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Chopper Conundrum: Officials Tight-Lipped About Mysterious Helicopter Crash in Sehwan, Pakistan

Image
© Unknown
According to a ‘witness’, the helicopter crashed in Shikargah forest, near the city of Daulatpur.
The media and officials played hide-and-seek on Wednesday over reports of a helicopter crashing in Nawabshah - or Sehwan - at around 2 pm. The mysterious helicopter allegedly crashed in a jungle and initially, officials had said that the agencies confirmed that it belonged to the government and six people were on board.

When the news spread, however, every relevant authority started zipping up about it.

The Inter-Services Public Relations denied the crash, saying that if it were an army helicopter, it would have known. The Civil Aviation Authority said it had no idea about the mysterious chopper and had only heard of it through the media. "We checked through our systems and found nothing," CAA spokesman Pervez George told The Express Tribune. Meanwhile, a CAA Nawabshah official quipped, "We do not know anything about the helicopter because it was not ours. We only heard it from the media, so it must be yours." Along with him, the Nawabshah DCO also denied any crash happened.

Pistol

The Mysterious Deaths of Nine Gulf Oil Spill Whistleblowers

BP Whistleblowers
© YouTube

In the past year, nine vocal critics or potential whistle-blowers of the Gulf oil spill all died in extremely mysterious ways. Their deaths could be strange, unrelated coincidences. Or they could have been killed as part of a conspiracy to silence those who were speaking out against the worst oil spill in American history.


Nuke

Japan bans entry into Fukushima evacuation zone

Fukushima road block
© BBC News
Residents will be allowed brief supervised visits home to collect belongings
Japan has made it illegal to enter a 20km (12-mile) evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima nuclear reactor.

People were urged to leave the area shortly after the 11 March earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant, but the order was not enforced by law.

Cooling systems were knocked out by the twin disasters and radiation has been leaking from the plant.

Meanwhile a strong earthquake hit eastern Japan. The magnitude 6.1 quake shook buildings in Tokyo.

The epicentre of Thursday's tremor was in Chiba prefecture, east of the capital.

Bizarro Earth

US: Pennsylvania Fracking Spill: Natural Gas Well Blowout Spills Thousands Of Gallons Of Drilling Fluid

Thousands of gallons of fracking fluid have spilled following an accident at a natural gas well in Pennsylvania, WNEP reports.

The Chesapeake Energy well in Bradford County lost control late Tuesday night.

From WNEP:
The well blew near the surface, spilling thousands and thousands of gallons of frack fluid over containment walls, through fields, personal property and farms, even where cattle continue to graze.
Francis Roupp, deputy director of the county emergency management agency, told AP that there were no injuries, and that although fluids have reached a small stream, "no adverse effects" have been reported.

Roupp suggests a cracked well casing could be the culprit behind the fracking spill, but that certain details won't be known until the situation is under control.

Attention

US: Bees sting elderly couple to death in south Texas

An elderly South Texas couple died and their son was injured after a swarm of bees attacked them on their remote ranch, authorities said on Wednesday.

William Steele, 95, and his wife, Myrtle, 92, died and their son, Richard, 67, was injured after bees attacked them as they tried to clean a hunting cabin on their ranch near Hebbronville on Monday, an investigator with the Jim Hogg County Sheriff's Office said.

"It was a terrible thing," Investigator Reyes Espinoza told Reuters. "You don't prepare for something like that."

Richard Steele told investigators he and his parents were attacked after they moved a wood stove in the cabin and exposed a hive of bees, Espinoza said.

The son immediately drove about 15 miles to the nearest road, where he managed to call for help on a cell phone.

Butterfly

Award-winning war photographer killed in Libya

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© Agence France-Presse
Award-winning news photographer Tim Hetherington, pictured in 2010, of US magazine Vanity Fair was killed by mortar fire on Wednesday in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata, and three colleagues wounded, an AFP journalist learned at the local hospital
Award-winning news photographer Tim Hetherington of US magazine Vanity Fair was killed by mortar fire on Wednesday in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata, and three colleagues wounded, an AFP journalist learned at the local hospital.

Vanity Fair, a politics and fashion magazine, confirmed the death of Hetherington, 41, a Briton who had covered numerous conflicts over the past decade and won the 2007 World Press Photo Award for his coverage of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Hetherington also produced the documentary Restrepo, which won two Oscar nominations.

Chris Hondros, also 41, an American with the Getty photo agency, was seriously wounded, while the names of the two others wounded were being withheld.

Calculator

Furious Greeks press for country to default on debt

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© Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
Protesters clash with riot police in Keratea over plans for a landfill site in the Athens suburb
Violence on the streets as backlash grows over Greece's austerity package and €110bn bailout

A growing chorus of voices is urging the Greek government to restructure its debt as fears grow that a €110bn bailout has failed to rescue the country from the financial abyss and is forcing ordinary people into an era of futile austerity.

"It's better to have a restructuring now ... since the situation is going nowhere," said Vasso Papandreou, whose views might be easier to discount were she not head of the Greek parliament's economic affairs committee.

Other members of prime minister George Papandreou's party have said that Greece is locked in a "vicious cycle", unable to dig itself out of crisis with policies that can only deepen recession.

International fears of a Greek default rose last week after the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, refused to rule it out and markets, sensing upheaval, sent Greek borrowing costs soaring.

Radar

IOWA: Video cameras now lethal weapons: Republicans launch another attack on your rights

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© Unknown
Iowa
Iowa is following in Florida's footsteps and working on passing a bill making it a criminal offense to film or photograph the abuse of animals on farms or in commercial CAFO operations. Apparently it is ok to abuse your animals, to leave them in fetid conditions, or to treat them inhumanely . . . Iowa just doesn't want you documenting that abuse.

Nine House Democrats joined all of the Republicans present to pass the bill in a 66 to 27 vote on Iowa bill H.R. 589.

Turns out your video camera or camera are now considered lethal weapons...the stuff of terrorism!

In an effort to protect industrialized CAFO operations, and unscrupulous corporate growers, Iowa is standing up to those activist citizens who document the abhorrent conditions on industrialized farms and ranches and also in some privately owned operations, claiming this somehow interferes with, or tampers with the property of another.

Pistol

Canada: Armed man arrested at Quebec school

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© Waubgeshig Rice/CBC
École St. Laurent in Buckingham, Que., just northeast of Ottawa, was in lockdown Tuesday after a man entered the building with a gun around 2 p.m. He was arrested shortly after. No shots were fired and no one was hurt in the incident.
A man armed with a rifle was arrested after he entered a classroom at an elementary school in Buckingham, Que., police said.

Gatineau Police said the man, brandishing a sawed-off 22-calibre rifle, entered a classroom at École St. Laurent filled with about 25 students, but was arrested a short time later and was co-operative.

No one was injured and no shots were fired, but the school was in lockdown.

Gatineau Police spokesman Const. Pierre Lanthier told CBC News the man was about 30 to 35 years old and was not a parent of any child at the school.

Police responded to a call at 2:13 p.m. from school staff that a man was spotted inside the school with a gun, and arrived within 15 minutes, Lanthier said.

Nuke

Fukushima Residents Seek Answers: Report from the Radiation Exclusion Zone

Fukushima Residents Seek Answers Amid Mixed Signals From Media, TEPCO and Government. Report from the Radiation Exclusion Zone

Mistrust of the media has surged among the people of Fukushima Prefecture. In part this is due to reports filed by mainstream journalists who are unwilling to visit the area near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But above all it is the result of contradictory reportsreleased by the media, TEPCO and the government.

On the one hand, many local officials and residents in Fukushima insist that the situation is safe and that the media, in fanning unwarranted fears, are damaging the economy of the region.By contrast, many freelance journalists in Tokyo report that the central government is downplaying the fact that radiation leakage has been massive and that the threat to public health has been woefully underestimated. While the government long hewed to its original definition of a 20 kilometer exclusion zone, following the April 12 announcement that the Fukushima radiation severity level has been raised from a level 5 event (as with Three Mile Island) to a level 7 event (as with Chernobyl), the government also extended the radiation exclusion zone from 20 kilometers to at least five communities in the 30-50 kilometer range.

In recent weeks, many Fukushima residents who fled in the first week of the nuclear crisis have begun returning home and attempting to resume normal activities. For example, some local people in Iwaki city, 40-50 km from the Fukushima Daiichi reactor, are convinced that it is now safe to return despite the high radiation levels recorded. Here is one example.