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American Samoa received eight minutes warning before 2009 tsunami

Friday, September 24, 2010

People in American Samoa were given only eight minutes warning that a tsunami, which killed 32 people in the unincorporated territory, resulting from the 2009 Samoa earthquake, was approaching. A report published by the United States Congress admits that the warning was issued sixteen minutes after the 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Samoa. The tsunami killed nearly 200 people in American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga.

The report, written by the National Research Council, describes the length of time between the earthquake and the initial tsunami warning being issued as “relatively long”, and states that the standard time for such a warning to be issued to be around two minutes. The study also revealed that one third of tsunami sensors are not working at any given time.

John Orcutt, a [seismologist and head of the committee that wrote the report, described the delay as a “major concern”, but he also said that “a large number of people” in American Samoa “didn’t understand and there were lives that were lost because people simply didn’t take the action to get away from the shore when they felt this huge earthquake. People have to understand the signs of a tsunami and head to higher ground.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose purpose is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities, and the Government of American Samoa did not respond to e-mails regarding the news.

The study also notes that people living in other coastal cities around the world are at risk of being unprepared for tsunamis that arrive soon after the earthquake occurs, stating that in many places, warnings might not be issued in time. “If the source were so close to shore that only minutes were available before the tsunami reached the coast, the public would need to recognize natural [signs of a tsunami approaching].” The report states that when they fear a tsunami is imminent, people should know to evacuate even “without official warnings.”

The report warns that because tsunamis are so rare, people living near the coast do not know what to do, but it also criticises authorities for not informing citizens of how to react when a tsunami is approaching. “Everybody thought that the tsunami was a single wave, and once the expected landfall time came and left, they thought it was over,” said Costas Synolakis, who is director of the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California, and one of the report’s authors. He continued, “In fact, tsunamis are a series of waves that can last for three to four hours.”

He said that the United States must take action, training first responders in low-lying coastal areas, and adding more tsunami sensors to give advance warning of approaching waves. Synolakis added that, after receiving warning that there may have been a tsunami on the way after the Chile earthquake earlier this year, the response of firefighters at the Port of Los Angeles was poor because they were unfamiliar with how to deal with such a threat.

In the capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago, the tsunami measured 1.57 meters in height. The superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa Mike Reynolds reported four waves as high as six meters. People who experienced the quake said it was long, lasting from 90 seconds to three minutes. “Pago Pago city streets were strewn with overturned vehicles, cars, and debris. Some buildings located only slightly above sea level were completely destroyed by the waves, and power in some locations is not expected to be restored for up to a month,” Wikinews reported at the time.

Didi Afuafi, 28, who was riding on a bus in American Samoa when the tsunami struck, described her experiences. “I was scared. I was shocked. All the people on the bus were screaming, crying and trying to call their homes. We couldn’t get on cell phones. The phones just died on us. It was just crazy,” she said. “This is going to be talked about for generations.” U.S. President Barack Obama said of the disaster: “My deepest sympathies are with the families who lost loved ones and many people who have been affected by the earthquake and the tsunami.”

The people of American Samoa will, next Wednesday, according to a press release by the government, “hold island-wide services to honor the memories of the 34 loved ones who lost their lives” during the tsunami. Church services will be held at 6:00 a.m., followed at 6:48 a.m.—the time when the earthquake occured—thirty-two bells will be rung in memory of those who perished.

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News briefs:July 26, 2010

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5-year old American girl dies after visiting the dentist

Friday, September 29, 2006

Diamond Brownridge, a 5-year old girl from Chicago, Illinois, has died after a visit to the dentist. Children’s Memorial Hospital officials say that the girl was rushed to the hospital when she never woke up after being sedated for a dental procedure. She had been in a coma, on life support, since being admitted to the hospital early in the weekend.

“She passed very peacefully and beautifully,” said the hospital in a statement that the family issued.

Ommettress Travis, the mother of the girl, was asked not to remain inside the room while dentists were operating on the girl to repair two cavities and to have at least two caps replaced. Travis says after thirty minutes she was asked to come back in and found Brownridge not breathing, in the dentist chair.

Hicham Riba, a specialist and professional in anesthesia, who was also licensed, was the dentist in charge of the procedure.

“My family and I are so sad. May God bless Diamond and her family. Every time you have a tragedy like this, you pray more. I don’t think I will ever go back to a normal life after an experience like this,” Riba said in a statement on Wednesday, September 28.

According to the family, the girl had been given at least a triple dose of medicine that sedated her. Those drugs include: nitrous oxide gas, a single dose of an “oral agent” and an IV.

A judge has ordered that all equipment and materials used during the operation be protected and examined. The girl’s medical records have also been ordered to be examined.

There is no word on whether or not any charges will be filed against Riba or any of the dentist’s staff.

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Finding High Quality Dentists In Highlands Ranch

byAlma Abell

These days there is so much more involved with dental care than simple fillings or extractions. While regular checkups and cleanings are important, along with taking care of any cavities that are found, there are also a wide variety of both corrective and cosmetic dental procedures available for people of all ages. The health and appearance of a person’s teeth is important to their overall health and self-image. These kinds of treatments are not inexpensive, but when done correctly can last for many years. This is why it is important to be sure you are choosing a high quality and experienced professional when looking for Dentists Highlands Ranch.

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Families with children need to be sure their children are not only receiving the highest care available, but also that they will be made comfortable and not have any undue stress involved. This not only matters for the treatment they receive at that time, but will also have an effect on how they feel about going for treatment and maintaining their teeth over the course of their lives. A bad experience when young can make people hesitant to seek dental care later, which can lead to more severe problems. The staff you choose should have years of experience and offer all the latest dental care available. When looking for Dentists Highlands Ranch you may need to have teeth whitening done, or procedures as involved as implants. There should be no reason to have to go to more than one location to receive this level of care. The staff should make you and your family members feel comfortable and be willing to answer any and all questions you may have about your treatments.

The difference in high-quality work and not so high-quality work in the dental field can not only mean you feel and look better right away, but also how long and how well the work done will last. By choosing a Dentists Highlands Ranch that has been in business for many years and has an upstanding reputation, along with a well-run professional office and staff, you can be sure the work you have done will last as long as possible. This not only improves your self-image and health, but also saves money in the long run.

For more information, visit Highlandsranchdentistsdds.com.

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Swiss reject single health insurance

Monday, March 12, 2007

24 of 26 Swiss Cantons rejected the proposal for a single health insurance system, in which premiums would be based on income and wealth. The vote on Sunday was the latest in a series of attempts to cut rising costs and ease the financial burden on citizens.

Around 71% of voters rejected the reform. Turnout was at about 46%, slightly above the Swiss average.

As expected, voters in the main German-speaking part of the country turned down the planned reform, which was supported by the centre-left but opposed by the centre-right as well as the business community, parliament and the government.

Opposition in the French and Italian speaking regions was less pronounced. The cantons Jura and Neuchâtel in the French speaking regions voted in favor of the proposed reforms.

Health insurance premiums are higher in southern and western Swiss cantons than in German-speaking areas.

The Swiss Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin said an important part of the Swiss Population appeared to be opposed to “a revolution” in health insurance but he said that he wanted current reforms currently under discussion in the Swiss Parliament to go ahead. He called on all sides, especially health insurers and the cantonal authorities, to make efforts to reduce spending on health insurance and aim for a greater cost efficiency. Currently Switzerland has 87 private insurers providing mandatory basic health care coverage for Swiss residents under a 1996 law. But costs have sky-rocketed. Over 100,000 people are not covered by health insurance due to non payment.

To win the battle of the cost of health care, everyone must place his or her private interests behind the interests of the general public. -Pascal Couchepin at a news conference

Opponents to the initiative argued that a single insurance system would lead to complacency and create a two-tier system, in which the wealthy would be the only ones available to afford to have additional private insurance coverage.

Supporters of the initiative said a single health insurer would increase the system’s efficiency and allow for annual savings of at least 300 million Swiss Francs (about $245 million) in administrative costs. Currently, the funding system is unbalanced, since many clients on low incomes use state subsidies to pay their premiums, according to the Green Party and the Social Democrats.

The initiative to unite all the insurance companies and introduce premiums based on wealth and income was the most recent in a series of attempts over the past ten years to reduce the public spending on health care. A proposal, similar to this recent proposal, to modify the funding system of the health insurance companies was rejected by 73% of voters in 2003.

Switzerland has the most expensive health system in Europe. Switzerland’s expenditure on health care was 11.6% in 2005, in front of Germany and France but behind the United States.

Learn more about Swiss Federal Council and Voting in Switzerland on Wikipedia.
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Interview with Reggie Bibbs on his life with neurofibromatosis

Friday, December 14, 2007

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic condition causing benign tumors (neurofibromas) to grow along certain types of nerves and, in addition, it can affect the development of bones or skin. There are several variants of the disease but type 1 and type 2 NF account for the vast majority of cases.

The disease manifestations can vary from very mild to severe. Major symptoms include growths on and under the skin; skin pigmentations called café au lait spots in type 1; acoustic nerve tumors and consequent hearing loss in type 2. Growths can affect nearly all parts of the body, and pressure on nearby structures can cause a wide variety of complications. There is a small risk that the tumors transform into malignant cancerous lesions.

NF is one of the most common single-gene human diseases; around 1 in 2,500-4,000 live births are affected by NF-1, whereas NF-2 occurs in about 1 in 50,000-120,000. Both type 1 and 2 are autosomal dominant conditions, meaning that only one copy of the mutated gene need be inherited to pass the disorder. A child of a parent with neurofibromatosis and an unaffected parent will have a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder. The gene responsible for NF-1 and possibly NF-2 is thought to function as a tumor suppressor gene.

In most cases of neurofibromatosis 1, patients can live normal and productive lives. In about 25-40% of patients there is an associated learning disability with or without ADHD. In some cases of neurofibromatosis 2, the damage to nearby vital structures, such as the cranial nerves and the brainstem, can be life-threatening. When tumors are causing pain or disfiguration, surgery is thus far the only proven beneficial treatment option.

Reggie Bibbs is a 43-year-old-man living in Houston, Texas. Mr Bibbs was born with a genetic disease called neurofibromatosis (NF), which causes him to develop tumors on his body (see infobox on the right). NF can be a subtle disease, but in Bibbs’ case it has left him with a disfigured face and deformed leg. But he is happy with the way he looks, and doesn’t want to change his appearance to please other people. He has launched a successful campaign entitled “Just Ask”, and that’s just what Wikinews did in a video-interview.

The interview was prepared by Wikinews reporter Michaël Laurent with the help of Bertalan Meskó (who has a popular genetics and web 2.0 blog). Their questions were sent to a close friend of Mr. Bibbs, Lou Congelio, who kindly conducted the interview.

Contents

  • 1 Infobox: What is neurofibromatosis?
  • 2 The interview
    • 2.1 On neurofibromatosis
    • 2.2 Growing up
    • 2.3 A head to toe body tour
    • 2.4 The daily life of Reggie Bibbs
    • 2.5 Raising awareness and his campaign
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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Questions raised about McCain’s choice of Palin, aides insist “thorough vetting” process

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Various questions have been raised about the choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as Senator John McCain’s choice for Republican vice presidential running mate. There have been doubts over how thoroughly McCain had examined Palin’s background before announcing that he had selected her to be his running mate on August 29. McCain’s advisers insist that Palin was “thoroughly vetted,” a process that would have included a review of all financial and legal records as well as a criminal background check.

Palin is the Republican Party’s first female candidate for Vice President. In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was Walter Mondale’s running mate on the Democratic Party ticket.

Yesterday, Palin and her husband issued a statement saying that their 17-year-old unmarried daughter Bristol is five months pregnant and that she intends to marry the father of the baby. The statement came after media speculation and internet rumours that Palin’s 4-month-old son, Trig, was in fact her grandson, and that the mother is Bristol.

Senator Barack Obama, McCain’s opponent in the 2008 election, was asked to comment on Palin’s family situation:

“Let me be as clear as possible… I think people’s families are off-limits, and people’s children are especially off-limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Governor Palin’s performance as governor or her potential performance as a vice president,” said Obama.

Obama further told reporters to “back off these kinds of stories” and noted that he was born to an 18-year-old mother himself. Obama became annoyed when asked about a news report that quoted an unnamed senior McCain campaign aide saying that Obama’s name appears in liberal blogs speculating about Trig’s parentage. “I am offended by that statement… There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us.”

“We don’t go after people’s families; we don’t get them involved in the politics. It’s not appropriate, and it’s not relevant,” Obama added. “Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired.”

The McCain campaign said that Senator McCain was aware of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy before he asked her mother to join him on the ticket. McCain reportedly did not see the pregnancy as a detriment to Governor Palin’s selection as the vice presidential candidate.

McCain told reporters that he was satisfied with his campaign’s vetting process: “The vetting process was completely thorough and I’m grateful for the results.”

Governor Palin has hired a private lawyer in a legislative ethics investigation in Alaska into whether she abused her power in dismissing the state’s public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan. The investigation is checking into whether Palin dismissed Monegan for his reluctance to fire Palin’s former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten.

There is no sign that Palin’s formal nomination this week at the Republican National Convention was in jeopardy. The controversy adds anxiety to Republicans who are worried that Democrats would use the selection of Palin to question McCain’s judgment. Republicans were quick to note that Palin has “more executive experience” in elected office than does Obama and have gone on the offensive.

McCain’s choice of Palin came as a shock to some, after it was expected that McCain would choose Joe Lieberman, Tim Pawlenty, or Tom Ridge for the vice presidential nomination. McCain had reportedly met Palin only twice before her selection, and had his first face-to-face interview with her on August 28. McCain offered Palin the vice presidential spot just moments after their meeting concluded. The two appeared at a campaign rally event the following morning in Dayton, Ohio.

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Strong earthquake near Solomon Islands, tsunami reported

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A magnitude 8.1 undersea earthquake triggered a tsunami that has killed at least fifteen people, including six children, in the Solomon Islands. Tsunami warnings have been issued for parts of Australia as well.

According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude 8.0 quake struck Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 20:39:56 (UTC) about 45 km (25 mi) south-southeast of Gizo, New Georgia Islands, Solomon Islands, at a depth of 10 km.

Contents

  • 1 ‘Disaster’ declared in the Solomons
  • 2 Region on alert
  • 3 Related news
  • 4 Sources
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Adele and David Bowie each win five Grammys

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

On Sunday, British singer Adele won five Grammy Awards at the 59th Grammy Awards event in Los Angeles. David Bowie posthumously won five Grammys.

Adele won Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo and Record of the Year for her song Hello, and Album of the Year for her album 25, becoming the first singer to win the Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year twice.

David Bowie was nominated in five categories — three for his album Blackstar in Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, and Best Rock Performance; and two for his song Blackstar, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. Days after releasing his 25th album, Blackstar, Bowie passed away in January 2016, due to cancer. Before Blackstar, Bowie won a Grammy for his music video Jazzin’ for Blue Jean, and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, never winning the award in a major category before.

In the event, singer Bruno Mars paid tribute to music icon Prince, replicating style, costumes, and guitar of Prince’s. Minneapolis-based funk band The Time, who had performed with Prince, paid tribute to the singer who passed away in April at the age of 57. Adele, in her performance, paid tribute to George Michael. While performing, Adele stopped, swore, and restarted. She later apologised, saying “I am sorry for swearing and I am sorry for starting again, I can’t mess this up for him[…] I am sorry, I can’t.” British pop singer George Michael died on Christmas Day of heart failure at the age of 53.

Adele was in tears while receiving Grammy for the Album of the Year. In her acceptance speech, she said, “But I can’t possibly accept this award. And I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious. But my artist of my life is Beyoncé. And this album to me, the ‘Lemonade’ album, is just so monumental. Beyoncé, it’s so monumental. And so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-baring and we all got to see another side to you that you don’t always let us see. And we appreciate that. And all us artists here, we fucking adore you. You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel, is empowering. And you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you.” Other albums in the pool, besides 25 and Lemonade, were Justin Bieber’s Purpose, Drake’s Views, and A Sailor’s Guide To Earth by Sturgill Simpson.

Earlier, while receiving award for the Record of the Year, Adele said, “My dream and my idol is Queen Bee [Beyoncé], and I adore you and you move my soul every single day and you have done for nearly seventeen years”. Other songs nominated in the category were Beyoncé’s Formation, Work by Rihanna, 7 Years by Lukas Graham, and Stressed Out by TWENTY ØNE PILØTS.

Beyoncé received the largest number of nominations for the event — nine — but she won only two. Her album Lemonade won Best Urban Contemporary Album and her song Formation won Best Music Video.

Chance The Rapper won Best New Artist, and claimed Best Rap Performance for No Problem and Best Rap Album for Coloring Book. Chance’s songs were never sold, and were available for free on streaming services.

The new host James Corden took a pratfall on the stairs while entering. The duo TWENTY ØNE PILØTS won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their song Stressed Out. Upon announcement, they removed their pants to accept the award. Sharing an incident of watching Grammys before the duo was famous, Tyler Joseph said Josh Dun proposed if they were to receive a Grammy, they would receive it in their underpants as they were in underpants watching the award ceremony at the time. In his acceptance speech, he said, “I want everyone who’s watching at home to know that you could be next. So watch out, because anyone from anywhere can do anything.”

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Scientology protest group celebrates founder’s birthday worldwide

 Correction — March 19, 2008 The next protest is scheduled for April 12, 2008. The article below states April 18 which is incorrect. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Internet group Anonymous today held further protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

In a global speech, the Internet protest movement said Scientology “betrayed the trust of its members, [had] taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives.” The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed “an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses.” The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of “hate speech and hate crimes”, alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to “identify members” of the group it brands as “cyber-terrorists”.

Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the events.

Anonymous states that the next protest is scheduled to take place on April 18, which happens to be the birthday of Suri, the daughter of Tom and Katie Cruise.

Contents

  • 1 Location reports
    • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
    • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
    • 1.3 Austin, Texas
    • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
    • 1.5 Brussels, Belgium
    • 1.6 London, England
    • 1.7 Manchester, England
    • 1.8 New York, New York
    • 1.9 Buffalo, New York
    • 1.10 Seattle, Washington
    • 1.11 Sydney, Australia
    • 1.12 Portland, Oregon
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
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