Two fallen Canadian soldiers return home from Afghanistan

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Two fallen Canadian soldiers return home from Afghanistan
September 18th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The bodies of two Canadian soldiers killed by a suicide bomber in Kandahar, Afghanistan were brought back to Canada. Both were from CFB Petawawa located in Petawawa, Ontario.

Their vehicle has intercepted on a road by a suicide bomber. A helicopter came helping all injured and possibly dead soldiers into it where they received medical attention somewhere safe. This time, their vehicle was blown up by a man’s car when he drived into them and detonated his car. Two Canadians were killed, the rest were injured.

Canadian, U.S., Dutch, and British soldiers stood at Kandhar Airfield Thursday to farewell Cpl. Albert Storm and Officer Robert Girouard. A piper played Amazing Grace as the Canadian flag-covered coffins were carried onto the C-130 Hercules aircraft for their flight home.

“It’s very hard for me to do it but I know my colleague, my friend and soldier, is going home to a restful place,” Cpl. Victor Thibault, 38, of Digby, Nova Scotia said to the Canadian Press. “He’s done what he had to do and I believe that’s good… He was a good friend. I will miss him,” he said.

Forty-four Canadian soldiers as well as one diplomat have been killed in Afghanistan since 2002. About 2,500 Canadian troops are serving in Afghanistan.

Teachers at Australian school shocked at no warning over redundancies, can apply before ‘externals’

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Teachers at Australian school shocked at no warning over redundancies, can apply before ‘externals’
September 18th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR
This article’s primary contributor, Patrick Gillett, is an alumnus of Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A deal between Sunshine Coast Grammar School headmaster Nigel Fairbairn and the Independent Education Union of Australia has ended a week of uncertainty for 22 of the Queensland, Australia school’s staff.

Last week Wikinews obtained a list of 22 middle management teaching staff allegedly made redundant, or laid off due to restructuring. The restructuring is, apparently, designed to get teachers back into the classroom.

During the week, staff, students, alumni and parents had accused the headmaster of being dishonest and not “tak[ing] a single question” on the issue.

“At 10am there were 21 teachers with big question marks over their employment but by 1pm they had the assurance they would be able to apply for new positions before external applicants,” union secretary Terry Burke said. “Mr Fairbairn said it was clearly the school’s preference to continue the employment of existing staff. It is our view the existing staff are more than capable of taking on the new positions.”

Sunshine Coast Grammar is a private Christian school approximately 95 km (60 miles) north of the state capital, Brisbane.

Teachers at Sunshine Coast Grammar school have told the Sunshine Coast Daily that they received no warning of any pending redundancies. Independent Education Union of Australia representative and school careers counselor Maria Campanini said “teacher morale is very low and people are very disappointed and disillusioned”.

Ms Campanini said that staff were saddened by the handling of the situation by headmaster Nigel Fairbairn. “We got an email announcing a meeting and I thought it would just provide some feedback about the review,” Ms Campanini said. “But the 21 teachers whose jobs were directly affected were herded into a room, Mr Fairbairn read out a prepared statement, turned on his heel and left. He didn’t take a single question. We were just left sitting there in shock.”

An anonymous staff member told the Sunshine Coast Daily that, “Some teachers, who rely on the income and whose positions were abolished, were very distraught and they had to go to class. It appears we’re not valued in the school community, not to be even asked our opinion as to what might be the best outcome, to try and make it work.”

According to Ms Campanini, one of the teachers being made redundant is 30 weeks pregnant with another returning to work after maternity leave. “It’s really stressful for all the people involved,” Ms Campanini said. “People can understand the need for restructure when it’s explained, but we’re none the wiser.”

“When it all happened on Friday, it was morning tea time and a lot of us had to go back in the classroom and teach all afternoon,” the anonymous staff member said.

Parents have accused Fairbairn of constantly changing his version of events, with one telling the Sunshine Coast Daily that, “The school board does not have independent parents on the board, which makes no sense at all. From what I have gathered, Mr Fairbairn is not interested in having parents involved in the decision-making processes.”

Mr Fairbairn is trying to go into damage control and his story keeps changing. He’s told parents this restructure was not financially motivated but has told teachers the complete opposite thing. This is it. The gloves are off.

“Mr Fairbairn is trying to go into damage control and his story keeps changing,” said Julie Hopkins, another Grammar parent. “He’s told parents this restructure was not financially motivated but has told teachers the complete opposite thing. This is it. The gloves are off.”

Wikinews obtained a list of middle management staff allegedly made redundant, or laid off due to restructuring, by the Queensland, Australia school. Sources say that those staff have been told that they can apply for new positions that have opened up.

The list, published on the SCGS alumni Facebook page, contains the names of twenty-two staff members. Seventeen positions are reportedly being opened up, eight of which seem to significantly overlap the old ones.

Mr. Fairbairn “replaced the open and welcoming culture … with the tyrannical and oppressive one.”

The changes are, apparently, designed to get teachers back into the classroom. “We are not cutting subject choices and extracurricular activities, but retaining a student-driven curriculum that integrates with the new Australian Curriculum, in keeping with our commitment to teaching and learning opportunities,” said headmaster Nigel Fairbairn.

Wikinews understands that Fairbairn attracted criticism when he was a head teacher in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a former student claimed that Fairbairn “replaced the open and welcoming culture … with the tyrannical and oppressive one.” Fairbairn refused to comment on the criticism.

People are angry and shocked. I am aware of at least 10 families who have said they will pull their children out of the school – it’s that bad.

Fairbairn’s statement came under attack from 2009 graduates who, in a open letter posted on Facebook, said, “It is also hugely hypocritical to attack these teachers for not spending enough time in the classroom, when from firsthand experience the only time Mr. Nigel Fairbairn was ever sighted was during assembly (which he mysteriously stopped attending), never mind in the classroom, therefore, it is honestly astounding that he could make such unjust and incorrect statements.”

They also expressed embarrassment “to be associated with the name ‘Sunshine Coast Grammar School’ while you are at the head of the great community which Grammar once was.”

Four of the affected teachers “were the backbone of the school when [controversy surrounded founding headmaster John Burgess] happened,” a former prefect (student leader) said. “They got it through that crisis and this is the thanks they get.”

“People are angry and shocked,” they continued. “I am aware of at least 10 families who have said they will pull their children out of the school – it’s that bad.”

The student body has not ruled out protesting the schools plans. “It’s getting to that stage,” the former prefect said. “People are trying to look at it in an intelligent way but there is so much anger out there.”

Death toll from tsunami in Southeast Asia increases

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Death toll from tsunami in Southeast Asia increases
September 17th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR
 Correction — May 8, 2018 This headline incorrectly locates the tsunami in Southeast Asia; it was in the South Pacific, as stated in the lede. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A tsunami that was generated in the South Pacific by a powerful undersea earthquake has killed at least 110 people, according to authorities.

The majority of the fatalities occurred in Samoa, where rescue workers say at least 84 people were killed. Another 24 people are confirmed dead on American Samoa, while at least seven fatalities have been reported in nearby Tonga.

The US Geological Survey says an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck early Tuesday local time. It generated waves that devastated coastal areas, knocked down buildings and sent cars floating out to sea.

Strong aftershocks followed the initial earthquake, with at least one measuring a magnitude 5.6. Tsunami alerts were issued for the entire South Pacific region but were later canceled. Survivors fled to high ground and stayed there for hours.

Several villages were destroyed on the southern Samoan coast of Upolu, which is also home to many tourist resorts.

During a flight on from Auckland, New Zealand to Apia, Samoa, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told reporters he was shocked by the disaster. “So much has gone. So many people are gone. I’m so shocked, so saddened by all the loss.”

“The situation is very bad,” said Marie-Francoise Borel, a spokesperson for the International Red Cross, to the CTV News Channel by telephone. “This massive wave has swept across – it’s destroyed villages, it’s destroyed homes, people are in shock.”

The assistant chief executive of Samoa’s disaster management predicted that the death toll in the country could surpass one hundred, saying that searches for bodies in the region are still ongoing.

“They are still continuing the searches for any missing bodies in the area. Some areas have been flattened and the tsunami had brought a lot of sand onshore, so there have been reports the sand has covered some of the bodies. So we need specialised machines to search for bodies that are buried under the sand,” he said.

The communications head for the International Federation of the Red Cross, Jason Smith, told the Al Jazeera news agency that the Red Cross “[…] is working hard through five evacuation centres to provide people with safe places to stay and access to clean water,” estimating that up to 15,000 people in sixty villages were affected by the tsunami.

At the capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago, the tsunami measured 1.57 meters in height. The superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa Mike Reynolds reported four waves as high as six meters. People who experienced the quake said it was long, lasting from 90 seconds to three minutes.

We’re focused on bringing in the assistance for people that have been injured, and for the immediate needs of the tens of thousands of survivors down there.

Pago Pago city streets were strewn with overturned vehicles, cars, and debris. Some buildings located only slightly above sea level were completely destroyed by the waves, and power in some locations is not expected to be restored for up to a month. FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said that “we’re focused on bringing in the assistance for people that have been injured, and for the immediate needs of the tens of thousands of survivors down there.”

“The first federal team members are currently en route to American Samoa aboard a Coast Guard plane and will be providing on the ground assessments once they arrive on the island,” Fugate said. “FEMA, who has provisions pre-positioned in a distribution center in Hawaii, is also preparing to send supplies as needed to help meet the immediate needs of the survivors.”

Didi Afuafi, 28, who was riding on a bus in American Samoa when the tsunami struck, described her experiences. “I was scared. I was shocked. All the people on the bus were screaming, crying and trying to call their homes. We couldn’t get on cell phones. The phones just died on us. It was just crazy,” she said. “This is going to be talked about for generations.”

US President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in American Samoa, and has sent federal aid to support local recovery efforts in the US territory.

“My deepest sympathies are with the families who lost loved ones and many people who have been affected by the earthquake and the tsunami,” Obama said. He had earlier pledged in a written statement to give a “swift and aggressive” government response to the disaster.

“I am closely monitoring these tragic events, and have declared a major disaster for American Samoa, which will provide the tools necessary for a full, swift and aggressive response,” Obama said.

During a Wednesday appearance near Washington, D.C., the president said the US was ready to help its “friends” in neighboring Samoa and throughout the region.

In Tonga, seven people were confirmed dead and another three missing, after waves struck Niuatoputapu, a northern island.Acting prime minister Lord Tuita said in a statement that “according to information gathered from Niuatoputapu so far, seven people are confirmed dead, three missing and four with very serious injuries,” Lord Tuita, the acting prime minister, said in a statement. “It is reported that the tsunami did serious damage to the village of Hihifo, which is like the capital of the island.

“The hospital on the island is reported to have suffered major damage; telephone communication has been cut as a result of damage to equipment and facilities on the island; homes and government buildings have been destroyed,” he said.

An airplane was reportedly chartered by Tongan authorities to determine the amount of damage done to Niuatoputapu, but wasn’t able to land.

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Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada

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Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada
September 17th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR

Saturday, August 23, 2008

London, Ontario is the latest in a string of Canadian cities to have acted on increasing public demand to ban bottled water. On Monday, the decision to eliminate bottled water sales in city-run facilities was passed by London’s city council with a vote of 15-3 in favour. The move was driven by a desire to reduce waste and shipping, have a lower impact on the environment and promote tap water as a cheap and safe alternative.

London’s new restrictions will be implemented over the next several months in buildings that are already equipped with water fountains. Bottled water will still be permitted at many city-run events, such as upcoming summer festivals. Privately-owned retailers will not be affected by the ban.

Other cities, such as Vancouver, Ottawa and Kitchener, that are already engaged in debate on the issue, may now be watching London carefully for how the ban plays out. Other areas have already begun to phone London with questions on the details of its new regulations. Toronto has begun taking a look at bottled water packaging as part of its waste diversion strategy, and its public school board is looking into the possibility of a total restriction on bottled water sales.

In recent years, an awareness of the energy that is required to manufacture, transport and recycle the product has spread nation-wide. Proponents of the ban point to the fact that it can produce as much as 150 times the volume of greenhouse gas when producing bottled water as compared to supplying the same volume of tap water. They also point out that the water that goes into bottled water products is not inspected as frequently as tap water in Canadian cities.

Some have taken this cause to heart more than others, such as British Environment Minister Phil Woolas, who called the use of bottled water “morally unacceptable.” Restaurant critic Giles Coren of The Times of London criticizes those who use the product as “the new smokers.”

Canada’s beverage industry has come down with criticism on the increasing opposition to bottled water. Spokesman Scott Tabachnick for Coca-Cola Co., which produces Dasani brand bottled water, commented on the convenience of the product: “It’s hard to bring your kitchen sink with you.”

It’s hard to bring your kitchen sink with you.

Vancouver City Councillor Tim Stevenson thinks that bottled water’s time has come and gone: “Bottled water companies have had a fabulous ride on an unnecessary fad.” Vancouver officials are still determining how bottled water restrictions, which have been voted for by the City Council, can be phased in.

Next month, the city is planning to initiate a marketing campaign encouraging Vancouver residents to choose tap water and to remember to carry reusable drinking containers whenever possible.

Renowned environmental activist Dr. David Suzuki has praised London’s decision, saying that it represents a turning point for people’s perceptions on the issue: “I’m really delighted that London has done this because it really makes us focus on some fundamental issues.” He hopes that someday people will “look at anyone who hauls out a bottle of water and say, ‘What the hell’s wrong with you?'”

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Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

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Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau
September 17th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

Contents

  • 1 History of the WWW
  • 2 Future of the WWW
  • 3 Final question
  • 4 External links
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Build Your Own Home With Contractors In Honolulu

September 17th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR

byAlma Abell

Many people look for a new or even a used home to buy, and sometimes they just can’t find something within their local to fill all their needs. Sometimes the best answer is to find Contractors in Honolulu to build a home specific to their requirements. A contractor could create the perfect four bedroom home, with a nook. Or, they could make a nice smaller two bedroom, with a large living area to entertain guests. It can be devastating when you know what you want, but you just can’t find it.

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There are a lot of homes that are considered to be custom homes, because they have the extras most people want to find in the perfect home. They might have an oddly shaped room for sewing, or they could add a jetted tub, so you can enjoy the evenings. When you get a custom made home, the contractor will just show you a few floor plans and then they will let you change things so the home is just how you want it.

Building your own home can be a bit overwhelming for some people. When you have to choose every little detail of the home you want, then the choices can become mind blowing. A good contractor will make your decisions easier and they will give you options, they know are within your price range and your needs. If you can’t find a type of flooring you like or even a color of paint that is the right, the contractor will work hard to make what they offer acceptable. A custom home building process should be easy if you find the right professionals to help out, every step of the way.

There are some excellent Contractors in Honolulu, which build custom homes. All you have to do is Click here to find out what companies work in your area and also to view some floor plans that might work for your family. It can be difficult to find the perfect home but when you have an expert on your side, the whole process can be exciting and very enjoyable. Talk to some contractors today and see what type of home you might be able to afford.

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Canadian light aircraft stolen; Wisconsin State Capitol evacuated

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Canadian light aircraft stolen; Wisconsin State Capitol evacuated
September 17th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The pilot who stole a light aircraft yesterday from Canada and landed in the central United States is now in custody.

Adam Dylan Leon, a 31-year-old Canadian citizen, stole a Cessna 172 Skyhawk light aircraft from an airfield in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. After taking off, the airplane went off course toward the United States. The State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin was briefly evacuated, but the aircraft went southwest of the city and personnel were allowed back in. Two F-16 fighters had been dispatched to follow the Cessna which later landed near US 60 in Ellsinore, Missouri, but NORAD spokesman Mike Kucharek said that the aircraft was not thought to be a terrorist threat.

Sgt. Marty Elmore, a spokesman for the Missouri Highway Patrol, says Leon was arrested about 9:30 CDT near the site of his landing. Leon is a person of Turkish origin who became a Canadian citizen in 2008 and changed his name from Yavuz Berke. Leon jumped a fence and stole the plane, according to local radio.

According to Kucharek, the aircraft began behaving erratically around 2:30 CDT. He also says the pilot, at the time unidentified, appeared to acknowledge the fighter craft but did not heed their instructions. Leon’s motive is not known.

Managers at Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee, Wisconsin earlier said the facility was preparing for a forced landing of the aircraft, but the attempt to force it to land was scrubbed.

The aircraft later crossed the border out of Wisconsin and passed over Illinois north of the city of St. Louis, Missouri. It flew further south before landing in Ellsinore on Route 60, at which point the pilot fled on foot. Attempts to establish contact with or discern the intentions of the pilot were unsuccessful.

The distance from Thunder Bay to Ellsinore is 795.1 miles (1,280 km), near the reported maximum range of a Cessna 172, but authorities say the aircraft had two hours of fuel left. Only Leon is believed to have been on board the aircraft.

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Oral Roberts University accountant claims he was ordered to “cook the books”

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Oral Roberts University accountant claims he was ordered to “cook the books”
September 14th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A former accountant for Oral Roberts University (ORU) has filed a lawsuit against ORU and its Board of Regents claiming he was told by Richard Roberts and his wife Lindsay to “cook the books”, hiding financial wrongdoing from authorities and the public. Trent Huddleston, the accountant, has filed suit against the school and the Robertses claiming he “was improperly and unlawfully directed to perform functions and duties in violation of state and federal law in an effort by the defendants to ‘cook the books’ and hide from the appropriate authorities and the public the continued wrongdoing, improper and illegal conduct of the defendants, and in particular, of Richard and Lindsay Roberts.”

Huddleston said that nearly $123,000 in remodeling fees for their home was paid by Oral Roberts University and Oral Roberts Ministries. In addition the lawsuit alleges $4,000 was spent on a pool table for the Robertses. Previously the Roberts were accused of illegal political and financial wrongdoing, which forced the president to step down from his positison.

Last week at a meeting called by Oral Roberts, founder of the University and former faith healer, a majority of the faculty voted against allowing Richard to serve as president.

An ORU spokesman declined to comment on latest lawsuit and the faculty meeting.

In other news, Tulsa World released emails between Richard and his political adviser and sister-in-law, Stephanie Cantees. The emails given by an anonymous source, show the two plan to gain political influence using ORU students.

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Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment

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Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment
September 9th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR

Thursday, July 31, 2008

From the middle of July, Sony Corporation refreshed their senior laptop brand VAIO from “Video Audio Integrated Operation” to “Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer”. According to Sony Taiwan Limited, this refreshment is an attempt to relocate the laptop consuming market for business and entertainment factors.

In the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Europe, Sony promoted their new product series for different populations including BZ for business, FW for home entertainment, Z for ultra-slim, and SR for complex applications.

Different with past series, Sony added “Clear Bright” screening technology for high-definition display, and “full-carbon production” features. BD-burning and Intel Centrino 2 processing technologies will be featured in all the new models. For security issue, Sony also embedded fingerprint system to prevent personal data to be stolen. Continued from TZ series, innovative designs including “Green Power Button”, “Situational Switch” are also added in newly-launched series.

“Due to consuming market differences, Sony only promoted BZ series in Europe and America but not included Asia. Although the TICA Show in Taipei will be different, functionality will be the greatest issue when a consumers choose a notebook [computer] before buying.” addressed by executives from Sony Taiwan Limited, during the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Taiwan.

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Bush EPA nominee abandons insecticide-on-children study after Senate hearing

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Bush EPA nominee abandons insecticide-on-children study after Senate hearing
September 9th, 2018 by iGGDBfCR

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Following a Senate hearing in which the Bush administration’s nominee for EPA administrator, Stephen Johnson, stoutly defended his plan to pay parents to document the effects on infants of insecticide use in the home, he reversed course and stopped the program.

Among the original requirements for the 60 families requested to be participants in the “Children’s Health Environmental Exposure Research Study” (CHEERS) study according to EPA were that they must:

  • Live in Duval County, Florida
  • Be a parent of a child under the age of 13 months
  • Spray or apply or have pesticides sprayed or applied inside your home on a routine basis (You do not need to change your regular household routine for the study.)

This original version of the requirements can be viewed in the Internet Archive, a free online repository that creates copies of websites on a regular basis. The third requirement was reworded by November 2004, according to the Internet Archive: “Maintain your normal pesticide or non-pesticide use patterns for your household. We will not ask any parent to apply pesticides in their home to be a part of this study.”

According to the above document, the area of Jacksonville/Duval County was chosen for reasons of existing year-round high usage of pesticides and other household chemicals within the home, as well as relevant data from existing prior studies. The study involved researchers visiting the home of participants, parents videotaping their children’s activities with a supplied camcorder, children wearing a small “activity sensor”, and parents collecting food and urine samples for detailed analysis of the effects of chemical exposure to common commercially available chemicals, primarily pesticides, on which “current information… is very limited” [1].

Selection for the study began in fall 2004. As incentives for their participation in the planned two-year study, parents were to be given $970, a t-shirt, and other gifts, and would have kept the video camera at its conclusion.

Complaining that the study was necessary, Johnson yielded to two Democratic Senators who had threatened to block him, using all means available, from officially taking the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency, of which he is the acting head. The block on his nomination was lifted afterwards although some Democratic Senators would not say how they would vote on the final nomination.

Under his guidance, the EPA agreed to accept $2 million for the controversial $9 million CHEERS study from an industry trade group, the American Chemistry Council, which represents the chemical insecticide manufacturers. The study was to be conducted with the cooperation of the Duval County Health Department, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta.

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Bill Nelson, (D-FLA), demanded the cancellation of the study as proof of Johnson’s acknowledgement of what she called a “gross error in judgment”.

“The CHEERS program was a reprehensible idea that never should have made it out of the boardroom, and I am just happy that it was stopped before any children were put in harms way,” Boxer said. She added that testing on humans should not be a part of any United States environmental policy.

“I am very pleased that Mr. Johnson has recognized the gross error in judgment the EPA made when they concocted this immoral program to test pesticides on children,” Boxer said.

Work on the study was halted last November by Johnson while an independent review of the study’s design was conducted at his request. Part of the reason for the study’s current cancellation was what the EPA in its press release has termed “mischaracterization” of the nature of the study as though children were being deliberately sprayed with pesticides.

Johnson defended his approach, “I have concluded that the study cannot go forward, regardless of the outcome of the independent review. EPA must conduct quality, credible research in an atmosphere absent of gross misrepresentation and controversy. I am committed to ensuring that EPA’s research is based on sound science with the highest ethical standards.”

In November 2004, William Farland, an administrator with the EPA’s research department, told The Oregonian, “There’s no suggestion that we are asking them to use pesticides. We simply want them to continue to carry out their day-to-day activities.”

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