World AM News Briefs For Monday, 11 March 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - A deadly crash in Africa could point to problems with a popular plane - The last days of the "Caliphate" are at hand - Turkey tries to silence journalists - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
There are "no survivors" from the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 with 157 passengers and crew on board near Bishoftu outside the Ethiopian capital. Flight ET302 was traveling from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya when pilot, who had been working for the carrier since 2010, sent out a distress call shortly after take-off. Authorities gave the flight clearance to return to the capital's Bole Airport, but it dropped off the radar. Authorities did not list Australians among the more than 30 nationalities on board, but it appears that Americans, Brits, Canadians, and Irish were among the passengers.
This is the second example of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 involved in a mass casualty incident in recent months. Last October, Lion Air Flight 610 nose-dived into the Java Sea just 13 minutes after the take-off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. Both aircraft had been in service for only a few months. "It is a brand-new airplane, it had no technical remarks and was flown by a senior pilot," said Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam, "We received the airplane on November 15, 2018. It has flown more than 1200 hours. It had flown from Johannesburg earlier this morning." The flight had unstable vertical speed after takeoff, the flight tracking website Flightradar24 said on its Twitter feed. Boeing said it is "closely monitoring the situation".
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched another assault on the so-called Islamic State group's last enclave in Syria, engaging the enemy in "direct violent clashes". IS is down to one village on the Syrian-Iraq border; once that is taken, the US and its allies are expected to formally declare the end of the "caliphate" proclaimed by the terrorists in 2014.
Turkey expelled three German reporters, believed to be the first time the country kicked out foreign journalists. Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the decision was "unacceptable" and he would protest. "Without a critical press there is no free democracy," Maas said, "We will keep campaigning for journalists to be able to work without restrictions - in Turkey as elsewhere." The journalists say the oppressive government of autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to silence foreign criticism; domestic journalists already are subject to arrest and what critics say are bogus allegations of terrorism and sedition.
Algeria's ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has returned to his country after two weeks in a Swiss hospital. During that time, protests against his two decade rule and plans to run for reelection have grown into huge demonstrations. The opposition, especially in the universities, are tired of alleged corruption among the country's elites that have run the show since independence from France, and the lack of economic opportunity.