In an era when we’ve all got GPS in our pockets, OnStar in our cars and the NSA tracking anyone, anywhere, it is still possible-although rare-for an airliner to seemingly vanish.
That appears to be what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on Friday night. As of Monday, search and rescue teams from nine countries including the United States had not found any trace of the Boeing 777-200 or the 239 people aboard. There are many theories about what went wrong, but the airline, Boeing and investigators in Malaysia have so far refused to speculate or offer any insights.
Whatever happened, it happened quickly, aviation experts said, and catastrophically. The fact it happened over the ocean-presumably the South China Sea, but possibly the Gulf of Thailand-means it could be months or years before we know exactly what went wrong. The ocean is a very big place, and finding clues will be slow. It took investigators two years to recover the black box data recorder from Air France Flight 447, which went down over the Atlantic on June 1, 2009.
“The simple hard truth is it’s very difficult to find things in the water,” said retired Col. J. Joseph, a former Marine Corps pilot and aviation consultant.
I need to post this since I propagated the original Der Spiegle story here. This debunks the “European” linkage headlined in the story. All of the genes are Asian / Siberian in origin. H/T to Freetoken who pointed out the shoddy reporting back then in the comments.
It appears that the usual Solutrean Hypothesis / Solutrean Truther crowd at work, and underneath it all if you dig deep enough are lots of white supremacists who want to be able to designate the americas as a white homeland; because the Solutrean hypothesis posits that the original human settlers of the Americas were European instead of Asian. Any article linking American Native ancestry to Europe instead of Asia will draw them like flies and gain lots of hits, which is one reason some journalists propagate the long debunked pseudo-science hypothesis.
Unfortunately, the majority of media reports about the Clovis child’s genome chose to give undue weight to the Solutrean hypothesis and/or his “European origins”. I saw two major types of this reporting. The first, like this Reuters article presented the debate as if there were equal weight to both sides, an example of false equivalency that we see quite often in science coverage of controversial topics (and which I explicitly tried to warn reporters against when I was being interviewed on the subject). The second, like this article in der Spiegal “Montana Boy: Bones Show Ancestral Links to Europe”, emphasized the Anzick-1′s genetic affinities with the recently published genome from the ancient Siberian “Mal’ta child” (Raghavan et al. 2013) as evidence of European ancestry. (They specifically suggest that he may have German ancestry). That they chose to do so is puzzling. Shared ancestry between an ancient Native American and an ancient Siberian individual from the Lake Baikal region is a totally unsurprising result and fits within our consensus models for the peopling of the Americas. But Spiegal’s interpretation of this as a “European” connection to Native Americans is inaccurate. The Mal’ta individual shows shared ancestry with a broad distribution of Eurasian populations, not just modern Europeans. Furthermore, the Mal’ta child lived 24,000 years ago, and the genetic landscape of that time period was almost certainly unlike the genetic landscape of today. To say that the Mal’ta child was “European” is to inappropriately apply a modern description of genetic variation backwards to a time when genetic diversity patterns in Europe likely were very different: by that logic, it would be just as accurate to say that modern Europeans are “Siberian”!
Emphasizing the “European connections” to the ancient Native American genome seems at first glance to be a particularly bizarre approach, because the genome showed absolutely nothing new in this context; it fit all expectations for what Clovis genetic diversity should look like if the standard migration model from Siberia to the Americas (via Beringia) was correct. So why did they choose to report it this way?
More on the Solutrean Hypothesis from Skeptical Inquirer
Zimmerman has been doing everything that he can think of to build on the infamy that he gained from killing Trayvon Martin. Public outrage forced the cancelation of the celebrity boxing match that Zimmerman was scheduled to participate in. Almost no one showed up at his autograph signing. The message being sent is clear. Society is not going to let George Zimmerman build a career out of being famous for killing an unarmed teenager.
Most people if they were involved in an incident where they took the life of another human being would have the decency to express remorse. Most people would keep a low profile. Only the most sociopathic of individuals would look to take advantage of their notoriety. George Zimmerman is a killer without a conscience. He isn’t content with beating a murder charge.
There are in fact some things that members of Congress can agree on. With a vote of 97-0, the Senate unanimously approved a set of changes to the military’s sexual assault policies late on Monday night. The bipartisan bill composed by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), ends the time-old practice of using a “good soldier defense” in cases of assault. Here’s the AP:
The new legislation would change the military rules of evidence to prohibit the accused from using good military character as an element of his defense in court-martial proceedings unless it was directly relevant to the alleged crime. The “good soldier defense” could encompass a defendant’s military record of reliability, dependability, professionalism and reputation as an individual who could be counted on in war and peacetime.
McCaskill described it as “the ridiculous notion that how well one flies a plane should have anything to do with whether they committed a crime.”
certainly made for a startling video: police, lights ablaze, pull up to local churches. Once inside, they march up to the pulpit and place the pastor preaching there under arrest, in front of the congregation. The men of the cloth are perp-walked out of the church with handcuffs on.
This very scenario created a brief uproar - first at the Akron, Ohio, churches where the “arrests” took place, and then around the country as word spread on social media - among Christians concerned that they were witnessing modern-day persecution.
It was, however, all fake - except for the uniforms of the arresting officers. Those were real enough - and that fact has raised eyebrows in the Ohio precincts where it all took place.
In fact, the mock arrests had been arranged ahead of time by the pastors themselves, who persuaded the Summit County Sheriff’s Department to participate in the stunt as a way of dramatizing and publicizing an upcoming community event called “Defending The Faith,” in which the pastors will face a mock trial and be forced to defend their Christianity.
The Swedish government has condemned an attack over the weekend in which four people were wounded, saying violence by far-right groups was hurting the country’s image.
Four people were beaten and cut in a fight in the early hours of Sunday in the city of Malmo after a march to celebrate International Women’s Day, police said. One is still in hospital.
Right-wing political group The Party of the Swedes said in a press release that the incident occurred when some of its members were attacked in Malmo by left-wing “extremists”.
Three people were arrested and have been charged with attempted murder.
A court hearing is scheduled Tuesday for Gov. Chris Christie’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly, who is seeking to quash a subpoena by a NJ legislative panel investigating a political payback scandal.
Lawyers for the panel say Kelly has shown no valid legal purpose for refusing to comply.
The legislators want Kelly to turn over emails, text messages and other documents that involve a plot to block traffic near the George Washington Bridge for political retribution against a Democratic mayor whose town experienced the gridlock.
A U.K. man who admitted he plotted to bomb passenger jets with explosives hidden in his shoes told a Manhattan federal jury he “brainstormed” with Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Saajid Badat, 34, testified today via a closed-circuit television hookup from an undisclosed location in the U.K. in the terrorism case of bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghayth. Prosecutors say Abu Ghayth, the most senior al-Qaeda member to be tried in U.S. civilian court, acted as a spokesman for the group and had advance knowledge of its plots to attack Americans by various methods, including detonating shoe bombs on commercial jetliners.
Badat’s testimony comes amid renewed scrutiny of potential terrorist threats against jetliners as authorities search for Malaysian Airline System Bhd.’s Flight 370, which vanished from radar screens on March 8 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people. Two passengers used passports that were reported stolen by Austrian and Italian nationals in Phuket, Thailand, the Royal Thai Police said.
Western nations on Tuesday pressed ahead with plans to impose sanctions on Russia, with the French foreign minister saying they could kick in within days unless Russian authorities accept a U.S. proposal for discussions to end the crisis in Ukraine.
Western officials were set to meet in London Tuesday to hammer out details of the sanctions plan, which French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said could take effect this week and would likely include the freezing of individuals’ assets and the revocation of travel visas.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry has told Russian authorities that they need to halt their advance in Crimea and open a dialogue with Ukraine’s new government before he will visit Moscow for talks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that the U.S. proposal was “unsatisfactory.”
Three astronauts returned from the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, despite adverse weather condition in Kazakhstan that threatened to postpone their landing.
The Soyuz capsule carrying Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky of Russia and US astronaut Michael Hopkins landed at 9:24 am (0324 GMT) on the snow covered steppe amid strong winds and freezing temperatures, Russian media reported.
Russian news agencies reported Monday that because of the weather the return had been postponed to Wednesday.