Archive for November, 2010

Yet another reason to avoid Air India Express

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Report: Co-pilot moved seat, sent jetliner plummeting

The co-pilot of an Air India Express 737 sent the jetliner into a terrifying 7,000-foot plunge in May when he accidentally hit the control column while adjusting his seat, investigators report.

According to the report from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the co-pilot panicked and was unable to execute the proper procedures as the jetliner dropped from 37,000 feet at a 26-degree angle.

The plane and its 113 passengers were saved when the pilot, who’d gone on a bathroom break, used an emergency code to get into the locked cockpit, jumped back into his seat and grabbed the controls to bring the plummeting plane out of its dive.

The aircraft would have broken apart if the descent had continued, the aviation agency report said.

The aircraft was not damaged and no one was injured, the report said. After the pilot, 39, regained control of the plane, he told passengers, who were in the middle of a meal when the jet plunged, that the plane had “went through an air pocket and that is why there was a rapid descent,” according to the report.

Oops of the week

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Logger dismantles $5,000 sculpture mistaken for wood pile

A New Brunswick logger is unrepentant after beginning to dismantle a wood pile that turned out to be a sculpture titled Deadwood Sleep.

Ron Fahey of Sackville said Monday he was granted permission in August from Mount Allison University to take the logs stacked in an area behind the president’s residence alongside a waterfowl park in the town.

“I got the okay to just take the wood and, to me, it was just a pile of wood,” he said. “If that’s art then I’m in the wrong racket. I guess I’m not cultured.”

He said he was going to use it for firewood and had started to haul some of the wood away on Saturday when the town manager came rushing over to ask if he had permission to touch it.

Mr. Fahey, 59, realized the mistake and stopped working on the pile, though he’d already pulled several logs off.

Andrea Ward, grounds manager at Mount Allison University, said there was confusion over which pile of wood Fahey was to dismantle behind the historic Cranewood residence on the campus.

“Basically we said, ‘We don’t think the wood you’re looking at is on your property, but we do have some wood on our property if you’re interested,’ ” she said.

Germanwings tries to fuel their passengers

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Cream and sugar with your jet fuel? Plane water tanks mistakenly filled

Three planes belonging to the airline Germanwings reportedly took off this weekend with jet fuel in their drinking water tanks, which nearly made it into passengers’ coffee cups.

According to daily Bild, a 21-year-old service company employee on Saturday thought he was filling the planes at Berlin’s Schönefeld airport with water, not realising the 3,000-litre tank was contaminated with fuel.

The mistake was not discovered until after the planes to Zweibrücken, Cologne and Munich took off, Germanwings spokesman Joachim Schöttes said on Sunday.

The crews all reported noticing a strange smell while preparing beverages for passengers, at which point they decided to serve juice and soft drinks instead, Bild reported.

“The passengers had to do without tea and coffee,” Schöttes said.

More antics with Iran’s nuclear program

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Bombs kill Iran nuclear scientist, wound another:

Assailants on motorcycles attached bombs to the cars of two nuclear scientists as they were driving to work in Tehran Monday, killing one and wounding the other, state media and officials said.

Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the man killed was involved in a major project at the country’s chief nuclear agency, though he did not give specifics.

Some Iranian media reported that the wounded scientist was a laser expert at Iran’s Defense Ministry and one of the country’s few top specialists in nuclear isotope separation.

UPDATE: looks like there’s a Stuxnet connection too!

Meanwhile in N Korea

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

South Korea warns North Korea it will ’sternly retaliate’ to any further provocation:

Two South Korean marines were killed and 17 others injured, as well as three civilians, after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow sea, 50 miles off the South’s northwest coast in an area close to a disputed sea border.

The attack, which comes days after it emerged that North Korea was pressing ahead with its illegal nuclear programme, marks a serious further escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

A presidential statement said the shelling “constitutes a clear armed provocation.”

“Furthermore, its reckless shelling of civilian targets is unpardonable.

The Great Tragedy of the West, 20 years ago…

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Margaret Thatcher knew the single currency would devastate Europe :

Next week it will be 20 years since Margaret Thatcher fell. Pressure had been building on a number of fronts, but the issue which finally destroyed her was the yet-to-be-born euro.

In the last weekend of October 1990, she travelled to a European summit in Rome, where Jacques Delors’ dream of European Monetary Union was high on the agenda.

But while Mrs Thatcher was fighting her lone battle against the prospective single currency abroad, she was being fatally undermined at home.

Geoffrey Howe, her bitterest cabinet critic, went on television to tell the interviewer Brian Walden that in principle Britain did not oppose the euro.

In her Commons statement after returning home, she was forced to slap Howe down: “this government believes in the pound sterling.”

Howe resigned, and days later delivered the famous speech from the back benches that set in motion a leadership contest.

Today, Margaret Thatcher’s autobiography, first published in 1993, reads like a prophecy.

It shows how deeply and with what extraordinary wisdom she had examined Delors’ proposals for the single currency.

Her overriding objection was not ill-considered or xenophobic, as subsequent critics have repeatedly claimed.

They were economic. Right back in 1990, Mrs Thatcher foresaw with painful clarity the devastation it was bound to cause.

Her autobiography records how she warned John Major, her euro-friendly chancellor of the exchequer, that the single currency could not accommodate both industrial powerhouses such as Germany and smaller countries such as Greece.

Germany, forecast Thatcher, would be phobic about inflation, while the euro would prove fatal to the poorer countries because it would “devastate their inefficient economies”.

It is as if, all those years ago, the British prime minister possessed a crystal ball that enabled her to foresee the catastrophic events of the past year or so in Ireland, Greece and Portugal.

Indeed, it is one of the tragedies of European history that the world chose not to believe her.

President Mitterrand of France and Chancellor Kohl of Germany dismissed her words of caution. And when Mrs Thatcher was driven from office in 1990, a crucial voice was lost, and a new consensus started to form in Britain in favour of the euro

Fun with bombs in Scotland

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Terrorist fears after mystery explosion in forest

Anti-terrorism and bomb disposal experts from the Metropolitan Police and the Royal Navy have been called in after a walker heard what sounded like a bomb going off in Garadhban Forest, Loch Lomond.

When police officers arrived, they uncovered several explosive devices and found that a tree had been blown up.

Two areas of land were cordoned off to make the area safe. Shops and businesses in the nearby village of Gartocharn have been asked to hand over CCTV as a matter of urgency, and villagers and National Park staff have been told to report any suspicious activity they have seen in recent days.

Police have promised to continue intensive patrols in the area for the next three days, and a spokesman for the Scottish Government said ministers were being kept informed.

Officers refused to speculate on the motives for the explosion, but an expert said the signs all pointed towards an act of terrorism.

TSA, still giving a good name to government authority every day…

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Airport staff ‘exposed woman’s breasts, laughed’:

A WOMAN is suing over an incident where airport staff allegedly pulled down her top and joked about her breasts in public view.

The 23-year-old traveller, from Amarillo, US, is suing the US Government for the emotional distressed she says the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents caused.

The woman says she was singled out for “extended search procedures” while preparing to board a plane to Amarillo in May 2008.

“As the TSA agent was frisking plaintiff, the agent pulled the plaintiff’s blouse completely down, exposing plaintiffs’ breasts to everyone in the area,” the lawsuit said.

“As would be expected, plaintiff was extremely embarrassed and humiliated.” The lawsuit claims that other employees laughed and made jokes about the incident “for an extended period of time”.

“Bristol the Pistol” rage in Wisconsin

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Bristol Palin’s dancing on TV set off man in standoff, complaint says:

Allegedly set off by Bristol Palin’s appearance on “Dancing with the Stars,” a rural Black Earth man kept police at bay outside his home for 15 hours Monday and Tuesday before he surrendered to police.

Steven N. Cowan, 66, railed at the television as the daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin appeared on the ABC program, his wife told police Monday after she fled from the town of Vermont house, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.

Cowan had also been under stress because of a financial situation and was receiving care for a mental health problem, the complaint states.

Cowan’s wife, Janice, told police that her husband had been drinking, but she did not think he was intoxicated.

The complaint charged Cowan with second-degree reckless endangerment.

According to the complaint, Cowan and his wife were watching “Dancing with the Stars” when Cowan jumped up and swore as Bristol Palin appeared, saying something about “the (expletive) politics.” Cowan was upset that a political figure’s daughter was on the show when he didn’t think she was a good dancer, the complaint states.

Demons on the attack in Trinidad and Tobago

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Panic after ‘Devil attack’ at school

Panic broke out at the Moruga Composite School yesterday as 17 female students fell mysteriously ill and began rolling on the ground, hissing and blabbering in a strange tongue, after suffering bouts of nausea and headaches. Two of the students reportedly tried to throw themselves off a railing and had to be physically restrained, triggering fears of a possible demon attack.The drama started during the lunch hour in the Form One block and quickly spread to other areas. Form Five student Kern Mollineau, who attends the Lighthouse Tabernacle Church, said he got worried when the girls’ eyes began rolling up in their heads and they began beating up on the ground.

They start ‘em young in Mexico!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

El Ponchis, the sadistic executioner who is terrorising Mexico…. at the age of 12

He is the sadistic executioner whose killings have terrorised Mexico.

But unlike most of the brutal players in the country’s horrific drug wars, El Ponchis (The Cloak) is just 12 years old.

The diminutive hitman, whose real name is not known, is in the pay of a Mexican cartel battling for control of the cocaine trade.

He works alongside a posse of women dubbed the Chavelas, who are responsible for dumping the bodies of his victims. Some of them are believed to be his sisters.

A Mexican Army spokesman said: ‘We understand El Ponchis works under the command of Julio Jesus Radilla.

‘These victims were tortured, their throats cut and bodies dumped at roadsides.’

Gruesome videos of El Ponchis torturing and executing his enemies have been circulated online.

His favoured technique is to slit the throats of his victims using a cutting technique which leaves the head hanging by a thread.

The killer has also posed for photographs wielding a rifle and standing beside a body.

No One Ever Leaves the KGB

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Russian assassin ’sent to kill double agent who betrayed Anna Chapman’

A contract killer has been dispatched to assassinate the Russian double agent who betrayed Anna Chapman and nine other spies in the United States this spring, according to reports in Moscow.

“We know who he is and where he is,” a high-ranking Kremlin source told the reputable Kommersant newspaper.

“You can have no doubt – a Mercader has already been sent after him.”

Ramón Mercader was the KGB-hired Spanish communist who was sent to kill Leon Trotsky with an icepick in Mexico in 1940.

The traitor was reportedly identified as a Colonel Shcherbakov, an officer of the SVR (foreign intelligence service) who headed the S directorate of the service’s US department, which controlled the ring of sleeper agents, including Chapman.

Shcherbakov is thought to have fled Russia three days before the president, Dmitry Medvedev, visited Barack Obama on 24 June, when the two leaders ate hamburgers together at a diner in Virginia.

“After that, the Americans, worried that we would suspect a betrayal and start pulling our agents from the US, began to arrest them,” said the Kremlin source.

Please don’t whip your students

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

High School Coach Suspended For Whipping Players:

A high school basketball coach at Murrah High School in Jackson, Mississippi has been suspended and has been sued for allegedly whipping players for several different reasons.

Marlon Dorsey faced a lawsuit filed Tuesday for the actions against the players. Attorney Lisa Ross filed the lawsuit against Dorsey.

Ross claims to have a video taken with a cell phone of a player that shows the teammate bent over as Dorsey whipped him three times with a weight belt that weighed anywhere from five to ten pounds.

Ross also says that along with the whipping the boys were physically and verbally abused in other ways as well.

Dorsey has admitted to “paddling” the players.

This is what Dorsey had to say in a statement regarding the allegations: “I took it upon myself to save these young men from the destruction of self and what society has accepted and become silent to the issues our students are facing on a daily basis. I am deeply remorseful of my actions to help our students.”

Mafia assassination in Toranto

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Former mob boss Nicolo Rizzuto gunned down

For a time it seemed Nicolo Rizzuto was the last of the untouchables, or at least that the enemies picking off his family had decided to let the elderly godfather live out his final years.

Mr. Rizzuto was shot dead at his home at dinnertime Wednesday in what may be a stunning coup de grâce against the mob clan he headed for 30 years.

The 86-year-old was shot at 5:45 p.m. at his house on Antoine-Berthelet Avenue, the street where Mr. Rizzuto, his imprisoned son, Vito, and several of his acolytes have lived for years.

Mr. Rizzuto’s crime clan has been under attack in Montreal’s underworld for several years.

A number of high-profile members have disappeared or been killed, including Mr. Rizzuto’s grandson and namesake, Nick Rizzuto, who was shot dead standing beside his black Mercedes last December.

“It’s the end of the Rizzuto crime family. The killing is probably not over, but the family is finished,” said retired RCMP intelligence analyst Pierre de Champlain.

Please don’t pee on the transformer

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Graffiti tagger who urinated on transformer gets shock of his life

A GRAFFITI vandal who cheated death while tagging a railway power substation caused thousands of dollars damage and shut down the Gold Coast train line for a day.

 But a potentially lethal shock of up to 22,000 volts has left the man, 22, with injuries so severe that police are in no rush to press charges.

He remains at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital with third-degree burns to 40 per cent of his body after a midnight mission to “bomb” Coomera station last month went catastrophically wrong.

 Panicked companions, allegedly in an effort to disguise their October 15 expedition, told ambulance officers the man had urinated on a high-voltage transformer.

 But investigators concluded he was scaling the transformer to spray his tag “Wino” when he touched a highly-charged “bush head” and was thrown on to the concrete below. The fact it was raining may have saved him.

French fry rage in Martin County

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Wife eats all the fries, accused ‘enraged’ hubby goes on rampage

A 32-year-old man accused of hitting his wife with a small bat after getting “enraged because she ate all the French fries” faces charges, according to a recently released Martin County Sheriff’s Office report.

Fernando Guzman Cruz, 32, faces charges including false imprisonment with a weapon (domestic), battery (domestic) and assault (domestic) following the 2 a.m. Friday incidents in the 11500 block of Southwest Kanner Highway in Indiantown.

Cruz’s 51-year-old wife said Cruz was “enraged because she ate all the French fries” and started to yell, swear and throw things around their trailer.

She said he started swinging a 12 inch wood bat at her but missed. She tried to leave three times, but Cruz, who was intoxicated and smelled strongly of booze, locked the door and threw her on their living room bed. He finally hit her right calf and foot with the bat.

Hat tip to Will!

Remember kids, baby doesn’t go in the laundry!

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Ten-Day-Old Bartlesville Baby Found Dead In A Washing Machine 

Bartlesville Police are investigating the death of a 10-day-old baby.

The infant’s mother, Lyndsey Fiddler, has been arrested for second-degree manslaughter. Police officers were called to a downtown apartment at 7:42 p.m. Thursday after receiving a 911 call.

When they arrived, they found the infant dead inside a washing machine, having been put in there with clothes and gone through an entire wash cycle.

Bartlesville Police Chief Tom Holland says in his 40 years of police work he has never seen or heard of anything like this.

“I started in Fort Worth and have walked into apartments with seven dead bodies, seen terrible crimes, mass murder, even,” Holland said.

Police say an aunt of the mother went over Thursday night to check on Fiddler and her three kids and found a terrible scene.

“The mother was asleep and she had trouble waking her and heard the washer out of balance, clanging, so went to lift the lid so it would stop and in the washing machine, saw the baby,” Holland said.

Oh, the games nations play…

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Obama piles more military pressure on Iran – conspicuously

Before taking off for Asia Saturday, Nov. 6, President Barack Obama ordered the Pentagon not just to beef up American and NATO military pressure on Iran but to do so as conspicuously as possible, debkafile’s Washington and military sources report .

At a special White House security consultation last week, Obama said it was time to plant America’s military option against the Iranian nuclear threat visibly and tangibly under the noses of Iran’s political and military decision-makers.

In the last few days, three aircraft carriers, four nuclear submarines and marine assault units have piled up opposite Iranian shores.

Early Sunday, the influential Senator Lindsey Graham (R. South Carolina), member of the Armed Services and Homeland Defense committees, said: “The US should consider sinking the Iranian navy, destroying its air force and delivering a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guards.”

In an address to the Halifax International Security forum, he declared “They should neuter the regime, destroy its ability to fight back and hope Iranians will take the chance to take back their government.”

Umm, hope is not a strategy, neither is it a policy, nor is it leadership.  At best it is incompetence; at worst, it’s all that your “leader” has to offer…

Zimbabwe lions get their man

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Zimbabwean man killed by lions while showering

The man was attacked while using an outside shower at a fishing camp near Mana Pools National Park, Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force told German news agency DPA.

The area, located on the Zambesi River, is popular with hunters, most of whom stay in basic camps that offer little protection against attack by wild animals.

The attack is the latest in a string of lion attacks in the area, Mr Rodrigues said.

Eight villagers were killed in a spate of lion attacks over a period of about two months this year, he said. Those attacks only stopped when a pride of lions was killed.