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Diane A. Wade
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs funeral, who died Wednesday aged 56, took place as a small private gathering.
Steve Jobs was known as being a quiet man who kept himself to himself – but became the iconic face of modern technology.
However, the controversial Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas threatened it would picket the funeral because Steve Jobs “gave God no glory and taught sin”.
Westboro Baptist Church ironically made the announcement on an iPhone – and later said they would only picket a public remembrance.
Steve Jobs funeral, who died Wednesday aged 56, took place as a small private gathering
There were no public services planned for Steve Jobs funeral, but Apple has invited the public to send memories, thoughts and condolences to a special email address.
A source told the Wall Street Journal that the funeral was happening on Friday but would not give details of where or when it was taking place.
Margie Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church tweeted on her iPhone that the church her father founded would be picketing the event.
“Westboro will picket his funeral. He had a huge platform; gave God no glory & taught sin. MT @AP: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has died at 56”.
Westboro Baptist Church has previously caused outrage by claiming God is punishing the military for America’s tolerance of gay people.
But Margie Phelps later wrote: “Keep it private, we won’t come; public worship, we’ll be there. Deal? #warnliving MT @WSJ: Steve Jobs funeral today; small private gathering”.
The funeral comes just two days after Steve Jobs died, following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Apple announced no cause of death, but Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a rare pancreatic cancer seven years ago and had a liver transplant in 2009.
It sparked an outpouring of tributes from world leaders such as President Barack Obama, business rivals including Bill Gates and other fans.
Apple would not confirm or deny the funeral reports and the source would give no further details out of respect for the family’s privacy.
The new Apple CEO, Tim Cook told staff this week:
“We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon.
“If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Herbert Chavez, from the Philippines, has had extensive cosmetic surgery to make him look more like Superman
Herbert Chavez, from the Philippines, has had extensive cosmetic surgery to make him look more like Superman.
Herbert Chavez, 35, a Superman fan, has dramatically changed his appearance using plastic surgery to look more like his favorite super-hero.
Herbert Chavez has undergone a variety of procedures ranging from chin augmentation to thigh implants.
According to a video report on the Philippines’ Bandila News, Herbert Chavez has been going under the plastic surgery since 1995 to achieve the transformation.
Herbert Chavez, whose profession is “pageant trainer”, has also an impressive collection of Superman memorabillia.
Herbert Chavez’ home in Calamba City, south of the capital, Manila, is stuffed with life-size statues, action figures, clothing, comics and posters depicting the comic book hero.
Herbert Chavez before and after plastic surgery
So far, Herbert Chavez has admitted to having the following procedures to make him look more like Superman:
Chin augmentation to give him Superman’s iconic cleft;
Rhinoplasty to transform his Asian nose into one more closely resembling Superman actor Christopher Reeves;
Silicone injections to his lips to make them fuller and thicker;
And thigh implants to make his legs appear more muscular.
Herbert Chavez look appears to be an amalgamation of all the actors who have played Superman, as well as comic book depictions of the fantasy character.
Monday, October 10, is Columbus Day 2011 and many banks, state and local offices as well as U.S. post offices will be closed. In New York, the Columbus Day Parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, lasting until about 3:00 p.m.
New York’s Columbus Day Parade starts on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street and continues up Fifth to 79th Street.
A Columbus Day Mass will take place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street and Fith Avenue at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.
The Columbus Citizens Foundation has been organizing New York’s Columbus Day Parade since 1929.
More than 35,000 participate in the Columbus Day Parade each year, including more than 100 groups sporting floats, bands and an assortment of entries. About one million spectators view the parade – including almost 500,000 lining the streets to watch live – and it is among the largest celebrations of Italian-American culture in the world.
The Columbus Citizens Foundation has been organizing New York's Columbus Day Parade since 1929
Traditionally, Columbus Day is held on the second Monday in October.
The first record of an event commemorating Columbus Day in the United States was on October 12, 1792.
Columbus Day celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ “discovering” Americas.
Columbus arrived in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Observance of Columbus Day varies throughout the United States. It became an official holiday in Colorado in 1906, and a federal holiday in 1937, although Hawaii and South Dakota do not recognize Columbus Day at all.
In New York, and in other cities around the country, Columbus Day celebration is a big, annual event, however.
Columbus Day Parade is one of the New York City’s annual big events
Regarding this year’s Columbus Day Parade in New York Columbus Citizens Foundation said in a press release:
“On October 10, 2011, Fifth Avenue will be transformed during the Columbus Day Parade, the world’s largest celebration of Italian-American culture. The parade was led by Grand Marshal Joseph Plumeri, proud philanthropist, and Chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings.
“The Columbus Day Parade is a fun filled parade that gets bigger and better every year. Participants from all over the world march in our Parade with pride.
“This is already a special year for us, as we have invited and received confirmation from some of the most talented performers. Pia Toscano (American Idol Favorite) as well as the Italian Musical, “The Italian Fairy” are just some of the notable performers. The Sacred Heart University Marching Band as well as Stony Brook University Marching Band will be just a few of our new and exciting musical acts in the Parade. This year, the Parade will be marching up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72nd Street. The grandstands will be located on Fifth Avenue between 67th and 69th Streets.
“The parade celebrates the spirit of exploration and courage that inspired Christopher Columbus’s 1492 expedition and the important contributions Italian-Americans have made to the United States. Over a dozen high school bands, as well as virtuosi professional groups from the United States and Italy, marched up Fifth Avenue and filled the canyons of midtown with joyous, heart-pounding music. Traditional folk groups performed centuries-old dances, and cutting-edge designs were brought to the parade route in displays of the vibrant culture that is Italy today.”
A freight train derailment in north-central Illinois has forced authorities to evacuate the entire Tiskilwa town due to massive explosions in the area.
According to the Bureau County sheriff’s office, the freight train derailed early Friday in the town of Tiskilwa.
Captain Steve Haywood from Ottawa Fire Department says the train’s tanker cars were carrying ethanol being shipped by Decatur-based corn processor Archer Daniels Midland.
He told the Chicago Tribune that at least six of the 112 freight train cars were on fire, and officials are fearful of liquid vapor explosions.
The freight train derailment has forced authorities to evacuate the entire Tiskilwa town due to massive explosions in the area
Many of the town’s residents were holing up inside the Indian Valley Inn restaurant.
The Indian Valley Inn restaurant owner, Mike McComber, told the Chicago Tribune:
“It’s a mess. A quarter to a half mile of cars derailed. Many of them are on fire.”
“Every time one of them explodes, it sounds like a bomb is going off. Three have gone off so far.”
Another witness, Amanda Knight told the Chicago Sun-Times that the train derailed about 500 feet from her home.
Amanda Knight said: “There’s a lot of fire and big flames. It sounds like a jet coming over the town. That’s all I can compare it to.”
There’s no information yet on any injuries.
According to authorities, theTiskilwa town’s evacuees are being taken to Princeton High School.
The freight train was operated by Iowa Interstate Railroad. A dispatcher with the railroad said company officials were headed to the scene Friday.
Tiskilwa is a village of about 800 people that’s located about 100 miles west of Chicago.
Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, announced its plans to protest Steve Jobs’ funeral, sending the message out via Twitter for iPhone.
Westboro Baptist Church leader Margie J. Phelps has announced that the group will picket the Apple co-founder’s funeral, condemning him for “teaching his neighbors to sin.”
Margie J. Phelps, daughter of the small church’s founder and the lawyer who represented the church during their First Amendment case at the Supreme Court, (which Westboro won,) was among the Phelps family members to use Apple products to Tweet about the death of Steve Jobs.
“Westboro will picket his funeral. He had a huge platform; gave God no glory & taught sin,” Margie J. Phelps tweeted Wednesday night on her iPhone.
Westboro Baptist Church announced its plans to protest Steve Jobs’ funeral, sending the message out via Twitter for iPhone
The tweet that has critics pointing out the irony says little more than “He is in hell.” The controversial church seems to be sticking by their words, however, ignoring criticism of the method used to get out their message.
After a number of groups pointed out the irony, Phelps continued to tweet:
“Rebels mad cuz I used iPhone to tell you Steve Jobs is in hell. God created iPhone for that purpose!”
The iPhone-wielding Westboro members seemed unable to find any irony in their embrace of the technology of a man they condemn. One church member even suggested that God was using Jobs to help advance the message of Westboro Baptist Church:
“God used Steve Jobs to create amazing STUFF for WBC to preach,” wrote Shirley Phelps-Roper.
Westboro Baptist Church is mostly made up of Phelps family members but has risen to international infamy because of their funeral protests of celebrities and American soldiers. The church’s members believe that God punishes America for its tolerance of sin, including acceptance of homosexuality.
Westboro Baptist Church, which has become famous for its unofficial “God Hates Fags” slogan, has been at the center of many controversial pickets in recent years, including sending congregation members to protest at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. The church also picketed the funerals of those killed in the Arizona shootings, an act many found particularly distasteful.
Warrant singer Jani Lane died from alcohol poisoning, as officials have determined.
According to TMZ, the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office has finished its investigation and has concluded Jani Lane had suffered from “acute ethanol poisoning” when he died in an L.A. motel room on August 11, 2011.
At the moment of Jani Lane’s death, investigators found a half-empty bottle of vodka and prescription medication in the motel room where he died.
Jani Lane had battled substance abuse issues for many years.
Jani Lane’s official cause of death is alcohol poisoning
On August 11, 2011, Lane was found dead at a Comfort Inn hotel in Woodland Hills, California. Jani Lane was 47 years old.
Jani Lane is survived by his wife, Kimberly; a brother, Eric; three sisters, Marcine Williams, Michelle Robinson and Victoria Oswald-Ley; a daughter from his first marriage, Taylar Lane; a daughter from his second marriage, Madison Lane; and two stepdaughters, Ryan and Brittany.
The Great British Bake Off winner Joanne Wheatley’s moment of glory had to play second fiddle to a male squirrel.
The male squirrel, loitering in the grounds of the mansion where the BBC2 show, Great British Bake Off was filmed, was the subject of a lingering camera shot.
Viewers could not help noticing squirrel’s unmistakably masculine appearance.
Video clips were posted on YouTube, while hundreds took to social networks and TV forums to discuss it.
One joked: “This evening’s Great British Bake Off contains full-frontal squirrel nudity which some viewers may find startling.”
Another said: “A squirrel is flashing everyone on the Great British Bake Off.”
Clips with the squirrel’s nuts were posted on Youtube and social networks
Others were more disturbed by the image, complaining it was an unnecessary and unwelcome distraction on a show about baking. Since Great British Bake Off show was recorded some time ago, it could easily have been edited out.
One viewer commented: “Why did the cameraman focus on the squirrel at all? I just didn’t need to see that.”
A record five million viewers saw grandmother Joanne Wheatley crowned Queen of the Bake Off on Tuesday night.
Joanne Wheatley beat thousands of other amateur bakers, including favourite Holly Bell, to win after wowing judges Mary Berry and John Hollywood with her “pretty” and “girly” array of cakes and pastries.
Joanne Wheatley is now tipped to be a star in her own right and is expected to be offered a cookery book deal.
Joanne Wheatley, 41, mother of three sons, who was married at 17, honed her culinary skills making cakes for her boys, who regularly scored her out of ten for her efforts.
Joanne Wheatley taught herself to cook with a combination of recipe books and experimentation, as well as “tough feedback” from her children.
The housewife from Essex battled crippling nerves throughout the eight-week competition but impressed judges with her creativity and skill.
The second series of Great British Bake Off, presented by Sue Perkins and Melanie Giedroyc, has been the surprise television hit of the year and superseded Masterchef as the must-watch show for cookery fans.
Filming took place at Valentines Mansion and Gardens in Essex, where all the contestants had a baking station and presented their efforts in the lush gardens surrounded by bunting.
Great British Bake Off has sent demand for baking products soaring.
Marks & Spencer reports sales increases of up to 20% in ingredients, while John Lewis has seen a 46% rise in sales of three-tier cake stands and cake tins and muffin trays.
Steve Jobs, Apple founder died today after a heavy and lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.
Tributes, led by President Barack Obama, began pouring in within minutes of the company confirming the death of Steve Jobs, the mastermind behind the iPhone, iPad and the iPod at the age of 56.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” read a statement by Apple’s board of directors.
“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
“His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.”
The Apple Home page has revealed that Steve Jobs had died
The homepage of Apple’s website this evening switched to a full-page image of Jobs with the text, “Steve Jobs 1955-2011”.
Clicking on the image revealed the additional text:
“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.
“Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor.
“Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”
Apple announced the death of its founder, Steve Jobs on the website
Steve Jobs leaves a wife, a son and two daughters.
Steve Jobs’ relatives also released a statement, which said he “died peacefully today, surrounded by his family”.
“In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the news of Steve Jobs’s death to Apple employees via e-mail:
“I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
“We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon.
“No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honour his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.”
In April 2011, Steve Jobs seemed frail sparking speculation he would have to resign
Within minutes of his death being confirmed, tributes to Steve Jobs began flooding the web, led by President Barack Obama, who tweeted:
“Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. From all of us at #Obama2012, thank you for the work you make possible every day – including ours.”
Barack Obama later gave a fuller statement, in which he praised Steve Jobs as a “visionary” who was “bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it”.
“The world has lost a visionary,” Obama said.
“And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.
“Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.
“Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.”
From its earliest beginnings as a personal computer also-ran in a scrappy garage in northern California to its all-conquering development of life-changing gadgets the rise of Apple has been intrinsically linked to Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs holds the Apple II computer in 1977
When Steve Jobs left for eleven years after a row over the company’s direction, Apple’s fortunes dipped.
His return, after a successful stint as head of animation innovators Pixar, marked the start of the company’s relentless drive to become one of America’s biggest and most successful companies.
Steve Jobs’ death comes just six weeks after his poor health led him to stand down as the company’s CEO and his successor, Tim Cook, presented the new generation iPhone yesterday.
The fact that Apple stayed cool as it grew is credited to Steve Jobs’ innovative marketing techniques almost as much as his visionary wizardry.
Even when he announced that he was taking two years off on medical leave, Steve Jobs still kept hold of his CEO title, just as he did on two previous occasions in the past seven years when he needed to take leave from the day-to-day running of the company for health reasons.
At the time, Steve Jobs could barely walk and photographs of him looking gaunt and frail led to reports that he just had weeks to live.
But Steve Jobs fought back and appeared to be relishing proving the doubters wrong by introducing the second-generation iPad and meeting up with President Obama to discuss the future of the tech industry.
Other than his well-rehearsed stage appearances to launch the latest Apple innovation, Steve Jobs always treasured his privacy.
Steve Jobs survived surgery to remove a cancerous pancreatic tumor in 2004 and a liver transplant in 2009.
As CEO, Steve Jobs earned only $1 a year, but he held 5,426 million Apple shares as well as 138 million shares in Disney.
Steve Jobs’ wealth is estimated at more than $5billion.
With his trademark jeans and casual jumper, Steve Jobs became synonymous with the company’s every innovation in recent years, from the iPod through to the iPhone and iPad.
Born in San Francisco, Steve Jobs, who was adopted, dropped out of university after one term and only took his first computer job to raise money to go on a spiritual retreat to India.
Steve Jobs returned a Buddhist with his head shaved and admitted experimenting with LSD, calling his drug-induced experiences ‘one of the two or three most important things’ he had done in his life.
Back in northern California, Steve Jobs started working for computer firm Atari before founding Apple in his garage in 1976 with friends Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne and Mike Makkula.
After a power struggle in 1985, Steve Jobs left the company, only to return eleven years later to launch the company’s extraordinary growth over the past fourteen years.
Steve Jobs introduces the Apple Nano in San Francisco
One of the world’s most famous CEOs, Steve Jobs remained stubbornly private about his personal life, refusing interviews and shielding his wife and their children from public view.
Even when he resigned six weeks ago, he divulged very little, not directly mentioning his cancer as the reason he quit.
“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Steve Jobs wrote in his letter of resignation.
“Unfortunately, that day has come.”
But that personal life – he was given up at birth for adoption, had an illegitimate child, was romantically linked with movie stars – was full of intrigue for his fan base and Apple consumers.
Steve Jobs and his wife Laurene Powell during Pixar Exhibit Launch at The Museum of Modern Art in New York
Steve Jobs and his wife, Laurene Powell, were married in a small ceremony in Yosemite National Park in 1991, lived in Woodside, California, and had three children: Reed Paul, Erin Sienna and Eve.
Steve Jobs admitted that when he was 23, he had a child out of wedlock with his high school girlfriend, Chris Ann Brennan. Their daughter, Lisa Brennan Jobs, was born in 1978.
Thousands of people may be buying imitation Ugg boots made from the pelts of animals skinned alive.
The fur comes from raccoon dogs, a species related to domestic dogs, farmed in China.
A shocking video of the skins being collected has led activists to demand a ban on the trade and call for clearer labeling.
Genuine Ugg boots cost up to $300 and use sheepskin, which is produced in a humane way.
Workers in China skinning an alive raccoon dog
Campaigners from Humane Society International have found that other companies in Australia, where the popular Ugg boots are made, are using raccoon dog fur farmed in China and labeling it “Australian sheepskin”.
HSI campaigners warned that the footwear could have found its way into the UK.
While the UK law says that no products using dog or cat fur may be imported or sold in the country, there is no ban on fur from raccoon dogs, an Asian species with links to foxes, dogs and jackals. They are not related to raccoons.
The raccoon dog is indigenous to Asia and related to dogs and foxes
Wendy Higgins from HSI UK said: “I have been working in animal rights for more than a decade and have never seen a video that has shocked me so much.
“It is not just the killing of the animals that is horrific, but the fact that they must endure such slow, painful deaths.
“These animals are not dogs, so there is no legislative reason why boots containing the fur cannot be imported into the UK. There are also many problems with the labelling of fur products, so many consumers will not be aware of where the fur in their boots comes from.”
Websites found by HSI show other companies are selling the fur on gilets, coats and ear-muffs for delivery to the UK.
Ugg Australia denied they were using the fur in their own boots and pointed the finger at cheap copies.
Lena McDonald from Ugg Australia said the use of raccoon dog fur by other companies was tarnishing the entire industry as many people were unable to tell the different brands apart.
Genuine Ugg boots are made from Australian sheepskin and cost up to $300
Lena McDonald said her company used its own tannery to ensure the standards of its boots, but added that up to 40 products using fur from overseas contained the word “ugg”.
“As far as I can see many of these boots are not made in Australia at all yet they have the words Australia and ugg on them. We have seen companies cutting off tags saying “made in China” and putting on a <<made in Australia>> tag.”
The UK Government announced its ban on importing cat and dog pelts from China in 2001 after it emerged that a fur collar, obtained from a leading store in the West End, contained dog fur.
A total ban on the trade in dog and cat fur came into force across Europe in December 2008.
William Ernst, a grocery chain store owner has been slammed by a judge after offering his staff a $10 prize for correctly guessing which of them he was going to fire next.
William Ernst, 57, was branded the “the boss from hell” after sending a memo offering the cash prize to workers at his QC Mart convenience stores in Iowa and Illinois.
William Ernst’s memo warned employees that “secret shoppers” were being dispatched to QC Mart stores checking that cashiers weren’t breaking the rules.
The “secret shoppers” would be looking out for workers wearing a hat, talking on a cellphone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around the counter or having their car parked by the pumps after 7:00 p.m.
William Ernst, QC Mart owner offered his employees $10 to guess next worker to be fired.
Misty Shelsky, who worked as a cashier at a QC store in Bettendorf, Iowa, was one of several employees to quit in disgust after receiving William Ernst‘s memo.
But when Misty Shelsky applied for unemployment benefits William Ernst challenged the claim arguing she had resigned voluntarily and the dispute ended up at a hearing.
Misty Shelsky explained to the Des Moines Register newspaper how she and fellow workers had reacted after receiving the memo saying:
“It was very degrading.
“We looked at that, then looked at each other, and said, <<OK, we’re done>>.”
QC Mart Area Supervisor Anna DeFrieze said William Ernst had created the contest because employees were routinely breaking company rules.
Anna DeFrieze said: “None of them were doing their job.
“They’ve repeatedly been told not to use their phone while they’re working, that bad language is totally unacceptable and, you know, playing video games while you’re working is not acceptable.
“They just broke all those rules.”
However, administrative Law Judge Susan Ackerman described the contest as “egregious and deplorable”.
The judge said: “The employer’s actions have clearly created a hostile work environment by suggesting its employees turn on each other for a minimal monetary prize.
The claimant has established this was an intolerable and detrimental work environment.”
Misty Shelsky was awarded full unemployment benefits.
Sonia Marra, a British tourist has died in a horrific helicopter crash when the aircraft she was flying in plummeted into New York’s East River seconds after take-off.
Three other British persons were fighting for their lives after the chopper spun out of control and plunged into the river.
The injured British passengers were Paul Nicholson, believed to be her stepfather, and his wife Harriet and Sonia Marra’s partner Helen Tamaki.
Sonia Marra had organized the doomed flight over Manhattan’s skyline to celebrate her 40th birthday with her parents, who now live in Portugal.
The Foreign Office said: “We can confirm that three British nationals were involved in the helicopter crash in New York City.
“One of them has died in the crash and the next of kin have been informed. We are providing consular assistance.”
The fourth passenger is thought to be Helen Tamaki, Sonia Marra’s partner, thought to be from New Zealand.
According to the New York Daily News website, Harriet Nicholson and Helen Tamaki are both in a critical condition at the city’s Bellevue Hospital, while Paul Nicholson is being treated at New York University Medical Center.
Five people were on board the Bell 206 Jet Ranger tourist helicopter – and two survivors could be seen clinging onto the craft as they were rescued.
Scuba divers, police and fire units have all been deployed in the area, where the water temperature is around 66F
Sonia Marra was celebrating her 40th birthday with her parents, reported ABC News.
The pilot of the helicopter is also believed to be a family friend.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Prime Minister David Cameron to tell him about the tragedy.
“We have a family who’ve come here to see the best of our city and to end up in a tragic accident like this just breaks our heart. Our thoughts and prayers are with them,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last night.
“From what we know so far, the pilot reported having trouble keeping aloft, tried to turn back, but crashed in the water just north of the landing pad,” he added.
Joe Galluzzo, who runs a fruit market in Glebe, Sydney, said Sonia Marra had worked there for the last three months.
He told the Sydney Morning Herald Sonia Marra’s friend had surprised her with plans to go to New York.
“That was her 40th birthday present from Helen. How said that is.
“She just had that kind of a personality… people just gravitated towards her. She was a really lovely person.”
“Four of them were outside the helicopter when rescuers got to them, one was trapped inside. We did get the body out.”
Sonia Marra was killed after the helicopter she had hired to celebrate her 40th birthday crashed into the East River in New York
One of the five people rescued was the veteran pilot, called Paul Dudley.
The pilot was treated at the scene. His helicopter was not equipped with floats and was upside down in the water as rescuers arrived.
Joy Garnett and her husband were on the dock waiting to take the East River ferry to Brooklyn when they heard the blades of a helicopter and saw it start to take off from the nearby helipad. She said she saw it do “a funny curlicue”.
Joy Garnett said: “I thought, <<Is that some daredevil move?>>. But it was obviously out of control. The body spun around at least two or three times, and then it went down.”
Joy Garnett said also the chopper had lifted about 25 feet off the ground before it dropped into the water without much of a splash.
The helicopter flipped over, and the blades were sticking up out of the river. She said people on the dock started throwing in life jackets and buoys. Two people came up out of the waves.
Joy Garnett added: “It didn’t make much noise. It was just a splash and sunk.”
Scuba divers, police and fire units were all deployed in the area, where local media reported the water temperature as around 66F.
At least seven boats were involved in the East River rescue effort and ladders were used to pull survivors out of the cold water.
Later Tuesday, crews were able to hoist the helicopter out of the river.
The Bell 206 tourist helicopter, which was not equipped with floats, was pulled from the East River hours after the crash
It had reportedly just taken off from the East 34th Street heliport in Manhattan when it hit the water.
“The water is not too cold, but even 60 degrees can be dangerous,” coast guard spokesman Erik Swanson told the New York Post.
The helicopter was registered N63Q, and was reportedly owned by Paul Dudley, 56, who is also the director of Linden Airport in New Jersey.
The helicopter was built in 1976 and formerly operated as a “news chopper”.
Paul Dudley, a married father-of-three and an experienced pilot who has flown helicopters for more than 20 years, remained at the scene while the other passengers were rescued.
Paul Dudley, who has been quoted on helicopter security in the past, had to land a Cessna 172 in a park in Brooklyn, New York, five years ago.
The chopper, a Bell 206 Jet Ranger, is one of the world’s most popular helicopter models and was first flown in January 1966.
In August 2009, a small plane collided with a helicopter over the Hudson River, west of Manhattan, killing nine people, including five Italian tourists.
A government safety panel found that an air traffic controller who was on a personal phone call had contributed to the accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration changed its rules for aircraft flying over New York City’s rivers after that collision.
Pilots must call out their positions on the radio and obey a 161mph speed limit. Before the changes, such radio calls were optional.
Earlier that year, an Airbus 320 airliner landed in the Hudson after hitting birds and losing both engines after taking off from LaGuardia Airport.
The flight, U.S. Airways Flight 1549, became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane.
Amanda Knox arrived in Seattle, her home city, as a free woman after serving four years in an Italian jail for the murder of English student Meredith Kercher.
After dramatically being cleared of the murder in court on Monday, Amanda Knox touched down at Seattle-Tacoma airport to rapturous applause at just after 5:00 p.m. local time.
Amanda Knox made an emotional thank you speech from the airport, addressing all those who stood by her since her murder conviction and saying: “Thank you for being there for me”.
“I’m really overwhelmed right now. I was looking down from the aeroplane, I felt like it wasn’t real.
“Thank you for everyone who has believed in me, who has defended me, who has supported my family.
“I just want – my family’s the most important thing to me… Thank you for being there for me.”
Amanda Knox and her family during a brief news conference shortly after her arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Amanda Knox and her family headed home for an intimate celebration, with a party believed to have been organized because she never properly got to celebrate her 21st birthday.
Amanda Knox has been planning her home-coming celebration in detail since the early days of her incarceration, drawing up an exhaustive list of things she wants to do now she is finally free.
Notes from the diary that detectives encouraged Amanda Knox to keep reveal the extensive plans she had made, and even the list of 42 guests.
Taking pride of place will have been Amanda Knox’s maths teacher, mother and stepfather, Chris Mellas, her father Curt, a financial executive, and his wife Cassandra, plus her sister Deanna, 22, and stepsisters Ashley, 16, and Delaney, 13, all of whom were at court on Monday and led the cheering.
Amanda Knox supporters at Seattle-Tacoma Airport
Amanda Knox now also hopes to be reunited with David Johnsrud, the boyfriend with whom she broke up when they left the University of Washington to travel on exchange programmes, he to China, she to Perugia.
Amanda Knox’s father, that he initially thought his daughter had again been found guilty of murder, arrived home at around 6:00 p.m. yesterday evening in a taxi with family members, not including Amanda or her mother.
Speaking outside his home in Seattle, Curt Knox revealed Amanda wants to enjoy simple pleasures, such as lying on a grassy field, before completing the degree she never got to finish while incarcerated in Italy.
“She’s overwhelmed,” he said.
“She’s been in prison for almost four years and to be able to get out and just try to get back home and get back here where she grew up and everything was just very overwhelming to her.
“The first things [Amanda will do] I think will be some of the simplest things like you know laying down in some grass. She’s been in a concrete steal prison for four years and the simplest things you take for granted she hasn’t had. So probably something as simple as that and then she’ll try to just start re-adjusting, reconnecting with all of her friends and family and stuff like that.”
Asked about their plans for the evening, Curt Knox said:
“It’s mainly really just be with her family and that’s what she’s wanted to be doing for four years now. She’s not at her mum’s house. She needs some space and that’s the way it’s going to be.”
Amanda Knox is now hoping to finish her degree at the University of Washington which was interrupted by her Italian ordeal.
“That’s going to be one of her goals, getting her diploma for the university hopefully. That’s probably where she’ll start. I think this experience is going to possibly change what she wants to do with her life and that’s still to be determined from her,” Amanda Knox’s father said.
“I’m not going to say she’s enrolling tomorrow by any means but I suspect that’s where she is going to finish her degree, yes.”
When asked what Amanda Knox first said to him after being freed, he said: “That she loved us. She pretty much squished the air out of us when we were hugging her and stuff like that. It was really nice.”
Amanda Knox’s ex-boyfriend David Johnsrud, who she affectionately called “DJ”, exchanged daily letters with her during some of the time she was in prison and has always maintained her innocence, leaving open the possibility of a reconciliation.
Amanda Knox will not, however, be reunited with her beloved pet Labrador Ralphie, her grandmother, Elisabeth Huff, revealed because he died while she was in prison.
Amanda Knox's family home in Seattle, where a giant “Welcome Home” banner hangs by the front door
Amanda Knox, who is set to make millions in TV, magazine, newspaper and book deals now that she is home, is said to have been anxious as she was taken to the airport police station yesterday morning to sign various forms – even calling her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova to check everything was fine for her to go through immigration and board the British Airways flight.
Shortly after Amanda Knox’s plane took off, Italian public prosecutor Giuliano Mignini announced his intention to take her case to a third and final appeal and described the decision to free her as a “massive mistake”.
Appeals judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman will write a report within the next 90 days on why he and the jury came to their decision. This will be poured over by prosecutors to see on what grounds they can launch their appeal – which is unlikely to be heard until next year.
The panel of judges in Rome will then look at paperwork from the case and decide if there were any mistakes in the application of the law and if the case should be reopened.
Even though Italy could in theory ask for Amanda Knox extradition it is thought unlikely that the U.S. would hand her over.
Meanwhile Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox’s former boyfriend who was jailed with her and also freed yesterday, arrived back home, near the southern Italian city of Bari.
Raffaelle Sollecito was quoted by Italian news agencies saying he was looking forward to seeing the sea, but he declined to make any appearances after reaching home.
Amanda Knox is prepared to fly back to the U.S. today after being dramatically cleared of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
Amanda Knox, 24, was taken to the airport police station to sign various forms – even anxiously calling her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova to check everything was fine for her to go through immigration and board the British Airways flight to Seattle via London Heathrow.
Amanda Knox tried her best to stay out of view as she arrived at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and tried to avoid journalists waiting for her outside since dawn.
Amanda Knox smiles at other passengers at Leonardo Da Vinci airport in Fiumicino this morning before boarding a flight to Seattle via London
Carlo Dalla Vedova said:
“I spoke with her briefly. She was a bit worried about going through immigration and although her passport was valid she was still a little anxious as she was held in the airport police station for paperwork procedures.
“She was calm, serene and looking forward to going home and just spending time with her friends and family. She wants to get on with her life.
‘She is a clever and intelligent girl who has been through a lot – one day in prison is bad enough but four years is even worse.”
While waiting for their flight Amanda Knox’s parents were in the VIP lounge at Fiumicino Airport and they were then joined by her who onlookers described was “looking tired and drawn”.
The family had been driven to Rome from Perugia late last night in two black Mercedes one a people carrier which had been provided by the Italo-American Foundation whose president MP Rocco Girlanda had written a book about Amanda Knox in prison and campaigned for her innocence.
Corrado Maria Daclon, a spokesman for the foundation, said:
“Amanda is really very exhausted after spending four years in prison. We hugged each other warmly as she was let out.
“She also asked me to thank the Italian public who have supported her publicly throughout her ordeal.
“She said she could not have coped with being unjustly jailed for four years if it had not been for their support – they gave her strength and always said they believed in her innocence.
“I have remained silent throughout this affair but now someone needs to shoulder the responsibility for what happened.
“This has been one of the most serious errors of justice that we have had in our country and we have had many.”
Amanda Knox talks to British Airways staff as she prepares to put baggage on to the flight
Amanda Knox’s lawyer also spoke of this and said:
“This case should never have come to court. Will there be an investigation? I doubt it.
“Amanda will now have some time in Seattle and then get on with her life and her family will also want to get back to theirs.”
Before she left Italy, Amanda Knox said she felt “no bitterness” towards the country that had kept her in jail for four years.
Amanda Knox is looking at a lucrative future with million-dollar TV and book deal offers.
But the family of the victim Meredith Kercher, 21, remained stunned by the verdict and searching for answers.
A raging fire at Magnablend Chemical Plant in Waxahachie, south of Dallas, sent black smoke billowing into the sky and prompted area schools to evacuate students.
Officials at the scene told WFAA-TV there are contaminates in the air that are dangerous to breathe in as a result of the fire.
Huge orange flames and plumes of smoke were seen at the Magnablend Chemical Plant facility in Waxahachie, about 30 miles south of Dallas.
Several large explosions were also reported from the facility.
Giant plumes of noxious smoke, which could be seen for miles, rise from the Magnablend Chemical Plant, not far from houses and apartments on Highway 287 Bypass in Texas
Ellis County emergency management authorities issued an evacuation order for an apartment complex, an elementary school and a junior college.
Waxahachie Independent School District spokeswoman Nicole Mansell said Wedgeworth Elementary School students had been safely bussed to another school’s gymnasium by 12:25pm.
Navarro College cancelled all classes for its 2,500 or so students, school president Dr. Richard Sanchez told the Star-Telegram.
Sheriff’s officials urged residents not to drive toward the area of the fire.
In addition, area residents are being told to stay inside their homes – and to keep doors and windows shut.
Jessenia Colin, an assistant general manager at a nearby Hampton Inn and Suites, said hotel staff members were turning off air vents so smoke and chemicals didn’t enter the rooms.
As they waited for news and watched the smoke billow, staff covered their mouths to protect against the heavy chemical smell that hung in the air, she said.
Jessenia Colin said: “It smells like a whole bunch of chemicals, like wrappers burning. It’s making everyone’s heads hurt.”
Stephanie Otto said she was preparing her new restaurant for a Tuesday opening about a quarter-mile from the plant when she heard sirens and walked outside to see a “huge plume.” She said she could hear what sounded like gun shots for about 15 minutes, and there was a strong smell of ammonia.
Stephanie Otto said: “It was huge. It looked like an atomic bomb went off.”
Lisa Wheeler, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality spokeswoman said that the plant deals with ammonia, as well as sulfuric, hydrochloric, nitric and phosphoric acids.
It mixes the chemicals for fertilizer and agricultural products.
From Interstate 35E just south of Interstate 20, close to Dallas, a giant plume of smoke can be seen rising from the Magnablend chemical processing plant in Waxahachie, Texas
Waxahachie Police Lt. Joe Wiser tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram no injuries have been reported since the fire was reported at 10:40 a.m.
Images from WFAA-TV show the fast-moving fire engulfing a fire truck at the scene as firefighters nearby battle the blaze.
Magnablend Chemical Plant official Donald Golden told the station:
“My main concern when I got here was ensuring that everyone got out of the plant and were accounted for, which they are, everyone is safe at this time.
“That was the best news I got so far. Now, were just waiting to hear from the fire department as they respond to the fire.”
Magnablend’s website says it’s a chemical manufacturing company that makes custom chemicals for industries ranging from oil fields to industrial cleaning.
Amanda Knox was released from prison this evening after an appeal court overturned her murder conviction.
Amanda Knox, 24, burst into tears and hugged her parents Curt Knox and Edda Mellas – as just feet away the family of Meredith Kercher could only look on in amazement.
Amanda Knox has served four years of a 26-year prison sentence after being found guilty in 2009 of the brutal sex murder of Meredith Kercher, 21, who was found semi naked with her throat cut in her bedroom of the house she shared in Perugia, Italy.
Amanda Knox bursts into tears after she was sensationally cleared of the murder of Meredith Kercher
Computer studies graduate Raffaele Sollecito, 27, Amanda Knox ex-lover, who had also been accused of carrying out the murder, was also freed by the eight member jury after 11-hours of deliberations.
Amanda Knox was actually found guilty of slandering bar owner Diya “Patrick” Lumumba who she accused of carrying out the killing. She was sentenced to three years in jail – but as she had already served four years she was freed immediately.
Amanda Knox who had arrived to the hearing looking breathless and pale seemed to struggle to her feet as she was quickly led from the court room by Italian officials.
Amanda is now looking at the possibility of a swift return to America – possibly on a private jet provided by a television network.
Speaking outside the court following the verdict, Amanda Knox’s sister Deanna said:
“We are thankful that the nightmare is over. She suffered for four years for a crime she did not commit.”
Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox ex-lover, who had also been accused of carrying out the murder, was also freed
Deanna Knox also thanked the Italian lawyers who had conducted the case and who “loved her”.
“We are thankful for the support from all over the world, people who took the time and trouble to research the case and knew that she was innocent.
“We are thankful to the court for having courage to look for the truth.
“We now ask for privacy and a chance to recover from our ordeal.”
“We’ve been waiting for this for four years,” said one of Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers, Giulia Bongiorno
However, the verdict was not universally welcomed.
Outside the court there were screams of “shame on you” which appeared to be directed at lawyer Giulia Bongiorno.
One bystander shouted: “Run off back to America on your private jet,” while another said: “They just let the black man pay.”
Sky News reported rumors that American TV network had laid on a private plane as part of a potential a $1million deal with a guarantee of an interview.
Prosecutors now have to decide if they will appeal the acquittal to Italy’s highest court. There was no word late this evening if they planned to do so.
The Knox family’s delight contrasts sharply with the emotions of Meredith Kercher loved ones.
Meredith’ sister, Stephanie Kercher, who was in Perugia with her mother and brother for the verdict, lamented that her sister ‘has been nearly forgotten”.
“We want to keep her memory alive,” Stephanie said after the verdict which means that four years on from the brutal murder of the 21-year-old her family still have no clear picture of what happened.
At the first trial in 2009, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had been convicted after the court heard they had carried out the crime with the aid of a third man Ivory Coast drifter Rudy Guede, 24.
The appeal however overturned this and ruled that he carried out on his own but key to the verdict was an independent court ordered report into hotly disputed DNA evidence.
Two forensic professors from Rome’s La Sapienza University Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti had poured scorn on the original police forensic investigation of the crime scene producing a damning conclusion of techniques and methods used.
Key to the case was a 12 inches kitchen knife retrieved in Raffaele Sollecito’s flat and on which the original trial heard was found DNA from Meredith on the blade and that of Amanda Knox on the handle.
Prosecutors confusingly said it was “not incompatible” with the murder weapon – which has never been found – while defense teams argued it was too big to have caused the wounds on Meredith Kercher’s throat.
In addition the report also said that no blood was found on it and the DNA of Meredith Kercher was so low is should be ruled inadmissible – in fact there was such a small amount it could not even be retested.
They were also critical of results reached from tests on a clasp from Meredith’ s bloodied bra which was not collected from the murder scene and analyzed until 46 days after Meredith Kercher was killed.
Meredith Kercher was found semi-naked with her throat slashed in a bedroom in the house she shared with Amanda Knox and two other women
To highlight the farcical way police carried out the investigation the experts showed footage of the way the forensic officers collected the evidence and there was gasps of amazement as more than 50 errors were pointed out.
The team was seen picking up the clasp with dirty gloves – instead of tweezers – and then placing it in a plastic bag when the recognized international procedure is a paper one.
They were then seen handing it to each other from glove to glove, placing it back on the floor in a different place from where it was found and then picking it up again.
Professors Conti and Vecchiotti said that this also made it highly likely that it had been contaminated and then they also revealed how they had been unable to retest the clasp because it had rotted away after being wrongly kept in the forensic lab in Rome.
Prosecutors lame arguments that the experts had no professional experience and that their findings were unqualified and unreliable, were ignored by the judge and jury.
Today prosecutors said they would appeal the decision and take the case to the Supreme Court in Rome but in the meantime Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito will be free and they do not even have to show up for the case.
Meredith Kercher crime scene photo
The Supreme Court judges will simply examine all the documentary evidence and see if there is a valid point of law which can be used to overturn the appeal court’s ruling.
If they do not find any cause then the decision to release Amanda Knox will be confirmed while if they do find a justifiable reason then the case will be sent for a fresh trial leaving open the possibility of an extradition request from Italy for Knox.
November 2, 2007: Body of Meredith Kercher is found in Perugia apartment. Investigators say she was killed the night before.
November 6, 2007: Amanda Knox is arrested with then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, and Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, Congolese owner of pub where Knox occasionally worked.
November 20, 2007: Lumumba, implicated by Amanda Knox statements to police, is released from jail for lack of evidence.
December 6, 2007: Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede is extradited from Germany, where he was arrested, and jailed upon arrival in Italy.
December 14, 2007: Meredith Kercher is laid to rest after funeral in London.
October 28, 2008: Judge indicts Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito on murder and sexual assault charges. Rudy Guede, who was granted a fast-track trial, is convicted of murder and sexual assault and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
January 16, 2009: Trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito opens in Perugia.
June 12, 2009: Amanda Knox takes stand; tells court she was shocked by Meredith’s death, offers alibi and says police beat her into making false statements.
December 4, 2009: Court finds Amanda Knox guilty of murder and sexual assault; sentences her to 26 years in prison. Raffaele Sollecito is convicted of same charges and sentenced to 25 years.
December 22, 2009: Appeals court upholds Rudy Guede conviction and cuts sentence to 16 years.
November 8, 2010: Judge orders Amanda Knox to stand trial on slander charges for claiming police beating.
November 24, 2010: Appeals trial for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito opens in Perugia.
December 16, 2010: Italy’s highest criminal court upholds Guede’s conviction and 16-year prison sentence.
June 29, 2011: Independent forensic report ordered by appeals court finds much of the DNA evidence used to convict Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is unreliable.
October 3, 2011: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are freed after appeals court overturns conviction for murder.
For many years, British passport applicants have been required to provide details of their mother and father; now, after pressure from the gay rights group lobby, the new PC passports will be given the option of naming “parent 1” and “parent 2”.
The change, which is due to take place by December 2011, has been made following claims the original form was “discriminatory” and failed to include same-sex couples looking after a child.
It has led to claims the official travel document is being turned into a “PC passport”.
Campaigners for family values said the move “denigrated” the roles of parents bringing up children in traditional families.
Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said:
“Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable but have quite distinct roles to play in the care and nurture of their children.
“To speak of <<parent 1>> and <<parent 2>> denigrates the place of both fathers and mothers.
“Much as the equality and diversity social engineers might wish it were otherwise, it still takes a father and a mother to produce a child.”
The decision follows the revelation last month that details of the holder’s sex could be erased from all passports to spare transgender people from embarrassment.
The new PC passport changes follow lobby activity from gay groups
The latest shift follows lobbying from gay rights groups, who argue that the current passport application form fails to recognize same-sex couples who are both officially registered as a child’s parents.
The Home Office “Diversity Strategy” states: “IPS [the Identity and Passport Service] is working with Stonewall [the gay rights group] in response to an issue about having to name a “mother” and “father” on the passport application form.”
Gay couples are registered as the official parents of any child they adopt. Those who use surrogate mothers must apply to the courts for a “parental order” in order to be recognized as a child’s official parents.
Similar changes have been made in recent months to passport application forms in the U.S., outraging traditional family groups and religious conservatives.
British officials accepted that the move was made following lobbying from gay rights groups who claimed it was discriminatory.
A spokesman for the UK Identity and Passport Service insisted it was necessary to incorporate same-sex parents on the form so that accurate information is collected.
“IPS is planning to amend the application form and associated guidance to deal with same-sex parents applying for a passport on behalf of a child.
“Currently, the application form provides the relevant boxes of <<mother>> and <<father>> to be completed.
“The new form to be introduced by December 2011 will in addition provide for <<parent 1>> and <<parent 2>>.
“It is essential that any parent provides the necessary information on their status as parents or guardians when applying for a passport on behalf of their child.
“This protects the interests of the child and ensures that IPS is able to issue passports securely and safely to the right person.
“The passport application form is therefore being updated to incorporate same-sex parents.”
Gay lobbyists and politicians have long claimed that 10% of the population is homosexual, but figures from the Office for National Statistics in UK suggest that this is a wild exaggeration.
According to the Integrated Household Survey, homosexuals and bisexuals make up only 1.5% of the population.
1% said they were gay or lesbian, while 0.5% said they were bisexual.
More men than women declared themselves homosexual, with 1.3% of men saying they were gay compared with 0.6% of women who described themselves as lesbian.
94% said they were heterosexual, 4.3% declined to answer the question or said they did not know, and 0.4% said their sexuality was “other”.
Amanda Knox made a dramatic plea for her freedom in a tearful way as she addressed the judge and jury today in her appeal trial and told them: “I did not kill, I did not rape, I did not steal.”
Amanda Knox, 24, spoke for just over ten minutes and needed to pause frequently for breath, at one point the judge asked her if she wanted to speak sitting down.
But Amanda Knox, who is fighting to avoid a possible life sentence, turned down his offer and after a gentle encouraging squeeze of her hand from her lawyer Luciano Ghirga she addressed the court.
Speaking in Italian, Amanda Knox pleaded her innocence for the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher and said:
“Esteemed people of the court, it has been said many times that I am a person different than what I am.
“I am the same person I was four years ago, the same person, the only thing that distinguishes me from four years ago is the four years that I have suffered.
“In four years I have lost a friend in a brutal and unexplained way. My faith in the police has been betrayed. I have had to face accusations, injustice and suggestions without foundation and I am paying for my life for something that I did not do.”
Tearful Amanda Knox in the court room in Perugia, Italy, this morning on the final day of her appeal
“I am not what they say I am. I am not perverse, violent, disrespectful towards life, people, these things do not apply to me and I have not done the things that have been suggested.
“I did not kill, I did not rape, I did not steal. I was not there. I was not present at this crime.”
According to court watchers who have been covering the trial, her plead was a powerful delivery and much better than the one Amanda Knox had made at her original trial two years ago when she confused the court by saying she did not want the “mask of an assassin forced upon me”.
Crucially for her this time Amanda Knox also said that she did not kill Meredith Kercher – something she failed to do at her original trial and as she spoke her parents, Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, were in tears.
As Amanda Knox spoke there was complete silence in court and the packed chamber listened intently to her who added:
“I had never faced such tragedy, suffering, I didn’t know how to tackle it, how to interpret it.
“When we learnt Meredith was dead, we just could not believe it. How was this possible ?
“Then I felt scared. A person who I was sharing my life with, who had the bedroom next to me, she was killed in our house and if I was there that night I could have been killed.
“I wasn’t there. I was at Raffaele’s.”
Police asked the media to leave the court room this morning before Amanda Knox hearing began
Amanda Knox then criticized the police who had questioned her that night. She said: “I had a sense of duty towards justice, the authorities who I put my trust in.
“They were there to find the guilty and to protect us. I put my faith in them absolutely.
“I made myself available for them in those days but I was betrayed – the night of 5/6 November I was pressured, stressed and manipulated.”
Amanda Knox has already told the court how she was questioned for 14 hours without a lawyer or an interpreter and was even cuffed twice around the back of the head by police as they demanded answers from her.
Her version of the events that evening is crucial to the appeal as prosecutors say Amanda admitted being on the scene and had also provided – wrongly – the name of bar man Patrick Lumumba who was wrongly arrested and held in jail for two weeks before being freed.
Amanda Knox also insisted that despite prosecution claims she did not know Rudy Guede who has already been convicted of the murder and added: “I have never done what they say I have done, it is not as they say it was.”
“I had a good relationship with all my flatmates. I was messy, carefree but we had a good relationship we were all ready to help each other.
“I shared my life with Meredith, we had a friendship, she was worried for me when I went to work, she was always gentle with me.
“Meredith was killed and I have always wanted justice for her. I am not fleeing from the truth and have never fled. I insist on the truth. I insist after four desperate years for our innocence because it is true. It deserves to be recognized.
“I want to go home. I want to return to my life, I don’t want to be punished and deprived of my life, future for something I have not done because I am innocent, Raffaele is also innocent.
“We deserve our freedom. We have never done anything not to deserve it.”
Earlier in his declaration Raffaele Sollecito had spoken and had told the court:
“I have so much to say but I don’t think I have enough time. I just want to tell the court how much I have been suffering.
“I just want to say i never hurt anyone, never in my life,”. He added: “I hoped that this would have all been cleared in a short time – instead it did not happen this way.”
Raffaele Sollecito paused several times and took several sips of water as he spoke and said: “Amanda and I have been in jail for 1,400 days. These 1,400 days have been spent 20 hours a day in a space 2.5m by 3m – it’s difficult to imagine that situation.”
Then turning to the night of Meredith’s murder Raffaele Sollecito said: “I was in a beautiful situation. I was about to hand in my dissertation for my final degree.
“During that period I met Amanda Knox, she was beautiful, sunny, lively and sweet and that was supposed to be our first weekend together.”
Painting a romantic picture Sollecito said: “We were free that night. Our only aim that night was to have an evening of tenderness and cuddles. The other descriptions just did not happen. This was our simple desire.”
After Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had addressed the court judge Hellman also spoke sternly to the packed chamber and said: “We will now retire but I to ask you to reflect on something. This is a court room and not a football match there is no room for supporting when the verdict is read.
“Let’s remember that a beautiful girl was murderered and the lives of two other young people are in the balance. So I say again when the sentence is read, respect and silence. Having said that we will now retire and the verdict will not be before 8pm local.”
The final day of the 10-month appeal trial began with Amanda Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, making his final rebuttal, stressing how the investigation had been carried out in a climate of “hostility” towards his client.
Amanda Knox, 24, is serving 26 years for the brutal murder of British student Meredith Kercher, 21.
There are four possible outcomes for Amanda Knox today:
1. Conviction upheld and she serves remaining 22 years
2. Conviction upheld and sentence increased to life
3. Conviction upheld and sentence reduced
4. Conviction overturned and she is released from prison
Mary Bach, a Walmart shopper has successfully sued the retail giant after she was charged $1 instead of 98 cents for a pack of sausages.
Mary Bach, who has made a habit of taking Walmart to court, was angered when the chain’s store in Delmont, Pennsylvania made her pay $1 for a box of Banquet Brown ‘N Serve sausages, which had been priced at 98 cents.
Walmart argued new packaging caused a mix-up on the price, but Mary Bach, a consumer activist from Murrysville, claimed the overcharge was intentional.
Murrysville District Judge Charles Conway agreed with Mary Bach and ruled the store breached trade laws. The judge awarded Mary Bach $100 in damages, plus $80 in court costs, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
Mary Bach said the court battle was not about money, but principle
“This is the fifth lawsuit that I have now won against this store, this Delmont Walmart, for the same problem: practice of putting up a shelf tag that was lower than the price charged at the cash register,” Mary Bach told WPXI outside court.
“All this is for the scanner charge to correlate with the shelf tag or vice versa. I’m not telling them what price to charge for the item they’re selling.”
Mary Bach said she hopes her court case will ensure the error does not happen to any other costumers, no matter how small.
Mary Bach said the Walmart should be more careful in guaranteeing that prices listed on shelves match what prices scan at the register, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
“Walmart was wrong. They were overcharging customers. Even though it was a minimal amount, they were wrong,” Mary Bach told WPXI.
Mary Bach testified that on August 20 she picked up the sausages, which had a listed price of 98 cents, but was charged $1 when she reached the check-out.
Mary Bach was angered when Walmart made her pay $1 for a box of Banquet Brown 'N Serve sausages, which had been priced at 98 cents
“The clerk did everything right when I pointed out the error and refunded me the difference and noted the error,” Mary Bach said.
However, six days later, Mary Bach went back to the store to purchase more of the same sausages when the same thing happened, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
This time Mary Bach was not interested in a refund and she took the store to court.
Walmart attorney Timothy J. Nieman argued that Mary Bach, who has a reported 17-year history of legal battles over pricing faults, was not really shopping for groceries, but was looking for her next lawsuit.
“Never once have I been questioned by a cashier whether an item I’m purchasing is for my personal use or not,” Mary Bach said.
“Everything I buy is for my personal use.”
Mary Bach told the court her husband and grandchildren enjoy the sausages on a regular basis.
Mary Bach was overcharged two cents for sausages at the Delmont, Pennsylvania Walmart
Walmart spokesman Greg Rossiter told WPXI the company tried to refund the money to Mary Bach, but she refused. He said Walmart respectfully disagrees with the decision, and is considering its options.
Passengers from two flights landed at Boston Logan Airport were taken to hospital with head, back and neck injuries and burns last night after the aircraft they were on suffered extreme turbulence.
The two commercial aircraft landed in Boston after 18 passengers sustained injuries while in the sky.
A Lufthansa flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Munich was diverted to Boston after it experienced problems when it flew through the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia.
Flight 429, which had 245 passengers and 18 crew on board, was greeted by emergency crews as it landed at 11:45 pm.
Passengers at Boston Logan Airport were taken to hospital with head, back and neck injuries
“I saw the plane go down, down, down and I said, <<Oh my God, oh my God>>,” one passenger told local station WCVB.
The other aircraft, a Jet Blue flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Boston also landed at the airport with seven people injured.
Seven people were injured on flight 852, which had 130 passengers and five crew members.
Six of the people injured had head, back and neck injuries. One people had been burned by coffee.
The 852 flight landed at its intended destination of Boston around 10:00 pm, about 20 minutes ahead of schedule, according to the airline’s website.
“I thought, <<Oh my God, this could be it>>. But it didn’t last that long. It was quite a surprise,” one female passenger told WCVB.
“I had the coffee jump everywhere. We started screaming. Oh my God, so scary,” another female passenger told the station.
Phil Orlandella, spokesman for the Boston Logan Airport, said he did not know the extent of the injuries on the Lufthansa flight.
The anti-corporate protest – Occupy movement – which began in New York City two weeks ago, have spread across US, with demonstrations occurring in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Denver and Seattle.
Sparked by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has seen thousands of protesters camped out in New York’s Financial District for the past two weeks, mass gatherings have started nationwide, with the unified purpose of voicing anger at the U.S. banking and political systems.
The protests against corporate America in New York City entered its fifteenth day today, as the city’s residents began to increasingly feel the effect of a mass gathering that began as little more than a dozen students.
In Los Angeles, several hundred protesters marched from Pershing Square to City Hall on Saturday, and said they would remain camped at the site “indefinitely”, like their New York counterparts.
Organized by a group called Occupy LA, the demonstrators echoed the refrain begun by those on the East Coast, saying they hoped to change economic polices that benefit the richest 1% of Americans.
“Occupy LA” protesters marched from Pershing Square to City Hall on Saturday, and said they would remain camped at the site “indefinitely”, like their New York counterparts
Demonstrators waved signs, including one that read “The Banks Ate My Baby”, and chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, corporate welfare’s got to go”, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“In the end, what we want to do is inspire working-class people to get involved in the political process,” Adam Liszkiewics, a 32-year-old USC graduate student, told the Los Angeles Times.
The Occupy Boston movement appears the most well-developed of the off-shoot protests, with a sizeable camp, featuring tents, medical supplies and even wi-fi, setting up at Dewey Square, across from the Federal Reserve building.
Tactical groups have been formed, covering legal affairs, food and media outreach, and a crowd in the spot had reached nearly 1,000 on Friday night on the first day of protest, the Boston Herald reported.
Key organizers said they had been to New York to learn from the protests. Matthew Krawitz, an unemployed I.T. expert, told how he had been in Manhattan for the first day of the demonstrations there and wanted to replicate the scene in Boston.
“Occupy Boston” demonstrators camping outside the Federal Reserve building
There were other protests in the city over the weekend, including one outside the Bank of America aimed at expressing people’s anger at foreclosures and the announcement the bank will charge customers $5 a month to use debit cards to access their own money. It resulted in 24 arrests.
President Barack Obama’s old stomping ground has been gripped by the “Occupy” movement as well. A group of activists have gathered in front of the Federal Reserve Bank Chicago as part of a rally to protest against poverty and unemployment in the U.S.
The Chicago sit-in began on September 23 with a march from Willis Tower to the bank, the Chicago Tribune reported, with some protesters calling it their Tahrir Square, in reference to the Egyptian capital Cairo.
Demonstrators hold signs across from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on Friday
One demonstrator, Emilio Baez, told Press TV the protest is a “direct call to working people worldwide”.
“This is our Tahrir Square,” he said of the spot which led to a revolution in the African country. “We’ll stay here for months if we have to.”
Meanwhile, more than 100 people turned out for Occupy Seattle on Saturday, with protesters waving signs and mingling peacefully with police.
The demonstrators, however, are only beginning to coalesce and they acknowledge that they need to clarify their goals. Like their New York counterparts, the protesters are seeking for a place in Seattle’s financial district to camp out for the winter.
“Occupy” protests in Seattle
Denver had its first protest on Saturday, with demonstrators telling 9News that they are a leaderless resistance movement of people who will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of Wall Street.
“Occupy” protests in Denver
Further “Occupy” protests are planned for San Francisco, Washington DC, Phoenix and Albuquerque.
In New York, the protesters, who have been camping out in Manhattan’s Financial District, say their movement has grown and become more organized over the last couple of weeks and they have no intention of stopping.
The Occupy Wall Street demonstration started out small, with less than a dozen college students, but has grown to include thousands of people in communities across the country.
Now entering its third week in Manhattan, those spending their days and nights at Zuccotti Park said they’re going to stay as long as they can.
Yesterday, the Brooklyn Bridge was shut down and more than 700 people arrested after protesters camping out near Wall Street spilled onto the New York landmark and blocked traffic.
Around 1,500 protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge in New York during an Occupy Wall Street protest
In a tense showdown, police took swift action – cuffing and dragging hundreds to the sidings – after many of the protesters risked being hit by cars by moving from the walkway on to the road.
A large group of marchers, who are rallying against corporate greed, broke off from others on the bridge’s pedestrian walkway and headed across the Brooklyn-bound lanes.
In two separate videos released by police, officers are heard warning protesters that they will be arrested if they strayed from the path and onto the roadway.
A police captain is heard saying: “I’m ordering you to leave this roadway now. If you do so voluntarily, no charges will be placed against you. If you refuse to leave, you’ll be placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct. If you do not wish to be arrested, you must leave this area now.”
The videos emerged as a film of protesters coming face to face with the subjects of their ire attracted more than 230,000 views on YouTube.
The first “hands-free” pedestrian crossing will be launched in UK, so that devout Jews do not have to break a religious law that prohibits them from using electricity or operating machinery on the Sabbath.
As the crossing is near a busy synagogue, pressing a button to operate it is considered a breach of the strict rules that apply to Orthodox Jews.
Traffic will be held every 90 seconds from Friday evening until nightfall on Saturday, covering the Jewish Sabbath period.
The first automatic crossing will be placed on one of London’s busiest roads, the North Circular at the Henlys Corner junction.
But planners insist it will not cause traffic chaos.
The first “hands-free” pedestrian crossing will be launched in UK, so that devout Jews do not have to break a religious law that prohibits them from using electricity or operating machinery on the Sabbath
The new “hands-free” system will come into operation in December when the junction fully reopens after a massive ten-month upgrade costing $12 million (£8 million).
The decision to include automatic crossings was taken after leaders at Finchley United Synagogue explained their predicament to staff at Transport for London, which is responsible for maintaining main roads in the capital.
Transport for London (TfL) says the “hands-free” green man has not added to the cost of improvements.
A TfL spokesman said: “We always consult with the community over major road projects. This idea was suggested by the synagogue, whose members asked if it could be done. We thought about it and came to the conclusion that it could.”
No one at the synagogue was available for comment because of the Jewish New Year. But someone from the congregation said: “This is a sensible idea that will make a real difference.”
The move follows the controversial formation of an eruv – a boundary recognized by Jewish law within which certain activities are permitted – in the same part of North London.
Although observant Jews are allowed to carry household objects such as door keys, and to push prams and wheelchairs within the six-square-mile area, they are still banned from using electricity.
Dressed in their underwear, protesters have taken the streets of New York today after it emerged the NYPD were warning women in Brooklyn to cover up in the face of sex attacks.
The “slutwalk” protest comes a day after women in Park Slope were warned by police short skirts should not be worn and shorts that show too much leg have been deemed inappropriate.
Protesters have taken the streets of New York today after it emerged the NYPD were warning women in Brooklyn to cover up in the face of sex attacks
On today’s march the protesters chanted “No means no – however we dress, wherever we go.”
Speaking to the New York Post, organizer Sammy Lifson, 21, said:
“The cops in Park Slope have really stepped up their presence and they’re trying to be helpful.
“But to focus on women isn’t going to help catch the perpetrator.”
The international series of protests known as SlutWalks, sparked by a Toronto police officer’s flippant comment that women should avoid dressing like “sluts” to avoid being raped or victimized, is taking root in the United States.
Some women and men who protest dress in nothing more remarkable than jeans and T-shirts, while others wear provocative or revealing outfits to bring attention to “slut-shaming”, or shaming women for being sexual, and the treatment of sexual assault victims.
The police officer made his comments in January to a group of York University students at a safety forum.
He later apologized, but his comments were publicized widely on Facebook and Twitter.
The police officer comments inspired a march in Toronto that drew more than 3,000 people, as well as SlutWalks since then in Dallas, Asheville, North Carolina, and Ottawa, Ontario.
The movement has since spread around the world, with slut walks organized in several countries.
The SlutWalk march was organized after a NYPD officer “advised” women not to wear short skirts after at least 10 unsolved sexual attacks have occured
Yesterday’s “advice” was given out in response to at least 10 unsolved sexual attacks that have taken place in the area since March.
But in Park Slope, which is famous for being liberal and feminist, the campaign has provoked fury.
Jessica Silk, founder of neighbourhood watch group Safe Slope, told the Wall Street Journal that such a measure was “completely inappropriate”.
One of the women who had been spoken to, who identified herself only as Lauren, told how she was three block from her home when she was stopped for wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
She claimed a cop asked to speak to her then did the same to two other women wearing dresses.
Some protesters at SlutWalk wore jeans and t-shirts, others dressed more provocatively
Lauren, 25, claimed he asked if she knew about the sex attacks and when they all replied yes he “pointed at my outfit and said, <<Don’t you think your shorts are a little short?>>”
“He pointed at their dresses and said they were showing a lot of skin,” she said.
Lauren claimed the cop said such clothes could make the rapist think he could get “easy access”.
The officer then said that they were “exactly the kind of girl this guy is targeting”.
A teenager is reportedly in a coma after falling off a skateboard whilst filming himself for an appearance on Anderson Cooper’s new show.
A producer for the daytime programme “Anderson” allegedly encouraged the boy to record his wild behavior for a show on the teenage mind.
Anderson Cooper, who has only been hosting the show for three weeks, is “very saddened” by the incident and is praying for the boy and his family.
Anderson Cooper said he is “very saddened” by the teenager who is reportedly in a coma after falling off a skateboard whilst filming himself for the show
A representative for Anderson Cooper said producers had been working with the boy and his parents on the science behind the teenage brain.
“As part of our routine process, we ask guests for video footage and photos,” he told Gawker.
“We did not provide the family with a camera.”
On the morning the boy was supposed to travel to New York City, producers found out that he had been injured.
The teenager was encouraged by Anderson Cooper’s new show producer to “film the crazy stuff you do”, but suffered a severe head injury when falling from his skateboard, a source told Gawker.
The teenager was reportedly encouraged to “film the crazy stuff he does” but suffered a severe head injury when falling from his skateboard (file picture)
This left the teenager in a coma and the show never aired.
“I was very saddened to hear the news of this accident, and want to express my deepest concerns for the teenager who was injured,” Anderson Cooper told Gawker through a spokesman.
Anderson Cooper added that his “thoughts and prayers” are with the boy and his family.
Emmy-award winner Anderson Cooper is a Yale University graduate and joined CNN almost 10 years ago after working for ABC and Channel One News.
A football game between Los Angeles high school football rivals turned tragic when Angela Gettis, a cheerleader collapsed on the sideline and died.
Angela Gettis was briefly revived after passing out Friday at Fremont High School, according to LA Unified School District spokesman Tom Waldman.
The top student and member of the Reserve Officer Training Corp, Angela Gettis, who planned to go to college to study forensic sicence, was rushed to a hospital where she died about three hours later.
Cheerleader Angela Gettis, a student at Washington Prep High School, apparently suffered sudden cardiac arrest during a football game
Angela Gettis, a student at Washington Prep High School, apparently suffered sudden cardiac arrest, spokesman Tom Waldman said.
Washington Prep Principal Todd Ullah told KABC-TV that Angela Gettis was a good student and a leader on campus.
School district Superintendent John Deasy said Saturday that Angela Gettis was “a wonderful young lady” and added:
“It is a catastrophic loss for the school and for the community. My heart goes out to her family.”
Angela Kirkindoff, the student’s aunt said: “I just want people to remember the heart she had. She was very kind.”
A witness, Cameron Bonner, told City News Service the Washington Prep squad tied the game against Fremont in the fourth quarter when the cheerleader Angela Gettis collapsed.
Play was stopped as coaches and trainers ran to help the cheerleader Angela Gettis.
Cameron Bonner said: “They had just tied the game up, and the cheerleaders were pumped up.”
He added that Angela appeared “to just pass out”.
Bystanders performed CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
Angela Gettis was briefly revived after passing out on the sideline, but she died in a nearby hospital
“All of her friends were in a circle crying,” Cameron Bonner said.
Crisis counsellors will be at Washington Prep on Monday to help students and faculty deal with the death, Superintendent Deasy said.
An autopsy has been scheduled to find the exact cause of Angela Gettis’ death.
In a video clip from 1985, Princes William and Harry bang enthusiastically on the keys of a piano as they take part in a photo-shoot at Kensington Palace, enjoying family life in perfect harmony.
Watched on by a glowing Princess Diana and a proud Prince Charles, three-year-old Prince William is encouraged to kiss his one-year-old sibling, Prince Harry.
William and Harry were captured on film playing the piano, as they took part in a photo-shoot at Kensington Palace in 1985
William is at first reluctant, but then lands a cheeky smacker on Prince Harry’s head to cheers from onlookers before pulling quickly away.
At one point, their father, Prince Charles is seen playing peekaboo with a handkerchief to encourage his children to look in the right direction for the camera.
William kisses Harry's head, much to the delight of his parents and other onlookers
Just like any other youngsters, Princes William and Harry display an endearingly mischievous side – scampering away, hiding under tables and squirming out of their parents’ arms.
Prince Harry, who is just learning to walk, crawls over to photographer Tim Graham to get a closer look.
“Go on Harry, go get him!”, someone, possibly Diana, calls out from behind the video camera.
Princes William and Harry 26 years after, at Westminster Abbey before William’s marriage to Kate Middleton in April 2011
The children are joined by Charles and Diana for a selection of family snaps. The late Princess of Wales, Diana radiates as she sits on the floor next to her boys.
Prince William even helps his mother re-do her make up as he lovingly dabs her face with a powder pad.
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