dimanche 10 février 2013

Helicopter crash on California 'movie ranch' kills 3

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Three people died early Sunday when a helicopter went down on a Southern California property where movies are filmed, a federal aviation official said.
The crash occurred around 3:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. ET) at the Polsa Rosa Movie Ranch in Acton, on the northwestern edge of the Angeles National Forest about 30 miles north of Los Angeles.
The Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopter hit the ground "under unknown circumstances," Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said, who added that his agency and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
The three people killed were the only ones aboard, Kenitzer said, citing local authorities.
The 730-acre Polsa Rosa Movie Ranch contains a variety of settings for filming -- from a jungle to a mud pit to more desert terrain -- its website notes. Films shot there, at least in part, include "Red Dawn," "Adaptation," "Windtalkers" and "The Outsider," according to the Internet Movie Database.
Only one production -- which is referred to as an "Untitled Military Project -- currently has a permit to fly a helicopter in the northern part of Los Angeles, said Film LA spokesman Philip Sokoloski, whose non-profit agency provides permits for entertainment productions shot in the area.
But it is not immediately clear if the downed helicopter was part of this project or if it had anything to do with a television or film production.

Rolling Stones- Sympathy for the Devil (with lyrics)

Battle over blame after horse meat found in beef products

High-stakes lawsuits, overlapping investigations and a bitter battle over blame are spreading across Europe in the wake of a scandal that has rocked the meat industry.
Horse meat was discovered in products that are supposed to be 100% beef, sold in Sweden, the United Kingdom and France.
On Sunday, a major company under scrutiny called one of its suppliers a "villain" responsible for the fraud. The supplier, in turn, insisted it was "fooled" by a subsupplier.
While authorities say there is no immediate cause for health concerns, the discovery was a new shock to an industry already reeling from a bombshell last month when Irish investigators found horse and pig DNA in numerous hamburger products.
The blame chain
Swedish food producer Findus has been a focus of the uproar since it announced Thursday that it had withdrawn its lasagna from stores as a precaution. The products were pulled Monday after French supplier Comigel raised concerns about the type of meat that was used, Findus Sweden said.
Findus said a letter from Comigel dated February 2 informed Findus that the contamination may date back to August 2012.
Findus is only one of several companies that receive products from Comigel. Others include Axfood, Coop and ICA, which have recalled some meat products in Sweden, and Aldi, which has pulled some products from shelves in Britain.
Six big French retailers -- Auchan, Casino, Carrefour, Cora, Picard and Monoprix -- said Sunday that they were recalling lasagne and other products.
Findus Nordic, which oversees Findus throughout the Nordic region, said it has begun legal action against Comigel and its subsuppliers.
"We are only at the beginning of our legal process. Comigel will end up in a lot of legal processes going forward, I imagine," Findus Nordic CEO Jari Latvanen said Sunday in an interview with CNN. "Comigel is the villain."
Comigel has not responded to CNN's requests for comment. The company did not answer its phones when CNN called repeatedly, and did not respond to an e-mail request for comment. Neither did CEO Erick Lehagre.
But Lehagre told French news agency Agence France-Presse on Sunday that his company had been "fooled" by a French supplier. "We were victims," he said, according to AFP.
Comigel apparently took its website down, posting a sign that it is "under construction." Previously, the site described the company as offering a wide array of products through partners, including major European retailers.

mardi 5 février 2013

2nd-grader suspended over imaginary grenade

A seven-year-old boy was suspended from his elementary school for using an imaginary grenade while playing "Rescue the World" on the playground.
The story was featured on Fox 31 Denver. Second-grader Alex Evans pretended to throw a grenade into a box full of, in his words, "pretend evil forces."
"I pretended the box, there's something shaking in it, and I go pshhh," Alex explained.
Unfortunately for Alex, his exploits (heroic as they were) went against Mary Blair Elementary Schoolrules. Those rules include no fighting (real or pretend) and no weapons (real or pretend).
Alex's mom commented that she doesn't think the rule is practical. "Honestly I don’t think the rule is very realistic for kids this age,” Mandie Watkins said. "I think that when a child is trying to save the world, I don’t think he should be punished for it."
Alex is just as perplexed as his mom. "I was trying to save people and I just can’t believe I got dispended," he told Fox 31.
A similar incident took place last month in Pennsylvania when a fifth-grade girl was reprimanded by school officials for bringing a piece of paper in the shape of gun to class.

dimanche 3 février 2013

France protects Niger uranium mine

Niger has confirmed that French special forces are protecting one of the country's biggest uranium mines.
President Mahamadou Issoufou told French media that security was being tightened at the Arlit mine after the recent hostage crisis in Algeria.
French company Areva plays a major part in mining in Niger - the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium.
Islamist militants kidnapped five French workers from the mine in Arlit three years ago.
Four of them are still being held - along with three other French hostages - and it is believed they could be in the north of Mali close to where French troops are battling al-Qaeda-linked militants.
Asked if he could confirm that French special forces were guarding the uranium mine, President Issoufou told channel TV5: "Absolutely I can confirm.
"We decided, especially in light of what happened in Algeria... not to take risks and strengthen the protection of mining sites," he added.
France's Agence France-Presse news agency said a dozen French special forces reservists were strengthening security at the site.
Areva gets much of its uranium from the two mines it operates in the country, at Arlit and Imouraren.
Last month, at least 37 foreign workers were killed when Islamist militants seized a gas plant at In Amenas, eastern Algeria.