Death toll in Mexican pipeline fire rises to 109

MEXICO CITY — The death toll in a massive fire at an illegally tapped pipeline in Mexico has risen to 109 after ten more injured people died at hospitals.Mexico’s Health Secretary said Friday that 10 victims who were severely burned died between Wednesday and early Friday.Jorge Alcocer said hospitals continue to treat about 40 injured victims.The victims were gathering gasoline from an illegal pipeline tap in the central state of Hidalgo a week ago Friday when the gas ignited, littering an alfalfa field with charred bodies.About half of those who initially survived have since died of their injuries.A total of 14,894 illegal taps were found throughout Mexico in 2018The Associated Press

Georgina Rodriguez Attends Ronaldos Award in Moroccan Caftan

Rabat – Wearing a Moroccan caftan and makeup by a Moroccan makeup artist, Georgina Rodriguez attended the 2019 Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai with her fiance, Cristiano Ronaldo, who received the Best Player of the Year award at the ceremony.Rodriguez wore a stunning gold-embroidered white caftan designed by renowned Moroccan designer Sophia Benyahia and wore famed Moroccan makeup artist Rasha Radi’s makeup.Radi said in a statement that Rodriguez had contacted her to do her makeup and described the 24-year-old model as a “kind, humble woman.” When Radi suggested Rodriguez wear a Moroccan caftan, the young model gladly embraced the idea.Radi shared pictures and videos of herself putting makeup on Rodriguez, who also wore a white headscarf. The award ceremony for the Portuguese footballer and Juventus’ forward Cristiano Ronaldo took place on Thursday in Dubai. The footballer also won the “Fans’ Award” at the ceremony.Other celebrities who have worn caftans include Oscar-winning Hollywood actress Meryl Streep, who donned an ivory-gold caftan made of Indian silk in her film “The Post” in March 2018.Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen, Hillary Clinton, Saudi Princess Ameera al-Taweel, and more have also posed in Moroccan caftans.The caftan was originally worn by Ottoman sultans, but due to the Ottoman Empire’s strong global influence in the last few centuries, various cultures have adopted it throughout the world, such as North and West Africa.The caftan reached Morocco after its spread through Andalusia, which first adopted it in the 9th century.Read Also: Morocco’s Princess Lalla Hasna Stuns with Crimson Caftan in TokyoMorocco later refashioned and added its unique touch to the caftan, creating what is now known as “the Moroccan caftan.” Today, caftans are embraced in the world of fashion. read more

US acknowledges complications in Sri Lanka war crimes investigation

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in an annual report last month Sri Lanka must rein in its military forces, prosecute war crimes and win the confidence of the Tamil minority.He also said witnesses must be protected under an effective transitional justice mechanism that should include international judges.Rajapaksa, while president, rejected international intervention in addressing rights abuses and denied visas for top U.N. officials who wanted to assess conditions in the South Asian country after the war ended in May 2009. Implementing a UN resolution calling for the investigation of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka during a war with separatist rebels is complicated and needs more consultations to build confidence, a senior U.S. official said, according to the Reuters news agency.The United States along with other Western countries have long demanded an international investigation into the killing of thousands of ethnic minority Tamils in the final weeks of the war, in 2009, under then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The U.N. resolution also calls for an inquiry into missing people and progress in reconciliation. “These are complicated issues and there needs to be a process of consultation with all in order to ensure these things are done in a way that earns confidence of the people,” Malinowski told a group of reporters in Colombo late on Thursday.He said the U.N. resolution respected Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.“Under the resolution, the government of Sri Lanka will determine the structure and the composition of the court,” he said, noting that Sri Lanka had made a commitment to include some international participation in the investigation. But President Maithripala Sirisena, who came to power last year, is facing resistance to an investigation from political rivals led by his predecessor, Rajapaksa.U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski said international participation in a special court had been emphasized because of “an erosion in the confidence” in Sri Lanka’s courts over the years. Sri Lanka has promised to implement the U.N. resolution adopted in October that calls for a special court with foreign judges to investigate. Both the military and Tamil rebels “most likely” committed war crimes including mass killings of civilians, during the 26-year war, the United Nations said in a landmark report last year. read more

From sex workers to truckers UN food agency adds AIDS protection to

Aware that its own transport workers might be contributing to the spread of HIV, WFP and TNT, the global mail, express and logistics company, have set up the first of its Wellness Centres at the Mwanza border crossing to give truckers, and the communities they pass through, access to life-saving information on how to avoid contracting HIV and passing it on to others.”Long nights, young men far from home, and an abundance of poor young women makes this a perfect location for HIV to spread – and an ideal place to intervene to stop it,” WFP Country Director Dom Scalpelli said.”That is why Mwanza was the first place WFP and its partners chose to install the ‘Muyende Bwino Pit Stop’, the first Wellness Centre in Malawi,” he added. In response to the dramatic food crisis currently gripping Malawi, trucks contracted by WFP are among the dozens of heavy vehicles that queue up every night at Mwanza, Malawi’s busiest border crossing, handling 70 per cent of all road freight into the southern African country. Since January, some 600 WFP trucks have crossed the border on their way to and from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The Swedish International Development Agency and the Malawian Ministry of Health are also participating in the project. Treatment for minor ailments and sexually transmitted diseases is available, as well as referrals to voluntary counselling, testing and treatment for HIV. The centres are open when their clients need them most.WFP is mounting a relief operation in Malawi to reach more than 4 million people no longer able to feed themselves due to drought and the government’s dwindling ability to cope as farmers, workers and civil servants continue to succumb to the deadly AIDS pandemic. “AIDS has cut a huge swathe through Malawian society. In a country where poverty is endemic and drought a regular feature of rural life, the effects of the pandemic have been truly catastrophic,” Mr. Scalpelli said. WFP is a major transport provider to poor countries, including 21 of the 25 countries worst-affected by AIDS. With more than 5,000 trucks carrying food to hungry people in more than 80 countries, plus countless workers in ports, warehouses, railways and airports, its contractors and staff work along the corridors where HIV rates are among the highest in the world. And since they travel to some of the most remote places in the world, they can contribute to the spread of the disease. HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness activities are provided to all of WFP’s staff worldwide, and offered to transport workers in places like Ethiopia and Myanmar. read more

Pakistan with snows coming UN on standby for large influx of quake

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) plans to have 43 mobile teams on the ground by the end of this week, providing technical advice and aid to the army and the Pakistani authorities in 30 organized camps and scores of spontaneous camps, eventually expanding the number of teams to 65. “UNHCR’s main priority is assisting local authorities with the ‘winterization’ of planned and spontaneous camps,” agency spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told a news briefing in Geneva today. “It is crucial that every tent has a minimum of two plastic sheets, four mattresses, a stove and fuel and that each person has three blankets. We are also tapping the knowledge of Afghan refugees on how to winterize tents through the safe use of stoves,” she said, referring to the millions of Afghans who sought refuge in Pakistan over the past 25 years.The 8 October quake killed some 80,000 people, injured as many others and left up to 3 million homeless.The Pakistan government estimates that 100,000-200,000 more people could come down in the North West Frontier Province and 30,000 in Pakistan-administered Kashmir with this week’s snows.UNHCR is continuing to fly in relief items. In the coming weeks, together with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), it plans to transport 30,000 stoves by commercially chartered planes from Turkey and Jordan, and some by road from Iran.“We are buying some 250,000 blankets in India and China to add to the 600,000 blankets we have already sent to Pakistan,” Ms. Pagonis said. “We are also planning to dispatch over 100,000 plastic sheets from our recently replenished emergency stockpile in Copenhagen and are sending an additional 15 vehicles for our teams on the ground.“Needs however, continue to remain high on the ground, particularly with the possibility of population movements from higher elevations. So far we have received $24.52 million in funding but we need over $30 million to get through the winter period.” read more

UN marks World Day against Death Penalty with strong calls to end

In a video message issued to an event that took place yesterday at the UN Office in Geneva to mark the annual observance of the World Day against the Death Penalty, the Secretary-General noted that an increasing number of States from all regions of the world had acknowledged the failure of capital punishment as a means to exact justice. The death penalty, Mr. Ban said, does not deter crimes more than any other punishment and its abolition or moratorium can contribute “to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights.” “The taking of life is too irreversible for one human being to inflict it on another,” he continued. “We must continue to argue strongly that the death penalty is unjust and incompatible with fundamental human rights.” The event in Geneva also marked the European release of a new publication produced by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), entitled Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Arguments, Trends and Perspectives, which places particular focus on the political leadership required to move away from capital punishment.Recently, Equatorial Guinea, Pakistan, and the states of Washington, Maryland and Connecticut in the United States decided to establish a moratorium or suspend executions while last April, El Salvador, Gabon and Poland acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – an international agreement aimed at abolition. These countries join more than 160 other Members States who have already either eliminated capital punishment or do not practice it.Also to mark the occasion, 13 UN member States signed an appeal to “jointly call for a world which respects human dignity.” In the joint appeal, the first ever launched by Foreign Ministers of both abolitionist and non-abolitionist States, the countries stress that while they respect the views of those who still support the use of the death penalty, they “consider that State executions should not be taking place in the 21st century. Modern justice systems must aspire to more than retribution.”In a separate message delivered yesterday, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, celebrated the overall trend towards abolition, adding that support for abolition resonated across regions, legal systems, traditions, customs and religious backgrounds. But, he noted, amid all the successes there have also been setbacks with some States resuming executions after decades and others reintroducing it for certain offences. “In 2013, after many years of slow, but consistent moving away from the death penalty, we have had a 12 per cent increase in the number of executions when compared to 2012, and the number of executing states increased by one,” Mr. Šimonović told those gathered. “Exactly for this reason, we need to continue our advocacy for the universal abolition of the death penalty.” The Assistant Secretary-General highlighted three specific reasons for abolition which he said were clearly delineated in the OHCHR publication, such as the need to avoid executing those subjected to wrongful convictions; the lack of statistical evidence pointing to the death penalty as a useful deterrent; and the higher rate of execution among those from marginalized communities, including people with mental or intellectual disabilities. He added that while some advocated capital punishment as retribution, research appeared to show the exact opposite – victims and their families “do not want revenge but prefer justice without revenge or retribution.”“I strongly believe that one day, people will look back and wonder how it was possible that the death penalty ever existed—just like, in most societies today, it is already hard to understand how slavery could ever have been allowed,” Mr. Šimonović concluded. “I hope that ‘one day’ is not far away from us. Abolition will undoubtedly enhance the rights of all humankind, starting with our most sacred right of all, the right to life.” read more

At UN Somalias President spotlights countrys progress but cautions eradicating terrorism will

Somalia’s progress towards reconstruction was moving ahead, but Mr. Mohamad said “one cannot remain deaf and blind” pockets of global discontent and the effects of poverty, inequality and unfair globalization. He noted that Somalia played a leading role in the socio-economic development of the Horn of Africa and expressed confidence that cooperation among countries in the region would only strengthen political stability and social and cultural connectivity.He went on to express his country’s pride after the success of the regional elections in some of the Federated States ahead of the 2021 presidential and legislative elections. And while he called Somalia “historic” example of reform, resilience and commitment to progress and reconstruction, he cautioned that despite tangible progress, the country still faced many challenges, first and foremost those related to security, on which “everything depends”.“With the help of our international partners, we are striving to rid ourselves of the last pockets of violent extremism and terrorism,” he said, stressing that the task would not be easy, especially given the “violence, cowardice and opportunistic guerilla tactics of Al Shabab.” But Mr. Mohamed said he is confident that with the help of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other partners, his country will regain stability, which was in the interest of the region and the world. Turning to one of the key issues before Member States, climate change, he said Somalia which had the longest coastline on the African continent, was already experiencing the effects of rising waters and temperatures. Somalia was also impacted by land degradation, long-term drought and deforestation. Mr. Mohamed reiterated his commitment to the Paris Agreement, but also to Security Council resolution 751 (1992), which called on all States to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct and indirect import and export of Somali coal. “It may not save the environment, but it will definitely deprive terrorists of a source of funding,” he said. read more

Tasers to be issued to every frontline officer in forces response to

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. It will take 18 months to train and equip the officers and cost around £220,000. In a tweet, Mr Adderley said risks to officers had “changed dramatically”, adding: “Our officers have a right to feel safe, supported and adequately equipped to tackle this sickening trend.”The announcement follows the death of Pc Andrew Harper in Berkshire last week as he responded to reports of a burglary, the latest incident where an officer has been harmed while on duty.Earlier this month, Pc Stuart Outten was attacked with a machete in Leyton, east London, and used a Taser despite being stabbed in the head, while West Midlands Police Pc Gareth Phillips was run over with his patrol car in Birmingham.Issuing Tasers is a matter for each individual police force, but Police Federation of England and Wales national chairman John Apter said: “We should ensure every officer who wants to carry a Taser can do so. Officer safety should never come second to balancing the books.”Kent is spending almost £1 million to increase its Taser-trained officer force from 330 to 1,500. Any of its frontline officers likely to face violence will be able to be trained in their use.The Metropolitan Police is increasing its Taser-trained officers by 75 per cent to 6,830 by next March, West Midlands is going from 600 to 1,440 and Greater Manchester is doubling its force to 1,100 of its 6,300 front-line officers. Tasers will be issued to every frontline officer in a police force in response to a “sickening trend” of attacks on the emergency services.Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley, who served in the Royal Navy before joining the police, said the weapons would be issued to all officers who want one.His is one of at least seven forces who have seven of the 43 forces in England and Wales including Surrey and Devon and Cornwall who are introducing Tasers for all their frontline officers who want them – as revealed by The Daily Telegraph last month.Mr Adderley said: “I can’t sit here and preside over a situation where my officers are exposed to increasing levels of violence when at my disposal is equipment that could save an officer’s life.”There are people out there who are prepared to seriously injure, or worse. We haven’t moved with the times and we have to move with the times to combat the threat we are facing daily from those who simply have no respect for law and order.”Mr Adderley has previously called for Tasers to be standard issue within three years, but said he was “not prepared to wait” and that Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold was “fully supportive”. The force has just over 1,000 frontline officers. Police are also deploying a more powerful version of the Taser, the X2, which can disable two suspects at once with two 50,000 volt shots without having to be reloaded. It also has greater velocity to penetrate thick clothing. A third generation Taser is about to be evaluated by police.A review of the police’s frontline workforce by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the Home Office found that officers felt more or all of the “should be issued with Tasers, especially when single crewing.” Other methods of restraint such as incapacitant spray were felt to be less effective while police chiefs argued that it could defuse violent situations, often without being fired. read more

Shoppers killed in gun attack at upmarket Kenyan shopping mall

first_imgRob Vandijk, who works at the Dutch embassy, told AP he was eating at a restaurant inside the mall when attackers lobbed hand grenades inside the building. He said gunfire then burst out and people screamed as they dropped to the ground.Nairobi police chief Benson Kibue said the gunmen had besieged the building, and officers engaged the attackers. He said the men were trying to rob a shop within the mall.Some of those running from the mall said the attack may have been a bank robbery gone bad.Cars were left abandoned outside the mall after the attack started around midday.The Westgate Mall is situated in Nairobi’s affluent Westlands area and is frequented by expatriates and rich Kenyans.Associated Press provided reporting. THIS POST CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW THE BREAK. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SEE THEM, DO NOT READ BEYOND THAT POINTTHE KENYAN RED CROSS is reporting that 30 people are dead after gunmen opened fire at an upscale mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based terror group, have claimed responsibility for the attack.Witnesses at the scene have told Associated Press that a number of gunmen threw grenades and opened fire at the city’s Westgate Mall.Security guards used shopping carts to wheel out several wounded children and at least one man, say reports.The volleys of gunfire moved outside the mall after police arrived nearly half an hour after the attacks began and engaged the gunmen.A reader of is at the scene and provided pictures. They say that tension is high around the area.Dozens of people are believed to still be inside the building and police have surrounded the mall.last_img read more

This Japanese Company Will Make You Your Very Own Custom Sauce

first_img Launchpad Blaze Postpones JAXA’s Cargo Ship Launch to ISSJapan’s Hayabusa-2 Probe Packs Up Space Rock Cargo From Asteroid Ryugu Eat too much ketchup on white rice like I do? It’s not nasty. It’s an acquired taste. Do you crave different kinds of sauces? The Japanese company MySauceFactory is looking for people like you because they can make you your very own special sauce. To eat. Like, you could tell them what kinds of sauce you like and create it yourself, order it, and eat it with dinner.MySauceFactory lets you order your own sauce by starting with seven base sauces, like ponzu vinegars, Japanese citrus style, onion dressing, yaki nikau sauce, and several other choices. When you pick out a base sauce, you get to customize it by messing with its flavor profile. You could adjust the amount of soy sauce, acidity, sweetness, tartness, and other flavors as well, like katsuo and konbu seaweed. Each will let you crank up each setting to 13.Then it’s time for you to choose how much of your custom sauce you want. You can choose from 3.4 ounces or larger, and the cost is about 600 to 1000 yen depending on how much sauce you purchase. You can actually go and create your own sauce right now through MySauceFactory, especially since it’s so affordable. You might want to try it out; else you’ll be like me, hoarding a bag of Zesty sauce from Burger King because they have the sense to charge only ten cents per packet. You bet I bought a whole bag of it for safe keeping, though it doesn’t go well with sushi and I imagine these sauces might taste better with yum yum rolls.In any case, check out MySauceFactory and give it a try. And if you decide to do so, let us know in the comments how it went. This is something western companies could stand to test out! Stay on targetlast_img read more

Morning Press 2 killed in Washougal Merrill Lake Unit opens UL property

first_imgWhat kind of weather is headed our way this weekend? Check out our local weather coverage.Here are some of the top stories of the week:Driver tears through Washougal swimming hole, kills 2Two people died Tuesday after a Jeep tore through a Washougal swimming hole, striking them as they lay on the beach.A Jeep with damage to the front end was located a few hours later, and a man was being held for questioning, according to Washougal police.Vehicle located, man detained for questioningDay 2: Washougal man, 71, faces vehicular homicide allegations in swimming hole deathsMerrill Lake Unit opens to public: ‘It’s like a national park’From waterfalls to artesian springs, from ancient volcanos to lava flows, and from fish and wildlife habitat to old growth, this patch of land in Southwest Washington seemingly has it all.And, it is now open to the public.More than 1,400 acres near Mount St. Helens allows for hunting, fishing, hikingPedestrian struck, killed in west VancouverA driver who allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian Monday night on West Fourth Plain Boulevard was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide.last_img read more

Jamaicas new Road Traffic Act to be passed by year end

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, November 6, 2017 – Kingston – Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, says the new Road Traffic Act is currently going through changes and adjustments and should be passed in the House of Representatives by the end of the year.“Right now, we’re completing the dotting of the ‘i’s and crossing of the ‘t’s. It contains minor things that we have to adjust, but I can confirm, from the Ministry’s point of view, that we will be ready by the end of the year,” he said.The Minister was speaking at a breakfast function hosted by the Project Management Institute Jamaica Chapter (PMIJC), at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on November 2.   Mr. Henry said he is hoping that road fatalities will remain below 300 by the end of this year.    As at October 31, the figure was 272, some 49 less than the 321 deaths for the similar period last year.“I really hope that we can maintain that, to be able to say we have achieved under 300. One death is too many anyway. The reality is that I think we’re getting some response from the public,” Mr. Henry said.The Minister hailed Jamaicans who continue to drive with care on the nation’s roads.   Among the features of the new Road Traffic Act are a restriction on handheld devices and a requirement for drivers to have a licence in their possession while operating a vehicle.   Fines for breaches will also be increased.Meanwhile, PMIJC President, Arvette Henry, noted that the subject of project management is an integral part of local companies in Jamaica, “because those companies practising it are able to see faster and better results”.During the awards segment, leading provider of information technology products, Fujitsu Caribbean Jamaica Limited, was awarded Project Management Organisation of the Year.    The company won for their project of providing high-performance computing solutions for the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).“The project that we put forward this year sought to improve the computing capacity of the climate control division of the UWI. In their data centre, they had challenges in predicting and monitoring what different climatic and seismic events occur,” said Project Manager of Fujitsu Caribbean, Nicola Denniser.Seprod Limited received the silver award for their Irrigation in Agriculture Project, while Digicel Jamaica Limited won the bronze award for outfitting the St. William Grant Park with WI-FI hotpots.   Held under the theme ‘Change Management, Maintaining Consistency during Uncertainty’, the event was organised to observe International Project Management Day 2017 as well as to present the awards to the Project Management Organisation of the Year.The PMI, a global organisation with more than 250 chapters and 500,000 members, is set up to advance the practice, science and profession of project management worldwide.   The PMIJC is one of two chapters in the English-speaking Caribbean, and has been operating continuously for 15 years.Release: JISlast_img read more

Landslide Destroys Restoration Projects Near Sitka

first_imgHigh rainfall this month is being blamed for a major landslide near Sitka. The U.S. Forest Service reports that a 100-acre slide came down in the Starrigavan Valley, about ten miles from town. Although there was no structural damage in the event, hundreds of thousands of dollars of watershed restoration projects in the valley have been wiped out. The slide, and water damage to an ATV trail in the valley and other hiking trails elsewhere in Sitka — all add up to a tough month for the agency.Listen now:The main area of the slide encompasses an area of roughly 100 acres. (USFS photo)The scale of the Starrigavan slide has unfolded slowly. A Fish & Game biologist was in the area — apparently the morning after the slide — on Friday, September 19, and noticed that Starrigavan Creek had been diverted onto the old logging road that is now being used as an all-terrain vehicle trail.Marty Becker is the watershed program coordinator for the Sitka Ranger District. He and other staff went to check on the problem Monday morning.“It wasn’t until we actually climbed through the front of the slide that we saw the magnitude of it.”Read the USFS Preliminary report on the Starrigavan Landslide here.A bridge, three fish ponds, and two new culverts were buried by debris. (USFS photo)There was not one slide, but three. Two smaller slides across the both the north and south forks of Starrigavan Creek…“And then one main slide that came down off the north-facing slope. Came down and ran about a third of a mile down the main channel, and ended up at the log stringer bridge, which hung up the main slide.”Becker estimates the area of main slide to be in the neighborhood of 100 acres, starting in the old growth timber high on the valley slope and running down through the second growth to the valley floor.Becker says the Sitka district hasn’t seen a cluster of slides like this since the mid-1990s, in Nakwasina Sound and the Katlian area, which he says are more dynamic systems. The Starrigavan slide, Becker says, is “pretty extraordinary.”“Boy those freaky events keep us on our toes…”The log stringer bridge in the Starrigavan Valley is a lost cause. At the other end of town, USFS recreation manager Mike Mullin is on the Herring Cove Trail, next to a footbridge that his crew is working hard to save.“These guys will get a gap opened up under it and get a lot of that material flushed through, and we might end up jacking the bridge by a couple of feet. I’m hoping once we uncover the rocks and debris that there’s not some big chunks out of it. So I’m hoping it can be saved.”Hikers on the Herring Cove Trail footbridge. Flood waters pushed rocks under most of the span, turning it into a dam. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)This is the second time this year that the trail has sustained major water damage. All the repairs from last January’s flooding have been washed out, two minor slides have cut the trail, and this footbridge over the stream — while it hasn’t moved — is more or less sitting on dry land. Heavy rains over two consecutive weekends in September pushed rocks under the bridge and turned it into a dam.It doesn’t look like it will survive another high rainfall event. Mullin says the Forest Service is basically between a rock and a hard place.“The couple of events we’ve had this summer have been a little out of the ordinary for sure, but yeah, we’re not even in the rainy season, and we lose our seasonal crew in a couple of weeks. And obviously Forest Service budgets for maintaining trails are on the decline. So we’ve got a lot of things working against us.”Mullin says the agency will likely have to consider realigning the trail away from the alluvial fan at the base of Bear Mountain Falls, into a less dynamic area.Both the Herring Cove trail and the Starrigavan Valley were probably affected by what Marty Becker calls a “micro-burst.” Meteorological data for Sitka doesn’t indicate rainfall amounts too extraordinary for this time of year, but the rain came hard and fast. What was officially recorded as three-and-a-half inches of rain at the Sitka airport on the day the Herring Cove Trail was damaged, Becker says filled rain gauges in some parts of town to nearly seven inches.In the Starrigavan Valley, the mitigation strategy is uncertain. Three of the Forest Service’s coho-rearing ponds were lost in the slide; a fourth was almost completely filled with sediment. Two fish culverts have been blown out, and a half-mile of stream, several forest test plots, and 300 meters of the ATV trail are just gone.The Forest Service has invested several hundred thousand dollars in restoration work in this valley. Becker is not sure to what extent the agency will attempt to undo some of the damage.“Yeah, that’s the big question. We’re going to be sitting down the next couple of days assessing what we know right now. Getting some aerial reconnaissance to see if there are more slides that we haven’t seen, and then getting out there in the next week or so after we let things stabilize — it’s pretty dangerous, things still shifting around — to get a full inventory of what’s been damaged, where the main problem areas are, and then to see what we can actually do.”The last slide of this magnitude around Sitka happened at Redoubt Lake in May of 2013, and two people staying at the Forest Service cabin there managed to escapemoments before the mountainside came down. Becker says both slides are comparable in size, but he says the resource damage here is greater, because the Redoubt slide was stopped by the lake, and in Starrigavan it just “ran right down the valley.”last_img read more

Interior wolf control program to end

first_imgDenali wolf (Photo courtesy of National Park service)The state plans to suspend its largest wolf control program. The Upper Yukon Tanana area program, which has targeted wolves in an area of the eastern interior since 2004, is scheduled to cease after the 2017-2018 season.Listen nowThe State’s long running Upper Yukon Tanana wolf control effort is aimed at increasing Forty Mile caribou numbers for hunters by reducing the number of wolves on the caribou herd’s calving grounds, but Alaska Department of Fish and Game regional supervisor Darren Bruning said recent year’s field research indicates wolves are not the limiting factor.”Potential signs of nutritional limitations were identified, including increased caribou birth rates and reduced calf weights,” Bruning said.A Fish and Game study published earlier this year said Forty Mile caribou grew from 13,000 in 1990 to over 50,000 at last count, but that the biggest growth was prior to wolf control. Since 2004, over a thousand Forty Mile area wolves have been shot from aircraft, under a state intensive management program that’s cost millions of dollars. Bruning stresses the program’s scientific value.”The information gained through the research activities associated with intensive management are the most valuable product of the program,” Bruning said.The Forty Mile area wolf control program demonstrates the problem with manipulating a complicated natural system, according to retired wildlife biologist Fran Mauer of Fairbanks. Mauer, a critic of predator control, said the state may find itself working in the opposite direction.“If a herd is reaching carrying capacity, it’s imperative to be ready to reduce the number of animals on the land to prevent a precipitous collapse or crash,” Mauer said.Mauer, is frustrated that the state hasn’t already curtailed the Forty Mile area wolf kill. Hunting can be used to thin the herd, but Mauer, said it’s ironic that the state may also end up relying on wolves to reduce the caribou to a sustainable number.”The concern is that we’ve already reached, or are approaching, carrying capacity,” Mauer said. “And if anything, we may need those wolves to help bring the herd down.”The Alaska Board of Game authorizes predator control based on Fish and Game recommendations.  Board chairman Ted Spraker conceded wildlife management is not always a simple equation.”We all understand how complex and complicated these issues are,” Spraker said. “And it also takes time to understand if these trends are a one-year trend or is it just a blip. Or is this population moving up or down.”Spraker said environmental factors, like climate change, further complicate the situation.  The state plans research over the next five years to look at what happens to Forty Mile caribou after wolf control ends. Wolves killed in the state program have included animals based in the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve.”While predator control took place outside of the preserve, it did have an impact on the population and the makeup of wolf packs within Yukon Charley,” Spraker said.Preserve Superintendent Greg Dudgeon said some of the wolves lost were part of a long running NPS study, which was halted due to the state wolf kill.“We did lose several years in what had been a 22-year-long for wolves with home ranges within Yukon Charley River’s natural preserve,” Dudgeon said. “We won’t get that back.”A recently published article on the Yukon Charley wolf study details impacts of state wolf control on wolves in the 2.7 million acre preserve. Dudgeon said Yukon Charley resumed wolf research this past winter, collaring seven animals to track.last_img read more

5 of a family burned in gas pipeline blast

first_imgFive members of a family sustained burn injuries after an allegedly illegal gas pipeline exploded in a house in Narsinghapur area of Savar, on the outskirts of the capital on Friday morning.The injured are a certain Arab Ali, 52, his wife Hasina, 45, the couple’s son Abdullah, 28, Abdullah’s wife Ripa Begum, 25 and their 18-month-old daughter Ayesha Akhter.The injured were taken to the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.Neighbour Salma Begum said they came out of the house hearing a loud bang in the morning and saw burned people coming out of their home. “Two of them were still on fire.”The neighbours rescued them and took them to a local health care centre. Later, the injured were shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.Deputy manager of the health care centre Harun Ar Rashid said the injured five people sustained 70 to 90 per cent burn injuries.Police detained the house owner Abdul Hamid for interrogation in this connection.The law enforcement primarily suspects the blast was occurred due to a gas pipeline leak.Abdul Hamid said he took the illegal connection around a year ago paying “money”.Ashulia police station officer-in-charge Rezaul Haque said that was an illegal gas connection.“All the flats of the two-storeyed building had illegal gas connections. We’ve detained the house owner for interrogation,” he added.last_img read more

Hizb utTahrir leader Mohiuddin acquitted of charges

first_imgA Dhaka tribunal on Sunday acquitted Dhaka University teacher Mohiuddin Ahmed, also chief coordinator of banned militant outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh, and three others in a case filed under the Anti-terrorism Act, reports UNB.Dhaka Anti-terrorism Tribunal judge Muzibur Rahman passed the order as Mohiuddin, a professor of the DU Institute of Business Administration, was not found guilty. The three others who got the acquittal are Abu Yousuf Ali, Kazi Morshedul Haque and Tanvir Ahmed.The judge, however, sentenced two other absconding members of the militant outfit — Saidur Rahman and Towhidul Alam – to two years’ imprisonment and fined them Tk 5,000 each in the case. They will have to serve three months more in jail if they fail to pay the penalty.According to the case statement, police arrested some Hizb ut-Tahrir members when they were distributing leaflets and sticking posters outside the Taqwa Mosque at Uttara on 18 April, 2010.Crude bombs were also recovered from their possession and later case was filed against them under the Anti-terrorism Act.last_img read more

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