Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yemen jet crashes in Indian Ocean

A Yemeni airliner with more than 150 people on board has crashed in the Indian Ocean near the Comoros islands.

Some bodies have been found and a child rescued alive, officials from the carrier, Yemenia, said.

The Airbus 310 flight IY626 was flying from the Yemeni capital Sanaa, but many passengers on the plane began their journey in France.

The cause of the crash is not clear. A French minister said faults were found on the plane during a check in 2007.

"The A310 in question was inspected in 2007 by the DGAC [French transport authorities] and they noticed a certain number of faults. Since then the plane had not returned to France," Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau was quoted as telling French TV.

"The company was not on the black list but was subject to stricter checks on our part, and was due to be interviewed shortly by the European Union's safety committee."

An EU official told Reuters news agency there were concerns about the airline's "incomplete reporting procedure and incomplete follow-up" following the 2007 tests but that its record was now improving.

Yemeni Transport Minister Khaled Ibrahim al-Wazeer told Reutersthat the plane had undergone a thorough inspection and conformed to international standards.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Man City make approach for Eto'o

Manchester City have bid in the region of £25m for Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o, BBC Radio 5 Live understands.
The Spanish club's president Joan Laporta claimed City have made the 28-year-old Cameroon international a "stratospheric offer" to join them.
City refused to confirm or deny that they have made an offer.
Eto'o joined Barcelona in 2004, signing from Mallorca for a fee of about £16m, and has since scored more than 100 goals in his five seasons with the club.
He helped the Catalan side to win a treble trophy haul of the Spanish league title, domestic cup and Champions League in the 2008-2009 campaign.
Eto'o scored the opening goal in the Champions League final in Rome as Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0.
In doing so he became only the second player, after Raul, to score in two Champions League finals because Eto'o was also on target in Barcelona's 2-1 victory against Arsenal in 2006.
And it is believed City are also chasing Manchester United forward Carlos Tevez, who is soon to be out of contract, and Everton defender Joleon Lescott.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

'No foul play' in Jackson death

Foul play has been ruled out in the death of Michael Jackson, after doctors completed an autopsy on the singer who died on Thursday aged 50.

But tests, including toxicology, have been ordered and determining the cause of death could take several weeks, the Los Angeles county coroner said.

Jackson's body has now been released to his family but no funeral details have yet been announced.

Entertainers, world leaders and fans have paid tribute to the star.

Singers Madonna and Justin Timberlake praised his talent, while a spokesman for Barack Obama said that the US president saw Jackson as a "music icon".

Additional testing'

Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey said police had put a security hold on Jackson's case, limiting the amount of information that can be released.

"It means that the medical examiner ordered additional testing such as toxicology and other studies," Mr Harvey said.

The tests would take between four to six weeks, at which point he anticipated being able to close the case, he said.

Jackson, who had a history of health problems, collapsed at his Los Angeles home around midday on Thursday.

A recording of the telephone call made to emergency services has been released, in which the caller said Jackson was unconscious and had stopped breathing.

His personal doctor - who witnessed his collapse - was trying to revive him, the caller said.

Across the world, people have been voicing shock and disbelief at the news of his death. In Hollywood, thousands of people filed past his star on the Walk of Fame.

A White House spokesman said US President Barack Obama considered Jackson a spectacular performer, but said he felt parts of his life were "sad and tragic".

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hamilton sees McLaren improvement

Lewis Hamilton says he can see "light at the end of the tunnel" after a hugely frustrating start to the season.
The reigning world champion has won just nine points this campaign, with his McLaren car struggling to keep pace with the likes of Brawn and Red Bull.
But Hamilton, who finished 16th at the British Grand Prix, still harbours some optimism for the rest of the season.
Lewis Hamilton said that he is hoping that they will have some huge improvements for the next race and for their end-of-season push.
Hamilton's best result of the season, after he was stripped of third place at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, has been his fourth place in Bahrain back in April.
But since then his McLaren has increasingly struggled during a race weekend, with the 24-year-old suffering the worst qualifying result of his career - 19th - at Silverstone. .
"We need a competitive car before the end of the season so we can learn as much as we possibly can for next season," he added.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Work starts on New Mexico spaceport

The location of the spaceport was selected for its distance from any sizable populations - only the occasional ranch and the local rattlesnakes will know it is there.

But New Mexico brings other advantages. The state proudly boasts that it has about 350 days of sun each year, meaning that unlike Nasa at Cape Canaveral, weather should not often affect launches, and the spaceport's neighbour - the White Sands missile testing range - ensures the air space overhead is already a no-fly zone.

New Mexicans are proud of their role in helping to foster scientific advancement from Von Braun's work with the V2 and Redstone rockets, to nuclear power, and the many observatories that are based here.

Governor Bill Richardson said he felt that the economic benefits of positioning the state at the forefront of the burgeoning commercial space sector would lead to developments on many levels for New Mexico and build on its rich history of aviation and spaceflight.