Turkey, US embassies resume issuing non-immigrant visas

Thursday, November 9, 2017

On Monday, the US embassy in Turkey’s capital Ankara released a statement on their website announcing they are to resume accepting new requests for non-immigrant visas on a limited basis in the country. Shortly after the announcement, the Turkish embassy in the US capital Washington DC also announced they are to continue processing a limited number of non-immigrant visas. Last month, after a Turkish employee at the US embassy was arrested, the embassy introduced this measure to minimise how many visitors they received while they “assess[ed] the commitment of the Government of Turkey to the security of our diplomatic facilities and personnel.”

Monday’s statement by the US embassy said they had “received initial high-level assurances from the Government of Turkey that there are no additional local employees of our Mission in Turkey under investigation.” They had also “received initial assurances from the Government of Turkey that our local staff will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties”, the statement said.

Turkey’s embassy, in their statement, said “Turkey also has very serious concerns about ongoing cases against Turkish citizens in the U.S.” ((tr))Turkish language: ?ABD’de Türk vatanda?lar?yla ilgili süren davalara ili?kin de türkiye’nin çok ciddi endi?eleri bulunmaktad?r and said none of the Turkish employees working for the US embassy were under investigation for their service. However, the detained employees of the US embassy had “very serious charges” and has pending cases, Turkey said.

Turkish officials arrested two staff members this year. Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee at the embassy, was arrested on October 4 for alleged ties with Fethullah Gülen. Gülen is currently in the US, in exile from Turkey. According to the Turkish government, Gülen played a major role in last year’s failed coup which led to the deaths of more than 250 people. Last month, Ankara’s US embassy ambassador John Bass said, “We have been unable to determine why it occurred or what, if any, evidence exists against the employee.”

On March 7, Turkish police arrested Hamza Uluçay. Uluçay was a translator in the US consulate in Adana, and was accused of belonging to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, which the Turkish government has labelled a “terror organisation”.

John Bass explained the ban was not to prevent Turkish citizens from entering the US. Turkish citizens who already have a US visa could visit the country. And they could apply for visas from embassies outside Turkey, Bass clarified in the statement.

In regards to the latest assurance from the Turkish government, the US embassy said “the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the resumption of limited visa services in Turkey.”

Cadillac unveils Obama’s ‘Beast’, the 2009 Presidential State Car

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The US Secret Service has released the first photos Wednesday of the new presidential limousine that will transport Barack Obama down Pennsylvania Avenue next Tuesday as part of the 56th Presidential inaugural parade after he is sworn in at the Capitol. The First Limo – the 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine – will replace President Bush’s Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine that rolled out in 2004.

Nicknamed “The Beast”, the hulking machine is a new model year 2009, modified limousine. According to General Motors, the new “2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine” is the first not to carry a specific model name. The Obama Mobile was introduced on January 14 with noticeably different styling borrowed from the Cadillac Escalade and STS, while the suspension is most likely related to the Chevrolet Kodiak medium-duty truck.

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Mr. David Caldwell of General Motors has revealed that the sleek black car would include a hand-crafted interior and “state of the art electronics.” The car’s high-tech security features include five-inch-thick (12.7-centimeter-thick) bombproof glass, tough-as-nails tires, and a sealed interior that’s invulnerable to chemical attack. The armoured limousine has been heavily modified to withstand potential attacks by weapons or bombs. The San Francisco Chronicle puts it in a proper perspective noting, “a half-inch of transparent armor is enough to stop a .44 Magnum round at point-blank range; at a thickness of 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches, the same material can withstand higher-velocity bullets fired from military assault rifles.”

According to spy photographer, Brenda Priddy, and General Motors, the limousine, which has the intricate, dual-textured grille, is also equipped with standard Goodyear Regional RHS truck tires in a 285/70R19.5 size, on 19.5-inch wheels. The rims have a run-flat device (manufactured by Hutchinson Industries). Xenon headlights from the Escalade are installed in the front, while the rear has some STS part. The doors are at least 20 centimeters (8 inches) thick. It carries the US flag on the front fenders and an embroidered Seal of the President of the United States is affixed to several panels in the back.

According to the US Secret Service, the vehicle would be a “valuable asset” in providing the President with the highest level of protection. “Although many of the vehicle’s security enhancements cannot be discussed, it is safe to say that this car’s security and coded communications systems make it the most technologically advanced protection vehicle in the world,” Nicholas Trotta, Assistant Director for the Office of Protective Operations said in a statement. The new limousine is the responsibility of White House Transportation Agency.

One of the specifications is that we don’t talk about the specifications.

The Presidential State Car is the official state car used by the President of the United States. It is informally known as “Cadillac One”. The current Presidential State Car is a 2005 hand-crafted, armored, and stretched DTS (DeVille Touring Sedan) built on a GM four-wheel drive platform. It was first used on the second inauguration parade of George W. Bush in 2005. But the version to be used by President Obama uses a GMC Topkick chassis, while maintaining the Cadillac exterior.

The President of the United States travels in one of two armoured Cadillac limousines based upon the normal sedan, the Cadillac DTS, with heavy customisation. Lincoln cars have also been used in the past, most notably by President John F Kennedy. The current limousines were custom-built by O’Gara, Hess and Eisenhart, founded in Fairfield, Ohio in 1942. It specializes in armouring limousines for presidents and heads of state.

President William McKinley was the first US president to ride in an automobile. However, it was President Theodore Roosevelt who rode on the first government-owned car, a white Stanley Steamer. Roosevelt’s successor, William Howard Taft, was the first president to use a presidential state car that was permanently stored in the White House garage.

Meanwhile, Obama’s 2005 Chrysler 300C Hemi was auctioned on eBay with a starting bid of $100,000 and a buy-it-now price of $1,000,000. It has less than 21,000 miles on it and is in like-new condition. He leased the car in 2004 and traded it for a Ford Escape Hybrid in 2007. The car was sold to Tim O’Boyle.

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Alberto Suárez Laso

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

With the IPC Athletics World Championships scheduled to start this Friday, Wikinews interviewed Spanish T12 classified long distance runner Alberto Suárez Laso at Madrid–Barajas Airport Monday before he departed for Lyon, France. Suárez is scheduled to compete in two events, the T12 5,000 meters and marathon events.

((Wikinews)) Hi this is Laura Hale. I’m interviewing Alberto Suárez, who is a visually-impaired runner competing for Spain in the IPC World Championships. What events are you doing? ((es))Spanish language: ?¿En qué eventos estás?

Alberto Suárez Laso : Marathon and 5000m. ((es))Spanish language: ?Maratón y 5000m.

((WN)) You have a World Record? Are you going to smash it and give Spain a gold medal? ((es))Spanish language: ?¿Vas a romper el record mundial y darle a España un oro?

Alberto Suárez Laso: This time it’s a bit complicated because I’m going a bit injured. ((es))Spanish language: ?Esta vez está un poco complicado porque voy un poco lesionado

((WN)) Ah. You finished second in London [the 2012 Summer Paralympics]? ((es))Spanish language: ?¿Terminaste segundo en Londres?

Alberto Suárez Laso : I finished first.

((WN)) The injury has impacted you training? ((es))Spanish language: ?¿La lesión ha perjudicado tu entrenamiento?

Alberto Suárez Laso : For the last three weeks I’ve been doing gym and walking machine only. I have pain in my Achilles tendon. ((es))Spanish language: ?Llevo tres semanas solo con gimnasio y elíptica. Tengo dolor en el tendón de Aquiles.

((WN)) So, as someone who writes from an international perspective, do you think Spain’s got all that stuff to help you properly? The medical support, stuff to help you recuperate and be a great runner?

Alberto Suárez Laso : I hope so. We’re there, they’ve been treating me very well and I hope to be able to run without pain, which is the most important thing. I’ve got the training, but I need to remove that pain. ((es))Spanish language: ?Espero que sí. Estamos ahí, me están tratando bastante bien y espero correr sin dolor, que es lo fundamental. La preparación la tengo, pero hay que quitar ese dolor.

((WN)) Do you run with a guide?

Alberto Suárez Laso : No.

((WN)) Okay, so are you T-13?

Alberto Suárez Laso : T-12.

((WN)) Oh. So it’s optional for a guy at T-12?

Translator : He could, but he’s not too badly impaired. He can run by himself.

((WN)) So is your preference to run without a guide?

Alberto Suárez Laso : It’s complicated because of the pace I run at. I would require several guides, and it’s hard to find them. ((es))Spanish language: ?Es una complicación por el ritmo al que corro. Necesitaría varios guías y es dificil conseguirlos.

((WN)) Do most of your competitors run with guides?

Alberto Suárez Laso : Not among the first ones. Well, there are a couple that do run with guides, but the rest don’t. ((es))Spanish language: ?Los primeros no. Bueno, hay un par de ellos que corren con guía, los demás no.

((WN)) Is there anything you would like to say about this competition coming up that people from an international sporting community would find valuable to know?

Alberto Suárez Laso : Mm, I don’t know what to say!

((WN)) Okay. Thank you very much! ((es))Spanish language: ?¡Muchas gracias!

Alberto Suárez Laso : You’re welcome! ((es))Spanish language: ?De nada.

Brazilian Vote Buying parliamentary commission present first joint preliminary report

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Monday, September 5, 2005

Brazil —The Post Office and Vote Buying parliamentary commissions of investigation unanimously approved on Thursday (1) their first joint preliminary report of activities. The text was prepared by their redactors, Osmar Serraglio (PMDB) and Ibrahim Abi-Ackel (PP), from Post Office and Vote Buying commissions respectively.

The deputies cited in the report are: Carlos Rodrigues (PLRJ), José Janene (PP-PR), Pedro Correia (PP-PE), Pedro Henry (PP-MS), Sandro Mabel (PL-GO), João Magno (PTMG), João Paulo Cunha (PT-SP), José Borba (PMDB-PR), Josias Gomes da Silva (PT-BA), Paulo Rocha (PT-BA), Professor Luizinho (PT-SP), Romeu Queiroz (PTB-MG), Vadão Gomes (PP-SP), Vanderval Santos (PL-SP), José Mentor (PT-SP), Roberto Brant (PFL-MG), José Dirceu (PT-SP) and Roberto Jefferson (PTB-RJ).

The report indicts 18 Brazilian deputies and the former deputy Valdemar Costa Neto [who resigned on August 1]. They are accused of illegal campaign finance activities, of placing cronies in strategic positions in government enterprises and getting kickbacks from them, and of receiving cash payments in exchange for voting in line with the government in the Brazilian Congress.

The redactors called the allegation made by some parliamentarians that the resources were used to settle debts with electoral campaigns a “lame excuse”. According to them it is “perfectly plausible” that the loans taken by the businessman Marcos Valerio at the Banco Rural and the BMG for the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) were false and created to make the illegal funds seem legal.

In regards to the denunciations done by deputy Roberto Jefferson (PTB) the report says:

  • Everything which he said that could be investigated showed to be true, including confessions against himself .
  • Everything that must be compared to other testimonies showed a great degree of truth. As a matter of fact, all of who, hurriedly, questioned him, saw their defenses collapse, before the successive discoveries.

According to the report, the businessman Marcos Valério is a not reliable person because of his contraditory testmonies.

The report says that several documents were identified and reviewed proving that large sums of money were withdrawn from agencies of the Rural Bank, in Brasilia and Belo Horizonte, as well as from bank accounts of the enterprises SMPB and DNA Propaganda. According to the documents the beneficiaries were federal deputies who received the money in person or through relatives, advisers, or persons nominated by Marcos Valério.

The report affirms that it is possible that some payments were made on a monthly basis, and others more or less frequently. Nevertheless, according to the report the periodicity of the payments is the less important fact.

Jailed former Taiwanese President on hunger strike

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Following detention stemming from corruption allegations, former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian is reportedly on hunger strike. His lawyer, Cheng Wen-lung, stated that Chen has not eaten since since his admission to Taipei’s Tucheng jail on Wednesday. He went on to tell reporters the hunger strike is to continue, “to protest the death of justice and the regression of democracy.”

Chen, from the Democratic Progressive Party, was President for two four-year terms, from March 2000 until March 2008. In 2006 Chen’s wife, Wu Shu-chen, was indicted on charges of embezzlement, forgery, and perjury over money sent to overseas bank accounts. Chen claimed these were surplus funds from election campaigns and he had no knowledge of his wife transferring the money to the Cayman Islands.

Chen was succeeded as President by Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang, commonly referred to as the Chinese Nationalist Party.

The former President may face up to four months confinement, which prosecutors argue is necessary to prevent him from colluding with his alleged co-conspirators. Nine other people are being held in relation to the same corruption allegations.

As yet, no formal charges have actually been laid against Chen. DPP politicians and other observers have criticised his detention and stated that it was politically-motivated in order to smear the DPP, as was the decision to make him wear handcuffs in public. Recently other high-profile members of the DPP have been detained without charge, whilst Chinese Nationalist Party members also under investigation for alleged corruption have reportedly not been jailed or their cases have been put on hold.

Meanwhile, AIT Director Steve Young, the de-facto ambassador of the United States to Taiwan, asked for a “transparent, fair, and impartial” resolution to the case.

The matter was also raised in the Dutch parliament. MPs from ruling and opposition parties, asked the foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen, if he was aware that “Chen and a number of politicians of the DPP [had] been arrested on suspicion of abuse of power while in power.”

The MPs asked that Parliament be briefed on the situation and whether the foreign minister would press the Taiwanese government to apply basic principles of the rule of law in cases such as Chen’s.

Tornadoes damage hundreds of Missouri homes, force closure of airport

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An EF4 tornado struck near St. Louis, Missouri Friday night, forcing the closure of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and damaging over 2,700 buildings in St. Louis County. The National Weather Service also confirmed that an EF1 tornado touched down in neighboring St. Charles County and an EF2 touched down in Pontoon Beach, Illinois.

The city of Bridgeton, in North St. Louis County, was hit by the EF4 tornado. According to the National Weather Service, it was the most powerful tornado to touch down in the St. Louis region since 1967, with winds ranging from 166 and 200 miles (267 and 322 kilometres) per hour. Aftereffects of that tornado were also reported in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

One official estimated that anywhere from 50 to 200 homes in the Maryland Heights and Bridgeton areas incurred damage, but early numbers released by St. Louis County indicate that over 2,000 buildings in those two cities had suffered “noticeable damage,” which does not include minor damage. Around 30,000 people in the region did not have power Saturday, out of a total of 47,000 affected residents.

Authorities with search and rescue dogs went door-to-door Saturday, looking for possibly trapped residents. Aerial imagery was being used in damage assessment. Area residents unaffected by the tornado were assisting those that lost their homes, reported St. Louis television station KSDK.

The Harmann Estates neighborhood of Bridgeton was heavily damaged during the storm, with many residences losing roofs and siding. Officials have already condemned some of the subdivision’s homes. St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley reported 25 homes in Bridgeton and Berkeley, Missouri as being completely destroyed and an additional 35 as uninhabitable.

Granite City, Illinois was struck by the EF2 tornado, while New Melle, Missouri was hit by the EF1. Fourteen New Melle homes sustained minor damage, while four were heavily damaged.

The storm also caused the temporary shutdown of two major St. Louis highways. Portions of Interstate 70 and Interstate 270 were closed Friday night due to fallen power lines and storm debris. Both blocked sections have since reopened, but officials said it would take a few days to remove all the debris, which they pushed onto the roadsides.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, which is immediately west of Berkeley, suffered heavy damage Friday night from the same tornado, and was forced to halt all regular operations Saturday while crews worked to clear the affected terminals. Eight flights had been forced to land in Kansas City, Missouri Friday night due to the tornado. About 500 people were in Lambert Airport when the tornado hit. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson said other US airports were not affected by Lambert’s shutdown. Lambert is not an airline hub and is significantly less busy than it was ten years ago.

In a Saturday press conference, Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert’s director, said the airfield and Terminal 2 were “fully functional,” but the main terminal’s Concourse C had been severely impacted by the storm. That terminal, which sustained the heaviest damage, serves Air Tran, American Airlines, Cape Air, and Frontier Airlines. The total cost of repairs at Lambert is expected to be in the millions of dollars, but Hamm-Niebruegge said the airport does not yet have a good estimate.

It was like being in a horror movie. Grown men were crying.

One passenger of a waiting plane at Lambert told KSDK that heavy winds pushed the aircraft about 20 feet (6.1 metres) while it was still attached to the gate. Two other planes on the tarmac were unable to return to the airport, so passengers were bused back. Five planes—four operated by American and one by Southwest Airlines—suffered damage, and some will undergo major repairs.

Some travelers inside the airport received medical attention for minor injuries caused by flying glass. A handful of people were transported to a local hospital for additional treatment, but all were later released. “We get to the terminal and lights were out, glass everywhere, blood everywhere from people had been cut,” recalled one witness. Another person at the airport reported, “The ceiling was falling. The glass was hitting us in the face. Hail and rain were coming in. The wind was blowing debris all over the place. It was like being in a horror movie. Grown men were crying.”

On Saturday, it was evident that Concourse C would not be open for some time, said Mayor of St. Louis Francis Slay. A large section of its roof was missing and around half of its windows had been blown out by the high winds. Debris and water from the storm were present inside the airport as crews worked to restore power and assess damage to the terminal. Missing windows had been boarded up, ruined carpet had been removed, and the control tower was functional by Saturday afternoon. The power was back on by 7:40 p.m. CDT (00:40 UTC) that evening.

The airport resumed outgoing flight services Sunday, although several incoming flights landed at Lambert Saturday evening. Slay said the airport will be running at 70 percent capacity until mid-week, depending on the availability of airline crew members and planes. Airlines using Concourse C will have their operations temporarily relocated, he added. On Sunday, Southwest was operating at normal capacity, while AirTran moved to Concourse B and canceled four of its eleven scheduled flights. A spokesperson for American said the airline would have planes ready for normal Monday operations. American had previously canceled all St. Louis flights scheduled for Sunday.

It was horrific and for that much damage to been done, to have no loss of life, is truly a blessing

On Saturday afternoon, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon arrived at Lambert and visited areas devastated by the tornado. He originally planned to tour Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, and Berkeley, but Nixon was only able to tour Berkeley due to an approaching line of storms. While in St. Louis, the governor said 750 Missouri homes had been damaged by Friday’s tornadoes and that federal assistance was forthcoming. Nixon reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was involved in assessing storm damage, as well as that US President Barack Obama had already contacted him, promising relief funds. US Representative Lacy Clay, said Saturday that he would brief Obama on the situation.

The state declared the affected areas of St. Louis County a disaster area. No one has reported serious injuries or deaths as a result of the storm, although some people were treated for minor injuries. “It was horrific and for that much damage to been done, to have no loss of life, is truly a blessing,” Slay said.

Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires elected as Pope Francis

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Roman Catholic Church has elected Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as the new pope. He is to take the papal name Francis and take over from the recently retired Benedict XVI.

White smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel chimney at 7:06pm (Rome time) yesterday, signifying that the conclave had elected a new pope after four unsuccessful attempts. Following his election, he appeared at a balcony in St. Peter’s Square to greet crowds of onlookers.

Introducing himself in St. Peter’s Square, Francis was jovial: “Brothers and sisters, good evening. You know that the work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth. Thank you for the welcome.” He went on to say: “Let’s begin this long road from the Bishop of Rome to the people. Let us all behave with love and charity. Let us pray always not just for ourselves, but for others, for everyone in the word”.

Born in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936 and now aged 76, the new pope became a bishop in 1992, and was elevated to cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. As a child, he lost a lung due to an infection. He is the first Jesuit pope and the first from the Americas. He was the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina from 2005 to 2011.

US President Barack Obama made a statement about the election of the new pope: “On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy.” Obama’s statement noted the new pope was a “champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us”, and “[as] the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world”.

US House Speaker John Boehner also pointed out the new pope came from the Americas: “I think that reaching out beyond the traditional continent of our church is another big step in the right direction of our church.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the papal election was “a momentous day for the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world”.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the election of a new Pope was of “great significance to Christians everywhere, not least Anglicans”. He went on to describe the new pope: “Pope Francis is well known as a compassionate pastor of real stature who has served the poor in Latin America, and whose simplicity and holiness of life is remarkable. He is an evangelist, sharing the love of Christ which he himself knows.”

In Argentina, he was outspoken against socially liberal policies including the provision of free contraception and gay marriage. Bergoglio said plans to legalize gay marriage in Argentina were “a plan to destroy God’s plan” and “a move by the father of lies to confuse and deceive the children of God”.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Francis would be known as Pope Francis; “It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II”.

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A bookkeeping software packages are needful in different communication and setting your financial records. The bookkeeping software will provide the data that point to specific task related to particular company. There are many accounting transaction occurred in any organization and bookkeeping software can transfer business related financial tracks of the business from owners fingertips. The bookkeeping software is containing accounts payable procedures, accounts receivable management, inventory control, online payroll services and permanent assets accounting. Some tracks of transaction records can saw you by general ledger accounting software in the various categories.

In the organization, important thing is that to choose right choice of bookkeeping software which meets your bookkeeping business requirements and provides you easy operate system. What type of information useful for bookkeeping business is real important task to perform accurate, fulfill the requirement of the management and easy to operate the bookkeeping software systems. As well as amount of time is requiring for setup and maintain should be consider. The bookkeeping accounting software should be easy to understand so that you can quick operate and get you relevance output. Therefore some bookkeeping software user goes for QuickBooks. QuickBooks is one of the option for provide you simple financial reports that is easy to read. Important thing is to choice bookkeeping software which suits to your business needs.

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Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans graduate students

See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list.Tuesday, September 13, 2005

NAICU has created a list of colleges and universities accepting and/or offering assistance to displace faculty members. [1]Wednesday, September 7, 2005

This list is taken from Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students, and is intended to make searching easier for faculty, graduate, and professional students.

In addition to the list below, the Association of American Law Schools has compiled a list of law schools offering assistance to displaced students. [2] As conditions vary by college, interested parties should contact the Office of Admissions at the school in question for specific requirements and up-to-date details.

The Association of American Medical Colleges is coordinating alternatives for medical students and residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. [3]

ResCross.net is acting as a central interactive hub for establishing research support in times of emergency. With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible. [4]

With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible.

Physics undergraduates, grad students, faculty and high school teachers can be matched up with housing and jobs at universities, schools and industry. [5] From the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Society of Physics Students, the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society.

If you are seeking or providing assistance, please use this site to find information on research support, available lab space/supplies, resources, guidelines and most importantly to communicate with fellow researchers.

The following is a partial list, sorted by location.

Alabama |Alaska |Arizona |Arkansas |California |Colorado |Connecticut |Delaware |District of Columbia |Florida |Georgia |Hawaii |Idaho |Illinois |Indiana |Iowa |Kansas |Kentucky |Louisiana |Maine |Maryland |Massachusetts |Michigan |Minnesota |Mississippi |Missouri |Montana |Nebraska |Nevada |New Hampshire |New Jersey |New Mexico |New York |North Carolina |North Dakota |Ohio |Oklahoma |Oregon |Pennsylvania |Rhode Island |South Carolina |South Dakota |Tennessee |Texas |Utah |Vermont |Virginia |Washington |West Virginia |Wisconsin |Wyoming |Canada

Aerosmith sued over late cancellation of gig in Maui, Hawaii

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fans of the American hard rock band Aerosmith have launched legal action against the band in response to a late cancellation of a scheduled concert on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

Attorney Brandee Faria filed a class action suit in Hawaii Circuit Court on October 19. The suit alleges that the band’s cancellation cost fans between US$500,000 (€349,944) and $3 million (€2.1 million) in travel and accommodation costs, as well as other related expenses.

The sold-out September 26 Maui concert – originally planned months before as the final show of a world tour that began in Brazil in April – was canceled by the band on the basis that they could not make it to the island in time after a September 24 concert in Chicago. The Chicago concert, which attracted 18,000 people, was rescheduled at the last minute after the original September 10 concert date had been postponed due to illness.

The band canceled the show at Maui’s War Memorial Stadium, which was set to be attended by 9,000 people, and apologized to fans. The band’s management company, HK Management Inc., gave no initial reason when they canceled on September 20, but blamed logistical reasons by the next day.

However, just days later, on September 29, the band traveled to the neighbor island of Oahu to play a corporate event in Honolulu for Toyota car dealers and private guests. An audience of 6,000 people celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Japanese automobile manufacturer at the University of Hawaii, with Toyota paying $500,000 (€349,944) to hire the campus. Aerosmith received $1 million (€700,000) to perform at the event. Faria alleges that Aerosmith abandoned the scheduled public concert on Maui in favor of the more lucrative corporate event on Oahu.

“…Defendants simply canceled the only public performance by Aerosmith in favor of the larger Chicago venue and the lucrative, private concert for the Toyota car dealers,” the complaint states.

Local officials had hoped the concert would attract other big names to the island.

Faria said that “I’ve had people contact me being out of pocket at much as $800 or $900,” adding that if the cancellation is found to be deceptive ticket holders may be eligible for a minimum of $1,000 each. The complaint also says that those aged 62 or over should receive at least $5,000 each. Currently about a dozen ticket holders are involved with the suit. If the action is approved by a judge, steps will be taken to contact everyone who purchased a ticket.