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1985 Air India bombing ‘single worst terrorist attack’ in Canada’s history: Trudeau

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has described the 1985 Air India bombing as the “single worst terrorist attack” in the country’s history as he paid tributes to the 329 victims of the Kanishka Flight 182 which was blown off mid-air.

“On this day in 1985, Canadians awoke to news that defied belief, and left our country in a state of shock and suffering,” Trudeau said yesterday, marking the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism in Canada.

Air India Flight 182, bound for London after picking up passengers in Toronto and Montreal, disappeared from radar off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985. A bomb planted on the plane in Canada in an act of terror exploded on board, killing all 329 people on board, including 280 Canadians.

“The Air India bombing remains the single worst terrorist attack in Canada’s history. This horrific act of malice and destruction left families and friends grieving the loss of loved ones, and brought pain that will never completely go away,” the prime minister said.

“In times of tragedy and testing, Canadians have shown that the values which bring us together inclusion, compassion, justice, and equality are much stronger than the forces that try, and fail, to wedge us apart,” Trudeau said.

“Terrorists believe, through cowardly and violent acts, that they can make us question not only our safety, but the democratic institutions that keep us safe. They are wrong. Canadians are for facts and diversity, not fear and division. Our society thrives on inclusivity, and these acts only strengthen our resolve for unity,” Trudeau said.

He said, “Canada condemns all forms of terrorism. We stand in solidarity with our allies, and the international community, in the ongoing fight to prevent radicalization and fight terrorism at home and abroad”.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I extend my condolences to everyone everywhere who has lost loved ones to terrorism. We also thank and honour those who work each day to keep our citizens, communities, and country safe,” he said, referring to serval terror attacks across the world.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said that only one person has been brought to justice and there are those who still walk free.

“The investigation will not be completed until those have been brought to justice,” Sajjad said.

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge and a public inquiry later found that the bombings were carried out by the Babbar Khalsa, headed by former Burnaby mill worker Talwinder Singh Parmar.

In British Columbia, Premier John Horgan paid tributes to the Kanishka victims as flags at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria flew at half-mast.

“Canadians will never forget this act of terror that took the lives of 329 people, including 280 Canadians. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims,” Horgan said.

“Perpetrators of terrorism seek to shatter our sense of safety and peace. Their violent acts try to turn communities against one another. They seek to divide us against ourselves.

We must never allow anger, fear and hatred to take root in our hearts. We will not let these senseless acts of terror change who we are,” the Premier added.

International News

The Airline Special: Boeing 737 Dilemma Explained

Ali Azar

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These are troubling times for the world’s best selling commercial aircraft – the Boeing 737 series. With two crashes claiming close to 350 lives in the span of little over four months, the Boeing 737’s credibility and its previously sound safety record is under the microscope.

The first crash was on October 29th 2018, when Indonesian discount carrier Lion Air crashed 13 minutes after take-off from Jakarta, killing all 189 on board.

The second was a Nairobi bound Ethiopian Airlines flight that took off from Addis Ababa and crashed 6 minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board, including four Indians.

As a reaction to Sunday’s accident, precautionary measures were taken by few countries such as China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Singapore, Mexico and Argentina, which grounded all Boeing aircrafts operating in their respective countries. The United States and India however, were among those that are taking stock of the situation and assessing design and safety flaws before taking a final call on grounding the aircrafts. One possible reason for India’s forbearance may be the fact that a combination of high fuel prices, problems with Jet Airways and run way work at Mumbai airport, combined with the grounding of these aircrafts may be too much for the aviation industry to handle all at once.

Boeing’s 737 Max model has 4 variants and is the fastest selling airplane in the company’s history, accumulating nearly 4,700 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide. They witnessed a robust demand globally as the manufacturer claimed they would bring down fuel costs of airlines by 15%, increase its range by 19% and reduce its engineering and maintenance costs by another 10 – 15%.

As the 737 Max model (which is the model involved in both recent air crashes) generates almost one third of the company’s operating profit, it is a big reputational blow to Boeing, which delivered more than 250 Max planes last year and is ramping up production to fulfill 5,000 orders. The plane is sold out until 2023. Following the crash, shares of Boeing sank 8.8% to $ 385.50 in early US trading, but managed to recover. Its closest rival, Europe’s Airbus A320 is ahead in the race at present and will be watching these developments very closely.

India’s two biggest airlines, Spice Jet and Jet Airways have so far taken delivery of a total of 18 Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes; with 13 of those forming part of Spice Jet’s fleet, and the remaining 5 are part of Jet Airway’s line up; however, all 5 of Jet’s aircraft’s have been grounded by lessors for non-payment of dues.

What is interesting to note is that Jet Airways, over the last three to four years have placed a cumulative order of 225 additional Boeing 737 Max airplanes yet to be delivered. Spice Jet on the other hand has a outstanding order of 155 airplanes with Boeing for its 737 Max 8 model.

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Amazon gets its first Indian board member

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Indra Nooyi

Former PepsiCo CEO – Indra Nooyi has been appointed as a director on the board of tech giant Amazon.com, as per an announcement made by Amazon on Monday. Nooyi is the second woman to be inducted into the e-commerce giant’s board this month after the company named Starbucks Corporation’s Rosalind Brewer as a director earlier this month to serve on the board.

Amazon in September 2018 became the second company after Apple Incorporated to hit the 1 trillion $ market cap milestone. However, since then its value has depleted and it has not managed to hang on to that mark.

Amazon’s 11 member board of directors now has 5 women including Indra Nooyi, Rosalind Brewer, Jamie Gorelick, Judith McGrath and Patricia Stonesifer. The company last year announced, as part of its new policy to increase diversity on its board, that more women and others from diverse backgrounds would be part of its board nominees.

Indian born Indra Nooyi stepped down as the CEO of PepsiCo in October of 2018 and as the chairman of the world’s second largest beverage and snack maker by revenue, earlier this year. She has had an illustrious and decorated career in India as well as corporate America, working for companies such as Boston Consulting Group, Johnson and Johnson, Motorola and of course a 12 year stint with PepsiCo. This is the very same Indra Nooyi whom President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump considers “a mentor and an inspiration”.

Indra Nooyi will be part of the Audit Committee of the Amazon board and has been granted 549 shares as part of the stock option program which will vest in three equal annual instalments. The company’s shares closed at 1,633 $ per share on Monday valuing her newly minted 549 shares at little under 6.50 crore ₹.

 

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Trump gives China a breather

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In what could be termed as a temporary relief to China and other countries affected by the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, US President Donald Trump on Sunday announced an extension of the March 1st deadline for increasing import tariffs on more than 200 billion $ worth of Chinese goods.

Trump via a tweet stated “The US has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency and many other issues, and as a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the US increase in tariffs that are scheduled for March 1st”.

Trump praised Chinese Premier Xi JinPing for his help in talks with North Korea and said that if both, US and China, make additional progress in trade negotiations, he would host his Chinese counterpart at his resort in Florida to finally conclude an agreement and put an end to the trade war.

As a result of this optimism, US stock futures climbed, Chinese shares surged in early morning trade and the Yuan strengthened. This decision is also expected to soothe investor concerns around the world and comes at a good time, as concerns about global growth slowing were beginning to emerge.

However, cause for concern still remains, as this was just pause in rate hikes and no final agreement has been inked. As one Chinese official rightly put it “The trade war is still on, but just not getting worse”.

 

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