Plane crashes into office block in Austin, Texas

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A small plane crashed into a building, which was one of the Echelon office complex, in north Austin, Texas this morning at 09:56 local time (1456 UTC).

Federal officials say the plane owner was Joseph Andrew Stack III; presumed to be the pilot who set his house on fire on the 1800 block of Dapplegrey Lane in north Austin an hour earlier. He then drove to Georgetown Municipal Airport, approximately 20 miles away, took off and then crashed his private plane into the Echelon complex.

The Federal Aviation Authority indicated the light aircraft was a Piper Cherokee PA-28, as did news reports and eye witnesses. The FAA said the plane had no flight plan and was under Visual Flight Rules.

Mr. Stack committed suicide, and a suicide note has been located. Mr. Stack’s suicide note mentions anti-government and anti-corporate ideals, as well as problems with the Internal Revenue Service and that he lost money in the Enron scandal. Although the incident was intentional, a Department of Homeland Security official said that terrorism is not suspected. The online host of the note, T35 Hosting, later removed it in its entirety after the FBI requested its censorship. However, Wikinews has preserved the full text of the letter.

Austin Fire Department reported around 1100 local time (1600 UTC) that two people were transported to local hospitals and one was unaccounted for. One man was admitted at a local hospital under serious condition for smoke inhalation. The other man suffered from second-degree burns on 25% of his back and has been transported by helicopter to Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio and is said to be in stable condition.

The seven-story Echelon Building One is located on 9430 Research Boulevard and contains Internal Revenue Service offices. The Echelon building complex houses a number of federal offices, including Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Research Boulevard is the service road of U.S. Route 183. The incident has caused severe backups on both Research Boulevard and Route 183.

A witness told The Austin Statesman that he saw the plane flying lower than usual, then it made a sharp turn and hit the building.

An Austin County EMS official, James Shamard, said that smoke is visible from at least a mile from the crash site. Another official for the Austin Fire Department said that two persons who were working in the building are still unaccounted for.

MSNBC reports that there was some form of domestic dispute between Mr. Stack and his wife before the incident. He then reportedly used gasoline to light his house on fire. When the fire department arrived, they rescued his wife and teenage daughter.

According to Jerry Cullen, a pilot and former flight instructor who witnessed the crash, the plane was traveling at high speed at time of impact.

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US House of Representatives passes ‘clean energy bill’

Saturday, June 27, 2009

On Friday, the United States House of Representatives passed House Resolution 2998, better known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, following days of debate. The final vote was 219–212, with only 8 Republicans voting for the legislation, and 44 Democrats voting against it. The resolution addresses the “greenhouse effect,” and calls for a 17% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and an 83% reduction by 2050. In addition, the legislation will establish new requirements for utilities, and various incentives for “going green.”

The resolution was sponsored by Representative Henry Waxman of California, and Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts. At 3:09 a.m. (EDT) on Friday morning, a 341 page amendment was added to the resolution. In an attempted filibuster, House Minority Leader John Boehner read the majority of the added amendment, and stated that “…when you file a 300-page amendment at 3:09 a.m., the American people have a right to know what’s in this bill.”

Reactions to the legislation have been mixed, with opponents and advocates speaking out. The President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Kevin Knobloch, said that the Union was “thrilled that Congress has finally caught up with science and the American people in recognizing the need to switch on clean energy.” A report by the The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, stated that the legislation would “damage the economy and hobble growth.”

Most House Republicans opposed the bill for going too far in its regulation, with GOP chairman Mike Pence saying that “raising the cost of energy is a bad idea in prosperous times.” Democrat Dennis Kucinich, on the other hand, opposed the bill for not going far enough, calling it an “illusion” that “locks us into a framework that will fail.” Kucinich pointed out that the bill gives subsidies to coal, which is not a clean source of fuel, and includes greenhouse gas emitters such as trash incinerators under its definition of “renewable energy.”

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Feared toll of Indonesian floods, landslides up to 130; dozens missing as bridge swept away

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Heavy rains in Indonesia yesterday triggered widespread flooding and landslides across the nation. It has emerged that last night a bridge was swept away by the swollen river it stretched across, leaving around 40 to 50 people missing in Madiun, East Java. Meanwhile, the total toll of those known or feared to be dead has reached 130.

According to local police chief Supardi in a telephone conversation with Xinhua the flood waters weakened a foundation, resulting in the collapse. At least twenty motorcyclists, car drivers and passengers are thought to be dead, but as of midnight, no bodies had been recovered. However, three bikes have been retrieved. 100 rescuers have been dispatched to the scene. Continuing heavy rain forced the search to be abandoned temporarily.

Java as a whole is the worst affected island; in addition to the bridge collapse most of the landslides occurred in two Central Java districts. Health ministry official Rustam Pakaya told reporters that at least 28,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes in central Java, although exact figures are not yet available. The Red Cross commented that 45,000 East Javanese people have been similarly displaced. Thousands are seeking shelter in mosques and other public buildings.

Landslides buried houses and made roads impassable, while hundreds police officers, military personnel, local officials and volunteers have been digging with farm tools and even their hands to search for survivors. Heavy machinery is available but the road conditions have prevented it arriving at the areas where it is required. Jakarta has dispatched aid in the form of five tonnes of biscuits and instant meals, ten tonnes of baby food and multiple boats.

Heru Aji Pratomo, head of the disaster management centre in the worst-hit district of Karanganyar has confirmed the recovery of twelve more bodies. This brings the total confirmed death toll in the area to 48. He said that most bodies were recovered from three metre deep mud and required heavy digging machinery to retrieve. 28 remain missing.

Local resident Siswo told AFP “Suddenly I felt my house shaking, and I thought it was an earthquake. When I got outside, I saw that the houses next to mine were already covered by earth,” and that it struck twelve neighbouring houses.

In the next district, Wonogiri, disaster management centre head Sri Mubadi told reporters they had retrieved two more bodies, reaching a total of six, with eleven more missing. He also confirmed that they currently have no access to heavy equipment.

In Tawangmangu about 1,000 rescuers were also searching for bodies and survivors without the aid of heavy machinery. Three more bodies were retrieved today.

Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir toured a Karanganyar village, at which time he commented that he felt the disaster had been caused as a form of divine revenge, saying “This was likely caused by immoral acts going on here,” and “This could be a lesson to be learned.” The 69-year-old served two years after being linked to the 2002 Bali bombings, before having his conviction overturned last year.

Chalid Muhammad, director of Walhi, an Indonesian environmental group, had a different opinion. “For five consecutive years landslides and floods have occurred in Java, claiming many lives. The main trigger is ecological destruction caused by deforestation, forest conversions and chaotic spatial planning,” Chalid told Reuters.

“There have been no adequate efforts by the government to protect the people from disasters. When the landslides happened officials were on holiday and there was no access of heavy equipment to the affected areas.”

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Understanding Your Home Mortgage Loan With Bad Credit Fico Scores

Understanding Your Home Mortgage Loan with Bad Credit FICO Scores


Mark Venite

There is no getting away from the fact that approval on any home loan, never mind a home mortgage loan with bad credit, is heavily dependent on the credit rating the applicant has. Simply put, if an applicant has a low credit score, then the chances of getting their application approved is reduced. But the rating itself is not the application killer.

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Understanding how the credit scoring system works is a key element to improving the chances of getting home mortgage loans approved despite bad credit, because it is possible to take effective steps toward improving the rating. What is important to note is that the rating is continually recalculated, and pro-active steps will have a positive effect on the calculation. So, in the end, even bad credit home mortgage loans become a far more attainable. What is FICO? Generally speaking, people have no real understanding of what their credit score is, or how it is calculated. So, when it comes to applying for home mortgage loans with bad credit, applicants have more uncertainty than they need to have. FICO is one of a number of credit agencies that calculate these scores. Its full name is the Fair Isaac Corp, and while the formula they use is rather complicated, it is recognized as a fair and accurate method. In essence, the credit score is simply a calculation designed to grade applicants based on their track record in repaying loans. Lenders can use this score to assess the level of risk involved in lending to a particular borrower, something that is particularly useful to them in the case of assessing a bad credit home mortgage loan application, for example. However, understanding what is important in the calculation is the best way to prepare the right application, and so all but guaranteeing getting home mortgage loans approved despite bad credit. Two Important Factors Even if the calculation is quite complicated, the two most significant factors in the equation are the payment history and the asset-to-debt ratio that the applicant has. If both of these factors are not too bad, then the rating is good and the chances of getting a home mortgage loan with bad credit are greatly improved. The payment history relates to any late payments made on loans in the past, which migtht suggest that repayments on a bad credit home mortgage loan may not be received on time. However, any more serious cases, such as defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcy rulings are also taken into account. The asset-to-debt ratio relates to the amount an applicant owns compared to the amount they owe. It is not simply a matter of how much excess income is available, something most believe is enough to get home mortgage loans approved despite bad credit. In fact, it is more closely related to the amount of existing debt, compared to available income, with debt matching 60% of total asset value a preferred limit. Steps Towards Improvement There are four main steps that can be taken to improve your chances of having an application for a home mortgage loan with bad credit approved. Firstly, consolidating all of the existing debts though one loan, and secondly, showing that an effort has been made to rebuild a credit status, even after bankruptcy. When seeking a bad credit home mortgage loan these can convince the lender that every effort is being made to commit to such a long-term loan. More basic steps towards getting home mortgage loans approved despite bad credit are seeking advice from a credit counselor and preparing a precise and detailed budget. But as long as lenders see that an effort is being made, the influence of a credit rating is lessened and the chances of a getting a home mortgage loan with bad credit is greatly improved.

Mark Venite is the author of this article and a successful financial advisor with 20 years of experience. He helps people to get approved for

Bad Credit Personal Loans for 5000


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. For more information about his services please visit him at

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Understanding Your Home Mortgage Loan with Bad Credit FICO Scores

US toy retail giant Toys R Us files for bankruptcy in US, Canada

Thursday, September 21, 2017

On Monday night, New Jersey, US-based toy retail giant Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in the US as well as in Canada. The retailer filed it from Richmond, Virginia for Chapter 11 bankruptcy code in the US, and a judge allowed a loan of over US$2 billion.

According to the filing, the retail chain owns US$6.6 billion in assets, but has a debt of US$7.9 billion. They were under a roughly US$5 billion debt since the company underwent a three-way acquisition in 2005. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Bain Capital, and Vornado Realty Trust acquired Toys R Us for around US$7 to US$7.5 billion. After the US judge approved a loan, Toys R Us received about US$3 billion from the lenders to continue the business and survive a competitive market, and restructure their business model. E-commerce giant, Walmart and Target are some of the competitors for the conventional ‘brick and mortar’ toy shop, with lower priced-merchandise and fast, cheap delivery. In a conference call in June, CEO Dave Brandon said “very, very aggressive pricing online” was causing problems. He also said the company was experiencing “significant weakness in demand for their products globally”. Toys R Us are to clear a debt of US$400 million by May 2018.

Toys R Us said they would continue to operate for the holiday season. Bankruptcy lawyer Jeff Gleit said Toys R Us “need to do both a financial restructuring as well as an operational restructuring” and “needs to modernize with the times”. Last holiday season, Toys R Us made sales around US$4.5 billion. Overall, the company reported a US$29 million loss in 2016. CEO Brandon said, “Our objective is to work with our debt holders and other creditors to restructure the US$5 billion of long-term debt on our balance sheet, which will provide us with greater financial flexibility to invest in our business”.

Toys R Us employs more than 60 thousand people in 38 countries around the world in more than 1600 stores. The company’s stocks fell by six percent after filing for Chapter 11 protection. US bankruptcy code Chapter 11 allows the company to restructure under a plan approved by the court. The company would also be shielded from creditors’ claims during the process. For the stores located in Canada, Toys R Us filed bankruptcy in Ontario and are to undergo reorganisation. However, 259 stores located outside the US or Canada will not undergo reorganisation, the company said.

Over 300 US-based retailers have filed for bankruptcy this year, and hundreds of stores closed.

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Bermuda Chief Justice: No new charges in Middleton murder

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Despite expressing personal sympathy for the Middleton family, Bermuda’s chief justice Richard Ground dismissed, on Friday, an application to re-examine the 1996 killing of Rebecca Middleton.

Seventen-year old Rebecca Middleton, of Belleville, Ontario, Canada had been in Bermuda on vacation when she was raped and murdered. At the time, police had identified two suspects in the crime, 21 year-old Kirk Mundy and 19 year-old Justis Smith. Before DNA test results had been tabled, the attorney general made a plea deal with Mundy in exchange for his testimony against Smith. It turned out that prosecutors didn’t have enough hard evidence to connect Smith to the crime and the murder charges against him were dropped. Mundy served 5 years for being an accessory to the crime.

The murder case had garnered significant worldwide attention, even drawing in Cherie Booth QC, lawyer and wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Booth had advocated on behalf of the Middleton family during the recent two-day hearing in front of justice Ground.

In his ruling, Chief Justice Ground explained that new charges would amount to double jeopardy and would violate current law, as there were no errors in a previous review. “I have to declare the law as it is,” said Ground in his written ruling. “The [double jeopardy] rule is well established and straightforward…it would require legislation, or possibly the intervention of a higher court to change it.”

Since the ruling went against the Middletons, the lawyers representing Mundy and Smith called for their legal fees to be paid by Dave Middleton, Rebecca’s father. However, Justice Ground rejected the request. “The applicant has suffered a terrible loss, for which he can never be compensated. He has also suffered a wrong, in the way that this matter was mishandled at the outset,” said Ground. “In my view [Middleton] is entitled to explore every reasonable avenue in an attempt to put that right, and I am not going to order him to pay the costs of doing so.”

Dave Middleton, revealed that with his own legal bill approaching CA$100,000, an appeal of the latest ruling may be out of reach financially. “The cost just keeps going up. So far we are covering our bills, but will we be able to continue to do that? I don’t know,” he told CBC News from his home in Belleville. The Middletons have received financial support in the past by fundraising through the Rebecca Middleton Foundation.

For the next stage in the process, Middleton revealed that the case would reach the Court of Appeal in Bermuda, possibly in November. Should that appeal prove unsuccessful, the case could be brought before the UK Privy Council or the European Court of Justice.

Dave Middleton also suggested that the Middletons would like to retain the services of Cherie Booth for the upcoming appeals. “She’s a big part of how we progress, and I’m very hopeful of that,” said Middleton.

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Monster Truck Games Fun Truck Games To Play Online

Submitted by: Mileshi Buckley

There are many kinds Truck Games games and children appear to appreciate playing them, and not just those who are coming up in age but children of all ages. Having said that peculiar it appears, more youthful kids Monster Truck Games a lot more fond of Truck video games and Monster Truck video games. All you want is to log in to the proper portal and then decide on the game that suits you.

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There are minimum demands to play these games seeing that all you need to have is a strong internet connection. You can browse as a result of a significant sequence of monster truck video games so that you can get pleasure from and have a fantastic time. What would make your game even more interesting would be the cool graphics and the good issues which add essence to the video games.

If you are kid is naughty, then you can loosen up when letting you kid rest and play. There is so significantly on the net that you can like and even get loads of internet websites to play these kinds of video games. Having said that, all father and mother should make guaranteed that what your kid is up to whilst surfing the world wide web. A person necessary requirement to play monster truck grades is to have the correct grades.

All what you require to do is to shop all over and verify out a number of distinct web pages for the same. This way you can also browse by means of diverse versions which are available these days. You will need to also be knowledgeable of the procedure resources which you have this sort of as the latest running program so that you can match the conditions for these video games and play them whenever.

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About the Author: Taking part in truck video games suggest making the most of pleasure of driving on difficult terrains and fighting all conflicts on the route. These can be far more fascinating than driving cars

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Oil spill hits Australia’s Sunshine coastline

Sunday, March 15, 2009

200,000 litres of oil leaked into waters off the coast of Brisbane from the Pacific Adventurer when their fuel tanks were damaged in rough seas on Wednesday. The figure is about ten times higher than the original estimate of twenty thousand litres of oil. The devastating diesel oil spill has spread along 60 kilometres (37 miles) of the Queensland coast. In addition, 31 containers with 620 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser flew overboard during the violent storm.

Questions are being asked why the Hong Kong cargo ship was out in seas with nine meter waves caused by Cyclone Hamish, a Category 5 tropical cyclone, as well as why the fertiliser containers were not properly secured. One of the overboard containers ruptured the hull of the Pacific Adventurer, causing between 30 to 100 tonnes of oil to spew from the severely damaged ship.

If the ammonium nitrate mixes with the heavy oil, an explosion could occur. None of the containers have been recovered. Some of these may float, but it is believed that they may have sunk which then may cause algal blooms.

Disaster zones have been declared at Bribie and Moreton Islands, and along the Sunshine coast.

The vessel’s owner, Swire Shipping, reported that a second leak began on Friday, when the ship began listing after docking at Hamilton for repairs. “As full soundings of the vessel’s tanks were being taken at the port to determine how much oil had leaked from the vessel, a small quantity of fuel oil escaped from the Pacific Adventurer,” it stated. The ship was brought upright, and a recovery vessel was used to suck up the oil from the water. The leak produced a 500m-long oil slick down the Brisbane River. Booms were placed around this oil spill so that a skimmer could clean up the second spill.

Swire Shipping could face clean up costs of AU$100,000 a day as well as fines up to AU$1.5million (US$977,000; £703,000) if found guilty of environmental breaches or negligence.

Sunshine Coast beaches are slowly starting to be reopened. The beach of Mooloolaba was still closed following reports of burning sensations from swimmers. 12 beaches remain closed; however, 13 have been reopened.

Over 300 state government and council workers are using buckets, rakes and spades in the clean up effort. Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbott says the majority will be gone by Sunday afternoon. The full environmental impact on wildlife is not yet known. One turtle and seven pelicans have been found covered in oil.

There are concerns that the drinking water of Moreton Island is at risk, as the island uses water from the underground water table near the oil spill site.

“Every bucketload of contaminated sand has to be removed from the island by barge, and each bucketload from a front-end loader weighs about one tonne. It’s just an impossible task,” said Mr Trevor Hassard of the Tangalooma Dolphin Education Centre.

The commercial fishing industry has suffered from the incident. Trawlers won’t resume operations until Sunday evening, and any catches will be tested for human consumption.

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Wikinews interviews 2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor Candidate Wayne Tseng

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor candidate Wayne Tseng answered some questions about his campaign for the upcoming election from Wikinews. The Lord Mayor election in the Australian city is scheduled to take place this week.

Tseng runs a firm called eTranslate, which helps software developers to make the software available to the users. In the candidate’s questionnaire, Tseng said eTranslate had led to him working with all three tiers of the government. He previously belonged to the Australian Liberal Party, but has left since then, to run for mayorship as an independent candidate.

Tseng is of Chinese descent, having moved to Australia with his parents from Vietnam. Graduated in Brisbane, Tseng received his PhD in Melbourne and has been living in the city, he told Wikinews. Tseng also formed Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce, an organisation responsible for many “community bond building initiatives”, the Lord Mayor candidate told Wikinews.

Tseng discussed his plans for leading Melbourne, recovering from COVID-19, and “Democracy 2.0” to ensure concerns of minorities in the city were also heard. Tseng also focused on the importance of the multi-culture aspect and talked about making Melbourne the capital of the aboriginals. Tseng also explained why he thinks Melbourne is poised to be a world city by 2030.

Tseng’s deputy Lord Mayor candidate Gricol Yang is a Commercial Banker and works for ANZ Banking Group.

Currently, Sally Capp is the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Victorian capital. Capp was elected as an interim Lord Mayor in mid-2018 after the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle resigned from his position after sexual assault allegations. Doyle served as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for almost a decade since 2008.

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