Animals Roam Streets Of Tbilisi After Flooding Kills 12, Frees Zoo Animals
Sep01

Animals Roam Streets Of Tbilisi After Flooding Kills 12, Frees Zoo Animals

CNN Wild animals roamed the streets of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on Sunday, after raging floodwaters damaged the city’s zoo and set many of the animals free. Twelve people died in the flooding, according to Civil Georgia, a news website run by the nongovernmental organization UN Association of Georgia. Several others were missing, and wolves, bears, big cats and even a hippopotamus were wandering the streets of the city, according to Civil.ge, a news agency funded by the EU and the UN. Of the zoo’s 600 residents, including fish and birds, about half were missing on Sunday, theTbilisi Zoo said. Some animals have been recaptured, Civil.ge reported. Others have been killed. Residents told to stay home But some animals were still roaming loose. Video from the city shows what appears to be a crocodile slithering down the city streets, as well as a hippopotamus standing around looking confused. Also among the escapees were lions, tigers, bears and wolves, the agency reported. Georgia’s prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili, asked residents to stay home while the animals are rounded up. The Ministry of Internal Affairs also urged everyone to stay indoors but said in a statement that the situation was “under full control.” All efforts are being made to find the animals quickly, “give them injections,” and get them back into the zoo, the ministry said. Two employees of the zoo were among the fatalities. The problems began before midnight Saturday. Heavy rainfall turned the Vere River, normally little more than a stream through the center of Tbilisi, into a torrent, the news agency reported. The raging river flooded significant portions of a highway, swept away cars and at least one small house, and flooded many other homes. Images on Tbilisi City Hall’s Facebook page showed roads washed out, hillsides collapsed and vehicles tossed about like toys. Rescue workers carried people on their shoulders through waist-high water. Police used a helicopter to evacuate 16 people from Akhaldaba, just west of Tbilisi, where heavy rain had damaged...

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Russian Spacecraft ‘Ceased To Exist,’ Burned In Earth’s Atmosphere
Aug08

Russian Spacecraft ‘Ceased To Exist,’ Burned In Earth’s Atmosphere

CNN A crewless Russian cargo space ship that had gone astray, has ‘ceased to exist,’ Russia’s space agency said Friday. The bulk of it burned up after re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. A few small fragments of Progress M-27M are expected to make it down to Earth. They shouldn’t crash down, but instead splash down. “Entry into the atmosphere occurred over the central Pacific Ocean,” Roscosmos said in a statement. The time of re-entry was 5:04 a.m. Moscow time (10:04 p.m. Eastern). Gone awry Progress M-27M, also known as Progress 59, was supposed to deliver supplies to the International Space Station, but overshot its mark. Russian ground controllers lost contact with the spacecraft soon after it launched on April 28. Though Roscosmos is still investigating the cause of the failed mission, preliminary evidence points to an accident in the third stage of the space craft’s carrier rocket, Russian state news agency TASS reported. Though the craft was not going to transport people, the failure will delay the return to Earth of some ISS crew members. They were scheduled to leave on May 14, but will have to sit tight until June. Roscosmos wants time to fully investigate the accident and carry out quality inspections on carrier rockets that have already been built and are waiting for launch. Food, fuel, oxygen The cargo ship was carrying more than 3 tons of food, fuel, oxygen, spare parts and scientific experiment hardware for the space station, according to NASA, but none of it is critical to ISS’ operation. Even if Russia hadn’t lost contact with the craft, the original plan was for Progress to burn up re-entering Earth’s atmosphere — albeit laden with garbage rather than a full load of equipment for the space station. The next planned resupply flight, which will be the seventh SpaceX commercial resupply services mission to the space station, is not scheduled to take off before June 19, NASA said. Roscosmos plans to launch a re-supply mission in late June or early July, TASS reported. Broadcast live streaming video on...

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X-Ray Scan Uncovers Boy Smuggled In A Suitcase, Spanish Authorities Say
May08

X-Ray Scan Uncovers Boy Smuggled In A Suitcase, Spanish Authorities Say

ABC News Spanish police found an 8-year-old boy hidden inside a small suitcase by a 19-year-old woman who had allegedly tried to smuggle him into Spain on Thursday, authorities told ABC News. The little boy, who ABC News is not identifying, was born in Ivory Coast and detected by scanners by customs in Ceuta, a small Spanish territory in North Africa. A police spokeswoman said the boy was scared when they opened the suitcase but had not been harmed. The Moroccan woman who hid him was taken into custody, authorities said. Spanish Interior Ministry via AP Photo PHOTO: In this photo released by the Spanish Guardia Civil on May 8, 2015, a boy curled up inside a suitcase is seen on the displays of a scanner at the border crossing in Ceuta, a Spanish city enclave in North Africa. Less than two hours after finding the boy, police located his father who had been living in the Canary Islands. Spanish newspaper, El Pais, reported that the woman had been paid by the father to carry the suitcase, but she was not related to him. Despite building a 20-foot high fence, Spain has been struggling in recent years with the influx of immigrants in Ceuta, and another enclave called Melilla. According to official statistics, over 4,300 people entered the two enclaves irregularly in 2013, compared with 2,804 in...

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How 90,000 Lost, Damaged Photos Were Restored And Returned To Victims Of 2011 Japan Tsunami
Mar29

How 90,000 Lost, Damaged Photos Were Restored And Returned To Victims Of 2011 Japan Tsunami

The Huffington Post A picture that holds a memory is worth much more than a thousand words. Electronics company Ricoh has restored and returned more than 90,000 photos lost or damaged by victims of the March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Through an initiative called “Save the Memory Project,” which began in April 2011, Ricoh worked to uncover of photographs washed away by the tsunami. They found and cleaned a total of more than 400,000 photos, PetaPixel reports. Many of the photos were found by responders immediately following the tsunami. Volunteers have spent the last four years compiling and cleaning the photos in various factories in Japan. In its overview of the project, Ricoh described the process as “Rinse away the dirt and heavy contamination, loosely wash away the dirt, carefully and meticulously remove dirt and such on a detailed level, lastly, rinse the photos a final time with clean water.” Once the photos were clean and dry, they were scanned and uploaded a digital database where people affected by the tsunami could search for and view the images. The photos are organized by region, and separated by subcategories including “wedding photos” and “children.” When a person saw a photo that belonged to them, they could then submit an application to receive the original copy. The Save the Memory project came to an end earlier this month, but as of March 9, 2015, a total of 90,128 photos had been returned to people who believed their memories had been swept...

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Andreas Lubitz: What We Know About The Co-Pilot
Mar26

Andreas Lubitz: What We Know About The Co-Pilot

ABC News The co-pilot who was at the controls of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps this week had logged relatively few hours, at least by U.S. standards, prior to the fatal flight. He has been identified by French authorities as German citizen Andreas Lubitz, 28, and his actions in the final minutes of the flight are believed to have caused the crash, Brice Robin, Public Prosecutor of Marseille, said today at a news conference. “The intention was to destroy the plane,” Robin said, speaking mostly in French. French Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that investigators are focused on Lubitz’ background and motives, though they have started to rule out any connection to a larger plot. “There is no evidence of any kind terrorist background,” de Maiziere said in a statement released today. Lubitz was a member of a flight club called Luftsportclub Westerwald in his hometown of Montabaur, Germany. “Andreas joined the club as an adolescent, he wanted to make his dream of flying come true,” the club said in a statement released to ABC News. “He was able to realize his dream, the dream he now has paid for so dearly with his own life,” the statement said. An airline spokeswoman said Lubitz had 630 hours of flight experience and only 100 of those hours were on this particular model of plane, an Airbus A320. By comparison, a U.S. first officer would be required to have at least 1,500 hours of experience to get hired by an airline. Investigators have been able to listen to the audio recording from inside the cockpit and the captain can be heard leaving the cockpit and then tapping on the door to re-enter but being denied, Robin said. Michael Probst/AP Photo PHOTO: Police hold media away from the house where Andreas Lubitz lived in Montabaur, Germany, March 26, 2015. The banging on the door grows louder while the co-pilot can be heard breathing throughout, he added, suggesting he was not incapacitated before the Tuesday crash that left 150 people dead. Robin said the co-pilot had no reason not to allow the captain back into the cockpit and he should not have gone silent on the radio to air traffic control. “When you commit suicide, you die alone,” Robin said in response to a question. “With 150 on the plane, I wouldn’t call that...

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BBC Not Renewing ‘Top Gear’ Presenter Jeremy Clarkson’s Contract
Mar25

BBC Not Renewing ‘Top Gear’ Presenter Jeremy Clarkson’s Contract

CNN Jeremy Clarkson won’t have his contract renewed as host of “Top Gear” after he apparently busted his producer’s lip and verbally abused him, the BBC announced Wednesday. Clarkson, who hosted one of the most-watched television shows in the world, was suspended on March 10 after what the British broadcaster previously described as a “fracas” with producer Oisin Tymon on March 4. Wednesday, the BBC released the findings of an internal investigation into the incident. Ken MacQuarrie, who conducted the investigation, said Tymon had been “subject to an unprovoked physical and verbal attack by Jeremy Clarkson” at a hotel in North Yorkshire after a day of filming. “During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in swelling and bleeding to his lip,” he said. The physical attack was halted after about 30 seconds by the intervention of a witness, MacQuarrie said, but Clarkson continued to use “derogatory and abusive language” for a sustained period of time. MacQuarrie said Clarkson made a number of attempts to apologize over subsequent days and had reported the incident to BBC management. Hospital visit BBC Director General Tony Hall issued a statement announcing Clarkson was being dropped. “A member of staff — who is a completely innocent party — took himself to Accident and Emergency after a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature. For me a line has been crossed,” he said. “I know how popular the program is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion.” “Top Gear,” fronted by Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, has made a name for itself globally with risky stunts and a brand of blokish humor that often toes the line and regularly steps over it. Clarkson is determinedly anti-politically correct on the topics he rails about, both on the show and in his newspaper and magazine columns. In his statement, Hall referenced the BBC’s diversity, saying it was “a broad church.” “We need distinctive and different voices but they cannot come at any price. Common to all at the BBC have to be standards of decency and respect,” he said. North Yorkshire police issued a statement Wednesday saying they had asked for the BBC’s report on the incident. “The information will be assessed appropriately and action will be taken by North Yorkshire Police where necessary,” they said. On March 10, the BBC announced that “Top Gear’s” March 15 episode had been pulled and this week it canceled four live “Top Gear” shows scheduled for next week in Stavanger, Norway. However, it said the programs would be rescheduled and that all other live dates would “run as scheduled.” Hall said the BBC would “look...

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