March 11, 2009

Man survives Niagara Falls plunge

Per the Buffalo News, a man who jumped into the Niagara River and subsequently fell over a Canadian part of Niagara Falls survived the plunge and was rescued after spending more than 40 minutes below the falls in ice-cold water.

Some Niagara Falls natives kept tabs on the developments from their new homes.

@laurapasquini (Dallas, Texas): Who says that nothing exciting/strange happens in my hometown of Niagara Falls?:

@lyndseo (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada): Another person goes over Niagara Falls. Well, I suppose it's good for the economy for my home town.

Those not far from the Falls were quick to share their reactions.

@denidzo (Buffalo, N.Y.): wonders why people still jump the Falls.

@chrisboutet (Toronto, Ontario, Canada): Man survives leap over Niagara Falls; Only third person on record to survive plunge

Other North Americans were quick to tweet their thoughts on the news.

@IDLaser (Redding, Calif.): dude i guess some guy went over Niagara Falls and Lived!!!

@JessLeeSzat (Philadelpha, Pa.): Someone went over niagara falls today. They are still trying to decide if he is crazy or not.


Iraq ex-regime members sentenced

Per BBC Arabic, former Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq Tariq Aziz has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, for his part in the execution of 42 men.

The United Arab Emirates Khaleej Times reports that in the same ruling Ali Hassan al-Majid (aka Chemical Ali) and two other men were sentenced to death for their parts in the murders, which happened in 1992.

@APNewsAlert Former Saddam Hussein aides Tariq Aziz and 'Chemical Ali' get 15 years in jail for executions.

@afahad (Syria) I will never forget the fierce fight Tariq Aziz put up about WMD's prior to the invasion, this is a US Vendetta we will not forget easily

@afahad I loath the international society for this Tariq Aziz has serious health issues, and cannot be tried under occupation

@markhillary (London, England) Interesting to see Tariq Aziz going down for 15 years. Considering the trial involved 42 murders I wonder why he didn't get a capital trial?

@heidirettig (Oregon, USA) I kind of feel like Tariq Aziz could spent more than 15 years in prison for executing 45 people.

@bigaone22 (Trinidad, West Indies) What a lucky man, This Tariq Aziz, spared from the Gallows...

@Jojopong (Silicon Valley, USA) Great court ruling against Tariq Aziz for 15 years in prison in Iraq... you cannot be killing people and get away with it.


Featured TwitPic: Deer spotted in Welsh countryside

"More deer." (Posted by @Padimo of Stowe Hill, Powys, Wales, March 11, 2009)


Multiple deaths in German school shooting

UPDATE> Per Deutsche Well, the death toll now stands at 15 people killed, plus the gunman.

Per Der Spiegel, at least nine people are dead after a shooting at a secondary school near Stuttgart. Germany's Sueddeutsche newspaper reports a gunman, dressed in black, has fled the scene and disappeared into the city. The BBC says a major security search is now underway for the gunman.

Early tweets referenced a shooting spree on Tuesday in Alabama USA, as well as last weekend's shooting deaths of British soldiers in Northern Ireland.

@fallenleaves (Norway) and once again, europe is following US trends. school shootings in germany

@augustjordan (London, England) It's too sad; shooting yesterday in US leaves 10 dead and seems today in Germany another 10 dead in a shooting.

@nubae (Austria) omg... school shooting in Germany now... getting close for comfort, it used to be this just happened across the pond...

@EarthLifeInst (Sweden) pressure at schools in Germany has become hardly bearable ... no wonder things explode

@vmrampulla (London, England) Shootings in NI, a shooting in a school in germany and a shooting spree in Alabama - all unecessary. How will politicians respond?

@thatbobsy (UK) Christ. Psychos in Germany, America and wannabe terrorists in Ireland. Tough week all round, guys. Pint at the weekend?

@tim_weber (London, England) School shooting in Germany ... a friend (& journalist) living nearby now speaks of 10 dead


German explosion reported first on Twitter

Per the Stuttgart Journal, several people were injured Monday afternoon after an apparent gas explosion at a house in Heidelberg, Germany.

The incident was reported first on Twitter.

The first tweet was a request for more information, along with an image from the scene of emergency vehicles on site.

@miquelmartin (Heidelberg, Germany): Big mess in front of the office in #Heidelberg, anyone has an idea of what's going on?

Within minutes, additional tweets added context, several minutes before local media reported the story.

@kirscheplotzer (Mannheim, Germany): Schwere Explosion in #heidelberg am Römerkreisel. Vier Schwerverletzte, noch keine genauen Angaben zur Ursache. (Severe explosion in Romans #heidelberg at roundabout. Four seriously injured, yet no precise information on the cause.)

@BlaM4c (Heidelberg, Germany): Der zweite Rettungshubschrauber (siehe ist auch in Richtung Ludwigshafen unterwegs. #Heidelberg #Explosion (The second rescue helicopter (see is also in the direction of Ludwigshafen on the road. #Heidelberg #explosion)

@miquelmartin later posted additional pictures from the scene to his Flickr account and tweeted a link to the site.

@miquelmartin (Heidelberg, Germany): Some pics of the gas explosion on Roemerstr 17 (Romerkreis in #Heidelberg #accident #emergency later reported that the accident was not caused by a gas explosion or leak as initial reports suggested, though the cause was still not clear, according to police.