Friday, July 25, 2008

Hole in Fuselage Forces Qantas Jet to Land

A Qantas passenger airliner en route from Hong Kong to Melbourne in Australia was forced to land in Manila, the Philippines capital, on Friday after a hole appeared in the fuselage of the Boeing 747-400 and the cabin decompressed.
Qantas pilot Captain John Francis Bartels, right, looking at the hole of a Qantas Airways Boeing 747 after it made an emergency landing at the international airport in Manila on Friday.
The airline, which has one of the world’s best safety records and prides itself on never losing a jet in a major crash, said all 346 passengers and 19 crew aboard flight QF 30 disembarked without injury. The flight had originated in London.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

‘Stress can cause baldness’

Tuesday, July 22, 2008LUEBECK, Germany: Stress and tension can cause hair loss and baldness, according to a study by researchers at the University of Luebeck.A team of physicians led by Professor Ralf Paus found that hormonal reactions triggered in stress situations could contribute to baldness.A higher concentration of hormones such as cortisol and testosterone, triggered during stress in humans, affected the hair roots.“This leads to an acceleration of hair loss,” Paus said in an interview with the German pharmacist magazine Senioren Ratgeber.A second test conducted among rats at the Berlin Charite hospital also found that stress affected the hair roots. “There is no final evidence yet,” Paus said, “But it is quite possible that more relaxation can do a lot of good to your hair.”The Luebeck team confirmed the results of a test conducted among handball athletes during the 2007 world championships, revealing that mental tension and physical exertion led to an increased release of stress hormones, increasing hair loss among professional athletes.

Obama meets PM Maliki in Baghdad

BAGHDAD - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama met Iraq’s prime minister yesterday to get a first-hand assessment of security in the country, where violence is at its lowest level since early 2004. His visit thrusts U.S. strategy in Iraq and troop levels to the centre of the November election race between the first-term senator from Illinois and Republican candidate John McCain. There are more than 140,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.Obama has called for the removal of U.S. combat troops within 16 months of taking office should he win the election. Iraqiya state television and witnesses said Obama met Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad. There were no further details on Obama’s visit, which has been shrouded in secrecy for security reasons.

Baltic inflation still highest in EU

Inflation in Latvia, at nearly 18 percent, remains the highest in the EU, despite a two percent decrease. According to data released by the European Unions statistical office, Eurostat, Latvia still remains number one for the third year running. Coming in at a close second is Bulgaria with nearly 15 percent inflation this year. About this time last year, Hungary had been nudging forward as the nation with the highest inflation, but Latvia still reigns supreme. The other Baltic States are not to be excluded from this high inflation. Lithuania and Estonia have seen a rise in the inflation levels hovering around the 13 and 12 percent mark respectively.
However, it seems that the rest of the EU has curbed its high inflation problems somewhat, as the next countries are far lower, with Romania at 8.7 percent and Slovenia with around 7 percent. But the battle isn’t over, Compared to May of this year, the annual inflation has increased in 21 of the 27 EU nations. Average annual inflation in all the 27 EU member states was 4.3 percent in June, compared to 4 percent in May. A year ago, average annual inflation in the EU was 2.1 percent. The annual inflation in Euro-zone was 4 percent in June, comparing with 3.7 percent in May. A year ago, average annual inflation was 1.9 percent.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Operation against extremists underway in Hangue

HANGU: Security forces operation against extremists continued for fourth consecutive day in Zargari and adjoining areas in Hangue, According to sources, curfew has been lifted from Hangu bazaar after decline in tension; however, Doaba area is still under curfew.The operation launched by security forces against extremist is underway in Zargari, Shanwari, Shamsuddin Banda and neighboring areas.DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas told Geo News that so far 10 extremists were killed and several injured during operation. He also confirmed that five security men sustained injuries. The gunship helicopters along with ground troops of security forces are also taking part in the action.

Friday, July 18, 2008

US Congress speaker Pelosi calls Bush 'a total failure'

WASHINGTON: US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called President George W. Bush a total failure in every department and said that he has no idea that what he has to do.Nancy Pelosy, who met with President Bush on Thursday said that his failure is evident in every matter whether it is war or economy or energy. In an interview with a US tv, Pelosy severely criticized Bush and said: “God bless him, bless his heart, the president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject." The speaker was especially critical of Bush's proposal to lift a ban on offshore oil drilling as a means to ease the current fuel price crisis, calling it a ploy to draw attention away from his failures.
"We have seven and a half years of failed energy policy by the Bush administration. We have a faltering, downturning economy. The president needs a decoy."So he's going out there, he even has the nerve to say the economy would be better off if we could drill in protected areas offshore," she said, adding the Democrats' proposal to free up the US strategic petroleum reserve, which she said is 91.5 percent full."And we're saying let's take 10 percent of that ... and use that to put on the market so that we increase supply, reduce prices, and when the price comes down, we can buy back the oil at a lower price."

Security forces take control of Zargari in Hangu

HANGU: Security forces took control of Zargari area in Hangu whereas operation against extremists is underway in Shanawari and Shamsuddin Banda areas.According to sources, security forces started operation three days back after attacks on security forces vehicles in Doaba area and they now took the control of Zargari area.

A black mark for Auckland

Auckland is a final stopping point for a number of leisure ship cruises and it should be, for those disembarking passengers, a highlight.
It is a wholly unsatisfactory situation that apparently the cruise companies which operate the ships consider their duty done when the ship berths. When that happens, passengers booked to fly out of New Zealand are bussed to places like the Ellerslie Racecourse grounds and held there pending departure of their homeward flights. One would have thought there was a great opportunity to give those passengers in the remaining short period of their stay a worthwhile New Zealand experience.
Not so it seems.
Surely this is an issue that cruise companies in conjunction with local tourist operators could better organise

Murali is bigger threat than Mendis: Harbhajan

NEW DELHI, July 17: Harbhajan Singh does not doubt mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis’ potentials but the star off-spinner believes it is old trickster Muttiah Muralitharan who would pose bigger threat for the Indian batsmen in the forthcoming Test series.Harbhajan heaped praise on Mendis, who ran through India’s famed ODI batting order in the Asia Cup final in Karachi, and said it was an extraordinary display of quality spin bowling. “It was a treat to watch Mendis bowl during the Asia Cup final,” Harbhajan told a leading TV channel on Thursday.“The deliveries with which he got Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and even R.P. Singh were outstanding. I have seen people doing this with a tennis ball but it is incredible that he is doing it with a cricket ball. There is so much to learn from Mendis,” said Harbhajan. “But still it’s too early to compare Mendis with Murali and the old warhorse would create more problem for the Indian side,” said Harbhajan.“It will be Muralitharan who will pose a bigger challenge and do well in the series and not Mendis. You cannot compare Mendis and Murali. Oh, come on, Murali has been doing it for so many years whereas Mendis has just started,” he reasoned.The aggressive offie himself would have to live up to the expectation in the series, to prove that he remains the same potent force despite spending the last three months in the wilderness following the slap-gate episode. “I am ready for it.
In fact to sit on the sidelines has made me hungrier and I am willing to play any role that the team wants me to,” said Harbhajan, who remains out of action since slapping India team-mate S Sreesanth after an Indian Premier League Match.One after another controversy has stalked Harbhajan but the offie said he now wanted people to remember him for all the right reasons. “I committed a mistake and I admitted it. I think we all need to move on from there and look ahead. From now on, people should remember me for all the right reasons and not controversies,” he said.Meanwhile, having bamboozled batsmen in the recent Asia Cup, Sri Lanka’s ‘mystery’ spinner Ajantha Mendis sought to put Indian batsmen on the backfoot ahead of the Test series on Thursday, disclosing that he was working on a new delivery to add more variety to his armoury. “I am new to this game [Tests]. I have five different deliveries and am working on the sixth,” Mendis told reporters here.—Agencies

Oil prices slip on slow economy

LONDON, July 17: Oil prices fell again on Thursday after slumping by more than $10 over the past two days on prospects that slowing economic growth would cut demand for crude, traders said.New York’s main oil contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, lost 79 cents to $133.81 a barrel, after dropping $4.14 on Wednesday and $6.44 on Tuesday, the sharpest daily decline since January 1991.London’s Brent North Sea oil for September lost 73 cents to 135.08 dollars.The Brent August contract expired Wednesday down $2.56 at $136.19.Sucden analyst Nimit Khamar said the market was supported by strong fundamentals of supply and demand in the long-term.However, he added: “In the short term there is a real concern about the health of economies globally.”Prices have crumbled since striking record highs above $147 last Friday and losses accelerated on Wednesday after a bigger-than-expected rise in US crude reserves, analysts said.“Oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday largely driven by an unexpected weekly rise in US oil and gasoline inventories,” said an analyst at Barclays Capital.