Of­fi­cials: Hu­man er­ror be­hind fa­tal Rus­sian crash

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - International - Com­piled from news ser­vices

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.

Also in the world...

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.

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