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posted by martyb on Friday September 08, @12:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the shaken-AND-stirred dept.

Reports are coming in about a massive earthquake which hit late Thursday night in Mexico.

The Telegraph has live coverage; most recently:

A rare and powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck southern Mexico late Thursday, killing at least 15 people as seismologists warned of a tsunami of more than 10 feet.

The quake hit offshore in the Pacific about 75 miles southwest of the town of Tres Picos in far southern Chiapas state, the US Geological Survey said, putting the magnitude at 8.1.

Mexico's president said the earthquake magnitude was 8.2, the strongest in a century in the country.

The USGS (United States Geological Survey) has a page with copious data and reports available. Here is their Tectonic Summary:

The September 8th, 2017, M 8.1 earthquake offshore Chiapas, Mexico, occurred as the result of normal faulting at an intermediate depth. Focal mechanism solutions for the earthquake indicate slip occurred on either a fault dipping very shallowly towards the southwest, or on steeply dipping fault striking NW-SE. At the location of this event, the Cocos plate converges with North America at a rate of approximately 76 mm/yr, in a northeast direction. The Cocos plate begins its subduction beneath Central America at the Middle America Trench, just over 100 km to the southwest of this earthquake. The location, depth, and normal-faulting mechanism of this earthquake indicate that it is likely an intraplate event, within the subducting Cocos slab, rather than on the shallower megathrust plate boundary interface.

Wikipedia has a well-written summary of the event available:

On 7 September 2017, at 11:49 p.m. CDT, a magnitude 8.2[3] earthquake occurred off the coast of Chiapas, Mexico, approximately 87 kilometres (54 mi) south of Pijijiapan in the Gulf of Tehuantepec.[4] The earthquake caused some buildings in Mexico City to shake, prompting people to evacuate.[5] At least five people have been killed, according to the state governments of Chiapas and Tabasco.[6] The earthquake also generated a tsunami with waves of 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) above tide level;[2] tsunami alerts have been issued for surrounding areas.[7] It was the strongest earthquake recorded in Mexico in a century[8] as well as the second strongest recorded in the country's history, behind the magnitude 8.6 earthquake in 1787.[9] It is also the most intense recorded globally in 2017.[10]

See also: Huffington Post.

North American has not been doing so well, lately... Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and now this. What's next? Tornado alley gets a sudden surge, as well? Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria?


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday August 31, @03:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the mount-generators-on-a-barge? dept.

Residents near a chemical plant in Crosby, TX — approximately 25 miles (40km) northeast of Houston — have been evacuated due to the possibility of an explosion:

Arkema SA expects chemicals to catch fire or explode at its heavily flooded plant in Crosby, Texas in the coming days because the plant has lost power to its chemical cooling systems, a company official said on Wednesday.

The company evacuated remaining workers on Tuesday, and Harris County ordered the evacuation of residents in a 1.5-mile(2.4-km) radius of the plant that makes organic peroxides used in the production of plastic resins, polystyrene, paints and other products.

Richard Rowe, chief executive officer of Arkema's North America unit, told reporters that chemicals on the site will catch fire and explode if they are not properly cooled.

Arkema expects that to happen within the next six days as temperatures rise. He said the company has no way to prevent that because the plant is swamped by about 6 feet (1.83 m) of water due to flooding from Harvey, which came ashore in Texas last week as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.

"Materials could now explode and cause a subsequent and intense fire. The high water that exists on site, and the lack of power, leave us with no way to prevent it," Rowe said. He said he believes a fire would be "largely sustained on our site but we are trying to be conservative."

From the company's web site:

Our Crosby facility makes organic peroxides, a family of compounds that are used in everything from making pharmaceuticals to construction materials. But organic peroxides may burn if not stored and handled under the right conditions. At Crosby, we prepared for what we recognized could be a worst case scenario. We had redundant contingency plans in place. Right now, we have an unprecedented 6 feet of water at the plant. We have lost primary power and two sources of emergency backup power. As a result, we have lost critical refrigeration of the materials on site that could now explode and cause a subsequent intense fire. The high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it. We have evacuated our personnel for their own safety. The federal, state and local authorities were contacted a few days ago, and we are working very closely with them to manage this matter. They have ordered the surrounding community to be evacuated, too.

Also at ABC and The Washington Post.


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Wednesday August 16, @05:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the pressure-relief dept.

Following a number of CEOs pulling out of President Trump's American Manufacturing Council and Strategic and Policy Forum, President Trump tweeted that the initiatives have been ended:

Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!

The CEOs of Merck, Intel, 3M, and other companies had already left:

3M Co. Chief Executive Officer Inge Thulin stepped down from the White House's manufacturing council, adding to the corporate exodus as the backlash grows to President Donald Trump's ambivalent response to racially-charged violence in Virginia over the weekend.

Thulin joined the White House panel in January "to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth -- in order to make the United States stronger, healthier and more prosperous," the CEO said Wednesday in a statement tweeted by 3M. "After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals."

Update: The members of the Strategic and Policy Forum reportedly disbanded the group before President Trump's tweet:

The quick sequence began late Wednesday morning when Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group and one of Mr. Trump's closest confidants in the business community, organized a conference call for members of the president's Strategic and Policy Forum. On the call, the chief executives of some of the largest companies in the country debated how to proceed. After a discussion among a dozen prominent C.E.O.s, the decision was made to abandon the group altogether, said people with knowledge of the details of the call.

Also at Bloomberg:

Trump made the announcement on Twitter, less than an hour after one of the groups was said to be planning to inform the White House that it would break up. [...] Trump appeared to be making an effort to get ahead of the news as the councils began to disintegrate. The strategy forum, which is led by Blackstone Group LP's Stephen Schwarzman, planned to inform the White House Wednesday before making the announcement public, according to another person familiar with the matter, who wasn't authorized to discuss the news publicly.


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Sunday July 16 2017, @06:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-about-the-companion? dept.

The new Dr Who has been announced....
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40624288
I'll get the popcorn..

Jodie Whittaker has been announced as Doctor Who's 13th Time Lord - the first woman to get the role.

She was revealed in a trailer that was broadcast on BBC One at the end of the Wimbledon men's singles final.

The Broadchurch star succeeds Peter Capaldi, who took the role in 2013 and leaves in this year's Christmas special.

Whittaker, 35, said it was "more than an honour" to become the Doctor. She will make her debut on the sci-fi show when the Doctor regenerates in the Christmas Day show.

Here are Jodie Wittaker's entries on Wikipedia and IMDb.


Original Submission

posted by NCommander on Wednesday July 12 2017, @09:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the bit-late-to-the-party dept.

We're a bit late to the party, but for those who haven't seen on the Internet, today is a protest day for Net Neutrality, where sites across the internet are disrupting their normal operations to get the word out and get people to send a message. Ars Technica already has a fairly decent summary of who's doing what, and we stand with them and the rest of the Internet.

Due to real life issues, I was late on getting this together, but for the rest of the day, this article will remain on the top of the page and we will be blacking the theme of the site in protest [Technical issues among others precluded our doing so today --martyb].

If you're a US citizen, and want to get the word out, check Battle for the Net, and get the word out. In addition, there are long discussions going on reddit and other sites throughout the internet

Let's get the word out!

~ NCommander

posted by takyon on Saturday June 17 2017, @01:20AM   Printer-friendly
from the 7th-fleet's-bad-week dept.

A U.S. Navy vessel has collided with a container vessel southwest of Yokosuka, Japan:

Seven U.S. sailors are unaccounted for after a Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, early Saturday local time, a U.S. official and the Navy said.

Some flooding was reported aboard the USS Fitzgerald, a 505-foot destroyer, after the collision with a Philippine container vessel at approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday local time (1:30 p.m. ET Friday), about 56 nautical miles of Yokosuka, the U.S. 7th Fleet said.

Also at Reuters.

mrpg wrote in with another story about a U.S. Navy sailor who was reported missing and presumed dead after a search by the Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and Japan's Coast Guard. He was found days later, hiding in one of the engine rooms.


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Wednesday June 14 2017, @04:15PM   Printer-friendly
from the no-baseball-jokes dept.

A gunman opened fire at U.S. Congressmen and others who were gathered at a practice this morning for the Congressional Baseball Game. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and at least four others were reportedly injured. The gunman, who has been identified by unnamed sources as James T. Hodgkinson III, was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries:

A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire Wednesday at a park in Alexandria, Va., as Republican members of Congress held a morning baseball practice, wounding at least five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.).

The suspected gunman is James T. Hodgkinson III, 66, from Illinois, according to multiple law enforcement sources. President Trump announced that the gunman, who was wounded in a shootout with officers, has died at an area hospital.

The wounded also included two Capitol Police officers and a congressional aide, according to one law enforcement official and witness accounts.

Congressman Scalise was shot in the hip and is in stable condition.

Hodgkinson's motive may have already been identified by the media:

A Facebook page belonging to a person with the same name includes pictures of Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, and rhetoric against President Trump, including a post that reads: "Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co."

Charles Orear, 50, a restaurant manager from St. Louis, said in an interview Wednesday that he became friendly with Hodgkinson during their work together in Iowa on Sanders's campaign. Orear said Hodgkinson was a passionate progressive and showed no signs of violence or malice toward others.

Also at LA Times, Reuters, The Atlantic, The Hill, and CNN.


Original Submission