Friday, September 22, 2006

Two weeks after Chinese surgeons successfully transplanted a donated penis onto an unidentified 44-year-old man, they were requested to remove it. Despite functioning perfectly and having been physically accepted by the body, the patient and his wife asked for the penis to be amputated, due to the severe psychological trauma they had both suffered.

A team of surgeons led by Dr Hu Weilie took 15 hours to attach the penis, which was donated by the family of a 22-year-old brain-dead patient. Doctors have successfully re-attached patients’ own severed members in the past, but this was the first use of a second-party penis.

The psychological rejection of the penis is not unusual from a medical point of view; in 2001 surgeons removed the world’s first transplanted hand from donee Clint Hallam, who wanted the “hideous and withered” hand to be removed because he had become “mentally detached” from it. The team that led the transplant have since performed the world’s first double arm transplant.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=First_penis_transplant_reversed_after_two_weeks&oldid=1430512”

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Shortly after ending its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the government of Iran has now ordered the IAEA to discontinue some of its surveillance of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Tehran has also asked the agency to remove any and all signage from their nuclear sites by the end of next week.

This is in response to the Saturday resolution by the IAEA to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council, which was made without waiting for the director of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, chairman of the IAEA, to finish preparing a report on Iran’s civilian (and allegedly military) nuclear programs for the regular IAEA meeting scheduled for March 6. ElBaradei had given Iran until March to answer IAEA questions. By a vote of 27 to three (with five abstentions), and without the information in ElBaradei’s report planned for March 2006, the IAEA recommended that the matter of the Iranian nuclear program be brought before the Security Council.

The recommendation claims that there are serious concerns about Iranian nuclear aims, and the agency does not have confidence that the program is intended solely for civilian or other non-military use. Although the meeting was taken without waiting for ElBaradei’s March report, the recommendation requests ElBaradei to make his report anyway, including a list of “steps Iran needs to take to dispel suspicions about its nuclear ambitions” by March 6.

The IAEA’s resolution calls for Iran to reinstate a freeze on its nuclear programs, consider ending construction of a plutonium-producing heavy water reactor, and to continue allowing the IAEA’s purposes and actions in Iran. However, the council will not implement any further action until ElBaradei makes his full report on March 6.

ElBaradei also reported to the IAEA Monday that Iran would also demand a reduction in the amount of facilities inspections from the agency, and that they would discontinue their agreement to the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the agency reported Iran to the Security Council. This protocol entitles the IAEA to hold unannounced inspections of facilities, increased surveillance capability, and placing IAEA seals on nuclear equipment.

Other diplomatic ventures are being planned. On February 16, Iranian officials will meet with the Russian government in Moscow to discuss the possibility of Russia enriching uranium for export to Iran in exchange for a halting of its nuclear enrichment program. And Wang Guangya, China’s ambassador to the UN, said Monday that “Even with the adoption of this IAEA resolution, it is the belief of most of the members there that a diplomatic solution is the way out within the framework of the IAEA.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Iran_demands_that_IAEA_end_surveillance_of_its_nuclear_program&oldid=4220415”

Wikinews Shorts: May 8, 2007

January 25, 2023 3:53 pm | No Comments

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, May 8, 2007.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced that it has uncovered the grave and tomb of King Herod, who ruled Judea for the Roman empire from circa 37 BCE. The Tomb was found at Herodium, 12 km south of Jerusalem.

Sources

  • “King Herod’s ancient tomb ‘found'” — BBC News Online, 2007-05-08
  • Amiram Barkat. “Hebrew University: Herod’s tomb and grave found at Herodium” — Haaretz, 2007-05-08
  • Lilach Shoval and Reuters. “King Herod’s tomb discovered, Israeli university says” — Ynetnews, 2007-05-08

An Australian female science student is in a serious but stable condition at the Royal Melbourne Hospital after being stabbed by another female student at La Trobe University this morning.

The victim, a 27-year-old behavioral science student, was stabbed several times in the chest by a masked female stranger in a toilet block outside the Bundoora campus library. Students quickly evacuated the library after seeing the victim running from the bathroom, screaming that she had been stabbed and leaving a trail of blood behind her. The 23-year-old attacker has been charged with attempted murder. Witnesses to the event are being offered councelling services.

Sources

  • “Woman stable after uni stabbing” — ABC News Online, May 8, 2007
  • Julia Medew and Leo Shanahan. “Shock at uni stabbing” — The Age, May 8, 2007

President-elect of France, Nicolas Sarkozy was criticized for going on a luxury cruise in Malta with his family, right after winning the election on a platform that emphasized hard work.

“It sends a disastrous signal to the country, notably the 53 percent of French people who earn less than 800 euros a month and who voted for him,” said Patrick Menucci, former advisor to Ségolène Royal.

However, Sarkozy last week explained the reasons for taking what was supposed to an unpublicized retreat. He said he needed time to prepare himself for the heavy burden of state.

Sources

  • Charles Bremner. “A wreath for Chirac, a yacht for Sarkozy” — The Times, May 9, 2007
  • Jon Boyle. “France’s Sarkozy attacked over luxury cruise” — Reuters, May 8, 2007

Attacks by Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in Nigeria have reportedly forced Italian oil company Eni to shut down production of some 150 thousand barrels of oil per day.

“We intend to destroy between now and May 29 more pipes than we have destroyed in the last one year,” Jomo Gbomo (suspected to be a pseudonym), spokesperson for MEND, said in an e-mail.

Up to 25% of the usual production is said to have been lost last year.

Sources

  • Estelle Shirbon. “Nigerian oil bombings cut 150,000 bpd output” — Reuters, May 8, 2007
  • “‘Pipelines hit’ in Nigeria delta” — BBC News Online, May 8, 2007

At around 1am local time NATO forces came under attack from insurgents in Kandahar City, Afghanistan. During the battle one civilian was killed and another two were injured with conflicting reports as to who was to blame. First hand reports lay blame on the NATO troops however there has been no official confirmation either way as yet. The nationality of the NATO soldiers involved in the incident has not been released. Both NATO and the Afghan Police are investigating the civilian death and injuries.

The Associated Press states that 151 Afghan civilians have been killed in combat during the first 4 months of 2007, and that 51 of these died from NATO and/or US fire.

Sources

  • “NATO convoy ambushed, opens fire on civilians” — Canada.com, May 8, 2007
  • Noor Kahn. “NATO convoy ambushed in Afghanistan” — Journal-Gazette Times Courier, May 8, 2007

In Washington DC, Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman announced the awarding of the Management & Operation (M&O) contract for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory today in a press conference. The M&O contract was awarded to a consortium comprised of the University of California, Bechtel National, BWX Technologies, Washington Group International, and Battelle, to be known as Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS) LLC.

“Livermore National Laboratory is a critical part of our nuclear weapons complex and has been for the last 55 years,” Secretary Bodman said. “For the first time since the beginning of the laboratory a new contractor is coming to Livermore. We look forward to working with LLNS as Livermore continues its vital national security work.”

Sources

  • Erica Werner. “UC Team Gets Livermore Contract” — WTOP, May 8, 2007
  • Robert C. Dynes, AP. “UC Team To Get Lawrence Livermore Management Contract” — KGO-TV, May 8, 2007
  • Press Release: “DOE Selects Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC to Manage its Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory” — United States Department of Energy, May 8, 2007

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_Shorts:_May_8,_2007&oldid=1975581”

Police evict Vestas protesters

January 25, 2023 3:41 pm | No Comments

Friday, August 7, 2009

The remaining six workers staging an occupation in Newport, Isle of Wight, England have left peacefully after police entered their factory.

After barricading the office which has served as a living quarters for 19 nights against police entry, three of the workers, Justin Moody, Mark Smith, and Dave Arbuthnott, exited via a fire escape escorted by security staff; two, Ian Terry and Mark Flower, abseiled down the factory’s wall; and Jaymie Rigby jumped thirty feet from a balcony to the bushes below. Rigby was examined at a local hospital after the jump but was found to be in good condition and released. The six were processed by police but not arrested.

The six, who as part of a group of around 25 entered the factory on the evening July 20, had been conducting their occupation in a bid to get the government to nationalise the factory. Despite rising profits and rising orders, Vestas has decided to close their production facilities in the United Kingdom and most of their facilities in Denmark, at a cost of 1900 jobs, in order to concentrate on growth in North and South America and in Asia. The Vestas factory in Newport does not produce blades for the UK market and the company has refused both a £6 million grant and offers from the government to assist the company in re-tooling the plant for production of British blades.

The company, in turn, blames the British government for making it too hard to obtain planning permission for on-shore wind farms. A Vestas spokesman, commenting to the BBC about the end of the occupation, said, “we have always understood the frustrations of the workers but have been surprised at the length of this action.”

The evicted workers say that, after spending time with their families, they plan to return to the protests against Vestas, joining the impromptu camp of hundreds of protesters which has sprung up outside the factory gates. The Vestas occupiers have received support from a broad coalition of left-wing political parties, trade unions, environmental groups, the Tory-dominated Isle of Wight Council, and a handful of MPs; today, the last major left party which had not joined the coalition, Arthur Scargill‘s Socialist Labour Party, released a statement saying

does it make sense that Vestas should be closed and the green ecology so beloved of this government should be transported here from the far corners of the world? The only sensible demand is for the nationalisation of the entire energy industry.

The SLP’s spokesman, Alan Johnson, went on to tell Wikinews that the occupiers “have our full support.” None of the three large parties dominating the British parliament have backed the Vestas workers, however, although the ruling Labour Party has recently sponsored talks between among the coalition of trade unions supporting the occupiers.

Police served the remaining occupiers notice to vacate the premises yesterday at noon; Vestas’s first attempt at obtaining a warrant was stymied in court when the defence successfully argued that notice requiring possession had not been correctly served to the occupiers.

The occupiers lived in the factory twenty-four hours a day during the occupation, sleeping in a 1600-square-foot (149-square-metre) office, maintaining hygiene as well as possible in the factory’s bathrooms, and eating one small meal a day — initially from the contents of vending machines, then from what the company management supplied supplemented by whatever protesters were able to get over the fence surrounding the factory. The RMT, which has arranged legal representation for the Vestas occupiers, has accused Vestas of violating human rights and at one point said it would arrange to have a helicopter airlift food into the workers.

The end of the Newport occupation does not represent the end of unrest at Vestas’s facilities in the Isle of Wight, however. A number of workers at Vestas’s smaller plant in Cowes occupied the plant there on the evening of August 4, with activists from the RMT and environmental groups taking to the roof and waving flags proclaiming the occupation.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Police_evict_Vestas_protesters&oldid=2461520”

Friday, December 1, 2006

The U.S. government warned private financial services that al Qaeda is planning a cyber attack on the U.S. stock and bank accounts, officials said on Thursday.

Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke says: “There is no information to corroborate this aspirational threat. As a routine matter and out of an abundance of caution, US-CERT issued the situational awareness report to industry stakeholders.”

The officials said that the attacks are aimed at destroying the databases of U.S. banking and stock market web sites. The Homeland Security group claims that the threat was for all of December.

A U.S. official said that the threat was posted on an website and called for the attack to avenge the imprisonment of Muslims in the Guantanamo detention camp.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=U.S._warns_of_al_Qaeda_threat_to_stock_trading_and_banking_websites&oldid=440892”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The rescue of the Chilean miners trapped in the San José Mine in Copiapó, codenamed Operación San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo Operation), began on Tuesday night, at around 20:00 local time (23:00 UTC).

Florencio Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, at 00:12 local time (03:12 UTC) on Wednesday. He was wearing a shirt signed by all his fellow miners. “The first miner is already with us. We saw it all, him hugging his wife Monica and his son Byron,” said President Piñera shortly after the first rescue. “We still have a long journey.”

“This will be recorded on every single Chilean heart forever,” Piñera added. “I hope the miners’ hope stay with us, just like the [February] earthquake victims’ [hope] and what the earthquake took off. We know that the disasters unite us all.”

All the 33 miners were rescued. The last miner, Luis Urzúa, was rescued at 21:55 Chile time (00:55 UTC). “It is a pleasure to be Chilean, [I’m] proud,” said Luis Urzúa to President Piñera. “In honour of the miners, their families, the rescuers […] let’s sing our national anthem. Viva Chile Mierda!,” said Piñera. Urzúa thanked Mining Minister Golborne and the First Lady Cecilia Morel for “fighting for their lives.” “I’m proud of my fellow miners,” Urzúa added.

Six rescuers, including a miner and a paramedic, descended to the miners’ shelter using the Fénix 3 capsule which was specially constructed for the rescue. They performed check-ups and talk with the miners before taking them back to the surface. The rescuers still don’t leave the mine.

The Fénix 3 capsules are 3.95 metres in height and weigh about 460 kilograms. They have an armour, an oxygen tube and a microphone. The occupants helmets contain an intercom to keep them in contact with the rescue team on the surface.

President of Chile Piñera assisted to the rescue. Bolivian President Evo Morales could not attend Carlos Mamani’s rescue. Mamani is the only Bolivian miner in the group.

A mass for the miners was conducted at 18:00 local time (21:00 UTC). The rescue takes between 15 and 20 minutes for each miner.

On Tuesday, Mayor of Copiapó Maglio Cicardini announced that the municipal schools in the city will have no classes this Wednesday “to transform the rescue of the Atacama’s 33 in a familiar meeting,” Radio Cooperativa reported.

“The miners will be taken to the Copiapó Regional Hospital for medical checkup, where they will have to stay for 48 hours,” Health Minister Mañalich said to Televisión Nacional de Chile.

Celebrations are taking place in several Chilean cities. In Santiago de Chile, people gathered in one of the most important points of the city, Plaza Italia. In Pichilemu, tens of cars are passing over its most important streets. In Copiapó, people gathered in its main square to assist a massive concert.

On August 5, 33 miners were trapped more than 700 meters (2,300 ft) underground, in the San José copper–gold mine, located about 40 kilometers north of Copiapó, Chile.

The youngest trapped miner is 19 years old, and the oldest is 63. There were several rescue attempts before reaching the miners’ shelter on August 22. The National Emergencies Office of Chile (ONEMI) released a list of the trapped miners on August 6, which included Franklin Lobos Ramírez, a retired footballer.

Chile is the worlds top producer of copper, according to The Economist. The San José Mine is owned by the San Esteban Mining Company (Empresa Minera San Esteban). The mine was closed down in 2007, after relatives of a miner who had died sued the company executives, but the mine was re–opened in 2008.

It was originally estimated that “it would take three to four months to complete the rescue of the trapped miners”. There were three plans to reach the miners: “Plan A” using a Strata 950 drill, “Plan B” using a Schramm T130XD drill, and “Plan C” using a RIG-422 drill. The first to reach the miners was “Plan B”, early on Saturday 9.

The last step of their rescue, announced by Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, was originally due to begin on Tuesday. Laurence Golborne, Minery Minister said “If it is possible, and the cement sets before and we don’t have any impediments to doing it, it would be wonderful,” in a press conference on Monday. The men will be extracted in a steel rescue capsule 54 cm (21 inches) in diameter.

On September 4, Chilean filmmaker Rodrigo Ortúzar announced plans to film a movie about the accident, called “Los 33” (“The 33”). The film will be released in 2011.

One miner is Bolivian, and the other 32 are Chilean.

Raúl Bustos, 40 years old, is an hydraulics engineer. He left his job in Talcahuano after the February 27 earthquake to work in the mine.

Daniel Herrera, 27 years old, is a lorry driver. He has acted as paramedic assistant in the mine. He said to La Tercera “the miners were unhappy with the psychologist in the rescue team.”

Claudio Acuña, miner, is fan of the Colo-Colo football club. The BBC reports he is aged 56, but El Comercio says he is 44.

Pedro Cortez is aged 24. He joined the mine with his friend Carlos Bugueño. Cortez is an electrician, and lost a finger in the mine a year ago.

File:Juan Aguilar with President Piñera.jpg

A native of Los Lagos, Juan Aguilar is 49 years old. Aguilar is married to Cristy Coronado, according to El Comercio. Aguilar works as a supervisor.

Mario Sepúlveda is a 39 years old electrician native of Parral; he is married. He has been the spokesman of the most of the miners’ videos. Mario Sepúlveda was the second miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 01:10 local time (04:10 UTC).

Víctor Zamora is a 33 years old auto mechanic. Zamora is married to Jéssica Cortez, who confirmed she was pregnant while he was in the mine.

Osman Araya is 30 years old, and married. He began working as miner four months before the accident.

Florencio Ávalos is 31 years old. He is the brother of Renán Ávalos, who is also trapped in the mine. He worked as driver in San José. Ávalos filmed videos, sent later to his relatives.

Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 00:10 local time (03:10 UTC).

Jorge Galleguillos, 56 years old, has worked all his life in the mine. He said in one video he was feeling unwell; he takes medication for hypertension.

Carlos Barrios is a 27 years old miner. His father, Antenor Barrios, told Agence France-Presse: “I find he’s very strong and has enthusiasm. He spoke loud and clear. I was excited.”

Franklin Lobos Ramírez is a 53 years old retired footballer. He played for Cobresal, Deportes Antofagasta, Club de Deportes Santiago Wanderers and Unión La Calera, and briefly for the Chile national football team. Lobos had worked as a truck driver in the mine.

Yonni Barrios, called “The Doctor”, is a 50 years old electrician. He has knowledge of first aid, and was given responsibility for monitoring the health of his colleagues. “I felt I was in hell,” Barrios said in a letter to his wife.

Carlos Bugueño, 27 years old, joined the mine with Pedro Cortez. Previously, he worked as a watchman.

Alex Vega Salazar is a 31 years old heavy machinery mechanic. He is married to Jessica Salgado, and celebrated his birthday in the mine on September 22.

Ariel Ticona is a 29 years old miner. His wife, Margarita gave birth to his daughter on September 14. She was named Esperanza (Hope), at Ticona’s request.

Richard Villarroel is a 27 years old mechanic from Coyhaique.

Edison Peña is a 34 years old miner. “I want to go out soon,” he said on his first contact with his relatives. “I want to be free, I want to see the sun,” he added. He is a fan of Elvis Presley.

Claudio Yáñez is 34 years old, and works as drill operator.

José Ojeda, 46 years old, is the master driller. Ojeda is widowed and diabetic.

Luis Urzúa is a 54 year old topographer. He is the shift-leader, and was the first miner to talk with authorities. He is known as Don Lucho among the miners. He draw plans of the area of the mine where they are trapped.

Urzúa will be the last miner to leave the mine.

José Henríquez is a 54 years old drill master. He is also an evangelical preacher, and has worked in mines for 33 years.

Víctor Segovia is a 48 years old electrician. He is in charge of writing down everything that happens in the mine.

Pablo Rojas is a 45 years old explosives loader. Married, he had been working less than six months in the mine.

Juan Illanes is a 51 year old miner. He was a sergeant in the Beagle border conflict between Chile and Argentina in 1978, the incident which almost provoked a war between the countries.

Illanes was rescued on Wednesday, at 02:07 local time (05:07 UTC).

Jimmy Sánchez, 19, is the youngest miner. He had been working in the mine for five months before the accident. His role is to check the temperature and humidity in the mine.

Samuel Ávalos is a 43 years miner. His wife Ruth said “he was addicted to the cocaine.” His role in the rescue is to check air quality in the area the miners are living. According to the BBC, “Ávalos has worked in the mine for five months.”

Mario Gómez, aged 63, is the oldest of the miners. He has worked 51 years as miner. His father was also a miner, and is nicknamed “El Navegao” (“The Sailed One”). He was thinking of retiring in November.

Gómez also wrote the message “Estamos bien en el refugio los 33” (“We are fine in the shelter the 33 [of us]”).

Segovia is 48 years old. He is married to Jessica Chille, who said “To hear his voice was a confort to my heart,” after talking with him for the first time in 24 days. His sister María, was nicknamed “La Alcaldesa” (“The Mayoress”) for her leading role at Campamento Esperanza. His father, Darío Senior, was trapped in a mine for a week, and suffered serious injuries after two other mining accidents, according to the BBC.

Carlos Mamani is a 23 years old heavy equipment operator. He is also the only non-Chilean miner; Mamani is Bolivian. He began working in the mine just five days before the accident.

He was rescued at 03:11 local time (06:11 UTC) on Wednesday.

Renán Ávalos is a 29 years old miner, single, who had been working for five months in the mine before the accident. Florencio Ávalos is his brother.

Omar Reygadas is a 56 year old electrician. He began working in the mine shortly before the accident.

Esteban Rojas is a 44 years old miner. Rojas is married to Jessica Yáñez.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Copiapó,_Chile_mining_accident:_in_depth&oldid=1986972”

Friday, October 5, 2007

Johan Boyden is running for the Communist Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Toronto Centre riding. Wikinews interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Ontario_Votes_2007:_Interview_with_Communist_Party_candidate_Johan_Boyden,_Toronto_Centre&oldid=1838596”

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It has emerged that the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after the mine they were working in collapsed could be brought to the surface in a shorter time than was initially feared. While officials publicly announced that the men would not be brought to the surface until Christmas, sources inside technical meetings have revealed that they could in fact be on the surface by early November. The news comes as families were allowed to speak by radio-telephone to their trapped loved ones on Sunday. Over the weekend, video images filmed by the miners emerged showing the miners playing dominoes at a table and singing the Chilean national anthem. The miners also used the camera to send video messages to their families on the surface, saying that they regularly broke into tears, but were feeling better having received food and water.

The grainy nightvision images, filmed on a high definition camcorder that was sent down a small shaft to the mine, show the men in good spirits, chanting “long live Chile, and long live the miners.” They are unshaven and stripped to the waist because of the heat underground, and are seen wearing white clinical trousers that have been designed to keep them dry. Giving a guided tour of the area they are occupying, Mario Sepúlveda, one of the miners, explains they have a “little cup to brush our teeth”, and a place where they pray each day. “We have everything organized,” he tells the camera. Gesturing to the table in the center of the room, he says that “we meet here every day. We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33.” Another unidentified miner asks to rescuers, “get us out of here soon, please.” A thermometer is shown in the video, reading 29.5C (85F).

As the film continues, it becomes evident that the miners have stuck a poster of a topless woman on the wall. The miners appear shy, and one man puts his hand to his face, presumably dazzled by the light mounted on the cameraman’s helmet. One miner sent a message to his family. “Be calm”, he says. “We’re going to get out of here. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts.” Another said that the miners are “sure that there are people here in Chile that are big people, that are powerful people, that are intelligent people, and they have the technology and they will all work together to get us out of here.” Speaking to the camera, one says: “we have had the great fortune that trapped in this mine there are good, professional people. We have electricians, we have mechanics, we have machine operators and we will let you know that while you are working to rescue us on the surface, we are down here ready to help you too.” It has been reported that Mario Gómez, 63, has become the group’s “spiritual leader”, having worked in the mines for over fifty years. He has requested that materials to build a shrine be sent down to the cavern.

Upon seeing the video in a private screening, family members, who are living in a small village of tents at the entrance to the San José copper-gold mine—which they have named Camp Hope—were elated. “He’s skinny, bearded and it was painful to see him with his head hanging down, but I am so happy to see him alive”, said Ruth Contreras, the mother of Carlos Bravo, who is trapped in the mine. The video, of which only a small portion has been released to the public, shows the miners, many of them wearing helmets, cracking jokes and thanking the rescuers for their continued efforts. The supplies are being sent to the men through a small shaft only twelve centimeters wide, and a laboratory has been set up with the purpose of designing collapsible cots and miniature sandwiches, which can be sent down such a narrow space.

CNN reported on Friday that “officials are splitting the men into two shifts so one group sleeps while the other works or has leisure time .. On average, each man has lost 22 pounds (10 kilograms) since they became trapped three weeks ago, and dehydration remains a threat. But a survey of the men indicates that at least nine miners are still too overweight to fit through the proposed rescue shaft. Initially, the miners survived by draining water from a water-cooled piece of equipment. To stay hydrated in the 90-degree mine, each miner must drink eight or nine pints of water per day.”

But while there are jubilant celebrations on the surface that the miners are alive, officials are now nervous that the miners could become depressed, trapped in a dark room the size of a small apartment. Chilean health minister Jaime Mañalich said that, on the video, he saw the telltale signs of depression. “They are more isolated, they don’t want to be on the screen, they are not eating well”, he said. “I would say depression is the correct word.” He said that doctors who had watched the video had observed the men suffering from “severe dermatological problems.” Dr. Rodrigo Figueroa, head of the trauma, stress and disaster unit at the Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, explained that “following the euphoria of being discovered, the normal psychological reaction would be for the men to collapse in a combination of fatigue and stress … People who are trained for emergencies – like these miners – tend to minimize their own needs or to ignore them. When it is time to ask for help, they don’t.” NASA has advised emergency workers that entertaining the miners would be a good idea. They are to be sent a television system complete with taped football matches. Another dilemma facing Mañalich is whether the miners should be permitted to smoke underground. While nicotine gum has been delivered to the miners, sending down cigarettes is a plan that has not been ruled out.

With the news that drilling of the main rescue tunnel was expected to begin on Monday, officials have informed the media that they hope to have the miners out of the mine by Christmas—but sources with access to technical meetings have suggested that the miners could actually be rescued by the first week of November. A news report described the rescue plan—”the main focus is a machine that bores straight down to 688m and creates a chimney-type duct that could be used to haul the miners out one by one in a rescue basket. A second drilling operation will attempt to intercept a mining tunnel at a depth of roughly 350m. The miners would then have to make their way through several miles of dark, muddy tunnels and meet the rescue drill at roughly the halfway point of their current depth of 688m.” Iván Viveros Aranas, a Chilean policeman working at Camp Hope, told reporters that Chile “has shown a unity regardless of religion or social class. You see people arriving here just to volunteer, they have no relation at all to these families.”

But over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the “miners who have astonished the world with their discipline a half-mile underground will have to aid their own escape — clearing 3,000 to 4,000 tons of rock that will fall as the rescue hole is drilled, the engineer in charge of drilling said Sunday … The work will require about a half-dozen men working in shifts 24 hours a day.” Andrés Sougarret, a senior engineer involved in operating the drill said that “the miners are going to have to take out all that material as it falls.”

The families of those trapped were allowed to speak to them by radio-telephone on Sunday—a possibility that brought reassurance both the miners and those on the surface. The Intendant of the Atacama Region, Ximena Matas, said that there had been “moments of great emotion.” She continued to say that the families “listened with great interest and they both felt and realized that the men are well. This has been a very important moment, which no doubt strengthens their [the miners’] morale.” The phone line is thought to be quite temperamental, but it is hoped that soon, those in the mine and those in Camp Hope will be able to talk every day. “To hear his voice was a balm to my heart … He is aware that the rescue is not going to happen today, that it will take some time. He asked us to stay calm as everything is going to be OK … He sounded relaxed and since it was so short I didn’t manage to ask anything. Twenty seconds was nothing”, said said Jessica Cortés, who spoke to her husband Víctor Zamora, who was not even a miner, but a vehicle mechanic. “He went in that day because a vehicle had broken down inside the mine … At first they told us he had been crushed [to death].”

Esteban Rojas sent up a letter from inside the mine, proposing to his long-time partner Jessica Yáñez, 43. While they have officially been married for 25 years, their wedding was a civil service—but Rojas has now promised to have a church ceremony which is customary in Chile. “Please keep praying that we get out of this alive. And when I do get out, we will buy a dress and get married,” the letter read. Yáñez told a newspaper that she thought he was never going to ask her. “We have talked about it before, but he never asked me … He knows that however long it takes, I’ll wait for him, because with him I’ve been through good and bad.”

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Category:April 16, 2010

January 21, 2023 3:45 pm | No Comments

? April 15, 2010
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Thursday, December 7, 2006

A tornado has struck Kensal Green in North West London. Up to 150 houses have been damaged, and six people were injured, one seriously. Residential roads were closed off, but most have now been re-opened. Residents have had to seek temporary accommodation. Traffic was also diverted causing disruption but has now returned to normal. The cost of the damage is estimated to be at least £20,000,000.

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