Eleven airlines take out the seven-star double

first_imgPassengers love the Emirates’ A380 bar According to AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas, the airlines that have achieved the double seven-star for safety and product in alphabetical order are: Air New Zealand, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air from Taiwan, Korean Air, Qantas Airways, Royal Jordanian, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.“These are airlines that are clearly standouts in the world of aviation and have dedicated years of effort to achieve these high standards,” said Mr Thomas. “They are at the forefront of innovation and operational excellence and are always on the winner’s podium collecting awards for their efforts.”Mr Thomas noted however that there were a number of airlines, such as Virgin Australia that were ‘knocking on the door’ of achieving the double. “Once it has completed its extensive makeover, Virgin Australia will be a seven-star airline. It’s only product inconsistency on a few routes that keeps it out of the seven-star category,” said Mr Thomas.Best of the low cost airlines were New York-based JetBlue Airways, Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, German-based TUIfly and Denver-based Frontier which achieved a seven-star safety rating and the maximum – for a budget airline – five-star product rating.“In the case of JetBlue, Alaska Airlines and Frontier they often offer a better product than many so-called full service airlines in the US,” said Mr Thomas.last_img read more

Geocacher Finds a Veteran’s Lost Dog Tags – 25 Years Later

first_img SharePrint RelatedItchy, Scratchy, & Rashy – Bad Things Come in Threes…May 17, 2015In “Community”It’s Time for Tick TalkMarch 31, 2015In “Community”Extreme Geocaching in Pictures (and Video)April 29, 2013In “Community” “Stranger still is what I found on my way into the location. I found hanging from a tree an authentic set of military dog tags.”– Kelley PiekarekFound while searching for “1415 Challenge” outside Ann Arbor, MichiganKelley Piekarek geocached in the northern U.S. state of Michigan in the ice cold of winter. That’s an act of bravery that might warrant its own story. But on January 6, Kelley came out of the snowy woods around Ann Arbor with more than a geocache find. As she tromped to the location of the hidden geocache container, she caught the flash of metal in a low tree. Kelley thought it might be a Geocaching game piece called a Travel BugⓇ. The game pieces resemble dog tags. But she soon recognized them as a weathered pair of real military dog tags.“It honestly looked like the small tree had grown up through the chain, it was that twisted in.” Kelley said.Kelley in JanuaryHolding those dog tags in her hands, she made a decision. She’d find their owner, Raymond Morin. Kelley said, “First I contacted the Armory at the recommendation of a fellow Geocacher on Facebook. They were only able to tell me he was not dead.” Kelley kept asking questions. She placed a call Veteran’s Affairs. They were unable to help. A Wisconsin lead fizzled. Facebook didn’t lead anywhere.Then, Kelley got a break, “I searched the online White Pages and found a person of this name lived in a town nearby. I called the number and spoke to Henry Morin, Raymond’s dad and he told me that yes, his son was in the military and his penchant for wandering in the woods.”Raymond’s lost dog tagsRaymond’s parents said he’s lived in a group home for the past twelve years. They met at the home. Almost as soon as Kelley walked in the door she was able to place the dog tags into Raymond’s hands.She said the search to find Raymond mirrored geocaching, “It was really an uplifting experience. This whole thing has been a lot like a puzzle cache-but in reverse-where I found the cache and then had to find the owner, following few clues. He and his parents were very gracious and appreciative.”Look at these three pictures, as the exchange happened. Kelley meets RaymondGrateful hugs are exchangedSelfie with dog tags“…they believe he lost the tags about 25 years ago.”They discovered the tags were lost for more than two decades. Kelley said, “They discussed it and they believe he lost the tags about 25 years ago. He remembers setting them down when he was walking in the woods when he first was getting sick but could not find them again. Apparently he lived only a mile or so away from where I found the tags.”And Kelley was ready to act when she found those tags. Being an everyday hero has been part of her life.I-AM-THAT-HEROEach geocacher chooses a username. Kelley chose her’s when she started geocaching in 2006. She wanted that name to inspire her young children, to teach them an important lesson. That lesson she says, “Live your life as an example to others of ‘a good person.’ Someone who loves others and respects themselves, does good for the community and asks nothing in return. Thinks of others first and encourages learning in all its aspects.”Kelley’s Geocaching username name is I-AM-THAT-HERO. Kelley says, “I believe kids need to see more ordinary hero’s So ‘I am that hero’ to my kids.”And now she’s that quiet hero to a veteran, his family and so many more.Raymond was honorably discharged from the military in 1984Raymond wearing his dog tagsShare with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Defamation complaint filed against Lalu Prasad

first_imgA complaint has been filed in a court here accusing RJD supremo Lalu Prasad of defamation for his alleged calumnious remark about the complainant’s “friendship” with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a recent rally. The complaint was filed by Udaykant Mishra, a member of the Bihar Disaster Management Authority, in the court of Patna Chief Judicial Magistrate Om Prakash and is scheduled to be heard tomorrow. Mr. Mishra has assailed Mr. Prasad’s utterances at a rally in Bhagalpur last month. The petitioner said that he has known Mr. Kumar for many decades and the remark was made to defame him. He also alleged that there were attempts to drag his name into the multi-crore Srijan scam, which relates to fraudulent transfer of government money into the account of a Bhagalpur-based NGO. The CBI is probing into the Rs. 1000 crore scam.last_img read more

In Assam, neglecting parents will cost dear

first_imgNine months after tabling a Bill in the Assembly, the Assam government has decided to implement the policy of deducting the pay of employees who do not take care of their parents and physically-challenged siblings.The suicide of an elderly couple, abused and neglected by their son, in Sivasagar on July 1 has influenced this decision. The State government will also make changes in the service rules of employees in accordance with the State Population Policy passed last year. This will make people with more than two children ineligible for government jobs and election or nomination to the Panchayat and other local bodies. “The suicide of businessman-theatre producer Rajani Khargharia and his wife was painful. It reminded us of the PRONAM Bill, 2017, that was passed by the Assembly [in September] last year,” Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday, warning employees who treat their parents shabbily.PRONAM, which stands for Assam Employees’ Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring Bill, aims at “accountability for employees of the State government or any other organisation in Assam in taking care of their parents and divyang (disabled) siblings and in matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”The purpose of the bill was not to interfere with the private life of State government employees but to ensure that their parents and siblings with disabilities, if neglected, could lodge a complaint with the employee’s department, Mr. Sarma said.Upon receiving the complaint, the department would then deduct 10% of the employee’s monthly salary and give it to their neglected parents and physically-challenged siblings, he said.The government, Mr. Sarma said, would also implement the two-child policy for jobs and elections to local bodies and Panchayats. The policy, passed in the Assembly soon after the PRONAM Bill last year, also proposes to disqualify MLAs ignoring family planning.“In case any MLA from the State flouts the family planning norms, say MLAs having more than two children, he/she may be disqualified from his or her membership and be debarred from contesting polls,” the policy, drafted by the Health & Family Welfare Department, said.Assam was the 12th State in India to come up with such a policy for barring people with more than two children from applying for government jobs, contesting polls, and from housing and other beneficiary schemes.“Assam is facing a dangerous population explosion,” Mr. Sarma had said last year to justify the population policy.According to the 2011 Census, the population of Assam increased from 2.66 crore in 2001 to 3.2 crore, with the decadal growth being 17.07%. Although there was a decline in the decadal growth of population, the rate of increase was at an unsustainable level, the government said.Various minority groups had panned the population policy as being anti-Muslim.last_img read more

Environment groups wait for charges in yearold Husky oil spill in Saskatchewan

first_imgREGINA – A year after a major oil spill along the North Saskatchewan River fouled the water source for three Saskatchewan cities, an environmentalist says the company involved should get more than just “a slap on the wrist.”Peter Prebble with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society says he hopes Husky Energy will be held to account after one of its pipelines leaked 225,000 litres of heavy oil mixed with diluent onto the riverbank near Maidstone, Sask. About 40 per cent of the spill reached the river.The oil plume flowed hundreds of kilometres downstream and forced the cities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort to shut off their water intakes for almost two months.Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice isn’t commenting. It is still reviewing Husky’s response to alarms before the spill to decide whether charges should be laid.“If it was just a matter of deciding on a fine, then I would think it wouldn’t be all that complicated at this point in time,” said Prebble.“If the department is actually working on a larger settlement that involves upgrades to the safety of the oil pipeline system that Husky operates in the province, then that’s something that could take more time,” he said.“If we don’t see that, I’ll be really concerned because Husky is a big company and the fine could just end up being a slap on the wrist.”Husky (TSX:HSE) could face fines of up to $1 million a day under the Environmental Protection Act and $50,000 a day under the Pipelines Act in Saskatchewan.There could also be federal charges under the Fisheries Act, said Dale Marshall, national program manager with the group Environmental Defence.“It remains to be seen whether fines will be levied or not,” said Marshall, noting he would be surprised if they weren’t.Marshall said it often takes more than a year for charges. He suggested they should be laid more quickly “in the interest of accountability and to send a clear message to other pipeline operators and oil companies that these matters are taken seriously and will be dealt with quickly.”Marshall noted it took a couple of years before charges were laid in spills in Alberta.Earlier this month, the Alberta Energy Regulator laid five charges against Nexen Energy (TSX:NXY) for a pipeline spill two years ago that was one of the largest in provincial history.In June 2014, Plains Midstream Canada was fined $1.3 million after pleading guilty to environmental charges related to two spills: one in April 2011 and the other in June 2012.In Saskatchewan, the statute of limitations for charges under The Environmental Management and Protection Act is three years. Marshall couldn’t say why it takes so long.“There’s almost no doubt that if charges are laid, they will be determined through some sort of negotiation with the oil industry. I think that’s almost a given. They’ll have certain charges that will be laid in exchange for a guilty verdict.”Part of the concern in the Husky spill is over how it was reported.The government was first told by a member of the public who spotted oil on the river — not Husky. Government investigators later determined that the leak began July 20, the day before the spill was discovered.They found that the pipeline’s alarms were warning of potential problems and continued until the line was shut down for scheduled maintenance at 7:15 a.m. on July 21.Husky Energy has said pipeline monitoring indicated pressure anomalies at 8 p.m. on July 20 and the company started a shutdown at 6 a.m.Husky’s own investigation determined that the pipeline buckled because of ground movement. The company has said it accepts full responsibility and is using what it learned to improve operations.Prebble said Husky should be required to install the latest spill detection technology, have automatic pipeline shutoff valves and install heavier walled pipes at river crossings.“Those kind of measures are going to be important requirements.”last_img read more