Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘The Journal’

Malaysia Prime Minister: ‘Deliberate Action’ Caused Jet to Disappear.


Investigators searched the home of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet Saturday as the probe focused on possible sabotage.

Officials now believe someone on board deliberately shut off its communications and tracking systems, turned the plane around, and flew for nearly seven hours after it vanished from radar, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday.

“These movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane,” Razak said.

A Malaysian official, who was not named because he was not authorized to brief the press, went further, telling The Associated Press that hijacking was no longer a theory. ”

“It is conclusive,” the official said.

The move on the pilot’s home came in after analysis of data indicating the plane made erratic changes in altitude and course — and that manual changes attempted to mask the jet’s location.

“Increasingly, it seems to be heading into the criminal arena,” Richard Healing, a former member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, told the Wall Street Journal Friday.

The latest bits of information from the probe “indicate the emphasis is on determining if a hijacker or crew member diverted the plane,” he said.

A U.S. official told the Associated Press investigators are now examining whether the baffling disappearance may have been ‘‘an act of piracy.’’

The New York Times reported radar signals recorded by the Malaysian military show Flight 370 — which took off from Kuala Lumpur last Saturday with 279 people aboard — climbed to 45,000 feet soon after it disappeared from civilian radar, then made a sharp turn to the west.

The radar track showed the plane then dropping to just 23,000 feet as it approached the island of Penang, one of the country’s largest.

Military radar last recorded the plane flying at 29,500 feet some 200 miles northwest of Penang and headed toward India’s Andaman Islands, the Times reported.

An unidentified Malaysian official told The Associated Press only a skilled aviator could navigate the plane the way it was flown after its last confirmed location over the South China Sea.

An Asia-based Boeing pilot told the Times flying above the plane’s service limit of 43,100 feet, along with a depressurized cabin, could have knocked out passengers and crew — and could have been a deliberate maneuver by a pilot or hijacker.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

The Journal reported investigators suspect two systems were shut off after the Beijing-bound plane took off: First, the plane’s transponders stopped functioning about an hour into the flight, making it difficult for air-traffic controllers to track the craft on radar.

Then, a second system sent a routine aircraft-monitoring message to a satellite indicating someone made a manual change in the plane’s heading that turned it sharply to the west, The Journal said.

The plane is now also believed to have continued flying for more than four hours after diverting its course — based on automated “pings” sent by onboard systems that try to connect with satellites.

One of the most chilling findings came from investigators examining data transmitted from the plane’s Rolls-Royce engines, showing the aircraft descending 40,000 feet in the space of a minute, the Times reported.

Investigators don’t believe it.

“A lot of stock cannot be put in the altitude data” sent from the engines, the Times quoted one unnamed official saying. “A lot of this doesn’t make sense.”

Aviation lecturer Cengiz Turkoglu of City University London said dramatic changes in altitude can happen because of a deliberate act in the cockpit, but that “it is extremely difficult for an aircraft to physically, however heavy it might be, to free fall,” the Times reported.

Initial fears, later discounted, were that terrorists might have brought the plane down after it disappeared.

Investigators also considered, but dismissed, the possibility that hijackers landed the plane somewhere for later use in a terrorist attack, the Times reported.

But one official told the Times that current information “leads them to believe that it either ran out of fuel or crashed right before it ran out of fuel.”

Meanwhile, CNN reported a classified analysis by the United States and Malaysian governments calculates the flight likely crashed into the Indian Ocean on one of two possible flight paths.

In one flight path scenario, the plane went down in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of India; another scenario has the plane traveling southeast and crashing into the Indian Ocean.

Still another theory being considered has the plane coming down in the remote Andaman Islands.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Related Stories:

 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cathy Burke

US Pledges $1 Billion in Aid to Ukraine.


The Obama administration has pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the strife-torn country, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The financial assistance was seen as an attempt by the United States to show solidarity with Ukraine, which has had its Crimea region invaded by Russian forces following the overthrow last month of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said, “The United States is prepared to work with its bilateral and multilateral partners to provide as much support as Ukraine needs to restore financial stability and return to economic growth if the new government implements the necessary reforms.”

The money was expected to shore up the country’s troubled economy and to help Ukraine finance purchases of energy imports while the former Soviet republic seeks a larger bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

A senior administration official with Kerry told the Journal, “You’re seeing already a response from the United States that is isolating Russia politically and diplomatically and offering strong support for the new Ukrainian government.”

American technical experts will be sent to Ukraine to help sort out the country’s growing financial and energy problems, sources said. U.S. advisers will also help Kiev uncover assets believed to have been stolen by Yanukovych’s government.

The Journal also reported that experts will also be sent to help Ukraine prepare for its May 25 general elections.

Related Stories:

.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Drew MacKenzie

Unions Face High Court Test Over Home-Care Workers.


The Supreme Court is set to hear a case Tuesday that could weaken labor unions even further by overturning their efforts to organize home-care workers.

In what is being billed as a battle over First Amendment rights, the Harris V. Quinn case pits business leaders and conservative groups against unions and state governments, The Hill reports.

Businesses and conservatives argue the agreements between states and unions that taxpayer-funded home-care workers must pay union dues is a violation of their rights to free association under the Constitution.

But labor unions see the High Court challenge as the latest move to continue to destabilize the collective bargaining system, which could then affect the healthcare of the disabled and the elderly.

“This is what they are trying to do: weaken the union,” said Flora Johnson, executive chairwoman of Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois and Indiana. “Unions will survive but the people with disabilities and other medical disorders, they might never recover. That is why we are fighting.”

The test case stems from an executive order signed by Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in 2009 making the SEIU the monopoly bargaining representative for home-care workers, who are usually self-employed and do not have to report to state officials.

Pamela Harris, who looks after her severely disabled son at home, brought the case along with seven other home-care providers, with the help of the National Right to Work Foundation. She argues that the cost of paying union dues means that she does not have enough money to cover her son’s medical expenses, says The Hill.

The key part of the argument is that a Supreme Court precedent says government employees who work in union shops must pay union dues. But the justices may decide that home-care workers are independent contractors and not state employees, and therefore cannot be forced against their will to pay for collective bargaining representatives.

The High Court decision could decimate the power of unions in Illinois and impact labor movements in some 10 other states that have similar arrangements between unions and local government.

According to The Hill, public sector unions have become stronger in recent years while overall union membership has declined. There were 7.3 million public sector union-affiliated workers in 2012 compared to seven million union members in the private workforce.

“This has the potential to be a very big case,” said Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute. “If [the deals are] stopped, that’s big in terms of the growth and power of public sector unions.”

Karen Harned, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center, said, “It’s a violation of the First Amendment, your right to freedom of association. These people all don’t want to be in a union and just because they participate in a public program doesn’t mean that they have to be.”

The Cato Institute and NFIB have teamed up to file an amicus brief in the case, The Hill noted.

The Journal says that there were 1.9 million home-care workers in the United States in 2010, with 475,000 of them unionized. That figure is expected to climb to over three million by 2020.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Drew MacKenzie

Tag Cloud