Lots of news, lots of news... An Air France plane crash landed at Pearson International Airport in the Greater Toronto Area. Miraculously all 300 or so passengers and crew on board were all able to escape the plane after it skidded past the end of the runway into a ravine near the 401 (the busiest highway in the country), the tail and wings fell apart, and it burst into flames. Some passengers were injured but everyone survived. The black box has since been recovered and sent to France for analysis. The mangled remains of the hull can still be seen from the highway. And when the plane was actually burning, traffic cameras were broadcasting images of the towering flames and plumes of smoke. Motorists on the 401 actually helped bring passengers to the airport after they escaped the plane and started walking around, dazed, on the side of the highway. News of the spectacular escape and fiery crash has made headlines around the world, particularly since the Airbus model involved has never crash landed before. There was, however, a very serious thunderstorm, with reasonably sized hail pellets, affecting the region at the time.
George Bush has also raised some controversy by appointing John Bolton as the new US Ambassador to the UN. Bush used something called a recess appointment which allows the President to make appointments while the Senate is in recess, which it is for the month of August.1
Many Democrats protested the move since Bolton had been rejected twice by the Senate when his nomination was filibustered each time it came up. Because it was a recess appointment, Bolton can only keep the position until a new Senate is formed in early 2007. Bolton wasted no time in laying in to Iran and Syria after his first vote on the Security Council.
The Chinese mission to the UN and Bolton representing the US have agreed to block any extension of the Security Council permanent seats. The US wanted to see an extension including its ally Japan, but wanted it limited to only 2 or 3 seats. China agreed with the extension of 5 seats but does not want Japan to have a permanent seat on the council. So the US and China, both veto wielding members, will block any extension of the permanent seats.
Finally Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, terrorist mastermind and number 2 man in Al Qaeda released a videotaped statement today. He was blaming Blair for the terrorist attacks ravaged upon the London public transit system. al-Zawahiri mentioned bin Laden in his statement but he was nowhere to be seen. And al-Zawahiri was in front of a plain tarp, unfortunately giving no indication of where he might be hiding. He also mentioned that attacks will continue on western targets. The video was shown first on Al Jazeera.