WEST, Texas -- A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco on Wednesday injured dozens of people and killed an unknown number of others, leaving the factory a smoldering ruin and leveling buildings for blocks in every direction. The explosion at West Fertilizer in downtown West, a community about 20 miles north of Waco, happened around 7 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles to the north. It sent flames shooting high into the night sky and rained burning embers, shrapnel and debris down on shocked and frightened residents.
What was so moving, in the end, was that Baroness Thatcher was buried as a simple Christian. Borne on a gun-carriage to St Paul’s cathedral as a great warrior statesman, Margaret Hilda went as a humble human soul to meet her ultimate fate, as must we all. But what a faith she had, blazing out in those magnificent, soaring hymns and readings that she had apparently so carefully chosen. [Snip] Sure, the protests that had been threatened for the funeral, by people whose gross disrespect for the dead suggests an equivalent and alarming contempt for the living, were kept at
Up to 70 people are feared dead after a massive explosion likened to a nuclear blast ripped through a fertiliser plant in West, near Waco, Texas. Latest 8.42 (2.42) Police have said that they do not know what the cause of the fire was at the plant, but say they cannot rule out criminal activity. 8.27 (2.27) April 16 coincidentally marks the anniversary of the Texas City Disaster, when a large cargo ship being loaded with tons of ammonium nitrate caught fire and exploded. In all, 576 people died in Texas City over April 16 and 17, 1947.
A US newspaper has admitted that it digitally altered a front-page photograph of a Boston Marathon bombing victim so that the woman´s pants covered her horrific leg wounds. The woman´s gory wounds had vanished on the large image that wrapped around the New York Daily News on Tuesday, despite the photograph appearing unedited online and in other publications in the US. In the original photo, taken by John Tlumacki of The Boston Globe, the woman is shown lying in a pool of blood while a man crouches over her, attempting to help. A large wound is clearly visible on her leg
What exactly did Anthony Weiner mean when he told The New York Times, “It’s now or never for me, in terms of running for something”? Here’s our guess: Weiner realizes that unless he runs this year, he’ll lose out on a $1.5 million cash windfall. Under the city’s campaign laws, taxpayers provide a 6-to-1 dollar match for mayoral candidates with donations totaling at least $250,000 from 1,000 or more contributors. At last count, Weiner was just $1,290 short of claiming his prize. (Snip) But there’s a deadline, and it hits Weiner this year. Which means running for office even as his Twitter exploits
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned the West on Wednesday that it will pay a heavy price for its alleged support of Al-Qaeda in Syria. According to AFP, Assad said his regime´s defeat is not an option. (Snip) "The West has paid heavily for funding Al-Qaeda in its early stages. Today it is doing the same in Syria, Libya and other places, and will pay a heavy price in the heart of Europe and the United States," Assad said. Last week, the jihadist rebel group Al-Nusra Front pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who had previously urged rebels to establish an Islamic state in
Amman - His Majesty King Abdullah II on Wednesday donated JD500,000 (about $706,000) towards the construction of a new building for the Sharia faculty at the University of Jordan (UJ). The King´s donation was the first after the faculty board gave a go-ahead for donations to build the new JD8 million (about $11 million) facility. The building, the architectural style of which will be Islamic, aims to enable students and researchers to carry out scientific and research projects. The President of the University of Jordan, Dr. Khlaif Tarawneh, thanked the King for the donation, which he said
U.S ambassador to Jordan Stuart Jones stressed his country´s support to Jordan, adding that the purpose of US president Barack Obama´s visit to Jordan last month was to convey this solidarity. Speaking at the World Affairs Council, the ambassador added that His Majesty King Abdullah II and the US president had engaged in a productive conversation on the challenges facing the regions. "The president announced two new assistance initiatives. First, he committed to providing $200 million in direct cash assistance to the budget of Jordan to help address the cost burden of the influx of Syrian
Baghdad - Iraq has executed 21 prisoners convicted on terrorism charges and links to al-Qaida, the Justice Ministry said Wednesday, setting off fresh criticism from a human rights expert over Baghdad’s insistence on enforcing capital punishment. The prisoners were executed by hanging in the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, according to a statement posted on the ministry’s website. All the convicts were Iraqi al-Qaida operatives who were involved in bombings, car bomb attacks and assassinations, the statement said. The hangings brought the number of prisoners executed in Iraq so far this year to 50,
Here is what we know thus far: The cops have photos of one of the suspects, or two. The suspect(s) may be either “dark-skinned” (CNN) or “white” (CBS). They were carrying backpacks, or maybe bags. The backpacks, or bags, were black, unless they were blue. The bombs were detonated by control boards, unless it was cellphones, unless it was egg timers. Yesterday’s press conference was supposed to take place at 5, until it was supposed to take place at 8, until it was canceled. The media descended on the federal courthouse on Northern Avenue because the suspect was in custody — no, actually it
Caracas, Venezuela - Venezuela´s opposition watched its options dwindle Wednesday after the head of the Supreme Court said there could be no recount of the razor-thin presidential election victory by Hugo Chavez´s heir, leaving many government foes feeling the only chance at power is to wait for the ruling socialists to stumble. (Snip) The United States, meanwhile, appeared to soften its insistence on a recount as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left open the possibility of recognizing Maduro as president even the votes aren´t reviewed. The Obama administration has stood almost
Washington - The Pentagon is sending about 200 troops to Jordan, the vanguard of a potential U.S. military force of 20,000 or more that could be deployed if the Obama administration decides to intervene in Syria to secure chemical weapons arsenals or to prevent the 2-year-old civil war from spilling into neighboring nations. (Snip) Although the Pentagon has sent Patriot missile batteries to Turkey and several dozen U.S. troops already are in Jordan to assist with aid flights and other operations, the move marks the first deployment that Pentagon officials explicitly described as a possible step toward
An explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco has reportedly left dozens of people dead, hundreds injured and caused a nursing home to collapse, trapping residents inside. The blast at the plant in West, Texas at 7.50pm (CST) on Wednesday left fires burning as a three-mile area was evacuated amid fears of a secondary explosion. Emergency crews were not allowed access because of the continued danger. Victims with blast wounds and lacerations were being taken to local hospitals in Waco. Some 66 people are injured and two are currently undergoing surgery.
The images we see from the capitals of Europe´s crisis-ridden countries are confusing to say the least. In the Cypriot capital Nicosia, for example, thousands protested against the levy on bank deposits, carrying images of Hitler and anti-Merkel signs, one of which read: "Merkel, your Nazi money is bloodier than any laundered money." German Chancellor Angela Merkel was greeted by a similar scene when she visited Athens in October 2012.
The Senate’s effective rejection of President Barack Obama’s post-Newtown gun control bill robs the Democratic Party of an important tool for trying to regain a majority in the House in November 2014. “Are they serious?” a visibly angry Obama demanded of opponents of the Toomey/Manchin Senate bill. In a late-afternoon announcement outside the White House, the president added that if Congress continues not to pass a gun control bill, “the answer will have to come from the voters.” But without a Senate bill, there’s little chance
After all the controversy – it was too much, and too expensive; it would be marred by protests – this morning’s funeral for Lady Thatcher in London was a splendid and memorable affair, which did her memory, and her country, proud. It was a moving, dignified and pitch-perfect occasion: unmistakably British, and a fitting send-off for the country’s greatest post-war prime minister. Big Ben fell silent – for the first time since the funeral of wartime leader Winston Churchill – and tens of thousands of admirers lined the streets to applaud Lady Thatcher’s coffin
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister offered condolences to President Obama Wednesday for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Prince Saud Al-Faisal made the gesture during a meeting at the White House that included National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. The White House didn’t report Mr. Obama’s response about the Boston tragedy, but said the president asked Mr. Al-Faisal “to convey his best wishes to King Abdullah bin Abd Al-Aziz Al Saud.” Although Saudi Arabia is a longtime ally of the U.S., terrorism is a complicated issue between the two nations
If there was ever a moment that symbolized the difference between the power of public opinion and the strength of a concerted minority, it came Wednesday when the Senate defeated a bipartisan measure to expand background checks on gun purchases. By the time the vote took place, the outcome was expected. Nonetheless, the result was stunning, as was made clear by the angry reaction of President Obama, who had invested so much capital on getting gun legislation passed after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., only to see those efforts crushed
President Obama’s ambitious effort to overhaul the nation’s gun laws in response to December’s school massacre in Connecticut suffered a resounding defeat Wednesday, when every major proposal he championed fell apart on the Senate floor. It was a stunning collapse for gun-control advocates just four months after the deaths of 20 children and six adults in Newtown led the president and many others to believe that the political climate on guns had been altered in their favor. The national drive for laws that might prevent another mass shooting unraveled
Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project revealed on Hannity´s Wednesday evening cable show that an official at ICE told him the Saudi national first questioned by authorities about the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday is set to be deported. "Remember the Saudi that they had arrested or at least initially detained?" Emerson asked. "It was determined that he had no involvement and they made a statement about it to that effect? Well, I just learned from my own sources he’s now going to be deported on national security grounds Tuesday,"
Several firefighters and others were injured in a fertilizer plant explosion in West shortly before 8 p.m. Multiple buildings were reported to be on fire, including West Middle School, 406 W. Shook St., after the explosion at West Fertilizer Co.,” (Snip) A Hill County sheriff’s deputy who was directing traffic said the explosion shook the windows of his home in Whitney, staff writer Tommy Witherspoon reported. The deputy said a fire broke out at the fertilizer plant and the blast occurred while firefighters were trying to put it out. Many of the injured are fighters, he said.
LONDON - The price of fame can be high with an international study on Thursday finding that people who enjoy successful entertainment or sporting careers tend to die younger. Researchers Richard Epstein and Catherine Epstein said the study, based on analysing 1,000 New York Times obituaries from 2009-2011, found film, music, stage performers and sports people died at an average age of 77.2 years. This compared to an average lifespan of 78.5 years for creative workers, 81.7 for professionals and academics, and 83 years for people in business, military and political careers.
On his site, Walid Shoebat has an interesting discussion about the role of Saudi clans in supporting terrorism.(Snip)After the bombings, a Saudi by the name of Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi was hospitalized and became a ‘suspect’, then a ‘person of interest’. His apartment was searched by federal and local authorities. No confirmation has been given so far to his involvement.(Snip)Perhaps a quick look at the Arabic sources should raise the eyebrows of every American relative to the extent of the problem at hand. Many from Al-Harbi’s clan are steeped in terrorism and are members of Al-Qaeda.
Shares of Apple dipped below the $400 mark for the first time since December 2011 amid concerns over slowing sales. Its shares fell as low as $398.11 in Wednesday trading, before ending the day down 5.5% at $402.80. The concerns were triggered after one of its suppliers, Cirrus Logic, which makes sound components for the iPhone and iPad, reported a decline in sales. With Apple due to release its latest quarterly results next week, some fear the numbers may be underwhelming. According to various estimates, demand from Apple accounts for nearly 90% of Cirrus´s revenue.
Misinformation rather than enlightenment has been the order of the day in the investigation of Monday’s terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon. The anxiety stemming from the attack and the stream of inaccurate news about it is further freighted, moreover, by the FBI’s confirmation that two letters addressed to top political officials — President Obama and Senator Richard Wicker (R., MS) — tested positive for ricin, a deadly poison. As noted below, a man identified as Kenneth Curtis of Tupelo, Mississippi, has reportedly been arrested in connection with the mailings. Early this afternoon, massive confusion