Monday, June 29, 2009

A crash has killed nine people on a turnpike (toll road) northeast of Miami, Oklahoma. The accident occurred on Friday when a semi-trailer truck struck a line of stationary traffic from behind on the Will Rogers Turnpike near state lines with Missouri and Kansas.

It looks like a war zone. There’s mangled metal everywhere. There’s debris, fluids, dead bodies.

Traffic had come to a standstill as a result of an earlier accident eastbound when the accident occurred. The road has a speed limit of 75 mph, and it is currently thought that the truck driver made no attempts to stop his vehicle. He was hospitalised. A spokesperson for the nearby Freeman Hospital said eight people were treated there, and it is reported a twelve-year-old girl is among the injured.

The girl had to be cut free from the wreckage of her car, and was taken to the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City where she was in critical condition. Her parents were both killed. The accident occurred at 1p.m., and it was four hours before any eastbound lanes re-opened, leaving vehicles stranded in high temperatures and prompting emergency services to distribute water to motorists.

Also killed are an Oklahoma City family of four and a seven-year-old Texas girl and her father. The mother from that family is in a critical condition, and another woman was also killed in the same car.

Lt. George Brown of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol described the scene: “It looks like a war zone. There’s mangled metal everywhere. There’s debris, fluids, dead bodies.” A man who has worked thirty years as a tow truck driver said the crash was “the worst one I’ve ever worked.”

A number of other smaller incidents occurred in the area afterwards. At least three accidents were caused by vehicles slowing down in response to the crash, and four cars collided with each other westbound. No-one was killed in the other accidents.

It took hours to locate the last fatality, who was in a car pinned under the semi-trailer. Two tow trucks were required to separate the vehicles. A total of seven vehicles were involved, including three cars which were beneath the truck by the end of the accident sequence.

A criminal investigation has been launched. A blood sample has been taken from the truck driver, 76-year-old Donald Creed, who has been released from hospital after treatment. There is no indication alcohol was a factor in the accident.


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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Supporters of convicted Australian drug trafficker, Van Nguyen, gathered outside the State Library in Melbourne yesterday to display thousands of messages of opposition to his death sentence.

Callers to talkback radio in Melbourne were overwhelmingly against the death penalty of Nguyen, who immediately admitted his guilt and has cooperated with authorities since being caught smuggling heroin into Singapore. Many called for a boycott of Singaporean products.

25-year-old Nguyen was arrested at Changi Airport in 2002 for carrying heroin and sentenced to death in March. Nguyen claims he carried the 396 grams of heroin strapped to his body in an attempt to pay off his brother Khoa’s $30,000 legal debts.

The Singapore government have announced they will execute Nguyen at dawn on December 2nd. Singapore President S. R. Nathan rejected Nguyen’s clemency four weeks ago. The Melbourne salesman was sentenced to death under Singapore law which determines a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty of possessing 15 grams of heroin or more.

Nguyen’s mother was informed on Thursday by registered mail from the Singapore prisons service of the execution date. The letter stated that she should start making funeral arrangements. She will get to see her son in the three days leading up to the execution.

Despite repeated pleas for clemency from many thousands of supporters; religious groups; human rights organisations; the Pope; and the Australian Government – including Prime Minister, John Howard – Singapore officials have said Nguyen’s execution is irreversible.

Mr Howard had argued that Nguyen should be spared, citing mitigating circumstances in his case which pointed to the fact that he was not a serial drug trafficker but had merely been trying to pay off his brother’s debts.

The Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, says the Singaporean Government has shown no compassion whatsoever in its treatment of Van Nguyen and his family.

“What’s happening is brutal, is inappropriate. I, and the Victorian Government, vehemently oppose the death penalty in any circumstances”, he told ABC Radio. “This is a young kid who has assisted the police all the way… In any other country, he would get a discount in relation to the penalty. But because there is a mandatory death penalty for drug offences in Singapore, this young man may well be executed. It is just grossly inappropriate.”

“Singapore maintains that capital punishment is a criminal justice issue; it is the sovereign right of every country to decide whether or not to include capital punishment within its criminal justice system,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Singapore argues that there was no international consensus that capital punishment should be abolished. At the most recent meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, 66 countries dissociated themselves from a resolution calling for the abolition of capital punishment.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong affirmed Singapore’s position by saying that it has to “stand firm on drugs to protect its citizens from the scourge and to ensure the country does not become a conduit for the trafficking of illicit drugs.”

In reply to a letter appealing for clemency from his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said: “Mr Nguyen imported almost 400gm of pure heroin which would have supplied more than 26,000 doses to drug addicts.”

No one will be permitted to see Nguyen on the morning of his execution. His body will be released to his mother.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

After an explosion aboard an oil rig four days ago, an oil spill caused by the sinking of the rig has expanded to cover an area of around 600 square miles (1550 square kilometers), and efforts to shut off the leak have thus far been unsuccessful.

Officials have begun to use robotic submersible vehicles to stop the leak. The efforts began yesterday, although it could be as late as tomorrow before they are completed. The vehicles will attempt to engage a device called a blowout preventer, which can seal the well shut to prevent sudden releases of pressure within the well, like the one that may have caused the rig to explode. According to BP, the company that operated the well, the attempt was the first of its kind in the world.

The leaks are on a pipe from the ocean floor called a riser. They are currently estimated to be releasing around 42,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, and the oil slick on the surface of the ocean is estimated to cover an area about 48 by 39 miles at its widest points. Officials say oil is not expected to reach land until at least Thursday, and would remain at least 30 miles from land through Tuesday. The impact of the spill on wildlife is currently unknown; there have been no reports of animal casualties, though whales were seen in the vicinity of the spill yesterday.

According to officials, there are two other possible ways to contain the oil spill if the attempt to seal the well is unsuccessful. One option would be to install a large dome over the leak and send the collected oil to the surface, where it would be collected by ships. This has been done before, although only in shallow water. The second option is to drill an entirely new well that would intersect the original, although this could take months to complete.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Victoria Wyndham was one of the most seasoned and accomplished actresses in daytime soap opera television. She played Rachel Cory, the maven of Another World‘s fictional town, Bay City, from 1972 to 1999 when the show went off the air. Wyndham talks about how she was seen as the anchor of a show, and the political infighting to keep it on the air as NBC wanted to wrest control of the long-running soap from Procter & Gamble. Wyndham fought to keep it on the air, but eventually succumbed to the inevitable. She discusses life on the soap opera, and the seven years she spent wandering “in the woods” of Los Angeles seeking direction, now divorced from a character who had come to define her professional career. Happy, healthy and with a family she is proud of, Wyndham has found life after the death of Another World in painting and animals. Below is David Shankbone’s interview with the soap diva.


  • 1 Career and motherhood
  • 2 The politics behind the demise of Another World
  • 3 Wyndham’s efforts to save Another World
  • 4 The future of soap operas
  • 5 Wyndham’s career and making it as a creative
  • 6 Television’s lust for youth
  • 7 Her relationship today to the character Rachel Cory
  • 8 Wyndham on a higher power and the creative process
  • 9 After AW: Wyndham lost in California
  • 10 Wyndham discovers painting
  • 11 Wyndham on the state of the world
  • 12 Source

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The shooting death by Canadian troops of a 10 year-old boy in Afghanistan has raised fears of a backlash and retaliation. The boy was shot and a teenager injured at around 5pm local time yesterday when, while driving a motorcycle, they sped through a roadblock cordoning off the scene of a suicide bombing. A soldier fired a bullet which passed through the 17 year-old driver and killed the boy. Military authorities are investigating the incident.

“A motorcycle carrying two people broke through the Afghan National Police outer security cordon at high speed,” said Colonel Fred Lewis, deputy commander of the Canadian contingent of NATO‘s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. “The driver failed to heed multiple warnings to stop as he headed towards the inner Canadian cordon. A Canadian ISAF soldier then opened fire in a defensive application of our rules of engagement. A single round struck both the driver and the passenger of the motorcycle.”

Lewis doubts soldiers had time to fire warning shots due to the speed of the oncoming motorcycle. He also said that while noexplosives were found on the vehicle he had a “sneaking suspicion” that soldiers feared the motorcycle carried a second suicide bomber and acted defensively. He added that he was concerned that the Taliban would try to exploit the incident for propaganda purposes and that he was concerned about a possible backlash by locals.

“I would be concerned about it and I think we need to pass the right message to the Afghan people,” he said. “The message is that we’re here to help them and we certainly would never want to hurt them.”

Relatives of the boys were at the gates of the Canadian military base last night demanding answers.

Corporal David Braun was killed in the suicide attack which occurred two hours before the shooting. Three other soldiers were wounded but are listed in good condition. An Afghan child also died in the blast which occurred when a suicide bomber rammed his car into a Canadian convoy on patrol in Kandahar.

Corporal Braun is the 27th Canadian soldier to die since Canadian military operations in Afghanistan began in late 2001 as part of the American led “War on Terror”.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Countries and organizations from around the world are sending aid and help to victims of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday, damaging many buildings. The death toll is currently unknown, but estimated to run into the tens of thousands of people.

US president Barack Obama said in a press conference that “I’ve directed my administration to launch a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives and support the recovery in Haiti.”

Obama announced that aid from the US armed forces was coming to Haiti, noting, “Several Coast Guard cutters are already there providing everything from basic services like water, to vital technical support for this massive logistical operation.”

Obama continued: “[…] today, I’m also announcing an immediate investment of $100 million to support our relief efforts. This will mean more of the life-saving equipment, food, water and medicine that will be needed. This investment will grow over the coming year as we embark on the long-term recovery from this unimaginable tragedy.”

Obama said that the US would forge partnerships with Haitian people and Haitian-Americans, along with United Nations peacekeepers. He closed by saying, “To the people of Haiti, we say clearly, and with conviction, you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten. In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you. The world stands with you.”

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said that $10 million is being released from the international organization’s central emergency response fund.

Meanwhile, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), which already has an existing operation in the country, is beginning to distribute high energy biscuits which require no preparation before eating. On top of that, the WFP is airlifting 86 metric tons of food from their emergency hub in El Salvador.

A spokesperson for the WFP said, “In a normal day the World Food Programme will be feeding one or two million people in Haiti — and now we need to do even more, because the people have lost everything.”

China is also pledging aid to the country, despite the lack of official diplomatic ties between the two countries. Haiti recognizes the Republic of China, better known as Taiwan. Nevertheless, China has sent a 60 member search and rescue team to Haiti and the Chinese Red Cross is donating one million dollars in emergency aid.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said her country expresses sympathy to the Haitian government and people. Jiang says the Chinese foreign minister has sent a telegram of condolence to his Haitian counterparts.

An 80 member team from the United Kingdom of search and rescue specialists has arrived in Haiti to help in efforts there. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in a joint press conference with Toaiseach of Ireland Brian Cowen that the team has arrived in the country. He also announced that the government is pledging to match the UN’s US$10 million (£6.1 million).

Brown said, “It is a tragedy beyond imagination and there is a deep sense of loss felt by the whole of the British and Irish people about the tragedy that individual families in Haiti are experiencing at the moment. We send our message of sympathy and support to the people of Haiti at this most difficult of times.”

He added, “Where men, women and children are suffering under the heaviest of burdens, that place must, for that moment, become the centre of our world’s attention, the world’s compassion and the world’s humanitarian help.”

France is also sending aid to the French-speaking country, which at one time was a colony of France known as Saint-Domingue. France is sending two planes with rescuers and aid. Civil safety authorities in France are sending a team of 130 members consisting of rescuers, trained rescue dogs, doctors and nurses along with 12,000 tons of aid and rescue supplies.

Israel is sending rescue forces in two El Al planes carrying a 121-member delegation that includes 40 doctors, five search-and-rescue teams, and an army rescue squad. The IDF medical teams are preparing to spend two weeks in Haiti.

Spain has pledged $4.3 million (3 million) in aid money and has 150 tons of aid ready to be delivered.

South Africa is sending a team of search and rescue specialists to Haiti in response to the devastating earthquake on Tuesday. It is the first of several teams being sent by a local civic group.

The head of South Africa’s Gift of the Givers Foundation, Emtiaz Sooliman, says his group is sending up to three teams of search and rescue specialists to Haiti to help victims of the earthquake and hopefully save some lives.

“These are people who have worked with building collapses, urban search and rescue and some of them have been involved in responding to previous earthquakes so they are highly skilled,” he said.

Sooliman says a second team is to depart as soon as he can book a flight for it.

 This story has updates See Haiti relief efforts: in depth 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On Sunday, Curaçao’s football team won their first Caribbean Cup defeating the defending champions Jamaica 2–1.

Elson Hooi opened the scoring for Curaçao in the tenth minute. The defending champions were trailing the team ranked 70th in the FIFA ranking. Rosario Harriott scored an equaliser for the Jamaicans after a free-kick in the 82nd minute of the game. But within two minutes, Hooi, who previously played for Dutch football clubs NAC Breda and FC Volendam, netted another goal, restoring Curaçao’s lead. The match ended 2–1.

In 2013’s competition, Curaçao did not manage to win a single game. Before Sunday’s final, Curaçao’s goalkeeper said, “Being in the final is a wonderful feeling”. He added, “But I must say, Jamaica is a dangerous team. They have no European players in their team and they are still in the final. They have speed, unity and physical players. So, on Sunday, we need to work hard for our victory.” He won the 2016–17 KNVB Cup with Dutch Eredivisie (Dutch league) club SBV Vitesse.

Curaçao defeated hosts Martinique 2–1 in the semi-final. In the third-place decider, French Guiana defeated Martinique 1–0. Sloan Privat scored the only goal of the match in the 74th minute. Curaçao, Martinique, French Guiana, and Jamaica are to play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup which is scheduled to be played next month in the United States. Curaçao has never featured in a Gold Cup tournament.

Curaçao’s starting lineup consisted of Rangelo Janga, Jarchinio Antonia, Elson Hooi, Gevaro Nepomuceno, Dustley Mulder, Leandro Bacuna, Gillian Justiana, Darryl Lachman, Quentin Jakoba, and Cuco Martina, with Eloy Room guarding the nets.

June 25, 2017
Jamaica 1–2 Curaçao Stade Municipal Pierre-Aliker, Fort-de-France, Martinique
Rosario Harriott 82′ 0–1 (HT) Elson Hooi 10′ 84′

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

In a televised Pentagon press briefing Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stood by a press release from the Pentagon on Monday that reported explosives and bombs crossed into Iraq from across the Iranian border. A weapons cache was said to have been intercepted. “It is true that weapons, clearly, unambiguously from Iran have been found in Iraq,” Rumsfeld said today.

Evidence reportedly indicated the quality and sophistication of the weapons was such that they may have been manufactured in Iran, but Rumsfeld was unable or unwilling to describe the weapons further. Timing of the Pentagon release coincides with the controversy over Iran restarting its nuclear facilities.

Rumsfeld, with the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs, Richard Myers, said the jihadist effort in Iraq was aimed at inciting civil war, since they realize they cannot directly defeat the coalition. Speaking on the issue of border crossings of troops and munitions from Syria and Iran, Rumsfeld implied that those nations don’t want progress in to be made in Iraq. He said, “… what are the Iranians doing? Are they going to be helpful or unhelpful? … same with the Syrians… are they being helpful or unhelpful?”

The two cited progress by the Iraqi government in working toward the August 15 deadline for drafting a new constitution. In a nod to the possibility that the deadline will be missed, it was said that the constitution could be amended, and that voting on ratification would occur in October of this year, with a general election to follow in December. Myers referred to a shift in the Sunni participation in the process, saying, “All indications are that the Sunni leadership in Iraq has made a fundamental decision that they want to be part of the process.”

They reasserted previous President Bush statements that there is no clear time-table for an Iraqi withdrawal because it depends on the situation at the time. “The drawdowns that will occur eventually will obviously be based on those conditions.” Rumsfeld said. Further questions by reporters intending to pin down a clear withdrawal time-line were rebuffed.

Myers said, “You have economic progress that has to be made; you have political progress that has to be made.” He added that “173,000 Iraqi security forces” are in place in the country, but along with work on the country’s infrastructure, much remains to be done with the training and equipping of their security forces.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catherine Mullany, a newly married British woman, and her husband, Ben Mullany, have been shot while on honeymoon in Antigua. Catherine died on the scene, while Ben is in a critical condition in Hospital.

The families of the Mullanys have described themselves as “deeply shocked and devastated.”

The incident occurred at 05:00 Antigua time (09:00 GMT) on Tuesday, and it is being treated by police as a robbery. A police spokesperson described the incident. “Shortly after 5am this morning officers from the Bolans Police station responding to a call, arrived at Cocos Hotel and Restaurant in the Valley Church area, the scene of a murder.” UK police have been asked to help in the inquiry.

Catherine Mullany was a doctor, who, before her death, planned to become a GP. Ben was a physiotherapy student at the University of the West of England (UWE), which is located in Bristol, England. Mary Price, the Media Relations and Internal Communications Manager for UWE, gave Wikinews the following statement:

Ben Mullany is a third year physiotherapy student at the University of the West of England. Ben is a very good student who is greatly valued by staff and his peers. Staff and fellow students are deeply shocked to hear of this tragic incident. Our condolences go to his wife’s family and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
 This story has updates See British man dies five days after wife in honeymoon shooting