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New evidence? MH370 pilot’s flight path was “carefully planned”

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It’s been seven years since the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 went missing without a trace, but is this a new piece to the puzzling mystery?

The pilot made many turns and speed changes… according to new research.

Apparently the pilot was most likely avoiding giving any clear idea where he was heading.

Aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey is behind the new research.

He says applying new technology will provide “credible new evidence”, that was not available during previous underwater searches.

On March 7th, 2014 the Boeing 777 took off for Kaula Lumpa bound for Beijing

The aircraft disappeared from air traffic controls screens – only one hour into the flight.

 239 women, men and children were on board.

There are 239 people on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, comprising 227 passengers (including two infants) and 12 crew members. About two-thirds of them are Chinese, and other nationalities include 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans. Among the passengers are French teenagers Hadrien Wattrelos and Zhao Yan heading for school in Beijing, and Australian grandparents Rodney and Mary Burrows on vacation.

New technology leading new findings

Godfrey is seen one of world’s leading investigators into the mystery.

He based his findings on weak radio signals that cover the earth. also called Weak Signal Propagation (WSPR), which is a digital radio communication protocol.

“WSPR is like a bunch of tripwires or laser beams, but they work in every direction over the horizon to the other side of the globe,” Mr. Godfrey says.

He said they triggered invisible signals when aircraft crossed them and they can help solve the mystery of MH370.

The flight path appears “carefully planned” said Mr. Godfrey.

“The pilot of MH370 generally avoided official flight routes from 18:00 UTC (2am Australian Western Standard Time) onwards but used waypoints to navigate on unofficial flight paths in the Malacca Strait, around Sumatra and across the Southern Indian Ocean,” Mr Godfrey said.

“The flight path seems well planned and avoids commercial flight routes. The pilot appears not so concerned about fuel usage and much more concerned about leaving false trails.”

“The significant number of changes of track and speed suggest that there was an active pilot during the flight,” Mr. Godfrey said.

“Speed changes were beyond the level of changes expected if the aircraft was following a speed schedule such as the long range cruise (LRC) or maximum range cruise (MRC) mode.”

“The pilot of MH370 generally avoided official flight routes from 18:00 UTC (2 am AWST) onwards but used waypoints to navigate on unofficial flight paths in the Malacca Strait, around Sumatra and across the Southern Indian Ocean. The flight path follows the coast of Sumatra and flies close to Banda Aceh Airport,” Mr. Godfrey said.

He said all the end-of-flight analysis points to a spiral dive into the ocean.

Its suspected crash site at 34.5 degrees south, south-west of Western Australia

This new paper examines in finer detail the turn around Indonesia before settling onto a course for the Southern Indian Ocean.

Two searches failed to find any trace of the plane…but Godfrey says a more detailed analysis of flight’s final destination will be underway soon.

Although, there continues to be more questions than answers to the greatest aviation mystery of all time.

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Business

The airline set to fire unvaccinated aircrew and pilots

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As the coronavirus vaccine rollout ramps up within many nations around the world, many aviation industry experts say the jab will play a huge role in bringing aviation back to normal

Cathay Pacific Airways has confirmed that all Hong Kong-based pilots and flight attendants would need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 31st or risk losing their jobs.

The mandate has become one of the airline industry’s toughest policies.

Cathay Pacific stated it had struggled with staff rostering due to Hong Kong’s strict quarantine rules, which require unvaccinated crew members to quarantine every flight.

New guidelines exempt flight crew that are vaccinated from quarantining

There are also requirements that only fully vaccinated crews can operate to certain high-risk destinations and on quarantine-free “bubble” flights.

Hong Kong has a surplus of unused vaccines and some of the shots are about to expire.

Cathay said 90% of pilots and more than 65% of the cabin crew had already received their vaccinations or had appointments booked, following a previous warning that vaccination was highly likely to become compulsory.

US Airlines impose similar rules

United Airlines has confirmed it would mandate full vaccination for crew members flying to countries with high COVID-19 cases at the beginning of August.

Delta Air Lines last month said all new hires would have to be vaccinated.

While vaccines for passengers on all Qantas international flights will also become mandated after the airline said it will require all passengers and crew to be vaccinated when the country’s borders reopen to widespread international travel.

Emirates has provided employees with free vaccines since January.

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Global Politics

China challenges Australia anti-dumping measures at WTO

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China has filed a lawsuit at the World Trade Organisation over Australian anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures

The anti-dumping measures affect Chinese exports of train components, wind turbines, and stainless steel sinks.

China hopes Australia can adopt concrete measures so that bilateral trade can return to normal.

Relations between the two sides have steadily worsened since 2018, when Australia barred Huawei from building its 5G network.

Relations also went into freefall last year as Prime Minister Scott Morrison led calls for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus.

China opposes nations abusing trade remedy measures which damage the legitimate rights of Chinese companies and undermine the authority of WTO rules, Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing Thursday. 

Beijing has responded with tariffs and restrictions on imports of coal, barley, lobsters and wine.

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Global Politics

Why Singaporeans may have to learn to live with COVID-19

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Singapore is drawing up a road map to transit to a “new normal”, where COVID-19 is likely endemic.

Singapore’s government believes COVID-19 may never go away.

But ministers leading the city-state’s pandemic response say the good news is that it is possible to live normally with the virus in our midst.

Three key ministers have written an opinion piece in The Straits Times, outlining what they believe life will look like in a “new-normal” where COVID-19 is still around but can be controlled through mass vaccination.

The ministers, who lead the city-state’s pandemic task force, say they hope COVID-19 will become like influenza.

They haver pointed out that people carry on with their daily activities during the flu season, take simple precautions or get an annual flu jab.

The ministers want to work towards a similar outcome for Covid-19.

“We can’t eradicate it, but we can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like influenza, hand, foot and mouth disease, or chickenpox, and get on with our lives.”

Rapid mass vaccination will be key

The ministers say “we are on track” to have two-thirds of the population vaccinated with at least their first dose by early July.

The next vaccine milestone will be to have at least two-thirds of the population fully vaccinated by National Day on August 9, supply permitting.

The ministers say they are working to bring forward the delivery of vaccines and to speed up the process.

The new-normal

It’s hoped that in the future, when someone gets COVID in Singapore, the response can be very different from now.

And instead of monitoring Covid-19 infection numbers every day, the focus will be on the outcomes, such as how many people are getting sick.

The government says in this new-normal, large gatherings can resume, businesses will have certainty that their operations will not be disrupted, and vaccinated travellers can be exempted from quarantine

But the ministers added a note of caution:

“The battle against Covid-19 will continue to be fraught with uncertainty.”

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