Building collapse in Barbados traps family

Sunday, August 26, 2007Miami Dade Fire Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue Florida Task Force 1 Members were on the scene since last night. Search dogs worked the scene all night.

According to current reports, sometime early this morning, an apartment building in Brittons Hill, Barbados fell into a cave below.

Five family members are known to be trapped in the collapse, although reports have not be made as to whether these are the only individuals involved. Rescue workers, as well as several prominent politicians are currently on the scene; two cranes have been deployed to remove debris. Evacuation has occurred, with an extension of this area being discussed.

Miami Dade Police arrived on the scene late Sunday night and are now in a joint effort with the Barbados Defence Force, Barbados Fire Service and Royal Barbados Police Force to rescue possible survivors. Prime Minister Owen Arthur also stated that surveys are currently being conducted to determine the stability of the surrounding area, and only after these reports have been compiled will residents know whether they will be able to return to their homes.

A cadaver dog was sent into the cavern and has identified two areas where there are possible dead bodies. Sadly it is no longer a rescue mission but recovery one.

Scottish judge sentences Jack Frew murderer to life imprisonment

Friday, March 2, 2012

Craig Roy, found guilty of the murder of Jack Frew, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by Judge Lord Doherty after a trial at the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland lasting twelve days. In court, Doherty told Roy he “carried out a brutal, sustained and merciless attack”.

[Roy] carried out a brutal, sustained and merciless attack

Roy confirmed that in May 2010 he stabbed Frew with a cooking knife twenty times in woodland close to Duncanrig Secondary School in the town of East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, where the two were classmates. Frew had previously contacted Roy by text, asking to meet him at this location, Roy explained. Roy spoke of his intention being to “scare” Frew when bringing the knife to their meeting and claimed he could not recall stabbing him despite admitting it. During the attack Roy, who was aged seventeen at the time, managed to slit Frew’s throat, damage his ribs and puncture his lungs. According to Doherty, Frew was left “dead and mutilated”. Wounds on Frew’s hand indicated he had unsuccessfully attempted to defend himself.

The jury at the High Court was told that Roy was feeling guilt because he was unfaithful to Christopher Hannah, his long time boyfriend, with Jack Frew, an openly homosexual 16-year-old. Roy told the court Frew attempted to blackmail Roy into having sex with him.

In the minutes following the attack, Roy did not contact the emergency services. However, Roy contacted Hannah via telephone. Having travelled to the scene of the attack, Hannah told the court: “Craig had blood all over him. I was worried he was hurt. He wasn’t saying anything. He wasn’t making sense. He looked bewildered. There was a knife in his hand.” He stated of Frew: “His neck was cut. It was open. I knew he wasn’t alive.”

The defence had attempted to get the murder charge reduced to one of culpable homicide on the grounds of Roy having a personality disorder. Roy claimed he suffered from anger management difficulties, choosing to conceal his emotions publicly before going on to “explode” when not in a public place, harming himself. Three psychologists at the trial providing evidence to the jury stated that when Roy committed the murder he suffered from neither mental impairment nor personality disorder. The defence’s claim was ultimately rejected by the jury. All members of the jury were agreed upon the guilty verdict after deliberating under two hours.

After the trial, in a statement, Robert and Lorraine Frew described their son Jack as “a happy, loving vibrant boy who loved life and brought fun and laughter to every situation”.

Roy is to remain in prison for at least eighteen years before gaining the right to apply for parole. If granted parole, Roy must adhere to set licence conditions until his death.

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Hare Krishna village demolished in Kazakhstan, religious persecution alleged

Friday, November 24, 2006

An ongoing struggle in Kazakhstan between the authorities and a local Hindu village has turned serious. Forum 18 has been documenting the alleged human rights abuse regarding the Hare Krishna village for some time, but as of 21st November events took a drastic turn.

The following was seen and written by Ninel Fokina, president of the Almaty Helsinki Committee, and Andrei Grishin, official member of the International Bureau of Human Rights and Law Observance:

On November 21, 2006 at 1 pm the information was received that according to the court decision to evict the members of the religion organization International Society for Krishna Consciousness from the occupied land near Sri Vrindavan Dham farm, and the demolition of 13 country houses will beginimmediately.

Heavy equipment was brought to the suburban community: trucks, demolition machines, three busses with riot policemen, a bus withdemolition squad and the local authorities including the Hakim. Electricity was disconnected in the morning of the same day.

There were only women and children in the village. All men went to work in town.

The president of the Almaty Helsinki Committee Ninel Fokina tried to contact different officials in Astana (the capital): B.Baikadamov, the envoy of human rights, B. Muhamedjanov, the minister forinternal affairs I. Bakhtibayev, the assistant General Prosecutor; R.Aliev, the deputy minister for foreign affairs.

She had a conversation with B. Baikadamov, the only person she could reach at that time, who promised to communicate to theCommittee of Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, and the Court Administration Committee which includes the department of court decision execution.

At 3 pm representatives of human rights organizations: Ninel Fokina, Andrei Grishin, and Maxim Varfolomeev, press-secretary of theSociety for Krishna Consciousness, plus, a journalist and representativeof Astana TV channel left for the village which is located 40 km fromAlmaty.

All the roads to village were closed and patrolled by police. They would not let anyone go through. The human rights representatives and the journalist took detour through the fields. It was snowing, but they were able to reach the border of the village because of the four-wheel-drive jeep they were traveling in. But even that road was closed by patrol.

The jeep was not allowed to drive into the village. The patrol explained it was instruction of authorities. When Grishin and the jeep driver tried to pass by walk they were stopped and threatened to beput in handcuffs. And the patrol promised to send for additional force.

Lieutenant colonel, who came with another patrol car, explained that they are not allowed to the village for their own safety. He said that at that time the electric line was being dismounted in the area.

The driver of the jeep had his wife and two months old daughter in thevillage. He was begging to let him go through, but his request was denied. He was told that safety is guaranteed to his family.This group could still enter the village. They approached it from the other detour road, and leaving the car on the sidewalk, one by one theyentered the village.

As they approached the village they met two small groups of young people who were not drunk but unnaturally exited.They held hammers, big dumb-bells, metal crow-bars and sticks. Two of them politely greeted the group, and one said gaily, “Your houses are finished.

Four big busses with toned windows and two cars of ambulance were parked at the entrance of the village in the grove. 30-40 policemen stood by the houses, and 20-30 people in civil clothes includingthe leaders of the district with the Hakim, the head of local executiveauthority stood on the street, watching the demolition.

It was snowing. Residents’ household stuff such as mattresses, blankets,utensils cookware, and furniture were laying outside on the lawns by their houses. People in construction outfits (labor people) got inside the houses and started crushing windows and doors, destroyingwalls. The bulldozer was demolishing the buildings and the big stone fencing with cast iron openwork lattice which separated the houses from the driving area.

A small group of inhabitants (20-30 people, mostly women) did not offerphysical resistance. One of the women felt dizzy, fell down and was picked up by the ambulance. Police was bringing down thosefew (basically women) who tried to interfere with the destruction of their property. Two men tried to prevent the entrance of destroyers into a house, but were brought down by 15 policemen who twisted their hands and took them away to the police car.

During all these events none of the representatives from the Office ofPublic Prosecutor were present at the place of the event, even though both Krishna people and legal service people demanded meeting with representatives of the Office of Public Prosecutor who are obligated to be present during this type of actions.

The Hakim of the Yetisu district who was personally responsible for thisaction noticed A. Grishin photographing the destruction of the houses using a digital camera and commanded the policemen to detainhim. A. Grishin is an officer of the Human Rights Bureau and a journalist.

To avoid confiscation of the camera A. Grishin tried to escape. He ran away by 200 meters and was caught by the police. Police officers confiscated his digital camera and took away his journalist certificate.

Then he was let free, but police refused to return the camera, saying that they would give it to the Hakim. The camera was indeed found in the car of the Hakim, but the flash card and the batteries wereconfiscated. When Grishin approached the Hakim to find out for whatreason his camera and his journalist ID were confiscated, the Hakim told in front of the witnesses, “If I see you here again, I will personally crash Your eyes, even though I am the Hakim.”

No one of the policemen, who took part in the camera and ID confiscation,wanted to reveal their names.

Ms. Fokina was able to talk with the assistant of the General prosecutor I. Bakhtibayev, who did confirm that he would contact the prosecutor of the province and he would work out this situation.

The envoy of human rights E. Baikadamov, who was also contacted, said that the president of the Court Administration Committee Z. Makashev confirmed that he would contact immediately the provincial department and would give the appropriate instructions.

All the attempts of the representatives of the human rights organizations to find the people in charge of the operation and givethem any information were unsuccessful.

All the present officials refused to speak and declared that they were not responsible for the action. The Police colonels would point at bailiffs. The bailiffs did not confirm their being bailiffs.

The OSCE representatives in Almaty Eugenia Benigni and Lisa Zhumakhmetovadid not make it to the village. Their car just was stoped by police.

When the darkness fell, at around 6 pm, everything was finished: 13 houses destroyed, people thrown to the snowbound street, the village left without electricity, without heat and water.

The condition of the witnesses can be described as shock. The condition of the people who were thrown from their destroyed houses to the dirt and snow cannot be described.

When all the 13 buildings were destroyed as was planned … while theadjacent houses of other people who do not belong to the Society for Krishna Consciousness were left untouched even though theirtitle deeds have the same status … the bailiffs decided to give aninterview to the TV channel “to avoid one-sided opinion.” However no one of them introduced himself. The only thing they could say, “we are executing the court decision.”

Neither the Hakim, nor the police chiefs, nor the bailiffs would listen to the arguments that the governmental commission established to solve the issue around the Society for Krishna Consciousness has not yet come to final decision.

Notice: the notifications of eviction and demolition of the 13 houses owned by members of the cottage cooperative, who are the members of the religious organization Society for Krishna Consciousness, weredelivered to the watchman of Sri Vrindavan Dham in the evening ofNovember 20. The date of execution and the period for evacuating the buildings were not stated. It should be noted that the acting Kazakh law does not stipulate such a kind of eviction as the demolition of houses, and the eviction should be accompanied by the inventory of property removed from the evacuated building, while the storage of this property should be provided is necessary.

United States Senate prepares for floor vote on net neutrality

{{tasks|news|re-review}}Tuesday, January 9, 2018

On Monday, Democrats in the United States Senate announced they had gained enough sponsors to perform a congressional review of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s December 2017 reversal of previous rules regulating Internet service providers, commonly called Net Neutrality.

Under the Congressional Review Act, if 30 senators co-sponsor the action, United States Congress can vote on whether to overrule a decision made by a federal agency such as the FCC. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate would have vote in favor, and President Donald Trump would have to sign the review.

On Monday, Claire McCaskill of Missouri announced she was the 30th senator to agree to sponsor the floor vote. “What I’ve heard from the thousands of Missourians who’ve contacted my office is simple — consumers should have protected, free, and open access to the online content of their choosing,” she said in a statement.

The Obama-era Net Neutrality rules were revoked last month. On December 14, as protesters gathered in Washington D.C., the United States Federal Communications Commission under Chairman Ajit Pai voted 3-2 to overturn the 2015 decision, which forbade Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T from blocking individual websites or charging websites or customers more for faster load times.

Specifically, the 2015 decision placed the Internet under Title II of the 1934 Telecommunications Act, which established that Internet access must be regulated under the same rules as a utility. Currently, in the U.S., telephones are regulated in this way, but cable television is not. Cable providers can offer bundled services and otherwise select which channels to offer customers; they do not have to offer access to every channel the way ISPs have offered access to the whole Internet. The new rules voted on December 14 transfer the Internet from the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission to the Federal Trade Commission, which means instead of being forbidden from blocking websites or offering different access speeds, ISPs will only be required to disclose having done so.

Telecom analyst Gigi Sohn, who worked with Pai’s predecessor Tom Wheeler in 2015, said, “There are going to be fast lanes and slow lanes[…] As a consumer, that means some of your favorite websites are going to load more slowly, and it also may mean some of your favorite content goes away because the provider just can’t pay the fee.”

Former Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson said, “Net neutrality allowed something like Etsy to hang out a shingle on the web and give it a try”.

Supporters of the new rule argue Net Neutrality regulations were unnecessary. Commissioner Michael O’Reilly pointed out the Internet “has functioned without net neutrality rules for far longer than it has without [sic] them.”

“Quite simply, we are restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for most of its existence,” said Chairman Pai, who argued removing the rules would make the Internet freer and more open.

“[T]he internet will continue to work tomorrow just as it always has,” promised AT&T Senior Executive Vice President Bob Quinn, who said his company would not block websites or discriminate with respect to content.

Opposition was organized almost immediately and was not limited to plans for congressional review: The Attorneys General for the states of New York and Washington have both announced plans for lawsuits against the new rules.. The United States Congress also has the authority to overrule the FCC’s decision by passing legislation. One such bill, House Resolution 4585, or the “Save Net Neutrality Act of 2017,” was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on December 7.

According to a poll conducted the week of December 6 by the University of Maryland, more than 80% of registered U.S. voters opposed the repeal of Net Neutrality, 75% of registered Republicans, 89% of registered Democrats, and 86% of independents, those not registered to either party. Before the vote, the FCC had accepted comments on the measure from the public through its website, However, there have been allegations that many of the comments offered in support of the rollback were fakes. Before the vote took place, attorneys general from seventeen states and the District of Columbia sent a letter to the FCC asking the vote be delayed until the matter could be investigated.

The FCC’s decision must be published in the U.S. Federal Register before congressional review can take place or any lawsuits filed.


Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Soprano Beverly Sills dies at age 78

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Soprano Beverly Sills, who brought opera to United States popular culture through frequent television appearances, died last night at her home in New York. She was 78.

Born Belle Miriam Silverman on May 25, 1929 in Brooklyn, she was nicknamed “Bubbles”, and started singing at age three, winning talent contests and singing on the radio.

She made her professional stage debut in 1945, with a touring Gilbert and Sullivan show, and in 1947, started singing opera as Frasquite in Carmen with the Philadelphia City Opera. She sang with the San Francisco Opera and the New York City Opera.

She married in 1956 to journalist and Cleveland Plain Dealer publishing heir Peter Greenough, and had two children with him. One was deaf and the other mentally retarded, so Sills curtailed her performances to care for them.

She returned to opera in 1962, with the Opera Company of Boston, and then reached her peak singing years in the mid- and late-1960s, singing with the New York City Opera.

She made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in April 1975, receiving an 18-minute ovation for her performance in The Siege of Corinth.

At the height of her popularity in the 1970s, she was a regular guest on television variety shows with Danny Kaye, Carol Burnett and The Muppet Show. She was even a guest host on Johnny Carson‘s The Tonight Show. For two years, she had her own weekly talk show. Sills graced magazine covers, such as Time and Newsweek, as an example of an American who conquered the European-dominated world of classical music.

After retiring from performing in 1980, Sills became the general manager of the New York City Opera. She became the chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1994, and 2002 was appointed head of the Metropolitan Opera.

Sills had surgery for cancer in 1974, but it had been revealed last month that she was ill with an aggressive form of lung cancer, though she never smoked. She died about 9 p.m. ET yesterday at her home in Manhattan with her family and doctor at her side.

Police in Britain uncover suspected terrorist plot

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Metropolitan Police’s anti-terrorist branch and security service in London have claimed that a terrorist plot to detonate bombs on nine planes travelling mid-air from the United Kingdom to the United States has been thwarted.


  • 1 Details of plot emerge
  • 2 Flights disrupted
  • 3 Security restrictions
  • 4 Bank accounts frozen
  • 5 Sources

New Jersey Governor hospitalized after car crash

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Governor of New Jersey Jon S. Corzine was hospitalized Thursday after the vehicle he was riding in crashed into a guardrail on Garden State Parkway. The Governor was on his way to a meeting between the Rutgers University basketball team and radio personality Don Imus.

Corzine was riding in the front passenger seat when a red pickup truck drifted onto the shoulder. As the truck corrected itself, a white pickup swerved to avoid it, hitting the motorcade SUV he was riding. Corzine suffered six broken ribs, a broken collarbone, broken sternum, fracture of his lower vertebrae, a broken leg, and a head gash. He is in stable condition following surgery at Cooper University Hospital, but will require more surgery to repair a broken femur that broke through the skin. The trooper driving the vehicle suffered minor injuries.

Senate President Richard Codey will serve as governor while Corzine is in the hospital. An aide to Corzine said he was not wearing a seat belt.

President Mugabe bulldozes homes of 200,000 across Zimbabwe

Friday, June 24, 2005File:Robert Mugabe.jpg

Zimbabwean President Mugabe’s Operation Murambatsvina (“Drive out rubbish”) has seen at least 200,000 people made homeless in Zimbabwe as the government bulldozes “illegal” homes, buildings and markets.

The opposition has said the operation is designed to “punish” those who object to Mugabe’s government.

Two children under the age of two have been killed, the first deaths reported so far in the actions which have been taking place for a month now.

International pressure is building on Zimbabwe to stop. British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has been joined by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in condemning the evictions and urging African leaders to speak out.

The government has said the buildings it is destroying are “illegal”, and have said that the “black markets” are to blame for the country’s “economic meltdown”. Over 70% of the population is unemployed.

The bulldozers have the protection of armed police as they do their work. Sometimes the police have forced homeowners to carry out the destruction themselves.

At other times, the government has claimed it is destroying the buildings to get rid of unsafe structures and to reduce overcrowding. Other children have died when the walls of their houses have collapsed.

The authorities are also preventing non-governmental organisations from providing aid to those who have lost their homes.

The country currently needs to import 1.2 million tonnes of food to avoid famine as rural farming production drops.