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News briefs:August 02, 2010
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Burst pipe probed in Utah refinery blast as questions asked over safety

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Federal investigators with the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) of the United States have declared that a recent explosion that damaged homes alongside a Woods Cross, Utah refinery was triggered when a pipe burst. The revelation comes as locals begin questioning the decision to build houses near the facility.

The explosion at the Silver Eagle refinery on Wednesday morning was the second next year, and blasted a fireball into the neighbourhood. Ten houses suffered damage including cracked foundations, roofs lifted off, doors and windows blown out and debris hurled into rooms. One resident, Linda Wood, has been told to leave her house, which lies condemned after it was knocked clear of its foundations and damaged structurally.

Two local emergency dispatch centers were clogged up as calls came through to the 911 emergency number. Firefighters arrived quickly and tackled the resulting blaze at the refinery after establishing that there were no injuries. The 1950s refinery was not evacuated and is expected to continue operating despite the damage. It employs 80 people.

Silver Eagle’s own firefighting crews were already in control when they were joined by the emergency services, and together they put the flames out in around thirty minutes. Woods Cross mayor Kent Perry said that over the last six months there have been a lot of improvements in local firefighting and praised the reaction of emergency services. Later, 120 residents were visited by structural engineers to assess damage. There were also power outages in the area, with two other refineries amongst those affected.

Silver Eagle had also sent employees on a firefighting course following another explosion in January. In that accident, a large cloud of flammable vapour developed over a tank of naptha before igniting, causing a flash fire that injured several employees. The firm has said they will pay for all the damages caused by the latest incident, and Perry advised affected people to keep track of expenses incurred.

As well as the CSB, Utah’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Silver Eagle themselves are investigating the accident. The CSB released preliminary findings yesterday that indicated a burst pipe was to blame, although the reasons for its failure are unknown.

A pipe ten inches in diameter burst along a horizontal section near a point where it changed direction from vertical. The pipe normally carried hydrogen and diesel and was linked to a reactor that took waxes out of diesel fuel, but due to maintenance by Silver Eagle the pipe was only transporting pressurised hydrogen. When it failed at 9:15 630 pounds of hydrogen spilled out and were ignited by a nearby furnace. The resulting 800 degrees Fahrenheit fireball leapt 100 feet into the air and sent a string of pressure waves to buffet the housing, as the pipe pointed east towards the homes.

The CSB’s Donald Holmstrom commented that “The unit was immediately engulfed in flames… We’re extremely fortunate that no one got hurt. Five workers were in this process unit just a few minutes before.” The revelations come as local residents expressed concern about the fact that houses were built so close to the refinery in the first place.

It has been discovered that there were no houses near the refinery until six years ago, when an application was denied after an engineer commissioned by the council reported that the risks were too high. However, the developer convinced officials to change their minds with a report by a company he had hired himself. The CSB is due to look into these studies as well as one by the refinery. An opinion piece by the Salt Lake Tribune also criticised the company’s safety record, with the refinery also experiencing explosions in 2005 and 2007. However, the refinery had recently passed a safety inspection when the accident occurred. The CSB will examine whether the refinery was properly inspecting the pipe.

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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‘Daybreak’ launches on ITV in UK

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‘Daybreak’ launches on ITV in UK

20 Feb

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Daybreak, a new breakfast show on ITV in the United Kingdom, launched on Monday at 0600 BST (0500 UTC). The show was hosted by Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles, both of whom previously presented The One Show on BBC One.

Opening the broadcast, Bleakley commented: “Dawn is happening, day is breaking behind us here, it’s a beautiful thing here behind us in the studio.” Chiles then commented: “The sun is up and thank goodness. We spent good money bringing you this view […] at least you can see it. Thank goodness for that.” On the website for The Guardian, Stuart Heritage stated that “[a]lthough it does seem like a continuation of GMTV rather than a bold reinvention, some of the new aspects of Daybreak have worked. Adrian and Christine have done reasonably well and the other new faces all seem like good additions.” The set for the programme features two purple sofas with a large round desk in between the sofas and a skyline of London in a backdrop.

The new programme was followed at 0830 BST (0730 UTC) by another new programme, entitled Lorraine — hosted by Lorraine Kelly — which was broadcast until 0925 BST (0825 UTC). Kelly stressed: “I’ve really missed you. I hope you like our new look and we’ve got a packed show for you today.” The Lorraine set contains a pink sofa, a pink armchair and a large round white desk. The two new programmes are the successors to GMTV — which had its last broadcast on Friday.

Previously, Alison Sharman, ITV Director of Factual and Daytime, explained: “Daybreak plays a key part in ITV’s ongoing transformation and reflects the fact that creative renewal lies at the heart of our schedule, which is being modernised and improved under Peter Fincham. We want to ensure that the core audience of housewives with children keep watching but are also determined to attract new viewers to our revitalised breakfast show. As we approach the next stage of this transformational journey our newly confirmed anchors — Christine and Adrian — will be the lynchpins of Daybreak with their unique and brilliant partnership.”

UEFA Champions League 2007/08: Group Stage Draw

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UEFA Champions League 2007/08: Group Stage Draw

19 Feb

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Monaco was the location for the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage draw. Before the draw took place there was a one minute silence in memory of Antonio Puerta who died earlier this week after collapsing during a La Liga match for Sevilla who then died on Tuesday, August 28. Due to this, Sevilla’s Champions League qualifier was postponed which resulted in them and AEK Athens being drawn together.

Manchester Utd will play AS Roma again, after beating them in the Final 16 last year, in Group F, whilst Celtic will meet the defending champions AC Milan in Group D. Celtic lost against Milan in the Final 16 last year but will hope to avenge them.

Scottish football club Rangers, how have yet to beat a Spanish side in the Champions League, will get to meet Barcelona in Group E. Rangers also have both the French champions and the German champions, Lyon and Stuttgart.

The full draw is as follows:

Group A
F.C. Porto
Be?ikta? J.K.
Group B
FC Schalke 04
Group C
Real Madrid
Werder Bremen
S.S. Lazio


Group D
AC Milan
Shakhtar Donetsk
Group E
Olympique Lyonnais
Group F
Manchester United
AS Roma
Sporting Lisbon
Dynamo Kyiv
Group G
Inter Milan
PSV Eindhoven
CSKA Moscow
Group H
Steaua Bucure?ti
Slavia Prague

Goalkeeper of the Year

Petr Cech

Defender of the Year

Paulo Maldini

Midfielder of the Year

Clarence Seedorf

Forward of the Year


UEFA Club Footballer of the Year 2007


Honda wins car, truck of the year, unveils Fit

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Honda wins car, truck of the year, unveils Fit

19 Feb

Monday, January 9, 2006

Honda’s Civic and Ridgeline truck won the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards at the International Auto Show in Detroit. This is the first time a company has won both awards in the same year. The finalists were the Ridgeline, the Ford Explorer SUV and the Nissan Xterra. The awards are intended to recognize vehicles for their innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value. File:Ford Explorer.jpg

Honda also unveiled its latest model the Fit, a US version of the Honda Jazz sold in nonUS markets. The Fit comes with a 109 horsepower engine, antilock brakes, six air bags, fold flat seats, full iPod connectivity, 90.1 cubic feet of passenger and cargo space, and 33 mpg for the city 38 mpg for the highway. A sport package will also include Honda’s first steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The car will go against another two new Japanese subcompacts, the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa and will have to wrestle away sales from the category’s current top seller Chevrolet’s Aveo.

The car will start selling in April for around $13,000 to $14,000 as a 2007 model. The company plans to sell 33,000 units of the hatchback in 2006.

Many automakers expect industry wide sales in the US to be between 16 and 17 million units. Honda, which is Japan’s third largest automaker, hopes to gain US market share with the redesigned Civic and the Fit. Honda hopes that the company’s auto sales will rise 4% this year. The fuel-efficient Civic helped increase US market share to 8.6 percent last year, some of those sales were taken from Ford as gas prices rocketed to $3 a gallon. The US market is extremely important for Honda as it receives 64% of its operating profit from the US.

Category:Science and technology

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Category:Science and technology

19 Feb

This is the category for science and technology.

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  • 7 February 2018: SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasts Elon Musk’s personal Tesla into solar orbit
  • 25 January 2018: Healthy cloned monkeys born in Shanghai
  • 17 January 2018: British surfers catch more than waves: Scientists find antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • 6 January 2018: Mysterious dimming of Tabby’s star likely due to space dust, not alien superstructures, say scientists
  • 30 December 2017: Belgium stops telegram services
  • 25 November 2017: Researchers report rapid formation of new bird species in Galápagos islands
  • 24 November 2017: Singapore announces driverless buses on public roads from 2022
  • 6 November 2017: U.S. government report says climate change is human-made
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Disney buys Pixar

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Disney buys Pixar

19 Feb

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Walt Disney Company has finalized a US$7.4 billion deal to acquire its long-time partner Pixar in an all stock buy-out. The deal will make Steve Jobs, current Pixar and Apple CEO, Disney’s largest shareholder with about 7% (valued at over $3.5 billion) and a member of the board of directors.

The merger was speculated all day Tuesday on the stock market and the announcement came just after trading closed for the day. Terms of the merger include Pixar’s John Lasseter becoming Disney’s new chief creative officer in charge of animation at the combined Disney-Pixar Animation Studios, as well as principal creative advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering, the unit of the company responsible for research and development of Disney theme parks worldwide.

Jobs purchased what became Pixar for $10 million in 1986 from George Lucas’s computer animation division at Lucasfilm. Toy Story, its first feature film came a decade later, and began a long string of animation hits, including Finding Nemo. Such successes proved to be increasingly elusive for Disney to manage on its own. The partnership between the two studios had become shaky in recent years, as former Disney head Michael Eisner clashed with Jobs over the renewal terms of their agreement. In 2003, prior to his dismissal from Disney, Eisner infuriated Pixar’s creative team by predicting Finding Nemo would be a failure. Steve Jobs broke off negotiations in January 2004, having told one executive previously, “I don’t see how the relationship can continue as long as Eisner is there.”

16-year-old arrested over alleged plot to hijack US airliner

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16-year-old arrested over alleged plot to hijack US airliner

18 Feb

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A 16-year-old male from Novato, California has been arrested in Tennessee over allegations he intended to hijack a commercial passenger airliner in the United States.

The boy, who was unnamed due to his age, was a passenger on board Southwest Airlines Flight 284 from Los Angeles to Nashville on Tuesday, with his parents reporting him missing at 11:30 am the same day. Although he remained calm throughout the flight and made no hijacking attempt, authorities report he had handcuffs, duct tape and yarn inside the aircraft cabin with him. Although his arrest was only made public on Friday, it is reported that he was detained immediately on reaching Nashville International Airport.

George Bolds, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that the items were “suspicious” and that the boy had informed the FBI he had indeed intended to hijack the aircraft. An FBI agent told reporters that he felt the plot was ill-conceived, saying “His plan had a low probability of success.”

The FBI also conducted a search of his home on Thursday, finding in his room “a photograph of the inside of a small aircraft, something you’d find in a bookstore.”

Subsequent to his arrest he pled guilty on Friday to a “delinquent act,” according to local officials. A juvenile court judge ordered him to be returned to California for continued perusal of that charge as well as others set to be made. He is currently in Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center in Nashville.

Authorities believe that the teen was suicidal, but the FBI dismissed earlier reports alleging that he intended to crash the airliner into a Hannah Montana concert in Lafayette, Louisiana.