Couple recounts drama of crash-landing hot-air balloon after losing pilot

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — Tom and Shawna Stenton, of Louisville, Kentucky, were planning to enjoy a relaxing sightseeing tour of Las Vegas last week — but the day turned into a nightmare when their hot-air balloon crash-landed in the desert, ejecting the pilot and leaving them to fend for themselves.“It felt like a car crash. It did not feel like a hard landing … it felt like a bad car crash,” Shawna Stenton told ABC News’ Good Morning America in an interview airing Thursday. “We’re just fortunate we made it out alive. That’s what I keep going back to every time I start to panic. My heart starts pounding and I think, ‘You’re alive and that’s all that matters.’ And then that calms me.” Sitting side-by-side in wheelchairs, the Stentons said they’re still recovering from the Sept. 12 hot-air balloon crash that injured several others and left one passenger in critical condition.Several passengers and the pilot were thrown from the gondola and others were dragged for more than a half mile, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.“When we popped up, it was, ‘Where is everybody? Where’s the pilot?’ And then panic. ‘Where’s the pilot?’” Shawna Stenton said.Thankfully, her husband was able to think quickly as the balloon drifted back into the air after hitting the ground and bouncing around for what seemed like forever, the couple said.“Tom’s a hero. He won’t tell people, but I mean, he landed that balloon. We ended up on the ground and I don’t know where we would have been,” Shawna Stenton said.Tom Stenton said he’s still not sure of how he manged to pull it off, but he said he’s glad that he paid attention to the pilot as he operated the balloon.“There was a red rope that opens up the canopy at the top of the balloon and lets the hot air out. And you have, like, 15 seconds from when you pull that till it starts to actually drop. So I just jerked it,” he said. “We got a little bit closer to the ground and I jerked it again, and that’s when we just made contact.”Shawna Stenton sustained a broken ankle and femur in the crash, as well as a punctured lung. Her husband has multiple broken bones in his right hand and blood clots in his legs.The FAA is still investigating the cause of the crash.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Dutch Labour Party kicked out Erdoğan loyalists: chairman

first_imgHe did not say how many candidates and which municipalities were affected, but sources told NRC one of them was running to become a municipal councillor in Amsterdam.Spekman said he will monitor candidates for next year’s parliamentary elections for their “progressive values,” referring to their views on homosexuality and gender equality.“I believe that you enter the list because you want to become a representative, not because you want to get many votes [for personal gains],” he said.Labour’s management said that it will check candidates after two of its MPs with Turkish origins left the party after clashing with integration minister Lodewijk Asscher over his stand towards Turkish organizations in the Netherlands. Also On POLITICO Threats, insults and praise: 9 Erdoğan quotes on Europe By Jacopo Barigazzi Germans want Angela Merkel to stand up to Erdoğan: poll By Cynthia Kroet Former Miss Turkey guilty of insulting Erdoğan By Vince Chadwick The Dutch Labour Party removed several candidates from its ballot lists at the 2014 local elections over fears they had links to the conservative party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.Labour Chairman Hans Spekman said in an article published in newspaper NRC on Wednesday that he was informed members of the youth division of Erdoğan’s AK Party “tried to enter ballot lists.”“We [the party’s board] tipped off municipalities and told them that [the candidates] have wrong intentions,” Spekman said. Those candidates were then removed from the ballot.last_img read more

Russia announces halt in Aleppo bombing

first_imgRussia on Monday announced an eight-hour “humanitarian pause” in its bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo.“We have taken a decision not to waste time and to introduce ‘humanitarian pauses,’ mainly for the free passage of civilians, evacuation of the sick and wounded and withdrawal of fighters,” senior Russian military officer Sergei Rudskoi said, according to AFP.The halt in the conflict would last between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time. “During this period the Russian air force and Syrian government troops will halt air strikes and firing from any other types of weapons,” Rudskoi said.EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the move was a “positive step.”However, she added: “The latest assessment from the aid agencies is that 12 hours is needed so work is needed to find common ground.”The U.N. welcomed the ceasefire but said it was not enough to deliver humanitarian aid.last_img read more

New unit to tackle corrupt officials

first_img2 December 2010 The South African government has launched a special unit to tackle corruption in the country’s public service by investigating suspected corrupt officials, improving lines for reporting wrong-doing, and protecting whistleblowers and witnesses. Launching the unit in Johannesburg last week, Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi said the unit would investigate officials with undisclosed business interests as well as official who did outside work without permission, who solicited bribes, or who received grants or benefits unlawfully. Baloyi said the unit would operate in collaboration with the police Special Investigative Unit, the Auditor-General, the Public Service Commission, and the National Treasury. Provincial anti-corruption units will also work hand-in-hand with the new unit, which is divided into three divisions to handle investigations, legal and disciplinary matters, and strategic information management. It will conduct, facilitate and coordinate the investigation of high-profile cases and, where necessary, refer investigation outcomes to the relevant authorities for further action. It will also oversee disciplinary proceedings in high-profile cases. “Our stance is zero tolerance on corruption,” Baloyi said, adding that rooting out corruption would lead in turn to a more efficient public service. Last month, the Public Service Commission recommended the establishment of an anti-corruption unit in the public service because non-compliance and a lack of coordination was hampering the fight against corruption in government departments. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Fighting the Fakes: How to Build Your Brand Protection Strategy

first_imgA study by the Government Accountability Office, released in January, observes a shift in sale of counterfeit goods from “underground” or secondary markets, such as flea markets or sidewalk vendors, “to primary markets, including e-commerce websites, corporate and government supply chains, and traditional retail stores.”Additionally, the physical appearance of counterfeit goods may no longer serve as a red flag that a product is fake, as additional types of bogus products closely resemble genuine goods, according to the GAO report, Agencies Can Improve Efforts to Address Risks Posed by Changing Counterfeits Market.It’s not the only recent study to include a warning to manufacturers to review their brand protection strategy. “The continuous growth of the global counterfeiting industry is a major cause for concern,” according to a recent report by the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC), Measuring the Magnitude of Global Counterfeiting, 2016. “Fueled by the proliferation of Internet use and social media platforms, the magnitude of global physical counterfeiting is estimated to have increased significantly since the beginning of this century.”- Sponsor – The numbers are staggering. Between 2012 to 2014, according to US Customs and Border Protection, the value of seized counterfeit goods in the US averaged $1,351,067,064 annually. The figure only counts the value from seizures, so it surely fails to adequately capture the full scope of trade-related counterfeiting, according the GIPC. As big as the number is, it has to be considered a “floor,” says the group.Counterfeiting has a host of negative repercussions. “First and foremost, counterfeit goods jeopardize consumers and pose a serious safety risk,” warns the GIPC. Fake toys, for example, may contain hazardous and prohibited chemicals and detachable small parts. Counterfeit products also take a toll on the overall health of the economy, due to decreased innovation, loss of revenue and taxation, higher unemployment, and slower economic growth. Finally, a growing body of evidence draws a clear link between physical counterfeiting and terrorist groups, according to the GIPC.A study by the Rand Corporation examined that link. Its review of 14 cases of crime organizations involved in film piracy revealed three cases in which terrorist groups financed their activities from the proceeds of the activity. In one example, an individual known for pirating DVDs and a “global terrorist”—as identified by the US government—transferred $3.5 million to a Hezbollah leader. “These cases, combined with established evidence for the broader category of counterfeiting-terrorism connections, are highly suggestive that intellectual-property theft-a low risk, high-profile enterprise-is attractive not only to organized crime, but also to terrorists, particularly opportunistic members of local terrorist cells,” the Rand report concluded.Fake products also take a toll on a company’s reputation. “Counterfeit goods, being of generally inferior quality, damage brands in the opinion of those that buy counterfeit versions unwittingly,” notes a report by Perpetuity Research & Consultancy International (PCRI), Organizing for Brand Protection. Purchases of fake goods also cut into company sales and are unfair competition to legitimate retailers. When consumers knowingly buy fake goods, it threatens retailers’ exclusivity and “results in branded goods becoming visible in inappropriate retail settings.” “Brand owners therefore need to be proactive in protecting their brands,” concludes the PCRI study based on interviews with senior brand protection executives at 26 organizations and representing some of the world’s biggest brands.Case Studies in Brand ProtectionA counterfeiting operation should not elicit the image of a few thieves in some small room making cheap, obvious knock-offs. Such operations do exist, but so do sophisticated ones that look and act like any production facility—except that the sale of their goods directly siphons money away from legitimate manufacturer and sellers.So what security measures have companies taken to successfully fight back? Some retailers are looking to technology as a way to fight fakes. For example, one footwear retailer is reportedly using blockchain and 3D-printed smart tags—that can be scanned by a smartphone—to prove product authenticity. The GIPC has highlighted some of the other strategies used by the world’s leading companies and associations.One solution employed by many companies is to more aggressively pursue legal action against violators. In February, for example, Montblanc won a $32 million judgment from a Virginia federal judge in its lawsuit against a website operator that the German luxury goods company accused of violating trademark laws by selling counterfeit Montblanc products.On February 14, Walmart and another retailer were hit with a lawsuit filed in California federal court by Deckers Outdoor, which alleges the companies infringed on its trademark and patent by selling counterfeit versions of its “Bailey Button” boot.Working with trade partners to make them aware of counterfeit and contraband products—and enforcing company trade policies—is also a popular brand protection strategy. For example, investigators for the brand integrity unit at Altria’s Phillip Morris (PM) USA, regularly purchase PM-branded cigarettes from retail stores, online sellers, and “nontraditional” outlets where tobacco products would typically not be sold. Then they determine their authenticity and origin and take action under its contracts and trade policies against wholesalers and retailers found trading in contraband. In some cases, PM USA has filed suit against retailers, illegal importers, and Internet operators found to be trafficking in contraband.Like some other firms, Unilever has found success in tackling counterfeiting through a multifunctional steering group. Experts suggest that tackling counterfeiting is best attempted through a joint security effort that includes asset protection, legal and sales, supply chain, communications, public affairs, research and development, safety and environmental, IT, and marketing. There are also security-specific solutions that companies are using successfully. Some ideas for brand protection strategy:Since counterfeiters are getting increasingly sophisticated, it’s getting harder to determine fake packaging. To help law enforcement distinguish between real and fake, PM USA’s brand integrity team provides it with a quick guide and other collateral materials that point out the differences.True Religion Brand Jeans employed a similar strategy. They developed an anti-counterfeiting “kit,” which includes genuine parts such as button faces, button backs, labels and tags, as well as tips on how to distinguish real True Religion jeans from counterfeits. It then shares kits with local, state, and federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection.One manufacturer/retail brand says that it aggressively fights the illegitimate product trade with lobbying, legal enforcement, and improving visibility and physical security of its supply chain. However, the company also admitted that it didn’t have a good grasp of the problem because it wasn’t capturing reports of counterfeits in a consistent manner. Subsequent solutions have been more effective since they formulated a consistent process for identifying and reporting supply chain breaches and instances of bogus product. Similarly, in an effort to learn more about the enemy they’re fighting, one company established a hotline for customers to call if they think that they’ve been approached or victimized by telemarketers posing as company sales reps.The National Basketball Association has become a truly global brand, one victimized by hard-goods counterfeiters of popular NBA merchandise such as t-shirts, jerseys, basketballs, and hats. In response, they’ve taken standard anti-counterfeiting strategies such as using holograms to identify authentic NBA merchandise. They’ve also worked on creative partnerships with law enforcement. For example, the NBA participates in a task force in New York City that, “with the help of the NYPD, has succeeded in having fines and other penalties imposed on landlords who repeatedly rent their buildings to counterfeiters,” according to the association’s Ayala Deutsch, who heads up its brand protection effort. The NBA and law enforcement secured the penalties by working closely with city officials, who found building code violations at the buildings that harbored networks of intellectual property criminals.New Balance suffers from consumers who knowingly purchase knock-off shoes and those who mistakenly believe they’re buying the real thing when buying a shoe with nearly identical logos. Both actions contribute to the same problem: brand erosion among consumers and retailers. In response, among other measures, the company deployed a full-time team of investigators to constantly monitor Pacific Rim regions known for counterfeit shoemaking and regularly conducts raids on factories and distributors. Additionally, the company supplies its factories with difficult-to-copy labels with an embedded code that are attached to shoes, which can help spot fakes and unauthorized overruns, and it is considering assigning a unique number to every item, which would make it possible to determine where and when every shoe is made. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Quebec teen wins 1000 per week for life with ticket bought to

first_imgMONTREAL – A Quebec teen who bought a lottery ticket for the first time to celebrate her entry into adulthood has walked away with $1,000 a week for the rest of her life.Charlie Lagarde won the grand prize in the Gagnant a Vie lottery.Lagarde, who hails from the Monteregie area just southeast of Montreal, was celebrating her 18th birthday.Loto-Quebec said she went to local liquor store for sparkling wine and also bought herself a $4 scratch lottery ticket at a nearby convenience store on Mar. 13.After winning the jackpot, she took a few weeks to decide on whether to accept a lump sum $1 million payout or the $1,000 weekly lifetime annuity.A financial advisor told her to opt for the weekly amount given her age.“It’s without taxes so it’s equivalent to a salary of more than $100,000 a year, so it’s a great start in life for that young lady,” Patrice Lavoie, a spokesman for the lottery corporation, said Tuesday.“That was her first lottery ticket ever and she fell upon a winning ticket.”Lagarde claimed her prize Monday at Loto-Quebec’s head office in Montreal, joined by family and friends.She has big travel plans but also told lottery officials she wants to study photography and hopes to work one day for National Geographic.last_img read more

Bakayoko wants to make Milan move permanent

first_imgOn-loan Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is keen on securing a permanent stay at the San Siro.Bakayoko, 24, joined the Serie A giants on loan last summer with an option to buy and the former Monaco man has reiterated he wants to remain in Milan.The French midfielder endured a slow start to his career at the club but has recently grown in confidence making him Milan’s standout players this season under Gennaro Gattuso.When asked about his future in an interview that was cited on FourFourTwo, the Frenchman said: “We’re waiting for the end of the season.“I’m under contract with Chelsea, but I’m very happy at Milan and I’d like to continue with them.“It was difficult at the start, also because of the language. Today things are going much better, both on the field and in everyday life, and I’m very happy.“As for the future, the objective is to finish in the top four with Milan and have a surprise: a recall to the national team.”Bakayoko has made 19 Serie A appearances for Milan and they are finely poised to secure a Champions League spot.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“The percentage of our wins has increased, but the whole team deserves credit,” Bakayoko said.🎙️ Tiémoué Bakayoko @RMCsportToday things are going much better, both on the field and in everyday life, and I’m very happy. As for the future, the objective is to finish in the top four with Milan and have a surprise: a recall to the national team 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/xqcPZij3Pz— TeamMilanAC (@TeamMilanAC) February 19, 2019“We had a difficult start and for me, it wasn’t easy to adapt to a new team and new surroundings.“I think I’ve become an important player and I‘ve tried my best to help Milan get back to where they deserve to be.“At the start, I was only played sparingly and I was judged a bit too soon. When I started playing regularly, I was able to improve my performances. That’s what I lacked: continuity.”last_img read more

Construction truck crashes into a Santee home

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitter Posted: February 11, 2019 Construction truck crashes into a Santee home February 11, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSANTEE (KUSI) – A large construction truck smashed into a home while going downhill in a Santee neighborhood Monday, leaving the truck wedged inside the house.“It came down pretty much at full speed, went into this house, and you can see from the damage it almost went through the whole house and really completely made it untenable,” said Justin Matsushita, Fire Battalion Chief for the Santee Fire Department.The family renting the home said it went through their living room and their children’s bedrooms, but nobody was home at the time.“I just saw the big, huge truck through the house and the back and I just started panicking,” said Harmony MacFarlane, a nearby neighbor. Harmony MacFarlane lives next door with her family. She said her heart dropped when she heard the crash early Monday morning.“I heard the noise and I came out as fast as I could,” said Harmony MacFarlane. “I saw the smoke coming from the house so I ran over there. I started yelling in the house to see if anyone was home.”She found the driver who had to break a window, so he could crawl out of the truck after the wreck.The Santee Battalion Chief said he was worried the house was going to collapse when they pulled out the truck. “It’s actually holding up the structure for the most part right now,” said Matsushita. “So our concern at this point is when we pull the truck out, what’s going to happen to the structure.”Crews worked to remove tree branches covering the truck. They slowly pulled the truck out of the home. When they did that, it did not collapse, but it was still destroyed.The owner who rents out the house said he’s owned the property for over 40 years and once lived there for five years. “We remodeled it. We put a lot of time and effort into it,” said Richard Braun, Homeowner. “It was our first house, the whole deal. It’s definitely shocking.”The neighbors and Braun are thankful the family wasn’t home at the time. They say it wasn’t just a close call. It was a miracle. “I’m thankful it wasn’t our house because all of us were home,” said MacFarlane. “It’s scary to think that could happen. I’m really glad their kid wasn’t home because they have a little one too. It was pretty scary.” “It’s just property damage. The driver didn’t get hurt. Nobody got hurt,” said Braun. “It can be fixed or bulldozed and rebuilt, but it’s a total blessing that nobody got hurt.”The cause of the crash is still under investigation. The family had renter’s insurance and are going to stay with extended family.The City Inspector red tagged the home Monday, and the owner said it’s now up to the insurance companies to assess the damage. , Updated: 6:40 PMlast_img read more