Blog Posts by Katie Kindelan

  • Texting Pilot Nearly Caused Jet to Crash

    An airplane captain distracted by incoming text messages on his cell phone was the reason a flight from Australia to Singapore had to abort a touch-down just 500 feet from the tarmac, an investigation has found.

     The pilot was so distracted he didn't notice that the landing gear was not deployed.

    Jetstar Flight JQ57 was nearing the end of a four-hour flight from Darwin, Australia, to Singapore's Changi Airport on May 27, 2010, when the captain's mobile phone started beeping with incoming text messages and he failed to respond to the co-pilot's requests, according to a report issued by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

    The 220-seat Airbus A320 plane was less than 2,500 feet above the tarmac when the captain's phone started beeping to alert him of missed text messages, the report found.

    As the plane descended, the first officer, in control of the plane at the time, felt "something was not quite right," he told investigators, and tried to alert the captain that he

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  • Pippa Middleton's Party Host Apologizes for Gun 'Joke'

    The French aristocrat who hosted Pippa Middleton for a wild weekend in Paris that ended with the royal sister-in-law embroiled in a gun photo scandal has apologized.

    Arthur de Soultrait issued a public apology to Middleton, 28, the sister-in-law of England's Prince William, and described the incident, in which Middleton was snapped laughing as a male companion in a car pointed a gun at a photographer following them in Paris, as a "joke."

    "Last Saturday, I was in a car with Philippa Middleton, and we were being followed by paparazzi," read the statement from De Soultrait, a fashion label owner, released Wednesday in Paris, according to People magazine.

    "She had been subject to constant and dangerous harassment by paparazzi throughout her time in Paris. The car was being driven by a friend of mine, whom Pippa had only met a few hours before. As a joke, my friend brandished a toy pistol in their direction," he wrote.  "Obviously Philippa had no idea that he was going

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  • Bus Driver Takes Cop on Wild Ride

    A Vietnamese traffic cop who would stop at nothing to issue a bus driver a ticket, and a bus driver who would do anything to avoid a ticket combined for a wild ride in Hanoi.

    Traffic police Second Lt. Nguyen Manh Phan pulled over a 39-seat passenger coach on Monday and ordered the driver to show his paperwork, a police spokesman told the Associated Press.

    The bus driver, identified as Phung Hong Phuong, refused to show his paperwork and then attempted to drive off.  His plans to flee were thwarted, however, when Phan jumped onto the front of the bus and clung onto the windshield as oncoming traffic whizzed by.

    The wild episode was captured on video, reportedly shot by another officer, and posted on YouTube.

    Hanoi Police/AP PhotoThe video shows Phan hanging on for dear life and yelling, "Call the police!" as the bus travelled for more than half a mile at speeds of up to 31 mph, according to the AP.

    A chase brought on by other traffic cops and bystanders eventually forced Phuong to bring the

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  • Texas Fashion Blogger Jane Aldridge Responds to War of Words

    (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

    They say that everything is bigger in Texas and so is this unusual war of words that has erupted around a 20-year-old fashion blogger.

    At the heart of the Texas-size debate is Jane Aldridge, the young blogger behind "Sea of Shoes," a personal-style blog Aldridge started as a high school student near Dallas to document her designer shoe collection and wardrobe.

    Aldridge's taste, style, and beyond-her-age budget caught the eye of New York fashionistas, celebrities like Kanye West and writer Jason Sheeler, who deemed her story of fashion fame from the Lone Star state worthy of a profile.

    Once the profile ran in this month's Texas Monthly magazine, the shoes, albeit designer, began to fly.

    Celebrity and fashion websites like Jezebel and Fashionista scourged Aldridge for quotes like, "Why should I go to college? I'm already doing what I want?"  in Sheeler's profile, and her fits of fury over lighting gone wrong and misplaced items during fashion shoots for her blog.

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  • Madagascar Pochard Ducklings Born, Could Save 'World's Rarest Bird'

    A flock of fuzzy, cinnamon-colored ducklings successfully hatched in Madagascar could be the key, wildlife experts say, to saving the "world's rarest bird" from going extinct.

    Eighteen Madagascar Pochard ducklings were born in captivity and are now being reared at a specially built center in Antsohihy, Madagascar, the BBC reports.  The ducklings are the next generation in a breed of birds thought to have gone extinct until conservationists spotted 22 of them at Lake Matsaborimena in northern Madagascar in 2006.

    From that sighting, conservationists were able to collect 24 eggs which they bred in captivity, first in a hotel bathroom and then in the specially-built captive breeding center where the ducklings now reside, according to the BBC.

    The center is operated by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, two Europe-based conservation organizations that launched an emergency effort to save the species in 2009.

    "The ducklings represent an

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  • Ohio School Lets Gay Student Wear Controversial T-Shirt

    (AP Photo) for not allowing him to wear a T-shirt that read  "Jesus Is Not a Homophobe" will be allowed to wear the shirt - for one day.

    The school agreed to let Couch, 16, wear the T-shirt on April 20, the annual Day of Silence, dedicated to raising awareness of anti-gay bullying and harassment.

    "He's happy he's going to be able to wear the shirt on April 20, but this suit is about his ongoing right to freedom of expression, and that should not be limited to a single day," Christopher Clark, an attorney with Lambda Legal, the civil rights group defending Couch, told today.  The school district has "not indicated whether they'll back down from their overall position to not allow him to wear the shirt.

    "The case goes on," he said.

    Couch, a sophomore, filed a lawsuit against the Wayne Local School District in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati on Tuesday.  In a lawsuit that has grabbed national attention for what it could mean for a student's First Amendment rights, Couch

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  •   A Catholic priest in Northern Ireland has found himself in hot water after he accidentally displayed a series of pornographic gay images during a presentation to parents of children preparing to receive First Holy Communion.

    Father Martin McVeigh projected 16 "indecent images of men" on a projector screen during a March 26 PowerPoint presentation to a group of 26 parents at St. Mary's School in Pomeroy, Ireland, the BBC reports.

    McVeigh has said he had no knowledge of the images.  Parents in attendance told the BBC the images appeared on the screen from a memory stick the parish priest had inserted into a computer before the presentation. According to The Associated Press, parents who attended the meeting have demanded in a letter that McVeigh be suspended and barred from their children's First Communion.

    "He was visibly shaken and flustered," one parent said. "He gave no explanation or apology to the group and bolted out of the room. The coordinator and the

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  • Knut's Half-Sister, Anori, Makes Public Debut

    The first pictures have emerged of Germany's newest star baby animal, one with a connection to another internationally famous animal.

    Anori is the three-month-old half sister of Knut, the baby polar bear who became internationally famous when he was raised by zookeepers at the Berlin Zoo after being rejected by his mother at birth in 2006.

    The two animals share a father, Lars, whose new mate, Vilma, gave birth to Anori on Jan. 4, at the Wuppertal Zoo in western Germany, according to a press release from the zoo.

    Anori, alongside Vilma, made her high-profile debut at the zoo on Thursday, to the sounds of clicking cameras and the sight of many curious eyes.

    When Knut made his debut in 2006, he sparked a phenomenon known as "Knutmania" that spanned the globe and spawned toys, TV specials, books and DVDs.  Attendance at the Berlin Zoo soared.

    Anori's debut is already drawing big crowds.  Zoo officials said Anori is the newest ambassador for an endangered species that, wildlife

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  • Woman Files $1M Lawsuit Against Apple for Broken Nose

    The sleek, all-glass exteriors that distinguish Apple stores around the world have landed the computer giant in the headlines, and in court.

    New York grandmother Evelyn Paswall is suing the Calif.-based company for $1 million after she walked into the glass door at one of Apple's Long Island locations and broke her nose.  The 83-year-old was returning an iPhone at the company's Manhasset store on Dec. 13, 2011, when the injury occurred, according to the New York Post.

    Paswall's suit claims the company does not do enough to warn customers, particularly the elderly, about its stores' exteriors.

    "My client is an octogenarian. She sees well, but she did not see any glass," her attorney, Derek T. Smith, told the Post.

    "Apple wants to be cool and modern and have the type of architecture that would appeal to the tech crowd.  But on the other hand, they have to appreciate the danger that this high-tech modern architecture poses to some people," Smith said.

    The suit,

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