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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

On Saturday, the Trump Tower, in Midtown, New York City, caught fire shortly before 18:00 EST (2200 UTC) on the 50th floor, claiming the life of a 67-year-old resident, Todd Brassner, who lived in apartment 50C. All other residents were evacuated without incident. During the fire, six firefighters received non-life-threatening burns and other minor injuries. Neither US President Donald Trump nor the First Family were in the building at the time of the fire.

The high-end Fifth Avenue address is the personal residence of President Donald Trump, whose family occupies the top three stories of the 58-story building. The US Secret Service maintains a constant security presence inside the building with the New York City Police Department guarding a hard perimeter, intended to stop vehicular attacks, and a soft perimeter, intended for on-foot attacks.

The four-alarm fire required 200 firemen, extra police, and paramedics. At 20:00 EST (0000 UTC Sunday), the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) declared the fire was under control. Trump tweeted, “Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!” This is the second fire at Trump Tower since the election; previously on January 8, a fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in a cooling tower on the roof. Three FDNY firefighters received minor injuries, and all residents and office workers evacuated without incident on that occasion.

Trump Tower provides a number of unique problems never before encountered by the Secret Service. Never has a US President’s personal residence been inside a skyscraper or in a densely populated area like Midtown. The security measures have disrupted vehicular and pedestrian traffic requiring time consuming detours and delaying emergency response.

The New York Fire Code did not mandate sprinkler systems at the time Trump Tower was built in 1983, which might have reduced the size and severity of the fire had they been present. The 50th-floor apartment was, according to FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, “[T]he apartment was virtually, entirely on fire.” The Secret Service monitors all the fire alarms in the building but it took time to find the source of the thick black smoke emanating from the fire. Secret Service Agents escorted the firefighters throughout the building, including the Trump residence.

Brassner, the sole casualty, was unconscious when firefighters pulled him out of apartment 50C. He was transported to Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital. Originally listed as critical, he was pronounced dead sometime during the night. Brassner, guitar collector, was acquainted with artist Andy Warhol and was acknowledged in Warhol’s 1989 autobiography, The Andy Warhol Diaries. The cause of the fire is unknown, with investigations into Brassner’s death and the emergency response ongoing. Currently, the Secret Service leads the investigation.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Melbourne, Australia — Monday, following her return from London, Wikinews talked with Amanda Carter, the longest-serving member of Australia’s national wheelchair basketball team (the Gliders).

((Wikinews)) You’re Amanda Carter!

Amanda Carter: Yes!

((WN)) And, where were you born?

Amanda Carter: I was born in Melbourne.

((WN)) It says here that you spent your childhood living in Banyule?

Amanda Carter: City of Banyule, but I was West Heidelberg.

((WN)) Okay. And you used to play netball when you were young?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And you’re an occupational therapist, and you have a son called Alex?

Amanda Carter: Yes. It says “occupational therapist” on the door even. And I do have a son called Alex. Which is him there [pointing to his picture].

((WN)) Any more children?

Amanda Carter: No, just the one.

((WN)) You began playing basketball in 1991.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And that you’re a guard.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And that you are a one point player.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And you used to be a two point player?

Amanda Carter: I used to be a two point player.

((WN)) When were you first selected for the national team?

Amanda Carter: 1992.

((WN)) And that was for Barcelona?

Amanda Carter: It was for a tournament prior to then. Australia had to qualify at a pre-Paralympic tournament in England in about April of 1992 and I was selected for that. And that was my first trip overseas with the Gliders.

((WN)) How did we go?

Amanda Carter: We won that tournament, which qualified us for Barcelona.

((WN)) And what was Barcelona like?

Amanda Carter: Amazing. I guess because it was my first Paralympics. I hadn’t long been in a wheelchair, so all of it was pretty new to me. Barcelona was done very, very well. I guess Australia wasn’t expected to do very well and finished fourth, so it was a good tournament for us.

((WN)) Did you play with a club as well?

Amanda Carter: I did. I played in the men’s league at that point. Which was Dandenong Rangers. It had a different name back then. I can’t remember what they were called back then but eventually it became the Dandenong Rangers.

((WN)) The 1994 World Championships. Where was that at?

Amanda Carter: Good question. Very good question. I think it was in Stoke. ‘Cause 1998 was Sydney, so I’ve got a feeling that it was in Stoke Mandeville in England.

((WN)) Which brings us to 1996.

Amanda Carter: Atlanta!

((WN)) Your team finished fourth.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) Lost to the Unites States in the bronze medal game in front of a crowd of 5,000.

Amanda Carter: That would have been about right. It was pretty packed.

((WN)) That must have been awesome.

Amanda Carter: It was. It was. I guess also because it was the USA. It was their home crowd and everything, so it was a very packed game.

((WN)) They also have a fondness for the sport.

Amanda Carter: They do. They love basketball. But Atlanta again was done very well. Would have been nice to get the medal, ‘cause I think we sort of had bigger expectations of ourselves at that point, ‘cause we weren’t the new kids on the block at that point but still finished fourth.

((WN)) They kept on saying in London that the Gliders have never won.

Amanda Carter: We’ve never won a gold, no. Not at World’s or Paralympics.

((WN)) So that was Atlanta. Then there was another tournament, the 1998 Gold Cup.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was the World Championships held in Sydney.

((WN)) How did we go in that?

Amanda Carter: Third.

((WN)) But that qualified… no, wait, we didn’t need to qualify…

Amanda Carter: We didn’t need to qualify.

((WN)) You were the second leading scorer in the event, with thirty points scored for the competition.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was unusual for a low pointer.

((WN)) In basketball, some of the low pointers do pretty well.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, but in those days I guess it was more unusual for a low pointer to be more a scorer.

((WN)) I notice the scores seem lower than the ones in London.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I think over time the women’s game has developed. Girls have got stronger and they’re competing against guys. Training has got better, and all sorts of things. So teams have just got better.

((WN)) How often do the Gliders get together? It seems that you are all scattered all over the country normally.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I mean we’ve got currently three in Perth, four in Melbourne, four in New South Wales, and one in Brisbane out of the twelve that were in London. But the squad is bigger again. We usually get together probably every six or eight weeks.

((WN)) That’s reasonably often.

Amanda Carter: Cost-wise it’s expensive to get us all together. What we sometimes do is tack a camp on to the Women’s League, when we’re mostly all together anyway, no matter where it is, and we might stay a couple of extra days in order to train together. But generally if we come into camp it would be at the AIS.

((WN)) I didn’t see you training in Sydney this time… then you went over to…

Amanda Carter: Perth. And then we stayed in Perth the extra few days.

((WN)) 2000. Sydney. Two Australia wins for the first time against Canada. In the team’s 52–50 win against Canada you scored a lay up with sixteen seconds left in the match.

Amanda Carter: I did! That was pretty memorable actually, ‘cause Canada had a press on, and what I did was, I went forward and then went back, and they didn’t notice me sitting behind. Except Leisl did in my team, who was inbounding the ball, and Leisl hurled a big pass to almost half way to me, which I ran on to and had an open lay up. And the Canadians, you could just see the look on their faces as Leisl hurled this big pass, thinking “but we thought we had them all trapped”, and then they’ve looked and seen that I’m already over half way waiting for this pass on an open lay up. Scariest lay up I’ve ever taken, mind you, because when you know there’s no one on you, and this is the lay up that could win the game, it’s like: “Don’t miss this! Don’t miss this!” And I just thought: “Just training” Ping!

((WN)) That brings us to the 2000 Paralympics. It says you missed the practice game beforehand because of illness, and half the team had some respiratory infection prior to the game.

Amanda Carter: Yeah.

((WN)) You scored twelve points against the Netherlands, the most that you’ve ever scored in an international match.

Amanda Carter: Quite likely, yeah.

((WN)) At one point you made four baskets in a row.

Amanda Carter: I did!

((WN)) The team beat Japan, and went into the gold medal game. You missed the previous days’ training session due to an elbow injury?

Amanda Carter: No, I got the elbow injury during the gold medal game.

((WN)) During the match, you were knocked onto your right side, and…

Amanda Carter: The arm got trapped underneath the wheelchair.

((WN)) Someone just bumped you?

Amanda Carter: Tracey Fergusson from Canada.

((WN)) You were knocked down and you tore the tendons in your elbow, which required an elbow reconstruction…

Amanda Carter: Yes. And multiple surgeries after that.

((WN)) You spent eleven weeks on a CPM machine – what’s a CPM machine?

Amanda Carter: It’s a continuous passive movement machine. You know what they use for the footballers after they’ve had a knee reconstruction? It’s a machine that moves their knee up and down so it doesn’t stiffen. And they start with just a little bit of movement following the surgery and they’re supposed to get up to about 90 degrees before they go home. There was only one or two elbow machines in the country, so they flew one in from Queensland for me to use, to try and get my arm moving.

((WN)) You’re right handed?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) So, how’s the movement in the right arm today?

Amanda Carter: I still don’t have full movement in it. And I’ve had nine surgeries on it to date.

((WN)) You still can’t fully flex the right hand.

Amanda Carter: I also in 2006 was readmitted back to hospital with another episode of transverse myelitis, which is my original disability, which then left me a C5 incomplete quad, so it then affected my right arm, in addition to the elbow injury. So, I’ve now got weakness in my triceps, biceps, and weakness in my hand on my right side. And that was following the birth of my son.

((WN)) How old is he now?

Amanda Carter: He’s seven. I had him in July 2005, and then was readmitted to hospital in early 2006 with another episode of transverse myelitis.

((WN)) So that recurs, does it?

Amanda Carter: It can. And it has a higher incidence of recurring post pregnancy. And around the age of forty. And I was both, at the same time.

((WN)) So you gave up wheelchair basketball after the 2000 games?

Amanda Carter: I did. I was struggling from… In 2000 I had the first surgery so I literally arrived back in Melbourne and on to an operating table for the ruptured tendons. Spent the next nine months in hospital from that surgery. So I had the surgery and then went to rehab for nine months, inpatient, so it was a big admission, because I also had a complication where I grew heterotopic bone into the elbow, so that was also causing some of the sticking and things. And then went back to a camp probably around 2002, and was selected to go overseas. And at that point got a pressure sore, and decided not to travel, because I thought the risk of travelling with the pressure sore was an additional complication, and at that point APC were also saying that if I was to go overseas, because I had a “pre existing” elbow injury, that they wouldn’t cover me insurance-wise. So I though: “hmmm Do I go overseas? Don’t I go overseas?”

((WN)) Did they cover you from the 2000 injury?

Amanda Carter: Yes. They covered me for that one. But because that had occurred, they then said that they would not cover if my arm got hurt again. And given that the tournament was the Roosevelt Cup in the US, and that we don’t have reciprocal health care rights, the risk was that if I fell, or landed on my arm and got injured, I could end up with a huge medical bill from the US and lose my house. So I decided not to play, and at that point I guess then decided to back off from basketball a little bit at that point. But then, after I had my son, and I had the other episode of transverse myelitis, in 2008, I just happened to come across the coach for the women’s team…

((WN)) Who was that?

Amanda Carter: It was Brendan Stroud at the time, who was coaching the Dandenong Rangers women’s team. I just happened to cross him at Northland, the shopping centre. And he said: “Why don’t you come out and play for Dandenong?” I was looking fit and everything else, so I thought “Okay, I’ll come out to one training session and see how I go.” And from there played in the 2008 Women’s National League. And was voted MVP — most valuable one-pointer, and all-star five. So at that point, in 2009, after that, they went to Beijing, so I watched Beijing from home, because I wasn’t involved in the Gliders program. I just really came back to do women’s league. In 2009, I received some phone calls from the coaching staff, John Trescari, who was coaching the Gliders at that point, who invited me back in to the Glider’s training program, about February, and I said I would come to the one camp and see how I went. And went to the one camp and then got selected to go to Canada. So, since then I’ve been back in the team.

((WN)) Back in the Gliders again.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

((WN)) And of course you got selected for 2012…

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) My recollection is that you weren’t on the court a great deal, but there was a game when you scored five points?

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Within a couple of minutes.

((WN)) That was against Mexico.

Amanda Carter: Yes. That was a good win, actually, that one.

((WN)) The strange thing was that afterwards the Mexicans were celebrating like they’d won…

Amanda Carter: Oh yeah! It was very strange. I guess one of the things that, like, I am in some ways the backup one pointer in some ways, but what gives me my one point classification, because I used to be a two, is my arm, the damage I received, and the quadriplegia from the transverse myelitis. So despite the fact I probably shoot more accurately that most people in the team, because I’ve just had to learn to shoot, it also slows me down; I’m not the quickest in the team for getting up and down the court, because of having trouble with grip and stuff on my right hand to push. I push reasonably quick! Most people would say I’m reasonably quick, but when you at me in comparison to, say, the other eleven girls in the team, I am not as quick.

((WN)) The speed at which things move is quite astonishing.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, and my ability is more in knowing where people want to get to, so I aim to get there first by taking the most direct route. [laughter]

((WN)) Because you are the more experienced player.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

((WN)) And now you have another silver medal.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which is great.

((WN)) We double-checked, and there was nobody else on the team who had been in Sydney, much less Barcelona or Atlanta.

Amanda Carter: I know.

((WN)) Most of the Gliders seem to have come together in 2004, the current roster.

Amanda Carter: Yes, most since 2004, and some since 2008. And of course there are three newbies for 2012.

((WN)) Are you still playing?

Amanda Carter: I’m having a rest at this particular point. Probably because it’s been a long campaign of the training over the four years. I guess more intense over the last eighteen months or so. At the moment I am having a short break just to spend some time with my son. Those sorts of things. ‘Cause he stayed at home rather than come to London.

((WN)) You would have been isolated from him anyway.

Amanda Carter: And that’s the thing. We just decided that if he had come, it would have been harder for him, knowing he’d have five minutes a day or twenty minutes or something like that where he could see me versus he spoke to me for an hour on Skype every day. So, I think it would have been harder to say to Alex: “Look, you can’t come back to the village. You need to go with my friend now” and stuff like that. So he made the decision that he wanted to stay, and have his normal routine of school activities, and just talk to mum on Skype every day.

((WN)) Fair enough.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! But I haven’t decided where to [go] from here.

((WN)) You will continue playing with the club?

Amanda Carter: I ‘ll still keep playing women’s league, but not sure about some of the international stuff. And who knows? I may well still, but at this point I’m just leaving my options open. It’s too early to say which way I’m going to go.

((WN)) Is there anything else you’d like to say about your record? Which is really impressive. I can count the number of Paralympians who were on Team Australia in London who were at the Sydney games on my fingers.

Amanda Carter: Yes!

((WN)) Greg Smith obviously, who was carrying the flag…

Amanda Carter: Libby Kosmala… Liesl Tesch… I’ve got half my hand already covered!

((WN)) What I basically wanted to ask was what sort of changes you’ve seen with the Paralympics over that time — 1992 to 2012.

Amanda Carter: I think the biggest change has been professionalism of Paralympic sports. I think way back in ’92, especially in basketball, I guess, was that there weren’t that many girls and as long as you trained a couple of times a week, and those sorts of things, you could pretty much make the team. It wasn’t as competitive. This campaign, certainly, we’ve had a lot more than the twelve girls who were vying for those twelve positions. The ones who certainly didn’t make the team still trained as hard and everything as the ones who did. And just the level of training has changed. Like, I remember for 2012 I’d still go and train, say, four, five times a week, and that’s mostly shooting and things like that, but now it’s not just about the shooting court skills, it’s very much all the gym sessions, the strength and conditioning. Chair skills, ball skills, shooting, those sorts of things to the point where leading in to London, I was doing twelve sessions a week. So it was a bigger time commitment. So the level of commitment and the skill level of the team has improved enormously over that twenty years. I think you see that in other sports where the records are so much, throwing records, the greater distances, people jump further in long jump. Speeds have improved, not just with technology, but dedication to training and other areas. So I think that’s the big thing. I think also the public’s view of the Paralympics has changed a lot, in that it was seen more as, “oh, isn’t it good that they’re participating” in 1992, where I think the general public understands the professionalism of athletes now in the Paralympics. And that’s probably the biggest change from a public perspective.

((WN)) To me… London… the coverage on TV in Britain, but also here, some countries are ahead of others, but basically it’s being treated like the Olympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Yeah. There wasn’t a lot of difference between.

((WN)) Huge crowds…

Amanda Carter: Huge crowds! We played for our silver medal in a sell-out crowd… you couldn’t see a vacant seat around the place.

((WN)) I was looking around the North Greenwich Arena…And that arena! The seats went up and up and up! And as it was filling on the night, you could see that even that top deck had people sitting in it. I guess in 2000 even, to fill stadiums, which we did, we gave APC and school programs, a lot of school kids came to fill seats and things. We didn’t necessarily see that in London. They were paid seats! People had gone out and spent money on tickets to come and see that sport.

((WN)) I saw school groups at the football and the goalball, but not at the basketball.

Amanda Carter: No. Which is a big difference also, that people are willing to come and pay to watch that level of sport.

((WN)) I was very impressed with the standard of play.

Amanda Carter: The standard, over the years, has improved so much. But the good thing is, we’re looking at development. So we’ve got the next rung of girls, and guys, coming through the group. Like, we’ve got girls that weren’t necessarily up to selection for London but will probably be right up there for Rio… Our squad will open, come January, for the first training camp. That will be an invitational to most of the girls who are playing women’s league and those sorts of things, and from there they’ll do testing and stuff, cutting down and they’ll select a side for Osaka for February, but the program will remain open leading into the next world championship, which is in Canada.

((WN)) What’s in Osaka?

Amanda Carter: The Osaka Cup. It’s held every year in February, so that will be the Gliders’ first major tournament…

((WN)) After the Paralympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah. So everyone’s taking an opportunity now to have a bit of a break.

((WN)) And then after that?

Amanda Carter: It’s the world championships in 2014 in Canada. So that will be what they’re next training to.

((WN)) How many tournaments do they normally play each year?

Amanda Carter: We’ve played a few. And you often play more in a Paralympic year, because you’re looking to see the competition, and the other teams, and those sorts of things, so… This year we did Osaka, which Canada went to, China went to… Japan, and us. We then went to — and we’d previously just been to Korea last November for qualification. We’ve been over to Germany. We’ve been to Manchester. So we’ve had a few tournaments where we’ve travelled. And then we’ve had of course a tournament in Sydney about three weeks before we went to London. And then of course we went to the Netherlands, before we went on to Cardiff in Wales.

((WN)) You played a tournament in the Netherlands?

Amanda Carter: Yes. Of four nations — five nations. We had Mexico at the tournament… GB… Netherlands… us… and there was one other… There were five of us at the tournament. It was a sort of warm up going in to… Canada! Canada it was. Canada was the fifth team. Because Canada stayed on and continued to train in the Netherlands. So they were good teams. Mexico we don’t often get a look at so it was a good chance to get a look at them at tournaments and things like that. And then flew back in to Heathrow and then in to Cardiff to train for the last six days leading in to London.

((WN)) Thank you very much for that.

Amanda Carter: That’s okay!
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Submitted by: Simona Rusnakova

Healthy eating is becoming more and more important these days, with childhood obesity rates rising really fast in most European countries. By asking the nine questions below, you will play a key part in establishing Healthy Eating Habits in your children. If your cr che does not come up to the mark, ask yourself, do you want a cr che who puts your child s health and happiness second?

As adults we know that nourishing our bodies with delicious nutritious food means we live far happier and healthier lives. The same is true for your children.

Mum, I want a sweet, is a common phrase heard by many harassed parents at the checkouts in modern supermarkets. No matter how colourful, healthy fruit and vegetables may seem to be, it s always a battle to ensure a balanced and varied diet with our children.

Some parents persevere and spend less time on processed junk and take the time to prepare tasty, finger-licking nutrition for their children. If you care for your children, you may want to ensure the cr che, you entrust your prodigy to, have a healthy eating regime for your children.

So what signs should you look for at your cr che to feel comfortable they ensure healthy eating for children? What questions should you ask when deciding about a particular cr che?

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1.Do they use processed foods, like nuggets and frozen burgers?

2.Does your cr che use fresh fruit and vegetables?

3.Has the cr che got a full-time chef or cook?

4.Are their food, prep and service operations fully compliant with HACCP guidelines?

5.Are the menus full of variety, keeping meals as fun as they are healthy?

6.Does the cr che cater for any special dietary requirements a child may have (vegetarianism, wheat or milk allergies, etc).

7.Are the snacks nutritious and healthy?

8.Do they provide freshly cooked, hot dinners?

9.Does the cr che have an understanding of how important nutritious food is to a child s wellbeing and development? (This question is as much about attitude and ethos as anything else.)

Your cr che is minding your child and it pays to send your child to someone who really cares about them. With a live-in chef and regular excursions to the local market, your child will spend many happy nourishing hours at their cr che.

Not many people realise how important hygiene is in food preparation. This is why the HACCP guidelines were put in place. Protecting your child from spreading infection and dangerous bacteria is a key concern all parents have. Your cr che should have strict hygiene guidelines and you should ask to see them.

How we start life is a vital step in the journey to living a happy and fulfilling life. Many adults suffer the consequences of poor eating habits which might have been avoided if they were given the right habits when they were young. In today s era of TV dinners, snacks and game-boys, it makes sense to see to it that your child s diet is a healthy and nutritious one.

About the Author: This article was submitted by Simona Rusnakova, SEO consultant of Voodoo, on behalf of The Park Academy

creches in Dublin

who enhance children’s joy, nourish their bodies and minds, cultivate their eagerness to learn and ensure their absolute safety.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1154109&ca=Family+Concerns

Posted in Cosmetic And Reconstructive Surgery
? August 5, 2010
August 7, 2010 ?
August 6

Pages in category “August 6, 2010”

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Monday, March 1, 2021

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March 26, 2005

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Canada National Railway (CN) have worked out a tentative agreement, avoiding a walkout scheduled for midnight on the 26th by 604 workers.

The previous contract expired 31 December 2003, and the union notified CN of their intent to strike 23 March. The IBEW members covered under the contract maintain the track signals, and radio and data networks which monitor the movement of trains.

Federal mediators helped facilitate the agreement, invited by both the union and company. Montreal-based CN announced the four-year deal via a Business-wire release, but withheld the terms of the agreement pending a ratification vote, but did say the agreement is retroactive to 1 January 2004.

CN resumed talks earlier in March with 1,750 engineers after the union and company agreed possible work stoppages would be after 12 May 2005. Track maintenance workers signed a 4-year contract deal with CN in February, as well as a tentative settlement with conductors, yard service employees and traffic co-ordinators. In 2004 a 28-day strike by 5,000 clerical and cargo terminal workers cost the company an estimate CA$24 million.

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Wines of the Sky: Airline Wine Trends

by

Damian Burke

Gone are the days of choices between chicken and beef. Todays airlines put almost as much thought into their catering as they do their safety routines and discerning palates demand an increasing level of quality – especially in terms of wine.

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Wines of the sky are selected differently to conventional wine lists. In days gone by, airlines used to select wines on price and supply, followed by quality. But given the increased appreciation, airlines are now looking to master sommeliers and international winemakers to increase their catering reputation. The altitude and cabin pressure tends to dull the senses slightly, making in flight tasting essential when compiling a wine list. Low alcohol contents keep passengers from rolling into the aisles and also to minimise the nasty effects of jet lag. Quality is established through blind tasting at high altitudes to ensure the perfect in flight wine. Cost and supply are less of an issue in airline wine selection, as the many international winemakers clamber for inclusion in the carts of the worlds top airlines. Delta Airlines Delta Airlines recently appointed Andrea Robinson, dean of wine studies at New York’s French Culinary Institute, as onboard wine consultant. In the past, the airline has also employed the expertise of Kenneth Chase, a Canadian master Sommelier who has also worked on wine lists for Wardair & Canadian Airlines. Air France Based in Paris, Air France’s wine selection mostly features wines from the various French wine regions – and why not? The worlds best sommelier in 2000, Olivier Poussier helped Air France shape the perfect French wine list for high flying appreciation. Poussier examined over 650 wines, while Air France also guided the staff towards finer points of wine and champagne presentation and appreciation. Royal Jordanian Air The South African Hazendal Shiraz 2003 was recently selected for all international business class flights on Royal Jordanian Air. The celebrated Hazendal Wine Estates Chenin Blanc 2007 was also recently selected as the wine aboard national flights on Comair/British Airways in South Africa. Hazendal Wines have also been associated with KLM and South African Airways. South African Airways The multi-award winning Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc 2007 was recently chosen by South African Airways, otherwise referred to as SAA, as their flagship white wine. British Airways The biggest airline carrier in the UK, British Airways is extremely proud of their wine selection – so much so that the British Airways Wine Club awards flying miles for cases purchased. Over the years, British Airways have been nominated for many awards for their in flight wine lists; including best fortified or sweet, best white, best sparkling. Virgin Atlantic As quick to follow trends as well as start them, Virgin Atlantic’s onboard wine selection was selected with the guidance of Berrys Bros. & Rudd. Britain’s oldest wine merchant, Berrys Bros. & Rudd have been in business for over 300 years and have been the wine suppliers to the British Royal family for many years. Finnair The Finnish air carrier, Finnair, recently had their business class wine list lauded as the runner up in an international airline wine selection competition. Finishing a close second, Finnair received various other awards including best champagne or sparkling wine for their Joseph Perrier Champagne Cuve Royale Brut Millsime 2000. Swiss International Airlines Not to be outdone, Swiss International Airlines have their own wine awards – selecting the best wines from around the world and providing them with global exposure. The award winning wines include French and South African products, such as the Saronsberg Cellar Provenance Shiraz 2005 which was recently awarded the gold medal. American Airlines With the help of Diane Teitelbaum, international wine critic, appraiser, appreciator and selector, American Airlines have created the perfect wine list for its many international destinations. For example, Dragons Hollow Cabernet Sauvignon is served en route to or from China, while Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino is served when travelling to or from Italy on American Airlines.

The

Hazendal Wine Estate

lies between Cape Town and Stellenbosch in the breathtakingly beautiful Cape Winelands. A unique blend of Russian inspiration and Cape Dutch style, the estate is also home to the Marvol Museum of Russian Art and Culture, fantastic

wine tastings

and the Hermitage Restaurant.

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Wines of the Sky: Airline Wine Trends

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On November 1, 2006 the old five, ten, twenty and fifty cent coins will be illegal tender, but the Reserve Bank of New Zealand says there are still at least 100 million still to be returned.

According to the Reserve Bank, most of the old coins have been lost in drains or buried in rubbish. “We think there is still another 100 million sitting around in people’s homes,” Brian Lang, currency manger for the Reserve Bank, said.

Lang said: “So far, just over 280 million coins have been returned, but there are more out there. Since 1967 the Reserve Bank has issued more than a billion of the old ‘silver’ coins. So if you don’t want to be stuck with loads of old coin – there’s never been a better time to empty your coin jars, sweep the car glove box and rummage behind the couch cushions.”

The coins still awaiting to be handed in, by either spending them, taking them to a bank or donating them to charity, are estimated to be worth between NZ$5 million and $50 million.

“A last-minute burst of publicity may convince people to bring the coins in. It’s a bit of a hassle though. Human nature being what it is, people just don’t care,” Lang said.The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary located in Wellington say that they have collected over $9,000 in old coins. Sanctuary spokesman, Alan Dicks said: “The campaign was particularly fitting because the old coins depicted tuataras and kiwis, both of which can be found living at the sanctuary. The money will go towards supporting general ecological restoration of the sanctuary. We want to get over ten grand, but the more the better.”

Lang said: “Though the coins will no longer be legal tender, banks will continue to exchange them until at least the end of the year,” and the Reserve Bank will always exchange them. “We are still getting people coming in with two-dollar notes,” Lang added.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

An investigation by the United States Coast Guard has concluded the largest oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry was partly the result of a “poor safety culture” aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The April 2010 explosion aboard the rig, which is located in the Gulf of Mexico, triggered a disaster that led to widespread environmental damage.

The report squarely blames Transocean, which managed the Deepwater Horizon, for being largely responsible for the explosion that claimed eleven lives. The rig had “serious safety management system failures and a poor safety culture,” the report says. Transocean fiercely rejected allegations that crews aboard the rig were badly trained and equipment was poorly maintained.

Deepwater Horizon and its owner, Transocean, had serious safety management system failures and a poor safety culture.

A slapdash safety environment on Deepwater Horizon would mean equipment was not mended or replaced if it meant losing valuable hours of drilling, the Coast Guard found. Electrical equipment believed to have caused a spark that ignited flammable gas was described as being in “bad condition” and “seriously corroded.” The report found that other deficiencies—improperly assembled gas detectors and emergency equipment; audible alarms switched off because of nuisance false warnings; complacency with fire drills; and poor preparation for dealing with a well blowout—all contributed to the disaster.

Transocean attacked the report’s conclusions and suggested the Coast Guard may have played a role in the disaster. A spokesperson for the company said Deepwater Horizon had been inspected by Coast Guard officials only months before the explosion, officials who said it complied with safety standards. “We strongly disagree with—and documentary evidence in the Coast Guard’s possession refutes—key findings in this report,” the company said.

This week, Deepwater Horizon owner BP launched legal action against Transocean. It also filed a lawsuit against Halliburton, the company that cemented the well, and Cameron, which manufactured the rig’s failed blowout preventer. BP is reportedly seeking to claim US$40 billion in damages, and alleges it has taken a massive financial hit and loss of reputation. In a statement, BP said it filed the lawsuits “to ensure that all parties … are appropriately held accountable for their roles in contributing to the Deepwater Horizon accident”.

In the lawsuit against Transocean, BP claims the company missed signs that a disaster was imminent and that it “materially breached its contractual duties in its actions and inactions leading to the loss of well control, the explosion and the loss of life and injuries onboard the Deepwater Horizon, as well as the resulting oil spill.” Halliburton, BP alleges, was riddled with “improper conduct, errors and omissions, including fraud and concealment” which led to the disaster, and continues to refuse to cooperate with investigators.

Transocean dismissed the lawsuit as “desperate” and “unconscionable,” and announced a countersuit against BP, which it claims was responsible for the disaster “through a series of cost-saving decisions that increased risk, in some cases severely.” Halliburton and Cameron, which is also countersuing, announced they would defend themselves against BP’s allegations.

U.S. President Barack Obama marked the anniversary of the explosion by conceding that although “progress” has been made to ensure the safety of deep water drilling rigs, “the job isn’t done.” Obama’s comments came less than a week after leading experts raised serious questions over the security of deep water drilling as the U.S. government approves more exploration without improving safety measures.

Charles Perrow, a professor at Yale University, said the oil industry “is ill prepared at the least” to deal with another oil spill, despite repeated assurances from the industry and the government, which insists lessons have been learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. “I have seen no evidence that they have marshaled containment efforts that are sufficient to deal with another major spill,” he said. “Even if everybody tries very hard, there is going to be an accident caused by cost-cutting and pressure on workers. These are moneymaking machines and they make money by pushing things to the limit.”

However, politicians have insisted they are doing all they can to help clean the coast of oil. “Cleanup efforts in some places are still ongoing, and the full scale of the damage done to our state has yet to be calculated, but the good news is that most all of our fishing waters are back open again,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at a press conference. “All of us here today want the entire nation to get the message that Louisiana is making another historic comeback.”

I don’t see any hope at all. We thought we’d see hope after a year, but there’s nothing.

Gulf Coast residents, activists and relatives of the crewmen who were killed in the explosion paused this week for the anniversary of the oil spill’s beginning. A helicopter took the victims’ families from New Orleans to over the site where the rig stood, where it circled. “It was just a little emotional, seeing where they were,” said one victim’s mother. Remembrance services and candlelight vigils were held in the Gulf Coast region, which continues to suffer from the fallout of the catastrophe. The families have expressed anger at BP, who they say is being unfair and slow in paying out compensation from a $20 billion fund.

The area is still heavily affected by the disaster and reconstruction of the seafood industry that once thrived is slow. While tourists are beginning to return to the region, many are angry at BP and the Obama administration over how they handled the disaster. All the fishing waters in the area have now opened again, but people who live in the area remain dissatisfied. “I don’t see any daylight at the end of this tunnel,” one fisherwoman said. “I don’t see any hope at all. We thought we’d see hope after a year, but there’s nothing.”

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