Top news stories for today – July 28, 2016
MH370 captain’s home computer has clue
“The MH370 captain’s flight simulator showed someone had plotted a course to the southern Indian Ocean,” Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) spokesman Scott Mashford confirmed to CNN in an email. He did not elaborate on who may have plotted the route.
The confirmation corroborates earlier reports that the device had programmed in it a route similar to the one which investigators believe the doomed flight took on its final voyage. The simulator information shows only the possibility of planning. It does not reveal what happened on the night of the aircraft’s disappearance, nor where the aircraft is located. CNN
Iraqis primed to march on Mosul
Iraqi officials are increasingly emboldened about their prospects of retaking the city of Mosul from the Islamic State terror group even though it puts them at odds with the U.S. assessment. Neither they nor U.S. defense officials have been willing to put any sort of timeline on what promises to be a complex operation to push IS out of Iraq’s second-largest city. Still, with each day that passes Iraq’s confidence seems to grow.
“I believe that this will happen sooner or later because the Iraqi Army is gaining,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told VOA through an interpreter following his most recent trip to Washington. Those steady gains, pushing IS out of about half of the territory it once held in Iraq, have come as Iraq Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters march to a steady drumbeat of U.S. and coalition airstrikes.
U.S. officials estimate there are still about one million civilians left in Mosul. And United Nations officials warn that once the battle to retake Mosul begins in earnest, hundreds of thousands will flee the city, setting the stage for what could be the largest humanitarian relief operation this year. VOA
Merkel reject migrant policy reversal
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her policies on refugees in the wake of recent terror attacks. Some of the attacks were by asylum seekers who she said had “shamed the country that welcomed them”.
She said those fleeing persecution and war had a right to be protected. Mrs Merkel proposed new measures on information sharing, deciphering web chatter, tackling arms sales on the internet and improving security responses to attacks.
Two recent attacks in Bavaria were both by asylum seekers. A suicide bomb attack in Ansbach on Sunday that injured 15 people was carried out by a Syrian who had been denied asylum but given temporary leave to stay. An axe and knife attack on a train in Wuerzburg on 18 July was carried out by an asylum seeker from Afghanistan. Both men had claimed allegiance to so-called Islamic State.
The deadliest attack – in Munich on 22 July which left nine dead – was carried out by a German teenager of Iranian extraction but was not jihadist-related. BBC
Boeing could stop production of 747
After years of lackluster sales, Boeing has warned it could stop producing its legendary 747 jumbo jet if orders do not pick up. “It is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747,” Boeing said Wednesday in a regulatory filing.
The company previously announced it would halve production of the aircraft from 12 per year to just six beginning in September. Dubbed the “queen of the skies,” the world’s original jumbo jet has long been a favorite of the flying public. The aircraft made its commercial debut in 1970, and more than 1,500 have now been delivered. CNN
Watching too much TV can kill you
Japanese scientists say that watching TV for hours can raise the risk of dying from a blood clot in the lungs. Researchers studied the viewing habits of 86,000 people between 1988 and 1990 – then monitored their health over the next 19 years.
Bad news for fans of box sets – for every extra two hours of TV watched per day, the risk of fatal pulmonary embolism (PE) increased by 40%. Watching five or more hours of TV programmes each day made people more than twice as likely to die than those watching less than 2.5 hours. PE is caused by a blockage in blood vessels in the legs that usually works its way up to the lungs. It’s also linked to slow movement.
The researchers recommend going for a walk and stretching every hour during TV time. Or play Pokemon Go – that’s a Newsbeat recommendation. The study was conducted before mobile devices and streaming services became popular. BBC
Lack of exercise costs world $67.5B
A study of one million people has found that physical inactivity costs the global economy $67.5 billion a year in healthcare and productivity losses, but an hour a day of exercise could eliminate most of that.
Sedentary lifestyles are linked to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, researchers found, but activity — such as brisk walking — could counter the higher likelihood of early death linked with sitting for eight or more hours a day.
US Presidential election
President Obama rallies Democratic convention around Hillary Clinton: On the penultimate night of the Democratic National Convention, President Obama made a forceful case for Hillary Clinton, saying: “There has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified” to be president. He also highlighted past rhetorical themes, from “the audacity of hope” to “yes, we can,” to draw a stark contrast with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Earlier in the evening, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine accepted the party’s vice presidential nomination, giving his first address since he was introduced as Clinton’s running mate over the weekend. Vice President Joe Biden launched a blistering attack on Trump, saying, “There has been no major party nominee in our nation’s history who knows less or is less prepared.” And former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, himself a billionaire, took on Trump’s business record, saying “I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one.” The New York Times, ABC News, The Week
Trump invites Russia to hack Clinton amid DNC email investigation: Despite U.S. intelligence agencies saying they have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s email and computer system, Donald Trump said Wednesday at a press conference that it was “probably China” that conducted the cyber espionage. Pressed again about the DNC email hack, Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Hillary Clinton] emails that are missing.” Trump has said in the past that he “got to know” Putin “very well” when the two were stablemates on 60 Minutes, but on Wednesday, he said, “I never met Putin. I don’t know who Putin is.” The Week
WikiLeaks releases hacked Democratic National Committee audio recordings: On Wednesday evening, WikiLeaks released audio recordings it says were hacked from the Democratic National Committee. The data dump comes after the release of close to 20,000 emails stolen from the DNC, published just days before the start of the Democratic National Convention. U.S. intelligence agencies believe the Russian government is behind the hacking, but WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not reveal how he got the documents and audio recordings. Assange is living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he faces extradition over sexual assault allegations. WikiLeaks
Michael Bloomberg endorses Clinton, calls Trump a ‘dangerous demagogue’: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered Hillary Clinton his resounding endorsement Wednesday night, emerging as her most prominent independent surrogate as he tore into fellow billionaire businessman Donald Trump. Speaking on the third night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Bloomberg slammed Trump’s business record and called the Republican nominee a “dangerous demagogue” who must be stopped in an explicit appeal to independent voters across the country. CNN
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