Voice

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did something extraordinary on Wednesday.

He spoke.

Appearing before the Supreme Court is rather like meeting your spouse’s family for the first time. The questions are relentless, probing and impolite. One hundred questions over the course of an hour-long argument is typical. Attorneys arguing cases can expect an interruption from a justice just moments into their presentation, and it is not unusual for the justices to interrupt one another.

Yet Thomas is generally an observer at the blood sport that is oral argument. Since taking the bench in 1991, he has rarely asked questions of the attorneys arguing before the Court. His silent stretches run so long (he did not ask one question from 2006 to 2016) that the very fact of his speaking is a news event.

The questions he asked Wednesday, in a dispute concerning racism in jury selection, were his first questions in almost three years and his second intervention this decade.

Thomas is alone in this approach to argument among his colleagues. His silence draws curiosity and ire in equal measure, particularly since he is widely regarded as the most gregarious of the justices.

Scholarly treatment of Thomas’s silence is similarly mixed. One 2017 journal article in the Northwestern University Law Review from Professors RonNell Andersen Jones and Aaron Nielson compiled and reviewed every question Thomas has ever asked during oral argument, encompassing his service on the Supreme Court and his prior work on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Jones and Nielson concluded that Thomas is an adept questioner who should intercede more often.

“Reviewing these questions demonstrates that although Thomas has not frequently spoken, when he has posed questions, they have been thoughtful, useful, respectful, and beneficial to his colleagues of whatever ideological stripe,” the study reads.

Jones and Nielson noted Thomas’s questions focus intensely on the text of the law. Following the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, they suggest oral arguments would benefit from a questioner with Thomas’s “laser-like focus on the text.”

“Putting aside the merits of textualism as an ending point, or even as a starting point, in statutory interpretation, the merits of having an active voice in oral argument that demands investigation of and discussion about the statutory language seem incontrovertible,” they write.

“With Justice Antonin Scalia’s departure from the Supreme Court, the need for a justice to ask these sorts of questions is obvious,” they add.

When Thomas does ask questions, Jones and Neilson say, they tend to come near the end of the argument. His Wednesday inquiries came during a brief rebuttal period, only after the attorney asked if there were any remaining questions. The justice himself speculated that his delicate approach to questioning is a function of his southern pedigree during an event at the University of Kentucky in April 2012.

“Maybe it’s the southerner in me,” Thomas wondered. “Maybe it’s the introvert in me, I don’t know. I think that when somebody’s talking, somebody ought to listen.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, at center, awaits the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush's casket at the Capitol Rotunda on December 3, 2018 (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Justice Clarence Thomas, at center, awaits the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush’s casket at the Capitol Rotunda on December 3, 2018 (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Others are more harsh in their appraisal of Thomas’s silence. Writing in the Florida Law Review in 2009, David Karp argued Thomas’s approach to oral argument is ultimately self-defeating. (RELATED: Clarence Thomas Clerks Dominate Trump’s Judicial Appointments)

Perhaps more than any other justice in modern history, Thomas is intensely interested in course correction. He does not believe the Court ought to abide by cases which offend his vision of the Constitution, and he regularly invites litigants to bring challenges to foundational decisions he believes are wrong. In February alone he released opinions criticizing and New York Times v. Sullivan (a landmark freedom of the press case), Gideon v. Wainwright (establishing a right to counsel for indigent defendants) and Roe v. Wade.

Thomas is a prolific opinion writer who has pressed his judicial philosophy over dozens of lone dissents and concurring opinions. Karp says Thomas could better advance his own views and enrich the Court’s internal debate by contributing to oral arguments.

“Through his silence, Justice Thomas not only evades the deliberative process, but he also diminishes his own influence,” Karp wrote. “Justice Thomas’s silence allows advocates to ignore him and his views.”

“Because of his willingness to rethink the constitutional order, Justice Thomas would force the Court to reconsider basic premises,” Karp added.

Karp believes the role of oral argument in the deliberative process makes Thomas’s silence especially strange. The justice told Newsweek in 2007 that his views on a given case are well-developed by oral argument. Before arguments he reads legal briefs from both sides, additional filings from interested parties, the decisions below, the record of facts, and discusses his thoughts with his law clerks. As such, in Thomas’s view, the argument is not especially important to the disposition of a case.

But Karp is skeptical of that perspective, arguing that it is unbelievable that even the most gifted jurist could approach the complex work of the Supreme Court without questions.

“It seems unbelievable that Justice Thomas genuinely has no questions to ask about any of the nation’s most difficult cases,” Karp wrote. “Even the most learned judge with well-developed outlooks on the law should have questions.”

The Supreme Court will hear cases through Wednesday touching partisan gerrymandering and the power of federal agencies.

Sarah George and Paul Ingrassia contributed research. 

Follow Kevin on Twitter

Send tips to [email protected]dailycallernewsfoundation.org

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

The logo of Apple company is seen outside an Apple store in Bordeaux
The logo of Apple company is seen outside an Apple store in Bordeaux, France, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

March 22, 2019

(Reuters) – Apple Inc is expected to unveil a new video streaming service and a news subscription platform at an event on Monday at its California headquarters.

The iPhone maker is banking on growing its services business to offset a dip in smartphone sales.

While the Wall Street Journal plans to join Apple’s new subscription news service, other major publishers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, have declined, according to a New York Times report.

Apple has also partnered with Hollywood celebrities to make a streaming debut with a slate of original content, taking a page out of Netflix Inc’s playbook.

Below are some of the shows, curated from media reports and Apple’s own announcements, which are part of the iPhone maker’s content library.

SHOWS CONFIRMED BY APPLE:

** UNTITLED DRAMA SERIES WITH REESE WITHERSPOON AND JENNIFER ANISTON

Two seasons of a drama series starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston that looks at the lives of people working on a morning television show.

** REVIVAL OF STEVEN SPIELBERG’S 1985 “AMAZING STORIES”

The tech giant has also struck a deal with director Steven Spielberg to make new episodes of “Amazing Stories,” a science fiction and horror anthology series that ran on NBC in the 1980s.

** A NEW THRILLER BY M NIGHT SHYAMALAN

Plot of the story has not been disclosed.

** “ARE YOU SLEEPING?” – A MYSTERY SERIES

A drama featuring Octavia Spencer, based on a crime novel by Kathleen Barber.

** AN ANTHOLOGY SERIES CALLED “LITTLE AMERICA”

Focuses on stories of immigrants coming to the United States.

** AN ANIMATED CARTOON MUSICAL CALLED “CENTRAL PARK”

The animated musical comedy is about a family of caretakers who end up saving the park and the world.

** “DICKINSON”, AN EMILY DICKINSON COMEDY

A half-hour comedy series that is set during American poet Emily Dickinson’s era with a modern sensibility and tone.

** OPRAH WINFREY PARTNERSHIP

Apple in June last year announced a multi-year deal with Oprah Winfrey to create original programming.

SHOWS REPORTED BY MEDIA:

** TIME BANDITS – A FANTASY SERIES

The potential series is an adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s 1981 fantasy film of the same name, about a young boy who joins a group of renegade time-traveling dwarves, Deadline reported.

https://bit.ly/2FsYJgK

** UNTITLED “CAPTAIN MARVEL” STAR BRIE LARSON’S CIA PROJECT

The new series looks at a young woman’s journey in the CIA, reported Variety.

https://bit.ly/2H3ymAi

** DEFENDING JACOB – STARRING CAPTAIN AMERICA CHRIS EVANS

This limited series is based on the novel of the same name and is about an assistant district attorney, who is investigating the murder of a 14-year-old boy, according to Deadline.

https://bit.ly/2U84w3u

** “FOR ALL MANKIND” – A SCI-FI SERIES

A space drama from producer Ronald Moore, according to Deadline.

https://bit.ly/2uqPWWg

** MY GLORY WAS I HAD SUCH FRIENDS

A series featuring Jennifer Garner is based on the 2017 memoir of the same name by Amy Silverstein, reported Variety.

https://bit.ly/2Cy7UuO

** “SEE” – A FANTASY EPIC STARRING JASON MOMOA

The show poses the question about the fate of humanity if everyone lost their sight, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2TUETns

** FOUNDATION – A SCI-FI ADAPTATION

An adaptation of the iconic novel series from famed sci-fi author Isaac Asimov, Deadline reported. The book series follows a mathematician who predicts the collapse of humanity.

http://bit.ly/2CvAMUs

** A COMEDY SHOW BY ROB MCELHENNEY AND CHARLIE DAY

The sitcom comedy based on the lives of a diverse group of people who work together in a video game development studio, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2nqzy4V

** AN UNSCRIPTED SERIES “HOME” FROM THE DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER MATT TYRNAUER

The series will offer viewers a never-before-seen look inside the world’s most extraordinary homes and feature interviews with people who built them, according to Variety.

https://bit.ly/2JwmyIF

** UNTITLED RICHARD GERE SERIES

Based on an Israeli series Nevelot, the show is about two elderly Vietnam vets whose lives are changed when a woman they both love is killed in a car accident, Deadline reported.

http://bit.ly/2uksSsu

** J.J. ABRAMS-PRODUCED LITTLE VOICE

Singer and actress Sara Bareilles is writing the music and could possibly star in the J.J. Abrams-produced half-hour show, which explores the journey of finding one’s authentic voice in early 20s, according to Variety.

http://bit.ly/2TPSf4y

** THE PEANUTS GANG

Apple has acquired the rights to the famous characters and the first series will be a science and math oriented short featuring Snoopy as an astronaut, according to Hollywood Reporter.

http://bit.ly/2YdMagM

** ON THE ROCKS

A feature film, directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Bill Murray, is about a young mother who reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2Hf1Pb9

** LOSING EARTH

Apple has acquired the rights to a TV series based on Nathaniel Rich’s 70-page New York Times Magazine story “Losing Earth”, New York Times reported.

** THE ELEPHANT QUEEN

Apple has acquired the rights to Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s documentary The Elephant Queen, Deadline reported.

http://bit.ly/2HJR53k

** WOLFWALKERS

An Irish animation about a young hunter who comes to Ireland with her father to destroy a pack of evil wolves, but instead befriends a wild native girl who runs with them, first reported by Bloomberg.

https://bloom.bg/2JztBR5

** PACHINKO

Apple has secured the rights to develop Min Jin Lee’s best-selling novel, about four generations of a Korean immigrant family, into a series, reported Variety.

http://bit.ly/2FtEIXJ

** CALLS

Apple has bought the rights to make an English-language version of the French original short-form series, according to Variety.

http://bit.ly/2UQCabd

** SHANTARAM

Apple has won the rights to develop the hit novel Shantaram as a drama series, reported Variety.

https://bit.ly/2CAuG5c

** SWAGGER, A DRAMA SERIES BASED ON KEVIN DURANT

A drama series based on the early life and career of NBA superstar Kevin Durant, according to Variety.

https://bit.ly/2RFePbl

** YOU THINK IT, I’LL SAY IT

Apple has ordered a 10-episode, half-hour run of the comedy show, which is an adaptation of Curtis Sittenfeld’s short story collection by the same name, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2HzZt63

** WHIPLASH DIRECTOR DAMIEN CHAZELLE DRAMA SERIES

According to Variety, Apple has ordered a whole season of a series without first shooting a pilot, but no other details are known about the show.

http://bit.ly/2Fkfd9Q

** Apple may offer cut-priced bundles with video offering – The Information reported http://bit.ly/2HzcSLW on Thursday.

(Reporting by Sonam Rai and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru)

Source: OANN

Adelle Nazarian | Contributor

We all support First Lady Melania Trump’s efforts to highlight education, values and the end of cyber-bullying. Through her “Be Best” campaign, the first lady has been a strong, consistent voice in support of our children. Unfortunately, her recent visit to the “Dove School of Discovery” in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has shed light on another important issue facing our nation.

Unbeknownst to the first lady, Dove is one of many charter schools in the United States linked to the “FETO” movement headed by Fetullah Gulen. Gulen lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. With one hand — according to the Turkish government — Gulen directs attacks that have killed hundreds of innocent Turks. On the other hand, Gulen-linked schools receive taxpayer funding.

A 2017 CBS News report revealed that FETO operates about 136 charter schools in 28 states and that since 2010, those schools have received over $2.1 billion in taxpayer dollars. That amount is growing well over $750 million dollars every year. And while the schools paint a beautiful picture of educational discovery and opportunity, most Americans have not seen what else their tax dollars underwrite.

On July 15, 2016, U.S. citizens and the rest of the world saw precisely what that tuition money helps to fund.

On that day, Gulen followers in Turkey undertook a savage coup attempt that killed almost 300 innocent Turkish citizens. The Gulenists hijacked NATO jets and used NATO aircraft to strafe the Turkish Parliament with members of all political parties — majority and minority parties — inside. Gulen’s followers also rolled tanks against the masses of Turkish people who took to the streets in July of 2016 to stand up for their democratically-elected government and to fight back against ideologues and extremists who would subjugate the will of 80 million people to the will of one man living in Pennsylvania. Americans can see and read more about that failed coup here:

Despite the failed coup attempt of 2016, the people of Turkey — representing every party across the political spectrum — fought for their right to self-determination and they won. The coup plotters were overwhelmed, and order restored. Just last year, the people of Turkey again voted to support their democratic way of life, with over 88 percent of Turks going to the polls to cast their votes. International observers and the leaders of the main opposition parties called the elections free and fair. It was a triumph of peaceful democratic systems over the forces of terrorism.

While average Americans may not pay much attention to the internal affairs of Turkey, they should pay close attention to whether their tax dollars are being used to destabilize Turkey. Turkey is a strong and reliable ally in the war on terrorism and serves on the front line in the fight against ISIS, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. As NATO’s eastern border, Turkey has played a vital role in helping maintain stability in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East. It is important for Americans to fully understand that an attack on Turkey’s flank is an attack on America’s flank.

The FETO forces in the United States are smooth and know how to present the façade of peaceful education. Yet, behind the façade there is a long trail of financial irregularities hounding the movement. A simple Google search will turn up many instances in which money is allegedly siphoned from these schools for other purposes. In state after state, fraud investigations have been undertaken to determine if and how much taxpayer money has been diverted away from education. Complaints have been filed with the U.S. Department of Education, and there are reports the FBI is investigating the Gulen movement.

First Lady Trump continues serves us well by highlighting the extraordinary role of charter schools as an important part of our educational system. She has displayed her devotion and raised her voice for putting children first. In this instance, she has also done a major service by providing the United States with an opportunity to examine just how the Gulen movement uses its schools and American taxpayers as a funding source for less than reputable activities.

Adelle Nazarian (@AdelleNaz) is a documentary filmmaker. She worked previously as a journalist, including for Fox News.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

Mary Margaret Olohan | Reporter

Female news anchors and other women in New Zealand wore hijabs Friday in solidarity with the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

They took their cue from a movement within the country to honor the 50 persons killed in the mosque shootings March 15 by wearing hijabs, beginning with Auckland doctor Thaya Ashman. Ashman said she heard about a Muslim woman who was afraid to wear a hijab, thinking it would attract the attention of terrorists, so she decided to wear one in solidarity.

“I wanted to say: ‘We are with you, we want you to feel at home on your own streets, we love, support and respect you,’” Ashman said.

Samantha Hayes, who reports for Newshub, was one of New Zealand’s anchors who wore a headscarf on television.

The trend is spreading throughout New Zealand as women in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch don hijabs.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose reaction to the Christchurch mosque shootings has been widely praised by the media, also joined the movement. Ardern donned a black headscarf when comforting the families of the fallen, and announced a ban on assault rifles in New Zealand six days after the attack. (RELATED: New Zealand Broadcasts Islamic Call To Prayer To Honor Mosque Attack Victims)

A New Zealand policewoman drew attention for wearing a hijab as she guarded a funeral for some of the victims Thursday at Christchurch cemetery.

Though many applauded New Zealand women communally wearing hijabs, others said there are Muslim women who have rejected hijabs as symbols of oppression.

Asra Q. Nomini, a Washington, D.C., professor and former journalist for The Wall Street Journal, took to Twitter to voice her complaints.

“Pls do NOT wear a #headscarfforharmony with Muslims. It is a symbol of purity culture antithetical to feminist values. We have women in jail & dead, for refusing the interpretation of Islam you promote.”

Similarly, an anonymous Stuff opinion piece said Friday the movement was “nothing but cheap tokenism.”

“I don’t normally do this but I couldn’t help myself after seeing this ‘movement’ online where non-Muslim women are being encouraged to wear hijab/scarves to show ‘solidarity’ with Muslim women,” she wrote. “As a Muslim woman myself, I think this is nothing but cheap tokenism. It’s a gimmick and pretty distasteful.”

Meanwhile, a diocesan school in New Zealand is taking criticism for banning its students from wearing hijabs at school, saying it is not compliant with the school’s dress code. The school ultimately said in a statement that students would be permitted to participate only in Friday’s “Scarves for Solidarity” event being celebrated throughout New Zealand.

Follow Mary Margaret on Twitter.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Certain medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may increase the risk of psychosis in young adults, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine Thursday found.

The study found that teens and young people taking amphetamines like Adderall and Vyvanse were at a higher risk of developing psychosis than those taking methylphenidates like Ritalin or Concerta, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Psychosis is a severe mental disorder that causes a person to break with reality, causing paranoia and even hallucinations.

Patients taking amphetamines were still at a low risk of developing psychosis, but the finding is “concerning,” the paper’s lead author Dr. Lauren V. Moran said according to AJC. (RELATED: Researchers Who Think Voice Assistants Like Siri Perpetuate Gender ‘Stereotypes’ Have A Genderless Solution)

“The findings are concerning because the use of amphetamines in adolescents and young adults has more than tripled in recent years. More and more patients are being treated with these medications,” Moran said. “There is not a lot of research comparing the safety profiles of amphetamines and methylphenidate, despite increasing use of these medications.”

A bottle of Ritalin sits on the counter of the Post Haste Pharmacy And Surgical Store on June 16, 2003 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A bottle of Ritalin sits on the counter of the Post Haste Pharmacy And Surgical Store on June 16, 2003 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The study examined insurance claims of more than 220,000 ADHD patients between 13 and 25 years old who began taking amphetamines or methylphenidates between Jan. 1, 2004 and Sept. 30, 2015, reported AJC. While only 1 in 1,046 patients who started treatment with methylphenidate developed psychosis, one out of every 486 patients who started treatment with amphetamine developed it.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

Moran pointed out that “people who have been on a drug like Adderall for a long time, who are taking the drug as prescribed and are tolerating it well, are not likely to experience this problem (psychosis),” according to AJC. She also would take family history into account when prescribing Adderall and avoid prescribing it for patients who may be at a higher risk of bipolar disorder because of their genetics, reported CBS News.

Medication is not the only way to treat ADHD, which patients can combat with behavioral therapy as well.

The American Psychiatric Association estimates that roughly 5 percent of children have ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. In fact, more than 10 percent of American children had ADHD diagnoses in 2015 and 2016, which is nearly double the amount of diagnoses between 1997 and 1998.

Some researchers say it is not all bad news that the percentage of diagnoses has grown. That is because premature babies are more likely to develop ADHD and an increase in ADHD diagnoses could go hand-in-hand with an increase in premature baby survival.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

EU centre-right lead candidate Weber poses during an interview with Reuters in Brussels
Manfred Weber, the centre-right European People’s Party’s lead candidate in the European Parliament elections, poses during an interview with Reuters in Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

March 22, 2019

By Alastair Macdonald

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europeans don’t want Britons to vote in May’s EU parliamentary election, the lead candidate for the center-right said on Friday, in part because Nigel Farage and other British euroskeptics would disrupt the Union.

Speaking to Reuters after EU leaders agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May that Britain would elect its own members to a new European Parliament if it has not left before the May 23-26 vote, Manfred Weber of the European People’s Party (EPP) said the summit had provided needed clarity on Brexit.

Leaders hardened their insistence that Britain should be out of the European Union before the election, so as to avoid casting doubt on the EU legislature’s legitimacy.

Weber, who leads the EPP in the chamber and is campaigning to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as EU chief executive, said he was concerned, however, that if Britain took up the leaders’ offer to rethink its Brexit plan, stay until next year and send its own MEPs to the EU parliament, that would spell trouble.

“A possible participation of Great Britain in the EU elections can lead to a big success for the anti-elite parties in Great Britain. So that is my worry,” the German lawmaker said. “When Nigel Farage is back with a lot of MEPs in the EU parliament, that will create big problems for all of us.”

As leader of the UK Independence Party, Farage was a major voice in the campaign for the 2016 referendum that saw Britons vote 52-48 percent to leave. With Brexit still in doubt, he has said he will lead a new party to press for it, and would seek re-election to the European Parliament if Britons end up voting.

Farage and Weber have often clashed verbally on the floor of the chamber in Strasbourg. The EPP leader denied, however, that his party was particularly opposed to Britain returning MEPs because it would also benefit their center-left opponents. May’s Conservative Party quit the EPP a decade ago, meaning British EU elections always leave the center-right bloc empty-handed.

“It’s not about party politics,” Weber said. “It’s about how to manage the situation.

“I cannot explain to anyone in Europe … that a country which is leaving the EU has a big say in the future of the European Union. That is not understandable for people.”

Opinion polls indicate that, even without British votes, euroskeptic parties could increase their share of seats to 14 percent from 10 percent, potentially giving them a greater opportunity to disrupt efforts by the larger groupings in the pro-EU center to promote policies on European integration.

(Additional reporting by Clare Roth; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Source: OANN

Democrat Party's candidate Anwar Salae campaigns at a market in Pattani province
Democrat Party’s candidate for Member of Parliament Anwar Salae campaigns at a market in Pattani province, Thailand, March 16, 2019. Picture taken March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Panu Wongcha-um

March 22, 2019

By Panu Wongcha-um

YALA, Thailand (Reuters) – Pateemoh Poh-itaeda-oh, 39, has lost four family members to violence in Thailand’s deep south, where a Muslim separatist movement has fought against rule from Bangkok for 15 years.

Now, she is running for a parliamentary seat in a general election on Sunday, hoping to have a hand in making government policies for the restive region.

Sunday’s vote is broadly seen as a battle between allies of the military junta leader seeking to stay in power and supporters of ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, a former telecommunication tycoon whose loyalists have won every general election since 2001.

But that divide has a different dynamic in the three southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, which are 80 percent Muslim, while the rest of Thailand is overwhelmingly Buddhist.

A separatist insurgency has dragged on since 2004, killing more than 6,900 people. In January, two Buddhist monks were shot dead in a suspected insurgent attack.

In previous elections, the deep south was not much courted by politicians seeking national power. But the arrival of several new parties on the political scene, along with stalled peace talks, have stirred interest in the campaign in the south – and enthusiasm to participate among newly minted candidates.

Pateemoh, a Muslim who is a candidate for the pro-junta Action Coalition for Thailand party (ACT), said she got involved because she felt for the first time there was a chance for the concerns of the south to be heard and – possibly – bring an end to the conflict.

“For a long time many Thais have looked at problems in the deep south as a marginal border issue, but this election I have seen changes,” she told Reuters at her party headquarters in Yala province.

Ending the insurgency is deeply personal to her. Three of her brothers and one sister have been shot dead since 2004 in suspected attacks by insurgents, who often target teachers and local officials for working with central government.

“I really want to be a voice in forming policy and solving the conflict issue in the deep south, and people have to remember that women’s voices need to matter in this process,” she said.

SELF-DETERMINATION

The three provinces, and a small part of neighboring Songkhla, were historically part of a Malay Muslim sultanate annexed by Thailand in 1909. Separatist tensions have simmered ever since.

A peace process between the Thai government and insurgent groups has made little headway, with violence still occurring even though the military has been directly in charge of security in the region for 15 years.

In February, Mara Patani, an umbrella organization representing many insurgent groups, said it has suspended all dialogue with Bangkok until after the election.

For decades, the deep south’s small tally of seats – 11 out of 350 being contested in this election – were seen as a reliable bloc for the Democrat Party, the country’s oldest political party that is officially non-aligned in the campaign but could prove crucial in post-vote coalition-building.

But the fresh attention being paid to the region by new parties has stoked pent-up desire for a say among both the pro-government and pro-autonomy camps there, said Samart Thongfhua, a political analyst at Prince of Songkla University in Pattani.

“Generally, people in the deep south are enthusiastic from all sides because they will feel that they can gain justice through democracy,” he said.

RELIGIOUS TENSIONS

This is the first election that a Malay Muslim from the deep south, Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, 74, is a prime ministerial candidate.

Matha, a former house speaker and the leader of Prachachart Party, is a key ally to Thaksin who could help capture votes for the “democratic front” of anti-junta parties in the deep south. Pro-Thaksin parties have in the past performed badly in the region, where he was widely blamed for exacerbating the conflict with harsh tactics when he was in power from 2001 to 2006.

Prachachart has been campaigning greater people’s participation in the region’s governance and peace process.

Analysts predict that no single party will dominate the region, with the Democrats, ACT, Bhumjaithai Party, and two anti-junta parties, Prachachart and Future Forward, all seen as competitive.

All are campaigning for greater autonomy to a varying degree for the restive region, a sensitive issue for the Thai military.

Even talking about greater autonomy alarms the region’s Buddhist minority, and coincides with the emergence on the national stage of the Buddhist nationalist Pandin Dharma Party.

“There is a sentiment that Buddhism is under threat and this has been appealing to many Buddhists here,” Ruckchart Suwan, 54, of the Buddhist Network for Peace told Reuters.

Muslim politicians say more needs to be done to improve relationship between Buddhists and Muslims.

“It is good to hear real grievances from the Buddhists so we can address it properly,” said Worawit Baru, 67, a candidate for Prachachart Party in Pattani province.

“The security forces have brought Buddhists and Muslims together over meals many times and say this represent successful reconciliation,” Worawit said. “These window-dressing approaches must stop and we need the people to speak up.”

(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Additional reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Kay Johnson and Alex Richardson)

Source: OANN

United Nations workers mourn their colleagues during a commemoration ceremony for the victims at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu
United Nations workers mourn their colleagues during a commemoration ceremony for the victims at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu, near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa NegerI

March 21, 2019

By Maggie Fick and Tim Hepher

ADDIS ABABA/PARIS (Reuters) – At the headquarters of the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, a paper sign balanced above room 107 and a threadbare square of carpet welcome a stream of foreign visitors to the Accident Investigation Bureau.

The office – with three investigators and an annual budget of less than 2.5 million Birr ($89,000) – is leading a multi-party, multi-nation probe into what caused an Ethiopian Airlines flight to crash on March 10, killing all 157 people on board.

Brusque foreign investigators in cargo pants and Ethiopians in suits or reflective vests wave away questions from reporters on how their inquiries are progressing.

This modest agency is under intense international scrutiny because the results of its investigation could have far-reaching consequences for the global aviation industry.

If the investigators highlight flaws in the 737 MAX 8 that echo a recent crash of the same model in Indonesia, their report could deal a major blow to Boeing, the world’s biggest planemaker and a massive U.S. exporter.

But if investigators find Ethiopian Airlines fell short in maintenance, training or piloting, that could damage one of Africa’s most successful companies, a symbol of Ethiopia’s emergence as a regional power.

Disagreements have broken out in Addis Ababa between Ethiopian authorities and foreign investigators over issues including the handling of evidence and crash site management, according to several sources close to the investigation.

Kevin Humphreys, a former Irish regulator who founded the country’s air investigation agency, told Reuters the high stakes involved tend to make probes like this one particularly tough.

“There are tensions because it is unrealistic to assume that international protocols are always going to work. There is a potentially important economic impact from such investigations.”

An 18-strong team of American investigators has been sent to aid the Ethiopians with the inquiry, including representatives from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Boeing, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which certified 737 MAX planes as safe.

U.S. and some other foreign investigators are unhappy because Ethiopia is so far sharing only limited information, the sources said.

“There is no opportunity for the international community to benefit and learn from this,” said one of them, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Some foreign officials are also unhappy about the prominent role Ethiopian Airlines played in the probe, suggesting a possible conflict of interests, they said.

But one Addis Ababa-based source said the carrier’s role in the investigation does not necessarily indicate it is trying to exert undue influence. The airline is more likely involved because it is the most well-funded and staffed state enterprise able to help the over-stretched inquiry team, he added.

“When you have a vacuum, someone has to fill it,” he said.

Ethiopian Airlines’ spokesman Asrat Begachew said the carrier was supporting the investigation. “We are not taking the lead,” he added, declining to comment further.

Under global aviation rules, interested parties like airlines and manufacturers are discouraged from speaking publicly about the investigation.

Yet in the first days after the Flight 302 crash, Ethiopian Airlines made all of the public statements, including announcing the black box recorders would be sent overseas for data extraction.

It was not until six days after the tragedy that the Ministry of Transport began briefing the media and public.

Hours after the crash, Ethiopian Airlines tweeted a picture of its CEO Tewolde Gebremariam holding a piece of debris in the crater of the crash site, surprising aviation experts who said the site should have been preserved for investigators.

Musie Yehyies, spokesman for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Transport, said the government had been quick to share information about the crash. He denied there was any mistrust between the Ethiopians and other parties.

“Our friendship with the United States is obvious,” he told Reuters. “Plenty of governments have been offering assistance, and some of them have helped practically.”

The ministry did not respond to requests for comment on the airline’s role in the investigation or any potential conflict of interest.

Ethiopia’s Accident Investigation Bureau and civil aviation authority, which fall under the transport ministry, declined to comment on the investigation or any grievances of parties involved.

Boeing, the FAA and the NTSB also declined to comment.

BLACK BOXES

The cockpit voice and flight data recorders were recovered the day after the crash, but it took Ethiopian investigators three days to decide where to send them for the information to be extracted and decoded. Like many fast-growing players, the Ethiopians do not have the technology to perform the task.

In a sign of the distrust between the parties, the Ethiopians turned down an American offer to perform the analysis in the United States, according to two sources.

U.S. authorities declined to comment.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde personally approached German authorities to request to send the black boxes to Germany to have the data extracted there, a separate source with knowledge of matter told Reuters. Airlines are not usually involved in such decisions, according to current and former investigators.

The airline could not comment on the investigation, a spokesman said in response to questions about the incident.

However German officials said they too did not have the most recent software needed to extract the data, so the devices were eventually sent to France.

Partial data from the flight data recorder was shared informally late on Monday with U.S. and French investigators in Paris, but nothing from the cockpit voice recorder, three sources familiar with the matter said.

It is common for the host investigator to closely guard voice recordings to protect privacy but unusual for relatively little data to be available a week after being downloaded.

“As an investigator, it is hard to understand the logic behind withholding safety-of-flight information,” Greg Feith, a former senior air safety investigator with the NTSB, said on Facebook on Thursday.

Ethiopia said on Thursday it had begun analyzing cockpit data and was working with U.S. and European experts.

Following Ethiopian Airlines’ last major crash, outside Beirut in 2010, an investigation led by the Lebanese and to which France contributed blamed crew mismanagement of the aircraft and poor communication in the cockpit.

The airline – led by the same CEO as today – said the report was “biased, lacking evidence, incomplete,” pointing to evidence of an explosion on board.

HIGH STAKES

Most crash investigations end up pinpointing a combination of factors.

For decades, reconstructions by independent investigators have been credited with reducing air accidents to record low levels. The system of co-operation works by sticking to technical details and avoiding blame or other agendas.

Safety experts worry that too many turf battles can cloud the progress of an investigation.

“The sole purpose of an accident investigation is to reduce the chances of something ever happening again,” said Paul Hayes, safety director at the Flight Ascend Consultancy.

The Flight 302 crash triggered the global grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX jets, wiping billions off the company’s market value. Also on the line are more than $500 billion worth of 737 MAX orders.

Ethiopian Airlines is regulated by the country’s civil aviation authority, but its resources are far more extensive. The carrier’s operating revenue in the 2017/18 financial year was $3.7 billion. This dwarfs the regulator’s budget, which is 360 million Birr ($12.5 million) for this fiscal year.

CRASH SITE

Responsibility for leading the probe fell to Ethiopia because the crash occurred on its soil. Nairobi-bound Flight 302 went down into farmland minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa.

The crash killed people from 35 countries, all of which are also entitled to examine the crash site and join in the investigation. America, China, Kenya, Britain, Canada, Israel, France and other nations have sent investigators.

Some nations were unhappy that Ethiopia was using heavy earth-moving equipment at the site, potentially damaging evidence or human remains, although others said that was the only way to move heavy items such as engines.

Some foreign officials also complained of being unable to access the site in the days after the crash.

After Israel’s team were not given permission to visit the site, the Israeli prime minister eventually called the Ethiopian prime minister on Wednesday, a statement on the Israeli prime minister’s website said. 

A permission letter – from Ethiopian Airlines – was issued late on Thursday for the Israeli ambassador and emergency response unit ZAKA, a source familiar with the incident added.

The European Union’s aviation safety agency, EASA, waited more than a week to be allowed to join the crash investigation.

“The Ethiopian investigation body is very keen to keep a very, very closed circle around the investigation,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky told the European parliament on Monday.

(Additional reporting by Jason Neely in Addis Ababa, Katharine Houreld in Nairobi, Georgina Prodhan in Paris and David Shepardson in Washington; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Alexandra Zavis and Pravin Char)

Source: OANN

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

A group of researchers who believe tech’s current offering of mainly male and female voice assistants “perpetuates stereotypes” have put money and time into Q, a “genderless” voice assistant.

The artificial intelligence assistant uses a voice with a frequency of around 145 Hertz, which is believed to fall between the frequencies of typical male and female voices, according to Geek.com.

Q’s creators asked that visitors on their website to share the voice assistant with tech companies like Twitter and Apple. The site’s “About” section states:

Technology companies often choose to gender technology believing it will make people more comfortable adopting it. Unfortunately this reinforces a binary perception of gender, and perpetuates stereotypes that many have fought hard to progress. As society continues to break down the gender binary, recognising [sic] those who neither identify as male nor female, the technology we create should follow.

Who are Q’s creators? The voice assistant is backed by a team including Copenhagen Pride and Vice’s creative agency Virtue. They unveiled Q at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on March 11, according to AdWeek. (RELATED: Tech Exec Hired By DNC After Embarrassing Email Leaks Leaves For Social Justice Org Run By Steve Jobs’s Widow)

A man uses 'Siri' on the new iPhone 4S after being one of the first customers in the Apple store in Covent Garden on October 14, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

A man uses ‘Siri’ on the new iPhone 4S after being one of the first customers in the Apple store in Covent Garden on October 14, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

“It’s going to become an increasingly commonplace way for us to communicate with tech,” Project Q collaborator Julie Carpenter, a researcher with the Ethics and Emerging Sciences Group, said according to WIRED. “Naming a home assistant Alexa, which sounds female, can be problematic for some people, because it reinforces this stereotype that females assist and support people in tasks.”

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

A worker assists his colleague as an turbine engine of Lion Air flight JT610 is lifted up at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta
FILE PHOTO: A worker assists his colleague as an turbine engine of Lion Air flight JT610 is lifted up at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta

March 21, 2019

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian investigators said on Thursday the cockpit voice recorder from a crashed Lion Air Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 jet showed pilots were searching for the right checklist in their handbooks and were experiencing airspeed and altitude issues.

The details revealed at a press conference corroborated a Reuters report on Wednesday that was based on three sources with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder’s contents.

Investigators said they have 90 percent of the data needed to release a final report on the October crash that killed 189 people, which is expected in August.

Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator at Indonesia’s national transportation committee (KNKT) said the recording showed there was “panic” in the cockpit in the last 20 seconds of the flight.

“At the end of the flight it seemed the pilot felt he could no longer recover the flight, then the panic emerged,” he said while declining to say which of the two pilots panicked.

The investigation has taken on new urgency after a second 737 MAX 8 crash at Ethiopian Airlines last week killed 157 people and led to the global grounding of the model.

French air accident investigation agency BEA said on Tuesday the flight data recorder in the Ethiopian crash showed “clear similarities” to the Lion Air disaster.

Investigators examining the Indonesian crash are considering how a computer ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether the pilots had enough training to respond appropriately to the emergency, among other factors.

(Reporting by Cindy Silviana and Bernadette Christina Munthe; writing by Jamie Freed; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: OANN

Graves of Ukrainian Army members Holub and Paselsky who were killed in the east, are seen at a 18th century Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv
Graves of Ukrainian Army members Yuriy Holub, 22, (L) and Nazar Paselsky, 21, who were killed in the east, are seen at a 18th century Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

March 21, 2019

By Natalia Zinets

LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) – At a cemetery in western Ukraine, a tall, gray-haired man lights candles and kisses the gravestone of his 35-year-old brother Taras, whose death, he said, changed his mind about who should win this month’s presidential election.

Taras, a medical volunteer, was killed in 2015 rescuing wounded soldiers near Debaltseve during the government’s five-year-old conflict in eastern Ukraine against Kremlin-backed rebels, his brother Ihor Konchevych said.

He died for a free and independent Ukraine, something their grandfathers could only dream of in the Soviet era, he said, and President Petro Poroshenko is the best candidate to keep it on that path, even though he has not ended the war as he promised.

“In 2014, I did not vote for him,” said Ihor, a dermatologist whose teenage nephew and niece are now fatherless. “Now (I will) for one reason: he is pro-Ukraine, Russia does not support him.”

Such support could help Poroshenko, who has consistently trailed in opinion polls, scrape into the second round and potentially win a second term.

It suggests that at least in western Ukraine, where Poroshenko’s polling remains relatively robust, his opposition to Russia and championing of the army, the church and closer ties with Europe and the United States is getting through.

It also suggests some people are willing to swallow whatever disappointment they might feel about his failure to end the war, lift living standards or thoroughly tackle corruption, because they see him as better than the alternatives.

At stake in the election is the leadership of a country on the front line of the West’s confrontation with Russia, five years after the Maidan street protests ousted Poroshenko’s Russia-friendly predecessor Viktor Yanukovich and the Russian annexation of Crimea.

It is a country still fighting a conflict in the eastern Donbass region that has killed 13,000 people despite a notional ceasefire, a shrunken state propped up by Western aid and sanctions against Moscow.

The election has boiled down to a three-horse race between the confectionary magnate Poroshenko, comic actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, with Poroshenko second and Zelenskiy extending his lead thanks to his fresh face and strong anti-corruption message.

HEARTLAND OF MAIDAN

It is perhaps not surprising that Poroshenko’s pro-Western messages resonate in Lviv, a picturesque city of cobblestone streets and central European charm that was under the Austrian empire until the First World War and is geographically closer to European Union countries than to Kiev.

The region was a driving force behind successive revolutions, including the 2014 protests in Maidan: according to Reuters’ calculations, around 50 of the more than 100 protesters killed during the Maidan protests were from the west, 19 of them from the Lviv region alone.

The city is heavily Ukrainian-speaking compared to the Russian-speaking eastern regions. A survey by pollster SOCIS suggests voters in the west care more about the war and less about, for example, rising utility tariffs than the average Ukrainian.

The brother of Lesya Senyk, a 51-year-old kindergarten director, was one of those killed on Maidan, a protest sparked by Yanukovich’s decision to renege on signing a political and trade agreement with the EU after pressure from Moscow.

Her brother’s sacrifice, she said, means Ukraine has become a proper state with a stronger army and aspirations to join the European Union.

Senyk did not vote for Poroshenko in 2014 but she will now. “I do not know who else could have saved the state in those difficult times, after the Maidan and during the war,” she said. “Maybe he’s not perfect. But we are not saints.”

NO COUNTRY FOR CLOWNS

Poroshenko won an emphatic victory in the 2014 election but his popularity has fallen sharply.

He can boast success: he secured visa-free travel for Ukrainians to the EU. There have been reforms and the government has stayed in an International Monetary Fund bailout program: a reassurance to investors.

Poroshenko successfully lobbied for Ukraine to establish a national Orthodox church, independent from Russia. While he did not win the war, he did not lose it, and ramped up defense spending to 5 percent of gross domestic product from 3 percent under Yanukovich. A Poroshenko win is the worst-case scenario for Russia, which is a plus in some voters’ eyes.

But he has been forced to apologize for his pledge to win the war within weeks, and that is not enough for some.

The parents of 22-year-old Yuriy Holub, who was killed in eastern Ukraine in 2014, will not vote for him.

“He promised, promised,” said Holub’s father Hryhoriy, who is blind. “Why did you promise if you were not confident that you can fulfill your promise? If he were an honest man he would quit of his own accord.”

His wife Hanna, who holds pictures of her son close to her face due to her own failing sight, also said Poroshenko had let them down. “First he said everything would be over in two weeks … But such heavy shelling happened and our child was killed,” she said in a trembling voice. “There is no trust now.”

Their son is buried in Lviv’s 18th century Lychakiv cemetery, along with about 70 others killed in the east.

Nazar Paselsky lies buried in a grave near Holub. Paselsky was killed by shelling, aged 21, in the Luhansk region in August 2014. His mother Hanna and father Mykola adopted a boy after Nazar’s death. Photos of Nazar, his diploma and his bravery award are on display on top of their cabinet.

Hanna voted for Poroshenko last time “because he promised that everything will be over in three days. I wanted my child to come back home alive.” Now she does not trust any candidate to guarantee a future for her adopted one-year-old, but thinks she might end up voting for Poroshenko in the second round.

Twelve years younger than Poroshenko, Zelenskiy has tapped into disillusionment about Ukraine’s progress since Maidan and the desire for new faces in politics.

But some people, like Hryhoriy Zhalovaga, whose son Anatoliy died on Maidan, said a strong army was what was needed, not an entertainer with no political experience. Quoting another student during a commemoration ceremony for Maidan victims at the school his son attended, he said: “Those who will vote for Zelenskiy, what do they want, a country of clowns?”

Lviv-based analyst Oleg Gryniv said such views mean Poroshenko will probably carry a majority in the western areas like Galicia, which contains Lviv, citing the example of Ukraine’s first post-Soviet President Leonid Kravchuk.

“When he traveled through the eastern regions, they asked him about the price of socks, whether gas prices would be lowered,” he said. “And when he arrived in Galicia, there was only one question – whether the state would be kept intact.”

(Additional reporting Sergiy Karazy; writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim of the Linwood Mosque holds hands with Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Dunedin Coptic Church, as they walk at the site of Friday's shooting outside the Mosque in Christchurch
FILE PHOTO: Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim of the Linwood Mosque holds hands with Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Dunedin Coptic Church, as they walk at the site of Friday’s shooting outside the Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Tom Lasseter

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – Ibrahim Abdelhalim was at his mosque last week in the Linwood neighborhood of Christchurch, New Zealand, delivering a prayer as he usually does on Friday afternoons. The 67-year-old grandfather had already spoken about “tasting the sweetness of faith” as a Muslim obedient to God and willing to serve humanity.

He heard a pop-pop-pop in the distance.

The sounds got louder. Abdelhalim realized they were gunshots, but he continued. Abruptly ending the holy words mid-sentence would show a lack of respect in the face of God, he thought.

Abdelhalim immigrated from Egypt to Christchurch in 1995. The small city in a far-away island nation, some 16,000 kilometers from the poverty and corruption of Cairo, gave his family a better life. It sits in a tableau of pristine mountains and rolling fields, a place where he often forgot to lock his front door at night. Whatever was happening outside would probably be okay. Still, there were more than 80 people in the room in front of him and so, he said, “I tried to finish the prayer quickly.”

Then the bullets came crashing through the window of the mosque. They sprayed into bodies. People screamed, diving atop each other in jumbled piles. Abdelhalim saw his son but could not make it to where he lay. Further back, at the partition for women, Abdelhalim’s wife was also pinned down by gunfire, shot in the arm. Bullets thudded into a friend next to her, killing the woman. In the land that had become his sanctuary, Abdelhalim suddenly feared he was about to watch his family be slaughtered.

Police later named Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, as the alleged shooter in the massacre last Friday, which claimed 50 lives and left as many wounded.

Tarrant posted online a screed espousing white supremacist ideology and hatred of immigrants, authorities say. So far charged with one murder, Tarrant was remanded to custody without a plea Saturday, and is due back in court next month, when police say he is likely to face more charges.

The country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, described a very different New Zealand in an address after the carnage. “We represent diversity, kindness, compassion,” she said, her voice at times cracking with emotion. “A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.”

Many victims in Christchurch had sought just that – leaving Somalia, Pakistan, Syria or Afghanistan for a better life, often with little in their pockets. Abdelhalim spoke of the city as a dream made real.

In Cairo, Abdelhalim said, he’d worked as a judge specializing in inheritance and tenancy cases. He lived in a well-heeled suburb, his parents a teacher and a government employee, his brother an officer in the Egyptian military. But he did not see the future he wanted for his three children in Egypt. Cairo had witnessed a president being assassinated by Islamic militants in 1981, and a string of bombs exploding in and around the city in 1993.

So the family moved to Christchurch, and Abdelhalim took the only job he could find, as a clerk at Work and Income, the government agency for employment services and financial assistance. “I tried to study law, but found it was very hard to begin again,” he said.

Nevertheless, his children were going to good schools and his family moved into a small brick home, where he still lives, with roses in the well-trimmed yard. A neighbor invited him over for tea, he said, “nearly every day.” The family got to know the woman at the post office, a local shopkeeper and just about everyone else.

Far from the chaos of Cairo, Christchurch is a place where men in straw hats and vests take tourists down the placid waters of the Avon River. It is a city of parks with birds chirping and a streetcar clanking past Cathedral Square.

Abdelhalim’s life grew along with the city. He opened a restaurant, named for his old home, Cairo. He became active in the Muslim community, working as the imam at a mosque called Al Noor.

When terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York in September 2001, Abdelhalim was the head of a local Islamic association. At the time, he said, there was a flare up of young people yelling at Muslims and trying to grab women’s headscarves. Abdelhalim responded by organizing community events at the mosque. In 2017, he took part in opening a multi-faith prayer space at the airport. “My only weapon,” he said, “is my tongue.”

He also helped start and agreed to be the imam, the religious leader, of the Linwood mosque as its doors opened early last year, though it was across the city from his house. The building, a former community center, sits amid signs for the Salvation Army, a pawnshop, the Super Liquor and the Value Mart. Its presence was a marker of growth in the city’s still-small Muslim community.

It was at another mosque, Al Noor, that the gunman first began shooting. He shot at men, women and children as he emptied one clip of ammunition and then the next, circling back to shoot once more just to be sure he’d killed as many Muslims as possible. He took more than 40 lives there. The gunman then got into his car and drove to Linwood, where Abdelhalim, a man with a carefully cut white beard, was beginning to pray.

In the back of the mosque, a 27-year-old man from Afghanistan named Ahmed Khan peeked out a window. The plump-faced Khan and his family had arrived in Christchurch 12 years earlier, leaving behind a nation torn by war.

“Someone called ‘help!’ and when I looked out the window, somebody was laying down, bleeding,” he said. Khan’s eyes flitted across the driveway and spotted a strange figure – a man wearing a helmet, standing in broad daylight with a rifle in his hands.

The man squeezed the trigger, Khan said, and a bullet flew through the window. Khan recalls calling out, “There’s someone with a gun!”

In the prayer area, where Abdelhalim had stood reciting holy words just moments before, people flung themselves on the ground in panic. Khan recalls cradling a man in his arms one moment and then, the next, the gunman “shot him when I was holding him, in the head. And he was dead.”

There was another Afghan in the room who rushed toward the door. In the gunfire that followed, seven people were killed. Khan said the toll almost certainly would have been higher if this second Afghan – Abdul Aziz, a short, muscular man who runs a furniture shop – hadn’t confronted the shooter.

Aziz grabbed a credit card machine and hurled it at the gunman, dodging bullets. He later chased the gunman with an unloaded shotgun that the shooter dropped as he went back for another weapon, then hurled it like a spear through his car window. With four of his children in the mosque, Aziz later said, he acted to protect his own piece of adopted homeland. “I didn’t know where my own kids were – if they are alive, if they are dead,” he said.

They’d survived, with one of his sons laid over a younger brother, protecting the smaller boy’s body with his own. Abdelhalim’s wife and son also made it out alive.

Now, in the aftermath of 50 dead in his city, Abdelhalim is trying to keep his family and his people together. They are left to navigate an issue that has confronted communities around the world after mass shootings: How, in the midst of suffering and rage, does normalcy and the peace they once knew return, if at all?

On Saturday afternoon, about 24 hours after the massacre, Abdelhalim walked out of a crisis response center in Christchurch. On the wall, there was a Wi-Fi login and password written on a piece of white paper: youarewelcome. A group of motorcycle club members had parked their bikes on the grass in a show of support. Burly men in black leather jackets milled about. A young man with the club’s name tattooed across the side of his face – “Tribesmen” – chatted with reporters. Police stood by with assault rifles.

Abdelhalim made his way carefully through the crowd in a dark suit with light pinstripes. Everyone was asking, he said, “can the peace of Christchurch come back?”

The gunman’s manifesto, released shortly before the attacks, said he was motivated to fight back against the “invasion” of immigration by non-whites. The actual number of Muslims in New Zealand is small – about one percent of the populace. At the 2013 census, the most recent figures available, the government reported a 28 percent rise in Muslims since 2006, along with jumps in Hindu and Sikh numbers.

On Sunday morning, Abdelhalim opened his front door at 9, wearing board shorts, flipflops and a worn collared shirt, instead of the suits he favors in public. He was exhausted. City authorities released a list of the dead past midnight at the Christchurch Hospital. Abdelhalim was there to speak with the bereaved. He’d gotten home from the hospital at some time after 2 a.m. and had barely slept.

The next day, standing on the other side of police tape from the mosque in Linwood, Abdelhalim was asked by a reporter for details of the shooting. Abdelhalim said he’d rather not say.

“I don’t need to repeat the story of what happened,” he said. “Because it breaks my heart.”

(Reporting by Tom Lasseter; Editing by Philip McClellan and Peter Hirschberg)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim of the Linwood Mosque holds hands with Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Dunedin Coptic Church, as they walk at the site of Friday's shooting outside the Mosque in Christchurch
FILE PHOTO: Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim of the Linwood Mosque holds hands with Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Dunedin Coptic Church, as they walk at the site of Friday’s shooting outside the Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Tom Lasseter

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – Ibrahim Abdelhalim was at his mosque last week in the Linwood neighborhood of Christchurch, New Zealand, delivering a prayer as he usually does on Friday afternoons. The 67-year-old grandfather had already spoken about “tasting the sweetness of faith” as a Muslim obedient to God and willing to serve humanity.

He heard a pop-pop-pop in the distance.

The sounds got louder. Abdelhalim realized they were gunshots, but he continued. Abruptly ending the holy words mid-sentence would show a lack of respect in the face of God, he thought.

Abdelhalim immigrated from Egypt to Christchurch in 1995. The small city in a far-away island nation, some 16,000 kilometers from the poverty and corruption of Cairo, gave his family a better life. It sits in a tableau of pristine mountains and rolling fields, a place where he often forgot to lock his front door at night. Whatever was happening outside would probably be okay. Still, there were more than 80 people in the room in front of him and so, he said, “I tried to finish the prayer quickly.”

Then the bullets came crashing through the window of the mosque. They sprayed into bodies. People screamed, diving atop each other in jumbled piles. Abdelhalim saw his son but could not make it to where he lay. Further back, at the partition for women, Abdelhalim’s wife was also pinned down by gunfire, shot in the arm. Bullets thudded into a friend next to her, killing the woman. In the land that had become his sanctuary, Abdelhalim suddenly feared he was about to watch his family be slaughtered.

Police later named Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, as the alleged shooter in the massacre last Friday, which claimed 50 lives and left as many wounded.

Tarrant posted online a screed espousing white supremacist ideology and hatred of immigrants, authorities say. So far charged with one murder, Tarrant was remanded to custody without a plea Saturday, and is due back in court next month, when police say he is likely to face more charges.

The country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, described a very different New Zealand in an address after the carnage. “We represent diversity, kindness, compassion,” she said, her voice at times cracking with emotion. “A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.”

Many victims in Christchurch had sought just that – leaving Somalia, Pakistan, Syria or Afghanistan for a better life, often with little in their pockets. Abdelhalim spoke of the city as a dream made real.

In Cairo, Abdelhalim said, he’d worked as a judge specializing in inheritance and tenancy cases. He lived in a well-heeled suburb, his parents a teacher and a government employee, his brother an officer in the Egyptian military. But he did not see the future he wanted for his three children in Egypt. Cairo had witnessed a president being assassinated by Islamic militants in 1981, and a string of bombs exploding in and around the city in 1993.

So the family moved to Christchurch, and Abdelhalim took the only job he could find, as a clerk at Work and Income, the government agency for employment services and financial assistance. “I tried to study law, but found it was very hard to begin again,” he said.

Nevertheless, his children were going to good schools and his family moved into a small brick home, where he still lives, with roses in the well-trimmed yard. A neighbor invited him over for tea, he said, “nearly every day.” The family got to know the woman at the post office, a local shopkeeper and just about everyone else.

Far from the chaos of Cairo, Christchurch is a place where men in straw hats and vests take tourists down the placid waters of the Avon River. It is a city of parks with birds chirping and a streetcar clanking past Cathedral Square.

Abdelhalim’s life grew along with the city. He opened a restaurant, named for his old home, Cairo. He became active in the Muslim community, working as the imam at a mosque called Al Noor.

When terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York in September 2001, Abdelhalim was the head of a local Islamic association. At the time, he said, there was a flare up of young people yelling at Muslims and trying to grab women’s headscarves. Abdelhalim responded by organizing community events at the mosque. In 2017, he took part in opening a multi-faith prayer space at the airport. “My only weapon,” he said, “is my tongue.”

He also helped start and agreed to be the imam, the religious leader, of the Linwood mosque as its doors opened early last year, though it was across the city from his house. The building, a former community center, sits amid signs for the Salvation Army, a pawnshop, the Super Liquor and the Value Mart. Its presence was a marker of growth in the city’s still-small Muslim community.

It was at another mosque, Al Noor, that the gunman first began shooting. He shot at men, women and children as he emptied one clip of ammunition and then the next, circling back to shoot once more just to be sure he’d killed as many Muslims as possible. He took more than 40 lives there. The gunman then got into his car and drove to Linwood, where Abdelhalim, a man with a carefully cut white beard, was beginning to pray.

In the back of the mosque, a 27-year-old man from Afghanistan named Ahmed Khan peeked out a window. The plump-faced Khan and his family had arrived in Christchurch 12 years earlier, leaving behind a nation torn by war.

“Someone called ‘help!’ and when I looked out the window, somebody was laying down, bleeding,” he said. Khan’s eyes flitted across the driveway and spotted a strange figure – a man wearing a helmet, standing in broad daylight with a rifle in his hands.

The man squeezed the trigger, Khan said, and a bullet flew through the window. Khan recalls calling out, “There’s someone with a gun!”

In the prayer area, where Abdelhalim had stood reciting holy words just moments before, people flung themselves on the ground in panic. Khan recalls cradling a man in his arms one moment and then, the next, the gunman “shot him when I was holding him, in the head. And he was dead.”

There was another Afghan in the room who rushed toward the door. In the gunfire that followed, seven people were killed. Khan said the toll almost certainly would have been higher if this second Afghan – Abdul Aziz, a short, muscular man who runs a furniture shop – hadn’t confronted the shooter.

Aziz grabbed a credit card machine and hurled it at the gunman, dodging bullets. He later chased the gunman with an unloaded shotgun that the shooter dropped as he went back for another weapon, then hurled it like a spear through his car window. With four of his children in the mosque, Aziz later said, he acted to protect his own piece of adopted homeland. “I didn’t know where my own kids were – if they are alive, if they are dead,” he said.

They’d survived, with one of his sons laid over a younger brother, protecting the smaller boy’s body with his own. Abdelhalim’s wife and son also made it out alive.

Now, in the aftermath of 50 dead in his city, Abdelhalim is trying to keep his family and his people together. They are left to navigate an issue that has confronted communities around the world after mass shootings: How, in the midst of suffering and rage, does normalcy and the peace they once knew return, if at all?

On Saturday afternoon, about 24 hours after the massacre, Abdelhalim walked out of a crisis response center in Christchurch. On the wall, there was a Wi-Fi login and password written on a piece of white paper: youarewelcome. A group of motorcycle club members had parked their bikes on the grass in a show of support. Burly men in black leather jackets milled about. A young man with the club’s name tattooed across the side of his face – “Tribesmen” – chatted with reporters. Police stood by with assault rifles.

Abdelhalim made his way carefully through the crowd in a dark suit with light pinstripes. Everyone was asking, he said, “can the peace of Christchurch come back?”

The gunman’s manifesto, released shortly before the attacks, said he was motivated to fight back against the “invasion” of immigration by non-whites. The actual number of Muslims in New Zealand is small – about one percent of the populace. At the 2013 census, the most recent figures available, the government reported a 28 percent rise in Muslims since 2006, along with jumps in Hindu and Sikh numbers.

On Sunday morning, Abdelhalim opened his front door at 9, wearing board shorts, flipflops and a worn collared shirt, instead of the suits he favors in public. He was exhausted. City authorities released a list of the dead past midnight at the Christchurch Hospital. Abdelhalim was there to speak with the bereaved. He’d gotten home from the hospital at some time after 2 a.m. and had barely slept.

The next day, standing on the other side of police tape from the mosque in Linwood, Abdelhalim was asked by a reporter for details of the shooting. Abdelhalim said he’d rather not say.

“I don’t need to repeat the story of what happened,” he said. “Because it breaks my heart.”

(Reporting by Tom Lasseter; Editing by Philip McClellan and Peter Hirschberg)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight approaches for landing at Reagan National Airport in Washington
FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight from Los Angeles approaches for landing at Reagan National Airport shortly after an announcement was made by the FAA that the planes were being grounded by the United States in Washington, U.S. March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Tracy Rucinski and Jamie Freed

CHICAGO/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Pressure mounted on Boeing Co in Washington as U.S. lawmakers called for executives to testify about two crashed 737 MAX jets, even as the world’s biggest planemaker worked to return the grounded fleet to the skies.

A Senate panel plans to schedule a hearing with Boeing at an unspecified date, officials said, the first time a U.S. congressional committee has called the company’s executives to appear for questioning over the crashes.

The same panel, the Senate Commerce subcommittee on aviation and space, will also question FAA officials on March 27, likely about why the regulator agreed to certify the MAX planes in March 2017 without requiring extensive additional training.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 that killed all 157 on board has set off one of the widest investigations in aviation history. Initial reports from investigators say there are clear similarities between the crash and the Lion Air accident that killed all 189 crew and passengers in November.

While no direct link has yet been established, the MCAS flight control software and related pilot training are at the center of the investigation, and U.S. lawmakers are questioning the Federal Aviation Administration’s certification of MAX’s safety.

Boeing has promised a swift update to the MCAS, and the FAA said the installation of new software and related training was a priority.

However, extra computer-based training will be required after the software update, the pilot union of MAX’s biggest customer, Southwest Airlines Co, said on Wednesday, becoming the first major airline union to comment.

Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association said it had previewed the proposed Boeing training, including a required test, which would be mandatory for Southwest pilots before flying the 737 MAX again.

A Boeing spokeswoman said training on the software update would be provided by the manufacturer, but declined to disclose further details.

Regulators in Europe and Canada have said, however, they will seek their own guarantees of the MAX’s safety.

MOUNTING SCRUTINY

The Ethiopian Airlines crash has shaken the global aviation industry and cast a shadow over the Boeing model intended to be a standard for decades to come.

Investigators examining the Lion Air crash are weighing how the MCAS system ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether the pilots had enough training to respond appropriately to the emergency, among other factors.

MCAS is meant to prevent a loss of lift which can cause an aerodynamic stall and send the plane downwards in an uncontrolled way.

The pilots of the doomed Lion Air flight scrambled through a handbook to understand why the jet was lurching downwards in the final minutes before it hit the water, three people with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder contents said.

Indonesian investigators have said the cockpit voice recorder information was leaked to the media and they plan to hold a news conference at 0830 GMT on Thursday.

Boeing has said there was a documented procedure to handle the problem.

The company was sued on Wednesday in federal court in Chicago by the estate of one of the Lion Air crash victims in which the plaintiffs referred to the Ethiopian crash to support a wrongful death claim against the company.

A Boeing spokesman said the company does not respond to, or comment on, questions concerning legal matters.

The Seattle Times reported the Federal Bureau of Investigation was joining the investigation into the MAX’s certification. An FBI spokeswoman in Seattle would neither confirm nor deny that it was a part of any investigation.

Criminal prosecutors at the U.S. Justice Department, who are also investigating the FAA’s oversight of Boeing, have issued multiple subpoenas to Boeing, CNN reported, citing sources briefed on the matter.

Bloomberg said U.S. officials started investigating the FAA’s approval of the MAX software linked to the Lion Air plane crash last year within weeks after the accident, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Pentagon Inspector General said it would investigate a complaint that Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, violated ethical rules by allegedly promoting Boeing while in office.

Facing high-profile scrutiny, Boeing reshuffled executives in its commercial airplanes unit to focus on its response.

FINAL MOMENTS

Before the Lion Air flight crashed, sources told Reuters the Indian-born captain, aged 31, was quiet, while the Indonesian officer, 41, said “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is greatest”.

A different crew on the same plane the previous evening had the same situation but resolved it after running through three checklists, though they did not pass on the information to the doomed Indonesian crew, a preliminary report in November said.

As with the Indonesia flight, the Ethiopian crew radioed about control problems shortly after take-off and sought to turn back. Ethiopia’s civil aviation head Wosenyeleh Hunegnaw said he expected a report on the investigation within 30 days.

For now, more than 350 MAX aircraft are grounded, and deliveries of nearly 5,000, worth more than $500 billion, are on hold. Boeing’s shares have fallen 11 percent since the Ethiopian Airlines crash, wiping $26 billion from its market value.

(For a graphic on ‘Boeing 737 Max deliveries in question’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hv2btC)

(For a graphic on ‘Ethiopian Airlines crash and black boxes’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2ChBW5M)

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and Jamie Freed in Singapore; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru, Maggie Fick and Jason Neely in Addis Ababa, David Shepardson in Washington, Tim Hepher in Paris, Jonathan Stempel in New York, David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Cindy Silviana in Jakarta, Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Writing by Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

A worker assists his colleague during the lifting of a turbine engine of the Lion Air flight JT610 jet, at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta
A worker assists his colleague during the lifting of a turbine engine of the Lion Air flight JT610 jet, at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta

March 21, 2019

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian investigators said on Thursday that information from the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air jet that crashed in October was leaked to the media and they would hold a news conference at 0830 GMT.

The investigation into the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that killed all 189 on board has become more urgent after a second deadly accident in Ethiopia last week prompted regulators to ground the worldwide fleet of the aircraft.

(Reporting by Cindy Silviana; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

A parody account on Twitter that is one of the subjects of a lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has gained more than 460,000 followers since Monday — giving it more followers than Nunes himself.

As Mediaite noted, @DevinCow's list of followers has shot through the roof and is now more than 65,000 ahead of the official account for Nunes, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

As of 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nunes' account had 395,000 followers and the parody account had 461,000.

Nunes is suing Twitter for $250 million and is seeking an additional $350,000 in punitive damages, alleging it shadow bans conservatives and is "knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory — providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers — thereby facilitating defamation on its platform."

Source: NewsMax

A parody account on Twitter that is one of the subjects of a lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has gained more than 460,000 followers since Monday — giving it more followers than Nunes himself.

As Mediaite noted, @DevinCow's list of followers has shot through the roof and is now more than 65,000 ahead of the official account for Nunes, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

As of 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nunes' account had 395,000 followers and the parody account had 461,000.

Nunes is suing Twitter for $250 million and is seeking an additional $350,000 in punitive damages, alleging it shadow bans conservatives and is "knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory — providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers — thereby facilitating defamation on its platform."

Source: NewsMax

A parody account on Twitter that is one of the subjects of a lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has gained more than 460,000 followers since Monday — giving it more followers than Nunes himself.

As Mediaite noted, @DevinCow's list of followers has shot through the roof and is now more than 65,000 ahead of the official account for Nunes, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

As of 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nunes' account had 395,000 followers and the parody account had 461,000.

Nunes is suing Twitter for $250 million and is seeking an additional $350,000 in punitive damages, alleging it shadow bans conservatives and is "knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory — providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers — thereby facilitating defamation on its platform."

Source: NewsMax

William Davis | Contributor

The University of Cambridge is rescinding a visiting fellowship from conservative Canadian professor Jordan Peterson after backlash from some students and faculty.

Peterson was supposed to start a visiting fellowship at the University of Cambridge divinity school in October, but the historic English university threw cold water on that idea Wednesday. Peterson told The Daily Caller that he found out through social media, and ripped the university for “cheap, political posturing.” (RELATED: Jordan Peterson Calls Critics ‘Totalitarian Wannabes’ Ahead Of College Speech)

“It’s incomprehensible to me,” Peterson said. “I think it’s despicable.”

Peterson, who came to fame in 2017 for his biblical lecture series on YouTube, said he believed the fellowship would have been mutually beneficial. (RELATED: Jordan Peterson Sues Canadian University For $1.5 Million)

“I thought collaboration would be in our mutual interest,” Peterson said. “Divinity schools are trying desperately hard in the modern world to retain their credibility, authority, and voice, and I don’t think there is a phenomena comparable to what happened when I released my lectures on Genesis.”

Peterson also says that he wishes his critics would spend time listening to him instead of succumbing to their anger.

“I think if the people that are inspired toward enmity by me spend more time reading what I’m saying and less time parroting the same lies, they’d find they have far less reason to oppose my existence,” he said.

A staunch opponent of political correctness, Peterson’s campus appearances have frequently been the subject of protests.

Follow William Davis on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko announced he has opened a probe into alleged efforts by a Ukrainian to interfere with the 2016 presidential elections on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

"Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information," he told Hill.TV.

The investigation centers on a claim from a Ukrainian parliament member that, Artem Sytnyk, the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, attempted to help Clinton.

"According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign," Lutsenko said. 

"It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, [Donald Trump's campaign chairman] and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton."

Hill.TV asked Lutsenko about reports a member of parliament obtained a tape of the current NABU head saying he was attempting to help Clinton win the election.

"This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter," he said.

Source: NewsMax

Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

March 20, 2019

By Maggie Fick and Cindy Silviana

ADDIS ABABA/JAKARTA (Reuters) – The world’s biggest planemaker Boeing faced growing obstacles to returning its grounded 737 MAX fleet to the skies on Wednesday, while chilling details emerged of an Indonesian crash with similarities to the Ethiopian disaster.

Experts suspect an automated system, meant to stop stalling by dipping the nose, may be involved in both cases, with pilots unable to override it as their jets plunged downwards.

The March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash has shaken the global aviation industry and cast a shadow over the flagship Boeing model intended to be a standard for decades to come, given parallels with the Lion Air calamity off Jakarta in October.

The twin crashes killed 346 people.

(GRAPHIC: Ethiopian Airlines crash – https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hn6V4k)

Chicago-headquartered Boeing has promised a swift update of the automatic flight software for the craft but major regulators in Europe and Canada want to be sure themselves, rather than rely on U.S. vetting.

As Ethiopian investigators pored over black box data from their crash, sources with knowledge of the doomed Lion Air cockpit voice recorder revealed how pilots scoured a manual in a losing battle to figure out why they were hurtling down to sea.

Investigators examining the Indonesian crash want to know how a computer ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether pilots had enough training to respond appropriately to the emergency.

Communications showed that in the final moments, the captain tried in vain to find the right procedure in the handbook, while the first officer was unable to control the plane.

“It is like a test where there are 100 questions and when the time is up you have only answered 75,” said one of the sources with knowledge of the cockpit recording that has not been made public. “So you panic. It is a time-out condition.”

At the end, the sources told Reuters, the Indian-born captain, 31, was quiet, while the Indonesian officer, 41, said “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) – an Arabic phrase to express excitement, shock, praise or distress. The plane then hit water.

U.S. “CREDIBILITY DAMAGED”

Boeing has said there was a documented procedure to handle the situation. A different crew on the same plane the evening before had the same problem but solved it after running through three checklists, though they did not pass on all that information to the doomed crew, the preliminary report by investigators released in November said.

Rowing back from previous reliance on U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) vetting, Canada and the European Union will now seek their own guarantees over the MAX planes, complicating Boeing’s hopes to get them flying worldwide again.

Regulators want to be absolutely sure of Boeing’s new automated flight control system, known as MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System), and that pilots are fully trained to handle it.

“Our credibility as leaders in aviation is being damaged,” wrote Chesley Sullenberger, a U.S. pilot famed for landing a jet on the Hudson River saving all 155 people on board a decade ago.

“Boeing and the FAA have been found wanting in this ugly saga that began years ago but has come home to roost with two terrible fatal crashes, with no survivors, in less than five months, on a new airplane type, the Boeing 737 Max 8, something that is unprecedented in modern aviation history,” he added in a scathing article on marketwatch.com.

(GRAPHIC: The grounded 737 Max fleet – https://tmsnrt.rs/2u5sZYI)

Facing such high-profile scrutiny, Boeing, one of the United States’ most prestigious exporters, reshuffled executives in its commercial airplanes unit to focus on the crash fallout.

(GRAPHIC: Boeing 737 Max deliveries in question – https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hv2btC)

VOICE RECORDINGS

The FAA noted in a statement that its “robust processes” and “full collaboration with the aviation community” were key to safety worldwide. The regulator is due to have a new head soon, likely to be former Delta Air Lines executive Steve Dickson.

U.S. President Donald Trump had apparently been considering his longtime personal pilot, John Dunkin, before leaning toward Dickson who had a 27-year career at Delta.

In Ethiopia, which is leading the investigation, experts were poring over the in-flight recording of Captain Yared Getachew and First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed’s voices.

As with the Indonesia flight, they radioed control problems shortly after take-off and sought to turn back, struggling to get their plane on track before it hit a field. However, there is no proven link and experts emphasize that every accident is a unique chain of human and technical factors.

For now, though, more than 300 MAX aircraft are grounded round the world, and deliveries of nearly 5,000 more – worth well over $500 billion – are on hold.

Development of the 737 MAX, which offers cost savings of about 15 percent on fuel, began in 2011 after the successful launch by its main rival of the Airbus A320neo. The 737 MAX entered service in 2017 after six years of preparation.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick and Jason Neely in Addis Ababa, Tim Hepher in Paris, David Shepardson in Washington, David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Jamie Freed in Singapore, Cindy Silviana in Jakarta; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Source: OANN

Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of a Lion Air JT610 that crashed into Tanjung Karawang sea is seen inside a special container after it was found under the sea, during a press conference at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta
Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of a Lion Air JT610 that crashed into Tanjung Karawang sea is seen inside a special container after it was found under the sea, during a press conference at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

March 20, 2019

By Cindy Silviana, Jamie Freed and Tim Hepher

JAKARTA/SINGAPORE/PARIS (Reuters) – The pilots of a doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX scoured a handbook as they struggled to understand why the jet was lurching downwards, but ran out of time before it hit the water, three people with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder contents said.

The investigation into the crash, which killed all 189 people on board in October, has taken on new relevance as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulators grounded the model last week after a second deadly accident in Ethiopia.

Investigators examining the Indonesian crash are considering how a computer ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether the pilots had enough training to respond appropriately to the emergency, among other factors.

It is the first time the voice recorder contents from the Lion Air flight have been made public. The three sources discussed them on condition of anonymity.

Reuters did not have access to the recording or transcript.

A Lion Air spokesman said all data and information had been given to investigators and declined to comment further.

The captain was at the controls of Lion Air flight JT610 when the nearly new jet took off from Jakarta, and the first officer was handling the radio, according to a preliminary report issued in November.

Just two minutes into the flight, the first officer reported a “flight control problem” to air traffic control and said the pilots intended to maintain an altitude of 5,000 feet, the November report said.

The first officer did not specify the problem, but one source said airspeed was mentioned on the cockpit voice recording, and a second source said an indicator showed a problem on the captain’s display but not the first officer’s.

The captain asked the first officer to check the quick reference handbook, which contains checklists for abnormal events, the first source said.

For the next nine minutes, the jet warned pilots it was in a stall and pushed the nose down in response, the report showed. A stall is when the airflow over a plane’s wings is too weak to generate lift and keep it flying.

The captain fought to climb, but the computer, still incorrectly sensing a stall, continued to push the nose down using the plane’s trim system. Normally, trim adjusts an aircraft’s control surfaces to ensure it flies straight and level.

“They didn’t seem to know the trim was moving down,” the third source said. “They thought only about airspeed and altitude. That was the only thing they talked about.”

Boeing Co declined to comment on Wednesday because the investigation was ongoing.

The manufacturer has said there is a documented procedure to handle the situation. A different crew on the same plane the evening before encountered the same problem but solved it after running through three checklists, according to the November report.

But they did not pass on all of the information about the problems they encountered to the next crew, the report said.

The pilots of JT610 remained calm for most of the flight, the three sources said. Near the end, the captain asked the first officer to fly while he checked the manual for a solution.

About one minute before the plane disappeared from radar, the captain asked air traffic control to clear other traffic below 3,000 feet and requested an altitude of “five thou”, or 5,000 feet, which was approved, the preliminary report said.

As the 31-year-old captain tried in vain to find the right procedure in the handbook, the 41-year-old first officer was unable to control the plane, two of the sources said.

The flight data recorder shows the final control column inputs from the first officer were weaker than the ones made earlier by the captain.

“It is like a test where there are 100 questions and when the time is up you have only answered 75,” the third source said. “So you panic. It is a time-out condition.”

The Indian-born captain was silent at the end, all three sources said, while the Indonesian first officer said “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is greatest”, a common Arabic phrase in the majority-Muslim country that can be used to express excitement, shock, praise or distress.

The plane then hit the water, killing all 189 people on board.

French air accident investigation agency BEA said on Tuesday the flight data recorder in the Ethiopian crash that killed 157 people showed “clear similarities” to the Lion Air disaster. Since the Lion Air crash, Boeing has been pursuing a software upgrade to change how much authority is given to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, a new anti-stall system developed for the 737 MAX.

The cause of the Lion Air crash has not been determined, but the preliminary report mentioned the Boeing system, a faulty, recently replaced sensor and the airline’s maintenance and training.

On the same aircraft the evening before the crash, a captain at Lion Air’s full-service sister carrier, Batik Air, was riding along in the cockpit and solved the similar flight control problems, two of the sources said. His presence on that flight, first reported by Bloomberg, was not disclosed in the preliminary report.

The report also did not include data from the cockpit voice recorder, which was not recovered from the ocean floor until January.

Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesian investigation agency KNKT, said last week the report could be released in July or August as authorities attempted to speed up the inquiry in the wake of the Ethiopian crash.

On Wednesday, he declined to comment on the cockpit voice recorder contents, saying they had not been made public.

(Reporting by Cindy Silviana in Jakarta, Jamie Freed in Singapore and Tim Hepher in Paris; writing by Jamie Freed; Editing by Gerry Doyle)

Source: OANN

Women labourers work in a pearl millet field at Narayangaon
Women labourers work in a pearl millet field at Narayangaon, India, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

March 20, 2019

By Suvashree Choudhury and Alexandra Ulmer

CHINCHOLI, India (Reuters) – A few years ago, in this sweltering corner of western India, the horizon was dotted with hunched, barefoot women swinging sickles all day to cut wheat for the spring harvest.

Now, a giant green harvester clears an entire half-acre field within minutes, allowing farmers to save money and quickly sell the wheat, typically used to make Indian flat breads.

Chhaya Kharade, 36, and other women doing lighter farm work were gradually replaced by the machines that now crisscross wheat, sugar cane and onion fields surrounding Chincholi, a village 190 km (120 miles) east of India’s financial hub of Mumbai.

“I should be busy now, as the wheat harvesting is going on. But there is hardly any work for me. Almost all farmers are using machines,” Kharade said in her spartan two-room house.

Indian women, especially those working in precarious informal sectors, are at the sharp end of what economists and opposition politicians describe as a jobs crisis in India. According to the private Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), 90 percent of around 10 million jobs lost last year were held by women.

Several unemployed women interviewed by Reuters said they had soured on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist who swept to power in 2014 vowing to turn India into an economic powerhouse but has struggled to create jobs.

While Modi remains the favorite in general elections that kick off next month, insufficient employment – despite India’s roughly 7 percent economic growth rate – is a major voter worry.

“Modi’s government has not done anything to create employment in this region. We would like to vote for a party that will set up factories and create jobs,” said Mumtaj Mulani, a 40-year-old woman who was plucking weeds from a pearl millet field in the area. She said she usually struggles to find work due to the spread of machines.

The dwindling female labor participation rate could have far-reaching implications for India’s economic development and the progress of women’s rights in the often deeply conservative country.

“When nearly fifty percent of the labor force is unable to live up to its potential, India is foregoing significant growth, investment, and productivity gains,” said Milan Vaishnav, director of the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment.

“The social costs, while less tangible, are nevertheless acute,” Vaishnav added, noting research suggests women’s economic empowerment reduces inequality and ensures women have a greater voice in society.

Measuring the problem is tricky, and Modi’s government has delayed the release of controversial jobs data. [L3N2121QE]

But the official report, leaked to local newspaper Business Standard in February, shows the female labor participation rate was merely 23.3 percent in 2017-2018, down about 8 percentage points from 2011-2012.

Private estimates are gloomier. CMIE puts the figure at just 10.7 percent between May and August 2018.

For an interactive graphic on India’s female labor force participation rate, click https://tmsnrt.rs/2FbrbDK

DOUBLE WHAMMY: NOTE BAN AND GST

To be sure, the loss of jobs to machines is a global issue, but Indian women have a more limited range of alternative work than their male counterparts. And in family-focused India, women across economic lines often quit work after getting married or having children.

Also, as some families’ earnings rise, more women can afford to become caregivers.

Still, when compared to nations with similar income levels, India’s female labor participation rate is “a distinct outlier,” according to Vaishnav.

Economists say Modi’s two signature economic policies – a ban on high-value banknotes in 2016 and the implementation of a national sales tax rate (GST) in 2017 – have hurt women more than men because they are more likely to be employed in vulnerable, informal workplaces.

Demonetisation thrust the informal, cash-based economy into turmoil. A year later, many small businesses went under, unable to deal with GST’s complexities or rate increases.

“If there are fewer jobs available, who will move out? The women will move out, because they get lower wages. The men will go compete for the few jobs,” said CMIE’s CEO Mahesh Vyas.

In Dharavi, a Mumbai slum that is one of Asia’s largest, 33 year-old Farzana Begum has struggled to provide for her five children since the workshop she stitched buttons for shut shop in the wake of GST.

“I have stopped all extra spending on clothes and good food,” said Begum. “If you ask anyone in Dharavi, everyone has seen a fall in income, lost their jobs or seen factories close after GST.”

Her dismay was echoed on the other side of the country, in a village near the eastern city of Kolkata, where Nuren Nesa’s earnings from embroidering saris fell from 700 rupees a week to 300 after demonetisation. Following GST, work ground to a halt and her embroidery machine is gathering dust.

“Modi’s note ban and GST measures have destroyed our source of income,” said Nesa, 41, who withdrew her son from university because tuition fees grew out of reach.

“I will vote for the leader who will help us out with proper work and income,” she added.

As the battle for women’s votes heats up, Modi has pointed to programs to provide toilets and subsidized cooking gas cylinders as evidence his administration cares for women. This month, the main opposition party, Congress, vowed to reserve a third of federal government jobs for women if elected.

HARD WORK TO HIRE WOMEN?

Some business owners say they receive few applications from women.

“We do not find too many women in the segment we service, even though we would like to hire more women because they are more sincere, there is less attrition and they can multi-task,” said Vineet Pandey, who owns Mumbai-based housekeeping firms Kaarya Facilities & Services and Hecqo.com.

Indian women sometimes do not take jobs far from home due to fears for their safety.

Call centers or factories run by multinationals often attract women workers by providing transport after late shifts, but working at many other jobs entails commutes on packed trains and buses through India’s teeming and cities.

One businessman who employees roughly 1,000 men at his chemical factory in southern India, says hiring women would mean providing separate bathrooms and transport at night.

He argues bypassing men would also stoke tensions in India, where economic transformations and an influx of technology are testing the social fabric.

“In the rural areas, it is a more patriarchal society, if we give jobs to women and not men, there will be complaints from men,” said the businessman, who asked to remain anonymous.

“It is to maintain harmony.”

In any case, it is a moot point for now. His plant, struggling with high costs of power and transport, is not hiring.

For an interactive graphic on the regional female labor force participation rate, click https://tmsnrt.rs/2O4rinC

(Reporting by Suvashree Choudhury in Mumbai and Alexandra Ulmer in Hivare, Additional reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in Hivare and Subrata Nag Choudhury in Kolkata, Graphics by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru, Writing by Alexandra Ulmer, Editing by Euan Rocha and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury - WBC World Heavyweight Title
FILE PHOTO: Boxing – Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury – WBC World Heavyweight Title – Staples Centre, Los Angeles, United States – December 1, 2018 Deontay Wilder reacts after knocking down Tyson Fury Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will put his title on the line against fellow American Dominic Breazeale at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in May, both camps said on Tuesday.

Wilder (39-0-1), who fought to a split decision draw against Briton Tyson Fury in Los Angeles on Dec. 1, will face the 20-1 Breazeale on May 18.

Last December, Breazeale stopped Carlos Negron of Puerto Rico in the ninth round and is the WBC’s mandatory challenger.

“It’s always a great thing to get the mandatories out of the way because I consider the mandatories like flies — they are always buzzing in your ear,” Wilder, known as the Bronze Bomber, said at a media conference.

Breazeale, whose only loss was to WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Anthony Joshua in 2016, added he was looking forward to try and silence his fellow 33-year-old.

“I’m excited to finally get this chump in the ring,” he said. “You love your own voice. All you do is talk and talk and talk.

“It’s time to get into the ring and square off.”

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: British and EU flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament in London
FILE PHOTO: British and EU flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

March 19, 2019

By Thomas Escritt and Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments are exasperated by British dithering over quitting the bloc but have little appetite for pushing it out on schedule next week without a divorce deal, senior figures said on Tuesday.

EU ministers in Brussels to prepare a summit with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday voiced frustration after the speaker of parliament threw up a new obstacle for her plan to get her Brexit deal ratified before the March 29 deadline.

“Our patience as the European Union is being sorely tested at the moment,” German Europe minister Michael Roth told reporters. “Dear friends in London, please deliver. The clock is ticking.”

But Roth also echoed comments in Berlin by Chancellor Angela Merkel, the EU’s pre-eminent leader, who said she would “fight to the last minute” until midnight (2300 GMT) on March 29 to ensure an orderly exit for the EU’s second-ranked economy.

He said Germany’s main aim was to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which would disrupt business across the continent.

However, after two defeats for the Withdrawal Agreement that May negotiated with the EU, and her difficulty in trying to get it through parliament on a third vote even before the speaker ruled that it must be substantially changed, it is not clear how May can avert this without asking fellow leaders for more time.

ALL DEPENDS ON MAY

Leaders expect to discuss such an extension at the two-day summit starting on Thursday afternoon. But if May has yet to make a concrete proposal on her next move then, then the summit can do little more than outline possible steps — such as a readiness to give her a couple of months, or maybe longer.

“If there is no move from London, the leaders can also decide to wait,” said Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders. “It really depends on what May will say at the summit.”

Diplomats said member states were still discussing options for extension — possibly only for two to three months, if May persuades them she can clinch a deal at home, or for much longer if May accepts that radical reworking is needed. But these would come with conditions and might not be agreed until next week.

Merkel said there was “far too much in flux” to forecast the outcome of the summit, but her foreign minister, Heiko Maas, told reporters in Finland: “If more time is needed, it’s always better to do another round than a no-deal Brexit.”

EU diplomats say it is highly probable that leaders will unanimously support some sort of extension rather than see Britain lurch out of the bloc in 10 days’ time — even though some governments are starting to argue for ending the uncertainty and trusting to arrangements already put in place to mitigate the effects of a sudden, immediate exit.

Aides to French President Emmanuel Macron, a powerful voice on the Council alongside Merkel, say the onus is on Britain to say what it would do with more time.

“This uncertainty is unacceptable,” his EU affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau said in Brussels on Tuesday.

“Grant an extension? What for? Time is not a solution, it’s a method — if there’s an objective and a strategy. And it has to come from London.”

(Writing by Alastair Macdonald; @macdonaldrtr; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Source: OANN

Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa
FILE PHOTO: Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

March 19, 2019

By Maggie Fick and Tim Hepher

ADDIS ABABA/PARIS (Reuters) – The investigation into the final minutes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 turned on Tuesday to the secrets in the cockpit voice recorder as Boeing and a shaken global aviation industry hung on the outcome.

The voices of Captain Yared Getachew and First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed could reveal what led to the March 10 crash of the Boeing 737 MAX that has worrying parallels with another disaster involving the same model off Indonesia in October.

(GRAPHIC: Ethiopian Airlines crash – https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hn6V4k)

The twin disasters killed 346 people.

Black box data was downloaded in France but only Ethiopian experts leading the probe have heard the dialogue between Getachew, 29, and Mohammed, 25. The data was back in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, sources familiar with the probe told Reuters.

Experts believe a new automated system in Boeing’s flagship MAX fleet – intended to stop stalling by dipping the plane’s nose – may have played a role in both crashes, with pilots unable to override it as their jets plunged downwards.

Both came down just minutes after take-off after erratic flight patterns and loss of control reported by the pilots. However, every accident is a unique chain of human and technical factors, experts say.

The prestige of Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa’s most successful companies, and Boeing, the world’s biggest planemaker and a massive U.S. exporter, is at stake in the inquiry.

AWKWARD QUESTIONS FOR INDUSTRY

Lawmakers and safety experts are questioning how thoroughly regulators vetted the MAX model and how well pilots were trained on new features. For now, regulators have grounded the existing fleet of more than 300 MAX aircraft and deliveries of nearly 5,000 more – worth well over $500 billion – are on hold.

Pressure on the Chicago-headquartered company has grown with news that federal prosecutors and the U.S. Department of Transportation are scrutinizing how carefully the MAX model was developed, two people briefed on the matter said.

The U.S. Justice Department was looking at the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) oversight of Boeing, one of the people said. And a federal grand jury last week issued at least one subpoena to an entity involved in the plane’s development.

In the hope of getting its MAX line back into the air soon, Boeing said it will roll out a software update and revise pilot training. In the case of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, it has raised questions about whether crew used the correct procedures.

“Lives depend on the work we do,” acknowledged Boeing boss Dennis Muilenburg, facing the biggest crisis of his tenure.

The MAX, which offers cost savings of about 15 percent on fuel, was developed for service from 2017 after the successful launch by its main rival of the Airbus A320neo.

(GRAPHIC: The grounded 737 Max fleet – https://tmsnrt.rs/2u5sZYI)

After Ethiopia, France and the United States all noted parallels with the Indonesia crash, one person familiar with the probe said black box data showed the Ethiopian Airlines jet’s “angle of attack” was “very similar” to the Lion Air plane.

The angle of attack is a fundamental parameter of flight, measuring the degrees between the air flow and the wing. If it is too high, it can throw the plane into an aerodynamic stall.

GLOBAL RAMIFICATIONS

In the hot seat over its certification of the MAX without demanding additional training and its closeness to Boeing, the FAA has said it is “absolutely” confident in its vetting.

But given the U.S. probe, Canada said it would re-examine its acceptance of the FAA validation and do its own independent certification.

The crisis has put the airline world in a spin.

One company, Norwegian Airlines, has already said it will seek compensation after grounding its MAX aircraft.

Various firms are reconsidering Boeing orders, and some airlines are revising profit forecasts given they now cannot count on maintenance and fuel savings factored in from the MAX.

Beyond the corporate ramifications, anguished relatives are still waiting to find out what happened.

Many have been visiting the crash site in a charred field to seek some closure, but there is anger at the slow pace of information and all they have been given for funerals is earth.

Abdulmajid Shariff, a Yemeni who lost his brother-in-law, was heading home on Tuesday. “I’m just so terribly sad. I had to leave here without the body of my dead brother. But I have to praise almighty God, there is nothing more to do.”

(Reporting by Maggie Fick and Jason Neely in Addis Ababa, Tim Hepher in Paris, David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Jamie Freed in Singapore; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)

Source: OANN

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Republican California Rep. Devin Nunes filed suit against Twitter and some Twitter users Monday for $250 million in compensatory damages, alleging the social media platform engaged in “shadow-banning conservatives.”

“Twitter created and developed the content at issue in this case by transforming false accusations of criminal conduct, imputed wrongdoing, dishonesty and lack of integrity into a publicly available commodity used by unscrupulous political operatives and their donor/clients as a weapon,” Nunes’ legal team wrote in the filing. “Twitter is ‘responsible’ for the development of offensive content on its platform because it in some way specifically encourages development of what is offensive about the content.”

The lawsuit alleges defamation, conspiracy and negligence, reported Fox News. It also seeks an “injunction compelling Twitter to turn over the identities behind numerous accounts he says have harassed and defamed him,” according to Fox News. (RELATED: Democrats Credit Health Care For House Win And Are Divided On What To Do)

The suit also names former Republican National Committee online communications director Liz Mair. Nunes’s lawyers say her tweets “implied that Nunes colluded with prostitutes and cocaine addicts, that Nunes does cocaine, and that Nunes was involved in a ‘Russian money laundering front.’”

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (L) arrives for a closed-door hearing with Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, in the basement of the House Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol March 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (L) arrives for a closed-door hearing with Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, in the basement of the House Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol March 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“To be fair, I think [T]he Fresno Bee writing up your investment in a winery that allegedly used underage hookers to solicit investment — an allegation you’ve known about for years, during which you’ve stayed invested in it, I might add — did surprise you,” Mair tweeted at Nunes June 22, 2018.

Mair wrote on Twitter Monday after news of the suit broke that she is declining to comment but posted a link for donations to cover her legal fees.

Nunes filed the complaint in Virginia state court Monday and is also seeking $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and the specified users. He wrote that Twitter was “knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory – providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers – thereby facilitating defamation on its platform.”

Nunes’s legal team also wrote that Twitter should not be exempt from defamation liability because the platform actively curates and bans content to the point that it should have liability like other organizations that can be guilty of defamation, reported Fox News.

Nunes’s filing linked Twitter’s actions to influencing the 2018 midterm elections in which Republicans lost the House of Representatives. (RELATED: Twitter Censors ‘The Federalist’ Co-Founder Over Lisa Page Tweet)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey speaks during a press event at CES 2019 at the Aria Resort & Casino on January 9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey speaks during a press event at CES 2019 at the Aria Resort & Casino on January 9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

News of Nunes’s suit comes on the same day Twitter said it “mistakenly remove[d]” a tweet from The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis’s account Monday but denied employing “shadow banning” tactics against users.

Twitter representatives including CEO Jack Dorsey have been invited to Capitol Hill by lawmakers numerous times to testify on how their platforms deal with issues like terrorist propaganda and more.

Twitter declined to comment on the suit to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller Shop | Contributor

Lean Six Sigma and Minitab might sound like gibberish to you right now. But for project management professionals, they are essential skills for managing a project from start to finish. If you want to jumpstart your way to a more lucrative career, enrolling in the Comprehensive Six Sigma Certification Collection is a no-brainer. The 10 classes will give you the tools to become a Six Sigma pro.

Get ready for your career to take off with this intensive training course

Get ready for your career to take off with this intensive training course

The Daily Caller shop is offering a one-time deal on these classes for a reduced price of $35. 

Colored belts aren’t just for karate. In Six Sigma, they represent levels of certification. In the Comprehensive Six Sigma Certification Collection, you have access to 47 lectures that will earn you a white, green, yellow, and black belt. Along the way, you will become an expert in Kano analysis, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), and Voice of Customer (VOC). The 187 lectures on Minitab gives you real-life data to practice your new knowledge.

A Six Sigma Certification class can cost thousands. The price of this Comprehensive Six Sigma Certification Collection has dropped to $45. For a limited time, take these courses for only $35.

When you complete these classes, you will be a certified project management professional. This skillset will open up a whole new world of job opportunities.

With Six Sigma certification, your employment prospects are limitless. Purchase the Comprehensive Six Sigma Certification Collection in the Daily Caller shop for the low price of $35 today.

Source: The Daily Caller

The Daily Dealer | Contributor

We shouldn’t have to worry about home security when we are away, but sometimes we just can’t help it. If you don’t want to invest in a costly security system but you still want some peace of mind that nothing is amiss at home, Amazon may have just the sale for you on its signature Ring Alarm Kit. While this 8-piece alarm system normally retails for $318.97, for a limited time you can get it for just $239.00 if you are a prime member.

Normally $318, get this Amazon alarm system for 25 percent off (Photo via Amazon)

Normally $318, get this Amazon alarm system for 25 percent off (Photo via Amazon)

This Ring Alarm 8-Piece Kit allows you to get alerts on your smartphone when someone opens a door or window at your home, meaning you can check to make sure the kids get home from school without too much hassle while also being on the lookout for any unwanted visitors.

Take almost $80 off this Amazon alarm system (Photo via Amazon)

Take almost $80 off this Amazon alarm system (Photo via Amazon)

Get this Ring Alarm 8 Piece Kit + a Free Echo Dot (3rd Gen) on sale for 40 percent off 

Also, unlike other alarm systems, this Ring Alarm kit works with Alexa so that you can arm and disarm the entire system with just your voice. You can also elect to add 24/7 professional monitoring for $10 per month, and cancel anytime without additional fees!

This 8-piece set includes the base alarm station, a keypad, a contact sensor, a motion detector, and a range extender. For a limited time, this bundle even comes with a free Echo dot, making it one of today’s must-have deals!

(Photo via Amazon)

(Photo via Amazon)

Ring Alarm 5 Piece Kit + Echo Dot (3rd Gen), Works with Alexa for only $239

Have a suggestion for a cool product or great deal that you think Daily Caller readers need to know about? Email the Daily Dealer at [email protected]

Follow The Daily Dealer on Twitter and Facebook

The Daily Caller is devoted to showing you things that you’ll like or find interesting. We do have partnerships with affiliates, so The Daily Caller may get a small share of the revenue from any purchase.

Source: The Daily Caller

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz attends a press conference after the federal cabinet meeting in Potsdam
FILE PHOTO: German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz attends a press conference after the federal cabinet meeting in Potsdam, Germany November 15, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

March 18, 2019

BERLIN (Reuters) – Trade conflicts are damaging the global economy and Europe must speak with one voice to maximize its bargaining power, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Monday.

“Trade conflicts, as we have seen over the last months – especially between richer countries only thinking of their own (short-term) interest – are damaging the world economy,” Scholz said in speech at a ‘World Policy Forum’ conference in Berlin.

“Trade policy has been an EU-level responsibility for a long time. It is obvious that we have much more bargaining power if we speak with one European voice,” Scholz added. “Only together we are able to set and enforce standards of fair trade.”

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

Source: OANN

A woman mourns next to coffins during the burial ceremony of the Ethiopian Airline Flight ET 302 crash victims at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Orthodox church in Addis Ababa
A woman mourns next to coffins during the burial ceremony of the Ethiopian Airline Flight ET 302 crash victims at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Orthodox church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Maheder Haileselassie

March 17, 2019

By Maggie Fick

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia said on Sunday the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed 157 people had “clear similarities” with October’s Lion Air crash, according to analysis of the black boxes recovered from the wreckage of the March 10 disaster.

Both planes were Boeing 737 MAX 8s, and both crashed minutes after take off after pilots reported flight control problems. Concern over the plane’s safety caused aviation authorities worldwide to ground the model, wiping billions of dollars off Boeing’s market value.

Investigators are trying to determine why the aircraft plunged into a field shortly after take off from Addis Ababa, searching for possible similarities to an October Lion Air crash that killed 189 people.

“It was the same case with the Indonesian (Lion Air) one. There were clear similarities between the two crashes so far,” Ethiopian transport ministry spokesman Muse Yiheyis said.

“The data was successfully recovered. Both the American team and our (Ethiopian) team validated it. The minister thanked the French government. We will let you know more after three or four days,” he told Reuters.

In Washington, U.S. officials told Reuters that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board have not validated the data yet.

When investigators, after reviewing black box data, return to Addis Ababa and start conducting interpretive work, the NTSB and FAA will assist in verification and validation of the data, an official said.

In Paris, France’s BEA air accident investigation agency said data from the jet’s cockpit voice recorder had been successfully downloaded. The French agency said in a tweet it had not listened to the audio files and that the data had been transferred to Ethiopian investigators.

In Addis Ababa, a source who has listened to the air traffic control recording of the plane’s communications said flight 302 had an unusually high speed after take-off before the plane reported problems and asked permission to climb quickly.

Ethiopian Airlines crash: https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hn6V4k

SAFETY ANALYSIS

A preliminary report on the crash is to be released within 30 days, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing the transport minister.

The Seattle Times reported that Boeing’s safety analysis of a new flight control system on 737 MAX jets had several crucial flaws.

The analysis of the system called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) understated the power of this system, the Seattle Times said, citing current and former engineers at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA also did not delve into any detailed inquiries and followed a standard certification process on the MAX, the Seattle Times reported citing an FAA spokesman.

The FAA declined to comment on the Seattle Times report but referred to previous statements about the certification process. It has said the 737-MAX certification process followed the FAA’s standard certification process.

The report also said both Boeing and the FAA were informed of the specifics of this story and were asked for responses 11 days ago, before the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX last Sunday that killed all 157 people on board. The same model flown by Lion Air crashed off the coast of Indonesia in October, killing all 189 on board.

Last Monday Boeing said it would deploy a software upgrade to the 737 MAX 8, a few hours after the FAA said it would mandate “design changes” in the aircraft by April.

A Boeing spokesman said 737 MAX was certified in accordance with the identical FAA requirements and processes that have governed certification of all previous new airplanes and derivatives. The spokesman said the FAA concluded that MCAS on 737 MAX met all certification and regulatory requirements.

In Addis Ababa, aviation staff gathered at Bole International Airport to remember the two pilots and six crew, who perished along with the 149 passengers.

Weeping women held single stems in their shaking hands. Banks of the white flowers, the traditional color of mourning, were placed in front of a row of empty coffins at the ceremony.

The grounded 737 Max fleet: https://tmsnrt.rs/2u5sZYI

(Additional reporting by David Shepardson, Gaurika Juneja, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

United Nations workers mourn their colleagues during a commemoration ceremony for the victims at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu
United Nations workers mourn their colleagues during a commemoration ceremony for the victims at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu, near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa NegerI

March 16, 2019

By Maggie Fick

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, which crashed killing 157 people, had an unusually high speed after take-off before the plane reported problems and asked permission to climb quickly, said a source who has listened to the air traffic control recording.

A voice from the cockpit of the Boeing 737 MAX requested to climb to 14,000 feet above sea level – about 6,400 feet above the airport – before urgently asking to return, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity because the recording is part of an ongoing investigation.

The plane vanished from radar at 10,800 feet.

“He said he had a flight control problem. That is why he wanted to climb,” the source said, adding there were no further details given of the exact problem and the voice sounded nervous.

Experts say pilots typically ask to climb when experiencing problems near the ground in order to gain margin for maneuver and avoid any difficult terrain. Addis Ababa is surrounded by hills and, immediately to the north, the Entoto Mountains.

The New York Times reported Captain Yared Getachew’s voice was on the recording but the Reuters source was not familiar with his voice or that of the first officer Ahmed Nur Mohammod Nur to verify which man was speaking. However, it was the same voice throughout, the source said.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday followed other countries in grounding the 737 MAX, citing satellite data and evidence from the scene that indicated some similarities and “the possibility of a shared cause” with October’s Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people.

On Saturday, investigators began studying the cockpit voice recorder. Along with the flight data recorder, the information will be evaluated by Ethiopian authorities, teams from Boeing, and U.S. and EU aviation safety authorities to try to determine the cause of the crash.

HIGH SPEED, FAILED CLIMB

The Ethiopian flight was set to follow the Standard Instrument Departure (SID) from the airport and followed standard procedure with a first contact just after departure, the source said. Everything appeared normal.

After one or two minutes, the voice on the air traffic control recording requested to remain on the same path as the runway and to climb to 14,000 feet, the source said.

The aircraft’s ground speed after departure was unusually high, the Reuters source said, reaching around 400 knots (460 miles per hour) rather than the 200 to 250 knots that is more typical minutes after departure.

“That is way too fast,” the source said.

No more than two minutes later, the air traffic controller was in communication with other aircraft when the voice from Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 interrupted, saying “break, break” – signaling that other non-urgent communications should cease. He sounded very scared, the source said.

“He requested permission to return. Air traffic control granted him permission to turn on the right because to the left is the city,” he said. “Maybe one minute passed before the blinking dot on the radar disappeared.”

After starting the turn, the plane disappeared from radar at an altitude of 10,800 feet above sea level, the highest it reached during the six-minute flight. Addis Ababa’s runway is at a high elevation of around 7,600 feet, suggesting the doomed jet made it about 3,000 feet into the sky.

Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 had data covering the first half of the flight but it dropped out at 8,600 feet.

Other satellite data tracking the plane has not been made available publicly. In the Lion Air crash, investigators are examining the behavior of a new anti-stall system installed on the 737 MAX that led to the plane gaining and losing altitude as the pilots fought for control against the automated system.

Boeing is expected to finalize a software fix for that system within a week to 10 days, sources familiar with the matter said earlier on Saturday.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick; Additional reporting by Katharine Houreld, Jamie Freed, Tim Hepher; Editing by Leigh Thomas, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

An electric scooter from the ride sharing company Lyft is shown on a downtown sidewalk in San Diego
An electric scooter from the ride sharing company Lyft is shown on a downtown sidewalk in San Diego, California, U.S., March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

March 16, 2019

(Reuters) – A group of investors has called on Lyft Inc’s board to scrap a proposed dual-class share structure, as the ride hailing company pitches its initial public offering to investors next week, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

San Francisco-based Lyft’s planned IPO includes a dual-class stock structure, with one class of shareholders getting 20 votes per share and another getting one vote per share.

The investor group, in a letter addressed to the company’s directors, said it should stick with its single class of shares with one vote each, the report said.

If the company’s board fails to resolve the issue, it should adopt a “sunset” provision to phase out the extra voting rights within seven years, the letter said, according to the newspaper.

The letter was signed by investors from Britain’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, BNP Paribas Asset Management, pension funds representing public employees in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Ohio, the Teamsters union and United Auto Workers union retirees, the newspaper said.

Lyft did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

“With a dual-class structure, Lyft is basically shielding itself and company insiders against shareholders who deserve a voice. Outsized control among an unaccountable few is an unnecessary risk — and Lyft should go back to the drawing board,” New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said, according to the Financial Times. Stringer oversees the city’s pension funds.

(Reporting by Akshay Balan in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

Conservatives came to Chelsea Clinton’s defense after a video surfaced of a New York University student verbally berating her on Friday at a vigil to honor the people who died in the New Zealand shooting.

The confrontation took place a day after a man opened fire inside two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that left at least 49 people dead.

WATCH:

“This right here is the result of the massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you have put out into the world,” one student said to Clinton. “I want you to know that. I want you to feel that deep inside. The 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there.”

Clinton, who’s pregnant, responded by apologizing for making the students uncomfortable. The students were angry about her interactions with Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

The student was referencing the comments Clinton made about Omar last month after the Minnesota congresswoman accused the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of buying pro-Israel support(RELATED: House Overwhelmingly Approves Motion To Condemn Anti-Semitism Amid Omar Fallout)

Clinton tweeted to Omar after the accusation, saying, “Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.”

The two of them then tweeted to each other, both showing a willingness to discuss Clinton’s discomfort with Omar’s tweet.

The student seemed to suggest that her comments led to an avalanche of criticism against one of the first Muslim congresswomen in Congress. Omar’s comments were widely criticized by members of both political parties, and she eventually apologized and deleted the tweet.

The video of the students confronting Clinton went viral and conservatives like Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld tweeted their support of Clinton.

“Fox & Friends” also ran a segment about the confrontation on Saturday with Ed Henry saying she had nothing to apologize for.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Afghan singer Aryana Sayeed is pictured at Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul
Afghan singer Aryana Sayeed is pictured at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

March 16, 2019

By Orooj Hakimi and Rod Nickel

KABUL, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Each time Aryana Sayeed, one of Afghanistan’s most famous singers, returns to the country of her birth, she braves threats and endures scrutiny right down to her choice of clothes.

Still, she returns often, as much to encourage women in a restrictive country as to share her music, a mix of pop and traditional songs.

“It’s really hard for me as a female singer to carry on with my work in Afghanistan with the type of pressure that I have on my mind, the threats that I get on a regular basis, the attacks on social media,” she said in an interview in Kabul.

“I get messages, scary ones actually.”

Aryana, as she is usually known, had just finished performing last week on Afghan Star, a televised singing competition.

In 2017, Aryana enraged conservative Afghans when she was photographed wearing a self-colored dress at a Paris concert. Clerics threatened that she would be killed if she returned to perform a scheduled concert in Kabul.

She performed anyway.

“People love to hear her voice. But they don’t love her,” said filmmaker Sadam Wahidi, who is working on a documentary about Aryana, who is often compared to Hollywood reality star Kim Kardashian.

Aryana’s success in Afghanistan and among Afghans living abroad illustrates how much the treatment of women has changed since the 2001 ouster of the Taliban by U.S.-led forces. But the vitriol she draws shows how intractable some attitudes remain.

Born in Kabul, she fled Afghanistan’s civil war at age 8 with her family, stopping in Pakistan, then Switzerland. After the family’s asylum case was rejected, they hired a smuggler to get to London, and settled down.

Aryana, 34, now splits her time between Kabul and Istanbul.

‘SO SCARY’

In her home city, Aryana travels by armored vehicle, but more often she lives in isolation.

“I’m basically a prisoner in my own room,” she said. “All I do is go to my room and back to the set and record the show.”

Women have gained the right to work and girls can attend school since the Taliban government fell.

It is a stark contrast to life under the hardline Islamists, when women were banned even from appearing in public without a male relative or with faces uncovered. Playing musical instruments was also forbidden.

Still, rural Afghanistan remains more conservative than the cities, and many people object to Aryana’s clothing and her promotion of women’s rights.

“Aryana Sayeed’s concerts are not in accordance with our society and Islam,” said Layeq Khan Wahdat, 26, a resident of Paktika province. “Dress-up like this can promote prostitution and seduction.”

Aryana’s latest return to Afghanistan came as the United States discusses peace with the Taliban to end the 17-year war. The prospect of re-integration of the Taliban is chilling to the singer.

“That’s so scary even to think about it,” she said. “I don’t want to accept that this is my last concert. If they come with the same mindset, I’m afraid the rights of women will be taken away from them again.”

The Taliban have said their return to Afghan society would be less harsh and that they do not oppose women’s education or employment; however they are against women wearing “alien culture clothes.”

At her Afghan Star performance, Aryana wore a tight-fitting white jumpsuit and cape, with no headscarf.

TOLO TV, Afghanistan’s largest private station that airs the singing show, closely cropped images of her in the outfit to display her only from the chest up.

Several hundred young women wearing headscarves watched in the studio audience admiringly and dozens mobbed her afterwards for photos.

“The Taliban are always trying to cut off the voices of women,” said a teenage girl, 17. “But it was Aryana Sayeed who taught us that ‘you are not weak’.”

(Reporting by Orooj Hakimi and Rod Nickel in Kabul; additional reporting by Hameed Farzad; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

Logos of the Louis Vuitton brand are seen outside a Louis Vuitton store in Bordeaux
Logos of the Louis Vuitton brand are seen outside a Louis Vuitton store in Bordeaux, southwestern France, October 4, 2016. Picture taken October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

March 16, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – French fashion house Louis Vuitton has pulled Michael Jackson-themed items from its 2019 summer menswear collection following a documentary about alleged child abuse by the late pop star.

The collection was shown in January at the Paris Fashion week and is due to hit stores in June, but a Louis Vuitton spokeswoman said the Jackson-themed items would not be put up for sale.

Louis Vuitton said that at the time of the event, it was not aware of the “Leaving Neverland” documentary, in which two adult men say they were befriended by Jackson and abused by him in the early 1990s.

“I am aware that in light of this documentary, the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights,” Louis Vuitton menswear designer Virgil Abloh said in a statement.

Abloh, an American designer who was hired by Vuitton in March 2018, said his intention for this show had been to refer to Jackson as a pop culture artist.

The documentary has caused a backlash against Jackson’s legacy, as some radio stations stopped playing his music and an episode of “The Simpsons” cartoon show featuring his voice is being pulled from future broadcasts.

Jackson’s family has called the documentary and news coverage of the accusations a “public lynching” and said he was “100 percent innocent”.

“We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling,” Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke said, adding that the firm is fully committed to advocating the cause of child welfare.

Louis Vuitton is the world’s biggest luxury brand, with annual sales of more than 10 billion euros, and is the biggest revenue driver for its parent company, French luxury goods group LVMH.

The menswear unit is a relatively small part of its business and pulling the Jackson-themed items should not have a major impact on the label.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Pascale Denis; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Source: OANN

The Daily Caller Shop | Contributor

You always have your phone in your hand – here’s one more way you can use it. The KlikR Universal Remote Control allows you to control your TV, stereo, lights, and more with just your smartphone. The remote is on sale for 30% in the Daily Caller shop.

Control your TV, Lights, and More with the touch of a button on your phone with this universal app

Control your TV, Lights, and More with the touch of a button on your phone with this universal remote

Normally $30, save $10 on this small Bluetooth remote control that allows you to control any wireless device from an app on your phone 

Just place the tiny Bluetooth device next to any electronic device in your home to connect it to your smartphone. Never worry about losing multiple remotes again. Your whole family can use the KlikR Universal Remote Control easily by sharing the accompanying app. You can even use your voice to make life even easier. The technology is so advanced, the device was a finalist at the iOT/M2M Innovation World Cup in 2016. The Cupertino Times, the newspaper in the heart of Silicon Valley, said: “KlikR changes the way we interact with our most common technology devices.”

Because of the app, even a lost or stolen phone, won’t prevent you from having access to your electronic devices. The 32 mm control has been reduced from $29 to $19.99.

Make your life even easier with the KlikR Universal Remote Control. The gadget is on sale for $19.99 in the Daily Caller shop today.

Source: The Daily Caller

Students are seen during the global school strike for action on climate change outside New Zealand's parliament in Wellington
Students are seen during the global school strike for action on climate change outside New Zealand’s parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, March 15, 2019. AAP Image/Boris Jancic/via REUTERS

March 15, 2019

By Charlotte Greenfield and Tom Westbrook

WELLINGTON/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Thousands of school students walked out of class across Australia and New Zealand on Friday as part of a global student strike against government inaction on climate change.

“Climate change is worse than Voldemort”, read one student’s handmade sign in Wellington, referring to the evil wizard in the hugely popular Harry Potter books and films. “The oceans are rising, so are we,” read another in Sydney.

Student protests were held in capitals and cities across Australia and New Zealand from Wellington to Melbourne and Sydney, drawing tens of thousands of people, with more planned through Europe, Asia and the United States later on Friday.

The marches are part of a worldwide student strike movement, which started in August 2018 when 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg began protesting outside her parliament on school days. Norwegian lawmakers have nominated her for the Nobel Peace Prize.

“If we don’t do something, it’ll be our lives affected, not the 60-year-old politicians,” said Sydney student Callum Frith, 15, who was wearing his school uniform. “We need action.”

Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, around 60 students protested at Thailand’s government house in Bangkok, holding cardboard signs to campaign against plastic. Thailand is one of the world’s top marine plastic polluters.

“As youths who will inherit the land, we gather here to demand that the government work with us to solve these problems,” said 17-year-old Thiti Usanakul of student-led group Grin Green International in a speech.

The group was later invited to meet with officials at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in two weeks.

More than 100 students planned to gather in Seoul for a protest. In Singapore, where there are strict laws regulating public assembly, youths planned a virtual campaign on social media.

“The government just needs to change some things, which is why if we go on strike on a school day then they’ll notice and they might actually do something about it,” said 14-year-old New Zealand student Inese, who did not want her surname made public.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has pledged NZ$100 million ($68 million) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, supports to the student strikes, saying teenagers should not wait until they were old enough to vote to use their voice.[L3N21013U]

That contrasts with politicians in Australia and Britain who have rebuked them for cutting class.

“For action on issues that they think is important, they should do that after school or on weekends,” Australia’s Minister for Education Dan Tehan told reporters ahead of protests in Melbourne.

Wellington parent Alex, who marched beside his 11-year-old son, disagreed. “It’s a much better day of education…this is the greatest issue of our time,” he said.

Scientists say the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, releases greenhouse gases that trap heat and lift global temperatures, causing more floods, droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels.

At the 2015 Paris climate conference, countries pledged to work to limit the rise to 2 degrees Celsius (35 Fahrenheit), a step that will require a radical reduction in the use of coal and fossil fuels.

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield in Wellington, Tom Westbrook in Sydney and Sonali Paul in Melbourne. Additional reporting by Jane Chung in Seoul, Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore and Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok; Editing by Michael Perry and Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Men unload a case containing the black boxes from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 outside the headquarters of France's BEA air accident investigation agency in Le Bourget
Men unload a case containing the black boxes from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 outside the headquarters of France’s BEA air accident investigation agency in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

March 15, 2019

By David Shepardson, Richard Lough and Aaron Maasho

WASHINGTON/PARIS/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – French investigators on Friday will begin analyzing data from the black boxes of the Boeing 737 Max plane that crashed after takeoff from Addis Ababa killing 157 people, the second such calamity involving the aircraft since October.

Experts will be looking for any links between Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash and the October crash of a 737 Max operated by Lion Air in Indonesia that killed 189 people. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Boeing MAX jets in service because of similarities between the two crashes.

Boeing said it had paused deliveries of its fastest-selling 737 MAX aircraft built at its factory near Seattle, but continues to produce the single-aisle version of the jet at full speed while dealing with the worldwide fleet’s grounding.

Possible links between the accidents have rocked the aviation industry, scared passengers, and left the world’s biggest planemaker scrambling to prove the safety of a money-spinning model intended to be the standard for decades.

The flight data and cockpit voice recorders were handed over to France’s Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) on Thursday. Technical analysis would begin on Friday and the first conclusions could take several days.

U.S. lawmakers said on Thursday the 737 Max fleet would be grounded for weeks if not longer until a software upgrade could be tested and installed.

Boeing has said it would roll out the software improvement “across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks.”

The captain of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 requested permission to return to Addis Ababa airport three minutes after takeoff as it accelerated to abnormal speed, the New York Times reported.

All contact between air controllers and Flight 302 to Nairobi was lost five minutes after it took off, a person who reviewed air traffic communications told the newspaper.

Within a minute of the flight’s departure, Captain Yared Getachew reported a “flight control” problem as the aircraft was well below the minimum safe height during a climb, the Times reported, citing the person.

After being cleared by the control room to turn back, Flight 302 climbed to an unusually high altitude and disappeared from radar over a restricted military zone, the person added.

Relatives of the dead stormed out of a meeting with Ethiopian Airlines on Thursday, decrying a lack of transparency, while others made the painful trip to the crash scene.

“I can’t find you! Where are you?” said one Ethiopian woman, draped in traditional white mourning shawl, as she held a framed portrait of her brother in the charred and debris-strewn field.

Nations around the world, including an initially reluctant United States, have suspended the 371 MAX models in operation, though airlines are largely coping by switching flights to other planes in their fleets.

Nearly 5,000 MAXs are on order, meaning the financial implications are huge for the industry.

“We continue to build 737 MAX airplanes while assessing how the situation, including potential capacity constraints, will impact our production system,” Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said.

Boeing would maintain its production rate of 52 aircraft per month, of which the MAX, its newest version, represents the major share. However, Boeing declined to break out exact numbers.

CONNECTION TO INDONESIA CRASH?

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cited satellite data and evidence from the scene that indicated some similarities and “the possibility of a shared cause” with October’s crash in Indonesia.

The head of the Asian nation’s transport safety committee said the report into the Lion Air crash would be speeded up so it could be released in July to August, months earlier than its original timeframe.

Though it maintains the planes are safe, Boeing has supported the FAA move. Its stock is down about 11 percent since the crash, wiping more than $26 billion off its market value. It fell 1 percent on Thursday.

U.S. and Canadian carriers wrestled with customer calls and flight cancellations and Southwest Airlines Co and American Airlines Group Inc, the largest U.S. operators of the 737 MAX, said they had started flying empty MAX aircraft to be parked elsewhere during the ban.

U.S. President Donald Trump, an aviation enthusiast with deep ties to Boeing, said he hoped the suspensions would be short. “They have to figure it out fast,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

A software fix for the 737 MAX that Boeing has been working on since the Lion Air crash in October will take months to complete, the FAA said on Wednesday.

In what may presage a raft of claims, Norwegian Air has said it will seek compensation from Boeing for costs and lost revenue after grounding its fleet of 737 MAX.

Airline Garuda Indonesia said there was a possibility it would cancel its 20-strong order of 737 MAXs, while Malaysia Airlines said it was reviewing an order for 25 of the aircraft.

Under international rules, Ethiopians are leading the investigation but France’s BEA will conduct black box analysis as an adviser. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was also sending three investigators to assist.

The cause of the Indonesian crash is still being investigated. A November preliminary report, before the retrieval of the cockpit voice recorder, focused on maintenance and training and the response of a Boeing anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor, but gave no reason for the crash.

(For an interactive graphic on ‘Ethiopian Airlines crash’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2ChBW5M)

(Reporting by Richard Lough, Tim Hepher and John Irish in Paris, Duncan Miriri and Aaron Masho in Addis Ababa, Jeff Mason and David Shepardson in Washington, Omar Mohammed and Maggie Fick in Nairobi; Danilo Masoni in Milan, and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle, Tracy Rucinski in Chicago, Allison Lampert in Montreal; Writing by Stephen Coates; Editing by Neil Fullick)

Source: OANN

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Cardi B definitely got everyone’s attention Thursday when she appeared to go off the rails in a video to fans about having a voice in her head that interrupts her every time someone is talking to her.

“Hey ya’ll, so I’m having a problem right, like a lot of people be saying ‘Oh I met Cardi B and I don’t know if she like me or not because she was looking at me like if I’m crazy …’ but that’s not the problem,” the outspoken 26-year-old rapper said in a video she posted on Instagram.  (RELATED: Tomi Lahren Responds To Cardi B’s ‘Dog Walk’ Threat)

“The problem is that I have a voice in my head that when I’m talking to people, it just start having a conversation with me and I be replying back,” she added. (RELATED: Tomi Lahren Hits Back After Cardi B Threatens To Get Her Leash Once Again)

The superstar rapper continued, “Like, you could be talking to me and the voice in my head … will start asking me questions like, ‘Hey what happened to your green Balenciaga shirt that you wore the other day?’ And then I’ll reply back in my head like, ‘I don’t know bitch. I think I left it at my grandma’s house.’”

But she wasn’t done yet. The “Money” hitmaker then shared that she’s not actually “paying attention” to what the person is saying when they are talking to her due to the back and forth conversation she’s having with that voice her head.

“I’m really not paying attention because the voice in my head is fucking talking to me,” Cardi B went on. “I don’t know if that shit happen to people, that shit be happening to me, so I just be looking at you [with a look] [be]cause … I’m having a whole conversation in my fucking thoughts. That’s why.”

Earlier in the day, she also tweeted about wanting “dick for breakfast.”

Source: The Daily Caller

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Carly Schroeder, once a regular on Disney’s “Lizzie McGuire” series, announced Wednesday that she is joining the Army.

WATCH:

The 28-year-old actress explained her decision in a lengthy Instagram post along with a photo of herself in tactical gear. (RELATED: ‘Superman’ Dean Cain To Put On Badge As Reserve Officer — Because ‘Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes’)

Schroeder began the caption with a nod to her first career in Hollywood. “For 22 years, I’ve played dress up for a living,” she said. “As an actress I’ve been kidnapped, gone blind, nearly eaten by lions and murdered on more than one occasion. I tormented Lizzie McGuire’s little brother on the Disney channel, was a dolphin trainer, the first female soccer player on an all-boys team and Harrison Ford once rescued me during an intense home invasion.”

“That’s exciting and all, but in January I decided to raise my right hand and swear into the United States Army,” she continued.

View this post on Instagram

For 22 years, I’ve played dress up for a living. As an actress I’ve been kidnapped, gone blind, nearly eaten by lions and murdered on more than one occasion. I tormented Lizzie McGuire’s little brother on the Disney channel, was a dolphin trainer, the first female soccer player on an all boys team and Harrison Ford once rescued me during an intense home invasion. . That’s exciting and all, but in January I decided to raise my right hand and swear into the United States Army. With a college degree from @callutheran in Criminal Justice, an ASVAB score of 92, and qualifying PFTs… I was accepted into Army #OCS (Officer Candidate School). . There are three BIG reasons (among many others) why I am taking a break from Hollywood to #goarmy . 1. College opened my eyes to global injustices. But on a more tangible micro level, there is human trafficking occurring within the United States. I’ve written papers, spread awareness and as an Army Officer I intend to learn skills I can later apply when I’m on a team helping these victims. . 2. Serving my country will give my voice more validity. I can better serve and advocate for veterans once I am a part of their community. The military is a family and family always has each others back. . 3. My brother is a Marine and my Papa was a Green Beret… There is no way I am going to let the boys have all the fun. #hooah #actresstoarmy #startedondisneynowimhere ????????‍♀️ . Thank you to my big brothers who teach, encourage and support me. I’ll make you proud. ♥️ @hunter_schroede0372 @claskytac @greenlinetactical @longhighwayhome @garand_thumb @tyler_hughes_ss

A post shared by Carly Schroeder (@carlyfries18) on

The actress went on to explain that she intended to use her service to fight human trafficking and help the veterans in her own community — something she said she would be better able to do once she was truly a part of that community.

  1. College opened my eyes to global injustices. But on a more tangible micro level, there is human trafficking occurring within the United States. I’ve written papers, spread awareness and as an Army Officer I intend to learn skills I can later apply when I’m on a team helping these victims.
  2. Serving my country will give my voice more validity. I can better serve and advocate for veterans once I am a part of their community. The military is a family and family always has each others back.
  3. My brother is a Marine and my Papa was a Green Beret… There is no way I am going to let the boys have all the fun. #hooah#actresstoarmy#startedondisneynowimhere

Schroeder, who was accepted into Officer Candidate School (OCS) concluded with a personal message. “Thank you to my big brothers who teach, encourage and support me. I’ll make you proud,” she promised.

Follow Virginia on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Cardinal Danneels waits to testify before the Parliamentary Committee hearing on child sexual abuse in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels waits to testify before the Parliamentary Committee hearing on child sexual abuse in the Belgian Catholic Church, at the Belgian Parliament in Brussels December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

March 14, 2019

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Belgian cardinal Godfried Danneels, a strong liberal voice within the Roman Catholic Church and once seen as a outside contender to succeed Pope John Paul II, has died, the Vatican said on Thursday.

Danneels, 85, was a jovial and gifted preacher who spoke out on sensitive issues such as whether condoms could be used in the fight against AIDS and if women should have a larger role in running the Church. He also urged the Church to scale back the power of the Vatican and focus less on the pope.

Danneels once predicted that future popes were likely to retire before dying because modern medicine was extending life — something that came to pass in 2013 when Pope Benedict unexpectedly stood down as pontiff.

“We live too long and people cannot continue to carry that responsibility if they turn 90 or 100. It doesn’t matter how well they are looked after,” said Danneels, one of the most media-friendly members of the College of Cardinals.Born on June 4, 1933 in western Flanders, Danneels was made archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels in 1979 and took part in the 2005 conclave that chose Benedict and the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Source: OANN

A view shows the headquarters of France's BEA air accident investigation agency in Le Bourget
A view shows the headquarters of France’s BEA air accident investigation agency in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, March 14, 2019. The black boxes from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 arrived in France on Thursday. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

March 14, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – It may take several days to complete the first readings of the black boxes recovered from the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed after take-off, a spokesman for the French air accident investigation agency conducting the analysis said on Thursday.

The Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) said it would receive the flight data and cockpit voice recorders later in the day, after an apparent tussle over where the investigation should be held.

The BEA spokesman said he did not know what condition the black boxes were in. “First we will try to read the data,” the he said, adding that the first analyses could take anywhere between several hours and several days.

Much will depend on how damaged the black boxes are.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 careered into the ground shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, breaking up into small fragments and carving a deep crater.

Boeing will be hoping for quick answers from the investigation. Satellite data has indicated similarities in the flight profile with another 737 MAX aircraft which plunged into the seas off Indonesia five months ago, prompting aviation authorities around the world to ground the MAX model.

Boeing maintains its planes are safe, but the second calamity to hit the next-generation workhorse of the Boeing fleet has wiped nearly $26 billion off the company’s market value.

Since the Indonesia crash, there has been much scrutiny on an automated anti-stall system in the MAX model that pushes the plane’s nose down.

(Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Gareth Jones and Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

Ethiopian Federal policemen stand at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu
Ethiopian Federal policemen stand at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

March 14, 2019

By Aaron Maasho and David Shepardson

ADDIS ABABA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two black boxes from the Boeing 737 MAX airplane that crashed in Ethiopia were being taken to Paris for investigation, Ethiopian Airlines said, as regulators around the world awaited word on whether it was safe to resume flying the jets.

Following the lead of other global aviation regulators unnerved by the second crash involving a 737 MAX in less than five months, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued orders on Wednesday for the planes to be grounded.

On Thursday morning in Addis Ababa, grieving relatives of the 157 victims of Sunday’s air disaster boarded buses for a three-hour journey to the crash site in a field 60 kilometers (37 miles) outside the Ethiopian capital. [L8N2110DL]

“We saw where he died and touched the earth,” said Sultan Al-Mutairi, who had come from Riyadh to mourn his brother, Saad, who perished in the crash.

Experts say it could take weeks or months to identify the victims, as their remains were scattered, charred and in fragments due to the impact of the crash and ensuing fire.

Both the Ethiopian Airlines crash and a Lion Air crash in Indonesia occurred shortly after take-off.

New information from the wreckage in Ethiopia and newly refined data about the plane’s flight path indicated some similarities between the two disasters “that warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause,” the FAA said in a statement.

An Ethiopian delegation led by the accident investigation bureau has flown the black boxes from the Ethiopia plane crash from Addis Ababa to Paris for investigation, Ethiopian Airlines said on Thursday.

France’s air accident investigation agency BEA will analyze black-box flight recorders, a spokesman said.

The contents of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder that will be examined in France will provide critical details about what caused the plane crash, according to experts.

The acting administrator of the FAA, Daniel Elwell, said he did not know how long the U.S. grounding of the aircraft would last. A software fix for the 737 MAX that Boeing has been working on since a fatal crash last October in Indonesia will take months to complete, Elwell told reporters on Wednesday.

Deliveries of Boeing’s best-selling 737 MAX jets were effectively frozen, though production continued, after the United States joined a global grounding of the narrowbody model over safety concerns, industry sources said.

All 737 MAX jets have now been grounded, flight tracking website FlightRadar24 said. An Air Canada flight from San Francisco to Halifax was the last to land late on Wednesday.

With the uncertainty hanging over the 737 MAX, a French presidential source said European planemaker Airbus and Ethiopian Airlines are discussing a possible new contract as part of the airline’s fleet renovation.

The official said President Emmanuel Macron and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had spoken about a possible new contract during Macron’s visit to Addis Ababa earlier this week.

Airlines operating the 371 737 MAX jets that have been delivered since its 2017 debut said they had canceled some of their flights and rearranged schedules to use other jets in their fleets.

“Our goal is to operate our schedule with every available aircraft in our fleet to meet our customers’ expectations during the busy spring travel season,” said U.S. carrier Southwest Airlines Co, the world’s biggest operator of the 737 MAX.

Boeing, which maintained that its planes were safe to fly, said in a statement that it supported the FAA move.

“Boeing has determined – out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety – to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.”

(Reporting by Aaron Masho in Addis Ababa and David Shepardson in Washington; additional reporting by Omar Mohammed and Maggie Fick in Nairobi and John Irish in Paris; Writing by Jamie Freed)

Source: OANN

Chinese family and friends mourn victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash during a commemoration ceremony at the scene of the crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa
Chinese family and friends mourn victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash during a commemoration ceremony at the scene of the crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

March 14, 2019

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopians clad in traditional mourning shawls and other black clothing gathered silently in a hotel conference room in Addis Ababa on Thursday, the loved ones of victims of ET Flight 302, before boarding buses headed for the crash site.

Couples held each other, slumped forward in their chairs and gazing downwards. Some men held their heads in their hands. Women in head scarves leaned for comfort against the chests of their relatives.

Some stood up to ask questions. They said they wanted more “transparency” from the airlines and more details of Sunday’s accident.

An airlines staff member replied that the crash was under investigation and that more details were emerging day by day.

A stoic man in a dark coat said he was steeling himself for the three-hour journey to the crash site.

Tewfik Ahmed, 39, was raised by the father of Ahmed Nur Mohammed, the deputy pilot of ET 302. Tewfik traveled from his home in the south of the country to pay his respects.

“Ahmed was the pride of the family,” he told Reuters, seated alongside several other mourners. “Heading to the site is the least I can do for him.”

All 149 passengers and eight crew aboard the flight were killed when their Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed six minutes after taking off from the high-altitude capital of Ethiopia. The nation of 105 million people has long been proud of its state-owned airlines, its most successful company and the only profitable airline in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nine Ethiopians were killed in the crash, along with 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, and eight people each from China and Italy. A total of 35 nationalities were on board.

The mourners gathered at the Ethiopian Airlines-owned Skylight Hotel near Bole International Airport. Some held up framed photographs of young loved ones.

The room filled over the course of a half hour, becoming a packed, makeshift grieving center.

An Ethiopian Airlines staff member, also wearing black, told the mourners it was offering them free accommodation. She also said the company would provide counseling. The staff members were flanked by bouquets of white roses and white candles.

BLACK BOXES FLOWN TO PARIS

The embassies of Canada, China, and Kenya had also asked Ethiopian Airlines to set up conference rooms for the families of victims from their countries. Early on Thursday morning, those rooms contained the national flags of those countries, but no relatives or friends of the victims.

The airline said on Twitter that an Ethiopian delegation had flown the black boxes from flight ET 302 to Paris for investigation. The contents of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder will provide critical details about what happened, experts say.

The crash was the second disaster involving the 737 MAX, the world’s most-sold modern passenger aircraft, in less than five months, and by the end of Wednesday, the jet had been grounded globally by regulators and airlines.

The jet plunged into a field 60 km outside Addis Ababa, and the impact of the crash and fire left the victims’ remains in fragments that could take weeks or months to identify, experts say.

In both the Ethiopian Orthodox and Muslim faiths that are widely practised in the country, religious rules call for the burial of the dead as soon as possible.

Hamze Abdi Hussein came from the eastern Ethiopian town of Jijiga with five other family members after receiving confirmation of the crash that killed his uncle, Mucaad Hussein Abdela, a truck driver from Minnesota who was on his way to Kenya to visit relatives.

“We visited the crash site yesterday and we are heading there today. It is a huge loss for us,” he told Reuters. “The fact that there is no information about whether we will receive the body or not is frustrating and painful. There is not much that we are getting.”

After the brief Q and A session, the Ethiopian mourners filed silently out of the room and slowly boarded the convoy of eight Ethiopian Airlines buses.

The mourners looked like travelers themselves. Except they carried no luggage, only items to honor the dead in their final resting place.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Conor McGregor’s alleged victim has opened up about the altercation between the two men.

Ahmed Abdirzak told TMZ late Tuesday afternoon that the Irish-born UFC star duped him into believing he was going to shake his hand at a club in Miami. (SLIDESHOW: These UFC Women Really Hate Wearing Clothes)

That’s when McGregor allegedly snatched his phone, smashed it and then took off in a car. He also claimed the champion fighter told him to “get the f**k” out of his face during the altercation. McGregor was taken into police custody and charged Monday. (SLIDESHOW: These Are The Greatest Ronda Rousey Photos On The Internet)

Watch the full interview below. (SLIDESHOW: These Are The Sexiest Paige VanZant Photos On The Internet)

Once again, I guess that I have to be the voice of reason here. Is it bad for McGregor if he’s guilty of smashing a guy’s phone? It’s not great, but I hardly think it justifies the felony strong-armed robbery charge he’s facing.

That seems a bit much. It’s a phone. McGregor didn’t allegedly murder anybody. He might have smashed a phone or he might not have.

Who really knows at this point! This is why we must wait for the facts to play out.

Let’s all be real here. McGregor is almost certainly going to end up writing a check and this whole thing is going to disappear.

Let’s not pretend for a single second like Dana White or anybody else in a position of power is going to allow this to ruin the UFC star’s career.

Abdirzak also said there’s a video coming out soon. I can’t wait to see that. Anybody who thinks that’s going to change my opinion of McGregor is out of their mind.

He gets paid to brutalize men in an octagon. He doesn’t get paid to be a saint.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is circulating a resolution in the Senate that would condemn anti-Semitism in response to the anti-hate resolution that passed through the House last Thursday.

Cruz’s office confirmed to The Daily Caller on Wednesday that the resolution would specifically denounce anti-Semitism, and that they are still approaching fellow senators to discuss the idea. They expect a formal resolution within the next week, Jewish Insider first reported.

The anti-hate resolution the House passed last week with a 407-23 vote came in response to comments made by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar that many perceived to be anti-Semitic.

Omar questioned if some members of Congress have a “dual loyalty” to the United States and Israel about two weeks ago. She then doubled down on that criticism when confronted by Democratic New York Rep. Nita Lowey, saying, “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 06: Rep. Ilhan?Omar?(D-MN) participates in a House Education and Labor Committee Markup on the H.R. 582 Raise The Wage Act, in the Rayburn House Office Building on March 6, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a House Education and Labor Committee Markup … (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called for a House Resolution “to voice its rejection of her latest slur and make clear that no matter what may divide the 435 members of the House of Representatives, they are united in condemning anti-Semitism,” in a letter addressed to Speaker Pelosi last Monday.

The vote on a resolution was scheduled for last Wednesday but was delayed a day over disagreements about the text of it. (RELATED: Omar Releases Statement After Backlash Surrounding Tweet Accusing AIPAC Of Buying Israel Support)

Many thought it should solely condemn anti-Semitism, while others — mainly the far left — thought the resolution should condemn all types of bigotry.

The resolution ended up condemning the following: “African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others” — but it still did not name Ilhan Omar.

All 23 votes against the resolution were Republicans with many of them explaining that their vote was because they believed the final draft of the resolution no longer accomplished the goal they set out to reach – a condemnation of Omar’s comments and of anti-Semitism in general.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: The financial district with the headquarters of Germany's largest business bank, Deutsche Bank , is photographed on early evening in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The financial district with the headquarters of Germany’s largest business bank, Deutsche Bank , is photographed on early evening in Frankfurt, Germany, January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

March 13, 2019

By Tom Sims and John O’Donnell

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The German government has pressured Deutsche Bank into merger talks with state-backed Commerzbank amid concerns for the health of the country’s flagship bank, according to officials familiar with the matter.

WHY IS THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT WORRIED ABOUT DEUTSCHE BANK?

Deutsche, the largest bank in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, emerged unscathed from the financial crash but later lost its footing.

In 2016, the International Monetary Fund called the bank the world’s biggest potential risk among peers to the financial system because of its links to other banks.

German officials fear that a recession or big fine, for example, could derail the bank’s fragile recovery.

Berlin wants a reliable national banking champion to support its export-led economy, known for cars and machine tools.

Deutsche and other European banks have taken longer to recover from the financial crisis, losing ground to stronger rivals from the United States.

WHY COMMERZBANK?

Other than Deutsche, Commerzbank is Germany’s only remaining big bank, after a series of mergers. The government holds a 15 percent stake after bailing it out during the crisis, giving it an important voice.

Commerzbank, like Deutsche, has struggled to rebound, and German officials say it is vulnerable to a foreign takeover. If an international rival snapped it up, that would increase competition for Deutsche on its home turf.

Berlin also wants to keep Commerzbank’s specialty – the funding of medium-sized companies, the backbone of the economy – in German hands.

WHAT WOULD A COMBINED DEUTSCHE AND COMMERZBANK LOOK LIKE?

The merged bank would have roughly 1.8 trillion euros in assets, such as loans and investments, and a market value of about 25 billion euros ($28 billion). It would have one fifth of the German retail banking market.

Together, Deutsche and Commerzbank operate 2,500 branches in Germany and employ 140,000 people worldwide. A merger puts at least 10,000 jobs at risk, according to unions.

WHO IS FOR AND WHO IS AGAINST A MERGER?

Proponents of a merger include the German government and U.S. investor Cerberus, which is a shareholder in both banks. Opponents include some other shareholders in Deutsche Bank and labor unions.

Deutsche’s chief executive officer Christian Sewing would prefer to have more time to stabilize the bank before taking on a merger, people familiar with the matter have said.

WHAT IS THE STATUS OF TALKS?

In February, Deutsche’s management board gave Sewing the go-ahead for exploratory talks with Commerzbank, a person with knowledge of the matter said. There have been contacts among a small circle of executives. Talks could end without a deal, the person said.

With the talks now out in the open, and Berlin still pushing for a deal, the companies are under pressure to figure out the mechanics of a fusion and decide whether or not it is workable. That decision is seen within weeks.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF A MERGER?

One of the biggest risks is how to fill what one German official has told Reuters will be a multi-billion-euro financial hole because a merger could trigger an adjustment to the valuation of some bank investments.

Commerzbank, for example, has about 30.8 billion euros of debt securities such as Italian bonds that now have a value of 27.7 billion euros – a drop of 3.1 billion euros. A tie-up could crystallize this loss. Deutsche has such securities at market value in its accounts.

The deal would make the German government a shareholder in the country’s largest bank and executives would want to curb its influence.

The two banks could also get bogged down with restructuring, such as integrating different technology systems, losing ground to rivals.

OTHER THAN A MERGER, ARE THERE OTHER OPTIONS FOR DEUTSCHE BANK?

German officials have held exploratory talks about merging Deutsche and UBS but there was little interest in Switzerland, people familiar with the matter have said.

These officials believe that sticking with Deutsche’s current course of cutting back costs and scaling back high-risk banking offers scant hope of a turnaround.

The continued pressure from Berlin makes it harder for Deutsche to go it alone. Merging with a state-owned lender, in the officials’ view, offers a safe harbor.

If talks do unravel, however, Deutsche could respond to pressure from some investors to make further cuts to the investment bank, especially in the United States.

DEUTSCHE GETS A LOT OF BAD PRESS. WHAT HAS IT BEEN ABOUT?

Deutsche has long been unpopular with ordinary Germans because it was seen by many as a symbol of capitalist excess.

Its image has been tarnished by numerous lawsuits and billions of dollars in fines.

These included alleged “conspiracy” to rig the price of financial market bets and sham trades between Moscow and London that moved money from Russia abroad.

In its latest financial report, Deutsche has set aside 1.2 billion euros for litigation. That is a fraction of earlier years but nonetheless more than three times its 2018 profit.

WHAT IS DEUTSCHE DOING RIGHT?

The bank has dealt with the bulk of legal action going back to the economic crash, and has improved its finances.

Announcing the first profit since 2014 last year, CEO Sewing said the group was “on the right track”. But German officials were not convinced and continued to push for talks with Commerzbank. He has now bowed to that pressure.

(Reporting by Tom Sims and John O’Donnell. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Source: OANN

A man watches debris at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa
A man watches debris at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

March 13, 2019

By Duncan Miriri and Terje Solsvik

ADDIS ABABA/OSLO (Reuters) – Ethiopian Airlines said on Wednesday it would send the black boxes from its crashed Boeing 737 MAX abroad, while a Norwegian airline sought compensation from the U.S. planemaker after two thirds of that model were grounded globally.

Sunday’s still unexplained crash of the passenger jet, just after take-off from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, killed 157 people and followed another disaster involving a 737 MAX in Indonesia five months ago that killed 189 people.

That has spooked the global airline industry and heaped pressure on Boeing, whose shares have plunged.

Multiple nations have suspended the 737 MAX, leading to the grounding of about two-thirds of the 371 jets of that make in operation around the world, according to Reuters calculations.

With no link proven between the two crashes, however, the United States has bucked the trend and allowed 737 MAX planes to continue operating even though Europe has suspended them.

Boeing, the world’s biggest planemaker, has said it retains “full confidence” in the 737 MAX. Its shares fell 6.1 percent on Tuesday, bringing losses to 11.15 percent since the crash, the steepest two-day loss for the stock since July 2009.

The drop has lopped $26.65 billion off Boeing’s market value.

Adding to the pressure on Boeing, Norwegian Air said it would seek recompense for lost revenue and extra costs after grounding its 737 MAX aircraft.

“We expect Boeing to take this bill,” Norwegian said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

In Ethiopia, which lacks the forensic capabilities of other countries, a spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines said the black box voice and data recorders recovered on Monday would be sent overseas for analysis.

“There is no capacity here so the black box will be sent elsewhere for analysis. The investigation team will decide where,” the spokesman told Reuters.

That could be in Europe, the company’s CEO told CNN.

U.S. officials said the black box devices suffered some damage but they were confident of some initial results within 24 hours of the data being downloaded.

More than a dozen relatives of those who perished in the crash, mainly Kenyans who have flown in, left Addis Ababa early in the morning to pay their respects at the rural crash site where Flight ET 302 came down in a fireball.

It may take weeks or months to identify all the victims, who include a prize-winning author, a soccer official and a team of humanitarian workers.

U.S. KEEPS FLYING MAX MODEL

Resisting pressure, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) acting administrator Dan Elwel said its review had shown “no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft”.

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg and got assurances the aircraft was safe, two people briefed on the call said.

On Tuesday, the European Union’s aviation safety regulator suspended all flights in the bloc by the 737 MAX and a U.S. senator who chairs a panel overseeing aviation suggested the United States take similar action.

Thailand and Lebanon joined the long list of nations suspending the model on Wednesday.

The three U.S. airlines using the 737 MAX – Southwest Airlines Co, American Airlines Group Inc and United Airlines – stood by the aircraft, although many potential passengers took to social media to express concerns, asking if they could change flights or cancel.

Of the top 10 countries by air passenger travel, all but the United States and Japan have halted flights of the 737 MAX. The EU, China, Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, India and others have temporarily suspended the plane.

A debate over automation lies at the center of an investigation into October’s Lion Air crash in Indonesia. A focus there is the role of a software system designed to push the plane down, alongside airline training and repair standards.

Boeing says it plans to update the software in coming weeks.

Given problems of identification at the charred disaster site, Ethiopian Airlines said it would take at least five days to start handing remains to families. The victims came from more than 30 nations, and included nearly two dozen U.N. staff.

The new variant of the 737, the world’s most-sold modern passenger aircraft, was viewed as the likely workhorse for global airlines for decades and 4,661 more are on order.

(Additional reporting by Aaron Maasho in Addis Ababa; Omar Mohammed and Maggie Fick in Nairobi; David Shepardson in Washington; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO - 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos
FILE PHOTO – New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern smiles as she attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

March 13, 2019

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave her support on Wednesday to a youth movement urging government action to tackle climate change ahead of protests by students across the world later this week.

Thousands of school children in Australia and New Zealand intend to skip school and protest on Friday as part of similar action by students worldwide taking their cue from 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

“Don’t underestimate the power of your voice,” the 38-year-old Ardern told local organizers of the protests and students during a live debate at a college in Wellington.

“Too often we make this assessment that to make an impact we have to be of voting age. That is not the case,” she said.

Students who cut class to join protests have been rebuked by politicians, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who said last year more learning and less activism was needed in schools.

Whether students should be striking during school time was a decision for students and their parents, Ardern told local media earlier in the day.

Ardern said great strides had been made in attitudes towards climate change over the years.

She said she was booed by an audience 10 years ago for speaking about climate change, which she has described as her generation’s “nuclear free moment”.

“Now people are not debating whether we should do something. Now they are just debating how fast or what we need to do. And that is a big change,” she said.

“What we do now needs to last to 2050 and beyond. So we have a much higher chance of doing that if we bring everyone with us,” she said.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Neil Fullick)

Source: OANN


Current track

Title

Artist