Jakarta | Indonesia on Friday wrapped up the grim task of identifying Lion Air jet crash victims from recovered body parts, with a preliminary report on the cause of the accident that killed 189 people due next week.
The Boeing 737 Max jet — one of the world’s newest and most advanced commercial planes — plunged into the Java Sea on October 29 shortly after taking off from capital Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang city, killing all on board. Since then, investigators have been doing DNA testing on recovered body parts.
As of Friday, 125 people have been identified after testing on human remains that filled some 200 body bags, said Arthur Tampi, head of the national police medical centre. “We have identified 89 men and 36 women, including two foreigners, namely an Italian and an Indian national” who was the flight’s captain, Tampi told reporters in Jakarta. The identification was being called off because all the recovered remains have been tested, he added.
Budget carrier Lion Air has said it is paying a little over USD 100,000 in compensation to the families of each crash victim. The smashed jet’s flight data recorder was recovered but divers are still looking for the cockpit voice recorder. A formal preliminary report on what might have caused the crash is due Wednesday.
So far, investigators have said the doomed plane had problems with its air-speed indicator and angle of attack (AOA) sensors prompting Boeing to issue a special bulletin directing operators what to do when they face the same situation.
An AOA sensor provides data about the angle at which wind is passing over the wings and tells pilots how much lift a plane is getting. The information can be critical in preventing the plane from stalling.
Last week, a US airline pilots union, the APA, said that companies and pilots had not been informed by Boeing of certain changes in the aircraft control system.
While Boeing has come under fire for possible glitches in its newest 737 model — released just last year — the accident has also resurrected concerns about Indonesia’s poor air safety record, which until recently saw its carriers facing years-long bans from entering European Union and US airspace.
China’s top trade negotiator to visit US January 30-31
Beijing | China’s top trade negotiator will travel to the United States to resume talks later this month ahead of a March deadline to avoid bruising tariff hikes, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.
Vice Premier Liu He will visit Washington on January 30-31 for the negotiations, the ministry said, following up on talks by lower-level officials in Beijing earlier this month.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a three-month trade war truce in December, suspending US plans to increase tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese goods to give negotiators space to find a solution.
Liu and US officials will “hold negotiations on economic and trade issues and work together to push forward and implement the consensus” reached by Xi and Trump, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters.
China’s senior negotiator will travel at the invitation of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Gao said. Without a resolution, punitive US duty rates on USD 200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on March 2.
Indian-American Raja Krishnamoorthi 1st South Asian to serve on powerful committee on intelligence
Washington | Indian-American Democratic lawmaker Raja Krishnamoorthy has been appointed as a member of a Congressional committee on intelligence, becoming the first South Asian to serve in the powerful body tasked to strengthen America’s national security.
Krishnamoorthy, 45, who represents Illinois’s 8th congressional district in the House, was chosen along with Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Peter Welch of Vermont as the four new Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) for the 116th Congress.
The HPSCI is tasked with overseeing the activities and budget of the 17 intelligence agencies of the US. Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi appointed Krishnamoorthi Wednesday.
Pelosi said, “Our new members of the Intelligence Committee bring exceptional judgment, expertise and determination to our mission to honour that oath and, guided by the strong, principled leadership of Chairman Adam Schiff, will restore the long tradition of bipartisanship and integrity of this critical committee. “We look forward to the many contributions these new members will bring to Democrats’ work to strengthen America’s national security and defend our democracy”.
Krishnamoorthi, after Pelosi announced his appointment, said: “It is very humbling to be chosen to serve on the Intelligence Committee in this Congress, and I am ready to join with my colleagues in preserving the safety and security of our nation”.
“The intelligence challenges and international threats facing our country today are vast, ranging from terrorism to cyberwarfare to investigating Russia’s previous and continuing attempts to sabotage our democracy.
“I am honoured that the Speaker and Caucus have placed their trust in me and the contributions I’ll make to the Committee. When I took the oath of office, I swore to protect and defend the Constitution from all threats, foreign and domestic, and I know that the work we do under the leadership of Chairman Adam Schiff will fulfil that solemn duty,” Krishnamoorthi said.
Born into a Tamil-speaking family in New Delhi, his family moved to Buffalo, New York when he was three months old. Krishnamoorthi attended Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He also attended Harvard Law School.
Early this week, Pelosi appointed Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal to the House Education and Labour Committee.
US tells Taliban it must talk to Afghan government
Kabul | The US envoy in Afghanistan has said on Wednesday that a peaceful end to the 17-year conflict requires the Taliban to engage in direct talks with the Afghan government, which they have consistently refused.
Zalmay Khalilzad spoke to reporters in Kabul on his latest visit to the war-torn country, where he is at the centre of a flurry of diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the conflict which began with the US invasion of 2001.
“The road to peace will require Taliban to sit with other Afghans, including the government,” Khalilzad said.
“There is a consensus among all regional partners on this point,” he added, according to quotes sent to the US embassy in Kabul.
The insurgents have long refused to hold direct talks with the Kabul government, which they dismiss as a puppet of Washington.
Taliban representatives have met several times with US officials in recent months, but earlier this week threatened to suspend the fledgling peace efforts, accusing the US of changing the agenda of the talks and “unilaterally” adding new subjects.
“If the Talibs want to talk, we can talk, if they want to fight we can fight. We hope that the Talibs want to make peace,” Khalilzad said in response to the threat.
The envoy arrived in Kabul on late Tuesday, where he met with the country’s political leaders. On his third tour of the region since his appointment in September, he had previously travelled to India, the United Arab Emirates and China. He is expected next in Pakistan.
Khalilzad Wednesday said that if the Taliban choose to continue fighting, “The United States will stand with the Afghan government and the Afghan people and support them”.
He dismissed reports the US wanted to maintain military bases in the country.
“We have never said we want permanent military bases in Afghanistan,” he said.
“What we want is to see this conflict end through negotiation, and to continue our partnership with Afghanistan, and to ensure no terrorist threatens either of us.” In the long run, the US is seeking a military, diplomatic and economic relationship with Afghanistan, he added.
Khalilzad, a former US ambassador to Afghanistan, said he hopes for fresh talks with the Taliban “very soon”.
The US is not the only country dancing around talks with the militants. Russia and Iran have held meetings with the Taliban in recent months, while China has also made overtures. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan are all participating in the US efforts.
Live TV – 24×7
Govt brought 10 percent quota law to ‘win some votes’: Sitaram Yechury
Supreme Court asks search committee on Lokpal to recommend names by Feb end
BJP not involved in any operation to topple Cong-JDS government: Yeddyurappa
IITs, IISERs to mentor nearby schools in science & maths: Prakash Javadekar
NGT slams Volkswagen for not depositing Rs 100 crore as per its 2018 order
Why Mr. Jaitley should stop the reckless tax prosecution?
Cache of weapons seized in raid at shop, Dombivli BJP leader held
Former Arunachal CM Gegong Apang quits BJP, says it has become a platform to seek power
16,000 villages in Maharashtra made `water-neutral’: CM Fadnavis
Indra Nooyi to Head World Bank?
Why is Philip Kotler presidential award confidental?
Why Mr. Jaitley should stop the reckless tax prosecution?
The real reason behind SP-BSP Alliance keeping Congress out
Do farmers commit suicide or are politicians killing them?
South Connect Ep 109: MLA poaching row: Mumbai at the centre of Karnataka’s operation lotus
Sports2 days ago
Kohli, Dhoni star in series-levelling win for India
South Connect3 days ago
South Connect: Rahul Gandhi changes Sabarimala stance, says let people of Kerala decide
Politics2 days ago
PM Attacks Kerala Government Over Sabarimala
Politics3 days ago
It is Congress which can challenge and defeat BJP: Sachin Pilot
Editorial3 days ago
Abusing Media: Is Justice Katju being irresponsible?
National1 day ago
The heartbreaking love-story of martyred Major Shashidharan Nair
Politics2 days ago
Supreme Court asks West Bengal government to allow BJP’s ‘Rath Yatra’
National3 days ago
Appointment of Nageswar Rao as interim CBI Director challenged in Supreme Court
International3 days ago
Apple Inc. iPhone Sales Decline
Politics3 days ago
JD(S)-Congress trying to lure BJP MLAs, will camp in Delhi: Yeddyurappa