6 more people found alive, well after Colo. floodsView gallery DAN ELLIOTT 11 hours ago DENVER (AP) — The final six people who were unaccounted for after massive flooding in Colorado have been found safe and well, authorities said Tuesday, but new spills were reported in water-damaged oilfields.Only one person remained missing and presumed dead. Eight deaths have been confirmed.It was a remarkable outcome after a disaster that damaged or destroyed nearly 2,000 homes, washed out hundreds of miles of roads and left many small mountain towns completely cut off.In the early days of the flooding, more than 1,200 people were listed as unaccounted for, but the list shrank quickly as people checked in after they were evacuated.Meanwhile, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said three new spills totaling at least 7,600 gallons had been discovered as flood waters recede. Regulators are now tracking 11 notable leaks totaling at least 34,500 gallons, mostly from storage tanks that toppled or otherwise failed.View gallery.”Four year old Elijah Obrien looks at his muddy basement which was damaged when recent floods swept t …Flooding has hampered attempts to inspect storm damage. Where crews can get to the sites, they are using containment booms and vacuum trucks to capture and remove oil-contaminated water, said Todd Hartman, a spokesman for the commission.Air National Guard helicopters have airlifted more than 3,000 people and nearly 900 pets to safety.”We are really happy that we were able to clear all the missing folks,” Larimer County sheriff’s spokesman John Schulz said, adding that deputies were saddened by the deaths.The woman who is missing and presumed dead is 60 and lived in hard-hit Big Thompson Canyon. Schulz said eyewitnesses saw the woman in the water, and searchers have found no trace of her. Her name hasn’t been released.The death toll was dramatically lower than the 144 people killed in 1976 when a flash flood thundered down Big Thompson Canyon. About a foot of rain fell at the head of the canyon in just four hours, triggering the deadliest flash flood in state history.View gallery.”(Photo courtesy of the Colorado National Guard) Water from the Big Thompson River chewed through thi …the difference was that this month’s floods, which started in earnest Sept. 12, arose over a period of days, giving most people time to get to safety, Schulz said.The National Weather Service said between 7 and 18 inches of rain fell over an eight-day span, primarily in Larimer and Boulder counties.Five of the final six people who were unaccounted for contacted authorities after their names were made public, Schulz said. Investigators found the sixth person after realizing they had been working from an incorrect spelling of his last name.No official estimate has been released on the cost of the floods, which wiped out 200 miles of state roads and 50 state bridges.State transportation officials say the road damage will top $100 million. U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado introduced legislation Tuesday to remove a $100 million cap on disaster-related federal assistance for road repairs.View gallery.”A tractors sits partially submerged in a farm field after flooding along the South Platte River in W …The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it had approved $22.1 million in individual assistance, most of it to help people to repair homes or find temporarily rentals. More than 15,600 people have applied for FEMA relief.Vice President Joe Biden flew over some of the damage Monday and promised that federal aid won’t stop even if a possible shutdown of the federal government occurs.___Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliott/AP . Associated Press writer Matt Brown in Billings, Mont., contributed to this report.
Arctic activists ‘not pirates’ but broke law: PutinView gallery 1 hour ago Moscow (AFP) – President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday 30 Greenpeace activists arrested by Russia were „not pirates” but had broken the law in a protest against Arctic oil exploration, as the authorities placed all the campaigners in detention.On Tuesday, Russia opened a criminal probe into suspected piracy by the four Russian and 26 foreign Greenpeace activists, with charges carrying the maximum punishment of 15 years in prison.Russian authorities placed the 30 activists in detention centres in and around the far northern city of Murmansk after they were moved ashore from the group’s Dutch-flagged vessel and questioned following their protest in the Barents Sea earlier this month.Several activists were questioned on Wednesday in the presence of their lawyers, a Greenpeace representative said.”I do not know the details of what has happened but it’s completely obvious that of course they are not pirates,” Putin told an international Arctic forum in the far northern city of Salekhard.In his first comments on the high-profile seizure of the Greenpeace vessel, he said it was „completely obvious these people violated the norms of international law.”
Putin’s comments indicate the charges of piracy could be dropped during the investigation.View gallery.”A Russian Coast Guard officer points a knife at a Greenpeace activist in the Pechora Sea, on Septemb …Greenpeace’s international executive director Kumi Naidoo in a statement welcomed Putin’s „recognition” that the activists were not pirates „and acted purely out of concern for the Arctic environment”.A spokesman for the Investigative Committee said earlier Wednesday that the current charges might be changed if new evidence emerges.Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for the Investigative Committee, the Russian equivalent of the FBI, said in a statement that all the 30 activists had been detained „as suspects.”‘We will not be intimidated’Greenpeace had sent a team of inflatable boats to a platform of Russian state energy giant Gazprom in the Barents Sea on September 18 from the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker to protest its oil drilling in a pristine Arctic environment.During the protest, Greenpeace hitched two activists to the side of the rig who tried to scale the platform but eventually slipped into the freezing water and were recovered by the Russian coastguard.Russian security services then seized control of the activists’ vessel by descending onto the deck from helicopters in a commando-style raid and towed it into Murmansk.View gallery.”Greenpeace activists attempt to board Gazprom’s ‘Prirazlomnaya’ Arctic oil platform in the Barents S …After being taken ashore Tuesday evening for questioning, the activists were put in detention centres where suspects are held before trial, known in Russia as Investigative Isolators (SIZO).Greenpeace said five activists were questioned into the early hours of Wednesday. Yevgenia Belyakova, a Greenpeace activist, said nine more were questioned later Wednesday.Speaking from Murmansk, Belyakova added that the activists had been moved ashore without any basic necessities like toothbrushes.The foreign campaigners are nationals of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Denmark, the United States, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Ukraine, France, Italy, Turkey, Finland, Switzerland, Poland and Sweden.A representative of the regional investigators in Murmansk told AFP the high-profile case was overseen by Moscow-based colleagues.”That means it is all very serious,” she said on condition of anonymity.’We did not know who they were’View gallery.”A Greenpeace activist climbs a Gazprom oil platform in the in the Barents Sea, on September 18, 2013 …The environmentalists’ detention drew immediate condemnation from Greenpeace and generated concern in the West.Finland’s President Sauli Niinistoe raised the issue in a meeting with Putin on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP. Foreign diplomats from countries like Poland and Sweden said they were in touch with Russian authorities.Putin sought to defend the Russian authorities’ response, saying it was not immediately clear that those storming the platform really were campaigners from Greenpeace.”Our law enforcement agencies, our border guards did not know who was trying to seize the platform under the guise of Greenpeace,” he told the Arctic forum.Putin acknowledged that the „fragile” Arctic environment should be handled with care but dismissed that Greenpeace protest as a PR stunt.”A technical error could have happened and could have created a risk to the life and health of people,” he said.Greenpeace released photos of the detained team being taken to the investigators’ offices in Murmansk in aged clunky buses, with the smiling activists flashing victory signs through the window.The Greenpeace arrests come as Putin’s foreign and domestic policies grow ever more assertive.Last week, Putin lambasted the West and pledged to fiercely protect Russia from foreign influence, saying Russia’s sovereignty, independence and integrity were „red lines” that could not be crossed.
View gallery33 photos Fareed Khan 3 hours ago Rescuers struggled Wednesday to help thousands of people injured and left homeless after their houses collapsed in a massive earthquake in southwestern Pakistan the day before as the death toll rose overnight to 210. The earth moved with enough force to create a small island visible off the southern coast after the huge tremor, said Pakistani officials. (AP)
UN: One-third of food worldwide gets wastedView gallerySeptember 11, 2013 12:17 PM ROME (AP) — The U.N. food agency says one-third of all food produced in the world gets wasted, amounting to a loss of $750 billion a year.The Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organization said in a report Wednesday that food in developing countries is wasted mostly due to poor harvesting techniques, while in high-income areas the primary cause of waste is careless consumer behavior.The report said food waste hurts the environment by causing unnecessary carbon emissions, extra water consumption and the reduction of biodiversity as farming takes over more land. The most serious areas of waste are of cereals in Asia and meat in wealthy regions and Latin America.FAO stressed the importance of raising awareness among consumers.
Former AP editor recalls covering 1973 Chile coupView gallery SERGIO CARRASCO September 10, 2013 3:05 AM SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — For days, rumors had spread that a coup was imminent. The date chosen by the military and their supporters was the 11th of September.That Tuesday in 1973, I arrived very early to The Associated Press bureau, not knowing that a military state of siege would keep me from returning home for four days.Salvador Allende also rushed to arrive early at the government palace, La Moneda. I watched the presidential caravan pass below our office window, and spotted the car that carried Chile’s first Marxist president.This was the time of radio, and channels crackled with announcements. While the coup was led by army Gen. Augusto Pinochet, official word came from Adm. Jose Toribio Merino, who announced at 8:30 a.m. that the navy had risen up against the government. Then someone read a proclamation that it was led by the commanders in chief of the four armed forces — the army, navy, air force and the military police, or „caribineros.””In the face of a grievous economic, social and moral crisis,” the proclamation said, the armed forces „are united to initiate the historic and responsible mission of liberating the people from the Marxist yoke.”View gallery.”FILE – In this Aug. 23, 1973 file photo, Chilean Gen. Augusto Pinochet, left, and President Salvador …”The president should proceed to immediately surrender to the armed forces and military police of Chile,” the announcer said dramatically.Allende made five radio broadcasts that day, first acknowledging that the navy had initiated an „uprising against the government.” Then he said he ordered army troops „to crush the coup attempt.” Then, he acknowledged their imminent defeat, and said that he would defend the government with his life: „Only by riddling me with bullets can they impede the people’s will.”Outside the AP bureau’s windows, two Hawker Hunter jets unleashed the first furious bombardment, and tanks and soldiers surrounded the palace as it burst into flames.Still, Allende kept talking, narrating his own tragedy, and that of what had been Latin America’s most stable democracy.”This will certainly be the last opportunity to address you. The air force has bombarded the antennas of Radio Magallanes,” he said, referring to the station that was transmitting his words.View gallery.”FILE – In this Sept. 11, 1973 file photo, La Moneda presidential palace is bombed during a military …The military then gave Allende an 11 a.m. deadline, ordering him to surrender or see fighter jets attack the palace again.Instead, Allende said: „I will not surrender. At this historic transition, I will pay for the loyalty of the people with my life.”He urged Chileans to take heart from his last words: „Keep knowing that much sooner than later, the grand avenues will open once again, through which free men will pass to build a better society.”The military held to its threat. At 11 a.m. on the dot, its bombs shook our office, and columns of reddish smoke rose into the sky as the palace’s colonial facade crumbled.”They’ve attacked the Palacio de la Moneda!” reporter Luis Martinez shouted.View gallery.”FILE – This Sept. 29, 1973 file photo, shows the presidential salon where Chile’s President Salvador …We were able to file an urgent dispatch to the AP’s headquarters in New York with Allende’s dramatic announcement, but then communications went down just before the full-fledged attack.Trucks of soldiers appeared downtown, overpowering the stubborn resistance of the president’s men. Allende’s body was found shot to death, and word was spreading of his killing or suicide. So even though troops were closing in, Martinez and I ventured out to confirm it. The palace was closed off, but at El Mercurio, we found the newspaper’s chief photographer, Juan Enrique Lira, who had entered the wreckage. He provided the confirmation we needed.By sunset, after intense firefights between soldiers and leftists, the junta announced the fall of Allende’s 1,000-day government. The air force commander, Gen. Gustavo Leigh, justified the violent takeover, saying: „It is necessary to eradicate the Marxist cancer from its roots.”Most communications were cut off by then, but AP photographer Santiago Llanquin persuaded a telephone operator to open a line. We reached a hotel in Mendoza, Argentina, and somehow kept that line open for days. AP photographer Eduardo DiBaia rushed from Buenos Aires to set up a makeshift bureau in the hotel, defying censors and transmitting news and photos of the attacks to the outside world.Meanwhile, just getting back to the office was beyond risky. Crossing a central avenue, we were blocked by a tank and a soldier who shouted at people to go home. We ran to a nearby hotel, but a worker closed the doors, just as a column of „black beret” commandos advanced toward us and shot at the hotel’s second floor, destroying a beautiful glass dome that fell in shards at our feet.View gallery.”FILE – In this Sept. 11, 1973 file photo, police officers assigned to guard the presidential palace …They had been spooked by hotel guests taking flash photos; their burst of gunfire wounded the eye of a hotel maid.An Italian tourist eventually persuaded the hotel to give us shelter. Meanwhile, our AP colleagues kept working, despite orders to turn off all electricity during the military’s curfew. They put metal filing cabinets against the windows, but a glimmer of light still shone through, drawing gunfire. One bullet hit our office ceiling, another lodged in a window frame.By Wednesday morning, soldiers occupied every corner. We had to walk quickly with our hands up. Food supplies were scarce downtown — a problem resolved by „Dona Nena,” who ran an elegant brothel one floor below us. She took pity on us, and sent large pots of food upstairs.We were already collecting reports of mass arrests, fighting, and deaths. Then we witnessed it first-hand. As Martinez and I drove home that Friday, we stopped at the sight of firefighters trying to pull at least four naked bodies from the Mapocho river. They were among the first of 3,197 people who were killed during the dictatorship, all but about 100 of whom were targeted by the military. About a thousand of those victims have never again been seen alive.___View gallery.”FILE – In this Sept. 11, 1973 file photo, soldiers and firefighters carry the body of President Salv …Sergio Carrasco, a correspondent and regional editor in Santiago, Chile, retired in 2010 after 57 years with The Associated Press.___Luis Martinez, Santiago Llanquin and Eduardo DiBaia contributed to the verification and confirmation of the events described.
81 elephants die of poisoning in Zimbabwe: authorities HARARE (AFP) – More than 80 elephants and other animals have died of cyanide poisoning by poachers in Zimbabwe’s largest game park, wildlife authorities said Tuesday.The announcement came after a group of government experts visited Hwange National Park on Saturday to investigate reports of cyanide poisoning.”When we left Hwange National Park on Sunday, the total number of elephants that had died from cyanide poisoning was 81,” said Jerry Gotora, a director of the Zimbabwe parks department.”Several other animals have also died, but we don’t have the total number yet.”More than 25,000 elephants were poached last year, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).The animals’ tusks are highly sought after for Asia’s ivory trade.Nine people have been arrested on suspicion of poisoning watering holes in the game park to kill the elephants for their tusks.However, Gotora said the poison had been „put at places where elephants graze, not in water as was being reported”.Two years ago nine elephants, five lions and two buffalo died from cyanide poisoning in Hwange National Park.Just 50 rangers patrol the 14,650-square kilometre (5,660-square mile) park, and wildlife authorities say 10 times that number are needed.There are more than 120,000 elephants living in Zimbabwe’s national parks
Landslides kill 20 in northwest PhilippinesView gallery Resident man their store amidst flooding at suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 following heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Usagi. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)Associated Press September 23, 2013 7:38 AM Society MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Torrential monsoon rains hit the northwestern Philippines on Monday, triggering landslides and killing 20 people in areas already weakened by a powerful typhoon, and raising the death toll to 47 from storms across Asia.Philippine officials said soldiers and villagers were also searching for at least seven people missing in mountainside villages hit by the landslides Monday in the province of Zambales.In China, where Typhoon Usagi struck after passing by the Philippines, officials said the storm killed 25 people in the southern province of Guangdong, 13 of them in the city of Shanwei where it struck the coast late Sunday.The other deaths came when two people drowned when a passenger boat capsized in northeastern Aurora province in the Philippines.Subic Mayor Jeffrey Khonghun said 15 bodies were dug out in two landslide-hit villages in his town. Five people also died in landslides in two other towns in Zambales, according to army officials and police.Rescuers used their hands, pots and shovels to dig through the muck that buried a cluster of houses while relatives of two other missing residents waited in the rain in the village of Wawandue.”This is the first after a long time that we were hit by this kind of deluge,” Khonghun told Manila’s DZBB radio network. He had to stop the interview after another body was pulled out from a muddy heap near him.Typhoon Usagi enhanced the torrential monsoon rains that drenched the main northern Philippine region of Luzon over the weekend. The powerful typhoon blew away late Saturday and a new tropical storm off southern Japan was continuing to intensify the downpours in Luzon, government forecaster Samuel Duran said.Many low-lying areas of the Philippine capital, Manila, and outlying regions were swamped Monday, prompting authorities to cancel classes and office work.In Hong Kong, flight schedules were returning to normal Monday after major disruptions from Usagi, which was the season’s strongest storm at its peak. It forced about 250 flight cancellations in Hong Kong before weakening to a tropical depression over the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.Train and airline services around Guangdong also were back to normal after the storm, China’s state broadcaster CCTV said.China’s national weather center said the storm would continue to weaken as it moves northwest.
Flashback: Four Hurricanes at Once in Atlantic Basin (IMAGE) By Jon Erdman Published: Sep 25, 2013, 11:48 AM EDT weather.com
- 2009: 3 hurricanes
- 2002: 4 hurricanes
- 1997: 3 hurricanes
Weather Channel hurricane specialist Michael Lowry (Twitter) also noted this is the latest into the season we have not had a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) anywhere in the Western Hemisphere (Atlantic or eastern Pacific basins) in 45 years. In fact, 1968 was the only other year without a single major hurricane in both basins this late in the season, according to Lowry.What we saw 15 years ago is an example of what late September can deliver. With the exception of deadly flooding and landslides in Mexico, we have been very fortunate so far in the Atlantic Basin.
A Few Severe Storms in Northern Plains Published: Sep 25, 2013, 6:58 AM EDT weather.com
Storm WatchStorm WatchTornado Hits ParadiseLightning Strike Causes Panic As a new storm system pushes eastward across the Rockies, scattered storms may fire up in the northern Plains on Wednesday.
First Snow of the Season Falls in Mountain West and Upstate New York By Becky Kellogg Published: Sep 24, 2013, 11:33 AM EDT weather.com
Winter Park, Colo.(Courtesy: Winter Park Resort)
- Upstate New York
- Colorado mountains
- Montana mountains
- Lake Tahoe mountains
- California’s Mammoth Mountain
- Anchorage Bowl, Alaska
Winter Park Resort in Winter Park, Colo., reported 2 inches of fresh snow on Sept. 23, 2013 with an estimated 6 inches on the higher peaks. It came well ahead of ski season, which is scheduled to begin in November.(MORE: 24-Hour Snowfall Forecast)Mammoth Lakes, Calif., got 2-3 inches of snow in some areas. Ski season begins in early November at Mammoth Mountain.Upstate New York received a dusting, but it was enough to excite winter weather watchers, including Niziol.Play VideoIt Is Snowing Where?
Prepare your home for winter
Pakistan Earthquake: Hundreds Dead, Hundreds More Injured After 7.7-Magnitude Tremor Shakes Pakistan Abdul Sattar Published: Sep 25, 2013, 11:21 AM EDT Associated Press
Setting Fire to the Water: Here’s What Happens When Surfers Carry Flares By Sean Breslin Published: Sep 25, 2013, 11:26 AM EDT weather.com
It’s actually professional surfer Bruce Irons weaving through those waves. His buddy, pro surfer Sam McIntosh, came up with the idea to strap a burning flare to the back of Irons’ board and take it through the waves.(PHOTOS: See the Royal Photographic Society’s Science Images of the Year)
Surfing the Biggest Waves
As Irons mentioned in a YouTube video, keeping the flares dry so they’re not extinguished by the water is a difficult task. When he finds the perfect wave, Irons must then crack the flare to get it burning and catch the wave. It’s not an easy process, even for a professional, but when each step is performed correctly, the final product is a brilliantly illuminated surfer in the middle of a dark ocean.At first, even Irons wasn’t sold on the idea of attaching a road flare to his surfboard, My Modern Net reports, but he soon realized what an amazing spectacle it created.The video was originally posted by Red Bull in 2011, but has found a new viral life thanks to Reddit users posting animated images of Irons’ fiery surfs, according to a Bored Panda report.Below are a few more animated images of Irons’ flare-filled surf outings.
Weirdest-Looking Trees on Earth: Sausage Trees, Dragon’s Blood Trees and More (PHOTOS) By Jess Baker Published: Sep 25, 2013, 0:18 PM EDT weather.comSausage Tree