Sunday, December 28, 2014

162 passengers feared dead after AirAsia flight QZ8501 goes missing

An AirAsia plane with 162 people aboard went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore on Sunday morning shortly after the pilots requested a change of flight plan because of weather, the third major aviation incident this year involving a Malaysian carrier.

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 with 155 people on board -- including one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three Koreans, -- and seven crew members lost contact with air traffic control at 07.24 am local time Indonesia.

Sixteen children and one infant were among the passengers on board the AirAsia Airbus A320-200 that went missing on the flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.

At a press conference this morning, Indonesian officials said the plane was several hours past the time when its fuel would have been exhausted.

There were unconfirmed media reports that a aircraft crashed in the waters of East Belitung, off the east coast of Sumatra.

The exact location of the crash site has not been identified, media reports said.

The aircraft was in the Indonesian flight information region, more than 200 nm southeast of the Singapore -- Jakarta FIR boundary, when contact was lost, civil aviation authority of Singapore said.

Contact with the plane was lost 42 minutes after takeoff. There were no Indian nationals on board.

The plane took off from Surabaya (Indonesia) at 5:20 am local time and was scheduled to land at Singapore's ChangiAirport at 8.30 am.

A statement on AirAsia's Facebook page said: "AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07.24 am."

"At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available," the Malaysia-based carrier said in a statement.
The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.
"At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service," the statement said.


Indonesian Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact, local media reported.
Air Asia said the pilot had requested "deviation" from its flight plan because of bad weather.
"The aircraft... was requesting deviation due to en route weather," it said.
Indonesia's national search and rescue agency bangka belitung said it has dispatched one vessel to search for AirAsia flight QZ8501.
"We received information from Basarnas in Jakarta that contact had been lost with an AirAsia flight over Bangka Belitung waters...We then dispatched a vessel with a search and rescue team of 22 members to check the information," Febi Imam Saputra, an information official at Basarnas Bangka Belitung, was quoted as saying by the Indonesian Antara news agency.
"If we look at the map, these coordinates refer to an area around 20 nautical miles from East Belitung," said Febi.
Search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities from the Pangkal Pinang Search and Rescue office.


Indonesian authorities have mobilised search and rescue operation near BelitungIsland, deploying five ships and a surveillance aircraft carrying 15 Indonesian Air Force personnel.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has confirmed that it is linking up with Indonesian authorities to help locate the missing plane. Australia and Malaysia have also offered assistance.

A massive search is underway for the missing plane. The last detected position of the missing AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 is believed to be between Tanjung Pandan on BelitungIsland and Kalimantan, Indonesia, according to Indonesia's Director of Air Transport, Djoko Murjatmodjo.

"The position where contact was lost was between Tanjung Pandan and Pontianak, about 100 nautical miles south-east of Tanjung Pandan," said Djoko.

The pilot Captain Iriyanto has an experience of 6,100 flying hours.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes has asked his company to stay strong. "Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We must stay strong," tweeted Fernandes, an ethnic Indian, who set up the budget airlines which now flies to several countries.

Fernandes has said that he is heading to Indonesia.

Malaysia has also offered assistance in the search operation.

AirAsia is popular in the region as a budget carrier. It has about 100 destinations, with subsidiaries in several Asian countries.

The loss of contact with the AirAsia plane comes nearly 10 months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing on March 8.

Searchers are yet to find any debris from Flight MH370, which officials believe crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
Another Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cricket world mourns loss of Phillip Hughes


Cricket united in grief as Australian batsman passes away following blow to the head

The cricket community worldwide is in mourning today following the death of Phillip Joel Hughes, aged 25.

Cricket Australia announced the news with a statement from team doctor Peter Brukner.

"It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away," Dr Brukner's statement read. "He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday.

"He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends."

Australia captain Michael Clarke, who was commended for his efforts in supporting the Hughes family since Tuesday's incident, read out a brief statement on behalf of parents Greg and Virginia and siblings Jason and Megan Hughes.

"We're devastated by loss of our much-loved son and brother Phillip," Clarke read.

"It's been very a difficult few days and we appreciate all the support we have received from family, friends, players, Cricket Australia and the general public.

"Cricket was Phillip's life and we as family share that love of game with him.

"We would like to thank all medical and nursing staff at St Vincent's Hospital and Cricket NSW medical staff for their great efforts with Phillip.

"We love you."

Clarke bowed his head momentarily to compose himself before exiting.

Hughes was struck on the head while batting for South Australia during a Sheffield Shield game at the SCG on Tuesday, and underwent emergency surgery shortly after being rushed to St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney.

He had since been in an induced coma in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Australia captain Michael Clarke, a long-time teammate and friend, was among the many from within Australian cricket to visit Hughes and his family at the hospital, offering support and well wishes.

The Australian team was due to assemble in Brisbane this weekend for next Thursday's first Test against India. Instead players from around the country flew into Sydney as the cricket family drew strength from the company of one another.

It is so pleasant to work with experts. Read the info to find out more regarding Naperville. Hughes, who hailed from Macksville on the New South Wales mid north coast, was struck by a ball below the helmet while attempting to play a hook shot to a short-pitched delivery at 2.23pm Tuesday, the opening day of his team's match against NSW.
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He was 63 not out at the time and pushing his case for a recall to the Australian Test team.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Denmark piracy raid off Somalia leaves two dead

The Absalon was patrolling the Gulf of Aden under Nato command, reports say.

The Danish ship fired at the pirate ship to force it to stop, the Danish navy said on its website.

There were 17 pirates and 18 hostages on board the pirate ship, said its statement. Two hostages were found wounded and "could not be saved".

Absalon had for several days been watching a pirate mothership off the Somali coast, the statement said.

"Overnight Sunday to Monday, when the pirates tried to leave the coast, Absalon intervened and stopped the mothership, before it could pose a threat to shipping in the open sea," it added.

It fired at the mothership and its crew was then able to take control of the pirate ship.

Two of the hostages were found badly injured, and the Absalon doctor was unable to save them, the statement said.

The Danish warship is part of a Nato-led counter-piracy mission off Somalia and the east coast of Africa.

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French election: Hollande wants 75% tax on top earners

"Above 1m euros [£847,000; $1.3m], the tax rate should be 75% because it's not possible to have that level of income," he said.

Speaking on prime time TV, he promised that if elected, he would undo tax breaks enacted by Nicolas Sarkozy.

The tax proposal was condemned by his political opponents.

Opinion polls suggest the gap between the Socialist candidate and Mr Sarkozy has narrowed.

The two are tipped to reach the run-off on 6 May, after eliminating other rivals on 22 April.

Taxation for the rich has become a hot campaign issue, with tax advisers in neighbouring Switzerland saying that higher taxes for the wealthy in France could spark an exodus, Reuters news agency reports.

Many of France's richest celebrities already live abroad.
'Patriotic' tax

The French right-of-centre newspaper Le Figaro reports that Mr Hollande's announcement on the TF1 channel appeared to take party colleagues by surprise.

Jerome Cahuzac, responsible for budgetary affairs on Mr Hollande's campaign team, was questioned about the 75% rate on another channel, France 2, just minutes afterwards.
“Start Quote

Valerie Pecresse Nicolas Sarkozy's budget minister

"You are asking me about a declaration which, for my part, I haven't heard," he said.

Mr Hollande himself renewed his call on Tuesday, saying the 75% rate on people earning more than one million euros a year was "a patriotic act".

"It's a signal that has been sent, a message of social cohesion, there is an effort to be made," he explained.

"It is patriotic to agree to pay a supplementary tax to get the country back on its feet."

Centrist presidential candidate Francois Bayrou dismissed the idea.

He told another TV channel, BFMTV: "I think it was [French film director Michel] Audiard who used the rather rough phrase: the rubbish-ometer [French: deconnometre] is working overtime."

Ministers from Mr Sarkozy's ruling UMP party also attacked the proposal.

Francois Hollande "invents a new tax every week without ever proposing the smallest saving", said Budget Minister Valerie Pecresse and Foreign Minister Alain Juppe denounced the plan as "fiscal confiscation".

An overview of the Best Paying PTC sites with proofs of payment! Only PTC that are founded by trusted owners! When Mr Sarkozy came to power in 2007, he introduced a "tax shield" that capped tax at 50% of all income.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

UK stem cell stroke trial passes first safety test

The world's first clinical trial of brain stem cells to treat strokes is set to move to its next phase.

An independent assessment of the first three patients to have had stem cells injected into their brain at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital has concluded it has had no adverse effect.

The assessment paves the way for the therapy to be tested on more patients to find a new treatment for stroke.

The hope is that the stem cells will help to repair damaged brain tissue.

The trial is being led by Prof Keith Muir of Glasgow University. He told BBC News that he was pleased with the results so far.

"We need to be assured of safety before we can progress to trying to test the effects of this therapy. Because this is the first time this type of cell therapy has been used in humans, it's vitally important that we determine that it's safe to proceed - so at the present time we have the clearance to proceed to the next higher dose of cells."

An elderly man was the first person in the world to receive this treatment last year. Since then it has been tried out on two more patients.

Global trials

The patients have received very low doses of stem cells in trials designed to test the safety of the procedure.

Over the next year, up to nine more patients will be given progressively higher doses - again primarily to assess safety - but doctors will also be using this clinical trial to assess the best ways of measuring the effectiveness of the treatment in subsequent larger trials, which would not begin for at least 18 months.

Critics object as brain cells from a foetus were originally used to create the cell treatment. Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of the company that produced the stem cells, Renuron, said that the technology used to grow the cells is such that no further foetal tissue will be required.

There are a growing number of well-regulated clinical trials of stem cell treatments now under way in various parts of the world, including one which also began last year by the US firm Geron to develop a treatment for paralysis.

The development of stem cell treatments is still at an early stage and it is likely to be many years before these treatments become widely available. According to Mr Hunt:

"The earliest a treatment could be widely available if everything goes very well is five years. It is very much a case of so far, so good. It is still at a very early stage but we draw great comfort from these results."

Strokes kill about 67,000 people in the UK every year, according to the Stroke Association.

The charity says it is the third most common cause of death in England and Wales after heart disease and cancer.

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