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, November 25, 2018

UN grants sanctions exemption for Korea railway survey

Yahoo – AFP, 24 November 2018

The two Koreas have agreed to start surveys on reconnecting railways across
the border between North and South

The UN Security Council has granted a sanctions exemption for the two Koreas to jointly conduct a survey on reconnecting railways across their border, a spokesman for the South Korean presidency said Saturday.

The two Koreas last month agreed to start the survey no later than late October and to hold the groundbreaking ceremony sometime between late November and early December, as the countries pursue a reconciliation drive.

But the possibility of the project running up against UN sanctions imposed on North Korea over its nuclear programmes has caused delays.

"It is significant that this project has received support from the United States and international community", said Kim Eui-Gyeom, spokesman for the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

Railway experts from both sides will criss-cross the country on survey trains together, Kim said in a statement, adding that the process will "bring inter-Korean cooperation to a new level".

Yonhap news agency said the South was expected to bring fuel for train locomotives, and other unspecified materials for the survey in the North.

Delivering fuel to North Korea could potentially have been in breach of a UN cap limiting imports to 500,000 barrels a year.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday any inter-Korean rapprochement had to move forward "in tandem" with efforts to denuclearise the peninsula, and could not come sooner.

US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a historic summit in Singapore earlier this year, signing a vaguely worded deal on denuclearisation.

But since then, talks on denuclearisation have stalled, with meetings either deemed unproductive, pushed back or cancelled altogether.

The US and South Korea have launched a working group to make sure that they don't "talk past each other", Pompeo said, as Seoul and Pyongyang appear to be moving ahead with their rapprochement more quickly than Washington and the North are making headway on nuclear disarmament.

A second leaders' summit is expected to take place in early 2019, according to Washington.

In the meantime, North and South Korea have made several concrete decisions on reconciliation and exchanges.

But the implementation of cross-border projects such as the reconnection of railways have been hamstrung by the lack of progress in denuclearisation talks.


South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) advocates talking to the North's leader
Kim Jong Un to push him to denuclearise (AFP Photo)

Related Article:


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Silent plane with no moving parts makes 'historic' flight

Yahoo – AFP, Patrick GALEY, November 21, 2018

A plane powered by supercharged air particles (AFP Photo/Simon MALFATTO)


Paris (AFP) - The blue glowing jets of science fiction spacecraft came a step closer to reality on Wednesday as US physicists unveiled the world's first solid-state aeroplane powered in flight by supercharged air molecules.

More than a century on from the Wright brothers' first artificial flight, scientists hailed the "historic" test of the new technology, which could eventually slash greenhouse-gas emissions from aviation.

Ever since Orville and Wilbur Wright's momentous glide in the winter of 1903, aircraft have been driven by propellers or jets that must burn fuel to create the thrust and lift needed for sustained flight.

A team of experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology managed to unlock a process known as electroaerodynamics, previously never seen as a plausible way to power an aircraft.

They were able to fly the new plane, with a wingspan of five metres (16 feet), a distance of 55 metres at a speed of 4.8 metres-per-second.

That's hardly supersonic, but the implications of this unprecedented mode of flight could be stratospheric.

"The future of flight shouldn't be things like propellers and turbines," said Steven Barrett, who designed the prototype.

"It should be more like what you see in Star Trek with a kind of blue glow and something that silently glides through the air."

At first glance, the plane itself doesn't look lightyears away from other renewable aircraft, such as the Solar Impact II craft that in 2015-16 used energy from the Sun to fly around the world.

Unlike Solar Impact, Barrett's plane doesn't have any propellers or solar panels -- or any moveable parts whatsoever.

Instead of engines, it is powered by a system comprising two main sections.

At the front of the plane sit a series of parallel electrodes made up of lightweight wires that produce an enormous voltage -- +20,000v -- supercharging the air around it and splitting away negatively charged nitrogen molecules known as ions.

At the plane's rear are rows of aerofoils set to -20,000v. The ions automatically move from a positive to negative charge, dragging with them air particles that create the so-called "ionic wind" to provide the aircraft with lift.

The news plane itself doesn't look lightyears away from other renewable aircraft, such 
as the Solar Impact II craft that in 2015-16 used energy from the Sun to fly 
around the world (AFP Photo/Bertrand Piccard)

'Something we never knew possible'

The technology to create ionic wind has been around since the 1960s, but it was previously thought nowhere near efficient enough to prove useful to aeronautics.

The team not only showed that it was possible for ion-driven craft to fly but also -- due to the relative lack of drag created by the electrodes -- predicted that efficiency would increase in lockstep with speed, potentially opening the way for bigger, faster planes in future.

"It's clearly very early days: but the team at MIT have done something we never previously knew was possible, in using accelerated ionised gas to propel an aircraft," said Guy Gratton, aerospace engineer and visiting professor at Cranfield University, who was not involved in the study.

Barrett said he believed the current prototype could be scaled up "a significant amount" but cautioned that their may be a limit to how much propulsion the technique can produce.

"We don't yet know if there is such a limit and we will certainly try to scale up as much as possible," he said.

"I don't yet know if you'll see our vehicle carrying people any time soon but obviously I'd be very excited if that was the case."

Ever since Orville and Wilbur Wright's momentous glide in the winter of 1903, aircraft 
have been driven by propellers or jets that must burn fuel to create the thrust and lift 
needed for sustained flight (AFP Photo/JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER)

Commercial applications

He told AFP that the technology could be used on the skin of commercial aircraft, reducing drag and therefore the energy needed to power modern passenger jets.

"This would be much more efficient than the current situation where you have concentrated engines that generate thrust, which have to fight against a large passive airframe that generates drag," he said.

In an editorial, the journal Nature, which published the study, said its success would encourage other sectors to re-visit technology that was long thought to be confined to sci-fi films.

It listed possible military applications including the development of silent drones and aircraft, and engines with no infrared signal and thus impossible to detect.

The prototype flight "will stimulate both awe and anxiety," it said.

A hundred and fifteen years ago, Nature published a short news item on the Wright brothers' "first successful achievement of artificial flight."

Barrett and the team noted a pleasing parallel with their revolutionary test and the one that sparked the aerial age: both flights lasted all of 12 seconds.

Related Article:


"....  Wild Cards Examined

Wild card, as used in spiritual language, is a term that is difficult to define. Wild cards can be events, they can be inventions, they can involve one Human or a few. They can be one of many things or many of one thing, but they follow a timeline that you can look at. We want to talk about some of the wild cards that you’ve had in the past, and some attributes of their occurrence that you might not have thought of.

The basic attribute of any kind of wild card is that it’s a surprise event. It’s often shocking, sometimes revealing, but always a surprise. We’re also going to do some of the numerology as we go, and also take a look at the energies that help define what the energy is around specific wild cards.

Numerology is an ancient system that helps define an energy around something. For instance, an event may seem to be one thing, but the numerology will tell a story around it that may be more explanatory. When you see what we will call synchronized numerology – the same numbers repeated around a wild card – it’s very telling, for there are no accidents.

Dear Kryon, you might ask, “Does spirit create wild cards for the planet?” Answer: No, you do. Your consciousness at a certain point in time gives an allowance for a wild card. Sprit is ready to enhance some wild card scenarios and not others. But the energy and consciousness of humanity allows for their occurrence.

A wild card can be a person, an invention, a thing, an event, a new system or a new paradigm that changes the planet. It is unexpected, sometimes startling and often dramatic in its influence. If it’s an invention, it has to be outside of the purview of what would normally have occurred through the evolution of science or the timing of expected scientific evolution. It is often a paradigm shifter, and it’s usually from one person. When you see that, you will know there it’s a wild card. It isn’t always an individual invention, and sometimes it’s collective. But, dear one, you can tell because every single wild card takes everybody by surprise.

Wild Cards in History

You’ve had a number of them, and I’ll list a few so you get the idea. You’ll also get to see a system of singularity that comes to inventors. You’ll see this as I go.

Tesla was a wild card. His ideas were unexpected, controversial and advanced to a degree that even to this day those in electronic engineering shake their heads. They will take a look at what he invented and will comment, “How is it possible for any one person to have seen that? If you study alternating current, it’s a conundrum. Phase relationships of alternating current are brilliant beyond brilliant.” This was Tesla.

However, what you know about him is only what he brought to you. Now, a brilliant mind like that would have other things, don’t you think? Indeed, he did, so you might ask, “Well, where are those other things?” The answer is that those other things were stopped cold – all of them. He only was able to promote the one thing that you needed for the planet. The brilliance of his mind had many other profound ideas, but he was unable to proceed. He saw ways to alter mass in his workshops, but couldn’t. He was frustrated that he didn’t have the elaborate tools to be precise enough to make it work on a regular basis. That’s just one. Transmission of electricity without wires through the ground was the other. However, it would not have been correct at the time for those things to have been presented to humanity. You weren’t ready, but you were ready for alternating current, one of the most needed inventions for the time. Tesla died frustrated, poor, in a small room and alone. He came to do one thing, and was stopped from anything else, then he passed. If you have analyzed the people who were wild cards in your history, there is a pattern.

Other wild card inventors have come into the planet just because the earth was ready for a specific invention. Remember, Spirit does not give the information, but allows for it to be released, often all at once, all over the earth. Let me give you some examples.

Another wild card is the Wright brothers. Isn’t it odd to you that it wasn’t that long ago that you got powered flight? It was just yesterday! Some of your relatives were alive when flight was discovered! Dear ones, the Chinese have been flying kites for thousands of years. Don’t you think that they knew the dynamics of a bird? Do you think that century after century after century occurred and nobody figured out how to sustain flight with any kind of power source? Two bicycle makers figured it out!

That’s odd enough, but the fact that they only beat the French by two weeks is something worth looking at. That’s odd! It’s almost like this profound invention was ready to be given to the planet simultaneously, all over the earth, at the same time. Whoever got to it first would be the ones who got the credit. The real oddity is the timing. It’s not logical that it was so hidden, then suddenly so many were working on it all at once.

The Wright brothers were here to show it to you, then stop. All they did was what you saw at Kitty Hawk. They never went past basic wing warping, and did not have first intuitive thought about ailerons, or the basics of flight control today. For them, it stopped there. Dear ones, there was great frustration, and perhaps even health issues from it, from having others take the basics and develop flight so fast beyond them. Dysfunction and sorrow followed them both, and they died without ever being able to participate fully beyond the initial invention. One died far earlier than the other, creating sorrow for the one left behind. They came to do what they did and move on. This is more common than you know with wild cards, especially when it comes to inventions that change this planet.

Who invented the radio? Was is the Italian Guglielmo Marconi, or our frustrated wild card Tesla? Marconi got the credit, but the invention was everywhere, ready to be claimed. The earth was ripe and ready for it, and it was delivered to the consciousness of the planet at the right time. But both men got it at the same time, apart from each other. I’m giving you things to think about.

We have told you that there are wild card inventions coming in the future. One in particular is ready, but you will not receive it until the time is right. It’s almost like there’s a thinking ceiling on what you can do. We even gave you some of the attributes of the coming invention, but not the one who will bring it. We’re not even concerned that you’ll do it in advance, because we know the wild card is coming. An invention is coming. It is an invention that will rewrite physics as you know it. You’d see the patterns in quantum fields, and there would be the big aha! It would be like reinventing the wheel.

“Kryon, why can’t we have it now? What’s stopping it?” We told you, it’s too easy to weaponize. When you reach the point where you won’t weaponize it, it’s yours. All this is coming. It’s natural, and it will come when it’s time just like the Wright brothers, just like Tesla, just like Einstein.

Einstein was a genuine wild card. He was not a quantum thinker at all, but what he presented is still alive and well today and they’re still looking inside the atom for the concepts he gave you. So I will make this statement: Einstein isn’t finished yet, because the very concepts that continue to be received from his work are going to be applied to the invention of the century. So the Einsteinean principles, even though they are not quantum, will be very much involved in what is coming. You might say he was a wild card and continues to be one. The joke is that his concepts last and last, outside of time, yet his main ideas were with time. If you asked Einstein if he was happy with what he brought to the planet, he would tell you no. He was frustrated that he didn’t get to do what he really wanted. Like Tesla, he felt that something was just “out of reach” and he didn’t get to do it.

Then there was World War II. Dear ones, pretend you are an alien scientist. Disengage your emotion. You’ve come in from another planet to look at this.

World War II (WWII) was not a wild card, but the man who created and enhanced it was. This planet was teetering on the edge of ultimate dark energy and destruction. Nobody expected it. The most despicable old energy card played itself out exactly as it should have, with the consciousness of this planet going to where it had brought itself. You had just finished World War I (WWI), yet WWII ignited and continued. So WWII was simply an extension of WWI. You did it again, only this time the weapons were getting bigger and more able to destroy all of humanity. Remember the prophecy of your scripture? You were headed for mass destruction. WWII would become World War III, and by the year 2000, you would be almost gone.

As I mentioned, WWII wasn’t the wild card, rather it was the man who led the lowest consciousness in recent history who was. He was the wild card, and you know of whom I speak. This wild card killed millions of people who were not even participants in the military portion of the war. Genocide had begun, a race war had begun, and many were following his lead. It showed the darkest side of humanity – more than you had ever seen before, and it almost targeted the demise of civilization if he had won.

It was a horror wild card, and the planet had created it. However, when it was over, the entire world took a breath and for a moment, just for a moment, there was a glimmer of realization: “This cannot go on, for we will do it again.” Many things took place due to this realization. Without the wild card, you would not have the European Union, you would not have the United Nations or any attempt at unity on Earth. Disengage from your logic and emotion, dear ones. These things were not created from Spirit, but rather from the depth of lower humanity. This is the dark side at its worst, showing itself with almost free reign, but the world objected to it and started to climb out of it. It was the beginning over half a century ago of what you’re starting to see now in the shift.

The amazing shift that you’re in right now is something that goes slow. It didn’t happen all at once. The Cold War was a natural occurrence out of the consciousness that was part of the end of WWII. But, dear ones, you could never have the shift if that Cold War had continued the way it was. Enter another wild card: The Soviet system fell over.

The Cold War could not continue, and it was stopped in the form it was in. Dear ones, for those reading now, that was one of the biggest wild cards of all. The consciousness of earth said “no” and it ended. That was a huge wild card. It changed everything; it wasn’t expected; nobody saw it coming, and it changed everything. It may not have changed things immediately to the way you want it right away, but it created that which you needed at that time.

Then there was Steve Jobs. He was a wild card. What he did had little to do with technology, for that would have happened anyway soon enough. Instead, it had to do with the paradigm of the business of music on Earth. He freed it, and the paradigm of how music is obtained and heard will never be the same. However, Steve Jobs did basically one thing for all of you, and then he died. Do you see any kind of connecting of the dots to some of the inventors who come and give you the one thing, then leave? If he had lived, would there be more? Yes, but you’re not ready for it. Consciousness has to support what happens.

Yes, it would seem we have left some things out – the invention of DNA, the atomic bomb, etc. However, these were not wild cards. These are your civilization, within a normal evolution of science. Wild cards are very unexpected things, and there are more coming your way.  ..."

Mobility scooters need urgent improvements, say road safety researchers

DutchNews, November 21, 2018

Senior woman at the seaside on mobility scooter

Mobility scooters used by thousands of elderly and immobile people in the Netherlands are not safe enough and need urgent action to meet tougher standards, according to road safety researchers. 

Dozens of people are killed every year in accidents involving mobility scooters. In total 38 mobility scooter users were killed in 2016 and 1,600 were taken to hospital after accidents. 

The road safety scientific research foundation (SWOV) has now researched 35 serious accidents involving the electric scooters.  It found that users who find themselves in dangerous situations tend to put pressure on the accelerator rather than let it go when they need to brake. 

The technology is similar to that used by the electric wagons used to transport children, known as the Stint. Stints have been banned from the Dutch roads pending safety checks after a fatal accident at a level crossing. 

The braking system is not the only problem with the scooters, the SWOV says. The scooters are not stable enough and are liable to tip on uneven roads or when they hit an obstacle.

It also recommends bike lanes are made wider, and without raised edges, to lessen the risk of accidents. 

Safe

Transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said in a reaction to the report that all mobility scooter users should be able to trust that their vehicles are safe. 

She said she is now in talks with manufacturers about the SWOV recommendations. 

Television consumers show Kassa reported last month that one reason so many mobility scooter users are killed may be due to the braking system.

Related Article:


Two Stints in action. Photo: Stintum.nl

Ryanair boss writes angry letter to Dutch MPs about hearing invite

DutchNews, November 21, 2018

Photo: Ryanair.com 

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has written to Dutch MPs, accusing them of wanting to pillory the airline at a public hearing on airline working conditions next week, the AD said on Wednesday. 

The parliamentary infrastructure committee is holding the hearing next week and Ryanair is one of the organisations which has been invited to attend. 

The invitation, the AD states, says that some airlines are looking to limit wage costs and pilots and cabin crew are often having to deal with non-Dutch labour law, short breaks and, when they protest, are threatened with being shut down. 

Ryanair closed its Eindhoven base at the beginning of this month, and a court which looked at the case said that it appeared as if the closure was a punishment for strikes earlier this year. 

The AD says that Ryanair has replied to the invitation in an angry letter signed by O’Leary and which says the hearing is an ‘inappropriate forum’. 

The invitation is ‘full of accusations which are wrong’, such as the claims about pay and about rest periods, the AD quotes the letter as saying.

O’Leary also says the Eindhoven base was closed because of rising fuel costs and the threat of a 45% increase in airport fees. In addition, he criticises the presence of Ghent university professor Yves Jorens, whom he describes as ‘dubious’. 

DutchNews.nl has not seen the letter and has been unable to verify the contents or the actual English text.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Volkswagen to spend 44 bn euros on 'electric offensive'

Yahoo – AFP, Florian MÜLLER with Michelle FITZPATRICK in Frankfurt, November 16, 2018

VW will convert two existing German plants into assembly lines for all-electric
vehicles from 2022 (AFP Photo/Tobias SCHWARZ)

Wolfsburg (Germany) (AFP) - German auto giant Volkswagen said Friday it will invest 44 billion euros by 2023 in the smarter, greener cars of the future as it ramps up efforts to shake off the "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal.

Over the coming five years, VW said it aims to spend "almost 44 billion euros" ($50 billion) on electric, self-driving and connected cars as well as mobility services like car sharing.

The figure represents roughly a third of the group's planned expenditure between now and 2023, and the bulk of it will go on developing e-cars, VW said following a supervisory board meeting on future strategy.

Volkswagen's "electric offensive" underscores just how serious the automaker is about closing the gap with Asian competitors and US tech giant Tesla who have had a head start in the e-car race.

"We want to make Volkswagen the global number one in e-mobility," CEO Herbert Diess told reporters.

"The time has come to take further technology and product decisions to achieve that goal."

The group, whose brands range from luxury Porsche and Audi to the budget-conscious Skoda and Seat, has set itself the ambitious target of offering more than 50 electric models by 2025, up from six today.

It has high hopes in particular for the "affordable", zero-emission Volkswagen ID compact which will have a battery range of 550 kilometres (340 miles) and cost roughly the same as a VW Golf -- in a direct challenge to Tesla's mass-market Model 3.

As part of the new strategy, VW intends to reshuffle some production sites in a bid to boost efficiency and achieve savings by bundling production of different models across brands.

"We are making our plants fit for the future," VW board member Oliver Blume said.

Teaming up with Ford

Two existing German plants will be converted into assembly lines for all-electric vehicles from 2022.

The plant in Emden will specialise in building small electric cars and sedans for several of the group's brands, while the Hanover factory will make the ID Buzz, the clean-energy version of VW's iconic camper van.

VW hopes its clean car drive will help dispel the clouds from 'dieselgate' 
(AFP Photo/VLADIMIR SIMICEK)

In a nod to concerns about job losses, Diess acknowledged that electric motors, which require fewer parts than combustion engines, are "much less complex" to build.

But VW has promised to guarantee jobs at both sites until 2028, focussing instead on phasing out positions by not replacing those who retire.

VW also announced plans to open a new factory at a yet to be determined location in eastern Europe.

Diess additionally confirmed that VW was "currently in talks" on teaming up with US competitor Ford in building light commercial vehicles, which would involve sharing factories.

But he stayed coy on speculation that the cooperation could extend into electric and autonomous car manufacturing.

Diess said partnerships were becoming necessary to achieve cost savings at a time when the industry is undergoing an expensive transformation.

Looking further ahead, VW said it was still "exploring the potential" of manufacturing its own batteries for electric cars as concern grows in Europe about the Asian dominance in battery cell production.

Diesel bans

Volkswagen's pivot towards e-cars has in part been spurred by efforts to shake off its ongoing "dieselgate" scandal.

The group was forced to admit in 2015 that it had installed cheating software in 11 million diesel vehicles designed to dupe pollution tests.

Suspicions of trickery later spread to other carmakers too, badly hurting the industry's reputation.

The saga also fuelled a backlash against diesel, with a string of German cities now facing driving bans for the oldest, most polluting diesel cars.

Faced with increasingly angry drivers, the German government has come under pressure to avoid the bans but its efforts to get carmakers to commit to cleaning up engines have had limited success.

The "dieselgate" fallout has so far cost VW more than 28 billion euros in fines, buybacks and compensation and the company remains mired in legal woes around the world.

Nevertheless customers have remained loyal, helping Volkswagen to record sales last year.

The group said last month it was on track to beat last year's revenues of 231 billion euros.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Indonesia calls off the search for Lion Air crash victims

Yahoo – AFP, November 10, 2018

Rescuers have recovered body parts and pieces of the plane's engines,
wheels and seats from the sea (AFP Photo/Adek BERRY)

Indonesia on Saturday called off the search for passengers of a Lion Air plane, almost two weeks after the jetliner plunged into the Java Sea killing 189 people on board.

Some 196 bags containing body parts have been recovered from under the water with 79 victims identified and handed over to their families for burial.

"Since yesterday afternoon until today we have not found any more victims and therefore I declare the search and rescue operation is over," Muhammad Syaugi, head of the search and rescue agency, told reporters Saturday.

"We apologise to the public, especially the families of victims if during the operation we were not able to satisfy everybody," he added.

Rescuers have also retrieved parts of the plane's engines, wheels and seats from the sea. One diver died helping with search.

Lion Air has begun paying $102,058 compensation money for each passenger to the grieving families.

Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has retrieved one of the black boxes -- the flight data recorder -- and is still hunting for the cockpit voice recorder, which recorded the last conversation between the pilot and co-pilot before the crash.

The doomed jet was a Boeing 737-Max 8, one of the world's newest and most advanced commercial passenger planes, and there is still no answer as to what caused the crash.

The government has ordered a check on all Boeing 737-Max 8 fleets and conducted a special audit on Lion Air management.

The transportation ministry has also removed several executives and technical staff from the airline to help with the accident investigation.

The Lion Air plane plunged into the Java Sea on October 29 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang city.

All 189 people on board were killed and the data from the flight recorder data has so far revealed the plane's air speed indicator had not been working properly on its last four journeys, including on the fatal flight.

Following the fatal crash, Boeing issued a special bulletin on how to deal with the erroneous Angle of Attack sensor alert in 737-8 and -9 airplanes.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

France grounds Ryanair plane to force subsidy repayment

Yahoo – AFP, November 9, 2018

The French authorities stopped a Ryanair plane from taking off to put pressure
on the airline (AFP Photo/PAU BARRENA)

Paris (AFP) - The French civil aviation authority said Friday it had seized a Ryanair plane to get the Irish low-cost airline to repay illegal public aid, the latest in a string of troubles for the carrier.

The EU Commission in 2014 ruled that subsidies Ryanair received from a regional authority had to be repaid, but the airline had not complied despite repeated warnings.

The plane, a Boeing 737, was seized on Thursday at Bordeaux airport in southwestern France.

"This measure was taken as a last resort by the French authorities after several reminders and attempts to recuperate the money failed," the DGAC civil aviation body said.

"By this action, the government reaffirms its intention to guarantee the conditions of fair competition between airlines and between airports," it said.

The plane "will remain immobilised until the sum is paid".

It was "regrettable" that the 149 passengers on board the plane had to wait five hours before being able to take off from the Bordeaux-Merignac airport in another Ryanair aircraft, the civil aviation body added.

The French authorities stopped a Ryanair plane from taking off to put pressure on
the airline (AFP Photo/PAU BARRENA)

Regional newspaper Charente Libre reported that the plane was close to take-off for London's Stansted airport when a bailiff, accompanied by police, declared it seized on the tarmac and sealed the aircraft.

The airline owes the regional authority 525,000 euros ($595,000), regional officials said.

The president of the regional airport authority, Didier Vallat, told AFP he expected the money to be disbursed Friday or Saturday.

"Ryanair practically promised that they will pay us today," he said.

Ryanair's fleet is made up mostly of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which have a list price of around $98 million each.

In October, EU anti-trust authorities opened an investigation into whether Ryanair benefited from measures at a German airport that give the Irish low-cost carrier an unfair leg-up over competitors.

And last week ministers from five European governments warned Ryanair that it could face legal trouble if it ignores national labour laws after a series of strikes across the continent.

The pan-European stoppages prompted the airline to cut its profit forecast, but it still expects to make profits after tax of 1.10-1.20 billion euros in its current financial year.

Ryanair is also fighting an order by Italian regulators to suspend a charge for carry-on bags.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Seoul earmarks more than $260 mn for rail, roads in North

Yahoo – AFP, November 8, 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) advocates talking to the North's leader
Kim Jong Un to push him to denuclearise (AFP Photo)

Seoul (AFP) - South Korea has earmarked more than $260 million to build new railways and roads in the North, an official said Thursday, as Seoul pushes ahead with cross-border projects despite international sanctions on Pyongyang.

The figure comes as Seoul and Washington follow increasingly divergent approaches to Pyongyang, with the South pursuing engagement while the US insists pressure on it should be maintained until it denuclearises.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered to help upgrade the North's outdated rail and road infrastructure and connect it with the South's in meetings this year with the North's leader Kim Jong Un.

Seoul plans to spend about 295.1 billion won ($264 million) on the schemes next year, an official at Seoul's unification ministry told reporters, with most of it -- 186.4 billion won -- given freely and 108.7 billion won in loans.

"It is an estimate for now... we will continue efforts, including policy coordination with the US, to carry out the projects agreed between the two Koreas without a hitch," said the official who declined to be named.

Security allies Seoul and Washington agreed last week to set up a new working group to co-ordinate policy amid growing concerns in the US over Moon's approach.

The official's comments came as a Southern lawmaker accused Seoul of ignoring UN sanctions on the North.

"The US maintains the position that it would maintain maximum pressure until the North produces visible progress on denuclearisation and so does the international community including the EU," Chung Byoung-gug told the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper.

"The budget allocation by our government may make it look like our government is undermining international coordination on sanctions on the North," he was quoted as saying.

The isolated, impoverished North is under multiple sets of sanctions imposed over past nuclear and missile tests staged in violation of UN resolutions.

Lifting the measures -- which bans much of its trade including coal exports -- is a key demand of Pyongyang's in its ongoing denuclearisation talks with the US.

Kim and Donald Trump held a historic summit in June in Singapore and signed a vaguely worded deal on denuclearisation, but little progress has been made since then, with the two countries sparring over the exact meaning of the agreement.

Planned talks between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and one of Kim's right-hand men, Kim Yong Chol, were also delayed this week.

Moon -- a dove who advocates dialogue with the North to push it towards denuclearisation -- has met Kim three times so far this year and another summit is being planned in Seoul.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Court upholds electric wagon road ban, says safety must come first

DutchNews, November 1, 2018

Two Stints in action. Photo: Stintum.nl

Judges in Utrecht have upheld the transport minister’s decision to ban the electric wagons known as Stints from the Dutch roads. 

The minister imposed the ban shortly after last month’s fatal accident in which four children died when a wagon ploughed into a train. It is thought that the brakes had failed. 

Thursday’s court case was brought by a daycare centre which claims the minister had not taken users of the Stint sufficiently into account in reaching her decision. Hundreds of daycare centres in the Netherlands have been forced to find alternative ways of moving children from place to place because of the ban. 

‘The claim that the minister acted in a panic is not correct,’ the court said. ‘The minister has explained that the decision was taken on the grounds of traffic safety and that this had priority over all other interests.’ 

Stint Urban Mobility, which makes the electric carts, has since gone bankrupt. 

The formal investigation into the vehicle safety is due at the end of the year.