Canadian MP Benoit Sauvageau dies in car crash
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Canadian MP Benoit Sauvageau dies in car crash



Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bloc Quebecois Member of Parliament Benoit Sauvageau was killed in an automobile accident on Monday morning after his vehicle hit a tow truck at the side of a road in his Montreal constituency.

Sauvageau, 42, had been an MP since 1993 and represented the riding of Repentigny at the time of his death.

Bloc Québécois (BQ) Leader Gilles Duceppe, speaking in Quebec City, remembered Sauvageau as a hard-working representative who was widely respected “not only in the sovereigntist camp but by his adversaries who always recognized him for his honesty and his determination.”

“I think he was a very good member of Parliament, a very good sovereigntist,” added Duceppe.

Visibly shaken by the news, Duceppe said: “It’s awful, at 42 with four children (daughters) between the ages of five and 15, it’s not right.”

Former Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard, who led the BQ when Sauvageau was first elected, told Radio Canada: “It’s a tragedy. It’s unbelievable that he died like that.”

“He is a man who was engaged in political fights but he did it correctly, with nobility and idealism and a lot of respect for others, even his adversaries,” said Bouchard.

Sauvageau was a history professor before entering politics. As an MP he was the Bloc’s spokesperson on public accounts and the treasury board and was also the party’s critic responsible for the Official Languages Act and the rights of Francophones outside of Quebec.

“On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary caucus, I would like to express my deepest sadness and regret at the news of the death of Benoît Sauvageau in a tragic car accident in Repentigny this afternoon,” said interim Liberal leader Bill Graham.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the prayers and thoughts of all Parliamentarians are with Sauvageau’s loved ones at this difficult time.


Tanker explodes on I-75 north of Detroit
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Tanker explodes on I-75 north of Detroit



Thursday, July 16, 2009

A tanker explosion on Interstate 75 has destroyed a part of the Nine Mile Road overpass in Hazel Park, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit. One man, truck driver Ronald Martinez, has been killed and only 4 injuries have been reported.

On July 15, 2009 at about 8:15 PM EST, a tanker carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline collided with a semi-truck from Meijer grocery stores, causing an explosion that resulted in heavy black smoke that could be seen for miles.

It is believed that the tanker was clipped from behind by driver Saied Haidarian-Shahri, 27, of nearby Clawson. The tanker’s two parts broke in half when a semi-truck rammed into the gasoline-filled tanker and it exploded. The driver of the semi-truck sustained only minor injuries.

Saied Haidarian-Shahri was a relatively new driver, getting his license within the past 6 months. Reports say he was doing 70 mph in a 50 mph zone, called the “9 Mile Curve”, along the Chrysler Freeway. There were no traffic violations on his license. He has been blamed for causing the accident.

The explosion resulted in the collapse of the Nine Mile Road overpass over the freeway. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has decided that the rest of the overpass cannot be saved.

MDOT has closed down the freeway between Interstate 696 and Eight Mile Road both northbound and southbound. Local streets surrounding the site have been closed too. This is expected to cause trouble for commuters who travel one of the most used freeways in the metro area.

About 2,000 residents of Hazel Park are now without power due to the accident.


Bomb in Dagestan explodes Russian military truck
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Bomb in Dagestan explodes Russian military truck



Friday, September 2, 2005

An explosion today in Makhachkala, Russia in the Russian region of Dagestan killed one and wounded five others, police say. The bomb detonated in a pile of garbage, where servicemen and a truck had been sent to search for explosives on a street near a military base. When the engineers got out of the truck to search, the bomb went off.

The Dagestani Ministry, reported by the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass, originally stated that the blast killed two servicemen and wounded three others. They later revised this to six servicemen wounded (as well as one civilian), but no fatalities. A police officer told ITAR-Tass news that a brigade had been on patrol when the explosion occurred.

According to RIA-Novosti and Interfax news, medics reported one death and six injuries. RIA-Novosti also reports that the bomb exploded near a trolley bus.

Police and ambulances were immediately brought to the area of the explosion, which was quickly sealed off by police.

The alleged planters of the bomb were followed by police, but escaped after firing at the officers.

This explosion is not surprising, as racial tensions in the Muslim majority region of Dagestan often lead to attacks on officials and police.


Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven
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Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven



Monday, November 28, 2011

The death toll from the weekend suspension bridge collapse on the Indonesian island of Borneo has risen from four to eleven. Search and rescue teams continue to look for bodies in the Mahakam River.

The number of wounded is currently 39 injured; reports from locals suggest 33 people remain missing at the scene in East Kalimantan’s Kutai Kartanegara district, where “Kalimantan’s Golden Gate Bridge” linked the towns of Tenggarong and the regional capital, Samarinda. A six-month-old baby is among the dead.

Cars, motorbikes, and buses all fell into the Mahakam River when the bridge came down during repairs. Another car was left overturned and balanced upon wreckage over the water. State-owned builders PT Hutama Karya completed the bridge about a decade ago in the image of California’s Golden Gate Bridge. A cable on the 720-metre structure is thought to have failed as workers dealt with it; six of the repair crew were reported missing yesterday. It had been the longest suspension bridge in Borneo.

Eyewitnesses described heavy traffic at the time of the collapse, and one survivor said he left his truck to investigate a traffic jam. Some people were left trapped by debris as the bridge came down. “It happened so fast, only about 30 seconds,” according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugoroho.

National search and rescue head Daryatmo said yesterday cranes will attempt to move debris today, with new reports saying echo-sounding equipment will be used to check it is safe to begin lifting. It is believed the bodies of more victims will be found trapped in vehicles beneath the water, which is 35-40 metres deep. Visibility is poor, and one official explained authorities are still unsure how many vehicles are on the riverbed.

“The above-water search is continuing, but underwater operations have not been carried out because we’re worried that the bridge’s pylons are unstable and could collapse any time,” said Nugoroho today. He explained that bodies had washed onto the riverbanks overnight and were recovered today.

The president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has sent three ministers to the site to investigate the accident, while Bambang Widaryatmo, head of East Kalimantan’s police, promised “parties found to be negligent will be prosecuted”. The government has promised a replacement ferry service. The river is closed to boats as rescue operations continue, and a 22-strong team has been dispatched from the national police, comprising six forensics experts, five disaster victim identification specialists, and eleven investigators. They are there to augment the East Kalimantan Police. Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih yesterday visited survivors in Parikesit Hospital and promised them medical treatment at government expense.

Some people swam ashore after falling, with the aftermath filled with screams. Survivor Syakrani, 24, yesterday asserted “The authorities should have closed the bridge if it was under repair.” His words were followed by a Jakarta Globe editorial declaring the accident “unacceptable”.

The Globe went on to comment upon suggestions corruption may have played a role; “It is too early to point fingers and look to place blame, but if shoddy materials were used in the building of the bridge, those responsible must answer to the public.” Another suggestion is coal barges striking the bridge may have weakened it. Local coal company Harum Energy lost five percent of its share value today amid fears the river blockage will hamper their ability to ship coal.

Samarinda’s seen a population and construction boom lately. A few years have seen the population triple and the construction of a large mosque, and a sports stadium; an airport and port are set to follow. However, the Corruption Eradication Commission warns 70% of the corruption it investigates concerns government contracts and up to 40% of money earmarked for infrastructure ends up stolen.


Sixteen policemen killed in suspected terrorist attack in Xinjiang, China
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Sixteen policemen killed in suspected terrorist attack in Xinjiang, China



Monday, August 4, 2008

Sixteen policemen were killed by unidentified assailants in Kashgar, in the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region of China. Another sixteen officers were wounded in the attack, in which two attackers drove a lorry into the station. The government of the People’s Republic of China has repeatedly warned of unrest leading up to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Xinhua News Agency reports that the attackers drove a dump truck into the police officers during the officers’ morning exercise at about 8:00 am local time (0:00 GMT), then threw grenades into the police barracks and attacked with knives. The BBC reports that fourteen of the police deaths occurred at the scene, with two more dying en route to hospital. They also report one of the alleged attackers received a leg injury. The attackers were arrested, according to police.

After they were arrested by the police, the assailants were described as being 28 and 33, and of the Uyghur minority, a Turkish speaking people who reside primarily in the Xinjiang region. The police found an additional 10 explosives in the truck as well as what was described as a “home-made gun.”

The autonomous Xinjiang region of China is a large, sparsely-populated territory in the north-west of the country. The population includes many groups, but the largest is the Turkic peoples including the largely Muslim Uyghurs. Kashgar is an oasis city at an important junction of trade routes, near China’s western borders, and was a part of the historic “Silk Road.”


Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney
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Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney



Friday, June 30, 2006

New South Wales Police, in connection with the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, Tow Truck Authority and Centrelink (the agency responsible for providing income support) conducted random checks on tow trucks on Thursday. The checks were carried out in Bankstown, a suburb in Sydney’s South-West.

According to police, 50 tow trucks were pulled over during the operation, coined “Operation Hook” between 8:30 a.m. AEST and 4 p.m. Of those, 26 were directed to report to a vehicle inspection facility for further investigation.

Police issued 70 infringement notices (fines) during the operation. 11 were for being unlicensed to conduct business as a tow truck driver or business, and 13 for having incorrectly secured loads. 17 vehicles were issued defect notices as part of the operation.

Tow truck operators (business owners) are required to make a payment of AUD$770 per year to the NSW government, while drivers are charged $152 per year for their licence. An additional charge for tow truck number plates of $292 per year also applies.

The maximum penalty for operators not being licensed correctly is $11,000 or 12 months imprisonment, drivers without the correct licence can be fined $5,500 or sentenced to 6 months.


United Nations suspends operations in Gaza after schools and trucks are hit by Israeli forces
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United Nations suspends operations in Gaza after schools and trucks are hit by Israeli forces



Friday, January 9, 2009

The United Nations (UN) suspended all of its operations in Gaza from yesterday, after the bombing of a convoy of UN aid trucks which killed one Palestinian driver, and wounded three others. Thursday was the second day of attacks on UN targets after three UN schools housing refugees were bombed on Tuesday, killing over 50 civilians.

“UNRWA decided to suspend all its operations in the Gaza Strip because of the increasing hostile actions against its premises and personnel,” Adnan Abu Hasna, a Gaza-based spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said yesterday. Richard Miron, spokesman for the UN said that the Israeli military had been notified in advance of the coordinates of the relief trucks saying, “This underlines the fundamental insecurity inside Gaza at a time when we are trying to address the dire humanitarian needs of the population there.”

The bombing of the UN trucks was the last straw for the UN, already angered after Israeli tanks fired on a UN school housing refugees killing 50 including an entire family of seven young children. The UN said that they had given Israel the GPS coordinates of their schools, and demanded accountability for the attacks. Israel’s government says it is investigating the incidents.

More schools were attacked including the al-Fakhora School killing 40 people, many of them women and children. Hours before the attack on the al-Fakhora School was an attack on Asma Elementary School which killed three Palestinian cousins. The cousin’s father said the bodies were so mangled he couldn’t tell the bodies apart, “We came to the school when the Israelis warned us to leave,” he said. “We hoped it would be safe. We were 20 in one room. We had no electricity, no blankets, no food. “Suddenly we heard a bomb that shook the school. Windows smashed. Children started to scream. A relative came and told me one of my sons was killed. I found my son’s body with his two cousins. They were cut into pieces by the shell.” Like al-Fakhora, Asma Elementary is an UNRWA school.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on yesterday that they were trying for four days to get their ambulances to a Gaza neighborhood before being allowed to by Israeli military forces. After getting there, they said, they found four starving children sitting next to the bodies of their dead mothers.

“This is a shocking incident,” said Pierre Wettach, ICRC chief for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. “The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestinian Red Crescent to assist the wounded.”

Israel granted a three-hour ceasefire yesterday that they gave for aid workers to enter areas that they had closed off. 50 bodies were recovered during the ceasefire, raising the death toll to 763, including more than 200 children, since air raids first began on December 27. 3,121 people have also been wounded. Eight Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died in the same period. Israeli forces also shot a Palestinian man in the West Bank during a protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza. Yesterday, a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli forces after a confrontation in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ma’ale Adumim near Jerusalem.


Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney
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Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney



Friday, June 30, 2006

New South Wales Police, in connection with the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, Tow Truck Authority and Centrelink (the agency responsible for providing income support) conducted random checks on tow trucks on Thursday. The checks were carried out in Bankstown, a suburb in Sydney’s South-West.

According to police, 50 tow trucks were pulled over during the operation, coined “Operation Hook” between 8:30 a.m. AEST and 4 p.m. Of those, 26 were directed to report to a vehicle inspection facility for further investigation.

Police issued 70 infringement notices (fines) during the operation. 11 were for being unlicensed to conduct business as a tow truck driver or business, and 13 for having incorrectly secured loads. 17 vehicles were issued defect notices as part of the operation.

Tow truck operators (business owners) are required to make a payment of AUD$770 per year to the NSW government, while drivers are charged $152 per year for their licence. An additional charge for tow truck number plates of $292 per year also applies.

The maximum penalty for operators not being licensed correctly is $11,000 or 12 months imprisonment, drivers without the correct licence can be fined $5,500 or sentenced to 6 months.


Truck loses control in Andhra Pradesh, kills more than a dozen
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Truck loses control in Andhra Pradesh, kills more than a dozen



Sunday, April 23, 2017

More than fifteen people were killed near the police station in Yerpedu, Andhra Pradesh, India after a heavily loaded truck lost control on Friday afternoon at about 1:45 P.M. IST (0815 UTC).

People, mostly from the village of Munagalapalem, were gathered to protest local illegal sand mining. The truck hit an electric pole, and destroyed nearby shops and vehicles causing a short-circuit and fire. Tirupati Urban Superintendent of Police R Jayalakshmi said the truck crushed some people under its wheels; six people were killed that way according to Renigunta deputy superintendent KS Nanjndappa. Other people died due to the short circuit and the fire. More than fifteen people were injured including the police station’s chief inspector and the sub-inspector. Reportedly at least ten were in a critical condition.

The driver fled after the accident. Victims were taken to hospitals in Tirupati, and Chennai and Vellore in Tamil Nadu. N Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra’s Chief Minister, said via Twitter, “State Cabinet has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh [0.5 million] to the families of the deceased.”


Truckload of trouble for Thai Rak Thai
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Truckload of trouble for Thai Rak Thai



Friday, July 7, 2006

Yesterday saw Thailand’s Attorney General file charges of election fraud with the country’s Constitutional court. According to Sondhi Limthongkul’s ThaiDay, the action seeking the dissolution of five parties was delivered by truck and consisted of over 120,000 pages of legal citations.

Both the Thai Rak Thai party making up the caretaker government and the main opposition Democrats are named. The allegations centre on claims that Thai Rak Thai paid minor parties to participate where seats would otherwise be unopposed, and that the Democrats may have bribed parties to claim that they had been paid by Thai Rak Thai.

Thailand’s prolonged political crisis originally stemmed from repeated corruption allegations against the Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. An April 2nd snap election apparently intended to cement the ruling party’s position and dismiss critics as unrepresentative backfired when the three main opposition parties announced a boycott. This left many seats unopposed, particularly in the country’s troubled Muslim south. With Thai Rak Thai standing alone in strong Democrat territory, a grassroots abstention campaign left many seats empty when they failed to garner the constitutionally required 20% of eligible votes.

Amongst all the political posturing, and allegations that the Election Commission had unduly favoured the ruling party, claims that there had been irregularities surfaced. Thai Rak Thai was accused of having paid minor parties to circumvent the 20% rule by offering token opposition. The claims were brought before the Election Commission who eventually handed the case over to the Attorney General without offering any recommendation. The commission’s sub-committee that prepared the report had recommended the dissolution of Thai Rak Thai.

At present it is unclear if the political crisis will be resolved through the country’s legal system prior to the upcoming October election rerun. The volume of evidence may leave the Constitutional Court unable to agree on a ruling prior to the election.


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