Father-son bid to pilot aircraft around the world ends in tragedy

Babar Suleman (left) and his son, Haris Suleman. (Image from facebook.com)

The pair from Indiana were looking to break the speed record for circumnavigating the globe with the youngest pilot at the helm of a private, single engine airplane.

Additionally, Babar Suleman and his son, Haris, were using their trip – which featured stops in Europe Africa, and Asia – to raise money for a nonprofit organization that develops schools in Pakistan. As of Wednesday, they had raised more than $500,000.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the tragedy occurred around 10:15 p.m. American Samoan time on Tuesday. The flight had only taken off about half an hour prior, and the crash sparked a six hour search by the US Coast Guard that recovered the body of 17-year-old Haris but not that of his father. That search is ongoing.

“We don’t really know what happened with the plane,” Haris’ sister Hiba Suleman said at a press conference on Wednesday, the day the family was notified of the crash.

“He had asked me for dad’s credit card info, which apparently my dad wouldn’t give him. He wanted to book a hotel in Hawaii himself. He apparently didn’t like dad’s selection,” she recalled with a chuckle, as quoted by ABC News.

At this point, there are two main questions surrounding the crash. First and foremost is the cause of the accident, which remains unknown. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the accident, and it’s unclear if bad weather played a role. The family said that when it last spoke with Babar, he was keeping an eye on the weather and wouldn’t leave if conditions weren’t clear.

The second question is why the pair chose to take off at night. The family dismissed the idea that the two were racing home to ensure they beat the world record, but no other explanations exist just yet.

Although Haris and his father still had stops in Hawaii, California, and Texas, the two were scheduled to arrive back in Indiana on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the family is still hoping authorities will find Babar safe and alive.

“It is a tragedy of immense proportions,” family friend Azher Khan told the Indianapolis Star. “We are all still hopeful that we will have Babar come back.”

Hiba Suleman told ABC that Haris planned to become an engineer like his father. Babar had been an experienced flyer dating back to 2007, while Haris earned his flying license in June after starting courses last year.

“Dad talked for years of going on this trip,” she said. “We believed in it. We knew there was a risk.”

Kiev sabotaging probe into downed Malaysian plane – self-defense leader

A part of the fuselage of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is pictured in a field near the village of Grabove, in the Donetsk region, on July 23, 2014. (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

Kiev’s authorities have been obstructing the international investigation into the crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane since day one, Deputy Prime Minister of People’s Republic of Donetsk Andrey Purgin told Russia-24 TV channel on Wednesday.

Purgin said it became clear that Kiev is sabotaging the probe two days after the incident, when international experts were not let into the area, as Kiev claimed it could not guarantee their safety.

Kiev simply refused to accompany the international experts, Purgin stated. The Malaysian group of experts made it down to the crash alone, with no security from Kiev.

It took four days for international experts to gain access to the site. The reason is that even after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced a 40-kilometer ceasefire zone around the crash site, Malaysian experts came under heavy shelling from the Ukrainian army while making their way within the ceasefire zone.

The Boeing 777-200ER, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 passengers and crew on board, was shot down over Ukraine on July 17. There were no survivors.

Kiev authorities have accused the militia of being behind the catastrophe. However, the militia stressed that it doesn’t possess the means to shoot down an aircraft at such an altitude.

Following the crash, the dead bodies were left under 30C heat, as self-defense forces were pressured by the OSCE not to move the bodies until the international experts arrived, the Donetsk People’s Republic’s Prime Minister Aleksandr Boroday told BBC.

“We waited a day, two, three – but no experts,” Boroday said. “They were all sitting in Kiev.” To keep the dead bodies laying there became “absurd” and “inhumane,” he added.

The Ukrainian militia handed over to Malaysian experts the black boxes from the plane on Tuesday. Investigators say they have found no evidence that the black box recorder was tampered with.

Read more: Ukrainian militia hand over MH17 flight recorders to Malaysia

The Dutch Safety Board said it has taken charge of the international investigation. It will coordinate a team of 24 investigators from Ukraine, Malaysia, Russia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It added that four Dutch investigators are currently operating in Ukraine.

The bodies of the first victims from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrived back in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

A day earlier, the UN Security Council condemned the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and called for an international probe into the incident in a unanimously adopted resolution.

Read more: ‘Kiev will have to answer many questions’ as UN urges intl MH17 crash probe – Moscow

NYPD may face another chokehold scandal after disturbing video surfaces

AFP Photo / Getty Images / Mario Tama

In a video obtained by DNAinfo.com, an unidentified NYPD officer can be seen putting a man in a chokehold and punching him in the face multiple times during an attempted arrest. Another officer is present at the scene, which is believed to be a subway stop in East Harlem, but he does not appear to be physically involved in the confrontation,

The officer tells the man to place his arms behind his back. But when that doesn’t stop him from struggling, the policeman begins punching him in the head repeatedly. At this point, one bystander can be heard screaming, “Why do you have to hit him?”

The video was first sent to a community activist in the area, Rev. Kelmy Rodriquez. The reverend posted the video on Facebook, asking for witnesses of the incident to come forward. A police spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the situation is under investigation.

“I was appalled when I saw this video, especially after the Eric Garner situation,” Rodriquez told DNAinfo. “Something like this adds more gas to the fire.”

As RT reported previously, Garner – a 43-year-old Staten Island resident and father of six – died from a heart attack after police placed him in a chokehold and took him to the ground. Although Garner stated multiple times that he couldn’t breathe – he also suffered from asthma – one officer pressed his head to the ground. Eventually, Garner lost consciousness and was declared dead at a local hospital.

Police said the confrontation occurred because they saw Garner selling untaxed cigarettes, something he had been arrested for on numerous occasions. At least on this occasion, however, witnesses said all Garner had done before police walked up to him was break up a fight.

An investigation of this is also underway, with NYPD Police Chief William Bratton saying that significant improvements will have to be made to the department’s training methods.

“We’re going to do more than just a review of Staten Island,” he said, according to the New York Observer.

“Not only will we have cultural sensitivity, but that our officers will understand the importance of consistent policing – no matter whether the area is black, Asian Latino, white, it’s the consistency in the enforcement of the law.”

These two recent incidents have placed the NYPD under yet another microscope when it comes to allegations of excessive force. Although the department has banned the chokehold since 1993, its officers have been accused of using chokeholds more than 1,000 times in the last five years or so.

For Rev. Rodriquez, the chokehold simply needs to be prohibited.

“The chokehold has to go. I cannot see why that was justified,” he told DNAinfo. “We’ve seen the result of the chokehold — death or lawsuits.”

“This us-against-them vibe between police and the community must stop. I think the officer needs retraining and perhaps counseling. The officer should be removed from public contact and go through training to make sure he’s ready to return to work in the community.”

CDC lab director resigns following anthrax scandal

The Centers for Disease Control sign is seen at its main facility in Atlanta (Reuters / Tami Chappell)

Michael Farrell’s resignation was submitted on Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He had led the facility’s Bioterror Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory (BRRAT) since 2009. He was reassigned to a new position following safety breaches that were announced in June, but has now officially left the agency entirely.

“I can confirm that he was the team lead for the BRRAT lab since 2009 and that he’s resigned from that position,” CDC spokesman Thomas Skinner told Reuters. It is unclear whether Farrell’s resignation was requested or not.

Farrell’s departure comes after the CDC shut down the BRRAT facility in mid-July. Back in June, about 84 scientists were potentially exposed to anthrax after employees failed to properly sterilize the deadly bacteria. Although no one became sick and no reports of exposure have been filed, the eye-opening incident sparked an investigation that revealed multiple failures in safety protocol.

“These events revealed totally unacceptable behavior,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden at the time. “They should never have happened. I’m upset, I’m angry, I’ve lost sleep over this, and I’m working on it until the issue is resolved.”

As RT reported previously, a federal investigation into the lab found that dangerous microbes and “unidentified materials” were transported between labs in plastic Ziploc bags – containers which fail to meet the CDC’s “durability” requirement.

Additionally, some anthrax samples were stored in refrigerators located in an unrestricted hallway, while the key to one fridge reportedly “sat in its lock.” As the investigation unfolded, some anthrax samples were found to be missing and had to be tracked down. In yet another example, anthrax was placed in an unlocked lab that was not authorized to store the bacteria.

“An internal investigation found serious safety lapses, including use of an unapproved sterilization technique and use of a potent type of anthrax in an experiment that did not require a live form of the germ,” the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

In response, Frieden said he would prioritize a culture change at the agency. He also said that those who consciously violated safety procedures or did not notify the proper authorities when protocol wasn’t followed could face disciplinary action.

Still, the department’s response hasn’t pleased everyone. Former CDC official Sean Kaufman said that first and foremost, the agency needs to revamp its training practices.

“For [Farrell] to resign as a result of this is an indicator that they’re focusing on who instead of what,” he told Reuters. “It was a culture that led to this issue. It was not an individual.”

Another botched execution? Arizona inmate took 2 hours to die

The process began at 1:52 p.m. local time. After five minutes, officials reported Wood was sedated. At 2:02 p.m. the he began breathing. A minute later, his mouth moved.

Wood’s lawyers filed an emergency court appeal Wednesday after the lethal injection did not immediately take effect, leaving him “gasping and snoring for more than an hour.”

“We respectfully request that this court stop the execution and require that the Department of Corrections use the lifesaving provisions required in its protocol,” the lawyers said in the US District Court filing. “He is still alive. This execution has violated Mr Wood’s eighth amendment right to be executed in the absence of cruel and unusual punishment.”

The court declined to step in, and the contingency plan was not enacted.

Wood’s protracted death called to mind the botched executions of Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire in January and of Oklahoma inmate Clayton D. Lockett in April.

McGuire’s death has been described as one of the longest executions in the history of Ohio, at 25 minutes. During that time, the Columbus Dispatch reported that McGuire was “struggling and gasping loudly for air, making snorting and choking sounds that lasted for at least 10 minutes, with his chest heaving and his fist clenched. Deep, rattling sounds emanated from his mouth.”

In Lockett’s case, prison officials eventually canceled the execution after 14 minutes because he was still moving and looked up to say, “Something’s wrong.” He died of a heart attack nearly 45 minutes after his execution went wrong. During the procedure, officials administered more drugs than necessary and burst a vein.

Earlier on Wednesday, the US Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s secrecy surrounding its lethal injection drugs, lifting the stay of execution for Wood issued by the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals. In its decision, the high court did not address his lawyer’s argument that the double murderer had a First Amendment right to know the source of the drugs that would be used to execute him.

Wood, 55, was sentenced to death for the murder of his girlfriend and her father in 1989.

White House tracking website visitors with online ‘fingerprinting’

A screenshot from whitehouse.gov

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) studied the White House site for the new type of online tracking system after a new report byProPublica found that the website contained the secretive spyware.

As RT previously reported, at least five percent of the internet’s top 100,000 websites are using canvas fingerprinting, a new kind tracking technology that is nearly impossible to block using conventional privacy tools.

Although there is more than one type of canvas fingerprinting, the most widely used software – and the type used by the White House – is developed by AddThis, and is reportedly employed on popular websites like online dating site PlentyOfFish, CBS, PerezHilton.com and even YouPorn. (A list of known sites using the software can be found here.)

Here’s how it works: When you visit a website that features such tracking technology, the site asks your browser to “draw a hidden image.” Since every computer renders the image in a different way, that drawing is used to label your device with a unique number that allows trackers to keep an eye on your browsing activity across the internet.

An AddThis spokesperson said that the company did not inform the websites in question when it put its tracking technology in place. After ProPublica’s original article was published, a YouPorn spokesperson said the website was unaware the app was tracking its users and has since removed the AddThis functionality.

AddThis chief executive Rich Harris stressed that the company does not use canvas fingerprinting for anything other than ad targeting and personalization, and that users can stop their data from being used for advertising or marketing by installing a specific opt-out cookie on their computers. However, this would not stop AddThis from collecting data; it would simply stop them from using it to custom-tailor ads for you.

WhiteHouse.gov’s cookie policy promises, “We do not knowingly use third-party tools that place a multi-session cookie prior to the user interacting with the tool.” However, EFF found that the site lists AddThis as being present on some of its pages (but does not identify which ones). “We have yet to find one without AddThis, whether open or hidden,” EFF wrote on its Deeplinks blog.

Since canvas fingerprinting can’t be blocked by normal cookie management techniques or erased when users delete other cookies, the White House use of AddThis “is inconsistent with the White House’s promise that ‘Visitors can control aspects of website measurement and customization technologies used on WhiteHouse.gov’,” EFF wrote.

Tracking users in this way is nothing new. In October 2000, a congressional review found that, despite a prohibition against the practice, 13 government agencies were secretly using technology that tracks the internet habits of people visiting their websites, and in at least one case providing the information to a private company, the Associated Press reported. In August 2009, President Barack Obama announced plans to reverse a nine-year-old federal policy banning the use of web technologies to track and compile personal information of online visitors to federal internet sites, according to Judicial Watch.

AddThis said it does not use any data it gathers from government websites. So far, it claims to have only used data for “internal research and development.”

But relying on the promise from AddThis “is not the best privacy assurance,” said Princeton computer science professor Arvind Narayanan, who helped lead the research team responsible for uncovering the system.

To prevent canvas fingerprinting from being effective, EFF recommends using its Privacy Badger add-on, saying it “blocks spying ads and invisible trackers.” Other options include downloading theTor browser, which helps users avoid numerous types of online tracking, or blocking JavaScript from loading in your browser, which ProPublica notes could make many websites not work properly.

There’s also a browser in the works calledChameleon, which is specifically designed to block fingerprinting – but at this stage is only recommended for “tech-savvy users.”

Two-thirds of fresh retail chicken in UK could be contaminated with potentially lethal bacteria

Two-thirds of fresh retail chicken in the UK could be contaminated with potentially lethal bacteria. (Reuters / Srdjan Zivulovic)

Undercover film footage, photographic evidence, and allegations from whistleblowers indicate the UK’s strict hygiene standards to avoid the contamination of chicken by a potentially lethal “campylobacter” bug can be easily flouted on British factory floors and farms.

In the last month, an array of hygiene breaches were uncovered that could contribute to the spread of this dangerous bug – including a factory floor littered with chicken guts and instances of chicken carcasses being ferried to factory production lines by workers’ footwear. Other worrying practices concerning the processing of retail chicken and increased risks of contamination were also revealed by the investigation.

The damning allegations prompted Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Tesco to establish high priority investigations into their chicken suppliers over the past week.

Concern is focused on campylobacter, which is thought to be present in almost 65 percent of fresh British chicken sold in the UK. While the bug is allegedly terminated by thorough cooking, it harbors serious implications for human health.

Roughly 280,000 British citizens fall ill as a result of campylobacter each year. The bug also causes around 100 deaths in the UK annually. In an era of mass poultry production, contamination rates have increased in the last 10 years.

In light of the Guardian investigation’s findings and the subsequent decision of supermarket chains to conduct inquiries into their chicken suppliers, Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) vowed on Wednesday to name supermarkets and chicken processors who demonstrate high rates of the potentially lethal bacteria.

Following the FSA’s announcement, government officials warned the body that such data could provoke a widespread food scare reminiscent of that sparked by former Conservative Edwina Currie in 1988. Currie had publicly expressed concern that most of Britain’s eggs were contaminated by salmonella.

The Guardian’s covert five-month investigation uncovered a chicken industry plagued by alleged sub-standard hygiene practices. These claims were directed at two of the UK’s most prolific poultry processors – 2 Sisters Food Group and Faccenda.

2 Sisters Food Group, a factory owned by a pair of sisters, produces both fresh poultry and chicken for a selection of ready meals to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, M&S, and KFC. Faccenda owns several farms and an abattoir that supplies chicken to Nando’s and Asda.

Catherine Brown, chief executive of the FSA, had publicly promised in March 2014 to pursue an inquiry into campylobacter rates with “steely determination,” despite private sector resistance. And in a climate of increasing campylobacter contamination, the FSA recently ordered a new swathe of tests for the bug. Results were expected in June, and were due to be publicly released in the near future.

But on Wednesday, Brown requested the FSA reverse its previous decision to publish the data documenting campylobacter contamination levels for named processors and supermarkets each quarter.

Brown insists the FSA’s threat of exposing this bacterial contamination forced supermarkets and chicken processors to take seriously the body’s concerns about the bug’s widespread presence in Britain’s retail chicken sector. However, the industry has yet to make changes in production that are necessary to reduce such high levels of contamination.

.@foodgov need to put consumers first and publish the #campylobacter survey results in full on a quarterly basis http://t.co/7upGqqqg2E

— Which? News (@WhichNews) July 23, 2014

Erik Millstone, a food safety expert and professor at Sussex University, condemned the FSA’s decision to relinquish its promise to publish the data.

“In the last few years the Food Standards Agency has been under a great deal of pressure from the government and the food industry to ensure that it only provides reassuring messages, and especially that it should say nothing that could provoke any ‘food scares,’” Millstone observed.

“But the FSA was created to protect consumers, not to protect the food industry, or to give ministers a quiet time. This decision shows that its independence is entirely illusory,” he warned.

BREAKING! PUTIN TO ISSUE KIEV AN ULTIMATIUM AS EARLY AS TODAY TO RECOGNI…

An ultimatum, how many cease fires have to be declared before this gets even worse? What this means is that if they do declare a serious cease fire then the US CIA Mercenaries will being to shoot again and continually destroy the cease fire so Russia will have to invade with troops. If there is no cease fire declared, then Russia will enter Ukraine under the guise of peace keepers. So then we will begin to see the inevitable which is coming regardless World War 3. Starting in Ukraine and ending in a global war. Which means a lot of lives lost and a lot of blood shed.

The other side of all of this is the economy, the sanctions that the EU and the US are placing on Russia are just flat out backfiring. If the US and the Eu continue to put sanctions on Russia then expect the oil prices to rise to 200$ a barrel. This is fact not just opinion. This information was found out by an Oxford economist who says this is going to get ugly and fast!

On the other side we have Gaza which is continually being blown up, and now Israel is being question for ‘war crimes’. This is concerning, because not only is the situation in Israel getting out of hand but now we have Muslims in Florida saying they are Hamas. The terrorists cells that are in the US are going to be getting the green light soon because of the border. These scumbags have been let in by none other than Barack Obama and his affiliates. Texas is in deep trouble with over 1,000 militants in the region! These numbers are on the lighter side of deep trouble because up to 30,000,000 illegals have entered into this country. Not only that they but in New York the state government is willing to give them their green cards so they can apply for services. Those green cards number up to 500,000. We as a country are in deep trouble, we as a world are in deeper trouble!