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Co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing Germanwings jet
News ImageThey offered no motive for why Andreas Lubitz, 27, would take the controls of the Airbus A320, lock the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately set it veering down from cruising altitude at 3,000 feet per minute. German police searched his home for evidence that might offer some explanation for what was behind Tuesday's crash in the French Alps. EasyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Air Berlin were among other carriers that swiftly announced such policies. Among those that didn't was Germanwings parent company Lufthansa, whose CEO said he thought it was unnecessary.
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:07:03 -0400
Yemeni leader Hadi leaves country as Saudi Arabia keeps up air strikes
News ImageBy Khaled Abdallah and Sami Aboudi SANAA/ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi left his refuge in Aden for Saudi Arabia on Thursday as Houthi rebels battled with his forces on the outskirts of the southern port city. Throughout the day, warplanes from Saudi Arabia and Arab allies struck at the Shi'ite Houthis and allied army units, who have taken over much of the country and seek to oust Hadi. Warplanes resumed bombing the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Thursday evening, shaking whole neighborhoods and terrifying residents. We live near the airport, where we think a lot of the Houthi leaders are living and many of the air strikes are." Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said in a televised speech Yemenis would confront the "criminal, unjust and unjustified aggression" by Saudi Arabia.
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:05:06 -0400
U.S., allies conduct air strikes in Syria, Iraq against Islamic State: task force
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies staged 29 air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq in the latest round of daily attacks, the Combined Joint Task Force said on Thursday. In Iraq, the coalition conducted 17 air strikes near Tikrit, where Iraqi forces have mounted an offensive to try to oust Islamic State militants from the city. Seven air strikes were conducted against Islamic State targets in other parts of Iraq. In Syria, four air strikes hit Islamic State positions near the city of Kobani and one strike hit near Raqqa. ... Thu, 26 Mar 2015 17:58:25 -0400
Airlines introduce two-person cockpit rule after Alps crash
News ImageBy Victoria Bryan and Tim Hepher BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - Airlines rushed on Thursday to change their rules so as to require a second crew member in the cockpit at all times, hours after French prosecutors suggested a co-pilot who barricaded himself alone at the controls of a jetliner had crashed it on purpose. The United States already requires two crew members to be in the cabin at all times, but many other countries do not, allowing pilots to leave the flight deck, for example to use the toilet, as long as one pilot is at the controls. Airlines including Norwegian Air Shuttle , Britain's easyJet , Air Canada , Air New Zealand and Air Berlin all said within hours that they had introduced a requirement that two crew members be in the cockpit at all times. Among the companies that did not announce such a policy change was Germanwings parent Lufthansa , whose CEO Carsten Spohr said he believed it was unnecessary.
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 23:01:50 -0400
South Korea demands release of two men accused by North Korea of espionage
News ImageBy James Pearson and Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea demanded on Friday the immediate release of two of its citizens that North Korea said it had arrested, accusing them of spying for the South. Late on Thursday, the North's official KCNA news agency showed images of two middle-aged men it identified as Kim Kuk Gi and Choe Chun Gil speaking at a news conference in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. It said the two men were South Korean nationals working as spies for Seoul's National Intelligence Service from the Chinese border city of Dandong. "They zealously took part in the anti-DPRK smear campaign of the U.S. imperialists and the puppet group of traitors to isolate and blockade the DPRK in (the) international arena," the agency said, using North Korea's official DPRK acronym for Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:58:46 -0400
Australia's NSW state election set to greenlight blockbuster energy sell-off
By Byron Kaye SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian state of New South Wales is expected to re-elect its conservative government on Saturday, endorsing the country's largest ever privatization, the partial sale of a state-owned electricity network worth around A$17 billion ($13 billion). Electricity privatization has been a divisive issue in the country's most populous state for two decades, but opinion polls suggest the state premier Mike Baird has won over voters with his promise to use the proceeds to fund road and rail projects to ease congestion in traffic-choked Sydney. With a population of more than 7 million, New South Wales (NSW) accounts for nearly a third of Australia's national economy with gross domestic product expected to pass A$500 billion in the 2014/15 financial year. Some of the world's biggest infrastructure investors including State Grid Corp of China [STGRD.UL] and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd have lined up to bid for the NSW power asset, as have several of Australia's top investment funds, according to local media. Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:16:49 -0400
Top Asian News at 5:00 a.m. GMT
BANGKOK (AP) Thailand's junta leader has vowed to take legal action against companies using forced labor, after an Associated Press investigation revealed that fish caught by enslaved migrant workers was being exported from Thai ports to global markets. Speaking in an exclusive interview with the English-language Bangkok Post newspaper, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha acknowledged he had seen this week's AP article and said his government was stepping up efforts to combat the scourge and prosecute those responsible. Fri, 27 Mar 2015 01:02:40 -0400
Nightmare start for Hamilton at Malaysia Formula One GP practice
News ImageLewis Hamilton got off to a nightmare start at the Malaysian Grand Prix when mechanical problems forced him out of the opening practice session on Friday. The world title-holder and early championship leader departed the Sepang track on the back of a moped after being told to halt his Mercedes W06 after 28 minutes. "There was a click in the rear and the gears still worked but I just pulled over and stopped as you told me," Hamilton said over the team radio. Sparks were seen earlier from beneath Hamilton's car and his team were unable to see telemetry data, prompting their cautious approach.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 01:01:14 -0400
Chinese NGO considering legal action over police raid
News ImageBEIJING (AP) A Chinese anti-discrimination civic group said Friday it is considering legal action over a police raid on the group's offices that was apparently prompted by its advocacy for five women's rights activists whose detentions have drawn international scrutiny.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:50:39 -0400
Seoul urges Pyongyang to release 2 South Korean detainees
News ImageSEOUL, South Korea (AP) South Korea on Friday urged North Korea to immediately release two of its citizens detained in the country over alleged espionage, the latest in a series of arrests in the North of foreign nationals.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:49:52 -0400
Superbugs could kill a million Chinese a year: economist
News ImageChina faces a million deaths a year from antibiotic-resistant superbugs and a loss of $20 trillion by 2050, an economist and former top Goldman Sachs executive said Thursday. Beijing should "take ownership" of anti-microbial resistance (AMR) when it hosts the G20 summit next year, said Jim O'Neill, the leader of a British government-commissioned review on the subject. O'Neill, former chief economist at the US investment bank and chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said that the threat put "China's remarkable economic performance in the last decade and its enormous future potential" in jeopardy. The review, announced last year by British Prime Minister David Cameron, has found that by 2050, drug-resistant infections could cut global gross domestic product by 2.0 to 3.5 percent and kill 10 million people a year around the world.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:48:57 -0400
Flawless Lee Mi-Rim grabs LPGA Kia Classic lead
News ImageSouth Korea's Lee Mi-Rim had seven birdies without a bogey in a seven-under par 65 to take a one-shot lead in the LPGA Kia Classic. Lee, who missed the course record at Aviara Golf Club by one stroke, on Thursday birdied all four of the par-five holes, taking the lead with an eight-foot birdie putt at her 14th hole of the day -- the par-five fifth and adding one more birdie at the eighth. "My long game didn't feel good, my swing didn't feel good, but I made a lot of putts," said Lee, winner of two LPGA titles last year who had a one-stroke lead over former world number one Tseng Ya-ni of Taiwan. Tseng, chasing her first LPGA victory since a 2012 win in nearby La Costa, capped her 66 with a four-foot birdie at 18.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:48:20 -0400
Singapore urges restraint as Lee mourners queue for 10 hours
News ImageSINGAPORE (AP) Singaporeans hoping for a glimpse of long-time leader Lee Kuan Yew's coffin are being urged to stay away from the sprawling queue as waiting times reach 10 hours.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:42:21 -0400
Southee: Kiwis ready for 1 more big push in World Cup final
News ImageMELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Fast bowler Tim Southee says that after reaching the Cricket World Cup final for the first time and with its most well-rounded limited-overs team ever assembled, New Zealand is ready for "one more big push" to beat Australia and to write a new chapter in its history.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:33:52 -0400
Amanda Knox's fate in hands of Italy's top court
News ImageAmanda Knox will discover Friday if she is to be definitively convicted of murder as Italy's top court resumes a hearing on the 2007 slaying of British student Meredith Kercher. After hearing final arguments from the defence, judges will retire to consider whether to uphold the convictions of Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. If they do, Sollecito could be taken straight back to jail while the absent Knox is likely to become the subject of a wrangle over whether she should be extradited back to Italy to join him behind bars. Alternatively, the judges could send the case back to the appeal stage, opening the door to possible acquittals for Knox and/or Sollecito.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:32:39 -0400
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