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Archive for the ‘France’ Category

Air France Flight 447

Posted by feww on June 9, 2009

Breaking News: Cockpit Fire Forces Airbus A330 to Land

Images of the Day: Air France Flt 447

af 447 airbus tail section
Brazilian search team recovers debris from the Air France Airbus flight 447  that crashed over the Atlantic last week (Recovery dated June 8,2009). Photo: Brazilian Air Force Handout.

A piece of debris from Air France flight AF447 is seen on the deck of a Brazilian Navy vessel after being picked up out of the Atlantic Ocean, some 745 miles (1,200 km) northeast of Recife, in this handout photo distributed by the Navy on June 7, 2009. REUTERS/Brazilian Air Force/Handout.

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Posted in air france airbus, air NZ airbus, Airline industry, Brazil, France | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Magnitude 4.5 Quake Hits France-Germany Border

Posted by feww on May 5, 2009

A moderate earthquake measuring 4.5 Mw strike France-Germany border region north of Switzerland.

The quake is uncomfortably close to an area considered to be the “world’s safest site” for burying large quantities of nuclear waste.

This Earthquake

Gold star NNE of Basel, Switzerland, marks the quake epicenter. Original Map: USGS

Magnitude: 4.5

  • Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 01:39:24 UTC
  • Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 03:39:24 AM at epicenter

Location: 47.693°N, 7.819°E
Depth: 12 km (7.5 miles) set by location program

  • 25 km (15 miles) NE of Basel, Switzerland
  • 35 km (20 miles) S of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
  • 65 km (40 miles) WNW of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 90 km (55 miles) NNE of BERN, Switzerland

Location Uncertainty Error: estimate not available
Source: Centre Sismologique Euro-Mediterranéen, Bruyères-le-Châtel, France
Event ID: us2009ggaf

Saarwellingen, Germany

The epicenter of this quake was about 180km south of the town of Saarwellingen, in Germany’s historic mining region of Saarland, where coal mining set off a magnitude 4 earthquake on February 24, 2008 causing structural damage to buildings.


The epicenter of this shock was less than 250km SSE of Clervaux, an area SSE of Belgium believed to be the most “geologically stable” region in central Europe, and rumored to be under consideration for use as a nuclear waste dump.

Clervaux Triangle: Is this Europe’s safest site for a nuclear waste graveyard?

Seismic monitor of Europe © ORFEUS, 2009

Red = Today
Orange = Yesterday
Yellow = Past two weeks
Blue = All events in 2004 and 2005

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Posted in Basel, BERN, France, Switzerland, Zurich | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Images of the day: Legacy of deadly storms

Posted by feww on January 26, 2009

Spain’s storm-related death toll rose to 12, including four children

People look at waves crashing against the seawall in the northern Spanish city of Llanes January 24, 2009. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso (SPAIN). Image may be subject to copyright.

Spain Fire
A column of smoke rise from a forest fire between La Nucia and Finestrat, Spain, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009. Three urbanizations in La Nucia had to be evacuated after winds blew down a high-tension power pylon and started a fire in a forested area. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz). Image may be subject to copyright.

In France, some 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) of rail were affected by the storm.

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Posted in electricity, forest fire, France, power blackout, Valencia | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Deadly Storms Strike Spain and France

Posted by terres on January 24, 2009

High winds and torrential rains pummel northern Spain and south-western France

1. Three children were killed when the roof of a sports hall collapsed in the northern Spanish town of Sant Boi de Llobregat, near Barcelona, amid winds of up to 170km/h,  officials said. At least two other adults were also killed in Spain in separate storm-related incidents.

2. “Part of the building collapsed, there were between 20 and 30 youngsters inside. We know there are some dead and 16 injured,” a local government spokeswoman told AFP news agency.

A man looks at a tree split by a storm in Toulouse, France. Photograph: Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images. Image may be subject to copyright.

3. “An official with the Barcelona region’s Interior Ministry said ‘many children’ were trapped in the debris at the sports center, without offering specific figures. She spoke on condition of anonymity under agency rules.” AP said.

4. A woman was killed when a wall collapsed on her in Barcelona, while a traffic officer was killed by a falling tree in Burela, Galicia.

5. More than a million homes in France are without electricity, while roads have been blocked, train services halted and airports closed, as huge waves battered the French and Spanish coastline, BBC quoted authorities as saying.

6. “The storms are expected to spread eastwards on Saturday bringing the risk of further heavy rain, strong winds and disruption, BBC weather experts said.”

7. “The number of clients who are cut off from the grid is rising from minute to minute as the storm moves eastwards,” a spokesperson for the electricity grid operator, ERDF, told local media.

8. The storm is reportedly the most powerful to hit south-western France  since December 1999, when about 90 people were killed and up to four million homes left without electricity.

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299 words, 8 paras, 1 image, 1 caption, 1 link

Posted in Biarritz, Deadly Storms, France, Mediterranean storm, Spain | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Defective Roman Gene Responsible for Higher HIV Rates?

Posted by feww on September 4, 2008

Roman Empire ‘raised HIV threat’

BBC News Bulletin – September 4, 2008

The spread of the Roman Empire through Europe could help explain why those living in its former colonies are more vulnerable to HIV.

The claim, by French researchers, is that people once ruled by Rome are less likely to have a gene variant which protects against HIV.

This includes England, France, Greece and Spain, New Scientist reports.

Roman marble statue of Apollo from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. The god is depicted with his attributes, the lyre and the sacred snake Python. The tree trunk around which the snake is wrapped is inscribed with the words “Apollonios made it”. Circa 150 AD, restored c. 1790. Item number IN 1632.

Copyleft: Credit: ChrisO.


Others argue the difference is linked to a far larger event, such as the spread of bubonic plague or smallpox.

The idea that something carried by the occupying Romans could have a widespread influence on the genes of modern Europeans comes from researchers at the University of Provence.

They say that the frequency of the variant corresponds closely with the shifting boundaries of the thousand-year empire.

In countries inside the borders of the empire for longer periods, such as Spain, Italy and Greece, the frequency of the CCR5-delta32 gene, which offers some protection against HIV, is between 0% and 6%.

Countries at the fringe of the empire, such as Germany, and modern England, the rate is between 8% and 11.8%, while in countries never conquered by Rome, the rate is greater than this.

Legionnaire’s disease

However, the researchers do not believe that the genetic difference is due to Roman soldiers or officials breeding within the local population – history suggests this was not particularly widespread, and that invading and occupying armies could have been drawn not just from Italy but from other parts of the empire.

Instead, they say that the Romans may have introduced a disease to which people with the CCR5-Delta32 variant were particularly susceptible. This tallies with some other theories of why some have the gene variant, and some do not.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool had suggested that the variant could have offered protection against pandemics such as the Black Death which swept Europe on a regular basis during and after the Roman era.

These, said the Liverpool researchers, were viral illnesses which were lethal to people without the gene variant, raising its frequency from one in 20,000 people to approximately 10% in Northern Europe.

Dr Susan Scott, one of the researchers, said that the idea of Roman occupation being the driving force behind this was another theory to be considered.

“We just don’t know. This is just another piece of the jigsaw, but we’re waiting for the big piece of evidence which will solve this.”

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Posted in England, France, Greece, Greece and Spain, Italy, Legionnaire's disease | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »