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Friday, April 1, 2011

Two U.N Staff Beheaded In Afghanistan

At least eight U.N. workers were killed, two of which were beheaded on Friday in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif after a demonstration against the burning of Koran's by a U.S. preacher.

Over a thousand protesters had flooded into the streets of the  city after Friday prayers. After a  few  hours violence broke out.

A small group attacked the U.N. compound, throwing stones and climbing on blast barriers to try and enter.
A police source, who declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media, said protesters had stormed into the compound where they attacked the victims.
The chief of the mission in the city was wounded but did survive  The dead included employees of Norwegian, Romanian and Swedish nationalities, he added.

A United Nations spokesman confirmed that there had been personnel  deaths at the mission in Mazar-i-Sharif but declined to give further details, saying the situation on the ground was still confusing.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day Baseball winners and losers

Winners:

Yankees
Angels
Braves
Reds
Padres

Losers:
Cardinals
Brewers
Nationals
Rouals
Tigers

Top five April fool pranks of all time

#1: The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
spaghetti harvest1957: The respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."

 
#2: Sidd Finch
Sidd Finch1985: Sports Illustrated published a story about a new rookie pitcher who planned to play for the Mets. His name was Sidd Finch, and he could reportedly throw a baseball at 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. This was 65 mph faster than the previous record. Surprisingly, Sidd Finch had never even played the game before. Instead, he had mastered the "art of the pitch" in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the "great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa." Mets fans celebrated their teams' amazing luck at having found such a gifted player, and Sports Illustrated was flooded with requests for more information. In reality this legendary player only existed in the imagination of the author of the article, George Plimpton.
 
 
#3: Instant Color TV
image1962: In 1962 there was only one tv channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, appeared on the news to announce that, thanks to a new technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception. All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their tv screen. Stensson proceeded to demonstrate the process. Thousands of people were taken in. Regular color broadcasts only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970.


 
#4: The Taco Liberty Bell
Taco Liberty Bell1996: The Taco Bell Corporation announced it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known, he said, as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

 
#5: San Serriffe
image1977: The British newspaper The Guardian published a special seven-page supplement devoted to San Serriffe, a small republic said to consist of several semi-colon-shaped islands located in the Indian Ocean. A series of articles affectionately described the geography and culture of this obscure nation. Its two main islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Its capital was Bodoni, and its leader was General Pica. The Guardian's phones rang all day as readers sought more information about the idyllic holiday spot. Only a few noticed that everything about the island was named after printer's terminology. The success of this hoax is widely credited with launching the enthusiasm for April Foolery that gripped the British tabloids in subsequent decades.

source: Museam Of Hoaxes

Missing Bronx Zoo Cobra found after six days

The deadly Egyptian cobra who went missing in New York City's Bronx Zoo and evaded zoo employees for six days is back in custody.

The snake was found Thursday morning in the zoo’s Reptile House and is said to be secure and safe. The building will reopen and snake put back on display when zoo officials are certain the snake is healthy.

The Reptile House closed Friday after the snake’s disappearance, and zoo staff conducted round-the-clock extensive searches throughout the building.

In less than a week, the snake has become the stuff of urban legend. Someone pretending to be the cobra even developed quite a following on Twitter with fake updates on the snakes activities around New York. The snake does not even have an official name, however zoo officials say they are considering holding a naming contest. The cobra, who weighs about three ounces, is an adolescent of its hooded species, which is believed to be the type of snake that was called an asp in antiquity.

Cobra bites can be deadly if not treated properly. MyFoxNY.com reports that poison from an Egyptian cobra's bite can kill an elephant in three hours and a human in only 15 minutes.
But the snakes aren't likely to attack people unless the reptiles feel threatened, according to a fact sheet on the San Diego Zoo's website.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New earthquake in Japan......tsunami warnings issued

***Breaking News***

A  magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck northern Japan on Monday, prompting officials to issue a Tsunami warning. Japanese broadcaster NHK said a 50-cm wave was expected to reach the shores of Miyagi prefecture, which was hit hard by the March 11 quake and Tsunami. More later as the story unfolds.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two Airliners Land in Washington Without Tower Communication

According to the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, two planes landed safely early Wednesday morning at Washington's Reagan National Airport after they were unable to reach anyone at the airport's air traffic control tower.

The FAA refused to comment on a media report that the airport controller had fallen asleep. NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said, "All we know is the controller was unresponsive and we want to know
why."

The situation began at 12:10 a.m. Wednesday when an American Airlines plane attempted to call the tower for clearance to land and got no response. The plane had been in contact with a regional air traffic control facility, and a controller at that facility advised the pilot that he, too had been unable to contact anyone at the tower. "1012," the controller said, referring to the airline's flight number, "called a couple of times on landline and tried to call on the commercial line and there's no answer.

About 15 minutes later, a United flight also failed to reach the tower and landed without incident, he said. After that, the controller in the tower was back in communication. Knudson said one controller was staffing the tower at the time this occurred.

Libyan Jet Shot Down By French Fighter

French fighter jets attacked an air base deep inside Libya on Thursday and in the process, downed one of Moammar Gadhafi's planes.  Other coalition bombers struck artillery, arms depots and parked helicopters, officials said.

The French strikes overnight attacked a base about 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the Libyan coastline,
A French fighter jet reported attacking and destroying a Libyan plane believed to be a military trainer aircraft, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because it has not been publicly announced by the French government.

 NATO warships began patrolling Wednesday off Libya's Mediterranean coast in an effort the blockade's commander described as "closing the main front door" to weapons and mercenaries for Gadhafi.
Vice Adm. Rinaldo Veri said the Mediterranean was the most efficient way to get weapons into Libya and that it was impossible to patrol its entire coast. He expected to have enough vessels in place in a few days for effective operations.


Coalition aircraft and ships continued to strike at Gadhafi positions, including artillery, tanks, an ammunition bunker and a small number of helicopters as they sat on an airfield along the coast, a U.S. defense official said Thursday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.
More than a dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from U.S. and British ships in the Mediterranean Sea late Wednesday and early Thursday, their targets including Gadhafi's air defense missile sites in Tripoli and south of the capital. Even more attacks were launched against an ammunition bunker near Misrata and forces south of Benghazi, the official said.
The U.N. Security Council authorized enforcement of an embargo and no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians after Gadhafi launched attacks against anti-government protesters who wanted him to leave after 42 years in power. But rebel advances have foundered, and the two sides have been at stalemate in key cities such as Misrata and Ajdabiya, the gateway to the opposition's eastern stronghold.