Indian Ocean (Nearing Seychelles) - A small (295-foot) French fishing ship is currently towing the disabled Costa Allegra Cruise ship towards the island of Seychelles (population 86,000,) and not expected to arrive until Thursday. She lost power in the Indian Ocean on Monday after a fire in the engine room with over 1000 passengers and crew aboard. It is reported that all are safe aboard the Allegra, as reported by the BBC Tuesday.
The Allegra has been adrift in the Indian Ocean since Monday, and there is no air conditioning aboard, with the temperatures running around 30C. More safety crews have been dispatched with more tugs and supplies for the passengers. Food and water has been brought to the Allegra by helicopter and most passengers are on the decks to avoid the hot temperatures in their cabins. The Allegra set sail from Madagascar on Saturday and was expected to arrive in Seychelles on Tuesday.
Costa Cruise lines is not having a good year, after the sinking of the Costa Concordia grounding off the coast of Italy in early January where over 30 died and several still missing, of the over 4100 passengers and crew. Just last weekend, the parent company of Allegra and Concordia, Carnival Corporation, suspended onshore excursions on their ships arriving in Mexico. This came about because 22 passengers were robbed while on one of these excursions in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
There is still concern for passengers aboard, as that section of the Indian Ocean is pirate infested, although there are armed anti-pirate Military units aboard the ship to protect the passengers. Several planes are being arranged in Seychelles, so when the passengers arrive, they will be able to get home safely.
Yes, the BBC is reporting another Costa Cruise ship the Costa Allegra has lost power in the Indian Ocean with 1000 passengers and crew onboard in darkness.
It happened today and emergency crews are on their way, but it may not be until Tuesday before they reach the abandoned ship. It set sail from Diego Suarez in Madagascar on Saturday and was expected to land in Seychelles on Tuesday but after an explained "fire in the ship's engine room" it is not known when they will arrive.
After the most recent tragedy which occurred near Giglio Island off the coast of Italy in January, this puts the cruise line on notice. The Costa Concordia tragedy had over 30 deaths and several class action law suits are still pending against the parent company of Costa Cruises, Carnival Corporation.
There was some doubt about the condition of the ship and passengers and a plane was dispatched to view the Allegra from the air. It was reported that the fire in the engine room, took two hours to get under control, and was explained that all passengers and crew were safe. However, that is exactly what was said on the Costa Concordia, "We have a small electrical fire" so there is some doubt as to what is really going on.
Welcome aboard! There is serious concern because of where the ship is adrift, since the area is notorious for pirates from Somolia, although there are armed anti-pirate Military unit onboard and ready to defend the ship.
Burlington, Ontario (near Toronto) - A VIA rail passenger train from Niagara Falls to Toronto derails in Burlington, Ontario, at 3:30 pm Sunday, three locomotive engineers die, 42 injured.
It was five passenger cars that derailed, and one car completely tipped over, plus the locomotive, where two CN (Canadian National Railway) engineers were killed and one training employee. The train had approximately 75 passengers on board, and 42 were injured with three serious, airlifted to local hospitals.
The emergency response teams were on scene within minutes, and the care of the responders was very impressive, as over a hundred teams attended the crash. Two air ambulances were standing by, as well as an emergency ambulance bus from Toronto, over an hour drive away. (pictured below)
We never believe how wonderful these rescue workers are until they attend such a terrible crash, and the professionalism and efficiency of these workers, is outstanding.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada arrived on scene late last night, and it is still being investigated why the train derailed. The train is equipped with a 'black box' which may determine the cause of the accident.
Homs, Syria -It's terribly sad these journalists have died, and they knew what they were getting into. But the reports from these journalists indicating that this is the 'worst war in the world' seems to be unfounded.
Marie Colvin, 55, of the London's, The Sunday Times and correspondent for CNN, was killed along with war photographer Remi Ochlik, 28, today in Homs, Syria. Many in the World remember Colvin for her identifiable patch over her left eye, which she lost during a conflict in Sri Lanka several years ago. The details of exactly how they were killed has not been disclosed, but it appears they were hit by shelling today as nearly 100 people are killed every day in Homs.
Do they not remember Darfur, Sudan? Estimates from the UN say that 70,000 were killed by the Sudanese government but many put that even 4-5 times higher. How many more innocent children must die before the world steps up and does something? Will the genocide continue?
The people of Darfur wanted nothing more than freedom, and the Sudanese government has been accused of genocide in the killing and displacement of millions. To date the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad's regime has been accused of killing 4-5000 in the past year.
War is terrible no matter where it occurs, but sadly, the victims of war are truly the innocent, seeing a two year old dying in the arms of their fathers, is the worst of the worst.
The world must step up and help these helpless people now. In Darfur and in Syria, and anywhere else it may occur. What is the reason that China and Russia denied to get involved in the Syrian conflict? Does it have anything to do with money?
It appears approximately 30-40% of the passengers on the Costa Concordia grounding have accepted the $11,000 euros as settlement. The tragedy which occurred on January 13th off the coast of Italy (Giglio Island) shocked the world and over 30 have been reported dead with another 15 missing.
The Concordia whose parent company is Carnival Cruise Corporation in Miami, Florida have received a class action law suit for $460 million. There were less than 100 Americans aboard the doomed ship, and yet many just want to put the tragedy behind them and take the small settlement. There were over 4200 on the ship when it grounded and none of the settlements have been offered to the crew or onboard staff.
Giglio Island, Italy - It has been revealed that the Costa Concordia Captain, Francesco Schettino, 52, (dubbed the 'Chicken of the Sea' by the New York Post had cocaine in his hair follicles just after the tragedy. Cocaine can stay in the hair follicles for anywhere from three to 12 months, and it doesn't have to be a hair from the head. Schettino, is currently under house arrest in Italy, and charges have been laid.
Approximately 35 people have been reported dead so far with another 15 still missing.
The Concordia is still laying on its side, off the coast and salvage operations are underway. They are continuing to remove the fuel and oil and is expected to take several months. A class action law suit is underway for the surviving passengers, 4200, who are launching the suit against the parent company, Carnival Cruise Lines, in Miami, Florida.
To read more about the tragedy of the sinking of the Costa Concordia CLICK HERE for my previous reports.
Whitney Houston died this week, was it because of abuse of prescription drugs, or something else?
I don't know, but most of the 'main stream'media have already decided, "she misused prescription drugs and alcohol."
How do they know, the toxicology results are not back yet and will not be for 6-8 weeks, if not more. Bill O'Reilly of the Factor on Fox News even goes further, check it out HERE.
Give it rest already, we don't know how she died and we can all speculate, but let's move on. She will be buried on Saturday (1500 by invitation only) in New Jersey and all the media can talk about, is how she used illegal drugs in the past, she didn't just inhale.
There is no question, she was one of the best singers in the world, and has a world wide following, and her great talent will be missed. The infamous picture of her with 'blood' on her leg' is a stretch at best, and I thought from the beginning, it could be red wine.
But if it was just red wine, how could they sensationalize the news feed, if it wasn't drug abuse?
It may well be that she was using more prescription drugs than necessary, and that is wrong, but please do not jump to conclusions 'just to get/create' a story, how shameful.
February 13/2012 - Toronto, Canada - You can clearly see by the video, that Bell FibeTV offers many new features, how wonderful. They tell you this, but they don't tell you everything, they leave out the part where it will cost you extra money. Yes, by the end of the month if you have your twitter, or facebook feed on the TV constantly, that go towards your allowed bandwidth for the month.
BANDWIDTH ISSUES - ALLOWANCE PER MONTH
This is something that is held very close to the vest, and it is unlikely you will be told anything about this if/when you sign up for Bell FibeTV. The minimum allowed with any package, appears to be 25 GB and what that means is the amount of uploads/downloads you make on your computers in the house. An example would be if you downloaded a movie from Netflix, that would be almost 1 GB of data for your total computer usage for the month. Once you go over that 25GB you get charged extra. And that counts towards anything you watch online from YouTube videos or any ads that pop up on your screen while you are surfing, it all counts towards your bandwidth. But does Bell FibeTV tell you all about that? NO.
Are the big guys ripping us off, if we allow this, it will continue unless people step up and say, NO ...
An article in The Toronto Star recently explains what the big guys are doing to our internet access.
"Net Neutrality is the governing principle of the Internet that requires that Internet service providers not discriminate including speeding up or slowing down Web content based on its source, ownership or destination. Net neutrality protects our ability to direct our own online activities. With net neutrality in place, a network's job is to move data in a non-discriminatory manner, based on what people want." If we allow this to continue, we will be sitting in the slow lane, and only those that pay extra, will be allowed in the passing/fast lane. That's what they call bandwidth throttling.
These apps that Bell FibeTV is pushing, increase their income without explaining it to us, although they do mention it very briefly when you activate, but who reads that stuff.
The deceptions started the first day when they were in our lobby, showing their Bell FibeTV, was a channel they were promoting. It was HD Net and one of my favourite shows, Prison Break, I was ready to sign up immediately. But no, HD Net was not available, on Bell FibeTV. After I asked some tough questions, which they hesitated to answer, they told me, "Yes, you can record four (4) shows at once," not mentioning that I can ONLY record 2 High Definition (HD) and 2 Standard (SD) at once, however after complaints, they have upped that to 3 HD and 1 SD. (Although that may not be available everywhere, and there could be an embargo on the extra recording channel.
I just watched a Bell FibeTV advertisement last week, and they are still continuing the "sham" they still say on the ad, "you can record 4 programs at once." Why are the hiding this information? Why not tell us everything?
The ads Bell FibeTV are running also say the packages start at around $30, I'm not sure what 'PACKAGE' that gives you, but we pay $150 per month, even with all our problems.
They did the same thing at the sales pitch, "You can pause live TV" but failed to mention, only on one receiver. But now, they do allow 'pause live TV' on all receivers, after consumer complaints.
You must decide for yourself, but do the research, and when you call, be sure to get the name of the person you talked to, and write it down. Because Bell is famous for saying, "who told you that?" and we always get so many different answers.
But when Bell FibeTV is working properly, it is one of the best systems in the market, but be cautious when you call because they are famous for giving, "stock answers."
To read more about our experiences since November 2010, CLICK HERE,we are still waiting for our credits for poor service, which we have not received.
Toronto, Canada - Isn't it strange how the sports media keep showing us the stats for our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs, and tell us how many points they have until playoffs? But for some reason they never tell us how many games are still remaining in the NHL regular season. Yes, it's 82 games, and that means there are over 20 games still remaining before playoffs, but why the emphasis on standings, when so many games still remain? The sports media have been reporting these standings for a couple of weeks since the All-Star break.
So the Leafs are currently in eighth place with 62 points and have played 55 games (out of 82) and I think it could change drastically before the end of the regular season. The cut-off for playoffs is the eight top teams in each of the four divisions and since the Leafs are somewhere around the cut-off mark, they want to keep us still interested. The Eastern Conference where the Leafs play, is only separated from first place by New York Rangers, by 11 points, but Rangers have played three less games than the Leafs.
The playoffs are where everything changes, players grow beards, games become more intense, and the crowds increase in places where they have stadiums unfilled during regular season. The does not happen in Toronto as nearly every game at Air Canada Centre is completely sold out. And what's going to happen with Nazem Kadri, he has been sent back down to the American Hockey League Marlies, and we are all hoping he will be back for the playoffs.
It was just announced this week the Leafs will play in the next Bridgestone Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Michigan against the Detroit Red Wings on January 1/2013. But the Leafs are already selling tickets for the event on their website. Is this event for the fans or is it pure greed by the NHL as you will undoubtedly need binoculars to see anything with over 100,000 attending.
I'm sure we will soon see the Maple Leaf flags on cars as it is very possible the Leafs will make the playoffs, but remember, they have over 20 games to go. Go Leafs go.
It was announced today by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that the next outdoor Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will be held in Michigan Stadium with over 100,000 seats. It will be hosted by Detroit Red Wings against Toronto Maple Leafs (both original six) on New Years day 2013, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
You may well need binoculars to see any of the action, but this (if full) will be the largest hockey attendance in North America. The largest crowd so far, was back in 2010 at the Michigan Stadium, when 104,000 attended a match between University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
This will be the sixth running of Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and probably one of the riches rivalries in the NHL. There's no doubt many of the Toronto Maple Leaf fans will make their way to Ann Arbor for the event and the festivities prior to the regular schedule league game. Previously the largest crowd for The Winter Classic was back in 2008 (the first game in The Winter Classic) when Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins played before 71,000 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, NY.
It may well be that Detroit will be playing the Stanley Cup winners, but that may be a bit of a stretch, but Toronto is having one of their best seasons in many years. We can always hope since it has been since the 60's when Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.