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Sun, 05 Dec 2021
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Armed tribesmen bomb main oil pipeline in Yemen

Oil pipeline attack
© Unknown
File photo shows smoke rising after an oil pipeline was attacked in Yemen’s Shabwa province.

Armed tribesmen in Yemen have bombed a major oil pipeline in the central province of Ma'arib, halting the flow of oil, officials said.

The attack took place on Saturday in the Serwah district, oil and local officials noted.

The blast caused a huge blaze that led to the closure of the pipeline and stopped the oil flow from Ma'arib fields to the Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea.

The pipeline was also attacked in the Wadi Obaida area on December 26 and was repaired on January 5.

Furthermore, on December 20, the pipeline was bombed shortly after the facility was repaired.

Officials earlier said tribesmen carry out such attacks in order to pressure the government to create jobs, release their relatives from prison and settle land disputes.

Eye 1

Amanda Knox (American) is an ice maiden says her over-emotional (Italian) prison guard - Cultural Differences


Actress? Amanda Knox appears on Good Morning America in NYC.
Foxy Knoxy showed no emotion over death of Meredith and masterfully plays the part of a tearful victims says her prison guard

Amanda Knox is an Ice Maiden who has reinvented herself as teary-eyed victim, says the guard who watched over her in prison.

Unveiling the real Foxy Knoxy, Angela Antonietti told how the cold hearted killer never once cried during her time inside and was completely devoid of human compassion.

Angela, 65, said: "Now she's become this TV star, who cares passionately about what happened to her friend Meredith Kercher, and wants the truth to come out.

"She's painting herself as a warm, loving human being, but the Amanda I knew was so composed, I never saw her suffering and other prisoners and staff called her the Ice Maiden.

Comment: "Broke her cover"???! Obviously, this is a problem of serious cultural differences and not evidence that Amanda Knox is a killer.


Lynne Spalding death: Twin brother speaks out about UK San Francisco consulate's reluctance to help solve mystery


Lynne Spalding
The twin brother of a British woman found dead in a US hospital stairwell has said UK officials refused to help him discover how she died.

Lynne Spalding, 57, from Haswell in County Durham, was being treated at San Francisco General Hospital when she disappeared on 21 September.

She was found 17 days later after a flawed search.

Her brother Bill said he was treated "like a pariah" by UK consular staff when he visited the city.

The Foreign Office said it would not comment on individual cases, but said Mr Spalding could complain in writing about any perceived failings.

'Quiet moment'

Ms Spalding, who moved to San Francisco several years ago and worked in the city's tourism and hospitality industry, was being treated for a bladder infection at the hospital.

Comment: For more background, see:

Suspicious death of Lynne Spalding: British woman's body discovered in locked stairwell of San Francisco General Hospital

Snakes in Suits

Former Fed member is third banker 'found dead' this week

Mike Dueker
© Russell Investments via AP Photo
Mike Dueker
If the stock market were already crashing then it would be simple to blame the dismally sad rash of dead bankers in the last week on that - certainly that was reflected in 1929. However, for the third time in the last week, a senior financial executive has died in what appears to be a suicide. As Bloomberg reports, following the deaths of a JPMorgan senior manager (Tuesday) and a Deutsche Bank executive (Sunday), Russell Investments' Chief Economist (and former Fed economist) Mike Dueker was found dead at the side of a highway in Washington State. Police said the death appeared to be a suicide.
Via Bloomberg,
Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Russell Investments, was found dead at the side of a highway that leads to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. He was 50.

He may have jumped over a 4-foot (1.2-meter) fence before falling down a 40- to 50-foot embankment, Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer said yesterday. He said the death appeared to be a suicide.

Dueker was reported missing on Jan. 29, and a group of friends had been searching for him along with law enforcement. Troyer said Dueker was having problems at work, without elaborating.

Dueker was in good standing at Russell, said Jennifer Tice, a company spokeswoman. She declined to comment on Troyer's statement about Dueker's work issues.
But as Michael Snyder noted recently, if the stock market was already crashing, it would be easy to blame the suicides on that. The world certainly remembers what happened during the crash of 1929...

Comment: Also see: Two top American bankers commit suicide in London as one jumps 500ft to his death from JP Morgan skyscraper and another hangs himself


Lynne Spalding death: San Francisco hospital claims 'improved security measures', but still no news about what actually happened to British patient


Lynne Spalding
Security measures have been improved at a hospital in the US where a British woman was found dead in a stairwell.

Lynne Spalding, from Haswell in County Durham, was found yards from her bed at San Francisco General Hospital last October, 17 days after going missing.

Health inspectors have now carried out an investigation into patient safety, privacy and security at the hospital.

A spokesman said Ms Spalding's family was in the "forefront" of their minds as they worked to improve standards.

Ms Spalding, 57, who moved to San Francisco several years ago and worked in the city's tourism and hospitality industry, was being treated for a bladder infection at the hospital.

Following her disappearance on 21 September, the hospital was searched and police opened a missing person investigation. But Sheriff Department deputies failed to look in all the stairwells.

Comment: There have been so many conflicting accounts of what happened to this woman, and still no clarification from Californian authorities...

Suspicious death of Lynne Spalding: British woman's body discovered in locked stairwell of San Francisco General Hospital

Arrow Up

Signs point to sharp rise in drugged driving fatalities

© Minyanville
The prevalence of non-alcohol drugs detected in fatally injured drivers in the U.S. has been steadily rising and tripled from 1999 to 2010 for drivers who tested positive for marijuana -- the most commonly detected non-alcohol drug -- suggesting that drugged driving may be playing an increasing role in fatal motor vehicle crashes.

To assess these trends researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health examined toxicological testing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System and found that of 23,591 drivers who were killed within one hour of a crash, 39.7% tested positive for alcohol and 24.8% for other drugs. While positive results for alcohol remained stable, the prevalence of non-alcohol drugs rose significantly from 16.6% in 1999 to 28.3% in 2010; for marijuana, rates rose from 4.2% to 12.2%. Findings are online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Snakes in Suits

Inside 'Billionaires Row': London's rotting, derelict mansions worth £350m

rotting mansion
© Graeme Robertson
The Georgians on The Bishops Avenue.
A third of the mansions on the most expensive stretch of London's "Billionaires Row" are standing empty, including several huge houses that have fallen into ruin after standing almost completely vacant for a quarter of a century.

A Guardian investigation has revealed there are an estimated £350m worth of vacant properties on the most prestigious stretch of The Bishops Avenue in north London, which last year was ranked as the second most expensive street in Britain.

One property owner, the developer Anil Varma, has complained that the address has become "one of the most expensive wastelands in the world". At least 120 bedrooms are empty in the vacant properties.

Comment: Over all, a row of empty, rotting mansions seems aptly symbolic of the current state of our society.

Arrow Down

Hundreds of dead animals found at South African airport

Dead Reptiles and Amphibians
© Miona Jeneke/NSPCA
This photo released by National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (NSPCA), shows dead reptiles and amphibians on top of a metal table at the Johannesburg Zoo, South Africa, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island and is considered a "biological hotspot." Over 90 percent of its wildlife are found nowhere else on the planet. Man's threat to the island's diverse ecosystems, and unusual wildlife is a real concern.

South Africa's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) was called to the O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Friday, Jan. 29. Inspectors, doing a routine cargo inspection had noticed a "bad smell," and found two crates containing 1,600 reptiles and amphibians, most of them endangered, and not all of them alive.

According to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), many of the animals were either endangered, threatened or vulnerable. These included a number of chameleons, lizards, geckos, toads and 30 species of frogs. The animals were supposed to be on the Cites appendix II protocol, meaning they could be traded with a special permit.

At least one-fourth, or 400 of the animals were dead, and many more were packed into containers so tightly they could not move or turn around. The animals were in two crates, about half a meter in size, stacked on top of one another. The geckos were tied in small muslin bags, and the other animals were jammed into small plastic tubs.


'Scandinavian miracle' hides dark, grim truths

© Alamy
Norway … the nice side, at least.
Television in Denmark is rubbish, Finnish men like a drink - and Sweden is not exactly a model of democracy. Why, asks one expert, does everybody think the Nordic region is a utopia?

For the past few years the world has been in thrall to all things Nordic (for which purpose we must of course add Iceland and Finland to the Viking nations of Denmark, Norway and Sweden). "The Sweet Danish Life: Copenhagen: Cool, Creative, Carefree," simpered National Geographic; "The Nordic Countries: The Next Supermodel", boomed the Economist; "Copenhagen really is wonderful for so many reasons," gushed the Guardian.

Whether it is Denmark's happiness, its restaurants, or TV dramas; Sweden's gender equality, crime novels and retail giants; Finland's schools; Norway's oil wealth and weird songs about foxes; or Iceland's bounce-back from the financial abyss, we have an insatiable appetite for positive Nordic news stories. After decades dreaming of life among olive trees and vineyards, these days for some reason, we Brits are now projecting our need for the existence of an earthly paradise northwards.

I have contributed to the relentless Tetris shower of print columns on the wonders of Scandinavia myself over the years but now I say: enough! Nu er det nok! Enough with foraging for dinner. Enough with the impractical minimalist interiors. Enough with the envious reports on the abolition of gender-specific pronouns. Enough of the unblinking idolatry of all things knitted, bearded, rye bread-based and licorice-laced. It is time to redress the imbalance, shed a little light Beyond the Wall.


AOL pink-slips hundreds of Patch.com reporters without warning by conference call

Hundreds of employees of the hyper-local Patch sites were being laid off on Wednesday as part of AOL's previously announced plan to spin off the money-losing operation to a new joint venture controlled by Hale Global.

The move is a black eye for AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who had co-founded the site as a side venture when he was still a Google executive and then acquired the site for AOL for a reported $7 million in 2009 shortly after he became its CEO.

Despite drastic cuts over the past year, the sites have never made any money for AOL and were the source of considerable shareholder unrest.

In August, the company said it was planning to drastically scale back the 900 sites it was operating with about 1,000 employees.