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

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

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. …

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, 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
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)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pakistan and China cooperation to forge trade gateway: senator

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-04-22

A tunnel under construction on the Karakoram Highway connecting Xinjiang
in China with Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan region, April 18. (Photo/Xinhua)

Two-way trade between China and Pakistan is expected to swell by 300% to 400% in the next five years along with the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that connects Kashgar city in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to the southwestern Pakistan port of Gwadar via highways, railways and pipelines, Hong Kong's Ta Kung Pao reports, citing a Pakistani senator.

"The corridor will greatly benefit both Pakistan and China, as it involves deployments in comprehensive cooperation in the fields of manufacturing, energy, and transportation, etc," Saleem Mandviwalla told the paper when asked which country will benefit more from the project.

The senator also expected Gwadar Port, located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baloschistan, to become the key gateway for Middle East transshipments to China in the coming few years.

President Xi Jinping of China is paying his first state visit for the year to Pakistan to oversee the signing of agreements pertaining to the implementation of the CPEC project, which may serve as a model for China in promoting its Belt and Road Initiative, the paper reported.

With the construction of the economic corridor, Mandviwalla said Pakistan will enjoy significant infrastructure improvement and transfer of manufacturing industries from China, thereby changing his country's economic structure. China's demand for clean energy to support the next decade of economic growth will be fully met by the new oil pipelines constructed under the project, he added.

China-Pakistan trade amounted to US$16.006 billion in 2014, with China enjoying a large trade surplus by recording US$13.248 billion in shipments to Pakistan. But Mandviwalla believes that once Gwadar becomes the gateway for shipments to China from Iran, Afghanistan and other neighboring countries, the trade imbalance will improve drastically.

Mandviwalla told the paper he believes Pakistan will eventually become the cornerstone of the trade gateway for Central Asia and the Middle East after the Gwadar-Xinjiang railways and highways are operational.

Google Executive Points to Self-Driving Cars as Key to Future Highway

Jakarta Globe - AFP, Apr 22, 2015

Google’s Chris Urmson, right, shows a Google self-driving car to US Transportation
 Secretary Anthony Foxx, left, and Google chairman Eric Schmidt, cener, at the
Google headquarters on Feb. 2, 2015 in Mountain View, California, US. (AFP
Photo/Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

Detroit. Self-driving vehicles hold the key to reducing traffic fatalities and will transform the automobile industry, a top Google executive predicted on Tuesday.

Ray Kurzweil, a leading expert in artificial intelligence who joined Google in 2012, told the annual conference of the Society of Automotive Engineers that the rapidly declining cost of computing power and the advances in artificial intelligence will make autonomous driving a reality.

Kurzweil told the audience that autonomous driving, utilizing artificial intelligence, is definitely coming.
“The technology works. It’s not far away,” said Kurzweil, though he was not prepared to say just when self-driving cars will become a common sight.

“Google advised me to share with you they don’t know the answer… The technology is not going to be introduced until it’s ready.”

The need and value of autonomous vehicles is clear, he told hundreds of the industry’s top engineers.

“Google cars have gone close to a million miles without incident,” he said.

“Some day an autonomous car will cause an accident and it will be big news. But while we’ve been talking several people have died from human drivers.”

Autonomous cars “are ultimately going to save millions of lives,” he said, noting that traffic accidents kill 1.2 million people worldwide a year now.

“They also provide more efficient use of roads and parking lots. There are a lot of benefits.”

But he said Google was not going to let its self-drive cars into the market “until they’re safe.”

“They have to be much more reliable than the technology they replace.”

The appearance of the original Google Car prototype touched off a race among the world’s automakers.

Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Nissan have set up engineering centers near Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley to focus on self-driving technologies.

Part of sharing culture

“People will still buy cars,” Kurzweil said.

“But the Uber model with self-driving cars will become very popular. We should share our cars. I think that model will grow when we have autonomous cars.

“Every company has to reinvent itself. Not everything is predictable.”

Kurzweil said that until now the transportation industry, including the automobile business, has not been considered part of the digital world.

“But we see information of every kind coming into every form of transportation,” he added.

At the same time, the price of digital information is dropping dramatically.

Kurzweil said disruptive technologies become feasible at different times. Search engines, such as the one developed by Google, became practical in the late 1990s because of the exponential growth in computing power.

If you tried to build a search engine after that you “missed your opportunity,” he said. “But if you are running a business you can anticipate when changes will occur.”

“There is one is one aspect of the future you can predict reliably,” Kurzweil added.

“The price performance and the capacity of information technology follows a very predictable path and that path is exponential, not linear.”

As for slower-moving technologies like batteries — the key to more electric cars — he predicted longer lasting batteries in 10 to 15 years, at a “more mature phase of nanotechnology where you can manipulate matter on the atomic level.”

Other technology, such as solar power, is developing more quickly than many experts expected.

“Solar power is growing exponentially. It’s doubling every two years. In many parts of the world, it’s reached parity with fossil fuel,” Kurzweil said.

Agence France-Presse

Sunday, April 19, 2015

China's internet giants make inroads into auto industry

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-04-19

The internet and auto industry. (Photo/CFP)

Alibaba Group, the world's biggest e-commerce company, announced on April 8 that it has formed an automotive unit in partnership with nearly 50 car brands and 10,000 dealerships.

The Hanghzou-based company's aim is to provide O2O (online to offline) services and it will present its auto operations at the Shanghai auto show next week.

"Until now, buyers have had no more contact with auto companies once purchase is completed unless there are problems with the quality," said Peter Zhou, vice president of AutoNavi Software under the Alibaba Group.

That situation is about to change. Alibaba is currently working with SAIC Motor, China's leading car manufacturer, among others, to help it connect with existing and potential buyers and work with its cooperation partners to tap the B2B (business to business) services.

In March, Alibaba started a 1 billion yuan (US$160 million) fund with SAIC Motor to create a platform for the development and operation of Web-enabled cars.

Zhou said that Alibaba Group has data on 60 million car owners and 500,000 car showrooms and that its Tmall online marketplace could provide finance, payment and car insurance services.

Alibaba's automotive unit will provide "browse, select, purchase, use and sell" facilities all at the same time, Zhou said.

In addition to the Alibaba Group, fellow internet giants Tencent and Baidu have also been working with auto firms to make inroads into the industry.

Securities Times pointed out as the pace of output and sales of automobiles in China slows, and traditional car enterprises are facing the need to transform, it is time for the internet giants to make inroads into the auto market.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Russia to build own space station by 2023, says Putin

Yahoo – AFP, 16 April 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the worst is over for Russia's economy
 (AFP Photo/Alexei Druzhinin)

Moscow (AFP) - Russia plans to build its own orbiting space station by 2023, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday during a marathon call-in session with the nation.

"By 2023, we plan to create our own national space station in orbit," Putin said.

"This is something far-off in the future, but also necessary for us from the point of view of our national economy."

Russia and NASA recently agreed to keep operating and financing the International Space Station at least until 2024, but future joint space projects remain in doubt, as relations between Russia and the US have plunged to post-Cold War lows over the Ukraine conflict.

The Kremlin strongman said Russia needs its own space station to be able to view its own territory properly from space.

"We use the ISS actively for science and the economy, but from the ISS only 5 percent of the area of Russia can be seen," Putin said.

"From a national station, we should be able to see the whole of the area of our huge country."

"It goes without saying we will bring this project to fruition, and without any doubt, it will be under our control," Putin said.

Russia said earlier this year that it planned to create its own space station using its modules from the ISS after it is mothballed.

In March, the head of Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, said at Baikonur after meeting his NASA that Russia would work jointly with its US counterpart on a project of a new orbital station.

But NASA did not confirm such a plan, saying only that the heads of NASA and Roscosmos discussed future cooperation.

China has also announced plans to complete a permanent orbiting space station by 2023 as part of ambitious plans to become a superpower in space.

The Russia-Soviet space station Mir was ditched in 2001 after 15 years of service.

Putin was speaking during a national phone-in that included a video link with workers at Russia's new cosmodrome under construction, Vostochny in the country's far east.

The new launch pad is designed to reduce Russia's reliance on its rented Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The delayed Vostochny project is mired in scandal, however, with those in charge of the construction under investigation and suspected of misusing millions of rubles in state funds.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Garuda Stowaway Released After Flight in Landing Gear

Jakarta Globe, Apr 15, 2015

Jakarta. Mario Steven Ambarita, 22, who crawled into the wheel well of a Jakarta-bound Garuda Indonesia flight from Sumatra last week has been released and will not face  jail.

“Mario was released on Tuesday around 11 p.m. at Sultan Syarif Kasim II airport in Pekanbaru,” Marangin Parlindungan Sinaga, who represents Mario, told the state-run Antara news agency in Pekanbaru on Wednesday.

Officials had decided the offense did not warrant further police time, Maringin said.

“Mario would be in jail if the penalty was going to be more than five years,” he said.

Mario is from Rokan Hilir district in Riau. On April 8, he slipped past airport security and climbed aboard the Boeing 737-800 before it departed from the province, surviving freezing temperatures as the plane flew some 34,000 feet above the earth surface.

Mario was found dazed and staggering by Soekarno-Hatta staff and was directly assessed at the airport clinic. He was reported to be running out of oxygen with blood coming from his ears and frostbitten extremities.

Mario told police he had made the perilous journey to see President Joko Widodo in Jakarta, police said.

The general manager of Sultan Syarif Kasim II airport Slamet Samiadji was fired over the incident.

Surviving the freezing temperature and very limited oxygen in the well of a commercial aircraft’s landing gear is unlikely, but not impossible. A 15-year-old American boy survived for five hours in a wheel well on a flight from California to Hawaii.

The security lapse at Pekanbaru airport is the latest evidence that Indonesia has not have sufficient control to allay safety fears in its fast-growing aviation sector.

Flights run by low-cost carrier Lion Air are routinely late or canceled during busy times. After an Indonesia AirAsia flight crashed into the Java Sea in December, killing all on board, the Indonesian government revealed the airline did not have the correct paperwork to fly from Surabaya to Singapore.

Video: chimp attacks drone flying over Dutch zoo,  April 14, 2015

Officials at Burgers Zoo in Arnhem found out to their cost how intelligent chimps are, when one knocked a drone which was filming the apes’ enclosure out of the sky.

The drone was being used to make footage for a television programme but did not go down well with one of the inhabitants. Once the drone had been spotted, the primates armed themselves with long sticks, the zoo reports on its website. 

One chimp, a 23-year-old female called Pushi, was sitting in a high tree when the drone came buzzing. 

She managed to swipe it with the stick, causing it to fall to the ground. The chimps then proceeded to dismantle the spy plane, which kept on filming during the process, the zoo said. 

Zoo spokesman Bas Lukkenaar told USA TODAY Network it was no surprise that Pushi was the ‘main perpetrator.’.

‘Some are good at throwing and others only produce poor shots and Pushi is a very clever and capable chimpanzee,’ he said.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Airbus A320s sport 'created and made in China' wings

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-04-12

An A320 being assembled in Tianjin, December 2014. (File photo/Xinhua)

The Airbus and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and the Xi'an Aircraft Industry Factory have achieved domestic production of Airbus aircraft wings for the A320 series at their jointly operated Tianjin factory, reports the Shanghai-based China Business News.

The Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Centre, run by Airbus and its Chinese partners, is also fully functional and producing key parts needed for Airbus A350XWB aircraft.

So far, Airbus Tianjin has assembled a total of 216 A320s, most of which are for the mainland China market. Airbus Tianjin plans to assemble 49 aircraft in 2015, said one unnamed Airbus executive.

Airbus began cooperating with Xi'an Aircraft as early as 1999, with the latter as a contract manufacturer for aircraft wings. Now collaboration has extended to include the assembly, testing and delivery of whole wings, said the report.

The A320 wing project is one of the most advanced technologies Airbus has brought to work with the Chinese aviation industry, as the design and construction of a wing is the most technical section of the aircraft. Success in commercial airplane wing manufacturing has significantly boosted the overall capability of China's aviation industry.

The cooperation entered the fourth stage in 2009, with Xi'an Aircraft delivering the first whole A320 aircraft wing to Airbus in February 2010.

Airbus Tianjin, which is a joint venture between Airbus, AVIC and a Chinese consortium in the Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ), has been praised as a model for cooperation between China and Europe.

In June 2009, Airbus Tianjin delivered its first assembled A320 aircraft to Sichuan Airlines. Since then, Airbus Tianjin delivered 11 aircraft in 2009, 26 in 2010, 36 in 2011, 37 in 2012, 46 in 2013 and 47 in 2014 to more than 10 local and foreign airline companies.

In April 2014, Airbus and its Chinese partners signed an agreement to push for further cooperation in the assembly of the A320 Neo series, and raise total assembly capacity. The Airbus A350XWB project will show not only "made in China," but also progress towards "created in China," said the Airbus executive.

Airbus forecasts that for China to become the world's largest civil aviation market within the next 10 years, it will need more than 5,300 newly added passenger and cargo aircraft, accounting for 17% of the world's total.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Jakarta Govt Considers Cycling Fix to Help Traffic Woes

Jakarta Globe, Lenny Tristia Tambun, Apr 09, 2015

A man cycles past vehicles stuck in Jakarta's gridlock traffic.
(Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

Jakarta. Jakarta’s government is considering a proposal to rent bicycles at several points across the capital in a bid to ease the city’s notorious traffic congestion.

The Bike to Work community’s Wez & Go group has offered the city 100 bicycles, which would be rented in several busy spots such as Dukuh Atas, Monas and the City Hall, according to group coordinator Ramadona.

He said people who wished to use the bicycles would use a special card, which could be integrated with the TransJakarta card.

“We will improve the bicycles’ design, we even plan to install GPS and design a special card to prevent the bicycles from being stolen,” Ramadona said.

The plan has been well received by Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who has promised to study the proposal and its operational costs.

“This is a good plan, not only can it help to ease the congestion, it will also support our Smart City Program,” Basuki said.  Jakarta’s Smart City Program uses Google Maps and traffic information from crowd-scourced smartphone applications like Waze to plot the city’s traffic conditions online.

Ramadona said people who wished to rent the bike would have to register first and pay a monthly subscription fee of Rp 40,000 ($3).

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Riau Airport to Install CCTV Cameras After Stowaway Incident, Investigation Launched

Jakarta Globe, Apr 08, 2015

Mario Steven Ambarita, 22, slipped past airport security in Pekanbaru and
 clambered into the wheel well of a Garuda Indonesia flight to Jakarta.
(JG Photo/Jurnasyanto Sukarno)

Jakarta. Authorities at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport in Pekanbaru plan to install CCTV cameras on the runway after a man crawled into the wheel well of a Jakarta-bound Garuda Indonesia flight on Tuesday afternoon.

Mario Steven Ambarita, 22, slipped past airport security and clambered aboard the Boeing 737-800 before it took off from Riau province, surviving freezing temperatures as the plane flew tens of thousands of meters in the air.

Authorities from Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base, which shares the runway and airport space with Sultan Syarif Kasim II airport, said they were reviewing airport security following the incident.

“After what happened, we will evaluate the airport security protocols. We plan on installing CCTVs on the runways,” Roesmin Nurjadin chief Col. M. Khairil told news portal on Wednesday.

Khairil said the CCTV systems were considered necessary for safety and airport security.

The response may not be enough for the Ministry of Transportation, however, which has launched an inquiry into the incident.

Suprasetyo, director general of air transportation at the ministry, said he had instructed state-owned airport operator, Angkara Pura II, to investigate the matter and impose appropriate sanctions on airport officers who were responsible.

“The Angkasa Pura II director is to rotate the responsible general manager and security officers of the airport,” Suprasetyo told a press conference on Wednesday.

The ministry will form a team to investigate the security weak points that allowed Mario to crawl into the wheel well.

Mario was reportedly found dazed and staggering by Soekarno-Hatta staff and was assessed at the airport clinic.

“The man was running out of oxygen, his fingers were blue and his ears were bleeding,” Garuda Indonesia spokesman Pujobroto said.

Pujobroto said the airplane had been flying at 34,000 feet above the earth surface.

“The temperature at 16,000 feet usually reaches the freezing point so you can imagine what the man must have experienced during the flight,” Pujobroto said.

After receiving medical treatment, Mario underwent questioning by police, whom he reportedly told he climbed on the flight to see President Joko Widodo in Jakarta.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Aluminium battery can charge phone in one minute, scientists say

US scientists hail breakthrough in technology they say could provide safer, more convenient, greener alternative for laptops and mobiles

The Guardian, Press Association, Tuesday 7 April 2015

The researchers said their prototype battery achieved ‘unprecedented
charging times’. (Photograph: Alamy)

Scientists say they have invented a new battery that could fully charge a smartphone in just one minute.

The researchers have created an aluminium battery which they hope could replace the lithium models commonly found in laptops and mobile phones.

And as well as the “unprecedented charging times” of their aluminium prototype, the team said it was also safer than lithium-ion batteries as it was less prone to catching fire and more environmentally friendly than alkaline models such as AA and AAA.

Publishing the findings in the journal Nature, Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University, hailed it as a breakthrough in battery technology that went further than previous attempts using aluminium.

He said: “We have developed a rechargeable aluminium battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames. Our new battery won’t catch fire, even if you drill through it.

“Millions of consumers use 1.5-volt AA and AAA batteries. Our rechargeable aluminium battery generates about two volts of electricity. That’s higher than anyone has achieved with aluminium.”

The prototype was said to be more durable, withstanding more than 7,500 cycles without any loss of capacity and surpassing previous aluminium batteries which died after just 100 charge-discharge cycles, while a typical lithium-ion battery lasts about 1,000 cycles.

“This was the first time an ultra-fast aluminium-ion battery was constructed with stability over thousands of cycles,” the report’s authors wrote.

Dai added that lithium batteries could “go off in an unpredictable manner” and cited a ban by US airlines Delta and United on bulk shipments on passenger planes.

And the new design could be used to store renewable energy of the electrical grid, the researchers suggested.

Meanwhile, co-author Ming Gong said: “Another feature of the aluminium battery is flexibility. You can bend it and fold it, so it has the potential for use in flexible electronic devices. Aluminium is also a cheaper metal than lithium.”

Electric cars exempt from Beijing road space rationing

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-04-07

Tesla's P85D at a press event in Beijing on April 3. (File photo/CNS)

The Beijing city government announced on April 2 the continued implementation of traffic restrictions this year. Electric vehicles are exempted from the measure as an effort to boost the ownership of green energy cars, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.

Traffic rationing, or road space rationing, was first introduced in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics to relieve heavy traffic by restricting the number of cars that could enter common road space based on the last digit of the license plate number on certain days or during certain periods of time.

The outcome was so successful that the policy has been implemented on a permanent basis, mainly aimed at reducing the amount of exhaust emissions from motor vehicles, a major source of pollution in many of China's large cities.

Another way to tackle air pollution is to increase the ownership of new energy vehicles. To promote the use of electric cars, the Beijing government has kept exhaust-free passenger vehicles out of the traffic rationing policy.

Issues such as low battery life, incompatibility of batteries and higher costs have been major hurdles for consumers. Compared to the 164 bids for each license plate on conventional gasoline-powered vehicles during the first license lottery this year, there were more than enough for those applying for new energy cars. Many of the 20,000 licenses available for electric vehicles were left unclaimed.

There is still much work to be done if the city government is to heat up the tepid electric car market, said the report.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Malaysian PM's chief of staff and former ambassador killled in helicopter crash

Witness reports mid-air explosion as six people killed, including Najib Razak’s principal private secretary and senior member of his party

The Guardian, AFP, Kuala Lumpur, Sunday 5 April 2015

The scene of the helicopter crash that killed the Malaysia PM’s chief of staff.
Photograph: Xinhua News Agency/REX/Xinhua News Agency/REX

The Malaysian prime minister’s chief of staff and and his country’s former ambassador to the US were among six people killed when a helicopter crashed south of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

The helicopter went down in a rubber plantation in the town of Semenyih, killing everyone on board, including Najib Razak’s principal private secretary, Azlin Alias.

Also among the dead was Jamaluddin Jarjis, an MP and senior member of Najib’s political party, UMNO, also a former Malaysian ambassador to the US.

“I am personally grief-struck. Jamaluddin Jarjis was my friend of many years and no truer friend could I have,” Najib said in a statement.

“Azlin Alias was my chief of staff and a truly outstanding government servant. The contributions of these two men to the government, to UMNO and to Malaysia were very significant.”

Najib added that he had ordered an investigation into the cause of the crash, saying that “no stone will be left unturned”.

The transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said in a separate statement that all six bodies had been recovered and sent to a hospital in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

“This is indeed a great loss and my thoughts and prayers are with their families and the families of the other victims during this tragic time,” the minister said.

A witness told Malaysia’s official Bernama news agency that the helicopter “exploded in mid-air” during heavy rain.

“Then, the debris, tail and blades were thrown all over the place,” the witness, Roslan Harun, was quoted as saying.