Indonesia Earthquake Triggers Tsunami Alert, A massive earthquake struck off Indonesia’s Sumatra island on Wednesday, triggering an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert and evacuation orders to clear people away from the coast.
The quake’s magnitude was 8.6, according a revised reading from the US Geological Survey, and struck 431 kilometres (268 miles) off the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh where terrified residents poured into the streets.
The city was near the epicentre of a devastating 9.1-magnitude quake in 2004 that triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean which killed 220,000 people, including 170,000 in Aceh province which lies on the northern tip of Sumatra.
The latest tremor was felt as far afield as Thailand, where skyscrapers in the capital Bangkok swayed. India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand all issued evacuation orders.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said there was “so far no tsunami threat” after the quake but that the country remained on alert.
Residents in Banda Aceh reported the ground shook for about five minutes, first mildly and then growing violent.
“There are people trying to evacuate, some are praying and children at a school were panicking as teachers tried to get them out,” an AFP correspondent in Banda Aceh said.
“There are traffic jams everywhere as people are trying to get away from the coast — many are on motorcycles,” he said, adding that telephone connections and electricity were patchy.
US monitors issued an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami watch but said it was not yet certain a giant wave had been generated.
“Earthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean basin,” the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
Miguel De La Madrid Death, Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, who led Mexico from 1982 to 1988 during economic crisis and a devasting earthquake, died Sunday at age 77, President Felipe Calderon announced on his Twitter account.
A spokeswoman for Calderon’s office speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to be quoted by the press confirmed Sunday that the message was posted by Calderon.
Calderon said he is “profoundly sorry for the death of ex-President De la Madrid.”
The cause of death was not immediately announced, but the former president had been hospitalized for respiratory problems since late last year.
Several false rumors about De la Madrid’s death surfaced in December, and Calderon even sent an incorrect tweet on his official Twitter account at that time offering condolences to the former president’s family. He corrected that earlier false report minutes later.
During his presidency, De la Madrid pulled Mexico back from economic collapse but left it with a political crisis.
His term from 1982 to 1988 was a grim time for most Mexicans, a six-year hangover after spending binge by the previous government that was convinced soaring oil prices would never fall. When they did, the buying power of Mexican salaries was slashed in half as inflation chewed up paychecks.
A magnitude-8.1 earthquake killed an estimated 9,000 people and flattened parts of the capital. A fiery explosion at a government gas facility killed more than 500 people on the outskirts of Mexico City. The government’s handling of the election to replace de la Madrid caused a political scandal that later helped topple the political system that dominated Mexico for most of the 20th century.
But the initial economic panic was so deep that many thought de la Madrid did well just by not making things worse.
As he put it just before leaving office, “I took a country with great problems and leave it with problems.”
De la Madrid also launched a historic free-market transformation of Mexico’s economy. He sold off about 750 of the 1,155 companies the government had owned when he took office and signed international free-trade treaties that paved the way for the North American Free Trade Agreement and helped Mexico develop into a global industrial power, although one overwhelmingly dependent on the United States.
Born on Dec. 12, 1934, to a prominent family in the western city of Colima, de la Madrid earned a degree from the National Autonomous University’s law school, a spawning ground of Mexican politicians, and later earned a master’s degree in public administration at Harvard University.
He began a rapid but unflashy climb through government agencies, serving in a series of finance-related posts before joining the Cabinet of President Jose Lopez Portillo as secretary of planning and programming in 1979.
‘Why I’m Returning My New IPad’, My new iPad is going back to the store.
I paid $600 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model, and although I like it well enough, I don’t think it’s worth the money.
Before the Apple faithful take my head off, allow me to explain — and to note that I’m keeping my original iPad. Also, I have such mad love for my iPhone 4S, I want to cook it breakfast every morning. You get my meaning; this isn’t just wayward iPad-bashing.
When Apple announced the new tablet, I was underwhelmed but intrigued. I’d skipped the iPad 2, so I figured I “owed” myself this upgrade. Plus, it would be a business expense; I do write for a blog called iPad Atlas, after all.
Mostly, though, I got caught up in the hype. After reading gushing praise for the new iPad’s Retina Display and blazing processor, I had to see what the fuss was about.
The fuss, it turns out, was more overblown than a Kardashian wedding. The screen? Yep, it’s nice. Does it make my eyes leap from my skull and dance a marimba cha-cha? No. Neither does it cure cancer or introduce me to supermodels, despite what some drooling bloggers intimated.
The new iPad is admirably peppy, though I never found my original iPad to be slow. My kids enjoy messing with the built-in cameras, but that’s a luxury I certainly don’t need. Using an iPad to snap photos or video is like driving a monster truck to the grocery store: uncomfortable and impractical (to say nothing of showy). The only thing that I’ll actually miss is big-screen FaceTime — but for those moments I can always Skype on my laptop.
4G LTE? Again, nice, but I have no need for it. And that leaves…what? The new iPad is a little slimmer, a little faster, and little easier on the eyes than the original. Not enough, Apple. I want my $600 back.
As fate would have it, a Kindle Fire arrived shortly after the new iPad. (It’s a loaner, due back to Amazon in about a week.) As you’re no doubt aware, it’s a hair less expensive: $199.
Yes, it has a smaller screen, less storage, no cameras, no 3G/4G, no Bluetooth, and so on. But you know what? I love the little guy, because it better suits my needs.
Funniest Readers’ Mega Millions Comments, The Mega Millions $640 million jackpot produced three winning tickets on Friday night. After the drawing, as the nation began to settle down from its lottery frenzy, thousands of Yahoo! readers commented on not beating the odds in order to strike it rich.
Some of the comments were hilarious, others showed honesty. And, as always, a few were a little too disturbing for general consumption.
Here are the top 10 editors’ picks:
10) Maggy (Providence, Rhode Island): “I guess 1,2,3,4,5 with a Mega ball of 6 was a bad choice?”
9) Stugots: “Oh well I was going to split it with all the Yahoo comment posters maybe next week.”
Brian (Mt. Prospect, Illinois): “Guess i told my boss ‘to shove it’ a little earlier than i should have…”
7) Gracie: “I won Ten Dollars, Please no Phone calls.”
6) Queenie: “Is any Lotto money still going to ED-Joo-KAY-shun?”
5) Norman: “Well honey, there is bad news and there is good news…….the bad news is that we didn’t win anything in the MegaLottery……the good news is that we won’t be hearing from your relatives.”
4) AstroBoy: “I am glad it is over, now I can go back to fantasizing about women again instead of money.”
3) Vik (Miami, Florida): “Only time I won a lottery was in 1972 when I was drafted into military service at #85. So did I win or did I lose?”
2) John Joe: “Now [the winners] can afford to buy gas.”
1) Justin Kase: “At least not winning saves a whole lot of deleting of Facebook friends this morning.”
Tax Breaks For The Big Events In Your Life, Taxes have been a part of your life since your parents welcomed you into this world.
From that beginning as a spanking new tax break for mom and dad, taxes have had an important role in all your major life events, from getting a job, saying “I do,” buying and selling homes, having kids of your own, and even retiring.
In some cases, the involvement of the Internal Revenue Service is not such a good thing.
But in many ways, the tax code can be your best friend. You just need to know how it applies to your personal circumstances so you can take advantage of it. Read on to learn more about tax breaks for life’s big events.
Uncle Sam gets a portion of your paycheck via payroll taxes. You do, however, have a bit of a say in how much comes out of your pay by adjusting your withholding.
If you have too much withheld, you’ll get a refund when you file. That’s not necessarily bad, but wouldn’t you rather have your own money year-round instead of giving the IRS an interest-free loan?
On the other hand, if you don’t have enough taken out, you could face a major tax bill, and possible underwithholding penalties, at filing time. Ask your boss for a new Form W-4 so you can run the numbers and adjust your withholding.
Your job likely offers several tax breaks. If your employer provides health care coverage, your medical insurance is a tax-free benefit to you. You’ll find out how much that’s worth on next year’s W-2 earnings statement.
A flexible spending account, or FSA, also might be part of your job benefits. Here you can save pretax dollars to pay for medical care not covered by insurance.
You also want to take advantage of your workplace’s tax-deferred 401(k) retirement plan.
And if you move to take a job, even your first one, you can write off many of your relocation costs.
Red Bud Illinois, There are at least three new multimillionaires Saturday morning thanks to a massive Mega Millions lottery payout. One of three winning tickets sold in the record $640 million jackpot was bought in nearby Red Bud, Illinois.
According to Illinois Lottery officials, the winning ticket was bought using quick pick at the Moto Mart on Main Street in Red Bud.
Another winning ticket was sold at a 7-11 near Baltimore, Maryland and a third in Kansas.