Lightning strike kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway

Published: Monday, August 29, 2016 @ 5:59 AM
Updated: Monday, August 29, 2016 @ 5:57 AM


            In this image made available by the Norwegian Environment Agency on Monday Aug. 29 2016, shows some of the more than 300 wild reindeer that were killed by lighting in Hardangervidda, central Norway on Friday Aug. 26, 2016 in what wildlife officials say was a highly unusual massacre by nature. (Havard Kjotvedt /Norwegian Environment Agency, NTB scanpix, via AP)

More than 300 wild reindeer have been killed by lightning in central Norway.

The Norwegian Environment Agency has released eerie images showing a jumble of reindeer carcasses scattered across a small area on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau. The agency says 323 animals were killed, including 70 calves, in the lightning storm Friday.

Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told The Associated Press it's not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an unusually deadly event.

"We have not heard about such numbers before," he said Monday.

He said reindeer tend to stay very close to each other in bad weather, which could explain how so many were killed at once.

"I don't know if there were several lightning strikes," he said. "But it happened in one moment."

Knutsen said the agency is now discussing what to do with the dead animals. Normally, they are just left where they fall to let nature take its course, he said.

Thousands of reindeer migrate across the barren Hardangervidda plateau as the seasons change.

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This story corrects the spelling of the plateau to Hardangervidda.

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Michael Flynn being investigated by DOD; was warned in 2014 about taking foreign payments

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

The inspector general of the Department of Defense has opened an investigation into whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn reported money he received for a speaking appearance in Russia.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, (D-Maryland), released three documents Thursday that confirmed the investigation, ABC News is reporting.

One of the letters Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, released was a letter from the Defense Intelligence Agency stating that they found no record that Flynn had sought permission to speak in Russia, nor had he reported income from that speech.

A U.S. official, which Flynn as a retired military officer would be considered, must, by law, both seek permission and report income derived from any activity with a foreign government.

Flynn once headed the DIA.

CNN is reporting that Flynn also received a warning from the DIA in 2014 against receiving payments from foreign governments without congressional approval
Flynn is alleged to have taken $45,000 for speaking at an engagement in Russia in 2015.

“These documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon,” Cummings said in a statement. “Our next step is to get the documents we are seeking from the White House so we can complete our investigation. I thank the Department of Defense for providing us with unclassified versions of these documents.”

Cummings released the documents Thursday, two days after he and House Oversight chairman Jason Chaffetz held a press conference to say they believe Flynn broke the law when he failed to get permission for the speech in Russia.
Flynn's lawyer, Robert Kelner, has said that Flynn did discuss his speech with officials at the DIA. Cummings said no proof of that has been found. 

Flynn resigned as national security adviser in February after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about a meeting he had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. 

Heist in South America is ‘robbery of the century’

Published: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 @ 5:19 AM

Guns.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Authorities are calling a heist in South America the “robbery of the century” after dozens of gunmen stormed a private security firm in Paraguay, CNN reported.

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More than 50 people carrying large caliber weapons detonated explosives and set vehicles on fire as they stole millions of dollars and sparked a violent police chase into Brazil, CNN reported. One police officer was killed and another was injured, along with three bystanders.

The group escaped with money from several vaults inside Prosegur, a private security firm in Ciudad del Este, police said.

Police initially said the vaults could store up to $40 million, but neither authorities nor the firm confirmed the amount of money that was stolen.

Ciudad del Este is Paraguay's second-largest city, located along the border with Brazil and Argentina.

Authorities believe the robbers were members of Primer Comando de la Capital, one of the largest criminal organizations in Brazil.

The robbers were able to cross the border into Brazil, CNN reported. A small group was intercepted by Brazilian police about 50 miles from Ciudad del Este, officials said.

Three suspects were killed and four were arrested during the confrontation, a spokesman with Paraguay's Interior Ministry said in a news release.

North Korea test launch fails just after regime shows off new missiles

Published: Sunday, April 16, 2017 @ 5:34 AM

News outlets showed images Saturday of North Korea’s annual celebration of its founder, Kim Il Sung, and the exhibition of a long line of missiles through the streets of Pyongyang.

These, when placed alongside comments made by top official Choe Ryong Hae about the United States asking for “nuclear justice,” were a clear attempt by North Korea to display its military might.

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Hours later, this appears to have blown up in North Korea’s face.

According to ABC News, a Defense Department official said a ballistic missile launch “blew up almost immediately.”

“U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:21 a.m. Hawaii time April 15. The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo,” U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Cmdr. David Benham said.

>> Some fast facts about North Korea

Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that President Donald Trump has been briefed on the failed launch and has no comment at this time.

“The president and his military team are aware of North Korea’s most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment,” he said.

The kind of missile that was launched is still being determined, though earlier in the day it was speculated that North Korea had developed and was showing off its version of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Hospital grants dying man’s last wish for glass of wine, cigarette

Published: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

A Danish hospital temporarily suspended its rules last week to allow a dying man his final wish: a glass of white wine and a cigarette.

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Carsten Flemming Hansen, 75, was admitted April 3 to Aarhus University Hospital, suffering from an aortic aneurysm and internal bleeding, Danish newspaper BT reported. He was too ill to undergo surgery, and doctors predicted he had only days left to live.

Hansen told hospital officials that he had one final wish: to have one last Green LA cigarette and a glass of wine.

“It was the best thing for him. It meant a lot to him throughout life,” Hansen’s daughter, Mette Gold Bech Demuth, told BT. “He was annoyed that he wasn’t allowed to smoke inside. He really wanted to have his very last cigarette.”

Despite hospital rules that forbid smoking, nurses in the vascular surgery ward and Hansen’s family “agreed that, in this situation, Carsten Hansen’s wants were more important than treatment, prevention and smoking rules,” the hospital said in a Facebook post. They took Hansen up to a balcony, where he and his family had a view of the sunset while Hansen smoked and drank his wine.

EN VÆRDIG DØD PÅ HOSPITALET I dag sov Carsten Flemming Hansen stille ind på Aarhus Universitetshospital. Få dage...

Posted by Aarhus Universitetshospital on Friday, April 7, 2017

“It was a very cozy and relaxed atmosphere,” nurse Rikke Kvist said, according to The Guardian. “Of course there were relatives also affected by the fact he was going to die, and they were sad.”

Hansen died Friday, officials from the Aarhus University Hospital said.

Demuth said family members were grateful that the hospital was willing to be flexible for her father.

“I can’t thank them enough,” she told BT. “They have really been a great support to my father and the family throughout the process. I am just so grateful.”