|Sunday, August 27, 2000,
experts to decode black box
Pak parties for new alliance
Megawati swears in 26-member
Clinton’s post-Presidential life
Salat Hassan elected Somalia’s President
Probe into N-sub tragedy begins
running low on supplies
Secret agent 007 turns
2 Philippine rebels freed
US experts to decode black
MANAMA, Aug 26 (Reuters) The flight recorders from the Gulf Air airbus A320 that crashed off Bahrain will be flown to the United States of America today in the hope that light can be shed on the mysterious disaster.
Gulf Airs chief pilot for the A320 fleet, Hamad Ali, told media on Friday that the 38-year-old pilot had aborted one landing and gone around for a second attempt, but reported no technical problems and given no indication of concern.
The black boxes recovered from the wreckage of Wednesdays Gulf Air flight GF072 from Cairo will be handed to experts from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and taken to the USA for analysis accompanied by representatives of Bahrain Civil Aviation, Airbus, Gulf Air and Frances Bureau of Air Accident Investigation.
Experts from Oman and Airbus Industrie, maker of the twin-jet A320, are already in Bahrain to help determine the cause of the crash, in which all 143 persons on board died.
The crash is the sixth and most deadly involving an airbus A320 since the sophisticated plane entered service in 1988.
Ali said the pilot had been cleared to land when he requested a go-around for unknown reasons.
He did the go-around as requested and approximately one nautical mile from touchdown the plane disappeared from the radar. The whole communication with the control tower was normal, including the pilots tone of voice, Ali said.
Gulf Air said it had no evidence that an engine had caught fire, as reported by witnesses in Bahrain and initially by Bahrain television.
Ibrahim Abdullah al-Hammar, Bahrains Transport Ministry Under Secretary for Civil Aviation, said there was no evidence of an explosion.
No burns were found on the bodies. The planes wreckage was found over a 2-km area and this is proof that there was no explosion, Hammar said. Asked by reporters if he ruled out sabotage, he said: The investigation will cover all possibilities, including that.
As rescue teams continued to pull pieces of the plane, luggage and clothing from the shallow water, relatives began claiming the victims bodies to take them home for burial.
Hammar said 130 bodies had been handed over to the families. He said the bodies of the 63 Egyptians killed in the crash would be flown home on a special Gulf Air flight today.
Psychologists and trauma doctors comforting grief-stricken families who identified their loved ones from photographs at a Manama hotel said relatives were deep in shock.
Many of the families huddled in the foyer of the hotel dressed in black mourning clothes while others were wrapped in blankets. Some sought solace in each others arms and many cried silently.
Egyptian Kamal Boutrous Gaad lost his 33-year-old cousin. He was flying to Bahrain to take up a job. It was the first time he had ever left Egypt, he said, choking back tears.
Gulf Air said it was planning to pay families $ 25,000 immediately as part of the compensation for each adult victim.
Pak parties for new alliance
ISLAMABAD, Aug 26 (PTI) A new alliance of parties outside the PML, the PPP, and the PAI is in the offing in Pakistan, with Imran Khans Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Tahirul Qadris Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) as the key players, media reports said.
The move follows the expulsion of the PTI, the PAT and the Pakistan Awami Ittehad (PAI) from the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). Farooq Legharis Millat Party, which was not included in the GDA or the PAI may also join hands with the PTI and the PAT in the new alliance, English daily The News reported yesterday.
Mr Leghari was not invited by Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan to attend his recent All-Parties Conference (APC) mainly because of the Pakistan Peoples Partys (PPP) stiff opposition to having any truck with the former President of Pakistan, the report said.
The Jamaat-e-Islami, despite its preference for solo fight, may also join the new political grouping.
Some other parties like Maulana Samiul Haqs Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam will be readily available to form the new alliance, which is expected to consist primarily of paper parties except the Jamaat.
Some recent moves of Pakistan Muslim League (PML) chief Nawaz Sharif led to the expulsion of the PTI and the PAT from the alliance, and widened differences in the Punjab chapter of the PML.
Another reason behind the two parties ouster from the alliance is their support to the military government at a time when the alliance started opposing it with the cooperation of all mainstream parties.
Qadri had created embarrassment for Nawabzada in the last moments of the APC early this month. And despite the fact that one of his nominees attended the conference on his behalf, Imran had later condemned its deliberations and dubbed these as a conspiracy against the accountability process.
Subsequently, Qadri and Imran persisted with their scathing attack on the alliance. Neither Nawabzada nor the PPP swallowed it, and the latter wanted to get the PTI and the PAT out of the grouping to stamp out elements creating dissension and rift in the alliance.
Despite becoming PAIs maiden Chairman, Qadri had always been critical of its policies, particularly locking horns with the PPP.
He had almost abandoned the PAI when he was replaced by Nawabzada as its chairman more than a year ago. As part of the GDA, Imran Khan had been pursuing independent politics.
However, Qadri and Imran became jittery when the alliance started having a soft corner for Nawaz Sharif before and after his nominees participation in the conference at Nawabzadas invitation. The finale of their aggressive attitude towards the GDA was their boycott of the Wednesday meeting of the alliance.
Megawati swears in 26-member Cabinet
JAKARTA, Aug 26 (AP) In a sign of new unity, Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri today swore in a new 26-member Cabinet, which President Abdurahman Wahid hopes will lift his sagging political fortunes.
Megawati officiated at the installation ceremony at Jakartas ornate state palace at the request of the Head of State, who also attended but was unable to read the oath of office because he is almost blind.
Her participation was symbolically significant after days of feuding between the two over the composition of the new ministerial lineup.
It was also her first official duty since Wahid bowed to pressure from critics and beefed up her role in policy-making and the day-to-day business of the Cabinet.
A presidential decree defining her new responsibilities was read out at the start of today ceremony, which was nationally televised.
Clintons post-Presidential life
WASHINGTON, Aug 26 (Reuters) Oh, the hassles of modern life that President Bill Clinton will need to know about when he leaves the White House: Stopping at red lights, flying commercial, ordering fast food.
Since he is in his last several months in office, the White House staff chose yesterday to honour Clintons 54th birthday with a belated party reminding him of what lies ahead when he no longer rides in a police-guarded motorcade, flies aboard Air Force one or eats at the White House mess room.
The merriment took place on the White House south lawn outside the Oval Office with Jimmy Buffett providing musical entertainment, including his signature song, Margaritaville.
White House Chief of Staff John Podesta told Clinton that since he could think of nothing else to give the President he decided to give him the gift of knowledge.
With charts and a pointer, he explained to the President about red lights.
Red means stop, yellow means slow down, green means go except when driving in New York, yellow actually means hit the gas, Podesta told the amused President.
Since Clinton as former-President will no longer have the daily newspapers clipped with major articles highlighted for him, Podesta plunked down a thick stack of newspapers for Clinton to get the idea of civilian news reading.
Then there was the chart of the Chinese takeout menu explaining to Clinton how to order, and another chart of McDonalds nutrition guidelines.
Podesta dutifully pointed out that a nine-piece order of chicken McNuggets and a large order of fries has twice the fat content as two big Macs.
The last was a picture of an airline boarding pass. You actually need one of these to get on the airplane, Podesta told him.
And the Chief of Staff pointed to the time listed and told the chronically tardy President: You see this time? You actually need to be there by this time.
Clinton actually turned 54 on August 19. The party was closed to the press, but Clinton aides provided details.
Salat Hassan elected Somalias President
ARTA (Djibouti), Aug 26 (AFP) Somalias transitional Parliament today elected Abdulkassim Salat Hassan as the new President, but he faces a tough task ending anarchy in a country that has been lawless since 1991.
Somalia has lacked a central government since the 1991 overthrow of President Mohamed Siad Barre, under whom Salat Hassan served as Interior Minister. Since then, the nation has been ruled by rival warlords.
Salat Hassan (58), from the Hawiye clan, faces the tough task of ending the anarchy that has reigned in Somalia since 1991. Most of the warlords did not take part in the reconciliation conference here.
Only a Hawiye, one of the four main clans, or bloodlines in Somalia, is thought to have the influence to restore security in Mogadishu.
Probe into N-sub tragedy begins
MOSCOW, Aug 26 (AFP) A Russian military court has formally opened a criminal investigation into the Kursk disaster, Interfax agency quoted the police as saying today.
The investigation was opened on Wednesday under Article 263 of the Russian criminal code.
The code covers any violation of the rules of safety in driving and use of a rail, air or naval vehicle, that has led to the death through negligence of more than two persons.
The choice of this article in the Russian criminal code seemed to confirm that investigators favoured the theory that the Kursk collided with another floating object, the agency said.
Legal sources quoted in todays edition of the daily paper, Kommersant, nevertheless said the framing of the investigation did not mean that other theories as to what had happened had been categorically ruled out.
The military court was considering every possibility, from a meteor shower to an act of terrorism, the paper said.
The paper also said that the investigation might also call into question the conduct of the submarines captain and crew, since no vessel has been identified as being in the area at the time of the disaster.
Suu Kyi running low on supplies
YANGON, Aug 26 (AFP) Myanmars junta is preventing food and water from reaching opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as her showdown with the authorities outside Yangon enters the third day, her party said today.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) said Suu Kyi and her entourage were fast running out of supplies and they appealed for help from the local people in the township where the group was halted on Thursday.
We demand that the blockade be immediately removed and the NLD leaders be allowed to proceed to their desired destination, the NLDs central executive committee said in a letter of complaint sent to the regime.
If the health of those being blocked be impaired by lack of food and water... This is the entire responsibility of those who have stopped them.
Suu Kyi sparked the stand-off on Thursday when she travelled outside Yangon in defiance of a ban which confines her to the capital.
It was her first attempt to travel outside Yangon since a dramatic 13-day confrontation on a bridge north-west of the capital in August 1998 which ended amid fears for her health.
The Myanmar government said the Nobel laureate was travelling without proper security precautions and had been stopped for her own safety.
Every effort was being made to ensure the comfort and safety of the party, it said in a statement.
In case of emergency the government has provided Daw Suu Kyi with an ambulance from Yangon with one physician and six medical attendants remaining nearly round-the-clock to ensure maximum comfort and welfare.
BANGKOK (AP): Amnesty International has urged Myanmars military government to allow pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to travel unhindered, saying her detention outside the capital is part of general harassment by the authorities.
In a statement late
Friday, the London-based human rights group said the
three-day-old standoff between Suu Kyi and the government
was another example of the militarys attempts to
stamp out all peaceful opposition activities
Secret agent 007 turns 70
LONDON, Aug 26 (Reuters) Sean Connery, the gravelly voiced Scottish actor who shot to stardom as the British secret agent 007 in the James Bond films, turned 70 yesterday.
Tall, handsome and possessing a famously gruff personality, Connery has, often, been described as Scotlands favourite national and the worlds sexiest man.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in July, two years after he was reportedly denied a knighthood because of his Scottish nationalism.
Connery is a high-profile supporter of the Scottish National Party now the official opposition in the home-rule Scottish Parliament and a vocal campaigner for an independent Scotland.
But for millions of film fans, he will always be remembered as James Bond, the character he immortalised in the first Bond film Dr No in 1962.
Connery, who grew up in the slums of Edinburgh and once worked as a coffin polisher, played the character created by novelist Ian Fleming in seven Bond films, including From Russia With Love, Goldfinger (both made in 1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967).
The lavishly-produced movies, packed with hi-tech gadgetry and spectacular effects, broke box office records and grossed hundreds of millions of dollars in more than 50 countries.
The success made Connery Britains most popular film actor for four consecutive years in the mid-60s and he was the number one box- office attraction in American cinemas in 1966.
But he was a very different type from the suave, sophisticated Bond with his impeccable social background and a connoisseurs taste in wine and women.
Born Thomas Connery on August 25, 1930, he was brought up in near poverty. He never attempted to disguise his raw Scottish accent and preferred beer to Bonds vodka martini cocktails that are shaken, not stirred.
At the age of 17, two years after the end of World War II, he was drafted into the Royal Navy and served three years as an ordinary seaman. A chance meeting with a friend resulted in him joining the chorus of the American stage musical South Pacific after 48 hours of dancing and singing lessons.
I grew up with no notion of a career, much less acting, he once said. I certainly never plotted it out. It was all happenstance, really.
Donald Ducks creator dead
LOS ANGELES, Aug 26 (Reuters) Cartoonist Carl Barks, who drew Donald Duck comic books for three decades, turning the quacking, cranky waterfowl into an unlikely, universally loved everyman, yesterday died at the age of 99 at his home in southern Oregon, the Walt Disney Co Said.
Associates of Barks in Grants Pass, Oregon, where he lived for many years and maintained a studio, said he died of leukaemia.
As an artist, Barks was
an expert at creating poultry in motion and
invented the character Scrooge McDuck, who
went from the pages of the Walt Disney comics stories to
becoming a full-fledged film cartoon character on his own
the worlds funniest miser.
2 Philippine rebels freed
ZAMBOANGA, Aug 26 (AP) officials satisfied a Muslim rebel demand today by freeing two guerrillas who had been arrested with bags of $ 100 bills thought to be part of a huge ransom payment, clearing the way for the release of a group of foreign hostages.
Abu Sayyaf rebel commander Ghalib Robot Andang had demanded that the two men be freed before proceeding with the planned release of six of the 12 foreign hostages still being held by the rebels in a jungle on remote Jolo Island.
Andang had earlier agreed to free the remaining female hostages three French and a South African plus German and Finnish men this weekend after Libya said it would pay $ 1 million for each, negotiators said.
The two arrested men were detained on Thursday while trying to convert $ 240,000 into Philippine pesos at a Zamboanga bank. They were freed today on 1,20,000 pesos ($ 2,700) bail each, court officials said. The court also retained the $ 240,000.
The men admitted after being arrested that they had received the money from the Abu Sayyaf, the police said.
The military says the rebels have been paid more than $ 5.5 million for the earlier releases of nine Malaysians and a German.
The Abu Sayyaf
separatist guerrillas are holding three French, two
Germans, two Finns and two South Africans kidnapped on
April 23 from Malaysias Sipadan diving resort, and
three French television journalists held last month when
they visited the rebels hideout. They also hold 12
Filipino Christian evangelists who came to their camp to
pray for the hostages.
baby keeps his mother alive
Pole, with fridge on back
releases US-based poet
50 lives in Brazil
on Jupiters moon
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