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Tue, 18 Jan 2022
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Missing Malaysia Airlines plane may have sent last signal while on ground, official said


The two red arcs show the possible routes after the jet went missing
The missing Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people could have been on the ground when it sent its last satellite signal, an official has said.

US intelligence is focusing on the pilot and co-pilot's possible role in the plane's disappearance and are worried it may have landed somewhere to be used later as a weapon.

The Boeing 777-200's final 'ping' was picked up nearly seven hours after the flight vanished from air traffic control screens.

At first it was thought contact was lost less than an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

But now investigators say a 'ping' was detected from one of two air corridors going north and south from the sea off Malaysia.

One is a northern route stretching thousands of square miles from northern Thailand to Kazakhstan and the other is a southern zone from Indonesia towards the southern Indian Ocean.

Arrow Down

Canadian hospitals stretched as self-harming teens seek help

© CBC News
Emergency rooms across the country are producing alarming statistics on teens being hospitalized for self-inflicted wounds and suicidal thoughts.

Mental health services are strained as a growing number of teens show up at emergency rooms across Canada with self-inflicted injuries and suicidal thoughts, say pediatric psychiatrists.

"We're seeing twice as many kids as we were 10 years ago," said Dr. Hazen Gandy, division chief of community-based psychiatry at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

"Commonly it's cutting," he said of kids typically aged 12 to 17 who slash their arms, thighs or bellies with everything from razor blades to the sharp edges of protractors.

"It could be burning themselves. It could be bruising themselves by repeatedly banging their fist against the wall. It's a way of kind of giving the body a whole different set of inputs that allows them not to feel so awful inside."

Self-harming is a symptom of deeper issues such as anxiety or depression that stem from complex causes, Gandy said. But what's clear is how climbing caseloads are affecting the health system, he said.

"One of my greatest concerns is that as these services are stressed, greater numbers of mental health providers are now themselves showing wear and tear and are on the verge of burnout," said Gandy. He has practised in Ottawa for 20 years and says he has seen wait times grow to eight to 10 months for outpatient services.

"This is an issue across the country."


Italian region votes on declaring independence, just like Crimea

© Reuters / Manuel Silvestri
As Crimeans make their way to the polls this Sunday, another region further in the heart of Europe is also deciding its fate in a referendum: the Italian region of Veneto, which is voting on whether to break with Rome.

The independence movement insists the industrial northern region's wealth is being drained by Rome's mismanagement of the financial crisis.

Following in the footsteps of Scotland and Catalonia, Venice - the capital of the Italian region of Veneto - will be holding a referendum to form an independent republic. About 3.8 million people in the region are eligible to vote in the referendum, which runs through Friday.

Leaders of the independence movement say they are not going to wait for Rome's approval, and if the population votes in favor they will begin the separation process. The latest polls carried out by the independence movement show that over 60 percent of the population is in favor of becoming independent.

Arrow Down

Wounded veteran denied ride at Texas Six Flags, then was refused a refund

© Screen grab via KMOV-TV
Stephen Jackel says a Texas Six Flags treated him so poorly he broke down in tears in front of his 14-year-old daughter.
A military veteran who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan says he was reduced to tears when a Texas Six Flags refused to allow him to accompany his 14-year-old daughter on a ride.

Sgt. Stephen Jackel told KMOV-TV that he was told by the amusement park he was not permitted to go on the ride because their policy states individuals must have one functional leg and arm.

Six Flags insists the policy is in place for safety reasons.

However, Jackel - who uses two prosthetic legs - insists park personnel never informed him of the policy when he purchased his tickets.


Gaza power plant shuts down due to fuel shortage

Lack of fuel causes Gaza Strip's sole power station to stop operating, leading to numerous blackouts throughout the territory.

The Gaza Strip's sole power station stopped generating electricity on Saturday, causing blackouts throughout the territory after it ran out of fuel, officials said.

The power plant is one of the main sources of electricity for Gaza's 1.8 million people and without it, daily blackouts of around 12 hours are expected. Electricity is also received directly from Israel and Egypt.

Gaza lacks much basic civil infrastructure and lives under an Egyptian-Israeli blockade meant to cut off arms flows but which also curbs imports of fuel and building supplies.

A few months ago the plant was switched off for 43 days due to a fuel shortage that arose after neighboring Egypt closed off smuggling tunnels. Israel eventually allowed in fuel paid for by Qatar when a storm swept the region.

Light Sabers

Indian diplomat in US strip search saga: U.S. prosecutors again indict Indian diplomat Khobragade

A grand jury in New York has returned a new indictment against Indian diplomat Devyani
Devyani Khobragade
© REUTERS/Stringer
Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade (C) leaves with her father Uttam Khobragade (L) from the Maharashtra Sadan state guesthouse to meet India's Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid in New Delhi January 11, 2014.
Khobragade for visa fraud, two days after a U.S. judge dismissed a similar indictment because she had diplomatic immunity.

Khobragade's arrest in December and a subsequent strip search drew outrage in India, causing a major diplomatic rift between the United States and India.

The United States granted her immunity and then essentially had her expelled from the country in a flurry of diplomatic maneuvers on January 9, the same day she was indicted for the first time.

"Unfortunately, I can have no comment at this stage," Khobragade's lawyer, Daniel Arshack, said in an email. "The government of India will respond in due course."

The new indictment effectively returns the case to where it was before Wednesday's dismissal.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled on Wednesday that Khobragade, who was India's deputy consul-general in New York, had diplomatic immunity when she sought on January 9 to dismiss the indictment, and thus could not be prosecuted for alleged underpayment of her nanny.


Cyber games continue as Ukrainian hacktivists take down NATO websites

© www.cyber-berkut.org
The hacktivist group calling itself CyberBerkut has claimed responsibility for taking down 3 NATO websites in a series of DDoS attacks. The group criticizes NATO for stirring up turmoil in Ukraine and helping the "Kiev junta" suppress freedom of speech.

CyberBerkut claims it brought down NATO's main website (nato.int), as well as the sites of the alliance's cyber defense center (ccdcoe.org) and NATO's Parliamentary Assembly (nato-pa.int).


Venice and surrounding Veneto prepare for referendum on secession from Italy‏

Around 3.8 million people in the Veneto are eligible to vote and campaigners hope to achieve a majority in favour of independence.
Voting will begin on Sunday in a referendum on whether Venice and its surrounding region should secede from the rest of Italy, in a bid to restore its 1,000-year history as a sovereign republic.

"La Serenissima" - or the Most Serene Republic of Venice - was an independent trading power for a millennium before the last doge, or leader, was deposed by Napoleon in 1797.


Northern Ireland's richest man, Lord Ballyedmond killed in helicopter crash

Northern Irish member of Britain's House of Lords Lord Ballyedmond has been killed in a helicopter crash in rural Norfolk, east of England.

On Friday, British police named Lord Ballyedmond as one of the four people who died in the chopper crash in the English county of Norfolk.

The helicopter came down in thick fog at the village of Gillingham, near Beccles on Thursday evening. The aircraft was reportedly travelling to Northern Ireland, and it crashed near a stately home owned by the Conservative peer.

Lord Ballyedmond, known as Northern Ireland's richest man, was the chair of Norbrook, the largest privately owned pharmaceutical company in the world.

"The helicopter has been confirmed as a civilian aircraft and the four occupants on board are thought to have died in the crash. Next of kin will be informed before further details of a deceased are released," a Norfolk Police spokesperson said.


French government bans GM maize MON 810

© AFP Photo / Yuri Cortez
France's agricultural ministry on Saturday banned the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto's genetically modified maize MON 810, after France highest court twice previously struck down similar measures.

Currently the MON 810 is the only insect-resistant maize authorized in the EU. But France insists that GM crops pose significant environmental risks. The current socialist government of Francoise Hollande, like the conservative one before it, has opposed supporting GM crops in light of public suspicion and protests from environmentalists and farmers.

The decree by the agricultural ministry is timed to prevent farmers being able to sow GM maize before a draft law is debated on April 10, which will seek to permanently ban the planting of any genetically modified crops. Maize is sown in France in the second half of March.