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Phuket Gazette World News: North, South Korea exchange artillery fire off west coast

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Phuket Gazette World News: North, South Korea exchange artillery fire off west coast | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

North, South Korea exchange artillery fire off west coast
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire on Monday off their disputed western maritime border, Seoul scrambled jets and residents of a South Korean island fled to bomb shelters in the most dramatic escalation of tensions since 2010.

One North Korean shell landed in South Korean waters, although none hit South Korean land, unlike in 2010 when a barrage killed two soldiers and two civilians.

A North Korean shelling drill prompted South Korean marines on a nearby island to return fire shots into the water, said a South Korean official. The South scrambled F-15 fighters to patrol its side of the border, media said.

It was not clear how many shots were fired by either side.

The firing came amid heightened tensions surrounding the North after the U.N. Security Council condemned Pyongyang for its mid-range missile launches last week, just as the leaders of South Korea, Japan and the United States met to discuss the North’s arms programme.

The area where the artillery exchange occurred is near the so-called Northern Limit Line, drawn up at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which the North has refused to recognise. Past clashes between the two navies in the area killed scores of sailors on both sides.

“It’s up to the two militaries either to recognise or reject their own claimed line, and challenge the other’s – this goes back and forth, so this is probably another episode of that,” said Daniel Pinkston of the International Crisis Group.

The two sides are still technically at war as the conflict ended in a mere truce, not a treaty.

Artillery shells landed in the water north of one of the populated South Korean islands off the peninsula’s west coast, a defence ministry official, who asked not to be named, said.

Residents on Baengnyeong island were evacuated to bomb shelters, a local government official said by telephone.

South Korea had warned of a strong response if the North attacked its territory.

Monday’s drills are the latest incidents in a long line of clashes along the sea border.

A South Korean navy ship was sunk four years ago near the area of the latest infringement. An international team of investigators said it was torpedoed by the North, but Pyongyang denied the charge. Months later the North bombarded a village on South Korean island in the same area, killing the four people.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



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Preliminary data suggests ‘similarities’ to Lion Air incident – Ethiopian Airlines crash

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Preliminary data suggests ‘similarities’ to Lion Air incident – Ethiopian Airlines crash | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The ‘black box’ data recorder arrived in Paris last week

Preliminary data analysis from the black boxes of last week’s Ethiopian Airlines plane crash has revealed “similarities” to last October’s Lion Air incident.

Ethiopian Minister of Transport, Dagmawit Moges, says that investigators recovered all relevant data from the data recorders on board the fateful final flight of the Boeing 737 MAX jet.

He did not provide additional details about the alleged “similarities” between the two crashes saying they were “subject to additional investigation. The black box recorders are being evaluated in France after the Ethiopian aviation authorities said they didn’t have the facilities to analyze the data. The recovered recorders were sent to Paris last Thursday.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on March 10, just six minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board. It mimics characteristics of the other Boeing 737 MAX crash six months ago in Jakarta where the pilot and crew reported problems with the flight controls before plummeting to the ground (or the sea in the case of the Jakarta crash).

Similarities between the two incidents, both of which remain under investigation, led aviation authorities around the world to ban the 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 model aircraft.

Investigators suspect the Lion Air crash may have been caused by a combination of software, pilot education of new flight systems (introduced by Boeing), and a faulty angle-of-attack sensor on the outside of the plane that could have transmitted incorrect data.

Boeing’s new Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, special software designed for the new MAX model jets, may have been responsible for forcing the plane’s nose down, over0riding the pilot’s corrections.

The Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued a statement saying the company “continues to support the investigation, and is working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available.”

He added the company is “finalising its development of a previously announced software update that will address the MCAS flight control law’s behavior in response to erroneous sensor inputs.

Boeing may apply for special permits to flight-test modifications of newly assembled 737 MAX aircraft in U.S. airspace during the worldwide commercial-flight ban of all 737 MAX-family jets.

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Accused Australian killer appears in Christchurch court charged with murder

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Accused Australian killer appears in Christchurch court charged with murder | The Thaiger

A 28 year old Australian man smirked as he walked into the Christchurch District Court in New Zealand’s South Island this morning, charged with murder after a carefully planned mass shooting at lunchtime prayers at two mosques.

The public was banned from the courtroom for the proceedings, but an angry crowd waited outside the court building.

Brenton Tarrant was brought to court by armed prison officers into the heavily secured central city courtroom, packed with local and international journalists.

According to reporters, the man kept turning towards the media and ‘smiling’. They report the man was ‘eerily calm’ during his appearance.

He has initially appeared on one charge of murder but is expected to face further charges. In New Zealand a murder charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Press from all over the world gathered in the courtroom, but the general public was banned.

Meanwhile, 18 year old Daniel John Burrough of Christchurch has been charged with intent to excite hostility or ill will against any group of persons on the ground of the colour, race or ethnic or national origins.

The alleged mass slaughter of Muslim worshippers at Friday prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques, in central Christchurch, left 49 dead and more than 20 injured.

41 people died at Al Noor Mosque, seven at the Linwood Mosque and another died after being rushed to hospital.

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UPDATE: Christchurch massacre – The mind of an alleged mass murderer

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UPDATE: Christchurch massacre – The mind of an alleged mass murderer | The Thaiger

The gunman who Facebook live-streamed himself shooting his way into the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch also posted a political manifesto addressing his reasons for the attack. In his manifesto he described himself as “just a regular White man”.

At this stage 49 people have died after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in the South Island city of Christchurch.

Police have now taken a total of three people into custody after the gunman shot at Muslims in the mosque during prayer time around lunchtime today, New Zealand time.

Armed police headed to the Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave, where shooting broke out at 1.40pm today. The city’s schools and hospital were on lock-down. A short time later, shots were fired at another mosque in Linwood Avenue.

41 people were shot dead at the Deans Ave mosque, seven were killed at the Linwood Ave attack. One person shot in the second mosque attack and later died in hospital.

The man is identified as “Brenton Tarrant”, an Australian citizen. He live-streamed his deadly rampage giving police, and viewers, a horrific view of the entire attack.

The 28 year old told how he was born “to a working class, low-income family, who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people”.

He will appear in a Christchurch court tomorrow morning charged with murder.

New South Wales counter-terrorism police in Australia are now investigating after the revelation that he is from Grafton (a town in NSW) . The man also said he wanted to “directly reduce immigration rates to European lands”.

Australian PM Scott Morrison confirmed that the man taken into custody is an Australian-born citizen.

Brenton Tarrant was a student at the local high school and went on to work at a gym, where his former boss said he regularly volunteered his time to train kids for free.

In April 2010, his father died of cancer aged 49. This lead to Tarrant setting off on a seven-year trip world trip.

It was at some stage in this journey that some friends believe he was “perhaps radicalised”.

Tarrant has also revealed he had been planning an attack for up to two years, saying he decided on Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island, three months ago.

“An attack in New Zealand would bring to attention the truth of the assault on our civilisation, that nowhere in the world was safe, the invaders were in all of our lands, even in the remotest areas of the world and that there was nowhere left to go that was safe and free from mass immigration.”

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