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Phuket Media Watch: North Korea defiant; Fires rage in Los Angeles; Sailor rescued 5 days after ship sinks off Vietnam

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Phuket Media Watch: North Korea defiant; Fires rage in Los Angeles; Sailor rescued 5 days after ship sinks off Vietnam | The Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

North Korea warns South Korea on ‘hideous crimes’
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

PHUKET: The North Korean military on yesterday said the South “will pay for its hideous crimes” during the mourning period for Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il, and warned it may launch a retaliatory strike to “smash the stronghold of the puppet forces.”

A statement from the National Defense Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) condemned the South Korean government for immediately putting its forces on alert and convening an emergency meeting following the announcement of Kim Jong-il’s death.

“When the whole nation is overcome with grief over the great loss, only the South Korean puppet group committed thrice-cursed crimes,” the Commission said in a long statement. “The DPRK National Defense Commission, above all, discloses before the world and the nation the truth about those crimes of the South Korean puppet group.”

The Commission said the South’s actions created the impression that a “golden opportunity” had arrived to lead the North to a system change. “The South Korean authorities put the three services of the puppet army on an emergency alert and ordered them to adopt combat posture, creating a war-like atmosphere,” it said.

North Korean state-run media published a series of articles yesterday which were critical of South Korea. While threats against South Korea have been made in the past, yesterday’s was the first since Kim Jong-il’s son, Kim Jong-un, took over as Supreme Leader.

The Commission said the statements yesterday were made to “clarify” its principles in regards to South Korea, mainly because of the events during the mourning period. “As already declared, the DPRK will have no dealings with the Lee Myung-bak group of traitors forever,” it said. “To keep company with them is a disgrace for the clear and honest-minded Korean nation as they are ignorant in politics, vulgar in morals and lack elementary human nature.”

The military warned: “We will surely force the group of traitors to pay for its hideous crimes committed at the time of the great national misfortune. The veritable sea of tears shed by the army and people of the DPRK will turn into that of retaliatory fire to burn all the group of traitors to the last one, and [turn our] wailing into a roar of revenge to smash the stronghold of the puppet forces.”

Police hunt arsonist after 20 fires hit Los Angeles overnight

Phuket Gazette / News Wires
PHUKET: As many as twenty suspicious fires were set in Hollywood and the City of Los Angeles early yesterday morning, police said. One firefighter was injured while responding to one of the fires.

Sheriff’s officials said the first fire was set just after midnight in a car port in West Hollywood, a city in Los Angeles County. Over the next two hours, officials say, at least four other fires were started throughout the area in car ports. No residents were injured in any of the fires, but one firefighter was transported to the hospital after falling from a ladder.

At the same time, up to 15 other fires were started in the city of Los Angeles, which is within a two-mile (3.2 kilometer) radius of West Hollywood.

“The City of West Hollywood arson fires are definitely related to the LA City fires,” said Los Angeles County Police Detective Ed Nordskog.

Several of the fires raged in homes and other buildings, including the former home of U.S. musician Jim Morrison, according to the DPA news agency. Dozens of residents had to be evacuated from an apartment building after two fires were set shortly after 2am local time (5pm Phuket time). The last fire was started after 4am.

“We are very fortunate that these outrageous crimes didn’t result in injuries or death,” said Captain Kelley Fraser at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. “We are asking for the public’s help in the search for the arsonist(s). If you saw or see anyone or anything suspicious, please report it immediately.”

Vietnamese sailor found 5 days after shipwreck killing 22
Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A Vietnamese sailor was found alive on yesterday after his cargo ship sank off the coast of Vietnam on Sunday, killing nearly two dozen people, officials said.

The English MV London Courage ship found 31-year-old Dau Ngoc Hung adrift in a life boat, five days after the Vinalines Queen capsized after it passed the Phillipines island of Luzon, which is located east of Vietnam.

Nguyen Anh Vu, the director of the Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Co-ordination Center, told the Vietnam News Agency that Hung is the only surviving crew member of the 23 people who worked aboard the ill-fated ship.

The accident occurred on Christmas Day when the Vinalines Queen went missing while transporting 54,000 tonnes of Nikel from Indonesia to China. The ship did not send out a distress signal, slowing down rescue operations.

Hung said the boat suddenly overturned and quickly sank, explaining that he was the only one of the crew who was able to reach a life boat. Search and rescue operations were carried out by different teams from the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan, as well as a number of other countries, which have already been informed of the rescue.

The cause of the accident remains unknown.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



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People have short memories. Why the Boeing 737 MAX will survive the current crisis.

Tanutam Thawan

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People have short memories. Why the Boeing 737 MAX will survive the current crisis. | The Thaiger

If history is anything to go on people’s current fears about the Boeing 737 MAX jets will be short-lived.

The make0ver of the venerable 737 plane, the most popular passenger jet in history, was supposed to set Boeing on a path to success. Airlines said it was the plane they wanted – perfect for short-haul, cheap to run, new efficient engines.

Boeing didn’t go down the path of coming up with a new single-aisle jet to compete with the new Airbus 320 Neo series, instead they decided to come up with a revised 737. The revised plane has slightly larger and more powerful engines, is a little higher off the ground, features some new hi-tech construction materials making it lighter, upgraded avionics and, importantly, new software that was meant to make it even safer.

You can identify a 737 MAX because of the two-spoke winglets at the end of the wings.

Now two of the new series 737 MAX have crashed within six months with investigators speaking about ‘similarities’ in the early days of the crash investigation.

Travel site Kayak even added an option to screen out flights using the 737 Max jets.

If panic persisted, the media kept writing stories about it and airlines were unwilling to buy it, the future of Boeing would be in jeopardy.

That’s the current situation. But it also reflects a similar time during a four-month period in late 1965 and early 1966 when four new Boeing 727 jets crashed. Three of the crashes occurred while the planes were attempting to land at US airports. Two of them happened within three days of each other in November 1965. The 727 was the first commercial jet to fly with less than four jet engines.

Like the 737 MAX crashes, the US regulator, the FAA, defended the planes’ safety and refused to ground the 727s at the time. It issued a statement the day after the third fatal 727 crash, saying that it could find no pattern in the crashes. It declined to ground the jet.

At the time Boeing was still riding on its reputation built around the Boeing 707 jet, the first successful commercial passenger jet (the British Comet was the first commercial passenger jet in 1952 but had a series of catastrophic crashes from which it never recovered profitable sales).

Eventually the Civil Aeronautics Board, which was created in the wake of the crashes, cleared the 727 and blamed pilot error for the accidents. Pilots were not prepared to fly the 727, and that led to the crashes. The new wings of the revolutionary (for the time) 727 made the plane descend much faster than was possible in the past, giving pilots the chance to slow the planes down faster and land on much shorter runways than the jets of the time, a big selling point.

But the pilots at the controls of the four doomed jets in the 60s were apparently unprepared for how quickly the planes would descend with the new wings.

But Boeing did get past the 727 crisis. Increased training led to safer operation of the plane, and these kinds of crashes ended. Customers soon forgot.

The 727 went on to become the bestselling jet of its time for Boeing. It eventually sold 1,831 of the jets, a lot when flying in jets was still mostly reserved for the ‘jet set’ and people able to afford the expensive ticket prices of the time.

“I don’t know that people will care that much for very long,” says Shem Malmquist, a Boeing 727 and 777 Captain.

“They only worry about the price of the ticket.”

People have short memories. Why the Boeing 737 MAX will survive the current crisis. | News by The Thaiger

The Boeing 727 suffered four high-profile crashes in the mid 60s and went on to become a flying favourite.

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

Tanutam Thawan

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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

Tanutam Thawan

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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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