Tuesday, March 27, 2012

JetBlue Bomb Rant Pilot Tackled By Plane Passengers



The captain of a US airliner was tackled by his own passengers after he ran up and down a packed jet screaming about bombs and al Qaeda.

The JetBlue plane, en route from New York's JFK airport to Las Vegas, was forced into an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas, as the pilot was pinned down.

Alarmed passengers became aware of the incident when the co-pilot, seemingly worried by his colleague's erratic behavior, locked him out of his own cockpit when he left to use the toilet.

The captain - believed to be Clayton Osbon - responded by banging angrily on the flight deck door, before running up and down the aisle screaming, "Say your prayers!" according to the New York Post.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) statement said: "The co-pilot became concerned that the captain exhibited erratic behavior during the flight.

"The captain had exited the cockpit during the flight, after which the co-pilot locked the door.

"When the captain attempted to enter the locked cockpit, he was subdued by passengers. Read More

BP refinery leaks acid in Texas City; no injuries

(Reuters) - Hydrofluoric acid (HF) leaked from an alkylation unit at BP Plc's 406,570-barrels-per-day refinery in Texas City, Texas on Tuesday morning, triggering alarms in the plant and warnings to area residents, company and city officials said.

No injuries were reported at the refinery, the fifth-largest in the United States, or in the surrounding community, the officials said.

"We have a small leak of hydrofluoric acid at the refinery," BP spokesman Tom Mueller said shortly after 10 a.m. local time. "Water is being sprayed on it. We expect to secure the leak shortly." Read More

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake PAKISTAN - 28th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Pakistan at a depth of just 3.7 km (2.3 miles Poorly Constrained), the quake hit at 03:19:22 UTC Wednesday 28th March 2012
The epicenter was 24 km (15 miles) Southwest from Kalat, Pakistan
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Buried Alive: Video show Rescue operation after man submerged in suffocating mud on a Georgia building site



Emergency workers have rescued a man submerged in suffocating mud on a Georgia building site for nearly an hour.

Dramatic video showed that when firefighters arrived at the scene in Atlanta they were barely able to see the man, who had sunk deep into the thick mud.

"He couldn't get himself out because he was too weak," one firefighter said.

"The suction on the mud was holding the individual down and his airway was compromised.

"One of the Grady (Memorial Hospital) medics was able to get out to him and get his airway open and move the mud away from his face to keep him breathing."

But the rescue very nearly took a terrifying turn when a firefighter also became trapped. He was pulled out by colleagues.

Eventually, enough rescue workers were able to get to the man, who has not been named, and pull him from the cloying mud.

"We were able to get him out with just brute manpower and put him in the basket and get him up," the firefighter said.

The man was taken to hospital and treated for hypothermia, local news channels said. Read More

Briton Held Over 'Links To Somali Militants'

A British man has been arrested in Somalia on suspicion of having links with the Islamist militant group Al Shabaab, according to local police and African Union peacekeepers.

The suspect was detained at Mogadishu airport before he was able to travel on to the southern port city of Kismayu, which is controlled by the al Qaeda-linked group.

"A British man linked to Al Shabaab is in our hands," police spokesman Abdullahi Barise said. "He is under investigation."

Paddy Ankunda, a spokesman for the peacekeepers, said the suspect had been arrested by an intelligence official with the AU mission before being handed over to police.

The Foreign Office said it was aware of the reports and was looking into them.

In February, the Royal United Services Institute published a report that said dozens of Britons were believed to be fighting for Al Shabaab in Somalia.

Al Shabaab militants, who are battling the largely powerless Somali government and the AU forces, control much of south and central Somalia. Read More

Double 'Cannibal' Arrests Shocks Russia

Russian police have arrested two men suspected of cannibalism in two separate cases involving at least seven victims.

A suspected serial killer from the town of Penza, some 348 miles (560km) southeast of Moscow, is believed to have killed at least six people.

Alexander Bychkov wrote in a diary of his crimes that he turned to murder after his girlfriend left him for being "a wimp".

The 23-year-old suspect was arrested for shoplifting but then told police that he had buried bodies in his garden in Belinsky.

Investigators said: "A search of the man's home turned up a personal diary listing the crimes committed. The suspect identified the victims' photographs."

It is understood the man ate the livers of his victims, who all came from the town of Belinsky.

In passages from his diary reported by Russian media, Bychkov said his girlfriend had kicked him out.

"She said I was a wimp, not a wolf... I will show her... Maybe she will stop complaining and understand that I am a lone wolf."

Authorities also announced another arrest - this time of an unnamed 35-year-old man in Vladivostok who confessed to killing one of his friends and eating his body.

Investigators said the suspect "confessed that March 21 he killed the victim, 41, after drinking strong alcohol. Afterwards he and a friend ate the remains," and went on to confirm that human remains were found in the fridge. Read More

Gas Cloud Amid Leak At North Sea Platform

An exclusion zone has been put in place around a North Sea oil and gas well, where a plume of gas was seen rising above the water after a "serious" leak.

The potentially explosive natural gas is escaping from Total's Elgin platform, and officials have admitted it could take up to six months to plug the leak.

The well, which normally has 238 workers, has been evacuated and the facility powered down.

Ships have been told not to pass within two miles of the rig and an air exclusion zone extends to three miles around the location, which is 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen.

As well as the gas cloud, a sheen of oil was visible on the water.

Oil Spill Response (OSRL) have carried out two aerial surveillance flights to assess the situation and two further flights are planned. Read More

Drought Spreads From South-East To Yorkshire

The drought which has hit rivers and groundwater supplies is spreading throughout England, the Environment Agency has said.

Swathes of east and south Yorkshire from Chesterfield up to Scarborough are officially suffering from drought, with areas around Sheffield, Doncaster, Hull and Driffield affected.

The areas join the South East and eastern England in drought, most of which has been affected since earlier this year, although parts of East Anglia have been suffering since last summer.

Earlier this month seven water companies across eastern and southern England announced hosepipe bans would come into force before Easter in a bid to conserve water supplies in the face of two unusually dry winters. Read More

Lasers 'Could Deflect Asteroids'

Satellite-operated lasers, not "Armageddon"-style bombs, could deflect asteroids headed for a catastrophic collision with Earth, Scottish scientists believe.

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow are floating the possibility that a flock of small satellites could fly in formation and fire solar-powered lasers at a threatening asteroid.

Massimiliano Vasile, of Strathclyde's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said his more subtle approach of using "a flotilla of small agile spacecraft" would eliminate the difficulties associated with other schemes that involve one large spacecraft attacking the asteroid.

He admitted, though, that there would be some challenges in perfecting his proposed technique.

"The use of high power lasers in space for civil and commercial applications is in its infancy and one of the main challenges is to have high power, high efficiency and high beam quality all at the same time," he said. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 28th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 20.5 km (12.7 miles), the quake hit at 01:27:24 UTC Wednesday 28th March 2012
The epicenter was 231 km (143 miles) ESE of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 28th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Volcano Islands, Japan Region at a depth of 89.1 km (55.4 miles), the quake hit at 00:13:50 UTC Wednesday 28th March 2012
The epicenter was 201 km (124 miles) NNW of Farallon de Pajaros, N. Mariana Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake NEPAL-INDIA BORDER REGION - 27th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the Nepal-India Border Region at a depth of 40 km (24.8 miles), the quake hit at 23:40:14 UTC Tuesday 27th March 2012
The epicenter was 63 km (39 miles) Southeast of Biratnagar, Nepal
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN KAI, INDONESIA - 27th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Kepulauan Kai, Indonesia at a depth of 18.6 km (11.6 miles), the quake hit at 22:34:46 UTC Tuesday 27th March 2012
The epicenter was 80 km (49 miles) Northwest of Dobo, Kepulauan Aru, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA - 27th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck Southern Qinghai, China at a depth of 31.2 km (19.4 miles), the quake hit at 21:54:56 UTC Tuesday 27th March 2012
The epicenter was 127 km (78 miles) WNW of Gyegu (Yushu), Qinghai, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

3.4 Magnitude Earthquake GREATER LOS ANGELES AREA, CALIFORNIA - 27th Mar 2012

A magnitude 3.4 earthquake has struck the Greater Los Angeles Area, California at a depth of 13.7 km (8.5 miles), the quake hit at 20:30:33 UTC Tuesday 27th March 2012
The epicenter was 6 km (3.7 miles) North from Fontana, California
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Note: This was followed by A magnitude 2.6 earthquake has struck the Greater Los Angeles Area, California at a depth of 14.3 km (8.9 miles), the quake hit at 20:32:08 UTC Tuesday 27th March 2012
The epicenter was 6 km (3.7 miles) North from Fontana, California

Emergency On US Plane After Pilot 'Goes Nuts'

A plane from New York to Las Vegas had to be diverted to Texas after its captain "went nuts" and began yelling about a bomb.

The JetBlue flight 191, which had 135 passengers on board, had been airborne for around three and a half hours when the pilot began running down the aisles.

He had reportedly been locked out of the cockpit by concerned colleagues and an off-duty captain who happened to be a passenger on the flight took over and landed the plane.

JetBlue said in a statement that the diversion to Amarillo followed "a medical situation involving the captain".

Witnesses reported the captain shouting: "Say your prayers", while the word "bomb" could be heard during YouTube footage of the incident.

He was reportedly seen banging repeatedly on the cockpit door and demanding to be let back in.

But witnesses say he was eventually restrained by passengers on the plane. more

India Swine Flu (H1N1) update: 16 casualties, 211 case

26th March: The swine flu threat can no longer be brushed aside as minor with the number of cases up to 211, traversing five states and claiming 16 lives. Yesterday Gujrat also reported one case, a 25-year-old from Anand.

He has been placed in an isolation ward and is under ventilator support. Pune is the worst hit with 9 deaths and 126 cases.Click here to find out why Pune is the worst hit. Medicos are advising people to keep calm, saying that most victims had other health complications. Click here to find out how to keep the disease away.

24th March: According to the latest reports the national death toll due to swine flu has gone up to 14. On Friday officials in Mumbai confirmed that a six year old boy and his grandmother tested positive for the virus. They hadn’t travelled to Pune recently and hence couldn’t contracted the virus from there. Pune has reported over 100 swine flu cases and 8 deaths.

The disease has also hit the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka. Click here to find out how to keep the disease away.

The H1N1 menace has cast an ugly pall on the entire nation with 129 cases and 12 deaths reported in the last 20 days. Four states have been hit by H1N1 virus. Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have reported a combined 129 cases out of which 69 are from Maharashtra alone.

People will hope there is no repeat of the 2009 situation. According to Wikipedia there were 1410 deaths and 19,947 infected back then. Since then H1N1 cases have been on the decline not just in India but all over the world. Read More

3 more test positive for swine flu in Mumbai‎

Mumbai: Testing times lie ahead for citizens. After a brief interlude for a greater part of last year, Mumbaikars are feeling the chills again, as the dreaded swine flu virus is back to stalk the city. While most medical experts mask their fears, five citizens have already contracted the deadly disease, within a matter of days.

After a period of dormancy since June last year, the virus resurfaced in Pune earlier this month, rekindling fears of a resurgence of the disease in Mumbai. Confirming these fears, a six-year-old Mulund boy and his grandmother tested positive with the virus. The count of patients soon shot up to five, with a 57-year-old, a 53-year-old and a 37-year-old falling prey to the bug in close succession, on March 22, March 24, and March 25 respectively.

Super Religare Laboratories (SRL), one of the private laboratories authorised to perform H1N1 screening in the state, detected the H1N1 virus in three newly diagnosed patients. While authorities are downplaying the chances of a pandemic, statistics spell out a different, rather disturbing reality. Read More

Bird flu kills teen in eastern Indonesia‎

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A 17-year-old has died of bird flu in Indonesia. He is the country's sixth fatality from the virus so far this year.

Health ministry spokeswoman Murti Utami said Tuesday the boy from eastern Lombok island developed symptoms early this month after coming into contact with sick chickens.

He died March 9 after one week's hospitalization.

Utami says laboratory results came back several days ago confirming he had the deadly H5N1 virus. Read More

Canary Islands protest Spanish government's oil drilling approval‎

Lanzarote and Fuerteventura see their tourism-dependent economy threatened by plans for exploratory wells in Atlantic

Plans approved by the Spanish government this month to start prospecting for oil off the Canary Islands have triggered protests nationwide.

Despite large-scale opposition and the danger drilling presents to whales and other marine life that migrate through this part of the Atlantic, Madrid gave the go-ahead to the Spanish company Repsol to start exploration at nine locations, at depths between 1,500 and 3,000 metres, less than 60km off Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in the Canaries.

Spain currently imports about 80% of its energy. The industry, energy and tourism minister, José Manuel Soria, argues that it can no longer afford the luxury "of holding back business or wasting natural resources".

Estimates suggest substantial reserves in the area, sufficient to produce 100,000 barrels of crude a day, equivalent to one-tenth of national demand. Read More

Dolphin strands near Cromarty, Scotland

WILDLIFE medics were last night keeping a close eye on a dolphin which stranded itself on Cromarty beach yesterday.

The Scottish SPCA, members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue and the coastguard were involved in the rescue, after the stranded 'common dolphin' was reported by a member of the public around 8.30am.

It is understood it had been on the beach for several hours before being discovered.

It took two attempts to refloat the mammal – measuring 2.5 to 3 metres.

During the drama, initial attempts to refloat the dolphin proved unsuccessful and it restranded near the harbour.

A second attempt was made, this time taking the dolphin further out to sea, near the ferry slip-way, which was successful. Read More

Whale Stranded in West Iceland

A sperm whale became stranded on Snæfellsnes. According to Skúli Alexanderson, a local resident, the whale is easy to get to and several passers-by have gone down to look at it. “You can go up to the whale and touch it. The high-tide may come in around it but it is located extremely high up above sea-level,” Skúli reported to mbl.is.

According to Gísli Víkinsson, whale expert at the Marine Research Institute, about 10 to15 whale strandings occur around Iceland every year and most often it is not known why they swim or drift up to the shore. “They can die from natural causes and then perhaps drift towards land,” says Gísli. The sperm whale that was discovered on Sunday is 12 to 15 meters long and according to Morgunblaðið’s correspondent in Hellissandur, the whale looks whole and has not started to rot. Gísli says that the sperm whale is more likely than larger whales to drift towards land because it floats better while larger whales tend to sink if they die in the sea. Read More

Eurozone needs 'mother of all firewalls', says OECD

The eurozone needs "the mother of all firewalls" if it is to protect the EU's single currency from debt contagion, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned.

Angel Gurria, OECD's secretary general, urged EU finance ministers meeting in Copenhagen on Friday to increase the eurozone's bailout fund to at least €1 trillion (£835bn).

"Weak financial conditions, fiscal consolidation and economic adjustment are restricting demand in the short-term before the long-term benefits on stability and growth are felt," he said. "Decisive action to restore confidence and support demand is needed now."

Germany is trying to hold down any increase to €700bn but Mr Gurria stressed a big fund, the bigger the better, would be needed to fight a eurozone crisis that is not yet over.

"When dealing with markets you must overshoot expectations," he said. "The mother of all firewalls should be in place, strong enough, broad enough, deep enough, tall enough, just big."
The International Monetary Fund has made the increase the pre-condition of increasing its resources to provide credit lines to the euro area, which is facing turbulence on the bond markets. Read More

Brookwood Cemetery: Fire rages at Britains 'largest' cemetery, Woking, Surrey

Britain's largest cemetery is on fire after the "tinder box dry conditions" sparked wildfires.

The blaze is raging over 17 acres of the 500-acre Brookwood Cemetery near Woking in Surrey.

Around 40 firefighters and six fire engines plus other units are battling the fire, which started just after 2pm.

The cause is not yet known.

Fire service area manager Alan Clark said: "The lack of rain and tinder box dry conditions provide the perfect recipe for wildfires.

"Once they start they can spread quickly, making wildfires notoriously difficult to control. These fires cause devastation to the countryside, wildlife and property. They pose a risk to life, both to the public and the firefighters tackling these blazes." Read More

Purported video of French gunman attacks not sent by him, source says

PARIS – A video apparently showing a Muslim gunman's attacks on soldiers and a Jewish school was sent to the Al-Jazeera news network -- but not by him, French police said Tuesday, raising the specter of a possible accomplice.

Al-Jazeera on Tuesday decided not to air a video that seems to have been filmed from the killer's point of view and includes the cries of his victims. The decision came after President Nicolas Sarkozy asked the network not to broadcast it.

While French politicians describe gunman Mohamed Merah as a "lone wolf" terrorist, his brother is behind bars on suspicion of helping in the attacks and police are continuing to look for potential accomplices. Read More

Anthrax Kills Three Farm-Workers in Namibia

Gobabis — Three workers from Farm Kroonster 448 in the Omaheke Region died in the Gobabis State Hospital last week from an illness related to anthrax.

It is suspected that five farm workers of Farm Kroonster contracted anthrax after they ate meat of a cow that died on its own at that farm.

Two out of the five are still being treated at the Gobabis State Hospital for an illness related to anthrax, said a nurse on duty at the hospital on condition of anonymity on Monday.

The registered nurse said the two farm workers who are still admitted are in a critical condition and all movements from that ward are restricted.

"You can confirm this with the hospital matron. Even the remains of the deceased three farm workers are still being kept here in our mortuary for further laboratory investigations," she explained.

Approached for comment this morning, Omaheke Regional Health Director Puumue Katjiuanjo refused to talk to this reporter.

He simply commanded his two secretaries to close his office doors, and said he did not want to see or talk "to this Nampa journalist". Read More

Floods hit 3 areas in Mindoro; 20 evacuated, Philippines

Floods brought by rain over Southern Luzon hit at least three areas in Oriental Mindoro Tuesday, with authorities evacuating at least 20 people to safer ground.

Office of the Civil Defense Region IV-B head Eugene Cabrera said the affected areas included Naujan, Mansalay and Baco towns in the province.

"Taas-dibdib ang isang barangay sa Naujan," Cabrera said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He said reports reaching him indicated that at least 14 villages in Naujan had experienced flooding due to the overflowing of rivers.

While he said there were no initial reports of casualties, equipment has been positioned in flood-prone areas for emergency evacuation. Read More