A January 2014 NEWS BRIEFS
France OKs armed guards onboard; fires destroy yachts NEWS BRIEFS, from page A5 said it’s the first time the disease has been reported among non-travelers in the Western Hemisphere. Before the current outbreak in the Caribbean, the chikungunya virus was found only in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and southern Europe. The mosquito-borne illness can cause fever, joint pains, a rash, muscle aches and headaches. Symptoms usually goes away after a few days, but sometimes the joint pain can last for weeks, even months. The muscle and joint pain are infamous and give the disease its name. Chikungunya roughly translates to “that which bends up” in the African Makonde language, describing the stooped posture of a person infected with the virus. There are no treatments or vaccines, but fatalities are rare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. And once you’ve been infected, you’re likely to have lifelong immunity. The only way to prevent it is to stay away from its source, the Aedes mosquitoes (which prefer warm, tropical climates) and the now Asian tiger mosquito (which can tolerate more temperate environments and thrives as far north as Chicago).
Britain, Germany and the United States allow armed security teams on vessels sailing under their flags. While it has become standard for ships to have defenses against piracy, there are still no industry guidelines or even agreement among countries on the use of lethal force by anti-piracy teams, whether military or private.
Fire in Australia destroys three
At least three yachts were destroyed after an explosion and fire on Dec. 4 at a marina in Sydney’s inner west, according to news reports. Police told ABC News that the fire began just before 3 a.m. local time at the d’Albora Marina in Cabarita. ABC News is the country’s public broadcasting network. More than 30 firefighters fought the fire, but two of the yachts sank. Police told ABC they are treating the fire as suspicious.
Apprentice school opens
Virginia-based Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) has officially opened its new Apprentice School, located at 3101 Washington Ave. in downtown Newport News.
Yacht chef stabbed in Phuket
Dittachat Insom, whom Phuket media say worked as a cook on a private yacht, was found alongside a road on Dec. 16 with a single stab wound to his chest. Police said they had no obvious motive for the killing, according to a story in Phuket Wan Tourism News (phuketwan.com). Dittachat, 41, lived in Patong and traveled to work – most likely at Yacht Haven, the news source reported – on most days, relatives told police. The name of the yacht was not disclosed.
France OKs armed guards
The government of France says it will allow private armed guards to protect its shipping fleet against pirate attacks. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said armed private security teams would put the French fleet on par with European competitors who have already taken similar measures. “We will allow recourse to private teams capable of complementing the navy’s missions,” Ayrault told a journalist for the French newspaper Ouest France. “There has been a strong appeal from shipowners and we have heard it.” A French government official made clear that the private security agents would be allowed to carry weapons.
This 2,300-pound sculpture adorns the entrance to the new school in PHOTO/RICKY THOMPSON Virginia. The 90,000-square-foot building triples the school’s instructional space with facilities that include eight computer labs, two video teleconferencing classrooms, a physics lab and a 600-seat gymnasium. The school currently accommodates about 850 apprentices and provides office and workspace for faculty, adjunct faculty and staff. In addition to the school, the project includes workforce housing, retail space and a parking garage. The Apprentice School accepts about 250 apprentices a year and offers four- to eight-year, tuition-free
See NEWS BRIEFS, page A7