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Dark clouds are seen over Miami's skyline prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irma to south Florida, US, September 9, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria FORT MYERS: Hurricane Irma turned its menacing sight toward the Florida Keys on Saturday as it completed a destructive march along Cuba's northern coast and set off an 11th-hour scramble for safety by Americans who may have ignored warnings to evacuate. Irma, one of the fiercest Atlantic storms in a century, was expected to rip through Florida's southern archipelago on Sunday morning. It will make landfall on the Florida peninsula somewhere west of Miami and then head up the state's west coast, by Tampa, forecasters said. Irma, which has killed at least 22 people in the Caribbean, was likely to inflict billions of dollars in damage in the third largest US state by population. On Florida's west coast, Charley Ball said he expected a storm surge to engulf the entire island of Sanibel, an affluent community where he lives and operates a painting company. "Just left the island and said goodbye to everything I own," the 62-year-old Ball said. The storm could bring winds in excess of 209 kph (130 mph) and a storm surge up to 15 feet (4.6 meters), which is expected to trigger flooding. Irma ? located about 185 kilometres (115 miles) southeast of Key West on Saturday afternoon ? was a Category 5 storm, the highest ranking possible, when it crashed into Cuba during the morning. It gradually weakened to a Category 3 storm as it bumped along the island's northern coastline, flooding streets and sending waves crashing over sea walls. Maximum sustained winds stayed at around 201 kph (125 mph), the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Irma is expected to regain strength as it steams over warm waters south of Florida, according to the NHC. It was likely to regain Category 4 status before striking Florida, said NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen. The wide reach of Irma's deadly winds and its size, more than its numerical ranking, has rattled veteran hurricane watchers. It could rival any storm in Florida's history, Governor Rick Scott said. Irma will dump 10 inches to 20 inches (25 cm to 51 cm) of rain over Florida and southeast Georgia from Saturday through Monday, the National Weather Service said, a fraction of what Hurricane Harvey dropped on Texas and Louisiana last month. But unlike with Harvey, dangerous winds will barely abate once Irma makes landfall on Sunday morning. A long line of people in Estero, Florida lined up to enter an arena that officials converted into an evacuation shelter, one of the hundreds that have opened up across the state. Andrea Prather, a singer from the Gulf Coast city of Fort Myers, said she was confident that she would stay safe on the 25th floor of her high-rise building. She closely followed reports about the storm's path as it headed toward her town. "When it made that turn, that's when I had that anxiety pit in my stomach. I was like, 'OK this is not good,'" she said. In Cuba, the destruction along the north central coast was similar to that seen on other Caribbean islands over the last week as Irma ploughed into Ciego de Avila province. In the storm's aftermath, people walked through ankle-deep water in Caibarien, a Cuban fishing town where streets were flooded and covered in seaweed. Elsewhere, winds toppled trees and utility polls or ripped apart roofs. "It was powerful, water rose to about one meter high," said Risle Echemendia, 28, in Caibarien as he swept muddy water out of his front door. "This was the strongest storm Caibarien ever had. It will take a while to recover from this, at least a few years." It was the first time the eye of a Category 5 storm had made landfall in Cuba since 1932, state media said, and the island's Communist government ordered the evacuation of more than 1 million people, with most sheltering with family and friends. Third of Florida Officials in Florida have ordered a total of 6.3 million people, or about a third of the state's population, to evacuate, creating massive traffic jams on highways and bringing huge crowds to shelters. In Palm Beach, President Donald Trump's water-front Mar-a-Lago estate was under an evacuation order. Trump and his cabinet were at Camp David in Maryland, receiving updates on the storm. Irma was already whipping south Florida with winds on Saturday, and the governor said thousands of people were without power. About 9 million people in Florida may lose power, some for weeks, said Florida Power & Light Co, which serves almost half of the state's 20.6 million residents. The window for people in evacuation zones to flee was drawing to a close on Saturday, officials said, warning that gas stations would soon be without fuel and bridges would be closed in some areas. "You can't play chicken with this thing or try to outrun the storm," US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said at a news conference. Rubio acknowledged some people had fled their homes only to arrive in areas expected to be in the storm's path, but he advised people in that situation to hunker down. That was the case for Chris Cardona, 54, and his wife Laurie, who left their mobile home near Miami on Thursday to seek refuge with friends near Tampa. "Not only did we go west, but so did Irma. She's tracking us, that feisty minx," Cardona said by phone. Hurricane Irma could cause $15-50 billion in insurance losses in the US, catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide said. Irma was set to hit the United States two weeks after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas as a Category 4 storm, killing about 60 people and causing property damage estimated at up to $180 billion in Texas and Louisiana.
Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature after torrential rains lashed Karachi on Thursday. Users of the social network can use the Safety Check Tool to reassure contacts they are "safe" and check up on friends who are in the area. At least 21 people died after the metropolis was battered with heavy rainfall on Thursday which saw Army contingents being deployed to assist in rescue efforts. To mark yourself as safe you can visit ?The Flooding in Karachi, Pakistan? page. The page has been flooded with people offering their services as volunteers to help those in need of shelter and food. People are also using the page to request for food, water, and other items needed by those displaced by the heavy downpour in the metropolis.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogSYDNEY: Two international Qantas flights suffered mid-air mechanical problems Friday and had to turn back to Sydney, with one unable to retract wing flaps and another suffering a cracked window pane, the Australian carrier said. Flight QF7 was enroute to Dallas, but the Airbus A380´s captain decided to head back to Sydney after discovering the wing flaps could not be retracted. "(This) means the aircraft can´t fly efficiently. As the Dallas flight is our longest on the network, the captain made the decision to return to Sydney," Qantas said in a statement. The second flight, QF63 to Johannesburg, returned when "a cracked pane of glass on the aircraft windscreen" was found. "An aircraft windscreen is made up of three layers of glass, the outer pane had cracked but did not compromise the integrity of the aircraft," the statement added. "The aircraft was safe to continue to Johannesburg but the captain made the decision to return as the windscreen will be replaced at Qantas´ engineering base in Sydney." Qantas said the Boeing 747-400 landed safely. Replacement flights were being arranged for passengers. Several flights have had to return to Australia in recent months, including an AirAsia Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur service last month that the carrier said involved a suspected bird strike. In June, a China Eastern plane bound for Shanghai made an emergency landing in Sydney after a huge hole appeared in one of its engine casings.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogLONDON: The cladding system used on London's Grenfell Tower would only have met British regulatory standards if the two main materials had passed a key safety test together, according to a Reuters analysis of the building code and data on the materials. Three weeks after the June 14 fire, neither the two companies involved in the cladding on the Grenfell Tower nor the local authority which enforces the building codes have addressed questions from Reuters about whether that test was ever conducted and its outcome. The test is required to show whether both materials when used together were sufficiently resistant to combustion. Without proof that it had been carried out, the cladding system would not have met building regulations. The cladding work carried about by Rydon Group Ltd, the main contractor on the 2014-2016 refurbishment of the building, and its subcontractor Harley Facades involved attaching insulation boards to the tower's concrete facade and covering them with aluminium composite panels. France's Saint Gobain said the insulation used was its brand of polyisocyanurate (PIR) called Celotex RS5000. The aluminium panels, which had a polyethylene plastic core were called Reynobond PE, and made by New York-based ArconicInc, previously known as Alcoa Inc. If all the elements of the insulation system had achieved a separate and demanding government standard called "limited combustibility", in separate tests, then a combined test would not have been necessary, according to the building regulations. But Reynobond PE and Celotex did not meet the combustibility test by themselves, according to safety experts and product specifications published by the manufacturers. This meant that the two materials combined would need to pass another test known as the BS 8414 test, according to the building regulations. This involves setting a fire under a three-storey mock-up of the proposed wall construction. Both standards, set out in the guidelines to the building code, aim to prevent a fire spreading quickly from inside and up the exterior walls, something that happened at Grenfell Tower. In a June 29 email, a spokeswoman for Rydon Group Ltd says it ?met all building regulations? but did not say if the BS 8414test stipulated in the building codes had been conducted. The building control department of the local Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC), which is responsible for checking that the building and plans are consistent with regulations, declined to say if it had checked the tests had been carried out. Police think the cladding system at Grenfell Tower may have contributed to the rapid spread of last month's fatal fire. They have said they are investigating possible criminal behaviour and the role of all the companies involved in the building. The Department for Communities and Local Government, the government department which is responsible for setting the regulations enforced by building control, has said the cladding system used at Grenfell did not comply with the building rules it oversees. It has not said why and declined to answer detailed questions on its legal reasoning. COMBUSTIBILITY The test used to assess combined materials must be commissioned from a government approved independent testing agency. Reuters was unable to determine which, if any lab was used. Rydon, which had a turnover of 249 million pounds last year, told Reuters the materials it used were suitable for use in tall buildings. ?Laboratory testing of the fire resistance of the cladding system used at Grenfell Tower was carried out prior to installation. Please see attached BBA certificate,? the spokeswoman said in the June 29 email. The certificate Rydon provided showed the panels met a separate standard on the surface spread of fire. Asked specifically about the BS 8414 test, the Rydon spokeswoman said: ?More technical questions would be better directed at Harley as it?s their area of expertise.? Executives and a spokesman at Harley, a small company with few assets, declined to comment for this story. It said in a statement on its website last month it was not aware of any link between the fire and the exterior cladding to the tower. An official at RBKC, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, declined to provide details of the specification it approved or what checks it conducted to ensure the actual construction met the approved plan, citing the ongoing police investigation into the fire. A spokeswoman for Saint Gobain said its BR 135combustibility certification of Celotex was based on tests conducted with a non-combustible cement façade panel. She declined to say if Celotex had ever passed the BS 8414 test with a flammable façade panel such as Reynobond PE.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsUnless you were living under a rock or just crawled out from a mystical cave, where the Internet is still a farfetched dream, then you'd know there are only two things that are popular in India right now. First is Cricket and the second is memes. And what happens when the two meet and become one? Together they break the internet and off late our Police departments seem to be taking a fancy to this particular notion. While, we struggle with those 140 characters to get more likes and retweets, cops are slaying it on the social media with their spot on sarcasm. Earlier, we have seen Mumbai and Bengaluru Police show off their social media skills by putting memes to good use. From ‘Games of Thrones' to ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S', none were spared when it came to explaining the importance of road safety. This time around it was the Jaipur traffic police, who left netizens in splits with their witty and hilarious response. © Reuters Using the picture of cricketer Jasprit Bumrah, the Jaipur traffic police tried to explain how crossing the line can become a costly affair for all. To be honest, after this meme we don't think we can see Bumrah's bowling in the same light again. We have to give it to the genius who came up with the idea of connecting Bumrah delivering a no ball in the ICC Champion's trophy final to a Zebra crossing. More than the picture, it was the caption that bowled us over. लाल बत्ती पर गाड़ी ज़ेबरा क्रॉसिंग से पीछें रखें।पैदल यात्रियों की सुरक्षा का ध्यान रखें । pic.twitter.com/pT4axf3K1I — Traffic Police JPR (@traffic_jpr) June 20, 2017 The folks on Twitter were visibly impressed by the cleverness of the Jaipur Traffic police, and lauded them for using such innovative ways to spread awareness about road safety. However, there was one smart a** who could not stop himself from noticing the irony. So he took this opportunity to pull the cops' legs for not following the rules themselves. Guess the city (10 marks) pic.twitter.com/tenlt6frDy — gab.ai/villageidiot (@ViIlageldiot) June 20, 2017 Maybe next time, the cops can work a little more sincerely towards following the rules they preach. However, as far as the tweet is concerned, it is hilarious AF and possibly one of the best and most witty tweets so far.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsAfter the gruesome terror attacks at the London Bridge, the city was struck by yet another terrible incident that shook it to its core. Last night, a massive fire broke out in London’s Grenfell Tower. As the tower was engulfed with enormous flames, there was one woman and a baby that caught onlookers’ attention. In a desperate attempt to save the baby, the woman threw it from a window on the ‘ninth or tenth floor’ and while this sends chills down our spine, it’s a miracle that the baby was caught by a man standing on the ground and is safe and sound as we type this out. © AP “People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming,” Samira Lamrani, a witness told The Telegraph. She said that she saw the woman try to save the baby by dropping her from the window. “The windows were slightly ajar, a woman gesturing that she was about to throw her baby and if somebody could catch her baby,” Samira further added while stating that a man ran forward and managed to catch the baby. Whether that unidentified woman managed to escape the fire is still unknown. © Facebook In fact, there was another resident called Zara who spoke to a radio station that she saw a woman throwing her five-year-old son, from a fifth or sixth floor window in a bid to escape the flames. Although the boy is said to be doing okay, he might have got some bruises and broken bones. There was another woman who was screaming “my baby, my baby, I need to get out, I need to save my baby.” The fire has already taken its toll on 12 people and the death count is expected to rise in the following hours.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsThere are certain things in the world that don’t go hand in hand like oil and water, tea and tomato ketchup, ISIS and peace, and Salman Khan and road safety. But, our Bhai, who was accused of being guilty in the 2002 hit-and-run case, proved everyone wrong by doing the exact opposite. In a recent event, where he launched electric bicycles by Being Human, he advised the youth to drive safely and responsibly – can anyone hear slow claps playing in the background? © Twitter In a report published in The Indian Express, Salman said that he sees a lot of men indulging in rash driving which leads to road rage. He further added that people should use the racing tracks if they want to race and should leave other roads for travelling. He reportedly said, “I think cycles are okay but motorcycles are really dangerous for them (youth) and for other people around. We shoot in Film City, so I see on the highway people racing and recklessly. Back in the time, there used to be races at the reclamation, I lost a friend of mine. I am against that. If you want to race, do that on the racing tracks.” Maybe the foot-paths don’t come under road safety? Otherwise how else can one justify his words, let alone agree with them? Twitter seems to be having similar thoughts since they couldn’t help but comment on the irony of this situation. And while, Salman Khan was being trolled for his comment, liquor baron Vijay Mallya too found his 2-minutes of fame, from this entire ordeal. Salman Khan lecturing on "road rage" is like Vijay Mallya giving a TED talk on "how to repay your debts on time." — Sreeparna Mazumder (@Sreeep) 6 June 2017 #SalmanKhan talking about Road Safety is like @BeingSalmanKhan talking about wildlife preservation pic.twitter.com/WmCABEBNqX — Neil Balthazar (@NeilBalthazar) 6 June 2017 Salman Khan gives a lecture on road safety. Irony gets run over on the streets. — Shiv (@ForwardDefence) 6 June 2017 .@BeingSalmanKhan talking about road safety is like Salman Khan talking about acting. Yeah I went there. https://t.co/zvN8uTSwE3 — Karthik Shankar (@kookykarthik) 6 June 2017 Salman Khan talking about road rage and road safety? That's like Jackie Shroff talking about the evils of bad language and cursing 😂 https://t.co/kxaMgqWG0o — Insha-allah (@TheDhinchakName) 6 June 2017 If you want to drive a car , drive it on roads and not on foot path — Dhinchak mogambo (@bhatakti_atma) 6 June 2017 wow...seriously it's like Hitler giving advice on World Peace — TheDude (@jobdexter007) 6 June 2017 Footpath walo side ho jayu — AB DE Villiers (@Rohans145) 5 June 2017 He realised this after racing on footpath. What a gyaan — Jyoti Prasad Nath (@xitoo27) June 6, 2017 Meanwhile, Salman is currently busy promoting his upcoming movie ‘Tubelight’ which is based on the Sino-Indian war and features Sohail Khan, Chinese actress Zhu Zhu and Om Puri.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogRAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army on Tuesday contacted Indian Army through hotline as part of a confidence-building measure regarding the movement of civil and military enumerators near the Line of Control (LoC) as part of the ongoing census, an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said. ISPR said that Indian Army has been approached through Hotline Contact and asked to inform ground troops about the movement of civil and military enumerators to civil populated areas lying close to LOC in AJ&K and Gilgit-Baltistan. “The step is aimed at ensuring safety and security of civil and military personnel in wake of unprovoked targeting and persistent ceasefire violations by Indian Army”, the statement read. Earlier, similar arrangement was resorted prior to commencement of Census, Phase-1.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsWhen a terror attack takes place, everyone's first instinct is to run to safety. Nothing wrong in that. But there are some people whose first instinct is to protect others. UK MP Tollias Ellwood is one such person. Yesterday's terror attack in London led to the loss of precious life and has left people shaken and angry. The killer went on a violent rampage stabbing random people on his way. The MPs of the parliament were asked to huddle up in the parliament in a safe place and there they remained, waiting for the police to contain the situation. All except one. MP Ellwood risked his life and rushed to help a cop who had been stabbed by the attacker. © Twitter Giving him CPR, he pressed on his wounds to stop the bleeding and kept doing so until medical help arrived. With clothes soaked in blood, he rushed to the cop after he was stabbed repeatedly by the insane attacker. He was seen performing mouth-to-mouth on the cop, but the police officer didn’t survive the attack. © Twitter Ellwood has served in the army as a captain from 1991 to 1996. He is aware of the pain and trauma of losing a dear one, as he had lost his brother in a terror attack in Bali. Mr Ellwood’s selfless act of courage has earned him much respect among fellow politicians as well. We wonder how Indian politicians would fare in such a situation.
We might have advanced, made records in launching satellites and gained immense respect in the world, but one thing that hinders our progress , as a nation and as humans, is the fact that the women in our country still don’t feel safe. And sadly, we, as a society, are solely responsible. The recent kidnapping and molestation of South Indian actress Bhavana proves that even celebrities are not spared of this lechery. © Facebook The men who molested her took inappropriate pictures as well. Even though 3 of them have been arrested, we cannot fathom the scars these kinds of incidents leave in the victim’s mind. In this grave scenario, Southern superstar Prithviraj took to his official Facebook account and shared his thoughts in an open letter. He was scheduled to star in a movie with Bhavana, and, apparently, this incident has shocked him beyond words. His words highlight something that we all are aware of, but yet ignore. Be it a patriarchal society, or a matriarchal one, we cannot call ourselves an ‘evolved’ nation until we treat our women like human beings.