Death sentences in 2008 Chinese tainted milk scandal

Monday, January 26, 2009

On Thursday, the municipal intermediate people’s court in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, China pronounced sentences for 21 defendants implicated in the 2008 Chinese milk scandal which killed at least six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 others.

In the local court’s decision, 17 accused were indicted for the crimes of “producing, adding melamine-laced ‘protein powder’ to infant milk or selling tainted, fake and substandard milk to Sanlu Group or 21 other dairy companies, including six who were charged with the crime of endangering public security by dangerous means.” Four other courts in Wuji County, in Hebei, China had also tried cases on the milk scandal.

Zhang Yujun, age 40, of Quzhou County (Hebei), who produced and sold melamine-laced “protein powder” in the milk scandal, was convicted of endangering public security and sentenced to death by the Shijiazhuang intermediate people’s court.

The court also imposed the penalty of death upon Geng Jinping, who added 434 kg of melamine-laced powder to about 900 tons of fresh milk to artificially increase the protein content. He sold the tainted milk to Sanlu and some other dairy companies. His brother Geng Jinzhu was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for assisting in adding the melamine.

A suspended capital punishment sentence, pending a review, with two years probation, was handed down to Gao Junjie. Under the law, a suspended death sentence is equivalent to life imprisonment with good behavior. The court ruled that Gao designed more than 70 tons of melamine-tainted “protein powder” in a Zhengding County underground factory near Shijiazhuang. His wife Xiao Yu who assisted him, was also sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Sanlu Group General Manager Tian Wenhua, 66, a native of Nangang Village in Zhengding County, who was charged under Articles 144 and 150 of the criminal code, was sentenced to life imprisonment for producing and selling fake or substandard products. She was also fined 20 million yuan (US$2.92 million) while Sanlu, which has been declared bankrupt, was fined 49.37 million yuan ($7.3 million).

Tian Wenhua plans to appeal the guilty verdict on grounds of lack of evidence, said her lawyer Liang Zikai on Saturday. Tian testified last month during her trial that she decided not to stop production of the tainted milk products because a Fonterra designated board member handed her a document which states that a maximum of 20 mg of melamine was allowed in every kg of milk in the European Union. Liang opined that Tian should instead be charged with “liability in a major accident,” which is punishable by up to seven years imprisonment, instead of manufacturing and selling fake or substandard products.

According to Zhang Deli, chief procurator of the Hebei Provincial People’s Procuratorate, Chinese police have arrested another 39 people in connection with the scandal. Authorities last year also arrested 12 milk dealers and suppliers who allegedly sold contaminated milk to Sanlu, and six people were charged with selling melamine.

In late December, 17 people involved in producing, selling, buying and adding melamine to raw milk went on trial. Tian Wenhua and three other Sanlu executives appeared in court in Shijiazhuang, charged with producing and selling fake or substandard milk contaminated with melamine. Tian pleaded guilty, and told the court during her 14-hour December 31 trial that she learned about the tainted milk complaints and problems with her company’s BeiBei milk powder from consumer complaints in mid-May.

She then apparently led a working team to handle the case, but her company did not stop producing and selling formula until about September 11. She also did not report to the Shijiazhuang city government until August 2.

The court also sentenced Zhang Yanzhang, 20, to the lesser penalty of life imprisonment. Yanzhang worked with Zhang Yujun, buying and reselling the protein powder. The convicts were deprived of their political rights for life.

Xue Jianzhong, owner of an industrial chemical shop, and Zhang Yanjun were punished with life imprisonment and 15 years jail sentence respectively. The court found them responsible for employment of workers to produce about 200 tons of the tainted infant milk formula, and selling supplies to Sanlu, earning more than one million yuan.

“From October 2007 to August 2008, Zhang Yujun produced 775.6 tons of ‘protein powder’ that contained the toxic chemical of melamine, and sold more than 600 tons of it with a total value of 6.83 million yuan [$998,000]. He sold 230 tons of the “protein powder” to Zhang Yanzhang, who will stay behind bars for the rest of his life under the same charge. Both Zhangs were ‘fully aware of the harm of melamine’ while they produced and sold the chemical, and should be charged for endangering the public security,” the Court ruled.

Geng Jinping, a suspect charged with producing and selling poisonous food in the tainted milk scandal, knelt before the court, begging for victims’ forgiveness

The local court also imposed jail sentences of between five years and 15 years upon three top Sanlu executives. Wang Yuliang and Hang Zhiqi, both former deputy general managers, and Wu Jusheng, a former raw milk department manager, were respectively sentenced to 15 years, eight years and five years imprisonment. In addition, the court directed Wang to pay multi-million dollar fines. In December, Wang Yuliang had appeared at the Shijiazhuang local court in a wheelchair, after what the Chinese state-controlled media said was a failed suicide attempt.

The judgment also states “the infant milk powder was then resold to private milk collectors in Shijiazhuang, Tangsan, Xingtai and Zhangjiakou in Hebei.” Some collectors added it to raw milk to elevate apparent protein levels, and the milk was then resold to Sanlu Group.

“The Chinese government authorities have been paying great attention to food safety and product quality,” Yu Jiang Yu, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said. “After the case broke out, the Chinese government strengthened rules and regulations and took a lot of other measures to strengthen regulations and monitor food safety,” she added.

In the People’s Republic of China, the intermediate people’s court is the second lowest local people’s court. Under the Organic Law of the People’s Courts of the People’s Republic of China, it has jurisdiction over important local cases in the first instance and hear appeal cases from the basic people’s court.

The 2008 Chinese milk scandal was a food safety incident in China involving milk and infant formula, and other food materials and components, which had been adulterated with melamine. In November 2008, the Chinese government reported an estimated 300,000 victims have suffered; six infants have died from kidney stones and other acute renal infections, while 860 babies were hospitalized.

Melamine is normally used to make plastics, fertilizer, coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants. It was added by the accused to infant milk powder, making it appear to have a higher protein content. In 2004, a watered-down milk resulted in 13 Chinese infant deaths from malnutrition.

The tainted milk scandal hit the headlines on 16 July, after sixteen babies in Gansu Province who had been fed on milk powder produced by Shijiazhuang-based Sanlu Group were diagnosed with kidney stones. Sanlu is 43% owned by New Zealand’s Fonterra. After the initial probe on Sanlu, government authorities confirmed the health problem existed to a lesser degree in products from 21 other companies, including Mengniu, Yili, and Yashili.

From August 2 to September 12 last year Sanlu produced 904 tonnes of melamine-tainted infant milk powder. It sold 813 tonnes of the fake or substandard products, making 47.5 million yuan ($13.25 million). In December, Xinhua reported that the Ministry of Health confirmed 290,000 victims, including 51,900 hospitalized. It further acknowledged reports of “11 suspected deaths from melamine contaminated milk powder from provinces, but officially confirmed 3 deaths.”

Sanlu Group which filed a bankruptcy petition, that was accepted by the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People’s Court last month, and the other 21 dairy companies, have proposed a 1.1 billion yuan ($160 million) compensation plan for court settlement. The court appointed receiver was granted six months to conclude the sale of Sanlu’s assets for distribution to creditors. The 22 dairy companies offered “families whose children died would receive 200,000 yuan ($29,000), while others would receive 30,000 yuan ($4,380) for serious cases of kidney stones and 2,000 yuan ($290) for less severe cases.”

Sanlu stopped production on September 12 amid huge debts estimated at 1.1 billion yuan. On December 19, the company borrowed 902 million yuan for medical and compensation payment to victims of the scandal. On January 16, Sanlu paid compensation of 200,000 yuan (29,247 U.S. dollars) to Yi Yongsheng and Jiao Hongfang, Gangu County villagers, the parents of the first baby who died.

“Children under three years old, who had drunk tainted milk and had disease symptoms could still come to local hospitals for check-ups, and would receive free treatment if diagnosed with stones in the urinary system,” said Mao Qun’an, spokesman of the Ministry of Health on Thursday, adding that “the nationwide screening for sickened children has basically come to an end.”

“As of Thursday, about 90% of families of 262,662 children who were sickened after drinking the melamine-contaminated milk products had signed compensation agreements with involved enterprises and accepted compensation,” the China Dairy Industry Association said Friday, without revealing, however, the amount of damages paid. The Association (CDIA) also created a fund for payment of the medical bills for the sickened babies until they reach the age of 18.

Chinese data shows that those parents who signed the state-backed compensation deal include the families of six children officially confirmed dead, and all but two of 891 made seriously ill, the report said. Families of 23,651 children made ill by melamine tainted milk, however, have not received the compensation offer, because of “wrong or untrue” registration details, said Xinhua.

Several Chinese parents, however, demanded higher levels of damages from the government. Zhao Lianhai announced Friday that he and three other parents were filing a petition to the Ministry of Health. The letter calls for “free medical care and follow-up services for all victims, reimbursement for treatment already paid for, and further research into the long-term health effects of melamine among other demands,” the petition duly signed by some 550 aggrieved parents and Zhao states.

“Children are the future of every family, and moreover, they are the future of this country. As consumers, we have been greatly damaged,” the petition alleged. Chinese investigators also confirmed the presence of melamine in nearly 70 milk products from more than 20 companies, quality control official Li Changjiang admitted.

In addition, a group of Chinese lawyers, led by administrator Lin Zheng, filed Tuesday a $5.2 million lawsuit with the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China (under Chief Grand Justice Wang Shengjunin), in Beijing, on behalf of the families of 213 children’s families. The class-action product liability case against 22 dairy companies, include the largest case seeking $73,000 compensation for a dead child.

According to a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange Market Friday, China’s Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Company, which has a domestic market share of milk powder at 8 percent, reported a net loss in 2008 because of the milk scandal. A Morgan Stanley report states the expected company’s 2008 loss at 2.3 billion yuan. The scandal also affected Yili’s domestic rivals China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited and the Bright Group. Mengniu suffered an expected net loss of 900 million yuan despite earnings in the first half of 2008, while the Bright Group posted a third quarter loss at 271 million yuan last year.

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, said Saturday it accepted the Chinese court’s guilty verdicts but alleged it had no knowledge of the criminal actions taken by those involved. “We accept the court’s findings but Fonterra supports the New Zealand Government’s position on the death penalty. We have been shocked and disturbed by the information that has come to hand as a result of the judicial process,” said Fonterra Chief Executive Andrew Ferrier.

“Fonterra deeply regrets the harm and pain this tragedy has caused so many Chinese families,” he added. “We certainly would never have approved of these actions. I am appalled that the four individuals deliberately released product containing melamine. These actions were never reported to the Sanlu Board and fundamentally go against the ethics and values of Fonterra,” Ferrier noted.

Fonterra, which controls more than 95 percent of New Zealand’s milk supply, is the nation’ biggest multinational business, its second-biggest foreign currency earner and accounts for more than 24 percent of the nation’s exports. Fonterra was legally responsible for informing Chinese health authorities of the tainted milk scandal in August, and by December it had written off its $200 million investment in Sanlu Group.

Amnesty International also strongly voiced its opposition to the imposition of capital punishment by the Chinese local court and raised concerns about New Zealand’s implication in the milk scandal. “The death penalty will not put right the immense suffering caused by these men. The death penalty is the ultimate, cruel and inhumane punishment and New Zealand must take a stand to prevent further abuses of human rights.” AI New Zealand chief executive Patrick Holmes said on Saturday.

“The New Zealand government does not condone the death sentence but we respect their right to take a very serious attitude to what was extremely serious offending,” said John Phillip Key, the 38th and current Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the National Party. He criticized Fonterra’s response Monday, saying, “Fonterra did not have control of the vertical production chain, in other words they were making the milk powder not the supply of the milk, so it was a difficult position and they did not know until quite late in the piece. Nevertheless they probably could front more for this sort of thing.”

Keith Locke, current New Zealand MP, and the opposition Green Party foreign affairs spokesman, who was first elected to parliament in 1999 called on the government and Fonterra to respond strongly against the Chinese verdict. “They show the harshness of the regime towards anyone who embarrasses it, whether they are real criminals, whistleblowers or dissenters,” he said. “Many Chinese knew the milk was being contaminated but said nothing for fear of repercussions from those in authority. Fonterra could not get any action from local officials when it first discovered the contamination. There was only movement, some time later, when the matter became public,” he noted.

Green Party explained “it is time Fonterra drops its overly cautious act.” The party, however, stressed the death penalty is not a answer to the problems which created the Chinese milk scandal. “The Green Party is totally opposed to the death penalty. We would like to see the government and, indeed, Fonterra, speaking out and urging the Chinese government to stop the death penalty,” said Green Party MP Sue Kedgley.

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U.S. Senator calls for nationwide investigation into Army recruitment tactics

Saturday, May 14, 2005

U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (RColorado), in a letter to Army Secretary Francis Harvey, said that the secretary of the Army should launch a nationwide investigation into reports that some Army recruiters engaged in questionable recruiting tactics. In the letter Allard wrote that “according to these reports, the rules weren’t just bent, they were broken and tossed away.”

One of the reports the Senator is referring to is the attempted recruitment of David McSwane, a 17 year old editor of a high school newspaper in Golden, Colorado. McSwane posed as a high school dropout, with a drug problem that he was “unable to kick”. Then he recorded, on audio tape, conversations allegedly showing that the recruiters told him how to obtain a phony diploma on the Internet and what medication to buy to cover up the drug problem. A friend of McSwane’s also video-taped a recruiter taking McSwain to a store to buy a “detox” medication to help him pass the army physical. David said he was told by the recruiter to buy the product.

A voice on the audio tape is heard saying, “You just have to follow instructions to a tee. It has got like a 150 percent guarantee that you will pass. You know, I’ve seen it work before.”

“If I were a soldier out on the front line, I wouldn’t want someone next to me who my life could be depending on going through withdrawal or having a drug addiction or just being someone I can’t trust. I just don’t think that’s something we need on our front lines,” David McSwane said on CNN.

His mother, concerned that people may think he was being unpatriotic by setting up the “sting” operation said: “He’s probably one of the most patriotic kids I know. He was in the Young Marines for almost a year and earned a couple (of) awards.”

Major General Michael Rochelle, the general in charge of recruiting for the U.S. Army responded to the allegations and tapes. “I was disappointed by it,” Rochelle said. “I was very disappointed by it.” He is shutting down recruiting offices for 1 day to review their procedures.

Jim Massey, a former Marine recruiter, expanded the accusations by saying the same fraudulent recruitment practices existed in the United States Marines Corps.

“This isn’t just an isolated incident,” Massey said. “This is a widespread epidemic. I would say 98 percent [of the recruits Massey enlisted] were frauded into the military.”

The Army has suspended two recruiters in Golden, Colorado.

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Some Tips On Getting And Keeping A Lush Green Lawn

By Luis Sanchez

You’ve just pulled into your host’s driveway and as you get out of the car you notice how beautiful the lawn looks and wonder why you can’t get yours to look the same. You water, feed and spray for pests, yet your lawn looks more like Charlie Brown’s lawn, instead of the lawn you’re looking at right now.

Well, I am here to tell you that you can definitely upgrade the appearance of your lawn. If you just follow a few simple steps and keep on treating your lawn with the same care you are now, then in a few weeks time, people will be looking at your lawn and wondering how you did it!

1. The most important and most overlooked step is to make sure your soil is in good shape. Once a year test the ph of your soil and make sure it falls between 6.5 and 7.0, because it has been determined that grass grown in slightly acidic soil is best able to absorb nutrients. (Soil that is too acidic can be “sweetened” with lime; soil that’s not acid enough can be made more “sour” by adding sulfur.)

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2. Also, once a year, have your lawn aerated if you feel that it’s too firm or compacted. Soil that is loose enough to permit water and nutrients to filter down to the lawn’s root system will help give you a healthier lawn.

3. Your lawn needs to be fed the proper mix of nutrients, but avoid the weed and feed type of fertilizers. Find a slow release fertilizer that’s made for your type of grass, and use it once or twice a year. Apply it per the directions on the bag, but don’t use it when you expect a heavy rainfall, since that will mean money and pollution down the drain.

4. Mow your lawn before it gets to be overgrown, and take off no more than one third of the leaf height. Keeping your leaf blades between 2 and 3 inches high will allow more sunlight top be taken in. This enables it to grow thicker and develop a deeper root system, which in turn helps the grass survive drought, tolerate insect damage, and fend off diseases. Longer grass also shades the soil surface keeping it cooler, helping it retain moisture, and making it difficult for weeds to germinate and grow. Also use a mulching mower which creates smaller clippings and leave the clippings on the lawn. Don’t bag it!

5. Water deeply but not too often. The best rule is to water only when the lawn begins to wilt from dryness – when the color dulls and footprints stay compressed for more than a few seconds. It’s also best to water in the early morning, especially during hot summer months, to reduce evaporation. Apply about an inch of water – enough that it soaks 6-8 inches into the soil.

6. Be realistic! Why fight a losing battle with your lawn? Grass sometimes will not grow in certain areas so why not just place some dry-garden landscaping into that area, wood chips, or even some shade loving ornamentals? You don’t have to have a putting-green perfect lawn. Besides those plants in your small landscaped area can also be a focal point for the lawn, making a better overall impression to your visitors.

See, its not too hard to have a great looking lawn. Just remember not to over-fertilize and use the slow release type, water infrequently but deeply, and leave the clippings on the lawn and before you know it people will be looking at your lawn with envy!

About the Author: You can find other articles on buying, selling and maintaining your home on,

The Experts Nexus Classifieds, the place to go to place your classified ad for a fraction of the normal cost.

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Iraqi restaurant hit by suicide bomber

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A suicide bombing in Iraq has killed at least 55 people and injured at least 120 more, according to local police.The suicide bomber struck at a restaurant located about 2 miles north of the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk on Thursday morning. The Abdullah restaurant, where the explosion took place, is popular among Kurdish officials. The attack comes on the Muslim religious holiday Eid al-Adha, known in English as the “Festival of Sacrifice”.

At the time the restaurant was struck, it was full of families marking the final day of Eid. Five women and three children were among the dead.

Kirkuk is the scene of ongoing ethnic tensions, although the reasons for this attack in particular are currently unknown.

Salam Abdullah, 45, was one of the people in the restaurant at the time of the attack. “I held my wife and led her outside the place. As we were leaving, I saw dead bodies soaked with blood and huge destruction,” he stated, commenting on his experiences. “We waited outside the restaurant for some minutes. Then an ambulance took us to the hospital.”

Awad al-Jubouri, who was injured in the incident, condemned the bombers. “I do not know how a group like al-Qaida claiming to be Islamic plans to attack and kill people on sacred days like Eid. We were only meeting to discuss our problems with the Kurds and trying to impose peace among Muslims in Kirkuk.” Jubouri is a tribal leader, who was attending a lunch that was intended to precede a meeting discussing was to lessen tensions between local communities.

Last July, an affiliated restaurant of the same name was the site of a suicide bombing which claimed the lives of six and wounded twenty five.

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Most complete dinosaur from Britain goes on display

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bristol, United Kingdom —The most complete dinosaur to be found in the United Kingdom has recently been put on public display. The scelidosaurus dinosaur was discovered on the Dorset coast, from which it was moved to Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery for public display. The director of Geology for the museum said, before the display was opened to the public, that “this is certainly a coup for Bristol.” He then said that the museum was “pleased to have these outstanding specimens, [as] they are the best-preserved dinosaur remains ever found in England.”

Large numbers of people have visited the museum in the last few days to see the dinosaur, which is believed to have died in a flood. The remains of the dinosaur’s final meal are visible near the neck of the animal.

The children of the dinosaur were also recovered in Dorset, and they have been included in the display at the Bristol museum.

The scelidosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur that lived in the Jurassic period, almost 200 million years ago.

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The Tourist Attractions Of Switzerland!

Submitted by: Roger Smiths

There is good reason why Switzerland is fondly called Paradise on Earth. You can only know what we re talking about when you visit this beautiful country. The mesmerizing beauty of the place attracts people in love all the time. It is almost a celebration of love. Zermatt is a ski resort that attracts tourists from around the world. It is at the foot of the most famous peak of the Swiss Alps, the Matterhorn. Everything from the amazing Snowy Alps, the picturesque villages, the rivers filled with music, gorgeous valleys, breathtaking landscapes, adventurous trekking trails, the out-of-this-world weather, all come together to tingle your senses and make you forget everything else but the heavenly beauty of the surroundings.

It is this beauty that lures people in love to spend intimate moments among such divinity. Thousands of people from all over the world visit Switzerland to enjoy the beauty of the place. It goes without saying that this is the place that honeymooners choose, as long as they can afford it.

Countries like France, Italy, Germany and Austria surround Switzerland. It is not a big place, but it certainly is one of the richest in the world. Apart from enjoying the beauty of the place, there are a few place you would have to visit while there.

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The Chillon Castle: One of the most famous castles in Switzerland, the Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva, is from the 11th century and consists of 100 buildings. You may be able to spend the night in a tent there, but it is a must-visit. This is the only national park in Switzerland and covers almost half of the country s area. This is where the former Savoy nobility lived. It offers a great view of the lakes and beyond.

Zermatt: Zermatt is a ski resort that attracts tourists from around the world. It is at the foot of the most famous peak of the Swiss Alps, the Matterhorn. It is a must visit even for people who do not ski. Just relax in a restaurant or shop around in the exotic surroundings.

Geneva Jet D eau: This is the world s tallest fountain and is 140 meters high. Having been built in 1891, this fountain has come to be the symbol of the city of Geneva. If you re visiting Geneva, you would want to see other places like the museums too, and the most famous is the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum.

Swiss National Park: This park offers outstanding views of the Alps as you hike there. You may be able to spend the night in a tent there, but it is a must-visit. This is the only national park in Switzerland and covers almost half of the country s area. It is home for various wildlife, such as marmots and eagles.

Swiss Transport Museum: If you love automobiles and the like, then you have to make time to visit the Swiss Transport Museum, where you ll find different locomotives, aircrafts, automobiles, ships and all other modes of transportation and communication exhibited. Love art? You will find Hans Erni, the Swiss painter and sculptor in his works exhibited here.

Switzerland has a lot to offer and when you re there, while you can t help admiring the beauty of the place, try and concentrate on the rich culture of the country. You will be amazed at the diversity you find there.

About the Author: Roger Smith is a professional writer who has written several articles on Top Tourist Attractions. You can check out his articles at

toptouristattraction.com

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US airlines Delta and Northwest agree to merge

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rival United States airlines Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines announced today that they have agreed to merge. The new airline, which will use the Delta name, will be the largest commercial airline in the world.

Technically, Delta will be buying Northwest in a roughly US$3 billion deal. Northwest shareholders will receive 1.25 shares of Delta for each share of Northwest. Based on Monday’s closing prices on the New York Stock Exhange this represents a 17% premium for Northwest shareholders.

Richard Anderson, the Delta chief executive officer who will also head the new company, said: “We said we would only enter into a consolidation transaction if it was right for all of our constituencies; Delta and Northwest are a perfect fit. Today, we’re announcing a transaction that is about addition, not subtraction, and combines end-to-end networks that open a world of opportunities for our customers and employees. We believe by partnering with our employees, including providing equity to U.S.-based employees of Delta and Northwest, this combination is off to the right start.”

The combined company would have $35 billion in annual revenue and approximately 75,000 employees. The deal does have to receive regulatory approval. “We will look at the competitive effects of the transaction and how it would affect consumers,” said Gina Talanoma, a spokesperson for the United States Department of Justice.

Airline industry consultant Robert Mann told Reuters, “It’s a very optimistic view on an industry that’s been very dismal for the last couple of weeks.”

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Tornado touches down in New York City

Thursday, August 9, 2007

During heavy rainstorms that flooded rail lines and subways, a tornado touched down in New York City, the National Weather Service reports. It sustained winds around 111 mph to 135 mph, causing damage to buildings and vehicles. Starting from the Bay Ridge area, the tornado continued for two miles through Brooklyn. At least one person was killed.

The roof of a Nissan dealership had been ripped off, as was that of a Brooklyn church. At least 16 homes were damaged.

Torrential rain had drenched the region early Wednesday, causing delays at Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia airports. Wind and rain caused major slowdowns in the mass transit lines, virtually halting services. The brunt of the storm struck the city during morning rush hour, a time when hundreds of thousands of vehicles and people are in transit to work. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that in some flooded subways, police resorted to crowd control tactics to stop rioting.

Trees were torn from the ground and some cars were crushed.

In a damage assessment tour of Brooklyn, Mayor Michael Bloomberg remarked, “I don’t know that God had rush hour in mind when the storms hit.”

The Metropolitan Transit Authority expects service to return to normal by Thursday. At a press conference MTA chairman Elliot “Lee” Sander said the pumps located citywide in the rail and subway lines are adequate to handle 1.5 inches of rain per hour. He said the rain, however, came “too fast and with little warning.”

“The storm took us by surprise because it was not predicted by the National Weather Service.”

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5 Tips To Fight Erectile Problems

Difficulties in starting or maintaining an erection don’t just come out of nowhere.Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be caused by one or a combination of factors that are physical or psychological in nature. For instance, you could be having health problems that affect your blood vessels, and in turn interfere with healthy erections. These conditions include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. Lifestyle-related factors include lack of exercise, smoking, and abuse of drugs and alcohol.Here are some ways you could properly detect and naturally solve erectile problems before you could undergo the best treatment mode.• Consult your doctor – This will help you find out what is causing erectile dysfunction in your case. Your medical history will be reviewed, and a physical exam may be conducted by your healthcare provider. This is crucial for knowing and understanding the cause.• Know if it is a physical or psychological cause – There are simple tests that can be done for your doctor to explain why you are having problems in the frequency or length of your erections in lovemaking. If the cause is psychological in nature, counseling is one treatment that can typically recommended, and can be done on your own or with your partner.• Make the right lifestyle changes – Prioritize the improvement of the function of your heart, which can lead to better sexual performance. You may start with regular exercise and increase your frequency as you go along. Consume healthful, wholesome food, as well as quitting certain habits such as smoking and alcohol intake. If your prescription drug is the main culprit, you may request your doctor to change or alter your prescription.• Try penis implants and devices for ED – A penile implant may help in more serious erection issues. This device is surgically implanted, inflating or bending to produce an erection. Vacuum devices also help attain this result through a vacuum tube connected to a pump, which helps blood flow to your penis. A ring keeps the blood from flowing out of your genitals.• Take a natural male enhancement method – Prescription drugs for ED, such as Viagra and Cialis, are very popular worldwide as a solution. However, they have been documented to also potentially bring a number of side effects. It is best to explore natural supplementation first, as it is relatively affordable, is available over the counter, and offers a blend of beneficial herbs and nutrient components. Consult your doctor about it.

U.S. heiress, designer, and author Gloria Vanderbilt dies at 95

Thursday, June 20, 2019

U.S. heiress Gloria Vanderbilt died on Monday at the age of 95, her son Anderson Cooper announced. She had advanced stomach cancer. Scion of the wealthy Vanderbilt family and the subject of a heavily publicized custody battle early in life, she later also became a performer, artist, and designer of porcelain, linens, and a well-known line of designer jeans.

Anderson Cooper, of CNN, one of Vanderbilt’s four sons, stated, “Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms […] She was a painter, a writer, and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend. She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they’d tell you, she was the youngest person they knew, the coolest, and most modern.”

Vanderbilt was born in 1924 into the wealthy Vanderbilt family, great-great granddaughter of the railroad and shipping tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. Her father, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, died with liver disease when she was one. At the age of ten, Vanderbilt was the subject of a heavily publicized custody battle between her widowed mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, and her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who controlled a large piece of the Vanderbilt fortune. Her aunt won.

Although she had a trust fund worth US$5 million that she shared with one half-sister, over the course of her life, Vanderbilt also earned income herself through various pursuits. Encouraged to explore creative outlets by a psychotherapist, Vanderbilt took acting lessons and eventually performed on stage in The Time of Your Life in 1955 and appeared on television programs. She also focused on art and design, creating paintings, collages, linens, and a brand of designer jeans that would generate millions in sales. In 1990, the Smithsonian museum featured her jeans alongside the works of designers including Coco Chanel in an exhibit on gender and style.

Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson remarked, “The thing that really made Gloria Vanderbilt penetrate the American consciousness was the blue jeans war of the late ’70s and early 1980s […] The jeans moved from being functional clothes to designer jeans […] it was her attempt to take something that was so unglamorous and invest it in high fashion style.”

Vanderbilt was married to talent agent Pasquale “Pat” Di Cicco; conductor Leopold Stokowski, who fathered two of her sons; director Sidney Lumet; and author Wyatt Cooper; but, according to her memoirs, also had some degree of romantic involvement with, amongst others, Errol Flynn, Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando. She would later say her union with Cooper was her only happy marriage.

Vanderbilt also authored several books, including the memoirs Once Upon a Time and Black Knight, White Knight and the 2009 novel Obsession, which the New York Times called “the steamiest book ever written by an octogenarian.”

Vanderbilt is survived by two sons with Stokowski, Stanislaus and Christopher, and by her son Anderson Cooper. Another son, Carter Cooper, predeceased her.

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