Yaaree Sort of ‘Disasters’ Category


THE message “Ibrox 71” was scratched into the paintwork ahead of the match between the two sides at Pittodrie.


TWISTED Aberdeen fans vandalised the Rangers team bus before today’s powderkeg fixture with a sickening reference to the Ibrox disaster that claimed the lives of 66 people in 1971.

The message “Ibrox 71” is a reference to the tragedy that struck in January 1971 when 66 Gers fans died in a crush on a stairway at Ibrox at the end of an Old Firm game.

The scratched writing on the paintwork also says “Durrant dived”. This refers to Rangers legend Ian Durrant whose career was blighted by a horror tackle by Aberdeen star Neil Simpson at Pittodrie in 1988.

The vandals also made reference to the horror tackle that blighted Ian Durrant’s career

The Rangers team stayed at a hotel in Aberdeenshire ahead of today’s clash with the Dons. Police Scotland are now investigating the matter.

The vandalism further heightened tension before the big match with police earlier warning fans to be on their best behaviour.

The rivalry between the two sets of supporters is one of the most poisonous in Scotland and police were keen to keep a lid on the fixture as the sides met for the first time since the financial implosion at Ibrox in 2012.

During the match, Aberdeen fans taunted the travelling support by holding a minute’s applause to welcome “Rangers to Pittodrie for the first time”.

The Red Army clapped in the 12th minute – a reference to the year that liquidation struck at Ibrox – with some wearing black armbands.

The vandalism of the Rangers bus and the reference to the Ibrox disaster was widely condemned on social media.

When the Rangers team bus arrived at Pittodrie ahead of the game, which Aberdeen won 2-1, the damage to the coach had been taped up to hide the scrawled messages.

SNS Group
The Rangers bus arrives at Pittodire with masking tape after it had been vandalised
SNS Group
Police prepare for the powderkeg fixture at Pittodrie


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13 deaths have been attributed to the storm and its flooding, with some 40,000 homes damaged

After floods devastated pockets of south Louisiana, mental scars are already showing on the youngest victims of a disaster that prompted more than 30,000 rescues and left an estimated 40,000 homes damaged.

Children who endured harrowing rescues are returning home to a jarring landscape that even their parents can scarcely grasp: Homes filled with ruined possessions must be quickly gutted. Damaged schools and daycare centres are closed indefinitely. Parents juggling jobs and cleanup work must also line up caretakers for their kids.

Michelle Parrott’s children hear thunder when there is no storm. When rain does fall, they ask their mother if the floodwaters are rising again.

Parrott, her husband and her six children, ages 6 to 17, have slept in cars, a shelter and a hotel room in the week since they had to be rescued by boat. The flooding wrecked their home in Livingston Parish, where one official has estimated that three-quarters of the residences are a total loss after more than 600 millimetres (two feet) of rain fell in three days.

“The emotional toll on the kids has been heavy. They’re all in a bit of shock and stress and having meltdowns and tantrums,” Parrott said. “Trying to get back into their routine is going to be difficult when we don’t know what the future holds for us.”

Routines are particularly important for her 17-year-old son, Blake, who is autistic and attends special needs classes at one of the many schools damaged in the floods.

“He feels unsafe constantly. He’s had a lot of breakdowns,” she said. “We’ve had trouble getting his medications in. The therapist flooded, so he’s lacking the emotional support he needs from professionals.”


Evacuees take advantage of the shelter setup in the Baton Rouge River Center arena after record flooding caused thousands to seek temporary shelter. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Thirteen deaths have been attributed to the storm and its flooding, and nearly 4,000 people remain in shelters.

But signs of recovery emerged Friday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that FEMA will start paying for hotel rooms for storm victims staying in cars, hotels, shelters or their workplaces. A disaster food stamp program will begin Monday. And the state intends to start consolidating shelters this weekend as more of the displaced return home or find other places to stay.

Storm hit at start of school year

The floods hit just as the school year was starting in many districts, reminiscent of how Hurricane Katrina abruptly ended a new school year in New Orleans in 2005. With the city under water for weeks and much of its population scattered for months or even years, the first public school didn’t open in New Orleans until three months after the storm.

Some school districts, including in East Baton Rouge Parish, plan to reopen next week. But in Livingston Parish, it could take several weeks for some individual schools to be able to open. All told, Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White said 22 public schools were so heavily damaged around four parishes that they can’t be opened by next week.

Amanda Burge, 35, said one of her friends from Denham Springs plans to temporarily enrol her daughter at a school in Covington while they stay there with a relative. Burge said she can’t move her three sons to another district because her husband’s job is rooted here, but they haven’t had time to weigh their options. On Thursday, the couple was racing to clean out their flooded home before the mould sets in.

Pictures Of The Week Photo Gallery

Danny and Alys Messenger paddle a canoe away from their home after reviewing flood damage in Prairieville, La. Louisiana was overwhelmed last week with flood water, causing at least 13 deaths and thousands of damaged homes. (Max Becherer/Associated Press)

“Everything is gone. School is gone. Home is gone. Church is gone,” said Burge, president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Denham Springs Elementary School.

Her 11-year-old son, Logan, smiled at the prospect of a “second summer.”

“At the same time, I’m starting to miss my teachers and my friends,” he said. “I’m wondering if they’re all OK from the storm.”

Bonnie Nastasi, a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans specializing in school psychology, said addressing the disruption of children’s lives is as important as helping them with the trauma they experienced during the flooding. Many had to be rescued in nighttime darkness, plucked from their homes and packed together in crowded shelters.

“If they can resume normal routines, that helps them to feel more safe and more secure,” Nastasi said.

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 Louisiana floods one of the worst recent US disasters2:12

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The blaze spanning 42 square miles has destroyed 34 homes, forced the evacuation of 350 properties and put at least 2,000 buildings at risk.

‘Every day the fire is gaining ground on us,’ an official said.
‘Every day the fire is gaining ground on us,’ an official said. Photograph: Noah Berger/Reuters

Firefighters struggled on Thursday to get the upper hand on a huge wildfire along northern California’s picturesque Big Sur coastline, where anxious residents awaited word on their homes and popular parks and trails closed at the height of tourist season.

The blaze spanning 42 square miles has destroyed 34 homes, forced the evacuation of 350 properties and put at least 2,000 buildings at risk. A 35-year-old father of two girls was also killed this week when the bulldozer he was operating rolled over on the fire lines.

The California department of forestry and fire protection estimated it would take until the end of August to extinguish a blaze that also led to the rescue of 11 hikers, some of whom authorities suspected of tending to an illegal marijuana patch of 900 plants. No arrests were made.

“Every day the fire is gaining ground on us,” Cal fire battalion chief Robert Fish said. “The weather and steep and rugged terrain is taking its toll. So we’ll make progress, but then the fire is making progress faster than we can keep pace with.”

Firefighters worked in rugged terrain near coastal Highway 1 in an area that draws tourists from around the world for the dramatic vistas of ocean and mountains. The famous roadway remained open, but smoke and the threat of flames forced the closure of state parks near Big Sur, a big economic driver for the region.

Tom and Donna Huntington, both 65, have lived for 29 years in the community of Palo Colorado, which was hard-hit by the fire. They evacuated their home last Friday and have been staying with friends and a Red Cross shelter at a school.

Big Sur.
Smoke and the threat of flames forced the closure of state parks near Big Sur. Photograph: Robert Schwemmer/NOAA

“It’s a heartbreaker. I could cry right now,” Tom Huntington said. “I’m so lucky I didn’t lose my house. And I know some people that have. All they had was what they wore that day … All their stuff – just poof.”

The bulldozer operator who died on the fire lines this week was identified on Thursday as Robert Reagan. The Fresno County man’s sister, Hannah Cunnings, told the Associated Press that her brother was the kind of person who would offer to put snow chains on your car or fix an engine that needed repair.

“Even since he was a boy, he just really wanted to help people,” she said, crying.
Cunnings said her brother and his wife also cared for a young niece. Reagan became the second person killed during wildfires burning in two parts of the state.

The other death came last Saturday in southern California when the burned body of 67-year-old Robert Bresnick was found in a car after he refused to leave a house, authorities said. Crews stopped the spread of that nearly 60-square-mile wildfire, which destroyed 18 homes in mountains and canyons outside Los Angeles.

In the north, four people who hiked out of the fire area earlier this week acknowledged illegally growing marijuana for the last three months, Monterey County sheriff’s Sgt Kathy Palazzolo said.

It is illegal to grow marijuana in California except for medicinal purposes, but pot growers are common throughout coastal Monterey County, south of San Francisco.

Separately, a group of seven people were rescued on Tuesday after calling 911, Palazzolo said. They denied cultivating the plant and said they were backcountry hikers, but a deputy wrote in a preliminary report that he did not believe them.

There was no evidence to suggest the fire was sparked by marijuana cultivation, but authorities were still investigating what did. Cal fire spokesman Robert Fish said the blaze was just partially contained.

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A tornado funnel cloud

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.


Najia WarshaghaThe girl whose image spread around the world is Najia Warshagha, who at the age of nine is already a veteran of three bloody and devastating conflicts in Gaza. Over four weeks of this war, at least 447 children have been killed and 2,744 injured, according to the UN. Thousands more – Najia among them – are deeply traumatised.

Continue Reading…

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mh-370-searchOver lunch in Shanghai on April 11, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott signaled that the answer to one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries was close.

His audience in China’s commercial capital–a mix of local business leaders and Australian executives–heard Mr. Abbott express confidence that Australia knew the position of missing Flight 370 “to within some kilometers.” Days earlier, an Australian Continue Reading…

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monster-typhoon-philippines-haiyanTACLOBAN/HANOI: A super typhoon that destroyed entire towns across the Philippines is believed to have killed more than 10,000 people, authorities said on Sunday, which would make it the country’s deadliest recorded natural disaster.

The horrifying new feared death toll from Super Typhoon Haiyancame as the United States pledged military help in the relief effort and as countless survivors across a Continue Reading…

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