More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

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

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Sunday, December 31, 2017

MH17 may have been shot down ‘by mistake’, investigator tells NRC

DutchNews, December 30, 2017

A fragment of the BUK missile. Picture: JIT 

There is an ‘extremely large amount of material’ which suggests flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by accident, the leader of the team investigating the incident has told the NRC

Fred Westerbeke, who heads the international team which is carrying out the criminal investigation into the attack, says it is still too early to draw conclusions but that a number of questions must be asked. 

In particular, the team wants to know why the Malaysia Airways plane was shot down rather than one from the ‘enemy’ Ukraine airforce. ‘It is really important for us to know this,’ he said.

‘Why was the BUK used to bring down a passenger airline rather than a jet fighter or an Antonov from Ukraine,’ he said. ‘What was the aim?’ 

All 298 people on board flight MH17 were killed when it was struck by a missile on July 17, 2014, and crashed into fields in eastern Ukraine. Two-thirds of the passengers on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were Dutch. 

The JIT’s preliminary investigations concluded last year that the plane was shot down from Ukrainian farmland by a BUK missile ‘controlled by pro-Russian fighters’. That conclusion has been disputed by Russia, which claims that Ukrainian fighters were responsible.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Uber suffers new blow as EU court rules it's a taxi service

Yahoo – AFP, Alex PIGMAN, Danny KEMP, December 20, 2017

Spanish taxi drivers have staged protests, complaining that Uber flouts local
regulations (AFP Photo/GABRIEL BOUYS)

Brussels (AFP) - The EU's top court ruled on Wednesday that Uber is an ordinary transportation company instead of an app and should be regulated as such, in a decision that is being closely watched around the world.

Hailed by the plaintiffs -- a Spanish taxi association -- as "a social victory", the case is yet another thorn in the side for US-based Uber, which has drawn the fury of taxi drivers and officials for flouting local regulations.

It also comes the same week as one of its drivers admitted to the attempted rape and murder of a British embassy worker coming home from a night out in Beirut, Lebanon.

"The service provided by Uber connecting individuals with non-professional drivers is covered by services in the field of transport," said the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice.

"Member states can therefore regulate the conditions for providing that service."

Uber, the biggest name in the growing gig economy, claims it is a mere service provider, connecting consumers with drivers in more than 600 cities.

Uber has run into huge opposition from taxi companies and other competitors who say this allows it to dodge costly regulations such as training and licensing requirements for drivers and vehicles.

The case was brought by a taxi drivers' association in the Spanish city of Barcelona, where belief runs high that Uber is a taxi company that should be subject to rules governing such vehicles.

"This will truly represent a social victory, and the whole of society will benefit from this," Ivan Esma, spokesman for the Elite Taxi association, told reporters, adding that "the road will be long" for the ruling to be enforced.

Ruling 'won't change things'

Uber said the ruling would make little difference in practice.

"This ruling will not change things in most EU countries where we already operate under transportation law," an Uber spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

"However, millions of Europeans are still prevented from using apps like ours."

In a dense legal judgement, the ECJ said that Uber was a service that connects "by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys."

That means it is "inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as a 'service in the field of transport' within the meaning of EU law."

The EU court's senior adviser had said in a legal opinion in May that Uber was indeed a transport company.

Uber has had a rough ride in Spain, where a judge ruled in 2014 that its UberPop service risked breaking the law, leading to the Barcelona submission to the ECJ.

Early last year, it decided to only operate a limited a version of its UberX service in Spain which uses licensed, professional drivers instead of the amateurs who had previously worked via the UberPop application.

Uber has already had problems with the law in several European countries, particularly France where the company was forced to overhaul its business model.

The French transport minister, Elisabeth Borne, said the ruling "reinforces the government's determination" to regulate the sector "in favor of both the safety of customers, the working conditions of drivers and fair competition between the players."

In November a labour court in London, where the company is threatened with losing its license, said it had to pay the drivers a minimum wage and give them paid leave.

Uber does not employ drivers or own vehicles, but instead relies on private contractors with their own cars, allowing them to run their own businesses.

Licensed taxi drivers meanwhile often have to undergo hundreds of hours of training, and they accuse Uber of endangering their jobs by using cheaper drivers who rely only on a GPS to get around.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Delta orders 100 Airbus planes in blow to Boeing

Yahoo – AFP, John BIERS, 14 December 2017

Delta orders 100 Airbus planes in blow to Boeing

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL - news) announced Thursday that it has ordered 100 Airbus planes with an option to buy 100 more, in a blow to Airbus' American rival Boeing (NYSE: BA - news) .

Delta said it was buying the A321neo aircraft to renew its narrow-body fleet, which have 197 seats and are used for domestic or short international flights.

The Airbus order comes amid public friction between Delta and US giant Boeing over a trade dispute involving a separate Delta deal to buy planes from Canadian company Bombardier (Toronto: BBD-A.TO - news) .

Airbus deliveries to Delta will begin in 2020 and go through 2023 under the order, worth an estimated $12.7 billion based on the aircraft catalogue price.

Delta said in an investor presentation that the new planes would result in 40 percent fuel savings compared with the jet they are replacing.

"This is the right transaction at the right time for our customers, our employees and our shareholders," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement.

US built planes

Airbus in 2015 opened a manufacturing plant in Mobile, Alabama to build single-aisle planes with an eye towards competing more aggressively in the US market.

Toulouse, France-based Airbus highlighted its growing connection to the US in the announcement, saying most of the new planes would be delivered from Mobile.

"This purchase furthers our commitment to US aviation -- a commitment that has never been stronger," said John Leahy, chief operating officer for customers at Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

"Today, there is more US content in Airbus aircraft than from any other country, with more than 40 percent of our aircraft-related procurement coming from the United States."

Delta also announced that it picked United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney as the engine provider, and for engine maintenance. Delta also selected Pratt engines for the Bombardier order, which is at the heart of the Boeing trade dispute,

Boeing has argued Delta's planes were underpriced due to illegal Canadian government subsidies to Bombardier.

"Delta remains a valued customer, and we'll continue exploring ways to best meet their needs in the future," a Boeing spokesman said.

"We competed with a strong but disciplined offer in the Delta campaign. While Delta has chosen to go with Airbus and Bombardier in recent single aisle campaigns, we are proud of the 737 MAX family's superior value and performance."

Canada-based Bombardier in October unveiled a production alliance with Airbus that granted the European company a stake in the Bombardier C-Series program. Delta has said it will not pay for any punitive tariffs sought by the US government in response to Boeing complaints.

Boeing's actions in the trade dispute has done "significant has done significant damage to its relationship with Delta for sure," said Jim Corridore, an analyst at CFRA Research.

"Obviously today's news is a direct blowback to Boeing's protectionist stance in getting the US government to add those taxes to the Bombardier jets."

Corridore noted that Boeing also lost a major deal with the Canadian government, which dropped a deal to buy F-18 fighters from the US company following the trade dispute.

Boeing's stance "makes no sense" and has "cost them two major deals," he said, adding that Boeing's outlook is otherwise bright because of strong demand in both commercial airplane and defense businesses.

Decoy bikes with GPS trackers lead to sharp drop in bike theft, expert say

DutchNews, December 14, 2017

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The use of decoy bikes fitted with police GPS tracking systems has reduced bike theft by up to 50% in the places where they are being used, economist Ben Vollaard told Thursday’s Telegraaf

The paper says Vollaard’s research at Tilburg University shows that ‘professional criminals’ are more likely to disappear when the special bikes are being used. 

Vollaard looked at 14 places where the decoy bikes were placed, including Dordrecht and Gorinchem. In total, the decoy bikes were used 1,612 times last year and 1,220 arrests were made as a result, the paper said. 

Police currently have a pool of 300 bikes at their disposal, of which around 70 are electric bikes. All are new bikes from popular brands such as Gazelle or Batavus. 

By the beginning of October this year, police had received 61,063 reports of stolen bikes, down more than 13,000 on the 2016 total. 

‘I know that everyone says no-one bothers to report a stolen bike but these are the only figures we have to base policy on,’ said Mogjan Yavari of Centrum Fietsendiefstal, which unites police, insurers and manufacturers.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

London's iconic black cabs go electric

Yahoo – AFP,  December 5, 2017

London's iconic black cabs go electric

London's first electric-powered black cabs hit the streets on Tuesday, the British capital's iconic taxis getting a facelift for the modern age that should help cut pollution in the city.

The new-look cabs will meet the strict new emissions regulations required for all new London taxis from 2018.

They are replacing the old diesel cabs, with more than 9,000 electric taxis -- around half the current fleet size -- expected to be plying for trade by 2021.

"The vehicle is totally new from the ground up and it's a much better experience both for the cabbie and the passengers," Chris Gubbey, chief executive of the London Electric Vehicle Company, told AFP.

"The ride and handling is much better and it's very quiet.

"It's marrying all of the cutting edge technology with vast experience of what it takes to make a good taxi."

The renamed London Taxi Company has been making London's black cabs for almost 70 years in Coventry, central England.

The manufacturer was rescued from administration in 2013 by Chinese automaker Geely.

The new cabs retain much of the familiar shape, but are marginally bigger, allowing a sixth passenger inside.

The taxis have been brought up to date with wifi, USB chargers, a plug socket and a contactless payment card reader in the back.

The new, transparent roof allows passengers to take in the cityscape above them.

Smooth and silent

"The ride quality is unbelievable. Customers are going to love it. It's so smooth and quiet," said Peter Powell, 61, a London cab driver of 22 years, who been road testing the new taxis for the past two months.

But he admitted that "a lot of old guys don't like the change" with some concerned about a dearth of charging points.

The new TX eCity taxi costs £55,000 ($73,800, 62,400 euros), compared to £45,000 for the last diesel TX4s.

However, manufacturers estimate cabbies could save £100 a week in fuel costs.

While Powell and a few other drivers have been road-testing the new taxi in London, it has also been put through its paces in the extreme conditions of the Arctic and Arizona.

London taxi drivers average 120 miles (195 kilometres) per day, including their commute to and from work.

The new taxi can do 80 miles on electric power, and has a range-extender petrol engine that runs a generator, meaning it can cover up to 377 miles, always on electric power.

It is different from many hybrid vehicles currently on the road in that the petrol engine does not drive the wheels directly.

The new taxi produces about 10 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted by the TX4 and its nitrous oxide emissions are close to zero.

They can repower in 35 minutes at rapid charging stations.