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Sydney’s ‘Angel of The Gap’ dies after decades rescuing the suicidal

Monday, May 14, 2012

Australian man Don Ritchie, dubbed the “Angel of The Gap”, has died. He earned his nickname after spending decades talking people out of jumping from The Gap, a cliff famed as a suicide spot beside his house in Watsons Bay, Sydney.

Credited with at least 160 rescues, though his family suggest the true figure is 500, reports carry conflicting values of Ritchie’s age; he was in his mid eighties. He moved to a house beside The Gap in 1964 and lived there the rest of his life, quickly earning his first award after tackling a man who was about to jump. At first he held back would-be jumpers whilst his wife summoned help, but then took to approaching them with his palms out and saying simply “Is there something I could do to help you?”

Ritchie had no relevant formal training, but he said last year to “Never be afraid to speak to those who you feel are in need. Always remember the power of the simple smile, a helping hand, a listening ear and a kind word.” According to his daughter, Sue Ritchie Bereny, “that was all that was often needed to turn people around, and he would say not to underestimate the power of a kind word and a smile.” He would then “bring people back to our place for a cup of tea and breakfast.”

I was a salesman for most of my life, and I sold them life

Rewarded last year with a Local Hero Award from the National Australia Day Council, Ritchie explained “You couldn’t just sit here and watch them. I mean, I couldn’t. So I would go out and try and help them.” He and his wife Monica were named Citizens of the Year by Woollahra Council in 2010.

Ritchie often clutched at those who jumped in an effort to hold them back. He recently described to The Sydney Morning Herald one nineteen-year-old who was friends with Ritchie’s grandchildren; “He said ‘no’ and stepped straight off the side. His hat blew up and I caught it in my hand.” Much of his time was spent watching the cliff for those in distress; Bereny noted his “sensitivity, he could read some people needed help.”

He said ‘no’ and stepped straight off the side. His hat blew up and I caught it in my hand.

Ritchie’s “courage delivered small miracles,” said Cr Susan Wynne, Mayor of Woollahra. National Australia Day Council’s interim head Tam Johnston has issued a statement saying “Don’s story touched the hearts of all Australians and challenged each of us to rethink what it means to be a good neighbour… Don was a true gentleman with a smile that could light up the room.” Local politician Malcolm Turnbull, who united with Ritchie and mental health workers to demand suicide prevention measures at The Gap, said “His work lives on forever not just in the lives of those he saved but in his heroism and example of public service.”

Diane Gaddin, whose daughter killed herself at The Gap and who works to prevent suicide, called him “a beacon and inspiration to not only us in Australia but the world because it takes courage, bravery, tenacity… he was a gentle, persuasive man who offered them hope with warm, embracing words.” She describes the former life insurance salesman, who also served in the navy, as saying “I was a salesman for most of my life, and I sold them life.” She said he advised those faced with the suicidal to “Smile. Be friendly and say can I help you in some way.”

Ritchie died on Sunday local time at St Vincent’s Hospital, with his wife, three daughters, and four grandchildren by his side.



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Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”



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Creator of G.I. Joe action figure to create a line of Bible-themed toys

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

According to the Christian Post, Don Levine, the creator of the G.I. Joe, will be creating a line of action figures based on characters from the Old Testament. Released this month are action figures of Samson, David, Noah, Moses, and dolls of Queen Esther and Deborah the Warrior. The toys come with their own Bible storybook. By the fall, the line will expand to 35 products. Levine has began developing a DVD series and television show.

While certainly not the first action figures, dolls, or animated programs based on Biblical characters, it is perhaps the first to launch with a full-fledged licensing program. Already a comic book, narrated CDs, wallet, flashing pins, dog tags, and necklaces have been released.

Levine created G.I. Joe for Mattel in 1963, after a licensing agent suggested soldier figures might have the same success as their Barbie line.



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Penske Auto selected to buy General Motors’ Saturn unit

Friday, June 5, 2009

General Motors Corporation (GM), an American automaker which has filed for bankruptcy protection, announced on Friday that the Penske Automotive Group (PAG) was selected to purchase Saturn Corporation. The transaction should be completed in October.

The purchase includes rights to the Saturn brand, its five current models and its dealership network. Two models would be discontinued, the Sky and Astra. GM would continue building the Aura sedan, the SUV’s, Vue and Outlook for at least two more years.

Saturn has 350 dealers across the United States. The dealers employ more than 13,000 jobs and sell only the Saturn autos. Canadian Saturn dealers are not included in the deal.

According to Penske future Saturn vehicles will be fuel economy focused. An expert indicated that this would move Saturn back to its roots of a entry level car company. PAG is in talks with several international automakers to replace GM after 2011. Automotive News reports that Renault Samsung Motors of Korea is the most likely candidate.

Penske wants Jill Lajdziak, Saturn’s general manager, and Tom LaSorda, former Chrysler President to head up the company when it is independent of GM.

Serra Automotive in Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County, Michigan, is in talks to take a partial ownership in a new Saturn lead by Penske.



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On the campaign trail in the USA, July 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The following is the third edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: two individuals previously interviewed by Wikinews announce their candidacies for the Reform Party presidential nomination; a former Republican Congressman comments on the Republican National Convention; and Wikinews interviews an historic Democratic National Convention speaker.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
    • 1.1 RNC
    • 1.2 DNC
  • 2 Reform Party race features two Wikinews interviewees
  • 3 Former Congressman responds to Cruz RNC speech
  • 4 Wikinews interviews history-making DNC speaker
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources


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Software giant Adobe Systems to acquire Magento Commerce for US$1.68 billion

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

On Monday, San Jose, California, US-based software company Adobe Systems announced their plans to acquire California-based e-commerce handling web service Magento Commerce for 1.68 billion US dollars (USD). After Adobe made the announcement via their official website, Adobe’s stocks rose by around one percent, ending Monday extended trading at USD 238.10 per share.

Magento provides services for the creation of digital ads and handling of online transactions. Magento’s services are used by Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Warner Music, and Canon. The acquisition, which is expected to take place in the third fiscal quarter of this year, is to be an all-cash deal. Adobe is to acquire Magento from Permira equity firm. In 2015, Permira bought Magento from eBay, an eCommerce website. Adobe, in their official statement, said, “Magento Commerce Cloud will enable commerce to be seamlessly integrated into the Adobe Experience Cloud”.

Adobe also announced a buyback of shares worth USD eight billion by 2021. Magento’s CEO Mark Lavelle said, “Adobe and Magento share a vision for the future of digital experiences that brings together Adobe’s strength in content and data with Magento’s open commerce innovation […] We’re excited to join Adobe and believe this will be a great opportunity for our customers, partners and developer community”.

After the announcement, stocks of Magento’s competitors Shopify, Inc dropped by about 4.8%. They finished extended trading at USD 137.60 after the announcement.



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Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.



Hiring Child Custody Lawyers In St. Charles Il

byAlma Abell

Parents face many challenges during a divorce, but the establishment of visitation and child custody is one of the hardest things to do. When a court rules on matters of visitation and custody, they always consider the child’s best interests. Making that determination depends on factors such as:

The child’s health, gender and age

The parents’ health

Parental lifestyles

Emotional bonding between parents and children

The parent’s ability to provide care

Local school quality

Stability of the home

The child’s preferences (if the child is over a certain age)

Custody Types

Legal custody is the parent’s legal responsibility and right to make childrearing decisions. Parents have the right to make decisions on issues such as discipline, education, medical care and religion, and most courts award legal custody jointly.

Physical custody gives a parent the legal right to have the child live with them. In most cases, joint custody is ordered, but time is very rarely shared evenly. Courts can award physical and legal custody to one parent, or to both in a joint custody arrangement.

Establishing Visitation and Custody

Many parents handle custody arrangements informally, but child custody can be formally established in two ways:

By mutual agreement: In an ideal situation, parents agree on visitation times that suit both of their schedules. Some states require parents to meet with mediators to arrive at an agreement, but other states leave it to parents and legal counsel. In such arrangements, parents have broad discretion and courts rarely interfere.

By court order: If parents can’t arrive at an agreement, they go to court to plead their case to a judge. Judges don’t know the ins and outs of parents’ lives, but because an agreement isn’t reached, they must impose a visitation schedule of some sort.

Visitation

A parent without physical custody usually gets reasonable visitation. These rights allow that parent to spend a fair amount of time with their child, and visitation schedules can either be set by parental agreement or court ruling.

Hiring the Cosentino Law Firm, LLC

If you need to modify an existing custody order or establish a new one, it is best to talk to a lawyer. Child Custody Lawyers in St. Charles IL know how to deal with family courts, and they can help both parents cultivate a better relationship with their children.



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CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate John M. Wierenga running in Yellowhead

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. Christian Heritage Party candidate John M. Wierenga is standing for election in the riding of Yellowhead. A journeyman welder with a company in Neerlandia, Alberta, John is an active member of the Neerlandia Canadian Reformed Church. Serving on his church council, he actively volunteers in the community, serving a partial term on the Pembina Pro-Life Board.

Wikinews contacted John, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

Since 2000, the riding has been represented by Conservative Rob Merrifield, originally a Canadian Alliance member. Besides Wierenga, other challengers for the riding include Melissa Brade (Canadian Action), Mohamed El-Rafih (Liberal), Ken Kuzminski (NDP), and Monika Schaefer (Green).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.



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Obesity and the Fat Acceptance Movement: Kira Nerusskaya speaks

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Opinions rooted in racism, sexism, homophobia are commonly unacceptable to express in public or in polite company. Michael Richards shouted down a black heckler by yelling, “Shut up!” followed by “He’s a nigger!” and gave his already dormant career less of a chance of ever reviving. When Isiah Washington called a co-star on Grey’s Anatomy a “fag,” his contract was not renewed.

None of this would have happened to either actor if instead of racist or homophobic terminology they had said, “Shut up, fattie!” or “Fat ass!” It’s not an easy time to be fat in America. A fat person is seen as weak-willed, as suffering from an addiction to food, as unhealthy and deserving of ridicule. It goes without saying that people who are overweight are, indeed, people with a full range of emotions and feelings that are as easily hurt as a thin person’s.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone met Kira Nerusskaya, a documentary filmmaker, at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Her film The BBW World: Under the FAT! is in production and post-production. She is a self-described Big Beautiful Woman (BBW) and she hosts the website TheBBWWorld.com; she is also one of the leading voices that has recently emerged for fat acceptance. In researching her film she has traveled to Russia, London, Paris, Ireland and all over the United States to interview fat women about their obesity and their place in their respective societies.

Below is an interview with Nerusskaya about the health, issues, public reactions to and sexuality of a BBW.

Contents

  • 1 Fat Acceptance
  • 2 Fat and health
  • 3 Public reaction to a fat woman
  • 4 On America’s obesity epidemic
  • 5 Fat women and sexuality
  • 6 What do fat people want to be called?
  • 7 The film The BBW World: Under the FAT!
  • 8 Sources
  • 9 External links


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