Trump on Boeing crash: ‘Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly’Dylan Stableford Senior Editor•Trump comments on Boeing crash President Trump on Tuesday offered his thoughts on the safety of air travel after the deadly weekend crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 led several countries to ground that model, which was also involved in a crash under similar circumstances in October.“Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly,” Trump tweeted. “Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better.”Trump did not explain the source of his expertise on airplane safety, or say what other products he believes have become too complex to use.The Ethiopian Airlines plane went down in clear weather shortly after takeoff Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. In October, a Lion Air jet of the same model crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 189 people. The cause of that crash is still under investigation, but air safety experts told the New York Times that the computer-assisted flight systems might have been a contributing factor.Yahoo News photo Illustration; photos: AP, Twitter Aviation experts warned against drawing too many comparisons between the two crashes until more is known.“Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger,” the president continued. “All of this for great cost yet very little gain.“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot,” Trump added. “I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!”Following Sunday’s crash, more than a dozen countries — including Ethiopia, China, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore — grounded the 737 MAX 8 as a precaution. The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates U.S. air travel, has not taken this step.Workers clear debris from the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Monday. (Photo: Mulugeta Ayene/AP Related slideshow: Ethiopia plane crash >>>Chicago-based Boeing, which did not issue any new recommendations about the aircraft, said there was no reason to pull it from the skies.The 737 MAX 8, the latest version of the 50-year-old 737 series, entered commercial service in 2017. The 737 in its various versions is the world’s best-selling passenger jet.The president owned an airline, flying from New York City to Boston and Washington, D.C., for three years after he purchased the Eastern Air Lines shuttle in 1989 and renamed it the Trump Shuttle. It never turned a profit and he sold it off in 1992.Trump also boasted about the safety of air travel during the first year of his presidency.“Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation,” Trump tweeted in January 2018. “Good news — it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!”
Trump cites debunked Greenpeace ‘co-founder’ to discredit ‘the whole climate crisis’
President Trump, pursuing his long-standing crusade to discredit climate science, touted a self-proclaimed environmental expert’s appearance on Fox News Tuesday in support of his views.“The whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake Science,” Trump tweeted, attributing the quote to Patrick Moore, a climate change denier whom both Trump and “Fox & Friends” identified as a co-founder of Greenpeace. “There is no climate crisis, there’s weather and climate all around the world, and in fact carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life. “Wow!” the president added after tagging his favorite morning television show.Greenpeace, a prominent international environmental organization, quickly responded to both Trump and “Fox & Friends,” saying Moore was misrepresenting himself.“Patrick Moore was not a co-founder of Greenpeace,” the organization said on Twitter. “He does not represent Greenpeace. He is a paid lobbyist, not an independent source. His statements about @AOC & the #GreenNewDeal have nothing to do with our positions.”On “Fox & Friends,” Moore criticized the so-called Green New Deal championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and other progressives.He called Ocasio-Cortez a “pompous little twit” and added: “a little bit of warming would not be bad for myself, being a Canadian.”Moore is a policy adviser to the Heartland Institute, which describes itself as “one of the world’s leading free-market think tanks” and is an influential promoter of fossil fuel development and climate science denial.Moore has a long history of misrepresenting himself as one of the founders of Greenpeace.According to a lengthy statement posted on Greenpeace’s website in 2010, Moore “often misrepresents himself in the media as an environmental ‘expert’ or even an ‘environmentalist,’ while offering anti-environmental opinions on a wide range of issues and taking a distinctly anti-environmental stance. He also exploits long-gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes.”“Although Mr. Moore played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years, he did not found Greenpeace,” the organization added. “Phil Cotes, Irving Stowe, and Jim Bohlen founded Greenpeace in 1970.”Trump, meanwhile, regularly uses his Twitter feed to cast doubt on climate change, despite conclusions of his own administration that it poses a dire threat to the United States.In February, the president did not mention climate change in his 82-minute State of the Union address. A week before, he took the opportunity to advertise his ill-informed speculation that cold weather disproves the fact of climate change.In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Jan. 29, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned that climate change remains a national security threat.“Global environmental and ecological degradation, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress and social discontent through 2019 and beyond,” Coats said. “Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security.”He added: “Extreme weather events, many worsened by accelerating sea level rise, will particularly affect urban coastal areas in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Western Hemisphere. Damage to communication, energy and transportation infrastructure could affect low-lying military bases, inflict economic costs and cause human displacement and loss of life.”
The U.K. Parliament defeated Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposal for the second time on Tuesday.
Members nixed the proposal in a 391–242 vote, a smaller margin than the 432–202 defeat it suffered in January. The move sets up another crucial vote on Wednesday, in which MPs will decide whether to move forward with Brexit on March 29 despite the lack of a Parliament-approved agreement between the U.K. and the E.U. The outcome of that vote could then prompt a vote to delay Brexit.
Conservative MPs, only 75 of whom voted against the plan this time after 118 of them voted against it in January, will be able to vote freely going forward, May promised.
“This is an issue of grave importance for the future of our country,” May said. “Just like the [abortion] referendum there are strongly held and equally legitimate views on both sides.”
The prime minister warned members from both sides of the aisle not to make the “perfect the enemy of the good.”
“The government has been defeated again by an enormous majority and it must accept its deal is clearly dead and does not have the support of this House,” said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party voted against the deal. “The prime minister has run down the clock and the clock has been run out on her. Maybe it’s time instead we had a general election and the people can choose who their government should be.”
“I am passionate about delivering the result of the referendum, but I equally passionately believe that the best way to do that is to leave in an orderly way with a deal and I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action,” May said.
Opponents of Brexit have warned that leaving without a plan will throw Britain’s economy into turmoil, while backers have dismissed those concerns as exaggerated.
New York (AFP) – The pound tumbled Tuesday as Britain’s exit from the EU took a step further into the unknown, with lawmakers overwhelmingly voting to reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Sterling suffered its sharpest losses earlier in the day, when the government’s top legal advisor, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, said May’s last-minute changes with the EU had not changed the legal risk Britain would be „indefinitely and involuntarily” held in the so-called Irish border backstop.
„Sterling took a nosedive on the back of the Cox statement,” said ThinkMarkets analyst Naeem Aslam.
„It was his opinion which matters the most; now that he has made it clear that the recent deal has no weight, the door is wide open for sterling to move lower.”
And move lower it did: the pound slid to as low as $1.3005 from $1.3143 just before Cox published his advice. The euro jumped to 86.55 pence from 85.75 pence.
Overnight, following news of May’s hard-won EU concessions from Brussels, sterling had reached a three-week peak at $1.3289 and to 84.76 pence to the euro — a level last seen in May 2017.
London’s stock market, meanwhile, did well on Tuesday, as is often the case when sterling is weak. Frankfurt closed lower and Paris slightly up.
– Boeing crisis –
Wall Street shrugged off the Brexit chaos — which increases the chances the world’s fifth-largest economy could crash out of the European Union without a deal governing economic relations with the Continent.
US stocks swung to a split finish, with the crisis facing US aviation giant Boeing dragging down the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average while other indices inched higher.
Shares in Boeing fell another 6 percent, putting the stock down more than 11 percent since before Sunday’s deadly crash.
Calls mounted in the United States for aviation regulators to suspend operations of Boeing’s top-selling 737 MAX 8, which was involved in its second fatal crash in five months in Ethiopia.
So far, US officials have declined to do so, citing their ongoing investigation, as governments across the globe increasingly close their airspace to the planes or ground them.
The Dow, where Boeing is heavily weighted, fell 0.4 percent but the broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.
„The transports are down. The Dow is down. That is mostly due to Boeing,” Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital told AFP.
But Brexit, „is not having a major effect before the actual separation between the UK and the EU.”
Investors were comforted by the latest benign reading on US inflation, which fell in February to its slowest annual pace in more than two years — supporting the Federal Reserve’s recent dovish turn on interest rates.
– Key figures around 2100 GMT –
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3062 from $1.3150 at 2100 GMT on Monday
Euro/pound: UP at 86.46 pence from 85.50 pence
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1292 from $1.1245
Dollar/yen: UP at 111.29 yen from 111.21 yen
New York – DOW: DOWN 0.4 percent at 25,554.66 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.3 percent at 2,791.52 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.4 percent at 7,591.03 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,151.15 points (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.2 percent at 11,524.17 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 5,270.25 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 3,303.95 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.8 percent at 21,503.69 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.5 percent at 28.920.87 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.1 percent at 3,060.31 (close)
Oil – Brent Crude: UP 9 cents at $66.67 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 8 cents at $56.87
(Bloomberg) — A Ukrainian anti-graft agency set up at the behest of Western donors was accused of hiding embezzlement in the army carried out by an ally of President Petro Poroshenko.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau, known as NABU, removed the name of a company from a 2016 list of suspicious entities involved in military procurement, journalists from the investigative Nashi Hroshi program reported late Monday.
Other law-enforcement bodies — including prosecutors, the State Security Service and the State Fiscal Service — also failed to follow up on suspicions regarding the company’s activities, the program alleged.
Poroshenko, who’s struggling in opinion polls before a re-election bid this month, fired Oleh Hladkovskyi as deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council last week after earlier installments of the TV program accused him of involvement in the scheme.
NABU, considered one of the few law-enforcement agencies in Ukraine that hasn’t suffered from corruption, is conducting an investigation, according to its head, Artem Sytnyk. He said the TV journalists were inaccurate by reporting NABU dropped the company’s name from its list of suspicious entities because the bureau doesn’t compile such lists.
“It’s a question of our honor to give answers to these manipulations and maybe erroneous conclusions,” Sytnyk said Tuesday in a video statement. “We’re ready to provide all documents.”
The State Security Service said it’s been investigating an employee over the allegations for some time and that the person’s case has reached court. Prosecutors and the State Fiscal Service didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Updates with NABU head in fifth, sixth paragraphs.)
To contact the reporter on this story: Kateryna Choursina in Kiev at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Scott Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew Langley, Tony Halpin
For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
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Stephen Biegun, the United States envoy to Pyongyang has stressed that Washington will not settle for the incremental disarmament of North Korea and that it is aiming for complete denuclearisation by the end of US President Donald Trump’s first term in 2021.
“We are not going to do denuclearisation incrementally,” Mr Biegun told a conference in Washington hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in his first comments since the failed summit between Mr Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, last month.
Mr Biegun insisted that sanctions would not be lifted unless Pyongyang completely eliminated its nuclear weapons, stressing that it was Washington’s goal to achieve this within the current administration.
„We stand by the expectation that if we fully mobilise our resources … we could align ourselves in a manner sufficient to achieve this in something approaching a year,” he said.
His statements marked a reversal from previous pronouncements emerging from the White House, with analysts warning that the hardening of the US position is an unrealistic strategy that will end in further stalemate with Pyongyang.
Ahead of the Hanoi meeting, Mr Trump had declared that he had “no pressing schedule” on denuclearisation. “As long as there is no [missile] testing, I’m in no rush,” he said.
Mr Biegun, meanwhile, had indicated in an speech at Stanford University at the end of January that the US was willing to take a more stage by stage approach to the issue – a policy favoured by Pyongyang.
“We have communicated to our North Korean counterparts that we are prepared to pursue – simultaneously and in parallel – all of the commitments our two leaders made in their joint statement at Singapore last summer,” he said, referring to the two leaders’ first meeting in the city-state last June.
Their second summit in Hanoi in late February ended abruptly without any kind of deal.
Mr Trump said that Kim had insisted all economic sanctions were lifted before he agreed to give up his entire nuclear arsenal – a position he could not accept. “Sometimes you just have to walk,” he said.
However, Ri Yong Ho, the North Korean foreign minister, countered that Pyongyang had only requested “partial relief” on sanctions enacted between 2016 and 2017, and had offered a “realistic proposal” to dismantle uranium enrichment facilities in return.
The talks ended on friendly terms, but North Korea has since shown frustration at the collapse of the summit, with the state-run Rodong Sinmun commenting that the public “are feeling regretful, blaming the US for the summit that ended without an agreement.”
In a more alarming development, experts at California’s Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said last week that satellite images suggested that Pyongyang could be preparing to launch a missile or space rocket.
In response to questions about what the signs of activity at rocket launch facilities meant, Mr Biegun replied: “The short answer is: we don’t know.”
He added that “the door remains open” for further negotiations. “Nothing can be agreed until everything’s agreed,” he said.
Nuclear and North Korea analysts expressed scepticism about his statements.
“Biegun: “Nothing can be agreed until everything can be agreed.” – a losing strategy,” tweeted Jenny Town, a Korea specialist at the Stimson Centre, a Washington think tank.
Others commented that the insistence on full denuclearisation before the lifting of any sanctions would create a bottleneck with Pyongyang, which has consistently argued for reciprocal concessions.
“If we don’t move off this position, we have nowhere to go,” Vipin Narang, a MIT nuclear expert, told Vox. “There’s no zone of agreement if we insist on everything — I mean everything, complete surrender — up front.”
United Nations (United States) (AFP) – European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned Tuesday that military action in Venezuela would be unacceptable and that a solution to the crisis should not be „imposed from outside,” putting the United States on notice.
Addressing the Security Council, Mogherini said the standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido must be resolved though political, peaceful and democratic means.
„We believe that no military development, from inside or outside of the country, would be acceptable,” Mogherini told a council meeting on cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations.
„And a solution cannot be, and should never be, imposed from the outside.”
President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that all options are on the table, refusing to rule out a US military intervention in Venezuela, which is in the grips of an economic meltdown that the opposition blames on the Maduro government.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late Monday announced that the United States will withdraw all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Caracas, worsening already tattered relations.
After Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s interim president, the United States and key EU countries France, Germany and Britain were among more than 50 countries that recognized him.
Russia and China, two of the five veto-wielding council members along with the US, France and Britain, have denounced the US stance as blatant interference in Venezuela’s affairs and continue to back Maduro.
Mogherini recalled that the EU has set up a contact group with Latin American countries to push for a political process that would lead to presidential elections.
„The crisis that affects the country has political and institutional causes. It’s not a natural disaster. Its solution needs to be peaceful, political and democratic,” said Mogherini.
Millions of Venezuelans already struggling with economic hardship have been left without power for the past four days, which has affected water supplies, transportation and communication.
Malaysian prosecutors Monday unexpectedly dropped a murder charge against an Indonesian woman who had been accused of assassinating the half-brother of North Korea’s leader.
Siti Aisyah walked free from a court outside Kuala Lumpur after prosecutors withdrew the charge without giving any reason. She was accused alongside Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam, who remains on trial, of the brazen murder of Kim Jong Nam at a Malaysian airport in February 2017.
Here is a timeline of key events in the killing.
– The Hit –
A portly North Korean man, later identified as Kim Jong Nam, dies after being attacked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13. Seoul points the finger at its northern neighbour and says it was a political hit aimed at weeding out potential rivals to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Malaysian detectives track down two migrant women — one Vietnamese and one Indonesian — who they say are seen on CCTV carrying out the attack.
The two women, who are eventually charged with murder, say they had been paid to carry out what they thought was a prank for a reality TV show.
An autopsy reveals Kim died from exposure to the VX nerve agent, an artificial chemical so deadly it is banned under international treaty and classified by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction.
– The Fallout –
Kuala Lumpur arrests North Korean citizen Ri Jong Chol in connection with the murder. Over the following days investigators say diplomats and airline employees from the isolated regime are also wanted for questioning. All are holed up at the North Korean embassy or have already left the country.
North Korea pours scorn on what it calls „absurd” claims that VX was used, saying South Korea and the US are mounting a smear campaign against it.
Pyongyang insists the dead man was called Kim Chol and demands his body be returned. Investigators refuse to release the corpse.
Malaysia cancels a visa-free travel deal with North Korea and expels North Korea’s ambassador. Pyongyang hits back, kicking out Malaysia’s envoy.
Tensions escalate after North Korea bans all Malaysians from leaving Pyongyang. Malaysia retaliates and the international community calls for calm amid allegations of hostage holding.
– The Detente –
In early March, Ri Jong Chol is released from custody and deported from Malaysia. Frustrated Malaysian police say they believed he was involved in the plot but lacked evidence to prove it.
At the end of the month, Malaysia’s then-prime minister Najib Razak announces an agreement has been reached to return the Kim Jong Nam’s body to North Korea. Nine Malaysians stuck in Pyongyang will be free to leave and North Koreans in Kuala Lumpur will be allowed to go home.
In October, the two women go on trial over the murder. They maintain their innocence.
Four men formally accused on a charge sheet of plotting with the women to murder Kim Jong Nam are identified by a police officer as North Koreans who fled Malaysia immediately after the assassination.
The women’s lawyers insist the North Koreans are the real masterminds.
New York (AFP) – US airlines are standing behind Boeing despite the wave of countries and carriers that have grounded the 737 MAX, but fear has gripped crews and passengers, and many are refusing to fly on the plane.
Following the second deadly crash of one of its aircraft, some US politicians also have called for the plane to be grounded while the investigation continues, but regulators so far have not taken that step.
„Two brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes crashed in 5 months. If China has grounded all 96 of its 737 Max 8s, then Southwest, American, and United Airlines should really do something to reassure the American people that its 737 Max 8 airplanes are airworthy or ground them too,” Maryland resident Eugene Gu said on Twitter.
A growing number of Americans are expressing similar doubts on social media, and some are cancelling or rebooking flights on this single-aisle aircraft, which accounted for one-third of Boeing’s profits in 2018.
The European Union, Britain, Germany, France and China are among the governments that have banned the plane from their airspace, and the Twitter hashtag #GroundBoeing737max8 was created to urge the US authorities to do the same.
The company’s share price continued to lose ground, dropping more than 6 percent on Tuesday after the 5 percent loss on Monday.
– What is my plane? –
Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have been swamped with calls since the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 on Sunday shortly after takeoff, which killed all 157 passengers and crew.
In the wake of a similar crash in October of a Lion Air flight in Indonesia, many American passengers are not waiting for the investigations to conclude.
„We are fielding some questions from customers asking if their flight will be operated by the Boeing 737 MAX 8,” Southwest spokeswoman Michelle Agnew said, adding that, as usual, the airline allowed re-booking at no charge.
That is not the case at American Airlines, which charges a fee for any change or cancellation, a spokesman said. The cost ranges from $200 for domestic flights to $750 for international flights.
And „fear” is not recognized by travel insurance as a reason to reimburse passengers for a flight cancellation.
– Fear of flying –
Pilots and flight crew also have grown increasingly cautious.
The Airline Personnel Union (APFA), which represents American Airlines employees, has told its members not to board a 737 MAX 8 if they do not feel safe.
The Association of Flight Attendants formally called for an investigation by the US Federal Aviation Administration.
„In the wake of a second accident, regulators, manufacturers, and airlines must take steps to address concerns immediately,” it said.
Like the Airline Pilots Association, the AFA warned against jumping to conclusions.
But US politicians were less hesitant after Britain, China, Australia, Indonesia and others pulled the planes out of service.
Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said, „The FAA should follow their lead, reverse their decision, and immediately ground this plane in the United States until its safety can be assured.”
And Senator Mitt Romney said on Twitter, „Out of an abundance of caution for the flying public, the @FAANews should ground the 737 MAX 8 until we investigate the causes of recent crashes and ensure the plane’s airworthiness.”
President Donald Trump weighed in with a blistering tweet, saying „Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly.”
The FAA said Tuesday the investigation of the latest crash continues, and it „will make decisions on any further steps based on the evidence.”
In the wake of the Lion Air crash, the FAA ordered Boeing to update its manual and training requirements and complete „flight control enhancements,” including to its stall prevention systems, no later than April.
Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg lamented the latest tragedy but had no doubts about the safety of the plane.
„We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX,” he said in an email to Boeing workers.
PHOTOS: In Gaza, women walk thin line between hope and despairYahoo News Photo Staff•A boy plays with a ball as Palestinian high school student Wessal Abu Amra, 17, walks home from school in Gaza City on Feb. 14, 2019. “Despite wars and the bad economy, we are trying to find some joy,” said Abu Amra, who says she loves shopping and eating fast food in Gaza with her friends. “We know the reality we live in so we do things we love to get out of a bad mood.” (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Amid the poverty and deprivation of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian women struggle to find a taste of normality that is taken for granted in much of the rest of the world.Nada Rudwan used to work in digital marketing, but as her work slowed — unemployment in Gaza stands at nearly 50 percent — she decided to put her tech skills toward one of her passions: cooking.“It was difficult to find a job, so I thought of doing something I like and that will make me money at the same time,” said Rudwan, 27, who posts cooking tutorials to social media platforms under the name “Nada Kitchen.”Rudwan said she earns income from YouTube proceeds and that several companies in Saudi Arabia recently purchased her videos.“It is an attempt to beat the physical blockade of Gaza by finding a job that just needs some talent, a camera and internet connection,” she said.More than 2 million Palestinians — mostly descendants of people who were driven out or fled from territory that is now Israel at its founding in 1948 — are packed into the narrow Gaza Strip, which shares borders with Israel and Egypt.Israel maintains tight control of Gaza’s land and sea borders, citing security concerns emanating from Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the coastal territory. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza on its border.Those restrictions have devastated Gaza’s economy and left many of its women, like Rudwan’s younger sister, struggling to find work after graduating from college.“It is hard to find a job that will allow you to take care of your needs,” said Lama Rudwan, 22, a media and communications graduate who joined her sister’s cooking-tutorial project after an unsuccessful job search.Palestinian Sara Abu Taqea, right, 23, who works in the maternity ward at Gaza’s Al-Ahli hospital, and her friend spend time at the seaport last in Gaza City last November. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)Disapproving community Some young women in Gaza speak of struggles in their personal lives as well. They say shopping and even getting married is made more difficult by the restrictions of Israel, which has fought three wars with Hamas over the past decade.Hana Abu El-Roos, 18, said she plans to get married this summer but can’t find items she needs for her wedding in any of Gaza’s shops. “I haven’t picked my wedding dress yet,” said El-Roos, who is also busy preparing for her final high school exams. “I am confused. My sisters are helping me.”Other Gaza women say community pressures weigh on them as they seek to bypass Gaza’s economic struggles by working jobs which some see as nontraditional.Sahar Yaghi took up work as a wedding planner soon after dropping out of university to earn income for her family.Palestinian high school student Wessal Abu Amra, 17, seen playing with her sister in their house in Gaza City in February. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)Yaghi’s party-planning requires her to stay up late at night. She said she sometimes hears some of her neighbors, who view her work as inappropriate, making comments about her.“I hate some comments. But I love my job and hope to have my own business,” Yaghi, 28, said, adding she wants to become the “first female party planner” in Gaza.For those Gaza women who do have work, the constant fear of losing their job heightens their sense of insecurity.Sara Abu Taqea found temporary work in a Gaza hospital after finishing a bachelor’s degree in midwifery, but said that many of her colleagues were not so lucky.“It is a six-month contract, with no guarantee of further employment,” said Abu Taqea, 23, who works in the maternity ward at Gaza’s Al-Ahli hospitalAbu Taqea said she finds a sense of solace in the Mediterranean Sea, whose waves crash along Gaza’s coast.“We are lucky to have the sea. The beach is a place for relief and for meditation, so we can forget about the wars and poverty,” Abu Taqea said.Writing by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Editing by Rami Ayyub and Mark HeinrichPhotography by Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.See more photos below:Palestinian high school student Wessal Abu Amra, 17, prays in her family house in Gaza City on Feb. 14, 2019. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)Palestinian midwife Sara Abu Taqea, right, 23, who works in the maternity ward at Gaza’s Al-Ahli hospital, weighs a newborn on Feb. 10, 2019. While Abu Taqea found temporary work in a Gaza hospital after finishing a bachelor’s degree in midwifery, she said that many of her colleagues were not so lucky. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)Palestinian women wait for their order at a food court in a mall in Gaza City on Nov. 28, 2018. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)Fatma Youssef, 17, a Palestinian high school student, adjusts her helmet as she prepares to ride a horse at an equestrian club in Gaza City on Dec. 9, 2018. “I’m nervous because this is my final high school year, but when I ride my horse I become free of stress,” Youssef said. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)Hana Abu El-Roos, 18, a Palestinian high school student, tries on a wedding dress in a store in Gaza City on Nov. 26, 2018. El-Roos plans to get married this summer but can’t find items she needs for her wedding in any of Gaza’s shops. “I haven’t picked my wedding dress yet,” said El-Roos, who is also busy preparing for her final high school exams. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)Nada Rudwan, center, 27, who used to work in digital marketing, looks at videos of herself cooking that were filmed by her sister, Lama Rudwan, right, 22, at their home in Gaza City on Dec. 16, 2018. “It was difficult to find a job, so I thought of doing something I like and that will make me money at the same time,” said Rudwan, who posts cooking tutorials to social media platforms under the name Nada Kitchen. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)Saly Abu Amra, left, 23, a student majoring in Sharia Law, looks on as her friend smokes a water pipe at a cafe in Gaza City on Dec. 4, 2018. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)High school student Fatma Youssef, studies for school in her room in her family house in Gaza City on Feb. 7, 2019. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)Fatma Youssef, right, stands at the front of the class during an English language lesson at her school in Gaza City on Feb. 7, 2019. (Photo: Samar Abo Elouf/Reuters)
What can they do?
Here Come the Robot Submarines: Meet Boeing’s 4 Huge Robotic Subs
„Part of the value of having unmanned surface vehicles is you can get capacity at a lower cost,” Rear Adm. John Neagley, the Navy’s executive for unmanned and small warships, told Breaking Defense.
The U.S. Navy has ordered from Boeing four huge robotic submarines, potentially signally an effort to deploy a large number of crewless undersea boats alongside traditional, manned submarines.
(This first appeared last month.)
The Navy’s $43-million purchase of four Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, or XLUUVs, comes as the fleet struggles to build enough new manned submarines to replace older vessels that are decommissioning as their nuclear cores wear out.
„Boeing based its winning Orca XLUUV design on its Echo Voyager unmanned diesel-electric submersible,” Ben Werner explained at USNI News.
„The 51-foot-long submersible is launched from a pier and can operate autonomously while sailing up to 6,500 nautical miles without being connected to a manned mother ship, according to the Navy,” Werner continued.
„Eventually, the Navy could also use the Orca XLUUV for mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, electronic warfare and strike missions,” according to a Navy outline of the system’s capability development.
Orca features an open-architecture design. The robotic sub „will be modular in construction with the core vehicle providing guidance and control, navigation, autonomy, situational awareness, core communications, power distribution, energy and power, propulsion and maneuvering and mission sensors,” Seapower quoted the Navy as stating.
„The Orca XLUUV will have well-defined interfaces for the potential of implementing cost-effective upgrades in future increments to leverage advances in technology and respond to threat changes.”
Orca could help to fill a yawning gap in the American submarine fleet. In December 2016, the U.S. Navy announced it needed 66 nuclear-powered attack subs, or SSNs, to meet regional commanders’ needs. But in early 2019 it had just 51 attack boats.
The U.S. Navy in recent years has been buying new Virginia-class attack submarines at a rate of two per year, hoping to mitigate an attack-sub shortfall during the mid-2020s. But the attack-sub force still could decline to a low of 42 in 2028 as old Los Angeles-class boats leave the fleet in large numbers.
„Where we sit today is, we can’t build ships and deliver them in time to fill in that dip,” Vice Adm. Bill Merz, a deputy chief of naval operations, told U.S. senators.
While American submarines are more sophisticated than are most subs belonging to rival fleets, there might be too few U.S. boats to, say, quickly respond to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
As recently as 2013, the U.S. Navy could deploy on short notice no more than eight attack submarines to the western Pacific, according to Adm. Cecil Haney, then the commander of Pacific Fleet submarines.
Moreover, U.S. subs on average are around 400 feet long and displace around 6,000 tons, making them too big for operations in shallow, crowded waters such as those of the Taiwan Strait.
In early 2019 China possessed around 50 diesel-powered attack submarines, or SSKs, and six nuclear-powered attack subs and was on track to add several more boats by 2020, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency reported in February 2019.
„It is conceivable that an adept PLAN submarine captain … could take advantage the Yuan’s shallow draft and wedge the SSK into a difficult-to-access channel or maritime feature, and thereby forcing higher-technology SSNs to fight on unfavorable terrain whose geography and acoustic signatures favor the defender,” Henry Holst explained in an essay for the U.S. Naval Institute.
An Orca is even smaller than a Yuan is. Assuming the U.S. Navy can refine the robotic boat’s command-and-control systems, artificial intelligence, sensors and weapons, in theory the Orca could become a capable shallow-water fighter.
Not coincidentally, the U.S. Navy also is eyeing robotic vessels to bolster the surface fleet. Cheaper to build than today ship’s are and expendable, unmanned surface warships could help the Navy quickly to grow — and could allow the fleet to develop new tactics for battling a high-tech foe.
„Part of the value of having unmanned surface vehicles is you can get capacity at a lower cost,” Rear Adm. John Neagley, the Navy’s executive for unmanned and small warships, told Breaking Defense.
The same applies to the undersea fleet.