Rescuers pull 21 from flooded coal mine in China

Rescuers pull 21 from flooded coal mine in China

– Mon Nov 22, 12:17 am ET
In this Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010 photo, rescuers ...

Rescuers get ready

In this Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010 photo, rescuers get ready to enter the flooded Batian Coal Mine in Xiaohe town of Weiyuan county in southwest China’s Sichuan province. Rescuers were racing Monday to reach 28 people trapped while doing safety work in coal mine in southern China, the latest accident in the world’s deadliest mines.

(AP Photo/Color China Photo) CHINA OUT

BEIJING – Twenty-one miners trapped for nearly a day in a flooded Chinese coal mine have been lifted to safety and eight others still underground have been confirmed alive and stable, state media said Monday.

The miners were trapped Sunday morning after the small Batian mine in southwest China’s Sichuan province suddenly flooded. Rescuers initially thought only 28 were trapped but made contact with the workers Monday and revised the figure upward to 29.

State broadcaster China Central Television showed a line of ambulances and large crowds waiting near the entrance to the mine and medics easing survivors onto stretchers after being led out of the mine.

The miners were barefoot and naked, their work clothes apparently drenched by the flood, and they wore blindfolds so the sunlight wouldn’t hurt their eyes after nearly 24 hours in the dark shafts.

The miners still underground were alive and in stable condition, CCTV said.

China’s mines are the deadliest in the world, with more than 2,600 people killed in coal mine accidents in 2009 alone.

Production at the Batian mine was halted at the time of the flood as it was being upgraded to increase its annual capacity to 60,000 tons from 50,000 tons, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The workers had been underground for safety work, it said.

Though most of China’s mining accidents occur in small, illegal mines, Xinhua quoted Lin Shucheng, chief of the provincial work safety bureau, as saying Batian’s operation was legal and fully licensed.

China depends on coal for 70 percent of its energy production and its mines are the deadliest in the world, with more than 2,600 people killed in coal mine accidents in 2009 alone.



N.Zealand braces for loss of life amid mine rescue

N.Zealand braces for loss of life amid mine rescue

N.Zealand braces for deaths amid mine rescue

by Chris Foley – 2 hrs 32 mins ago

GREYMOUTH (AFP) – Rescuers said Monday they were bracing for possible deaths after a blast at a New Zealand mine left 29 men missing, as the colliery boss admitted hope was fading with every passing hour.

The trapped miners have not been heard from since the explosion tore through the Pike River colliery on Friday, with frustrated rescuers unable to go underground due to a cocktail of dangerous gases in the mine.

Emergency crews were racing to finish drilling a small hole through to the mine shaft to glean a clearer picture of conditions in the pit, but the rescue operation chief said they had to prepare for fatalities.

“We still remain optimistic, we’re still keeping an open mind but we are planning for all outcomes and this also includes… the possible loss of life as a result of what’s occurred,” police superintendent Gary Knowles told reporters.

It was Knowles’ most downbeat assessment yet of the miners’ chances of survival. Previously, he has stressed that he was overseeing a search and rescue operation “with the emphasis on rescue”.

Prime Minister John Key had said earlier there was a chance the men were still alive but as the rescue dragged on New Zealanders were left facing the grim prospect it may be the country’s worst mining disaster in almost a century.

One of only two men to make it out of the mine, located in a remote region of New Zealand’s South Island, described an extremely powerful explosion that blew him off his feet.

It sounded like a “shotgun blast but much, much louder and more powerful”, said Daniel Rockhouse, 24, whose brother Ben is still in the mine.

“I got up and there was thick white smoke everywhere — worse than a fire. I knew straight away that it was carbon monoxide,” he told the New Zealand Herald.

Rescuers were drilling a 15-centimetre (six-inch) hole through to the mine shaft, which would be used to take air samples and funnel laser-imaging equipment and video cameras down.

They also hoped to send a remote-controlled robot carrying a camera part way down the mine shaft, although it can only operate where where there is fresh air not in a gaseous environment, as rescuers previously thought.

The bore hole should be completed Monday night, Pike River chief executive Peter Whittall said.

He said the focus was on getting the men out alive but concerns were growing.

“The reality is we haven’t heard anything from anyone since the two guys came out of the pit,” he told reporters. “The reality is, for the families now it’s becoming more and more grave with every hour that goes past.”

Tests have showed gases in the mine that could overcome any would-be rescuers or spark another explosion.

They have also detected the presence of fire in the mine but it was not known if it was affecting safe areas where rescuers hope the miners are sheltering with compressed air and water supplies.

Whittall also Monday defended the safety record of the mine, which taps a seam on the South Island’s rugged west coast, saying it operated as safely as possible in a hazardous environment.

He said the mine had systems in place to minimise the risk from methane gas.

“It’s certainly a hazard of the mine, but to say it’s prone to risk is to say it’s happened before, or it happens all the time. It doesn’t,” he said.

Police have released the names of the 29 trapped men, who Key said still had a chance of survival.

“The advice I have is that there is oxygen in the mine and there is every chance that those miners have managed to get to a pocket of that oxygen flow and therefore that they are alive,” Key told Sky News.

Australian miner Brant Webb, who survived two weeks trapped underground at a mine in 2006, told families to “never give up hope” and others have pointed to the dramatic rescue of 33 miners trapped for more than two months in Chile.

Mine blast survivor Daniel Rockhouse, center, ...

Mine blast survivor Daniel Rockhouse, center, hugs family members following their briefing with police and company officials in Greymouth, New Zealand,after visiting the Pike River coal mine, Monday, Nov. 22, 2010. Rescue officials are preparing to send a high-tech robot into a mine tunnel to transmit pictures and assess toxic gas levels three days after an explosion left 29 miners missing underground. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Mark Mitchell) New Zealand Out, Fairfax Australia Out.

Explosion survivor Rockhouse hugs the family ...

REFILE – ADDING CAPTION INFORMATION Explosion survivor Daniel Rockhouse (R) hugs the family member of a miner trapped underground in the Pike River coal mine hug as they leave a progress briefing by mine authorities and police in Greymouth on New Zealand’s west coast November 22, 2010. A robot will probably be sent into the coal mine where 29 men have been trapped for nearly three days as toxic gas delays the start of a rescue operation, a district mayor said on Monday. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne .(NEW ZEALAND – Tags: BUSINESS DISASTER IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Q+A - Why has a rescue not started for trapped ...

A view of the entrance to the Pike River Coal mine, where 29 workers are trapped inside after an explosion on Friday afternoon, November 21, 2010.

REUTERS/Simon Baker/Pool
Every chance missing N.Zealand miners ...

An ambulance officer packs a rescue kit at the Pike River Coal mine offices, some 50 kms from the New Zealand town of Greymouth. A drilling crew has bored.(AFP/Pool/Simon Baker)


The dress of the century: Who will design Kate Middleton’s wedding look?

The dress of the century: Who will design Kate Middleton’s wedding look?

When news broke this week that Prince William, heir to the throne of England, was to marry his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton, the world went kind of insane:WHO IS SHE? Where will they marry? When will they marry? (Whenever it is, it will be a national holiday.) But most important of all? WHAT WILL SHE WEAR?

It’s an unimaginably big question for the fashion world—designing a garment for an event this size (for context: 750 million people watched Princess Diana get married in 1981) is a once in a lifetime experience, the gown will become instantly iconic and whoever Middleton chooses to create it will become an overnight and lifelong success. In fact, the Dress question has been so hotly argued in England that British odds maker Ladbrokes are now tallying designer “contenders” (Brit designer isPhillipa Lepley is in the top slot with 2 to 1 odds, the jokey “She’ll wear a tracksuit” is at 1000 to 1).

Diana's world-famous gown was designed by Elizabeth Emanuel and featured a 25-foot train and 10,000 sequins and pearls. Fashion experts expect Middleton to make a less traditional, more modern choice.

Diana’s world-famous gown was designed by Elizabeth Emanuel and featured a 25-foot train and 10,000 sequins and pearls. Fashion experts expect Middleton to make a less traditional, more modern choice.

For example: Helayel was commissioned to tailor-make this dress, which Middleton wore to the wedding of Prince William's friend Harry Meade last month.

For example: Helayel was commissioned to tailor-make this dress, which Middleton wore to the wedding of Prince William’s friend Harry Meade last month.Photo by: AP Photo

And: This sapphire blue number by Helayel sold out within hours of the engagement announcement.

And: This sapphire blue number by Helayel sold out within hours of the engagement announcement.Photo by: Getty Images

Princess Diana’s Elizabeth Emanuel wedding dress sported a 25-ft train and 10,000 pearls and sequins.

Kate Middleton is already considered a style icon, just as Princess Diana was.

Kate Middleton is already considered a style icon, just as Princess Diana was.

Read more:

It’s sure to be the wedding dress of the decade, if not the century.

And while newly engaged Kate Middleton has yet to reveal who’ll design her gown, style mavens and designers already are weighing in with their opinions on what they think she should wear on her big day.

British bridal fashion expert Peta Hunt of You & Your Wedding magazine told the Daily Mail that the future queen will walk down the aisle in a traditional couture gown, wearing a crown or tiara on her head.

“I can’t see [that] it will be covered in Swarovski crystals,” Hunt told the Daily Mail. “I think it will be hand embroidered and I think with lace.”

British fashion designers hope that Middleton chooses a U.K. designer, and Bruce Oldfield (who was once a favorite couturier of Princess Diana) and Phillipa Lepley (known for simple but elegant couture gowns) are considered favorites.

When Vogue UK asked Oldfield what Middleton’s dress would look like if it was up to him, he said he’d like to see “a simple silhouette, sufficient detailing to give it the sense of occasion, but not so much as to drown her slight frame.”

British designer Julien Macdonald told Vogue UK: “I see her [Middleton] in a beautiful, intricately ornate yet simple and romantic dress in a shade of white.” William Tempest said the future queen would “look stunning in a long ivory Grecian-inspired dress incorporating drapery, but at the same time being form fitting allowing her to show her amazing figure.”

If she went outside of England for a designer, Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang are said to be among the popular contenders for the title of royal wedding dress designer.

Middleton will definitely choose a traditional dress, Hunt predicts. “She’s never going to please everybody so I think she will go down the traditional route, but hopefully with an added something – a modern twist.”

When Lady Diana Spencer became the Princess of Wales by marrying Prince Charles in 1981, she wore an ivory silk taffeta gown with a 25-foot train and 10,000 pearls and sequins designed by Elizabeth Emanuel. And when Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew in 1986, she wore a gown designed by Lindka Cierach that was made of ivory duchesse satin and had a 17-foot train.

Wedding dress styles for royals and other wealthy brides have changed dramatically since then.

Last summer, Chelsea Clinton married longtime boyfriend Marc Mezvinksy in strapless ivory gown by Vera Wang. And when Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden married Daniel Westling in Stockholm in June, she wore an silk and satin white dress from Swedish designer Par Engsheden, according to

One thing is certain: Whatever dress the future queen of England ultimately chooses, it’s sure to encourage copycat creations once she’s seen wearing it in public.

Though their trips were 19 years apart, Diana and Kate wore similar ski outfits on the slopes in Klosters, Switzerland (Graham/Getty).
Kate Middleton glows in her red coat and black hat at the 2006 Sovereign's Parade, looking strikingly similar to Princess Diana in 1993.

Kate Middleton glows in her red coat and black hat at the 2006 Sovereign’s Parade, looking strikingly similar to Princess Diana in 1993.

Royal-to-be Kate Middleton, fiancée of Prince William, takes fashion cues from late Princess Diana


Wednesday, November 17th 2010, 4:00 AM

There’s something familiar about Kate Middleton – and it’s not just because she’s been on the arm of Prince William for eight years.

It’s because the beautiful brunette, who announced her engagement to William Tuesday, is strikingly similar to his late mother, Princess Diana.

“I see a regal resemblance between what Kate wears and what Princess Diana wore,” says New York City stylist Lindsay Brooke Cohen. “She always looks put- together in an effortless way, much how Princess Di appeared.”

Middleton, who now sports Diana’s 18-carat oval sapphire engagement ring (which, at the time, was priced at nearly $45K), has taken notable fashion cues from Shy Di, including her affinity for clean-cut lines, big hats and bold color choices.

During the 2006 Sovereign’s Parade inSurreyEngland, Kate sported a bright red coat and large black hat shockingly similar to an ensemble Diana wore on Christmas Day at Sandringham 13 years earlier.

On another occasion, Kate wore a below-the-knee beige jacket that mirrored an outfit Di wore during her first official visit toWales in 1981.

“Kate’s demure and ladylike style would most definitely make Princess Di proud,” says Cohen.

Perhaps Kate is similar to Di in more ways than just her wardrobe. The 28-year-old, although nine years older than the late princess was when she joined the royal family, was also publicly educated in England, and seems to have quickly mastered the art of controlling the press.

“As Kate prepares to enter the royal family, the public will be asking whether she is able to take up Diana’s mantle as their favorite princess,” reported the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “Keeping her mouth shut and with a lawyer in tow, Kate is already acting on the hindsight that Diana’s legacy left behind.”

Other Options ???:

Phillipa Lepley





Prince William ‘saves man’s life’ in chopper rescue

Prince William ‘saves man’s life’ in chopper rescue

Sun Nov 21, 3:49 pm ET
Prince William saves mans life ...

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s Prince William was involved in a military helicopter rescue mission to save a stricken man just 48 hours after announcing his engagement, defence officials confirmed Sunday.

Gym worker Greg Watkins was stuck up Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, in stormy conditions after suffering a suspected heart attack Thursday.

The 28-year-old prince, a Royal Air Force (RAF) search and rescue pilot based in northwest Wales, was part of a four-man crew scrambled to rescue Watkins.

William, second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, is known as Flight Lieutenant Wales in the military.

“If it wasn’t for him and the rest of his crew, I’d be dead,” Watkins told the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

“Hearing his helicopter getting nearer and nearer was the best sound I’ve ever heard. He and his crew saved my life.”

“He’d probably say he was just doing his job but, to me, he and his crew are heroes. The weather was appalling up on that mountain. How he managed to get the helicopter so close defies belief.

“The fog was so thick at times, you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. The rain was lashing down and it was howling a gale.”

Watkins had been walking with six friends.

“I didn’t know much about what was happening at the time,” he said.

“I didn’t know Prince William was flying the helicopter until we landed at the hospital. Even then, I felt too unwell for it to register much.

“The winchman helped me out and on to a stretcher and whispered ‘Prince William’s just flown you here’. I looked up at him and just said ‘Oh. Tell him thank you’.

“It didn’t really sink in until I woke up after my operation. Now I think it’s amazing.

Being winched off a mountain by an RAF helicopter was the last thing I thought was going to happen to me. But for it to be flown by Prince William is unbelievable.”

He added: “I’d only been watching him announce the engagement on television with Kate a few hours earlier — it was his first mission since going back to work.

“I feel lucky to be alive but even luckier to have been rescued by the future king.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Flight Lieutenant Wales was called out, as part of a four-man RAF search and rescue crew, to assist a man suffering from chest pains on Snowdon.

“The man was subsequently flown to a local hospital for treatment.”

William was spotted Saturday in the crowd at Bloomfield Road watching Blackpool beat Wolverhampton 2-1 in the English Premier League.

The prince is president of the Football Association, the sport’s governing body in England.

Bishop gives William and Kates marriage ...

Tourists take photographs on Friday outside Westminster Abbey, expected to be the location for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. A London

Britons want William, not Charles as next king ...

Britain’s Princes Charles and his son Prince William leave after attending a Service of Commemoration to mark the end of combat operations in Iraq, at St Paul’s Cathedral in London October 9, 2009.«


Mariah Carey old Photos

Mariah Carey Old Photos

Mariah Carey
Super Bowl XXXVI – Pre-Show Press Conference
The Superdome
New Orleans, Louisiana
January 31, 2002
© Copyright 2002, Photo: Kevin Mazur/

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey in Concert Opening Night of the US Tour
Staples Center
Los Angeles, California
March 16, 2000
© Copyright 2000, Photo: Steve Granitz/

Mariah Carey
The 4th Annual Blockbuster Awards
The Pantages Theatre
Los Angeles, California
March 10, 1998
© Copyright 1998, Photo: Steve Granitz/

Mariah Carey
The 5th Annual Blockbuster Awards
Shrine Auditorium
Los Angeles, California
May 25, 1999
© Copyright 1999, Photo: Steve Granitz/

Mariah Carey
The 1st Annual NRJ Music Awards

Cannes, New York
January 22, 2000
© Copyright 2000, Photo: Tony Barson/

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey signing her “Loverboy” single from her upcoming album “Glitter” on Virgin records
FYE record store at Roosevelt Field Shopping Mall
Garden City, New York
July 20, 2001
© Copyright 2001, Photo: Kevin Mazur/

Mariah Carey
Giorgio Armani Party
Lexington Armory
New York City, New York
September 12, 1996
© Copyright 1996, Photo: Kevin Mazur/

Mariah Carey
Screening of Mariah Carey’s “Glitter”
Mann’s Village Westwood Theater
Westwood, California
September 20, 2001
© Copyright 2001, Photo: Lester Cohen/

Mariah Carey
The Z100 Jingle Ball 2001 at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
December 13, 2001
© Copyright 2001, Photo: Kevin Mazur/

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey in Store Appearance
Tower Records
Los Angeles, California
November 5, 1999
© Copyright 1999, Photo: Steve Granitz/

Mariah Carey – 1999
photo credit: George Holz

Mariah Carey

The Weinstein Co./Glamour 2006 Golden Globe After Party
Beverly Hills, CA – 1/16/2006
Photo: Albert L. Ortega,

Mariah Carey performs

MTV Movie Awards 2005 – show
Los Angeles, CA – 6/4/05
Photo: Kevin Mazur,

Mariah Carey
The Interpreter premiere – Tribeca Film Festival
April 19, 2005 – New York, NY
Photo: Jim Spellman,

Mariah Carey
Wisegirls premiere
Sundance Film Festival 1/13/2002
Photo: Michael Caulfield,

Mariah Carey
Piper-Hiedsieck Tribute to Benicio Del Toro
Sundance Film Festival 1/13/2002
Photo: George Pimentel,

Mariah Carey
71st Annual Academy Awards After-Party
Los Angeles, CA 3/21/1999
Photo: Steve Granitz,

Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.5 Million Fine for Downloading 24 Songs

Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.5 Million Fine for Downloading 24 Songs

Posted Thu Nov 4, 2010 10:38am PDT by Daniel Kreps in Amplifier

What’s the value of a song? Jammie Thomas-Rasset has spent the last few years in court debating that question. The Minnesota mother of four is being penalized for illegally downloading and sharing 24 songs on the peer-to-peer file-sharing network Kazaa in 2006, but how much she owes the record labels has been in question. The jury in her third trial has just ruled that Thomas-Rasset should pay Capitol Records $1.5 million,CNET reports, which breaks down to $62,500 per song. It’s a heavy penalty considering the 24 tunes would only cost approximately $24 on iTunes, which was Thomas-Rasset’ argument, too.

Thanks to Thomas-Rasset’s colorful case, she has become the public face of the record industry’s battle with illegal downloaders. In her first trial, in 2007, the jury demanded she pay $222,000 for violating the copyright on more than 1,700 songs by Green Day, Aerosmith and Richard Marx, to name a few. (Marx said he was “ashamed” to be associated with the “farcical” prosecution of an illegal downloader.) Thomas-Rasset maintained she wasn’t the computer user who did the file sharing, and her legal team cited an error in jury instruction to secure a second trial in 2009 that ended with a much harsher result: an astronomical fine of $1.92 million. However, earlier this year a U.S. District Court judge found the $1.92 million penalty against Thomas-Rasset to be “monstrous and shocking” and “gross injustice” before lowering it to $54,000, or $2,250 a song. Thomas-Rasset and her legal team decided to appeal that decision, too.

[Millions to spare: Lottery winners give away their jackpot]

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the organization that represents the four major record labels, was pleased by the most recent decision, even if it has no intention to collect the $1.5 million from Thomas-Rasset. “Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset’s willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions,” the RIAA said in a statement. Earlier this year, the RIAA offered Thomas-Rasset the opportunity to end the legal battle for $25,000 and an admission of guilt; Thomas-Rasset declined.

[Rewind: Album becoming a thing of the past]

Burying a Midwestern mom in insurmountable debt isn’t the best publicity move, so rather than argue the labels are entitled to the cash, the RIAA has sought to make this trial into a cautionary tale for anyone considering illegally downloading music — a reminder that there are penalties. But as the constantly declining weekly Nielsen SoundScan sales figures demonstrate, nothing seems to have deterred music fans from stealing rather than purchasing songs and albums. And in a digital world now dominated by Bit Torrent and Rapidshare, a trial over a music-sharing dinosaur like Kazaa seems nothing but antiquated. (Last month, after a decade of illegal file sharing, peer-to-peer service LimeWire was shut down by the government, much to the surprise of the millions who thought LimeWire had faded years ago into the Internet ether.)

[Watch: Top 100 music videos]

Still, Thomas-Rasset and her legal team are already making plans to appeal, setting the stage for a fourth trial. “The fight continues,” promised Thomas-Rasset’s lawyer Kiwi Camara. Even if Thomas-Rasset were to win the next trial, the RIAA would likely appeal that decision to ensure that copyright infringement without penalization won’t happen. This story has the potential to drag on well into the next decade — when for $1.5 million, all of Thomas-Rasset’s four kids could finish law school and take up the fight on her behalf.

[Photo: AP]


Inaugural American Country Awards Announces First Round Of Performers

Inaugural American Country Awards Announces First Round Of Performers

Posted Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:03am PST by Wendy Geller in Our Country
  • The new country awards show on the block, the American Country Awards–which will make its debut in Las Vegas December 6–seems to be setting off on the right foot (or would that be boot?). The first round of performers for the program has been announced, and sounds nearly as packed full of A-listers as any established ceremony on the block.

First off, the performance list includes steaming-hot commodity Blake Shelton, fresh off his Opry induction and a very triumphant CMA Awards 2010 with fiancee Miranda Lambert. Considering how “it” Blake is considered these days, that alone would be enough of a teaser; however, the ACAs have also confirmedToby KeithRascal FlattsReba McEntire, and Josh Turner as well. And there’s more to be announced in the coming days. Sounds like a pretty good start to me–especially considering this is a brand-new awards ceremony.

The show also is parading an impressive list of artists who will be making “appearances”–with names including Lady Antebellum (who are nominated for seven awards that night), Bret Michaels, andJewel.

The American Country Awards are priding themselves as the first major-network country music awards show to be completely fan-voted. This isn’t a new concept in and of itself (the CMT Awards, which far predate the ACAs, have always been fan-voted as well), but the ACAs are experimenting with recognizing new categories such as touring. Whether or not the show will actually stand out of the already pretty full country-awards circuit as anything particularly special is up for debate. I’ll be checking it out to see how and what it does, but am reserving judgement until then. (Don’t let my discretion keep you quiet, though–I’d love to know what you are all thinking about this.)

The ACAs will air live from the MGM Grand Hotel on FOX December 6 at 8 p.m. ET. Voting for most categories is closed; however, you can still vote for the Artist of the Year award (your choice: Lady A, Miranda Lambert, Taylor SwiftCarrie Underwood, or the Zac Brown Band) up until December 4.

Will you be watching the ACAs in a few weeks? As I mentioned before–be sure to let me know your thoughts!