Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 10th 2013 Contents A23
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The father of National Security
Agency leaker Edward Snowden
has applied for a travel visa to
Russia and hopes to be able to
visit his son as soon as next
week. Lon Snowden, of
Allentown, Pa, has said he's been
unable to speak directly to his
son since Edward Snowden
publicly disclosed details of NSA's
surveillance programs and
received asylum in Russia. Mattie
Fein, a spokeswoman for Lon
Snowden's lawyer, Bruce Fein, said
Friday that both have applied for
travel visas and hope to fly to
Russia as soon as possible, maybe
by next week. Fein says the elder
Snowden wants to ensure that
his son understands his legal
situation in the US, where he has
been charged in federal court in
Alexandria, Va, with violations of
the Espionage Act.
Snowden's father seeks travel visa to Russia
Oprah Winfrey says she had
a racist encounter while shop-
ping in Switzerland---and the
national tourist office and the
shop owner have apologised.
The billionaire media mogul
told the US programme "Enter-
tainment Tonight" that a shop
assistant in Zurich refused to
show her a black handbag priced
at $38,000 because "you will
not be able to afford that."
Forbes magazine estimates
that Winfrey earned $77 million
in the year ending in June.
Winfrey was in town to attend
last month s wedding of her
longtime pal Tina Turner, who
lives in a chateau along Lake
"We are very sorry for what
happened to her, of course,
because we think all of our
guests and clients should be
treated respectfully, in a profes-
sional way," Daniela Baer, a
spokeswoman for the Swiss
tourism office, told The Asso-
ciated Press on Friday.
The tourism office also posted
an apology on Twitter, saying
"this person acted terribly
wrong." Shop owner Trudie
Goetz told the BBC that an
assistant had shown Winfrey
several other items before the
"misunderstanding" over the
bag, which was kept behind a
screen. The Blick newspaper
quoted Goetz as saying the bag
was priced at 35,000 Swiss
She also told Blick that she
was "truly sorry" because her
staff are well-trained to treat
"I have to admit that the
employee is Italian. Of course,
she speaks English, but not as
well as her mother tongue,"
Goetz was quoted as saying. "It
was a real misunderstanding."
Winfrey was involved in
another retail rebuff in Paris in
2005, when she was turned
away from a Hermes boutique
15 minutes after closing time.
The store said it was closed
for a private public relations
A Hermes executive appeared
on her talk show to apologise
for the "rigid and rude" behav-
iour of the employee.
Winfrey complimented Her-
mes on its handling of the inci-
dent---including sensitivity train-
ing for employees---and urged
viewers to continue to buy the
company s products.
Oprah gets Swiss apologies
for 'racist' encounter
Sixteen workers from a county garage in a New
Jersey coastal community hit hard by Superstorm
Sandy have one of the three winning tickets in
the $448 million Powerball jackpot, officials in
Ocean County said.
A Minnesota man claimed his third of Wednes-
day s jackpot. The holder of the third winning
ticket, also from New Jersey, has not come forward
yet.Ocean County spokeswoman Donna Flynn said
the government has been informed that 16 workers
in the county s vehicle service department are hold-
ing one of the winning tickets. She said they all
showed up to work Thursday and some were in
Friday morning, too.
"They re asking for their privacy now," she said.
Jim Pine, director of the Ocean County Vehicle
Maintenance Department, declined to disclose any
details about the winners, saying he assured them
he would respect their privacy.
State lottery officials did not immediately return
a message Friday morning seeking comment.
In Minnesota, Paul White wasted no time before
revealing his good fortune to the world Thursday
and saying he had "been waiting for this day my
White, 45, a project engineer from Ham Lake,
said his family often gave him a hard time for fre-
quently playing the lottery, and he had a tough
time convincing many of them that he had finally
"The only person who didn t feel I was BSing
them was my mother," a beaming White said at
a news conference where he was joined by his girl-
friend, brother and two colleagues.
White said he ll take a lump sum, which will
amount to $58.3 million after taxes. Despite the
minuscule odds of a jackpot win, White said he
often daydreamed about how he d spend his win-
nings if he won.
"I ve totally been waiting for this day my entire
life," he said, lamenting that he has to wait two
weeks for his money. "Start the clock right now,"
he said, eliciting laughs.
The New Jersey ticket sold to the county workers
came from an Acme Markets store in a Little Egg
Harbor, which was hit hard by Sandy last year.
Phil Weber, the supermarket s director, said
Thursday that the store would donate $10,000 in
gift cards to local charities.
Weber said some of the store s employees are
still out of their homes more than nine months
after the storm.
The store itself has been making donations since
Sandy, Weber said.
The third ticket was sold in a Super Stop & Shop
store in South Brunswick in central New Jersey.
The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night
were 5, 25, 30, 58, 59 and Powerball 32. Each winning
ticket was worth $86 million before taxes, or $58.3
million after taxes, if taken in a lump sum. They
are worth $149.4 million over 30 years if the winners
choose the annuity option.
16 NJ garage workers have
$448M Powerball ticket
Susana Medrano stood in her
front yard, mesmerised by the
orange and red flames creeping
along the wind-swept moun-
tain ridge behind her home,
and struggled to leave.
Her children sat in the back
of her pickup after grabbing the
new clothes and backpacks they
had bought for the school year,
which starts next week. Now
they were wondering whether
they would have a place to live.
"It s hard because we don t
know what s going to happen,"
the mother of four said Thurs-
day, her eyes tearing up as she
prepared to stay with family
down the road in San Bernardi-
no. "I ve never seen the fire so
close to my home."
The wildfire burning in a
rugged Southern California
mountain range since Wednes-
day had already destroyed 26
homes and was threatening
more than 500 other residences,
forcing some 1,800 people to
flee. One man suffered serious
burns and five firefighters were
injured, including two from heat
More than 1,400 firefighters
and nine helicopters battled the
flames as they pushed eastward
along the San Jacinto Mountains,
a desert range 90 miles east of
The wind-whipped blaze was
getting bigger and heading
toward the desert town of
Cabazon, said Cal Fire Riverside
Chief John R Hawkins.
The fire was estimated at
nearly 22 square miles Thursday
with 20 per cent containment,
but the direction could change
in the area, which is known as
a wind tunnel. Evacuation orders
were issued in five towns,
including parts of Cabazon.
"The conditions at the front
right now are very dangerous,"
Hawkins said. Authorities still
have not determined what
caused the fire. Medrano was
among scores of residents in
Cabazon who were evacuated
in the pre-dawn hours Thursday
and returned after sunrise to
pack up more belongings and
watch the flickering line of fire
snaking along the brown, scrub-
by mountains. It was the second
major wildfire in the San Jacinto
Mountains this summer. A blaze
that erupted in mid-July spread
over 43 square miles on peaks
above Palm Springs, burned
seven homes and forced 6,000
people out of Idyllwild and
The latest fire also burned in
the footprint of the notorious
Esperanza Fire, a 2006, wind-
driven inferno that overran a US
Forest Service engine crew. All
five crew members died. A man
was convicted of setting the fire
and sentenced to death.
A different blaze, a 60-acre
wildfire, forced evacuations of
about 75 homes Thursday near
Wrightwood, a community in
the San Gabriel Mountains pop-
ular with skiers located about
40 miles northeast of downtown
Firemen battle Southern California blaze
A firefighter works the front lines as fire spreads to the foothills
in Cabazon, California.
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