Malaysia suspected MH370 downed in murder-suicide: Aussie ex-PM

first_img“I’m not going to say who said what to whom but let me reiterate, I want to be absolutely crystal clear, it was understood at the highest levels that this was almost certainly murder-suicide by the pilot – mass murder-suicide by the pilot.”Zaharie’s family and friends have long strongly rejected such claims as baseless.In 2016, Malaysian officials revealed he had plotted a path over the Indian Ocean on a home flight simulator but stressed this did not prove he deliberately crashed the plane.A final report into the tragedy released in 2018 pointed to failings by air traffic control and said the course of the plane was changed manually.But they failed to come up with any firm conclusions, leaving relatives angry and disappointed.Six passengers were Australian, including four from Queensland state, where Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week suggested authorities may pursue an inquest into their deaths.Topics : Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has claimed “very top” level Malaysian officials believed vanished Flight MH370 was deliberated downed by the captain in a mass murder-suicide.The Malaysia Airlines jet vanished on March 8, 2014 carrying 239 people – mostly from China – en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.No sign of the plane was found in a 120,000-square kilometer (46,000-square mile) Indian Ocean search zone and the Australian-led search, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January 2017. A US exploration firm launched a private hunt in 2018 but it ended after several months of scouring the seabed without success.The disappearance of the plane has long been the subject of a host of theories – ranging from the credible to outlandish – including that veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah had gone rogue.In an excerpt from a Sky News documentary airing Wednesday, Abbott claims he was told within a week of it vanishing that Malaysia believed the captain had intentionally downed the jet.”My very clear understanding from the very top levels of the Malaysian government is that from very, very early on here, they thought it was murder-suicide by the pilot,” he said.last_img read more

Dutch watchdog calls for mandatory ‘pensions MOT’

first_imgVan Vroonhoven announced that the AFM and Dutch pensions regulator DNB would investigate another 137 pension funds to check whether their communication on indexation and rights discount matched their financial set-up.As a next step, the schemes will be expected to transform participants’ overly optimistic expectations into “oversight and insight”, she said.Van Vroonhoven said a recent Leiden University survey had found that one-third of workers would receive a pension that fell short of their expected spending needs, and that only 35% were addressing the problem through additional saving.The AFM chair concluded that additional behavioural research, as well as financial education for children, would be necessary.Also at the congress, Kick van der Pol, chairman of the Dutch Pensions Federation, cited a survey by Motivaction to illustrate the dilemma pension funds are facing when designing a communication campaign.The survey suggests half of pension fund participants, including many young workers, would prefer a guaranteed pension of 50% of their last earned salary.The other half, however, including many older employees, prefer an uncertain pension of 70%.Van der Pol said the biggest challenge was explaining to participants that taking investment risk was crucial for a higher pension, but that full certainty of a higher pension did not existThe federation’s chairman announced a new information campaign targeting pensions awareness of workers between the ages of 30 and 40.“We will invite them through all social media to visit our dedicated website www.detijdvanjeleven.nl,” he said. The Dutch regulator for pensions communications (AFM) has called for a mandatory periodical check that must provide insight into workers’ expected financial position at retirement.Speaking at the Dutch Pensions Federation’s congress, AFM chair Merel van Vroonhoven said the “pensions MOT” would encourage people facing a shortfall to take additional measures.She said a recent pilot study of five industry-wide pension funds had shown how difficult it was to adjust schemes’ pensions targets to more “realistic” levels and convey this message to participants.“The participants are angry, as pension funds no longer live up to their initial promise of a guaranteed pension,” she added.last_img read more

Natural Power Supports AQUIND Interconnector Project

first_imgNatural Power has assisted AQUIND with the application for development consent for the AQUIND Interconnector. The application to the Planning Inspectorate was accepted on 12th December 2019.The AQUIND Interconnector is a new 2,000 MW subsea and underground high voltage direct current bi-directional electric power transmission link between the south coast of England and Normandy in France.Jane Lancaster, Offshore Associate Technical Director at Natural Power, said: “The acceptance of the submission of the AQUIND Interconnector is excellent news, both for AQUIND and Natural Power. It has been a challenging and rewarding project thus far and we have been instrumental in the preparation of the submission of the application to the Planning Inspectorate. The broad spectrum of work that we carried out highlights our capabilities when it comes to offshore projects. It has been a successful team effort between many organisations making up the AQUIND project team and we look forward to the next phase of development.”Natural Power was appointed by AQUIND in the early stages of the project, working with the AQUIND project team to undertake marine cable route feasibility work to optimise the marine cable route across the Channel, undertaking scoping exercises, co-ordinating the marine environmental impact assessment (EIA) process and environmental statement (ES) production, as well as attending public consultations.Natural Power also acted as advisor to the marine aspects of the project through liaison with marine stakeholders including the Marine Management Organisation as part of pre-application process.The AQUIND Interconnector will have the capacity to transmit up to 16 million MWh of electricity per annum, which equates to approximately 5% and 3% of total consumption of the UK and France respectively.Richard Glasspool, director of AQUIND, said: “Amongst other things, this project is an opportunity to integrate a greater proportion of non-fossil fuel energy sources into the British energy mix and in turn reduce CO2 emissions from the burning of such fuels. We are pleased to have reached this milestone in the planning of this development. Natural Power’s hard work and expertise in marine ecology and EIA management services was a major factor in the preparation of this submission. They were a highly experienced and professional team.”last_img read more

Boko Haram swears formal allegiance to ISIS

first_imgA message allegedly from the head of Nigeria’s Boko Haram terror group Saturday pledged his group’s allegiance to Islamic State.The pledge to IS came in an Arabic audio message with English subtitles alleged to have come from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and posted Saturday on Twitter, according to the SITE Intelligence monitoring service.“We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims … and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease, and to endure being discriminated against, and not to dispute about rule with those in power, except in case of evident infidelity regarding that which there is a proof from Allah,” said the message. IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has declared himself the caliph.The message was posted on Twitter, hours after Boko Haram was blamed for four suicide bomb attacks in northeastern Nigeria that killed at least 54 people and wounded more than 140 people.The pledge comes as the Nigerian militants reportedly are massing in a northeastern town for a showdown with a multinational force that has dislodged them from a score of towns in recent weeks.last_img read more

Beijing expands lockdowns as cases top 100 in new outbreak

first_imgResidents line up to get tested at a coronavirus testing center set up outside a sports facility in Beijing, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. The resurgence in China highlighted public health expert calls for vigilance as many nations move forward with easing virus restrictions to revive their economies. BEIJING – Chinese authorities locked down a third neighborhood in Beijing on Tuesday as they rushed to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 100 people in a country that appeared to have largely contained the virus.center_img New Zealand, which hadn’t seen a new case in three weeks, said it is investigating a case in which two women who flew in from London to see a dying parent were allowed to leave quarantine and drive halfway across the country before they were tested and found to be positive. And the Philippines reimposed a strict lockdown on the city of Cebu after a rise in cases. (AP)last_img read more

Olson scores another pole start with second win at Super Nationals

first_imgBOONE, Iowa (Sept. 4) – Matt Olson led all 25 laps of the first Hobby Stock qualifying feature Monday at Boone Speedway.Matt Olson led every lap in winning the first qualifying feature for Hobby Stocks on opening night of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photo)As a result, he’ll start on the pole for a second race on championship night Saturday at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.Olson, the pride of Franklin, Minn., ran ahead of Eric Stanton past midway, before three-time Super Nationals champion Shannon Anderson took over the runner-up spot.Anderson, from Des Moines, had made his way up from 13th starting and while he got close, he was never able to get to the front.“I was just thinking don’t miss my marks and stay calm,” Olson said during post-race tech. “Starting on the pole for both the race of champions and the feature is something I never dreamed of doing.”Lining up behind Olson and Anderson on the inside row of Saturday’s main event will be Stanton, from Carlisle, Aaron Rudolph of Grand Junction, Eric Cross of Salina, Kan., 19th starting Brandon Nielsen of Spencer, 25th starting Sal Hernandez of Columbus, Neb., and Justin Wacha of Vinton.Anderson qualified for the Saturday night show at Boone for the ninth time, Stanton for the eighth, Rudolph for the fourth, Olson, Nielsen and Hernandez each for the third and Cross for the second. Wacha is a first-time qualifier.Feature results – 1. Matt Olson, Franklin, Minn.; 2. Shannon Anderson, Des Moines; 3. Eric Stanton, Carlisle; 4. Aaron Rudolph, Grand Junction; 5. Eric Cross, Salina, Kan.; 6. Brandon Nielsen, Spencer; 7. Sal Hernandez, Columbus, Neb.; 8. Justin Wacha, Vinton; 9. Drew Barglof, Sioux Rapids; 10. Matt Brown, Dysart; 11. Jeremiah Wilson, Waterloo; 12. Dustin Gulbrandson, Sioux Falls, S.D.; 13. Corey Madden, Avoca; 14. Tory Harazin, Redwood Falls, Minn.; 15. Andrew Claus, Des Moines;16. TeJay Mielke, Norfolk, Neb.; 17. Scott Pippert, Elberon; 18. Daniel Ayers, Webster City; 19. Derek Willert, Rockford; 20. Ross Marshall, Johnston; 21. John Briggs, Cherokee; 22. Lenny Tucker, South Sioux City, Neb.; 23. Tyson Overton, Carlisle; 24. Ryan Wells, Runnells; 25. Chris Cox, Boone; 26. Tyler Jackson, Lincoln, Neb.; 27. Keeran Sampson, Worthington, Minn.; 28. David Castellano, Des Moines. Matt Olson led every lap in winning the first qualifying feature for Hobby Stocks on opening night of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photo)last_img read more

Rory McIlroy does not see an easy return for Tiger Woods

first_img Press Association Rory McIlroy believes former world number one Tiger Woods faces a “long road” to recovery after undergoing a third back operation in 19 months. Woods, who turns 40 on December 30, is on bed rest after what was described as a ” follow-up procedure” to his second microdiscectomy in the middle of September. The 14-time major winner first went under the knife on March 31, 2014, forcing him to miss the Masters for the first time in his career. No timetable has been set for his return to action but he had already been ruled out until 2016. center_img ” I think any time you touch your back, it’s tough,” McIlroy said after his third round in the Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday. “He obviously needed it. But it looks like it’s a long road to recovery for him. “I just hope he gets better – not just to play golf, but just for everyday life, being able to do everyday things. “I guess that’s his third back surgery in a year and a half. Like someone once said, the best way to avoid your fifth back surgery is to avoid the first one. “He has that mindset that he can overcome things and he’s overcome things before. So I wouldn’t put it past him. But as I said, I think it’s a long road ahead.” Woods was ranked world number one for a record 683 weeks, but is currently 351st. “He’s missed by the game of golf in general,” McIlroy added. “Not sure the players miss being beaten by him every week! “But the game of golf, we were so lucky and so privileged to have him spearheading our sport for so long and to have a global icon like that. The game of golf, I’m not saying it needs him but he definitely came along at the right time and did a lot for the game.” last_img read more

Telegraph passes findings to FA after further corruption claims

first_imgTHE Daily Telegraph has agreed to give all relevant transcripts to the Football Association (FA) following further revelations in its investigation into alleged corruption in English football that brought down England manager Sam Allardyce.Yesterday, the UK newspaper alleged eight current or former Premier League managers stand accused of receiving illegal payments or “bungs” as part of player transfers.The Telegraph, which claims to have found “widespread evidence of corruption in the English game”, obtained its information from Pino Pagliara, who was banned from football for five years for match-fixing in 2005, the Italian agent’s business partner Dax Price and two other unnamed agents during meetings with undercover reporters.According to the report two Championship managers are also said to be implicated.The latest part of the Telegraph investigation emerged less than two hours after the FA parted company with Allardyce by mutual agreement on account of the 61-year-old being filmed allegedly telling undercover reporters how they could “get around” FA transfer rules regarding third-party ownership of players.Footage also appeared to show Allardyce discuss a £400,000 fee to work for the reporters’ fictitious Far East investment group, while criticising his immediate predecessor Roy Hodgson and Gary Neville.England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate will replace the former Sunderland manager for the team’s final four matches of 2016, beginning with the October 8 World Cup qualifier against Malta at Wembley – the costly rebuilding of which Allardyce also seemingly labelled as “stupid” in the Telegraph video.FA chief executive Martin Glenn, who oversaw Allardyce’s appointment, described the episode as “really painful”, while former England captain Alan Shearer told the BBC his nation were now “a laughing stock of world football”(Sportsmax)last_img read more

Five-star Manchester City edge thriller with Monaco

first_img(REUTERS) – Manchester City came out on top in an epic Champions League battle against Monaco as late goals by John Stones and Leroy Sane secured a 5-3 victory in a last-16 first-leg thriller yesterday that had goals galore and a missed penalty.City took the lead through Raheem Sterling but were then playing catch-up as Monaco drew level, thanks to Radamel Falcao’s header and then went ahead with a powerful finish from 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe five minutes before halftime.South American poachers Sergio Aguero for City and Falcao, who also missed a penalty, then traded blows with Aguero equalising for 2-2 and then 3-3 after Falcao’s exquisite chip gave Monaco the lead for the second time at The Etihad.City, however, then pulled clear as Stones tapped in at the far post and Sane rolled the ball into an empty net to give City a two-goal advantage ahead of the return on March 15.City manager Pep Guardiola had called Monaco “killers” in the box before the game and while they showed just why they are European football’s most deadly assassins, they were embarrassingly fragile at times at the back.They were behind after 26 minutes when Sterling tapped home after Sane dazzled down the left and teed up the England winger.ROUTE BACKMonaco were handed a route back into the match after 32 minutes following an error by City’s Willy Caballero, the first of the night’s goalkeeping blunders.He gave the ball away with a poor clearance and the visitors worked it to Fabinho whose devilish cross was headed home by former Manchester United and Chelsea striker Falcao, who has found his best form again since returning to France.City were denied a penalty by Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz when Aguero appeared to be upended by keeper Danijel Subasic before Monaco grabbed the lead through Mbappe.The 18-year-old was released through the middle and lashed his finish into the top corner past Caballero.The visitors should have extended their advantage soon after the restart but Falcao’s tame penalty was saved after Nicolas Otamendi had been penalised for catching the Colombian as he tried to convert Benjamin Mendy’s cross.City swiftly made Monaco pay as Aguero ended a six-game goal-drought thanks to a Subasic howler. Sterling slid the ball through and the Argentine fired straight at the keeper but it squirmed out of his hands into the net after 58 minutes.Parity was short-lived, however, as Falcao turned City defender Stones before lifting an exquisite chip over the stranded Caballero to make it 3-2 to the principality club.Aguero levelled once more when he volleyed home from 12 metres after a corner and City took the lead when Kevin De Bruyne’s set-piece was turned in by Stones at the far post.The final twist in one of the most entertaining encounters in the competition’s recent history came when Aguero rolled the ball into the path of Sane who tapped into an empty net.last_img read more

Root returns to No.3 spot for Ashes opener

first_imgBy Martyn HermanLONDON, England (Reuters) – Skipper Joe Root looks certain to bat at number three in the first Ashes Test starting at Edgbaston tomorrow in the latest attempt to beef up England’s flimsy top order.Root, widely-regarded as England’s best batsman, has been reluctant to bat at three, probably as a result of the unreliability of a succession of opening combinations.Talking ahead of the opener yesterday, Ashes debutant Joe Denly confirmed that Root had phoned him this week and said he wanted to bat at three, dropping Denly to fourth man in.“I’m very excited,” the 33-year-old Kent batsman told Sky Sports. “I wasn’t too fussed really where I was batting; it’s just great to be in that starting eleven.“I’ve batted at four before, playing for Kent and throughout my career, so for me it was not a big issue.“I think Rooty just wants to get involved in the game and get up there and get out in the middle and hopefully make a lot of runs. I don’t think there’s more to it than that.”Denly batted at three in the one-off Test against Ireland last week, scoring 23 in the first innings in which England were dismissed for an embarrassing 85. He made 10 in the second innings after being run-out by Root.Root has batted at three in 41 of his 149 Test innings, averaging 31 compared to 46 at number four. He has also opened the batting on a few occasions.Rory Burns and one-day run machine Jason Roy are expected to open the batting against Australia’s fearsome pace attack tomorrow. They are England’s eighth different opening partnership in the past three years and the 16th since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012.last_img read more