Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace


Thursday, May 21, 2015

GrabTaxi Enters Jakarta’s Motorcycle Taxi Service Market

Jakarta Globe, Vanesha Manuturi, May 20, 2015

Malaysia's GrabTaxi adds motorcycle jockeys to its line of services in Jakarta
 on Wednesday, as part of an expansion to cater to Indonesia's rapidly growing
urbani population. (Antara Photo/ Zabur Karuru)

Jakarta. Malaysia’s GrabTaxi is adding motorcycle jockeys to its services in Jakarta on Wednesday, as part of an expansion to cater to Indonesia’s rapidly growing urban population.

The Kuala Lumpur-based startup, which connects taxi drivers with customers through a smartphone application, rolled out the trial run of its “GrabBike” service starting Wednesday. The service focuses solely on motorcycle taxis, better known as ojek, according to a statement on Wednesday.

“GrabTaxi is strongly committed to create a safe and efficient transportation system in Southeast Asia. Ojek is a very popular mode of transportation in Indonesia, so [our entry] was only a matter of time,” Cheryl Goh, vice president of marketing at GrabTaxi Holding Group, said in a statement.

Under the trial version, the pickup service is currently limited to the business districts of South Jakarta – Kuningan and Setiabudi – although delivery or courier services will be available across the capital city in the future, according to the statement.

Jakarta is the third city where GrabTaxi is rolling out its GrabBike service, after Ho Ci Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam last year.

GrabTaxi’s GrabBike service will be competing head to head with homegrown startup Go-jek, which has connected ojek drivers to customers for services ranging from transportation to courier since 2010.

GrabTaxi entered Jakarta offering online taxi booking services last June. It has since expanded to Surabaya, East Java and Padang, West Sumatra.

First established in Kuala Lumpur three years ago, GrabTaxi boasts an application that has been downloaded more than 4.4 million times while more than 83,000 customers and drivers are using its services across Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

All bodies from Germanwings plane crash identified

The remains of 150 people who were killed in a March plane crash can be sent home to their families, French authorities have said. The victims aboard the Germanwings flight were identified using DNA analysis.

Deutsche Welle, 19 May 2015

Information on the victims has been forwarded to Germanwings parent company Lufthansa, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said in a statement on Tuesday, allowing the bodies to be repatriated and laid to rest.

"The 150 death certificates have been signed, as well as the permits for burial," Robin said.

French crime experts had previously identified all of the people killed in the crash, by matching the DNA samples found at the crash site to those provided by passengers' relatives.

The identification process, which had lasted six weeks, was cojmpleted on Friday, the prosecutors said.

The experts had previously predicted it could last between two and three months.

Co-pilot 'rehearsed' the crash

The Airbus 320, belonging to German low-cost carrier Germanwings, flew into a mountainside in French Alps on March 24, while on route to Düsseldorf from Barcelona.

Investigators believe that the plane's co-pilot, 27-year old Andreas Lubitz, intentionally crashed Flight 4U 9525, killing himself and 149 other people aboard. Almost half of the victims were German, another 51 were Spanish nationals.

Lubitz had struggled with severe depression and suicidal tendencies in the past, and was written off sick from work a number of times, including on the day of the crash.

In its interim report, French aviation safety authority BEA said that Lubitz "rehearsed" putting the plane to a descent several times on the outbound flight to Barcelona, prior to the crash.

On the way back to Germany, the young co-pilot allegedly locked the captain out of the cockpit and put the aircraft into a nosedive. The flight recorder, retreived several days after the crash, showed the pilot's frantic efforts to open the door, which is heavily re-enforced to prevent hijackings.

After the crash, several countries announced they would require that two people inside the cockpit at all times, which is already a rule in the United States.

A full report on the crash is expected to be published within a year of the incident, as is typical within the industry.

Relatives to fill out a form

Robert Tansill Oliver, father of one of the victims, said he and his wife received notification that DNA was matched with remains of their son. They also received a form they needed to fill out so they can have their son's remains sent to Spain in June.

They were also invited to Paris to identify items possibly belonging to him.

Oliver, a retired American teacher who has lived in Barcelona for decades, said he had no complaints about how long it took to identify his son's body.

"I hope they have done the job correctly," Oliver said. "Better to get it done right than quickly."

dj/msh (Reuters, AP, dpa. AFP)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Green lights for our self-driving vehicle prototypes

Google Blog, Friday, May 15, 2015   

When we started designing the world’s first fully self-driving vehicle, our goal was a vehicle that could shoulder the entire burden of driving. Vehicles that can take anyone from A to B at the push of a button could transform mobility for millions of people, whether by reducing the 94 percent of accidents caused by human error (PDF), reclaiming the billions of hours wasted in traffic, or bringing everyday destinations and new opportunities within reach of those who might otherwise be excluded by their inability to drive a car.

Now we’re announcing the next step for our project: this summer, a few of the prototype vehicles we’ve created will leave the test track and hit the familiar roads of Mountain View, Calif., with our safety drivers aboard.

Our safety drivers will test fully self-driving vehicle prototypes like this one
on the streets of Mountain View, Calif., this summer.

We’ve been running the vehicles through rigorous testing at our test facilities, and ensuring our software and sensors work as they’re supposed to on this new vehicle. The new prototypes will drive with the same software that our existing fleet of self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs uses. That fleet has logged nearly a million autonomous miles on the roads since we started the project, and recently has been self-driving about 10,000 miles a week. So the new prototypes already have lots of experience to draw on—in fact, it’s the equivalent of about 75 years of typical American adult driving experience.

Each prototype’s speed is capped at a neighborhood-friendly 25mph, and during this next phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed. We’re looking forward to learning how the community perceives and interacts with the vehicles, and to uncovering challenges that are unique to a fully self-driving vehicle—e.g., where it should stop if it can’t stop at its exact destination due to construction or congestion. In the coming years, we’d like to run small pilot programs with our prototypes to learn what people would like to do with vehicles like this. If you’d like to follow updates about the project and share your thoughts, please join us on our Google+ page. See you on the road!

Posted by Chris Urmson, Director, Google Self-Driving Car Project

Russian rocket carrying Mexican satellite crashes in Siberia

A Russian rocket carrier has crashed in Siberia shortly after its launch, the Interfax news agency reported. The recent numbers of accidents has tarnished the reputation of the Russian space industry.

Deutsche Welle, 16 May 2015

The Interfax news agency reported on Saturday that the Russian Rocket, Proton M, carrying a Mexican Satellite crashed in a sparsely populated area of Siberia.

It was not immediately clear if there was any damage caused by the crash in the Chita area of southern Siberia where the rocket came down, the report said.

According to Russian space experts, the rocket may have been carrying up to 10 tons of toxic fuel.

The rocket was lost after taking off ffrom Baikunor for the International Space Station in Baikonur in the central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan.

The satellite on board the rocket carrier was intended to serve Mexico and other parts of South America.

The Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, reported that in a separate space failure on Saturday, the Russian spacecraft Progress failed to ignite its engine and to adjust the orbit of the International Space Station just a few hours before Proton's crash.

According to Russian media, the lives of the crew are not in danger.

Russia's space program in trouble

The Interfax news agency, however, quoted industry sources saying the crash could result in the suspension of all upcoming Proton-M launches, including the next one in June for a British satellite.

Russia's space program, which pioneered space exploration with the launch of the first satellite and the first man into space, has experienced a troubling number of accidents in recent years. This is the latest breakdown to hit Russia's troubled space industry.

ra/bw (dpa, AP, Intrerfax)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Eigth person found dead after US train crash

Yahoo – AFP, 14 May 2015

Rescuers work at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2015 (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad)

Washington (AFP) - The death toll from the derailment of a passenger train in Philadelphia rose to eight Thursday with the discovery of a body in the wreckage, as investigators focused on the actions of the engineer in the run-up to the crash.

All 243 people who were aboard the train late Tuesday when it ran off the rails, leaving some cars overturned and reducing others to twisted heaps of metal and debris, have now been accounted for, officials said.

Amtrak Train 188, which was traveling from Washington to New York, crashed as it entered a curve while moving at a little over 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour -- double the 50 mph speed limit, according to investigators.

The compromised state of some of the cars left rescuers with a difficult job ensuring all bodies had been removed.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said recovery workers found the body with the help of a cadaver-sniffing dog. The victim's identity was not released.

"We have confirmed eight deceased from this horrible tragedy," Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters.

"But all individuals that we had any reason to believe were on that train have now been accounted for, and we know their whereabouts completely."

Besides the eight fatalities, more than 200 people were injured in the wreck.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (front 2R), and Pennsylvania Senator 
Bob Casey Jr. (L) look on as Senator Pat Toomey speaks during a press 
conference regarding the wreckage of an Amtrak Train in Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2015 (AFP Photo/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)

'Reckless' train driver

Nutter had previously described the actions of the train driver, identified by US media as 32-year-old Brandon Bostian, as "reckless" but on Thursday distanced himself somewhat from the remark and said he was merely being "expressive."

"But I don't think that any common sense, rational person thinks that it was okay to travel at that level of speed, knowing that there was a pretty significant restriction on how fast you could go through that turn," Nutter said.

Bostian's attorney Robert Goggin told ABC News on Wednesday night that Bostian had no explanation for the crash and no recollection of it either.

Bostian has provided a blood sample, turned over his cell phone and is cooperating with authorities, Goggin said, according to ABC.

Bostian "was interviewed by the police department, but I believe it was a pretty short interview in which he apparently indicated that he did not want to be interviewed," Nutter said.

"He doesn't have to be interviewed if he doesn't want to at this particular stage -- that's kind of how the system works."

This May 13, 2015 still image from video released by the National Transportation
 Safety Board (NTSB) shows wreckage at the scene of an Amtrack train that
derailed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (AFP Photo)

Investigators recovered the train's "black box" data recorders but the National Transportation Safety Board has cautioned that its first assessment of the data was preliminary, and that it would need more time to piece together what happened.

Experts and some lawmakers say the crash could have been avoided if Amtrak had fully implemented a high-tech backup system called Positive Train Control, which prevents trains from speeding or going through red lights.

Though Amtrak has been installing the system for years across its vast rail network, the stretch of track where the crash occurred was not covered.

"We had to change a lot of things on the corridor to make it work, and we're very close," Amtrak chief executive Joseph Boardman told reporters.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Toyota, Nissan recall 6.5 mn cars over exploding airbag fears

Yahoo – AFP, 13 May 2015

An employee sews an airbag at Takata's crash-testing facility in Auburn
Hills, Michigan, in 2010 (AFP Photo/Bill Pugliano)

Japanese auto giants Toyota and Nissan on Wednesday said they were recalling 6.5 million vehicles globally in the latest chapter of an exploding airbag crisis linked to several deaths.

The world's biggest automaker said its recall of five million vehicles affected 35 models globally produced between 2003 and 2007, while Nissan said it was calling back 1.56 million vehicles also due to faulty airbags made by embattled supplier Takata.

Nissan Motors Chairman and 
CEO Carlos Ghosn speaks 
during the company's financial 
results press conference in 
Yokohama, on May 13,
 2015 (AFP Photo/Toshifumi
"This will affect many of our markets, including Japan, Europe and North America," a Nissan spokesman told AFP, adding that the explosion risk was among a range of problems seen in the defective airbags.

"There might be many factors. (But) we have seen risks that the metal casing for inflators can malfunction."

Nissan's recall affects a range of models produced between 2004 and 2008.

Both firms said there were no reports of deaths or injuries linked to their latest recall.

The announcement comes after some 20 million vehicles produced by automakers also including General Motors and Honda were recalled because of the risk that their Takata-made airbags could improperly inflate and rupture, potentially firing deadly shrapnel at the occupants.

At least five deaths have been linked to the defect, with one in the United States initially investigated as a murder due to her grisly injuries.

Despite the ongoing problem, Nissan's results appeared to be relatively unaffected.

Just after the recall announcement, it said fiscal-year net profit soared a better-than-expected 17.6 percent to 457.6 billion yen ($4.2 billion), with the firm crediting a weak yen and new model rollouts.

Nissan projected an even stronger 485.0 billion yen profit this business year, including ongoing recall costs.

Last week, Toyota said its annual net profit rose to a record $18.1 billion. However, Honda's annual profit turned down 8.9 percent to $4.4 billion -- it is Takata's biggest air bag customer and accounts for a bulk of the recalls.

Air Force Lt. Stephanie Erdman, whose eye was injured by airbag shrapnel 
from her 2002 Honda Civic, is surrounded by pictures showing the accident as she
 testifies on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, on November 20, 2014 (AFP
Photo/Jim Watson)

Ongoing investigations

Toyota said the latest recall affects 1.35 million vehicles sold in Japan, 637,000 in the United States and 1.26 million in Europe.

"We have been conducting various ongoing investigations regarding Takata-produced airbag inflators," the firm said in an email.

"Among the parts collected from the Japanese market, certain types of airbag inflators were found to have a potential for moisture intrusion over time. As a result, they could be susceptible to abnormal deployment in a crash."

Takata has said the defect surfaces mainly in humid, hotter regions and resisted US authorities' call for a national recall of cars with its airbags.

The firm had an open disagreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which accused Takata of not helping with its investigation into the defects.

Tokyo-based Takata, one of the world's biggest air-bag companies, is a key supplier to major automakers with dozens of plants and offices in 20 countries, including the United States, China and Mexico.

Japanese auto parts maker Takata's child car seats at a showroom in
Tokyo on May 8, 2015 (AFP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Facing lawsuits and regulatory probes, Takata recently acknowledged that the crisis has taken a toll on its earnings, but added that it expects to eke out a small profit this year.

Despite the global crisis, Takata's top executives have largely stayed out of the public eye and remain tightlipped about the situation.

The announcements were made shortly before Tokyo markets closed. Toyota shares fell 1.06 percent to 8,196.0 yen while Nissan lost 0.95 percent to close at 1,246.5 yen.

Russia delays return of ISS crew members after supply ship failure

Yahoo – AFP, 12 May 2015

A picture taken on September 17, 2006 shows the International Space
Station over Earth (AFP Photo)

Moscow (AFP) - Russia said Tuesday it would delay the return of three astronauts from the International Space Station after the recent failure of a supply ship.

The journey home of the three crew members, originally scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed until June, senior space official Vladimir Solovyov said.

"We have now proposed for this landing to take place in early June," Solovyov was quoted by the state TASS news agency as saying.

Russia's Progress M-27M cargo ship 
blasts off from the launch pad at the
 Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan on April 28, 2015 (AFP Photo)
Meanwhile, the mission to replace the three astronauts -- one from Russia, one from NASA and one from the European Space Agency -- has been set back to late July, Solvyov said.

There are currently six crew members on board the International Space Station (ISS).

The delayed rotation follows the recent failure of an unmanned Russian Progress supply ship to dock with the ISS after suffering a communications breakdown.

The Progress craft eventually burnt up as it plummeted back to Earth last week, in a fiery end to a mission to deliver oxygen, water and supplies.

A commission is currently investigating the cause of the incident.

The exact date for the next launch to the ISS will be announced after it comes out with its finding on May 22.

Russia's space agency said Tuesday a provisional investigation showed a problem with the separation of the Progress spacecraft from the Soyuz rocket taking it into orbit.

The malfunction meant the cargo craft ended up on an orbit that was about 40 kilometres too high, the agency said in a statement.

Since the mothballing of the US Space Shuttle programme, Moscow has had a monopoly on sending astronauts to the ISS from its Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

But Russia has recently suffered a series of problems exposing shortcomings in its own programme.

A Progress supply ship crashed in Siberia shortly after launch in 2011. Moscow has also lost several lucrative commercial satellites.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Drunk co-pilot picked up at Schiphol, poised to fly out

DutchNews.nl, May 11, 2015

Schiphol airport police picked up a drunken co-pilot who was about to fly out on Sunday morning. 

The pilot was poised to join the flight when he was stopped by police who were tipped off that he had been drinking. 

A breathalyser test showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.375, which a police spokesman told local broadcaster AT5 was a ‘considerable’ amount. Air crew are not supposed to drink for 10 hours before a flight. 

Police have refused to say which airline the man worked for or what the destination of the plane was. He was banned from flying for 15 hours and fined €6,000.

‘What he was doing was extremely dangerous because he was really about to fly,’ the spokesman said.

Monday, May 11, 2015

For sale: solar powered car (red) with 4,000 kilometres on the clock

DutchNews.nl,  May 10, 2015

Not your average luxury car. Photo Gijs Versteeg via solarteamtwente.nl

Always wanted a solar-powered car and have you got several hundred thousand euros to spend? Researchers at Twente University may have exactly what you are looking for. 

The university’s team of solar researchers have put their 21Connect vehicle, which took part in the 2011 solar race across Australia, up for sale. 

Bright red, streamlined and with just 4,000 km on the clock, the 21Connect is up for grabs on Dutch online auction Marktplaats.nl. Bidding for the car, which has a maximum speed of 140 kph, had topped €317,000 by Sunday. 

The students plan to put the money raised into the production of a new solar powered car and say the sale is not a stunt.

‘We want to sell this solar powered car to a serious bidder who will give the 21Connect the place it deserves,’ said spokeswoman Justine Wolters in an online statement.

‘The car has taken years of hard work to build, all the parts were designed and assembled by hand,’ the Marktplaats advert states. ‘There is only one of its kind in the world.’ 

The team is again taking part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia, which starts on October 18 and say they have high hopes of winning this year.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

China to launch direct air routes to Africa

Want China Times, Xinhua 2015-05-08

A Southern Airlines flight at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport,
Dec. 16, 2014. (Photo/Xinhua)

China will launch its first direct air route to Africa, according to an announcement by China's Southern Airlines.

Operated by Southern Airlines three times a week, the new route will fly from China's southern city of Guangzhou to Nairobi, Kenya starting on Aug. 5, significantly cutting travel time between China and Africa.

In addition, Air China will follow the suit, opening a Beijing-Johannesburg, South Africa route on Aug. 30 and Beijing-Addis Ababa, Ethipoia on Oct. 26.

Official data showed that the number of air passengers flying between China and Africa increased 15% annually in recent years.

African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya and Mauritius launched air routes to China last summer.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tesla announces low-cost batteries for homes

Elon Musk claims at launch that two billion large batteries could provide enough electricity to meet the world’s needs

The Guardian, Michael Safi, Friday 1 May 2015

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors, announces the company’s 
entry into the energy market

The electric car company Tesla has announced its entry into the energy market, unveiling a suite of low-cost solar batteries for homes, businesses and utilities, “the missing piece”, it said, in the transition to a sustainable energy world.

The batteries, which will retail at $3,500 in the US, were launched on Thursday at a Tesla facility in California by the company’s ambitious founder, Elon Musk, who heralded the technology as “a fundamental transformation [in] how energy is delivered across the earth”.

Wall-mounted, with a sleek design, the lithium-ion batteries are designed to capture and store up to 10kWh of energy from wind or solar panel. The reserves can be drawn on when sunlight is low, during grid outages, or at peak demand times, when electricity costs are highest.

The smallest “Powerwall” is 1.3m by 68cm, small enough to be hung inside a garage on or an outside wall. Up to eight batteries can be “stacked” in a home, Musk said, to applause from investors and journalists at the much-anticipated event.

The batteries will initially be manufactured at the electric car company’s factory in California, but will move production to its planned “gigafactory” in Nevada when it opens in 2017.

The Nevada facility will be the largest producer of lithium-ion batteries in the world, and it is hoped its mass-production scale will help to bring down costs even further.

It is not the only battery storage system on the market, but the Powerwall boasts a relatively high storage capacity, a competitive price, and the heft of investment and excitement generated by Musk’s vision.

The entrepreneur, who helped to invent the online payment system, PayPal, has also founded a private space company, Space X, and is experimenting with a high-speed public transportation system called Hyperloop.

Musk also unveiled a larger “Powerpack”, a 100kWh battery block to help utilities smooth out their supply of wind and solar energy - which is generated intermittently - or to pump energy into the grid when demand soars.

He said on Thursday about two billion Powerpacks could store enough electricity to meet the entire world’s needs. “That may seem like an insane number,” he said. “But this is actually within the power of humanity to do.”

Deutsche Bank estimates sales of battery storage systems for homes and businesses could yield as much as $4.5bn in revenue for Tesla. The energy storage industry is expected to grow to $19bn by 2017, according to research firm IHS CERA.

Tesla is currently taking orders for the systems, with the first units expected to shift in August.

Screenshot from YouTube user thegatesnotes

Related Articles:

“… New ideas are things you never thought of. These ideas will be given to you so you will have answers to the most profound questions that your societies have had since you were born. Inventions will bring clean water to every Human on the planet, cheaply and everywhere. Inventions will give you power, cheaply and everywhere. These ideas will wipe out all of the reasons you now have for pollution, and when you look back on it, you'll go, "This solution was always there. Why didn't we think of that? Why didn't we do this sooner?" Because it wasn't time and you were not ready. You hadn't planted the seeds and you were still battling the old energy, deciding whether you were going to terminate yourselves before 2012. Now you didn't…. and now you didn't.

It's funny, what you ponder about, and what your sociologists consider the "great current problems of mankind", for your new ideas will simply eliminate the very concepts of the questions just as they did in the past. Do you remember? Two hundred years ago, the predictions of sociologists said that you would run out of food, since there wasn't enough land to sustain a greater population. Then you discovered crop rotation and fertilizer. Suddenly, each plot of land could produce many times what it could before. Do you remember the predictions that you would run out of wood to heat your homes? Probably not. That was before electricity. It goes on and on.

So today's puzzles are just as quaint, as you will see. (1) How do you strengthen the power grids of your great nations so that they are not vulnerable to failure or don't require massive infrastructure improvement expenditures? Because cold is coming, and you are going to need more power. (2) What can you do about pollution? (3) What about world overpopulation? Some experts will tell you that a pandemic will be the answer; nature [Gaia] will kill off about one-third of the earth's population. The best minds of the century ponder these puzzles and tell you that you are headed for real problems. You have heard these things all your life.

Let me ask you this. (1) What if you could eliminate the power grid altogether? You can and will. (2) What if pollution-creating sources simply go away, due to new ideas and invention, and the environment starts to self-correct? (3) Overpopulation? You assume that humanity will continue to have children at an exponential rate since they are stupid and can't help themselves. This, dear ones, is a consciousness and education issue, and that is going to change. Imagine a zero growth attribute of many countries - something that will be common. Did you notice that some of your children today are actually starting to ponder if they should have any children at all? What a concept! ….”

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft falling towards earth

Russia's Roscosmos space agency is scrambling to regain control of the Progress M-27M vessel, currently unresponsive in earth's orbit. It could take over a week for it to tumble into the atmosphere, probably burning up.

Deutsche Welle, 29 April 2015

Officially, Russian authorities are yet to give up hope of regaining control over the unmanned Progress M-27M, designated by NASA as Progress 59. Contact was lost with the ship - originally scheduled to dock with the International Space Station on Thursday, April 30 - soon after its launch on Tuesday. The launch went off without a hitch.

News agency AFP quoted a Russian official familiar with the situation, who declined to be named, as saying that mission control had lost genuine hope of re-establishing communication with the ship.

"It has started descending. It has nowhere else to go," the official was quoted as saying. He added that it was clear that "uncontrollable reactions have begun," saying that two more planned attempts to restore contact would be undergone "to soothe our conscience."

Progress is currently traveling at 4.64 miles per second (nearly 17,000mph, more than 28,500km/h) and spinning out of control, rotating a full 360 degrees every five seconds.

It could take between seven and 10 days to tumble back towards the earth.

Low odds of damage below

Even though the craft appears to be on an uncontrolled collision course with the earth below, any danger to people on the ground is negligible: most, perhaps all, of the vessel should burn up during its uncontrolled re-entry into the atmosphere; should any parts make it down to the planet's surface, then roughly two-thirds of the earth's land mass is water, and built-up urban areas comprise less than five percent of the actual land.

The vessel had been set to dock with the ISS on April 30, bringing cargo for the crew of six currently aboard. NASA said that the missed delivery would pose no danger to the astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS.

The Progress vessel was carrying "1,940 pounds (880 kilos) of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,128 pounds of spare parts, supplies and scientific experiment hardware," bound for the International Space Station, NASA said.

It was also carrying a copy of the Soviet Victory Banner flag, the red flag three Red Army soldiers raised above the Reichstag building in Berlin on May 1, 1945. The Russians aboard the ISS were scheduled to wave the flag as a greeting to those on the ground on the May 9 Russian commemorations of Germany's capitulation at the end of the World War II, 70 years ago.

The next cargo delivery, by private company SpaceX, is currently scheduled for June 19.

msh/lw (AFP, AP, dpa)

Uberpop to be limited to licenced taxi drivers, company agrees

DutchNews.nl, April 29, 2015

Online taxi platform Uber said on Wednesday it is to ensure all the drivers for its Uberpop budget service in the Netherlands have a taxi licence and that it will pick up the bill for the application process. 

The aim is to ‘end the deadlock’ surrounding Uberpop, Uber Nederland director Niek van Leeuwen said in a blog post on the company’s website. 

Uberpop helps private individuals to use their own cars to transport passengers but has been branded illegal by the Dutch courts because the drivers do not have a licence. 

Several drivers have since been fined for operating as unlicenced taxis and the public prosecution department earlier this month said it had begun a formal investigation into Uberpop. 

Van Leeuwen told news agency ANP he expects drivers will continue to work for Uber once they have a licence, rather than join an established taxi firm with higher rates. 

Uber says its private drivers ‘turn over’ around over €20 an hour. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Matthew message (Channelled by Suzanne Ward, April 22, 2015)

Matthew Ward - April 22, 2015

Matthew Ward
With loving greeting from all souls at this station, this is Matthew. Happenings during the past months have prompted numerous lightworkers to ask and many others to ponder: Why is the free will of people who do terrible things given priority over the free will of people who don’t want to be terrorized or killed?

Beloved family, never has priority been given to anyone, nor could it ever be. Rulers of the universes are bound to honor Creator’s gift of free will to everysoul, and God incorporated that edict in the laws that govern life in this universe. Like everything else in existence, the laws are energy and energy has no reasoning ability, no capacity for prioritizing or decision-making about anything whatsoever. All energy can do is vibrate at one frequency or another in accordance with how it is used, and in our explanation, it is how people who live on Earth use it.

The orderly functioning of the universe requires a continuous balancing act to keep vibrational frequencies from becoming lopsided, so to say; and as microcosms of the universe who in every moment affect the state of it, souls have their own balancing acts. Prior to birth, they—or better said, all of us!—enter into agreements with other souls, and within the agreements are all of the participants’ individual contracts that include whatever they need to balance other lifetimes. That “whatever” is karma.

However, because Creator decreed that free will takes precedence overall, everything in the contracts—that there even is a contract—must be forgotten when souls embody. Actually, this is a good arrangement—otherwise every lifetime would be merely following some schedule instead of freely making decisions and learning from the results. And, guidance in line with contracts is permitted via the soul’s messages to the consciousness, but everyone has the free will to heed that guidance or stray far afield. Either way, souls incur karma and it is neither “good” nor “bad”—it is the means whereby the last lifetime can be balanced in the next one by completing the karma, or karmic lessons, in the soul contract.

Sometimes events end lives before contracts can be completed. Such was the case in two recent occurrences, and we shall share with you what we learned about them from colleagues in Nirvana. Of the 150 persons aboard Germanwings Flight 9525, only three had reached the window of flexibility in their contracts’ longevity clause—that is, those individuals had completed their selection of karmic lessons, missions and other experiences, and they would have transitioned to spirit life in some manner within days or weeks.

Upon arriving in Nirvana, every person was lovingly received and greeted by name, etheric bodies were strengthened, and tender, customized care was given to treat all psychic trauma that occurred at anytime prior to the crash. Throughout the healing period, members of the medical team in the soul transition field were in constant attendance.

As these recent arrivals became ready to join others in your spirit world, each was given choices of residence and diverse activities, and all who had not completed their contracts also were offered three options. Finish karmic lessons in Nirvana, where living and learning is far more joyous than on Earth. Receive full credit for lessons partially learned and, in a new agreement with other souls, embody relatively quickly to wind up the rest of the original contract and add whatever is desired in the new lifetime. The third option is, in an agreement with someone on Earth, arrange for a soul transference, or “walk-in”—the advantage is “saving” years by entering an adult body instead of a newborn’s, but because there are serious challenges, too, rarely is this a soul’s choice.

We want to speak about another aspect of the plane crash. The consensus of your analysts is that the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, planned to commit suicide by deliberately crashing the plane, disregarding the lives of all others on board. That is not so, according to the medical team giving personalized care to treat Andreas’ traumatized psyche, which is recovering slowly due to his depth of despair when he learned what had happened.

What was used as evidence to substantiate the consensus was the young man’s determined efforts to overcome his emotional fragility, including Internet information he felt he could use in positive ways to fortify healthy thought processes especially during flights. Moments after the pilot left the cockpit, Andreas’ consciousness snapped—he has no memory of that instant or what transpired afterwards. If this could be known, although it would not console those who love the people who went down with the plane, it could give some peace of mind and heart to Andreas’ family and friends. We should add that he was not one of the three persons who had completed their contracts.

The second occurrence is the massacre at a Kenyan university by al-Shabaab terrorists, where almost the same number of lives were lost as in the plane crash. However, none of the contracts of persons who died in the university carnage contained a lifespan that would end at that time, and all have the same aforementioned three options. We wish everyone could know the loving reception and personalized care given every person whose life was ended then, but their families and dear friends know only the heartbreak of shocking loss and your world reels from barbaric behavior that is incomprehensible.

Some of the survivors’ contracts include a “traumatic, nonlethal experience” with flexibility as to the type and timing—enduring what took place at the university fulfills that provision. Survivors who didn’t need that experience for balance may put it in safekeeping, in a way, for “credit” in a different lifetime or give it to someone in the agreement group whose struggle with karmic lessons was more difficult than anticipated; in either case, the survivor’s desire would propel an energy streamer in the appropriate direction. If survivors whose wounds have life-changing results outside their contracts, amendments will be made at soul level to provide other experiences that will make their lives as meaningful and fulfilling as they had chosen.

Because the perpetrators of the attack far exceeded their contract provisions that would have balanced previous experiences, they incurred karma that could require several lifetimes before balance is achieved. In Nirvana, just as on Earth, ever-heightening vibrations would energetically bar psychic and cellular patterning with karma of that severity; when those persons die, their lifetime energy automatically will draw them to the spirit world of some low third density civilization and their next incarnation will be in that population.

There is another aspect of pre-birth agreements, which are designed for the spiritual and conscious growth of all participants in the shared lifetime: When one person’s life ends prior to contract completion, it affects all others in the group beyond profound emotions. For adults this can include the spouse, children, parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, colleagues, everyone else with whom the person had close bonds and those with whom bonds would have developed in later years. When a “premature” transition happens to a child, in addition to family there can be classmates, teachers and friends as well as all others who would have become important in that youngster’s life throughout the chosen lifespan. The contracts of every person who had or would have had a significant role in the lifetime that was cut short must be amended to provide all of those individuals with equivalent opportunities to complete their karmic lessons. The original and subsequent matching-up of souls happens in the continuum, where everything is happening simultaneously.

Everyone’s part in an agreement is important; however, individuals’ contracts and their purpose can vary considerably. For instance, one soul can agree to be the “captain,” so to say, to give other participants the opportunity to strengthen their weaknesses in one or more areas that this soul has mastered such as patience, generosity, humility, forgiveness, compassion, self-discipline, honesty, kindness, wise parenting, industriousness. In these cases, the “captain” serves the others not by criticizing their shortcomings, but by exemplifying admirable attitudes and behavior that the others may be inspired to emulate.

Or, a soul can agree to exhibit characteristics that are undesirable, perhaps jealousy, uncontrolled anger, self-centeredness, laziness, arrogance, stinginess, resentfulness or untrustworthiness. If by observing that person’s hurtful, offensive or counterproductive behavior the others in the agreement learn not tobehave in those ways, they can balance other lifetimes wherein one or more of those traits were dominant.

If an individual is to become widely known and respected, the “captain-team” arrangement can be reversed and include a small number of participants whose values, accomplishments, encouragement and assistance are strong incentives for the designated individual to adhere to high standards, persevere despite opposition and setbacks, and continue striving until noteworthy achievements are attained. This can be the case even if the individual credits a specific person as the source of inspiration for his or her success.

Usually souls choose to live in impoverished circumstances to balance a lifetime of riches and ease, with little or no interest in helping people in dire need.

When a soul embodies in a region ravaged by war and poverty and is orphaned as a youngster who must make his own way from then on, it can be to experience the fear and severe hardships that had befallen children due to this soul’s actions in a different lifetime.

A soul may choose a brief life in a loving family in a peaceful environment to rest after a long, tiring life of toil and to serve other purposes, too. The loss of a child offers family members the opportunity to channel grief into meaningful endeavors; it also can strengthen family bonds or tear them apart, whichever the others may need for balance.

As our examples show, agreements can contain many participants or only a few, and none of them knows what had been agreed upon. If your conscience is comfortable with your decisions that affect the lives of others, that is an indication that you are acting in accordance with your contract role, but there is no way to know if the primary people in your life are following or seriously departing from theirs—that is why spiritual guidance is, do not judge others. Never does this mean condoning actions you deem unjust or reprehensible, but rather that you refrain from judging the persons.

If light really is increasing on the planet, why is there still so much violence and brutality? In previous messages we have said that one effect of increasing light intensity is the magnification of human characteristics and behavior—“good” becomes better, “bad” becomes worse. The majority of people in your world are responding positively by being kinder, more thoughtful, generous, cooperative, helpful and open-minded. That doesn’t make headline news, so you don’t hear about them.

However, even though mainstream media’s main focus still is on individuals and organized groups whose actions are violent and brutal, coverage is including positive developments as well. You are hearing about innovations in renewable energy sources and breakthroughs in medical research; citizens revitalizing their villages, towns or cities; expanding efforts in environmental preservation and restoration; and, occasionally, multimillionaires who are sharing their wealth abundantly.

Indeed a great deal more must be done and shall be, but please honor yourselves as we do and celebrate with us your sterling progress to date. You who know you are lightworkers and the many millions who also are but may not even know that word are the vanguard of your society, the ones who are steadily moving your world in positive directions.

Let us give you an example of the positive and negative aspects of light’s magnification. After years of punitive measures against Iran for its nuclear development program, a series of talks between leaders of that country and others recently produced a framework for a diplomatic solution, with both sides making concessions to reach that initial stage of cooperation. Most in your world welcomed this as a positive albeit tenuous first step, yet it was soundly denounced by the increased negativity of individuals within Illuminati ranks or under their influence who want this issue handled with military might. Only the peak of the Illuminati still are holding onto the delusion that further destabilizing the Mideast will let them gain control of that region and continue their march toward global domination.

Readers have asked if the following assertions are true: An asteroid is going to destroy Earth in September. A militarized police force will round up dissidents in the United States and incarcerate them in FEMA-operated camps. Foreign troops have been brought in to kill Americans because US military won’t shoot their own citizens. Many millions will drown as seas rise and inundate coastlines far inland. The cabal is controlling peoples’ minds through inoculations containing programmed microchips. The Illuminati will cause global chaos by creating a hologram of invading ETs that they will claim are forces of the anti-Christ. This or that “red flag” terrorist act will be the excuse for imposing martial law. A dark civilization pretending to be benevolent is surrounding planet Earth. WWIII will be started by the intentional or accidental launch of a nuclear missile. Delivery of “prosperity packages” is imminent. The cabal is preparing areas beneath a number of buildings to be temporary living quarters, escape routes and/or arsenals.

Those are samples of distorted information, uninformed opinions or skewed interpretations, long-outdated contingency plans, long-outdated potential land/sea changes, scare-tactic lies, or falsehoods in messages channeled by base entities claiming to be respected light sources. And, just as not all information on the Internet is valid, neither is everything that mediums tell their clients. A reader wrote what a friend told her a medium had told him: The people on earth would be transported to a very large planet that is big enough to hold the population of the earth. It would be a trip of several weeks to save us, because the environment on earth has become uninhabitable. It is a friendly more advanced group who said they were offering their help for a better, peaceful, and loving experience that sounded pleasant. The reader added her question: “Do you know if people will be moved off planet earth in a year ending in nine?”

We tell you this, dear ones, because you are deluged with information, some of it shocking or frightening, a lot of it conflicting, and we know that at times it is difficult for you to discern what is true and what isn’t. When your thoughts aren’t clear about an issue you feel is important, ask within for the answer, then quiet your mind and listen to what comes from your heart and soul. God said, “The heart is the seat of the soul,” and the soul knows the truth.

Someone who knew that my mother’s recent trip included visiting our family in Peru asked if extraterrestrials were involved in the disappearance of Incas from Machu Picchu or the ancient buildings with precisely-fitting boulders that weigh as much as a hundred tons. You may be interested in the answers.

When the residents of Machu Picchu heard that Spanish forces had reached Cusco and were continuing their bloody conquest downward from that high elevation, they started building a trail down the other side of their lower Andean community; when it was ready, they started their journey to safety and the last in line disguised the trail’s beginning. Although that was discovered along with the ruins, little or no connection has been made between the trail and its purpose.

To accommodate the Peruvians’ desire for high, strong walls and monuments, members of advanced civilizations living among them used teleportation, levitation and laser technology. Similar assistance was given in other areas where mammoth rocks also had to be transported many miles to the erection sites, for pyramids or structures like Stonehenge and the heads on Easter Island.

The people living in those times were grateful for the extraterrestrials’ friendship and help. Dear ones, you have infinitely more reason to feel grateful—your universal family saved the very life of your homeland planet about 80 years ago and they have been helping you in vitally important ways since then. Lighted beings throughout this universe are eagerly awaiting the day when people from other civilizations who are in ships above you, residing among you, or living in Inner Earth can greet you as the beloved family members you are.


Suzanne Ward
Email: suzy@matthewbooks.com
Related Article:

"THE THREE WINDS" – Feb 23-24, 2013 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Humanity, Home - other side of the veil, Wind of Birth - Birth, Wind of Existence - Life, Wind of Transition - Death) (Text version)