No Easter peace for Ugandan LGBTs


An anti-gay protest has broken the calm of Easter Sunday in Uganda.

The producers of the film “Call Me Kuchu” reported earlier today on the protest at the grave site of Ugandan LGBT leader David Kato, who was murdered in 2011:

Right now two anti-gay pastors (including the pastor who denounced David as evil at his funeral) and an Imam are leading a “Say No to Homosexuality” protest at David’s mother’s house, where he is buried. The kuchu community is doing what it can to keep David’s mum safe, the police are reportedly doing nothing. More updates as we get them…

LGBT activist Pepe Julian Onziema reported that Pastor Solomon Male, one of the leaders of the anti-gay protest, displayed a magazine containing gay porn to the crowd, which included children.

Among many critical comments on Facebook, one person stated:

Yet again, the representatives of a supposed god of forgiveness…

View original post 53 more words

Mauritius flash flood: Further rain, floods expected after at least 10 drowned in Port Louis, 80+ injured. 152mm (6in) of rain fell in less than an hour- 010413 0000z

(Recovery of the 10th flood victim. Video credit: Jameel Peerally)

(Video above: Kurt Avish)

(Video credit: Binda Vivek)

At least 10 people have been killed in flash floods in Mauritius and more downpours could be on the way, officials and the Indian Ocean island’s meteorological service said on Sunday.

The deaths occurred on Saturday and most of the victims were trapped in an underpass leading to the Caudan Waterfront, a commercial area in Port Louis. Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam said on Sunday that Port Louis had a torrential downpour with 152 mm falling in two hours.

“The speed of the torrents of water has led to tragic loss of life and heavy damage to property,” he said, adding that he was declaring Monday a day of mourning.
The Mauritius meteorological service said showers were expected overnight and on Monday, with isolated thunderstorms that could cause further floods.
Sunday, 31 March, 2013 at 19:30 (07:30 PM) UTC RSOE

News Reports

Deadly floods hit Mauritius capital Port Louis

BBC NEWS 31 March 2013 Last updated at 19:59

Wrecked cars in Port Louis - 30 March The floods brought chaos to Port Louis city centre

At least 11 people have died after sudden rains caused flooding in the Mauritian capital Port Louis on Saturday, officials have said.

At least eight of the victims were caught in underground areas as the flood waters rose rapidly. Another died of a heart attack.

The island’s metereologists said 152mm (6in) of rain fell in less than an hour, 70mm less than the March average.

Prime Minister Navin Rangoolam declared 1 April a day of mourning.

Speaking on national radio, he said Mauritius was suffering badly from the effects of climate change.

Mauritius map

The floods caused chaos in the city, with a huge traffic jam paralysing its centre, L’Express de Maurice newspaper reported.

A BBC reporter in the city says the bodies of six people were recovered from a pedestrian subway and another two from an underground car park.

Resident Ameeksha Dichand told the BBC she had been unable to go outside because it was raining so heavily, though people did venture out on Sunday to inspect the damage.

“The roads are blocked and there is mud everywhere. Trees have fallen all over the place,” she said.

“If people couldn’t rely on their neighbours so much to help them, then we would have lost more lives. I am so angry at the authorities.”

More rain was expected on Sunday, and people were advised to stay at home.

France: Suspect fire in Paris 7 storey high rise, kills 3 injures 13. Several jumped from windows – 310313 1705z

On Saturday, three people were killed and 13 injured in a fire in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers.

Officials suspect the fire was “of criminal origin” and an investigation has begun.

Four of those injured in the Aubervilliers fire were in a serious condition.

Around 60 people were reported to be in the seven-storey building when the fire began.
Sunday, 31 March, 2013 at 11:06 (11:06 AM) UTC RSOE

News Reports

“The fire started late on Saturday on the third floor of the building, forcing several people to jump out their windows in an attempt to escape the flames.

One person died after jumping and another burned to death on the third floor. The third died in hospital.

Four of the injured were in a serious condition, according to officials.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

A resident told journalists the blaze had broken out when someone threw a petrol bomb during a brawl between occupants but that account could not immediately be confirmed.

Housing Minister Cecile Duflot, who travelled to the scene, said authorities had not been aware of any “particular warning signs” at the 1920s-era building.

But Evelyne Yonnet, deputy mayor for housing in the suburb north of the French capital, said the building was “very badly managed” and had been inhabited by squatters.

“There had been complaints from residents,” she told journalists.

Resident Ali Belmadi said the building had become “uninhabitable”.

“The situation had been getting worse for five years,” since squatters arrived, he told AFP.

“There were rats, cockroaches, no security,” said another resident named Ghalia.”


Search and rescue underway at Utah Lake

[ooyala code=”hpNnltYTqBl9FU9FOIPYJTawOeY2VL8g” player_id=”3ce6404476914e86994d87aac3e4391b”]

UTAH LAKE, Utah — Search and rescue crews returned to Utah Lake Monday in an effort to find the body of a West Valley City man who disappeared there Saturday.

Sgt. Eldon Packer, Utah County Sheriff’s Office, said they are looking for the body of 37-year-old Tam Huynh, who has been described as a fisherman who frequently visits the lake by himself.

Packer said they believe Huynh left home around 8 a.m. on Saturday. His boat was found around 5:30 p.m. that day by two fishermen who noticed it wasn’t tied to anything. Packer said rescuers have spoken with Huynh’s family.

The water temperature was about 54 degrees on Saturday night, which is cold enough that a person in the water would quickly succumb to hypothermia.

Crews searched on Friday night, through the weekend and on Monday without success. They say the search has become a recovery…

View original post 146 more words

Mexico: Bus ‘tumbles’ 200-300 metres (650-1000 feet) from mountain road after collision nr Naolinco, 12 dead, 15 injured – 310313 1535z

At least 12 people died when a bus and a car collided in a mountainous part of the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz on Saturday evening, local emergency services said.

Photo: Reuters



The accident near the town of Naolinco sent the bus tumbling down a slope some 200-300 metres (650-1000 feet), and left at least 15 passengers injured, a local official said.

Emergency services believe there were 27 people travelling on board the bus, the official added.
The crash occurred at a bend in the road in foggy conditions, and preliminary evidence suggested the driver of the car that hit the bus fled the scene, he said.
Lethal traffic accidents are common on Mexican roads, claiming hundreds of lives a year. Last April at least 43 people were killed when a cargo truck hit a bus in Veracruz state.
Sunday, 31 March, 2013 at 10:47 (10:47 AM) UTC RSOE

Switzerland: Massive accident on A9 near Chexbres , 50 cars involved, 11 taken to hospital, 100 treated for shock – 310313 1500z

Bad weather, excessive speeds and cars traveling too close together in the fog played a role in a massive accident on the A9 autoroute between Lausanne and Martigny Saturday late morning, say Vaud police.

(Video credit: todayvideos999)
The accident occurred shortly before the Chexbres tunnel, heading in the direction of canton Valais, at 11:35.
Fifty cars were involved in the pileup and 46 of them suffered damage.
More than 100 people were taken to the Blecherette cantonal police centre in Lausanne, in minivans, to recover from the shock.
The autoroute was closed from 11:35 until shortly before 16:00 to sort out the situation and clear up the road.
Sunday, 31 March, 2013 at 04:09 (04:09 AM) UTC RSOE

11 people injured slightly, taken to hospital; 100 treated at police centre for shock

Special phone line set up for those involved +41 21 644 83 48

“GENEVA, SWITZERLAND Bad weather, excessive speeds and cars traveling too close together in the fog played a role in a massive accident on the A9 autoroute between Lausanne and Martigny Saturday late morning, say Vaud police. The accident occurred shortly before the Chexbres tunnel, heading in the direction of canton Valais, at 11:35. Fifty cars were involved in the pileup and 46 of them suffered damage.

More than 100 people were taken to the Blecherette cantonal police centre in Lausanne, in minivans, to recover from the shock.

The autoroute was closed from 11:35 until shortly before 16:00 to sort out the situation and clear up the road.

Video on RTS, for viewers in Switzerland

Massive team called out to help

Traffic was rerouted while a team of 100 emergency workers, called to the scene immediately after the accident, took care of the injured and those in shock, removed the cars, all of which were taken to a holding garage next to the police centre in Monts-sur-Lausanne, where they will be inspected and assessed for insurance purposes but also for the police investigation.

The pileup required 19 Vaud gendarme units, 18 workers from the Civil Protection office to reroute traffic, the cantonal highway department to set up the detours and signs and to repair damage to the roads, the head of the medical emergency group SMUR and head of the ambulance section, 8 ambulances, 50 volunteers from the GAS (Groupement dappui sanitaire) trained emergency teams who are on call for such situations, 4 psychologists and an additional emergency worker, a fire department team with 5 vehicles and 10 men, and several companies that hauled away the vehicles.

Traffic rerouted via the A12 for 4 hours

French-speaking Switzerlands traffic heading towards Valais was sent on a detour to Bern and from German-speaking Switzerland the traffic was rerouted via Bern and Fribourg, on the A12.

Police closed one lane for a brief period before 17:00 to put the road back in shape.

Anyone involved in the accident may use a hotline which has been set up by the police, starting Sunday morning, daily from 07:00 to 17:00.

The Servette Football Club was caught in the traffic around the pileup and reportedly had a three-hour delay for their match in Sion.” –

Scotland: Body of missing skier Daniel Maddox found after avalanche in Glencoe – 310313 1630z

Update 31 Mar 2013 160z:

Lochaber mountain rescue team have found the body of Daniel Maddox, 41 yrs old from Clackmannanshire in the search for a skier missing after avalanche yesterday near Glencoe

(Photo: Sky News)

A rescue operation has resumed on Sunday near Glencoe Ski Centre following an avalanche, but searchers say there is little chance a missing skier has survived.

One off-piste skier is feared buried in the avalanche and mountain rescue teams have so far been unable to find him.

Emergency services were alerted to the avalanche close to the Glencoe Ski Centre just after 1pm on Saturday.

Staff from the ski centre helped mountain rescue teams in the search in an off-piste skiing area in the Etive Glades, Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team said.

RAF Lossiemouth and Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team were also involved.

Glencoe Mountain Resort posted on its Facebook page: (We) regret to say that an experienced off-piste skier skiing out of the ski area was caught in a major avalanche this afternoon.

Four people killed in Glencoe Avalanche
The avalanche is the second serious incident at Glencoe this year

Off-piste skiing, also referred to as back country skiing, involves the use of unofficial slopes which are not patrolled or maintained.

A forecast on the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service website on Saturday placed Glencoe at considerable risk of an avalanche.

The snowpack is moderately to poorly bonded on many steep slopes, it said.

Triggering is possible, even from low additional loads, particularly on the indicated steep slopes. In some cases medium-sized, in isolated cases large-sized, natural avalanches are possible.

Rescuers said the snow is up to 40 feet deep and has hampered search efforts and admitted it was unlikely the man could have survived.

John Grieve, leader of Glencoe Mountain Team, said the avalanche travelled around 1,000ft down the rocky face of the slope.

He said: The avalanche has actually gone into a gully, and in some places the snow is about 40ft deep.

Glencoe map in Scotland
Some 30 people are involved in the search in an off-piste area of Glencoe

Its not like a normal ski slope where it is mainly smooth and straight. There are a lot of rocks around and it is more dangerous.

Mark Fulton, 25, from Gourock, Inverclyde, who was skiing all day with his family on the slopes at the Glencoe Ski Centre, said he saw the rescue mission unfolding.

I was up there from about 10am and at lunchtime we went in to get something to eat at the cafe and we saw an emergency helicopter hovering about, he said.

It looked as though it was coming in to land near the bottom of the hill. When we were leaving later I saw police and mountain rescue vans all gathered as well.

I didnt actually know there had been an avalanche until I was driving home and heard it on the radio.

Its just not something you think about when youre going out skiing, you never think something like that will happen to you its like when you get on a plane, you dont think its going to crash.

I just hope the person is found safe and well.

Glencoe Ski area, also known as Glencoe Mountain or the White Corries ski centre, is the oldest ski area in Scotland.

In January, four people died while descending the 3,658ft Bidean Nam Bian near Glencoe. An avalanche struck without warning and swept them 1,000ft down the mountainside.

In the same month, 22-year-old Ben St Joseph, from Essex, died after falling 100 metres from Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis.

In February, three men survived falling 150 metres (450ft) in an avalanche in the Coire an t-Sneachda area of the Cairngorm mountain range.

Lochaber MRT (on Facebook 13hrs ago): Lochaber MRT have been assisting Glencoe MRT in the search for a avalanched skier. Team members were flown in from Fort William team base to the scene by R137. Despite hours of digging and probing in a confined area, avalanche depth in excess of 6mtrs deep, the skier was not found. The search continues tomorrow. LMRT

Rescuers resume search for skier after avalanche in Glencoe

BBC NEWS 31 March 2013 Last updated at 10:31

(Photo: Glencoe Mountain Rescue

The search for a skier missing after an avalanche near Glencoe Ski Centre in the west Highlands has resumed.

Emergency services were alerted to the incident at an off-piste skiing area in the Etive Glades on Saturday.


Glencoe Mountain Resort said an experienced off-piste skier had been caught in the major avalanche.

Northern Constabulary is co-ordinating the search, with members of Glencoe and Lochaber rescue teams.

Continue reading the main story

The avalanche has actually gone into a gully, and in some places the snow is about 40ft deep

John Grieve Mountain rescue leader

The search, which had been called off as darkness fell on Saturday, included an RAF Lossiemouth helicopter.

John Grieve, leader of Glencoe Mountain Team, said the avalanche travelled about 1,000ft down the slopes rocky face.

The avalanche has actually gone into a gully, and in some places the snow is about 40ft deep, he said.

He added that it was unlikely the skiier had survived in those circumstances.

There have been a number of serious incidents as a result of avalanches in Scotland this year.

In January four experienced climbers died on Bidean Nam Bianin Glencoe.

Three people also died after an avalanche in the Cairngorms in February.

Two of the climbers were off-duty members of the RAF Mountaineering Association. The third fatality was a student on a course at the Glenmore Lodge outdoor centre.

In the same week there was a second fatal avalanche involving a hillwalker.


About 30 people from Glencoe and Lochaber mountain rescue teams, SARDA, police, the mountain resorts ski patrol and a helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth all helped with the operation in the Etive Glades.


Missing Skier in Avalanche in Glencoe heavywhalley

Update 31 Mar 2013 160z: Lochaber mountain rescue team have found the body of Daniel Maddox, 41 yrs old from Clackmannanshire in the search for a skier missing after avalanche yesterday near Glencoe

Avalanche Information for the Scottish Mountains (SAIS)

Avalanche Information Service publish the daily forecasts of the avalanche, snow, and mountain conditions at the 5 most popular areas of Scotland during the season.

Report an avalanche now

Devon: Paddle steamer ‘Kingswear Castle’ (Built 1924) back in Dartmouth to provide service for tourists on River Dart – 300313 2215z

(Video above: Paddle steamer Kingswear Castle on pre running trials on the river Dart early February 2013 Credit rawfish111AOR)

(Video above: Kingswear Castle paddle steamer in Totnes. Credit 0668ant)

(Photo: Kingswear Castle back on the Dart 13 Mar 2013

“The paddle steamer Kingswear Castle has come back to Dartmouth to provide a service for tourists on the River Dart. She returned in December last year and from Easter will be used to provide river cruises between Dartmouth and Exeter.during weekends.

Kingswear Castle previously provided a service between Totnes, Kingswear and Dartmouth from the mid-1920s to the 1960s. She then became a tourist boat on the Thames and Medway.

The vessel was originally built in 1924 by Philip & Son’s of Dartmouth, using engines from a ship of the same name which had been constructed in 1904. She was acquired by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) in 1967.” –

(Photo: 29 March 2013 10:53 AM The rivers new baby – nearly 100 years old. Well much of her engine is 100 years old – and the rest is heading for a very youthful 90 years old. A wonderful sight here on the River Dart. So you have no excuses now – get on down to Dartmouth and Kingswear and see the beautiful old girl in action. This is her very first fare paying outing raising fund for the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.

Paddle Steamer Preservation Society


From the company’s website:



The coal-fired paddle steamer KINGSWEAR CASTLE was built in 1924 by Philip & Son of Dartmouth and sailed up and down the River Dart with her virtually identical sister ships TOTNES CASTLE and COMPTON CASTLE until the 1960s. When built, her steam engine, built by Cox and Co of Falmouth, and many fixtures and fitting were taken from her predecessor of the same name.


Compton Castle

Totnes Castle with larger foredeck gates for loading five cars

During the Second World War, Kingswear Castle was chartered to the American Navy for use carrying stores and personnel at Dartmouth and was one of the few British ships to retain her bright peacetime colour scheme amongst the drab uniformity of wartime grey.

Kingswear Castle in Old Mill Creek with Totnes Castle alongside

Withdrawn from service in 1965, Kingswear Castle was laid up in Old Mill Creek at Dartmouth until bought by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in 1967. She was moved to Binfield on the Isle of Wight where she steamed on a couple of occasions for a BBC film with John Betjeman and then, in 1971, was towed to the River Medway in Kent where restoration commenced. Many companies, individuals and other organisations donated money, equipment and expertise until finally, in 1985, she was returned to service on the River Medway with full Department of Transport (later MCA) Passenger Certificates.


In 1986 Kingswear Castle won the National Steam Heritage Award and in 1995 won first prize in the Scania Transport Trust Awards. In 1999 she was included on the National Historic Ships Committee Core Collection list of ships of “Pre-eminent National Significance”.

Since her return to service, Kingswear Castle has carried more than 200,000 passengers on a variety of different excursions from her base at Chatham and Rochester and on the Thames. She has also been in much demand for television and other filming and has recently starred in the BBC production of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations and an entertaining programme about deck chairs with Vanessa Feltz.

Other distinguished passengers carried over the years include:

Sir Harry Secombe

Eric Idle and Pierce Brosnan

Prince Edward

There are two saloons below deck

as well as distinctive lavatories

So, why not join Kingwear Castle for a cruise on the River Dart and sail back into history aboard a real and historic paddle steamer from another age.

Enquiries & Bookings for 2013 on the River Dart

Ireland: Hill walkers in difficulty on Lugnaquillia Mountain aided by Dublin/ Wicklow & Glen of Imaal Red Cross Mountain Rescue Teams – 290313 1845z

(Photo: Lugnaquilla Mountain 925-metre (3,035 ft)

Members of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team (@DWMRT on twitter) and the Glen of Imaal Red Cross Mountain Rescue Team responded to the 2 hill walkers who had difficulty on Lugnaquillia Mountain (Leinsters highest) due to sheer ice conditions on steep ground.

(Photo: Dublin Wicklow MR Team) Callout 35: Art’s Lough, Lugnaquillia Mountain

The party of 2 were located at Art’s Lough by mountain rescue and were walked off the mountain safely where they were transported by mountain rescue landrovers.

“Lug as it is popularly known is Ireland’s highest summit outside Kerry. The large summit cairn and trig pillar sit on a fairly flat dryish top with views better distant than near, often surrounded by people and sadly, litter. There are several ways up and some serious hazards particularly in bad weather so map, navigational gear and skill are essential.” –

Arts lough (
Alternates names : Loch Airt
UTM : PU77
Geographical coordinates in decimal degrees (WGS84)
Latitude : 52.975
Longitude : -6.428
Geographical coordinates in degrees minutes seconds (WGS84)
Latitude : 52 58′ 31”
Longitude : -6 25′ 42”

Earlier in the day (11:54hrs ) An Garda Siochana tasked mountain rescue to 2 English tourists who had become stuck in their 4×4 vehicle around the Kippure Mast area of the Military Road. Members of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team and the Glen of Imaal Red Cross Mountain Rescue Team responded and treated the driver for a medical condition whilst a snow plough cleared the road.

(Photo: Dublin Wicklow MR Team) Callout 34: Military Road

US: Firefighters battle apartment 5-alarm blaze in Oakland, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 290313 1745z

Firefighters battle a five-alarm apartment fire in Oakland


Pittsburgh firefighters were on the scene of a five-alarm apartment fire in Oakland this morning.

Fire Chief Darryl Jones said the first call for the fire at 519 Zulema St. came in at 7:47 a.m. and the first crews — from a station on Allequippa Street — made it there within three minutes.

When firefighters arrived, he said, most people had already left the building using the front door

Firefighters were on the scene of a five-alarm apartment fire in Oakland. Firefighters searched through the building’s first and second floors but did not make it to the third because the flames had spread so quickly.

Firefighters searched through the building’s first and second floors but did not make it to the third because the flames had spread so quickly.

The roof collapsed.

Some residents reported hearing a “boom” but investigators have not yet determined whether there was an explosion, the chief said.

Firefighters sprayed water on nearby buildings to try to prevent the blaze from spreading. Some of those buildings, the chief said, might have some water damage.

The building where the fire began has “heavy damage” and the chief said he plans to ask building inspectors to evaluate whether it should remain standing.

One firefighter had a minor injury — a cut to the hand — that did not require a trip to the hospital.” - Liz Navratil and Jon Schmitz/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Here is raw video (Credits: medicvideo, Alertpage,

Suffolk: Firefighters battle ‘Make Pumps 6’ thatched roof fire at Heveningham – 290313 1625z


Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Report:

Date: 29/03/2013
Time: 10:49
Incident: Thatched roof fire
Location: The Street, Heveningham

A call was received to a thatched roof fire on The Street in Heveningham. Initial attendance was appliances from Halesworth, Framlingham and Saxmundham, an appliance and water carrier from Leiston, the Multistar from Bury, a command unit and support pump from Beccles and an appliance from Harleston in Norfolk with the first appliance in attendance at 11:05.

At 11:14 the crews in attendance passed an assistance message stating ‘Make Pumps 6’ so two further appliances from Bungay and Southwold were mobilised. At 11:18 the crews stated there was a semi-detached property with a roof fire breaking through from the chimney. The crews were using 2 x 9m ladders and hose reels to fight the fire. –

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

News Reports

“Firefighters are dealing with the aftermath of a blaze in a thatched roof of a house.

The drama unfolded in The Street, Heveningham, near Halesworth, around 10.50am.

When crews arrived they found a semi detached property with a roof fire breaking through the chimney.

Firefighters from Halesworth, Framlingham, Saxmundham, Leiston, Bury St Edmunds, Beccles, Bungay and Southwold and Harleston in Norfolk are in attendance.

The blaze spread to a neighbouring property and crews were stripping the thatch to prevent the blaze from taking hold further before the incident was under control at 1.22pm.

Firefighters are trying to salvage as much property as possible from the homes.” –


(Reuters) – Health officials are notifying some 7,000 people to warn they may have been exposed to HIV and other infectious diseases at an Oklahoma dental practice where improper sterilization procedures and rusty surgical tools were discovered

New Zealand: Injured climber rescued from Mt Awful in Mt Aspiring National Park after 100m fall, alarm raised by distress beacon (PLB) – 280313 2315z

(Photo: Mt Awful in Mt Aspiring National Park, NZ

An injured climber has been rescued by helicopter from Mt Awful in Mt Aspiring National Park, after suffering head injuries following a fall of around 100m.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) received a personal locator beacon (PLB) alert from a party of four climbers at around 11 am. A rescue helicopter from The Helicopter Line Mount Cook, with a specialist Department of Conservation alpine rescue team on board flew to the scene, near the Gillespie Pass (altitude around 1300m).

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Dave Wilson said the man, aged in his 60s, was stabilised and flown to Queenstown Hospital. As the full extent of his injuries was not known, a fully equipped air ambulance helicopter from Helicopters Otago, with an ICU retrieval team on board, launched from Dunedin to rendezvous at Queenstown. Medical authorities will decide upon the next course of action.

The man has fallen a considerable distance and requires a some serious medical attention, Mr Wilson said.

This incident again shows the value of carrying a registered distress beacon. Because it was registered, we were quickly able to establish from the partys emergency contact the make-up of the party and their climbing intentions.

It has enabled the injured person to get medical attention as quickly as possible.

The mans condition is not known at this stage.

Beacons can be registered free of charge on the beacons website:

The remaining members of the party, all New Zealanders, are making their own way down the mountain.” – MNZ 27 March 2013: 2.40pm

For further information contact:
Maritime New Zealand Media Line
Phone 04 499 7318

Two gay men freed into ‘living hell’ in Cameroon


After three days in police custody in Cameroon, two gay men were released yesterday, but their daily life remains a nightmare.

“I’m upset and depressed. Because of what has happened to us [an attack by a gay-bashing crowd, death threats, police detention], I am more and more stressed. I fear that tomorrow morning our lifeless bodies will be found on a street in Yaoundé,” says Jonas Singa Kumie.

His longtime friend, Franky Djome, with whom he was imprisoned for homosexuality starting in 2011, feels “half dead.”

“Words fail me” he says in a low voice. “We’re in a living hell.”

After three days in custody at the Emombo police station in Yaoundé, the two men were released at about 7 p.m. March 27 from a court in Ekounou, where they had been hidden from their attackers. On March 24, wearing feminine attire, the two young men had been attacked in…

View original post 643 more words

Head of Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Canada to share update on humanitarian situation

Red Cross Talks

This week, the Canadian Red Cross welcomed the president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in Ottawa. Dr. Abdul Rahman Attar met with Red Cross staff and partners to provide an update on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and to ask for additional support. This was a unique opportunity to learn more about the situation on the ground.

Since the conflict began two years ago, three million people have been displaced within Syria and hundreds of thousands more have taken refuge in neighbouring countries. That means families moving to neighbouring cities to live with family, in camps or seeking shelter in public buildings, sometimes moving more than once.

Through the efforts of SARC working with the World Food Program, the ICRC, the Federation and other NGOs, two million people are receiving aid consisting food and non-food items, as well as water, first aid and medical services from mobile clinics…

View original post 200 more words

LGBTs in Cameroon: Attacked, arrested, freed again


Police in Cameroon have released two gay men whom they had held in custody for three days starting shortly after the men were attacked by a gay-bashing crowd on March 24.

Cameroonian journalist Eric Lembembe interviewed the two men, Jonas Singa Kumie and Franky Djome, after their release.

He has written an updated article on the case. The French version is here: “Jonas et Franky: ‘Nous vivons dans une insécurité totale.”

A translated version will soon be published here in English.

Related articles

View original post

Easter Weekend Storm to Dampen Midwest, East


A portion of the Easter weekend will be dampened by rain and thunderstorms across much of the eastern half of the nation.

The rain, especially downpours and heavier thunderstorms, will lead to wet travel and low visibilities from Little Rock, Ark., to Memphis, Tenn., on Saturday. Rain will quickly move eastward on Sunday, impacting Nashville, Tenn., Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pa. and Buffalo, N.Y.

Umbrellas should not be needed in the Interstate 95 corridor for sunrise services on Easter Sunday, but rain will develop during the day in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Unlike recent storms, the vast majority of what falls from this storm system will be in the form of rain, with just a few snow showers on the back side of the system on Sunday in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The storm will begin to develop on Friday along a stalled front sitting across the…

View original post 301 more words

Met Office figures show we are on course for coldest March in over 50 years

Official blog of the Met Office news team

This March is set to be the coldest since 1962 in the UK in the national record dating back to 1910, according to provisional Met Office statistics.

From 1 to 26 March the UK mean temperature was 2.5 °C, which is three degrees below the long term average. This also makes it joint 4th coldest on record in the UK.

The table below gives details of statistics up to the 26 March for broken down by the counties used to compile climate statistics.

 mean temperatureprecipitation
 Actual  (deg C)Difference from 1981-2010 average (deg C)Actual (mm)Percentage of 1981-2010 average (%)
N Ireland3.0-2.978.983
England & Wales2.9-3.366.694
England N2.0-3.554.072
England S

View original post 954 more words

Doctor accused in 300 deaths

(CNN) — A Brazilian doctor who appeared in court for allegedly killing seven patients, could be responsible for up to 300 deaths to free up hospital beds in the southeast city of Curitiba, multiple media reports suggest.

Virginia Helena Soares de Souza recruited a group of doctors to help administer lethal doses of anesthetics, sedatives and painkillers, according to authorities.

In addition, the group allegedly altered oxygen levels for patients, leading to deaths by asphyxiation, police said.

Seven other health care professionals have been charged in the case.

Prosecutors allege de Souza pulled the plug on victims against the wishes of patients and their families, and in so doing broke the law. She did that to free up beds in the ICU and clear up the “clutter” the patients were causing, according to police.

De Souza was arrested in February, but was later released until trial. Her court appearance Wednesday…

View original post 222 more words

Scotland: Search of Knoydart area, where police found missing journalist Clive Dennier’s car – 310313 0000z

(Updates at bottom of page)

Inverness Police wish to renew their appeal for information and assistance from the public in relation to missing man Clive Dennier, 50.

Inverness Police renew appeal for missing journalist, Clive Dennier

Inverness Police renew appeal for missing journalist, Clive Dennier

Since Mr Dennier was reported missing after failing to arrive for work in Grantown On Spey on the morning of Monday 25 March 2013 members of the public have continued to call in to assist with information to help the police enquiry. Despite this and extensive police investigation, there is still no indication of the whereabouts of Mr Dennier or his car.

Chief Inspector Graeme Murdoch, Inverness Area Commander said: We are really anxious for Clives safety. Everything we know tells us that his disappearance is unexplained and totally out of character. Officers around the Highlands are actively involved in the search for Clive and we now have an enquiry team dedicated to the investigation.

We are extremely grateful for the ongoing assistance and interest, both from the public and from Clives colleagues in the media. Finding Clives car would be a real breakthrough and we would ask everyone out there to help us by looking out for it.

Have you seen this car?SX54 CXD

Have you seen this car?

Mr Dennier is believed to be in possession of a silver Volkswagen Polo motor car registration number SX54 CXD. The car is missing its wheel trims.

Any person with information, however insignificant it may seem, should contact the police by calling 101.

Police trace car in search for missing man Clive Dennier.

Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:13:0 GMT
Police can now confirm that following extensive searches across the Highlands for missing man Clive Dennier, his car was located this morning in the Knoydart area west of Invergarry. The car was found by police as part our coordinated search strategy.As a result of this development, organised searches of the area have now commenced. At this time two mountain rescue teams, police search dogs are deployed to the search.

Mr Denniers family have been updated. This remains a very anxious time for them and they ask that their privacy is respected.

Lomond Mountain Rescue Team

Update 30 Mar 2013 2355z:

Search continues for missing man Clive Dennier

Sat, 30 Mar 2013 23:37:0 GMT

An extensive search continues for missing man Clive Dennier. Following the discovery of his car in the Kinlochourn area on Friday 29th March searching has been foccused on Friday and Saturday around Knoydart Peninsula, Kinlochourn, Barrisdale and Glen Quoich.
The search is being coordinated by Northern Constabulary with searches being carried out by Glenelg, Kintail and Royal Air Force mountain rescue teams, Coastguard and Police dog units. Skywatch have provided assistance with aerial searching.
This is an understandably anxious time for Mr Dennier’s family and they request that their privacy be respected.

Meteorologists Warn of Active Severe Storm Season


AccuWeather long-range forecasters are predicting an active severe storm season during spring of 2013.

“People can’t let their guard down,” AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said. “It looks like everybody is going to be vulnerable to severe weather this year from the Gulf of Mexico early in the season up to the Midwest by late in the spring and early summer.”

Storm Threats and Areas of Concern
AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok is forecasting more severe storm events with damaging wind and hail to start the season.

“The Deep South is going to be under the gun during the rest of March through April,” Kottlowski said.

Water temperatures are below normal in the Gulf of Mexico and that means less low-level moisture supply for the Deep South. Moisture-rich air is essential in the development of severe storms. However, Pastelok said that when a storm system is strong enough…

View original post 393 more words

Cameroon police re-arrest 2 gay men whom court freed


Two gay men, released from a Cameroon prison in January, have again been arrested. They have been held in police custody for the past two days, since shortly after they were attacked in a local marketplace on Sunday, March 24.

The incident began when Jonas Singa Kumie and Franky Djome (Franky Ndome), variously described as gay men and as transgender, went shopping last Sunday at the Essos market in Yaoundé. They dressed as they usually do — in women’s attire and wearing wigs. From a distance, their sexy outfits could give the impression of two young ladies shopping at the market. But in this particular market, their identities could not go unnoticed. They are well known, because Franky ran a hair salon here before being sent to prison in 2011 to serve a five-year sentence for homosexuality.

They are also known outside Cameroon, because of news reports about their trial…

View original post 507 more words

Tobacco Company Reports Early Success With Better-for-You Cigarettes

Health & Family

Aside from not lighting up at all, cigarettes developed to reduce a smoker’s exposure to tobacco’s toxins may be the best way to reduce health risks from smoking.

View original post 798 more words

UK Border Agency to be abolished

Wales Air Forum

By Rob Gill

The UK Border Agency is to be scrapped by the government due to its poor performance.

Home secretary Theresa May made the announcement in the House of Commons today (March 26) when she said that the agency’s functions would be divided into two main functions: the visa system and the law enforcement of immigration law.

Instead of reporting to the UKBA, these two divisions will instead be responsible directly to ministers.

The move comes a year after the government separated immigration controls at the UK’s airports and ports from the Border Agency, under the guise of the UK Border Force.

May said: “Since we split the Border Force from UKBA last year, 98 per cent of passengers go through passport control within target times and Border Force meets all of its passenger service targets.

“But the performance of what remains of UKBA is still not good enough…

View original post 63 more words

EasyJet announces plans to recruit 200 more pilots

Wales Air Forum

EasyJet announces plans to recruit 200 more pilotsBy Phil Davies

EasyJet is to start advertising to recruit 200 additional pilots for 2014.

The announcement comes on top of the news last month that the budget carrier is creating 330 new permanent positions for pilots this year.

The airline is advertising in industry publications such as Flight International.

Some of the new pilots will join easyJet direct while others will be recruited via the airline’s training partners CTC Aviation and CAE Parc Aviation.

They then gain further experience and flying hours with easyJet which is followed by a permanent contract with the airline.

The new positions from summer 2014 will be offered across the airline’s 11 UK bases – Gatwick, Southend, Luton, Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Belfast – and across its European network.

Head of flight operations Brian Tyrrell said: “We are actively seeking pilots from the military services and we know from the…

View original post 120 more words

RAF Chinook called in to help save Sheep

RAF Families Federation

CHINOOKAs well as all the emergency work being done by RAF SAR a Chinook has also been called in to help – this time to drop fodder for sheep farmers unable to help their own flocks because of the appalling weather. A RAF Chinook arrives at Flying Stn Aldergrove, to be loaded with animal feed for distribution to farms inaccessible by road. Working alongside the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to identify… More information

View original post

Welsh Government announces purchase of Cardiff Airport

Wales Air Forum

The First Minister of Wales has today [March 27] announced that the Welsh Government has purchased Cardiff Airport for a total investment of £52 million. This follows a period of due diligence and negotiation with TBI, the airport’s previous owner.

Announcing the purchase, the First Minister said, ‘Cardiff Airport is a vital gateway to Wales for business, tourists and general travellers alike. It is essential that its future is secured and that we develop high quality sustainable services.’

‘The Airport will not be operated by the Welsh Government. It will be managed at arm’s length from government on a commercial basis and, over time, I expect to see a return to the public purse on the investment.’

‘A Chief Executive of the airport will be announced in due course. In the meantime, I am delighted that Lord Rowe-Beddoe has agreed to serve as Chairman of the Airport Board.’

Edwina Hart…

View original post 50 more words

Cold Weather Alert Service extended to help support

Official blog of the Met Office news team

With cold weather forecast across the UK as we head through the Easter weekend and into the start of April, the Cold Weather Alert Service, which usually finishes at the end of March, has been extended for an additional two weeks.

winter-fogThe Cold Weather Plan, which has run successfully since 2011, has been developed by the Department of Health, Met Office and Health Protection Agency, and supported by AgeUK.

The purpose of the Cold Weather Plan is to help raise awareness of the dangers of cold weather on health with both the general public and professionals alike. It spells out what preparations both individuals and organisations could make to reduce health risks and includes specific measures to protect at-risk groups.

The Cold Weather Plan has been supported again this winter by the Met Office Cold Weather Alert Service, which notifies frontline staff across the health, social care, community and…

View original post 97 more words