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British sailors detained, released after yacht accidentally crosses into Iranian waters

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Five British sailors traveling in a yacht in the Persian Gulf were detained and released by Iranian authorities after they accidentally crossed into Iranian waters. The sailors were on their way to a race then they suffered propeller problems and drifted into Iranian waters.

Iranian authorities interrogated the sailors and released them after they found no evidence of “bad intentions.” They earlier warned that the sailors would face prosecution if they suspected any wrong doing.

“[There was] certainly no question of any malicious intent on the part of these five young people,” stated the Iranian Foreign Ministry to the IRNA. The Revolutionary Guard stated, “after carrying out an investigation and interrogation of the five British sailors, it became clear that their illegal entry was a mistake.”

Team Pindar composed of David Bloomer, Luke Porter, Oliver Smith, Oliver Young and Sam Usher, were travelling to the Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race, a 360-mile (580-kilometer) race when they were arrested on November 25. The race took place on November 26. The sailors were met by team representatives and are being escorted in their yacht out of Iranian waters.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary for the UK denies that the unconditional release was not a political move calling it a “human story” and that it had “nothing to do with politics. It’s got nothing to do with the nuclear enrichment program.”

A similar incident took place in July, but on land. Three American hikers, identified as Shaun Gabriel Maxwell, Shane Bower and Sara Short, were arrested on July 31 in the country after they crossed into Iranian territory. Reports say the hikers accidentally crossed into Iran while hiking between Halabja and Ahmad Awa in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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68 pieces of luggage found behind Texas pet store

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

At least 68 different pieces of luggage has been found behind a pet store inside a garbage dumpster in Houston, Texas. The luggage came from several different international flights and authorities do not know how they got there or if the contents of the luggage have been stolen.

“We’re going to be investigating and the authorities are going to be investigating,” said spokeswoman for Continental Airlines, Mary Clark. All luggage was handed over to Continental Airlines.

The luggage is reported to have been sifted through, and most pieces have come from all over the world. The luggage is reported to have come from Bush Intercontinental Airport. Some pieces of the luggage have name tags and Clark states that “we’re trying to reach whoever we need to let them know the bags are there.”

Officers with the Houston Police Department are in charge of the investigation. The luggage was found by individuals who own the pet store.

The FBI has stated that the bags do not pose any danger.

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China loans Ethiopia US$349 million for construction of expressway

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

China has loaned Ethiopia US$349 million worth of funds for the construction of the the country’s first modern expressway, making Ethiopia among the first beneficiaries of the recently implemented China-Africa development funding plan.

The road is to be close to 80 kilometres long, and will connect Nazaret (also called Adama), the country’s second-largest city, with the capital, Addis Ababa.

Funds from the Export-Import Bank of China are to be used to give the loans, according to the agreement. The deal was signed by Li Ruogu, the president of China’s Export-Import Bank, and Ahmed Shide, the Ethiopian state minister of finance and economic development.

According to the Ethiopian News Agency, the motorway is to be completed by 2014. The country has also agreed to other financial deals with China, mainly in the telecommunications and energy sectors.

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New Jersey backpedals on proposed bikini waxing ban

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Jersey has reversed its plans for a state-wide ban on bikini waxing after salon owners from across the state spoke out against the proposal.

The New Jersey Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling planned to consider a ban on so-called “Brazilian waxes” in response to two women who reported being injured during a wax.

But state Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman, who oversees the board, asked them to abandon the ban in favor of reviewing and establishing safeguards for those who provide the service.

“Many commentators have noted that the procedure could be safely performed,” Szuchman wrote in a letter to state board President Ronald Jerome Brown, according to the Asbury Park Press. “I, therefore, believe that there are alternative means to address any public health issues identified by the board.

Salon owners from across the state expressed relief with Szuchman’s decision.

“It was an unnecessary issue,” spa owner Linda Orsuto told the Associated Press. “In New Jersey especially, where the government has been picking our pockets for so long, it was like, ‘Just stay out of our pants, will you?'”

Although millions of Americans get bikini waxes, which generally cost between $50 and $60 per session, the practice comes with risks. Skin care experts say the hot wax can irritate delicate skin in the bikini area, and result in infections, ingrown hairs and rashes.

Waxing on the face, neck, abdomen, legs and arms are permitted in New Jersey. Although state statutes have always banned bikini waxing, the laws are seldom enforced because the wording is unclear.

If the measure had passed, New Jersey might have become the only US state to ban the practice outright.

Although Szuchman’s letter was crafted more as a recommendation than an order, media reports said the ban would likely never be approved without his support because his office oversees the board.

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New fossils from 10 million year old ape found in Ethiopia

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Researchers say that new, ten million-year-old fossils found in Ethiopia, prove that the theory that humans may have evolved from a species of great apes eight million years ago, may not be true, but that humans may have split from apes as long as 10.5 million years ago.

At least nine fossilized teeth, one canine tooth and eight molars, of a previously unknown species of apes found in Africa were discovered by a team of researchers from Ethiopia and Japan who then compared the 3-D make up of the teeth to other fossils that date back as far as 8 million years and found that the fossils are likely a “direct ancestor” of apes currently living in Africa and that the new ape fossils were that of a species of gorilla who ate mostly plants high in fiber.

Current fossils and research say that the evolutionary split from apes to humans occurred at least eight million years ago. The new fossils say that the split may have happened as long as 10.5 million years ago.

“Based on this fossil, that means the split is much earlier than has been anticipated by the molecular evidence. That means everything has to be put back,” said researcher at the Rift Valley Research Service in Ethiopia and a co-author of the study, Berhane Asfaw.

Despite the finds, other researchers are not convinced that the findings are correct.

“It is stretching the evidence to base a time scale for the evolution of the great apes on this new fossil. These structures appear on at least three independent lineages of apes, including gorillas, and they could relate to a dietary shift rather than indicating a new genetic trait,” said a Professor at the London Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom, Peter Andrews who also added, “but the fossil evidence for the evolution of our closest living relatives, the great apes, is almost non-existent.

Researchers have named the newly discovered species Cororapithecus abyssinicus whose remains were found in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, the same place where the remains of Lucy were discovered in 1974.

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Arcelor declares merger with Mittal Steel

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Arcelor, Luxembourg’s largest steel company, has reached in an agreement with Mittal Steel over a €26.9 billion merger (at €40.44 per share). The new company will be called Arcelor-Mittal. Mittal Steel will hold 45% stake in the new company. Arcelor would pay Severstal €130 million as a “fine” for the fall-out of their failed talks. Lakshmi Mittal (owner of Mittal Steel) and Joseph Kinsch (current Arcelor chairman) will be the co-chairmen of the new company. The new company will have a net capacity of 120 million tonnes.

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Fire burns home of late singer Johnny Cash

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A fast-moving fire engulfed the home of late singer Johnny Cash on Tuesday. The lake-side home, located in Hendersonville, Tennessee, was the home of the late singer and his wife, June Carter, from the late 1960s until their deaths in 2003.

The home was purchased by former Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb in 2006, and was undergoing renovations at the time. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but it is believed that a flammable wood preservative that construction workers had applied contributed to the speed in which the flames spread. Firefighters responded within 5 minutes of the fire breaking out. No workers were killed in the fire, but one firefighter suffered minor injuries.

“Maybe it’s the good Lord’s way to make sure that it was only Johnny’s house,” said Richard Sterban of The Oak Ridge Boys, who lived down the road from Cash. Neighbor Marty Stewart said “So many prominent things and prominent people in American history took place in that house—everyone from Billy Graham to Bob Dylan went into that house.” The home was where Cash wrote many of his hit songs, and appeared in the Cash music video for “Hurt“.

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“Voxtel” company will be transformed into “Orange”

Thursday, April 27, 2006

By the decision of the shareholders the “Voxtel” company will be transformed Into “Orange”.

The shareholders of “Voxtel” are: France Telecom – 61%, MMT-BIS – 30%, MobilRom – 4%, IFC – 5%.

“Orange” – is one of the world mobile communication leaders and is a daughter enterprise of the “France Telecom” group. The “Orange” group is present in 17 countries, where it has more than 80 million mobile communication subscribers.

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Bluetongue outbreak in Germany

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A highly dynamic Bluetongue (or catarrhal fever) infection of sheep herds is underway in Germany. From August 2006 till September 9, 2007, 1,833 farms had reported the presence of the infection. From Sept 9. till September 14, 2007, the number of farms reporting infections has grown to 5,686. The number of deaths is estimated around 15,000 sheep.

Bluetongue infection is of viral origin and is harmless to humans. It is an insect-borne viral disease of ruminants, mainly sheep and less frequently of cattle, goats, buffalo, deer, dromedary camels and antelope. There are no reports of human transmission.

The origin of the infection is not clear but it is one of the diseases which is still feared to invade Northern Europe as a consequence of global warming. No official sources are as yet available as the affected sheep farmers have tried to get the news on the media but to no avail.

The disease has also been found in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The United Kingdom Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs says the virus could spread from Northern Europe to the UK, but is unlikely.