability of administrators on Wikimedia sites to block vandals, and other troublemakers, without potentially impacting hundreds of thousands of innocent UK contributors who work on WMF sites in good faith.

The filtering is in response to the Internet Watch Foundation‘s list of websites that host content reported to contain inappropriate images of naked children. The IWF considers those images child pornography. However, in the United States, where the websites of the Wikimedia Foundation are hosted, it is not considered obscene under the criteria of the Miller test, which requires that an obscene work lack “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value” – as album art is used to “brand” the album, it is considered to be artistic.

Contributors or individuals attempting to view an affected image or file, depending on their ISP, may get a warning saying, “we have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page.” Other ISPs provide blank pages, 203-632-5729, or other means of blocking the content. Due to a configuration mistake at one Internet service provider, some users have reported being totally unable to access Wikimedia sites to the Wikipedia technical help desk.

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“The Protection of Children Act 1978 as amended in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, makes it an offence to take, make, permit to be taken, distribute, show, possess with intent to distribute, and advertise indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children under the age of eighteen. The ‘making’ of such images includes downloading, that is, making a copy of a child sexual abuse image on a computer, so, in the UK, accessing such content online is a serious criminal offence,” says the IWF on their website in an article updated on November 28. The IWF say there are at least 800 to 1,200 websites on the list of those who host or contain offensive material. The list is not public and the IWF never notified Wikimedia Foundation about the blocking of Wikipedia content. The affected page does not display any message informing the user about blocked content on most ISPs, instead, a technical error message is shown.

However, Demon Internet redirects users to a block message on the IWF’s site explaining that the page was blocked as the organization suspects child porn or links to it to be present. The IWF states that, “we do not notify site owners that their websites are on our list.”

The concern for Wikimedia is for some images like an album cover from a 1976 record of the (740) 363-9385 titled Virgin Killer. It displays an underage girl, posing nude, with a lens crack crossing over her genitals, but nothing blocking out her breasts. The girl appears to be around ten years old. In the U.S., the band later replaced the image with one of the group. The cover was uploaded to Wikipedia in 2006, but Wikinews learned that on May 9, 2008 at (21:17 UTC), despite a result of strong consensus to ‘keep’ in a deletion request, the image was deleted, however for a different reason. It was deleted due to a claim by an administrator that it violated Wikipedia’s policy for dealing with copyrighted images, which require that any images used under the doctrine of fair use must alongside other criteria, “significantly increase readers’ understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding”, with the administrator claiming that the article “lacked meaningful discussion” of the album art. This result was overturned using the deletion review process. Earlier, on December 6, the image was put back up for a deletion request, but it was later closed as Wikimedia “does not censor”.

Another image that is questionable could be a screenshot from the 1938 film Child Bride. Its goal was to bring to light the attempts at banning child marriages. In the article on Wikipedia, a screenshot appears of then 12-year-old Shirley Mills partially naked after skinny dipping. In the photo, at least one of her breasts can be seen.

Other albums featuring nudity below the age of sixteen have previously caused controversy; Blind Faith attracted criticism as did Houses of the Holy, and Nirvana’s noncontiguity.

Multiple companies have gone public stating that they implement the recommendations of the Internet Watch Foundation. Not all of these are known to have implemented measures against Wikimedia sites; the major UK ISPs thought to have affected Wikimedia sites are Telefonica O2/Be Unlimited, Virgin Media, Easynet, Plusnet, Demon, and Opal Telecommunications (TalkTalk).

Wikinews has contacted Wikimedia’s legal counsel, Mike Godwin and the IWF for a statement, but neither have replied as of this time.

 This story has updates See Wikimedia, IWF respond to block of Wikipedia over child pornography allegations 
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