Thursday, July 30, 2015

Patrolling the Pacific: Through the Taiwan Strait

Incredibly, as the U.S. fleet sailed through it a plane was shot down:

"TransAsia pilot admitted error before fatal crash" by Austin Ramzy New York Times   July 03, 2015

HONG KONG — The pilot of a plane that plunged over buildings, clipped a road, and slammed into a river in Taiwan in February acknowledged a few seconds before impact that he had shut off the wrong engine, according to a report on the deadly crash released Thursday.

The shutting down of the wrong engine was seen as a likely cause of the crash when the Aviation Safety Council released its initial finding in February. A conclusion on the crash’s cause will be included in a final report scheduled to be published next year. The report stops short of laying blame, but it offers new details about what went wrong. 

Related: Taiwan Pilots Ditched Jet

“Wow, pulled back the wrong side throttle,” the pilot, Liao Chien-tsung, 42, said seconds before the plane banked sharply, hitting a taxi and a roadway barrier and crashing into the Keelung River, according to a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder.

????? He was that blasé about it?

Training records in Singapore found that he had “insufficient knowledge leading to hesitations” during oral tests about what to do during an engine shutdown on takeoff or loss of electronic engine controls, according to the report.

On Thursday, TransAsia Airways executives bowed in apology at a news conference and said they were strengthening safety procedures and pilot training.



EU air agency proposes new rules on pilots
Lufthansa makes offer to crash victims’ kin
Kin of Germanwings crash victims lash out at airline

Auschwitz guard, now 93, describes camp in chilling detail
Former Auschwitz guard asks God for forgiveness at trial

It's another farce of a show trial to advance the chosen narrative.

Auschwitz guard faces court verdict
Former SS soldier at Auschwitz gets 4-year sentence

Looks like a (youthful) crisis actor, and the basis for guilt is Orwellian.

German aid denied for home child care

WikiLeaks: NSA targeted German chancellery, Merkel aides

German Elephants

What more is there to discuss? New regime looks a lot like the old.

"Two women to seek Taiwan presidency; Nominees differ on relationship with rival China" by Ralph Jennings Associated Press  July 19, 2015

TAIPEI — Taiwan’s top two political parties have each nominated a woman for president in 2016, a historic first signaling acceptance of female leadership and kicking off a campaign highlighted so far by clashing views on ties with rival China.

Related: China and Taiwan Are Talking 

Last I knew they were still talking.

The ruling Nationalist Party on Sunday picked as its candidate Hung Hsiu-chu, a former teacher and the current deputy legislative speaker.

Hung, who supports friendly relations with China, will run against Tsai Ing-wen, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman and an advocate of more cautious relations with Beijing.

I think we know which side the U.S. will be voting for.

Tsai leads in polls ahead of January’s election.

A rig job in the works?

Ties with Beijing, long icy but cordial since 2008, have shaped up as a campaign issue.

They have been getting closer and friendlier the whole time.

Voters in Taiwan, which has been democratic since the late 1980s, have never elected a woman as president.

Joanna Lei, chief executive of the Chunghua 21st Century Think Tank in Taiwan, said some younger women struggle to advance in Taiwan. However, she said society accepts the leadership of women over age 50 because they historically ran clans in China, where Taiwan’s culture originates.

Women manage 10 government departments and some of Taiwan’s top companies. One-third of Taiwanese legislators are female, compared with 13 percent in Japan and 16 percent in South Korea, said Sean King, senior vice president with Park Strategies, a New York-based consultancy firm.

China claims sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan, where Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists based their government in the 1940s after losing the Chinese civil war to the Communists. China insists that the two sides should eventually reunite, though opinion polls say most Taiwanese prefer autonomy.

They are for all practical purposes due to the volume of trade.

Elected in 2008, President Ma Ying-jeou agreed with Beijing to negotiate on the basis that both sides belong to one China, though with different interpretations.

Hung supports a similar understanding with China, but Tsai’s party rejects that as a slight to Taiwan’s autonomy.


Picking up the plane wreckage:

"A fire on a music stage spread into a crowd of spectators at a party Saturday night at a water park, injuring nearly 500 people, including 141 in serious condition, authorities said. The fire was sparked by an accidental explosion of an unknown powder near the stage in front about 1,000 people, said Wang Wei-sheng, a liaison with the New Taipei City fire department command center. Video showed rescuers and bystanders carrying burned and injured people on their backs, in inflatable boats and on stretchers to get medical aid (AP).... 

Hundreds of people were being treated at hospitals in Taiwan on Sunday after a night of wild revelry at a water park near the capital turned into a hellish nightmare when airborne, colored powder being sprayed onto partygoers ignited. No deaths were reported, but as of Sunday evening, 498 people had been sent to 43 hospitals, with 202 sustaining serious injuries, according to the website of the Public Health Department of New Taipei City, where the incident took place, outside of Taipei. The injured victims were mostly from Taiwan, but among the injured were four people from Hong Kong, one person from the United States, one from Singapore, one from Japan, one from Macau, and one from Malaysia, according to the local public health department."

They are blaming it on warm weather