Gold Falls from the Sky

Tons of gold have fallen out of the sky in Russia after a cargo plane malfunctioned in mid-air.

The aircraft was carrying £265m worth of platinum, gold and diamonds when the hatch flew open – sending the precious metals plummeting back to earth.

According to the TASS news agency, Russian authorities have recovered more than 170 gold bars weighing 20kg each.

The plane was travelling from Yakutsk Airport – a major diamond-producing region – to Krasnoyarsk.  However, the Nimbus Airlines AN-12 cargo aircraft made an emergency landing in Magan after it began haemorrhaging valuables.

Reports suggest some bars of gold were scattered up to 15 miles away from the airport.

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RIP Stephen Hawking

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Meet Your Mercian Ward Councillors This Saturday

Tamworth Rugby Club, Wigginton Park, Tamworth

The monthly surgery will take place at Tamworth Rugby Club in Wigginton Park from 11am until noon on Saturday.  The meetings are well attended by the three Mercian ward councillors and residents alike.

If you have a concern affecting the North side of Tamworth or just want to meet your elected representatives then why not pop into the rugby club.  Michael Greatorex, Andrew James and Richard Kingstone to support residents with their concerns.

Cllr Greatorex said, “If you live in Mercian ward and have any concerns, questions or comments about the area you would like to raise with your local councillors, please come along and meet us on Saturday.

“If residents cannot make the surgery we can be contacted by telephone, in writing or via email.  Our contact details can be found on the Borough Council website or by calling Tamworth Borough Council on 01827 709709.”

Mercian ward covers Lichfield Road, Riverside, Coton Lane, Coton Green, Leyfields, Comberford Road, Coton Lane Estate, Ludd Lane and Freville Close.

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£1.1 Million Fine for Company following Red Arrows Pilot’s Death

An ejection seat manufacturer has been sentenced and fined £1.1 million following the death of a Red Arrows pilot in 2011.

Lincoln Crown Court heard that Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd made and supplied the ejection seat that failed on 8 November 2011 after Flt Lt Sean Cunningham, a pilot, was ejected whilst the Red Arrows were preparing to take off from RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a mechanical fault led to the failure of the parachute deployment mechanism designed to bring the 35-year-old pilot to ground safely.  This resulted in the main parachute failing to deploy.

Flt Lt Cunningham suffered multiple serious injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after being airlifted to hospital.

A number of inquiries took place after the incident, including a police investigation, a Ministry of Defence investigation and an Inquest.  HSE worked alongside Lincolnshire Police, the Coroner, and the military investigators throughout these inquiries.

HSE inspectors found that in the 1990s two aircraft manufacturers had made Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd aware of issues with the drogue and scissor shackles, designed to deploy the main parachute for the ejection seat mechanism.  The design of the component was such that at zero speed and zero altitude the ejection seat could fail to operate as intended.

Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd of Lower Road, Higher Denham, Near Uxbridge, Middlesex pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.  Today, the company has been fined £1.1 million and ordered to pay costs of £550,000.

HSE Operations Manager Harvey Wild said, “Our investigation found that Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd failed to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect users from the risk of harm after it was told of concerns regarding the shackles which deployed the main parachute.

“The death of Sean Cunningham was therefore avoidable.  Our thoughts today are with his family, who are both devastated by these appalling events and proud of Sean for fulfilling his ambition of becoming a pilot with the Red Arrows.

“We understand that a great deal of time has passed since this tragic event.  However, this was an extremely complex investigation and no prosecution could be initiated until after the Inquest and other inquiries had concluded.

“We would like to publicly thank Sean’s family for their patience and support throughout.”

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Drug Drivers Caught 25,000 Times within Three Years

Almost 25,000 motorists in England and Wales tested positive for drug-driving within three years, figures have revealed.

Data from 40 forces showed 8,336 drivers tested positive for cannabis and 3,064 for cocaine between March 2015 and January 2018.

The government said “tough” new laws saw more dangerous drivers caught.

Safety charity Brake has called for more investment in road policing to deter drug-drivers.

New legislation came into force in March 2015 covering legal driving limits for prescription drugs.  Traces of eight illegal drugs, such as cocaine and cannabis, would also mean a driver was over the limit.

 

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Research Suggests Diabetes is Five Separate Diseases

Scientists say diabetes is five separate diseases, and treatment could be tailored to each form.

Diabetes, or uncontrolled blood sugar levels, is normally split into type 1 and type 2.  But researchers in Sweden and Finland think the more complicated picture they have uncovered will usher in an era of personalised medicine for diabetes.

Experts said the study was a herald of the future of diabetes care but changes to treatment would not be immediate.

Diabetes affects about one in 11 adults worldwide and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputation.

Type 1 diabetes is a disease of the immune system, which affects around 10% of people with the condition in the UK.  It errantly attacks the body’s insulin factories (beta-cells) so there is not enough of the hormone to control blood sugar levels.  Type 2 diabetes is largely seen as a disease of poor lifestyle as body fat can affect the way the insulin works.

The study, by Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden and the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, looked at 14,775 patients including a detailed analysis of their blood.  The results, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, showed the patients could be separated into five distinct clusters.

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Councillors Vote for to Give another Year of Free Swimming to Tamworth’s Residents

Free swimming in Tamworth will continue for another year following a majority vote of the town’s Borough councillors that were present at the budget Full Council meeting.

The meeting, which took place in the Council Chamber of Marmion House, was held to debate and vote on Tamworth Borough Council’s proposed budget for 2018/19.

During a long and often heated debate, Cllr Andrew James was the only member to mention this good news story.

At the end of the debate, the elected members that were present voted by a majority tonight for another year’s free swimming at Wilnecote Sports Centre.  Unfortunately, not one opposition councillor voted to support giving the residents of Tamworth another year of free swimming.

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