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Crashed Indonesian plane’s fuselage found, missing black box heard

Flight JT-610 crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta to fly to a neighbouring island on Monday. All 189 people on board were killed.



Indonesia Lion Air crash

Jakarta, Nov 3 (IANS) Divers searching for wreckage belonging to Lion Air flight have found the fuselage of the crashed airliner and said they heard a signal from its missing cockpit voice recorder, the head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency said on Saturday.

Muhammad Syaugi, head of the agency which is also known as Basarnas, told reporters at the port of Jakarta that divers had detected a characteristic “ping” sound from the second black box, Efe news reported.

“Although the sound is quite weak, it came from a spot not far from the ship ‘Victory,'” he said, referring to a rescue vessel deployed to the area.

The brand new Boeing 737’s other black box, or flight data recorder, had been found on Thursday, but so far investigators have not been able to recover any information from it, officials said.

Syaugi spoke at the dockside where Indonesian Navy officers could be seen lifting some heavy parts of the aircraft, such as its undercarriage.

“I haven’t seen it myself but I got information from some divers that they have seen the fuselage,” Syaugi said.

Flight JT-610 crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta to fly to a neighbouring island on Monday. All 189 people on board were killed.

Meanwhile, Indonesian authorities also said one of the divers searching for the wreckage of plane died on Friday evening. The victim was identified as Syachrul Anto, a member of the Indonesian Diving Rescue Team.

National Search and Rescue Agency director Muhammad Syaugi said that the diver lost consciousness during the dive and died later at the Koja Regional Hospital in Jakarta.

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Malaysia keen to operate direct flights to Kashmir Valley



Malaysia Airlines

Srinagar, Nov 19 : Malaysian High Commissioner to India Dato Hidayat Abdul Hamid on Monday said that Malaysia is keen to start direct tourist flights to Kashmir.

The high commissioner told officials that Malaysian Airlines is eager to increase flights to India and also have direct flights to Kashmir to boost tourist flow from Malaysia to this place.

He visited the famous ski resort, Gulmarg, on Monday.

An official spokesman said the high commissioner was “highly impressed” with the beauty of Kashmir Valley.

“Malaysians who visit India are very keen to come to Kashmir and an improved connectivity would help a lot,” the spokesman quoted the high commissioner as saying.

The spokesman said in addition to Gulmarg, the high commissioner also visited the Mughal Gardens in Srinagar city.

Hamid said Malaysians are visiting Kashmir Valley in good numbers as they love the place.

The high commissioner on Monday concluded his three-day visit to the valley.


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Holidaying at home more popular in India than foreign trips



Travel Holiday vacation

New Delhi, Nov 19: More than 40 per cent Indians value “holidaying at home” the most than buying luxury items or going to wellness and spa trips abroad, a survey has revealed.

According to the survey from YouGov on behalf of Priority Pass, among the world’s leading and original airport experiences programmes, 30 per cent Indians enjoy domestic short breaks, while over 25 per cent enjoyed a cultural trip overseas.

Nearly 20 per cent say a holiday at home is the activity they enjoy the most and would spend an average of Rs 23,619 on this type of break.

“People increasingly look for more ‘meaning’ in what they do, therefore possessions are proving less valuable than experiences, and the memories and learnings that we gain from them. In future, what we do will matter more — to us and our peer network — than what we buy,” said William Higham, consumer futurist and author of The Next Big Thing.

Indians were also found to overwhelmingly value shared experiences like catching a film at the cinema or going out for a meal (nearly 50 per cent each).

When it comes to sharing on social media, 42 per cent were most likely to post about trips to the cinema, and 39 per cent about showcasing food and drink they have prepared themselves.

On the other hand, more solitary activities like a fitness session at the gym (18 per cent) or buying a new luxury purchase (also 18 per cent) do not get shared as much on social media platforms.

These results suggest that a shared social experience is key to people’s enjoyment.

Conversely, buying luxury items and wellness holidays abroad came in much lower in India, with only 11 per cent of respondents likely to take this kind of trip in an average year and three per cent listing it as their most favoured activity.

The survey covers over 10,000 people from nine countries across all corners of the world, including 1,000 in India.


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Lakhs of towels, bedhseets missing from AC coaches – passengers are suspects

Besides, the Railways found 56,287 pillows and 46,515 blankets missing from the AC coaches in this period.



Indian Railway Bed Rolls

New Delhi, Nov 15 : Affluent AC passengers are the prime suspects as over 21 lakh towels, bedsheets, blankets and other items went missing from air-conditioned coaches during 2017-18 an official said.

The passengers are suspected to have made off with precisely 21,72,246 “bedroll items” — including 12,83,415 hand towels, 4,71,077 bedsheets and 3,14,952 pillow covers — from trains across the country in the last fiscal.

Besides, the Railways found 56,287 pillows and 46,515 blankets missing from the AC coaches in this period.

“Together, the missing items are estimated to cost over Rs 14 crore,” a senior Railway Ministry official told IANS.

While the theft of toilet mugs, taps, flush pipes and mirrors are also reported on a regular basis, the missing bedroll items in substantial numbers has posed a challenge for the Railways, which is trying to provide better amenities to upper class passengers.

Currently, about 3.9 lakh sets of linen are provided daily — this comprises two bedsheets, a towel, a pillow and a blanket for each passenger in the AC classes.

“The maximum number of items stolen are towels, followed by bedsheets, as reported by coach attendants at the end of each journey,” the official said.

In the light of the thefts, especially of towels, the Railways has decided that the face towels given to passengers travelling in air-conditioned coaches will be replaced with cheaper, smaller, disposable, takeaway napkins, said the official.

The Railways has already started changing the cover of blankets in some sections while the frequency of washing is being increased from monthly to fortnightly and weekly.

There is also a move to increase the frequency of washing of blankets to begin with and replacing the existing ones with the newly designed lightweight blankets made of soft fabric in a phased manner.

The plan envisages improvement of linen management with the aim of providing clean, hygienic and good quality linen to passengers travelling in AC classes, the official said.

Among the 16 zones of Indian Railways, the Southern zone alone accounted for the theft of 2,04,113 hand towels, 29,573 bedsheets, 44,868 pillow covers, 3,713 pillows and 2,745 blankets.

In the missing list, South Central zone has registered 95,700 towels, 29,747 pillow covers, 22,323 bedsheets, 3,352 blankets and 2,463 pillows.

In the Northern zone, 85,327 towels, 38,916 bedsheets, 25,313 pillow covers, 3,224 pillows and 2,483 blankets were found missing.

In the East Central zone, 33,234 bedsheets, 22,769 pillow covers, 1,657 pillows, 76,852 towels, and 3,132 blankets were stolen last year.

In the Eastern zone, 1,31,313 towels, 20,258 bedsheets, 9,006 pillow covers, 1,517 pillows and 1,913 blankets were reported missing by attendants after the end of the train journey.

The East Coast railways has registered 43,318 towels, 23,197 bedsheets, 8,060 pillow covers, and 2,260 blankets as missing.

(Arun Kumar Das can be contacted at [email protected])

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