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Birds Fall From Sky in Falkoping Sweden

A large number of birds were found dead in Falkoping, Sweden, Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Autopsies on five birds were completed by the Swedish National Veterinary Institute. Their findings were no illness, no external signs of damage or blows of any kind and no infection. However, the birds showed signs of internal bleeding, which ultimately killed them.

In similar cases, Arkansas had thousands of red-winged blackbirds and starlings fall from the sky on New Year’s Eve in the small town of Beebe.

Monday morning, at least 500 birds fell dead in Labarre, Louisiana, showing the same symptoms. The birds dying there were also starlings, red-winged blackbirds and sparrows.

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2 million fish found dead in Maryland

 

Baltimore :: MD :: USA | about 1 hour ago

Credibility Credibility of 5

Authorities in Maryland are investigating the deaths of about 2 million fish in Chesapeake Bay. "Natural causes appear to be the reason," the Maryland Department of the Environment said in a news release. "Cold water stress exacerbated by a large population

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"Private" Posts To Social Media Discoverable in Lawsuits?

January 04, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Every day millions of people log on to Facebook and MySpace to post pictures of adventures and everyday events, update friends on life's happenings, and express thoughts and feelings. While using these new online social media, most assume that since they selected "private" status for their accounts, and because they only share information and pictures with their friends and family, that those who are not meant to see this information won't. But this thinking may be flawed.

Consider the logistics of keeping private the sheer volume of information flowing from social-media sites. In its December 2010 selection of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year, Time Magazine cites daunting statistics:
- Facebook membership reached 550 billion this year (one of 12 people globally)
- Daily 700,000 new members join Facebook
- In November one-quarter of all U.S. page views were to Facebook
- Almost half of all Americans have Facebook accounts
- Facebook posts 100 million new pictures every day

Time's observation about online privacy is relevant to the topic of this article: "the Internet was built to move information around, not keep it in one place, and it tends to do what it was built to do." How realistic is it to think anything you post online even to a limited audience won't end up as evidence in a later lawsuit?

According to legal opinion pieces on FindLaw.com, if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, your comment and picture posts to social-media websites such as Facebook and MySpace may be discoverable as potential evidence by the other side, although jurisdictions are split on the issue. This may not be something you relish, whether you are bringing the suit or defending it.

New York Example

In Romano v. Steelcase Inc., a New York state personal injury plaintiff was compelled to produce "private" postings on Facebook and MySpace for discovery after the Supreme Court (trial court) in Suffolk County decided in September 2010 that the postings were "material and necessary" to the legal and factual issues surrounding the extent of her injury and how much it affected her enjoyment of life.

The defendant asked the court for access to Romano's postings because it believed the posted comments and photos could refute her injury claim and allegation that she had lost the enjoyment of life. The court agreed, noting that "the primary purpose" of social-media websites "is to enable people to share information about how they lead their social lives," and ruling that users have "no reasonable expectation of privacy" on social-media websites even when they choose more restricted privacy settings.

The court focused on the essence of a personal injury lawsuit. By filing, Kathleen Romano herself put her "physical condition in controversy." Interestingly, the opinion analyzed similar Canadian cases in light of New York's "liberal disclosure policy." The court also commented on both sites' warnings that whatever users post is at their own risk despite privacy settings.
California Federal Court Weighs In

The U.S. District Court in the Central District of California had a different view, holding in the May 2010 copyright case Crispin v. Christian Audigier, Inc., that the defendant case could not subpoena plaintiff's private postings on social-media websites. The court equated the privacy of a "friends only" access setting to that expected in an e-mail message, banking record or employment file. Had Buckley Crispin allowed his profile and posts to be viewed by "everyone," the court would have deemed the content truly public.

Reasonable Expectations

Remember, both Facebook and MySpace caution their users that the sites cannot guarantee the privacy of posted content. Indeed, common sense dictates that parents of American teenagers should already routinely warn their kids to remember that once something hits the Internet, the cat is out of the bag and that information may return to haunt. And that warning is just as important for adults, especially those involved in lawsuits that raise legal questions about physical, mental and emotional well being like personal injury suits and child custody matters.

While jurisdictions are currently split on what information posted to social-media websites is discoverable in a lawsuit, it is wise to remember Facebook's warning, "[y]ou post User Content ... on the Site at your own risk."

Article provided by Injury Law Center - Law Offices of Jack Bloxham

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11 Killed, 220 Injured in New Year's Holiday Crashes Investigated by Pennsylvania State Police

National Press Release  Back to Press Releases Index

11 Killed, 220 Injured in New Year's Holiday Crashes Investigated by Pennsylvania State Police

PR Newswire

Fatalities Increase Compared to Last Year, But Crashes and Injuries Decline

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 3, 2011, PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Eleven people were killed and 220 others were injured in the 693 crashes investigated by Pennsylvania State Police during the four-day New Year's holiday driving period, Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski announced today.

"Although the number of fatalities jumped from six to 11 compared to last year's holiday driving period, crashes decreased by nearly 39 percent and the number of people injured dropped almost 24 percent," Pawlowski said.

He said 76 of the crashes to which troopers responded from Dec. 30, 2010, through Jan. 2, 2011, were alcohol-related, including four crashes that resulted in a total of five deaths. Six of the 11 people who died in crashes were not wearing seat belts, he said.

Pawlowski said troopers made 267 arrests for driving under the influence and issued 4,012 speeding citations during the holiday period. State police also cited 458 persons for failure to wear seat belts and issued citations to 42 drivers for failing to restrain children properly in child safety seats.

During last year's four-day New Year's holiday driving period, six people were killed and 288 others were injured in 1,131 crashes investigated by state police.

The crash numbers cover only those incidents investigated by state police and do not include statistics on crashes to which other law-enforcement agencies responded.

For more information, visit www.psp.state.pa.us or call 717-783-5556.

Media contact: Lt. Myra Taylor, Jack J. Lewis, 717-783-5556

SOURCE Pennsylvania State Police Department




Read more: 11 Killed, 220 Injured in New Year's Holiday Crashes Investigated by Pennsylvania State Police

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Dead blackbirds fall into Beebe city limits on New Year’s Eve

Dead blackbirds fall into Beebe city limits on New Year’s Eve

Date 01/01/2011
Description

BEEBE – Last night, ringing in the New Year took on a whole different meaning for the citizens of Beebe. Beginning at around 11:30 p.m., enforcement officers with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began getting reports of dead black birds falling from the sky in the city limits of Beebe.

Officers estimated that over 1,000 birds had fallen out of the sky over the city before midnight. Most of the birds were dead, but some were still alive when officers arrived. The blackbirds fell over a one-mile area in the city. AGFC wildlife officer Robby King responded to the reports and found hundreds of birds. “Shortly after I arrived there were still birds falling from the sky,” King said. King collected about 65 dead birds that will be sent to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission lab and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Madison, Wis.

The AGFC has flown over the area to gauge the scope of the event. There were no other birds found outside of the initial area.

AGFC ornithologist Karen Rowe said that strange events similar to this one have occurred a number of times across the globe. “Test results usually were inconclusive, but the birds showed physical trauma and that the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail,” Rowe said.

Another scenario may have been that New Year’s Eve revelers shooting off fireworks in the area may have startled the birds from their roost. The birds may have died from stress.

Rowe said that it didn’t appear as though the birds died of any poisoning or other event. “Since it only involved a flock of blackbirds and only involved them falling out of the sky it is unlikely they were poisoned, but a necropsy is the only way to determine if the birds died from trauma or toxin,” she said. Testing will begin on Monday.

The City of Beebe has hired U.S. Environmental Services to begin the cleanup and dispose of the dead birds. The environmental firm will go door-to-door to pick up the birds that are still in yards and on roof tops

Preliminary necropsies on the dead birds in Arkansas "showed trauma," said Karen Rowe, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ornithologist. "The birds obviously hit something very hard and had hemorrhages." Beyond that, all the birds were healthy.

Among the speculation for the cause of death is that loud noises, perhaps from fireworks, frightened the birds and sent them crashing into buildings and other obstacles

Hundreds more birds found dead, this time in Louisiana

 Three days after thousands of blackbirds were found dead in Arkansas, some 500 red-winged-blackbirds and starlings were found dead along a quarter-mile stretch of highway in Louisiana, hundreds of miles to the south. The latest dead birds were found Monday near Labarre, about 300 miles south of Beebe, Ark., where thousands of birds fell from the sky on New Year's Eve.

State biologists are sending some of the Louisiana birds for testing in Georgia and Wiscons

 

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