Kamis, 21 Maret 2019

The Week MHI dailybriefing ;

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10 things you need to know today

1. Ethiopian authorities cite ‘clear similarities’ in 2 crashes
The digital flight data recorder, seen here, arrived in Paris on Thursday.
Preliminary data from the flight recorders of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 plane that crashed a week ago, killing 157 people, show “clear similarities” to the deadly crash of a Lion Air 737 Max 8 in October, Ethiopia’s transport minister, Dagmawit Moges, said Sunday. Moges did not discuss the similarities. Both planes were new, and crashed shortly after takeoff. Both aircraft flew with erratic altitude changes that could have indicated pilots struggling to control the jets. Thousands of people marched through the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday with empty caskets. Authorities have said recovering and identifying the bodies could take months.
On Sunday, after Moges’ remarks, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued a statement saying the company “continues to support the investigation, and is working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available.”
Muilenburg added the company is “finalizing its development of a previously announced software update that will address the MCAS flight control law’s behavior in response to erroneous sensor inputs.”
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam has previously said the pilot of Flight 302 had “flight control problems” shortly before the plane crashed.
“He was having difficulties with the flight control of the airplane, so he asked to return back to base,” GebreMariam said. The pilot was granted permission at the same time the flight disappeared from radar.
2. New Zealand leader promises gun reform after mosque massacres
New Zealand PM: Our gun laws will change
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday that she planned to announce gun reforms in response to the Friday mass shootings that killed 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch. “Within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer,” Ardern said after her cabinet reached agreement “in principle” on the proposals. “Our gun laws will change,” Ardern said. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist accused in the attacks, was charged with murder on Saturday. Ardern said he had a gun license and used five guns, including two semi-automatic weapons purchased legally but modified. New Zealand has relaxed gun laws but regulates military-style semi-automatic weapons.
Despite those laws, New Zealand’s weapons legislation is considered more relaxed than most Western countries outside of the USA. Gun owners do need a license but they aren’t required to register their guns — unlike in neighboring Australia.
While authorities do not know exactly how many legally or illegally owned firearms are currently in circulation in New Zealand, estimates put the number at about 1.2 million, according to New Zealand Police. This figure equates to about one gun for every three people — a rate that is considered high when compared with Australia, which has 3.15 million guns, approximately one for every eight people.That said, gun-inflicted fatalities remain relatively low in New Zealand. According to figures compiled by the University of Sydney, New Zealand had 0.17 gun-related homicides per 100,000 people in 2015. This is in contrast to the United States, which had 11 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, according to a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Potential gun owners in New Zealand must be over the age of 16 and pass a police background check, according to and its founder Professor Philip Alpers.
According to Alpers, New Zealand firearm legislation has remained substantially unaltered since 1992. Five years later retired High Court judge Thomas Thorp’s year-long Review of Firearms Control in New Zealand (1997) recommended major changes, among them that all firearms be individually registered; that restricted weapons like privately held machine guns be permanently disabled; and for a buy-back of military-style semi-automatic weapons.
Alpers, who is based at the University of Sydney but originally from New Zealand, told CNN: “Not one of these measures has been addressed by legislation. Government has since considered a range of similar recommendations, but special interest groups prevent meaningful change.”
In 79 countries surveyed by the United Nations, firearm registration is the accepted norm and a cornerstone of gun control, according to Among developed nations, New Zealand’s decision not to register 96% of civilian firearms makes it a stand-out exception, alone with the United States and Canada, Alpers said. [Reuters, CNN]
3. People flock to New Zealand memorials to honor mosque massacre victims
Thousands of mourners turned out Sunday to pay tribute at makeshift memorials to the 50 people killed by a gunman who attacked two Christchurch, New Zealand, mosques. People from across the country showed up to leave notes, candles, and balloons outside the Al Noor Mosque and Christchurch’s botanic gardens. Relatives continued to wait for authorities to release the victims’ bodies two days after the Friday mass shootings. Islamic law calls for cleansing and burying the dead as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours. Authorities said they were conscious of the cultural and religious needs, and were working as fast as possible to verify identities and causes of death so they can release the bodies.
Hundreds of flowers were piled up amid candles, balloons and notes of grief and love outside the Al Noor mosque and the city’s botanic gardens. As a light rain fell, people clutched each other and wept quietly.
“We wish we knew your name to write upon your heart. We wish we knew your favorite song, what makes you smile, what makes you cry,” read one of the tributes, which contained cut-out paper hearts under a nearby tree. “We made a heart for you. 50 hearts for 50 lives.”
Two days after Friday’s attack, New Zealand’s deadliest shooting in modern history, relatives were still waiting for authorities to release the bodies. Islamic law calls for bodies to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible after death, usually within 24 hours.
Supporters arrived from across the country to help with the burials in Christchurch. Authorities sent in backhoes to dig graves at a site that was newly fenced off and blocked from view with white netting.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said authorities hoped to release all the bodies by Wednesday, and Police Commissioner Mike Bush said authorities were working with pathologists and coroners to complete the task as soon as they could.
Dozens of Muslim supporters gathered at a center set up for victims, families and friends across the road from the hospital, where many had flown in from around New Zealand to offer support. About two dozen men received instructions on their duties Sunday, which included Muslim burial customs.
Abdul Hakim, 56, of Auckland, was among many who had flown in to help.
“As soon as people die, we must bury them as soon as possible,” Hakim said. “We are all here to help them in washing the body, putting them in the grave.”
Javed Dadabhai, who flew from Auckland after learning about the death of his 35-year-old cousin, Junaid Mortara, said the Muslim community was being patient.
“The family understands that it’s a crime scene. It’s going to be a criminal charge against the guy who’s done this, so they need to be pretty thorough,” he said.
Still, it was hard, he said, because the grieving process wouldn’t really begin until he could bury his cousin.
People across the country were still trying to come to terms with the massacre that Ardern described as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
At the Vatican, Pope Francis offered prayers for “our Muslim brothers” killed in the attack. At his traditional Sunday prayer, Francis renewed “an invitation to unite in prayer and gestures of peace to oppose hatred and violence.”
The gunman livestreamed 17 minutes of the rampage at the Al Noor mosque, where he sprayed worshippers with bullets. Facebook, Twitter and Google scrambled to take down the video, which was widely available on social media for hours after the bloodbath.
The second attack took place at the Linwood mosque about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away.
Ardern has said Tarrant was a licensed gun owner who legally bought the five guns he used.
At a news conference, the prime minister reiterated her promise that there will be changes to the country’s gun laws. She said her Cabinet will discuss the policy details Monday.
Arden used some of her strongest language yet about gun control, saying that laws need to change and “they will change.”
Neighboring Australia has virtually banned semi-automatic rifles from private ownership since a lone gunman killed 35 people with assault rifles in 1996.
Before Friday’s attack, New Zealand’s deadliest shooting in modern history took place in 1990 in the small town of Aramoana, where a gunman killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbor.
[The Associated Press]
4. Record flooding continues in Midwest after ‘bomb cyclone’
Heavy rain from a “bomb cyclone” caused what the National Weather Service called “major and historic flooding” in the Midwest on Sunday, as the Missouri River hit record levels in some areas between Omaha and Kansas City. At least three people were killed, and hundreds of families were forced to leave their homes. The home base of the U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees U.S. strategic nuclear forces, had to sharply curb operations. More rain is expected in some areas on Tuesday. “That could trigger new or aggravate problems if that rain targets the areas hit hardest by the flooding,” he said. The governors of Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin have declared states of emergency.Officials in Wisconsin said Monday that conditions in the state are improving and building inspectors are in the process of letting residents know if they can return home.
A storm system is expected to bring light rain this week to those areas already experiencing flooding, but will not be as severe as the storm that slammed the Midwest last week, according to forecasters. This new storm is said to bring a small amount of rain.
In Atchison County, officials urged more than a hundred people to leave their homes as water levels rose and strained levees, three of which had already been overtopped by water. Missouri State Highway Patrol crews were on standby to rescue anyone who insisted on staying.
“The next four to five days are going to be pretty rough,” said Rhonda Wiley, Atchison County’s emergency management and 911 director.
The Missouri River reached 30.2 feet in Fremont County in far southwestern Iowa on Sunday, breaking the record by 2 feet and topping levees in the towns of Bartlett and Thurman. A levee was breached on the Platte River near North Bend, northwest of Omaha, Nebraska, on Sunday afternoon; authorities urged all residents to move to higher ground immediately.
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said Sunday it was monitoring 17 flood locations across the state and expected more record crests in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Also on Sunday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said 38 counties have received a disaster proclamation and more than 110 homes were damaged by floods in the western city of Hornick. She and the governors of Nebraska and Wisconsin all declared states of emergency.
U.S. Strategic Command, or StratCom, which oversees the U.S. strategic nuclear forces from Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, said Sunday that floodwaters had overwhelmed the southeastern side of the base despite the deployment of more than 235,000 sandbags and 460 flood barriers.
Base commanders told NBC affiliate WOWT of Omaha that the flooding was affecting as much as two-thirds of the more than 16,000 active-duty and civilian personnel at the base — which, in addition to hosting StratCom, is home to the 55th Wing, the largest wing within Air Combat Command.
“We wanted to stay ready, and fortunately we were able to save all of our critical capability, and we are still in the fight,” said Col. Michael Manion, commander of the 55th Wing.
[NBC News, USA Today]
5. Gillibrand officially launches presidential campaign
Hasil gambar untuk Senator Gillibrand formally launches presidential campaign
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Sunday formally launched her 2020 presidential campaign. Gillibrand, who joins more than a dozen candidates for the Democratic nomination to challenge President Trump, said she would deliver the first major speech of her campaign in from of Trump International Hotel in New York City next week, although she already has visited several key early-primary states. “We need a leader who makes big, bold, brave choices. Someone who isn’t afraid of progress,” Gillibrand said in a video released early Sunday. “That’s why I’m running for president And it’s why I’m asking you for your support.”
Gillibrand, 52, had already been campaigning in key states that hold early primary contests. She has struggled to see her polling numbers increase in the wake of her initial announcement, a benefit some of her other opponents enjoyed after starting their campaigns. Gillibrand remains at 1 percent in most public opinion polls of the Democratic primary.
Gillibrand opted to use a video instead of a speech at a rally, the traditional method, to formally launch her campaign. She will travel on Monday to campaign in Michigan, followed by stops in key early contest states of Iowa and Nevada.
On March 24, Gillibrand will deliver a launch speech in her home state in front of Trump International Hotel in New York City, to take “her positive, brave vision of restoring America’s moral integrity straight to President Trump’s doorstep,” her campaign said.
The launch video released Sunday morning alludes to several policy debates, including immigration, gun control and climate change.
“We launched ourselves into space and landed on the moon. If we can do that, we can definitely achieve universal health care,” Gillibrand said in the video. “We can provide paid family leave for all, end gun violence, pass a Green New Deal, get money out of politics and take back our democracy.”
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Gillibrand has sought to position herself as a unifying figure who can appeal to rural voters.
Some in the Democratic party believe an establishment figure who can appeal to centrist voters is the way to victory. Others argue a fresh face, and particularly a diverse one, is needed to energize the party’s increasingly left-leaning base.
Gillibrand was a member of the centrist and fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition while in the House of Representatives. Her positions became more liberal after she was appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton in New York when Clinton became former President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.
Gillibrand then won the seat in a special election and was re-elected to six-year terms in 2012 and 2018. She has attributed the ideology shift to representing a liberal state versus a more conservative district.
As a senator, Gillibrand was outspoken about rape in the military and campus sexual assault years before the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault first arose in 2017.
In late 2017, as she pushed for a bill changing how Congress processes and settles sexual harassment allegations made by staffers, some prominent party leaders criticized her for being the first Democratic senator to urge the resignation of Senator Al Franken, who was accused of groping and kissing women without their consent.
During the same period, Gillibrand said Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, should have resigned from the White House after his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, which led to his impeachment by the House. Some criticized the senator for attacking the Clintons, who had supported her political career.
6. Report: U.S. to leave 1,000 troops in Syria
The U.S. military is putting together plans to keep 1,000 American service members in Syria, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing U.S. officials. The preparations mark a shift from President Trump’s announcement three months ago that he had ordered a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from the war-torn country. The U.S. has been trying to negotiate a safe zone in northeastern Syria, key to the withdrawal plan, through talks with Turkey, allies in Europe, and U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, refuted the Journal report, saying, “There has been no change to the plan announced in February and we continue to implement the president’s direction to draw down U.S. forces to a residual presence.”Dunford said in a statement Sunday.
The Journal reported Sunday, citing US officials, that the US planned to continue working with Kurdish fighters in Syria who face threats from Turkey. The report said the plans came as talks between the US, Turkey, European allies and the Kurds have failed to establish a safe zone in Syria.
A US official told CNN on Sunday that some planning numbers have exceeded 400 for the total number of US forces to stay in Syria, but that no final decisions had been made and various figures were potentials at this point. The plan was to have a combined force of about 1,500 troops overall to ensure the safe zone in northern Syria, and the US planning would be informed based on how many allies have pledged contributions. To date, there have been no firm pledges from allies, meaning the US level would have to go up.
The Journal report said the US is expected to withdraw hundreds of US forces after “the last bastion” of ISIS is seized.
In an unusual move, Dunford confirmed that the US and Turkey have conducted detailed military planning and agreed to an “initial concept” regarding some type of security arrangement along the Syrian-Turkish border.“We continue to conduct detailed military planning with the Turkish General Staff to address Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border. Planning to date has been productive and we have an initial concept that will be refined in the coming days. We are also conducting planning with other members of the Coalition who have indicated an intent to support the transition phase of operations into Syria,” Dunford said in the statement.
This comes after Trump’s order in December to have a “rapid” withdrawal of the US military from Syria. Shortly after Trump’s decision, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced his intention to resign, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress in late January that ISIS maintained a presence in Syria — despite Trump’s claim the militant group had already been defeated.
The White House said last month that a “small peace keeping group of about 200” would remain in Syria, but Defense Department officials have cautioned that the 200 number was too definitive for this stabilization mission. The plan was for a separate force of about 200 troops to be stationed at the Al-Tanf base in southern Syria. US military commanders were aware that while Trump has allowed some troops to stay in Syria, he has not given up on the idea of eventually pulling them all out.The commander of the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic forces told reporters last month that he wanted US forces to remain inside of Syria, asking for the US and its coalition partners to keep up to 1,500 troops there.
For the time being, the number of US forces in northern Syria near the Turkish border and in the southern part at a base in Al-Tanf have not changed substantially. Sources have told CNN the US military has continued to develop draw down options for both Syria and Afghanistan depending on what the President may order in the future.
[The Wall Street Journal, CNN]
7. Israel top court bans far-right candidate, allows Arab slate
Hasil gambar untuk Israel top court bans far-right candidate, allows Arab slate
Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday reversed an election committee decision and disqualified a far-right candidate from the April 9 national election. The court also overturned the Central Election Committee’s blocking of a joint Arab slate and a candidate from a leftist alliance from the election. Human rights groups and Arab-led parties praised the ruling, but Michael Ben Ari, leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit faction, called the decision against his candidacy anti-democratic. “There is a legal junta here who wants to take over our lives,” Ben Ari said in a statement. “This is not democracy.”
Ben Ari accused Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit of scuttling his political plans. The country’s top lawyer had written a legal opinion that Ben Ari not be allowed to run, citing an incitement of racism.
Parties and individuals can be disqualified from running for office for three reasons – rejecting Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, inciting racism, or expressing support for an enemy state or for terrorist organizations.
Ben Ari and his party, which translates to “Jewish Power,” have argued for the forcible transfer of Israel’s minority Arabs unless they swear an oath of loyalty. The faction had been given a shot at entering the Knesset thanks to a deal it reached with two other far-right parties. The agreement was encouraged by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli commentators and U.S. Jewish groups condemned the move, viewing Jewish Power as an offshoot of Kach, a group once led by an extremist rabbi, Meir Kahane. Israel outlawed Kach several decades ago, and the United States considers it a terrorist organization. The U.S.-born Kahane was assassinated in New York in 1990.
A coalition of right-wing parties, including Netanyahu’s Likud faction, had pushed to ban the joint Balad-United Arab List slate, as well as the leftist candidate Ofer Cassif. They had argued that the parties and Cassif – a politics professor and the only Jewish candidate for the Arab-majority Hadash party – had either expressed views supporting terrorism or rejected Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
But Adalah, a legal center advocating for Arab minority rights in Israel that represented the Arab parties before the court, said the election committee’s decision was purely political, “reflecting a McCarthyist persecution of those whose views are not acceptable to Israel’s political right.”
Cassif said in the wake of the court decision that justice had been served.
“There was no justification for the election committee’s ruling,” the candidate said in a statement, “it was a shameful political attempt by the Kahanists, under the auspices of Netanyahu, to reduce the democratic space and silence the voices of opposition in a discriminatory regime.”
[The Washington Post]
8. Trump slams GM, union leader for closure of Ohio plant
Trump pressures General Motors to reopen its Lordstown, Ohio plant
President Trump on Sunday harshly criticized General Motors and an Ohio union leader over an assembly plant GM closed this month. Trump said he called GM CEO Mary Barra and asked her to sell the plant or “do something quickly.” He said she “blamed” the United Auto workers for the decision to shut down the factory. “I don’t care,” Trump tweeted, “I just want it open!” Trump said “the economy is so good” there is no reason the plant can’t succeed. “Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce,” Trump tweeted. “G.M. let our Country down, but other much better car companies are coming into the U.S. in droves.” Green has written letters to Trump asking him to step in and save the plant.
Green has written two letters to Trump asking him to save the plant and its jobs, local TV stations WKBN reported in February. In a February letter shared by the news outlet, Green implored Trump to make a case for the facility. Green noted that the president had not responded to a first letter he sent in July 2018.
“While this may not seem that important to you, it will have a devastating impact on many families, business and communities, especially here in the Mahoning Valley, a place that I call home,” the union official wrote to the president in February.
Neither Green nor GM immediately responded to CNBC’s requests to comment on Trump’s tweets.
Trump won the White House partly on promises to boost manufacturing jobs and U.S. auto production. He has set out to renegotiate various free trade deals, in part to encourage automakers to produce at U.S. facilities.
While Trump has previously criticized GM, Sunday appeared to be the first time that he targeted Green, a local union official, by name.
GM has faced substantial pressure from Washington to keep the facility running. Both U.S. senators from Ohio — Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman — have pushed the company to maintain jobs at the plant. In a tweeted statement Sunday, Brown said Green and the union workers “have shown grit and determination.”
“Instead of attacking workers, it’s past time you stood up to GM and joined the fight,” he said in reference to the president.
Brown has tried to pass legislation that aims to make production in the U.S. more appealing to automakers. He urged Trump to support the legislation, called the American Cars, American Jobs Act, if he wants to boost auto workers.
The legislation would give consumers a $3,500 discount on American-made cars and revoke a provision that Brown says encourages automakers to send jobs overseas.
9. Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, and Gonzaga take NCAA tournament top seeds
The Duke Blue Devils took the top overall seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Sunday. Duke, led by freshman superstar Zion Williamson, was joined by Virginia, North Carolina, and Gonzaga as the No. 1 seeds in the four March Madness brackets. Duke stumbled at the end of the regular season, going 3-3 in six games Williamson missed after his Nike shoe blew out and he wrenched his knee. He returned for the ACC tournament, which Duke won with victories over North Carolina and a Florida State team that was fresh off a victory over Virginia. The tournament starts Tuesday with two games, with the Final Four scheduled to begin April 6. [MarketWatch]
10. Surf guitar king Dick Dale dies at 81
Dick Dale, widely known as the “King of Surf Guitar,” died over the weekend. He was 81. Dale, born Richard Monsour, grew up in Massachusetts but his music came to represent the surf culture of his adopted state, California. Dale started out playing drums, and early in his career played country music. The song “Misirlou,” which he recorded in 1962, made him part of rock history and resurfaced in Quentin Tarantino’sPulp Fiction in the 1990s. Despite recognition as an icon, Dale said he wasn’t a true master guitar player. “The guitar players are guys like Stevie Vai, Eddie Van Halen, these are guys that are really masters of their instruments,” he once said. “I’m just a master of just getting sound.” [Orange County Register]
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