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. …

Monday, June 29, 2015

Kualanamu International Airport Gets Four-Star Rating From Skytrax

Jakarta Globe, Eko Adityo, Jun 21, 2015

Kualanamu International Airport at Kuala Namu, Deli Serdang, North Sumatra,
opened in March. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta. Kualanamu International Airport at Kuala Namu, in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, has been rated four stars by Skytrax World Airport Star Rating, a global quality benchmarking assessor that evaluates standards of service quality for airports worldwide.

The rating from Skytrax puts Kualanamu airport on the same level as other more well-known four-star aviation facilities, including the Charles de Gaulle Airport in France, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands and Heathrow Airport in England, said president director of state airport operator Angkasa Pura II, Budi Karya Sumadi.

Skytrax’s assessment include facilities at terminals, comfort at terminals, transit services, shopping and food areas, immigration services, security checks, services for departure and arrival, as well as supporting land transportation.

Kualanamu, inaugurated on March 27, is now the most modern airport in Indonesia, beating the busiest airport in the country, Soekarno-Hatta in Cengkareng, Banten. One of its most competitive features is the integrated baggage handling screening system, which gives the highest security level for baggage screening.

Kualanamu  is also the only airport in Indonesia  integrated with train networks to ease access for travelers.

Investor Daily

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Uber Is ‘Stealing Money’ Through Unregulated Operations, Basuki Says

Uber is not welcome in Jakarta unless it sets up a proper office in the country and
 abides by prevailing public transportation regulations, the governor say. (Reuters
Photo/Charles Platiau)

Jakarta. Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said he would have a meeting with representatives from California-based ride-sharing app Uber only if the company promised to set up an office in the country.

“If they had wanted to meet me [to seek permission] from the beginning, then I would have done it. But now, if they wish to have a meeting with me, they must establish a company [here],” Basuki said at City Hall on Friday.

He added that representatives from the parent company, Uber Technologies, had spoken to him in person inquiring why they were banned from operating in the city.

Uber’s Jakarta operations currently run from a rented office space at the Pacific Place mall in the Sudirman Central Business District, South Jakarta.

Basuki claimed that Uber reaped profits of up to 20 percent from its operations in the city but did not pay any tax.

“They are stealing money in my area,” he said.

Shortly after its launch in Jakarta last August, Basuki branded Uber “illegal.”

Last week, the Jakarta Police arrested five drivers using the Uber app after receiving reports from the city’s transportation agency and the Organization of Land Transport Operators, or Organda.

The police said the five drivers would only be questioned as witnesses not as suspects.

The arrests mark the latest in a series of legal and regulatory speedbumps for Uber Technologies, which is already facing multiple lawsuits around the globe for bypassing industry regulations.

Friday, June 26, 2015

More stops planned for China to Spain railway

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-06-25

The first Spain-China freight train arriving in Yiwu, Zhejiang, Feb. 22
 (File photo/Xinhua)

The longest freight train in the world, linking Yiwu in eastern China's Zhejiang province to Madrid, will stop in Warsaw, Berlin, Duisburg and Paris on a journey of over 13,000 kilometers set to begin June 28, reports Shanghai's China Business News.

The first freight train to link China directly with Spain passed through the western Chinese region of Xinjiang and on to Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France on its 21-day maiden journey in late 2014.

Since then, four trains have made the journey from China to Spain and two have traveled in the opposite direction, transporting 304 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) shipping containers.

There are direct freight trains linking cities in Europe with Chongqing and Chengdu in southwest China, Zhengzhou and Wuhan in central China, and Hefei and Suzhou in eastern China.

Some 76 freight trains traveled between China and Europe in 2013, and the number jumped to 227 in 2014, said the report.

Lin Beizhan, secretary-general of the International Land-Bridge Transportation Board, said that if the Yiwu-Madrid freight train were to be rerouted through Manzhouli in northeast China, Russia and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, the transportation cost might be cheaper.

He made the statement in an international forum on the Silk Road Economic Belt in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, from June 18-19.

Feng Xubin, chairman of the freight train operator Tianmeng Investment Group, said if Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus can simplify their customs clearance procedures, the transportation time could be shorter and saving some cost.

Wu Jingyu, director of the Coordination Center-Landbridge Branch of China Communications and Transportation Association, said that in terms of transportation expense, the China Railway Group charges US$0.60 per kilometer for each shipping container, while Russian Railways charges US$0.30 and each European country has different charges.

Wu suggested that the current Yiwu-Madrid train could consider rerouting though Manzhouli and connecting to the Trans-Siberian railway to save costs.

If the cost of freight shipping could be reduced to US$0.50 per kilometer for each container and the journey time shortened to 10-12 days, the silk railway would be competitive with the cost of marine shipping, Wu added.

Some countries, including Kazakhstan and Poland, would like to promote more cooperation with China through the freight train.

The Yiwu-Madrid train is the longest rail route in the world, longer than Russia's famous Trans-Siberian railway linking Moscow with Vladivostok, an APF report said.

The journey time is more than 10 days shorter than if the goods are shipped by sea, according to Spain's Public Works Ministry as saying. China is the European Union's biggest source of imports, according to the AFP report.

Roughly 80% of global trade is carried by ship, however, as freight train services face several technical and bureaucratic hurdles.

EU takes Philippine airlines off safety blacklist

Philippine planes are to be allowed back into Europe, the European Union announced on Thursday. The EU transport commissioner said that Philippine airlines will be removed from its safety blacklist.

Deutsche Welle, 25 June 2015

"After 5 years of hard work we are finally able to clear the airlines certified in the Philippines from the European Air Safety List," EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said in a statement.

"The Philippines is an important country with a sizeable and rapidly growing aviation sector," she added. "Today's result can serve as an example for other countries which have difficulty to match their safety oversight capabilities with the growth of their industry."

Philippine airlines were blacklisted by the EU in 2010 after the United Nations and US aviation authorities found "serious safety deficiencies."

The EU had already lifted the safety ban on flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) in July 2013, and last year also released Cebu Pacific, the country's largest airline.

"This is truly breaking news since it is the first time that the entire aviation sector of one country is removed from the European Air Safety List," said Lubomir Frebort, the EU charge d'affaires in the Philippines.

While the seven carriers mostly serve routes inside Asia, Eric Apolonio, a spokesman for the Philippine civil aviation authority said the EU decision would still benefit them, since it would give them the option of flying to Europe.

Previously, European insurance companies would not cover people who flew on airlines on the EU Air Safety List.

"European tourists will be encouraged to use low-cost carriers in the Philippines now," boosting the number of visitors who will want to fly around the archipelago, Apolonio told news agency AFP.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Express rail link to boost China-Russia e-commerce

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-06-24

Vladimir Putin speaks at the St Petersburg International
 Economic Forum, June, 19. (Photo/China News)

Russia is going to launch a China-Russia express rail line for postal services to shorten the package delivery time between the two countries, reports China's state newswire Xinhua.

This new project was announced by the deputy director-general of Russian Post, Aleksey Skatin, at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Skatin said China and Russia are major partners in e-commerce and that a faster rail link connecting the two countries would be desirable. Russian Post said Russians last year made 80 million online purchases, 80% of which were from China.

Dmitry Strashnov, CEO of Russian Post, suggested the creation of an online mechanism for people to report the contents of their packages instead of physically taking them to the post office, which will reduce delivery time to just 14 days. If this can happen, Strashnov said cross-border postal services will increase tenfold.

Russia has great potential for e-commerce as 70% of the public use the internet but the internet only accounts for 2%-3% of retail sales.

Some local specialists said sales in Russia will grow sharply as Chinese businesses make everything very cheap, enabling more people in the country, especially those in rural areas, to buy them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Europe launches satellite to boost color vision of Earth

Europe's space program has launched one of its new generation of satellites aimed at giving scientists a better view of Earth. Sentinel-2A is equipped with new equipment that will allow it to pick out more colors.

Deutsche Welle, 23 June 2015

The European Space Agency confirmed early on Tuesday that Sentinel-2A, the latest in its array of satellite aimed at monitoring environmental change, was safely in orbit.

The announcement came soon after the agency confirmed the satellite had successfully deployed its solar panels.

From an orbital spot 488 miles (786 kilometers) above Earth, the satellite will collect data to document environmental changes and help shape reaction to natural disasters.

The satellite was lifted into position by an unmanned Vega rocket that blasted off late on Monday from the Guiana Space Center at Kourou, French Guinana.

Sentinel-2A adds a high resolution capability to the EU's Copernicus monitoring system. It is the latest part of the 4.3-billion-euro ($4.85-billion) Sentinel program to upgrade Copernicus and will operate in tandem with another satellite, to be launched in 2016.

Sentinel-2A was developed with the
 intention of revisiting areas of interest
more frequently than before
It will provide high-resolution imaging of vegetation, soil and freshwater to a resolution of 10 meters (32.5 feet), looping the world every 100 minutes. Equipped with the capability to scrutinize vegetation, Sentinal-2A could assist in improving food security and forest monitoring.

"By frequently revisiting areas, it will allow a new generation of operational products, from land cover and change detection maps, disaster maps and leaf area index to chlorophyll content and other bio-geophysical variables," said Volker Liebig, ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

The latest satellite's predecessor, Sentinel-1A, was launched in April 2014 to scan the Earth's surface with cloud-penetrating radar.

As one of the EU's flagship space initiatives, Copernicus monitors the world's land surfaces, oceans and atmosphere for evidence of environmental change and damage.

The European Remote Sensing Satellite, launched in 1995, was the first spacecraft to contribute to Copernicus. Initially known as Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, the initiative was renamed in 2013 after the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who determined that the Earth orbited the Sun.

rc/msh (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

Accidents involving drones on the rise, June 23, 2015

A burning drone on a country road
Transport ministry inspectors received 27 reports of accidents involving small unmanned aircraft, or drones, last year, according to a new report

In 2013 there were 15 accidents and in 2012 just eight, the ministry says. Most of the incidents were reported by manned aircraft and professional drone users. 

The true figure is likely to be far higher because not all incidents are reported, the NRC points out. 

In total, 11 incidents last year involved a crash landing close to people or buildings 


New rules governing the use of drones come into effect later this year. A mini drone will not be allowed to fly higher than 50 metres or 100 metres from the controller. 

Drones will also have to keep a distance of 50 metres from people, buildings and other unmanned aircraft. Nor can drones be flown within five kilometres of airports.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Recycling of electric vehicle batteries encouraged in China

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-06-21

An electric vehicle charging station in Shanghai, June 20, 2014. (File photo/CNS)

Amid a rosier outlook for new energy cars in China, the country's government has taken measures to encourage the recycling and reuse of batteries for electric vehicles after they are phased out following five or more years of use, Shanghai's China Business News reports.

The cost of batteries for a 300,000 yuan (US$48,000) electric car can be up to 100,000 yuan (US$16,000) or more. Generally, batteries for cars are designed to retain up to 80% of their capacity but when their capacity drops to below the 80% threshold they can no longer be used, according to the report.

Many new-energy vehicle companies offer a battery warranty on electric cars for 10 years but if certain specific conditions of use are taken into account, the average lifespan of batteries is five years, an anonymous industry expert said.

The problem is how to deal with these used-up batteries, the expert added. Generally speaking, waste electric vehicle (EV) batteries could be eventually taken back into the recycling system for material recycling or echelon reuse.

Echelon reuse refers to the reuse of various components of batteries. waste batteries, which can be disassembled into battery cells and can be reused in the form of a mono-cell.

Putting waste EV batteries into reuse would not only help with energy conservation efforts but also help reduce the cost of electric vehicles if the secondary echelon reuse of EV batteries is wide enough, said Yin Chengliang, vice president of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Automotive Engineering School.

In July 2012, the government introduced a new policy for energy conservation and developing a new energy vehicle industry which contains measures for EV battery recycling and reuse to encourage the practice among battery manufacturing and recycling companies.

Despite multiple problems arising from the recycling process, the government has deemed EV battery recycling a high priority.

It is estimated that by 2020, China's new energy vehicle output could reach 5 million and waste EV batteries could reach 120,00-170,000 tonnes. This rapid pace of development will make battery recycling of paramount importance for the government to prevent contamination to the environment. The government devised a policy on December 2014 to provide subsidies for battery recycling.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Uber Jakarta Hits Speedbump as Police Detain Five Drivers

Jakarta Globe, Bayu Marhaenjati, Jun 19, 2015

Jakarta Police have detained five drivers connected to the ride-hailing app Uber.
(AFP Photo/Tengku Bahar)

Jakarta. The Jakarta Police have arrested five drivers using the California-based car-hailing app Uber to transport passengers after receiving reports from the city’s transportation agency and the Organization of Land Transport Operators, or Organda.

Shafruhan Sinungan, the chairman of the Jakarta chapter of Organda, said his organization had ordered eight cars via the mobile app with the intention of luring its drivers, but only five showed up and were handed over to the police.

Shafruhan underlined that the car service was operating illegally because its parent company, Uber Technologies, had yet to obtain an official permit to run a transportation business in Indonesia.

He also accused Uber of running an unfair business by not paying any taxes, which is why the company is able to offer lower fares compared to regular taxis.

The company’s UberX service in Jakarta charges riders a base fare of Rp 3,000 (22 US cents) per ride and an additional Rp 2,000 for every kilometer, or Rp 300 per minute of waiting time. Uber Black, which offer riders premium cars, starts at Rp 7,000 and charges an additional Rp 2,850 per kilometer or Rp 500 per minute.

In comparison, taxis charges passengers at a base fare of Rp 7,000 per ride and an additional Rp 4,000 per kilometer.

Shafruhan said that the San Fransisco-based company violated a 2009 law on transportation and also the city’s 2014 bylaw on public transportation.

“Today’s action is a follow-up from our coordination with the police on June 8,” Shafruhan said.

Benjamin Bukit, head of the city’s transportation agency, said his office and Organda plan to launch their own investigation of Uber, which includes the task of finding the company’s main office in the capital.

Uber’s Jakarta operations currently run from a rented office space at the Pacific Place mall in the Sudirman Central Business District, South Jakarta.

Adj. Sr. Comr. Suharyanto, head of the police’s detectives and general crimes unit, confirmed the arrest of the five drivers and said that officers would look into the allegations pressed by Organda.

The arrests mark the latest in a series of legal and regulatory speedbumps for Uber Technologies, which is already facing multiple lawsuits around the globe for bypassing industry regulations.

Shortly after its launch in Jakarta last year, Uber was branded illegal by Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Garuda Inks Deals to Buy 30 Jets From Airbus, Up to 60 From Boeing

Jakarta Globe, Tabita Diela, Jun 15, 2015

An Airbus A350 jetliner participates in a flying display during the 51st Paris
 Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris on Monday. Garuda Indonesia intends
 to buy 30 of the jets in a deal worth an estimated $9 billion. (Reuters Photo/
Pascal Rossignol)

Jakarta. Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia intends to purchase up to 30 new wide-body aircraft from European plane maker Airbus and up to 60 from its US rival Boeing.

Both manufacturers released statements at the Paris Air Show on Monday that said the Indonesian state-controlled airline had signed letters of intent to purchase the new jets.

Airbus announced that Garuda planned to buy 30 of its new A350 XWB passenger jets, while Boeing said the airline intended to buy 30 787-9 Dreamliners and up to 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

“Following our success in revitalizing our regional operation in Asia and the Pacific, the development of our long haul network will be a priority in the coming years,” Arif Wibowo, Garuda’s chief executive, said in the statement released by Airbus.

Airbus said Garuda planned to use the new wide-body planes, able to fly from Jakarta or Bali to Europe non-stop, to expand its medium- and long-haul networks.

John Leahy, Airbus’s chief operating officer, said the new jet, which first went into commercial service in January with Qatar Airways, was performing well.

“The aircraft has set the new standard for the larger segment of the mid-size wide-body market and is already proving to exceed expectations in service with its first operator,” he said in the statement.

“We look forward to seeing the A350 XWB flying in the colors of Garuda Indonesia as it extends its reach to more destinations across the world,” Leahy said.

Airbus says it has booked orders for 244 of the planes from operators in the Asia-Pacific region, or almost a third of the 780 orders booked worldwide. The Garuda deal is estimated at $9 billion at list prices.

Boeing, meanwhile, said it would work with Garuda to finalize the order for the new American jets.

“The 787-9 and 737 MAX will be a great complement to Garuda’s current Boeing airplanes, providing them with additional capability and superior economics and their customers with an exceptional flying experience,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

In addition to the new order, Boeing said Garuda also reconfirmed its intent to buy 50 737 MAX 8s, originally announced in October last year.

Arif said Garuda was upead that the orders of the new planes, all of which boast superior fuel-efficiency, range capability and technology from their predecessors, would help the airline reposition itself as a leading premium carrier in the long-haul market out of Asia.

Garuda flies to 76 destinations worldwide with nearly 600 daily flights and a fleet of 169 aircraft with an average age of less than five years.

There were no details on the time frame for the deliveries of the new planes.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz feared for eyesight before crash

Andreas Lubitz was afraid of losing his sight, and visited more than 40 doctors in the years leading up to the March crash, French prosecutors said Thursday. The investigation into the accident will now be widened.

Deutsche Welle, 12 June 2015

The investigators said several of the doctors Lubitz visited, as well as seven he had booked appointments with in the month before the accident, felt he was unfit to fly.

But they did not share their concerns with the 28-year-old's employer, Lufthansa, due to Germany's medical secrecy requirements.

In Germany medical practitioners can be sent to prison if they disclose patient information without evidence they intend to commit a serious crime or harm themselves.

Lead investigator Brice Robin said Lubitz had sought advice for potentially career-ending vision problems, and had sent an email to one doctor just two weeks before the accident saying he had doubled his dose of antidepressants in an attempt to help him sleep.

Robin said they could not confirm whether Lubitz's sight problems were real or psychological.

Germanwings and its parent company Lufthansa say the young pilot had passed all medical tests and was considered fit to fly. It has been confirmed that Lubitz had been struggling with depression and suicidal tendencies when Flight 4U9525 crashed.

Investigators met with relatives of the 150 victims of the crash to update them on the inquiry's progress. The victims' remains are currently being returned to families, and funerals will be held in the coming weeks. The remains of all those on board were finally identified last month.

Stephane Gicquel, head of a French accident victims association, welcomed the news that the inquiry was being expanded into a criminal investigation. "We can clearly see the prosecutor's positioning: to open an inquiry that will pose the question of manslaughter and, very clearly, faults or negligence from Lufthansa in detecting the state of Lubitz's health."

Investigators believe Lubitz locked the cockpit door after the pilot left, and put the plane into a controlled descent. During Thursday's meeting relatives were shown three different reconstructions of what happened in the cockpit, with actual audio from the fatal flight. "I think that the families appreciated this frank and direct communication," Gicquel said.

Around half of those who died in the crash were German, as well as victims from countries including Australia, Spain, the United States, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

an/bk (AFP, dpa, AP, Reuters)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Indian court bans Mumbai's horse-drawn carriages

Yahoo – AFP, 9 June 2015

Mumbai's ornate horse-drawn carriages are nearing the end of the road after a
 court in the Indian city ruled them illegal, saying owners must wind up operations
within a year (AFP Photo/Punit Paranjpe)

Mumbai's ornate horse-drawn carriages are nearing the end of the road after a court in the Indian city ruled them illegal, saying owners must wind up operations within a year.

The silver-coloured Victorias -- styled on open carriages used during Queen Victoria's reign -- have been plying Mumbai's streets since British colonial times, and for years have been a tourist attraction.

But on Monday the Bombay High Court agreed with animal welfare groups, who had petitioned for a ban citing poor treatment of the horses, that the practice was cruel.

"We hold that the use of horse-driven carriages... for joy rides is completely illegal," read the court verdict.

It ordered the city government to "ensure that the use of such horse-driven carriages... shall be completely stopped on expiry of a period of one year from today".

The court also ruled that all related stables must be closed down and directed local authorities to come up with a scheme to help the estimated 700 people involved in the trade.

The jazzy carriages were once a mode of transport for former Bombay's wealthy classes, but they now carry tourists around the historic Colaba district and Marine Drive promenade in the south of the city.

A horse-drawn carriage is pictured on the city's iconic Marine Drive promenade
in Mumbai (AFP Photo/Indranil Mukherjee)

They are often seen outside the luxury Taj Mahal Palace hotel and Gateway of India monument and have also appeared in several Bollywood movies.

But concerns over unlicensed stables and poor treatment of the horses saw the Animals and Birds Charitable Trust, with the support of PETA India, lodge a case in Mumbai's top court.

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, had claimed the horses were often malnourished, denied adequate rest or veterinary care and were forced to stand in their own waste in sub-standard stables.

Manilal Valliyate, from PETA India, applauded the decision, saying "Mumbai's Victoria industry is inherently cruel and dangerous".

Related Article:

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Emirates Officially Opens Dubai-Bali Route

Jakarta Globe, Arientha Primanita, Jun 04, 2015

Inaugural flight of Emirates serving Dubai to Bali route arrived in Ngurah Rai
airport in Bali on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Emirates adds Bali as its 146th
 global destination opening up opportunities to help boost the Island's tourism
sector. (Photo Courtesy of Emirates)

Jakarta. Dubai-based airline Emirates officially launched a daily flight from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Indonesia’s most prominent tourism destination, Bali, with an inaugural flight on Wednesday, the airline said in a statement on Thursday.

The flight marked the commencement of Emirates’ non-stop daily flight to Bali, its second destination in Indonesia after Jakarta, the airline said.

The EK 398 flight arrived in Bali at 9:40 p.m local time carrying Emirates’ top officials, journalists and passengers from 40 different cities from around the world, including Moscow, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and New York.

Emirates will use Boeing 777-300ER airplanes for the fleet serving the Dubai-Bali route.

Barry Brown, divisional senior vice president of commercial operations East at Emirates, said Bali is a main tourism destination and an important market for Emirates as there was high interest in the island.

“We are pleased to now be able to serve this demand and contribute to the island’s economic and tourism growth.

“We also look forward to connecting passengers from Bali to Dubali and onward to more than 80 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas through one convenient stop at our world-class hub,” Brown said in the statement.

I Gde Pitana, resources development head at the Ministry of Tourism, welcomed the new route saying it would boost tourism in Bali — which recorded 3.7 million foreign visitors last year.

“The island continues to attract tourists from around the world, and a direct route to and from Dubai with Emirates will help to increase access to other parts of the world, bringing new opportunities for travellers and businesses alike,” he said.

Bali is Emirate’s 146th global destination, adding to the airline’s routes in the Asia Pacific region which currently serves 18 destinations in 11 countries in Asia.

The airline also provides Emirates SkyCargo service which offers 294 tons of cargo per week from Dubai to Bali and vice versa.

The cargo that could be carried from Bali included marine products such as tuna, household goods, leather goods and handicrafts which mainly will be delivered to European countries. Moreover, the airline said there are also household goods, pharmaceuticals and automotive parts will also be imported not only to Bali but to other cities in Indonesia like Surabaya and Balikpapan.

Emirates first included Jakarta in their international route in 1992 through Singapore and Colombo. By March 2013, the airline began operating a daily three non-stop flights a week from Jakarta to Dubai.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Netherlands debuts new Google public transport service, June 2, 2015

 Photo: M.M.Minderhoud via
Wikimedia Commons
The Netherlands has become the first country in the world where Google is providing up-to-date public transport information via its Google Maps service.

It has been possible to request arrival and departure times via Google Maps since 2010 but only now is the information being updated to include delays and breakdowns, website reports. 

Google says all public transport providers in the Netherlands have agreed to join the service, which has nationwide coverage. Current public transport apps 9292ov and OpenOV have also joined the project. 

Google told the new service has been prompted by the large number of searches for public transport information in the Netherlands.

MH370 disappearance suit settled out-of-court in Malaysia

Yahoo – AFP, 2 June 2015

A board bearing solidarity messages is seen during a gathering to mark the
 one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370,
in Kuala Lumpur on March 6, 2015 (AFP Photo/Manan Vatsyayana)

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - The Malaysian government and Malaysia Airlines have reached an out-of-court settlement with the family of a man who was on Flight MH370, a lawyer said Tuesday, in the first legal claim linked with the plane's mysterious disappearance.

Jee Jing Hang, who operated an Internet business, was one of 239 passengers onboard the aircraft enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished on March 8 last year.

On behalf of his two young sons, Jee's family brought a lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines last October for breach of contract, as it failed to bring its passengers to its destination.

The family also brought claims against the Malaysian government, the Department of Civil Aviation, the Immigration department and the air force for negligence.

"The court was informed that all the parties in the suit had come to an amicable settlement," Gary Edward Chong, a lawyer for Jee's family told AFP.

He added that terms of the settlement could not be disclosed.

Meanwhile, a Malaysian lawyer N. Surendran told AFP that the out-of-court settlement could "trigger other affected family members to pursue similar legal actions."

An Australian-led team is scouring the southern Indian Ocean seabed in hope of finding the final resting place of MH370.

No wreckage from the flight has ever been found in one of aviation's greatest mysteries.

Four months after MH370's incident, Flight MH17 was blown out of the sky, killing all 298 aboard, by a suspected ground-to-air missile over Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier, has been declared "technically bankrupt" as the airline announced Monday that it will slash 6,000 jobs as part of plans to recover from the twin deadly disasters and a long run of red ink.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Malaysia Airlines 'technically bankrupt', new CEO says

Yahoo – AFP, Jun. 1, 2015

Malaysia Airlines plane are seen on the tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International
Airport (KLIA) in Sepang on March 8, 2015 (AFP/File Mohd Rasfan)

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - Malaysia Airlines is "technically bankrupt", its new German CEO said Monday as he outlined plans to stabilise the failing flag carrier including 6,000 job cuts.

"We are technically bankrupt and that decline of performance started long before the tragic events of 2014," Christoph Mueller told reporters, referring to two deadly disasters that rocked the airline last year.

Malaysia Airlines took its first major steps on Monday under Mueller, sending termination letters to all of its roughly 20,000 employees, followed by new contracts offered to 14,000 of them.

The exercise -- which was expected -- trims around 6,000 jobs.

Mueller had previously initiated turnarounds at Ireland's Aer Lingus and Belgium's Sabena that earned him the nickname "The Terminator" for his job-slashing.

Under Mueller, 52, the carrier plans to "re-invent" itself beginning from September 1 with an unspecified new brand image and expected new livery as it seeks to shed the stigma of a disastrous 2014. 

In March of last year, Flight MH370 disappeared with 239 passengers and crew aboard and remains missing. Four months later, Flight MH17 was blown out of the sky by a suspected ground-to-air missile over Ukraine and all 298 people on board were killed.

The tragedies were the final straw for an airline that analysts say had been poorly managed for years, slipping further into the red.

A state investment fund took it over in a rescue bid late last year, tapping Mueller to take the helm.

Mueller said he planned to "stop the bleeding" in 2015, stabilise the business next year, and seek to start growing again by 2017.

Mueller, in an email to staff last month, had warned that a major overhaul was necessary as the airline was weighed down by "uncompetitive cost levels" 20 percent higher than its rivals.

Besides cutting staff, Malaysia Airlines is expected to trim unprofitable long-haul routes, but Mueller said those plans could not yet be divulged for competitive reasons.