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Boeing aircraft in deadly Indonesia crash a popular new model in Canada and abroad – National




The aircraft involved in a deadly crash after reporting technical issues in Indonesia Monday — the Boeing 737 MAX 8 — is the latest version of one of the company’s biggest and most popular jets.

And it’s one that Canadian airlines WestJet, Air Canada and Sunwing all use.

In a statement to Global News, WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart confirmed that the airline has nine Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in its fleet.

READ MORE: Indonesia plane crash: Rescuers uncover bodies, say 189 people on board likely didn’t survive

Air Canada also confirmed to Global News that it uses 18 of the jets.

Sunwing Airlines also added four of the aircraft to its fleet earlier this year, according to its website. Sunwing did not respond to Global News questions regarding additional inspection or maintenance of the jets by the time of publication.

WATCH: Divers search for main wreckage of crashed Lion Air plane

Both Air Canada and WestJet airlines said they are closely monitoring the investigation into Monday’s Lion Air crash, which left 189 dead.

WestJet said it currently has no plans to carry out its own evaluation of the aircraft.

READ MORE: Pilot asked to return Indonesian plane to base before it plunged into sea with 189 people on board

“There is no information available as to cause of the incident in Indonesia, and no indication from the manufacturer or regulator that any action is required or warranted,” Stewart said.

“These aircraft of WestJet’s are brand new and we have no plans at this time for any action.”

In a similar statement, Air Canada said it has not “received any directives from the manufacturers at this time.”

Porter Airlines does not have any Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet, a spokesperson said.

Details on the crash

Lion Air’s plane was almost brand new. It was flown for the first time on Aug. 15.

While no direct cause has been determined for the crash, the airline said the plane had been certified as airworthy before Monday’s flight by an engineer who is a specialist in Boeing models.

But the Boeing 737 MAX 8 literally fell out of the sky and into the sea just after takeoff from Jakarta’s airport.

Data from FlightRadar24 shows the first sign of something amiss was around two minutes into the flight when the plane had reached 610 metres.

READ MORE: Lion Air flight with 189 on board crashes in Indonesian sea

The plane dropped more than 152 metres, veered to the left and then started climbing again to 1,524 metres. It gained speed in the final moments before data was lost when it was at an altitude of 1,113 metres.

Yusuf Latief, a spokesman for Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency, said there were likely no survivors.

Relatives of passengers of Lion Air, flight JT610, that crashed into the sea cry at Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang, Belitung island, Indonesia, October 29, 2018.

Antara Foto/Hadi Sutrisno via REUTERS

How popular is the Boeing 737 MAX 8?

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the most recent model of Boeing’s famous 737, the U.S. company’s best-selling plane, and is a popular choice among budget airlines around the world.

Several international airlines have MAX 8s in their fleet, including American, Southwest, Jet Airways, AeroMexico, LOT Polish Airlines and FlyDubai.

WATCH: Divers retrieve remains, personal belongings of doomed Lion Air plane’s passengers

The website FlightAware listed 75 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in the air on Monday at noon ET, operating in markets around the world. Flight Aware provides real-time online flight tracking for commercial aircraft.

Boeing says its 737 MAX series is the “fastest-selling airplane” in its history, with nearly 4,700 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide, according to its website.

The 737 MAX 8 is part of a series of aircraft that also includes the 7, 9 and 10. All four versions have the same wingspan of 35.9 metres, and the same LEAP-1B engines from CFM International, according to specifications on Boeing’s website. They differ in length and seat size, with the MAX 10 being the longest.

WATCH: ‘I thought it was thunder’ — Witness recounts Indonesia plane crash

Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft are produced at a facility in Renton, Wash.

In a statement on its website, Boeing offered condolences to those affected by Monday’s crash.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of those on board,” the statement read. “Boeing is providing technical assistance at the request and under the direction of government authorities investigating the accident.”

What should airlines do?

Ross Aimer, a pilot and CEO of Aero Consulting Experts, explained to Global News that this particular Boeing model is new — and therefore has a lot of new technology.

Aimer, who is a former United Airlines pilot, said most airlines would offer “differences training” to pilots using new aircraft. But it’s unclear whether Lion Air did so.

“I’m not sure that Lion Air did an extensive training of their pilots,” Aimer said. “They don’t have a very stellar safety record, they were barred from EU airspace for several years.”

READ MORE: 4-year-search for missing MH370 plane officially ends — Will the mystery ever be solved?

But the aviation expert noted that it’s tough to blame either an aircraft or training — or suggest other airlines take action — until a cause for the crash is determined.

“They should be able to extract the voice and data recorders shortly, which will give us all the indications of what exactly happened,” Aimer said, noting after that proper courses of action can be determined.

Shares of Boeing took a dive after news of the Lion Air crash, a rare dent in what has been a year of soaring growth for the aircraft maker so far. The company’s stock price closed at US $359.27 on Friday, up a whopping 21 per cent since the start of the year, after delivering a gangbusters report with earnings far above Wall Street expectations.

By midday on Monday, however, the stock price was down more than 4 per cent. Lion Air is waiting for 240 Boeing 737 MAXs from Boeing, equivalent to around four per cent of the company’s backlog of narrow-bodied aircraft, according to Robert Stallard, an analyst at Vertical Research Partners.

— With files from Reuters and Global News business reporter Erica Alini

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali



Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu

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Harris accepts VP nomination



Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself



Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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