Suicide bomber attacks US base in Afghanistan

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Suicide bomber attacks US base in Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A car bomb exploded today at the gates of a U.S. military base, just outside the Afghan capital of Kabul. According to officials, at least twelve people received injuries. The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident occurred just outside an US installation dubbed “Camp Phoenix”. This is mainly used by American troops which train Afghan security forces.

Camp Phoenix is often attacked by insurgents, particularly suicide bombers. In mid-November, an attack in Camp Phoenix, injured 25 people, half of them American soldiers.

The Taliban was the group that claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesperson for the bombers, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed in a telephone interview that the bomber had allegedly “killed and wounded” ten American soldiers and demolished three military vehicles.

Asked about that claim, an American military spokeswoman, Air Force Master Sgt. Sabrina D. Foster, said that a statement would be issued soon but that in the meantime she could confirm only eight United States personnel with minor wounds. According to Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman, three of those injured were American interpreters.

Sayed Abdul Ghafar, head of the criminal investigation, Kabul police, said the explosion demolished at least eleven civilian vehicles in the adjoining area. Eight were wounded, most of whom were day laborers who generally would be leaving the base after a day’s work. All were reported to be stable by Interior Ministry spokesman, Zemary Bashary.

“The target of the suicide attacker seemed to be foreign forces, but we couldn’t see any American vehicle damaged there because the road was blocked by American forces. We don’t know exactly the casualties among the foreign forces,” said Ghafar.

The American troops soon blocked the area, and barred access to the highway. “They won’t even let the Afghan National Police near it,” said an Afghan policeman near the place where the attack occurred.

It was the first suicide bombing in Kabul since January 18. In the previous attack, several bombs had been detonated by the attackers, who also fought with Afghan commandos. The situation was brought under control soon; however five people were killed. Earlier today, Afghan intelligence officials provided another statement about this attack; this statement is probably the one with most details.

During a news conference, they showed a video which was about an Afghan man arrested for allegedly assisting in the attack. In the video, the man, named Kamaluddin, claimed that he received his orders from the Haqqani network. The latter is a militant organization based in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area. He calmly clarified that he had housed the seven attackers before the attack and had provided them with several weapons.

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US stock markets fall amid credit fears

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US stock markets fall amid credit fears

May 20, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 280 points, Friday, to 13181.91, just two weeks after soaring to a historic record of 14,000. Two other major indexes, the Nasdaq and the Standard and Poor 500, fell more than 2% in a widespread market sell-off.

Shares of Bear Stearns, the largest United States underwriter of mortgage bonds, fell 6.3% today, resulting from Standard and Poor’s altering its outlook toward the company to “negative” from “stable”. The investment banking firm recently saw two of its major hedge funds sink after exposure to the sub-prime mortgage decline. Standard and Poor’s report said the firm may have problems, including its hedge funds, that could hurt the firm “for an extended period.”

The company held a press conference at noon, but was unable to salvage its stock, leading to heavy losses in the rest of the financial sector. Chief Financial Officer Sam Molinaro remarked that the credit market was in the worst condition he had seen in 22 years.

American Express shares fell 5.6%, while homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises fell 9.4% in the sell-off which impacted all the indexes. American Home Mortgage Investment Corporation shares fell 52.07% in the session after announcing plans to close most operations and lay off over 6000 employees. The company has also lost its lending license in four states including New York.

“It is with great sadness that American Home has had to take this action,” Chief Executive Michael Strauss said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the market conditions in both the secondary mortgage market as well as the national real estate market have deteriorated to the point that we have no realistic alternative.”

Analysts say that the weakness in the stock markets and economy in general could prompt the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, consequently allowing inflation to rise, but that it would also support stocks and ease borrowing. The Fed has not changed interest rates since June 2006.

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Controversial melatonin supplements confirmed as sleep aid

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Controversial melatonin supplements confirmed as sleep aid

May 20, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA —An analysis of melatonin studies has upheld the controversial supplement’s effectiveness as a sleep aid.

The analysis, which included 17 peer-reviewed scientific papers, was aimed at determining whether supplements of the hormone can improve sleep among insomniacs, older adults and others.

“A meta-analysis essentially tells ‘yes’ or ‘no’—that a treatment does or does not have a significant effect,” says Richard Wurtman of MIT, the study’s principal investigator. “When a meta-analysis says ‘yes,’ there should no longer be any controversy about whether the treatment works.”

Previous studies by Wurtman and colleagues showed that small doses of melatonin, about 0.3 milligrams, are necessary for restful effects. The researchers found, however, that commercially available melatonin pills can contain 10 times the effective amount.

At that dose, says Wurtman, the hormone’s effects end after a few days because melatonin receptors in the brain become unresponsive when exposed to too much of the hormone.

Such inadvertent overdosing, say the researchers, has contributed to controversy over melatonin’s efficacy.

But the new meta-analysis shows that melatonin does indeed have positive effects on sleep—even though some of the analyzed studies also involved high doses of the hormone.

The research is reported in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews.

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Prince William marries Kate Middleton—live updates

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Prince William marries Kate Middleton—live updates

May 20, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

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Car plows into crowd during Dutch Queen’s Day celebrations

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Car plows into crowd during Dutch Queen’s Day celebrations

May 19, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Five people have died and at least 13 are injured after a car plowed into a crowd in front of Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands during celebrations of Queen’s Day. At around 11:50 local time a black Suzuki Swift went through barriers erected to separate the onlooking crowd from traffic, subsequently striking a monument. Members of the Dutch royal family watched the incident take place from the open-topped bus. The incident was witnessed by many onlookers and photographers as well by media covering the pageant.

“He came out of nowhere and dragged ten to fifteen people. There is blood everywhere and people being resuscitated,” a photographer following the parade for De Telegraaf said.

At around 12:00, all official activities in Apeldoorn were cancelled. Other Dutch cities have also cancelled or scaled back activities, such as the Radio 538 concert in Amsterdam and all celebrations in Rotterdam. The mayor of Apeldoorn stated that, “A good day has ended as a drama.” Offical Flags throughout the Netherlands have been placed at half-mast. The Queen responded in a video speech and expressed her sympathy for the victims.

During a press conference held at 15:45, police reported that the man, who was still conscious but heavily injured after the accident, had told police that it was a deliberate act. It was also reported that the 38-year-old, a Dutch national, had not been in contact with the police until earlier that day when he was stopped at one of the barriers. He has no prior history of psychological problems and there are no indications that any sort of terrorist group was involved.

The Queen’s Day celebrations, observing the birthday of the Dutch monarch, take place annually on April 30. Citizens of the country traditionally celebrate by holding late-night markets and decorating the streets of the Netherlands in orange bunting, honoring the House of Orange.

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

May 19, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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Indian Supreme Court verdict: AMU to remain a minority institution

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Indian Supreme Court verdict: AMU to remain a minority institution

May 19, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Supreme Court of India has said that the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) will remain a minority institution and that its character will not change, but refused to stay, till the pendency of the matter, the Allahabad High Court’s verdict striking down the 50% quota for students belonging to the minority community. Justice K. G. Balakrishnan headed the bench. The next hearing will be on May 10, 2006.

The court referred the matter to the chief justice for allocating it to a larger bench. The Aligarh Muslim University hailed the SC’s interim order on the institution’s minority character as a “major victory” and said the issue of granting 50% reservation to Muslims would be held in abeyance till a final verdict.

Earlier this month, AMU had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court’s verdict, which had put down the minority status of the institution. The appeal to Supreme Court challenging the High Court verdict that AMU was not a minority institution entitled to protection under Article 30 (1) of the Constitution.

The Allahabad High Court on January 5 had struck down the provision of the Aligarh Muslim University Amendment Act, 1981, by which the status of a minority institution was accorded to AMU. It had also quashed the 50 per cent quotas for Muslim students. By doing so, it had upheld its last year’s judgement, terming as unconstitutional the minority status of the university and 50 per cent reservation for the Muslim students . The division bench referred to the SC judgement in the Ajeez Basha case of 1968, which had already taken the view that AMU was not a minority institution and any enactment of a law by Parliament could not overrule the judgement.

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Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven

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Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven

May 19, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, November 28, 2011

The death toll from the weekend suspension bridge collapse on the Indonesian island of Borneo has risen from four to eleven. Search and rescue teams continue to look for bodies in the Mahakam River.

The number of wounded is currently 39 injured; reports from locals suggest 33 people remain missing at the scene in East Kalimantan’s Kutai Kartanegara district, where “Kalimantan’s Golden Gate Bridge” linked the towns of Tenggarong and the regional capital, Samarinda. A six-month-old baby is among the dead.

Cars, motorbikes, and buses all fell into the Mahakam River when the bridge came down during repairs. Another car was left overturned and balanced upon wreckage over the water. State-owned builders PT Hutama Karya completed the bridge about a decade ago in the image of California’s Golden Gate Bridge. A cable on the 720-metre structure is thought to have failed as workers dealt with it; six of the repair crew were reported missing yesterday. It had been the longest suspension bridge in Borneo.

Eyewitnesses described heavy traffic at the time of the collapse, and one survivor said he left his truck to investigate a traffic jam. Some people were left trapped by debris as the bridge came down. “It happened so fast, only about 30 seconds,” according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugoroho.

National search and rescue head Daryatmo said yesterday cranes will attempt to move debris today, with new reports saying echo-sounding equipment will be used to check it is safe to begin lifting. It is believed the bodies of more victims will be found trapped in vehicles beneath the water, which is 35-40 metres deep. Visibility is poor, and one official explained authorities are still unsure how many vehicles are on the riverbed.

“The above-water search is continuing, but underwater operations have not been carried out because we’re worried that the bridge’s pylons are unstable and could collapse any time,” said Nugoroho today. He explained that bodies had washed onto the riverbanks overnight and were recovered today.

The president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has sent three ministers to the site to investigate the accident, while Bambang Widaryatmo, head of East Kalimantan’s police, promised “parties found to be negligent will be prosecuted”. The government has promised a replacement ferry service. The river is closed to boats as rescue operations continue, and a 22-strong team has been dispatched from the national police, comprising six forensics experts, five disaster victim identification specialists, and eleven investigators. They are there to augment the East Kalimantan Police. Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih yesterday visited survivors in Parikesit Hospital and promised them medical treatment at government expense.

Some people swam ashore after falling, with the aftermath filled with screams. Survivor Syakrani, 24, yesterday asserted “The authorities should have closed the bridge if it was under repair.” His words were followed by a Jakarta Globe editorial declaring the accident “unacceptable”.

The Globe went on to comment upon suggestions corruption may have played a role; “It is too early to point fingers and look to place blame, but if shoddy materials were used in the building of the bridge, those responsible must answer to the public.” Another suggestion is coal barges striking the bridge may have weakened it. Local coal company Harum Energy lost five percent of its share value today amid fears the river blockage will hamper their ability to ship coal.

Samarinda’s seen a population and construction boom lately. A few years have seen the population triple and the construction of a large mosque, and a sports stadium; an airport and port are set to follow. However, the Corruption Eradication Commission warns 70% of the corruption it investigates concerns government contracts and up to 40% of money earmarked for infrastructure ends up stolen.

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‘Davos man’ versus ‘Camp Igloo’; 42nd World Economic Forum convenes in Swiss alps

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‘Davos man’ versus ‘Camp Igloo’; 42nd World Economic Forum convenes in Swiss alps

May 19, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel gave yesterday’s opening address to the 42nd meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is facing a distinctly different geo-political landscape from twelve months ago. Outside the WEF security cordon, in the sub-zero temperatures of Davos’ train station car park, the local incarnation of the Occupy movement are setting up ‘Camp Igloo’; but, with little hope of the archetypes of the 1%, ‘Davos Man’, arriving by public transport and seeing their sub-zero protest.

David Roth, heading the Swiss centre-left’s youth wing — and an organiser of ‘Camp Igloo’, echoes much of the sentiment from ‘Occupy’ protests around the world; “[a]t meetings the rest of society is excluded from, this powerful ‘1 percent’ negotiates and decides about the fate of the other 99 percent of this world, […] economic and financial concentration of power in a small, privileged minority leads to a dictatorship over the rest of us. The motto ‘one person, one vote’ is no longer valid, but ‘one dollar, one vote’.”

Roth’s characterisation of ‘Davos Man’, a term coined by the Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard University, is more emotive than that of the late professor who saw ‘Davos man’ as “[having…] little need for national loyalty, view[ing] national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see[ing] national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite’s global operations”.

As Reuters highlights, many attendees will opt to make their way from Zurich to Davos by private jet, or helicopter, and the WEF itself provides handouts indicating the cost of such is 5,100 Swiss francs (approx. 5,500 USD, 3,500 GBP, 4,200 EUR). In contrast: travelling by rail, even when opting for first class — without an advance booking, is 145 Swiss francs (approx. 155 USD, 100 GBP).

Shifting fortunes see several past attendees missing this year’s exclusive get-together in the alpine resort; for a second year running — and now caught up in the UK phone hacking scandal being scrutinised by Lord Leveson’s inquiry — media mogul Rupert Murdoch will not be attending. Nor will the former head of financial services company UBS Oswald Gruebel, who resigned in the wake of US$2.3 billion losses incurred through unauthorised trading; likewise, Philipp Hildebrand, the ex-head of the Swiss National Bank, is absent following scandal associated with his wife’s currency trading activities; and, although the sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn were dropped, having stepped down as managing director of the International Monetary Fund Strauss-Kahn will also be absent.

As the #OccupyWEF protesters were building igloos last weekend, an anti-WEF protest in the Swiss capital Berne was broken up by police, who stated their intent to prosecute participants in the illegal protest. Allegations of calls for violent protest action led to a high number of officers being involved. In the aftermath, charges of breach of the peace are to be brought against 153 people, with some targeted for more serious offences. At least one group involved in the protest described the police response as “disproportionate”.

At ‘Camp Igloo’ Roth says he is seeking discussions with the WEF’s expected 2,000 attendees; but his voice, and that of others in the worldwide ‘Occupy’ movement, is unlikely to be given a platform in the opening debate, “Is 20th-century capitalism failing 21st-century society?” He, and others taking part in this Swiss incarnation of the ‘Occupy’ movement, are still considering an invite to a side-session issued by the World Economic Forum’s founder, Klaus Schwab; commenting on the invite Roth told the Associated Press they would prefer a debate at a more neutral venue.

As has been the case for several years now, the annual Forum meeting in Davos was preceded with the release of a special report by the World Economic Forum into risks seen as likely to have an impact the in the coming decade. The 2012 Global Risks Report is a hefty document; the 64-page report is backed with a variety of visualisation tools designed to allow the interrelations between risks to be viewed, how risks interact modelled, and their potential impacts considered — as assessed by the WEF’s panel of nearly 500 experts.

As one would expect, economic risks top both the 2012 impact and likelihood charts. Climate change is pushed somewhat further down the list of concerns likely to drive discussions in Davos. “Major systemic financial failure” — the collapse of a globally important financial institution, or world currency, is selected as the risk which carries the most potential impact.

However, “Chronic fiscal imbalances” — failing to address excessive government debt, and “Severe income disparity” — a widening of the the gulf between rich and poor, top the list of most likely risks.

At the other end of the tables, disagreeing respectively with the weight last year’s Wikinews report gave to orbital debris, and the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) fight with the Internet over copyright legislation, the 2012 Global Risks Report places “Proliferation of Orbital Debris” and “Failure of intellectual property regime” bottom of the league in terms of potential impact.

In 2011, with the current global economic crisis well under-way, “Fiscal crises” topped the WEF risks with the largest potential impact in the next ten years. However, perceived as most likely a year ago, “Storms and cyclones”, “Flooding”, and “Biodiversity loss” — all climate-change related points — were placed ahead of “Economic disparity” and “Fiscal crises”.

More mundane risks overtake the spectre of terrorism when contrasting this year’s report with the 2011 one; volatility in the prices of commodities, consumer goods, and energy, and the security of water supplies are all now ranked as more likely risks than terrorism — though the 2011 report did rank some of these concerns as having a higher potential impact. A significant shift in perception sees the 2012 report highlight food shortages almost as likely a risk the world will face over the next decade; and, one with a far more significant impact.

Attending the World Economic Forum at Davos is more than just an opportunity to discuss the current state of the global economy, and review the risks which face countries around the world. With such a high number of political and business leaders in attendance, it is an ideal opportunity to pursue new trade deals.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is, in addition to being a keynote speaker, expected to pursue improved relations with European and Asian trade partners at private meetings on the Forum sidelines. The Toronto Star reports Harper is likely to push forward an under-negotiation Canadian-European free-trade agreement, and hold closed-door discussions prior to next month’s planned trip to China.

Similarly, Canadian trade minister Ed Fast is expected to meet South Korean counterparts to discuss an equivalent deal to the preferential ones between the Asian nation and the US and Europe. Fast’s deal does, however, face opposition at home; the Canadian Auto Workers union asserts that such a deal would put 33,0000 jobs at-risk.

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British Prime Minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne are expected to discuss a possible increase of UK funding to the International Monetary Fund (IMF); however, with the UK responsible for 4.5% of the US$400 billion in the IMF’s lending fund, backbench MPs have warned that committing any additional funds could provoke a Conservative revolt in parliament. Tuesday’s IMF cut of predicted global growth from 4% to 3.3%, warnings of a likely Eurozone recession in 2012, and ongoing problems with Greek financial restructuring, are likely discussion topics at Davos — as well as amongst UK backbench MPs who see adding to the IMF war-chest as bailing out failed European economies.

South Africa, less centre-stage during the 2011 Forum, will be looking to improve relationships and take advantage of their higher profile. President Jacob Zuma and several cabinet members are attending sessions and discussions; whilst former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to moderate a session, “Africa — From Transition to Transformation“, with Nigeria, Guinea, and South Sudan’s presidents on the panel. Wal-mart’s CEO Doug McMillon is to lead a dinner session, “Shared Opportunities for Africa’s Future” — highlighting larger multinationals looking towards the continent for new opportunities.

Davos may also serve as a place to progress disputes out of the public eye; a high-profile dispute between Chile’s state-owned copper mining business, Codelco, and Anglo American plc over the 5.39 billion USD sale of a near-quarter stake in their Chilean operations to Japan’s Mitsubishi, prompted the Financial Times to speculate that, as the respective company chiefs — Diego Hernández and Cynthia Carroll — are expected to attend, they could privately discuss the spat during the Forum.

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Truck carrying explosives crashes, explodes in Utah

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Truck carrying explosives crashes, explodes in Utah

May 18, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A truck carrying 35,500 pounds (16,100 kg) of explosives used in mining and seismic exploration overturned and exploded on a rural mountain section of U.S. Highway 6 in Utah’s Spanish Fork Canyon Thursday afternoon.

The wreck occurred shortly after 2 pm, as driver Travis Stewart, 30, of Rexburg, Idaho, was leaving Ensign-Bickford Co., a commercial explosives manufacturing plant at the mouth of the canyon. Company officials said the truck was destined for Oklahoma.

Witnesses said Mr. Stewart appeared to lose control of the truck after entering a curve in the road at a high rate of speed. Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Ken Peay said, “speed was a factor” in the wreck of the truck but refused to speculate on how fast the truck was traveling when it wrecked. Lt. Peay said the posted speed limit on the road is 60 mph, but the advised speed is 40.

At least 17 people received minor injuries and the explosion left a 35 foot deep crater in the highway. The driver was transported via helicopter to a hospital, where he was listed in fair condition, and was later released. The co-driver Troy Lysfjord, 37, of Blackfoot, Idaho, was helped from the wreck by passers by and listed in fair condition at Utah Valley Regional Hospital in Provo.

The wreck site occurred on a major thoroughfare between Denver and Salt Lake City – about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City – was already under reconstruction by nightfall, as road crews began installing 10 inches of asphalt on the two lane road.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Tom Hudachko said officials hoped to have the road fully repaired by Friday afternoon, adding that, “When you take a look at that hole that was there 24 hours ago, I think it’s amazing the progress that was made.” As of press time, the mouth of the canyon was reopened to traffic, while traffic at the accident site was impassible, and rerouted nearby.

The explosion consumed all but about 60 pounds of explosives, and loosened some boulders on the north side of the highway, damaged railroad tracks and some fiber optic lines buried along the roadway. Amtrak and Union Pacific reported delays resulting from the wreck. Uinta National Forest spokesman Loyal Clark said forest firefighters were unable to respond to several small fires nearby that were apparently started by flying debris, and that helicopters dropped water to extinguish them. High humidity and lack of fuel from a previous fire delayed the fire’s spread.

The cost of repairs, while paid immediately by the state, will ultimately be borne by the trucking company’s insurance carrier. The truck is registered to R&R Trucking of Duenweg, Missouri.

UHP Lt. Peay said the investigation findings will be turned over to Utah County Attorney Kay Bryson whom would make any final decision about what charges, if any, would be pressed.

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