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Two huge Beirut explosions kill 73, injure thousands

first_imgBloodied and dazed wounded people stumbled among the debris, glass shards and burning buildings in central Beirut as the health ministry reported 73 dead and 3,700 injured across wide parts of the country’s biggest city. “What happened today will not pass without accountability,” said Diab. “Those responsible for this catastrophe will pay the price.”General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim earlier said the “highly explosive material” had been confiscated years earlier and stored in the warehouse, just minutes walk from Beirut’s shopping and nightlife districts.The blasts were so massive they shook the entire city and could be heard throughout the small country, and as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometers away.  Two enormous explosions devastated Beirut’s port on Tuesday, leaving at least 73 people dead and thousands injured, shaking distant buildings and spreading panic and chaos across the Lebanese capital.The second blast sent an enormous orange fireball into the sky, immediately followed by a tornado-like shockwave that flattened the port and swept the city, shattering windows kilometers away.Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that 2,750 tons of the agricultural fertilizer ammonium nitrate that had been stored for years in a portside warehouse had blown up, sparking “a disaster in every sense of the word”. A soldier at the port, where relatives of the missing scrambled for news of their loved ones, told AFP: “It’s a catastrophe inside. There are corpses on the ground. Ambulances are still lifting the dead.””It was like an atomic bomb,” said Makrouhie Yerganian, a retired schoolteacher in her mid-70s who has lived near the port for decades. “I’ve experienced everything, but nothing like this before,” even during the country’s 1975-1990 civil war, she said. “All the buildings around here have collapsed.”Her 91-year-old uncle, who lived in the same building, was wounded in the blast and later died.AFP correspondents across the city saw shop and apartment windows blown out and streets covered with broken glass. Photos posted online even showed damage to the inside of Beirut airport’s terminal, some nine kilometers from the explosion.Hospitals already struggling with the country’s coronavirus outbreak were overwhelmed by the influx of wounded people and the country’s Red Cross called for urgent blood donations.’We saw the mushroom’ As the national defense council declared Beirut a disaster zone, Diab appealed to Lebanon’s allies to “stand by” the country and “help us treat these deep wounds”.Condolences poured in from across the world with Gulf nations, the United States and even Lebanon’s arch foe Israel offering to send aid.AFP video footage showed areas of near-complete devastation, with cars flipped onto their roofs like children’s toys, warehouses flattened and survivors drenched from head to toe in their own blood. “We heard an explosion, then we saw the mushroom,” said a Beirut resident who witnessed the second deafening explosion from her balcony in the city’s Mansourieh district. “The force of the blast threw us backwards into the apartment.”An AFP correspondent at the scene minutes after said every shop in the Hamra commercial district had sustained damage, with entire storefronts destroyed and many cars wrecked.A huge blaze sent up black smoke from the port area, as helicopters dumped water on burning buildings.A ship moored off the port was on fire, and the blasts also damaged a vessel deployed with United Nations peacekeeping force UNIFIL and injured some of its personnel.center_img ‘Like an earthquake’ Hundreds immediately shared their shock and grief on social media.”Buildings are shaking,” tweeted one resident, while another wrote: “An enormous, deafening explosion just engulfed Beirut. Heard it from miles away.”Online footage from a Lebanese newspaper office showed blown out windows, scattered furniture and demolished interior paneling.The explosions hit a country already reeling from its worst economic crisis in decades which has left nearly half of the population in poverty, as well as from the coronavirus pandemic.Lebanon’s economy has collapsed in recent months, with the local currency plummeting, businesses closing en masse and poverty soaring at the same alarming rate as unemployment. Charity Save the Children said “the incident could not have occurred at a worse time”. The explosions came three days before a UN tribunal’s verdict on the murder of former Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri, who was killed in a huge 2005 truck bomb attack. Four alleged members of the Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah are on trial in absentia at the court in the Netherlands over the huge Beirut bombing that killed Sunni billionaire Hariri and 21 other people. A woman in the city center Tuesday told AFP the blast “felt like an earthquake” and “bigger than the explosion in the assassination of Rafic Hariri in 2005”.Topics :last_img read more

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RBA Governor tells House Economics Committee he’s watching residential construction closely

first_imgMr Lowe said there was a large amount of residential construction work still in the pipeline. Picture: Glenn BarnesTHE Reserve Bank considers residential housing construction activity an economic saviour since the mining downturn, but it’s watching the sector closely now – especially investor lending.RBA Governor Philip Lowe rounded out a busy week in the public eye with an appearance in front of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, where housing construction was front and centre for the domestic economy.Mr Lowe said RBA had expected the economy to grow by around 2.5 to 3 per cent last year, “but the outcome is likely to be lower, at around 2 per cent” because of a “surprisingly weak” September quarter.This year the early prediction was that the Australian economy would grow 3 per cent, something Mr Lowe still expected to happen.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agoReserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe appearing before the House Economics Committee in Sydney. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett“One area that we are watching closely is the cycle in residential construction activity, as the upswing has helped support the economy over recent years,” he said.“The rate of new building approvals has slowed, but there is a large amount of work still in the pipeline, particularly for apartments, so we still expect some further growth in this part of the economy this year. “There has, however, been some tightening in conditions for property developers in some markets.”Mr Lowe said in the broader housing market, the picture was “quite complicated”.“There is not a single story across the country. In parts of the country that have been adjusting to the downswing in mining investment or where there have been big increases in supply of apartments, housing prices have declined. “In other parts, where the economy has been stronger and the supply-side has had trouble keeping up with strong population growth, housing prices are still rising quickly. “In most areas, growth in rents is low. And recently we have seen a pick-up in growth in credit to investors, which needs to be watched carefully.”last_img read more

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Simple life within reach of the city

first_imgSpringbrook Estate is on former farmland and an easy commute to Brisbane.“Springbrook is located minutes away from shopping in Woodford, education facilities and major transport hubs, offering many benefits of the city in a more relaxed environment. “Swapping the rat race for a quieter country life has never been easier.” Mr Ride, who recently bought his own homesite at Springbrook, said the community has a “really great vibe”.“Our lot is positioned on the top of the hill. We have designed our six bedroom house to take full advantage of the eastern sun in the morning and to have a prime view for watching the sunset over the pool in the west. It’s going to look spectacular,” he said “Not to mention the stars in the sky at night time — it’s pretty phenomenal. “With easy access to the D’Aguilar Highway, it takes under an hour to get into Brisbane each day, not to mention the close access to recreational and sport clubs for the kids’ activities on the weekend.” Springbrook Estate at Daguilar.WHEN Paul Ride visited friends at Springbrook estate at the foot of Mount Mee, he said it was like stepping back to a simpler time.“All the kids were in the street kicking footies, chasing basketballs and playing on the climbing gym,” he said.“Everybody talks to each other and when you’re driving or walking down the street you will always receive a wave from people out and about.”Springbrook is being developed by QM Properties, and is 15 minutes from Caboolture.Homesites start from 3000sq m, and they are proving popular with buyers wanting some space to move and grow. QM Properties general sales manager Damien Ross said buyers were seeking a quieter, slower paced and better quality of life.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours ago“Our Springbrook estate, located on former farmland in the foothills of Mt Mee, is proving popular with families looking for value and open space, while still seeking an easy daily commute to Brisbane,” he said.last_img read more

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Would you sleep in a room at the top of a…

first_imgVisitors will need to climb to their pod suspended from the mountainside If you’ve ever dreamt of spending the night suspended 400 meters off the ground on the side of a cliff edge, then your dream might be about to come a reality and Peru’s Skylodge Adventure Suites should certainly feature on your bucket list.Located in the sacred Cuzco Valley, Skylodge offers guests the opportunity to sleep within a completely transparent, ultra luxurious pod-shaped bedroom, clinging to the side of a cliff with panoramic views of the valley below.You have to scale the 400m cliff face or take on a challenging hiking trail including a number of ziplines over sheer drops.Each of the pods is equipped with a cozy bed covered in cotton sheets, an en-suite bathroom and a separate dining areaVisitors will need to climb to their pod suspended from the mountainsidelast_img read more

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Somali president’s nephew killed in al-Shabab attack

first_imgSomali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Somali President Hassan Sheikh MohamudSomali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s nephew has been shot dead in the capital, Mogadishu.Gunmen opened fire on Dr Liban Osman’s vehicle as it was travelling through the city’s Wadajir neighbourhood early on Wednesday.Both Dr Osman, who reportedly worked as a doctor at the presidential palace, and another man, thought to be a lawyer, died in the attack.Islamist militant group al-Shabab has said it was behind the killings.last_img read more

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Becoming a D1 Recruit

first_imgRecently Bob Heidlage asked me the question “Why don’t local schools get more D1 recruits?”  I thought about this question, and here are some of my thoughts on it.The first thing that D1 colleges look at is the size of your school.  If you don’t have at least 1,000+ students, they don’t think you play good enough football.  Secondly, colleges have a set of physical standards they think you must meet.  Right now, I doubt if there is a player at Batesville High School or other local schools their same size that meets these physical requirements–weight, height, and 40 meter speed.  I am not even sure that Mitch Orchell of Franklin County would meet any of these requirements other than speed.  A third priority is the notoriety that your school has attained in their programs.  Some of the recent Batesville athletes who had D1 scholarships were in minor sports such as track.  Finally, the ultimate factor is the priority of the student themselves and what they want in a college education.  A college may consider them for one of their sports, but the athlete may not be interested in what the college has to offer in academics.last_img read more

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ETC officials warn of email scam

first_imgBatesville, In. — Officials from ETC are investigating reports of an email-based scam from customers. The company released the following statement:It has come to our attention that a customer recently received a threatening email message. The scammer claimed to have the customer’s email and password, and was demanding $3,000 or the scammer would email to the customer’s contacts, video footage claiming it was of porn-related material.Please know this is an old scam that has resurfaced with a new twist. To view a scam very similar to what the customers experienced please click here.last_img read more

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Hogan nabs IMCA Modified checkers at Benton County Speedway

first_imgVINTON, Iowa (June 21) – Although the 21st annual Hogan Memorial isn’t scheduled until July 12, Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified driver Scott Hogan served up his own version of the event Sunday night at Benton County Speedway.While the July 12 event is held in honor of the memory of his parents, Hogan delivered his first win of the season on Father’s Day, which also would have been his mother’s 78th birthday.Mike Burbridge built a big early lead in the 20-lap feature while Jerry Dedrick pursued and Hogan raced from a fourth row start. Hogan settled into the top three in time for a pair of restarts on laps eight and nine, however Burbridge powered away from the field each time racing resumed.After action was slowed for caution a final time with three laps to go, Hogan went to work on the top groove and was able to pull even with the leader down the back stretch. He led the final two circuits to race to the memorable win ahead of Burbridge and Patrick Flannagan.Jon Passick topped the second stop this season of the IMCA Late Model Sunday Series.Passick led early until Paul Nagle swept into the lead on the eighth of 25 circuits. Nagle surged to a straightaway lead and appeared to have the race in-hand until engine problems sidelined him with two laps to go.Passick inherited the point when racing resumed and held off a hard-charging Charlie McKenna to score the win. Sean Johnson finished third.It was business as usual for drivers in three other weekly divisions.Tony Olson raced to his fourth straight local win and fifth of the season in Vinton in the IMCA Northern SportMod division. Olson took the lead midway through that 16-lapper to drive to victory. Joey Schaefer and Curt Hilmer completed the top three.After battling Shane Ebaugh and Scott Pippert, IMCA Sunoco Stock Car hot shoe Damon Murty pulled away to his fifth win of the season in that 18-lap event. Pippert made his way past Ebaugh for second.Also picking up his fifth win of the season was Nathan Ballard in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock 15-lapper. Ballard worked beneath leader Matt Brown in the final set of turns as the field came to the checkers to steal the victory.last_img read more

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Ellsworth’s Curtis named Mr. Maine Basketball semifinalist

first_imgBANGOR — Ellsworth’s Jackson Curtis was announced Wednesday as a semifinalist for this year’s Mr. Maine Basketball award.Curtis is averaging 19.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game this season for an Ellsworth team that is 16-3 entering tonight’s Class B North semifinal game against Washington Academy. On Jan. 25, he became the eighth 1,000-point scorer in Ellsworth boys’ basketball history as he scored 27 points against Presque Isle.The semifinalist distinction comes one day after Curtis was announced as a first-team selection to the All-Big East Conference team. He garnered Big East Player of the Week honors for the seventh and eighth weeks of the season.A total of 10 semifinalists were named for the award. Other players to be nominated were Logan Bagshaw (Greely), Leyton Bickford (Sanford), Parker Deprey (Caribou), Te’Andre King (North Yarmouth), Bryce Lausier (Hampden Academy), Zach Maturo (Bonny Eagle), Simon McCormick (Cony), Isaac Varney (Hermon) and Henry Westrich (Bangor).This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textAlso on Wednesday, Curtis was announced to the Maine McDonald’s High School All-Star Game along with fellow Eagle Trinity Montigny, Caden Mattson of George Stevens Academy and Katie Hutchinson of Deer Isle-Stonington. The event, which is divided into AA/A/B and C/D boys’ and girls’ game, will be played next Saturday, March 7, at Husson University.last_img read more

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Syracuse expects to improve defense through a “variety” in sets

first_img Published on February 5, 2018 at 11:23 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary Last year, Syracuse’s defense was a problem.SU ranked second-to-last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring defense on its way to its earliest NCAA tournament exit since 2006.This year, the Orange looks to build on that performance and it’ll have to come with a whole new group. But Syracuse head coach Gary Gait has a plan in mind.“I think you’re going to see a mix on the defense,” Gait said.The Orange, after two of its starting defenders graduated and another transferred away, intends to implement changes to its defensive schemes to counter the problems it faced last season. Mostly sticking with zone defensive sets in the past, Gait said he plans to experiment with man-to-man tactics.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Some teams are extraordinary against zone,” Gait said. “That’s when I think you need to have a good solid man-to-man to fall back on.”The zone defensive scheme that the Orange has so often gone to in the past was exposed in 2017. In addition to allowing the second most goals per game in the ACC, the Orange also ranked second-to-last in caused turnovers per game (8.23) and ranked last in save percentage (.407).A freshman goalkeeper in a prominent role during the first year of the shot clock rule could provide an explanation for the latter. But where others in the conference experienced rises in both offensive and defensive production, Gait said, the Orange experienced a sharp decline.Gait’s movement to “reevaluate” the team — one that has already caused Gait to bring on a new goalkeeper’s coach to manage the talented, yet young, group — has the Orange looking to its defense to fill the gaps left by both the departures of players and openings in the zone in years past.Despite the absence of much of last year’s starting defense, including outgoing-Maryland transfer Kathy Rudkin and graduate Halley McDonnell, the Orange remain optimistic that the holes will be filled.“I think when you do lose somebody, obviously, at times there’s a void,” senior midfielder Natalie Wallon said. “… But that also leaves room for other people to step up.”The new defenders will have to “step up” into a new defensive scheme. The Orange faced a lot of open shots last year caused by holes in the zone defensive set, Gait said. To combat that issue, SU is looking to “mark up a player and track them,” Gait said, to limit opportunities for opponents who are toying with the Syracuse defense as they did on some occasions last year.The formation could have been beneficial to the Orange last season. In Syracuse’s ACC Championship matchup with North Carolina, the Tar Heels had one player cause most of the damage to the Orange defense. UNC attack Molly Hendrick scored seven goals and assisted on two more in what turned out to be an 18-11 loss for SU.The Orange could have marked up against the Tar Heels, as SU could have in its NCAA tournament loss to Boston College, where 13 of the Eagles’ 35 points in their 21-10 rout came from two players, Sam Apuzzo and Kate Weeks.While last season ended with two of the Orange’s three worst defensive outputs of the season, Gait said he expects offensive and defensive production to be impacted by rule changes the NCAA made in the offseason.With Syracuse using a zone defense that left openings in the past, the new “eight meters” rule will allow defenses to pack in closer to the goalkeeper’s circle making it much more difficult for offenses to find an open shot.Gait maintains that SU’s “fixed plan” is to evaluate matchups each game and decide what will work best. Last year, Syracuse’s faulty defense contributed to its lowest win total since joining the ACC. SU’s willingness and ability to switch between defensive sets is what Gait expects to be the biggest difference this year from the last.“It’s important to have variety,” Gait said. “If the teams matchup well and they’re playing really well, you want to turn around and be able to change your defense.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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