Melania Trump Club

Melania Trump Club
Melania Trump Club

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Scott regains outright lead as Tiger fades

Akron, OH — Adam Scott carded a four-under 66 Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard after three rounds of the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational.

Scott completed 54 holes at 12-under-par 198. He has won seven times on both the PGA Tour and European Tour, and his record with the 54-hole lead is outstanding.

The Australian has won five of the previous seven times he owned a piece of the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour. He has also win six of the seven times he was in that position on the European Tour, including the last five in a row.

However, the 54-hole leader has gone on to win this event only seven of 12 times.

Scott's countryman, Jason Day, also shot 66 and is tied for second at minus-11. Day was joined there by Ryo Ishikawa, who fired a six-under 64 on the South Course at Firestone Country Club.

Keegan Bradley, who was one of the four second-round co-leaders with Scott, shot two-under 68 and is tied for fourth with Martin Laird, who posted his second straight 67.

Seven-time champion Tiger Woods continued to struggle, posting a two-over 72 to dip to one-over-par 211. He does have some good company at that number, as Phil Mickelson carded a one-over 71 to finish 54 holes at plus-one.

Woods opened with a bogey on the first. He dropped another stroke on No. 8, but bounced back with a birdie on the ninth. After five straight pars, Woods birdied the 15th from six-feet out, but trouble loomed.

Scott's compatriot, Jason Day is tied for second with Ishikawa on 11-under after a round of 66, with America's Keegan Bradley (68) and Scotland's Martin Laird (67) a shot further back on 10-under.
World number one Luke Donald posted a third round 64 -- the joint best round of the day -- to put him back in contention.

It's nice to get in position. I putted a lot better today. That was really the only difference between today and the first two days," Donald said, AFP reported.
"I've been swinging it nicely, hitting a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. Just was able to get the putter rolling and hole a few putts, which was a pleasant surprise," Donald added, AFP reported.
The Englishman is three shots adrift of Scott on nine-under par along with Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson (67) and Rickie Fowler (69).
Rory McIlroy is five shots off the lead after posting his best round of the week (67) which leaves the U.S. Open champion in a tie for 10th place with America's Steve Stricker.
McIlroy set for return to U.S. PGA Tour
Tiger Woods lost further ground to the leaders on Saturday in his first tournament since recovering from injuries to his left knee and Achilles tendon.
The former world number one posted a two-over par round of 72 and is now 13 shots adrift of Scott.
"I really hit it good coming home, started hitting the ball the right flight, every tee shot was flash, everything was back to where it was at the beginning of the week," Woods said, AFP reported.
"Only difference is I didn't putt well again today, two horseshoes, three-putted 18, and then obviously made a bogey with a sand wedge on 16. That's four shots right there," he added.

Perry Leads Prayer Rally for Nation in Crisis

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry has never been hesitant about proclaiming his deep devotion to God and the lifelong "walk of faith" that has carried him from his boyhood on a West Texas tenant farm to the state's highest office.
He attends an evangelical Christian church in the hills of west Austin, sometimes laces speeches with Scripture, and has called on Texans to pray for rain to end the state's devastating drought. His religious views also influence his conservative governing philosophy, exemplified by his longtime opposition to abortion and same-sex marriages.
Even some of his sharpest critics don't dispute the sincerity of Perry's beliefs. But they say the Republican governor has gone too far with his leadership role in behalf of The Response, a seven-hour gathering of prayer and fasting expected to draw about 8,000 participants to Houston's Reliant Stadium on Saturday.
The event, which is attracting national attention as Perry moves toward a possible presidential run, will include several high-profile religious leaders active in conservative Christian politics.
The Texas Freedom Network, which monitors the Christian right, sent Perry an open letter with more than 10,000 signatures Thursday, attacking "extremist" views by some of the participants and urging him to open the Christian-oriented assembly to other faiths.
Freedom Network President Kathy Miller also suggested that Perry's involvement with the gathering - he is expected to be present throughout the event - is more about presidential politics than faith.
"I think Gov. Perry is a very religious man. I have no doubt about that," she said. "But I also know that he's a very astute politician and every day the likelihood that he's running for president seems to grow. The timing doesn't seem coincidental to the average onlooker."
But Thomas Tweed, professor of religious studies at the University of Texas at Austin, said Perry is "part of a long tradition of American political leaders appealing to moral values and religious commitment in the public arena.
"People may disagree with the sentiment expressed," he said, "but some Americans disagree with every rally. The great American experiment in free speech says that politicians have a right to appeal to the electorate in the way they want."
The uproar over The Response isn't the first time that Perry has been accused of blurring the lines between church and state.

At one point, Mr. Perry asked those in the audience to pray for the president. He said: “Father, we pray for our president, that you impart your wisdom upon him, that you would guard his family.”

Mr. Perry addressed the crowd nine days after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against him by a national group of atheists arguing that his participation in the rally in his official capacity as governor violated the First Amendment’s requirement of separation of church and state.

Members and supporters of that group, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, protested outside. They waved picket signs that read “In reason we trust” and played marching-band-style music.

The atheists were some of the dozens of people who protested outside, including gay activists who criticized Mr. Perry for supporting the American Family Association, which organized and financed the rally. The association is a conservative evangelical group based in Mississippi that is listed as an anti-gay group by the nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center.

A number of Texas political and religious leaders were noticeably absent.

Mr. Perry’s two Austin pastors — one from Tarrytown United Methodist Church, where he has been a longtime member, and the other from Lake Hills Church, an evangelical church that he has been visiting more regularly — were not at the rally. Neither was the leader of Houston’s biggest congregation, Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church, who was holding his own worship service in Chicago on Saturday.

Mr. Perry had invited his fellow governors to join him, but only Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, a Republican, attended. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida made a video statement that was played in the stadium.

Copter Downed by Taliban; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead

LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to the US and Afghan troops killed when Taliban insurgents shot down their helicopter in Afghanistan on Saturday.
"I was deeply saddened to hear of the many US military personnel who lost their lives today in Afghanistan. My thoughts -- and the thoughts of the whole country -- are with their families and friends," Cameron said in a statement.
Thirty-one US and seven Afghan special forces died, officials said, in the biggest single loss yet for foreign troops in a decade-long war.
The death toll was given by Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office but it was not immediately confirmed by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
"They have made the ultimate sacrifice in helping to protect our security, and to build a more stable and peaceful Afghanistan. We remember too the Afghan troops who died alongside them today," Cameron said.
"Britain, and our own armed forces serving in Afghanistan, will continue to work steadfastly alongside their US and Afghan colleagues as they help prepare Afghanistan to secure its own territory."
Britain has about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, making it the second-largest contributor to ISAF after the United States. Cameron wants all British troops out of a combat role in Afghanistan by 2015.
The helicopter incident came the day after a British marine was killed in Afghanistan in an insurgent grenade attack on his checkpoint, the 30th British soldier involved in the campaign to die this year.

The helicopter, on a night-raid mission in the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province, to the west of Kabul, was most likely brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade, one coalition official said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, and they could hardly have found a more valuable target: American officials said that 22 of the dead were Navy Seal commandos, including members of Seal Team 6. Other commandos from that team conducted the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Bin Laden in May. The officials said that those who were killed Saturday were not involved in the Pakistan mission.

President Obama offered his condolences to the families of the Americans and Afghans who died in the attack. “Their death is a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifice made by the men and women of our military and their families,” Mr. Obama said. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan also offered his condolences to the victims’ families.

Saturday’s attack came during a surge of violence that has accompanied the beginning of a drawdown of American and NATO troops, and it showed how deeply entrenched the insurgency remains even far from its main strongholds in southern Afghanistan and along the Afghan-Pakistani border in the east. American soldiers had recently turned over the sole combat outpost in the Tangi Valley to Afghans.

Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizoy, the police chief of Wardak, said the attack occurred around 1 a.m. Saturday after an assault on a Taliban compound in the village of Jaw-e-Mekh Zareen in the Tangi Valley. The fighting lasted at least two hours, the general said.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, confirmed that insurgents had been gathering at the compound, adding that eight of them had been killed in the fighting.

The Tangi Valley traverses the border between Wardak and Logar Province, an area where security has worsened over the past two years, bringing the insurgency closer to the capital, Kabul. It is one of several inaccessible areas that have become havens for insurgents, according to operations and intelligence officers with the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, which patrols the area. The mountainous region, with its steeply pitched hillsides and arid shale, laced by small footpaths and byways, has long been an area that the Taliban have used to move between Logar and Wardak, local government officials said.

Officers at a forward operating base near the valley described Tangi as one of the most troubled areas in Logar and Wardak Provinces.

“There’s a lot happening in Tangi,” said Capt. Kirstin Massey, 31, the assistant intelligence officer for Fourth Brigade Combat Team in an interview last week. “It’s a stronghold for the Taliban.”

The fighters are entirely Afghans and almost all local residents, Captain Massey said, noting that “We don’t capture any fighters who are non-Afghans.”

The redoubts in these areas pose the kind of problems the military faced last year in similarly remote areas of Kunar Province, forcing commanders to weigh the mission’s value given the cost in soldiers’ lives and dollars spent in places where the vast majority of the insurgents are local residents who resent both the NATO presence and the Afghan government.

Local officials in Wardak said that residents of the Tangi Valley disliked the fighting in the area, and that though they had fallen under the Taliban’s sway, the residents were not willing allies.

“They do not like having military in that area — no matter whether they are Taliban or foreigners,” said Hajji Mohammad Hazrat Janan, the chairman of the Wardak provincial council. “When an operation takes place in their village,” he said, “their sleep gets disrupted by the noise of helicopters and by their military operation. And also they don’t like the Taliban, because when they attack, then they go and seek cover in their village, and they are threatened by the Taliban.”

However, when local residents are hurt by the NATO soldiers, then, he said, they are willing to help the insurgents.

This was the second helicopter to be shot down by insurgents in the past two weeks. On July 25, a Chinook was shot down in Kunar Province, injuring two people on board. Of 15 crashes or forced landings this year, those two were the only confirmed cases where hostile fire was involved.

Before Saturday, the biggest single-day loss of life for the American military in Afghanistan came on June 28, 2005, during an operation in Kunar Province when a Chinook helicopter carrying Special Operations troops was shot down as it tried to provide reinforcements to forces trapped in heavy fighting. Sixteen members of a Special Operations unit were killed in the crash, and three more were killed in fighting on the ground.

Although the number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan has steadily risen in the past year, with a 15 percent increase in the first half of 2011 over the same period last year, NATO deaths had been declining — decreasing 20 percent in the first six months of 2011 compared with 2010.

Atkinson hospital faced power cut

Atkinson left the new £289 million Peterborough City Hospital in a wheelchair having been admitted the previous evening.

A spokeswoman for the hospital, which was built under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme, said power went down in some parts of the building at 10.15pm on Thursday following a power failure in the north of the city.

A back-up generator failed to operate properly and an investigation is under way to find out why.

The emergency department was blacked out as was the critical care unit, the neo-natal intensive care unit, maternity, and some operating theatres, though no operations were taking place at that time of night.

Power was restored at 2.30am on Friday. Four operations due to take place on Friday morning were cancelled while safety checks took place.

The spokeswoman said: “A major incident was declared and the action plan was initiated. Ten additional staff members were brought into the hospital to help move patients and manage the situation.

“During this period the emergency department was relocated into the adjacent ward area and emergency calls were diverted to other hospitals. Patient safety remained a priority at all times and patient care was not compromised in any way.”

Rowena Barnes, chief operating officer, said: “I would like to thank our staff, the East of England Ambulance Trust, and our neighbouring hospitals for their help and support during the incident.”

Atkinson,. 56, who starred as Blackadder and Mr Bean, is believed to have suffered a shoulder injury after the accident on the A605 in Haddon, Cambridgeshire. He was driving his McLaren F1 supercar when it spun around several times, ran into a tree and a lamppost and caught fire, according to reports.

Kate sports a custom hat for Zara's nuptials

She may have recycled an old outfit for the wedding of Zara Phillips and MIke Tindall last weekend, but one thing that was new to Kate last Saturday was the magnificent hat she wore to the ceremony.
The sculptural headgear was made by British milliner Gina Foster, who created the one-of-a-kind piece especially for the Duchess of Cambridge.
Ms Foster revealed that the Duchess came into the boutique she runs in Kensington, west London, with the cream embroidered Day Birger et Mikkelsen brocade coat she planned to wear for the nuptials.

The Duchess said she wanted 'something in a colour to match her outfit.'
After 30 minutes in the store, the Duchess settled on the elaborate circular 'Launceston Place coulis' design from Gina Foster's Kensington W8 spring/summer collection.
Kate requested the hat be made for her in a neutral straw colour, and put her own stamp on the style with the addition of a large flower she had added to the sinamay bow on the underside of the hat's brim.

Duchess of Cambridge - recently placed on the international best-dressed list - is an admired wardrobe recycler.

But the royal was a little less thrifty when it came to the stunning hat she donned for Zara Phillips' Edinburgh nupitials.

While her dress and coat were both items Kate wore in 2006, she spent over £400 on the custom headwear to match.

She found the structured white piece at British milliner Gina Foster's Kensington boutique - just ten days before the wedding.

GIna told People: "She rang and asked to come in, then she tried a few on and we went from there.

"She wanted something in a colour to match her outfit.

"It's a slight departure from her normal hat style but it's quite good to try different shapes.

"And for a wedding it's easier to wear something a bit more extravagant than you would wear for work.

160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment

160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Airborne is a special operations unit of the United States Army that provides helicopter aviation support for general purpose forces and Special Operations Forces. Its missions have included attack, assault, and reconnaissance, and are usually conducted at night, at high speeds, low altitudes, and on short notice. The 160th SOAR is headquartered at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The 160th SOAR (A) are also known as the Night Stalkers and their motto is Night Stalkers Don't Quit.

The regiment consists of a "training" battalion, the Special Operations Aviation Training Battalion, and four "operations" battalions: the 1st and 2nd at Fort Campbell, the 3rd at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, and the 4th at Fort Lewis, Washington.
The 160th SOAR (A) consists of the Army's best-qualified aviators and support soldiers. Officers volunteer while enlisted soldiers volunteer or are assigned by the U.S. Army Human Resources Command. All soldiers receive intensive training upon joining the 160th and are required to pass the Green Platoon course. The basic Night Stalker course for enlisted soldiers lasts five weeks; the officer course 20 to 28 weeks. A new Night Stalker arrives to their unit Basic Mission Qualified (BMQ), after a series of test qualifications, experience and leadership, the Night Stalker is designated Fully Mission Qualified (FMQ). After three to five years as an FMQ, the Night Stalker will have the chance to assess for flight lead qualification. The 160th recruits women, though only for staff positions.

An MH-6 Little Bird from 160th SOAR carrying Special Forces Soldiers from the 5th SFG(A) prepares to land during a SOF aerial infiltration demonstration 28 Sept. at NASCAR's Kansas Speedway 400.
The 160th SOAR fly MH-47G Chinooks, A/MH-6M Little Birds, MH-60K Black Hawks and MH-60L Black Hawks.

After the 1980 Operation Eagle Claw attempt to rescue American hostages held in Tehran, Iran. President Jimmy Carter ordered former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. James L. Holloway III to figure out how the U.S. military could best mount another attempt. One key lesson: there were no U.S. helicopter units trained in this kind of stealthy, short-notice Special Operations mission.
The Army looked to the 101st Aviation Group, the air arm of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), which had the most diverse operating experience of the service's helicopter units, and selected elements of the 158th Aviation Battalion, 229th Aviation Battalion, and the 159th Aviation Battalion. The chosen pilots immediately entered intensive training in night flying.
This provisional unit was at first dubbed Task Force 158 since the majority of the pilots were Blackhawk aviators detached from the 158th. Their distinctive 101st "Screaming Eagle" patches remained on their uniforms. The Blackhawks and Chinooks continued to operate around Campbell Army Airfield at the north of post, and Saber Army Heliport at the south. The OH-6 Cayuse "Little Birds", an aircraft vanished from the Division's regular inventory after Vietnam, were hidden out by the ammunition holding area at spot still known as the "SHOC Pad", for "Special Operations Helicopter Company".
As the first batch of pilots completed training in the fall of 1980, a second attempt to rescue the hostages was planned for early 1981. Dubbed Operation Honey Badger, it was called off when the hostages were released on the morning of President Ronald Reagan's inauguration.
The capability gained was judged too important to future contingencies to lose. The new unit was quickly recognized as the Army's premier night fighting aviation force, and its only Special Operations Aviation force. The pilots and modified aircraft would not be returned to the 101st. Original members of the Night Stalkers refer to it as "the day the Eagles came off". The 101st's patches came off, the personnel and equipment would be reassigned, and a new tradition was born. The unit was officially established on 16 October 1981, when it was designated as the 160th Aviation Battalion.
The 160th first saw combat during 1983's Operation Urgent Fury, the U.S. invasion of Grenada.
In 1986, it was re-designated as the 160th Aviation Group (Airborne); and in May 1990, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). As demand for highly-trained Special Operations Aviation assets bloomed, the regiment activated three battalions, a separate detachment, and incorporated one Army National Guard unit, the 1st Battalion, 245th Aviation (OK ARNG).
In 1987 and 1988, its pilots took part in Operation Earnest Will, the protection of re-flagged Kuwaiti tankers in the Persian Gulf during the Iran–Iraq War. They flew from US Navy warships and leased oil barges in a secret sub-part called Operation Prime Chance, and became the first helicopter pilots to use night vision goggles and forward looking infrared devices in night combat.
In June 1988, the unit executed Operation Mount Hope III. Two MH-47 crews flew 490 miles (790 km) deep into Chad to retrieve a crashed Mi-24 Hind medium-attack helicopter.
The Night Stalkers spearheaded Operation Just Cause, the 1989 invasion of Panama, and they were also used in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
In October 1993 in Somalia, Night Stalkers became involved in the Battle of Mogadishu, which later became the subject of the book Black Hawk Down, and its film adaptation. Two Night Stalker Black Hawks, Super 6-1 (piloted by Cliff Wolcott), and Super 6-4 (piloted by Mike Durant), were shot down in the battle. Five of the eighteen men killed (not counting a nineteenth post-operation casualty) in the Battle of Mogadishu were members of the SOAR(A) Night Stalkers team, who were lost along with the two Black Hawks.
Afghanistan 2001: On 19 October an MH-47E carrying ODA 595 landed at Dehi. They flew over 150 miles from Karshi-Khanabad (K2) in Uzbekistan. A few weeks later ODA 595 and ODA 555 along with the Northern Alliance retook the city of Mazari Sharif from the Taliban.
In December the same year Night Stalker crews were essential in resupplying over 150 Delta Force, British SBS and CIA SAD operatives during their hunt for Osama bin Laden in the Tora Bora mountain complex.
Philippines, 2002: Chinook helicopter lost-4 killed.
Afghanistan, 2005: Eight Night Stalkers were lost along with eight Navy SEALs on a rescue mission for Marcus Luttrell, after their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was hit by an RPG (rocket propelled grenade). They were sent out to look for Luttrell after Operation Red Wings, which he was undertaking with three other SEALs, went horribly awry when their presence was revealed to the Taliban, presumably by goat herders. The Night Stalkers lost on the search and rescue mission included:
Staff Sgt. Shamus O. Goare, 29, of Danville, Ohio
Chief Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature, 35, of Clarks Grove, Minnesota.
Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby, 21, of Pompano Beach, Florida
Sgt. 1st Class Marcus V. Muralles, 33, of Shelbyville, Indiana
Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III, 36, of Franklin, Tennessee
Maj. Stephen C. Reich, 34, of Washington Depot, Connecticut.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Russell, 31, of Stafford, Virginia
Chief Warrant Officer Chris J. Scherkenbach, 40, of Jacksonville, Florida
The 160th provided aviation support during numerous special operations raids during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. One of them was the rescue mission of PFC. Jessica Lynch taken prisoner in 2003, the raid in Al Qadisiyah, as well as the rescue of three Italian contractors and one Polish businessman held for ransom by Iraqi insurgents in 2004.
Night Stalker helicopters were present during the 2008 SOCOM counter-terror exercises in Denver.
On 24 April 2008, Company D, 160th SOAR was inactivated at a ceremony conducted at Hunter Army Airfield, GA, as part of an overall regimental transformation plan.
The 160th SOAR also took part in the 2008 Abu Kamal raid.
On 19 August 2009, four Night Stalkers from D Company, 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR lost their lives in a MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash in Leadville, Colorado, during a mountain and environmental training.
On 22 October 2009, a 3rd Battalion helicopter crashed into the USNS Arctic during a joint training exercise involving fast roping about 20 miles off Fort Story, Virginia. The crash killed a soldier, Sergeant First Class James R. Stright, 29, and injured eight others, three seriously.
The Night Stalkers provided insert and cover for the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in May 2011.

Three injured as crash closes M25

MOTORISTS endured a 28-mile tailback on the M25 last night after a crash shut both carriageways.

A lorry smashed through the central reservation and hit a Nissan on the other side around junction seven in Surrey at 4pm. Three people were hurt.

The Highways Agency said that part of the motorway would be closed until 09:00 on Saturday at the earliest.

Queues of up to 28 miles built up after the crash.

Stationary traffic reached junction 10 and Clacket Lane, between junctions five and six on the Kent and Surrey border.

Highways Agency said the clockwise traffic stretched back for six miles and the anti-clockwise queue back to Wisley ran for 28 miles.

Continue reading the main story

Surrey Police spokeswoman
A Highways Agency spokeswoman said the HGV had spilled diesel on to the anti-clockwise carriageway and shed its load on the clockwise carriageway.

Traffic which had been trapped on either side of the closed section was cleared from the motorway by about 20:30.

Police allowed the hard shoulders on the closed section to be opened and motorists were allowed to leave the motorway via the closed junctions.

She said: "Road users are advised to avoid the area and make alternative travel arrangements.

"The Highways Agency will work with partners to do all we can to reopen the carriageways as soon as it is safe to do so.

Officers later confirmed the crash involved two vehicles, an HGV and a Nissan Micra.

The three people taken to hospital were the driver of the lorry and a man and a woman who were travelling in the car, a police spokeswoman said.

She confirmed there had been no fatalities.

A police investigation into the cause of the crash has begun.

Clockwise traffic was diverted on to the M23 and anti-clockwise traffic was being sent towards Reigate and Godstone on the A217 and the A25.

Gatwick Airport warned passengers of road delays in the area and said people should check for updates on the BBC and Highways Agency websites.

Norway polar bear attack: grieving family pays tribute to Horatio Chapple

JUST before Patrick Flinders headed out on the expedition to the Arctic Circle he and his father posted a short film on the internet to express his excitement over the ''fantastic'' trip.
The 16-year-old, like his friends, Horatio Chapple and Scott Smith, both 17, dreamed of experiencing raw nature and were particularly excited about seeing polar bears in their natural habitat.
However, it was the brutality of the wilderness they had to face after their group was attacked by the world's biggest land carnivore.

A 2.1-metre, 254-kilogram bear rampaged through their camp on Friday, ignoring traps designed to keep it at bay. By the time it was shot, Horatio, an Eton schoolboy, was dead and Patrick, from Jersey, and Scott along with their two guides were seriously injured.
Patrick survived by punching the bear repeatedly on the nose.
Police who arrived by helicopter found the group in shock, the bloody carcass of the bear still lying among the tents and the injured.
The injured have undergone surgery and are recovering in hospital.
The victims were part of a group of 80 that landed last month on the Norwegian arctic island of Spitsbergen, home to more than 3000 polar bears.

Michael Reid sustained injuries to his face and neck in the incident and remained in hospital today, along with fellow leader Andrew Ruck, 27, Patrick Flinders, 16, and Scott Bennell-Smith, 17, who also underwent treatment overnight.
Mr Ruck's and Mr Reid's injuries were described as severe, while Scott and Patrick sustained less serious injuries. All were stable after operations.
The five men and boys attacked were part of a group travelling on a British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) expedition, which was camped on the Von Postbreen glacier near Longyearbyen on Svalbard, north of the Norwegian mainland.
Peter Reid described his shock when the BSES called him on Friday to inform him of the incident in which Horatio, from near Salisbury in Wiltshire, died.
"We were very anxious," he said. "We're upset, but there's a family in Wiltshire with a 17-year-old son who's been killed and we can't imagine the grief they're going through."
On hearing that his son had shot the bear, he felt a "mixture of anxiety and pride", he said.
His son, who lives in London and works as an events co-ordinator for the Royal Geographical Society, spoke warmly of Horatio in his email, he added.
Michael Reid described the schoolboy as "one of the best members of our group" and wrote "I am so devastated".
Hospital staff said it was hoped the survivors could be transferred to a hospital in the UK as soon as possible.
Jane Owen, the British ambassador to Norway, has visited the four survivors and said they were "all bearing up well".<
She said: "It's clearly a priority to get them home as soon as possible. They're receiving extremely good treatment here at the hospital in Tromso.
"We are working with the hospital authorities to establish when will be the right time to arrange for them to be medevaced (given a medical evacuation) back to the UK so that they can be with their families as they go through the recovery process.
"Our priority is obviously to support those involved and respect families' need for privacy at this very difficult time.

Syria looks toward parliamentary elections

DAMASCUS — Syria vowed on Saturday to hold "free and transparent" elections by the end of 2011 as Arab states in the Gulf joined a chorus of Western pressure over its deadly suppression of anti-regime protests.
An activist, meanwhile, said hundreds of tanks and armoured cars had been deployed in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor and around Homs in central Syria.
"Syria will hold free and transparent elections that will give birth to a parliament representing the aspirations of the Syrian people," Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in a meeting with ambassadors posted to Damascus.
"The general elections will be held before the end of the year," Muallem said, quoted by the official SANA news agency.
The foreign minister stressed "the commitment of the Syrian leadership to the continued reform process and implementation of measures announced by President (Bashar al-) Assad."
The embattled president issued a decree on Thursday allowing opposition political parties, but the move was largely dismissed by the opposition as a ploy to appease protesters.
The oil-rich Arab monarchies of the Gulf on Saturday turned up the heat on Damascus, with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council calling in a statement for an "immediate end to violence... and bloodshed."
They urged a "resort to wisdom and introducing serious and necessary reforms."
Their call followed a pledge by the US, French and German leaders to consider new steps to punish Syria after a deadly crackdown on the first Friday of Ramadan, the holy Muslim month of fasting.
President Barack Obama spoke separately to France's Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Western nations cranked up pressure on Assad.
They "condemned the Assad regime's continued use of indiscriminate violence," the White House said. They "also agreed to consider additional steps to pressure the Assad regime and support the Syrian people."
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, in an interview to be published on Sunday, said Assad no longer has a future in Syrian politics.
"I don't believe that Assad has a political future ahead of him which is supported by the Syrian people," Westerwelle told the newspaper Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
The Syrian government has sought to crush the democracy movement with brutal force, killing around 1,650 civilians and arresting thousands of dissenters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory, told AFP by telephone that around 250 tanks and armoured cars were deployed in four districts of Deir Ezzor on Saturday.
The tanks were also posted around the airport in Deir Ezzor, many of whose residents started to flee the city from Wednesday, fearing imminent military action.

Syrian opposition members say it's questionable whether the move could end decades of single-party Baathist rule without constitutional reform. Observers say one of the articles of the Syrian constitution guarantees supremacy for the ruling Baath party.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group, said 2,000 people have died in the unrest, mostly demonstrators.
Moallem said Syria is intent on fostering security, stopping vandalism, and pursuing democracy and progress, SANA reported.
Anti-government protests erupted across Syria on Friday, but the turbulent city of Hama appeared to have borne the brunt of it.
The city endured steady shelling and bombing Friday morning while the government's military offensive continued in full swing, said a resident whom CNN has not identified for his safety.
Two witnesses, who talked to CNN independently, said scores of people -- one said he had counted 53; the other said 58 -- were killed instantly when a tank positioned 150 meters from Hurani Hospital launched an artillery shell that landed in front of the building. One opposition activist estimated that 300 people have died in violence in Hama during the past six days.
The observatory put Friday's death toll in Syria -- not including Hama -- at 14. But a spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees cited 21 deaths -- not including Hama.
The U.S. Department of State is urging U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available.

PH gov’t on cautious mode as US loses 3A credit rating

A handful of elite life insurers sporting triple-A credit ratings are expected to suffer a downgrade from Standard & Poor's in line with the downgrade of the U.S. government Friday.

More broadly, the rating firm's move means insurers that hold Treasurys in their investment portfolios may well end up required to set aside capital to back up those holdings.

In mid-July, when the U.S. government was warned of possible action by S&P, the ratings firm also put the five insurers holding its coveted triple-A rating on CreditWatch negative. S&P said the move was the "downstream effect" of its action on the nation's credit rating; under S&P's criteria, a nation's rating constrains the financial-strength ratings on insurers.

The insurers currently rated triple-A by S&P are Knights of Columbus, New York Life Insurance Co., Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, and United Services Automobile Association.

In recent interviews, the companies said their financial strength justified continued triple-A ratings, and that they remain confident in the strength of their business models.

"The Knights of Columbus has earned a rating of AAA from Standard & Poor's for 19 consecutive years, and we have every confidence in our continued success because we have a fundamentally solid business model which continues to serve us well," a Knights of Columbus spokesman said last month.

A New York Life spokesman noted earlier this summer that S&P had affirmed New York Life's AAA counterparty-credit and financial-strength ratings in April.

"The change to CreditWatch was not in response to any new initiatives of the insurers; rather S&P tells us that no financial institution can carry a higher rating or outlook than its sovereign," the spokesman said. "We believe our diversified $165-billion portfolio of cash and invested assets continues to be of outstanding quality, and along with our mutuality, our leadership position in life insurance, and the strength of our career agent distribution system, fully justifies our continued triple-A ratings.

Purisima said the downgrade should prompt policymakers around the globe to coordinate in instituting actions that would somehow shield their economies from the ill-effects of the United States’ fiscal and economic problems.
Given the links of emerging markets to the US, any unfavorable event in the world’s biggest economy is expected to somehow dampen even their performance, according to economists.
Purisima said the Philippines will also be affected by the downgrade because the country’s foreign exchange reserves are denominated in US dollars and are mostly invested in US Treasuries.
The United States’ lower credit rating could reduce the value of US Treasuries in the international bond market, thus adversely affecting the Philippines’ reserves of foreign currencies.
The Philippines’ gross international reserves (GIR)—the reserves of foreign currencies that determine the country’s ability to purchase imports, pay debts to foreigners, and engage in other commercial transactions with the rest of the world—stand at about $69 billion and the bulk of these are invested in US Treasuries.
According to US Treasury data, the Philippines holds $23.6 billion in US securities, now rated AA+ by S&P with a negative outlook.
The US is also its top export market, main provider of foreign military aid, and a key host for the Philippines’ nine million-strong overseas workers whose remittances help fuel household consumption in the Philippines.
Purisima said the US credit rating downgrade should encourage policymakers to talk about considering other “more stable” reserve currencies as alternatives to the US dollar and US Treasuries.

S&P said that in addition to the downgrade, it is issuing a negative outlook, meaning that there was a chance it will lower the rating further within the next two years.
One analyst suggested the downgrade might move Congress to take concrete steps to fix the nation’s budget problems.
“It’s a downgrade and it’s bad, but if it spurs more conversation about bringing down spending and maybe more intelligent tax policy, it could be a good thing in the long run,” said Frank Barbera, a portfolio manager of the Sierra Core Retirement Fund.
The downgrade announcement came after markets closed for the weekend, but there was no evidence of any immediate disruption.
A spokesperson for the Federal Reserve said the decision would not affect the ability of banks to borrow money by pledging government debt as collateral, a statement that could set the tone for the reaction of the broader market.
The statement was issued to make sure banks did not feel that the downgrade would affect the amount of capital that regulators require the banks to hold against possible losses.
The downgrade is likely to have little to no impact on how the US finances its borrowing, through the sale of Treasury bonds, bills and notes. This week’s buying proves that.
“Investors have voted and are saying the US is going to pay them,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “US Treasuries are still the gold standard.”
He noted that neither his parent organization, Moody’s, nor Fitch, the other of the three major rating agencies, have downgraded US debt.
The ratings agencies were sharply criticized after the financial crisis in 2008 for not warning investors about the risks of subprime mortgages. Those mortgages were packaged as securities and sold to investors who lost billions of dollars when the loans went bad.
Japan had its ratings cut a decade ago to AA, and it didn’t have much lasting impact. The credit ratings of both Canada and Australia have also been downgraded over time, without much lasting damage.

38 die as US chopper crashes

US senior administration official said yesterday a Chinook helicopter that crashed, killing 31 US special operations forces and seven Afghan soldiers, was apparently shot down by insurgents.

It was the highest number of American casualties recorded in a single incident in the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

Twenty-five of the dead were US Navy SEALs, US television network ABC News reported.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai sent his condolences to US President Barack Obama, according to a statement issued by his office.

Taliban claims to have brought the helicopter down in a rocket attack but it has been known to make exaggerated claims.

NATO said there ‘‘was enemy activity in the area’’.

The helicopter was brought down during an anti-Taliban operation in an insurgent-infested district of the eastern province of Wardak, just south-west of Kabul.

It was shot down by a Taliban rocket that destroyed it, the Wardak governor’s spokesman said after the Taliban had claimed responsibility.

The death toll was given in a statement issued by Mr Karzai’s office and was not immediately confirmed by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

During a joint special operation last night a helicopter crashed and as a result 38 people lost their lives. Among the dead, seven of them are from the Afghan Special Commando Army and the other 31 victims are international forces,” said Zaher Azimy, spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry.
A statement from the Afghan presidential palace said the helicopter crashed in central Maidan Wardak province to the west of the capital Kabul.
The Taliban issued a statement claiming to have shot down the Chinook during a firefight which also killed eight insurgents.
Azimy would not be drawn on the possible cause of the Chinook crash saying: "The incident is already under investigation. As this helicopter belongs to international forces, obviously they will provide details of the crash and the reason.

Three hurt in suspected drug house blast

THREE people are in hospital with serious burns after a suspected clandestine drug lab explosion at a house in Perth's north.
Police, firefighters and ambulance officers went to the Balga property at around 2.25am (WST) today after a neighbour reported a loud blast, flames and screaming.
Two men, aged 34 and 37, have been taken to Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), the younger man with extensive burns to his body.
A 43-year-old woman with serious burns later presented at Joondalup Hospital and was transferred to RPH.
Police said a number of people were seen running from the house and driving off in a car.
Items associated with the manufacture of methylamphetamine were found in the house.

Police said a number of people were seen running from the property trying to escape the flames in the house. They got into a vehicle and drive away.

A 37-year-old man who lived at the house and a 34-year-old man from Baldivis were taken to Royal Perth Hospital by ambulance.

A 43-year-old woman presented herself at Joondalup Hospital but was transferred to Royal Perth Hospital. She and the 34-year-old man have serious burns.

The organised crime squad is examining the property after a number of items associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine were found inside the house, according to police.