Officials: Human error behind fatal Russian crash
MOSCOW— Human error may be to blame for the Russian plane crash that killed 71 people, Russian investigators said Tuesday, noting that the plane’s pilots failed to turn on the heating unit for its measuring equipment, resulting in flawed speed data.
After studying the An148’s flight data recorder, the Interstate Aviation Committee said that Sunday’s crash near Moscow occurred after the pilots saw conflicting data on the plane’s two air speed indicators.
The flawed readings came because the pilots failed to turn on the heating unit for the plane’s pressure measurement equipment prior to takeoff, the committee said.
When alarm signals went off warning off conflicting speed date, the pilots performed a series of maneuvers and eventually took the plane into a dive at 30-35 degrees. It plummeted into a snowy field outside of Moscow six minutes after takeoff, killing all 65 passengers and six crew onboard.
Oxfam scandal widens
A confidence crisis spread through the international aid community Tuesday amid accusations that the charity Oxfam had buried reports that its workers had prostituted survivors of the Darfur genocide, a catastrophic earthquake in Haiti and possibly disasters beyond those.
The London Times reported Thursday that Roland van Hauwermeiren, Oxfam country director, and several male workers — a small fraction of the more than 200 Oxfam workers in Haiti — had been accused of turning their guesthouse into what they allegedly called “the whorehouse.” After the report ran, Haiti’s ambassador to Britain told the Guardian that the victims “may have been underage kids.” The Times alleged that Oxfam deliberately limited its investigation in hopes of hiding the scandal.
Oxfam has since admitted to knowing of the prostitution allegations involving the Haiti and Chad missions. The charity’s deputy chief executive, Penny Lawrence, resigned on Monday. Mr. van Hauwermeiren resigned in 2011 when allegations first surfaced.
Korean bribery scandal
SEOUL,South Korea — A South Korean woman at the center of the influence-peddling scandal that brought down President Park Geunhye last year was convicted of bribery, extortion and other criminal charges Tuesday and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The woman, Choi Soonsil, was a longtime friend and confidante of Ms. Park, whose trial still lies ahead. Ms. Choi was arrested and indicted in late 2016 on charges of conspiring with the president to collect or demand $52 million in bribes from large South Korean businesses. Separately, she and Ms. Park were accused of coercing businesses into making donations worth $71 million to two foundations that Ms. Choi controlled.
The scandal surrounding Ms. Park and Ms. Choi shook the country’s political and business worlds, leading to the conviction of Lee Jaeyong, the de facto head of Samsung, one of the world’s largest technology companies, as well as the impeachment of Ms. Park, a first in South Korean history.
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British Judge Emma Arbuthnot denied Julian Assange’s second bid to quash his arrest warrant, saying the WikiLeaks founder should have the courage to come to court and face justice after almost six years holed up inside Ecuador’s London embassy.