english news

Conception boat fire: Captain charged over 34 deaths in California Published11 hours ago Share media captionFamily and friends mourn those lost in California dive-boat fire. The captain of a scuba-diving boat that was destroyed by fire last year off California has been charged with 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter. Jerry Nehl Boylan caused the deaths of those aboard the Conception “by his misconduct, negligence and inattention to his duties”, says the indictment. Prosecutors allege the 67 year old failed to have a night watchman or conduct fire drills as required by law. All 33 passengers and a crew member sleeping below deck died. Family of five among dead in California boat fire Mr Boylan was among five crew members who managed to escape the blaze on the 75-ft (23m) vessel off Santa Barbara on 2 September 2019. He is expected to surrender to the authorities at a later date. Each charge of seaman’s manslaughter carries up to 10 years in federal prison. A firefighter attempting to put the fire out IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY/VENTURA COUNTRY FIRE DEPARTMENT image captionFirefighters were unable to board the vessel to put the fire out as flames has already taken hold Kristi Johnson, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said on Tuesday: “This tragedy forever altered the lives of so many families and loved ones, and it deeply affected members of the public who watched in horror. We continue to grieve with them. “Our hope is that this indictment leads to the prevention of boating accidents and the senseless destruction of lives through proper precautions and training.” Mr Boylan has not publicly commented on the charges. What happened to the boat? The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning while the Conception was moored in Platt’s Harbour near Santa Cruz Island, south of Santa Barbara. At the time, it had been hosting a diving expedition over the Labour Day holiday weekend. A US National Transportation Safety Board investigation determined the fire began in a middle deck area where lithium-ion batteries were being charged, though it was unclear exactly what ignited the blaze. Map showing location of the fire north of Santa Cruz island Those who survived had been above deck when the blaze broke out. They escaped by jumping overboard and swimming to another vessel nearby, called the Great Escape. The crew members told investigators that the flames were too intense to save anyone trapped in the passenger quarters. A grand jury cited three federal safety violations: failure to assign a night watch or roving patrol, to conduct sufficient crew training or to conduct adequate fire drills. Related Topics Scuba diving California More on this story California boat fire: Family of five among 34 dead, relatives say Published4 September 2019 California boat fire: Safety investigators say all crew were asleep Published12 September 2019 More Videos from the BBC The secret lives of Yakuza women The secret lives of Yakuza women Where the Amish go on holiday Where the Amish go on holiday The secret lives of Saudi women The secret lives of Saudi women Life after war: ‘It’s too painful to sleep’Life after war: ‘It’s too painful to sleep’ Life after war: ‘It’s too painful to sleep’ Moment 180 mph motorcyclist in T-shirt is caughtMoment 180 mph motorcyclist in T-shirt is caught Moment 180 mph motorcyclist in T-shirt is caught The world’s deepest diving poolThe world’s deepest diving pool The world’s deepest diving pool Recommended by Outbrain Elsewhere on BBC How to ‘disappear’ on Happiness Avenue in Beijing BBC News How to ‘disappear’ on Happiness Avenue in Beijing Okinawa: The island of almost-eternal youth BBC Okinawa: The island of almost-eternal youth US military drops ‘mother of all bombs on IS’ in Afghanistan BBC News US military drops ‘mother of all bombs on IS’ in Afghanistan Recommended by Outbrain Twelve films to watch in December BBC Twelve films to watch in December The forgotten fighter plane which won the Battle of Britain BBC The forgotten fighter plane which won the Battle of Britain Trog: The strangest horror film of its era BBC Trog: The strangest horror film of its era Top Stories

california

The captain of a scuba-diving boat that was destroyed by fire last year off California has been charged with 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter. Jerry Nehl Boylan caused the deaths of those aboard the Conception “by his misconduct, negligence and inattention to his duties”, says the indictment. Prosecutors allege the 67 year old failed to have a night watchman or conduct fire drills as required by law. All 33 passengers and a crew member sleeping below deck died. Family of five among dead in California boat fire.  Mr Boylan was among five crew members who managed to escape the blaze on the 75-ft (23m) vessel off Santa Barbara on 2 September 2019. He is expected to surrender to the authorities at a later date. Each charge of seaman’s manslaughter carries up to 10 years in federal prison.(BBC)…[+]

Trump travel ban: ‘I might finally see my sons again’

waiting for

One of President Donald Trump’s earliest and most controversial moves was a travel ban on people from certain nations he said were deemed a security threat to the US. Joe Biden has promised this will be one of the first policies he reverses. The ban – which now applies to 13 countries – has survived many legal challenges, but for some families it has meant years of separation.(BBC)…[+]

Baby girl born from record-setting 27-year-old embryo

baby born

When Molly Gibson was born in October of this year, it was 27 years in the making. The new-born baby’s embryo was frozen in October 1992, and stayed that way until February 2020, when Tina and Ben Gibson of Tennessee adopted the embryo. Molly is believed to have set a new record for the longest-frozen embryo to have resulted in a birth, breaking a record set by her older sister, Emma.

“We’re over the moon,” Ms Gibson said. “I still get choked up.” “If you would have asked me five years ago if I would have not just one girl, but two, I would have said you were crazy,” she said. The family struggled with infertility for nearly five years before Ms Gibson’s parents saw a story about embryo adoption on a local news station. “That’s the only reason that we share our story. If my parents hadn’t seen this on the news then we wouldn’t be here,” Ms Gibson, 29, said. “I feel like it should come full-circle.”(BBC)…[+]

Five die as car ploughs through Germany pedestrian zone

polizie

A car has ploughed through a pedestrian area in the western German city of Trier, killing four people including a nine-week-old baby, police say. The driver, a 51-year-old local man, has been arrested. The prosecutor said the suspect had drunk a significant amount of alcohol. Authorities said they were not working on the assumption that the incident was politically or religiously motivated.

The city’s mayor described the scene as “horrible”.  Witnesses said people screamed in panic and some were thrown in the air by an SUV travelling at high speed in Trier’s Brotstrasse and Simeonstrasse streets towards the city’s famous Roman gate, the Porta Nigra. The incident happened at around 13:45 local time (12:45 GMT), and the suspect drove for 1km (0.62 miles) “hitting people at random on his way” before being stopped by a police car, Trier police spokesman Karl-Peter Jochem said earlier. Among the victims were two women, aged 25 and 73, a 45-year-old man and the baby.(BBC)…[+]

Brothers jailed over Bornholm island case

denmark

A Danish court has jailed two brothers for 14 years for murdering a friend on the holiday island of Bornholm last summer. The killing of Phillip Mbuji Johansen, who had a Danish father and Tanzanian mother, had stirred fears of racism. However, no charges of hate crime were brought, even through prosecutors said they could not rule it out. Magnus and Mads Moeller were found to have inflicted a prolonged and brutal attack on their victim. They were found to have inflicted 39 separate wounds on their 28-year-old victim on 23 June. Johansen’s legs were broken and he suffered burns, stab wounds and brain damage in a sustained bout of violence that lasted at least 15 to 20 minutes, the court ruled. The brothers had beaten him with a wooden pole and a bottle, stabbed him with a knife and pressed a knee against his neck. The forensic pathologist said she had never seen such severe injuries.(BBC)…[+]

Puberty blockers: Under-16s ‘unlikely’ to be able to give informed consent

uk

Children under 16 with gender dysphoria are unlikely to be able to give informed consent to undergo treatment with puberty-blocking drugs, three High Court judges have ruled. The case was brought against Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which said it was “disappointed” but immediately suspended such referrals for under-16s. The NHS said it “welcomed the clarity” the ruling would bring. One of the claimants, Keira Bell, said she was “delighted” by the judgment. Ms Bell, 23, from Cambridge, had been referred to the Tavistock Centre, which runs the UK’s only gender-identity development service (GIDS), as a teenager and was prescribed puberty blockers aged 16. She argued the clinic should have challenged her more over her decision to transition to a male as a teenagerIn a ruling, Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Lord Justice Lewis and Mrs Justice Lieven, said: “It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers.(BBC)…[+]

Covid vaccine: Moderna seeks approval in US and Europe

covid vaccin

Moderna is filing for US and European emergency regulatory approval of its coronavirus vaccine so that it can be recommended for widespread use. Regulators will look at trial data for the mRNA vaccine and decide if it is safe and effective enough to recommend for roll out. Clinical studies show the jab is more than 94% effective at protecting people from becoming ill with Covid-19. Pfizer, which has a similar jab, has already filed for the same US approval. UK regulators are also reviewing data on the Pfizer vaccine, as well as another type of Covid vaccine from AstraZenca and Oxford University for emergency approval. Moderna says it hopes to gain UK approval soon, now that it has trial data from 30,000 volunteers – including high risk groups like the elderly – that suggests it works.(BBC)…[+]

Joe Biden: President-elect fractures foot while playing with dog

joe biden

US President-elect Joe Biden has fractured his foot while playing with one of his dogs, his doctor has said. Mr Biden, 78, twisted his ankle on Saturday when he slipped while with Major, one of his two German shepherds. The Democrat visited an orthopaedist in Newark, Delaware, a day later “out of an abundance of caution”.

His personal physician, Kevin O’Connor, said initial x-rays did not show an “obvious fracture”, but ordered a more detailed CT scan. The subsequent scan found that Mr Biden had suffered “hairline fractures” of two small bones in the middle of his right foot, the doctor said. “It is anticipated that he will likely require a walking boot for several weeks,” Mr O’Connor said.(BBC)…[+]

Japan’s crown prince ‘approves’ daughter’s wedding

japan daughter

Japan’s Crown Prince Fumihito said he “approves” of his daughter’s long-postponed plans to marry her university boyfriend, media reports say. Princess Mako was originally set to wed non-royal Kei Komuro in 2018, a year after they announced their engagement. The palace later denied the delay was linked to his mother’s rumoured financial problems. However, the prince reiterated the money issues must be dealt with first, according to Kyodo news agency. “In order for many people to be convinced and celebrate (the marriage), I have said it is important for the issue to be dealt with,” said the prince, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito and the first in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne. “From my point of view, I think they are not in a situation where many people are convinced and pleased (about their marriage),” Crown Prince Fumihito, also known as Crown Prince Akishino, added.

Mr Komuro, who is currently completing further studies at Fordham University’s law school in New York, according to Kyodo, said last year his family had no financial difficulties. He said the issue of an unpaid loan to his mother’s ex-fiancé had been settled. But the former fiancé told local media the issue was unresolved.(BBC)…[+]

Oxford Covid vaccine: Regulator asked to assess jab

uk

The government has asked the regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, bringing the UK a step closer to a possible rollout. The referral to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) marked “a significant first step” in getting the vaccine “approved for deployment”, the government said. It follows news that the jab was “highly effective” in advanced trials. The UK government has pre-ordered 100m doses of the Oxford vaccine. The government’s latest request to the MHRA comes a week after the regulator was asked to assess the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. (BBC)…[+]