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Trump administration refuses to hand over documents to House oversight investigation

20 March[ —]

Trump administration refuses to hand over documents to House oversight investigationThe Trump administration is committing "an unprecedented level of stonewalling, delay and obstruction" in response to congressional requests for documents and witnesses, the chair of the House oversight committee has said. Elijah Cummings, Democratic congressman for Maryland, said he had sent 12 letters to the White House on a range of topics from the "routine" to "relating to our core national security interests". In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Mr Cummings said the subjects included White House security clearances, Donald Trump's alleged hush money payments, and the use of taxpayer funds for lavish private planes.



Danish MP told her baby not welcome in parliament

20 March[ —]

Danish MP told her baby not welcome in parliamentA Danish MP said on Tuesday she was ordered to remove her infant daughter from parliament's chamber, sparking surprise in a country often hailed as a pioneer in women's rights. "You are not welcome with your baby in the parliament's chamber," speaker Pia Kjaersgaard, an outspoken former leader of the far-right Danish People's Party, allegedly told MP Mette Abildgaard. "I didn't ask for permission to bring her since I had previously seen another colleague bring a child into the chamber without any problems," Ms Abildgaard, whose Conservative party is part of the ruling centre-right coalition, wrote on Facebook. Ms Abildgaard, who is in her 30s, said she found herself in an exceptional situation with her five-month-old daughter, and had never brought her into the chamber before. But she said the infant was "in a good mood and had a pacifier in her mouth." Mette Abildgaard responded to the incident on Facebook Ms Kjaersgaard passed the message to an assistant, who then asked Ms Abildgaard to remove the baby from the room. Ms Abildgaard handed the child to an assistant and returned to the chamber to vote. "MPs should be in the chamber, not babies or children," insisted Ms Kjaersgaard when questioned by news agency Ritzau. She said clear rules would be issued on the subject. The Scandinavian country is often held up as a champion of gender equality and women's rights, and as a child and family-centred nation with generous parental leave. Ms Abildgaard noted that she was entitled to a year's maternity leave with full pay, but that she had chosen to return to work. Her Facebook post garnered more than 600 comments within the space of a few hours. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds her baby after speaking at the UN General Assembly Credit: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri "A chamber that represents mothers, fathers and babies ought to be open to mothers, fathers and babies," one person wrote. In 2016, an Icelandic lawmaker made headlines after breastfeeding her infant while speaking at the podium in parliament. And in September, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became a symbol for working mothers when she brought her baby to the UN General Assembly in New York.



'Generation Nazarbayev' jokes, hopes after Kazakh leader resigns

20 March[ —]

'Generation Nazarbayev' jokes, hopes after Kazakh leader resignsPeople under 30 in Kazakhstan have only known one leader -- Nursultan Nazarbayev, who announced his resignation this week after shepherding the country from the Soviet era. "The word 'Nazarbayev' means something like the word 'parent'," said 18-year-old film student Madi Makanov, who lives in the country's largest city Almaty. Kazakhstan has a young population, with around 40 percent of people under 24, according to estimates based on UN figures.



Christchurch Muslims protected as they pray following mass haka

20 March[ —]

Christchurch Muslims protected as they pray following mass hakaMuslims praying in front of the one of the Christchurch mosques attacked by a white supremacist were protected on Wednesday evening by locals, moments after hundreds performed a mass haka. As men, women and children prayed and prostrated, dozens of locals silently stood behind them, their arms interlinked. Moments earlier a crowd of hundreds thumped their chests, stomped their feet and stuck out their tongues for a haka dance, their Maori cries echoing across the park towards the bloodstained mosque.



Pilot who hitched a ride in cockpit saved doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 Max day before it crashed

20 March[ —]

Pilot who hitched a ride in cockpit saved doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 Max day before it crashedAs the Lion Air crew fought to control their diving Boeing 737 Max 8, they got help from an unexpected source: an off-duty pilot who happened to be riding in the cockpit. That extra pilot, who was seated in the cockpit jumpseat, correctly diagnosed the problem and told the crew how to disable a malfunctioning flight-control system and save the plane, two people familiar with Indonesia’s investigation told Bloomberg. The next day, under command of a different crew facing what investigators said was an identical malfunction, the jetliner crashed into the Java Sea killing all 189 aboard. The previously undisclosed detail on the earlier Lion Air flight represents a new clue in the mystery of how some 737 Max pilots faced with the malfunction have been able to avert disaster while the others lost control of their planes and crashed. The presence of a third pilot in the cockpit wasn’t contained in Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee’s November 28 report on the crash and hasn’t previously been reported. Airlines with Boeing 737 Max 8s in their fleet The so-called dead-head pilot on the earlier flight from Bali to Jakarta told the crew to cut power to the motor driving the nose down, according to the people familiar, part of a checklist that all pilots are required to memorise. “All the data and information that we have on the flight and the aircraft have been submitted to the Indonesian NTSC. We can’t provide additional comment at this stage due the ongoing investigation on the accident,” Lion Air spokesman Danang Prihantoro said. The Indonesia safety committee report said the plane had had multiple failures on previous flights and hadn’t been properly repaired. Representatives for Boeing and the Indonesian safety committee declined to comment on the earlier flight. The safety system, designed to keep planes from climbing too steeply and stalling, has come under scrutiny by investigators of the crash as well as a subsequent one less than five months later in Ethiopia. A malfunctioning sensor is believed to have tricked the Lion Air plane’s computers into thinking it needed to automatically bring the nose down to avoid a stall. Jakarta plane crash: Flight Lion Air JT610 Boeing’s 737 Max was grounded on March 13 by US regulatorsafter similarities to the Oct. 29 Lion Air crash emerged in the investigation of the March 10 crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. In the wake of the two accidents, questions have emerged about how Boeing’s design of the new 737 model were approved. The Transportation Department’s inspector general is conducting a review of how the plane was certified to fly and a grand jury under the US Justice Department is also seeking records in a possible criminal probe of the plane’s certification. The FAA last week said it planned to mandate changes in the system to make it less likely to activate when there is no emergency. The agency and Boeing said they are also going to require additional training and references to it in flight manuals. “We will fully cooperate in the review in the Department of Transportation’s audit,” Boeing spokesman Charles Bickers said. The company has declined to comment on the criminal probe. After the Lion Air crash, two US pilots’ unions said the potential risks of the system, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, hadn’t been sufficiently spelled out in their manuals or training. None of the documentation for the Max aircraft included an explanation, the union leaders said. “We don’t like that we weren’t notified,’’ Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said in November. “It makes us question, ‘Is that everything, guys?’ I would hope there are no more surprises out there.’’ The Allied Pilots Association union at American Airlines Group Inc. also said details about the system weren’t included in the documentation about the plane. Following the Lion Air crash, the FAA required Boeing to notify airlines about the system and Boeing sent a bulletin to all customers flying the Max reminding them how to disable it in an emergency. Authorities have released few details about Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 other than it flew a “very similar” track as the Lion Air planes and then dove sharply into the ground. There have been no reports of maintenance issues with the Ethiopian Airlines plane before its crash. If the same issue is also found to have helped bring down Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, one of the most vexing questions crash investigators and aviation safety consultants are asking is why the pilots on that flight didn’t perform the checklist that disables the system. “After this horrific Lion Air accident, you’d think that everyone flying this airplane would know that’s how you turn this off,” said Steve Wallace, the former director of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s accident investigation branch. The combination of factors required to bring down a plane in these circumstances suggests other issues may also have occurred in the Ethiopia crash, said Jeffrey Guzzetti, who also directed accident investigations at FAA and is now a consultant. “It’s simply implausible that this MCAS deficiency by itself can down a modern jetliner with a trained crew,” Guzzetti said. MCAS is driven by a single sensor near the nose that measures the so-called angle of attack, or whether air is flowing parallel to the length of the fuselage or at an angle. On the Lion Air flights, the angle-of-attack sensor had failed and was sending erroneous readings indicating the plane’s nose was pointed dangerously upward. Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.



Novartis Probe Finds No Trace of Payoffs to Greek Officials

20 March[ —]

Novartis Probe Finds No Trace of Payoffs to Greek OfficialsGreece is investigating reports of payoffs by Novartis in a high-profile case that implicates two of the country’s former prime ministers and a European Union commissioner. Novartis didn’t receive preferential pricing from the Greek state and to date has been unable to identify any “inappropriate payments” to government officials, a local spokesperson said in an email.



`Concerning` Photo of Student with Gun Outside High School Prompts Investigation

20 March[ —]

`Concerning` Photo of Student with Gun Outside High School Prompts InvestigationAn image of a Glen Allen High School student holding what appeared to be a gun outside the school has alarmed parents and students.



Beto O'Rourke campaign: Bernie Sanders' supporters fuel misinformation about Texas Democrat's record-breaking fundraising haul

19 March[ —]

Beto O'Rourke campaign: Bernie Sanders' supporters fuel misinformation about Texas Democrat's record-breaking fundraising haulBeto O’Rourke's record-breaking fundraising haul has appeared to upset supporters of Bernie Sanders, who began spreading misinformation about how the Texas Democrat’s campaign managed to top that of the Vermont senator’s in its first 24 hours. A tweet claiming the former congressman’s 2020 campaign was part of a supposed financial kickback with the Texas Democratic Party went viral after Mr O'Rourke released his fundraising figures from his first day on the campaign trail earlier this week.



Trump gets Supreme Court victory as judges allow immigrant detention ‘indefinitely without bail’

19 March[ —]

Trump gets Supreme Court victory as judges allow immigrant detention ‘indefinitely without bail’The Supreme Court has given Donald Trump an important victory by endorsing the US government’s authority to detain immigrants waiting to be deported at any time, even years after they have completed prison terms for criminal convictions. The 5-4 ruling saw the court’s conservative justices overcoming liberal dissent, and essentially allowing US immigration enforcement to detain such immigrants indefinitely and at any time. In writing the majority ruling, justice Samuel Alito left open the possibility individual immigrants could challenge the law on constitutional grounds should they be detained long after serving their criminal sentence.



New British Airways business class seat features door and lie-flat beds

19 March[ —]

New British Airways business class seat features door and lie-flat bedsBritish Airways has pulled back the curtain on its new business class seat which features a sliding door for privacy, flat-bed seats, vanity and increased storage space. 



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