Two killed, 47 injured in coach crash in Cornwall, England

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Two people have been killed and 47 people have been injured as the result of a coach crash in Cornwall, England. The vehicle, which was carrying 48 passengers as well as the driver, were travelling back from a journey to the village of Mousehole to see Christmas lights. The accident occurred at 2215 GMT yesterday in the village of Townshend, not far from the town of Hayle. Road conditions at the time were icy, which may explain why the accident occurred. The first police car that arrived at the scene lost control on the icy road and crashed into the already overturned coach. The two officers in the car were uninjured, however the earlier crash had caused the deaths of two women. One of them died at the scene of the accident and the other was later killed as a result of the injuries suffered. 47 people were injured, five of them seriously.

The sequence of events that is believed to have happened, according to Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, is that the coach went off the road, collided with a tree, going through a hedge before finally overturning, causing the vehicle to end up on its side. 60-year-old Ann Ellis, who comes from the village of Illogan in Cornwall, was physically involved in the crash. Desribing her experience of this incident, she said: “All I can remember is a big bang and we just went over. I got trapped under somebody else and there was someone on top of me. It was difficult to breathe but two gentlemen dragged me out. I was shaken, really shaken. I think we all were. It was horrific.”

I was shaken, really shaken. I think we all were. It was horrific.

Derek Smith, lives near where the accident occurred. He said that “[w]e were just going to bed when we heard a knock on the kitchen door. She was covered in mud and had no shoes or socks on and was shaking as she stood there. I could hear this commotion going on.

She said to ring the police and ambulance as their coach had turned over and there were 50 people in it and some of them were injured. My wife rang 999 and the lady was in a real panic. We gave her some socks and boots straightaway because she was freezing as she had nothing on her feet.”

75-year-old Charles Parker, who is living in St. Agnes in the county, was also injured in the accident, suffering injuries to his leg and his head. “The roads were so icy,” he explained. “I heard a cracking noise and all of a sudden we had turned over. I remember later being helped out of the coach through a window. We were close to a house and they took most of the people in there. Then helicopters turned up. It was very frightening.”

Inspector Matthew Shaw, who comes from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, explained “[i]t seems from initial investigations that the coach has slipped on ice. The road is covered in a sheet of ice, it’s treacherous, it’s difficult to even walk down there.” The amount of time taken to transport the injured passengers to a hospital was four hours.

Rescue efforts underway after China earthquake

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Humanitarian aid groups and Chinese military forces are beginning rescue operations in western China after a heavy 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the region on Wednesday, that reportedly killed over 600 people and injured almost ten thousand.

The quake, which was centered around the remote town of Yushu, was largely destroyed by the heavy temblor, which occurred early in the morning as residents were waking up. The official death toll stands at 617, while 9,980 more were injured and an additional 313 reported as missing. The Chinese ministry of civil affairs reports that 15,000 houses had collapsed and 100,000 people – almost the entire population in the area – remain without homes.

The plateau where the earthquake hit is frequently visited by tremors; however, there are rarely many casualties due to its remoteness and small population. However, in May 2008 a heavy 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Sichuan foothills, killing 80,000 people.

Rescue efforts are underway, but impeded due to the area’s remoteness and landslides, which have blocked many roads in the area. Also a factor is the high altitude at which the area is located – about 4,000 metres above sea level (13,000 feet) – which could adversely affect rescue crews not used to being in such thin air. Sniffer dogs, for instance, who aren’t accustomed to working at high sea levels, could have a harder time detecting living people buried beneath rubble.

Power and telephone lines were also downed by the temblor, affecting communication, although the authorities commented that electricity and phone links have been repaired to tens of towns.

China’s state media reports that troops garrisoned in the Yushu county, with help from locals, have already rescued over a thousand people buried beneath debris.

Residents and troops garrisoned in the Yushu county have managed to pull out more than 1,000 people alive, according to Chinese state media. They are using shovels and bare hands.

Further exacerbating the situation is the weather: temperatures are freezing, and meteorologists predict sleet and wind to come within the next few days. Many people were forced to sleep outdoors, protecting themselves from the cold in blankets, or spending the night in vehicles.

Pierre Deve for the non-governmental organisation Snowland Service Group, was present in Yushu. He described the damage to Times Online, saying: “There are corpses everywhere on the street. They don’t have time to deal with them. There is a real need for medicine, for food, for water and for doctors. People are terrified that there will be another earthquake. They are also afraid that a dam that has been cracked will burst and flood the town.”

A local doctor, Karma Sherab, also commented on the problems the area is facing: “Most of the hospitals have collapsed and others had become dangerous. The only thing we can do is to clean the wounds in a simple way or simply amputate instead of curing.”

Chinese president Hu Jintao, meanwhile, said that he would be dispatching over 5,000 rescuers and soldiers to the scene of the disaster; the government has pledged over US$29 million worth of aid. Hu described the quake as being a “huge calamity”. He is also shortening his visit to a summit in Brazil to return to his country. “That is why I decided to bring forward my return to China,” he said from Brasilia.

Premier Wen Jiabao has visited Yushu to oversee relief work; he decided to delay a visit to southeastern Asia due to the disaster. “As long as there is the slightest hope, we will make efforts that are 100-fold. Your disaster is our disaster, your suffering is our suffering.”

The head of China’s disaster relief department, Zou Ming, says that 120,000 articles of clothing, 120,000 quilts, food, and close to 40,000 tents were to be sent to the disaster zone; he encouraged people to donate money to assist in longer-term relief work.

Meanwhile, some foreign countries have offered financial help; among them is Japan, which has pledged over one million dollars to disaster victims. The United States also said it is “ready to assist” if China requests international aid.

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Grand Canyon Helicopters For Valentines Day}

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Submitted by: Frank Denber

Valentine’s Day weekend is coming up. And for those looking to really impress a loved on, a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon is a great option. Just make sure you book ASAP as these “sweetheart” flights sell out quickly.

Las Vegas

From Vegas, you fly to the West Rim, which is just 45 minutes by air. Types of tours range from air-only to landing, and both kinds fly over Lake Mead and Hoover Dam en route to the National Park.

The air-only flight is perfect for folks who have limited time to sightsee the Canyon. It’s also the cheapest option and perfect for those on a budget. That said, I prefer landing tours because they offer you a much more comprehensive experience.

Specifically, I like the landing tour that goes to the bottom for a Champagne picnic. And for those feeling especially adventurous, I recommend extending this trip with a Colorado River boat ride. Whichever you go with, you’re in for one heck of a trip.

Deluxe Flights

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Because Valentine’s Day is so special, I’m also recommending that you consider taking a deluxe flight that departs from the Las Vegas Strip. I say this because they come with free hotel pick up and drop off by limousine as well as an extended flight over The Strip on the way back from the Canyon.

Further, by going deluxe, you’re assured of getting onboard an EcoStar 130 helicopter. These particular aircraft are the best sightseeing choppers on the planet. This is because they come with 180-degree windshields, stacked stadium-style bucket seats and an aerodynamic design that makes the ride super smooth.

South Rim

Here you get to choose between 30-minute and 50-minute flights. The shorter one gets the job done but if you’re doing this for Valentine’s Day, I recommend going big and taking the 50-minute ride. This particular tour covers nearly 75 percent of the entire Park and includes the Dragoon Corridor, the widest and deepest section of the Canyon.

Another South Rim trip I like is the helicopter/Jeep combo. It’s the one that features a 30-minute helicopter ride over the Canyon that concludes with a 3-hour ground tour inside the National Park via a customized Jeep. In fact, this one gets two thumbs up from me because no other tour delivers the types of aerial and ground views you’ll get on this trip.

Dress Accordingly

Bear in mind that February is one of the coldest months of the year at the Canyon. My suggestion is to check out the weather forecast a couple of days prior to your flight and dress for it. Temps at the West Rim are similar to those you’ll get in Vegas. The South Rim sits at 7,000 feet so if you’re coming up from Sedona or Phoenix you’ll want to bundle up.


I hope this article about Grand Canyon helicopter tours during Valentine’s Weekend (it’s on Saturday, February 14) helped you as you plan the ultimate “date” tour. Remember, my pick for best trip out of Vegas is the deluxe Champagne picnic at the bottom and for South Rim it’s a toss up between the 50-minute air-only and the helicopter/Jeep combo.

About the Author: The author is a Grand Canyon expert and recommends going here for the best

South Rim helicopter

tours and here for ones that depart from Las Vegas:




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Andrea Muizelaar on fashion, anorexia, and life after ‘Top Model’

Monday, November 26, 2007

In the 18 months since Andrea Muizelaar was crowned winner of the reality TV series Canada’s Next Top Model, her life has been a complete whirlwind. From working in a dollar store in her hometown of Whitby, Ontario, to modeling haute couture in Toronto, she had reached her dream of becoming a true Top Model.

But at what cost? Unknown to casual television viewers, Muizelaar had been enveloped in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which inevitably became too much for her to bear. She gave up modeling and moved back to Whitby, where she sought treatment for her disorder, re-entered college, and now works at a bank. Where is she now? Happy and healthy, she says.

Recently Andrea Muizelaar sat down with Wikinews reporter Mike Halterman in a candid interview that stretched to nearly two hours, as she told all about her hopes and aspirations, her battle with anorexia, and just what really happened on Canada’s Next Top Model.


  • 1 Andrea’s beginnings
  • 2 Andrea on her road to modeling, and America’s Next Top Model
  • 3 Experience on Canada’s Next Top Model
  • 4 The message she wrote to her fans on her facebook group
  • 5 Her brief modeling career
  • 6 “Happy and healthy”
  • 7 Source

Oil spill near Black Sea as storm sinks three ships

Monday, November 12, 2007

A fierce storm on Sunday resulted in massive 18-foot waves, which split a Russian oil tanker in two and sank two Russian freighters nearby. The tanker spilled at least 560,000 gallons of fuel into a strait which leads to the Black Sea, and officials say it may take years to clean up. The tankers sank in the Strait of Kerch, which links the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the northeast. The two ships were carrying a total of around 7,150 tons of sulfur, according to Sergei Petrov, Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations regional spokesperson.

The tanker was carrying nearly 1.3 million gallons of fuel oil, and was stranded several miles from shore. Emergency workers were prevented from collecting the spilled oil immediately due to stormy weather; the head of the state environmental safety watchdog Rosprorodnadzor, Oleg Mitvol, said “there is serious concern that the spill will continue”. Workers eventually managed to begin work on cleaning up the spill, an effort which may be long-term. Tar-like sands laden with oil and seaweed were piled on the shore, while oil-covered birds in slick-covered water tried to flap their wings. Regional coast guard officer Anatoly Yanhuck said once weather improves they will begin pumping oil from the tanker, then tow the ship to port.

Two fuel-loaded barges and Turkish freighter Ziya Kos also ran aground in the area, but there was no further environmental damage, said Petrov. Ten ships altogether were sunk or run aground in the area of the Black Sea near the Straight of Kerch and the Straight itself; a Russian freighter carrying metal was also reported as having sunk near the port of Sevastopol on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

One of the sulfur-carrying freighters reported three crew members as drowned, and five more as missing, while two members of the sunk freighter carrying metal were reported as drowned and another remains missing. The oil tanker’s 13 crew members were all rescued safely, and all members of the second freighter were also reported as safe.

Captains had been warned Saturday morning of the stormy conditions, regional prosecutor Maxim Stepanenko told Russia’s Vesti 24. The oil tanker was not built to withstand fierce storms, having been designed to transport oil on rivers during Soviet times, he said.

Chemist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Service office of response and restoration, Jim Farr said the sulfur spill from the two freighters wouldn’t create a “hazardous situation”, a statement backed up by Alexei Zhukovin, expert with the Emergency Situations Ministry’s branch in Southern Russia. Although on land sulfur is used as a fungicide, in a marine setting it wouldn’t act as one, said Farr; instead a sulfur spill can be compared to dumping sand on a reef and smothering it, or placing a blanket on a bed of grass. Long-term effects are more difficult to speculate on, however, without better knowledge of the area and its currents. Oleg Mitvol said that although the sulfur spill doesn’t present an environmental danger, the two freighters might also leak fuel oil from their tanks, adding to the pollution.

Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, and Ukraine all border on the Black Sea.

News briefs:July 28, 2010
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Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

By Jennifer Weiss

When searching for the perfect location for your next outdoor vacation adventure, look to the North Carolina Outer Banks to fill your plate with beach excursions, wildlife parks, and historical charm that simply cannot be missed. Whether you are drawn in by the miles of pristine, sandy beaches that line the coastline or the numerous trails that take visitors through lush vegetation in search of gorgeous bird species, you will experience the adventure of a lifetime when you stay in a vacation rental in the area of your choice.

Whether the southern communities on Ocracoke Island appeal to you or you prefer to stay close to the more popular communities of Brodie Island, there is a vacation rental that has everything you need for a memorable trip. Most come with basic features like a washer and dryer, a fully-stocked kitchen, and an expansive deck where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch in the stunning Outer Banks surroundings. The extras, however, are what make your rental unique and set it miles apart from the cookie cutter hotels that lack the amenities and convenience of a vacation home rental.

With so many miles of coastline, most individuals want to stay near the shore so they can not only participate in water activities but also enjoy the breathtaking views of the water. You can find numerous waterfront homes in places such as Corolla, Duck, and Kill Devil Hills where all you have to do for a day of fun and excitement is walk down the back steps and stroll over to the beach that sits directly behind your home rental. Simply pack up your beach supplies and head out for the ocean, but dont worry in case you forget anything since all of your items are housed just a short walk away.

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After a long day at the beach, you will probably want to kick back and recoup as much of your lost energy as possible. You can spread out in the living room on one of the sofas, enjoying a book you grabbed off the shelf, or you can sit on the deck and listen to the sound of the waves crashing ashore. Whatever kind of relaxing cap to the day you can imagine, there is a way to fulfill your dream in your spacious home rental that sits along the shores of the spectacular Atlantic Ocean.

The Outer Banks were meant to be enjoyed by many, so head here for a family reunion or bring along the entire family and experience this outdoor wonderland as a large, cohesive group. No more staying in a large hotel where the family is spread out in different rooms and constantly running from room to room to simply plan a morning activity. In an Outer Banks vacation rental, everyone can gather in the large living room and discuss the days activities without feeling cramped or disjointed. And with plenty of bedrooms and space for everyone to move about freely, you are in for a much more pleasant, upbeat vacation than you ever imagined.

Enjoy the stress and hassle-free vacation of your dreams by staying in a vacation rental that is close to those areas that appeal to you most. There will be no more sitting in traffic since you can walk to your favorite attractions and forget about panicking as you open your suitcase and realize you forgot a few items since your home rental is stocked with those items that typically slip your mind. Outer Banks vacation rentals are designed to accommodate your needs and make your vacation as restful and relaxing as possible, so take advantage of their amenities and truly soak in the one-of-a-kind setting of the Outer Banks by reserving the one that is right for you today.

About the Author:


has the most comprehensive selection of vacation rental homes on the Internet. For an alternative lodging option, consider Outer Banks vacation rentals for your next trip to the North Carolina coast.



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Roussanne Wine Rich, Full Bodied And Floral

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Submitted by: Sarah Martin

The name of the Roussanne white wine grape comes from the French word roux to describe the red color of the grapes when they are fully ripe. It originated in the Rhone Valley, but is now grown all over the world.

This is one of the six wines permitted to be used in the blend of the wine appellations that come from the Rhone, along with Marsanne (http://www.wineaccess.com/wine/grape/Marsanne) and Viognier. The wine can taste thin and tart and for this reason it is rarely produced on its own in the wineries of Europe, even though wineries of California do produce varietals.

The vines of the Roussanne grape ripen late in the season. It is not one of the popular vines among winemakers because it tends to give an irregular yield and it has poor resistance to wind, which can also affect the size of the crop. It is very difficult to cultivate because it is also susceptible to powdery mildew and rot.

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Even though it ripens late and requires a longer growing season that most other varieties of grapes, wineries must take care that they harvest the grapes at just the right time so that the alcohol levels will not be too high. At the same time, if the grapes are harvested too early, the wine produced from them is very acidic.

The grapes respond well to sunlight, growing best is warm, sunny climates. On the vine, the grapes facing the sun tend to grow better than those on the other side of the vine. This means that winemakers must constantly prune the vines so that all the grapes receive sufficient sunlight. Harvesting usually takes place in stages, with the ripened grapes being picked first with the unripened ones, used for possibly a Pinotage (http://www.wineaccess.com/wine/grape/Pinotage/), allowed to remain on the vine for a longer period of time.

During the process of making the Roussanne grapes into wine, oxidation can become a problem, affecting the quality of the resulting wine. The wine is also better when it is fermented barrels and aged in oak. The wine does have an intense aroma, very similar to that of herbal tea. Although it is fruity, it is not as fruity as other white wines.

These flavors and aromas are present mostly in young wine. As it ages it takes on more of a nutty taste and aroma. If you want to consume it young, when it has aged for 3 to 5 years is the best time. After five years, the wine seems to enter a dormant stage when it doesn t taste as well. After aging for about 7 years, it does take on the characteristics of an aged wine.

In warm climates, the Roussanne wine that is produced is especially rich and full-bodied, with tastes and aromas of pears and honey. In cooler climates, the wine is lighter and more acidic with hints of floral aromas. The method used for aging the wine also plays a part in the taste and aroma. The wine aged in oak barrels are rich and have excellent texture. When wine is aged in stainless steel tanks, this brings out the minerals of the wine and its floral tones.

This wine is a good choice to serve with dishes containing shellfish, especially oysters. It also works well with chowder, but is not a good choice to pair with spicy dishes, such as Oriental cuisine.

About the Author: Sarah Martin is a freelance marketing writer based out of San Diego, CA. She specializes in vineyards of the world, international travel, and fine wine varietals; such as


and Marsanne. For a variety of these delicious wines, please visit





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North Sea oil spill is Norway’s second worst

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On Wednesday at 12:40 p.m. CET (UTC+1), Norwegian authorities were alerted to an oil spill in the Statfjord oil field. The spill originated from the oil platform “Statfjord A”, one of three platforms in the field, operated by StatoilHydro.

Kristin Hoffmann of Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (Petroleumtilsynet) told Dagens Nyheter: “This is the second largest in Norwegian history.” The amount of oil released into the sea is believed to be at least 3840 cubic metres, 25,000 barrels, or approximately 4,000 metric tons. This amount would rank the spill low on the list of oil spills.

“It is a significant amount and we are taking it seriously,” said Vegar Stokset, a spokesman for StatoilHydro, though he said the spill was “very far from land.”

The accident occurred in rough seas while tanker Navion Britannia was loading oil from a storage buoy, StatoilHydro said. Christian Sletner of the Norwegian Coastal Administration said, “StatoilHydro has a good preparedness plan, and a satisfactory system for handling this.” He added, “StatoilHydro is responsible for cleaning up. This is the ‘polluter pays’ principle.”

“The amount of damage could range from completely marginal to relatively large if substantial amounts reach land,” Sletner said. “The chances of it reaching land, at the moment, seem to be relatively small.”

No one was injured at the time of the accident and the platform will continue work as usual Thursday, said StatiolHydro Information Director Kai Nielsen. In a press release, StatiolHydro announced that four vessels are on their way to begin the clean-up, though they will have to wait for calmer seas to begin work.

Petroleum Safety Authority Norway said in a press release that it is demobilizing disaster teams and beginning to prepare for its investigation of the incident. It will also closely follow StatoilHydro’s clean-up.

Statfjord is 200 km (124 miles) off the coast of Norway, located to the east of Bergen. It is an oil and gas field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, though approximately 15% of it is in the United Kingdom’s waters. At peak production, it produces over 700,000 barrels of oil per day. The field is one of the largest known under-sea oil fields in the world.