American Airlines Group Inc said on Wednesday it was extending cancellation of Boeing 737 MAX flights to Jan. 15 as regulators continue to extensively review proposed software changes to the grounded plane.
The largest U.S. airline, which had previously cancelled about 140 flights a day through Dec. 3, said Wednesday it expected to gradually resume MAX flights starting on Jan. 16.
American said it believed the software updates would lead to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “re-certification of the aircraft later this year and resumption of commercial service in January 2020.”
The FAA said Wednesday it is “is following a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline for returning the Boeing 737 Max to passenger service.
The FAA will lift the aircraft’s prohibition order when it is deemed safe to do so.”
The fast-selling 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide since mid-March, while Boeing updates flight control software at the centre of two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that together killed 346 people within a span of five months.
Among other U.S. airlines that operate the MAX, Southwest Airlines Co has cancelled flights through Jan. 5 and United Airlines Holdings Inc until Dec. 19.
An ongoing regulatory safety review means a key 737 MAX certification test flight is unlikely before November, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Boeing has repeatedly said it hopes to resume flights in the fourth quarter which began on Oct. 1.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson told Reuters in September the agency would need about a month following the yet-to-be scheduled certification test flight before the planes could return to service.
Boeing plans to revise the 737 MAX software to take input from both of its angle-of-attack sensors in the anti-stall system linked to the two deadly crashes and has added additional safeguards.
Boeing is also addressing a flaw discovered in the software architecture of the 737 MAX flight-control system that involves using and receiving input from the plane’s two flight control computers rather than one.
Meanwhile, airlines that had purchased the fuel-efficient MAX have cancelled thousands of monthly flights as they scramble to meet demand with slimmer fleets, eating in to profit and hurting some growth plans.
On Monday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association sued Boeing alleging that the plane-maker “deliberately misled” the airline and pilots about its 737 MAX aircraft.
The grounding of the 737 MAX has wiped out more than 30,000 Southwest Airlines flights, causing over 100 million dollars in lost wages for pilots, the union said. Boeing said the suit is “meritless.”
Fort Worth, Texas-based American, with 24 MAX jets at the time of the grounding and dozens more on order, said it expects to resume about 20 MAX flights a day in mid-January and plans to slowly return the MAX into commercial service throughout January and into February. (Reuters/NAN)
Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Tajudeen Atitebi
Dabiri-Erewa tasks US govt on killing of Nigerian-American Salau
Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), on Monday called on the government of the United States to ensure a thorough investigation in the alleged killing of a Nigerian, Toyin Salau.
The NiDCOM chief described the alleged murder of the 19-year-old Nigerian-American Activist, Salau in the U.S as highly depressing and cruel.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media and Public Relations Unit of NiDCOM, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Dabiri-Erewa said the U.S government must conduct a thorough investigation on the circumstances leading to Ms Salau’s death.
The NIDCOM boss condoled with the immediate family of Ms Salau who died while advocating against oppression and injustice.
NAN reports that Salau a 19-year-old lady of Nigerian origin, was found dead days after she was declared missing in the city of Tallahassee, Florida, the United States.
According to the Tallahassee Police Department, Salau who spoke at Black Lives Matters protests in the city, was last seen on June 6, near Wahnish Way and Orange Avenue, Tallahassee.
Salau was declared missing hours after she tweeted she was sexually assaulted.
She tweeted that a man molested her that morning around Park Avenue and Richview Road, Tallahassee, Florida.
She said the man offered to give her a ride back to a church where she had sought “refuge” because of “unjust living conditions”.
“He came disguised as a man of God and ended up picking me up from nearby Saxon Street,” she tweeted. “I trusted the Holy Spirit to keep me safe.”
According to reports, the Tallahassee Community Action Agency conducted a search party on June 10 night, starting at Bethel AME Church.
The demonstrators searched for hours. They carried flashlights and asked for medics to join them in case she was hurt.
Salau on June 15, after a week of her abduction, was found dead.
Before her confirmed death, she was very passionate about government policies, fighting racism and other issues affecting the society.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
United States demands Russia release American sentenced to 16 years for spying
The United States on Monday demanded that Russia immediately release United States citizen Paul Whelan, after he was sentenced to 16 years in prison for espionage.
The United States Ambassador John Sullivan, who was present at the Moscow courthouse, condemned the trial as a miscarriage of justice, saying no evidence had been produced.
In a statement released by the United States embassy Sullivan said “the United States demands that United States citizen Paul Whelan be released immediately. His conviction is a mockery of justice. The world is watching.’’
Whelan, a former United States marine, was accused of having obtained classified Russian state information, the nature of which has not been disclosed.
Sullivan described it as a “secret trial in which no evidence was produced.’’
He denounced the proceedings as an “egregious violation of human rights and international legal norms.’’
Whelan, 50, has been in Russian custody for the past year and a half after being detained in Moscow in December 2018.
State media reported that he underwent surgery two weeks ago for an abdominal hernia.
The United States embassy said it was an “emergency surgery,’’ performed because the condition had become life-threatening.
A flash drive and documents were confiscated from Whelan while he was detained on a trip to Moscow. No further details about the evidence have been revealed.
Whelan has insisted that he is innocent. His family has said he was visiting Russia to attend a wedding.
State media however reported that his legal team vowed to appeal Monday’s verdict.
Whelan, born in Canada to British parents, is also a citizen of Canada, Britain and Ireland. He was employed by United States auto parts supplier BorgWarner when he was detained.
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
California officials probe 2 separate hanging deaths of African American men
Authorities are investigating two separate hanging deaths of African American men in Southern California as “Black Lives Matter” protests continue to spread across the United States.
City and county officials have called for an independent investigation into the death of Robert Fuller, 24, who was found hanging from a tree early Wednesday near the city hall of Palmdale, Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.
Protesters marched from the site of Fuller’s death to the Sheriff’s Department station to demand an investigation.
The Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner’s office initially called the death a suicide. Fuller’s family and civic leaders quickly pushed back, insisting that it be investigated as a homicide and demanding an independent probe and autopsy. Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger also requested that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra conduct an independent investigation into Fuller’s death, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Fuller is the second African American man whose body was found hanging in a tree in Southern California in less than two weeks.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said the investigation into the death of Malcolm Harsch, 38, is ongoing, reported the newspaper.
Harsch’s body was found on May 31 near the Victorville City Library.
The County Sheriff’s Department said Saturday that foul play was not suspected in the death of Harsch. But in a statement to a Southern California news outlet, the Victor Valley News, Harsch’s family said they find it hard to accept his death was a suicide, noting that Harsch had recent conversations with his children about seeing them soon and that he did not seem to be depressed to anyone who knew him.
“Two Black men were found hanging from trees in California in the last 2 weeks… Authorities are calling them suicides. What Black man do you know who hangs himself from a tree? These are lynchings. Not ‘modern day lynchings,’ old school ones,” tweeted Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles on Sunday.
Atlanta police chief steps down after officer’s fatal shooting of African American man
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down on Saturday after an officer fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, an African American, on Friday night in the United States city in Georgia State.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Shields’ decision in a press conference, while calling for the “immediate termination” of the officer who shot Brooks.
“Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as police chief so that the city may move forward with urgency in rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our communities,” Bottoms said.
Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old African American man, was shot dead after local police were dispatched to respond to complaints that he was asleep in the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant.
Police said they tried to take Brooks into custody after he failed a sobriety test, which led to a struggle between Brooks and the other officers. Police claimed that Brooks, while allegedly resisting, grabbed an officer’s Taser and ran off with it.
Footage capturing the scene from the restaurant’s parking lot showed that Brooks turned around and appeared to point the stun gun at the police officers before being shot.
An ambulance transferred Brooks to a local hospital, where he died after undergoing surgery later.
Bottoms, the mayor, told reporters at the press conference that she did not “believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.”
A group of protesters marched onto a highway in Atlanta late Saturday night over the deadly police shooting.
According to live images on local media outlets, the protesters held a line on the Interstate 85 and Interstate 75 connector, blocking multiple vehicles, including police cars.
The incident came shortly after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, in police custody, which has sparked massive protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and across the rest of the nation.