Teresa Heinz Kerry, a leading philanthropist and wife of US Secretary of State John F. Kerry, was in critical but stable condition Sunday after being flown to Massachusetts General Hospital from Nantucket, where she had been rushed to the hospital for an undisclosed ailment, according to aides to the secretary. Heinz Kerry, 74, was stricken while at the family's vacation home, according to State Department spokesman Glen Johnson.
AoS update at 1345 CT: ahem. Let's be nice. It's the progressives who say nasty stuff when someone is deathly ill.
[An Nahar] A 92-year-old Iraqi farmer married a woman 70 years his junior in a village north of Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... , he said Friday, voicing happiness at getting hitched alongside two teenage grandchildren who also tied the knot. Have a look at the link. The little woman looks underjoyed.
Musali Mohammed al-Mujamaie married 22-year-old Muna Mukhlif al-Juburi on Thursday evening, three years after the death of his first wife of 58 years, with whom he raised 16 children in his home village of Gubban, which lies just south of the central Iraqi city of Samarra.
"I am so happy to get married with my grandsons," Mujamaie told Agence La Belle France Presse after the ceremony.
"I feel like a 20-year-old!" That's why they make those little blue pills, ain't it?
Mujamaie said the marriage of his two grandsons, aged 16 and 17, was repeatedly delayed while his own wedding was being arranged, so that the three could tie the knot on the same day.
The wedding carried on for four hours, with musical and dance performances and celebratory gunfire, and was attended by local tribal and religious leaders.
Actually ex-Soviet world class pianist and world class chess player Mark Taimanov (he was crushed 6-0 by Bobby Fisher and had to face the wrath of the authorities) had twins at 78. Problem is that it is unlikely he will live until his children reach adulthood.
[An Nahar] The South Korean Boeing 777 which crashed in the Socialist paradise of San Francisco ...where God struck dead Anton LaVey, home of the Sydney Ducks, ruled by Vigilance Committee from 1859 through 1867, reliably and volubly Democrat since 1964... after landing short of the runway was only seven years old and had no known mechanical problems, the Asiana Airlines CEO said Sunday.
"We purchased this airplane in March 2006... currently we understand that there are no engine or mechanical problems," Yoon Young-Doo told a presser, adding that the two people killed were Chinese nationals.
South Korea's transport ministry said separately both the dead were female, born in 1996 and 1997.
The ministry said the plane's tail hit the runway and the aircraft veered to the left off the runway. A total of 181 people were maimed.
Yoon said the crew had made an in-flight broadcast as usual, "asking passengers to buckle up for landing. There was no emergency alarm".
He said one pilot had more than 10,000 flying hours, and the other more than 9,000.
"Our pilots strictly comply with aviation rules," the CEO said.
He said the two people who died were passengers seated at the back of the plane.
"Please accept my deepest apology," the CEO said, bowing in front of TV cameras at the presser. "We'll make our utmost efforts to cope with the tragedy."
The plane, which originated in Shanghai and picked up passengers in South Korea before heading to San Francisco, had 291 passengers and 16 crew on board. Among them, 141 were Chinese nationals, followed by 77 South Koreans, 61 Americans, one Japanese, three Indians, three Canadians, one French, one Vietnamese, three others with unidentified nationality and 16 crew.
Anxious relatives swarmed around Asiana's headquarters in Seoul, seeking details of the crash and the whereabouts of the victims.
"I'm very worried about my daughter. She called me a while ago saying she received injuries to the shoulder and legs," a middle-aged woman told journalists. "But since then, I've heard no word from her. I wonder where she is now."
According to what I've read the Pilot at the controls had little experience with that jet (777) and never landed it at SFO before and, since this was his first time, the other pilots were assisting / advising.
Earlier Sunday, Hersman [National Transportation Safety Board Chairman] said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that the glide slope system is a ground-based aid that helps pilots stay on course while landing and it has been shut down at the San Francisco airport since June. The pilots, however, were notified before the crash that the system wasn't available.
Obviously its the fault of those EVIL REPUBLICANS and the sequester. (/sarc)
Japanese nuclear operators on Monday applied to restart reactors under new rules drawn up following the Fukushima disaster, but early approval is unlikely as a more independent regulator strives to show a skeptical public it is serious about safety.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and the utilities are keen to get reactors running again to cut soaring fuel costs that have pushed the country into a record trade deficit.
But the Nuclear Regulation Authority has said it would take at least six months to review nuclear units, as it battles to build credibility with a public whose faith in nuclear power was decimated after meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi station.
All but two of Japan's 50 reactors have been closed in the wake of the disaster in March 2011, which forced 160,000 people from their homes, many of whom are unlikely to be able return for decades.
Of course they do. Every modern nation does. Question is, do the French turn it on their own citizens (answer: yes), and do they tap-dance around their own laws (answer: of course). Hat tip to the Volokh Conspiracy.
France runs a vast electronic surveillance operation, intercepting and stocking data from citizens' phone and internet activity, using similar methods to the US National Security Agency's Prism programme exposed by Edward Snowden, Le Monde has reported.
An investigation by the French daily found that the DGSE, France's external intelligence agency, had spied on the French public's phone calls, emails and internet activity. The agency intercepted signals from computers and phones in France as well as between France and other countries, looking not so much at content but to create a map of "who is talking to whom", the paper said.
Le Monde said data from emails, text messages, phone records, accessing of Facebook and Twitter, and internet activity going through sites such as Google, Microsoft or Yahoo! was stocked for years on vast servers on three different floors in the basement of the DGSE headquarters.
The paper described the vast spying programme as secret, "outside any serious control" and illegal.
Illegal according to whom?
The metadata from phone and internet use was stocked in a "gigantic database" which could be consulted by six French intelligence and security agencies as well as the police.
The paper said Bernard Barbier, technical director of the DGSE, had previously described the system as "probably the biggest information centre in Europe after the English".
Referring to the system as a "French Big Brother", Le Monde said the French state was able to use the surveillance "to spy on anybody at any time". The paper wrote: "All of our communications are spied on."
Le Monde said that after Snowden's revelations about the NSA's Prism surveillance programme prompted indignation in Europe, France "only weakly protested, for two excellent reasons: Paris already knew about it, and it was doing the same thing".
Again, every modern state has a surveillance system to look evidence of major threats to the country, including terrorism. The issue is where you draw the line.
When revelations about the Prism programme harvesting citizens' data emerged, the French government did not immediately comment. But after fresh allegations about the US spying on the European Union and foreign embassies, including the French embassy in Washington, the president, François Hollande, said these practices must "cease immediately". France demanded the suspension of talks on the EU-US free trade pact until it had received full explanations about surveillance.
Sure buddy. Then again, we'll want an explanation from you about yours...
The foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said this week that France did not spy on the US embassy in Paris because "between partner countries" these "were not the sorts of things that should happen". Asked about the US spying, Fleur Pellerin, the junior minister for the digital economy, told BFMTV this week that she found the "generalised surveillance of citizens" was "particularly shocking".
Pipelines are the safest and most economical method of transporting large volumes of oil and natural gas over land. Not exactly a newly found, technological breakthrough. Counter-arguments to this belay some other motivation.
Apparently parked on a grade. Implication is that this has been done many times without problem.
Some cars "uncoupled". So? Did the cars downhill from the uncoupling not have their brakes set? Only the cars uphill from the uncoupling?
How do cars "uncouple"? Implication is it just happened. Just happen often?
Did the train arrive pushing the cars so that the uncoupling didn't matter and wouldn't be noticed? Would have mattered if the train had been pulling them.
So what we have currently is a train of cars sitting on a grade as a zillion times before. Brakes set as before [if not, why not?], cars coupled so that, among other things, one car's defective brakes aren't going to set things loose.
Uncoupling just happens and, quelle surprise, all the cars downhill from the uncoupling are brakeless. Or the grade is so steep that even one or two cars with defective brakes mean the aggregate braking of the cars downhill from the uncoupling wasn't sufficient to hold the cars in place. Do you park trains on grades that steep?
The stop was supposedly to change crews. No mention of breaking the train to send various cars in various directions. No reason to mess with the couplings.
As to the pipeline thing, is it true that Warren Buffet is buying railroad rolling stock?
Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway owns BNSF outright - so he already has a lot of rolling stock. I ride BNSF every morning and often see long trains of crude oil tankers (not nearly as long as trains of coal cars though).
So Buffet wouldn't be in favor of a pipeline?
Him and his buddy zero.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey ||
07/08/2013 8:29 Comments ||
They don't call it crony capitalism for nothing. In fact, that's what this admin has been about - finding ways to get ca$h to cronies. That's the true Chicago way. It's certainly done a lot for Illinois:(
"When you see the centre of your town almost destroyed, you'll understand that we're asking ourselves how we are going to get through this event,"
Right, Cover Your Ass.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
07/08/2013 11:27 Comments ||
The initial report I saw said it was a 77 car train with 5 locomotives. The locomotives remained on the track, with the handbrakes properly applied. This, according to a company spokesman. Standard procedure is to secure a certain percentage of handbrakes in the consist, whether the track is flat or on a grade.
It is in fact not terribly difficult for someone with a basic of knowledge to release handbrakes and uncouple cars. It was either a perfect storm of errors or sabotage. I lean towards the latter.
New information here. http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/lac-megantic-train-derailment-what-we-know-so-far-1.1357911
Knowing that at least one locomotive was running, and that the engineer had left a service application on, and that the locomotive had been turned off by a third party (the local FD) I can now conceive a plausible scenario that doesn't involve sabotage:
When the power got turned off, air stayed bottled in the brake pipe. As a result of an air leak in an individual car, that car's service reservoirs/brake cylinder reached lower pressure and the quick-release put a portion of the emergency reservoir air into the brake pipe, which cascaded through and put enough of the train into release. The resulting slack action caused a run-through of the knuckle at the head end, leaving the locomotives standing, while the cars rolled away.
Reports fm Canada seem to indicate the cars were set out ,less engines, and then rolled down the grade derailed and 5 exploded. The how does seem sketchy as the CEO of the railroad said this has never happened before in the 77 year history of the line. Pictures from the scene are very telling as to the power of the explosion.
Interesting side note, about a week before the same line ran across a bridge damaged by swollen river ( pilings partially washed away). Several cars derailed but stayed upright and were safely pulled from the bridge. Also an oil train. Safety / maintenance philosophy problem?
Said the handbrakes weren't sufficient to hold on the grade once the air brakes had failed.
So the SOP was to presume the air brakes would never fail and the grade was therefore acceptable.
Or to put all the handbrakes on and they weren't.
Used to deal with the chief of a small town vol fd. They had a line running through town and they did a lot of work regarding trains. But I suppose it was mostly hazmat an valvology. Still, a brake issue isn't that tough when the answer is to call the rr company.
"You did what? Call the engineer and have him undo it [whatever it is]"
Posted by: Richard Aubrey ||
07/08/2013 20:57 Comments ||
Eyewitness said train started to roll 5 minutes after FD left.
I have read that the brakes on trains are twofold, First you have the airbrakes that actually work in reverse, you let off the air, and the brakes apply.
Then you have the other (NOT HAND) that apply when you apply the air, so in order to move a train, you either have to have air, or lack it completely.
Hard to move a train, on the other hand the last 50 or so cars are usually cut off, (NO AIR PRESSURE) this is because the trains leak, and sometimes there's not enough pressure to release them properly.(If the cars uncouple, the train STOPS)
Given all this, the train MUST have been only partially pressurized, question is, how many cars were cut off.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
07/08/2013 21:19 Comments ||
[Dawn] Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... and his entourage travelled in a high-speed train from Beijing to Shanghai on Saturday.
Chief Engineer and General Manager of the High-Speed Train Management Zhao Guotang gave a briefing to the prime minister on the project.
Mr Sharif expressed desire to build such projects in different cities of Pakistain to fulfil his commitment of providing comfortable transport facility to people.
Mr Zhao told Mr Sharif that the project cost about $20 million per kilometre
Mr Zhao told Mr Sharif that the project cost about $20 million per kilometre and China had achieved excellence in designing and manufacturing high-speed trains.
Around 220,000 people travel by the train daily and it covers a distance of 1,318km from Beijing to Shanghai in five hours. Almost 87 per cent of its rail track is elevated and the highest speed of the train is 310km per hour.
Executive President of China's Gezhouba company Yang Yisheng met the prime minister and expressed willingness to execute power, infrastructure and high-speed train projects in Pakistain.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/08/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
High speed rail project... for the jihadis to blow up; makes perfect sense!
Squinty dear, you forgot the URL. Please post it in the comments.
For the moderators,
Canuckistan's link added. AoS.
The carrier INS Vikrant is being constructed at the Cochin shipyard and the vessel "will be floated out on Aug. 12 and taken to the repair dock to carry out remaining work," says Commo. K. Subramaniam, chairman and managing director of Cochin Shipyard Ltd. Hull work will be completed by June 2014, he adds.
The carrier is expected to be handed over to the navy for induction by January 2018. The 45,000-ton IAC is estimated to cost $5 billion.
The INS Vikrant is expected to fly the Mikoyan MiG-29K but the Indian Navy has also expressed an interest in the Rafale M (Naval variant), considered to be a much more capable aircraft.
India's second aircraft carrier, the 45,000-ton, 284-meter-long (932-ft.) INS Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Kiev-class Admiral Gorshkov, is undergoing trials and is expected to be commisioned in the fall. The current sole carrier is the INS Virat, completed and commissioned in 1959 as the Royal Navy's HMS Hermes and then transferred to India in 1987.
Viraat is supposed to stay afloat until 2020 -- numerous refits since she was transferred to the Indian Navy, according to Wikipedia. The Gorshkov keeps getting delayed in the refit and transfer; fall 2013 is the latest in a long set of dates. The final acceptance trials are supposed to start about now.
Interpol will hand over to Pakistani authorities on Monday a top government official, Tauqir Sadiq, who is wanted in a multi-billion rupee corruption case, after a court in the capital ordered his deportation last week. An official of Pakistans anti-corruption agency, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), is already in the capital to take his custody and fly him back, a diplomatic source said.
Tauqir will be flown back on an Air Blue flight BA 231 to Islamabad, where authorities would investigate him on the charges of taking bribes in excess of Rs82 billion ($820 million), misuse of authority and other charges.
He arrived in the UAE in order to avoid arrest, as Pakistans Supreme Court took suo motu action on his massive corruption stories and ordered his immediate arrest. With the help of top government leaders, Tauqir went into hiding for some time and later crossed border into Afghanistan, from where he took a flight to Nepal and managed to get visa for the UAE.
However, he was chased by the NAB which traced him in Ajman after he made telephone calls and made some financial transactions. He was later arrested and a court in Abu Dhabi heard his case and decided to deport him last week.
Tauqir is a classic case of how corrupt political elite hand-pick their friends and relatives to head public institutions in order to use them for their dirty agenda of corruption, misappropriation of funds, embezzlement and mismanagement.
A relative of a senior PPP leader, Tauqir was picked up for the job of chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), which regulates the oil and gas business by fixing the prices of petroleum products and gives permission for setting up new oil and gas stations.
In few years of his service at the authority, Tauqir created havoc by accepting bribes for giving permissions to set up new CNG stations, following which the Supreme Court took notice and order a detailed investigation into his financial wrongdoings.
The previous PPP-led government protected him against the Supreme Court orders and even the investigation agencies had to slow down their efforts to arrest him and did not take any action against him.
Now, the political circumstances have changed in Pakistan, where a new government has taken office, which means he would not enjoy the protection anymore.
The National Accountability Bureau will investigate him in the light of Supreme Court directions that whether he was alone in his misdeeds apart from recovering the huge amounts taken by him as bribes.
[An Nahar] Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, police in the Gazoo Strip announced on Sunday they had uncovered a counterfeiting ring that had forged some 20 million Israeli shekels ($5.47 million, 4.26 million euros) in the coastal Paleostinian territory.
Police front man Ayoub Abu Shaar told Agence La Belle France Presse three people were tossed in the slammer Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! last week "while distributing the false money in markets."
Hamas police described the three suspects as belonging to "the largest counterfeiting ring of 100-shekel bills in the Gazoo Strip".
A police officer said a search of the home of one suspect revealed "a room with paper used for forgery, in addition to machines used for counterfeiting like printers, laptops, stencils and inks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet approved Sunday a draft bill that would enlist more ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military, dpa reported. Fourteen ministers voted in favour of the legislation, which now has to pass three readings in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, before becoming law. Four ministers abstained and none voted against.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid called it "a historic day."
"After 65 years, we finally end this distortion. We are all very excited," he told reporters.
The vast majority of ultra-Orthodox Jews have been exempt from military service since Israel's founding in 1948, much to the anger of many secular Jews.
Lapid made the issue of "equal sharing of the burden" a focal point of his campaigning ahead of January elections, which saw his newly founded centrist Yesh Atid party emerge as the second largest in the Knesset.
The bill requires ultra-Orthodox Jews to enlist by the age of 21, with the exception of some 1,800 a year who can continue studying the Torah instead.
Ultra-Orthodox lawmakers spoke of a "sad day" for Judaism. Many strictly religious Jews believe that by studying the Torah and serving God they are defending Israelis.
But others criticize the bill for not going far enough in upholding social equality, as secular Israelis must enlist at the age of 18 with few exceptions.
"We will make the change gradually, while taking into consideration the special needs of the ultra-Orthodox public," Netanyahu said.
however, with respect to Deut 20, people would have to report for duty before they could get the exemption; with respect to Deut 24 (the newly married), he probably would not even have had to report for duty
Posted by: lord garth ||
07/08/2013 18:43 Comments ||
Good one, Ship.
Posted by: Deacon Blues ||
07/08/2013 19:44 Comments ||
JERUSALEM - An Israeli F16 warplane crashed at sea on Sunday due to an engine malfunction and Israel subsequently grounded all its F15 and F16 combat aircraft pending a review of the incident, a military spokesman said.
The pilot and navigator on board managed to safely bail out of the U.S.-made plane and a military rescue unit came to evacuate them by helicopter, the spokesman and Israeli media reports said.
"An F16 combat aircraft crashed earlier today in the sea after the engine malfunctioned," the spokesman said. He added that the air force commander had decided to "ground all F16 and F15 planes until circumstances of the incident are reviewed."
Israel's Channel 2 television said that the crash occurred off the coast of the Hamas Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip.
The Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, Joint Functional Component Command, Integrated Missile Defense (JFCC IMD) and U.S. Northern Command conducted an integrated exercise and flight test today of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System. Although a primary objective was the intercept of a long-range ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, an intercept was not achieved. The interceptor missile was launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Program officials will conduct an extensive review to determine the cause or causes of any anomalies which may have prevented a successful intercept. If it was easy, anybody could do it
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.