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Mom of drowned kids: Husband threatened to kill them

BALTIMORE, Maryland (AP) — A man who had argued with his estranged wife over the custody of their three children has confessed to drowning them in a hotel bathtub on the night they were to go back with their mother, police said Monday.

Mark A. Castillo, 41, of Rockville, was charged with first-degree murder and child abuse after his release from a hospital where he was treated for self-inflicted cuts to his neck, police said.

Police did not cite a motive.

But Castillo’s wife wrote in court documents that her husband had threatened to make her suffer by killing the children. She sought a protective order December 25, 2006, and asked that the court order Castillo to receive counseling.

He has never actually hurt [the children], but did tell me that the worst thing he could do to me would be to kill the children and not me so I could live without them, she wrote in the petition.

She also wrote that when her husband took the children for visits, he would not tell her where they were staying.

A temporary protective order was approved three days after the petition was filed, but Circuit Judge Joseph Dugan rejected a permanent order January 10, 2007. In explaining his decision, Dugan wrote there was no clear or convincing evidence that the alleged acts of abuse occurred.

Police identified the children as Anthony, 6, Austin, 4, and Athena, 2.

Castillo, of Rockville, Maryland, and the children spent time Saturday afternoon at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, then checked into the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor. The children were drowned, one at a time, in the tub that night, Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld said. Watch police describe what they found in hotel room

Police said Castillo called the hotel front desk Sunday afternoon, saying he’d killed the children and was going to commit suicide. Baltimore police and firefighters were sent to their 10th-floor room and discovered the bodies, Bealefeld said.

Castillo was supposed to have returned the children to their mother in Silver Spring at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. His wife called Montgomery County police shortly after that time to say that her husband had not returned the children, Bealefeld said.

Baltimore police did not know how Montgomery County police responded, but said the cases were not connected until after the children’s bodies were found.

Bealefeld wouldn’t discuss the crime scene in detail but said police seized a laptop from the hotel room and were searching Castillo’s home.
Mom of drowned kids: Husband threatened to kill them – found here.

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March 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

HUD chief resigns amid ethics investigations

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned Monday, amid multiple ethics investigations and criticism from top lawmakers.

Jackson said he will step down on April 18. He did not mention the allegations in his brief statement Monday, saying only that he wanted to attend to personal and family matters.

The resignation came after criticism from members of Congress that Jackson has refused to respond adequately to allegations of impropriety.

No names have been floated as candidates to replace Jackson, a long-time friend of President Bush from their days in Texas.

One possibility would be to promote from within the department, given the short time remaining in the president’s term and the hostility he faces from the Democratic-controlled Senate, which must confirm Jackson’s replacement.

Speaking to reporters at HUD headquarters in Washington, Jackson said he had devoted his career to improving housing opportunities.

As the son of a lead smelter and nurse midwife, and the last of 12 children, never did I imagine I would serve America in such a way, Jackson said about his Cabinet post. I am truly grateful for the opportunity.

We have helped families keep their homes, we have transformed public housing, we have reduced chronic homelessness, and we have preserved affordable housing and increased minority homeownership, he said.

A Jackson adviser told CNN earlier that the secretary has been privately talking about resigning since late last year because he’s grown weary over multiple ethics investigations that have sparked allegations that he cannot focus full time on the nation’s housing crisis.

Earlier this month, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, demanded Jackson’s resignation, saying the ethics allegations have distracted from the secretary’s ability to handle the nation’s housing crisis. The secretary has recently been accused in a lawsuit of retaliating against housing officials in Philadelphia for blocking a land deal with one of Jackson’s friends.

The FBI has been investigating allegations that Jackson steered a federal contract to a golfing buddy based in South Carolina. Jackson has denied wrongdoing and White House officials have said for months that the president still has confidence in Jackson. No charges have been filed against him.

Jackson has been a key player in the Bush administration’s efforts to handle the national housing and mortgage crisis.

Jackson, who ran Dallas’ housing authority for seven years and then led a Texas power company, was confirmed by the Senate for the top HUD post exactly four years ago. He also was head of the Federal Housing Administration.

The resignation announcement came 10 days after the two senators called for him to quit.

Secretary Jackson has repeatedly demonstrated that he is not in the position to provide the type of leadership that is necessary during these trying and difficult times, Dodd said in the statement. Dodd is chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Murray is chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel responded to the senators then by saying that President Bush continues to have confidence in Secretary Jackson. Our focus should be on helping responsible homeowners stay in their homes and overcome through this downturn in the housing market.

Dodd said an inspector-general’s report recently stated that Jackson had advised staffers to take political affiliation into account in awarding contacts, and serious allegations about his impropriety are under investigation in three cases, although Dodd did not name them.

The lawmakers said that at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Jackson refused to answer several committee members’ questions, and later did not respond adequately to a follow-up letter from Dodd asking for information on the various allegations of impropriety he is facing.

My subcommittee funds every dollar that is spent at HUD, Murray said in the statement. We have an obligation to the taxpayer to see to it that those dollars are administered without corruption and favoritism. But we can’t do our job if Secretary Jackson refuses to do his.

This is a cabinet secretary who has consistently ducked accountability, and arrogantly refused to heed the public’s calls for answers. Secretary Jackson should resign immediately and seek to clear his name as a private citizen.
HUD chief resigns amid ethics investigations – found here.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Davenport dumps out second seed Ivanovic

KEY BISCAYNE, Florida (AP) — Former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport continued her astonishing comeback by upsetting second seed Ana Ivanovic 6-4 6-2 in the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Davenport, who left the women’s tour in late 2006 to have her first child before returning last year, set up a fourth-round clash with Russian 13th seed Dina Safarina — who defeated Austria’s 18th seed Sybille Bammer 4-6 6-1 6-0.

The three-time Grand Slam champion is 17-3 this year with two titles, and she rated the win over Serbia’s Ivanovic as her best since returning.

Hampered by injuries in recent years, Davenport is playing at Key Biscayne for the first time since 2003. It’s quite rewarding, said Davenport, 31. In this comeback, for lack of better words, I’ve not made a fool of myself.

I’ve done pretty well for my age and for what I’ve been through. Obviously days like today just give me more intensive to keep going.

The 20-year-old Ivanovic was the Australian Open runner-up and won Indian Wells this month but her game unraveled against Davenport, who repeatedly swatted deep service returns and broke six times.

She played like a top-10 player easily today, Ivanovic said. I must say I haven’t played against many players who can return so well and so deep, so she puts a lot of pressure on my serve.

Davenport relied on her customary power but also showed surprising finesse, winning 13 of 14 points at the net. I picked the right shots to come in on, she said.

Earlier on Sunday, top seed Justine Henin and No. 6 Venus Williams also reached the fourth round.

Belgium’s Henin beat Sara Errani 6-2 6-1, and Williams defeated New Zealand wild card Marina Erakovic by the same score.

Henin, in the other half of the draw from Davenport, will next face Russia’s Elena Vesnina — a 6-4 5-7 6-4 victor against American Ashley Harkleroad.

The world No. 1 had more trouble with the 85-degree weather than with her opponent. Henin won 19 of 20 points on her first serve, including five with aces, and was glad to get off the court after only 63 minutes.

It’s very hot out there, Henin said. It was quite difficult to breathe. I usually like it when it’s hot, but I haven’t been in this heat for a long time. Even in Australia it wasn’t that hot this year, so it’s quite difficult.

Henin swept the final three games of the first set and won the final four games of the second set. She’s a seven-time Grand Slam champion, but is seeking her first title at Key Biscayne.

Williams will next play Caroline Wozniacki after the unseeded Dane upset 22nd seed Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 2-6 6-3 6-1.

The American is trying for her fourth Key Biscayne title, and her first since 2001. She has lost only 10 games in two matches and was pleased with her latest performance.

I played consistent and not too many errors, which is great for me, she said. I was just winning all of the important points.

Third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova also progressed, but the Russian had to retrieve a 5-2 second-set deficit a match point before winning the final 11 games to beat No. 25 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 1-6 7-5 6-0.

Fourth seed Jelena Jankovic won her second match in 18 hours, beating Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2 6-1.

The victory came after Jankovic played past midnight Saturday night, saving five match points in a third-set tiebreaker to beat Sofia Arvidsson.

The Serbian will next face China’s Zheng Jie who knocked out 24th seed Amelie Mauresmo of France, winning 5-7 6-4 6-4 against the ailing former world No. 1.
Davenport dumps out second seed Ivanovic – found here.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trial: Popular cholesterol drug fails to improve heart disease

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) — Leading doctors urged a return to older, tried-and-true treatments for high cholesterol after hearing full results Sunday of a failed trial of Vytorin.

Millions of Americans already take the drug or one of its components, Zetia. But doctors were stunned to learn that Vytorin failed to improve heart disease even though it worked as intended to reduce three key risk factors.

People need to turn back to statins, said Yale University cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz, referring to Lipitor, Crestor and other widely used brands. We know that statins are good drugs. We know that they reduce risks.

The study was closely watched because Zetia and Vytorin have racked up $5 billion in sales despite limited proof of benefit. Two Congressional panels launched probes into why it took drugmakers nearly two years after the study’s completion to release results.

Results were presented at an American College of Cardiology conference in Chicago Sunday and published on the Internet by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors have long focused on lowering LDL or bad cholesterol as a way to prevent heart disease. Statins like Merck Co.’s Zocor, which recently came out in generic form, do this, as do niacin, fibrates and other medicines.

Vytorin, which came out in 2004, combines Zocor with Schering-Plough Corp.’s Zetia, which went on sale in 2002 and attacks cholesterol in a different way.

The study tested whether Vytorin was better than Zocor alone at limiting plaque buildup in the arteries of 720 people with super high cholesterol because of a gene disorder.

The results show the drug had no result — zilch. In no subgroup, in no segment, was there any added benefit for reducing plaque, said Dr. John Kastelein, the Dutch scientist who led the study.

That happened even though Vytorin dramatically lowered LDL, fats in the blood called triglycerides and a measure of artery inflammation — CRP.

Some doctors noted that hormone pills for menopausal women and torcetrapib, a promising cholesterol drug Pfizer Inc. recently abandoned, also lowered cholesterol but were found in big studies to raise heart risks, not lower them.

Another ominous sign was the decision Friday by other researchers to expand enrollment in a more pivotal study of Vytorin to 18,000 people because early results suggest it will be harder than anticipated to see if it is any better than Zocor alone.

It will be 2012 — ten years after the drug was introduced — before we know the answer, said Dr. Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who has no role in the studies and has criticized the drugmakers over the one reported Sunday.

Dr. Robert Spiegel, chief medical officer for Schering-Plough, said the study was done with the highest integrity and that doctors can believe the results because of the time we took to make sure the data are right.

We were disappointed that it was not a very balanced panel discussion by the heart doctors who urged their peers to focus on more established treatments.

However, Kastelein said the data were far more consistent than anticipated and ample to show that the drug simply did not work.

A lot of us thought that there would be some glimmer of benefit, said Dr. Roger Blumenthal, a Johns Hopkins University cardiologist and spokesman for the American Heart Association.

Many doctors have prescribed Vytorin without trying older, proven medications first, as guidelines advise. The key message from the study is don’t do that, Blumenthal said.

No one should ever stop any heart drug without talking with their doctors, heart specialists stressed.

However, doctors should be thinking twice, said Duke University cardiologist Dr. Robert Califf. He takes the drug himself because he cannot tolerate the high dose of statins he otherwise would need.

Dr. James Stein, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said many doctors prescribe Zetia and Vytorin because they seem to be safe ways to get cholesterol down quickly, without annoying side effects like flushing that some other medicines carry.

Stein, who has consulted for Schering-Plough, said that after six years on the market, it would have been good to see better results on a drug so many doctors believed would help, but the reason we do research is so we don’t have to rely on our ‘beliefs’ — we can rely on data.

The New England Journal also published a report showing that Vytorin and Zetia’s use soared in the United States amid a $200 million advertising blitz. In Canada, where marketing drugs directly to consumers is not allowed, sales were four times lower.

Merck is based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey; Schering-Plough, in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

In addition to the two Congressional committee probes, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed the companies in a similar probe in January.

While these corporations profited, Americans were left in the dark, Cuomo said in a written statement Sunday.

The millions who take this drug, taxpayers who subsidize its use through the Medicaid and Medicare programs, and Merck and Schering-Plough’s investors deserve to know why it took so long for the results to be made public. This new information underscores our concerns and advances our investigation, which we will pursue aggressively. E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trial: Popular cholesterol drug fails to improve heart disease – found here.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Business maestro: Klaus Heymann

(CNN) — From piano concertos to violin masterpieces, Klaus Heymann knows his classical music — and the classical music business.

His career path includes stints as a tennis coach and stereo equipment distributor, and he married a world class violinist before making his unlikely entrepreneurial debut in the music industry.

Today he has every reason to celebrate. His music label, Naxos, which quietly undercut the classical music market 20 years ago, is now selling more than 7 million records a year.

Andrew Stevens met the business maestro at the Naxos headquarters in Hong Kong to find out how he did it. Below is a transcript from the interview.

Heymann: I think the biggest advantage I had was that I did not come from within the industry. I looked at everything with fresh eyes. I never worked for another record company, I don’t read music, I cannot play an instrument, I have no preconceived ideas. I was lucky to marry a world class violinist in 1974 and I think she has been my main, not mentor, but my main adviser.

Stevens: What drew you to music?

Heymann: Well, that’s all my parents ever played at home so the very first record in our family was Hebrides Overture by Mendelssohn. I went to my first concert when I was nine years old at the end of the war in a place where we had been evacuated to. It just became an ingrained thing, I mean music [to me] was classical music.

Stevens: You started a business which was basically selling much cheaper CDs to a global market, how were you able to make them so much cheaper and able to make a profit?

Heymann: Well at the time the target was to be at one third of the price of the full price CD. We pegged the price at the ideal price point that would have been the lowest denomination bank note, and we had to start at the time in Eastern Europe, what we now call Central Europe, Czechoslovakia, Hungary where the orchestras were affordable and willing to work for us.

It was foreign currency income, the musicians were happy with the income. And of course because of the low price we sold lots and lots of CDs. We sold typically ten times what a full price recording of the same recording would have sold.

Stevens: How were you able to establish Naxos really as a leading global brand without your major rivals, the big labels coming in and trying to close you down?

Heymann: That’s something I had been worrying about for the first 5 years. I was always looking over my shoulder and thought, Well, they must catch on to what I am doing and then release also low price CDs with very valuable back catalogues.

But nobody took me seriously; That crazy German in Hong Kong with the sponsored label, he won’t survive much longer you know and that really was very good, you know, uh, they really didn’t pay enough attention to what we were doing.

Stevens: What’s the most difficult thing about your job these days?

Heymann: It’s really keeping up to date with what’s happening on the Internet. The new business models that are being tried out. That’s where it’s happening, and nobody knows what our industry will look like five years from now.

Stevens: Exciting or daunting?

Heymann: We’ve never had the reach we have now through the Internet. We have many more subscribers to our web site than people subscribe to the big music magazines. No, it’s very exciting. E-mail to a friend

Business maestro: Klaus Heymann – found here.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trial: Popular cholesterol drug fails to improve heart disease

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) — Leading doctors urged a return to older, tried-and-true treatments for high cholesterol after hearing full results Sunday of a failed trial of Vytorin.

Millions of Americans already take the drug or one of its components, Zetia. But doctors were stunned to learn that Vytorin failed to improve heart disease even though it worked as intended to reduce three key risk factors.

People need to turn back to statins, said Yale University cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz, referring to Lipitor, Crestor and other widely used brands. We know that statins are good drugs. We know that they reduce risks.

The study was closely watched because Zetia and Vytorin have racked up $5 billion in sales despite limited proof of benefit. Two Congressional panels launched probes into why it took drugmakers nearly two years after the study’s completion to release results.

Results were presented at an American College of Cardiology conference in Chicago Sunday and published on the Internet by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors have long focused on lowering LDL or bad cholesterol as a way to prevent heart disease. Statins like Merck Co.’s Zocor, which recently came out in generic form, do this, as do niacin, fibrates and other medicines.

Vytorin, which came out in 2004, combines Zocor with Schering-Plough Corp.’s Zetia, which went on sale in 2002 and attacks cholesterol in a different way.

The study tested whether Vytorin was better than Zocor alone at limiting plaque buildup in the arteries of 720 people with super high cholesterol because of a gene disorder.

The results show the drug had no result — zilch. In no subgroup, in no segment, was there any added benefit for reducing plaque, said Dr. John Kastelein, the Dutch scientist who led the study.

That happened even though Vytorin dramatically lowered LDL, fats in the blood called triglycerides and a measure of artery inflammation — CRP.

Some doctors noted that hormone pills for menopausal women and torcetrapib, a promising cholesterol drug Pfizer Inc. recently abandoned, also lowered cholesterol but were found in big studies to raise heart risks, not lower them.

Another ominous sign was the decision Friday by other researchers to expand enrollment in a more pivotal study of Vytorin to 18,000 people because early results suggest it will be harder than anticipated to see if it is any better than Zocor alone.

It will be 2012 — ten years after the drug was introduced — before we know the answer, said Dr. Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who has no role in the studies and has criticized the drugmakers over the one reported Sunday.

Dr. Robert Spiegel, chief medical officer for Schering-Plough, said the study was done with the highest integrity and that doctors can believe the results because of the time we took to make sure the data are right.

We were disappointed that it was not a very balanced panel discussion by the heart doctors who urged their peers to focus on more established treatments.

However, Kastelein said the data were far more consistent than anticipated and ample to show that the drug simply did not work.

A lot of us thought that there would be some glimmer of benefit, said Dr. Roger Blumenthal, a Johns Hopkins University cardiologist and spokesman for the American Heart Association.

Many doctors have prescribed Vytorin without trying older, proven medications first, as guidelines advise. The key message from the study is don’t do that, Blumenthal said.

No one should ever stop any heart drug without talking with their doctors, heart specialists stressed.

However, doctors should be thinking twice, said Duke University cardiologist Dr. Robert Califf. He takes the drug himself because he cannot tolerate the high dose of statins he otherwise would need.

Dr. James Stein, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said many doctors prescribe Zetia and Vytorin because they seem to be safe ways to get cholesterol down quickly, without annoying side effects like flushing that some other medicines carry.

Stein, who has consulted for Schering-Plough, said that after six years on the market, it would have been good to see better results on a drug so many doctors believed would help, but the reason we do research is so we don’t have to rely on our ‘beliefs’ — we can rely on data.

The New England Journal also published a report showing that Vytorin and Zetia’s use soared in the United States amid a $200 million advertising blitz. In Canada, where marketing drugs directly to consumers is not allowed, sales were four times lower.

Merck is based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey; Schering-Plough, in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

In addition to the two Congressional committee probes, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed the companies in a similar probe in January.

While these corporations profited, Americans were left in the dark, Cuomo said in a written statement Sunday.

The millions who take this drug, taxpayers who subsidize its use through the Medicaid and Medicare programs, and Merck and Schering-Plough’s investors deserve to know why it took so long for the results to be made public. This new information underscores our concerns and advances our investigation, which we will pursue aggressively. E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trial: Popular cholesterol drug fails to improve heart disease – found here.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Business maestro: Klaus Heymann

(CNN) — From piano concertos to violin masterpieces, Klaus Heymann knows his classical music — and the classical music business.

His career path includes stints as a tennis coach and stereo equipment distributor, and he married a world class violinist before making his unlikely entrepreneurial debut in the music industry.

Today he has every reason to celebrate. His music label, Naxos, which quietly undercut the classical music market 20 years ago, is now selling more than 7 million records a year.

Andrew Stevens met the business maestro at the Naxos headquarters in Hong Kong to find out how he did it. Below is a transcript from the interview.

Heymann: I think the biggest advantage I had was that I did not come from within the industry. I looked at everything with fresh eyes. I never worked for another record company, I don’t read music, I cannot play an instrument, I have no preconceived ideas. I was lucky to marry a world class violinist in 1974 and I think she has been my main, not mentor, but my main adviser.

Stevens: What drew you to music?

Heymann: Well, that’s all my parents ever played at home so the very first record in our family was Hebrides Overture by Mendelssohn. I went to my first concert when I was nine years old at the end of the war in a place where we had been evacuated to. It just became an ingrained thing, I mean music [to me] was classical music.

Stevens: You started a business which was basically selling much cheaper CDs to a global market, how were you able to make them so much cheaper and able to make a profit?

Heymann: Well at the time the target was to be at one third of the price of the full price CD. We pegged the price at the ideal price point that would have been the lowest denomination bank note, and we had to start at the time in Eastern Europe, what we now call Central Europe, Czechoslovakia, Hungary where the orchestras were affordable and willing to work for us.

It was foreign currency income, the musicians were happy with the income. And of course because of the low price we sold lots and lots of CDs. We sold typically ten times what a full price recording of the same recording would have sold.

Stevens: How were you able to establish Naxos really as a leading global brand without your major rivals, the big labels coming in and trying to close you down?

Heymann: That’s something I had been worrying about for the first 5 years. I was always looking over my shoulder and thought, Well, they must catch on to what I am doing and then release also low price CDs with very valuable back catalogues.

But nobody took me seriously; That crazy German in Hong Kong with the sponsored label, he won’t survive much longer you know and that really was very good, you know, uh, they really didn’t pay enough attention to what we were doing.

Stevens: What’s the most difficult thing about your job these days?

Heymann: It’s really keeping up to date with what’s happening on the Internet. The new business models that are being tried out. That’s where it’s happening, and nobody knows what our industry will look like five years from now.

Stevens: Exciting or daunting?

Heymann: We’ve never had the reach we have now through the Internet. We have many more subscribers to our web site than people subscribe to the big music magazines. No, it’s very exciting. E-mail to a friend

Business maestro: Klaus Heymann – found here.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bekele wins record sixth cross-country title

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia won a record sixth title at the world cross-country championships Sunday despite briefly losing a shoe, while Tirunesh Dibaba won the women’s race.

Bekele finished the 7.5-mile race in 34 minutes, 36 seconds, while Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya was second in 34:41, followed by last year’s champion, Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, in 34:43.

The 25-year-old Bekele surpassed the mark of five titles he shared with Kenyans John Ngugi and Paul Tergat.

Bekele was leading in muddy conditions when his left shoe came off about seven minutes into the race.

He fell about 25 yards behind the leaders, allowing Tadese to pull ahead, but was able to put his shoe back on and get back into the race.

I was expecting not to win after losing my shoe, Bekele said. But it’s not so tough to get back in the race. If it had been in the last two laps it would have been harder, because I would have been more tired.

Bekele’s compatriot Dibaba won her third world cross-country title.

She finished the five-mile women’s course in 25:10, while fellow Ethiopian Mestawet Tufa was second in 25:15, followed by Linet Chepkwemoi Masai of Kenya in 25:18.

I felt a stitch in the middle of the race and that’s when I fell back, Dibaba said. But it was after I recovered from that that I was able to move to the front.
Bekele wins record sixth cross-country title – found here.

March 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Plane hits residential area in England

LONDON, England (CNN) — UK police have confirmed to CNN that a private aircraft has crashed into a residential area in the town of Farnborough in Kent, south-east of London.

The crash happened at 1437 local time (0937ET), police told CNN. Emergency services are said to be on the scene at Broadwater Gardens, the UK’s Press Association has reported.

Pictures from local media show large plumes of smoke billowing from homes in the area, with houses extensively damaged.

Television pictures show that the scene of the crash is close to woods and open land.

There are no reports yet of casualties on the aircraft or on the ground. The nearby Princess Royal Hospital has been put on major incident standby.

London Fire Brigade has told CNN that at the moment it has six fire engines and an urban search and rescue team at the scene.

It has no word on casualties.

Witnesses, speaking to local media, have spoken of a very loud engine sound and then an explosion just before the crash.

Resident John Crane, one of those on the scene, told Sky News: When I got there there was just as massive red fireball and two or three explosions.

It was so fierce you couldn’t get near it.

His wife Jackie told the station that she saw the plane coming in erratically over the area, with its tail lower than its nose.

Sky News also reported that a man known only as John, who was flying at the same time, said he heard a distress call from a Cessna to the control tower at nearby Biggin Hill airfield that indicated the pilot was having severe engine vibrations. E-mail to a friend

Plane hits residential area in England – found here.

March 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Open Skies’ heralds new era in air travel

LONDON, England (CNN) — The first plane has landed under the Open Skies agreement between the United States and Europe, heralding what many hope will be a new era in air travel.

The Continental Airways flight from Newark to Heathrow touched down under rainy London skies at dawn on Sunday morning.

Jeff Smisek, president of Continental, was onboard the flight. He told CNN that Heathrow landing rights had cost the airline $200 million — but that it had been money well invested.

The business traveler wants to come to Heathrow, Smisek told CNN’s Richard Quest, who was also on the flight. We have been locked out of Heathrow for decades and it is the most important business market in the world. We are delighted to be here.

Quest said other airlines were already landing at Heathrow, including a US Airways flight from Philadelphia and Northwest Airlines from Minneapolis.

The new deal means that passengers on both sides of the Atlantic will now have more options when it comes to nonstop flights.

Under the old agreement, governments on both sides of the Atlantic had to negotiate access for airlines to airports on a city-by-city basis. It also meant that a European carrier could not fly to the United States direct from another European nation.

Under the new deal, however, Air France can fly direct to Los Angeles from Heathrow, rather than rerouting via Paris, while British Airways can fly direct to New York from Paris.

National boundaries will no longer determined where planes can fly, Quest said before today’s flight.

Daniel Calleja, Director of the Air Transport Directorate of the European Commission said before the flight that you are going to have more possibilities in terms of choice, in terms of reduction in the price of tickets.

But some experts caution that more airlines crossing the Atlantic does not necessarily mean cheaper tickets, thanks to the high cost of oil as well as the expense of securing landing slots. Pricing on transatlantic economy flights is also seen as comparatively cheap compared to say flights within Europe.

Kevin Done, aerospace correspondent at the Financial Times, added: The idea that prices are going to be drastically reduced is well over done.

Deloitte UK aviation industry expert Graham Pickett told the UK’s Press Association: The Open Skies agreement could lead to greater competition between airlines for flights from Heathrow.

However, airlines keen to rival the incumbent players may find it difficult to secure slots … and alliances between carriers are seen as the best way to open up routes from Heathrow to the USA.

Further negotiations on Open Skies are due to be held by 2010, when it is expected the Europeans will want the right to fly within the United States itself, as well as be allowed to buy US airlines.

Elsewhere at Heathrow, the UK’s transport minister has said that the government is willing to help sort out the chaos caused by the new state-of-the-art $8.6 billion Terminal 5 that has left flights cancelled and delayed and passengers without their luggage, agencies report.

Ruth Kelly, the transport secretary, said in a statement that Everything possible must be done to deliver a better service for passengers who are unfortunately still facing disruption and delays to their journeys, in comments reported by The Associated Press.

The agency added that extra staff had been brought in Sunday by British Airways, the sole occupant of T5, to help deal with an estimated 15,000 bags that had yet to be reunited with their owners. It also reported Sunday the cancellation of 37 domestic and European flights, bringing the total since the terminal opened Thursday to 245.
‘Open Skies’ heralds new era in air travel – found here.

March 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment