Iran: Wreckage found of plane crashed in mountains; all believed dead

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Yesterday, the Iranian military announced the wreckage of an Aseman Airlines airplane, which went missing on Sunday morning shortly before it was due to land in Yasuj, had been located at an elevation of about 13,000 feet (4,000 m) in the Zagros Mountains. All 65 people on board were presumed dead. Crews were searching for the aircraft’s two black boxes to try to determine why it crashed.

Ramezan Sharif, a spokesman for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said wreckage of the ATR 72-500 twin-engine turboprop had been sighted by a military drone and helicopters had then been sent to the location. Helicopter pilot Captain Soheili said on state television the wreckage was only some 100 feet (30 m) from a peak on Mount Dena, and “large parts of the plane, which were labeled with the Aseman company logo” were visible. The Revolutionary Guards released photos in which they said bodies of victims could be seen. Regional medical center director Ghafoor Rastinrooz told the official IRNA news agency that helicopters were unable to land at the site because of “deep and dangerous crevices in the area of the crash”. General Kiumars Heidari, chief of ground forces in the Iranian Army, told the Fars News Agency the dead would have to be brought down the mountain by commandos using specialized ground vehicles.

The plane took off at about 0430 UTC on Sunday from the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Aseman Airlines route EP3704 to Yasuj, in the southwest of the country. It vanished from controllers’ radar screens at about 8:52 local time, 0522 UTC, and there were reports from people in the area of Samirom, about 14 miles (22 km) from its destination in Isfahan Province, of seeing it attempting an emergency landing in a pasture and of hearing the crash. Hundreds of searchers organized by the Red Crescent and using drones and dogs combed the mountainous terrain but were hampered by windy, foggy conditions and heavy snow. The search had to be suspended on Sunday. It resumed at dawn on Monday but weather then forced grounding the helicopters. At one point on Monday local officials announced searchers had found the wreckage, only to have the national civil aviation agency and the Red Crescent indicate the statement had been premature. A demonstration was reported by more than 100 people outside a Dena Kooh government office, demanding resignations.

The plane reportedly had a crew of six — a pilot and a co-pilot, two flight attendants, and two security guards — and 59 passengers, one of them a child. A man who recounted missing the flight told the Tabnak news site “God has been really kind to me”, expressing his sadness over those who had died.

The aircraft was 24 years old. Aseman Airlines, Iran’s third largest air carrier and owned by the national civil service pension foundation, said it had been in storage for seven years before recently being placed in operation again. Iran’s aircraft are aging and the country has been prevented from buying spare parts by international sanctions imposed in response to its nuclear program. Those sanctions were to be lifted under an agreement from 2015, and Iranian airlines, including Aseman, have ordered new planes from both Airbus and Boeing. However, since becoming US President, Donald Trump has declined to recertify the agreement.

There have been a number of serious Iranian air accidents in modern times. In 2011, at least 77 people died when an Iran Air Boeing 727 crashed during an emergency landing.

The pilot in the current crash, Captain Hojjatallah Foulad, successfully landed an ATR 72 at the airport in Yasuj in 2013 after one of the engines failed.

Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Fears of contaminated bone and skin grafts are being felt by unsuspecting patients following the revelation that funeral homes may have been looting corpses.

Janet Evans of Marion Ohio was told by her surgeon, “The bone grafts you got might have been contaminated”. She reacted with shock, “I was flabbergasted because I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I didn’t know I got a bone graft until I got this call. I just thought they put in screws and rods.”

The body of Alistair Cooke, the former host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” was supposedly looted along with more than 1,000 others, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case. The tissue taken was typically skin, bone and tendon, which was then sold for use in procedures such as dental implants and hip replacements. According to authorities, millions of dollars were made by selling the body parts to companies for use in operations done at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Canada.

A New Jersey company, Biomedical Tissue Services, has reportedly been taking body parts from funeral homes across Brooklyn, New York. According to ABC News, they set up rooms like a “surgical suite.” After they took the bones, they replaced them with PVC pipe. This was purportedly done by stealth, without approval of the deceased person or the next of kin. 1,077 bodies were involved, say prosecuters.

Investagators say a former dentist, Michael Mastromarino, is behind the operation. Biomedical was considered one of the “hottest procurement companies in the country,” raking in close to $5 million. Eventually, people became worried: “Can the donors be trusted?” A tissue processing company called LifeCell answered no, and issued a recall on all their tissue.

Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, said, “To know his bones were sold was one thing, but to see him standing truncated before me is another entirely.” Now thousands of people around the country are receiving letters warning that they should be tested for infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis. On February 23, the Brooklyn District Attorney indicted Mastromarino and three others. They are charged with 122 felony counts, including forgery and bodysnatching.

News briefs:July 14, 2010

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Train cars derail into the Thompson River, British Colombia, chemicals spilled

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Chemicals in the Thompson River were said to be found after four Canadian Pacific Railway (CP Rail) cars containing chemicals derailed near Lytton, British Columbia, Canada on Tuesday night.

The derailment occurred just northeast of Lytton when a landslide hit in the middle of a freight train with about 100 cars at around 7:00 pm PDT (02:00 UTC) Tuesday evening. One car remained on the tracks, another was on a river bank, and two were submerged in the Thompson, one of them fully submerged and the other partially submerged. CP states that the cars were carrying the chemical ethylene glycol, commonly found in products such as antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. Glycol is water soluble and biodegradable but is causing concern to local fisheries and people dependent on aquatic life survival. Even though there is not enough chemical to be toxic after dilution in the water, there is still expressed concern that it may cause additional stress to aquatic life.

Despite protective measures, like a protective double hull, investigations found that broken valves and holes are causing the chemical to leak into the river. CP Rail originally denied that any chemical was leaking, but is now driving efforts to plug the leaks.

The Thompson River is a tributary of the larger Fraser River. The area is sensitive to harm because migrating salmon pass through and are in already in dwindling numbers in recent years.

News briefs:June 9, 2010

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Suicide bomber kills five Afghan children

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Five children were killed by a suicide car bomb in the Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan on Monday.

Officials say the suicide bomber was trying to attack the governor of the Dand district, Ahmadullah Nazak. Nazak was unharmed.

“I dropped down. Then I heard a second explosion. It hit our car, but it didn’t injure me,” Nazak later recalled.

There have not been any claims of responsibility for this bombing. Assassinations and attempts have become more common this year in Kandahar, and between January and April, at least 27 government officials or foreign contractors have been killed.

In other areas of Afghanistan there have been similar incidents. A blast in Nangarhar province hit the car of a senior adviser to President Hamid Karzai. Six people, including Wahidullah Sabawoon, the adviser, were injured in the blast. Sabawoon’s injuries were “not critical”, according to spokesperson Ahmad Zia Abdulzai.

ANZACs remembered ninety years after assault on Gallipoli

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Monday, April 25, 2005

Australians and New Zealanders throughout the world stood still for their national war memorial days in remembrance of the failed Australian and New Zealand Army Corps — ANZAC — attack on Gallipoli, Turkey that began on 25 April 1915. The fateful attack was designed to end the First World War more quickly by creating a supply line to Russia. A hundred-thousand died in the battle, remembered every year as ANZAC Day by both nations.

The British-directed battle of Gallipoli is often seen as the defining moment in the ‘birth’ of Australia and New Zealand. With New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark saying “For New Zealand as for Australia it was at Gallipoli that our young nations came of age.” [1]. This being the 90th anniversary of the attack, Clark, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Britain’s Prince Charles are all at Gallipoli to remember that fateful campaign.

Some controversy has been created about Australian Prime Minister John Howard not attending the New Zealand ceremony at Chunuk Bair on the Gallipoli Peninsula. This has upset many people as it is a break in a tradition that the Prime Ministers attend the ceremonies of both countries.

Ethiopia plans to expand country’s Internet access

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Thursday, April 7, 2005

At an information technology conference in Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia vowed to offer universal Internet connectivity in the country within three years. The government is working with a United States technology company Cisco Systems to fulfill this promise.

The government will invest US$40 million in the venture, which will lay nearly 10,000 km of fibre optic cable. Ethiopia currently ranks low in Internet penetration, with just 30,000 connections available for its 71 million inhabitants. Part of the program is the installation of Internet access at 450 secondary schools throughout the country.

Zenawi explained the change of heart that led to the decision to invest in this infrastructure project. “Not long ago many of us felt that we were too poor to seriously invest in information and communication technology,” he said at the conference. “We were convinced that we should invest every penny we have on securing the next meal for our people. We did not believe serious investment in ICT had anything to do with facing the challenges of poverty that kills. Now I think we know better,” he explained to the delegates.

Not everyone thinks that the government knows better. Giovani Peri, Assistant Professor of Economics at University of California, Davis, specializes in macroeconomics and growth theory. Peri believes that the Ethiopian government may be misguided in its direct investment in the build-up of information technology, and should instead create incentives for the private sector to build such infrastructure.

Professor Peri likened the Internet access project to previous failed attempts by African governments to stimulate growth via large-scale projects. “[African governments] in the past tried to build airports … in the middle of desolation.” — but people need to know that the environment is right for business, he said, not just a good airport. He said that the investment in Internet access might be too early for that country, and that before it is built, the country needs a good educational system to get the scientific community involved in the process of building technology infrastructure.

Ethiopia’s population is mostly rural, and over half of the population is illiterate. The country’s GDP per capita is US$560.

Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/OH-WY

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See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list and for an alphabetically arranged listing of schools.

Due to the damage by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, a number of colleges and universities in the New Orleans metropolitan area will not be able to hold classes for the fall 2005 semester. It is estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 students have been displaced. [1]. In response, institutions across the United States and Canada are offering late registration for displaced students so that their academic progress is not unduly delayed. Some are offering free or reduced admission to displaced students. At some universities, especially state universities, this offer is limited to residents of the area.

Contents

  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Ohio
  • 3 Oklahoma
  • 4 Oregon
  • 5 Pennsylvania
  • 6 Rhode Island
  • 7 South Carolina
  • 8 South Dakota
  • 9 Tennessee
  • 10 Texas
  • 11 Utah
  • 12 Vermont
  • 13 Virginia
  • 14 Washington
  • 15 West Virginia
  • 16 Wisconsin
  • 17 Wyoming

Iraq on verge of civil war, head of Arab league fears

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Saturday, October 8, 2005

Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League, said a civil war in Iraq is looming, “… civil war could erupt at any moment, although some people would say it is already there.”

“There are a lot of individuals now playing games with the future of Iraq, and there is no clear strategy, there is no clear leadership… We are now in a mission to bring people together,” said Moussa.

Sunni Arab leaders met Saturday to discuss the possibility of a boycott of the up-coming referendum on the Iraqi draft constitution. The group came just short of calling for the boycott, and instead asked followers to vote “no” on October 15th referendum. They called on their followers to oppose the referendum “by all legitimate means.”

The constitution was drafted by mainly Shia leaders, the majority in Iraq. The Kurdish leaders also supported the new constitution.

The Sunnis make up 20% of Iraq. They most likely fear a political movement that would allow the Shia and Kurds to control the government and lucrative petroleum industry.

Violent acts have been on the increase lately. Most carried out by suicide bombers targeting Iraq police and new recruits into the nations army.

UK Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has also been expressing concerns over violence in Iraq. The most worrying was “the apparent breakdown in trust” between local authorities and UK troops.

These comments come after UK troops were attacked by a mob after they tried to free two soldiers who had been arrested. UK troops later broke into a Basra prison while looking for the two arrested soldiers. They were found later in houses, police had handed them over to Shia militiamen. Kennedy has also been pushing for the removal of troops from Iraq.

Other Arab countries have been expressing their concern over the violence in Iraq.

Amr Moussa told the BBC, “The situation is bad and our work now is to bring all communities together; we want to do something constructive.”