The cockpit recorder was found where the flight data recorder was recovered three days after the accident.
Indonesian navy divers have recovered the cockpit voice recorder of a Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in January, killing all 62 people on board, officials said Wednesday. Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said divers retrieved the cockpit recorder at about 08.00 p.m. Tuesday local time, near where the flight data recorder was recovered three days after the accident. If the voice recorder is undamaged, it might tell investigators what the pilots were doing — or failing to do — to regain control of the plane during its brief, erratic flight.
AdBis zu 20.000 € Schadensersatz möglichSouth China Morning PostCoronavirus: battered Hong Kong travel industry calls for mutual recognition of vaccines as bubble hopes soarHong Kong’s travel industry has called on the city and its prospective travel bubble partners to strike bilateral agreements recognising each other’s approved Covid-19 vaccines in order to get the long-awaited deals off the ground. The appeal from the battered sector came as the Hong Kong government relaunched efforts to strike quarantine-free travel bubble deals with countries like Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, while urging residents to get vaccinated if they hoped to take advantage of a travel bubble with Singapore that the city negotiated last year only for it to burst amid a spike in cases. All of those countries were among the ones the government approached about possible agreements last year, along with Malaysia, France, Germany and Switzerland.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Meanwhile, Hong Kong officials on Monday urged residents to get vaccinated if they hoped to take advantage of a travel bubble with Singapore, which the city negotiated last year only for it to fall flat amid a spike in cases. City to lift ban on residents stranded in Britain; quarantine rules to be eased for certain arrivals However, the Lion City has so far only approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and is still assessing the clinical trial data for China’s Sinovac – one of the two types of jab available in Hong Kong, along with BioNTech. Asked if there could be issues with Singapore declining to accept Sinovac jab takers from Hong Kong, Timothy Chui Ting-pong, director of the board of the Travel Industry Council, said he was confident such problems would not come to pass, as the recognition of both destinations’ vaccines should be mutual. “Hong Kong has a strong outbound travel market and many places want to attract travellers from us,” said Chui, who is also the chief operating officer of Taiwan Good Travel Company. “The talks are mutual. The deal won’t happen if Hong Kong accepts what Singapore offers but not the other way round. While Singapore is waiting for more Sinovac data, I am very confident that the country, or even other places that are in talks with Hong Kong, will eventually accept the jabs as one of the conditions.” As of Monday, about 299,200 people had received their first dose of Sinovac, and another 24,600 had got their second. Some 151,300 people have received their first dose of BioNTech, the use of which has recently been suspended in the city after the discovery of defects in the vaccine’s packaging. Altogether, some 6 per cent of the city’s population has received at least one dose of vaccine. Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing agreed that Hong Kong and its partners “will have to come to a consensus on whether vaccination is a condition of the travel bubbles and what vaccines are recognised”. “Based on the existing pandemic control level, Singapore appears to be among the first to form a travel bubble with Hong Kong,” he continued, adding that the governments should also work out alternatives for those who do not get vaccinated. “The aim is to provide traveller-friendly arrangements.” Hong Kong exploring ways to incentivise coronavirus vaccine take-up: pandemic adviser Since last month, Hong Kong has been engaged in talks with Singapore about resurrecting their ill-fated travel bubble. On Monday, officials revealed that non-Hong Kong residents from low-risk countries– namely Singapore, Australia and New Zealand – would be allowed to enter the city for the first time since an entry ban on foreigners was put in place a year ago. After completing 14 days of quarantine in a hotel, rather than the current requirement of 21, those travellers will be allowed to self-isolate at home, and take a coronavirus test on their 19th day in town. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah said on Monday that the current conditions in the city lent themselves to restarting travel bubble talks with other countries, and pointed to the relaxation of certain measures for low-risk countries as a starting point. “Allowing non-residents from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to come to Hong Kong paves the way for forming air travel bubbles,” he said. Though he confirmed discussions had restarted with Singapore, he declined to offer details or a timetable, or to say whether vaccines would be mandatory, noting only that they would be helpful for those hoping to take part. “We also recommend that Hongkongers, when they travel elsewhere, if they want to join the air travel bubble arrangement, they should first get vaccinated so they can give themselves protection. In the long run, I believe this is also a trend globally,” he said. Singapore’s transport minister, Ong Ye Kung, said the city state had received the Hong Kong government’s proposal on reopening travel, which it would study and respond to shortly. Last week, Singapore’s health minister, Gan Kim Yong, said it was actively discussing mutual travel arrangements with other countries, and that they were likely to vary between different destinations. The agreements might not hinge solely on vaccination, he added, as they depended on the overall situation in each country. Asked if Singapore would recognise only travellers who have received vaccines that the Lion City had approved, Gan said it was more important to consider the overall transmission risk in the other country. More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: Hong Kong to lift ban on residents stranded in Britain; quarantine rules to be eased for arrivals from Australia, New Zealand and SingaporeCoronavirus: Hong Kong to offer tourism staff workers about 2,000 jobs at vaccination centresCoronavirus: Hong Kong’s BioNTech vaccination drive likely to resume next week after probe into packaging flaws finds no systemic errorsPalau president visits Taiwan to open ‘Asia’s first travel bubble’ between two ‘Covid-safe’ destinationsThis article Coronavirus: battered Hong Kong travel industry calls for mutual recognition of vaccines as bubble hopes soar first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
2 days agoUS Palau envoy’s trip to Taiwan prompts ‘red line’ warning from ChinaBeijing has warned Washington not to cross its “red line” on Taiwan after a US envoy arrived on the island as part of a delegation from Palau, one of Taipei’s 15 remaining allies. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday that “the Chinese side resolutely opposes any form of official contacts between US and Taiwanese officials”, adding that any such contact would hurt US-China ties and affect stability in the Taiwan Strait. The warning came after Palauan President Surangel Whipps arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a five-day trip to launch a “travel bubble” to ease coronavirus between Taipei and Koror, Palau’s biggest island.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. US ambassador to Palau John Hennessey-Niland was part of the delegation, becoming the first US envoy to visit Taiwan since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing from Taipei in 1979. Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory that must be returned to its control by force if needed, has repeatedly warned the US against official contacts with the island. On Monday, a day after the US ambassador was reported to be visiting Taiwan, Beijing sent 10 warplanes to Taiwan’s southwest air defence identification zone to ramp up pressure on the island, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry. In Taipei, Whipps said his country needed support from both Taipei and Washington. “Having the US ambassador here with us is just a demonstration of how we work together to get this ‘sterile corridor’ or ‘travel bubble’ started,” he said, referring to US supplies of vaccines to Palau that enabled the formation of the travel bubble. “As a small country, we could easily be infiltrated and we depend on our partners to protect us and give us security. So I appreciate [Hennessy-Niland] joining us … which demonstrates [the US] friendship and commitment in protecting us and giving us security.” Observers said Hennessey-Niland’s presence was a strong signal from the US that it would respond to any effort by Beijing to bring Palau into its fold. “According to normal diplomatic practice, Ambassador John Hennessey-Niland would not be able to come to Taiwan without permission from the State Department,” said Alexander Huang Chieh-cheng, a professor of international relations and strategic studies at Tamkang University in Taipei. “[His visit] signals the US effort to assist Taiwan in securing diplomatic ties with Palau against pressure from Beijing.” Whipps told Taiwan’s semi-official Central News Agency that soon after he was elected president late last year, Beijing tried to persuade him to switch diplomatic recognition to the mainland but he rebuffed Beijing’s overtures, saying he valued Palau’s ties with Taipei. Hennessey-Niland has said Pacific nations need to be aware of the risks and the potential loss of autonomy in siding with Beijing. And in a US Senate hearing in December 2019, he said Taiwan was a US partner and critical to helping contain Beijing’s military expansion in the Indo-Pacific region. Huang said Hennessey-Niland’s visit “implies that the Biden administration has observed the Taiwan Travel Act and the decision made by its predecessor to lift unfair and unnecessary restrictions on certain official engagements with Taiwanese counterparts”. Former US president Donald Trump approved the Taiwan Travel Act in 2018 to allow high-level official visits with Taipei. His administration also removed decades-old, self-imposed restrictions on how its diplomats and other officials interact with the island. Observers said the US envoy’s presence on the trip also indicated that US partnership with Taiwan had gone beyond just the US-Taiwan level, but also involved a third party such as Palau. “It looks like a concerted action,” Huang said, adding that more evidence was needed to assess whether the three had established a formal partnership. Lin Ting-hui, deputy secretary-general of the Taiwan Society of International Law, said he did not rule out a joint coastguard drill between Taiwan, Palau and the US, given that Palau had a coastguard agreement with Taiwan and the US had a similar arrangement with Taiwan and a defence deal with Palau. According to The Wall Street Journal, Palau had asked the Pentagon to build ports, bases and airfields in the island state, offering a boost to US military expansion plans in Indo-Pacific region, as Washington aims to counter China. This article US Palau envoy’s trip to Taiwan prompts ‘red line’ warning from China first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
2 days agoIn China’s west, a population boom could drive Xinjiang capital to bust: scientistsThe biggest city in Xinjiang has expanded its footprint more than four times in less than three decades, mainly because of a rapidly rising population, according to a new study. The population of Urumqi has increased more than a third over the last 10 years. This has led to an unprecedented expansion of urban areas that have severely stretched land and water resources in the regional capital and pushed it to the brink of ecological disaster, scientists warn. All things considered, “population size has the biggest impact”, said the team led by Shi Tiange of the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Urumqi in a paper published last week in the journal Arid Land Geography.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Urumqi is a 2,000-year-old city on the ancient Silk Road. Today it plays an important role in the Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious programme launched by the Chinese government to link Asian, European and African countries via infrastructure construction, trade and investment. A major transport hub and business centre on China’s western frontier, Urumqi contributes a quarter of the GDP of Xinjiang, the largest region in China with an area three times the size of France. Shi’s team used government statistics and satellite data, including Google Earth images, to track the evolution of Urumqi’s urban area from 1990 to 2018. Most cities in China were expanding in area at a pace outstripping population growth. Their main driving force came from commercial activities or aggressive local government urbanisation policies. But in Urumqi, the population grew from less than 1.5 million in 1990 to over 3.5 million in 2018, with nearly half the increase occurring within the past decade. The population boom drove the city’s urban footprint to expand 4.26 times in the same period to more than 360 square kilometres (139 square miles). “Population agglomeration has led to an increase in the demand for construction of homes, public service facilities and park green spaces,” Shi said in the paper. Xinjiang has the fastest population growth in China. From 2015 to 2017, the annual growth rate was usually above 1.1 per cent. It dropped to 0.613 per cent in 2018, but was still twice the national average of about 0.3 per cent, according to the central and regional government census. Xinjiang, along with Tibet, also has the youngest demographic structure, with residents over 60 accounting for about 10 per cent of the population, compared to the national average of 18 per cent. China to step up use of Mandarin in Xinjiang schools in face of growing international outcry The rapid population growth fuelled the expansion of Urumqi as more young people moved into the city for job opportunities and a higher living standard, the paper said. But such rapid expansion is not sustainable. In recent years, the local government had to fill valleys to make room for urban development projects as the supply of flat land ran out, especially to the south of Urumqi, according to Shi. The city expansion also threatened protected zones of natural habitat and meltwater resources at the foot of the Tianshan mountains, a water tower for central Asia. “There is not enough water for more people,” an ecologist with Xinjiang Normal University in Urumqi said. “Our water per capita is only one-eighth compared to the national average. We have been overpumping groundwater for the increasing population. This will lead to a collapse of the ecological system,” said the researcher who asked not to be named. Urumqi has run into a dilemma, according to some local scientists. The city is under pressure to achieve rapid economic growth to support the belt and road programme while protecting and improving the environment. To attempt to solve the problem, the city government has recently introduced a regulation to cap the local population at four million residents, according to another researcher. “I don’t think it will work as the population keeps growing,” he said.More from South China Morning Post:Beyond cotton, another thread in Xinjiang supply chain creates new snag for global textile firmsChina seeks Turkish support for its policies on XinjiangChina’s population crisis: the country might grow old before it grows richChina population: Beijing hoping for ‘appropriate’ 2021 fertility level as demographic challenges mountPopulation decline could end China’s civilisation as we know it. When will Beijing wake up to the crisis?This article In China’s west, a population boom could drive Xinjiang capital to bust: scientists first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021. headtopics.comRead more: Yahoo Singapore »
Singapore returns to tighter COVID-19 measures: What's allowed under the new rules?
SINGAPORE: With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the community, Singapore has announced tighter measures for about three weeks from Saturday ...