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American luger Emily Sweeney silences Winter Olympics crowd with horrific crash

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American luger Emily Sweeney appeared to have a strong start in the final heat of her competition, but as she rounded Curve 9, the track’s most treacherous spot, she lost control.

Sweeney’s sled began careening all over the track and she wound up sliding feet-first up one curve toward the track roof before getting thrown and eventually tumbling to a stop.

The raucous crowd went silent as Sweeney was slow to get up.

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Luge - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Singles competition - Olympic Sliding Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 13, 2018 - Emily Sweeney of the U.S. walks after crashing. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann - DEVEE2D0Z2RYJ

It took several minutes for Emily Sweeney to get to her feet after the crash.

 (Reuters)

It took several minutes for Sweeney to get to her feet, then several more before she could finally start a slow walk to the finish area — surrounded by team and on-site medical personnel.

The team doctor said Sweeney, 24, suffered bumps and bruises and no broken bones. She was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

“I’m OK,” she told reporters in the mixed zone.

Sue Sweeney, center, the mother of Emily Sweeney of the United States, cries out as her daughter crashes on the final run during the women's luge final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Sue Sweeney, center, the mother of Emily Sweeney of the United States, cries out as her daughter crashes on the final run during the women’s luge final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

 (AP)

“I’m very sore and pretty stiff,” Sweeney told NBC. “I’m going to get an X-ray on my back after this, but I wanted to have the last word. So thanks for all the support, you guys. It’s a bummer, for sure, and I know that I’m better than that. But here were are. It happens.”

This was the first Olympics for Sweeney, who missed out on a spot in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Sweeney, who is also a member of the National Guard, also missed a spot in the 2010 Winter Olympics after losing a special race-off to her big sister, Megan Sweeney.

Luge - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Singles competition - Olympic Sliding Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 13, 2018 - Emily Sweeney of the U.S. reacts after crashing. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann - DEVEE2D0YOLVL

Emily Sweeney said she was “fine” after the crash. She was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure.

 (Reuters)

Curve 9 has been a problem for sliders throughout the early portion of the Olympics, causing many to skid, lose control and lose some time. Crashes, however, have not come as often as they did in the 2006 and 2010 Games, both of which left athletes openly complaining about track safety.

“I’ve never been so relieved than when I saw her getting up and walking,” said American teammate Summer Britcher, who was choking back tears.

Later in the final run, Britcher lost control at the start and collided with a few walls — but got down the track without crashing or sustaining serious injury.

Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger won gold and American Erin Hamlin finished sixth.

The Associated Press contributed to this reported.

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang



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Perseverance: NASA’s rover takes 11 million earthling names to Mars | World News

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Nearly 11 million people landed on Mars last week – even if it was just in names only.

When NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down on the red planet, it did so bearing three silicon chips.

Upon these small pieces of silicon – each one no larger than a fingernail – millions of names were etched with an electron beam.

The plate bearing the names of 11 million people can be seen, circled, as Perseverance heads towards the surface of Mars. Pic: NASA
Image:
The plate bearing the names of 11 million people can be seen, circled, as Perseverance heads towards the surface of Mars. Pic: NASA

The beam allows for the writing to be less than one micron across – much less than the width of a human hair.

In total, 10,932,295 people from around 250 countries and territories had their names travel the 300 million miles through the solar system aboard the rover.

And 284,350 of those were people in the UK, with participating countries stretching from the United States to Niue as part of the “Send Your Name To Mars” project.

More from Mars Perseverance Rover

The silicon chips were attached to a plate on one of Perseverance’s central beams, ensuring the camera on the rover could see them.

A virtual boarding pass was also sent to those who signed up for the scheme.

The plate on which the names are carried can be seen on the red planet. Pic: NASA
Image:
The plate on which the names are carried can be seen on the red planet. Pic: NASA

The previous NASA landing on Mars was InSight in November 2018 – this craft had 2,429,807 earthling names on it.

Meanwhile, 7,289,416 people have already signed up to have their names transported across the cosmos on the agency’s next mission to the red planet.

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Indonesia: Six killed and one missing after illegal gold mine collapses | UK News

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Six people have been killed after an illegal gold mine in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island collapsed on nearly two dozen people working inside.

One other worker is missing following the incident, officials said on Thursday.

An estimated 22 people became trapped in the rubble when the mine in Central Sulawesi province’s Parigi Moutong district collapsed late on Wednesday due to unstable soil, according to Andrias Hendrik Johannes, who heads the local search and rescue agency.

The bodies of four women and two men were recovered during a gruelling search effort through the night.

Rescuers were also able to pull 15 survivors from the debris.

Police, emergency personnel, soldiers and volunteers have been trying to locate one worker who is still missing.

However, their efforts were hampered by the remote location of the mine and the unstable soil that risked further slides.

Video from the scene showed rescuers struggling to bring out a body bag from an inundated ravine.

Illegal or informal mining operations are commonplace in Indonesia, but put workers in conditions with a high risk of serious injury or death.

Landslides, flooding and collapses of tunnels are just some of the hazards putting labourers’ lives at risk.

Meanwhile, much of the processing of gold ore involves use of highly toxic mercury and cyanide by workers using little or no protection.

Indonesia accounts for about 3% of the world’s gold production – most of that coming from the Grasberg mine in Papua province, said to have $40bn (£28bn) in reserves and up to 20,000 workers.

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German man charged with spying after ‘passing parliament floor plans to Russia’ | World News

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A German man has been charged with espionage for allegedly passing information on properties used by the German parliament to Russian military intelligence, prosecutors have said.

Identified only as Jens F in line with German privacy rules, the suspect worked for a company that had been repeatedly contracted to check portable electrical appliances by the Bundestag – the lower house of parliament.

Federal prosecutors said he had access to PDF files with floor plans of the properties involved.

The Bundestag is based in the Reichstag building, a Berlin landmark, but also uses several other sites.

At some point before early September 2017, the suspect “decided of his own accord” to give information on the properties to Russian intelligence, the prosecutors said.

They allege he sent the PDF files to an employee of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, who was an officer with Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency.

In October, the European Union imposed sanctions on two Russian officials and part of the GRU agency over a cyberattack against the German parliament in 2015.

Additionally, a Russian man accused of killing a Georgian man in downtown Berlin on Moscow’s orders in 2019 is on trial in Berlin.

And last year’s poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was flown to Germany for treatment and then arrested immediately on his return to Russia, has added another layer to tensions.

Alexei Navalny in court. Pic: AP
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Alexei Navalny was arrested immediately on his return to Russia. Pic: AP

Mr Navalny became ill during a domestic flight in Russia on 20 August last year.

After tests by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed the nerve agent novichok was used in the poisoning, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov accused Germany of “not planning to provide any facts, despite all international and legal obligations”.

Six members of the Russian government were handed EU and UK travel bans and asset freezes following the incident.

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