The pilot who crashed a plane in the French Alps had received a sick note from doctors showing he suffered a health condition that would have prevented him flying the day of the crash, which he apparently hid from his employer, German prosecutors said.
French prosecutors believe Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked himself alone in the cockpit of the Germanwings Airbus A320 on Tuesday and deliberately steered it into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board.
“Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors,” said the prosecutors’ office in Duesseldorf, where the co-pilot lived and where the doomed flight from Barcelona was heading.
“The fact there are sick notes saying he was unable to work, among other things, that were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues,” the German prosecutors said.
Will Democrats be able to retain his senate seat?
After repeatedly insisting that he would seek a sixth Senate term in 2016, Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada announced on Friday that he will not be a candidate for re-election next year, saying he wants to “go out at the top of my game.”
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.
“I understand this place,” Mr. Reid said. “I have quite a bit of power as minority leader.”
Corporations are working to collectively cut out another section of the safety net in America.
Nearly two dozen major corporations, including Walmart, Nordstrom, and Safeway, are bankrolling a quiet, multistate lobbying effort to make it harder for workers hurt on the job to access lost wages and medical care—the benefits collectively known as workers’ compensation.
The companies have financed a lobbying group, the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation (ARAWC), that has already helped write legislation in one state, Tennessee. Richard Evans, the group’s executive director, told an insurance journal in November that the corporations ultimately want to change workers’ comp laws in all 50 states. Lowe’s, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sysco Food Services, and several insurance companies are also part of the year-old effort.
Laws mandating workers’ comp arose at the turn of the 20th century as a bargain between employees and employers: If a worker suffered an injury on the job, the employer would pay his medical bills and part of his wages while he recovered. In exchange, the worker gave up his right to sue for negligence.
Google is awarding a $70 million pay package to its newly hired chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, a longtime Morgan Stanley executive who leaves Wall Street for Silicon Valley in May.
Porat will get a $5 million one-time signing bonus in addition to her $650,000 annual salary, according to a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Google will also grant her $25 million in stock this year and an additional $40 million next year that vests by 2019.
The pay is in line with Porat’s high-caliber peers at the few companies that share Google’s scope and size, said Frank Glassner, chief executive of San Francisco-based Veritas Executive Compensation Consultants.
While it’s terrible that this was going on, this mass retraction demonstrates that Science and Scientists are self correcting over time.
A major publisher of scholarly medical and science articles has retracted 43 papers because of “fabricated” peer reviews amid signs of a broader fake peer review racket affecting many more publications.
The publisher is BioMed Central, based in the United Kingdom, which puts out 277 peer-reviewed journals. A partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China, including China Medical University, Sichuan University, Shandong University and Jiaotong University Medical School. But Jigisha Patel, associate editorial director for research integrity at BioMed Central, said it’s not “a China problem. We get a lot of robust research of China. We see this as a broader problem of how scientists are judged.”
Meanwhile, the Committee on Publication Ethics, a multidisciplinary group that includes more than 9000 journal editors, issued a statement suggesting a much broader potential problem. The committee, it said, “has become aware of systematic, inappropriate attempts to manipulate the peer review processes of several journals across different publishers.” Those journals are now reviewing manuscripts to determine how many may need to be retracted, it said.
How bad is Antarctic ice loss? Let scientists count the ways. In December, researchers reported that West Antarctica, one of the world’s most unstable ice sheets, is collapsing faster than anyone had predicted and contributing to rapid sea level rise. Earlier this month, the same was found to be true of Totten Glacier in East Antarctica.
This week, glaciologists report the massive floating ice shelves that form a fringe along the continent’s coastline are also deteriorating. For hundreds of thousands of years, these shelves have served as doorstops for the entire Antarctic ice sheet system, holding back millions of cubic miles of glaciers from surging toward the sea. And now they’re losing heft faster than they can be replenished.
In a study published in the March 27 issue of the journal Science, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego found that Antarctic ice shelves have been losing volume at an increasing pace in the past 18 years.
Investigators were scouring for clues on Friday to help solve the mystery of why Andreas Lubitz, a 27-year-old German co-pilot, apparently slammed Germanwings Flight 9525 into a mountainside in the French Alps on purpose, killing all 150 on board. Prosecutors are examining several theories, including that the crash was a suicide or a mass murder.
On Thursday, the French prosecutor leading the investigation said the evidence from the cockpit voice recorder suggested that Mr. Lubitz, a former flight attendant with a passion for flying, had locked the pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately set the plane on its lethal descent.
The crash claimed victims from more than a dozen countries, including Germany, Spain and the United States.
The interesting thing about cataclysmic asteroid collisions is that they not only can happen, they have happened, and they will happen again—-eventually. They are common in geological history, but extremely unlikely within the lifetime of any particular person. This gap in chronological scales, and the perception of time, is beyond the knowledge or comprehension of much of the audience, hence the potential for sensationalism.
There are ways to report on occasional close approaches by near-Earth objects (NEOs) that convey the respectful awareness of their presences and the fact that our planet shares its neighborhood with many other objects, large and small… and that sometimes their paths around the Sun bring them unnervingly close to our own.
Then there’s just straight-up over-sensationalism intended to drum up page views by scaring the heck out of people, regardless of facts.
Apparently this is what’s happened regarding the upcoming close approach by NEO 2014 YB35. An asteroid of considerable (but definitely not unprecedented) size - estimated 440-990 meters in diameter, or around a third of a mile across - YB35 will pass by Earth on Friday, March 27, coming as close as 11.7 times the distance between Earth and the Moon at 06:20 UTC.
11.7 lunar distances. That’s 4.5 million kilometers, or almost 2.8 million miles. Cosmically close, sure, but far from “skimming”…and certainly with no danger of an impact or any of the nasty effects that would be a result thereof. None. Zero. Zilch. NASA isn’t concerned, and you shouldn’t be either.
Also, GenCon, one of the largest gaming conventions in the country, is looking at leaving Indiana after its contract with Indianapolis is up in 2020.
The following link is a Cracked article (you thought I was going to do something different?) called “4 Iconic Parts of Suburbs That Are Going Away Forever.”
Relatively short version: It used to be that the young & affluent were fleeing the crime & poverty stricken cities for idyllic suburbs. But wage-stagnation and the erosion of the middle-class has rendered many suburbanites poor. The suburbs lack the infrastructure to deal with so many poor people, and of course being poor means less tax revenue which hurts the already inadequate infrastructure. And since the police are a part of said wanting infrastructure, the suburbs have become easy targets from criminals.
Meanwhile, young people with means are moving back into the cities where crime rates have dropped. Sucks for those stuck in the ‘burbs. But one silver lining is that urban sprawl isn’t likely to be a big environmental issue anymore. So there’s at least that. But still, did I mention it sucks for those stuck in ‘burbs?
This has been another one of life’s bitter ironies.