Jørn Utzon, Sydney Opera House architect, dies at the age of 90

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jørn Utzon, the Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House, has died at the age of 90. Mr Utzon died from a heart attack in his sleep at his home in Copenhagen.

“He had not been doing well these past few days, since Thursday. He had been undergoing a series of operations recently,” Mr Utzon’s son, Kim, told the Associated Press.

The first design for the Sydney Opera House was created by Utzon in 1957. Mr Utzon left Australia and returned to Denmark in 1966 due to disputes with the NSW government over cost blowouts and design differences. The building was finished 1973. Utzon never returned to Australia to see his building completed.

Relations between New South Wales and Utzon improved in the late 1990s and in 1999 the Sydney Opera House Trust asked for Mr Utzon to advise on changing the building’s interior to match his original design.

Mr Utzon was awarded the Pritzker prize for architecture in 2003. The selectors said the Opera House was one of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century saying that Utzon’s design “proves that the marvellous and seemingly impossible in architecture can be achieved”.

Kim Williams, chairman of the Opera House Trust, said the building would dim the lights on its sails on Sunday as a sign of respect. Mr Williams said he had met Mr Utzon at his home in Denmark recently, where they shared emotions and tears.

“We spoke for 40 minutes and when we left, he embraced me and he whispered in my ear ‘no tears’,” he said.

“He hasn’t been able to come back himself, but through his son he has been keeping up with all the developments here at the Opera House, really on a daily basis.”

Premier of NSW Nathan Rees said NSW was “deeply saddened” by the death of Mr Utzon, who gave Australia a “masterpiece” which was now UNESCO World-Heritage listed.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Mr Utzon had left an impressive legacy.

“Joern Utzon was a visionary architect whose legacy includes one of the world’s most spectacular and inspiring buildings, the Sydney Opera House,” said the Prime Minister in a statement.

“Standing proudly on the edge of Sydney Harbour, the Opera House is one of the most internationally recognised symbols of our nation.”

Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan dies in car accident aged 50

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Plastic surgeon to the stars Dr. Frank Ryan has died in a car accident at age 50. It is reported that the Jeep Ryan was driving crashed over the side of the Pacific Coast Highway and landed on rocks. Lifeguards were first on the scene and unsuccessfully tried to rescue Ryan. It is thought that no other vehicle was involved in the incident.

Dr. Ryan, a celebrity in his own right, performed plastic surgery on several stars including Janice Dickinson, Gene Simmons, Shauna Sand and Adrianne Curry. He appeared on several television shows and became one of the first people to perform plastic surgery on television in 1995.

A representative for Janice Dickinson released a statement about the death of Ryan. She said “Janice is deeply, deeply anguished! She is stunned and wants the world to know what a genius Dr. Ryan was.”

Ryan was traveling with his pet dog at the time of the crash; the dog was found seriously injured in the ocean and was transported to a local veterinarian. Dr. Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.


  • 1 On Gay Talese
  • 2 On a higher power and how he’d like to die
  • 3 On the media and Iraq
  • 4 On the Iraq War
  • 5 State of Journalism
  • 6 On travel to Cuba
  • 7 On Chinese gay bars
  • 8 On the literary canon
  • 9 Sources

Edward Woodward, English actor, dies aged 79

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Monday, November 16, 2009

English actor Edward Woodward has died today, aged 79. The actor was unwell for several months, suffering from a number of illnesses including pneumonia. He died in hospital in Cornwall, England.

Born in Croydon, London, Woodward was perhaps best known for his role as Sergeant Howie in the 1973 cult British horror film The Wicker Man. The director of that film, Robin Hardy, described him as “one of the greatest actors of his generation” and “an extremely nice human being”. His appearance in the Australian film Breaker Morant was also highly acclaimed.

He began his career in theatre, starting out in 1946. He later worked across the country and internationally, appearing in the West End, London and Broadway, New York. In 1963 he was cast in Noël Coward‘s Broadway production High Spirits. Coward described him as “One of the nicest and most co-operative actors I have ever met or worked with. He is the only one who has given me no trouble at all.”

Woodward later appeared in over 2,000 television productions, notably starring in the American show The Equalizer in the 1980s, in addition to Callan on ITV in Britain. Outside of film and television, he recorded three albums of poetry and several LPs.

Despite having triple heart bypass surgery in 1996, and being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003, he continued to work. His final television appearance was in six episodes of the British soap opera EastEnders earlier this year.

“He was a delight to work with, and delivered a characteristically touching and layered performance,” said Diederick Santer, the executive producer of EastEnders. “Our thoughts are with his family.”

Woodward had two sons and a daughter from his first marriage, to Venetia Mary Collett in 1953. All three became successful actors. In 1987 he married the actress Michele Dotrice, with whom he had a daughter.

News briefs:September 8, 2005

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Copy of handbook for leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints obtained by Wikinews

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wikinews has obtained a copy of volume one of the Church Handbook of Instructions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The document, which was obtained via Wikileaks, was previously only made available to leaders of the church.

It provides information on a variety of different issues. One of these is receiving organ donations. “The decision to receive a donated organ should be made after receiving competent medicalcounsel and confirmation through prayer,” says the handbook.

The handbook also explicitly bans assisted suicide. It claims that “a person who participates in euthanasia, including so-called assisted suicide, violates the commandments of God.”

The guide also mentions cremation. The guide says that “cremation is not encouraged,” although it is permitted.

The finances of the church are also discussed in the handbook. It says that “when tithes and other offerings are given to the Church, they belong to the Lord, to whom they are consecrated. These offerings include all contributions to the ward and general missionary funds.” It then says that it is ” therefore improper to refund missionary or other contributions to contributors.” As with all other charities, the process of not returning donations complies with tax and legal requirements.

 This story has updates See Wikimedia Foundation receives copyright infringement claim from Mormon Church 

Eurovision ’73 winner Anne Marie David discusses her four-decade career and the Contest, past and present

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Monday, February 16, 2009

In the 1970s, she was one of the most popular female vocalists in France, and became well-known internationally. Anne Marie David, from Arles in the south of France, parlayed her initial success from playing Mary Magdalene in the French production of Jesus Christ Superstar into taking home the “grand prix” at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973. Her winning song, “Tu te reconnaîtras” (You will recognize yourself), became a Europe-wide hit that spring.

At the height of her popularity, David perfomed world tours, and even lived abroad in Turkey for a time. In 1979, she tried once again to win the Eurovision, and placed a respectable third. Her song “Je suis l’enfant soleil” (I’m a child of the sun) became similarly popular across France and in the Francophone nations.

As time went on, however, her place in the French music scene became less certain. Touring the world had taken a personal toll, and David decided to retire from music completely in 1987. However, with the help of her fan base, she was coaxed out of retirement in 2003 and is returning to a part of her life that she tried to leave, but never left her. Celebrating four decades in the music scene, David is looking forward to adventurous new projects and a newfound zest for life.

Anne Marie David corresponded with Wikinews’ Mike Halterman about her eventful career, her personal anecdotes regarding living abroad, her successes in past Eurovision contests and her grievances with the way the show is produced today. This is the second in a series of interviews with past Eurovision contestants, which will be published sporadically in the lead-up to mid-May’s next contest in Moscow.

Wikinews interviews Great Britain men’s national wheelchair basketball player Joni Pollock

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homebush Bay, New South Wales —Wikinews sat down with Great Britain men’s national wheelchair basketball player Joni Pollock before a practice session at the Rollers & Gliders World Challenge in Sydney.

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British-born Pollock was born with the condition spina bifida. He explained he could walk with difficulty up until age twelve or thirteen, after which he began using a wheelchair. Shortly after this, he began playing wheelchair basketball. He attended a disabilities tournament for children with disabilities in England, where he tried both wheelchair basketball, since he came from a town where team sports were popular; and wheelchair tennis, as he’d played with an able-bodied friend. Ultimately, he chose wheelchair basketball as it was a team sport.

Wikinews asked Pollock about being loud towards his team mates during the match on July 20 between the Australian Rollers and the Great Britain Bulldogs. He said he was out of wheelchair basketball for nine months due to a pressure sore and surgery on his shoulder, and has been making a comeback since January, with the doctors and physiotherapists giving him the all-clear in April. On that night, he said, the Australian team used bullying tactics and some of his teammates on the British team didn’t step up to win the game. He also said that no matter what team his team plays against, he has a target on his back because of his calibre of playing in the game, and his team failed to to understand it that night, leaving him frustrated with his team and himself; and, he hates coming to Australia during a Paralympic year since the home town —that is, Australian— referees do not protect the visiting team from the home team’s dirty playing, which puts the British team’s gold medal prospects in jeopardy.

Wikinews also asked Pollock his opinions regarding Oscar Pistorius. Pollock believes Pistorius shouldn’t be competing in the Olympics if other Paralympic athletes can’t compete. He also mentioned reservations about certain technical aspects, such as whether Pistorius would be the same height if he still had his legs rather then his prosthetic legs. Asked about 5 point players playing in wheelchair basketball, he said he believes 5 point players can play with other point players but not in the Paralympics, and said 5 point players currently play in the domestic league but not at the elite level, to boost the number of players participating and to help the development of the game.

Wikinews also questioned him about tattoos worn by members of the British team. In previous years, he said, only one or two forwards had tattoos, but now almost everyone has one as having tattoos is currently in fashion. He said he got his first tattoo at the age of sixteen and only recently had it removed. He also has tattoos on his right arm, depicting the logos of the Paralympics and World championships in which he competed.

Pollocks’s team begins its London campaign on August 30, against the Germany men’s national wheelchair basketball team.

What Are Installment Loans And Its Important Characteristics?

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What Are Installment Loans And Its Important Characteristics?



Feeling frustrated with the thought of returning loan through single lump sum payment? Paying loan amount with interest through single month salary will disturb your future payment also. If yes, then do not worry as installment loans are available in the money market to provide you the help that you need with the simplest repayment option. Before considering these finances also you must gather all the necessary details so you must know what are you taking home with you.

Installment Loans Explanation

It is a special kind of financial services that allows loan seekers to get the needed cash amount without providing collateral simply on the basis of their repaying ability. The main feature of these loans which is highlighted in its name also is that it comes with easy repayment option that allows borrowers to make repayment through installment process. It mans borrower need not to make lump sum payment with his/her single salary. The amount of installment and the date of installment are decided on the basis of repaying ability and payday of the borrower. It s easy repayment solution makes it admired among masses.

Important Characteristics

There are many important characteristics followed under these loans which are as follows:

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Fixed Monthly Installment

The installment of these finances are fixed by the lender and do not chance with the change in the money market. Once it s fixed it remains the same throughout the tenure. The fixed amount help borrower to fit it in their budget to make easy payment and meet their basic expenses with all the easiness. By paying every installment the loan amount got decreased and after some time it make you debt free.

Unsecured Nature

The nature of these finances is unsecured which means it can avail by anyone without bothering about collateral formality. These finances are open for both tenants and homeowners as it does not require borrower to put some of their assets as security. The amount and tenure of these finances are totally decided on the basis of earning and repaying ability of the borrower.

Small Instant Cash Help

Through these finances one can easily avail the small amount to meet any of their need without facing any trouble on instant basis. Lenders offer these finances very quickly to the applicant so they can tackle their urgency as soon as possible. Online lenders provide these finances instantly in 24 hours time because they don t out borrowers in the hassle of number of formalities.

Bad Credit Is Not A Problem

There are many specialized lenders available in the money market who offers these finances to bad credit holders also. You just need to find the lender offering the deal that matches with your condition. Do keep in mind that they offer you these funds despite of your poor credit only if you have good repaying ability.

Opportunity To Improve Financial Health And Credit Rating

One of the main benefits of

installment loans

is that it gives an opportunity to borrowers to improve their credit rating simply by paying back the installment on decided time. Through this way borrower can boost their credit rating to get the better term finances whenever they need money in the future.

Advice To Follow

The interest rate of every lender differ from other so conduct the proper research and compare the quotes of different lenders to choose the most affordable one.

Always read and understand the terms of the deals before giving your commitment. Doing this help you to secure yourself from any type of misunderstanding and fraud.

Hervey Empare Master in Finance and has been a financial consultant for years. He specializes in Installment loans Texas and also in helping people to get approved for deals with the loans related problems in a unique manner. He has written money related topics and is currently serving Finance-Hub as finance. If you would like to learn more about visit at www.installmentloanstexas.com

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News briefs:August 3, 2010

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