Monthly Archives: September 2014

Phelps arrested for drink driving

Phelps retired after winning an unprecedented 22nd Olympic medal in 2012 but has since returned to action

US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has been arrested for driving under the influence, authorities have said.

Police in Baltimore, Maryland, said he was stopped for speeding after being caught going 84mph (135km/h) in a 45mph zone early on Tuesday morning.

Mr Phelps was co-operative but failed a series of standard field sobriety tests, traffic police said in a statement. He was charged and released.

The swimmer is the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals.

Mr Phelps, 28, retired after winning his 22nd Olympic medal at the London Games in 2012 but came out of retirement earlier this year.

The Maryland Transportation Authority said Mr Phelps was driving a white 4×4 in Fort McHenry tunnel in Baltimore when the vehicle was caught on police radar at 01:40 local time (05:40 GMT).

Police said he was “arrested and charged with DUI [driving under the influence], excessive speed and crossing double lines”.

The statement said Mr Phelps was co-operative throughout the process and was released after being charged.

Mr Phelps, who is from Baltimore County, was previously charged for driving under the influence in Maryland in 2004. He pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in exchange for 18 months’ probation.

Neither Mr Phelps nor his representatives have commented on Tuesday’s arrest.

Benghazi clashes kill at least

Several people have been injured in the shelling near Tripoli airport

At least 36 people have been killed in clashes between Libyan government troops and Islamist militants in the city of Benghazi, reports say.

The attack came as the militants attacked troops in the city centre.

Intense fighting near Tripoli airport killed another 23 people, reports say

Militias controlling large parts of the country are responsible for Libya’s worst violence since the 2011 uprising that toppled Col Muammar Gaddafi, correspondents say

On Saturday, the US evacuated its embassy in the capital, Tripoli

The UN and Turkey have also withdrawn their diplomatic staff

With no army, Libya’s central government has increasingly lost control over the country to rogue and powerful militias in the last two years, says the BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tripoli

City ready to host Tour of Britain

The Tour of Britain last came to Liverpool in 2008, when the city hosted stage eight

Thousands of spectators will descend on Liverpool later to watch some of the world’s most famous cyclists as the Tour of Britain gets under way.

The city is hosting the Grand Depart, which will see riders compete on a looped circuit around the city centre

Huge crowds are expected to line the route – as the riders complete eight laps from the waterfront out to Sefton Park and back.

The race will then follow a further seven stages around the country.

Local cyclist Chris Boardman, who won Olympic gold in 1992 and took part in both tour races, is sure Liverpool can rise to the challenge of hosting the first stage, two months after Yorkshire showcased a spectacular start to the Tour de France.

We’ve got such iconic landmarks in Liverpool – the whole seafront is littered with them he said

Riders taking part include household names Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

Isle of Man-born Cavendish has chosen to compete despite still recovering from his Tour de France-ending crash in Harrogate.

He said: I’m racing this week because this is my national Tour, Britain’s big race, and I always want to support it when I can.

it’s always a treat racing on home soil in front of big British crowds. I’m just going to enjoy myself and see what the week brings

The Tour of Britain takes place between 7 and 14 September. BBC Sport will be providing daily reports from the race

Economics driving language loss

The better the economy, the more likely a national language will dominate

(bursa escort) — Economic development is driving the extinction of some languages, scientists believe.

A study has found that minority languages in the most developed parts of the world, including North America, Europe and Australia, are most at threat.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The researchers say that efforts to protect these languages need to be focused on these areas.

Lead author Tatsuya Amano, from the University of Cambridge, said: “World languages are now rapidly being lost. This is a very serious situation.

“We wanted to know how the extinction is distributed globally and what are the main drivers of this.”

Vanishing voices

Dr Amano, who usually looks at extinction rates in animals, said that about 25% of languages around the world were under threat.

People are forced to adopt the dominant language or risk being left out in the cold – economically and politically”

The researchers found that the more successful a country was economically, the more rapidly its languages were being lost.

They said that in North America, languages such as Upper Tanana, were now spoken by fewer than 25 people in Alaska, and were at risk of vanishing forever.

In Europe, languages such as Ume Sami in Scandinavia or Auvergnat in France are fading fast.

Dr Amano said: “As economies develop, one language often comes to dominate a nation’s political and educational spheres.

People are forced to adopt the dominant language or risk being left out in the cold – economically and politically

The team also found that languages in the Himalayas are at risk, such as Bahing in Nepal, which has an estimated eight speakers. In the tropics, too, voices are disappearing

These countries are experiencing rapid economic growth, so in the near future these languages will face risk of extinction

The scientists call for conservation efforts to focus on these regions.

Dr Amano said that work undertaken to protect languages such as Welsh in the UK was a good example a successful strategy

Commenting on the research Daniel Kaufman, executive director of the Endangered Language Alliance, said: Environmental factors have been overshadowed by social, political and economic factors

We are now seeing a pattern of linguistic diversity that was originally shaped by the environment give way to a pattern that is being shaped by policy and economic realities.

The environmental pattern at this point is largely historical residue. That is, we will no longer see areas of a particular environmental type attract or spawn language diversity. The economic aspect, however, cannot be overemphasized, as there are places within the language diversity ‘hotspots’ where whole villages are being emptied out due to out-migration.

Because much of this migration is recent and undocumented, accurate numbers are unfortunately not readily available for statistical analysis

Man held over New Zealand killings

Police teams conducted an extensive search for the suspect

Police in New Zealand have detained a man suspected of shooting two people dead and injuring a third at an unemployment office.

The incident happened on Monday morning in the town of Ashburton, southwest of Christchurch.

A man went into a Work and Income New Zealand office and opened fire, before fleeing.

Two people were killed and a third person was in a “serious but stable condition”, local police said.

Police said the man left the scene on a bicycle and warned residents not to approach him.

But after an approximately seven-hour search, a suspect was apprehended.

The suspect was found on a rural property and brought down by police dogs.

He sustained dog bites and was being brought to Ashburton police station for a medical examination.

Police were still searching for the weapon used in the shootings, a statement said.

Ashburton is a small town of less than 20,000 people, about 85km (55 miles) from Christchurch.

Police initially identified the man as 48-year-old John Henry Tully, but in a subsequent statement used the name Russell John Tully. Local papers say he uses John as a first name.

Earlier this month, the Ashburton Guardian had reported on the case of Mr Tully, who was on disability benefit and was living rough after falling out with his flatmate.

According to the daily, he was seeking help from social services to find affordable accommodation.