Syrian family caught in fire thought they would be safe in Canada

first_imgHALIFAX — At 30 years of age, Syrian refugee Kawthar Barho had seen her share of suffering and death before she came to Canada with her family.Together with her husband Ebraheim and their children, she fled the northern city of Raqqa, where Islamic State militants had established their provisional capital.“This is one of the most devastated cities in Syria,” says Imam Abdallah Yousri of the Ummah Mosque in Halifax. “It has been totally destroyed.”The Barhos arrived in Nova Scotia in September 2017, and thought they would be safe in Canada.Early Tuesday, fire raced through their new home in Halifax, killing seven children and burning Ebraheim Barho so badly that he remained in critical condition in hospital on Wednesday.Halifax’s Muslim community is now preparing for a funeral at the mosque for the couple’s children: Ahmad, 14; Rola, 12; Mohamad, 9; Ola, 8; Hala, 3; Rana, 2 and Abdullah, who was born in Canada on Nov. 9.“They thought that they were fleeing from the war over there to be safe here, and they ended up as if they were back there,” says Yousri, who has been offering support to Kawthar Barho since the early morning fire.“It is a tragedy for her, for us, for everybody.”Yousri says the young woman remains in a state of shock.“She is in terrible condition right now,” says Yoursi. “She keeps thinking this is the time for her to breastfeed (Abdullah). She keeps calling him.”The family moved to the Halifax neighbourhood of Spryfield only five months ago, having left the more rural community of Elmsdale, N.S. — but the transition wasn’t working out, despite a warm welcome from neighbours.The large family was among 1,795 Syrian refugees who have come to Nova Scotia in recent years.However, Yousri says it would appear that only the Barhos came from Raqqa.“They don’t even have friends here,” he says. “They feel lonely here, without any relatives, without any friends.”Spryfield resident Nicole Snook, whose home is just down the street from where the Barhos lived, said she and other neighbours reached out to the family, but the language barrier got in the way.“We baked them cookies at Christmas, gave a gift for the baby and talked to the kids on the street,” she said as her toddler fussed in her arms.“The kids were very active. They were always out on the street playing.”Photos from Facebook show the Barhos enjoying a fall trip to a local farm. A picture of three-year-old Hala shows her smiling as she hugs a small pumpkin. A photograph of 12-year-old Rola show her holding a Student of the Month certificate from the Riverside Education Centre in Milford, N.S.Snook says she was particularly taken with the oldest girl, Rola, whose mastery of English and outgoing demeanour made her a pleasure to talk to.“I was blown away by her — she was beautiful,” says Snook.“You could tell she was an exceptional human being. She had an openness and a real social nature … She wasn’t bold, it was more like a healthy assertiveness … She struck me as someone who would go far in life with such an indomitable spirit.”Snook recalled how polite the children were when they showed up at her doorstep on Halloween.“I was struck by their willingness and openness to engage in conversation,” Snook says, adding that their kindness and poise seemed remarkable for children who had endured a vicious civil war that has claimed more than 400,000 lives since 2011.At first, the family lived in Elmsdale, where they received support from the Hants East Assisting Refugees Team, the Nova Scotia group that sponsored their refugee claim. The Barhos lived there for a year, then moved to Spryfield to be closer to refugee support services, such as English-language training.But the children missed their old school and the friends they had made there, so the plan was to move back to Elmsdale next week.The Hants East group said in a Facebook post: “For the past year and a half, the children have been able to enjoy life as kids should be able to: going to school, riding bicycles, swimming, having friends, running in the yard, celebrating birthday parties and hanging out with the neighbours on their porch swing. They loved every minute of it, and it seems impossible we won’t hear their laughter and feel their hugs again.”Yousri says he has been receiving calls for support from around the world.“We appreciate that sympathy and help,” he says. “We’re trying out best to focus on the wife and help her as much as we can.”Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

We Talk Curling And Stats With The Guys Who Won The Gold

By Neil Paine Here are some excerpts from the conversation.On advice for first-time curlers:Hamilton: “My best advice would be, don’t fall. In my first game at the Olympics, I fell. So don’t go down — it’s still hard ice. But in seriousness, if you go in with an open mind and are really curious about the sport itself — not just the throwing aspects, but actually immersing yourself in what curling is about — you’ll find all these people who are so willing to help and teach and get you into the strategy, which is really the draw. … Making shots is great, and it felt good when you made your first couple of shots in curling when you tried it, but when you finally learn why you’re throwing that shot, why making that shot set you up later in the game to win, it’s just a remarkable feeling. It really is like chess on ice, just that mental game mixed with a finesse game, mixed with the brute force of sweeping. It has all the aspects of a really fun game.”On preparing with analytics guru Gerry Geurts of CurlingZone.com:Hamilton: “He sat us down at our summer camp and explained to us where we sat [among] elite players at certain things, like with the hammer/without the hammer, up by one with the hammer/down by one with the hammer … and it went on for all of the potential scoring scenarios. And he gave us feedback [on] which positions we could be better at, which ones we’re really good at, where we need to keep doing what we’re doing. Then he gave us some info on other teams in those same kind of numbers. … I’d be lying if I said that didn’t come into play at all.”On the flaws of using curling percentage to judge players and teams:George: “It’s incredibly subjective because it depends on what types of shots you’re playing. And the way that they do stats for the television events [is] really simplistic because they’re only going on make/miss or how close you were to making the shot [but] not factoring in the difficulty of the shot. … So for the viewer at home, looking at our percentages, they probably thought that we weren’t playing nearly as well as our record would imply. … But a lot of that is because we’re playing with a lot more rocks in play. We’re making a lot more difficult shots, but the viewers are not seeing that.”On the role analytics might have in the game in the future:George: “There’s a major change coming up next season where they’re literally changing the rules in the game, where stats are going to have to be applied to figure out what the best strategies are … (Editor’s note: The change involves being able to add one extra protected stone to the area in front of the house.) It doesn’t seem like much — it’s only one more rock that you can’t take out to play — but it completely changes the strategy of how you start ends out, and they’ve been using it in Grand Slam events so far. So you see it maybe six or seven times a year, and teams are still kind of tinkering with strategy on how to defend, especially [because] it’s a way more offensive game. … Stats are going to be huge in figuring out the best ways to go about defending with this new strategy because we just haven’t done it that much.”On whether curling will be able to capitalize on its newfound popularity:Shuster: “I think you’re going to see it because [of] the ratings that we were getting during the Olympics and the ratings we’ve been getting with “Curling Night in America” the last couple of years. What happens is, we haven’t had national television coverage between Olympic cycles, and then every Olympics we get more and more coverage and the ratings get better and better. And then all of a sudden, NBC Sports Network ran “Curling Night in America,” so we had a weekly show going on. After we won the gold, they’re going to show one live game every single day during the world [championships] that are coming up in Vegas. … I think curling right now could be on [the same] trajectory as something like poker was 10 years ago. If the world championships are high-quality, entertaining TV this year, people are going to demand it more, and we’re going to start seeing it on more of a regular basis moving forward.” More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed But after the U.S. men’s Olympic curling team won gold in Pyeongchang, we knew it had to become reality. So, on Friday, despite bad weather in the Northeast — which left Nate calling in from an airport tarmac after his flight was diverted — I was joined in the FiveThirtyEight podcast studio by Olympic champion curlers John Shuster, Tyler George and Matt Hamilton.We talked about curling analytics, the team’s new celebrity fans and where the sport goes from here. You can listen to it on your phone by subscribing to our NBA podcast, “The Lab,”1Sadly, we don’t have a curling podcast feed … yet. or by clicking the play button below. Embed Code It all started as a predawn tweet: read more

School bus crash in University City sends students to hospital

first_imgSchool bus crash in University City sends students to hospital KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, December 19, 2018 Posted: December 19, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – More than three dozen high school students were taken to a hospital for precautionary evaluations Wednesday after a car rear-ended their school bus in the University City area while they were on their way to classes, authorities reported.An Infiniti sedan struck the school vehicle shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Genesee Avenue, just north of state Route 52, according to the California Highway Patrol.No serious injuries were reported, but medics took all 38 University City High School students who had been riding in the bus to a hospital to be checked out.San Diego Unified School District said that all students were examined by medical staff and were released to their parents, with no serious injuries reported.It was unclear if the driver of the sedan suffered any injuries in the crash.The CHP shut down the on-ramp from westbound SR-52 to northbound Genesee Avenue during the crash investigation and cleanup. last_img read more

Stranger Things 3 turning Netflix ratings records Upside Down

first_imgAccording to Netflix, that 40.7 million viewership number is more than any other Netflix film or series earned in its first four days. Recently, the network announced that the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston movie Murder Mystery was watched by over 30 million accounts worldwide in its first three days. What are the chances of that coveted season 4? Seems likely, considering how much of a ratings phenomenon and critical darling the 1980s-set sci-fi-horror show has become. See all the Stranger Things season 3 photos Fans were less impressed with the ratings, and more insistent the network confirm an expected fourth season is on its way.  Wrote one Twitter user, “Now confirm season 4 and DON’T MAKE US WAIT AN ENTIRE TWO YEARS FOR IT THIS TIME.” .@Stranger_Things 3 is breaking Netflix records! 40.7 million household accounts have been watching the show since its July 4 global launch — more than any other film or series in its first four days. And 18.2 million have already finished the entire season.— Netflix US (@netflix) July 8, 2019 TV and Movies Stranger Things season 3: Rad ’80s details you might have missed Watch the Stranger Things cast play their own video game Stranger Things season 3: Our biggest WTF questions Okay now confirm season 4 and DONT MAKE US WAIT AN ENTIRE TWO YEARS FOR IT THIS TIME— 🤡 (@elhopperisbaby) July 8, 2019 Tags The Stranger Things cast has earned an ice-cream cone or 40 million. Netflix If you’re eager to spill Stranger Things season 3 spoilers, take heart. More than 18 million people out there are ready to talk.According to a Monday tweet from Netflix, more than 40 million household accounts have been watching the show since its new season debuted on July 4, and 18.2 million have already watched the whole season. 4center_img Stranger Things season 3: Everything to know Netflix 59 Photos Comments More Stranger Things Share your voice 2:33 Now playing: Watch this: As of press time, there was no word on a fourth (or fifth) season, but David Harbour, who plays police chief Jim Hopper, told CNET Magazine in 2018 that the series would as least go to four seasons.”We’re either going to season 4 or season 5,” Harbour said at the time. “It’s still being debated. I do know the arc of the story, though. This was something that I discussed with [show creators] the Duffer brothers right from day one.”last_img read more

Mudra Bank Start up India to shore up MSMEs

first_imgWith the opening of the Mudra Bank and Start up India programme, credit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that is a big issue will now change for the better, according to the author of a new report on the subject.Institute of Small Enterprise and Development (ISED) director P.M.Mathew, who has prepared the report that will be launched by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra at Mumbai’s World Trade Centre on Thursday, 26 November, said the new steps by the government in 2015, such as Mudra Bank’s setting up, and Start up India have helped to broad base credit in the Indian economy, especially for MSMEs and other micro-level economic activities.”This, unlike the ‘Loan Melas’ of the 1970s, are likely to make a significant impact on enterprise activities at the ‘bottom of pyramid’,” he said.Mathew said that the international data shows that small business loans on the balance sheets of banks are down about 20% since the 2008 global financial crisis, while loans to larger businesses have risen by about 4% over the same period.SME lending is shrinking with bank loans to SMEs in the US have been falling as a proportion of total loans over the years, he said, adding that this is true of many other European countries as well.”Fortunately, in India, non-profit lenders, crowd funders, and other online lenders are stepping up to fill the gap. These lenders are often leveraging technology to access creditworthiness, underwrite, and service loans while traditional lenders can’t or don’t want to service anymore,” said Mathew.last_img read more

Flipkart Snapdeal Amazon surpassed top 10 offline retailers in gross sales last

first_imgThe top three players in India’s e-commerce sector recorded higher gross merchandise value (GMV) last year, compared to that of the top 10 offline retailers, according to global brokerage firm Morgan Stanley.The combined GMV of Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon stood at $13.8 billion (about Rs 94,400 crore) in 2015, while that of the top 10 offline retailers was $12.6 billion (nearly Rs 86,200 crore).A 50 percent rise in investments in domestic e-commerce companies by venture capitals and private equity firms last year, as against the investment made in 2014, was “probably” responsible for the huge growth in GMV posted by those companies, Morgan Stanley said in a report sent to The Economic Times.”We now increase our 2020 estimate (of India’s ecommerce market) from $102 billion to $119 billion,” Morgan Stanley Research said. “This takes our estimate of the total Indian Internet market size from $137 billion to $159 billion (now including online food aggregation business).”The firm said higher Internet penetration, a growth in the number of online shoppers and a rise in per capita income levels will play a key role in boosting the e-commerce market.Currently, Indian has the second largest Internet population in the world, it said.”We expect Internet penetration to increase from 32% in 2015 to 59% in 2020, translating to a near-doubling of the Internet user base,” the US bank said.The brokerage expects the number of online shoppers in India to grow to 320 million by 2020 from 50 million in 2015.”Per capita incomes are likely to double by 2025 and this should drive higher aspirations of the Indian consumer,” the report said.The top three online retailers had a combined market share of 85 percent in the Indian e-commerce market last year, with Flipkart having a share of 45 percent, following by Snapdeal and Amazon India with 26 percent and 12 percent respectively.last_img read more

SpiceJet Boeing deal Lowcost carrier places order for 205 aircraft worth 22

first_imgIn what is said to be one of the biggest deals in India’s aviation history, SpiceJet, India’s low-cost carrier has confirmed its plan to purchase 205 Boeing jets for $22 billion (about Rs 1.5 lakh crore) from the US-based aircraft manufacturer. With the deal, SpiceJet is seeking to win the market share from its dominant rival — IndiGo Airlines. The deal, which includes 100 firm 737 Max 8 jets, will build on an existing order for 55 aircraft, the carrier said in a statement on Friday.Also read: Boeing strikes big deal with SpiceJet for 92 Boeing 737 jetlinersAdditionally, the airline also has the option to buy 50 more wide-bodied aircraft. With this, the total order stands at $22 billion at the listed price. “SpiceJet’s new order underscores it’s drive to compete more effectively in India’s cut-throat low cost travel market. The deal for up to 205 737MAXs will certainly put it on par with Indigo for domestic dominance and the added range of the 737MAX fleet will allow SpiceJet to open up routes deeper into Asia and even parts of Europe/CIS states,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, told the International Business Times, India.The deal is seen as a win-win situation for both the parties: The latest order could help SpiceJet become the largest airline in India (as per fleet size), as it competes with IndiGo, which controls the world’s fastest-growing aviation market with 42 per cent market share. For Boeing, this deal could signal the aircraft an entry into the Indian market, which is dominated by Airbus. Last month, SpiceJet had a market share of 12.8 per cent (according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation).”Our turnaround story has been one which has very few parallels in the world today and we are proud of it. SpiceJet has achieved seven consecutive quarters of profit, highest on-time performance and lowest cancellation rates; a record load factor of over 90% every month for 20 months in a row – a feat that has no parallel in aviation history,” Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJe, said in the statement.SpiceJet placed its first order with Boeing in 2005 for Next-Generation B737s and currently operates 32 of the B737s in its fleet besides 17 Bombardier Q400s.The SpiceJet stock closed at Rs 65.50 on Friday, up 2.50 percent from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange.last_img read more

Ctg worlds cheapest place to scrap ships but its people who pay

first_imgShipbreakers cut up a beached vessel for scrap in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo: The Guardian Mohamed Edris’s life as he knew it in the Bangladeshi ship recycling yards ended at 11.30am on Saturday 11 April 2015. The 38-year-old metal cutter had been working with 100 others on the 19,600-tonne container ship Eurus London at the Ferdous Steel Corporation shipyard in Chittagong when catastrophe struck.His task had been to cut away the huge 40-tonne propeller with a blow torch. Alarm bells rang, he said, when he saw that a large metal platform had been placed below the propeller to stop it falling into the mud on the beach.“I told the supervisor and two others that it was dangerous because it could bounce back when the propeller fell. I told them I could not do it, but they insisted that I did,” he said. He obeyed and nearly died. The propeller broke free, hit the metal plate and sprung back as he predicted. It sliced off his left leg below the knee, blinded him in one eye and nearly broke his back, says The Guardian in an article published on 2 December.The yard paid for his hospital treatment, gave him Tk 125,000 (£1,142) compensation and Tk 460 (£4.32) a week for nine months. Now he, and the seven family members he supported, rely on handouts from friends. But in a legal test case Zodiac Maritime, the London-based shipping company that managed the Eurus London until it was sold for scrap, could be held responsible, the article adds.In a case that could see British, American and European shipowners and managers being made liable for the many deaths and accidents that take place every year in Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani shipbreaking yards, UK law firm Leigh Day is suing Zodiac for negligence on behalf of Edris. It claims that Zodiac, which manages about 150 large ships and is owned by Eyal Ofer, son of the late Israeli shipping magnate Sammy Ofer, should have known how dangerous the Chittagong breaking yards were when the vessel was sold for scrap to GMS, a US-based “cash buyer” or middle man.“Zodiac knew, or ought to have known, that there was a foreseeable risk of physical harm to workers when they allowed their vessel to be sold to a Chittagong yard through a cash buyer,” says Martyn Day, a director of Leigh Day.New legal action is needed, say environmentalists and unions, because of the steady number of deaths and injuries to workers. On one level, shipbreaking is one of the world’s “greenest” industries, with every nut, bolt and sheet of metal on a ship being recycled. It also employs hundreds of thousands of people in some of the world’s poorest countries. But, say critics, owners knowingly cause suffering to workers by sending their ships to be recycled on Asian beaches. British-based companies have sent 28 ships to be beached in the past two years, including six to Chittagong. Two vessels waiting to be dismantled in that yard last week were managed by Zodiac.“Shipowners shield themselves from responsibility through the use of cash buyers. These scrap dealers sell off the ships for the highest price offered,” says Ingvild Jenssen, director of Shipbreaking Platform, a Brussels-based coalition of environmental, human rights and labour groups. “All ships that end up on the beaches of Bangladesh, Pakistan or India pass through cash buyers, and all sales to cash buyers are clearly scrap deals where the higher price paid indicates that the vessel will be beached.”Shipbreaker Mohamed Edris has lost his left leg and blinded in one eye by the accident. Photo: The GuardianMore than 800 large ships are broken up each year, the vast majority on Asian beaches. Owners can earn an extra $1m to $4m (£740,000 to £2.96m) per ship when selling to Asian yards via cash buyers, instead of opting for recycling yards with higher standards, says Jenssen. “No one forces the industry to send ships to be dismantled there. They choose to send them,” she says.Edris, who came to Chittagong aged 14 and who, until his accident, worked six 14-hour shifts a week, earning £3.20 a day, is one of thousands of workers who have been injured in the yards since they appeared in the 1960s. There are no official statistics but labour groups say that in the past 10 years there have been more than 125 deaths, according to The Guardian.Chittagong is now the world’s largest shipbreaking centre, last year recycling 230 ships and generating 10m tonnes of steel – up to 60% of all the steel used in Bangladesh. Most of the workers migrate from rural areas. Hired out in gangs, they live in overcrowded shacks close to the yards. The Ferdous yard is like many others. Hidden behind high metal gates, it slopes down to the Bay of Bengal. It can take months for young men, wielding only sledgehammers and metal cutters, to dismantle a large vessel.“Chittagong is the cheapest place to scrap ships but the price is suffering. Nine men have died here this year. Nobody feels responsible for these men’s lives,” says Muhammed Ali Shahin, Bangladesh coordinator of Shipbreaking Platform. The law offers little protection, he says. “EU laws stop EU-flagged ships being broken up on Asian beaches, but because owners can easily ‘reflag’ ships it has little strength.”Pressed by labour groups, the UN’s International Maritime Organisation passed the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) in 2009. This demands that ship owners and states do not pose a risk to human health, safety and the environment. But, says Shipbreaking Platform, it does not stop the beaching of vessels, which is blamed for most accidents, and it is unlikely to come into force for years because it requires 15 states, and 40% of world merchant shipping, to have signed up.“The industry is moving to adopt Hong Kong standards,” says Nikos Mikelis, a non-executive director of GMS. “There is a good likelihood of the convention entering into force within the next five to seven years. Ratifying and reaching the HKC targets will not be too difficult.” He argues that groups such as Shipbreaking Platform are naive and, by demanding the end of beaching, are endangering the livelihoods of workers in some of the world’s poorest countries.He does see progress. “Japan and India are investing $100m in upgrades. Forty-one yards out of 120 in Alang, India, now meet HKC standards and 15 others are moving towards safer and cleaner work. But in Bangladesh only one yard [PHP Shipbreaking] meets international standards.”Mikelis says the major shipping companies such as Maersk now have arrangements with individual yards. “The industry wants improvement but it needs to invest to improve,” he says.In the case of Zodiac, Martyn Day argues that the company knew the methods involved in dismantling vessels in Chittagong, yet it sold the Eurus London on in the full knowledge that it would be broken up in unsafe conditions. “They had a duty not to sell vessels to Bangladesh shipyards via their contractors or cash buyers,” he says. “Zodiac sold it to a cash buyer in the knowledge it would be dismantled in unsafe conditions.”In a statement to the Observer, Zodiac said the accident occurred four months after the ship had been sold to a third-party buyer. As a result, it said: “We deny any liability for the injuries suffered by Edris and we dispute the claim.”It added: “The yard where Edris was employed was not Zodiac’s contractor and Zodiac did not select the yard used to dismantle the vessel. Zodiac has no control over the working practices at shipbreaking yards. The claim seeks to extend the law of negligence beyond any recognised boundaries. It is the law of Bangladesh which applies to this case.”The impact of an injury on workers’ families is immense. “Edris provided for seven people,” said one man who knows him. “He has no savings. He is angry. He is now wholly reliant on the generosity of friends and family. His children have become scared of him because he cries a lot and screams in pain.”Edris said: “I feel like a dead man. I have no hope. I will never be able to go back to work. I have steel plates in my body and I can only walk on sticks, I am in constant pain. I want to open a shop, but that needs 500,000 Bdt.“I have seen many men killed and injured. It is very dangerous work. I tell people not to work there.”last_img read more

Italy avalanche toll at 15

first_imgThe hearse leaves San Nicola Vescovo church after the funeral service for Alessandro Giancaterino on 24 January, 2017 in Farindola. Photo: AFPThe death toll from an avalanche that swamped an Italian mountain hotel rose to 15 Tuesday, with 14 still missing, as a nearby helicopter crash left six people dead and dealt another blow to a region reeling from earthquakes and the heaviest snowfall in decades.The emergency response helicopter came down in thick fog near Campo Felice, a popular ski resort 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Rome, during the evacuation of an injured skier.There were reports of a loud explosion being heard.“Rescue teams have reached the wreck of the helicopter and they found the bodies of the six deceased in the snow,” a police spokesman told AFP.Campo Felice, located at 710 metres (2,330 feet) altitude but with pistes up to just over 2,000 metres, is close to the epicentres of earthquakes that struck the region last Wednesday and were followed by the killer avalanche.Police said there was no apparent link between the crash and the seismic activity or the avalanche.But it came as firefighters and mountain police grappled with their aftermath.A team of first responders who had been helping the rescue effort at the Hotel Rigopiano was dispatched to the helicopter crash site but would not have been able to get there before news of the deaths came.The tally of bodies found in the ruins of the Rigopiano rose to 15 on the sixth day of an increasingly forlorn search through the snow-covered wreckage.Eleven staff and guests survived the disaster, two men who we outside when the avalanche struck and nine people, including four children, who were found on Friday.Rescuers have refused to give up hope of finding more people alive with morale amongst the exhausted rescuers having been boosted on Monday when three puppies were retrieved alive from under the rubble.Italian authorities are investigating the chain of events leading to the avalanche to see if the tragedy could or should have been avoided.A preliminary manslaughter investigation has been opened with the prosecutor in charge looking into whether environmental risks were properly taken into account during the construction and subsequent renovation of the hotel.Events on the day of the disaster itself, when guests were unable to leave because of snow-blocked access roads, are also in the spotlight.Tunnelling into wreckage -The local council had only one functioning road-clearance vehicle and had deployed it to reach isolated hamlets with elderly residents rather than clearing the road to the hotel.A second snow plough had broken down earlier in the month and staff were awaiting authorisation to get a 25,000-euro ($26,800) repair done.The hotel, a four-star spa facility where George Clooney once stayed, was built into a hillside at 1,200 metres altitude on the eastern slopes of Monte Gran Sasso. Campo Felice is on the other side of the near 3,000-metre peak that dominates the region.The survivors pulled from the ruins on Friday were all treated for mild hypothermia, suggesting anyone still alive nearly four days later would have had to have found some way of keeping warm.Rescuers have not ruled that out because they believe some rooms they are trying to reach by tunnelling through thick stone walls may be almost intact.New routes have been dug into the rubble but progress remained painfully slow with the first responders often digging with their bare hands because of fears of masonry or snow slides.The avalanche occurred three hours after the last of four magnitude five earthquakes shook the region in the space of four hours.Police have calculated the force of the impact on the three-storey stone and wood structure as being equivalent to it being hit by 4,000 fully-loaded trucks.The first funerals for the victims were held Tuesday.last_img read more

Oikya Front leaders meet diplomats

first_imgOikya Front leaders sat for a meeting with diplomats at a city hotel on Wednesday. US ambassador Earl R Miller is seen in the picture before the meeting. Photo: Abdus SalamJatiya Oikya Front top leaders, including eminent jurist Kamal Hossain, are holding a meeting with the foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka at a city hotel on Wednesday afternoon.Diplomats of the USA, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Phillipines, France, Australia, among others, joined the meeting.The Oikya Front leaders include BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, Gano Forum executive president Subrato Chowdhury, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury, BNP leaders Tabith Awal, Sabih Uddin Ahmed, Zeba Khan and Asaduzzaman Ripon.last_img read more