TIME animals

Kittens Distract Driver, Cause Crash Knocking Out Power for Hundreds

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Patricia Doyle—Getty Images

The kittens escaped unscathed

A man driving with a litter of kittens in his car was so distracted by one of the felines, he crashed into a power pole.

The accident occurred early on Monday in South Nashville, and caused the pole to fall halfway over, the Tennesseean reports. The structural damage temporarily knocked out power for about 400 people in the area. Power was restored a few hours later.

The driver was taken to the hospital, but his injuries were not life-threatening. None of those distracting kittens were injured in the car accident.

[The Tennesseean]

TIME Accident

Boat Collision Near Baltimore Kills 2 Women

37-foot Sea Ray Sundancer after colliding with a barrier at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on July 27, 2015.
U.S. Coast Guard 37-foot Sea Ray Sundancer after colliding with a barrier at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on July 27, 2015.

The accident also injured 6 other people who were aboard

Two women died after their 37-foot boat collided with a barrier protecting a bridge near Baltimore, officials told NBC News early Monday.

Windy Lawson, 41, and Kimberly Ervin, 45, were thrown into the Patapsco River at around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police. Neither was wearing a life jacket, police said.

The Coast Guard said the Sea Ray Sundancer hit a concrete pillar around a section of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Two other people were thrown from the vessel and taken to the hospital, as were two people who remained on board during the collision, the…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Accident

Diver Missing Off Famous Shipwreck by Nantucket

Italian liner Andrea Doria sinking in At
Loomis Dean—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Italian liner Andrea Doria sinking in Atlantic after collision w. Swedish ship `Stockholm'.

The Coast Guard called off the search Wednesday night

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a man who went missing Tuesday after he dove for a shipwreck off the coast of Nantucket, Mass.

The 64-year-old man was diving on the dangerous Andrea Doria wreck, which lies under 240 ft. (73 m) of water and has seen seven deaths since 2005, the Coast Guard said in a statement. The man was last seen Tuesday underwater by a fellow diver, but he did not surface from the dive. The Coast Guard searched for 30 hours over 350 nautical miles before it decided to call off the search Wednesday night.

“The primary goal of every man and woman who serves in the Coast Guard is to rescue those in need and save lives,” said Marcus Gherardi, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England. “This is why we serve. It is extremely disheartening anytime we are unable to accomplish this goal.”

The Coast Guard ended its statement with a warning to other divers and swimmers: “The ocean is unforgiving.”

TIME Accident

Fire on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Injures Crew Member

The company says onboard fire suppression equipment put out the fire

(MIAMI) — A fire aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship injured one crew member, but company officials say it was quickly extinguished.

Miami-based Royal Caribbean International said in a statement the fire broke out Wednesday in a mechanical area aboard the Freedom of the Seas as it arrived in Falmouth, Jamaica. The company says onboard fire suppression equipment put out the fire.

Passengers were told to go to evacuation assembly stations out of what Royal Caribbean called an abundance of caution. The company says the ship is docked in Falmouth and all systems are operating normally.

The company says one crew member was treated for burns. No passengers were injured.

The 1,112-foot Freedom of the Seas is on a seven-night cruise that departed from Port Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday.

TIME Poland

Lufthansa Plane and Drone Nearly Collide in Warsaw

lufthansa airline plane
Alexander Hassenstein—Getty Images A Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 arrives in Munich International Airport on July 16, 2015.

The flight landed safely three minutes after the near-miss

A Lufthansa flight carrying 108 passengers narrowly missed colliding with a drone as it made its descent into Warsaw Chopin Airport on Tuesday.

The commercial drone, whose origins remain unclear, came within a frightening 100 meters of the plane as it flew about 760 meters above ground, according to the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA).

According to The Aviation Herald, the pilots told on-ground air traffic patrollers to “take care of your airspace” and that the situation was “really dangerous.” The flight, which was coming in from Munich, landed safely about three minutes after the incident.

The incident is currently under investigation by local authorities.

TIME Surfing

Mick Fanning Fended Off a Shark, but Should He Have Even Been in the Water?

After the attack on Fanning, questions are being raised about the safety of Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, as a pro-surfing venue

Beyond spiking the adrenaline of a global viewing public, the ordeal suffered by Mick Fanning — who was attacked by a shark on live TV during a World Surfing League (WSL) competition at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, this week — is also making some wonder if he should have been in the water there at all.

The area is a “known hot spot for sharks,” reports News Corp.’s Australian news portal, news.com.au, calling on the WSL to “consider the danger of placing its athletes in a work environment where they can become a wild animal’s lunch.”

It turns out that Fanning’s near miss is just one of several shark incidents from Jeffreys Bay in the run-up to or during the event, news.com.au says. “It’s well documented, there’s been plenty of attacks here at Jeffreys,” world champion Kelly Slater told the outlet. “Today I probably thought about it 30 times.”

WSL commentator Strider Wasilewski also told of his escape from “a 15 ft.-plus great white” in the run-up to the competition.

In comments to news.com.au about the incident, WSL commissioner Kieran Perrow did not seem to hint at any plans to move future competitions. “Everyone loves Jeffreys Bay,” he said. “We come here not just for the surf but for the culture and the people and what this place means to everybody. That may take some time — for [Fanning] especially — to reconnect.”

Read the rest of the article here.

TIME Accident

How to Survive a Shark Attack

Surfer Mick Fanning survived a shark attack over the weekend—here's the best way to protect yourself in that scenario

Surfer Mick Fanning managed to fight off a shark attack during a surfing competition in South Africa on Sunday.

A video that went viral shows the attempted attack in the opening minutes of the competition’s final heat. The shark snapped Fanning’s board off of his ankle leash in the process. In an interview, Fanning—visibly shaken—says he was kicking and screaming as the shark kept coming at him and he punched it in the back.

Fanning reacted correctly when the shark approached him, according to George H. Burgess, the director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, who spoke to TIME about how to survive a shark attack.

“He did the right thing,” Burgess told TIME. “He tried to get something between the shark and himself and he reacted appropriately which is to be aggressive.”

Burgess says that when a shark approaches, bopping it on its nose can scare it away. “Hitting the snout of the shark with a hard object like your fist or an inanimate object will startle the shark,” says Burgess. “The shark will most often veer off. During that veer off, take full advantage of that time to get out of the water. The shark will likely come back if it’s genuinely interested and you might get away with a second bop, but maybe not.”

If the shark has you in its mouth—which thankfully didn’t happen to Fanning—Burgess recommends (if you can) poking the shark hard in the eyes or in the gills. “Those areas are very sensitive,” says Burgess.

The Florida Museum of Natural History says beach-goers should stay in groups because sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual, and warns swimmers not to wander too far away from shore.

Staying out of the water during darkness or twilight hours is recommended since that’s when sharks are most active, and people should not enter the water if they are bleeding or menstruating. Don’t wear shiny jewelry because it can look like fish scales, the museum warns.

The museum also says people should refrain from splashing and should not let pets in the water since they have lots of spontaneous movement.

 

TIME Surfing

Surfer’s Mom Describes Watching Her Son Fight Off Shark Attack

Australian surfer Mick Flanning is pursued by a shark, in Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa on July 19, 2015.
World Surf League—AP In this image made available by the World Surf League, Australian surfer Mick Flanning is pursued by a shark, in Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa on July 19, 2015.

Mick Fanning's mom said she was terrified when her son was attacked

The mother of three-time world champion surfer Mick Fanning revealed Monday that “time stood still” as she watched live TV coverage of her son being attacked by a shark.

Elizabeth Osborne saw her son punch the predator in its back after the shark grabbed his foot rope and pulled him underwater.

“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Osborne told NBC News’ Australian partner Channel 7, after the incident at the J-Bay Open in South Africa on Sunday.

“I saw this big fin, and Mick scrambling and turning around,” she said. “And then he went down and I realized then…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Accident

Hiker Killed by Lightning Strike in Colorado

Three more injured in Rocky Mountains tragedy

A lightning strike Friday in the Rocky Mountains killed one hiker and injured three more.

The hiker who was killed was a 31-year-old woman from the Denver area hiking Colorado’s Mount Yale Trail. Two other injured hikers navigated to the base of the mountain independently, while a third was airlifted to the hospital in Colorado Springs.

Rescue attempts were complicated by a variety of factors; there is no cellular service in the area where lightning struck, so a 911 call was delayed until witnesses made it further downhill. Responders were also delayed due to the steepness of the trail.

TIME Guns

These Are the 10 States With the Most Gun Violence

Suicide is the leading cause of gun-related deaths across the country in recent years

More than two-thirds of all homicides in the United States are gun-related. Of the 16, 121 homicides reported in 2013, 11,208 were caused by gun violence. Including suicides, nearly 34,000 people died in gun-related incidents in 2013, up 13.8% from 10 years earlier.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps track of the number of gun-related deaths in each state. Fatalities include homicides, suicides, and accidents. The frequency of firearm-related deaths varies considerably across the country. In Hawaii, the state with the fewest gun-related fatalities, there were just 2.6 firearm-associated deaths per 100,000 people. In Alaska, on the other hand, there were nearly 20 gun-related deaths per 100,000 residents, the most of any state. 24/7 Wall St. examined the 10 states with the highest gun-related deaths.

Click here to see the 10 states with the most gun violence.

Suicide is the leading cause of gun-related deaths across the country in recent years. Of the 33,636 firearm deaths in 2013, more than 21,000 were suicides. In fact, suicide accounted for more than half of gun-related deaths in all but one state with the most gun violence. In three states — Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming — suicide accounted for more than 80% of all firearm deaths.

24/7 Wall St. discussed the CDC’s figures with John Roman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, an economic and social policy think tank. Roman explained that states with the highest rates of suicide often have the strongest culture of gun ownership in the country. “There are many more suicides in places where it’s easy to get a gun,” he said.

While federal gun laws are uniform across the country, state regulations vary, offering more lax or more strict approaches to firearm use. Seven of the 10 states with the most firearm deaths in 2013 have enacted stand your ground laws. In keeping with a state’s culture, Roman explained, many states with these laws likely also have laws that make it easier to possess firearms and buy ammunition.

In fact, none of the states with the most gun violence require permits to purchase rifles, shotguns, or handguns. Gun owners are also not required to register their weapons in any of these states. Meanwhile, many of the states with the least gun violence require a permit or other form of identification to buy a gun.

Gun-related homicides were also relatively frequent in the states with the most gun violence. Nationally, there were 3.61 homicides per 100,000 people. Seven of the the 10 states with the most gun violence reported homicide rates higher than the national rate. Louisiana is one of only four states in the country where homicides accounted for a larger share of firearm deaths than suicides. In 2013, Louisiana reported nearly 10 homicides per 100,000 residents, the highest rate in the country.

Although not necessarily related, violent crime rates in the states with the most gun violence were also quite high. In fact, in seven of these states there were more than 430 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents. Nationally, the rate was 367.9 violent crimes per 100,000 Americans.

Limited access to quality hospitals may be a contributing factor to firearm deaths. Often, victims of gunshots or other violent crimes need immediate medical attention, which may be more difficult to receive in rural areas. “If you have a hospital with a Level III trauma center, your likelihood of surviving an injury like a gunshot wound is far higher than if you lived near a basic hospital,” Roman said.

Economic factors also appear to be related to firearm deaths. The poverty rate in eight of the 10 states with the most gun violence was above the national rate of 15.8%. Mississippi, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas, the states with the four highest poverty rates in the country, were among the states with the most gun violence.

Educational attainment rates also tended to be lower in states with the most gun violence. The share of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree was lower than the national rate of 29.6% in all 10 states on this list.

To determine the states with the most gun violence, 24/7 Wall St. examined 2013 firearm-related deaths data from the CDC. Firearm death rates are age-adjusted to avoid distortion in states with large populations of young people. We also considered 2013 violent crime rates from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report. From the U.S. Census Bureau, we reviewed median household income, poverty rates, and educational attainment rates for 2013. Information on firearm policies for each state are from the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Institute for Legislative Action.

These are the states with the most gun violence.

  • 10. Tennessee

    > 2013 firearm death rate: 15.4 per 100,000
    > Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 9,568 (11th highest)
    > Violent crime rate: 590.6 (4th highest)
    > Permit required to buy handgun: No
    > Poverty rate: 17.8% (12th highest)

    There were more than 1,000 gun-related deaths — including homicide, suicide, and accidents — in Tennessee in 2013, or 15.4 deaths per 100,000 residents, the 10th highest rate in the country. Overall crime rates were also quite high, with 590.6 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people, far more than the nearly 368 reported crimes for every 100,000 Americans. Additionally, less than 25% of adults in the state had at least a bachelor’s degree, less than the 29.6% of adults with a bachelor’s degree across the nation.

    ALSO READ: 7 Car Brands The Cost Less Than They Used To

  • 9. New Mexico

    > 2013 firearm death rate: 15.4 per 100,000
    > Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 2,983 (19th lowest)
    > Violent crime rate: 613.0 (2nd highest)
    > Permit required to buy handgun: No
    > Poverty rate: 21.9% (2nd highest)

    Like most states across the country, the largest proportion of gun-related deaths in New Mexico was attributable to suicide. The age-adjusted firearm suicide rate of 10.3 per 100,000 was the ninth highest rate in the country. New Mexico also had the highest death rate by legal intervention — deaths caused by police or other law enforcement officials — in the country. In general, New Mexico residents were exposed to a large number of crimes. The state reported 613 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, the second highest rate in the country. Low education levels and widespread poverty may partly explain the high gun violence and deaths. Nearly 22% of New Mexico’s population lived in poverty, substantially higher than the national poverty rate of 15.8%. Additionally, only 84.3% of adults had at least a high school diploma, the sixth lowest rate in the country.

  • 8. Oklahoma

    > 2013 firearm death rate: 16.5 per 100,000
    > Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 5,352 (23rd highest)
    > Violent crime rate: 441.2 (12th highest)
    > Permit required to buy handgun: No
    > Poverty rate: 16.8% (16th highest)

    Gun-related homicides and suicides were both relatively high in Oklahoma. At least 433 Oklahomans, or 11.1 per 100,000, took their own life with a gun, the sixth highest rate in the country. There were 4.8 gun-related homicides per 100,000 residents, the 10th highest rate nationwide. Like all of the states with the most gun violence, Oklahoma also does not require a permit to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. Additionally, Oklahoma households were among the poorest in the country with an annual median income of $45,690.

  • 7. Wyoming

    > 2013 firearm death rate: 16.5 per 100,000
    > Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 879 (7th lowest)
    > Violent crime rate: 205.1 (4th lowest)
    > Permit required to buy handgun: No
    > Poverty rate: 10.9% (6th lowest)

    With the second highest firearm-related suicide rate, Wyoming residents were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as residents across the nation. More than 87% of firearm deaths in Wyoming were due to suicide, considerably higher than the 63% of all gun-related fatalities across the country. Unlike other states with high rates of gun-violence, however, Wyoming residents were well-educated. Roughly 94% of adults 25 and older had at least graduated from high school, the highest rate in the country. Despite the high rate of gun-violence, other types of crimes were relatively uncommon. Just over 205 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 residents, one of the lowest rates in the country.

  • 6. Arkansas

    > 2013 firearm death rate: 16.7 per 100,000
    > Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 4,478 (24th lowest)
    > Violent crime rate: 460.3 (10th highest)
    > Permit required to buy handgun: No
    > Poverty rate: 19.7% (4th highest)

    A typical household in Arkansas earned $40,511 in 2013, nearly the lowest such figure in the country. Additionally, just 20.6% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, the third lowest rate nationwide. The low incomes and education levels may have contributed to Arkansas’ high gun-related deaths. There were 501 deaths by firearm in Arkansas, or 16.7 per 100,000, the sixth highest rate. Like other states in the country, nearly two-thirds of gun-related deaths were due to suicide. Like every state on this list, Arkansas’ gun laws are relatively permissive. Currently, no laws require that gun owners have permits for the purchase of shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Additionally, gun owners are not obligated to register their weapons.

    ALSO READ: The Poorest Town in Each State

    For the rest of the list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com

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