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Posts Tagged ‘cnn’

Obama: We’re building Iron Man

A simple announcement to change the world.


(Credit:
CNN/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

The real news sometimes passes us by, as we eke out our survival and freak out at the state of our lives.

I am grateful, therefore, to have been sent this snippet that might just change the way you think and live.

For here, at a White House press conference earlier this week, is President Obama revealing a “secret project we’ve been working on for some time.”

What could this project be? A crowdsourced surveillance program? A health insurance Web site that works?

No, America is building Iron Man.

You don’t have to take my word for it.

For here the president began by saying that he would be joined by America’s finest researchers, digital cloud designers, and important people from the Pentagon.

He then uttered these words: “Basically, I’m here to announce that we’re building Iron Man.”

The journalists in the room erupted with laughter. In an attempt to quiet them, perhaps, the president then explained: “I’m going to blast off in a second.”

That didn’t work. So he had to add that this wasn’t really a secret project America’s been working on for some time. Or maybe it was.

“It’s classified,” he concluded.

This may well be, but in a world in which what is classified emerges through the recalcitrance of a 29-year-old with an old USB stick, there might be some truth in this joviality.

We really need to do something positive with our billionaire techies, whose priorities seem more skewed than a rapper’s hat.

We really ought to co-opt them into saving our culture, rather than let it disappear into the sinkhole of flappy birds and snoopy glasses.

Please imagine Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg, with iron suits and will, soaring in to save us from our enemies and our own worst excesses.

We haven’t seen all that much of these young men lately. Might they already be in training?

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/d026vEezE-8/

This is what happens when a bird smashes a plane’s windshield

February 24th, 2014 No comments

Strike.


(Credit:
CNN/Courtesy Rob Weber screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

You’re flying along at 170mph in Florida’s happy skies.

Suddenly you have a gatecrasher. Or, rather, a windshield crasher.

In remarkable footage taken from the cockpit by Rob Weber, everything seemed to be going fine, before it wasn’t.

As NBC 2 reports, Weber described his reaction when a bird crashed through his windshield as he flew toward Page Field in Fort Myers, Fla.: panic

One hears stories of bird inadvertently striking planes, whether it is engines or windshield.

But the footage suggests that you just don’t see it coming. Weber told NBC 2: “You’re sitting there waiting for a bird to come in. Never did see him. All of the sudden the window just explodes. I don’t know if he was diving or what happened when I got him.”

At the time, Weber was 1,000 feet from the ground and entirely alone.

He had no windshield and there were copious amounts of blood to make a landing a touch abnormal. Weber sustained a cut forehead, but lived to tell the tale.

He said he’s been flying for 11 years and this was only the second time he’d had to mutter “mayday.”

At least the video will prove to his insurance company precisely what happened.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/CYj7vpOXKgk/

Categories: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Snow day chant: ‘House of Cards,’ now now now!

February 14th, 2014 No comments

House of Cards

Despite an Internet outcry, the season two premiere of House of Cards proceeded according to schedule.


(Credit:
Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

All the snow that’s been pounding the East Coast lately is really getting to people. Take Thursday’s Internet outburst related to the hit Netflix show “House Of Cards.”

People took to the netwaves to try to bully Netflix into releasing the show a day ahead of its scheduled 3 a.m. Friday premiere time. The reason for the outcry? Apparently, viewers felt they couldn’t survive a snow day at home without having Kevin Spacey’s warm southern drawl keeping them toasty in front of their TVs.

Seems things were started by a post on Slate’s culture blog Brow Beat, written by David Haglund, in which he penned an open letter to Netflix asking for an early release of the show.

“I know you have a whole host of viewing options, but the only thing that will keep us entertained for the amount of time we have to kill is a gripping, twisty drama ‘designed to be binge-watched,’ like, say, House of Cards,” he wrote. “And not the first season. We watched that already. It was great! Now we need Season 2. Today.”

Oddly enough, the cry was picked up by Alex Conant, press secretary for Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Florida! The only state out of all 50 that’s completely snow-free according to a map produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration! Conant Tweeted: “If/when DC shuts down for blizzard Thursday, @netflix would be smart to make new @HouseofCards available one day early.”

This led to a flurry of tweets and the creation of the Twitter hashtag #ReleaseHouseOfCards. A few of my favorites:

There was even a petition created by Philadelphian Kellan White on change.org that got 109 signatures with people siting various reasons for signing. My favorite came from Ken Stachnik in Sunnyside, New York who said: “Because David Fincher is my spirit animal.” (Fincher is the show’s executive producer.) While it might have been a great PR move for Netflix to have caved and released “House of Cards” a day early, a company spokesman said, “Hunker down and re-watch season one so you are good and ready,” CNN reports.

This displeased at least one fan, who, clearly misunderstanding the meaning of “video on demand” tweeted:

If all this “House of Cards” talk has got you salivating for a peek at season two, here you go…

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/DmbDvx-fWUY/

A Skype exorcism: The modern way to rid yourself of demons

January 30th, 2014 No comments

He says it works.


(Credit:
CNN/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

I tend to fight my demons by grinding my teeth and sipping Gamling and McDuck’s cabernet franc.

I understand, though, that some prefer a religious representative to confront the evil spirit and, well, curse it out.

This isn’t always an easy arrangement. So I’m delighted that Reverend Bob Larson, of the DWJD (Do What Jesus Did) Spiritual Freedom Church in Arizona has now disrupted the process of exorcisms. Yes, he’s doing them via Skype.

You can see the advantages immediately. You sense an evil presence in your living room, larder or larynx. You Skype Reverend Bob in the manner of a 911 call. Then, like the 7th Anti-Demon Cavalry, he rides into action.

On viewing the CNN report below, I confess that I found the whole thing a tad disturbing. Like a C-level horror movie.

“I’m going to reach out, across the miles,” he tells an allegedly possessed man from Norway.

What proceeds is a lot of demonic cursing from one side of the Skype call and a lot of crucifix waving from the other.

Reverend Bob told CNN: “There would be no need to theatrically stage this for any reason. Why would anybody do that?”

I suspect the unbelieving and skeptical would suggest that Mammon might play a demonic role here.

It costs $295 for 60 minutes of the reverend’s saintly Skyped powers. This is, so the Huffington Post tells me, treated as a charitable donation to the International Missions Program.

The International Catholic Association of Exorcists is not impressed, but for more spiritual reasons. Its Reverend Isaac Kramer told Vocativ: “If a person is fully possessed, the demon inside of them will not let them sit in front of the computer screen to be exorcised. Chances are, they’re going to throw the computer screen across the room and destroy everything.”

Still, one can understand the attraction of Larson’s promise. If you’re not feeling yourself, there might be another self inside you, working to contort your life in unwelcome directions.

Moreover, he does offer preventative measures. On his highly commercialized Web site, there’s a book called “Demon Proofing Prayers.” It costs a mere $14.99.

Then there’s an 8-hour DVD series titled: “Why You Need Deliverance!” This normally retails at $49, but has been reduced to a far more palatable $19. Yes, for this week only!

My own religion tends toward the Church Of Whatever Works For You. Perhaps, therefore, these Skype exorcisms do the trick for those who need the trick done.

I’ll stick to the trick of the cabernet franc.

The reverend at work.


(Credit:
CNN/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/eZk7WeDBpUA/

Tech sector hiring more women, data shows… or is it?

November 22nd, 2013 No comments

CNET convened a Women in Tech panel at CES 2012, where Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (second from left), Flickr founder Catarina Fake (center), and Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior (sitting to the left of former CNET editor Molly Wood) agreed we have a long way to go despite some progress. Pictured at far left is Lindsey Turrentine, editor-in-chief of CNET Reviews.


(Credit:
James Martin/CNET)

Though women’s battle for equal pay rages on (thanks Batgirl; see the video below), a new government study suggests tech companies are seeing past gender bias and hiring more women than men.

According to Dice.com, which reported on data out this week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 60,000 new jobs in the tech industry, 60 percent of the positions went to women.

“Companies have been focusing on getting more women into technology for a long time,” Shravan Goli, president of Dice, said. “This year those efforts appear to be paying off — with 60 percent of new tech jobs created in 2013 filled by women, according to government statistics. To have the best tech organization, companies want to pull from the entire talent pool and we need to do more to get young girls thinking about technology careers early and often. That’s why Dice is supporting efforts like Code.org and Donors Choose to reach the next Marissa Mayer and may there be many of them.”

But do these new statistics give false hope?

According to CNBC, the data Dice.com used comes from a category called “Computer Systems Design and Related Services,” which is not an actual job category.

“What the data is really saying is that a certain type of business that falls under the category ‘Computer Systems Design and Related Services’ happened to hire more women than men this year,” reports CNBC’s Jon Fortt. “That doesn’t mean the women hired by these companies were in tech. They could have been in sales, in public relations, in customer service. A Bureau of Labor statistics spokesman confirmed that there is no way to determine whether women are making gains in tech employment by looking at the Computer Systems Design and Related Services industry category.”

So while more women may have been hired under “Computer Systems Design and Related Services” that doesn’t mean tech companies have been making significant strides in changing the balance of power between genders in their offices and boardrooms. In fact, in March of this year, Catalyst.com released an Overview of Women in the Workplace that revealed that representation of women in Fortune 500 leadership positions has stagnated in recent years.

With Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg being the very visible exceptions to the rule, according to the Los Angeles Times, even one of the most popular social-media networks — Twitter — doesn’t have a single woman on its board of directors.

Last year, CNN Money probed 20 U.S. tech companies to uncover workforce diversity data and received government reports for five of them — Dell, Cisco, eBay, Ingram Micro, and Intel — to discover how diverse (or not) Silicon Valley is. Ironically, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Microsoft successfully petitioned for their data to be excluded from the report. The interactive chart shows that women in tech dominated the “Administrative” category (which combined clerical workers, as well as skilled and unskilled laborers), but were significantly less represented as officers or managers.

This lack of diversity in leadership positions within the tech sector also makes one wonder if ongoing sexism in the workplace could factor in. Just last year, CNET’s Molly Wood wrote about Dell’s employee summit in Denmark, where the emcee told an audience of 80 employees, partners, and journalists: “All the great inventions are from men; we can thank women for the rolling pin.” Interesting words to happen at an official Dell summit considering that in 2009 the company was forced to pay $9.1 million to settle gender discrimination suit.

Discord at Defcon
And then, of course, there’s the sexism that still runs rampant at tech and gaming conventions, even today. Recently, female hackers and security professionals have publicly complained about sexual harassment at Defcon — the world’s largest hacker conference — calling for a bigger discussion about why women are continually treated like outsiders in a community they helped build.

At this year’s
E3 — arguably the largest gaming convention in the United States with about 50,000 attendees — there were unsettling reports of female tech journalists, PR representatives, and gaming developers being sexually harassed by other gaming employees, attendees, and even a security guard.

Even though 45 percent of the entire gaming population are women who are frequent game buyers, according to the Entertainment Software Association, trade conventions like E3 market mostly to a male demographic, notes the Associated Press. Gaming companies continue to hire scantily clad models to attract men to their booths. International
CES in Las Vegas also employs “booth babes” for the same effect.

Sexual harassment and discrimination in tech and gaming companies are far from over, especially in Silicon Valley. Last year, for example, the well-known venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins was accused of sexual discrimination in a lawsuit by partner Ellen Pao.

Women who led the way
It’s remarkable to think we still need to grapple with sexual discrimination and harassment in the tech world considering we might not even be where we are now without such female innovators as Ada Lovelace, thought to be the world’s first computer programmer, and Grace Hopper, who developed the first compiler for a computer programming language.

While the latest reports of tech companies hiring more women may be misinterpreted, that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to strive for equality.

“Overall, it’s a surprise to see there’s a sudden increase, and obviously, it’s too soon to know if a few months is a trend,” Goli told CNN Money. “There’s been so much awareness building and activity from companies to pursue diversity, plus you’ve got the Sheryl Sandbergs and Marissa Mayers of the world — I think all of that is starting to result in increased awareness and an attraction toward technology roles for women more than ever before.”

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/zPjpojgZlwc/

Fox News’ fairly vast, beautifully balanced new tablets

October 8th, 2013 No comments

Just look at the size of those things.


(Credit:
Fox News Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Shrill leftish types like to paint Fox News as a fundamentalist organization, there to stuff one shade of news into the gullet of a compliant viewer.

This view is, frankly, unbalanced.

Fox News is a driven, modern business that regularly beats its competitors and scales heights to which, for example, CNN aspires.

As proof of this might I offer its new, gizmo-filled newsroom, called “The Deck.” This isn’t something from “Minority Report.” It’s a technological laboratory for major reporting.

I am grateful to the Verge for having its eyes opened to
tablets of a size perhaps never before seen in captivity.

As presented by Fox’s Shepard Smith to an undoubtedly entranced audience, this makes the NSA’s “Star Trek” office look like something from the 1960s. Which, I suppose, it is.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Here we have tablets the size of Piers Morgan’s and Bill O’Reilly’s egos combined. They are, according to Smith, called BATs.

No, not because you can damage someone permanently if you hit them over the head with one, but because it stands for Big Area Touchscreens. They have a big area. And you touch them.

You’ll be wondering what these Windows-based monstrosities will help Fox News do — other than look at cat videos at almost movie-like size.

Senior producer Jonathan Glenn explains in the video: “A lot of the people don’t have the time to sift through everything at once.”

Well, of course not. Theirs is only an 11-inch screen. Here, Fox News can do a faster, better job of working out what is true and what is mere propaganda. Or, worse, a story from The Onion.

A 55-inch screen must make it five times faster and easier to find the needle of truth in the haystack of information.

Smith explained that all this technology included brand-new aspects that would allow Fox News to perform its news-gathering functions on camera.

“Eventually I think this concept will be copied and it will become the norm,” mused Kim Rosenberg, senior executive producer.

Included in this concept is a 38-foot-long video wall, operated by just one remote.

Providing news to the modern, nonlinear, distracted audience, is a complex and ever-evolving task that requires very advanced technology.

In order to be informative and a thriving business, you need to update your methods and your looks on a regular basis. (Which I know that some presenters already do.)

As Smith describes it: “It takes a lot of tools.”

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/4a8HxZ7xKDc/

This woman says she is Siri’s original voice

October 5th, 2013 No comments

Susan Bennett voice of Siri

Voice actress Susan Bennett says that she’s the original voice behind Apple’s Siri.


(Credit:
CNN video/Screenshot by CNET)


(Credit:
Apple)

Apple’s Siri might have finally found its true voice.

Susan Bennett, a voice actor from suburban Atlanta, told CNN in an interview published Friday that she’s the voice behind Siri. To confirm her claim, CNN worked with an audio forensics expert who claims with 100 percent certainty that the voice of Siri is, in fact, hers.

The story behind Siri’s voice starts in 2005, when Bennett was asked to recite words, phrases, and other “nonsensical” things in her home studio. She claims that she recorded her voice for four hours each day for a month. It wasn’t until 2011, however, that Siri made its appearance on Apple’s iPhone and a friend called her to point out that the personal assistant’s voice sounded just like hers.

Apple has yet to confirm that Bennett is the voice behind Siri, and it’s common practice in the voiceover industry to not reveal the people behind specific products. The intent is to leave all of the focus on the products and not on the voice talent.

Siri is by no means the only place Bennett claims we can hear her voice. She says that she has made a wide array of voiceover recordings for companies, including Delta Airlines. Her voice can also be heard on GPS devices and other electronics, going way back to the early days of ATMs.

With the launch of
iOS 7, Siri no longer speaks with a single voice. Now users have the option to choose a male voice instead of the female. But Bennett doesn’t seem concerned with being thrust into obscurity.

“I began my career as a machine many years ago,” Bennett told CNN. “I’m sure that you hear my voice at some point every day.”

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/fYQoEztSmxI/

Pakistan hit by fresh quake

September 28th, 2013 No comments


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A girl walks past the remnants of a house in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on Thursday, September 26. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on September 24 in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Pakistan.A girl walks past the remnants of a house in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on Thursday, September 26. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on September 24 in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Pakistan.

A Pakistani Army helicopter hovers over people as they wait for relief in Awaran on September 26.A Pakistani Army helicopter hovers over people as they wait for relief in Awaran on September 26.

People gather on an island on Wednesday, September 25, that appeared off the coast of Gwadar after the earthquake.People gather on an island on Wednesday, September 25, that appeared off the coast of Gwadar after the earthquake.

An earthquake survivor undergoes tests at a hospital in Karachi on September 25.An earthquake survivor undergoes tests at a hospital in Karachi on September 25.

Survivors take shelter at a makeshift hospital in Awaran on September 25.Survivors take shelter at a makeshift hospital in Awaran on September 25.

Volunteers load relief supplies in Karachi, Pakistan, on September 25 for earthquake-affected people of Balochistan province. Volunteers load relief supplies in Karachi, Pakistan, on September 25 for earthquake-affected people of Balochistan province.

Members of Pakistan's army prepare to travel to Balochistan province from Karachi on September 25.Members of Pakistan’s army prepare to travel to Balochistan province from Karachi on September 25.

A woman stands in front of the rubble of her destroyed home in Balochistan province on September 25.A woman stands in front of the rubble of her destroyed home in Balochistan province on September 25.

Pakistani relatives help an injured earthquake survivor at a hospital in Karachi on September 25. At least 330 people have died, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority said Wednesday. In addition to the fatalities, 445 people were injured, he said.Pakistani relatives help an injured earthquake survivor at a hospital in Karachi on September 25. At least 330 people have died, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority said Wednesday. In addition to the fatalities, 445 people were injured, he said.

People sit under a makeshift sunroof near the rubble of their destroyed homes on September 25. People sit under a makeshift sunroof near the rubble of their destroyed homes on September 25.

People affected from earthquake stand on rubble of their destroyed homes on September 25.People affected from earthquake stand on rubble of their destroyed homes on September 25.

Pakistani children are treated in a makeshift hospital on September 25.Pakistani children are treated in a makeshift hospital on September 25.

People look for belongings on on September 25, amid the rubble of their destroyed homes after an earthquake.People look for belongings on on September 25, amid the rubble of their destroyed homes after an earthquake.

Survivors gather around destroyed houses in the Awaran district on September 25.Survivors gather around destroyed houses in the Awaran district on September 25.

People walk on an island that formed off the coastline of Gwadar after the earthquake hit in this photo released by the Pakistani government.People walk on an island that formed off the coastline of Gwadar after the earthquake hit in this photo released by the Pakistani government.

A family rests at a makeshift hospital in Awaran on September 25.A family rests at a makeshift hospital in Awaran on September 25.

Members of the Pakistani Muttahida Qaumi Movement load relief supplies onto a truck in Karachi on September 25.Members of the Pakistani Muttahida Qaumi Movement load relief supplies onto a truck in Karachi on September 25.

People clear debris off of a truck in Awaran on September 25.People clear debris off of a truck in Awaran on September 25.


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Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — A new powerful earthquake struck Saturday in southwestern Pakistan, shaking an area already trying to recover from a quake that killed more than 300 people.

The 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck in Balochistan province Saturday about 96 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Awaran, the United States Geological Survey said.

Just Tuesday, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck the same region of Pakistan. The death toll in that quake has risen to 359 people.

There were no immediate reports of damage, deaths or injuries from the latest quake.

A Balochistan Assembly session was under way when the quake struck. Local TV footage showed ministers and members of the Assembly walking out of the session due to the tremors and it was subsequently suspended.

“We cannot sit in the house after such strong tremors,” Assembly member Mufti Gulab told CNN.

Saturday’s 6.8 magnitude tremor “could be an independent earthquake and not an aftershock,” of the 7.7-magnitude quake from earlier this week, Zahid Rafi, director of the National Seismic Centre, told CNN’s Pakistan affiliate Geo News.

CNN’s Saima Mohsin in Islamabad contributed to this report.


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/28/world/asia/pakistan-earthquake/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/EY_UW2UhboE/pakistan-hit-by-fresh-quake

Right wing Greek leader arrested

September 28th, 2013 No comments


People lay flowers at a memorial to stabbing victim Pavlos Fyssas.

Athens (CNN) — The leader of Greece’s extreme right wing Golden Dawn party and three party lawmakers have been arrested on charges of forming a criminal gang, Athens police said Saturday.

The arrests of the leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, and lawmakers Elias Kassidiaris, Elias Panagiotaros and Ioannis Lagos are part of a crackdown following a controversial stabbing death.

Pavlos Fyssas, a popular anti-fascist figure and well-known hip-hop artist with the stage name Killah P, was the victim of the knife attack that was allegedly committed by a Golden Dawn supporter.

More arrests may follow since a number of police operations are under way across Greece Saturday. More than 30 additional warrants have been issued for believed Golden Dawn party members and lawmakers, police said.

Public anger

Clashes broke out in a working-class Athens suburb last week, as Fyssas’ death inflamed already growing concerns about the rising influence of Golden Dawn. The ultranationalist, anti-immigration party has been linked by critics to street violence and neo-Nazism.

The violence came despite police raids of Golden Dawn offices and the arrest of a 45-year-old party supporter who police say admitted killing Pavlos Fyssas.

Kassidiaris last week denied his party’s involvement in Fyssas’ death, calling it a “heinous crime.”

The singer’s death has nevertheless led to renewed calls to ban Golden Dawn, although the Greek constitution does not allow for political parties to be banned.

In 2012, the party rode a wave of dissatisfaction among some Greeks over internationally imposed austerity measures amid the country’s deep financial crisis, winning 7% of the vote and gaining seats in parliament for the first time.

Recent polls had seen support rise as high as 12%. However, since Fyssas’ killing last week, opinion polls suggest that Golden Dawn’s popularity has dropped.

A poll carried out from September 19 to 21 by Rass, for the Eleftheros Typos newspaper, indicated that support for Golden Dawn had fallen to 5.8%, down from 8.3% on September 15.

Back in 2009, before the financial crisis and ensuing austerity measures hit Greeks hard, the party polled only 0.3%.

Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, whose socialist Pasok party is part of the governing coalition, said last week that Golden Dawn “must be dealt with as a criminal organization.”


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/28/world/europe/greece-golden-dawn-arrests/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/PXmLpMv8Mz0/right-wing-greek-leader-arrested

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Mumbai building collapse kills 28

September 28th, 2013 No comments


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A five-story building collapsed in Mumbai on Friday, September 27, the latest accident in India's financial capital. Dozens are feared trapped inside. A five-story building collapsed in Mumbai on Friday, September 27, the latest accident in India’s financial capital. Dozens are feared trapped inside.

Eight people have been rescued so far, but the exact number of those trapped under the debris is not known, said Said Sachidanand, a deputy commandant at the National Disaster Response Force.Eight people have been rescued so far, but “the exact number of those trapped under the debris is not known,” said Said Sachidanand, a deputy commandant at the National Disaster Response Force.

Sachidanand described it as a pancake collapse.Sachidanand described it as a “pancake collapse.”

Rescuers pull a man from the rubble while the search continues for survivors.Rescuers pull a man from the rubble while the search continues for survivors.


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New Delhi (CNN) — At least 13 people were killed and 26 more were injured when a five-story residential building collapsed in the Indian financial hub of Mumbai early Friday, a hospital spokesman said.

Dozens of people are feared to be trapped in the wreckage of the region’s latest building disaster.

“It’s a pancake collapse,” said Sachidanand Gawde, deputy commandant at the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). “The exact number of those trapped under the debris is not known,” he said.

Forty-four people had been pulled from the debris as of Friday, including the deceased, Gawde said.

One of the survivors is an 11-year-old girl who was heard shouting from inside the rubble that she was alive.

“There is a lot of chaos here, but my boys are closely monitoring any noises or movement from under the debris that can lead us to people trapped inside,” Gawde said. “We are using latest rescue techniques so that maximum number of lives could be saved.”

Around 40 people are feared to be buried in the rubble, CNN’s sister network IBN reported, citing the disaster officials.

The building, an old construction in southern Mumbai, gave way around 6 a.m. Friday. Fire engines and ambulances rushed to the scene to carry out rescue efforts, Gawde said.

The first floor of the building was rented out to a decorating firm, but about 22 apartments were occupied on the upper four floors, said Sitaram Kunte, the commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Council, which owns the building.

A spokesman for the council said a notice was issued in April regarding major structural issues with the building.

It underwent renovations at that time, and further repairs were scheduled, spokesman Vijay Khabale Patil said.

The residents were made aware of the situation, but continued to live in the building, he said.

Several buildings in the Mumbai area have crumbled this year, one of them with disastrous consequences.


Mumbai takes on dangerous buildings

In April, scores of people were killed in the collapse of an illegal multistory building in Thane, a city in the Mumbai region.

Deadly collapses have occurred in the city in past years, as well.

Housing rights groups say many old buildings in the city are rundown and neglected, while newer ones are often built using substandard materials and have structural problems.

People live in them because they don’t have a choice — in Mumbai, demand for housing far exceeds supply. About 65% of the population is estimated to live in slums, the groups say.

CNN’s Lonzo Cook in New Delhi contributed to this report.


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/27/world/asia/india-mumbai-building-collapse/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/4IffD_yKlvo/mumbai-building-collapse-kills-28