Five tourists die in car crash in South African park

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Five tourists die in car crash in South African park

By | April 18, 2019

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Five tourists including a child, have been killed in a car accident in Kruger National Park in South Africa. Four of the tourists were from Austria and one was from Germany. The driver survived the crash with minor injuries.

On Thursday November 29, the tourists were traveling in a Mercedes-Benz 4×4, near a gate to the park when the driver “miscalculated” the turn onto a bridge crossing the Letaba river, causing the car to plunge over the edge, flip over and fall into the river below with the roof in the river’s water.

No names have been released as authorities are attempting to contact the family members of those killed. It is not known if the driver will be charged.

Indian Government blocks Blogger, Typepad and Geocities

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Indian Government blocks Blogger, Typepad and Geocities

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Monday, July 17, 2006

The Government of India has reportedly instructed Internet Service Providers to block Blogger, Typepad and Geocities, among around twelve other domains perceived to be hosting ‘radical’ and ‘anti-India’ websites. Many Internet users in India were unable to access blogs over the weekend.

The ISPs which have complied with this alleged directive are Spectranet, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), Reliance Powersurfer, Airtel Broadband and Sify, among others. Spectranet has confirmed that it has received such a directive, saying that the list of blocked sites ran into 22 pages.

As of now, there has been no official confirmation from the government in any form. Bloggers are reportedly “furious” at the action by the government and are planning collective action against the government, including filing a Right to Information request under the Right to Information Act passed in 2005.

World’s oldest seaborne passenger vessel on tour as floating library

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World’s oldest seaborne passenger vessel on tour as floating library

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May 2, 2005

The Merchant Vessel (MV) Doulos, listed in the Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest active ocean-going passenger ship, has docked in the port of Muscat, Sultanate of Oman this week. The ship was built in 1914, two years after the Titanic, but unlike the more famous luxury liner, Doulos has over 90 years of safe sailing to her credit. This “Grand Old Lady of the Sea” has undergone several periods of rebuilding and expansion throughout the 20th century and sailed under three different names, before being purchased by a Christian missionary group, Operation Mobilisation (OM), in 1977 and converted for their use.

Doulos bills itself as “the world’s largest floating book fair”, and carries half a million books which represent about 6,000 distinct titles, which are donated and sold for modest fees to support the vessel’s operation. The books represent Christian literature and educational material in various languages. Sailing from port to port throughout Asia and Africa, the crew of the Doulos sometimes finds itself faced with local restrictions against the sale of Christian literature, which it handles by separating the sacred books from the secular with a canvas divider, and evangelizing the guards who are sent to control access to the banned books.

Most places visited by the Doulos and its sister ship Logos II (which travels North and South America) receive them with an enthusiastic welcome. “Most places we visit don’t have Borders or Barnes and Noble,” said Lane Powell, publications editor for OM. “In other countries literature is more highly valued and this can be the biggest thing in town,” Powell continued in his interview with ASSIST News Service. “People line up one to two miles in some parts of the world. We have 6,000 people coming on the Logos II in one day.”

The OM website claims that, since 1970, the two ships have together reached 30 million people in 140 countries, in 435 ports around the world. The crews themselves are also quite international in character, with volunteers from 50 different countries. Powell gives credit to their shared Christian background for their ability to get along with each other despite their differences. The names of their ships also have Christian meaning: doulos means “servant” and logos means “word”, as in holy scripture.

The ship recently sailed to Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt before coming to the Gulf of Oman, and docking in its Sultan Qaboos port, where it was received in style by the Tourism Minister Rajiha bint Abdulameer bin Ali, one of three female ministers in the cabinet. Oman is the only country in the Gulf to have its own tourism ministry, created last year to encourage visitors to come partake in Omani life and culture.

Said bin Ali to the Daily Times, “We are absolutely delighted to have a roving library second to none, busy inculcating reading habits among people at a time when it matters most.”

Also speaking to the Daily Times, Murthadha Hassan Ali said, “The importance of such a visit can’t be over-emphasised in days when reading habits are waning and people are swarming restaurants as if we were born only to eat… Book remains your best companion, TV or no TV.” Ali described himself as a “compulsive book reader”, and wants someday to start a public library in the capital city of Muscat, which currently has none.

The 425 foot long (130m) library will weigh anchor and continue its missionary journey starting May 9, with plans to sail to Kenya, on Africa’s east coast.

Nigerian parliament votes to make vice president acting president

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Nigerian parliament votes to make vice president acting president

By | April 17, 2019

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Goodluck Jonathan, vice-president of Nigeria, has become the country’s acting president after president Umaru Yar’Adua travelled to Saudi Arabia last November to receive medical treatment for a heart condition.

In a televised address, Jonathan commented, “I am fully aware of the responsibilities reposed in me, and I want to reassure all Nigerians that this is a sacred trust, which I shall discharge to my fullest abilities. […] The circumstances — in which I find myself assuming office today as acting president of our country — are uncommon, sober and reflective.”

He added, “[m]ore than ever therefore, I urge all Nigerians as a people who have faith in God to pray fervently for the full recovery of our dear president, and his early return”.Yesterday saw both houses of the Nigerian National Assembly approve a motion for Jonathan to become president until Yar’Adua is able to return. Under the country’s constitution, executive power can be transferred when parliament is formally informed by the president that he is absent. Yar’Adua apparently had not done so; however, senate leader David Mark said that Yar’Auda’s comments in an interview with the BBC last month were sufficient notice.

Some political analysts, however, have indicated the assembly’s move might not be legally binding, and could face a court challenge.

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2008 Boao Forum for Asia starts with sectors on economy, environment, and the Internet

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2008 Boao Forum for Asia starts with sectors on economy, environment, and the Internet

By | April 16, 2019

Sunday, April 13, 2008

“2008 Boao Forum for Asia” started two days ago in Bo’ao, Hainan, China, and participated with government and industrial executives worldwide. Because revolutions in the Web 3.0 era have made a major impact on global economy, several elites from the Internet industry like Kai-Fu Lee provided forecasts for this key industry in the forum.

Furthermore, Vincent Siew, the vice-president elect, provided his comments in the forum. But two coalitions (Pan-Blues and Pan-Greens) declared different comments on Siew’s participation.

But due to a hot topic of environment and greenhouse effect, Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, winner of 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, commented on this forum: “There were several sectors on energy-saving, not governments, but the public should play a great role in this global warming era.”

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Fifty killed in commuter plane crash in Clarence Center, New York

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Fifty killed in commuter plane crash in Clarence Center, New York

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Friday, February 13, 2009

A Continental Connection flight from Newark to Buffalo crashed into a house about four to six miles from Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Thursday night, killing 50 people, officials said.

Continental Airlines Flight 3407 is a daily commuter flight from Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo, New York, operated under the Continental Connection brand by Virginia-based regional airline Colgan Air.

The Buffalo News has reported that the plane, a Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop with tail number N200WQ has crashed into a home located at 6038 Long Street, not far from the Clarence Center Fire Hall in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence Center approximately 10:17 p.m. EST (03:20 UTC), Thursday, February 12, 2009. Three people were inside the house.

According to Becky Gibbons of New York State Police and Chris Collins County Executive in Erie County, New York, the total number of fatalities is 50, including 45 passengers, four crew members and a person on the ground, while a woman and daughter on the ground were injured, near the edge of farmland, about seven miles from Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Karen Wielinski, age 57, and her daughter, Jill, age 22 were brought to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Williamsville where they are in stable condition in the emergency room. The father, Douglas C. Wielinski, 61 died from his injuries. Two volunteer firefighters are also being treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries. They are expected to be released later Friday morning.

The crew member names have been released as of 8:20 AM EST, and are listed as: Captain Marvin Renslow, First Officer Rebecca Shaw, Flight Attendant Matilda Quintero, Flight Attendant Donna Prisco, and Captain Joseph Zuffoletto who was an off-duty crew member.

One of the crash victims, Beverly Eckert, of Stamford, Connecticut and widow of 9/11 terror attack victim, Buffalo native, Sean Rooney, was coming home for her husband’s 58th birthday celebration. Her sister, Sue Bourque noted to The Buffalo News, “We know she was on that plane and now she’s with him.” Chris Kausner has said his sister Elise, age 24, a law student, was on board the plane. “I’m thinking about the fact that my mother has to fly home from Florida and what I’m going to tell my two sons,” he said.

The plane, which was carrying over 2.5 tonnes (5,000 pounds) of fuel, impacted a residence that was completely destroyed. Amid rain and sleet, the ill-fated plane exploded into a huge orange fireball, sparking a large fire which emergency crews had to contain. Twelve houses near the crash site were evacuated.

The aircraft in question was on approach to land at the nearby Buffalo Niagara International Airport when it disappeared from radar.

It sounded quite loud, and then the sound stopped. Then one or two seconds later, there was a thunderous explosion. The whole sky was lit up orange.

According to recordings from air traffic control, the pilot did not report any problem to approach control, and could not be contacted by the Buffalo tower after handoff. “Can other planes see anything?” asked the traffic controller, but no one has responded. The pilot’s last comment was “Colgan Flight 3407,” but there were no sounds of distress.

The Buffalo News has reported that crew members aboard the flight from Newark Airport reported mechanical problems as they approached Buffalo. Weather conditions were reported to be a wintry mix in the area, with light snow, fog, and 17 mile per hour winds.

In the 31-minute audio-recording there are conversations between the cockpit, air traffic control and other aircraft in the vicinity. Following take-off from Newark Airport, a female voice (pilot) in the 3407 plane’s cockpit is heard informing air authorities that her aircraft was turning on approach to landing. The pilot stopped communicating at 2,300ft.

“This aircraft was 5 miles out, all of a sudden we have no response from that aircraft,” the controller declares. 21 minutes and 45 seconds into the recording, the control tower informs a JetBlue Airlines: “…apparently we have an emergency, I’ll have to get back to you,” reported The Daily Telegraph.

We know she was on that plane and now she’s with him.

“It was cold, snowing and dark but these planes are designed to fly in icy conditions. However, those conditions can be very fickle and if ice builds up on a plane it can be very difficult. At this time of year, when a pilot crashes approaching an airport that they will know well, the first thing you look at is the weather,” said David Learmount, of Flight International.

Continental Airlines Inc. said Colgan Air was in the process of collecting information. “Continental extends its deepest sympathy to the family members and loved ones of those involved in this accident. We are providing our full assistance to Colgan Air so that together we can provide as much support as possible for all concerned,” said Larry Kellner, CEO of Continental Airlines since December 2004.

The Bombardier Dash 8 a 74-seat is a twin-engined, medium range, turboprop airliner.

According to the Ascend Online Fleets database, Colgan, a company of about 1,100 employees has a fleet of 15 Bombardier Dash 8’s, along with 3 Hawker Beechcraft 1900D and 38 Saab 340B turboprops. Flight 3407’s airplane was less than one year old and had flown for only about 1,500 hours, said Kieran Daly, of the online aviation news service Air Transport Intelligence, saying that the doomed turboprop plane is one of the safest of its type.

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has permanently grounded its Dash 8s fleet after three crash landings during a two-month period in 2007 caused by faulty landing gear. “Confidence in the Q400 has diminished considerably and our customers are becoming increasingly doubtful about flying in this type of aircraft,” said Mats Jansson, SAS president and CEO. “I have decided to immediately remove Dash 8 Q400 aircraft from service,” he added.

“There is ‘no indication of any security related event’ that brought the plane down,” said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko. Conditions of freezing drizzle, known as hard rime, were the most likely cause of the tragedy.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has announced that they would send a team to the crash site on Friday to begin the investigation. Lorenda Ward will serve as chief investigator with the assistance of NTSB Commissioner Steven Chealander and public affairs officer Keith Holloway. Ward has investigated several other plane crashes — including the 2006 New York City plane crash that claimed the life of New York Yankees pitcher Corey Lidle.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic accident that occurred tonight in Clarence. Our focus right now is on supporting the first responders on the ground and their efforts to ensure the health and safety of people in the area,” said Chris Lee, an Republican politician from Corning, New York, representing the 26th Congressional District of New York.

The tragedy is the nation’s deadliest disaster since the Comair Flight 191 crashed in Lexington, Kentucky in August 2006. Delta Air Lines Flight 5191 was a scheduled U.S. domestic passenger flight from Lexington, Kentucky, to Atlanta, Georgia. On the morning of August 27, 2006, the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet 100ER that was being used for the flight crashed while attempting to take off from Blue Grass Airport in Fayette County, Kentucky, four miles (6 kilometers) west of the central business district of the City of Lexington.

Financially, Continental is faced with volatile fuel prices amid a slowdown from the weak economy. It has posted losses of $585 million for 2008.

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Security Council backs ceasefire in Israel-Lebanon conflict

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Security Council backs ceasefire in Israel-Lebanon conflict

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved Resolution 1701 calling for a “full cessation of hostilities” in the Israeli-Lebanon war and for international and Lebanese troops to replace Israeli troops in south Lebanon.

The UN decree comes on the heels of an Israeli government decision to expand its offensive in Lebanon. Sources say that Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert will bring the UN resolution to cabinet for discussion on Sunday. Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said that his government was likely to agree to the resolution.

“I do not want to preempt the Cabinet decision, but the language as I see it now — and I’m being careful — if the language of the resolution doesn’t change, I view this resolution very positively and, of course, the crux is implementation,” Ayalon said. “If this resolution will be enforced, then we solve the problem of Lebanon,” said the Israeli envoy.

Hezbollah officials have not responded to the UN action. The Lebanese cabinet meets Saturday to discuss the resolution.

Lebanese leaders have cautiously welcomed the resolution which had been delayed for almost a week due to negotiations over its wording. U.N. Ambassador Nouhad Mahmoud of Lebanon said; “The Lebanese are not comfortable with the Israeli distinctions of what is defensive and what is offensive.”

The resolution calls for Hezbollah to end its attacks on Israel and for Israel to end “offensive military operations” in Lebanon. It also raises the strength of the UN peacekeepers in Lebanon, the United Nations Interim Force (Unifil), from 2,000 to a maximum of 15,000, and gives it an expanded mandate to enforce the ceasefire. A portion of the UN language expanding that force’s Chapter 6 mandate reads: “Acting in support of a request from the government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes Unifil to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind… “

The U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, responding on Friday during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to the difference between a UN Chapter 7 mandate, and the current mandate for Unifil in Lebanon said:

So this force has a big mandate, it has a robust mandate, it has a mandate that will allow it to defend itself and to defend that mandate. But it’s never been the expectation that this force is going to disarm Hezbollah. That will have to be done by the Lebanese……Chapter 7 is very often used when a government is not prepared to accept a force. Lebanon is prepared to accept this force, but this is an absolutely robust mandate. This, by the way, is what helped the Israeli government. They were concerned earlier about the mandate. After we talked about this enhanced mandate in the revised resolution, I think the government of Israel saw that it met their needs.

Israel is to withdraw its troops from southern Lebanon as UN and Lebanese troops are deployed. The resolution outlines plans for the disarmament of Hezbollah and for a settlement of the Israeli-Lebanese border.

The UN also called for the unconditional release by Hezbollah of two Israeli soldiers it captured on July 12th, precipitating the conflict.

123 Israelis, including 40 civilians, and 861 Lebanese, mostly civilians, have been killed in the 31-day old war.

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Planning Outdoor Weddings In Tucson

By | April 14, 2019

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Outdoor weddings come with many advantages. You get to enjoy the bright blue skies, the natural beauty, and romantic breezes. At least this is how you are going to envision it, though sometimes things won’t go as you plan them. Still, there are things you can do to help ensure that your day goes off without a hitch.

Weather

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Outdoor weddings in Tucson are unpredictable when it comes to the weather. When you decide on an outdoor wedding, it is a good idea to have a tent set up to offer your guests shade, and protection from the rain is always a good idea. The last thing you want to deal with is your guests getting too warm or ending up soaking wet from the rain. Create a backup wedding plan that you can put into place if the forecast shows rain on the day of your wedding. Click here for a more detailed report that often breaks the weather down into an hourly forecast.

Power

While the scenery comes naturally, when the sun goes down you are going to be left in the dark. When planning outdoor weddings or receptions, you need to consider how you are going to power the DJ’s sound system, the lights, and any kitchen appliances your caterer might need.

Seating

If you are going to have a ceremony that is longer than ten minutes, it is a good idea to have seats for your guests, so they aren’t standing and craning their necks trying to see what is happening. Even if you are having a short ceremony, you should have some chairs available for those who need to sit.

A final consideration to make is how people are going to get from one area of your wedding to the next. Many people are going to take the shortest path, but that might not always be the best for the set-up that outdoor weddings require. Consider designating a wide route that is easy to walk on by putting down stepping stones, or by using carpet to mark the paths. Click here for more information.

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Wikinews interviews Australian Statistician Brian Pink

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Wikinews interviews Australian Statistician Brian Pink

By | April 10, 2019

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is responsible for some of Australia’s largest surveys, including the Census of Population and Housing, held every five years. At its head is the Australian Statistician. The current Statistician, Brian Pink, started in his position on March 5, 2007, following the retirement of predecessor Dennis Trewin. Wikinews recently caught up with Brian Pink to talk with him about his first year in the position, as well as his previous tenure as Government Statistician at Statistics New Zealand, and the state of mathematical education in Australia.

((WikiNews)) : Good afternoon.

Brian Pink: Good afternoon.

((WN)) : And congratulations on spending a year as Australian Statistician.

BP: Yes, it’s gone very quickly. (laughs)

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Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

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Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

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