Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven

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Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven

Monday, November 28, 2011

The death toll from the weekend suspension bridge collapse on the Indonesian island of Borneo has risen from four to eleven. Search and rescue teams continue to look for bodies in the Mahakam River.

The number of wounded is currently 39 injured; reports from locals suggest 33 people remain missing at the scene in East Kalimantan’s Kutai Kartanegara district, where “Kalimantan’s Golden Gate Bridge” linked the towns of Tenggarong and the regional capital, Samarinda. A six-month-old baby is among the dead.

Cars, motorbikes, and buses all fell into the Mahakam River when the bridge came down during repairs. Another car was left overturned and balanced upon wreckage over the water. State-owned builders PT Hutama Karya completed the bridge about a decade ago in the image of California’s Golden Gate Bridge. A cable on the 720-metre structure is thought to have failed as workers dealt with it; six of the repair crew were reported missing yesterday. It had been the longest suspension bridge in Borneo.

Eyewitnesses described heavy traffic at the time of the collapse, and one survivor said he left his truck to investigate a traffic jam. Some people were left trapped by debris as the bridge came down. “It happened so fast, only about 30 seconds,” according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugoroho.

National search and rescue head Daryatmo said yesterday cranes will attempt to move debris today, with new reports saying echo-sounding equipment will be used to check it is safe to begin lifting. It is believed the bodies of more victims will be found trapped in vehicles beneath the water, which is 35-40 metres deep. Visibility is poor, and one official explained authorities are still unsure how many vehicles are on the riverbed.

“The above-water search is continuing, but underwater operations have not been carried out because we’re worried that the bridge’s pylons are unstable and could collapse any time,” said Nugoroho today. He explained that bodies had washed onto the riverbanks overnight and were recovered today.

The president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has sent three ministers to the site to investigate the accident, while Bambang Widaryatmo, head of East Kalimantan’s police, promised “parties found to be negligent will be prosecuted”. The government has promised a replacement ferry service. The river is closed to boats as rescue operations continue, and a 22-strong team has been dispatched from the national police, comprising six forensics experts, five disaster victim identification specialists, and eleven investigators. They are there to augment the East Kalimantan Police. Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih yesterday visited survivors in Parikesit Hospital and promised them medical treatment at government expense.

Some people swam ashore after falling, with the aftermath filled with screams. Survivor Syakrani, 24, yesterday asserted “The authorities should have closed the bridge if it was under repair.” His words were followed by a Jakarta Globe editorial declaring the accident “unacceptable”.

The Globe went on to comment upon suggestions corruption may have played a role; “It is too early to point fingers and look to place blame, but if shoddy materials were used in the building of the bridge, those responsible must answer to the public.” Another suggestion is coal barges striking the bridge may have weakened it. Local coal company Harum Energy lost five percent of its share value today amid fears the river blockage will hamper their ability to ship coal.

Samarinda’s seen a population and construction boom lately. A few years have seen the population triple and the construction of a large mosque, and a sports stadium; an airport and port are set to follow. However, the Corruption Eradication Commission warns 70% of the corruption it investigates concerns government contracts and up to 40% of money earmarked for infrastructure ends up stolen.

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Thousands of jobs to go at Corus

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Thousands of jobs to go at Corus

Sunday, January 25, 2009

International steel conglomerate Corus Group is to axe 3,500 jobs worldwide.

Up to 2,000 jobs are to be lost in the former British Steel plants in the United Kingdom. Owner Tata Steel employs 42,000 people worldwide, with 24,000 being in the UK. Corus did not comment on the report so far, but a union official told BBC News that the company would be making an announcement at 0930 UTC on Monday. The cuts would be part of long term restructuring plans made by soon to depart CEO Philippe Varin, which have been accelerated by the worldwide downturn.

Tata Steel’s sister company Tata Motors is said by The Sunday Times to be considering 1,500 job losses at the UK’s Jaguar Land Rover car manufacturer. It is not thought that any Corus plants in the UK will close outright.

Corus was formed from the merger of British Steel and the Dutch steelmaker Hoogovens, creating the ninth largest steel company in the world and the second largest in the European Union. The merger was uncomfortable and the company suffered severe financial problems in 2003. It later recovered and was bought by India’s Tata two years ago.

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Jury considers Curt Dagenais court case

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Jury considers Curt Dagenais court case

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, the jury is deliberating in the case of Curt Dagenais, charged in the July 2006 shooting deaths of two Saskatchewan RCMP officers. Justice Gerald Allbright, in his instructions to the sequestered jury, has advised the jurors that they may consider the charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter or discharging a firearm with intent to wound or endanger life, but not the charge of first-degree murder the Crown has sought.

Dagenais has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of self defense. He is charged with two counts first degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the Spiritwood Incident.

Constable Michelle Knopp survived the shoot-out which erupted after a high speed chase ended about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Spiritwood, Saskatchewan near Mildred. Constables Marc Bourdages and Robin Cameron died about one week following the shoot out which occurred July 7, 2006.

Defense lawyer Bill Roe argued self defense for Dagenais, saying he shot “in a blind panic” when RCMP officers fired upon him.

Crown prosecutor Al Johnston asserted that Dagenais shot first. Johnston asserted that Dagenais cannot be believed, that his story is presented so he can get away with murder.

The incident began with a dispute within the Dagenais family. The defendant supported his father Arthur Dagenais, and his sister supported the mother Elise Dagenais, during a divorce; his mother was to receive half the family farm from the divorce which she had previously allocated to Dagenais. Dagenais tried to speak to his mother, but the sister intervened.

Dagenais reported going to the local RCMP detachment and spoke with Constable Cameron. Constable Knopp informed Dagenais that the RCMP could not be involved in a family affair.

After Dagenais’ sister and mother went to the police, the three constables went to charge Dagenais with assault.

This is where the stories from the RCMP and Dagenais diverge. Dagenais claims that Cameron made the intial approach to arrest him and smashed his truck window, at which point Dagenais became scared and sped away from the situation. The RCMP state that Dagenais started to drive away from the situation which meant that Cameron was hit by the truck’s rear view mirror. Cameron retaliated by breaking the window. Officers Cameron and Bourdages followed the departing Dagenais in a police truck; Knopp followed in a SUV.

During the chase police sideswiped Dagenais’ truck. The RCMP say that Dagenais was unpredictable and that he had rammed their vehicle. The RCMP tried prevent Dagenais from reaching his father’s farm house fearing that there were firearms there.

The first shot was at the moving police vehicle before the crash from a stationary Dagenais vehicle…Curt Dagenais had the motive to shoot at the police vehicle and he had the opportunity to do it

There is a difference in accounts of the chase and gun battle. Dagenais claims the RCMP fired upon him first, and he fired back in self defence fearing for his life.

The chase ended after RCMP rammed into the side of Dagenais’ stopped truck. Because Dagenais was already stopped, according to collision reconstruction expert, there was time for Dagenais to shoot at the RCMP truck. A firearm expert studying trajectories of the bullets found that one of the rounds fired from Daganais’ .30-30 Winchester entered the police vehicle at a different angle than other shots fired at the truck after the collision.

Dagenais has also reported holes in his truck door.

Dagenais claims when he heard the second vehicle drive up, there was more gun fire so he returned shots himself.

Knopp testifed that she arrived at the scene in the second vehicle her ear was struck by a fragment from bullet fire. She said when she arrived Daganais fired first and that Bourdages and Cameron were already badly wounded.

Firearms experts established that Dagenais fired eight times, and the RCMP six times during the gunfight.

During the trial evidence was presented that Dagenais had previously been assaulted by police. The RCMP had identified Daganais as a police hater. There had been previous altercations between the RCMP, Daganais and his father. Dagenais had filed prior lawsuits against the RCMP.

Following the incident, Dagenias fled the scene hiding in the woods of the countryside. 200 RCMP engaged in a massive manhunt. Dagenais turned himself in July 18, 2006.

The audio from the RCMP radio was submitted as evidence, and the dispatcher had opened all the channels associated with the Shellbrook area. There is no reporting of gunfire recorded on the audio.

There was no videotape in the onboard video camera installed in Knopp’s SUV when evidence was gathered two days following the shooting. A photograph of three VHS tapes in Knopp’s vehicle has been presented. Constable Kenneth Palen after viewing a tape, testified he was instructed not to keep the videotape found on the passenger seat of the SUV and it was destroyed in the garbage.

Posted on March 21st, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Wikinews discusses the H1N1 pandemic with the CDC

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Wikinews discusses the H1N1 pandemic with the CDC

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a US government agency. In an interview with Wikinews, Jeff Dimond, a member of the Division of Media Relations for the CDC, answered a few question regarding the current situation of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

The CDC reported that during week 42 (October 18–24) of this year, the swine flu activity increased in the United States with 19 confirmed deaths by swine flu, while week 43 (Oct. 25–31) faced 15 confirmed deaths.


((Wikinews)) How does the CDC feel the media has handled the H1N1 flu pandemic?

Jeff Dimond: Media coverage has been quite good.

((WN)) What measures are the CDC taking to combat the swine flu?

JD: Public health information is being distributed nationwide, scientists worked hard to identify the H1N1 virus and produce a vaccine in record time.

((WN)) What areas around the world are affected most by the swine flu?

JD: This is a question for the WHO (World Health Organization).

((WN)) Are the current anti-flu vaccines effective and how sufficient is the current supply?

JD: All current anti-flu vaccines are effective. Manufacturers are producing doses as fast as possible. Spot shortages may occur, but there is not an overall shortage of vaccine. For the most severe cases, a drug called Peramivir has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA.

((WN)) How can one avoid infection and how deadly is this disease?

JD: Proper hand sanitation and avoidance of individuals who have flu-like symptoms is the best way to avoid becoming ill. To date more than 1000 Americans have died from LABORATORY CONFIRMED cases of H1N1 and of those 129 are under the age of 18. The most at-risk populations are pregnant women, younger people in the 18–49 age group and those with other complicating conditions such as asthma, COPD, diabetes and morbid obesity.

((WN)) What efforts have the CDC made to insure vaccines are available for those with no or poor health-care?

JD: Distribution of vaccine is up to the state health departments. CDC is not a regulatory agency.

((WN)) If someone suspects they have swine flu what would the best course of action be?

JD: They should seek medical attention.

((WN)) When will the swine flu die down and cease being a pandemic?

JD: No idea.

((WN)) Besides the CDC, what other entities, governmental and private, are involved in stopping this disease and how?

JD: All public health and medical agencies with a stake in H1N1 are cooperating to control the spread of H1N1.

((WN)) Is there a significant risk of H1N1 mutating and becoming more deadly?

JD: Flu viruses are unpredictable so there is no way of answering this question. The CDC is constantly monitoring these viruses.

Posted on March 20th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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United States begins testing equipment for demolition of a major VX nerve gas stockpile

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United States begins testing equipment for demolition of a major VX nerve gas stockpile

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Testing began on a chemical reactor at the Newport Chemical Depot near Terre Haute, Indiana on Friday morning. If successful, the reactor will be put to use destroying the large VX nerve gas stockpiles stored at the facility over the course of the next two years. After the disposal project experienced several delays, the facility announced it would begin pumping VX into a completed disposal unit for testing. The unit consists of a chemical reactor in which the VX will be mixed with water and sodium hydroxide, heated to 194°F while mixed with paddles. The resulting chemical, called hydrolysate, is chemically similar to commercial drain cleaners and has similar properties. If the test is successfully completed , the unit will continue processing the VX until the entire stockpile has been neutralized, a process projected to take two years. Administrators expect to complete testing on May 10, 2005.

According to the controversial plan, the finished waste product would be shipped to New Jersey for final reprocessing. The inert chemical would then be emptied into the Delaware River where natural attenuation would occur.

Residents near the proposed river disposal site in New Jersey oppose this idea. The contractor for the final component of this disposal would be the DuPont Corporation.

NCD is a bulk chemical storage and destruction facility in west central Indiana, thirty miles north of Terre Haute. Originally founded during World War II to produce RDX, a conventional explosive, it later became a site for chemical weapons manufacturing during the Cold War. It is now used to securely store and gradually neutralize part of the US stockpile of VX.

VX was manufactured by the U.S. in the 1950s and 60’s as a deterrent to possible Soviet Union use. It was never deployed, and the manufacture was halted in 1969 after an order signed by then-president Richard Nixon.

In 1999, the Army announced it awarded a disposal contract to Parsons Infrastructure & Technology, Inc., a business unit of Parsons Corporation. Some 220 civilian Parsons employees work at the facility, which is supervised by an Army officer reporting to the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, and a board of civilian government overseers called the Indiana Citizens’ Advisory Commission, some of whose members are appointed by the state governor.

Security at the facility is controversial. A private security service, supplemented by a complement of Indiana National Guard soldiers, guarded the facility until April 14, 2005, when the soldiers were withdrawn. An Indianapolis television station has questioned security measures in some of its special reports.

Posted on March 20th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Five dead in murder-suicide in Miami, Florida

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Five dead in murder-suicide in Miami, Florida

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Five people are dead following a murder-suicide in Miami, Florida today, after a man crashed a birthday party early Sunday morning. He informed the party-goers that they were responsible for his wife’s decision to leave him, and then proceeded to open fire with a semi-automatic hand gun. The guests fled the scene into the street, or found cover.

The man, whom police identified as Guillermo Lopez, 48, immigrated to the United States from Cuba about 10 years ago. There were about a dozen people in attendance at the party. He killed his wife, who had left him, and shot her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend, and the boyfriend’s grandmother. They were killed at approximately 12:15am in Little Havana, Miami.

Police first responded to the 2800 block of Southwest 38 Court following reports of gunfire. Four bodies were discovered behind the house.

“It was chaotic. I can’t imagine what it was like in there,” said homicide detective Ervens Ford.

Lopez fled the scene in a red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck to his home, which was about 3 miles (5 km) from the original scene. He set both the house and truck on fire and committed suicide.

Police and firetrucks responded to a second 911 call regarding the blaze at the 700 block of Southwest 33 Avenue where the assailant’s body was found with a gunshot wound.

The victims have been identified as Lazara Mendez, 50; Nayla Canfux, 19; Francisco Casas, 27; and Maria Lefran Christ, 77.

Posted on March 18th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Iraq on verge of civil war, head of Arab league fears

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Iraq on verge of civil war, head of Arab league fears

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League, said a civil war in Iraq is looming, “… civil war could erupt at any moment, although some people would say it is already there.”

“There are a lot of individuals now playing games with the future of Iraq, and there is no clear strategy, there is no clear leadership… We are now in a mission to bring people together,” said Moussa.

Sunni Arab leaders met Saturday to discuss the possibility of a boycott of the up-coming referendum on the Iraqi draft constitution. The group came just short of calling for the boycott, and instead asked followers to vote “no” on October 15th referendum. They called on their followers to oppose the referendum “by all legitimate means.”

The constitution was drafted by mainly Shia leaders, the majority in Iraq. The Kurdish leaders also supported the new constitution.

The Sunnis make up 20% of Iraq. They most likely fear a political movement that would allow the Shia and Kurds to control the government and lucrative petroleum industry.

Violent acts have been on the increase lately. Most carried out by suicide bombers targeting Iraq police and new recruits into the nations army.

UK Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has also been expressing concerns over violence in Iraq. The most worrying was “the apparent breakdown in trust” between local authorities and UK troops.

These comments come after UK troops were attacked by a mob after they tried to free two soldiers who had been arrested. UK troops later broke into a Basra prison while looking for the two arrested soldiers. They were found later in houses, police had handed them over to Shia militiamen. Kennedy has also been pushing for the removal of troops from Iraq.

Other Arab countries have been expressing their concern over the violence in Iraq.

Amr Moussa told the BBC, “The situation is bad and our work now is to bring all communities together; we want to do something constructive.”

Posted on March 18th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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No oil spillage after platform explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

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No oil spillage after platform explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

Thursday, September 2, 2010

An oil platform owned by Mariner Energy has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico throwing thirteen people into the water, reports indicate. All thirteen men who fell into the water have been accounted for, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. No injuries were reported. Smoke was billowing from the oil rig named Vermilion 380, which is reported to still be on fire.

The blast occurred at around 9:19 a.m., approximately 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay off the coast of Louisiana. The Coast Guard confirms the platform was producing oil and gas at the time it exploded. They earlier reported a one mile long and 100 foot wide oil sheen which was spotted at the site of the explosion shortly after authorities responded to the scene, but later backtracked saying they could not confirm the presence of a sheen. Coast Guard chief petty officer John Edwards of the US Coast Guard earlier said that the platform, “was not actively producing any product.” Mariner Energy also released a statement earlier saying no oil sheen was spotted.

“In an initial flyover, no hydrocarbon spill was reported,” said Mariner Energy in a press release following the explosion. “The cause is not known, and an investigation will be undertaken. During the last week of August 2010, production from this facility averaged approximately 9.2 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and 1,400 barrels of oil and condensate.” According to Bureau of Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement spokesperson Melissa Schwartz, the platform was authorized to produce natural gas and oil at those depths, but “there were ongoing maintenance activities underway” which caused it to stop producing. The platform sits in about 2,500 feet of water, though some reports put the platform in 340 feet of water.

As a result of the explosion and fire, Bobby Jindal, the governor for the state of Louisiana said that the Vermillion 380 platform had been “shut” and that oil flowing from the bottom of the Gulf has been stopped. At least 6 other platforms are said to be connected to the well that Vermilion 380 was part of. Jindal also said the fire was burning due to flammable materials on the platform.

Apache Corporation, which has agreed to, but has not yet completed a merger with Mariner Energy, did not comment on whether the explosion would have any effect on the deal. The vice-president Bob Dye told Wikinews that “Apache and Mariner agreed to merge in April, 2010, however, the transaction has not yet closed so Mariner remains the operator of this platform”.

All 13 people have been rescued by an oil support vessel and have been transported to a nearby platform. Edwards earlier told MSNBC that all those who were in the water were “wearing some sort of an immersion suit that protects them from the water. Right now we’re focused on search and rescue and then, ultimately, as this thing progresses we’re going to be looking into the cause.”

The explosion comes only four months after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig run by BP exploded in April, resulting in a massive oil spill. The platform is located about 200 miles west of the Deepwater incident.

Posted on March 16th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter to retire

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter to retire

Friday, May 1, 2009

United States President Barack Obama will get the chance to make his first United States Supreme Court appointment as a number of unnamed sources close to Associate Justice David Souter announced the Justice’s retirement from the body, to take place in June.

NPR suggests that Souter was waiting to confirm that colleagues John Paul Stevens, now 89, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has cancer, were not retiring in the coming year before making his decision; the earliest public indication of his retirement was the April 29th discovery by the Associated Press that unlike the eight other Justices, Souter had not hired a staff for the upcoming session of the Supreme Court, which begins in October.

A spokesperson for the Justice said that Souter had no comments on the reports of his retirement.

Souter, currently 69, retires from the court as the sixth-oldest justice, but his departure is unlikely to change the court’s ideological balance. While appointed by Republican President George H. W. Bush in 1990, Souter has consistently voted as a member of the court’s center-left bloc and a liberal nomination by Obama would likely be confirmed by a majority in the United States Senate.

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in the United States; its decisions on the interpretation of the Constitution can be overridden only by a constitutional amendment.

Posted on March 16th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Wikinews interviews painter Pricasso on his art and freedom of expression

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Wikinews interviews painter Pricasso on his art and freedom of expression
This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Wikinews interviewed Australian painter Pricasso on his unique artwork created using his penis, and how his art relates to freedom of expression and issues of censorship. He is to be featured at the upcoming adult entertainment event Sexpo Australia in Melbourne this November 5 to November 8.

Posted on March 14th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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