EasyJet passenger figures rise almost 24%

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EasyJet passenger figures rise almost 24%

Monday, February 7, 2005London – Low-fares airline easyJet today announced that passenger figures for January rose to over 2.08m, a 23.8% rise on 2004. Load-factor dropped slightly to 76.4% whilst average yields only fell 2% between October and December. After what was expected to be a tough winter period for the airline industry–with the flamboyant Ryanair CEO Micheal O’ Leary having stated in December that a “bloodbath” was to take place in the European aviation industry–the figures were better than expected.

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Courts uphold firing of Pennsylvania cop who lost sense of smell

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Courts uphold firing of Pennsylvania cop who lost sense of smell

Saturday, March 28, 2009

An appeals court said a Pennsylvania police department was justified in firing an officer because he lost his sense of smell in an off-duty motorcycle accident.

The court said the Collier Township firing was valid because police need their sense of smell to detect substances like drugs, alcohol, hazardous materials, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled.

David Agostino, 44, suffered anosmia, a partial or full lack of sense of smell, due to head trauma suffered from a 2004 crash in Ohio. Officials in Collier Township, a Pittsburgh suburb in Allegheny County, honorably discharged him because they were worried the condition created a risk.

Attorneys for Agostino unsuccessfully argued a sense of smell is not part of the physical exam for prospective police officers, and that there was no statute or police regulation that cited lack of sense of smell as grounds for firing a police officer.

But during the court hearing, a fellow officer testified Agostino could not smell the odor of marijuana and alcohol after pulling over a motorist following a high-speed chase. His police chief also said he failed to smell leaking gas from an elderly resident’s furnace.

“[The chief] explained that Agostino’s inability to smell if the furnace was leaking gas created a hazardous situation, placing Agostino, the resident and the public in danger because ‘it could have possibly caused an explosion,'” Judge Bernard L. McGinley wrote in the decision.

Agostino, of South Fayette Township, could not be reached for comment by media reports after the decision by the three-judge Commonwealth Court panel.

King of Tonga dies, aged 88

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King of Tonga dies, aged 88

Monday, September 11, 2006

According to an official news release on the Tongan Royal Palace website, His Majesty King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV passed away peacefully at 11.34pm local time (2334 UTC), on Sunday, 10th September at Mercy Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand aged 88.

King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV was the ruler of Tonga following the death of his mother, Queen S?lote Tupou III, in 1965. His wife was Queen Halaevalu Mata?aho ?Ahome?e, born in 1926. The couple had four children.

“The sun has set in the Kingdom of Tonga,” said an official government statement from the royal palace.

His death ends 41 years of his reign.

The capital, Nukua’alofa, was draped in black and purple, the official colours of mourning.

His state funeral is expected to be held on September 19. An official month of mourning was declared.

His body will be flown home on Wednesday, September 13.

The Kingdom of Tonga was stricken into mourning earlier this year, when in July, Prince Tu’ipelehake and his wife Princess Kaimana, along with their driver Vinisia Hefa, were killed when their vehicle was stuck by a speeding car on a San Francisco, California, USA highway.

King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV was once known as being the World’s heaviest monarch (his weight exceeded 200 kg then), as well as later being the victim of a number of money-making schemes.

Crown Prince Taufa’ahau Tupou V, the King’s eldest son, was sworn in on Monday, September 11 as the next king but his formal coronation is likely to be next year . He and his sister, Princess Pilolevu have represented the monarch during his lengthy absences due to failing health.

Wikinews Shorts: June 4, 2007

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Wikinews Shorts: June 4, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, June 4, 2007.

MediaCorp Radio in Singapore has been fined 15,000 Singaporean dollars (US$9,800) over an on-air stunt in March in which female guests on a radio show were asked to remove their brassieres, and pose for video that was to be posted on the station’s website and on YouTube.

The Media Development Authority said the radio show’s hosts made improper and sexually suggestive remarks about “how fast the bras were removed, as well as the color, design and cup size of the bras, and the size of the girls’ breasts.”

Sources


Researchers at University of Malaya say they have developed an erectile dysfunction cure from walnut extract.

“It takes about an hour for the effects to set in and it will last for about four hours,” said Professor Dr. Kim Kah Hwi of the Faculty of Medicine Physiology.

So far, 40 volunteers have tried the Viagra alternative, called “N-Hanz”, with positive results, Kim said. To make one pill, it takes about 3.3 kilograms (about 7 pounds) of walnuts.

Sources


An 8-year-old Indonesian boy died after being attacked on Saturday by a Komodo Dragon at Komodo National Park on Komodo.

The boy was attacked while making a toilet stop in a bush, a park official said. “The dragon bit his waist, tossed him and dragged him. His right leg was badly scratched,” park spokesman Heru Rudiharto said. The boy then bled to death.

Attacks by Dragons on humans are rare, though the reptiles, which can grow to a length of 3 meters (9 feet), regularly kill such prey as pigs and small deer. Komodo Dragons are an endangered and protected species, and about 2,000 of them live in the wild, mainly on Komodo and nearby Rinca island.

Sources


nJCuYQdn | Uncategorized | 11 19th, 2018 | No Comments »

United States: Two killed, more than a hundred injured in Amtrak train collision in South Carolina

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United States: Two killed, more than a hundred injured in Amtrak train collision in South Carolina

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Early on Sunday morning, Amtrak’s passenger train number 91, the Silver Star, bound for Miami from New York, slammed into a stationary CSX freight train in Cayce, about ten miles (16 km) south of Columbia, capital of the US state of South Carolina. Two Amtrak employees were killed and at least 116 were injured, some seriously.

The two killed were 54-year-old engineer Michael Kempf of Savannah, Georgia, and 36-year-old conductor Michael Cella of Orange Park, Florida. Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told a press conference the passenger train had been diverted into a siding by a switch left “literally locked, with a padlock” in that position.

The collision happened at about 2:35 am local time (0735 UTC) at a switching yard in the small city of Cayce. The Amtrak train, with reportedly 139 passengers and eight employees aboard, collided head on with the freight train, which was parked with no one on board. The Amtrak locomotive and the leading locomotive on the freight train were destroyed; the Amtrak locomotive and some of its passenger cars derailed, and one of those cars was folded in half. Several freight cars were crumpled, Reuters reported. In a press conference, the state governor, Henry McMaster, said the Amtrak locomotive was “barely recognizable” and described it as “a horrible thing to see, to understand the force involved”.

Harrison Cahill, a spokesman for Lexington County, gave a count of 116 injured, up from an initial report of 70; according to Derrec Becker, public information officer for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, injuries ranged “from cuts and bruises to severe broken bones”. On Monday a Palmetto Health spokesperson said two patients were in serious and two in critical condition at their facilities. A spill of approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel from the freight train posed no safety hazard, according to officials.

Passenger Derek Pettaway told the CNN network that like most others, he had been sleeping when the collision happened. He said Amtrak staff cleared the passengers from the train rapidly, and there was no panic; “I think people were more in shock than anything else”, he said.

“Key to this investigation is learning why the switch was lined that way”, Sumwalt said. Amtrak’s CEO, Richard Anderson, speaking to reporters on Sunday, held CSX responsible; he stated the track in that area is operated by CSX and the signals, which CSX operates, were not working at the time of the collision and a CSX dispatcher was therefore directing the Amtrak train’s movements. Sumwalt noted an automatic monitoring and braking system called positive train control, which was not in use on the stretch of line, could have forestalled the collision.

Several fatal incidents involving Amtrak trains have occurred in the past three months. On December 18, the inaugural train on a new route in Washington state derailed at high speed while crossing above a highway, killing three; on January 31, the driver of a garbage truck was killed in Virginia when he collided with an Amtrak train chartered to take Republican lawmakers to a retreat.

nJCuYQdn | Uncategorized | 11 18th, 2018 | No Comments »

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

nJCuYQdn | Uncategorized | 11 18th, 2018 | No Comments »

UK Mobile Data Network Collapses

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UK Mobile Data Network Collapses

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

London, UK — The Vodafone GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) Mobile Data Network within the UK was off the air for several hours, but Vodafone staff were unable to supply any details as to how or why this had happened. The incident seems to have originated within Southern England, but spread “nationwide” within a short period.

Customers were therefore unable to access data services for a protracted period, including WAP browsing from mobile phones, email from personal devices like Blackberries and Windows Mobile Messengers, and full access over data cards from laptops.

Some criticism has been levelled at the company for failing to provide an easy source of information on the problem, with the only realistic option being to queue for a response from a call centre, as no information could be found on their public-facing website. This practice, whilst far from unique to Vodafone within the telecommunications industry, contrasts poorly with the common practice for most ISPs (Internet Service Providers), who conventionally provide a “system status” page on their website.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

nJCuYQdn | Uncategorized | 11 18th, 2018 | No Comments »

Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

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Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

Friday, December 30, 2005

Contents

  • 1 Richard Niyonsaba
  • 2 Denial of food
  • 3 Background and Criticisms
  • 4 Sources

The Australian Centre for Languages, a company which has a multi-million dollar contract with the Australian government to provide refugee services, has been accused of breaching its duty of care following the death of a chronically ill child and allegations of failing to provide three women in their care with food.

nJCuYQdn | Uncategorized | 11 17th, 2018 | No Comments »

Pope in medical crisis

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Pope in medical crisis

Friday, April 1, 2005Several sources report Pope John Paul II, who was receiving nutrition from a tube inserted through his nose, is no longer using the tube. The tube was inserted shortly after the pontiff appeared at his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square and was only able to speak several words.

The tube used was threaded down the nose and throat into the stomach. A surgically implanted tube was also considered at the time, but it was deemed excessively invasive according to Dr. Barbara Paris, director of geriatrics at Maimonides Medical Center in New York.

There are reports the pontiff has a severe urinary tract infection. The infection caused a severe fever which developed into a medical crisis. He is being treated by antibiotics and has recently suffered from heart failure and a significant reduction in kidney function. According to the Vatican, he is currently “lucid”, breathing shallowly, and surrounded by his top aides.

The Pope’s condition has led many to pray — both Catholics and non-Catholics. A large number of people are outside the papal apartment in the Vatican City. Many people have also come to pray at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

The ailing Pope also suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which makes it difficult for him to talk while knee and hip ailments are taking a serious toll on his mobility. The series of new ailments follows the breathing tube insertion by only a month’s time.

nJCuYQdn | Uncategorized | 11 17th, 2018 | No Comments »