Daily News Roundup

March 14, 2019

Image: ABC News

THURSDAY, March 14

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has recommended that its entire global fleet of nearly 400 of its suspect 737 MAX aircraft be grounded, after evidence collected from Sunday’s fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash was seen by aviation authorities.

The move by Boeing came shortly after US President Donald Trump reversed an earlier decision and banned all 737 MAX aircraft from American skies.

Mr Trump said the planes – two of which have crashed in what are believed similar circumstances in the space of five months – were becoming “too complex to fly”. Australia has already grounded all 737 MAX planes.

America’s Federal Aviation Authority said new satellite data given to the US, Canada and other authorities prompted the decision to ground all 737 MAX planes operated by US airlines or in US territory.

“The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analysed today,” the FAA said in a statement.

“This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision.”

US-based aircraft-tracking firm Aireon had provided satellite data to the FAA, Transport Canada and several other authorities, company spokesperson Jessie Hillenbrand said.

Aireon’s space-based system can monitor data from aircraft equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) transponders.

The Ethiopian crash on Sunday killed 157 people, and was the second disaster involving the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in less than five months.

In October, the unexplained crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Indonesia killed 189 people.

The world’s biggest plane maker is facing its most serious crisis in years, as the decades-old 737 series, a plane cited as a global workhorse, takes a severe blow to its prestige.

Boeing, which maintained that its planes were safe to fly, said in a statement that it supported the FAA’s move to temporarily ground 737 MAX flights.

“Boeing has determined — out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety — to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.”

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Hollywood actress Lori Loughlin of Full House fame has been released on $A1.4 million bail after fronting a federal court in Los Angeles charged with mail fraud in connection with a widespread college admissions bribery scheme.

Judge Steve Kim also set the same bail for her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, who is also been charged.

Judge Kim was originally reluctant to allow Loughlin to continue travelling to Vancouver for work, but he relented and set conditions that she be allowed to travel as long as the court is aware of her destination and length of stay.

Loughlin will also face charges in Boston Federal Court on March 29.

Loughlin and her husband allegedly payed a $US500,000 bribe to have their two daughters, the elder of whom is a YouTube star and social media influencer, labelled as rowers to get into the University of Southern California. Prosecutors say those were false claims as neither daughter has participated in the sport.

The Full House star surrendered to authorities on Wednesday morning, and was in Canada shooting the Hallmark show When Calls the Heart when arrests were made.

“Crown Media Family Networks is aware of the situation and monitoring developments as they arise,” the Hallmark parent company said.

The high profile couple were caught in an FBI investigation code-named Operation Varsity Blues into a group of wealthy parents who are accused of paying between $200,000 and $6.5 million to admit their children into elite universities.

Their alleged scams include everything from faking test scores to paying college coaches to have their kids designated as athletic recruits.

Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman was also among those implicated in the college admissions sham, and all three face a single count of mail fraud in connection with the scheme.

Huffman posted $A353,300 bond. Her husband William H. Macy, also a Hollywood star, who was not indicted, sat in the front row in court.

The parents charged in the case include CEOs, real estate investors, and the co-chair of a global law firm. The children gained admission to Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, and USC.

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An Australian woman who is believed to have flown to Syria four years ago is pleading to be allowed to return home for the sake of her sick children.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison appears to be unmoved saying  Australians who support terrorism overseas need to be aware of the consequences

“They have to take responsibility for those decisions to join up with terrorists who are fighting Australia. I’m not going to put any Australian at risk to try to extract people from those situations,” he said.

“There is a process for us to deal with them under Australian law, and they will face the full force of Australian law should they be in a position to seek to come back.”

The womanwho says she is trapped with her two young children in a refugee camp for Islamic State group families says her daughter needs urgent medical care and she wants to come home.

The woman refused to confirm her identity, but it’s believed she is 24-year-old Zehra Duman from Melbourne.

She is being held at Al Hawl refugee camp in north-east Syria.

In an interview exclusively obtained and published by the ABC, the woman said she wants to bring her two-year-old son and six-month-old daughter back to Australia.

“Both of my kids are sick. [My daughter is] very malnourished, she’s … very skinny,” she said.

“I have no money, I’m not allowed to have money, they don’t give us food here and they don’t let us contact our families.

“My daughter needs milk and I don’t have money to buy her milk. I don’t know what to do now,” she said.

The woman said she understand the anger that Australians have towards “a lot of us here but the kids don’t need to suffer”.

“My kids have a right at least to be treated like normal kids,” she said.

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