Rescuers find remains of West Virginia miners

Saturday, January 21, 2006

In Mellville, West Virginia, the remains of two miners have been found. The two miners had disappeared at the Alma coal mine when a conveyor belt caught fire.

“We have found the two miners we were looking for for [sic] the past 40 hours,” said Doug Conaway, director of the state Office of Miners’ Health Training and Safety. “Unfortunately we don’t have a positive outcome.”

Governor Joe Manchin, Massey Energy Chairman Don Blankenship and U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller went to a church where the victims families were waiting to tell them the news.

“For over what 45 hours we’ve been together with the families, we do not have the outcome that we had desired, that we had been hoping for. We have two brave miners that have perished. These two men who perished in this mine, the 12 men who perished in the Sago Mine, I can only say to each of those families … that they have not died in vain,” Manchin said at a press conference after receiving the news.

On Monday, Manchin plans to introduce legislation dealing with rapid responses in emergencies, electronic tracking technology and mandate reserve oxygen stations for underground miners.

Manchin is expected to go to Washington D.C. on Tuesday to discuss his proposals with West Virginia’s congressional delegation.

The miners became separated from their team when fire broke out. Nineteen other miners were able to escape without injury.

The two have been identified as Don Bragg, 33, and Ellery “Elvis” Hatfield, 47. They had been missing since Saturday.

2008 Taipei Computer Applications Show launched in Taipei World Trade Center

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The 18th Taipei Computer Applications Show (2008 TICA), organized by Taipei Computer Association (TCA) and Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), started its five day trade show at the Taipei World Trade Center. Unlike COMPUTEX Taipei, TICA focused on selling electronic goods to consumers in the local area.

To attract local residents, the show used several arcade machines from the recent “Digital E-Park” trade show.

The event also hosted displays on Linux Applications, Robots, Digital Content , e-Learning, and Science. These displays were co-organized by TCA, TAITRA, and Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to demonstrate achievements of Taiwan’s R&Ds.

According to TAITRA, technology giants such as Micro-Star International, Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, D-Link, Hewlett-Packard Company, and Sony participated in the event, in addition to local companies such as 3J Tech, Omni Motion, International Games System, and TransAVA, will showcase different trendy and incident-involved products in this show.

Taipei City Government, the supervisor for the event’s transport, announced a plan to deal with the amount of traffic going to the event, which expected to peak in visitor numbers of the weekend.

Search and rescue beacons soon to make the digital jump

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Starting February 1, Cospas-Sarsat will discontinue monitoring the frequencies that are used for analog-based emergency position-indicating radio beacons (EPIRB), the 121.5 and 243 MHz frequencies. Search and rescue (SAR) groups worldwide will only monitor the 406 MHz frequency, which is dedicated to digital locators.

The 406 MHz digital band has many advantages over the older analog systems. Since the locators send data to satellites, rather than just provide a continuous signal, much more will be known about the emergency before a SAR group arrives, such as the type of vehicle and owner. In addition, the accuracy will be greatly enhanced from a 1400 square kilometre (500 square mile) search zone down to just 90m (100 yards) if the locator has a GPS fix. The most important reason for the switch is the reduction of false positives. With the older analog bands, only about one in every 50 alerts was real, whereas with the digital system that is reduced to about one in every 17 alerts being real.

With fewer false positives and greatly increased accuracy, SAR groups around the world will be better able and faster to respond to life-threatening emergencies within the critical “golden day”. They will also be able to do this with fewer wasted resources.

The phase-out of analog transponders has been a long time coming. The first warnings were sent by the US Coast Guard in 2000, and analog devices have not been manufactured in the last several years. For most large boats the cost of upgrading to the new system was negligible. The change February 1 is worldwide, with both the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization recommending the switch.

Travel ban 2.0 exempts Iraqis, U.S. permanent residents

Thursday, March 9, 2017

On Monday, U.S. president Donald Trump signed in the Oval Office a revised version of his executive order barring entry to the United States by refugees and individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries. While the previous ban, which caused chaos at airports and drew considerable criticism from within and outside of the U.S. government, covered seven countries, this one names only six and specifically exempts legal permanent residents and anyone who already has a visa to enter the country, or a visa revoked by the earlier executive order.

Residents of Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen must now wait 90 days for visas. Iraq was removed following concerns that people who had helped the United States military and Iraqi government during and after the Iraq War might be left in danger. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this was because the U.S. State Department and Iraqi government improved the vetting process, though he did not say what exactly changed. The Iraqi government also lobbied heavily. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi spoke with President Trump by phone and Vice President Pence in person. A senior official with the Trump administration also told reporters the Iraqi government had promised “timely repatriation” for Iraqi nationals whom the U.S. has decided to deport.

There is still a 120-day moratorium on accepting refugees into the U.S., though the ban on Syrian refugees is no longer indefinite. The new order omits language that gave priority to religious minorities, which critics such as National Public Radio’s Domenico Montanaro read as “Christians.” Claims of religious discrimination against Muslims contributed to the first order’s overturn by the judiciary.

Under the previous travel ban, permanent residents in possession of a green card were concerned that if they were to visit their home countries they might be barred from returning to the United States. The new executive order exempts them.

Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said both orders have “the same fundamental flaws.” Representative Andre Carson of Indiana, who is Muslim, referred to this as “Muslim ban 2.0” on Twitter. Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, called for the order’s repeal, saying, “A watered-down ban is still a ban.”

Not all of the response has been negative. “I have always shared President Trump’s desire to protect our homeland,” said Senator Lindsay Graham, a Republican and a critic of the first executive order. “This Executive Order will achieve the goal of protecting our homeland and will, in my view, pass legal muster.”

The order is set to go into effect on March 16. The White House continues to affirm that the original travel ban was legal and the issue may still be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Australian governments to meet for first COAG meeting of 2006 today

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will meet in Canberra today for its first meeting of 2006. Members of COAG are the Prime Minister, State Premiers, Australian Capital and Northern Territory Chief Ministers, and the President of the Australian Local Government Association. COAG is chaired by the Prime Minister.

On the agenda is a wide range of issues such as health, economic reform, regulation, and education.

The state leaders (all of whom are members of the Australian Labor Party), met last night to develop a strategy for dealing with John Howard, Australia’s Prime Minister.

What To Look For In Designer Diamond Engagement Rings

byAlma Abell

While there are people that want to go into a store and pick out a diamond ring set that is on display, there are just as many people that want to great their own wedding rings. Choosing between designer diamond engagement rings and custom rings is really a personal choice and one that may not be as simple as you first thought.

People often assume that designer diamond engagement rings are very costly when compared to the sets on display. In fact, customizing or designing your own ring may not be a costly process at all. This is especially true if the jeweler that you are working with is already producing his or her own designer diamond engagement rings.

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The Benefits

If you opt for a designer diamond engagement ring your ring can be uniquely created to be one of a kind. In addition, many jewelers have their own particular style that makes the ring immediately recognizable as a designer ring. This is true for both pre-made wedding sets as well as for customized options.

You can often work within your budget to actually get more ring for your money when you choose a designer diamond engagement ring. This is because you can precisely select the loose gems and diamonds that you want to use in the ring. Since the loose diamond or gem is usually the most expensive part of the piece, you can control cost by making the customized selection that best fits your budget.

Being Creative

If you want a dazzling ring but can’t afford a huge round diamond solitaire, you may want to consider different cuts of diamonds or combining diamonds with other gems. A larger center stone surrounded by smaller diamonds is a popular option for designer diamond engagement rings. You can choose a stone that is a favorite color to be the larger center gem and surround it with smaller diamonds.

Using semi-precious or precious gems other than diamonds is more and more popular in designer diamond engagement rings. Beautiful options include sapphires, rubies and emeralds as well as tourmaline, garnet and spinel. The pearl has traditionally been used in an engagement rings and looks amazing with diamonds in an antique or classic type of setting.

Choosing designer diamond engagement rings gives you options that are simply not available with the standard wedding and engagement ring sets. It is well worth looking at options and talking to your jeweler to see what options you have based on your preferences in gems and styles and your budget.

View our website to see the many unique designs of designer diamond engagement rings we offer. We can be found online at

U.S. Military Code Talkers The Navajo Unwritten Words

By Earl Keaton

Words from the wise never had a cryptic meaning until the Navajo ‘Code Talkers,’ later romanticized by the movie Wind Talkers, became the saving secret code during World War II. Recently, the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, were honored by a visit from four Navajo Code Talkers. Their native tongue foiled the Japanese attempts to further assault Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Samuel Tso, Bill Toledo, Frank Chee Willetto and Keith Little, Navajo Code Talkers, enlisted in the war to defend and protect America, finding themselves to be members of the nations’ secret weapon during WWII. Enraged by the attack on Pearl Harbor, many Navajos enlisted to join the fight. A select group of Marines adapted a version of their native language to protect our communications. It was very successful. The Japanese never cracked the code. It was the unique weapon of the Navajo Indians, an unwritten language.

24 Navajo code Talkers were attached to the Third Marine Division serving from Guadal Canal to Iwo Jima and beyond. 8 Indian soldiers served in the U.S. Army Africa in the 168th Infantry, 34th Division 17 Comanche soldiers in Europe , in the 4th Signal company, 4th Infantry Division

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The idea of using this almost archaic language came from Philip Johnston, a World War I Veteran who grew up in a Navajo Reservation as a missionary’s son. Johnston, a non-Navajo, who spoke the unwritten language, believed this was an undecipherable code. He was right! ‘It was a weapon for which they (Japanese) could never find an answer,’ remarked 84 year, old, Code Talker, Frank Chee Willetto while in New Orleans recently. The idea of using a foreign language was not novel, but Johnston knew the Navajos spoke English and a native tongue that no Germans, Japanese or any other enemy combatants knew existed or could be researched. The Navajo language never played such a significant role in American history until they provided secure authenticated oral communications to prevent eavesdropping. There was a company of Indian soldiers in France during WWI in the 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Division, who spoke 26 languages and dialects.

Code talkers were deployed September 1942 on Guadalcanal in the 3th Marine Division operating six Navajo radio nets sending more than 800 messages without error. They were responsible for the message that Marines had reached the summit of Mt. Suribachi, where the famous flag-raising took place. The flag-raising is memorialized as a statue in Washington, D.C. No coded messages were ever interpreted. Many English words did not translate in Navaho. For example, Commanding General was Bih Keh He; Warrior Chief, or Commanding Officer was Hash Kay Gi Na Tah, also translated as Warrior Chief. They had a sense of humor too. Tkele Cho G was jackass, whomever they were referring to.

The new technology of Navajo Code Talking was not accepted readily by their superiors until evidenced that their ‘talk’ was decoded faster than others. The Navajos were more efficient, but had to prove themselves. American Indians have served in the United States Military with distinction for the past 200 years. Their courage, determination and fighting spirit were recognized by American military leaders as early as the 18th century. During WWII their distinction as changing the course of the war wasn’t acknowledged immediately after the war ended. Their work remained classified until 2002 when Congress passed the Code Talker’s Recognitionj Act. President Bush had thanked them at a ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda, on July 26, 2001 in which they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. The National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland has a co de talker exhibit. They have a rightful place in the new International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. These WWII Navajo warriors have come to be known as, ‘The Sons of the Land of Enchantment’.

About the Author: Saunders Insignia is a major supplier of insignia for the military. We stock over 15,000 items including

custom made patches

, and

custom made insignia.

Earl F. Keaton the G.M. of has a B.S. from California Polytechnic University, USN reserve 4 years, USAF Technical advisor Korean War.


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Oldbury nuclear power station suffers fire

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oldbury nuclear power station in South Gloucestershire, England caught fire today after overheating. No-one was injured in the blaze which is believed to have been an accident and was extuinguished within minutes by an automatic sprinkler system.

The fire took place on the non-nuclear side of the plant, in an electricity transformer, but prompted shutdown of the reactor for the foreseeable future in “accordance with standard procedure,” said Dan Gould, spokesman for the British Nuclear Group. He also stressed that there was no release of radiation. There were also reports of an explosion in the transformer.

The BBC reported that 12 fire trucks attended the scene of the fire, but ITV stated ten crews were involved and quoted a spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue as saying that ten trucks were sent.

The Aviator and Vera Drake scoop top prizes at the 2005 Orange BAFTA Film Awards

Sunday, February 13, 2005

LONDON – The big-budget Hollywood movie The Aviator and the low-budget Brit flick Vera Drake have scooped the main prizes at the 2005 Orange BAFTA Film Awards. Four gongs went to The Aviator with the top ones being Best Film and Cate Blanchett for Best Supporting Actress. Vera Drake got three gongs with Best Director, Best Actress & Costume Design. Jamie Foxx got Best Actor with Ray and Clive Owen got Best Supporting Actor with Closer.

Oil in Alberta spill may be carcinogenic

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The province of Alberta, Canada is considering legal action against Canadian National Railway for failing to warn that a derailment last week contaminated Wabamun Lake with a hazardous chemical.

The 700,000 litres of heavy Bunker C fuel oil that spilled into the lake asphyxiated birds and killed fish.

In addition, one of the ruptured tanker cars sent 70,000 liters of Imperial Pole Treating Oil into the lake. This oil is a yellow mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Naphthalene, a component of this “very toxic material” is suspected of causing skin cancer if touched and lung or other cancers if inhaled.[1] Inhalation is promoted by actions that cause splashing or foaming. The mineral oil is used in connection with pentachlorophenol for preserving wooden utility poles.

Wabamun Lake is a popular summertime recreational area about 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Edmonton, Alberta.

The 766-megawatt Keephills power generating plant, one of 3 in Wabamun, was shut down because the coal-fired plant uses water from the lake. Edmonton’s health authority ordered people not to swim, boat or rescue animals in the lake and to stop using its water or any water from nearby wells for cooking, drinking, showering or brushing teeth. These warnings came 3 days after many residents, including children, had been wading into the oil slick without protective clothing to save wildlife injured by the spill and others had been routinely depending on the lakewater for home use. Why the alert was not issued sooner remains under investigation and may result in criminal charges. Canadian National Railway had been informed of the nature of the oil when it was loaded by Imperial Oil Ltd., Canada’s largest petroleum company. Imperial Oil is posting informational updates on a special website [2]. In addition The Wabamun Residents Committee has established an information website [3].