Society's Child


Chinese highway collapses after fireworks truck explodes, 9 killed

© AFP Photo / China Out
Rescuers work at the scene of the collapsed Yichang bridge near the city of Sanmenxia, central China's Henan province, on February 1, 2013 after a fireworks-laden truck exploded as it crossed the bridge killing 26 people as the structure collapsed and vehicles plummeted to the ground, state-run media reported
A truck laden with fireworks exploded on an elevated highway in central China, killing at least nine people and injuring 13. The force of the blast sent several vehicles plummeting off the road, destroying an 80-meter section of the highway.

Salvage teams are currently at the scene of the incident on the G30 expressway in China's Henan province. The blast took place at 8:52am local time (00:52 GMT), Chinese state news outlet Xinhua reported, citing local officials.

The massive explosion threw six vehicles into a ravine 30 meters below the raised highway; the survivors were retrieved by emergency teams.

Eye 2

Ft. Hood Soldier gets 3 years for shooting friend in head to cure hiccups

A 27-year-old Fort Hood soldier on Thursday pleaded guilty to accidentally killing his friend while trying to cure a case of the hiccups.

Spc. Patrick Edward Myers' rank was reduced to private and he was sentenced to three and a half years in military prison, according to NBC News.


Oregon Internet cafe customer shoots himself with holstered gun

© AFP Photo
An Oregon man who was said to be "familiar with guns" accidentally shot himself with a holstered weapon that he was openly carrying at an Internet cafe in Eugene on Thursday.

Eugene Police said that a 26-year-old man was in the Indras Internet Lounge restroom at around 3 p.m. when his holstered gun discharged and hit him in the thigh. Five people were in the business at the time of the shooting.


Alaska Airlines makes emergency landing after pilot loses consciousness

© ABC News
An Alaska Airlines plane made an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon, after the pilot lost consciousness Thursday night.

The co-pilot on Flight 473 from Los Angeles to Seattle made an emergency landing at Portland International Airport a little after 9 p.m. local time, according to Paul McElroy, spokesman for Alaska Airlines.

McElroy said the pilot suffered from a medical condition, but declined to name specifics, citing company policy.

The Boeing 737-700 carrying 116 passengers and five crew members landed safely. It is unclear whether the passengers were told of the pilot's condition.

A doctor on board tended to the doctor after he passed out as the co-pilot took control of the plane, McElroy said.


IRS: Cheapest Obamacare plan will be $20,000 per family

© White House photo/Pete Souza
President Barack Obama hugs HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after signing the Obamacare law on March 23, 2010.
In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

The IRS's assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.


Explosion at Mexican state oil company kills at least 25, injures hundreds

Emergency services worked into the early hours of Friday to find people trapped in rubble under state oil company Pemex's headquarters in Mexico City after an explosion that killed at least 25 people and injured more than 100. Scenes of confusion and chaos at the downtown tower dealt yet another blow to Pemex's image as Mexico's new president courts outside investment for the 75-year-old monopoly.
© Reuters
Paramedics wheel an injured person to a helicopter at the parking lot of the state-run oil company Pemex after an explosion in Mexico City January 31, 2013.
Search and rescue workers picked through debris, and investigators sifted through shattered glass and concrete at the bottom of the building to try to find what caused the blast. It was not clear how many might still be trapped inside.

Pemex, a symbol of Mexican self-sufficiency as well as a byword in Mexico for security glitches, oil theft and frequent accidents, has been hamstrung by inefficiency, union corruption and a series of safety failures costing hundreds of lives.

Thursday's blast at the more than 50-storey skyscraper that houses administrative offices followed a September fire at a Pemex gas facility near the northern city of Reynosa which killed 30 people. More than 300 were killed when a Pemex natural gas plant on the outskirts of Mexico City blew up in 1984.

Eye 1

Suicide blast outside Hangu mosque in Pakistan claims 22 lives

© AFP Photo
Onlookers stand over the site of a bomb blast outside a mosque in Hangu on February 1, 2013
A suicide bomber blew himself up outside two neighbouring mosques in the town of Hangu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killing at least 22 people and wounding over 40 others, officials said.

According to police, the bomber detonated his explosives as worshippers poured out after Friday (Jummah) prayers in the crowded Pat Bazaar area.

"Most of the dead were coming out of a mosque in the marketplace after Friday prayers when the bomb went off," a senior police officer said.

District Police officer (DPO) Dr Muhammed Saeed said the bomber blew himself up near one of the mosques' exits leading to a crowded market.


14 dead, 80 injured in Mexico oil company blast

© AP
An explosion at the main headquarters of Mexico's state-owned oil company in the capital killed 14 people and injured 80 on Thursday as it heavily damaged three floors of the building, sending hundreds into the streets and a large plume of smoke over the skyline.

There were reports that people remained trapped in the debris - as many as 30 according to civil protection and local media - from the explosion, which occurred in the basement of an administrative building next to the iconic, 52-story tower of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex.

Ana Vargas Palacio was distraught as she searched for her missing husband, Daniel Garcia Garcia, 36, who works in the building. She last heard from him at 1 p.m.

"I called his phone many times, but a young man answered and told me he found the phone in the debris," Vargas. The two have an 11-year-old daughter. His mother, Gloria Garcia Castaneda, collapsed on a friend's arm, crying "My son. My son."


Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt spent fortune ahead of Mayan apocalypse prophecy

© Daniel Deme/
Reality TV stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt frittered away their $10 million fortune because they believed the world would end in 2012.

In 2010, Pratt revealed the couple was broke and on the verge of bankruptcy, and they even gave up their luxury home and moved in with his father to save money.

He has now admitted they deliberately spent all their cash before December 21, 2012 - the day the world was set to end, according to a prophesy based on the Mayan calendar. He tells Britain's OK! magazine, "We made and spent at least 10 million dollars. The thing is, we heard that the planet was going to end in 2012. We thought, we have got to spend this money before the asteroid hits.

"Here's some advice, definitely do not spend your money thinking asteroids are coming. But the world didn't end."

Opening up about his extravagant lifestyle, Pratt adds, "I would give my friends $15,000 for their birthday. Just cash. I would buy people cars. Every valet I met got a couple of hundred pounds tip. I would pay people $200 just to open doors for us."


5-year-old boy threatened with suspension for making "Lego gun" at school

A boy playing in a Massachusetts after school program found himself in hot water this week after creating an allegedly threatening object using LEGO blocks.

Joseph Cardosa, 5 years old, was participating in an after-school program at Hyannis West Elementary School on Cape Cod when school officials say he created a gun out of LEGOs, reports Fox25 Boston.

The boy's parents told the station that the school issued Joseph an official warning, and said a second warning would lead to suspension.