No survivors in Cambodian air crash

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

No survivors were found today when searchers reached the crash site of PMTair Flight U4 241 in Cambodia, a government minister said.

“All have died. It is confirmed,” Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told reporters.

The wreckage of the PMTair Antonov An-24 was spotted by a helicopter crew early this morning, two days after the plane went missing from radar screens while on a flight from Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap to the beach-resort town of Sihanoukville.

The crash site is located in the Dâmrei Mountains, or Elephant Mountains, northeast of Bokor Hill Station in Kampot Province, about 150 kilometers south of Phnom Penh, the capital.

Rescue helicopter pilot Tep Sitha, speaking to Reuters by mobile telephone, described the crash site as “high on the mountain.”

A search operation involving around 1,000 people had scoured the mountainous jungle territory since the plane crashed on Monday. Monsoon rains, thick jungle and rugged terrain had hampered the search.

The 44-seat plane had 22 people aboard – 16 passengers, plus a flight crew of six – a Russian pilot, two Cambodian co-pilots, a Cambodian flight engineer and two Cambodian flight attendants. Among the passengers, 13 were from South Korea and three were from the Czech Republic.

Around a dozen Korean family members arrived in Phnom Penh yesterday from Seoul, and the Cambodian government said it would pay for their accommodations.

The cause of the crash is yet to be determined by an examination of the flight data recorder, but officials had earlier speculated that weather may have played a part.

The airline, PMTair, is a small Cambodian carrier that listed its fleet at five planes, including two Antonov An-24s, which it used for domestic flights. The type of Soviet-built plane, introduced in 1963, is common in Cambodia’s civil and military aviation fleet.

Sar Sareth, director of PMTair, told the Associated Press yesterday that he did not know what year the crashed plane was built. He said it was in “good condition” before taking off, and “was always in compliance with flight technical and safety procedures.”

The airline had begun regularly scheduled Siem Reap-Sihanoukville flights in January, providing a direct link between the two popular tourist towns.

In addition to domestic service, PMTair has international routes, including direct flights from Seoul to Siem Reap, feeding a large influx of tourists from South Korea in the past few years. Last year, around 250,000 South Koreans visited the country.

Yesterday, a South Korean government agency said it was putting PMTair on a list of carriers it was checking for safety. “As PMT also does business at Incheon International Airport, a special safety inspection for the airline will be carried out until July 6,” Chung Sang-ho, head of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.

One other Cambodian carrier, Royal Khmer Airlines, was also on the South Korean list, as was Garuda Indonesia, and three Russian carriers, SAT Airlines, Vladivostok Air and Dalavia.

Before Monday’s crash, the worst incident for PMTair was a hard landing in 2005, when a piece of landing gear snapped off an An-24 on landing at Banlung, Ratanakiri, overcrowded with 59 passengers aboard. There were no injuries, but the airline was temporarily grounded after the incident. In another incident, a plane had to return to the airport after takeoff because of engine failure.

The crash is Cambodia’s first major aviation accident in nearly 10 years. In September 1997, a Vietnam Airlines Tupolev Tu-134 crashed while trying to land in heavy rain at Phnom Penh International Airport, killing 65 people and one person, a toddler, surviving.

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Bolivia’s new president-elect brands Bush ‘the only terrorist’

Friday, December 30, 2005

U.S. President George W. Bush

Bolivia’s new president-elect Evo Morales has branded George W. Bush a “terrorist”, and has referred to Condoleezza Rice as “Mrs Condolences” in an exclusive interview for Qatar’s News Channel Al-Jazeera.

Before departing for an official visit to Cuba, Morales denounced what he calls a “dirty war” undertaken by Bush against him and said that “Bush was the only terrorist because he is the only one who militarily interferes in the domestic affairs of other countries. That’s state terrorism, but those who claim their rights are not terrorists“, he reiterated in what has been regarded as an escalation of his anti-Washington rhetoric.

At the same time, he said in Chapare during the celebration of his victory, that the plan “zero coca” carried out by the US to eradicate coca in Bolivia is terminated. “We are winning the green battle, coca is defeating the American dollar” he said.

Venezuela‘s Hugo Chavez is another head of state who has previously labeled George W. Bush a “terrorist”.

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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Konami Cup Asia Series 2007 Day 1: Uni-Lions reverses China, SK Wyverns ends Japan’s winning streak

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Konami Cup Asia Series 2007 battled in Tokyo Dome today, with 2007 BWC in Taiwan and upcoming 2007 Asian Baseball Championship chained on the qualification of 2008 Summer Olympics, this series may varied Asian’s teams recently.

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Pennsylvania man admits to June 25 beating of elderly woman

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

The Commons of Saxonburg retirement home entrance

Joshua J. Goyette allegedly confessed to breaking into a Saxonburg, Pennsylvania retirement home and beating 86-year-old Gertrude “Trudy” Johanson in the early morning of June 25, 2005. The crime, which shocked the small community north of Pittsburgh, was not the only one which occurred recently at area retirement homes. Goyette is also suspected in a May incident where another apartment at the Commons of Saxonburg was broken into through a first floor window and the 90-year-old woman inside was groped while she slept.

Goyette, 25, has addresses listed in court documents in New Bedford, Massachusetts; and in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, his mother’s home.

The alleged confession was given last Thursday, June 30, 2005, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to Pennsylvania state police investigators. Goyette is currently being held in the Butler County prison in lieu of $300,000 cash bond. He faces charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, burglary and criminal mischief.

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LulzSec attacks Nintendo server

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Computer hacking group Lulz Security has attacked a server of one of the United States affiliates of Nintendo, a Japanese-based video gaming company. Nintendo themselves confirmed the news on Sunday, with a statement from the corporation reporting that the unit was illegally accessed “a few weeks ago”.

Speaking on behalf of the corporation, Ken Toyoda had claimed that “[t]here were no third-party victims” but acknowledged “there was some kind of possible hacking attack”. According to Tomokazu Nakaura, Nintendo in Japan considers “protection of our customer information” to be the “utmost priority”. To adhere to this claim, the corporation does “constantly monitor our security”.

In this instance, the hackers were not able to gain consumer details as the attacked server did not have any on it, according to Nintendo. On social networking website Twitter LulzSec defended their actions, tweeting: “We’re not targeting Nintendo. We like the N64 too much – we sincerely hope Nintendo plugs the gap. This is just for lulz. <3”

Nintendo has reported that the issue has now been rectified and that the incident will have no effect on their intentions to launch an e-shop in association with one of their products, the Nintendo 3DS, a games console which allows users to play games in a three-dimensional space without the requirement of glasses.

Recently, LulzSec has claimed responsibility for a number of Internet attacks that have occurred during 2011. Amongst those were three aimed at the Sony online network. The first attack occurred in April, when the group hacked the PlayStation Network, placing the personal details of 77 million users at risk. This prompted Sony Pictures Entertainment to remove access to the network for in excess of one month.

The second attack occurred on May 23, when LulzSec unlawfully gained access to the details 52,000 Sony Pictures Entertainment consumers, as well as illegally taking them. In a third incident, LulzSec accepted responsibility for an alleged database hacking on the website for Sony Music in Japan on May 23.

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Paris hotel fire kills 22

Saturday, April 16, 2005

A Paris fire in a hotel killed 22 people, 10 of whom were children, while injuring 53 — 11 seriously. The hotel was an overcrowded, budget accommodation type of housing. Most of the inhabitants were African, many housed by social services, according to an Associated Press report.

The 32 room, six-story Paris Opera hotel, was made to house 61 guests, but 90 were staying at the time of the fire, with 84 of them placed by city or state social services.

The fire is thought to have started in the breakfast room at 2:20 am Friday, local time.

Along with the Africans, who were mostly refugees, others wounded included French, Senegalese, Portuguese, Americans, Ukrainians, and Tunisians, according to a report from Turkish The hotel is situated near to La Galerie Lafayette, Printemps shopping center, and Paris Opera.

It took nearly 250 fire-fighters to control the fire, and the number of casualties was high because of the single exit.

“It’s hard in that kind of situation to tell people to calm down. They jumped. People on the first floor threw their children out the windows,” Alfred Millot, head of the fire service at the nearby upmarket Galeries Lafayette department store, told Agence France-Presse.

“With our own equipment, we started fighting the fire from the ground floor. I came running and people were already jumping through the windows,” said Millot.

His store warehouse was used as a temporary morgue. Families were counselled and assisted in re-uniting by the Red Cross.

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Row ensues as CalMac starts Sunday ferry crossing service to Lewis and Harris

Sunday, April 9, 2006

The Loch Portrain ferry, operated by Caledonian MacBrayne, will arrive at 10 a.m. BST (0900 UTC) today at Leverburgh, in the Western Isles of Scotland, despite strong opposition from Presbyterian residents who regard it as a breaking of the Sabbath.

According to Harris West councillor Morag Monro, more than 700 people on both Harris and Lewis signed a petition opposing the Sunday service. The Western Isles Council is also opposed to the new service.

They are also considering legal action.

“At the moment we are investigating whether there is a legal option open to us to protect us from this imposition,” she said.

“It is not just church people who are opposed, but also those who have come to appreciate a day of relaxation and a chance to be together with their families for one day.”

It has been welcomed, however, by many people at the southern crossing at Uist.

Councillor Archie Campbell (of the North Uist/Berneray) will be expected on the vessel today, and is a campaigner for the “7 days per week” service.

There is little sign of opposition expected when the ferry completes its journey, as the campaigners will be in church as the vessel arrives.

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Queensland state Premier announces March 24 election date

Thursday, January 26, 2012

File photo of Queensland’s State Premier, Anna Bligh Image: ‘djackmanson’.

Queensland’s premier Anna Bligh has announced the state is to hold its elections on Saturday, March 24; however, in an unusual move, she did not advise the governor to issue the writs for the election.

“I intend to call the 2012 State election for Saturday the 24th of March,” said Bligh, Leader of the incumbent Australian Labor Party.

Local government elections, originally scheduled for March 31, will now be scheduled for late April.

“Why are 73 local government elections around Queensland being pushed back? That adds more months of uncertainty when she has had a year to separate out the two elections,” said Leader of the Liberal National Party, Campbell Newman. Newman will have to win the seat of Ashgrove if he is to become premier.

The two major parties are expected to face some strong competition in a number of seats from the Greens, the recently formed Katter’s Australian Party, and independent candidates.

“There is undeniably a strong mood to change the government, but voters should not feel forced into giving up on their progressive views or their desire for some long-term vision and a more principled approach to politics,” said Greens lead candidate Adam Stone who is contesting the Mt Coot-tha seat.

The election process is expected to formally get underway on February 19 when the premier expects to advise the governor to issue the required writs.

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