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. …

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dutch motor on in driverless car trials

DutchNewsEsther O’Toole, November 24, 2015

Experiments with this French driverless car begin on Dutch roads next year.
Photo: Wepod

The Netherlands is flat and has a lot of straight, overcrowded roads, so it is perhaps hardly surprising that the government has made experimenting with driverless vehicles a central part of its infrastructure policy. Google may plan to eliminate the need for drivers within five years and Tesla has a three year deadline but the Dutch want to play a leading role as well. 

Two years ago, Amsterdam’s A10 ring road was the setting for a test of self-driving cars, developed by the TNO research institute and scientists from Delft University. The aim of the Dutch Automated Vehicle Initiative (Davi), which also involves the transport ministry, is to develop a user-friendly system which can be built into new and existing cars. 

Last year, the TNO research institute started working with DAF, Rotterdam’s port authority and the transport industry lobby group TLN to develop self-driving lorries. 

Then this January, ministers approved the large-scale testing of self-driving cars and trucks on public roads in the Netherlands, arguing the technology could cut jams, improve road safety and reduce pollution. The cabinet wants the Netherlands to take a ‘leading role’ in the development of self-driving cars and systems to allow vehicles to communicate with each other. 

Moving fast 

Since then the transport ministry has been busy looking at the ethical ramifications of automation, registration, liability questions relating to insurance and revisions to the 1968 Treaty of Vienna which governs EU traffic laws.

There is a sense that everything is moving very fast and ‘more tests are planned, though there are no concrete dates yet’, transport ministry spokeswoman Marianne Wuite told 

Delft University professor Riender Happee, who is closely involved with the Davi project, said funding so far is going towards tests on the quality of radar and cameras, human-machine interaction on the road, and work on online platforms for the detection of damage to sensors and bad weather.

‘Very rapid steps are being made towards safe integration, at low speeds, with all kinds of traffic,’ he told ‘In the future, every self-driving car will itself know exactly which roads it is allowed to drive on and at what speed.’ 

Eyes on the road 

Despite the government’s enthusiasm, public scepticism and anxiety around automated vehicles does remains high. When Tesla was given the green light to roll out its autopilot software in the US this October, road safety experts in the Netherlands were quick to test it out for themselves. 

The Dutch vehicle licensing authority (RDW) concluded the upgrade – more improved ‘driver assistance’ capability than ‘autopilot’ – should be allowed on roads here, meaning the 2,000 Dutch Tesla S owners will be able to use it immediately. 

‘We have different rules here than in the US and over 60 different safety points that vehicles have to meet,’ said spokesman Hans van Geen Huizen.  ‘Many of these cruise control and automated parking functionalities are already in other brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz as well as the earlier version of the Tesla.

‘What is new is that the Tesla can now indicate when you should change lanes or overtake and no other car has that functionality. It is a steering support system not an ‘autopilot’ and you definitely still need to keep your hands on the wheel.’ 

The Driver Experience

Over at Dutch motoring organisation ANWB, they’re watching developments with a keen eye.

‘We are satisfied with the ambitions and the role the Dutch government and Dutch companies are playing within this field. When compared to other European countries, and especially considering our relative size, we’re punching above our weight,’ said spokesman Markus van Tol.

In Gelderland, trials using a French autonomous vehicle known as the EZ10 to run passenger services on public roads are poised to begin in January. The Wepods project is a joint venture between the province, Delft University, the TNO research institute and others. 

Unlike previous tests in Finland, Switzerland and France or similar driverless buses like the Rotterdam Rivium Shuttlebus, the vehicles will be operating on public roads for the very first time, carrying up to six people between Ede and Wageningen.

Top speed 

The Wepods have no steering wheel or brake pedal, a top speed of 25km and can be hailed with a mobile app. Though there will always be someone in charge of the emergency stop mechanism, the idea is to explore the possibilities for passenger vehicles with no driver at all.

‘The Wepods are a whole new ball game for us,’ said RDW spokesman Arjen van Vliet. ‘We need to take interaction with other road users into account. We’re consulting with a traffic psychologist on that. There’s a very rigorous exemption process for such projects. It’s an interesting time.’ 

Delft University’s Happee says the Davi programme is linking together many national and international partners. ‘There are many differing opinions as to when fully autonomous vehicles will become commercially available, but the technology is close,’ he said.

Related Article:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Insurers ask who should pay for a self-driving car crash?

DutchNews, November 23, 2015

The arrival of self-driving cars means everyone will have to have all risk insurance, according to the Dutch insurers association VVV

Both drivers and technology will be responsible for ensuring safe driving, giving rise to complex claims and responsibilities, the organisation says. 

Currently, drivers who are deemed to be responsible for traffic accidents have to pay the victims but this will become more complicated when software and technology has a role, said VVV spokesman Rudi Buis.

‘Determining who is responsible will take time and will be longer before payouts are made,’ he told BNR radio. 

Bastiaan Krosse, who heads the automated driving programme at research institute TNO said decisions out insurance need to be taken now, before the self-driving car becomes a reality.

‘If nothing has been sorted out and there is continued uncertainty over responsibility, then there is a major problem,’ he said.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Matthew message (Channelled by Suzanne Ward, November 20, 2015)

Matthew Ward - November 20, 2015

Matthew Ward
With loving greetings from all souls at this station, this is Matthew. As some in the Illuminati ranks are being arrested or ousted from influential positions and others are abandoning ship, the hardliners are digging in their heels where they still have some leverage. Most noticeable is what their international drug trade funds—CIA and Mossad “black ops” activities, which include downing the Russian plane, and ISIS, the source of the recent massacre in Paris.

Because the public at large isn’t aware that the Illuminati even exist, there is no understanding that they act independently of their countries’ governments in planning and carrying out acts of violence. Thus finger-pointing is at the United States, home of the CIA, or Israel, which is thought of as the Zionist homeland. The truth is, a rogue faction of the CIA follows Illuminati orders; and the Zionist movement is the Illuminati’s militant and spy operation that never has served the best interests of Israelis or Jewish people anywhere else. Eventually those distinctions will become widely known, and indeed that is important; however, it cannot ease the sorrow of losing loved ones or other life-changing traumas in any of the tragedies perpetrated by the Illuminati.

The assault on Paris served their aim by causing death, grief and, initially, chaos and fear, but the act was born of growing desperation about fast-waning control and decreasing numbers of minions, and desperate individuals act without thinking rationally about the consequences. They intended to put and keep the world in the grip of fear—they feed on the energy of fear; instead, they united the world in the high vibrations of compassion and resolve to stand strong against terrorism.

Military might has been galvanized, police are pursuing instigators and suspects, and the search for potential terrorists extends across national borders, but finding and fighting terrorist groups wherever they are will not stop them. Only eradicating terrorism’s roots can do that. The hatred that underlies terrorism—and has led to millions in refugee populations—is rooted in one or more circumstances that can be linked to Illuminati activities or teachings: self-serving foreign interference, betrayal, economic exploitation, bigotry. Each generation instills in the next that all who generate such circumstances must be eliminated, and none realizes that all of them are merely puppets in a diabolical play scripted by manipulative individuals who are fast losing ground. As vibratory rates keep rising, minds and hearts on both sides of this heart-wrenching divide in your society will be opening so that empathy, mutual respect and kindness can replace hatred, prejudices, vengeance and fear of differences.

Momentum in Earth’s energy field of potential has been moving ever more forcibly toward the end times of dark controllers as their opposition has grown increasingly formidable and widespread. Along with intensifying light on the planet, the expanding strength of parties collaborating to uproot all of the Illuminati’s malicious tentacles assures that their worldwide network is on its way to permanent dismantlement.

Then the society can proceed full tilt to continue what amounts to a global salvage operation after a massive storm swirled around the world. The first steps were taken when some of Earth’s Golden Age planners met with some of your wisest individuals to determine the best ways to hold the Illuminati accountable for their crimes against humanity; recover their vast fortunes that were illegally and immorally amassed and fairly distribute those monies as well as release technologies they have long suppressed; end polluting and remedy environmental damage; and disclose and halt the various forms of mind control. Along with those efforts underway, truths will come forth about the presence and assistance of other civilizations, the laws that govern life in this universe, and the interconnected consciousness of everything in existence. Energy streamers in those areas and all others where change and enlightenment are needed are gathering power to propel Earth to her destiny: Restoration to her original health and beauty and her humankind living peacefully, cooperatively and in harmony with all of Nature.

Beloved family, we understand your impatience for that destiny to reach fruition. You don’t remember that by comparison with other civilizations, the passage of Earth’s peoples out of millennia of dark captivity into the light of freedom is occurring almost in the blink of an eye. How we wish you could see your world from our vantage point! Not only would you marvel at the speed and scope of accomplishments, but you would see how greatly your light is contributing to the progress and upliftment of your society.

Now we shall continue answering your insightful questions about the soul. “When souls were breathed/birthed/created by the Creator, did it all happen at once or has it taken place spasmodically over time and is, perhaps, still happening?” The “ingredient” of every soul, which is pure love-light energy, came into being with Creator’s first expression of Itself in what you call “the big bang.” The “birth” of independent, inviolate, eternal soul-selves, which began after that momentous occasion when their “ingredient” was created, has been happening ever since then in your concept of linear time and, as far as we know, will continue until every soul in the cosmos remembers and returns to its Beginnings in Creator.

“Am I right in thinking that the Creator births us in groups of about 60 souls, about 30 of which become our family soul group? We mostly move through our chosen incarnations playing out different agreed roles within those groups but sharing contracts, occasionally, with souls from other soul groups as the need arises?” There is no rigidity about the numbers of souls within any group, or cluster; but indeed souls from one group may share contracts with those in another as the need arises. However, during this era when the entire universe is in acceleration mode and countless souls are taking advantage of the unique opportunity to choose concentrated karmic lessons so they can complete them in one lifetime rather than several or even many lifetimes in a third density world, another form of cooperation is much more prevalent. In addition to experiencing their own chosen lessons, many souls are assisting others with theirs. Heretofore this was usually within the cumulative soul group—which can number in the thousands—but now strong souls are sharing the karmic burdens of weaker souls in any group anywhere in the universe. The purpose of this extraordinary assistance that exemplifies unconditional love is to strengthen weak links within the Oneness of All.

“Does every soul split into a Twin Soul?” It isn’t that souls “split,” and twin souls, or twin flames, are rare. They are the simultaneously co-created first two personages in a root soul’s long lineage, and because they are endowed with identical qualities, their feelings for each other are the most intense that any soul can feel for another. Twin souls in a physical civilization are irresistibly attracted to each other, and while the sexual aspect is strong, it is their profound feeling of needing to be together that overwhelms all other considerations; often this highly emotional attachment leads to serious disagreements and the souls part ways. In a spirit world, the twins are equally attracted to each other but without physicality’s “smothering” love; and however far apart the two may be in the universe, their bond enables joyous telepathic communication and sublime feelings about a shared beginning in pure love.

“It sounds as if ‘soul contract flexibility’ means that even if people don’t follow their contracts, they still evolve. How is this fair to people who do live according to their contracts?” Flexibility doesn’t pertain to conscious decisions that are contrary to contract provisions, but to the ways whereby provisions may be experienced. Say, for example, that the choice is to leave this lifetime suddenly at age 25 in a vehicle crash. Shortly before reaching that age, the person is skiing and gets buried deeply in snow when an avalanche roars down the mountain; or, a few weeks after celebrating the 25th birthday, the person is hiking in the woods and fatally hit by a hunter’s stray bullet. Either of those possibilities would serve the same purpose as the contract choice. That is a dramatic example, to be sure, but flexibility applies to any provision—perhaps a job, residence location, financial investment or special event—that offers the same karmic lessons and the same growth potential to all souls in the pre-birth agreement.

Matthew said, ‘a person’s etheric body and lifetime memories enter Nirvana.’ What happens to people with dementia who lost their memory?” Dementia creates layers of forgetfulness around a person’s memory bank, the repository of all memories throughout the lifetime. After personalized healing in Nirvana, where the layers are gently removed, all memory is restored, including the stages of “losing” it.

“When a soul in the tiny orb part of Nirvana accepts the light, is that what Christians call redemption?” No, at least not knowledgeably. Christian teachings about redemption are akin to a person gaining God’s forgiveness by repenting for having lived wickedly according to religious concepts of sin and Judgment Day. A soul that absorbs enough light to embody and start evolution anew is in accordance with universal laws that people steeped in religious dogma most likely don’t know exist.

“I know a child who fits what I’ve heard about souls ‘born bad.’ Why would a soul choose this?” There is no such thing as a soul “ born bad” —the composition of every soul is pure love-light energy. We don’t know about that child’s circumstances, but we can mention possibilities that could apply to any child who may be thought of as “chronically misbehaving.” The family’s pre-birth agreement may include the child’s behavior as opportunities for the parents to learn patience and other parenting skills such as accepting the child’s limited capabilities, nurturing his or her abilities and interests, and equitable treatment of siblings. Discomfort due to an undiagnosed physical condition could underlie a child’s rebelliousness; so could adverse reactions to chemicals in food, water or medications, and toxicity in vaccines may have produced symptoms similar to autism. If there is ongoing tension in the home, a child could be responding to the low vibrations emitted in that kind of atmosphere. A discarnate entity that doesn’t realize its physical life ended could have attached itself to a child during a period of severe physical, mental or emotional stress; if so, an experienced energy worker can help the entity understand its status and help it move on to a spirit world.

If there is no pet in the home, let us offer this suggestion: Let the child choose a companion animal and discuss at the appropriate age level the child’s responsibilities in caring for it. It is immensely heartening that many in your world, including in the medical establishment, are seeing the significant benefits of a close human-animal relationship for people of all ages—this is a significant step in a society’s advancement.

“If souls who are stillborn or die as infants chose that in their contracts, can they remember doing it or anything at all about other lives?” In the case of stillborn infants, souls leave the bodies with full knowledge that this is in accordance with the family’s pre-birth agreements, which are designed for the experiencing needs of all participants. As babies who die in infancy grow older in Nirvana—and they age there much more quickly than your calendar years pass—they remember their choices and purpose, to provide soul growth opportunities to others in the pre-birth agreements. And, like all others in spirit worlds, they become consciously aware of soul-level knowledge to the extent it was remembered or experienced in all other lifetimes. `

Our message about lost souls evoked the following questions . “Is a lost soul still an inseparable part of God?” It is as long as it remains in the basest part of a spirit world in this universe. If it is deemed by Creator to be permanently light-resistant, or “lost”—and only Creator can decide that—the soul’s energy is reabsorbed into Creator’s cosmic essence, where it had its Beginnings.

“Do a lost root soul’s progeny know what happened to them ?” No. The instant their life force is withdrawn, they lose the ability to know anything whatsoever. However, that their energy and the root soul’s energy were reabsorbed by Creator is within cosmic consciousness, therefore within the mass consciousness of this universe; and when the progeny reemerge from Creator’s essence and regain their memory fields, knowledge of what happened to them is available.

“When people in lost root souls’ lineage are ‘redeemed,’ where will they start over? How will they explain to others what happened to them?” They won’t need to explain anything to anyone. When their lives abruptly ended, family and friends who believe in an afterlife assumed that’s where those souls are. And so they will be—they will regain conscious awareness and all memories in their civilization’s spirit realm.

Of course we shall happily answer other questions you may have about the soul, and we hope that the information in this and prior messages has shown the infinite importance of each and every soul and the inseparability of all in the Oneness of All.

Dear brothers and sisters, as you continue your Earth journey, know that light beings throughout this universe honor your steadfastness in the light and embrace you with unconditional love.


Suzanne Ward

“ .. Do Not Despair

There's too much information to give you in one channelling, in one sitting, so I refer to past messages for you to better understand and reference the information in order to get the bigger picture. So I wish to remind you of something I also told you in a recent channelling called Do Not DespairYou're winning! It's because you're winning that the dark consciousness on this planet is feeling it, and the humanity that represents darkness is pulling out everything it has to survive.

It Has Always Been There

Let's look at it, because it's all over the news. Are you shocked at the sudden existence of the organization that will remain unnamed [for this channelling]? Where did it come from? How could it be so organized? How could it be so well funded? This organization could have its own country soon! They might as well name it, “The Old Energy Dark Country”, for that's what it will represent.

The barbaric past of humanity comes forward to show its face. It has always been there, hiding under the rocks and between the cracks of civilized humanity. It couldn't show itself until now, but now it has to. It's ugly and it's not for the faint at heart, is it, dear ones? Seeing evil personified in Human action is abhorrent. It is so ugly and so dark that you cannot look upon it with a gentle heart. God is not a part of it and this is obvious.

You're winning! Light is winning! The uprising of dark consciousness would not have shown itself with this strength, or this quickly, if this were not so. This is exactly what I told you to look for, and it is proof that those representing this dark consciousness are in trouble. Dear ones, dark consciousness has always had a tried-and-true system. It lurks in the shadows and influences all the power places of the planet - government, commerce, finance. Suddenly, it can't hide there as well anymore and it's out in the open.

Where is the funding coming from? It is coming from a storehouse that has always been there, dear ones. It uses income that has been generated from low consciousness acts, collected for a very long time. Funding didn't just appear. It has been stored, waiting to be used in order to spread fear and darkness to save what they believe is their way.

Who Will Win?

Dear ones, they haven't got a chance! But it looks like they do, doesn't it? Everything that they are doing is calculated to scare you into submission. Are they winning? Now, that's a question I want you to take from here and examine every day.

Fear is black. If you're in fear, there is no light. You can be the grandest Lightworker, or even be the channeller, but if you're in fear, it doesn't matter how many years you've done light work, or how much light you've accumulated personally. It all goes away with fear, and then they've won the battle for your mind. Do you understand this?

The Strength of the Old Soul - YOU

Old souls, Lightworkers reading this, the experiences you have had over lifetimes and lifetimes are incredible! The old soul knows fear. I don't want to be too graphic, but I want you to understand! What was it like when you put your head in the guillotine because you talked about God in a way that was inappropriate? What was it like to be bound hand and foot when they lit the match at your feet? Old soul, that's fear! You carry those experiences in your Akash.

I want to tell you they haven't got a chance to scare you! You absolutely know what fear is, and they haven't got a chance as long as you cling to that part of you that is the strength of God. You've been through it all. That means you've got the weapons of truth, wisdom and light. Don't forget it. Don't forget who you are!

Do you see how fast they assembled? It seemed like only yesterday that there was no organization at all. Where did they come from? Have you noticed a certain hesitancy to fight them? Why is it that the citizens of the lands that they are invading are hesitant to fight them? Instead, these leaders are calling on others to help. Why is it that the others are also hesitant? I want to show you that there are some anomalies of logic that are not making sense, because this is a battle you have never seen before on this planet. We've expected it, but you haven't. It's about consciousness, not land or resources.

How to Win?

We gave you the secret before of how to defeat them without taking even one life: Simply take away their funding. They cannot exist without their funding. The funding has to be organized, stored, and distributed. It has to be generated in such a way that it must also go through institutions. Did you hear that? All you have to do is stop the system. Winning won't be done with bombing. It's going to be done with intelligence, clever thinking and financial forensics. It's time to get smart on some of these things and not to be afraid to look at this puzzle differently than you have before. Do not apply the energy they are using in order to fight them, because you won't win. Figure it out. It's the last bastion of organized darkness and evil thinking on this planet coming together to try to survive the assault of your light. Don't be afraid to look at the funding trail, no matter where it takes you.

Fear is Their Weapon

I want you to know something as you look at your news. It may appear that you are unable to stop them. In many places, they will gain strength as they create fear. The fear is easily created in those who are not old souls and who don't know fear like you do and who don't have the armor of your spiritual experiences. This puts you in the front line, dear one. Did you realize that? But you don't have to go fight them on their terms. All you have to do is broadcast light. High consciousness will beat fear any day.. .”

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Uber drops Uberpop taxi service in the Netherlands

DutchNews, November 18, 2015

Taxi app firm Uber is stopping its controversial Uberpop service in the Netherlands, the company said on Wednesday. 

Uberpop allows unlicenced drivers to use their own cars as taxis, but has been branded as illegal by the Dutch courts. 

The company is withdrawing the service because Uberpop is a ‘hindrance to the constructive dialogue about modernising the existing taxi rules’, Uber Nederland director Niek van Leeuwen said in a blog post

The services Uberblack, Uberlux and UberX, which involve licenced drivers, are not affected. 

Uber said earlier this year it would support Uberpop drivers in getting taxi licences, but Van Leeuwen said in his post that ‘we expect many of them will not be able to do this because of the high cost of complying with all the legal obligations’. 

Earlier this year, transport ministry inspectors raised the fine payable by Uber for breaking taxi sector rules to a maximum of €1m. Uberpop drivers themselves can be fined up to €4,200 and are given a criminal record.

Related Articles:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Councils to get green light to ban mopeds from bike lanes

DutchNews, November 17, 2015

Transport minister Melanie Schultz is to press ahead with measures which will allow local councils to ban slower types of motorbike from cycle lanes. 

Moped users will also have to wear helmets because they will share the road with vehicles travelling at much greater speeds, the minister said in a briefing to MPs. 

Amsterdam and several other cities have been pressuring the minister to give them more leeway to keep mopeds away from bikes in an effort to improve cyclists’ safety. 

‘This is good news for Amsterdam,’ a council spokesman said. ‘We will be briefing the full council on the implications and next steps as soon as we can.’ 

In Amsterdam, almost half of the people killed in traffic accidents in 2013 were driving a moped. In 2012, moped drivers were involved in 689 accidents, most of which took place on cycle lanes, the Parool said last year. 

Mopeds are not supposed to travel faster than 25 kph but according to some estimates, up to 70% break this limit. It will take about six months before the measure becomes law, news agency ANP says.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Japan's first passenger jet makes maiden test flight

Yahoo – AFP, Quentin Tyberghien, November 11, 2015

Japan's Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) takes off on its maiden test flight
from Nagoya airport, on November 11, 2015 (AFP Photo/Kazuhiro Nogi)

Japan's first passenger jet made its maiden test flight Wednesday, a landmark in a decade-long programme to launch the plane aimed at competing with Brazilian and Canadian rivals in the global market for smaller aircraft.

About half a century after the last Japanese-made commercial plane took to the skies, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), painted with dark blue, red and beige stripes, took off from Nagoya airport under clear skies for a 90-minute trip.

After being barred from developing aircraft following World War II, Japan -- and its MRJ jet -- is competing with other regional passenger jet manufacturers such as Brazil's Embraer and Canada's Bombardier.

Hiromichi Morimoto, president of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp -- a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries -- voiced his delight and relief at the successful flight.

"We were able to see the beautiful fuselage of the MRJ taking off into the sunny autumn sky," he told a press conference.

"The fact that I was able to see that with you, as someone who was involved in its development, there is no greater joy."

Its pilot also praised the jet.

"The operation performance of the MRJ was far better than expected," Yoshiyuki Yasumura said, according to a Mitsubishi Aircraft release.

"We had a significantly comfortable flight."

The two-engine MRJ marks a new chapter for Japan's aviation sector, which last built a commercial airliner in 1962 -- the YS-11 turboprop that was discontinued about a decade later.

The MRJ is approximately 35-metres (115-feet) long, has a pointed nose and will seat about 80 passengers.

Mitsubishi Aircraft boasts that the fuel-efficient MRJ will offer more passenger comfort with lower operating costs, eyeing the booming regional jet sector.

China is also developing a similar-sized homegrown regional passenger jet, the ARJ21. It had its first test flight in 2008 and the initial commercial delivery is reportedly expected by the end of the year.

'Japan's pride!'

Mitsubishi Heavy would not disclose how much of the aircraft consists of Japanese components, but it is powered by two next-generation engines developed by Pratt & Whitney of the United States.

The company said the US parts are key and have helped it slash operating costs by about 20 percent.

The maiden flight by the Japanese passenger jet stirred excitement at home.

Japan's Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) will seat about 80 passengers and will 
compete with other jet manufacturers such as Brazil's Embraer and Canada's 
Bombardier (AFP Photo/Kazuhiro Nogi)

"We very much welcome the success of the first flight as it is a new beginning for the Japanese aircraft industry," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

"We hope that development for delivery of the first plane will go steadily and both public and private sectors will continue to work towards the success of this project."

On the live streaming website for the flight, one user tweeted: "This is a great achievement."

Another excited user simply wrote: "Japan's pride!"

Firms in Japan were banned from developing aircraft by US occupiers following the country's defeat in World War II.

Mitsubishi Heavy, a military contractor, built Japan's legendary "Zero" World War II fighter jet.

The country slowly started rebuilding its aviation industry in the 1950s, starting with carrying out repair work for the US military. It went on to expand its scope to start licensed production of US-developed aircraft for Japan's military.

Japanese firms have also long supplied parts to plane manufacturer Boeing.

Mitsubishi Heavy unveiled the jet in October last year and has received more than 400 orders.

It plans to make the first delivery to Japan's All Nippon Airways in 2017.

Mitsubishi's short-to-medium-haul regional jet was backed by the Japanese government and a consortium of major firms including Toyota.

Automaker Honda is also developing a small private jet in the United States, which was first unveiled in Japan earlier this year.

For China, its new passenger plane C919 represents at least seven years of
efforts in a state-mandated drive to reduce dependence on European consortium
Airbus and Boeing of the US (AFP Photo)

Related Article:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

World nations reach landmark deal on using satellites to track flights

Yahoo – AFP, 12 Nov 2015

Crewman aboard an RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft looks at his radar screens
 while searching for the missing Malaysia Airways Flight MH370 over the Indian 
Ocean on March 24, 2014 (AFP Photo/Richard Wainwright)

Geneva (AFP) - World nations struck a landmark deal Wednesday on using satellites to track flights, which could prove key to preventing a repeat of the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 in March 2014.

Countries reached an accord at a conference hosted by the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that aimed to improve on the current civilian flight-tracking system which relies on ground-based radars.

"In reaching this agreement... ITU has responded in record time to the expectations of the global community on the major issue concerning global flight tracking," the organisation's secretary general, Houlin Zhao, said in a statement.

The ITU statement made clear the deal was driven by the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which was lost en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard.

That tragedy "spurred worldwide discussions on global flight tracking and the need for coordinated action," the organisation said.

Representatives of more than 160 nations attended the talks, known as the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC).

It was tasked with determining the technical requirements for a tracking system capable of providing complete surveillance of global airspace.

The ITU said a frequency band previously used to transmit signals from aircraft to terrestrial stations would be enabled to send transmissions from aircraft to satellites.

This change will enable "real-time tracking of aircraft anywhere in the world,” said Francois Rancy, director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau.

The new system is expected to be fully implemented in 2017, but Rancy noted that most planes already have the necessary equipment, so compliance will not pose major logistical hurdles.

US Ambassador Decker Anstrom praised the deal, saying it would "enable better tracking and location of aircraft that otherwise could disappear from terrestrial tracking systems.”

A photo taken on October 7, 2015 shows the headquarters of the International
 Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for information and
communication technologies in Geneva (AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini)

The UN's International Civil Aviation Organization has previously voiced support for a proposal that would make it obligatory for airlines to track their aircraft using a system that gives its location at 15-minute intervals.

The ground-based radars currently in use can track a plane but coverage is sketchy and fades when aircraft are out at sea or they are flying below a certain altitude, shortcomings that intensified the need to develop a better system.

Finding consensus on other agenda items at the WRC could prove tougher however, including discussions on using existing satellites to provide coordinates to civilian unmaned aircraft systems, or drones.

Countries are also discussing whether to shift the way radio spectrum is used by different radio transmission technologies and applications.

The United States among others wants to see a reallocation of a significant amount of spectrum for mobile technologies and emerging 5G mobile networks.

But this is a touchy subject, as most of the high-quality spectrum is today used by broadcasters, and striking a deal by the end of the conference on November 27 is not guaranteed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Indonesian Fighters Intercept Cessna With Off-Duty US Navy Pilot

Jakarta Globe, November 09, 2015

The pilot, center, was identified as James Patrick Murphy, an off-duty
lieutenant-colonel in the US Navy. (Antara Photo/Fadlansyah)

Jakarta. Two Sukhoi fighter jets from the Indonesian Air Force on Monday afternoon forced a single-engine Cessna flown by an off-duty US Navy pilot to land in North Kalimantan as it had illegally entered Indonesian airspace, local media reported.

The American pilot, who was identified as Lt. Col. James Patrick Murphy, was told to land his plane at Juwata International Airport in Tarakan.

The area is close to Indonesia's borders with Malaysia and the Philippines.

It was reported that the American claimed that he had been on a trip from Hawaii to Singapore via the Philippines, and that he had not been aware that he had entered Indonesian airspace.

The incident happened at around 2.30 p.m. local time.

Reports also said that military officials who were holding Murphy were waiting for instructions from the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jakarta whether or not to release him.

The intercepted plane at Tarakan's Juwata International Airport in North Kalimantan,
while a Sukhoi from the Indonesian Air Force flies by. 
(Antara Photo/Fadlanshay)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Volcano ash grounds flights in Bali

Indonesia has been forced to close two airports until Thursday because of ash from an erupting volcano on a nearby island. More than 100 flights have been grounded.

Deutsche Welle, 4 Nov 2015

Meteorological authorities say both Bali's international airport and Selaparang airport in West Nusa Tenggara will remained closed until at least Thursday.

"The wind has blown the volcanic ash towards Bali in such a way that it covers the sky around the airport, making conditions unsuitable for flying," Bali airport official Yulfiadi told the AFP news agency.

A total of 106 flights scheduled to take off Wednesday were canceled, including 59 international flights. Ash from a different volcano had stranded thousands of passengers on Bali for days during the peak holiday season in July.

Airlines are concerned that ash could damage jet engines, even causing spontaneous failure in some cases. The eruption began Sunday.

"Volcanic ash, even if it's invisible, is very dangerous for aircraft," transport ministry spokesman Julius Barata told the DPA news agency.

Air traffic is regularly disrupted by volcanic activity in Indonesia, which is located in a basin of the Pacific Ocean home to about 130 active volcanoes, the greatest concentration in the world.

jar/jr (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
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