AirAsia crash: Faulty part ‘major factor’
A faulty component was a “major factor” when an AirAsia plane crashed into the Java Sea last December, killing 162 people, Indonesian officials say.
The first major report into the crash found that actions by the crew in response to the malfunction also contributed to the disaster.
The Airbus A320-200, going from Surabaya to Singapore, was 40 minutes into the flight when contact was lost.
The report is the result of a year-long investigation.
Officials pinpointed the fault to the plane’s rudder control system, which caused it to send warning alerts to the pilots repeatedly. It was a pre-existing fault known to AirAsia maintenance crew.
The pilots responded to the warning alerts by resetting the system – a method used previously to address the fault.
This, however, caused the autopilot system to disengage and the plane began to roll to the left.
The pilots were unable to right the aircraft, which stalled and then crashed.
Kurdish fighters say US special forces have been fighting Isis for months
US denies peshmerga claims after Obama last year announced redeployment of 300 military advisers to Iraq, saying US combat troops would ‘not be fighting’
On a damp afternoon in Iraqi Kurdistan, a 29-year-old peshmerga fighter named Peshawa pulls out his Samsung Galaxy mobile phone, flicks hurriedly through his library until he finds the video he wants, and presses play.
The clip, filmed just after dawn on 11 September, shows four tall and western-looking men in the heat of a battle against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq. “These are the Americans,” says Peshawa in a secretive tone.
One is crouched behind a machine gun firing round after round from the top of a fortified mound; another lies on his front a few feet away, legs outstretched and taking aim at the enemy with a long rifle. A third wields a long-lens camera taking photo after photo, and the last stands back, apparently overseeing the others during the combat south-west of the city of Kirkuk.
Russia accused of ethnic cleansing of Turkmen in Syria air strikes
Moscow is waging a relentless campaign of aerial bombardment intended specifically to “drive out” the Turkmen minority from north-western Syria, the community’s political leader has warned.
Abdurrahman Mustafa, who as president of the Syrian Turkmen Assembly is the figurehead for the ethnic minority, accused the Russian air force of trying purge the area in order to carve out a safe enclave for its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, amid growing global pressure for an end to the conflict.
In an interview with The Independent, Mr Mustafa said thousands of Turkmen civilians had been forced from their homes in the region known as Bayirbucak. “There are not many left,” he said. “It is nearly impossible to survive amid this bombing.”
The Turkmen of Syria found themselves at the centre of world attention after Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 jet last week, igniting a major row and plunging the prospects of a co-ordinated global push against Isis into doubt.
Ex-US Intelligence Chief on Islamic State’s Rise: ‘We Were Too Dumb’
Without the Iraq war, Islamic State wouldn’t exist today, former US special forces chief Mike Flynn openly admits. In an interview, he explains IS’ rise to become a professional force and how the Americans allowed its future leader to slip out of their hands.
Michael Flynn, 56, served in the United States Army for more than 30 years, most recently as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he was the nation’s highest-ranking military intelligence officer. Previously, he served as assistant director of national intelligence inside the Obama administration. From 2004 to 2007, he was stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, where, as commander of the US special forces, he hunted top al-Qaida terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, one of the predecessors to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who today heads the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. After Flynn’s team located Zarqawi’s whereabouts, the US killed the terrorist in an air strike in June 2006.
In an interview, Flynn explains the rise of the Islamic State and how the blinding emotions of 9/11 led the United States in the wrong direction strategically.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: In recent weeks, Islamic State not only conducted the attacks in Paris, but also in Lebanon and against a Russian airplane over the Sinai Peninsula. What has caused the organization to shift its tactics and to now operate internationally?
Flynn: There were all kinds of strategic and tactical warnings and lots of reporting. And even the guys in the Islamic State said that they were going to attack overseas. I just don’t think people took them seriously. When I first heard about the recent attacks in Paris, I was like, “Oh, my God, these guys are at it again, and we’re not paying attention.” The change that I think we need to be more aware of is that, in Europe, there is a leadership structure. And there’s likely a leader or a leadership structure in each country in Europe. The same is probably similar for the United States, but just not obvious yet.
Syria, Yemen, Libya — one factor unites these failed states, and it isn’t religion
By Jack Goldstone
As world leaders gather in Paris this week to address climate change, they will labor under the shadow of recent attacks by Islamic State. Yet as they think about climate issues, they should remember that the connection between climate change and Islamic State — and more broadly, between climate change and political instability — is not just a coincidence. It may instead be the key reality of the 21st century.
The rise of IS was a direct result of the failure of the Syrian regime, as it was beset by urban uprisings in 2011. Yet those uprisings did not come out of nowhere, and were not merely inspired by protests in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Syria was an increasingly prosperous country in the 1990s, with its various ethnic and religious groups working together in cities.
Yet between 2006 and 2009, Syria was crippled by its worst drought in modern history. A recent article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that this drought was not natural. Rather, hotter temperatures and the weakening of winds that bring moisture from the Mediterranean were likely the region’s reflection of rising greenhouse gas emissions, according to computer simulations.
Can clean energy save the gorillas of Virunga National Park?
Updated 0638 GMT (1438 HKT) December 1, 2015
We’re surrounded by shades of deep green, hiking up hill, following the rhythmic sound of machete slicing a small path through thick forest.
“We’re two minutes away now,” says Virunga National Park’s southern sector head Innocent Mburanumwe. “Actually maybe one minute,” he corrects himself. Time to put on our masks.
Mountain gorillas share 98% of their DNA with humans. Even a common cold could have dire consequences for the troop we are about to visit. With only around 800 left in the wild, these are some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world.
Mburanumwe spots a massive silverback chewing on a pile of bamboo and begins a series of gorilla-like grunts. “I just want him to know that we are friendly, that we aren’t an enemy.”
Mburanumwe knows gorillas. His father habituated the first troop here in 1987 and took him when he was just 11 to see gorillas for the first time. He says he was struck by how human they seemed.