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Strong magnitude-7.5 earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea

A magnitude-7.5 earthquake has struck off Papua New Guinea, prompting a tsunami warning to be briefly issued for the Pacific Island nation and neighbouring Solomon Islands.

The quake struck 68 kilometres south-west of Panguna on the island of Bougainville, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The USGS, revising down the magnitude from an initial 7.8, said the quake hit at a depth of 10 kilometres.

There were no immediate reports of damage. A tsunami warning was issued for PNG and the Solomon Islands by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, but it later cancelled the alert.

The Pacific Warning Centre said there was no threat to neighbouring Australia or other countries across the Pacific Ocean.

Hundreds feared drowned in ferry disaster in South Korea

South Korean divers resumed searching Thursday for 290 people – many of them teenagers – missing nearly 24 hours.

At least six people are dead and 290 missing after a ferry boat sank off South Korea’s southern coast Wednesday. Authorities initially reported most of the passengers were rescued but quickly backtracked and raised casualty figures dramatically as the scale of the tragedy became clear.

Most of those on board were high school students headed from Incheon to the southern resort island Jeju on a four-day school trip. South Korean authorities initially reported 368 passengers were rescued, including all of the students. But, just minutes later, authorities dropped the estimate dramatically.

south korea ferry disaster

The initial distress signal from the Sewol came at 9.00am on Wednesday, and many survivors were picked up by small commercial vessels that got to the scene ahead of the navy and coastguard. Television footage showed terrified passengers wearing life jackets clambering into inflatable boats that pushed right up to the rails of the listing vessel as it sank.

The US 7th Fleet sent an amphibious assault ship on patrol in the area to help, while White House spokesman Jay Carney said Washington was ready to provide “any assistance” needed.

Near Nigeria capital, bomb attack kills 71 at bus station

A morning rush hour bomb killed at least 71 people at a Nigerian bus station on the outskirts of the capital on Monday, raising concerns about the spread of an Islamist insurgency after the deadliest ever attack on Abuja.

The bomb, which also injured 124 people, rocked the Nyanya station on Abuja’s southern outskirts at 6:45 am (0545 GMT) as it was filled with morning commuters, leaving body parts scattered across the terminal and destroying dozens of vehicles.

nigeria-blast

Previously, much of the recent violence by the Boko Haram insurgency has been in the remote northeast, though some have targeted the central capital.

Visiting the scene, Jonathan denounced “the activities of those who are trying to move our country backwards” by staging such an attack. “We will get over it … The issue of Boko Haram is temporary,” he said, imploring Nigerians to be more vigilant in the face of suspicious characters.

Security experts suspect the explosion was inside a vehicle, said Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, director of search and rescue operations. The bus station, 8 km (5 miles) southwest of central Abuja, serves Nyanya, a poor, ethnically and religiously mixed satellite town where many residents work in the city.

15 killed in Twin Maoist attacks in Chhattisgarh

At least 14 people, including poll officials and CRPF troops were killed in two Maoist attacks in Chhattisgarh on Saturday.
The first attack took place in Bijapur district where at least seven poll officials were killed after the bus they were travelling in was hit by a landmine blast. The driver and helper of the bus were also killed, three others were injured.
A police official said that around 75-100 Naxals were involved in the ambush on the polling party. The rebels fled to the core forest after security personnel launched a retaliatory attack.

CRPF Inspector General (Operations) in Chhattisgarh H S Sidhu said that they are still investigating the incident but the troops’ decision to board the ambulance has surprised them.

A Court of Inquiry has now been initiated into the incident.

The second attack took place less than an hour later and 160 km away in Bijapur, where another IED blast by the Naxals blew up the bus in which the poll officials were returning. Five poll officials, the bus driver and its cleaner were killed while three others were injured.

Microsoft Company being sued over $731 million EU fine for browser error

We all would have thought Microsoft had it bad enough what with having to pay a $731 million fine over a browser error; but the company is being sued by a shareholder now. Kim Barovic has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Seattle, Washington, and it alleges that the top management failed to deal with the issue properly.

In 2013, the European Commission which is the European Union’s antitrust authority fined Microsoft $731 million for monopolizing the browser market in the region. The charge was that the company did not clearly provide Windows users with the information needed in order to access the web with the browser of their choice.

Microsoft had signed an agreement in 2009 which said that it would offer Windows users a ballot screen providing a list of alternatives to IE. But in the Service Pack 1 update for Windows 7 software deployed between February 2011 and July 2012, the ballot option did not appear owing to what the company called a technical error.

The Barovic lawsuit notes that Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former CEO Steve Ballmer did not manage the situation adequately.

14 Hurt 1 Child Dead in Florida Day Care Crash

WINTER PARK, Florida: On Wednesday, A car smashed into an Orlando-area day care, injuring 14 kids and killing one. Out of the injured, 12 of them were children. The driver of the SUV who initiated the chain reaction crash is still been searched of by the authorities as he left the scene after the incident took place.
Florida Day Care Crash
Having a recent talk with the spokeswoman of the hospital, Katie Dagenais said, No more information regarding the sex and age of the child who died is disclosed by the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, where the most-seriously injured were being treated. She further said that out of all five persons were in serious condition and one was in critical condition.

The spokesperson of the Orange County Fire Rescue, John Mulhall said, “In all, 13 people were hospitalized and two others were treated at the scene.”

The spokeswoman of Florida Highway Patrol, Wanda Diaz called it a, “very, very serious condition,”

Diaz said, “The Toyota Solara convertible had gone out of control after it was struck by a Dodge Durango, jumped a curb and smashed into the day care, breaking through the wall and into the building. That driver was not hurt. ”

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said, “Please keep a lookout and let us know if you see anything”. He called the crash as “absolute tragedy and disaster.”

The Durango escaped the scene but couldn’t get success as was located approx. 2 hours later. As said by the Highway patrol, “it is looking for 26-year-old Robert Corchado. Troopers said he was the driver of the Durango, but wouldn’t say how they established that. Troopers said Corchado may be trying to leave the area.”

It was shown in the Local television footage that the infants and small children in cribs taken outside on the day care’s playground and a few other wounded were carried out on stretchers. As per the report of the highway patrol the incapacitated were taken to 5 different infirmaries.

The website of the day cares says that the centre delivers childcare and learning opportunities for kids ages 6 weeks to 12 years old and the same is in community for around past 25 years.

Afghanistan Elections

Heavy turnout for the Afghan presidential election has prompted an extension of voting on Saturday by an hour, an election official said.
Afghanistan Elections 2014
Wide participation in the national polling was observed halfway through the election day despite insurgent security threats, Mohammad YousufNooristani, chief of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission, told a news conference in Kabul. Polls will now close at 5 p.m. local (8:30 a.m. ET).

Outgoing President Hamid Karzai earlier cast his vote in the election, adding his voice to those of Afghans across the nation as they choose their next leader. Karzai is constitutionally bound to step down when his term runs out and the next president has been determined.

The reportedly strong turnout comes despite threats from the Taliban to disrupt the vote and punish all involved in the first democratic transfer of presidential power in the country’s turbulent history.

Insurgent attacks on polling centers Saturday left at least one person dead in Badghis province and four others wounded in Kunduz province, Nooristani said.

Officials in the eastern Afghan province of Khost said a suicide bomber clad in an explosives vest blew himself up near a polling center. No other casualties were reported.

In addition, 211 out of 6,423 polling sites could not be opened due to insecurity in the country, he announced. Reports of violence and people fleeing from polling stations popped up on social media.

Militant attacks
Violence has overshadowed the run-up to the vote.

On Friday, two Associated Press journalists were shot in Afghanistan’s eastern Khost province, an attack which left award-winning German photographer Anja Niedringhaus dead and injured Canadian reporter Kathy Gannon.

On Wednesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance gate to the Interior Ministry in Kabul, killing six Afghan police officers.

A day earlier, the Taliban killed a provincial council candidate and nine of his supporters.

Last month, Sardar Ahmad, one of Afghanistan’s most prominent journalists, was among nine people killed in an attack in central Kabul.

Less than two weeks earlier, Swedish Radio correspondent Nils Horner was shot dead in broad daylight on a Kabul street.

Lion-sized attack for Akhilesh Yadav and Narendra Modi

The six beautiful lions from Gir in Gujarat who are in a zoo in Lucknow have spawned a cat fight in Uttar Pradesh between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
AkhileshYadav and Narendra Modi

“We have made a huge cage in Etawah, where we will keep these Gujarati Lions and not let them out,” the chief minister said at a rally, suggesting the political taming of MrModi, who is running for parliament from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

At earlier public meetings, MrYadav’s father, Mulayam, who heads the Samajwadi Party, had said that MrModi will “not be allowed to turn UP into Gujarat,” a reference to the state’s communal riots in which hundreds of Muslims were killed in 2002.

MrModi’s full-throated repartee followed quickly, also at a rally in Uttar Pradesh. He said last year, Gujarat sent over six of the 10 lions requested by the Samajwadi Party for a safari that’s being planned in Etawah, the homestead of the Yadavs.

“The Chief Minister asked us for lions. We thought he would find some courage, but he cannot handle the lions of Gujarat. A lion from Gujarat only knows how to live with someone lion-hearted.”

The lions at the heart of the roaring debate feature prominently in ads promoting tourism in UP, largely because of the chief minister’s interest in them. The sudden infusion of politics bites, no doubt.

Chile: Earthquake strikes at Magnitude of 8.2, tsunami warning issued

A powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake has struck off Chile’s northern coast, and officials ordered an evacuation of coastal areas before an expected tsunami. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the tremor, which also shook buildings in parts of nearby Peru and Bolivia.

Waves measuring almost 2 meters already were striking cities on the coast, and authorities said a tsunami was expected to come ashore later. Local TV images showed residents evacuating calmly. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued an alert for Latin America’s entire Pacific coast. Chile’s Emergency Office said a large tsunami wave was expected to hit the island of Juan Fernandez out in the Pacific just before midnight local time.

Chile’s emergency service reported some road blocked by landslides caused by the quake, but said no injuries had been reported so far. An official at Peru’s civil defense office said evacuations were underway on that country’s coast. The official, who did not give her name, said there were no immediate reports of damage.

The quake left more than 500 dead and $30 billion in damage to infrastructure. The same coastal area has been the scene of numerous quakes in recent days.

Did IAF’s ‘US-made’ C-130J Super Hercules that crashed have fake Chinese Parts?

India’s newly-acquired American C-130J Super Hercules plane that crashed last week near Gwalior has been under intense scrutiny in the United States and Canada after a Senate investigation concluded that counterfeit parts in the aircraft’s display systems could cause it to “lose data or even go blank altogether” in midflight, with potentially catastrophic consequences.
C-130J Super Hercules

The aircraft, numbered KC 3803, was the number two of the formation and was carrying out a tactical flying training mission. The loss of the aircraft was ascertained by the lead aircraft and rescue choppers were sent from Gwalior,” an air force officer told The Indian Express.

What has come as a surprise is that the aircraft was believed to be in good technical condition and did not give out any distress signal before going down. “The crash was sudden and there was no indication from the crew that anything was wrong,” the officer said.

While a court of inquiry that has been ordered will rely on flight data information from its black box as well as the account of the lead aircraft of the formation, the investigation is expected to focus on a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) situation or a sudden loss of control due to a technical or human error, among others.

The C-130J is a modern aircraft which was inducted into the IAF in 2010. In the last three years of its operations we have exploited capabilities of this aircraft during Uttarakhand floods and landing at DBO, which is the highest landing ground in the world.