World War II Veteran Raises £18m For UK Health Workers

NHS staff hold up signs to thank British veteran Captain Tom Moore who raised over 13 million GBP for the NHS/AFP

 

A 99-year-old British World War II veteran who has become a global phenomenon for his fundraising efforts had on Friday raised over £18 million ($22 million, 20.3 million euros) for health workers fighting coronavirus.

Tom Moore, a captain who served in India, completed his target of 100 laps of his 25-metre (82-foot) garden, with the help of his walking frame, on Thursday but is still pacing his grounds as the funds continue to pour in.

Almost 900,000 people have now sponsored the veteran, who has provided a much-needed good news story to a public inundated with grim pandemic coverage, with politicians, royals and celebrities praising him as an “inspiration”.

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“Thank you so much for your INCREDIBLE support and generosity so far,” said the captain, who turns 100 at the end of the month, in his latest Twitter update.

Moore initially set himself the goal of raising £1,000 for a National Health Service (NHS) charity in time for his birthday, after receiving treatment for cancer and a broken hip.

But his efforts have made him a global star during a pandemic that has killed more than 140,000 people, including almost 14,000 in Britain alone.

“It’s incredible, it’s amazing,” Britain’s Prince William said of his achievement.

“He’s been around a long time, he knows everything, it’s wonderful that everyone has been inspired by his story and determination.”

– ‘Legend’ –
England football captain Harry Kane said Moore was “an inspiration… to the whole country”.

“Incredible effort by an amazing man to raise money for our NHS workers who are doing heroic work,” he wrote in a message retweeted by Moore.

Fellow sporting giant Lewis Hamilton offered his congratulations to the “legend”.

“I am blown away by his amazing achievement. Congratulations Captain Tom, we could all learn something from you!,” wrote the six-time Formula One champion.

The final lap of his garden in Bedfordshire, south England, was met with a guard of honour from the Yorkshire Regiment and broadcast live on British TV on Thursday.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested on Thursday that he was looking at ways to reward Moore.

“From his military contributions to his support for NHS staff, Tom has demonstrated a lifetime of bravery and compassion,” he said.

“The prime minister will certainly be looking at ways to recognise Tom for his heroic efforts.”

Johnson is currently off work recovering from coronavirus after being released on Sunday from a week-long stay in hospital.

99-Year-Old World War II Veteran Beats COVID-19 In Brazil

Brazilian 99-year-old former WWII combatant Ermando Armelino Piveta, gestures as leaves the Armed Forces Hospital in Brasilia, after being treated for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and discharged, on April 14, 2020. – Piveta was admitted to hospital on April 6 and treated at the hospital’s “COVID Ward”, reserved for positive cases of the disease. EVARISTO SA / AFP.

 

A 99-year-old World War II veteran in Brazil was released from hospital with military honors Tuesday after recovering from the coronavirus.

Second Lieutenant Ermando Piveta, who served in the Brazilian artillery in Africa during the Second World War, was brought out of Brasilia’s Armed Forces Hospital to trumpet music and applause.

Wearing an army-green side cap, he raised his arms in the air as he left after eight days as a patient.

“It was a tremendous fight for me, greater than in the war. In war, you kill or live. Here, you have to fight in order to live, and you leave this fight a winner,” said Piveta.

He served in the Brazilian fourth artillery regiment soon after the country entered the war on the side of the Allies, the army said.

Piveta returned home with his regiment to defend Brazil from an Axis invasion that never was.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Over Two Million Cases Recorded Globally

“He won another battle, this time against the new coronavirus,” the military said in a statement, adding Piveta was released on the 75th anniversary of Brazil’s successful campaign in Montese, Italy.

Piveta’s nation is the hardest-hit country in Latin America by the coronavirus pandemic with 1,532 deaths so far, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

AFP

World War II Plane Crashes In US Airport, Kills At Least Seven

In this file photo taken on July 30, 2013, a World War II-era B-17 Flying Fortress flies over the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture 2013 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

 

 

At least seven people were killed when a World War II bomber carrying 13 passengers and crew crashed at an airport in the northeastern US state of Connecticut Wednesday, local media reported.

The Boeing B-17 aircraft, which the US Air Force deployed against Germany and Japan, crashed at Bradley International Airport while trying to land around 10:00 am (1400 GMT).

Ten passengers and three crew were on the aircraft, which was operated by the Collings Foundation, a group catering to aviation buffs who pay to experience vintage planes, officials said.

James Rovella, a Connecticut state disaster emergency official, told a news conference that there had been fatalities but added it was too early to say the exact number.

“Burn victims are very difficult to identify. We don’t want to make a mistake,” he said.

A maintenance officer working on the ground was also injured, Rovella added.

Local media later cited officials as saying that the crash left at least seven dead and nine injured, including three people who were on the ground at the time.

Ten minutes after the flight took off at 9:45 am, the pilots radioed the control tower to say they were experiencing problems, said Kevin Dillon, director of the state’s airport authority.

“We could see they could not gain altitude. Upon touchdown they obviously lost control, struck our de-icing facility here as well as a maintenance facility,” he told reporters.

A spokesman for Hartford Hospital, situated 15 miles (25 kilometers) from the airport, told AFP the facility had received six patients, three of whom were critical.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

According to excerpts of a cockpit conversation reported by several news outlets, the pilot had asked the control tower for permission to land urgently because of an engine problem.

Photos circulating on social media and carried by US media outlets showed a thick black plume of smoke billowing from the crash site.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said the plane was one of only 18 B-17s left in the country, and that the crash might have implications for the flying of vintage aircraft.

“If there were defects or improper maintenance as a cause, it is a very strong red flashing light for others who are flying these planes,” he said.

The airport was closed for several hours before later reopening.

Unexploded World War II Bomb Discovered In Russia

FILES) This file photo taken on July 09, 2018 shows the Kremlin in Moscow. An unexploded World War II aviation bomb was found on the territory of the Kremlin in Moscow during construction works on August 15, 2019, Russian news agencies reported. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

 

An unexploded World War II bomb was found in the grounds of the Kremlin in Moscow during construction works on Thursday, Russian news agencies reported. 

“As you know, between 1941 and 1942 the Kremlin was bombed,” Sergei Khlebnikov, the commandant of the Kremlin, told the Ria Novosti agency.

“During construction work, an aviation bomb was found,” he said.

The bomb was taken out of the Kremlin complex and will be liquidated, he said.

“All measures ensuring the Kremlin’s security have been completed,” he added.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman also assured the media that the bomb didn’t disrupt the Russian leader’s schedule.

The Kremlin is one of the oldest medieval fortresses in Europe, having served as the seat of tsars, Soviet leaders and now Russian presidents, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Nazi Germany’s 1941 invasion of the then Soviet Union led to brutal fighting and sieges of Russian cities.

The Kremlin was a primary target for Nazi bombers during the Battle for Moscow when Hitler launched air raids on the city.

The roof of one of its palaces was badly damaged during the raids.

AFP

Twenty Dead As Vintage World War II Plane Crashes In Switzerland

This picture taken by the Grisons Cantonal Police (Police Cantonale des Grisons) on August 5, 2018, shows the wreckage of a Junkers JU52 aircraft in Flims, after it crashed into Piz Segnas, a 3,000-metre (10,000-foot) peak in eastern Switzerland on August 4. PHOTO: Police Cantonale des Grisons / AFP

 

Twenty people died after a vintage World War II aircraft crashed into a Swiss mountainside at the weekend, police said on Sunday.

“The police have the sad certainty that the 20 people aboard perished,” police spokeswoman Anita Senti told a news conference.

There were 11 men and nine women aboard, including an Austrian couple and their son, she said.

The Junker JU52 HB-HOT aircraft, built in Germany in 1939 and now a collectors’ item, crashed into Piz Segnas, a 3,000-metre (10,000-foot) peak in the east of the country on Saturday.

The crash occurred at 2,540 metres on the mountain’s western flank, Senti said.

According to German-language newspaper Blick, the flight had taken off from Ticino in the south of the country and had been due to land at the Duebendorf military airfield near Zurich on Saturday afternoon.

The 20 minutes newspaper quoted a witness who was on the mountainside at the time of the crash.

“The plane turned 180 degrees to the south and fell to the ground like a stone,” the witness said, adding that the debris was scattered over “a very small area,” indicating an explosion was unlikely to have been the cause of the crash.

Police said earlier that five helicopters were involved in a search and rescue mission and the airspace over the crash site was to remain closed until late Sunday.

The aircraft belongs to JU-Air, a company with links to the Swiss air force, the ATS news agency reported.

JU-Air said on its website that it was “deeply saddened” and its “thoughts were with the passengers, the crew and families and friends of the victims”.

The company’s flight operations were suspended, it said.

JU-Air says it runs a small fleet of four Junker planes, all built in 1939, which are for hire. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all of them volunteers.

On its website, JU-Air mentions one past accident, in 1987, at the Koblenz airport in Germany in which no one was hurt.

In another Swiss plane crash on Saturday, a tourist plane carrying a couple and two young children crashed in a forest in the Nidwald canton and immediately burst into flames. No survivors have been found.

AFP

World War II Bomb Defused After Mass Evacuation

German explosives experts defused a massive World War Two bomb in the financial capital of Frankfurt on Sunday (September 3) after tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes.

The compulsory evacuation of 60,000 people was Germany’s biggest such manoeuvre since the war, with more than a thousand emergency service workers helping to clear the area around the bomb, which was discovered on a building site last week.

The evacuation area included two hospitals, care homes, the Opera House and Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, where $70 billion in gold reserves are stored underground. Police maintained security at the building.

The all-day effort took longer than planned but officials expressed relief that the process had been successful.

The work by bomb technicians started later than scheduled because some residents refused to leave the evacuation area despite fire chiefs warning that an uncontrolled explosion would be big enough to flatten a city block.

More than 2,000 tonnes of live bombs and munitions are discovered each year in Germany, more than 70 years after the end of the war. British and American warplanes pummelled the country with 1.5 million tonnes of bombs that killed 600,000 people.

Officials estimate that 15 percent of the bombs failed to explode, some burrowing six metres (20 feet) deep.

Three police explosives experts in Goettingen were killed in 2010 while preparing to defuse a 1,000 lb (450 kg) bomb.

Bosnia Marks 20th Anniversary Of Srebrenica Massacre

SrebrenicaThousands have gathered at a graveyard in Bosnia-Herzegovina to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.

Bosnia commemorates Saturday, July 11, the 20th anniversary of the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica.

Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic , whose country backed the Bosnian Serbs – was chased away from the ceremony by a crowd throwing stones.

On Wednesday, Russia vetoed a UN resolution calling the events ‘genocide’ – a term that angers Serbia.

The Bosnian War saw Bosnian Serb forces, backed by Serbia, fighting the Muslim-led Bosnian government.

Thousands of Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb forces after they captured Srebrenica in July 1995 near the end of Bosnia’s inter-ethnic war, in the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II.

Some 50,000 people, as well as dignitaries from across Bosnia and abroad, were expected to be present at the ceremony marking two decades since the massacre and a day of mourning will be observed throughout the Balkan country.

International officials due to attend include: European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini and Bill Clinton, the US President at the time, whose administration brokered the Dayton peace deal that ended Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war only a few months after the Srebrenica slaughter.

Clinton also attended the massacre’s 10th anniversary.

Serbia, which backed Bosnian Serbs during and after the war that claimed some 100,000 lives, will be represented by its Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, a former ultranationalist-turned-pro-European.

Serbian and Bosnian Serb politicians have long denied the scale of the killing in Srebrenica. Although, two international tribunals have described the bloodshed as genocide.

Live World War II bomb found in southern France

French officials evacuated 1,500 residents from their homes in Marseille, in the south of France, on Sunday after discovering a live bomb that was placed there by Germans during World War II.

The bomb which was wrapped with a cable and pillows to absorb any potential shock, was discovered by builders working on a retirement home construction site and was gently lifted for fear that it might explode.

The bomb, which took up the better part of a moving truck, has been transported to Canjuers military camp, where it will be destroyed.