Aug 20

Building collapse in Barbados traps family

Sunday, August 26, 2007Miami Dade Fire Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue Florida Task Force 1 Members were on the scene since last night. Search dogs worked the scene all night.

According to current reports, sometime early this morning, an apartment building in Brittons Hill, Barbados fell into a cave below.

Five family members are known to be trapped in the collapse, although reports have not be made as to whether these are the only individuals involved. Rescue workers, as well as several prominent politicians are currently on the scene; two cranes have been deployed to remove debris. Evacuation has occurred, with an extension of this area being discussed.

Miami Dade Police arrived on the scene late Sunday night and are now in a joint effort with the Barbados Defence Force, Barbados Fire Service and Royal Barbados Police Force to rescue possible survivors. Prime Minister Owen Arthur also stated that surveys are currently being conducted to determine the stability of the surrounding area, and only after these reports have been compiled will residents know whether they will be able to return to their homes.

A cadaver dog was sent into the cavern and has identified two areas where there are possible dead bodies. Sadly it is no longer a rescue mission but recovery one.

Posted in Uncategorized
Aug 19

Microsoft buys online ad firm Aquantive for $6 billion

Friday, May 18, 2007

Microsoft have today paid $6 billion (£3 billion) for the online marketing firm Aquantive. The takeover will pave the way for Microsoft to expand into the $40 billion online advertising market currently dominated by Google and Yahoo!.

Kevin Johnson, the head of Microsoft’s platforms and services division, said “This deal takes our advertising business to a new level” and follows the recent acquisitions by Google and Yahoo who bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, and the remaining 80% of Right Media Exchange for $680 million respectively.

Aquantive will remain at its base in Seattle with its current staff of around 2.600, but will work as part of Microsoft’s online operations.

The deal is expected to be completed by early 2008, subject to regulation.

Posted in Uncategorized
Aug 19

Canada’s west coast battles high winds

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Currently, there are blackouts, heavy rain, and high winds in British Columbia. Over 220,000 BC Hydro customers have no power. Buildings have already collapsed and trees have been knowed down. Five Vancouver rivers were in danger of flooding, which rain fell at 10 mm an hour for more than six hours at midday.

The steel frame of a four-storey building under construction in Vancouver collapsed. Construction workers escaped injury, luckily they were on a coffee break at the time of the incident. The steel frame crushed cars in a parking lot and missed a truck driver.

Citizens had to evacuate a subdivision of 30 homes. The winds smashed trees into houses in West Vancouver.

“We have some real fears here with electrical problems,” said Captain Rob Jones Cook of the Vancouver Fire Department. “This is impinging on electrical poles and lamp standards. We also have hydro bus lines running down two sides of the building.” The Vancouver Fire Department says they have no idea as to why the building collapsed.

Winds are gusting at more than 100 kilometres an hour (62 mph) in some areas and rainfall amounts of 50 to 130 millimetres.

According BC Hydro spokeswoman Elisha Moreno, the hardest-hit areas are Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford and Mission, B.C. “We’re trying to be optimistic and hoping it’s by end of day today, but there may very well be customers that are into the early-morning hours before restoration,” Moreno said.

Extensive ferry cancellations, road closures, and massive power outages are in effect until the storm ends.

The RCMP have advised people to stay home and off the highway.

The same heavy weather has also affected nearby Washington State, USA.

Posted in Uncategorized
Aug 18

Suicide car bomber kills seven in Kohat, Pakistan

Monday, April 19, 2010

Seven people were killed and 26 injured in the city of Kohat in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday after a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb near a police station, police officials said.

“It was a suicide attack, the target was a police station,” Dilawar Khan Bangash, police chief of Kohat, told AFP news agency. He said that all those killed in the attack were civilians. The explosion occurred at the back of the police station.

“Seven people have been killed and 21 were injured in this car suicide attack,” Abdullah Jan, another high ranking police official, told reporters. His statement was made soon after the attack, before the number of injured was revised upward. “These incidents are a reaction to the military operation in the tribal areas,” he claimed. Another police officer confirmed what Jan and Bangash had said, saying that approximately 200 kilograms of explosives were used.

The station was badly affected by the attack, and three rooms of a government-run primary school were destroyed. Seven local shops were also severely damaged.

This attack occurred a day after an earlier suicide bombing killed over 40 people near the same city, and two days after an attack in southern Pakistan killed upwards of ten people.

Posted in Uncategorized
Aug 17

NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the agency responsible for investigating transportation accidents in the United States, released updates on three major investigations on June 14.

The NTSB, well known publicly for its involvement in the investigation of aviation incidents which involve harm or loss of human life, is also an agency that oversees the transportation of refined petroleum and gas products, chemicals and minerals.

The agency determined the cause of a natural gas pipeline explosion that killed six. It also detailed the cause of an accidental release of 204,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia from a pipeline in an environmentally sensitive area, and released preliminary information involving two commercial aircraft coming within 30-50 feet of each other on a runway.

In the gas explosion disaster, the towing vessel Miss Megan, which was of specifications that did not require inspection by the United States Coast Guard, was being operated in the West Cote Blanche Bay oil field in Louisiana by Central Boat Rentals on behalf of Athena Construction on October 12, 2006. The Miss Megan was pushing barge IBR 234, which was tied along the starboard side of barge Athena 106, en route to a pile-driving location. Athena Construction did not require its crews to pin mooring spuds (vertical steel shafts extending through wells in the bottom of the boat and used for mooring) securely in place on its barges and consequently this had not been done. During the journey, the aft spud on the Athena 106 released from its fully raised position. The spud dropped into the water and struck a submerged, high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The resulting gas released ignited and created a fireball that engulfed the towing vessel and both barges. The master of the towing vessel and four barge workers were killed. The Miss Megan deckhand and one barge worker survived. One barge worker is officially listed as missing.

The NTSB blames Athena Construction for the disaster, citing in the final report that Athena Construction’s manual contained no procedures mandating the use of the safety devices on the spud winch except during electrical work. It was found that if the Athena 106 crew had used the steel pins to secure the retracted spuds during their transit, a pin would have prevented the aft spud from accidentally deploying. Furthermore, the spud would have remained locked in its lifted position regardless of whether the winch brake mechanism, the spud’s supporting cable, or a piece of connecting hardware had failed.

The NTSB also found that contributing to the accident was the failure of Central Boat Rentals to require, and the Miss Megan master to ensure, that the barge spuds were securely pinned before getting under way. The Board noted that investigators found no evidence that the Miss Megan master or deckhand checked whether the spuds had been properly secured before the tow began. While Central Boat Rentals had a health and safety manual and trained its crews, the written procedures did not specifically warn masters about the need to secure spuds or other barge equipment before navigating. The NTSB stated that the company’s crew should have been trained to identify potential safety hazards on vessels under their control.

NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said of the investigation’s results, “Having more rigorous requirements in place could have prevented this accident from occurring. Not only do these regulations need to be put in place but it is imperative that they are enforced and adhered to.”

The NTSB has made a number of safety recommendations as a result of this accident and the subsequent investigation. Recommendations were made to Athena Construction and Central Boat Rentals to develop procedures and train the employees of its barges to use the securing pins to hold spuds safely in place before transiting from one site to another.

The most major of the other recommendations are:

To the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • Direct the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health to issue the following documents document to the maritime industry: (1) a fact sheet regarding the accident, and (2) a guidance document regarding the need to secure the gear on barges, including spud pins, before the barges are moved, and detailing any changes to your memorandum of understanding with the Coast Guard.

To the U. S. Coast Guard

  • Finalize and implement the new towing vessel inspection regulations and require the establishment of safety management systems appropriate for the characteristics, methods of operation, and nature of service of towing vessels.
  • Review and update your memorandum of understanding with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to specifically address your respective oversight roles on vessels that are not subject to Coast Guard inspection.

The NTSB also released the result of its investigation into an environmental disaster in Kansas on October 27, 2004 in which 204,000 gallons (4,858 barrels) of anhydrous ammonia was spilled from a ruptured pipeline in Kingman into an environmentally sensitive area. Chemicals from the pipeline entered a nearby stream and killed more than 25,000 fish, including some fish from threatened species.

The incident reached the scale that it did due to operator error after the initial rupture. The 8 5/8-inch diameter steel pipeline, which was operated by Enterprise Products Operating L.P., burst at 11:15 a.m. in an agricultural area about 6 miles east of Kingman, Kansas. A drop in pipeline pressure, indicating abnormal conditions or a possible compromise in pipeline integrity, set off alarms displayed on the computerized pipeline monitoring system. Shortly after the first alarm the pipeline controller, in an attempt to remedy the low pressure, increased the flow of anhydrous ammonia into the affected section of pipeline. A total of 33 minutes elapsed between the time when the first alarm indicated a problem with the pipeline and the initiation of a shutdown.

In its initial report to the National Response Center (NRC), the pipeline operator’s accident reporting contractor reported a release of at least 20 gallons of ammonia, telling the NRC that an updated estimate of material released would be reported at a later time. No such report was ever made. Because of the inaccurate report, the arrival of representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency was delayed by a full day, affecting the oversight of the environmental damage mitigation efforts.

The cause of the rupture itself was determined to be a pipe gouge created by heavy equipment damage to the pipeline during construction in 1973 or subsequent excavation activity at an unknown time that initiated metal fatigue cracking and led to the eventual rupture of the pipeline.

“We are very fortunate that such highly toxic chemicals of the size and scope involved in this accident were not released in a populated area,” commented Rosenker. “Had this same quantity of ammonia been released near a town or city, the results could have been catastrophic.”

As a result of this accident, the NTSB made the following safety recommendations:

To the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

  • Require that a pipeline operator must have a procedure to calculate and provide a reasonable initial estimate of released product in the telephonic report to the National Response Center.
  • Require that a pipeline operator must provide an additional telephonic report to the National Response Center if significant new information becomes available during the emergency response.
  • Require an operator to revise its pipeline risk assessment plan whenever it has failed to consider one of more risk factors that can affect pipeline integrity.

To Enterprise Products Operating L.P.:

  • Provide initial and recurrent training for all controllers that includes simulator or noncomputerized simulations of abnormal operating conditions that indicate pipeline leaks.

“The severity of this release of dangerous chemicals into the community could have been prevented,” said Rosenker. “The safety recommendations that we have made, if acted upon, will reduce the likelihood of this type of accident happening again.”

As well as concluding their investigation of the above accidents, the NTSB also released preliminary information regarding a serious runway incursion at San Francisco International Airport between two commercial aircraft on May 26, 2007.

At about 1:30 p.m. the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines flight 5741, an Embraer 120 arriving from Modesto, California, to land on runway 28R. Forgetting about the arrival airplane, the same controller then cleared Republic Airlines flight 4912, an Embraer 170 departing for Los Angeles, to take off from runway 1L, which intersects runway 28R.

After the SkyWest airliner touched down, the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) alerted and the air traffic controller transmitted “Hold, Hold, Hold” to the SkyWest flight crew in an attempt to stop the aircraft short of runway 1L. The SkyWest crew applied maximum braking that resulted in the airplane stopping in the middle of runway 1L. As this was occurring, the captain of Republic Airlines flight 4912 took control of the aircraft from the first officer, realized the aircraft was traveling too fast to stop, and initiated an immediate takeoff. According to the crew of SkyWest 5741, the Republic Airlines aircraft overflew theirs by 30 to 50 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration has categorized the incident as an operational error.

The NTSB sent an investigator to San Francisco, who collected radar data, recorded air traffic control communications, and flight crew statements, and interviewed air traffic control personnel prior to the NTSB making the preliminary release.

Posted in Uncategorized
Aug 17

Hollywood sign modified to read ‘Hollyweed’

 Correction — January 22, 2016 The vote on November 9 was of California voters, not the California legislature. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California was modified to read “Hollyweed” on Sunday. Security camera footage shows the perpetrator was dressed all in black, said Sergeant Robert Payan.

Christopher Garcia, a spokesperson of the Los Angeles Police Department, said the suspected male offender is being investigated for trespassing rather than vandalism. The sign was not physically damaged; the modification was done using black tarpaulins decorated with signs of peace and heart to alter the “O” to read lowercase “e”.

Betsy Isroelit, a Hollywood Sign Trust spokesperson said, “There was obviously recent legislation in California that may have inspired people. But to me, it looks more like a New Year’s Eve prank.” On November 9, legislators voted in favor of a ballot for legalising recreational use of marijuana in California for the age group of 21 and above.

Previously, on January 1, 1976, Daniel Finegood had vandalised the sign using curtains in a similar manner to read “Hollyweed”. As a college student, Finegood had modified the sign for an assignment in art class. Finegood, in 1990, had modified the sign again, signifying a political issue, modifying the sign to read “Oil War” to protest the Persian Gulf War.

The sign was vandalised in 1992 before the US presidential election. Supporters of presidential election candidate Ross Perot altered the sign to read “Perotwood”.

The law legalising recreational marijuana is due to come into effect in 2018.

 This story has updates See Artist who changed Hollywood sign to ‘Hollyweed’ surrenders to authorities, January 12, 2017 
Posted in Uncategorized
Aug 15

Make Yourself Prepare For Managing Your Rental Property}

Submitted by: Rachel Chappell

Having two-three properties under your flagship, although makes you a proud landlord, but it does not mean that you should not look towards your other engagements which are of the same importance as important it is for you to manage your properties. On the contrary managing rental properties is also not an easy task and there are lots of responsibilities associated with it and lag in performing in of these responsibilities might drive you to some severe problem. Therefore, to keep pace with your all engagements and property management it is imperative for you to acquire the services of any rental property management company which has a group of mavens having vast experience in dealing with all factors associated with the properties given on rent.

Today there are lots of organizations offering the service of managing your rental properties, but unfortunately not all of them are reliable. Although undoubtedly all of them indoors to offer you services which are authentic and not offered by others in their segment. But the real picture about their services come in light only when you acquire their services and found yourself caught in the web of confusing terms and conditions determined by them. To get rid of such problems it would be beneficial for you to properly conduct a market survey about the types of services offered by different rental property management companies and undergo the feedback from their earlier clients.

Apart from this, as you are contacting to any of such companies for the first time it would be better to get your all doubts cleared with them before engaging with their services. Going through the following paragraphs you will understand the factors which you should keep in concern before managing your properties given on rent through some property management company.

1. You should try to know the types of services that would be offered to you by these companies. Different types of services offered by property management companies are regular visits to your property, looking after its maintenance, collection of monthly rent from tenants, and also consist of the charges that the company will bear to get your property vacated if it finds bugs trying to keep their illegal control on your property.

2. You should also adopt a realistic approach before entering into the business of property. There are cases when during the year, sometimes the cost of rental property reaches of the peak and sometimes it reaches at the beneath. You should have an efficiency to control your emotions and ready to accept the fluctuations taking place in the market. You would have noticed that sometimes when a person entered on the business of property management the prices of property dumped suddenly that it become difficult for him to even enjoy the benefits of cost invested by him. But a miracle happened and prices of his property dramatically went high. Although this might be his luck, but it requires lots of courage to cope with all situations. It’s expected from you to get ready for facing all types of circumstances.

3. With this you should have ability to make a balance between your earned income and expected income. Entering into business of rental properties doesn’t make sure that you will get tenants on the very first day, when your property got developed. You will have to negotiate with your prospective tenant and make a deal which is beneficial for both of you, offering real profit to you on your investment. Moreover, as you will have to pay fees for your property management company it is possible that your earning not the same as expected by you.

4. Finally the last but not the least if you are newbie in this business it would be better for you to get familiar with the rules and regulations determined by law for landlords and the terms and conditions determined by the management companies responsible for taking care of your property.

Keeping these factors in concern will help you in not only getting ditched by fake rental property management companies, but also get rid of problems which you might face as fresh debuting in this business.

In recent years investment in property has emerged as a beneficial business which has impressed many persons towards it, offering huge profits to them on investment. But, as every coin has two sides this business has also some pros and cons. Therefore, to overcome the cons of this business, role of property management companies has emerged as the panacea of various issues associated with managing varied properties owned by property owners.

About the Author: Rachel Chappell is a assistant property manager. She completed REISA qualifications in property in the year 2014 and is dedicated City Portfolio Property Manager.


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Aug 15

Massachusetts lawmakers enact plan for universal health coverage

Friday, April 7, 2006Legislators in the Massachusetts General Court, their name for the state legislature, approved legislation on Tuesday, April 4, that would make it the first state in the United States to require all residents to have health insurance and impose penalties for non-compliance. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican who is expected to run for U.S. President in 2008, is expected to sign the bill.

The bill passed the lower house, the Massachusetts House of Representatives by a vote of 155-2, and unanimously by the state senate. The Democratic Party holds supermajorities in both houses of the legislature.

Among the bill’s provisions are these:

  1. Businesses that employ more than 10 people are required to provide health insurance for all staff or face fines of $295 per year per uninsured worker.
  2. Individuals will be required to enroll in a health plan by July 1, 2007, or face tax penalties.
  3. Health insurers will provide partially to fully subsidized coverage for low-income residents.

At least one other state (Hawaii) requires employers to provide employee health insurance, but no other state holds individuals accountable for coverage.

Posted in Uncategorized
Aug 14

Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics

Monday, December 3, 2007

At Thanksgiving dinner David Shankbone told his white middle class family that he was to interview Reverend Al Sharpton that Saturday. The announcement caused an impassioned discussion about the civil rights leader’s work, the problems facing the black community and whether Sharpton helps or hurts his cause. Opinion was divided. “He’s an opportunist.” “He only stirs things up.” “Why do I always see his face when there’s a problem?”

Shankbone went to the National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem with this Thanksgiving discussion to inform the conversation. Below is his interview with Al Sharpton on everything from Tawana Brawley, his purported feud with Barack Obama, criticism by influential African Americans such as Clarence Page, his experience running for President, to how he never expected he would see fifty (he is now 53). “People would say to me, ‘Now that I hear you, even if I disagree with you I don’t think you’re as bad as I thought,'” said Sharpton. “I would say, ‘Let me ask you a question: what was “bad as you thought”?’ And they couldn’t say. They don’t know why they think you’re bad, they just know you’re supposed to be bad because the right wing tells them you’re bad.”


  • 1 Sharpton’s beginnings in the movement
  • 2 James Brown: a father to Sharpton
  • 3 Criticism: Sharpton is always there
  • 4 Tawana Brawley to Megan Williams
  • 5 Sharpton and the African-American media
  • 6 Why the need for an Al Sharpton?
  • 7 Al Sharpton and Presidential Politics
  • 8 On Barack Obama
  • 9 The Iraq War
  • 10 Sharpton as a symbol
  • 11 Blacks and whites and talking about race
  • 12 Don Imus, Michael Richards and Dog The Bounty Hunter
  • 13 Sources
Posted in Uncategorized
Aug 13

Why Is Quad Biking So Popular In The Uk}

Why is Quad Biking so popular in the UK


Colin MitchemQuad Biking is an exhilarating activity that is soaring in popularity. Suitable for all weather conditions, the activity has become a top choice amongst the thrill seekers of our time. Quad Bikes are also known as all terrain vehicles, they are commonly called quads, four wheelers, ATVs or quad cycles. Quad Bikes are easily explained as simply, a vehicle similar to a motorcycle however with four large wheels and they are designed for agricultural, sporting, and other offroad uses. Quad Bikes can be described to be a vehicle that travels on low pressure tyres, with a seat that is straddled by the driver and with handlebars for steering.

Quad Bikes are arguably the most able vehicle when it comes to dealing with rough terrain. All event organisers are able to provide you with the right package for you and/or your groups’ level of ability. After your ride experience you will leave having gained some great memories and having learned the art of Quad Biking. There are courses from beginner to expert level to participate in and there are endless days out to try.

Quad Biking venues offer a safety introduction on arrival and demonstrations to the controls of your Quad Bike. Safety equipment would be provided by your chosen venue. Experienced staff will guide you as you explore the many varieties of Quad Biking activities. The European

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AllTerrain Vehicle Safety Institute (EASI) provides safety training courses for Quad Bike riders. The courses are offered to improve rider skills, safety levels and awareness of the capabilities of Quad Bikes.

Most venues have a shop to provide snacks which is handy if you are on a Quad Biking day out. Some venues may even offer catering so its worth asking if this is something you require. Each Quad Biking package have different duration times so depending on your experience will determine how long you are out on the Quad Bikes. Loose fitted, comfortable clothing and trainers are ideal for this activity. Also its important to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting muddy especially if the weather conditions are wet.

Age restrictions vary from venue to venue. Some locations offer Quad Biking activities for kids however some others have an age restriction for those under 18. There is potential at some venues to experience Quad Biking fun for all ages. Quad Biking is great for parties, groups, corporate events or even just individuals. It’s great fun in all weather conditions and due to popular demand there are currently more and more companies providing Quad Biking packages. There are many places in Kent that are prime to visit as they have the Garden of England as their scenery which then compliments your Quad Biking adventure.

Quad racing credentials – For fans of quad biking in Kent there are plenty of thrilling quad racing events where you can be a spectator rather than a rider. Visit Margate or Ramsgate for QRA beach cross racing events which include quads, motocross, and SSV machines, or alternatively head to the Central Park Stadium for the Sittingbourne Speedway. For those that want to see daring displays of expert quad biking, Kent is certainly the place to be.

Easy accessibility – Eat breakfast in central London and go quad biking in Kent before lunch! Our quad biking venue in West Malling is just under an hour from central London by train and is easily accessible by car. Located close to the M26 and the M20 we’re ideally located for a day trip from all over the south and east of England. If you’re quad biking as part of a stag party or hen do, you can easily head into London afterwards, or if you just want a great day out you can stay nearby and see what else the Kent countryside has to offer.

Colin Mitchem is associated with, the best

Quad Biking

venue in Kent offering guided quad bike safaris, quad hire,

quad bike training

and ATV training.

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