Category:June 7, 2010

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Today on Wikinews : Turkey bans search giant Google; a San Francisco man is arrested for a hit and run against 4 cyclists; 6 men enter and none shall leave for 520 days in a Russian Mars experiment and, in history, Alois Schicklgruber, the father of Adolph Hitler, is born in Lower Austria.

Today is Monday, June 7th, 2010. I'm Dan Harlow and this is Wikinews.


Ban on YouTube spreads to Google services in Turkey (0:40)

Access to search engine Google has been limited and most of Google's online services cannot be accessed in Turkey. The access limitation happened due to the blocking of an IP set that belongs to Google. These IP addresses were shared between YouTube and other Google services.

Softpedia states that the limited access to Google could be a result of the government trying to block specific DNS addresses that relate to Google, as part of its ongoing attempts to block YouTube following after insults against Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk were posted on the site. Since Google services share common software and IP addresses, the search engine itself suffers from access restrictions. Turkish citizens are concerned that this move of the governmental agency was another step towards a complete ban on Google, as exists in China. Under Turkish law, it is an offense to "insult Turkishness."

Several Internet sites have been banned in Turkey in recent years, and although some of them were subsequently unbanned, most of them remain inaccessible. Engelli Web, a website listing banned sites reports that currently YouTube (since May 2008), (since June 26, 2009), and Spanish newspaper El Mundo (since May 14, 2010) are among the banned sites in Turkey. MySpace and WordPress were also among banned sites for a period of time. RetweetToday reports that Turkish citizens on Twitter have also reported access problems.

With the ban on Google, citizens of Turkey will not be able to access Google Earth to notice that

Slovenia votes in favour of Croatian border deal (2:19)

Slovenians yesterday voted in a referendum in favor of a border deal with Croatia. The Border Arbitration Agreement allows for international arbitrators to resolve a 20 year border dispute that dates back to the break-up of Yugoslavia.

Parliaments in both countries approved the deal, which will be binding on both countries. In March, Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor's center-left government yielded to demands for a referendum on whether to accept a border deal. "Solving the border dispute with Croatia is the basis for a lasting peace, security and friendship of both nations," Pahor said.

The national Electoral Commission said that after 99.9 per cent of votes were counted, 51.5 per cent voted for the deal and 48.5 were against it. It is impossible for the remaining 2,000 votes, cast by Slovenians living abroad, to change the outcome.

Slovenia is situated between Italy and Croatia, where the dispute involves land on the Istrian peninsula in the northern Adriatic and the small Bay of Piran in the Adriatic Sea. A panel of five international experts will define the new land and maritime borders and could force Croatia to cede some of the sea it views as its own. In the past, Croatia has called for the border to be drawn down the middle of the bay. However, Slovenia, which has a much shorter coastline, feared that this would deny its ships direct passage to international waters.

Slovenia is the only former Yugoslav state to have joined the European Union (EU), while Croatia hopes to conclude EU accession talks this year and join the twenty-seven member union in 2012. A rejection could have delayed Croatian membership and Slovenia has blocked Croatia's membership talks over the border issue in the past. Croatian President Ivo Josipovic welcomed the outcome as "a victory for Slovenia, Croatia and Europe."

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission said, "This is an important step forward. We now look forward to a final settlement of the dispute. Resolving this bilateral issue is an important signal for the region and the relations between Slovenia and Croatia."

While rivers have traditionally been used as natural and disputed borders between nations, they also pose a risk to local residents.

Boy dies after falling into river in North Yorkshire, England (4:42)

Last weekend, an eight-year-old boy died after falling into the River Wharfe, known for its depth and strong undercurrent in North Yorkshire, England. The accident took place on Aaron Page's birthday, following celebrations with over twenty family members.

Page made his way to the river near Skipton around 3pm local time on Saturday; his brother, aged thirteen, was the first to call for assistance after spotting Aaron in the water. Emergency services subsequently assisted in searching for Aaron whose body was recovered at approximately 6:25 pm the same day. Members of the ambulance service failed to resuscitate him, pronouncing him dead at the scene.

Inspector Kevin Franks of North Yorkshire Police stated "Despite efforts from members of the public and some quite sterling efforts from the emergency services and everyone else there, sadly we've been unable to bring him out alive."

Mike Woodhall, an inspector for Harrogate police cautioned; "[n]o matter how safe a river seems sometimes there are inherent dangers."

San Francisco hit-and-run suspect caught after lying (6:57)

A suspect in a hit-and-run located in San Francisco, California, was arrested after hitting four cyclists and, two days later, lying to the police. Over the course of six minutes, the 39-year-old man hit four people with his car and then ran off when his car crashed into another vehicle and hit a pole.

The suspect later told the police at Albany Police Station that his car was stolen, and after the police identified that as a lie, he was arrested. The police believes that the victims were deliberately targeted, although the motive remains a mystery and the suspect is currently in hospital for medical and psychological testing.

The attack left bicycles crumpled and some cars damaged, one severely, according to San Francisco police spokeswoman, Lyn Tomkioka. "We're just really glad that he's been arrested," she said. Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition condemned the attack, stating that there are currently efforts to make San Francisco "one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country". Three of the victims were hospitalized, two in serious condition and one in fair condition.

In a nation famous for bicycles and public transportation,

Hong Kong's only railway company modifies regulations (8:07)

The MTR Corporation, the only railway company in Hong Kong since the rail merge in 2007, has loosened their rules to allow 'non-disruptive' use of profanity in private conversations, and the punishment for inflammatory use of expletives has been lowered from a fine of HK$5000 to HK$2000. The new set of rules have also excluded the regulation against wandering in MTR premises, as well as the rule against attempting to eat or drink.

Democratic Party member James To has expressed his concerns about a new rule that outlaws the display of promotional material. According to To, the wearing of Tiananmen Square Incident-related T-shirts may breach the new MTR rules. He also deems two other regulations, namely the prohibition of distracting MTR staff members and photography and video-recording in the train carriages, 'unreasonable'.

Wong Kwok-hing, a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, believes that the MTR corporation should call upon more effort to advertise a more 'civilized' and 'polite' way of taking the train. Fellow Legco member Jeffrey Lam thinks that the new rules do not do enough to restrict shouting. MTR replied that anyone who shouts in the train can be advised to leave the train or even prosecuted.

The new rules will go into effect in September.

As Hong Kong's trains busily shuttle citizens en route to their destinations,

Men isolated to mimic Mars flight (9:38)

following a similar experiment in 2009, six men entered an enclosed room in Moscow last Thursday to simulate a flight to Mars. The Mars-500 team consist of a Chinese man, a Frenchman, an Italian, and three Russians. Only the Chinese man, Wang Yue, is a trained astronaut. The six waved goodbye, crying "see you in 520 days' time!".

According to Wang, not being able to see their families and friends was one of the greatest challenges, although e-mail is allowed during the experiment. Both Wang and the Frenchman, Romain Charles, expressed pride to be part of this experiment. Wang said, "it will be trying for all of us. We cannot see our family, we cannot see our friends, but I think it is all a glorious time in our lives."

The joint-effort project is being organized by the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) and the European Space Agency; the goal is to study physical and psychological effects on would-be astronauts. All six men speak reasonable English; however, as Russian is another primary language for the simulated trip, Russian crew member Sukhrob Kamolov said body language will be used should they fail to understand one another.

Food for the volunteers will be rationed as it would in a real Mars mission. All supplies were supplied by China and loaded into the 'simulated spacecraft' prior to the beginning of the experiment. For backup, China is sending three mission support staff to Russia.

No women are included in the crew, excluding issues relating to a mixed-sex crew from the study. During a similar experiment in 1999, a woman complained that the captain attempted to kiss her.

Following 250 days of "traveling" to Mars, the group will split. Three will stay in the "spacecraft", the other three going to the surface of "Mars". Only two will actually leave the "spacecraft" to study the surface of "Mars". After a month, the group will go through the return journey simulation, a 240 day trip. The men will follow a strict timetable, with 8 hours each of sleep, work, and leisure every day.

On this day in history (11:54)

In 1837, Alois Hitler, father of Adolph Hitler is born in the small rustic village of Strones in northwest Lower Austria just north of Vienna, to a 42-year-old unmarried peasant, Maria Anna Schicklgruber.

After he was baptized at the nearby village of Döllersheim, the space for his father's name on the baptismal certificate was left blank and the priest wrote "illegitimate".

When he was 13, he left the farm in Spital and went to Vienna as an apprentice cobbler, working there for about five years. In response to a recruitment drive by the Austrian government offering employment in the civil service to people from rural areas, Alois joined the frontier guards (customs service) of the Ingland Finance Ministry in 1855 at the age of 18. Alois Hitler made steady progress in the semi-military profession of a customs official. The work involved frequent re-assignments and he served in a variety of places across Austria and by 1875, he became an inspector of customs posted at Braunau.

As a rising young junior customs official, Alois used his birth name of Schicklgruber, but in the summer of 1876, 39 years old and well established in his career, he asked permission to use his stepfather's family name. He appeared before the parish priest in Döllersheim and asserted that his father was Johann Georg Hiedler, who had married his mother and now wished to legitimize him. He apparently did not disclose to the priest that Johann had been dead for almost 20 years. With three relatives appearing as his wittiness, the priest agreed to amend the records, the civil authorities automatically processed the church's decision, and Alois had a new name. The official change, registered at the government office in Mistelbach in 1876 transformed "Alois Schicklgruber" into "Alois Hitler."

Alois openly admitted having been born out of wedlock before and after the name change. He had done well by local standards and was not hampered by his name. The limiting factor was education. Alois eventually rose to full inspector of customs and could go no higher because he lacked the necessary school degrees.

Alois was 36 when he married for the first time, and it may have been for money. Anna Glassl was a wealthy, 50-year-old daughter of a customs official. She was sick when Alois married her and was either an invalid or became one shortly afterwords. Not long after marrying Anna, however, Alois began an affair with 19-year-old Franziska "Fanni" Matzelsberger, one of the young female servants employed at the Pommer Inn, house #219, in the city of Braunau am Inn, where he was renting the top floor as a lodging.

Alois had numerous affairs in the 1870s, resulting in his sick wife Anna initiating legal action and on 7 November 1880 Alois and Anna separated by mutual agreement. Franziska became the 43-year-old Hitler's girlfriend, but the two could not marry since under Roman Catholic canon law, divorce is not permitted.

Then, in 1876, he hired Klara Pölzl, the 16-year-old granddaughter of Hitler's step-uncle, as a household servant and was soon pregnant by Hitler. Hitler could have married Pölzl immediately but because of the affidavit concerning his paternity, Hitler was now legally Pölzl's first cousin once removed, too close to marry. He submitted an appeal to the church for a humanitarian waiver, not mentioning Pölzl was already pregnant, which was granted on 7 January 1885 and a wedding was held early in the morning at Hitler's rented rooms on the top floor of the Pommer Inn. A meal was served for the few guests and witnesses. Hitler then went to work for the rest of the day. Even Klara found the wedding to be a short ceremony. Throughout the marriage, she continued to call him uncle.

On 17 May 1885, five months after the wedding, the new Frau Klara Hitler gave birth to her first child, Gustav. A year later, on 25 September 1886, she gave birth to a daughter, Ida. Son Otto followed Ida in 1887, but he died shortly after birth. Later that year, diphtheria tragically struck the Hitler household, resulting in the deaths of both Gustav and Ida. Klara had been Hitler's wife for three years, and all her children were dead.

On April 20, 1889, she gave birth to another son, future Nazi dictator Adolf. He was a sickly child, and his mother fretted over him. Hitler had little interest in child rearing and left it all to his wife. When not at work he was either in a tavern or busy with his hobby, keeping bees. In 1892, Hitler was transferred from Braunau to Passau. He was 55, Klara 32, and Adolf was three years old.

Alois wanted his son to follow him and seek a career in the civil service. However, Adolf had become so alienated from his father that he was repulsed by whatever Alois wanted. It has been said he behaved like a self-important tyrant at home. Historiean Robert G. L. Waite noted, "Even one of his closest friends admitted that Alois was 'awfully rough' with his wife [Klara] and 'hardly ever spoke a word to her at home.'" So, where his father glorified the role of the civil servant, Adolf sneered at the thought of a lifetime spent enforcing petty rules. Alois tried to browbeat his son into obedience while Adolf did his best to be the opposite of whatever his father wanted.

On the morning of January 3, 1903, Hitler went to the Gasthaus Wiesinger as usual to drink his morning glass of wine. He was offered the newspaper and promptly collapsed. He was taken to an adjoining room and a doctor was summoned but Alois Hitler died at the inn, probably from a pleural hemorrhage. He was 65 when he died.

Some Schicklgrubers (Alois Hitler's birth name) remain in Waldviertel. One of this extended clan, "Aloisia V" aged 49, died in 1940, in an Austrian Nazi gas chamber.


And those are the top headlines for Monday, June 7th, 2010

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